Tuesday 10 November 2015

Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

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So yesterday I had another Tarot card reading done after seeing a voucher on one of the multitude of deal sites for a 30 minute reading for $29. Bargain I say!

I was curious to know two things: what was a meant to learn at work so I could finally move on from a job I'm not passionate about to something I would thrive in, and what was stopping me from being in a relationship.

Straightaway the tarot reader told me there were definitely guys around me and I just wasn't paying attention (haven't we all been there?!).

She did the first reading with a focus on career choices and told me what I already knew, that I had an emotional attachment to my current job and despite talk of leaving for greener pastures, I wasn't really making any moves to do so. Guilty again.

At the end she told me within the next 6-8 weeks I'll shift to know exactly what I want in a new job and then I'll create an action plan to go with it. Solid enough advice and something I've started working on by doing a 'wish list' of what I want in a new job, it's something at least!

When she moved to focus on relationships and confirmed again that there were definitely romantic interests around me but for whatever reason I just wasn't paying attention, I felt fear intermingled with excitement and was torn between paying attention to what she was saying and trying to work out who of the few guys I knew or was around frequently, she was referring to specifically.

I asked her my question of what was holding me back with the belief that there was something more sinister blocking me from moving on rather than just fear of the unknown and taking a risk to find out it didn't work. Again she confirmed that I was the only person standing in my way. I want love and to be in a relationship but don't believe I deserve to be or that I'm beautiful enough to have someone in my life so I'm appearing as unavailable.

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I asked then asked her how I get past this and allow the love that I truly want into my life. Her answer was relatively simple: I cut out some time in my week to do things that show love towards myself. I have a date night just by myself so I prove to myself that if I can love me, someone else definitely can!

It sounds so simple, yet it's amazing just how hard doing self-love related things are, especially if you haven't grown up with positive reinforcement or certain freedoms.

She also told me that I should do whatever makes me feel sexy to build up the confidence to meet someone, even if I'm not going to just yet, I'm making the effort to do so and that counts for something.

Along those lines she asked me what makes me feel sexy. I couldn't think of something immediately but pondered it on the way home. She suggested a pamper session, waxing, buying lingerie, whatever suited me personally. All I could think was how I'd been taught that sexy was bad. Every time I watched something where a female was skantily clad, my mother would tsk tsk at how terrible it was and say she wished the female in question would put more clothes on before it gave everyone the wrong idea. I disliked my mother's take on a lot of things, but being a parent, I kinda had to adhere to what she was saying even if it didn't align with my own personal views.

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So the question remains, what is sexy? How does one go about creating this feeling within themselves? What do I think is sexy or what would or could make me feel sexy?

When you Google 'sexy' you get a plethora of images of toned, slim photo-shopped women in barely there bikinis and suggestive poses. This may be what the world considers sexy, but I'm of a differing opinion.

(Photo credit to http://www.crazyleafdesign.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Sexy-girl-iOS-7-Wallpaper.jpg)

I'm more inclined to believe that sexy is a state of mind rather than an article of clothing. When you're comfortable in your own skin and have unshakable self-esteem and ultimately know your worth, that's pretty damn sexy!

As for what I can do to make myself feel that way, I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out ;-)

(Photo credit to http://intrigue.ie/media/2014/08/050812-what-is-sexy-video-965x543.jpg)

Tuesday 6 October 2015

That Space/Time Continuum Thing

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go back in time? I mean of your own personal history, not like in Blackadder or every episode of Dr Who.

If you were given the chance, would you do it?

I've been pondering this on and off for the past week or so and wondering if it actually is possible to do, and if given the chance, I actually would do it.

I've heard people say that there are various dimensions or 'planes' and the one we're currently on is the physical, or something like that. It makes me wonder if there is some kind of alternate universe where our past exists playing reruns and if we can find a way to access it, we can go back in time to a certain point and redo things. It'd be kinda cool to do so and not necessarily have it affect our current lives. To relive a particular point where we say that thing we'd always kicked ourselves for not saying, buy that thing we'd always eyed but figured it would be there next time. Whatever the reason.

