Things I’ve learnt from OTH.

Say what you will, I like One Tree Hill.

Maybe it’s because it’s just one of those shows that you sort of grew up with, so you’ll love it no matter what happens.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that it’s important to express yourself.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, almost everything good that I know about music. Every unique artist, I found on One Tree Hill.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, the 5 stages of grief.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that hoes are over bro’s and clothes are over bro’s too. Thanks B.Davis.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that love triangles are a bad idea. I was Team Leyton fyi.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that tours break up relationships.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that substance abuse is bad, so are bar fights.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that real life, is no where near as dramatic as, One Tree Hill.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that no parental supervision for teenagers, is a bad move.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that music has an amazing power to heal.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that love conquers all. Always and forever.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that people can be good and evil all at the same time.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that you should never podcast intimate details about your life.

I have learnt from watching One Tree Hill, that family is more important than anything. 

Advertisements

Thoughts from the road.

This weekend I checked two things off my ‘The Last Single Girl’ list.

13. Go on a vacation by myself.

21. Go on a road trip.

This weekend I went on a road trip by myself.

Honestly it was one of best ideas/decisions/things I’ve had/made/done. I’d been feeling a little bit ‘bleh’ and decided just to do something a little bit spontaneous. I decided last Friday to go. Booked that night and the following Saturday morning I was off! I wasn’t too worried about having only myself for company, however I thought a one night trip would be a good starting place.

I stopped off for coffee at Blaine & Tegan’s before I left. Caffeine is critical for long drives but it also makes me happy. It also felt a bit like I had a cute little send off.

I drove to Byron Bay, which I’d actually never been to before. I drove up to the lighthouse.. walked around. Drove down to the beach. Sat on the beach and contempated life.

I had lunch and coffee at Bayleaf. Felt a bit judged with my slick hair and Prada handbag but got over it enough to enjoy the experience. And then I drove the last and longer leg of my journey on to Coffs Harbour. I stopped only once more to take a few photos and arrived in Coffs Harbour at 5pm.

When I road trip, I road trip in style. No backpackers or seedy motels. Resort luxury baby! Private access to the beach, a room that didn’t need to be that big. Pools, grassy lawns, sneaking a peak at a wedding they had that night. Yes, I think I’d make the right choice.

I wandered down to the jetty.. basked in the delightfully pink sunset. Picked up some dinner and settled in for some election updates which was all that was really on tv that night. I snuck a midnight (actually 8.30pm) swim and froze to death. Used every towel they provided me (6 in total). Took 2 showers and a bath and just generally enjoyed doing nothing.

Upon a recommendation from a local (B Ward represent) I went to Urban for breakfast, LOVED it. Stopped in at the beach again and then headed home.

Important lessons to be learnt from road trips.

  1. You are not invincible. My calves are aching today. I feel ridiculously tired, not relaxed. Whoops.
  2. Take a car with cruise control. Ouch. Seriously, my calves are SO sore.
  3. Go luxury. It’s worth it.
  4. Take photos. Lots of them.
  5. If you feel the need to talk to yourself, do it. I didn’t talk to myself, but I certainly did laugh out loud. Quite a lot. I laughed when I got to my room and realised how big it was. I laughed when I thought I’d take a shortcut back to my car from the beach and walked directly into a caravan park.
  6. Still talk to people. I think complete isolation is a bad idea when you travel alone.
  7. The whole point of being alone is that you can do things on your own timeframe. Eat dinner at 5pm, or 9pm if you wish. Stay up late, go to bed early, sleep in. Do whatEVER you want. WhenEVER you want.
  8. Get an amazing playlist. A mix between new songs and classics you love.
  9. Use a GPS. Not maps. I downloaded TomTom for my iPhone. Works a treat.. yells out directions to you and even if you have your headphones in, it will dim your music and let you know amazing things like ‘Keep going on Pacific Hwy for 76 km’. Ok great. Like I had other options.
  10. Snacks. That’s what I sort of forgot about. I should have gotten really into it and planned a little esky situation. Nope. Whoops.
  11. Look up places you want to go before hand. Research your coffee joints.
  12. Remember that there’s a time difference between the states. I got home way earlier than I needed to be due to a little thing we call Day Light Savings. Darn.

So many times I would sit/stand somewhere beautiful and think ‘Boy, I’m having such a good time’. And I would want to tell someone, but there was no one, and realising that was the main reason I was having such a good time was such a liberating experience. There’s something very important and necessary about open roads, relying on a map, street names you aren’t familiar with and a tiny bit of risk.

I’m sorry if you never see me on the weekends anymore, I will be adding more oil to my car (whoops again) and be road tripping all around our great country. Happy travels.

Goodbye, Apathy

She woke up one day and threw away all her excuses – Unknown.

One of my friends who I admire most send me a postcard (she sends me things all the time because she’s so outstanding) and quoted this to me.

