During these times, asking “Am I okay?” keeps popping up. And it’s a really fair question to ask. You’re not alone, and this is a blog post about it.
I had a super successful twitter poll last week where a bunch of people responded*, and 50% said that they wanted to see a new "Get to know me" post. I also realised the last time I actually did an about me post was two years ago when I first started the blog, and that's pretty damn terrible read if I do say so myself.
So! I'm listening to the masses and creating this sparkling new blog post of frequently asked questions and queries!**
*if you count a bunch of people as er, two people **they haven't been asked at all, tbh.
1. What is a band that you listen to that people might not think you would?
One of my favourite bands at the moment is actually a hip-hop duo from South Africa; Die Antwoord. Their music is actually crazy, incredibly in your face and the polar opposite of the usual Australian hip hop I'd normally be listening to - and yet somehow I managed to get within their 1% of Spotify listeners a few months back. They actually just released a new album which I was super excited for as I didn't think they were on this indefinite hiatus for a while, but I'm not super loving the new songs which is a bit of a shame.
2. Do you have any hidden skills or talents?
I'm not sure if I would call it a talent or a skill - but I'm really partial in learning new languages. I studied French for four years. I also started to learn Auslan (Australian Sign Language) for a few terms, and have also been dutifully logging into Duolingo every day to learn Indonesian. Am I fluent in any of these? Nope. Can I somewhat understand what people say and/or write? Yes to French and Indonesian - not so much for Auslan anymore.
I can also touch type with an average speed of 92 WPM, and actually type faster if I'm not concentrating on the screen (ie, eyes closed) and I also freak people out by looking at them rather than the screen whilst typing which is always fun!
3. Where was your first trip that you can remember?
The first trip I can remember going on was when I was about five or six. For some reason, my parents thought it'd be a fantastic idea for me to travel on my own halfway across the country to spend some time with my Aunt and Uncle in Alice Springs. (That was a fair solo journey!) I had a really great time. They had a spa in their back yard which was awesome. I got my head stuck between the iron bars on their bed (not so awesome). We road-tripped across half of Australia to visit my other relatives in Sydney which was pretty sweet - until the last day when I lost my toy Dalmatian, I'd only got a few weeks prior for Christmas. There are some pretty amazing photos of me in a total meltdown because of it. Good times!
4. How do you want other people to see you?
This is actually a super tricky question now that I've written it down. (Slightly regretting putting it in!) I guess I'd like people to see me as a really friendly person with a super bubbly personality. I'd like to be seen as someone who will try and go out of their way to make people happy.
I'm super passionate about speaking up about mental health issues and awareness, and would also like to be eventually seen as a voice of said awareness as well.
5. When you were younger - what careers did you want to pursue?
- A vet (I can't deal with seeing surgery)
- An astronaut (too short)
- A Disney Princess (also too short)
- A Model (I get terrible, terrible mental health problems pursing anything model related)
- A tour guide (still technically not too late)
- A photographer (As above)
- A sex therapist (also wouldn't say no!)
6. What is a quote that you relate to?
Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.
I actually read the quote before reading the book - and the book is actually a really great non-fiction read and actually explained a lot of why my brain processes trauma different than some other people. Admittedly, I had to stop reading about halfway through because it was a fairly confronting read, and my headspace went. I'd be keen to continue it again at some point though ♥
7. Name a place that you'd love to visit
Chicago has been calling me years and years. I'd love to visit. Do I know what is there that I'd like? Not a clue. But you know those times where you just have a feeling you need to do something, or go somewhere? Chicago is that place for me. Morocco and the Maldives are actually other places that keep popping up every couple of months which I'm sure means I should probably check them out as well sometime soon. If you've got any insider knowledge about them - feel free to drop a comment below!
8. What do you like to do in your downtime?
I actually enjoy being on the computer, more than anything. I play a lot of online games. My favourite has to be Marapets, which is kinda like Neopets, except better. (I might be a tad bias considering I've been on the site for like nearly 14 years so...)
