Perspectives on a birthday

img_1349
Stay Bliss turn 1 🙂

As I approach the 1 year birthday of my baby which has been stay bliss, I’ve reflected on my past posts which sum up the lessons I have learnt throughout the year. To say I am a different person now would be a slight exaggeration, however I do feel that I’ve grown and matured throughout this time.
One thing I noticed I tend to forget sometimes is my personal life. The focus for me since this time last year was finding a career. As happy as I am about my current position, I realise that you can’t limit your focus. I cannot stress enough how happy I am with the place I am in terms of my career. For the first time in a long time I have a purpose. I have a fixed goal that I am working towards and am totally enjoying the journey. However as I reflect, I have urged myself to dig deeper. After all, having a career isn’t everything! I can’t put everything into building a life as a professional woman whilst neglecting other things that should matter just as much.

The biggest thing I have neglected is my family life. I plague my own life with issues that at the time feel like the end of the world. Sometimes I’m so concerned with it all that I forget to just be. 2017 for me is about rectifying this. It’s about spending quality time with my family who have been nothing but patient and supportive whilst I attempt to sort my life out. The great thing about family is there essentially stuck with you! You only get a couple of parents, sisters & brothers and a few cool cousins, uncles & aunts to call your own. I know it doesn’t matter how long I stray, as long as I find my way home. Staying bliss this year means to return home. If that is not an option for you, it may mean building a new one. Identifying the issue is step 1, resolving it is the much-needed step 2.

After a conversation with my girls about themes and suggestions for this post, I got the chance to listen as they reflected on their year and the lessons they took from it. One word came up time and time again – Perspective.

img_1389
Perspective – a paticular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view

As young teenage girls and boys we become so self-critical of ourselves. Critiquing is not always a bad thing. The criticism (both positive and negative) we give ourselves and we receive from our peers helps learn and develop. However sometimes we take this to far. A sentiment my friends definitely share. What starts as self-motivation turns into, ‘I am fat’ ‘I am ugly’ ‘I am boring’ ‘I’m never going to make it in life’ ‘I will always be where  am’.

In order to move forward and be happy with your life there needs to be a shift in viewpoint. As we grow up we begin to understand how hard life can actually be.stay-bliss-1-yr With this knowledge you can look at your life, your age and your achievements objectively and allowing yourself to be happy about what you have. Maybe even throw some positive criticism your way.

The point my girls were trying to get across to me about the lessons they have learnt this year is ‘everything takes time.’ We are similar ages and interested in similar things. We have the same major goals such as job stability, living independently, learning to drive, travelling the world etc. We could certainly be envious of each other, as everyone has reached one or more of these goals in some capacity. It is easy to be hateful and jealous of people who are achieving. We choose instead to support each other, celebrate with each other and use one another as inspirations. Deep down we all know that with hard work, motivation and a good support network, we will be checking these goals of our lists in no time. For the mean time we will stay calm, and not fill our mind with trivial comments. Everything takes time.

I also spoke to people who have spent the last couple of years adjusting to London life. The question of what they have learnt and decisions they have come to, came from different perspectives as well. img_1369Despite the different outcomes and the realisation that London is an unforgiving place, I see what a difference it makes looking at the world through blissfully tinted glasses. I met someone who has made her very best friends in London because  in her words some people are destined to be friends due to being ‘bonded by circumstance.’ To me this is a perfect example of taking the bad and making good. Not by dismissing it, or trying to change something negative that happened into a good thing. Instead by using it as fuel and not letting it stop you achieving. Everyone struggles but that is what bonds us. This is what makes you feel less alone and able to strive towards a goal hand in hand with your people.

My good friend who was the subject of my ‘saying goodbye’ post, had a completely different experience of london. He spoke about the city leaving him feeling invisible but also feeling pressured to be confident. The two years he spent in London forced him to change his outlook on life.
“There comes a moment, a short second, where everything you once saw or believed is shaken. Your attention is pulled into focus and you’re forced to stare life directly in the face with a whole new perspective. img_1351You will find clarity in the strangest places. As easily as the confusion cascaded upon you, it will subside and everything will be quiet. Your friends, family and work mates would have all given you their opinion which is likely to be the classic ‘do whatever’s best for you.’ It’s all true and you know it. Sooner or later though you realise that no viewpoint matters more than your own. Give yourself a break, hold your own as life as treasure regardless of where you find yourself. Take that moment and run with it. It’s always a matter of perspective.”

