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Young & Married

A space where beauty, life, and love collide.

Conflicted Feelings

Yesterday, my managing editor quit.

This shouldn’t be a big deal, but when you’re suddenly faced with losing your mentor, feelings of confusion and rejection are likely to ensue.

Sure, she has dedicated six-and-a-half years of her life to a somewhat mediocre job where her boss didn’t exactly respect her hard work, but how dare she!

Initially, I laughed. Not the normal ha ha, you’re so funny laugh, but more of an excessively nervous, panicked, WTF is happening sort of laugh. Then I ate. I eat when I’m nervous, and yes, it’s not a pretty sight! Then, I was almost reduced to tears, thinking about the stressful onslaught that’s sure to arise during her last two-weeks in the office.

Then, my final emotion hit. Anger. How dare she?! She quit, knowing all too well that my relatively unexperienced hands would be left to pick-up the pieces. Does this mean she never even cared? Was our workplace friendship just a rouse to lull me into a sense of complacency, so when she eventually left, I would end up feeling deflated and neglected?

Probably not, but that doesn’t make things any easier.

She hired me straight out of uni, took my shamefully mediocre writing skills and made them semi-decent, and she took my naive mind and helped turn me into the writer I am today. I can’t be angry over that. I should me appreciative. In fact, I am appreciative, but I’m also upset.

On her last day, October 7, I will face an ending, but I’ll also face a beginning. She has given me the skills to make something of my career, and I suppose her parting gift is giving me the opportunity to step-up.

Will I be able to? I don’t know! Am I going to try? Well, why not? Right now, I have nothing to loose, and everything to gain. She taught me everything I know, but before I move onto my next endeavour, I need to know that what I’ve learnt will hold-up when left to my own devices.

I suppose only time will tell.

The Truth About ‘Professional’ Adults

Five months ago I started editing my company’s Pool + Outdoor Design title, and after four magazine releases, I haven’t had a single complaint! Things were going great! Then, I was offered the mammoth job of editing our flagship Wedding & Bride title, and boy did I underestimate the work (aka drama and people pleasing) involved in this position.

To your face, everyone is happy and delighted with the work you’re doing, I’ll arrange a photo shoot, everyone will tell me they’re enjoying the process, then afterwards all shit will hit the fan and you’re left wondering what the hell happened!

The biggest drama seems to be people’s feelings of entitlement, everyone wants the cover shot, everyone thinks no one else, except them, deserves the cover shot, and god forbid somebody step over the line and you reel them back in… feedback, basically means hissy fits!

Grown adults, are actually worse than thirteen-year-old school girls! No joke.

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What. The. Actual. F*#k?

What’s worse, is that some of my colleagues actually enjoy any drama that arises, because they want to see me fail. People who are supposed to be my friends, who are supposed to be working with me, would rather see me flounder, so they can feel better about their position in the workplace.

Is this really what the business world is like? Because if so, I would rather teach kindergarten kids not to slap or tease, because at least they have the courtesy to be upfront about their feelings.

Well, to all of the people trying to bring me down, I say, screw you! For every person that thinks I can’t hack it, or every person that looses their shit over nothing, I will dedicate an extra ounce of strength, to ensure the magazine I release exceeds everyones expectations.

Everyone who wants me to screw up better prepare themselves for disappointment, because I’m not going to lower myself to their level. I will be professional, I will work my ass off, and I will prove all of them wrong!

 

The Dirty Truth About Your Wedding Night

I’m about to single-handedly shatter the hopes of engaged women everywhere. For this, I am truly sorry.

Your earth-shattering, spine-tingling, deeply satisfying wedding night is a myth concocted by Hollywood to sell movie tickets.

There, I said it!

While this may not be the case for everyone – some newlyweds will certainly have the sex-filled evening they have come to expect – the rest of us will need to take precautions or lower our expectations.

