Confess

Sometimes we all need a place to be free….a place to be heard….a place where we can shed our secrets….

A place where we can do this namelessly.

A place where we are invisible but our words are not.

There will be a new vault on the Ponderlust page where these words will live [ Confess].
I will be posting them with artwork and pictures and music.
There they will be given life.
There they will be given a place to belong.

To submit, click the link below and tell me….

What is your truth?

xoxo Natalie

Please note: Submissions will be vetted prior to being uploaded to the vault. Anything deemed innapropriate which will incite negativity will not be posted. I want the vault to be a safe place. Thank you.

Agree To Disagree

The concept that not everyone is going to agree with you is so difficult for some.
Instead of just accepting that another has a different view, opinion or idea, it’s instantly turned into an argument because if you’re not agreeable, you’re wrong.
It baffles me that a person can have such a necessity to thrive off conflict.
Instead of encouraging discussion, being so one sided encourages dictation and alienation. And to be pretty blunt, it kinda gives you automatic d*ck status.

I’m all for having an opinion and oh boy can I be an opinionated jerk myself.
However, I would never make someone feel bad for what they like or what they are passionate about because if it matters to them, they should be able to have their joy without someone pooping all over it.

I don’t think the world would be half as interesting if we all beat down the people we knew till they agreed to love everything and only everything we love.
Diversity and multiple interests is what makes a community thrive!
It also gives us a chance to learn about things we never thought about or encountered.

And I’m sorry, if every gal pal of mine had the same interests as me, it would make my chances of making Travis Fimmel, Jared Leto, Ryan Guzman and Tyler Hoechlin fall in love with me exponentially more difficult and I just can’t have that ;o)

xoxo Natalie

Judgement Is Mine

For someone’s judgement to be valid, they need to be valued.
Without the relevance of respect, their judgement simply becomes another opinion.

It holds no weight.

I think a lot of us forget this when another stamps their feet and claims to judge us for our actions.
We hear the word judgement and instantly we feel belittled and less of worth, regardless of whether the viewpoint is correct or not.
But anything said with enough conviction becomes believable, even a misguided assumption.

All of us look up at the same stars and see such different things.
This is what makes us unique and what diversifies us and our life experiences.
By all means we are not all going to see eye to eye, but we also shouldn’t expect to point out other people’s sins and instantly be labelled a saint.
This doesn’t make you a decent person.
It doesn’t even make the other person’s actions a wrong thing.
It just points out what you disagree with.

I think if we spent more time communicating to understand instead of just listening to reply, things would be a lot different.

I believe we are accountable for ourselves.
This might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I feel we should be able to navigate our own compass without the need for finding validation and approval in others.
It’s not an easy feat and it can be very difficult to stand on your own, but it’s better to stand for something than fall for anything, especially another’s misconception of who you are.

xoxo Natalie

 

 

I Am Sisyphus

For the past 2 months I’ve had a lot going on.
Much of which has stopped me from living my life as I normally would…..or would like to.
All of which had me put these blog posts on hold and had me out of touch with so much.

It’s funny how the universe will dish up all the bad and stress all at once and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it but take it a day at a time and pray you won’t be miserable forever. You plaster a smile on your face, say you’re okay and just keep going.

Without delving too much into what is going on (because there is a Hell of a lot), basically my grandmother’s health took a turn for the worse and as my grandfather suffers from Dementia, both their caring needs escalated and so of late I have been in and out of hospitals and doctors offices and trying to deal with caring for my grandfathers needs while also dealing with certain expectations placed on me that I am just not ready to take on which aren’t even my responsibility. Being guilted into cleaning up other people’s messes has been somewhat of a habit for a long time but it is something I no longer cop to. But it doesn’t mean people/family won’t still try to manipulate me into doing so.

It hasn’t been easy. I went over a month without seeing anyone and even spent a stint of time working from home because there was just no other way to go about day to day tasks while making sure my grandfather was okay also.

