"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Liebster Award!

Now Playing: Youth by Daughter (we are the reckless, we are the wild youth)

Hi lovelies! Look what I got!

Thank you to Spencer Ellis for the nomination!

I have been set some questions by Spencer, so here goes:

1. Where in the world would you like to escape to?

I think the question is not where, but with whom. And as for that question, I don't know. You know when you spend time intimately with someone and you feel like you are beginning to peer into their soul, but then when there is company they are the biggest fucking asshole in the world? People are often like that, I find. I have escaped to places - secret corridors at school, deserted lecture theatres, quiet cafe back rooms, bedrooms in houses I will never visit again - with people who are seemingly born and die in my arms. If I could escape to an eternity of that, I think I should not be so concerned with geographical specifics.

Romantic metaphysical musings failing, I think London has always been my favoured getaway location.

2. What's your favourite song and why?

My favourite song changes! At the moment it's Wings by Birdy, because it is a perfect reflection of what my life is right now, and where my relationships are at right now. The people I associate with now are a dangerous blend of childish earnestness, boyish stupidity, adolescent recklessness and adult suffering which lends to some...interesting situations with interesting people. 

3. What's your favourite book? 

Gaaaaah. Why all the hard questions for?

I don't have a specific favourite. I love Philippa Gregory. I of course adore Harry Potter. I love The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger . Masters of Rome by Colleen McCullough. My favourite non fiction book is Princesses & Pornstars by Emily Maguire, which is feminist polemic.

4. If you could do anything you wanted for a day without limitations, what would it be?

I would do whatever gave me the greatest legacy, most notoriety, the most pleasure, help the most people and give my life the most meaning.

5. What are you looking forward to most about the future?

As I have gotten older I have realised that my hopes for the future are painfully limited by the present; an eight year old has no idea what life has in store for an eighteen year old. I look forward to the unknown, I think is all that is safe to say.

6. What's your most precious object?

My silver ring.

7. If you could go to sometime in your past and change something what would it be?

I would only want to change how other people treated me, and that I cannot do.

8. What's your favourite TV program?

Australian TV sucks pretty badly, to be honest - but I do like Gruen Nation and Slideshow, and when I was a kid I adored Thank God You're Here. In terms of international telly I love Mock the Week, The Tudors, and I have just watched the entirety of The White Queen when I...should have been studying for exams...

9. If you could buy anything you wanted right now what would it be?

A vibrator.

10. What is your favourite food?


I actually don't know where to begin with this. Just. Food.

I must confess that I do not read that many blogs - I love writing one, but I actually much prefer vlogs; it's just the way I learn and absorb information. Please recommend me any blogs in the comments so I can read, give out my Liebster Award and dish some questions!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Speak Now #29: a caveat on virginity.

Now Playing: Wings by Birdy (damn these walls, in the moment we were ten feet tall)

Hello lovelies! I am back!

I apologise for the extremely long hiatus - I have been very ill, and then very busy, and then some. But I am back. Speak Now will be a weekly series, perhaps interspersed with a few quickies :)

A lot has happened, since I last wrote on this series. Sexually a lot of things have changed, and I have new insights and have learned new lessons. Which I am, of course, all too willing to share with you.

I wanted to make a quick caveat on virginity.

I said before that I didn't define or describe myself with the highly problematic term of 'virginity' - and I don't, because by my definition of 'virginity' I am not one, and that does not bother me in the slightest. I am a person, and I should not be judged by the things I do on the bumpy road to becoming a more informed observer of the universe. I have learned that I will do things I regret with people I will never come to love, but that's okay. Nothing on this earth will destroy the fact that I am a child of the universe, and I am of infinite worth and deserve every respect.

I should like people to adopt my definition of virginity. It is the one widely used, more or less, in the sex positive community and is the most inclusive of all sexes and genders and types of relationships and sexual encounters. That being said, I know that it is an unfamiliar concept to people and quite heavy talk when everyone is slightly drunk and out for a good time. And, you know, flirting with university boys is a whole other thing to flirting with high school boys; they're blunt, and brutally honest, and want answers.

People ask me if I'm a virgin, and I say yes. I say yes because even though I don't recognise vaginal intercourse as the only definitive form of virginity-losing 'sex', I do have my list of what I will and will not do in certain situations - and that is, for the time being, on the 'will not' list. Just logistically it is problematic, and not every guy you make out with in university will be the most mature compassionate feminist. I say yes because it sets boundaries, and boundaries are of paramount importance. In a way this muddled confusing definition of sex and virginity provides some clarity in my experiences; there are things I have not done, and will not do with you.