Too much will be drank, heels that make your feet feel like they’ve walked a marathon will be wore, in laws will be sweet talked, very little food (fuel) will be consumed, and exhaustion will set in – both mentally and physically.

By the time your new husband carries – or drags – you over the threshold of your honeymoon suite, the sight of the bed will only arouse your mind for the excitement of sleep.

Sex? Pfft, who wants sex when sleep could be had?

A hot bath followed by a sorry ass attempt at intercourse will likely ensue, but beware; your sex drive will probably want the night off.

I’m not trying to shatter anyone’s hopes and dreams or say that my own exhausting wedding experience is what’s in store for everyone – I’m merely trying to prepare you for the possibility that your favourite ROMCOM has set you up for failure.

In the midst of planning your wedding you may forget your period is due for a visit, you may over estimate your alcohol tolerance or be too busy mingling to refuel at dinner. You may have had a killer first dance to the detriment of your energy levels and spent so much time posing for photos that your jaw feels like it’s frozen in place. You may even have fallen victim to your Great Aunt’s long-winded stories that continue well after the reception has ended, and put you half to sleep.

The fact is weddings are overwhelming. They’re exciting, life-changing and romantic, but above all, they’re exhausting. There’s no shame in waiting until morning or the following night to consummate your marriage, in fact, if you’re not up to it on your wedding night, being patient is probably the best course of action.

You have your whole life to get dirty with your husband. You want to have happy memories of your wedding night – not nightmarish visions of throwing up or falling asleep halfway through.

 

 

What Is Success?

Someone recently asked me what my greatest achievement at work has been. I stumbled through my response as best I could speaking about how much I’ve learnt, my promotion blah blah blah – but do these achievements automatically make me a success?

Everybody learns. Whether it’s a toddler taking their first steps, a teenager acing their way through year ten math, or an adult learning how to handle their in laws. But as a natural part of life, can I really define my ability to learn as a personal or professional accomplishment? It’s certainly something I’m proud of, however, it isn’t going to get me jumping around with joy.

My promotion, although exciting, also isn’t what gets me up in the morning.

So, what the hell does? Is it the bare necessity of needing to wake up every morning to eat, crap, sleep, repeat? I’m going to go out on a limb and say no. Maybe it’s to feed and walk the dog and make sure the cat has clean litter. Once again, these are things I need to do, and the necessity is part of the reason I get up each morning – after all I’m an adult now – but it’s not going to make or break me.

After much deliberation – and an entire box of Maltesers – I came up with an answer – me!

Now, I know this sounds ridiculous, but just hear me out. My life as a whole, my perspective of the world, my love for the simple and exciting things in life and my thirst for knowledge are what get’s me out of bed – it’s also what I consider my biggest success.

I’m happy with the person I’ve become. I can sleep soundly at night because I’m living the life I’ve always wanted. It may not be glamorous, but it’s full. It’s filled with love, laughter, and pretty much every clichéd sentiment you can think of. Some people would find this boring, but leading a Hallmark kind of life is fine by me!

So, the way I see it we each make our own success. Whether it’s a career achievement, money or family – there’s no wrong answer. If you feel fulfilled, chances are you’ve found some semblance of success.

3 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married

Like most things in life, when you get engaged everybody has an opinion. All of a sudden, your friends and family think they’re Dr Phil and that their ‘expert’ advice is the only thing that will help you navigate the murky waters of a life-long commitment.

Someone needs to smack them across the head and yell: ‘YOU’RE NOT HELPING!’

What all of these amateur advice columnists need to realise is – despite good intentions – they’re leaving out all of the important stuff and focusing on the mediocre bullshit. From how to react when you realise you’re more of a mother than a wife to what to do when your husband crashes the car, I like to think that my – often rocky, sometimes golden – marriage has taught me a thing or two – or three – about what to expect when you get married.

One part wife, two parts caretaker

Mix a cup of wifely duties with two cups of motherly duties, add a heap of frustration and a dash of confusion and you’ll have all the ingredients for an unsuspecting newlywed.

