The Search For Clarity

Stay Bliss turns 3 today and I couldn’t be happier! I have had the most amazing time writing this blog and it is shocking how far I have come since my first post.

My life has changed so much for the better and I believe part of the reason for that is this blog. Being able to write down everything I’m feeling, the good, the bad and the ugly – has been the most therapeutic thing I have ever done. I really do encourage you to find a creative outlet because it helps you work through most things.

For the last few weeks my mind has focused on one topic… when is enough enough?

Even the strongest person who knows to their core who they are, can get caught up in someone else’s life. When you love with all your heart, you take on the triumphs and stresses of another person. Then you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by problems that with hindsight are not really your problem. The selfish part of me, becomes obsessed with being the hero in this story, I so badly want to swoop in and save the day.

So, when is enough enough?

The first thing I need to do is take a big step back. Being overwhelmed with someone’s else stress is comparable to being blasted with blaring music 24/7. It exhausts you, you become so tired and sleep is not making the music stop or go away. You need to step away from the music, close your eyes and rest. Clarity is the best thing for these situations, and taking a step back enables you to make decisions a lot more logically as you are now able to see everything for what it is.

The next thing is to get honest with yourself. Remember who you are, what you stand for and what you need. Is what you currently have making you happy? Are you being supported and constructively challenged? Is this still your happy place? Hopefully with time and clarity these questions become easier to answer. However answering honestly may not produce the answers you desire.

Now you have gathered all this information. Now you have taken a step back and are well rested, weightless. What are your next steps?

This is where my mind draws blank. I need the time away to be able to know this. Nothing is set in stone, you will never know how you are going to feel. Anything can happen, but you will know exactly what you are doing when it does. The time you spend on your own, completely freeing your mind from any and all obligations you are not sure you signed up for will mean that you are ready for the next steps – whatever they may be.

This realisation can be daunting, especially the idea of facing the unknown. This is all I know, how will I cope without it?

Remember who you are and all the amazing things that make you. Look at your support system, you have network of people looking out for you. Look at those dreams your wrote down on a little piece of paper a long time ago. Have you achieved any and if so have you properly celebrated? Have you given it any thought, you are achieving and checking things off your internal checklist!

Most importantly be your own hero. You can go on someone else’s journey with them but you can’t change it. Their journey is theirs, and yours is yours. Focus on yours because if you don’t nobody else will. With time you’ll come to understand whether or not your paths align. In the meantime focus on swooping and saving your day! 

This has been the hardest and most personal post I’ve ever written. My goal never is to offend, but to write the hard truths I’ve been avoiding out in black and white. I know now more than ever who am I but I’m not sure if that is who I’ve become. I know that I’m proud of myself for finally succumbing to this realisation. I’m also immensely proud of Stay Bliss. This blog continues to help me through so much and hope is helping someone else out there also.

Happy 3rd birthday Stay Bliss! ❤

2 0 1 9 baby!

In 2018 I learnt to believe in the power of trusting the journey. Life gets so hard and confusing sometimes. At many points of the year I felt stuck. Trapped in a job I didn’t like, confined to a living situation I wasn’t suited to, stuck accepting things in my personal relationships that I just didn’t want. Trusting the journey is understanding that everything happens for a reason, your next steps might take you to an unfamiliar place. I knew exactly what things needed to change and tried desperately hard to change it. To no avail it felt like at times. Just keep trusting.

I am doing everything I can, at some point things have to break my way.

Things did.

I am starting 2019 off on an incredible note. I am living in a beautiful house with a group of my closest friends. I have a job that I love, I have finally broken into the communications sector! My relationship is also on the right track. In 2018 I found peace of mind. I had to come to the uncomfortable realisation that I was not in control. My friend sat my down to tell me she had noticed that I wasn’t being myself. I was struggling alone, fighting my battles solo. When you don’t ask for help it becomes you normally convince yourself that you are okay. I’m handling it, I have it all under control. I had to be told that I was in fact doing the opposite – completely shutting down and putting a wall up. This revelation hit me like a ton of bricks. I was down and cut people out for a number of days. However, stepping out of denial was the best thing I could have done. When you are aware that there is a problem you can begin searching for a solution. My solution was to vocalise. Say exactly how I was feeling to the people who needed to hear it the most. Spare no detail, spare no feelings – this was about my sanity and my peace of mind. I had the best night’s sleep once I did this. I know what I want now more than ever. I know what energy I will allow into my life and I am will do anything to keep this peace.

