Fight Like a Girl!

I don’t want to say it’s been raining ever since Inauguration Day, except it’s been raining ever since Inauguration Day… There were actual storm warnings on Inauguration Day, and heaven knows it hasn’t stopped raining today. Not once. In fact, the only day the sun came out was yesterday – for the Women’s March. It’s like even God thinks this whole Trump as President thing is a bad idea.

But it did stop raining yesterday – thank God – because it made it a whole lot more pleasant to be charging the streets of Downtown LA.

When I first found out about the Women’s March, I really wanted to go. Obviously. I think anyone with any integrity and decency would want to go. But I was so tired from my first week at work, especially after almost a solid week of waking up at 5.30am everyday to get there. (Anyone who knows me knows I am legitimately allergic to mornings.) Would I have rather spent my Saturday morning sleeping in? Yes. But I felt like this was important.

bra-burning-6001.jpg

You can’t talk politics with Uber and Lyft drivers as much as I do and then refuse to put your money where your mouth is when you are given an opportunity. It’s time to DO SOMETHING! We can’t afford to be complacent anymore. Not now. Not when there’s so much at stake. Complaining just won’t cut it.

img_8726

So I showered, dressed and made my way over to the train station in Universal City, bound for Downtown LA. The train was packed, and I spent the commute talking to the African-American gentleman beside me.

“This is what it’s all about,” he told me. “We come from different countries, our skin is a different colour, but we’re finding common ground…”

“In a weird way, I’m kind of glad Trump won the election,” I replied. “Because he’s been so divisive with everything he’s said and done, but in trying to tear people apart, he’s actually pulled them closer together and blown open the lid on a lot of issues that were simmering under the surface, things that probably would never have been addressed otherwise.”

As usual, I was right. Marching yesterday was so many things – powerful, moving, inspiring, beautiful. There was nothing but actual love in the air. You could literally feel the energy! A complete stranger wished me “nothing but luck in life”, and her kind words, along with the complete sincerity with which she said them, left a huge smile on my face for the rest of the day.

01-21-2017-women_s_march-starforemancopyright-024.jpg

It was such a surreal experience. I had several moments throughout the day where I thought, “Holy shit! We’re making history right now! This is HUGE.” I wasn’t around in the ’60s (not in this life, anyway), but it reminded me of the movements happening back then. It was such an incredible day – one that I’ll never forget.

091116_r19025_p646.jpg

A part of what made it so special was not only seeing just how many people turned out for it (approximately 750,000 in LA alone), but also how diverse the crowd was… There were women, of course, but almost as many men turned out. I cannot even begin to describe how it felt to see so many men – young, old and everything in between – down there. Not only do gentlemen still exist, but they’re willing to stand with us AND fight for us! It was incredible to witness.

lgoode_170121_1413_0009.0.jpg

There were people of all different races, all different religions and all different sexual orientations peacefully coming together. It was beautiful! I saw humankind at its very best yesterday. Is this what John Lennon was talking about when he wrote, “Imagine”? Probably.

The reality is, we’re stronger when we come together. It may seem idealistic, but I witnessed it up close yesterday. We’re currently living in a world where fear is at an all-time high. Fear of terrorism, of globalisation… Fear of “the other”. And then you’ve got a select few, like Donald Trump and Lord Farquaad, the guy behind Brexit (I can never be bothered remembering his actual name), who have used this fear as an opportunity to advance themselves and their agendas. Our responsibility – as citizens of this world – is to not cave into the fear. Don’t believe the hype! For the most part, people are still really good. No matter who we are and where we’ve come from, we’re all just doing our best to get by in life. Live with kindness and compassion.

So, this is why I marched…

1. There’s that whole feminist thing…

I’ve been a staunch feminist for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I used to have a lot of discussions/arguments with my dad about gender equality. (Yes, these are the things we argue about in my family.) Frustrated, my dad would usually say to me, “Geez, you’re such a feminist, Demeter!” Like it was a dirty word. “YEP,” would be my proud response.

11008141_1571759509756466_1185643804_n

2. As women, we can’t expect others to stand up for us until we learn to stand up for ourselves…

This is a conversation I’ve had a lot with my friend, Sylvia in recent months. While it was amazing to see so many men out there yesterday, it was just as good to see so many women standing together and supporting each other. As women, we can often be our own worst enemies. We often tear each other down unnecessarily, instead of lifting each other up. If we banded together, we’d be unstoppable. How can we expect anyone else to stand up for us when we won’t even stand up for ourselves and each other?!

ebellone

3. Because women are pretty amazing…

We’re kind, powerful, beautiful, strong, gentle, complex, intuitive, opinionated, smart, brave, valuable, and it’s about time we all started realising it! I was reading a book the other day, and there was a line that really resonated with me: “The closest thing to God on this earth is a woman’s body – it’s where life comes from.” Powerful stuff.

4. Because women are still treated like second class citizens…

We’ve come a long way, sure, but we still have such a long way to go! I want to feel safe when I walk down the street by myself. I want to earn the same amount a man earns for doing the same job. I want to be able to go out without feeling hungry eyes on me. I want to have ownership over my body. I don’t want to have to grit my teeth whenever someone makes a sexist or suggestive comment… And don’t even get me started on our sisters around the world, who are often still systemically abused and discriminated against solely because they happen to have been born female.

3874486-3x2-940x627

5. Because if we’re having to deal with periods and having babies, we shouldn’t have to deal with misogyny, too. That’s just the cherry on a shit pie.

