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

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Me Too

In light of all the “me too” posts and the degree of women in my life who have been affected by sexual harassment and assault, I decided that I would share my story.

Well…one of them.

Originally I didn’t plan on saying anything. I guess in some ways I’ve been conditioned to keep this stuff to myself. But I realised that maybe my story would help someone else speak out or get help or even feel on some level that they aren’t alone.

Some won’t find my story important or impactful but it affected me and regardless of the magnitude, it still isn’t something that should have happened.

One of the most prominent memories I have of a me too moment happened 3 years ago. I was working an event with celebrity talent and one of the guests who I knew was troubled, decided I was his new best friend. Little did I know that that meant he would not only unload his issues of addiction and relationship drama on to me, it meant I would be a victim of his behavior when dealing with his issues.

It all started out seemingly innocent. He would vent to me, tell me his troubles, overshare about his demons and then it would start all over again in a vicious cycle. It wasn’t the first time a guest had opened up to me and told me things I shouldn’t know, it comes with the territory, so I listened and leant an ear when needed.

But on the last night of the first weekend of the event, I found myself trapped by him in a room full of people. The fact that he could behave the way he did in front of so many spoke volumes and also shows how rampant and unapologetic some are when it comes to this kind of behavior.

I was sitting in my seat which was against a short wall at the hotel bar with friends and that’s when he came over and boxed me in.

He sat in front of me, legs on either side of my seat so I had nowhere to go.

He leaned over, took my drink out of my hands and started drinking it.

I wasn’t sure what to think at first as he had behaved somewhat erratically over the weekend.

I didn’t think much until he said “We’re going to play that game.”

He had mentioned earlier in the night he wanted to play a game where I had to agree to everything he said and I wasn’t allowed to speak or object but just do whatever he suggested. I brushed it off at the time and told him no because I wasn’t agreeing to anything and I walked away and went to join my friends.

So here he was, blocking my way out, leaning over me and alarm bells began to ring in my head.

I started to speak and he raised his hand and went “Ah ah ahh! No talking. If you do, I’ll go tell **** you want to fuck him.”

The colour drained from my face because in that moment all I wanted was for him to leave me alone but it was clear he was adamant to play his game and I didn’t want him telling anyone that I wanted to do anything to them.

I had my phone in my hand and when he noticed, he tried to pry it from me saying “You can’t call anyone for help”.

Luckily I managed to sit on my phone and all but shout at him that I wasn’t going to touch it so could he stop.

He then started badgering me, asking me if I’d speak and then would berate me with threats if I tried to answer because remember! No talking!

He was asking if I was ready to do anything and if any of my friends who at this stage realised something was very wrong, tried to interject, he made it clear they couldn’t help me.

It wasn’t part of “the game”.

This went on for what felt like forever and all the while he kept taunting me with things I don’t want to repeat and saying that he would go tell this other person that I wanted to do all sorts of things to him and the threats felt like they kept coming.

Luckily he was distracted long enough for me to get my phone out from under me to text someone who I knew could help and they came over. What I didn’t bargain for was him turning to me once they interjected, looking at me dead on and saying “Well you know what happens now.” And he disappeared in the direction of the person he threatened to tell all those things to.

My friends then kept apologizing to me saying they didn’t know what to do, they knew he was harassing me but they just didn’t know how to handle the situation.

During this exchange with them and my internal panic at what he was potentially doing and saying, I felt someone grab me around the shoulders and front of my chest from behind over the short wall I was sitting in front of. I didn’t know what to think at this point as I was being pulled back towards them so I stiffened up as I couldn’t see who grabbed me.

That’s when he whispered in my ear “I’d never let him do anything to you. I’d never let anything happen to you. I promise. It was just a game.” I felt sick.

How could someone get their kicks from basically tormenting someone like that and then feeling it was justified because they were just “playing”.

At the time I smiled and nodded and tried to laugh it off because he was so unpredictable I didn’t want to risk a repeat of it all. I gathered my stuff and headed straight to my room, closing the lift doors in his face when he tried to follow me.

The next weekend at the next event on the first night, he stormed through a room full of people who were attending to meet him and the other guests and got right in my face saying “We need to talk.”

I don’t know if it was the anger that had built up inside me or that I recognized he was so damaged that his threats didn’t scare me anymore, so I said fine.

He demanded we speak in private.

My friend who intervened the week before heard this and instantly shot me a look to see if I was okay and I nodded because this time I felt in control.

We walked out of the room to where nobody was and that’s when he unloaded a torrent of complaints at me.

