Friday, 25 April 2014

Just when you thought you couldn't love and respect him any MORE...

...He goes and does this.

Let's just love him forever, okay? Okay.

I have never met a more inspiring person. Ever.

[On a related note...Holy guacamole; I can say that. met him. Let's just all take a moment to process that.]

While I'm processing that (it may take some time), let's just watch these and get ourselves motivated to live, to inspire other people, to be kind to one another, to be who we want to be, and to dream out loud. I've transcribed each one as well, because, you know, I love words. Words are awesome :3

Enjoy!

Xo


Bystander Revolution: Jared Leto | Owning Yourself




As a kid who was pretty different himself, I think that – you know what I would tell people who are individuals out there is that you’re the ones who inherit the earth. Believe in yourself and be patient, and be as different as you want to be. You have every right to do that. It may be difficult and lonely at times, but there is no greater privilege than owning yourself.”





Bystander Revolution: Jared Leto | Make Amends











"When I was a kid, on more than one occasion I got in a fight with somebody in the schoolyard, and the next day they were, you know, close friends. That doesn’t always happen and it’s not a great way to make a good friend, but there are opportunities for people to take some of their mistakes and make them right. And there’s nothing more powerful than somebody who has made a mistake to promptly admit it and to make amends. That can be an incredible thing, and I think a lot of people have probably done that. Have had regret, have changed and have learned that what they’ve done has hurt other people and have come back and said ‘You know what? Hey, I messed up. I’m sorry, and, you know, I’d like to make it right.’ You know for people that have done that out there, who have picked on other people and bullied, it’s never too late to just to – just to stop and be like ‘Hey. I’m tired of being the asshole. Today I’m going to start being someone else.’




 Bystander Revolution: Jared Leto | Get Offline








Cyber bulling and the online world can be a veil that people hide behind to, you know, a perceived greater strength. But really it’s not, and I think when things are in print and we see words on a computer or a phone, they can be incredibly hurtful because in some way, we sense that they can live forever. You know there’s a lot in life that doesn't happen online and you know if people are having a tough time online, my suggestion would be to get offline. To get into the real world – into the physical world – and to give it a break, you know, to start again. Build a new community. So, you know, look at where you’re hanging out. Who you’re hanging out with. Sometimes those places or those people that you may want to be around aren’t so important after all.





Bystander Revolution: Jared Leto | Stand Up For Yourself





When I was a kid, I would often stand up to people, and I think that people had a sense. They knew that even though I was skinny and small – and I certainly wasn’t the toughest kid on the block – that I wasn’t going to let you get away with it. So there’s something to that, to standing up for yourself and saying, ‘You know what? No.’ Because a lot of times, the dog’s bark is worse than the bite. So I found that to be true a lot of times. But it’s difficult to encourage some young person to confront someone else because that can lead to escalation. But I think it’s okay to stand up for yourself. I think it’s okay to look someone in the eye and tell them to stop and to demand some respect.”



Bystander Revolution: Jared Leto | Say Hi



When I was a kid I moved around quite a bit. I was often ‘the new kid’. I don’t remember ever being taught to say hello to other students. I wonder if they do that now, but I think that’s a really simple thing and an easy thing when there’s a new kid just to say hi. It doesn’t take a lot of work to say hi. It doesn’t take a great deal of commitment. But just to be [say] hi and smile at somebody and to say ‘where are you from?’ or ‘welcome’. But that’s a – it’d be a nice thing if they reminded us to do that more often, ‘cause it can go a long way and help people feel comfortable and at home in their new surroundings.



As a teacher (and as a human being), I wholeheartedly agree with everything he has said. A few simple acts can go a long way to help take the power out of bulling, and to help those who feel victimized or persecuted because of who they are, where they live, what they look like, who they are friends with or whatever other completely ridiculous ways bullies can make others feel inferior. To learn more about the Bystander Revolution project, or to find advice about what you can do if you or someone you know is being bullied, check out their website: http://www.bystanderrevolution.org. It only takes one.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

The 9 Phases of Post-Concert Depression

I just wanted to share this with you all to prove to you that Post-Concert Depression (PCD) IS a real thing. Google told me so. If it's on the Internet, it has to be true. That's how the Internet works, right??