In 2018 I made a plan. I was very sure of the path I wanted to take career wise and I made sure I did. There were many twists and turns along the way, I could have taken a wrong turn multiple times, but I stayed focus. I faced a lot of rejection, some hit me harder than others, but I carried on. It is now 2019 and I am beginning to see the fruits of my labour. The wait and the struggle has all been worth it. Planning has helped me because there is now one notch I can cross of my list.

In 2018 I was inspired. I have been lucky enough to always find myself surrounded by powerful women who know exactly what they want from life. Throughout my biggest wobbles, I forever had strong woman beside me telling me to snap out of it. They would tell me that everything is going to work out great because they see me. They see how hard I am working and how much I wanted things to change. They also weren’t afraid to tell me off when I needed it.
“If you turn up to work late and don’t put in effort how do you expect anyone to take you seriously?!” I have watched women with a lot of determination and ambition for themselves setup amazing careers, projects and relationships. Seeing what they have done made me even more sure of what was possible. Observing these inspirational women pursue their goals made me want to do the same.

In 2019 I want to find some more inner strength. Certain aspects of my life is still a struggle. I want to find the inner strength and courage to truly follow my heart and always do what’s best for me. I know longer want to sacrifice my happiness for others. This will be the year that I really put myself first.

In 2019 I will strive ahead with my plan. It has got me this far but there is so much more I want to accomplish this year. I have a detailed timeline I’ve what I want to happen and when (in my head, maybe I should write it down) and I’m determined to make it happen.

In 2019 I want to make time for people. I’m not the best at making time for my family, often putting my needs before there’s. This year I want to make a real effort to take some quality time out of life to spend with them. My friends, family and boyfriend are my home.

In 2019 I will blog a lot more often! Stay Bliss means a lot to me and I have abandoned it lately. This year I want to post at least once a month. I find myself waiting for ques and ideas before I write. I would like to be able to start writing and see where it takes me!

Overall 2018 has been fantastic! I had some lows and some great highs. I am excited to see what happens in 2019 and I cannot wait to share my experience with you 🙂

Happy new year!

Stay Bliss,
Laura

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

 

 

Serenity

Serenity – The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. – Oxford Dictionary

Serenity and happiness go hand in hand.

I was recently thinking about what it means to actually be happy. That feeling of finally having the things you’ve wanted. That feeling can be somewhat unfamiliar and scary. It’s that realisation that you have nothing substantial to complain about. For the first time in a very long time things are going well. Because of this you should maybe step out of your bubble, become selfless and help someone who actually needs it. That thought alone is terrifying!

Serenity is a how I would describe the space I am in right now. Of course there are things that I still want, and things I hope to one day change. For the most part though I am happy. Serene even.

I have a tiny corner of London I can officially call my own. From the moment started blogging this is thing I have been talking about the most. Wanting my own space, some independence. Well now I have it!
The thing I am enjoying the most is being completely self-sufficient. Washing my own clothes, cooking my own food and keeping my space tidy. 3 things I notoriously despised doing until recently. I think it’s knowing if I don’t do these things the won’t get done. I am in complete control of my own quality of life. Scary but awesome.

I am pretty happy in my relationship to!

The one thing I want to change is my job. I have learnt so much this year as an apprentice. I’ve gone from being a complete baby, not knowing much about what it meant to work 9-5. Now I’ve gotten to a place where I’m ready for the next challenge. I guess that’s next in my journey for serenity.

I feel like finding serenity is trying to find total peace. It’s a super difficult task that isn’t always entirely possible. What is possible though is finding peace in life’s chaos. I think my life is pretty calm for the moment, it isn’t guaranteed to stay that way. There are many moments, relationships and new challenges to focus on.

Searching for serenity is like searching for happiness. Sometimes it comes easy and sometimes it’s hard work. Despite all the hard times, those moments of serenity makes it make sense.

