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

 

 

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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

 

 

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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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

 

Distraction

Today I will talk about a topic I am way to familiar with and the reason I am 3 days behind on this challenge – distraction.

It takes a lot of effort for me to sit down and complete a task, all on my own. Even when I sit down to write which is something I love doing, I will defiantly get distracted and start doing something else before I am done a fair few times. For example just now rather than writing I decided that now was the perfect time to check the Ann Summer’s website…

I know I am the type of person to very easily get distracted, so I do lots of things in effort to combat that. I try to work quickly and set myself timed goals. I constantly remind myself of how important the task in front of me is to me. This blog for example, is entirely personal and so important to me. Me getting distracted is doing myself no favours. Me leaving that post half done means no new content.

Sometimes I get distracted into to not taking a risk. I go to try something new like applying for a new job but become distracted by the comfortable option. Why job hunt all day when I can binge watch project runway?

However when you get distracted from the goals you set yourself the only person your cheating is you. You haven’t gotten away with something, you haven’t let anyone down other than yourself. It is pretty harsh to be so harsh on yourself, but that is how you learn and get better.

You can also think of the super positive feeling of pride.

I sat down (first thing in the morning) and wrote my next blog post. I wasn’t in a crazy rush, I was able to take my time and figure out how I actually feel. I wrote a post that I am proud of and now I have the rest of the day left to do other things. I can do absolutely nothing if I wanted because I have completed the task of the day.

Nothing beats the feeling of being in control of your life and knowing that you are doing everything in your power to live better. When you know you are saving for your future, your job hunting so you can be happy, you writing daily therefore fulfilling your passion. Everything about your actions are in order for you to have the best.

Distractions are a normal and necessary part of life. They are life’s way of letting you know what is really important. How we deal with them is another thing. Tough love isn’t the worst thing, especially when you know how amazing it feels to follow through.

Distractions can also be good. A much-needed relief from a stressful situation. I’ve often talked about my best girlfriends – the sisterhood. Over the years we have perfected the beautiful art of distraction. Realising when of one of us is going into total meltdown – normal caused by over thinking or boys.

Sometimes you have to become that much-needed distraction for each other. Whether it’d be a cliché distraction like a girls night or just going to the cinema, we come up with creative ways to be there for each other. You know what people are doing when they are trying to distract you but you appreciate the effort nonetheless.

Relationships are also distractions at times which can be both good and bad. The toughest moments of our lives can be made slightly better when you are in a relationship. The feeling of having one person who is completely there for you and always thinking about you is amazing. There’s one person you can rely on to cheer you up and look after you.

I guess this can be a bad distraction is if you don’t think about much else. I tend to not get much work done when I’m at my boyfriend’s house. Not because he doesn’t let me or support me mainly because I really don’t want to. I’d much rather be watching a movie or chatting to him than writing. This is something I only realise when I get home and write!

In all honesty, I don’t really mind because this isn’t the worst problem to have. And it doesn’t explain me getting absolutely nothing done when he IS NOT around. I just need to be more disciplined and get my life admin done no matter what.

Delving into the different kind of distractions has made this a really interesting morning. More than anything I realise how much I distract myself. I can achieve a lot when I sit down and finish something.

 

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There ain’t no party like a pity party

‘There ain’t no party like a pity party’

..well this pity party has come to a much-anticipated end.

This last month has been a pretty rough one and I still can not put my finger on what was actually wrong.

What I can understand from it all, is that there was so much going on at the same shitty time. My work life, personal life and body all came to ahead and I was neck-high in a sea of emotions. The best way to describe is to say that I was drowning. Drowning in my negative thoughts and drowning in my immense workload. I was 100% focused on the negative, as I was only committed to thinking about how terrible I felt and how nothing would make me ever feel better.

This got me thinking about the different practical ways we get over a bad stint. It is impossible for us to be happy 100% of the times and entirely natural to go through prolonged moments of sadness. We all develop different ways of lifting ourselves out of these stress caves. It has been super interesting hearing different people’s’ tips and tricks for how they manage these.

