On knowing when enough is enough.

img_1921

In the past few weeks I’ve developed, shall we say, a ‘backbone’ when it comes to standing up for myself in situations where I’ve felt my self-worth is being questioned, and damn it feels good. We’ve all encountered people who make us feel insignificant – whether that be by making us feel stupid, or not good enough, or easily replaceable. It’s a terrible feeling, thinking that everything you’ve worked for, all of your values and beliefs, and all of your personality traits are being questioned by someone else, someone who has made you feel inferior. But have they actually made you feel this way? 9 times out of 10, the reason we’re left feeling inferior as a reaction to somebody’s actions is because of pre-existing insecurities, which actually have nothing to do with this person at all.

Not to get too specific (because I don’t want to start World War 3), someone recently came into my personal space and it totally rattled me. The first few days were all rosy and sweet, with compliments being thrown and polite chit chat unfolding. And then all of a sudden, the cracks began to appear. Little things here and there were mentioned – nothing direct – and I started feeling completely unworthy of this person’s time. I started feeling like everything I said or did was being analysed, or that I was explaining myself terribly, and it came with the embarrassingly reactive behaviour of then trying to impress this person. Let me get one thing straight with you, it makes me sick to the stomach trying to impress people. I absolutely hate it. I find it awkward, totally unnatural and far from genuine. How people possess the ‘gift of the gab’ is beyond me, my attitude is you either like me or you don’t and I’m not going to work for it. So to find myself in a situation where I felt like I had to try and impress somebody was a total whack to my self-esteem, and I refuse to let that happen again.

Just this past weekend at work I had an irate guest, shouting at me and waving his hands (a full spectacle I assure you), which culminated in him telling me to shut up as I tried to calm him down and assist. Something in me clicked and I said to him (politely of course), that I was trying to help him and he needed to stop being so rude to me. BOOM. It was as if Beyoncé herself had arrived, the curtains had risen and I was alive. Assertiveness is something that never came easily to me – I was always the one who caved to people’s requests, said yes to more than I could handle and let people walk all over me. But not anymore, and let me tell you it felt GOOOOD to assert myself. It felt even better when said guest came down and apologised to me for being so rude, which I accepted graciously of course.

So I’m telling you this – do not let anyone ‘make’ you feel less than you are worth, and have the courage to stand up for yourself. The only person you need to wow is the person standing in your shoes, and the only person you should be analysing is yourself – not to beat yourself down, but to continue to learn and grow from experiences, and be the best version of yourself.

img_0566

Does anyone else struggle with ‘adulting’?

img_0835

According to the Oxford Dictionary (online version), ‘adulting’ means behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks. I literally couldn’t even finish that sentence without yawning. Today I had no choice but to behave like a grown up and accomplish some grown up things, like paying my car registration, sorting out my online banking, picking up my new glasses…. blah blah blah. Mundane, necessary tasks alright. I’m sitting here like a bloody idiot congratulating myself for getting some adult shit done, but seriously – why do I find it so hard?

90% of the time I live in this dream-like state of mind, going between fantasy novels and TV shows, collecting shells, planning international holidays, and trying to completely escape the reality of things like work, cleaning and car maintenance. The other day my boyfriend asked me if I had insurance. How the hell am I supposed to know that? I’m nearly 30 and have managed to get this far by doing minimal life administration and I’m completely fine with that. I mean, I’m getting by right? I’ve completed two degrees, held down steady jobs, been a good friend and family member, a present girlfriend, a doting pet owner, and a responsible citizen. So what if I’m not good at keeping track of assets and paperwork? As far as I see it, life is much bigger than being proud of your organisational skills. I can cook an amazing Thai curry, manage to take my dog to the beach every day, and have a wonderfully close relationship with my grandparents. Maybe I just value different things?

I broke my toe on January 2nd, one hour before I was meant to go to work. 7 weeks later and no, I still haven’t gone to get an X-Ray. Oh it hurt like hell and went black for a good week, I struggled to walk for days and it’s still red and swollen. But hey, it’s just a little toe right? I’d rather spend my days off from work writing on my blog, puppy by my side, sipping a coffee and listening to music (Current situation = #winning). I’ll get to the X-Ray eventually, and in the meantime I’m perfectly happy living with the choices I’ve made.

