2018, Gay, Gayblog, Life, Opinion

The Person I Want To Become

It can be great to think of the kind of person you want to be, and picture that image framed in your mind’s eye, and hold it as a kind of fuzzy objective.

However. Your mind can wander out of focus and enter the enchanted lands of fantasy, far removed from reality when picturing the ideal that you want for yourself. It can intoxicate and drug you, and leave you disappointed with your reality.

I find it both alluring yet galling, pondering on the type of person I imagine I want to become. There is an inherent sense of unreality when you think about what kind of person you wish to be in the future. And a sense of dread and fear that you may never reach this pinnacle of ideal.

Naturally, you would want to be the best version of yourself in the future that you can possibly be. This might be different for us individually, but I’m sure most if not all of us want to be successful and prosperous, fit and healthy, wise yet humble and yeh why not, attractive, both in personality and soul.

I feel as though out there somewhere in this world, or a parallel one just mirroring ours, there’s another version of me of whom embodies those qualities above.

He’s confident in himself and his abilities. He smiles more than I do. He hates himself far less than I do, and in fact isn’t too proud to admit that he loves himself. Obvs, not in an egotistical kind of way. More the way someone who exudes self-confidence would be able to make that sort of self-acknowledgement.

The person I want to become is successful both in terms of career as well as personal life. He works a job, or better yet, has a career that he enjoys which also happens to keep him comfortable in life. He doesn’t worry or stress about his financial situation, and is savvy when he needs to be, thrifty yet not a miser.

He is generous to a fault to those he loves and holds dear, yet is a good judge of character, and has no problem standing up to himself when he perceives he is done wrong by. He is an ardent believer in loyalty being the number one quality and virtue in a friendship or relationship, yet will be able to deal in a fair and adult manner when he feels a friendship is not being reciprocated.

This personage of the future goes to the gym regularly, looks after himself and eats well. He likes being social and goes out, and doesn’t suffer from anything as silly as social anxiety which has made past Alessandro fill with fear and stay home, missing out on at times a lot of fun.

He is calm and collected, and doesn’t have anymore negative dialogue in his mind which once plagued his mind. He sleeps and rests fully at night, and will more often than not get a full night’s sleep.

This is the kind of person I want to become. Basically a pastiche of all the things I see in people I know, like or admire.


And yes, an amalgamation of pretty much every self-help book I’ve come across and read.

Which is quite a bit.

I know that this person would come across perhaps as too perfect, however. Maybe he’s just the end sum and total of the concepts and ideals of what I want to be, but not a whole package in terms of what makes up a person.

If there’s anything I’ve learnt over the past few years, it’s that our imperfections make us who we are. The imperfections form our character and that thing that makes us special. It’s the little scars, the wrinkles, the furrowed brows or laughter lines and that lived experience and foibles we all have that make us the best we can be, however.

This then, is the person I want to become. Not perfection manifested, a character akin to an old family sitcom or worse yet a character from a Brett Easton Ellis novel, but a person trying their best, and doing their best in life.

What kind of person do you want to become?

2017, Australia, Gay, Gayblog, Life



In a few short weeks I will be packing my life up and moving with my husband Adrian to not just a new city; but a new city in a new country that is on the other side of the world. A city that I have only ever been to once, a couple years ago. Almost directly opposite of where I currently sit …Well, that may be an exaggeration as the exact opposite means I would be dunked into the Atlantic ocean.

In truth, I’m scared shitless about this. I haven’t been sleeping well, I’ve been quite anxious and I’ve been unable to turn off my worried internal monologue.

Life seems to be able to grab you, pick you up and shake you about sometimes. And it always seems to be at the most inopportune times, like when you feel you need this change to happen and am ready for it. But maybe in this instance I need this. Perhaps it’s a good thing for me to be able to cut my ever growing ties with my home, and those around me like friends and family, and simply start over again with my now husband in a new place. An exciting change of scene, and a chance to start over.

At times living here in Sydney has begun to feel a little like Groundhog Day. Everyday is pleasant, safe and enjoyable, yet it is starting to feel as though the days are simply melding into one. It is easy to lose track of time here. My home town of Sydney is a very desirable place to live. I do love it here. The weather is generally quite temperate, [says I as I sit on my balcony during an extremely warm Spring day, with the city in view], there is a great balance and mix of work and personal life, you can be quite active and healthy, food and cuisine is great, and one can generally live a quite comfortable existence.

So why then would I ever want to leave this?

The truth is that my home town can be so blissfully bucolic and serene. Life here can be so easy, and maybe this has lately made me feel some unease and boredom. Or perhaps more correctly, aimless. I don’t know what I want to do in life still to this day, and I know that the day is fast approaching where I need to find my purpose. Relocating I hope will offer me this chance.

