Know when to say no

Sticking to your guns can be incredibly difficult. Especially when all the signs point to something you don’t want to do. When you find yourself in a difficult situation it can be so tempting to take an unattractive way out. To settle because anything seems better than what you have got.

I recently found myself in this predicament. I am currently pursuing a career in marketing and unrelated job popped up. A job I can definitely do and am pretty much doing. A massive step up in the wrong direction. Something weird happened though. I said no and was steadfast in my decision. I had one of those hard conversations with myself.

No more.

NO

No more doing things I don’t want to do just because. How will I ever find the perfect opportunity if I’m always second guessing myself and running towards whatever is just merely available. It is time for me to get serious about my life and career and ONLY go for jobs I’m passionate about.

This was a massive step for me as I am normally plagued with confusion and self-doubt. It doesn’t help that I’m barely making ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck but I’m proud. I’m proud that I went with my gut and kept the promise I made to myself.

One lesson I’ve learnt through these posts is that things WILL change for the better, they always have. There always comes a point when you question your movement. Will I ever move forward and out this? When you feel this way rewatch the movie of your life. Identify the many times where you felt this way but you overcame. Let that encourage you to keep pushing on even when it seems hopeless.

Learning when to say no can also be applied to the rest of my life. It is important lesson that I had to learn. Not everything that glitters is gold and if you are unhappy about something you have the right to say something. You have the right to say no more.

You control your situations and you control the energy you allow to be around you. You don’t have to settle because ‘this is the best it’s going to be.’ Who says?!

Whether it’d be about your career, friendships, relationships, you get to decide what you will and won’t be a part of.relax

Pursuing your dreams is difficult especially when it seems that you are getting used to the feeling of being knocked down. Not settling is difficult because regardless of how passionate you are your responsibilities will still be there.

When I start feeling down about my life and feel as if I’ve been in the same position forever I look back at posts like these. Having a visual reminder of exactly how far I’ve come is so inspiring. I wrote my first post when I was unemployed person who stayed in her pyjamas all day.

Things have changed so much in a wonderful way. I will never be the girl who lucks into the perfect life or perfect job. That’s okay. It’s just going to take a lot of hard work and self motivation. All work that I’m a more than willing to do for myself, after all.. I’m worth it!

And 3 months after saying know and writing this post the incredible happened. I was offered a great job that puts me on the right ladder for me. I happy, proud of myself and so nervous! Re-reading this has been incredible, I knew what my gut was saying, stuck to it and it paid of in a big way. Moments like this reaffirm the faith I have in myself and the journey I am.

The mantra I live by is ‘trust the journey.’ It is long, confusing and has many highs and lows. However when you have work hard, believe in yourself and try your best to bew a good persons – good things will follow. journey

The journey is going to get good 🙂

Stay Bliss, Laura (communications assistant 😉

I will be posting everyday for a week w/c 8th october! Saty tuned 🙂

Sadness

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

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

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

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

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

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

What comes easy isn’t always right.

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

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

In these moments it is all worth it.

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Bliss, Laura

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Trust

Trust is moral currency.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Bliss

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anger

I have had 2 very amazing days of doing absolutely nothing. To me this is the best way to spend my downtime as work is constant and intense. It has been difficult to write about the darker emotions because I am just not in the place right now. It’s easy to spill onto the page when you are going through something intense.

So anger?

I mostly feel anger at myself when I don’t live up to my potential. When I know what I should do but choose not do, I anger myself. The job hunt isn’t going to well because I have been repeating past mistakes. I wrote a post when I first started blogging about feeling disappointment at putting all my eggs in one job basket. Ideally I should be applying for many jobs a day. Instead I find one job that I love. I plan out my outfits and the easiest commute. I imagine what my desk will look and immediately hit amazon in search of the perfect mug. Like a Cath Kidston mug or one with funny friends quotes.

friends_tv_quotes_mugThat job is in my sight and not getting it is not an option. As you can probably imagine this leads to a lot of disappointment because life doesn’t always workout this way. So I guess this is what angers me. The fact that I feel myself doing the same things I was doing all those posts ago.

I have been waiting for something to click in my brain. Today is the day when I sort my life out!

It fluctuates . Sometimes I feel the click and other days I don’t.

The lesson I have learnt throughout all this is there is no time for waiting. When you spend your time waiting for a change in mind-set or a magic click. Waiting for something to manifest which will in turn get you to change is problematic. Mainly because change starts with you.

Anger is a such an intense emotion. A lot of things on this world. Racism, famine, murder & abuse and so much else. I chose to focus on the anger I can directly control. The anger at myself.

I need to fix up and fix up quick. I am aware of that and I will change that. Writing post like these helps me give myself that much-needed kick.

I know what my problem, it’s up to me to go fix them.

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Stay Bliss, Laura

Clear skies ahead

I have known since July that I wanted to write a post dedicated to Happiness.

But how to say what I want to say? What are my thoughts on happiness? Am I even happy?

