Sunday, 26 April 2015

why it's OK to not be OK

When I was at uni, we had one seminar where our teacher told us about this personality test that described you as a shape. She looked at me for several seconds and concluded, 

"You would be a circle. A typical people pleaser."

Bearing in mind I had probably accrued less than 10 minutes face time with this particular teacher, I was a little taken aback. But I also thought, yuh-huh - that's me.

I do try to please people and make them happy. I HATE the idea of someone hating me. I strive to be "well-liked" in pretty much all areas of my life and I'm (finally) realising that it isn't healthy.

Because, as well as striving to make everyone else happy and OK, I sometimes find myself lying to them to do this. Telling them that I am fine. Life is cushty. I am OK. Most of the time, this is true - I have a pretty healthy relationship with myself and with life - and all things considered I really do have it cushty. But I think maybe this week it wasn't true... and I hit my limit.

I realised this when on Friday night I was watching the last episode of The OC (I heart Seth, don't judge) and I cried. Like, a lot. And then I couldn't stop crying. To a point where I had to stop and think - this isn't all about Seth and Summer being the cutest couple ever now is it? Still, I decided to ignore it and drink a giant glass of red instead (smart).

The next day turned out to be sad for a variety of different reason which I won't go into here. Suffice to say, I hit my limit of trying to be all things to all people. I saw my choices - I could either smile and nod, say I was OK and things are great while slowly simmering with sadness under the surface, or I could just stop. So that's what I've done.

Today there has been no smile plastered on my face to make others feel better. I've spent time on my yoga mat, drank tea while watching films and listened to Damien Rice. I've also made a vow to put myself first. A statement that may sound selfish to some, but is actually just something I need to do right now. I'm going to stop tip-toing around people, saying what I think they want to hear so they continue to perceive me as the 'nice one', I'm going to stop pretending I'm OK in the rare moments when I'm not and I'm going to be happier for it.

So the overall message of this post? It really is OK to admit that, sometimes, you're not OK. Stop worrying about what other people think of you and stay true to yourself and what you need. Even if that means a day of solitude, or hell even a week of solitude. Figure out what you need to be OK again, and do it - without worrying about other people or their perceptions of you. If they love you they'll understand and let you get on with it. 

On that note, I'm going to hide in my room for the rest of the evening - laterz. 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

itchy feet

Top L-R: Amsterdam, Thailand, Spain / Bottom L-R: Switzerland, Berlin, Dubai

Travel is something I've been brought up with, thanks to a long line of BA employees in the family. Our family holidays took us around the world, from Barbados, America and Spain to Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Dubai (before anyone had ever heard of it).

After family holidays became a thing of the past I didn't think about travelling too much. It wasn't until I saw my parents' holiday snaps from Thailand and thought 'I need to go there' that I realised I wanted to see more of the world. So, I did just that. I booked myself a month-long trip to Thailand and had a fantastic experience.

Since then, being in full-time employment has meant travel has taken a back seat. But I've still managed to get around a bit. I've hung out in cafes in Amsterdam, hiked mountains in Switzerland and, most recently, went back and enjoyed the city life in Dubai. 

I kinda decided on my birthday that this year was going to be one of exploration, and to me that means more travelling. I've already booked flights to Budapest (totally crashing my friend's weekend away) and already have a couple of other things in the pipeline. 

What I thought would be fun however is to write up a list of things/places I want to 'do' travel wise. A travel bucket-list for me to look up when I'm planning adventures - not just this year but in the future too. 

So here goes....

A yoga retreat - somewhere sunny

I've been totally inspired by my friend who spent a month in Brazil getting her yoga teacher training and am desperate to go on a yoga holiday. I think a week-long retreat would be a good start and then perhaps I could work up to a month in Brazil...

A solo adventure - somewhere sunny

I want to do this because it would scare me a little and empower me a lot. I figure once I get the first solo experience under my belt there'll be no stopping me. To ease myself into it I want to find somewhere where I can just chill on a beach for a week and just 'be'.

A foodie holiday - Italy

Italians know their shizz when it comes to cooking, we all know that, and I want to fully appreciate that by eating all the food. Maybe I could take a cooking class too and whizz around town on a Vespa... 

A city break - Barcelona/Paris

I've been to both these cities when I was very young - but I want to go back and experience them as an adult. I've also just downloaded the 'Duolingo' app and am throwing myself back into learning Spanish, so Barcelona may be just the place to practise my skills.

A taste of paradise - Bali/Fiji/Hawaii

I want to go somewhere and live the life of a beach-loving-new-age-hippy for a while. I'll meditate every morning, take surfing lessons, do yoga on the sand and start making jewellery from driftwood.

An American dream - San Fran/New York

  I don't know why but I feel like San Francisco is a city I could live in one day. I like its vibe. I went there with my parents when I was younger for a couple of days and remember thinking - yeah I dig it here (probably after inhaling a huge portion of cheesy chips in a dank alleyway). So I would like to explore that idea. And I've never been to New York, and that makes me sad, so I need to rectify this. 

I could probably go on forever, but I wont - 600 words will suffice. I'll finish with a few uplifting quotes to give you itchy feet too.... 


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