Today, I’m choosing myself

Today’s blog is a creative piece that I felt I needed to write. It’s almost like a letter saying hello to myself and goodbye to the old. I hope you like it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

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There have been plenty of days where I’ve thought about you and wondered how you were doing, what you were doing, if you’re thinking about me, if you’re thinking about us and if you’re counting the hours, minutes and seconds until we see each other again.

Today is not one of those days. Today is the day where I’m going to think about how I’m doing, what I’m doing, what I’m going to accomplish and who I need to be. Today is the day that I’m going to stop wasting my time looking at my phone, waiting for your message or worst yet, waiting for you.

Today I’m going to scroll through memes and enjoy them without thinking of sharing them with you; I’m going to lie in the spot that you used to sleep in and enjoy the space instead of wishing you were in it. I’m going to text my friends and get excited when they reply without wishing it was you I was texting. I’m going to walk through the park in the rain with a smile on my face without wishing you were there with me. Today, I’m going to do everything for me without you having any power or influence over any of my decisions and my happiness.

I know it’s not going to be an easy ride but it starts with one day; a day to acknowledge that you’ve had plenty of chances and opportunities, that I’ve given you so much more than you’ve given back, that I’ve lost myself with you and that I’m better off without you. Today I’m choosing myself; I’m going to let go of all the thoughts in my head and the heaviness in my heart and I’m going to heal and come out stronger.

It’s easy for us to choose others’ happiness and thoughts over our own; it’s harder to focus on living and enjoying life when we’re too busy thinking about what we’ve done to push someone away. It’s not easy loving yourself when you’re busy loving someone else and blaming yourself when they don’t return the feelings because you feel like it’s your fault. Of course it’s your fault; why aren’t you perfect? You need to be more perfect. You hate yourself for not being their idea of perfection.

But that’s no longer going to be case. I am perfect; they’re just not perfect for me. Today I choose to accept myself and my shortcomings and I’m going to listen to myself. I’m going to learn to love myself and work through my flaws and I’m going to grow and become stronger. It’s the beginning of a decision that will last forever. It’s the beginning of me choosing to no longer put you ahead of me. It’s the beginning of me forgetting you and choosing me.

Today, I’m choosing myself.

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They’re definitely two of the hardest things

In the last month, I did two of what I consider the hardest, scariest things: one, I put my heart on the line and told a boy how I really felt rather than dismissed my feelings and running away from them and two, I let him go.

In my 27 years of life, I’ve never actually told a boy how I felt. I’m the type of person that doesn’t like feeling vulnerable and exposed. I like to give the façade that I’m unbreakable and strong, but deep down I’m a fucking marshmallow. Now dear reader, you know the truth.

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If you read my last post, you would’ve guessed that being sick made me realise that life is short and that I need to get my shit in order. One of the things I thought was to tell this boy the truth and let whatever happens, happen. It went well at the time… and then it didn’t a week later.

In the last month, I’ve been through a tumultuous rollercoaster ride of emotions. I’ve been very high, very low, very neutral and I never know what to expect when I wake up in the morning. While it may seem normal and exciting for us as humans to wake up and live for the unpredictability of life, it’s actually quite scary when you’re a bit of an emotional wreck like I’ve been lately. I’m not myself.

I knew that I was putting the poor boy through my emotional hell. And I couldn’t allow myself to leave my emotions in his hands because I was incapable of looking after it myself. Then I made the rash decision to end things. I walked away.

I walked away because I wasn’t doing him any favours and because I wasn’t doing myself any favours. It’s true what they say – how can you learn to love someone else when you can’t even love yourself?

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Walking away is hard because you don’t want to seem like you’ve given up but you also don’t want to be stuck in something that can’t go forward because you’re busy trying to keep it and your life afloat.

While I’ve spent the last few days allowing the reality of what I’ve done sink in and wondering whether or not I’ve made the right decision, ultimately I know I need to remind myself that I need to do what it takes to make sure I’m happy. While it hurts now, I’m proud of myself for doing these two things and owning them. I know it’ll get easier.

