The Value Of Perspective

Have you ever had one of those days where things just aren’t going so great? You wake up with a headache, there’s no hot water for your shower, you’re out of milk, the car battery is dead, you miss an important phone call, you miss an even more important meeting, you get home to a messy house, your family is screaming for attention… and all you want to do is hide in a dark cupboard and hope for a better tomorrow? Well, we all have those days (though, hopefully not always with this particular sequence of events). It’s during times like this that I think the best thing we can do is find a little perspective; find some way to anchor ourselves in the knowledge that, yes, our day may have sucked… but we’re still breathing.

I was at work the other day and I wasn’t having the most perfect few hours. All I wanted to do was go home, bury myself under a blanket (with a block of chocolate), and only resurface again when I was feeling better. But then I heard something that shook me straight out of my funk.

One of my colleagues has a nineteen-year-old brother who I learned was involved in a car accident just over a week ago. He was riding a motorbike and was hit badly enough by the other vehicle that he broke every bone in his face except for his forehead. He also broke his collarbone, some ribs, bones in his arms and legs, and who knows what else. The doctors had to pull out what was left of his teeth and they also had to draw his eyes back into their sockets. Amazingly for all his injuries, he doesn’t have any brain, spinal or internal damage (that they know of). After eight hours of reconstructive surgery on his face alone, he’ll never look the same again, but thankfully he’s alive—and he should be able to walk out of the hospital in a few months on his own two feet. But at nineteen, there’s no ignoring the fact that this young man’s life is changed forever.

It’s stuff like this that makes you stop and think about what really matters in life. Even when things are at their worst, there’s always something we can be thankful for. We might be going through the roughest, toughest times in our lives, but the sun still rises each morning, it still sets each night, and we’re still here for all the moments in-between. Each day that we awaken with breath in our lungs is an opportunity for great things to happen. Sure, things could get worse—there’s no point in me sugar-coating the possibilities. We all know that life is unpredictable. We could be driving along and suddenly we wake up in a hospital with our faces smashed in and no teeth. That could happen. I may be an idealist who spends a great deal of time in happy-happy-la-la-land, but I’m not completely immune to the realities we sometimes have to face in this world. I’ve had to experience my own share of them, and I’m sure that I’ll have to do so again in the future. Because that’s just a part of life.

It’s beautiful—and it’s painful.

We live, we deal.

We survive.

And, hopefully, we learn how to thrive.

What I guess I’m trying to get across in this post is, perspective can be an incredibly valuable thing. It can pull us out of our situations, out of our circumstances, and it can open our eyes to what really matters. But it is challenging. Believe me, I know.

Traumatised By A Paperback

I’ve been in a crazy reading mood of late, but no matter how many books I read, nothing has really had that ‘wow’ factor I’ve been looking for. That all changed today with a seemingly innocent book I picked up on a whim from the local library. Torn and tattered (not to mention, suspiciously stained), there was nothing about the cover that drew my attention. Indeed, not even the blurb was that fabulous. But it was the title that drew me in. It read almost poetically, really, and it jogged a memory, since the moment I saw the paperback sitting on the shelves, I remembered hearing a number of recommendations in the past from other fellow book-lovers to give it a go.

So I did.

And now…

Well, honestly? I feel like someone’s taken a cheese grater and shredded my veins. I think I’m metaphorically bleeding emotion. That’s just how gripping this book was. I read it from cover to cover in one sitting, devouring the words like they were the air I needed to breathe in order to keep on living. Sounds dramatic, right? Well, that’s nothing compared to the book itself. I’m not sure if I need a tub of ice-cream, a box of tissues, or an unending hug. Perhaps I just need all three at once.

But you wanna know the funny thing? There was nothing really all that awesome about the book. Nothing even all that amazing about the writing. But somehow the author just manages to grab your attention through the beauty of her storytelling. She manages to draw you in until you’re invested in the characters. You don’t want to know what happens; you need to know. It’s almost obsessive. And it’s not just that you need to know what happens next, but the whole way through you find yourself wondering what happened in the past. Because you know something had to have happened. There are little hints the whole way through, little snippets of information that set your mind whirling on possibilities. But as soon as you think you have the answers, something changes and you realise that you still have no idea what’s going on. Add to that, there are two main characters and two different POVs being told, and I still don’t know who I feel sorry for more. All I know is that I wanted to jump into the pages and give them both a hug.

… Anyway…

It was also interesting because everything about the two of them was destructive. And when they finally started to become ‘better’—and I use that word extremely lightly—they were still so emotionally messed up. Even when they started caring for each other, they were practically a ticking time bomb with all the secrets of the past lingering between them (secrets that we, as readers, still didn’t know about until the very end).

