Thalia was laid to rest today.
I never met her, but I was there at the end of her short life. I’d just finished having lunch with my cousin in between job interviews. I was preparing for my next interview. Talking myself up, getting myself in to boss lady mode. I was totally absorbed in myself and what I was doing. I wasn’t paying much attention to my surrounds. I didn’t think I had to.
Someone knocked my handbag off my shoulder, in hindsight I see that he was just trying to get out of the way, but at the time I thought someone was trying to steal my handbag. It was then that I looked over my shoulder to see the car on the footpath just behind me. I don’t know how, but I my body moved me out of the way. I don’t remember making a conscious decision to move. I just ran and jumped into the lane. I wish I had made a noise, I wish I had a way to alert all the people ahead of me. My silent escape from harm’s way did nothing. I was just lucky that someone knocked me. I wouldn’t have made it out of the way in time if he hadn’t. The car was going too fast. I watched in horror as the car hit the family in front of me. Two little girls and their mum. He didn’t stop. He never slowed. He didn’t hesitate. He just kept going. He kept hitting people. In the hysteria I couldn’t tell if people were getting hit or if they were just getting out of the way.
After he was gone the scene was just as awful. People everywhere bodies strewn across the footpath. A little girl. Rogue runners and purses. The police were there pretty fast. They were fantastic. They kept us as calm as they could under the circumstances. My real life superhero appeared shortly after. Her name is Jo. Jo was incredible. She works at the RACV club. She came bearing first aid kits and water. She looked after me. She helped me call Mum and my boyfriend. Cuddled me when I needed it most and took me away from the scene when she could. I can’t tell you how much she helped me that day. She represented all that was good in a scene so abhorrent.
The police needed a statement. She came with me. She held my hand while we walked down the street. Walking past that little body was just awful. Thalia. I think about it all the time.
I don’t know what else to say really. I don’t know how to deal with this. I think I’m doing okay. I mean I’m not okay – but I will be. I think about it all the time. It makes me cry often. Night time is hard. Sleeping even harder. My heart feels so so broken. I can’t imagine what everyone else feels like.
I think we can be proud of the everyday heroes who appeared that day in the madness. I witnessed quite a few. To Jo, to Patrick for just making everything happen, to Kate who met me at the police station, to Laura for picking me up, to the Police, to mum for just being mum – hearing her voice made me feel better. The lovely ladies who kept me company that night. I can’t ever express just how grateful I am.
Love you all x
I want to know what makes you tick
What ignites the fire in your heart
Tell me your dreams – and see how we can make them come true.
I want to know what makes you tick
Tell me your fears and troubles
What occupies the deepest darkest corners of your mind?
I want to know what makes you tick
Every beautifully flawed part of you
and love you all the same
Day Two: Meditation adds so much to my life. I feel more present and less stressed. Today I did a guided meditation via the Hay House Meditation podcast. Davidji – Stepping into Clarity – it was quite energising and a great way to break up a busy day of work. I then sat down to a healthy whole food lunch which I ate on my own in silence – really taking the time to appreciate each bite.
Day Three: Journaling is such a wonderful practice. So many thoughts are bouncing around my mind all the time. Problems become bigger – worry increases. Once you take the time to write it all out and organise your thoughts on paper slowly and purposely they seem to become much smaller and more manageable. From this place you can create your own action steps in to solving these tiny little “problems” by making little action lists.
Day Four: I love to hoop! For those of you not yet aware – I’ve taken up hula hooping! I love the element of play. I can hoop and hoop for hours on my own – practicing new tricks and transition. I went with one of my friends to buy her first hoop and get something a little lighter and smaller for myself. We then made our way over to Abbotsford Convent and hooped our little hearts out and finished the day with a delicious Lentil As Anything feast. Good hoops – good food – great company. Today was a great day.
Day Five: Podcasting like a boss again! I’ve been reading the minimalists blog for a long time now – it’s definitely something I get a lot of value out of and now they’ve started podcasting too. I’d been missing a few episodes here and there so today I spent some time catching up on the ones I missed out on.
Day Six: Yet another HOOP DAY! Today I dedicated to learning a new trick – and then took my hoops to a party for the first time. I didn’t really know many people there so it was nice to have something to play with in between meeting new people and making new friends. I took three hoops with me and everyone had a go. Loads of fun!
