Hi! It’s me, Nici. Do you even remember me? I’m sorry, I know it’s been too long between posts. You know that feeling where you keep telling yourself that you should do something but the days keep sliding by and weeks become months, and then the task seems monumental? Well, that’s kind of what’s happened to me. To make up for it though, this is going to be a monumental post. A lot has been going on with me, some good stuff, and some not so good stuff. Life has been hard, but (spoiler alert) things are looking up. I’ll split the juicy details below into categories so you can have a quick glance or read all about the bits that interest you. If it’s all TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) just know this: I’m back.
I have always been a headachy person. I’ve been suffering headaches since primary school, and classical migraines (with the flashing lights, pins and needles, and slurred speech) since high school. But over the last few years I’ve been getting headaches daily, and weirdly I wake up with them. For about a year I have been convinced that it’s sinus related as the pain is mostly in my face. I wake up with pain in my cheeks, temples and across the bridge of my nose. You know what became my best friend? Painkillers! I’d go as long as I could without taking anything and some days the pain would go away, but some days it became a full blown screaming headache. Most days it was somewhere in between those two. As I started to take more and more pain killers, they started to work less and I worried about rebound headaches. Thankfully, my doctor wasn’t too worried about ‘medication headaches’ but after going on some heavy duty sinus medication and it doing NOTHING, I got desperate. I have an appointment with a Neurologist, but it’s not until next year, so I called on the next best thing to an expert: Google! After a few days of research I finally settled on a self diagnosis of facial migraines. Sure, they aren’t the classic symptoms, but they are relentless. Every freaking day! The migraine interrupters (kind of like painkillers) only work if I take them when it starts, but often I don’t know when it starts as I’m asleep, or they go on for days and days with little relief. So, after a lot of Googling I went back to the doctor and said I wanted to try something different, a daily medication that would hopefully end the misery. Out of the two main types we settled on beta blockers over anti-depressants. Beta blockers are taken by people who have high blood pressure, which I might or might not have, I haven’t been tested regularly enough to tell. But it doesn’t matter, people without high blood pressure take them for migraines. There are lots of side effects but I didn’t care by this stage, I just wanted to make it stop. Guess what? I haven’t had a headache since the first dose! I feel a bit weird sometimes, but the pain in the face and the headaches are gone. GONE! Actually, I can’t remember a week when I haven’t had a headache, and it’s been a whole week now. It’s like a miracle. I hope it continues. It just feels so good to be able to get on with things. To be able to come home and not dive straight into the painkillers and lay on the couch. I feel amazingly revived. I feel like I can get stuff done. So here I am, getting stuff done!
Bloggers United Event
Back in February, Kate Knapman from Seduced by Beauty, and I helped to organise the Bloggers United AU Adelaide Event. The event was held at Seawall Apartments and we hosted 35 bloggers, 12 brands and 2 guest speakers. I cannot even tell you how much work it was. Our lives were consumed for 6 weeks trying to pull everything together. Our attendees went home with $1,300 worth of gifts and were treated to lunch and drinks, all sponsored. The biggest spanner in the works was the venue. It was such a generous offer from Rachael, the owner of the apartments, that we leapt at the chance to host the event there, but BUA had never had an event in this type of setting. Kate and I envisioned a treasure hunt of sorts, with brands throughout the rooms and groups of bloggers following a map through the two apartments. But I swear, as many things that went right (and there was a lot, we got 12 brands for goodness sake), an equal number of things went wrong. I have never worked so hard in my life. Hours and hours spend sending emails, making phone calls, picking up packages, packing gift bags, transporting everything to the venue and running around all over town to buy the last minute items. By the actual day, Kate and I were stuffed, The day was wonderful, and exhausting, and I think it took us a week to get over it. The aftermath was another thing that threw me for a loop. I was gobsmacked that after living and breathing this event for weeks, people were whinging. Too many things to carry home, didn’t like some items from the gift bag, lunch was hard to eat, not enough time to network with bands or other bloggers, rooms too small. There were so many positive things said, more than negative of course, but those little complaints felt like a punch in the guts. Kate and I pulled some serious strings to make the event happen so it was hard for both of us to read criticisms. BUT, the experience of the event led onto my next big news. (I’ll have a post all about the event up soon, including some of my favourite brands and products).
