It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later

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Having just returned home from a little retreat with friends on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, I’m feeling exhausted but full of love and gratitude for having such beautiful friendships. We had come from all corners of the world for one of our own’s weddings, where we laughed, cried and reminisced together. We made new memories to tide us over until the next gathering (rumours of a destination 30th!), and promised to be better at staying in touch.

So what are friends for? Previous to this getaway, I have to admit I had become a little lazy in maintaining my friendships. A mixture of fatigue from 2016, a move to my home town, being with family and needing a little escape had resulted in my feeling out of touch with those who know me best. The last few days however, have filled me with happiness and appreciation for simply knowing these amazing people. Some of us haven’t seen each other in months, even years, yet it was as if no time had passed when we embraced and greeted each other. This is the mark of true friendship I believe – simply picking up where you left off and having a laugh about the old times.

We participated in the merriment with full cheer, danced under the stars and witnessed the union of two lovebirds, and the best part of it was that we did it together – as friends. We’ve come from all walks of life. Some of us have pursued careers in finance, accounting and law while some have pursued the creative arts and marketing. Yet we are all still bound together by the values, memories and dreams we share. When we departed it was with the knowledge that this was not goodbye, it was see you later. Until then, I love you crazy people and wish you nothing but the best.

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Photo credits – ourmoodydays & yanrwtb

Big City Lights… I tried to get by

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I recently moved out of the City and back home for a couple of months, chasing the sleepier pace of my beach encased hometown. To say it’s been a breath of fresh air would be an understatement – you can literally smell the sea salt and hear the palm trees swaying from my balcony.

I had been living right in the thick of the city, with the sound of constant traffic, sirens and Church bells preventing me from ever being able to relax. At the time I thought it was fantastic – I could walk to work and to the shops, I never had to drive or spend money on petrol, and I had a multitude of food options at my doorstep. But at what cost to my sanity?

Now that I have taken a step back from the constant buzz of city living, I can appreciate just how peaceful the small things are. Simply being able to walk on the grass of my lawn, to feel it under my toes, to hear birds in the trees and get a good rest at night – these are the things that make me happy. Not to mention that despite being surrounded by thousands of people living in the city, one tends to feel pretty lonely looking across that vast network of lights.

Sitting here watching the sunset with a cool breeze on my neck, knowing that the beach is waiting for me just down the road… these simple things make me smile. I can understand why people might prefer a fast pace, and how you can get caught up in it. Of course – there are more activities available in the city, more restaurants and bars, and more work opportunities. But sometimes you need to identify whether you are truly living in harmony with the things that bring you joy. For me I knew that was being able to sit in peace on a Sunday morning, read the paper and have a good cup of tea. Whilst I know this might not be my forever, I know it’s what I need right now…. and right now is all we have.

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Photo credits – urbanandstreet & bohemiandecor

To the bride and groom (to be)

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Tis the season for a wedding, and a delightful wedding it shall be. This coming weekend I have the fortune of witnessing two souls say their I do’s, which is pretty special if you ask me. We have friends jetting in from London, Sydney and New York for the garden party, friends we haven’t seen in a while but it will be as if no time has passed. And what a beautiful occasion for us all to get together under the framework of love, that which can be so hard to find in today’s modern world.

When I think of a wedding, I think of nothing else but a pure celebration. A celebration of two worlds colliding, of chance encounters weaving into magic, and excitement for what the future holds. To bear witness to such a celebration is in my opinion, a great privilege. This is the day that two people commit to each other for life, for the roller coaster ahead, and what better way to do that than surrounded by close family and friends?

To the future Mr and Mrs Mulhern; may your garden always be full of vegetables, your house filled with animals, and your hearts filled with love.

Photo credit – floretflower

50 shades of introversion

The sun is out, the pool is fresh, the fridge is stocked and the sky’s the limit. So why am I feeling glum?

The struggle with being of an introverted tendency (I don’t believe in black and white categories – we all fit somewhere on an interchanging scale), is that despite relishing in being alone MOST of the time, there are in fact days when I want to talk to all of my friends at once. This of course, is impossible as everyone is out enjoying their Sunday and living their lives. So what to do? Pen to paper of course. (Or in this case, finger to keypad).

Trying to explain the innate reflex to avoid social situations is difficult to spell out to people who simply relish in them and completely contradictory when, on the odd occasion, I like to be the life of the party and twerk all night to Rihanna. Put me in a room of over-confident SALES people and I’ll happily hide by the cheese platter all night, but get me one on one and I might chew your ear off about the plight of Orca’s in captivity (RIP Tilikum). So why can’t us towards the nether regions of the introversion scale just get it together and be consistent?

