Crying at airports and flying business class

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Nelsons Bay – Mountain view

Welcome to another disclaimer with Hana.
Now the next few posts I will be talking a lot about grief, obviously.
I just wanted to say that I am no expert, at all, on this process or topic. This is purely my experience. If you have dealt with, or are dealing with grief, you would know that everyone’s experience is completely individual.
Anything you are feeling, or what ever way you choose to cope with it is completely normal, and completely fine. Weather that is starting a blog to talk openly about your experience, seeking medical help to boost you to get you through, getting out into nature, or staying inside with a blanket and chocolate: It is all okay, because no one can or should tell you how to deal with losing someone you love dearly.

Like I said, my first emotion was blinding anger. I walked back up to my room in the hostel and I sat on my bed in shock. This lasted about 2 minutes before I went into full panic mode. I tried to call my best friend. No answer. I tried to call her again, and again. I couldn’t sit still. I felt like someone had pumped my body full of adrenaline.
I was getting rushing waves of crippling nausea. I wanted to disappear, or go back to 5 minutes earlier when I hadn’t spoken to my mum on the phone and just pretend like none of this was happening.

I called my other best friend and she answered in her usual, beautiful chipper voice.
‘My dad died, and I need you to get me home’, was all I could manage to squeeze out of my throat. I forwarded her my flight and insurance details and I messaged her every 2 minutes asking her to update me on what was going on. I paced up and down my hostel. I considered showering. I brushed my teeth. I gaged over the sink about 15 times.

I finally couldn’t take it any longer and I just shoved all of my clothes into my bag. At this stage people had started to walk into my shared dorm and they were looking at me like I was a wild animal.
Without thinking I just smiled and walked out of the room, down the stairs, and out the front door. I got in a cab. My brother called me, and I cried for the first time in big, long sobs.

My friend called me to let me know that she had organised my flight out of Ho Chi Mihn back to Brisbane, but I wouldn’t be able to leave until the next night, at 9pm.
I had just expected to be able to get a flight back immediately. Isn’t that what happens in movies? They find out the tragic news and then the next scene they are back home in the arms of their loved ones.
A very hard truth I have learnt from the last 12 months is that life will take your expectations of things and it will sling shot them so far out the park you will be confused why you ever thought they made sense in the first place. Let’s all say it together guys ‘It will rip the rug out.’
I now had no choice but to spend 24 hours in another country by myself.
I was sitting at Da Lat airport with a phone on 12%, talking to my mum, making her explain to me in every detail what had happened while I sat in front of an entire flight full of people and cried.


I got off the phone to my mum and I messaged my friend who was still in Ho Chi Mihn; the boy who convinced me to get ‘Fuck it’ tattooed on my leg. I didn’t know what to do but I knew that I couldn’t be alone the whole time.
He replied and told me he’d meet me at Ho Chi Mihn as soon as I landed.

I had gotten in the cab to the airport because I just needed to be moving somewhere, but my plane didn’t actually leave for 4 hours. I went and spoke to the help desk at this tiny airport. There was a flight back to Ho Chi Mihn in 1 hour instead of 3, but only Business class was available.
Now I’d always dreamt of flying Business class. Those hot towels and extra leg room for my huge 5’2 sized body always sounded like bliss. I didn’t picture my first (and probably only) business class experience being like this: A tiny plane that was in the air for a total of 28 minutes. I got a hot towel and a glass of orange juice and they let me off the plane first. I think I would have gone crazy if I had to sit at Da Lat airport for 3 more hours.

My friend met me at Ho Chi Mihn and we got in a cab back to the hostel I’d been staying at before I left. I was so exhausted mentally. I was so uncomfortable with what was happening that I didn’t know how to act.
I booked the private room in the hostel and went and dropped my bags off. It was around 10pm and I hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
I was forced to go and get Pho and I walked through the busy streets of District 5 in Ho Chi Mihn. What was I meant to be doing? Was it okay for me to eat? Do I talk about it?

My friend was this brilliant America guy who had this way of telling stories about mundane things in a way that was entirely entertaining. I laughed over my pho and for about 2 seconds I pretended things were normal, and that I was not a girl whos dad was no longer alive.
I actually can’t remember a lot of this night or the next day. Trying to recall it is like trying to remember a night you went and got black out drunk. It’s blurry around the edges and I think I have manipulated some of the facts.

The next day I woke up in my private room. I managed to sleep for about 4 hours. My brother called me, then my aunty, then 3 of my best friends.
I got messages from my ex, from people I went to school with. I thanked everyone. I posted a photo of my dad to Facebook.
I didn’t allow myself to feel anything real though. I had no feeling attached to anything I was saying. I was saying things I thought I was meant to say.
I spoke to one of my friends on the phone and I told her ‘I know he loved me, and I loved him’, which is true but I remember saying this and it being like I was reciting a line from a book.