You know what time of year it is here in Sydney by what events are being held for one thing. Vivid, a light art festival marks the start of winter. The night noodle markets mark the beginning of summer, and the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras marks the high point and finale of the Summer party season in the city. It is a town that runs like clockwork. I do find myself at times getting restless, and wanting at the very least to run away from town and be out under a big blue sky for a day. I am totally aware of how self entitled this sounds, believe me.

Since finding out that my husband was going to be transferring overseas to the US, I have felt an array of emotions. Shock initially, then excitement that it was possibly to happen, as well as fear and doubt, mainly over difficulties and challenges that will have to be met. I’ll be going without a job for instance. I have no idea what I will be doing or where I’ll find work. I really hope that something will come up for me there. I’ll have to really lay on my Australian accent thick and charm the fuck out of people. It can be hard for me to have much faith in the future. I wish I was one of those people that truly believe that the universe will provide, and that it has your back. I, on the other hand, feel that this kind of thought process is unrealistic and can in fact be somewhat damaging, as it could lead one to believe in their own entitlement being inherently worthy of success, and not to mention leading to inaction due to the belief that somehow, ‘things will make right organically and naturally.’ The universe works out of it’s own volition based on logic and rules, most notably cold hard science. In my mind there is no value in this kind of thought. But, I know I’m going to have fantastic adventures there, and that we’ll meet some great life-long friends.

I’m exceptionally lucky and privileged to even have this opportunity to move somewhere that is and has been historically the centre of LGBTIQ culture globally. San Francisco has such a high reputation for being the most gay-friendly city in the entire world, with Sydney being a very close second. Sydney is an antipodean rival that to me does things far differently. San Francisco really does put my Sydney to shame. I have so many advantages over many others, for example my husband has a job set up when we get there. His company are organising to move all our belongings over. I speak the language as a first language unlike many other people migrating, and I like many Australians, have grown up with a heavy American influence on our society via media, of which the majority was American programming. So growing up, many of us as kids harbored dreams of one day making the long journey to the childhood utopia of Disneyland; which for most of us growing up in the 90’s was a fantasy that rarely played out in reality, as many families like mine struggled through the recession in the early nineties. It hit us hard. I remember being so envious of my cousins going to Disneyland and coming back with luggage bags bursting with Disney merch. The closest I could get to Disneyland was watching the Saturday morning Disney cartoon show that I would tune into with almost a religious reverence. America was a shining light on the hill for many of us. It represented so much of what was modern and free and good in the world. It really was a beacon of optimism and hope. It’s funny how perception has changed.

That once bright and shining light has decayed and lost it’s sheen. It scares me slightly about the current socio-political climate there. I worry about what I will do, or how people will perceive me. I worry about my husband who will be under a lot of pressure from his new position. I worry about my dad who is over 70 and that I may not see him for a long time. But the fact remains that this is going to help me in ways I can’t think of at this point in time. I don’t want to have unreal expectations in this venture. I want to go with humility and an open heart, as well as with more of a ‘yes’ attitude. This is a lesson I need to learn for myself. To say yes more and to experience more out of life. It’s become far too easy for me to say ‘no’ to so much here in Sydney, that perhaps moving far away will mean I will jettison so much of this negativity and fear. I wish I could simply hit a fast-forward button and go forward 6 months into the future, where we will be settled and enjoying life and having fun.

It’s this kind of interference or for a lack of a better term ‘curve ball’ that life actually does throw at you that has surprised me, especially recently. In my mind, I’ve finally come to the decision that this is happening and that I have to do this. I have to leave my comfortable home [that I love!], my fantastic friendship circle that I have built over years, as well as a stable job, and venture into the unknown and unexplored. But I’m also pretty excited by what could be. I think this is what is making me able to be the slightest bit positive about this whole experience, the fact that potentially so much could change in my life, hopefully for the better. Time will tell.

2017, Australia, Gay, Gayblog, Life, Opinion, Thoughts

Snap The F*ck Out Of it.

I’ve felt like absolute shit over the last day. Things inevitably tend to fall apart as the unyielding sadness yet again washes over me like a wave. Despite my best efforts at consciously and thoughtfully rallying myself against this tide, I’m swept in among it. Awash in this deluge of melancholia, yet again. And yet again, it wins and takes me away.

I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I was having such a great weekend, and a couple things happened which made me crumple and disassemble into a mess of tears, uncontrollable sobbing and ragged breathing. I’m not really going to divulge on the schematics of what caused me to feel this way, all that you need to know is that my emotions have been running quite high, as well as my anxiety levels and a couple events really helped sparked it off. I really and honestly thought I was far past all of this. As though I had finally reclaimed a part of myself. It seems as though this great sadness can so easily cause my undoing, and that this is something that will quite possibly in my mind always be hanging around for the entirety of my existence.

