The Big Dream and The Get-me-out-of-here

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There is a pandemic sweeping the lives of the late-twenty-early-thirty-something year olds who don’t have children, might have fur-babies and wake up one day asking themselves WHAT THE FUCK.

If you are reading this and taking a big deep breath because you realize you are not alone, you are welcome. If this awakens a long dormant sleeping dragon of thought that you suspected existed but you couldn’t fully recognize, then I apologize – because shiiiiit I am about to justify every niggle you ever felt.

We, the unsettled settled are out there and we are hungry, we are stubborn, we are restless and we are bursting out of our skins. Indulge me in self indulgence all you traditionalists.

Over countless coffee’s and beers, I’ve had the same conversation over and over again. The “I am stuck in a rut and I don’t even know how to get out because I’m too damn tired” one, where educated, hardworking, passionate people, lament the thought bubble we are stuck in. We were told we could have it all. So where is it? Cookie please!

The new normal is that we want to have jobs we like, we want to travel the world, have a couple babies, maybe get married and be able to afford it all while the job market around us is like “JK bae, 10+ years experience, no benefits, $38k pa and you cool with working unpaid overtime and weekends? Holla at me!” and the dating scene is a revolving door of fuckboys and girls who can’t make eye contact with anything but their phones. The news is going: Don’t even THINK about getting on a train/plane or congregating anywhere in public in case of shootings/bombings/knife attacks and our parents are getting older and more dependent. That isn’t depressing. No siree.

Believe me, I’m aware of how lucky I am. I’m writing this to you from a first world country that I am allowed to live in because my parents were born in the right place and got me a “good” passport. If I sound articulate or intelligent by any stretch, it’s because I am also educated thanks to that same birth place, and the guidance of two excellent people who poured money into my brain (via the veins of formal instructional institutions). I’m white, which means I hopefully wont get shot for no reason in my car, and I’m female, which puts me at an advantage or a disadvantage depending on who you talk to, and so long as I’m not running for president.

And listen, I’m the first person to call people out on #firstworldproblems. Believe me. I’ve walked on the sidelines of poverty, I know that there are deeper issues at play in our world than the demented cries of a person who can’t afford the new iPhone.

But if there is one thing I have learned over the last few months of the ups and downs, it is that you can’t just push away things that you feel, and you can’t panic or beat yourself up because you feel them (thanks Mum) or because you are so preoccupied with keeping up the pretences that you have your shit together on social media. We know you don’t have your shit together…we’ve been to your apartment.

I feel it and I’m calling it out. The transition from hopefully graduate to slightly more jaded adult is not that fun at the moment. It’s not cute any more that we feel directionless. This isn’t Sex and the City where our lack of partners is because there is just too much dick to choose from. Our parents are sitting us down telling us they’d “like to see us get on the property ladder” and we’re agreeing with them whole heartedly as we open another letter about our student loans and wondering if we’ll get scurvy if we eat no-brand frosted flakes five nights a week for dinner.

We all started out with such big dreams! We went to school and we played along and we were encouraged to day-dream about what we “wanted to be” when we grew up. And then half of us fell off the wagon somewhere after high school and shrugged and realized that our job’s maybe don’t have to be our careers. Then we split up again when some of us realized that we’d give up that dream job for the security of that paycheck, or the option to travel with work. Those of us that have stayed the course  are more often than not slamming our faces into our laptops in the public library when we are on the hunt for the next job or big break AGAIN, thinking about escaping through English teaching in Asia or “how much DOES selling your *insert body part or fluid* really pay?”

I don’t have the solution to the twentythirtysomething malaise, and no matter how I google it (or Bing it… just kidding The Bing is dead, long live the Bing), no advice post or computer filtered answer can make my decisions for me (though I’d invest in the app that could).

All I know is that personally, I live happiest in the carnage and constant movement of work and sensory overload – when there are TOO many plates spinning in the air (because when that happens, how could I possibly have time to turn inwards). That lifestyle doesn’t really jive-turkey with the expiring “rising-of-the-ladder” career trajectory theory, and I’m tired of trying to be a square peg in a round hole.

Success is measured in many different ways, which is a topic for another day.

But for today – for those this resonates with, just know that you are not alone, and I’ve come to know, for myself anyway, that is the door doesn’t open, I’m just going to have to buy a sledge hammer. The coffee is on me when it comes to these conversations, because maybe if we stack our thoughts and idea’s one on top of each other, we’ll find a way to climb out of these ruts.

