20-something

#DearMe

So, International Women’s Day has been and gone, and (as usual) I’m a little late to the party. Thanks to staying home with a fever and the wonders of the internet though, I’ve managed to catch up on the week’s happenings. Yes, we’ve come a long way, but I am so glad that people are sharing and discussing the issues still faced by women.

In the midst of all this ibuprofen fuelled internet trawling research, I had a look at YouTube’s #DearMe campaign and a bunch of responses to it from other bloggers. It all ties in with something I’ve had brewing in the back of my head for a while now, so here it is:

climb those mountains

Climb those mountains

 

Dear Little L,

Honey, you aren’t crazy. You don’t think too much. You are not overreacting. Stop questioning if your perception of reality is as distorted as he says it is – as they have all said it is – and take a step back for a minute. Notice how calling you crazy is a really effective way of shutting down conversations they don’t want to have, emotions they don’t want to acknowledge?

You are not crazy. You are being manipulated.

You won’t figure it out for a really, really long time, and you’ll wonder why your famous ‘gut feeling’ let you down. You’ll wonder how you let it happen over and over again out of stubborness, losing parts of yourself each time the stitches are pulled out too soon. Your determination is unequalled, girl, and it will hurt you as much as it helps. Eventually he’ll come around. He’ll have moulded you into something quiet and complacent, something he can love, and you’ll win him over.

It’ll take all of five minutes until you realise the “you” he’s finally into isn’t you at all. You’ll walk out of there and a week later, you’ll be onto bigger and better things.

I guess you had to learn that one the hard way.

By now you’ve realised how much of a lie you were sold by the education system. You got ripped off just like, well, everyone else you know, so there’s no need to feel stupid. There was nobody there to tell you that you’re smart enough to do without the debt and the lectures and just learn shit on your own – the only “advice” even younger you was given was that uni was your ticket out of small town misery. Yes, you’re wasting time, money and energy, and you won’t remember a THING twelve months down the track – I speak from experience here! So give up. It’s okay. You will still manage to cruise through the remainder of your degree with enviable grades, only this time with much less undeservedly given fucks. That bit of paper you earned will do little for you, but the experiences you had and the people you met there will. They, alone, are worth it.

Don’t waste too much energy on that internship either – it already cost you your job, and you’re going to really struggle for a while because of it. You’ll come out of it exhausted, but okay, I promise. Maybe spend a little less money on those late-night junk food runs, and you’ll be a lot better off in more ways than one.

Would you believe me if I told you that in a year’s time, you’ll be holding down a decently salaried leadership role at an Argentinean restaurant and saving enough that you haven’t worried about money for months? And working with horses again on your days off – even sometimes riding? Yeah – that part of you isn’t over, it never will be. And planning a trip to Rio to go visit that bigger and better thing?

Yep.

You’ve always had a knack of getting things to pull through, and this time it’s no exception. Just let go of all the crap everyone else piles onto you. Cut out the things that aren’t letting you be you, and be frank about what you want and what you’re about.

All of this good stuff will start unfolding if you stop getting in your own way and just LET it.

Love,

Little L.

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Confessions of a Kindle Convert

If I were a Disney Princess, I would have been Belle: independent brunette, poor country town, quirky dinner parties – even right down to the palomino pony. And, obviously, a very important trait shared by Little L and Belle was our love for books. And more books. Lots of books. ALL the books.

Little L Belle

 See what I mean?

I used to dream of living rooms with floor-to-ceiling bookcases and a ladder on wheels. I’d complain to friends that I hated Uni for making reading a chore, and for replacing “proper books” with hard-to-navagate electronic databases. Despite never having much time, I still managed to fill two entire IKEA bookcases during my undergrad – and accidentally started a casual library operation out of our house when friends began donating, borrowing and swapping. I would travel with two bags – one for holiday reading material, and one for everything else. Seriously – that’s what the carry-on baggage allowance is for, right?

So I surprised myself as much as anyone when I bought a Kindle, having seen solo customers at the restaurant so absorbed in their e-books that they let their meals go cold. We were about to head off on a beachy road trip (more later) with only minimal baggage, and the idea of lugging a whole bag of books around this time just seemed like too much hard work. So, feeling like the biggest millennial hypocrite hipster on the planet, I decided to give one of those newfangled “e-readers” a try.

And?

I’ve gotten rid of those two bookshelves and I’m NEVER looking back.

In a couple of months, I’ve read about double what I normally would – mainly because the Kindle slips into my handbag so damn easily. I never have to worry about it being too heavy or getting the pages bent. The battery life is awesome, and though I generally stick to reading one thing at a time, I like having the option to switch if the mood strikes. I’ve tested it out in all kinds of light conditions and have never encountered a problem so far, not even at the beach at midday or in total darkness while my boyfriend was asleep next to me. And out of those two whole bookshelves, there are only a couple of books which I can’t replace with electronic versions – a couple of coffee-table books, one about dressage training, and an independent publication… in Spanish.

I never, ever thought I would think this, let alone say it or post it online, but here I am.

I’m giving up on books. At worst, a home library just sits around collecting dust and cluttering up your space. At best, books are a visual showcase of our interests and how educated/cultured/intelligent we wish to portray ourselves to guests. Honestly though? I have nothing to prove, and these days I would rather save the space and enjoy the portability. 

kindle

 

I bought a Kindle Paperwhite because you can adjust the backlights to suit different conditions, and because it’s designed specifically for reading, as opposed to the Kindle Fire which is more like a tablet.The Paperwhite connects to Wifi so you can download books on the go, and I haven’t yet encountered a problem with it – not even in the mall where my phone struggles to pick up the signal. They retail for about $160AU, and then the Amazon books tend to be around $10-$15 – not exactly as frugal as the local Oxfam bookshop, but again – no clutter. I seriously recommend any fellow Belles to consider making the switch.

Love, Little L