Are You Drowning in Stuff?

I moved house recently, which is fun and exciting but also rather tiring and draining. During the time-consuming and painful process of packing and relocating my things, I came to the realisation that I have accumulated a lot of stuff. A lot of clothes, a lot of shoes, a lot of books, stationary, jewellery and basically just a lot of meaningless crap.

Now, considering I am basically a gypsy, having officially moved seven times in the past five years (did I mention I like change?), in which each time I managed to significantly eliminate the quantity of useless junk I own, I have to admit that I’m kind of surprised, and frankly embarrassed, by the amount of unnecessary shit I have somehow still retained.

Seriously, the volume of virtually unused and (for the most part) unloved clothing that I found hiding away in my drawers or squished to the back of my closet was ridiculous. Yet for some reason I felt it necessary to keep hold of it all ‘just in case I wear it again’. Well, that ‘just in case’ moment never seemed to occur, and so this time I sucked it up and chucked it all straight into the good Sammy’s pile.

I wouldn’t call myself a hoarder. I don’t really have that much stuff and I don’t buy things very often. Yet whilst packing up my life, I did feel a strange and unjustified connection to some of the things I have accumulated. An unwarranted attachment to books I had never read and necklaces I’d never worn. Each time another item was ditched in the bin or thrown towards the salvos collection, I felt some momentary grief. It stung a little bit. I was hesitant to part ways. Though not because I was mourning the loss of that pair of high waisted denim shorts. Nope. I felt sadness for all the money that had been wasted over superficial crap. All the money that I was basically just throwing away. All the money that could’ve been put towards better things.

Better things like travelling and experiences. Exploring and chasing adventures. Weekend road trips, spontaneous mid-week outings and dinners with friends. All the stuff that create lasting memories, not just collect dust in the back of a cupboard somewhere. That’s what I believe life is all about- collecting moments, not things.

It was money that could have helped feed a homeless man on the street or rescued a stray puppy or provided a water well for an entire village in a third-world country. Yet it was money just sitting in my wardrobe achieving nothing, providing no purpose, collecting dust.

It makes me angry. Both at myself and at society. Angry that I wasted so much money on useless possessions, but mostly angry that we live in a world where such a huge importance is placed on materialistic things. We are a society ruled by consumerism. We want our houses to resemble a photograph in an interior design magazine. We spend money on new outfits, only to wear them once. We are constantly upgrading to the newest technology when what we already have works perfectly fine.

Why do we do it? Why do we feel the need to dress up our lives in sparkles and glitter? Western society has put unrealistic expectations on us to always be, look and have the best of everything. Social media, with its #fitspo models, online clothing boutiques and sponsored posts is hugely to blame too. Instagram and Facebook encourage us to become fixated on appearance and possessions. Social media makes us become aware of products we didn’t even know about, yet suddenly we need them.

It’s easy to get sucked up in it all. Become victim to the way of the world. It surrounds us everywhere we go. It is constantly in our face – consciously and subconsciously. But I guess we each, as individuals need to decide what is more important to us? Stuff or unforgettable experiences? Having an amazing wardrobe or helping others?

Here’s some fuel for thought…

No one is going to stand up at your funeral and say, “She had a really expensive couch and great shoes.” Don’t make your life be about materialistic stuff.

That right there, sums it all up.

Love Elo xx


I Boycotted My Birthday and It Was The Best Bday Ever

I dislike birthdays. Every year, as the next one approaches, I don’t feel the excitement and happiness that most people do. And no, it’s not because I’m getting another year older and another step closer to 30.

I don’t like birthdays because of the expectations that they carry. The gifts, the celebrations, the attention. I have no interest in any of it. To me it’s just another day. Try as I may, to not get caught up in the hallmark hoax of it all, there is still a part of me that wouldn’t mind being spoilt, receiving heartfelt birthday messages and getting treated extra special for just one day. But with all expectations comes disappointment.
You see, there always seems to be at least one person who forgets my birthday. No, not one of the Facebook friends who are simply following the lead of monotonous ‘happy birthday’ messages written on my wall. I mean, one of my close friends. I appreciate all the birthday love I receive, but some certainly hold a lot more weight than others so when it’s someone I consider a close friend who forgets, that shit stings!

Then there are the presents. The gifts that I don’t really need or want. I am more a ‘moments over things’ person. Quality time over gifts any day. Of course, flowers never go astray (insert cheeky wink face here) but a beautifully written card or a genuine and loving message is the greatest gift I could receive.

I don’t really remember a time when I was ever specially fond of birthdays. Except for maybe when I was a kid and I was able to choose what Mum cooked for my family birthday dinner, which always involved a Vienna ice-cream cake for dessert (what ever happened to those delicious creations?) I was always shy growing up and hated being centre of attention. So birthday parties, even as a child, made me feel awkward. And nothing’s changed. I don’t like attention focused on me, so maybe that’s why I don’t like birthdays.

I’d rather the day go by relatively unnoticed. I’d rather not be fussed over. There are far too many expectations surrounding birthdays and in the past they have never been fulfilled. I have always been left feeling sad and empty to a certain extent. My idea of the perfect birthday is one in which I share quality time with the people I love. No extravagant celebrations, parties and certainly no drinking. Don’t get me presents. I don’t need gifts. None of that is necessary. What makes me happiest is to spend time with people who genuinely care for me and make me feel special, regardless of what date it is on the calender.

