Pain

Pain can be felt both as an emotion as well as a physical ailment. Often the two are mutually exclusive. For going through any physical distress such as a broken ankle will also bring forth an emotional response.

For me talking about the pain I have been in or am in is a very uncomfortable thing. Pain that is purely emotionally is often linked to my innermost shortcomings. It is hard to admit that you are in pain, even to yourself. I think this comes from the fear of being seen as weak, which I know is irrational. The truth is the posts that are deeply personal (the ones I’m afraid of writing, let alone publishing) are the ones most people relate to. These posts bring me the most joy because it helps me realise that we all go through the same things and have the same insecurities.

The most pain I have experienced recently coincides with the most happiness I have experienced. Relationships are a wonderful thing, and that feeling of being with someone who will literally do anything for you is hard to describe. Good, great, amazing – there, that’s how I would describe it. However, what do you do when you see that person in pain? What do you do if you’re powerless to stop it? And most importantly, how do you react if the person has the cure but chooses not to use it?

The super logical and rational Laura of a couple of years ago would have answers for that immediately. She saw things as black and white, good or bad, happy or unhappy. This is not the case anymore. That fact alone makes me happy. I have grown up and experienced the world in new and exciting albeit scary ways. Things aren’t so cut and dry and there is a whole lot of grey between the black and white that I didn’t know existed.

So what to do about the incredible highs and crashing lows? How do I proceed with this delicate cocktail of happiness and pain?

There is no right answer. There are pros and cons to every decision I make. It is up to me to weigh them up and decide what’s best for me. I have decided that I am way too happy to let a little bit of pain stop me. There is absolutely nothing perfect in this world, therefore to go hunting for perfection is a mission that is doomed to fail. I sometimes relate this to emotional self-harm, rejecting happiness at all costs looking for the thing that could make you happier. By this definition you have decided to never be happy and that’s not a good thing.

The tone of this post may have been quite cryptic. I guess the message that I’m trying to relay is – happiness is an inside job, but things are not always black and white. You can’t always control the situations life throws at you, however you can continue to put yourself first.

No matter what..

  1. I will stick to the plans I have for myself. I see myself somewhere in 2-3 years and I’m still focused on getting there.
  2. I will always have respect for myself, I am strong in who I am and I know what I deserve. I will never change my nature. Being kind, caring and a slightly hot-tempered woman is who I am. I will always be this way and nothing or no-one will change that.
  3. I will keep working on myself. As I always say it is hard work but a job totally worth doing.

Pain is inevitable. It is something that you don’t look forward but you always see coming. You live for you and that’s all you can do. The responsibility for another person’s pain cannot lie on your shoulders.

I have decided to continue to do my best by making the most out of those happy moments. For me it is worth it as the painful moments are few and far between. I never forget that I am number one. When I have those off days where I forget my worth, I am grateful for those loved ones that will always remind me.

Stay Bliss, Laura

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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

 

Day 31 – Final Thoughts

Today is the final day of this blogging challenge I embarked on 31 days ago.

It has been terrific, humbling and I discovered so much about my self and my outlook. I don’t often give my childhood and teenage years much thought, so it was lovely letting myself go there on quite a few of my posts.

I have come to the understanding that you don’t need to try so hard to be yourself. I thought about nothing other than ‘adulting’ recently. How to sort out my life and take the necessary next steps that adults should. I thought it was time to take on the responsibility of a home, rent, bills and all that adulty stuff. I decided that I was going to stay in the NHS because of the progression, the work I’m doing and the steady paycheck. I’m almost 25 for Pete’s sake, time to grow up!

I’ve decided that I’m sick of this attitude, and it was making me super stressed. Giving myself a deadline as to when this new, magical adult life needs to begin was making me ill with worry. How am I trusting the journey when I am already planning out what the destination looks like. I don’t have to be afraid of taking risks and making big decisions like going travelling or volunteering or going back to university full-time. You have the ability to start again at any point of your life. Your 20’s are for not knowing and figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life.

I am still going to be smart as I realise you need money to do anything. I am still going to work hard at my apprenticeship as this is my dream job. I am going to save up for the year that I am here so I am in a solid financial position by the end. That’s it. I have no plans to stay and no plans to leave. I am going to take as it comes and not be afraid to pursue the big risks that I have been fearful of.