It's funny, in the kinda sad sorta way, that the person I most wanted to be during my youth is the person that I am now. Sure it's happened the way it has for a reason that I'm semi sure of, but it doesn't stop me from wondering what it would be like to go back to a particular day in my past.

I'm guessing we've all seen some movie or TV show where the characters have gone back in time so there's a younger version of themselves that they need to keep an eye out for, for fear that doing one thing different could cause a ripple effect and change everything about their lives as they became.

Knowing the kind of person I was as a teenager, it would be close to impossible to do the things I do now without going through and learning the things I had to in order to get to that point.

(Photo credit to http://digitalhint.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Harry-potter-time-travel-pendant-medallion-wallpaper.jpg)

As a teenager I was a quiet, polite and seemingly shy person who was made to feel insecure not just by peers but by parental figures, namely my mother.

As an adult who's been out of home for 4 years, changed jobs 2-3 times since graduating and completed a year of university education, needless to say, a fair bit has changed in all areas of my life.

Knowing what I know now though, would it be worth the risk to change everything that I've learnt? If I were able to go back in time, would I still have all the memories and experiences I've acquired or would I be the exact same person I was at that particular time and just looking in as if it was my own personal TV show?

When I really think about it, I imagine going back to a certain period in high school, confronting people that I always wanted to but didn't have the guts to for fear of what my parents would say. I'd stand up for myself and believe that I truly deserved better because that's what I've come to learn and fully appreciate.

I'd stick it to my crush and disentangle myself from his thrall that he almost seemed to enjoy having me under at various points. I'd tell my best friend to get real and be honest about things I knew she was hiding and taking out on me, I'd also demand a better friendship and terms of treatment because doormat and punching bag weren't working for me anymore. I'd confront the guy that liked me, maybe tease him a little as an icebreaker and see what happens after that. Plus it'd be kinda fun if I went back in time and still retained all my knowledge to play psychic and see what comes of it.

I'd learn to appreciate my family more knowing how much things change in the future. Granted as a teenager with a semi dysfunctional family, appreciating them is one of the last things on my mind, the first being get out alive!

(Photo credit to http://coolinterestingstuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/time-travel-evidence.jpg)

How much would my experienced attitudes affect the future though? I know that everything can change in an instant and in some ways we're following a script without realising it. If you went back in time you'd be following the storyline of that particular era with limited information available and presumably trying not to out yourself for fear of changing the future. But what if it's meant to be changed? One might say if that were the case then the opportunity would present itself and the technology would most likely be available to do so.

For now it all seems like a crazy fantasy, a pipe-dream to keep me entertained until uni starts back and I feel more fulfilled and happier with my life knowing that I'm doing something meaningful that really makes me happy.

Seriously though, if you had a chance to go back in time and change something or just do something differently, would you? Bearing in mind where not doing that thing has brought you today. Would it really be worth the risk?

Wonderment aside, I really believe that everyone is exactly where they need to be. As much as I'd like to undo the wrongs that I perceived to be done against me, without them I probably wouldn't be where I am today or on the life's mission I'm following and I don't think that would be fair.

I also believe that karma is real and if something is meant to happen, it will be, maybe just not in the way you expect it to.

What say you?

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Friday 14 August 2015

Feminist is I

(Photo credit to www.indunamag.com)

Feminist. It's such a dirty word isn't it?!

As soon as you say it or claim to be one there's a hush around the people nearby as if you've just admitted to some heinous crime. Males start flaring their nostrils and preparing for war because you've just said one of the most hated words in their particular dialect.

I jest of course. But really, what does being a feminist mean?

(Photo credit to www.feminist.com)

With Emma Watson's speech from last year inviting people from all around the world to join the #HeForShe movement and claim that they are feminists, there's a continued debate amongst people as to what exactly it means to be one and how it has an impact on today's society.

There's several anti-feminist women's groups which completely baffle feminists and a lot of women in general saying if it weren't for feminism, we wouldn't have come as far as we have.

