The countdown is on – I have just over two months and I am 30! I can’t believe that this is happening…
I can remember being a teenager and being excited about being in my 20s, with all of the things to come. I imagined teaching in London, travelling the world and becoming a millionaire.
For the most part, I have travelled a lot. But really – the more you travel, the more you want to travel. And it is expensive. Not as expensive as buying a house, at least I can say I’ve done that.
The problem with being a ‘wanderlust’ is you get lost in the experiences outside of the world you live in. But they are not a reality. And they are not forever.
Somehow all of these travel aspirations have drifted off in my mind for more prevalent issues, like how to pay my mortgage or what wedding gifts I am going to buy for my friends. As Notorious BIG once said “Mo money, mo problems”.
Turning 30 is a weird feeling. I think that I have finally reached the point in my life where my mind is hanging out in my 20s and my age has surpassed it. It is a strange feeling to know you are one age and feel like you are another. I imagine as you age this feeling doesn’t change. You are still that crazy wanderlust of your 20s, only you have two children, a mortgage and a dog.
I feel like I need to be more responsible, save more money and stop hanging out at underage dance parties. (Insert sarcasm emoji). I don’t care so much for the latest fashion, but I am checking on my Health Insurance to ensure it covers me in emergencies. I am staring at my forehead in the mirror and trying things like an Acupuncture Facial to dissolve the fine lines.
More alarming is the number of children, proposals and marriages that are popping up daily on my Newsfeed. It is like a race to the finish line. Quick! – Is just symbolic of the stage of the life that I am now in?
In a world of social sharing – how do we stop ourselves from comparing ourselves with others?
I believe that the moment that you stop dreaming about the ‘what if’ and start looking at the ‘what is’ we are able to become happier with our own achievements.
I made the decision a year ago that I would plan to be as fit as possible, to stop eating the bad things and focus on being the best version of myself. I was sick of thinking about things that I wanted to change, so I made the decision to start changing them.
I want to be awesome by 30 and I believe that I am on the right track. Moreover, it is my version of awesome not anyone else’s that counts.
Follow my journey to awesome on Instagram – @MsMMango
It is intriguing when you take a step back and look at the world from the outside. Our society is deeply built and consists entirely on the continued and morphing world of entertainment, whether it exists on the basic of performances and presentations or sport and activities. We want to be entertained.
Growing up my brother and I spent long hours in the car with my parents travelling all around Australia. We spent school holidays on some of the largest cattle stations in the country. Once we drove from Melbourne to the Kimberly’s and down through Western Australia and home. For us entertainment was self-managed. We had no iPods or Gameboys, we didn’t have an iPad to watch movies. All we had were ourselves. And a Timetables cassette tape and a slow literacy game on a portable device.
For hours on end I would stare out of the window and invent stories in my head. If we were lucky enough we could fall asleep, but not stretch past the middle line as so conveniently divided by my brother. But for the most part the only entertainment we had was the repeating Country and Western songs on Dad’s cassette.
The world of today is vastly different from the world in which we grew up in. We, the Millennials have adopted technology into our lives like our first child. We live and breathe the smartphone, tablets and laptops. We are connected.
Entertainment of the past consisted of people attending live shows or listening to Radio Plays. Imagination was essential. It was entirely up to you to entertain yourself given the means at your disposal. Freedom at is core.
Throughout my teenage years, I was fairly rebellious. Although I was intelligent enough to have a game plan that would allow me to succeed undetected. I figured that if I managed to continuously get good grades and keep my parents happy by pretending that I was making the ‘right’ decisions, they wouldn’t think twice that I might be running around behind their backs sneaking out and drinking. Moreover, I never really was where I said I was.
Dangerous and stupid, but nothing outside of anything a normal teenager would engage in. Again I relied on keeping up with my homework and grades so that there would be no reasons to be suspicious of my balancing act of partying and studying.
To the most part, my parents weren’t entirely in the dark. They just knew part of the story. The part I had decided to expose, and the part that they would be happy to hear.[Tweet this!]
Turning 16 I had come across a great realisation. As intuitive thinker, I took at look at the life that I was living and how exactly it made me feel. We spent our weekends walking through the suburbs in Mytikos, a USA jumper and a six pack of Barcardi Breezers. I had come to the conclusion that drinking a six pack every weekend was sucking my wallet dry of cash and causing me to wake up feeling hung over. So with that, I gave up.
