Life: On Greener Grass

They’re filming Puberty Blues at my college today.

While I was eating breakfast, I watched them set up for filming, watched the actors get ready, watched them turn my home into a 1970s boarding school. As I munched on my crumpet and listened to my friends talk about exams, all I could think was “life would be so much easier if I was an actor”.

Studying lines instead of studying media theories, having hair and make-up done instead of rushing to class with hair still wet from a shower…all of my problems would be solved if I could just be paid to talk to a camera.

And that’s the crux of my personality, always finding greener grass over the fence and assuming I’m living in a dirt covered wasteland.

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Life: The Perks of Having a Pen Pal

I have always found the prospect of having a pen pal incredibly appealing. Initially I was obsessed with the idea of someone who was from a land far, far away where the culture was completely different and exotic, but after having spent a whole year struggling to construct sentences in a letter to a girl from Germany (okay, Germany isn’t that exotic) I realised otherwise. Apparently I didn’t know as much German as I thought I did.

After coming to the conclusion that I would never be able to say anything more than ‘I have a pet dog who likes to eat and sleep’ in German, I decided that perhaps snail mail from one pen pal to another wasn’t for me. Of course the world thought otherwise and I ended up with a fellow Australian pen pal who lived only a couple of hours away but at least spoke the same language! Despite this, having a pen pal isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. It’s hard.

First of all, you must understand that you are to never break the unwritten laws of snail mail:
– One must never type their letter, rather hand write only
– One must respond to a letter within approximately one month of its arrival
– One must not only answer the questions or prompts from their partner but also pose their own questions too

This makes things very difficult.

For a computer reliant person like myself, handwriting two or so pages takes a considerable amount more time than it feels like it should and I end up getting terribly distracted. As for responding within a month – you have no idea how incredibly difficult this is. Every second of my day seems to be crammed with study or food or study or sleep or study, not letter-writing (though I wish such was not the case). Then it comes to the point where you have written your letter (and it has taken you ten times longer because you handwrote it at midnight after having reached the unofficial one month deadline) and you realise you have to come up with an assortment of questions so that your partner thinks that you are interested (which you are, but it’s just so difficult). It’s tiring. It’s hard. But it’s not all bad.

Letter writing has made me realise how amazing technology is these days. My pen pal and I send a total of about 12 letters per year (6 each). I send about a million emails/skype messages/texts etc. per year. When writing letters you don’t waste time talking about all the garbage you would normally ramble on about when chatting to friends on facebook. Instead you focus on the important things you have to say and sift out all of the rubbish. It helps put things in perspective and makes you realise how much (or how little) is going on in your life. Lastly, letter writing has this ‘feel’ to it that just isn’t there with other forms of communication. There is nothing better than opening your letterbox to a humble little envelope bearing your name and address.

So for all who dreamt of making friends with snail mail as a child, go ahead and do it because though it’s a real pain in the neck, it’s so worth it.

Monica @ frangipani princess xoxo

Frangi Faith: Choosing To Believe In A Secular World

Long time readers of my blog would know that my faith is somewhat of an ongoing journey. I call myself a Christian, and yet there is still so much exploring and development that needs to happen on my behalf.

I was not raised a Christian, per se. I was taken to church from a young age, but we never read the bible, we never prayed, we never spoke of God except in general terms. I suppose you could say I was lead to the water, in that my mum would take me to church each week, but drinking from the water was entirely my decision. I am the most religious person in my extended family. As far as I know, I’m the only one who owns a bible.

I have never had a close friend who has been a Christian. And so, a question I am often asked, is “how can you believe in God in modern society?”

I’m not someone who blindly believes. I have done a lot of reading and research and contemplating. My faith is not something I was forced into, or something I wandered into. It has been a completely conscious decision. Sometimes I disagree with the church, especially on issues regarding marriage equality and abortion, but those are discussions for another time.

So, given this world we live in and the circles I tend to frequent, why do I choose to believe in God?

Under no circumstances would I call myself a science student (I almost failed year eleven biology, which was the last time I took science, and was two years ago). And I don’t want anybody to think I’m disproving evolution or the big bang (nobody ever said God didn’t create those, as my current pastor says. We are not those crazy Christians who think the world is 6000 years old). But the way I see it, we can’t just be here. I honestly do not believe that through a random twist of circumstances the beauty of this world just happened to occur. There has to be a plan. Something bigger than us had to be behind creation.

