Perspectives on a Birthday II

Wow! Happy birthday everyone! I can’t believe I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a whole 2 years now, time flies. I’ve loved every moment, especially being able to look back on the thoughts and words from 2016/17!

The thing I love most about blogging is having the courage to say things I don’t let myself say. I love my new found ability to be self-critical as well as self-championing. What I haven’t loved as much, is being bullied out of expressing certain things. Being bullied by myself of course – we are the meanest to ourselves sometimes.

I am going to attempt to be honest on this post. Perhaps more honest than I’ve ever been. So here goes.

I try and look at life through rose tinted glasses, and attempt to make things seem better than they actually may be. I am not going through any massive upheavals in my life, and no dramatic troubles. Things are great, but they could be better. This is pretty much always going to be the case though right? There’s no such thing as a perfect life.

I had quite a steady and stable childhood. I am fortunate where others are not. I have two wonderful parents who gave me a life where I had everything I needed. It has made me almost naive to the tough childhood others faced. My family were able to make everything better. So that’s the mentality I grew up with – to every problem, there is a solution. It is up to you to go out of your way to find it.

I know some very special people, some since childhood and some I’ve spent the last few months getting to know. Life wasn’t like this for them. Solving their troubles were not as easy. They have never known of life this way.

What to do when two people from the opposite sides of this scope become united? I know lots of relationships and friendships like this; it’ll be interesting to find out their thoughts.

Without even meaning to this post has turned into a story of perspectives. I shall name this perspectives on a birthday 2 🙂

Patience is definitely a virtue and I need a lot more practice. I can’t help but get frustrated when I see that nothing is being done. Nothing to solve problems which show no promise of slowing down. ‘Just do something’ I say to myself. I then in turn frustrate myself. It’s so easy for me to say, I have never had to deal with a fraction of these kinds of problems.

So what do we do now? What is the solution? Are your lives so different that this is just a cycle you’re forced to go around? Are we at a stale mate? Is it a put up or shut up situation? Or is it just a shut up Laura kind of deal?

I’ve always believed in time being a healer. No matter what anyone has been through or going through, you don’t have to be a victim to your problems. Patience is the key. If someone has had a difficult life, they cannot be expected to change everything around in a day. It takes a lifetime to heal old wounds, especially if the hurt has come from someone close to you. Encouragement over pressure.

There is a selfish part of me all that wants to be the hero. I want to be able to walk up to any situation and fix it. If only I could click my fingers and make everything all better.

The first thing I realised is to put more emphasis on effort. Putting in any kind of work or effort into sorting out your life and problems is worth celebrating. When I constantly think about my problems they grow about 100 times bigger in my head. Then the idea of there being a time where this problem will no longer exist is unfathomable. Deciding to take those very first steps in solving them is very difficult to do and that in itself is an achievement. Everything has to start in order to end, therefore the start should never been downplayed.

The second thing I realised is that it is not always about the things that separate you from each other. Whether it’d be your childhood, backgrounds, class, financial standings… there are some many details that make us from different each other. Why not think of the things that connects us? Do we have the same values, ethics, morals, sense of humour, likes & dislikes?
When we get out of heads and stop thinking of reason why our lives and relationships are doomed, tremendous steps can be made.  When we start to live in the moment and enjoy each other’s company things tend to progress organically.

And thirdly it’s okay to think with your heart. For the first time in my life my decisions and actions have been motivated by emotion. Complete emotion, no logic or ration. I always thought being smart and thinking every step through was the way forward and in some ways it still is. However being in love means that all reason can easily get thrown out of the window. After all the heart wants what the heart wants! Is this is bad thing? That depends on who or what has your heart. Being bold and quitting a job that you don’t enjoy even though your head is telling you something different. Leaving your safe and secure nest even and moving into something risky and exciting. These are examples of doing what the heart tells you to do. There are of course many safe and risk free alternatives you could seek, but going based off of emotion can sometimes be the right thing for you to do.

Belief is essential. Do not be part of something you have decided is doomed to fail. It won’t fail because you believe it won’t. It is okay to be scared. Fear is not always a bad thing. However making decisions based on fear is never a good thing.  I have a habit of second guessing everything when things are good. So let’s revisit the questions that were plaguing my mind just a few weeks ago.