On a side note, totally living for my herb garden right now! The boy and I managed to score this gorgeous blue vintage planter box for $50, and so far we have 3 types of chillies, 2 types of basil, rosemary, chives, tomatoes and a Kaffir lime tree. This little venture has brought me so much happiness – I mean what’s better than cooking up a pasta, red wine in hand, adding your own homegrown herbs? It’s just so wholesome I could cry.

img_1950

Alright, time to be a grown up and hit the grocery store. Until next time 🙂

Sometimes, a dose of normalcy is just what the doctor ordered.

img_0686

I’m sitting here smiling with contentment tonight, having had a very simple, non-eventful day. No appointments, nowhere to be, and nothing in particular to do. How extremely boring! How exceedingly ordinary! Damn straight, and you know what? I absolutely LOVED it. In fact, sometimes all we need in life to re-group and just breathe for a minute is a day off. 24 hours away from the routine of work, meetings, appointments and people you’d rather not be stranded on a desert island with… you get the picture. So what does a dose of normalcy involve? Well everyone’s idea of a normal day is obviously different, but for a lot of us I imagine it involves simple things like cooking, doing laundry, walking the dog and eating dinner at a reasonable hour. So as I sit here paying respect to my annual viewing of the wonderful Love Actually, I can’t help but smile.

Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t get that craving to go off somewhere exotic like Ibiza and spend my nights partying till dawn, fuelling my body with all sorts of chemicals and making one-night memories with perfect strangers. It’s like I’ve skipped that stage and gone straight to wanting a comfortable lifestyle that involves fresh sheets, cups of tea and long walks on the beach. Does this make me boring? Don’t get me wrong, I lived the quintessential University lifestyle in my early 20’s. I did the share-housing, the packets of cheap pasta and even cheaper wine. I did the binge TV watching, the shitty parties and nights that ended in kebabs in the gutter. But at some point I realised that I was living a complete lie. Everything that my friends and I were doing at the time seemed at complete odds with what I really wanted, and it was time to stop apologising for that. Perhaps it comes from growing up under the roof of my Nana and Pop’s, but needless to say – I’ve come to an age where doing what I want is a breathe of fresh air.

If only the beauty of hindsight could benefit us at the time where we most need it, a lot of us wouldn’t waste so much time trying to please others. I remember the nights where all I wanted to do was light a candle and listen to some music, but my friends would beg me to come out. Having said that though, I most definitely don’t regret a thing about coming to know myself. We have to go through those phases of young adulthood to understand ourselves, figure out our values in life and what actually makes us happy. I think the most important thing to take away from any experience or phase in life, is to simply treat it as a learning curve. It’s about the journey – not the destination, and finding that perfect balance can be the sweetest, most satisfying thing we ever realise.

img_0564

Introversion and dinner parties; a recipe for disaster.

img_6289

As some of you may know I’ve written about my struggles with anxiety and introversion before, but today I’d like to touch on the nightmare of the dinner party. Upon invitation to a meal out, most people would look forward to it with a normal level of interest and excitement. Who doesn’t love wine, food and good conversation? This week I had to attend a going away dinner party for a girl from work, which was all fine and good – I was actually looking forward to catching up with my colleagues after almost 3 weeks away. Of course, I didn’t bank on people from higher management coming along – disappointing to say the least. Now we have to watch what we say and be on our best behaviour! Nobody enjoys dining with the big bosses, let’s be honest.

As I walked in and spotted that I was the first person there not in a ‘management’ type role, I immediately crawled into my shell. Excusing myself to the bathroom, I cursed myself for always having to be early to EVERYTHING. See, being early means you have to make awkward small chat as you wait for all the people who clearly have better things to do than be on time. I’ve actually never been able to understand people who are late, don’t they feel stressed that others are waiting for them? I cannot stand running late, so it seems I’ve committed myself to a life of being early and hiding in the toilet waiting for others to arrive. First world problems hey?

