Because sometimes you can’t “Just make it happen!” – When inspirational quotes can shove it.

It’s done, it happened. I’m thirty years old.

I typed that and stared at it for a bit, feeling a bit sick in the guts and a bit like an impostor. I’m reporting back as promised with revelations and reflections of my latest experiences and some ‘pearls’ of wisdom which I created from overthinking/analysis. I’m going to force these upon you later in the story.

On my 30th birthday being abnormally happy about 3am room service meals

Firstly, I didn’t wake up on my birthday with a strong urge to begin botox treatments. In fact, surprisingly my face remained as it was when I went to bed. The number 30 didn’t appear on my forehead and I couldn’t find any age spots or wrinkles or any of the nightmarish things I’ve heard about on anti-aging product ads. I actually did look for them, closely. What happened was, nothing. I think I turned 29 again because nothing changed. I thought I’d wake up and suddenly look haggard but I woke up and found out that THIRTY sounds older than it is.

I always, always thought thirty meant I’d be a certain way and have done certain things and that would mean I was a ‘real’ adult. I also thought at thirty i’d magically have this sexy womanly thing going on- that most definitely did not happen. I’ve quickly, completely understood that this timeline of ‘accomplishments’ is a load of shit. You know exactly the ones I mean. You see them posted by your bogan (and non-bogan) friends from school’s facebook pages. A sonogram as a pregnancy announcement. A graduation. Another degree obtained. A young couple posing, seemingly proud of themselves in front of a house with a SOLD sign. Cheesy engagement photos. Maternity shots. Wedding pictures. Each announcement twisting that blunt knife of failure a little bit deeper so you really,really feel like a fucking loser. As you manage to type something sincere to congratulate those winners in life, you compare yourself. I know you do. I know you have. Don’t say you haven’t because you have and you’re full of shit.

What else is full of shit are a good number of those posts(not all but a big fat chunk of them). The young couple who appear to have bought the house forgot to mention/thank their parents in the caption for all the financial assistance they received to achieve that goal. They forgot to mention the stress of working their butt holes into the ground to afford those repayments. Inside those white picket fenced houses are people facing struggles most of us know nothing about. We don’t know how many IVF cycles Mary boxface endured before she could post that sonogram of little Jayden (You know at least one person on facebook with a kid called Jayden, don’t lie). We didn’t hear the fights Amanda and Brad had before they went to the beach to shoot their loving engagement photos where Brad looks longingly into the distance wishing he wasn’t there and Amanda gets what she wants, again.

Brad is basically dead inside

Did you know that big expensive wedding ended in divorce like, six months later? Don’t be jealous. Those big holidays are selfish attempts at feeling fulfilled. That person may just be empty inside because they are so self absorbed. You never know what really goes on. I certainly don’t. Nor do i care. Since I have grown into this old woman of thirty i know some things- This is why I don’t have facebook and it’s why i choose to cull my circle of friends every now and again. I don’t have time for the bullshit. I don’t care. I’m busy struggling, too.

I have experienced, privately feelings of failure, bitter jealously and complete sadness when I saw those younger than me who had tried for far less time put together than I had to achieve their goals. This was infuriating, frustrating and made me grind my teeth like an angry cow chewing it’s cud in a barren paddock. Not really thriving, not really getting anywhere. All I did was get hungrier for the prize and grind, relentlessly while wishing I could spit in the faces of those stupid little twerps. See, I’ve been there, too. We’re all bitter, sometimes.

There are some aspects of life that no amount of inspirational pintrest quotes or positive thinking can change. Some goals cannot be met no matter how hard you try, no matter how you do everything right, no matter how much science you have applied and action you have taken. Some things are out of your control and mine. It’s difficult to accept that. I still have days where I feel really down and think in my little whiny victim voice “Why them and not me? It’s not fair”. Maybe it isn’t but that’s life and life is wonderful, nonetheless.