 

Sweetpea is Dead

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My name is Paris, and I am not your “Sweetie”, “Sweetpea” or your “Honey”. I am a twenty seven year old adult (as far as you know) that works near you.

There is only one man who is allowed to call me Sweetie, and he wears ugly crocks, speaks bad french and gave me half of my last name (love you Dad).

So why is it, that I find myself being pet-named on frequent occasions, by dudes (and its 99% of the time dudes) I barely know? It is beyond frustrating, rude and very very unprofessional. Haven’t these fuckers watched Mad Men? We don’t want to be cute-sied, we want us to be taken FUCKING seriously. EVERY time some rent-a-suit calls me “Sweetie” I feel my Spice-Girl raised Girl Power soul shrivel and cringe inside. I am woman hear me ROAR.

Why is this happening?

I look down at myself today. Black jeans, black top, side braid, wedges. Nope, as I suspected, not wearing something that could have me be mistaken for a small child on a swing with a broken ice cream cone.

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My attitude? Friendly, bubbly, outgoing. Not ditzy.

Okay. Maybe I’m being sensitive, maybe I should be careful not to fall town the Tumblrina rabbit hole of getting everyone to check their privilege (BOW TO THE POWER OF MY ALL ENCOMPASSING OVARIAN FEMALE MIGHT) but really, I mean really.

Do I look like a Sweetie? Does Madonna get called fucking Sweetpea before she opens a jar of jam with her brickhard thighs? Does Hilary Clinton get “Honey”?

Obama: Hi Honey, just letting you know I’m going to endorse you for president okay pumpkin?

How come I never hear blokes I’ve worked with getting pet names (unless you work in Australia and count ‘Cunt’ as an affectionate pet name)?

It boggles my mind that a man would think its totally fine to call me sweetie, but would NEVER EVER call someone of the same age, and position, different gender, a cute-sy name.

And I wish I could say, “oh its just the older generation, they don’t know any better” but no. No it isn’t. Guys very barely my senior do this. Have they forgotten my name? Is it like when you call someone “Buddy” because you can’t remember and it has been too long and you are afraid to ask?

Thankfully I am not alone in my frustrations. There are plenty of articles online claiming that these “terms of endearment” are actually subtle ways of belittling or condescending strong women in the work force, and urging professional ladies to put their foot down.

Suggestions for combating Sweetie-itis seem to run along the “just say politely do you mind not calling me that” lines, which seems way less dramatic than what I was thinking: morphing into a huge psychotic bitch that no one would dare condescend to and spritzing people with bear mace until they learn.

Sweetpea is dead people. Now, there is only Zuul… I mean Paris.

 

 

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…or maims you horrifically for life

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I like that saying: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”(WDKYMYS). It sounds good, it’s inspirational. It makes you think “Heck, things were tough/awful/soul destroying – but I’m still here!!”

People have appropriated that saying into songs (looking at you Kelly Clarkson), put it on T-shirts, tattooed it on their bodies, put it over pictures of sunsets and posted it on each others walls when their friends have been dumped by jerk’s named Derrick (fuck you Derrick you meanie!)

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I like the expression, but I don’t know if I always agree with it.

Because sometimes things kill you a little bit inside and they make you feel weaker, they throw off your game.

Was Leo’s character stronger at the end of the Revenant after he got fucked up by a bear, watched his son get murdered, was left for dead and then had to crawl through the snow and shit of 1800’s Canada to Murder my future ex-husband/baby-daddy Tom Hardy’s character? (Oh yeah, spoiler alert… but seriously if you haven’t seen that movie yet get your shit together – it was nominated for and lost best picture like 5 months ago).

I mean…I guess he was stronger – like how calluses get stronger on the tops of your feet. But he was also weaker because he had lost his humanity, and he was a murderer murderer and he was gross (like a callus – see how I tied all that together? Yay Creative Writing Masters degree)

I wonder if people use WDKYMYS as a way to excuse awful situations they don’t know how to extricate themselves from?

I’d consider myself a strong person who has faced some challenges. Would I exchange them for an easy life where some of the shitty things didn’t happen to me? Yes of course! I’m not insane. Faced with two choices: an easy road and a hard, bush-basher of a path, I think most of us would choose the easy option.

But life doesn’t work like that, and there are plenty of things that will try to throw you off the plans you’ve made, a death in the family, a financial set-back, a painful divorce, an unexpected illness.

