Sunday, 17 May 2015

21

21 things I have learnt at age 21
Photos by Carolyn West Photography
1. Every person you meet has something to teach you.
No matter their age or appearance, gender or ethnicity. Even the bad ones. There is not a single person on this planet that doesn't have a purpose or doesn't know something that you don't. Life has taught me to be grateful for some of the people I haven't chosen to be in my life but I've worked with, or have had to spend a lot of time with when it wasn't necessarily what I wanted. I've always discovered that there was more to them than I first saw. Always give people a chance, the people who comment on your blog, the people you meet at parties, the ones in your tute that don't say much.

2. People will always surprise you.
Even your oldest friends. You might think you know every little thing about them, and they will surprise you with a show of strength or a weakness you never saw. It just makes them as great as you suspected.

3. Confidence is something that I will never be finished learning
Confidence isn't something you just learn and it's there forever, at least for me. The more I work on my confidence and refine my skills the closer I get, but there is always room for improvement in being appropriately confident in my personal and professional lives.
4. You have the power to turn around any bad day, night or week. 
Something that often happened to me when I was younger that I would let one person or thing ruin a whole night out or day. I let things become bigger than they are and am always learning how to put them out of my mind and enjoy the important stuff.

5. You are never really as alone as you might feel.
There is always someone. This world is full of people who are all having human experiences and there is someone that understands what is happening to you. If all else fails, give your parents some credit, they may be a bit old, but they've been around the track a few times and know a lot more than you think. Also, cats are great. They don't argue. ;P

6. There is nothing that hours of trashy television can't fix.
Personal preferences include Pretty Little Liars, Neighbours and Homes under the Hammer (sorry, not sorry).
7. Nothing will happen as quickly as you want it to, and if it does, it probably won't last.
Good things take time. You have to date the dickhead before you can date your Glenn. You have to book smaller jobs before you can book the big ones. It's the same with most things in life. You'll really deserve it when you get there, and you will get there eventually.

8. I will always believe that we are stronger in union. 
There are a lot of things I'm not super sure about in this world, issues I don't know enough about, cultures, religions, political ideologies that are foreign to me but humans beings are always more equip to deal with social issues and create better lives when they do it together. I will always believe in helping those less fortunate and that my skills are only amplified when I work with others.

9. Experiences are always worth more than objects
If you have some money and you are torn between new stuff or a concert ticket or going out with your friends or a holiday, always choose the experience. Memories are priceless. Within reason! haha. Savings are important also :P
10. Photograph everything and don't ever be embarrassed.
I practise what I preach. Spend the money on getting a photographer. I am totally not saying this so you will book me, I'm saying it because photos are amazing and you deserve to have them to go with your memories. Otherwise, take those selfies, photograph your feet. Go for a walk and play with your lens and settings. Photograph those you love, photograph what you eat. You don't have to share them, just keep it for yourself. You're never ever going to regret taking a photo but you will regret not capturing something that meant a lot to you.

11. Back up your photos. 
This is pretty self explanatory. But like do it please. I've never lost anything super important and I'm so grateful for that. And I have friends who are awesome enough to buy me external hard drives for my birthday because they know I'd rather spend my money of cameras haha.

12. There is no shame in being excited.
Life is exciting, you are allowed to be happy about the good stuff. You should get excited about fairy lights or puppy dogs. Like go for your life! Being excited isn't uncool and people who judge you for it are secretly aggressively unhappy so don't even sweat it.
13. Be generous.
Buy your friends lunch when you can, do them a favour, give them a lift, think about how you can make their life happier. If 'just because' isn't a good enough reason, then do it because if you're good to others they will be good to you :) Some of my happiest memories are sharing our food and laughter with friends and family and having them share theirs with me.


14. Try not to have expectations.
Things are going to happen the way they happen no matter how much you stress about it. Just go with it :) I know this is easier said than done but it really is the key to enjoying life more.
15. Your mental and physical health is always more important.
Sometimes work or school or parties and friendships feel all important but really the most important thing is taking care of yourself and it's okay to put that first.