Sometimes I listen to Ru Paul’s podcast with Michelle Visage, mainly it’s simply those two cackling away in delight [which in truth is really quite fun to listen to], yet at times they delve into more serious and consequential issues such as mental health and well-being. Both characters, like many in the entertainment industry, and therefore by consequence in life, are involved heavily in the idea of self improvement. Michelle Visage is all about therapy and doing whatever is necessary to stay well. Ru has this zen-like affinity with bettering oneself, and is quick to dispense advice on what to read, how to be mindful of yourself and others, or what to do when you get down. Ru talks quite a bit about this concept of the ‘inner saboteur’, which yeah, I still find so horribly cliche and silly, yet there’s a grain of truth to this idea of the inner saboteur. Each of us, and some far more than others, have this ‘inner saboteur’ whose sole objective is to tear us down and crumple. It’s that voice in the mind that says you’re never good enough. Ru’s advice that is imparted is to not let that voice dictate your reality; to not let it take over.

‘I see what you’re doing, and I’m not going to let you do this,’ Ru mentions a number of times across a few of these podcasts. It’s just something recently that has made me pause and reflect.

It’s easier said than done, not letting that little voice inside your head ruin everything. It takes a lot of strength to fight it and cast it aside, and to give it no attention lest that attention feeds it and it becomes engorged on this attention and grows. Recently I find myself able to brace myself against this voice, yet this time I failed. It was just too hard I guess.

I need someone to tell me to snap the fuck out of it, truth be told.

I reached out to Twitter which has helped me quite a bit. Like the gifs I got sent, I need Cher in Moonstruck to slap me and tell me to snap out of it, and that grand doyenne who embodies a larger than life, go-getter personage, Gina Liano of Real Housewives of Melbourne [a show I have ZERO interest in besides the scene I’m about to describe], in her hair and makeup and busty as all hell to scream ‘SNAP THE FUCK OUT OF IT’ to me, over and over again.

I really do have to just snap the fuck out of it.

This needs to be an internal mantra for me. I have so much going for me. I have a lot to be grateful for. I hate typing these words as they seem so so very self involved and arrogant. Saying to yourself to be grateful for what you have feels so bizarre and artificial, yet it seems to be the truth. I really hate the whole burgeoning ‘welness culture’ that has come to the fore in recent times. I worry about the intention of this kind of rhetoric, and whether it is genuine or not. And this is part of the issue. I’m so far gone down the path of self hatred that I can’t see the wood for the trees. I need to not let my own worst enemy, myself, get the better of me. I need to be more aware of this ‘inner saboteur’ [and I still feel ridiculous even typing that phrase], and shut it out when I hear that voice of dark nihilism fill the void.

I also need people around me to tell this to me as well. I need someone to pretty much slap me and be hard on me. Which is what my tweet was great for. Kinda like that character from Bridesmaids played by Melissa Mcarthy. You know the one. She steals all the puppies from the bridal shower and comes over to visit Kristen Wiig’s character, tells her to get over it and pounces on her and starts hitting her and saying ‘this is life you need to fight!’

Annie: I can’t get off the couch, I got fired from my job, I got kicked out of my apartment, I can’t pay any of my bills, my car is a piece of shit, I don’t have any friends. Umm…

Megan: You know what I find interesting about that Annie, it’s interesting to me that you have no friends, you know why that’s interesting? Here’s a friend standing directly in front of you trying to talk to you and you choose to talk about the fact that you don’t have any friends. No, No I don’t think you want any help you just want to have a little pity party. I think Annie wants a little pity party. You’re an asshole Annie, you’re an asshole, I’m life, is life bothering you Annie? I’m life Annie, I’m life Annie, is life bothering you? Fight back for your life. You better learn to fight for your life. I’m life and I’m going to bite you in the ass. It’s not me, I’m your life. I’m trying to get you to fight for your shitty life. And you won’t do it, you just won’t do it. Stop slapping yourself, I’m your life Annie, I’m your shitty life. Smack. Nice hit.”

This one scene in this picture spoke so much to me. Megan’s right. Life can bother us, and bite us in the ass.

Wallowing can only do so much, and it can cause more pain in the long run. We do need to fight for our lives no matter how shitty we see it, otherwise we sit and wallow in a pity party. I need my Melissa Mcarthy character to set me right.

