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Sweethard's Journal

My Word Document filled with website updates, journal entries and other random crap

Sunday 29 August 2021: Day 5 without sugar! Mostly just trying to cut out chocolate and lollies, and it's so far going well. The past couple of days I've also been getting into the swing of studying Korean; I'm so surprised at how much I can remember (but it's still not much lol). I used to be conversational..... Kicking myself for not keeping it up all these years. But I now live with 2 Koreans and am good friends with one here in Canberra, so I'm trying to make the most of my current situation! I'm using my old Korean textbooks I used at KU and it's making me hella nostalgic. Looking at my old photos doesn't help. Yesterday I also started painting some jeans, if the weather clears up I hope to go out again today and continue!

The tribal design I'm painting featuring Harlem in the back

I've been listening to medieval/bardcore covers of pop songs lately; I find it extremely relaxing and wholesome - I'm loving it lol. Reminds me of the renaissance fair I went to a couple years back, complete with a real-life jousting competition, sword fighting amongst knights in shining armour, medieval markets and mead drinking in the hot sun. Does anyone else's soul pine for a simple, medieval life? Though actually the very real threat of disease, short living spans, terrible treatment of women/minorities, and lack of hygiene kind of taints the whole romanticisation of the middle ages... The next best thing is the renaissance fairs so I think I'll stick to pining over attending one again.

Tuesday 25 August 2021: It's been a week and a half since we were plunged into another lockdown (happy birthday to me). It sucks, but I feel extremely lucky that I get to work from home, and in fact I feel a little privileged since other areas of Australia have been in lockdown for 2 or so months already. The silver lining to this current lockdown is that I am saving a lot more money than what I usually would, in exchange for un-manicured nails, sparse eyelash extensions, and split ends. And while I've been enjoying the warmer weather recently, it kinda sucks when you're only allocated an hour outside a day (for exercise). I've rediscovered a small reserve about 4 blocks away and have incorporated a daily walk through it and along the ridge every day which I have been enjoying. There's a beautiful view from the top and I get to see so many animals including magpies, rosellas, cockatoos, bunny rabbits and even kangaroos. I love using nature walks as little mindfulness walks as I make an effort to appreciate the small things in life; the bright blue sky, the burnt orange sunrises or sunsets, the beautful shapes of the gumnut leaves that hang above the footpath, the crunch of the gravel underneath my runners... I could go on.

It's raining pretty heavily tonight, and it's forecast to rain all week. For some reason tonight I'm feeling rather pensive, and have been thinking about my ex. Wondering if she's doing okay in the 2 month long (and counting) lockdown, whether she's still been able to work, how her new house and housemate are going, whether she's coping. I know it's bad, but I wonder if she ever thinks about me or if she ever thinks of contacting me or wonders how I'm doing. I wonder if she's seeing someone new, or if she's on Tinder. I wonder if she's found someone better. And I wonder why it matters at all, and why I care. It's now I guess 2 months since she broke things off, and we were seeing each other for about 6 months. Don't they say that it takes about half the total time you were dating someone to get over them? I mean, I know I'm over her, but I can't help feeling sad occasionally about it. I suppose that's normal, right?

In other news though, I've been doing some intense self-work and have well and truly begun to accept who I am. It is such a liberating feeling knowing that I'm no longer going to live my life by the expectations set by other people. I realised that I was (and still am!) a people pleaser, and by prioritising other people I was jeopardising myself. But it was a trauma response so I'm beginning to recognise and unlearn the thoughts and behaviours associated with that. This has included me starting to live in a manner that's more authentic and within the the boundaries that are set by me. To do that I had to start at the very beginning and get to know who I am and what I want, and what I don't want. It's an ongoing process and I'm so excited about who I'm going to become. And I know I said some sad emo shit before but I stick by with what I said last month - I truly do thank my ex for setting me free and gifting me this time to myself. Now is not the time for me to be in a relationship, and I actually wonder if a relationship, in it's traditional, monogomous form, is what I actually want? Do I want to buy in to this idea that in order to be some sort of successful human or to have meaning in life, you need a partner? Perhaps it's because I've been in relationships with the wrong people, but every single one of them has made me feel stifled and trapped. I've felt like I've sacrificed, not compromised, and I've felt like I've stopped growing and evolving. I've never felt like any of my partners has supported me in my growth, when I've done everything in my tracks to support theirs. They end up getting jealous, or envious of me, and in turn start to resent me. It makes me wonder if I'm ever going to find someone who's on my level. Should I get used to the idea of spending my life alone so that I'm not upset if that's actually how it eventuates? I suppose it's not necessarily that, but it's calming the inner child in me, and mending that connection so that I stop craving it from other people.

Anyways... Quite a lot of stuff has happened over the past few months which I never really got around to journalling. I'm hoping I can get some time (well, I'll definitely have the time since I'm in lockdown, HA) to write them up and include them here, so I can look back and reminisce after some time. Perhaps the most significant thing of late was the departure of X to go live and study in the Netherlands. Ever since we met in December we had become such close friends and I was quite upset to hear that he was leaving, but also incredibly proud of his achievement of being selected to study a masters there. Before he left, we were making Wednesdays a regular night for me to come over to his place with his boyfriend T where we'd make dinner, drink Baileys and watch cute 90s movies (although we broke this rule one night by watching Shrek lol). X had a huge going away party a couple weeks ago which was super fun! It was themed but not a lot of people rocked up in costume (lame!!!!).

My friend T and I, and me behind the DJ decks

I remember meeting S and her asking me for my number before she left. X had made such a fuss when she arrived, I admit I was slightly embarassed when he was introducing us to each other because of all the fuss he was making! I also met this amazing person D, which came about because I was looking for my pink cowboy hat I had brought along for H's costume. D and I instantly clicked and we spent the whole night just galavanting around, making espresso martinis from whatever she could scavenge from the cupboards, and making a little fort under the dresser in X's room! We had pillows, drinks, and blankets under there, it was actually the best lol. All the while, the people on the 'outside' were drunkingly chatting, singing, playing guitar. At one point I distinctively remember a sing-a-long hahaha. Anyways, D was dressed in drag and we were divulging our thoughts, journeys and secrets to each other. It felt really cool to bond with someone this way, bonding over queerness. I think it made me realise that if I was to date someone, they'd have to be queer. Or if it happened to be a straight cis male, he'd have to be somewhat incredible. Anyways meeting and chatting with D was super special for me. It's too bad lockdown happened when it did, I was really keen to invest some time and effort into that relationship. There's only so much you can do virtually, and when you're starting off from meeting someone only once.

Sunday 22 August 2021: It's lockdown locker project time. I bought these set of three, manky old school lockers from Facebook marketplace for 30 bux - complete with rust, old stickers and spiders... Eww! The plan is to remove one of them so it's just the pair, reduce the depth of them, and of course give them an amazing makeover! The weather is starting to get warmer so I'm super keen to have this as my spring project!


Wednesday 7 July 2021: Heartbreak hurts. The sinking, swirling feeling that engulfs my entire chest like a powerful black hole whenever I think of you is almost too much to bear. I read our texts over and over again, trying to analyse what went wrong and what I could have done different. Like an obsessive and starved scavenger, I look for any scrap of love in your old messages, any kind of sign that you might have had some fight left in you, to fight for us. I feel like I do this to cling on to some sort of hope that you'll change your mind and come back, hopefully as a changed person, willing to grow and face your demons. But the saddest thing is me realising that deep down I could never take you back. My sense of self, strength, and worth is too great for me to accept someone that had openly admitted they couldn't give me what I needed. While it hurt and the rejection left me reeling, I truly thank you for setting me free and giving me the opportunity to find the love that I deserve. And for now, I'm more than content in finding that love from within.

