I like filling the last couple gigs of my iPod randomly. There are albums friends have put onto my iTunes throughout the years that I haven’t had a chance to listen to, or things I downloaded in a set that I still haven’t listened to in full. So, when I’m in the mood, I’ll play my full song list on shuffle.
So between old, familiar good tunes something new will come on and I’ll be like ‘hey, I dig this, nice’, and make a mental note to listen to it more. Sometimes something shit comes on and I’m like ‘right, will be deleting that rubbish.’ Sometimes I don’t even notice the new stuff playing because it either blends in with what I already listen to or is just very successful at being ninja background music.
But every once in a while, rarely, magically, something comes on that, from the very first few chords, makes my ears perk up and take notice and I’m like ‘Oh, hello, what are you?’ And the song just keeps getting better as it goes on and my ears open wider and wider and the song is just just right and maybe even has an unexpected rise or bass drop and if it does it’s like ‘BOOM’, like a second orgasm you didn’t see coming just 30 seconds after the first (which was already pretty fucking awesome) that you feel right down to the very tips of your twitching toes.
And the song finishes, often suddenly, done and gone like a lover who doesn’t stick around to cuddle but just leaves you still dripping with sweat under the twisted covers, covered in goosebumps and wanting a cigarette.
Beware: Existential ponderings ahead. Also: Cows will eat your car.
It would be easy to write about how amazing this whole experience has been (and continues to be), and I plan to (though I caution that any plans of mine tend to be delicate, mercurial things). But to focus only on the beauty of this land and the positive highlights of farm life would be dishonest, in the sense that it would not be telling a complete story. And I attempt to write honestly.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said ‘A man is what he thinks about all day long’, and I believe that. It may be our actions that create an image of us in other people’s minds, but it is our intentions, our thoughts, that color our own days; not what we do, but how we feel about it that shapes our perception of our own, current existence.
So what have I been thinking about during all this? Shit, a lot of things. Continue reading →
I was living in Melbourne, Australia. At first I was working in a cafe but eventually got sacked for no other reason than everyone got sacked when the owner decided to hire all of his friends to replace us. Which, as is becoming a recurring theme with most shit things that happen to me, turned out to actually be good: it meant that I ended up getting hired on at Absolute MMA and Conditioning, where I’d been training to fight in Mixed Martial Arts. Because becoming a cage fighter is totally a legitimate career change for a 30 year old woman. Continue reading →
A short while back, the founder of Australian Girls in Gi(if you’re a woman practicing Jiujitsu in Australia, get in on this awesomeness) posted a before and after (training Brazilian Jiujitsu [BJJ]) pic of herself that prompted a very moving thread in the group’s Facebook forum. In it, a large number of women came forwards with their stories; of how BJJ had helped them in battles against everything from anxiety to overcoming childhood trauma to adult hardships like difficulty conceiving. It was inspiring to have so many women come forth to speak openly about their issues, insecurities and the ways in which they were battling them to create healthier, happier lives for themselves.
Inspirational: She is it.
But a weird thing happened upon reading it. At the same time I felt inspired, I also felt very, very depressed.
Because I tried a couple times to add my own contribution. I’m a big fan of sharing openly the things we typically hold inside, whether that hesitance to share comes from a fear of rejection or social conventions we were raised with and just can’t shake off. But each of these gals, even the ones still in the heart of their issues, came across as success stories whereas I was feeling like I was. . .still failing. Continue reading →
Several months back I was given a stellar piece of advice from a friend who has, throughout the years, given me many stellar pieces of advice. I was attempting to write a submission for a travel writing scholarship that I badly wanted and was having a lot of difficulty with it. When I would write casually, words would come easily, and I’d enjoy the process. But, in striving towards perfection with this submission on which so much was riding, I found myself staring at the screen of my computer with a head full of useless static. Words blurred, sentences ceased to make sense and the harder I tried to focus the more my brain responded with a chorus of ‘no no no no CAN’T’. I was upset and disheartened that the times I most needed my fancy wording skills seemed to be the times they saw fit to wage a surly strike.
My friend, a writer herself, sympathized. She knew the feeling of wanting to polish the shit out of something, to do the absolute best you could with it and, in putting that pressure on yourself, ironically strip yourself of the confidence and focus necessary to do so. The trick, she pointed out, was to relax, and to accept the fine art of ‘good enough’. Which boiled down to her very quotable conclusion – “Care deeply. Then let it go.”
I am not good at letting things go. I am good at wanting things. Fiercely. Continue reading →
My research into Australia prior to arrival may have been lacking in some (read:all) areas, but I did know one very important fact: everything in the country had the ability to kill me. Even the tiny things. Especially the tiny things. Continue reading →
It’s funny that after saying I was worried to go on the job hunt again (having been spoiled by finding all of my tattooing gigs through ‘friend of a friend’ connections in the past), I ended up finding a job in Melbourne through a friend of a friend.
And I reward his help by choosing one of the more ridiculous photos I have of him. It really is a wonder I don’t have more enemies.
I met Ger in Dublin back in 2007. He was a barista in a coffee shop that was on the way to work, and most every morning I would stop in for the discount bagel/coffee combo and a chat. I wouldn’t have met him if not for that route. So, really, finding a job in Melbourne could be traced back further still to working a shitty job for sketchy Italians in Temple Bar. . .and finding that job could be traced back to Aoife, an Irish lass I met right before leaving Canada. . .who I only met because I was visiting my friend Scott. . .who . . .
. . .cause and effect really is a funny thing, and never is the so-called ‘butterfly effect’ more apparent than when you’re traveling. The entire course of my early travels were drastically shifted by the simple act of an Aussie fixing his shoe on the back of my bicycle.
It’s a testament to the awesomeness of the Snows that they can make time in Sydney, Nova Scotia fly by so quickly.
Much like my birthplace of Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Sydney (or, more accurately, the area around Sydney) is beautiful, and the options for hiking, driving and general outdoorsy sightseeing abound. But, as a town to live in. . .well, without mincing words too much, it’s a bit shit. Continue reading →
Some of you may have noticed the discrepancy between the date on which the events of the last post occurred, and when it was actually posted. That 3 month gap has been, I’ll admit, a bit of a digital thorn in my side.
I am waiting in line at immigration. The power in the airport fails and a collective groan sounds from the line. Several minutes later, I am in conversation with an Irishman just returning from a trip home, and he is giving me tips on finding a flat in Melbourne.
But it’s been a whirlwind couple of months. And through it all I was making notes, snapping shots and writing down post ideas like a good little blogger. But I arrived in Australia already lagging behind, a chunk of my time in India still left to upload and I just never. . .quite. . .caught up. Continue reading →
My head was screaming at me in a language of shrill white noise, a tangle of displaced emotion and swirling, half-finished thoughts. When I wasn’t fighting off the urge to go and sob uncontrollably in the corner or just stop and ragdoll in the middle of the floor, as though someone had flipped my emergency ‘off’ switch, I was drowning under the dual crushing weights of self-doubt and self-reproach (In the very moment I originally typed this, I was actually fighting off an insistent urge to just curse, and hurl the computer across the room. This is fucking useless. I suck at writing. I LOSE AT LIFE).
What catastrophe, might you ask, was looming on the horizon? What could compel such a strong, crushing emotional response from this shining example of human strength and stability?