So what do we do now? You assess the situation. Are you deeply unhappy? If so some difficult decisions need to be made. Happiness is an inside job and my first focus is my happiness. I know in myself that I’m happiest when I’m with the people I love and I’m still chasing my dreams. What is the solution? Are your lives so different that this is just a cycle you’re forced to go around? There is no easy to fix to all your problems however you don’t need to condemn your life to a forever revolving cycle. Give yourself time to fix your problems. Set achievable goals. ‘I want to apply for at least 10 jobs in the next 2 months’ ‘I want to save up £1000 by September’ ‘I want to pay £500 towards my debt by the end of the year.’ This way you will be able to clearly see that you are not going in cycles. However slowly you’re moving forward – you are MOVING FORWARD. Are we at a stale mate? Is it a put up or shut up situation? Or is it just a shut up Laura kind of deal? Don’t ever tell yourself to shut up or talk yourself into remaining quiet. Your thoughts and feelings are valid because they are yours. Communicating and expressing myself is the best way for me to sort through my thoughts. It makes it easier for me to figure out what my next move is. I am going to put up – I won’t let any of my problems win or convince myself that this it, this is how it will be forever. My future is mine and I say what goes and I say how it goes. Nothing is so big that it has to take over my life, and nothing is big enough to deter me from my plans. Everything in my world can or will be fixed, one way or another!

This has been an interesting post which has taken me a few weeks to write. I started off on one wavelength and am ending on another. This relates to the importance of time. Taking the time to properly asses how you feel. I recognise that the first time I really face my issues, I see it all as doom and gloom. Then I be sure to take the time to sit and think about it. Talking to my friends and family can really help and I begin to see things more positively. Take the pressure off yourself and recognise that not everything will be fixed right away. Give yourself time to process, and let yourself forget about your problems for a while. Organise a girls (or friends) night and talk to them about everything else. The pieces will eventually come together and the path you need to take will become clear. Until that happens – keep being positive, keep creating, keep searching, it will happen for you.

I’m only 25 but sometimes I feel so old. I feel like my life now is the way my life will be forever. Wrong. I am young woman that is forever adapting and evolving. It does me well to remind myself of this from time to time. I am walking into my second year of blogging on a positive note. My family, friends and boyfriend are the best people I can have around me right now. Even though I don’t always think so – I am in a very good place. Things can only get bigger and better, and for when I find myself in those tough times – I always have staybliss.

Happy birthday peeps 🙂

Stay Bliss, Laura

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Photo Credit – Alisha Dandy http://instagram.com/alishadandy

 

 

2 0 1 7

This year has been an eventful one. So much has happened. As I sat and reflected I realised there are so many things I have learnt that I need to take into the new year.

Grab a tea and a snack – this is going to be a long one!

No rushing, no skipping

The biggest thing I’ve learnt this year is that life can’t be rushed. There are so many times this year that I wished to skip to the good part. The part where I’m making good money. The part where I had finally left the nest. The part where I was in a happy, healthy relationship.

All things take time. And now looking at it from the other-side, there were things I had to go through in order to get to this point. I had to go through my really low period. The point where I spent everyday in bed thinking nothing was ever going to change. This very low point of my life was actually beneficial to me in more ways than one.

  • It inspired a great friendship. One of my closest friends found herself in a similar situation. This meant we became really close and most of our unemployed days were spent together. zi and iWe did many different things to keep our mind off our current problems and to keep the hope alive. It’s crazy because when we look back at those days, it’s amazing how far we have come. I truly don’t think I would have had any upbeat moments if it wasn’t for her. 
  • It made me seek help in making myself employable. I often talk about the 2 week employability boot campboot camp that completely change my outlook on life. In these 2 weeks I went from being a victim that blamed everyone else for my circumstances to someone who was beginning to think – maybe it’s me? This is when I decided that I was having trouble finding employment so the apprenticeship route was my best chance. Future LDN (the people who ran the course) taught me lots of practical things that I still use to this day. 
  • It made me set realistic goals for myself. Maybe applying for marketing manager positions wasn’t what I should have been aiming for at that time. It would be less deflating to set achievable goals and build up to that dream position. That’s what I did. I’m still very much on my way, but 1 step at a time.

