I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately.

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I finally understand all that stuff people say to you about how your relationships are a choice you make every single day. This cannot be truer than your relationship with your romantic partner.

Sure, maybe it doesn’t feel like a choice at the beginning, when things are going so well and you can’t imagine ever breaking up. Your partner’s indecisiveness is still endearing; your daily “What do you want for dinner tonight?” dialogue is still super cute because he’s just the most adorable thing in the world (and you’re happy to let him choose something you’re not in the mood for because love already tastes so sweet!). His constant hogging of the bed still doesn’t bother you and you just want to bite him because you feel such violent affection for him.

I get it. I feel that way about my new partner. But – even with all the joy and butterflies in my stomach – it has also been a major adjustment for me.

Having a partner means never going on new dates… potentially, ever again.

I know that sounds like a really insignificant thing considering the upside to shutting down all my dating profiles is actually being loved by someone, and I agree, it’s so wonderful, but it has also turned my daily routine upside down. It feels like I have so much more time, because I’m not spending so much of my day checking messages on the long list of dating sites and apps I frequented.

I’m not going to lie- I really do miss it. I miss reading messages by men who find me attractive and are trying to get my attention. I miss getting to know someone. I miss the thrill of being chased.

This is probably a super weird thing to admit, considering I’ve been with this new boy for a total of 111 days. Our relationship is still fresh, exciting and new, and don’t worry – I am still constantly overcome with feelings of wanting to skin him so that I can wear him around me when he has to go to work (he finds that adorable – don’t worry).

The thing is, before him, I spent a good three years on the internet, trawling for male friends, one-night-stands, and lovers. I even chose love relationships that would allow me to keep doing this, with rather disastrous results – let’s be honest. I think my dumb excuse for this was to keep my options open just in case someone better came along. I know – dumb. And really really mean.

But here’s the point. Do I choose to stay with the boy even though I miss all of that?

Yes. Wholeheartedly. Without a doubt. 

Why? Because he isn’t some idealistic Disney (or Marvel) version of a significant other that doesn’t exist. He’s a real person with a balanced mix of strengths and weaknesses. Also, because we complement each other. He and I are compatible in so many ways it’s uncanny. Both our usernames end with “tron”. Wut.
He is quiet when I am loud, he is steadfast when I am erratic, he is logical when I am a blubbering mess of feelings. He is thoughtful and funny. He is so crazy and silly when we’re behind closed doors and I love that. It’s like a private joke that only we understand.

And, most of all, because I’m actually taking the passionate love out of the equation, and thinking about things more practically. The butterflies are great and all, but I want mutual love and respect once those butterflies are gone. I want to know that there will be loyalty, partnership and a greater sense of belonging that moves beyond the intense love you feel at the beginning.

Why do so many people give up – not when things get difficult – but when that intense feeling of passion has faded? The person by your side is fundamentally the same person as before but your rose coloured glasses are suddenly gone and it’s their fault that they bore you now?

Did you not realise you had a choice in how you felt about your partner?

I don’t believe that you wake up one day to the realisation that you’ve stopped loving your significant other. That just doesn’t happen. Things get in the way – sure, but your complacency is to blame for that fire being snuffed out.

I can’t say that S will be the person I spend the rest of my life with, but I’m at least happy to have met him during a time in which my feelings are much more in check. I am able to shake off the sadness or doubt much faster than ever before. While looking back at my past, I’ve been brutally honest with myself about the part I played in each failed relationship. It was an eye-opening experience which left me really humbled, because I realised I was more responsible than I originally thought. This has greatly helped me to not only become a better partner to S, but a better friend, and human being.

Is this what it feels like to be in a proper grown up relationship? All I can say is that I’m looking forward to our first real fight or problem, so that we can grow up as individuals as well as grow together as a couple.

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How positive thinking helped me get a job!

Last Thursday, I woke up feeling absolutely terrible. I was disappointed in myself for not having a job. I couldn’t believe that after being in Melbourne for over 4 months I still hadn’t found anything.

From there, I started thinking about my other shortcomings and I could tell I was going to spiral if I didn’t nip it in the bud.

I shook off that negativity and made a plan for the day, because there is nothing worse than someone who can make things better for themselves but chooses not to. I closed my eyes to think positive thoughts. I suddenly remembered that it wasn’t that I was getting knocked back from job opportunities – it was that I wasn’t even applying for them in the first place. I mean, hello!

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Thinking more positively helped me recall how I applied for a job at a very reputable retail company only a month or so before and they were interested in hiring me straight away, but I couldn’t taking the position due to scheduling conflicts. That was a hiccup, of course, but it still proved I had skills people were very interested in. I had to see the good in that!

I printed out a stack of resumes, got dolled up in a hot business-casual outfit and headed out to the nearest shopping centre to start handing them out. I walked in with major positive vibes and headed straight to a particular shop that I’ve been dreaming of working at since I first got to Melbourne, and guess what! They said they were looking for new staff and asked for an interview the very next day! I mean, how amazing is that?? The first shop I stopped at offered me an interview!

Long story short… I have a trial shift this Wednesday!

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Now, I’m not going to say that this opportunity was bestowed upon me by a magical unicorn of positivity because of my own optimism, but I do think that I could have missed out on this opportunity had I just stayed in bed feeling like there was nothing I could do about it.  Sometimes, your sadness can be solved. Sometimes, an overwhelming problem can be made a little bit easier by writing down a step-by-step plan of attack.

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Kinda feeling like a country & western singer.

Denim shirt from Kmart - $20!
Denim shirt from Kmart – $20!

Check out this really cool shirt I found at Kmart the other day! I loooove denim shirts, but I’ve never found one that has fitted my awkward body shape, since I’m significantly smaller on top than around my belly. I really love the shade of blue this shirt is, though, so I decided to see if I could mod it out by turning it into a super cute Daisy Duke-esque cropped shirt with a tie front.

Fold your shirt in half.
Fold your shirt in half.

So the first thing I did was try on the shirt and figure out how short I wanted it to be by counting the buttons. I found that I wanted to cut the shirt between the fifth and sixth buttons.
Now, since this shirt has ties at the front, I decided to cut from the back towards the buttons, and then – when I was about three inches away from the buttons – I curved the cutting towards the bottom of the shirt.

Creating the ties.
Creating the ties.

After creating the ties, unfold your shirt. You’ll find that you have a strange flap at the back that looks identical to the ties at the front because of how you folded the shirt in half. Don’t worry – just cut that straight across.

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And voila! A super cute cropped denim shirt!

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