(Photo credit to pinterest.com)

I was discussing this with a close friend of mine ages ago when we were talking about makeup and other girly things. I told her I was torn between my need to oppose the beauty industry and everything it stands for, but at the same time I saw it as a rite of passage to wear makeup, especially in my 20's.

She told me that feminism means whatever you want it to mean. Ultimately it means equality for all, recognizing that women are people not objects like the media has portrayed and led us to believe over the years.

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For me, feminism means being able to be comfortable in my own skin, my own clothes, my own life, without thinking or feeling like I owe anyone, least of all a male for everything that I have or that I've achieved.

In the religious society I grew up in, it seemed the message was the complete opposite. So often I heard or was told 'Wives, submit to your husbands'. The example of that for me was mum doing everything she could for my dad, and him just being happy with it that way. From the outside it seemed all give all the time and there was no reciprocation involved, well none that I actively saw.

(Photo credit to izquotes.com)

In my household, mum believed that she had to be the dutiful wife and mother that hers was before her, even if that meant putting herself last in everything and not complaining about it because that's what she was taught.

My brother seemed to take full advantage of this and didn't oppose to her doing his laundry or cleaning up after him even though she told him off for it time and time again.

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Many times she would have just finished the washing up and was glad to sit down again when he'd call out for a sandwich or some kind of a snack. Having just seen her sit down and look completely exhausted, I'd ally myself with her and call out to him that he should get it himself since he was closer to the kitchen than mum was. He'd yell something back disliking my attitude towards him not getting what he wanted from mum and mum would intervene telling him it was fine and she'd get up again to make something for him. It frustrated me endlessly that she was treated like a personal slave and she never stood up for herself even though it tired her out. On occasion if I was standing in the kitchen when a request was made for a snack, mum would ask if I could make something for him but I'd counter saying that he was more than capable of making food for himself (he was a teenager at the time) and I didn't know how to make whatever it was that he wanted and preferred the way that she made it anyway.

Don't get me wrong, I love my brother dearly and this isn't to slam him or his treatment of mum, I've heard from lots of mothers that boys prefer to let their mothers do the work for them whereas girls tend to do it themselves, or something along those lines.

(Photo credit to www.pinterest.com)

More recently though (6ish years ago) I had a boss from a Middle Eastern background who had certain expectations that because I'm a female I'd wait on him like his wife and other females in his life did. He came into work one morning when I was doing an invoice or whatever I had on my to do list and he made a point of saying that I hadn't asked him if he wanted a cup of tea that morning. I just looked at him blankly. No male, hell, no one had ever said that to me. My brother didn't drink tea or coffee and my dad either made it himself or mum made one for him if she was having one. Sometimes I'd offer, but no one had ever commented that I'd hadn't gone out of my way to ask if they wanted one. Nevertheless, my boss made himself one and sat opposite me drinking it and glimpsing at me every now and again almost as if to say 'nevermind, I made one myself!'.

I remember getting home from work after that and telling my dad about it, he was amused when I exclaimed that if my boss had two legs and beating heart, there was no reason why he couldn't make one himself. Maybe he thought it was in my job description that I'd automatically make one for him even though I'd never done so unless he'd specifically asked for one, in that case it was just another task for my to do list.

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A friend of a friend posted a Tweet screenshot about a year ago on Facebook which was sent by a guy getting up in arms about feminism and declaring that he didn't want a bar of it. I commented underneath saying that I read it as some guy who was insecure in his masculinity and wanted to blame it on women when it was really his problem to deal with.

If a guy can't handle a strong woman who knows what she wants and won't settle for less, then he doesn't deserve her.

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By the same token, my view on feminism extends towards males as well. I think a guy should also feel comfortable in his skin, clothes and life without shame or prejudice. As Emma said in her speech, guys not being allowed to show their feelings made her realise that she was a feminist.

I believe that if a woman is being belittled or mistreated in any way by a man, or even a woman, she should be able to know her worth, stand up and walk away. The same thing goes for a guy. I keep picturing all the tacky material girls who end up with the loveliest guys and treat them like a means to their own ends and the guys just putting up with it because they don't think they deserve better.