I work with a beautiful German girl who says,in her accent “It is what it is, Krissy”. I remind myself of it when I get stuck in a sad place. It is what it is and there’s nothing more to it. There are better things to focus on. Like finishing my degree and being there for my family. That there is the trick to dealing with comparisons and age and timelines and expected accomplishments- focusing on what you CAN do and change and make happen. I am guilty,guilty GUILTY of overthinking and allowing something to consume me to the point where others are affected. That’s not a very nice way to be.

I chose to make new goals when I realised that when I preach about entitled brats who believe the world owes them something- well, that applies to myself, too. This world owes me nothing. Things which cannot be controlled may come to me in life as a blessing or they may not. There is no way to know and there is no point spending my life curled up tight in misery, wondering.

Looking back I honestly always thought my life would go either of two ways. 1. I would inevitably end up shunned from society after a rumoured career in adult entertainment. I would live in the middle of nowhere, alone in pyjamas and gumboots, tending to my collection of rescued farm animals because “How could anyone love me?” 2. I would have a successful career in nursing, a standard poodle and a family of my own who would be proud of me. Unlike my own thinking, life is not so black and white. I didn’t wake up and choice number 2 was my life. I didn’t finish school and get a degree, I fucked around and wasted time and learned some hard lessons. One of which was things don’t happen on a time line. Your life and experience is just as valid if it didn’t follow everyone else’s and you are free to take your time and take as many stop offs along your path to achieving goals.

You know what one of my life long goals is? I want a horse. I have thought about it, wished for it and dreamt about it for as long as I can remember. I was that little girl, obsessed. Drawing them, reading about them, getting mad at my father for PROMISING me one which he never had any intention of following through with. I even have a huge horse tattooed on my side from a reoccurring dream I have where I’m riding bareback, fast through a forest. We are moving forward at such a speed that everything is a blur. I feel freedom. It’s pure happiness. That is the goal.

The giant horse from my one true love @daveolteanu

Now, I remember in primary school we lived on a farm in Coomba park, do you know where that is? I was lead to believe by my father (a lying bastard of the worst kind) that I would actually get a horse,I really would! Only to wait and wait and wait and then over hear the little spoilt rich girl a couple of grades below me talk about her new palomino. Bitch!

At least i got the dog from this movie!! #goalacheived

Sitting there on the school bus that morning, I stared out the window at all the horses in the paddocks, I knew which colour horse was going to be in each one along Coomba road, I had memorised them all. As I spotted them all, grazing, living their best horsey lives I felt anger and I felt sad and confused. I think that was the first time I knew what jealousy was. She didn’t even really want that horse. She just asked for one,once and promptly forgot about it. She didn’t even know how lucky she was. I would have cared for that horse, I would have appreciated it, she didn’t even know how many hands high it was and she didn’t even know the difference between a bridle and a halter! She doesn’t even deserve it! and I hated her for it. Sounds familiar to recent feelings I have had while I saw things others have and I DON’T!

While I’m still sitting here, having stamped my foot and uncrossed my arms- still pouting a bit, face a little less grumpy, I realise that now, I have the emotional intelligence to properly deal with these feelings and nurturing them is a little childish. It’s fine to feel jealous, it’s natural but try to keep that shit in check.

I’m not here to tell you that you can make things happen and you can do this! I know you hate those posts as much as I do like, I saw this idiot fitness dude post a selfie in which he gazed off into the distance with 900 abs on full display and he had written this dumb-shit ‘honest’ caption about how simple it was to look a great as him. GO AWAY. THAT’S NOT GOOD ADVICE YOU TOTAL WANKER.

So in saying that I like to remove my own head from being up my ass when I write to you. I’m not here to make myself look good like idiot fitness guy. I’m reminding you and myself that some things you can’t have. Life says NO, maybe you can have that thing later, maybe not ever. We all have to learn to find ways to cope with that. I’m still here working hard at 30 to become a horse owner, properly. My dream never died. I have other dreams that will never die and I have no control over achieving. I won’t forget about them but I refuse to live life constantly guessing and wishing and being angry at others for having what I so badly want. I will certainly NOT tell you “Just relax and it’ll happen” because that’s insulting and hurtful. (Please don’t ever give anyone that advice, it makes people hate you and themselves).