I had to get home and I knew that kicking and screaming and falling into a pile would help absolutely no one, myself especially. I wouldn’t allow myself to feel the full reality of the situation. I just had to get through this day.
My family was calling me begging me to just be safe. To stay inside if I could. To just wait out the 14 hours I had left in Vietnam.
I got a bike to a massage parlour and I had a 2 hour massage.
The women in the parlour did not hide her hate for me. I don’t think anyone has every actually booked the 2 hour massage option before. My masseuse took a phone call 45 minutes in and proceeded to massage my shoulders half heartedly with one hand for the remaining 75 minutes.
I didn’t care. I just wanted time to pass.

The day crept on but finally it was time to leave. I said goodbye to my friend, promised I’d come see him in America and thanked him. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without that tiny bit of comfort that day that he provided.

The first leg was the hour flight from Vietnam to Bangkok and I had 2 panic attacks on that flight. It was absolutely horrible and when I got to Bangkok I really didn’t know how I was going to make it through the next 7 hours wedged between people on a plane.

I timidly walked up to the cabin crew for my next flight who were scanning passengers boarding passes so they could wait at the gate. I asked to talk to the manager and I had no idea what to say. I just wanted people to be able to read my mind. I didn’t want to say it out loud. She walked up to me and I explained that I was flying back because my dad had died, and I was terrified I was about to have the worst 7 hours of my life.
She honestly looked a little bit freaked out, but she gave me the entire back row of the flight to myself. I boarded the plan and I drifted in and out of sleep for the next 7 hours.
As the plane dipped below the clouds on the way down, the first gentle wave of grief hit me.
Brisbane came into view and I thought: you will never fly into Brisbane and see your dad again.

The next week was full of photo albums and stories and family members I hadn’t seen in years. It was full of hugs and tears and sitting on the edge of my parents bed wondering how I was meant to be feeling. My brother and I organised my fathers funeral and I stood in a room full of people who loved him and I spoke about how he was my hero.
My dad never thought people liked him, but that room was so full that people were standing at the fringes of it.
Everything was a blur and even writing about it now sends a deep pain into my chest.

For me, my initial shock lasted the 3 weeks I was in Brisbane.
After 3 weeks, I left in my dads old Toyota to drive down to Melbourne over 5 days.
I knew it would all start to hit me at this time but I promised myself that above all, I would be kind to myself.

It seemed that the further I drove away from Brisbane, the more it all started to sink in.
I pulled over in Coffs Harbour and sat on the beach and spoke to my dad out loud and let myself cry and cry. I hiked up a mountain in Nelsons Bay and I clung to my locket that holds some of his ashes, and a little bit of happiness slipped in. I yelled his favorite songs in anger on the windy drive out of Sydney and stopped at solar farm on a mountain, and screamed so hard into the wind that my throat hurt. I stayed at an Alpaca farm in Crookwell, this tiny, freezing town about 2 hours before Wagga Wagga, with this woman who taught me how to make ginger jam and who cooked me dinner.
This night is the first night I dreamt about my dad. This was the first night that the cushion that was around my brain started to give a little, and I had this shocking overwhelming pain in my entire body at the thought of him being gone.
Now I know this is going to sound weird, but for the first time since he had died, I thought about my dad as who he was to me, and not about him like he was the main character in a sad story.

Driving back into the Melbourne I thought about how I had left 5 weeks earlier. All bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready for my life changing trip to Vietnam.
It was like a bubble had been popped around my life.
Nothing was the same anymore. I didn’t feel the same. Everything that I had been worried about before I left seemed absolutely and completely trivial.

So, I guess it was pretty life changing after all.

Till next time.

Vietnamese iced coffees and the worst day of my life

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09 May 2018. Sunset at my hostel at 5am

We have made it to May, and let me preface this by apologising for the sheer length of this post, it was hard to widdle down and you will hopefully see why.
Once again, thank you for coming back. If this is the first post you’re reading I would probably suggest you go back and read my previous posts purely for context.
Or don’t, I can’t tell you how to live your life.

So I boarded the plane to Vietnam on the 1st of May very nervously, I had no idea what I was doing. I was kicking myself for not just getting a weird pixie cut or buying a dog like a normal person going through an existential crisis.
6 hours later and I was at Bangkok airport, calling my mum on Facebook messenger and crying on the phone to her while I waited at the gate for my next flight to Ho Chi Mihn. Saying I am ‘just tired and overwhelmed’ is one of my favourite excuses for just about anything, and it is accurate 99% of the time as well.
My mums favourite answer to my whining is always ‘after some rest you’ll be fine’.
I had forgotten what travelling was like, and I wildly underestimated my level of confidence while travelling alone. I also didn’t sleep on planes. So like I said…Tired and overwhelmed.

