It Really Is That Black And White: An Open Letter To All People Who Need To Change Shit Up.

I have had so many friends confide in me about how shitty their abusive partners make them feel on a regular basis so I figured that since I was spouting the same advice every single time, I may as well write a blog post about it. Much like the old adage, “he’s just not that into you”, what I have to say is very blunt and aims to rebut all the bullshit excuses you give yourself to justify sticking with the scumbag that treats you like his emotional or physical punching bag. For the sake of minimising pronouns, I’m going to write like I am talking to a female in a hetero relationship but this advice knows no gender, and is equally applicable whether you are a woman, dude, agendered, transgendered, bigendered, omnigendered, pangendered or otherkin (apologies if I have missed anybody out, gender description is not my specialty).

So. If you are with a person who treats you like dirt, calls you names, physically hurts you or makes you feel worthless, chances are that you and he have argued over this and he has apologised and lured you back in, time and time again. Firstly, and most importantly, HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU AND HE IS NOT ACTUALLY SORRY THAT HE HURT YOU. If you are genuinely sorry for something, you apologise sincerely and then you NEVER DO THAT THING AGAIN – because you can actually acknowledge why what you did was fucked up. This guy is probably the world’s best apologiser, and he sucks you back in every time. Why? Because he is genuinely concerned that he will lose you – but not because he loves you. He is freaking out because treating you like shit is one way that he can feel superior and take out his own shitty issues, and he is scared of not having that nice, safe, convenient, easily controllable outlet.

It’s SO important to grasp this fully: HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU. If there is any glimmer of love in there, it’s not a healthy, caring love – so again, you should get the hell away from that. If somebody actually loves you and cares about you they will make the effort to be kind to you and not pound you into the dirt repeatedly.
There are no exceptions to this.
Anything else is not love, it is insecurity and baggage and deep personal issues disguised as love. Actual love feels good. Love is not crying half the time and having the same conversation with your friends over and over and over for the billionth time because he did it again.

The reason that you stick around is because you have low self esteem. And believe me, HE KNOWS THIS. He NEEDS this to be the case. Because if you had a higher sense of self esteem, you would have been gone long ago. What you have to feel (and concentrate on getting professional help for if need be) is that YOU DESERVE BETTER THAN THAT. EVERYBODY DESERVES BETTER THAN THAT. And if you stick around, guess what – he will NEVER magically change. For change to occur, there needs to be a catalyst – and you subtly reinforcing and validating his behaviour every time you go back there, is NEVER going to make him change. I know it sucks being single if you are one of those people that crave emotional tenderness and shit. I know personally how much it sucks having low self esteem. But the only way you will ever be able to build self-esteem is by NOT BEING WITH SOMEONE WHO KEEPS YOU DOWNTRODDEN. If you truly think that being made to feel like a piece of shit is a better option than being single, then you need to get counselling immediately. Because that’s the most heartbreaking shit I have ever heard.
On a side note, why are people so scared of not being in a relationship? Ask yourself this question and think about it very critically. There are other ways you can probably get your various needs met that don’t involve you being abused.
Just know this; if you stay with this dude, you will never feel good about yourself and you will never lead a happy life. It’s as black and white as that – there’s no point trying to dress it up.

If he is a repeat offender, you are fooling yourself if you think that you can help him change or that he will change out of love for you. HE WON’T. And if he truly loves you (which he doesn’t), he should be able to be apart from you for a very long time to fix his myriad of fucked-up issues, and then demonstrate that change by treating you with nothing but the utmost respect and care. But again, you’d be stupid to expect that to happen – and life is far too short to take a gamble with such ridiculously long odds.
Life is so short, dude. How fucked off will Future You be with Past You if you have to look back on your life and acknowledge how much of it you wasted being with someone that treated you so badly? What if it were your friend in this situation? Would you think that it was all G?

Look; I know it’s not as simple as “just leave him”. I’m not telling you that it is. I’m just trying to get you to look at this with a shred of critical thinking, because that could be the spark you need to set up some therapy, or do something else which will set off a chain reaction of events that will finally get you to wake up and fuck this guy off for good.

