Badges Earned in Faux Adulthood

Here’s a couple of stories buried in enlightening messages I have picked up in my 25 moons. Um, 25 new moons? Okay yep that’ll do. Here it is:


You can’t please everyone.

If there’s one thing I’ve always been, it’s a self confessed people-pleaser. I get it from my Papi. So sue us, we like being liked. However! Guess what happens when you get in to your mid 20s? If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably start getting tired of being a bit of a doormat.

Sadly something happens when you go through this period. Some associates may not like the new back-boned-of-steel you and jig their way backwards out of your life. Don’t despair. If someone truly loved you they would know you inside out and be proud of your transformation, not mad at you for changing and becoming a stronger you. Always remember that. If they aren’t happy for you they weren’t a good friend in the first place…

You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.
Dita Von Teese

I still care far too much what people think though, especially my friends. Overall I’m quite a nice kid, if I do say so myself. Maybe I’m a bit self indulgent. But I like talking and I like listening in equal parts. I know I’m not an easy friend to have in my over-dramatic and analytical state but in a heart beat I’m there to give advice and listen if needed.

I care a great deal about my friends. Very very much so. I like to tell them every chance I get and just to reiterate, I message you because I love you. Even if it’s meaningless crap, I love that bonding and the contact. You can tell me about your day, you know how I love to know everything about everything. I’ll fill the gaps with my own self-important rambles too. That’s friendship. It’s lovely.

Grazie mia caras for the bants and advice on a regular basis. It’s always appreciated, no matter how many miles away you are. Waking up to an inbox full of you makes my cold, dark and early mornings so much more bearable ❤️



Being opinionated is a good thing.

Tying in to the above, I’ve realised how important it is to have convictions and be not only a supporter but an activist when it comes to things you care about.

Never again will I sit back and listen to racist, homophobic or sexist comments without putting in my two cents. If people don’t like it they certainly aren’t my people to begin with.

I’ll never forget cringing at BBQs of friends of friends in my teenage years and listening to the awful jokes they’d make about women and indigenous Australians and being far too terrified to say anything. All I could muster was a ‘please don’t take me there again’ to my ex on the way home.

These days I live on my soapbox and I’m all for an adult debate about a topic but when it comes to things as basic as human rights and feminism you can bugger right off.

I think my favourite example of a run in I had was a night in Memphis, Jessie and I found ourselves entertaining a group of eight southern fellas. J of course thought it would be hilarious to ask them how they felt about Trump.

With a roar and animated banging of fists-on-table they announced they think he’s a hero. I audibly scoffed. Jess followed with ‘oh don’t talk to Leigh about it, she hates him.’

The gentleman closest to me turned in his chair, placed an elbow on his knee and scratched his chin. The line that followed will go down as my favourite in our American history.

‘So you’re telling me, you’re okay with pedophiles using the bathroom with little kids?’

I snorted in to my drink. ‘I’m sorry?’ I managed after a small coughing fit.

He repeated, and followed with: ‘those transgender people want to make bathrooms co-ed, so that these perverts can use the bathroom with little kids.’

Tears streamed down my face at this point as I tried desperately not to burst out laughing. You know those times when you’re trying really hard to comprehend what someone just said but you’re drawing a blank? Yeah, that. I glanced up and remembered that there were eight of them and rather than making an absolute fool out of him I chose to put on my most charming smile.

‘I think there are bigger issues at play than that… Don’t you?’

He did not. I think I offended them, because they left us within a few minutes. We exchanged head nods and ‘have a good night’s before I turned to Jessie and laughed harder than I had in a while.

Okay, so, aside from in his mind all transgender (at least he used the correct terminology?) people being pedophiles, I don’t quite know how he missed the part where pedophiles are already using the bathroom with children. There isn’t a separate pedophile toilet, nor do most of them have a preference for gender. That’s kind of the point. They like kids.

I was bamboozled.

I don’t like to laugh at people for lacking intelligence, but after my little fit it dawned on me that those people all have the ability to vote.

And if they do, they’ll vote for that vile human being.


