PASSIONATELY OPINIONATED

I used to be a very opinionated person. Not that I no longer am, but I have learnt something: not everyone wants to hear your opinion. In today’s world, we have to be careful. I don’t know if I love or hate that. There’s something so inspiring when someone cares so deeply about something, that they will do anything– go completely above and beyond, to try and convince you of its truth, its worthiness. They care about something and they want to share that with the world. Bless them.

But there are the opinions that will get you into trouble. Not everyone wants to hear why you think “Trump isn’t so bad”, because most women will feel slightly offended that you would like to endorse a man with rape allegations to be your future president. However, he is going to be the president regardless of those accusations, so I’ll just put that one aside for now. It was just a sliver of an example of opinions that will lead to either my own, or your foot, inside your mouth– you choose.

Being an opinionated person means that you have to learn how to control that, to know when to rein it in, and when you can let it run free. I used to let my head-strong attitude rule all of my being and get me into sticky situations. Actually, sometimes they weren’t even that sticky, it became a matter of “coming across too strongly” or “always needing to be right”. And no matter how hard I tried to defend myself against this matter, my argument only became thicker and everything I tried to do reinforced any of my opponents’ beliefs. Having too strong of an opinion or caring too much trampled over the ideas I wanted to express and ended up bruising my personality. This is something I don’t want for people. I want us to care deeply about something and voice that to our peers– without judgement.

Maybe this isn’t the case for everyone, maybe everyone else’s opinions are treated with grace and accepted for being what they are– the thought of an individual and not a specific group or body. But for me, particularly through the years of my youth (ok, I’m really only 22, but I’m talking 19 and under), this was a trait that held me back. I stopped talking about things I was passionate about in case they were slightly controversial. That was never the case before. I now know that I can’t place my opinion in front of someone and expect them to scoop it up, cuddling it like a newborn puppy and asking me kindly if they can take it home.

In this world we will find the people who share the same values and our opinions will sway with the current of our lives. I have learned when it’s time for my voice to be heard, when someone is in need of an alternate opinion, and I’ve learned with it’s time to bite my tongue– and bite it hard. Because sometimes you can feel a certain way, and you can have something important to say, and no one will hear you. You’ve just got to look for the people who want to hear you, because they too are passionate about something or other.

 

— originally posted on my mytrendingstories page, check it out errybody.

https://mytrendingstories.com/article/passionately-opinionated/

WE HEART COFFEE.

I wrote a little something that got published in the UOW Magazine, Tertangala, and since not everyone has access to this mag, here it is for anyone else who wants to have a read 🙂

WE HEART COFFEE

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She is smooth and she is warm. She is a giver and not a taker. She casts her spell; a full-bodied aroma that canopies itself around every curve of your body, filling deep inside your pores, until you succumb and hand over $3.80.

“One small cappuccino, please.”

We have accepted this legal drug into our world, one that’s smell is far more enticing than it’s taste and yet, we don’t know how to say “no”. We cannot live without the endearing cup of joe that makes the day five trillion times easier. All coffee-drinkers will agree: this is not an exaggeration.

However, that is the thing about coffee; it makes us crazy, in more ways than one. If you miss your daily dose, it’s likely you’ll find yourself yelling at your boyfriend for being five minutes late, or crawling into bed at 7:30 pm with tears of frustration rolling down your cheeks, cursing your body for being so tired and weak. Most of the time, if we miss a cup, we don’t even realise. We go through the day, as per usual, and suddenly problems start to arise. The simple task of plugging in a phone charger can take an extra few moments, because you can’t seem to line it up to the power point quite right. Our anger isn’t heavy or vengeful, it is tearful and confused. Without coffee, we are nothing.

As university students, coffee has become something friendly to us. There is a vast range of coffee suppliers on campus and where we choose to indulge is quite sacred. If you visit a different café than your usual, one might equate this to cheating. But really, you are only cheating yourself, for you know what roast agrees with you best, you know which barista will provide you with the silky-smooth soy milk that you desire, and to go anywhere else would merely ruin the consuming experience.