Tuesday 23 March 2021: I was just sent this photo of me Djing a rave last year which was shut down in the middle of my set. It seems like the cops can sense when I'm playing as they have the tendancy to show up, unnannounced, just as I'm getting started. Honestly it's so rude. Though I will say I had better luck a couple of weekends ago; at least the coppers had the decency to rock up after I had finished...

Me in da zone

This was a fun party - though I didn't know anyone else there except for another DJ who was playing that night. There were some vaguely familiar faces in the crowd that I remember seeing at a rave earlier in the year who had come up and said hello to me, but apart from that, it was a younger, unknown crowd to me. After the cops showed up, who were in a foul mood I recall, there was a bit of mayhem for the dispersing punters trying to flee and return to the drop off point along the road. The rave was held on a reserve where you had to climb over a couple of wire fences and cross a mostly-dried, but deep, creek bed. The Aussie bush scrub was a light to medium density with only a very faint dirt walking track visible. As it was (obviously) night-time, this meant that very few people could follow, let alone see, this supposed walking track. So I remember walking down the hill laughing at the confusion from everyone else trying to make their way back. All you could see were lights shining from people's phones walking in all different directions; some were following the ridge down and around, some were cutting across the bush, and others were crossing the creek bed at different spots, all trying to get back to the drop-off point by the road. I remember just laughing at the chaos because I'd also see phone lights stop and turn back around once people realised you couldn't continue further on whatever individual path they had attempted to follow. I also overheard someone in front of me say "How good was that last DJ though? It's a shame they got cut off..." to which I jokingly replied "Yeah they were good hey?!".

Monday 15 March 2021: What a weekend I've just had! It started on Saturday where I went to my mate S's party. She was throwing an "S" party and I decided to come as a Spice Girl (Baby) as it meant I wouldn't have to go out and buy anything lol. I wore a cute pink babydoll dress, hair in pony tails and pink platform shoes! There were some really great costumes there, but by far my favourite was a couple who rocked up as Steve Irwin and a stingray... Absolute genius (RIP Steve).

I hung around for a couple margaritas but head off a little early to change and meet up with my brother A, his friend R and my 3 new Korean friends which I had made the other weekend when I was out in the city for J's birthday. We went to Korean BBQ and as A's first time he was a little apprehensive, asking what kind of food it was and whether it was any good (lol what a fool). The concept of cooking your own meat at first perplexed him, but once I pointed out that you can cook it to your preference, I think he finally started to come around and see the appeal. My Korean friends took the wheel (or tongs, I should say) and cooked our meat to perfection. They also introduced R and A to 'somek' - which is the combination of soju and beer (mekju) - which A loved because in his words, "It's just like drinking beer, only it gets you more fucked up" lol. We ordered so much food - 4 different types of meat to cook on the bbq, a huge kimchi pancake and sweet and spicy fried chicken which was seriously friggin amazing (and not as spicy as I had thought it would be). A was again amazed at the amount of side dishes that come 'free' - or 'service' as it's called in Korea. W was showing us his fancy drink mixing tricks where he would swing his arm around up above his head, back and forth, with half a glass full of somek. A and I gasped as he was doing it, clapping and laughing as he handed us our expertly-mixed drinks. A later told me how much fun it was to hang out with my Korean friends. I think exposing him to different people of a different culture and language really opened up his mind a little. I genuinely think he would love travelling and I said to him that he should come with me next time I go overseas. He also laughed when he pointed out the fact that I translated his and R's English into an English that our Korean friends could understand, which made me giggle! It is true, I believe there is a fine art in translating fast, native English into English that can be understood by non-native speakers - without being condescending. I feel like my time living and studying abroad taught me this, and since then I've kind of always thought I'd go alright as a translator. I don't literally translate things 100%, I translate it in a way that makes sense and I try to include as much nuance as possible.

Once we finished dinner it was time to head out to the underpass rave that I was DJing at. I was super nervous and excited for this one - it was the first time I had played hardcore, gabber and speedcore in front of other people! W drove us to the drop off point - which the organisers made sure was far away enough from the actual rave so that it wouldn't arouse too much suspicion from uber drivers and nearby residents. It was a pretty eerie walk to get there - we climbed over a gate and excitedly strolled along a bike path that was illuminated only by the night sky above and which wound around the rolling hills of this under-developed suburb. It was about a 15 minute walk, which was made only a tiny bit longer as A kept stopping to refill his bottle with vodka and Fanta. We finally arrived at a dank, dirty underpass, with cars speeding along the road above, and lasers shooting through the dust that was being kicked up by the punters dancing in the dirt. It was quite a cool underpass, there were two sections - the largest section was where the DJ decks and dancefloor was set up, with a graffitied wall sectioning it off from the other area, which was also very graffitied. But the graffiti was sick - it wasn't raggy tags, it was massive, coloured word pieces that took up almost the entire surface area of the wall. We found an area by the wall to store our drinks and we all walked around for a bit taking some videos and soaking in the atmosphere. The DJ before me played a bit of footwork and I was at first quite worried that I was going to switch up the vibe too much. But I jumped on and played one of the most fun sets in my life! And it was so amazing to have A, R, W and J up the front as my hype men - it added such a vibe out there to the crowd it was awesome!

I jumped off after an hour and basically collapsed in a heap into the dirt from exhaustion. I had so many people come up to me afterwards saying how much of a killer set it was - which made me so happy! About 15 minutes later though the coppers showed up to shut it down (which was great timing honestly), and we all started the treacherous journey back along the dark bike path. I always like the vibe that's present among people after a rave has been shut down - there's obviously disappointment, but it's almost an upbeat disappointment?! There was still a party atmosphere along the bike path as people were laughing and chatting excitedly amongst each other. No doubt the fact that everyone's a few drinks down was contributing to everyone's happy manner, but it's almost like getting shut down is the best way for a rave to end, rather than it slowing and dwindling into the early hours of the morning.

Couple polaroids of A and I in front of the graffitied wall

The next day A and I met up for some burgers for lunch and I met up with him and R later on that night for some pre-game cocktails. Sunday night was the first instalment of dnb Sundays - which was basically the reason A and R had come down to visit. It was seriously so much fun (though I paid the price for going today...)! I saw my mates M and D there too and we all had a good mosh to Delta Heavy! A was so funny - I had worn a pink bear backpack out and for about three-quarters of Delta Heavy (DH)'s set, A was lifting up my bear above the crowd and moving one of the bear's paws as if he was waving, trying to get DH to wave back at him... Every time A felt DH was close to seeing it, but then didn't, A would turn around to look at me and we would both crack up laughing. I think DH was too far deep in the zone; he was concentrating hard and barely looked up and out into the crowd for his entire set. When A wasn't lifting up my bear, he was fucking around with the people next him, making my bear kiss strangers, and some of them would go along with it, straight up making out with my bear (which reminds me, I should give him a bit of a wash...). Once DH hopped off, that was my queue to go as I had work the next morning. Looking back at A and R's Snapchat stories I know they hung around for a couple hours after that. All in all, it was another fun-packed weekend 🤠

My outfit for the night, and A with my backpack at the front of the crowd!