I’m so impressed with this notion, this thought, this quote. I’m so amazed at what an affect it’s had on me. I know I consciously made a decision to live without excuses this year but I’m amazed at the capacity these words have to drive me to action.

I guess for some people it’s music. Some people it’s art. For me, it’s words. A brilliant quote can change my perception on something. A kind text will literally make my day. These words written out on a postcard are quite literally changing my life.

Last week I threw away my excuses and bought tickets to one of the best live shows ever. On the weekend I threw away my excuses and planned a solo road trip to New South Wales. Today I threw away my excuses and purchased a ticket to a midnight screening of a movie despite having to work the next day.

What is holding you back? I’m not talking about those things that you are just too lazy to do, I don’t know if that quote will EVER encourage me to go out and buy a skipping rope and start jump roping an hour a day.. I’m talking about those things you just made lame excuses for. Money might be tight this week, will people think it’s odd going away by myself, I will be so exhausted at work the next day.

Each morning, I throw off my excuses and embrace this crazy thing called life.

So don’t you stop pushing me, I can take so much
So goodbye apathy, so long fancy free
Goodbye apathy, I don’t wanna be you.

Paradise

It’s no secret to the world that I like blogging. I follow one or two travel blogs and a couple of travel tumblr accounts. I only follow a couple because I was so so sure that following them would make me depressed. I desperately want to see more of the world but a lack of money and dedication to save said money has prevented this. So far I’ve been basically no where. I’ve been to New Zealand, but only briefly for work and I’ve been to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The worst part is I’ve only really been to Sydney and Melbourne when it comes to my own country. I’ve briefly visited Adelaide so I don’t think it counts and the only thing I’m proud of is how much of Tasmania I’ve seen.

I’ve realised that until I finish university and start earning the big dollars, my overseas adventures will probably be a little limited. BUT, Australia still awaits! I’ve realised that Australia is actually pretty amazing. I’ve become so accustomed to beautiful scenery that I’m almost not aware of it anymore. Hanging out with foreigners brings new light and perspective. They are so aware of how different and beautiful everything is here and I’ve come to appreciate the country I live in so much more because of that.

Images Courtesy of Tourism Queensland.

Risky Business

This year I found myself wanting to up the anti when it came to life. To do more, see more, live more, risk more. I’m happy to report I’ve been taking some risks lately.

Yesterday I on impulse, bought a ticket to Bon Iver. I haven’t been a fan for too long and I’m never aware of when bands visit Australia and so I never purchased tickets. I found myself more and more wanting to attend it and being too late. I jumped on a scapling situation and had the best night in such a long time.

Apart from it just being an amazing show – part of the reason I enjoyed it so much was because I hadn’t planned on it. It caught me by surprise.

I think I had a billion other things to add about what other risks I’ve been taking, but that’s not really the point, the point is just that I’ve been taking them. I’m not being stupid, my risks are still pretty calculated, but they are risks.

To me, a risk is the potential to lose something or to gain something. It’s one way or the other. There’s always a chance for loss, but there’s always a chance you’ll win something too. I’ve decided I’m secure enough to take risks.

Are you? What’s holding you back? Fear? Insecurity?

Peace should definitely be your umpire – but if you never ever take risks.. I would suggest your umpire needs a bit of a kick in the pants. Mine certainly did.

20120316-152754.jpg

Birthday No. 17

Did I tell you it was birthday month or did I tell you?

Today Tegan celebrates her first birthday as a Swanborough and her 17th birthday since we have been friends. However she is actually 23 years old. For approximately six months we are the same age and I’ll presume she agrees but these are probably the best 6 months of the year.

Reasons why Tegan Swanborough is worth a full post on her birthday:

  • She is my No. 1 blog supporter so it is only fitting that she gets mentioned here. We like to discuss stats, new features, how many drafts, the difficulties of photo arrangements, tagging, where our viewers come from and how often is it actually appropriate to spam everyone about each other.
  • She is no longer with me. That sounds morbid but actually, she’s just in Melbourne for a long weekend with Blaine. However it’s still a little bit sad because this is probably the first birthday since her 18th that we haven’t spent together. Sad. We shall make up for it soon.
  • She is the MOST consistent person. That’s my favourite quality in people and she has it down. She is the same person, with minimal changes (apart from the good changes) as she was when I first met her.
  • She’s so talented. You should check out her blog My Favourite Colour is SHINY to see some of the things she can create. This isn’t even the half of it.
  • She did the best thing possible to preserve our friendship even further, she married my other best friend Blaine Swanborough. Hanging out with both of them is basically like hanging out with Tegan on her own. Which is awesome.
  • She knows me. Like actually knows me and still loves me. WHAAT?
  • She’s been a part of every big moment of my life, good and bad.
  • She is a babe. And that can be made clear by the following pictures.

