You’re not a university student until you’ve thought or said these things at least once. Continue reading
So on Tuesday I decided that I really really wanted to cut my hair, and soon. On Thursday I actually did it, and now I cannot look in a mirror without feeling the need to curl up into a ball and sob.
Right now i’m in this really confused state between feeling crap about how I look and feeling crap about feeling crap about how I look… Let me explain…
I’ve never felt so superficially concerned before… ever, and now that I’ve cut my hair and I have an unwanted bob (yes, I said bloody freaking bob) I just can’t deal. Picture this, you take a girl with really curly hair, you cut her hair really short, and you hope for the best. Everyone knows that when you cut curly hair, the curls bounce and the hair seems shorter than it does when it’s straight. Not only is my hair ridiculously short when it is straight but can you imagine how short it’s going to seem when it’s curly?! I am going to look like Shirley Temple and the thought is driving me insane.
Not only that, but last night I went to my cousin’s 21st birthday party and it started to rain, but that wasn’t a problem, the humidity was. My hair has never reacted to humidity. It has always been just long enough to weigh my hair down and stop it from going curly, but not this time. I went outside and within 10 minutes my hair had begun to curl and frizz out! Tying my hair up wasn’t an option because there isn’t enough hair to tie up and there is actually nothing I could do to fix it.
I think what’s really pissing me off right now is that there were quite a few ‘signs’ that I should have listened to, telling me not to cut my hair. I know, I’ve taken it so seriously that I’m reading ‘signs’ from the universe. Firstly, I wore my hair naturally curly since monday and every day, after every wash, it looked great, something that doesn’t normally happen. Secondly, my dad freaked out when I showed him a picture of how I wanted it cut, and for the first time, I couldn’t convince him to like it. Finally, an appointment that was scheduled before my hairdresser appointment ran really behind, and so I called the hairdresser and was about to cancel when the receptionist said “that’s okay, we can just swap your appointment with a later client”. I really, really should have just cancelled.
It’s not that the hairdresser did a bad job as such… The cut was done well in the sense that everything is straight and I didn’t come home with a rat’s tail, but I just feel like maybe if they… the professional person who works with hair on a daily basis, took into consideration the fact that this outcome was inevitable, I would have been able to avoid this whole situation because they would tell me straight out that there’s a possibility that it would look horrible. I ended up feeling really guilty too because my hairdresser said “I think it really suits you” (they lied, by the way) and I replied “really? you reckon?” in a very unsubtle, unstable, ‘I’m about to cry’ type of tone. I tried to redeem my response by saying “I probably just have to get used to it, I’ve never had my hair this short before… it’s, uhh, exciting…!”
I can’t even explain this hair style to you, and no way in hell am I uploading pictures of it! it literally seems like I got a bowl cut and clipped extensions over the top of it… I don’t know how that makes sense but it was the best way I could describe it to you. So now leaving the house without a full face of makeup isn’t even an option, and neither is my trusty top knot that would get me out of a bad hair day every time.
I actually do not know what to do or how to fix it. It’s extremely demotivating and it has pulled my confidence down a lot. I really don’t like feeling like this because I hate the idea of being self conscious because of something superficial, but I can’t shake it off. I really, truly and completely do not want to start uni so soon because my hair is just not on point. When I went to an enrolment day, I was so excited because my hair looked awesome, I had a really cool, chic but casual outfit on, and my life seemed so picturesque. Now I am absolutely dreading this because I’m going to be “that girl with the short hair with no style.” More than that though, it’s the fact that I had something good and I didn’t realise it until it was gone.
I know, I seem so incredibly shallow, and trust me, out of all people I know that there are worse things in life, but I just wanted to point out how something cosmetic can change your self perception. I always wondered why people would opt for surgery and treatments because they weren’t happy with how they looked, but now I completely understand it. To feel good, sometimes you need to be content with how you look, and I know it sounds ridiculously superficial, but I never thought it was true until now.
Sorry for the rant, but I started writing this at 3:45am because I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about how devastated I am about my haircut. I would actually do anything to go back in time and reverse this. I would even throw it way back to late 2013/early 2014 when I got a front fringe… and I thought that was bad.
“Yo, 2014, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but 2013 was one of the best years of all time!”
