Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Still a Princess

A number of things lately have made me think very carefully about perspective and appreciation. It seems to me that it doesn't really matter how your life is, what your circumstances are or even who is around you, because, in the end, what it all comes down to is your perspective and how much you appreciate what you already have.

None of our lives are perfect. We all have our own problems that, to us, are the worst imaginable and nobody else understands what it's like! They may try - but they fail, because they're not us! They are not in our shoes, living our lives, putting up with the types of things we have to put up with on a daily basis.

I have gone through a horrendous time lately. So many parts of my life seem to have simply caved in like a pack of standing dominoes with the slightest little nudge. It's all become a mess and I don't know which domino to pick up first. In fact, there are some that I see now appear to be stuck hard to the floor. Some things I cannot change. My choice at this point is whether to constantly struggle with the weight of trying to recover a hopeless case, or simply to let go of certain things and make peace with myself as a person.

Amidst my misery, I was watching television the other day and heard a celebrity say that she would give up every last ounce of the, (undeniably pretty darn impressive) wealth she owned, in exchange for the chance to have had a loving Mum and Dad in a happy family growing up. It was only then, as I surveyed my own life, (that I was so convinced was in utter ruins) I realised how truly rich I actually am. The thought that somebody would give up millions of pounds merely to have what I totally took for granted as a child and still do all the time to this day was pretty humbling.

We hear of celebrity depression and suicide all the time in the news - people who, from the outside looking in, seem to have everything they could possibly want in life. This just proves to me that, at the end of the day, none of those superficial, material items we all aspire to have so deeply really mean a thing. No amount of glamorous models swooning all over you or people telling you that you are the most amazing person in the world over and over again is worth anything at all, if you don't believe it yourself.

It is an old cliche to say that sometimes the ones with nothing can be the happiest and that he who has the least has the most to lose, as he appreciates it so much more. Yet, still so many people waste their lives away pursuing perfect, (whatever exactly that is to them) and forget that they already have all the happiness they need - if only they could access it in their heads.  The bottom line is, we don't need anything or anyone in the world in order to be happy. In fact, anything and anyone we do have is just a wonderful added bonus!

I definitely still struggle with things all the time. My perspective gets completely out of kilter some days and I can't see past my one huge worry, which consumes every part of my being and greedily gobbles up huge chunks of my time. But more and more, I am trying to see the positive. Learn from my own, (and others) mistakes. Be a better person and appreciate all that I have, instead of pining for all that I vainly wish I could change. Life is going to happen and bad things are going to come along, but the most important thing to remember is that those bad things, (however bad they may be) should not swallow up every happiness you already had, everything that made your life worthwhile,  all the parts that made you so incredibly rich in that priceless natural wealth.

After all, a princess with a problem is still a princess.

xxx

Thursday, 15 May 2014

A True Friend

Friendship can be defined in so many ways, but sometimes, we all forget just how important our friends truly are. It is so easy to get caught up in our own situations at the time, all-consumed by things that probably won't matter half as much five years down the road and yet your friends will. Your constant, loyal friends will stick around and share every experience, every emotion, every one of life's ups and downs with you.

They are not always physically there with you, but they are always there in spirit, they are always on the other end of a technological form of communication. The best kind of friends are the ones that can cheer you up in a heart-beat. The people who only need to say a few things to make you feel a whole lot better. The people who are truly happy for you when things are going right and whose words of encouragement, comfort and advice echo in your mind anytime you feel alone.

The rare people in life to whom insist you don't owe anything, even though they give you all that they have.

True friends tell you what they really think, even if it's not what they think you want to hear. They know when to fix a problem and when to simply give you a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. You don't have to tell them how to act, what to say, when to be there - it's intuition between the two of you.

True friends are the first people you want to tell when something big happens in your life - whether good or bad, they need to know. They are so like you, they are almost part of you, so you don't quite feel satisfied until they're in the loop. True friends are the ones you pour your heart and soul out to - no defences, no shame, no holding back.

And if you don't talk to them for a while, boy, are they on your mind... 

True friends are the ones who save you when you think nobody ever could.

Because, you might not think much of yourself and the rest of the world may make you feel worthless, but to a very special somebody - a somebody who encompasses all of these incredible traits - you are their truly amazing friend.

And, in this crazy game called life, that's about as good as it gets!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Dreams and Happiness

Over the past few months, I have learnt a great deal - far more than I expected - and the hard way too! One of the most important things I have learnt though is the difference between dreams and happiness. Sometimes the things which we think will make us happy beyond anything else don't quite turn out that way. Some people are so tangled up in their dreams that they fail to see the reality of them.

I think it is a wonderful thing to have dreams, but you always need to know when to stop dreaming and just start living.

