CTRL + ALT + DEL

I recently took a break from social media.

Technically I’m still on this break but a few experiences I’ve had whilst keeping myself on the social media down low have got me thinking and even taking action.

I decided to minimize my use of social due to having some major things going on in my family life. I won’t explain or divulge what these things are, purely because my family is my business, and if you hadn’t noticed my absence or lack of interactions of late and asked if I’m okay, then you really don’t need to know because simply, you don’t care 🤷🏼‍♀️

I haven’t been posting at the rate I normally do and I don’t check my social media feeds as much. I’ve been too exhausted in the real world to deal with the virtual world.

What I found though, was that only a select few people noticed it was out of character for me to be so absent and they reached out to check in and even offered a helping hand if things became too much to handle. I was grateful for this and it made me appreciate these friendships more ♥️

The flip side of this though is being taught who my surface friends are. The ones who want to show up for a good time only and don’t actually have any investment in me or our friendship. I have no qualms with surface friends in general, we all have them and they’re fun to be around, but I do have qualms with people who shout from rooftops they love me and have my best interest at heart, but don’t pick up the phone to text or call to see if I’m okay since I’ve basically gone MIA.

In turn, I’ve become a bit savage in my approach to my social media going forward. An example of this is last night, for the first time in a month, I posted something to social because it was the anniversary of one of the happiest points in my life. Anyone who knows me well knows what that period meant to me and how it touched me.

Well, one person decided to make a remark that, to put it simply, offended me.

It doesn’t matter what they said, but it proved that if this person knew me even remotely, they wouldn’t have sought cruel humor in a situation that was clearly very dear to me, especially during a difficult time.

So to cut a long story short, I deleted the comment and I deleted them.

Why? You may ask.

Seems a bit rash?

The older I get, I’ve become less tolerant of behaviors I don’t want to be exposed to and if you only pop up in my life when you need something or to make a jibe at my expense, Bye Felicia! 🙋🏼‍♀️

I don’t want to be that person who writes essays for someone who can’t even string two sentences together for me. I don’t want to be that person who lets someone be disrespectful and continue to have access to me and my life. And I certainly don’t want to be that person who cultivates relationships that really aren’t good for me.

So I’m taking the CTRL + ALT + DEL approach.

I’m taking control of what I want.

I’m altering my focus and in turn, hoping those who maybe weren’t so thoughtful or nice in the past can alter their behavior.

And if in turn these things I want to alter only bring me negativity and pain; delete.

Remember that detachment isn’t selfish when rooted in self care. Every single one of us is worthy of everything good in life and we all deserve to be happy. This sometimes means letting go.

xoxo Natalie

Entitled Or Enlightened

I recently came across a social media post from someone I used to socialise with 13 years ago (god that makes me feel old!). I don’t really see them much anymore (if ever) and in the course of 13 years that doesn’t surprise me because people drift apart.
I have some friends I’m lucky to see once a year due to us living far from each other, but that doesn’t change the friendship because you pick up where you left off. But when you realise with some people your common values shift or you’ve grown in different directions, you recognise that time has done you a favour because it is best to move on.
I read this persons post and realised exactly that.

In some ways I was a little surprised because they never came across as the type of person who would demand or expect anything from anyone, but their post said otherwise. It was such a passive aggressive statement I was pretty taken aback. I couldn’t understand how the person I knew could turn into this version of themselves. The post was used as a platform to tell people if they did not support them, celebrate them and agree with them in all they say and do, you were simply an enemy.

Flat out, no if’s or but’s, enemy.

Now I understand we look to others for acknowledgement and support and to be treated decently, but the worriment here is that it was demanded that they be respected and unquestioningly affirmed and if you didn’t adhere you were labelled the problem.

I’m sorry but I don’t care who you are, you don’t deserve to make those kind of demands.
They fall flat. Hypocritically flat.

Nobody has to give you support.

Nobody has to be happy for you.

Nobody has to automatically respect you.

In the great wide world, nobody owes you a damn thing.

Nothing should be expected or demanded because the things you want you should earn. Being entitled isn’t flattering and if you constantly need to find validation in others and their opinions, that’s troubling.
A person should find validation within themselves because that’s where you need to feel worthy first.