I’m too bummed about this subject to write a well-flowing piece so I will just sum it up in a few bulletpoints – forgive me for not sugarcoating anything. I care about my friends too much to be gentle when what they really need is a huge shake.

– HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU AND PROBABLY NEVER WILL.
– REAL LOVE DOES NOT LOOK OR FEEL LIKE THIS. EVER.
– YOU WON’T DIE IF YOU ARE SINGLE.
– YOU NEED TO GET YOUR ISSUES re. SELF ESTEEM SORTED – PROFESSIONALLY, AND IMMEDIATELY. LET THE THERAPIST KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ENDED, OR ARE TRYING TO END, AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. THEY CAN AND WILL HELP.
– YOU ARE INCREDIBLE AND YOU MUST BE SO TIRED. I LOVE YOU AND I NEED YOU TO WORK TOWARD GIVING YOURSELF A LIFE MADE WITH LOVE AND SELF-CARE. IF I COULD DO IT ALL FOR YOU I WOULD BUT YOU HAVE TO DO THE BULK OF THE WORK.
– YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO FACE THIS PROCESS ALONE.
– ONLY LET LOVE IN.
– ONE DAY, YOU WILL BE SO HAPPY BECAUSE YOU GAVE YOURSELF THE MEANS TO BE.
– THIS WILL BE HARD, BUT IT’S THE MOST VALUABLE THING YOU WILL EVER DO FOR YOURSELF.

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxox

 

 

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The Best Movies Ever If Your Brain Is The Same As Mine

The other day I watched a movie that really got me excited for films again and I realised that I’ve never actually compiled a list of some of my favourite films – which for someone who loves lists, is kind of odd. So, I figured I may as well put it on here for people to read and hopefully some of you will perhaps sample parts of this list. Also I guess that if I meet some new friend who asks about my taste in movies, I can lazily point them in the direction of this post (and if you are here because of that, then might I warn you that I’m definitely not as cool as you seem to think I am). I will do my best to give enough pertinent information about these films without giving away much plot, because much like sex without a condom, films are far more satisfying without too much premise. So sheath up buckeroo, and take a hearty dive into my top 15 film recommendations, which are in no particular order. I should add that I am going to refrain from including my favourite comfort movies which include (but are not limited to) things like The Mummy, Con Air, Almost Famous, National Treasure, Lara Croft and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, because although entertaining and easy go-tos, they don’t really get me truly excited about the world of film like the ones below.

Donnie Darko
This film is just fantastic. It is a sparkling orgy of all of my favourite things – exploring the fabric of spacetime, inter-dimensional abilities, excellent humour, top-notch acting, time period nostalgia, a beautiful soundtrack and visual spectacularity. It’s one of those films that you definitely need to watch more than once, as you aren’t likely to fully comprehend some of the deeper plotlines the first time around (or the second, or the third). I drunkenly posted a video on Youtube once, ranting for ca. 13 minutes about what the actual fuck is going on in Donnie Darko, and there are countless other videos along the same lines.

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Oh, you thought I was kidding? Nope. Here’s me just casually nerding out about my fave film, complete with chalkboard of notes.

Across The Universe
Perhaps I’m biased because I like 20th century history, LSD and The Beatles, but this movie really stood out for me as an achingly gorgeous love story offset by a politically restless yet totally vibrant, psychedelic era. The singing is off chops – Joe Cocker absolutely nails the shit out of Come Together, which is sandwiched between other stellar vocal cameos from the likes of Eddie Izzard, Salma Hayek and Bono. It’s a very bright and colourful film with a soundtrack featuring nothing but Beatles songs in various styles. It’s a yes from me Simon.

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SUCH good art direction.

Chasing Mavericks
I’ve always loved surfing films and this one is based on the true story of Jay Moriarity, a young surfer from Santa Cruz who was the unknown local who made the cover of Surfer magazine in the 90s when he wiped out on Mavericks during a massive swell. This film is a testament to hard work and dedication to your goals and is motivating as heck.

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The inspiring story of how Jay arrived at the point of this shot, at just 16 years of age.

The Man From Earth
This film is literally a bunch of academics sitting around a fire talking after one of them reveals himself to be a Cro-Magnon man who has survived ever since his day. It’s kind of a philosophical thought experiment and is really fascinating. Low budget as all heck but has a pretty dedicated intellectual sci-fi fanbase.