When you think of marriage, you envisage romantic dinners, long sex-filled nights, and a partnership of sorts, and while all of these things are part of the package, dirty washing, cluelessness and cleaning up vomit is also brought to the table.

Your new husband – especially if he had a particularly hands-on mother – will need some taking care of; he may even need a little help finding his way to full-fledged adulthood. I don’t mean this in an insulting, derogatory way; I only mean that many husbands – especially if they’re young – may need a helping hand.

You’ll quickly discover if his mother taught him how to clean a toilet or if he knows what to do when the power goes out. As well as guiding him through everyday household stuff, you’ll find yourself holding his hand when it comes to social occasions. If his brother is having a baby, don’t expect him to know he needs to buy a gift, and when it’s his Grandma’s birthday; don’t expect him to remember to call. His mum used to remind him of these things – or do them for him – and now she has passed the torch to you.

If this doesn’t suit you, tackle it early on. There’s no use fuming over it until you eventually explode.

When disaster strikes

A month ago my husband smashed my car. When he called, I was worried. I instantly thought, oh my god, is he alright?! Once his and the other drivers safety was confirmed, I thought shit, my car (especially since we only had third party cover – damn those hefty insurance premiums).

I wanted to get mad, I wanted to yell, I wanted to say – you bloody moron! But I bit my tongue. He didn’t do it on purpose. How can I get mad at him for an accident? It’s not like he looked at the back of the ute he hit and thought; ‘hey, I feel like ramming you up the ass for no apparent reason.’

Getting mad won’t solve anything. Calling the insurance company, digging up some cash and coming up with a plan, however, will. At the end of the day it’s just money – a marriage is much more important!

When temptation is around every corner

Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’ve suddenly lost the use of your eyes. Having a ring on your finger also doesn’t mean you won’t find other people physically attractive. You will still check people out and on occasion, you will think what if? But, at the end of the day, you’ll still go home to your husband because you chose him over that cute guy at the gym for a reason – he’s your life partner, not just a nice piece of ass.

When you get married, you’re bound to find a million surprises – both good and bad. Everyone goes through this, how you react is what sets you apart.

 

 

The Baby Debate

Anyone who has ever walked down the aisle – whether you’re 20 or 30 – has come to hate small talk with distant relatives and acquaintances. Why? Because the minute you’re married everyone wants to know when you’ll be having kids.

If you’re anything like me, the mere mention of babies will make you grind your teeth together. I love kids, my husband loves kids, and starting a family is definitely a long-term goal for us – but I’m only 23!!

Every so often, however, when I have a nice moment with my nephew or see a picture of a particularly cute nursery I start second guessing my firm stance on popping out some kids.

Author Colin Falconer has created a little test that quickly identifies if you’re ready to plunge into adulthood – dirty nappies, temper tantrums, and all!

Sounds simple enough, take the test and find out if parenthood is in the cards. Well, maybe not! If you can make it through this test without freaking out, then congratulations it’s time to get down to business! If you’re like me, however, and couldn’t decide whether you wanted to laugh or cry the ‘are we ready’ talk should be reserved for a later date.

Enjoy!

Test 1: Preparation

Women: To prepare for pregnancy

  1.  Put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front.
  2.   Leave it there.
  3.   After 9 months remove 5% of the beans.

Men: To prepare for children

  1.   Go to a local chemist, tip the contents of your wallet onto the counter and tell the pharmacist to help himself
  2.   Go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
  3.   Go home. Pick up the newspaper and read it for the last time.

