I don’t really have anything to say but I haven’t written in forever, so here goes.  I am still freaking out about this trip.  More so freaking out because I am still dealing with back pain (at this point it’s mostly pins and needles  in my calves and feet and not much actual back pain…which is good and bad.)  I just want it to go away!!!  I can’t see how I can go to Australia and enjoy myself when I’m feeling this way, but I want to make this trip so, so, so badly.  I’m not about to give up or anything, but each day takes me closer and closer to the day I’m supposed to leave and each day I am filled simultaneously with more excitement and more sadness.  It sucks.  Of course I realize things could be much worse and I know I don’t have much right to complain but it’s a terrible feeling to constantly have this thing in the back of your mind reminding you that no matter what you do you might not get to fulfill your current dream.  Regardless of all of this, I am still trying to stay positive.  Really, I am. 🙂  And even if this Australia trip gets postponed or never happens at all, as long as I know I’ve done my best to try to make it happen, I’ll have to be satisfied with the outcome.  Maybe it just isn’t meant to be…

I’m not sure why it’s happening now, but lately I have been FREAKING THE FREAK OUT about this move.  I’ve been looking at hotels to stay in when I arrive, Googling travel health insurance, researching the best plan of attack as far as bank accounts go, checking out temp. agencies, and through it all I’ve had a permanent feeling of nausea.  I know once I get to Melbourne and get settled, I’ll be perfectly fine. I’ve lived almost exactly at the center of one of the biggest cities in the United States for the past 9 years, so I’m almost positive I can take on Melbourne, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to be nervous as all hell before I get there. It’s the unknown that is making me feel sick to my stomach but it’s also that unknown that makes this whole thing so exciting and worth it.

I arrived home from work the other day and was thinking about how upset I’ll be when moving out of my apartment…this tiny room has been my home for the past almost 8 years – about a year short of a third of my life!  I know I will cry when I leave here but not because I feel I shouldn’t be leaving, it is absolutely time for me to move on, but because of what this apartment – this city – have meant to me.  I have many days where I feel I should be “better” or “further along” in life by now, but then I remind myself how much I’ve done and changed while living in Boston. I remember the person I was in high school and just before moving here; painfully shy and with barely an ounce of self esteem. Sure, I’m not the most outgoing, confident person even now, but that’s due, in part, to the fact that I’m no longer expecting or even wanting to become some loud-mouthed, super self-assured human being.  At this point in my life, I don’t equate only that kind of person with success.  I’m just me. I’m not shy now, but I wouldn’t hesitate to classify myself as reserved. I don’t allow anyone and everyone to know the real me, but whereas before I’d feel that was a problem, I now embrace that aspect of my personality.  I like that I only let certain people into my world, not that there’s anything wrong with people who like to share themselves with all! 🙂  Like I said, I’m just me. I’m capable of carrying on a conversation with almost anyone, I walk down the street with my head held high and I do truly believe I can do anything I choose to put my all into…and while those things may not seem like much to some, they’re HUGE to me coming from the person I was in my teenage years.

This nervous, anxious, scared out of my mind feeling I’ve been having lately is uncomfortable and not really all that enjoyable…but I am so glad it’s happening because it’s only served to reassure me that this decision to move to Australia is the right one.  After all I’ve gained from living in Boston, I can’t wait to see how living in a new country for a year will transform me.

What is with Australia and its crazy freakin’ weather? As if it isn’t bad enough that you have to worry about deadly animals while down under, they also seem to have some of the wackiest weather I have ever heard about. Granted, I come from New England where really the worst Mother Nature dishes out on a somewhat regular basis is a blizzard/Nor’Easter and even then, just stay inside and you’re almost guaranteed to be just fine. This past Saturday (well Friday in the U.S.), Melbourne and the surrounding area had a freak giant thunderstorm deal with hail and flooding and all sorts of craziness. A few months back, Sydney had that dust storm that caused the entire city to turn a reddish orange coloUr. Last summer, the state of Victoria had the deadliest bush fires in the country’s history. I love a good thunderstorm, but what in the name of cute kangaroos am I thinking moving to this place?!!?!!!

“Life is difficult.

This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact life is difficult no longer matters.” (M. Scott Peck – The Road Less Traveled.)