This has been the most fun and challenging post I’ve had the pleasure to write. Getting the opportunity to get everyone’s take on perspective has been eye-opening. The key thing I have taken away from this topic is that our happiness is paramount. If you find that you are unhappy or unfulfilled with your life for any reason, your viewpoint of the situation is the first place to seek anwsers. Are you looking at the issue objectively? Is it as bad as it seems? Is there a change you can make that will directly impact and begin to resolve these issues? Life is not black and white, believe me I know. But what has helped me overcome trying times is taking a big step back and looking at everything honestly. The anwser is mostly – this can be fixed. With patience, support, white wine and a LOT of hard-work there is a way out of this situation.

We all go through completely different things, and are struggling in some shape or form. The things that differentiate us and keep us moving forward is our perspective. Looking at your life objectively and patting yourself on the back when life calls for it.

I have definitely had a very blissful year! Hopefully this time next year my outlook on life will be very different, exciting! Thank you if you have subscribed, commented, liked or read a post from time to time. Here’s to another great year 🙂

Stay Bliss, Laura

P. S a big thanks to my girls, Morgan, Cameron and Kat for all the help with this post!

img_1355
Tryna step my photoshoot game up lmao 😉

Week 8 baby

Hooray for week 8!!!!


If you have read my week 7 and beyond post you will know exactly why this week is such a big deal! Having a new job and staying in employment for 8 whole weeks is such a big deal for me, and the way I finally prove to myself that I am not the failure my mind keeps trying to convince me that I am. 

 

I should be jumping around like a lunatic, celebrating this achievement as I’ve been trying so hard to get here. The problem with reaching the important milestones in your life, is sometimes personal issues means they can get overlooked. 

 

As human beings it is important to remember that not everything will always go to plan. We can be fighting a battle that we are totally ready for and all of a sudden another battle jumps out of nowhere.

 

This is what has happened to me. My festive period hasn’t been so festive as relationships I once valued have come to an end. I notice now more than ever how much one aspect of your life effects the rest. I think this is the biggest battle we all face and the hardest question we ask ourselves. How do we keep our lives balanced? 

 

I genuinely do not know the answer to this as my clarity on the subject changes daily. The biggest thing I’m dealing with right now is figuring out how not to let the negative overshadow the positive. As much as I know the sensible thing to do is ditch all my worries or ‘keep calm and carry on’ as the saying goes – this is easier said than done. 

 

I have decided the way I am going to pull myself through these uncertain times is to make myself a series of promises. Ironically one of the promises is to stick to my promises. 

Another is to make sure no matter what happens in my life – I will make the time to celebrate my achievements. No matter what turmoil I find a has plagued particular aspect of my life, I will not neglect to celebrate my wins in the other.

 

For everything I’ve lost there are always constants that I still have. I still have some amazing friends and family. I also find myself making new friendships which have  brought even more depth to my life. I promise to value these and I promise to make sure the people I love know that I love them. 

 

Most of all I promise to always value myself. I know who I am and am proud of who am I. I have made the biggest effort to make sure I am and remain a genuine and real person and I will let nothing or no one make me doubt that. Happiness is an inside job (as I always say!) which starts with knowing and accepting yourself as you are. 

 

If you don’t even like yourself, who will?  If you don’t give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, who will? 

 

So I say a big congratulations to me 🙂 I’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point, and promise that this is only the beginning. Onwards and upwards. 

 

Stay Bliss, Laura

cute msg.jpg

Saying Goodbye

I have been thinking a lot recently about all the different times you find yourself saying goodbye. When you think about moving on to start a new chapter of your life, this is normally due to a end of a relationship, a family move or job move etc. One thing I have never really thought about is saying goodbye to a friend.

