The tale of the can.

One night in a busy pub far far away there was a man who clearly had no cares for the standard of his work and far too much ego to burn. Now this man he was very funny, and a joy to work with, but how badly he treated customers was evident early on. Now he was a larrikin this man, and fun to joke with, he would greet you with a smile, but annoy him, or increase his workload and you would soon  be feeling his juvenile wrath.

So on this fateful busy night there was a girl, lets call her Thelma and her friend, lets call her Louise. Now Thelma and Louise were out at the pub getting particularly white girl wasted when they came up to me at the bar and ordered two schooners of Carlton, a particularly cheap beer at our establishment. I served them their beer and went to take their money.

Me: “That’ll be $5.50 thanks!”

Thelma:”Aw but it was $5.00 last time.”

Me: “Nope, it’s been $5.50 all night hon.”

With the awkward money exchange taken care of Thelma waits for Louise to fish the coins out of her purse to offer up to our capitalist gods, and while she waits she decides to finger the froth out of her beer on to the bar top. A motion not missed by our Larry larrikin bartender.

Larry turns to Thelma and orders her (in a laughing but serious tone) to clean up her mess as this is apparently the fourth time she has frothed on the bar. He hands her the cloth to which she stares at him shocked. Good old Louise pipes up indignant at this stage in defence of her friend exclaiming that she did nothing wrong and that this treatment is ridiculous, I stand back amused.

Poor Thelma embarrassed wipes up her mess and stands next to her clearly annoyed friend as she continues to fish coins from her purse. What feels like an eternity later Louise finally hands me the cash and continues to berate Larry. I return to Louise with the change and as she places it in her purse she accidentally spills her beer. Ho-ho what a chance to extract revenge on Larry.

Louise: “Oh no, I’m so sorry, I accidentally spilled my beer on the bar may I please borrow the cloth so I can clean up my mistake.” (Or some drunken version of this script.)

Silly Larry hands the girls the cloth, she wipes up her mess then pegs it right back at his face, and man do I snigger, you go girl! Larry turns to me shocked and I give him my best OMG what a cow face before quickly averting my gaze and busying myself in the spirit well. Larry takes himself off to the dance floor.

Some 10 minutes later Larry comes laughing into the bar….

Larry: “I regret that (hahahaha) I really regret that…”

Me: “What did you do?”

Larry: “I was on the dance floor cleaning and that drunk chick was right next to me so I threw an empty can at her (hahahaha)!”

Me: ………

Now this exchange is pretty bad, but wait, there’s more!

…….. 20 minutes later……

Thelma and Louise approach the bar, I am busy serving so they have to order from Larry, I keep my head down trying to eavesdrop while still being external to the drama.

Louise (clearly the dominant friend): “Can we just have two glasses of water?”

Larry: “No.”

I am shocked, it is literally illegal not to serve a patron water… I quickly look up…. Thelma and Louise are horrified. Larry walks off. The girls turn to me, yes, I am still serving someone else.

Thelma and Louise in chorus: “Can YOU please get us some water?”

Me:”Sure girls, just let me finish these drinks up here, I wouldn’t let you not have water.” (Glare at Larry)

Larry ambles to me and whispers in my general direction… “I’m scared they’ll throw it at me.”

All I can pray is that they do, my goodness what justice, many laughs… I pour them their drinks, they scowl at Larry, but no drinks are thrown (disappointing). The girls slink into the darkness of the dance floor and are never seen again. Larry jokingly berates me for not having his back. I leave my shift equal parts horrified and bemused.





Procrastination for the anxious personality

You have an exam due at the end of the week? You have an assignment due in three days? But you’re working all week? Oh that’s okay you can do the work late at night or early in the morning! But you had the whole day off yesterday you say? Oh, how much did you do of the school work? Nothing you say? Oh….

Welcome to my life, the Queen of leaving everything until the last minute, yet also someone who suffers heavily from anxiety and perfectionism. How does that work I hear you ask? Horribly!

If I don’t have a busy schedule right from the moment I wake up then I struggle hard to get anything done. I will sporadically do any job that makes me feel productive without actually achieving anything in my extensive and important to do list before crashing out on the couch or my bed, because, you know, doing nothing is dauntingly difficult. I wonder why I can’t nap as the tendrils of anxiety snake around my brain and my heart as I contemplate all the projects I am lazily ignoring.

However, there other days, where I will wake up with a full workload, and instantly knuckle down tick, tick, ticking all my projects off one by one, squeezing everything and anything into any minute I can find spare in my 24 hours, constantly concious and nervous about the closing in of my deadlines. I like to think of it as procrastination fuelled, beautiful chaos, a balance I realise I have been tackling, and losing against for my so far short adult life.

This is pretty normal behaviour for anyone really, and when I read it and think about the way many of my university friends also behave I know I am not alone, so why share this? Because, for some reason many of my friends think I am superwoman, they see my gym schedule, working rosters, and intern-ship projects and they keep telling me how productive I am and how wonderful it is that I am so focused and able to achieve so much, and I just want you all to know:

Life is never as it seems,
don’t compare yourself to anyone else,
because what on the outside might appear to be constant and absolute focus,
could very well be an;
anxiety riddled,
procrastination fuelled,
beautiful chaos.

Baby she’s a runaway

So I am a very focussed person, I go about my day on a meticulous time schedule penned into my diary a week in advance, I jam fill my days to the point where I sometimes feel I don’t even have time to breathe, and I do this because I hate to be left doing nothing, for being left alone with your own thoughts, in my head, is the most terrifying thing.

However, there is only so much of this a body can take, and eventually, every time, I find myself running smack bang into an open field, and it entices me to run. I flood my mind so much that I become overwhelmed and I struggle to focus, I stare at the 50,000 unfinished projects on my desk and I cry and scream, and all I want to do is run for the water, where I will swim away from all my worries.

Obviously this can’t be done though, in a life where at 22 I have had more second chances, and fresh starts than I care to admit, I feel I am at a point where I need to finally channel my energy into a project I can stand by until completion. I owe it to my family to finally finish something, I owe it to myself to provide myself a future. But what about the present?

I want it all, but I don’t know how to balance on this tight rope, and currently it feels like the fall is coming hard and fast. I want someone by my side, but I don’t have the time to provide them with an equal partnership. I want a portfolio of work to compliment my resume, but there aren’t enough hours in the day. I want good grades, but I can’t seem to give any attention to my studies. I want to live in a space I can call entirely my own, but I don’t know where my roots lie. I want to travel, to run away, but I don’t want to let anyone down by disappearing and leaving more unfinished business in my wake.

I mentioned my overwhelming need to bolt at the gates to my mother and she apologised, because she’s right, it runs in my veins, that absolute 100 per cent need to run for the hills when strain arises. We have seen so much, that our instinct now is just to run, avoid the pain of failure, hit the road before our decisions manage to catch up to us. It may seem childish, and irresponsible, but it keeps us safe, it shields us, and it makes us feel free.

However, running also holds us back, when we run, how can we ever really commit, to a life, to a partner, to a friend? If we are so unreliable that we don’t even know when we can depend on ourselves, how can we expect to be able to be there for others? As a woman who finds her value in the arms and words of others, how can I ever really reach that true ‘whole’ me if I am forever running away from the troubles that aren’t even allowed to yet be real, the troubles that are still merely a manifestation of my own imagination?

I want that all in kind of Sunday loving, and my flightiness is only allowing space for that Saturday night romp. I am tired, I am tired deep down of the fickle façade, the flouncy back and forth, and the games. Don’t get me wrong, a one night stand is fine, in fact I have been having a lot of fun in recent times, however, the games that seem to ensue when you don’t really know what you want, or where you stand? They’re what are really weighing me down. It is time for stability, for focus, and for honesty, to myself, and to others, and those unwilling to accept that can hit the road.

I promise to myself in this space to take more time, more time for me, more time to practice mindfulness, to figure out what it is that is truly important to me, stop taking on 500,000 projects without an actual direction or passion behind them. Yes you look like superwoman now Aroha, but at this rate, you are going to turn yourself to ashes.

