A few years ago, like just about everyone else on the planet, I started colouring. Yes, according to social media experts, I had regressed depressingly back to my childhood where apparently I have daddy issues, or something. According to artists everywhere else, I was being lazy and not truly my creative self by colouring someone else’s work regardless of the fact that’s sort of the point of colouring books. Finally, according to psychotherapists the world over, I was being mindful and relaxing my brain.
Well, I’ll go with the last of those because I actually do find it relaxing. As with all of my hobbies (like sculpting and jewellery-making and digital art), colouring can be intricate work taking lots of concentration and focus. I find that that focus on one single thing for as many hours as it takes before my fingers start to go numb (they do, it’s hilarious) is actually a blessed release from the near constant noise in my brain. That and I like making pretty pictures and learning new skills.
As usual, any time I start a new hobby, I jump in head first and buy ALL THE THINGS.
Most people buy what they need; maybe a few expensive items, maybe a handful of artist quality pencils.
What is this pithy 12 pencil set you speak of?! I shall have ALL the pencils.
Seriously, the 132 Prismacolor Premier set was not enough. I sold that set and bought the 150 set because I needed ALL the colours.
(And then I sold that set too because Prismacolor Premiers are the crappiest pencils ever. But more on that later.)
So once I had all the pencils, I needed all the books. Cue a collection of over 130 colouring books that followed swiftly after. And that collection is still growing, though I have slowed down and now mainly focus on books by particular artists.
And then came the water colours, the blending mediums, the special erasers and sharpeners, the cases, the gesso…
You get me.
So now I colour. The thing I particularly love about colouring is that I can do it in a relatively small space and it’s not such a big deal to pack up and move if I need to, unlike jewellery-making and some of my messier hobbies.
And so, finally, this blog will be what I have always thought of making it – a showcase of my creative endeavours with maybe a few rambles in between. Gone are the days where my longer rambles are worth anything to anyone.
(Don’t worry, if you used to read Renlish and there was something you particularly wanted to read again, just let me know. I have everything saved in drafts.)
I’m a wreck. No other way to put it. The enormity of what’s happened over the past 18 months (marriage separation and uprooting my life, illness, the death of my aunt, etc), and now this has proven to be too much to handle today. I’m tired and anxious and can’t stop crying.
Anything and everything is setting me off and I am so, so cold. I’m taken to what will be my room and, thank you private health insurance, my room is a delightfully vintage single with an outlook onto the leafy street below. Single and bloody cold. What is it with hospitals and having the temperature set to a max of 12 degrees?! Anyway, M and I wait for the nurses to come in, check my files and issue me with the appropriate wrist bands. Thus begins the constant repetitive questions:
“What is your name and date of birth?”
“What are you here for today?”
“Do you have any allergies?”
The theatre nurse comes in and introduces herself and I lose the plot entirely, much to her shock. I’m sheepish through my tears and assure her that it’s nothing personal.
I change into my gown (less clothes, even colder now) and pressure socks and with a last smooch from M, I’m wheeled out, still bawling, to surgery where I meet one of the other theatre nurses who gives me one of those wonderful heated air blankets. OMG SO WARM! I nestle under it and ignore the urge to put my head under the covers and hide.
My anaesthetist arrives and he sees that I am one big snotty mess. He gently tells me what’s going to happen, how I am going to feel, that he’s there to make sure I stay asleep (a bloody good thing if you ask me) and bring me out of it again when all is said and done. His voice is very soothing and I am more inclined to believe that I’m not going to die this day.
Finally I get wheeled into theatre and there’s my surgeon to greet me. She grabs my hand, holds it tight and gives me a pat before going through the official process of starting the procedure. They take away my heated airbag and I instantly start shivering and crying again.
The surgeon hovers above me while the anaesthetist does his thing. I squeeze her hand as the needle goes in and the cold heat of the happy sleepy-time medicine shoots up my arm.
I only vaguely remember asking for another shot of whatever that was before I surrendered to the darkness.
