April Sun

For the first time in over a year, I am currently on a week’s leave from work.

Why? Well, I thought it best to do it now when things are pretty quiet after Easter, as to not put my co-workers in jeopardy while they fill in for me.

What am I planning on doing this week, I hear you ask? At this stage…nothing. I plan on reading, writing, catching up on my favourite TV shows and spending time just breathing…doesn’t that sound spectacular?

After I began my job last year after  month off due to my redundancy, I was refreshed and had no desire for the rest of 2016 to take time off. Of course, there were a few moments where I had wished I could – when things got to be a bit stressful or when my personal wellbeing wasn’t at it’s best – but I carried on.

At the start of this year for about 2.5 months, my life revolved around work. My role as a receptionist in a community college during peak enrolment period really tested my patience and my ability to solve problems quickly and without fuss. It was a demanding time period, yet as I said to a fellow co-worker, I didn’t notice just how busy we were until things started to die down and the pace returned to normal.

I was exhausted. Absolutely spent. Drained from so much customer contact, from answering 100+ phone calls every day for months. Really…over it. Thankfully, my boss noticed my deflation and recommended I plan some time off. Now, I know how lucky I am regarding this – not all bosses will suggest their staff take a week off just to recharge. I saw my opportunity, weighed it against the fact that I hadn’t taken more than a weekend off (and even in some cases, I had worked multiple weekends during that busy period) in over a year and agreed.

Now, here I am. Day 2 of my official days off. Not counting the Easter long weekend, which has already left me refreshed.

I adore this time of the year. April in Australia brings on a cool change, while keeping the sunny days we love. Mornings are brighter, evenings darker earlier and sunsets much more photographic. It’s all so relaxing and cosy.

For Good Friday this year, my family and I packed up our cars and headed to our local lake for some fish and chips by the water. It was such a beautiful, cloudless day looking out onto the water.

I cherish time with my family the older I get as it’s not s regular as it once was. My childhood memories are full of family drives to the lake; piling into the car with our walkmans and Barbie dolls and setting off on an adventure across town. The drive always seemed so long – now we’re there in the blink of an eye. It’s like that with so many things these days in comparison to days gone by. I miss those days immensely.


Easter was relatively quiet. I ventured out of the house Sunday afternoon to see Beauty and the Beast at the cinema with my Mum, sister and Zia (that’s Aunty in Italian if you weren’t aware). As the original Beauty and the Beast cartoon was and is one of my all-time favourite films, I was a bit wary as to how I would enjoy the film, but I was left pleasantly surprised! Highly recommended to those who love Disney, magic, music and romance!

Autumn is all about nature stripping itself of the past as it makes way for new and exciting things. Beautiful things. It can get dark and cold, but it’s all how you look at it. Much the same can be said about our lives and the way we choose to live them.

We can run ourselves down and not do anything to pick back up again, or we can take a break to stop and take the reigns again and prepare whatever is coming next. It’s a time for change, growth and rebirth.

I, for one, can’t wait to see what the rest of Autumn has to offer.

Hoping you all had a spectacular long weekend, regardless of what you celebrated – I would love to hear all about your adventures!

6 Months – Moving On & Self Discovery

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6 months. That’s how long it’s been since I started a brand new chapter of my life.

They say that you shouldn’t let your professional life affect your personal life. That work shouldn’t be as important as your relationships/friendships/family. But when you’re suddenly left without a job, you quickly realize just how important having a professional life can be and how it can affect you as a person.

6 months ago, I was made redundant from my job that I had held for the past 5 years. It was always something I was proud of for my age – securing a job which I not only enjoyed doing, but one that I had been able to stay at for 5 years. So many people in my generation seemed content with switching and changing, picking and choosing and trying a bit of everything before finally settling into what they wanted to do. I felt so lucky to have found something I enjoyed doing, doing it well and continuing to do it well for 5 years.

I learned that a lot can change in 5 years for a person. You learn so much about yourself both professionally and personally. But I’ve also learned how much one can learn about themselves in as little as 6 months. How much I can impress myself, looking back on what I have achieved since leaving my job in May, 2016 and how far I have come personally.

