Yesterday’s Sangria

My search for clarity has taken me to lots of confusing places. This break-up for one thing is the most confusing of them all. I am confused because for the first time ever, I feel emotionless. I understand that there is a lot going on in my mind and I know that I am feeling so much but at the same time I can’t pinpoint any of it. It seems as if I am simultaneously feeling everything and nothing. How can I assess what I do not understand? How do I move forward if I don’t know where I am?

I am going to try and break down what I’m feeling…

I know this is the right thing, and our relationship was going this way for a long time. Having a great support system is important, however some journeys need to be taken alone. You are the only one who can get yourself from point A to B. It’s on you. This is the biggest thing I have taken from my relationship and breakup. Life is not a fairy-tale, it’s not sunshine and rainbows 24/7. It is really hard sometimes; I still can’t understand why the very best people seem to be dealt the worst cards. But I’ve learnt that you can save yourself if you really want to. I’ve searched far and wide for my hero. The person who was going to save me, support me, motivate me and push me. Then I realised that it doesn’t matter, because even I find someone who is willing to do all of this for me, it will always be down to me in the end. I determine how hard I work, how much I save, the risks I take. I determine my own future, and I decide where I am going.
And most importantly, it’s not up to me to be that person for someone. Years of trying to be the motivation for another person has left me disappointed. Disappointed that I couldn’t be the hero, the salvation. But now I understand that even if I was to see all the change and the motivation that I was vying for, it would have been nothing to do with me.
You are your own hero.

I feel empty, like there is big hole in my life. We were so together that now it feels like something is missing. I got used to a certain way of living and now I find myself having to readjust. I am learning to navigate through life solo again and it is a strange feeling. It is funny how quickly we form new habits and how hard it is to break them. The feeling of emptiness comes more from the fact that I think I found my person and can’t see anybody else wanting me or anybody fitting with me as well. Are genuinely kind people relatively easy to find? Because in the whole of my search, I’ve only found one – I am only 26 though…

I feel excited by the prospect of not knowing. I have no idea where my life is going to take me and as scary as that it, it’s also exciting. There is nothing holding me back other than myself. I can focus entirely on myself and keep striding to get myself to a position where I am comfortable and confident. I can continue saving up a for a flat of my own, I can take my dream trip (to Senegal, it’s almost booked!), I can start learning to drive, I can apply for jobs abroad, I can make new friends – the possibilities are endless. These are a only a few of the things I want to accomplish, being on my own means I can go for anything.

I have experienced a loving relationship and for that I am grateful. No matter the issues we had, I always felt loved, valued and respected which is important. It has set the bar high for future relationships because I know now more than ever that I am a queen and deserved to be treated like one. I am not going through life relationship blind anymore; I know what I expect from a partner because I know what I am bringing to the table. I have learnt that depending on the relationship, I have potential to be an amazing girlfriend. I have discovered sides of myself that are completely new to me. I am a sociable girl who likes a party every now and then, but I am way more of a home-body than I thought. My idea of a date night is staying in with a home cooked meal, a bottle of white wine and a good film or binge worthy series. I have found that I am very much a nurturer who will always go out of my way in my relationship. I have also found that if left to my own devices that I can be quite lazy and will always opt for the easiest option!

So how do you get over a breakup?


Give yourself time – dramatic life changes can often leave us feeling confused and unsure of ourselves. You don’t need to immediately have everything figured out, there is no rush. Carrying on living your life the best way you can and eventually the answers will come to you. Situations such as this have a habit of unpacking themselves when you leave them alone for a little while.
Be grateful for what you had – Although it didn’t work out, I got the opportunity to really get to know the most wonderful human being. (Obviously this depends on what you had. If you come out of a bad relationship where you weren’t being treated right, be grateful that you made it out of it)
Have a support system – I often talk about the sisterhood, a group of amazing women that I am lucky enough to call friends. I know that I can call on any of them at any time if I need talk.
Limit contact – this is the one I’ve been struggling with because I am so used talking to the same person almost every day. Depending on the circumstances sometimes a clean break is necessary, however if the breakup was amicable, I don’t think you need to completely cut each other off. It still okay to chat from time to time but be honest with yourself. If it hurts too much to stay in contact or you find yourself falling back into a relationship pattern – a clean break may be what you need.
Be single! – Do things that you couldn’t or just didn’t do with your ex. Go place they wouldn’t, eat things they hated. It solidifies the fact that you’re on your own living life strictly by your own terms. Reconnect with friends, I found there were a few friendships that I wasn’t paying enough attention to. Or just areas of my life that I neglected slightly – now is the time to make it right.
Date again – only when you’re ready, there is absolutely no rush! Give yourself time to heal and get to know yourself again before you delve into the dating world. Remember that dating doesn’t always have to be serious, sometimes it can be just about having fun and meeting new people.

Breakups are one of the toughest emotional experiences to go through. There is no right way to deal with it, and there is no telling how long the heartbreak will last. Like everything else in life, it will pass. I repeat what I said on day one of this Stay Bliss journey…

“Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise again.”

Stay Bliss, Laura

The Search For Clarity

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

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

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

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

So, when is enough enough?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy 3rd birthday Stay Bliss! ❤

2 0 1 9 baby!