Day Seven: I love to cook – but haven’t been doing much of it recently. Today I made a delicious dinner with a friend. Good food + good company = happy wanderluster.
Day Eight: Life Admin day – seems boring (and it was) but I’m now organised! All those little things that I’ve been putting off finally got done! I took to each task with gratitude and really just got it all done.
Day Nine: I hadn’t caught up with one of my best friends in a little while. We keep pretty different schedules. Today we finally got the chance to catch up and had a gorgeous healthy dinner together. There really is nothing better than sharing a meal with someone you love (especially when they’re as good a cook as Miss Katie).
Day Ten: It’s been a bit harder than I expected this little month of love challenge. Changing my focus back to me and my wants and needs has been pretty tough. I’ve been very emotional and today I let myself have a big ol’ cry. I really needed it. I tend to keep myself pretty busy and expect a lot of myself. Today I just let myself feel all those emotions.
Hope you’ve all been loving yourselves too.
Wanderlusters it’s been a while. Sorry I’ve been away from you all so long. It has been a bit tough adjusting to being back in Australia again. I’m still going through the process of finding my place in the place I called home for oh so long. But I’m back – with a mission.
February – the month of love.
Like I said – I’m finding it tough to see where I fit in all the madness. I’m starting all over again. I feel like I’m stagnant – inspired yet unmoving. I don’t like feeling this way so I’m taking action. This month I’m going to make myself my absolute number one priority. I’m going to love myself first every day this month. It’s not a big task to be honest. I’m just going to take time every day to mindfully do something nice for me and periodically fill you all in.
Wish me luck – send me love.
DAY ONE : Febfast! After killing my liver in London for two years and then arriving in Melbourne during the silly season I recognise that I need to give my body a break from drinking and raise some money along the way (DONATE HERE). I’m hoping that it’ll also motivate me to generally be more active and healthier in my everyday life and kickstart me in to creating more positive and healthy routines for everyday life. Today I also decided to document my month of self love here – something I absolutely love doing but haven’t been giving time to since I’ve moved home.
I look forward to seeing where this little self love-fest takes me. Thanks for coming along for the ride. I’d love to see more people get involved in this little journey. So please get in contact with me. You can tweet me @jessicaswander or find me on instagram @jessicaswanderlust
Two years has gone so fast – the last 8 months has been the best time of my life. I’m so grateful to all the wonderful people who made it so amazing.
I’ve learnt that you can choose your family – that people are generally kind and loving, that home does have a heartbeat, that sometimes love is tragic and magical all at once.
My heart is split in two. I’m glad to be back in Melbourne for the time being but I miss my soul brothers and sisters more that even I can believe. Family dinners and adorable little sleepovers, late nights and early mornings, I miss the way our lives just seemed to flow effortlessly and intertwine. I miss the jokes and all the laughs.
But most of all I’m just grateful that I had them in my life at all. This eclectic group of people make my heart sing. I’ve learnt so much from each of them and love them all so deeply. One day I’ll see them all again – but I just don’t know when.
Sending love and sunshine from the other side of the world.
It’s only 18 days until I leave lovely overcast ridiculous London to go back to Australia – and I’m not ready. It doesn’t feel like I’m leaving. My visa is coming to an end and I failed to find a way to extend it. London feels like home now and with only a few short days left reality is starting to set in.
My heart is breaking for having to leave all my friends and this city that I love. I want to stay and play and explore some more in this part of the world.
I guess we can’t always get what we want.
Time for the next adventure.
Fear is human.
We’re afraid of the things we do, of the things we don’t, the way we feel, the endless things that could happen and the things that are out of our control. We’re afraid of our potential failures and we’re afraid of our own success, we’re afraid of the unknown.
We all feel it – albeit some more deeply than others. But too often we let our fears control us and hold us back from all the wonderful things we could be and do.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid. But I won’t let my fears control me and stop me from doing all that I want to be and do and feel.
I could be afraid of leaving London – but I won’t let that ruin my last few weeks here. I’m diving in to everything head first and experiencing all that I can.
I could be afraid that I’ll never see some of the wonderful friends I’ve made here again – but I the time we’ve spent together here has been incredible. This has been one of the greatest times of my life and I owe that largely to the wonderful people I’ve met and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I now find myself appreciating every adventure and every giggle shared over every coffee, wine and dinner.
