The final countdown

IT’S never easy saying goodbye.

Alas, I must, because life is hectic and OMG.

Being able to speak to you in this space every week has been absolutely incredible, and the feedback I have received has been awesome.

From buying Christmas gifts to homelessness, to treating yourself and exercise, to being an adult to dressing fab, we have certainly been on a journey.

Every time I have sat down to write this space to you, I have thought long and hard about what to say.

I have never wanted to disappoint you nor bore you to death, so I hope over the past few months I have made you laugh, smile, ponder and maybe shed a tear, because that’s what life is all about.

But don’t panic, I’m not disappearing all together; just from this space on page 2.

Who knows, I might make a comeback, I might not; let’s see what the future holds.

So today, I thought we could look back on how much of my personal life I have publicly displayed to the world, and give you an update on how things are going in Ash World.

*Cue Wayne’s World spirit fingers and tongue- rolling noises*

#1: Oh, what a feeling

Well, newsflash, I’ve decided I do actually love my car and want to keep it for a couple more years, at least.

I know my brother is still trying to wangle his way into convincing my parents he needs a V8 and I’m still whinging about my car never looking clean despite regular washes, so yeah, cars.

#2: Moving on out

I hope to move out soon with a very lovely person who makes a mean fish and chips and gives great massages, so that future is certainly looking bright.

As long as that person realises there will definitely be pink mugs and pink pillows in the house, we should be fine.

#3: Reignite the spark

I’m learning to love Albany again and stop whinging about everything, because we really do live in a beautiful part of the world and the beaches here are pretty.

Having to only drive 10 minutes for a cheeky nug run is also a great bonus of Albany’s smallness.

I hope you are still loving this little part of the world too.

#4: Get your sleep on

I’m still waking up like a zombie each day, but I’m aware of stuff I can do to ‘get in the sleep zone’.

Reminder: #dimthatscreen if you insist on carrying on your late-night text seshs until 2am.

#5: Dress to be the best

I still unconsciously dress to the nines everywhere I go, but I have learned to turn it down in casual settings.

You’ll be proud of me – I wore leggings and a cardigan to a mate’s place the other day, without a high heel in sight, so go me.

#6: Heartbreak Hotel

I have well and truly vacated from this joint and am now incredibly happy with a handsome fisherman.

He makes me feel the happiest I have ever felt in my life, so I hope you all find someone who makes you feel as special as he makes me feel.

#7: These battle scars

As I said the other day, I’m still hanging in there with my anxiety.

I am more determined than ever to not let it stop me from doing stuff, and I am super, super proud of myself for my progress.

So now, my dear friends, our time together is over, for the time being.

I hope my little babble each week has given you at least a snippet of the joy that it has brought me.

Ciao for now. xo

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Can you feel the love tonight?

WELL, it’s Valentine’s Day next week and I totally forgot about it until last Wednesday.

I was at a shop buying a birthday gift for someone and there was a stand of red and pink V-Day cards by the counter, and my initial thought was, OMG I’m so not organised for that.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Valentine’s Day and I think it’s really cute when flowers turn up at work for peoples’ partners, but the pressure of getting the right gift is a tad intense.

Especially when you see the typical overkill-sized bouquets of roses and the six-foot teddy bears around the place, even though you know in reality, that person’s relationship is in the pits and that couple barely speaks to each other.

But despite this fact, you feel the need to compete and buy a better gift for your other half, because you think you have to show the world how much you love someone by buying the best gift.

Unfortunately, as with most traditions and holidays, consumerism has crawled all over Valentine’s Day and now it has become a massive marketing ploy to guilt-trip people into spending hundreds on diamonds and gifts for one particular day of the year.

Now, I realise this makes me sound cynical, and I don’t mean to, but it really irks me when people see Valentine’s Day as a way to show off.

“Ooh look at me, my boyfriend bought me this super expensive white-gold bracelet and a gazillion roses, love you babe” – sure thing, love, but didn’t you just tell me yesterday you were sick of him never texting you back and felt like you never had quality time together anymore?

I’ll be honest here.

When my previous relationship was starting to head south, I thought that maybe Valentine’s Day would be the romantic kick we needed and it would rekindle our little flame.

I built up the big day in my head and spent a bit extra on the gift, but unfortunately, we acted the same and the flame continued to slowly fizzle out.

Valentine’s Day is built up to be this massive thing, and people feel the need to spend heaps to show their love for someone.

We are teased by advertisements saying things like “show her you truly care by…”, and if you can’t afford it?

