Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Schoolies hangover

Okay, so I understand what it’s like to finish school and feel freedom for the first time. I was once a ‘Schoolie’ and was so excited to finally be rid of exams, assignments and teachers (albeit temporarily as I intended to go to Uni straight away). It was great to celebrate with my friends the milestone of completing school forever and get excited about the future.
As I read the stories about how drunken brawls and attacks on Schoolies threaten to rip apart the ‘festival’ I can’t help but feel that they really are a different breed of teenager.

When my friends and I went to Schoolies in 2002, it was about staying together and having a great time. We had barbecues, drinks by the pool, sunbaked on the beach, shopped and visited friends who were staying in neighbouring apartments. We didn’t get involved in fights, glassing attacks, verbal stoushes or have drug overdoses.

These days it seems that Schoolies are out to wreak as much havoc as possible – it seems like they’ve lost touch and aren’t really celebrating for the right reasons anymore.

I don’t get the whole smugness thing – like why they feel the need to give motorists the finger or throw stubbies at cars for no good reason. I know it’s a case of “no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks” but for the general Gold Coast public (and other Coastal towns and shires), who graciously accept Schoolies into their midst year after year, you’d think these kids would have a touch more respect.

I don’t know why they feel entitled to be rude, demanding and vulgar – what’s changed in eight years since I was in year 12 to make these youths so feral? I know my friends and I weren’t like that… I just don’t get it.

Well at the risk of sounding too ‘old’ and ‘whiney’ I just have this to say – I hope you’re Daddy’s trust fund doesn’t dry up too soon sweethearts, because it’s going to be a grim awakening for you when reality hits next year.

Reports released today stated that the GFC will affect school leavers and those looking for work and apprenticeships in the New Year; I’d be watching how many brain cells I lose during this annual week-long bender. Some of you may have to actually start using your brains for the first time in your lives!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dare to dream

As I have grown up, I’ve had to learn to accept that sometimes things don’t always work out just as you thought they would and that sometimes it’s for the best.

I am a pretty stubborn person by nature and tend to be idealistic; I grew up being told that I could be anything and do anything I wanted if I dreamed big enough. And I really did believe that.

Well to be honest, that’s both true and false. I believe you can do anything you want, but it’s not as simple as just believing it – you have to work your butt off to get what you want and that often means making sacrifices along the way.

I’ve learned that part now that I’m older, but despite what you might think, it’s not a negative thing. The sacrifices I have made in order to find happiness have been some of the best decisions I’ve made.

We set goals and standards in our lives to which we want to live. Whether it be a dream career, personal appearance, friendship circles, living situations, finances, accomplishments, relationships – we put a label on each of these and have certain expectations that go along with them. We write ourselves a list of what we want from each of these and then set out to achieve them.

I guess before you become an adult and see the world for what it really is; it’s easy to get lost in what your future could be when you start to dream.

When you’re little you’re allowed to say that you could be an astronaut, doctor, ballerina, or Olympic gold medallist – no one tells you how hard it actually is to be any of these…

Since I was little I always wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry as an actress. Growing up I really enjoyed participating in theatre and musicals, and I’ve appeared in television commercials and in print modelling advertorial campaigns. I still really enjoy entertaining that dream, but I recognise now that there are other things I want even more.

I know some people say they are scared to dream for fear of rejection or failure – but you shouldn’t sell yourself short. On my way to figuring out my goals, my life has taken a different track to what I thought it would, and even though the original things I set out to achieve fell by the wayside, I am glad for the diversion. The decisions I’ve made have helped me to find amazing love and led me to a place where I can be with the most incredible people – my family and friends.

I guess that I have come to a point in my life where I am ready to let some things go in order to move forward and have a truly amazing relationship with the life I have now. I will always be ambitious to achieve the things I want, but now the things I desire mean much more to me than being centre stage in the spotlight.

So I am still going to dream big, but I’m not going to let myself stray off the path and forget what is most important at the core of things. As Dr Wayne Dyer said “There is a voice in the Universe urging us to remember our purpose for being on this great Earth. This is the voice of inspiration, which is within each and every one of us.”
Find your own purpose for being here – remember we only live once, so make the most of it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Manscape for Movember

This is an extract from the official Movember Australia website. Get involved in this fantastic cause and help raise much needed funds for prostrate cancer and male depression. Visit http://au.movember.com/ for more info.

Each year Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in Australia and around the world, with the sole aim of raising vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men.