I'm currently in Phase Seven, in which I've decided that it is perfectly logical to travel seven states across the country across the PLANET to see a certain band again. I mean that's totally normal, right? Sure, it sounds a little insane, but if that's what it takes to get my fix feel alive again experience pure unadulterated joy --

Hmmm. I think I may have a problem.
Yes this is a cult.

Enjoy!

 
By Cassie Whitt
 
 
 
I took this picture in Perth, almost exactly one month ago.
It feels so surreal.
Is it September yet??
 
 
 
 
If you are questioning my sanity:
 
a) I'm not weird, strange, off or crazy; my reality is just different to yours.
c) You can read about the last time I saw them HERE.
d) If you do (c), bring tissues.
e) I may cry just thinking about it. Oh take me back to the start.


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Oh my love, I can't let go...Something's wrong, I can't let go...

The rest of chapter three of BLAME.
If you need to get caught up, you can do it here.
As always, this comes with a TRIGGER WARNING. Stay safe.

Xo

Title Lyrics: 'Rain City' by Turin Brakes
 
 
 CHAPTER THREE (continued)
That night she dreams about the boy.
He is standing beside her bed, watching her sleep. She is in the corner of the room, watching. He crouches down beside the sleeping her, reaching to tuck a stray strand of her hair behind her ear. Across the room, she feels his fingers sweep across her face. He leans forward, whispering something into her ear. She watches herself stir and sigh. He smiles.
Adam.
She looks around to see who has spoken. There’s nobody there.
Adam, Adam, Adam.
He stiffens and straightens up, turning towards her. He looks right at her, though he doesn’t seem surprised to see a second Autumn shrinking back against the wall.
Adam, Adam, Adam. ADAM.
He takes a step towards her, and his lips move soundlessly. She struggles to hear what he is saying.
Adam.
She opens her mouth to speak, but nothing comes out. She tries again, but her throat feels as though she has swallowed a pint of glue. He reaches out for her and she has an overwhelming urge to take his hand. She tries, but like her voice, her hand refuses to co-operate. Her eyes widen in fear and she tries to take a step forward. She remains rooted to the spot.
Adam.
He stops talking and lowers his hand, turning away sadly. She wants to shout out to him, wants him to stay, but the words never leave her lips. He returns to the bed and whispers something in her ear. His body starts to fade. After a moment he disappears altogether, leaving her alone with the sleeping version of herself.
***
“Auty?”
She opens one eye slowly, squinting into the darkness. A small figure is standing by her bedside, clutching a stuffed elephant.
“Can I sleep in your bed?”
She nods and shuffles back, making room. Teddy climbs in and scurries under the covers, pressing his body against hers. His toes are cold and she shivers, pushing him away.
“I need my space, kid,” she murmurs, moving back further. “Don’t put your freezing feet on me.”
“But I’m cold and you’re so warm. You’re like a bottle of hot water.”
She opens her eyes.
“A what?”
“A bottle of hot water.”
She scoffs softly, smiling. “A hot water bottle,” she corrects. “It’s called a hot water bottle.”
“That’s what I said.”
“No, you said a bottle of hot water.”
Teddy yawns and wiggles closer to her, fitting himself into the curve of her body.
“Same diff’.”
“Same diff?” She chuckles, shaking her head. “Unbelievable.”
They both fall silent, and after a few minutes Teddy’s breathing falls into a rhythmic pattern. She puts her arm around him, holding him against her the way he is he holding his elephant. She closes her eyes, immediately seeing the boy’s face.
Adam.
The name sounds familiar and it tugs at her, nagging her to remember. Wasn’t there an Adam at her old school?
Adam. Adam, Adam, Adam.
Adam McKenzie.
She sits up, gasping. She covers her hands with her mouth, supressing the scream she can feel building inside her chest. Adam McKenzie. Adam McKenzie. Adam McKenzie.
Teddy shifts in his sleep, mumbling something incoherent. She squeezes her eyes shut, willing the memory to fade away, but it is so bright and sharp that it cuts straight through her. Two fatalities: Elizabeth Matthews and Adam McKenzie. Adam. Adam. Adam.
The boy she killed.
Adam.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Time to live. Time to love.

I’m in awe.

I don’t even know what to say about this yet because he leaves me speechless. Amazed. Inspired. Words are my strength, yet time and time again, he takes my words away.

Just watch, okay?

Just watch.



