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Sunday, 20 January 2013

I Am A Woman

The other day I woke up and realised that I am a woman.  This may sound like a stupid statement – after all, I have been classified as a woman since I was 18 (I think).  But the truth is that I’ve always felt like a girl more than a woman.  This doesn’t mean I wasn’t responsible or ‘grown-up’; I just referred to myself as a girl and felt that that encompassed part of who I was.  Now it’s changing.

The weirdest part is it hasn’t brought any fear or worry or disappointment with it.  I know I wasn’t alone when I knew I was an adult but didn’t feel like I really was; I have had many, many discussions with friends about it.  If you don’t believe me you only have to watch shows like ‘Friends’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ to see that – the characters feel like they’re playing at being ‘grown-up’ and that is why people respond to them in my opinion.  Being ‘grown-up’ is always portrayed as kind of scary and something to be avoided (thinking about it now only two instances of a character being happy with this change come to mind – Wendy from Peter Pan, and Buffy in series 7), and so, like I imagined everyone else was, I avoided the idea that I was anything but a girl. 

Now I realise that I was a girl but now I’m a woman (though I’m sure I will have ‘girl’ moments for the rest of my life).  Knowing this has caused a shift in my perception of myself and of the world.  I’m still unsure what this shift is exactly as it’s only just begun to sprout, but I am looking forward to the journey of discovery (I believe that life in general is a journey and that we are never done changing, learning or discovering – one reason why I love blogging).  I’m not scared with this knowledge; in fact, it has brought a kind of freedom in me, and no matter how much I change, I will always be me. 

I guess that’s all I have to say on that right now.  Do you feel like an adult? Or are you still wondering when/if you’ll ever be ‘grown-up’?  I do not ask to judge or change you, I’m just curious and I am sure that you have a response.

Oh, and by the way, if you were wondering what brought this on (the catalyst so to speak), I think it was my nail varnish.  I tried a different colour that I’ve had for quite a while but have always been scared of – a dark purple (it looked almost black in the bottle).  It wasn’t anything like I was expecting and I have to say that it definitely isn’t my favourite colour but I’m glad it’s led to this new part of my life.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Creating Positivity

So one of my words for 2013 is positivity.  I wouldn't class myself as a pessimist but nor would I say I'm particularly optimistic most of the time.  And this is something I want to change.  There are plenty of posts/articles/videos that tell you to look for the positive around you - but this isn't new advice.  Everyone knows you're supposed to stop and smell the flowers blah-de-blah-blah-blah - that doesn't make it easier to actually do it.

So I'm not even going to tackle that way over-done advice as I know there is nothing I could add to it.  This post is about creating positivity in my life.  Basically, I believe that while it a good idea to stop and notice the wonders of the world, it is also great if we can take the time to actively do something that we know will make us feel more positive about our lives and ourselves.  Here are a few things I do when I am letting pessimism get the better of me (I would just like to clarify that I'm not an expert and this is something I still struggle with myself but I figure that sharing it would make me even more likely to follow my own advice):

Watch a video on YouTube

There are thousands, probably millions of videos on YouTube so I can guarantee that there is something you will enjoy watching.  Personally I like to watch 'Beauty Gurus' and 'vlogs' (very much like blogs but in video format).  My favourites being - Kimberly (beauty guru); Psychetruth (health & life advice and discussions); Meghan (vlogs of a nerd/gamer YouTuber); Fact of the Day (what it says on the tin); Rosianna (not sure how to categorize her but she is amazing); and Tiffany Alvord (singer).

Paint my Nails

I know this one won't apply to everyone but I love spending some time painting my nails.  I love choosing a colour and I like looking down for the next few days and feeling empowered by the fact that I've taken that little bit of extra time to do something that makes me feel good about me.  I often pair this with the point above, watching videos.

Watch Friends

I feel fairly certain when I say that I am sure you have heard of, and probably seen, the comedy 'Friends'.  No matter what mood I'm in, this show always makes me laugh, even though I've watched every episode probably 7-8 times by now.  Of course you can substitute this with your favourite comedy.

Tidy Up

Currently my room is a tip and filled with boxes of my stuff, but I have slowly been unpacking and making space in my room.  I don't usually have much energy but when I do 5-10 minutes of sorting my crap, I feel better for the rest of the day as I have that lovely sense of achievement and, more often than not, I can physically see my efforts pay off.

Look for Inspiration

When I don't have the energy to do much at all, I often find myself looking online for craft inspiration, or writing advice as even if I can't do what I've discovered straight away, I feel a little motivated.  It is also often works as a kickstart for my imagination so that I can unleash my creativity (or at least imagine what I will do creatively when I am able to).

Write a Letter

It's no secret that I love writing letters and sending them to my friends 'snailmail' as much as receiving post that isn't 'official' stuff.  Sitting down for half an hour to write to a friend gives me a chance to reflect on my life as well as share both the good and bad that has been happening recently.  Writing to someone who isn't expecting a letter from you is even better as I feel extra happy to have made someone's day through a little act of mine.

Of course the above are only a few suggestions and should be adjusted for yourself; but the thing that I've found most important in creating positivity is to get up and do something, especially when you don't feel like it.  Often when I'm feeling low all I want to do is sit and watch something with a lot of chocolate, and I definitely condone this but not on a regular basis.  Just the act of making yourself get up to do something, even for 5 minutes, can make change your outlook on the day, and will probably lead to you continuing to do more that will make you feel positive.

I would love for you to leave your own in the comments so everyone can try them.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

3 Words for 2013

Last year I chose three words that I wished to focus on over the year, and as I found it so helpful I have decided to do the same again this year (and possibly every year).

One thing that I have struggled a lot with over the past few months is staying positive.  To be fair, I am a lot less negative than I used to be, but I feel that this is an area that could certainly use some focus.  I'm not entirely sure how I am going to make positivity as part of my every day living.  I do know that the first step is to decide that I want to be more positive and to actively choose to focus on the positives in life rather than the negatives, so that's where I'm starting.

Last year I had a lot of ideas and plans and dreams of what I wanted to do.  The problem with this was that I found myself unsure of where to focus on my attention and so I was a lot less productive than I feel I could have been.  This year I know that I will once again be inundated with new ideas and projects over the coming months but I am going to try and work out what I wish to prioritize so that I'm not overwhelmed and end up procrastinating instead of doing.

I think this may be the toughest word to follow this year.  I once believed that I was incapable of loving but the past few years have taught me that I couldn't have been further from the truth.  I know now that I have a huge capacity for love and I wish that to stay a focal point in my life.  However, this is unbelievably scary as it means being open and vulnerable all the time.  I want to allow love to fill me up (every kind of love that is, just to be clear) but already I have felt the pull to close myself off to the world as it feels like the safer option.  I don't believe it is and so I am choosing love in the hopes that it will help me to remember not to give into my fear.

Have you chosen a word or three for 2013 or made New Year's resolutions?  Please share them in the comments.