In an instagram world of fake inspirational quotes posted with vaguely related selfies in great lighting, I’m here to be real with you. I’ll shine an unflattering fluorescent spotlight on this fact that no one posts a picture of: You can’t always make it happen. You can only choose how you work through that. You can realise ” I am being a bitter jealous asshole right now and I hate her dumb face and her dumb voice and I wish she would piss off into oblivion” and then you can reassess how you are going to respond. Don’t be a brat. You’re not 8 and life isn’t promising you a pony. You’re not a failure because you haven’t achieved the things you see on facebook. You’re allowed to hurt if you’re trying hard and things aren’t working out but please don’t get stuck in the sad place forever. I know it’s so difficult to leave because once your heart rate increases from the anger, oh you get so toasty and warm and comfortable. I did.

My advice from overthinking and analysing is this :

We don’t always get what we want, no matter how hard we try.

Find a way to deal with it.

This is the part of life you can focus on controlling. This is a chance to grow, if you choose it to be.

Either way, hold fast to those reins, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. YEEEE-HAWWWWW (Sorry I had to)

Over and out.

Almost 30: A story of terror

As I anxiously savour the remaining 5 weeks left of my 20’s I continually think about the highlights (and lowlights) of the last ten years, how they have impacted me and how much has changed.

I have been terrified to turn 30. Typing that gave me a rush of panic. I keep imagining myself gripping my giant gold inflatable “29” balloons from last year and digging my coffin shaped acrylic nails into them. Nobody is taking this age from me, ok? Nobody is. Like as if I clutch that number tighter in my mind then I will not have to say I am “THHIRRRTYYY” gross.

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(Here I am being proud of not being 30 yet)

I don’t like the sound of it. It’s so adult. I feel so unprepared. How and when did this happen? The last decade of my life is finishing. My 20’s. Gone. Over. Done.

What did I get out of it? To begin, A lot of regret. A lot of wasted time. Lessons. Some plastic surgery and lastly but most importantly the love of my life. A fiance. A step daughter. A lot of love.

When I look back on my 20’s there are 3 definitive time periods. The early twenties which are my animal rescue years, my mid twenties which are the years filled with regret, deep shame,confusion and mistakes and my late twenties where I turned myself around completely by starting a journey of self awareness and improvement , hand in hand with a man who I never thought i’d be lucky enough to have. This chapter has been my favourite.

Here is a summary, a revision with some gaps in the history but come along, you’ll get the idea.

At the beginning of the DECADE, I wanted to change the world but I would have to settle for changing the lives of a few. I occupied my time by doing the following things:

-Breaking into factory farms and stealing chickens. Imagine the scene, a shed filled with rows upon rows of stacked A4 sized cages with six chickens in each cage and meters high piles shit under them, the smell of amonia strong enough to give you vertigo, rats running over head, me running in the dark with a chicken under each arm and an angry farmer in hot pursuit. Highly exhilarating. I’d fill the car with the stinky hens and bail.I rescued and rehomed a good number of chickens this way.

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-Having my own small animal rescue. WHILE LIVING AT HOME. I AM SORRY MUM!

– Protesting animal circuses and puppy farms

-Not eating meat

-Volunteering at local pounds

-Starting my job caring for the elderly with dementia

-Being young and immature

-Deciding not to do a double degree of Fine art and teaching

-Hanging out with my toy poodle, Benzin, my Rottweiler X, Rudi and my cat, Malson.

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Next I moved out of home and into the worst period of my life. Here I began to change and not for the better. This was a time of complete confusion and now, regret. When I look back at this time, I feel physically ill. I went out a lot and made a lot of dumb decisions. I had no ambition. I just existed and I was really awful and annoying. I had no concept that there were consequences of my behaviour. I wasn’t a happy person.

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(At one of the many festivals I attended trying to be, like happy and stuff)

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(Doing promo work like the dickhead I was. I wanted to wear that outfit so bad)

Somewhere in that period I met the love of my life and was given a giant wake up call. Reality punched me in the face and it felt like my soul was on fire.