Test 2: Knowledge

Find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels and how they have allowed their children to run wild. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child’s sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behaviour. Enjoy it. It will be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

Test 3: Nights

To discover how the nights will feel:

  1. Walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 4 – 6kg, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.
  2.    At 10pm, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight and go to sleep.
  3.    Get up at 11pm and walk the bag around the living room until 1am.
  4.    Set the alarm for 3am.
  5.  As you can’t get back to sleep, get up at 2am and make a cup of tea.
  6.  Go to bed at 2.45am.
  7.   Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off.
  8.   Sing songs in the dark until 4am.
  9.   Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up when it goes off.
  10. Make breakfast.

Keep this up for 5 years. LOOK CHEERFUL.

Test 4: Dressing Small Children

  1.  Buy a live octopus and a string bag.
  2.    Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that no arms hangout.

Time Allowed: 5 minutes.

Test 5: Cars

  1.  Forget the BMW. Buy a practical 5-door wagon.
  2.    Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
  3.   Get a coin. Insert it into the CD player.
  4.   Take a box of chocolate biscuits; mash them into the back seat.
  5.   Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Test 6: Going for a walk

  1.   Wait.
  2.    Go out the front door.
  3.    Come back in again.
  4.    Go out.
  5.    Come back in again.
  6.    Go out again.
  7.    Walk down the front path.
  8.    Walk back up it.
  9.    Walk down it again.
  10.  Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes
  11. Stop, inspect minutely and ask at least 6 questions about every piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way.
  12. Retrace your steps.
  13. Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbours come out and stare at you.
  14. Give up and go back into the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

Test 7: Conversations with children

Repeat everything you say at least 5 times.

Test 8: Grocery Shopping

  1.  Go to the local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child – a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat.
  2.    Buy your weekly groceries without letting the goat(s) out of your sight.
  3.   Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.

Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Test 9: Feeding a 1 year-old

  1.  Hollow out a melon
  2.   Make a small hole in the side
  3.   Suspend the melon from the ceiling and swing it side to side
  4.   Now get a bowl of soggy cornflakes and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon while pretending to be an aeroplane.
  5.   Continue until half the cornflakes are gone.
  6.   Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor.

Test 10: TV

  1.   Learn the names of every character from the Wiggles, Barney, Teletubbies and Disney.
  2.   Watch nothing else on television for at least 5 years.

Test 11: Mess

Can you stand the mess children make? To find out:

  1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains
  2.   Hide a fish behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
  3.   Stick your fingers in the flowerbeds and then rub them on clean walls. Cover the stains with crayon. How does that look?
  4.   Empty every drawer/cupboard/storage box in your house onto the floor and proceed with step 5.
  5.   Drag randomly items from one room to another room and leave them there.

Test 12: Long Trips with Toddlers

  1. Make a recording of someone shouting ‘Mummy’ repeatedly. Important Notes: No more than a 4 second delay between each Mummy. Include occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet.
  2.   Play this tape in your car, everywhere you go for the next 4 years.

You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Test 13: Conversations

  1.  Start talking to an adult of your choice.
  2.   Have someone else continually tug on your shirt hem or shirt sleeve while playing the Mummy tape listed above.

You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Test 14: Getting ready for work

  1. Pick a day on which you have an important meeting.
  2.   Put on your finest work attire.
  3.   Take a cup of cream and put 1 cup of lemon juice in it
  4.   Stir
  5.   Dump half of it on your nice silk shirt
  6.   Saturate a towel with the other half of the mixture
  7.   Attempt to clean your shirt with the same saturated towel
  8.   Do not change (you have no time).
  9.   Go directly to work

You are now ready to have children. ENJOY!!

 

Getting A Puppy Has Changed My Life!

Ever since I moved out of home I’ve wanted to get a puppy.

When I was growing up my family had a gorgeous Pomeranian, who I absolutely adored! But, when I was 13 she went missing. My sister did bring home another dog, Leo, – a Labrador – but it was never the same. As much as I loved Leo, I never formed that inseparable bond with him, as that special relationship was reserved for him and my sister.