Waking up again seconds – though it might have been hours – later, I realise that I’m already back in my room. If I woke up in recovery, I don’t remember it.
I don’t remember much of anything for the rest of that day.
The one thing I do remember before drifting off again was that it was FUCKING FREEZING in that room.
Day 1 – First day Post-Op
Happy sleepy-time drugs finally wore off and reality set in. I was down one uterus but up one very annoying catheter. Not in a whole lot of pain, but then I hadn’t tried to move, so “yay, catheter!” I guess.
Thoroughly entertained by the fact that my entire stomach is numb from mid-rib to my girl bits. I spend much time poking at it. My stomach, that is. I poke my stomach. Not my girl bits.
Nurses (both student and fully qualified varieties) are lovely and checking on me every couple of hours around the clock. Lovely, but it means I can’t sleep. The pressure cuff around my arm keeps waking me and they keep asking me my name and date of birth and if I have any allergies.
I discover the Food Network on television.
I’m still cold.
I keep confirming my name and date of birth every two hours.
Every. Two. Hours.
Given my first Clexane in the wee hours of the morning. For such a tiny needle, that shit hurts like hell.
Still being asked who I am as if the answer will be a surprise.
Still cold. Starting to think the coldness is a sterile environment thing. It has to be cold so bacteria doesn’t grow. At least, that’s what I am telling myself to justify why I can’t feel my fingers and toes.
Nurse comes in with a tray of Stuff and Things™. Interesting.
“We’re taking the catheter out today!”
YEOUCH. That is the most unpleasant sensation.
“You feel like getting up and having a shower now?”
What the what, now?!
“It’s best if you start moving around, it helps speed up healing.”
Nurse-speak for, “You stink. You need a shower and we need to change the sheets.”
I slowly – so slowly – manage to manoeuvre myself out of bed.
Oh, wow. Wow. With a side of OW. You know that sensation, like you’ve been sliced open and your guts are falling out? No? Well, use your imagination.
I am honestly frightened everything is going to fall out.
I feel vaguely sorry for the poor student nurse who has to stand in the shower and help wash me but I am feeling mostly extremely aware that I am naked, sore, and not alone in the shower. The hot water is a small comfort but I would much prefer it alone.
By the time I’m out, dried and dressed in my own PJs, my bed has been remade and I have to admit I feel better for the shower. I finally beg for a couple more blankets as I just can’t deal with the cold anymore.
Extra blankets are brought and I am happy as a bug missing a uterus in a rug.
Warmth and food and sheer exhaustion from just moving between the bed and the shower means that I crash out hard for a couple of hours. When I wake up the nurse comes in and says that I was completely out and she didn’t want to disturb me so she just checked my temp while I was sleeping and left me alone.
I really like that nurse.
Given Clexane again. Nasty little fucker of a needle, that. Not a great way to wake up.
I really want to go home now. Third night in on very little real sleep apart from cat-naps that are interrupted by changing of the guard at the nurse’s station or pain keeping me awake means that I am very quickly losing the plot. I’m tired and bored and I miss my mum and my cats and my boyfriend and I am seriously starting to regret having the operation because of the sheer amount of discomfort I’m in. Moving hurts, the bed hurts, my neck hurts, every muscle not used to being employed for the simple act of walking is screaming at me. I’m on a cocktail of Endone, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol and something that might have been slow release morphine…
The nurses ask me how I’m feeling once or twice and I just start crying again. They do their best to soothe me and explain that even though it might not seem like it, I’m actually doing quite well.
I don’t believe them.
I want to go home, I tell them.
I can go home when I can manage to go to the toilet on my own, they tell me.
CHALLENGE. FUCKING. ACCEPTED.
Thus begins the Quest to Poop.
The Mission to Void the Bowels.
The Goal to Drop Anchor in Port.
You get it.
I can’t go home before they see that my poop shoot is shooting the poop unimpeded.
