Catchup.com – 2016

Helllllllllo, internet!

I’ll never take unmetered internet for granted ever again. On Saturday I had a two hour phone chat with my parents, and it was glorious.

It’s been a while, huh? Yes. So let’s catch up!

Moving – We moved on the hottest weekend in January, and I had an estimated 442 panic attacks that weekend. I was nervous about what Joel would think of the place, whether our stuff would fit, if the removalists would show, if they’d steal our stuff, whether I’d love it as much as I remembered… it’s always a risk when you move, but the risk is a bit bigger when you and your partner have signed a lease and you’re the only one who’s seen it.

But, all’s well that ends well. This is possibly the most organised move I’ve ever had. For the first time in my life I woke up on moving day with only the “can’t be packed until last minute” items left unpacked. Joel was a little skeptical of the size when we first walked in, and I’ll admit, I was too. With no furniture in it, the place looked even smaller than it is. Our removalists were late (expected) and manipulated me into accepting being overcharged by $100 (also expected – and after some rationalising I’m ok with this. Well, mostly. It was a hot day and we were their 3rd move and we had stairs, but they weren’t without their faults and – let’s not get into it).

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At the end of the day though, as we ate pizza on the floor, we were happy. And a month later, we still are. It’s a different energy and a different feeling than in Balmain. And since it’s an old building, full of quirks too. Our water temperature is Hoth or Center of the Sun, the toilet runs if you don’t release the flush at a precise moment, most of our windows either don’t open or don’t stay open without spacers, our bedroom balcony door leaks when it rains, there’s a ghost living in our shower, we hear our neighbors above us when they shuffle their feet – the usual.

 

We haven’t replaced our washer yet (I learned the “measure important spaces” rule the hard way), but there’s a laundromat not too far from where we live, and it’s never crowded. And to dry off with a dryer dried towel after not having dryer dried towels for a year and a half was almost a religious experience.

 

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Time to get real (i.e. shallow) I’ve always wanted to live in a historic building, in a place with high ceilings, large windows, exposed brick and pipes, beams, and track lighting. The large covered patio and bedroom Juliet balcony are just bonuses.

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This is turning really smug, really quick, and I’m sorry – but not sorry. It’s important to love the place you call home. And I really feel like I can call this place home.

Ikea – We decided to splurge a bit at Ikea for a new couch and a new bookshelf. I love Ikea. Joel does not. But we braved the Scandanavian wonderland on a Saturday morning and emerged with a new couch, bookshelf, lamp, and night stands.

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Before!
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During: box 1 of 5

 

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AHH!
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After! Wheee

A weekend devoted to Ikea shopping and Ikea construction and reorganising and rearranging? My inner Monica Gellar was all yesssssssss.

Work – So. Busy. Since mid-January. Re-launching a website and releasing a new product line at the same time = many long days/nights, weekend time working, migraines and actually – insane amounts of excitement. I have a really great job with amazing people. After all, I’ve pulled the same long hours in the same high stress environment in different jobs and have felt completely alone.

I’ve been with this team for 4 months, and most days, it feels like I’ve been there for years. Other days, it feels like I’ve only been there for 4 months. It’s frustrating to be a Noob, but I’m learning more every day. Getting more knowledgable about advertising and marketing (which will shock college Audrey – who transferred schools because the communications program she started to major in was going to focus on marketing), design, photography, and how to run a small business. My boss is inspiring, and the company I work for makes so proud. It’s a good fit.

Summer – we were fortunate enough to have  really mild start to the summer, but now we’re making up for lost time. Most of February has been a damp, humid mess. But to be honest, I’ve been so distracted with work that I haven’t really noticed. And since we moved, my twice a day showers haven’t been needed quite as often. But still – I’m so glad for cooler temps coming in about a month.

oh, and the cold weather that will hopefully kill off the cockroaches that I now see almost every day. /shudder

And what else…

Actually – that about catches you up.

Since January, it’s all been planning to move or moving or unpacking or not having enough internet or working long hours and burning through our expendable energy. I wore myself out to the point where a greasy cookie and a few drinks of sour milk in my coffee sent me into a six hour bout of food poisoning. I think I’ve definitely learned over the past few months that I can’t run on empty anymore. That whole “work/life” balance thing that my boss keeps insisting I implement might be a good idea.

But now, it’s the first day of March. It’s the first day of Autumn. The dust is settling, and I’m looking forward to the end of summer (i.e. humidity) – even though I’ve done nothing I thought I would this summer. Woooops

So… what’s everyone been up to?

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We all have that one shirt.

You know, that shirt that you see and you’re all “I need that. I need that right now.” And you don’t even think about it, about where you’ll wear it, what you’ll wear it with, or if it even fits. It’s just so new and captivating and full of promise that you can’t help but buy it at full price and take it home right then, thinking how amazing it’ll look and how sexy/badass/carefully deshevled/tastefully slutty it’ll make you feel.