“The way you treated me last week! The way you shut those elevator doors in my face! You treated me like I was just some guy who wanted to fuck you. Like I was some asshole. Well maybe I will. Maybe I will fuck you. Yup this weekend. I’m going to.”

I don’t know what possessed me, maybe it was stupid of me, but I burst out laughing at him because who was he to decide that he would just have at me. And the way he was spinning the story to paint himself as the victim the week before was beyond comical.

There was sheer shock on his face as I kept laughing at him and I don’t think he expected that reaction but by this stage I’d had enough.

I looked at him and bluntly said “Are you done? Do you feel better?”

He just stared at me blankly.

I then said “How about you get back inside and do your job, now that you’ve got that off your chest.”

I turned and walked away from him and he quietly followed and went back to mingling through the room.

Granted the drama didn’t end there. There was a lot that went on around him and because of him over the course of the event and to this day my memories are far from fond and I never want to be made to feel like I did that night when he played his game.

And even though he didn’t touch me or force himself onto me, being made to feel like I couldn’t escape and having words said to me that made me feel frightened and helpless was enough.

Because that’s just it.

Sometimes sexual harassment and abuse comes in the form of words.

It isn’t always physical.

But either way it’s lasting.

It all leaves a mark.

And too many women in my life have battle scars.

xoxo Natalie

If you didn’t tweet it, did it really happen?

Recently I heard from someone I had lost touch with some years ago. I met her when she was around 18 and we became fast friends and were super close. I used to help sneak her out of the house so she could go out (bad Nat!) and we’d go clubbing and have laughs and it was such fun times. She disappeared from my life for a while and even though I wasn’t sure why, I let it be. I realised she needed space or time or she stepped away to grow and so I gave her that space. I didn’t hate her for it or feel like it was aimed at me, I just knew that it was her time to do for her what she needed to.

Hearing from her out of the blue was nice. It was like all those years not talking, not being connected on social media and not seeing each other never happened. Even though we didn’t delve into anything too personal, it was nice to catch up and to find out she was okay. She’s happy and healthy and looking wonderful and I’m happy for her and the woman she’s become.

In hindsight I’m glad I didn’t make her absence from my life about me because if I did, I’m sure my feelings towards her and the distance would have been different. I took the time to think about it and I am glad I didn’t encourage any negative feelings because I don’t want to be consumed with those kind of thoughts…period.

It got me thinking on the reactions I have received to social decisions I have made over the past year, whether it be limiting what I post online or removing myself from certain groups or just not sharing much about myself at all at times and I realised people weren’t looking at my decisions from my perspective but from their own and some had gotten quite pissed at me for it.

At the end of the day, a persons decisions are theirs and they make them for them. Sometimes people need to do things for their own health, well being and mental space.
Let them be.
It’s why I made the decisions I did and it’s why I continue to make them. I won’t cultivate myself in any environment that brings out qualities in me that I don’t like. Distancing myself from what brings out the worst in me is going to bring a happier and more positive future my way. If doing that makes you pissed at me, well……..*shrugs*

A very good friend of mine told me a story from before he knew me, about how he disabled his Facebook account because he needed a break from it and for months nobody noticed. Nobody said a single thing until the day someone went actively looking for him on there to ask a favour.
Not to check in.
Not to see if he was okay.
But to ask him for something.

That person, when discovering they couldn’t contact him on there, proceeded to attack him via messages because they were offended he ‘blocked’ them and it was all about how they had been hard done by. The hilarity of the assumption had my friend bluntly tell this person that they didn’t notice his absence until they needed something and instead of asking what was actually going on with his Facebook, making the assumption of it being all about them was easier. He pointed out that in the grand scheme of things, his absence from Facebook really wasn’t missed, so how was it truly so bad when they didn’t care prior to them needing something.

Long story short, this person made a situation that had nothing to do with them about them and proved my friends point exactly – well the outburst they had certainly did.

People get so worked up over the world of social media and truth is 80% of my life I don’t post or comment about on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat because it’s nobodies business. Plus the thought of anyone reveling in my misfortunes, hard times or scandals has certainly made me a more private person, and some of my scandals are juicy AF! (note to self: you could write a book)

When it comes down to it, being true to yourself and the person you want to be doesn’t always make you friends or help you keep them but it does help you keep the right ones. It also makes you feel better within your skin because you are being who you want to be, not what someone else needs you to be.