Ironically their political convictions can’t have been that strong as they returned looking for us an hour later. At that point we’d infiltrated a Contiki group and I was far too drunk to be so tactful. On your bikes, fellas.

Thank you to the countless wonderful, open-hearted and enlightened Americans I met along the rest of our journey who showed me, although there’s a serious issue with scaremongering in the media over there too, lots of us try our best to self educate and actually care about the people around us.

Oh Australia. I hope you learn one day that ‘stop the boats’ should not be a winning campaign slogan…


Celebrities are people too.

So this one time many moons ago I was in love with Geordie Shore. Say what you will, it’s brilliant. To this day Queen Vicky is still my role model and when Miranda and I heard that she would be appearing at the ever classy Eve Nightclub in the Casino we just knew we had to go.


Donning my blackest fake tan and hair piece, we pre drank and entered the den of seed.

The night started well. We gently elbowed our way to the front of the crowd and were the last in a chain of fifty to get a kiss from Scotty T. Like the ladies we are we turned our cheeks. We were there for Vicky.

Behind the DJ booth, there she was. My Geordie Icon. She was as beautiful as I’d imagined and pre-skinny Vicky looked lovely in her playsuit and huge hair piece. When photo time came I made sure to be memorable and told her how much I loved her and completely blanked Scotty.

We weren’t quite ready to leave our stars and so Mimi and I hovered near the bar and stared rather intensely at them. A gentleman who turned out to be their PR guy appeared next to us and asked ‘would you ladies like to party with Scotty T?’ Would we ever!

Half an hour later we sat awkwardly by the cordoned off and very average ‘VIP area’ and grinned eagerly as they were ushered in. We got the nod of approval from Mr PR and among fifteen other leggy blondes we were in!

We coolly took a seat at a table in the middle and watched the girls one by one twirl their hair at Scotty or marvel at Vick’s engagement ring (I told you it was a while ago!).

When the Queen took a seat on the lounge near by I seized my opportunity.

What did I do? I dropped to my knees and knee-walked up to her. I genuinely don’t remember why.

She grinned at me and offered me a seat next to her. For the next twenty minutes we chatted about who-knows-what, all I remember is announcing ‘my mums old best friend is your mums next door neighbour!’ (It’s a small Geordie world) and finishing off her drink for her. She was lovely. I didn’t mention her engagement to Ricci as, to be honest, I thought and still think he’s a complete bellend. It turns out at that time they had actually broken up and the ring was for keeping up appearances and avoiding spoilers. Poor thing.

After we got our photos they left and I knee-walked back to Miranda. We exchanged a giddy high-five.

There’s the tale of my one and only celebrity encounter. Here’s the photo evidence:




People will always justify their actions to themselves.

This is one my Papi taught me a few years ago and nothing has ever rang truer. It’s really helped me in my quest for understanding other’s perspectives and maybe it will help you too.

When people do and say things, be it to you or about you or whatever, they do it because in their mind it’s the right thing to do. If they hurt you, they’ve convinced themselves of why they had to. If they lie to you, they have a reason in mind to justify it.

It doesn’t mean you’ll agree with their reasoning, but to get through each and every day do we not tell ourselves why we are doing what we are doing constantly?

I sent that email for these reasons, I bitched about that person because… I killed those people as… Okay maybe not that one but come on, we all know why we do things.

So next time someone hurts you and you can’t understand why, remember that they have their own reasons. They have made their actions right in their own heads. Try to remember that sometimes people say things because other things are influencing them. They’re unhappy so they’re lashing out. It’s not necessarily all about you. Take some time, take a breath, and please try to be the bigger person. At least on occasion. I’m the worst for rolling over and taking it when I shouldn’t. But hey, saves an argument. Let’s all just try to be kinder to each other hey? You can’t have too many friends.

But if someone is a constant dick feel free to get rid. You have my blessing to cleanse yourself of negativity.

Thanks for reading my tales!

There will be many more to come.

Harleigh Q



2 thoughts on “Badges Earned in Faux Adulthood

  1. What do you mean ‘quite a nice kid’? Your fantastic living life to the FULL!!
    Your PERFECT!
    Lots of love Auntie Ann & Uncle Allan ❤️❤️❤️


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