You just can’t skip over the sucky parts and I’m glad. How will I know when things are amazing if nothing ever sucks. This is something I have to be sure to bare in mind as life goes on. It really is a roller-coaster, I can handle when it sucks because I know sooner or later it’ll turn amazing again. When I actually work hard and build towards something, it will happen when it is meant to. 

Friendships

Friendships are so important. The older I have gotten the smaller and tighter my circle has become. Back when I was younger the ‘cool’ thing was to have as many friends as possible. The bigger your circle equalled how popular you were, you were the social butterfly that all cliques welcomed.

Things have changed so much since then, now there is more emphasis on solid friendships that can stand the test of time.

Over time I have had to get rid toxic friendships but for the most part I am very fortunate to have friends that remain. My best friends are the most positive, talented, aware, beautiful and ambitious people. You can tell who are your actual friends when going through a bad patch. It is easy to be there for someone who is on top of the world. The people who are there to pick you up when you are down and out, who sit with you while you cry, who you lean on for financial support when you are struggling are the ones you can always rely on.

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Christmas ’16 with my sisters ❤

As important as it is to have good friends in your life, it’s equally as important to be a good friend. Just because they will always be there for you don’t take advantage. It is not okay to make them an afterthought. If you have a busy schedule, you HAVE to make sure that they are part of it and given as much time as everything else.

Letting go of my ego is something that I have not mastered but I’m learning to do. One of my best friends messaged me a while ago quite upset because she thought I was leaving her out. Although I had my reasons, I could see why she felt this way as I would have felt the exact same. I called her up immediately, explained why I was acting the way I was and apologised profusely. I had to let her vent her frustrations to me and apologise as much as I could. I thought nothing of doing this, the friendship is way to important to me to let my pride get in the way. In the end she was grateful for the call and apology and I was just happy that everything was easily resolved. I tell this story because so many times we let silly things mess up our friendships. Things that are minor in the grand scheme of things. I also tell this story to demonstrate that just like all the other ships, friendships take work. Work mending any fences that have been damaged, and work making sure to make time for everyone. Having a sisterhood as tight as mine is totally worth all the effort!

Family

I haven’t learnt much about family this year that I didn’t already know. The only new thing for me is learning to live independently.The need for balance becomes more and more vital. I have never met anyone who balances life perfectly, I don’t think that person exists. However you can tell by the different ways people juggle, where their priorities are.

My parents are my backbone and my biggest supporters.

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25th birthday meal with my beautiful family

Moving out has put a slight strain on our relationship because things aren’t as organic anymore. I have never  been in the position where I had to make an effort to see my parents because I was either at university or living at home.

Now I have to set aside quality time with them. No one likes to feel neglected or like second best. I definitely don’t. 

2018 will be about spending quality time with them and demonstrating why me moving out is a great thing. In theory space is the best way to remember all the good things about someone. In practice you need to make sure that the ‘space’ you are taking is only for a minute and not a decade.  

Work

I have been quite deflated at work recently. I am not enjoying my job the same way I used to and have experienced a many financial hiccups. It doesn’t help that I constantly compare myself to other people who have achieved more by a younger age and come down hard on myself for where I am. This isn’t a competition, there is plenty of time to achieve what I want.

Taking the time to save money and plan my next steps is NOT settling. There is no need to jump into something I am not ready for yet. Money is a necessity for most things so taking the time to make sure you are in a decent financial position before jumping into the next venture is not a bad idea.

The biggest thing I need to remember going forward is not to get comfortable. I am by nature a lazy person, who loves stability and knowing exactly what’s going to happen next. Sometimes this is a great way if thinking, but other times this can really hold me back. I second guess every new move, and think critically about every way it effect life as I know. Knowing change is a good thing and actually being accepting of change is not the same thing. 

Change is great, staying the same is impossible. I must learn to seek change and accept it when it comes. 

