Tag Archives: News

Post #39: Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Welcome to the thirty-ninth post of the Great Writing Challenge of 2012.
Five days a week for six months, I will be given a topic to write about. The stipulation: it must be 250 words (or more), and positive in tone.
If you would like to suggest topics for me to write about, please email me at TheRebeccaProject [at] gmail [dot] com.

Post #39: Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

The Great Writing Challenge 2012 has already been a great opportunity to stretch my creative muscles, and I am grateful for your feedback and your support. And so I want to pay it forward. My friend, Carolyn, has set herself a challenge of a different kind, and I wanted to share it with you.

Each weekend, Carolyn has set herself a goal of doing one thing she has not done/gone to/experienced before in the ‘Stop Procrastinating’ Challenge (alternatively called the ‘Get Off Your Damn Ass and Do Things’ Challenge). There’s so many cool things to do in this city, but it’s so easy to let inertia take over. So each weekend, she’s going to be out, trying something new and meeting new people. And I say good for her!

As expats, we tend to have a much smaller circle, particularly if you gravitate to other expats. If you stick around in a particular place long enough, your social circle gets smaller and smaller as many of the expats either move home or move on to the next adventure. It’s the nature of the beast: it’s quite a transitory existence, but that’s also be part of the appeal.

Social anxiety is something that so many of us can relate to and it’s so much easier to not put yourself out there. But doing new things and meeting new people is cool, even if it’s a little unsettling at first. There’s so much about our existence in modern cities that serves to alienate us from our fellow twenty-and-thirty-somethings. We’re great at interacting online, but not in the flesh. I really haven’t met too many people here, but keeping up with my German classes has helped. I am getting a lot more comfortable with actively engaging with people, even in a language I’m not too good at.

What are we all searching for? Probably just people to share parts of our lives with. A beer, a play, a hike. Hear their stories and thoughts, and have a chance to share ours. Interaction and acknowledgement.

Maybe we should arrange a picnic in Golden Gate Park?

[Source: Pinterest]

I think Carolyn’s brave to set herself this challenge that’s outside of her comfort zone, and I know I’m looking forward to doing some of the new stuff with her and reading her wrap ups on her blog, [Insert Cool Name Here].

A Heartfelt Congratulations is in Order

This week, I heard some most fabulous news:
Craig and Jas are getting married!


The happy couple in Napa.

I am so unbelievably happy for them, and really appreciated the fact that Craig took the extra five minutes to share the happy news with me personally. That was really special. There’s only been eight weeks of my life when he wasn’t in it, the height difference has evened out (I think now he even wins by a few centimetres), and he’s someone I miss heaps living so far away.  It was just a wonderful piece of news, and certainly more inspiring than murders, arraignments and burning bodies that I spent the rest of the day dealing with.

I have not yet heard all the impressive details of the question-popping, but I can tell you it involved my favourite country on earth, New Zealand, and jumping from great heights.

Craig and me: hot Aussie summers playing in our Wall Avenue backyard. The height difference has been corrected, but I'm sure he can still pull off a kimono better than any.

So to Craig:
I have so many great memories of growing up with you, and it’s times like these I want to be there with you to give you a big ol’ hug, and do our own interpretation of “Friday Night Drinkies” to celebrate. You were the first person I told about James, and we were the last stop on your Summer Camp before you told me Jas sashayed romantically into your life.

I adore both of you. You’ve picked a total winner in Jas, and I wish you all the happiness in the world. That, and the biggest box of dress ups we can find.

Mail, mail, mail… a letter to Claude

‘Tis the season for political mail, and after all, I write the stuff, but my own mailbox is pretty clogged by the end of the week.

No on Pro B, Yes on L, No on whatever… I’ve ceased caring. Except for the mail about my race, of course.

But then I opened this letter today, addressed to the resident of my apartment (ie me). It was from the US Postal service and reads something like this:


What 4 digit code?


Why, thank you for your letter dated 30 September, Claude (that has taken until the 16th to arrive, by the way!). So lovely to receive mail from you. It sure makes me sit up and take notice when things are actually in an envelope and are some glossy political nonsense.

Now, evidently, you are telling me to make sure I write my address correctly, which I have been, but thank you for the reminder. We all need to be reminded so often just to remember where we live.

But more importantly, I am supposed to be helping you by sticking four more digits on the end of my zip? Do they have to be digits? Can they be a creative mash of numerals and letters? 94108-4EVA? 94108-BS4U? Or just simply letters? 94108-YEAH? 94108-WOOT!

Obviously, the US Postal Service doesn’t want me to have my extra digits. Therefore, they can go and get f**ked. I will not be doing anything you ask of me, USPS. I know how to write my address.

If only working eighteen hours a day for months on end didn’t make me so snarky…

No.61 — TICK!

I can actually tick number 61 off my Life List:

61. Gather the courage (despite my horrendous physical aversion to them since school) to try brightly coloured tights

After living one of the coolest summers in San Francisco, I bought some tights because I don’t imagine ever sweating again. Until today, but that’s another story (hello, Summer!).

I didn’t get a photo of the outfit myself, but managed to find this on Oh Joy. One of the lower photos shows my friend Leslie (she of Feisty Elle fame) getting her book signed (and the side of my head! My claim to fame!) at a book launch a week or two ago at the Candy Collective, out in the Mission.  It is notable because I wore blue tights! Shock! Horror!

And I had some of the most divine cupcakes!

[Source: Oh Joy!]

And the Cupcakes were SOOOOO GOOD! But I should really think about altering my style. I doubt it’s changed much since I was 15… but I do own a skirt now, so maybe I am getting somewhere.

So here’s another one for me:

70. Jump off a waterfall (just like Heather).

What’s on your Life List?


Wednesday inspiration

A friend of ours has just taken off for South East Asia and that has me thinking of the glorious months we spent backpacking around South East Asia a few years ago…

I desperately want to return, find a deserted, perfect beach in Thailand, watch the days pass from the beach or the porch of my bungalow, sipping fresh fruit shakes, eating pad thai and happy cow cheese rolls, wandering local markets, listening to music I wouldn’t normally (Why, HELLO, Jack Johnson), losing myself in books, letting my body relax and my mind wander…

On Hat Kata, Thailand

OH! To be back in South East Asia right now … I could use the rest and the inspiration, and I’d say The American would probably lie motionless for the good part of a month there after all the two-and-a-half months summer camps he has been doing.

Land of the Fruit Shakes, and Banana Pancakes...

Maybe we’ll treat ourselves for Christmas…

The colours are more real than real

What places have you already visited that you’d return to in a heartbeat?


An Open Letter to San Francisco

Dear San Francisco,

I would like to wear shorts this weekend, even if that means I have to shave my legs. I would just like to feel the sun on my skin… So if you wouldn’t mind telling the fog to bugger off for a day or two, I’d be most appreciative.