(Photo credit to carleton.edu)
If a guy wants to cry then dammit he should let the tears fall, no shame in that. If he wants to pick a girl flowers or write her a poem instead of spending half a paycheck on fancy jewelry and a 3 course dinner, then let the man be!

If feminism means equality for all, guys feel their feels with no shame, girls feel confident with no blame, then feminist is I!

(Photo credit to bellebrita.com)

Friday 7 August 2015

It All Started With Olive Oil...

(Photo credit to www.buzzquotes.com)

Well technically, Olive oil spread.

I was doing grocery shopping last weekend on an empty stomach which everyone knows is the worst time to go. Anyways, I had a craving for a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich but rather than buying one from Michel's Patisserie on my way home when I already had a decent sized container of hot chips smothered in gravy and a Lebanese pizza in a separate plastic bag, I thought I'd just get the ingredients to make one at home.

As I was going through the butter/spread section of the fridge and looking for the usual generic branded olive oil spread I'd become accustomed to purchasing, I looked briefly at the brand name spreads just next to them and deliberated on them for a few moments.

There was about $1 price difference between the two. Not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, yet I'd always gone for the cheaper option, after all, they were the same, weren't they?

(Photo credit to www.buzzquotes.com)

I started to think about it some more as I looked between the two. On a sub-conscious level, what message am I giving myself by saving an entire dollar on a spread that I didn't use that frequently anyway.

The brand name spread was made by a company which was founded in the 1850's or something like that and claimed to be experts when it came to quality olive oil. Assumedly a company which had been around that long weren't bad at their jobs and should be taken more seriously.

(Photo credit to www.aliexpress.com)

Usually when I purchased generic branded items it was because of money fears as I'm sure many people know. The only problem with my fears was that they were based on my childhood of not having money. Dad had the occasional contract which didn't last too long because he was overly qualified and a fair sight older than other candidates. Mum had given up working shortly after my parents got married because the stress of her job was getting to her, plus she wanted to be a stay at home mother when my brother and I came along. Between the two of them, money was always tight and many of my parents fights were over mum spending more than my dad was getting in. Not to say that mum was materialistic, she just came from a household where everything was provided for her so she brought the same principle into her marriage even thought it didn't work so well.

Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly proud of my thriftiness, resourcefulness and bargain-hunting skills which I developed from my childhood and with strong encouragement from dad. The thing is, my life is different now. I'm working 30ish hours per week, I get paid a pretty good wage plus commissions on any sales I make. I've never been left wanting for something, even if I can't buy it straight away, I'll always get around to it in time. (I remind myself of this every time I get my therapy bill and check my bank balance).

(Photo credit to quotesblog.net)

As I'm sure so many people know, it's very hard to change behaviors which have been drummed into you from a young age and made to feel like they're law. But, I've found that if you just do one thing differently, you'll gradually unravel the tangled web of beliefs you had to believe because of the circumstances you were living in.

On a much more personal level, the same can be said about beliefs towards yourself as a person and your body image. My mother was always negative about herself. Whenever she was getting changed in the dressing room and asked me for my opinion on something, I'd oblige, but moments later she'd go back to bagging herself out. "My arms are too flabby", "My stomach sticks out, I need to do more exercise", "I look dreadful in this!", the personal insults go on and on.

(Photo credit to pinterest.com)

I was always determined to not end up like mum which her negative beliefs. Unfortunately, as I told my dad and my therapist recently, as much as you try not to follow in your parents footsteps, if they're present in your life and are the only role-model that you really have, you inadvertently pick up a few nasty things from them.

While I've never looked in the mirror and thought 'eww, gross!', I generally didn't have an opinion about myself. I didn't have enough, much or really any consistently positive reinforcement to make me believe that I looked good. At the same time, I refused point blank to adopt my mother's negative mindset, so I settled for somewhere in the middle. Indifference. When I looked in the mirror I thought neither yay nor nay. I'd just look and think or feel nothing, more accurately I'd only use the mirror to brush my hair or squeeze a pimple, no words of reinforcement were ever uttered or really thought by me about myself.