A few years ago, I had somewhat of an epiphany.  I realized that the best way to make an experience or “job” or something that you’re going through, “easy” and not “hard,” is to simply accept it.  Hard, tough, complicated, difficult…they’re all relative terms.  If you come to terms with the fact that whatever it is you’re going through or committing to is your only option, that it must be done, it can’t possibly be hard because there is no opposite “easy” road to go down.  Literally the day after realizing this, I picked up the book “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck and read the opening paragraph, the one I have typed out above.  Sure, I still have times when I’m working through things and I want to give up, times when I want to say “This is too difficult for me to overcome…I can’t do it, I’m not even going to try anymore.”  But every time this happens, I think back to those words on that first page of the book.  If you want something badly enough, and you commit to making it happen, embrace the difficult part!  Say to yourself “Holy bejesus, this is hard, but I’m going to do it!”  Don’t whine and complain and feel sorry for yourself having to go through it.  Accept that it’s tough, and then do it.  There is nothing wrong with admitting that you’re doing something that isn’t easy (and I swear to you, once you acknowledge it’s what you have to do…it’s not all that hard anymore!)…in fact, admitting that you’re busting your butt to get something done that really means something to you, makes the success in the end all the sweeter. 

Speaking of making things sweeter in the end, another topic M. Scott Peck writes about in “The Road Less Traveled” that really resonated with me is the idea of delayed gratification.  Delayed gratification is basically the concept of getting the shit stuff out of the way first, so as to better enjoy the good things afterward.  For example, if I go to the gym and have a great work out, it’s far more enjoyable for me after to go home, sit on my butt with a new US Weekly trash magazine and drink an iced coffee, than if I had gone straight home from work and done the same lazing about.  It really, really, really works.  If you first tackle the chores and “ho hum must do stuff” of your daily routine, the little things you allow yourself, like a gossip magazine or a reality television show, are soooo much more enjoyable.  Personally, if I don’t get the junk out of the way first, I feel a sense of guilt doing the other fun or meaningless stuff.  By ridding your conscience of those “oh I have to get this done…” thoughts through just GETTING IT DONE, you’re able to improve your quality of life without actually gaining any concrete items.  You take what you already have and make it all the better, just by switching the scheduling around a bit.  By showing yourself that you can get through the shit, by embracing those tough times, you’re better able to find joy in simple things, because you’ve allowed yourself to truly experience the pain and hard work that comes with the tough stuff.

Don’t expect life to always be easy.  Don’t whine when things aren’t simply handed to you.  Get the bullshit out of the way first and you will be amazed at how EASY (there’s your easy gain) it is to find real, true happiness in the simplest of things.

A few weeks ago I posted a “Things I can’t wait to see/do in Australia” entry. Today I’m going to write about the opposite; things I am very much not looking forward to/could do without the entire time I’m there/will try my best to avoid. 🙂 I won’t include the obvious things like not having my family around because well, they’re obvious…Although, I suppose some of the following are quite obvious too. Whatever, it’s my blog, I’ll do what I want!!

  • Gigundo Spiders:  This is a Huntsman spider.  IT IS HUGE.  While I should probably be more concerned with the smaller, more harmful eight legged creatures, these big ol’ guys freak me out the most.  They are just sooooo big!!!  Also, this photo was taken only a few days ago by an Aussie that I talk to online IN HIS HOUSE.  So it’s not just some crap I found in a Google image search…these things really exist.  NASTY.

  • Snakes:  I freakin’ hate snakes.  How gross is this photo???!!? Bleh!!!


  • No iPhone: 😦 While I’m in Australia, for both monetary reasons and because I should really just spend more time enjoying the “real world” rather than immersed in some internet-land BS 24/7, I’ll be putting aside my iPhone for just a regular old ho hum cell phone.  I realize that being upset about being without my iPhone for a year is entirely lame and makes me sound a teeny bit like a spoiled brat, but hey, I’m not perfect.  Plus, I AM giving it up, so I deserve some credit for that, yes???  (Photos involving that red “no” thing, I don’t know what it’s called, seem to be a reoccurring thing here at ‘Wicked to Heaps’…)

I have to admit, it’s been tough to come up with things I’m not looking forward to. Maybe that’s just because I have this unrealistic idea of Australia as this close to perfect land, and if that’s the case, I’ll just have to update this half way into my visit there. 🙂

And in closing, to tie this in with my previous “good stuff about OZ” post…

  • Australian boys: Even if they do all look like Hugh Jackman, I believe they may be a bit of trouble… 😉  I couldn’t find any photos to portray my point here, so instead I will just share another of Mr. Jackman with you all.

