THROUGH MOUNTAINS WITH LOVE.

A piece of micro-fiction I wrote, enjoy!

Vanquishing the land that mother earth had given him, the young boy threw shovels of dirt behind him. Surely she will understand that I am ruining her gift for the sake of my happiness, he thought. Towering far above his cranium was the peak of a mountain—too high to climb, he thought. Best go through it, he thought. The horse that stood behind him continuously interrupted his progress. Brown, tall and chivalrous, he reminded the young boy of the difficult task that lay ahead. “Sure,” the boy said to the horse, “it might not be easy, but I’ll see her on the other side, waiting for me, and she will have to love me.”

SOMETHING I WROTE DOWN ONE TIME.

It was like something heavy;
falling from such a great height
but at such a slow pace
that you could feel every inch
and every moment of it,
coming to the boil; to the brim.
But like something that is falling,
it must come down.
That’s what gravity promises to us.
And though I knew the whole time,
I watched with ease and hope,
that maybe I could catch it,
instead of being crushed.

SHUT UP ABOUT WRITING. TALK ABOUT TRAVEL.

Sometimes, instead of actually sitting down and writing something, I’ll read through my blog and feel like I accomplished something. But not really, that was just me admiring myself accomplishing something that I posted a few weeks ago. So in actual fact, I’ve wasted my time again. Turns out, most of my posts are about writing, my generic thoughts on my fairly vague life events, or whinging about how little writing I’m doing and making lame excuses like, “Oh, I was studying”. No I fucking wasn’t.

SO NOW, I’m gonna talk about something that is completely mind consuming as of late. A little something I’ve discussed before, in more ways than one. Traveling. Traveling Europe. I’m going back, bitches! I started saving the other week; I put $200 away. Sitting in 1 of my 2 copies of Tolstoy’s War and Peace next to my bed. Do you think that’ll be enough?

The plan is to leave in December (alongside my dear pal, Olive) and come back sometime in February, just before the dawning autumn uni session commences. Maybe by that point I’ll genuinely feel like a second year student; and not the third year student that I’ll actually be.
I never really understood the whole concept of “the travel bug” while I was over there (have I said this schpiel before? Cause you’re about to hear it again), but since being home, I daydream of getting lost in a city and thinking, “what is there to do here?” and then wandering around aimlessly, until I find it. Truth is, you don’t usually understand the beauty of a foreign city until you’re not in it anymore. Once you’ve left it, you kind of long for the essence that it holds, the things you can’t describe to people. You know how sometimes you’ll get a whiff of something, and it reminds you of a certain time, a certain place in your life? Like how every time I smell gardenias, I feel as though I’m a fresh 12 year old, just arriving with her family in Australia, nervous at the prospect of making new friends. Or every time I wear my Coco Mademoiselle Chanel perfume, I remember being 15 and vomiting at 11:30 on NYE and my best friend losing her virginity.
Foreign places are like those scents that force your brain to rush back in time; except they’re the scents you’ll never really smell again, unless you travel back. It’s not something you can explain to someone. But then, someone will mention that they’ve also been to Barcelona, and you’ll discuss a building you both saw. You’ll know that you both once stood in the same place you are now, and also the same place on a random street corner across the world, and you two will share a little something. That’s a little something that induces the travel bug.
The other, and here’s the reason I couldn’t go traveling alone, even though I like to think I could; it’s the random shit that happens with you and other people that you don’t remember. Not the “remember that time we sat in a cafe in Dublin for 6 hours because we were all too scared to ask for the cheque”. It’s the ridiculous games of eye spy and would you rather that you play on countless bus and train trips, that they all blur into one. It’s the random little chats that you have while waiting for the shower. The “who’s turn is it?” game you invented, where you could ask any ridiculous question, open ended or multiple choice, just to kill a bit of time. None of these you remember (apart from when Olivia asked what the best sandwich we ever had was, and only I could answer), because at the time it seemed rather hollow, but in actual fact it was those little moments that made the whole trip what it was.
So, yeah, I’m going back. To further explore cities and their countries to a greater to extent. To see new places I haven’t ventured to yet. To meet people I might not have met otherwise. To get shit cold, to get lost, to get tired, to get grumpy, to get drunk, to get homesick. To be spontaneous. That’s the ultimate plan this time. A random from the youth hostel asks us to go on a walking tour with him and some mates? Ima say yes. Cause that’s when those little, inconsequential moments happen that you don’t really remember, but you almost kinda do.