Recently my life has been full of new and exciting changes. If you have read my other post you would know that there is 3 things that I wanted. 3 things that I was convinced would bring me to happiness. A new home, a love life and a shiny new job. This perfect trio would bring me all the joy in the world. These three things would make this adulting thing actually okay and maybe even slightly enjoyable.

So why aren’t I jumping and screaming about this so-called new-found happiness? Why am I not over the moon? Why doesn’t my mood reflect all these amazing changes?img_6606

There are times where it has. I have taken a few moments throughout these past months to look at what I have achieved and actually be proud of myself. I think to myself ‘this is the feeling I want to write about.’ However this feeling doesn’t stay. A couple of days later I feel myself being climbing down and wondering what happened.

Maybe happiness doesn’t stay because we push it away. Not letting yourself just be happy and in the moment is way of self-sabotage. We are so used to having problems that we almost can’t handle not having any.

You can have everything in the world and still not be happy. Recently I have been pretty down in the dumps, which is unsurprising  for this time of month. I have been in a ‘stop the world, I want to get off’ kind of mood.

When good things happen just ACCEPT that a good thing has happened.

Life can be so tough sometimes, and at one point or another you will go through a rough patch. When going through a tough time I focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. A time that won’t be so hard. The storm finally being over and the clear skies that are now finally visible.

No more sitting idly by. And no more creating a storm where there is none.

Happiness is an inside job, something that won’t always click into place on its own. When it doesn’t you have to work at it. I have the power to do so I will create my own clear skies. See through that Laura-made tunnel.

There have been so many times when I have felt genuinely happy but fought that weird, unfamiliar, warm  feeling off.

I CAN’T BE HAPPY. THERE MUST BE SOME KIND OF PROBLEM I CAN FOCUS ON.

The truth there is that things aren’t perfect. There’s a lot of challenges I need to overcome and things I have to work through. However at the moment life is good. I worked long and hard, and almost gave up several times but I got what I’ve always wanted.

Independence.

Independence can be quite lonely sometimes but this shouldn’t be confused with being unhappy. wineI am on my own now because I choose to be. I am finally self-sufficient and am enjoying taking care of myself. When I have a bad day, going back to my empty room can make me feel worse. My mind plays tricks on me and convinces me that I am unhappy because I am alone.

Focusing on the important things is what I have taken away from the experience. Figuring out what is real and what is not. When I feel lonely there are people I can call and places I can go. Rather than sit and dwell on all the things I have to be sad about, I can stand and think about all the things that I have achieved. I can work on a new plan for things I am yet to achieve.

The biggest things I have taken from this confusing sad/happy period of time is that sometimes it is up to me actively change the way I feel.

Create your own clear skies.

Stay Bliss, Laura

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

I shall be doing the October challenge where I will be posting everyday for a month! I haven’t posted in a while so I am a bit rusty which makes this even more of a fun challenge 🙂 Keep your eyes peeled!

 

Sickle Cell & Me

My illness is something I have often talked about but have never written about. I guess it is because when you write about it you can’t cut the tension with a giggle or a little joke. However it I feel like it is an important issue to be aware of especially since it is the 2nd most common genetic disorder in the UK.

The last thing I wanted is to tell a story that was really sad or made you pity me. I didn’t want to write a long piece talking about how difficult life is for me or about how sad I am about never being able to have a ‘normal’ life. I can understand that reading this may be a little hard to swallow, you never want to hear that people you know have struggled in ways that you can not fathom. But the brighter the light is that is shone on these issues, the easier living together in cohesion will become.

So the truth is that it hasn’t been easiest life but it is all I have ever known. Both my parents have a sickle cell trait which meant it was possible but not definite that I would be born with the full-blown disease. I feel like it would have had a different effect on me had I had lived my most of my life not knowing about it.

Sickle Cell disease is a genetic blood disorder. The disorder affects the red blood cells which contain a special protein called haemoglobin (Hb for short). The function of haemoglobin is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. People with sickle cell disease produce unusually shaped red blood cells that can cause problems because they don’t live as long as healthy blood cells and they can become stuck in blood vessels.sickle If you want to read more about the science behind it you can here. When this happens it causes a very painful episode known as a sickle cell crisis. This can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

My childhood was relatively normal. All it meant was I had few more trips to the hospital than the average kid. I was physically able to do the same things as the other kids. I didn’t feel very different because a few of the children in my class had sickle cell to, as it is quite common amongst Afro-Caribbean people.  My primary years were full of a lot laughter, fun and the dramatic goings on of a primary school playground. I had quite frequent crisis’ as a kid and would always have to take a couple of days off school to recover.

Describing the feeling of having a crisis is so hard because it is something I only let myself think about in that moment. Once it’s past – it’s gone and not even worth me thinking about. Everyone with sickle cell has a completely different story about their painful experience. Mine always engulfed my lower back  first before moving on to my arm and leg joints. It is an intense, excruciating sharp pain which also feels like it’s pulsating. Sounds awful I know, not something I like talking about. However 9 times out of 10,  after a horrendous long night of my crying out in pain in my mother’s arms, I’d eventually drift off and wake up to find the crisis is over.

