So firstly, sorry at how rubbish I’ve been at writing and responding to messages. I had a bit of blip in terms of focussing on anything non-work (me) related, blinked and some how it’s the end of July?? I get a bit panicked when everyone starts talking about ‘how fast time is going’ – I think there is a whole blog post of its own here so I’ll hang on for now!
There have been a lot of changes over the last couple of months and if you are like me, or like most conditioned routined humans. Change is petrifying. Even good change sends me into a bit of a spiral and it takes a lot minimise this. The cause of this tends to be my wonderful skill of overthinkingeverything24hoursofthedayfor74859days. Whilst I am no mental health professional I’m going to take a wild guess and say that’s me good ole pal anxiety joining me for the trip. When I find myself over thinking a situation, no matter where I am I have to pause. Completely stop what I am doing. If I’m at work, go to the bathroom, if I’m with friends, I excuse myself, If I’m about to go in somewhere, i’ll wait outside (enough examples im sure).
Once I have successfully put myself in pause – breathheeeee. I can not explain to you how important breathing is. Breathe in for 10. Breathe out for 10. Slowly slowly focus on every part of your breathe. Close your eyes if you need to or, focus on a particular point.
Then, I need to ‘ground’ myself. Have you heard this saying? Grounding? When I first heard it I genuinely thought it was complete waffle. ‘Ground myself hahaha’ am I black pepper hahaha (strong comedic abilities not guaranteed with blog). Grounding. Long story short, it is the process where you are removing yourself from your current thoughts and back to the ‘now’. So many people have different techniques but something I use (as I’m a novice meditator and haven’t developed my zen spirituality) goes as followed;
- Think of your happiest memory. It can be anything but it HAS to be a strong, happy memory.
- When you think of this, take your first and middle finger and squeeze tightly (or some people pinch, use other fingers, tap their arms, whateverrr works for you)
- Take that memory and visualise e ve r y t h i n g about it.
What can you smell? What does the air feel like? Is it hot, cold, is there wind? Who is around you? Focus on every sound…look at every space and don’t just ‘see it’ be there. Taste it. Walk on it. Feel everything possible and keep squeezing and pinching or doing whatever you’ve chosen.
Keep doing this over a few weeks/months and every time your visualisations should get stronger. Then one day, the moment you squeeze it’s like you don’t even have to try, then bang you are suddenly in your ‘happy place’. When I open my eyes again, it’s like I have fallen of the 100 mile freight train I had previously thrown myself on.
Now if I’m being completely honest, I’m still not even sure this is what grounding is or if I’ve somehow made an alternative version but it works for me. Sometimes it also helps if I simply say (outloud if I can) ‘be here now’. When I first started using ‘be here now’ I genuienly believe I must have said it 300 times a day. No exaggeration. Even in conversations that I knew were important or when I really really needed to focus, the next thing I know I’m off. Gradually, the amounts of ‘be here nows’ also reduces. Having learning needs such as dyslexia and dyspraxia also heightens this. If you have a learning need, pleaseeee get in touch! I have so many weird and wonderful books and helpful stuff and I would love to hear any suggestions…again, I can also write a blog on this lol kinda what this is for right? Ok but to conclude this bit…
Overthinking. Difficult. Can lead to panic attacks. Nausea. All anxiety related attributes. Take some time to look at tapping, grounding or just really looking at your breathing (youtube is my friend). Also to extra conclude, change is brilliant in so many different ways and we all love a bit of growth, this is absolutely not possible without change.
So, back onto the whole reason I wanted to write on the topic of ‘doing what makes you happy’ – I may have totally did quit my job yesterday. I quit my job without having a full time job to go to or for any reason other than…I have absolutely not a clue what I want to do with my future..and do you know what? I AM SO OK WITH THIS IT IS UNBELIEVABLE. Let me back track and explain.
