No BS affirmations singletons need to remember

Listen up single people; we’ve all been there. We’ve had days where we know being single is awesome and we value our independence and freedom and we have days where we drown ourselves in a pool of our own tears because shit, why are we single and why won’t anyone love us?

I’m definitely one of those people. I spend more time embracing singledom than I do worrying about not having someone to love and to look after me and cuddle me when times get rough. But even though I’m happy with my single status, sometimes I need to remind myself that being single is all good in the hood. More often than not, we’re single because we choose to be! So before you wallow into your pillow and tuck into a huge tub of Ben and Jerry’s, I’ve compiled a list of no-bull affirmations to remind you that hey, single is actually okay.

You’re not going to be single forever

No, I’m not saying this just to make you feel better about your current situation. You WILL find someone when you’re ready. Hell, you’ll probably find someone when the last thing you want is to find your perfect match! I’m a firm believer of there being someone for everyone and right now, you may not have someone but that someone will turn up and you’ll be like “OH HEY YOU’RE MY SOMEONE” and then you’ll remember this post and be like “OH THAT PERSON WAS RIGHT”. I love happy endings.

You can be selfish and look out for number one guilt-free

It’s important to always look out for number one – no I don’t mean partners, I mean you. Being single is good for the soul because you can be selfish and do things for only you. You don’t have to factor someone else’s’ thoughts and opinions into your decisions; the only one that matters is yours.

Want to buy that Louis Vuitton bag? Fucking do it. Want to stay out with your girls until 7am in the morning and make poor decisions and wind up waking up in some hotties bed? Who’s gonna stop you? Want to dye your hair fluorescent green? YOLO dude, YOLO.

The point is you don’t have a significant other to influence your decisions. You’re making decisions for you. Besides, you end up learning more about yourself, what makes you tick, have a stronger sense of self and end up being completely self-relient which is very sexy might I add. These are very important qualities to have, not just as a single person but for when you’re in a relationship as well.

And besides, you can order all the foods and enjoy it yourself without having to share with the other person… most important point…

You could be in a relationship if you wanted to

And you know I’m right. You could download Tinder or Badoo or OkCupid, hit people up with some smooth pick up lines, go on a few dates and presto, suddenly you’re in a thing. Long or short term, the point is you’re in a thing.

But you’re not. You know why? Because you don’t want to be. Because you don’t want to lower your standards or make compromises because you know your self-worth. Better yet, you’re still trying to work it all out so until you do, you’re just going to stay single. And hey, that’s totally okay.

Relationships are HARD

And that’s the reality of it. We ALWAYS see the good parts of relationships, whether it’s in rom-coms, sitting in the theatre or at dinner next to a loved up couple or even when we’re at work and our co-workers give us the 4-1-1 on all the romantic things their partner’s done for them.

DON’T DESPAIR. Deep down you know it’s not all smooth sailing and it takes a lot to keep a relationship afloat. You gotta take the good with the bad. When you’re single, you’re investing your emotions and energy on yourself, your family and your friends and let’s be honest, sometimes that’s more than enough. So embrace your somewhat free time while you can because as soon as you get into a relationship, you know it’s going to take a lot out of you.

And just think about the time your best friend and their partner were fighting over something petty and then they tried to get you involved and you’re like HELL NO and then you bolt and then think to yourself “thank fuck i’m single”. Or the time you had to comfort your friend because their partner was out drinking and didn’t tell them and they’re currently experiencing trust issues? Yeah, just keep hold of that memory. Here’s a lil lol for you:

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Good things take time

This is applicable to so many things, not just relationships. It’s important that we don’t just settle for the sake of settling. It’s also important that we take the time to look at ways to get to know ourselves and love ourselves. Because it’s true what they say: how can you love and appreciate someone else when you can’t even love and appreciate yourself?

Take the time to cultivate and nourish yourself before you commit to cultivating and nourishing someone and something else.

So there you have it people – my no BS affirmation list for singletons. Hopefully you found it useful. Little reminders are so important! I know my single friends definitely need these reminders from time to time and it’s totally okay.

If you’ve got something else to add to the list, I encourage you to do so as I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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… cheese I know but dat accuracy dough…

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Oh hey, I quit.

Guess what? I’ve been unemployed for over a week. Wow. It feels really surreal saying that out loud (or typing it for that matter!). It’s still sinking in. I remember before I got sick, when my alarm went off it was such a struggle to get up and I’d lie in bed starring blankly at my ceiling wondering if I really needed the job. I’d daydream about the unemployed life and it’d leave me with a smile on my face… until I realise the reality is I have bills and responsibilities and I’m an adult (more like a bad-ult). Then I’d roll my eyes, grunt loudly and get out of bed. It was never easy and to be honest, it still isn’t easy.

