BOOK TITLE: The Australia Times - Life & Love magazine. Volume 2, issue 4

April 2014Vol. 2 No: 4
Independent Media Inspiring Minds2
Deputy Editor:
Cover image courtesy of Jillian Bogarde
Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde
EDITOR’S WELCOME ..................................................................... 5
A TALE OF MRS JEKYLL AND MISS HYDE ....................................... 7
TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY ...................................................... 13
BRAIN BREAK .............................................................................. 22
TAKING STOCK ........................................................................... 28
SUBMISSIVE WIFE ............................................... 34
SHAKEN AND STIRRED ................................................................ 38
MY HEART IS A GLOBE: UTRECHT ............................................... 42
Image Credit: Dawn Ellner
I have to admit, the last month
has been a bit of an emoonal
rollercoaster for me and Ive begun
to queson whether I am even
qualied to be eding a magazine
about the topics of life and love...
Without going into sordid, juicy
detail (I might save that for a feature-
length spread!), my personal life has,
over the past month or so, gradually
started to resemble a storyline from
The Bold & The Beauful... And not in
a romanc, fairy tale, riding-a-horse-
coastline way either...
Having said this, when I look back
on the past month, I realise I was
ung at full force into a whirlpool
of internal reecon - and I couldn’t
be more appreciave. It was only
once I got to this point, that I could
see my reecon staring back
at me amid the chaos. A certain
unadulterated clarity.
I developed a new level of
understanding about the world
around me and a fresh perspecve
on life. All that blurry ‘grey area stu
was suddenly clear.
This led me to discover I have a
freakish knack of being able to drag
myself out of that all-encompassing,
suppressive black hole of emoonal
turmoil and helpless (wine-fuelled)
chaos, and into an alternate universe;
a tranquil sea brimming with endless
And so, my dear readers, let me leave
you with this month’s collecon of
reecve stories and a few words
from Charles Bukowski, who I think
sums it up perfectly:
What matters most
is how well you walk
through the fire
Happy reading lovers.
We are thrilled to have your gorgeous selves here
for another magical issue of TAT Life & Love.
It’s hard to believe we are a quarter of the way through
the year already...
Where has 2014 gone?
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Ames xx
Hello Sunshines!
We liked each other, it was
obvious, and it was more than a
casual’ thing. We decided to delay
gratication (although not for long)
and built upon our connection with
the knowledge that this could be
something signicant in our lives.
Both of us had begun relationships
before, but not like this.
We weren’t just ‘getting on like a
house on re- wed left the house
a smouldering mess.
The relationship kept burning with
passion. Our affection for each
another was unrelenting. Our lives,
interests and personalities just
clicked. She could be The One.
It started with a bang. Not literally. A bang in the sense that
the attraction was mutual and the conversation continuous.
After two months, we moved
in together.
Our little cosy love-shack was
situated not far from the beach in
an increasingly trendy inner suburb.
Everything was within arm’s reach
and so were we - often the outside
world had to wait.
For a long time Id wanted to give up
the pub-game and nd something
more fullling, something that
involved more than the words, do you
wanna come back to mine?”
Here it was. I was off the market and
happy. As a young man, the world was
suddenly understandable.
I could appreciate the intelligence,
personality and beauty of other
women without wanting to bed them.
I had no desire to stray. The minor
frustrations of life and work didn’t
matter anymore because I came home
to a woman I loved. Boring nights on
the couch were anything but boring;
they were tremendously fun.
This life should never end. I never
wanted to hit the ‘comfortable’
stage and we didn’t, we bypassed it.
We went straight to the resentment
and bitter anger stage.
Do all good things come to
an end? In this story, yes.
It happened a year after living under
the same tiny depressive roof. It’s
unfair and wrong to absolve myself
of any blame but I don’t know when,
why and how it changed so viciously.
Its as if the dreamy effect had worn
off and I was seeing the situation
clearly was she really like this at
the start?
Her stunning beauty, cute smile, huge
laugh and carefree nature had been
strangled by her Miss Hyde.
I rst noticed our lack of intimacy,
and the usual excuses that followed;
too tired, too busy, not in the mood.
These reasons are understandable
but not when used on high rotation; it
indicates a much deeper problem.
I’m a young man, and whether rightly
or wrongly, we don’t function well
not gettin’ it. Shes a woman and
holds the keys there, and she knew
it. She should have been a lawyer, her
argument was sound; if I asked or
tried for lovin, I was pressuring her
and it turned her off, but if I didnt say
anything it was rarely instigated by
her and hardly ever happened.
She always said I was a bad
dishwasher (thats dishwasher not
lover) but withholding lovin is a
severe punishment and one I clearly
didn’t learn from, if it was.