I boarded the last leg, still very nervous. I sat next to a man who chewed so loudly that it made me feel sick, and who gave me his number about an hour in. He told me ‘Ho chi Mihn is crazy man’ and to call him if I needed anything.
Flying into Ho Chi Mihn city was incredibly surreal and I had this overwhelming sense of achievement mixed in with my fear.
It didn’t really matter anymore if I was scared, it didn’t matter if I didn’t think I could make friends, or if I thought I wasn’t smart enough to navigate a foreign city. I was there and I was in control of how I handled myself. I was doing it!

So I got ripped off in the cab on the way from the airport to my hostel. When I got to my hostel, no one spoke to me (probably because I looked like I was about to burst into tears). I spent the entire first day drinking Vietnamese iced coffees, starving because I was too scared to order anything other than a Vietnamese iced coffees in my broken Vietnamese, and just feeling so sorry for myself because I was alone. When I finally was able to check into my room I went upstairs and sat on my bed and cried for the second time that day. Vietnam was off to an absolute rocking start. Travelling alone was so fun!

Luckily I had a good rest that night and I felt better (thanks mum).
I spent the next 6 days in Ho Chi Mihn with a group of wonderful people.
Let me sum it up for you in one, long, run through sentence: I bought a motor bike, because I’m smart, I sold the motor bike a day later and lost $150 on it…because I’m smart, I let a boy I’d just met convince me to get ‘fuck it’ tattooed on my leg in his handwriting, again…smart, I drank cocktails in an alley way, went to a song bird cafe at 6am, tried to ride a scooter on the highway while I was hung over, got scared and turned around half an hour in, I ate the spiciest crab to ever be cooked, drank heaps of beers, did too many balloons, drank too many Vietnamese iced coffees and cried like a baby at the war museum. I fell totally in love with the chaos of Ho Chi Mihn.

Day 7 came and I decided it was time to leave for Da Lat and for some reason I had the genius idea of booking an overnight bus. I left HCMC at 1am.
If you didn’t know already, let me tell you: overnight buses in general are the absolute worst. Overnight buses driving up into the mountains of Vietnam while the driver is just straight up leaning on the horn, now they are absolutely hands down, terrifying. The journey should have taken 8 hours and we got there in 6.

I got off the bus and I was immediately assaulted with the cold air shooting straight through my singlet. I did not account for Da Lat being cold and I already hated it. Shivering and once again overwhelmed I tried to figure out where my hostel was. See I booked this beautiful home stay in the mountains that didn’t have an address online and I had organised for the owners to call me at 8, which was when I thought I’d be arriving in Da Lat. My issues had now begun.
A man with a shitty 50cc scooter kept yelling at me in Vietnamese. He wanted to drive me to my hostel and after figuring out that he was offering to do it for $5AUD, I jumped on the back with him. Let us note that I still did not know where my hostel was. He didn’t speak a word of English, and my Vietnamese went as far as ‘Hello’, ‘Yes’ and ‘Sweet coffee with milk’. He didn’t really like me.
We ended up pulling over about half an hour from the bus terminal on the side of a dirt road, him crouched down next to his bike, yelling into my phone at my Vietnamese friend who I had called in a panic to translate for me. After about a 5 minute conversation he shoved the phone back into my face and my friend said ‘He will take you to your hostel, he isn’t happy with you and you have to give him more money’. I didn’t have a great deal of options at this point so I agreed and we kept riding.
About 10 minutes later he abruptly stopped his bike and gestured for me to get off.
See this was very confusing for me because we were in the middle of a mountain on a highway, but I wasn’t about to argue with him in shitty broken Vietnamese so I got off his bike, he drove off, and I looked around for anything that might resemble my hostel.

It was 7am at this point and I somehow found myself stranded in the middle of no where. I was literally on a mountain in Da Lat. My hostel was not anywhere to be seen. I walked through the bush attempting to find some kind of indicator that it was close by, and it wasn’t. I tried to call the hostel, I tried to message the hostel, I even somehow nancy-drewed the shit out of their Facebook page and found one of the owners and messaged him aswell. Absolutely no replies.
I had a great moment of defeat and I sat on a tree stump in the forest while I told myself that, no, I was not going to die, I was going to be okay, I just had to stay positive and get up. I started walking back in the direction I had come from, and about an hour later I saw a fancy hotel on the water. I no longer cared about anything but finding a bed so I could go and lay down and not talk to anyone for the rest of the day, and that is what I did. I fell asleep at 2pm that day. I think you could agree that my first day in Da Lat was an absolute success.