Right now, I need to give myself the time and effort I need to grow and be happy. And while I don’t believe in fate or destiny, I know that if things were meant to be, they’ll be. Now I’m signing out to go make some more important decisions… watch this space.

I will however leave you with this message:

Dear reader, never give up on yourself. You were destined for great things. If you’re going through a rough time, remember to give yourself the opportunity to show you that your life can be better and everything will be okay.

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You do you boo

I’m back. I realised that I lied in my last post about spamming you guys with blog posts after being sick. I didn’t lie on purpose; I had every intention of spamming you guys with blog posts but unfortunately, the sickness took over and I was left bedridden and unhappy.

Now, after two months, I finally feel well enough to get my life back on track. And part of that is getting back to blogging.

Let me tell you, when you’re sick, particularly bedridden, you’re left with a lot of time to yourself to think, worry and stress about things. I chose to view it as an opportunity to reprioritise my life and think about what’s actually important to me. I thought I’d share with you the top three things I learnt and am vowing to keep in my top three priorities.

Work is not important

I repeat, work is not important. Sure having money is lovely but at the end of the day, you need to think about you and make sure you’re well and happy before you commit to your career.

I know this seems like quite an obvious point but I’ve always been a high achiever so I ended up working long hours just to try and please and get results that are beyond 100%. A recurring theme from feedback I’d get from my managers is that sometimes 80% is perfect and I should accept that. Weeeeell, took me getting sick to learn that lesson.

Last week was my first week at work and I’ve been taking it easy. I’m slowly learning that I don’t need to stress myself out in order to get brilliant results. And I don’t need to break my back on overtime that’s basically unjustified. Like my last manager used to say to me, sometimes 80% is good enough so learn to accept that when you’ve given it your all and done your best, that’s all you can do and that’s all someone should expect of you.

You should be your number one priority

Another obvious one, but I think sometimes we need to be reminded that we should be looking after ourselves and making sure we’re our number one priority. Because let’s be honest, it’s unlikely that we’re anyone else’s number one priority. Sometimes life gets a bit crazy and we forget. And I know I’m not the only one that forgets!

Remember this is the only life you’ve got to live and it’s hard to live it to the fullest when you’re unwell. Trust me, I know.

Go home early, have that bath, buy that scarf you’ve been eyeballing for a thousand years, ask that girl that makes your coffee every morning out… (okay getting carried away). My point is, make sure you do you boo.

Life is short

A recurring theme in all these points but it’s true. Life is so damn short. Remember when you were younger and you thought life was moving so slowly and you just wanted to grow up and make your own rules and do all these awesome things? And then you finally grow up and you’re like “oh shivers, now I’m running out of time to do all those awesome things cause time is moving so fast”.

Yeah well my friend, time is moving pretty quickly but it’s never too late to do all those awesome things you wanna do.

Live your life man. Look after yourself. After all, it’s the only one you’ll get so make the most of it.

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Where have you been?

Yes, I’ve missed you guys too. I wish I could say that I’ve been on some amazing overseas adventure, or even a cruise or a wildlife safari but alas, I would be lying and I’m not very fond of lying.

Truth is, I’ve been sick. No, not deathbed sick but it feels like I might as well have been! I’m on the road to recovery from goodness knows. I haven’t been diagnosed yet but I tell ya, it’s been a month from hell with aches, pains and a whole lot of drugs. The top drawer of my bedside table is OVERFLOWING with drugs and I’m not exaggerating!

I’m feeling better though! I’m not 100% but I’ll take 79% over -89.9%.

This week I’ve been playing a whole lot of catch up with life as well as with work and study. Should I do a blog post on how to get back to on track with life after you encounter a major hurdle? At the rate I’m going, I think I’m equipped to talk about it…

Oh you’ve twisted my arm – I’ll add it to my list.

When you’re sick and removed from the outside world, it’s easy to fall into a pit of sadness, loneliness and feeling like nobody cares about you. But let me tell you, despite those feelings, it gets better and people shower you with love.

I got flowers delivered to me from work! That was pretty exciting albeit awkward because I didn’t believe the poor deliveryman that dropped them off. But look how beautiful they are!

