Guilt

I’m a crier. This is a well established fact that I wrote about not too long ago. And I’m incredibly empathetic, sometimes to my own detriment. Something happened today that made me question these facts and what I thought I knew about myself.

This week I’ve been moved to a different store within our company, and as a result I’ve met and worked with new people every day. Around lunch time, one of my new co-workers received an unfortunate phone call informing her that her sick dog was going to have to be put down. I happened to be right by her in the back room as she was taking the phone call and she was rightfully distraught. I grabbed her some tissues and rubbed her shoulder as she wrapped up the call, but I was more focused on what I was feeling; or rather what I wasn’t. Ordinarily it takes no time at all for me to see a person shed a single tear and feel my own eyes begin to well. And yet here I stood, poor grieving woman in sobbing fits next to me, and I couldn’t muster a solitary drop. Not only that, but I had no idea what to say to her. I’ve literally been in her position before, I’d felt exactly how she was feeling. But it was like all my empathy reserves had been drained and replaced with utter bewilderment. It wasn’t until another co-worker found us and verbalised the words “I’m sorry” that something clicked in the back of my brain and said “Yes, that’s what you say you idiot!” I was completely dumbfounded by the entire experience.

As the day went on it continued to perplex me. I’d temporarily settled on the idea that I just didn’t know this woman and I didn’t feel connected to the situation at all. But the more I thought about it, the real question seemed to be this: why did I feel like I’d let myself down by not getting emotional? Because that’s how I felt. I’ve spent so much time in recent months becoming okay with this side of myself and embracing my sensitivity, yet when it came down to it and my emotions were called to order, they turned and ran. I felt guilty for not being more upset, like somehow I owed this woman more of me than was expected. When I’m sure to her, I was sufficiently polite and awkward considering the circumstances and us having just met that morning. Even more bewildering was the fact that later on that evening, a YouTube video made me cry! Just when I thought I had it all figured out.

While there are a million possibilities running through my head, I still haven’t quite figured out the lesson in this experience. Maybe my subconscious knew not to make the situation any harder or more awkward than it already was. Maybe I’ve become so desensitised to real life emotional situations that I couldn’t empathise with this woman. Maybe I want to keep that part of myself in check at this job and be as professional as possible. I’m sure I’ll figure it out when I’m supposed to. At least I know I can always rely on the Internet to make me weep.

 

Direction

There’s a wee little dot on my notification bell today telling me it’s the 7 year anniversary of the day I registered this blog. I thought no, that can’t be. It was only a few months ago that I was writing about my sixth anniversary and where this blog was spawned. Alas, my calendar tells me this was indeed a year ago. Looking back over my posts from around that time, it’s surreal to think how much has changed. I was lacking direction and drive. I had no clear intentions or vision for where I was going or what I was working towards. And to be honest, I had felt that way for much longer than that. I would often describe myself as being in a “perpetual state of not knowing.”

Twelve months on and things are the clearest they’ve ever been. I know what direction I’m heading in and, I’m setting goals and taking steps to get there. And to hold myself accountable, I’m going to share them with you.

  • Six months from now, I will have completed my life coaching course with Beautiful You Coaching Academy and I will take on my first paying client. I will also have completed the Auslan 1 + 2 online sign language course I signed up for and be looking to start 3 + 4.
  • Twelve months from now; this time next year, on the anniversary of my blog, I will be ready to transition into working as a full time coach and be my own boss on my own damn terms.

Maybe a short space of time to some, but I already know I can do this. I have the tools at my disposal, I just need some help figuring out how to use them. Check back in another year to see me doing my thing and kicking ass along the way.

Alignment

I feel more at home with myself in this moment than I have for a while now. Two months ago I was stuck in a job that was no longer right for me and that was causing me severe mental stress. I had put up with a lot of shit and plastered on a fake smile for so long that I couldn’t physically do it anymore. As the all powerful and wise Mel Robbins says, “If you’re not changing it, you’re choosing it.” I knew it was time to move on and the Universe knew I was ready because once I declared that I deserved better, everything else came easily.

