Bus Buddies

26.02.2015

I’m someone who makes friends easily. I love people and I love finding out their stories, what happened that made them the way they are, what connects us and what doesn’t…I collect stories like pokemon cards except I don’t mind getting lots of the same cards…there is always something that makes each one different.

Growing up in a city like Bombay, I was used to my mum talking about her ‘train friends’, work friends, school friends, church friends, and the list goes on. She had a group of friends she’d made on the train that always got the same train, same time, and they would play singing games on the train and talk about their work and their children along the way. I thought this was hegemonic all over the world until I moved to New Zealand and I realise that no, people don’t play Antakshari on the train and sell jewellery and toys through the compartments at every station.

Never the less over the years I have invariably made friends on public transport on my way to school, to work and even on international flights and in airports. I don’t think I can help it. Most of my bus friends are simply that, friends I sometimes see on the bus and we talk, others I have kept in touch with, and we’ve gone out for dinner, talked about travel, boyfriends and plans for the future. I recently ran into a bus friend while I was going for a run around the block. I met Christoffe when I was a fresh-faced 18 year old doing my first semester at university. I used to finish my English lectures every Monday and Thursday at 6pm and Christoffe finished his Science lectures and we would sometimes get the same bus back together. I’m not sure how we started talking, or which of us introduced ourselves first. But we have remained friends for five years.

Though the times we’ve met have been unpredictable, over the years Christoffe has seen me grow from an awkward shy 18 year old just out of high school to a 23 year old woman who knows who she is and what she wants. He has seen my journey from my very first semester to my last and I didn’t even notice. And somewhere along the way he finished his masters studying part-time, had two children and continued to sit on the bus with me. I think it’s beautiful that sitting on a bus for 20 minutes every so often, you can still discover things about ordinary people and maintain a friendship for half a decade.

There is something remarkable about the fact that in this day and age, we have remained friends simply through our bus trips, without having each other’s phone numbers, email address or being friends on facebook. Over the years we have talked about our degrees, uni papers we liked, ones we didn’t, growing up overseas, our families and I even met his son once and pushed him along on his tricycle when we got off the bus. It has been 14 months since I last took a bus in Auckland and this is the first time I’ve run into Christoffe somewhere on the street, not on a bus. And yet we picked up right where we left off, bus friends for five years now.

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Dem pom poms

24.02.2015

So I’ve been listening to the Felix Jaehn video edit of Cheerleader on repeat for the last 40 minutes (and probably will for another 40 minutes), am obsessed with this song its so unique and catchy. I can see myself doing the whole slo mo dance to it in a tank top and shorts by a bonfire on the beach with blue and green lights flicking through the firelight and the smell of driftwood and sea salt in the air.

In fact – this is probably what I would have wanted to see in the music video. Not me – probably some tall girl with long legs and bouncy hair/ dreads. But instead its a complete stereotype of most other ‘black’ music videos with dollar bills flying through the air. It’s still an alright video, I’d watch it. But kinda rips off Addicted to you – Avicii a little bit and a hetero video of a Bonnie and Clyde couple will never be able to compete with a lesbian bank-robber duo. Not gonna happen sorry guys.

Never the less I still love the song, I think the first 30 seconds is similar to Jubel by Klingande which is another song I love, there are little bits of it scattered through the song like confetti that’s showering down on this girl in my head who’s spinning around with eaglespread arms.

And they say “do you need me? do you think I’m prettay? Do I make you feel like cheating?” And I’m like “No not really.” HAHAHAHAHA love it!

She grants my wishes like a genie in a bottle 😉 oooh yea.

Relationships: the good, the bad and the ugly

21.02.2015

After having no internet at home for a year, I went a little bit crazy using up all my phone data at Melbourne Airport getting a massive huffpost dosage and then fully od’d at home reading blogs like I was scoffing lindt balls.

Now that I’m finally experiencing Huffington Post/ Huffpost women/ Huffpost Healthy Living withdrawal (and ironically enough writing my own blog), I’ve noticed there has been a huge surge in articles on love and relationships on the internet since a year ago. Why is that? I feel like most of these are written by 20 something year olds who are in their first relationship. You know why? Cause they sound exactly like me.

I think it’s all very well writing all these articles about what makes a great relationship and what you should look for and not look for and how everything else can be mediocre but love is something you should never settle for but come on guys it’s a bit overwhelming. I think reading all these articles, anyone on the brink of a relationship would be mentally ticking boxes in their head looking for signs of ‘magic’ written by that awkward 20 something year old in their bedroom in their parents’ house who is a.) single b.) still living at home c.) has never been in a serious long term relationship.

I enjoy reading these articles because they make me feel like love is this beautiful magical thing and I see signs of it in my own relationships and I’m like yea boy I’m doing something right, you go girl. And then on the other hand, in most of the marriages I’ve observed – the relationships that have actually worked – you don’t really notice these things at all yet they are the ones that have stood the test of time.

Case in point, there is an article going around about deserving the absolute best, I won’t name and shame I think that’s kinda mean since I’m hardly a blog critic, but it was so idealistic even I was snorting reading it. Believe me I hope with all my heart that when I do fall in love it will be mind-blowing and amazing and fabulous and that when I finally get married it will be to someone who will ‘bear witness to my life’ and we will share our adventures together.

But I don’t expect them to give up their own individual interests and work so hard to prove that they care about me, like what is that all about? Apparently I should ‘be with a man who misses you when you’re not around. He should find himself thinking about you when he’s not with you and count down the hours until he can see you again’.

Erm just my opinion but if this is happening he must be a really bored guy with no hobbies. Like dude go for a run, read a book, play GTA I dunno.