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The flowers definitely brightened up my day given how dark and crappy the two-three weeks had been.

And then there’s the emails, the texts and the calls. I felt so loved.

So guys, it seems like what I’m saying is if you don’t feel loved, just get sick and people shower you with love and you truly realise you mean something to at least someone… but I’m not encouraging you to get sick… I’m just making an observation!

Anyways, this is a boring post I know but I just wanted to give you a quick update on where I’ve been.

Brace yourself – the blog posts are coming.

p.s. Alex if you’re reading this, I hope Germany is treating you well and I miss you!

Listen while you work

I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I need to get shit done at work, I listen to podcasts. I never understood the whole rage with podcasts; I used to think they were like audible books which I’ve tried once and just couldn’t concentrate so decided not to do it again. Plus, nothing beats the satisfaction of reading the words and holding an actual book… or e-book.

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My last manager listened to podcasts whenever she worked and I thought it was very fascinating. One day I decided to give it a go and surprisingly, I found it quite enjoyable. I know what you’re thinking; how the hell do you concentrate on your work if you’re listening to someone talk in your ear? To be honest, I have no idea! But it works! It’s less distracting than listening to music as well because with music, I always find myself tapping my feet and humming along and creating music video scenarios in my head (I know you do it too!). And if I don’t listen to anything I get sucked into the hustle and bustle of everyday conversations going on around me and I’d rather not listen in on other people’s convos. It makes me really uncomfortable. I’ve never been good at multitasking but surprisingly, I’m really good at listening to the podcast AND doing work.

I thought I’d share with you my top five favourite podcasts. So if you’re a podcast-listener-worker like me and are looking for some new recommendations, or if you’re a podcast virgin looking to pop that cherry, you’ve come to the right place.

On your marks, set, GO…

Casefile 

This is my absolute favourite podcast. I listen to it while cooking, cleaning, commuting and well, working. Each week, the podcast covers well-known murders and what I like the most about it is the fact that they go into great detail; from the background of the murderers, to their crimes right through to their death or sentencing. I’m a fan of murder mysteries and crime and like watching documentaries and tv shows on murders (my Netflix recommendations list is looking pretty damn gory) so that’s why I enjoy this podcast. It may not be the podcast for everyone, just because it can be quite grisly, but if you enjoy a good history lesson on well-known murders, I highly recommend it.

Success Insider 

This was one of the first podcasts I listened to and I actually quite enjoy it. It’s part of SUCCESS magazine and is hosted by Shelby Skrhak and Josh Ellis. Each week, they discuss the latest trends in personal empowerment and career development and give you lots of tips and tricks on how to be more productive and move up that career ladder. I think what I like most about this podcast is the conversations the two hosts have. Usually I find podcasts like these to be kind of stale with lots of really pretentious music but for a ‘self-help’ podcast, I’ve really enjoyed this one. Plus, each episode is nice and short too.

The Inquiry

If you’ve got an interest in current affairs without wanting to spend too much time on it, I highly recommend this podcast by the BBC World Service. They cover topical issues and ask the hard-hitting questions, and best of all, they do it in half an hour or less. When it comes to world issues or politics, I’m not going to lie I like getting the facts and I don’t like listening to long, overly drawn commentary and opinion. I just want an intro to the issue and if I’m really interested, I would go and do some research. This one is great for getting the who, what, when, where and how.

TEDTalks

I have a funny feeling that everyone who listens to podcasts will have TEDTalks on their subscribed list. TEDTalks have made such a name of themselves and what I love about listening to it is it’s inspiring (and short!) and covers a range of topics from business, technology, world issues to emotions, relationships, mental health and creativity. So if you feel like listening to something motivating, check it out because I guarantee you’ll find a topic of interest and learn and thing or two.

BTW, the hyperlink will take you to their website where you can also access videos. I listen to podcasts on the Apple Podcast app.  

Myths and Legends

I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to fairy tales, legends, folklores and myths. There’s so many out there and I can’t keep up with them. What I love about this podcast is that I get to be transported to a different era with host Jason Weiser covering what the legend/myth/folklore is about and its origins. It’s so fascinating and is a great one to listen to when you’re stuck in the office doing mundane things and just want to be transported to a different world.