This is pretty much how my primary and secondary years went for me. I didn’t crisis to often, probably no more than 8 times year and made sure to completely make the most of the times that I was completely healthy!

Having parents who were always there for me and saw me at my very worst and very sickest has had a lasting impact on me. My positive attitude towards my disorder and the way I have chosen to deal with it came from my mum. She instilled two key things in me.

‘Don’t see yourself as disabled.’ My mum has worked in the NHS for most of her working life in a very different time. She knew that however wrong it is, once you check that box you open yourself up to a discrimination by people who will never admit to it. Her sister – my aunty was born with cerebral palsy, so she saw first hand the ugly face of discrimination and hatred towards the disabled.
Sickle cell by all intensive purposes is invisible. So it would do me well to keep it that way. This is something I have always kept with me. I have never written it on a job application. My philosophy is get in through the door, show them how great you are and when the times comes for you to explain why you need to leave early again for a doctor’s appointment – then I discuss it in-depth. By that time, they know me and like me and appreciate the work I have done and will continue to do for them.

‘Don’t marry someone with sickle cell.’ She doesn’t actually mind who I chose to settle down with but if I was to have a child with someone with sickle, that child will 100% be born with sickle cell. It isn’t something that I’d wish on anyone so if I could help it I’d rather not pass it on.

Using all the advice I got from parents, peers and doctors I was able to live a fun teenage life. I made great friends who were always understanding, I picked up some bad habits that were not great for my health and I pretty much was a normal ‘semi-rebellious’ teen. At one point I got pneumonia, which sucked and at one point my hands and feet swole up like balloons and I had to crawl everywhere for about a week. That also wasn’t great. In year 11 I got gallstones which REALLY sucked and I had to get my gallbladder removed which was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Compared to a crisis it was a walk in the park. My body was  and is really weird and reacts to things in the weirdest ways BUT for the most part I was good. Collectively these things sound quite bad but they happened sporadically over a period of 10 to 15 years.

At 18 I experienced one of the worst thing that can happen to someone with sickle cell – a stroke. Intense fatigue, an awful migraine and lot of confusion is the best way to describe it. I wasn’t afraid because I didn’t know it was happening. It was on Christmas day which was such a pisstake but I didn’t go to the hospital until the next day because I still wasn’t aware of what was going on. At no point when the doctors were explaining what was happening did I feel fear. Mainly because I was tired and confused and because I could see how guilty my parents felt for not realising sooner. Obviously I knew it was not their fault but I guess part of being a parent is feeling completely responsible for everything that your child goes through.

It was only a mini-stroke so within a couple of days I was back on the mend and had regained the feeling in the left side of my body. Friends and family were being amazing. Something I learnt from my earlier experiences of being is hospital is you could ask for pretty much anything and people would bring it to you. I’d ask for rice and peas and curry goat, KFC, magazines and pretty much anything I could think of that I fancied at the time. Also people always just brought you Lucozade, I guess that’s thing you do when someone’s in hospital.

And that was that. I was in hospital for two-weeks, in physiotherapy for a month. I had to drop out of college but in hindsight I could have gone back sooner but chose not to. The year went by and despite the dramatic health issues it was a pretty good year. I had 4 or 5 friends at the time who also weren’t at college so I always had people around me whenever I felt pretty low.
Some days did get very low. They say one of the post-stroke side effects is depression. There were days that I really struggled. Even though I got the all clear from my physiotherapists I never felt the same. I would forget words and lose my train of thought and was convinced that my smile would always be crooked. The NHS were great to me though and got me some help. Although I never have felt like my complete old self again, my mind and body healed over the next year.

Now for the weird part. Because of the stroke the doctors have put me on a treatment called an exchange blood transfusion. Similar to a blood transfusion but instead of just giving me blood, they also remove a few units of my ‘bad blood.’ This effectively means that they make sure by sickle percentage never gets to dangerously high levels. Yes this is intrusive and a bit of headache having to go into a hospital for a day every 6 weeks. However it means that I haven’t had a crisis in years because my blood has never reached ‘crisis’ levels. This is great for me because it means not only am I constantly being protected from the threat of another stroke but I also am currently a lot healthier than I ever have been. The weird part is because the NHS is so limited that you are only eligible for this treatment if you have suffered a stroke or another major traumatic event. So the friends that I have who also have sickle but have not had a stroke can’t get this treatment. I would never claim having a stroke is a good thing because it definitely is not but it’s quite sad that some people have to still be constantly in and out of hospital because that are ineligible.

Overall having sickle cell has shaped the way I see life. I realised a long time ago that I sometimes made myself ill by just thinking that I’d have a crisis. I would take longer to recover because I had reassigned myself to the fact that I’d always be sick. I soon realised that it was going to have to be mind over matter and tried from then on to be more positive. I noticed a difference in  my attitude and pain threshold when my mind-set changed.

