About marnierogers

I am bounding through life with no clear direction but a whole lot of intention - ever changing, always loving and never giving up!

Refugees welcome

A man hold a placard reading "Help Europe" as Syrian and Afgan refugees attend a protest rally to demand to travel to Germany on September 2, 2015 outside the Keleti (East) railway station in Budapest. Hungarian authorities face mounting anger from thousands of migrants who are unable to board trains to western European countries after the main Budapest station was closed.  AFP PHOTO / FERENC ISZA        (Photo credit should read FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images)

The threat of terrorism MAY increase if Europe were to accept Syria’s refugees. But we must accept that if we allow these people to drown off our shores then the threat will become a certainty. Exclusion encourages religious extremism and is exactly what makes the Western world a target during peace times.

It is Europe’s responsibility to absorb the Syrian refugee population that are in search of safer boarders. There is no them and us now, it is just us with the opportunity to show true human compassion to a desperate nation.

Please remember these people are refugees, not immigrants. They have not chosen your country. They have chosen life over death and for our governments to be the reason that life is no longer an option is heartbreaking.

I can testify that many people, myself included, would willingly face the threat of terror, if that meant that 16,000 displaced refugees we’re welcomed within our boarders ‪#‎refugeeswelcome‬

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How to be brave

1. Stand tall. Really tall. The kind of tall that pushes your shoulders back and makes all the little bones in your back pop from having been hunched over for so long. Put your hands on your hips and just hold it. For like 2 minutes. There’s a science behind how a power stance held for a small amount of time can make you literally feel more powerful. It’s time to fake it until you make it. YOU ARE NOT A FRAUD!

 2. Go through all your previous successes. Met a deadline at work? You get a gold star. Climbed the stairs instead of taking the escalator? Gold star. Woke up this morning and got out of bed? Go you, gold star. Didn’t get out of bed? Doesn’t matter, you woke up which means you are brave enough to live (okay, maybe you had no choice to wake up but you did it anyway) GOLD STAR!!! Sometimes you need to celebrate your achievements no matter the size to remind yourself that you are capable of anything.

 3. Remember the last time you said ‘I can’t’ and did it anyway. This is my go-to method to get through anything. You’ve finished exams, work days and difficult situations you thought would be the end of you and came out unscathed at the end. People have marched barefoot across Europe during wartime, dealt with the grief of a lost one and completed a rubix cube in 5.5 seconds. YOU CAN DO THIS!

 4. Talk to yourself. Yes, actually talk to yourself. This goes back to the ‘fake it until your make it’ mentality. Pick anyone of these phrases – or all of them – and start speaking out loud.

– “I am here, and I am doing this.”

– “I can’t, but I will.”

– “I deserve this.”

– “I am capable.”

– “Happiness is not reserved for the slim/wealthy/deserving.”

 5. Never restrain your emotions – don’t be afraid to feel. We are chemically designed to feel. Think about it. Humans and animals alike all have been built to process information through a series of chemicals given off by our bodies. So it’s important to process your feelings as they come and confront them head on. This will give you room to breathe and deal with the task at hand. Trying to avoid or repress an uncomfortable emotion could lead to more destructive behaviour. Take an emotional eater for example. They receive news that there’s a possibility of being made redundant at work. Rather than confront feeling distressed and worried they make haste for the nearest vending machine to create a distraction, avoid the shock and possibly consume a snack that will chemically light up the reward and pleasure centres in their brain. This creates a temporary high from what has just happened and negates from having to feel bad.

To make light of this example, this hypothetical person almost has to be brave about being brave!

 6. Think of the bigger picture. I am not suggesting you dull the importance of your circumstance by reminding yourself of big issues like famine or war. I am however suggesting you get a bit of perspective. You need to roll all the above mentioned points into one for this final tip to work and really cut to why you want to be brave. Are you scared? Are you nervous? Why are you feeling these things? Will they destroy you? The answer at the end will almost certainly be no so try to dwell on that rather than the issue. It can sometimes help to ask yourself, ‘Will this matter to me in a week?’

7. Imagine the end goal or your desired outcome. As airy fairy as this sounds it helps to visualise what you want to achieve. You can almost always find strength to be brave if you know exactly what it is you need to do.

So there you have it. These are my 7 top tips on how to be brave and I’m sticking to them. They have helped me through countless situations including confrontation, overcoming fear, dealing with lack of motivation and everything else that requires a little bit of gumption. I hope whatever has led you to this page will be made a little easier and you are able to use these tips too.

