Things I have been pondering this week

I recently had a conversation with some colleagues about whether they believe there is one person out there just for them. To my dismay, several of my colleagues all answered along the lines of they believe that there is not just one person that is right for them, dependent on your age and experiences, there could be several people that could be the ‘one’ and right for you at that time of your life.
This upset my romantic sensibilities. I want to believe that there will be one person that will be my other half and who will be worth all the waiting for. In fact I have been waiting for that person for a while now, rationalising that when I do find them, I wont have to look again as it will be forever. Well that’s what I’d like anyway! The ‘person who is right for now’ approach made me realise that I might have been wasting a lot of time- if there are multiple people that potentially are right for you, I might as well start dating lots of people now. It does take the pressure off of individuals- if multiple people are right for you, it could lessen the sting of relationships not working out as there is someone that will be right for you at each stage of your life. This is a new way of thinking for me, seeped in romantic novels as I am and as the reactive child of serial monogamists.
And then of course I met a man.
And my thoughts went along the lines of ‘Well if this person was my person that was right for this time in my life, I’d be quite happy!’. So maybe I will have to embrace a new romantic ideal.
I have been also thinking about hope recently. Until you are given some, you don’t realise how empty you felt without it. I’d like to give everyone a stash of hope that they could draw upon when needed, it really does make you feel differently. Feeling more hopeful led me to realise that I had been neglecting the everyday thankfulness and positivity that this blog originated with and I’m not sure if its my stress levels but I have noticed that I feel less positive when I am not consciously trying to find things that I am thankful for.
So this week I am thankful for :
  • the continued suggestions for temp agencies from Sophie and Rachael;
  • a great conversation that made me think about seeing the bigger picture; 
  • two evenings out with friends; 
  • the kindness and generosity that my housemates show me on a daily basis; 
  • and finally that I have a free ticket to see the Hajj exhibition and I get to see it with my lovely friends Livia and Hattie.
Just on another note- what makes you feel excited?
Lots of people have been asking me if I feel excited about my new job and I honestly have to say ‘No’. I know this might seem negative but whilst I can acknowledge that I am moving on to a new role that is going to challenge me and is completely different to my current role; and that I have had the courage to change something in my life that I wasn’t happy with. On the whole I feel nervous about my finances and sad to be leaving my colleague and my carnival project. Is this just part of the transition phase or am I just being not positive enough about this change?

I thought back to Gambia and how I wouldn’t let myself be excited before I went which now seems crazy! But I was terrified about doing something so different and it was a defense mechanism. I guess that is what I am doing right now, protecting myself just in case everything doesn’t go to plan. And as I have now realised this, just through writing this blog, I am going to have to be a lot more positive about the exciting new things that are coming to my life!

The Art of Forgetting…

How many times has a friend or colleague asked you ‘What did you do at the weekend?’ and you find your mind has gone completely blank? It happens quite regularly to me if I have not wrote anything down. I wanted to write about what I was thankful for but as I have not noted these down on my calendar, I am left with what my feeble brain can recollect over the course of this week.

Firstly, what has stood out for me the most is the reaction to a text that I sent to multiple friends and acquaintances asking for recommendations of temping agencies. I touchingly received several phone calls, two of which were from friends I had not spoken to in a while, and received a text reply from everyone else. There was slight consternation at my leaving full time work for a part time work – a feeling that I entirely reciprocate, however there was lots of support and suggestions which I am acting on- thanks!

If my happiness is in my own hands I have to make the decision to create change and in this case, it is time to move on. I envy those people that know what they want to do with their lives or are content in their careers. I occasionally feel angry that the universe has not revealed to me my greater purpose
in life but I am gradually realising that for some of us happiness and true understanding of ourselves has to be worked at, possibly as much as others who try to lose a great deal of weight or run a marathon. Slowly training and moderating our thought processes and behaviours for a long term greater gain. Boring, frustrating and annoying but true.
On another note but related to new thought processes- I was thinking a great deal this morning, particularly about my past and stressing myself out far too much when suddenly a thought popped into my head ‘Let it go’. And again ‘Let it go’.

This is an unusual thought process for me- I am uptight and a bit of a control freak and certainly not into letting things go. But as I felt myself let go of those thoughts, my mood brightened and I felt full of purpose- so I quickly got up and cleaned my room whilst I was feeling so productive!

There is so much I would like to forget- but If I do will I change who I am?
 

The Art of saying Yes…

Say Yes. Its simple right? But how often are you invited to do something or to go somewhere and you put off agreeing until you check your diary or what other people are doing? 
As I do this constantly, In my attempt to become a happier person I decided to give up saying ‘no’  for Lent. I am not a particularly religious person but thought it would be a good time to make a positive change in my life.


And saying yes has been good so far- I’ve been to see my first ever musical, had an impromptu dinner, just finished a Business Analysis course, bought tickets for a gig I wouldn’t have chosen myself ; been given a ticket for an exhibition I wanted to go to; said yes to a wedding invitation & to doing a reading at another wedding- in the last two situations I was really touched and honoured. 


Saying yes is such a simple action but I think it can have a great impact if you let it. There can be conflicts- being invited clubbing on a school night for example but on the whole I think it is a positive, more active mind set. So I will continue saying yes  as I think it forces me to have a more active, well lived life and will let you know the results at Easter.