So moving on to the dinner party, and I sit myself on the end corner where I (hopefully) won’t have to talk to management or be put on the spot. WRONG. It seems the only thing Mr ______ knows about me is that I have a blog, which he likes to ask me about at every possible opportunity. So why not ask me about it in front of the entire table? What people don’t understand is that I’m not writing this blog to become famous, and I definitely don’t want to explain what I write about to a group of people I only know on a work basis when my blog is something really, really personal to me. I mean if you’re that interested, ask me what it’s called and google it or better yet – look at my resume or LinkedIn profile and you’ll find it. So as I slowly die under the spotlight of people waiting to hear what I write about, I spit out some random shit like ‘Oh you know, just life and Bali Belly etc’. CRINGE. KILL ME NOW. Somebody please take the microphone and close the curtains.

Thank god the cake arrives and we can stuff our faces, complain about how full we are and pay the bill. Home time!

img_6287

Photo credits – thepinkstagram & travelerspassion

After wanderlust, comes a yearning for home.

img_6229

I’m sitting here rugged up in bed, having just returned home from a trip to Indonesia. It’s been 6 days since I landed back in Australia and I’m still completely exhausted… in fact I could quite easily sleep all day. I can honestly say though that I had the most amazing time in Bali and can’t wait to go back, one day. But for now – the comfort, routine and normality of being home is all I’m craving. Does anyone else feel the same? Yes, travel is awesome. Seeing new things, tasting exotic foods and pushing your boundaries is wonderful for self-growth and certainly broadens your mind, but there’s nothing quite like the feeling of touching back down in your home country.

I realise I might sound like a boring old sod writing this, and maybe I do have some more boundary pushing to do in life. I’ve never been one of those people excited by the thought of back-packing or travelling for months on end, living on the road and not knowing where their next cup of tea is coming from. Call me narrow-minded or whatever you like, but some of us just like the simple things in life – a hot shower, clean underwear and comfortable bed. I tried the hostel thing last year in San Francisco and absolutely hated it. Sharing a bunk bed with complete strangers, everyone bothering the others with their noises and travel schedules, having to constantly lock your items up… not my idea of a good time. So many of my friends though have absolutely loved their hostel experiences, and I suppose I would have enjoyed it more had I not been travelling on my own. Sharing moments and adventures with friends is considerably more enjoyable than having to ask strangers to take your picture, but I did make the most of it.

As I sit here looking back at all my great pictures from Bali, I can’t help but smile. I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things – snorkelling in the open ocean, getting on a scooter (probably just stupid, but none the less fun), getting my feet sucked by tiny little fish… these are the memories that will stick with me for a lifetime. Yes, my body now feels like it’s been hit by a train. Bali Belly, the flu and jet lag have all hit me in the past fortnight and I’m looking forward to the day I bounce out of bed with energy. For now though, I’ll light a candle, boil the kettle and rest my weary head. Until next time, wanderlust.

img_6230

Photo credits – pr0ject_uno & bohodestiny

Remember, you’re exactly where you need to be right now.

IMG_4848

I saw someone post this quote on Instagram today, and I thought how perfect it was for how I’m currently feeling.

You are right where you need to be.

Sometimes I wish I could tattoo this to my forehead when I’m getting carried away in my thoughts, reminiscing on past times or wishing away the time looking forward to some future event. Mindfulness is key to maintaining your sanity in this fast-paced world, where our thoughts are constantly bombarded with worries, emotions, fears, guilt trips, dreams, memories and more. I woke up a little melancholy today, July the 8th in sunny Queensland, where Winter means shorts and a T-shirt with a cool breeze on your back. The Lucky Country right? So I allowed myself 15 minutes of snooze time in bed to wallow in my sadness, before getting up and committing to embracing this day.

