Friendship is a 2 way street

It’s been a week since I’ve come home from my blissful and absolutely amazing holiday in South East Asia and I’m starting to feel the onset of Post Holiday Depression (Trust me, it’s a real thing!) While I have missed all my friends here in Melb, I long to go back to being  responsibility free besides the beautiful hotel pool. The upside of being back though is I get to catch up with all my wonderful friends! As soon as I landed, I received a few text messages from those I love most, welcoming me back and asking when was the most opportune time for us to catch up. So that’s what I’ve been basically doing in my short time back home. I have about 22 days until my holidays officially end and I become a JAFFY in uni, so I’m going to savour it as much as I can and spend my days lazing and socialising.

I’ve managed to meet up with most of my close friends and we’ve talked about our individual holidays so far, uni courses and what not, but I’m also seeing another slightly disturbing pattern. With the people I’ve met up with, the conversation somehow ends up steering towards the topic of relationships and the lack of effort that is put towards maintaining one. I’m not just talking about a romantic relationship, I’m also talking about  friendships in general. In recent times, my friends have noticed that with their other friendships, they’re the ones doing everything to keep it going. They’re the ones who initiate the meetups, the ones who call/text to ask ‘how are you?’, the ones who try to ensure the friendship is still there. But they get nothing back. Oh sure, they get the classic response ‘Good thanks, what about you?” or the ‘Defs catch up soon xx’ (even though you know it’s not going to happen), but they’re not getting the same effort back that they’ve put in.

Just as our coffee date was nearly over, she asked ‘Is it wrong to expect them to put effort in?”

Absolutely not. I know exactly how she feels and I know firsthand it gets tiring after a while to always be the ‘glue’ of the group or the one who initiates everything. In fact, when I look at some of the friends I’ve made over the years, I realised that for most of them, the only reason we’re still ‘friends’ is because I’ve made damm sure that we never lost contact.

I shouldn’t be so judgmental though, as I know it’s in some people’s personalities to not initiate anything even though they genuinely still want to continue the friendship. And I do know that certain circumstances do prevent really good friends from talking or seeing each other as often because there are other priorities. But when the situation is right for both parties and one still isn’t making any effort, that’s when I get annoyed.

It takes two people to make a longterm, MEANINGFUL, friendship work- not just one.

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Dreams DO come true

I’ve been awfully quiet for a while now and haven’t had the time to write as I have been blissfully holidaying in Thailand so forgive me.

A few weeks ago, I received the news that I was offered a place to study Law (honours)/ Arts at Monash University! For the many of you that don’t know, I’ve been aspiring/wishing/dreaming to study Law ever since I was young. And not just anywhere, but specifically at Monash Uni. (Well actually, I wanted to study at Harvard… but Monash is a lot more attainable). Believe me when I say I had everything worked out. I knew what my Majors were going to be, what societies I was going to join, what electives I wanted to do…I was a freak! As Monash U Law is ranked 15th in the world and 4th in Australia, a high ATAR (entrance score) is essential.

Throughout high school, I was always confident that I would reach this goal and used to (embarassingly) fantasise about what my life would be like there, the people I would meet etc. But unfortunately when it came to the final exams, I let my anxiety and nerves get the better of me, and ended up underperforming and receiving a lower score than the clearly in to Monash.

I was devastated

This is the biggest understatement as I was a miserable wreck straight after my exams. Getting out of bed was a daily struggle and it was tiresome to go through my normal routine. I felt like all my plans were messed up, that everything I had worked for was for nothing, and that my dream to study Law at Monash was shattered.

As time passed and as I shared my worries with people who cared about me, I found peace in accepting that everything happens for a reason, and maybe my happiness and success lay down a different path. By the time the official offers came out, I was happy and content with the offer I knew I would be getting from Deakin U.

So imagine my surprise when I wake up to an email telling me that I had an opportunity to study at the University I had always dreamed about! I was beyond thrilled! Fate, destiny, God or whatever you believe in had granted me a second chance. I now know, without a doubt that THIS is the path I’m supposed to be on.

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from this is to always have faith. When life became haphazard and threw a wrench into my perfectly laid out plans, I handled it badly, thinking that I could no longer fulfill my dreams. But now I’ve realised that with a little bit of hard work and optimism, I can achieve any dream I want to- no matter how unobtainable it seems.

As always, leave your thoughts below

Ash xx

The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn, Is Just To Love… Yourself

As I’m starting (trying) to turn over a new leaf this year, I believe that one of the things I need to work on is to love every part of myself more. Or at least see the beauty in my imperfections. Like all change, it’s hard to do this every day and I often still find myself criticizing and moaning over my appearance and my body. That said, this post written by one of my favorite bloggers on WP, has eloquently expressed the lesson that all women (and even men) need to learn! Whether you need inspiration, a reminder that you’re perfect as you are, or looking for an insightful read, I believe this post needs to be read by everyone.

Enjoy!