They did more damage to each other than anyone else did. It was fascinating to follow their lives and see just how inescapably messed up everything became. But there was also a certain amount of beauty in the mess. And boy, there’s nothing I love more than a beautifully redemptive story.

… And that ending! Omigosh. Those two final words stole my breath and had me beaming like an idiot. No joke—beaming. Who beams? Smile? Sure. Grin? You bet. Laughing, giggling, chuckling? No problem. But beaming? What is that? I’ll tell you what it is: it’s what I was doing after reading the absolutely perfect ending to an emotionally shredding paperback. It’s been a loooooong time since I’ve read a book with such an amazing ending. Often after the climax is over, things usually either wind down or just rush to finish. You’re either left reeling, despondent, or unsatisfied. But this ending was, as I already mentioned, perfect.

Okay, okay, I know you’re all wanting to know what book it was now, right? Well, I’m not going to tell you, sorry. Not here, anyway. And that’s for a number of reasons, most of which are that I don’t like pushing my opinions onto others. Everyone is entitled to their own likes and dislikes, and just because I think something is amazing, certainly doesn’t mean it is. (Plus, I openly admitted earlier that the writing and the story of this book wasn’t, in fact, amazing… And I feel like it’s not fair of me to name the author or the book if I can’t give it a solid five stars). If you’re dying of curiosity and really want to know so that you can read it yourself, you can either email me or PM my Facebook page. But otherwise, all I can recommend is that you just sit in silence for a moment and think about some of the beautiful books you’ve read over the course of your life and how much they’ve tugged at your heartstrings. You never know—perhaps you’ll find yourself beaming as well.

I Laughed… I Cried…

… And I clapped like a complete dork at the end.

What am I talking about, you ask? Why, Disney’s Maleficent, of course!This movie was beyond anything I could have expected! I’m such a happily-ever-after kind of girl, so I was quite apprehensive about it, especially since I’m also a huge Disney classics fan and I adore the animated version of Sleeping Beauty. But I have no words to describe just how stunning this movie was!

Angelina Jolie was incredible in it. She made it so easy to fall in love with her despite being the ‘villain’ of the story… And she made it easy to root for her, too! I won’t say any more on this since I don’t want to give anything away, but seriously…


It was also visually captivating with gorgeous fantasy elements that seemed to come to life and burst straight out of the screen (and I didn’t even see it in 3D!).

To top it all off, the story itself was singularly unique and beautifully redemptive. All in all, it was breathtaking!

I cannot recommend this movie enough, so you’ll just have to go and experience it for yourselves! Here’s a link for the trailer just in case you haven’t seen it yet. It looks pretty ‘dark’ in this clip, but while there are definitely those elements in it, overall the movie itself is just beyond gorgeous. And like I said earlier, it’s beautifully redemptive. So, give it a go – you won’t regret it!

Words Are Beautiful

Happy Good Friday, fellow bloggers! In the spirit of “peace and goodwill to all mankind” (and yes, I know that’s technically regarding Christmas, but we wouldn’t celebrate Christmas without the reason behind Easter!), for today’s post about things I would recommend, I’m going to wax poetic about… wait for it…


I love words. Words change lives. A single word of encouragement can brighten a person’s entire day, just as single word of criticism can, well, do the opposite. (How’s that for eloquent?)

I mean, think about it. How often do our thoughts remain unspoken? While this can often be a good thing (at least for the negative thoughts!), there are times when I think we should muster up the courage to say what we’re thinking – especially when those thoughts are complimentary. Because words are powerful… and they can be beautiful.

I have an old friend who I haven’t seen in something like ten years and she’s now a nationally recognised television sports presenter. She’s also one of those drop-dead-gorgeous women who, when she walks into a room, everyone nearby feels their self-esteem take an immediate hit because she’s just that attractive. But she’s also seriously, seriously nice (or, she was ten years ago), and you can’t help but enjoy being around her. That was the case for me when I was a young teenager, anyway. She’s a few years older than me and back before she was all journalist-extraordinaire, she was simply my horse riding instructor. That’s how we met. And over the process of about five years she became someone who I not only looked up to, but someone who inspired me to do greater things than I thought I’d ever be capable of accomplishing.

