Putting Yourself Out There

30 Apr

My friend, S, was recently told that she needs to put herself out there.

Now, was this comment offensive or true? Fortunately, S thought the latter.

“He’s right. I’m so not out there,” she told me prosaically.

“What does that even mean?” I asked.

“I don’t quite know.”

This comment launched a very confused conversation. By the end, we had decided that ‘putting yourself out there’ was not merely a phrase used to coax scared singles into coffee dates, but a more general concept relating to the way an individual interacts with the world around him/her.*

Being the egocentric creature I am, this got me thinking about myself. Am I out there?

This question was tested when I found myself alone at church on Easter Sunday. Let me paint the picture. Me, standing alone in church:

Internal monologue: I’m out there. I’m like so out there. Look at me just standing here, open to anyone who may come along. Oh yes. I am out there.

<Interuption to internal monologue>

Bubbly Young Woman: Hi, I’m Claire.

Internal monologue: Ugh. It is too early to be so enthusiastic. I hate it when people are all Suzy Sunshine. Guess what lady, life is not a bowl of cornflakes so why don’t you tone it down?

What I actually said: Hi.

That’s it. I didn’t even say ‘Hi, I’m Verity.’ I gave her nothing. I was socially fatigued after a simple greeting.

She kept talking (as she was wont to do) and I slowly warmed up. I realised her enthusiasm was friendliness and not her naïve view of reality. I was shamed.

And apparently, not at all out there.

I had to re think. Maybe I needed to do something. Maybe I needed a moment. A coming out (there) party.

Little did I know, the moment was to come a week later. Two of my beloved friends were getting married and asked me to read the bible at their wedding. Of course I accepted with pleasure. But when it came time for me to read, the minister announced that Gemma (Spoiler Alert! That’s not my name) would be reading.

I had to think quickly. Do I correct him or say nothing?

Then, in a (“I’ll go home to Tara!”) moment of clarity, I knew exactly what to do. If Nicki Minaj can do it (I am Nicki Minaj, I mack them dudes up, back coupes up and chuck the duece up)** I can do it. I walked up to the microphone and said:

“Hi. I’m Verity Powell.”

And hark! Doves flew into the air carrying little signs which said “She’s out there!” and light shone on my head and…

Ok, maybe it wasn’t this big movie moment that I’m making it out to be, but that’s not the point. The point is that, I think you’ll all agree, I put myself out there.

S and I still discuss this concept and we’ve come up with a few ideas of what it’s like to be out there. We decided that part of being out there is being open to different people and conversations. It’s giving a bit of yourself unapologetically. It’s getting up on the dance floor no matter how terrible your moves are. It’s asking the checkout chick how she is and actually listening. It’s letting people take you for who you are just because they want to.

And sometimes it’s just turning up and saying, I am Verity Powell.***

 

 

 

 

Now it’s your chance to ‘put yourself out there.’ Leave a comment in the comment section below! Because I know you’re there, so you might as well be ‘out there’!

* Ten points for Gryffindor for such an excellent summary!

**What does that mean? On second thought, I don’t want to know.

*** Please insert your own name where applicable. Because honestly, it would be creepy if you said you were Verity Powell. Unless you are of course. In which case, carry on, Verity Powell. Carry on.

4 ½ Dresses

20 Apr

Oh, you guys. It has happened again.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

I’m certainly overly familiar with it.

I’m going to be a bridesmaid. Again.

How many times have you been a bridesmaid, Verity?:

  • 4 ½ (don’t ask).

Congratulations!

  • Why thank you, I am quite chuffed.

Now, while I am honoured to be honoured in such a way, I take this appointment seriously. Maybe too seriously for a volunteer position. It’s like I need to prove that I am the right lady for the job. That the bride is getting her moneys worth.* So when I was asked to be a bridesmaid the other day, I made sure the bride understood my commitment level.

I sent her this text:

“Just checking in on day one of my assignment. It should be noted here that I do not believe in being a lazy bridesmaid and consider my position a working one and not merely figurehead. At your service, Bride-to-Be. Haha.

But actually I am being serious.”

And I was.

But as it happens, the church is booked, the invitations are in the mail, the reception has been lined up, the colour scheme arranged…

and there seems to be nothing left to do.

So maybe I am going to be useless after all. My position will become more of a title than a job. I fear I’m going to turn into one of those lesser royals who is known only for their appalling choice of dress and hat (No offence Princess Beatrice. You seem lovely and we were born in the same year. Solidarity sister).

The other problem of course, is that as a figurehead bridesmaid, I will continue to be subject to many a delightful inquiry** from loving family and friends.

