Tag Archives: growth

Less is More?

less-but-better

Do you ever feel like sometimes you would feel more fulfilled with less? I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things and it opened my eyes to how a large percentage of our society feels the need to buy things, giving them a temporary sense of fulfillment, when in reality, they are trying to fill some sort of void in their lives.

We live in a day and age where people’s lives are constantly documented through social media, giving a certain perception to others. Most of these perceptions are not real – no one is going to document the struggles, because who wants to see those, right? So we post about anything from job promotions, engagements, weddings and babies to dinner dates with friends and good deeds we did that day (did you know you can do a good deed without posting on Facebook about it? Crazy, right?!)

While watching the documentary, one part struck me and has been stuck in my head ever since. A man who used to work on Wall Street had decided to try out Minimalism after he was offered a huge promotion. He already had his own office, and was probably making a pretty decent salary already, and the promotion offer opened his eyes. After he received the offer, he said he wept inside his office, realizing he was now even more trapped than before.

[Thought] – Can so much security make you feel stuck? Like you can never leave or that security will go away?

This Wall Street man had finally received what he had been waiting for all this time. Or so he thought. Not everyone is built for corporate, structured, 9-5 life. And that’s okay. But society has a way of making us feel like we’re doing something wrong if we don’t follow what everyone else is doing, in the exact same order they’re doing it. This part of the documentary was small, but it spoke to me so much. There is so much more throughout the film that will open your eyes.

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I’m beginning to think this is all just an illusion we create in our minds, because we think that’s how it’s supposed to be. Did you ever think you could maybe be happier with less? Less clothes, less designer handbags and shoes, less clutter, even less income. Money may make things a bit easier, but it won’t all of a sudden turn you into a happy person. We have hopes and dreams, and us humans love the chase.

But, what happens when we reach our goal? Have we instantly gained complete and utter happiness? Probably not. Our dreams sometimes come along with baggage. Baggage that leads to an overwhelming stress and a realization that maybe this is not really something we wanted the burden of carrying. But, because we’re told it is what we should aspire for, we chase, chase, chase… until we arrive at our destination only to come to become aware that it wasn’t for us in the first place.

After watching this documentary, it does not mean I’m all of a sudden going to sell all my things and get by with just a few items. But, it does make you realize that you can declutter other parts of your life that are far too overwhelming. Use it a a metaphor, declutter your mind and get rid of all that makes you unhappy. You do not need to follow what everyone else is doing and you do not need to purchase the most recent styles and trends to maintain or gain happiness. Letting go can be liberating. 

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You do not need to be engaged just because you and your partner have been dating for years, you do not need to have an extravagant wedding to please others and keep their mouth’s shut. You do not need to make a certain amount of money just so you can sit across from an acquaintance one day and brag about your job title. You do not need to have a piece of paper to show you can start a family and you do not need to take the opinion of others and turn it into your own.

There isn’t enough time for this, we grow older each second, and one day we will regret making our lives about everyone else. And as I type this, I’m telling myself along with you. I need to listen to these words as well, each and every day.

Check out the ‘Minimalism’ trailer below and watch the full documentary on Netflix.

Click here to follow Joshua & Ryan, “The Minimalists” on Facebook!

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10 Things A Healthy Relationship Has Taught Me Over a Year

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I look back on my past relationships and I’m so surprised with how I handled some things. As I get older, my thinking is a little more clear and I’ve opened my eyes to a lot of things. So many people in relationships (myself included) feel they deserve the world and everything in it, waiting for their significant other to give it to them. What they don’t realize is that they need to dish out the same type of love. Don’t expect to be treated well if you can’t treat them the same way. Things must be mutual or one person will not feel fulfilled. When love comes into play, we can all get a little selfish and not act so level-headed at times. For the first time, I feel like I’m in a healthy relationship that is teaching me positive things, instead of “what not to do.”

1. Try to understand where your partner is coming from before freaking out on them. This is a huge sign of maturity.

2. Ask questions before assuming something. (This one can be challenging but at least try!)

3. Stop acting the same way you did in high school. You aren’t 17 anymore, start acting like it. The older you get, the more seriously relationships should be taken. (If it is what you’re looking for)

4. Communicate with one another. I have come to realize that the longer you wait to discuss something, the harder it is and it comes out worse than it would have at the time the problem occurred.

5. Let each other have space. Go out with your friends while they go out with theirs. It’s healthy to spend some time away from each other and have your own lives.

6. Trust them to do the right thing. Sometimes you should leave the dirty work to them. If it’s something they can handle, then let them. This is something I have learned recently as well, it’s not always easy to avoid getting involved when you feel the need to. But doing so will prove you took the higher road and are the better person. And again, you aren’t in high school anymore.