2013: Probably my favourite year of my life. Why? I was 16, abundantly confident in myself and my abilities, I went overseas, I was incredibly happy, and I had my whole life plan sorted, everything, from where I would go to university, and what I would do there, to having any resource I needed at my fingertips. I had the confidence to forget about my problems and I had the motivation to succeed, and nothing could stop me. I had made incredible friends and had strengthened the relationships with the friends I already had. I also found my passion: blogging.
2014 arrives and i’m still blogging. I turned 17 on the 6th of January, and celebrated with the people who meant the world to me. A very modest gathering, but nonetheless extremely reassuring and fulfilling. I started my final school year with goals and motivation, and tackled every task at hand with ease. Then, for an unknown reason, “tackling school with ease” became difficult. My stress levels were going through the roof and I noticed that it was having an extreme toll on my body and my mind. The only thing that could clear my mind was blogging. In March, my mum had an operation that wasn’t very serious, but obviously crucial to her health. This was fine and everything went well, but thats when I experienced my first panic attack. It was ruthless and made me feel like I had no control. I then realised that I had a crazy, annoying, and irrational fear of hospitals that needed attention. This episode scared me, because thats when I realised that I could very easily lose control of my emotions; something that had never happened before. In April one of my closest friends (who I had made in 2013) came to Australia and it was so lovely to feel that 2013 feeling again, and it brought me back down to Earth, which was something I really needed.
Then, just as I thought I was getting the hang of the whole “controlling your emotions so that they don’t control you” thing, I received news that really, really affected me. My Dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was a very low-grade cancer and we really should have been thankful that it wasn’t as bad as other cases, but still, the C-word is a very confronting concept to deal with. Meanwhile at school, the work was getting tougher and the competition was well and truly on. Academically, I wasn’t doing too bad, I was doing very well in tough subjects (hi History Revolutions) and I had acted in, designed and sourced costumes for, as well as contribute to putting together a production of “The Venetian Twins” with my theatre class. It was a really rewarding and exciting thing to be apart of, and it distracted me for quite some time. Still though, at the back of my mind, I was always worried about what might come next; could things dramatically change? Was I prepared for that to happen? The answers to those questions are yes and no. Yes, circumstances can change in an instant, and no, in the event that they did, I was definitely not prepared, not emotionally and not mentally.
Ask any year 12 student and they can tell you how difficult they found the year to be. Not only are classes full on and demand every second of your attention, but recess and lunch breaks were also becoming hard work. I don’t think I have spoken to anyone who finished year 12 last year who didn’t encounter trouble within their friendship groups, and I was definitely absorbed into a ridiculous mess. Decisions that I wasn’t prepared for needed to be made, and fires were ignited with a small drop of fuel. A serious domino effect happened and one problem followed another, no matter how hard I had tried to contain it. For a while I endured the tiring task of “staying in the middle” and “keeping the peace” which was an absolute waste of time. After a while I learned that you cannot make everyone happy, no matter how hard you try. You can try to stay out of a problem but expectations are placed upon you and making decisions becomes inevitable. Although it may seem like it, I do not regret one decision that I made, and for every person that I lost, I regained a sense of myself.
One thing that I realised was that I would rather have three incredible people around me, people who inspire and motivate me, people who encourage me to be a better person; rather than one hundred people who I have to pretend with. Saying goodbye to someone who you once had a history with is difficult, but ceasing communication with them without closure is a lot harder. It’s not because I wanted to go out with a bang, or have my two cents, but I feel like there were things that needed to be said, which that person will never know. Not once have I stopped respecting them, however, i’ve noticed that this lack of closure has made them stop respecting me. One of the most annoying situations you can be put in is trying to have a group conversation, when one person just ignores you completely. Another annoying situation is hearing that the same person is willing to talk about you to your best friend. Even worse than that is hearing from multiple people that this one person has made you seem like the wicked witch of the west. Sometimes, trying to avoid trouble can backfire, and even though you try your hardest to build an environment for yourself where you can prosper, it’s not enough.
Then, after going through all that because you genuinely feel that you can no longer fake a friendship, people who you really care about begin to question your genuineness. The most ridiculous thing I experienced in 2014 was that I desperately tried to peacefully resolve things, but no one else did. I lost people that I didn’t want to lose. I have never been so disappointed in how things turned out. Regardless, I let everything slide because I just didn’t have the energy to fight for things anymore. My priorities had changed, and I preferred to focus my energy on my family, and didn’t bother justifying anything to anyone else. If there’s one thing about me that hasn’t ever changed in my entire life, it’s that my family is and always will be my number one priority, and anyone that can’t understand that doesn’t have a place in my life.