The Adelaide Event taught Kate and I many things, but the important one was: we love Adelaide! We love Adelaide brands, businesses and bloggers. We met so many amazing people in the lead up and on the day that we wanted to grow those relationships. We decided to use the momentum we had created and start our own business: Promote SA. The idea of Promote SA is pretty simple and twofold. We want to find SA brands and give them another platform to promote their products, services and events. The second part of Promote SA is to connect brands with the amazing bloggers we have here. Kate and I have always felt that SA gets a raw deal, especially with the bigger brands who have events in Melbourne and Sydney, so we want to host some amazing events of our own, showcase our homegrown brands, and provide useful resources for the bloggers of SA. That is just a basic overview, we have lots of ideas and plans to share with you soon, and a shiny new website that you should check out to keep up to date: http://www.promotesa.com.au
Fending for myself
This one is a tricky one, I could go on for ages about it, but in the end I got through it, so I’ll just go on a little bit about it. Last October my partner, and chief photographer, went to the US to work on a documentary. He was gone for 5 months, returning in March this year (after the Adelaide Event). IT WAS SO HARD! I can’t even explain to you how hard it was, and I’m pretty sure I have forgotten, or blocked out, the worst days. I’m actually feeling a little teary about it now. God, it was so hard. Some days were ok, especially in the beginning, but as the weeks and months rolled on, the time in between the bad days got shorter and shorter. The worst of it was that there was no date of return, he was just going to be there until it was finished, and we didn’t know when that was going to be. He was working so incredibly hard, every day, til all hours of the morning. It was what they call a ‘behind enemy lines’ documentary, so people weren’t happy to be filmed. He was being interrogated at every turn, questioned everywhere he went. It sounded horrible. Sadly, and we knew going into it, this job wasn’t even going to net a huge pay day at the end. I think we both questioned why the fuck we were doing it to ourselves many times. Getting up, going to work, coming home, making dinner, going to bed, getting up…. the mundane’ness of everyday life nearly killed me. Nobody to share the events of the day with, nobody to help with the household chores, nobody to change a light bulb or mow the lawns (jobs usually taken care of). It was so depressing to go out with a sink full of dishes and come back to see them still there. My awe of single people, especially single parents continues to grow. I didn’t watch any TV, I didn’t go out, I hardly did anything because I was so exhausted, mentally mainly. I was time poor from having to hold down the fort by myself, but I was mentally drained from holding myself together. Some days (mostly Saturdays) I just cried and cried, for no particular reason. It was quite horrible. I started beating myself up about not doing the things I enjoyed, like posting on my blog. One awful day I was at a work conference in Brisbane and I got the news that he would have to stay another two weeks and even that wasn’t guaranteed to be the end of it. I spent the whole day at the conference, and then the plane ride home, sobbing. Literally sobbing. I’m crying now just thinking about it. I’ll say it again: it was so hard.
Writing and work
Just a quick note on my day job for before I get to the final, and happy, news. My job is sort of seasonal, so some months are crazy, and some are a bit quieter. I have just come out of the craziest time, the next month will be pretty busy as well, and then things will settle down until October when it will start again. When work is demanding I find I have less mental time to spend on the things I enjoy, which is why I’m glad to be coming up to a time that is not so challenging. I’m hoping if I get my mojo back, it will be easier to power through the busy time with some energy left over for blogging and writing.
If I could go back and change something about my life, I’d be a makeup artist. As I can’t do that and I can only move forward, I want to be a writer. The best part of that dream is, unlike being an astronaut or a brain surgeon, I can just do it. I can write stuff and I can be a writer. One day I might even make money from writing, but that is something to aspire to. In order to make my achievable dream a reality, I have started writing. Right now I am working on a chapter story as a gift for my daughter, you can read the first chapter here, with more to follow shortly. I’m also really keen to write something that might be publishable, a fantasy novel probably, as that is where my interest lies. So lots of exciting planning and writing times ahead. Of course I also have my two blogs, which will be an outlet for telling people’s stories, reviews, hopefully some more recipes, and maybe I can get some guest spots and be featured on other people’s blogs from time to time. Writing makes me happy, so I’ve made a promise to myself: I’ll write more, and hopefully people will read what I write, which is really a bonus at this stage. One step at a time.
There you have it, 2000 words later, and I’m back. There have been ups and downs, as there always will be, but my aim is to get back on track now, rain or shine. My love of beauty and food has never faltered, in fact it’s stronger than ever. If you are still with me after my absence, thank you. I hope I can bring you interesting words, photographs, and information that you find useful.