2017, Australia, Gayblog, Life, Opinion, Thoughts, Uncategorized

3 Things I’m Not Telling Myself Enough


Sometimes, you need to keep a mantra that you repeat to yourself in your mind. Something to help catch yourself when you’re not feeling so great. Between a chant and a statement. Something to prop you up on particularly bad days. They say that our thoughts create reality, and if that’s so, it’s easy for me to drift towards negativity and pessimism, which in turn can manifest itself in negative experiences. It’s a concept I’m starting to believe in, the idea that your thoughts create your reality. You really do manifest your existence by your attitude. In saying this, I’m not a fan of the whole claptrap ‘The Secret’ idea, where if you think of money constantly it will come to you. This kind of deluded activity can only inevitably result in further disappointment and loss. As self-helpy as it is, however, trying to think positive thoughts has been something that I have attempted to insinuate in my life. I try to tell myself things that will either calm me down and destress my mind, or give me a boost of confidence.

I keep little notes about my flat in places that I will always see: bathroom mirrors, Fridge doors, next to my desk. I’ll glance at them occasionally. They say things like, ‘I’m willing to change’, or ‘I speak and think positively’. They become familiar maxims that have in turn grafted themselves within the recesses of my mind and the shape of the words become burned into my mind’s eye. As crazy as it sounds, it helps keep me above water and to keep paddling along.

Despite all this, there are always times when I feel defeated, and that crushing sense of anxiety and doom persist. It’s not a great feeling. I can be my own worst enemy at times; it can be so easy to simply crumple into nothingness and become recalcitrant and lazy. I’m learning to be able to detect these moments and to deflect these feelings, and to really work on being aware of my moods, as well as external influences.

So what are 3 things I’m not telling myself enough?

It’s never too late, and you’re never too old


Being 33, I sometimes feel that I have squandered so much of my time and life. I feel as though I have wasted years of my life, and I really don’t have much to show for it. I spent my 20’s being lazy and indolent, and now I sense that I am paying for it. My workplace is full of young, 20-something go-getter types who exude youthfulness, vibrancy and a sense of excitement at life that is so far removed from my existence. I always wished to be this kind of person in life. The energy level is always high and everyone’s personality cheerful and bright. I look at myself and consider myself over the hill occasionally. I think at times that I have wasted the greatest gift that could be given to anyone, being life.

…However. As I get older, I begin to find myself meeting and interacting with people of similar age or older than myself; many of whom have changed careers, transformed their lives, and have found prosperity and success not in their 20’s but later on. It’s such a gratifying and inspiring thing to behold; to be in contact with people who have done so amazingly well for themselves, and it goes to show that it is not a prerequisite to be a precocious 20-something in order to be successful. This has in turn made me rethink that no, life isn’t over once you hit 30: in fact, I feel it’s just really getting started. I know how cliché that sounds, and that it’s *such a 30-something thing to say. But I need to tell myself more that it really is never too late, and that no, I’m never too old for anything at all. For heck’s sake I’ve just successfully mastered the art of skateboarding [grazes and scratches on my limbs not withstanding] at 33. There really is something liberating to knowing this, yet it is something that I really do need to tell myself more and more.


Be kind to yourself

I know that I am far to hard on myself I tend to self analyze and self criticize far too often, and far too harshly at that. I don’t know how people could not be hard on themselves. It seems innate with me. Maybe it’s a result of parenting, and a strict Catholic education. This harshness and strictness results in me easily and without any restraint belittling myself in my mind. I can spiral out of control with the thought process of ‘I’m not good enough‘, ‘I’m not worth it‘ and so on. It’s really become something that has been almost second nature, this trashing of myself. Because that’s what it really is. I’m figuratively trashing my whole existence. Like a snake eating its own tail. It may feel good for a short while, it might fill you up as there’s something intoxicating about talking yourself down, ripping your own self to shreds, yet it won’t in the long run keep you full. I guess it’s been liberating, being cruel to yourself, as it becomes a tool and justification to simply just ‘giving up’, and not working at the issue of being kind to myself.

I don’t know if this is something that you yourself, dearest reader, has ever possibly experienced. Maybe this sentiment is foreign to you. I don’t know if you’ve spent the nights unable to sleep because you’re filled with regrets about choices made or not made in life, or that you can’t help but feel inadequate, too fat, too short, too ugly. Or that during the preceding day, you think you’re an idiot for saying this, or doing that. I don’t know if because of these ugly and maligned self-harming thoughts it’s resulted and manifested itself in physical form, or mental illness in yourself. It really is like a drug, talking shit about yourself. It’s easy to do, and not so easy to stop. It can manifest itself in so many ways outwardly as well. Mannerisms, general outlook. Personality and humour. Even posture.

I’m learning to be kinder to myself, and to give myself some slack in life. I give myself time to do what I want, and what makes me happy. I’m also learning that it’s not a great idea to dwell on thoughts far too much, or to compare myself endlessly to people that I will never be, for whatever reason. I still trip up like many of us do, and have my bad days, yet this is something that I am aware of.


