Tag Archives: positive thinking

Lifestyle | But, am I doing okay? Really?

15192616_10153957418182617_4700111268043211696_nI’m struggling lately. I’m not afraid to admit it. On the face of things, I have my shit together, I’m one of the most together people I know most of the time. Always sure of myself, always knowing my next step and what I want out of life. But these past few weeks, I’ve just found myself questioning everything. I don’t know what set it off, perhaps it was the exhaustion of the post-festival comedown and working over 50 hours a week that has left me an emotional mess, perhaps it’s just a mid-twenties crisis. But let’s be honest, sometimes all it takes is the news of how everyone else is progressing around you – in their relationships, careers, travels and lives – to make you really question everything you are doing and have achieved. I’m not one to compare myself to others, I know I’ve chosen a very different path to most people, but it’s easy to look at that without a heavy dose of perspective and think you’re not doing as well as you should be.

I said in a previous post how I was struggling to find the words to put on the page and I was taking a short break from writing until I regained my mojo. But it was only the last few days when it suddenly hit me that perhaps the reason I had lost my mojo was because I wasn’t writing as much. Spending so much time focusing on work, the gym, friends and enjoying Melbourne meant one of my biggest passions was pushed to the wayside and I was left with no real outlet for all those thoughts that swirl around in the back of my head. As a creative individual it’s easy to not realise the huge impact that has on you as a person, the challenge of being a creative is always finding new, and more satisfying ways to express yourself. But if that mode of expression is taken away, all that creative energy can just eat you up inside. I can see it even now as my fingers fly across the keyboard, just how much I have missed writing and sharing every facet of my life with you wonderful people.15203347_10153970687092617_759818856468780508_nSo what sparked this huge realisation? Well, last week at work (I’m working at a rooftop bar in Melbourne CBD) I had a visitor – a lovely girl who had travelled all the way from Germany, apparently a huge fan of this blog, and just had to meet me in person on her last night in the city. I can’t even begin to tell you what this meant to me, I’ve had a few real down days these last few weeks so to know that someone appreciated me and my work so much was an incredible boost. It hasn’t automatically fixed everything, but it has brought me back to writing and it has made me realise my priorities. I love exploring the world around me and living life to the max – I will always be a workaholic who struggles to maintain a work/life balance that doesn’t push my body to extreme exhaustion. But I also need to give myself time to reflect and enjoy, to appreciate the amazing experiences I have had rather than always surging ahead towards the next.

But, am I doing okay?

It’s the question we all ask ourselves all the time, whether we say it out loud or we let it eat us up inside as more friends announce new homes, huge career progression, engagements, marriage and babies. It’s so hard not to judge yourself by the standards of others, and it’s so easy to forget your own individual huge achievements that others just can’t compete with. Now several years down the line, I know that giving up my nine-year relationship to travel the world solo and build a freelance journalism and travel blogging career was the best decision I have ever made in my life. But I still can’t help but compare it to friends who have done the opposite and gave up everything for the one they love – putting aside their career and life plans. Likewise, giving up my working life at a newspaper was something that was long-overdue but going freelance and travelling long-term has also thrown me back into a life of temporary hospitality and casual work. I can’t help but both love the freedom and easiness of it while hating the transiency and the lack of progression. There is no future in it and it sometimes makes me crave the excitement of seizing career opportunities.15181360_10153970688762617_7809531450665387419_nI mean, technically I’m doing amazingly. I’m in a great job, earning good money, I’m complete independent, the fittest and physically happiest I’ve been for a long time. I have a great apartment, incredible friends and family on every side of the globe, and plans for the future. But right now, something just isn’t sitting right with me, I can’t put my finger on it but whether my life is missing something or I’m in need of something different, I know that something has to change. I’m not one of these people who mopes around and complains about the way things are, I prefer to be a little proactive and make things better. Being a solo traveller, you have to be willing to get off your arse and to do things for yourself instead of waiting for someone else to make you happy. I like to apply that attitude to every aspect of my life and so I always get impatient with myself when I’m having a few down days – I’m not a wallower, I’m a problem solver. So my next mission is getting myself out of this funk and finding my new happy, the change that will help me regain what I feel like I’ve lost lately.

