22 Things I Have Learnt Since Turning 22 - Guest Post Coliston

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Huzzah! It's time for guest post number 2! This time it's Courtney Loxton, who is a singer, songwriter and all around cool human (Who I'm lucky enough to call a friend). She also has a blog -  Coliston. You can get her words of wisdom regularly from there! :)  

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1. Balance is the key to most things. Eat kale and chocolate. Exercise and lounge around on the couch. Drink water and wine. Laugh and cry. Life is about balance.
2. Your freckles will always be there. Please stop disliking them. The sun loves you so much, it has kissed your skin forevermore. What a privilege.
3. At the end of the day, you have to look after you. No matter what shit people throw at you, yell at you, put you through, that's THEIR life. Not yours. THEIR words, THEIR opinions. When you go to bed at night, think nothing else of what they say.
4.Tea fixes everything. Even just for 5 minutes.

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5. You'll find someone who changes your life forever. You'll know who it is and you'll know when it happens. Because everything about them will be so familiar, your whole world will change in an instant and you will think "Oh there you are. Where have you been? I've been waiting for you."

6. Books have more information, more magic and more truth in them then TV or the Internet ever will.

7. Nothing beats pen to paper. Write write write!

8.Comparing yourself to others is toxic, useless and will only make you upset. There is no one in the universe like you. Embrace who you are!

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9. Anxiety will not rule your life.

10. You are 22 years old but your soul is much older.

11. There's always room for dessert. 12. Don't ever judge someone until you get to know them. You might not like the way they dress, but you might love the way they think.

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13. There's absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to stay in for the night instead of going out.

14. Having said that, make sure you push yourself every now and then to venture into the world and meet new people. You never know who might meet... 15. Never underestimate the power of doing something nice for yourself.

16. If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough.

 

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17. You are allowed to be selfish every now and then. 18. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It shows true strength and courage to seek assistance and support at some point in our lives. We don't have to do anything alone, there will always be someone there to help.

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19. Be an individual. Don't follow the crowd. You are different for a reason, find that reason and embrace it whole heartedly. You are here for a purpose and you'll never it if you're following someone else's purpose.

20. Eating ice cream out of the tub is totally acceptable.

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21. Worrying is like praying for what you don't want. 22. It costs $0.00 to be a good and decent human being. So be kind to people, smile at others, don't spread hate (in the real world or online) and just remember that at the end of the day, we are all equals. We are all human. We all deserve the best.

Court xxx

I want to join the circus

Shoes In an unlikely turn of events, my band had a gig last night. We played with two other bands at the Lass and had a wonderful time playing to an awesome crowd and having our ears massaged by the likes of Zappo and Ungus Ungus Ungus.

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Zappo are one of my favourite Newcastle based bands. Their sound is quite psychedelic rock, and although there's a definite "retro" vibe around their song writing and instrument/effect choices, their music never crosses the line into "dated" territory. I love watching them perform. They've got great chemistry. I'm pretty disappointed that I didn't get any photo's of them (I left my camera in the car, and didn't want to miss out on having their music massage my ear drums)

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Ungus Ungus Ungus are a psychedelic gypsy prog rock band (and yes, their music is as nutty as their genera suggests (in the best way possible)) I'm trying to find words to properly describe the experience of waching Ungus play... they're amazing, and off the chain (and their bassist pulls the some of the best faces I've ever seen(only to be rivaled by the bassist in The Maint Guy and the Other Guys)) Their on stage chemistry is out of this world as well.

It's funny. This gig kind of reinforced what a small world the music world is. The saxophonist in the band is actually a guy I play with semi regularly (which I didn't know about until I looked up their bands website last  week)

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I managed to get some decent (read: not blurry) photo's of Ungus! (woohoo) I've uploaded them to my facebook page (you can have a gander if you would like) I took so many great shots of "twisted singing" faces (which are the best) :D

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This isn't what I wore to the gig (I didn't managed to take outfit photo's yesterday - boo) This is what I wore on Tuesday to work and stuff. It was a pretty cold day, so I went for "warm", which this outfit definitely was.

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Pirate Skirts and Power Trips

shoes I had a bit of a run in with a Transit officer on a power trip today, and it left me feeling completely humiliated, worthless, and very panic-y. Before I get into the details I will preface my experience with this:

1) I have a very large, yet irrational fear of "people in authority" (aka, police, transport officers, security guards etc) Whenever these types of people are around I get super panic-y  (I don't even have to have an interaction)I already struggle not to burst into tears when my train tickets get checked and I'm on my own, so the events that happened

2) I was in the wrong. The TLDR of my trip that day was my opal card came in the mail, and I thought "I'll buy a one way ticket, activate the opal card on the train, and use it on my way home" Because I'd gone through the ticket buying ritual, by the time I'd finished work I'd forgotten that I would need to use the opal as I only had a one way. It was a totally honest mistake, which would have been picked up by anyone looking at the situation logically.