I must create.


As the two points above are preoccupied with the mind’s well-being in a nurturing,  self-healing and self-aware respect, this point is something that I need drummed into my mind like rote, endlessly.

I  must create.

The need and desire to make something, anything at all, to produce and be prolific with what I come up with is a definitely tangible feeling within me. Like a tendril of smoke that is somehow able to pull at my psyche, willing and urging me to continue on. An invisible string pulled by some great puppeteer in the sky looking down on me.

I always feel the sensation and need to create. Whether it be a simple line in a journal, or taking a photo, or writing a blog post, there’s this fantastic sense of accomplishment as well as release upon the completion of something that I have worked on. I don’t know what will come any of it, if anything at all. I’m not too sure I care. If I don’t do any of this regularly my mood declines sharply. Creating something has become a bulwark of life, colour and imagination against the demonstrably drab reality of work life. Don’t get me wrong, I really like my job as well as my colleagues. Yet at its core, it is a very physical, task-based job that does not give itself over to creativity or imagination. Which again is fine, as this is what I wanted in a work place. But there is really something to be said of having a side project of my own apart from day-to-day life, something which I feel I can get so much out of by putting so much in. I must create because I must put back out in the world, and not just consume. I must create because I feel this inherent need to, it is very much a part of me.

So, these are the 3 things I need to tell myself more of everyday. I don’t know how successful I am at telling myself these 3 things, yet the good news is that I’m aware.


What would your 3 things be?



I can’t actually remember the last time my immediate family were together, it’s been that long. My parents divorced in 2003, which is now a decade and a half ago, if you can believe that. It feels like forever ago as well, the fateful days when I was in my early twenties, living without a care on my own, working weekends at my uncle’s restaurant and studying at uni during the week feeling far removed from life presently. I feel as though I didn’t spend my days well back then, and now I’m frantically back pedalling for lost time.

So, it’s been a very long time since my immediate family were even in the same 3 kilometer radius, let alone together in the same room. I think, if memory serves, it was in 2009.

A sole 3 weeks after Adrian and I started dating.

One night, after what could only have been described as a romance-filled, sweet evening of walking around the city to see the Vivid festival [the first one held mind you, which was much more of a simple, art-student affair than the multi-million dollar event it is these days]; we came back home and were accosted by someone who followed us from the train station on the street where I was living at the time at my dad’s place.

Long story short, I ended up in Concord Hospital in quite possibly the most acute pain I have ever felt right up to this day. My jaw was smashed. I had black eyes which meant I wasn’t able to see very well. Blood was gushing out of my face, and the only way to stop it was clamping my broken jaw down on to gauze in an attempt to stem the flow.

I still remember clearly the sensation of my teeth not being in a neat row. I could move my broken jaw like tectonic plates. The sensation of this is something that still makes me recoil slightly. They rubbed up and down each other. One side was much higher than the other, as I probed it with my blood-sodden tongue. It was a clean break right through my jaw bone. Still to this day the left-hand side of my jaw doesn’t clamp together quite as uniformly as they once did, and I will permanently have a strange tingling sensation on the left side of my lips and lower left hand side of my face. Especially in the morning when I wake up, for some reason.

It’s funny how quickly, simply and with even some degree of finesse and elegance one’s life can change in such complete finality. I was bisected. The night before this incident was one of the most enjoyable and love-filled I had experienced yet. The remainder of the night was crushing, traumatic and filled with an absolution of dolorous pain and disbelief. Similarly, I feel as though my life has been bisected into -pre and -post periods. The post me became a much more wary, distrusting and introverted character than its ‘-pre’ forerunner.

This is the rather dour context that would have been the last time my immediate family and I were together, in a cold and austere patient ward in a run-down ramshackle hospital. It took me being assaulted and being hospitalized for a week for my parents to be even in the same room together, even if only for a brief period of time, namely, under an hour.

The mood was stark, uncomfortable and bare. Like the hospital room, the general tone was devoid of anything warm or decorative. There was a lack of love or closeness or any affection at all. Tension pervaded the very air.

Very little was spoken about, and what conversation or even communication was minimal, necessary and bizarrely efficient. My parents had no volition to be there at all. I was the only reason they were persevering with this experience.  Since this uncomfortable and necessary collaboration, I think my parents have only had minimal contact when absolutely necessary, and even then it seems brief and only to the point.

Family for me then has become a concept of receding and vestigial importance. A wave rolling back out into the ocean after crashing on to the shore. At least with regards to blood ties. I feel as though my friends are now more familial and close to my soul than my own family. They know me well. This hurts me to say, but I don’t think I trust my parents or would be able to count on them if things went awry. And this is ok. I’ve become a fiercely independent creature, something which was first seeded and incubated that day when I was 20, and told my parents I was moving out, with literally just my mattress clenched in my arm.