So I propose a re-word. “What doesn’t kill you makes you different” – because not all things make you stronger, and thats okay too.

You are not a failure if you come out of a near-death-esque experience and think: “well that fucking sucked” and you’re not stronger.

End of Thought.

 

7 Passive Aggressive things I will do if you piss me off, that you will never know about

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7. Mispronounce and misspell your name when speaking to people we both know, about you:
“How is um…what was her name…shit… Diandra? You know, the brunette from Sales? Oh Diana? With an iana on the end? Huh. You have literally not corrected me 30 times. Weird.”

6. Delete all of your text messages out of my phone:
Because even seeing your name in my inbox pisses me off.

5. Depending how much you have pissed me off… delete your phone number:
So when you next text me I have to be all “Sorry who is this? Just updated my IOS and lost all my contacts. Oh Diandra! How are you!!?”

4. Write a thinly veiled blog post about you
Ahem.

3. Give you a really awkward nickname that me and my friends will exclusively refer to you as, that likely has something to do with a physical trait of yours:
“Hey remember when I was telling you about that guy Boyband? You know, he’s friends with insanely-small-dick-and-balls?”

2. Consistently tag you in photos online where you look really fat/disgusting and play dumb every time you crack the shits.

1. Name a shit thing that happens after you and just continuously use your name in this manner:
*Paris eats the rest of her friends ice cream. Paris’s friend discovers this and loses her mind.
Paris: I’m sorry I pulled a Fat-Fuck-Sam, but I was just so incredibly hungry.

 

Craigslist Crawl

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I love to procrastinate on the internet – there are so many cat videos and crazy personal stories to enjoy – the internet is like a buffet of junk food for my brain. I have access to all these amazing resources, could be increasing my knowledge or bettering myself but instead I trawl through reddit and buzzfeed type webpages, really learning nothing but secretly judging others from the comfort of a desk chair.

Sometimes when I’m stuffed to the gills with mind-garbage, I’ll go to weirder corners of the cyber-verse for my kicks. In my quest to kill time and learn nothing, I’ve pinned fashionable outfits I will never own, posted relationship advice to people I will never meet, and created online dating profiles to stalk/secretly judge those who pour their heart out online.

But the truth of the matter is, I dated a dude off the internet for two years. That’s not something that is a secret – and a large group of people know that I did (the University friends, ahhhh how they laughed at the time – what a stigma it was then back at the beginning of 2009) but it’s something that doesn’t always come up when you meet people.

Stranger: Hey, how are you?

Paris: Great, I used to have a boyfriend from the internet.

Annnnnd Scene. Great work everybody, take 5 and when we come back we’ll try it again, but this time our motivation will be that we’re trying to survive a bleak alien apocalypse while being awkwardly trapped in an elevator.

In case you don’t know me at all, I’m the heart broken type, and by that I mean, I get ridiculously caught up and moody over dudes I like that don’t like me back. Here is the blog I posted back in 2011 when I got dumped. You are probably highly impressed by the nuances and sophistication of early Austraalien blogs. I know I don’t cringe AT ALL whenever I go back in time *sarcasm intensifies.*

I find people fascinating and I am really interested in the stories of others.

There used to be such a limited way to meet people online specifically for dating/hooking up purposes, but now there are SO many ways to find that special someone that is just as weird as you.

Some online dating is like ordering off a menu – the dating profile trawl. Create a profile, select your preferences (height, smoking yes/no, eye colour, number of offspring, age, theories on what happened to that malaysian plane that no one seems to be talking about anymore) and then boom, a dating pool. You can weed out the people you’re not too sure about by a simple list of specifics tailored to your taste.

I used to tell people that online dating was great because you had it all out there on paper – you had all the facts and could use that to determine whether or not you had common ground. Whereas with real-life interaction you had to find out those things for yourself in person (boooo – human interaction – yuck).

So explain this one to me:

Craigslist personals.

I have used Craigslist since August 2011 when I was searching for a place to live in Toronto. I’ve used it multiple times for finding roomies, part time creative work and furniture. But it wasn’t until one fatefully cold, cooped up, winter night with an insane Australian friend (Lady Alexandra Howard, I miss you every day – an actual TITLED Lady just FYI), that I discovered the wacky world of the Craigslist personals.