Well, I guess it means you don’t really love that person, apparently.

I love having special days like Valentine’s Day, but showing your love and appreciation for someone shouldn’t be restricted to just one day.

You know what I think is romantic?

When your partner picks a flower from the garden because they thought it was pretty, and they thought of you.

When they give you a foot rub without you asking, after a long day at work.

When they let you whinge about your crappy day, and don’t feel the need to interrupt you to brag about their fantastic day.

When your partner knows that all you need is a cuddle.

I love Valentine’s Day and I would love to get a little something, but I’d like to think it’s not the only day in the year when my partner will show his love for me.

I’d like to think that showing someone you love them by getting them something they like or doing something nice for them happens all year round.

So don’t sit around and keep displays of affection for February 14.

Sprinkle love on every moment of every day.

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Suddenly I see

WHAT would you do if you woke up as somebody else?

Would you scream?

Would you panic?

Would you cry?

Or would you rejoice?

After watching Suddenly 30 (or 13 Going On 30 in some countries) again recently and seeing how badly 13-year-old Jenna Rink wanted to be a cooler, older version of herself to be popular, it made me realise how much some people wish they weren’t themselves.

Then there’s Big and The Change-Up, and even though they are funny movies to watch – kids trapped in the adult world and bachelors trading their pads for people-movers – they touch on the fact people aren’t always happy with their lot in life.

That’s actually pretty heartbreaking.

I’ll be the first to admit that after high school, I was a broken record of whinging about my life.

I’m not going to deny that.

I would say that I didn’t like my job, that I worked annoying hours, that I never saw my friends and that I didn’t like living under my parents’ rules.

The usual post-high school crap.

But I was convinced that I wasn’t living the life I was meant to.

I thought I was supposed to go to uni and live the life of a typical uni student, going out every other night and cramming with 100 others in a massive library and sitting under the trees in the uni gardens while reading textbooks.

I thought I was meant to have a cool job that tied-in well with study and a social life, and make heaps of cool new friends, and walk under the city lights on Saturday nights, and live the ultimate young adult life in the city.

But, hey presto, it didn’t turn out like that.

And boy, did I whinge.

I want to take this opportunity to apologise to my beautiful Mum and my wonderful Dad, who copped a lot of this whinging and whom I unintentionally guilt-tripped on a regular basis for about two years, complaining about life in Albany and that it sucked.

Pretty sure I re-triggered a few arguments between the two of them about our initial move away from Perth to Albany too, so, sorry Mum and Dad.

Love you.

The thing is, I so desperately wanted to be someone else.

Someone who didn’t get a sinking feeling in their gut when they felt the tendrils of anxiety start to wrap around their brain; someone who was surrounded by socialites and was always invited to parties; someone who wasn’t plagued with backaches and who could keep awake to party all night long.

It took me a really, really, reeeeeeally long time, but I eventually realised that I was trying to be someone I didn’t 100 per cent want to be, nor was.

So when I look at what my life is right now, I’m happy at how it’s turned out.

And yes, this sounds like the neat, conventional ending to all those movies I mentioned earlier, but it’s not far from the truth.

Sure, I’ve had a few hiccups along the way, but that’s the human condition, I think.

What I have gained far outweighs what I’ve lost.

I work with the most amazing team in a job I think is pretty cool (just don’t tell my boss that I think he’s cool), I’ve found my true match, I have made some incredible friends, and my bond with my family, even though I strain it sometimes, is ultimately stronger than what it was a few years ago.

The moral of the story today, boys and girls, is stop and smell the roses.

Don’t forget to appreciate what you do have, before you complain about what you don’t.

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Pour another Bush Chook on the barbie!

WHEN I first met my mum’s English cousins and they asked me whether I was going to chuck a shrimp on the barbie for them, I didn’t understand why they laughed at my confused face.

At three years old, Australian phrases had not quite wound their way into my vocabulary.

But, eventually, I got the hang of our country’s native twang and slang, and soon, I was g’daying and catchya later-ing like a pro and I’ve never looked back.

My mum is English and my dad is Australian, and despite my mum insisting that I am half English, I am very proudly Australian.

I love a good snagga from Bunnings and I proudly don my pluggers as much as I can.

My inner bogan appears every now and then, and I’ll rock the leggings and uggies combo (yep, I brave the public like that), and drool over a V8, and despite the odd weird look from a passer-by, I embrace my inner Shazza.

Tomorrow is Australia Day and as per tradition, the supermarkets will probably be suffering a bread and red meat shortage.