Four years ago, my then boyfriend and I moved into our first home together. The property was only small and had no back yard though, so unfortunately we still couldn’t get a puppy. After a lot of nagging, however, my boyfriend convinced me to get a kitten. One of my sisters’ friends was a breeder and she found us a gorgeous little fur ball who quickly became my boyfriend’s best friend. We both adored him, of course, but I once again missed out on that special bond between owner and pet.

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Finally, three months ago – after getting settled in our brand new three-bedroom house – we finally got a puppy! We welcomed into our home the cutest beagle puppy I have ever seen! As big Star Wars fans, and because the little devil likes to chew anything he can get his little paws on, we named him Chewie – short for Chewbacca.

The first day I spent with him was a nightmare! He made this high-pitched whining noise all day, weed everywhere and would not stand/sit more than an inch away from me! How I didn’t squish him with my man-size feat is beyond me!

By time my now husband came home from work; I was stressed to the max and reduced to tears! I’m not going to lie, for about the first two-weeks I would have given anything to give him back to the breeders – caring for a puppy is bloody hard work!

Sure, people warned me, but my naivety got the better of me and I delved in head first, without being clear on what it was I was getting myself in to.

Then, one day everything changed. We took him for a walk off his lead and ran side-by-side with me the whole time. When I looked down at him all I could see was love and happiness in his eyes – my heart melted! I became so overwhelmed with emotion I was choking back tears as we walked back home.

Somewhere along the line – without me realising – I formed an unbreakable bond with my puppy. I look forward to going home to him each night, and feel unreasonably guilty when I leave him home alone. He’s still a little devil, and is only semi-toilet trained, but we’re getting there!

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More than anything, I love the companionship he gives me. Even though we don’t have kids, my husband and I both feel like we already have a little family because of our pets.

3 Months Ago I Woke Up A Different Person

Three months ago I moved into my new house. After a full year of planning and waiting my husband and I were finally in our new home, and I was so happy.

About a week later I woke up and didn’t feel like myself. It felt like a chunk of me was missing, almost as though my personality had undergone a major software update as I slept.

My bubbly mood dissipated, my always-present smile became forced, and I found myself getting over emotional over the most ridiculous things. When I was alone, I would cry. When I was with people, I got angry. When I was at work, I turned into a robot, and when I was at the gym I would vent an unhealthy amount of frustration on the weight machines, much to the detriment of my always aching muscles.

But why?

I’ve completed my degree, found myself a decent entry-level job, brought a house, and I am happily married with a cat and a puppy. At 23-years-old I should be pretty damn happy with myself. But I’m not.

Somewhere along the line my face froze in a sombre look, while I’m continuously stifling a yawn – almost every 0.2 seconds – as I sit and helplessly watch the clock tick by. There’s always one thing playing on the back of my mind, what’s wrong with me? Further to that, when will I start to feel like me again?

I went to the doctors, but there was nothing wrong with me. I’m in perfect physical health. I was told to go see a therapist, and that it’s not unusual for people to experience some emotional turmoil during periods of change. But for the life of me, I couldn’t stomach the thought of going in and letting all of my personal issues flow out, while sitting face-to-face with a stranger. That’s why I write, I’m nothing more than a name behind my words. Despite the public nature of my work, I still remain largely anonymous.

The days, weeks, even months started to tick by and I was growing more and more agitated.

Then, one day, as suddenly as the change hit me, I realised why I felt this way. The doctor was right, so much had changed in my life in such a small amount of time, and I realised, as much as I thought I was making the right choices a large part of me was protesting – I was in the process of chucking a mammoth, child-like tantrum. But the hissy fit was entirely out of my hands.

I was powerless to keep my mood from its rapid downwards spiral, and I still am.

I got engaged at 18, moved out at 19, married at 20, and signed a home loan at 22. But part of me wishes I stayed at home, travelled, and drank and partied with my friends more. Instead, I set out to live the life of an old married person.