Definitions of family and familial love differ for everyone, I’m extremely lucky to have had a family at all, not to mention a roof over my head. Yet there was a definite strain in my family since I was a youngster. A sense that all was not right, and that an invisible expiry date was stamped on us. Which turned out to be true.

2015, Life, Opinion, Thoughts

When To Let Go Of Dreams.

When is it ok or acceptable to finally let go of dreams or aspirations you may have had? Is it ever? Should we strive incessantly to chase our dreams? When does it become alright to say to yourself, ‘Enough is enough’, and to alleviate yourself of a dream you once cared passionately about? Is it a healthy and liberating thing to come to that realisation, where you come to terms with the shortcomings in your life, or is it something monumentally and catastrophically detrimental [and wrong] to do?

Is it ever ok to give up?

So much of life is built around the concept of achieving success and fulfilment in our lives, as well as giving our lives purpose. We as part of the wider world can strive to reach and surpass our potential, or we can simply ‘tread water’ and float through life being content with how things are. Those who take this path are inevitably looked down upon as not contributing to society at all. Some may contribute in other ways that aren’t necessarily conventional; perhaps in the case of an artist who is contributing not by their ability to earn money per se and contributing back to an economy, but through their contributions in culture. So, we are all seen as better beings for improving ourselves and becoming the best version of ourselves we can possibly be, usually by being motivated and attaining these set goals in our lives.

But how hard and how long do you try for something before you throw in the towel?

In my life, I always wanted to be a photographer. It was my dream as a teenager to make taking photos my means for a living. I still remember when dad came home one day when I was 14 with a beat-up old Canon film SLR from the 1980’s that he bought at a second hand and antiques auction. I still remember the magic and mystery about this now benign piece of equipment, and how I desperately wanted unlock those mysteries and take pictures. I remember buying 2nd hand How To photography books, as well as joining my school’s Photography club. I dabbled with photography over the years at school, entering the school’s photography competitions held annually, and going on to do photo collages for my major project in my final year at school.

I got accepted into the College Of The Fine Arts to study Photography in Paddington in Sydney once I had completed school, yet on the advice of my father I decided to follow my sister and do a Communications degree at another university instead. Photography, according to Dad, wasn’t a career choice. It was a hobby or novelty. As an impressionable 17 year old who was fearful of his father, I took that advice. Perhaps that was my first mistake, as I didn’t enjoy the Communications course and subsequently struggled and took 2 years longer to complete than it should have. After another year or two of malingering about aimlessly and simply working in restaurants and making do, I decided to make the decision to finally study Photography. My generous parents were gracious enough to endow me with a camera [A Nikon D200, still a great camera], and started working harder to buy all the necessary bits and pieces one needs as a Photography student. It was the most creative point in my life up to that time, studying Photography at an art school in North Sydney. It was so exhilarating and stimulating having the privilege to create without bounds. I made so many friends, created so much work and gained a lot of knowledge and experience. It culminated with the fact that I met my boyfriend of six years there; something that I know would never have happened had I gone to do the Photography course at COFA years before. I think about this sometimes and think that it’s serendipity that we met. The fact is that had I not gone there to study Photography at that time, I would never have met the love of my life, and I most likely wouldn’t be sitting here writing this.

Since completing my Photography degree years ago, I’ve worked a number of jobs as a freelance Photographer as well as an Assistant and contracted Photographer. However, it never seemed to pick up or take off as much as I had hoped. Maybe I wasn’t talented enough. Maybe I wasn’t trying or pushing hard enough to get to where I wanted, which was simply success. I began to regret my choice of wanting to become a Photographer, and in the last couple of years began to despise Photography itself as an art and lose interest in it. For me, it used to be an exercise in creating worlds that are set apart from mundane reality. It was my way of recording my subconscious, my thought processes and visually getting out those flashes of inspiration that would hit me like a wave in the small hours of the morning.


So what happened, and what now?

I’ve slowly come to terms with the fact that I won’t, and honestly nor do I want, to ever be a professional full-time working Photographer. I don’t think I’m put together right for that world. I’m not a hustler, not a pusher or a mover or shaker which I find is essential for that role and lifestyle. A great Photographer is someone active, vibrantly larger than life and full of personality and energy. Their drive, passion and exuberance is something that I lacked. As a friend once said, I wasn’t ‘hungry enough’ for it. This rang true with me for a long time. Maybe I truly wasn’t hungry enough to want success as a Photographer. This thought was oddly liberating, mainly as up until that point the effort needed for me to reach my goal far outstripped the gains from it. I could no longer afford to do shoot after shoot for agencies for little to no pay. I could no longer afford the stress of organising whole shoots for little in return, or live with the pressure that I needed to try harder and harder. As stoic and uplifting as Winston Churchill’s famous quote is,

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense.’

