Legalised Love

On Wednesday night New Zealand MPs voted 77-44 in favour of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill.

It’s been a long, nerve-wracking nine months since Louisa Wall’s bill was drawn from the ballot. A long wait since that first support march in August 2012. But it’s here, it’s done, and I couldn’t be more proud of how far this country has come.

While I’m overjoyed that we have elected politicians that have been supportive of these changes their whole lives I also think it’s worth mentioning those that changed their previous nos to ayes. It takes some courage to actually listen to the debate put in front of you and realise you were wrong.

29 August 2012 – Marched for Marriage Equality

That’s me in the photo I stole from Stuff being squinty in the sun wearing a lei I was given on the way.

In the hot sun at the very end of winter we marched from Civic Square to parliament to celebrate and support the first reading of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill.

If this bill passes through the many hoops it needs to pass through it will mean that 2 people, regardless of gender, sex, or sexual orientation will be able to marry in New Zealand.

Resolutions and Reinventions

I’m not a fan of big new year resolutions where the results aren’t measurable, like be healthy or lose weight or cook more. That’s why I have my 26 in 26 list. But there’s no denying January is the best time of year to write lists and start new projects. Everything seems fresh and possible. The fact you are still in the same job you hate, that you haven’t saved enough to book the trip to somewhere not here, and you haven’t blogged in 6 months doesn’t matter.

With that in mind I signed up for The Reinvention Project some time last year. It was scheduled for a time far enough in the future that all I had to do was enter my email address and not think about it till after the holidays. But now the time has come and I’m not entirely sure what to expect.

There’s not a single one thing I want to fix in my life, I’d like more focus, more determination, more self belief, and less lazy. I’d like to stop falling back on unfulfilling work in offices I don’t care about and actually try. I want to stop being scared.

I’ve signed up for a number of different plans like this, but not ever one that emails you every weekday. It’s unfortunate but I really do need to be told every day what I need to be doing to help myself. Big picture goals don’t help me. I need solid deadlines, broken down tasks, something specific to work towards. I’ve written so many times on this blog about my latest ‘this is it’ moment. While those moments are rarely it in the way I’d like them to be, every it brings me closer to the person I want to be. All the little steps and changes add up and it’s only by looking back to the person I was a years ago that I can see the changes.

The first interview and assignment for my 30 day reinvention was sent through today. With it I determined the areas of my life that need the most work, and the areas of my life I’m most happy with.

The word holding it all together is confidence. I’ll gain confidence by learning new things, seeing myself with the same eyes I see others, looking after my health, and creating a working environment that is clean and spacious. I’ll get a career, or at least a job I’m invested in, when I have the confidence. It’s an odd and cruel thing that I had more confidence and found it easier to gun for opportunities when I was younger and inexperienced. I thought I knew more 7 years ago. I’ve regressed and become the scared 8 year old that didn’t want to go to school because she wasn’t THE BEST in her class at times tables.





I also really really really really really need to keep on with downsizing my belongings. If only so I can actually move around my room without breaking things left on the floor. I’m hoping to start this 20 minute a day cleaning schedule. 20 minutes is doable to a point that I don’t really believe I’ll be able to clean my house in that short a time. We’ll see.

26 in 26: Participate in a protest

IMG_8785

Saturday October 15 saw people all over the world occupy their cities to let everyone know they are not just going to sit back and let the crappy economic system carry on the way it is. They gathered in solidarity for the people in New York that have been camping in parks for a month. They gathered for themselves, and more importantly they gathered for the ones that don’t have an easy time having their voice heard.

I have it easier than many, I’m white, I have a supportive family, I have enough money to live on, I live in New Zealand. I support a welfare system because I know that not everyone has had the same chances in life as I have. I support it because I know that sometimes people are made redundant and have to support their families while looking for new work. I support it because childcare is expensive. I support it because I support human rights.
I am sick of hearing people refer to benefit fraud and dole bludgers All. The. Time. Do these people know there is a fraud intellegence team in the social welfare department set up to catch this stuff? Do they know that the percentage of fraud proportional to benefits paid is just 0.10%. Do they know that 2009s $16 million dollars in benefit fraud is what NZers spend per day on impulse buys? And do they know that the amount of tax not paid by business owners with creative accounts is an insanely bigger number? Not to mention the $1.7 billion Government bail out of Canterbury Finance last year.

Have a think about what you stand for. Are people more important than money?

IMG_8799
more signs
The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them. – Karl Marx
IMG_8804
signs
IMG_8822
IMG_8841
IMG_8839

Buying Nothing

The other day, already halfway through October, I found out about Buy Nothing New Month. It’s an Australian campaign set up to encourage people to reuse things they already have and buy second-hand goods. Alas, I thought. It’s already half way through October, I’ll have to do it another month. But a quick check of the bank account and PayPal account showed that I actually hadn’t bought anything new for a while, definitely not during October. (And in my birthday month as well!)

There is already so much crap floating around the world, and I often feel like a hypocrite for feeling that way while being a maker of plastic jewels. But it’s not about never having anything new, it’s about making purchasing decisions consciously. Getting things you love instead of things you merely like enough to snap up when they’re on sale. Choosing to get things tailored to you body and tastes and colour preferences. Supporting small business. Supporting sustainable business. Supporting people who are nice!

I have more clothes than I need. I decided not to unpack when I got back from Asia and instead find the things I need as I want to use them. Would you believe that most of what I own is still in boxes? I have a suitcase and a storage box full of clothes that I haven’t looked at in over 6 months (including the time I was away). I have guides for electronics that have long since died. I have a box of old worn shoes. Why?

Living out of a backpack for the first time really changed my views on stuff. I love stuff. But what I really love is stuff I really love.

