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Fourteen things I learned in 2014

Hindsight is a beautiful thing. We will probably talk about it a lot on this blog because I'm all about it. Perspective, analysis, growth and learning from mistakes. Life is a classroom my friends: here is my end of year report.
I present to you dear friends....

The fourteen things I learnt in 2014.
(ready for lots of cheesy but sometimes insightful points?)

1. You can release in Love.
For the third year in a row, I found myself bidding farewell to the people I love most. It's become a bit of a joke, but every year I find myself saying, "Everyone I love leaves!". Truth is, there are goodbyes that must be said because there are adventures to be had, new jobs to be done, new places to call home, mysterious roads begging to be wandered down. I learnt that wanting or expecting people to stay is silly and selfish - when you love people you want them to live and learn and grow and go. I farewelled my parents as they moved to Perth. I farewelled my best friends as they moved to sunny places. I learnt how to release in love.

2. There is always room.
The craziest thing about releasing those I love was how much it opened up space in my life for new ones to come in. I never actually lost any of my friends - sure there may be an ocean or two between us but they are still there, still important and precious. But it did free up space in my life and I was most pleasantly surprised to find that naturally, these places wanted to be filled. I made time for people and watched acquaintances become friends, and friends become confidants and this new cast of characters, while not replacements, added unexpected joy and interest and experiences to my year. I learnt that it's not about replacing or replicating relationships, but there is always room for more.

3. Get on board.
I say this to one friend often, usually when he is dragging his feet getting onside with one of my hare-brained plans. Sometimes you have to be big enough to take your own advice (this is one of those times). Get on board with other people's plans and projects and parties when you're invited. Unexpected and wonderful things can and will happen. I did and it brought so much unexpected joy to my life.

The importance of being earnest. (and making dessert)

Ernest is a word I recently fell in love with. It's not a word I tend to use everyday but I like the way it sounds, love what it means.
This afternoon I felt earnestly that I needed to make dessert.
I had spent the better part of my afternoon scheming about what I wanted to make. I had mentally scrolled through the books of recipes for desserts, racking my brains for something quick but handmade and delicious. I wanted rich and tasty and different. I'm not gonna lie, I wanted something kind of impressive.
And then life threw a tiny curveball. A friend was in hospital and my grand baking schemes for the afternoon were put aside.
I love baking, but I love my friends more. Priorities, people Pri-Oh-Ri-Tees.
After navigating a million corridors to find the right room, (seriously why do all hospital corridors look the same? Can they not colour code them or something?), awkwardly walking into the wrong room and being re-assured my friend was fine once I had located her, I found myself on the bus contemplating desserts once more; earnest intentions still intact and very much in denial of the limited time now available to create something amazing.
I was serious in my intentions and purpose and more than willing to make a serious effort. (Okay, so not that serious in the effort department. I'm pretty good in the kitchen but not a wizard).


And I had found chocolate. And raspberries were on special and I had some cream in the fridge. Inspiration hit in the aisles and after firing off a quick text to my chef father about which biscuit would be best, we were in business.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry and Macadamia Tart.
I will secretly call it Earnest pie. It's unapologetically bad for you and it's delicious. Plus it will impress people at parties and will help you find fellow foodies and make new friends. It's a winner.

The joys of re-invention

I posted my first piece of writing online when I was thirteen years old.
It was back when I would come home from school, make a bowl of cereal and patiently wait half an hour for the dial-up internet to connect, silently praying no one would call on the land line and ruin the whole thing. I sat in-front of that clunky computer tapping out poems for peers I had never met on a site called teenpoetry.student.com. I'm not even kidding. This was right before 'social media' was a thing, when email was the coolest form of communication and your online presence or reach couldn't be measured. I'm confident that the poems were angst-y, earnest, overly emotional and just plain awful.
Oh the joys of beginning again.

I read somewhere that re-invention is a vital part of the growth and success of an artist or business.
I've been re-inventing myself in an online context for over a decade now. Scary thought isn't it?
Bebo, Facebook, DeviantArt, Photoblogs, Tumblr, Flickr, Pinterest - the list goes on. As terrifying as that list might seem and as cliche as this next part is about to sound, I have found that the trick to successful re-invention is staying true to who you are at the core. A LOT can change; the format in which you choose to express yourself, the platform, the type of media, your influences, your life choices, your location, your haircut, sense of style and circumstances. All of those things for me are in a state of flux. But at the core of it, there is still the same soul wanting to express itself. So here we are.

I built this little online nest for myself because I found I had out-grown my previous one(s).

Writing has always been how I figure things out. As a compulsive over-thinker and ponderer, it helps to make sense of the crazy mess my mind can get into sometimes. It's a way for me to deal, a way to process and project and tether together some thought threads.
Right now it's a monologue - a shared thought catalogue from my brain-hole to yours.
But I'm hoping it will soon be a conversation. I'm hoping this will be a place we can sort of share. A place where you can read about clever people following their passions and be inspired to follow yours also. And then tell me about those things! I'm hoping this can be a place where you can tell me about books you love and places you like to visit and how you've made the ultimate cookie or your plan to change the world or whatever it is that you're into. I'm hoping that we can share and collect some really great stories.

I'm excited for this little re-invention, the opportunity that the worldwide web has offered us to create and re-create over and over. I hope very much that you will join me. x