Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Twenty One

I have grown a lot in my twenty years on this Earth - physically and mentally. I didn't just crawl out of the womb with my vocabulary (although limited) and knowledge (again, limited) of my surroundings. It can be exhausting to look back on all the things I have done and seen in my short life, and knowing that I will do even more amazing things in the years to come.

This year, I will be twenty-one years old.

I am actually kind of scared! Every morning I wake up and realise that I am one day closer to graduating, to getting a full-time job, to buying a house, to having kids, to living financially uneasy..... the list goes on. Everything will one day change and I won't expect it.
   But every day I am a little wiser, a little more prepared for the next goal in my life. I can step up to that platform, notebook in hand, and give it my all.

Here comes twenty-one.
- Nicole xx

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Still I Rise - A Poem by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise. 


Stand tall, my lovelies,
   - Nicole xx

Friday, 26 February 2016

The Art of Feminism in Literature and How It Relates to the Real World

   In the past, and even to this present day, women have felt oppressed by the dominating male structure in our society. ‘Classic’ women writers are few, but include Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Agatha Christie and Mary Shelley. However, many women, even today, have felt the pressure to write under a pseudonym in order to not be judged by her sex. These include the Bronte sisters who wrote under male pen names, S.E Hinton, J.K Rowling, and even Miriam Sved thought about publishing her novel, ‘Game Day’ under M. Sved. Perhaps this tradition continues because of the influence of other writers doing the same throughout history. It just becomes common place to think, “If my book is published under a girl’s name, it won’t sell as much – especially if it is about a serious topic.” This doesn’t mean that this is the correct way to think, however, and that voice in our heads must be stamped out.
   That is why it is important to have strong female role models in the writing world, who are proud of what they have created, and proud of whom they are as individuals. Feminism is all about feeling comfortable in your own skin, and equalising power in our world, in order to build a stronger, more equal society where people listen to each other on level playing fields.
   In the novel ‘Unless,’ Rita worries constantly about her daughter Norah, who dropped out of university and ran away to live on the streets. Rita comes across as a frantic mother, who cares dearly for her family. However, as much as women writers would have influenced her own writing, she is not the strong feminist woman we would expect her to be. She says that cleaning gives her pleasure, and she decorates her house in ways that other women she looks up to prefer: “Why do I have red curtains in my kitchen? Because Simone de Beauvoir loved red curtains” (pg 170). It may seem as though she looks to others for confirmation of what she does with her life, and does not stand on her own two feet like feminists do.
   However, if we look deeper, Rita shows us that it does not matter if we like cleaning, or household chores, or mothering our children, or selfishly focusing on our writing, because we are still strong, independent women. Just because we may find cleaning therapeutic, or a nice distraction, does not mean that we are weak and meant to stay in the house; we are meant to stand out.

  A lot of burden that many female writers like Rita face, is whether they put too much weight onto their jobs, and not enough on their children. One’s own children should always come before anything else, or so society feels, and a true loving parent would not have any such occupation that could tear them away from their offspring. Rita’s devotion to her children is ever-present, as she talks about them in almost every paragraph. However, there is an inkling that the reader (myself) feels as though Rita blames having a career as the reason Norah now lives on the streets. Mothers are always felt to be at blame for a child’s behaviour, but it’s not always the case. It can be hard to be looked at as writer and a mother, because which one are you really putting more time into? If it’s your children, you’re a bad writer. But if it’s your writing, you’re a bad parent. How is this ever truly fair? Rita always felt stuck or too busy to handle more than her kids, losing years until she was going grey. Perhaps that was Society’s fault, making her think she couldn’t do more than one thing at a time or she wouldn’t be able to handle it. But hey, she had three children under 30 and still managed to get her work out there and published. I think that’s a pretty hefty accomplishment.


Thank you,
   - Nicole xx

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Baby No.3

I have had two fur babies (cats) living at home with me since I was born, among many other furry family members. My first cat, Tabby, who was found out the back of our house as a few weeks old kitten, when I was just a few months old myself. We were best friends growing up together, and I would often dress him up in my doll's outfits, or cover him in play money when he slept in his bed (because, to me, he was a million bucks and deserved to have a blanket of dollar bills).
   He died when I was 12 after having a long battle with an infected leg.