I leave this challenge believing that anything is possible. With a positive attitude and a smart plan, we can achieve anything.

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I will be posting like normal again, but hopefully a lot more frequently and consistently!

If you have kept up with me throughout this month, or maybe just read or liked a post or two, thank you!

Talk soon,

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

 

Day 30 – The Penultimate Post

Day 30 of the 31 day challenge

SMILE – You deserve it!

So here I am on the second to last day of this 31 day blogging challenge.

This has been extremely difficult, different and a test of my ability. When I started I wanted to know if I could write everyday. And not only that, can I relate what I write to staying positive and bliss. Some days, especially lately I have wavered. I have thought there was absolutely no way I would be able to finish this. It has been time-consuming, physically and emotionally draining.

My biggest worry about creating and maintaining a blog was staying consistent. I was firm believer in not writing until I had something worthwhile to say. Sometimes I would have a solid month full of inspiration and topics I wished to discuss. Other times I just flat out refused to write. I didn’t want to write about a situation I was facing that was yet to come to its natural conclusion. I was in the midst of storm because and at that point everything I thought and said would be negative. So I held on until I had that moment of clarity. That ‘ahh ok, that’s how I will look at it’ moment.

This mindset I had been stuck has changed over this 31 day period. I realised this fully on ‘Day 22 & 23 – Dear Teenage me.” 

I reached into my psyche and really got honest with myself. I had no idea where that post was going when I started. I consciously had no idea that I even felt that way. It sounds so cliché but it literally came out on the post. My fingers typed what my mind wasn’t prepared to think about. It was from this moment I realised inspiration can come from anywhere. The world and your life doesn’t just hand you the next topic. Sometimes you have to inspire yourself.

I have been lucky enough to have so many inspirational people in my life. People who have fought their own unique battles. People with life experiences, relationship experiences, spiritual insight, the artistically minded and people who share my struggle. I was able to sit up with open ears and open mind to the tips, tricks and insights they have discovered on their journey and find ways to apply it to myself.

The biggest thing I have learnt though, is sometimes I have the answers. Sometimes I am the key, I can be the hero I have always looked and longed for. Day 24 taught me this – for the first time in a long time I wasn’t being completely self-critical. I addressed my flaws, my lessons and my triumphs. I let myself be proud because I have come a very long way from being that odd little girl I used to be.

So if there are any readers out there, I implore you to give yourself a break. You can flourish in so many different ways, not just by giving yourself a hard time. Let your mind take you somewhere you decided is off-limits. You are stronger than you let yourself believe and I promise you can handle it. In all those mistakes you made, the hiccups you have run into, there is a lesson to be learned. If you want to blog then blog! It as an amazing way to sort through your issues and you can visually see your journey from one train of thought to the next. The best way to start is to start!

Trust the journey you are on, keep your head up, keep working hard . Remember things are always difficult before they are easy. When it does become easy smile, you deserve it.

Until day 31, the final day

Stay Bliss, Laura

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Yay 1 more day to go!

Day 21 – Remembering My Travels

Day 21 of 31 day blogging challenge

Where have you travelled?

I travel solo for the first time ever in 2 days! I’m super excited and nervous about it although I’m also freaking out because I’m not prepared at all! I will definitely being writing a post about my time in Geneva, maybe I’ll even try putting together a vlog..  and make that YouTube dream into a reality?

Last summer I had the pleasure of going to Spain with a few of my girls. Getting there was horrific as we managed to miss our flight13 and had to travel miles away to a different airport to catch the next one. I spent  money that I didn’t have (I’m literally still paying my friend back to this day) and we had a what felt like a never-ending wait for our next flight. My ankle was still really injured so the girls had to wheel me around everywhere. Oh and we had no english money so spent the day at the airport starving! It was such a nightmare.

However the hell-ish journey there was totally worth the wonderful trip that it became. Sometimes as close as we are to each other, we don’t get real-time together which is why a holiday is the best place to reconnect. We had a lush time lounging around sunbathing, drinking slushy tequila sunrises and mimosas. We had great times dancing the night away, pounding tequila’s and taking late night excursions down to the beach. We sat around gossiping, telling each other our problems and making the most magnificent meals. We shared opinions, made 7plans, exchanged jewelery and sang(screamed) Blu Cantrell’s greatest hits.

