Average – A Poem

I’m not beautiful or ugly
And my features don’t stand out
I don’t smell like peach and honey
But I’m not that bad throughout.

I’m not supermodel skinny
Nor I’m tall, for that regard
But I’m mirthful, smart and funny
And I’m not a ball of lard.

I sure have a lot of pastimes
None of which I excel at:
Drawing, singing, writing rhymes…
Anybody could do that.

But in spite of not being top-notch
I still hope to be remembered,
After all I will be watching
Even once I’m six feet under.

This is why I’ll die alone

So guess what! I stopped shaving and NOTHING HAPPENED.
Nobody stared, nobody commented, nobody cared. I’m not even sure anyone noticed.
The universe didn’t implode either, for that matter.

Long story short, I haven’t shaved/waxed/epilated my legs and pits for a couple of months (maybe longer? I can’t even remember). Before you ask: no, I’m not trying to make a point. I simply can’t be bothered.
One day I was late for my basketball game and realised I had hairy legs but had no time to do anything about it so I just showed up in shorts and furry calves, played some ball and went back home, and that was it. The fact that my legs weren’t smooth as silk didn’t impact my performance or anyone else’s performance. Nobody felt offended by my flocculent underarms (even though I’ve blatantly flashed them to everyone – good luck playing defence without raising your arms).
So after all that I thought, screw it. Since having hairy legs or pits has absolutely no consequence on any aspect of my life, I might as well stop worrying about it.
Since then I’ve been rocking my fluffiness at basketball games, yoga sessions, at the swimming pool, and of course in the comfort of my own home.

And let me tell ya, it feels so good.

Deciding to stop shaving (and more in general, to stop caring) lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I’m no longer spending endless hours epilating, or painfully tearing sticky strips of wax off my armpits. I’m not wasting gallons of water shaving in the shower, just to be left with bleeding calves and an astronomical water bill. I’m done with red patches and irritated skin.
But most importantly, I’m no longer worrying about what my body looks like. When Giac suggested we go to Fiji, my first thought was not, Oh no I’ll have to get a bikini wax. I just thought, Ok cool (and where are we gonna get the money).
I can’t believe how much mental space body hair used to take up.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I just woke up one morning and decided not to shave and immediately stopped caring. I’m still quite insecure about it. I’m still mega self conscious about it. The idea that women should be hairless is so rooted in our social expectations and in our own minds, in the way that we are brought up, that you can’t just eradicate those believes overnight.

However, in these past months I’ve also learned that hair is just hair. What’s the big deal? My life is exactly the same. I’m still the exact same person. And me having hairy legs or pits is just me rocking my body the way it naturally is. My body hair is simply one of my body features, same as missing four teeth (yep) or having two extra bones in my feet (YEP). And I sure don’t feel like I have to apologise for or feel ashamed of those, so why should some pit hair make me feel uncomfortable?

The main reason why I stopped shaving is that I don’t want to. I’m not being a radical feminist. I’m not fighting gender equality. I’m just practicing self love. I don’t want to shave because I’m totally ok with having body hair. It doesn’t make me less beautiful or less feminine. Plus from what I’ve experienced so far, nobody really gives a shit.
So thanks to all the people who probably noticed but didn’t stare or point fingers or commented on my furry limbs. To everybody else: this is my body, and not shaving is my choice. You don’t have to like it, but don’t be a dick about it.

To all the people out there

When Giac and I decided to move to New Zealand, the most frequent comment we got was: Oh, you guys are so brave. I wish I could do it.
I would awkwardly smile and respond with something on the lines of, Oh yeah, you know, we just needed a change, and New Zealand looked so awesome, so.

The truth is that people telling me that they wish they could do what I was doing annoys me a little bit. I know some other people might actually be proud of receiving the same kind of comment, but for me it’s like they are putting me in a privileged position and it makes me feel uncomfortable.
I mean, it’s not that Giac and I got invested with some sort of angelic omnipotence that allowed us to fly overseas. Before making The Big Decision, we considered every aspect, weighed every option, spent months and month researching and making sure we had everything covered. When we got married we asked for money rather than presents, so yes we did receive some financial support, but we also worked hard and saved up to make our dream come true.
I’ve always been the odd one among my friends and family members, I’ve always liked travelling and moved abroad for the first time ten years ago (Jesus), so I guess nobody was actually that surprised when I announced I was moving to the other side of the planet.
But what I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to be a superhuman to pack up your stuff and go. You just have to want it.

So to all the people out there: you can do it too. Giac and I are not some special almighty gods, nor we are in a particular privileged situation. We are just normal people like everyone else. The only difference is that we dream big. We don’t accept things as they are: when we don’t like them, we change them. But we don’t use any of our superpowers that people might think we have: we just work hard to live the life we want.

And you can too.