I’ll be honest in saying a large part of my faith has to do with the unconditional love offered by God. As many Christians are, I came to my faith a broken person. And God offered me love and support and the fact that He will always be there for me. And I will admit, that that sounded like something I could get used to. The idea that I’m not alone, that there’s someone out there who will always love me no matter how much I screw up, is an amazing thought. And while people may say that that’s a silly reason for turning to God, that you’re just looking for support and not truly believing, that’s not true at all. It is through my devotion to God that I can understand his unconditional love, not in spite of it.

So many people today get caught up in tiny issues to do with Christianity. Issues that get mentioned in one verse, or are the opinions of an Apostle, and not of Jesus himself. And, atheists are usually only looking for the bad. So they grab hold of the Christians who have more conservative views and make an example of them, saying “Look! This person believes that homosexuality is a sin, therefore all Christians do, therefore we hate them!”. But in doing that they ignore the majority of Christians who do not share in this view. They ignore the Christians whose hearts are full of love. Because that is what Jesus taught. To Jesus, there were two commandments important above all others, and they were to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and to love your neighbour as yourself. That’s the root of God’s message. LOVE.

I once read a quote by Ghandi that said “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ”. And that is the very root of our problem with Christianity. Non-believers see the hateful spite of confused “christians” and ignore the absolute beauty and love of true Christianity. As Christians, we were called to Love. Not to judge, not to hate. Our role as humans is to spread love and compassion to all we meet. That was what Jesus wanted us to do. And so many Christians get so caught up judging and hating, that they forget that Jesus said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. They forget that Jesus would eat with the tax-collectors and the prostitutes. Jesus didn’t judge on face value, he treated everyone with equal respect. God will judge everyone when it is time, but until then, it is our job as Christians to spread the message of Love and Acceptance.

I am a Christian, but I believe in equality. I believe in acceptance of all. I believe in spreading God’s love to everyone, regardless of where they’ve been, or where they currently are. I am a sinful human. I have no right to judge or to think I am better than anyone else. No Christian does.

So, I live in a secular world. A society where Christianity is often looked down upon and scorned. I want to work in an entirely secular industry. An industry which often goes directly against what God has said. And yet, I am a Christian. I feel called to work in the secular media industry, and try to change it for the better. I am a Christian because I see the unfailing love of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ every day. From the amazing opportunities my life has handed me on a silver platter, to the simple act of laying in the grass and watching the clouds on a warm day. There is evidence of God everywhere I go, and I am too convinced of it’s existence to believe otherwise. The world may want me to deny everything I can feel in my heart, but I am not here to serve the world. I am here to serve my Lord, and no matter how much I get scorned for that, I know it is the Truth.

I respect atheists. I respect people of all religions. I am not judgemental. I will not force my religion on you, or try to convert you. But I am a Christian. My heart is filled with the love of my God, and I am called to spread that love to everyone. And sometimes that is hard, because people are annoying. And sometimes faith is hard, because depression is an ugly illness where there is sometimes no light or room for faith. But even in the darkest moments, there is a light deep inside me, a voice whispering in my ear, “I am here”.

I choose to believe because to me, all signs point to God. And I respect that you may believe otherwise, but please, I just ask that you do not discount Christianity because of negative experiences with other Christians or churches. I have had those experiences too, but the true wonder and majesty of the Lord is waiting for you, and I can promise there is no hate. It’s just love. Pure and unconditional, and waiting especially for you.

frangipani princess xoxo

Advice For Those Who Don’t Fit The Typical Teenage Mould

By Monica Welsh

Teenagers are lazy, self-centred and care only about having good time at whatever cost. Or so I’m told.

You see, I can’t identify with any of these things. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means a perfect human being and there are undoubtedly moments where do in fact display all of these qualities, but on the whole I don’t really fit this teenage generalisation. I attend a high school like most other 16 year old Australian girls, and I do understand that for many people such statement really is an accurate reflection of their life, however it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation here. To those who can relate to not relating, here is a breath of fresh air for you all.