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Trippy story.

The Prestige
This one is a very clever Christopher Nolan effort, so you know it’s going to try to mess with you good and proper. The film is a story of intense tragic rivalry between two magicians (Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman) and it dissects the nuances of stage magic along the way. It’s not until after you watch it that you realise that the film is actually a magic illusion in and of itself. Are you watching closely?

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Bonus: the late David Bowie features as the late Nikola Tesla…. two absolute legends.

NB: In fact anything by Christopher Nolan is insanely boss – Interstellar and Inception are also two firm favourites of mine. Watch those too if you know what’s good for you.

Whiplash
JK Simmons, oh my god. That man can be SO chilling when he wants to be, and in Whiplash he is a megalomaniac music conservatory instructor who abuses the shit out of a promising young pupil. It’s really intense, yet the ending is so incredibly triumphant that I found myself inadvertently holding my breath during the final scene. SO GOOD.

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NOT MY FUCKING TEMPO.

The Blues Brothers
Man, I really like a lot of music-themed films. The Blues Brothers is hilarious and vividly pretty and the music is nothing short of simply joyful. I have a huge crush on Dan Aykroyd in this one.

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Also, Ray’s shirt.

Jurassic Park
The theme of scientific advancement vs social ethics will be a winning combination every single time. Add in some skilled Michael Crichton plot, some INCREDIBLE Steven Spielberg effects, some dinosaurs, Jeff Goldblum, and you have yourself a classic. If you haven’t seen Jurassic Park then what the fuck is wrong with you, get out of my blog and go watch it. Run don’t walk.

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Because life finds a way.

Interview With The Vampire
This was that one time that I quite liked Tom Cruise – his character Lestat is really rather funny. This is a pretty well-made film that gives a glimpse into the human aspects of traditional monsters, showing the ever-present duality of nature among all creatures. The acting is excellent and the pacing is perfect.

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So this is what happens inside the church of Scientology.

Disney’s Fantasia (1940)
I watched this a couple of years ago and couldn’t for the life of me reconcile with the fact that it was made in 1940. It is such an unbelievably rad achievement for it’s time! There is no dialogue whatsoever, just music and animation, so it’s a real audio visual treat to get lost in.

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“I don’t need drugs to enjoy this … just to enhance it!”

American Beauty
I love this movie for many of the same reasons that I love Donnie Darko, and one day after watching them both on LSD, I realised how eerily similar they actually are, and subsequently found a guy who was able to communicate what I was far too high to at the time. Also, Kevin Spacey is probably one of the sexiest people of all time, which is so weird because he always looks a bit like a tired accountant on his day off. Maybe it’s the way he speaks, I dunno. But his inherent quiet sexiness only adds to American Beauty and I think Mena Suvari’s character missed out by not getting all up in that for real.

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I rule.

Contact
Based on the book by our lord and saviour Carl Sagan, this film is about the reaches of radio astronomy, presenting some interesting ideas about how shit might go down if we received communication from out there. Jodie Foster is a radio astronomer working for SETI (aka bae) who receives and manages to decipher communication from extraterrestials. Her scientific nature is frustratingly cockblocked at many turns by Matthew McConaughey, a religious philosopher. But fuck that guy, because Jodie Foster is going to get amongst some otherwordly interaction! This one is directed by Robert Zemeckis, so you know it’s good.

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Dreamy.


Back To The Future
Speaking of Zemeckis, This one has been my best friend since it came out – which is the year in which I was born (I am going to just assume that my parents watched it with me as a baby in the room because it has been a part of my life ever since I can remember). It’s a playful time travel classic, with fun, bright visual design and a corking good soundtrack (thanks to Alan Silvestri and Huey Lewis) – and the attention to detail in what on the surface seems to be a pretty one-dimensional film, is actually very lovely.

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All the best artistry of the 80s in one film.