AND NOW I FEEL GOOD.

For the first time in quite a while, I feel good. For right now, it’s not a state of mental wellbeing (although I wish it was), but I feel cleansed. Exercising and eating healthy foods are definitely a large part of it. I was once told by a good friend that we’re supposed to treat our bodies like temples and nurture them accordingly, by only allowing them to feed off of positive nutrients and only we are in control of that. True. But I like burritos and snickers a lot. Today however, I deprived myself of those two delectable items and only gave my body good things; and I’ll be honest, the outcomes are outstanding.

While this hasn’t changed anything about my state of mind at the moment, it’s almost helping me work on it more. During two rounds of exercise today, I was able to clear my mind and not think about the consuming thoughts of why a pretty boy didn’t reply to my text message (it’s sincerely heart breaking stuff, but it’s a real joy when your mind isn’t circling for answers 12 hours of the day).

I then did something a little crazy. A little something out of the ordinary. Something I always shame myself for not doing, and get angry that it’ll never occur and thus my dreams will never even be capable of coming true.
I wrote something that wasn’t a blog post. I wrote something that wasn’t a cheesy short story. And I didn’t type it on my computer.
I got out my beautiful leather bound notebook that I purchased while in Florence, something that I have written in approximately two times for a fear of making it’s insides hideous. But this time, I opened that notebook, grabbed myself a pencil and did what all the teachers have told me and just put that lead to the paper. I didn’t even think (well, I mean, I guess I was thinking at the time, but it honestly just flowed on out of me). I wrote a poem. And then I wrote another one. And now, wait for it… I liked it. I enjoyed writing something that doesn’t make sense, but it almost doesn’t have to (hey, it’s a literary device, I’ll do whatever the fuck I want, man). I can literally use some of my incoherent thoughts, transfer them into some analogies and metaphors (without realising I’m doing it) and it doesn’t have to be technical or make sense to the average eye. Interpret it how you will, and all the while, I’m releasing some serious aggression that would be inappropriate to take out on the average bystander.

I’m gonna keep doing this. And then you know what? Maybe you’ll even get some poetry to read.

 

LOOK, I’VE BEEN BUSY

For someone who claims to have not cared a whole lot about uni (clearly a blatant lie I try to convince myself of) and only doing the bare minimum required, I was pretty busy over the whole exam period. Even though I literally had like, two proper exams. Either way, it’s been well over a month since I’ve completed those exams and those subjects for the rest of my life. Which is exciting, since the first thing I did after completing my final exam was downing a tequila shot and purchasing more than the average human’s necessary quantity of goon.

Point being, I can’t really use exams as a proper excuse for not writing or posting anything. I even managed myself a little position with http://www.thebigsmoke.com.au (which you should really check out, they post some super cool stuff) as a contributing writer in the hopes of expanding and improving my current portfolio. Again, back to the point; I’ve been lazy with writing on a larger scale than just my average little blog you see here. I’ve hardly even submitted anything to my editor, which is really negligent on my behalf, especially since this is an amazing opportunity to boost my career prospects. But worry no more, cause I am back. And hopefully more consistently.

I’ve decided to alter my degree at university (not quite sure whether I mentioned this, and as you recall I’m far too lazy to scroll through old posts and troll for the vague sentence in which I discuss it). This year I undertook study in a double degree of a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of International Studies. As of next year (if all transferring forms get approved) I will be studying a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies (majoring in Journalism-Professional Writing) and a Bachelor of Creative Arts (majoring in creative writing). The decision to change degrees was not a difficult one, and it’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy my degree this year. It’s just that I took a real good look at what I wanted in the future. I want to write, I want to read, I want to help stories get out there; be they fictional or not. This new degree will help me achieve that. During a meeting with man who deals with these kinds of situations (he happens to be a Creative Writing lecture, so he was overly stoked in my decision to enter his field), he said to me, “This is a really great degree if you ever wanted to get into publishing and/or editing”, and that was when I knew this was the right choice. “That’s exactly what I want to get into”, I told him.