All of this has definitely given me respect for people who do this 24/7.

It has also had me reflect a lot on what has been put on me and expected of me and how much I have given up over the years to “keep the peace”.

After a lot of thinking and a huge deep and meaningful with my best friend, I realised to a degree I need to be more selfish. I need to stop putting what I want on hold to make sure everyone else is always alright and happy because otherwise I will always be stuck. I will never be free.

This doesn’t mean I won’t care for loved one’s or help where I can, but it does mean I start living and stop sacrificing what brings me joy.

For a long time (actually forever), I’ve been ruled by fear and by doubt and have given up so much because it would upset certain family members or was frowned upon. And if I am being completely honest, it’s left me truly unhappy deep down.

Nobody should live their life for someone else and nobody should be held back from what they want to achieve.

For a long time I have been pushing the same boulder, up the same hill, only to have it roll back down and have me start all over again.
Same people. Same problems. Same outcome.

I can’t expect anyone to pick it up and carry it away for me, I need to pick it up and hurl it away myself.

I know it won’t be easy, I know it will take time and I know I will probably upset those who have had control over me for so long, but it’s time to grow. It’s time to spread my wings and it is time to do me.

So for anyone who feels the same way, or feels trapped or is desperate to just let go, remember: Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do. Even if it feels impossible. There is always a way. There is always someone who will support you, who will believe in you and who will encourage you.

Live your best life.

xoxo Natalie

Please Don’t Be Nice To Me

Being nice has become a gesture of convenience. It rarely comes naturally anymore.
Lately every encounter of nice has been temporary. It’s been a bartering tool. A bargaining chip. A kick in the gut.

Ever had someone mistakenly put you in a position of misfortune?
Has that person then switched on the nice button to excess to make up for their bad deed?

It’s one of those moments that whilst you can appreciate their need to atone for what they have done to you, they are also in turn creating another positon of misfortune.

Don’t feel like you have to be nice while you’re in the guilt bubble.
When it pops, what then?
Because the moment has passed it’s ok to assume the effort made was enough?

Most of the time the answer to that is no.
Outstretching the hand of friendship and concern is only genuine when it is consistent. Being social and apologetic and nice only when it means squashing whatever guilt you feel for creating a sh*tty situation comes from a selfish place, not a selfless one.

Once that nice button is switched off after the fact, you’ve still left that person to deal with whatever situation you not only put them in initially, but you have left them with dealing with where they stand with you in the long run.

So please, don’t be nice to me.

Ever had someone say they would contribute and be a part of charitable and then when push came to shove they didn’t follow through on their end and left you in the lurch?

When it comes to being charitable, whether it be with your time or your generosity by giving, don’t raise your hand to participate and then back out because it’s “too hard” or because you were only looking for the recognition to be labelled as a good person but didn’t actually want to do the work to earn the title.

Being nice goes further than acknowledging that you want to be a part of something bigger. Being nice means following through. Being nice means showing up. Being nice means being true to your word.

Once again, that nice button when switched off after the fact has left others questioning your character. Don’t try and make yourself look big when your actions make you look small.

So please, don’t be nice to me.

You may be sitting there reading this wondering, well what do you want?

I’ll tell you………

I want a person to be real.
I want them to be themselves.
I want them to be the best version of who they are and not some charicature they think you want them to be.
Being nice isn’t making empty promises and it isn’t acting out of obligation.
Being nice should be being who you are.
When you are true to yourself you ring true to the world.

So please don’t be nice to me if we both know it’s pretend…..I’d rather not be given hope than be given nothing in the end.

xoxo Natalie

Dear 13 Year Old Me

There are so many things I want to say to you. I wish I could go back in time and hand you this letter because I want you to know things won’t always be bad.
I want you to be prepared.
I want you to know you have a chance.