Ex Machina
I only just saw this one a couple of days ago and it’s what prompted me to write this post, and to try seeking out more like it. Ex Machina is a recent indie sci-fi film about artificial intelligence, involving a multi-faceted Turing test that is ongoing throughout the whole film. I started to subvert the Turing test back onto the other characters in my mind and for some time I started wondering whether the characters presented as human were actually human or not. I started to suspect that I was unknowingly participating in the test, and I am still thinking about Turing’s test parameters and the real-world applications in a future where “computers will overtake humans with artificial intelligence at some point within the next 100 years”, according to Stephen Hawking. A true mindfuck, plus the dialogue is actually believable, which you don’t come across all that often.

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It’s pretty dope.

Band of Brothers
Not actually so much a movie as a 10 part HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers is one of my all-time favourite pieces of narrative ever. The portrayal of the men of Easy Company throughout their WWII campaign is just incredible, and really captures the grim horror of war in juxtaposition with the good-humoured nature of these adolescent men who were a long way from home. I must have watched this at least fifty times and will probably watch it many more. A phenomonal production effort from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg with outstanding acting and visually stunning shots.

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Just chilling in Hitler’s Eagles Nest drinking his wine, as you do.

So that’s it – 15 of my favourite movies. Feel free to suggest any to me that you think i’d like, based on the above list!

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxo

Drunk Me Is The Poor Man’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Today I decided that I was going to give up drinking – for real (this is not a drill).

Anyone who knows me, the eternal party girl, will be aware that this is going to be a pretty massive change of pace for me. Although I’ve tried to cut down a few times in the past, placing certain limitations on myself (“never at home alone/only once a week/only classy booze that doesn’t come in a cardboard box”), I’ve failed spectacularly every time. Why? Because I have zero willpower and poor self-negotiation skills – so I have to do it cold turkey, or it’s just not going to happen at all. Drinking is a really difficult thing for me to give up, considering I am a product of Dunedin and thus grew up with a comfortable acclimatisation to the binge-drinking normality of teen and student life here. And as a party-loving adult who is child-free, I have never really had a good enough reason to be responsible or stop drinking – not to mention it’s fun as fuck, and I don’t have a problem!

Do I?

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Well, yeah actually – I totally do. Over the last couple of years I have been drinking by myself at home all the time because “why not?” – and frankly, “why not?” isn’t a good enough reason to drink (or do many things, for that matter). I started with the notion that I could get some decent artwork done after a few drinks, which always resulted in me being completely hammered, whilst my easel sat in the corner collecting dust. Alcohol lends me no productivity or creative motivation whatsoever, and it’s immature and futile to keep pretending it does. I can’t even fool myself into thinking that alcohol is a way to unwind or relax at the end of a stressful or busy day, because I am hands-down the least stressed and/or busy person that I know.

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You might remember me from such movies as “Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die” and “Gladys The Groovy Mule.”

My sister and I recently started using the MyFitnessPal app, and it’s opened my eyes to exactly how much of my energy consumption is solely alcohol, or junk food consumed due to drinking. On days that I don’t drink, I struggle to even eat two thirds of my daily energy needs. On days that I drink, however, the alcohol puts me over by almost double, and on days after drinking I eat nothing but junk – no wonder my weight shot up when I started flatting and drinking beer by the crate! Drinking also saps all motivation or energy to do other things, so many past endeavours have ended up on the backburner while I continued to prioritise getting fucked up. These days however, I have lofty concrete goals that I want to achieve, and being drunk all the time is not going to make those things happen – especially considering they are of the academic and fitness variety. Simply put; I can no longer coast through life being drunk all the time when the expectations I am placing on myself are far more complex than “shower, get dressed and get to your easy job selling dildos”.

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(…. as satisfying as that was).

Thankfully I’ve always been a fairly happy drunk, so my alcohol consumption hasn’t resulted in any estrangement of friends or family, but I’m sure that it hasn’t done me any favours, either – I routinely arrive at family events already pissed, and I’m pretty sure nobody expects much better from me after so many years of being like this. I’ve also come to the realisation that I lack self confidence so badly, that in order to go on dates with dudes, I have to be almost legless before I even meet up with them (let alone doing anything else with them). How is that any way to be a human? The lame truth is that I have way more stuff to deal with before I can really be with anybody, and continuing to drink is not going to solve those issues for me. I guess the major thing that worries me is that without alcohol, I’ll have to actually be my sober self all the time, which may result in withdrawing from social situations due to a fear that people won’t like me, and (sob) never getting laid again.