Where am I going with this, you ask? Well, the other day I flicked on the TV and found her hosting a big-deal-of-a-sports-show and I randomly decided to send her a message. All I really did was congratulate her on the super-awesome career opportunity (even I’ve heard of the show she was on, and that’s saying something) and I commented on how great she looked before ending my message with: I just wanted you to know that I was so stoked to be a part of your world back in the day and I’m super grateful for the influence you had on my life. Not just the horsey stuff, but life in general. I remember really looking up to you, and every teenage girl needs someone like you in their lives. So, thanks for being that to me!

I found it really fascinating when she replied, because along with her delusional comments claiming that she only looks presentable on TV because of the hair and makeup gurus (pfft, whatever!), she also said my message was the nicest she’d ever received. Whether that’s true or not, I’ll never know. But the point here is, if it is true, and if I’d never written the words, then they would have been left unsaid and unknown – and they wouldn’t have ever reached their potential to bring warm-and-fuzzies to another person.

And, hey, warm-and-fuzzies are so not overrated. They’re actually the reason behind this post, since I’d planned on writing about something else entirely. But that changed when my bestie, Jodie, sent me an email because she’s entered a pitch competition and one of the questions she was asked was: Who’s the first writer who truly inspired you to become a writer?

Her answer floored me, because, well… see for yourself:

The first books that I really fell in love with was the Harry Potter series. They’re still my favourite books in the whole wide world. But I don’t necessarily think that JK Rowling inspired me. I guess the person who really inspired me to commit to my dream to become a writer was my best friend, Lyn. She started querying and writing seriously way before I did and I was inspired by her success. I always thought publishing was an elusive dream that would never happen, but Lyn’s a reminder that good things can happen if you work hard and commit to your ambitions. 

My first thoughts after reading her answer?


Haha, it’s seriously true! Well, I’m not much of a crier, so not that part, but there were definitely the aforementioned warm-and-fuzzies. And that’s because of Jodie’s words. You read them – they’re beautiful!

So, I want to encourage you today – if you think something nice about someone, say it to them! Don’t keep it hidden, because beauty like that should be shared. Think of how much nicer this world would be if we all deliberately tried to speak life into each other on a daily basis. There would be no stopping what we could accomplish!

Dream Big. Dream Bright.

You might be a writer. You might be a dancer. You might be an artist, a chef, a teacher, a mother, a doctor, a carpenter, a student, a janitor, a musician, a preacher, a lawyer, a politician… You might be none of those at all. But it doesn’t matter, because I think we can all agree that inside the very depths of who we are, at heart, we are all dreamers. We all have hopes, we all have aspirations. Dreaming is as natural to us as breathing.

Sometimes our dreams can get clogged down by life and circumstances and all kinds of other things, but just because they’re buried, that doesn’t mean those dreams disappear. Admittedly, sometimes they can change. When I was a child, I dreamed of growing up and becoming a hairdresser. Now, not so much. As a teenager, I dreamed of being a veterinarian. Now, definitely not so much. I wanted to earn an ARIA award (despite the fact that I don’t like singing in front of people), I wanted to win an Academy Award (despite the fact that I can’t act – full stop), and I even wanted to receive an Olympic medal (despite the fact that, growing up, the only exercise I did involved running after the ice-cream truck). As an adult, my dreams are different now…

… but I still dream.

And you know what? Dreaming hurts. It hurts, because when our dreams don’t come true, or when they don’t turn out like we anticipated, the disappointment can be crushing. We can feel shame. We can feel anger. We can feel pain, longing, loneliness, even guilt. And, primarily, we can feel frustration. Because why, why, why didn’t our dreams come true?

But at the other end of the scale is the reason why we keep on dreaming, and that’s because dreams are beautiful. They show the best in us, our greatest potential, our most fervent desires. They give us hope for a better tomorrow, for a brighter future. Dreams can keep us going when we have nothing else left. They focus our minds, they guard our hearts, they shape our identities.

Someone once gave me this advice: “Dream bigger. Dream brighter.” At the time, I thought I already was dreaming pretty big and bright, but now that I look back, I can see that he was right. We can always dream bigger, we can always dream brighter. And that’s because our dreams are only ever limited by our own imaginations. Step outside the box of your mind, take a trip down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, and start dreaming of a greater future than you’ve ever before imagined possible.

What was it that Walt Disney said?…  *Google break* … Ahh, there it is: “If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember, this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.” It doesn’t get much smaller than a mouse! But his dream was big, his dream was bright. And now look at how far that dream has come!

So, I want to encourage you: hold onto your dreams; reawaken those desires that you’ve lost or buried; and, importantly, always be ready and willing to dream new dreams. Because life is worth living, dreams are worth having, and the future is never, ever without hope.