Cars will be loaded with cartons and people will head to the beach or park for some sun, some cricket, and some chill-out time.

Australian culture has some weird and wacky things, but one thing we are known for, and I am proud to be a part of, is our casual patriotism.

We aren’t like some Americans, who have their stripes and stars painted on everything they own.

We embrace our Australianness; we get on board and amuse international tourists by exaggerating our accents, we are pretty laid back, and always support each other in times of crisis (particularly on the sporting field).

We know who we are, we know some countries forget about us (cough, America) but we don’t care.

We live in one of the safest and most beautiful parts of the world.

We are Australian and we are happy with that.

(To be noted, I am talking on a general scale, and do not intend to speak out as an accurate representation of all Australians. I know many people who hate being called a sheila and are sick of 30 degree-plus days, and that is totally fine).

I was watching some crumby breakfast TV show ages ago and they had a correspondent in America who was walking the streets of New York City asking people if they recognised famous Australian landmarks and actors.

I’ve never cringed harder than when one person said Steve Irwin was a singer and pronounced Irwin as “Eeerween”.

Despite this cringing, I didn’t feel the need to jump on social media and berate that particular American.

Rather, I simply laughed, rolled my eyes at the American’s naivety, and got back to my Bunnings snagga.

I am proud to be Australian.

So, tomorrow, while you’re arguing over whether your brother’s over-the-fencer counts as a six-and-out, debating whose job it is to keep the Bush Chook flowing, or figuring out how to blow up an inflatable thong, remember why you’ve got the day off, regardless of the date.

Australia Day celebrates being an Australian, and being proud of who you are.

Whether you are Australian, Italian, French or Mexican, or even half English, be proud of who you are and your culture’s weird and wonderful traditions.

As the late, great Steve Irwin once said, “I’m a proud Australian, a very, very proud Australian.”

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Baby, I was born this way

I AM relatively confident in my body image, but to be honest with you, it’s taken me a few years to get there.

When you’re growing up and you’re in the gawky, gangly, pimply stages of your teens, it’s very easy to think you are gross and no one likes you.

The more I read tabloid magazines and random Snapchat and Facebook stories, the more I get a bit confused about what the ‘correct’ body image is to uphold.

I see stories about plus-sized models and them embracing their image and others supporting them, and then I see stories about keeping far away from obesity and how to lose 10kg.

I have a slender build, and my weight doesn’t fluctuate too much, so I am pretty lucky that I don’t have to do much exercise to keep my current figure.

(Mind you, I’m still gonna have to keep an eye on the amount of nugs I consume, if I don’t want to roll out of work today).

But, for some people, their genes have designed them to be other ways, such as having wide hips or narrow shoulders.

This is just who they are, and no matter their diet or fitness regime, they can’t change their image.

And sometimes, this can really upset people.

Particularly if things such as social media are constantly in their faces saying their body image is wrong.

It’s kind of bullying, in a way – targeting a particular group of people over and over again.

Body image is a massive part of who we are.

When we meet people for the first time, be it for a date or a job interview, our image can ‘say’ a lot about us.

If we don’t feel confident in our own skin, it can affect our ability to be the best version of ourselves we can be.

Do you know those transformation shows, where the tomboyish girl is given a sophisticated edge, or the weedy-looking guy becomes an Arnold Schwarzenegger lookalike?

Those shows, despite being sometimes highly stereotypical, are evidence of how our body image can impact our self-esteem and outlook on life.

So, to wind things up here, I think we need to remember the important things when we are considering our body image.

#1: Find the balance.

Have your salads and fruits and veggies and meat, but don’t feel bad about the odd cheeseburger.

As long as you balance out what you eat, and look after yourself, then I think that’s all that matters.

#2: Be true to yourself.

Don’t be shy to try a different outfit look, or a new hairdo.

If you want to rock stripy socks that you found at the op shop, then go for it.

Because at the end of the day, you could be a string bean in the most expensive clothing in the world and be unhappy.

So, don’t run yourself into the ground trying to be someone you are not; just work with your body and find an even ground between being happy and healthy.

We only live once, so what’s the point in being sad and lethargic and blurgh?

Look after yourself and be happy.

It’s simple, really.

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All about that bling

I LOVE bling.

There is no denying the fact.

Everywhere I go, no matter the circumstances, I am shining.

Be it glittery rings, glistening bracelets or sparkly necklaces, you can always see me coming a mile away.