That sort of selshness became
mandatory. Although happy to help,
I never saw myself as a domesticated
slave but I was under no illusion; I had
to be. I tried. I tried harder. It was never
good enough. I cleaned, I washed,
I bought the groceries and petrol,
I cooked, and I was cautious not to
rock the boat by saying anything.
8 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Image Credit: http://www.ickr.com/photos/26037046@N00/5463570536 http://www.ickr.com/photos/64588110@N00/6732145641
In return, I had a partner that sat on
the couch watching ve hours straight
of Game of Thrones as she gently fell
in-and-out of sleep.
Yet I wasn’t doing enough to help,
I know because I was told as she
hung the washing out once every so
often. Next time, I made sure I hung
the washing out and she seldom did it
again, or said thank you. This pattern
repeated with every household duty.
Theres a brutal edge to this girl, verbal
abuse and aggression were a normal
occurrence for her. She even argued
it was part of a ‘normalrelationship.
If this was normal, I’m destined to be
the male version of a crazy-cat-lady.
It wasn’t being berated with the
f-bomb that hurt, it was being told
I wasn’t a ‘real-man and that next
time she’ll get a man for a boyfriend.
Coupled with yelling, she used
physicality too. Pushing, slapping and
punching in order to achieve… what?
I simply don’t know.
We tried to sort our problems out
but how many times can you smash
your head into a brick wall before it’s
unproductive? Every time I aired my
grievances the answer was always my
fault; “Well I did that because you did
thisand so on. I’m big on personal
responsibility. Its sadly lacking in
our world today and I have nearly
365 days of evidence to prove it.
Its hard to write this as I feel its
somewhat unfair, she deserves her
right of reply I wasn’t perfect but I
was far from a demon either. I tried,
and then I tried harder.
Every situation has two sides to the
story and this is no different. I invite
my former lover and best friend to
reply. It might give me some clarity.
I simply still don’t know what turned a
happy young loved-up couple into two
raging attack dogs.
In the meantime, what does a single
man do these days? Tinder?
Swipe right please.
9Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Image Credit: http://www.ickr.com/photos/54066953@N00/4504329167
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Out comes that frock leaving
me Desperate and Dateless once
again. Calls it Her ‘Good Luck
Dress. Guess shes got her reasons.
Won a gift voucher apparently.
Sassy little hydrangea number
was her choice. Can’t understand
what she sees in this insignicant
piece of oral fabric. The other
day I heard her muttering about
Betty’ and eventually realised
it wasnt the neighbour she was
talking about but her ‘Very Betty
dress. Said she so loved the tag.
Hanging around begging to be
The Chosen One by all reports.
I do have to admit the hues are
rather stunning though Miss
Impertinence is rather full of
herself. So audacious. Falls well
short of decorum in my eyes.
I overheard her telling a friend
recently how she simply couldnt
believe her eyes one morning
when The Lone Hydrangea
orist burst into view as her
tram rattled past…blooming
mad I say. It so happens she was
wearing her hydrangea frock
at the time and said she couldn’t
help smiling at this meaningful
owery connection. There she
goes getting all philosophical
As for myself, I’m pretty cheesed
off about the whole thing really. I
had given a considerable period
of dedicated service prior to
being carelessly tossed aside the
day she came skipping home with
the brash newbie. Don’t feel like
aiming to please any more. Now,
week after week goes by with me
dark and gloomy in jilted despair
I guess it will make me stronger
over time. As luck would have it,
she stored Little Missy Big Boots
right next to me… what an insult.
Boy, does she rub it in every time
Frock Lover scoops her from
our robe with the enthusiasm
of a stocktake sale devotee.
Me, the alluring one with so
much to offer, rejected once
more. All navy lace and slender
sleekness am I. Basically all
dressed up and nowhere to go.
Occasionally, she caresses
my form and tosses an idle
Image Credit: https://www.ickr.com/photos/29036272@N07/5742348072
14 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
compliment my way: “Love the
colour. So gorgeous to wear.
Then another day: “Like to wear
you but bit dark and broody for
today my friend.” Most times,
I’m lucky to even get a cursory
glance. Oh, to be a vibrant candy
pink or hot shock orange. Maybe
enough to place me at the top
of the pile again. Might chat to
Dry Cleaner Buddy about dye
products. Pride was deeply
shaken a couple of weeks back
when Frock Lover’s daughter
came to stay. Glam Girl needed to
borrow an outt pronto as frayed
denim wasnt going to make the
grade for intended important
outing together. Daughter had
way underestimated Mother’s
thoughts on ‘Clothes Maketh the
Woman. In certain circumstances,
she added hastily, to appease
a furrowed brow. Anyway,
Daughter tries me on for size
then dumps me on the oor,
grumbling something aboutnot
being her style.