You would think that being made redundant would have broken my self-confidence and shattered my belief in myself that I could find another job that I loved just as much as the one I had. 6 months ago, I would have let my anxiety get the better of me and probably would have made myself sick through fear of the unknown.

The truth is, I do fear the unknown. I worry about not only my future, but the future of everyone I love. The difference between who I am now and who I was 6 months ago is that I realize that some things just aren’t up to us to decide. We have to be open to change, to possibility and bend when the wind tries to break us.

I’ve been working in a new job for a wonderful company for the past 4 months. Something I never saw coming, yet when it happened, it just felt right. I knew it was because I kept myself calm and positive, even though the second month of unemployment (which definitely tested my strength).

This whole post isn’t about me. It’s not about overcoming a hard time or my pride in myself for riding through the roller-coaster of change and being left relatively unscathed (although I do reflect on both regularly). I want whoever is reading this post and is dealing with hardship to know this: nobody knows what is going to happen in their lives. We have no idea what we will be doing a week or a month or 6 months from now.

I say to you, do not be afraid of change. Do not let others’ worries for you become your own. Take care of yourself, of your anxieties and your fears and do not close yourself off to change in whatever area of your life you are hoping for some kind of miracle.

6 months ago, I started a new chapter and I feel as though I am a different woman because of it on so many levels. Learning to roll with the punches that life throws at us can be tough, but once you can duck before you’re hit, things start to become a whole lot clearer and the challenge of life becomes so much more.

Try your best, take care of yourself, love yourself and never stop creating positivity within yourself.

6 months has gone and I’ll never look back.

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Love Advice – You Complete Yourself

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We’ve grown up in a world where finding a partner to spend the rest of our lives with is viewed as the ideal. Romantic comedies and Disney movies alike tell us that if we want our lives to be better and happier, ending up with someone is the way to do it.

There comes a point if you’re single like me and you’ve hit a certain age, realising that you haven’t found the person of your dreams can be incredibly upsetting and worrying. You find yourself comparing your life and love life to that of your friends/family, thinking that time may be running out for you.

I have some news for you: time is not running out. The fairy-tale is far from over.

In fact, in this fairy-tale, the Princess doesn’t need a prince or princess in order to live happily ever after. The Princess does need to accept that they don’t need to share their life with someone else to feel complete (no matter what Jerry Maguire may have told you).

Finding love should not be a sport. It should not be a race. I wish that I had grown up with fairy-tales about women who found their own happily ever afters through their own self-acceptance and courage. Women who were open to love and ready for relationships, but who were also focused on other important things in life such as a satisfying career or fulfilment with her relationship with her closest friends.

If you are feeling like you’re waiting for your true love to find you, you’re not alone. Know that you are open to love, new experiences and to the prospect of finding someone to fits into your already amazing life.

The most important thing in our lives is self happiness – start by loving yourself some more and who knows just who might be around the corner.

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Weddings – 5 Things You Need To Know

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It’s been a while, and I apologise!

My life currently is a bit of a shamozzle, with things happening both professionally and personally that are out of the ordinary and are taking a bit of getting used to. Because of that, I just haven’t found a nice block of time to write. But, I’m here now!

This past weekend was special for me. I was invited to attend the wedding of a dear friend of mine and was even asked to do a reading, which I was nervous for, but also very excited! It was the first wedding I had attended where I wasn’t part of the bridal party, and the second I had ever attended during my adult life.

Since weddings aren’t a regular occurrence for me, there were a few things I learned that I thought I would share with you incase you’re not a wedding veteran either:

Take Photos

This one is pretty obvious in a world where camera phones are part of every day life. Take photos of the bride and groom, the guests, the band, the flowers, the food…weddings are such a special celebration, you may as well remember as much of it as you can. Photos can also be a wonderful gift to the bride or groom as a Christmas or birthday present, so be creative and capture those memories!