As much as I did not want to, a while back I gave in to the Facebook fad. Inevitably, I received a good bunch of requests from people I went to high school with, mostly I’m sure based on their nosiness and not because we were “real life” friends 10 years ago.  I was not a big fan of my high school, nor of most of the people I attended high school with, but that is another post entirely.  Let’s just say I attended high school not too far from South Hadley, MA and this story does not surprise me in the least.  Totally coincidental obviously that the poor girl’s name is also Phoebe.  Before I start ranting and raving about torturous teenage years, let me get back to my point.

Today, one of my many “friends” posted a pic on Facebook of the toilet after her daughter took her first crap in it. SERIOUSLY?! Seriously!!  It is bad enough that photos of things that “back in the day” would have only been placed in a photo album or snail-mailed/e-mailed to close family and friends, photos of things like your new house (down to a close up of the shelving in the closet in the extra bathroom), your gaudy engagement ring from 15 different angles, your kid picking his nose(oh but it’s so cute! barf.), or your cliché palm tree/view of the ocean shot from your “super great, OMG!” vacation, are now plastered all over your small spot in cyberspace to be seen by everyone from your significant other to the guy you met one night at a bar through a friend who once took care of your cousin’s mailman’s ferret.  Even worse, these days, we’ve taken it a giant leap further, and we’re capturing on film things that no one ever would have taken a picture of before JUST BECAUSE WE CAN.  And then, we’re throwing it up online for the internet world to see. There is only one reason to take a photograph of the feces of your child and that is if you are concerned he/she may have some crazy arse (no pun intended) disease and you want to share it with Mr. Pediatrician. Otherwise, NO POOP PHOTOS.  AND DEFINITELY NO KID POOP PHOTOS ON FACEBOOK.  I’ve come to accept that people write trite, silly things on there, so I’d almost be okay with “Jane McPoopykid‘s daughter just pooped in the toilet for the first time! woohoo!” AND, I really don’t think anyone would question the verity of that statement.  “Bob DumbarseFBFriend ‘No way Mrs. McPoopykid, you are so lying, post an image immediately or it never happened!'”  No. The visual evidence is taking it too far.

Please fellow Facebookers, for the love of me being able to log in without hurling my lunch everywhere, use some discretion when you’re about to hit that upload button and share another snapshot with the Facebook community.  Until then, I’ll continue to utilize my favorite button, “hide ‘so and so’s’ bullshit postings,” on a frequent basis.

Music plays a GIGANTIC (Yeah, that’s right, capitals, yo) role in my life.  The first thing I do in the morning, even before allowing myself the sense of sight by putting in my contact lenses, is turn on the little radio in my bathroom.  The last thing I do before leaving my apartment for the day is turn off that little radio, and the first thing I do when I arrive at work is plug in my iPhone and throw together a setlist for my day.  I cannot function without music.  If I’m in a bad mood, there are songs that never fail to cheer me up.  If I’m feeling mellow, songs to compliment my laid-back mood.  Maybe I’m angry and I want to enhance that frustration for a bit?  Yep, there are songs for that too.  Because I will listen to anything that can alter, compliment or enhance my mood, depending on the situation, and really, anything that just sounds darn good to my ears, I don’t consider myself to be a music snob.  Taste in music is entirely subjective as far as I’m concerned, and while there is some crap that I would never in a million years listen to and that irritates me to no end, (OWL CITY, Miley Cyrus, Nickelback, Fall Out Boy, etc. etc. etc….etc….and one more etc.) I refuse to hate on anyone who happens to dig that stuff to the extent where I would not be their friend or would believe them to be some horrible character possessed by the devil.  If it sounds good to you and it makes you happy, or whichever emotion you’re looking to feel at that given moment, hey, I’m not going to stop you from delighting in those tunes.  (You’re freakin’ nutso if Owl City does it for you though.  Sorry.  Perhaps look into scheduling an appointment with a…hang on…Otologist.  Cheer, Google.)