All the best in friendship,

STEgan. xo

20120315-115926.jpg

20120315-115948.jpg

20120315-115939.jpg

20120315-120022.jpg

20120315-120112.jpg

20120315-120200.jpg

Strength in Joy

Lately I’ve been so aware of the heartache of life. Situations that people find themselves in where there actually is a physical response to emotional pain. A literal heart ache. In talking, thinking and praying through these situations I keep coming back to the words ‘The Joy of the Lord is my strength’. The phrase comes from Nehemiah 8:10 in which we are instructed ‘Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength’.

I think it’s one of those wonderful things we say to people who are grieving but I never want to be someone who just says things for the sake of saying things and so it warranted further thought.

I’ve never been more aware of the acute difference between Joy and Happiness. Happy is an emotion, joy is state of mind. Happy is temporary, Joy is eternal. There’s something so powerful about true joy and I think that’s why we tell people ‘the joy of the Lord is your strength’. It’s not some iffy wiffy statement that proclaims, if you are happy and you just try a little bit harder to find some ‘joy’ in this trial, there you will find your strength. Fooey! Anyone who tells someone that, hasn’t been through heart ache or is having you on.

Have you ever met someone with true joy? So often it seems like nothing gets them down, that somehow they turn every hardship into opportunity. These are people who have grasped pure joy. People with joy aren’t easily beaten, they aren’t easily bruised and when they are, they have the strength to rise and try again.

If true joy seems a little unattainable, or a little too tough at times the best news that I have is that it’s the joy OF the Lord that is your strength. Supernatural and complete joy only comes from God. Let his joy and delight be your joy and delight. It won’t fix your problems, but you will find strength in pain.

1 Chronicles 16:27
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

20120314-104506.jpg

One blog at a time..

Yeah, I got a new blog.

I know right? Whaaat? Like I need another blog, I can barely keep up with this one.

I started a new 365 grateful style project entitled ‘The Best Part‘ and I’m eager to share it with you. Essentially it’s a photo of the moment in my day which I stopped and thought ‘This is the best part of my day’. I’ve got a fancy new iPhone now so hopefully the picture quality will be better and you’ll enjoy a little snapshot into my life.

Go ahead and add www.alittleamour.blogspot.com to your list of blogs to follow. It will at least be more consistent that this old thing.

20120313-101925.jpg

Move!

Quotes that make me think and that make me get up and do something!

Good things come to those who wait. Good things come to those who work their asses off and never give up.

The way to love anything is to realise that it may be lost. G.K Chesterton

Learn to let go of things you cannot control.

Fortify yourself with contentment, for this is an impregnable fortress. Epictetus

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength. – Philippians 4: 11-13

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. Helen Keller

You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one. Henry D. Thoreau

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. Paul Valery

And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time. Donald Miller

I’ve gone for too long living like I’m not alive. So I’m going to start over tonight beginning with you and I. I don’t want to run from anything uncomfortable. I just want, no I just need this pain to end right here. Miracle – Paramore

March Madness

Things I can be thankful for/excited about in March:

  • The opportunity to celebrate. I think everyone I know is born in March! That’s probably the first lie I’ve told on this blog because so many people are born in July too. But March is an especially big birthday month for me, which is great, I love celebrating people and birthdays.
  • University. Look, I don’t always love university. In fact, mostly I don’t. But I CAN be grateful for it. I start a new major (I think it’s actually more of a minor but I can never tell with my uni) this year and I think it will be a big challenge.
  • I’m grateful for grace. I think I will need God’s grace this month. So many things, so little time.
  • I’m excited about the Hunger Games movie which comes out in March. I LOVED these books and I think they actually won’t destroy them in the movie. I get goosebumps every time I see the trailer and I’m so glad March is here.
  • I’m excited for sweet little moments. I’ve been having so many moments lately where I am so overwhelmed by life. Someone will let me know how much they love this blog and I just die a little with happiness. God whispers in my ear that he’s proud of me and I die a little with happiness. Someone sends me a text that just makes me laugh so hard that I die a little with happiness.
  • I’m grateful for the last year when I’ve been able to see my brother every weekend. He moves to Sydney this month and our relationship will be long distance, along with my Dad. It really sucks to have half your family live in another state but I’m know I’m still lucky.
  • I’m grateful that once Pierson does move, the 4th bedroom will return to the old scrapbooking/study room that I know and love.
  • I’m excited about COLD weather! Well, not freezing weather, but I’m grateful that the sticky, sweltering Queensland summer is on it’s way out. I love scarves and jackets and I want them in my life.
  • I’m so grateful for how wonderfully happy I feel nearly all the time. I’m excited about life and what all of Autumn holds.. but I will especially appreciate and enjoy March, because it is here now.

Happy March everyone! I hope it’s the perfect mix of warm days and pleasantly cool evenings.

Love and hot cups of tea,

.Steffany.