Soooooooooooo, anyways. I’m trying to get back into some writing. I’ve had ideas bubbling for the past few weeks, and when you forget to write shit down, it usually floats on into the room of requirement, never to be found again.

Today is the 23rd of December, or “Christmas Eve Eve” as we all know and love it. It doesn’t really feel like Christmas to me though. Apart from the obvious, it’s not fucking cold. What’s with that anyways? Like, I know it’s when Jesus was… born? Is that right? But Christmas should be filled with snow and pine trees and big fluffy sweaters. Australia really should’ve changed Jesus’ birthday to June or something. I guess the country doesn’t really have that sort of power though, it would kind of stuff up the system. But this year, my parents aren’t here. I’ve spent Christmas without my father before, just because he’s been occupied with his work situation over in the states, but this year my mother is there with him and us four kids are here, fending for ourselves. It’s not too much of an issue, since my grandmother has promised us a Christmas dinner. Which, allows me the glory of sleeping in after producing what will be one of 2014’s biggest and best hangovers.

However, despite the positive points to this Christmas day, I have one rather large complaint. Why am I in charge of cooking the god damn turkey? Who deemed me capable, responsible, trustworthy enough to cook and tend to the most important aspect of Christmas dinner. My grandmother ordered and purchased a rather large, succulent turkey and delivered it to our house. Myself, my three brothers, all standing there, chatting away as she tells us to place the turkey into the freezer until Tuesday morning (today, thank lordy mae that I remembered), when we should then move it into the fridge to defrost until Christmas morning. We all nodded, “Yes, Barbie, not a problem. We’ve got this covered”.

“Now, Annika”, she says. What? Me? Yeah, okay, what’s up? “I will bring over a list of instructions on how to prepare and cook the turkey on Christmas day, and I’ll come over about an hour before dinner to prepare the other things.”

This sentence was clearly directed at me, and no one else. I am to undertake the domestic housewife role and prepare the three males of the house a feast worth mouthwatering for. I’m gonna put it out there; she’s completely overestimated my abilities.

__________________________________________________________

Remember how way back at the beginning of this post how I made like, a large number of excuses for not writing and publishing any posts whatsoever, no matter how trivial they were? Yeah, so what started out to be a post about pre christmas jitters, turned into something that sat quietly in my drafts folder being like, “yeah sick, you forgot about me because you decided to get high with your friends at the beach. That’s cool man, that’s cool”.

It’a been a month and I’m just gonna shut the fuck up and press post because like, that was a near 900 words of my time. Time to get it into the world and maybe write some other stuff now that work has completely slowed down and I still have a whole month off until uni goes back. Somebody entertain me. Anybody?

#MAKEMOOKIEFAMOUS

I’m pretty sure I’ve made some sneaky sly references about my obsession with my stuffed pink walrus named, Mookie. Let me tell you a little bit about her, and the other weird soft toys that I have a strange connection to, along with my plan to make Mookie famous.
Australian’s are known for being extremely nostalgic and love talking about the past. Sometimes, I feel like I basically still live in it. Either there or the future; neither which is a very healthy way to be, but eventually it’ll change and for right now, so be it.

My whole life I’ve been obsessed with my favourite movie, The Little Mermaid. That obsession extends to the character herself and has then blossomed to an infatuation with any kind of mermaid or under the sea creature, red hair, anchors, and the likes. I don’t really have a specific Ariel “thing” that I was attached to as a child, more just a collection. Like my toilet seat, my sleeping bag, my suitcase, numerous dolls and figurines etc.
While the interest with Ariel and The Little Mermaid is still, most definitely, the strongest and strangest connection I’ve had to anything, it’s not even apart of my soft toy collection. Okay, so that really didn’t have a lot to do with the whole “#makemookiefamous campaign”, but I felt like Ariel needed a mention if I’m currently talking about symbols from my youth.