Even that time I went crabbing down at the smelly mile, decked out in waders and a head torch, I was wearing my blingy chandelier earrings.

I think I was a magpie in a former life.

Or is it crows that like shiny stuff?

Ah well, some bird.

Which is funny, actually – I have a slight fear of birds.

Anyway, back to bling.

I don’t know when my love of bling started, but I do know where and how it started – my mum.

If you see a diamante phone case on a shop shelf, or a strawberry-flavoured jelly with glitter in it, you can guarantee either my mother or myself has purchased it at some stage.

We have glitter radars.

If anything even remotely shimmers, our eyes instantly turn to it and we head its way.

So, you can see how we have issues wandering around jewellery stores and shoe shops, and why my mum can’t understand her classroom cleaner’s dismay at her “overuse” of glitter on year 1 art projects.

Bling is my thing, and I think most people have a ‘thing’ – they just might not be aware they have it.

I think it is pretty cool to be known for having a particular trait or doing a particular thing, because it emphasises your uniqueness.

For me, it’s bling and pink things.

Put the two together?


Heaven on a stick.

If I could buy a Ford Mustang in a pale, pastel pink with a hint of sparkle, I’d be happy.

Actually, hmm, borderline Barbie, and I already have blonde hair…

I’ll rethink the Mustang custom job.

What I’m trying to say is that everyone deserves to shine (bad pun, I know).

If you are renowned for something, and you love that something, embrace it.

Ignore people who tease you for always carrying a yoyo with you, or for having Britney Spears custom ringtones for each of your friends, or being unable to go anywhere without three water bottles.

I’d get the odd face pulled from people when I’d rock up to the beach in glittery thongs (or “bejewelled shoes” as my mum likes to call them), or for buying the same stationery as everyone except in pink, but now I’m older, I don’t care.

Uniqueness is something that is often the cause of bullying or put-downs, which is such a shame because uniqueness makes us who we are.

We aren’t made in a factory; we are all weird and wonderful creations influenced by our parents’ DNA, our environment and trends.

Why bother trying to be a robot, saying and looking and feeling the same as the next person, when you can be you?

So, for those of you out there whose ears stick out a little bit, prefer Justin Bieber over Justin Timberlake, have hips that don’t fit skinny jeans or who’d rather stay at home instead of go out to a party, don’t be afraid to stick to your guns and be who you are.

Don’t feel the need to force yourself into a mould that society has shaped.

Be your own person, and don’t be afraid to let that person shine.

Someone told me that once, and I took them literally by becoming obsessed with bling, but hey, no matter how you shine, don’t let anyone dim that light.

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Welcome to 2018!

ARE you reading this on your phone at the gym, on a treadmill you waited 45 minutes for because the gym is packed with new year junkies?

Or, are you still nursing that hangover from three days ago?

Well, if you are neither, then you are probably like me: tired, light-in-the-wallet and three kilos heavier.

The new year was welcomed in style, with the usual glorious fireworks and neighbourhood arguments that the music was turned up too loud, but it was a fun party nonetheless.

Christmas was a bundle of joy, with way too much food, weird and wonderful gifts, and time spent with family.

Now, we have put away the slinky New Year’s Eve skirts, booked our hair appointments and started to cut out carbs.

It’s a new year and it’s a new me.

Well, not really.

My hair is a little grey from dealing with the usual family complaints and trying not to offend anyone and eating a bit of everything from everyone’s house.

And, you know, just generally dealing with people wears you down.

But hey, new year new me.

Regeneration time.

I could be the next Doctor Who.

Actually, nah, I’m not cool enough to pull off a fez.

I’m not one for setting new year’s resolutions, but back in the day, I totally was.

In my tweeny days, I’d got this gorgeous journal for Christmas.

The front cover had a little door, with these coloured gems inside.

It was the coolest journal ever and I kept all my tweeny-bopper secrets in it.

If my memory serves me well, the resolutions I wrote in that journal were to stop arguing with my dad and eat more healthily.

I think I should revisit those resolutions, because I am still an argumentative sod with a weakness and eternal craving for nugs and salty chips.

Some people are so good with sticking with their resolutions – they are super strict on themselves and lose weight, cleanse their skin of stress and dirt, and get fit.

I wish I was one of those people.

I’m terrible; my motivation to do stuff went out the window literally the moment my year 12 ATAR exams were done.

Now, I’m stuck in a never-ending cycle of ‘I feel fat, I should go to the gym, I’ll eat healthy; I’m too tired for the gym, gym sucks anyway, ooh cheeseburger, ah I feel fat.’