 

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. This is one of the best lyric videos I’ve ever seen. I will even go as far as to say this is THE best lyric video that I’ve ever seen. It’s actually better than 90% of the full feature music videos around these days. They are amazing. He is amazing. I feel so inspired by this in a way that I can’t even explain. Truth be told I feel a little like crying. I think I need to watch it on a repeat loop.

For the rest of the night.

Xo

Clutching my cure, I tightly lock the door; I'm picking me apart again...

Since you all asked so nicely...Here is half of chapter three of BLAME. It is amazing to watch the number of page views climbing so rapidly over the last few weeks (comparatively speaking). It feels like a dream. You are all so amazing and you make me almost feel like a real writer. Thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me. Thank you.

Don't forget you can subscribe and follow...I feel a little weird bringing that up all the time, but those numbers matter to potential agents. I've got a better chance of being signed if I can say 'LOOK people ALREADY love me! They will totally buy my books!' And you all will...Right? :p You don't need a Blogger account to do it, by the way. I'm just saying :p

Also, some people have been trying to leave comments and getting concerned when they don't show up. I moderate my comments, which means I have to approve them before they appear. This is because I am getting spam comments -- which is actually kind of cool when you think about it, because I wasn't getting them before. It must mean that the spammers think that enough people look at my blog to make spamming me worthwhile...Right?? That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway...Enough rambling! Happy reading.

If you need to get caught up, you can do it here.

As always, this comes with a TRIGGER WARNING. Stay safe.

Xo

Title lyrics: 'Breaking the Habit' by Linkin Park



CHAPTER THREE

She stands in front of her bathroom mirror, staring into her own hollow eyes. The pressure inside her increases, coiling around inside her like a tightly wound spring. She knows there is only one way to release it and she unzips her sweater, pulling it off roughly. She tosses it onto the floor and stops, looking up at her reflection. The girl in the mirror looks scared. She tightens her jaw and checks that the door is locked before unwinding the stained gauze around her arm. Some of the fibres stick inside the cuts and she yanks it back impatiently, smiling in grim satisfaction as the pain causes the spring inside her to loosen slightly. She turns on the tap in her basin and holds her arm under the cold water, washing away the dried blood and inspecting the damage. For a brief moment she thinks that maybe she has done enough for today, that maybe doing anything more would be a mistake, but the spring inside her tightens at the very thought. It is the only way to ease the pressure threatening to consume her.

She squats down, searching in the bottom drawer for what she needs. Once she finds it she sinks onto the tiles, holding it tentatively in her right hand. Her left arm almost seems to tingle in anticipation and she takes a deep breath, closing her eyes.

“Autumn.”

Her heart skips a beat and she drops the blade, looking for the source of the voice. The room is empty. She takes an uneasy breath in and picks up the blade, blinking rapidly.

Now is not the time for tears.

“Autumn.”

She gasps, dropping the blade again and leaping to her feet. She automatically turns towards the door, but it is closed. She looks in the shower and in the bathtub, but both are empty. She is alone. The pressure in her chest is replaced by an uneasy knot and she hesitantly bends down to retrieve the blade from the floor. She holds it, waiting.

The room remains silent.

She breathes uneasily and places both hands on the lip of the basin, leaning forward. She hangs her head between her shoulders and closes her eyes, breathing slowly. The blade slips silently from her fingers, hitting the tiles with a barely audible thud.

This is ridiculous, she thinks, shaking her head. There’s no one in here. I’m alone.

Alone.

She opens her eyes and straightens up, glancing in the mirror. Her eyes lock on the reflection of the boy standing behind her and she screams, turning to face him and preparing to run from the room.

Nobody is there.

She whips around to look in the mirror. Her own frightened eyes stare back at her. She gazes into the mirror for a moment before tightening her jaw and leaving the bathroom, forgetting the blade on the floor.

 

***

Sunday, 13 April 2014

I don't want to be the one the battles always choose, 'cause inside I realise that I'm the one confused...

Since I made you all wait for /let's not get into specifics/, I decided to post another instalment of BLAME. So here it is. This will take you to the end of chapter two. Friendly reminder that this whole story comes with a TRIGGER WARNING. I know I keep repeating that, but I want you all to stay safe. Take care of yourselves, okay?

If you need to get caught up, you can do it here.

Happy reading.
Xo

Title lyrics: 'Breaking the Habit' by Linkin Park, because it fits the scene.
 
