My Bucket List

Look, I watch Oprah. And for the most part, i really love her show. (If she stopped with the subconcious body shaming it’d be near perfect to me, as a matter of fact.) Recently she had an episode that included the guys from The Buried Life, and I while I haven’t seen the show itself, the idea of creating a list that you want to achieve in your life interests me. Having goals is something that’s always helped pull me out of my funks, and tonight I was in a serious one. So I wrote this list. And I’ll probably add more as I see fit.

1. Walk the Appalachian trail
2. Have a conversation with Oprah Winfrey
3. Start a recording label
4. Make the world a better place
5. Donate time to charity
6. Run a photography business
7. Become carbon neutral
8. Build my own house
9. Make a piece of furniture
10. Watch every episode of the Simpsons
11. Learn to speak Spanish
12. Visit Europe
13. Travel around Australia
14. Take a road trip across America
15. Kiss at the top of the Empire State Building
16. Forgive everyone who has hurt me, and mean it.
17. Fall madly in love
18. Host a costume party
19. Renovate a house
20. Zorb
21. Take part in a parade
22. Plant a tree
23. Sew an outfit
24. Create a stop motion animation
25. Film a movie
26. Keep a blog for over one year
27. Get a tattoo
28. Eat Key Lime Pie in in the Florida Keys
29. Break a world record
30. Save $5000
31. Spend a week camping
32. Learn how to quilt
33. Unplug for one month. (phone, internet, tv)
34. Watch 50 films in one month
35. Have my art in a gallery
36. Join an improv group
37. Be part of a flash mob
38. Learn to ballroom dance
39. Give a stranger $1000
40. Go backstage at a concert
41. Visit a volcano
42. Spend a week in silence
43. Play the drums at the new york subway
44. Take a kid on a toy shopping spree
45. Participate in a marathon
46. Pay off our mortgage
47. Pay off a stranger’s mortgage
48. Visit New England in Autumn
49. Learn to sail a boat
50. Visit New Orleans
51. Help someone build their house
52. Take mum on a tour of NASA
53. Build a tree house
54. Help save an endangered species
55. Visit the museum of natural history
56. Invite Oprah, Tony Hsieh, Tori Spelling, Kevin Smith, Michael Palin, Owen Wilson and Anthony Bourdain to a dinner party
57. Participate in a car race
58. Join the Big Sister program
59. Create a source of passive income
60. Start a community garden
61. Create a youtube channel
62. Watch the sun rise
63. Swim in the ocean off the coast of Athens
64. Create a commune
65. Learn to french braid my hair
66. Shoot a gun
67. Learn to blow glass
68. Participate in community theatre
69. Get to expert on guitar hero
70. Win a game of pool
71. Visit the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest
72. Visit the Golden Gate Bridge
73. Create a flower garden
74. Ride a motorcycle
75. Learn balloon art
76. Go to a day spa
77. Improve someone’s life
78. Ride twenty rollercoasters
79. See the northern lights
80. Walk the great wall of china
81. Tile the bathroom
82. Help someone learn to read
83. Elope
84. Take yoga classes
85. Yarnbomb
86. Meet Jon Bon Jovi
87. Ride the Orient Express
88. Hand write at least a letter a month
89. Campaign for a politician (that i believe in)
90. Visit Egypt
91. Fly first class
92. Fly a kite
93. Ride in a hot air balloon
94. Learn to fly a plane
95. Learn to juggle
96. Save an animal
97. Visit the Red Light District in Amsterdam
98. Visit the 50 American states
99. Participate in a karaoke competition
100. Visit the Sistine chapel
101. Spend six months in Europe
102. Gamble (and win!) in vegas
103. Be married by an Elvis impersonator
104. Take cooking classes
105. Take piano classes
106. Give up processed sugars for a month
107. Take part in a protest
108. Join toastmasters
109. Ride a mechanical bull
110. Create and bury a time capsule
111. Play ultimate frisbee
112. Go Zip Lining
113. Paint a picture
114. Make my own bread
115. Photograph Australia
116. Be thankful for one thing every day
117. Meet a great humanitarian
118. Become a great humanitarian

Now tell me what’s on your list.

Priorities.

I often whine about not having any motivation to do certain things. More than once I’ve said “I want to make clothing but don’t have the motivation” or “I want to start a recording studio but don’t have the motivation” when the truth of it is, I am motivated enough to start these things. The reason why I don’t comes down to priorities, and recognising what’s most important to me.

My friend Natalie is someone I really admire. She’s an artist, and bloody undervalued if you ask me. She is a workaholic and gets little financial return for what she does. A lot of people have said to her more than once “Natalie, why don’t you get a real job and do your art on the side!” in fact, I think at the beginning of our friendship I even said that to her. Now I realise that it’s brave for her to give priority to what she wants, and not what society says she should do. Being an artist is hard at the best of times, but I’ve seen her constantly work because it’s something she loves doing. We should be encouraging people to follow their passions instead of following money – our society is fucked up on this capitalistic view that more money equals better life. I also think that people should be investing in talented individuals, because they need to live too.

Now I’m not really a socialist in the conventional sense of the word – I like things a LOT, and having new fancy gadgets or an awesome new dress is a great feeling for me. That being said, I give away what spare money I have to others who may need it more than I do, whether it be investing in a friend, buying someone a present, or giving to charity. I don’t need excess money in the bank. Money comes and goes; it’s not as if you can’t take it with you when you’re gone.

So I don’t start a recording studio, or design clothing, or whatever because I have other priorities that are more important to me. I’m moving to America next year to be with the man I love. That’s my top priority. And maybe I’ll do other things eventually, but I’m comfortable. I have a roof over my head, enough food to eat, and people who love me. That’s more than I can ask for, really.

