I think its important to point out that at any given time I have absolutely no idea what I am doing…. Since the age of …. I’m going to say 15, possibly earlier, I have been confused. I’m assuming something happened at some point in my childhood (nothing suss) and I am just not quite sure what it is. My friend Harley assures me that if I think hard enough I will be able to pin point it.
As time moved on and the life obstacles evolved I remained confused, just about bigger things. Don’t get me wrong the small things still had me umming and arrrinngg.
Mali what do you want to eat? Where would you like to go? Did you want to stay here or go home?
Mali did you just get changed for the 5th time today ?
Mali the nice waitress is waiting for you to make your decision, what do you want to eat for fucks sake! (the frustrated words of my first ex boyfriend).
‘Is it possible for you to come back and give me another two mins? Actually what was your name? Hayley? Hayley what’s your favourite thing on the menu? ‘
To be completely honest I’m a whole lot better at those small things. I say to myself, ‘Mali this decision does not define your day.’ Take that.
Big things. Well. I haven’t really mastered that one quite yet. Do I want to live in Australia or do I want to live in Spain? Should I go to uni or am I satisfied with the University of Life? Should we break up now or later? Do I want to have children to this man? Can I keep him as a friend for as long as I need him? I am very emotionally dependent… I might need to wean myself off. I wonder if he’ll mind if I still call for advice about my new boyfriend?
NO MALI NO YOU CANNOT CALL YOUR EX BOYFRIEND WHO IS BROKEN HEARTED ABOUT YOUR NEW BOYFRIEND!….. dickhead
Anyway when I started thinking about writing some of the stuff in my head I went to Google like most humans in this world and typed in, ‘What should I blog about?’
Google as always was very helpful and assigned me a plethora of answers but most were consistent in saying Write what you know….. Write about what you’re interested in ….. Write about what you feel you are versed in
Guess what I know about? Well two things….
Being confused ……. I am confused AF ……. And being me.
(For someone who is confused I’m pretty bloody certain of who I am as a person.)
So for the time being and more so for the sake of my brain that overthinks nearly every single thing I ever have to do ….. Should I exfoliate today, how often are you supposed to exfoliate, is it possible to exfoliate too much. I wonder how many times a week Zoe Foster Blake exfoliates, I’ll write that on my never ending list of things to do that I almost never get done and I’ve just been moving the items on the list onto the next page since 2012…. I’m not joking … I still have ‘Mali meditate/download meditation app’ its been there since I broke up with my boyfriend Tom in 2012.
Tom while I’m here I’m sorry for the way we broke up…. I didn’t know myself enough to be honest and strong. If I broke up with you now I promise I wouldn’t leave you in another country alone and crying…. I would do what adults do and break your heart in person….. gosh I’ve been a shit c#@t. *
* at times I am going to go off on a tangent and so I have decided that whenever this happens I will let you know . I hope you enjoy the rollerocaster of my mind as much as the people who love me do.
So, what was I saying, right, confusion.
I’m currently writing this piece on my verandah at home in Queensland because I am thirty years old and still need my mum and dad to swoop in and save me from my own confusion (well they’re also saving me from a mild form of depression but I like to blame the confusion).
I guess what I want to say in this piece (partly because I need to believe it and partly because my friend Emma asked me to write about it because she thinks I may be a seasoned veteran in not having my shit together… but looking like I do or don’t care) is it is COMPLETELY OKAY not to have your shit together.
Because guess what? No one feels like they have their shit together.
And maybe you’re asking yourself how does Mali know that? She can’t speak on behalf of the ridiculously happy people I follow on instagram! … you’re right. I can’t speak on behalf of them. But I have been conducting my own ethnographic research throughout my life and have come to the realization that nobody has the faintest idea as to what is going on in another person’s head, absolutely no one.
I have been bailed up in the toilets at snobby nightclubs by “happy instragrammers” and been used as a sounding board, I’ve wiped the tears off of their faces with toilet paper and put my hands on their cheeks and told them that everything is going to be okay (after I racked them up a line of course). I’ve got people in my life that broadcast to the world that life is peachy fucking keen, that business is booming, tinder is plentiful and that their summer rig is ready and raring to go. But they also have sick mums and dads, suicidal siblings, a chip on their shoulder from being bullied as a child, the memory of being molested or raped (happens a whole lot more often than you think) and just the shit bloody things that happen to people as a result of living this imperfect thing called life.