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Much like the wearer of this ensemble, who is almost definitely an “up the bum no babies, love” type operator.

As I started writing this blog post, I did a shout-out on Facebook asking others who have ever given up drinking to give me their insights on why and how they did it, and suddenly all sorts of cray bitches came out of the woodwork – people I didn’t even know were sober! Sobriety (something that I had always assumed was reserved for only the cripplingly religious and the painstakingly boring) as it turns out, has become increasingly common in my peer group. Many of these people had decided to give up for health reasons, to improve fitness, or to just undo many years of increased alcohol tolerance. Due to the binge-drinking culture of the 90s-00s, we were all coming of age at a time where a bottle of Kristov vodka split between two fourteen year old girls was as commonplace as an expired condom in a boy racer’s wallet.
A number of mates have quit drinking for reasons similar to me – they realised that they were unable to stop at one drink, or hid behind being drunk, and decided that this probably meant they had a problem. Some had given up after seeing the adverse effects drinking was having on loved ones (ie turning them into total cunts), while others were trying to increase fertility/had gotten pregnant. But mainly, most of us just got sick of being the poor man’s version of ourselves, much like when Dante’s Peak just casually decided to cast Jeremy Foley in the Joseph Gordon-Levitt role, thinking we wouldn’t notice.
But we did notice.

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EVERYONE NOTICED.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt or not, I am overdue to sort my shit out – and what better place to do it than Dunedin, where the clubs are full of 17 year olds, the drugs are non-existent/awful quality sold at an astronomical mark-up, and the parties for 31 year olds are scarce? Henceforth, I can be found at the library, in my bedroom, or at the library, and in all cases, sober. If you see me, don’t offer me a drink. Cheers.

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxxoxo

How To Have A Happy Year

Now that we’re going into a new year, I figured I’d write a few wee insights into what I think can really help people feel happier in general. Whether you’re working on a career, happily being up to fuck-all, recovering from injury/illness, trying to take a gap year to relax, still trying to decide what you want out of life, or haven’t even thought about 2016 yet, hopefully you will find something in this list that resonates with you.

Try to stop getting all worked up over small things that literally will not matter in a week’s time.
You’re injecting yourself with cortisol by the second here. I get that in the late 00’s it was considered “cute” to be all quirky and neurotic, and everybody jumped on the “I’m so unique and OCD look how I straighten up my pencils all perfect” bandwagon, but seriously, try to chill out and live your life in a relaxed fashion. You only get one life, don’t spend it running around like a headless chicken – you don’t get brownie points or sympathy for being neurotic, you just lose bulk quality of life. I would recommend as far as to get therapy for this if you need to, because it’s important to learn how to relax on the daily.

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Don’t let stress give you a wedgie like Thurman here.

Think highly of others and of yourself.
Compliment others and yourself sincerely and often, and learn how to accept a compliment graciously. For example:
Albert: “Wow, Chelle if it weren’t for your incredibly complex ideas I wouldn’t have understood the fundamentals behind relativity at all, you truly are the most gifted mind of our time. And might I just add that your eyeliner wings are on point today?”
Chelle: “Cheers Albert, I really enjoy dissecting physics. And I’d be happy to show you my eyeliner trick any time you like!”

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And show him I did.

Leave guilt at the door at all times.
All you need to know is that you’re definitely not a bad person – so stop treating yourself like a villain. Just breathe and if it’s something you wish you’d done differently, strive to do it differently next time. If an apology needs to happen, do it sincerely, acknowledge what you did and why it was uncouth, and the other person (if it is fairly trivial and they are a decent person) should rise to the occasion and forgive you – because they know you’re sincere. If it was a really serious betrayal, then respect that this person probably cannot forgive what you did, and move on with your life. Be aware of how bad you felt and let that be your ammo to change your behaviour, but always look forward, never look back. YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE PAST; ONLY YOUR ACTIONS MOVING FORWARD. Feeling shit about the past is 1000000% useless and a giant waste of your life.

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For you are not he.