 
 
CHAPTER TWO (continued)
It is starting to get dark by the time she shoves the key into the front door. She hurries inside the house, eager to escape the biting evening wind whipping around her ankles. She closes the front door behind her and trudges towards the staircase, blinking against the black spots playing in her peripheral vision.
“Auty?”
She hesitates at the bottom of the stairs, tempted to pretend she hasn’t heard him. She immediately curses herself for even considering it and turns towards the rumpus room, forcing her heavy feet to shuffle towards the sound of his eager voice. He is sitting on a small yellow chair at a blue, plastic table in the corner of the room.
“Hey, Spider-Ted,” she says, leaning against the frame of the arched opening into the rumpus room. “How was your first day? Did you have fun?”
He looks up, grinning at her. He is still wearing his Spiderman costume, but the mask is on the floor beside him. He stands up, dropping a fistful of crayons onto the child-sized table.
“I drawed you a picture,” he says, pulling a sheet of paper from underneath the scattered crayons. She straightens up and enters the room, taking the picture and kneeling in front of him. Three crayoned faces stare back at her, all smiling widely. One of them has a thick pink line on one side of his face, running from his forehead to his chin.
“This is me on my first day,” Teddy says proudly, puffing out his chest. “This is my teacher, and this is my friend. He likes Spiderman too and we had the same bag and the same lunch box.” The words come out in a rush as he eagerly tells her about his day. “We gotted to sit next to each other and we played in the sandpit together and my teacher sayed that we had to stand next to someone in the line and my friend sayed he wanted to stand next to me.” He looks up at her expectantly, smiling so hard that even the ruined side of his face seems to lift a little.
“That’s great, Teddy!” Her voice is saturated with forced enthusiasm. “What’s your friend’s name?”
Teddy opens his mouth to speak and then closes it again, frowning. “I forgotted.”
She laughs, shaking her head. “Well, what’s your teacher’s name, then?”
“Miss Isaacs. See?” He points to the barely legible letters scrawled across the top of the page. She can make out that it’s meant to read Me and Miss Isaacs and my friend.
“Oh yes; I see,” she says, nodding. “I didn’t see that bit before. I’m sorry; my brain must not be working today.”
He laughs, sitting down on the yellow chair in front of the table.
“You’re silly,” he says, picking up a crayon and beginning to draw on a fresh sheet of paper.
“I sure am.” She stands. “Can I keep this picture?”
He nods without looking up, sticking his tongue out of the corner of his mouth as he concentrates on drawing what looks like a dog. She kisses the top of his head and musses his dark hair before leaving the rumpus room and heading towards the stairs. The smell of onions and garlic wafts in from the kitchen and her stomach growls, reminding her that all she’s eaten today is a single piece of cereal for breakfast and a few bites of an apple for lunch. She wanders into the kitchen, deciding to capitalise on her appetite while she actually has one.
“Autumn,” her father says, looking up as she rounds the corner. “I didn’t hear you arrive. When did you get home?”
She shrugs, walking towards the fridge.
“A few minutes ago. I went to say hi to Teddy.”
She opens the fridge, inspecting the contents. She pretends not to notice the way he shifts on his feet.
“Well how was your first day? How did it go?” His voice is full of false cheer and she takes a deep breath in, closing her eyes briefly. Pressure mounts inside her chest and she pulls a bottle of juice from the fridge door, trying to ignore it.
“Fine,” she says, getting a glass from the cupboard. “Would you like some juice?”
He shakes his head, turning towards the pan on the stove and stirring the contents with a wooden spoon.
“Just fine, eh?” She can hear that he is working to sound casual. “Don’t I get anything more than that? What are your classes like? Did you make any friends?”
She takes a sip of her juice as the pressure expands into her stomach, leaving little room for food.
“My classes were good. People were nice.” Her scalp prickles and she wants nothing more than to flee from the room and bolt up stairs. Must they go through this dance every day? Her father sighs, putting the spoon down beside the pot and turning to face her.
“Look, Autumn…” He looks weary as he meets her gaze, leaning back against the kitchen counter. “I’m trying here, kid. Could you at least try to meet me halfway?”
She swallows. Her mouth feels like it is filled with sawdust.
“I know you miss her,” he continues, shaking his head slightly. “I know you do. I do, too, but it’s different for me. I lost my wife, but you…you and Theo lost your mother. I can’t even imagine what that must be like.”
She takes an infinitesimal step back. They haven’t spoken about this in months. Why now?
“I guess I just thought that maybe the move would help, you know?” He glances towards the entrance of the kitchen and drops his voice. “I thought that maybe a change of scenery would help you to…Help you to start to move on.” He looks at her expectantly, waiting for her to say something. She chews the inside of her lip and drops her gaze, staring at his shoes. They need to be shined. He sighs, folding his arms across his chest.
“Please, Autumn,” he says softly, crossing one foot in front of the other. “Let me know what I can do to help you. I’m worried about you.”
She scoffs slightly and looks up. She won’t be fooled by his concerned father routine. She knows the truth.
“I’m fine,” she says evenly, setting her glass down on the counter. “I don’t need any help.”
He stares at her for a long moment before he answers.
“I don’t think you are,” he says finally. His voice is strained. “Maybe…Maybe we should look at getting you back in to see someone. It seemed to help before.” He looks away, running his hand through his dark brown hair. It was the same shade as Teddy’s up until a few months ago, but now it is peppered with flecks of grey. It only started to change colour after That Day.
“I don’t need to see anyone.” She can’t show any trace of weakness now. Not now. “Anyway, dad, I’ve got a lot of homework to do. I’d better get started.” She turns on her heel and walks towards the staircase, resisting the temptation to run.
“Dinner’s almost ready,” her father says softly from behind her. “I’m about to set the table.”
The pressure inside her expands at the mention of food. She looks over her shoulder, glancing at him. His hand is outstretched towards her, like he wants to catch her arm and stop her from leaving.
“I had a big lunch at school,” she says, turning away. “I’m not really hungry.”
“Autumn.” He takes a step towards her. “Please.”
She leaves the kitchen without looking back, waiting until she is sure she is out of his sight before running up the stairs.


