five years.

I don’t know what to say anymore. It feels the same, and yet, I feel as if every word I have ever spoken or written about mum has not gotten near enough to what I have felt for the past five years.

You get used to it. And when you feel like there’s something missing from inside of you, something that seems integral to the very soul of you, you’re somehow still able to function without it. You’re sobbing on the floor and pain waves its way through your body but the loss is no longer at the forefront of your mind; something new and fresh has replaced it and it seems nonsensical to be hurt by this new thing, but you are. And this new hurt is just piled on top of the old hurt. Grief is just your old pal who’s always around. Like a tattoo you never actually wanted in the first place.

It feels like a lifetime since I heard her laugh; simultaneously, it feels like I said goodbye only yesterday.

Another letter to my mum, because that’s all I can do anymore. I can’t pick up the phone, and I can’t hear her voice. I can’t kiss her goodnight and I can’t ask her advice.


It’s been five whole years since I last saw your face, outside of a photo and outside of my mind. Five years since I looked into my favourite face in the world, the eyes that sparkle when they laughed and the smile that always made me feel safe.

I stood out in the rain before to let the raindrops remind me I’m alive. The raindrops mixed in with my tears and all I could smell was fresh earth and the beautiful smell of rain, and in a small moment, hot chocolates, while we watched movies on the Winter days I spent with you instead of at school.

the rain started to pour
as if the sky was feeling my pain
together we cried
until I could no longer tell
the different between
my tears and the rain / my sadness and the earths
we mourned a soul lost to the stars
one less life blessing the day
one more light guiding the night

page 34, inner workings.

In the past year, I have watched some of the closest people to me say goodbye to their family. And all it does is increase this incredible sense of empathy I was born with, and all I want to do is hold them all and tell them it’s going to be okay. But sometimes I’m not even okay, so I don’t know if that’s the truth anymore. All I know is that it reminds me of the day we said goodbye to you — the day I watched you take your last breath and any sense of the normal life I had before that moment, vanished. Completely gone. I felt as if I was out in the wilderness, and although I was surrounded by all those who I loved and loved me back, I was standing alone in a forest with no way out and no sense of direction.

I don’t remember much of the first year without you. I felt lost and confused but I pushed that down and acted as if it were normal. I thought that was the way to do things. I thought pretending I was fine was the way to be fine. And then people tell you everything happens for a reason, and you’re sitting there, smiling politely, nodding your head, clenching your fists out of sight because that single phrase could make you want to punch someone right in the nose. It doesn’t matter if things do happen for a reason. For a long time, I didn’t want to hear it.

Now, five years on, most days I forget that particular feeling. Getting the news you were sick. Spending my 18th birthday in a hospital by your side. Sitting in a chemo session with you instead of going to school. Laughing with other chemo patients and having people tell me they admired what I had with my mum. They admired that I was still able to make her laugh even though she was in such incredible pain. But you never showed it. I never even understood it.

But sometimes, something reminds me. One of your favourite songs, or a new song I know you’d like. Your signature smell, or a woman in the shops with your dress sense. And it’s that feeling again. The feeling, when my heart dropped into my stomach, when I figured out you were really going to be leaving this world. We were sitting on the couch together, and tears sprung up in my eyes. I turned to you and I told you I love you. And you wrapped your delicate hands in mine, and told me you love me, too.

The fact is, there is no such thing as a normal life. And I know this, I’ve always known it – but I had what was close to one of the most blissful lives, filled with teenage stupidity and shitty friends. Everything was thrown into perspective that day, but even now, I still lose that perspective. I still get caught up in the stupid, shitty things people say or do; the confusion of love and life, and caring about things that don’t matter. Perhaps that’s a sign that life has gone as much back to normal as it can be.

Because what really matters in life if you’re not doing your absolute best to make other people feel happy? Safe? There is nothing more I love than knowing the words I write make people feel something, or the stupid things I say make people laugh. Because I was put on this earth by you to touch people’s lives and I thank whatever I should be thanking, every day, that I had as much time with you as I did.

You were, you are, the most beautiful, loving, all-encompassing woman I ever had the chance of knowing, of breathing the same air with, of sharing laughs with. Of crying on your shoulder and allowing you to cry on mine. Of being your own blood.

You were never given the chance you should have been given. To live a full, happy life and sometimes the anger I feel over that injustice shrouds my entire mind.

I loved you then, I love you now, I love you forever. Thank you for this life, Ma. I hope I do it enough justice for you.


life tips

rackers’ guide to a swipe-right-able tinder


I am a proclaimed tinder kaweeeen. And, for once, the proclamation was not self-imposed. I have been in a complicated relationship with tinder for about five years now, and I have broken up with it again for probably the 14th time. (And hopefully last).

It all began one fateful day in the wonderful establishment that is Sizzle Cafe @ University of Canberra – with my fav gal pal Gracie. We downloaded it for a laff and I swiped away to boys less than 2km away – see, if I was a normal person with normal people skills, I would have made normal conversation with these males had I seen them on campus. Alas, I am none of the above, thus the magic of tinder.