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Trust the Journey

I am afraid that I will waste my life due to the bad decisions I made when I was younger. I fear that I will never know true passion for a job like others do. I am not perfect and cannot give everything 100% at all times. I don’t want to spend my time trying to be an adult and trying super hard to be good at what I do to have the small mistakes stack up against me. I fear that I am not always thinking important things through. Am I running with what my heart is telling me rather than listening to the logic and reason of my mind. Maybe my biggest dreams and goals won’t come true because I am not taking the correct risks. What are the right risks? Is there even such a thing as bad risks? I am afraid that I will never know what it is like to have someone be in love with me. Will always be ‘one of the gs’ Laura? Is that image I have in my head of me super happy and succesful just a fantasy? Is the reality a lot dimmer than that.

Trust the journey.

I obsess about everything. I over think everything.  Today more than any other day I have been really in my head. Stressing about the big changes I have decided to make and trying to figure out if these risks are going be worth. You learn a lot from failure but nobody WANTS to fail. I want the decision to move out to be a succesful one. I want the decision to go for a new job which is way above my level to be a succesful one.

I have been sat at my desk all day with a thousands thoughts flying through my head, almost to the point of tears. What if I don’t get the job? What do I do then? Is moving out a good idea right now? Also I have been beating myself up because have I a really gone out of my way to prove why this job should be mine?

Then I looked up. ttj2

I immediately calmed down and remembered why this is my mantra. Opportunities come everyday. A no does not always mean never. If I have made mistakes and failed to prove why I am the best then that’s a lesson for me. Meanwhile ‘no’ does not equal the end. Life does not wrap itself up once you don’t get something you want.

It carries on with it’s journey and shows you why things have to happen the way they happened. All you can do is try your absolute hardest and trust. Trust that the job you want will happen for you when you put the work. Trust that one day you will find love the same way everybody else has. Trust that the risks you take will pay off in a big way or teach you a valuable lesson.

Honestly I don’t know if taking the big step to move out of my parents house is the right thing to do right now. It might all blow up in my face and within a couple months I am back in my old room with a brusied ego, licking my wounds. Maybe it will work and this is it for me. A start of a new journey into adulthood. Either way I am doing because I believe I will regret more the things that I don’t even try.

I am doing it because I am trusting the journey.

I have tried to write this post a dozen times over the last few months but failed to properly communicate the meaning of this saying to me. Writing a list of the things I fear the most is the only way tpo describe it. These are the things I have to work as hard as I can at and then leave it to the universe.

I trust my heart and am guided by my reason. Whatever will be will be.

Stay Bliss,

Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 24 to 29 – My Thoughts on blogging

Day 24 to 29 of 31 day blogging challenge

Blogging

I’ve recently had yet another conversation with a friend about how much I love blogging. I have now come to understand that as many bloggers as there are out there, there is even more people who wish to blog but don’t know how to start. So far I have had quite a few friends tell me how much they love my blog and how much they would love to blog to.

So what is stopping you?

Probably the same thing that stopped me for the longest time. Does anyone really care about what I have to say? Is my life and my point of view interesting enough to the point where I can continuously engage readers? There are so many bloggers out there, as I good enough to part of them?

The answer is there is no answer. You will never know if you are good enough or if you can be a content writer until you give it a shot. The good thing about blogging is that it is completely free. The bigger your site grows is when you contemplate investing some of your own money. You can pay for your own website, plan photo shoots etc. The initial creation however is completely free. So the best way to start is to start.

As well as most things in life the key is self-belief. You need to believe that you do have something important to say and you have to trust in what you write. When I first started I had only a couple of views on each post, but I was blogging for me so it didn’t deter me. By no means am I saying that I’ve made it as super blogger, the more I continue the more people begin to notice me.

There are 101 tips out there about building your blog, gaining more traffic and all those things you’d love to experience as a blogger. For me the biggest thing is to stay real. Stay true to yourself and what you believe. Don’t let anyone make you water down your content. The more honest you are the bigger connection you make with your readers. It makes me happy when people tell me that they can relate to my words as they have once in their life found themselves in a similar situation.

I am able to reach new depths and find out things about myself I was consciously unaware of through writing all out on a post like this. Do it for you and for what you can gain by using a medium such as this one.

success means different things for different people. For me it means to do something you love; something that makes you happy; something that quickly becomes your passion.

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