My main soft “toys” (you’re probably going to get annoyed and frustrated, like many of my friends, because two of these items are not toys at all) are, Mookie (da walrus),  a baby Minnie Mouse, a squishy green pillow named Mogu (that’s where people get angry, “you can’t name a fucking pillow!”, I disagree) and what is now a few strings woven together, Blankie.

Minnie came with me absolutely everywhere; majority of my childhood photos consist of her and blankie. I obtained a strong connection with her character and owned many other Minnie Mouse memorabilia, including a towel, a diary and a lot more.
Mookie is probably just as old as Minnie, but she was sort of absent for a while. When we picked up to move to Australia, my Mum was fairly picky about the concept of shipping stuffed animals to a whole new country when her youngest child was turning 12.
My grandmother used to work for really good quality toy companies, so we did have a lot of great stuffed animals that mum couldn’t conceive giving away. She made us all pick out a few from the lot that we wanted in our future, and packed them in a box. We had a very large container of our things shipped to Australia and the rest remained in a storage unit in our hometown. When unpacking, and not finding the box labeled “stuffed animals” and mum’s reply of, “I don’t even know what I did with those”, I began to be very weary of Mookie and her friends’ whereabouts.
Seven and a half years passed, sometimes it would cross my mind and a wave of panic would come over me; surely I didn’t throw her away or sell her. Mookie was by far one of my favourite toys and there’s no way I would let that pink little freak out of my life for good, it just didn’t seem fathomable.
While in Fairfield last year, Mum and her good friend, Denise unpacked the storage unit and drove all of it’s fillings out to Boulder, Colorado where my dad works and my parents are currently renting an apartment. During the “sorting” and “unpacking” of the unit, there piled up high, was a small brown box, a black sharpie scribble in my mum’s hand writing, “stuffed animals”. I ripped off the packing tape, not so smoothly, and dug through dense fur, beading and plastic eyes until I saw the colour I was looking for; the shade of dusty pink that I would never forget. I held Mookie tight, squeezing her far tighter than what’s appropriate for an 18 year old, and I took her straight home with me.

So now, along with my return back to the country, my friends have had to endure Mookie’s presence. She’s a little in your face, she’s always held close tight to me and features in majority of my snapchats and other forms of social media. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of my distant acquaintances were aware of her existence. But that’s not really an issue for me at the present time, since I’ve decided to launch the #makemookiefamous campaign. Being realistic, she probably won’t make herself known outside of the Illawarra, however the goal is high.
It all began when I took this polaroid selfie with her;

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It then came to me; everyone needs a photo with her.

Everyone meaning the important people in my life and basically anyone that enters my bedroom and has an interaction with her. I might have gotten ahead of myself with whole “making her famous” scenario, thinking that one day she would star in a children’s book (I still kinda think this is plausible, but I may have been a little stoned when I came up with that idea).
After purchasing some more polaroid film, my idea had begun to blossom. Here are my current participants in the project;

Olivia and Mookie

They have a fairly good relationship, since Olivia is probably the most present in her life.

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Tenaya and Mookie

Tenaya isn’t very impressed by Mookie, she’s told me on more than one occasion that she doesn’t like her tusks. She has a super weird obsession with her stuffed crocodile though, to the point that croccy has his own Instragram; @croccy_saltwater. So, she kinda gets it.

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Harriet and Mookie

Harriet is convinced that Mookie is a boy and just genuinely confused by her existence.

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Marcus and Mookie

The first blood relative who I’ve gotten to partake in this unusual charade (I can’t wait to see what my parents think). Mookie’s head got stuck like this for a while after, and I become very frantic while Marcus continued to laugh.

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That’s all on that for now. Maybe you’ll see her in a children’s book or possibly Vogue one day, but until then, you’ll be sure to see Mookie on here and my Instagram page.

 

LEEDS, MANCHESTER & EDINBRUH.

Is it really awful of me to acknowledge the titles of my own posts on my own blog? Cause Ima do it anyways. I didn’t spell Edinburgh wrong, I’m just hilarious.