One of the most popular suggestions was music.

 

Music is such a brilliant escape and has the power to really make you view your current situation in a better light. Some artists are born with the immense gift of getting others to feel what they feel. They somehow get you  to connect with them speaking to your heart as well as your soul. It can transport you to a different time of your life and give you the ability to look at your life through the artist’s lens.

I know for me personally music has always been the way I escape the stresses of the day. As soon as I get home from work its hair up and headphones on. I have an hour or two where I completely let myself go through the music that reflects my mood. I have to many cringey moments where somewhere has walked in on my dancing around like a  drunk butterfly and (trying to) hit the high-notes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs ‘Gold Lion’ – well, not very well! But I get over it because it does me a load of good and by the time I’m ready to take off my headphones I am in a much better place.

Another of the opinions I received was to have a reliable support system. I found myself in such a state that I forgot I could ask for help. I forgot that my friends and family have been there too. No two situations are the same but you truly realise how much your loved ones can relate to your struggle and that can be the key to you overcoming it. For example, my mother has worked in the NHS for 25 years. I often make the mistake of still seeing her as the authoritative figure in my life that still will tell me off for misbehaving. But as I grow into an adult our relationship has shifted slighty as she becomes more of a friend. After weeks of avoiding the subject of work for fear of being told to ‘stop misbehaving’ I finally cracked and told her everything. I told her that I was struggling with my workload and how mad at myself I was for feeling this way as this was all I ever wanted. What never occurred to me is that she’s actually the BEST person to ask anything about the NHS to. Well she of course gave me sound advice – ‘don’t worry, you’re a very new junior member of staff, you’re not accountable for any major mistakes you may make.’ After this I opened up to my girls, they also completely understood and some were struggling with their work to.

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The lesson I learnt from this is that I am not alone. There are so many people who are going similar struggles or have already been through them and have many wise words as to how they did.

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The most practical response I received was from a friend who keeps a CBT diary. From my understanding this is a form of cognitive therapy. The idea of it is to effect self-change by taking steps to change your process of thinking. You can read about it here.

It is honestly something I have never tried in this way, but I can do a great deal of help. You evaluate every situation deciding how you felt at the time and how you felt about your reaction. You can then use this as a tool for self-improvement. You can change they way you react in a similar situation the next time round and then evaluate whether the improvements made you and the outcome better.

Getting everyone’s opinions on how they pull themselves out of a bad funk was certainly insightful. Now having got through it and seeing things a bit more clearly the key thing I’ve learnt is that it’s okay to not be okay. More often than not you convince yourself that you’re being weird and dramatic and no one has time for you. When you push through this and swallow your pride and ask for help you wonder why you didn’t just do this to begin with. Realising that people not only relate to your struggle but can help you in ways they were once help is taking a proactive step to getting yourself better. In terms of your mental health the solution isn’t so simple. It becomes less about pulling yourself out of a funk and more about asking for professional help.

thinkingMy first thoughts on my very first post were ‘it’s always darkest before the dawn.’ As silly and cliché as this sounds, it is very true. I still am struggling but I am happier for taking the time to talk to people and write this as I work my way through it.

And I wish the same for you. I hope you are happy. I hope you are working through your struggles and doing everything it takes to make yourself happy. No one is above help and sometimes you can be happily surprised at the advice and support you may get.

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Day 11 – My 10 Favourite Songs

Day 11 of 31 day blogging challenge

10 Favourite Songs

Yesterday I stuck to my regular getting home from work routine. I get home, chuck my many layered coat on my floor, hang up my scarf and place my beenie hat on top of my draws. I tie up my hair and throw my big headphones on and spend the next hour dancing around my room like a lunatic. It’s the best stress reliever ever and by the time I go to bed I am truly drained.