I’m my own worst nightmare, honestly.

But, for those of you who have the stamina to stick with your resolutions, I salute you.

I also hate you, but never mind that.

However, the new year is still an opportunity to embrace new changes, so here’s a few things I’m going to try.

Back posture – I have a mildly bad back, in that my lower and upper spine have a deeper curvature.

This means back pain is a bit worse for me, and my body hates me when I sit at my desk for more than five minutes.

So, goal #1: sit up straight.

Now, I’m trying to think of a bunch of other resolutions I really should keep, such as get off my butt and be more proactive about fitness, stop having so much screen time, and avoid the way home via McDonalds.

But, let’s be real, one resolution is hard enough to maintain, so I’m just gonna stick with the one.

Sit tall, shoulders back, head up.

Yeah, that’ll do for lazy old me this year.

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Getting festive

EVERY year, without fail, after everyone has started to wind down from the sugar rush of candy canes and gingerbread and has had their fill of Christmas roast chicken lunch, my mum silences the house in preparation for the Queen’s annual Christmas speech.

Rustling packages from new presents are confiscated, the kettle is taken off the boil and Grandad is told to stop talking, as Queen Elizabeth II fills the TV screen and delivers her reflection on the past year.

All families have weird and wonderful traditions at Christmas time, and this tradition is one from my family.

I’ll be perfectly honest with you; as a child, when I was old enough to understand who the Queen was and why I should care about her, the Queen’s speech was always utterly boring.

It was a few minutes of my life where I either had to disappear to the other end of the house if I wanted to play with my new toys and gadgets, or sit squished on the couch between siblings, grandparents and my parents to watch an old lady slowly chew through a rehearsed chat.

However, as I got older, I thought those times were kind of cute.

Mum would get all excited and patriotic as Her Majesty graced the screen, everyone would be together in one room instead of sprawled across the house, and we would just sit there and enjoy the last couple of hours of Christmas.

There’s a lot of fluff around Christmas time and no one can ever agree on what Christmas is ‘truly about’, but as I grow up, I see more and more that it is about family.

Get rid of the temptation to go into debt over the latest smartphone or top-line leather jacket, because debt causes stress and there is nothing worse than having a head spin during what is meant to be a holiday.

Don’t worry if the turkey or chicken is slightly burned or the salad dressing has gone gluggy, because at the end of the day, people just want to come together at Christmas and eat, drink and be merry.
I know a large family who without fail, gets everyone around the table for Christmas lunch every year.

Aunties, uncles, cousins, nannas, parents and grandkids from all over the place gather around an enormous selection of homemade pastas, biscuits, salads and a roast, and spend the day catching up and simply being together.

Curiously enough, from what I have seen of this family, no one ever complains about preparing the Christmas food.

Everyone who helps out is happy to help, and enjoys getting down and taking the time to prepare a feast for their loved ones.

In today’s world, where terrorism threats and horrific weather conditions constantly have countries on edge, I think it’s important to remember the simple things this Christmas.

Remember your family and how important they are to you.

Yes, your aunt might get tipsy like she always does, and your baby cousin will again nag you for piggy-backs all day, but just take a step back for a moment.

Christmas is about giving, and your family is something in your life that constantly gives.

Your parents gave you life, your sister gives you a lift to school every day, your nan gives you an extra meatball at dinner, and your uncle tries to give you life advice.

Family giving can’t have a price tag put on it, so if you are sitting there stressing over whether you will have enough food at your Christmas table, or that your gifts aren’t from the most expensive shop in town, just remember this: Christmas isn’t all about the family presents, it’s about the family’s presence.

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Get your sleep on

I DON’T know about you, but I think the last time I had a decent night’s sleep was back when my room was a womb.

Not even joking here; I think I have adapted a permanent state of tired and eep, it ain’t a good look.

Red and baggy eyes, staggered walking, slurred speech…

Actually, that sounds like a zombie.

Oh, great.

I’ve become a zombie.

Watch out world, Ash is on the prowl for your brains, ‘cause hers ain’t working.

To be honest, if I went to bed earlier it might help, but TV shows and Facebook and ah, there’s always some excuse.

According to my mum, I was nocturnal as a kid.

Of course, this was highly inconvenient to everyone, as they got no sleep when they were meant to, and couldn’t sleep when I was asleep because of life stuff, so even back in the day, my sleeping was silly.

Even now, as I sit here trying to focus on my computer screen while my eyes partially glaze over, I am daydreaming about going to bed.