With the catheter gone I’m peeing like a champ on my own. Still can’t feel much down there so it’s only when my bladder is absolutely aching that I realise I need to go. I can never really tell when my bladder is empty either, which is slightly disconcerting. It’s a weird sensation of stuff being there but not quite as there as it was pre-op.
I decide that since I am up and able to shuffle around by myself without help, I may as well have a shower. In the meantime, someone comes in and changes my bed again.
THEY STEAL MY BLANKETS.
Major whining ensues until I get them back again.
Missing everyone. With the exception of M, no one has come in to visit me. I don’t mind it so much but I honestly had not expected to be in hospital for so long and the lack of sleep mixed with pain mixed with medication is making me constantly weepy and I just want a friendly face that isn’t attached to an arm with a hand that’s weilding a needle…
End of the day, still no poop. Worrying because I have hideous, painful gas. My stomach is bloated beyond ridiculousness.
Day 4. This day has been officially renamed to Waiting to Poop Day
The nurses still can’t remember my name or date of birth. It’s starting to get old.
Able to walk around a little bit more so I’m wandering slowly around the ward. I’m doing well, so they tell me. I don’t care, I tell them back. I want to go home.
“But you need to…”
“Poo. Yes, I KNOW.”
Peppermint water is supplied to help settle my bloated tummy but all that does is make me gag. I’m given some laxatives but after a few hours there’s still no joy.
Yes, it’s that glamorous but I no longer care.
I WILL TAKE THINGS BEING SHOVED UP MY BUTT TO GET OUT OF THIS COLD, COLD HOSPITAL.
And like everything else in this hell hole, the nurses fingers were freezing too.
Suppository works in the vaguest sense of working. The colt from Old Regret didn’t exactly get away but the gate was left open. I no longer feel so stopped up. Small blessings.
“Can I leave now?”
“Yes, you can go home…”
“OH FUCK YOU.”
I’m going home today! I’m going home today! The nurses come in and ask me my name and date of birth again, but this time I get a new question…
“Who is coming to pick you up?”
I shower. I pack. I watch more Food Network.
I repeat my name and date of birth at least four more times before M arrives in the early afternoon to rescue me. But we’re still stuck there for a while as we wait for my discharge and to be given all the wonderful drugs which stop me from feeling the fact that I have a rather large hole in my abdomen.
The trip home is an interesting experience. G-force and abdominal surgery are not happy bedfellows. Every time the car breaks, I feel my entire lower half lurch. Fortunately I have a towel and wrap it around my belly for support – I could kiss whoever it was that suggested that little trick.
I figured it was about time to update the situation with my Essure implants now that they’ve been in for a few months. Nothing has improved and as you can see from the title of this post, I am having a hysterectomy to have the things removed.
Why do I need such a serious surgery to get rid of something so small?
Let me explain…
While a lot of the constant pain immediately following the procedure eventually died away, I noticed a gradual, itchy, throbbing pain starting probably about one or one and a half weeks into my regular cycle. This pain would increase in intensity until I started spotting a week later. I was (and am) still using the BC pill so you can imagine how frustrating it is.
My period pain itself went from uncomfortable but manageable to horrific “GIVE ME ALL YOUR MERSYNDOL NOW!” levels. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I was hoping the first time would be a once off but every period since has been exactly the same. Excruciating.
I knew I needed to get them out. I wasn’t going to be like some women I have since met who have dealt with similar symptoms, and much worse, for years.
This time I’d done my reading before going to see my surgeon again. After much investigating, I realised that I was not a candidate for a salpingectomy (just having tubes removed) as one of my implants is protruding into my uterus by about 7 or 8 coils. This means that if just the tubes were taken out, they would have to leave part of the implant in my body.
Can I get a HELL NO!?
So I decided it was a full hysterectomy for me.
Armed with this information, I went back to my doctor who, predictably, was dubious about my reasons for being there. The expected questions were asked. I am fairly certain she thought I had changed my mind about wanting children.