I went on a bit of a binge yesterday – I listened to all my old favourite songs. I thought it’d be fun to list these as my favourite songs of the moment – so here we go. In no particular order…

1) Pixies – Hey

2) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps

3) Erykah Badu – On & On

4) D’Angelo – Untitled (How Does It Feel)

5) Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

6) Magic System – Premier Gaou

7) Nina Simone – Mississippi Goddamn

8) Jojo – Save my soul

9) Beyoncé – Dangerously in love

10) Raury – God’s Whisper

Challenges like this are so annoying because in an hour I’ll go ‘damn why didn’t I include that!’

Yesterday I also went to the cinema, can’t even remember the last time I went. I saw the most beautiful film called moonlight. I really do recommend it, it was so beautifully shot. The chemistry between characters was amazing, they didn’t need to say very much. Every look and touch spoke a thousand words. It was understated which made it so beautiful. It was about a boy growing up in hard circumstances and how he survives. It was money well spent, and a trip to the movies that was well worth it! I’ll definitely be buying the DVD when it comes out 🙂

Stay Bliss, Laura

Day 8 – What am I currently reading?

Day 8 of 31 day blogging challenge

What are you currently reading?

I am going to interpret this question as what books and magazines are you currently reading. The reason for this because I haven’t started a new book or bought a magazine in the longest time. Yesterday on my way home from work however I discovered a iBook on my phone which I had purchased ages ago.

The book is The Ladykiller by Martina Cole.

“George Markham has a nastymartina cole.jpg little hobby, one that erupts into an orgy of vicious sexual depravity.
Patrick Kelly is a hard man. His one soft spot is his daughter, and when she falls victim to the Grantley Ripper, Kelly wants revenge.
The DI in charge of the case is Kate Burrows. She feels for Kelly but her growing involvement with a known villain is putting her career at risk . . . As the forces of law and order and London’s underworld converge in a huge manhunt, Kate fears she’ll lose everything she’s ever cared about . . . to the ladykiller.”

So far I am only 33 pages in and Martina is doing a great job of painting a picture of very depraved individual with sexually violent urges. I have been totally engrossed by this book – I almost missed my stop! I decided on this novel as I am a fan of Martina Cole and crime novels. The first book of hers I read was Dangerous Lady and it was a page turner from beginning to end. It was about a woman called Maura who ended becoming the unlikely queen of England’s gangland. I think the concept speaks to most woman’s fantasy of being a badass chick. The woman who men and women fear but are also are in love with. The woman that commands respect wherever she goes.

I do not have much to say about The Ladykiller at the moment as I am so early in. I can sense that it is going to get very twisted and intense. I’ll be sure to do a review post about it once I am done to update you on my thoughts.

So onto the magazines. A massive sign that my life is doing ok is when I indulge in a magazine. You know my life is doing great when I treat myself to a subscription! The magazine that I will always go back to is Psychologies. It is like a grown up, mature and collected paper version of Stay Bliss. It has tips on staying positive, dealing with toxic relationships and shows you how to take care of your mind, body, spirit and gut. There motto is ‘be stronger, wiser, happier.’ It is one of the few women’s magazines that isn’t just trying to sell us yoghurt.. or concealer.

So that is all for today. Can I just say that I am loving this challenge. Writing a piece everyday has been more rewarding than I could ever imagine. It’s going to get tough over the next couple of weeks as my life is going to get super hectic. I will continue to write though. Stay Bliss is the small moment of calm for me, always.

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Day 7 – Earliest Memories

Day 7 of 31 day blogging challenge

What is your earliest memory?

Eeek! Every since my first read through of these challenges I’ve been trying to recollect my first solid memory. Maybe this is too hard?

Since the day I was born my mother has always worked as PA / secretary in big swanky offices in London. This meant it was so much easier for her to send me to a nursery around her workplace so she could drop me off and pick me up on her way to and from work. I ended going to this wonderful nursery called St ‘insert name here’ in Waterloo. So I have totally forgotten what it was called but I remember my journey there with my mum and the warm feeling I had once being there.