Saturday, 12 April 2014

The wait is over.

You asked for it.
I promised.
Some time passed.
Let's not talk about how much.
You were patient and understanding, and now here it is...The next instalment of BLAME.
 
Finally.
 
Finally.

Friendly reminder that this story comes with a TRIGGER WARNING. Please stay safe.

If you need to get caught up, you can do it here.

Happy reading. Xo



CHAPTER TWO

“Autumn Matthews,” she says, shifting uncomfortably on her feet. The woman behind the counter taps on her keyboard, peering over her turquoise rimmed glasses at the screen.

“Oh, now I see you,” the woman says, smiling. “You just transferred in from Minneapolis, right?”

Autumn nods, reading the signs pinned to the boards above the woman’s head. One of them is for a driving school and she drops her gaze, focusing on the disarray on the woman’s desk instead.

“Here you are,” the woman says, standing and walking towards the back of the room. A piece of paper is spat out of the printer and she takes it, returning to the counter. “Your class schedule. You’ve got quite a few advanced courses there! You’ll be busy!”

Autumn nods numbly, taking the sheet from her. “Thanks,” she says quietly.

“You’re most welcome,” the woman says, sitting down. “There’s a map on the back of your schedule, but you just come right on back if you have any trouble finding your classes. Welcome to Washington High.”

Autumn gives the woman a weak smile and turns to face the brightly lit hallway that waits on the other side of the glass doors. She takes a deep breath and exits the office, keeping her gaze firmly fixed in front of her as she trudges through the sea of unfamiliar faces. The students around her seem to blur into one nameless, shapeless monster and she holds her breath, trying to stay above the wave of anxiety that is threatening to consume her. She paces through the corridors endlessly, searching for her first class. Everyone seems to be staring at her and she adjusts her sweater nervously, pulling the sleeves down and curling her fingers around the bottom of the material. Eventually she comes across the required room and she stumbles inside, feeling dazed and anxious. Her stomach twists and she glances at the teacher, who is writing on the board with his back to the students.

“Hello,” the teacher says pleasantly, turning to face her. “You must be Autumn Matthews. I’m Mr Harrison. Welcome to AP Calculus. There’s a spare desk at the back if you want to take a seat; we’re about to get started.”

She nods and shuffles towards the back of the room, sitting down in the vacant seat and dropping her backpack onto the ground beside her. The noise causes a few students to turn towards her and she cringes, pretending to be absorbed in searching for her notebook in her bag.