Being truly happy and surrounding yourself with what and who makes you a better person is the best end game. It’s what I am working towards.
It isn’t an easy road, but it is worth the trek.
Find you and you will find your happy….the rest is just details.

xoxo Natalie

Letters I’ll Never Send

30 seconds. 

It took 30 seconds for me to go from adoring you to hating you. 

30 f**king seconds. 

Will I hate you tomorrow?

I don’t know…..

Maybe. 

You know what….

Probably not. 

But right now…right now I do. 

Because right now I’m angry and anger burns and in my rage I’m ready to burn you down with me. 

You see, you handed me this burden. You wrapped it up and packaged it and gave it to me and I carry it alone. It wasn’t mine to keep. It was supposed to be ours but you left it in my care and carried on like I and the thing I held didn’t exist. 

What I can’t reconcile though is how you can just keep going without thinking I’ll set it free. Is my respect for you that obvious that you know I’d never let it go to fall and shatter? 

Shame you can’t appreciate that I’m doing this for you. Well….it feels like you don’t. And trust me, on days like today it is taking all that I am to not shout it out. 

I know I’m trustworthy and I know I’m strong, but I’m human and I break and I hurt and your half that I’m carrying is taking it’s toll. 

This isn’t a game of finders keepers where I drew the short straw so now I’m stuck with what I found. You chose to share this with me and sharing means having something equally.

I’m fiercely loyal to those I care about and so in sharing what you did, I’m ensuring it remains with me because loyalty means protection. Yet here you are treating me like you would treat those I’m protecting you from, like I don’t exist. Trust goes both ways and I trusted you would treat me better. I didn’t think that meant shutting me out. 

Do you know how hard it is to be asked “How come you guys aren’t keeping in touch? I thought you were friends. What happened?”

What am I supposed to say?

Do I say you’re a liar and I believe nothing that has or will come out of your mouth because you promised and said so much and then took it back after the fact because it was easier for you. 

Will I say that though?

No. 

Because as much as I may want to, I don’t believe you are that way. 

30 f**king seconds!

F**k!

I know this is all my anger talking and I know when angry we make speeches we will later regret, but I think in this instance I need to be heard. I can’t pretend like how I’m feeling is okay. Because it’s not. 

I thought so much of you. 

I can’t lie…I still do. 

You are different, you are good and you are everything that so many of us want in a friend. 

What happened to that person I know?

How come the opposite is what I get now?

I guess I’ll never know. 

I never wanted anything from you. I don’t expect anything. All I’d hoped for was that spark of friendship to remain. 

But that’s in your hands now. I guess that’s what you carry. 

30 seconds. 

30 seconds was all it took for me to feel so differently. 

And 30 seconds is all it’s taken for me to take it back. 

Guess neither of us is good at sticking to our guns. 

I can’t hate you. 

I never could. 

It’s just easier to be angry than admit you are hurt. 

But I’ll be okay.

One day, maybe we’ll meet again. Maybe we’ll talk. 

Hopefully for more than 30 seconds….

xoxo Natalie 

Thought of the day…

‪If your generosity comes with a price tag, you don’t understand the purpose of giving.
It is selfless, not selfish.
It is paid in thanks & that is reward enough.
When you start expecting more, that is when what you are doing becomes about your gain and not what you can do to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Generosity isn’t about power.
Generosity is about giving hope & comfort & strength to someone else.
It is from a place of love, not from a place driven by motive.
It is safe & it is pure.

You don’t have to be rich to be generous, you just need to understand that it stems from the heart.

“The heart that gives, gathers.” – Tao Te Ching

xoxo Natalie

A Good Heart These Days….

Sometimes all it takes is someone not having the decency to show some respect and treat you like a person to remind you that the things we thought were a good idea were rotten after all.

Not everyone will keep your feelings in mind when they need to the most. You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t and you can’t expect an a**hole to be anything but….no matter the thoughtful things said when nobody is around.

All these things were brought to mind as I:

  • Was walked from my job
  • Decided after 3 years to let someone in who I was afraid to allow past the wall I’d built around my feelings
  • Saw someone who could have been all of my yeses but who pushed me away and turned into all of the noes

Whilst each situation is totally different, they all came back to one thing – a good heart these days is hard to find (bless you Feargal Sharkey).

Have you ever had someone completely break your heart and yet you wish it was them who would put it back together? I battled with that feeling through each of those moments mentioned above even though I knew it wouldn’t/won’t happen. My ex workplace treated me like a pariah when I handed my resignation in, the person who I allowed in after 3 years has taken to ignoring me and the one who could’ve been all of my yeses continues to exist on a different planet to me where I’m but a mere tumbleweed in the background.