Drinking coffee goes much further than the smooth taste and long lasting effect, it’s always an appropriate social occasion. “Coffee dates” can be with anyone from your grandmother, perhaps an old teacher or professor, or that cute guy from biology you’ve been eyeing off for a while. But asking him to join you for an evening, alcoholic beverage seems a bit too risqué when you’re genuinely looking for a good conversation. No matter how much we like to believe that coffee “loosens us up”, it tends to do the extreme opposite. With a few shots too much, we turn into highly-strung, stressed out baboons. One would suggest that you don’t have a cuppa before your date with hot biology guy; a shot of vodka would almost be a better option.

The undoubtedly worst part of identifying as a coffee drinker is not how crazy it makes you, but how crazy it makes you about coffee. Anyone who has worked in a coffee shop will agree that coffee customers are the worst kind of people. Not only are they grumpy, and make jokes like, “better after this coffee” when you ask how they are, but they’re arrogant. If you work for a local business, local customers will assume that you know their coffee order by face, regardless of the fact that you have never served them before. They will hand you their money, with a blank look on their face, and then a frustrated brow furrow when you look somewhat confused, because you seem to be serving a mute. Even worse than this, customers become so consumed by the coffee drinking business, they try their hardest to conjure up the most difficult and unheard of beverage; “one large triple ristretto soy latte on decaf please.”

Coffee is delicious, it’s good for the soul and the mind, but those kinds of people are the worst and the coffee world would be a much better place without them.

BIRTHDAY DEJAVU.

I remember last year when I wrote a blog post about how I had to change my ‘about me’. I had to change the age from 19 to 20. About two seconds ago, I was visiting my page and realised, that’s not me anymore. I’ve been 21 years old for the past month. It was time to edit my about me again.
Looking back on that post from a year ago, https://annikatague.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/a-slight-change-in-my-about-me/, a lot of things have changed and a lot of things have not.
I still worship Stephen Markley as a writer, but only recently have I begun divulging back into this passion. Some crippling anxiety was holding me back; as a writer and as a person in general. I feel like I’m finally on my way back and hopefully I’ll be finding new and exciting things to write about. I’m 21, I’m young, but I’m getting on, and I think it’s time I put some focus into the things I love to do, and work out how to spin them into a successful career. Look, I’m not stupid. I know that this is going to take some time, I haven’t even finished my degree for christ’s sake– I’m just feeling itchy!

For the past, I’m not even sure how long, I’ve felt pretty lost. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. I think this happens to most students in the midst of their degree. I feel like I’m not doing anything with my life, while actually, I’m doing a lot. I’m just starting off. But I guess, for me, I wish the launching of a career path ensued lots and lots of dough, meaning I could travel and learn all at once. I know, I knoooooow, “go on exchange!” everyone tells me. I really don’t have an excuse not to, except that I don’t really want to? That’s legit enough.

Some of my friends are moving out of home– to Sydney, to London, to anywhere but here. And I guess I feel a little trapped, and when I say trapped, I mean trapped by myself.
I’m not scared to leave, I just don’t know where I want to go. Moving out of home would require transferring university’s and would mean zero savings for travel. That just doesn’t seem like an option at this point. I have to buckle down for the next 2.5 years and finish off this degree, because if I defer, I don’t think I’ll ever go back. My good friend Elle has just made plans to polish off an intensive personal training course, and then she’s jetting off to live in New Zealand for three months-indefinitely. My boyfriend’s brother is going over there with some friends around the same time as well, and if Abel hadn’t suggest that we go and visit them for a few weeks during my uni break in June/July, I just think I would go crazy. Finally I have something to look forward to.
It’s crazy how quick things change, how we easily change our minds about what it is we want to do, based on certain circumstances. Earlier this year, Olivia and I were planning on setting off to Europe in two weeks time, for a crazy, drunken, winterland escapade! Neither of us predicted falling in love and settling into committed relationships (a little cocktail of vomit and swoon, I apologise).

I honestly don’t know what the point of this ramble was. Scroll through my entire blog and most of my posts wind up this way. They start out promising- full of purpose and with a solid point, and end up being a super lame spiel about my current emotions. I’m gonna peace out before this gets super sappy and I start talking more intently about love– because I’m known for that these days.