Friday 12 March 2021: Kinda proud of this promo video I made of for my gig this weekend. W had given me such a good image to work with; he totally captured my vibe and aesthetic with the pink and black background and broken iPhone 4 lol.

In fact, I love everything about the promo for this rave. It's so good and I think I'll hit up W if I ever need promo done up. I had heaps of fun editing the video and it's something I'd like to do again too!

Promo material for Spectre

Mardi Gras ~ Wednesday 3 - Sunday 7 March 2021: Since coming out to S and pretty much now dating L, S invited me up to Sydney for Mardi Gras. Having never been before, and as a recovering hetero, I was super excited to go! I know heteros go up to celebrate as allies, but honestly, when I identified as such, I never felt like it was a place for me. Not because there was hostility from the community, but moreso because I recognised Mardi Gras as a way the community could come together, without (too much) judgement, to publicly celebrate everything they are, wat they've been through and what they stand for. Who was I, someone who hadn't faced ridicule or judgement for my sexuality, to participate in something that comes across as so liberating for the LGBT+ community? However, after fully realising my sexuality over the last 9 months, I finally felt like I had the 'right', and a reason, to celebrate!

I caught the bus late on Wednesday night to stay with D and J, where we woke up the next morning and had a beautiful breakfast before I worked remotely for the day. For lunch, I met up with D, J and B for a little bite to eat since we were all within walking distance of each other. After a huge breakfast I wasn't particularly hungry, so I bought a slice of raspberry and lychee cake along with a glass of cool, in-house-made iced tea. Once done with work for the day I met up with L, and instead of going to dinner with just the 2 of us (as we had originally planned), she ended up inviting me to dinner at her friend N's house - which she forgot she had agreed to attend the week before. L was super apologetic about changing plans so last minute, but if anything, I felt kinda chuffed that she was happy introducing me to a group of her friends. N had prepared some beautiful home-cooked Vietnamese food, which we washed down with some servo ice-cream afterwards. It's kind of hard, as an introvert, to feel like you're contributing to a conversation amongst people who are all good friends. As they all used to work together, the majority of the conversation tended to center around colleagues, work stories, and more generally, their experiences working in the hospitality industry. It made me wish that I had worked somewhere else growing up. While I earnt a fair bit working as a receptionist alongside my studying, it was an individual role which didn't provide much opportunity to socialise or make friends with colleagues, since I had none lol. Even my sister, who worked in retail, has a group of ex-work friends which she is still really close to, even years after leaving. However, I think it's mostly my anxious mind constantly worrying and critiquing myself in social situations as if I was watching myself in the third person. But also, in saying that, I do recognise the tendancy for me to really enjoy the role of an observer. I like following along with conversations, intrigued by the flow, and only contributing when I have something worthy, or of value, to say. And I don't particularly mind that I'm like this, because it means I rarely regret what I say or make a fool out of myself, and I like to think it makes me a really great listener (despite my shocking memory sometimes). You win some, you lose some.

As L had to work the next morning we didn't hang around for too much longer and we soon left to go back to hers. While not normally of any significance, the bus ride back to hers was particularly memorable, since she gently grabbed and held my hand. My heart fluttered, and the face mask I was wearing hid the coy smile that had beamed across my face. Such a simple act of holding her hand in public gave me such a warm, content feeling, and is not something I will easily forget. Morning rolled around, and so did L out out of bed in the early hours before dawn to go to work. She gently kissed me on my cheek before heading out, and left me to enjoy a bit of a sleep in on my day off. I was soaking up as much of this sleep in as possible since I knew I had a big day coming up with my best friend E which I was super excited for. Before seeing her, I decided to do a bit of shopping where I spent a lot more than what I had wanted (and budgeted) for, but I went to my favourite store in Sydney - it's too hard not to go overboard and treat myself! I had bought a cute denim skirt, a pink tie-up crop, pink bathers, a cute black and hot pink babydoll dress, a corset-style singlet and a few other little things. I then met up with E, ready to treat and pamper ourselves! First up was lunch at an incredibly fancy restaurant where we ordered numerous courses including a plate of fresh oysters and bottles of $60 wine, finishing it all off with a delectable tiramisu dessert. As is tradition for us we then went to get purikura photos before returning back to hers to chill before our reservation at a sky bar later that evening.

Some purikuras, us at lunch, and the goddess herself

We took a few hours to get ready as we were enjoying taking our time, trying on different outfits and curling our hair. It had been a long time since we had been out in the city together and the first time we were treating ourselves to somewhere so fancy for drinks.

E getting ready, a selfie before the Uber, and E on her way up to the sky bar

The view from the sky bar was incredible ♥ We strategically booked it from 6 to 8pm, so we got daylight, sunset, and a night time view. It was beautiful and we had a super magical time, looking class but talking absolute trash, where we then spent the rest of the night drinking back at her work.

A pic of me and the bar interior, and the vew at night! If you look closely you can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge

The next day E and I got a cute little brunch before I went back to meet L again. She introduced me to another group of her friends and we met up with S and M at the OT for Mardi Gras. I had never been to anything like this before; people were so openly and unapologetically gay, there were drag queens walking around, and just such a beautiful mix of different people. After spending last year with the same, stale, boring people, this really blew me away and I was trying to take in as much as I could. Yes, I know Covid prevented a lot of things last year, but I genuinely feel like I've lived more in the last 3 months than I did for the entirety of last year! By deciding to hang out with interesting and amazing people and develop friendships with people who have such a positive and different outlook on life, it has really made me enjoy life so much more, and for that, I am so grateful! I had a really great night, and an amazing weekend, and I've made memories that I will never, ever forget ♥ Isn't it funny how sometimes the worst turn of events can suddenly lead you towards some of the happiest times?

Saturday 27 February 2021: Had such a good night tonight for J's birthday out in the city and at hers for kickons! It was a 'J' party, so naturally, I went as a Japanese school girl, because I literally had everything I needed to dress up already. We spent a couple hours bar hopping and drinking copious amounts of cocktails before ending up at a karaoke joint. It was hilarious; being all the same-ish age we were belting out classic emo hits, and split into two groups for our rendition of Tenacious D's Tribute. S and I went halves in a case of cruisers which made us get very, very silly.

My costume, and my girls ♥

After we had finished with karaoke, we had all spilled out into the street in front, drunkingly (and hence slowly) deciding our next movements. With the karaoke owned by Koreans, Korean people tend to frequent there alot since the karaoke library caters to old, and new Korean pop songs and ballads. While I was waiting and chilling out the front with the others I had noticed a group of 3 VERY cool looking Korean men. Dressed to the nines, crouching and standing there without smiles and smoking, they looked standoffish, almost a little hostile. Thanks to the cocktails and cruisers in me I had considerable liquid courage and after about 5 seconds of hesitation I became determined to strike up a conversation with them. I coyly walked over, hands behind my back and opened up with asking them if they spoke Korean (in Korean of course) and their eyes totally lit up, and their faces suddenly changed from expressionless to a look of total shock lol. After chatting to them for a few moments their entire demeanour changed - they were smiling, laughing and incredibly friendly. I just remember being floored at the the total 180 in their manner. It just reminded me how wrong your judgements of people can be! I got all the guys' instagram handles and we all agreed to go out for a Kbbq dinner in a few weeks' time! I really miss having Korean friends so I was on a total high after meeting and making friends with them!

