I’m trying to be quite. To listen and to concentrate. But there’s always a gushing of water in my mind. An unsettled muse who makes my heart tremble when I ignore her. She has the annoying quality of always being right. Not about everything because she is still a part of me but about what I want. Yeah, the bitch has got the goods. She is quiet now. Quieter the longer I sit here and click away at the glowing keys. I think about her all day long. We form songs, and dance, and play. We remember the sunlight together, the ocean around us, the wind. She is always with me. And I am always thinking about her. I want her to know that she has value, she is so valuable to me. She is my greatest distraction and most prominent joy. 

The world does not make sense to me without her. I have neglected her, many times before, as I have let myself be neglected. She doesn't seem to mind though. Not because she can’t see her own value but because she sees mine. She knows my purpose, intent, was never to hide her or hurt her. She speaks through me and my eyes focus, my exterior is calm but inside I am burning, turning thoughts together and pacing my heart. 

She has been there from the beginning, when she was just small and I eagerly walked by her side. She made me stick out alright. We danced like nobody was watching while everyone watched. We sang like nobody could hear in the choir. We spoke the truth as we came to know it, as solid as a rock. Until the water came to wash our truth away. I know the moments I ignored her. That boy I kissed who tortured not only my heart. That drink I had when I wanted none. The time I gave to those that only took from me. 

Yes, I ignored you well, and you were screaming. But you are so fucking strange! What the fuck is wrong with you? Seriously? Who wants to do what you do? No one! Thats why no ones doing the things you think of. That’s why, at each step, there’s not only an obstacle, there’s no net. There are plenty of nets available just that the fisherman are all having a nap. 

Yes, I waited. I did. I would play tricks on the side and entertain you a little. We had some fun though right? Sometimes we had fun? I like it when you smile. I like seeing your teeth and your eyes wrinkle. You are really beautiful and I like it when we sit together. I think you’re really smart. I think that you imagine outside of the system because there is no system, at least not one that wasn’t of our making. We can remake them. Unmake them. It all takes time, it takes time. I know. I see it. I can tell.

So? We have the idea. The next most important step is the communication of ht idea, that’s what will get us. The execution is execution, once its across the line, we got this. But communicating the big idea so that other people, not just you or I will understand, there’s the gold. That’s what we need to focus on. I have to show up. I know. I have to be here. 

I feel so vulnerable though. We’ve never fully committed to each other before. I have been committed before. I miss it. I miss the embrace of love. So I wonder, if I love you, will you love me back? I think you just might.

The Pig Queen

I was tempted to write on international women's day. I helped facilitate a discussion about women in the workplace and unconscious bias at my work. Unconscious bias does not only apply to women but any minority that is discriminated against. In a sometimes 'rigid with process' environment, the informal discussions brought to light unconscious biases present in every part of society. This was most notable for me:

A father noticed how his daughters favourite cartoon showed the Pig King leaving every day to take care of the pig kingdom and the Pig Queen staying home to take care of the piglets.

Amongst the discussions we tried to determine what is was we could DO. What to do about unconscious bias on the local level. Without much guide it seems as though everyone is left to their own devices. And with something that we assume to be unconscious, how do we awaken consciousness to our life?

Deliberately. With intention and action. So, without direction, WE have to determine how to eliminate bias that is deeply engrained into our society. Look inwardly, sit with your bias. Think whether or not you can justify this way of thinking anymore. Create your own stories to tell your children.

There were once two rulers of all the pigs in all the land. Two of equal love and respect. Their love had grown deeply from admiration, understanding and humour. After long consideration and contemplation they consciously decided to raise piglets together.  Their home squealed with laughter, with bedtime tears and early morning sunrises. To care for their piglets the two Pigs decided to share their time at home raising their piglets and working. When one of the pigs began to work more, the other would remind them that they are equal in all their endevours in work, life and family. The two pig rulers would rebalance and reprioritise their lives. And once again, their home would be filled with squeals of laughter, goodnight kisses and early morning walks. 

Anxiety + books

My tendency for buying books and half reading them is not necessarily a demonstration of procrastination on my part. Numerous sources (including most recently an episode for Tim Ferriss's podcast by Naval Ravikant) have sited reading multiple books at a time - reading them when they serve you and depending on what mood you are in. I have a couple of books that I've been jumping in between for a while now and have just come across a line from Russ Harris's The Happiness Trap that I wanted to share with you.

"All of us, at times, avoid challenges in order to escape the stress or anxiety that goes with them."

I can say that I have found this to be true for myself. I can also say that through avoidance of my feelings, over long periods of time, I have become increasingly anxious. The whole point of avoiding challenging circumstances is to avoid anxiety. So I'm clearly missing the mark! Anxiety it is an inevitable human emotion that does not need to be paid much attention, other that to accept it.