One notable incident occurred a few years ago. My beloved friend, who was 9 years old at the time, wondered:

“Verity?” he asked in that sweet little boy voice.

“Yes, dear?”

“Have you heard of the movie about the lady who was a bridesmaid lots of times?”

“Oh, you mean 27 dresses?”

“Yeah. Well I was just thinking… that’s you. It is! How many dresses have you got now?”

Let’s stop the reminiscing for a second and analyse that.

Firstly, is it terrible that I have somehow led a young boy to believe that my existence may be summed up by a Katherine Heigl movie?

Secondly, 27 Dresses? Really? I would prefer he say,

“Oh Verity, have you heard of the movie True Grit. You’re just like the lead girl. You don’t need no man or pretty dress to headline your own movie. You’d be able to survive in the Wild Wild West.”

Thirdly, now it’s got me thinking: am I a Katherine Heigl or a Mattie Ross? Surely I’d more suited to riding around the desert on a horse than performing predictable meet-cutes involving heels and a NYC manhole.***

Please don’t stick me in a romcom. I beg of you!

Now I’m over thinking it.

Ok, calm down. I am not Katherine Heigl. I only have 4.5 dresses. And anyway I like bridesmaiding. Being a bridesmaid is rewarding, enjoyable and lovely and getting a new dress is never a bad thing….but….

 

 

 

Oh lawsie, I hope I don’t make it to 27.

 

*If you are thinking of going into bridesmaiding for the money, don’t. The pay is terrible. However it looks excellent on one’s resume and you can add Bridesmaid to your official title:

Verity Grace. BA. BM x 4.5

** Sample interaction with relatives Uncle Tim and Aunt Betsy:

“Gee you’re often a bridesmaid aren’t you, Verity? Well you know what they say, don’t you? Don’t you? What do they say?”

“No, I do not know what ‘they say,'” I will reply deadpan.

“Oh, you know what they say. Always a bridesmaid…”

“Always wearing killer heels?”

“Oh you’re no fun, Verity. Maybe that’s why no one’s picked you up yet.” Uncle Tim laughs raucously.

“Oh don’t be cruel, Tim!” Says Aunt Betsy with a smile.

*** Pretty sure I saw that plot in a JLo film not 27 Dresses. You see my point though.

Oh, Hi There.

10 Mar

So do you know what’s embarrassing? When your parents dance.

Oh and when they talk about things they have no business talking about. Stuff they are too old to understand.

C’mon. You know what I mean. It starts off innocently:

“That man was flir-t-ing with you,” says mother enunciating every syllable.

“Mother, we’ve talked about this, haven’t we? You’re not to say that word,” I reply.

“What? Fli-r-t?”

I shudder.

“Yes mother, that’s on your ‘List of Banned Words,’ isn’t it?”*

“Oh yes, my ‘List of Banned Words.’ I’m not supposed to say ‘sex’ either, am I?”

“Mother! If you breach the list again, you are going to accrue enough demerit points for an on-the-spot fine.”

I say all this because it was parental embarrassment that brought me here. To address y’all whether you like it or not. You see, this afternoon Mother hassled me to start writing here again. She urged me to write my thoughts, opinions, ideas and ramblings and while I see her point, I’m not entirely sure my thoughts and opinions are fit for public consumption.**

However, I agreed that I should perhaps write something. This inspired enough joy from the parental units that they began to dance around the living room to music which The Child would call “70s hippy crap.”

And even though no-one was around to witness my mortification, it was too much for me to take on a Saturday afternoon so I retreated to my office (read: my attic bedroom) to compose this:

I am back (again).

I would apologise for my months of absence, but the truth is y’all, that love means never having to say you’re sorry.

See ya around.

-AW xo

*Banned Words for Parents (trademark pending): I came up with the concept, feel free to use the technique on your own parents for a nominal fee.

Some suggested banned words/phrases:

  • “Loose women”
  • “Dirty Dancing”
  • “French kissing”
  • “Make-out”
  • “Friends with benefits”
  • “Did you kiss him?”

**Current thoughts include: How irritating is it when you’re trying to type with your laptop on your lap (where it was designed to be used, after all) and your bust (see: Banned Words for Parents) keeps clicking the mouse accidentally? Am I the only one with this problem? Seriously.

(I told you. The world is not ready for my thoughts.)

Sweet Potato Chips

27 Jan

Friends, family, beloved readers, beloved readers’ pets, random reader from middle America (how did you find me?), others who have stumbled upon this website while searching for their local FroYo,

I have an announcement:

I am in crisis.