6. Because we’ve gone from having a kind, self-confessed feminist as President of the United States to a racist man who boasts about sexually assaulting women…

This is NOT okay, and ALL women should be shocked, outraged and offended by the fact he was elected to office. It shows how little America – and the world – values its women and minorities.

barack-obama-800-6.jpg

7. Because I believe ALL people are equal…

I don’t care if you’re black, white, male, female, gay, straight, disabled and everything in between. We are all the same, and we should all have the same rights and opportunities. We all belong to one race – the human race. In fact, why are we still even having to discuss this?!

16105996_10154774446442481_26776412668763961_n.jpg

8. Because we’d be letting down the feisty, determined women who came before us if we DIDN’T do something! We have a responsibility to the sisterhood and to humankind to not just sit idly by.

150325112724-12-era-history-super-169

Advertisements

Dear, well, everyone…

I’m sorry I haven’t been in contact much… I promise I haven’t gone “all LA” on you. I’m still the same person I was when I left Australia in November, except now I’m a little bit poorer.

I think about you all often, and I mean to message and call, but I usually think of it while I’m in the shower, and then by the time I’m out, I’ve forgotten.

Bottom line is, I really, really miss you all. Today, as I stood in the queue for the checkout at Marshalls, I found myself thinking, “I could have a good life here in LA… If my family and friends were here, too.”

il_340x270-517349598_1l3o

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve met some really great people over here (shout out to American Steve, mainly just because I like saying “American Steve”), but they’re no substitute for the people I left behind at home.

Also, it’s been really hard keeping myself alive! I don’t mean for that to sound melodramatic, but when you move overseas, the safety net is pulled right out from under you. If you can’t pay your rent, that’s on you – there’s no one to bail you out. Speaking of bailing me out, who would I even call if I got arrested over here…?

It’s been terrifying and exhausting, and I’ve challenged myself in ways I couldn’t have even imagined…

For one, I’ve recently realised that I’m going to have to drive in LA. Despite trying to avoid it for the last two-and-a-half months, there’s really no way around it. If you don’t drive in LA, you’re basically screwed. I was really nervous about driving over here for a few reasons…

1. Everything is opposite – opposite side of the road, opposite side of the car…

2. Traffic is a nightmare in LA, and if I’m being honest, so are the drivers.

3. Have you seen those freeways?! They’re like the Costco of freeways! Six lanes on either side, and cars and trucks flying past you!

giphy.gif

Feeling stressed about the whole situation, I decided to book myself in for a two-hour driving lesson, just to familiarise myself with the roads and rules over here. I even drove on the freeway! I swear to God, when I entered the freeway for the first time, the car suddenly smelt like a church. It was probably just the instructor’s aftershave sweating off him, but I think something holy was happening in that car. I must’ve done okay though, because the instructor felt comfortable enough to take personal phone calls while I was switching up lanes on the freeway.

And in other news, I’ve finally found a steady paying job over here! I’m going to be freelancing at the Daily Mail down in Venice Beach. That means I don’t have to prostitute myself out just yet… I can (hopefully) pay my rent for another month!

giphy-1.gif

If you’ve been wondering what the hell I’ve been doing over here, I assure you, it has not been all crazy days out at Disneyland. (I’ve only been once, FYI. And it was a crazy day!) In between going on supermarket runs to Trader Joe’s, I’ve spent the majority of my time looking for and applying for jobs. It’s been a hard slog, and can be demoralising at times – especially when some of the only people contacting you for work are people who want you to sell retirement insurance or replacement windows. How did these people even get my number, and did they even bother to look at my resume?! It’s made me question my career path, if I want to be a journalist anymore, and if I even should keep writing!

It really hasn’t been easy over here. A lot of people have told me that LA is a city that will “make or break you”, and from what I’ve experienced so far, I wholeheartedly agree. Most times I feel like I’m just barely treading water, but I haven’t drowned yet. I won’t let LA break me!

la-la-land-header-planetarium-2_1050_591_81_s_c1

So I just want to apologise if you haven’t heard from me in a while… I promise I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve just been busy with, well, life.

Love you and miss you,

Demeter xx

It’s a New Year…

Yes, I know we’re already almost a week into 2017, and this blog post might have been better if it was posted, say, last week. But I’ve been really busy, and now I need closure on the year that was 2016, so screw you and your judgemental opinions! Here’s a rundown of my last year. Month. By. Month…

January

In true Demeter style (I’ll try to refer to myself less in the third person this year, promise), I started the year off in a sling. Typical. I also went to Hawaii in January, so it wasn’t all bad…

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 2.05.14 PM.png

February

This month is really just a big blur… I probably just slept through it, to be honest.

March

I had shoulder surgery (again) to hopefully fix my dodgy shoulder for good this time!

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 2.06.13 PM.png

April

I was made redundant (well, look at that – there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…) and I celebrated my birthday – in a sling. For the second consecutive year.

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 2.06.52 PM.png

May

Still slingin’ it…

June

I started working as a freelance journalist, which has been interesting… Not having a steady income has been bad. But finally getting that whole work/life balance thing down has been good.

July

Lots of physiotherapy on my shoulder. And sleep.

August

See July.

September

I announce I’m moving to the USA after qualifying for a Green Card… Shit just got real.

October

This month was really just one big farewell party. Oh, and my sister turned 30, so more parties…

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 2.09.43 PM.png

November

I flew to America with my mum in tow and proceeded to set myself up for a life in sunny California.

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 2.10.33 PM.png

December

Turns out California isn’t so sunny after all… Also, it’s cold! Why is it so cold here?! My friend, Cathie flies into LA and spends Christmas and New Years with me. In return, I show her the sights and let her use up all my toilet paper.

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 2.11.11 PM.png

I have no idea what 2017 will bring, but so far it’s been interesting… Here’s hoping for a happy new year! xx