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25 And Broke

It was a couple of sleeps before pay day and my work colleagues and I were having a laugh comparing our savings accounts this morning. One of the guys declared she had 35 cents left and another was scrounging around in his pigeon hole to find loose change. I have to admit, I diagnosed my wallet with anorexia last week due to my much adored but ridiculously spoilt Mini Cooper being serviced (a lot has changed since my last few blog entries) leaving me with four dollars for the rest of the fortnight (which is now non-existent because I snacked on KFC chips at break time).

Despite the early humour on this frosty Melbourne Monday, I couldn't help but feel a little uneasy over two things. The first, as I recalled an article my friend, Grace e-mailed me recently. And second, as I think about the 19-week wonder swimming around in my belly.

The article, titled "Why We Need To Take 20-Somethings Seriously" by Jenna Goudreau discusses the growing concern over the named generation's hesitant or, arguably, easygoing approach to maturity - a successful job and stable family life. Apparently, we are still living with parents, own no savings and are stuck in a mindset where we seem to sweep the final career path, marriage and children under the bed for the 30-somethings to discover. We think that we are still at an age where spending X amount too much for that designer dress you just have to have for the next boozy weekend around the corner is still the norm.
Goudreau wrote we've been dubbed The Stuck Generation or The Lost Generation. My honest opinion? I think we are more like, The CBF Generation. We're just too damn lazy to get out there and do something about this controversial era, let alone write out phrases without cutting corners.

Grace and her partner have been awakened - she told me they just switched to serious jobs and invested in an apartment. And today, just pondering about my future maternal engagements and (now) zero bank account, I just might have awakened too.


Oh by the way, I have a boyfriend :)

It wasn't part of my plan this year but as that saying goes, Blah blah blah... when you're not looking for it, something along those lines anyway. I feel like a giddy teenager with a super massive crush. Haven't felt this dreamy since the day I first laid eyes on Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys in the film clip, "I Want it That Way" when I was, like, 12 years old!

Since our relationship is still quite fresh I'll let it settle in before I write any more about it. All I'll tell you is his name is Sash and he gives me the Fuzzies (insert crazed, obsessed, girly #1 fan squeal here)

Here is a drawing I did of him, I used a standard 2B Graphite pencil. I'll post other pieces I have done in the past soon...

Til next time!

Freaky February

Last month was so turbulent I'm still left a little unsettled. Perhaps when it doesn't hurt anymore I'll be able to write about it. In the meantime, I have started planning some major life decisions, I'll fill you all in soon... Check out what I made amidst all the chaos, Cheers - Anne.

Kia and I

Yesterday I got woken up by my sister, Vicki who told me our neighbour stopped by to talk. Someone had smashed my car window in.

I didn't immediately get out of bed.

"What, you don't care?" my sister's voice sounded flabbergasted. It made me laugh. What hasn't happened to my car?

My father bought me my Kia Rio hatchback as soon as I turned 18. I hated her then, I thought Daddy was making fun of me because the Kia had a mosque of a hatch that resembled my butt. I treated her with a "meh" attitude throughout the peak of my adolescence and five years later she is shaded with scratches, has a smashed tail light, a missing antenna and cigarette burns spotting the ceiling (I can keep going).

As a matter of fact, now that I look back on it I can honestly say my Kia has gone through more shit than I've had heart breaks. Her lock was picked and broken into once when us girls were out clubbing. Then another time she was stolen for a couple of days until the police recovered her at a local train station. More recently some naive P-plater forgot to check her rear view mirror and reversed right into her poor door, leaving a decent-sized cavity on the driver's side.

In our younger years, my Kia witnessed the works from anger rants, hidden weed sessions, heck she's even tolerated my blue days belting out ballads from Mariah Carey's Music Box. She's heard all the latest gossip, experienced all my mood swings and knows all my darkest secrets.

So back on my bed that day drinking in Vicki's astonishment, I pulled myself up and headed downstairs to see my Kia. You see, if this was some weird attempt from Karma or the universe to try and ruin my day, my reply would be, "Pfft, that all you got?" Because Kia and I, we're ready for anything.


Lately I've been having flashbacks and weird dreams of scenes from my past. It all started two weeks ago with a Samoan BBQ and a boy named Goce. I spotted him quickly, frail and pasty white against the crowd. But it wasn't because he looked out of place that made me do the double take. Where did I know him from...?