A friendship doesn’t tend to have the emotional ups and downs that a romantic relationship might. It’s just a steady flow of love, advice, drinking and venting sessions – give and take. Friendships for me are a constant, something you never worry too much about because it will always be there, as it always has. Friendship to me is the equivalent of the comfiest pillow I own. You never picture that pillow going away.

So alas here we are. As much you wish your friendship alone can solve any problem, mend all heartbreak, and be the cure when there’s no other way, this isn’t life. As we grow and we learn, we realise there is some hard decisions we have to make for ourselves. There are some tough choices that not even our friends can help us make. Sometimes that choice is moving away. 

So to the friend who inspires me. To the friend who’s bravery I’m in awe of. To the friend who life has dealt some tough blows. To the friend that came back swinging every time. To my friend that did the unimaginable. To my friend that now has to go.

Life carries on and changing directions is all part of that. The maturity you have shown in making this decision is just one of the reasons why I love you. There is still plenty of time for you to come back and live your London dream.
I talk a lot about making sure you look after yourself. Your physical and mental wellbeing should be the most important thing. Happiness can sometimes be the most difficult job of all because you are forced to make difficult choices regarding what will truly make you happy. Honesty is easy for most of us until it comes to being honest with yourself. The task of having to accept the ‘this isn’t working’ feeling is daunting. It is daunting because it is so easy to get caught up in that feeling. It is so easy to dwell and depress yourself by rehashing the millions of reasons why this isn’t working. It’s at this point you result to convincing yourself you are failure as your self-worth plummets.

The even trickier thing to do after the acceptance is finding a solution. To sit and wallow about how awful life has become is easy. the real work is in fixing it. So when you have the opportunity to watch someone help themselves, it’s a beautiful thing. Of course you extend your arm of friendship and support. Your presence to them is present enough. The fact that you are willing to help makes them feel less alone. You will sit and chat for hours, empty your purse, traipse around London looking at houses with them.

No. They need to do this alone. They need to fight their own battles and create their own solutions. That’s okay. You understand because you’ve been there too. Now you get to bear witness as they become their own hero. Their life is back on track purely because of the choices that they are now making. This is nothing short of amazing and watching this makes you further your own action plan for your life.

As I’ve said before babe, you amaze me. I’m so proud of you and the choices you are making. Saying goodbye to you is going to be extremely difficult. However I know you have thought this through and this is best decision you could have made. You will always have my love and my time. My arm is forever extended to you if you ever were to need it. Changing your plans doesn’t mean you are failing. You have grown up and matured in ways I never did. The man your have already become is a man I am so privileged to have in my life. I can’t wait to watch you continue to grow and achieve the impossible. You are the most loving, caring, funny and honest guy I know.

I wish you all the best. This is not goodbye, this is a see you soon.
Stay Bliss, Laura
For my dearest Cameron – btw we are partying from now until you leave and that’s a fact!14718759_10155424520809698_7814967859881205219_n

Week 7 and beyond

Welcome to my 10th blogpost! My how time flies, especially when you are having fun 🙂 When I first started my blog, I decided it was a place for me to share my journey into blissfulness. I hope so far I have been able to encourage anyone that might be reading this. The whole idea is to show that we all have our battles. We all have insecurites and stuggle with feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. We also sometimes make the mistake of thinking our thoughts and troubles do not matter and are not worth sharing. Throughout my posts I have learnt myself that this is untrue. My feelings and yours do matter and are worth sharing. Through these posts I have been able to work out the best way to deal with my issues and continue to stay positive. I hope more than anything your are able to identify with my struggles, and find your own way of dealing with them. Lots of people have said that they can relate to what I’m saying and that made me feel fantastic. I felt less alone and its lovely knowing that I am helping people as much as myself. As I always say happiness is an inside job. Be proud of who you are and strive to maintain your smile.

And on that note..

So this week I started my job and I couldn’t be more thrilled. On a different post I wrote about celebrating your wins and for me this is a big one. There’s a lot going on in my life right now – a lot to moan about if I wanted to. I’m choosing to focus my energy on the successes. My dad slowly starting to recover from a horrible illness he has been battling for a couple months now. And me. Me and my new job. I have been doing a lot of reflecting recently.  I found my mind kept drifting to my past failures and how to not repeat them.