I’m not having a whinge, but you
do need to understand this from
my point of view.
How would you like to
hang around all day,
all week, all month,
all year while time
and time again,
you are pushed
aside by a brazen
little piece, smug in
her new Miss Popular
Meanwhile, Frock
Lover remains
delighted with her
bold fabric friend.
Says it makes her
feel bright and
happy and ready
to tackle anything.
Sweet revenge
you wait and
see. I’ll be the
when Shrivelled
Hydrangea is
dumped at
the op shop,
tattered and
Image Credit: Connie Lambeth
15Independent Media Inspiring Minds
I’m wont to hum at any time of
the day, unaware; heightened
exasperation for some. The other
day I found myself doing just
that. In fact, I was surprised
at how this current tune once
again linked superbly with the
life event presently pervading
my cerebrum. This particular
morning observed me humming
a decades old tune while
completing a ‘rear view mirror
swish. The words slowly bubbled
towards the conscious self:
Though someones true love may
be the inquirer, my preferred
interpretation was one that
linked to my life situation at that
precise moment in time.
The words reinforced just how
important positive afrmations
are in our life, particularly upon
rising to a new dawn. The idea
that positive attracts positive,
The Laws of Attraction and all
This morning of wakening
happened to be a pretty important
one in my life. So collecting
good vibes was my newfound
hobby at that moment. Some
of us collect Phantom comics,
others aim for good vibes I
guess… whoops, just
started humming
the Beach Boys
‘Good Vibrations’.
Standing in front
of the mirror
that morning, my latest
epiphany hit me with the
force of a feather duster.
Seriously, I realised at that
moment just how important it
Hey, there, look
in the mirror.
Tell me, what do
you see before you?
I see someone
to be proud of,
I see someone
that I love.
Song: “Some Day One Day
by The Seekers/Lyrics by Paul Simon
Image Credit: http://nelseverydaypainting.blogspot.com.au
16 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
was to have at least one dress or
outt in my wardrobe that was a
true stand-alone, a real winner.
I gured that however this day
was to unfold, it was best to frock
up, glam up, front up and smile,
no matter the inner turmoil.
My hydrangea dress is one such
cherished item. Why I ask? She
has a background story with
great sentimental attachment.
Shades of blue and green enhance
eyes, the style is attering, the
fabric is soft, lined, comfortable,
an absolute delight to wear. She
is a quality garment artistically
and lovingly created, one that
will last longer than her less well-
crafted counterparts. No small
part of the joy in wearing this
dress is that she is a ‘compliment
magnet. Who doesn’t love an
occasional compliment? It makes
us feel good. However, it is much
more about how this dress makes
me feel rather than how others
perceive me in it.
On top of all this dazzling interest
in a bundle of oral fabric, my
dress has a name or three.
Bursting all over with hydrangea
blooms, Lone Hydrangea took
pole position early on, anked by
My Good Luck closely followed
by Very Betty coming in at a
sterling Number 3. I must explain
at this point that this special
frock is a Very Very brand
creation, however I call her
Very Betty as the label also has
Betty written on it… the lovely
lady who was involved in the
dress-making process I imagine.
On a recent tram adventure,
I noted with joy a orist with
the humorous title: The Lone
Hydrangea. Passing a business
with such an appropriate name,
particularly whilst wearing my
Lone Hydrangea frock (as one
does), further reinforced the idea
that frock and me are meant
to be. We really are an item,
pushing through life together,
tackling the hurdles front on and
having a crazy lot of fun together
along the way.
This aptly named dress also holds
a special place in my heart. A
couple of years ago my beautiful
daughter wrote a sincere piece
about her mum in a Mother’s
17Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Day competition, winning a gift
voucher at a reputed ‘frock shop,
prompting an instant addition
to my wardrobe. I have a vivid
recollection of the day I walked
into this swanky boutique,
dismayed at the packed racks
of beaded evening glam wear
in not-really-me’ styles, though
bound to be gorgeous on the
young things itting around the
shop scanning over racks with
well-practised rigour.
Then there it was, the one with my
name on it, hiding near the back
of the store. A little frock smiling,
beckoning, calling out to me,
almost leaping off the rack! Very
Betty resonated most happily
as I muttered the words: “Very
Connie would be Very Delighted
to own this Very Betty Frock”!
She now hangs pride of place
beside my second favourite… a
navy lace ensemble, however
she’s another story.
