Anniversaries are funny things, aren’t they.

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I’ve had some one year anniversaries lately, in fact I usually do around this time of year. November and December always seem to be a huge period of change, whether that be moving house (or city), relationships ending or drifting apart, and career moves. In exactly one week it will be my 28th birthday, and I can’t think of a worse birthday I’ve had than last year. I know it sounds stupid, it’s just another day right? It doesn’t actually mean anything in the grand scheme of things. BUT… we’re conditioned to think we’re meant to be HAPPY on our birthdays. Grateful! Excited! The life of the party! Well, shit happens. Last year I’d just quit my job, just been dumped, and was facing daily battles with crippling anxiety (I’m talking panic attacks, chest pains, digestion problems and a huge fear of crowds, driving, bridges…. you name it). It was absolutely awful, and I spent the day trying to hold back tears and resist the urge to crawl into bed and hide in the dark. I remember laying on my balcony on the night of my 27th birthday, watching a thunderstorm and just feeling really sorry for myself. Woe is me…

How things change in a year! Had someone told me to keep my head up and stay positive, that this year I’d be spending my birthday in the beautiful Whitsundays with my boyfriend, sipping on cocktails in the tropical sun, I would not have believed them. Now I don’t want to jinx myself here as the birthday itself isn’t until next week, and plenty of things could happen between now and then, but that’s beside the point. My whole life has been flipped in a year and I could not be more grateful for the support I’ve had, and more proud of myself for soldiering through. I even spent 4 hours in a shopping centre with my sister this week! Had you have known me a year ago, this simple activity was near impossible. I remember my sister begging me to go Christmas shopping with her in December a year ago, and I lasted about 5 minutes in the centre before basically needing to run outside. The intense fear, crippling anxiety and struggle to breathe or think straight was completely overwhelming, not to mention feeling like a complete failure. This week alone I’ve been shopping multiple times (I absolutely love buying gifts for my family), and I’ve been completely fine with it. In my mind this is such a huge achievement, because a year ago I was honestly at a point where I didn’t think I could ever step foot in a shopping mall again.

So what I can say is this. If you are struggling through some tough times at the moment, hold onto the knowledge that things are more than likely going to change for the better, and sooner than you think. As one door closes, others really do open – you just have to have the courage to step through, and the strength to ask for help when you need it.

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Can you smell it in the air?

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I always get antsy around this time of year. I get a whiff of Christmas approaching; of hot summer days (for those of us who live Down Under), of pools splashing and sand burning, of air cons working over time and flimsy dresses. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but it’s a feeling of nostalgia for past summers, and excitement for future ones. It’s a sense of me changing and things changing, and wanting everything to just pause for a moment so I can catch my breathe. November seems to be my month for change, where I realise the things I haven’t accomplished in the year, and smile at the things I have.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been flat out trying to maintain a balance between working, seeing my family and boyfriend, and spending time with my animals, but time really does fly as you get older! I’ve been feeling a little stretched out lately just trying to keep up with all these things, and not having enough time for me. For an introvert like myself, normal daily activities like training someone at work and catching up with friends are extremely draining, and if we don’t get that time to unwind… well, it’s not pretty. I feel like I’ve been rushing every day to squeeze a million things in, all the while feeling completely exhausted and wishing I could sleep for an entire day. Is this what adulthood is? Complaining that we’re tired every day and not doing anything about it?

I’m determined to not make the same mistakes that so many people make in life – accepting that their reality is the daily grind of a job they have no passion for, accepting that being exhausted is normal, and being completely oblivious to things that ACTUALLY matter. A girl I’ve been training at work told me she thought I was a little bit ‘hippie’ and quite bubbly this week, and I had to smile. Hippie, I’m fine with. Yes I’m into meditating and spirituality, so if that makes me a hippie then fine. Bubbly though? I don’t think she realised how utterly DRAINED I was from having to talk to someone for 8 hours a day, 5 days in a row! See I’m used to working alone which suits me perfectly fine, with the odd chat here and there to tenants and the postman. How do introverts ever find solace in a world where working in an office or shared space is the norm? I’ve been trying to work out what would be the best career path for me all year, and here I am with 2 months left to 2017 and still no answers.

Help please! Any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂

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Does anyone really know the true meaning of Easter anymore?