Side note: Always remember when you need to be brave that everyone’s problems are their own and are as big and important to their owner. What seems easy or complicated to you will not affect everyone else in the same way. For example; Public speaking may be a breeze for some but for others it is the single most terrifying thing you could do. Don’t compare yourself to how others would deal with anything because it’s not a fair measure. You are unique and just like you and I, being brave comes in all shapes and sizes.

Take Courage!

A year of dating and what a gift it can be

Featured image

As you know Valentine’s Day (or singles-awareness day) recently just passed. In celebration of this I thought it would be nice if I shared with you the single best thing I have ever created. Okay, that’s excluding last years’ Secret Santa treasure hunt present I made for my boss and this one English assignment I did in Year 12.

Feeling inspired by an awesome idea created by the thinking closet (I take no credit whatsoever for this idea) I decided to come up with my own 12 Months of Pre-Planned dates. The general gist is I would pre-plan and book a unique date once a month and Matt and I would do it. In turn this would take the stress out of thinking of something to do and give us an adventure to always look forward to.

It was a really simple book made from 12 paper cutouts with each month and what we were going to do printed on it. These cutouts were then connected by a stolen ring binder. It took me longer to think of the escapades than it did to cut it all out and put it together. The hardest (but most fun) part of creating the book was balancing the expensive dates with the cheap ones and making all the seasons match up with what I had chosen to do. NO ONE wants to go on a picnic in February in England … NO ONE!

Despite being super excited to show Matt what I had done I decided to wait until we were our at dinner to give him the book. Once we had had a few drinks and were just past the entrée – bread and butter trump all giving of gifts – I handed over my crafty project like a proud child showing the shitty picture they drew at daycare to their parents.

As Matt flicked through the book he slowly realised what it was and his face said it all. He actually loved it. More than that, he said it was the best gift I had ever given him – even better than the expensive watch and nexus tablet I had bought him for previous birthdays. Can you believe it?

That night we had a ball going through the pages together and he got to listen to all the reasons I chose each date. It was the cherry on the top of a lovely evening and a gift that really keeps on giving. So here’s the part where I show you a few of our pre-planned dates and why I included them:

MARCH: FORTNIGHT
Build a fort. Rent a movie. Order a pizza.

Matt and I once did this on a whim in rebellion of being adults. There’s nothing quiet like getting comfy in your own personal fort that you can sleep in without getting into trouble. But then again nothing makes you feel more grown up that having to pack away your own fort.

APRIL: SUSHISAMBA
Get your glad rags on because this table is booked for (specific date – not telling because it’s impossible to get a table and I don’t want you to steal it!!)

Matt and I have been planning to eat here for a few years now and I keep getting invited to go with friends and work so he’s never actually been. This will be our chance finally to go together.

JULY: ROADTRIP
We don’t have to go far we just have to get out. How about a road trip to Oxford?
*** Ice cream is non-negotiable.

When we first got together we used to do a lot of road trips to the seaside so this is our chance to relive all those fun times as well as go somewhere we’ve never been.

OCTOBER: FOOD CRAWL
A pub crawl but better. Half the fun is planning this one together. THE RULES: All three courses must be in three different places and you cannot choose somewhere you’ve already been!

Because why not? I girls gotta eat.

JANUARY: YOUR TURN
This month Matt has to pick what we are doing. Pick a time and a place and it’s on. We don’t have to spend money, we just have to spend time.

I should get at least one month off right?

So there you have it. With just a little bit of time we now have a date a month to look forward to this year. I hope this inspires you to get your cheap skate on and make your special one something awesome like this too. Just a thought: this would probs be even better with your best friend.

Final note – Matt and I are not the beautiful couple featured at the top of this post. Below is a picture of us on our first date in the book in Copenhagen. We’re pretty drunk.

This is us - so pretty huh?

I don’t know about you but …

I'm feeling 22

So yesterday I spent my last day ever as a 21 year old. I can now look back and go ‘oh, I wish I was 21 again’ like all my middle aged co-workers who are slightly nostalgic with a hint of jealous when the subject of my age comes up.

So what did being 21 have to offer me? I can tell you that 21 has really been a year of learning rather than doing. In the three years previous I finished high school, moved to the UK, met Matt, got engaged and did a lot of travelling in between. But this year, having slowed down I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate the small comforts that come with being still, content.

In the beginning I found this challenging as my wanderlust and natural aversion to sitting still started to niggle at me while I worked day to day in my life. But slowly I began to accept that for this time, in this season, I am here. In this job, with this man, in our house and in my packaging.

After I had come to accept these things, real change started to happen as I became more receptive and accepting to the moving forces around me. I reacted differently to change. Apologised more often. Exercised patience and forgiveness beyond the capacity I believed I had. Sought answers to difficult issues. Accepted situations I didn’t think I could and even learned to like people I didn’t think I would.