I know I got a little hysterical during that appointment. I wanted to be believed that everything I was experiencing was directly related to the Essure and I didn’t want to argue with her about getting them out. In the end my doctor agreed to do the surgery for me without much fuss.
So now I’m having a hysterectomy.
I am frustrated and angry that it has come to this. I’m upset that I am literally being forced to decide to have my uterus taken out or just suffer.
I am pissed as hell that women have fewer and fewer rights with regards to bearing children (or the decision not to) and yet we are used a guinea pigs. The fact of the matter remains that Bayer have not had these things properly tested. The risks outweigh ALL of the benefits.
If you, dear reader, are also suffering after having tubal occlusion done with Essure implants (or any coil or mesh implant), please lodge a report with the Theraputic Goods Administraion on their page. The TGA needs to know that this device is causing more harm than good.
Warning – This post talks about female reproductive organs and contraception. If you don’t like reading about that stuff, go away.
I’m taking the opportunity to write about my experience with the (somewhat infamous) Essure implants.
If you’ve found your way here after googling Essure either before or after you’ve had the operation, firstly, don’t panic.
DO NOT PANIC. It’s the worst thing you can do. I know there is a crap-tonne of information out there and just about all of it bad, and my own story isn’t that great either. That being said, I wanted to relate my experience because all I could personally find were horror stories.
Like many gynecologist’s have done, my doctor suggested tubal occlusion, aka an Essure implant, because it was a quick and simple procedure and something that I could have done while I was getting another medical issue seen to.
On the face of it, Essure implants sounded awesome. No requirement to put me under a general anaesthetic, I didn’t need to go to hospital to get it done as there was no need to open me up surgically, recovery time was two days at most as opposed to a couple of weeks for a tubal ligation. Because I am fat (my doctor had the good grace to call me “cuddly”) she said that it would be the easiest option for us both. I couldn’t disagree – being overweight does come with it’s own complications when it comes to medical procedures. But it all still sounded great.
That was pretty much all that was told to me about the procedure and the implants. I got a brochure detailing how the implants worked and was sent on my merry way.
For those not in the know, a tubal occlusion is where two tiny spring coils are fed into the fallopian tubes. This causes a natural reaction within the body and the irritation from the coils causes scar tissue to form around the coils, thus providing a natural block in the fallopian tubes that stops the egg delivery process from the ovaries. The name of these coils are called Essure and they are made by Bayer.
When I went back almost a year later, my doctor was still happily recommending the implants but she did tell me that there was some sort of action against them in the United States. She then explained that she used to just do an x-ray at the three month mark but since there had been questions about it’s effectiveness, I would need a different procedure that involves being turkey-basted with dye to be sure that the fallopian tubes were blocked. So I just thought it had something to do with their effectiveness.
Sounds good, right? Here’s where it went pear-shaped for me.
My situation deviated from the norm in this regard as I had to get another small procedure called a LLETZ or large loop excision, which did involve being admitted to hospital as a day patient. My doctor did both procedures during the same admission so I was put under a general anaesthetic rather than just being done in the chair. All went well on the day, and I was out of hospital within five hours – most of which was actually spent waiting for my turn and recovery afterwards.
After going home from the hospital I was a little exhausted and a little bit sore, though I am certain that was from having way too much going on up in my privates for one day, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected.
Two days after the procedure I actually felt worse that I did when I came home from the hospital. Yes, it hurt but it wasn’t so much an “ouch” as it was a constant, intense ache in my lower abdomen. Every now and then there would be a horrible pinching that I could feel somewhere from within and it was extremely disconcerting that I couldn’t reach the area to rub it better. It was the weirdest, most unpleasant sensation I can ever remember experiencing. This feeling increased to a weird pulling-like sensation and that’s when I started to realise I could feel these things inside me. The mental damage that did was almost as horrific as the pain I was in.
My Recovery After Essure
I was told that I would be down for a couple days at most.
Here’s what actually happened.
