A Birthday Wish For Me

Today I turn another year older and I say goodbye to one of the most challenging years of my life.

I learnt a lesson for the third time with the same person and realised that some people just don’t have the best intentions for your heart. 

I resigned from a job that was a significant yet stagnant portion of my life for ten years and it walked me right out the door which was heartbreaking and disrespectful. 

I also had the struggles of watching things go badly with my grandparents health. There’s a certain numbness you feel when there’s nothing you can do and all you can do is get up each day and keep going because you don’t know what’s around the corner. 

Yet despite these things which made my 34th year a not so great time to remember, I also made choices which while difficult, were right. 

I was careful with who I shared my time, my voice and my thoughts. I withdrew where necessary and spoke up where needed. And even though there were times things felt hopeless and I couldn’t see the light, I never stopped believing that there was some magic in the air every now and then. 

I believed this when I connected with people who surprised me, who I didn’t know at all, but who let me in and loved me. I believed this when I held the strongest hands and had eyes I wish were mine, look so far beyond the surface it killed me to walk away. And I believed this when I had the kindest words uttered to me and knew I deserved more. 

So that’s what being 35 is going to be. 

It’s going to me more. 

It’s going to be better. 

It’s going to be enough. 

It’s going to be the year I keep believing. 

It’s going to be me being all I can be. 

It’s going to BE…..

xoxo Natalie 

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Random Acts of Kindness

So it turns out today is my one year anniversary on WordPress!
Whoop! Whoop!
Queue the confetti and streamers!

In celebration of not packing it in and deleting this blog (even though at times I almost did), I have decided I am going to write myself a list of goals to spread some kindness to the world….and by world I mean those around me…but you gotta start somewhere right šŸ™‚

See recently I have been reminded that sometimes just being nice and genuine to someone, means more than grand gestures and gifts and trimmings. So I have created a bucket list of the things I would like to do to bring some happiness to somebody else’s day.

Here goes:

  • Offer to help my grandparents when they least expect it.
    My grandpa probably won’t expect it since he has dementia šŸ˜‰ but just wanting to be there instead of needing to be there is a huge difference.
  • Surprise a friend with a thank you note just because or a small token of gratitude. You don’t need special occasions only to make someone feel appreciated.
  • Make an effort with those who are more socially awkward at large events.
    I work many pop culture events throughout the year and see people struggling in big group scenarios, so a simple gesture of kindness might make them feel more at ease and welcome.
  • Keep supporting Youth Off The Streets and be an ambassador regardless of whether others come on board or not.
    I may not have the platform I used to have at my old place of work to champion the charity work they do, but it won’t have me give up on them. They are an important organisation making a huge difference for kids less fortunate.
  • Buy our local homeless person Kevin a water or drink the next hot summers day I see him.
    Most people are mean to him and some local school kids pick on him and it frustrates me that they can be so awful. So I’ll do something to make his day more comfortable, especially since we have been having a heat wave this summer.
  • Forgive those who have hurt me, whether big or small.
    You don’t forgive another for their own good. You forgive them for yourself.
  • Spend one day saying only positive things to myself.
    Sometimes the best way to be kinder to others is by starting with being kind to yourself.

So there you have it.
It’s a simple list. It’s not something that is hard or unachievable, but it is something that I hope will make a difference.

What is on your kindness to do list?

xoxo Natalie

2016 has taught me….

That sometimes broken hearts stay broken. 

That ten years of loyalty means nothing to some people. 

That you can try and put yourself first but still come out second best. 

That waiting three years for the right time doesn’t mean the time is right or ever will be. 

That even those closest to you don’t really see you. 

That it’s ok to miss and still love those who hurt us the most. 

And that not every cloud has a silver lining, but even when it’s storming, try and dance in the rain. 

Here’s to a 2017 that is happier, brighter and lighter. May it bring the things our hearts wish for the most and I hope it’s kinder to my loved ones….it’s been a difficult twelve months. 

I’m wishing with all my might for a happier time…a time for all things right….the right time for all things yet to come…

Much love from me to you….all the best for the New Year….

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 needsĀ 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

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

Today I Got Roses…

I don’t have a husband. I don’t have a boyfriend. I don’t have a secret admirer.
What I do have are friends who are like family.
I have people who care and love me and take the time to reach out with gestures like these to remind me they are there, that even though things may not always go right, that there is always light and there is always love.

Today I got roses….

I don’t have all the answers right now for everything I am going through, but what I do have is a new day, a new perspective and a new outlook.
I may not be able to fix everything overnight or make it go away, but what I can do is persist and not give up because I can and I will.

Today I got roses….

I don’t know where tomorrow will lead or whether the things I want to achieve are going to take a week, a month or years. What I do know is if I don’t keep myself in mind, who will?
Nobody will reach your goals for you and nobody else will make your dreams come true.
So I will do what I can to get to where I want to be. I will do this without placing unrealistic expectations or pressure on myself and I will do it with the mind set that every time line is different.
Every journey is unique and that is okay.