Birthdays only started to take a positive turn when I turned 25. Knowing how much I dislike birthdays and how depressed I felt on May 14th the year before, my work colleague (and also close friend) made a special effort to change my whole perspective on birthdays. Another close friend took me out for a special dinner so that I wouldn’t have to go home to a empty house feeling lonely, like I had experienced the year before. And this year, I finally found the perfect solution to make birthdays more of a positive affair. How?

Step 1. Boycott your birthday by going on an overseas holiday.

Step 2. Go with the person that makes you the happiest in the world.

Step 3 (optional but highly suggested). Turn your phone on airplane mode for the most part of the day and avoid all temptations to connect to wifi. Live in the moment and forget about social media.

It’s a foolproof plan and one I intend to adhere to every year from now on. For the past three years, I have danced around the idea of boycotting the cold Perth weather and my birthday with a trip to hot, sunny Bali. This year I finally made it happen. Well, my boyfriend, Mark did. With flights to Bali and 10 days in chilled out, Canguu booked, he did good. We successfully escaped the cold Perth weather (which only makes me more depressed at this time of year) and managed to avoid all the birthday awkwardness that I hate.

Honestly, I’ve never had a more amazing birthday! For once , I enjoyed the day. I mean, how could I not be happy when I got to spend the day in one of my most favourite places in the world with my most favouriteist person? We relaxed, swam, had massages, ate delicious food from my favourite Canggu cafes and watched the sunset. Perfection! But mostly I loved it because it didn’t even feel like my birthday. It just felt like another day. Another day in paradise. Another day spent with the man I love. Nothing fancy. No expectations. Just quality time with someone special who makes me feel loved and appreciated every day. Not just on my birthday.

And the best bit. We still have 4 more days here! I’m doing this every year!

Happy 26th birthday to me!

Love Elo xx

A Letter To My Valentine

Because important words should never be left unsaid (and I’m too scared to say them in person yet)


I could never have imagined things would turn out this way. From what was (to me) just a coffee to catch up with a like-minded person and a chance for good conversation. Possibly an opportunity to make a new friend. Someone I could talk to about cool stuff, real and raw – not just the usual small talk. Just a coffee, not a date. Turned into 3 hours of chats over one long Mac, dinner the next day, a first kiss on the beach under the stars and me drawing love hearts in the sand. (My subconscious knew where it was at).

I never expected any of this.

You have made me feel things I never thought were possible for me to feel again. Things I haven’t experienced in over 5 years. Those butterflies in my stomach, can’t stop smiling, goosebumps on my skin and tingles down my spine, type feelings. I had started to believe I was a heartless bitch incapable of emotions. “What if I told you, I don’t catch the feels?” had become my catch phrase and a standing joke between my friends. But then I met you and I realised that it’s not that I am incapable of feeling, it’s that I hadn’t met someone worthy. It turns out “you just haven’t met the right person yet” isn’t just something loved-up people in relationships say to make you feel less single and alone. It is true.

Ew. I have become a walking cliche. Vomit!

But seriously… you are my “when you know, you know” moment. And I know. I know that what we have, what I feel when I am with you, how much I miss you when we are apart, is not just a typical thing. You make me the happiest I have been in a very long time. You make me smile. You make me belly laugh. You make me feel cared for and appreciated. Heck, I am even willing to give up my ‘me-time’ to spend time with you. Sometimes I even let you come to the beach with me. And that is a big effing deal.

I believe things happen for a reason. People come into our lives at the perfect moment – exactly when we are ready for it. I’ve always trusted in the universe with that. You came in to my life once I had learnt to love and accept myself fully. Once I was content in who I am and comfortable in my own skin. That’s how I know this is real. I was already so happy before I met you, you have just made me happier. Even more in love with life.

You are so thoughtful and selfless. When I am in your arms I feel so safe and loved. I have never been more comfortable around anyone than I am with you and I have to say, I am pretty appreciative that you even like me considering how dorky, easily-distracted,  and awkward I am. Kudos to you for putting up with me and my excitable puppy moments.

You aren’t just the first person I think of in the morning and the last person I think of at night, you are also someone that inspires me. I admire how committed you are to growing as a person and chasing your goals. I love that you refuse to settle for a life of mediocracy. I love that a life filled with happiness is more important to you than money or things. You appreciate that life is too short to be anything less than happy. These are traits I find so admirable and hope to emulate in my life also.

It is hard for me to bring my guard down. I’ve been hurt too many times before. But with you I am an open book. I’m ready to let my walls come crashing down to let you in even more. I feel vulnerable writing this and I a little bit gross. Maybe we can just roll with “cute” rather than mushy, but you knew you signed up for this sentimental shit when we first met.

I think I have found the healthy relationship I have been waiting for. I know this is just the beginning of something amazing. You are my favourite.

And to think, the happiest 4 months of my life started with a creepy Instagram stalk and an email. Weirdo :p

Love Elo x