Yes I’m a fantasist and can easily transport myself to a different world but sometimes, you need a little help and that’s where this podcast comes in. Also, if you’re a history buff like me, you get a bit of a history lesson too which makes it extra awesome!

So here’s my top five list. Some other recommendations I’d love to share are:

Have you got a favourite podcast that you think I should check out? Please comment below and share because I’m always on the hunt for new podcasts to listen to!

Full-time study and work: just stick to it

If you’ve been reading my blog posts for the last month, I’m sure you’ve picked up that I’m working full-time as well as studying full-time. I’ve been doing this for over a month now and I thought I’d share my experience and some tips that might come in handy if you’re thinking of embarking on formal study without having to quit your job.

Just a bit of background on what I do and why I chose to study and not quit my job: I’m a Communications and Engagement Advisor for a government department. My highest qualification to date is a National Diploma in Journalism. I never finished my degree and thought I’d take three papers this semester to fill in some ‘free-time’ gaps since it’s not like I’m doing anything productive. I’m completing a Bachelor of Professional Communications and I know it seems strange that I’m studying towards a job that I’m already in but I thought it’d be a good way to help me understand my role better from an academic perspective.

So getting into it…

Firstly, there’s no sugar coating it: balancing work and study is challenging. On top of that, there’s life and its many attractions and disruptions. The key to success is planning and discipline. You’d be surprised at how much you can achieve if you take time to set out a schedule and (here’s the real challenging part!) STICK TO IT.

I’m not going to lie: I still find it super challenging but I’ve never been good at balancing, multitasking or general discipline. For those of you who are good at all of that, then it’s a piece of cake and you’re probably reading this and having a bit of a chuckle. For those of you who are like me, fret not because I’m telling you it’s doable.

I set my study schedule in my bullet journal – I plan out what I’m going to study and which activities I’m going to complete and when, what assignments are due and when I should start them. I also set a time to start studying, allocate the hours of study and try my complete best to STICK TO IT. I know it seems like a lot of effort goes into planning this out in writing, but it’s what works for me so find what works for you. It could be as simple as putting your assignment and reading schedule into your phone’s calendar.

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If you know that a social gathering is coming up, plan around that. Perhaps allocate two hours of study that day and then treat the social gathering as a ‘reward’. If you find you really can’t bring yourself to stick to your planned study hours, that’s okay – shift it and study in an hour or two after you’ve relaxed and done what you need to. If you’re like me and have set TV shows you just simply can’t miss, plan around it so you don’t feel guilty about not studying when you’re supposed to.

Just because planning is one of the keys to success, doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible. It’s going to be a hard time so it’s important to be kind to yourself. There are times when I want to gauge my eyeballs out and cry from the stress but I have to remind myself that I’m only human and sometimes life gets challenging and despite it all, I can do it.

So again I reiterate – planning and discipline is going to be your best friend during this challenging time. When the going gets tough, please don’t give up. STICK TO IT. After all, when you get your assignments in, get that exam done and get that passing grade, you realise it was all worth it. Well I do anyways.

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Hopefully you found this post somewhat helpful. If you’re in the same boat as me, please share your secret to fulltime study/fulltime work success!

The tale of online dating and I

In a previous post, I mentioned I’ve been single for about three years now.

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I guess that’s a while but I was seeing someone for about a year in that time. We weren’t ‘officially’ dating so I was technically still single but we weren’t seeing anyone else. I guess some people would debate that that means I wasn’t single the whole three years but I’m not going to go into the technical details of what’s considered ‘official’ and bla bla bla…

Before I met this gent, like most single adults, I decided to try online dating. I started off with a site called Badoo cause I was too chicken shit to try Tinder. Badoo is kinda like OkCupid but I was told AFTER I started using it that it’s for people who want nothing more than a shag.

Let’s get one thing clear – I wasn’t sure of what I was looking for. I just wanted to meet people and not be in anything serious. However, if it became serious then I would ride the wave and see what happens. I was just going to be open-minded about the whole experience.