I am that person. I have no doubt that people scroll my instagram and make generalizations about my happiness, my sex life, my social circle and my overall demeanor.
I’ve sat at dinners surrounded by friends, I’ve told stories, had political discussions and stood on my chair to emphasize meaning. I’ve laughed the loudest, partied the hardest and beamed with confidence every time I’ve asked a man if he’d like to have sex with me (stupid question of course he does – there’s that confidence) all the while blinking back tears, hoping that no one can see the cracks in my perfectly applied personality and blow dried hair. Thinking ‘I wonder if anyone else in this crowded room feels as lost and alone as me.’
They might have houses, impractical four wheel drives, fancy island bench tops, overpriced ugly dogs, the disposable income for botox, cocaine, restaurant bought dinners, spontaneous trips to Indonesia and snow gear they bought for shits and giggles in 2014 on a weekend away because what’s the point of renting gear when you can just buy it ?
But the fact is, is that those people still feel lost, still feel lonely, still question their significance and still have moments laying in their bed or staring at their feet in the shower (that’s what I do) asking themselves….. am I happy? Is this the kind of person I want to be? Is this it? And do I have my shit together?
I think it’s important to be aware of the complexities of life, the variables that we gauge our happiness on. The columns on the spreadsheet that tell us whether or not we have our shit together. At the end of the day I think that these columns are different for everyone. Whether that be money, lifestyle, friends, family, relationships, fitness, friends on instagram, teaching Guatemalan kids to write or researching the detrimental effects of methamphetamines.
I think mine are a tad skewiff … 6 side steps to the left. Which may be the reason I constantly feel confused. Because I’m constantly comparing my life to other peoples spreadsheets instead of being fucking honest with myself and making decisions based on mine.
No one has ALL their shit together.
Because that’s the way its meant to be. We’re constantly meeting people and learning, moments throw us off balance, feelings make us feel uncomfortable and small acts of kindness always put things in perspective.
Life can be fickle.
Life hurts at times and people can be so cruel (not to me… but I’ve heard stories). But then you blink, make eye contact, hear a laugh, get a hug or feel a kiss and in an instant feel the world turn on its head – hang on a sec- Life can be euphoric.
I told you I was writing this from my verandah in Queensland didn’t I ? yeah. Well as you can imagine being in your home town I have run into a few people who have asked what I am doing (ie. Expecting to hear about the shit I have together) and I have been honest and explained that I in fact, do not have my shit together. That I am in fact a little lost. But surprisingly enough each and every individual has responded with a smile and a piece of advice (that I probably should have written down but I didn’t) that went kind of like this:
Norma, lady who’s been coming to my parents gym since I was six, she stopped to marvel at how grown up I was and said ‘ Mali…. Nothing in this world is set in cement.’
Best friends dad, sitting on deck pre dinner watching the moon- Life is about crossroads. Make a decision at a cross roads, give it 110% and if you’re not happy, make a new decision. (He also attempted to convince me to move to Portland Oregon…… it sounds pretty good…I’m considering it)
Primary school deputy principal whilst watching the local choir- She sensed my awkwardness and smiled- I still don’t know what I want to do Mali so don’t fret. Things will come along and float away and then you’ll be right back here again. This confusion will happen quite a few times in your life- it ebbs and flows. Stop worrying.
Judy. A wonderful woman who works for my Mum and Dad- ‘I know you don’t know what you’re doing right now (I might cull this bit).
- Don’t think you’re special/Everybody feels this way
- Life is about crossroads. Choose a path and give it 110% until you need to choose another (Also Portland Oregon is beautiful this time of year)
- Life isn’t set in concrete
- There are no right or wrong choices
- Gee you look good for thirty (they didn’t say it but I could tell they thought it)
- Stop wasting your time worrying that you don’t have your shit together right now, because guess what? This is the first of many times.
It’s okay. It is completely okay not to have your shit together
I have since come home to Melbourne and am now sitting on my couch with 20 tabs open on Google Chrome attempting to research things that will make me feel like my shit is more of a half built house instead of an empty plot of land in an estate that was abandoned by its development company due to bankruptcy. I don’t have my shit together. My spreadsheet’s all kinds of weird and I can’t seem to find other humans from my planet (Where are you ? I’m here!). But it’s okay. It’s kind of exciting really. Because that means the best is yet to come. So stop feeing sorry for yourself Mali, download that meditation app and start crossing things of your list.