I could be afraid going back to Melbourne – terrified that everything will have changed – or that everything will be the same. I could be afraid that I won’t fit in like I once had. I know I’m different now – i’ve changed since I was last there. But I’m excited – it’s a new adventure – and I feel like a new person. I know myself even better – I’m more in tune with myself, I’m looking forward to rediscovering the city with fresh eyes and new faces amongst the old. I’m excited for old friends on new paths – and new friends yet undiscovered.
I could be terrified of not knowing what’s next. I’m launching a new business when I get back to Melbourne – but i don’t know if I want to stay there. I don’t know how i feel about all of this yet. But I’m not afraid. I’m excited for the next adventure. I’m enthralled at being able to put myself in a new sink or swim situation knowing that I’m now a strong swimmer and can handle anything this wild ocean of life throws at me.
Going with the flow.
Looking forward to hearing from you xx
For all the single ladies loosing sleep and quite possibly tears over the fact that sometimes nice girls finish last. I’ve collated some bits and bobs from pep talks i’ve given and received over the past few months and noticed that it’s quite applicable to lots of ladies and gents out there.
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You are worth it.
You live with love and treat people with respect – you deserve nothing less in return. No one has the ability to make you feel inferior unless you let them. Don’t let them – know your worth.
You are a strong independent woman and you don’t take shit from no man.
Your standards are not too high – you are a goddamn prize and should treat yourself that way.
Don’t put up with any emotional fuckwittage. Life has been hard to us all. No matter what you’ve been through it doesn’t mean you have a free pass to be a selfish time wasting twat. Every time something terrible happens to us we have a choice to either learn and grow from it or become a victim of it. Be the victor.
You were right to leave that man that didn’t challenge or support you. You did all that you could to support him in his dreams and goals. If he doesn’t respect you and yours then he isn’t worth you.
You are most beautiful when you are being yourself. Follow your passion – there is nothing sexier. Censoring yourself won’t do you any good – if he doesn’t like your quirks then he just isn’t for you.
You don’t have to be all over someone like a rash for them to notice you – if they go for the obvious shiny object all up in their grill they don’t deserve the diamond that is you. Again – you’re a goddamn prize.
Surround yourself with the people who inspire you. The people who embrace you in all your epicly wonderful weirdness. The friends and family that you love and laugh with. They know you’re wonderful – spend more time with them and perhaps you’ll see what they see in you.
Love yourself. Everyone else does – you’re amazing. Now stop feeling sorry for yourself and embrace how wonderful you really are.
Don’t sweat it – you’ll be fine. I promise. You are too wonderful to not be. The universe will conspire to bring someone into your life who is worthy of being with you. Just be you 100%.
Just do you.
Things are changing pretty dramatically for me at the moment -and i’ve been using that as an excuse to put off all the things I’ve been wanting to do. But today I am calling myself on it – and that my friends in internet land – is the first step. The strange thing is – i’m putting off doing all theses things I love and filling the time with endless hours of Netflix and taking up more little hobbies (I’m currently learning how to speak spanish and speed read). Useful and fun hobbies all the same – but leaving things undone and unfinished has left me feeling negatively about myself and henceforth must stop! This week I have taken action and put the old productivity action plan back into place and I’ve already noticed a massive difference. So without any further ado – here are my top tips to stop procrastinating.
- Get a planner and actually use it daily.
I love to use a physical paper planner with a week to a double page so I can see a snapshot of my week all at once (currently using this sexy Moleskine planner) Also I’m a bit of a stationery geek and love me a good ol’ ergonomic fineliner in a colour that makes me feel good about writing with it.
- Make a daily to do list.
Put the name of the day on the top line and write down all the things you want to accomplish that day. You’ll feel better about yourself once you start physically ticking things off the list. Make sure you put things on there that you will realistically be able to accomplish on that day – you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. However, if you miss a few things just move them on to the next day and try to remain focused on what you have achieved rather than what you haven’t.
- Set a time to get shit done.
Tell yourself “I’ll just do this for 15 minutes” remove all distractions and go hard at your list for that whole time. Most likely you’ll get into a groove and not want to stop at the end of your allotted time.
- Don’t work where you sleep/watch TV.
Okay – so sometimes you don’t really have a choice. But if you’re lying on the couch in full Netflix mode trying to finish writing an article. Chances are you’ll be ever so tempted to have a “little break” that will inevitably turn in to you binge-watching your latest TV show of choice or having a rather lengthy nap. If you’re able to – create yourself a work space and leave the distractions away from that space. I have a no phone on the desk policy for myself. It helps me to stop endlessly scroll instagram and actually focus on the task at hand.
