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.
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.
Movies are not real life. This is a fact. This is a fact that people sometimes forget. I know this because I very distinctly recall a conversation with a friend many years ago wherein he miserably proclaimed that “it has to be like the movies though, doesn’t it?” and my heart kind of broke for him because no… no it does not.
Look, I’m not trying to be pessimistic. I’m sure plenty of people get to ride off into the sunset in reality, but the truth is that for the vast majority of us, life isn’t that extraordinary. We don’t get chased down in airports, we don’t develop kickass super powers, we don’t end up in weird love triangles with our life-long best friends and some slightly badass out-of-towner (thank God). For most of us, we just try our best to get by and make something of our lives and have a positive impact wherever we go, and that’s good enough (more than, in fact). Despite this, there are times where movies have this really annoying habit of striking a chord with us we didn’t expect. This happened to me quite recently. Continue reading “Why the Movie “When Harry Met Sally” Messes me up – AKA Why I won’t be asking you out anytime soon”→
I had a realisation recently. I constantly find myself striking up conversations with near or total strangers on Instagram, and it’s literally only just occurred to me that this might be a weird habit.
Post a photo of a particularly delicious ice cream? I’ll tell you it looks tasty. A new hiking trail? I’ll ask where that is. I’m not even remotely exaggerating about those possibilities either. I recently shared a joke with a girl I’ve met only once in my life about the fact that my Instagram following keeps getting stuck at 666. I frequently chat with a girl I’ve never met in NSW about how online dating sucks ass. Not half an hour ago, I commented to another girl living in Canberra that the view out of her window looks pretty.
Does anyone else do this or am I just slightly unhinged?
I had this sudden premonition that perhaps I’m the Instagram equivalent of that weirdo at the party who latches onto random groups and butts their way into conversation with all the subtlety of a brick to the face. To be completely fair, I kind of AM that person whether online or in the real world anyway. I’d like to claim that it’s all part of my charm, but I’m not sure anyone has ever considered a complete lack of social awareness charming. Let’s just roll with it.
So is this weird? And is it a bad thing?
As I’m writing this, it is 7:21am on a Monday morning. As with every Monday morning, I dragged myself forcefully out of bed about eighty-one minutes ago. I had, as always, intended on being up far earlier than that, but last night was the usual cycle of panicking about the coming week and consequently not being able to sleep, leading to me panicking about not being able to sleep and therefore continuing the painfully awake loop. Thus it was under duress that I forced my weary feet onto the floor after tossing aside the sheets soaked in my sweat from the nightmares that came when I did finally fall asleep for a meagre few hours. As I rub my eyes and try to focus on the bleary screen in front of me, the same thought permeates my mind:
On more than one occasion in life, someone has (without warning or a great deal of context) referred to me as a “strong independent woman”. On more than one occasion, I have had to tilt my head to one side as I try to figure out if they’re being patronising or not. About 50% of the time, they are.
We live in a modern society that preaches a strange dichotomy. Women are raised on the traditional diet of fairy tales and chick flicks that teach us that we should have our hero riding in on a white horse at any moment, but we also have this newly emerging viewpoint telling us that we don’t need no man and we’re queens in our own right. All very well and good, but ultimately a confusing contradiction. I imagine (though I cannot possibly speak from experience) that men suffer a similar problem, not just in portrayals of masculinity, but also in what they’re told to be attracted to. Is it the traditional damsel in distress they like feeling that they can help (not necessarily a bad thing), or is it the strong independent woman who exudes confidence and assurance (also not a bad thing)?
So how-to-girls, I think we need to have a chat. Namely, I think we need to have a chat about how we chat about birth control.
Picture this: you’re a virgin, but you decide you’re ready for the next step. Although you intend to use condoms, you’ve done your research and you know there’s a possibility that they could tear or fall off, so you decide you’d better protect yourself a little more. So who do you turn to for advice?
We may spend hours googling the different options as our brains slowly explode from information overload, but ultimately we’re probably going to end up turning to the ladies around us and say “So, what do you find is good for you?”