Medicine has advanced so much so that the first sickle cell patient has just been cured. I am told that there is still a long way to go before it is implemented in the UK but it is exciting news nonetheless. Creative outlets such as this help me to stay upbeat and give me a chance to express myself.

My body still acts up sometimes. At the moment I have an ulcer on my ankle that I have had for the last year. It can get annoying and stressful at times but I am so grateful that I can still be active and pretty much live a life that anyone else can.

For now I will remain strong in who I am, do what I can to raise awareness and carry on enjoying life.

 

Stay Bliss, Laura

warrior

Click on the links below if you want information about giving blood and/or the sickle cell society.

www.sicklecellsociety.org

www.blood.co.uk

 

 

Day 18, 19 & 20 – Figuring out this life stuff

Day 18, 19 & 20 of 31 day blogging challenge

Something you are trying to figure out?

I am now more than half way through this challenge and have a whole new respect for content writers. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but this is a lot more challenging than I anticipated. Challenging in an awesome way though, nothing is more satisfying than writing a post I am proud of.

After a particularly heavy weekend I was in no frame of mind to write, being so hung over and all. So today I will put 3 days of posts together and answer this simple question – what are somethings you are trying to figure out?

life

I am trying to figure how to be true to myself and how to be 100% authentic. Sometimes I get caught up in my own thoughts and over think the littlest things. Of late I have realised that I am my own biggest obstacle. I let people and situations dictate how I act or what I can do. As much as this can be seen as an unsettling revelation it is also a blessing in disguise. It means that if I learn to trust myself and my instincts, if I spend time trying to make myself happy and not listening to others, I will begin to get out of my own way. If you are your own biggest obstacle, with hard work and a positive mindset, you can become your biggest cheerleader.

I am trying to figure out how to have patience. There is still so much I want to accomplish, at a certain point you wonder if your head is in the clouds. Will I ever have enough money to move out of my parents house? Will I ever find love? Will I ever have the booming career I always wanted? I know I’m still young and all things take time.

‘Have patience. Everything is difficult before it is easy.’

20sI KNOW I have to trust the journey and keep doing what I’m doing. Things don’t come into existence over night, it takes what feels like years of hard work to get that pay off one day. If there’s any place you are falling short, try filling in those gaps in these quiet years. Understand that one day you will be older. The probability is that within 10 years you would have settled down. So rather than being impatient do what you can only do now.. now! Move in with friends, quit your job to go travelling, or work a ridiculous amount of hours in your current job. Now is the time to do those crazy things you may not be able to do in a few years.

I am trying to figure out how to truly believe I’m beautiful.love This is a hard one isn’t it? We know beauty is the eye of the beholder. We know beauty isn’t skin deep. We know beautiful comes in different races, and sizes. We know there needs to be more to a person then just there looks. That doesn’t stop us looking in the mirror and not being happy with what we see sometimes. That doesn’t stop us having that friend we are the slightest bit envious because they are drop dead gorgeous, or have your dream body.
For me it comes in waves. Sometimes I’d get all doled up for a party and look in the mirror and think ‘damn girl, you lookin’ fine!’ Most of the time I look in the mirror and get that uggggh feeling. I guess this is one of those things that’s a work in progress. When I catch myself being down on my appearance I stop myself. I either find a way to fix those flaws that my mind won’t let me forget or drop it. How’s me obsessing going to make me feel better?

So there is lots I’m trying to figure out. With a lot of these I suspect it’s something you figure out over time. With age and experience comes wisdom. There is lots I know now that I didn’t when I was 18. There is lots I will know when I’m 30 that I don’t know now. 

Stay Bliss, Laura

Day 16 – Ma & Pa

Day 16 of 31 day blogging challenge

How are you like your ma & pa?

If I had to answer this question anytime during those awkward teenage years the anwser would be – IM NOT!
However the older  I become the more I recognise some personality traits that have come directly from them. I have picked up some other stuff from them to. For instance, I can not remember a time when I wasn’t IT literate. My dad is an IT teacher, a very good one at that and made sure I was able to use a computer from a very young age. He pushed me into starting my ECDL (European Computer Driver’s Licence) when I was 14 and I am so grateful he did. Now I am a big girl working with spreadsheets and databases which comes so naturally to me, I have him to thank for this. My mother on the other hand was always great at writing and knowing how to use the English language impeccably. I think I inherited my knack for writing from her, she helped me so much when with my English A-level.

My mum is an incredible kind, rational and subdued woman. She is not the

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Ma

confrontational type although she is very strong in her own quiet way. I learnt how to process my feelings and emotions without blowing up and I learnt that this doesn’t mean I am being a pushover. Its 100% more effective if you calmly talk about what is in your mind. Screaming, hollering and acting aggressive will not always get what you want, fear and respect are very different things. My mum is a very honest person, to the point where she won’t even let me use her oyster photo card! She prides herself on being a hardworking, honest, good woman and that she is.