You’re probably the same. You’re probably holding on to bad gifts and cheap impulse buys. I’m slowly downsizing my life. Gifting, reselling, swapping, and altering things I don’t love any more (or never loved). I wear the jewellery I make, and happily accept second-hand clothes. I spend money on good food now instead of splurging at my nearest chain store. And every now and then I buy something new that I fall hopelessly in love with. But not this month.

Risk of Explosion

Do you ever find yourself in such strange situations, or situations in which you’re acting different to your usual self, and it feels like you’re not actually there? Instead you’re looking at it as a bystander. Like it’s your body doing it and not you?

I’ve found myself in too many of these situations lately. Usually when I’m not entirely comfortable with where I am, or when I need to put on a persona to get through an event.

I want to be fully present in every moment, but in order to keep myself happy I try too hard to look at everything objectively. With my head and not just my heart. And it works for the most part. I’m pretty good at forcing my mind to believe I feel a certain way about something.
It means I don’t get caught up in my emotions and break down. But it also means I often push my feelings to the back.

Will they explode one day?

Will I explode one day?

I Am Not A Tortured Soul

The ways creative people work, and get inspired, are as numerous as the creatives themselves. But as with everything there is a stereotype that fits: the tortured artist. One that both needs the pain of heartbreak and misunderstanding to create, and is heartbroken and misunderstood due to their creations. The vicious cycle seems to work for their art, but maybe not for their mental health.

I however am not a tortured artist. When I am tortured the creativity disappears. I need time, space, but most of all happiness to be creative. I need a fit mental state that is unburdened by destructive tendencies. When I feel bad I feel like crawling into a sheet fort and eating comfort food.

When I’m happy though, then I’m bursting with everything. I may be too busy to write, but I get hits of inspiration that leave me needing to use words. A new crush, amazing music, ridiculous times with friends when nothing is on your mind but the moment. Even the happiness of being completely comfortable and sated with my situation.

I need those days to create.

Those days are not an everyday occurrence anymore. But when they’re here they’re amazing.

Who Am I?

I used to be such a smug fucking married. While everyone was breaking up and losing their jobs I was totally in love and earning money. In fact I was so confident that I left my job to be self employed while Sol supported me. I was finally ready to relinquish some of my independence in the hopes of running an empire one day, and while I had a back up savings account just in case (thank fuck) it was still a big deal to give up spending money and control.

Yeah, sorry about that.

I don’t regret any of my actions. I learnt so much about myself last year, what I want, and what I can live with. I became more confident, and happy. I’m learning that confidence in a relationship is very different to confidence outside a relationship though. At least for someone that is single for the first time in their adult life at the age of 24.

As half of a couple you can be completely oblivious to the signals around you when you’re out and about. It doesn’t matter if the guy at the next table is staring, because you’re not interested anyway. There is no one to impress. It doesn’t matter if you’re being too loud. You know who you’re going home with.
As a single lady Every. Fucking. Guy. is looking at you. Whether they actually are doesn’t matter, that’s what it feels like. It’s harder to relax. People become predatory instead of just being drunk and annoying.

Despite the person I became during 2009…the person I wanted to be; one with more confidence, more friends, and slightly more interesting things to say. I feel like I need to reinvent myself again. I need to become single Kim. Just Kim. Not Kim and Sol. Just Kim.

But if I already like who I am how can I do something drastic to reinvent myself?

Do I need to throw out all of my clothes and start again? Do I really have to join a gym? Because I hate working out.

Be The Girl That You Admire

Heart

Thankfully I have some beautifully talented readers to take up the slack when I feel like I need a holiday from blogging! Corrine ever so kindly stepped up to the plate with this gem today and I’ll bet it’s something we can all relate to. I have girl crushes on so many of you btw. x

By Corrine, www.frockandrollonline.com

Have you ever experienced a ”girl crush”? You have? EXCELLENT! I can now dedicate what WOULD have been an entire paragraph on definitions to instead discussing possibly more important things, like ice-cream. Gosh, I love ice-cream.

Okay, enough fooling around already! (Or Ms Constantine will surely never let me guest post here again.) Coined to describe ”feelings of admiration and adoration which a girl has for another girl, without wanting to shag said girl. A nonsexual attraction, usually based on veneration at some level” (why thank-you, Urban Dictionary!), it’s likely that you’ve spent some time with the emotion if you’ve ever marvelled at a friend’s amazing ability to style herself, coveted her phenomenal skill at attracting men folk or found yourself remarking ”why can’t I be just like her?!” in reference to a female acquaintance.

While it can almost sound like a negative experience, actually? It’s not. At ALL. In fact, it can even serve as an amazing opportunity to harness the EXACT fabulous qualities that you’d like to possess for yourself. For example, if you’re green with envy over another girl’s seemingly perfect physique, why not use the situation as pure inspiration to develop an exercise routine of your own that you’ll love? If it’s Jessica’s astounding social circle that has you feeling a little begrudging, why not work the issue to your best advantage by deciding to improve your own friendships? If it’s Ashley’s dazzling smile that you hold in such high regard, why not practice being as happy, friendly and charming as possible, and beam at everyone that you see?

Conjure up the very image of your personal girl crush, or think of the most fascinating female that you know. What is it about her that makes her so mesmerising and truly delightful, and more importantly, what can you learn from her?

Whether it’s something that you want to establish immediately, or would like to incorporate as part of your 2010 resolutions, light up the room. Astonish everyone around you with your sparkling conversation skills. Thrill with your kind demeanour. Enchant with your sense of humour. BE the very girl that you admire the most, and watch as you blossom into the very best version of yourself that you can possibly be.

Corrine blogs about fashion, self improvement, and everything in between at her cleverly named blog Frock and Roll.