How to let go of things

A little while ago I wrote a post about minimalism which I was very happy about, however I realised that since posting it I’ve kind of changed my position around the subject. I still believe that minimalism is not necessarily about owning two t-shirts, but more about realising what’s important to you and surrounding yourself with possessions that make you happy rather than weigh you down.
When we moved into our Wellington apartment I felt satisfied with the amount of things I’d kept from London. I thought I actually needed all of them. However, over the past months, I’ve been feeling the need to downsize even more, and now not a day goes by without me going through my wardrobe and trying to get rid of one or two items.

I have to say it’s been getting easier and easier for me. However, as many other wannabe minimalists, I also have encountered the dilemma of the infamous bunch of things I’m emotionally attached to. My Grandma’s wool jumper, too big and itchy to wear; a pile of books I haven’t read yet and probably will never read; some prints stashed at the back of my wardrobe, because I don’t have enough walls to hang them; a bunch of old toys and knick-knacks that sit in a forgotten box, gathering dust. Basically, a whole lot of things that I never use or wear but that I feel too guilty to let go of.

In view of possibly travelling and/or moving at some point in the future, I decided I want to simply have less stuff. So here is my piece of advice I myself am trying to follow to let go of things.

  • The three piles
    If you have done even the tiniest research on how to become a minimalist, surely you’ve heard this one before. Gather your possessions and make three piles: things you keep, things you chuck, and things you’re not sure about. (This really works.)
    Now, you want to focus on the Things You’re Not Sure About pile. This is where I put all the things I’m emotionally attached to. Once they are all gathered, I make sure that this pile is hidden out of sight: under the bed, in a storage room, in the garden shed. If after a month I haven’t thought of or reached for any of those items, they get moved to the Things I Chuck pile, and they are out of my life.
  • Associate bad memories to things
    When it comes to something that I clearly don’t need or use and I do want to get rid of it yet I’m afraid I would miss it, I try to associate a bad memory to it. That way, I end up actually not being able to wait to get rid of that particular item, because why would you want to keep something that brings back sad memories anyway?
    (For me it normally works to associate ex boyfriends to stuff. If an ex boyfriend gave it to me, there’s no way I’m gonna miss it.)
  • Everything can be replaced
    Finally, if you do get rid of something and end up missing or needing it, remember that you can just get a new one. And if you think you really want that particular thing because it had an emotional value, try to dissociate the emotional value from it and see the item for its functional value instead. Do you miss that particular vase that your great-grand-auntie gave you? Surely you can find something else to put your flowers in. And the fact that you still remember your great-grand-auntie’s vase means you haven’t lost the memory of it.

Life updates & hairy legs

Good morning lovelies, I just thought I’d post a little update on what’s going on with my life because things happened and I need a recap – mainly for myself really, to be able to look back and remember that life is good even when things don’t go according to plans.

So, last week I had to leave my job. Again. (I must say I’m getting pretty good at it.) Long story short, this time the problem was that the whole working situation was getting a bit shady and I wanted to get myself out of it before getting into trouble. I believe I made the right decision.
But obviously this means I’m jobless again, and back into the game of job hunting. I thought I’d be stressed and frustrated, however –surprisingly- I’m not. I guess I’m quite enjoying the time off? I don’t know what it is, what I know is that the moment I walked away on my last day, a plan formed in my head.

I’m going to take this with philosophy. I’m not going to waste my time applying for jobs that I don’t really want. And I’m going to be honest and real with myself. What is it that I’m really passionate about? Books, writing, veganism, Zero Waste, dogs.
Great. Then I’m only going to apply for jobs within those areas. And if there are no jobs within those areas, I’m going to make one.

That’s right.

New Zealand is the best place to be if you want to start your own business. I’m not talking about setting up a whole company (although you totally can), I’m thinking more about maybe starting an online business, or making my writing more professional, or selling my art.
And look, I’m not afraid of saying it! I’ve always been mega paranoid about disclosing my passions and being honest about what I believe I’m good at, but let me tell ya, those days are GONE. I love how I managed to overcome my fears and finally be able to express how I actually feel about myself.

I feel I’ve grown a lot in the past months, and I’m really starting to like the person I’ve become. I might be broke and jobless, but I know what I want from life. And I’m less afraid of talking about it. I don’t feel ashamed of saying I want to be a dog sitter because I worry that people might think it’s not a “real job”. Who cares? In fact, I’ve also been giving remarkably fewer fucks.
I found this video yesterday and I realised, this is exactly what I’ve been doing for months, without knowing there’s a theory behind it! Needless to say, Sarah Knight is my new idol.

I guess all I’m trying to say is that I’m not going to let my lack of employment bring me down. I have a bunch of ideas, and I feel confident and productive. I know I am a worthy, overall nice individual and something good is going to happen to me. I am lucky and grateful to be where I am. Life is good, no matter what.

On a different note: I have hairy legs and the world hasn’t collapsed yet. But this post is getting too long already, so I’m going to update on my not-shaving situation another time. For now just know that it feels amazing.