I was 12 when my parents bought what is now our family home, nestled in between beach and parkland. I remember being the first to slide my hands across the sold sticker; while my parents were busy adulting, I was already picking my room. It never occurred to me how much being at that one auction would shape what I’d come to know as home.
Being in your twenties is a confusing time. Graduating from Year 12 feels like it could have been mere years ago and the idea of people you know getting engaged or owning property seems absurd — surely we’re too young for that! Yet as I think about it, my valedictory was six years ago, some of my friends are in long-term relationships and a lot of young people are already saving for house deposits. Um, when did everyone turn into grown-ups?
I am lucky enough to be surrounded by so many incredible women. When I need to turn to someone in my life for much-needed advice, a warm embrace, a hearty giggle, a night of drinking and dancing, or an emotional cry, I turn to one of these confidants.
Commuting is one of the most universal human experiences: bumper-to-bumper in early morning traffic jams, stumbling while standing on a moving bus, or the sweat on your brow after a cycle to work. What is even more human is being nosey — and there’s nothing quite like peeking at what other people are reading while sitting on the train.
What someone is reading can tell us an awful lot about them, and so below we’ve decoded some of the most popular books you might be caught reading, and what it tells other people about you.
I love writing, but I didn’t always realise I did. It must have begun when my uncle would return from Sydney every Christmas and pull beautifully wrapped storybooks out of his denim satchel for me like Mary Poppins. I soon fell in love with the touch of textured paper under my fingers as I diligently sounded out the ‘big words’. When I was 12, my mum sent me to an English tutor who left me in tears after every lesson because my stories were simply not interesting enough. In hindsight, I have both of them to thank because my stories were, in fact, not interesting at all. This tutor had made me realise it wasn’t that I lacked great ideas, but that writing was a skill I had to patiently practise in order to captivatingly convey what I wanted to say. When I reached uni, I began watching Gilmore Girls and started living vicariously through the protagonist, Rory Gilmore, who inspired me to study journalism. All these people (real and fictional) made me realise the value of words. Through words, I get to read the most interesting stories, pen thoughts to paper when I am anxious, and shamelessly share carefully crafted puns with my friends. For me, words are a vehicle for self-expression which have become a significant part of who I am.
People always say, ‘never meet your heroes’. Often the expectations are set so high that when you finally get the chance to meet them, you’ll be disappointed when they’re not at all what you imagined them to be. Not for me, though. The first time I met my idol was definitely one for the books, despite me making a complete fool of myself.
After a few years of failed situationships, awkward first dates and many aunties and uncles asking, “are you seeing anyone at the moment?”, I have somehow found myself in a place of comfort in my independence. But I can confidently say: this wasn’t an easy place to get to.
We all want our BFFs to be happy in love, on one condition: that I’m happy, too. It’s an age-old dilemma, you don’t like your friend’s partner. So, what do you do?
You probably want to yell ‘you can do so much better!’, maybe even grab their arms and shake some sense into them. You think back to all the wine-induced hours spent mapping out their ideal partner, based on everything from personality to how they will look in the wedding photos. For fuck’s sake, there were probably even Pinterest boards made. Why didn’t they listen to the Pinterest boards?! You love your friend and vow to always be there for them — yet any time they mention their significant other, you cringe with every fibre of your being. But what are you going to do? Tell them that their partner is a jerk? Is it truly your place? Should you shut the fuck up, keep your head down and secretly loathe their spouse? None of these seem to be viable possibilities.
As if it were the most casual of conversations, my gynaecologist handed me my prescription and let slip, “when you start thinking about wanting kids, come see me 12 months earlier to begin fertility treatments”.
I’d just come in for a check-up as my period erred on the side of few and far between. Instead, I found out that I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and potentially endometriosis, and had just been slapped with the fact that I don’t ovulate properly. Suddenly, I was very aware that having children would need to be an incredibly conscious decision for me. I would have to try very hard to conceive, and even then, it would most likely be a rigorous process of testing and heartbreak.