“So,” says Mr Harrison from the front of the room, “for the next few weeks we’re going to be working on limits. Can anyone tell me what a limit is?”

Several hands shoot into the air and she tunes out, doodling on the cover of her notebook instead. She knows what limits are. There had been a test on limits on That Day, before That Day became That Day. She’d gotten a perfect score. She swallows, chewing the inside of her lip and concentrating on the interconnected series of circles she is drawing. Her mind insistently strays towards the things she is forbidden to think about and she bites her lip harder, pressing her teeth into her flesh. Her hand trembles, missing one of the circles and ruining the design.

“That’s pretty cool.”

She looks up, surprised to find the girl sitting next to her staring at her notebook.

“Are you an artist?” the girl asks, tracing the pattern with her eyes.

Autumn shakes her head. “It’s just a doodle.” She puts down her pen and self-consciously curls her fingers over the ends of her sleeves.

“Well, it looks cool,” the girls says, smiling. “I’m Mya. You just moved here, right?”

She nods, looking down at her notebook. “Yeah. I’m Autumn.”

“Autumn…That’s a very cool name. Were you born in Autumn?”

She cringes. She hates this question. “No, I was born in spring, but my m…” She hesitates, unable to say the word. “…Parents thought that Spring was a silly name.”

The girl laughs, catching the attention of Mr Harrison.

“I’m sorry, Miss Bradford; I didn’t realise that limits were funny. Please, share the joke with the rest of the class so that we can all enjoy the humour.” He raises an eyebrow and waits, folding his arms. Mya blushes and drops her gaze, staring at fluffy pink pom-pom stuck to the end of her pen.

“Sorry, Mr Harrison,” she mumbles, avoiding the amused stares of the people around her. Mr Harrison clears his throat and returns his focus to the board.

“Sorry,” Mya whispers, glancing at Autumn. “Don’t want to get you in trouble on your first day.”

Autumn gives her half a smile before picking up her pen and concentrating on balancing her now lopsided doodle. After a few more minutes of explaining the task Mr Harrison writes some page numbers on the board and the students open their textbooks, starting the activity.

“Here,” Mya says, pushing her textbook towards Autumn. “You can share with me.”

Autumn smiles gratefully, opening her notebook and ruling up her page. She completes the set questions with ease, finishing well before the end of the lesson. She looks around at all the students still working and closes her notebook, returning to drawing on the cover. The predictable pattern of the circles helps to keep her mind occupied and she allows herself to go numb, shutting out everything else around her. It takes her a few minutes to realise that Mr Harrison is standing over her, staring at her sketch disapprovingly.

“That doesn’t look like the task I set.” He narrows his eyes and folds his arms across his chest.

Autumn blushes, dropping her pen. “I’ve finished the task,” she says quietly, looking up at him. He looks mildly surprised.

“Oh?”

She nods, opening her notebook and handing it to him. He takes it, scanning it for a moment before returning it to her.

“You’ve done limits before?”

She nods again, keeping her eyes on the textbook in front of her.

“Well then. I might see if I can rustle up some extension questions for you.” He smiles like he’s giving her a gift and continues walking through the rows of chairs, checking on the progress of the other students. She releases a breath she hadn’t realised she’d been holding and sinks further into her chair, wishing for the day to be over already. Mya flashes her a sympathetic smile.

“You should never let the teachers know when you’re done,” she whispers, glancing at Mr Harrison. “That just makes them find you something harder to do.”

Autumn smiles weakly and puts her hands underneath her desk. She surreptitiously slides her right hand into the left sleeve of her sweater and curls her fingers around the stiff gauze wrapped around her forearm. She squeezes, increasing the pressure until she feels her flesh shift and tear under the protective material. Mr Harrison returns with a sheet of paper.

“See how you go with these,” he says, smiling at her. “They are slightly harder than the examples in the textbook, so give me a shout if you need help.”

She nods, removing her hand from her sleeve and reaching for the sheet. She stares at the examples on the page, struggling to read them as the room sways gently around her. She feels a twinge of panic but she tries to ignore it, chalking her light-headedness up to the fact that she didn’t really eat breakfast. Or dinner the night before, for that matter. She takes a steadying breath in and picks up her pen, concentrating on the first question. She tells herself that she can do this. She can make it through the day. She is an action figure, limited edition in mint condition.