Don’t Drink Too Much

Weddings are different to bachelorette parties, where everyone is expected to get a little rowdy and probably do some pretty embarrassing things. There’s nothing worse than making a fool of yourself in front of your best friend’s Nanna, or that boy you had a crush on in year 2…be smart – have fun, but don’t be too silly.

Eat Something 

I learned this one the hard way! You may have a full morning of hair/makeup appointments, but make sure you take a moment to eat something. Whether it’s grabbing a banana on your way out the door, or stopping for a yummy smoothie before you put on your outfit, food is important! Your headache from not eating anything for hours on end will eventually catch up with you and will surely make celebrations less fun if you go with an empty stomach.

Be Social

Weddings aren’t about sitting around a table playing Pokemon Go with a friend all night until it’s time to go home. Make the most of being in a room with some people you probably don’t see all too often and say hi. Introduce yourself to those you don’t know, and catch up with friends you do. Dance, sing, laugh and add to the overall atmosphere of the event. You don’t want to look back in 20 years time and wonder why you didn’t enjoy yourself more at such a special moment in a loved ones’ life.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Again, I learned this one the hard way as well (I have done this a few times, unfortunately!). Plan your outfit based on 2 things: weather and comfort. If you know it’s going to rain, bring a jacket and if you know you will be dancing all night long, bring a spare pair of comfy flats! I can’t tell you how many events I have gone to where I think my heels are reasonably comfy, only to be in agony 2 hours into the event without a backup! You can always take your shoes off to dance, but if your wedding is being held on grass, remember to wear block heels, or sandals to stop yourself sinking. By the end of the night, nobody will be looking at your feet, they’ll be too busy dancing to care!

 

I’d love to know what your words of advise are for attending a wedding!

What is a moment where you’ve been caught out and thought ‘I wish I had planned ahead for this!’?

Until next time,

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Life Advice – You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are

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Life is funny, isn’t it? Without any context, I know  you still know what I mean and I am sure you agree with me.

Everything can be running according to our plans and we can be feeling on top of the world one moment, but unfortunately with such highs also come hurtful lows.

Sometimes when we’re sinking, we are running at such a fast speed, trying to piece things back together and keep our head above water that we don’t even realize we’re sinking until we actually stop. Then it hits like a million waves…until we usually find the ability to float again.

Humans are amazing.

Personally, I’ve marveled at my own ability to push through a really difficult week, getting knocked over multiple times. But somehow, I kept getting up and only now am I able to sit and realize just what I’ve dealt with and how (surprisingly) well I’ve handled it thus-far.

During times of adversity and hardship, try to remember your strength as a person and think of other times you have been faced with challenges which you have been able to face and triumph.

It may take weeks, months or even years to fully comprehend your strength, but one day you will realize just how much perseverance you have within you. Some days it gets you out of bed, others it gets you through hell and back.

Don’t give up on yourself or your ability to conquer life, no matter how tough things seem.

Well done to you – you amazing thing!

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How Reading My Teenage Diary Helped Me With Self Acceptance

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It’s amazing what reminiscing about the past can do for your current self.

Over the weekend, in between cleaning, I came across my collection of diaries/journals I kept from age 10-21. I used them to write about anything and everything. From the boys I had a crush on, to my thoughts on friends/family and the moments in my life which caused me great heartache or joy. I guess I’ve always loved to write.

Reading entries from 10 year old me to 21 year old me, it became incredibly apparent to me how much I have grown as a person. Of course, 10 year old me would be different to 26 year old me, that’s kind of a given (and a hope). The thing that surprised me was just how much I have matured from 21-26. How my views on life/love have changed. Most importantly, how my views on myself have changed. Reading diary entries from my 20 year old self was almost as if I was reading writing from someone else.

I feel like my most important years for growth (so far) have been ages 18-22. When high school ended and I began working, trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I began drifting away from certain friends and also making new ones. I also experienced some extremely happy times and some incredibly sad times between those ages. They were years I think many people will agree were formative and although some days were tough to get through, I now realise, looking back, that I needed those days and those years to move closer to self acceptance.