Friday 26 February 2021: Date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥ date night ♥!!!!!
L is coming to Canberra to visit me! We are staying at our mutual friend's place tonight who is out of town which is super cute and gives us heaps of privacy; as opposed to having her at mine with 4 other housemates lol. Things are kinda getting serious between us, but I'm kinda just letting it be; I'm neither rushing nor forcing to label or speed up things, yet neither am I holding myself back. It's actually incredibly liberating just letting my feelings run wild, and almost observing them as they carry me away. I'm trying not to compare my experience with L against previous experiences, but it almost feels as if every other fling or relationship I've had before this has been forced - usually the guy trying to move things along faster than what I'm comfortable with, rushing to sleep with me, rushing to label me his girlfriend, or trying to force himself into my life. But with L it is completely different; it's passionate, it's playful, and I'm really, really enjoying it.

I was really feeling myself and this fit tho; L likes the schoolgirl look, and I like to dress my best for her ♥

Saturday 20 February 2021: Absolutely buggered from the night before (since I got home at 4am), the three of us (me with S and S) left for the coast around 7am this morning to celebrate his birthday. We were meeting up with his family about a 2 hour drive away to spend the day on his brother's boat! We were blessed with the most perfect weather; clear blue skies and a mild summer sun beating down on us. I haven't really been out on a boat before, let alone towed behind one on a 'biscuit', but I was excited to give it a try!

The view of the bay, and me nervously waiting on the biscuit waiting to be towed!!!

It was so much fun; I couldn't believe I had thought to myself earlier that I wasn't going to ride the thing - it was a last minute, split-second decision to agree to have a ride and I'm so glad I did! I held on for dear life as B incrementally increased the boat speed and sharpened his turning corners, flinging me high up into the air as the biscuit rode over the deep boat trails and waves in the water. After a bit of fun in the water we made our way back to shore for a bbq and birthday cake before packing up and heading back to Canberra. I was meeting some friends for L's going away party so I was keen to get back, although I could only last until midnight; I was way too tired. I'm excited to be meeting E tomorrow and her puppy Cherry for some brunch tomorrow at one of my favourite cafes ♥

Friday 19 February 2021: Tonight was A&K's birthday party where I DJ'd from the kitchen bench to a sweaty dining room dance floor. I really fucking love DJing at house parties lol. I started here for the night, went out to see Partiboi69 which A had bought us tickets for (where I had fallen spectacularly on my ass - hello bruising) and finished the night back at the house party. I reconnected with quite a few old friends which left me feeling really good. One of them I found out had a huge falling out with my ex so I suspect we have a lot of catching up to do lol.

Me and the crew before Partiboi69

Valentine's weekend 13-14 February 2021: Got a call late Thursday arvo from my mate S who asked what I was up to this weekend and if I fancied accompanying her up to Newcastle for a quick little trip. Abso-fucking-lutely! The only catch was that we had to leave 6am Saturday morning; which was actually fine because it ultimately meant we arrived nice and early to enjoy most of the day there. Belting 90s and 00s dance hits the entire way, the car ride up there was enjoyable and felt like it took way less than 4.5 hours. After S dropped me off at my family home, I met up with my mum and we went shopping. I bought these really cool two-toned jeans (one leg black, the other beige) - which I'm fairly sure are men's but whatevs - 2 pairs of pink pants (lol) and some very cute work clothing for my new job! I also bought 2 pairs of sunnies - one pair are these huuuuuge obnoxious ones with a white frame covered in diamontes, and the other pair a more low key back with some small diamontes on the corners. I'm kind of feeling like a magpie lately - attracted to anything with glitter that extravagantly sparkles - because I had also bought a pair of black and white Sketchers that have sparkly accents and diamontes. They are also THE most comfortable shoes I now own so I am definitely not mad about it. My mum also bought me a new work handbag, which she said to consider a gift to congratulate me and my new job, which I thought was super sweet.

Things with L have also been going really good. Despite living in different cities we text literally everyday and she's been such a source of joy for me. She adorably asked if I wanted to be her Valentine - to which, of course, I replied yes! She was up in Newcastle this weekend too for her grandma's birthday, so we organised to hang out. I really love how close she is to her grandma, and it makes me miss the company of mine so much more. Anyways, our in-person dates are still so funny because we're still super nervous around each other. We didn't have much time to hang out this time; we merely went birthday card shopping for her grandma and sat in her dad's ute, nervously chatting while she wrote a message in the card. I felt like you could have definitely cut the tension in the ute with a knife though... We spent the entire time trying not to kiss each other; only briefly doing so when it was time to say goodbye. While we're currently a couple of nervous wrecks, I know that over time we will become a lot more relaxed in each others' company ♥ Side note: I really can't remember the last time I felt this way about someone; I'm so happy ♥♥♥

Later on that night I went out for pizza and then cocktails with S and A and her boyfriend at a cute little bar that used to be a church. We initially got a table inside, but if you can imagine the echoeing hollowness of a gutted church, cramped because they had tried to fit in as many people as possible, tall unwelcoming ceilings, and the sounds of chatter and laughter ringing in your ears... We lasted not even 2 minutes before we asked for a table outside lol. After powering through a few espresso martinis and fairy floss cocktails, my brother unexpectedly turned up, which was a super cute surprise! We had been texting earlier when he suddenly said "call me". So I did, mentioned what I was up to and where I was, to which he replied "okay", and then hung up. I didn't think anything of it until 20 minutes later when he came walzting into the joint. He later told me he asked me to call him because "it makes it seem more serious and urgent" to his girlfriend, who he was with at the time (what a sneaky little bastard lol). A and her boyfriend (I forget his name whoops) left, to the relief of S who thought that they were "just not a vibe right now" (lmao) which was harsh, but low-key true.

At the pub with S

S, A and I then went to the GNH where we sunk a few beers. S was off hitting up some couple, and A and I had found seating with a few of his friends. After some time A left to go back to his girlfriend, so S and I started making our way back up the hill to A's place where we were crashing for the night. About half way up the hill we walked past a basement bar and stopped, looked at each other, and without saying a word we both proceeded down the steps into the bar, where we had about 6 more cocktails each. It's after this point my memory goes maybe just a tiiiiiny bit fuzzy. I remember S telling me that straight girls kiss a certain way (as a recovering hetero I wanted to know what 'way' that was - and did I kiss like that?!), I also remember her telling me how to pick up straight girls, finding someone's ID on the floor, and texting my brother how much I love and miss him, and how I think we are soulmates. I also remember losing S for about an hour lol.

Waking up the next morning, S and I both had the nastiest hangovers, absolutely dreading the drive home. We eventually made it, and met up with our other friends S and D down at the dock for a cute little Valentine's dinner.

Fat Thursday 11 February 2021: Continuing on from our cultural dinners, I had invited out A and O to the Polish club for a Fat Thursday feast! It's very typical to eat paczki (Polish donuts) on this day so I made sure to pre-order a pack of 6 for us earlier in the week to secure for today.

Me and O at dinner, the paczki, and the beef goulash I had for dins!

After a couple of beers, A and I were getting a little 'happy', as I like to call it. Happy is the sweet spot before getting a bit tipsy. As I had tomorrow off, I suggested the idea that we went out because Thursday night is student night, and I had never been out in the city on a school night! A, being the little unit she is, didn't need any convincing so after dinner we made our way to the newest bar/club in the city to check it out. It has super cute decor which is kind of styled like the inside of a grandparent's house? lol. But I think it's been done in a very tasteful way. It's mostly velvet loveseats, old wooden side tables and fabric-shaded lamps that washed a weak, orange glow on the walls behind them. Apparently they had sourced all the furniture from Facebook market place. Anyways we met up with one of A's friend S and moved to a club here we stayed all night long drinking cruisers, taking shots and making fools of ourselves on the dancefloor. It was a lot of fun!