I woke up the next day at 7am and felt much better (again, thanks mum). I also had a message from the hostel I was meant to stay at, apologising profusely and offering for me to go and stay there that night for free. I checked out of my fancy hotel room feeling refreshed and ordered a cab, giving the correct address to my beautiful home stay. I drove straight past where I had been abandoned by my driver the day before, and then we continued to drive for another 20 minutes to the other side of the mountain.
I stayed at a place call the Wilder-Nest in Da Lat. I would 100% recommend it if you are looking for a breathtaking, quiet homestay type hostel. I would probably also recommend you go as a couple, or at least with a friend. There was nothing around and I had no one to talk to.
I started to feel a little bit alone and a little bit sad. I decided to get an early night once again, not quiet 2pm early, but early enough.

5 am the next day and I woke up with a weird, heavy, uneasy feeling.
The sun was rising so I took my blanket to a chair overlooking the hills and watched the sky turn this amazing shade of pink. I remember this day from start to finish so vividly.
I sat on this chair and tried to force myself to feel anything but this weird anxiety. I had to check out of my hostel at around 10 and part of me was just willing the day to go faster.
This was the first time since I arrived in Vietnam that I felt that shitty. I boiled it down to having had such a stressful day the day before – Tired and overwhelmed, remember?
I called my best friend while I was waiting to check out and I complained to her about how I was feeling. I was in this beautiful place, experiencing beautiful life! Why did I feel so utterly miserable?

I googled a hostel to stay at in the centre of Da Lat and I caught a bike there through the mountains. I checked in and paid for the night and went straight up to my room and laid on the bed. I considered calling my mum but decided against it. I had Face-timed her the day before and my I-got-abandoned-on-a-mountain story kind of freaked her out, so I decided to leave her alone with my worries for the day.
I dragged myself out of the room and went and got some lunch, I bought a t-shirt, I wrote in my journal about how sad I felt and how I knew it was just a stage in the process of growth, and that I just had to feel it and work through it.

When I got back to my hostel I decided that I would go downstairs and make some friends. I could make friends! I knew it would make me feel better to have some people to talk to.
I hit the ground floor of the hostel as my phone rang on Facebook messenger.
It was my mum.

‘Hey Mumma!’. The voice on the other end of the phone offered little resemblance to my mums. It sounded like my mum had gone through a blender. I didn’t recognise it at first. I knew something was terribly wrong immediately and my brain jumped around to what it could be.

I heard her say ‘It’s your dad’. I heard her say ‘He’s gone’.
Her voice cracked and my first emotion was blinding anger.
I don’t think you can ever imagine how you will react in that moment. I was so angry. I immidiately thought it was someone playing a joke on me.
I suddenly heard a police officer on the other end of the phone call me sweet-heart, told me to breath, he confirmed that they tried their best, got there as fast as they could, and he confirmed my absolute worst nightmare.

My dad had suffered a heart attack that took his life on the 9th of May.
My mum was holding his hand, she was the love of his life and the last thing he saw.
It was fast and painless and he was gone.

And I was in Vietnam, alone.

Till next time.

I’d like you to meet my big bellied superman

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It’s tough to put a light-hearted spin on this post, because writing this has been really hard. There have been some tears on the keyboard I’ll tell you that much.
I really would like to thank everyone for reading my previous posts, and for reading this one. For the likes and for the comments and for the friends who have sent me feedback and love.
Starting this blog, I had the intention of solely writing about one event and my process of healing from it, but when i started my first post I remembered how much I loved to write.
This event also needed some kind of context, and I didn’t want to sell this short.
I also realised how important to me it was to tell as many people as possible about my dad. You never know how you will react to grief and this has simply been my process for it.

But anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.

I would like to introduce you to Colin, my father.

My dad was a bricklayer for all of my childhood. We used to drive around Brisbane and he would point out all of the buildings that he had built.
I remember he would tell me the stories of how he used to work on the Telstra towers, and he would be hundreds and hundreds of metres in the air and he used to tap into wires and listen to the stats on the horse racing and he would bet accordingly.
I thought his job was boring, and very unromantic, so I never appreciated it or paid much attention.
He was also hilarious, and a bit of a dick.
He played pranks on everyone constantly. One day he tied one end of a rope to the toilet door while my mum was in there, and the other end he tied to my brother’s door across the hallway and then he called out to both of them. Every time one of them tried to open the door it would close the others.
He used to swim with me and pull me under by the feet. Every time I was on the computer he would walk past me, and he’d poke me in the ribs. When I moved to Melbourne and I would call him and my mum, I would hear him in the background singing ‘Hannah’s a bitch, Hannah’s a bitch’.
See: hilarious.