And now as I write this I kind of realise that you don’t have to going anywhere to get somewhere. I can see now that this year I have gotten to a higher place of self-assuredness + worldliness because I chose to grow. At 21, every day I chose to walk my own path and own it like a mother bitch.

So although I had a really kick ass year doing kick ass things I admit that the best thing that happened to me during the year of 21 was personal growth. And I hope I can look back at 22 through the same coloured glasses … jokes, I’m getting married next week so no doubt that’s going to be next years’ highlight.

Hollatcha gurl.

P.s. can’t stop singing this G-damn song!

The one article every 20-something year old MUST read

I am so about to get into a mini bitch fit. This week alone I have seen various friends sharing and liking articles from Buzzfeed and Thought Catalog that are peppered with 20-something year old women embarking on risqué activities like flashing their breasts in bikinis + jumping fences that say ‘no trespassing’. The article title is always something similar; ‘why 20-something women need to stop thinking like 30-something women, ‘Relax – you’re only 25′ and my personal favourite, ’10 reasons why getting married at 22 is like leaving the party at 9pm.’

It doesn’t take a genius to realise why these kind of articles get the bee under my bonnet buzzing. I always click on them because I would like to think I could relate to them being a 21 but I always get half way through and notice that they are geared towards two things; painting a carefree picture of 20-something year old life and avoiding monogamy like the plague.

One of the articles I read was just a giant list of why you shouldn’t even THINK about being in a relationship with someone when you are in your twenties because being in your twenties is for having fun and fun only. And everyone knows that being with someone means you aren’t having fun.

I feel these articles are created to make some girls feel good about their existence while victimising and ridiculing others. And it worked because for a split second it made me think; gosh I seem to have my shit pretty well put together … maybe I am missing out?

You see the effect of reading shit like this creates? It has the potential to be very destructive. For both types of women who read them. If you don’t have your shit together and are wandering around aimlessly these articles might serve as a reminder that you are doing everything you should be because you are 20-something. You don’t need to think of the future, have career prospects and you most definitely don’t need to be in a relationship because you should be sleeping around and binge drinking yourself into oblivion every Thursday night.

On the flip side if you do seem to be on a path that seems a little older than your age because life handed you lemons and you grabbed hold of them this article serves as a reminder that you might be too grown and out of touch for your age. You are missing out on all the fun because you are getting married and leaving the party at 9 whiles the rest of us just settling in.

I mean come on! Life isn’t made from a cookie-cutter and not everyone needs to have identical experiences in order to have lived. You may have travelled to Europe, got a degree, jumped out of a plane, paid into your pension, entered a wet T shirt competition, got engaged, bought a car, gone backpacking, moved out of home, discovered you were gay, started a cake business … all this stuff isn’t on some checklist that’s being held in the heavens for when you pass on into the next life. God isn’t going to be waiting for you at the pearly gates to tell you that you can’t come in because you didn’t tick donkey riding in Peru off ‘the life list.’

And doing any of these things out of the sociably acceptable sequence does not mean you are a success or failure. It means you did life the way it came to you. I mean, I was fortunate to have met Matt when I was 20 and I sure as hell wasn’t going to lose him because I was young and thought there was more to be done or had or tasted in the world.

These articles may seem harmless on the surface but they are just another way in which society is imparting its voice on who, what, when, where and how you should be. And in reading them we are choosing to accept these imposed rules.

I’m definitely not saying don’t read them, not by a long stretch. I know that it’s nice to feel connected particularly when you haven’t got your shit together. To know that perhaps someone out there doesn’t too and it’s okay and you’re not off track. I’m just saying, don’t mold your life around these ideals. You are a human and someone else’s idea of living doesn’t have to be your own.

If you want to go on safari and live in a tent for the rest of your life … do it.

If you want to live in your home town & marry your high school sweet heart … do it.

If you want to dress up as the opposite sex and sing ‘I shot the sheriff’ … do it.
(please, I will pay to see.)

The only thing I ask is that you don’t ever put someone down for not walking in your shoes.

Whatever you do, don’t fire me.

People get fired for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes they make sense and sometimes they don’t. One thing is always true. We aren’t wanted anymore. For whatever the reason, we aren’t wanted anymore. Let that sink in; you aren’t wanted anymore. “But I still want to be there.” It doesn’t matter. You aren’t wanted there anymore. Shake the dust off and walk on. What’s the dust? Resentment, anger, hostility, regret, bitterness…shake off these dust particles. They’re heavier than you think. They’re also unsightly. People look and wonder why you’re covered in dirt, not wanting it to rub off on them. Shake it off. Scrub it off. Do whatever is necessary to get rid of it. – David Horsewood.

