The Difference A Year Can Make

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Well, well, well…guess who’s back?!

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Y’know…in case you didn’t get it already.

That’s right ladies and gents, I’m back, I’m blogging and I am better than ever!

A little over a year ago I began this blog as a way to find some routine and normality during what was a chaotic few months. I had been made redundant from my job of 5 years and along with the regular feelings of anxiety and self-doubt that I was already experiencing came a new level of scared and stressed. Fear of the unknown took over my ability to see things in a positive light. But writing posts on this blog managed to calm me and helped me see the broader picture: that Everything Was Going To Be Alright.

Soon enough, I found a new job with amazing people who pushed me to speak up more and challenged me to put myself out there again in a way that I had never really done before. Before long, my confidence grew – I knew what I was capable of and knew that what I had been doing for the past 5 years was just a test for the year ahead. I never realised how stagnant I was in my job and how little growth I had until I started a new chapter, looked back and re-evaluated everything I thought I knew about my life and myself as a person.

Back in October I had a special birthday brunch with my old workmates. It was a beautiful morning and just as we were all saying goodbye to each other, a few of my ex-coworkers remarked on how confident I had become within myself and among others. It wasn’t until that moment that I realised what a blessing it had been to be let go from my job all those months ago. It lead me to a new sense of purpose and a new level of inner peace that I hadn’t felt in many years.

October was 5 months ago and now, here I am. I’m still at the same job, working in a new department with a bunch of incredibly strong, funny and caring women. These women look out for each other – I am yet to see any of them turn on each other during stressful moments (trust me, there have been some stressful moments!) – and they inspire me to also be a better, stronger, more powerful woman.

My goals for 2017 include moving out of my childhood home, purchasing an upgrade to my current car, travel more to my favourite places around Australia (America/Europe/The UK will have to wait for the time being), make more time for my friends…and to continue learning that I cannot change people’s reactions towards others. The only thing I can do is be conscious of my reactions towards others.

I want my writing to reach more of you this year and to find others to talk with about the things I deal with. I want to write more about my own experiences as well as incorporate my love of storytelling and reviewing of entertainment into my posts.

So, you never really know what you’re going to get from me this year. I can only promise that I will try to be truthful with my words – after all, words are all I have for you all.

Looking forward to whatever 2017 brings. If you want to talk some more, visit me over on my Twitter, Instagram or find me on Snapchat (username: melissapisan).

Let’s make 2017 better than we ever imagined!

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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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Life Advice – stay present

It’s so hard not to dwell on the past or worry about the future.

Staying true and present within ourselves and living with what each day gives us can be hard, but I have recently found that living this way helps keep my anxiety at bay.

We cannot change what has happened in the past, we can only learn from our mistakes and remember the moments that made us feel truly alive and carry those lessons with us throughout daily life.

Be open to change, welcome challenges and take a moment each day to remember your goals for yourself. Be there for your loved ones but also recognize when things are weighing you down and take a step back if need be.

Who we are makes a difference and sometimes it may seem like the whole world is against us. Hold your head high, take a deep breath and move forward, for what is still to come, we do not know and that is incredibly exciting.

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Life Advice – how change can be positive

I have always called myself the Pollyanna of my workplace.

With a positive, optimistic outlook on life, I have always managed to take a negative situation and spin it into a somewhat positive situation. It’s something I take pride in – the ability to see the bigger picture over the here and now.

However, in recent weeks after deciding to take a voluntary redundancy from my job – which currently will leave me unemployed within a month – trying to remain positive and optimistic has been hard.

Change can be a wonderful thing if you are able to look at it as a good thing. Most endings bring new beginnings, and while I couldn’t see it for a while, I know my job ending leaves me open to a new chapter. Not just a new professional chapter, but a new chapter in life if that is what I want.

It can be so easy to fall into a negative slump. Trust me when I say that I have been there many times and it is hard to hold my head high and look further down the road to where things may get better.

Important things I try to ask myself during times of important life changes are:

  • “How do you feel now the decision has been made?” 

I was once told that the feeling of relief after making a very difficult decision is a sign that it was the right one. My recent decision to take redundancy was a hard one, but once things were finalized and the weight was lifted off my shoulders, I felt a huge wave of relief. Trust those feelings.

  • “Think of life this time 6 months ago – how much has changed in such a short amount of time? How can life change again in another 6 months or even a year?”

Looking into the future is something I try not to do too often as it can cause stress and worrying about things that probably will never happen. However, in times of change I like to think of how much positive change can occur in such a short space of time. It happens every day and sometimes we do not take enough time to appreciate just how far we have come and what barriers we have broken in order to get to the place we are right now. Keep your thoughts positive and perspective optimistic.

  • “Am I open to the world and whatever positive changes are about to come my way or am I shutting myself off, blocking any possible change that may be trying to make its way through to me?”

I am a big believer in being in-tune with the world around us. If we shut ourselves away and let negativity take over our minds and bodies, how do we expect those around us to help us? Not just friends and family, but everybody. We are all connected by energy and we all are drawn to certain people because of the energy they radiate. If we want good things to happen, we need to be open to it. Sometimes things we think are too far out of our reach just need to know you truly want them before they make themselves known.

  • “Who in my life can help me through times of negativity?”

Staying positive through times of change can get hard. Some days are harder than others. It is important to have people surrounding us who we can count on for support and confiding. Whether that is a parent, friend, work college or counselor, it is important to offload and receive validation that our thoughts and feelings are understood. There are even telephone hotlines you may wish to call who offer free counselling support 24/7 if things get to be too much.

  • “How can I help guide myself through times of negativity affected by change?”

Because we have to live with ourselves all day, every day. And if we can recognise that things aren’t so great at the moment, it is important for us to also recognise ways that we may be able to make things better. Whether it is treating yourself to a pedicure, or watching your favourite movie, or going for a walk in the sunshine while your favourite song plays on your ipod…there are endless things you can do to make yourself feel better.

Take a moment to focus on your breathing techniques. There are some amazing apps which assist in regulating breathing during times of stress. Sometimes 5 minutes a day of focused breathing can make a world of difference.

Wise words from my favourite lady, Miss Swift.

Change can be incredibly scary but you never have to go through it alone. Try to see the bigger picture and remain as positive as possible. If things get too much, it is also OK to let things out and if you need to cry or get angry or eat a pint of ice cream to feel somewhat better – I recommend it!

Lastly, if you are experiencing some kind of uncertain change at the moment, I hope things go well for you soon. Life is interesting in the way good things happen to people and sometimes you need to experience low moments before you can soar back into those incredible heights.

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