Three things happened following this grand declaration, like I had destroyed all barriers standing in my way and the floodgates were open. Things that I would later come to realise are some of the most significant events in my journey so far. First, I came across an advertisement for an online life coaching course that piqued my interest. I was still in my previous position at this stage and was hesitant to entertain the idea of studying while possibly juggling a new job. But as I read further into the specifics of the course and the academy, I felt drawn to it in a way that went deeper than surface level interest. Whether I would make a career out of it and become a life coach remained to be seen, I knew it was something I needed to do at least for my own personal development. So I registered for the October ’19 course with Beautiful You Coaching Academy and began counting down the days.

At the same time, the second thing was also in motion. I was directed to apply for a new job in the same field almost immediately. A job that I ended up getting and have been at for almost two weeks now. While initially I expressed that I had no desire to continue working in customer service, I came to realise that this position is exactly where I need to be at this point. A position in which I am already familiar with the industry and the practices that will be easy for me to slip into. That I can easily undertake during the day to earn a living, and then come home to study and focus on what I really want to be doing.

The final thing didn’t really happen to me. It was more like something that a part of me already knew, became apparent to my whole being. I saw all the signs, all the pieces clicked together and in conversation with somebody about my life coaching course, I declared that I was going to become a communications coach. Without a second thought, the title flowed from my lips and felt like warm honey. It’s what I would become because I knew that I would. Everything is in alignment and as it should be.

I’m proud of myself. For standing up and doing what I needed to do for my own wellbeing. For recognizing the opportunities that have been presented to me and taking them. For trusting in my cosmic plan and embracing these necessary changes. And for never compromising on my values or my integrity. Bring on whatever comes next, I think I might be invincible.

 

Feelings

It can be hard feeling so much all the time. And even harder to explain how it feels to feel so much. In the past twelve months, I’ve really begun to embrace my highly sensitive nature and learned about different ways to manage my energy and my emotions. It’s so important to tune into your own emotional state, especially if you’re in the habit of taking on the emotions of the people around you. You need to know if what you’re feeling is yours and how exactly to manage it.

You know what else I’ve embraced? Crying. Not because I’m sad, but as a physical need to express emotion. I used to be embarrassed that I’d cry at anything slightly emotional, happy, sad or otherwise. Now I just let the tears flow because I know that it’s my body and my mind’s way of clearing the overload of feelings I’m experiencing. Possibly the strangest thing I’ve noticed that hits me right in the feels is seeing people succeed. I don’t know if any other sensitive people experience this, but watching someone receive an award, or perform a talent, or do something they really love or that they’re proud of, fills my heart so much that I can’t help but cry with admiration.

My sensitive friends out there, what really hits you in the feels? And what do you do to look after your own emotions?

Secrets

I knew this year was going to be big, but I didn’t quite know how. I resisted dreaming of lofty visions and dramatic steps; I knew I would be lead to where I needed to go. I know I talk a lot about growth, but what are we doing if we aren’t constantly evolving? Why are we here if we aren’t exploring every facet of who we are and aiming to become better? It can be hard, sometimes it’s terrifying. But mostly it’s awesome, discovering that the secrets of the Universe are all inside you. Big things are happening if you’re paying attention.

Goals

It is officially the middle of the year. With every year that passes, I swear each one goes quicker than the last. Some things in my life have not gone to plan lately, so as I try to block those things from my mind I’ve decided to look back on the goals I set myself at the beginning of the year and see how I’m travelling.

Back in January I officially set myself two goals that I felt were easily achievable if I was willing to put in the effort. These were:

  1. Save a minimum of $3000 by the end of the year and set up some form of passive income stream to help achieve this.
  2. Eat a home-cooked meal at least 5 nights a week to save money, eat less junk and expand my cooking knowledge.

