Melbourne’s top year

Far out! Another year practically done and dusted – how did that happen?

I’m finding myself ask the same question over and over again – why has this year gone so fast!

I can only assume that this poignant question will make a reappearance this time next year. #imgettingsoold

Yet even though this year has again come to a hurtling end, I thought it’d be nice to take a look back at all the amazing things that happened and pick the top things that made it so incredible, here we go:

Bar/Club
Melbourne is notorious for it’s nightlife which means that like everything else (as you will soon find out) it was difficult to choose a place. The place I chose was not new, but I had not been there before (not sure why really) and I loved it. It had food, cheap drinks and r’n’b all night long. Mr scruffs on Smith street, was definitely the best this year.

Book
I love books. They allow you to enter a world that is designed by you and nothing is impossible. I love them. And this year there were no shortages of incredible stories and personal bios which made this decision sooooooooooooo damn hard. In the end i couldn’t look past Girl on the Train. I love everything that incorporates mystery and suspense which I definitely found here.

09eoscpydhu-linda-xu

Song
Ok so my choices (as you are probably already finding out) stray 100% from the mainstream. Yes, it does say Melbourne’s top year, but since i’m in Melbourne and I had a top year these things will reflect my amazing year in Melbourne 🙂 Despite Spotify telling me that Cheap thrills by Sia was my fave song this year, I’m going to have to say that Otra Vez by Zion & Lennox (feat. JBalvin) was by far the best. Obviously it will never overtake Viva la vida, but for 2016, it did pretty well.

Movie
AAAHHHHH this is so difficult, probably more so than choosing a song. This year provided highs and lows with movies, yet the one that impacted me the most and caused me to think about my life in a much deeper way was Cowspiracy. While it’s not your average “movie”, it’s a documentary about how the agriculture sector is the leading cause of Global Warming and why no-one seems to want to stand up to the big meat bosses. Believe me, even you don’t change your eating habits it’ll open your eyes to much injustice occurring throughout the world.

TV Show
Ok so for this one I couldn’t decide between 2. This is us and Designated Surivor were 100% the best shows I came across this year and I can’t wait for the new seasons to start!

Images
1. Linda Xu via Unsplash

Forgetting happiness

How often do we find ourselves sitting down at a table or chair, or in front of a fridge wondering how it is that we got to that place? I know I’ve done it more times than I care to admit! The horrible thing about it is that we can’t remember – we can’t remember the thing that brought us to the place. We focus on why we are there so much we forget to stop, think, breathe and allow our minds to wander without the constraints of stress or anxiety.

Unfourtunately, I’ve found that this not only happens with random thoughts on the way to the kitchen, but with happiness too.

Society tells us that to be happy and successful in life we have to make money (albeit not explicitly). Don’t deny it. Every business, organisation and job is centred around how much money you make. If it weren’t about the money, why would you be looking for a better job?

Let me guess – to get a house, provide for your family, be financially stable, buy an investment, save for a holiday etc? They all require money. We get jobs to make money to buy what we think is essential for us to be happy in life when really, what we should try to do is take a step back, get the old photo album out and look at pictures of our childhood.

Childhood?  how random? I know.

I know that not everyone had a fantastic childhood – some had horrendous ones and prefer to forget it, but I’ve found that everyone during their childhood had one special memory, one special event or thought that triggered happiness -and it usually never had anything to do with money.

Children have a beautiful ability to see the world as one full of possibility, hope, love and happiness. They take pleasure in the small things whether it be a butterfly, the ocean or even a hug. They know what makes them happy and don’t forget it.

However, for some reason, as we grow up we lose that ability to know what makes us happy and seek it in the most mundane thing of all things.

Tell me something – what will be your legacy? What will people remember you for when you die? Your zest for life and it’s infectiousness? Or everything you owned but can’t take to the grave?

The power of Kindness

“Kindness is like snow–it beautifies everything it covers.”