3) When I activated my card, I put $20 of credit onto it, which was supposed to be ready to use in an hour, but for some reason wasn't. (There had been 3 hours between activation and my second trip)

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When the transport officers boarded my train and asked to see tickets I'd realised my stuff up, so I did what any normal person would do, I apologised profusely, explained my situation, and complied with the officers requests. Now, it's important to mention here I was already struggling to keep it together. I was shaking with fear, which made my movements slow and clumsy.

After taking my details, and looking at my one way ticket he asked if I had any proof that I'd activated my opal card today, pestering me to provide an email proving that I'd activated my card. I explained that I had not received an email, but I could log into the app, which I did, but because it was the mobile app it had limited information, only showing that I had put $20 on and it wasn't done processing. Now this is where I really felt threatened, he asked me to show that I had enough cash for the return trip, which I showed him. He then said "Now, what I think is that you didn't have enough money for the trip, so have decided to risk the journey without tapping on. Had you had enough cash on your opal card or person I would have let you off with a warning.", even though I'd shown that I had more than enough cash to pay for the return journey. By this time I was in tears and pretty useless because I was shaking so hard.

Throughout the whole ordeal he was blocking my exit, standing over me and using a very threatening, accusatory,  almost angry tone of voice. If I'd been insincere, unapologetic and rude to him the behaviour would have been appropriate.  I was at the complete opposite end of the behavourial spectrum. I was compliant, very apologetic (because I felt like a complete idiot for not tapping on) and, even though I lost my composure at the end, I was polite throughout the whole interaction.  He was also double my size, and using physically threatening body language.

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I just don't understand why I would be treated as if I was threatening and rude when I was showing all the signs of being compliant and feeling like an idiot because I'd made a stupid mistake. I get that he was doing his job, but I feel as though he overstepped some major boundaries. I also can't help but wonder if I wasn't quite so feminine, or so much smaller than him if I would have been treated differently, because lets be honest, it's much easier to be intimidating when the person you're intimidating has literally no power against you. This encounter also won't do anything for my irrational fear of authority figures.Sorry for the wall of text, I just needed to get this off my chest.

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On a slightly lighter note, this is what I wore on Sunday to my rehearsal with the New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance and Jazz Orchestra (I hope I got the title right. It's a bit of  a mouthful, so we all just call it The New Empire). We're currently putting together our sets for the Newcastle Jazz Festival, which is an event we play every year!

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Androgenous pirate

shoes with noodle You know how sometimes you fall in love with a piece of clothing, but you have no idea how to style it, then it just sits in your wardrobe forever until suddenly you have a brain wave and create the perfect outfit using said piece of clothing? The culottes I wore today are one of those pieces of clothing.

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The button collective have this old vintage style "uniform" in which they wear lots of long pants, vests, suspenders, button down shirts, ties etc in neutral and muted colours. When styling the culottes I took a page out of their book, and used a muted navy and brown colour pallet, and creating layers with suspenders, a belt, a necklace, some tights and a pair of socks. I've also experimented with androgyny, using "masculine clothing elements". I really enjoy playing with androgyny, and don't do it near often enough.

Taking it off

Anna from Melodic and Thrify chick was a huge inspiration for the styling of this outfit. She is the layering master (if you like this outfit you should totally check out her blog!)

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In other news, I rode my bike for the first time in many years today (out of necessity. Dad had the car, and I had to get home super fast from teaching). I'd forgotten how much fun riding a bike is. I'd also forgotten how uncomfortable a bike seat is, as well as how hard it is on the thigh muscles (which I don't use often enough :P). I'm definitely going to ride more often once Rohan and I move into our new place. I need to get saddle bags though. I had a backpack and flute case on my back, which was super awful.

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So yeah, this is pretty much the outfit I'm wearing for my gig this evening (I changed my coat after taking these photos though. It's really really really cold at the moment, and the blazer wasn't warm enough.)

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Changes

Shoes Rohan and I got approved for our first property today, meaning we'll be moving into our first place before the end of the month. It's super exciting and a little scary, but I'm looking forward to this new adventure.

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It'll be weird not calling my parents house home anymore. I've lived here for 20 of my 22 years of being alive, so I've never known anything different. It's not a huge change of scenery (we're moving a 10 min drive away) but IDK, it's a big change for me.

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Apart from that exciting news, I spent today recording flute parts for the button collective ep and album today, which was super fun. We managed to get 8 songs recorded in 3 1/2 hours, which is pretty darn speedy (I'm amazed my brain didn't collapse from all of the concentrating!)

Looking

So yeah, this is what I wore to record in (Because my outrageous clothing is totally audible in the recording) I'm pretty sad I didn't get better photo's (That's what happens when you have to shoot in un-natural light in the evening.) Serves me right for not getting dressed sooner!

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Speaking of Button Collective! I have 3 gigs with them, and one gig with Vanishing Shapes (Technically it's the same gig. My friend Ess-em who also makes super rad tunes booked a gig for her birthday, and booked both V Shapes and B/C to play <3) coming up in the next few days.  So yeah, If you live in Sydney and are interested in hearing some rad folk music, details are on The B/C and V/S pages.