Each time I wear my Number
One, I thank the designer and
creator for providing such a
pleasurable garment, condent
in the knowledge I’m bound to
have a good day when in her
company. With cooler weather
upon us, I sometimes wonder
if I can successfully marry my
thermals with my summer frock…
mmm Ill keep thinking on that
one. I am aware that one day
she will be relegated to the back
of the wardrobe, later pushed
along a bit further to house-dress
status, before being delicately
folded away as a keepsake…
even if by then all that is left is
just one piece of tattered oral
fabric. Meanwhile I will savour
the moment and dismiss that
thought to distant recesses.
Another light bulb moment
experienced recently was the
realisation that I have only
ever had two dresses in my life
that can truly be called special
(apart from my wedding dress,
which falls into an entirely
different category). There are
lots of lovelies, however none so
fondly ensconced in my heart
as the exceptional pair of ‘oral
and ‘spotty. This ‘other’ dress
which captivated me many
moons ago when my children
were small, also happened to be
18 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
all about the background story,
the style, the fabric, the way it
moved as I galloped through that
demanding yet exciting stage of
life, memories created at every
turn. Plus, it was about how this
luxuriously silky garment made
me feel whenever I wore it, which
happened to be often… perfect
for the most humid of northern
climes. I still remember the day
I made this signicant purchase.
Then, several years later, my
sense of loss when my ‘fabric
friend’ nally arrived at the
point of no repair, though
was fortunately immortalised
through photos and lm
capturing our family adventures.
While sad at the demise of this
treasured frock, I also cherish
the many happy memories of
my life during this time raising
a young family; a picnic beside a
lake, kite ying in a park, a family
barbeque, hitting golf balls on
deserted coastal shores, wind
whipped fabric in a frenzy. I
called it my ‘Happy Dress.
Felt good, looked good and
enjoyed good times while
wearing it.
So the next time youre
thinking - ‘When the Going Gets
Tough the Tough Get Going -
there is another way! If you own
a dress or outt that works for
you, wear it with pride and a
smile, graciously accepting the
compliment or many, that may
well spring forth that day. You
may choose to use this special
garment as a tool if you have a
rocky path to traverse as we all
do at times. If your wardrobe
is lacking in such a precious
item of clothing, start hunting
through the sales racks of
stylish boutiques or department
stores, cruise the aisles of a
market or op shop, accept a
hand-me-down from a sister,
cousin, friend, or - best of all -
choose your dream fabric and
make your own!
Frock up,
Smile and you
will have a
Bountiful Day.
P.S. I love you Navy Lace Ensemble.
Image Credit: http://nelseverydaypainting.blogspot.com.au
19Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Sunday Markets
( 7am - 12.30pm )
Station St, Camberwell Vic 3124
370 stalls of 2nd hand goods,
crafts, vintage clothing etc.
The Lone
Hydrangea Florist
469 Glenferrie Rd, Kooyong Vic 3144
Very Very Quality
Womens Clothing
Designed and made
in Australia
Birdsnest Womens
Clothing Australia
Shop 3 Block Arcade
282 Collins St, Melbourne Vic 3000
Sell Very Very designs
Swish Clothing
469 Chapel St, Melbourne Vic 3141
Lone Hydrangea discovered here
Eliza Baker
447 High St, Prahran Vic 3181
Interesting imported garments
& footwear, good sales, samples,
small sizes included
Event Finder
This site displays many of
Australias markets and fairs
The Lone Ranger
35 Afrmations That
Will Change Your Life
The Only 100
Positive Afrmations
You Will Ever Need
Daily Afrmations
Louise L. Hay
Law of Attraction
20 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
is a ‘Not For Prot’ Organisation helping to
provide warm clothing to Queenslands homeless.
We seek donations for adults, children and babies. New and old blankets, clothing, beanies,
scarves and gloves, as well as burial outts for babies born sleeping” are always needed.
Please visit www.knittingforbrisbanesneedy.com.au for more information.
Image Credit: Anne Worner - http://www.ickr.com/photos/we_ocial/11594354833/
Image Credit - http://www.ickr.com/photos/34039290@N06/8642078851
23Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Are you having one of those
weeks at work where every
day you seem to be doing
double the workload? You are
multi-tasking so much that
you forgot what you wrote
in an email to someone only
2 minutes ago?!
These days, weeks happen to me and
they can continue over several weeks. It
seems to be the way of the world lately.
People are always moving so fast.
After having numerous occurrences
of these crazy whirlwinds, I made the
executive decision to give myself ‘Mental
Health Days’ (MHDs).
These are days off from work when I have
had enough. When I have endured one
week, one month or two months of work
that was making me that little bit crazier.
What I am about to say next, may create
some controversy and can be seen as a
tad unorthodox (or I could be a complete
dork and I nd out that people already do
this!), but these MHDs do not decrease
my annual leave balance. Yep, I take it
as a sick day (can I hear gasps, jaws
dropping? Or, are eyes rolling and it is a
duh moment?).