I am perfectly comfortable with that. I don't withold because I try to be Anne Boleyn or Elizabeth Woodville, and use sex as barter. I hold out because I have used the fundamental element of sex positivity - the right to make your own choices about your own body and your own sexuality - to empower myself. I have the right to say yes, and the right to say no. I don't hold out because I'm 'saving myself', either - it's just that some things are more high risk and fraught than others, and that would get in the way of my having a good time or staying safe. And there are so many other ways to feel good and to make other people feel good - and trust me, nothing feels as good as staying safe and in control.

I have been pressured to have sex before; I think most people by my age have. I was not tempted in the least, and for that I have sex positivity to thank. I am not so gullible, anymore, to think that vaginal sex is the only way to have fun or to please someone else; it takes the pressure off, a lot. And being open about my sexuality has been a massive confidence boost - I'm no longer the sad little girl who nobody looks at twice. There will always be another, and men are more or less much the same as one another; it is how they treat you that makes one stand out from the rest. This guy walked out, and I felt good. I had done what I had consented to and refused what I didn't feel comfortable with. That is the main point of sex positivity; you are wholly in charge, and you don't owe anyone anything.

Long story short: I don't consider myself or anyone else a virgin. But to society, I am one. It means nothing to me, but if it avoids some misunderstandings in this world of misunderstandings, then I'll happily adopt a few arbitrary labels for a few hours.


Monday, October 14, 2013


Now Playing: How to be a Heartbreaker by Marina and the Diamonds (it's better to be fake, can't risk losing in love again)

It has occurred to me of late that I am something of an enigmatic character; and, in a place like university where dearest friends are actually mere acquaintences, and lovers are people you barely know but know too much about, this is something of a burden to myself and my colleagues. I know I must seem utterly unpredictable, but I'm never really pretending or putting on an act; I am really all of these things. I know I am innocent and naive and gullible. I know that I am mature and capable and intelligent. I know that I am small and cute and bubbly. I know I am not beautiful, but I can be sexy if I want to be. I know I use all of this to my advantage when the time is right, but I am all of these things. I really was scared. I really was happy. I really was being bold and defiant. I really was angry. Doubt anything, but do not doubt my sincerity.

There is, of course, a degree of calculation in it. But it's not acting; acting implies deceit. I am simply adaptable, and conscious of adaptability. Is that really such a bad thing?

I think it is a result of my botched education that I am like this; horrifically maladjusted, far too mature and yet far too ignorant. I have been taught by the best teachers in the country at the best school in the state, but something has been very remiss. I learnt to talk but not to touch; I learnt how to make dangerous threats but not quite how to carry through with them. I can hold my own in a clash of wills against dominant men twice my size and double my charisma, but winning against them doesn't quite feel like happiness, yet. I have learnt how to be endearing but not quite how to be respected.

And people make mistakes, based on what they see. They see a child, sometimes, and then realise that that child has just outsmarted them. They see someone who gives as good as she gets, but ends up getting more than she bargained for. They see someone with great bravado and mistake it for courage. It is not my fault people judge me on face value. There is nobody on this earth who lacks complexity; there is nobody on this earth who escapes the wrath of split second judgements.

I have become, for want of a better word, a politician. Politics is in my blood; I've always been quite charming, at least to people who don't know me too well and are not troubled with the burden of loving troubled souls and damaged goods. Even small scale politics such as university guild politics can change a person. The people I associate with are all blisteringly intelligent, ruthlessly calculative and it is a blessing that I am on their team and not on their target. I may be young and inexperienced, but I learn quickly and I learn from the best teachers; and not all that I learn is strictly to do with politics. Love and loyalty is very important in popularity rat races. Nothing is a disadvantage; you only have to learn to use everything to your advantage.

I suppose I am quite enigmatic. Perhaps I am not the steady, level headed, rock of stability people want; but there are other people to fill those roles. I am the little girl who can dodge and divearound people three times her size to sweet talk voters. I am someone who is easy meat to pick on but perfectly capable of stirring up a ruckus to get an appropriate response out of the appropriate people. I am someone who gets stage fright but even in the grips of terror can still flip a witty remark. I am someone who can flirt her way to almost anything, even unchartered territory. I quite like that. More resilient characters snap in the wind and buckle under pressure. It's only the small and the accomodating who can ride out storms.

Friday, October 11, 2013

there will always be another

Now Playing: All You Never Say by Birdy (all you never say is that you love me, and all I'll never know is if you want me)

I'll be the first to confess I'm not wonderful at relationships. People are so unpredictable, and I am the most unpredictable of them all. Affection always seems overwhelmingly intense and whimsically ethereal, all at once. I don't understand it, and sometimes it hurts, but I love it. I have always been addicted to love, and to people.