16. Creativity is an act of self love.
For me anyway, as a creative person. When I learnt that being creative had so much value in that it made me happy and could actually be what I did professionally, that was when my life and purpose really started to make sense. Also, it's been really important for me to make sure I do creative things for myself as well as for work.

17. It's really okay to feel that way.
It's okay to want to stay in bed, it might not be okay to actually stay in bed but it's okay to feel like it. It's okay to love who you love, and believe in what you believe. It's okay to like the music you do, or wear the clothes you want. It's okay to eat more if you're hungry. It's okay to change your mind and learn. It's just all really okay as long as you aren't harming anyone or yourself :)

18. Girls, we run the world. 
Mother figures are the greatest gift you will ever be given as a human and your sisters, biological or not are so important. Never underestimate them, always support them.

19. You'll feel better if you just do it. And if you really don't want to, don't.
This applies to exercise, homework, paid work, relationships, everything really. You'll feel better if you just get it done and can get on with the things that are a bit more fun. Sometimes we have to do things we aren't so keen on but if it's something that makes you unhappy or uncomfortable, like studying something you don't like at university, or working somewhere that makes you really unhappy even after you gave it a chance, you shouldn't hesitate to change things where you can.
20. The most important part of being a good friend is letting others be themselves.
I found this especially in friendships I've had for a long time, that we have all grown and changed so much and it's so important to make your friends feel like they can show you who they have become and not feel obliged to be someone they aren't when they are around you. My closest friendships have really been that way in that we are really open to each other and to change.

21. Ask for help when you need it. 
A lot of times in my life I've felt stupid or inadequate for needing help so I didn't get enough of it. But when I learnt how to ask for help, I learnt how important of a skill it is in personal growth and that it's definitely okay not to know how to cope with everything the world might throw at you.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Soul Sister


Giving me shivers. I love this girl a lot and I think the world should hear her gift. x

Monday, 4 May 2015

The Last Stop - Life in Photos #SMGOT

I took far too long to edit these because other things got in the way. This was our last stop at Beechwood near Wauchope NSW. We visited a few of my Aunt's friends to check out their awesome design and architecture endeavours, a lot of the shots are from a place called Comboyne which is one of the most unique little communities hidden in the mountains. They are some of the last photos that were taken on my 60D before I got my new camera. Credit where credit is due some of them are Steph's work! :)
More adventures like this soon please x

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Recovery.

I don't know if the rest of you are getting sick of pictures of Warrandyte but I am not quite there yet. Sometimes I come home and I walk down the front stairs from my car to the top level of our house and I look across the valley and just have to take a moment. It's honestly a pretty amazing place to live and might make leaving home for adult endeavours very hard to do. 

As you might have noticed I've been in a bit of a state lately and for the most part my blog has been pretty depressing. To be fairly honest, that's a pretty accurate representation of the way things have felt recently. It's kind of amazing and a little scary how being physically ill can really catch you off guard and make you feel awfully down. Painkillers especially me made me feel very sad and disconnected for quite a few days, I just count myself lucky for the support I've had. 

I want to turn it around at a pace we are all okay with and talk about what is positive right now. A few happy things: 

1/ I am turning 21 this week! 
Now while this has been a huge source of stress for me in the last few weeks as it had put a time limit on recovery, I want to change the way I feel about it. I've been really excited for this for a long time and I want to enjoy it as much as possible. 
My best friend Steph is flying down from Brisbane to be with me this weekend for my party. Our other best friend Cassie is road tripping up from Gippsland which means... we will all be in the same place!!!!! That hasn't happened since September last year so, if everything else goes up in a flaming disaster, there is that to be grateful for. 