What would you do if someone started insulting you? Would you insult them back? Would you think of even harsher words to hurl at them just so that they can feel twice the pain you feel or will feel later on?

I don’t have much admiration for people who try to put a fire out with more fire – they are what help burn the forest and houses down faster.

Am I saying that it’s entirely their fault? No, but when you’re in a situation where you have the power and control to cease a fire, why is it that so many of us elongate its life?

Why do so many of us feel that if we allow our pride to disappear for a bit we have lost? Since when has being kind ever been a loss?

I am a firm believer that Kindness will always lead to good things – no matter how long it takes. And that’s the thing; so many of us are incredibly impatient, that once we do show kindness it somehow makes up for all the times we haven’t been and should be more than enough. However, like most things in life we have to work at it.

I don’t proclaim to be the kindest person in the world but I know many people who struggle with the idea of being kind to someone who isn’t to them.

Recently, as all people do, I have been concerned with the fractures and divisions caused along the timeline of history. While many of these were born from complicated and deep issues, I believe that at the core of these problems was the absence of kindness.

Along with the absence of kindness is the absence of memory. The amount of times I have wronged someone, I really have no right to start hurling things at other people.

That’s not to say that when someone wrongs you, you don’t deserve an apology, but keep in mind that like you they are not perfect and deserve the same amount of kindness you do. At the end of the day it’s up to you whether that’s nothing at all.

Apology backlash

When I look back on my life, the one thing I know for sure is that wanting an apology can sometimes land you in jail.

I recall the first time it happened. I was on my way home from kickboxing, so naturally I was starving. Anyway, as I was walking I happened on this new, small choctique* and couldn’t quite resist the intoxicating smell that was wafting through. I had often heard that they stored unusual chocolates and sweets, so with unwavering curiosity and damp gym clothes, I walked in and demanded to know what the scrumptious smell was and whether I could get some.

Of course, being a typical choctique, the lady whisked me away immediately claiming I would taint the “treasurable clothes”. So with her smoke stained teeth and harsh breath she pushed me out aggressively while slamming the door behind me. I don’t know how you would react, but one thing you must know is that no one slams a door on me – especially when I’m hungry.

So me being me, I marched right back in and began educating the lady in a perhaps more than loud voice on proper etiquette. Now, what you must understand is that I am a spitter when I yell. I don’t care if I do it, let alone where it lands. Which is why as soon as she saw the first drop of fury leave my mouth she tried to whisk me away. Of course I just assumed she just didn’t want the confrontation which made me even more determined – I wasn’t going to budge. She had insulted me and no matter how hard she pushed I stayed firm.

My monologue went for quite a while and after 5 minutes she could see that I wasn’t going to go easily, so instead of apologising like she should have, she threatened me with security.

Big. Mistake.

I’ll admit I’m not too proud of what happened next, but I stand firm that had she apologised none of this would have happened.

She called security and I could see her smug face light up. So with my quick wit and determined stance, I opened my bottle of water and carefully hovered it over a beautiful suit – everyone froze.

Of course I knew I wasn’t going to do any damage – the bottle was empty – but they didn’t know that.

“Now, now M’am” quivered the sales assistant “There’s no need to get the suit involved. It hasn’t done anything wrong so please do step away.”

I had done it. I could tell she was getting nervous and I was slightly proud that I had made her quiver.

“If you would please step away from the suit, we can resolve this whole matter very quickly and painlessly. Please, just don’t damage the suit!”

It was all very surreal. I had woken up a teacher and was now a criminal negotiating terms in a choctique.

All I wanted was an apology – how hard would that have been?

I know, I know, I could’ve stopped it all then and there: packed up my bottle, walked away and none of it would’ve happened. However as I stood there holding my empty bottle of water, I was blinded by this newfound power. I could make these people do anything – anything! They were my puppets – so I did.

I tilted my water bottle just that little bit more towards the suit – that did it.