From London, we caught a coach to Leeds to meet up with Claudia’s friend, Ellie from her summer camp, whom I had previously met during our stay in NYC. She had just started attending Leeds University and we stayed a night there, before catching the train with her back home to Manchester.

I can’t really vouch too much for Leeds or Manchester, because we weren’t there for long enough and anything we actually did there didn’t really enrich my knowledge of these places. In Leeds, we ate Nandos, got drunk with Ellie’s uni friends, tried to get into a club that we lined up for an hour for, and were then told that we probably wouldn’t even get in. The security guard was the most disgusting human being I have ever witnessed. He only let through a select number of girls, with 10 layers of makeup on and hardly any clothing- talking about how he couldn’t wait to have a taste later. It was enough to send us back to Ellie’s place, dressed in our pyjamas and eating dominoes until 2 am.

In Manchester we shopped around the city and then went back to Ellie’s house- an extremely tall building of stained glass windows, a range of comforting homewares and a bathroom with a lounge in it. In that moment, it became official, my future house wouldn’t be complete until my bathroom had a sofa in it.

Before venturing to the bar that Ellie worked at whenever she was back home, we of course ordered Indian food, because the English just adore that stuff (this is not me complaining, alongside Mexican, Indian is my preferred choice of cuisine). Ellie worked at a trendy, and surprisingly packed bar, called “Town Bar”. They offered the widest and most exquisite range of cocktails that forced me to take a photo of the menu in hopes that I could recreate some of these beauties back home to woo all of my friends with (can’t say that I’ve been particularly successful with this, but I also can’t say that I’ve attempted to make any of these ingenious concoctions).  There being five of us, we ordered rounds… and more rounds. I think we all probably did nearly three rounds each. Each arguing over which cocktail to try next and then, always the most daring; the shots. By the time we got started on the shots, my vision was blurred and I wasn’t paying attention to majority of the conversation, not because I was being rude, but because I simply wasn’t capable of holding that much information in my mind, which had decidedly changed to the size of a peanut after a few beverages.

At this very point in my trip, I was super stressed because it dawned on me how ridiculously expensive traveling was and how stupidly careless I had been with my money. It was this day that I franticly messaged my mum, explaining that I didn’t think I could afford the rest of the trip. The whole financial side of things became nothing but an emotional roller coaster and it’s the main part of my trip that I definitely don’t want to focus on, or remember for that matter, because it was something that consumed my thoughts a lot of the time and, I’m not going to say that it “ruined” my trip, but it contributed to most negative aspects of the trip.

So we make a girls journey to the bathrooms, and I’m connecting to the wifi while doing my business, my dad sends me an extremely heart felt message (this text literally brings me to tears; but now, as I say that, I’m reflecting on how inordinately pissed I was) telling me that he loves me and do the best he can to help “keep me afloat” financially. After this incident, we’re exiting the bar, deciding what to do next and I am by far the most drunk out of the lot of us. Which normally isn’t that strange, there’s always one person who’s intoxicated state is obviously stronger than the rest, this person however, is not usually me.

Ellie doesn’t really know much about where to go out in Manchester, but we catch a cab with a guy named Joseph, who for some unexplained reason, we insist on calling “yosef” and he ends up shouting the entire taxi ride, after we had spent the last 25 minutes screaming and asking him where we could get some cocaine (which we didn’t even really want). He took us to a fairly empty bar, but promised the drinks would be cheap. Shame for yosef, because we got them even cheaper. The bartender, a tall dark man with a bit of stubble, sporting a plain black T and a Pittsburg Pirates hat basically gave us 5 shots for the price of 3, as long as we all gave him a kiss. We all followed through for each round and he continued to do shots with us until we left in hunt for a better, more crowded place.

Word on the street said that the Black Dog was the place to be- we hunted for it, up and down the main strip countless times. Everything seems repetitive but fairly quick after a few drinks, and this was not an event that passed by shortly, I felt like we were searching for this place for quite some time. It’s possible that I was super drunk and super impatient though, since I do recall running (yes, running, something that usually isn’t said alongside my name without a negative in front of it) and scabbing cigarettes off of male bystanders.