- Realise that perfection is impossible.
Don’t put things off until next year when the timing is better ; don’t hold your work back from the world because you think you can do better. Nothing is ever absolutely perfect and as I’ve said time and time again – we are our own harshest critics. No matter what you do with yourself you would definitely progressed from what you were doing when you first started. I look back at my first articles and cringe at some of the things I wrote – but it shows progress and development. You’ll never get any better if you don’t keep on keeping on. Get back on the goddamn horse and be proud of your work and it’s imperfections. It means you’re doing something and you’re brave enough to share it with the world. You can always revisit old ideas once you’ve developed your skills further – but the important thing is to just do it.
- Make yourself accountable.
Find your motivator, reward yourself for small victories and celebrate the big ones. If you’re still struggling chat to a friend and get them to check up on your progress from time to time. I use this system for longer term projects to help keep me focused. It’s also helpful to have someone to chat it out with when you get stuck or start to loose your inspiration. Good friends make great ass kickers.
- Create a vision board.
Collate pictures and poems and post it notes – anything that inspires you and put it somewhere you look at every day. Keep your vision board of a reminder to why you’re working so hard. It will help keep you motivated and inspired and that my dear friends is half the battle.
Hope you’re all bossing your lives and staying true to your paths.
Big love as always, JW x
Here are a few tips on how to reduce your impact on our planet 3-5 times a day just by stuffing your face with deliciousness.
1. Buy Organic. Organic food is higher in nutrients, free of neurotoxins, free of pesticides, hasn’t been gas ripened, supports biodiversity and generally just tastes better. If you can’t afford to do a full organic shop start with what you can afford and make sure to always wash non-organic food in a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar to remove the majority of the pesticides.
2. Buy Local. Reduce your food miles.Food miles refer to the number of miles between the farm your food came from and the place you bought it. For example if you bought a delicious mango from your local supermarket that has come from Mexico that’s roughly 5551 miles as the crow flies! Find your local farmers market and see what you can buy that is close to home.
3. Cut out processed and packaged foods. I’m not saying that you need to cut out all junk food and never have chocolate again – but think about all the unnecessary packaging that just goes to landfill every time you buy a multi pack bag of crisps from your local Tesco. Bake your own treats! Home cooked meals are generally healthier, encourage mindful eating and most importantly you know what you are putting in to your body.
4. Say no to tuna! I know what you’re thinking “but Jess – tuna is delicious and comes in very convenient easy open cans”. This may be true – however it’s also true that tuna is being hugely over fished which is devastating for the marine life. Also it’s full of heavy metals such as mercury – there is even a possibility of heavy metal poisoning from eating too much tuna. Also dolphins.
5. Learn to cook. I hinted at this one before. I have been really surprised to discover over the past few years that there are so many young adults who have no idea how to cook. Cooking connects us with our food. We appreciate it – we learn to love the process and want to know more about the food we are preparing.
6. Eat seasonally – your body best assimilates food that is seasonal and local to where you live. Get back to the ol’ farmers market and then get in the kitchen.
7. Grow yer own! Grow something. Anything. I live in a little flat with a little garden in London and I have five edible plants growing in my little temporary space. Five! It was lovely harvesting the elderflower a few weeks back – or making myself a nice fresh mint tea straight from the garden. Growing your own also helps attract bees to your garden and bees are our friends.
8. Be prepared. Cut out the convenience foods. It’s not often you’ll find me in a food free environment. I usually always have a piece of fruit on my person. I get hungry. I’d rather eat fruit that some highly processed food like substance.
9. Get involved with meat free Monday. The meat industry alone contributes one-fifth of man made greenhouse gas emissions. Reduce the amount of meat you eat – take a day off and enjoy the benefits of eating vegetarian for a day. You’ll find your tummy will thank you for it too. Don’t believe the lies about protein. It’s impossible to be vegetarian and be protein deficient without also being calorie deficient. #JustSaying
10. Forage – hooray for the free food movement. Look up local foraging groups or maps online and see what you can get for free from mother nature!
Vote with your food dollars! Every dollar you spend on local, organic food is one less dollar spent on the industrialised food system. We all have the power to change the way the world eats – one meal at a time!