He was also my biggest fan, honestly. I’ve never felt pride like his for me. He was a big bellied grumpy man but he cried at my graduation. He used to brush my hair into a pony tail for school.
He picked me up the day after my aforementioned ‘deflowering’ and I sat on his lap and cried while he promised me I’d find someone who wasn’t a dick one day.
We butted heads like no bodies business. I thought he was stubborn, he knew I was just as stubborn as him, but we had an incredibly deep bond.
Every tiny step I took, he would cheer.
I was his baby girl, and he was my hero.

Then he got sick when I was 22. I won’t go into the nitty-gritty of his medical history but he had 1 very major, very complicated surgery in 2015. It knocked him pretty hard and he didn’t deal well with his body failing him. This man had a Nokia 3315 until it fell apart, he didn’t like change and I swear, he was stubborn. So when his recovery didn’t go as smoothly as we’d hoped, that was really tough on him mentally.
Just before this big surgery, they also found an aneurysm in his aorta. It was expanding at a rate that they couldn’t leave it, but he had to have this first surgery before they could do anything about his heart.
It felt like everything was going wrong, and I remember going back up to Brisbane after he had been released from hospital and seeing him and it being so confronting.
Ignorantly I was also angry at him, and that’s incredibly hard for me to admit now. I didn’t want him to be sick, I didn’t want him to be in hospital, I wanted him to be better and to be happy.

He got through it. He always got through it because he was truly the toughest man I knew.
His medical history became his identity, he had a really terrible recovery from his first surgery and he was in hospital for over a month. Hospital was all he could talk about and he didn’t want the second surgery, even though there wasn’t really another option.
My mum and I assured him it would be fine, and after the surgery it was all smooth sailing. Back to life as normal!

I originally had booked my life-changing- new-me-creating trip to Vietnam in March, however right smack bang in the middle of that trip was when he ended up getting booked in for his heart surgery.
I talked to him about it and he was very reluctant to have me change the dates of my trip: ‘There is nothing you can do if you’re here Hannah, I’m going to go through it either way’.
I, stubbornly, went against his word and I changed my flights to May anyway, giving a good month and a half for him to recover.

The day came and my goodness his surgery was long, so fucking long. I was down in Melbourne. He went in at 6am and I sat by my phone anxiously all day waiting for my mum to call me. I stress walked around my block 18 times, 2pm came, then 5pm came. Still no call. I refused to think the worst though. This couldn’t be it, he was going to be okay.
7pm and my phone finally rang, he was out, he was good. He still hadn’t woken up but it was a success.
I remember crouching down on the kitchen floor at my house and bursting into tears and then promptly going out with my housemate and getting fucking hammered.

This recovery, again, was so tough. I flew up to Brisbane for weeks at a time to go and visit him in hospital. Some days he would refuse to get out of bed, and I’d sit beside him and stroke his arm.
I always called him before I’d get to the hospital and ask if he wanted anything, and he would always demand a packet of Allens Marella Jubes. Oh boy he fucking loved Marella jubes, and I hated buying them for him. He just had heart surgery and he was demanding these lollies. I would always cave and I would always bring them to him and we’d sit and he would eat them and he’d tell me stories and he’d complain about how he wanted a cigarette, and I’d get mad at him for wanting a cigarette.

The last day I went to visit him I walked into the hospital dining room and he was already sitting around the table with a group of other men, all wounded in some way, all listening intently to my dad. He was telling all of the stories he would always tell me: How he would horse ride with his dad around to pubs in North Queensland and sell everyone fresh fish. How he was a light weight boxer in his 20s. How he built houses and climbed towers and was a master of darts and pool. I watched him tell his stories to this group of men and my heart literally swelled with pride.
I realised I got so much from him. I got his stubbornness, I got his blue eyes, I got his thick Scottish mountain climbing legs (thanks dad) and I also got his ability to tell a story.
He completely ignored me the entire time I was in that dining room because he was telling these stories. So after about half an hour I decided to leave. With my heart all full and warm I kissed him on the forehead and gave him a cuddle and I left the hospital.

Looking back I realise how beautiful this moment is to me. It turns out that kiss is the last one I would get to give him.

He got out of hospital on the 1st of May this year.
The exact same day that I boarded my plane to Vietnam, scared shitless, ready to have my life changed, find my purpose, meet the love of my life and achieve enlightenment. No biggy. Life was good.

But life is also funny, and unpredictable.
Sometimes when you’re getting all nice and comfortable, it throws a big fat punch your way and rips that rug right out.

