Being a Night Owl

I’ve always loved the night. There’s something about the sunless calm that brings me to life and fills my soul with creative energy; energy that I expel in the form of writing, art and music. It’s ‘my time’. Everyone is sleeping and the house is quiet, just for me. Being an introvert, having this time to myself is something I consider essential for me to function like a normal human being, but sometimes I wish I could share my time with others, and be in their presence when I feel most like myself. My mind comes alive after midnight, and I have all these thoughts and ideas itching to escape, but no one to share them with. Don’t get me wrong, if people suddenly became nocturnal, I’d feel immediately claustrophobic, robbed of my time and energy. I just wish that every now and then, I had someone to stay up with and talk to until the sun peeks over the horizon and the sky turns dusky. Tonight is one of those nights. As the world is enveloped in darkness and minds drift into unconsciousness, my veins thrum with electricity and my thoughts demand to be heard. I feel alive.


Hair, Hair Everywhere!

Growing up, I had pathetic wisps of blonde hair that fell like a mop around my face. My hair has always been fine, and for the majority of my life, it never grew past my shoulders. That is… until I told myself it would be long, luscious, and reach my bellybutton one day. Cue the use of horse shampoo, oil treatments, hair masks and meticulous brushing (because it tangles so ridiculously easily!), which has undeniably impacted my entire surroundings. You see, my hair is about halfway down my back these days, and though it’s much thicker than it used to be, it sheds like crazy. It’s everywhere, and I’m constantly being surprised by the long, golden strands I find in the most peculiar of places. Wrapped around water bottle lids, woven in the fabric of my socks, settled comfortably on stove tops and hiding behind cushions. Wherever I have been, even if only briefly, there is likely a part of me that has made itself at home. Perhaps the strangest place I have discovered a strand, is in my freezer, chilling out in an open bag of frozen peas. Somehow, in the few seconds I rarely open the freezer door, a strand of my hair has abandoned my head, leapt into the icy cave and crawled through the small opening of a plastic bag to immerse itself in frozen peas. Like… what? I’m not sure if my hair is out to take over the world, or just clog the vacuum cleaner, but whatever the case may be, I appreciate the strands that are happy to remain on my head for however long they choose to stay.




I’m not sure what it is about me that makes strangers, particularly the elderly, think me sound enough to strike up a conversation. Being painfully shy, I tend to slink away from those I don’t know, but there’s something about the meaningful, often inspiring conversations that I have with fellow commuters and passers by that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Today, whilst waiting for my bus, a lovely older woman started talking to me about her three sons, all of which live overseas and work in various trades (apparently plumbers study for six years!). We talked about the world, owning a cafe, the price of real estate and travelling the country in a caravan, among other things. It was a lovely little conversation that brightened my morning and put a smile on my face. These days, people hardly look up from their screens long enough to notice the people they’re surrounded by. It saddens me that so many people are missing out on the wisdom and advice others have to give, and the simple pleasure of making a fleeting connection with someone outside their circle, whom they otherwise may never have spoken to. You could be the sunshine in someone’s day, an objective ear that listens without judgement or the strength someone needs to push through a difficult time. My most memorable and treasured connection was made when I waiting for the bus one day after school. I lifted my eyes from the book I was reading to see an elderly man with a cane sit by my side. He never did tell me his name, but he was 91 years old, and legally blind. The stories he told about his youth, and the world as it changed over the decades had me captivated, absorbing the wisdom he had to impart, and the joy left in his wake. He left after what felt like hours, humming happily before turning around to wish me a wonderful life. I think about him often, wondering if he has passed away or if he’s still wandering contentedly, chatting with other people that pause to lend him a listening ear. Whether it’s someone voicing their suspicions about an unfaithful partner, a man telling you that he has brain cancer or a woman whipping out a folder filled with pictures of her photocopied face (yes, I have experienced all of these interactions), take a moment to appreciate the unique people that we pass everyday and often never give a second though. Give them that human connection that is quickly and quietly slipping into oblivion.


Mountains, Snow & Introversion

Over the past 11 days, I traveled across New Zealand’s beautiful South Island in a Maui camper van with my parents and two of my siblings… and it was definitely an experience! Cramming myself into a sardine can with five adults and playing human tetris for nearly two weeks isn’t something I intend on recreating anytime soon, but there were a lot of memories made and a lot of moments that could’ve been plucked right from the movie RV, though luckily, besides a lopsided number plate, the van survived our journeys.