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

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

Things did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy new year!

Stay Bliss,
Laura

Perspectives on a Birthday II

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy birthday peeps 🙂

Stay Bliss, Laura

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

 

 

2 0 1 7

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

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

No rushing, no skipping

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

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

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

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

Friendships

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

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

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

sisterhood 2
Christmas ’16 with my sisters ❤

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

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

Family

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

My parents are my backbone and my biggest supporters.

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25th birthday meal with my beautiful family

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

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

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

Work

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

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

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

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

 

work
Team Christmas dinner ’17

Grudges

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

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

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

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

People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As for me

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

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

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

2018 I’m ready for ya 😉 

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


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

Stay Bliss, Laura

 

 

Pain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No matter what..

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

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

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

Stay Bliss, Laura

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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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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

The Honeymoon is Over

The last couple weeks have particularly trying. I find myself lagging and falling behind. I once spoke about how much something from one aspect of your life can affect another. Good things have happened to me recently. A very confusing and hurtful chapter of my life is drawing to an end after finally receiving some closure. You don’t always realise how much damage is done when things you would classify as minor completely breakdown.

Your phone for example. You don’t think about how much you depend on it to be on your person and functional at all times until it isn’t. You then notice a void, a big gap where something you didn’t pay much thought to used to go. This a how I felt recently about my friendships. Closure is the best gift from any unresolved situation. Now I know all the facts. I know where I stand and how I move forward now is totally up to me.

Que the next turmoil. That’s how life goes isn’t it? You sort out one thing, spend time and energy working out all the kinks. Then BANG. Hit with another one.

After 4 months of working in the NHS I am now understanding how hard they work, and they do work so hard. The pressure is getting to me and I can feel my work starting to slide. Acknowledging it is difficult because you feel so deflated. Why can’t I do this?! From the moment I walked into this I knew exactly what I wanted to get out of it and what I wanted to achieve. My absolute nightmare scenario is the past repeating itself. I was dismissed from my last workplace after 7 weeks. What if this time its at 4 months? And then the next time it’s after 6 months? What if it takes me a lifetime to actually be able to hold down a full-time job? There are so many fears rushing around my mind right now. So much negativity that I just can’t shake.

So as always the question is what am I prepared to do about it? How do I fix this?

So the closing your eyes and count to 10 thing just doesn’t work for me. So what am I going to do is spend this weekend cheering myself up. I’m having a dinner and drinks with some of my best friends this evening. Tomorrow I am going to catch up with some more special people. I am going to laugh, be in the moment and really soak up their positive energy. I can speak to my oh so wise mother who definitely will have a nugget or two of pure gold. I am going to remind myself of all the things I conveniently forget when I am in emotional crisis mode. This apprenticeship ends in November, I can hang and do my best till then. Time flies and I can’t believe I am already on 4th month. By this logic it means in no time at all I will be receiving my qualification and hearty well done handshake. I CAN DO THIS.

One of my favourite sayings is ‘be patient, things are always difficult before they are easy.’ What I have always wanted is to be valued within a workforce and to create more opportunities for myself. Obviously this was never going to be an easy challenge. It will be hard, and some days much like today I am going to want to give up. But I know that this is what I want and I am prepared to put the work into.

For me this what life means. You think you’ve done it, cracked the code of happiness. Then something happens that shakes you to your core. Makes you re-evaluate everything you think you know to be true. It is a test of your strength and resolve. Happiness is an inside job and it take a lot of work to get to a place of peace and tranquility. I am convinced that it can be achieved. Whilst you work hard and wait for physical rewards, reward yourself with you do have. I am rich. I am wealthy. Wealthy in family, friends, love, opportunities and freedom. I have what an immense amount of people long to have and I am grateful for that everyday.

So there it is. I have talked myself down of that ledge. I reaffirmed in my soul everything that I know. I am happy because I make myself happy because I chose to work on my happiness everyday. As for work? It is a clear as day that the honeymoon is over. It is time for me to kick it up a gear. As for the past? It is the past for reason. To be used as lesson and then left behind.

Stay Bliss, Laura

P.S This post was written on Friday 7th May, hence so many references to the weekend that has just passed!

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

Day 5 and 6 of blogging challenge

What is the best advice you have received?

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

So on with the challenge..

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Bliss, Laura

DAY 4 – Favourite Blogs & Vlogs

Day 4 of 31 day blogging challenge

5 favourite blogs

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

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

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

2 –  https://seperateperspective.wordpress.com

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

3 – YouTube Mari Lil

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

4 – YouTube Anitta Black

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

5 – Foodie Blogs

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

Until later on today haha

Stay Bliss, Laura

DAY 3 – Why do I blog?

Day 3 of 31 day blogging challenge

Why do you blog?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Bliss, Laura

DAY 2 – Stay Bliss – A definition

DAY 2 of 31 day blog challenge

Meaning of your blog name?

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

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

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

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

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

Until day 3…
Stay Bliss, Laura

 

 

 

31 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE – DAY 1

Day 1 – Intro and a recent photo

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

me-recent
Most recent photo..

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

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

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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

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

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

 

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