The part of me that’s gone missing is the part of me that wants more. The part of me that has been bursting to get out, have a one night stand, sleep on an overnight train in Europe and go into work hangover has split from me leaving the empty shell of a life I’m living that I don’t want.

I finally got my answer, but I was still lost. I soon found myself in a perpetual state of indecision. Do I start fresh, treading on the heart of my wonderful husband in the process? Do I keep doing what I’m doing, even if it means sacrificing a chunk of my own happiness? Or do I reach for the stars and grab it all.

Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing. I have no idea where I will be in 6 months, but surprisingly that doesn’t bother me.

I feel better knowing where I went wrong, so at the very least, before I make a major life decision, like having a baby, I know I need to step back and focus on myself a little more. I definitely will not be making any major life decisions in the near future and I will certainly be kicking back with a bottle of wine and my friends on a Saturday night, rather than hitting the gym and curling up in bed alone.

It’s time I lived the life of a twenty-something and left the adulting to the real adults –who are well and truly ready for the commitment.

How to Successfully Change Careers

If you’re sitting at your desk scrolling mindlessly through Facebook as you mutter about how much you hate the world under your breath, chances are, you don’t like your job.

Even if the money is good, an unhappy worker eventually becomes an unhappy person, until one day, you’re not just muttering under your breath at work, you’re also cursing everyone on the road as you drive home, and losing your temper at your family for no apparent reason.

A crappy job or, worse yet, the wrong career, can easily mess with your work, as well as your personal life.

There’s a few easy ways to tell if you’re in the wrong career.

– Do you dread going to work in the morning?

– Are you taking the term, ‘chuck a sickie’ to a whole new level?

– Do you feel overly tired and chronically worn out?

– Does 9 – 5 feel like a prison sentence?

– Regardless of how successful you’ve become; the results are no where near as satisfying as you hoped.

– No matter how much you try to adopt a positive outlook, nothing seems to lift your spirits.

If you said yes to at least a few of these, it’s probably about time you did something about it. If you don’t know where to begin, here’s how!

Career stocktake
Make a list of your transferable knowledge and skills. This will create a good starting point and give you a better idea of the type of role you’re suited to.

Likewise, your personality should also play a big role in your decision making process. Make a list of your likes and dislikes and take stock of the types of things you can imagine yourself doing all day everyday.

For example, if you love fitness and spend most of your free time at the gym, a career as a personal trainer could be a good fit. If you’re active and struggle with sitting still for too long, then maybe avoid a career path that encompasses office work.

Get your investigative hat on
Research, research, research. Take some time to investigate possible career paths and what each of them would entail.

Once you’ve narrowed down the areas of work you’re interested in, find out what you would have to do to make it happen.

Do you need to re-educate? Get some work experience? Also, try to figure out what a typical day on the job would look like so you can know for sure if it’s something you could stomach.

Hit the books
A new career trajectory will often involve studying. If you want to start fresh, you need to be prepared to start from the bottom.

Say hello to the student life, because there’s a good chance you’ll be undertaking a new diploma or undergraduate degree. Depending how similar your new career path is to your old one, then you might need to do a graduate certificate or a masters.

Don’t look at this as a burden. This is an opportunity to get your hands dirty; to really delve in and embrace a new learning curve.

Network
Take advice from your friends and family. These are the people who know you best and sometimes their advice is actually worthwhile.

There’s also a good chance they know someone who knows someone who has all the information you need.

Unfortunately, in the big bad world of careers, who you know plays a big role in what you can achieve. This doesn’t have to be a hindrance, view it as an opportunity to get out there and talk to people in your chosen field so you can learn from them.

Embrace your old intern persona
When you’re ready to hit the ground running and gain some valuable hands-on experience, start looking for an internship.

Yes, working for free sucks, but it also gives you a unique opportunity to test out a new field. This is a chance for you to find out once and for all if you’ve picked a winner!

If you hate your career and you’re ready to try something new, the only thing holding you back is yourself.

 

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