  1. You are not placed on this Earth to work yourself to the point of exhaustion.
    If you are anything like me, this can be a ridiculously hard lesson to learn. Since I was tiny I have had the basic understanding that hard work leads to results and therefore is the only way to live your life. Though such may be true, I have since discovered that it is not sustainable to dedicate your heart and soul to everything you put your hands to and that believe it or not, it is okay to give 80% of your effort to the task, or even to say ‘no’ in the first place. Yes, a hardworking nature is something to be proud of but it’s okay to give yourself a break too.
  2. It is possible to exercise both compassion and selfishness, and a good balance is ideal.
    Perhaps one of the most valuable lessons that I have learnt is that you can only love and show compassion to others if you show that same love and compassion to yourself. I have learnt from experience that if you aren’t healthy and well both physically and mentally, then you cannot help others do the same. Once again, look after yourself.
  3. Having fun is important, but learning how to do so can be hard.
    It sounds silly but I never understood this. “Fun is a waste of time!” I would say, “You can’t possibly be doing anything worthwhile if you’re having fun.” Oh how very wrong I was, for ‘fun’ is what life is all about and the most valuable things can be produced while you are having fun. Without fun life is hard so treat yourself to doing something enjoyable because otherwise it’s like depriving yourself of life’s oxygen.

So take some advice from a fellow atypical peer and rest assured that it is okay to be lazy, to treat yourself with love and make an effort to have fun because that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Monica @ frangipani princess xoxo

New Beginnings

After six happy years of having Frangipani Princess on Blogger, I decided it was finally time to make the change and convert to WordPress.

I decided this for a number of reasons.

Firstly, most media jobs and internships have the ability to use WordPress as a requirement for applications

Secondly, as much as Blogger had suited young teenage me, it’s time for Frangipani Princess to become more professional. I’ve been growing increasingly unhappy with the limited layout options that were available to me, and thus the overall appearance that the website had. WordPress allows me to develop a more professional looking website, with ease.

Finally, Frangipani Princess is growing. I’ve recruited a number of contributors to help me write content, so that you as readers are always getting current and relevant information. During High School, it was fine for me to run FP on my own, but with how I want it to be seen and the function I want it to serve, it’s no longer a one-man show. Especially as I have University and internships. My lovely contributors will help me out by writing posts, doing reviews, and attending screenings and events when I am unable to, or would like a guest. Hopefully this will mean posting every single day, if not numerous times a day. But I’ll be realistic and admit this will take a little bit of time to straighten out.

Of course, moving blogging platforms is not an activity without hiccups. I ask you to please bear with me over the next few days as I get everything up and running and get everything as functional as I can.

The main issue, and this is aimed at PR/Media types, is that by swapping platforms, all my statistical data and rankings have completely disappeared. My stat counter will start again from zero. I have worked hard to get my daily hits up, but with losing my google followers, and the adjustment of a new site, my hits may take a beating for a few weeks. Hopefully this is only temporary and you stick with me while everything figures out how to be normal again.

If you have any issues, please and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks for your eternal patience!

frangipani princess xoxo

Airport Adventures

AKA times my boring rural life is slightly exciting.

I was at the airport waiting to fly back to Sydney this afternoon, when I spotted a man who looked familiar. As I stared at him across the waiting area, all I could think was “wow, you look exactly like Professor Duncan from Community”. Except I was in Albury. And nobody cool is ever in Albury, especially on a Thursday afternoon. 
Because I tweet my whole life, the following then occurred: 
(read from the bottom, or from the top if you want to spoil the story and be confused) 

And because we’re total BFFs now, we took a selfie (please excuse my face, I was not expecting to be taking photos with an actor from one of my favourite shows). 

We chatted, and it was awesome, and then I put it on all my social media and everyone was very jealous. He told me my Community bag (which I was using as carry on) was brilliant. He then came over to ME again after we had said goodbye and offered to show me set photos. And then when I was leaving he said it was nice to meet me and he hoped I would have a good flight. Total above and beyond kindness. What an awesome man. 

It just goes to show, sometimes living in the middle of nowhere has its advantages. Did you get to meet John Oliver and have him show you set photos from Community, North Shore kids? No, I didn’t think so. 

I was so caught up in trying to apologise for being a total creeper that I didn’t get to ask him about The Daily Show, or how I’m studying to be a journalist and it’s really awesome and stuff. Oh well. At least I got a photo. I was so nervous when I met Victoria Justice that I forgot to even do that. 

So that was my Thursday adventure. I hope yours was just as fun.

frangipani princess xoxo