Day 1 (after procedure): A little spotting, nothing serious. Moderate discomfort but nothing a regular headache tablet couldn’t dampen. Was more tired from my usual crappy reaction to the anaesthetic.
Day 2: More discomfort, pain in my lower back and still experiencing spotty/gritty discharge though this was from the LLETZ loop, not the Essure implants. Looked up “essure” on Google and proceeded to have a meltdown.
Day 3: Increasing discomfort. Not spotting but lots of watery discharge. Again, this was most likely my reaction to the loop, not the Essure implants. Still very upset by what I found online.
Day 4: Post op pain diminished and back pain gone but I was still feeling uncomfortable and sore. Noticed a weird smell at that point and took myself to the doctors and was prescribed a general antibiotic.
Day 5: Back at work, however sitting for long periods of time became uncomfortable. The horrible pulling sensation starts. Emotional/mental distress increases a thousand fold as I had read even more what Google had to say about these fucking implants.
Day 6: Mild spotting starts. Discomfort remains high and steady. Had to go home from work early. AGAIN.
Day 7: It still hurts to sit for long periods of time and the weird pinch/pull sensation increases when I move around too much.
Day 8 to Week 2: Bleeding increases. Pain still as it was. Constant, tiring. Starting to become a little despondent and, frankly, frightened as hell at what I had allowed to be done to my body.
Week 3: Bleeding seems to be on the rise. We’ve gone from spotting to proper bleeds but at the end of the day. This makes sense, as it could be from increased activity, but it is very concerning as I shouldn’t be bleeding at this point at all. (Still on the active contraceptive pill, too.)
Week 4: Ok, I might have had sex a couple days before I should have (I had to wait for my cervix to heal completely which was horrible, particularly when you quite like your boyfriend) but I was more toey than a Roman sandal and needed physical reassurance that I was still desirable and that my bits still worked. Answer; I am and they do. I was happy. But the day after I still had the bleeds. And the hurting was still very much happening if I walked around for too long… or coughed. This prompted a call to the gyno for a follow up appointment.
At that appointment I was told that my cervix looked awesome (yay, I suppose) but that it smelled like I had an infection. I also explained about the bleeding too and was given medication for both. As I was still in pain, she referred me on to have an x-ray to make that the implants were where they needed to be and also have a blood test to see if anything serious needed addressing. The results from both of those were clear.
Week 5: Round one of medication taken and the infection seemed to clear up. The pain had definitely improved too so I get the impression that it might have had something to do with the Essures at this point. STILL bleeding heavily though.
Week 6: Started taking the non-active contraceptive pills and let nature take its course just in case it was my period breaking through as the gyno suggested. HOLY SHITBALLS, the cramps… That was new. I sometimes get horrible cramps but this was something else.
Week 7: Period finally finishes but still spotting. ARGH! It stopped towards the end of that week.
Week 8 to present: NO BLEEDING. NO PAIN!
Yes, it took eight. fucking. weeks to recover from this procedure and I still have to go back sometime soon to get that final examination done. EDIT: Actually, my pain and symptoms became much worse. Check out the Essure update I wrote.
What I Found On Google About Essure
I won’t repeat what I found but very little of it is good. The only positive testimonials to be found are on the Essure website itself which, frankly, I find dodgy as fuck. I discovered that I had been sold on something that is swiftly proving to be dangerous.
What is most frightening was the sheer number of women who have come forward to say that they are or were unwell and in pain and needed full or partial hysterectomies to get rid of both the implants and the pain they caused.
Hell, even Erin Brockovich is in on it – she’s running the class action. EDIT: SHE’S NOT AND THEY ARE NOT. ESSURES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE MARKET IN ALL COUNTRIES EXCEPT USA. As of this update (9th March 2018), Slater and Gordon are considering a class action for Australian women.)
Am I angry at my doctor for not having told me these things? YES. Yes, I am. Very much so.