Till next time.

Let’s talk about trust, baby

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So we have coasted through the years now, and with it, all the juicy bits that have really shaped me throughout the last 5 years.

I mentioned with my first relationship that it planted a seed of mistrust somewhere deep in my soul. My second relationship only fed that seed and grew it into a nice big beast. A mistrust beast..
When I moved to Melbourne it forced me to reinvent myself a little bit. I know that sounds so cliché and dumb, but it did. It also made me forget about my previous relationship pretty quickly and I started sleeping with someone new within about a month of being there. Just like that and I was as good as new.
Little did I know that I was pretty much just slapping a band-aid over that festering wound and calling myself healed. I still had this big, monstrous beast lingering below the surface, just sitting back on its heels, ready to pounce the moment I got comfortable in a new relationship.

Queue the cool, Berlin travelling, cigarette smoking boy who now lived in my friend’s house.
The beginning of this relationship was good, and exciting. The introduction to the parties and the music and the friends was amazing. I had a new little crew and we hung out together and everyone liked me! All of his friends thought I was ‘a refreshing breeze compared to his ex’ and I was so swept up. This bliss went on for about a year, even through all of the Vipassana anxiety fun times. I still look back on this time pretty fondly.

About a year in he started working for a new cafe. Along rolled in the cool new bunch of friends.
Just a side note, up until about 23/24 years old, I had always gotten along with boys more than girls. I think it is honestly because I could charm them and I sought some kind of validation from men more then women (I’ll bring that one up with my psychologist).
So the new friends rolled in, and along with them were 2 very pretty, very nice girls who I honestly never got to know because just like that, my gross claw footed trust beast came roaring out of the woodwork and she was here for one thing and one thing only:
To FUCK. SHIT UP.

It started the classic way, my ex liked to party a lot, and so did these girls. I was always invited, but I still had the ripples of anxiety washing over me and I never felt like I had anything interesting to say, so I avoided the situations and then, in turn, complained constantly about feeling left out.
Why did he like hanging out with them more? How often did they talk? Did he get along with them more?
Things escalated one day when he left his laptop open and I did something horrendous. I read his Facebook messages. It felt like I had oil in my veins the entire time I was reading them and I swore I’d never do it again.
Of course, that was a fucking lie. It was like a sick addiction. Like I was looking for something to validate the way I was feeling but as soon as I did it I just felt horrible about myself.
I know I’m not the first person to go through this, I know it happens a lot and if you are a person who is doing this right now with your partner, I just have one thing to say, Fucking stop it. Really, stop and observe the relationship and act accordingly.

I know I was doing it because I was in an incredibly unhealthy relationship and that took me such a long time to figure out. Upon much, MUCH reflection, I know I was unhappy, and possessive because of my insecurity, and I was inflicting some pretty major pain on him because of that.
I’m not 100% to blame for the total collapse though. It does take 2 to tango a lot of the time, and as it turns out he was pretty much in love with one of these girls I felt insecure about. They started dating about 4 months after we broke up.
But who knows, maybe if I wasn’t such a crazy person through out our relationship it could have turned out differently.

If I’m being 100% honest though, I knew that we just were not right for each other and that was not his fault, nor mine. I had a gut feeling about this for most of my relationship, and as the time has slipped by since the end, it has become more and more clear. Now I can’t actually remember why it was that we were together for so long, we were both miserable, and that’s probably my biggest regret.
If any of this is resonating with you right now, honestly, really, you need to have a really serious conversation with yourself (or a close friend) about what the fuck you’re doing.
Don’t stay in something that isn’t working just because you’re scared of the alternative.
The alternative is actually pretty great after some time. You’ll get to where you need to be, but not if you just stand still cause you’re scared of moving.

So that brings us to the beginning of the ‘Time life pulled the fucking rug out’.
We broke up in one messy, tear filled day. It was gut wrenching. The worst break up yet. I didn’t sleep for days, I went to the gym religiously. All of the comforts I thought I knew were gone.
To quote the great Katy Perry ‘I was like a plastic bag, floating in the wind’.
I had to move out of my house into the spare room of a 40-year-old beautifully crazy hippy who I learnt a lot about moon cycles from.
I found new best friends and I found a sense of independence that I have slowly fallen more and more in love with. I started to remember all the things about myself that I love, that I had lost.

I moved out of the beautiful hippy house into a place with one of my greatest friends who had also just separated from her boyfriend. We were mutha-fuckin bachelorettes, bitch, and we were loving it.

