Sanctuary, 2017

I think it’s safe to say that 2016 ripped away something loved by everyone.

Be it Bowie, Harambe, Alan Rickman, Prince, Mohammad Ali, Zsa Zsa, Trump defeating Hillary, the Orlando shooting, Sticky Fingers’ hiatus, Brexit, the end of Matt and Alex, Brangelina breaking up, the war over Aleppo, the Earthquake that broke Kaikoura, or most recently, the loss of the great George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, and the absolute faith-in-love destroying news that Sam and Sash have broken up, it’s fucked.

We are officially done with this year.

However, I do want to quickly recap one good that happened, to lift the mood before I launch in to crux of my post:

Leo finally won an Oscar (thereby tearing a hole in the time space continuum and fucking up the rest of the year in the process).

img_1543

If you want to know more positive things, see below:

Some more good things

So, 2017, what’s good? 

Considering I write a blog and enjoy astrology I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise that I’m a bit fan of the ‘new year, fresh start’ philosophy. The fact is, a lot of us suck at motivating ourselves to break out of routine and comfort, so if January 1st works for you, so be it!

I’ve been reading a few articles lately about the idea of ‘resolutions’ and why it’s probably healthier for us to set them up as ‘goals’ instead. With a resolution, once you’ve broken it, you’ve failed. It’s way to easy to stop trying. When something is set up as a goal, it can take time to achieve. There can be setbacks, but the only truly failure is giving up! 

So, lovely friends, what are your goals for 2017?

Mine are, in no particular order:

– To run 10kms without stopping

– To stay out until sunrise in a new city

– To meet some more beautiful humans

– To start learning an instrument (I’m yet to decide between keyboard and guitar)

– To lose 10kgs (lame, I know, but it must be done!)

– To ask more questions when I talk to people

– To stay a regular in the top 5 consultants every month at work

– To soak up all the special time I get to spend with my fam bam, and be a good auntie to our little man on the way

– To move back to Brisbane

– To start writing more fiction

Phew! Just a couple… but note that they are all achievable. I also didn’t mention the smokes or booze, because I’m 25 and I’ll quit when I’m 30 😉

Happy birthday baby blog! I love having a read over my old posts and remembering the amazing adventures I had in 2016. I’m a hard working kiddo, and I have loved the highs of this year, and along with everyone else, have survived the lows.

Its too easy to get bogged down in the sadness; to let in weigh heavy on you and take away your motivation. 1st January presents itself as a chance for us to send out all of our well wishes and dreams in to the universe. Never lose hope. Tomorrow is another day. We only live once, and if there’s one thing this year taught us, it’s that it’s not for long.

So, drive it like you stole it. 

The best song from the best movie of this year

We’ve got this guys.

Heres a wee throwback to an old post of mine if you’re looking for a little boost in morale:

Happiness is…

All my best wishes for the New Year

I love you all very much

Harleigh Q

xo

Advertisements

Heartbreak Hotel

Well darlings if there is one topic that I’m an expert in, it’s heartbreak.

Not that I’ve had lots of breakups, but the one I did have was earth shattering and it took a long time and a lot of TLC to get through. Also there’s that falling in love with everyone thing I do.

This post is for anyone going through a trauma. It can relate to any but my specialty is man trauma, so let me begin by saying I’m a feminist so there’s no gender bias going on here 😉

The first few hours after a trauma are the hardest. You’re numb at first, that’s okay. You might cry because you think you’re supposed to. You might run to instant consolation or bury yourself in TV world. Either way, the bombs coming and you’ve had no time to prepare for it.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known it’s coming for. You might have had a feeling (you were probably in denial about it), it might be completely out of the blue. Either way, it cuts like a knife.

To me the hardest part of these times is the realisation that it’s the end. I do not do endings. I don’t even say goodbye, see you later is enough. The potential died. Along with that, hope rears her ugly head.