So, how do I do this?

Well my first changes were pretty instantaneous, I cut a few toxic people out of my life in the last few weeks, people who were’t bringing anything positive into my world. I came back to writing, determined to let it heal me and to find my way back to this blogging world. I took some time for me, I went treated my body well and allowed it to recover, I indulged in my passions without stressing about doing things for other people. I planned a much-needed escape to nature with amazing friends and I refused to feel guilty for putting myself first. It hasn’t changed my world yet, but it has eased my mood and has given me hope for the upcoming weeks. Now all we can do is watch and wait.15179224_10153957417787617_6807561513212356488_n

Are you struggling at the moment – how do you cope with these feelings? Have you got any tips for getting back on track?

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Finding your happy place – the power of positivity

At the Blue Lagoon on Comino Island, off the coast of Malta

At the Blue Lagoon on Comino Island, off the coast of Malta

With everything that has been going on lately, I’ve really learnt the value of having a happy place that I can escape to in my mind when things get a bit too much. I was always one of those lucky ones before whose happy place was everyday life and I didn’t need to think about somewhere to escape to, but as happens to us all over time, it has become my haven of late.

I haven’t been the best-tempered person lately and have really lost my patience with a lot of things and people – perhaps a sign that I let people get away with too much or that I did far too much extra work before now and that I was just realising that I gain nothing from this. Perhaps just me getting annoyed at things that shouldn’t bother me because of my situation, but either way  – I have noticed the affect of my changes in behaviour on the people around me.

It is interesting to watch how people react to you differently when things like this happen. I am usually the brightest, most cheerful and upbeat person around who will do anything for anyone, is endlessly patient, will take on extra work with no complaints and who is always on hand to cheer people up or help them out. Since all my drama I have been a lot less patient with people, in fact its like my patience has snapped and I have been a lot less inclined to do special favours for people or to take on their workloads as well as my own. I’ll be honest, I have been snappy and sometimes outright rude, which has angered me further because I hate to be like this with people. However, I have had my eyes opened to quite how many people were abusing my kindness by getting me to do extra work for them simply because they were lazy. Now they just do it themselves rather than asking me – which is good and fair.

But after seeing how colleagues, friends and family were tiptoeing around me, I realised just how much my positive attitude affected others. It is astonishing the power that good manners, kindness and showing an interest in people can wield. Especially if it comes naturally to you – these people will in turn show interest and be happy and polite to both yourself and others and the chain carries on. It grows further and further until it affects everyone in the office, or family or friendship group. It really is amazing to see how a kind word or action to one person creates this ripple affect and the way that you become known for starting it off – eventually it may even find its way back to you.

It was this thought that made me realise that I needed to get my act together. That my behaviour affects too many people and that I am sending out these negative waves to the people around me which are just spreading further. I don’t want to be the sort of people that spreads negative energy or makes others unhappy – so I changed my behaviour and am trying to get back to that chipper individual who spreads light and laughter – even if I don’t feel like it inside.

How am I doing this?

Well, it’s simple. I’ve been making plans for the future that are giving me plenty to look forward to and plenty to keep my mind busy with planning. I’ve been creating new, happy memories with friends and family that keep me smiling. And I’ve been remembering good times, holidays and memories to get me through the days when things aren’t as bright.

One of these has become my happy place. See the picture at the top? It’s from what was one of my favourite holidays – out of all the tropical or adventurous holidays around the world, this was from a holiday with my boyfriend to Malta. On this day in particular, we went on a boat trip to the Island of Comino, where we sunbathed, rock climbed and explored the Blue Lagoon, even walking across the bay, through the waters with our bags held over our heads. We jumped off the boat and swam in the crystal clear waters and generally had an amazing day together. It was one of the best holidays for exploring and travelling around and it has become my go-to place for escaping reality for a little bit.

When you’re feeling blue – what happy place do you escape to?