Another one that got me was “You deserve someone who is caring; a man who remembers the special occasions and note-worthy moments. You deserve someone who brings you flowers and chocolate just because he was thinking about you.” LOL high standards omg. I have never received flowers and if anyone knows me well enough they would never buy my flowers but pick some themselves, complete waste of money. I think it’s nice when someone does something for you… it’s a nice gesture, but forget flowers and chocolate, like how about the good old mixed tape that actually takes effort and thought behind every song. As for special occasions and note-worthy moments, the guys I like are scruffy and forgetful and I like them just that way when they have that ‘oh shit’ moment on their face realising they’ve screwed up yet again.

Don’t get me wrong there are a few things that I do agree with like being with someone who is proud to be with you in public and wants to show you off and hold your hand. There is nothing worse than being with someone who is ashamed of you. Also someone who wants to introduce you to his family and friends. It’s the best feeling when someone actually introduces you as their girl-friend.

Anyway, blog bashing aside – gosh so critical and mean coming from me and I really didn’t mean it to be, I just feel like all these ‘How to’ articles are setting unrealistically high expectations out there for girls who already believe in the fairy tale. Sure look for passion and that shiver down your spine but I hope they don’t pass up on the real mccoy because they’re expecting something they’ve dreamt up in their heads all these years. I know I am definitely a bit overwhelmed and it’s like oh really, I was meant to look for stuff like that?

I have no expectations – every relationship is different. And I think in expecting nothing, you create everything from scratch and it’s that much more authentic and unique – just as it should be. I don’t want flowers or fancy dinners. And the right guy will figure out what I do want I’m sure.

It happened to me

17.02.2015

I happened to be looking over the titles of my Spotify playlists today and I noticed a startling trend, but first, let me explain. I like coming up with creative names for my playlists and most people don’t really get the meaning. For example, a group of playlists with world music is called ‘atlas hold me’. Within that group are playlists called ‘batting eyelashes ;)’ as opposed to just ‘French songs’, and ‘Stars and Stripes’ which includes a few rednecky American songs I like. Another group is called ‘Ventricular Contractions’ and contains a number of playlists I created on different types of love because love makes your heart beat faster geddit. There is a playlist for young love songs, first dance songs, romantic love songs and songs I like in bed if you get my drift. But obviously the names are a bit more creative with the likes of ‘3 words. 8 letters.’ And ‘baby make my toes curl’.

What happened to playlist titles like ‘Sad songs’ and ‘Shower soundtrack’? I don’t know I’m not really one for sticking to the norm. But while I was trawling through my Spotify playlists I noticed a trend in the way I have named my playlists. As someone who likes to analyse people, call it vanity but I find myself a very interesting subject. I believe I have a tendency towards self-victimisation in certain situations – it has gotten better over the last couple of years but I was an idiot a few years ago. I felt like people were doing things to me and things were happening to me and I was caught helplessly in the middle. No. Yeah bad things happen to good people and some things are beyond your control. You can’t control other people and the way they treat you. But you can control the way you accept this treatment. I’ve realised in the last year that if I want people to treat me in a certain way and respect me, I have to set this as an expectation and condition their behaviour with positive or negative reinforcement. A friend of mine kept telling me this but it was only a few months ago that I actually tried to put this into practice and surprise surprise it worked.

I’m not great at it, given that I have let myself be a pushover for most of my life but I think I’m starting to stand up for myself and tell people that talking to me in a certain way is unacceptable. And reading my Spotify playlists from 1-2 years ago is reminiscent of a time when I believed that things were ‘happening to me’ and that I had no control over my current situation. Maybe this is why I had titles like ‘buy me a drink songs’, ‘pendulum you swing me’, and ‘baby make my toes curl’. Most of the titles from this period placed myself at someone’s mercy, asking for something to happen rather than making it happen myself.

I believe my Spotify playlist titles bear a strong connection to my progress from someone whose self-talk lead to feelings of victimisation or taking the backseat in the trajectory of my own life to someone who doesn’t give a shit anymore and is not afraid…okay less afraid…to stand up for herself. I don’t enjoy confrontations but I am not afraid to confront someone anymore if I believe that my rights to mutual trust and respect have been encroached on. I believe people have different modes of self-expression whether it’s through dance, music, sports, writing etc and other people don’t seem to express themselves at all which is kinda scary. With me it’s mainly through my writing and I guess the creative input into my Spotify playlists reflected that to a certain extent. I know now that I can make my own toes curl, and I can control that pendulum that swings me and hell yea I can buy myself my own drink. In the last year titles have changed from ones that give away autonomy and independence to ones that scream empowerment like ‘damn straight’, ‘unadulterated’, ‘take a risk sweetheart’ and my personal favourite ‘skanked up goodness’.

I feel like there comes a point where you take ownership for the trajectory of your friendships are going and you realise that all relationships are cultivated and unwritten rules and expectations are set by both people. And while I might still screw up at times and let people in further than I should have, I’m starting to learn the difference between being open and honest and being completely vulnerable and defenseless. In arming myself with self-worth and basically respecting my own rights to be crazy and climb trees, laugh like a child, dance on an empty stage, and love as my heart bids me and chase dreams like butterflies, I am no longer a victim. I am not a person that things ‘happen to’ anymore, I am a person who demands respect because that is what I deserve as a human being on this planet. I am a person who demands authentic love and trust and…nurturing…because I will settle for nothing less.

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Boots clicking on wet concrete
I skipped to keep up with you
Your legs longer than mine
Like tree trunks on that cold cold night

Cars swerved past honking
People whistling as the lights changed
From green to orange
Neon streamers through my hair
Which you grabbed in fistfuls
As we kissed on street corners

There was a swirl of movement
Whirring around us
But we stood still like a polaroid
and raindrops hit my cheeks
as I smiled with closed eyes

Everything else was a blur
The only thing I could feel
Were your lips
And the traffic lights