As a 16 year old I had analysed in it’s entirely the culture of alcohol consumption and the immediate effects on my wellbeing. I had come to the conclusion that drinking these sugary drinks was creating no benefit in my life and I wasn’t having any more fun under the influence.
It was at this point that I had realised that the liquid courage that so many others relied on was doing nothing to me. I was already arrogantly confident and had the ability to make fun out of nothing. My epiphany highlighted that I was happy just being a part of the action without being inebriated.
Not long after I turned 18, and as soon as I had the choice between driving my car and drinking, I would always choose my car. Fantastic for those friends who always had a personal taxi to take them to and from places, and a negative for me who realised that I was getting extremely used by these people.
Ten years on since I first got my license, and I am still committing to a 95% rule of not drinking. Yes, I enjoy the occasional Espresso Martini and a glass of wine on a hot day. But that is about it. If I drink it is because I feel thirsty, I never drink to get drunk.
The point I am trying to make here is that you do not need alcohol to have a good time. I am often confused for being “wasted” by those around me, who watch my incredibly smooth and erratic dance moves. That my confidence is drawn from not caring what other people think about me.
And that if you can’t entertain yourself without substance, then it is you that in fact lacks substance.[Tweet this!]
The hardest part about being a non-drinker is that you sit outside the drunkard world. That you can sometimes be seen as boring or that you just don’t get it. In reality I actually find it hard to have fun if my friends are not drinking. Rarely do I find another individual that is that free spirited enough that substance is not required.
In addition, I do also have ‘rules of engagement’ for living in an influenced culture. I have come to the conclusion that there is a stage in the night where people go from ‘happy drinker’ to ‘sloppy drunk’. That is precisely 2.30am. Past 2.30am you will find that most people are unable to have simple conversations with you. It is also the time for the dance floor creep to mosey over and try to construct a sentence of spit into your ear.
For me, choosing not to drink is a choice decided only by enjoyment. It does not entertain me like what it does to others. If anything, alcohol only makes me more introverted and forces me inside my head. I become critical of myself and paranoid about what people think about me. All of which as a sober person I do not have.
Australians rely heavily on this ‘drinking culture’ it is everywhere. It is unavoidable. We eat and we drink. It is the central point for entertainment venues and for most businesses the biggest percentage of profit. The need to engage and escape from our mundane lives is what pushes us through our weekdays. And what I hate the most is the surprise on people’s faces when they say “wait, don’t you drink?”
I do not have a contagious disease, I just do not enjoy drinking. [Tweet this!]
Ideally I would love to see the world move past a focus on substance and back to the very core in which we started from. Alike those two kids sitting in the back of the Bronco, we all have the right to dream. Our imagination is the single most powerful talent that we have and it pains me to see so much of it squashed by an influenced culture.
~Mango “Free yourself from the habits of the mainstream.”[Tweet this!]
We have all sat down at High School and questioned ourselves about the point of what we are learning and where in ‘real life’ are we ever going to use it again. I know I used to do this in a variety of different subjects, except the ‘value add’ for me meant that in the future I could actually be teaching this content someday.
More poignant is the fact that schooling really does set you up for the world outside the Education System. Its entire point is to teach you how to count (never got that memo), spell and communicate with others in an orderly fashion. It is unfortunate that some of us fail to learn the lessons we are taught and consequentially exhibit the same behaviours well into our adult lives. I would argue that in general this is a result of bad parenting than that of a lack of Educational Development.
New Media Technologies and the increase of editable Digital Content Media has enabled the use of language to increase from verbal to digitalised visual text. We have become the master communicators of keystrokes. I remember questioning the point of handwriting in High School, as the increase of computer technology would mean that potentially we would sit our exams on computers. This never happened. It has also never happened to any of the classes that I have taught over the last six years. Although digitalisation has increased the ability to develop concise and purposeful digital assessment tasks, this has not yet been established for examinations. Moreover, I can’t foresee the Year 12 VCE English Exam being typed anytime soon.
For this exact reason, I used to make my ‘Laptop Students’ handwrite. They used to hate me for it, but my argument always remained the same – “until the VCE changes to computer based testing, you will handwrite.” It is a win and lose situation for many teachers, because again there are many students who failed to receive their ‘pen licenses’ so reading their work is almost as hard as decoding the Rosetta Stone.