It was abundance of love, booze, laughter, cigarettes, food and a few tears. One day we decided to take a day trip to Morocco, which wasn’t the best day to say the least. We were put in quite uncomfortable situations that day and were thrilled to get out of there. I’m not knocking Morocco though, the place and the culture itself was quite remarkable. When you are with your friends in a foreign place, you never feel unsafe or in danger because you know what ever happens they will have your back. So as much as we were all in agreement to leave Morocco and get back to a little temporary home in Malaga, it was lovely being able to leave arm in arm with smiles on our faces.

As much as I had holiday blues when I had to come back home and face my new reality, I left Spain completey content. I left with an even deeper love for my sisters, with a new plan for that section of my life and with some amazing memories.

There’s lots of reasons to travel. When I travel with my girls it’s for the purpose of finally having a chance to all let our hair down and enjoy each others company, with no distractions!

See below for evidence of good times had 🙂

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 17 – Work Life

Day 17 of 31 day blogging challenge

Where do you work?

I work for the NHS! If you live or have ever been to the UK, you may also agree that our healthcare service is by far one of the best things about our country. What you don’t understand as a patient or a loved one of a patient,NHS is just how much work goes into the NHS behind the scenes. There are services and departments you wouldn’t even imagine could be part of the NHS. People make the mistake of presuming the that NHS is just about doctors and nurses but the truth is in 2015-16 they added a further 1.6 million employees to the roster.

I was born with Sickle Cell Anaemia which is the second most common genetic blood disorder in the UK. This means I spend most of my life in and out of hospitals and doctor’s surgeries. I’ve spent more Christmas’s and new year’s in hospital than anyone should. However the wonderful and diligent help of all the staff meant that I didn’t let this get me down. When I did they were all there with smiles, laughs and one time a Bailey’s on ice to cheer me up! 🙂

My mother worked for the department of health for most of working life. So I was always in and out of fancy office and got to sit and watch first hand the amazing work I did. Whenever I had to skip school because I was sick my mum would take me to work with her. I’d sit on her swivel chair for hours with her label maker and was completely content. Her colleagues would stop by her office with little games, treats and tasks for me, I felt like a proper member of the department of health. When I was on holidays from school she would check me into the DOH summer school. I mingled and played with all the other NHS children while our parents were in different parts of the building working hard.

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted an office job, an NHS office job. This would baffle people when they received this as an answer to what do you want to do with your life. However what I’ve always wanted is to feel valued. I want the work I’m doing to have a positive impact on someone’s life. The NHS is the perfect place to accomplish this. I can climb the ladder, be given more and more responsibility and have a direct impact on the patient and staff experience.

This being said the NHS is notoriously hard to get into if you are not clinical. Before joining I pretty much had little to no office experience so I wasn’t even being offered any interviews for the hundreds of jobs I applied for. Then I started looking for apprenticeships because I figured this was the best way in. At the time I just really needed work, and applied for as many random apprenticeships as I could. This went on for a good 8/9 months, I was slowly losing the plot! Then suddenly out of the blue I was offered two different apprenticeships.. both NHS and the only NHS apprenticeships I’d applied for.

Was this fate? No. It was an absolute disaster which I covered in Let’s take it back and From Spain with love.

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Note to self – literally

However much of disaster it was it showed me that the NHS was where I was meant to be. I just had to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep onwards. I needed to find another apprenticeship within the NHS, one that worked for me. I had to set myself new goals and make sure I hit them and celebrate when I did. Week 8, that was my target, I had to make it to week 8. I had to prove to myself that I am smart and capable and I really can make something of myself.

So where do you work Laura? That was the question.

I am 4 months into an apprenticeship at one of the biggest hospitals in the UK. I am a liabusiness apprentice for one of the NHS’s many Education Centres. I support with collating the finances of the department, keeping a track of our income and expenses. I help and volunteer for as much after work activity as I can. Just yesterday I was a helper at our celebrating excellence awards, an evening where members of staff are celebrated and praised for their hard work.

I am in an incredible position at the moment, my world is my oyster. For the first time ever I have a purpose, I have a goal. The biggest lesson I’ve learnt over the past 4 months is – trust the journey.

No matter what happens, whether I’m kept on permanently or whether I start looking for a job again but with 12 months experience, I know I have worked the hardest I ever have.

And that’s something I’m proud of.

ttjStay Bliss, Laura