FILMS BESIDES ‘FORREST GUMP’

When you’re apart of westernised culture and you live in a western society, it’s not often that you’re exposed to things outside of this realm. Unless you go travelling and/or seek cultural differences, usually your world is enriched by everything and anything western. It takes quite a lot for another type of cultural influence to actually snake it’s way in there. And being apart of westernised culture, we assume that everyone around the world wants to be on the same page as us… “yeah they’re different, but they all strive for the types of things that we have.” Not true. Just because films, television programs, and music etc. that display western culture make the big bucks, doesn’t always mean they leave the longest lasting impression.

Looking at ‘Nollywood’ and Korean Cinema, we can see how other cultures attempt (and succeed) to make connections with people of their culture. Nollywood (Nigeria’s film industry) is the third largest in the world. Directors in this industry adopt new technology as soon as it’s available and affordable for them. The films in this industry are mass produced; new titles sell in market stalls and shops an average of 50,000 copies. “one of the characteristics that marks Nollywood as an autonomous local cinematic expression is that it looks inward and not outward” (Okome, p. 1 ). The fanbase for Nollywood films is starting to grow now that they are being shown at film festivals around the world and getting the type of attention that they deserve.

Although, being apart of a western audience, I do have to question how much these types of films would/could “take off”. We are used to viewing blockbuster films with top quality CGI and oscar-winning actors– could Nollywood films really take a legitimate seat with us when our standards are already set so high? Yes, we love a low-budget indie film– but, it’s gotta be grabbing and clever and different. My point being, maybe Nollywood films are a bit too different for western audiences to grab onto; they might have some good themes, but have they got the punch?

Then of course there’s Korean cinema, which has completely taken off all over Asia. Pop culture in South Korea is extremely influential across Asia, particularly in Japan. Which means that films produced out of this are obviously going to be very popular in a lot of Asian countries. These types of films focus on a lot of relevant issues for teenagers across Asia, particularly surrounding the family environment. But because this realm of cinema is so vastly different from western culture, it’s much harder for it to branch out on a global scale.

While both Nollywood and Korean cinema might be some of the highest grossing film industries across the world, it’s uncertain whether or not they will reach and have an impact on western audiences. We can only hope that viewers will break down their standards and expectations for films and be able to view this type of cinema in a new light and possibly develop and appreciation for it.

YOUR INTERNATIONAL NEIGHBOURS.

Many students, when first embarking on their degrees at university, are enthralled by the idea of going on exchange. They want to study abroad in America and experience the “college lifestyle”. Or they want to go to France and improve their language skills. Most students will choose a destination, like the United States for example, because it’s an English speaking country– and that’s fair enough. It makes cultural engagement with other native students much easier to pursue. But, going to a country where they speak a different language and are governed by a completely different culture is often more beneficial in the long run.

However, there are a number of problems with this. Often universities and exchange programs will hook you up with other students embarking on the same journey as you. You have someone by your side to turn to who knows exactly what you’re going through; the homesickness, the language barriers, the fear of being in a new city, etc. As an exchange student, you’re lucky to have these kinds of people nearby for moral support, but this can be quite detrimental to your overall experience. Often exchange students won’t branch out of their comfort zones and spend most of their trip buddying up with people who speak their native tongue. They’re not forced to be immersed in the culture around them, because they’re not properly engaging with local people who are apart of it. The entirety of exchange programs promote this idea of learning and experiencing a different world and culture first hand, but so many people aren’t getting that much out of it; it winds up being a lengthy holiday with some kids from back home.

Knowing that this kind of situation happens often, local students at Australian universities need to be aware of the international students at their school. We need to make the effort to communicate with non-english speakers to help improve their language skills, and we need offer them a view on what the modern Australian lifestyle is all about. (Marginson, p. 1).

Obviously, the government thrives on international students entering the country: they have to pay their tuition fees upfront. There is a lot of information and advice provided for international students looking to study in Australia; http://www.internationalstudent.com/study_australia/

Exploring the benefits of choosing Australia for your exchange destination. But it takes more than these simple guidelines to help international students slot into our society with ease. Fellow students needs to understand that these individuals still have their background– they are not supposed to change their ways and automatically become “Australian” and fit nicely into the categories that we want. Instead, we need to show them the differences of our lifestyle compared to theirs. Not highlight why we think it’s superior or that western culture is better, but allow them to experience it as a whole and not sit back and highlight our differences.