Unfortunately, adult life has impacted my ability to achieve goal number one so far. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been saving money all year but I’ve had to use a lot of it for different things. There was a point where I had almost reached $1000, however I ended up having to use that for something very important which I’ll explain in a future post. As for a passive income stream, that idea seemed to float away as quickly as it was conceived.

Goal number two however, is where I’ve really started to shine. I’ve jumped into experimenting with my food with zero hesitation. I have a few food allergies and I already enjoyed cooking and tailoring food to my needs. But it’s like the hungry beast within me has awoken and we are just going for it this year. I was thoughtfully gifted a slow cooker and some good quality knives for my birthday back in February and I honestly don’t know how I ever lived without either. I’ve made my first pasta bake and dairy free cheese sauce, I cooked gnocchi for the first time and we’ve become a weekly roast household. I’m genuinely proud of myself that I’m still going and haven’t lost interest or motivation in this, I’m enjoying it so damn much.

Aside from my two official goals, I also made an agreement with myself that I was going to make a conscious effort to do more of the things I love in my spare time. So I’ve been making time to listen to and create music. I’m practicing my vocals nearly every night for at least ten minutes and I can now sing confidently in my higher range, which is something I have always struggled with. I’m exploring new artists and genres to find inspiration in places I wouldn’t normally look. And my dear, sweet boyfriend surprised me with an acoustic guitar after I casually mentioned that I’d like to buy one and teach myself to play. Of all the small wins I’ve had so far this year, the singing is the one I’m most proud of. Hearing the improvement in my voice is just pushing me to keep going and dive deeper into making music.

Did you set yourself any goals this year? How are they working out so far? I’d love to know!

Emotions

“This song is for all the emotional people.”

As we stood there in complete awe of the tiny, ethereal woman on the stage in front of us, my friend turned to me and said “That’s you!”. She was right. And while that is true of me in my every day life, I haven’t ever felt more emotional watching a live performance than I did that night; experiencing the incomparable Aurora transporting us into an alternate reality where everything is light and soft and beautiful.

All Is Soft Inside (Live) – AURORA

The thing about being an emotional person is it can often feel like there’s something wrong with you. Like you’re weak, or fragile. And when you’re emotional AND empathetic, sometimes you feel so deeply, with every fibre of your being, that you’ll implode from the weight of the emotions you carry. Besides the fact that she’s a PHENOMENAL vocalist, I was drawn to Aurora’s music because she put it into words just what that feels like. As cliché as it sounds, it’s like she was speaking directly to me. She was reassuring me that the way I see the world is okay, that my feelings are valid, and that I’m not alone in this.

It was only two months ago that she came across my path, but I’ve never felt as connected to a band or artist so quickly as I have to her. Music is so powerful, the things it can do to people. It’s hard to explain or quantify, it’s almost other-worldly. I’m still in shock that the fates aligned and allowed me to see her perform. Dancing in that packed, energy filled theatre filled me up with a love and gratitude that I can’t describe. I’ll be riding this high for some time.

 

Lessons

Six months ago, I had an epiphany. A lightbulb moment. A thousand fireworks lighting up in my mind as I realised what my core purpose in this life was. I was out for a meal and some innocuous dinner conversation lead to my brain completely exploding with information, as though the answers had been locked away in the deepest part of my mind and were triggered by one particular sentence. It was so simple, like it was right under my nose. But it had taken me up until this point to realise the true meaning, and exactly how it applies to me.

I was so excited. This was it, I thought. The sign I had been waiting for. My whole life was about to change. I started brainstorming concepts, how I was going to use these ideas and deliver my message to the world. I was so certain that this was it and I cried with relief as I tried to describe the feeling to a friend. Something my Mum said lingered in the back of my mind; that this may just be a starting point. Your feelings and ideas may change with time. But I felt so sure, I thought there’s no way. And yet, as quickly as I had jumped in to the idea, I seemed to forget about it. My vision was shelved and real life became my focus again.