A bottle of red later my friend Cassie and I were coming back from my car with another when I saw him again standing around in front of the house. This time he stared right back at me. "Anne?"

And there it was, the first of a series of flashbacks to come. I saw a spiky blonde-tipped 'do with a mean red streak at the back that belonged to the 19-year-old me. I was pinning on a tag - Anne Santos, Customer Service Leader - on my bright blue shirt. Sitting on an upside down crate sucking on probably my 10th cigarette that day and that same voice, "Anne" made me turn to face him.

"Goce!" I hugged him like it was '06 again, working at KFC in Footscray. We reminisced and swapped stories that day, I reminded him of his obsession with Spongebob Squarepants and how he was my best employee and he reminded me of Akon's Moonshine I couldn't get enough of, blaring on repeat, getting the whole staff to groove to it whenever it wasn't busy. I remember Roula telling me stories about her love life, Russell, the Cook's jokes, my pants splitting at the crotch when I bent down to carry the chicken trays and Yasmin's squeaky laugh. The list was endless.

It's strange. Whenever I thought about my time at the Footscray store I always did so with distaste. All I could remember was the stress I went through juggling university and being a manager-in-training, getting lectured and shifts cut by that witch of a co-worker, Rebecca and receiving a 56% on my review that got all the branch managers nudging and whispering about me. Ugh.

I didn't realise until I saw Goce that day how much I'd almost forgotten about my past. The good stuff that should have stayed with me. It's all coming back now, not just from my teenage years but earlier too. It was as if Goce had tapped into the firewall that suppressed my happier memories. Makes me go hmmmm, life was good after all.

My Quarter-Life Epiphany

A handful of pictures from my trip

They say a human learns to walk at around twelve months old. However, I don't think I really started standing on my two feet until recently. I came back from South America a couple of weeks ago and a tan wasn't the only thing I brought back home (save for the eight Brazilian bikinis I couldn't resist!)

 Who would've thought three short weeks on foreign land could change this rooted headset of mine (which is partly thanks to my Filipino tinted upbringing and skeptic nature)? Especially my views on the working class pyramid. Throughout the duration of my high school years it was reiterated to me of the importance of getting into the medical industry or law. Other options were dismissed therefore I always had the impression that those people, the doctors, nurses and lawyers, were the better people. My tour group was a medley of characters grabbed from nooks and crannies of the world and amongst us, alas was a doctor and a lawyer. On our introductory meeting I was so careful to treat those people with a little more respect than anyone else, always cautious with what I said in front of them in case it dared offended them or made them think any lower of me. But, as each day drew us closer, brought more laughs and formed solid friendships it was obvious that a job title means nothing at all and in the end, it is one's personal entity that ranks them.

I've had this theory since I was a teenager that happiness depends on the prince who broke my 100-year slumber. My friend, Jen told me she recently watched a documentary that detailed how fairy tales brainwash children, hence the many hearts being broken today. And the question running through my head as the plane landed on Brazilian ground was what if I find The One here? I've always felt this unrelenting urge to find my soul mate then one day in Paraty, I was kayaking near the shore when I reached a peaceful spot away from the crowd. I remember looking up and leaning my elbows back on the ledge to come face-to-face with the most incredible scene of palm trees and mountains sprinkled across golden islands. The amount of all the happiness that past boyfriends had given me could not even begin to compare to the euphoria that overcame me at that moment. It was then I knew that right now I needed only me, myself and I.

 Pessimistic is my father's middle name and it was unfortunately passed on to me. My high-strung personality meant that preparing for the holiday entailed over-packing, stressing about paperwork and picturing every possible bad scenario over and over until I almost changed my mind about the trip. Our group got stranded in Colonia, Uruguay when our ferry was unable to leave the dock due to constant storms. I began to fret about our limited time in Buenos Aires, we would be short a day so that meant not having enough time to see this, that and what-not. Then our tour guide, Leon came up with a plan to perform a Sun Dance in hopes for the Gods to answer our pleas. For once I decided to blank my mind and just... dance! And Wow with a capital W, that is so much easier than straining my brain with thoughts and troubles. I'm in South America with the most beautiful company and I'm happy. Why the hell am I worrying for?