Over time I’ve learnt that the world isn’t black and white and there are many aspects to life other than what is going on in our own bubble. We all have issues and obstacles we need to overcome and even though selfishly we often think our dilemma’s are greater than another’s, we need to realise that you should never compare your battles to someone else’s and you should never feel your thoughts and feelings trump anyone elses.

It is better to impart knowledge to someone else so they understand you than it is to just assume you have the right to have expectations of others, fair or not.

Be enlightened not entitled.

After reading that person’s post it was clear to me that:
I like being around people who realise they aren’t perfect but who strive to be a better version of themselves.
I like being around people who see the views around them, not just their own.
And I like being around people who want to discuss and listen and acknowledge they aren’t always right.

But then some people won’t listen until you have nothing left to say.

xoxo Natalie

 

 

 

 

Sugar And Spice And All Things Ice

That’s what people are made of….

It’s become more apparent to me the older I get, that unless you live a fairly solitary life, drama will follow you wherever you go. You think you’ve left it behind in high school, you think you walked away from it in college, but really it hangs over you like a cloud wherever you interact with others, because let’s face it…there’s always something that’s going to spark the flare.

I know I’ve become less and less social this past year. I’ve become less likely to go out every weekend or spontaneously drop everything to do something crazy. It’s pretty apparent when you look at my social media and realize I went from regularly posting group pictures from outings, to mainly selfies and food shots because I just don’t socialize like I used to. These days if I want to see or do something, I take myself to do those things.

Now that’s not due to anything directly occurring to me to force me to walk away from people, I made the step back due to work commitments and family matters. Yet despite the lack of social interaction, drama still sprinkles it’s sh*tstorm on my welcome mat.

When I look at all aspects of my life, they have all been tainted and the places where I used to find happiness just don’t fulfill that feeling anymore.
Home life has been tainted by illness which is something that cannot be helped and saddens me.
Work has been tainted by toxicity and stress which has been impacting my well being and then my personal life seems to be a roller coaster whether I’ve wanted it to be or not.

Why? Because no matter how much you pull back and no matter how diplomatic you try to be, a word will be twisted, a feeling will be hurt, an action will bruise the heart and chaos ensues. And sometimes no matter how much you explain, no matter whether you are involved or not, the drama will brew till you end up on it’s bed of quicksand with no way out.

In any instance of conflict though, there are three sides to every story: your side, their side and the truth.

So I try and tell myself; you’ve got good and bad people everywhere. Half the time you don’t know the true nature of the people you encounter. It shouldn’t mean you stop living your best life.

So yes, things won’t be easy and sometimes you gotta wade through a pile of sh*t to get through to the other side to better things. But don’t let it stop you from putting yourself out there.

I’d like to think there is more good in the world to outweigh the bad.
I’d rather have hope than nothing at all….and lately…..even though it’s felt like nothing at all….I will still perservere.

xoxo Natalie

I Am The Echelon….and Proud

Two years ago on this date I made a dream of mine come true.
I met Jared Leto and Thirty Seconds To Mars.

I don’t think much can compare to the experience of that whole day that started with watching Artifact, followed by a Q&A with Jared then meeting him, then making my way to the concert venue to meet the band and then watch one of the best concerts I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of.
It was magical, real, honest, genuine and most of all, it was having a place to belong.
This experience and talking to others the world over prompted my being asked to contribute to a blog and share my story of what being a part of this bands family (The Echelon) means.
So in celebration of my Thirty Seconds To Mars-aversary 🙂 I’m going to post my contrbution here.
I hope you enjoy….

Posted May 18 2014

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure and sometimes unfortunate displeasure of being a part of different fan bases music wise as my taste in music spans many genres. One thing though has stood out to me over the years and that is The Echelon. There is nothing like it.

So what sets The Echelon apart?

Is it the sense of family and community and having a place to belong?
Is it that we are all dreamers and believers and support each other?
Is it that we have this amazing platform at VyRT.com where we come together to celebrate this sense of constant connection and have a dialogue directly with the band where our voices can be heard?
Or is it because we’re all just a little bit inappropriate and pervy? I mean who doesn’t love a bit of Hurricane uncensored ;o)
I believe we, The Echelon, are all that and more. We can appreciate that we are all different and unique and that’s what makes us one. We come to this with no judgment and we celebrate each other. We celebrate our achievements, our moments with Thirty Seconds To Mars and our belief that this is more than just a band. We live loud, we make mistakes and sometimes we fail, but we pick ourselves up and reach for whatever is our personal success.