I also play quite a bit of World of Warcraft. For offline gaming, I've also just picked the Sims 3 back up again. I really am not digging Sims 4 (although I have nearly all of the expansions.) I love Civ5, and also just picked up Animal Crossing: New Leaf again after a few years ♥
I super enjoy watching Youtube and a couple of my faves currently are;
MrBeast - great for entertainment and heartwarming content
Jessica Kobeissi - she's a really good fashion photographer and I've found I've adopted a lot of her mannerisms (whoops)
Mango Street - a photographer couple who just produce AMAZING
Plumbella & Steph0sims - two of the best YouTubers who feature doing Sims playthroughs
You can also find my Youtube channel here!
9. If someone wanted to be your friend - what topics could they bring up to start a conversation?
I think I probably covered a few of those in the last question! I'm always up for conversations on:
- The Sims
- Harry Potter
- Animal Crossing
- Anything blog-related
- Travel & Adventures
I also accept showing of hilarious Tik-Toks, and frequently used Vines.
10. What are 5 songs that make you happy?
I actually made an Instagram post on how you should make a playlist for songs that make you smile. You can check out my list here. Some have particular memories attached to them, others are just really good for singing along to. There's a couple there that just come with a bit of #GirlBoss vibes and I just love them.
A couple of my favourites:
- So Am I - Ava Max
Do you ever feel like an outcast?
You don't have to fit into the format
Oh, but it's okay to be different
'Cause baby, so am I
- High Hopes - Panic! At the Disco
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn't make a killing
Didn't have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes
- 7 rings - Ariana Grande
My wrist, stop watchin',
my neck is flossy
Make big deposits, my gloss is poppin'
You like my hair?
Gee, thanks, just bought it
I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it
- Price of Fame - 360
That's what my passion is
And I could go and buy a crazy, fresh Mercedes-Benz
But I would rather help my mates in debt and pay their rent
- 1955 - Hilltop Hoods
We're living in the days when everybody sayin'
"What a time to be alive"
But I'm feeling out of place like I live in outer space
'Cause it seems I'm stuck in time
Wooo! That is it for part one! Originally there was going to be all 28 questions in one neat list, but I realised that there's a lot to read so I'll let you get excited for the next part next week.
Was there anything thus far that you're surprised about? Do we have anything in common?
Should we be friends? (insert *gasp* here)
Let me know in the comments!
Having a creativity block sucks, and throughout the years, I’ve had major ones. This year has been no different, and this is an honest look at it
I've become the adult equivalent of an unsettled baby. Grizzly, uncomfortable, and becoming increasingly frustrated that I'm unable to communicate exactly what it is wrong with me. Another day's gone by and I'm feeling the pressure on myself that I had done absolutely nothing with it. The action plan to go and start a new diet? Didn't happen. Going for a 30 minute walk? Nope. Desperately craving some form of vegetable but had Maccas instead? Yep. I can feel myself going down hill and having an internal argument that we're stronger than this - but yet still can't grasp on how to fix being so overwhelmed.
Five Twenty-Two AM.
I know this because this happens to be the sixth time I've looked at my phone in the past half an hour. I should have been asleep somewhere around three or four hours ago. This isn't to say I haven't tried. I absolutely did; my brain was all ready to switch off, my eyes hurts - there should have been nothing preventing sleep. Yet there was. I'm 90% confident I'm allergic to the smoke from our woodfire and where blissful sleep should have been - I was yet again re-jolted awake with a runny nose and continual sneezing fits. I wonder how many clarentine tablets you can take before you overdose on them? Honestly I wasn't in the mood to find out.
Somewhere along the lines, I've fallen asleep. I also awoke to a tissue stuffed up one of my nostrils, so apparently the whole runny nose business got to me at some point during the last few hours. I still feel groggy as all hell and start to consider how much I'm not appreciating this sleep schedule. In fairness to my body - I'm getting my five to six hours, just not at the right time. I tell my Mum about it, she suggests I should probably get sleeping pills. I don't disagree.
Productivity today has so far been that I found three new species of fish on animal crossing, and planted a new row of trees. Again, I ponder of the fact that I should be up and walking around. That I spent an ungodly amount on work out gear that's just sitting in the bedroom. 4KG weights aren't fun to trip over, yet that's the apparent purpose they're currently serving. There's a lot of judgement. Not to anyone else, but only to me. Why exactly can I not get up and actually leave the house and do what I need to do to feel better? Why am I having consistent arguments about how things should go in such a time where everything is all topsy turvy? A better question is why am I even talking to myself? Surely it's from being stuck inside.
... which. Could be fixed.
By going outside.
