Sunday, 22 November 2015

Being Alone.

Today I wanted to write about something that I think is really important, and thats being on your own. Now I’m not talking about being single or even being lonely, but something far simpler and more positive, being alone. I think one of the most vital skills in life is the ability to enjoy your own company, and I meet more and more people who seem to struggle with this.

Most people will agree that they enjoy a few hours alone in their room catching up on a TV show or reading a book. These are definitely good examples of being on your own and being ok with it. However, enjoying your own company extends beyond the confines of your bedroom where you are comfortable. Its more about not depending on others to make you feel comfortable when you’re outside the house.

Earlier on this year, and again only a few weeks ago, I travelled on my own to London for work. Both times I was there for two weeks and had my boyfriend come to stay for a few days. The rest of the time I was on my own. During the day I was obviously working and surrounded by people all day, but the evenings and few days off I had were completely my own. The first trip I took I was quite nervous about these times as although I was completely happy on my own in the confines of the hotel room, heading out for a full day in London alone seemed like quite a daunting task despite the infinite list of things there are to do. However, on my last trip I really looked forward to these days and evenings by myself, which is something i am quite proud of. I don’t think my younger self would have believed me if I said that I could quite contentedly go for dinner by myself. Spending an entire day alone wandering around a city is such a pleasurable experience, I had no internet connection on my phone as I was abroad which at first I thought I would struggle with as phones are great when you feel awkward as there is always something to look at. Instead it was quite liberating, I really took in my surroundings and dwelled in my own thoughts instead of the constant bombardment of images and opinions coming from Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. I spent an entire afternoon wandering around the National Gallery and some bookshops and really did enjoy spending an entire day with nobody but myself. When I did eventually get back to my hotel room, I had such feeling of contentment at how I had spent my day and that everything I had chosen to do was completely for me, and what I wanted to do.

Something we all struggle with is that we all think that everyone out there is looking at us, and when you’re by yourself you think people notice, and dare I say it, feel sorry for you. Once you stop thinking this way it all becomes easier. Nobody CARES. Really, nobody is looking at you, everyones too caught up in their own life to wonder why a girl is in the cinema by herself. If I see someone drinking coffee in a cafe or having lunch by themselves I think “how great!” ,they feel so comfortable and unselfconscious to do that and not worry about it. So get those thoughts out of your head, or if you really can’t and you feel that yes, people are staring at you, just think ‘who cares?’. Chances are you don’t know them, also they might be staring at you because they think you have a fantastic bum/smile/outfit and haven’t even noticed you’re alone. Half of it is more than likely just paranoia.

I really wanted to write this because I think we place so much importance on who we were with all the time. Tagging and checking yourself in on Facebook and Instagram with friends, its like we need to tell the world “hey look I’m not on my own, I have loads of friends!!” Not that doing this is necessarily a bad thing, I am definitely someone who posts on Instagram that I’m meeting friends for lunch or drinks, but we need to have some balance. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to spend time with my friends, boyfriend and family, I also happen to enjoy being on my own. I just don’t think we value how vital it is to spend time with yourself. My boyfriend and I are together almost seven years and I like to think that one of the reasons for this is that we both are quite like minded when it comes to this. We are both aware that we need our own space and time alone. Something I love about us is that we can be in the same room, each doing a separate and absorbing task and its ok that we’re not necessarily talking to each other, we’re happy to sit in a comfortable silence.

Reasons why its great to be on your own;
-Not having to share your popcorn in the cinema- especially if its butter, you want that deliciousness all to yourself
-Having time to actually think without feeling the need to constantly converse
-Getting to know yourself better
- Not being entirely dependent on your phone as a source of distraction

Some nice things to do on your own;

  • Go to an art gallery or exhibition you’re interested in by yourself
  • Something as simple as doing some yoga in your room, but for a full hour uninterrupted
  • Go for a coffee on your own, and don’t make it a ‘to go’, sit and enjoy it
  • Take a walk, I love walking by myself, especially without any music
  • Go to the cinema on your own- I have always wanted to do this but still haven’t got around to it!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Being Happy & Doing What You Love.

In the last year or so I’ve had, not to be dramatic or anything, a bit of a career crisis. For most of my teenage and early adult life I wanted to be a writer, and then about three years ago I had an awful thought that I would never be good enough. Instead of working hard at it and finding some time to write every week I just gave up. I would occasionally (and still do) sign into my blog and make a few half-hearted attempts to write about a new lipstick, but never anything real. Not that lipstick isn’t something of vital importance to write about (sometimes it really is) but there needs to be some real enjoyment and passion behind the writing, which mine has lacked for a long time. All of this self-doubt and lack of practice put me off pursuing a career in writing, quite specifically my dream to work for a magazine. Over the last few months I’ve started to get back a lot of the passion I had lost, and realised that I never stopped wanting that dream job, I just stopped thinking I could do it. So instead of wondering what to write about, and stressing about the fact that it’s going to be really hard to achieve everything I want, I’m going to write about it. I want this blog to change and to be somewhere I can write about all manner of topics, yes there will still be makeup related posts (that love for lipstick is going nowhere) but I think I have so much more to offer, so expect something different from me. When was sixteen I had a blog and I wrote about whatever interested me, I posted my poems (always quite awful believe me) my photography, fashion and makeup posts and short stories. I want to go back to this time of blissful unselfconsciousness and write whatever I please, not caring if other people like it. There is something very cathartic about this idea and hopefully it will get me back not the practice of writing again.

All this is in pursuit of the title of this post, being happy and doing what you love. I couldn’t sleep a few weeks ago as my brain was stuck in this whirlwind of awful thoughts that I was wasting my life in a job I don’t like and feel no passion for. This fear had me in a sort of vice grip for a couple of weeks as I was having some sort of prolonged internal panic attack that just felt like my brain was screaming ‘WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?’. Someone who inspires me on this regard is my Dad, he works in IT and he loves his job. Yes, he gets stressed out and tired, but on a daily basis he wakes up and doesn’t dread going to work, he enjoys his job. i think this is something so rare and it makes me really sad that so many of us spend the majority of our lives at work and we hate almost every minute of it. As cheesy as it is to say, if you find a job you love doing you won’t work a day in your life, or something vaguely along those lines. This is my dream, to find something I genuinely love to do. That should be easy right?