It felt more productive for me to come to the realisation that things do not always go as planned, and to accept the reality of the situation, and to come at it from another angle, and/or find a new path to walk down. These days, writing has become my means of expressing myself. I am a visual person, yet I can also create worlds and vision with my words. My words have become my pictures, and my computer and notebooks my camera.

And you know what, I’m ok with that. Photography will always be something that I love and have an interest in, but I no longer care to put myself under the pressure and resulting pain from failing to reach where I want to go. It’s time for me to let go.

Is it ok then, to finally let go of a dream? I think many people will disagree with this, that it is indeed the wrong thing to do and like Winston Churchill’s aforementioned view on this subject, it is never ok to simply lie down and give in. Where would we be as a species had we just simply gave up whenever anything became to difficult? Still in a miasmic pool of genetic soup. I agree that in this situation one has to keep trying and trying to get to where they deserve. Determination pays off in the end. But on the other hand, I feel that it is a very Western, Americentric thing to believe in absolute self-determination and rugged individualism. I feel this attitude of one simply being able to be or do anything in one’s life is admirable, yet can also be dangerously misguided. I grew up being told I could be anything I wanted to be. It’s great and necessary to have ambitions in life. Yet the obvious truth is I could never be that astronaut, or the Prime Minister. Imagine a forty year old fervently believing and endeavouring to become that astronaut after years of being an accountant or working in marketing for instance. It’s a practical impossibility. As much as I’d love to lead the country in the right direction, or blast off to space, I know that this isn’t going to happen. Sometimes, it seems preferable and feels better to be told that a goal is not realistic and that it is better to find an alternate avenue. It can be supremely liberating to come to this realisation. Which is where I’m at now.

So for me right at this moment I feel it’s ok to give myself a break and let go of an aspiration or dream, or at least change it; make it more manageable and realistic and therefore enjoyable. Without enjoyment what is the point to anything? The important thing I’m finding as I get older is that dreams, goals and aspirations change, evolve and are in flux. Much like we do as people. We are constantly changing, growing and become a new version of ourselves. They say a person’s skin is completely regrown in a seven-year cycle. I’m beginning to believe this pertains to the mind and soul as well. We shed our old selves, as well as our old selves aspirations, thought patterns and dreams. To be replaced by fresh new ones. As long as there is something in your life which is good for your soul, it is a liberating thing to let go of a dream, yet an even better and healthier thing to gain another in it’s place.


How To Stay Creative.


As someone who craves creating things, whether it be taking pictures, writing or just doodling in a notebook, it can be so frustrating to have that creativity simply stifled by ‘day to day life’.

It’s so easy to be completely caught up in the mundanities of life like 9-5 jobs, house chores, or other commitments, that if you’re like me and you are someone who lives to create, it can be a job in itself to keep on track and continue doing what you do best: giving something singular and special back to the world.

I’m reminded of what a teacher at my college where I studied Photography once told me. It went a little something like this: ‘Those who work 9-5 jobs and work in banal places with no excitement have extraordinary dreams, just like the rest of us. The difference with people like you and me is that we can make our dreams a reality, which is turn salves and relaxes our minds and let’s them run wild and free. If you don’t let this out, then your mind loses hope and your life becomes pale and meaningless’.

This is something that really stuck with me from my days at art college. Besides how to take good pictures, it is an ethos and philosophy that has a valuable grain of truth to it, being:


A big reason for me personally, as one of those much-maligned ‘Creative Types’, for my at times dark periods of getting down and out is when I don’t make something, write something or let my thoughts and imagination free in any way shape or form. I feel like I need to be constantly stimulated or responding to something, or otherwise I will end up wallowing in a non-productive, destructive cycle of non-action and self pity.

It’s one of my difficulties in life to stay single-minded, focused and determined, or even inspired on the one thing. Like most Aquarians, we are a rather transient bunch. We love novelty, newness and anything exciting and different. We are conceptual creatures, not bogged down with realities of situations. We aren’t perfectionists, like my Libran boyfriend, and nor are we hard-headed like a Tauran. We tend to simply go with the flow, and let life, and inspiration take us where it will.

I have a few smaller projects that I try to work on, such as this blog, as well as series of images that I’m working on with the end-goal of an art show. It may not be much, but it’s enough for my creative appetite to satisfy itself now. Yet some days it is so hard to gain the traction and motivated required or even the inspiration needed to move ahead with any creative endeavours.

So what are some good, tried and tested ways to keep your creative energies up and flowing?

1: Procrastination Is The Enemy.