I think the key might be in choosing our friends right, and making sure they understand that we aren’t saying no to activities because we dislike them, it’s because we literally NEED time out to re-charge. If I had an activity planned for every night of the week I would probably consider hiding under my blanket and crying at the sheer thought of not having any time to myself. No I don’t want to go out every single weekend and waste half of it hungover, but don’t lose heart – I’d love to catch up with you over Sunday brunch next weekend.

On behalf of anyone else who is feeling like this, we’re sorry and please bear with us. We genuinely value your friendship, but sometimes we just need to hide in a dark room and listen to a rainy day playlist. The good thing about it is – the sun will always rise, the clouds will clear and we’ll slide a few shades down the scale and twerk with you till dawn.

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Photo credits – theophelia & matt.ferr

Knowing when to switch off

 

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Sometimes I just want to throw my phone in the ocean and experience the weight of connectivity, responsibility and obligations lift off my shoulders. But would it actually work? Lately I have been coming back and back to that famous quote ‘There is no WIFI in the forest, but I promise you will find a better connection’ and thinking about what this means to me.

On some days the urge to completely disconnect from everyone is pretty damn strong, from the notifications, emails and phone calls to the group chats and friend suggestions. I hide my phone in my room on silent for as long as I can and try to disengage, to spend time in ‘reality’, but then catching up on all the notifications when I pick the phone up again takes longer than if I had of viewed them in real time! It’s a no-win situation.

I think the answer might be in the balance. Yes, I can take time out and enjoy being in the present, engaging with people without the distractions of electronic devices. I can take time out to read my book, walk on the beach, play with animals and help my Nana with the housework. But at the same time, I can also stay connected with people in different cities, collate images I love which inspire me to dream big, and write my own thoughts down in the form of this blog.

Yesterday I went to the beach for my usual afternoon walk around dusk. I usually leave my phone in the car so I can listen to the ocean, but this time I took it with me so I could listen to some Ben Howard while walking. Instead of being able to live in the moment and enjoy nature, I found myself distracted by my apps and ads on Spotify, resulting in a very frustrating experience. I believe the importance of knowing when to switch off is paramount to being happy and truly living in the moment, and I’ve definitely learnt my lesson now!

Try it out as soon as you can – the more you switch off the more you will tune in to who you truly are and what you care about. And always remember, it’s about balance. Yin and Yang.

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Photo credits – earthspirit & meditation_inspiration

The edge of something good

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Do you ever feel like you’re standing on the edge of something, some kind of adventure or next chapter but at the same time you are unsure as to what that might be? That’s my current gut feeling, and the only way I can explain it is a butterfly in the stomach ready to be unleashed but waiting for the right moment. It’s like I know my next step is just around the corner, but I’m waiting for a sign or direction before I dive headfirst.

I’m a firm believer in trusting your gut instincts, and when you feel right about something then by all means stick with it. Don’t listen to other people, don’t be swayed from your purpose (unless of course you’re planning to harm someone intentionally, then please seek medical advice ASAP). What I am talking about is your spiritual path, that whole ‘life is about the journey not the destination’ belief. You really don’t have to explain your decisions or answer to anyone when you know deep down that what you are doing is right for you, at this moment in time.

I’ve recently had some major life overhauls, quit my job and moved home to live with my family for a couple of months. I’ve left a career behind and all my friends, but I’ve never felt so sure that this is the right decision for me right now. I feel safe, loved and supported at home with my family and what’s better than that? Sometimes you just need a little down time, an escape from everything that’s become your ‘normal’. This time has allowed me to process the friendships I genuinely value, and take up hobbies that I had let die over the last few years. Not to mention the undervalued art of animal therapy that I have been indulging in since coming home, with 3 cats and a puppy around who could ever be lonely?

What I’m saying is, do what’s best for you on your individual journey in life. If you have a niggling feeling in your gut that you aren’t meant to be where you are right now, then don’t let it consume you. Do something about it! I waited too long to quit a job I hated and to get away from toxic people. I let these things take such a negative hold over my life that I suffered severe anxiety and health issues for months, and it wasn’t until I was finally free of this situation that I realised how dangerously close I had come to a mental breakdown. I’m so grateful for my beautiful family, for taking me in and loving me unconditionally.

While I know the road ahead will still be full of challenges, I feel comfortable saying to myself that I am now where I need to be in order to get better. And I don’t have to defend that choice to anyone.

Photo credit – @paulasynphoto