I’m here to tell you that week two is definitely easier than week one. In fact, I am not even going to report on my social stats this week because they were just so low. Overall, I’m also feeling a lot happier about my use of social media and finding myself missing the more positive and productive aspects that come with my Instagram use.
I have speculated for some time that the why which underpins a lot of what I do for work comes down to sharing inspiration in all facets with people. Sometimes this manifests as inspiration to go out and do the thing you love the most, inspiration for creativity, or inspiration to take a plane flight somewhere new.
I use inspiration instead of aspiration because I feel that it demands an action that ultimately resides in one self, but might need a stimuli in order for it to be unleashed. Aspiration, I feel, can be much more passive. Whilst it does deal more with ambition and hope, it doesn’t imply that I’m taking steps towards that goal.
In that vein, I am feeling very inspired by this past week to continue with the project, despite my obvious fails and issues with self discipline.
I have discovered, since limiting my wardrobe to the size of a cabin bag, that minimalism can help the wallet. Naturally, I thought that perhaps this month staving myself off alcohol might actually help my bank accounts look more fruitful as well.
In theory, this works. Alcohol is expensive, especially here in Australia where taxes are higher than your granddad’s pants (wine is still cheaper here than in the U.K. thought so I’m not all that salty about it really) so foregoing a cheeky pint with dinner can save you an easy $10.
In practice, this only works IF you don’t have to literally dispose of all that recently saved money towards a parking fine AND a speeding ticket… which you managed to rack up in the space of a weekend.
Not my finest hour, I can assure you.
Technically, I spent money on alcohol anyway because I really needed to crack a cold one with the boys after enduring the horror of that weekend. The beers were from Aldi (helloooo 12 pack for $12) but still I had alcohol and broke my sobriety.
I thought that perhaps alcohol would be the one thing on my list that I would be able to live without for a month, especially as I’m currently training my ass off in the gym and want my abs to be loud and proud by the time I reach the Northern Hemisphere are the end of the month. But it turns out, I’m really not good at this whole self discipline thing.
Boys are the only thing on my list of prohibited items that I haven’t even sniffed at now. I’m honestly not sure what I’ve gone longer without, a percentage drink, or a penis (sorry Mum). It’s not that I think I have a dependency on either of these things, but they are rather enjoyable. Especially together.
The origin to limiting the masculine energy entering my life started when I was back in Thailand in February. It was my last night on the island of Koh Chang. The boys and I took some Changs and walked 5kms to a Mexican restaurant in the next village over. We stopped along the way at a local market. Alex picked up deep fried bugs and ate them out of a bag as though they were pieces of candy. The rest of our group caught up to us quickly, zooming past us in Tuk Tuks and on scooters, yelling out to us across the dark road.
Mezcal margaritas and quesadillas were shared as we sat at a long table reminiscing on the week that had been. We started talking about dating and I could feel my insides coiling up. I had the palm of my hand buried deep into my cheek, the weight of it all resting on my right arm. My left hand was nervously pushing the remainder of my food around my plate.
It was this moment that I opened up to my friend Laura about a past relationship that I felt left me broken and untrusting. She told me, “I know I’ve only known you for a week, but I feel that you are stronger than you realise, strong enough that something like this will never affect you again.”
Most of the time, I am strong, and fiercely independent, but as soon as she effectively gave me a huge compliment and a pat on the back, I broke down and I didn’t know how to react.
It’s easier to just have a façade up rather than showing people my real vulnerabilities. It’s easier to tell myself that I’m not worthy of love, instead of enduring that pain that is not being able to give my love to someone else right now.
So it’s safe to say I’m working through some shit right now when it comes to dating, boys, and how I feel about it all. I’m pretty damn sure that I won’t be tempted by anyone this month.
Masculine energy is important, however. And as someone who doesn’t get along too well with girls 90% of the time, most of my friends are boys. This week, my masculine energy has come from two travel friends who have been staying with me.
I first met Corry in McDonald’s in Taupo, New Zealand. I was editing photos from the Tongariro Crossing, and he was cycling around New Zealand for three months. We ended up talking for two hours and staying in touch via Instagram after we both had to leave our Happy Meals. Him: to kayak out to a giant cave painting. Me: to sneak into a hostel and find a shower. Priorities.
We met up again at the end of my trip and spent Christmas together in Abel Tasman National Park with his friend, Matt and my friend Tyler whom I picked up hitchhiking near Wanaka a week or so prior. We spent Christmas day having a traditional Southern Hemisphere Christmas. Garlic shrimps and veggies on the barbecue, a goats cheese and carrot salad, and a healthy amount of Passion Pop and Orange juice. Corry was vegetarian and an alcohol virgin. Naturally, I had to change the latter.
Corry was fundamental in changing my perspective about animal products. He introduced me to the Rich Roll Podcast, we discussed health and environmental impacts and shared recipes. By the time I landed back in Australia, I was a strict vegetarian.
2017 was a very healthy year for me. In fact, I don’t actually remember getting sick once. This was partly due to my new found diet, but also because I was working out and more active. I felt lighter, more agile, and focused after switching to a vegetarian diet. Also mushrooms are the best, can I just say?
I picked Corry and his friend Oliver up at the airport on Friday. The boys met while guiding sea kayaks in Maui, Hawaii. I already knew Oliver and I were going to get along like a house on fire.
We took my Mum’s Mazda Astina and drove off road to a quiet, free campsite deep within the Otways. So quiet this place was, that you could hear the water trickle as it made its way down from the canopy to the forest floor. We set up camp, with Oliver forgetting the poles to his tent, and Corry fastening a device that was initially intended to shield his hammock from the rain, but actually ended up soaking his underpants in the early hours of the morning.
The trek down to the 12 Apostles is something I now do with all of my friends who visit me while I’m located in this corner of the world. I know the bends of the Great Ocean Road probably better than trying to navigate my way around my parent’s house in the dark. Each experience is always different, and arguably better than the last however. In January 2018, Guillaume and I slept through sunrise at the apostles after driving from Melbourne at 1am. In March of the same year, Tanisha and I picked up two Polish hitchhikers who had been travelling across the world for 2 years instead of a traditional honeymoon.
This time, we managed to catch the last two finals of the WSL at Bells Beach, fed cockatoos and rosellas are Kennett River, saw a couple of kangaroos bounce in front of the car, spied koalas in the trees above, and did a beach clean up at Loch Ard Gorge.
And if you want to know what we took to eat, we bought 1kg of hummus from Aldi for $4, broccoli, carrots, and I whipped up a mexican-style bean mix that saw us through the two-day adventure. All vegan, all good.