Alas, we have exploded into the digital sphere. For most it is a place of content overload and the ability to seek the answers to the questions that we used to have to consult an Encyclopedia. We have Social Media, we can emote, share, comment, and like. We can craft the digital image that we want to best represent ourselves. Ironically we never portray the real image of ourselves, but the happy, fit, intelligent version that everyone wants to be friends with. As Social Media has developed, so have contextual rules of engagement. Apparently we can be categorised by the different types of posts we make and those we don’t. Psychologically most people can read the intercontextual meanings of the post and distinguish its fundamental reasoning, thus allowing the reader to develop a psychological evaluation of the subcontext.
We each hold our own views of the types of posts that we will and will not make. Some people post food, others post quotes and pictures, others comment on each moment of their life, others post deliberately ambiguous posts to create a reaction. I am not afraid of any of those topics, I am happy to post it all. I guess that is a part of being a Social Media Strategist, you can wear different hats and still enable the consistencies of a directional focus. Facebook has come a long way since I jumped online on the 22 August 2006. I remember each and every status started with “Em is…” and you would have to write what you were doing in Third Person. Facebook would then automatically adjust the gender descriptions in reference to your nominated sex. Most importantly at this point, if you didn’t want to exist on Facebook, you could virtually hide yourself from everyone.
New Media of today has developed significantly from the older days of the casual text message. As Digital Media is easily editable and content is changed, refreshed and added to daily, we have lost the large focus on proofreading that we have with Print Media. The point I make here is that although it is digital, we need to ensure that the content in which we are posting is spelled correctly. Otherwise you leave yourself open to those psychological and intellectual prejudices discussed earlier. We all make mistakes. To that effect I will be reading over this post several times before I even consider posting it. Then as Murphy’s Law dictates, I will still find another error after I post. I guess my issue is not with the errors as such, but the lack of effort to correct them. What is more frustrating is that our phones and computers have spell check on them. They help us to correct mistakes even before we have even picked them up.
Maybe it is the English Teacher in me, but it is painstakingly dreadful reading content that has not been proofread for errors. We know the difference between a typo, a spelling error and all out incorrect usage of a word. I will also add that I know that I am not perfect and sometimes I also make mistakes. But I can tell you right now that if I find one, I will delete the post and write it again. I have established that the most likely time for me to make a typo is in the morning whilst I am ‘Pirate-booking’ (Facebooking with one eye open). As I personally define myself as a ‘Pseudo English Teacher’, and to this notion I know there are colleagues of mine out there reading this piece and identifying syntax and grammatical errors. I would also argue that 90% of the population, me included would not even notice.
What we do notice is improper usage of ‘where, were, we’re’ and ‘they’re, there, their’ as well as ‘your, you’re and you are’. If you do not know what the differences are, then maybe it is time to take a refresher course in Basic English Grammar. Because consequentially you are outing yourself to be Number 8 in Wait But Why’s ‘7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook’.
With the evolution of Digital Media becoming ever more present in society and our children are taking to Digital Media before most of them are even able to construct a Text Response Essay, do you think we will become more intelligent? Or is it more likely that the types of fail safes such as spell check will improve dramatically enough to stop the basic of human errors?
It concerns me that we are continuing to broadcast ourselves without giving second thought to the intercontextual meaning of the post. Although having read the ‘7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook’ post it is clear that we do in fact exhibit a number of the categories that are mentioned in the post. It is more surprising that original purpose for a 2006 Facebook status update falls into category three – ‘The Literal Status Update’, yet it is pointed to as being narcissistic and a symbol of loneliness. Thus defeating the purpose of Facebook entirely. This blog post only makes me believe that your Facebook is your Facebook, and whatever you want to post is your business. Of course there are types of posts that I wouldn’t recommend, but all in all that is ultimately your decision. I am just begging for some proofreading to be undertaken before posting to ensure you don’t come off looking like you failed to meet the requirements of Year 7 English.
~Mango “It isn’t just how you look, it is how you spell.”
A year ago, I sat on my bed disillusioned by the fact I was turning 26. And reflectively it wasn’t the 26 that wasn’t the actual problem.
I had taken a year off teaching to embark on another journey, which ironically has landed me back to exactly where I started. And as I was busily searching for an income, the stresses of limited money were beginning to play a lot of my mind.
It was my birthday. I climbed out of bed with my boyfriend (at the time – very important point). Already grumpy and less than excited about my party at the nighttime, I managed to unwrap my presents.
As a natural gift giver, nothing pleases more than spending money on people you care about. However I am not the best gift receiver. I always feel that people have spent too much, or I don’t need the object in the first place.