Am I upset that I didn’t turn to Google first to do my own investigations before getting the procedure done? Yes, I am. If I had seen this information beforehand, I would have simply opted for tubal ligation and just dealt with the recovery process. Buyer very much beware.
Would I recommend this to anyone? No. No, I wouldn’t. Certainly not based on my experience. Eight weeks is a lot of time to be in pain and to be bleeding. Now I have the added stress of wondering what is going on inside my body at any given time, if these things are going to move or break, if I am bound for a lifetime of recurring infections, if I will be in pain again if I start a serious regime of exercise, IF I WILL GET PREGNANT – WTF?!
Let me just reiterate that I got these things put in because I didn’t want to get pregnant and wanted a hormone-free method of long-term contraception.
So far, these things have not made my life any easier. I am yet to see if they are going to make it horribly difficult.
You see me whine on Facebook about being sore and tired. You sit there and smile knowingly or roll your eyes because you’re a gym-goer too. Or a runner. Or a crossfitter. Or an otherwise Tough Mudderfucker, but you’re not me. You know all about muscle soreness and recovery and optimal heart rates and that fabled exercise high.
You think you can say certain things to me that I will react positively to – because we’re friends.
I’ve just started back at the gym and back into regular exercise after watching my weight change eight kilograms in the wrong direction. For someone who was already around 102kg and has fought tooth and nail to get down from 152kg, that’s a scary number to see again. So I’m back at the gym. I’d love to go back to my personal trainer but even at $20 for a session (and I feel I need at least three sessions a week to be worth anything to me health-wise), I can’t afford it. So I do it on my own and try to do a good, honest job of pushing myself.
But you know what? This shit’s hard.
So, yeah, I complain.
Occasionally, like today, I write a mildly amusing-to-me comment on Facebook expressing my current hatred of whoever invented gyms and that I was sore and that I was going to make myself sorer by subjecting my body to yet another session of physical torture known as working out.
What I got in response, among other things, was being told to “harden up, princess” and “suck it up, cupcake”.
Ha ha, right? Really funny. Ren’s just whinging again. Let’s poke fun at her. She won’t mind.
She does mind.
OH BOY, she does.
Yes, she is whinging again but she just needs a little support. Sometimes she needs to be coddled because, heaven forbid, she’s feeling more than a little fucking delicate at that moment. She might actually need for someone to remind her why she is doing this when she hurts from repeated sessions of “sucking it up” and to keep going when tears of actual physical pain are mixing with sweat.
I do “suck it up”.
I am “hard”.
And you will hear/see/read me complain because that’s what I do when I’m feeling bad. Because, fuck you, I want someone to tell me that this IS WORTH IT.
What you don’t see or hear about is the way my hip joints grind so painfully the day after a particularly hard session of squats and treadmill work that I can feel the sensation of it in my back teeth. What you don’t see or hear about is the way my lower back throbs for days because I was stupid and just so happy to be moving that I forgot the “Ren can’t run or jump” rule but did burpees, star jumps and jogged in place on solid concrete for ten minutes.
So DON’T tell me to harden up. I do this shit in SPITE of how much I suffer for it in the days following.
I have to balance what I do in order to be able to walk the next day (if not the next hour) because I’ve got other shit I need to “suck it up” for and get done.
I love my friends but sometimes I really want to smack them up the back of the head.
First, don’t be wagging school. You will get caught. And you will be stupid and get caught twice.
And not only will you get caught twice but the risks you take in going all over the western suburbs of Melbourne by yourself are just stupid. No one knows where you are (they all assume you’re at school), anything could happen to you. You’ll also put yourself in a position of being dangerously behind in school after being away for almost an entire term and live for months under the threat of having to repeat Year 7. I know you’re very unhappy there but I promise it will get better. Hang in there. Good stuff will happen by the end of the year.
Secondly, Mum and Dad’s separation had nothing to do with you and absolutely had nothing to do with your sister’s issues. You will bear this grudge for a very long time. Please don’t. It’s not worth it. You’ll come to understand why Dad did what he did. Be patient. Love your sister, she needs it.
