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    travelling with anxiety

    Travelling with anxiety

    I recently returned home from a four week overseas holiday and it was truly blissful. For the most part.

    If you followed my travels on Instagram, you may have been mistaken into thinking that the whole four weeks were a beautiful blur of relaxing on beaches, basking under impossibly blue skies, and sipping red wine at sunset.

    But, as we know and often need reminding, social media only tells some of the story. As an easily stressed out, type-A individual, traveling can leave me feeling pretty anxious.

    This – the unsettled feeling when I arrive somewhere new, the agitation when I’m overwhelmed but need to make yet another decision, the knot in my stomach when I board a plane or train or bus that I can’t get off for three, five or fourteen hours – is the part of my story that conveniently falls off my social feed. Continue reading…

    Motivating and inspiring books - Elizabeth Gilbet and Emma Isaacs

    Two books to bump to the top of your reading list

    Are you feeling…flat? Lacklustre? A bit frazzled at the edges?

    Despite what it may sound like, this is not an ad for hair care.

    This my friends is a public service announcement.

    I have, completely by accident, or perhaps by the work of some divine being, stumbled across the most inspiring, motivating and energising duo of books to ever exist.

    It’s exciting, no? I feel giddy with power just thinking about it. I feel like with these two books in my arsenal (ahem, on my coffee table), why, I’m almost invincible.

    You see, I too was feeling flat, lacklustre. I was feeling frazzled.

    And then a friend gifted me a book.

    And then I gifted myself a second book.

    And everything kinda shifted.

    I was given a fresh, new perspective.

    So what were they? Continue reading…

    European summer holiday planning

    How to get over European summer envy in the depths of an Aussie winter

    It’s summer in Europe and seemingly everyone you’ve ever met is holidaying in exotic locations, tans deepening by the day, the sun and the salt giving them that carefree glow you can only ever know on a summer holiday.

    Meanwhile, the few sad, cold and pale folks left behind with no option but to hunker down through the Australian winter are mad about it. Sure they’re mad that their friends are on holidays while they’re shivering under three blankets, a set of flannies and bed socks. But most of all they’re mad that every time they take a sneaky Instagram break, a quick little reprieve from their cold little lives, they have to endure an endless scroll through holiday happy snaps plastered on walls and feeds and stories by smiling, carefree holidaymakers.

    It’s true that the majority of my winter Instagram feed has been dominated by photos of sun-kissed travellers perched on mountain tops overlooking hidden beaches or gazing pensively out to the bluest ocean you’ve ever seen from a whitewashed Greek village. A hefty chunk of the remainder has been filled by gloomy posts about gloomy winter, and how terribly cold and gray and unfair the whole situation is. Continue reading…

    Workplace restructure and redundancy

    Workplace restructure? What to do when facing a redundancy

    A redundancy is (almost) never fun.

    Picture this. Young family. One partner settling into a new company, they’ve finally landed the dream job. One partner at home, taking time out of the workforce to look after the baby. They’ve just moved into their forever home, there’s room enough for a few more kids yet. Their dog is the snuggliest little guy you’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

    Things were looking bright.

    Until they weren’t.

    Until that big, inefficient conglomerate they’ve decided to devote their life to decided it was time to trim the fat. Continue reading…

    Bald dating: one woman on dating with a shaved head

    You might remember Jordi from this post about her experiences travelling the world while working for various international aid organisations. These days she’s back in Melbourne getting ready to tackle her PHD next year.

    When Jordi came to me with her post about dating while bald, she wasn’t sure I’d think it was a good fit but, as you’ll read, hair is about more than just hair and provides an interesting perspective on the expectations placed on women and how they live their lives – something I’m grateful to be able to explore here on TMA.

    Keep the conversation going in the comments, or you can connect with Jordi on Linked In or Instagram.   

    Many months of trepidation went into deliberating whether to shave my head or not and, in all honesty, my main anxiety over the state of my hair was the impact it was going to have on my dating life.

    To clarify: I am an avid dater. I see people. We do things. It’s the 21st century, ya know? “Freedom and liberation” is the flavour of the millennium and tentatively available for the masses and I ain’t complainin’. While I am fully aware that dating is not the most serious issue to be concerned with when it comes to bodies and gender roles, it has taken me a long time to fully dissect the varying aspects and intersections of my shaved-head experience in relation to bodily autonomy, femininity, as well as conversations surrounding racial and class tensions.

    Yet, in the age of The Bachelorette, dating sans hair is the aspect of my lived shaven experience that friends were most curious about. And really, I don’t blame them. So, I have bowed down to peer pressure and have begun to make sense of our systemically entrenched gender norms by writing your daily dose of clickbait in the form of this piece. Continue reading…

    comparison is the thief of joy

    The BS of comparing ourselves to others

    Comparison is the thief of joy. I had to Google that to make sure it was an actual saying (I love a mixed metaphor). Turns out it is, and it was ol’ Teddy Roosevelt who made it famous. In my experience, it isn’t far from the truth.

    Plenty of everyday occurrences can trigger negative self-comparisons but there are a handful of special events every year that really haunt me. Continue reading…

    workplace gender quotas

    Targeting gender equality: why we need quotas

    With #metoo and #timesup dominating our airwaves recently, I’ve had many conversations about what it means to be a young female in the workforce. Things you can and can’t do, how to navigate challenges we face, and importantly, what we want the future of working to look like for women and how we might get there. Inevitably, gender quotas or targets in the workplace come up. It does, on occasion, get heated.

    I’m sure you’re all familiar with some of the reasons why no self-respecting woman would ever want to be party to such a discriminatory practice. Of course, quotas are anti-feminist. They lead to less qualified candidates snatching jobs from under the noses of more qualified (presumably more male) candidates. And surely all these “qualified women” would prefer to get these jobs based on merit alone, anyway?

    I don’t quite see it that way. Continue reading…

    Overcoming new year’s resolution fatigue and how to cut yourself some slack

    How to overcome new year’s resolution fatigue and cut yourself some slack

    2017 was a good year for me but it was also bloody hard.

    In the last few days I’ve seen a raft of social media posts paying tribute to the year that was 2017. It was nice to see people reflecting and taking time to celebrate the year, except that some of it felt disingenuous and left me feeling somewhat like I’d been left behind.

    Dripping in a sickly sweet veneer, some posts presented a perfectly crafted year to go with a perfectly crafted Instagram feed. The blood, the sweat, the tears, the grit and grime of daily life cropped out of frame, filtered into oblivion, only the sparkly bits left behind for the world revel in.

    It was overwhelming. Continue reading…

    long distance friendship

    Long distance besties

    I recently discovered a new podcast to add to my ever growing list of faves.  

    It’s called “Call Your Girlfriend” and it’s dedicated to long distance besties everywhere. Ahhhh. It’s no wonder I was instantly drawn to it. It’s all pop culture weaved in with politics and feminism. Total slam dunk, IMHO. 

    It got me thinking back to those first few months adjusting to life without my lifelong besties being within reach (aka a 20 minute car ride). 

    It was tough! I’m not completely naive, I knew moving would be tough but I think the bulk of my energy went into thinking about how this would impact my family relationships. 

    But life without my friends – I was unprepared.  Continue reading…

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