Month: November 2013

thirty-four.

I have 34 days to finish my 2013 Bucket List.

(That’s due to the fact that in 34 days time it’ll be 2014. Originally I calculated it to be 65 days (4 days in October + 30 days in November + 31 days in December), but then I realised that we’re already in November. I am slightly concerned for my brain – particularly seeing as I only recently got used to writing the date as ‘2013’. See why I said I was concerned?

I’m not sure whether you’re anything like me, but at the start of nearly every New Year I go on a self-improvement crusade which manifests in a New Year’s Resolutions list which I invariably forget about and achieve little to none of.

I think my most ambitious and long-lasting resolution to date has been to do the splits.Which, for the record, I am still nowhere near. This could be due to the fact that I haven’t ever really practiced. It was stuck on the resolution list from 2000-2005. Anyway. Most of my other resolutions were basically variations of ‘Be a nicer person, Alex! Be nicer, for crying out loud!’.

b171bac22ed849842992f065cbae2927aka what my 1st of January looked like every year (of resolution-making) up until 2013.

So, at the beginning of this year I decided I would take a different tack. Enter: the annual Bucket List. I want to experience a whole range of amazing, crazy things throughout my life and I don’t want to keep them till my latter years to do. So, the idea behind the annual bucket list is to help me to do interesting, positive, beneficial, fun things throughout my life. Whether they’re big or really insignificant things it’s basically just a way of ensuring that I regularly do these things which are important to me, rather than just talking about them.

Also, I blu-tacked it next to my bedroom door which is convenient as it means that I inadvertently glance at it every day which reminds me of its existence. This is also an advantage because it has meant that the list didn’t get lost in my bedroom debris piles by the start of February. Handy stuff.

Are you going to get onto the actual list anytime soon, lady?! Gee. Calm your farm.

Yeah… so, about that… my 2013 Bucket List ended up having 22 items on it (which, yes, is also coincidentally the same number of years that I’ve been alive) and I’ve done a grand total of FOUR of those items.

Yeah, that was an awkward anti-climax, wasn’t it? 

So, basically you’re trying to say that this only a millimetre better than having written a list of New Years Resolutions which you then forget about? Uhh… Yes.

Except, my amigo, I still have 34 days. No, I won’t realistically get through everything, but I can give it a shot, right?

1945fc8bdbd0fb03406752ac3c9b06eeI found this on Pinterest. Needless to say, that I really want a chalkboard for my Bucket List now.

Here’s what I’m going to be doing over the next 34 days:

  • Join a sailing club and go sailing with said sailing club (part of “Try two new things”. My other new thing was to do Latin dancing, which continues to be lots of fun).
  • Go to a life-drawing class (NB: as a drawer. I’ll save posing for another year.)
  • Have fish and chips at the beach for dinner.
  • Read eight more books from authors whom I haven’t read before. (I think this could be one of the more time-intensive ones. And no, I’m not letting picture books count this time round.)
  • Organise a picnic.
  • Host a dinner party.
  • Sew something.
  • Fix something.
  • Play Texas Holdem.
  • Have a water fight.
  • Go out for a drink by myself.
  • Eat an ice cream by the water with my little girl whom I nanny.

Things which I didn’t do this year that I’m putting on next year’s Bucket List:

  • Volunteer on a long-term/regular basis.
  • Write one awesome uni essay. (I am not going to finish my university career without doing this, dammit.)
  • Complete the Pub2Pub (or similar i.e. 14km). And run it. Why, oh, why did you specify running it?!
  • Raise some money for charity. (Already a WIP.)
  • Consciously and actively save up and pay for a holiday.

And there you go. If I tick of those things I’ll end up doing 16 of the 22 items which I think is a pretty good effort for me.

In the meantime, I guess I have some (fairly eclectic) things to fit in before New Years Eve, don’t I?

Wish me luck… (because although I love it, I haven’t played Texas Holdem in ages.)

Alex x

PS: If anyone who knows me In Real Life cares to join me for any of the above (well, apart from the ‘drinking alone’ one), you’re welcome to join.

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an accidental protégé.

“I guess you didn’t care and I guess I liked that.”
– T. Swizzle

At a house party last weekend I realised that, although I regularly bemoan the state of my love life, I actually actively seek out drama. I do, don’t I? Ok. That was a rhetorical question, thanks.

So, I was chatting to a lovely chick whom I had just met at this house party. During the conversation she asked me about my love life. My response? “Tumultuous as ever… in fact, I think I have a love/hate relationship with the fact that my love life is tumultuous. Yes, I think I actually like it being like this.”

I don’t know whether that’s more of a light bulb or face palm moment. Either way I think it calls for just a little despair.

