Uncategorized

Running away or standing firm

I listened to Donald Trump last night and announced I was done with the sad world we live in. 

“I want to move to the moon”, I declared. 

My husband looked at me like:

a. She’s bat-shit crazy (maybe true)

b. I think she means it 

There are obviously problems with my solution, but in that moment I wanted to be in a bubble where none of the bad shit and people exist. 

How am I meant to build reliance with so much sadness around me?

How am I mean to use my empathy for good, if it continues to break me?

And how, just please tell me, how the hell can the worlds most powerful leader be such a bloody minded, ignorant, casually sexist, racist and any other ist that isn’t reflective of what he deems American?

In writing this I figure the moon might not be the solution. But laughing at Mr Trump and standing firm on all the things that I believe in (which are generally everything he doesn’t) might remind me that  I can choose my reaction to the world and that should make me feel a tad better. 

And if not, I’ll just pack my astronaut suitcase and be off. I won’t need sunscreen, will I?! 😉

Mojo&Me xx

emotion, mental health, support, Uncategorized

Coping with people being nice

I have to tell you something.

As much as I like people being nice and supportive, I can’t really take it.

You see, I brace myself for the day. Put a smile on and pretend all is fine. When people say, all will be ok, or thinking of you, or I love you – I don’t know what to do with this.

You’ve disturbed my thought pattern of bracing myself for a day where no one tells me any of this and I plough on doing what I do. And at the end of the day, I feel my breath get short as my throat clenches and I struggle to breath and then I am overwhelmed by all I’ve been trying to control for the day.

But you… You’ve pierced me with loving thoughts and nice messages. You’ve reminded me I’m not alone. And actually I’m not prepared for that.

In a really weird way, I’m trying to say thank you. I have a feeling this is a learning for me. One that reminds me to let my support structure love me, think of me and wrap me up with kind thoughts that  can power me through.

It’s a reminder that I don’t have to face my struggles alone – even though I know they only exist in my head.

It’s a reminder that I will be ok. Maybe not right this minute, but I will.

And it’s this I’ll  hold on to, no matter what the day has in store.

Mojo&Me xx

confidence, emotion, failure, mental health, Uncategorized

How we’re built

You see, we’re different.

You were brought up in an environment where you believed anything was possible. That you would be successful. That you would be a leader and be something great.

I don’t remember ever thinking anything like that.

I remember thinking I just want to try my hardest. That success isn’t fair, and how I wished it were so people I went to school with would have as much chance of success as anyone else from any other background. The kid that came to school with bags under his eyes and would fall asleep in assemblies. The kid that struggled with  everything because of his dyslexia but didn’t get the support he needed. The kids who played out on the estates. The kids who’s parents owned the local corner shop.

In the world I wanted to believe in, the kids who were in gangs had the same chance of success as the ones who joined science club (not that was a science club, but you get the gist).

Sociology taught me that’s not the way things work.

Opportunities aren’t even but somehow I still believed in meritocracy. The thought that if I try my hardest I will be good enough. And with that I simply just tried to be good enough. There was a sense that I was fine. Good reports. Good grades. All. Fine. All working out.

Looking back, I can see that where you had encouragement, I had disregard. Where you had teachers of aptitude and future proofing as parents I had a loving but distracted family. Fighting everyday to make sure we had food and shelter while they struggled with their own demons – there was no room to ask or need for anything.

Maybe it’s this that made me who I am.

Success I knew would be up to me to make. And so when I fail, I fail in my eyes before I fail to anyone else. My standards for myself are based on being the best I can be. And I’m disappointed when I feel this still isn’t good enough.

When I don’t have answers to things I ponder about in my life; if I cry when you question the contradictions of what I say; if I fluster at the thought of the long term – please stick with me. I’m trying my hardest to get there – I’m just not sure how.

My work ethic is there but I haven’t been built to look towards a grand future. I’m built to just try at whatever I’m doing and build on it a little bit more.

So, no. I don’t know what I’m meant to be. I don’t always have a sense of what my long term life looks like.

Today I felt that looking for who I ought to be in the future made me sad to be who I am now. I felt I had failed again – not on grades, but in knowing who I am meant to be.

I had failed to be a grown up that knows where I’m heading. I had failed to know the answer. I had failed to make decisions that laddered up to something bigger than just giving us stability.

I don’t want to dislike who I am right now. And I know you don’t want me to do that.

It’s just, when I’m struggling to succeed, my self worth is fragile.

As one of my biggest cheerleaders I know you’ve got me. And I know you’re pushing so I can be the best I can

Right now though, I need to find the self belief in who I am before I dream of who I could be. Just stick with me while I get there.

Mojo&Me xx

mindfulness, travel, Uncategorized

Mindful in Cambodia

I looked up to the blue sky as the sun was setting and was reminded of the a beautiful moment from my travels.