The people who are currently your world….they won’t be in the future.
And that’s ok.
They chose their way and you chose yours. You stood alone and you were and are true to yourself. You didn’t do the expected things, you didn’t become like everyone else. Be proud of that because trust me honey, you and pack mentality do not mix!
Your individuality and independence will be one of your best attributes. Embrace it.

Always remember what Oscar Wilde said: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

As for that family member who always pokes your stomach and calls you Miss Piggy, they don’t do that anymore. They don’t do it because they can’t. All that puppy fat and all that teasing goes away because at 18, girl you changed! You turned into a beautiful woman and shed all those puberty blues. So pay no heed to the a**hole who really should look in the mirror.

I know he’s breaking you but he won’t win.

I also know you had a plan for how your life would turn out. I know you wanted to fall in love and get married and have a family of your own and you put such high hopes into that dream. I know you gave yourself a timeline. You wanted all of that by 30.
Wow….30….
It almost turned out that way but fate had other ideas.
Well….actually…he had other ideas.
See, you’ll meet ‘the one’. You’ll be in your mid twenties and you will love him more than you have ever loved anyone. He will be your everything. There’ll be talks of the future and everything will feel perfect. But he won’t love you like you love him…..
He will shatter your heart the day he walks away. And as incomplete and worthless as you’ll feel for some time, you will survive.

You will learn that sometimes the plans we make don’t turn out and maybe they don’t work out for good reason.

Have faith.

You will face hurdles, you will carry burdens and you will feel lost.
But there will be laughter, there will be amazing opportunities and most importantly you will have many adventures.

Try and remember your fears are only in your head. Your head seems to be your worst enemy. Try and squash that voice telling you you can’t, because I know if there is anyone on this earth who can do anything, it is you.

You are strong.
You are resilient.
You are fierce.

So keep writing in your notebook. Put all those emotions on paper. They are your story. They are your salvation.

Until we meet again, remember I love you, I wish you well and you’re not alone….

I got you…..

xoxo Natalie

Maybe She’s Born With It…

A few weeks ago I decided to run an experiment. I used myself as the Guinea Pig.
I wanted to see whether or not we really are moving forward and embracing people for who they are, or whether we still prefer the edited and filtered version that is most appealing and “cute” to the eye.

I first posted a photo of myself, makeup free, hair not done, just sitting like a bum on my day bed staring out the window like a usually do on a lazy Sunday afternoon.


I captioned it “Funny how it’s photos like these that are the hardest to embrace”.

I said that because it is true. It is hard to look at a non-primped version of yourself and accept that that is what you really look like when you are confronted by images in the media that are always on point and celebrities who appear to be slaying 24/7.
Expectations become unrealistic and so looking at a raw photo of yourself can be cringe worthy. So you pick yourself apart because who better to be your own worst enemy than yourself!

I posted the photo to Instagram and to Facebook and waited for the responses.

29 likes on Instagram (I’m not Nick Bateman ok…I don’t have that many followers) and 51 likes on Facebook later, I was actually pretty surprised with the response. I really didn’t think the reaction would be so positive so I was quite taken aback by the love and support and the high fives for posting me as I am when nobody is looking.
Lots of kind words were said and it was refreshing and encouraging.

My next step was to test the waters with an edited photo where I tweaked my skin tone, smoothed out some imperfections and ensured the pose was one of those cutesy AF types that makes girls with self respect cringe (look it happened guys….I’m not gonna say I hated doing it….but I’m not gonna say I’m ashamed either…lol).


I captioned it according to my upcoming leave from work and it was a little sassy to match the pose.

33 likes on Instagram and 54 likes on Facebook later, I realised there wasn’t much of a difference in reaction to either picture.

Both received a similar amount of traffic.
Both received a similar amount of interaction.
Both received a similar amount of love.

My conclusion…..nobody actually gives a sh*t.

Now I don’t mean that in a bad way at all!

Basically I found that whether I was being myself or being the airbrushed 2.0 version of myself, the same people still gave love and still gave a thumbs up because it wasn’t about what they were looking at….it was about me.
They interacted because of who I am not what I looked like in the pictures.