So many friends and relatives have gone out of their way geographically and financially to be with me on the weekend and I am so excited about that. My mum has poured herself into making this a special time for me. 
Another happy thing about my birthday is that I get to meet Carolyn who will be photographing it for me, so double excitement there :)

2/ VSCO released a free trial version of their amazing presets for Lightroom, if you use Lightroom I would 100% recommend checking it out, if you don't then what are you even doing? :P

3/ Yoga exists. More importantly Yoga with Adriene exist on youtube and is healing me in more ways that one. I cannot sing Yoga's praises highly enough and Adriene is a truly kind and genuine soul.

4/ My boyfriend is really great. I know I'm lame but he put ear drops in my ear for me for heaven's sake! He let me watch Pretty Little Liars when I was sad and didn't even complain. I'm a lucky human being. 

So whatever you are doing this week, if it's stressful or slow, I hope you make the most of it and take some time for yourself :) x

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Mercy

I found this little bit of reflection in the notes on my phone last night and then tonight I was on twitter reading statuses about the executions that are most likely going ahead in Bali tonight. I think this is the only way to explain how I feel about the world this past week in particular. A week when thousands of the impoverished have perished in a natural disaster, and I am not naive enough to believe that we could make no difference in that number. A week when Black Americans continue to be murdered by those entrusted to protect and serve them, their right to demonstrate comes with the loss of their personal safety. 

And now this. Until now I've never felt particularly attached to this news story. As much as I would never condone the death penalty for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, and I think that even prison is beyond their crimes, I would much rather the mainstream media drew attention to the names and faces of those who are ignored because they aren't Australian, and they are apparently not our problem despite being innocent in every sense of the word. But I am human and I think that the executions of these men has touched me and many others not only for the blood spilt by firing squad in Indonesia tonight but because there is something very wrong in this world when any life is ended before it should be. 

I wrote this the week that Boko Haram massacred 3000 people in Nigeria, and our leaders only wept for the victims of Charlie Hebdo. And sadly, it's again how I felt when university students in Kenya were gunned down in their residences. And it's how I will continue to feel, I am sad to say, many time in my life.
I'm never informed enough to say for certain who should do what and who is wrong and sometimes these situation seem more complex to me than anything else ever has. There is not just good and evil and I'm reluctant to fall into this trend of demonising a whole group of people based on the actions of few. And yet it's the actions of few who rule this world. 
I know it's not as simple as just stop killing each other but I don't know why it isn't as simple as just stop killing each other. 
People on all sides of these conflicts have suffered more than I could ever imagined.
I wish I could know each story, not just the story of James Foley, or Peter Greste or Malala. I want to know all the stories of suffering so that I can bear the burden with my fellow human. But I can't and my body will never breathe enough breaths to know all the pain of so many people. 
That in itself, the sheer amount of suffering renders me hopeless. 
I don't know why I'm writing this, except for to convey how incredibly sad I am. I don't have a god to pray to. I don't know where to gather hope from anymore. How can I believe that things happen for a reason? How can I believe I deserve a life like mine while so many suffer? 
Perhaps I need to say this to put my sadness aside to allow me to find some defiance. I'm lost though, and I don't think it would make any difference if I weren't. 

Much love, 
Meg x

Monday, 27 April 2015

A lesson in putting your health first...

I've been really reluctant to post on my blog, which I hate. So I am just going to do it, as frequently as I feel the need. I felt reluctant because I haven't had the time or quite honestly the energy to reply to comments and read other blogs. I want to assure you that I love doing that. But at the moment my priority is healing, and expressing myself while my creativity flows. I'm not fussed about comments anymore as much as I love hearing your thoughts, I just want to be real.

I have so many different ideas coming out of all my nooks and crannies that it's very hard to decide which one to write first. Like for the first time in my life I might actually queue posts on this little space.
I'm super pedantic about things, my ideas, I like to spit them out and then neaten them up but sometimes they get too messy and I can't even deal with it. Regardless I find myself sitting at my computer at 4 am sticking words together with glue trying to make something that resembles what I actually mean.