Which I still can't seem to do.
The blog post that was originally meant to be posted on Sunday sits awkwardly in my drafts folder. It talked about how Easter didn't feel all that special any more, and whether or not that you needed to have little ones to respark that magic.
I feel like I need a lot of magic at the moment.
My sparkle bar is sitting very low.
I've given up trying to find a different photo to display for this post, and lazily accept that getting up to find my hard drive is too much effort. Everything just seems like an effort. I keep looking for silver linings throughout the day -and there's been plenty of them. Like how one of my plants has sprouted new leaves, and I've sort of taught Wally a new trick.
But there's just this ongoing overwhelming blanket that smothers the good bits. I'm getting snippy towards the people in my family, and just wanting to get out and speak to others. I'd kill for a coffee date. On the flipside, I know how many messages are currently sitting in my inbox unanswered as I just don't have the energy to reply to the people who have so kindly reached out. I feel like a failure wrapped up in a few extra layers of weight. (The new stretch mark on my stomach confirms that.)
The colder months already bring out the worst of my anxiety and depression, and I'm cautiously suspicious how this year is going to go.
I'm exhausted already.
I just want some form of normality back.
When I was little, my Pop had this HUMONGOUS veggie garden at his house. He would always plant very similar things each season, yet I always loved it. It meant that I could eventually go and pick said vegetables at a later point in time. The veggies always looked amazing, and it was always immaculately cluttered but also chaotically structured working order. (It sounds likes my bedroom. Maybe that's where I got my messy but creative streak from. Who knows? Anywho.)
Sadly, I never inherited my Pop's green thumb. Over the years, I've been gifted many succulents, and each one of them have died. There's a running theory that I either:
A) Over watered them
B) Didn't keep them in the sun
C) Under watered them, or;
D) Completely forgot about them (the more likely option)
This isn't to say that I didn't want to keep them alive - I was just young and naive, and the whole idea of keeping a plant alive wasn't really cool back in the old days. Or, not to me at least.
Fast forward to my adult years:
Over the past few months, my interest for plants has started to rise again. A lot of the girls I used to work with grew plants, and my social channels, when they were being flooded with babies and engagements - there were plants. I figured, well, I'm not getting engaged any time soon, and a baby is off the cards kind of indefinitely, what about plants? So I started on my journey for fake ones.
Kmart was a godsend for random-ass plants that looked pretty, and required el zilcho requirements on my part. My favourite is one with a watermelon base (which was only like, $2 because the legs are cracked but that's a minor detail.)
This still didn't really feel like it was enough though. Y'know? I loved seeing them, but I'm a hoarder. The thing about being a hoarder is that all the inanimate objects that you collect, you love them equally, knowing that they'll always be there for you no matter what. Even if all your objects are taking up every inch of space in your available area. (insert awkward smile here.)
The issue is though, unless you're super crafty, or at least semi-motivated, these don't actually change. You can stare at your beautiful fake watermelon pot as much as you like - and it'll just sit there. Doing nothing. Year in, year out.
If we can remember one of the key points of my blog just for a key minute - I'm a midlife, mid-life crisis blogger. AKA - I had a melt down at where my habits were getting me.
BRING IN: THE SIMS
How absolutely banging is Sierra's bedroom and downstairs area, right? I spent hours downloading mods one night, before deciding that I was going to take on an amazing house reno. Apparently my inner child wanted to make it super amazing and bright -
AND PLANTS EVERY WHERE
I'm pretty confident by now we've all seen the movie Inception and the idea of plants has just stuck in my head. For months now. So, I decided to do a real life Sims episode and renovate my deck, and the inside of my house and became a plant mum for the like, fourth time in my life.
Now I'm not an individual to test the water and see how we go - oh no. Not me.
I went a little crazy:
AND THERE'S MORE
These are just the ones that are outside. There's another three cuties inside, plus a few other bright coloured ones that went to my front garden. I'm pretty excited. I worked my butt off making everything look pretty (and also avoided the builders next door which was a pretty large feat, if you don't mind me saying.)
I spotted a monstera today online which I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO ADD INTO THE COLLECTION but, I with withhold until I know I can successfully not kill at least all of these ones. I shall keep you updated over the next few months.
Are you are a crazy plant person? Do you have a favourite?
Let me know in the comments below!