The best example I can give as to why I am The Echelon and proud is the reaction a friend of mine had when I took her with me to a Meet & Greet and show. She wasn’t a Thirty Seconds To Mars fan before this and didn’t know any song so was going into the experience blind. She looked at me at one point and said “I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s like a religious experience.” Part of me giggled because we all know ‘This is a cult’ but part of me also stood there and thought, this is what sets us apart. The core of it all is that my friend felt welcomed. There was no cattiness, no jealousy and no person taking away from any others experience during the Q&A and Meet & Greet because it was about all of us. We all mattered. This value stems directly from Jared, Shannon and Tomo and this is why I think we come together as one.

We connect the world over. One of the sweetest people I’ve met lives on the other side of the world in Russia but what brought us together was Thirty Seconds To Mars. And I’m grateful. I’ve met and had comments on my posts on different social media from creative and positive people and the messages are always sent with love.

So thank you Echelon.
Thank you for 12 years of a place to belong.
Thank you for 12 years of positivity.
Thank you for 12 years of making something that is set apart from the rest.

Jared put it best when he said “We have something special. It’s not for everyone. Not everybody will understand it and that’s fine with us. It’s just for the people that do.”

I am the Echelon and proud.

Original post found here

xoxo Natalie

Wellbeing Stocktake

We all get caught up in the whirlwind of our daily lives that sometimes we forget to stop and check in on ourselves. We overlook our own wellbeing for the sake of our jobs, our families and others.
It isn’t bad practise to put others before yourself, but it is bad practise to forget yourself completely.

Never forget that you count too!

I realised that I spend a lot of time looking out for others, both family, colleague and friend alike, and in some areas I have ignored my needs.

It was time to do a stocktake of the things I am neglecting.

  1. It’s Ok To Say No

    You’re allowed to say no and you don’t have to explain yourself when you do.
    So many times I have agreed to things and in doing so have sacrificed my own needs or wants. Just because it may be easier to say yes doesn’t mean it is right.
    Learn to say no if it isn’t in your best interest.

  2. Be Generous With Yourself

    Countless times I have paid for dinners, getaways or concert tickets and been promised “I’ll pay you tonight/tomorrow/next week”…in some instances I’m still waiting.
    Not to mention gifts purchased for special occasions or to just do something nice for someone and my generosity has been taken for granted.
    I don’t work hard for the little money I earn to have it wasted and neither does anyone else who finds themselves in the same situation.
    Be generous with yourself first.
    Then those who are deserving can follow.
    But your generosity should not be expected. It should be earned.

  3. Put Your Heart First

    If someone says something insensitive or awful, don’t bow your head and cop it on the chin. That condones the behaviour. Your feelings count too.
    You can only be the good thing that happens to people for so long before it takes its toll.
    There will always be someone who is too selfish to think before they speak or too ignorant to consider another persons situation/feelings – that’s just human nature. The difference however will lie with you and whether you condone the actions or not.
    Don’t let anyone dull your light.

As a little exercise, take a moment and give yourself a chance to see where you need to take stock. Make your own list and assess what you can do to make a difference for yourself. Think of the moments where you thought “Hang on a minute!” and take note of the situation. Your own checklist of the things that were negative choices or impacts can help determine which positive choices you need to make to improve your own wellbeing.

nobody-is-in-charge-of-your-happiness-except-you-quote-1

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 Friends Become Acquaintances

Have you ever stopped and realised that the social circle of friends you have has significantly decreased as the years have gone on?

It has become more apparent to me, especially in the past 6 months, that a lot of people who I happily called my friends have slipped to acquaintance status. We no longer spend a lot of time together, they don’t check in to see if I’m doing ok or if I want to catch up and a lot of empty promises of “soon” are thrown around.

I don’t like them any less for this and I don’t have any ill will towards them for no longer having time for me. Truth be told I am sure I too have done the same with others in the past. It’s a natural progression to sometimes not be so involved in someone’s life anymore. We all grow and change and occasionally we move on and if you really take notice, as some slip further away, others end up closer.

Queue the Lion King coz it’s the circle of life.