The plan was to have it for a couple of days. 5 years later…

(Shirts & hats available HERE)

Nah, but I’ve had it on and off for all of that time. And despite people thinking so; no, I do not expect to find the luv of ma lyf, or even a boyfriend, or even a bang. Purely just innit for the bantz.

Heck, we all know I don’t need it, and we all know I’ve gotten luckier in the months without it, than the months with it. But it’s a handy old pal for the colder months, and for the socially awkward.

As a seasoned tinder veteran, I thought I would put my years of experience to good use and help those less fortunate and (if possible) more socially awkward than I.

There are things you should do to attract the honeys – and things you should not:

DO: link to your instagram profile, so we can have a mad stalk, and also find out if you have a child in advance!!!
DON’T: write ‘I will make you cum by my tongue’ or anything along those lines.

DO: post a shirtless photo of u at the beach
DON’T: expect a shirtless photo in return

DO: have photos of you with a dog. guaranteed return of investment ie. higher percentage of girls will swipe right (science)
DON’T: only have one photo………like how am I supposed to think ur real

DO: write a witty bio, preferably with puns.
DON’T: insult women in your bio?????????

DO: use tinder to meet fun, new people
DON’T: expect to get sex

DO/DON’T: use to find the love of your life. personally I wouldn’t use it to find ma soulmate because…..well, it’s tinder, BUT I know of many successful love stories so you do you sistas and bruthas.

Tinder, for as long as it shall live, will have pros and cons, haters and lovers. There will always be those who preach ‘superficiality’; though how is this different to approaching someone in the bar? Life is a series of judging on appearances.

Really you don’t have to follow anything I say because I am not the be all and end all of love, life and tinder (shock horror).

Until next time, fans, friends, foes and fuckwits,

Your gal. Rack daddy
(ex-tinder queen) (who actually sucked at tinder)

Srs, buy ya tinder merch from my store


the luck of mirrors

We all have a bad side. You know when you need to take a group photo, and everyone has to rearrange themselves perfectly on their good side? And it’s always a slight disaster when you and your friend have the same good side? Cue awkward back to front pose.

Mine is my right side.

There is a theory behind looking at your reflection the way other people see you; the way your face genuinely is. We all know I’m a big fan of the selfie, and I used to cringe when the camera would flip my face back to the way it really is. I felt as if my right side was enhanced, and it was all people could see. It felt as if it just made it more obvious that my face wasn’t symmetrical.

Looking through the “true mirror,” a mirror reflected with another at a 90 degree angle, apparently can have different effects on different people. Some are quick to accept the way their face is naturally built. Others are shocked, and genuinely cannot deal with what they are faced with (ha, mirror puns). And there are others who see who is really looking back at them; the face they assume to know so well, their very own, seen in a new light; seen the way others see them, and feel a sense of renewal, or calm, or a sort of acceptance.

I tried the experiment a couple of months ago, when I had spent the day feeling awfully down and had the constant “I’m not good enough,” thought prancing its way through my head. I placed two of my mirrors against each other (one I had broken a mere week before) and almost had to mentally prepare myself. I laughed at the stupidity of my actions, talking myself up to look at my fucking self in the mirror. It was weird. I saw my face in a way I  hadn’t seen it before. But my smile. It was wonkier, like I thought it was, but it made me happy. It was genuine. It was kind. It was happy.

My face was not symmetrical, my face is not symmetrical; but my face is my face. A face that showcases all my emotions, that cries all my tears and smiles at strangers and kisses random boys in Mooseheads. It is my mask and one I am grateful to have.

Your bad side is considered your bad side because of you. You chose to look at one side of your face and nominate it as less than the other side. No one is scrutinising your face so close to choose a bad side of their own; because they look at your face, and take it in whole. As part of who you are. As the mask of beauty that holds multitudes more than just your smile. The hidden glee in the dimple in your cheek, and the parts of skin the sun kissed so hard it left a freckle — the sparkle in your eyes (and my god, imagine if you didn’t have that nose to smell roses on a spring day). Never forget there is much, much more than just the face staring back at you.

Anyway, and also, I wrote a short story as an assignment on re-writing a myth. Make a cuppa and feast your eyes on the reason why breaking a mirror is bad luck…

myth behinds mirrors: a short story

There’s a whole different world inside of mirrors. In ancient times, people believed that the reflection in a pool of water was their actual soul and ruining the reflection would bring harm to their physical self. Another myth being that mirrors have magical powers, brought to us by the Gods.

The person looking back at you in the mirror is an entirely different being, not just your reflection. They are everything you are not. If you are good, they are evil; if you are creative, they are logical. People shiver at the thought, as if everything looking back at them is bad. It is a human trait to believe in one’s own goodness; the belief that humans are inherently good and it is nature or nurture that changes them.

Elizabeth grew up in a house full of love and light. The walls were windows and the doors were glass, giving her full view of the beautiful town upon which her and her family lived. It was a town in which nothing bad ever happened; there were only myths and legends, tales of the bad things that happened in different countries, different parts of the world. Elizabeth couldn’t imagine these stories were true, only scare tactics to keep it civil.