I remember cursing loudly to the sky on my long walks with Papi ‘I hate hope!’ Because along with hope comes the inability to let go. The single most important thing you need to do.

Why is it that even when someone proves themselves unworthy of our love (perhaps over and over again) we still hold on? We’ll listen to their words but only absorb the parts we want to hear.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s this:

– cutting people out of your life is hard but necessary, and if they are meant to be in it they will do literally anything to ensure they are, regardless.

I only surround myself with diamonds, so if you’re reading this, you’re rare and beautiful and very much loved by me. If there is someone in your life making you feel anything less than this then they don’t deserve to be in it. All they are doing is occupying the space that other loving, appreciative people should be in. They will find you when you make room for them.

It took me a month before I could function like a human again, three to be able to speak my ex’s name without crying. It took six for me to realise I’m actually amazing and worthy of a truly great love (no settling), it took eight for me to be able tell my story without getting emotional and ten for me to stop giving a shit all together. Now it’s just a memory. I don’t actually go there. There’s no need. I’m literally surrounded by people who adore me and I adore them. I took control of my life and I make myself very very happy. I made the decision to stop being the victim in the situation. Just because someone broke up with you doesn’t mean you are damaged goods. Some of us are very loyal people, even when we shouldn’t be, thus we’re the ones who get hurt. It’s excellent! Because I don’t know about you guys but I couldn’t live with myself if I went around hurting people. You end up pretty lonely. You’d also have to deal with the fact that you were the one who gave up. I won’t! It’s great. I can walk away knowing I did my best.

Heartbreak sucks. No matter how completely, inconceivably painful the experience is, one day you won’t feel anything at all. How amazing is that? But you have to take control. You weren’t with the right person. That’s okay. There’s several billion out there to choose from and they’re going to come to you!

My biggest tip? Do not wallow. Do not watch Bridget Jones while eating ice cream. That’s masochistic. Get your bum outside. Do your hair and makeup. Walk along the beach. Take a book. Go to gym classes. Kiss your dog, talk to your family and friends. Let it out, process it, then ask yourself the question:

What makes me happy?

I started by reading more. I devoured books (I found a love for country romance ones, of all genres), I threw myself in to my work out routine. I spent as much time as possible on long walks with Papi and our girls. I got really skinny. I booked a holiday. I watched a shit tonne of Netflix. Documentaries are great because you get absorbed. Put your phone away! Go on a journey. Watch a serial killer one and see how bad life could be. Turn that overactive mind off for a while. Get plenty of sleep.

I started going to the movies alone, which graduated to me taking myself to a musical. It’s still one of my favourite things to do. I’ve always been a film buff but you get so in to it when there alone. Different things work for different people, but start with hobbies.

I don’t know if you can truly be a happy person if you aren’t comfortable in your own company. I never used to be. I was an insecure poster child for co-dependency. Now I love it. I cherished my home time hour in Brissie. Records on, soul dancing in the kitchen. Maybe reading my comics and doing some copy drawings. Heaven!

Time. It just takes time. Learn to recognise who of your friends and family are there for you to talk to and utilise them. Spend quality time with your friends and please oh please, talk it out! They might get sick of the topic and honestly so will you, but that’s okay. You need to process. You need to hear all the good and bad advice and choose your own.

It’s all about you now. What do you want to do with your life? You don’t have to compromise anymore. Be brave. Move interstate. It’s awesome…

The most important thing of all? Never go backwards. You are worth so much more than that. Always look ahead. The past is the past. You can’t change it. Only do things to benefit you okay? We only get so long in our lives to be young and free so take hold of it with both hands and don’t let go until someone incredible comes along. You’ll know it.

You’ll meet lots along the way who may hurt you and you may hurt them but it’s an oh so sweet roller coaster of living and love. It’s better to go to the depths of disparity and back again than not to feel at all. I have to keep reminding myself if this every time I fall for a beautiful rockstar or wild traveller. Damn my type for being so unattainable… But it’s okay. They’re all stories. Enjoy them, try not to embarrass yourself by double messaging or being a creep, then look forward to the next one because there will be many more you beautiful creature.