Spend more time thinking about your own choices and less time thinking about other people’s choices.
I cannot stress this enough. If you are unable to stop negatively judging other people, then this should probably be your TOP PRIORITY IN LIFE TO CHANGE. Because until you do, you will never love yourself and be able to truly enjoy life. Your insecurities and judgmental ways can eat you from the inside out. I’ve seen it happen. Also, everybody will probably think you’re a major cunt and won’t want to spend time with you if you keep that shit up.

Understand that NOBODY GIVES A SHIT WHAT YOU DO OR WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE.
People that get all worked up freaking out about whether they will be judged for their earrings or makeup or body or whatever, are still yet to understand that nobody gives a fuck about you because they are WAY more invested in themselves at all times. The sooner you can get this through your head, the sooner you will actually be able to relax, let go and LIVE YOUR LIFE EXACTLY AS YOU WANT TO, FREE FROM SOCIAL FEARS. And if someone is going to judge you on what you do/wear/look like, is that really the kind of person you want to be friends with anyway?

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AND HOW!

 

Spend less time with your face buried in social media
… and spend more time with your face buried in articles, books, art, pussy, face masks, food etc. Catching up on your friend’s photos of their South America trip because you are interested is one thing; spending all day refreshing the same boring newsfeed full of mindless junk is another thing entirely and will leave you feeling listless and dull. Trust me; I’ve been there and it’s boring as shit, not to mention a colossal waste of a day – time really flies by when you’re doing nothing at all on your phone, time that you can’t get back.

Have aspirations, but don’t beat yourself up along the way.
It’s good to have goals, as long as you don’t turn the odyssey into yet another opportunity to beat yourself up due to not having adhered perfectly to your desired routine. There is a thing that gets in the way sometimes and that is called life – we are not machines, we are humans that sometimes need a “mental health day” or a day spent in our pyjamas watching grisly true crime documentaries. Sometimes you’re going to skip that workout or miss that art class or fall behind on that reading material. So what? Evaluate why you missed it and make plans to avoid it happening again. Leave negative emotion at the door and celebrate that you’re still closer to your goal than you were last week. Tomorrow’s a new day to get back on track. Also don’t publicly beat yourself up about something that you deem “bad”, because a. it makes you an insufferable bore, and b. it will probably make others feel bad about themselves for various reasons.

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Like, y’know, whatever.

Spend more time doing what you WANT to be doing, and less time doing what you SHOULD be doing.
If you deem something as a “should”, it means you are probably not doing it for the right reasons anyway and you might want to re-evaluate those and cull the “shoulds” that don’t serve you.

Appreciate everything.
I know that 2013-2015 was all about the #gratitude and #blessed, but I honestly think that a very smart word to employ into your vernacular is APPRECIATE. Appreciate everything. The definition below explains why appreciation is a really good virtue to have – it transcends the wishy-washy feel-good of “blessed/gratitude” and focuses on absolute understanding and smart, sophisticated gratitude.

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‘Preciate chu.

If you’re in a relationship, focus on being a great partner to the person you love.
Spend more purposeful time with them, have more sex, listen to them fully – not with your face in your phone. Try to do one thing together every day without distractions, like having a coffee first thing in the morning, or going for an evening swim. If they want to do something that you may not, then just suck it up and go do it with them and focus on the act of being with them, not on the actual activity. Because it’s the little differences that get highlighted when the relationship starts turning south. If you don’t nurture your relationships, they may never fully flower.

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Be a Kip.

Know that you can’t do it all/be it all/have it all at once, and be good with that.
Pick only a small few things to concentrate on at a time, because the minute you try to multi-task the most important stuff in life, is the minute it all goes out the window. Move onto the next stuff once you have fully mastered everything on your plate. Think of life like a buffet, create a small plate, because you can always go back for seconds when you’re ready. Overloading your plate is confusing and you’ll feel sick (that’s if you don’t drop the plate first).