7. You can voice your opinion without it being shut down. The right person will listen to your opinions and issues without being judgmental. They lift you higher instead of bringing you down.

8. Be proud of one another. No matter what the two of you have going on, support each other and show them you want them to get to where they want to be as bad as they do.

9. Don’t let social media ruin things. Ahhh… what most young people and even some older, have issues with. We have all had some social media incidents but this is where the understanding and trusting them to do the right thing comes into play. Discuss things with them, let them know what is alright with you and what isn’t. At the end of the day, most of these kinds of arguments are silly and not worth arguing over. Unfortunately, most of us realize this well after the fact.

10. Make sure they know how much you appreciate them. Even for the little things (which usually end up being the big things) No matter what anyone says, we all want to feel appreciated for the sweet things we do.

Self Love

Self Love

Loving yourself is so important. Letting go of things that are unhealthy for you is a GOOD thing. It may be hard at first, not matter what it is, but in the end you will thank yourself! Letting go of certain things means you are growing as a person and should only be seen as a positive thing. Once you start to doubt yourself, there is way too much room for other poisons in your brain. You will continue on a self-hating rant. Wouldn’t you rather a self-loving rant instead?

What I Would Like to Accomplish by the Time I Turn 25

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Turning 25 seems like a big deal for me. It’s not like turning 22 or 23… you still feel young at those ages. For me, just turning 24 scared me knowing it was one year closer to 25. Since I was little I have always looked at 25 year-olds as people who were so grown up and had everything they wanted. Now that I’m reaching this age that is half way to 30 (eek) I am realizing I was very wrong thinking this! I thought by now I would have my college degree and have a good job and maybe even be engaged to someone. (This was my thinking when I was like, 15/16 years old) Boy, was I wrong again. I never knew that I would end up not having my degree due to finances, be at an OK job and not be engaged. I’m ok with the engagement thing because now that I’ve reached 24 I feel I am too young for that anyway. I’m in a relationship and I hope it comes to that one day, until then, I wait. I also remember thinking I would have such a nice car and go out drinking to places in NYC all the time. Ha! All that requires a good amount of money. I’m in the middle of saving what I can, but the last thing on my mind is having a nice, lavish car to drive around in. The point is… things don’t really ever end up the way you think. I’m in shock that my 25th birthday is this year. It makes me kind of nervous knowing I haven’t achieved certain things yet, but I always try to remind myself that not everyone knows their path right away. It also makes me want to do everything that I’ve ever dreamed of doing because life goes by so fast and I want to make the most of it while I’m still in my 20’s.

What I Would Like to Accomplish by the Time I Turn 25 (which is in 8 months)

  • Write a short story
  • Have a specific amount of money saved up
  • Have another trip planned
  • Have my credit cards paid off
  • Reach at least 300 followers on my blog
  • A healthy, fit body inside & out
  • Participate in another writing contest
  • More positive thinking

I will continue to add on to this last in the next few months and in September I will look back and see what I have accomplished!

10 Signs You’re Getting Older

1. Food shopping becomes a regular chore. And it sucks pretty much every time.

grocery store

2. Jeans become more and more uncomfortable. Thank God for leggings.

girl in jeans

3. You begin to worry about health insurance and  other important finances.

cartoon girl finances

4. You realize you’re only a couple of years away from your 10 year high school reunion. Ouch.

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5. You look at teenagers in disgust and wonder if you were that annoying at that age too.

mean girls

6. Others around you are getting engaged and having babies. Some even on purpose.

pregnancy belly

7. You don’t enjoy going out to bars and clubs anymore. The crowd drives you crazy and you rather be home watching movies.

night club

8. You realize that things can actually go wrong to your car (that cost money) and you must stop driving it like you’re in NASCAR.

girl with car problems

9. You get excited when there’s a sale.

sale sign

10. You stop sharing every little detail of your life on social networks because you realize how unnecessary it really is.

facebook statuses

10 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

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I always think back to when I was younger and how I had specific expectations about my future, not having any clue as to what was ahead. If I could go back in time and prepare myself for anything, it would be the following:

1. Save more money. Every time I received money for holidays, birthdays, etc. I quickly spent it. Now, at the age of 24, I wish I had some more money to fall back on when needed.

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2. Make the most out of your college years. If I could do it all over, I probably would go away for college and actually try my very best to finish. I would have stayed on top of financial aid and anything else that went along with schooling. I went to a local school and sometimes I feel I would have had a better college experience if I went away. Your college years only come around once, make them count.

