28 January 2012

A lazy Saturday

Today I decided to have a 'me' day. No phone calls, no hanging out with friends, no jobs to get done... just completely laze around. I feel it is important to do from time to time, our lives are so busy as it is that it is far to easy to lose yourself and forget who you really are, the you that isn't stuck at work, or finishing an essay, or hanging with friends.

So after spending the morning playing Star Wars: The Old Republic for about 4 hours straight I emerged from my room to find an awesome Summers day. I decided to finally setup my hammock in the backyard, grab my Macbook, phone (for music only), my book (currently reading Inheritance by Christopher Paolini... it's brilliant!) and settled in for the long haul =)
Hammocks are legendary.
It was ridiculously peaceful. The day was warm with the slightest of cool breezes. During this time I sat, and I thought... and I thought some more. I thought about everything; my upcoming trip to New York City and if my current preparations are going well, checking off in my mind a list of what is still left to do. I thought about Polly, although I purposely didn't dwell on that for long... it wouldn't be doing myself any favours. I thought about my best mates, and was looking forward to their bands first live performance the following night. I thought about blogging, about how my blog is going and where it is heading, and I thought about how my favourites bloggers are going, some of which I look to for inspiration.

I then turned my thoughts inwards, towards my life. Without the hustle of real life getting in the way this was the first time in a long time where I could properly stop and think about the questions that I have been meaning to answer for so long now. What am I doing with myself? Where am I going? Am I happy with where I am going? What's important to me? What do I live for, believe in?

They are tough to answer, and can never truly be defined I know, but as long as you have the general idea in mind then I think you are doing okay. It was quite scary how poorly I could answer these questions... I really have not a clue what I am doing with myself and where I am heading.

I turned my Macbook on and started to read blogs in the hope for some guidance, I find reading about other peoples journeys through life can often help me immensely with my own one. I read through literally dozens of blogs (there are some truly amazing people out there) all the while thinking about those questions above. I ended up writing two long posts (that I will post at a later time) in an attempt to answer the questions as best as I can, to write down and sort out what it is I want out of life. It wasn't fantastic progress, but it was a start.

Five hours later it was starting to get dark and I was hungry, I couldn't believe how much time had passed. I must have been very deep in thought.

5 hours later, it is time to move.
Over the next month or so you will probably see a lot more frequency in posts, with a lot just being my general contemplations about whatever. Blogging is great, it helps me so much, it is my wall to lean upon when the world feels like it is spinning all around.

This will be a long process, I know I will not have the answers overnight. But it is also a process that inspires great optimism and hope, to realize that I can literally do whatever I want to do in life is a very exciting realization. All I have to do is find what it is I want to do =)

26 January 2012

She fuels me

Sigh... I wish there was an 'off' switch. Polly, you are amazing. I don't completely know why... all I know is that I am incredibly drawn to you and can't stop thinking about you.

It is your figure that catches my eye (because yes you are just so sexy), but it is you that catches my mind, the inner you is what I find most beautiful; I love the sound of your laugh, the freckles on your nose, how our thoughts seem to be on the same wavelength, how your lips seem to shine, the way you sometimes don't look people in the eye when talking to them, that one crooked tooth, how grounded you are, your intelligence. Like the time we all played trivia and it was you and I neck and neck in the lead for the whole game. I'll always remember that.

Put all those together and more and Polly, you're just beautiful.

You went away for 6 weeks overseas. During that time I was the most motivated and driven I have been in a very long time as I thought of your return; during my work outs, with my NYC preparations, in staying healthy and saving money, everything I did I thought of you for strength. In the last 2 months I've upped my work out routine substantially, pushing myself further and harder then ever before. I now look the fittest I ever have... all because of you.

But I know and have accepted that we could never happen, there are just too many complications for me to even attempt it... to be honest I don't even know if you feel the same way and I am not prepared to risk it all just to find out (my best friends' trust for instance). But it's ok, it really is, I won't harbour any regrets for never knowing I am sure of it. It will instead be a chapter of life remembered upon favourably, for inspiration, a precious reminder that there are some truly amazing people out there.