18 year old me honestly believed she needed to find love and get married/have babies by the time she was 25-30. 26 year old me is single and although she’d love to find love, marriage/babies is the furthest thing from her mind. 20 year old me was so content with finding a job which she could do forever. 26 year old me realises not all jobs are meant to last for years and even the ones you only get to work at for a few months will teach you something about people and a lot about yourself.

19 year old me was so hurt by people she didn’t even know. She was so intent on pleasing everyone and fixing everybody’s problems, even when they didn’t necessarily need her to help. 26 year old me has (only recently) realised that she cannot help anyone without first helping herself and loving herself/taking herself to the best of her ability.

Then there’s Teenage Me. I don’t even know where to start with her! I will say that when you’re 14, friends mean everything to you and in a different way than they do in adulthood. 14 year old me trusted people so easily, confided in the wrong people and got her heart broken by ‘friends’ who were honestly probably just as selfish as she was. 26 year old me still trusts people too easily, but knows when to keep her mouth shut regarding things she doesn’t want the world knowing about. She may not have as many friends as she did in high school (who does though?) but the ones she does have would be there for her at the drop of a hat.

The person I used to be, or the people I used to be, all lead me to be the woman I am today. No matter how embarrassing some of my old diary entries are – let me tell you, there are doozies – they truly remind me how far I have come in life and how much I have learned about myself and my capabilities as an individual over the years.

Usually I talk about moving forward and keeping the past in the past. I still think that this is an important way to get through life’s struggles, but sometimes it’s important to look back and marvel at how far you’ve come. Read an old diary, look through scrapbooks, smile at old photos and even read old letters from friends you may have forgotten you had. Then, turn your attention back to the You of today and hopefully you’ll see how far you’ve come and how much more you have left to achieve for yourself.

Sometimes, in order to continue down the path of self-acceptance, we need to look behind us every now and then.

Nostalgia is a powerful thing, don’t you agree? Did you keep a diary/journal as a teen? How have you changed through the years?

Keep growing,

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Never Stop Feeling

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It’s so hard to remain true to ourselves some days.

Just when we feel like we’ve grown up enough to be okay with the person we are and the personality we embody, this year especially seems to have tried to harden us up more than we possibly ask to be.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who grew up as a relatively shy, quiet child and had comments from family and friends alike on how ‘soft’ and ‘gentle’ I was right through my teen years. Truth be told, I never took the comments as an insult, if they were intended that way. The way I was raised definitely connects to who I am today and how I possibly come across to others personality-wise.

But I realise that others aren’t as lucky as I was. There are children out there being told to toughen up, speak louder and be the boss more than they want to. There are little girls and boys who just want to sit on the sidelines and are actually content in doing so. Teenagers who would rather go to a soccer game and cheer from the sidelines, than actually play the game. It saddens me that sometimes the world can be so heavy on us and these young people change who they are to either fit in with friends or to stop ridicule from their own family/friends.

It’s so hard to be yourself in a world where so much is happening every single day. With new tragedy being reported on our televisions/phones/computers 24/7. It’s almost as if the world wants us to harden up and just accept that we need to let these horrible events roll off our shoulders and be desensitised to it all.

That scares me. What will people be like in 10 years time if we become so used to tragedy? Will we just post a photo on Instagram and then get on with our days, knowing there are people living through horror?

The point of this post is to really reiterate the fact that it’s okay to feel. It’s okay to be affected by the death of a celebrity, or a terror attack in a foreign country, or the news of mistreatment of animals by humans, or anything else that makes you feel something.

It is okay to be emotional about someone or something that doesn’t directly affect you. It is okay to express that emotion by writing about it, or talking about it with people who you are close to. We shouldn’t have to keep the things that cause us heartache to ourselves. Because although some things may not affect some, they can affect others incredibly deeply.

Don’t lose your softness. Feel things. Express yourself. No matter how old you get – it’s okay to be who you truly want to be and not who others expect you to be.

Stay true to yourselves and feel everything. The world is so much more than what we turn our backs to every day.

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