The Black Dog didn’t truly have the greatest atmosphere; the music wasn’t vampy enough to keep my eyes open and the lack of lighting assisted my slumber. Ellie and Claudia made the executive decision that we were leaving- not just the club, but we were going home- and Tenaya and Olivia weren’t too impressed, considering they had just down 4 shots each to get them going. I’m fairly sure a sly and slurred argument soon ensued, but I wasn’t really apart of it to be honest. We made it back to Ellie’s and I crawled into bed, half passing out and half praying I didn’t vomit and truly ruin our welcome in her household.

The next day, Ellie’s dad dropped us to the bus station where we would catch a coach to Edinburgh. That bus trip was long, I remember that much, but no specific events because all of our train trips and coach rides blur into one. It’s fairly likely that we played Eye Spy and/or Fuck, Kill, Marry (where you name three people and you have to choose who you would fuck, who you’d kill and who you would marry. I loved playing this game). Something else that always took over when boredom consumed us, was our very own game called “Who’s turn is it?”. What started out as Never Have I Ever eventually turned into an extremely vague questionnaire to pass the time. It’s safe to say I know some of the most minuscule details about those three girls, as they do for me. Like the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten (sick question, Olivia).

Edinburgh was one of my favourite places that we visited. It was one of the most comfortable hostels we stayed at, and the first in which we stayed in a shared dorm. It was located right across from the Castle Rock, which we spent a solid day exploring. Otherwise, there wasn’t a lot that we knew about this place; what there was to do or what there was to see. I think we may have gone into a museum, but I can’t really remember what we did in there or what we saw, just that we entered. Our budget was very manageable here, we made most of our own food in the hostel kitchen and cozied up in the “movie theatre”.

Something I regret deeply about our stay here was all the opportunities that we let pass us by so easily. A number of girls in our dorm invited us to go to cool bars with them, or out to dinner. People in the main lounge area asked us to join them on pub crawls and ghost tours; which, for no real reason in particular, we all politely declined. This was before we really entered the true world of travelling; the world that involves new people, different experiences and absolutely forcing yourself out of your shell. After far too many “No thank you’s” it was time for us to fly to Dublin, and leave a beautiful green, untouched (by our standards) land behind us, to enter a knew one. One that you would imagine to be most green, but really kind of lacked in colour altogether.

Approximately 1500 words down, over who knows how long, and my memory is slowly fading as we have passed the one year mark of this particular adventure. A year ago today, I would be in Budapest (stay tuned) where I would be about to consume the most amount of alcohol I ever have and meet some truly influential people in my present life.

LACK IN MOTIVATION EQUALS GUILT.

So, when I’m feeling guilty about not studying for my INTS120 exam tomorrow because I’m too busy re-watching Sex and the City (I’m up to season 6 and she’s dating Burger and apart from the fact that he dumps her via sticky note and their sex life doesn’t start out too shabby- he’s totally my kinda man), and I can’t even bring up the courage to write something of any interest (but hey, this is kinda just flowing, isn’t it? Or is it?)- I’m just gonna share some silly wittle things.

Yesterday, I decorated above my desk with a few of my favourite things. Photos, polaroids, post cards, a Ravenclaw house sticker and my two favourite poems. Why not share those poems with y’all? They’re too fabulous not to read over and over again. At least I think so anyways.

Firstly,

THE MERMAID

A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.

– William Butler Yeats

And secondly,

BLUE

She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by–
And never knew.

– Shel Silverstein

Ok, so I was going to explain why I love those two particular poems so much, however I feel as though the emotion received from them is pretty self explanatory. But- I will say, they bring me back to earth, in the way that they remind me how badly we all want love, and how easily it can be destroyed, pass you by, or not found at all.

There’s some old fashion pessimism to really ground you for the week. You’re welcome.

On a side note- here’s my outfit for Melbourne cup. You could’ve probably worked that out given the whole snapchat caption, but Ima pretend you’re all stupid. Like most people.

