Think of any given Instagram page and you’ll likely imagine some perfectly curated spread of photos that make the life of the person running it look unobtainable in some way. It might be a barrage of travel photos, make up, outfits, restaurant meals, whatever it is you’re into and using to cram up your feed. Recently, between binge-watching the YouTube channel “The Financial Diet” and speed-reading pretty much the entire finance and business section of Dymocks, I’ve been looking at my own Instagram feed with a critical eye. Blogging makes acquiring these kinds of lifestyles look easy and obtainable, but the simple truth is that they aren’t for most people. If you’re what I would call a “business blogger”, that is to say a savvy individual whose blog is run as a business who is consequently receiving either PR or sponsorships regularly, then living this way probably isn’t driving you into financial ruin because you’ve been clever and monetised appropriately. If, however, you’re more of a “hobbyist”, your situation might look very different. With that in mind, I wanted to share some lessons I’ve learned about the financial truth of “keeping up with the Joneses” on Instagram over the past few years.
Continue reading “Blogging Made Me Broke – How the Instagram lifestyle can f*** up your finances”
(which I think you should think about too)
I have a theory that New Year’s resolutions happen not because of the idea of a fresh start, but rather because many people get time off around this time of year and so actually have half a second to reflect and decide where their lives need a readjustment (usually in that few days between Christmas and New Years where you’re not even sure what year it actually is any more). I’m someone who frequently freely admits her life is looking rather like a Picasso painting. The difference is that mine isn’t so much artful creativity/a masterpiece as it is just a mess of things happening at once. In saying that, this year has involved a lot of careful thinking and restructuring. This has been out of necessity rather than want, but it has given me some ideas about the coming year and which areas of my life need retuning. A lot of these affect the content I’m going to be bringing to you for 2019, so with that in mind I hope you’ll join me on a deep dive into the attitudes I’m planning to readjust in the coming year.
Continue reading “Attitude Adjustments for 2019”
Here’s a story that doesn’t paint me in a particularly flattering light: part of the reason I chose my career was because of a slightly unhealthy obsession with the idea of “moments”.
To explain what I mean, let me tell you a tale about a thirteen year old boy who would grow up to have the most epic beard mankind had ever seen.
Continue reading “An Obsession with Moments”
Correlation is not causation, but I find it interesting to note that my life has been falling apart at almost exactly the same rate that the number in my bank account has been deteriorating. Money is a part of life, but managing it is a skill which comes naturally to some people and is like learning a foreign language to others. I fall into the latter category by a country mile, yet that fact has led me to have to actively seek out people and information to help me cultivate my skills. Over the last couple of years, I’ve learned more about money than I have in the entire 26 years preceding that. Given the fact that money issues cause us incredible angst, I figured it might be worth sharing some of the quick tips I’ve picked up which have helped me get through.
Continue reading “4 Quick Tips for Managing Money like a Real Adult”
How to Girl dot net is getting an overhaul and it’s a long time coming.
Life got the better of me so I haven’t posted in such a long time. The thing is though, we make time for the things we really enjoy, yet I wasn’t doing so for this blog. Why was that?
Continue reading “Changes – Where do we go from here?”
This blog is a bit like a time capsule filled with self loathing. I know this because any time I’ve engaged in any form of self expression, it’s ended with me looking back on it later and groaning in disgust about how I’m a sanctimonious asshat who pretends she has more knowledge than she actually does. Sometimes this effect takes only minutes, depending on the level of pretentiousness my writing reached.
Writing is the act of freezing yourself in time. The problem is that I’ve never liked photos of myself much and they’re essentially the same thing. A snapshot of a person, especially one when they’re yelling at the camera operator for taking the photo, is never the best representation of who they are as a person. The same is true for writing. Me writing at 10, 16, 20, 24 and 27 are all vastly different from one another. At ten years old I think I largely concerned myself with writing Sailor Moon fanfiction. Suffice to say, I think I’ve moved on slightly. I have no doubt that given a few more years, I’ll find my current writing as cringe-worthy as I find those short skirted adventures I penned all that time ago. This is why despite my ambition to write a novel, I doubt I ever will. By the time I finish a section and edit it to my satisfaction, I’ve gotten older and find the writing a painful reflection of my previous lack of skill and experience which I have since slightly improved upon. Perhaps on my death bed I will at last pen an ode worthy of the literature I pretend to aspire to (don’t believe it – I’d totally write porn if it paid the bills), but in the mean time I’m left in an odd limbo.
