Please allow me to introduce you to my friend, trouble.
So about 9 months back a mate of mine from Germany visited Melbourne (and Jess, this story is about to make your day). Near the end of her time we spent a day hanging out in Fitzroy – not my usual hood – and had one of those ‘ah, just one beer sure’ that turns into several pitchers kind of nights. It was one of those nights where the conversation comes easy, and one of the recurring topics was regarding a beautiful man that worked there, and the hilarious face Jess would pull whenever he walked by.
I can’t remember now whether we just left, and I later cursed not getting up the courage to go ‘aw, fuck it’ and ask if he was straight(ish)/single or if I WAS actually going to and then couldn’t find him. . .but the beautiful man with the eye-catching forearms went un-asked-out. And I promised Jess that, should I come back and see him again, I WOULD go through with it.
I’m a big fan of small business. I’m also a big fan of a good gut laugh. Given that my Friday (which was already going pretty fucking well to be honest) concluded with both these things, I was a pretty big fan of it as well.
The George, an independent cinema in the heart of St. Kilda (that would be in Melbourne for non. . .Melbournians) has recently reopened. Vicky, the mate with whom I am currently staying (who clearly has her finger firmly on the fidgety pulse of the neighborhood she calls home), suggested we check them out in all their opening night glory.
The movie they’d decided to open their doors with was an Australian documentary entitled Cosmic Psychos: Blokes You Can Trust (perhaps unsurprisingly, it is about a band called the Cosmic Psychos).
Or will be shortly. And by shortly I mean in a week. ish.
Because I seem to have a horseshoe wrapped in four leaf clovers stuck up my arse as of late, I’ve decided to post the following message, which I’d usually reserve for a Facebook status, below. Because, hey, some awesome Aussie employer could just happen to be googling ‘Kayak Sex‘ (I don’t judge) and just happen to stumble upon this message and be all like ‘Aw, this chick seems awesome. Ima totally going to offer her this awesome job with very respectable pay in a conveniently located neighborhood, the perks of which just happen to involve free rent in this awesome flat above said workplace‘.
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 →
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.
As absurd as it sounds, there was a logical process of thought behind my decision to try prize fighting. I had reasons for choosing to do this, now.
First, there was sheer curiosity. Which is admittedly a stronger driving force for me than is perhaps healthy. But when I get a question in my mind it fucking burns until I get an answer, man. Especially when it’s a question of ‘Can I [insert task here]?’ I need to know. And this one had been nagging at me for a long time: could I hold my own in a cage fight?
I’d trained in martial arts before. But I’ll admit readily – not a lot. There was some Shotokan Karate back in my last year of high school and some half-assed Jeet Kun Do back in my short-lived university days. But the style I really loved was Muay Thai, in which I had trained during my early years of tattooing in Newfoundland, as well as for a while in Ireland back at the start of my travels.