It is so very easy to fall madly in love with someone to the point where the dream of that person is far better than the reality. They can do no wrong, because everything they do has a reason to you - a good excuse. It is even easier to get so caught up in the very idea of love itself that the person doesn't really matter anymore. They are secondary to your dream of happiness, a relationship or marriage. People cling on to others for dear life, because they cannot stand to let go of the dream of how things once were between them, even when a new reality has taken its place and the fantasy they used to live in has died.

Careers are not always all they are cracked up to be either. You have this vision in your mind of what you want and you will pursue that path, no matter what stands in your way. But then, sometimes, you wake up to the truth that it might not be worth it after all. You have to question if it is really what you wanted or if, actually, you fell in love with something else entirely and now you are left following an activity for which your passion has been snatched from your hands. The candle which you once held for it has been entinguished and you are suddenly plunged into darkness, wondering what on earth to do next.

Your dream location? Somewhere exciting, right? A place where everybody wants to be. Somewhere different and crazy, where you can get up to all kinds of things that you could never do "round here". This is the one which people are often too proud to admit it, but that place is really right on their doorstep. Sooner or later, you can discover that the places which sound exciting are great to visit, but your quality of life living there isn't truly all that fantastic.

And these are all areas where it becomes clear that happiness and dreams can ocassionally be quite opposite. After all, dreams are illusions in our mind and our minds can create scenarios which are far better than the real world. Often, once we have bought into an idea, we can't bring ourselves to let go. We see it as having one up on others, even to the detriment of our emotional well-being.

It is a hard thing to take a step back from your dreams and evaluate them realistically - it takes a great deal of courage - but it can be the best thing you will ever do. It's not that you have given up. It's not that you ever need to stop dreaming, you just need to find the dreams which are right for you - and they might surprise you, because they may be nothing like what you once thought. Not a problem. See it as a new and interesting challenge, a chance to try something different.

It's never easy to follow your dreams and I could never turn away, based on a bit of a struggle along the journey - that is inevitable, of course. However, when the end result doesn't seem worth it anymore and you are miserable travelling your road there, ask yourself if your happiness is adding up with your dream. If it's not, the dream isn't what will make you happy after all. Accept that, embrace it and slowly, you will start to make your peace with it.

Stubbornly clinging onto something that was never meant to be will only fill you with resentment, disappointment and intense feelings of negativity.

Dreams are supposed to be based on happiness, but when it comes down to it, real happiness is more important than a dream.

It is a wise man who knows how to dream, but it is a foolish man who pursues his dreams at the expense of his happiness.


Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Aspirations

Here are some things that I have been thinking about for a long time that I would like to incorporate into my day-to-day life next year and try to put upon other people to do as well. Some of them can't be done all the time in reality, because humans just don't work that way, but they are all good things to aspire to be your best at, I think.

Be POSITIVE. Always try to see the good in things. If there is no good in it, either make it good or, at the very least, learn from it. Put positive energy into the world and into everything you do. Be happy, because, at the end of the day, that is what life is all about.

Be HAPPY for others Happiness! It really bothers me when people can't be happy for others. If somebody wants to go on about how great life is going for them, let them. Don't complain about it. Don't envy them their good times. Seek hope from that, because if they can find happiness, then why shouldn't you be able to? Just because they may be better off than you right now in any one area, doesn't mean you will never catch them up. Things change all the time. People go through ups and downs ALL the time. If somebody is on a high, let it lift your spirit as well and share in their light.

Don't COMPARE yourself to other people. Somebody else will always have something you would like to have - whether that's physically, emotionally, romantically or any other "-ally" for that matter. Accept what you have and be thankful for it. You have so much more than you realise. Treasure that, because when you compare yourself to someone who has less than you, but gets more out of life, it makes you feel pretty small. Don't pity those that have less though - either help them or let it make you understand and appreciate all that you usually take for granted.

Don't need a REASON to communicate. Just do it unexpectedly. Tell people how much you care, just because you can! Don't waste a second not saying it, because it might be one moment too many. Life changes and sometimes life ends before you get a chance to tell someone how much they mean to you. While they can still understand, share it. If they think you are being too soppy and sentimental, so what? If people don't like you for positive, warmth, honesty and love, they probably aren't worth worrying about. They'll learn one day and you just have to let them take their own sweet time.

Don't JUDGE others. How would you like it if people did the same to you? Just because someone may not look perfect or may act slightly differently to what you are used to, it doesn't mean that they aren't a good, sweet person that deserves your time and care. We can't help the way we look, the way we were born, the way we sound or the way our brains work. The most important thing is who we are. I want to be the type of person who gives everyone a chance. The type of person who doesn't have pre-conceptions about others. After all, if you judge someone before you get to know them, you have no idea what you might be missing out on. Different is not the equivalent of wrong.