I decided to start changing everything. I felt inferior, like a joke. The first two changes I made were 400cc round, ultra high profile and they were surgically implanted in my chest. I am so glad I did this. Next, I started distancing myself from anyone I was previously associating with. I didn’t go out anymore. I sort of went into hiding in my own way.

I still hated who I was and punished myself all the time for my past choices. I felt I had to prove my worth constantly and that by default anybody I interacted with would think I was a piece of shit. My self esteem was shot and it was difficult to build on it. It took years before I could let go of the shame I felt. It’s only now that I realise how long ago that was and how completely irrelevant those things are to the person I am that I can feel relief.

(A excerpt from Jessica Valenti’s “Sex Object” which I related to on this big dumb journey.)

I was constantly striving to “better” myself. I had a rhinoplasty a year after my breast augmentation and every single day I am so happy about it. The freedom surgery gave me was priceless. I didn’t realise just how insecure and hideous I used to feel until I felt the relief of freedom post surgery.

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(In hospital post- surgery, looking great.)

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(I finally felt good and I wanted photos taken NOW so I could put them on my nursing home wall when I was a little old woman, this is one of them.)

I felt I had to fix everything that was wrong about me. Self awareness is important but can easily become selfishness. I started working out A LOT. I dieted restrictively and felt a sense of control that I hadn’t felt before. I was responsible for myself and this was in a GOOD way! I was a GOOD person! The “leaner” I was the better. I was achieving something and I finally felt good about myself. Myself.Myself.Myself. I became selfish. I only cared about my fitness. All the hurt and anxiety I felt was channelled into “POSITIVE THOUGHTS”.

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I learnt a lot here. The importance of balance. That family is the center of my universe, not how fit I am. No one cares about my body. I won’t be able to prevent heartache and anguish and anxiety just by having a low body fat percentage. I somehow thought it was a safeguard. This was the only way to feel good and be good. Don’t get me wrong, I still work out and care about my health but not to the detriment of other parts of my life. I loved this journey because it taught me that I was capable of things I never thought I could be. I met some amazing friends. It was a period that I gained strength and started to finally believe in myself but I also learned how black and white my thinking can be and that has been something I’ve always had trouble with.

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@vibe_fitness.lifestyle with @tammy_baines_bikinipro ♡

I had also decided to never drink again. It’s been three years and it has turned out to be another great decision. Every single day I become more proud of myself and I really think I’m very cool for it, thank you very much.

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Dave and I became more and more serious as time went on. I truly knew I loved him from early on in the relationship, even though I tried to be too cool about it. Two years in we both stopped drinking on the same day. This was a huge turning point in our relationship. To say I am proud of us and of Dave is an understatement.

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(Also we went to JAPAN!)

I can easily admit that without Dave I have no idea where I’d be. Every single day I wake up and breathe in the scent of his beard I exhale and feel a calm I’ve never felt. I feel secure. I have the stability I have craved for my entire life. We balance each other, we learn from each other and we push each other along. We are both stubborn and head strong people. We only do things if we want to and you probably can’t tell us otherwise. I never, ever thought this feeling was real. I assumed it was reserved for bullshit movies that I would never want to see. It’s been almost six years since we met and couldn’t keep away from each other. I need Dave. That’s how it is. I’ve accepted it a fair while ago now. We are an exclusive team. We’ve grown through a lot together. Don’t mess with us. His happiness is very, very important to me.

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Along with Dave came a little bonus that I’d never even considered for myself. This little bonus is smart and funny and her name is Frankie. On our first meeting I arrived at the dog park and Frankie turned to me after Dave had walked out of ear shot to retrieve a ball. She looked up at me, her five year old eye balls already full of wisdom and said, suspiciously ” So, are you JUST my Dad’s friend?” I think I replied all casually like ” Yeah I’m his friend but I can be yours too if ya want?” from then on she became my little mate, my partner in crime and we built our relationship on foundations of teasing the absolute shit out of Dave. Sometimes they gang up on me but mostly we gang up on him.

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My mother always wished for our family to be “Brady Bunch” kind of happy. I’m pleased to report I have an even better version. If the Brady Bunch talked all day about farts and plops and changed song lyrics to be about farts and poops and the house was filled with the sound of farts and actual farts and laughter and happiness then, sure we are the Brady Bunch.