I’ve come to terms with the thought that I don’t hate those who have broken my heart, I don’t think I ever could. I’m disappointed and hurt and can’t comprehend some of what happened, but if I spent my energy hating, the emotion would consume me and I would be broken to a point where I would be accepting less. This way I am letting go and trying to just be. I’m doing things for me, I’m keeping my heart in mind and this way it gets better…in time. I can walk away knowing I didn’t tear others down going tit for tat and I was kind to my own heart and to theirs in the process.

The ex-work drama, whilst it still burns, is easier to accept as done and dusted. The feeling of betrayal and unresolved issues has dwindled because I know there will always be another job…a better job…a more fulfilling job.

As for the 3 year itch and the yay turned to nay….that’s harder to bear. Matters of the emotional heart often linger and I think always will.

However…..when you give your heart to a boy…more than likely he will crush it…why???

The difference between a boy and a man:

A man will look what he is facing in the eye. He won’t shy away from a challenge and he approaches what he wants head on. He’s willing to pick up the pieces and try and fix what may be broken. He’s not afraid because he’s secure in himself.

A boy will run and hide. He will take a crayon out of the box and press it so hard while he colors that he breaks it. He’ll then toss the crayon aside because he thinks it’s no use to him anymore.

If some boy has broken you, don’t despair. Always remember, broken crayons still color the same. A boy just doesn’t appreciate that the broken parts of us are what make us who we are. Never let some boy dull your vibrancy. He doesn’t know what he’s holding in his hands because he doesn’t understand…he’s still unsure of himself, therefore how can he be sure of you.

xoxo Natalie

The New Normal

Over the weekend I had an experience which was basically an excerpt from Anjelah Johnson’s nail salon comedy routine. It started as innocently as me dropping by our local nail salon to pick my mum up after her appointment and it ended in a judgemental interrogation as to why I “no have boyfriend.”

Now usually I am pretty tolerant of the questions asked and will smile and say “no I don’t have any news” (because asking if I have any news is the staff’s ‘polite’ way of asking if I am in a relationship), but this time the judgement was so rude and blatant it took all I could muster to simply reply “no news” tight-lipped and then look down at my phone where I was busy hunting Pokemon….because priorities!

The reason why it bothered me so much this time is that it had come off of the back of some ignorant comments made by other people and so I had hit my limit.

I think the one comment that took the cake in this series of judgey quips about my single status was “well she must be a lesbian.”
Imagine my face as this emoji here ccbf360599cfe1cdfe5b82b8b0e4f7eb

When I heard that gem I didn’t know whether to laugh at how obtuse the person was or whether to be angry that they could be so misinformed and completely ignorant, especially since a persons sexuality shouldn’t even be a factor or considered an issue.

But when it comes to people like that, there is no point trying to reason with them or their way of thinking because if you tried to explain that there are more factors at play than just pointing at someone, claiming MINE and viola! no longer single, they still wouldn’t get it.

I have friends in the same boat and let me put it this way, there are a list of reasons why we haven’t found ‘the one’ and some of them are:

  • Not settling for just anyone or anything
  • Having standards
  • Work/Life balance is out of whack
  • Having your guard up after being hurt before
  • Having responsibilities which outweigh the pursuit of a partner
  • It’s just not the right time
  • You are just happy living your life

I know for me it’s hard enough finding friends these days who can accept and understand that sometimes a person has responsibilities which means not dropping everything to do what their friends want or expect, so can you imagine how hard it is to try to find a guy mature enough to acknowledge and accept that also.

The majority of my time is split between work and helping care for my grandfather. Because that doesn’t fit the expectations of others and what they want, often this leads to people distancing themselves and it probably doesn’t help that I can’t be bothered explaining myself anymore because there’s only so many times you can reassure a person of a situation that isn’t in your control. I’ve accepted that some people find it easier to walk away and in turn I value the people in my life who do understand and realise that sometimes we sacrifice the things we want for the good of others….because we aren’t always dealt the hand we want.

So to the judgemental f*ckers out there who think there is something wrong with single folk and feel the need to hound them, just because someone doesn’t fit into societies preconceived notions of what is normal, that doesn’t mean anything is out of order.
Nobodies timeline has to fit anyone else’s expectations, not even the persons own.
What is meant to be will be.
No amount of pushing, questioning or wishing can change things if it’s not the right time.

A relationship status doesn’t define a person and not having a significant other doesn’t mean you are without. A single person is not without because they have themselves and that is the best cheer squad you could ask for.

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 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