Today I got roses….

Grand gestures are nice but it’s the little things like receiving flowers with a heartfelt note that mean the most. I never have flowers sent to me. I never receive them unexpectedly.
But….

Today I got roses….

xoxo Natalie

When The Going Gets Tough

When you have to sacrifice the one thing you were working towards, everything seems without. I have never been more at a loss to make my feelings appear what they are not.

All the things I put into place to reach my goals have fallen apart and all those things I was aiming for areĀ once again a pipe dream. I guess a lot wasn’t meant to be this year, next year, or at all.

2016 is only three months in & already there have been three hard hits. This wasn’t my vision of how things would be. I had a plan. But sometimes plans fail.

The glass is no longer half full nor half empty.

The glass is broken.

It is said sometimes not getting what you want is a blessing. It is said you just need to breathe and trust and let go and see what happens. I am struggling with that today.

Maybe I’m not supposed to fix this.
Maybe I’m supposed to start over.

What I know I’ll do is stop, put on my favourite Bob Marley song and just listen.
Because sometimes the lessons learnt the hard way are the most important.
Even if I don’t see the lesson straight away.

three_little_birds__black_version__by_dexsanz-d558ujd

xoxo Natalie

Sink or Swim

Lately I’ve been feeling a little like Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack in Titanic, scrambling to stay afloat a piece of driftwood and wondering at what point will I be shoved in to the depths of the abyss because Rose is a hog and won’t move the f*ck over!

rosejack

You see my workplace currently feels like a sinking ship.
One by one, every person who hasĀ brought value and life and knowledge to this place is leaving and every day feels like a dreaded walk down death row….because you wonder who’s going to go next or will the doors even open tomorrow.

Russell Ewing said, “A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting”.
This is where the crux of my work place’s problems lie. Once upon a time we were a buzzing team who felt like a family unit and now my joy is found in seeing nervous new candidates sitting in our reception area waiting for an interview and realising they have no idea what they are in for.

Probably doesn’t help that I whisper ‘run’ as I walk by.

I can imagine some of you are scratching your heads thinking…
“If it’s so bad, why are you still there?”

Let me answer that for you…..

I am 7 months, 20 days and 5 hours away from qualifying for long service leave. There is no way on God’s green earth I am walking away from that. I have stuck it out for almost 10 years, I sure as sh*t can do another 7 months, 20 days and 5 hours to guarantee I reach that milestone.

It is however making me question what is more important.
Is my reaching my goal of 10 years of service more important than my happiness in what I do?
Is the stress it brings worth powering through to attain the bonus of a long service leave payout?

Many of you may say no, it isn’t worth it. Your mental health is a priority and no amount of money can fix that.
Some of you would say yes, it is worth it. Take those f*ckers for all they have and get what is owed to you!

I find myself somewhere in the middle.
I am partly staying because I have given almost 10 years of my life to the one company, have endured the excuses for 5 years that we cannot be given payrises and have watched people come and go, taken on extra work and become involved across so many areas that I feel reaching the 10 year mark will be a personal achievement in perserverence.Ā I want to prove to myself that I can do it.
The other part of me is staying because the payout will pay for my 2017 overseas trip so screw them, they owe me!

The situation would probably be less palatable if I didn’t have other projects that I work on outside of work hours and a side job that I do from time to time throughout the year….and no you cheeky Monkeys with the smirks on your faces, it is not THAT kind of side job haha.

I’m lucky enough to be able to help a friend with her clothing line. Whether it’s help with marketing and social media, or being her ‘model’ and going to events to help sell her range, I feel like I amĀ utilising all of my untapped skills and talent. Helping her is my creative outlet and seeing the successes come through is such a reward on so many fronts. And when she is a fashion mogul she is going to take me with her or I will sneak into her warehouse and take to all of her stock with a pair of scissors! (just joking Tee haha….or am I)

I am also super lucky to work with a pop culture event as their Guest Liaison at their major conventions and as a Guest Handler at their smaller more intimate events and this is where my passion lies. This is where I get to immerse myself in challenges and engage with people and work in an environment that makes me happy. It’s giving me experience and opportunity and will help me get to where I want to be. Ā Getting to work with amazing people, doing what I actually love, makes waking up at 5:15am everyday for my regular job less painful. Plus everyone at my day job thinks I’m some kind of rockstar because of the people I am privileged enough to meet and get to know. I mean who doesn’t love water cooler conversations that are all about how awesome you are šŸ˜€

At the end of the day it all comes down to doing what is best for you.
No matter what your situation or what makes you feel stuck in a rut, make sure you are clear on your path and you are putting into place the things you need to get to where you want to be. Don’t get stuck clinging to the railing, cupping water in your hands to throw overboard as you watch your ship sink with you on it. Endure the hard times but look to strive for what you really want and need. Take on that second job or start that project or do that course you have been thinking about. Make those sacrifices now for your greater good because only you have the ability to choose whether you sink or you swim.

xoxo Natalie