Monday 8 February 2021: Felt like going to the arcade tonight after work to play some DDR.

DDR fit

Sunday 7 February 2021: Feeling just a liiiiiittle bit dusty from Friday night, last night I went to, and DJ'd at Z's birthday party. He hired out his friend's bar so it was awesome to have the whole place to ourselves. It was so much fun!!!! I think I was behind the decks for about 4 hours all up, and at one point there were 5 of us DJs behind the decks going back-to-back. Normally it would be a case of too many DJs but we all vibed off each other's track selections and kept up the energy. Not knowing a whole bunch of people there, I kind of love being a DJ in these instances because it gives me a purpose and makes me feel like I'm contributing to the party.

Some polaroids from the night, and a selfie cos I felt cute

After an hour or so at kickons, I then made the journey home but instead of getting a 20 minute Uber home, I decided to do half of the journey on foot. Mind you this was at SIX AM IN THE MORNING OH MY GODDDDD. I kind love it but also hate being up from the night before at the same goddamned time as normal people who are up for their morning jog or walking their dog. And it is so bleeding obvious that I am up from the night before because I'm so well-dressed..... Also please bear in mind that this was an hour long walk... I walked just over 7kms to get back into the city, where I then caught an Uber home. I don't know why I did it, I just thought a walk home would be fun, and it was.

Wait to see the shadows of the joggers running past... It felt so wrong lol

Anyways, now it's self-care time.

Fuck it, mask on

Friday 5 February 2021: Tonight was my first gig back at the biggest club in town supporting Anna Lunoe! I was meant to go to D's houseparty before my gig tonight but I was still putting my set together til about 8pm (whoopsie) so I ran out of time to stop by. Once my set was good to go (after some frantic troubleshooting on some misbehaving USBs) I met up with C at PJ's where I met his friend H and a guy that they had met that night who looked EXACTLY like Dwight from the Office. Like no joke, he had the face, the stature, the personality, the glasses, hairstyle and a healthy pair of sideburns. The resemblance was uncanny. C later told me that they met Dwight as he was just sitting at the pub by himself reading a book and sinking a beer - which is a total vibe lol. Anyways, C and I enjoyed a few wines together once the other 2 had left, where he was trying to hit on the bartender before we found out that he was happily taken. We moved on to meet up with a friend of mine, A, who works at the club I was about to play at. She was cute and took the night off work to watch me play ♥. I introduced C and A and in true Canberra fashion they had actually already met at a party some weeks before. This city is sometimes frighteningly small.... After having a delicious cocktail or 2, we then walked over to the club. I don't play there often, but I always forget just how satisfying it is to be able to waltz on past all the people lining up for entry and walk right in. Another satisfying feeling was collecting my mates about an hour later who were lining up in the, what was now, a massive line up. After spotting them in the lineup, I helped them out of the line by lifting up the rope so they could duck out and around, where they followed me straight in. It is honestly such a satisfying feeling lol.

Photo with A, a fan, and me on stage with Anna

Then it was time to play - I head up towards the stage and started to freak out, thinking that I had lost my USBs, when I had taken them out of my bag not even 30 seconds earlier and placed them on the table in front of me *facepalm*. I played an awesome set; I saw so many friendly and familiar faces in the crowd which gave me so much energy, and I was up there for the entire hour and a half until close. A took some great videos of me as she sat behind me up on the stage (she works there as a bartender), which I'm super grateful for! I hung out in the club after close with Z, C, A and A for probably another half hour, when we all decided it was finally home time. C came back to mine afterwards where we drank a bit more, watched the Mighty Boosh and innocently cuddled. He also read out 2 poems he had written, which I was really touched by because I think that is one of the most intimate and private things you can share with somebody else.

Thursday 4 February 2021: My Korean friend A invited me to her place with W and O as she decided to cook us all a Korean feast! It was sooooo delicious, she made us bulgogi stir-fry, kimchi fried rice and tteokbokki! I haven't had home-cooked Korean food in so, so long, so it felt like a real treat! I then went to goth night with M and his friend N. I dressed up in a cute black outfit - long black baggy pants, a t-shirt with "dying" written in heavy metal font (lol) and a cute lil black hat, along with my platform Docs. I had a couple cocktails (but not too many since it was a school night hehe), but they weren't the best I've had... Wayyyy too strong and not sweet enough! I hadn't met N before but he was super friendly, he had really cool makeup on which included this big black bold line that ran from his bottom lip to his chin and he had this gorgeous long black hair that was shaved on the sides - I was quite envious of the length tbh. I was chatting to him about Neocities and he made a note of it in his phone... Hopefully I have convinced someone to join us! Muahahaha. M and I got chatting about games and he's suggested one for me to download called Phasmophobia - which sounds scary af but I think as long as I play with someone I should be right!

Sunday 31 January 2021: Had a cute little weekend! Went to the soccer with S and got dinner with her later that evening on Saturday. Talked alllll about my date with L which was a lot of fun since they are friends (it's actually how I met L).

Sunday was adorable. I met up with X and we spent the whole afternoon at the art gallery. I felt so cultured in my little neck scarf, hat and matching little suit lol. X is such a beautiful, sweet person I'm really glad we met each other. I swear the best thing about partying sometimes is the people you meet. After a couple of hours at the gallery we decided to get some gelato. I got two scoope - one was this really OTP peanut flavour (which was rich, but yummy!) and the other was flavoured like a waffle cone and had bits of crunchy waffle cone bits spread throughout. We walked around the city eating our gelati and we stopped off to sit at the park and go through all the photos we had taken earlier. It was a cute little friend date. X later told me it was the best date he'd been on in Canberra since arriving here haha which I thought was super sweet!

At the Yayoi Kusama exhibition

Friday 29 January: Just coming here to say that I made a friend at the arcade while playing DDR. It was the cutest thing lol. Her name is Tina ♥

Tuesday 26 January: Oof, what an amazing long weekend. I had Friday, Monday and Tuesday off which I spent up in Wollongong and Sydney. Thursday night after work I packed and made my way up to the 'gong for my friend's birthday celebrations (and because I wasn't able to see them over my summer holidays because of C*vid).

My comfy and cute pink driving outfit

I had such a beautiful time on Friday with those that didn't have to work. We went beach-hopping in the hot summer heat, climbed and frollicked in rock pools and relaxed by the crystal blue water (where I subsequently got super sunburnt...)