My motivation for MHDs is this, not
only do we have to organise our work
schedules, pander to our bosses and
endure some colleagues, we have to
organise our personal lives!
This can include managing our hobbies,
family, friends and the greatest of all,
By Lisa Palmer
It just gets a bit too much after a while.
Hence, the need for Mental Health Days,
also known as Brain Breaks.
For us conscientious and diligent workers,
we can be ridden with guilt for taking a
day off when we are sick and we tend to
wait until we are virtually on our deathbed
to nally stay home. I have learnt to
overcome this guilt when I know I need
a MHD. My logic is that if I came to work,
I wouldn’t be a very productive worker.
The quality and care of my work on that
day would be very substandard and I
probably wouldn’t be a very nice person
to work with. Therefore, my theory is that
I should be able to sacrice one day of
poor quality work to recuperate.
I will confess, the rst time I took a MHD I
was ridden with guilt, but half way through
the day it actually felt great.
When I returned to the ofce the next day,
my work was still there. My desk hadn’t
broken, my team was still functioning and
our project hadn’t fallen to pieces – work
went on without me. This rst time was
an experiment; I wanted to see if taking
one selsh day off was effective. Would
it refresh my brain, and kick start my
attitude? The result was positive, it did!
I would like to share the calming joy of
these Mental Health Days with you, and
possibly invite you to (guiltily) try it and
see how it feels.
There are some guidelines to these
MHDs however. They cannot be abused
or taken advantage of. There needs to be
a legitimate case for a day to be taken
off, not just because you feel particularly
lazy or you are having Monday blues.
Also, Mental Health Days are a one day
only event. Taking consecutive days off
as MHDs is just taking the piss.
If you do consider to
experiment and take a
Mental Health Day or a Brain
Break, I have some tips:
Choose a day that is considerably
clear in your diary. Don’t choose
a day where you will miss an
important meeting or have a
deadline to meet. Taking it on
a crucial day will only add to
your stress.
24 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
25Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Take the day after the craziness at
work has died off a little. Unfortunately,
you will need to endure the crazy work
a little longer before you can have your
break. Taking the day off during the
craziness, will make you more stressed.
When you take the day, actually take
it. By this, I mean put an ‘out of ofce’
automatic reply on your emails. Do not
check your emails. Do not pick up work
calls unless they are super urgent. It is
not a legitimate Mental Health Day or
Brain Break if you are still active with
work tasks.
Wake up as close to the same time
you would as if you were going to work,
(you can always have an afternoon nap
to catch up on sleep).
Make your day off productive; don’t just
spend the whole day in bed or on the
couch vegging out. Ensure the morning
is active, go to the gym, do a class or
go for a walk.
Take your time and eat a substantial
and nutritious breakfast, lunch &
Organise to catch up with a friend or
family member. Hint: choose this person
wisely; this day is a positive day for you,
so make sure this person will enhance
the positivity within the day. It will not
help you to catch up with someone that
drags you into a negative conversation.
Do one other productive activity on the
day; prepare your dinner, cook a meal
for the next day, clean your car.
Just enjoy it - read, spend time outside.
Just remember to be slow, no need to
Don’t jam pack the day so you end up
rushing from one thing to another, this
day is about you, and taking time out.
You need to be calm and settle those
Personally, I try to avoid all social
media until the end of the day (feel free
to give this a try). The reason I do this,
is because I do not want to waste time
or interrupt the ow of an activity by
constantly checking updates.
I also steer clear of communicating
excessively with partners or friends via
texts or calls. A similar reason to before,
I do not want to waste or interrupt my
activities with messages back and
forth. Most of the conversations can
wait until the end of the day. I do not
want to feel dependent on my phone
throughout the day, and feel the need
to have it with me everywhere I go.
The rest is up to you.
As John Lennon said,
Time you enjoy wasting,
was not wasted”.
Image Credit: http://jillianelenaphotography.tumblr.com/post/35214455793
By Amy Conley
Image Credit: http://jillianelenaphotography.tumblr.com/post/64627141120/
This year is the
25th year of my
life, and boy, have
things changed.
Call it a quarter-life crisis
or something equally as
ridiculous, but my life is almost
unrecognisable from five
years ago and post-birthday,
I’m taking a look at the detail.
I am no longer a student.
I no longer wander the
university halls, doing last
minute readings and truly
believing that this would
be the most difficult thing I
would have to do. Little did I
know how much less fun the
responsibility of work would
be by comparison. I never
really knew where the study
would get me career-wise,
and I certainly wouldnt have
guessed it would lead me to
research management.