WORRY less. Honestly, worrying never helps anything. It just adds to your stress. Set worrying aside and concentrate on the important things in life. An hour wasted worrying is an hour wasted and you'll never get it back. Think carefully about a situation, understand it, decide what you are going to do and move on.

Lose REGRET. Regret is the same as worry. If you have done something, it's done. You can't change it. That isn't to say that you can't make it better, but wishing you could go back in time is pointless. Live for today and instead of wasting time on regret, learn from those mistakes and spend that time doing something productive to help cancel out whatever you did wrong.

Make MEMORIES. Memories are what we treasure the most. Being able to look back and reflect on all the good times makes us feel less strongly about the bad ones. Don't get annoyed at someone for taking pictures. Enjoy the moment and capture it in any way you can. Life is short and those moments are what we live for.

FORGIVE people. People screw up and make mistakes all the time, but as long as they are willing to work on those mistakes, find a way forward with them. Losing someone important from your life is the last thing you really ever want to do. If there is a way to avoid that, take it. If it takes time, take the time. See the possibility that one day, things might all work out for the best, even when they are at their worst.

Most importantly, GIVE. Give whatever you have. Your time, your smile, your words. People need these things all the time and it can change their outlook on life. Touch somebody's life in a positive way and let them know they are special. We all need encouragement sometimes. At any chance you get, just give.

Enjoy life, whichever stage you are at. We always look back later on and realise we are really going to miss a certain part of our lives. It should teach us something - Enjoy it while it's happening! Every moment is so precious.

If we could live like this, the world still wouldn't be perfect, but it would be a whole lot better, so I will try.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Another Year Gone By

People often say that the older you get, the quicker time passes. And the older I get, the more I have to agree. This year seems to have whizzed by. I can hardly believe it is over already and yet an awful lot has happened at the same time.

I love capturing moments of my time and looking back on them. At the start of this year, I set a goal to blog more and I don't think I have done quite as well as I could have done, but I haven't failed entirely. I have written about the really important things to me. The emotions that have struck me and the revelations I have had. Next year, I hope to do even better. It all comes with practice, I suppose. That, and discipline.

Once again, I am glad for it to be the new year in a couple of days. This year turned out to be a very rough one in my life, but I do believe that it all happened for a reason. I think things were meant to occur in their own sweet time, they way they have. I think the course my time has taken was the right one. Looking back, I can't exactly say that I am GLAD that this year turned out the way it did, but I have faith that it was meant to be that way.

I thought I would take some time to re-evaluate my goals for 2013. I figure if I keep working on some old ones and add some new, I should get there in the end.

  • Blog more. As much as possible, in fact.
    I did do this to some extent, but I want to do it even more, because I love the reflection it offers.
  • Make more videos and take more pictures.
    Again, I tried, though possibly not quite hard enough!
  • Develop new skills with media technology.
    I have learnt a few new things to do with technology this year and will continue to develop those skills next year.
  • Move somewhere new, (at least once).
    I did that, with interesting consequences and will be doing it again next year. Always good for life experience sake, if nothing else.
  • Get an actual job in a radio station.
    Just nipped in with that one right at the end of the year, but I'm so happy I can say yes to this! I didn't realise just how tricky it would be before.
  • Do as much as I possibly can in what I love.
    I will work on that this year.
  • Don't regret anything.
    I have regretted several things this year, but I am learning to get over regret quicker. If something has happened in the past, there is no point worrying about it, because there is nothing you can do to change it now.
  • Stay true to myself.
    This is one thing I definitely think I have achieved, despite much discouragement.
  • Meet some new, amazing people.
    Last year, I met my wonderful boyfriend and the love of my life. I don't think it gets much more amazing than that!
  • Have made changes in my life by this time next year and moved forward.
    I have done that too!

    As far as I can tell, I haven't done too shabbily. There are still things I could improve on, but I am getting there. I have some more goals for the new year, which I will add soon. 2014, please don't let me down!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Life is not a Customer Service Line - Don't put it on Hold!

One of the most important lessons I have learned this year is not to put your life on hold for anything or anyone. Life is short. Days, months, years flash by uncontrollably and, if you are focussing too hard on one thing, you might just miss it - or at least have nothing to show for it in the end. I have always wanted my life to be full and exciting and something that I will one day be able to look back on and be proud of. I want to have so many amazing memories, go to different places, meet different people and do different things. But sometimes, as a wise man, (Albus Dumbledore) once said, we get lost in our dreams and "forget to live".