It sounds punchy and very hard hitting but the message isn’t to wound or cause distress. It’s almost a little bit of tough love to get you on your next step in life quickly. So you can look back and say, ‘well … that was a blessing in disguise.’

I’ve been thinking about how I would cope with this kind of rejection and long story short, I wouldn’t. Being a people pleaser by nature, if I’ve invested even an inkling of effort into a relationship or job prospect and it doesn’t work the way I want, I feel deflated and crushed.

***

Side note to highlight the extent of my people pleasing
When I first moved to London I applied for what I thought was a reception job at a (bullshit) company called DS Global. After going through the three step interview process which involved scouring the streets and knocking on people’s doors asking for charity sign ups, I didn’t feel comfortable walking away. I knew I didn’t want this job and I felt duped that they would advertise it as a 9-5 desk job but I really wanted to prove to the interviewer that I was the right candidate. My competitive nature also contributed to me completing the interview course and getting the job but that main reason as to why I didn’t walk away on the first day was because I wanted to show I was the one. The one person they were looking to hire and that I could fit any mold that was presented to me. I quit 3 days later.

***

The idea that someone in the world wouldn’t want me for my skills, personality, talent or time is a really distressing concept that just doesn’t sit well with me. And it doesn’t extend to people either.

Fiancé and I went to Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe to sip tea and stroke the cats one Friday afternoon. I was so excited because I had been waiting for one of these cafes to open since they first became ‘a thing’ in Japan and the day had finally arrived. After sitting patiently for half an hour it was clear the cats weren’t interested in me or sitting on my lap. The rejection completely killed me and drove me to thinking all sorts of crazy things like, ‘why don’t they love me? You’d think they could just pretend to like me. I thought I would be a great crazy cat lady? Great, now I can’t even get that cat Matt promised me when we move to Australia because it won’t even like me. Maybe it’s my perfume? I think it’s too warm in here so they don’t want to be near anyone … no it’s definitely my perfume.’

See! I can’t even cope with the rejection of a cat. Even reliving that experience is making me feel tetchy.

When I saw this quote it really made me think about what I would do if I was ever sacked. I’d like to say I would be able to cope with like a rational adult but the reality is (even after hearing this quote) I know I wouldn’t. I can see it now. I would start out frantically trying to explain all the reasons this was a bad move by the company in hushed tones. Throw a public fit. Smash some things. Lose a shoe. Accept that I’ve burn all my bridges. Emotional eat my way to a size 32. Live the rest of my life with seething aggression towards that company and the people who fired me.

I’m a mess .. the questions is, are you?

My body is not a lifestyle.

We’ve heard it all before. Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle. This kind of phrase is normally posted parallel to some buff, oiled up fitty doing a plank or a vague blonde showing her too good to be true ass.

It’s the bulk standard “motivational” picture that you may or may not have agreed with at least once. I know I have. I literally just got off my Facebook page to write this post about it. You see, I’m having a fat day. No, a fat week. I’ve not eaten anything particularly bad, I’ve been to the gym twice and I’ve got sore legs (walking as if I’ve shit myself sore) but the voice in my head has been particularly shouty with what he thinks of me.

Apparently I’m doing something wrong because he doesn’t think my body reflects the healthy “lifestyle” I lead. He thinks I should be slimmer, tighter, more like so and so’s girlfriend. I should be eating less of this, more of that blah blah blah blah.

And then I see this picture … Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle … And I die a little inside. Because if the internet says it then it must be true? Because if it’s on some piece of shit DEmotivational image I saw on my Facebook feed then it must validate everything I, and everyone else feels about me right? Because if I have a jiggly belly and off-centred boobs then I must be a lazy slob. And waking up at 5am four days a week to workout isn’t enough and I’ve got to try harder to make sure my body reflects the lifestyle of a dedicated athlete.

No, not today head voice. You aren’t winning this one. I’m taking a stand because I don’t think my body is a true reflection of my lifestyle. Yes I agree, that a body can reflect a certain aspect of your lifestyle particularly if you are an athlete or swim suit model. But what other areas are missing if all you can deduce from looking at me is that I am either a dedicated perfectionist or a fat lard?

Can you see just by looking at me that my personal mission each day is to make my man smile? Or that I prefer swimming to cycling? Can you tell that I am struggling with body dysmorphic disorder? Can you deduce, just by looking at me that I cherish spending quality time with people, being present?

If you can, then it is true at least for me that the body is a direct reflection of my lifestyle. But if not, could it be that my body only tells one of the many stories it has to tell? And the rest can only be learnt by talking to me, living with me, working with me, loving me and by being apart of my life?