Cambodia, 2016

We had spent the last two days trekking through the forests, sleeping in hammocks and being scorched by the searing sun on the long walk back to our base in an eco village run by locals.

The experience was tough but brilliant. Our treat was a sunset cruise with dinner the following day. No, no. Not a shipliner. Not even a boat.

As the raft approached us, I could see a local Cambodian women steering it using a stick attached to the motor. I then saw the table.  A little thing we could sit crossed legged under. The simplicity wowed me. It’s everything a sunset cruise should be about. The outdoors. There was no peaking through windows – there was a 360 uninterrupted view.

As we started to sail off – is that the right term? Do you really sail on motorised a raft?! – we were approaching the sunset in the distance. But the view was blocked by cloud. A thunder cloud to be precise.

The views were incredible. We saw lightening through the clouds, rays of light from the sunset peering through while thunder bolts filled our ears. But there was no rain. We we’re going towards where the storm was but not in it.

Then, with our backs to the cloud, we saw behind us the moon was out in a still bright blue sky. The stars eventually joined us. All at the same time as the thunderous sunset in the distance, which alone held my gaze and wonder.

Change happens slowly

I look back and realise how change happens slowly. Without you realising it. I remember getting lost in the sky, thinking, we are so small. I remember thinking that this moment, so early in my travels, was something I would never forget, a sunset like no other.

But today, I realise it wasn’t just a memory I captured. It was the moment. It was one of the first times I really appreciated where I was, what was around me, the gratefulness that filled me was overwhelming as I got lost in the night sky and thought – I don’t want to be anywhere else but here.

As I walk home, I look up at a bright blue sky, and see a sliver of a white moon against it. Nature has a funny way of grounding me to the present. And that, I don’t want to let go of. Just like that memory and just like that moment.

Mojo&Me xx

Balance, mindfulness, Uncategorized, work

Mindfulness: Awareness isn’t the same as practice

I’m officially working. And knee deep into it. After a stint of travel and a period of praying for work, it came to me. Now what do I do? I can’t fall into being the same way I was – working till I cry, deprioritising myself over anything with a deadline.

Today was a wake up call on how to stay sane and be different in the work place. You know, that task that is consuming my everyday at work rather than work itself.

I thought the awareness of wanting to be different would alone keep me true to my promise of finding balance.

The reality is though, that work is busy. Like crazy-six-weeks-before-a-launch busy. And I have no direct team.

So, in the realisation that sometimes I will need to do more, today I did more. With a consciousness that I was doing it. A mindfulness, some may call it.

My neck ached. My head hurt. But I felt them both.

I took a short lunch break. I worked late. But I realised.

I got on a train that was more busy. I read Time Out to inspire me.

In all of this I was conscious of my habits. Well, until the Time Out bit. That I did because I was standing on a busy train.  But the rest I was aware of.

As I got off the train I realised I hadn’t once looked up. I had missed the sunset from the train window – yes, I may not have been able to see it, but I could’ve if I looked at my journey as a moment rather than an interim post to my destination.

And that is my learning. Today I have missed a sunset. The sunset which gives my eyes a treat at the end of a day, when I sit and look at how the world continues, no matter what type of day I’ve had.

When life gets busy, it’s too easy to default and look down, to simply get to where you need to without appreciating the journey. To hark back to habits that keep you in the routine you’re trying to break doesn’t do you any favours. The thing abut behavior and mind change is that it takes an effort to be different, not just a hope that it will be.

While most the time you can make this effort, when thing get tough, a single-mindedness can take over, leaving you going back to who you were, not who you want to be.

I’ll start tomorrow with this in mind. I must find ways to take moments and to continue to make the effort to change, even when I’m up against it.

Awareness is one thing, but doing something with it is the next stage of my journey. My life one – not my day to day one.

Mojo&Me xx

emotion, happiness, mental health, selfishness, Uncategorized

This isn’t for me. Just admit it.

I hate pretence. It’s like you haven’t read the T&Cs that come with, what seems to be, a selfless conversation on how much someone cares about you.

a. “I know it’s your birthday, so I thought we could go shopping. Yes, I know you’re looking at theatre tickets, but I’d just prefer to go shopping.” The emotional blackmail was too much and we went shopping. #truestory

b. “I want to make you a birthday cake, so I thought I’d make a meringue. I know you don’t like it, but I’ve found a great recipe and it will look incredible. And everyone else loves it.” I see. You want to do this for the show of it and other people. Not. For. My. Birthday. Another #truestory.

c. “When I said I had a surprise for you, what I meant was that I was using this as an excuse to see you, because it’s been ages.” Ah, when I said I was into theatre, I didn’t mean your school play, actually. And truth is, I probably have been avoiding you because you drain me. I simply don’t have the resilience to be around you. But now you have me cornered, because you have something ‘for me’.