I just had to write this down, this very last time. And as I close this chapter I find that for the very first time since starting this blog some two years ago I am not sad but instead... I actually feel rather at peace. Perhaps I am finally growing up?

Goodbye, Polly.

25 January 2012

My date with the U.S Consulate

Back in December I announced that I had finally applied for my American VISA for my NYC trip... a shameful 7 months since I first made traveling to the U.S official... ha! Since getting the VISA process rolling it has been go go go, the amount of work to do for it is insane. Forms upon forms to fill out, documents to gather, fees to pay (so many fees to pay...) and all this doesn't even guarantee me a VISA! It is simply the process to apply for one. All this work and money could have honestly been wasted if for some reason my application gets rejected.

After going through the steps to follow in the application process I finally reached the climax... the step that would determine if this whole trip had the green light to go ahead or if it was to be stopped dead in its tracks...

It was time for the interview at the U.S Consulate.

I took the day off work and traveled by train into the city where the consulate resides. Despite the importance of the day I was surprisingly (and proudly) extremely calm and rather blase' about the whole affair, almost as if I knew that everything would work out. I arrived on time, had all the documents I needed... I was not like my usual anxious, fidgeting, nervous self when in important situations like this at all! Am I growing up? Or becoming better equipped to deal with life as I experience more of the world? Either way it was comforting to know that I am a little less likely to have a panic attack when I am over in the U.S ha.

In typical American fashion the place was heavily guarded and the first 15 minutes since arriving was spent at security checkpoints... which I guess is something I need to get used to? And in typical me fashion I managed to annoy one of the security guards within the first minute (accidentally nearly walked somewhere I was not meant to), so he was grumpy with me for the entire time. Another thing I need to get used to ha.

Nothing eventful happened while there, I sat around waiting a lot, showed a bunch of ladies behind counters my forms, they asked some questions, I paid even more fees... and about two hours later a lady with a thick American accent smiled and said these now monumental words:

"Well that's all done now. Congratulations Aaron your Visa has been approved and you will receive it in the mail shortly, have a nice day."

VISA approved - Check!

12 January 2012

LivingItUp: Swing dance class!

Another post in my 'Living It Up While I Still Can' series where I try and do as much fun activities with friends and family as I can possibly squeeze in before I take off for hopefully a year abroad in New York City starting March 2012.

Three of my somewhat newly acquired friends Kane, Christine and Kate (not real names of course), attend swing dance classes which they really enjoy... they asked me to come along so I figured sure, why not. Got to live it up after all.

I had no idea what to think before we arrived so it really was a blind adventure. Thankfully my mate Brendan also got convinced to come along (they have been asking him to go for years ha), so that made it less awkward. Upon arrival we met a few new people and inspected the place, everyone seemed really eager to start which was a relaxing realization as it must be a fun class if everyone is that eager for it ha.

Long story short after feeling like an absolute clown for the first 15 minutes (and no doubt looking like one also), eventually when you start to get the hang of things it wasn't too bad at all. Makes for an awesome work out session, and everyone was of differing skill levels so you were never alone if you stuffed up the beat and had to wait until it finished and the next beat to begin before jumping back in again ha.

The teacher was really awesome and definitely knew what he was doing, watching him put all the different moves together fluently kind of motivated you further to try harder. Afterwards everyone was allowed to have creative time so each grabbed a partner and just danced however they wanted. I sat by the side and watched the couples (Kate looked incredible ahhh), and while I have no desire to be as pro as the teacher I could definitely see the appeal of at least being mediocre enough to be able to dance somewhat fluently with a partner. I could picture myself wanting to do that with my own future girlfriend someday.

So alas I gave it a go and it actually turned out to be a lot more fun than I originally presumed, so much so that I am thinking about doing it again next week.

Anything is worth trying at least once ;)

10 January 2012

My honesty

Was she glad to see me? I have no idea. I didn't get much of a hello, although to be fair I didn't give her much of one either... she did however take one of my headphones out of my ear and tell me not to be anti-social in what I think was a joking matter. Which is something at least.