A weekly #RealTalk blog post
I travelled overseas just as the virus started to break out. This is my story thus far.
I know what you’re thinking. “Claire, why in the world are you talking about being fat in photos when your…
(Y'know what, this face was the exact moment my legs had stuck together and I wasn't moving anywhere from my spot on the ground, and the sweat behind my knee caps had just squelshed. Yeesh. Welcome to #RealTalk)
One of my most favourite things about being a teenager in the 2000's was the fact that I got to see emo bands come out with ridiculously long titled songs that made nearly no sense, but were somehow awesome. I actually managed to transfer this concept into a lot of my old poetry I used to write titles like; "This could have only been four words but is now a whole paragraph avoiding sweat: the novel"
Growing up - I was acutely aware that I sweated more than most people. Like - it was super gross, and is still, super fucking gross. I'm a plus size girl. I always have been. It's not like I can honestly sit here and write an article about sweat and glamify it, regardless if it's a perfectly natural thing or not.
The point though that it IS a perfect natural thing.
That doesn't stop it being hard though.
GOING BACK TO THE OLD SCHOOL DAYS
I know coming out of P.E. back in high school it was rough. Particularly after any class that featured that horrifying excuse of exercise called the BEEP test, (Yeah, you know the one. I had nightmares about it. Level one, one. bee bee beep) Finishing that class, I broke. I'm talking about full face red, wheezing, and sweat dripping down for days. Okay maybe not days. There's a thing called a shower which was readily available after school, but that was the thing yeah? In Australia, (or at least at my high school) whilst we had showers available, blow me down if anyone ever actually used them after sport. I have a list of things I'd tell my younger self. Advocating for time to allow the option to actually shower off is certainly one of them.
A NUMBER OF ISSUES
There's a number of issues with sweat. <br>Firstly, it smells. Yes, I know that technically it's meant to be that way. Apparently it comes from the idea that people with opposite genes find it attractive, and therefore will be more likely to have a better gene pool. Or something like that.
Let's be honest though, sweat and the smell is pre' gross. Especially when if and when it gets soaked into your clothes.
If you had P.E. first up on a day, and you were stuck in your clothes for the rest of it, Good luck to your parental figure for getting that stink out.
I know even in my current uniform that I have for work, I have to double wash my clothes just to be on the safe side, and even then, I'm wearing $7 kmart tops because I know eventually all these are going to be good for are the bin, which is a horrid waste of money and waste to the environment.
Then you get into the embarrassment piece. Who knows that you sweat? Who can see it? It's like when you're casually walking up a hill for the whole of two minutes and it looks like you've just run a half marathon, who's out there judging you? That feeling of being fearful of wearing anything light coloured to the gym, because you know that your sweat patches are going to be SUPER evident and don't want people to stare. Not to mention your whole entire wardrobe rivals archers closet with the amount of choices of black you have.
Do you know how much I'd LOVE to add my colour into my wardrobe? Seriously, there's only so much you can do with dark clothing, and we all know that I love white and pinks, but not so much the see through when wet factor.
Don't even get me STARTED on being called out on your sweaty problem. I'm aware that I'm gross. I feel gross. There is only so much spray I can put on before I start smelling like a perfume shop, (and actually I'll get to that in a moment) - but at my last job - I had FOUR different people approach me at different times telling me that they had complaints. I was mortified, and I legit bawled my eyes out. It was the most humiliating thing to ever happen. "Is your washing machine broken? Maybe there's some mold? Do you actually wash them...? Have you tried xyz product?" FUCKING YES I'VE TRIED EVERYTHING LEAVE ME ALONE IN MY OWN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT PLEASE AND THANKS.
Let's also not forget one of the worst things about sweat.
I'm talking about that AWFUL feeling of sweat under your boobs and butts. You know about that horrible chafe you get between your legs and you have to waddle for at least two days and sleep with a pillow between your legs because it hurts. I want to say I'm a stranger to all of this, but I'm not. Which sucks so freaking much because I'd love to be a sweat free type of gal.
Now, I don't want this post to be all up in the negatives.
So instead I wanted to quickly put some things up that maybe people didn't know - or are just things I've come across that I can appreciate.