 

Me and my dad have had a lot of friction in the past, I realise now it is because we are so alike. My dad is the most gracious person I have ever met. He will help anyone if he can, whether he gives you a lift, lets you stay at our house or just gets you some dinner. I am like this to, I will bend over backwards for my friends and family. He went to university quite late on his life, I remember being at his graduation. Well I remember a second of it because I was 2 or 3. He went from immigrant, to student, to a hardworking British citizen. As much as I know he wants the very best for me which means he wants me to live a life better than his, I see myself treading in his footsteps. Taking my time to figure out what I want, and then going for it! My dad can be hot-tempered at times… so can I. I’d be out with my friends and they’d take way to long deciding how to split the bill and I’d feel my temperature rise. Just tell  me what I have to pay so I can go! That’s definitely my dad coming through in me.

How could I forget! They are both great cooks, in our house we had a mix of African and Caribbean culture. Christmas was, is and always will be my favourite time of year, the time of year I eat like a queen. We have a typical English christmas roast setup with the turkey, gammon, lamb, stuffing, roast potatoes etc. But my dad’s side would chuck some jellof rice, stew, plantain and all the good stuff. My mum’s Caribbean side would throw in rice & peas, curry goat and stew chicken. It was a rave for my senses, the aromatic smells, the sight of the fluffy rice and all the colourful food – and the sweet & spicy taste of all my favourite foods. Dinner time at my house was always wonderful.

 

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Christmas dinner – well half of it 🙂

 

 

So that is me all around. Sometimes calm and rational, sometimes

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Pa

heated and passionate. Gracious, kind, with a knack for computers. These are all things I inherited from them. There is nothing like the feeling of finally being able to give back. I took my mum out for brunch for her birthday and we had a blast. I love buying my dad stuff for christmas because I have his sense of style down to a T and he always loves what I get him. So the next step for me is leaving the warm, comfy nest. Hopefully within sometime I’ll be having them round to my new digs, cooking them dinner, doing up their room all nice – that’s the dream!

 

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Day 14 & 15 – 5 weaknesses and 5 strengths 

Day 14 & 15 of 31 day blogging challenge

Describe 5 weaknesses you have and 5 strengths you have.

As you may have noticed I swapped out the questions for todays challenge because ‘tell me about the last concert you attended’ just didn’t do it for me. I chose describing my weaknesses and strengths because in the traditional format you can never be completely honest. You will mostly get asked this in job interviews so the answer ‘well I am incredibly lazy’ however true that may be, will not suffice.
Also I was feeling totally down and uninspired yesterday, so I’ve decided to put day 14 and 15 days together. Sometimes a step back and a deep breath is all you need.

Do we ever really ask ourselves this question? It is needed in order to grow and develop in the areas we believe we are weak in.

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5 Weaknesses

Lazy / procrastination
This is going to be a forever a battle for me! I am the ‘I’ll do it later’ kind of person. From my dreadful experience at university I’ve come to realise that this attitude can be very damaging if I let it. I’m slowly getting myself out of that habit or finding ways around it. I literally have to put my alarm for 2 hours before I have to be up, just so I can be lazy and sleep for a couple more hours. I also have to say to myself, ‘later is great but why not now?’ The reason will mostly be because I want to lay around watching funny videos on YouTube. If that’s the case then it’s ‘GET ON WITH IT!’

Stubborn
I will not do something I really want to or should do if I am told to do it. I like doing things because I choose to and not because I’m made to. I may be completely geared up and motivated to do something (cleaning my room for example) but as soon as somebody comments or asks me to do it,  I just wont! Obviously I recognise that this mentality isn’t the best, I’m a work in progress.

Self-doubt
Growing up in a world where society’s definition of beautiful is constantly shoved down my throat often makes me (and a lot of people) doubt myself. I often ask myself if I’m pretty enough, I worry about my body, the thought of one day being fat, often buy into the newest beauty trends. You have to reach a point in your life where you actively set out to change this mindset and remind yourself that you ARE beautiful every single day.

To Helpful
I know this seems like of those sneaky not flaw flaws, but this can be a real problem for me. Sometimes I have such a need to fix things that I end up inserting myself into the drama. Not only have made things worse and actually not helped at all, now there is a whole new party involved in an ever escalating situation.

Impatient!
I have been doing my 12 month apprenticeship for just under 4 months and I can already feel myself getting impatient. I want to be at the point where everybody knows me and completely trusts me and I’m given more responsiblity. I want to know exactly what’s going to happen in the next 8 months and where I will end up. Am I staying or am I going? I need to be prepared! As much as thoughts like this whizz through my mind throughout the day, I have learnt to trust the journey. Embrace the journey and eventually it’ll lead to bigger and better!

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5 Strengths

Staying Bliss
Stay bliss represents the incredible decison I made just over a year to always stay positive. To keep dreaming, to keep working hard and to keep encouraging others. I can truly say I have become a MUCH better person since I started this journey.