There is so many images that come to mind when I think of being a carefree toddler in what felt like the most amazing place in the world. I remember making chocolate krispy treats with all my little friends, and singing my favourite tunes at circle time. I remember sharing a blanket with my best friend at nap time. I remember being so full of energy once waking up and ready to start all over again with my buddies.

It’s a shame that I don’t remember who they are anymore but I hope they look back on the memories as fondly as I do.

I initially started writing about my nursery times because of one key memory. All the other memories came flowing out. The memory is off the pastry shop down the road where my mum used to take me when I was good. Or when she was hungry. The smell of the freshly baked bread and cakes always invited me in. The colour of the different pastries and cake toppings completely engrossed me. There were multicoloured sprinkle topped cupcakes, the biggest most sugary fresh doughnuts, coconut and jam layered sponge-cakes and so much more. My mum used to lift me up on to one of the high tables so I could see the pastry masters at work. It was so busy, I think everybody in the city used to love that place. My absolute favourite used to be the iced finger buns. They were so sweet and buttery and were iced in lots of different colours. Whenever I am in the area I have a look for my favourite pastry shop. I believe the last time I had a look it had been shut down but I can’t be sure of that.

It is so funny how we archive memories such as these. It has been an amazing experience re-living this memory. I think about the lovely friends I made, the nursery workers who looked after me so well, the chefs who fed me the most delicious iced buns as my first delve into a blissful existence. I know there is no way I can be absolutely care-free as an adult. I have certain responsibilities now. However I can remember how it felt to live in a world full of positivity, light and freshly baked pastry.

I can aspire to feel that feeling again.

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Day 5 & 6 – The BEST advice I have ever received

Day 5 and 6 of blogging challenge

What is the best advice you have received?

So due to the nature of day 5 and 6’s challenges I decided to mesh them into one post. Also something I discovered that I really need to work on, is making time to write on the weekend. When I have spare time at work, writing a post comes very naturally for me. However when it comes to the weekend I’d rather lay in bed nursing a hangover and catching up on Nashville then dedicate time to my much-loved blog. This week I am ready for day 11 and 12! I won’t let my blog or this challenge suffer because I’m procrastinating, I shall be super prepared 🙂

So on with the challenge..

Wow this is a very difficult question, especially as I am young woman trying to figure out how to live my life. I get advice from my elders, my friends and my colleagues on a daily basis as I recognise that I do need constant reassurance that I’m doing okay. Sometimes I know what the best decision is or I know that I’m on the right track but I need to hear someone else say it to me! With all this being said, I believe the best piece advice I’ve received is also the first advice I have a recollection of. Know your self-worth.

My life completely changed the moment I started to value myself. With all the growth and the self-improvement I have been doing lately it can all be traced back to the moment I began to value myself. Everyday I tell myself that I am important, beautiful and a good person. I tell myself that I can do whatever my mind can conceive if I work hard.

Okay this all sounds very cliché and cheesy, and our brains try to block out those cheesy sayings you hear all to often. But as I’ve grown up and come into contact with different people the first thing you notice is how much someone values themself. How much they stand strong in their opinions and beliefs, and how little they let the opinions of others – be it their peers or the media affect the image the have of themself. You also really notice if someone self-worth is tied to another person. If someone only values themself as much as they are valued by a loved one.

Do not get me wrong, I am all about the love. Seeing a loving couple so connected to each other is a beautiful thing. Of course your partner’s opinion will be very important to you. But you notice when after a bad relationship your self-worth was shattered that your ex’s opinion was the be all and end all for you.

Valuing one’s self is a lifelong journey. Things like heartbreak and rejection play a big part in a wobble in of self-confidence and value. But with all things you keep moving forward. You keep remembering everything good about yourself, and find a shoulder to cry on when you are having a wobble. You also remember how this feel and make sure you shoulder is extended to your loved one when their self-value is on shaky grounds.