I am still writing though -
thanks for that, undergraduate
journalism classes. I miss the
days off during the middle of
the week; I miss the purely
interest-driven skills to learn.
I do not miss the tiny wage,
or the infuriating opinions of
so, so many in my arts tutorial
The next big step for me
becoming a brand new
adult was getting my drivers
license. Now I am not going
to dress this up. I took an
unnaturally long time to do
this for a number of reasons,
but it was predominately
that I had people to take me
places, and also because
I was and probably still
am, a dodgy driver at best.
The day I got my drivers
licence was a good day for
me and everyone who knew
me (or at least the ones who
had cars).
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
I remember my driving
instructor hugging me. In
hindsight, I am not sure
if this was motivated by
congratulatory spirits or
relief. Nonetheless, I had
my independence, and the
streets of Hobart had a new
hazard to avoid. I could
be out later than the buses
(this is actually kind of a
big deal in Tasmania if you
want to have a social life.
Our public transport system
after 6pm is ‘interesting’ to
say the least.) This tends to
change the composition of
your everyday life more than
you think it would. Your social
habits are freer; you are less
the dependent and more the
organiser. Your world opens
up past the places it was
previously possible for you
to get to in time, and you just
feel less childish at the helm
of a hunk of speeding metal.
Go figure.
I am also pleased to say, I am
no longer a ‘check-out chick.
I have been in a proper ‘adult’
vocation for a few years now.
Not to say that there is
anything wrong with the life
of a check out chick (or dude,
to be politically correct), but
retail was never the dream. I
did learn a lot about patience
and people skills in that role,
doing my 20 hours a week.
I made just enough to pay
my rent and feed myself and
somehow scrape my own
way through university. I am
proud that I did that on my
own, and I really do think it
helped shape my attitudes
to work and self-survival
in general. It might not be
glamorous or fun, but there is
usually a way to make things
happen. I am far from my final
career destination, and who
knows if this is even the right
path for me, but I do at least
feel capable of doing what I
do, and doing it well. I have
options and room for growth,
and thats ok.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
I can trace the rest of my
development into a nearly
formed adult back to my
partner. I like to think that
since meeting him, I’ve had
exposure to many of lifes
harder lessons that only sink
in with a bit of age and
experience. Most people
who met me before I met him
would agree that impatience
was my cross to bear. It is as
though the universe sent me
a life lesson wrapped up in a
6’2” bundle of handsomeness.
I am slowly learning that some
things are worth the wait,
and not everyone comes to
decisive conclusions at the
lightning speed that I do. I’ve
learnt that life is complicated
- people even more so - and
if you find someone who
means the world to you and
is unlike any other, then even
if it isnt easy, you ride it out.
The movie romance stuff isnt
real. An honest acceptance
of someone, just as they are,
is as real as it gets.
I guess the lesson here is that
I learnt to trust my instincts
and to know when I needed
to shut out other opinions.
We live together now, in a
mortgaged house. That feels
adult. I think. I have now
looked back at the past and
appreciated my path to this
point. Now I come to the
truly scary thought, which I
never really considered as I
was stumbling about in the
past five years. What next
for me? What is the next big
I think I’ll save that for my next
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Image Credit: http://jillianelenaphotography.tumblr.com/post/69320032512
Recently I came across a blog on marriage and
relationships entitled, ‘The Peaceful Wife.
34 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Intrigued to nd out what this
actually meant, I went on to read a
number of posts from the American
mother of two about her experiences
on life, love and marriage.
The overall tone of many of the
pieces was that in order to live
a ‘peaceful’ existence in any
relationship, a woman must give
up the ‘dominant’ role and become
passive, if not submissive to her
As someone who supports feminism,
I found this need to be subservient
in order to ‘keep the peace,
patronising and quite demeaning
to the female sex.
Image Credit: http://jillianelenaphotography.tumblr.com/post/76204904700
By Dawn Misso
35Independent Media Inspiring Minds
One article entitled, ‘What to do
when your man irts with another
woman, suggested that women
should initiate more sex in order
to deter a wandering eye. This was
regarded as the passive approach
to the situation and encouraged
women to supress their concerns
and feelings of angst.
Really? So if theres more action
under the sheets, your mans
supposed to magically never notice
other females? Ever? The article
warns against confronting your
man about it stating, ‘never tell him
it hurts you, show him it doesn’t
matter. This made me question
what the ‘approved’ topics for
confrontation are, if any.
Must women really supress their
wants, needs and thoughts in order
to have a ‘peaceful’ relationship?
Now there certainly is a difference
between noticing an attractive
female and gawking at a woman
from head to toe, turning your
head to watch her walk by. If your
man does the latter then it is clear
he does not respect you or your
relationship. Run now, men do not
change - ever. Yet, I can’t see the
logic in The Peaceful Wife’s theory
of ‘more sex = no perving’.