Persistent
I never give up! As much as life has a way of testing me sometimes, I always keep going. I may take some time to wallow and throw myself a little pity party, but eventually I’ll pick myself, recalculate and continue moving forwards. Sometime it is a different path then I expected but still it is progress.

Loyalty
How many times will I bring up the sisterhood I hear you ask? Having some of the same friends since I was a little girl and some newer friends who mean just as much to me – I can’t help but talk about them. I’ve recently learnt that not all friendships last forever, as much as you think it will. However I am incredible loyal and supportive of mine as much as they are of me. It’s empowering having a group of people always in your corner, I will always be in their’s.

Ambition
Success is infectious and the more I succeed, the more I want to keep succeeding. I’ve always had a plan for my life and I;m at a point now where things are starting to come together. This all might just work out for me if I keep positive and keep pushing to reach my goals.

Relatable
One of the best pieces of feedback I’ve received about this blog – my words are relatable. I talk about my feelings about situations we all have. Every person is different and unique but there is so much connecting us. We all love, we all hurt and we all dream.

better

 

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

 

 

Day 13 – Something I’ve been putting off

Day 13 of 31 day blogging challenge

What is something you have been putting off?

Well I haven’t completed anything on my bucket list so technically this could all count as things I’ve been putting off. Or in better terms thing’s I’m yet to do.

Going back to university and getting a degree is something I really want to do. The reason I have been putting this off is because I have already been to university. I feel I was pressured into it  because that’s what you did – you finish college and go to university. I chose the wrong degree and was completely uncommitted to it from day one. I remember sleeping and drinking my way through freshers week, missing most of the introductory/ orientation days. This was a pattern that continued throughout my 3 years at university. I half-assed did everything and can’t remember going to a full week worth of lectures. However despite all this I still earned a full degree’s worth of student debt!

Some amazing things came out of my 3 year failed university adventure. I made the most amazing friendships. The friendships I made at university have lasted until this very day and I wouldnt change them for the world. I will touch more on this in my Geneva post coming up at the end of the month 🙂
I also learnt to live independently and loved it! Paying rent and bills; cooking myself up a storm in the kitchen; taking care of my own laundry and managing the weekly grocery shop are all things I successfully learnt to do on my own. This is partially the reason why I really want to move into my own place – I know I can handle it.
I now know what kind of personality matches my own in terms of living arrangements. You can’t just move in with any friend, and that’s not to say you don’t have a meaningful friendship. It just means that you are the kind of people who can remain friends as long as you DO NOT live together!

All this being said I wish  I took away from this experience the one thing that I went to uni for, a degree. So in order to make this happen I have had to think about a few things. Money being the biggest thing. I’ve asked myself a few questions that have helped me make some big decisions.

What degree would you do?
I’ve been really enjoying writing and it’s something I have had always had a passion for. English Literature is what I’m thinking at the moment. Or even creative writing. I’d like to better my vocabulary and get more creative and experimental with my writing.

Full time education again?
No! I know it will take me twice as long to do it part-time but this way I could fit it around my work schedule. I need to earn while I study because I do not want to put my dreams of moving out on hold for another 3 years. I am really unfussed about how long it will take. Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Slow progress is still progress.

Where?
London. I have had my fun venturing outside the capital and experienced country living. Well sort of – does Northamptonshire count as country living? I would definitely want to stay close to family, friends and job while I’m studying. Although thinking about this now, what’s stopping me from getting a job, moving away and studying in some other place?

When?
Within the next couple of years if I can figure out a way to pay for it. At the moment I’m doing an apprenticeship with the NHS so I’m currently studying. So once I’m done with this and I’m hopefully in a new, permanent position and I can go off and get my degree.

What else would you do differently?
In one word – focus. I’m going to focus on my studies and make sure I complete with the best result I am capable of. If I really am as mature as I’d like to think, I would use this new opportunity to learn from and not repeat my past mistakes. I will have to make a pact with myself that I am going to completely commit, keep myself motivated, not procrastinate with homework!

Finally getting a degree is the biggest thing I’ve been putting off. Writing this has helped me figure out exactly how much I want it and what steps I need to take to get it. As always I’ll keep you updated 🙂

I’m going to go get researching! Any London university/course suggestions?

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 9 – Purse Tales

Day 9 of 31 day blogging challenge

What is in your purse?
What is in your office desk?

There are 2 questions to answer for the challenge today, the first being for women, the second for men.

On my birthday last September I had a pretty wild night, one where I ended up at several locations. At the very end of the night the people who were still awake and didn’t wish for the night to end made our way across London to hang out at a a friend of mine’s flat. It was 7am by this point, I think I managed to last a couple more hours before taking myself off to bed. The reason for this story is because it was on this night I lost my fabulous, gigantic, cluttered purse. My friend got in contact with me a few months later to say that he had found my purse whilst cleaning his room. It was too late, I had replaced the most important contents of my purse and had bought a new mini one that would have to suffice. I have hope that one day I will get it back, and when I do I’ll be sure to share the contents with you.