There’s nothing scary about being single. Surrendering your freewill to another human being? Now that’s scary 😉 I think I’m the loyalest commitment-phobe on the planet.

If any of you are hurting know I’m always here for a chat. I don’t know everything but I like to pretend I’m wise. I’ve lived a life…

Vi voglio bene amici miei ❤️

Xo

Outcast At Last

It’s been an emotional week in my little band aid world.

Having finally caught Sticky Fingers in the flesh a few weeks ago I was well and truly still riding the high when the news broke this week of their impending hiatus.

The official statement goes as follows:

For some time we’ve been dealing with some internal issues in the band. They’ve heightened to the point where it’s not fair to anyone involved for us not to do something. We have looked for help to try to get through this and will continue to do so. As a result we’re going to try to finish the shows we have booked over New Years to the best of our ability – then the band will be going on an indefinite hiatus.

We would like to apologise to anyone that has been affected by this.

~

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say I worship these boys. My heart dropped and my eyes filled with tears. Between calls I mustered a no, no, no, no before immediately sending the news to fellow Sticky lover Kate.

We spent the afternoon in shock, messaging back and forth and googling furiously for any evidence as to why this was happening, and in particular, why now?

That’s when this happened:

In recent times my behaviour for a large part has been unacceptable – I’m writing here and now with a heavy heart admitting this, and wish I had faced my issues earlier.

I am realising now a lot of people around me have been hurt by my behaviour and for that I am incredibly sorry. I have not sought to target individuals or groups. All people around me have been affected by my behaviour during these episodes.

I have been dealing with alcohol addiction and mental health issues. Last year I was diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia and have struggled to deal with that. This is not an excuse, but it hopefully means I can get better.

To try and work through this I am seeking help and will be attending rehabilitation and therapy in the coming weeks. I am truly sorry to the people that have been affected by my behaviour. Many thanks to my friends and family for helping me through this. I hope to one day make amends for my actions.

Yours sincerely,
Dylan Frost

~

Diz, the sweet, swaggering gentleman we met at 1am on a brisk Perth night in the car park, had made his decision. With an aching heart, I bow my head in understanding and pride in his strength.

Then the other side of the story came out:

~

In her now deleted post this person has made some pretty serious accusations. Where is the evidence? Were the police called? Are charged being laid?

But guess what? As angry as I am at her methods, it doesn’t matter.

Those of us who follow the boys have heard stories about their wild behaviour. They’ve been evicted from hotels and venues for destructive and anti-social behaviour. Diz in particular is known for his lack of regard for property and equipment.

Gone are the days when we are allowed to excuse it as ‘rock n roll’ because we’re more aware now. We think about the implications of our actions, how they affect others. I’m a bit prone to hero worship and I must admit I easily excuse this stuff because it’s what my heroes of yesteryear did, and I get it. Everyone wants to feel like they’re above it at some point; how wonderful it would be to do and say what we want with no implications. Thankfully, though, there are consequences. It’s all well and good until you’re on the receiving end.

The receiving end:

I am a feminist, I will back women until the day I die, but I am really, really frustrated by this.

My issue is the fact that this was posted on Facebook, when if her accusations are accurate, it should have been reported to the police.

I take issue with her casual throw in of violence again women. I know what that does to people. I know the affect it has on people. Drunken arcing up yes, but definitely not that.

I have also followed Sticky closely for years, and I have never heard of a charge or even an article with allegations to that effect. That is an earth-shattering, life-altering thing that she has now put in writing for the world to see and judge him based on. She didn’t just express her version of that night, she brought up past unfounded accusations.

Hang on a second…

Don’t. Don’t try to ruin someone’s career because you had a run in with them. None of us were there, and it’s clear by their knee-jerk reaction that something did go down, but that doesn’t mean that her statement is word for word accurate. That’s what I take issue with. It’s a passionate post with a lot of anger behind it, and that doesn’t make it fact. God my generation sucks.

