New Year New Me? Nah, Same Me, New Date

“The Final Countdown” by Journey is blasting from my tiny iPad speakers and I have no one to blame except myself. I was the one who selected the “Ultimate NYE Party” playlist from the plethora of options on Spotify and it’s a decision that I’m sticking with, despite the current outcome.
2016 is at a close and it’s a year that most people would rather forget – at least based on what I see on my Facebook newsfeed that is. I dunno though, as a whole I don’t think it was so bad. I mean, sure we as a society (all of us) made some pretty horrific moves in the political sphere, the time came to say goodbye to some of our heroes (Bowie hit me the hardest in case you were wondering, after that it was like “oh yeah that sucks” for the entire 11 months) and the power went out a few times but personally I don’t think the year wasn’t so bad.
I mean sure, you can look at the negatives or you can find the small victories – for example, I just read an article about a woman the same age as me who has NEVER BEEN DRUNK IN HER LIFE and DOESN’T DRINK ALCOHOL because she chooses not to. In the article she listed all the positive things that have come of this and as I contemplated that, I nodded and thought “I could do with a drink”, I mixed myself a Kahlua and milk and thought “good for you, but that’s not for me” AND I HAVE THAT FREEDOM so that’s a small win.
I hate to sound like an advice column and I hate to give advice because I hardly have anything figured out, so why should I tell you what to do? That being said, I do know a few things for sure; a year is just a way that we arrange our time, it shouldn’t dictate what you are capable of, what you can achieve or how you feel.
I’m pretty stoked with the shit that I achieved this year but that didn’t stop me having times where I felt useless, like a complete failure, continually anxious and like hiding under my covers and not coming out ever again (and yeah, lots of people I know are surprised whenever I mention this kind of thing, I promise that they ridiculously high and positive personality that you see most of the time is genuine, but so is the other stuff, no person is one dimensional). But I didn’t say “I’ll be better next week / month / year” I chose to feel better when I felt better, to work towards the end goal of healing myself rather than healing myself by an end date. “New year, new me” now we all know that’s a bit bull shit – while your problems won’t be solved in a single moment and yes, things do take time, the ticking of a clock and the flip of a calendar isn’t the kind of time that I’m referring to.
How do you solve the entire worlds problem without having an end date, I hear you ask. The answer is that you don’t (and if that’s what you’re worried about then you’re only going to put yourself through more suffering, trust me, been there, done that, cried myself to sleep heaps of nights) but you can surround yourself with absolute legends and just look after yourself and the ones you love. You rock and you should know that.
Now, time for things to get personal with a little roll call to the folks who rocked my world this year:

  • Ew. Gross, yucky, I LOVE YOU. That’s all.
  • Ma & Pat. You are the coolest folks, so motivated & a wicked inspiration, the true embodiment of turning your passion into your job and still winning at life.
  • Best. Brother. Ever. Always there to lend a hand and share a bottle of red.
  • All the Norton Clan. How did I get so lucky?
  • Emmy bear, you resilient little girl, hold on through 2017. The real world is better than High School.
  • Stacey, Hannah, Moe & Linda, the people who I have known for the longest time who have stayed through all the changes I have made in the last year or two and have always encouraged me and checked in. That I do truly appreciate.
  • The Raucous Caucus crew – I felt so lucky to get to try writing for TV in 2016 and have the opportunity to realise that this is something that I am (kind of) good at (maybe) and want to pursue in the future!
  • The work girls – you made that place bearable and will forever be grateful!
  • Bec Taylor – you get a mention because you told me to write this. You’re the kinda girl that pushes me to be a better citizen of the world, you rock.
  • Comedy people – people I met through comedy, performed with, drank with or anyone who laughed at something I said or did this year, even if that wasn’t always my intention, you guys make my dreams come true.

That’s all, whatever you do tonight remember that it’s just another night and like every other night of your life it certainly deserves to be great!

The Year That Was…2015

To put it bluntly, 2015 was the year that pushed me down, and then kicked me, while I was still down and then just as I was starting to pull myself back up again it decided to throw me back down again. It doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience and to be honest, those parts of it really were the worst I have ever experienced – without being dramatic, it was the toughest year of my life. That being said, it was also the greatest year of my life with more high points than I can even recall. I learned that true, all encompassing happiness and joy can only be experienced after you’ve reached the lowest of lows and strangely enough, I am incredibly thankful for the pain that I experienced this year because if I hadn’t been through that, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate all the good times like I can now. That’s not to say that there are things I wouldn’t change – I would give anything to have Rikki back in our lives but I don’t think I really knew the true value of life until I had to say good bye to her. Losing her has taught me a lot – thanks to her I have learned to make the most of life, not to waste time on the bullshit stuff and the bullshit people, to appreciate every wonderful moment and amazing person and to share positivity and not be bitter and negative.