(Photo credit to top-img.com)

My mother, with her insecurities and mental illness, made it hard for me to appreciate myself as a person. As they say, 'Do as I say, not as I do' yet it's usually the opposite for children, so I was sent the mixed message that I could be negative about myself but lift others up at the same thing. It's all well and good for others, just not for me, but apparently that's okay. I deserve it.

I explained this to my dad and my therapist and both agreed that it made sense. I also told my therapist that as hard as dealing with the loss of my mother is to deal with, it's also dealing and processing all the false beliefs I've held for so long that were unintentionally reinforced by her.

(Photo credit to beautyquotestumblrpics.blogspot.com)

It's a hard thing to do, going against everything you've been taught and believed for so long, but it's the best thing you'll ever do for you.

I started being kind to myself, lord knows it's about time I did so! Instead of beating myself up for continually buying and eating chocolate and chips, I do whatever makes me feel better.
Instead of chastising myself for daily stalking people on Instagram and spending a few hours searching through Facebook photos and downloading them to my computer to be deleted later on when I'm past this particular period in my life, I recognized that it's only a few hours (a few seconds to a few minutes on Instagram) every now and again. I don't spend my entire day or night on there, I don't follow/unfollow, friend/unfriend people mindlessly. Hell, I was still able to do my work and make a sale or two at the same time. Not bad if I do say so myself! Instead of adding up the cost of the things I want to buy then doing a kind of 'I want this but I like having money' pee-pee dance, I'll buy whatever it is that I want and remind myself that I deserve it, I'm getting paid and I can always return it/throw away something else that I own.

(Photo credit to picturequotes.com)

The good news thus far is that I've really started to appreciate my body and myself. When I look in the mirror as I'm getting dressed, I don't think negative things. I think things like 'I have a nice shape'.

Yes I have a few extra kilos, but I'm not obscenely overweight. It's not like I don't do any exercise whatsoever, I just don't like the label of 'exercise', it sounds like such a dirty word to me. I can fit comfortably into my clothes and if I can't, I give them away to someone else who would appreciate them just as much, if not more than I did. It also helps seeing so many more curvy women in the spotlight, even if I'm not the biggest fan of them (Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Lena Dunham, Jesy Nelson of Little Mix, just to name a few).

When it comes to myself and my friends, I'm continually grateful that I've attracted some truly wonderful people into my life. Yes ME! I did that! I click so well with my friends and the people that I'm closest to that even though it's still a work in progress, I can now start to be happy about the person I am because of the people around me.

(Photo credit to quotepixel.com)

Sure when it comes to shopping I still balk at the price of things, like when I spent $100 on Damart clothing because mum used to order it and it kinda makes me feel close to her, the same way that ordering Avon does, but I say that I'm investing in myself. The same goes for whenever I buy ecourses on self-love and creativity or whatever. They're not usually terribly cheap, but as a close friend told me the other night, by spending money you're also bringing it back in, AKA manifesting. Like when you put love or kindness or gratitude out and it comes back to you sometimes in the strangest of ways. There's no finite source of money in the world. That's the thing we all need to remember.

(Photo credit to pinterest.com)

As I gradually learn to loosen the wallet zip for fear that I'll run out of money, I remember that I'm still working, still getting paid, there are weeks that no sales come through and weeks that I supplement more than half my income. Either way, I'm not going to be destitute any time soon.

For those of you still reading, thank you for staying with me. And for those who are still wondering, yes I did buy the brand name olive oil spread and I'm still feeling pretty damn good about making such a small yet monumental step towards being happy with me.

It's funny where a simple thing like grocery shopping will take you.

(Photo credit to iliketoquote.com)

Thursday 6 August 2015

I Survived!

(Photo credit to pinterest.com)

It's funny, (in the completely unhilarious kinda way) that whenever we hear someone say 'I survived', we usually think along the lines of cancer, shark attack, alien abduction or something else of that magnitude. We never tend to think that someone is lucky to have survived the day and not been in some kind of humongous peril.

Sadly however, this is the case for so many people when it comes to things like mental illness and yet very few people speak up about it.