I wish people wouldn’t believe everything that they read, but they do. I wish people would do their own research (like I have, extensively), but they don’t. The fact is, the man’s going to have to crawl back from this, and my heart breaks for him. She will be more notable than ever.

Personal opinions aside, Facebook Court needs to calm it’s farm. People on both sides of the fence are lashing out. It’s not right to abuse anyone, and though I completely agree that she was wrong in posting what she did, because people are not entitled to free speech when it comes at the expense of someone else’s livelihood, that doesn’t warrant harassment. Obviously he was in the wrong that night.

Diz is a young man with mental health issues and addictions. I’m not making excuses for his behaviour, it’s obviously appalling and really not acceptable. However, personal opinion in full effect, I love him. I think he is wondrously talented, he was an absolute gentleman with so much time for us when I met him, and all of my well wishes go to him and the boys. I hope after some recovery time out of the limelight they can make a comeback, or at the very least Dylan can strike out on his own.

The best artists often have their demons. I know with love and support he’ll be back to us. When you’re a true muso, that passion runs through your veins.

Get well soon, Dizza.

Harleigh Q

xo

Three Weeks in Wonderland

The last three weeks I’ve felt a complete spiritual shift. I look down at the words ‘parallel universe’ permanently stamped on my forearm with an inflation of pride. Past Leigh got it, and she didn’t even know it yet.

~

A few weeks on from my life altering splash in Maya Bay I’m still spinning the things I felt over in my mind.

I feel like I woke up that day.

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

I read a lot of interesting posts from very enlightened people these days, and much as I always thought I understood what they were saying, I marvelled at their courage but didn’t actually embrace it.

That all changed my first weekend in Brisbane when we attended Jungle Love.

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

That Saturday morning I drove feeling rather worse for wear to a service station 45 minutes north of Brisbane. There I met my boss, essentially a male version of me, and his incredible girlfriend, and in my mystery machine we journeyed to a wonderland.

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

Jungle Love is exactly that; a creek side creation of love, art and music, a celebration of life and happiness.

img_0586

When we arrived it poured of rain, so we sat in the boot of our car and bonded for a few hours over beer and any topic we met.

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

Another wonderful friend arrived, Sib, and at that point we decided to make the trek through the rain to the music.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

We were met by people riding in floaties down the baby waterfall, a five piece of dressing gown-wearing kooks with an excellent organised dance routine, a pumping DJ set and a bunch of humans dancing freely in the rain. It was nothing short of magical and oh boy did we embrace it.

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

After a few hours we decided to change in to some dryer clothes for the night’s festivities. We still had an abundance of drink tokens to burn. We made friends with the group of fellas in the van next to us, one of which turned out to be the organiser of Brisbane festival Red Deer. They were so fun and friendly. We all made our way to the roof top bar from which I got to see my favourite Aussie angel songstress Clea, and her new project with former Cairos singer Ali.

img_0600

Her voice is even more perfect in person and I really was blown away by their performance. The chemistry between them is electric. What a beautiful couple.

img_0606

Next came the build up to my boys, Vaudeville Smash. I was well and truly in the mode of free love and banter at that point. When Tijuana Cartel came on and rocked my world with their Americana dance fusion, I was fee-ling-it.

img_0596

One of the VS boys happened to pass by and I pulled him over for a catch up and boogie. By the time they hit the stage I had wiggled my way front and centre.

img_0607
They smashed it, playing hit after hit of funk which jams you right in the soul. I danced and sang and when they asked us all to get low I was thankful for the barrier to help me back up.

Post-performance high I wandered to the side for a smoke and then realised I’d lost my friends. Bum. Not to worry though, I was summoned back to the artists tent and got to hang with my darling friends. It’s all who you know, kids…

img_0594

I saw Michelle Xen fling about as she prepared for her mind bending performance. It’s definitely not my bag, but I can appreciate she’s one hell of a stand out artist.