For now I can describe in detail the contents of my new purse, I can even share photos.purse It’s really not interesting though, so I’ll be letting you know what is in my desk to! Thanks to this challenge, I’ve just this second realised that I’ve lost my debit card  so there’s that… Minus my much-loved and much-needed debit card there isn’t much else in my purse. I have a lot of old, screwed up receipts that I just cannot bring myself to throw away. They are mainly from the cafeteria at work that does pretty okay coffee. I also just gasped at how much I spent at the pub at my colleagues leaving do. This is why receipts are supposed to screwed up and flung in your pocket never to be looked at again.
My purse also features my provisional drivers licence and my NUS extra card. I also have a little folded up post-it note which has my NI number scribbled on it. It’s a homemade NI card as that’s the most necessary thing I missed most from my other purse.
I have 3 McDonald’s coffee loyalty cards and 1 Café Nero one. Collect 6 stamps/stickers and get your 7th coffee free, doesn’t sound like much of a deal but it’s something right?

The most funky items I have in my purse is my Body Shop love to shop card, and a business card from The Black Penny. The Black Penny is the cool, quirky restaurant I took my mother to yesterday for brunch on her birthday. Maybe I should do a post about my experience there because it was really was fantastic. The food, service, price and decor were all amazing!

 

I also have 61p in change.

So I’ve reached the end of my purse contents, I really had a lot more to say then I first thought! I actually won’t go into what’s in my office desk as it literally just contains food and sanitary products. (LOL)

I guess this is a lesson for me in selling myself short. At the beginning of this posts I thought there was no way I could write an interesting post about what is in my tiny little purse. There was also no way I could relate it to staying bliss. Here I am now, having done it! Try not tell yourself you can’t before you have even given it a go. If you don’t believe in you, who will?

You don’t always know what you are capable of..

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!

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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 🙂

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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

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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

Celebrate your wins

This blog is about how to keep only positive vibes around you. How can you do that when you feel negative? How can you stay in your bubble of happiness when there is nothing to feel happy about? How do you see through you storm into brighter days when it’s just way to stormy? This is something I’ve been struggling with recently and it hindered my ability to write a new positive blog post.

However I’ve noticed things are changing because I am changing. My perseverance has paid off for me in a small way. So I am celebrating my small win! That’s how I choose to stay in my positive bubble. That’s how when things get rough for me I celebrate what IS going well 😊

So what has been going well for me I can psychically feel you wondering? My friends who we’ve dubbed ‘the sisterhood’ are they for me always. They sit with me when I want to have a cry and bitch fit (which is more often then I’d care to say.) They also celebrate with me when things are going well, like me landing myself a small part time job! I’m there for them to, it’s massively encouraging how when someone is in need we are able to drop everything and come running.

I also have two amazing mentors who have quickly become people I look up to. We share positive words and they use their industry experience to help me when it comes to looking for work. They always there to give me feedback and advice and have helped me unlock the confidence they knew I had. My search for an apprenticeship benefitted me in ways that I was not expecting and is part of me changing for the better as a person.

My mum and dad who throughout everything, have kept me grounded and every day tell me how amazing and capable I am. The support that they give me that I don’t always say ‘thank you’ for has made me the person I am. The love I have for them is to immense to describe. You are product of your upbringing and this evident in my caring nature that my mum is known for and strength and fighting spirit which is who my dad is.

So that’s how I stay in my bubble and how I’ve been able to write throughout the struggle. I’ve been really low recently but I have picked myself out of my funk by thinking about everything I have going for me. Yes there is so much more I want to achieve but I CAN. Time is my friend and the sky is the limit. My mantra for this site is happiness is an inside job and it really is.

Somebody asked me a few days ago what my one peice of advice to someone about staying bliss would be. I said don’t give up. Things get rough sometimes and it can be hard to see through. But keep going and focus on what you already have. He replied raaaah that’s deep. It’s not really. Celebrate your wins, life can get too tough for them to be overlooked.

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

Holding On

It’s been a while as I have been racking my brain about what to post about next. Why do I always procrastinate when I already know what it is I want to post about?! It’s been hard to find inspiration when all I want to do is give up. That is why I am writing this today.
Holding on and not giving up are choices we make everyday. It can be very daunting when life gets on top of you and the easiest thing to do is to let go. This is why everyday when we wake up and throughout the day we need to constantly make the decision to not give up. Not only does this mean we stay motivated in pursuing our goals but we also stay bliss!

As my first post states I have been looking for a job for a while now. This has been a emotionally draining process as I feel my adult life can’t fully begin until I get a good job. I need the prospect of promotion as well as a steady pay check so I can start to think about moving out. It has been so difficult wanting all of this and trying hard to get it just to have nothing pan out. And some days have been harder than others but I keep telling myself to not give up.

All you need is one break, one chance, one person that believes in you enough to take a chance on you. If you give up and stop believing in yourself there is no way anyone else will. Every single interview I go to, I do slightly better. My feedback is good and keeps improving. Even though I might not be what that particular company are looking for, doesn’t mean I have nothing to offer.