Elizabeth had an aunty who travelled the world, saw all the places Elizabeth could only dream about, and she always came back with stories and anecdotes, gifts and tokens. Elizabeth often heard heated whispers between her mother and aunty, as her mother tried her best to shield Elizabeth from a world outside of their own.

“You must stop telling her of the world out there! There is too much bad for a girl so pure of heart; she must stay here.”

“You’re shielding her from nothing, Ava. There is as much bad here as there is out there.”

“Stop it. You know there’s not. It has become the most beautiful community; we are all inherently good here.”

“There is no such thing as a human with only good in them. That is what makes us human; the ability to be good and bad.”

“Stop it, Larissa. Just stop it. I have made it clear that I want you to stop gifting Elizabeth with pieces of the outside world.”

“Fine. But you’re in denial. Don’t forget what this place used to be.”

“There is no sense in caring about what used to be. It is what it is now. End of discussion.”

Elizabeth heard this exchange and wondered out into the garden. Lush, green scenery, as if from her favourite book, the Secret Garden. She wondered to her favourite part of the garden; untouched by the rest of her family, she had gathered all her gifts from Aunty Riss here. Her copies of books like the Secret Garden, Alice in Wonderland; a little device that plays music, unlike the big record player her mum and dad used. Key rings, from London, Paris, Rome; places she wasn’t even sure exist. She would lay on the grass with her eyes closed, the sun beaming down on her face, and dream, dream of being there one day. She had no use for the key rings, her family didn’t have locks on their home because nothing bad would happen in their town. She would just hold them in her hand, almost as if they could transport her there.

She closed her eyes and dreamt, of a world outside her small town; of cities bustling with people, of freedom and happiness.

Her seventh birthday rolled around, and she was spoilt with love from the townspeople. Knitted jumpers, blankets, art for her walls; teddy bears (though she did believe she was getting a tad old for them) and baked goods. It was heading toward the end of the day, and she saw her Aunty Riss walking up the driveway with a bag in her hand, her long, blonde hair waving through the wind and her tan skin glowing in the sunlight. Elizabeth looked down at her own pasty white skin, feeling envious; she wanted to run free, allow the sun to kiss her skin and glow with a happiness only the outside world could bring her.

Larissa saved the moment to give Elizabeth her present when no one else is around. She handed her the bag, whispering, “You mustn’t tell anyone I bought you this. It’s special.”

Inside, was a gorgeous, intricately detailed mirror; the first one Elizabeth had ever seen. She looked back at her own reflection, so much clearer than the reflection in a window or a puddle of water and saw her entire being. She saw her entire potential.

Elizabeth became obsessed with the mirror and took it everywhere she went. A longing to become the person inside the mirror woke something inside her, she felt older than her years and ready for what the world could bring her. The town started to feel small, stale. The people drab, boring. Her parents overprotective. She didn’t belong.

Three months later, Ava walked out to the garden with a cup of tea in hand, breathing in the fresh, crisp air and allowing the sun to kiss her skin. Elizabeth had been missing for two months. Larissa was getting into her head. Ava knew Elizabeth was too good for the world out there, she was pure and sweet and inherently good.

She walked around the garden and noticed shimmers on the ground. Broken mirror pieces, leading her to a corner of the garden where there were discarded toys, objects she had never seen before; things from the outside world. Laying on the ground was a ripped piece of paper, from a book, reading “Have I gone mad? I’m afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are.”

Elizabeth was only seven when she disappeared, and this was all because of the mirror. She had allowed the bad to escape in the world, to tarnish her soul. Anyone who breaks a mirror will have the Elizabeth curse, enduring seven years of bad luck.

© 2018. Rackers.


for them.

You’ll have moments in life where everything is weighed down; not only your heart, your stomach and your shoulders and your head — when was the last time you were able to lift your head? When was the last time life didn’t feel so heavy? You have to say goodbye to people who are your people; who aren’t supposed to leave. Who are always supposed to be by your side.

And you’re standing in a church, the walls so high and the room so ridiculously and unfairly come to be so familiar in the past five years, and tears stream so easily down your face as if it’s second nature. Because it almost is.

Your heart breaks for your own family as you watch, yet again, everyone go through the same motions you’ve been through too many times before. Mere weeks later, your heart breaks again for a family you’ve known almost your entire life, for someone who was your first friend, for a woman who has lost the man who was her entire life.

But then you’ll remember, and see. What they have made, the impact they have left, and the love the air is still filled with. Because of them. For them. With them. And while it feels like the darkest time, and you may feel as if nothing is worth it — honestly why should we even try anymore? What is the point in it at all? Give me a good reason to begin to bother with life again.

Think about the laughter. The times they made you feel so special, your heart was lighter than you ever thought it could be. Because they were angels amongst humans, and now they’ve rightly earned their wings. They are above you, always with you, always right by your side. The air on a crisp, cold day is their kisses, and the beauty of the blue sky is their smile. The stars amongst the night are them laughing with the ones they’ve finally been reunited with. And the sunshine, burning through your skin, is their reminder that your heart will feel light again. Never in the same way, never for the same reason; but in every way worth it. For them. With them. Because of them.