No thanks to society, our problems have been belittled to a point where if it isn't life threatening and an obvious/easily fixable thing, then we don't think or talk about it.

There's also this notion that there's a 'one size fits all' approach to life, which doesn't help anyone and will hopefully be weened out in the coming generations and replaced with understanding, acceptance and most of all, love.

(Photo credit to ashlynsully.wordpress.com)

I've seen a few quotes and posts on Instagram which are aimed at people who struggle through life on a daily basis simply with the words 'it's okay if the only thing you did today was breathe'. I don't know about you, but I find that incredibly powerful, profound and really makes you think how lucky you are that that isn't something you even need to think about. Yet for some, that's all they do.

When I think back on my life, depending on my mindset, I'll feel tinglings of pride for what I've overcome. I haven't had cancer, been attack by a shark, been cornered and assaulted by someone, abused or anything else that would be considered newsworthy. Yet my life has been far from easy and I'm still here today, writing this post. Can I get a WOW or even an AMEN?!!

(Photo credit to thedailyquotes.com)

I survived all of my schooling experiences to the point of graduation.

I survived essentially a lifetime's worth of bullying by way of verbal and emotional abuse.

I survived continuous neglect, isolation, and feeling ignored.

I survived (and am still surviving) low moods, depression, extreme anxiety.

I survived toxic friendships and relationships to the point where I've been able to rekindle them and find myself much happier the second time around.

I survived my first job in the food industry. (It only lasted 3 months but that's still an achievement)

I survived my first job after finishing high school. (Just over 2 years in employment as an Office Manager).

I survived constant emotional abuse and borderline verbal abuse from a previous employer. (No amount of knowing that he means well underneath it all will ever make it okay).

(Photo credit to theunclaimedgeneration.tumblr.com)

I survived my first counselling session at Headspace.

I survived my first therapy session. (Still going, 5 years this year, woot!)

I survived growing up in a household heavily impacted by mental illness and not knowing how to deal with it.

I survived my childhood.

I survived my teen years. (Just!)

I survived my suicidal thoughts.

(Photo credit to figure-of-l.deviantart.com)

I survived 2 spinal operations to correct severe Scoliosis.

I survived my lung collapsing and spending a weekend in Intensive Care.

I survived my first night moving out of home.

I survived the 3rd move I've done in my life. (Still loving where I am).

I survived some ridiculously heartbreaking times in my life.

(Photo credit to gracedesired.com)

I survived my first solo holiday.

I survived my first plane ride.

I survived my first driving lesson.

I survived the first crash I had in my brother's car. (Bumper damage only, but it shakes you up a bit).

I survived the first dent in my beloved car. (Some lady ran into me at a roundabout).

I survived my first online dating meetup. (He wasn't a creep or anything).

I survived my first day at uni.

(Photo credit to pinterest.com)

I survived my first year at uni.

I survived my first long distance drive. (Sydney to Blue Mountains is a fair trip if it's the furthest you've ever driven).

I survived my 2nd and current job. (3 years and counting!).

I survived the sudden loss of my mother and her funeral.

I survived yesterday.

I'm surviving today, I'll survive tomorrow and every day after that. Because that's what I do.

I survived, so can you!

(Photo credit to Google Images)

Monday 20 July 2015

So, How Are You Really?

(Photo credit to www.iliketoquote.com)

I hate when people ask how you are and you can tell they just don't care and are only asking because it's the polite thing to do.

It's one thing to work in a customer service type environment where it's part of the job description and daily script to ask people how they are or how their day's going, it's another to do it for the sake of keeping up appearances.

I know it gets tedious asking people about themselves, especially when you get caught up in the drama of their lives which no one really wants, but then you realize that you might be the only person to ask after them in a long time. Stuff builds up over time. You could be doing them the greatest favour by checking in with them.

(Photo credit to www.pinterest.com)

Everyone needs to feel loved, acknowledged, appreciated and ultimately like someone cares about and for them, yet so few people do, and even fewer people speak up or do something about it.