But since being unemployed, I never thought that I’d actually miss my job and making money. Like seriously. I feel kind of like I have no purpose and that sort of makes me sad because I think as humans we need to have a purpose to feel somewhat complete.

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So why did I quit my job? There were a number of factors that came into play and the decision wasn’t an easy one at all.  In fact, the thought never crossed my mind until my sister suggested I quit my job and move back home to focus on my health and getting better. So as you can see, health played a major part in my decision.

I loved my job. I loved what I was doing. But I found myself loving it less and less and feeling more and more unmotivated and that was because I was too busy thinking about the implications my health was having on my life. I couldn’t come to work so I was letting my team down and I wasn’t there for my stakeholders. I couldn’t design and deliver communications plans if I wasn’t there to understand a project and think of radical ways to market and engage with the audience. It also felt like there were some radical changes coming up in the organisation that could have a negative impact on my role and I. I also felt lost 99% of the time.

My mental health started deteriorating because my brain was on overdrive thinking about pain, letting the side down, not feeling inspired, wondering how I was going to pay my bills because I was on unpaid leave and wanting to literally give up because being optimistic felt 150% harder when you’re unwell. If you’ve read my ‘They’re definitely two of the hardest things’ blog, you’ll also know that I was trying to keep my emotions at bay (and failing miserably).

So yeah, I took the plunge and handed in my resignation. I left my flat and moved back to a small city to live with my parents. Yes, I’m 27 and I’m currently living with my parents.

I have days where I feel like it was possibly the worst decision ever particularly because it felt like I’d given up on my career. BUT deep down I know that’s not the case at all and I’m doing it because I’m focusing on getting number one (me!) better and ready for my next big adventure.

It’s hard when you’re an ambitious workaholic like me to go from spending ten hour days in the office to spending no days in the office (unless blogging counts as a day in the office?). But I know that this is possibly the best decision for me and when I’m doing better, I’ll return to the workforce, guns blazing and ready to conquer the world. Plus this gives me time to focus on the things I enjoy… like reading and writing (yay more blogs!).

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Oh! You wanna know something funny? I was completing a food/stress diary for my nutritionist and it’s incredible to think that I haven’t been stressed out in the last week. It’s such a strange feeling to not be stressed, worried or upset about something. Methinks I could get used to this life.

Tell me, have you had to take the plunge and take some time off to focus on you?

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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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.

 

Always remember sunscreen

The other day, my lovely co-worker sent me a link to Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen’. It was honestly the sweetest thing in the world given that I was having a pretty rough day at work. Oh and he sweetened it up even more by buying me a hot chocolate as well (thank you Alex!!!).

The reason why I was having a rough day was because I was filled with self-doubt about my career choice and my ability to do my job well. I guess I wasn’t getting much job satisfaction lately because I wasn’t involved in as many projects as I’d like to be and the projects that I was on were all placed on hold.

Anyways, Alex took me out for hot chocolate, listened to me moan about my first world problems and when I came back from lunch, the link was waiting for me in my inbox. It really put a smile on my dial because it put things in perspective for me and it was pretty inspirational. I sent the link to my sister and my friend and her response was “oh I remember this from high school or something… funny how it’s actually relevant now and makes sense”. Pretty accurate.

To be fair, if I read the essay or watched the video in high school it probably wouldn’t have resonated with me as much as it does now. It makes a lot of sense… especially being kind to your knees because I know for a fact that I’d miss them when they’re gone!

So what is this ‘wear sunscreen’ anyways? It’s an essay originally titled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young” (how relevant!) and columnist Mary Schmich writes it like a commencement speech. It was published in 1997 in the Chicago Tribune.

There are many elements of the essay that’s relatable to all of us. Sometimes I feel like we’re all strung up in the rat race of adult life and we start feeling weak and lose our purpose but the thing is, we shouldn’t lose purpose. Failure is part of life; success comes from learning from these failures. If you keep making the same mistakes, it’s time to sit down, breathe and work out what it is that’s driving you to make those mistakes over and over again.

And then there’s worrying. I’m a stickler for worrying about EVERYTHING… right down to the minuscule detail. But it’s true what the essay says… “worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum”. I accept it’s true and I’m getting better at worrying less so I can declutter le brain.

So what I’m saying is, when life gets hard and you feel like you’ve had enough, do as Alex says… just remember sunscreen.

IMG_2293 Yes, I went to work the next day and he left me a bubba bottle of sunscreen with a wee reminder. I have that reminder taped to my computer monitor and it has actually helped when the going gets tough at work 🙂 Thanks Alex.

Also, if you’ve succeeded in remembering compliments and forgetting insults, please share how you do this. For real.