Please, don’t ever make me think you have selflessly put me first. In all honesty, my expectations are very low and I never expect this from anyone apart from my husband. So saying or implying that you are putting me first when you aren’t, is actually more hurtful than just saying:

a. I want to go shopping and want you to come. I can prepare mentally for this if I CHOOSE to accompany you.

b. I want to show off how bloody awesome I am. Granted, I’d still be pissed off if you did this under the guise of my birthday, but hell, at least your ego isn’t over shadowed in this light.

c. I feel like you’re avoiding me. Is everything ok? We can then talk about the real shit that is happening here. Surprises make me feel like I should be grateful to you for something, even if this isn’t that real point.

I have recently learnt how important choice is to me. For too long, I lived my life on the terms that other people needed from me. In the bubble they wanted me in. Their feelings and needs were more important than mine. Their convenience was more important than mine. Their choice was more important than mine.

Relationships which took away my choice are now changing. And with this change comes a mix of emotions. I feel loss for the closeness that was built on how I used to be, but I also feel relief. I will choose to opt out of experiences that emotionally drain me. I will choose how I spend my time, after all it isn’t in endless supply and I’ll be damned if I waste it. And I will choose who I have in my life.

There will be times that I turn a blind eye to how un-selfless your apparent selflessness is, because I realise you need me. Other times I will be hurt by it; sad that I believed you could put me first. I will come to terms with the anger and upset I feel when I realise, yet again, that I’ve been used, manipulated or deprioritised.

But always, I will forgive. I’ll focus on how lucky I am to have many people in my life that like me, or will focus on the nice traits I must have that people want to see me. I will forgive, because quite frankly I have no space for hurt. And I will grow and remember how far I have come when I used to live by the rules other needed me to.

But don’t get me wrong. I won’t do this at the detriment of my own well-being. Not anymore. I’ll do this so I can continue to build the life I want, the one I choose to have. I will do this openly and…. selfishly.

I’m sorry if our relationship doesn’t survive this. I just can’t live in the bubble you want me to be in. If your selfless love for me understands this, then we will be ok. If it doesn’t… well, I’d like to give you back this relationship. Because it was never for me. Not really.

Mojo&Me xx

blogging, confidence, fear, happiness, mental health, Uncategorized

A blogging leap into my mental wardrobe

By October 2015, I had quit my job, sold my flat, got married and embarked on a year long adventure. Otherwise known as a honeymoon/running away from being a grown up.

We had two one way tickets to Hong Kong, a backpack each and enough electrical devices to power a small town. Given this leap of faith into the unknown, it’s strange that setting up a blog to practice my writing in a safe space is, well, scary.

I work in marketing. I know no one will see this unless I proactively push it out. And then I realise what I’m doing. I’ve raided my mental wardrobe and have found a trusty favourite of mine – the fear hat.  This hat that has a case of mistaken identity. It thinks it’s my favourite pair of jeans – the ones that have moulded to me, that I could wear everyday. It attaches itself to me like I’ve picked it, like I want to wear it. But come on, how unflattering is it?! Why would I choose to wear this?!

Despite its identity crisis, fear hat has a strength that I’m retaliating against. But it’s brief interlude gave me insight into how far I’ve come since October 2015, when I left everything I knew to create something brand new.

Fear used to, and still does, cripple me. It makes think I’m not good enough, that things won’t work out, that getting out of bed is just too hard. It makes me so worried about things, that I break. It’s easy to fall into catastrophic thinking and negative self talk when fear hat is on.

But now, I’ve learnt how to take off that hat.

I’m realising how feeling my emotions and not blocking them away, is actually healthy. I worked so hard at showing the world I was ok, that I was good enough, successful enough, independent enough, that all I was actually doing was running away from my fear of failure. And my fear of feeling anything.

In accepting fear and it’s ugly wardrobe accessories, I’m actually growing. I’ve learnt to control my thoughts, to take a check on my mental well being and have learnt to have more control on my life. It’s an ongoing process and one that’s had help from CBT, therapy, mindfulness and meditation!

Changing your mental wardrobe, can happen. For me, it’s not a ten step plan or a “listicle” (although who can resist these!). It’s a process that I don’t think I should ever stop learning from. It’s an attitude, that I do have control. And it’s a belief that life can be as incredible as I make it.

Mojo&Me was about having a safe space to share my life musings. But in it’s creation I’ve suddenly appreciated who I am, what I believe and seen holistically for the first time, my path in getting here.

My dress of self-belief seems to have just come back from the cleaners – and it’s looking lovely. I wonder if it knows how much I’ve missed it. Now, if you’ll excuse me… I just need to change.

Mojo&Me xx