The boys and I headed back to the roof top bar to catch her and smash some of my still left over drink tokens, before stumbling through the dark to check out the other stages.

img_0598

img_0597

At one point we nearly tripped over a fella laying on the floor, still clutching the bike he’d clearly toppled sideways on. My ‘are you okay, my love?’ Was met by a groan and a thumb shot straight in the air. Loving it.

We came across a tent full of the mellowest group I have ever seen. There was a collection of wild woodwind instruments in the centre that I haven’t seen since primary school. I was pretty tempted to take a seat but I knew I’d end up waking up with drool down my shirt if I curled up on one of the rugs.

VS headed back to Brissie and I commenced my march back to camp. Lucky for me I knew exactly where I was going, it was just a lot further than I remembered. I made it, and rested with the door of my Mystery Machine wide open, the gentle beat of the all night tent soothing me to sleep.

~

In the morning I felt a lot fresher than expected, and was thankful because VS announced a gig at Leftys that afternoon. I managed a good nap and my darling Kate and I made it just in time.

Having two sets this time, the boys were able to jam out some of the hits I’ve been dying to hear them play live, but one in particular rocks my world:

GHOULS – VAUDEVILLE SMASH

I was up and grooving from that point on. Post gig the darlings came to us and we chatted passions and nonsense for the next 5 hours until it was well and truly time to go home. See you soon my loves. You blow my mind!

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

I spent my week dancing around the ridiculous new head office. We have sky line views from the kitchen on our floor. I was honestly just enjoying having a window.

The roof top bar and cafe ‘MOFOs’ is heaven. I caught Skroo hanging out up there one morning. Our Christmas party took place there the following Saturday. You’ll all be proud to know I was my usual charming self and didn’t embarrass myself in the slightest; apart from sleazing on the Travelshoot guy. Girl can’t help herself. Kate is slowly teaching me to tricks of approaching men first though. I’m too old fashioned for my own good.

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

Fast forward to this past weekend when the transformation was complete. That day at work was rough

img_0748

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

On Saturday night Kate took me to a party with some of her old friends and I just loved them. What a beautiful group of humans operating on a whole new wavelength.

We chatted about all sorts and when Kate wasn’t feeling well and needed to go, I requested the uber to drop me at my favourite place, Sonny’s House of Blues.

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

Still riding the high of new experiences I danced with DJ Honey, the queen of soul music, and huddled at the bar with my old friends.

When I first moved to Brisbane and didn’t know a soul, Sonny’s was the first place I could call home. The people who work there are kind, interesting and I’m proud to call them my friends. I love going to visit whenever I’m back, like nothing has changed they remember my name. It’s etched on the VIP wall now too!

Processed with VSCO with q1 preset

I love the people at work from other teams who know my name, the people in mine who blow my mind with their warmth; I love every single person who loves me for me.

Life is so short. I want to spend mine letting people in. I’ll be honest and I’ll be kind. I just want to share the love I feel with everyone, and I will never again seek the approval of others to make me happy. It’s good to be strong and know who you are, to be confident and let everyone do their thing without it affecting you.

I have met some women through my life who I can only describe as absolutely magnetic. They were true, free and completely 100% themselves. They were different, they had their own style, they loved and didn’t expect anything in return. I’m pretty tired of apologising for being me. It was a long time coming, but I’m here now, and it’s golden. I am one of those women. I hope I can help breed a whole bunch more!

I know most people don’t care for what I have to say, or the epiphanies I’m having or what’s happening to me. Its just that I’ve been down and unsure and cripplingly lost within myself, and now that I’m back and strong, I just want everyone to find their own inner happiness; and when you do, we can share it around. It’s never too late to open youself up.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

I probably belong in a cult in the 70s, but hey, I’m fucking happy man.

See you soon B.

✌️️

With love

Harleigh Q

Xo