New Zealand has been the 7th country I’ve visited in the last 3 years, and although we didn’t get the opportunity to do a lot of things due to a tight budget and the weather, it was amazing to drive through the rugged wilderness that stretched for miles with beautiful sights to see in every direction. Until a few days ago, I’d never seen proper snow before, let alone been snowed on, made snow angels or been able to catch the delicate flakes on my tongue; all of which I can now cross off my bucket list. The snow was my favourite part of our trip, and even though its cold, wetness can easily become uncomfortable and inconvenient, I still find it magical. Due to our long days driving, I read five books, was annoyed by one sister and ignored by one brother. Apparently, eating biscuits ‘loudly’ at 9am in a confined space is enough to earn my place on the ‘most hated’ list for an entire day! Though by far, the most memorable moment was when we decided to cook a meal one night which led to oil and pieces of bacon popping and flying all over the van, on my father’s head and even into the pocket of my mother’s jacket. That was fun to clean up! Being surrounded by and unable to escape my family for an extended period of time was at times, an unpleasant reminder of how if I don’t have enough time to myself, I become irritable and my emotions go a bit haywire. I’m a highly introverted being, and even though I babble non stop and have plenty of energetic, crazy moments with those I’m comfortable with, I need alone time like I need air to breathe. So being without it for so long, I had a few squabbles with my family, and would sulk on the opposite end of the van, as unfortunately, rain and snow makes for a difficult time venturing outside. For the last year or so, I’ve had almost unlimited hours to myself, and so experiencing what it was like to crave that time again has made me appreciate the moments when I do get to just shut myself away from the world and exist in my bubble for a little while. All in all, I had a very cold, sometimes unexpected but continuously beautiful holiday with my family, that I will cherish for the good times, and even the bad, because it was a once in a lifetime experience that I have no plans of revisiting. Good riddance Maui camper van!




Today I held a dove as it died in my arms. It was the first time I’ve ever witnessed the moment when life suddenly isn’t there anymore, and it horrified me. For fifteen minutes, I cradled the stunned dove that had been attacked by magpies, its wide eyes staring at nothing, its little body trembling in my hands. After trying to fly, he fell to the floor and died seconds later. It was a seizure, from shock my mother told me. It wasn’t peaceful like everyone claims death to be. It was violent and awful; the sight of a little heart giving its final few beats, a feathered body convulsing with the end of life. I was devastated. He was supposed to fly into the sunset a few hours later, but instead was lying limp on my living room floor. I’ve always hated death; the knowledge that eventually, everything must die. When I was a child, I remember saving insects from spiders webs, untangling them from their silk prisons and setting them free. To my dismay, I was informed that in doing so, I was potentially endangering the life of the spider instead. This is when I realised that life is cruel. But still, I tried my hardest to make sure every creature had a chance. I’d save the insects, rush to the windowsill, gather the dead flies that lay there and rush back to spider, carefully placing them in the delicate web. All the spiders in my house probably hated me. If I was served month-old roadkill instead of a steak, I’d probably hate me too. As the years passed, I learned to accept that I can’t save everything, but today – holding the dove that I’d bonded with for a few short moments – and watching it move on from this world… well, I guess it was just a harsh reminder that life can be swept out from underneath us at any moment. How depressing.



My Mind at Night

I have insomnia. Sometimes my mind insists on keeping me awake even when my body screams for sleep, and I have no choice but to let it. Drawing helps me put things into perspective and halts the progression of my negative thoughts before they pull me deeper into the dark, bottomless pit that I dig myself. This drawing took several months to complete, because I worked on it only when I was feeling anxious, mostly at nighttime. Charcoal isn’t my preferred medium as I’m a perfectionist and end up covered in it, but I felt it worked best to convey the emotions I was trying to express. I’m grateful to have things I can do that silence my mind – I know that not everyone does.


Expiry Date

“One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.”