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3. Don’t bother trying to fit in. After high school, no ones gives a crap what “clique” you belonged to. Don’t stress over silly people who one day will probably be out of your life forever. The only person you should care about impressing is yourself.

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4. Things will change – be prepared. You don’t realize when it’s happening but things change constantly and you never realize until you’re looking back on things. Your friends will change, your relationships will change, your looks will change. The only constant in this life – change.

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5. Take advantage & be thankful for all the things you have access to. We don’t realize until we’re older all the things we received as children that are now not as easy to get as adults. This goes for a couple of different things… anything from food, hot water, health insurance, schooling, a roof over our heads. If you were fortunate enough as a child, your parents or guardians made sure you had all these things growing up. All the necessities. Now as an adult, you hope you don’t get injured because getting health insurance through your job is too expensive so you just don’t have any at all. Everything comes with a price.

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6. Keep a journal/diary. Write down all the big moments in your life so you can read it ten, twenty years from now. You’ll get a good laugh at how silly you were as a kid and it will remind you of some fun childhood memories. It’s nice to take a walk down memory lane and you will want to once you’re older.

Image7. Listen to your parents when they tell you to brush your teeth. This may sound funny but it’s so true, they’re telling you this for a reason and if you don’t listen you will most likely pay for it when you’re older. The dentist sucks – plain and simple. And it costs money.

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8. Be adventurous as much as possible. Go everywhere you can and cause some trouble. Paint the town red and enjoy every minute of it before adult responsibilities get in the way.

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9. Eat the cake… eat the candy… eat the ice cream. Eat it all. One day your metabolism will slow down and you will definitely not be able to eat like you used to. Feed your sweet tooth.

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And most importantly…

10. Stop rushing. I remember being young and wanted to be a “grown up” so badly. Ugh, now I ask myself “why?!” You have no responsibilities when you’re a child, nothing to worry about. Enjoy it, stop rushing to become an adult because when it happens you’re going to wish you could go back to a time when things were much simpler.Image

It’s okay to not know, give it all go – Guest Blogger – Sophia Valentine

‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’

It’s the question we are all asked. Some people know what they want to be. They have a passion for a particular job, and this never changes as they get older. Fireman, policeman, vet, teacher, florist. The majority of them go on to work in these professions, and are extremely happy in their jobs.

BUT…..

What if you don’t know what you want to be? What if you study for years for a particular job, only to find out that it’s not quite what you wanted after all? Is all hope lost. No, it most definitely isn’t!

We all have to test the water at some point, so treat each bad job as ‘experience.’ We won’t know what we like and what job we suit in, if we don’t try several out first. Never give up. If you’re happy in your job, great. If you’re not, change it! It’s never too late. Career changes happen at all ages, whether it’s leaving a firm for a slightly better one, higher pay, nicer colleagues/boss, or whether it’s a new job entirely, a completely different path, take the risk. You don’t want to be slumped over your desk in 10 years time wishing you’d made the plunge and risked it. There’s no time like the present.

If it’s proving difficult to get a new job in the field that you desire, (experience, qualifications, blah blah), then perhaps try going for Intern jobs/work experience. Get your foot on the ladder, even if it’s unpaid work at first. You have to start somewhere! There’s nothing wrong with starting off small, with a job you cannot stand for a few weeks/months to get those qualifications on your CV!

Before fame, take these celebrities below for example:-

Harry Styles used to work in a bakery before his 1D days, Beyonce swept hair from her mother’s salon, Lady Gaga was a waitress, Carrie Underwood was a cashier at a petrol station, Madonna was a dunkin doughnuts cashier, Rachel McAdams worked at McDonald’s, Megan Fox worked in a smoothie shop dressed as a banana, Johnny Depp made ends meet by selling ballpoint pens!

In my own experience, I left school with my GCSE’s, studied Law at college for five years, then worked in a Solicitors Firm for another five years. Two as a Legal Secretary, and three as a trainee Legal Executive, handling clients cases, preparing and submitting court papers for deadlines, attending court, interviewing possible fraudulent clients etc. However, after a while,  a lot of people who worked at my firm felt unappreciated, weren’t happy with pay not reflecting their hard working skills, and felt that there was no room for further development. After a while, I, myself, decided to quit.

When I was younger, I had always dreamed of becoming a teacher or a writer. So, not only did I quit my job, but I left the country too. I had always fancied taking a gap year out, or to try working abroad for a while, get a taste of different culture, a substitute lifestyle if you will. In May 2012 I moved to the beautiful Balearic’s, Ibiza! Guess what? I’m still here now!