Love, 35 year-old Ren.
Dear 13 year-old Ren,
Being utterly unable to learn Spanish or Italian will have no effect on your life in any way, no matter what your Italian or Spanish teachers tell you. You have no real interest in visiting Italy or Spain at any time of your life anyway.
Love, 35 year-old Ren.
(PS – It wouldn’t hurt if you practiced some key Japanese and Chinese phrases. You’ll be going to Japan and China. It’ll be your first trip out of Australia.)
Dear 14 year-old Ren,
Me again! Just a quick note… PAY ATTENTION IN TEXTILES CLASS!
You will discover cosplay at the age of 35, and that you actually do need those “stupid sewing skills” and you will have to rely on your poor mother instead. And she’s retired. She needs a break.
Cluelessly, your 35 year-old self.
(PS – Seriously girl. You’re going to DragonCon. You need this shit.)
Dear 15 year-old Ren,
They shouldn’t have done that. You were not “asking for it”. You were taken advantage of. Don’t be scared. Please, tell someone.
Love and many hugs, 35 year-old Ren.
(PS – You will eventually learn that not all men are horrible, scary creatures. Most are perfectly nice. You will also learn that you like girls too.)
Dear 16 year-old Ren,
Remember the hard work you put in in Year 8 that impressed your English teacher so much that she insisted you go to that workshop with John Marsden and made that happen? Remember that? Your story was poignant and touching and just plain well written. You did extremely good work in the years that followed that. Until Year 11.
IGNORE MRS BELL.
She is a haggard old bitch who is so unsatisfied with her own life that she will bring other people down for her own amusement – unfortunately those people were her students. Even more unfortunate is that she specifically targeted creatively minded students like you. She will tell you that your work is awful and average and kill any enthusiasm you ever had for creative writing. It will take many years for you to get that back. It’s not worth it.
Love, 35 year-old Ren.
(PS – You will get that desire to write back while writing X-Men fanfiction with a friend in your mid 20s. You’ll also write a 50,000 word romance novel that involves time travel. And pirates. You dag.)
Dear 17 year-old Ren,
Maths is not your greatest subject, accept it. Move on.
Love, your 35 year-old self who knows you’ll end up working in finance anyway.
Dear 18 year-old Ren,
Yay! You finished highschool!
Yay! You got into uni!
Here’s a tip – GO TO YOUR CLASSES. Get your degree. Finish what you start.
But you’re 18 now so you’re not going to listen to anyone anymore because you’re an “adult”. So here’s what you’re going to do instead:
You’re going to waste days and days in the computer lab playing in chatrooms for eighteen hour stretches. You will fall for an American guy who is *cough*eighteen*cough* years your senior. You’re going to ignore your lectures and start hanging out with your friends in the Student Union. You’re going to support a friend who ends up working in a brothel. You’re going to drop out and start the long, arduous search for employment.
The next ten years are going to be pretty crap.
You’ll wish you listened to me!
Sincerely, your 35 year-old self.
(PS – Actually, it’s not all that bad. Lots of good stuff happens too. Like you’ll meet a whole bunch of new people through blogging who become some of your best friends in the world. You’ll get into photography. You’ll become an aunty. You’ll rediscover your artistic talents. You’ll travel to places you never thought you’d go.)
Dear 19 year-old Ren,
You know that really nice guy from WA you were introduced to?
Yeah, him. You’ll marry him one day. Just sayin’.
Love your 35 year-old-and-now-divorced self.
PS: You divorced him because you weren’t happy for years. Don’t fuck around, just leave.
Dear 29 year-old Ren,
It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
You know how you’re getting married and you want to get married in THAT RED DRESS?
Don’t give a fuck about what anyone else thinks.
That dress will look awesome on you.
Cheers, 35 year-old Ren.
(PS – The dress you get will be gorgeous anyway, but definitely get your first choice. Regrets suck.)
(PPS – You might get another chance after all. GET THE RED DRESS.)