Polaroids from the beach

My friend T is a very talented seamstress and she runs a business sewing super cute clothes and accessories. Her best-selling items are her handmade balaclavas where she attaches fuzzy bunny ears on them, along with patches and other embelishments. I had bought one a few months ago, and I suggested that I bring mine up with me so we can get some photos together wearing them, which is what we did in the afternoon after the beach ☺. We brought along J and J (okay side note, how do I have SO many friends names beginning with J?!) to take photos of us in our balaclavas in a spooky cemetery! We got out of the car where we started walking around trying to find the oldest tombstone, I think 1837 was the oldest we could find. J had his beer out, and was 'pouring one out' for any worthy deceased he'd come across - which ended up usually being those who were of a similar age to us when they died. After about 10 minutes we actually got kicked out by security (only because they were closing the gates, not because of us), where we then made our way to a different cemetery about a 10 minute drive away. This one was situated on top of a hill, and it was quite small in comparison to the one we were just at. T and I were a bit underwhelmed once we climbed to the top - we wanted to get photos with obnoxious angel statues or big, elaborate tombstones. We did, however, end up finding find these great cross monuments that were perched on top of a couple of tombstones that were surrounded by rusty fences which ended up working quite well with the whole aesthetic. With it being 'golden hour', the setting sun had gently painted the sky and clouds a dusty orange which made for a fantastic backdrop.

Some polaroids from the cemetery, and from poker later that evening

After a successful photography session on 2 different cameras, 2 people's phones, and my polaroid (lol), we then spent the night making pina colada slushies and playing poker. I brought up a bottle of Christmas cake flavoured port which also went down an absolute treat. People were quite hesitant at first, but only because the port they were used to is from $12 cardboard boxes.... This Christmas cake port was legit, and I had personally sampled it at the wine tours I went on a few months back so it's definitely no casket wine!!! While we all got a little rowdy, we kept it pretty mild as the plan was to spend the next day by the lagoon for J's actual birthday celebration.

After my 2 nights in the 'gong, it was time to come back to Canberra for, yep you guessed it, more drinks, for the public holiday. After another night of drinking with S and her friends, I went home and woke up Sunday morning feeling really happy and really good, where I spent the next hour or so packing for my Sydney trip. Sunday was super chill; I met up with N and J (wow... ANOTHER J....) who I hadn't seen in a couple of years so we did a lot of catching up. In the late arvo we picked S up on our way to a nearby tidal pool at a secluded spot on the Sydney Harbour where we sunk a few tinnies while relaxing in the water. We finished the day off with some red wine and Thai for dinner, where I woke up on Monday ready to take myself on a solo date to Manly beach. Literally as soon as I stepped out of my mate's front door, E had replied to my earlier text saying that she was free and was keen for hangs! I was so excited to see her, we met clubbing in Sydney in 2015 and I really would consider her one of my best friends. We don't see each other often but we don't need to. It's one of those special relationships where you can go months without chatting or seeing each other and just pick up where you left off once you do finally catch up. I feel so lucky to have her in my life. She looked so cute - she dies her hair this dusty auburn colour, and was wearing this really short and strappy leopard print dress with blue butterflies, along with a cute little brown bag and large sun hat. She was so colour-coordinated it killed me. It had been about 2 years since we last saw each other, and she later told me that while she was waiting for me to arrive she wondered if I still dressed how I used to (i.e. all pink). I did, lol. So predictable.

We first went to Malabar rock pools where she took me to her favourite spot which was a short trek over the beach and rocks. It was a cute hidden section around the corner that was partially shaded due to the towering rock formation behind us. We spent some time in the water which I really enjoyed; it was little nerve-wracking but quite relaxing to feel the gentle push and pull of the tide while wading out at sea. We both prefer not to swim with waves, so it had been really nice to relax without the fear of being swallowed or submerged by torrents of sea water. On my way out of the water I accidentally stepped on a sea urchin - thankfully with not too much force - where I did end up with a couple of splinters. E and I spent a good 10 minutes tending to my poor lil foot, and I spent some time dangling my injury in the water to make sure I kept it as clean as possible. After spending a good while there, we then got some fish and chips for lunch before heading to La Perouse Beach. Around the corner of this beach is Little La Perouse, which is a nude beach. I had never been to one before so I was little nervous but E made me feel super comfortable and was so cool about it, her attitude ended up rubbing off on me. We found a spot on the rocks, a little shaded from the sun and a little secluded from the beach. There were a few boats out on the water with one party boat blaring music which was a cool little addition to the atmosphere! E and I had such a magical time, bar this one dude that kept hassling us... We eventually asked him to leave us alone after his THIRD time of coming up to us. He would ask the most stupid questions, like "Do you like nature". Like, hello?! We are baring all, being as natural as we can at a beach, isn't it quite obvious we like nature??? E had politely said something along the lines of "Look, if you don't mind, we would like to go back to having fun with just the 2 of us" as she gestured towards me. His response: "Can't you open that up to 3?"... Jeez, the absolute nerve of this bloke, honestly. We should have just told him to fuck off ages ago. I'm sorry, but the nude beach is not a place to force conversations or make friends girls who are 20-30 years younger than you and of the opposite sex. Go away. Apart from that, I had the most perfect time with E! We took heaps of cute photos and polaroids which I will treasure for a long time to come ♥. We plan to keep in touch more regularly and even plan a few holidays together which I am really excited for.

After a sun-soaked day we made our way back to hers. She made us a couple of gin and tonics while she got ready for work and I got ready for my date! I was so nervous, it was my second time meeting L and I find her a little intimidating. Not in a bad way, but more that I find her so charasmatic and so funny that I almost feel like I'm not interesting or not funny enough for her! I think it also just takes me a while to warm up to someone, which I shouldn't feel bad about. Apart from my apparent heatstroke, the date went well! She was so sweet running to grab me some water while I fanned myself on the gutter; sweating and overheating after the big Polish dinner we shared. She ended up suggesting this pub that was located just up the road and it was such a dump lol. There were about a whole 2 other people in the entire joint, blue lights and missing tiles in the bathroom, old christmas decorations just shoved in the back courtyard and we saw about 4 or 5 cockroaches run under our table and around our feet. But actually, I really didn't mind. I was in fact really enjoying just being with her and chatting in the outdoor courtyard we had all to ourself. She kept apologising for bringing me there, but it was fun to giggle at how she brought me to such a shithole on our first date. I thought it was endearing that we could enjoy each other's company and laugh at the situation, plus it makes for a cute and funny little story! Without going into too much detail, the date went really well, and I really hope to see her again soon.

Saturday 16 January: Spent the night out in the city with J and J. It was so much fun with them because they legitimately looked like twins... Same height, both brunette, both wearing black and both with their har in space buns. We felt like a badass girl gang, it was sick. Some guy came up to us in the nightclub and said we were the 3 most stylish people there... We'll take that.

Some cute pics from the night with the space bun twins ♥

Tuesday 12 January 2021: What a crazy past couple of days... Briefly reading my last journey entry I am so surprised to see it was only 4 days ago!! That seems so wrong, since so much had happened! The last few days were absolutely incredible, but I am now definitely feeling the post-holiday blues. I have been at work the past 2 days but cannot stop fantasising about the wicked summer holidays I have had, and how much I do not want to be confined to the office right now...

After publishing my last journal post and indeed making friends with my loneliness for a few hours, I ended up going around to hang out with S and M who live right around the corner. It was super low key actually and we spent the night playing some card drinking games and Call of Duty. After calling it a night I was at home going through my Instagram stories and saw the reunion of 2 of my buddies in Korea who happened to be drinking together that night. I replied to J's story asking "Is that K with you?" and he replied with "Yes! Let's video chat!". This kinda took me by surprise as I hadn't really seen or spoken to these guys properly since my trip to Korea in 2017, as I didn't see them when I went back over in 2019. But when I was living there we were all really good mates - my experience in making friends abroad is that it is so different to making friends in your home country or city. I have found my foreign friendships to be one of the strongest, where we can go literally years without seeing or speaking to each other, but as soon as we do catch up it's like there has been no time between us at all. And this is exactly how this video call went! Thank god I had some drinks in my brother's fridge so I could keep up with them. It was hilarious, we were talking and reminiscing about student life in Korea, catching up on gossip and on each others' lives and just generally talking so much shit! J is hilarious, especially when he is drunk, and this phone call was no exception. In total we were on the phone for over 4 hours!!! I ended up giving them a live DJ set, and J was so funny, trying to get me to do it on Instagram Live - there was no way in hell I was gonna go live without it all properly set up and without sound going through an audio interface haha. They were adorable - donning party hats, and drunkenly dancing around in their apartment and singing along to my music. At this point I believe it was around 4 or 4:30am where I begrudgingly had to say goodbye as I was SO freaking tired. We all agreed to do that again really soon.