‘Week 7’ just popped in to my head as it was at this point  I was kindly shown the door at my last work place. To say I was devastated about it would be an understatement. I could not figure out if I was more upset that I was let go, or upset at the fact that I genuinely thought I was doing a good job. I cannot explain how low I was feeling at then as I am well past it now but it was horrible!

Obviously I spent a glorious night with friends who tried there best to cheer me up with words of encouragement (& lots tequila shots). The next morning I resolved that my new goal was WEEK 7. It is okay do be down and out but at some point you need to get up, dust yourself off and keep going. Wherever life would take  me next, I’ll try to get to week 7.  No,  I WILL get to week 7.

It is important to set goals and aims for yourself because you can use them to show how far you’ve come. I can look back at all the time I spent doing jobs I hated; at the depressed and lonely days I had;  at constantly feeling like failure and see the amazing turn around I was able to make. I can look back at all this and use achieving a personal goal as a boost.

My week 7 objectives are entirely personal. This isn’t something I’ll boost about on my CV. If you asked me to tell you something about myself l probably won’t mention this. I don’t feel the need to discuss it with my friends or family. This is just for me (well and you also). This is so I can firmly shut the door on all the negative criticism I have given myself recently. I can once again believe in the power of positive thinking and myself.

Of course week 7 isn’t the final goal. Ideally I’d like to finish my apprenticeship and be offered permanent position. I’ll adjust and reevaluate my goals once achieving them. For now I’m going to keep confidently making steps towards week 7 – my Everest!

This is just my way of using something that gets you down, to build you up.  Why let that annoying thing you’ve never been quite able to do get you down? Turn your worst trait, the thing your scared of the most, the hurdles that make you second guess yourself into the best thing about you. Show yourself how capable you are. Change the existing gloomy image you have of yourself to one you are proud of. Being happy with you is the whole idea. The only person you have an obligation to look after and please in this world is you.

Week 7… I’m coming for ya! 😉

Stay Bliss, Laura

I keep my world turning

What to do when you feel alone?

I have recently been battling the feelings of loneliness. Sometimes you know you are being irrational, there are friends you can call for a chat and a meet up if you needed to. The feeling comes from having a life that has completely stalled whilst everyone else’s world keeps turning.

The people who were once in the same lane as you are now preoccupied in a lane you’ve never even seen. Maybe the lonely feeling comes from the crashing realisation that I am an adult now. So are my friends. They have grown up problems now like rent, bills & relationships. All are problems I know nothing about. That feeling comes from so desperately wanting your own grown up life and having the problems of an independent woman. That feeling comes from knowing you are nowhere close to that yet.

So I know what my problem is, what do I do about it? How do I stop feeling so lonely and sad?

The answer is there is no quick fix. The biggest thing to realise is that your friends and family do care and love you. If they knew what you were going through, they would make some time for you.

The real answer lies within myself.  I have an image of what I’d like my life to look within a year or 2. Ideally I would like to have moved out of my parents house, have a job (not an apprenticeship) within the NHS, have a savings account and maybe even a partner. The partner bit however is not essential! All of this feels like it is out of my reach, but if I take things one step at a time it will slowly fall into place. My life needs shaking up and taking a step out of my comfort zone will give me the shake I need.

I am sad and lonely because my world has stopped turning so it is my job to kick start it. The biggest thing I do is check myself when I start feeling depressed. I give myself the ‘well what are you guna do about it’ push and pick myself up.

This is why I believe it is so important to stay positive. We are human and sometimes we give in to those emotions that are more damaging then helpful at times. However if you are a positive person who speaks good things into your life, you are constantly able pick yourself up. It doesn’t matter if your down and out, we have all been there. Just don’t stay there.

So this is a problem that’s mine. By that I mean this is one I’m going to have to work at fixing myself. But I will!

I start with acknowledging the issue I have been having on a post like this. These posts are like therapy for me. When I start writing I feel one way and by the end I feel so positive and ready to start again! Do what you need to do to encourage yourself and get out of the self-pity hole. For me it’s these posts, others have different forms of self-expression and therapy.

