17 December, 2008


I remember stages of my life not so much by its events or how old I was, but by how I remember feeling about things. This is probably true of a lot of people.

When I look back at past years, I don't usually think "Oh that's the year my sister was married," or, "that's the year I started high school." It's more "that's when I was really scared all the time," or "that's when I was an excited (!!!) pre-pubescent teen."

Some stages, like the ones I've just mentioned, I can remember with clarity. Others not so much.

I remember being a child; I was mostly happy, off in my own little world, and very shy. I also remember being scared of a lot of things.

I remember being in primary school; I was still mostly happy, I thought I was right most of the time. I was still very shy, and still scared of things.

I remember early high school; I was a super excited 13 year old girl. Most sentences were followed with too many exclamation marks. I still thought I was right all the time; often found it hard to get off my high horse and admit when I'd been wrong. It was around this time, when one night I was 'scared' by I-can't-remember-what, and was sick of it, that I read my bible and prayed until it stopped. I remember always wanting to help people, always putting them first.

I remember mid high school; I started to get over my excitement and enthusiasm. I had a massive creative burst; I was writing and drawing and loving it. The being scared had not come back since it stopped. But my creative and passionate burst was just that; a burst. After that it was a deserted, ugly rut. I remember being lonely, and apathetic. I remember feeling 'out of it' in social situations, I remember hating that, hating my self consciousness and hating the fact that I didn't want to help people any more. I felt so selfish. So I covered all of that up. I remember wearing a mask each and every day. And always, though I didn't want to, putting other people first (that of course was followed by guilt and shame) and pretending I was fine and happy until I was just so tired that I couldn't do it any longer.

And this is where I am today; this is a stage of depression, anxiety, cynicism, sarcasm, and fear. It is worse that being in a rut, worse than being in 'the desert'. I can feel the mask wearing away; it is so painful. I cannot bear it. I am sick of feeling out of place and 'not-together', I am sick of feeling like everyone is on some different level, or page to me, I am sick of feeling like no one feels about me the way I feel about them. I am sick of not being able to do things, and not being able to concentrate because I just can't seem to organise my mind. The smallest of things can bring me down in an instant and overwhelm me.
I wonder if the previous stages led to this place... I wonder if focusing on how I was 'stuck' forced me into this horrible place, or if it's the other way around, and I focused on it because I am in this horrible place.

It's funny, at the start of this year, I had 'visions of grandeur' of what it would be like, of what positive and impacting decisions I would make.

Not one of those expectations has been realised. Not even one.
I have no idea what I am doing. Except.
I am crying.

10 December, 2008

Emily's How To: Clean Your Room

Yes, stop, I know, I know, I am the last person who should be telling anyone how to clean their room, but if you are so neat that you never really have to clean your room, then can you really know how to clean the entire room?
I say no. You need experience in room cleaning first. But if you are tidy, maybe you could give us all some nice tips on how to be neat in the first place, and how not to let your room become the disaster that it (likely) is.

If you are one of those disorganised, messy individuals much like myself (I know you're out there) and just can not keep your room clean, but would really like to have a big clean out once in a while, then this is for you.

This is not "How To Keep Your Room Clean and Tidy."
This is: "How To Clean Your Crash Site Of A Room."

No judgement here, kiddies.


1. You need to tackle the mess small bits at a time to avoid that overwhelming sense of hopelessness.
Do you know when you get that great inspiration to clean your room? "This is the day," you think, "I'm going to clean it! It will be amazing!"
Alas, your visions of grandeur are shattered the moment you see the mountain of inoperable mess. Grudgingly, you strive on, only to be distracted by something you deem 'more important', for example, updating your Facebook status, or deciding that maybe your trophies need polishing.
Later, you feel like a guilty failure; you broke your promise to yourself, plus you are a messy slob.
But, not to worry, here are three ways to combat this 'mass mess' syndrome:

-Scoop everything on the floor into one big pile
This helps to keep the mess in one spot, giving you room to clean, helping the room look a little neater, and also stops the mess from looking so spread out and large.