She is untouchable.
***

Monday, 7 April 2014

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.

In my experience, there are two main things that stop us from reaching our goals. One is doubt. The other is the doubters. I’ve written about doubt a few times now, so today I want to focus on the doubtERS. The people who tell you that you can’t do it. The people who tell you to give up. The people who make you question why you even bother to try. I know I have at least one of those people in my life (cough), and I’m sure that everyone who has ever tried to do something special or different with their life has as well. It can be hard to deal with at times, but here are some things to remember:



Not all doubters are trying to bring you down.

Sometimes the people who are the most vocal in telling you WHY your dreams are impossible actually think they are doing you a favour. They think that they are seeing “reality” and you are living in a fantasy. In my experience these are actually the most difficult people to cope with, because you know that what they are saying is coming from a good place. This is often because…



...Some doubters just don’t understand the concept of following your dreams.

Sometimes people have had experiences in their life that have led them to believe that dreams aren’t possible. That you can’t make a living doing something creative, something you love. They don’t mean to upset you or bring you down; they just can’t understand how people can believe in the possibilities of their dreams.

 

…However, some doubters are just jerks.

Jealousy is an ugly emotion, and sometimes people really are just jealous that you have the will to fight to the death in defence of your dreams. These are the people who feel threatened by your success or your efforts, and these people really have no place in your life. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but if people can’t support you (even if they don’t understand you) and they insist on bringing you down, then you have to question the role they are playing in your life. Someone once said that walking away from a relationship that hurts more than it helps doesn’t mean that you hate a person; it means that you respect yourself enough to do what’s best for you. That is sage advice.

                                                    
Facing the doubters is never fun, especially when you are full of your own doubts and concerns. I know, because I have one MAJOR doubter in my life right now. There’s this one person who keeps telling me my dream is impossible and I shouldn’t even bother to try. I’d like to believe that this person fits into category one or two, but some days, I’m just not sure. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. I don’t let it get to me. Every time I’m told that I can’t do something, it just gives me the drive I need to succeed. It gives me another reason to fight and another reason to win. Let me tell you this: Dreams ARE possible. They are. If you can work your ass off then you can achieve your goals. SOMEONE has to be the writers, the painters, the singers and the actors of the world, right? Someone has to do the thing you dream about doing. Why can’t that be you? Or me? Or your brother or sister or neighbour? There isn’t some elite club of people who can live their dreams. There isn’t a secret handshake or a membership fee. The people who achieve their dreams are simply the people who want it the most. The people with the most drive. The most desire. The most passion. The people who work the hardest and the people who never stop trying. Try and fail but never fail to try, right? Sure, there are definitely some people who have connections or who ‘get lucky’, but the majority of the people in the world who are living their dreams are the people who worked for it. I can do the work. You can do the work. We can make our dreams our reality. Forget the doubters and forget the self-doubt. Forget the limitations in life and relish in the possibilities. Let everything that weighs you down give you a reason to grow wings. That’s what I aim to do. I aim to embrace all the negative and turn it into something positive. I let it drive me and fuel me to try even harder. After all…Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.

 

Title lyrics: ‘Counting Stars’ by One Republic.

Friday, 4 April 2014

HOLY FRICK ON A STICK WITH A BRICK.

LIKE REALLY.
So do you all remember the day I gave Thirty Seconds To Mars the books I made for them? You should, because it's pretty much all I've been talking about. Do you remember how Jared told me he loved the front cover of Volume Two and he should put it on a t-shirt??
WELL HE DID.
JARED LETO JUST USED MY DESIGN ON TWO OFFICIAL THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS TEES. I THINK I MIGHT BE HAVING A SEIZURE.
People are going to buy those tops. Own those tops. WEAR THOSE TOPS.
HELP. I'M NOT COPING. THERE IS TOO MUCH AWESOME TO HANDLE!
How exactly am I meant to resume my normal life right now?? Oh that's right; I don't. Stuff normal; I live closer to the edge. I feel like I can do ANYTHING right now. Anything. First on my list...Become a literary superstar. Oh it's happening. Just you watch. Jump and touch the SKY.
Xo

You can read about all my adventures with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Australian leg of the #LoveLustFaithDreamsTour HERE.



UPDATE: They made those tees. I now own one and I wore it to a show, where Jared told me it was "fucking amazing"...IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE. You can read about it HERE.