1. Antiperspirants, deodorants, perfume, and body spray/mist - are not the same product.
Dove has a really quick and neat post here about some of the differences between antiperspirants and deodorants. If you can't be bothered clicking, here's a quick recap; Antiperspirants are designed to kick butt against sweat and odour, (especially when active), whereas deodorants do a good job when you're more chilled back and enjoying life in the slow lane. Perfumes, body spray and mist, on the other hand, are there to make you smell pretty. They do nothing for your sweaty butt.
So if you're at the supermarket and needing to choose between Lynx Africa and Illusions by Impulse, Lynx Africa is actually going to be more your friend. (Full disclosure, I was actually going to make fun of Africa here, but apparently it's a full antiperspirant so who knew?) Which I'm sure is just a shock to you as well. If you're finding that you're still being super sweaty, then there are MANY others out there with a stronger anti-sweat effect.
Talking about this, if you've read any of my posts recently, you'll know I've been raving about the My Shay product I've been using. Honestly - I love it to pieces. I still think I might need something a bit stronger, but compared to everything else I've tried over the years, it's been such a blessing in disguise. I particularly like the smell because it's just amazing, and Tara (the kickass lady who owns the company) has made them in super sensitive ranges too. Yay!
*I promise this isn't a sponsored post, I'm just really passionate about stuff that works for uncomfortable situations.
2. 3B CREAM
I've talked about this one before but 3B Cream has been a life saver on so many of my trips. I swear upon this stuff for anything to do with chafing. I legit went my whole last Darwin trip with ZERO rash, and I was sweating like mad. Could not rate it highly enough. It works great for your upper body, lower body - and absolutely between yo' thighs, too.
Another one (depending on the heat and your sweat level) that I've recommended in the past, is the dusting powder from Lush which I found smelt amazing, but again, sweated off pretty quickly in a Melbourne heatwave. I think if you were just wearing it again on a chill day, that you'd do a bit better.
3. CHAIR BUTT SWEAT IS A THING. AND IT'S OKAY.
The worst part of going to the gym I find, is the fact that whenever I'm on stationary equipment, (For example the leg press, or seated rows - or whatever,) I leave a butt sweat patch. (Okay, look, it's the motivation to go in the first place, but this is a close second,) It's pre' gross. Like, oh look. That's exactly where my butt was.
I also hate going out to dinner, or basically anywhere that has a plastic seat because trying to cover this up is horrible and awkward. I personally found taking a small thing of disinfectant wipes with me, and do a quick wipe over before I leave makes me feel a bit better. Generally you can pick some up that sit super well within a bag, and defo in a backpack. I'm a little less self conscious now. Generally I won't hide what I'm doing. If you're not quite there though, you can just say that you've spilled something from whatever you were eating and wipe it away that way.
Let's be honest though, it's NOT something to be ashamed about. Whilst not everyone has this issue - I reckon a whole bunch of us do and it's just a part of you that you've just gotta embrace and be like BAM. I'm being pro-active about it.
If you're an adult who has their skin routine down pat, first of all, I applaud you, and secondly - you'd hopefully know a bit more of how to do said routine than I do, however in a moment of being an adult, I placed moisturiser on my face before leaving the house. Low and behold, it was a total heatwave inside my car, and the moisturiser I'd so lovingly put on my face 10 minutes early obviously did not have time to soak - and had now re-surfaced and started running down my face, and more importantly to this story - IN. TO. MY. EYES. I was in the middle of town, in rush hour, driving nearly blind, crying more poor eye(?) out because it stung like hell. Nearly died that day.
Do not put moisturiser around your eyes before leaving the house if it's a hot day. This goes for any other time you know you're gonna sweat it out, before it sets properly into your skin.
This also goes for sunscreen, which has also happened too many times that I care to admit for.
SO TO WRAP UP
all my fellow sweaty people, you are not alone. I feel you. (From a distance, because let's be honest, you don't want anyone touching you when you feel like that.) Plus understand the frustration of trying 10000 different types of sprays and creams to assist. I get the humiliation you feel. I'm okay to talk about it - because if it makes one person feel less alone in the world - AMAZING. It's a natural thing. Like boogers and snot. Whilst it might be natural, it doesn't make it less gross. At least you know there are others out there.
I'd love to add more tips into the above for suggestions on how to combat sweat anxiety, or to embrace it (more or less) - so drop a comment in the comment box below!
Two posts in one day? Whoops! Here’s a catch up on some things that have happened this month ♥