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One day we were in the old ford territory “Rosie” (named by Frankie before I came on the scene) on the way to Caves Beach for my first annual Olteanu meet up. Frankie told us that she never thought she’d have a step mother and she was really happy that it was me. This was a big deal to me.

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Being a step mum has been a beautiful experience. I have to say that Frankie is very lucky in that all the family around her is exceptional, supportive and loving which in turn makes being a step mum such an incredibly easy task (I’ll revisit my feelings when the challenges of her teenage years begin.) and also makes me extremely lucky! A step parent is a strange kind of role. You’re not their parent but you’re not just their mate. You have to know the boundaries and think about their feelings and needs while reinforcing and respecting the rules that have been laid down for them. It’s one of the things in life I feel most proud of. I feel that I’m actually not shit at it.

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In my late twenties I decided it was finally time to start my nursing degree. I am ready, committed and I feel that it is where I am supposed to be. I’m in my second year and finding balancing everything (Uni work load + working 4 days per week instead of 5,elderly grandparents who need support, family,dogs,keeping the house clean,gym and a social life) is SO HARD but I am doing it. It has been a long time coming. I’ve spent the last 9 years in the same job caring for the elderly with advanced dementia. I love my job. I really believe I am supposed to help the grandparents of the world. Through all the hard times and all the great times, this work has been a constant. It’s like a second home but it’s time for me to leave the nest and move onto bigger and better things.

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2017 was the greatest year of my life. I completed my first year with good grades and one Monday night after picking me up from work, Dave did something huge. I was told to wait in the car and then made to follow notes through the house. Dave and Frankie were hiding somewhere. I followed the final note’s instructions to “join the party in Frankie’s room”. I entered. There was candle light and pink balloons covering the floor. I had to walk through a wall of the pink balloons to find the two sneaky butt heads. I found them and fairy lights and in big gold letters on the wall it said ” WE LOVE YOU WILL YOU BE A PARPEANU?” (Parpeanu is a little joke between us) I started making uncontrollable weird crying sounds and hyperventilating. Frankie started crying. Dave said some beautiful words and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! THIS HAPPENED TO ME! ME! It was the best night of my whole life.

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I stare at him every day and I stare at my ring and then I stare at him.Mind. Blown. Amazing. Happiness.

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As I study my days away while working my remaining time at the nursing home, I look forward to my WEDDING and I see a light at the end of the tunnel. It glows stronger with each passing day. I thought THIRTY was scary but when I recount the past I am comforted by where I am in life, so maybe 30 is good? As the decade draws to a close, I feel truly happy and that means more to me than anything else. My Grandad once told me that he wanted me to become a “success” and I feel like I am well on my way now. I used to think I’d have done this or that by the time the clock struck 30 and would beat myself up for wasting time and not starting uni earlier. After examining my 20’s I’m kind of glad it’s finishing, in a way because it’s obvious that the good times are now.

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A few pieces of wisdom I can pass onto you: People do change. It is a deliberate proccess.

You really are not your past.

Self care isn’t all naps and ice cream, it’s work and it’s worth it.

There isn’t a time limit. All our stories are different. Stop putting pressure on yourself and comparing yourself to others (I have to practice what I preach!)

You CAN do it. Don’t believe people who try to tell you otherwise.

You can be smart,fun and silly and care about your looks all at once. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

Survey yourself often, look at ways to improve yourself and your relationships with others. Then make the effort and take action. The grass is greener where you water it. Your life can flourish.

Don’t be afraid to cut people out. I cut ties to bad influences, toxic people and my father. No regrets.

The world does not owe you ANYTHING.

ALWAYS HAVE FUN!!

You’re nearly here, THIRTY. I’ll hold the hand of my loves and the leashes of our dogs and clutch them until my knuckles are white. 30 might jump out suddenly like a jack in the box. The suspense is killing me. Will I wake up the same? or will I wake up looking really haggard and need to get botox on my birthday? I’ll report back.