And then you never wear it. It just sits in your closet or in your dresser and it gets passed over time and time again. And you pull it out one day and put it on, thinking of all times you could have worn it, but didn’t. Because something just wasn’t right about it, after all. And after a few closet clean outs, after a few heart to hearts, you chalk it up as a loss and donate it to someone. And you wonder what you saw in it in the first place.

It’s basically how I feel about the domain audwrites.com.

I chose the name, as I choose most things in my life, in an impulsive fit after 34 mins of brainstorming and nothing better coming up because I needed to get this done right now. My old blog was called Audpodge and Blither-Blather. I started Audwrites because, well, it’s weird. I started to grow apart from the blog – there were too many skeletons in it’s blog closet. Too many times that I didn’t want to think about anymore. It reminded me of being a bad person, in a bad place. I all but stopped blogging, but I couldn’t bring myself to delete the whole thing. So I decided to make a new one.

I bought WordPress premium and set myself up a fancy little blog. I decided to try blogging in a way that’s more sophisticated, more relevant and more searchable. I started reading popular bloggers and fantasizing. I got a delusional sense of power, like a kid hyped up on sugar bombs and Mountain Dew, harbouring all these sick ideas of becoming a lifestyle blogger as I navigated life in a new country. SPARSE LAYOUTS! NEUTRAL TONE PHOTOS! RECIPES – I’LL LEARN TO COOK! CRAFTS – I’LL ACTUALLY FINISH PROJECTS! INSTAGRAM – CUSTOM HASHTAGS AND PASTEL FILTERS! I nourished my blossoming inner Martha Stewart and planned for how radically my life was about to change.

But here’s the thing about me – I’m the opposite of a lifestyle blogger. I hate sparse layouts. And taking meticulously planned, neutral tone photos. I’m learning to cook, but I basically set the kitchen on fire each time. I have *no* money to spend on crafts. And the pressure of trying to make a well liked Instagram has zapped all the humour out of my life – regardless of filter.

In the last few months, I blogged less and less. I have a catalogue of topics I want to write about, but nothing I felt was appropriate for this “tone” I was trying to create. Last month, when I was updating the layout, trying to get inspired to blog again, something just didn’t sit right. And a couple weeks ago while I was coming home from work, it hit me: This blog isn’t who I am. Most of audwrites is a testament to something I thought I wanted to be, but it’s not who I am. It felt desperate and flimsy. Basically, it was an idea that failed. And once I admitted that to myself, it made sense to make a change.

I like art and books and wine and I spell very well, but I’m not sophisticated. I like to watch Teen Mom, wear sweatpants, Google celebrities, eat terrible but delicious food, make lists, skip showers, go on adventures, obsessively clean and rearrange, write catty blogs and chat with my friends. That’s my lifestyle. And while there’s not a lot of “lifestyle content” around that, there are a hell of a lot of anecdotes. And I’m at my happiest when I can share those anecdotes.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m back to my audpodge domainand I’m back to writing what I love, the way I love: little pieces of distraction. Hodge Podge and Blither Blather. Funny, sad, stories or essays or filled with MS paint drawings, it’ll at least be from the heart. It’s like a lifestyle blog. But for the lazy girl who manages depression and anxiety on a daily basis. And who one day will start bettering herself. Maybe next week.

Thanks for reading!

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6 months in

Six months ago, I walked off a plane with two very over stuffed bags, ready to start the life that Joel and I had been planning.

And it’s already been six months. Half a year. Where did it all go?!

I mean, I know time has passed, because I can throw my hair up in a bun now, and I couldn’t when I first moved here, but it’s still hard to believe.

Who needs
who needs a calendar when you have gray hairs* and split ends?

But it still feels like yesterday that I was racing through the airport with those very overstuffed bags and two very overstuffed suitcases, running toward Joel and our new life. Running toward what my mom calls “our big adventure.”

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us, circa September 2014. Oh, how young and free we once were.

This is the longest I’ve gone without seeing my family, my friends, and my pets, and that can suck sometimes. Let’s be real, that can really suck sometimes. But every day  reaffirms that I made the best decision of my life by moving here. I knew it would be hard, but I also knew it would worth it. And it has been. These last six months have been more rewarding and challenging than I ever thought they could be. For the first time in my life, I’m thinking and acting like an adult instead of a pseudo-bohemian-malcontent-girl-child. Like, we have an actual savings account. With money in it. And we pool our resources and we have solid plans for our future and we talk shit out and we compromise and we support one another. It feels responsible and very Adulty. And it’s pretty awesome.

Before I moved, people told me that I was brave to follow my heart. I didn’t then, and I don’t now think it had anything to do with bravery. First, I moved from one English speaking first world country to another. Second, I moved in with Joel, whom I adore, but who is also one of the most hard working, caring, sincere, hilarious and loving men I’ve ever met. It doesn’t take balls to take a bet on a sure thing. And I’d bet the house on him all over again.

Happy 6 months, Sydney. I’m so very happy I have a chance to call you home.

Now it’s time to get that visa submitted, so I can hopefully call you home for a much longer time.

*I got my first grey hair when I was 14. And now I have a Stacy London patch that gets frighteningly more apparent the longer I go between salon visits. Thanks, Mom!