The number of times I've been asked how I'm doing just generally and I've answered 'not too bad thanks' or 'good thanks, how are you?' when I had WW3 happening inside me at the time. Sometimes I didn't trust the person I was talking to enough to open up to them, other times I just didn't want to think about what was going on for me so a simple answer worked best for everyone.

(Photo credit to www.iliketoquote.com)

It's different though when you've suffered a great loss. Not just because people don't really know how to approach you during the grieving process, but the ones that really care do ask, especially if they can empathise with you, they welcome the opportunity to do so.

It's funny how little you actually know about a person even if you see them every day or every week. Some people don't show it, others show it too much, everyone else varies.

As I've mentioned in a fair few blog posts now about my experiences growing up in a relatively strict religious environment, everything always seemed superficial. If you were going through a hard time, people really only wanted to know so they had something to gossip about, there was no love there, at least none that I truly felt.

During my time at church and related activities, I had a very selective friendship group. I don't mean that in a Mean Girls 'you can't sit with us' kind of way, I mean I found myself drawn to people who knew the harder side of life but you'd never know unless you took the time to get to know them. Everyone else outwardly seemed like they didn't know what troubles or hardships were and the way they looked at or treated people who knew better showed it just as much.

(Photo credit to www.buzzquotes.com)

Even now I have very few friends from the few friends I had at church. Some of them I occasionally keep in contact with because we still understand each other, others I've grown apart from, as is the way with life in general.

When I look back on my time in high school and various friend groups, I always wanted to be the confident and popular one, but I was permanently stuck at the bottom of the social heirarchy and resolved that it was just my lot in life. I knew at the end of the day that I didn't really need a group of friends that were popular, I just needed one person who for the most part had my back and that I could trust implicitly. While the friendship I did have for most of my schooling wasn't perfect, I knew that despite our differences, we had each other even if we drove each other insane half or most of the time.

(Photo credit to www.apisanet.com)

I think in order to get anywhere in life, you just need one or two people who you know you can rely on without fail. If you find more than that, consider yourself incredibly blessed because they will be invaluable assets.

It's like that saying about feeling alone in a room or crowd full or people versus feeling complete by yourself and supported by the few that you're close to.

So now I ask you, how are you really?

Just remember: it's okay not to be okay. Don't let anyone tell you differently. :-)

(Photo credit to www.iliketoquote.com)

Tuesday 7 July 2015

The Pursuit of Happiness

(Photo credit to www.southvalleychurch.com.au)

Are you one of those people who buys countless amounts of crap they really don't need but are somehow able to justify it to themselves in order to achieve instant gratification?

I'm currently going through something like that at the moment from what I've noticed.

I've been shopping a few times and left with a lighter credit card, heavier hands and more cluttered living space. Sure I can justify it in a way that all the craft stuff I've bought will make me happy when I get around to using it, and I think that's fairly legit. The same with the books I've bought/ordered despite having an almost overflowing bookcase and being a few pages into about 7 different books at present.

I told a close friend the other day when I got an email from Dymocks saying I'd accumulated enough points to get a discount or something about a missed birthday, either way I had a couple of bucks to put towards another book or two which had to be used up by the end of July. The friend jokingly asked me if there were any books left for me to buy/read. I told her I was banning myself from buying more books until I'd read AT LEAST one of the one's I'd purchased recently.

Skipping ahead a few days and 4 books later, that really didn't stick. Although to be fair to myself, I'm spending money on books, not something meaningless or crappy that will fade after a while. I've essentially purchased a whole bunch of different worlds and headspaces that I can get lost in as soon as the mood strikes. That's definitely worth the investment!

More importantly, I know what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. I feel sad, really really crappy as one does when experiencing grief and adjusting to the loss of someone close to them. I have this giant gaping void in my heart/soul where the crux of my mother's love used to be. Now that she's gone, I have this huge chunk of something missing from me and I'm trying to do whatever I can to fill it or not focus on it. Some methods aren't as helpful as others, but admittedly at least I'm doing better than I think a lot of others would be in the same situation, that's something I need to give myself credit for but sadly don't.