Sex does not equal love,
understanding or intimacy. Surely
we are smarter than that.
I had a close friend, Chloe, whose
boyfriend would ‘notice others
when they were on a date and it
really bugged her. One night she
lost it and said, “Gee she is pretty
Greg, but you are here with me and
I am smokinhot.Needless to say,
Greg was a bit puzzled. He was
doing something that most males
do: look at women. It’s a biological
My girlfriend continued, “Greg,
when you check out other females,
it hurts me. I feel invisible and
unattractive to you.
I really admired her speaking
her mind in a way that was non-
threatening and honest. I think
this is one of the reasons Greg
responded the way he did: “I’m sorry,
I didn’t mean to offend you,he told
her. “I am not interested in anyone
else, but I do notice attractive
women as well as attractive men. I
would never do anything about it. A
glance is about it, never anything
Now sure this could have blown
up in Chloes face had she said
something along the lines of, what
the hell are you doing you pervert!”
Image Credit: http://jillianelenaphotography.tumblr.com/post/30914704376
I doubt Greg would have been so
responsive to her concern had
she attacked him point-blank. But
she didn’t. Chloe expressed her
concern, opened up and trusted
that her partner would see that his
actions hurt her. This was a bit risky
and it took courage. Chloe was not
passive in her approach, but she
was also not aggressive. She was
Can honesty and peace coexist?
Or must we break the peace
(occasionally) in order to be
completely honest with our other
half? If we took the approach
of The Peaceful Wife, women
would be repressing their needs
continually in order to save an
argument. Repression would lead to
resentment, which certainly would
not maintain the ideal peaceful’
relationship. Furthermore, we
would be being dishonest with our
partners and ourselves, creating a
rocky foundation on which to build
a relationship.
So what then dear readers, is
the answer to this conundrum?
Must we seek peace in order for
our relationship to survive? Or is
peacefulness not a tangible or
realistic objective?
I believe that peace, whilst good
at times, cannot remain constant
in any relationship. No matter how
subservient we are to our partners,
there will always be ups and downs,
good times and bad. But this is part
and parcel of what it means to be
in a committed relationship.
Not to mention that perpetually
still waters would make for a rather
boring existence.
Instead of aiming for peace, how
about being more compassionate
and understanding of each other?
Realise that men are as imperfectly
human as we are as women, and
love the good, the bad, the ugly and
everything in between.
Follow Dawn on instagram @missodj
36 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
For years, my feet felt cemented in mud.
Taking two steps back before I was able to take one step forward.
A rollercoaster of mixed emotions-
Torn between the life I knew, and the life I wanted.
But, as I sat there by the water, watching the sun set over the horizon,
everything felt a little bit lighter.
I sat and listened to the rise and fall of the waves.
I felt the spray of water with each collision encountered. Each time
it felt like a cleansing of the soul. Using the ocean as my ability to
let go of a past I’d begun to let whirlpool, into my future.
Like a tide, as it drags everything in its path into the deep, dark sea.
A metaphor for my life.
42 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
One foot in, curious,
testing the waters
Willingly, and yet aware of the
minimum survival. Thriving on
unknown knowledge.
Where or when it will end.
I remained embraced by the perfect
setting. Longing for the calm.
To swim freely, between now, and
then, without luring in the crash of
the ripple.
Taking a breath to regain
consciousness, I watched the sun
slowly die into the night, the moon
appear and kiss the stars.
Drowning the distance with the
meditation and calming of my body
as it sunk into the bank of the sand.
Unaware of the association between
writing goodbye to him,
in a letter thrown into the ocean,
and my release.
I had never considered, within
the power that sustained, the
connection to my body, could be
solitude for forgiveness. To let go,
is to forgive, to accept your path for
its every door and limited keys.
“I’m going to harden my heart,
I’m going to swallow my pride.
I’m going to turn and leave you here-
I am free, and my last afliation
was lost in my words that now
belong to the sea -
Caught up in each beautiful
moment, oblivious to the power
this expedition would hold.
Our road trip across Holland had
become life changing.
All beginning with an unplanned
escapade and little direction -
We were reunited after an eight
day Greek island tour just short of
a year ago.
Unknowing of each other, only a
minor unequipped inquisition.
Our assembly related to two lost
souls in need of meaning. Travel far,
and travel wide.
But travel alone, was seen as
I’d grown to believe people came
into our lives for a reason, a season,
or a lifetime - and although the
motives that lay in our reasons
could not be justied initially
as anything more than fear of
loneliness, she soon became like a
sister to me. Someone who would
amplify through my lifetime.