Stay Bliss, Laura

DAY 4 – Favourite Blogs & Vlogs

Day 4 of 31 day blogging challenge

5 favourite blogs

So day 4 has had to be re-uploaded on day 5 due to many problems with the links in the description. No need to worry I will keep continuing and know for next time to plan these hyperlinked posts way ahead of time!

I have chosen interpret this challenge as ‘5 favourite blogs and vlogs’ as there a several YouTube channels that I am obsessed with. This list is no particular order, it is just my selection of online favourites.

1 – https://www.youtube.com/user/mmabutternut
I absolutely adore Mark and Ethan and fell in love with their vlogs since the day I came across them on YouTube. They are all about positivity, healthy living and adventures. Both Mark and Ethan are exceptional film makers and every vlogs is filled with cinematic shots – almost like mini life films. There energy is so infectious which is why when you start watching them you can’t stop. Yup I am defiantly a member of the Methan fan base!

2 –  https://seperateperspective.wordpress.com

So separate perspective is a blog created by my very close friend a while ago. I love reading his work as he is a beautiful and eloquent writer. If you don’t know him personally his posts invites you into his mind as he makes it his mission to get the readers to relate to his everyday struggles. He mixes real deep topics with he unique sense of humour to create this amazingly addictive blog!

3 – YouTube Mari Lil

So I have been subscribed to Mari Lil for a couple of years and just love her energy and humility. Mari Lil is a beauty, fashion and lifestyle YouTuber from the US. I take her tips on how to manage natural hair. I also love watching the little pieces of her life she shares with her audience.

4 – YouTube Anitta Black

Another beauty and fashion guru, I have been watching miss Anitta religiously since her first video. Also another friend of mine, I love her humour and her style of beauty. Nothing she uses is to expensive, yet she always ends up looking so glam!

5 – Foodie Blogs

This is one I need help with. I need some of your best foodie blogs because I’m looking for one to make my own! I have no-one at the moment I read consistently but I am looking! Any ideas?

Until later on today haha

Stay Bliss, Laura

DAY 3 – Why do I blog?

Day 3 of 31 day blogging challenge

Why do you blog?

The reasons I started blogging are different to the reasons I blog now. So let’s start with why I started to begin with.

On February 25th last year I was in a completely different place, mentally and physically. I was lacking a sense if purpose which at the time was tied into not having a job. My life was at a standstill. I wasn’t moving backwards or forwards. At the same time my friends were trudging forward with their life. I was also battling with a really bad ankle injury which made life that little bit more difficult.

However despite going through this difficult time something weird happened. I found all this motivation and positive energy from somewhere. It was immediately after I went on an employment boot camp which completely changed my outlook on the way I was choosing to live my life. I decided at the moment that I had to do something. Looking for jobs was draining but eventually I would find one and that worry would be over. In the meantime I could change the feeling of purposeless by creating a new purpose. That is when I created stay bliss.

I started to blog to help dig my way out of the hole I called home for way to long. I starting blogging to confirm to myself that I was ready to start trying again. I was ready to implement positivity into my everyday life. Things were getting better from the moment I started believing that it would.

So now I have different reason, different motivations and my purpose has shifted. I blog now because I fell in love with it. I blog now because I have seen what a difference it can make speaking good things into fruition. The feedback has been amazing and I love the idea that my words can help other people to. It is a surreal feeling being able to look back at your past posts and see how far you have come.

I haven’t reached all of my goals yet. There is still so much I want to accomplish and there is still so much life I need to live. If I am asked this question again in a year I’m sure my reasoning will have changed again. For now the there is a simple answer for this question.

I blog because it changed my life. I blog because it makes me happy. I blog because I love it.

Stay Bliss, Laura

DAY 2 – Stay Bliss – A definition

DAY 2 of 31 day blog challenge

Meaning of your blog name?