It takes me so much time and energy just to start something, and even more time and energy just to keep it going and afloat, and yet even more to finally finish a project. Procrastination can be something that is just so easy to fall into, and if you’re like me you are a veritable professional procrastinator. I can spend hours and days wasting away watching episodes of Game Of Thrones, Adventure Time and yes maybe some Star Trek Voyager. Or mash away on your Ipad playing some silly game for hours. It seems like there are so many distractions that can lead you astray, and staying focused and motivated can be such a job and occupation in itself. Especially if you are a gadget lover like me. So how do you fight procrastination? I find that like anything else worthwhile, it takes practice and persistence to kick the habit of procrastination. Minimise any and all distractions that may present themselves to you, ie any digital devices and pieces of technology. It’s increasingly difficult to sit in front of your computer for instance and edit photos or write even just for a short time without heading back to the warm bosom of the internet and social media, so a good idea may be to unplug your Wifi, turn the phone off, and leave them somewhere rather inaccessible. Or if you have a loved one or friend nearby, maybe give them the wifi modem for a couple hours!

Don’t have a Zero Day.

What’s a ‘Zero Day’? A day where you do nothing productive. Zero. This point correlates to the first one, being time is the key. For me, I try and do at least one thing productive in the day, in any way or shape. If I don’t I tend to feel regretful and a little spiteful at myself for being lazy. Maybe write in a journal for a few minutes? Or tie up any loose ends that may need resolving. It takes so much of a load off your shoulders, and it feels great to have accomplished even that one thing to get you closer to where you need to be.

Make lists of ideas.

I love, love, and actually adore making lists. It once got so out of hand that I had a list for lists I was going to make. I love the hierarchical nature of list making, as well as the de-constructional element. You’re breaking down tasks to their most basic, yet it’s also rewarding the accomplishing of these tasks by crossing them off. In creative terms, lists could be compiled for ideas, concepts, inspiration or even mundane bitsy things that can help your project. They’re easy to do, some might say fun [ok maybe its only me who would say they’re fun], and they’re a great way of remembering things. Write one now and you’ll see what I mean.

Take a Break.

There’s nothing more helpful than taking a break from something which has become tedious. Go for a jog. Have a cup of tea. Call up a friend for a chat. Heck, go masturbate, it feels good and you’ll release tension. Another method is putting your work in blocks. If you have a day or half day, maybe create a schedule like back at school? They did that for a reason. For instance, I try to break up any work that needs doing by working for an hour, having a half hour break, then going for another hour. This means my mind doesn’t get completely numbed by what I’m doing, and stays fresh and stimulated. But just make sure you get away from the computer!

Keep your workspace clean.

This goes without saying. A nice, neat workspace with some slight personal embellishment [Yup, I have a wall full of photos, and magazine clippings] really can help your situation. I love the idea of things having their place; I always get reminded of an episode of The Mighty Boosh where the rather daggy Howard runs through his systematic, thorough yet awfully OCD organised work counter, which he dubbed ‘Stationary Village’. The paper clips live in Paper Clip Castle, the Blu Tac live in Blue Tac Garden, and the Sellotape lives on the Sellotape Tree. It pretty much sums how I like to keep my workspace. Well. Maybe not quite as anal but hey it does help having things in their right places. I share a desk with my lovely and ever so dashing boyfriend. Whom always looks sharp, well presented and always dapper in public. He always gets way more likes on Instagram. Yet everyone assumes that me, slightly scruffy, rough round the edges Alex is the messy one. I’ll be sure to post an image of our shared desk. It’s almost like Berlin during the Cold War. My side of the desk tends to be ordered, neat, tidy and de cluttered. Adrian’s is a jumble of wires, random bitsy things such as bits of loose papers which I’m far too scared to throw out as I’ve already once been in trouble as one of these tidbits of paper had some monumentally important information scrawled upon it. I tend to thrive when things around me are neat. My mind works at a better pace, is far more clearer, and much more open to inspiration. It’s been proven that being in a neat and tidy space decreases depression, which is yet another reason I try to keep my workspace neat.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up.

Self-criticism is actually great. It can be an impressive motivator, especially for someone who is quite perfectionist. Or, conversely, it can tear down any progress or inspiration, and leave you back where you started. Being self-analytical on your own work can then be such a double-edged sword, that it’s worth remembering to give yourself a break. People are always overcoming blocks of inspiration, or obstacles that stop them from succeeding. It’s sometimes nice to review any and everything you have done and give yourself a little pat on the back. It’s all too easy to hate what we’re creating. Especially when having worked on a project for an extended period of time.

These are just some things I do to keep myself motivated and inspired. Some things may not work all the time, but give it a go!

How do you stay creative in life?