Anyway, there isn’t much of a point to this post other than that I’d like to say a big fat “Thank you!!” to every single person who has ever written, performed, produced…taken part somehow…in the process of creating music.  Some of your amazing works of art get me through every single day of my life and while I know the industry is a tough one to be in, (and even though probably 85% of what I listen to is old music), I am so grateful for the fact that there are people out there who continue to stick with it.  It truly does impact, in a fully positive way, my quality of life.

According to my “Days Until…” iPhone app, I have 217 days left until I depart from the lovely continent that is North America for the first time in my life.  While that’s not a whole heck of a lot of time, I refuse to spend all 217 of those days feeling down.  It is severely necessary for me to take a time out from being bummed about, stressed out by and upset over my back problems, and try envisioning myself as again a happy, healthy 20-something by the time August 25th rolls around.  (and really, it needs to happen a lot sooner than that.)  So, I’m going to post a bunch of crap I can’t wait to see and do in my 28th year on this planet while living in Australia in the hope that picturing myself seeing and doing these things will somehow make them actually occur!

Most of what interests me, at least from researching from afar, is outdoorsy, nature kinds of things.

  • Phillip Island:  I am super excited to go see the little penguin parade on Phillip Island.
  • Great Ocean Road: I’m not so sure I can buy into it being this beautiful in person but I’m looking forward to having all doubt erased from my mind .  I’ve only once been somewhere that was supposed to have water that blue, Cancun, and because of stormy weather it looked more like Boston Harbor on a cold, March morning.  I still don’t believe pretty, clear, turquoise blue water exists…

  • Cutie Marsupials:  This one goes without saying, but I can’t wait to see adorable little koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and wombats.  Apparently, it’s illegal to hold and/or pet a koala in Victoria, so that’s just another reason to make sure I get some traveling to others states done.  I must hold a koala.

  • Birds: Thanks to my Mom, I’ve developed a love for birds.  Birds in nature that is, I’d never own one or anything.  My love for them may also be due to the fact that I’m named after a bird.  Who knows. 🙂  Anyway, even though they’re supposedly really loud and obnoxious, I can’t wait to see birds this precious and colorful out in the wild.

  • Aussie Beer/Food:  I’m not a big drinker, let alone a big beer drinker, but when in Rome….so I’ll be giving their beers a go.  Most of the Australian food I’ve come across online; meat pies, vegemite, kangroo meat, sound crazy disgusting to me, but I’ll also be giving those things a try.  Their desserts and candy(lollies in Oz), (with the exception of fairy bread…buttered white bread covered in sprinkles…nasty.) sound perfectly yummy though.

  • Footy/Rugby/Cricket: Melbourne is big into sports, as Boston is, so I’m really looking forward to experiencing their most popular ones.  By experiencing I mean watching while drinking  and eating aforementioned beer and meat pies and not playing, as I am not interested in further injuring myself or death.
  • Australian boys:  They all look like Hugh Jackman, right? 😉

The story of Tiger Woods and his alleged affair(s) has been one of the biggest news stories of late. I was thinking about it all this morning, kind of hard not to when you’re bombarded with it by every media outlet, and the more I thought, the more frustrated I became. I don’t entirely understand why human beings become so enamored with the lives of celebrities and why there’s such a back and forth with it all; constantly trying to bring them back down to earth and “out” any of their human flaws and finding some sort of joy in that, yet holding them to some higher standard than the everyday common man and actually wanting and truly expecting them to fulfill that status. I’m sure there’s some psychological reasoning behind our fascination with and our treatment of “stars.” The thing that gets me the most about the Woods situation is that I’m pretty sure over the years it’s been made extremely clear that celebrities of all kinds; musicians, actors, actresses, athletes, politicians, etc. are not above cheating, (or any other human downfall.) If anything, I think, and I’m sure there’s some psychological babble to go along with this as well, they’re MORE LIKELY to cheat! So why in the hell do we, the world, continue to be so shocked and surprised when yet another celeb has an affair? Cut the shit, folks. Just because these people have been blessed with either the genetics to be super great at dunking a basketball or acting on a stage, or simply have the ambition and drive to accomplish those or other things, doesn’t mean they’re any less human than anyone else on this planet.