In fact, I think my love life sometimes feels as turbulent as that of our favourite blonde American twenty-something over-achieving girl-next-door pop sensation. That’s Taylor Swift, not Miley, by the way. This is not a good thing.

Take, for example, a recent gent whom I knew was Not A Good Idea. But what happened? Oh, we let some drama unfurl itself. Add some 80s music in the background and people in the bar legitimately giving us looks as we danced like the idiots that we have proven ourselves to be.

And then I called him to clarify that we were never ever going to get back together in any capacity. Like, ever. Taylor, you truly are an inspiration. But no response… which served for me getting over the whole debacle very swiftly (Oh, Alex) and it proved that ending things before they got any messier was a good move.

I, of course, could have avoided all of this drama by saying no to begin with. Cos let’s not kid ourselves, I knew he was trouble when he walked in. So, shame on me.

Ok. Enough Taylor, Alex. Enough! Sorry. That’s ok. Just don’t do it again, ok? Sad face.

In the meantime, I have decided that as I shall realistically be single for another year or so, I may as well relish it rather than try to fight it. I am only 22, after all. And everything will be alright as long as we keep dancing like we’re 22, right?

Wait. What??!  I said to stop the Taylor Swift references!!!!

Sorry.

But now that I think about it, Taylor Swift’s infiltration into my brain could explain, at least in part, the tumultuous state of the love life, couldn’t it? That was a rhetorical question, too. Perhaps that blonde American twenty-something over-achieving girl-next-door pop sensation isn’t such a good role model after all..

Alex x

Taylor-Swift_2399926a

She may be a terrible love life role model, but at least she can rock a red lip.

no vacancy.

My friend: “He’s emotionally unavailable, Alex.”
Alex: “Yes, I know. But I don’t care.”                  

This blog post comes to you with a soundtrack of this 80s classic by Simple Minds.


Yesterday I was chatting with my mentor. We talk about a whole raft of stuff. We ended up discussing my love life (again). After telling her about the most recent chapter of this saga my (exceedingly polite) mentor said, “Alex, I think we’ve known each other for long enough that I can be completely honest with you.”
I nodded apprehensively.
“Well, what the f&#% are you doing?!”

I sat up straight. Oh, boy, I did.

I guess she had a point: there’s just a slight chance that I had used certain gents as an quick-fix ego boost.

But let’s not get bogged down in that for the moment.

It occurred to me a few days ago that, despite their being different, every single gent whom I’ve been involved with romantically etc over the past year has had something in common with all of the others. Every. Single. One.

And that, my dear chipmunks, is that they have all been emotionally unavailable.

“What exactly do you mean by ’emotionally unavailable’?” you ask. Good question.

‘Emotionally unavailable’ has thus far ranged from not being over an ex, to being newly single (but not telling me), to being so insecure that it was crippling, to not having the mental or emotional space for a relationship. And when I found out that they were emotionally unavailable it all made a heck of a lot of sense. Apart from the one where I knew he was emotionally unavailable from the outset, but instead I chose to ignore that fact and my friend’s advice about him. And as a direct result of this I now have a particularly amusing story tucked up my sleeve.

But seriously. What is it with me and emotionally unavailable guys? Do I attract them? Or do they attract me? Do I have “I HEART EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE GUYS!” on my forehead in permanent marker and nobody’s bothered to tell me because it allows you to all have a little giggle at my expense every time you see me? If so, hey – a part of me doesn’t blame you. I reckon I’d laugh at me, too. But the other part of me would quite like you to tell me where exactly this permanent marker is. NOW, please. 

Another thought, is that perhaps we are all emotionally unavailable to a greater or lesser extent. There could be a few teaspoons of truth in that. Perhaps. But if we’re talking about degrees of emotional availability, I end up being attracted to (or attracting) gents who have multiple cups of unavailability. Teaspoons are for babies.

In the mean time, it’s getting to the stage where my close relatives have started inquiring into my long-term relationship with Singledom and when on earth Singledom and I are going to break up.

I wish I was kidding you, but here’s what my grandma said to me only last night whilst I was telling her about my Latin dance classes:
Grandma: “Oh, that’s a shame. I was really hoping that you would meet a lovely young man at your classes, darling.”
Alex: Smile that gritted-teeth smile. Talk about how you are happily single. You ARE happily single. I know. Smile. Smile!

Is it unreasonable to want to be with someone who is emotionally available? Am I being overly demanding? Is that asking too much? All I’m asking for is a good egg. A good egg who can differentiate between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ with ease.

But if there are no metaphorical good eggs to go around then I guess I’ll just continue to content myself with the literal version: poached eggs with avocado on toast at brunch with friends.

Yeah, Singledom isn’t that bad..

Alex x

perfect on paper.

“Imperfection is beauty”
– Norma Jeane Mortenson.