I know I have been neglecting my thankfulness blog both here and on my calendar and today was reminded by the The Daily Love blog that when we are inconsistent with ourselves in achieving our goals, we doubt our ability to complete our dreams. As I want the faith to know I can achieve my dreams I figured a short post on here would be necessary!So I am thankful to Mike for giving me the opportunity to learn something new; to Ed, Livia & Devina for listening to me all weekend and to Stef for asking me to do a reading at her wedding.

Fear, Trust & Love

Recently I had a falling out with a close friend. Their behaviour contravened the innate trust found in close friendships. However, through my anger and tears, I was able to acknowledge the root of my reaction to their behaviour: Fear & Trust.


Fear is like an accessory you wear most days. You clip it into your hair or slide it on to your finger because its familiar. Fear is all the actions you don’t take. I don’t always realise fear is there but It shows its presence by inhibiting me whenever something scary or maybe just different is on the horizon. Fear feels different for each person, I find fear makes me nervous, unable to sleep, insecure and encourages a tendency to pretend that things aren’t happening. My friend forced me to acknowledge that something was indeed changing in my life and I was not ready to openly acknowledge that change and so I was angry. Why? Because making a change means having the faith that everything will work out for the best. That I will have to persevere with the choices I now make, responsible for my own actions. And I struggle with my fear that I am going to make a huge mistake, that I will have no money, I’m coming too far out of my comfort zone. Yet a woman that I greatly admire told me I was brave. Over the coming months, I hope to be brave.


I mentioned trust earlier; trust is not only about the trust you have in other people, but often more tellingly, the trust you have in yourself, to fulfil your potential and live the life you are meant to live. Most self-help literature will encourage you to trust in your beliefs and potential and most importantly to trust that everything will be ok. As a optimist-in-training, trust is a big deal to me, not only in cultivating a better life but also in being less of a control freak! I have to trust that everything will go ok without really knowing the outcome. So I am working on trusting myself more. I read a fantastic Tony Robbins (motivational speaker/ coaching guru) quote recently on The Daily love (blog on making your life better with love). “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty that you can comfortably live with.”  This had a resonance with me as I hate uncertainty and try to plan as much as I can, as far in advance as possible. So this gave me some food for thought.


I have been grappling with fear and trust over the weekend but in the end, by overcoming part of my fear I ended up going to a gig with an attractive man and had a good evening. So I am thankful to the Wise one who encouraged me to go to said gig; for Basil’s visit which resulted in a visit to the British museum, a very good ratatouille and a present of macaroons! And I am thankful that I spoke to both of my younger brothers today and that I was able to be of use to them. Finally a note on love- love yourself as well as you love others. For me that meant putting up some pictures that had been languishing in my bedroom and writing this blog.

Lovely, lovely, Livia.

This post is dedicated to my friend Livia.


I have known Livia since I was 11 years old and we were in the same form group- the B’s.  I can’t remember exactly how I became friends with her at school but we did. We lived close to each other in Islington, and I remember visiting her lovely parent’s house; having a crush on her cousin; us going to the cinema; sleeping at her house; her cutting the knots out of my hair and then under my encouragement, cutting my very long hair to my chin! How her parents didn’t kill her with the amount of hair in the bathroom I don’t know.

A very promising friendship. But as the story goes- we fell out, I took a book of hers and denied taking it. I can’t even remember why but probably because I envied her and the book. I have always thought Livia pretty and remember watching her blow dry with ease her gorgeous bitter chocolate hair; later as a teenager when I first saw her with make up on I remember how grown up and sophisticated she looked.  We went on a school trip to Belgium and with a confidence that would not dim with age, from the start she was talking to the boys on the coach, at an age when we would all giggle hysterically about anything to do with the opposite sex. She stayed in touch with those boys and I believe they visited her in the UK when she was 18.

Many years passed as we went our separate ways to different colleges (hers I now work in occasionally) and on to university. In 2009 I moved to Finsbury Park and I had a housewarming. Livia came to that party and it was as if all those years had melted away. We became fast friends again and her friendship is truly very special. I say this because Livia is one of the most giving women I know; she is naturally optimistic and filled with ideas, plans and energy. Anyone that gets to know her will recognise that she is very easy to be around and easy to talk to. She is also a very gifted cook; artist and photographer; and she never stops encouraging people to be the best they can be. 
Livia is a Gemini and I have always got on well with Gemini’s, we have in common a lively intellect and a need to challenge to the norms; we’re both open and love talking. I love the fact that even if I don’t see her for a month or two at a time, when we meet, it is as if I saw her yesterday- because she truly listens. I write this post because I cannot underestimate how important it is to recognise those that enrich our lives with their friendship, time and love. So today I am thankful for Livia: thank you for being you.

And I set you a challenge: Who in your life do you want to say a huge thank you to? In the next 24 hours tell them. It can be as simple as a text or you could send them a card/ letter/ postcard. Whatever it is, they will be thankful! (Livia will understand why I wrote a blog post). Tell them how they make your life great! I look forward to hearing about it.


If you are now intrigued about Livia, you can check out her artwork here: http://www.liviapalmiero.com/

Today is a good day.

Thought I’d write while I am excited and pleased- I have finally got the date finalised for the next Urban Mashup, which is my big fundraiser for B.A.C.E (Gambia). The last one was a huge success with me exceeding my fundraising target so I am aiming high this year. Get the 7th of April in the diary! Thank you Dece at the Rhum Jungle!
Also a friend just sent me an email introducing me to someone that might be able to help me set up a project at a local 6th form. And Ed is cooking me tea. And my lovelife may not be as desolate as I think. Mere conjecture at this point but its enough to make me feel good!

Is this what happiness feels like?