Holding on means knowing your worth, your value. Holding on for me means giving everything my all and having faith in the notion that the perfect opportunity is around the corner. I didn’t get some of the jobs I have applied for because I was not supposed to. I know when I am great fit for a company and they are great fit for me, a job offer will come.

My personal focus is finding work however the idea of holding on applies to everything. Wherever it be not giving up on love, friendships, family etc. Know how important you are and resolve to continually make yourself happy. You will understand what you need and deserve and then make an effort to not give up on it. This is not to say that everyone/thing is worth fighting for. This is why knowing your self-worth is so important. This helps you decipher what is good for you and what isn’t. What you should go for and cling on to and what you should let go.

At the beginning of the post I told you that I was finding it hard to find inspiration. This is because talking about giving up is difficult when things aren’t what I would like them to be. This is why I have to talk about it, because I can reassure myself that I AM trying and to keep going because eventually things will start to go my way.

All in all, keep holding on and never give up because you truly never know what opportunities are around the corner.

Stay Bliss, Laura

Single & Serene

 

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So ever since last week’s blog post I have been thinking about what I wanted to write about next. I don’t know why I was thinking so hard as I’m pretty sure I wanted discuss what it is like to be a young single woman. The reason why I struggled starting this post is because this can be a topic that is hard to honestly discuss. You can a run a real risk of sounding bitter and lonely (eek!). Despite this I will talk about this topic as freely as I can and hopefully someone out there can relate.

Being single can be both the most fun and the most lonely. I guess in a good relationship you are constantly being reassured of how awesome and beautiful you are. Whereas for us singles we are forever battling feelings of inadequacy. This is perfectly okay, it just means that I have to remember to compliment myself!

The fun part of being single is the freedom of it. I can literally go anywhere and hang out with anyone at anytime! It such a laugh to be able to go out with some friends and have no idea where the night will take you. Being young, single and living in London means never knowing what’s in store for you next. I have to admit I do like to party (shocking right) and always without a doubt end up having a deep conversation with a total stranger. It’s a wonderful feeling to live a life completely for myself.

There is on the other hand a lonely side to being single. The most obvious is the physical loneliness – it sounds nice having unlimited access to cuddles, kisses and kind words. And even though a major pro of being single is not having to answer to anyone, it can feel a little unnerving thinking no one out there has any particular interest in where you are or what you are doing. I guess when you make the decision to commit to someone you want that feeling of attachment.
Shallow people make being single a nightmare some times. It is so annoying to be judged and passed over due to your looks before someone even takes the chance to get to even speak to you. Hey, I’m a lovely person,  maybe take 5 minutes to actually get to know me eh?!

Ever since the end of my last relationship (which ended quite amicably) and my move to university I have decided that I was ready. Ready for a brand new relationship with a brand new person.

I had already learnt to be confident within myself, battled with my self-esteem but learnt to love all the things about myself that I previously wanted to change. Flaws and all. Happiness is an inside job and it had taken me some time but I was finally happy with who I am. Working on myself was about making sure my happiness and peace of mind was not attached to what someone else thought of me. I figured if I could come to a place of total self-acceptance, a place of knowing who I am and not worrying about what other people thought, maybe then I could let someone in.

So that was a good few years ago but here I am, STILL SINGLE! It sucks when you get yourself to the game and there’s no play. This is because if you spend so much time fixing yourself and lengthening your shortcomings – you can’t then go and settle. Don’t get me wrong I am not overly picky, neither am I particularly unhappy about being single. I just know what I need to get from a commitment because I know what I intend to bring to it. So there is absolutely no need to rush into something I am not happy with just to save me from being alone. Don’t lower your standards.

Sometimes it can be difficult when you have this plan for yourself that isn’t quite panning out. By the tender age of 23 (which is now!) I was supposed to have finished university with at least a 2:1, have a job, moved out and be one half of a successfully loving relationship. Life right now couldn’t be more opposite to what I intended. I am not down though. It wasn’t exactly the most SMART plan.

SMART goals
SMART Goals

Now I have decided to make a new plan, and give it much more thought. ‘I want to be successful’ is not the most specific plan. I am not rushing into anything. It is more important for me to have a long think and consider what it is I actually want before I go jumping into anything. I have the same mantra for relationships. Relationships can be the most beautiful thing in the world and it is amazing to have a best-friend and lover fused into one. Some people are lucky enough to have already found this. The rest of us just have to wait it. Be open to people and open to making new friends and eventually something great will come along. Be happy with who you are without needing this amazing love to swoop in and complete you.

It has become more and more evident to me as time has passed how much I love my friends. When you have people you can tell everything to you realise you already have everything you need. They give me all the emotional support I need. This is why I have decided it best to let a relationship happen naturally. However constantly having to reassure myself that this is not giving up! As for now I am totally good 🙂 Guy/girls come and go from your life as you have many relationships that slowly help mould you. Despite all this however you will always have your friends. Why run around looking for something else when I have friends like mine.

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!