My close friend and I have both encountered a strange phenomenon in our love lives this year and because I like my alliteration I have decided to name this occurrence “Perfect on Paper”.

Huh? Let me explain.

Imagine you just meet a guy (or girl) who is everything that you’ve been looking for. WHAT?! Stop the press! They tick off all of the essential boxes on your List: they have their sh!% together, they have a heart of gold AND they place a lot of importance upon dental hygiene. What’s more, they have lots of ‘non-essential added bonuses’, like sharing your love of skydiving and sashimi as well as your burning desire to learn modern Greek. You’ve got to be kidding me!

Perfect on Paper 07 A meme. With R. Gosling. Which is totally relevant. Or something.

“It’s a bloody miracle!” we cry. Hells, yes, it is.

So, you’re pretty pumped about going on dates with them and hey, your imagination might even get a wee bit overactive as you envisage how flipping wonderful you’re going to be together, because you two are evidently Meant To Be. 

BUT! Try as you may, you just don’t have a genuine connection. Initially, you put it down to first date nerves. Then you maintain the denial, because THIS SHOULD WORK, dammit. But soon you realise that, for some reason beyond comprehension, it’s just never going to work between you. It looked so very good in theory, but in reality it was a bit lifeless…

Let me illustrate with some real-life examples:

My gorgeous friend has a particular soft spot for gents who are ridiculously smart… and who are tall, lanky and fair-skinned with dark hair and a wicked sense of humour. Yes, that’s right: my mega babe friend is very openly attracted to ‘nerds’ (her words, not mine). Bonus points for studying robotics or astrophysics.

So, a guy came onto the scene who was well, all of these things. Boom! Their first date went very well, which can be partly attributed to alcohol-assisted flirtation and their mutual appreciation of each other’s sophisticated use of the English language. Hopes were high, but gradually she found herself feeling that she should go on dates with him. That she should probably let him kiss her. Which turned into an ambivalence about him akin to one’s relationship with Vita Weats. It’s not that he wasn’t lovely, it’s just that they didn’t click. And coming to grips with that was made harder by the fact that it looked so very promising from the outset.

In the case of yours truly, I went on some dates with a gent whom I can only describe as gorgeous. Here’s what the Alex Brain had to say about him: He is an absolute sweetheart! He’s well-travelled! He likes art! He works in marketing! He’s attractive! He’s entrepreneurial! He’s mature! He has his $#!* together! Ehrmagerd!! And the list went on.*

However, despite being so very lovely there weren’t any fireworks between us. None. Whatsoever. In fact, rather than feeling like the Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Years Eve it felt like we had already reached a point of comfortable, happy stagnation – the kind of feeling that I was expecting to encounter in about 50 years time…

Perfect on Paper 15The Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Years Eve. AKA how I like to feel at the start of a relationship.

So, why did it not work out with these men whom I thought had so much promise?

Well, it has occurred to me that maybe I don’t really know what I’m specifically looking for in a man,  nor what kind of gent would be well-suited to me (and myself to him)… which makes the whole ‘Perfect on Paper’ thing interesting if my idea of what is ‘perfect’ for me is actually quite different to the reality.  That was confusing.

It has also reminded me once again that, rather than thinking that I know what’s best for me and being snobby and prejudiced, I need to be more open to lots of different types of gents. For if I train myself to prefer the guys who fit the mental cookie-cutter I’ve formulated then I’m just going to be limiting myself, aren’t I? Looking back on that sentence I guess you could say that I myself am a mental cookie-cutter. Freudian slip?

I also think that my (sky high) expectations don’t help. See, when I realise or decide upon the fact that a gent is ‘Perfect on Paper’, my expectations of him and where the relationship could/will go shoot through the roof. “OMG. He’s, like, everything that I’ve, like, always wanted. Like, a Disney Prince on steroids with, like, a Porsche. OMG our babies are going to be, like, so ridiculously attractive. Like, OMG.” I do in fact talk like that in real life. Totes.

I’m not really sure what kind of guy I’ll end up with long-term… although, in saying that, my mum has placed her bet on the gent I marry being a Scotsman.** (If I ever leave the Kingdom of Singledom, that is.) But if I’ve learnt anything over the past four years it’s that perfection is overrated and, what’s more, its jolly boring.

Imperfection, on the other hand, I have come to love very much indeed.. Perhaps I should keep that in mind the next time the ‘Perfect on Paper’ alarm bells go off in my head. Yes, I think that’d be a good idea. Good one, you mental cookie-cutter.

Alex x

* I would just like to take this opportunity to say that those things are not The Essentials of My List of qualities/traits/characteristics I look for in a gent. Well, some of them are, but some of them really aren’t important. For example, if the next gent in my life doesn’t have much of an interest in art it’s not a deal breaker. Ok, my clarification spiel is over.

** No complaints.