Starting this weekend, I began having a think and just really reflecting on my life experiences thus far. Human beings are built to reflect and if you can start to incorporate this into your daily routine, you will see a huge change in your ability to process certain days, emotions etc (I will 100% do a post on this very shortly). I realised that my whole identity has been ‘a person who helps people’ and whilst that is a fantastic identity to have (although by no means am I a perfect human of course) I realised that I really have never done anything else. I have spent my whole life working towards a career in the non-profit sector, all I’ve known is volunteering and charity work and whilst I adore my job (I really really do), how can I commit to this for the rest of my life without ever trying anythinggg? I have been battling with telling myself this sounds all ego and selfish and whilst it may come across this way, it wouldn’t be my intention. I have a real compassion for wanting to work with all the other incredible people out there who dedicate their lives to helping others, but I want to be certain I am doing it in the right way. Using the best of me. Understanding me. Maybe, I do need to be selfish for a little while?
I spent my entire undergrad ‘grafting’ so I could walk into a job because I felt I had something to prove. I have worked myself to the point of exhaustion because of the unrealistic goals and pressures I have given myself. At the moment, I work part time in a pub alongside my day job and honestly, I laugh so much and have so much fun I thought to myself, why can’t I just do this for a while? I am also about to start my second year of my masters and would need to get another hospitality job but I feel so excited at what this next 12 months could bring. I never got to enjoy my education, at any level or time, so now I am in the position where I can just…do that. I HAVE EVEN COLOUR COORDINATED MY CALENDAR WITH ACTIVITIES.
To highlight why this is also important, I’m going to go a bit into my feels. Growing up, as I mentioned in my earlier post, I had it very tough. Going into my teenage and adult years I had always given myself the same narrative of
‘It cant have been for nothing’
‘I need to make positive from this negative’
‘My past will help me help others’
I have constantly tried to justify my childhood experiences with a want to be this superhuman person and this weekend when I realised that I don’t have to justify anything I went through… I had a bit of a cry (semi happy cry). I think (possibly) I may have found ‘acceptance’ but not ready to jinx it so hold tight.
I had set myself a path and never even dipped my toes into anything else. By anything else, I don’t mean completely move sectors. I will never someone who can work in the private sector, or banking, or be someone who is ignorant to the injustices of the world. I wouldn’t ever be content with the average or trying to not expose myself to what is happening globally. I want to still work to help make the world a little bit nicer, keep fighting the good fight, create the change somewhere, but I just don’t know if that looks the way I had always planned it? Whilst I still believe I will do great things, I think there are so many avenues I have been reluctant explore that can help me achieve this. How do you know unless you take a risk and try right? *cries in I absolutely never ever take risks pls send help*
Whilst I will be taking a pay cut that is never important to me. I’m lucky there is just me, with no one relying on me and I’m not tied down to any location. I will utilise this time by just doing ‘stuff’. I brought a gutair (18 pounds of ebay what a dream). I looked at art classes. I am also starting a new therapy group (again, will blog nearer the time). I also know I have always wanted to write a book. Cliche queen over here of course, I mean it though.
Doing what makes you happy is nowhere near as simple as I have made it, or as rosey. I remember the times where I was having episodes and ‘doing what made me happy’ was fuelled with unhealthy, toxic behaviour that had untold detriments to my well-being. I also remember that happy seemed like a fictitious mystery that I would never experience. Years of darkness partnered with intense unbearable sadness smothered with complete and utter loneliness…a life I genuinely believed was one I would have to tolerate until well, forever. I remember all of these experiences so clearly that today, right now, makes this moment so much more euphoric.
- It may feel that the journey is unwinnable and there are going to be many a moment of defeat but you WILL come back for another round and you WILL kick whatever butt you need to
- Try taking 5 or 10 minutes at the end of each day or every morning just to process. Nothing complicated. You can build on that. What was difficult for you? Who did you speak to? Did anything make you smile or laugh?
- Every day is an achievement