Don’t be a Slave to the Man

So just to get some of the boring admin crap out the way first… Like, where the hell have I been all your life? And why the heck haven’t I blogged in forever? I shall explain.

I may have accidentally had an unscheduled extended break from the blogosphere for a while. Like somewhere around a year ish. The reason why? Well I started a new job. A job that came with a whole new lifestyle and a lack of routine. A job in which time just ‘flies’ by and I feel tired approximately 90% of the time.

I am a flight attendant now. I love my job. It’s fun, I get to work with some great people and fly all over the country, seeing cities I wouldn’t see otherwise. But boy, has it been a lifestyle change!

It’s no 9-5. Sometimes I start work at 4am, sometimes it’s 10pm. Sometimes I’m away from home for four days at a time, sometimes it’s only one.I usually only sleep in my own bed a few nights a week and miss my partner and doggo A LOT! There’s no routine. And I like routine. Even excercise has taken a bench seat. When I am home, I really value the time I get to spend with my two boys. I appreciate the sleep ins, being an introvert as much as socially acceptable and catching up on z’s. But I also have to find time for life errands, seeing friends and just general adulting.

The adjustment was especially hard when I first started. I was exhausted allllll the time (now I’m just tired the majority of the time), I was getting sick way too regularly (because, passengers and germs and run down), and did I mention I was always bloody tired? So naturally, my absence from One Active Life was to be expected in those initial months of finding my feet and getting accustom (both mentally and physically) to #cabincrewlife. But slowly, as I spent more time away from writing, the less motivated I was. I thought about it sometimes, but never opened my laptop. The more time away, the less passionate I became. To the point, One Active Life wasn’t even something I thought about anymore.

Writing used to be something I enjoyed. Something I loved. Something that gave me a sense of purpose and gave me a outlet for self expression. It wasn’t a burden. It was a joy. A way for me to clear my head and hopefully inspire others at the same time. So I’ve had to ask myself, how did I let it get to this point? How did I allow my priorities to slip?

I read a quote the other day which is relevant on so many levels, including this context. It said:

Your killing yourself for a job that would replace you within a week if you dropped dead. Take care of yourself.

Heavy. But holy wow isn’t it true?!

So many of us work so hard, we have no life left in us to actually live. To actually enjoy our down time, our hobbies, our passions, our families, our friends – the simple things. How freakn sad is that! Where’s the balance? And for the most part we are burning ourselves out for someone who doesn’t even appreciate or acknowledge all the hard work and overtime we put in.

To a large company you are disposable. You are just a number. A easily replaceable cog in the machine. If that’s all you are to them, don’t make them your whole life. Unless you are self-employed, living out your passion or perhaps working for a small business that truly appreciates you, I know you can relate! (Having worked for both a small business and large organisations, I’m raising my hands in an ‘amen’ to that!)

By all means, do your job, do it well, work hard but don’t take that shit home with you. Clock off and clock off mentally too. Don’t get too busy having a career that you forget to have a life. Stop working so bloody hard for a company that doesn’t value your worth and start living! Find a healthy work life balance so that in twenty years when you do look back, you remember doing more than just working, eating and sleeping.

And while I (clearly) have a lot to express about all this to the point I could go on to write a novel, I’ll try not to digress any further. Basically, I’ve realised that I too have allowed my job to take over my life this past year. And as much as I do love flying, (it’s not the job itself I have beef with, but the by-product of #cabincrewlife aka the tiredness, the fatigue, exhaustion and lack of motivation to do anything other than hermit), I’ve decided things need to change. I’m no longer going to be a slave to the Man. I’m going to do as much as I can to be home more often and manage my sleep. To enjoy my time off and spend time with loved ones. But most importantly, I am going to start writing again, rekindle that passion and maybe even feel purpose beyond serving tea and coffee on a plane.

I can’t promise it’ll be a regular thing but I am committed to do something for ME again. I AM going to fall in love with writing again.

Unit next time…

Love Eloise x


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