If you’ve never been over to that part of the internet I suggest you go and fill your voyeuristic heart with glee. I have since spent many a drunken evening crawling through the pages, trying to avoid cock photos blatantly posted, and trying to decipher the craigslist codes (BBW?! What on earth…. to google!) In all honesty on drunken nights in it has become a drinking game tailored specifically to the judgey and lazy.

Never have I responded to a craigslist post, but lets be honest, in one of my FUCKITYOLO moments I’ve thought about it (that’s just how I roll… WILD CARD BITCHES).

I mean… most of the men looking for women posts involve promises of expert cunnilingus or requests to do with feet, or read like something out of 50 Shades of Grey (You want me to tie you up and spank you because you have been a very very bad girl… no I’m actually a really good girl, I vote and pay my taxes and I give up my seat *coughsometimes* to old people so um….) – none of it really appeals to me.

And yet… I currently know two couples in functioning, lovely relationships who met off craigslist.

One couple, I know for a fact, literally happened because of the success of the first couple. Girl in couple two saw what couple one had and went – YEP, help me tailor a personals ad. Both couples are killing it with the whole adult-grownup-thing, so rock on you adorable internet people.

I’ve never discussed with either female-couple-half how many weirdo’s contacted her (I’m guessing quite a few) – but that is besides the point!

In the ever changing landscape of dating and how we as humans spend our time, there really isn’t any excuse to be single if you don’t want to be, what with the smorgasbord of online options.

Step 1: Go online
Step 2: Order boyfriend
Step 3: Hit the little trolley icon in the top right corner
Step 4: Happily ever after.

Right?

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Hmmmm

Or maybe not…yet…

5 Things I am doing in the shower, that is not showering

At my apartment we have a shower bath Combo (which is pretty glorious and so fancy) so that when I feel lazy or sick (like ever since I got from France) I can lie down and just kindof splash around a bit and then BOOM, I’m clean. That’s how hygiene works, right you guys?

But lets be honest – there is something to be said for showers. Not only can you get in and out faster than a bath, showers are great places for activities. It’s a time all of your own where all of life’s irritations just slip away.

For a very long time I was convinced that I was ACTUALLY in the Truman show. I thought there were camera behind the mirrors (this has a large part to play in why I always used to hate being naked as an awkward teenager, even alone in the bathroom…

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that and the film Candy Man which scarred me for life – I thought a man with Hook hands who could control bees would jump out of the mirror and kill me if I said “Candy Man” three times looking into a reflective service…I wouldn’t used a public restroom by myself for 2 years… my parents were furious)

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Thank god there isn’t an audience tuned into me at all times (I’m an attention seeker, but I’m not that bad…). If you were to observe my habits in the shower… you would have me taken off to a nice quiet room somewhere. Somewhere nice with padded walls and a TV set to static.

Things I am doing in the shower, that is not showering

1. Winning imaginary arguments (that have likely ended long ago or never actually occurred)
This is by far the most cliche and popular of the not showering activities. I know I am not alone when I say that I come up with some of my best counter attacks in that damp, white walled solitude. Witty lines that are just the right amount of cutting as to leave my foe destroyed, barbarous parting remarks that I re-enact as I flip my soggy hair over my shoulder. If only there were a way to pause a fight mid-bitch, so that I might run home, jump in the shower, think of all the right things to say, dry off, return to the scene and deliver a long lasting comeuppance. Come on Science, hop to it.

2. Trying out awkward voices and faces
By no means am I a professional voice actor (This face was not made to be hid behind that of a cartoon, I mean c’mon) but I definitely fancy myself a bit of an amateur when it comes to silly voices. My favourite thing to do is speak-sing the words of a song in a really terrifyingly shrill voice. Like “A scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from me, hanging on the passenger side of his best friends ride, trying to holler at me” spoken like a much more high pitched yoda voice. Then imagine me trying to do a convincing velociraptor… all while naked. You’re aroused. I can tell. You’re thinking… HOW is this girl single. I know. I know.

3. Sucking in my Stomach really hard to see how it would be feel to be super skinny
If I sucked in my stomach really hard all the time, man I would be so sexy. I could totally do it right? Just like never breathe or laugh or talk? I’d be like 2 sizes smaller AT LEAST. Try it next time you’re in there and marvel at the body you could totally have if you just weren’t alive and stuff.