Hopes, dreams, aspirations are all really important and they truly are something that I believe everybody should have. Without them, life would be very boring. However, it is when one particular hope or want turns into a NEED and causes you to halt everything else in your life, until you conquer that one thing. This often leads to a very unhealthy lifestyle in my experience.

Whether it's a person you really want to be with, a job you really want to get, the figure you fantasize about flaunting or the approval of a loved one that you so deeply desire, you can't let it dictate your life. I've been in the position in the past where a crush I have had has taken over my whole life and nothing else mattered but impressing that one person, who realistically couldn't care less. In my teenage years, I was in a constant battle with wanting to look better - so much so that my life revolved entirely around what I ate... or didn't eat as the case may be. I have seen people's ideal life slip through their fingers, because somebody else refuses to give them approval to do whatever it is they truly wanted and so they simply never got there. A while ago, I was so determined to live in a new and exciting country that I totally neglected my happiness in the pursuit of doing it. And over the past year, I have been trying so hard to get my dream job that I have put all my energy into that and the rest of my life and well-being has inevitably suffered as a result.

I can't see like other people - not even close. And, sadly, after knock-on effects from various things that have happened over the past couple of years, I suppose in all honesty, that has become one of my dreams in itself. Just to be able to recognise somebody in the street and say hello or drive a car or not to be judged or put down for something I can't change. But, the truth is, if I let that desire overwhelm me, I would simply sit around feeling miserable, waiting for some miracle cure and that has never been who I am in the slightest. We don't always get everything we want, but that doesn't have to stop us making the most of what we do have - which, for most people, is a whole lot more than they think.

While all of these hopes and dreams are important to us, we can live our lives and still have them - as long as they are not the dominant thing that controls us. That's not to say that we can't try to make an effort with our latest crush, apply for our ideal job, seek our loved one's approval, lose those few extra pounds, even have faith in medical breakthroughs or anything else for that matter! However, we have to have something to fall back on, so that if that doesn't work out quite the way we wanted, we are not left with nothing but emptiness.

Besides, sometimes the things that we imagine will make us happy beyond our wildest dreams don't actually turn out that way. That's not to say that we should instantly dismiss every crazy idea as unreachable, but all we really need is a Plan B. We need the knowledge that, while we would like these things to happen, if they don't want out in the end, that's okay. It's not the end of the world.

It seems so simple and yet it is something that has taken me a really long time to get my head around. The most ironic part is, of course, that once you stop needing that one part of your life so desperately, that is generally when it finally comes together.

I am not going to forget about any of my dreams or aspirations - not by a long shot - but I am going to start being more realistic about them. Dreams are wonderful things to have, as long as you are the one in control of them. Life is too short to allow your dreams, (which are supposed to make you happy) turn into horrible, hopeless nightmares that consume you, your well-being and your entire life. Think about it. Nothing or nobody is worth that.   

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Love

I can't help but think it is sad that in today's society, love is often seen as a bad or negative thing.

Mostly everyone, at some time or another, has been in a position where they have been burned by love and let's face it, it hardly makes you all for the emotion. It hurts and it's horrible and for a long time, you can't see a way out of that feeling. You start to think that there are no happy endings. In fact, I have seen articles written online about how people who say they have found their perfect partner are lying and simply showing off.

Then there are people who refuse to be happy for friends who have found love. Apparently, showing your feelings has become too "emotional" and "cringey" and anyone who does it is lame and should be immediately deleted from any social network of your choice. But why? Why are we punishing people for just being happy? Why can't we be happy for them and celebrate the positive feelings they are experiencing. There is so much negativity in the world that it is a breath of fresh air to me to see somebody with a smile on their face and especially with a love story to share.

I suppose it all depends on the person. What some people turn into jealousy, others see as hope. Hope that it really is out there for the taking. Although, I think the ironic trick with love is that you only find it when you don't need it. That is usually where true love comes from. If you are searching for a quick eye-candy fix, then anyone will do and there probably are far fewer happy endings to those stories. When you are content with pursuing yourself, your dreams and your personality, that is when you find somebody else. And the beauty of that is that because you have had time to find yourself, that person likes you for who you are, instead of the puppy-dog you turned into pursuing the wrong person before.

The hardest thing is that it all takes time. Not just a little time. Years sometimes. But when you find it, all that wait will be completely worth it.

All of this I know, because I have finally found somebody who is right for me. It is not the dream of somebody or the dream of love, it is the actual person himself. It is effortless and easy and yet it is the best thing I have ever had. He loves me for who I am, regardless of my faults or the things that hold me down. He makes me feel good about myself when the rest of the world consumes me. He looks after me so carefully, helping me with things that others do not even need to think about. He never gives up on me. Instead, he reminds me of who I really am every day, telling me that he will stay faithful to me through anything, no matter what. And I believe him.

Because that is love.