 I still cannot believe that only a fraction of my lifetime was devoted to this holiday yet I found a breakthrough to what should have been my Quarter-Life Crisis. I am conquering the stigma of this common phase and pretty soon I won't just be walking, I'll be skipping my way to my thirties, singing "I can see clearly now, the rain is gone!"

The Peculiar Phenomenon We Call Deja Vu

Before yesterday, the last time I went to The Melbourne Show was 10 whole years ago. This recent experience worried me. It was a cloudy, cold and clammy day so I trudged alongside my  friend, Jen and younger 12-year-old brother, Aaron. The entry fee and lunch prices made me squirm, and there was this monstrosity of a ride they called The Space Roller. It looked like a giant propellor that someone had thrown a spanner into, so it jerked about all over the place threatening to break off its stand. Jen and Aaron convinced me to get on it and I was in absolute agony watching the asphalt, clouds and clusters of children merge into one and feeling like my bowels were going to rip off my body.

The reason for my concern that day was because if it had been the year 2000 I would have called the weather a harmless, light drizzle. My 13-year-old brain would not have thought twice about the prices (why when you have parents?) and I would have jumped on every ride available, even anticipating that stomach-dropping adrenalin rush as gravity pulls your body about. It made me ask myself if I was losing my inner child, am I really getting that old?

Besides that, I did take the time to enjoy my Dagwood Dog...

At one stage we were watching a group of proffesional divers performing before a 3 metre tank of water. The highest diving board was 25 metres from the surface. That's equivalent to 10 stories high! I could feel the apprehension of the audience as we watched one of the divers climb up to the peak where the board was waiting for him. I actually videotaped him on my phone and it seemed to take him forever to reach the top, then suddenly I was looking around wildly, a familiar feeling inside me increasing as promptly as it started. At my feet; the grass wasn't scattered around evenly on the earth, more so in clumps. The man hadn't jumped yet, and I could see that there were two red flags above him with a cross marked on each, flapping like wings against the draft. There were 2 commentators I could hear, an Aussie and a French. I didn't even have to look around to know that the Frenchman was dressed in a yellow suit. It occured to me that I was encountering an intense moment of Deja Vu (a sense that you have experienced something before, it is said to be a startling and often disturbing feeling of history repeating, yet you cannot place where the first encounter occured).

It stalked me all the way home, I wanted to know why it happens to us and what it means. That night I scoured online forums for some answers and similar incidents. Here are a few things I found...

French scientist Emile Boirac was the first to study this strange phenomenon and gave its name in 1876, which translates to "already seen". It is hard to explain scientifically because the moment is so sudden and fleeting that it is difficult to pinpoint how one becomes subjected to it. It usually occurs in mundane scenes yet the experience is often remembered with incredible detail. It is more frequent in our 20's and tends to trail off as we age.

There are over 40 theories associated with Deja Vu - everyone's had a crack at trying to figure it out from philosophers, psychologists, even paranormal experts. Some of the major theories include the Dual Processing Theory where scientists state that Deja Vu occurs when 2 cognitive processes are out of sync and the Divided Attention Theory where it is believed that when we are distracted with something else, our brains are still able to register our surroundings subliminally therefore when we do finally focus on our surroundings, we would think we'd already seen and experienced it before (because technically, we have).

Despite all this boring logical stuff, my artist's mind leans towards the more paranormal theories such as the ones associated with reincarnation, precognitive dreams and thought waves. Buddhists have put their 2 cents in, saying that Deja Vu incidents mean that we are on the right path of our life journey. Many believe that the Deja Vu sensation originates from memories of a past life. I read one case where a 2-year-old girl told her mother of her vows as a nun and went to describe her duties in the convent, versing night prayers she could not have known. There was another of a woman who had a lucid dream of watching a man jump down from a building, but before she witnessed him hit the ground, she looked up to see a woman jump also. A few years later she was watching the televised news on September 11, 2001 and saw the same horrific scene from her dream, right down to the colour of the woman's shirt. Lastly, I read of a retired military man's nightmare of people screaming for help amidst explosions, smoke and debris. He woke up distressed on the same treacherous day, September 11 to find out that his dream was actually playing out on the other side of the country. It is said that when a large group of people bear the same thoughts, these turn into radio waves that are picked up by others.

Feel free to put your 2 cents in :)