I told one person outside of my family that my Dad has cancer because I believed that no one has a right to place a justification on my motives. More than that, though, was that I didn’t want any sympathy from anyone, and the last thing I wanted was people to feel obligated to continue a friendship with me because they felt bad. I don’t regret not telling anyone, and I also don’t regret my actions, because now I see who is really there for me regardless. I didn’t know how easy it was for people to just forget about other people, but i’m glad that I know. I am, and will continue to be a very sentimental person; if I consider you to be one of my friends, my expectation is that we will be friends for life. I’m willing to go the distance, and i’m glad that I can see who else is too.
I’ve learned so much from 2014, and as difficult as it was, and as much as I hated it, I needed the kick in the ass. I needed to be shocked out of the dream that was 2013. I needed to learn that if you want to be happy, you need to make your own happiness, and drive your life. You can’t depend on anyone to make you content, it’s all up to you. You need to take initiative to surround yourself with the people who are going to help you bloom, and with people who you can in-turn support as well. I will not say that any of this was worth it, because I really hated going through all of it, but I do appreciate what i’ve learned.
I’ve devised my own list of commandments, and I want to share them with you. You, my lovely readers, have been with me through it all, supporting The Fashion Journals in every way that you can. My following has increased by an overwhelming amount in 2014, and I’m so grateful for each and every person who is subscribed, so thank you!
1. Thou shall prioritise their own wellbeing, and make decisions that will make you a better person.
2. Make sure that thou won’t regret any decisions that thou makes. Ensure that it’s a life goal, that you will have the ability to reflect on your life and be proud of the decisions you made.
3. Find closure. Whether its with relationships, a bad test score, or a mistake you think you will never let down. Remember that you will never feel at peace with it until you talk it through, or at least establish an understanding between yourself and who ever else involved.
4. Appreciate everything and everyone you have around you. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and a large majority of that time it’s so that you can learn. Make the most of those fun summer nights, make the most of times with your friends, and cherish the quality time with your family, and be grateful that you’ve had a chance at life. Things can change in an instant, and the last thing you want is to look back and shudder at the thought of a missed opportunity.
5. The most cliché of them all: Learn from your past, and ensure that you are well equipped to handle things that may arise in your future. I know, it’s a lot easier said than done, but why would you go down the same way twice if you realised the first time it was the wrong road to take?
So my list of commandments is half the size of original one, but I think this covers some things that stray from basic human rights and laws.
So, now it’s 2015, welcome to the new year, everyone! I hope that you can begin the new year prepared for, and welcoming changes. I hope that you can learn from me and understand that life can be difficult, but once you hit what you think is rock bottom, there is no where to go but up! That’s my plan for the new year: to make 2015 better in every way than 2014 was! To find a strength in a weakness, and to persevere a negative to make it a positive!
Now, I have just turned 18 years old, I have finished school, and feel a lot wiser than I did in 2014 (and age has nothing to do with it!) I don’t have my whole life planned out, and I don’t know where I’m going to go to university, or what i’m going to study. At times I feel really overwhelmed and I can’t pin point why, but one thing is for sure, and that is that the same confidence I had in 2013 is still with me, and I know that one way or another, 2015 will be good to me. How? you may ask. I’m going to make it good, no matter what.
Happy 2015! Sorry to overwhelm you with a massive 1800+ worded article!!! Congratulations on getting through it!
Some will swear that travelling is the best experience that they’ve ever had. I second that, strongly believing that the experience of travelling teaches you so much about life, the world, and over all, yourself, how you make decisions and how you act as a person.
Sure, to dateI have only travelled overseas once, but the principle is still the same. You are exposed to some of the most amazing and different sights that you will ever see. You are thrust into a new world, forced to listen to and try to understand a different language, left to fend for yourself in an unfamiliar place. All of this sounds a bit confronting for some, but I personally crave the independence, lust after the experience and now have what seems like a permanent post-travel depression.