Seeing her felt like she never left really. I guess I have been pretty busy the last month or so that her 5 week absence overseas wasn't as much of an ordeal as I initially thought it might be. We kind of just picked up exactly where we left off. She laughed heaps at my jokes... sigh... makes me melt every time.

I just can't shake the feeling that we'd be awesome together. I picture it all the time, mostly without even meaning to. My want to complement her on how beautiful she looks, trying to think of stuff to say just so I get a chance to talk to her, constantly trying to make her laugh...

She brought me two presents from overseas... which I had expected to be honest as I brought her something when I came back from China, but still, just knowing that I was on her mind for at least a minute whilst she was away is a nice thought. I tried to say that I really appreciate the gift and that it means more then she knows... but I think I just said stupid stuff like I usually do when there is something important going on (like when I should be saying something nice and sincere to express how much something means to me for instance...).

I am leaving for New York City soon... I guess there is no point saying anything to her now even if I wanted to. Sigh. As always living up to the title 'Out of Sync'. Why couldn't I have met her a year ago. But then again, as I am leaving soon... maybe more risks is exactly what I should be doing now, it is the only way I am going to excel in this trip I think, why not start now? I guess in this instance I worry too much of the consequences... this group of friends that she belongs to is rather new, and I am finding every time I hang out with them (like tonight) I am regarding them with higher and higher value and importance each time. I can't lose them, no matter what.

They are all impressed and in awe about my trip to New York City. I hate that so much, seriously. I am not doing it to 'impress' people or to 'be cool', no, not at all. Hearing stuff like that, it adds too much pressure! I am already super stressed and worried about the trip as it is... and when I have got people going 'wow, that's so cool!' it just feels like they are relying on me and expecting me to succeed, and it makes failure even less of an option because if I don't live up to all these peoples expectations then the feeling of letting them down and in a sense, the shame of not living up to their expectations, would just be too much. I couldn't bare seeing their faces again if that happened.

I know I am doing this trip for myself, and only myself. It has been an idea I have had for literally years. It is an idea I know once I do it I will be the proudest I can ever be of myself. But I have to emphasize over that it is not to 'be cool', or to 'impress' people...

And despite all that, the number one person I am most worried about letting down, the person that fuels my great fear, that I will get there and realize it was all a mistake, and want to come home. For all the money spent, and the time planning, and the quitting of my job and the selling of my car, for it all to just end up being a complete waste of time and I'd come home after only a month and regret it all... the number one person I am worried about disappointing? Myself.

08 January 2012

LivingItUp: A BBQ, a Wedding and City fun

Here is the first post in my 'Living It Up While I Still Can' series where I try and do as much fun activities with friends and family as I can possibly squeeze in before I take off for hopefully a year abroad in New York City starting March 2012.

The last 4 days have been great! It seems I am living it up without hesitation.

First off there was the awesome activity my friends have started doing regularly of late, BBQ's by the beach! With Summer upon us at the moment the days are long and the afternoons are warm, perfect for a BBQ by the beach on a Thursday afternoon straight after work. It is always a 'more people the merrier' affair so there is usually a bunch of people who I don't know, and I am happy to say I have met two or three extremely cool new people because of it. One whom in particular, Kate, I hope to see a lot more of in the future.

Then Saturday came and it was time for a wedding! Wedding's at my age are ridiculous amounts of fun, at 23 years old I feel I am at the optimum age to enjoy a wedding. I am old enough to drink, make a fool of myself, chat to anyone and everyone, and basically just go there for the fun and take advantage of the free food, alcohol and company of friends/family, but on the other hand however I am still young enough that I don't have to worry too much about buying a good gift, setting a good behaviour for the younger attendees, and I don't have any partner and/or kids to worry about... win!

