Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lessons From The Bench

Source of picture: frankie magazine

"To young people in their 20s, my advice would be unashamedly to search for love. It is the indispensible commodity to a full life. You might not find it, or you may not find it where you thought you’d find it. If you find it, then you’re a very lucky human being." - The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG
Every student who has gone through law school in Australia would have inevitably come across the workings of former Justice of the High Court of Australia, Michael Kirby. Earlier this week, I sat in on a lecture he presented at my university.* He is a terrific speaker, proving not only that he has a brilliant legal mind, but also how respected he is in Australia. You can't help but admire his stance on some tough issues in the law. You can watch him discuss gay marriage as part of TED Sydney 2010 here.

I was rifling through a stack of old magazines in my spare time (yes, I somehow managed to scrape in 'spare time' with my busy schedule of being a uni student and a working woman. Haha.), and found the above quote in an interview Michael Kirby took part in with a magazine some time ago. This interview was refreshing - he didn't discuss the law (of which I've been quite aquainted with) but rather gave snippets of his life on being gay, being young, working in a tough profession, and love.

I won't bog my readers with the particulars of the article, but he does mention an important aspect of his life while completing his postgraduate studies that he does feel sorrow over:
"Looking back, this infatuation with university was an anaesthetic to postpone my engagement wit the real world, and with human relationships. It was a lonely time. Most human beings seek out personal relationships and sexual experiences and I did none of the above. I simply concentrated on my studies, but I knew there was emptiness in my life..."
That is on of the things I'm most fearful over (as for most people, I'm sure); focusing too much on work and shutting myself off to potential relationships with great people and great loves. In a sense, he impliedly cautions young people of making that mistake. And I suppose it ultimately relates to the quote he ends the interview with, and of which I have placed at the beginning of this post. Search for love, by any means possible. And if you haven't found it, keep looking.

NB: Michael Kirby has been with his life partner for the past 40 years! Here's hoping the romantic in me lasts for that long...

*For those of you curious to know, he presented a talk about the importance of the correct interpretation of legislation - always pay close attention to text, context and purpose!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Comedy Nights

Picture found on: alexh
"I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person." - Audrey Hepburn
Attending comedy shows/gigs has been a frequent hobby of mine ever since I was 17 years old. If ever I were to spend more money than that on fashion and beauty products, it would be on comedians. I try to go to at least 3 or 4 stand up shows a year. (You know, just to keep up with the ever changing world of pop culture.) And if luck serves me well, I hope to head to Melbourne in the future to attend the Melbourne International Comedy Festival held every year in April - an array of local and international talent all under the one roof!

My favourite comedians tend to be extremely intelligent and witty in their observational humour. I have a great affection for local Australian comedians (Wil Anderson, Akmal Saleh, Peter Helliar, Kitty Flanagan, Frank Woodley.) Oh, and Americans with irony always blow my mind too. (Cue Louis CK, Paul F Tompkins, etc.). And the odd racial humourists (the good kind!) in Chris Rock and Russell Peters. At times, they can be overtly offensive but that's the risk they run with an audience on any given night.

There's nothing like the feeling of laughing like your insides are about to burst. Or, in my situation, laughing until my laugh lines are forever indented into the side of my mouth. I've fallen in love with the act of laughing. Or rather, the side effects from watching people take the schtick out of themselves. Someone to show me: "If you think you're life is bad, at least you're not me".

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Perfect Companion

Picture found on:
"It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it."  - Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation 
Generally, we all want a a person who has dreams, hopes and aspirations that they see themselves achieving; a reflection of their hope for something bigger than contentment. An indication that they are willing to love (or die) for something that is passionate to them. More importantly, we want a companion whom we can share our most intimate secrets with, no matter how painful or embarrassing they may be. This may entail reliving past events that may be too painful to acknowledge but is necessary, to be understood to the other person. And when we find that someone who understands us, a weight is lifted off our shoulders - how wonderful it is to have someone that can relate to your pain.

And I suppose that is what Oriah is referring to in her poem. I want the ability to share with someone, not only my successes, but my flaws and hidden secrets of my life too. Becoming obsessed and concerned with the frivolities of our lives does not aid us in any healthy manner. They eventually fade away over time and don't take on any greater meaning; whether it be age, career, status, politics etc. When it really comes to it, the things that do matter are held close to our hearts - the things that inevitably make us human, relatable and understood.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sincere Apologies

Picture found on: ashleymorgansargent

My sincerest apologies for being slack with my posts. As I type this, I am currently sitting in a thoroughfare at uni, scoffing down my lunch at an unimaginable rate known to man. (It's not even a very tasty lunch, so I'm not even sure why I am doing this to myself.) There comes a time in a uni student's semester where assessments trump social outings, and copious amounts of coffee trumps adequate sleeping hours. I'm hardpressed to find the time to respond to emails and Facebook messages, let alone contribute worthy writings to this blog. But I promise to be back very soon with more insightful anecdotes that you all haven't come to expect from me. My last assessment is to be handed in this coming Monday. After which, I will be free of this evil that has plagued me for the past few weeks (pending examinations in November...). In the meantime, I hope you are well, and I wish each and everyone of you a great October. Ta-ta!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The (Mini) Holiday That Was

"Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you- it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you… Hopefully, you leave something good behind." - Anthony Bourdain
So I'm back. And holding mixed feelings for my future (but we can discuss that another time). I was scheduled to post this entry last weekend, but alas, procrastination and weariness got the better of me - as it always does. My apologies! Overall, my trip to Melbourne was informative and eye-opening. What was supposed to be a fantastic, enjoyable trip to the other end of the country, turned out to be a journey that left me sleep-deprived and money-drained. (In all fairness, the money-draining part was money well spent on a beautiful dress, cheap Haruki Murakami books and wonderful mascara.)

I was particularly looking forward to my trip to Melbourne, as I hoped it would symbolise an exciting future, with suitable career prospects I would see myself accepting. But the process in getting there was always going to be tough. I knew that. And I can't help but wonder if maybe - just maybe - I sabotaged myself unintentionally. Was I scared? Was I truly ready to make the move to a bigger (and possibly better) future? To be honest, I'm not so sure now.

Needless to say, I came back home with a bitter taste in my mouth, and dim hopes for the goals I wanted to achieve in this city. To make matters that little bit worse, our plane had to be turned around, and waiting for another flight for 4 hours did not make me the best person to sit next to at Krispy Kreme! I mostly attribute this to the lack of sleep I sustained during the trip. Haha. 

But even if all doesn't go well to my very meticulous plans, I'll eventually come to terms with it. And you know what? That's okay. This simply means I have to work harder, and set new (and achievable) goals. After all, nothing that's truly worth having, never comes easy. And when it does, it'll be the best feeling in the world.