I’ve had this necklace sitting in my cabinet for ages. I made it… a few years ago but I was never happy with it. I love the combination of the rubies and the turquoise (both real, thanks very much, none of that dyed Howlite crap for me) but I could never fmind a pendant or centrepiece that I liked. I strung some chunky solid silver beads but it never sat right when I modelled it. So it became a finished-yet-unfinished project.
Fast forward a few years…
Suddenly Ren remembers she has had a gorgeous butterfly pendant sitting around in her collection somewhere…
Hang on… that necklace!
I dashed into the craft room and pulled out the necklace and the pendant. It had promise. Then I went looking for my rubies and turquoise and ended up swearing at our tin rooster for the next half an hour because I couldn’t find them. I was just about to give up in a huff when I saw that my turquoise had got mixed up with my malachite and my rubies were tucked into a bag with some other red stuff.
I had this.
Which then became this.
Happy Ren. I haven’t made any jewelry like that for ages. Yeah, I did the necklaces for my sister’s wedding but that doesn’t really count. It’s since given me the impetus to look into my stash and put together some other bits and pieces. I have loads of gemmies and pearls and crystals all begging to be used.
When I saw the absolutely gorgeous “Arctic Eyes” tutorial on Pixiwoo’s blog, I knew I would have to give it a go.
Normally I shy away from bright colours and, in particular, blue, as I found that it can make the shadows under my eyes even darker. Apparently not so with the icier blue colours, as demonstrated by Sam…
Like I said, wow.
Had to try this one out and I searched around in my piles of makeup and found my Coastal Scents/B&H 88 Colour Shimmer palette which had some terribly awesome blues that sorta-kinda-not-really matched what Sam used.
So, brushes and colours in hand, I got to. First I tried a foundation which I have had for a year but never really used… but that was way too pink for my complexion. I am definitely a yellow-toned person. Then I grabbed NYX’s jumbo pencil in Milk to lay down a base because because I’ve found that the 88 palette is quite sheer without something for it to adhere too and I wanted the colour to pop.
(Note to self; Whilst this looked awesome, it would probably be better not to use Milk as a base if wearing this as a daytime look. Just a touch too intense with it.)
Like Sam did, I put down a light blue all over my lid, followed with a darker blue across the lash line, then a darker teal-blue under my eyes and a bright icey colour in the corners of my eyes and blended it all. To tame it down a little, I did sweep some Palladio rice powder in Natural over my browbones because I’d taken the blue up just a touch too far and I was sporting a Christina Aguilera drag queen-esque look which really wasn’t for me. Stoopid hooded eyes.
Then I grabbed another NYX eyeliner,this time one of their retractable varieties in Gypsy Blue which is a fantastic teal colour which leans more towards the green than the blue. Surprise of my life – this shit STAYS ON. Never in my life have I used an eyeliner on my waterline that did not budge. Will be buying more of these.
Then I finished the look off with some random black mascara.. Rimmel waterproof… and some lipstick (Milan by NYX) and some goldish lip gloss (also by NYX).
All in all, I like! Seems I can get away with the bright blues and not look like a corpse. Yay!
Much of the fantastic graffiti which I photographed some months ago has been covered by taggers and rubbishy vandalism. There hasn’t been much of an update for a while, it seems. Having said that, there’s a section of wall that shows a lot of little scribbles from people passing through. Some of them are funny, some of them are heartbreaking, some are poignant, and most are just rude.
Don’t count the days. Make the days count.
Yep. And some days I feel it too.
Hey I just met you… and this is crazy…
But here’s my number…
This made me stop. Normally my eyes would start bleeding at the rampant abuse of the written word but…
“You know sometimes, more often than not, I think about dying.”
Translation: “Fight off your demons. Write songs in your sleep. We love you. We miss you. I love you so much that it hurts my head.”
If you’re an Instagram user and love Melbourne… (And don’t think I missed the juxtaposition of the “Fuck off” with my watermark.)