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.

 

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Temping, Prositution of the Corporate world

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Temping:

temp [tɛmp] Informal
n
a person, esp a typist or other office worker, employed on a temporary basis
vb (intr)
to work as a temp

Turns out Temping is better paid than retail (not by much, but enough for me to go buy those Croc boots which I swear aren’t ugly, just give me a chance to show you) and because I continue to be ignored by the world of Full Time work in an industry that I am dying to work in, I decided to give Temping a go. Since the beginning of the month I have taken on four different assignments, 2 x 1 day assignments, 2 x 1 week assignments, and learned about a whole new world that I never knew existed.

The world of the Temp.

Let me give you a little run down.

The world of the Temp is a place ungoverned by your average 9-5. You wake up at 7.30am with the hope that at 8am, someone (Pimp) will call you and tell you they need you at XYZ location, and the dress code is *blank*. You slap on some make-up, make sure you vaugely know where you are going and sprint out the door. On the train you wonder again what you are doing with your life, but the other part of your brain says “this is the last job, I promise you. We’ll get the money and then move to Florida.” You get to the destination, you make small talk, find out what the client (John) likes and what they need. You settle down, close your eyes, and daydream you are somewhere else (like at a real job). When it’s all over, they thank you plenty of times, and you shuffle out clutching your time sheet. You buy yourself a couple of drinks to try to forget the disappointment in your mothers eyes.

Temping is the Prostitution of the corporate world.

But you know what? I don’t hate it.

My first two assignments were in Film and Television production companies, and you bet your Chihuahua’s left nut that I worked it like I was on the sinking Titanic and had to get my third-class ass on a lifeboat. The one day gig was a bit of a bust, it was a monday and quiet as hell, but the week long gig yielded fun, a bit of professional networking with an awesome Aussie guy who took my resume and some new surprising friendships with girls my own age who worked in the company. Turns out some of them had been in the same boat as me and some of them even got their jobs after temping first.

Actually, when I started to look into it, Temping seemed to be one of the ways a bunch of people I know got their full-time jobs. They’d go for an assignment and the company would say, you know what, why don’t you stay on, or, why don’t you give us your resume to take a look at. It was kind of like a pre-interview. And hell with the number of resumes and cover letters I have sent off, any chance of getting into ANY company as more than just a name on a piece of paper is a big bonus.

So why did I always think there was such a stigma attached to Temping? I couldn’t even tell you. Maybe there is, but now that I’ve joined the ranks I just don’t care. The job market is so tough out there, and lots of people who want to do what I want to do are stuck in menial jobs, frittering away their youth and talent.

I’d rather wake up each day with the fresh and exciting opportunity of meeting someone that may assist with opening a career door for me, than be marking down sweaters for the third time this week.

End Rant

Six Feet Under-standing

Today I finished watching the fifth season of a little HBO show they like to call ‘Six Feet Under’. I began watching Season One earlier this year with intelligent and sort of cineophile-ish Canuck boyfriend. When he began explaining the premise of the show (that it is about a family who own, operator and live at the premises of a funeral parlour) I was intrigued but hesitant (the fact that he has not once been wrong in suggesting a film to me is besides the point.)

What began in the early part of this year ended today, and to his credit, Canuck boyfriend watched the entire thing again from start to finish with me, without missing an episode. We would discuss at length this emotional, fantastic show about love and loss and everything in between.

I haven’t watched many shows from start to finish without missing an episode, and especially with the same person in the room for every viewing experience. I think the last time something like this happened I was in Hong Kong for Christmas, and my Mum and I downloaded the first and second season of ‘Archer’ a wickedly funny animated adult-ish show about a spy agency. I was supposed to be heading out later that evening, but Mum and I downloaded them all, started drinking Bailey’s in the afternoon and couldn’t stop. I have never laughed so hard, nor snorted Milk so far across a room before.

But watching ‘Six Feet’ was different. Not only are the characters so real that you miss them and hope for their safety and well-being, but the way the show progresses is in a linear narrative structure, so each episode reveals something new about the characters and deepens their journey. And while I’m sure that each episode has its stand-alone qualities (each episode begins with a death and follows a similar structure, jumping from story lines that ensnare the different characters) after watching 5 series of this show in order…I can’t imagine just flicking on the TV and catching a re-run, or skipping to episodes I think I might like better.

After five series you believe in the struggles of the Fishers (the main family) and their community, and you have also watched them grow and develop, make up and break up, so you feel like you know their past and where they might be headed.

The whole cast and crew of this show can not be commended highly enough. They take you on a roller coaster of emotion, and although I am extremely late to the party on this one (the fifth season ended in 2005) I feel that the messages and struggles within the show are relatable to each of us today.

Whether it is David’s struggle with accepting his sexuality and wanting a family, Nate’s fear of commitment and responsibility, Ruth’s fight for independence and self-image after years of playing the role of wife and Mother, or Claire’s desire to be heard, to not be forgotten about and to be loved, we have all been there, we have all felt at times like a David, a Nate, a Ruth or a Claire. This show reminds us that life is not always pretty. It’s intense and interesting, but it ain’t always sunshine and lollipops.

In a TV and film landscape where producers and film studios are still trying to feed us glittery images of a Utopia that doesn’t exist (well…maybe it does…on the backlots of LA studios) this show is refreshing a sad and unflinching when it comes to dealing with pain.

‘Six Feet Under’ says:

Hey you know what? Sometimes life sucks. But you’ll get over it.

Everyone always said to me that the last episode would stay with me. After the tumultuous five seasons, I couldn’t imagine where the writers could take us after all the hurt we as an audience had endured. But they really took it to the next level and everyone was right. The last episode was amazing.

I would recommend that people commit to the 70 or so hours of viewing, just for the last ten minutes of episode twelve, season five.

I wish sometimes that life was documented like a TV show (I’d definitely want mine to be HBO). Things happen to us in increments sometimes, just little tiny pieces of the days and nights and they add up to make big things, to change lives for the better or for the worse, but always clumping together to form hours and days and months and years. And it’s hard to see them in big picture form. Sure, you’ll remember the big ones, the day she said yes, the day you signed your name on the deeds of the new place, births, deaths, awkward school reunions…

But what about the moments of interaction with a family member – where you learned something unique about them just for a split second, where you saw them in a different light for just a moment? In TV land the character could narrow their eyes and the music could come up, but in real life those moments go undocumented. They just happen and without realizing them, or having the remote control to go back, freeze and re-watch, we are unable to perhaps identify significance – or appreciate that nuance to the extreme.

The underlying message that I took away from this incredible show is that life is short and hard sometimes, but beautiful.

I’ll try to keep that in my heart on the days I wonder what the fuck I’m doing with my life