Men sporting Movember moustaches, known as Mo Bros, become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.

Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo growing efforts. The rules are simple; register online at Movember.com and start the month of Movember clean shaven, before growing a Mo.

Money raised in Australia is shared equally between programs targeting prostate cancer and male depression. Funds are committed to our men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue – the national depression initiative and the Movember Foundation. Together, the three channels work to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world class programs in the fields of research, education, support, and awareness.

Since inception, Movember has continued to grow each year, both in terms of participation numbers and funds raised. In its first year, 30 Mo Bros took part and last year, in Australia alone, over 128, 000 Mo Bro & Sistas got on board, raising more than $21 million.

Having been started by mates in Australia, Movember now takes place around the world. Motivated and inspired by what was happening in Australia, a further nine countries- New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and Ireland - now embrace the Mo in an official capacity each November. In addition, Movember is aware of Mo Bros & Sistas supporting the cause right across the globe, from Russia to Dubai, Hong Kong to Denmark and everywhere in between.

At the end of Movember, a series of Gala Part├ęs are held across Australia (and the world) to thank Mo Bros and Sistas for their remarkable fundraising efforts. Mo Bros (dressed to suit their Mo) and Mo Sistas (dressed to suit their Mo Bro) come together to celebrate the Mo and compete for a number of category titles in the perfect opportunity to see what Movember is really about; great mates, health, and fun. And of course, the Mo.

Big steps have been taken towards changing attitudes and habits relating to men’s health around the world but there is still much to be done to catch up with the women’s health movement. Via the moustache, Movember aims to continue to provoke conversation each year, with a view to breaking down long standing and traditional taboos and habits.

For you Mr J

Last week I had some terrible news.

A man by the name of Brian Johnston, whom I regarded as one of the more decent human beings I’ve ever met, passed away suddenly. His family, friends and associates were shocked to say the least.

Brian was involved in the Little Athletics and school sporting community on the Gold Coast for nearly 30 years. He spent hours of his own time coaching, mentoring and supporting young athletes and never complained or asked for a dollar for his work.

He was always encouraging kids to do their best and it was never about winning – he always encouraged his athletes - he never pressured them. It wasn’t about finishing first with Brian; even if you were finishing last each week at competition, he never made a fuss or made you feel bad about your result. You never felt bad while he was around.

I am proud and honoured to have known Brian and be apart of the ‘BJ Squad’ – a term a group of us who were trained by him came up with.

I will never forget the lessons that Mr J taught us – to be humble and generous – never cocky or selfish. He was so giving and considerate and will be missed by so many.

His funeral last Friday was testament to his memory with nearly 500 people turning out to pay their respects to a man who has touched the lives of so many.

Mr J, I love you so much and I hope that I can be the kind of person you were and enrich the lives of the people I care about. You made me realise that it wasn’t about winning and being the best – it was about the journey and what you gained along the way.

I may not have been first on the podium, but I know in his eyes I was a winner.

"Dream, Believe, Succeed" - Brian Johnston

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The race that stops me from getting work done…

So it’s that time again when you put on a hat and some towering stilettos and make your way to the nearest pub, TAB or race track to be a part of the spectacle that is the Melbourne Cup.

Now I have never actually been to see ‘the race that stops the nation’ but I intend to.

The local turf club is a great day out to watch the Melbourne Cup on the big screen – there is so much atmosphere and discussion about horses, trainers, jockeys; not to mention the fashions on the field.

I am really into the fashion part of the day, but I do like to have a flutter.

My picks for today’s race are:

For the win: So you think
Place: Descarado

Good luck to all punters and fashionable fillies!

Happy Halloween!

Last night we decided that due to our crazy dog, we would refrain from opening the door to trick-or-treaters (we didn’t want him bowling them over when we opened the front door).

So instead, we filled a huge orange bowl (it looked like the closest thing to a pumpkin) and designed a sign that read “Happy Halloween – please take one per person”.

The problem is that not many people in our neighbourhood came out for Halloween, so we have been left with a mountain of lollies and chocolates (damn, what a shame…)

My family never celebrated Halloween (and never let us go trick or treating because of the dodgy few in our surrounding streets) but I just couldn’t resist giving out treats to the kids – they go to so much effort and really do look fantastic. I know it’s not a holiday that Australians are serious about but it’s a bit of fun for the kiddies!

So from now on I think I am going to embrace Halloween and bring out the scary person inside mwahahahaha…..