Thirty

It’s been over a year and a half since a post has been published on here so thank you for reading <3.

@positivelysparkly

When this blog first began I was 27 years old, nearly 28. Which inspired the reason for this site because I was turning ’28’, apparently that was HUGE to me back then. So much time has passed and passed quicker than usual, I turn 30 next month. I promise not to write a long list of all the things I’ve learnt up till now (maybe), or to give some long lecture on how to live life in your 20’s. To be honest – aside from this eye twitch I get whenever I’m on the screen too long, there is nothing about me that feels 30 years old. I am starting to realise that age really is just a number and timing is everything.

I got into the habit of telling people I am a lot younger (appropriately younger) than I actually am whenever they would ask my age and not because I genuinely look like I am 23 years but because when you are pushing 30 other questions follow.
‘OOO are you married??’… ‘Do you have children?’ …‘What do you do for work?’… ‘Where do you live?’ And when your questions fail their standards of a 30 year old, they want to fix it. ‘WeLl We nEeD tO FiNd yOu a PaRtNeR AsAp’ or ‘oh dear YOUR body clock is ticking!’ or ‘oh…so you’re a MATURE AGE student? BRAVE!’ And then there’s the other people (you know the nice ones) that say ‘oh WOWSERS you look so amazing for 30, like soooooooo amazinggggg!!!’ As if at 30 they expect you to suddenly get wrinkles and sagging eye lids? what…is …that? And friends are not excused, once they find themselves in their dream job or find their life partner or fall pregnant its always ‘You’re next babe!!’ with a wink.

The thing is I get these overwhelming feelings of failure on my worst days and they are usually triggered by people with the best intentions saying things like the above, or triggered by my mind creating competition with people I don’t even know on social.

A year ago I started seeing a therapist (like consistently) and in my first session I remember saying ‘I just want to make sure there is nothing wrong with me, like I need you to tell me that I will be OK …’ I guess I have struggled for years with how old I am and where I’m at in life compared to others my age. It’s no lie that a lot, if not all of the kids I grew up with in school are married with children now, are in a successful career now, own property and dont shy from flaunting their achievements on social. From the outside others seem to ‘have it together’. I just needed someone to tell me that the path I am on is just as important or just as post worthy. Then again, that’s the devil inside SM, you become an illusionist, you can portray only the best side of your life if you want to – you can quite literally filter out the rest. On one hand, it’s good because your life behind the screen is nobodies business. But the power one session of lurking false realities on Instagram has…is scary. And please tell me it’s not just me because I know I am not the only one that spends an hour looking through story after story and slowly feel my mental health go from 97 to 7 real quick. But that’s the thing I was reminded of that day in therapy, like who am I to say those perfect profiles don’t have struggles behind the screen and to think their lives are picturesque compared to mine? but its not only that, its more than that right? like lets say some people genuinely have it all… timing is everything.

@DaylightIllustrations

I spent my late teens and most of my 20’s having fun. I didn’t think about my future self, I was living in the moment. I mean, for five years I was living overseas and I knew that had to come to an end at some point but I really had no plans for when I returned, even when I came back home it took me a couple of years to find my feet again. And still, I can’t say I wish I did things differently. I don’t wish I settled down earlier. I had so much fun, some days I still think of summer 2014, it was– the best summer of my life. Of course with fun and games comes heart ache and debt and loss and grief and pain, I get that, but so does marriage, babies, careers and success. Like we may all be 30 now and some may have their dream lives but no one is exempt from the struggle. You know?

What A Time To Be Alone’ by Chidera Eggerue

I recently went away with my parents for a few nights to stay near the beach and as I was practicing gratitude, I felt like…I have everything I could possibly ever want, right here, right now. I have my family, my health, I have good friends and my goals, my motivation and drive. I have my self and she’s on my side not only that but I love who she is becoming. These feelings of failure may be triggered by what other people say or what other people post and maybe it’s always going to be my battle but at the end of the day I have to own my life, my choices and where I am now.

Anyway, I promised not to lecture so here is my pre-birthday vent … to 30 yeah? ❤

Ef xo

Whats the damn rush?

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In the lead up to turning 28 this year, I had my usual pre-birthday anxiety. For some reason I will go ‘all out’ for other peoples birthdays, but when it comes to mine…I am really not a fan. During the lead up I was thinking, ‘Oh my god…28 is proper adult age, isn’t this the age im meant to have my shit together!!?!?!!’
My family kept asking what I had planned for it and honestly, the more low key the better! So the days got closer and I was growing more anxious because this meant I was ageing and this was the oldest I had ever been and I was no longer in the cute ‘mid-twenties’ bracket I was officially in my ‘late-twenties’. My family and friends were walking on egg shells around me and honestly I just didn’t know how to cope with turning this one year older.