You are worthy. You are loved. You are beautiful.

This is a repost; I blog over at the Axis of Fat and writing this entry really struck a chord within me. I myself struggle with a lot of things I have mentioned for my friend. I also find it interesting that I can say these sorts of things to other people, but struggle to think positively about myself. The post I made is below.

I have a friend who hates the way he looks. He hates that he is fat. He thinks women aren’t attracted to him sexually because he is short and fat. He sees men in relationships who are thinner or taller or more muscular and he thinks the fault is his. That he needs to change physically. He thinks that women will want to date him if he is thinner. Every time I see him he talks about being lonely, and if he loses the weight then someone might finally want to be with him. I wish I could help him see his worth. I write this entry for him.

First off, I hate that we live in a society which devalues people who don’t fit the cultural ideal of attractive. Fuck that attractive, seriously. A person’s worth should not be judged on what they look like. All people are intrinsically worthy whether they are fat, thin, short, tall, young, old, black, white, brown, yellow, or fucking polkadot. Or anything else! You are worthy of love just as you are. You are beautiful just as you are. You do not deserve to be judged by yourself or others because you are better than that. You are worth more than that.

If you think you should lose weight so you can date more people, you should be asking yourself if those people are really worth dating. If they only want to get to know you when you are thinner then they do not deserve the brilliance that is you. They don’t deserve you – it’s not the other way around if they are judging you on how you look. If they can’t see how fucking beautiful you are, then hold out for better because you deserve it. You deserve the best. You deserve exactly who and what you want. You are worth more than your body, even though your body is more beautiful than I could ever convey.

Losing weight isn’t going to make you any more attractive. It’ll just to make you thinner. Real attraction comes from loving who you are, as you are. Real beauty comes from within.

Capitalism: A Love Story

I just finished watching Michael Moore’s most recent documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story. I have to say, his style of film making is quite emotionally manipulative. This isn’t a bad thing, given the topics he tends to cover. I don’t know if i’m interested enough in any of his topics yet to do my own investigation, but I do wonder whether his research is 100% accurate. It wouldn’t be the first time that someone lies for the sake of popularity and publicity, after all.

What I do like about his work though is that he doesn’t leave the viewer at the end of his films with righteous indignation and nothing to do about it. His entire website is devoted to ways to get involved; to change things and to make the world a better place. I respect that very very much – there are so many people complaining out there without actually thinking of solutions. I am solutions-oriented. It is more than a little ironic, however, that this film about capitalism is making as much money as it has – but hey. Hopefully that cash will be put towards something meaningful that will help continue to impact the world.

I want the world to change.  I want to help change the world – there are so many fantastic causes to choose from that I am overwhelmed by it all, and often end up doing nothing because I can’t decide on just one. How do you decide on what’s important to you?

Beliefs: Challenged!

On Monday I began studying a couple of subjects through Open Universities Australia. This semester I am studying introduction to psychology and introduction to statistics. So far it’s been bloody enjoyable, and that’s the a first for me and studying.

I have always considered myself bad at anything numbers related; growing up i always picked up the attitude that females just aren’t as good at maths as males are – that we are better in the creative realms such as english, or arts. For years I have struggled with the idea that I can’t deal with numbers – it’s just not who I am. Well ladies gentlemen and everyone else, i can safely say that this assumption has finally been defeated in my brain. I am thus far (two days in) enjoying my statistics subject because I finally realised: I can do anything I want. There’s no such thing as can’t – and I’m holding myself and others in my gender back if I assume there is.

It’s interesting taking my preconceived notions about mathematics and looking at them in the light of psychological analysis, too. Why do I think the way I think? Is it a genetic predisposition? Behavioural? Cognitive? Even though I am only in the beginning of studying these subjects, I think it’s pretty durn amazing that I’m getting  as much enjoyment out of them as I am. Woohoo!

Other things I like today:

Iceland wants to be your friend – Daww, Iceland wants to be my friend?! I think this is an endearing and creative approach from Icelandic tourism. It is very cute, if you ask me.

This is a video I found via the This is Oz website. Australia has had a lot of controversy regarding homophobia as well as transphobia, racism, fatphobia, ableism and many other forms of discrimination. It’s nice to see people speaking up about these issues. I think the more people who speak up and say it’s not okay to discriminate, the better our world can be.

This. Oh please buy me one. I pant at its deliciousness.

Hello world!

I have left the standard wordpress “hello world” title up because it appeals to my nerdy programmer side.  It’s a very small side – I spent three years avoiding basic programming at university because I somehow convinced myself that I could not possibly do it.

Turns out I was right; programming is difficult when your brain thinks like mine does.

Okay, let’s start this shenanigan properly shall we? My name is Janey.  I’m interested in a lot of different things, and haven’t had a place before now to really explore all of them. That’s what this blog is for.  I am moving to America (from Australia) in 2011 to be with the person I love, and plan to write about that a little. I’m obsessed with interior design, and i’ll probably write about that. The more I read about it, the more I am interested in social justice and improving the lives of the many through whatever means possible. I am an advocate of international mental health reform and disease prevention. I will be writing about this fairly frequently. I am becoming rapidly interested in both the Australian and American political systems, though as an outsider looking in. I love the vast improvements in technology, gadgets, and whatnot – the likelihood is I will be writing about that. I consider myself a secular humanist and a democratic socialist – make of that what you will. I blog over at Axis of Fat and am deeply passionate about the Size Acceptance movement. I am vegetarian and an animal rights advocate (without being all preachy – I hate that). I enjoy gardening, animals, knitting, watching telly, sewing, cooking, and hanging out with my friends. I will probably be writing about these things, too. I am also a blatant narcissist.

We’ll see how things go, really I just needed a place to sort out my thoughts.

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