Beyond all the serious stuff, this year has taught me some other great lessons;
Make time for baths – and if your house mate is away, watch trashy TV whilst in the bath!
Don’t put up with bad sex (sorry Mum, I know you’re reading this…) but seriously, it’s not worth anyone’s time!
Eat ALL the brilliant food (but also go to the gym, preferably dance classes and it does not matter if you are super unco)
Do what you love and chase it with a fervent passion – and if you don’t know what it is that you love to do, FIND IT. Why waste your life waiting for an opportunity to present itself?
Say ‘YES’ to crazy adventures – I know I’m starting to sound like an ‘inspiration calendar’ but it’s ‘YES’ that caused me to dance in the mud all night in the cold of winter with some excellent people, ‘YES’ meant that I was half way up a mountain at 3am in a castle singing at the top of my lungs (and drinking red wine from the bottle) and ‘YES’ allowed me to do more writing and more comedy – which as I’ve discovered is the THING that I LOVE! (Finally, I think I’ve found it!)
Live your own life – take good advice but ditch the useless advice. I was given some shitty advice from people who turned out to be not so good at different times this year. Needless to say, they are no longer in my life.
In contrast, surround yourself with rad folks. This year I’ve had the support of some amazing people in a range of different ways – shout outs to my whole family who have been there every step of the way and the amazing beautiful Gaskin – Rollins Clan who are some of the strongest and most beautiful people I’ve ever met – your bravery through adversity has truly been an inspiration. Special love to my excellent brother – I love you more than I can express – and Ma and Pa too (you guys are crazy dream chasing nutters).
Stacey – you are one tough cookie, your grace and strength to keep on keeping on is amazing.
Sophie Miller – 2015 brought you into my life good and proper and I couldn’t be more thankful. As much as we drive each other crazy, you are a constant source of encouragement and creative inspiration and I love that you’re always up for a good bitch session – plus super talented and an absolute babe!
Mark & Chris – you get a mention together because you are awesome in many of the same ways – and basically you are a brilliant package deal!
Josh Cruse – thanks for being rad and my first comedy friend, I’ll never forget that!
Moe – My best Moe, Moe of honour, a constant friend who absolutely kicked 2015 in the dick, achieving all sorts of brilliant things – Runner Up Rural Ambassador, El Presidente – what what?!
Brittany – absence makes the heart grow fonder and I miss you a butt load, you rad chick!
Emmica – The girl who magically knows just when to check in on me and say exactly what I need to hear! Thanks huni!
Hannah W –To think you still put up with me after all the crap I put you through as a kid! You don’t have to marry my brother; I’ll still let you be a part of my family!
Bec Taylor – You are just such a beautiful, bubbly ball of positivity and an excellent hugger!
Linda Hamley – for being and excellent sounding board and a great example of how to soldier on.
Basically ANYONE who I’ve met through comedy this year – I actually cannot express how much happiness I have gained from doing comedy and just generally being around these people – you all the raddest.
My crew of awesome cousins – you guys rock! Especially Sean (who brought me a birthday cheeseburger when I was hung over as all hell and crying like a little bitch at episodes of Parks and Rec), Emma who is absolutely HILARIOUS and will probably be a better comedian than me (Emma, you are very ‘seductive’) Chelsea whose love and compassion for others and ability to know the right thing to do and say is inspiring and Russ who is always there to talk shit with when needed!

Sorry if I have forgotten anyone – you probably were amazing and please do share excellent memories of the year!
Finally, before I go I must say that I am certain this year will finish well because…look what I scored when hung-over / sleep deprived shopping this morning….HAPPY 2016 EVERYONE!


How to Have The Best New Years Eve Ever



Every year, every damned year, the anticipation builds, the invitations start to roll in and you think to yourself; “I’m going to make this the best New Years Eve ever”.

Best. New. Years. Eve. Ever.

And it never happens, does it? Well I hate to say it — but the most overrated night of the year for most has never been that way for me. I don’t mean to show off but I haven’t had a bad New Years that I can recall. Sure, I can’t recall all of them clearly but I distinctly remember fun was had. Yes, a twenty-something part-time comedian / part time wine taster (read: goon connoisseur) whose idea of a well balanced dinner is budget dips and cheese might not be the person you should logically take advice from, but seriously, since when do ‘logic’ and ‘fun’ go hand in hand? And with that in mind, ladies, my advice to help you have The Best New Years Eve Ever. You’re welcome.


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