So what’s the meaning of stay bliss and where did it come from?
Like many bloggers before me I struggled with naming this blog. Once you have decided on a concept it is very important to find a name that matches it. I wanted to stay away from a blog with ‘positive’ in the title as I thought this might imply that I have been trained in human behaviour or motivational speaking.

Stay bliss for me is a concept. It is a way of living your life and dictates how you choose to deal with life on a day-to-day basis. Staying bliss is living a life for you. A life where your happiness is the most important of things. Happiness and wellbeing are like plants, they need love, care and a good environment to enable it grow and reach its full potential. So essentially we are plants!

Life can be incredibly tough especially when it feels like you are experiencing more battles than triumphs. The answer to how you stay motivated, balanced and above it all is still unknown to me. One day I think I have all the answers and do the victory dance because I  have figured out how to smash this life stuff. Alas the next day this all goes out of the window. I am forced to re-evaluate and relearn how to stay bliss. However these fundamental life nuggets to come back to really help with the journey.

There is something therapeutic about writing all your thoughts down. Stay bliss for me means giving myself the talk that I was avoiding. Hearing all those cliché sayings that are cliché for a reason. It’s visually seeing the juxtaposition between what you want to think and what you know you should think. Most of the time we know we shouldn’t give up. We know that the right career, house, love is all obtainable as long as we work hard. We may feel alone but we know our friends and family are there to support us. We just choose not to harness this support.Sometimes you need a read a sentence you have written to yourself – ‘SNAP OUT OF IT!’
It’s hard to argue with me..

One of my goals in life is to always stay bliss. And to keep encouraging others to stay bliss to. It is crazy how much your energy and outlook shape your whole life. As soon as you try to keep up your positivity and apply it to every situation things really DO start to become better. As I say time and time again, happiness is an inside job. THIS is the meaning of stay bliss.

Until day 3…
Stay Bliss, Laura

 

 

 

31 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE – DAY 1

Day 1 – Intro and a recent photo

So for the next 31 days I will be trying my best to participate in a 31 day blog challenge. When stay bliss first began I had no idea how much I would enjoy it let alone be willing to do a blogging challenge!

me-recent
Most recent photo..

I chose this challenge because I love the idea of having to write about something everyday and this is a big chance for me to develop. At the moment I can only write a post when I feel like I have something worthwhile to say. This may sound good but when I am feeling uninspired for a few months (e.g. 0 posts in september) this can have real effect on me and my blog. Challenging myself to write everyday will hopefully enable me to focus and motivate myself when it comes to writing instead of always waiting on that feeling. If there are any writers or bloggers  out there reading this, I invite you to do this challenge with me! If you express yourself through a different medium you may want to try looking for a challenge that suits you. There are tons of different ones you can find on the internet and you can tailor them to suit your style.

The one I have chosen is quite mature – there’s literally a question in there about kids! But the general feel of the challenge fits quite nicely with stay bliss so I will just be substituting the challenges that don’t apply to me 🙂

31

Until day 2…

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Perspectives on a birthday

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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.

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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!

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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

Look to the horizon

So this is just a quick post to say that there’s a lot of new things to come. (Yay!)

I have been absolutely loving this blog, it has fast become my baby and I have been looking for new and exciting ways to develop it. The biggest thing I am in the process of planning is a couple photoshoots with some photographer friends of mine. On every post I try to use a featured image that captures the gist of the message of the post. I thought going forward, it would be a good idea if these images were mine. So be prepared for a lot photos of me looking off into a dreamy landscape or indulging in cup of coffee or even typing away on my laptop.

You don’t need to wait for the new year to have a new start. From the moment I started my new job I decided to reinvent myself. I am going to do all the things I’ve always wanted to do but let fear and procrastination stop me. I want to make some new friends (you can never have to many close friends right?) and also enrol in a couple of college courses. For to long I let the fact that university didn’t go to well for me dictate where I could go in life. I thought ‘I don’t have a degree so I will always be a the bottom.’ FALSE. I can do whatever my mind can concieve as long as I put the work in. So can you.