-Clean for 5/10/15/30/Whatever minutes a day*
Instead of giving yourself the near-impossible task of cleaning the entire mess, clean for, say, five or ten minutes in the morning or before bed. Clean for longer if you want to. This is a much more achievable goal; over time your room will become steadily cleaner, and because you can meet your goals, you end up with a sense of accomplishment rather than guilt.

-Make a list of things to clean (My favourite)
First, my list just today looked like this:
Paper Rubbish
Make up & Jewellery
Bowls, Cups, etc...
Top-Half Clothes
Plastic Rubbish
Bottom-Half Clothes

Okay, so do you get the point? Make a list of things to clean, you can make the categories anything you like.
Much like the 5 or 10 minute rule, clean small amounts and work your way down the list, e.g. clean up everything that is green. This should only take about 5 minutes (unless you really like green) then when you are done, you can either go and do something else or move on to the next item on the list.
TIP: Contrary to my list, it would be beneficial to clean up clothes first, that way you can have your washing on and clean the rest of your room while you wait.

TIP: After cleaning bits of your room, it might help you to move everything into a pile again, to keep your room tidy(ish) until your next session.

2. You need places to put things.
Okay, it's not for the want of more storage that all of my stuff ends up on the floor, it's because I'm lazy.
Nevertheless, unless you have places to store and organise all of your things, your room is not going to be clean.
Here are some ways to be all 'yay storage!':

-Go to Ikea
Just go there. Freakin' inspiring. If you're on a no spending diet, don't take your wallet because you will buy things.

-Get some boxes, drawers, and the like. Get nice shallow boxes to store things under your bed, which also helps stop the junk and dust that accumulates there. You can get plenty of cheap but handy storage options from The Reject Shop and those Asian stores that sell EVERYTHING IMAGINABLE.

-Clean your desks/tables/surfaces/draw

ers/under the bed first. If this is too daunting, just sweep all the junk from them onto the floor until you can clean it later. Dodgy? Meh.
This way you have all your storage areas ready for placing all the junk you're going to clean off your floor.

3. You need rubbish bags.
Undoubtedly, there will be a CRAPLOAD of junk and rubbish in your room that you will want to chuck out. Sometimes I use plastic bags I find on the floor while cleaning, sometimes I use actual garbage bags (and I fill them, too. Atrocious.)
To do this:

-Get some freakin' bags.
Put the rubbish in.
Put it in the bin.

4. Finishing Touches.
-Vacuum: Clean carpet makes it look superclean.
-Dust: Dusting seems a bit cliche... but seriously, dust makes you cough and wheeze and stuff, get rid of it.
-Actually CLEAN: Wipe the windows or whatever, your desk or table if you have one, or any other surface that is dirty. Once again, bad for the lungs, and if left dirty will likely grow mould, which is worse for the lungs.
-Organise things nicely: Photos on your bedside table, things neat on your desk, awww, it's picture perfect! You'd better take a photo, because if you're anything like me, it's not going to be clean for long.

Well, that's pretty much it.
Just remember to take it a bit at a time so that you can avoid guilt and feeling overwhelmed. Reward yourself after you have finished your day's cleaning goal. Get your storage on. And make it look all puuurty!

Try to keep it clean, obviously, but also try not to feel like a failure if it becomes messy again. You're not a bad person, you're just not really tidy, and we need a balance of the tidies and untidies in the world, k?
So if (and when) it looks as if is has been ransacked, just clean it again!

I'll leave you with something my (awesome) grandma says about my room when it's messy:
"Oh, look at your room! It's got that lived-in look!"
Then she laughs lots and is happy.
Thanks, Mama.


*This 5/10 minute plan is a little common sense, but more something my sister Holly introduced me to by giving it a name/face.

Sometimes the mess is so bad that you uncover small children who have been lost in your room.

03 December, 2008


I promise I'll clean it one day...