I’m honestly believing more and more that happiness can be a choice, a small pledge within yourself to simply power through with a positive attitude. Sure, I’m feeling down about a couple of things – but in the grand scheme of life, am I going to care about them in a years time? Absolutely not. It’s hard to maintain that attitude 24/7 of course, but constantly checking in with yourself especially when you’re feeling glum can help shed a little perspective on the situation. I spent the morning wandering through the Botanic Gardens, simply enjoying the peace of nature, birds singing, sun on my neck and nowhere to be. Getting outdoors is a wonderful mood booster for the soul. Trust me, I know sometimes when you’re feeling completely lethargic, comfortable in your track suit pants and socks, and the last thing you feel like doing is donning some active wear and joggers. But just push yourself to try it… 9 times out of 10 you’ll come home feeling more energetic and clear-headed.

I’ve got a friend who comes to town every 2 months and we always have a little catch up, something that has been an unexpected delight. You see the friend is actually the partner of one of my closest friends, and up until we started catching up on our own the relationship had always been a little more reserved, or courteous I suppose. Now that we’ve established our own friendship though outside of the barriers of knowing each other through someone else, it’s been a lovely little addition to my circle. Anyway the point of me writing about him, is not only to emphasise that good company can often come from unexpected places, but that letting people in can broaden your perspectives as well. On one of his visits we went to Cape Hillsborough, a beach area famous for attracting kangaroos right on the brink of dawn. As we sat on the sand watching the first rays of sunlight pierce the ocean, he told me to just listen to all the types of birds singing. I honestly hadn’t even noticed the birds until he said that – to me they had become background noise. But upon tuning in to the calls of nature, I was totally surprised at just how many different sounds we could hear.

Mindfulness – it’s about appreciating the moment, getting lost in the moment and being grateful for this moment.

IMG_4852

Photo credits – arthurlitau & folksouls

 

Green with envy – the pitfalls of jealousy.

IMG_4486

I’ve fallen into the trap of social media envy lately – that ridiculous self-imposed jealousy you feel when endlessly scrolling through happy snaps of people travelling and living (seemingly) fabulous lives. And even though we all know the version of people portrayed on social media isn’t real, there’s some part of us that still feels down when we see images of gloriously tanned people, sipping on cocktails by the beach in exotic destinations. So why do we do it to ourselves? Why do we even bother looking on social media sites when we know, more times than not, they leave us feeling like our own little bubbles somehow aren’t as wonderful or glamorous as others?

For me, I think I’m personally suffering from some mild seasonal depression as well. Winter in Australia is officially upon us which means no bikinis, no little sundresses, and no swimming (unless you’re really adventurous, or just drunk). Life in summer is what makes my soul sing… give me sweat, sand and sunshine every day over snotty noses and socks. So as I sit here in ugg boots with a eucalyptus oil diffuser cleansing the air, I can’t help but feel a little envious of those basking in summer on the other side of the world. I’ve recently been bombarded with images of friends in far off places like Mexico and Cuba, looking like they’re having the time of their lives. Meanwhile I’m stuck here in a small town, with less friends that I can count on one hand, working in a pretty mundane job.

But I’ll stop myself right there and metaphorically slap myself on the face, because in actual fact – I’m setting myself up for a wonderful future. I’ve returned home for a ‘gap year’ of my own choice, and in 4 months I’ve managed to save $7,000.00 in a casual job which is something I should be really proud of. I’ve (slowly) recovered from some debilitating anxiety issues, and while I know there’s still a long road ahead in this regard I’m fully committed and positive it’s something I can now manage. And lastly, I’m going to Bali in a few weeks for a holiday with my beautiful friends, where I’ll be doing the exact same thing – creating social media envy for others. And while this is not my intention of course, it’s become part and parcel in our digitally connected world, and something we must all learn to live with.

So let’s give ourselves a break from feeding the jealous monster within that sometimes wreaks damage on our happiness, and commit to living in the moment – especially the moments in between those ‘happy snaps’ posted on social media. Those are the real moments – the raw, honest and authentic experiences we all go through. Cheers to that 🙂

IMG_4497

Photo credits – amin_ramzi & hvmansouls