Saturday morning was a little rough waking up at 11am, but I went to get a coffee with S to perk me up for the day. As soon as we got back, the day drinking commenced again lol. A and I had moved his couch out on to the balcony where we propped our feet up on the railing and just sat there soaking up the sun and the view below.

What a view!

Night rolled around, and so did a bit of a crew to continue on. We spent a few hours at S's place but me, A and R ended up heading out to the GNH for some beers. God, what happened next was a bit of an ordeal. A ended up leaving relatively early to spend the night at his girlfriend's so it was just R and I. We were joking about going to join some other tables so we didn't look like complete losers. Anyway, we sink another round and I head up to the bar to grab another. In the what, 2 to 5 minutes I was gone, a security guard had spotted R and kicked him out because he looked too sleepy. WTF?! We were both so perplexed, I tried reasoning with the seccy when I got back with our drinks and she wouldn't budge. We finished that last round and got out of there, just laughing hysterically at the fact he had been kicked out for looking sleepy, when he quite clearly isn't. He even mentioned his fucked sleeping schedule currently, where he had woken up that day at 3pm so he was definitely not feeling tired. We then head towards a nearby venue down the road to see if they were open - which they weren't - so I decided that we would meet my friend L who was about a 10 minute Uber ride away. None of us knew about the 1:30am lockout laws, and despite arriving at the front doors at 1:31am we weren't allowed in! L joined us outside where we then made our way to another venue only for L to be denied entry since she had a Sydney address on her license (Greater Sydney was at this time declared a bit of a Covid hotspot). We decided to go for a leisurely stroll through the very quiet city and sat on the gutter by some construction work. In classic R fashion, he makes friends with a construction worker behind some fencing who ends up giving him 3 water bottles for us. After some water and another Uber to W, L isn't let in because she's not a member, and it was at this point we decided to cut our losses and stop trying lol. R and I quickly went in to grab some food (and a sneaky bev), where I returned outside to meet L who was sitting on the gutter near the bus stop. I felt like a teenager loitering on the gutter outside a venue at 1am, tipsy as hell and giggling at the 'Chicken wing guy' standing behind us devouring his chicken wings. We all walk back to R's where he jumped on his DJ decks which left L and I to cause a bit of havoc in the kitchen playing the knife game. Probably shouldn't do this after a few drinks lol as I ended up nicking myself pretty bad on my index finger. I think I may have hit a nerve or something because it has affected the mobility of it slightly but I can't really tell if that's just the actual cut in my skin being painful. I do like having a little scar here to remind me of the night though.

Woke up on Sunday feeling pretty hungover and I was not particularly keen on the quad biking tour I had booked with A and A for my last day of holidays. I was feeling pretty ill and nauseous the entire car ride out there lol. But this feeling didn't last long once I was on the quad - the hot sun, fresh ocean air and the adrenaline from riding buggies over these big, white, rolling sand dunes totally cured me. It was such an exhilarating experience, quite similar to dirt bike riding (which I have only done once but am desperate to do again). I went in the fast group but ended up getting told to move to the back because I was too slow LOL I was just trying to keep a safe distance between me and A in front!!! I swear.... I was actually pretty nervous - I have a bit of an anxious mind so I kept having these thoughts of crashing and becoming injured. But the tour guides were super nice, and one of them was teasing me about my slow riding haha. We reached the halfway point of the tour where we all parked at the top of one sand dune. It was such a beautiful sunny day with the bluest sky and I took a moment to appreciate the ocean view on one side of the dune, and the undulating dunes on the other, which looked like they were almost glowing under the hot Australian sun. We were taking photos and having a bit of chat with the tour guides and I ended up asking the one who teased me earlier if I had earnt my spot back up the front with A and A, as I was definitely feeling a lot more confident and going a lot faster towards the end of the first half of the tour. I think I just needed some time warming up and getting comfortable with the speed and power of the quad. Anyways, they let me back up the front yay!

Some pictures from the top of the dunes!

After arriving back at A's I packed up my things and started the dreaded drive home, chatting to L for a bit of the way. I'm hopefully going to meet up with her in Sydney really soon, once I'm no longer required to quarantine upon my re-entry back into Canberra. I got back at midnight and honestly the past 2 days have been the worst. Totally wrecked from the holidays, with my sleeping schedule a little wacked, but I know I'll be able to get back into the swing of things soon.

Friday 8 January 2021: Went on a mini pub crawl last night with A and S which was a lot of fun. Starting at the CA where I had a frozen margarita (YUM!), we then went to the OH (for some equally delicious espresso martinis) and finished up at the N. I have really enjoyed the time I've spent with my brother up here as I really miss him when I'm back in Canberra.

Tonight has been a little difficult. I'm alone, and while I do have an invite to go out, I'm not sure if I'm feeling totally up for it. To be honest, I feel a little lonely. While half of me wants to stick to my plans and meet up with S and M, the other half of me kind of wants to stay here to almost relish in this feeling. But it's not stemming from a desire to throw a self-pity party, I'm simply curious - why do I feel this way and where is it coming from? I feel like in order to be a healthy, functioning individual I need to unpack why I currently feel the way I do. Is it truly loneliness? Is it some form of FOMO? Or am I simply a bit bored? Over the past year I have made some progress in terms of being able to party explain why I feel like this sometimes. This is the longest I've been single since I was 17. I think that while it was a pleasure growing up with a high school sweetheart, it made me accustomed to always having someone there. I think this, coupled with some self-esteem issues, made me jump from one relationship to another. While I've only been in 3 relationships, they were all long-term with only about 5-6 months in between each one. I'm not entirely sure that is healthy. And it's kinda funny because I've always viewed myself as being quite independent and a staunch individual who marches to the beat of their own drum. Perhaps personality-wise that is true, but I believe I have some work to do in terms of having the strength to emotionally support myself. It's not fair on any future partner of mine to fulfil that role entirely. They should be an addition to my life, not my crutch.

I think to get me through all I need to do is reframe this time I have for myself. Viewing and treating it as this mix of self-care and self-improvement so I can become the best version of myself, for myself. My goal for this year is to just improve myself mentally, emotionally and physically. I want to let go of what's happened in the past and move on from it and respect what it's taught me without it defining me. I want to become more comfortable with who I am - a nerdy introvert who needs their alone time. It kinda sucks my brain automatically reverts to the whole 'you're a loser' because I'm spending a Friday or Saturday night alone. When really, I need that time to recharge and relax, and it gives me time and space to explore my creativity and work on my personal projects. This year I want to grab life by the horns and not let it go to waste. Life is short and I want to make the most of it. There's no time to be crippled with self-doubt and low self-esteem. Quite frankly, I am sick of feeling like those 2 things are holding me back! I want to stop fixating on the fact that I am getting (and looking) older, and not feel so guilty about not complying with societal norms. I know I can do these things! It will just take some time.