I am getting better at recognising these patterns of thought and am eased by the way The Happiness Trap explains them. This book helps you understand that many of your thoughts are part of an evolutionary process and are strongly linked to your natural instinct to survive.

Now that humans have evolved, some instincts are misplaced. For example, you may fear writing a blog (a book, a script - anything) because instinctually your brain thinks of all the possible outcomes which includes the horrendous possibility that no one, in a worlds full of billions of people, will like your writing. And if no one likes it, therefore no one likes you. And if no one likes you, then they don't want you in their society. And if you're not part of society, then you die. Good old brain doesn't realise that you won't actually, literally, physically DIE if no one liked your work.

So now I'm just hanging out for Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert to come out! She (apparently) talks a bit about fear + creativity - coz if I didn't already make it apparent, I am afraid. Afraid that my writing isn't good enough but even more so, that I will never reach for anything with my writing because it makes me anxious.

But fuq it.  Year of Doing and all.

My picture

I somewhat shy away from my picture being taken. Not when I’m with friends or family, even though then I still get anxious – will I look good? Is my double chin out again? Do I look natural? Am I enjoying myself? I should probably take another pic just in case.

Some possible reasons:

1/ My mum used to take pictures of me as a kid. Which was both fun and boring. Fun when the picture turned out to be nice. Boring because to get a nice picture it would take half a day. Maybe it was these hours spent in front of the camera that made me look around and see the world as a picture.
2/ Mum would also tell me that make-up is for the stage. And as a mini-ballerina with a mother who always went au natural that seemed plausible enough. That little theory suited me well in high-school. Everyone had gotten used to me never wearing makeup so when I did it was a huge surprise. I quickly figured this out and would wear makeup when I was feeling particularly teenageously hideous aka I had a pimple.
3/ I get uncomfortable about unwarranted sexual attention. I love it when I want it. But I don’t deserve unconditional attention because I’m take the space of a female human shape. I was once told my LinkedIn picture was beautiful. I changed it. Being beautiful is not a necessary factor when applying for a job.In conclusion, I want to participate in social media but I don't find it natural at all. 

I'm generally a private person. An overshare-er because I love awkward humour but private about my personal life. But it's 2016 and I want to be there and be part of the conversation. I have good things to say. I understand various concepts. I know what I stand for. I am doing. I am going to do! To write and express and be present. In this moment. I am here.

13 March 2016, update:

I recently found the hashtag icanbeboth.

This movement expresses what I didn't know existed. That I limited my choices and experiences because I felt I could not be both intelligent and beautiful. That one excluded the other. This was reinforced by many people around me. Most notably, a male friend that I worked with commenting that I was the most fashionable at work (I now dress like a slob to work), that my LinkedIn picture was beautiful (as above) and that if I'm considering a career change I should become a bank teller (after receiving the same education at the same university). 

*blogger is being bullshit and not formatting properly. I have tried 1000 times. What a piece of shit.

Start again

I’m going to start again. Now. And each day that will follow, will start anew. 

Just like the Chinese Year of the Monkey, I have decided that this is the Helena Year of Doing! I am doing - I am learning to code, I am reading my un-read books, I am writing my script and short stories. I am going to go further than I have before, fear my by side, along for the ride.  

For the past year I have been trawling through all the Melbourne based meetups for entrepreneurs to soak in the room and the creativity. In all honesty I was looking for a co-founder. Someone with passion who wanted to make things happen! I have passion and a vision for a holistic, balanced society – one that believes equality is the norm, that animals deserve respect and that ideas can become reality. 

I began working towards this vision through this blog with a friend. When her passion faded, I kept searching. I would look for holes in the market – who has a problem and how can I solve it!? My ideas are grand – a community of families who share babysitting schedules to help minimise the need for day care; dog rescues working with breeders to tackle illegitimate puppy rings; a self-reflective app that helps you analyse your own life. Whenever I would find myself sore with sorrow that I had yet to achieve these dreams, I would write.

I would write about a girl who I loved as a sister and how she deeply hated me. I would write about the inventors and their father who would dream big dreams waiting for their mother to come home. I would write about eating cake from the inside out because the icing was too sweet. 

I am determined to do. I am continuing my life long journey to learn by taking up coding classes, refreshing my statistical analysis skills and entering into writing competitions. I am empathetic in my love for animals and people. I love to hike and wake up early in the morning. I love being at peace with nature. My favourite weather is when it’s windy. I am an aunt of four so I know how to be silly and when to be firm. 

I have a broad and diverse background. I started life as an actor and grew to love film making. I studied film but feared I could not make it into a career. I went to university and studied Arts - majoring in history and politics. I fell in love with economics when it showed me a way to understand peoples incentives and prove social behaviours. I graduated with a double degree in Arts and Economics with honours in Economics. But my heart always stayed with writing.

I am awesome and it wont take you long to see that. I care about my work, loved ones and myself. I’m a vegan Melbournian so you know I have a regular stash of Pana chocolate around the house.