#BCM112

So, I originally created this blog way back in the autumn session of 2014 when I was doing BCM110. I had no plans of undertaking this subject at that point, otherwise I would have studied it alongside BCM110. Then, I ended up altering my degree, thus making this a core component and here we are.
In the months that followed my completion of session 1 last year, I have made this particular blog into a personal ranting page. I am now going to insert my university posts onto this page and they shall be intermixed amongst my personal posts.
Instead of rewording a general paragraph about myself and my interests, you can just visit the handy “about” link on my home page; or if you’re feeling super interested, you can scroll all the way back to post numero uno, and maybe read some fun/vulgar stuff along the way.

Enjoy friends.

SHUT UP ABOUT WRITING. TALK ABOUT TRAVEL.

Sometimes, instead of actually sitting down and writing something, I’ll read through my blog and feel like I accomplished something. But not really, that was just me admiring myself accomplishing something that I posted a few weeks ago. So in actual fact, I’ve wasted my time again. Turns out, most of my posts are about writing, my generic thoughts on my fairly vague life events, or whinging about how little writing I’m doing and making lame excuses like, “Oh, I was studying”. No I fucking wasn’t.

SO NOW, I’m gonna talk about something that is completely mind consuming as of late. A little something I’ve discussed before, in more ways than one. Traveling. Traveling Europe. I’m going back, bitches! I started saving the other week; I put $200 away. Sitting in 1 of my 2 copies of Tolstoy’s War and Peace next to my bed. Do you think that’ll be enough?

The plan is to leave in December (alongside my dear pal, Olive) and come back sometime in February, just before the dawning autumn uni session commences. Maybe by that point I’ll genuinely feel like a second year student; and not the third year student that I’ll actually be.
I never really understood the whole concept of “the travel bug” while I was over there (have I said this schpiel before? Cause you’re about to hear it again), but since being home, I daydream of getting lost in a city and thinking, “what is there to do here?” and then wandering around aimlessly, until I find it. Truth is, you don’t usually understand the beauty of a foreign city until you’re not in it anymore. Once you’ve left it, you kind of long for the essence that it holds, the things you can’t describe to people. You know how sometimes you’ll get a whiff of something, and it reminds you of a certain time, a certain place in your life? Like how every time I smell gardenias, I feel as though I’m a fresh 12 year old, just arriving with her family in Australia, nervous at the prospect of making new friends. Or every time I wear my Coco Mademoiselle Chanel perfume, I remember being 15 and vomiting at 11:30 on NYE and my best friend losing her virginity.
Foreign places are like those scents that force your brain to rush back in time; except they’re the scents you’ll never really smell again, unless you travel back. It’s not something you can explain to someone. But then, someone will mention that they’ve also been to Barcelona, and you’ll discuss a building you both saw. You’ll know that you both once stood in the same place you are now, and also the same place on a random street corner across the world, and you two will share a little something. That’s a little something that induces the travel bug.
The other, and here’s the reason I couldn’t go traveling alone, even though I like to think I could; it’s the random shit that happens with you and other people that you don’t remember. Not the “remember that time we sat in a cafe in Dublin for 6 hours because we were all too scared to ask for the cheque”. It’s the ridiculous games of eye spy and would you rather that you play on countless bus and train trips, that they all blur into one. It’s the random little chats that you have while waiting for the shower. The “who’s turn is it?” game you invented, where you could ask any ridiculous question, open ended or multiple choice, just to kill a bit of time. None of these you remember (apart from when Olivia asked what the best sandwich we ever had was, and only I could answer), because at the time it seemed rather hollow, but in actual fact it was those little moments that made the whole trip what it was.
So, yeah, I’m going back. To further explore cities and their countries to a greater to extent. To see new places I haven’t ventured to yet. To meet people I might not have met otherwise. To get shit cold, to get lost, to get tired, to get grumpy, to get drunk, to get homesick. To be spontaneous. That’s the ultimate plan this time. A random from the youth hostel asks us to go on a walking tour with him and some mates? Ima say yes. Cause that’s when those little, inconsequential moments happen that you don’t really remember, but you almost kinda do.