 

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I for one, have definitely forgotten what the history of Easter is all about despite it being drilled into my head during 12 years of Catholic schooling. I know it’s something to do with Jesus, Good Friday and his rising from the dead… but that’s about as much as I can recall. Does it really matter though, I’m wondering? I did try and give up something for Lent (Pizza – lasting about 2 weeks), and I’m not smashing chocolate down my throat at any given chance (just the daily Connoisseur ice cream – amazing range of flavours and really worth a try). So I suppose I’m doing okay in the grand scheme of things. What’s it all about anyway?

To me, it’s a time of reflection. It’s now 4 months into the new year, and most of us are sitting here wondering how the hell it got to April when it was Christmas like 5 days ago? I don’t know if it’s just me, but time seriously keeps getting faster and faster. Regardless, we’ve had 4 months to hone our new year resolutions – whatever they may be. By now we have realised what works and what doesn’t, what was probably an unrealistic goal, and what we can aim to achieve in 2018 (which is just around the corner at the rate things are going). I actually saw a Christmas party package online the other day for a hotel. WTF!? Give us a chance to get over the hangover and pork-induced coma of Christmas 2016 for God’s sake!

It’s also a time for hanging out with the family like we’re all best mates and everything is La-di-da. I say this after being yelled at by my mother for stealing her clothes yet again (well really, if you’re going to have a baby at the age of 19 what can you expect? I’ll have those Lorna Jane pants thanks). Everyone at my house is currently having an afternoon nap after a big feed of nachos, then we’re taking the dachshund down to the beach so she can get mocked by all the gigantic dogs as she waddles her little legs around. SO DARN CUTE.

Anyways, I do hope that everyone celebrates the long weekend in whatever fashion suits them. Breathe, exhale, and appreciate the lovely in-between-seasons weather, because soon it will be Christmas again and we’ll be chucking a prawn on the barbie (for those of us in Australia at least).

“Hedwig didn’t return until the end of the Easter holidays. Percy’s letter was enclosed in a package of Easter eggs that Mrs. Weasley had sent. Both Harry’s and Ron’s were the size of dragon eggs, and full of home-made toffee. Hermione’s, however, was smaller than a chicken’s egg. Her face fell when she saw it.
“Your mum doesn’t read Witch’s Weekly, by any chance, does she, Ron?” she asked quietly.
“Yeah,” said Ron, whose mouth was full of toffee. “Gets it for the recipes.”
Hermione looked sadly at her tiny egg.” (J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). 

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Photo credits – roundrockfarm & babyanimalstagram

In my own good time…

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How many times in life have friends, family or colleagues tried to get you to do something – whether it’s a new restaurant, TV show or book, or perhaps something health related or ‘for your own good’? They mean well of course, but there’s just this innate reflex in me to be stubborn and do the opposite, despite knowing deep down that they’re probably right and have my best interests at heart. So what does this say about me? That I’m only human I think, and that we each have to tread our own path, make our own mistakes, and arrive at our own conclusions.

We’ve all been there before. Someone has recommended something, a year or two later we try it… and absolutely love it. Why didn’t we do this before!? We tell our friends and family, and someone says ‘I told you to do that years ago’. Well… yes, you did. But I was stubborn (or maybe just stupid), and wanted to discover my own things. So why can’t we listen to people we actually trust to make good recommendations? I think it comes down to a silly sense of pride. WE want to be the ones to unexpectedly find trendy new cafes, or stumble across fantastic books we can’t put down. WE want to be the original source of information, and spread the word. It’s ridiculous isn’t it?

So many times I have finally started watching a new TV show from a friends suggestion, and become completely engrossed in the story line. Game of Thrones, True Blood, The Killing, Dexter, The Tudors… the list could go on forever. Had I listened to the people who knew me best, who knew what I would love, then perhaps I could have brought this enjoyment into my life a little sooner!

As I get a little older (and hopefully wiser), I intend to genuinely take on board anything my loved ones suggest to me. I do think that it’s important for us to take our own time in making positive changes to our lifestyle however, when it comes to more serious referrals. Anything health related – whether it be physical, mental or emotional, is something that we need to decide for ourselves so we aren’t filled with resentment or regrets. It is absolutely important that we genuinely listen to these suggestions, and make changes if our actions are negatively impacting anyone around us. I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you (Joyce Meyer). 

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Photo credits – vzcomacro & tuesdayswithpaulo