Fast forward to today, when something compelled me to revisit these ideas. Maybe I was onto something, and I acted hastily in brushing them aside. As I began to re-read my notes, it quickly became apparent that Mum was right. While I still stood by a lot of what I had written, there were parts that I felt did not apply any more. Some things I just outright disagreed with. It was surreal to think that I had felt so strongly about this, and I sat here reflecting on how much I had learned and changed as person in those six months.

The purpose of this story is to highlight the importance of change in your journey. No matter what you do or what stage you’re at in life, you are always learning and you are always growing. Even when you might not realise it. For me, I think this lesson has come as a reminder that I am still on track. It winds and curves, and there are bumps along the way, but I’m still getting there. And so are you.

2018

It’s been a weird year for me. Looking back, I don’t have a whole lot of tangible achievements to show. But when I think about what this year has brought me, all I keep coming back to is myself. It’s been a year of progress at varying speeds. It’s been super highs and deep lows. Most of the time I’ve had no idea what the fuck I’m doing, but I’ve learned to be okay with that.

I jumped into my own soul to see what I could find and the results have been a complete whirlwind of emotions. I put myself out into the world in an effort to connect, to learn and to grow from creating opportunities and experiences for myself. I was fortunate enough to be guided to some incredible people who have truly helped in shaping the person I am in this moment.

I put up with some shit from people who couldn’t see my worth, but I felt more comfortable than ever in standing up for myself and using my voice. I also learned the true value in listening, and the importance of making connections with people from all walks of life.

It became clear to me that I’m meant to help people. That what life has given me and what I have to say will mean something to someone. The more I move forward in this journey, the closer I am to figuring out how I’m supposed to do that.

It feels surreal to look in the mirror and be the only one who knows just how much I’ve evolved over the past 12 months. I can’t wait to see who I’ll be next year.

Responsibility

A few nights ago I was getting ready for a gig. One of my favourite bands was playing in my small town, which wouldn’t have been a big deal for a lot of people but I was very excited. It was a warm night, so I opted for a band tee, skirt and boots combo over my usual gig attire of jeans & Vans. But as I was getting ready, a thought slipped into my mind. A thought that I had no control over, that came from a place deep inside of me past rational thinking. Something that had been ingrained into my subconscious over a lifetime.

As I surveyed myself in the mirror, a pang of anxiety hit me as I wondered “Is my skirt too short?”. I’ve been to a lot of shows now, and I’ve seen my fair share of drunken idiots being creepy to girls in crowds. I thought that my skirt was fine, and I looked damn good. But I started second guessing my outfit choice as all these what if’s started running through my head. ‘Maybe I should just wear jeans, that way even if something did happen then at least I can’t be blamed for what I’m wearing.’

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Pictured left: Me in the aforementioned skirt

This series of thoughts lasted about thirty seconds before I caught myself and snapped out of it. While I said ‘fuck it’ and wore the skirt, the whole thing left me wondering how much this happens to other women. Have you ever changed your outfit for the sake of not wanting to draw attention to yourself, even if you felt comfortable and looked great? I know damn well that whatever could have potentially transpired that night would in no way have been my fault, but the victim blaming mentality is still so deeply rooted in today’s society that the onus still seems to somehow fall on women to protect themselves. And it’s been this way for so long that now women are programmed to see themselves as potential victims, so we feel like we’ve got to do or say certain things to try to prevent anything from happening to us.

I want to make this clear: it is not up to women to dress, to behave or to NOT behave in a certain way to ensure their safety. It is up to men who feel they’re somehow entitled to these women not to sexually harass them. In any way, shape or form. I honestly can’t understand how that’s such a hard concept for people to grasp.

I had an awesome time at the gig and thankfully nothing untoward happened. But I’m sure this won’t be the last time I catch myself wondering about the ‘safer’ options.