That's because I'm awake....

Daily absurdities. The odd portmanteau.

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Quarter life crisis

Last year, on my 25th birthday, a colleague told me I was now of “proper, grown up age.” Which I think means my age is no longer an excuse for faffing about; it’s time to settle down; time to get focused. A lot of my mates have been throwing around the term quarter life crisis for some time now but is it a legitimate concern? Age crises (like the quarter life and the presumably worse mid-life version), are often used as an excuse for making changes. But why is not knowing what you want, or knowing you want to make a huge change – like changing careers or an overseas trip - considered a crisis? Maybe that’s just growing up?



It’s not uncommon for middle class Australian 20-somethings to feel a bit helpless, especially when it comes to their career. Add to that desires to travel, buy a house, relationship pressure and those astronomical student debts, nervous breakdowns are to be expected. However, I don’t think these pressures wear off as you get older. Eventually, responsibilities like mortgages, children, and school fees come into equation (if that’s the path they choose to take). The worries are still there, they’re just replaced with other things. 


(Source: Flickr)

I suppose the main aspect of a quarter-life crisis is CHOICE. When I was going through school, my classmates and I were told to aim high; we could do whatever we wanted to do. Thanks to this, and my extremely supported family, I am now spoiled for choice. My family were thrilled when I landed a media job after my journalism degree but I know if I decide to quit my job to go backpacking, they would support me. If I decided to get married, they would support me. If I decided to save up and buy a house, they would support me. And thank heavens for that. But I think the problem inflicting me, and many of my 20-something compatriots is, we want to do everything. (Well maybe not the mortgage and marriage, but for many people my age – that’s a priority). We want to travel but still have a great job. We want to have fun but settle down, at least a little bit. 

This brings me to the second aspect of a quarter-life crisis: fear of missing out (FOMO). I would argue that sometimes, because we have the luxury of so much choice, we feel like we need to fit in everything. And many of us succeed in that. We’re a great generation of multi-taskers but sometimes I wonder if it would be better to focus on one goal, rather than trying to achieve a number, half-heartedly. 

I don’t know the solution to this dilemma, but I have a feeling it comes down to making a decision (whatever it may be) and committing to it.

(Does growing up mean no more dress-ups? No more wearing taco shell headbands? We missed the memo. Obviously.)

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Buy these postcards.

My friend Elo, at catkin and teasel, is an extremely talented sister.

An Australian designer based in Tokyo, she has created some beautiful postcards to raise money for the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal. Buy a set for yourself, your friends, your family. 

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Last weekend, Sunday Life published a fabulous piece by Jeff Gordinier that originally appeared in The New York Times.

The story is about eating for show and how profiles of starlets in glossy magazines will often include commentary of what the actress ate.

"For regular readers of glossy magazines — which depend on interviews with famous people to generate chatter and goose newsstand sales — such situations have become increasingly familiar… A writer meets a starlet for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The starlet, usually of slim and gamine proportions, appears to thwart our expectations by ordering and consuming, with conspicuous relish, a meal that might satisfy a hungry dockworker."

Gordinier comments that the mention of what the starlet has to eat (and they always seem to have a big appetite) is related to: a) the fact that the interviewer has been given 15 minutes and is looking for any kind of colour for the story, and b) being part of the entertainment publicity machine.

And herewith we have DIPE, or “the documented instances of public eating”, which according to Gordinier was coined by a film publicist working in Hollywood. 

I really think DIPEs are worthy of their own tumblr. 


But DIPE does not only have to be used to show readers that celebrities are just like us (come on, Cameron, no one believes you’re going to bite that burger), it can also be used as a weapon, like in the case of Lynn Hirschberg’s profile of MIA published last year in The New York Times magazine.


Hirschberg wrote a not-exactly-glowing profile of the British/Sri Lankan performer, which resulted in MIA, clearly unhappy, posting the journalist’s number on Twitter. 

Part of the interview takes place at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and my favourite par from the profile was this:

Unity holds no allure for Maya — she thrives on conflict, real or imagined. “I kind of want to be an outsider,” she said, eating a truffle-flavored French fry. “I don’t want to make the same music, sing about the same stuff, talk about the same things. If that makes me a terrorist, then I’m a terrorist.” 

Bam! DIPE! The observation of what MIA is eating suggests that, as Hirschberg sees it, while she may regard herself as an outsider, she is living this Hollywood lifestyle that is far removed from the reality of most of the world. Seriously, who eats truffled-flavoured french fries? It’s not the first time Hirschberg has used the French fry tactic. But hey, if it works, why not run with it?