“MADAME PLEASE! I’M SORRY OK, I AM SORRY. I should never have slammed the door on you in such a rude manner. Now please leave us alone!” shrieked the sales assistant. I did feel bad, I could see the dark vein in her neck pop out with each word. I’m pretty sure I had definitely caused some type of breathing problem too – her face was undoubtedly stark beetroot with a hue of blue.

“Thank you” I said. Done. I had gotten my apology and hadn’t damaged anything in the process. That should’ve been the end right?

Wrong.

Drunken with power I proceeded with “However…” her face fell “I am incredibly hurt and require a bigger apology. I would like you to give me a block of chocolate – no, make that 3 blocks of chocolate, a cup of your infamous green tea and for you to tell me what that lovely smell is. Then and only then will I leave.”

I could see her squeaky wheels turning. She was thinking of a way to get out of this but she couldn’t. After much deliberation with security and turning all shades of purple she succumbed to my demands – almost.

For varying reasons (mostly them thinking of me as a psycho) they had closed the shop, so I was left waiting for my goodies. As you can imagine my arm was beginning to hurt and I wanted to rest – so I did. I placed my water bottle on the the shelf above the suit. As I did, she came back into the room with my chocolate.

“Where’s my green tea?” I asked.

With darting eyes she alerted me to the fact that due to water being incredibly damaging to the clothes, it was store policy to not store water in the store – she even had to cross the street just to wash her hands after using the bathroom.

As she was placing the basket on the ground, she accidentally let it drop down too hard and my bottle fell to the ground.

That did it. I could tell my horror was mirrored in her face but hers quickly turned to one of triumph whereas mine was total loss. I knew there was nothing else I could do but run so I bolted for the door.

I felt the handle and as I began to turn it, I was jerked backwards by the security. They had come back and were not going to let me go anywhere.

However, if there’s anything you’ve learned from me is that I don’t go down easily.

As he dragged me up I managed to get a clear gap and hit his ribs.

He recoiled.

I turned around and kicked him right in the stomach. That should do it. I then ran back to the door but the meddling sales assistant sealed it and I couldn’t get out. So I ran to the back.

Wretched woman! She had locked the back door too!

My mind was reeling and I overthought how much trouble I was going to get in. I wasn’t thinking properly. The situation had forced me to go into survival mode and so I did.

I searched high and low and just as I was about to break a window A small sign caught my eye. It read ‘In case of emergency inclusive of floods, earthquakes, sinkholes and fires, automated doors will open.’

LIGHTBULB!

I ran to the sales assistant desk, searching and searching until I found it – just as I suspected, she had left it on her chocolate biscuits. I then ran to the storeroom and dragged the ladder to the middle of the store. With all my strength, sweat and tears I climbed the ladder and flicked the front of the lighter back, exposing the naked flame.

With careful precision I put the flame under the sprinklers.

I knew the police were close, I could hear the sirens, but if I could just get the doors open – WET!

The sprinklers went off and and the door unbolted – it opened and I ran for the light. I ran as fast as I could.

“GET OUT OF THE WAY” I yelled. Miss Sales assistant was standing in front of the door petrified. “GET OUT OF THE WAY” I repeated. She was stuck. She wasn’t moving so I knocked her down.

Only after the police had removed me from the premises did I realise why she hadn’t gotten out of the way. In my desperation to unlock the door I had forgotten the number one choctique rule: never let the clothes come into contact with water.

I had destroyed more than a lifetime’s worth of clothes and she had seen it all unfold with her eyes.

For obvious reasons I was taken into custody and spent 3 nights in jail – it was the worst time of my life. I spent those nights alone, cold and yelling apologies to anyone who could be bothered listening.

Once I was let out I had to have a meeting with the owner of the store and after realising I wasn’t that much of a loon she decided that community service would suffice as punishment – thank God! I spent the next 2 and half years paying for my crime and when I was done I vowed that I would never let my pride get in the way.

Sometimes, it’s just best to let things go.

*Choctique: A store/boutique that stocks clothes made out of a material only cleanable by chocolate – water stains them.