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I hope 2016 is a wonderful year full of love, laughter, gains and relaxation, for all of us.
Love, Chelle xoxoxooxoxox

 

 

 

 

 

Valuable Lessons From My Mum

Let’s begin this with a shout out to Lynne, who gave birth to me at age 27. The story of my birth is as thus: I was actually planned (whereas apparently my older brother was, to put it politely, “unexpected”). Mum and Dad were living in a big rambling 2-storey brick house in Mornington, given to them by Dad’s parents, because back then, houses cost 6 shillings and a tuppence or some shit. It was the last night of summer in that big old draughty house when Mum felt the familiar feeling of having pissed herself – evidence that Chelleshockk was on the way into this world. Dad went downstairs to get the car out of the garage, while Mum took it upon herself to walk down the concrete flight of stairs to meet the car, with me in her tummy and a barely 2 year-old Brad in her arms.
Because it was Dunedin in the 1980s, of course Mum fell down those harsh concrete stairs and landed on her tummy, while Brad went sprawling out of her arms onto the concrete below. Dad got her straight to Queen Mary hospital (which was the maternity joint back in those days) and Mum was rushed straight into the scanner to check that I was going to be okay. It’s always been a joke between myself and my parents that I was, indeed, dropped on my head as a baby.
Mum would often say that when she turned up to the hospital, her and Dad were given some Looks because she was preggo as fuck and both her and Brad were all scraped up and bleeding!
I was born ca. 6am the very next day – as Dunedin welcomed in the first Autumn of 1985, Chelleshockk was also thrust upon this once-safe, sleepy little town.

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I’ve always loved my bikkies.

The point of this post is not to tell long winyarnin’ tales of my birth, it’s just that I’m really drunk and I like to write tales of wist and detail when I’m all fucked up. The original point of this post is to share with you some of the best advice that I have ever received from my beautiful mother, Lynette Anne Fitzgerald (nee Askerud). The idea came to me about 20 minutes ago while drunk in the shower washing my face, so here it is:

1. “Your face starts at your hairline and ends at your boobs, so when you cleanse/tone/moisturise, you should be covering that entire region.” When I was 12 years old, I was given a Johnson&Johnson Clean & Clear skincare pack (cleanser, toner and moisturiser) at Christmas and I have kept up some semblance of that routine ever since (except that I never take my makeup off before bed because I’m often too fucked up to bother).

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Which is how a 30 year old ends up with this skin. #humblebrag.

2. “Girls can do anything that boys can do (except pee standing up)!”
Well I beg to differ on the “peeing standing up” thing Lynne, but otherwise, I’m happy about this advice.

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LOL, back when I used to embrace being olive-skinned.

3. “We don’t care how well you do as long as you always try your best.” While I’m sure literally every decent parent has at one point said this to their kids, it’s nonetheless an important and popular turn-of-phrase for a reason. Unfortunately for me, I was actually capable of great things if I tried my best, and I quit doing that after intermediate school – so I can understand my mum’s disappointment when I didn’t “apply myself” in high school. However, her advice has stuck with me and I have adapted it to align with my current ideals – if you do your best and your intentions come from a good place, then nothing and nobody can ever truly diss you with reason. Remember that; it’s a great code of conduct to live by.

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What a Betty!

4. “You’ve gotta put your body on the line for the ball.”
Mum played soccer and also coached my older brother’s junior league soccer teams. I ended up playing soccer in my high school years, even though I was straight, and I always remember my mum coaching both my brother and I in the backyard with our soccer skills. Lynne was really adamant that you need to put your body on the line for the ball as a goalkeeper (Brad was the goalie for Otago and I was also goalie for some of my soccer years) because she knew the score. This translates to anything in life really, and echoes some of the common ideas floating around: If you want something bad enough, you put everything on the line to achieve it. No pain, no gain. A small sacrifice for a large goal is worth it, etc. Good shit, cheers Mum!

5. “Save Every Cent”.
OK, while she didn’t actually say this exact line, saving money was definitely Mum’s bae. Thank god it was, though, otherwise Brad and I would never have been given all the opportunities to play any sports we wanted, nor been taken on multiple incredible family holidays! So although saving is boring, I can’t fault Mum for wandering around Pak’n’Save with a pencil stub and grocery list, carefully adding up all the items in the cart to ensure she remained within her budget. Although I didn’t learn the lesson of budgeting until much later in life, Mum was the one who laid the foundations of this incredibly valuable mindset for me!

6. “Thou shalt lift every weight and wear all the white eyeshadow that thou can get thy hands on”.

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Goes without saying, really.

Cheers for everything Mum!
Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxoxox