Tag Archives: Personal

Thoughts, opinions, life experiences, travel, relationships, events, etc.

The power of putting yourself first

Since figuring out where my priorities lie; I’ve been able to get good grades, lift my GPA, receive two prestigious academic awards, be offered Honours and land a job that I adore. I’ve become so particular in the way I conduct this side of myself that I shifted my focus to uni and work… and to be honest? I really appreciate myself for doing this because it’s led me to where I am and what I have now. This isn’t to say that I completely dismissed my responsibilities as a girlfriend, friend or sister – I just grew up and learned that there’s a lot of power behind putting yourself first.

But for some? I understand that it felt as if I left them behind.

There are people in my life who don’t need me to hold their hand. There’s a mutual understanding that we’ve got different lives with different responsibilities, which makes maintaining a relationship with them quite easy. It feels like no time has passed when I do catch up with them. You know, there’s no awkwardness or resentment between us… just a mutual level of respect for one another.

If you’re one of these people, I’d like to express my gratitude and send out a big fat ‘thank you’. While it may feel like I had forgotten about you, I never did. The way I see it is that you let me do my own thing and work towards my goals, and you’ve been more supportive than I could have ever imagined. While this may necessarily not be the case, I’m still thankful for having low maintenance people in my life because let’s face it, I don’t think I’m a low maintenance person.

Basically, thank you for not thinking differently of me; for not questioning my loyalty or quality as a human being while I worked myself out.

The last year has been difficult for everyone and I’ve been lucky enough to keep my job and continue my studies, despite everything going on in our world. What made this challenging for me was spending six months away from my partner. This wasn’t easy at all and the heightened pace at work and uni kept me going (…that and the fact that we’re pretty used to the distance by now). For us, we’re equals. He’s never belittled what I do or doubted the path I’ve wanted to pursue. He was never selfish and demanded for my time. He simply supported me and let me do what I needed to do.

So, what I want to tell you is this: there is nothing wrong with putting yourself first.

Yes, it’s important to care for others and be there for them, but it’s also imperative to care for yourself, isn’t it? Whether that’s self-care or dedicating your time and energy to your professional development – there’s nothing wrong with it. Truth be told, I never turned people away who needed me, just like they always had my back when I’ve needed them. There are people in your life who will support you and there are others who will simply crave your personal or professional success.

I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who respect who I am and also understand how self-empowering it is to put myself first… probably because they do too. ❤️

Three ways to unwind from your busy week

As I write this, I look back three or four months and I’m baffled at how I managed to do what I did before all of this pandemic business. To give you some context: I was at the Keep Co office four days a week, where I worked three days with Ivy Social and one day interning for Good Day PR. I was working one or two night shifts a week at Public Bar, in addition to being responsible for the venue’s marketing activity. Should I also mention that I tried to keep a somewhat social life?

Yeah, I was busy. But I loved it.


Well, for starters, I really, really enjoy all the work that I do and I like to live a semi-on-the-go lifestyle. In saying so, you really need some downtime and after this week in particular? It’s necessary.

So, I’m here to share with you my favourite ways to unwind after a big week such as:

  1. Taking my time with my skincare routine
  2. Binge-watching my current go-to TV show or movie series
  3. Have a big glass of wine (very, very important)

Skincare routine

As much as I love to put makeup on, I love taking it off just as much. When I was younger, I wrongly invested my money into makeup when really, I should’ve put it towards skincare. If you read my last blog post, this was one of those silly choices that I made back in the day. 😂

My skincare routine is something that I will always do, every morning and every night. It doesn’t matter how exhausted, emotionally drained or drunk I am; I’ll do it, even if I’m not wearing makeup. On a day-to-day basis, we’re talking: double cleanser (…yep, double), toner, eye cream, serum and moisturiser.

Most of the time, I can do my regular routine without even thinking but after a massive day or week, I really like to take my time… sometimes, it can take me up to two hours. Yes – you read that right. It can take me so long because a) I work each product into my skin more than usual, and b) I add a few extra steps like a face mask and an eye mask. Plus, it feels like a mini pamper session and what girl wouldn’t want that? 💆🏻‍♀️


As a millennial living in an era of online streaming, how could binge-watching not be one of my favourite things to do? Not just after a busy week but all the time.

I have a few TV shows and movies on rotation that I watch every year; like Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Gilmore Girls (..although I’m getting quite sick of it as I get older), Younger and my latest addition? Schitt’s Creek, which I love every little thing about. I can’t tell you why I watch them year in and year out but I like that I can have them on in the background when I don’t want to listen to music or a podcast, or even as I fall asleep. If I need a little bit of action in my life, my go-to films include The Hunger Games, Divergent and most things from Marvel (hello Chris Hemsworth).

By watching all these TV shows and movies, they help me get lost in their world just so I can escape reality for a little bit. Plus, my life is nowhere near as dramatic or action-packed so it’s a nice reassurance that my life is totally fine. 😂

Fun fact: I actually wanted to become a film director when I was about 16 so I got really into the industry. Like, I’d watch movies with the commentary on to get an understanding of every decision that a director, writer or actor made… safe to say that this particular dream didn’t last me very long!

Big glass of wine

Now, let’s talk about wine. Ah, a good ol’ crisp glass of freshly poured Riesling really does the trick. Do we even need to get into why it’s one of my favourite ways to unwind?

I think it’s really important to be able to have some downtime, even if you live such a busy lifestyle or work from home. You need to be able to take a break from things otherwise it’ll just consume you.

And before you ask… yes, I did all three things after I finished work this week. ✔️

A reflection of the last decade

While I respect the mindset of manifesting and believing that whatever is meant to happen, will happen; I ground myself on the idea that you’re the one in control of your life – not your parents, not your friends, not the universe. Don’t get me wrong, they all have a significant role to play and sometimes I find myself thinking “wow, the world really wanted that to happen to me today” but for the most part, I have what I have and I get what I want because I work hard for it – in fact, I earned it. 🙌

Call it sentimental but with two units left of my undergraduate degree, I’m sure you can understand the reflection. We’re in for a long one here so feel free to jump out whenever you like but today, I’m reminiscing on the last decade of my life.

Over the last two or so years; I’ve received exceptionally positive feedback on my assignments, I’ve been a recipient of the Dean’s Excellence Award for two consecutive semesters, I’ve been recommended for Honours twice, I’ve recently been informed that I was the top student in one of my units and I had the Internships Convenor for the Faculty of Arts and Design ask my permission to use my website for future students. This. Exact. Website. 😮

Sadly, I wasn’t always like this. I wasn’t always an academic achiever. In fact, I never strived for it but I was never the kid who thought being smart was lame. To be quite honest, I’m not all that smart – I simply know what I know and I put in the hard yards to know it. There isn’t much else to it.

For my story to make sense, I have to address a number of things:

  1. My time at the University of Canberra
  2. The environment I was in
  3. The choices I made
  4. The emotional support (or lack thereof)
  5. My best friend
  6. …and lastly, me

MY time at UC

My first semester at the University of Canberra was August 2013 (feels like a lifetime ago), where I enrolled in a double undergraduate degree of a Bachelor of Marketing Management and a Bachelor of Communication in Advertising. Sounds fancy, right?

I enjoyed all the marketing classes but loathed anything and everything else. I found it hard to motivate myself in economics, accounting… don’t even get me started on statistics and business law. I’ll be completely honest with you: I failed three units. Two of which, I failed twice… meaning that I failed five times. Talk about a waste of money. 👎

When it came to my advertising degree, I did really well in my first class but I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t like any of them because I felt as if I wasn’t creative enough. I didn’t fail any units under this course but I withdrew from two because, again, I didn’t like them… so, I decided to change degrees. I kept Marketing Management but changed into Communication in Public Relations and this was when I saw a significant change in my academic studies. The punch line? I now work in advertising. So technically, I didn’t really need to make the change but how was I supposed to know how things would work out?

The environment I was in

Like I said, you’re the one with full control of your life but sometimes, there are factors that hold influence over your decisions.

I’ve got a lot of great memories from my childhood but I’d be lying to you if I said it was full of nothing but rainbows and lollipops – because it wasn’t. I actually rarely talk about my childhood. I didn’t learn how to speak my mind or have the self-confidence that I have now until my 20s. I used to cry during class presentations and job interviews. I was always afraid to ask questions or ask for help. Yeah, I was that kid. 🤦🏻‍♀️

When it came to where I worked, I always had pride and took ownership of the bar where I was working. Usually, I’d stay working there for a while because I loved it but sometimes, the hospitality industry gets you. The hard work, the late nights and the kind of people you meet (not always the good kind)… sometimes it gets the better of you. Once I became a full-time manager, I was working all the time. I reduced my study load and partied a lot. There were times where I’d finish work at midnight, stay out to party, get a few hours sleep, then wake up to do it all over again. Some might say that it was just my youth, and I’d agree with them to a certain degree, but I literally let uni slip through the cracks. Can you see where I failed all those units now?

There’s no way that this all happened because of my childhood or where I worked, not at all. I failed because I allowed myself to believe that those environments impacted me in the way it did rather than value those learning experiences. I’m a tougher person because of it but sadly, my education took the fall.

The choices I made

If you’ve known me for a long time, even if we aren’t really friends now, you’d know a lot about the choices that I made back in the day. Some were highly questionable, some were logical. For instance, why did I go full-time when I was already working full-time hours on casual pay? Not to mention my decision to change degrees when I’m actually working in advertising now, which resulted in studying a little bit longer than I should be.

My first breakup turned out to be a doozy. I remember saying “if you change your mind, let me know”. Vanessa, please. I laugh at myself when I catch myself thinking of that as I don’t even understand why I’d say that – not that I think about that moment often. My friends now would literally laugh at me knowing that I’ve said that. I could never understand those on-again-off-again couples, it’s not really my thing. The events after this are just iconic. From the people I met to the people I developed feelings for, even the situations I found myself in, you’d think I was in some kind of reality TV series. 😅

Things do work out in the end though. This is where all that “if it’s meant to be, it’ll be” business comes in but I certainly don’t regret the choices I’ve made because like I’ve said, it wouldn’t have led me to this point.

The emotional support (or lack thereof)

I’m not going to dive deep into the types of support systems that I’ve had because my current one is nothing short of amazing. This comes in all shapes and sizes – even from a guy I used to casually see once upon a time – and I’m forever grateful for the people I have in my inner circle now.

I will say this though: sometimes, it’s quite disheartening to find no comfort from those who should be providing that (unconditionally, might I add). I don’t know why I surprise myself each time I experience this because it’s usually from the same person or the same type of people. I’ve literally been called “an uneducated and close-minded young person” when really, I’m at the top of my class. What would they know, right? I personally find it sad that some people are stuck in this mindset that our younger generations aren’t good for anything – especially when they don’t know anything about their capability (..just like myself).

My best friend

Speaking of my inner circle, I owe a lot to my best friend. She doesn’t provide me with the typical form of support that a girl would most likely get from her bestie.

She supported me in two ways. First, by giving me all the freedom that I needed at the time. When we were younger, we leant on each other a lot. We were literally so inseparable that we’d often find ourselves in trios of friendships or she’d constantly be the third-wheel to the boy that I was seeing at the time. She was always around, looking over me and watching my every move (without being creepy). She allowed me to make the choices and mistakes that I made but always voiced when I made said mistakes. Plus, I was a lot more stubborn back then so kudos to her for always being by my side.

For me, showing up is a big deal. Saying “good job” is a big deal. Every little win contributes to a major win and she’s done exactly that. I won’t deny that there have been moments in our friendship when we’ve thought “why is or isn’t she doing this?” with each other but at the end of the day, I know she’s always going to be there for me. Her story is also incredible and I’m proud of the woman she’s become. She’s patient, loving and sweet – the complete opposite to me. But she’s it.

..and lastly, me

At the end of everyday, it all comes down to you. In this case: me.

I wasn’t always in the frame of mind that I’m in now. I lacked self-confidence, which resulted in an absence of drive. Back then, I was driven to be a social butterfly and party and do my job. It was often because of the position I’d put myself in or the people I’d surround myself with but it was all me – I made those choices.

And now? I choose me. I choose my education, my career, my happiness. I choose to not think of myself as dumb (…although I do have my moments! 😂). I choose to value what I can offer to people and I know that it’s because of me that I choose to be this way.

To those who continue to support me and shower me with love, I appreciate you. And to those who have called me “dumb” or aren’t aware of how good I am – are you living under a rock? At least I know I won’t dwell on any regrets in my life. It’s pretty easy to reflect on what’s come and gone when I’m so close to finishing uni but it’s certainly refreshing to see how far I’ve come. ✨

Why I created a social media strategy for Public Bar

If I’ve learned anything from studying, interning and working in the field of marketing for the how-ever-many years… it’s that strategy is everything. ✔️

When I was offered the role of Public Bar‘s Marketing Coordinator, I was over-the-moon about it but I was also quite terrified. Confident (shock me lol), but terrified.

Why, you ask?

Well, this is going to sound super cheesy… but Public has actually been a significant part of my life.

I love working there. I’ve had fun, been angry and cried there. I learned a lot about what it means to respect a complete stranger as they’d often treat us bar staff like dirt. I learned how to control my temper (..sort of, kinda used to be worse 😇). I’ve also met some of the most incredible people while working there.

..should I add that the Venue Manager was (and still is) one of my closest friends at this point?

Plus, he’s one of the owners.

Yep, that’ll do it. Of course I was terrified. 😬

It all happened pretty quickly actually. I had ideas flowing through my head, so I decided to follow one route and roll with it. There you have it – Public’s very first social media strategy (at least I think so, I hadn’t seen any others before). The frequency, messages, images, captions, hashtags… all of the elements that you put into digital marketing was all in my head. Luckily, I had built momentum from my internship at Ivy Social, which helped me a lot.

This worked for a while, and some of it still does despite the number of adjustments we’ve made to accommodate new launches and the new norm.

What became a concern of mine was that I have plans to move interstate after graduating from uni, which means that my time as Public’s Marketing Coordinator would most likely come to an end (..unless my boss lets me work remotely? 😏). I was worried that all the hard work that my boss and I had put in, all the social media presence that we built, all the online relationships I formed for the business, could easily slow down or even worse: come to a complete stop.

And that’s when I decided to put my thoughts onto paper.

This took me a while… five months, to be exact. I don’t even think my boss read the 18-page report from start to finish and to be honest, he didn’t really need to as we had already discussed all of it. He had that much faith in me that he practically gave me full reign of our social media platforms (not that I’ve ever done something without asking or telling him). Bless that human. ❤️

I certainly didn’t create a strategy that would work forever. Social media is an ever-changing environment and the hospitality industry is constantly on-the-go, so I created something that I could continue to build on, and the next person could build on, and the person after that.

Not to mention, I love to watch my friends succeed.. especially when I get to be part of their success.

VP ✨

Ivy Social’s first intern

If you were to ask the people in my life about my self-confidence and self-esteem, I have a feeling that most, if not all, would say that mine are pretty high (..often too high 😂).

To be honest, I’m quite sure of myself and am very confident in what I already know and what I’m comfortable with. For example, I know that I’ve got great time management and can mix a nicely-frothed Espresso Martini at my bar job. But… when UC updated course requirements and incorporated two internships in my double degree – I felt incredibly nervous within seconds.

Why, you ask?

Believe it or not: it’s because I have zero confidence in my interview skills and I know that they’re a first impression. Seriously.

When the time came, I searched through UC’s CareerHub which listed so many possible internships. I wasn’t sure what I was really looking for but I always had an interest in digital marketing (without even knowing it) and got good grades in my communications units.

And then, I stumbled across Ivy Social. Cute name, right? 😍

I looked more into them: “a boutique social media consultancy in Canberra”. I searched for the contact person and she’s someone I went to school with, she was actually in the year above me (classic Canberra). And so, I sent her an email with my expression of interest and resume.

Knowing that I had to do an interview was nerve-racking, but it definitely helped that I sort of knew my potential first internship supervisor. It didn’t feel like such a formal interview either, it felt more like a conversation which flowed nicely. Then and there, we discussed start dates and I was super excited (..internally, I was doing a self-high-five as I hadn’t applied anywhere else 🙏).

Now when it came to the actual internship, it was kinda funny in that they weren’t sure of how to go about training me – I was the first official intern for Ivy Social.

Let me tell you: they absolutely killed it. I learned so much about the ins and outs of social media including the algorithm, paid advertising, writing content for different clients across a number of industries – I’m still learning more about all of these things.

What I loved the most was that in one moment, I could step into the minds of a prestigious car brand, then the solar industry in the next. I never realised how much I’d fall in love with creative writing – all thanks to this opportunity.

The best thing about this internship?

It landed me the role of Social Media Content Coordinator at Ivy Social months later. 🌿

Safe to say that I’ve built – and will continue to build – my self-confidence in a new environment.

VP ✨