My mother was the true inspiration for realising that yes, running away seems so lovely, and spontaneity is valued, but that I have so much more to hold steadfast for: “We all get in those spaces Aroha, and unfortunately you have runner genes – i.e. when shit happens your urge to run is high, but, Bug, learn the lesson now. Stand tall and remember your brain is not your friend. You actually have a fantastic life and you are living it to the fullest – see it, own it, and enjoy it – you are waaaaaaaaay stronger than you give yourself credit for.”

Thanks Mumma Bear, you’re right, next time I run, it will be for fun, and not to escape!

What is wrong with nice?

I sit at work, listening to the music I hope to buzz across the radio waves in an hour, and I ponder back on the weeks that have passed. As per usual I am late with my post, time management is clearly not my ‘thing’ right now. I feel that I accomplish one task only to have 50,000 more crop up in front of me almost instantly, and the things I enjoy (like this blog) tend to get pushed to the side in order to expand my work portfolio, work on my body, and eventually actually study for university.

I try my hardest to meet up with friends every chance I get, I have learnt in my reflection that whenever I am coupled I let my friends fall to the wayside, so I am working on developing firm foundations in my friendship circles, ensuring that when the time comes where a guy manages to melt my heart I actually remember who the real MVPs are and don’t let them down.

In the past two weeks I have really started to realise who means the most to me, what I wish to pursue, and where it is that I am heading as a person. I am reaching within myself and really projecting out the inner me, the person I have always been so happy to bend to fit in with the image others project on to me. I am learning to be selfish (within reason) in my actions, and open in my words. I won’t settle for any less than I deserve, I refuse to be weighed down in anything less than amazing.

In saying that I have also realised a quirk within myself that I had never really believed to be there. I am a ‘nice’ avoider, a pusher awayer-er of what I clearly deserve. I am a doormat in relationships, a push over, and a pleaser. But, when that is reflected back on me I crumble, asking for help is engrained so deep within me as a sign of weakness, that showing any type of vulnerability is less than desirable. Unfortunately though I tend to swing on a violent spectrum of emotions, I will either be a closed fist, icy and stiff, unwavering in my belief that I don’t deserve help, and refusing to reach out; to a crying, manic, angry, mess that will crush anyone that listens with tales of my hectic past. I have always struggled with these emotions and the swing that I tend to find myself caught up in on a regular basis, characteristics that add up in my world to a nice little mess that I am finally actively working on unravelling.

However, on the point of this ramble, nice, I don’t know what to do with it! I rang my mother in an excited babble not too long ago reciting to her the fact that I had met someone that was truly very nice and treated me so well, I was enamoured by the fact that they were so thoughtful and caring. Her response? “Poor boy, you’re going to chew him up and spit him out!”

Surely I am not that bad, surely I can see a good thing when it lands on my doorstep, right? Wrong!

I find my logical mind sorting through the pros and cons and coming up only with lists and lists of pros, however I still sit here confused and banging at invisible walls, feeling claustrophobic and confused. I want nice, I enjoy nice, but I don’t know what to do with it, it makes me feel comfortable, yet unnerved, it encircles me in safety, yet now I feel more adrift than ever before, my mind is racing with algorithms, lists, and what ifs and it intrigues me constantly. My brain says, wait it out, see how it runs. My body just says RUN! Why is it that the easy, comfortable, flowy things are the ones from which we turn and run?

I suppose I am lucky in the fact that I am still young, I am still discovering what it is that I really want out of life, and I am so hectically, chaotically busy that relationships, at whatever level, aren’t really able to be my focus point right now. I have also just started this amazing journey of self-help for a diagnosis that has on one hand taken me aback, but on the other hand put a lot of life in perspective.

Right now I really just need to focus on me, I have to let things roll, and just run alongside, and if those things or people happen to divert from my path, I have to learn to accept that, stop writing lists of pros and cons and just enjoy what is in front of me for whatever it is. Take it one day at a time, there is a lot going on right now, and if I put too much thought into everything I will most certainly overwhelm myself.

However, the ‘nice’ dilemma? Well it’s just a little food for thought…