Mixed emotions of terror

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Image Source: ABC

I woke up this morning at 5 a.m. Just like every other morning. Unlike every morning though, I reached for my phone and checked the news. I was devastated to hear about the death of a couple of innocent hostages in the Sydney siege at Martin Place overnight. It hadn’t ended well as I’d optimistically thought last night. Sure, the end didn’t seem near but given that no one had died, I held hope for no one to be hurt. Except maybe the man who started it all.

Turns out he died too. And as I read about him, all I could feel was anger. Anger at the justice system for failing us. Anger that he was out on bail after being charged as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. Anger that he was on bail even after 40 sexual offences against women.

I shed tears at some of the other articles. Photos of Sydneysiders leaving flowers. Photos of the hostages escaping. The thing is, I am used to terror attacks. I wouldn’t have thought I’d be affected so much. But unlike Mumbai, I honestly believed Sydney was safe.

Spending 15 years of my life in Mumbai, I was no stranger to random acts of terror. Since 1993, Mumbai has experienced its fair share of terror attacks. Most of the world probably knows of the 26/11/2008 attack in the heart of Mumbai. I was here in Sydney at the time and woke up to the news fearing for my loved ones — my sister who caught the train into CST station every day for college, my friends who worked close to the hotels where the terrorists had taken hostages on their shooting spree, my college which they passed through while firing their guns. I have lived through years of having bombs go off in trains I caught to college for 5 years.

There was always fear. There was always someone to blame. There was always anger. But then, there was also solidarity. There were people looking out for one another. There were people exchanging smiles on an otherwise busy train. There were people helping others. It was us against them; ‘them’ being the terrorists. And to beat them, we had to get on with our lives. We had to continue with work or college. The fear wouldn’t completely go away. But you started each day with the hope that there wouldn’t be any attacks. That there wouldn’t be any lunatics.

This man from yesterday was a lunatic. A criminal. It angers me to read people referring to him as being ‘mentally ill’. I find it offensive to those who are truly battling mental illness. This was a man who obviously thought he was above the law. That he could terrorize women in particular. This was a violent man who has scared my city and my home.

My heart goes out to the families of those hostages who died. I know the fear of potentially having a loved one caught up in something like this but I can’t say I know what it is like to actually have someone you love being held hostage. It must be heartbreaking.

I hope that we as a community can find that solidarity to come together. Yes, there are several questions to be answered. And yes, the reality is that there are possibly other lunatics like him out there.

But we  can’t let the fear get to us. That is what they want.

We pick ourselves up and we get stronger.

Hopefully, we find strength in one another to continue to stand up to lunatics like this. Through the sadness, the numbness, the fear and anger, we will face several tomorrows.

Until next time,


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Freaky Facebook

Facebook marketing is freaky. You know those sponsored pages or posts that appear on your news feed as ‘suggested post’? Well, they certainly try and target you based on your profile, your likes and even your conversations. Don’t believe me?

Well, last year, when I had nothing in my relationship status, I would get ads to lose weight, slimming dresses and for online dating. {Zoosk in particular but also RSVP}. Because obviously, the reason I was single was because I was fat!

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Anyway, back in September, JK decided to change his relationship status on Facebook and tagged me in his status. I accepted it and basically had an ‘In a relationship’ status. Well, dear old Facebook figured out that I’d lost weight, no longer needed slimming dresses and possibly found my partner on Zoosk.

So they changed their tact and began marketing other stuff.

Like engagement rings.

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This above ad would appear in my feed every second day. I refused to ‘like’ it. Just like every thing else Facebook would force me to click on.

Finally, after JK proposed, he changed the status to ‘Engaged’ which I accepted. And oh my goodness! I have been inundated with ads for wedding venues, celebrants, wedding photographers, how to change my name after marriage…and we hadn’t even discussed when we would get married!

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It’s a bit scary. Facebook certainly keeps a close eye on you. I remember some months ago, a friend and I had been messaging about me needing a flatmate and on his profile, he got an ad for a flatmates website. Yet another time, some of us were messaging about tents and camping and guess what? Ads for camping and hiking and tents came up on my news feed.

I know Google provides you with ads based on your searches. That was freaky enough. Now with Facebook, I feel like nothing is beyond marketing any more. I think what will be the killer is if I start talking face to face with friends about stuff and then notice ads for them online.

Now that would just be a whole weird stalking game!

What kinds of things has Facebook thrown at you?

Do share!

***Linking with Alicia for Open Slather***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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How are you today

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Ever realised how we rarely give an honest answer to that question? I dropped by at the shops today after work to buy a few things and the girl at the checkout asked me how I was going. My automatic response was “Good, thanks! Yourself?” And her reply was “Good“.

If I had given it a moment and answered honestly, this would probably be my response: “I’m counting down the days to the 24th which is my last day of work for the year and then I get to leave to Tassie. I’m mentally fatigued and overwhelmed and in desperate need of some time off. So, how are you?

But of course, I didn’t.

And I wondered why we couldn’t be more honest.

Ok, so maybe not in the crazy way I just did but even saying things like “I’ve had better days” or “I can’t wait for the holidays” to imply that you know what? I’m actually not doing so well would be better than a blatant lie of “good thanks“. I know she was just doing her job by asking and probably does not want to hear everyone’s honest answer but how different would the world be if we all answered honestly? Not just to our friends and family but to everyone. I’m so very tempted to test this out at least for a week.

Or am I just so mentally fatigued that I’ve completely lost my mind?

So tell me truly, how are you this Monday?

Do share! 

***Linking up with Alicia for Open Slather***

photo credit: EyalNow via photopin cc

Until next time,


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Overwhelmed

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This past week has been an overwhelming one. I have been way more tired than I can ever imagine. All my early morning starts and slightly late nights have caught up with me. Add to that, work has been crazy! Usually around this time of the year, things start to quieten down a bit. But for some reason, this year seems different. I am booked out till the 23rd of the month. Yep. The only day I have no clients is the 10th {because we have a meeting in the morning and our Christmas lunch later} and well, Christmas eve. Most of my clients are ones I have to see weekly as well, thereby making the next couple of weeks extremely busy. And I won’t even start on the paperwork that I have to catch up on.

The end result is that I have been very, very overwhelmed. Sydney traffic is being a bitch at the moment too and it’s taking me almost an hour or more to get home each night. I experience road rage every single day and have had some idiots nearly miss me or merge into me. Which only adds to the stress. The only thing keeping me sane this week has been JK — I love his support and tolerance through my crazy times.

So this week, I took a day off. I cancelled a client I had scheduled for Friday and tried to relax at home. I listened to my body and slept in. I didn’t go to the gym. I went to the shops and finished off my Christmas shopping {I think I successfully avoided the craziness that’s about to start!}

I think this year has been full-on. I now need to spend some time reflecting on the year. When I can eventually breathe, that is.

How are you coping with the end of the year?

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Stressed?

Do share!

photo credit: Chris Maris via photopin cc

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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