A writer crisis.

An Accomplished Woman crisis.

The sort of crisis which paralyses your thoughts and ideas. You see I am currently experiencing an Unemployed Writer’s Emotional Breakdown (or UWEB as I affectionately call it. Here’s how to use it in a sentence –

Me: Hey man, sorry I couldn’t get back to you about that thing. I have UWEB.

Man: Oh that’s cool, I had UWEB once. The anti-fungal cream really worked wonders).

This breakdown may have been brought on by a late-night google search of jobs for arts graduates. Waiter was one of only a few options.*

Whatever the cause, I present you with a direct transcript from my mind during my battle with UWEB:

I’m unemployed. No-one will ever employ me. I am unemployable. I have no marketable skills! Why would anyone employ me? Why? Surely I have some skillz! Like maybe if the government had a really big problem and war was imminent, they’d be all “We need an Accomplished Woman!” Then they’d turn to me and say  “You there, the woman who makes Salted Caramel Ice Cream, how will you help this global crisis?”

I’d be ready with a 2B pencil in hand: “I can write you a sonnet…or perhaps prose? Will that solve your really big world wide problem? I’ll make it really good.”

Ok. Stop freaking out. Here’s what you need to do, self. You need to write something. Anything. Write for The Accomplished Woman Dot Org. She’ll employ you. Sure, the pay’s not great but maybe then you will have something to show for your days of carb-loading and coffee drinking.

Am I speaking in 3rd person? It’s hard to tell. Maybe I’ve split my personality into two. I’ll call the other one Flora. I knew a girl called Flora once…

That’s not the point. I need to write. We need to write. Verity and Flora.

But I don’t know what to write. I should know what to write. I know! I need to do something so I can write about it! Is making popcorn ice cream really enough to keep this website going? Mmm. Popcorn. Butter. Is butter a carb? Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. I love carbs. A carb would make a good husband. No one ever hates carbs. Do they? Really? Think about it. Oh, I am. People love carbs!

Continue reading

I’m Back

25 Jan

And you thought I’d never return.

While I would prefer to be trawling through country bookshops and eating FroYo* I have come back to reality. Good thing too because a diet of FroYo and books is not sustainable.

Get ready to see amazing posts on …. and …. and even ……!

Um yeah, help me out here?

If you have any thoughts, ideas or challenges that I can turn into riveting posts, hit me up at veritytheaccomplishedwoman@gmail.com

-TAW

 

*Frozen yoghurt. Seriously.

Merry Christmas

26 Dec

I hope you all had a marvellous Christmas. The Queen beautifully summed up my Christmas wishes to you all. Please enjoy this photo and imagine it is my gift to you.

But alas, I’m off to the coast tomorrow. I’ll be focussing on my creative fiction writing while I’m there so I won’t be posting for a few weeks.

To keep up with The Accomplished Woman you can subscribe via email (see right hand side bar), add me to your reader, keep up with me on Facebook or tweet me: @A_ccomplished. Or just check back sometime in February.

A few things before I leave you:

Have a safe and merry holiday!

Remember, calories don’t count until all Christmas related food is consumed (mid to late February).

And as Tiny Tim observes, “God bless us, every one!”

It’s A Wonderful Life

22 Dec

I have not been accomplishing all that much recently. Unless you call eating an extraordinarily high amount of Christmas related food, consuming all forms of Christmas media (notably It’s A Wonderful Life) and perfecting my Jimmy Stewart impression (“Merry Christmas you wonderful old building and loan!”) accomplishments.

But I feel you deserve something. You who are still reading this despite having presents to wrap, couriers  to berate, uncles to pick up from under the table- which segues nicely into the small anecdote I will recount for your amusement.

The Boss graduated yesterday. Yes, thank you, thank you. My sister is quite superb. We had a party for her. It was all fun and games until the conversation turned to dating. I said I was going on a date with a friend tomorrow.

The Accomplished Uncle, ever ready to poke fun sniffed: “A friend? Can’t you at least find a second-hand boyfriend or husband? I mean really!”

I didn’t like his tone, so I made a few curt remarks about his age ( I might have said that he settled Canberra and started its first school but that could equally be a slight on our nation’s capital now couldn’t it?).

When the night wound down, I curled up on the lounge with a glass of red. The Accomplished Uncle got that look in his eye. You know the one. The troublesome one.

“If I were you,” he informed my mother while pointing to me. “I’d slap it silly. The cheeky little-”

And that’s all I’ve got time for. Another day of feasting awaits!