 

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Team Christmas dinner ’17

Grudges

Letting go of grudges is a difficult one. I am not the most stubborn girl in the world but when I know I am right and you were way wrong, my automatic instinct is to separate myself from you. This is hard one because I don’t want to hold on to unnecessary negative feelings. It’s like dragging around dead weight. 

However I do acknowledge that this behaviour is not beneficial for anybody. Communication is key and in some ways I feel that distancing myself can be quite unfair. How can issues be resolved when the other party are not even aware there is an issue?

I am drawing a blank on this one. I had no actual solution to how to get over these feelings. Grudges come from a place of deep hurt and rage, tied up in 101 reasons of why.

There is one difficult conversation I must have before I know how I feel in the issue. Sometimes you find the answer by actively seeking it. Hopefully this is one of those times. 

People

No matter what positive effect you think you have on someone, you can not change them. Change comes from within, and it comes from a deep wanting of change. As I have said before – I am no-one’s mother. If you are having a problem, it is your duty to resolve it. In the past I have driven myself insane trying to change people. Trying to inspire them to do better and be better. I failed sometimes because this is not my job. Where I have succeeded was ultimately not my doing. People change because they want to. All the massive changes I have made to myself are because I wanted to.

The only life I have control over is mine. I decide whats next for me. My physical and emotional health is my main priority.

That’s not to say there is no room in my heart for anyone else. I can still be a good, positive person by jodie and mehelping where I can. I can continue to encourage, advise and support the people around me. The decisions that they make comes from them. 

 I have also learnt not to allow anyone to hold me back. And to not be held back by myself. When you are at the end of your days and you look back on all the choices you have made, the worst thing will be not pursuing what you wanted to because of someone else. The people in your life should be encouraging you to go after all your dreams.  

 You hear of people giving up on their ambitions to accommodate someone else without the person even knowing! Have faith, and trust in your loved ones. They are there to help you get over your fears. They are there to scream over that voice in your head saying ‘you can’t do it.’ 

 Most importantly be the hero to your own story. Encouragement from others is great, but how much does it mean if you don’t believe in yourself. Be your own cheerleader and biggest fan. The only thing holding you back is your own imagination! 2018 can be an amazing year if you want it to be. Will it be perfect? No. Nothing is. But it can be a year filled with more highs than lows if you want it to be. If you work hard for it to be.   

Quitting your job and moving to the other side of the world isn’t as easy as people make out it is. However if it’s what you want it can be done. Tomorrow you may decide that you want to be a doctor. Yes it’s takes years of studying and super hard work. However the decision to do it is that easy. As long as you are prepared to follow through. 

As for me

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Photo Credit – Alisha Dandy http://instagram.com/alishadandy

this year overall has been a good one. However I do get complacent easily. I need to take my own advise and make that next bold move. I have an idea of where I want to go, now for the following through..

So goodbye 2017, bring on the Christmas dinners, gallons of mulled wine and epic NYE celebrations.  

2018 I’m ready for ya 😉 

Also a big shout to Ineffabless UK for this beautiful silver bangle they sent me!


Click the picture which will link you to this bracelet. If you want to have a deeper look at their website – http://www.ineffabless.co.uk. Everything is affordable and so pretty!

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

 

Sadness

So as you can probably tell this 31 day challenge isn’t going very well..

Instead I have decided to continue on with this series with the subtraction of the time restraint. Writing about emotions is more difficult than I imagined it to be, with a lot of the darker emotions becoming more and more challenge to discuss.

However just because something is challenging doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it so this post is going to be about sadness.

Sadness is an emotion of have come across a lot in my life. I would like to say it is a very temporary emotion but it can take a life time fending off. The reason why I often say ‘happiness is an inside job’ it because sadness, anger  and grief isn’t. I initially created this blog to ward off those feelings.

Sadness takes no work, and no effort. Being sad is easy, almost like a job where no experience is necessary.. you can start right away. Why is this the case? Why does it take me daily positive affirmations, lots of work and lots of effort to be happy?

The simple answer is I don’t know. It is easy for me to fall into a pit of sadness. It is for my mind to make all sorts of nonsense that will in turn make me sad. It is for me to hold a magnifying glass over all the flaws and holes in my life. It is easy for me to see the bad in people and myself whilst completely ignoring the good. It is super easy for me to stay in bed all day, watching shitty soaps and movies and cry about why my life isn’t like that.