Tiger Woods is a golfer; a great golfer.  He’s going to golf well and that’s what he should be relied on for and what should be expected of him. He’s not going to cure AIDS, he’s not going to teach your child to read, he’s not going to invent a flying car and he’s not going to help you stuff your Christmas turkey.  What he is going to do, is play a super round or a million of golf and if you enjoy watching that kind of thing, pay attention. Otherwise, he’s not of much use to you.  Stop giving the media the power to hype this bullshit and hypnotize you into thinking instances of humans flaws found within people with a specific talent are of note.

I get that people fall into the trap of thinking celebs are somehow superior to the rest of us, to the “Average Joe” or “Jane,” but seriously, just last night President Obama spoke on sending thousands more young men and women to The Middle East, and I can all but guarantee that more people are more concerned with how often Tiger Woods slept with some floozy waitress from Las Vegas. Don’t get me wrong, I am not above meaningless, fruity, bullshit entertainment on the occasion. You’re reading a blog written by a girl who watches The Hills on a weekly basis and saw the Britney Spears movie “Crossroads” in the theatre. I surely get the importance of turning off your brain once in a while and partaking in something completely irreverent and idiotic. We’re only here for so long and I wouldn’t want myself or anyone else to spend every waking moment concerned with and worried about the state of the world, but to sit here and obsess over the cheating of a man simply because he’s a top-notch golfer, to have that be a top “news” story, is absolutely insane. It is unimportant. Really. Stop allowing the modern-day media machine to perpetuate the naivety of the human race.

Ya know how you feel so absolutely sick and disgusting when you have the flu and then when you’re healthy again, it’s hard to really remember how you felt?  You sort of forget how bad it was because it’s so, so tough to imagine ever feeling that way when you’re feeling good.  I guess it’s a testament to the amazing ability our bodies have to bounce back.  Have you ever thought to yourself while you’re sick, or injured, or going through a rough time, that you wished you could somehow bottle up that horrible feeling and take a shot of it, just a tiny one, when you’re feeling “normal” again as a bit of a dose of reality?  Maybe during a time when you’re bitching and moaning about something sort of silly or feeling sorry for yourself when you could easily change your state of mind?  You could take this shot that could say for a second “Hey, recall feeling like THIS?? YEAH?? Okay, then.  Enjoy the fact that you’re NOT feeling that now and stop taking this moment for granted.”  I often wish I could do that.

I won’t go into detail but I’m currently dealing with some medical crappola.  I have been diagnosed with two herniated discs in my lower back, am on some pain-killers and will be starting physical therapy shortly.  I am in a shit ton of pain and it IS SOOOO FRUSTRATING! As is my nature, I’m trying to find the meaning in all this, trying to see the bigger picture. Someone or something out there, up there, down there, around here…somewhere…is sending a message to me, and I’m hearing it loud and clear.

Obviously, it’s not possible to bottle up this crap feeling and then chug a glass of it at a later date to bring me back to earth.  So instead, I’m going to write myself a letter; a letter I can refer to in the future when I’m being lazy, complaining, not taking advantage of all that’s offered to me, wallowing in some sort of self pity, or actually CHOOSING to do just what I am doing now; laying here, doing nothing, feeling sorry for myself.  I don’t have the option of anything else at the moment, and it’s causing me to really question why in the hell I would ever choose to place myself in this situation?

I’m hoping that this letter of “tough love,” a bit of a self imposed ass-kicking, will help me down the road when I’m feeling more mentally down in the dumps than physically, feeling “bad” but due to something I can turn around and “fix” through my own will.  I feel that this concept kind of goes hand in hand with my last blog entry, in that it searches for something positive within a situation that is, on the surface, wholly negative.  I won’t post the actual letter here because there’s really no reason to; it would just come off as some sort of pity party for myself and/or a quest for pity from my readers and strangers out there in internet land, something I’m not at all looking for.  In sharing this idea though, I’m hopeful that someone who reads this, or maybe more than one someone coming across my blog, can use this tactic themselves to turn a frustrating, painful experience into a positive tool for building a better future.  And even if the letter never gets read again, sometimes it just feels good to put a pen to paper (or fingers to a keyboard, as the case may be) and give yourself a good, stern, talking to…it’s a healthy way to get all of your anger and sadness out and free up some space for worthwhile thoughts and actions that will enable you to move in a forward direction.