I was loving my independence, but I still felt like a part of me was stuck in my relationship.
I was scrolling my Instagram one day when I saw one of my friends had recently gone to Vietnam. In that moment of staring through my screen at his beautiful Honda Win 500 parked on a mountain over-looking rice fields, I decided that a trip alone to South East Asia was the key to unlocking the final stages of my healing process.
And so I booked tickets.
One month, back packing alone through Vietnam.

And just like that the countdown to the new me was ON.

Till next time.

 

 

2015: The year of love, meditation, and emotional breakdowns

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So it was the year of 2015.

Rhianna had just dropped ‘Bitch better have my money’, and I had a new boyfriend. It was honestly the making of a damn good year.

I went to my first Melbourne festival. Discovered deep house music and started to love DJ’s. I quit my cafe job and started working for a trendy bar. I moved to Fitzroy and began the hipster stage of my life. I got into uni, I dropped out of uni, and I fell in love with a new guy.

I also went to Vipassana.
Vipassana is a 10 day silent meditation retreat designed to untangle the ‘ego’ from the ‘self’. It’s a really beautiful thing. You spend about 12 hours a day meditating. A lot of people emerge on the other side of the 10 days having shifted their perspective on their lives and their minds. I, of course, went in thinking I would absolutely smash it and abolish my anxiety. It sounded like the most incredible quick fix in just 10 days!
Instead, I emerged 4 days later with what would be diagnosed as a severe anxious disorder that lasted a good part of 4 months afterwards.
I dropped about 15 kilos, I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t sleep. I just couldn’t shake the anxiety and it slowly took me into one of the darkest times of my life. I remember waking up one day and it was like someone had switched the light off behind my eyes.
It was scary and I was trying to juggle a new relationship, new friendships and a new job on about 3 hours sleep a night whilst trying to convince myself that I was not going crazy.

Looking back on this period of my life, I don’t really know how long it actually lasted. It was the first time I completely lost control of my own emotions and it was incredibly confronting. I know this is a change of tone from the rest of my blog posts, but I promise this will display some relevance later on.

So I was 22, I was anxious and I was trying desperately to stay active and social. Hoping one day that my brain would click back into normalcy and I would feel like myself again.
It didn’t happen like that though, it was gradual. I do remember one day in particular though when I was at work delivering food to a table. I was so anxious I felt sick.
I was desperately trying to figure out why I was anxious.
Was it my boyfriend? My family? Did something happen to me when I was younger that I was suppressing? These thoughts were just spinning around in my head constantly, when out of no where, a thought scrambled in: fuck it. Just let it happen.
Immediately I felt relief, for a second anyway. After that, it slowly got better. I regained control and now, I couldn’t even tell you when I went back to feeling normal. Crazy, huh.

That ‘Fuck it, just let it happen’ philosophy was a gem that would be lost for a long time. Almost the entire duration of my relationship with my new boyfriend actually, where the main focus was trying to control everything that he and I did. This thought would however get me through the most recent tough time that I’ve been through, the toughest most slippery time of them all..that we will get to later, I promise.

Somehow my relationship stood the test of 2015. Honestly I don’t know how. I was a clingy mess throughout this time. I constantly needed someone with me so I wouldn’t have to be alone with my self. I survived it though, I also learnt some lessons about my own mental health that would be incredibly valuable later on down the line. Pfft and I said I wasn’t a silver linings girl. Who am I kidding. Queen of positivity over here.

Anyway

That’s where I’ll leave you for today.

Till next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lets continue to introduce myself…

 

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So I believe we left off somewhere around 2013.

I packed up my room in the house I shared with my boyfriend at the time in Brisbane, and I borrowed a bright pink suitcase from my Grandma to shove all of my clothes into. I got a $1000 overdraw limit on my debit card approved and I had my measly $1000 savings in my account. $2000 (half of that not even my money) to pack up and move interstate… Man being a 20-year-old allowed you to make dumb decisions.

I handed in my resignation at the casino and I still have the photo I took when I left that sad establishment for the last time. I was pretty fucking chuffed with myself. I was sad, and life was offering me a change and so I was running with it. I remember the last dinner I had with my boyfriend. We went and ate meatballs and I remember looking at him and not being able to imagine my life without him. I second guessed my decision every step of the way, and in my mind I honestly hoped that my boyfriend would turn around at any moment and scream ‘NO HANA, STAY WITH ME FOREVER, YOU’RE MY DREAM GIRL, MARRY ME! ‘. This didn’t happen, which shocked absolutely no one. And when I boarded the plane to Melbourne I was scared shitless.

My friend picked me up from the airport when I arrived and we went to my new house. By house I obviously mean the granny flat in the back yard of an italian families house in Preston. No really, it was a granny flat, in the back yard, of an Italian family of 5’s house. My bed room was about 3×4 and I would wake up every day to one of the boys in the family kicking a fucking soccer ball against my ‘house’.  Fun times.