When the day finally arrived, I actually didn’t care. For the first time in years I actually didn’t care about turning another year older. Being 28, I feel really good. I had to remind myself that, mentally I am in the best frame of mind I have ever been in and physically I feel better than what I did at 18 years old. So you know what? I am embracing ageing. I dont know why I’ve experienced this shift in mindset but I think that im growing more mature and less bothered about giving a shit about things I dont need to.

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The hands of time will keep moving, it will drag you kicking and screaming and you have no choice but to go along for the ride.

Who says that by this age I should be engaged? or even thinking of getting engaged if I had a serious partner of 2.5 years. Who says that I should be pumping out some babies or at least be thinking about pregnancy (OR at the very least be coming off my birth control). Who says that I should be in a proper ‘stable’ career and not at Uni as a mature age student? Who says I should be investing in my first home or even saving for one? Honestly who? … Cause if I find them I will politely tell them to mind their own god damn business.

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I am 28 and I am working on my own timeline, the one that I have set for me. You want to know whats at the top of my list? 1) Being happy with myself, finding out who I am and what I like and the things I want to put my energy into.
I am in no rush to settle down to the standards of what society thinks we should all be doing as we get older.

In saying that, if you want to get engaged, married, start having babies and buying houses – then all power to you ! But everyone needs to start doing them and stop worrying about what other people are doing. Don’t rain on my parade.

We all get to where we need to go in the end, so why the rush?

G.S xx

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3 Things I’m loving right now…

“She gave it all, you gave her shit
She coulda done, just anything
Or anyone, cause she’s a goddess
You never got this
You put her down, you liked her hopeless
To walk around, feeling unnoticed
You shoulda crowned her, cause she’s a goddess
You never got this”IMG_9524

  1. Look, maybe I’m a little late to the game, but Banks is breathing new life into my soul every morning with her damn good music. I’ve been listening to her on Spotify repetitively and I don’t see myself getting sick of her music anytime soon. I’m obsessing…..IMG_9567
  2. GirlTherapy!!! I followed @girltherapy on Insta and subscribed to their DAILY newsletter.  I actually get therapy sent to my inbox every.single.day. Which is exactly what I need after a long day at work, when I just want some damn words of encouragement ….or something a little deeper. Great advice, amazing pick-me-ups and cute memes – ALL FOR FREE. IMG_9569
  3. So, my friend sent me a gift. A Gratitude Journal, 100 days of gratitude will change your life, by Natalie Fox. IMG_9565Super thoughtful of her but at first I wasn’t really into it. I placed it at the bottom of my bookshelf to collect dust with the idea that I would re-gift it at some point. HOWEVER, over the last few weeks I’ve been writing in it. It’s simple, cute and it actually really helps to bring my mind out of a funky place. Replacing negative thoughts with gratitude may actually be my new thing. IMG_9635

Just a few things I’m loving right now, keeping me going, keeping me sane.
Ef xx

Ray of sunshine #motivation

I can really feel the energy of the Virgo new moon starting to take effect. My life actually seems to look a little brighter than usual. Weird, but true.

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Do you ever wonder how some people are positive, colourful, little rays of sunshine, candy floss 99% of the time? The ones that turn any negative situation into a rainbow. Those who take on a mighty challenge and look at it as personal development. The ones who clog up your news feed with smiling selfies and theGoodQuote.

If not, you’re probably one of them. and don’t get me wrong, you don’t annoy me, I admire you. But how are you positive and full of energy for life 99% of the time?

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To master life is to transform the energy we feel at any moment into cheerful engagement and deep appreciation.’

Lately I’ve been focusing on self awareness, practising mindfulness and reminding myself that happiness is a result of thought.
I mentioned briefly in my previous post that I’ve read quite a few self help books recently.
I’ve noticed that one of the things these books have in common is reinforcing the fact that happiness is a result of how we think.

It’s hard to absorb that and apply it to your life when its basically saying, ‘You’re responsible for your own happiness’, especially when you genuinely feel so ‘up and down’ and out of control, so much of the time.

So, I’ve been reading The Motivation Manifesto by Brendan Burchard : 9 declarations to claim your personal power.
Declaration #1 We shall meet life with full presence and power.