Wednesday 6 January 2021: Only a few more days and my summer holidays are over... I decided to come back up north and spend the remaining days with my family. I do want to quickly journal about the event I played at after Christmas before my brain overrides it with some embarrassing thing I did 10 years ago, or forgets it completely.

I was fairly nervous about this gig as it was a multi-day event and I was rocking up there by myself. I knew the main organiser personally, but only knew of a handful of other people, with the majority of other attendees complete strangers to me. So it kind of took a few deep breaths to prepare myself mentally before I could step out of my car upon arrival.

It was an awesome location... CN was held at a local Scout camping ground about 30 minutes away from the city complete with cabins, communal shower blocks and a dining hall! It was like being back at school camp sans braces and social awkwardness (Oh who am I kidding, I'm still socially awkward...)! I greeted Z when I got there and he showed me to my cabin. As an artist, I stayed in a cabin with its own ensuite (which was a very welcome luxury) and shared with a couple whom I had met a few times before, so that was no biggie. After being shown around and introduced to a few people, I tucked in for lunch. This event was amazing because normally at these camping-type festivals, there's maybe like 1 or 2 food trucks but apart from that, the punters are left to fend for themselves. Not here. (For an extra fee, of course) there was catering served for breakfast, lunch and dinner - and I'm talking real gourmet shit, no beans on toast.

Another great thing about this event as an artist was the free drinks, which I definitely took full advantage of! I was playing at 10pm right before the headliner so I made sure to adequately prepare myself with some liquid courage. Not that I particularly need it, since I approach DJing kind of like 'work' in the sense that I've been 'hired' to perform. I use the terms 'work' and 'hired' loosely as rarely do I get paid for it lol, but that's not the reason I do it! Anyways, my set went off - I had so much fun and had so many people come up to me afterwards telling me how much fun they had! I love these comments because it makes the hours upon hours of preparation and practice and the pre-show jitters all worth it! Z actually came up to me afterwards telling me how the headliner was nervous about going on after me, which actually blew me away! Apparently he said something along the lines of "How am I supposed to beat that?". Like are you kidding me... Typing this out, I still can't believe he said that. The headliner, nervous about playing after ME?! Anyways, give me a sec to deflate my ego real quick.... lol. The rest of the night I spent meeting and chatting to new people where I met X whom I got along with really well! He's been in Australia for only a few years and we bonded over our Eastern European heritage and subsequent uneasiness at a punter's hat choice (which may or may not have had a Red Star on it...).

Me DJing! I know there were more pics and vids taken of me which I'll upload when I get them ☺

The next morning we were treated to a full breakfast buffet which re-energised me for the day which we spent down at the river. However, after the extremely busy week/s I had just had, I think it was all starting to catch up with me. So I left after dinner and slept about 15 hours once getting home. Using the next day or 2 to recover, I was then ready for my NYE gig.

Can't go wrong with milk crates for that renegade vibe lol

I had invited my housemate of 2 days along since she didn't have any plans, as well as X I had met the other day, and had a great time just chillin' up the back people watching. I spent the next few days bumming around at home before deciding I'd come back up north, which is where I am now!

Phew, it feels good to be all caught up now! Not sure what I'm going to do before going to my brother's house later today, I might see if my mum wants to come op-shopping with me.

Sunday 3 January 2021: Wow... Happy new year! I have had such a busy month and holiday period, but it's been one of the best summers I've had in a while. I'm here to document a few things so that I can read it back and relive some of it ♥

In the time since my last entry I have actually had 2 separate job interviews (back in December) which I studied my ass off for. It was almost a solid 2 weeks where on weekdays I would work 8am to 4pm and then study and practice interviewing til about 10pm at night, followed by using the entire weekend studying on top of that. It was absolutely exhausting, but so incredibly worth it. I am normally a nervous wreck in interviews, but I remember being so calm and relaxed this time, and I had the ability to deliver solid answers since I had researched and practiced so much. So even if I don't get a job offer, I am super happy about the progress I have made in my interviewing skills. It'll be interesting if I do happen to get an offer though, as it will leave me in a serious pickle. I love my work and workplace now, so I was not particularly looking to leave - it was just that these interesting opportunities came up and I wanted to throw my hat in the ring. Also, since heading back up north for Christmas and seeing my family and friends, it has given me this strange feeling of wanting to move back - at least while my brother is currently stationed there with work. I know he has only a few more years left here before he's most likely sent elsewhere. We get along so well, and I mentioned my thoughts on potentially wanting to move back and the first thing he said was that "living together would be so fun"... Nawwww! I agree, it would be. So, depending on whether I hear back from these jobs I might start seriously considering possibly moving back home. At least for a year or 2.

Anyways, Friday night before heading back home S invited me out for drinks with some of her work friends which was really fun! I accidentally ended up drinking a bit more than what I should have, and stayed out a bit later than what I should have, which ended up costing me a lot of needed sleep time lol. With an appointment scheduled for the next day at 9:30am (and a 4 hour drive away), I rushed home at midnight to get a healthy 4 hours sleep before doing literally the WORST job of packing I have ever done. Note to self: DO NOT pack at 4am in the morning. Please. Honestly, once I got to my mum's place and opened up my suitcases, I had realised what a terrible job I had done! I had totally overpacked, brought the wrong things, forgot some important items and brought the wrong laptop charger - it was a mess. Oh well, I had a nap and got ready for my brother's friend's housewarming which I was DJing at later that night.

Me DJing, with A dancing along with me, and then going B2B with R.

This was a super fun house party, I think I was DJing for quite a number of hours lol, I just lost track of time! I also met R who is a local DJ and we ended up going b2b (back to back; i.e. we took turns mixing into each others' tracks) for a few hours as well. Everyone was super friendly - something I'm not particularly used to anymore in cold Canberra. Oh god, also one of my brother's friends kissed me which he got some absolute flack for! Overall, it was a really fun night! We had a smoke machine, and I had convinced R earlier in the week to get a sub so the party looked and sounded legit!!!

Some other noteable memories from my holiday up north include:
  ♥ Running home from the RSL in the pouring rain with my brother and his mates and getting absolutely soaked in the process! A kept saying it reminded him of when he was a teenager - I totally agreed!
  ♥ Getting sloshed from Piña Colada slushies with S and meeting up with her friends for dinner afterwards, ordering $20 jugs of Fruit Tingles, and vibing out on the couch to 'Like a G6'.
  ♥ Parking up the top of the hill with A, drinking beers out of the boot and chillin to some drum and bass while looking out onto the beach and ocean below us.
  ♥ Meeting up with B - a dear friend whom I had lost contact with since moving to Canberra - we went for a walk around the lighthouse and back, and topped it off with some breakky.

Then it was Christmas, which I spent with my immediate family at a seafood buffet. Food was pretty good, however dessert was a bit of a let down, with only cut fruit and dry churros available (seriously, they didn't even serve them with sauce or icecream?!). On Boxing Day S invited me out again with some of her friends - which was another fun but boozy night. I had met some great people, whom I plan on seeing again hopefully in a couple of days when I venture back up north before having to go back to work next Monday!

Oh god, I feel like there is still so much more to write! I think I will write up about my gigs in a follow-up post. I need to get some sleep, so signing off for tonight x