After a few months or so, we got a new fur baby introduced to our home. We had a different relationship; one where I doted on her every want and need, and showered her with love and affection, and she decided to consistently bite and claw me whenever she liked. This is still ongoing.
   Nevertheless, I love Tilly (now 8) unconditionally. She's one of those cats that likes to bang on your door and meow (no other time does she ever meow!) until you let her in so she can sleep in your bed. Yes, IN your bed; She loves to sleep curled up in her little duvet cocoon right next to your warm body. Like a little baby. This just so happens to be the only time she doesn't hate you.



Last month, after much consideration and Ben finally moving back home into his mum's house, we decided to get kitten number 3. He is my third official baby. Even though I don't officially live with Ben, I divide my time pretty evenly between homes, which makes the visits to see Milo (and Ben) even more special. He was super timid and scared when we first got him, but he's opened up a lot since then. He will actually fall asleep on the bed or couch with us now, and doesn't run away when we pat him. He is a beautiful black cat, which can make it hard to find him in the dark, and he purrs super loudly. Milo also has this thing where he makes strangely human-sounding noises to himself when he plays, or when he's looking for attention from us. It always makes Ben and I love.
   Ben already has a cat, Poppy, who is around 3 now, but they tend to get along very well. Milo can be really annoying, always wanting to catch Poppy's tale, so I don't blame him when Poppy turns around and lightly pins him down. Sometimes I notice Poppy watching over him, or following him around to see if he's alright. He is such a big brother.
   Milo makes me so happy, like he really is my own flesh and blood. I give him lots of hugs and kisses, and am always way too over protective (says Ben. I don't think I am). He's growing up fast, so I want to soak up these times now while he's still a little thing.



To all the adoptive mamas out there doing their best to make their fur babies feel loved, I salute your hard work and devotion!

All my love, till next time,
   - Nicole xx


Saturday, 13 February 2016

Benjimin

I knew I could love you from our first conversation.
I knew I loved you after the first time we properly hung out.
I wanted to tell you I loved you a week after that.
It took me 2,160,000 seconds to tell you I love you and that is much too long.
I never want to go without saying it again.
I will tell you everyday, as I have since.
I love you.

Thanks for always saying it back, and meaning it.

- Nicole xx


SONG FOR BEN

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Technological Minimalist (ish)

There are some people who have a thousand 'friends' on Facebook, and there are some people who have 500 'friends' on Facebook, and then there is me, who currently has 148 friends on Facebook.

It gives me such a relaxing feeling when I delete a few more people off of my list every month or so. It's like a welcoming, much-needed cleanse.

Yes, it hurts to let people go, even from social media. When I click that unfriend button, I am giving away my rights to see that person's photos, to see what they are up to in the present day, and to laugh at their cute posts that come up on my dashboard.
   But I feel that it is also too easy to 'friend' someone on Facebook - someone you may hardly ever talk to in the real world. Facebook friendships are fantastic, and can be worthwhile, but they are simply not for me.
   When you open up that door, it becomes two-sided. Every little thing I post, they can read and see, and share. It might be vice-versa, but I think some people might not think about the other side. Or maybe they simply do not care like I do.

   I only let those in to my circle for three main reasons:
1. They are family (friends can be family too)
2. They are needed for staying in contact for uni or work reasons.
3. I see them too often in day to day life for it not to be awkward if I deleted them on Facebook.

Have a wonder about which one you are.

I love Facebook. I think it has great time-management opportunities, is a fantastic way to stay in contact with people, share thoughts and feelings (and funny animals memes too), and holds a great network for building connections and sharing events with people.

I would like to continue to get my Facebook friends number down lower, and I will continue to let go of those people I no longer have contact with but still feel the need to hold onto their lives, leading one day to an idea result.
   Until then, I wish for you to think about what you could de-clutter in your own life - whether it be on social media, the apps you have on your phone, or your own shelf or wardrobe.

May you have a beautiful day, because you are a beautiful person,
   - Nicole xx


PS - I've been watching a lot of 'Hoarders' recently, which is probably why I wrote this today.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Diversity - An Original Poem

In my Arts teaching class this afternoon, we were asked to create a rap, poem, or song to do with diversity in Melbourne and what we think about it. My small group came up with the following (I wrote it) from key words that we discussed first. We only had a couple of minutes to get this done and share it with our class, so please excuse the changing rhyming pattern.


Many people come and see
The many aspects of Diversity.
To and from they come and go,
Eating dumplings, pizza, and fro-yo.

So much variety
We can share
In this liveable city
Filled with those who care.

We love our Melbourne;
The people are great.
Our city is something
To celebrate.


Thanks for continuing to show your support by reading my little life updates here and there. I really appreciate it. Let me know what you think of this short poem in the comments below, or even try writing your own!
- Nicole xx