Ash xx

Suzie Speaks

istock_loveyourselfI love being a woman. In particular, I love the process involved when getting ready for a night out and can often spend hours excitedly deciding on what to wear, carefully applying my make up, straightening or curling my hair, adding accessories, choosing shoes that look beautiful (and will undoubtedly make me lose the feeling in my feet and give me back ache after about half an hour). I do this solely for myself – I like to leave house before meeting my friends or with The Bloke feeling good about myself and my appearance. Those nights are special, a break from the daily grind of normal life and I think that occasionally it’s an uplifting experience to spend a little bit of time pampering myself after working hard all week and I don’t think that there is anything wrong with this. However, most of the time I dress very…

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“Comparison is the thief of joy”

I’ll admit, I was very reluctant to begin posting on this blog. It seems that amongst my peer group, people have turned towards making a blog as the new thing to past the time- especially fashion blogs. I think it’s yet another one of those phases that our generation goes through. First up was Facebook where everybody tried to get the most friends and post status updates as often as possible. Second was Tumblr, where people reblogged countless images and competed for the most followers. In the last 2 years, it’s been Instagram where people post multiple selfies, food, more selfies, and once again focus their attention on raking in the most likes. Follow for Follow anyone?

Social media does have its perks. I can see what my friends overseas are up to and it’s an easy way to let everyone know when you’re doing something exciting or eating really good food. (#foodporn) But it does have major drawbacks. I was flicking through a magazine when I read an article linking social media to depression and low morale in an adolescent’s life. It said that we are conditioned to post only the best ( and usually unrealistic) version of ourselves in order to keep up with everybody else’s seemingly perfect life. As you can imagine, pretending to be perfect is exhausting and can lend itself to serious self-esteem issues when a person’s self-image does not match their ideal self. What makes it worse is that nobody posts absolutely everything they go through. On a typical teenager’s newsfeed you’ll see smiling faces (caked of course), couples photos and designer brands bought by so and so’s partner (or parents most likely) . On my feed, that is a guarantee.  But what you don’t see are the crying faces when one is upset or the bloated tummies that society deems is not bikini body ready. What ends up happening is you get people comparing their dark, down days to other people’s highlight reel and thinking they’re not good enough, or they’ll never be perfect.

I’m not saying don’t use social media. I enjoy using Facebook as a platform to share my adventures with my friends and update my relatives overseas about life in Melbourne.  Just don’t hinge your self-worth  on it. Remember that not everything is as it seems, and everybody goes through dark days. Most importantly, don’t use it as the only method of connecting with your friends and letting them know they’re valued.  Sure, I enjoy the comments left by people but that will never beat the love and happiness I’ll feel when I receive an actual text or phone call letting me know you’re thinking of me. Better yet, I’d love to see you in person!

I stumbled onto this post (ironically on Instagram) which sums it all up perfectly.

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Foster and strengthen your relationships in real life, not on the comments you get on your photos.

As I said at the start, I was nervous about posting and letting people know I have a blog as I was scared they would think I’m just copying everybody else. But like I said in my very first post, a lot has happened to me that I want to reflect on and share. I am most perfectly capable and have the skills to write, so why not? I enjoy writing and I’m doing it for myself and that’s the best reason to start anything. So for anybody who is reluctant to do something they’ve never done before, my advice is to make sure you’re doing it for yourself and not just to fit in with other people. Forget the cynics and ignore those with doubts,  because those people who sit and judge based on social media and who have nothing better to do than measure your worth from your likes or your follows don’t deserve a second of your time or thoughts.

Good luck my lovelies!

Ash xx

The Reason Why

I have started and stopped many things in my life. I tried to learn the piano at least 3 times before stopping, and each time I only managed to get up to the 1st Grade. I’ve enrolled into acting and dancing classes, joined and rejoined the gym and began many projects which sadly remain unfinished.

Some would call me uncommitted, and I’m inclined to agree, but don’t make up your mind about me just yet. I believe that things happen when they’re supposed to happen. Maybe 6 year old me wasn’t ready to play the piano, but 18 year old me might…. (Probs not) But that’s for another blog post.

In my teenage years, I’ve tried starting a new blog again and again before deciding it was stupid and attempting to delete it from cyberspace FOREVER. I used to gush about cute boys in my class and…nope, it was basically just about cute boys.  Back then at the ages of 14 and 15, I was not mature enough to be able to write about anything worth reading.

The point is, I rarely finish anything I start. Not the projects I initiate, anyway. But having finished Year 12 and been granted 4 months of holidays (YES!), I decided a new project was in store. One I’m determined to actually finish. Year 12 was tough and I was forced to deal with so many anxiety causing events (both school-related and personal.) But now that 2015 is upon us, I have been able to look back on 2014 and reflect on how much I have changed- for the better!

So after all that, the reason why I’m starting this blog is so I can have a space to express my miscellaneous ideas, my dreams for the future, all my new experiences and the lessons I have learnt. I hope you all enjoy following my random thoughts and rants.

Ash xx