I pretty much work a 9 to 5 job, so there’s no point complaining about that because everyone else does too.

I am eternally tired, and despite trying all the tricks – a lot of caffeine, only a little bit of caffeine, drinking lots of water, the odd set of star-jumps – I can never shake the feeling of being tired.

The worst part of it is driving.

Whenever I visit one of my friends, it’s a 40km round-trip from mine to theirs and back.

Even though my grumbling about the ridiculous cost of fuel keeps my brain semi-active, my eyes start to droop and it’s a staring contest with the road to keep alert.

(I highly discourage you to drive tired.)

In the words of my two teenage siblings, I am a ‘pathetic adult who should be out at the nightclub but can’t even stay up past 9.30pm’.

So, to avoid you becoming ‘lame’ and tired like me, here are a few tips I am trying this week.

You never know, your ‘new year new me’ could include a rested you!

#1: Put your anxiety to sleep.

I still suffer from the odd spat of anxiety, particularly when I am overtired.

I get highly irritable, very tense, and very on edge.

If you sense you are getting like this, take a second to sit away from everyone, perhaps on your bed, and just focus for a sec.

Just remember that you are only tired, and you need to take a deep breath.

#2: Use night mode on your phone.

This is on most new phones and it automatically dims your screen at a particular time, and also reduces contrasting colours.

I’m not going to say don’t use your phone before bed, because you’re going to ignore me on that, so at least dim it down and turn the volume down so everything isn’t super intense on your phone before sleep time.

#3: Don’t go to bed angry.

A common tip of advice for relationships, but it works for all people – trying to rest with unresolved anger is a hopeless cause.

Whether your mum flushed your semi-dead fish down the toilet, your partner came home for dinner at 7.10pm instead of the ‘guaranteed’ 7pm, or you just had a crappy day, take the time to either write your anger down on a piece of paper, try and mediate with the person of anger interest, or just chat to someone to relieve that anger pressure.

Oh, and make sure you screw that piece of paper up and chuck it majestically in the bin, full Kobe-spec.

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From motley crew to group of two

I WANT you to hold your hands out right now and count on them how many people in your life you currently consider to be close friends.

Now, I want you to cast your mind back to high school and do the same.

Feeling depressed now that you realise the first number is way lower than the second number?

Not to worry, I felt sad too.

When I was in high school, every second person in my year group was considered a mate.

We knew each other’s histories, what classes we all sucked at, who was kissing who, and the synopsis of what actually happened on Friday night in the pub carpark.

But now?

My friend group is much smaller.

Initially after graduation, my larger-than-life motley crew still hung about together at Midds for a swim, or down at Due South for more than a few pints, or on a random off-track fourby track while waiting to be rescued, but after a while, we stopped seeing each other.

My large group of friends was comprised of a bunch of smaller, closer group of friends, so the big group split into the smaller groups, and the smaller groups closed off to each other or split away completely.

This is inevitable, unfortunately.

People grow up, move away, get over each other and simply can’t be bothered socialising.

It can feel a bit lonely for a while, because you’re so used to having a throng of people wrapped around you like cotton wool everywhere you go, but now?

No cotton wool; exposed like an open wound.

There is a bit of an adjustment period for this, and for me, it was a string of complaints day in, day out, that I never saw anyone and life sucked and I was bored.

But, eventually you have to get over yourself and you start a job and you work for a bit, and you play online games, and chat over Facebook, and eventually, the grass looks a bit greener.

I have met some of the most incredible people since leaving high school, and I feel so lucky to know them.

Some of them are older than me, or are from different areas, so I would never have met them in high school or while in my previous social circles.

One of those friends was across the country a few years ago!

And now, that friend and I don’t let any major or minor event in our lives slip by without telling the other, and it is great fun.

The point of me telling you this is because I wish someone had told me when I first left high school, that hey, guess what?

High school friends going their own way isn’t the end of the world.

You will start new friend circles without even realising.

Once you start a job, some of your colleagues may become mates.

Don’t be afraid to ask if they want to go to the movies with you, or grab a drink after work.

Being friends with your colleagues makes each day less dragging, so go for it!

The old friend from primary school who messaged you the other day trying to reconnect, why not message back?

Give it a shot.

Friends come and go in your life, sometimes in the most unexpected ways and from the most unexpected places.

I mean, come on, I’m an ASHS girl through and through, and one of my closest friends is an ex-GSG kid, so if I can break impossible barriers, you can too!

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