There is no quote that terrifies me more than this one. What’s worse than waking up one day and realising that your entire life has passed you by, seemingly in the blink of an eye? Quickly and quietly, perception catches you off guard and pulls the rug out from underneath you, leaving you scrambling to make something of yourself. To find purpose and fulfillment in this otherwise stale existence. Growing old is inevitable, and it’s one of, if not my biggest fear. I don’t want to age, not because I’m afraid of wrinkles and grey hair, but because these changes remind me that I have an expiry date. Perhaps, because I’m still young and have barely scratched the surface of what will become my life, I don’t understand the natural progression and ultimately, surrendering one must feel when they’ve reached the end of their tether. I’ve seen it in the eyes of the elderly who used to reside in the nursing home my sister once worked at. A look of acceptance, of exhaustion, and of peace. A life filled with joy, love, pain and grief, of moments that make us feel like we’re flying, and others when we struggle to catch our breaths. After decades of experiences, of milestones, hardships and accomplishments, there must come a time when someone decides they’ve had enough. For some, this moment comes much earlier in the timeline of their existence, either through the hands of the universe, or their very own. Others try to fight time and cling onto the appearance of someone they once were, continuously altering their bodies in the pursuit of eternal youth. We’re all walking the same path, and inevitably, we will all reach the end. We won’t all stumble across the same rocks or divots in the earth, and where some of us see as a path lined with flowers, others see only weeds. The lives we live are fleeting, and whilst we should accept the fact that we live within the constraints of time, we shouldn’t let that define the choices we make or the emotions we let consume us. Sometimes I feel like little more than a fearful child shoved into the body of someone who’s supposed to have everything figured out, but I don’t think anyone actually does. Contemplate the future and accept the past, but live in the present and take comfort in knowing that no one really knows what to do with this gift we call life.


It’s Okay to Feel Sad

If we never felt sadness, we wouldn’t ever appreciate what it feels like to be truly happy. With nothing to compare and contrast against the positive emotions, happiness becomes a constant state of being, synonymous with what it means to be human. Our lives would become dull. Yet, despite me being able to recognise the important role sadness plays in my life, I still struggle to accept when I feel anything other than content. I don’t allow myself to be sad as often as I should, because I don’t feel like I deserve to be sad. For the most part, I live a wonderful life. I’m surrounded by incredible, supportive and understanding people; I have a roof over my head, food in my belly and a bedroom filled with art supplies and books. I have so much, whereas others have so little, and so I tell myself that because others have it much worse, I’m supposed to be happy. But it’s okay to feel sad. Life isn’t a straight line that we follow until we reach the end of our road; no, life is an obstacle course that we’re thrown into blindfolded with no clue how to navigate our way through it. Even the most privileged of people will struggle at times, and that’s okay. Every single one of us will experience moments of both extreme joy and pain throughout our lifetimes, regardless of what kind of childhood we had or how much money we make. If a child breaks their arm, we don’t tell them to suck it up and stop crying because others are dying of cancer. We love and support them, and do our best to ease their pain. Sadness can’t be fixed with a bandage because sometimes it demands to be felt.

“Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain, but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain.”




Curiosity Killed The Cat

A friend of mine once said I have an innate curiosity, an intense thirst for knowledge. I love learning new things and broadening my understanding of the world around me and everything in it. If I haven’t learnt something new for a few days, I become antsy. As far as I’m aware, I have always been a curious being. A few years ago, my parents bought me a blank journal and titled it “Google it” because even throughout my teenage years, I would always ask ‘why’ like an incessant toddler, and so they’d always tell me to just ‘Google it’. I’m still a walking question mark, but after realising that most people don’t have the answers I seek or simply cannot be bothered explaining them to me, I keep them safe in a little compartment in my mind. And yes, they all inevitably get Googled. Did you know that it’s impossible to hum when you hold your nose? Don’t worry, everyone sounds ridiculous, I promise. ^.^

I’m on a constant mission for new discoveries; mental, philosophical, historical or factual. It doesn’t matter what kind of knowledge I gain, I just love to learn. If I come across something I don’t know, or that intrigues me, I instantly want to learn about it – such as today, when I read an article about how to properly clean a penis. I do not own a penis, and have no idea why I felt inclined to read this article other than blatant curiosity, but I learned a lot. Even though I might not be able to use this new-found information myself, I can either pass it on to others or wait until I have little boys of my own, so I can teach them. It fills me with joy to learn, even about things completely unrelated to me whatsoever. Perhaps this is why it takes a lot to disturb me… because I’m also morbidly curious. I want to know about serial killers, cannibals, Hitler and everything else horrible in the world, because I want to understand. Why do they think that way; why do they do the things they do? A lot of it is fear based. The more I know, the more I think I can protect myself. It’s a weird thing, curiosity, and I’m yet to decide whether or not it’s a blessing or a curse… curiosity did kill the cat after all.