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I also bought those shoes in black- 2 for $50, you could say I’m feeling proud.

Àdios

A SLIGHT CHANGE IN MY ABOUT ME.

I don’t know if any of you have heard of the genius that is Sir. Stephen Markley (Yeah, I always refer to him as sir, and I feel like he would thoroughly appreciate that, and also have a good old laugh about it, so I’m gonna continue that notion), but whenever I decide to sit back and read a few chapters of “Publish This Book”, I immediately feel a rush of creative guilt that screams at me, “Annika, why the fuck aren’t you writing hilariously inappropriate anecdotes on your blog for your father to shame you for later!”. Now, I’m not going to do that, because yes, I’m fairly sure I once mentioned this URL to my dad, and while I know he appreciates my prose, I’m far too terrified of broadening his knowledge on the fact that my friends and I are all sexually active (we’re 20, it’s not wildly inappropriate at all, but no one wants their dad, or any other family member for that matter, to read about their friend having sex with a random in Byron Bay).

Anywho, after reading about 50 pages of Markley’s book, consciously constructing my fan mail that borders from a vague infatuation to a strong sexual attraction to, “I’m going to stalk you until you love me and provide me with millions of children that I’m not sure either of us really want”, I opened up the webpage to this very blog. “Annika Tague. 19 year old uni student and book worm”. All of a sudden, I blinked twice and realised that the lyrics to “Teenage Dirtbag” didn’t really apply to me anymore, because as of 8 days ago, I joined the club that is 20. And while I’m not as bothered by this increase in number as I lead on, I just feel vaguely disturbed. At the age of 11, when my eldest brother was at this point in his life, I recall thinking to myself “dang, you is old”. So, now I’m sitting out on my balcony, my feet covered in socks and shoes, yet still numb for some confusing reason in the middle of an Australian October, and I’m questioning which link on wordpress will take me to the “edit your info” page.

While blogging is fun and therapeutic and something that most aspiring journalists/writers, and any other creative souls for that matter, basically are forced to participate in, it also makes me feel like a sad 13 year old girl, writing in her journal about the curly-haired boy who decided to make her best friend his girlfriend, as her tears roll off her chin and onto her stuffed minnie mouse that she grasps tightly to her budding bosom. I’m quite happy to talk about my love for great novels or the hilarity of shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “Bob’s Burgers”. Or my iron strong opinions that I’ve learned to hold back, because sometimes arguing with someone on Facebook, who comes from an extremely privileged family, and merely holds their political views because they overheard Mummy and Daddy agreeing with Abbott’s immigration laws, is not always worth your breath.

Then, there’s the things I can’t talk about, but have a feeling I’m going to anyways, because they’re the sort of hilarious anecdotes people want to hear. They’re the kind of things that, as Markley has showed me, need to be embedded in your writing for, not just comedic value, but to prove that life is real, raw and not as serious as most people in your PHIL106 class like to make it seem. I was one of those anxious morons at the age of 16-18 who took life far too seriously. This was the age when I should have spent more time drinking, less time studying and more time kissing random boys at parties whose calves were still skinnier than my pony tail. I can’t really say I hate myself for not engaging in this type of behaviour, because I’ve made it to university (that was the overall goal of being a super lame dork, right?) and am now kissing random boys who have wider backs than me and manage to kiss and grope at the same time without stopping to look where their hand should go next. Maybe I took my time getting here and maybe I’m slightly hating myself for writing such a quizzical and existential piece of blatant banter, but let’s blame Markley. Markley made me do it.

And as I write that, it becomes my number one fear that he’ll somehow find the link to my blog because, “Hey man, I read some chick’s blog from Australia who really wants you to impregnate her”, and he’ll scoff at my nonsensical writing, tell me that I’m a basic bitch and laugh about it with his buddies, who I secretly all want to be my friends as well. Sick one, Annika. Maybe next time you should write about the boy you’re in love with but too scared to admit anything to, and subscribe to all other female teenage blogs who post about the same trivial bullshit. Oh, but wait, you’re not even a teenager anymore…