One thing that I did learn though, is that travelling can be extremely uncomfortable. If you’re anything like me who can barely sit still through a movie, let alone a 14 hour direct flight to your stop over before another 8 hour flight to reach your destination, then you’re going to want to prepare yourself.
On my flight to Italy, I was so uncomfortable because I couldn’t rest my head anywhere. They supplied small pillows and warm blankets but I just couldn’t get comfortable. So, from that I realised that a travel pillow would be my last Italian purchase. On my way home, I slept the whole 14 hours from Rome to Dubai, I slept 5.5/6 hours from Dubai to Singapore and the whole 7 hours from Singapore to Melbourne. Why? I was too comfortable not too.
One thing I did learn as well is that hand luggage has to be easy, manoeuvrable and as big as the hand luggage allowance. On my way there, I used a country road duffel bag and a medium sized hand bag. The hand bag was perfect for my iPad, a book, my phone, my iPod, my passport and tickets. The country road duffel bag had my Dr. Martens (to save space and weight in my suitcase), another two books, a jacket, two cosmetic bags (A fairly large one and a smaller one) and my hair straightener. To carry this on my shoulder and arm for the two hour stop over was hell. It was so heavy, so bulky and so uncomfortable that I actually made myself angry. Either pack better than I did or use one smaller bag that forces you to leave some unnecessary items behind. Which brings me to my next point…
Do not over pack. This was my crucial mistake that drove me insane and put a hold on my shopping dramatically! I packed so much that out of my 30kg luggage allowance, I could only bring back 10kg worth of stuff! Do not make this mistake. I did not need three books, two jackets, two hoodies, four scarves, seven t-shirts or four different pairs of jeans. Washing machines exist, so do sinks and soap if you are really desperate.
You need to pack the essentials. So, for my stylish readers, here is a personalised list of essentials that you should bring with you when travelling:
- Before you can pack, you need the perfect suitcase: I recommend a hard case four wheeler. These types of suitcases give you optimum space, is lightweight, compartmentalised, manoeuvrable, and very safe.
- Toiletries. What ever you use at home, bring with you. Your local supermarket should sell travel bottles that can be filled to the amount requirements of your country. In these travel bottles put your face wash, moisturiser and toner. Buy the travel sized hair products, toothpaste and don’t forget that deodorant is a must!
- You need an essential jacket. No matter the climate you are travelling to, a jacket is a must. Whether it be a classy leather jacket, an adaptable denim jacket or a warm anorak, be sure to remember to pack one.
- Jeans! Jeans are timeless and most never go out of style; an international style statement for the ages. They’re comfortable and versatile, making them perfect for your next adventure.
- Basic Tees. You need at least two basic t-shirts as they are the perfect supporting piece to any outfit. To play it safe, always pack either a white, grey or black tee. They enable you to layer up at night and are easily accessorised during the day.
- Your best friend: The Little Black Dress. Make sure to pack one that fits you well and always looks suitable on you, no matter where you go.
- A staple blazer. Look at the blazer this way; it can be worn over anything and can be dressed up or down depending on where you’re going.
- Always, always pack flat shoes. The best shoes you will ever travel in are Converse. I bought two pairs with me, a white pair and a purple pair. They will easily, comfortably and stylishly get you through your long day and into the night. For more dressy events, a pair of slip on flats or sandals will do the trick.
- Accessories: When I travelled I bought with me heaps of long necklaces, bangles, and statement collar bone length necklaces. No matter where you go, accessories always put the perfect finishing touch on an outfit and no one deserves to be left without.
- Last, not least but definitely a travelling must: Comfortable leggings. You can fly in them, walk in them and participate in what ever you have planned while wearing them. Make sure they’re good quality and are in no way see-through. Leggings can come across as trashy and can easily become a fashion mistake if you can see your underwear underneath.
Depending on where you are travelling to, make sure you’re accustomed to their expectations of travellers and tourists. You do not want to offend the locals or get yourself into any unwanted and unnecessary trouble.
Most of all, don’t get caught up; you want to remember everything you do, everywhere you go and everyone you meet. Make sure to enjoy yourself, stay safe and trust your instincts. It is up to you to make sure that you are in the best position possible to make the right decisions in a foreign country so look after yourself and have fun!
For more information on how to be smart traveller, for further travel advice and for traveller’s information, please check out http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
For international readers please find out your version of the smart traveller guide provided by your government and department of foreign affairs.