I was pretty happy though, and I spent the next 8 months recovering from my last relationship. Walking around a new beautiful city in absolute awe. I went to heaps of cool bars, smoked rollies, drank beer and enjoyed it for the first time in my life, worked at a cool bar, went to bush doofs, tried a nang for the first time. I met some of my favourite people in the world, and I also met my next ex boyfriend

So a fun thing that I’ve learnt about myself is that I get weirdly obsessed with people. At about the 9 month mark of being in Melbourne, I went to dinner one night with a group of my friends. I remember sitting next to my friend and seeing him for the first time and just thinking he was pretty fucking cool. He’d been in Berlin, he smoked aswell. I was just hooked on the idea of him before I even knew him. The universe threw me a bone because a few weeks later, he was moving into my friends spare room! Lucky for me,  I spent 90% of my time at that house. I must have seemed like the biggest stalker. But like I said, weirdly obsessed.

We hung out a few times, I remember he asked for my number and he called me instead of texting because that was easier. Pretty fucking cool, right!? He kissed me one night and it was the first time I’d been crazy excited about someone in ages. The start of the relationship happened really fast.I thought it was because we had SUCH AN EXPLOSIVE CONNECTION. Looking back, I think he was probably just trying to get out from the thumb of his ex girlfriend who was crazy and would call him at 2am in the morning to yell at him. Dating someone new was a quick way to show someone you’re not interested anymore, right?

I think that analysis is a good place to leave it for today. Mainly because this is turning into a novel of my life.

Hello is anybody out there still interested?

Eh, till next time.

 

 

Let me introduce myself…

1If you asked me a year ago where I’d be now, I probably wouldn’t have any idea, because I’m not really much of a forward thinker. But it would have been something pretty similar to what I was doing back then; driving to work, the day after my boyfriend’s birthday, deliberating in paranoia if he hung out with his female ‘best friend’ the night before when he left our house to go out with his friends. I was unhappy and stuck and I had morphed into a horrific jealous version of the strong woman I imagined I would be at 24. 


I never could imagine, however, that I’d be here. I wouldn’t have been able to guess in my most morbid of daydreams the year preceding would be full of as much pain and heart-break. See about 20 days from now, 1 year ago, my boyfriend broke up with me. And thus began the phase of my life that I like to call ‘That time life pulled the fucking rug out’.

Let me rewind though because that’s how all good stories go.

I haven’t been a silver lining girl ever, well I don’t think I have anyway. I always used to have a weird want for bad things to happen because it justified my teenage angst growing up and I kind of just felt comfortable in sadness. I always understood that from great pain came great understanding of yourself, I felt like I grew from the darkest places. In turn this made me a pretty melancholy and sensitive little flower growing up, and a lot of that has carried me through my early relationships, and my early twenties.

I had my first serious relationship at 15, it was classic and tumultuous and he broke up with me on MSN the day after I allowed him to take my delicate flower. We got back together, obviously, he cheated on me, obviously. Like I said, it was classic and teenage and I went through my emo poetry writing phase writing his name on all of my journals and crying endless tears. This relationship, upon reflection, planted the first seed of what would turn into a beautiful thorny bush of self-doubt and mis-trust in my future endeavours. My second serious relationship proceeded swiftly after a very anti-climactic end of the first.

I was 17, I had lost a fair bit of weight and boys were suddenly interested in me. and I just had no idea what to do. I caught the eyes of 3 boys at once… 3 cool boys who I had met at the same time…because they were all friends…really good friends actually. I somehow managed to go from an awkward heartbroken little weirdo to a fucking player in a matter of weeks. Go figure.

I was hanging out with all of them at once and it was honestly just because, as previously mentioned, I had no fucking idea what to do with myself. Confrontation and I are not friends. I hate that bitch. When she comes knocking on the door my brain actually shuts down. So I avoid it! And I did avoid it in this situation. I just pretended to not know that what I was doing was wrong until 2 of them inevitably got sick of my shit, and I started dating the third one. For the next 3 years.

This relationship too ended in a fiery ruin. To make a long story very short I’ll break down the main parts: I went to Europe for a month when I was 18, kissed a French-Canadian dude, came back, confessed my infidelity, we moved into a house together! He went to a staff party, went home with another girl, he bought me a $400 fossil bag and all was forgiven. I worked nights in a Casino, decided one day that I wanted to move to Melbourne because I was just so over my life and then I booked a one-way flight down two weeks later.

Wait… I haven’t even introduced myself yet.

I’m Hana, and that’s me for today. Till next time.