I come to uni as an unknown quantity, which simultaneously intrigues and scares the pants off of people. I am too young but not that young but not quite old enough, which is a frustrating thing to battle for all involved. It is difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that legally I am a fundamentally different person on February 5 than on February 4; both when I turned sixteen and when I will turn eighteen. Seventeen is a frustrating and emotionally fraught liminal space, especially in the highly charged places and people I have found myself with. I've always been somewhat enigmatic, but I suppose that is exaggerated when you are a child in an adult environment and a bit of both.

I am much clearer about what I want, though. I have realised that some of the things I dreamed of in my younger and more vulnerable days are repulsive and degrading; I have realised some things I turned my nose at I actually crave more than anything else. I know that I don't really want a capital-R Relationship with capital-R Responsibilities right now. I know now that attraction and friendship and romance are neither mutually inclusive nor mutually exclusive; I know now that it's okay to want some but not all. I know now that even as young and reckless as we are some of us are hurting, and some of us are broken, and maybe some of us are even permanently damaged; and they will turn their back to you, literally or figuratively, and it will hurt you somehow, too - but you will love them anyway, because vulnerability has become dangerously beautiful. I know now that there are people who let you be afraid but refuse to let you be ashamed, and those are the kinds of people I love best of all.

But the one thing I have learnt is that love is infinite. You can't waste something you will never run out of - I felt drained and exhausted, like a corpse drained of blood by a monster in the night, but love has a way of replenishing. I have learnt that I will do things I will regret with people I will never come to love, but that's okay - the important thing is to focus on staying safe, and not to focus on staying whole. You are not what you do, and you are not where you are from; nothing you do and nothing others can do to you will diminish you as a person. There is nothing in this world that can destroy the fact that you are a child of the universe, and you are of infinite worth.

And the most important thing I have learnt, perhaps, is that there will always be another. Things seem so final and fraught when you're young and stupid; and men always had a way of tricking me into believing that this was it, he was my happy ending, even if it was neither happy nor an ending. I was always the one left wanting, the one left to pine alone, the one left to exist on memories, the one to wonder why they do not love me, do not want me. I have realised that two can play that game, and that it touches prides and wounds egos. But it is important for people to realise that loyalty only goes so far. My admiration and affection remains unchanged, but if you are loath to commit you won't get any commitment from me.

I suppose this resolution, to walk away from things that are dead ends and not fresh stories, is the lesson I have learned now that I have an emotionally abusive relationship under my belt. I know what it is to be hopelessly dependent, to feel like there's nobody else and there will not be anybody else, to feel like the world is falling apart when they leave. I know what it's like to feel as though you have to endure not only another person's faults and imperfections, but also blatant neglect, condescension, cruelty. I am the first person in the world to admit that I am not perfect, and I neither want nor deserve someone who is. But I know now what is the difference between tolerating faults and tolerating abuse. You may think me disloyal, but I have learnt to love like men; I will not put up with being cast aside. You can't expect to keep anyone you throw away; they will run, run alone, or run into the arms of someone else. There will always be another, and you are only one of many. Men are more or less much the same as one another; it is how they treat you that sets one above the rest.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013


I had almost forgotten kindness
Warm arms, soft words, sweet smiles
I thought they were lost to a life and time
I'll never know again

You have too much power for a ghost
I'd do anything you say if you say it with your hands
I found you in the dark
But I could not find your heart

At three in the morning, in the darkness
Arms around me and lips against me
And clothes scattered on the floor
Too rough, too warm

You were born and died in my arms
Whispered words and blushing confessions
Hushed revelations and animated conversations
They are all here, here with me, here to keep me company

I have never known such vulnerability
I do not know you at all
But I know you have known pain, and loneliness
It is easy to touch you, but easier still to touch your pride

But for a moment, I think
Just for half a heartbeat
I knew not only your naked body
But also your naked soul

Damn these walls
In the moment we were ten feet tall
And you told me after it all
We'd remember tonight for the rest of our lives

Inspired by 'Wings' by Birdy 

Friday, October 04, 2013

hiatus things

Now Playing: Wings by Birdy (you told me after it all we'd remember this night for the rest of our lives)

I apologise for the hiatus from 'actual blogging' over the last few weeks.

Firstly, my dearest friend is gone. I'm doing okay; I keep finding myself and then losing it again, but I'll get there. It feels weird, writing and knowing he's not reading; or, at least, reading as a bitter cynical broken ex-friend instead of my sweet smiling best mate.

More importantly, I ran in my first election - which is the most exhausting, stressful, draining, deliriously exciting thing I have ever done. I've made so many new friends and had so many good times and it has really helped me pull through such a difficult time.

I did say that Speak Now would be back three days ago but didn't anticipate the crazy that has been this week. I'm not going to set any deadlines, but I'm just saying that Lady Solitaire is back, and I hope you missed me.

Stay beautiful :)