Photoshoot, creative writing course, photography course etc. I can do and will do it all – not for anyone else, for me.

So here’s to the start of a weird and wonderful ‘stay bliss’ adventure. Maybe one day I’ll meet a partner and add to the happiness I have already established for myself. For today I say I am happy. It took a lot of work, many ups and down but I am.

If you are not there’s no need to worry. Believing in yourself and making yourself happy is the hardest job in the world. However it is the most rewarding and a job that will carry on forever. Allow yourself to wallow for a while, keep holding on and celebrate all your wins. When you reach a moment of happiness, embrace it! Hold on to it and celebrate yourself for letting sunshine into your life. Look to your loved ones for support and look into yourself for the motivation to keep going. Be honest with yourself and hopefully at the very end you can congratulate yourself on a job well done.

I’ve changed domains – staybliss.blog (it’s got a ring to it) 🙂

Stay Bliss, Laura

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

Stay Bliss

So I have considered starting a blog for a long time now but due to not having anything major going on in my life I decided against it. After what has to be a very eventful weekend where I spent most of it consoling a friend over many bottles of red wine I realised it’s okay to be sad and talk about it. And Stay Bliss was born!

Do not get me wrong, I am not saying that is okay to spend ALL of your time miserable and wallowing but it is okay to find yourself in a sucky situation and just exclaim ‘this sucks!’ Take me for example, I pretty much flunked out of university because I spent most nights downing jägerbombs and more wine (surprised?!) rather than studying. Then did a stint of work at WH Smiths which let’s just say wasn’t for me. I found myself so stuck and desperately wanting to commit to a job to change my life.

After many job interviews, signing up for the doll and two-week employability course that encouraged a change of mind-set (negative to positive) I was ready. Ready to change my attitude, ready for a career, ready to seriously think about future. I was more positive than ever, my CV looked great, I was confident and ready to land my dream job.

Life doesn’t happen when you are ready I figured out the hard way. Yes I am ready for a career but no one seems to be ready to hire me. Interview after interview, application after application eventually turned into rejection after rejection. My positivity dwindled as I tried so hard to put a brave face on – ‘yeah I didn’t get that job. Sucks but hopefully I’ll get one soon eh?!” Even though I was being continuously hit with rejection and would not allow myself to feel sad by throwing myself into another interview or job application.

And after the eventful weekend where a close friend had a particularly bad one, I found myself dolling out advice. “It’s okay to be sad and angry.” “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” “This situation really sucks but I know, and you’ll be okay – better than okay.” I was saying anything I could to encourage my friend, to make sure she knew she had my support and she was stronger and bigger than her situation. Of course it didn’t fix it, but it helped her and it helped me knowing I helped in some way. Then I found out the latest apprenticeship I had applied for had decided that they actually had no need for an apprentice. That was it. Last Straw. Breakdown.

“Remember what you said to me, it’s okay to be sad and angry, just don’t let it stop you from trying.” Even though that was probably one of the saddest days I have had in a long time, letting myself feel all of this sadness I had been harbouring was such a liberating feeling. It wasn’t fair. I have been trying so hard to get a job and it isn’t fair that I keep getting rejected. And that’s okay! I told myself how awful that day was and let myself feel angry and upset for every single second it.

That how it goes sometimes. Life sucks and sometimes it will beat you down. But you just have to say okay, I am going to stay down and wallow down here today. However first thing in the morning I’m going to get up and hit right back! I will motivate myself all over again. I am going to remember that I am talented and capable and eventually things will work out. The way the always have and will 🙂

So this is what Stay Bliss will be about. My little nuggets of finding and maintaining happiness and peace of mind. Happiness for me also does equal food so you can expect some foodie posts as well!

I dedicate this, my first post to Annie – it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Stay Bliss, Laura

P.S Bring on my next job interview on Monday!