Living in the present, for an overthinking Virgo, is hard af.
It’s natural for me to check out of the present moment and think about tomorrow or next week, next month, even 5 years time.
I have this fear that tomorrow wont go according to plan or next week will be worse than the last. I zone out thinking about where I’ll be in 5 years, hoping that I’d have met my goals and succeeded in one way or another.
These worries take me away from enjoying the present moment, enjoying my life, there’s no flow. I have no god damn flow.

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‘If we are not vigilant, being around constant worry can quickly limit who we are and what we might be capable of.’

Apparently it’s pretty normal though and without talking about anxiety, I know I’m not alone. Practising self awareness has really helped me to connect with myself.
Without detaching from myself, I’m recognising how I am acting and reacting in the moment. Making choices to change my reality and thinking differently to feel differently.
Im noticing when I’m making poor choices, thinking negatively of myself or others around me.
Connecting with myself and my life is helping me sense a conflict straight up, it’s helping me to recognise that I’m about to go from 0-100 real quick and assess what the appropriate action to take is.
I’ve been making an effort to think before I speak, before I act and before I react.
And I’ve been asking myself the necessary questions to work out the results I want to see in my life.

img_9268‘Awareness + Discipline = Freedom’

I highly recommend reading The Motivation Manifesto. I know it’s been a popular read over the last year and I can see why. It’s written in such a way that his words play on your mind throughout the day. THEY NEVER LEAVE YOU.

My god, it’s all a big journey. But I think it’s a journey worth taking.
I’ve never wanted to be a lollipops and rainbows sort of a person, as principle. But there needs to be a balance. There needs to be a happy life behind the screens we all play on everyday. I don’t believe that you wake up one day and suddenly, your life is magic. I believe it takes a lot of grafting and mind-shifting to become the person you want to be.

So to the positive rays of sunshine bubble tea, that blow up my feed every morning – good on you… it’s not an easy feat.

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Ef. xx

Self care tips for the low times

Lately I’ve been feeling a little down, a little depressed and really not myself. It’s a feeling I’m used to and a feeling I’m sure, many can relate to.

Mental health is a number one priority to me and this last week of feeling low has got me thinking how glad I am that I have an action plan to put in place during these times.

Its taken me years to master the art of self care and sometimes when I’m feeling depressed, I forget that the only person who can make me feel better is actually me.

Here are my main 10 that keep me going

#1 I’m really into a good skin care routine, morning and night. Cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser, eye cream- the whole works.

#2 When no one is home, I go to my Spotify app and basically play whatever the hell I want. I’m loving international music at the moment because it makes me feel like I’m anywhere but here.

#3 I delete the social media apps until I’m feeling better and read a good book. I recently read quite a few self help/ personal growth type books, which I’ll do a post on soon. To be honest, I feel like some of them repeat the same shit and the main take away is mindfulness. But it’s good to read a book that fuels your soul with positivity when you’re down.

#4 I do a full body moisturise session at night – I can’t recommend this enough. Going to bed and waking up with soft skin is the best feeling.

#5 I drink herbal tea before bed. It’s calming and detoxing.

#6 POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS. I’m not one to stand in front of the mirror and tell myself I’m a goddess but journaling affirmations is a great time. It’s something that took me ages to get on board with because I found it kind of lame at first, but it feels so good to write positively about yourself. Especially when you’re feeling down and need a mind-shift asap.

#7 I take a long arse shower. I’m not really a bath person but if no one is home I’ll take the longest shower of the year. Someone told me recently that ‘lonely’ people shower longer because the hot water falling on their body makes them feel less alone…. I’ll have to agree with that. The hot water does me wonders.

#8 I stay hydrated – I drink a hell of a lot more water than usual.

#9 I eat something I love. I don’t binge eat but I forget about the calories, gluten and fat content for a night and eat something I really enjoy. I am loving strawberry sorbet at the moment and it’s my go to ‘sad food’.

#10 I text a friend. I never used to tell anyone when I was down but these days I do. I’ll send a friend a text or give a friend a phone call. Being that little bit more open with someone close about how I’m feeling, makes me feel better within minutes and makes me realise I’m not alone. It helps to connect when you’re feeling so disconnected- with someone who loves you for you. There’s no shame in feeling down. Life gets tough and friends should be there for each other.

Going through depressive episodes is hard. I know some get it worse than me and I can’t even imagine how shit that is. Some may eye roll at my self care tips but these things have really helped me push through on a bad day. It’s the little things we do for ourselves that make a big difference.

All I can say is things get better. Maybe things get hard again, but then they get better again.

Hang in there, listen to some cool music, wash your face and eat some strawberry sorbet.

Ef. xx