Yes, it’s scary. I worried for months whether I had given up on a good career, whether I wasted 5 years studying for nothing and if I’d made the right choice. At the moment, I cannot speak fluent Spanish, yet! I have no job, a boyfriend, but not a big amount of friends like I was used to in England, but so what? I’m back writing, the thing that has always been my number one passion, I’m learning another language, and I’m seeking work.

There’s a quote which I will leave you with, in respect of your life, career, relationships, etc….

‘It’s better to regret the things you do, than the things you didn’t do!’

Take a look at Sophia’s blog here

Eyes Open Wider As You Get Older

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Sometimes I make myself nervous, aren’t I supposed to care more about things as I get older? Like having a career and money to buy a house and savings to start a life? Instead, I find myself caring less than I did in high school, a time when most don’t care at all. I’ve become mentally lazy with things and the only thing I can think of as a reason to why is because I’m just not fully satisfied. I need more. I work to make money to do things I want to do, but I don’t find myself doing any of it. I just keep waiting for the right moment, the right time to hop on a plane. The thing is, if I had enough people around me that felt the same way and wanted to get away as bad as I do, I’d be somewhere new every 2-3 months. I’d find the money to do it because it’s what would make me happy. Unfortunately, work and other responsibilities get in the way of the fun. I’ve grown so impatient with everyday life but mark my words I’m on my way to not letting that happen anymore. It may take some time, but if it’s what you really want then don’t let anything get in your way.

It’s Never too Late

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At the young age of 24, I am still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I know I want a career in writing, whether it be for a magazine, newspaper, website, etc. Writing is sort of like the music industry in a way, you have to get your foot in the right door to move up the ladder. You have to be unique and different than other writers out there. It’s not easy but if you want it bad enough you just have to keep at it until the right opportunity knocks on your door. It’s funny because when I was 18 and went to college, I originally was going to become a teacher. I was always good at writing and was told by my teachers that I was talented but it wasn’t until my third year of college that my Journalism professor took me aside one day when he saw me in the hall way (after only having one class with him so far) and told me he gave me a 10 out of 10 on my article (which he said he never does!) He told me I was extremely talented and spent the rest of the semester telling me how I could be published one day. I then took a summer course with him for Magazine Writing which I not only did well in, but I also enjoyed it.

I feel that it’s unfair for kids just getting out of high school to expect to know what they want to do for the rest of their life. I know people in their 40’s who still aren’t sure. I guess it’s all part of the money trap though, which I ended up caught in with a lot of other Americans. You pay all kinds of money to get a degree then when you graduate, you have trouble finding a job. Most American’s now-a-days work, work, work and they end up nowhere. But I encourage those 40-something year olds and others to do what they want to do, no matter what age you are. It’s never too late to go back to school if you have to or take courses in something that will help you with getting a good job. I’m still convinced that we all (no matter what age) are still trying to figure our lives out and what we want to do to make ourselves happy. Happiness is the one thing we’re all searching for, we don’t have that much time here on Earth so I suggest you don’t give up until you find it.

Changes

It’s so funny how you look back at your life and notice the small changes you have made without even realizing it.  I feel so much mature now than I ever have and I’m slowly starting to realize that my old ways are changing and I’m okay with it!  I feel like I’ve grown so much in the past year and a half because of things that have happened in my life… sometimes it’s hard if others around you are still stuck on a less mature level.  They won’t understand the things you wish to do and the things you get rid of in your life for the better.  For example, last March my youngest brother almost passed away on my front lawn in the middle of a stupid fight.  As I watched.  Well, I tried to help also but the part that almost killed him, I saw it all.  I won’t go into full detail tonight but one day I will.  The point is my perspective on things changed so much.  My views on violence and fighting, I rather see myself as past that point in my life.  Others that I’m around at times won’t understand my feelings if they have not gone through what I have gone through.  And that’s okay.  Don’t let this stop you because no matter what, people will never know what it is like to walk in your shoes or be inside your head for a day.  So, back to doing what you want to reach your happiness… do what is best for you and ignore negativity from others.  Expect the negativity though because as sad as it is, people get envious over others doing what they want to do because they haven’t made the step in their own life yet to pursue their dreams.  I have noticed this in some people and instead of getting angry with them like I would have years ago, questioning myself “How come they aren’t happy for me if I would be happy for them?!”  I simply remember that I’m doing what I want to do.  The thing is, their reactions doesn’t really have anything to do with you… it’s them.  It’s their own issues that get brought to the surface.  If you choose to not let others get in your way, you can reach your goals.

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