(Photo credit to www.thethingswesay.com)

I told my therapist over the last few sessions I've had that in order to cope with everything that's happening including my grief and the crapload of emotions that come with it, I'm filling the gaping hole with 'junk' until I have enough strength to return to myself again and do or focus on things that actually benefit me for the better.

I've been obsessively stalking people on Instagram even if they don't update anything for ages, I'll still go through all of their pictures until I feel better or find something else more interesting to do. At times it's not even about the person/s, it's just about not thinking about my life or my feelings for a few moments at a time. After a while it's become a habit or an addiction which I'm not exactly unfamiliar with. I know it will pass though because it has before. The last time I just wasn't ready or in a position to be able to deal with the underlying cause. This time it's more that the process is so much longer, bigger and more mind-warpingly personal than before, so I feel like I need a 'fix' to get through even if it's of nothing.

(Photo credit to www.tinybuddha.com)

It's not that I don't want to feel better, because I'd love to. I know people don't actively choose to feel like shit about themselves or their lives if they find a way not to, but it depends on your personal strength. I told my therapist last session that I'm just tired, completely exhausted and drained. I give myself a 'get out of jail free card' to do whatever I need to in order to get through this incredibly trying time. I'm not the same person I was before who didn't have something else to focus on, I just need a time out to not deal with my own life, a sort of 'pick-me-up' if you will. It's not going backwards, it's going sideways or sitting out until I have the energy to move forward and despite my subscriptions to Claire Baker, Gala Darling (whom I absolutely LOVE), Melissa Ambrosini, just to name a few. Each email I get from them does make me happy, especially if I'm in a relatively positive mood. If I'm not, then I just file them under 'to look at later'.

I can remember one time in my life so far that I've have been beyond ecstatic with my life and everything I had going for me. It was last year, when I was a few weeks into my second semester at uni and leading up to my 25th birthday. I was studying a few different things which absolutely fascinated me, my job was going well, I was getting along with my family, I'd developed some truly amazing friendships which I valued dearly. There was nothing in my life that I would change if I had the chance. I even stopped going on Facebook because I just didn't care enough to get embroiled in other people's dramas or feel the need to have myself validated by other people and count the number of 'likes' anything I posted got. If I liked it, that was enough for me. Who cares what anyone else thought!

(Photo credit to www.zitaben.hol.es)

I know with time that I can get back to that place and even drastically improve on it. But like most things in life, it will take time, even more so with the grieving process.

In the meantime I'm trying to curb my spending to things that I actually need or that aren't completely meaningless. If I really don't need another 3 hoodies even though they're $5 and look pretty awesome, I'll refrain from buying them (with extreme effort mind you). If I've already downloaded an album, I really don't need to spend another $20-30 on the physical copy of it. The same goes for a movie or TV series.

The same thing goes for luxury items. A big fancy house, an even fancier car, a boat, designer this and that. Whenever I see someone driving an expensive car (in my experience, 8/10 fancy car drivers are pretentious assholes who think they're better than everyone else), I wonder if they drive it to make themselves feel important, to impress other people, or if it was really just a childhood dream to own one and have spent their lives saving up for it.

(Photo credit to www.impfashion.com)

It's like the quote which has been said allegedly by Will Smith. "So many people buy things that they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't like".

Everyone deserves happiness whether they believe it or not. I don't think it lies in a physical object or the acquisition of one. As soon as you buy something you feel happy for a moment, then the chemical reaction dies off and you want more.

Sadly though, we live in a very materialistic world *cough* Kardashians *cough*, where the main message is to sell, sell, sell and buy, buy, buy because we apparently NEED an item which a rational person would look at think it was completely useless. I remember listening to the 3pm Pickup radio show with Chrissie Swan and Jane Hall I think. Chrissie was talking about informercials and how at the start of them she always thought the product was completely ridiculous and wondered why anyone would possibly by it, but by the end of it you were convinced that you couldn't possibly live without it.

Unfortunately though, people do spend ridiculous amounts of money on things for instant gratification and repeat the process when it wears off.

The pursuit of happiness is a never-ending one if you look for it in things rather than in yourself.

(Photo credit to www.essenceofliving.com.au)