So, unwrapping my first gift, I received a sport’s jacket and matching leggings. To my disgust I was actually expected to wear them together. The leggings were great, but the jacket was disastrous. I wear jackets when I’m cold, so therefore exercise jackets must be thick, not this light neoprene red zip up. Am I supposed to wear it in summer?
Throwing it into my car, we had to head out to pick up my other present. Grumpily enough, I climbed into the car and we drove to Chapel St.
I was instructed not to peek and he will be back shortly. So I sat there, on a miserable day in a car on Chapel St for my birthday. The discontent with day thus far had only plummeted my dissolution with life further.
As I sat there and waited anxiously, several thoughts crossed my mind. What exactly do we need to pick up on a Sunday? Couldn’t he have been more organised so that I could focus my day on something more productive?
Suddenly the door opened and this large grey box with holes was pushed towards me. Shocked and startled, I did not lean forward eagerly; I sat forward and covered my lap.
He motioned for me to move my hands so he can put it on me. I was furious! All of a sudden I had a pet. As he walked to the driver’s side, I sat there with my hands in the air. I was pissed. We had not discussed this and further more I was moving out of my house very shortly.
Finally he climbed into the car, by this time I was screaming and repeating the words “what is it?” He immediately replied. He then asked me to take a look inside. I had not had the reaction he had wanted.
It was at this point of rage that I realised that regardless of what this animal looks like, I could never take it back to the Pet Store. I would never forgive myself if someone gave them a worse life than I could have. Irony at it’s finest.
At last I had calmed down enough to open the box and peek inside. Inside was the most beautiful grey little kitten I had ever seen. As soon as I reached inside she purred and I was in love.
She was gorgeous. With big green eyes and the lightest of grey hair, she looked up at me and meowed. I knew myself well enough at this stage to realize that there was no chance of giving this sweet little creature.
Having a kitten again was a great experience. I had forgotten how much I loved cats. And moreover I finally had the cat that I had always wanted. She loved me and I loved her back. I was happy.
So a year has passed since this beautiful little kitten had wound its way into my life. And what is more alarming is the gravity of consequences such a thoughtless gift has had. Ironically for him, it turned out that I loved the cat far more than I cared about him. To this effect it even became a point of argument between the two of us as his selfish, single child, unloved, persona became jealous of me giving more attention to the cat than him.
I knew once I had the cat, that it was always going to be my burden. Although I had to ring the council and get her moved into my name. He was never going to look after her. He hated cats. I knew I would be stuck with the cat regardless of my living situation.
Inevitably the time came for me to move out of my palace. I was stranded. And what’s worse is that I had the cat to consider. If you know cats, they almost entirely exhibit all of the symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome. They hate change, they socialize only on their terms and they will do whatever they want when they want. Problematic if you are trying to relocate your cat to a new house.
Lucky for me my girlfriend said it would be ok to move into her house with her daughter. The plan was to stay there until I had quit my job as a teacher and then to relocate towards the city. Everything was going along smoothly until the phone call from the agent saying that they are selling the house and there will be twice weekly open for inspections. Disaster.
I had not long finished moving all my stuff in the house and faced the possibility that I would have to give up my cat. I was out of options and out of money. I was stuck. It brought me right back to my initial feelings I had when the box was placed on my lap in the car.
I was angry. I was angry because I had never wanted a cat. I had never wanted to have to complicate my living situation further by having a furry burden. This added to the pain that I felt inside when I had to consider the option of giving away the best cat that I have ever had. She relies on me. She loves me and I love her.
The most confusing part was the anxiety and sadness because of a stupid choice by a psychologically unstable ex-boyfriend, who thought the best way to control me and keep me at home was to get me a cat. Once he began to realize that the cat was the focal point of my life, he too understood the gravity of his mistake.
When the time came to move from my girlfriend’s house, I struggled to find flatmates that would allow me to bring my cat into their home. Place after place, I was being rejected on the basis of having a cat. I was stuck. Again.
Luckily for me, another one of my girlfriends was able to take her for a while whilst I continued to work out my life. Fortunately I have found a place that will let me have my cat. And although we have been separated for two months, I know she will love me once again.
The lesson to be learnt here is that pets are not to be given. Under no circumstances should you burden someone else with a pet when they have not asked for one. It is unfair and there is generally a reason why someone does not have a pet in the first place. Although I love my cat, it has been a tremendous burden. I have antagonised immensely over the future of this cat. And I would not wish this emotional turmoil on anyone. So rethink your gifting ideas, there are a thousand of crappy gifts that can be placed into bad gift drawer and re-gifted.
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