Then I deleted my account and evolved to Tinder, where I made it a personal mission to hit 1,000 matches for lols. Tinder was one hell of an experience. I met so many people. It was interesting. I went on many dates and yes there were one night stands.

The meeting up part is always the hardest; particularly if you’re really getting along with them then you meet them and they’re not like you imagined them to be or they do things that sort of annoy you. Or if you’re shallow like me when it comes to height, they disappoint in that department by not being more than 5’10. I met this Irish dude and he was about my height. I’m a shortie at 5’2. Yes, I was disappointed. Even more disappointed when he was really boring too. I ended the date in 15 minutes.

You also meet some real characters. This guy told me a story he claimed “you would really enjoy” and it was about how he came home really drunk one night and passed out outside his bedroom door in his boxers and his stepdad had to wake him up and turns out his balls were hanging out. Firstly, why did he say I would enjoy this story and secondly, why did he whisper the word “balls”?! There was no need. It would’ve been a funny story if he were a bit more casual in the delivery department! I ended up making eye contact with this cutie at the bar and we smiled at each other and had a moment before I reminded myself I was on a disastrous date with a guy and needed to stop checking out other guys to compensate for lack of connection.

Then there was this other guy who told me I reminded him of his ex in terms of looks and personality. He said she was great (wonderful!) but she destroyed him and stomped on his heart (not so wonderful!). Then he said he was hungry but didn’t want to eat if I wasn’t eating. I’m sorry I ate before I left for the date given I thought we were going to just have coffee. In the midst of his hunger tantrum, I agreed to have a milkshake. I didn’t even want the fucking milkshake. Then he wanted to drive me home despite me saying, “no thanks, I’ll walk” many times. Anyways, he dropped me off a few houses down from my place and then turned off his engine as soon as we got there. Um excuse me? I told him I was tired and I was going to go straight to bed (I didn’t realise this excuse was far from believable until I saw the time: 8pm). He begrudgingly said it was okay and asked for a kiss. I said I’d rather not and I’ll see him next time. I waited for him to leave before I ran back home. I never saw him again. There are many more stories to share but I’m not going to bore you with them.

I’ve tried OkCupid as well. Haven’t met anyone on there. To be fair, I only go on when I’ve got messages. I recently downloaded Tinder again and I’m still trying to figure out why. The conversations I have are quite stagnant and to be honest, I’m not actually looking for anything. Not even a shag. Why you may ask? Well, I’ll save that for another post.

I had quite a relaxed, YOLO attitude towards meeting people in person. I wanted to give them a chance and more often than not, I would leave disappointed. What was I doing wrong? Is there a process I should be following to ensure success? I mean I’m a pretty chilled and open-minded person! If you don’t believe me, look:

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Only a chilled, open-minded person would pose like that in front of a cow sign.

Anyways, I was so, so close to giving up when I actually met someone.

I’m not here to rubbish the experience I had with online dating. I actually met some incredible people as well – some who I consider friends and still talk to and some I couldn’t be with because of circumstances (yes I did fall for about three guys in my time of online dating). While it may seem like there’s a hell of a lot of people on these platforms wanting to ‘score’, there are definitely people on there who are genuinely looking for connection and well, love. I met quite a few blokes that actually wanted a relationship… but I didn’t. Well, not with them anyways.

While online dating is hard and can leave you with plenty of horror stories to share, I think singles should definitely give it a go. It’s an interesting experience and sometimes you do find a diamond amongst all the rocks. I’ve yet to find a diamond but then it’s not like I’m trying to find a diamond. In fact, I’m saving Tinder for when I go to the UK in hopes of finding a rock star OR a Scandinavian Norse God that’s 8-foot god knows. Yes, my expectations are realistic 😛

For now, my love life looks a little bit like this:

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And that’s totally okay!

Got any dating horror stories to share? I’d love to hear them!

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For those of you who are wondering, yes I did reach my 1,000 matches goal. I actually screenshotted it so I could send it to my mate to prove to him I could do it. What a retard.