Sunday I awoke with little sleep and a bit of a hang over, but there was no time to rest because I was to be spending the day with Brendan, Carolyn and Polly... three friends I love spending time with. We originally planned to go to the Zoo, but that got changed by the girls somewhere along the way (I never quite figured out when ha) and instead we had some great Chinese for lunch, walked around Melbourne city for a while, then caught a tram and hung out by the beach. The topic of 'dodgem cars' came up somehow so we set out on a quest to find somewhere that had them! But failed ha (perhaps will add it to my to-do list). A pretty simple day but I honestly couldn't of asked for a better way to spend my Sunday. I am going to miss those guys when I leave...

Our walk along the beach side.

06 January 2012

Living it up while I still can

With my year long NYC trip scheduled for March, it has finally dawned on me that 'dude... see all those awesome friends you love hanging with, the fun activities you love doing, that fun-things-to-do-one-day list hanging on the fridge that you have been meaning to get around to... yeah, you are going to be leaving all that behind when you leave!'.

After I got back from my China trip last November I had two really amazingly fun weekends with my friends, and for the first time in a long time I realized, and started to honestly feel, how much I am going to miss home when I leave.

Ever since the beginning of this year I have been the most emotional I have ever been in my life ha! It gets even worst when I've been drinking too. All I want to do these days is hug my friends and family and just never let them go!.. but that would be weird, so instead I have settled upon just living life to the absolute fullest until departure date by squeezing in as many fun fueled activities as I can.

Therefore I am starting a new, brief series titled 'Living It Up While I Still Can' in which I hope to write down all the fun things I have done in my remaining few months at home before I leave for my trip. It will be nice to be able to re-read and remember whilst I am away, and perhaps just to remember this time in my life in general, a time where I took 'living' to the next level and really started to live it up, albeit only a brief while.

I just feel so blessed to have such awesome friends and home that... I just don't want to take it all for granted and regret all the things that I should of done when I had the chance, you know? Who knows what friends and home will be like when I get back, all I know is that it most likely won't be the same as it is now so it is best to enjoy it while it is still around to be enjoyed.

The river 2 minutes from my house that I love riding along. It's the little things in life.

03 January 2012

I'm looking for new blogs to follow, apply here!

Hi bloggers! I want you to advertise your blog here, seriously!
Let me explain. In life I work full time as a software developer thus I am on the computer the entire day...five days a week... thus providing me a substantial abundance of time free to spend blogging and reading blogs, which I admit is pretty cool. However the problem is that because I have so much free time to blog I end up reading through all the new posts of the blogs I follow way to quickly and am always left waiting for new post to appear, and when I am terribly bored at work a new post to read is an awesome time filler.

So I'd like to welcome anyone to in the comments below feel free to shamelessly advertise your blog and I will gladly check it out. There is a rule however, all I ask is that you also suggest at least one (or more) of your favourite blogs to follow, else I won't check your blog out =P Feel free to add a little description to what your blog is all about also.

I hope to discover some cool new blogs, and hopefully inadvertingly help other people discover your own blogs also =) Any cool blogs I see I will add in a list below, as well as mention your name and blog in thanks for participating:

- Stuff No One Told Me: This blog shows illustrations of this guys life in a very creative and sometimes very moving way. A nice relaxing read. A thanks for the suggest to Faith from My Blessed Life!

- Bits of Truth: An awesome collection of motivational quotes, updated I think daily. A great way to start the work day =D A big thanks again to Faith from My Blessed Life!

- Living with the Seat Up - A very humourous blog that I was very surprised to see only had one follower at the time of writing. It definitely deserves more so check it out! Courtesy of the blogs' author Shannon.

- Help a Geek - This blog was rather interesting, however I'll garner it is probably not quite to most peoples tastes, but I for some was totally hooked. An awesome thanks to Sue Lin from Bay Bee Tea (check her blog out it is awesome).

- My Life Alone - An honourary mention to Dave from My life Alone for his much appreciated participation. His blog is cool and one I'd definitely recommend checking out.

Additional notes: People I am already following are more than welcome to participate, also feel free to recommend as many blogs as you feel like =) I might run this post over the next few weeks as well.