4. Trying to figure out how much less I would weigh if I just didn’t have boobs
Is there a way to weigh one specific body part? Like do they have a bra scale that you can just sling over your shoulder and be like: It’s all good guys, I actually only weigh 146 pounds, cos I’m carrying like 10 pounds a boob of breast weight! Or for those with big booties, couldn’t they just have the lip of a seat that you could hang your ass over? And then you could be like I’m not fat, I just have exactly 14lbs of junk in my trunk.

5. Doing Sweet dance moves (I could totally be Beyonce’s back up dancer)
Too bad professional dance studios don’t have shower settings, because the shower brings out the FIERCE in me. I like to shower with music (it makes me feel like I’m in a video clip okay?!) and I like to bust out my MOVES. Sometimes I like to combine my witty comebacks with dance moves like take THAT, biyatch. And then I bust a move in their face. Goddamn I’m hardcore. Hold me back bro.

Isn’t it nice to know that you aren’t alone in your weirdness?

You’re welcome.

7 Things I learned about France

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Why do we travel? For me personally it’s a combination of the desire to never sit still or commit to anything (watch me run from responsibility, WEEEEEEEE!) and to big-up myself to old high school friends who recently just added me on Facebook (whaaaaat? I’m in France for the film festival… sorry my life is so much more awesome than yours. Maybe you shouldn’t have bullied me in fifth period biyaaaatch. Sorry can’t chat – #jetsetting).

But I guess another reason we travel is because we like to learn from other cultures and junk – I mean that is what I tell myself/my parents, so yes, lets go with that.

1. Everything in France tastes better than anything, anywhere.
As a long time liver and lover of Australia, Canada and Hong Kong, I feel I am the right person to tell you with confidence that the rest of global cuisines ain’t got shit on the French. Twenty minutes before my flight out of Nice airport, I headed over to Mono-Prix (some kind of grocery/clothes/homewares store hybrid) and snagged a 2.99euro chocolate mousse which was LITERALLY the best mousse I have ever had…ever…in my whole life. At an airport. For the same price as a ride on the Toronto subway. “Yes hello everywhere? Sort your shit out, French food is leaving you behind in the dust.” The French care about their food and it’s definitely quality over quantity. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t attempt to eat a new kind of cheese or try a new flavor of ice cream every day we were there. Yes that’s right – I am bikini season ready.

2. Everyone in France smells really amazing and takes care of their appearance
This probably isn’t shocking to you, but people in France dress extremely well and take mega pride in their appearance. Walking down the street to buy milk? Heels. Walking to the beach? Better wear my super fine silver jewelry and awesome lace throw thats nicer than anything ever that Paris H-T would wear. Working out? Hang on – I need to make sure I smell like vanilla and sandalwood and fairy dreams. As someone who is as delicate as an elephant who could stand to lose a few, I feel there is much to be gleaned from the elegance of these people. Also the French wear their sophistication with a big “fuck you’ attitude, which I also enjoy.

3. French customer service is the worst thing ever aka, the French are tired of your bullshit.
Living in North America has made me jaded to customer service. Never, ever, ever, ever, in almost 3 years have I ever heard a sales associate talk back to a client. The customer is always right, dontcha know? Not true in France. During this trip I experienced multiple instances of stubborn, rude, even aggressive behavior towards paying customers. I cannot even begin to imagine the shit storm that would occur if someone in retail in North America behaved the way some of the French did. There would be anarchy, or at the very least, some kind of beatdown.

4. My French is way worse than I thought, but most people speak English.
Perhaps because of the time of year and because of where I was in France, I found that my French did not really approve at all on this trip (except to learn never to say “La Chat sur la Table – as that in actual fact translates to something like the Vagina is on the table – oh how they laughed … at me). I hate to be one of those English speaking tourists that rocks up to a new country and expects everyone to speak my language, but in reality, most, if not all of the people I spoke to could speak English – and pretty well. Parle Anglaise? Oui? Sweeeeeet.

5. The Russians are taking over France, and slowly, the world.
After English, the language people the in the south of France are learning is Russian. You have been warned.

6. The French are insanely attractive
There is that expression that “French women don’t get fat” and goddamn if that expression isn’t true. But also, no one told me that I’d be in eyecandy central and that I should rest my eyes before I was almost blinded by the attractiveness gleaming from every sidewalk. Can you say “Schwing”?

7. I could easily live in the South of France
The sun, the people, the architecture, the food. I wish I had had more time to explore because this is a truly beautiful part of the world.