I know what I have to do now. I always did.  Maybe I feel so lonely because I’m waiting for my life to start. I need to stop waiting. Nothing is going to start by itself. I have to be the one to press that start button.

Stay Bliss, Laura

Let’s take it back 

After a rough couple of weeks I realise more than ever the importance of positivity. I have had this sinking feeling for the last few weeks that I’m failing. That I could see everything I’ve been wanting and worked so hard for slipping away from me. That even when I’m trying the hardest I ever have it genuinely is just not good enough. I have been putting a smile on face whilst holding back tears and slowing sinking into a pit full to the brim with a bunch of sad things and thoughts.
But this is human. To be down sometimes is to be human. This is a rough patch that I’ve got to get myself through. It is at these times more than any other you have to stop your mind in its tracks. YOU ARE GOING TO BE OKAY. Better than okay even, GREAT.

After a long conversation with a friend it ended with ‘hey don’t worry, tomorrow is guna be good day!’
And that’s the truth. The truth is even allowing yourself to wallow does not allow you time to learn. It’s been days and weeks of ‘I suck’ or ‘I’m shit at this’ and pointless thoughts like these. How is this helping me? How is the making me improve upon the things that I am not doing so well?

Let’s take it back. Back to the point where I started to mess up. Back to the point where there were things I thought I knew, and even got cocky about. I am going to start again, learn everything again and learn it better. Learning a lesson in humility also. We all move at different paces and learn in different ways. I can’t compare myself to others, I am not them and they are not me.
Starting again is not a bad thing and is a very real reality once you start to progress through life. This applies to all things whether it be schooling or working or even in your relationships. Take a breath, close you eyes and start again. Chose to not let this situation overcome you. Overcome it.

At the end of my apprenticeship I predict that I am going to be amazing at my job! 🙂 This is because I am never going to stop trying, I’m not to let criticism keep me down, and I am going to keep starting again until I get it right.
I genuinely don’t know how many people read this. I feel like I check myself with these blogs, especially when I catch myself feeling particularly down or negative. There’s a therapeutic feeling that comes with expressing to myself what I know to be true but sometimes choose to ignore. I can be my own worst critic when I should be my own biggest supporter.
Who knows what the future holds for me? I will never know if I just give up or give in to the sad thoughts. I do know it is not going to be easy, I also predict many more rough days to come. That’s okay though. As long as the end of it you can reflect. Reflect on the highs and lows and see where you need to work even hard.
As long as the end of it you say ‘tomorrow is guna be a good day.’
Here’s the next 10 months of my apprenticeship. I’m ready for ya 😉

Stay Bliss, Laura

1 badly hurt ankle = a batch of red velvet brownies

I’m sat at the pub thinking about how I manage to turn bad situations into positive ones. When life gets on top of you, it’s then when you choose to focus on is the shitty things. For instance, I have a really bad ankle at the moment which is making it hard for me to walk around. Sometimes the pain gets so bad I want to quit my job and stay in bed crying about it all day.

The good? My amazing batch of red velvet brownies that I baked from scratch! They weren’t as red as I would have hoped, and they did not have a cream cheese topping. But man, were they good! So delicious that my dad who is a picky eater, managed to eat 8 🙂
This has nothing to do with my bad ankle but everything to do with perspective. Which one of these things shall I focus on? Which one of these two shall I bang on to my friends about? The ankle or the brownies?

The brownies of course! Not just because I love any and all food, but because this is how I choose to approach life. When you put on a brave face and appreciate and celebrate the things you do have, everything else will fall into place. The ankle or the brownie is how I choose to see my prospects. Unemployment or my amazing friends? My illness or the deep understanding I have of what my health requires? Single and alone or independent and loving it? The good or the bad? This positivity helped me to be where I am today which is an official working gal! If you read my blogs you would know how much I longed for the day to be able to refer to myself a working woman.

THE DAY CAME ON MONDAY AND I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER! I am aware exactly how much I wanted this so I told myself I’d appreciate all of it. The highs and the lows and everything in-between!

So this is a short one today. This is just a question of the bad ankle or the brownies? My personal equivalent to the glass half empty question.

Brownies every time.
Stay Bliss, Laura