We were two from the same.
Fun-loving -
Hidden behind walls created by the
absorption of hurt wed once felt.
But together we were overcoming
those obstacles and dening
ourselves in this big, beautiful world.
Amsterdam had been the chosen
But Holland laid the adventure.
We were quickly exited after an
overstayed and undermined couch
surng experience.
43Independent Media Inspiring Minds
A hijacked apartment and
consumption of white widow
taking its toll.
A new home found within a hired
Ford Mondeo
Such little planning
Making for an unforgettable
Music became the simplicity of
drugs. Between the empty road
and ourselves, only the art form of
Getting lost in the beat of the drive,
each genre apart of our forthcoming.
We were fearless, acknowledging
every moment as an opportunity to
experience the anonymous.
And with this, we found ourselves.
Our passion
Our doubt
Our path.
Beneath the bright lights and tourist
compacted city, we found Utrecht.
Quiet and desolated.
Like cycling, Utrecht was old
natured. The architecture was
presented modern within its
preserved history.
We appreciated the architecture for
vision as it appeared, unknowing of
what it represented.
Characterised by canals and
squares that made up the culture
of one of the most beautiful
countries I’d yet to see.
Canals divided the street paths,
proving the beauty to be surreal.
The nature of these small towns
was not unlike Amsterdam.
The attraction was consumed in
the windmills that represented this
A delicate drying in preserving water
levels. A consistency that proved
to be the most incredible canals
throughout the world.
A part of a real Dutch constitute,
prominent on a life unrecognised by
The people, not only visually
beautiful, but kind and warm
My thoughts drift to Marco-
A by passer on the beaches of Den
Haag, who analysed the two of
us when we werent looking to be
Psychologically accounting for our
deepest fears, distinguishing the
pain, embracing the truth.
Reminding us of the inevitable and
growth of this travel. What it meant
to be in this precise place at this
precise moment. For ourselves,
and for each other -
“I can’t tell where the journey will
end- but I know where to start
Well life will pass me by if I don’t
open up my eyes”
Our path was undiscovered
but our march towards it was
no longer feared.
Each day was a second
chance of a life too often
taken for granted.
It was within the time,
we stopped questioning, and
started living.
Image Credit: K. Felice
44 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
48 Independent Media Inspiring Minds
The other night, as I sat scrolling
frantically through Instagram on
my phone, I thought I heard a voice.
Scrap that. I did hear a voice.
But between Facebook open on my
laptop and the show-I-don’t-remember
on TV, I couldn’t hear a thing.
Clearly, I was busy.
I don’t know what shocked me
out of my Insta-haze maybe it
was my boyfriend going off to bed.
Or perhaps, every light being turned off.
But there I was. Sitting in the dark.
Living proof:
Since then, I haven’t been able to stop
thinking about the hours I waste online.
I’ve dropped my ‘awakening’ into
countless conversations, which have
all led to very similar stories in return.
Everyone can relate, because sadly,
its our reality
49Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Image Credit: Jillian Bogarde - http://jillianelenaphotography.tumblr.com/post/3528273548 David Goehring - https://www.ickr.com/photos/carbonnyc/3351388995
excuse me technology;
by jess leech excusemejess.com
Whether it’s email addiction or extreme
Facebook updating, were all suffering
from the same techno-ill.
Selective hearing, total distraction,
delayed responses due to obsessive
checking-in… but what of it? Its how
we make ‘conversation’ these days!
Even when we do speak, we end up
talking about the online versions of
ourselves. Just the other day, friends
of mine recalled overhearing a cringe-
worthy rst date. The girl had asked the
guy if he had googledher. When he said
no, the conversation turned to whether
they had ever ‘googled’ themselves (of
course, she had). I mean, are we even
for real anymore? Arguably not.
Well, I say bring back the good old days.
The ones when we went out more, and
spoke often, instead of sending texts
and emails. We had a sense of freedom
too, that seems limited these days.
Just look at our parents once upon a
time, they took off without a trace,
middle ngers to the world: a
sense of freedom that many
of us will never experience.
There are some glimmers of hope, like
those digging out old Nokia’s and
ditching their iPhone’s altogether
(thanks Gem). Yep, people who are
actually doing stuff in their spare time
again. Actual human stuff. Imagine!
So, here’s my challenge to you: Put down
your phone, turn off your computer, or
back away from this screen right now.
Look up, look wide, and watch your
world. Start a conversation. Give that
sweet thing over there a kiss. Open a
book. Make a moment. Go.
Because sometimes, life’s littlest and
most precious moments are happening
unseen, right before our eyes
All we need to do is
remember to look.
Jess xx
Image Credit:Jillian Bogarde
Independent Media Inspiring Minds