Continue reading “Self-Criticism, Creativity and Being a Pretentious Jerk”
I had two very different and very odd experiences with brands this past week, both of which demonstrated a point I’d never really thought much about before. Namely, they showed me that we should all be approaching relationships in our life with a way better Public Relations model than we’ve currently got going on.
The first was an outstanding positive: a brand, who I have never worked with professionally but who I have purchased from and mentioned on my instagram stories a few times, reached out to ask me how I was enjoying their product. They were actually seeking genuine feedback from their consumers about their products to see if they could improve. I raised a small concern, and they immediately took it on board and offered a solution. The other happened almost simultaneously and was initially less fun. A brand had reposted an image of mine without giving credit. I’d asked them to amend it. They apologised sincerely, addressed my concerns directly and suggested a possible solution if I were okay with it. I was, and it was all resolved neatly with me walking away feeling warm and fuzzy as opposed to frustrated and upset as I had been prior to their response.
The whole exchange also reminded me of a conversation I’d had with a pre-service teacher (a student teacher, for those of you unfamiliar with the new politically correct lingo – yes I am rolling my eyes) earlier that day. I’d been giving her feedback on a lesson and mentioned how I’d noticed her taking time to get to know the students.
“Relationship building is probably hands down the most important skill you can have as a teacher,” I told her, no doubt striking a pose that reflected the great wisdom my many years of experience and knowledge has afforded me (*cough*).
Despite my total lack of right to claim any life knowledge whatsoever, I think I was kind of right. It’s just that I missed the part where it’s valid in life, not just teaching or blogging.
Continue reading “Why A Good PR Model Should Be Your Approach To Life”
So it’s been a while since I’ve done these monthly roundups… whoops. Truth be told, there were a few things I wanted to cover in this post which hadn’t been made public yet so I’ve been biding my time (insert evil cackle here). Now that said things have been announced (see the ever-so-creatively titled section called “Announcement” below), I’m ready to post the roundup. Not only that, but unfortunately my health took a bit of a dive so I wasn’t really in a great position to be blogging. Nevertheless, read on for what April to July brought to the table… apart from a lot of chocolate.
Like… a LOT of chocolate.
Continue reading “April to July Roundup – All Things How To Girl”
We’ve all been there before: standing in the stationery store surrounded by pretty colours, oohing and ahhing at the swirly patterns and rose gold embellishments, when suddenly an overly cheerful affirmation printed in giant cursive screams the message “Be Happy!”. You see it and wince, finding yourself feeling vaguely affronted for reasons you can’t quite pin down.
I know I’m not alone in cringing; the exasperation people are beginning to feel with such orders is not unique to my own cynicism, as the popularity of Sarah Knight’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k” demonstrates. Yet there are many hardcore believers who continue to offer well-intentioned advice to the tune of “just choose happiness!”
These affirmations spring from the positive psychology movement which has been a trend of the past decade. Its influence is felt everywhere from the workplace to our home décor. I’m here to tell you that it has to stop.
For those of you gritting your teeth and telling yourself “just be happy” and finding it ineffective, this is for you. Breathe in, breathe out, and read on. As for all those well-intentioned people who offer up these tidbits of advice, I’d like to offer you an alternative which will probably serve the very people you’re trying to help far more effectively.
Continue reading “Stop Telling Others to “Choose Happiness””
There are different ways of fighting yourself. Maybe it’s that your mind pulls you in multiple directions at once. Maybe it’s that you want to push your body to limits it just won’t go. Maybe it’s that you’re trapped in a skin you don’t think belongs to you. Or maybe it’s that your body literally attacks itself from the inside out. Whatever the form it takes, if you’ve ever felt like screaming in frustration when someone tells you to “love yourself” then you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
The world tells us that self-love is important. That any problem you have can be fixed if you just learn to love yourself. It’s a concept that makes a lot of sense, but when people use it as some throwaway line as though doing some yoga or eating a few more greens or getting someone who may or may not be being paid at a legally appropriate wage to stick some acrylics on your fingernails would fix the problem, it’s hard not to get frustrated. Loving yourself comes easy to some people. To others it does not.
Continue reading “How to Love a Body You’re at War With”