Circle-of-Life-the-lion-king-37004711-436-470
For some of us though, it’s harder to understand why this happens. We question what we have done to create such a distance or what happened to turn the friendship into a passing sometimes. We instantly think this person doesn’t like us or that there is something wrong. Truth is, just because someone isn’t giving you what you want right now, doesn’t mean they aren’t giving you all they can at this moment in time.

Look at it this way, I can count on one hand (ok specifically 3 fingers) how many people have checked in on me to see if I am doing alright after the debacle of last weekend and to be honest, that’s totally fine by me. I didn’t tell a lot of people what was going on to begin with so hardly anyone even knew, and when I think about it, I only told the people I consider true friends.

At the end of the day, the people you call friends are the one’s who you can call any time of day and they’ll be there for you and you can feel comfort knowing they know you inside and out and you don’t need a team of people to feel good about that.

However, the people you call acquaintances are also important. They give you variety and a chance to branch out socially from time to time but they don’t need to carry all your baggage and vice versa.

I think sometimes we invest too much in the idea that we need to be liked that we lose focus of the fact that just because someone doesn’t want to be with you 24/7, doesn’t mean they don’t like you at all. Give yourself more credit. You’re pretty awesome and a lot of people think so. But you don’t need a squad to prove your worth (and to be honest I f*cking hate that term)….you just need to believe in yourself and the people who matter will shine through and support you on your way. And whether that’s one person or three or more, whatever it is it’s all you need.

You don’t need a certain number of friends
You just need friends you can be certain of 
❤

xoxo Natalie

THAT Friend

russel

Let’s be honest, we all have THAT friend.

The one that is unconsciously self centred and selfish and thinks they are the only one on the planet who’s world is ending with a crisis or the only one to have had the most amaaaaazing things happen to them.
Oh! And most importantly, they deserve the world and then some because it is all about them.

What a Peanut.

Now don’t get me wrong…Peanut can be a sweet person. They can be funny and charming and you think WOW! Peanut is cool! I like hanging out with Peanut. But before long, Peanut gets comfortable and their shell starts to crack and suddenly you can see past that outer layer and lo and behold….there’s more than one Peanut in that shell and you realise….bitch crazy.

And what about when Peanut falls for someone…*face palm*

It’s always an all consuming love. A love that burns to Peanuts very core. Peanut can’t see past their amore. They’ll ditch on plans with friends to be in the same place as their beloved (but it’s not stalking), they’ll post calculated social media updates to get their love bunnies attention (but whatever I don’t even care if they see it) and even better, see signals where nobody else can see a god damn thing (you better get your eyes checked).

Now let’s be real, we all go a little cuckoo when we like someone and all rationality turns to sh*t, but sometimes THAT friend will take it to a whole other level.

Everyone and anyone who looks sideways at their crush is an a**hole and if anyone in their circle of friends gets any attention on the love boat, they are an a**hole too. Queue the passive aggressive statuses and social media posts and the why me’s because they are the only one nobody loves or understands.

Newsflash Peanut butter and jealous….everyone feels lonely, sad, missing out, left behind, unsuccessful and down right sh*tty at times. 

Pop that little bubble you are in and take a long deep breath.

We don’t always get what we want., we often have to endure unrequited love and let’s face it, we are not a Katherine Heigl movie (f**k you Katherine Heigl….and I hope you got that movie reference!).

However, despite the outbursts of crazy, you still see Peanut, you still hang out.
Even if each hang is followed by a detox where all communication is ceased for a while and you find yourself sitting in a corner in the foetal position wondering why you subject yourself to the emotional carnage that is Peanuts crunchy and never smooth ride.

Why do you bother?
Why be friends with someone who pillages your brain and leaves you senseless from shaking your head so much?

Because friendship means understanding, not agreement.
It means forgiveness, not forgetting.
And if we are being honest….we ourselves are Peanuts from time to time too.
Don’t deny it. Just look at your glorious Timehop or On This Day app and bask in your crazy glory. I have! And it’s a hoot!

Smiling and being nice is the best approach. If you can muster up all the inner peace you can and try to be kind, you can see others as your teacher instead of your difficult enemy. And maybe, just maybe, you can teach them a little bit too.

On the upside…..if you’re ever having a bad day and feel like your world is going to Hell….you can always think of the Peanut in your life…..then things don’t seem so bad after all 😉

xoxo Natalie