A lot has happened since I last came to this keyboard to write a post. I'm going to be honest, it's been a terrible week. Usually I say that and I mean I've had a rough time with work or I've been hard on myself or people have caused conflict in my life. I can be pretty unnecessarily tense, which I have accepted about myself. But this was a different kind of terrible. One that I had absolutely no control over and one that scared me.

I've never been really sick. Even after this week I'm not going to pretend that I have been really sick, I haven't. But after two trips to emergency in one week I am so so grateful that I haven't. I cannot even imagine the pain and unhappiness that people who are consistently in hospital have experienced.

At the start of this week I was diagnosed with an ear infection, given antibiotics and I thought not a lot of it. It was kind of funny, you know, the sort of thing that kids get and it just goes away pretty quick. Boy was I wrong.

Wednesday I reached the first peak pain, I was terrified. Ear pain is really relentless, there is no relief and I sort of thought after a day and a half of antibiotics that I would be starting to feel better. After ringing an after hours doctor for advice I went to the Emergency Department. I was sent home with reduced pain because of anaesthetic in my ear and recommendations about over the counter pain relief which in the end somewhat exacerbated the problem as the ear drops made my my ear like a swollen swimming pool.

The next night after I had taken all the nurofen and panadol that a person is allowed to take in a 24 hour period, my pain started to skyrocket. The next day I was supposed to be working, a whole 8 hours of paid photography work and I was desperately clinging to this. Not because the work itself was going to change the world, but because opportunities like this don't come along unless you work for them. And I had worked for it.

I was devastated when I finally gave in and let Mum take me to another ED. I say I was devastated, but its hard to put the emotions you feel when you're in a lot of pain into a normal context. The pain and the disappointment were feeding off each other and I had lost perspective. I am no longer devastated, slightly disappointed, but at the time it felt a lot bigger and all important.

I found the help I needed. I was given a comfortable space and had professional and soothing nurses. After a quite strong pain killer failed to bring my pain down, I'm not going to lie I was really starting to panic. I was crying and just begging my mum to make it stop.
I'm actually pretty good with pain usually, I breathe through it but this was above and beyond.
Eventually the nurse had to inject me with morphine and anti-inflamotories, I was so wound up that when he said he had to inject it into my butt muscle I was crying so hard and I needed calm down and psych myself up for it, but I just couldn't so I got injected while crying hysterically. I was so embarrassed afterward but at the time I honestly had no conscious control over my body.

After a long night, I went home about 8 am the next morning and I have since been slowly getting better, but it's a journey. Painkillers are a bitch on your body.

But the point of this is not about me being sick or what was wrong with me, it's that I very nearly didn't go to hospital because I wanted to work the next day. I was happy to spend all weekend in the hospital if I could just have 24 more hours to what I thought was most important.

Since a lot of what I do and the success I have in it self determined, it's very hard to draw a line between working hard to fulfil your potential and being counter-productive. It's pretty simple though, you can't work if you're dead. Not that I was going to die, but you feel where I am going with this?

Some things are just more important. I remember once when I was in primary school a teacher asked us what was the most important body part to keep you alive, your heart, your brain or your thumb?
Arguably you need the first two all the time, but it's hard as a kid to see that even if you had your brain, it cannot function without your heart. So your heart is the most important.
"But what good is your heart if you are brain dead?" I hear you cry. I know, I know.

While I want so much and love my work, and it's the most important thing to me a lot of the time, it's nothing without a body to do it with or health to enrich it.

This seems like a really simple thing but sometimes it isn't black and white, in the thick of the moment it's pretty easy to say you'll think about the consequences later. Don't.

If you skimmed this all and took nothing from it, please watch this video. I found it by accident while stalking my favourite filmmaker but I know I was meant to watch it this week. There are people in real pain, unending pain, and when we are lucky enough to have relief from pain, so should they. It is the least we can do.


Monday, 20 April 2015

Recently...

1/Mum's Birthday Pansies. 2&3/Cocoa Moon. 4/Mum's Birthday Roses. 5/My parents got new lounge room furniture. 6/Barry the Bird visiting me. 7/RSVP Cards :)