Cheers, D.

handsIt was cold, and the night sky was our blanket. I accidentally took a photo, and this is that photo. For 23 years, I was single. Not a single boyfriend. I used to tell my friends, “Single life is the best life.” And now here I am…falling in love or something like it. Crushes, unrequited love, friends with benefits, just “hanging out” as one guy put it, boyfriends, lovers, affairs, everyone has loved at one point in their life. And I think I’ve just started a new chapter of my life: Donna in Love.

One night, I was on my period. I was angry for no reason. I was just being weird I think. The boy: “Too much drama. I don’t like it.” Me: “This is me. Take it or leave it!” We all have moments when we aren’t our finest. And to this day, we still joke about that one time. We mimic each others voices and repeat phrases, then we laugh our heads off. That’s us – we laugh at all the stupid funny shit we do.

I once read a  story of Mahatma Gandhi when he was pursued by a journalist as he boarded a train. The guy was desperate for a story for his newspaper. The journalist persisted, “Sir! Sir! Please give me your message for the people!” Gandhi smiled and shouted back, “My life is my message!” What I’m trying to say is that, I’ve started writing again because I want to share bits and pieces of my life, words I hear, beautiful landscapes I see through my eyes, and just moments that take my breath away. And it’s all because I want to inspire people, and if that’s just once person that smiles as they read what I write, then that’s enough for me. It’s easy to get caught up in the challenges and adversities of life. Life is hard enough, believing that you are alone in life is even harder. At one stage I was just a kid who could name the most ice-cream flavours out of all my friends. At one stage I was 5 and I didn’t know what 10 x 10 was and my brother would always pick on me rather than tell me the answer. At one stage, I had braces and glasses in high school and felt like an ugly duckling. But guess what? Haters gonna hate. Look at me now. I hope my story inspires a few hearts, so stay a while and stay tuned to my future chit-chat.

I am Quote Queen. Here’s two of my favourites by Hilary Rodham Clinton to mark this new beginning:

“You know, everybody has setbacks in their life, and everybody falls short of whatever goals they might set for themselves. That’s part of living and coming to terms with who you are as a person.”

“I think that if you live long enough, you realise that so much of what happens in life is out of your control, but how you respond to it is in your control. That’s what I try to remember.”

So here’s to keeping it fresh. Here’s to me writing again, for writing is good for the soul. In the words of Holley Gerth, “Be courageous and write in a way that scares you a little.”

Cheers,

– D.

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Clogs & a bookstore named Sappho

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There are days when you are in a clog-wearing kind of mood, when you know that a nice pair of clogs, will be the cherry on top of what you have in mind to wear. When I open my closet in the morning, I like to think to myself, “Ok, what kind of woman do I want to be today?” From Beyonce fierce to Carly Rae Jepson sweet as candy kind of thing, it’s totally up to you. What you wear is a reflection of the type of person you are, or at least the type of person you are trying to create. Are you the crumpled shirt wearing I just got out of bed, but I don’t care what anyone thinks because I just had a big night dude or the more proper Ralph Lauren wearing ironed tucked in button-up shirt guy that you would see in a typical episode of Gossip Girl? For the ladies, perhaps you like classic vintage knee-length pleated floral dresses and neutral-toned A-line skirts? Or are you more of what I like to call a quirky hipster gal who feels herself when wearing more modern designs and prints like those made by Marrimekko or Gorman? The list goes on, but the point is, what you choose to wear is a form of self-expression.

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Clogs, whether they be simple flat clogs, high-fashion clogs, or clog boots, offer an alternative to heals. Most importantly, they are equally just as stylish as heals, without the pain and limping we suffer as women when wanting to look nicely put together. Clogs are versatile in the sense that they add oomph to an outfit that is either casual, smart casual, semi-formal or formal, making them a versatile statement piece for the modern woman. Back in the days, clogs (klompen) were often worn in heavy labour as safety shoes. Traditionally, skilled artisans hand-crafted these clogs to withstand sharp and heavy objects and concentrated acids. But because we live in the 21st Century, I would suggest that if you’re out clubbing on a Saturday and you want to unleash your moves like Jagger, you could try hot clogging or tapping (which looks a little like this – watch this Youtube vid. This girl can move! Someone please teach me). Traditional clogging is a type of folk dance, originating from the Netherlands. The party pooper (i.e. the dancer) wears clogs and strikes their heels, toes, or both against each other or a hard floor to create audible percussive rhythms to flow with the music. Be a rebel, and start a dance trend.

Clogs flying fajita sisters

It was two weeks ago on a Tuesday, when I wore clogs, along with a splashed white lace dress, a mocha leather backpack and pretty pink beads with a cute little yellow parrot. It was the night I did my very first open mic poetry reading. I’ve always written since I was a kid, from journals with messy primary school handwriting to letters that were never given to those that they were intended for, but are still kept in a small box. Sometimes you just need to let it all out. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Once in a while, it’s important to put yourself out there, be adventurous, and try new things. Challenge yourself, for that’s when you truly learn about yourself as a person – your strengths and your weaknesses; your loves and your hates. So there I sat in a bookstore named Sappho, waiting for my 2 minutes on stage. Sappho Books & Cafe is a cosy little second-hand bookstore on Glebe Point Road, with a plethora of different book categories, ranging from Romance to Murder and Crime; to English Literature and Foreign Language. If you’ve got a pile of unwanted books accumulating dust on your bookshelf at home, then do know that Sappho not only sells books, but also buys them. If you look hard enough, rare finds such as out of print books are lingering Sappho. For example, I picked up a vintage softcover paperback about Vogue written in French. Where in Sydney would you find something like that? I thought it was pretty cool, despite being unable to read it with my limited French. Bonjour; je m’apelle Donna; merci; au revoir. That’s my entire French encyclopaedia for you. Sappho has two levels overflowing with books, and a relaxed courtyard with real plants, featuring interesting street art and a generation of graffiti – a mark of its former life as a youth centre.

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I didn’t really prepare for my little get-up, I sort of just printed out the closest poem to my heart – the one with lots of soul and meaning, and told myself YOLO! The scariest part was when the host announced, “In no particular order, I’ll call your name, and up you come.” I went up second, gave a little cute intro, and background to the speech, read the damn thing, and thanked the audience. It was nice to have like-minded people listen to you, and appreciate your words. I even had my first fan boy come up to me after, and tell me my poem was great. I was immensely flattered. It put a smile on my face, what can I say? I guess I’m officially a poet now.

Reading book sappho

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If you write a little poetry yourself and would like to share what you have to say, Poetry Nights at Sappho are held every second Tuesday of each month (7pm-9.30pm). You get 2 minutes, which is usually enough for 1 poem. Spots fill up fast, so get in early and get your name on that sign up sheet. The open mic section happens at the very end (around 9ish when I went). If you don’t think you have the courage to do public speaking, just do it. Chances are there will be one person who’ll be more nervous than you, with hands that shake like they’ve been possessed.  There was a warm, energetic vibe in the air, and I assure you, you won’t be thrown tomatoes at, for the crowd seemed supportive and eager to listen to you with a good amount of enthusiasm. So go get ’em tiger!

Yours truly,

from a 22-year-old girl who says, “It’s the things that challenge you in life, that allow you to see the potential you have hidden within”.