That is what counts to me more than anything.

I’ve seen the ugly side of the internet and I’ve experienced it.
It wasn’t easy to deal with and it was hard to get to a point where I felt comfortable putting myself out there again on many levels, not just photograph wise but blog wise. It was actually my first ever blog and twitter account that were attacked repeatedly by an individual some years ago and so for a long time I stepped away and didn’t engage on that kind of a platform. At the time it just wasn’t worth it.

But I grew and I moved forward and I’m no longer discouraged.

This little experiment helped reiterate for me that not everyone is toxic and not everyone expects the polished veneer to be in place all the time.

It helped remind me that it is more important to work on being beautiful on the inside.
The more you show who you are, the more beautiful you will be to yourself and to others.
You create beauty with your attitude, your actions and your behaviour.
Be the best possible version of yourself.

Be-You-Tiful

xoxo Natalie

 

 

 

Unapologetic B*tch

On Sunday night I had the privilege to see Madonna in concert.
It was the last show of her Rebel Heart world tour and I can honestly say I have never experienced anything like it.

From her not starting till 11:25pm (B*tch I’m Madonna), to her stretching out the show and finishing at 2:10am (Yasss Kween Yasss!), to having such amazing seats that she was literally within arms reach, to seeing such a diverse group of people at one event having fun and loving the celebration that this show was, it was for me, a once in a lifetime experience to tick off my bucket list.

Love her or hate her, you can’t deny that her career spanning three decades still sees her selling out world tours and she is killing it on stage!

Standing there against the barrier during her rendition of Like A Virgin (excuse my bad camera work because I may have been having a minor stroke at the time), she was standing above me and looked right at me and I had a
“Holy f*ck Madonna is looking at me”
moment.
Now it wasn’t a
“Holy f*ck she’s hella famous”
kind of moment.
It was a
“Holy f*ck this strong independent outspoken boss of a lady is looking right at me and I’m in awe”
kind of moment.

Madonna is an unapologetic b*tch who built her own empire and I admire that.

Now before anyone thinks that me using the term b*tch is super negative and I mean it in a bad way, I promise you I don’t.

When I say unapologetic b*tch, I’m not only quoting one of her song titles but I’m saying that she has always been brave and bold enough to tell it like it is, has never given a toss what anyone thinks of her or what she does and has always been true to herself even if it isn’t to everyone’s liking. She has been controversial but she has always sparked conversation and that is powerful.

Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t always agreed with certain things she’s done but at the same time I can’t deny the fact that she has worked hard and achieved things most people only ever dream of and to have the outlook and attitude that she has at 57 years of age, that is commendable.

All of this got me thinking about how much I have grown over the years.
There is so much I no longer tolerate and I find I stand up for myself more than I used to and I won’t hesitate to call a spade a spade and I know this has caused certain people I’ve encountered to dislike me and call me a b*tch but sorry I’m not sorry.

These types don’t dislike me and call me a b*tch because I’ve been mean or because I’ve done something negative to them.
These types dislike me and call me a b*tch because I’m not accepting or submitting myself to being a pushover.
I’m not quiet enough, I’m not submissive enough and I’m too ambitious for their liking.
They dislike the fact I don’t fit into the mould they believe I should be in.

Lucky for me I don’t believe in conforming to suit others.
I believe you should be taking the time to find yourself….the self that you are most comfortable with….the self that you will be proud of.

And for those who don’t understand and choose to place labels….

Assumptions are unopened windows that foolish birds fly into

So don’t be discouraged and feel you have to tamp out your light.

Be you.
Be brave.
Be bold.
Be true.

Be an unapologetic b*tch!

Take the bricks others have thrown at you and build a firm foundation.
People will test you.
So will life.
Just remember the hurdles you climb only make you stronger and b*tch is only a dirty word if you let it be one.

xoxo Natalie