Flashback to February 2021: I have just finished the best summer of my life. Year 12 is over, lockdown is over, all my friends have just turned 18 — we are thriving. After riding this high, and discovering all the joys of being independent and venturing into adult life, I knew I wanted a change; a big one at that! I could have gotten a funky new haircut, or maybe reinvented my wardrobe, but no, I decided at the ripe age of 18 that I wanted to move out, all on my own.
We were both young when I first met Karen. People tend to think I’m being sarcastic when I tell them my favourite co-worker was named Karen. Like this is some poorly constructed joke about the people who scream at 19-year-olds at the register when they tell them that a discount on one shelf does not in fact apply to the entire store. No, Kaz (as it was sometimes quicker to call her in the Christmas retail rush) was a delight to work with.
‘There are no conditions, simply a warm embrace and a welcome home. The lack of wholeness in humanity is an indication that we are not yet home, we are not expressing our true nature. And we have not yet flowered,’ says the Reiki healer Richard Ellis, who describes God as love, compassion, justice and forgiveness.
When I opened my eyes for the first time, it was the small shadows dancing above that intrigued me. They filtered light into the meadow where I lay, playfully casting me in the warm sun before quickly forcing me into cold shadow. Then, I felt the breeze. I smiled as wisps of hair fell onto my face and blades of grass tickled my cheek, but that was when I heard a rustling to my right.
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?
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.