What comes easy isn’t always right.

As easy as it is, it also so painful. There is a good reason why you resolve to not let sadness rule your life. It’s no fun. Sadness is like leech or vampire. It sucks up everything good. What is left is just a hole, a shell of your former self. A shell no one wants to invite out, a shell that no one will hire, a shell that no one will love.

Moments of pure joy and happiness are our biggest tools to combat this feeling. Whether you are sat sharing an inappropriate joke with your best mate, having a cuddle with your partner or eating dinner with your family – you experience a few moments of bliss. A second or two where that hole is no more. That smile on your face is real and your brain momentarily forgets about your woes.

In these moments it is all worth it.

This time last year I was awfully sad. I had resigned myself to nothingness. I had no hope of a better life. I was going to be unemployed and living with my parents forever. But an experience change my mindset. I began to chase after those joyful moments. I decided that happiness was an inside job, a job I am more than willing to dedicate my life to.

Ever since then I have been running. Running towards happiness, running towards those amazing moments. I have been planning. Planning on staying this way. Planning my next moves – now that I have found happiness, how will I be holding on to it? I have been still. I have stopped and started enjoying life. I have been calm and accepted that I cannot control everything. But as for now, I am happy. The moment is here and I am going to bask in it.

Sadness is not far away, it is lurking behind every corner. That is okay. Sometimes it will come. But if I have anything to do with, it definitely will not be staying.

I know for everybody it is not as easy as warding off a feeling. The sadness runs a lot deeper than my own experience of it. I know a bit about mental illnesses such as depression but not enough to talk about. Finding peace does not come easy. It is okay to not be okay. . You and your feelings are important and valid, and your life is worth so much. There are people trained to help you find your peace. Nothing says you have to find it alone because you are not alone.

www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/getting-help

Stay Bliss, Laura

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Trust

Trust is moral currency.

You word and your honor are two things – the human traits that decide your value.

Trust is one of those things that no matter how many tangible, worldly things you have to offer, it can make and break your social standing.

We always remember the people who blabbed your secrets to the entire school or who told that one person the thing you told them not to. I’m not proud to admit that I have occasionally been that person, still racked with the ‘why didn’t I keep my big mouth shut’ guilt. We have been there, right?

As you grow up having those people in your life you can tell anything to becomes more important. You never pray for the worst to happen but you do have that person who you know you can tell it all to. This becomes a necessary criteria when making friends.

Do they like the same music I do? Do they love the same food I do? Can they be trusted? Not necessarily in that order.

Trust begins to mean different things as time goes on. It becomes less about can I trust you with my secret, and more about can I trust you with my feelings?

When a friend comes to you with a private thought the first step is making sure you don’t tell. However it as equally important to make them feel comfortable and not judged. The worst feeling ever is when there is a massive problem in your world which someone just shrugs of. Hearing ‘get over it’ or ‘I have bigger problems than you’ is to me a breach of trust.

It is true hearing someone complain about how much they hate their job for the millionth time (me) or how their hair is doing that weird thing again (also me) or about their ex they are going to get back together with in approximately 2 minutes can be a drag. However many problems that you have may also seem like a drag to others. What you needed at the time was a trusting ear and a safe place. Trust means being that safe place.

Trusting someone with your heart is another big one. It takes a lot to bring your guard down and be vulnerable for another person. Intimacy is a beautiful thing to share with someone and in the right hands in can be an amazing experience. However we all have heard the horror stories of people who decide to betray that trust – normally for revenge. To me this is the biggest crime that can be committed against trust. That also goes for the highly unwanted but familiar feeling of heartbreak. Losing that intense line of trust can be heart wrenching.

Trust is a complex subject. I am fortunate to have a support system made up of friends and family who I can completely trust and rely on. Trust was a difficult subject for me to write about simply because it is something I never worry about. As life goes on your circle of friends gets smaller and tighter. I am 25 and am surrounded by people who I wholly trust, and who I hope can trust me.

Stay Bliss