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.