New Year – New me?

Happy New Year All! Wish you all the happiness and let’s make this year a big one! Even bigger than the previous!
Instead of new year’s resolutions (it only makes you disappointed when you don’t keep them) let’s write an awesome plan and work out how to execute it! Set up milestones and write a priority list. What to put on the list? Everything which makes YOU happy! Everything which makes you smile and boosts your confidence! The rest will follow 😉 Normally I have 3 sections: brain, body and travelling. Plus “Others” just in case I have extras (ok, I admit – always). This is the best time to focus on the future and appreciate what we have and what we achieved. Don’t look back, there is no regret. What you do right NOW that makes a difference.

So is it really a ‘new year – new me’ approach? I would like to believe that it is still me, maybe an improved version with plans and dreams. And I like to dream BIG!

It is the easiest to start with your body and health, doing more activity and concentrate on sensible eating. Last year when I was thinking more and more about my health I went to see a Practitioner in Naturopathy, Acupuncture /TCM. It was the best experience ever! It gave me a great kick and motivation, she became my accountability buddy.

I have the most common problems such as hay fever, digestion and sleeping issues of course only in the last X months (I wonder why!). She was lovely and helpful and taught me many new things. I spent the weekend after my visit getting ready for improved lifestyle. Main goal: cutting sugar…. This is the hardest challenge. Stopping coffee was painful, I don’t wish for that zombie land period again that’s for sure. I used to wonder “Will I hit someone when I am craving sugar so badly?? 😉 ”  And turns out I have been doing many things right, being so open to the healthy lifestyle. But no more “specials” after lunch, no sugar rush hmm…(the only solution I have found so far is a ‘Nakd’ bar after lunch)

The needle part was nice and easy and even if it doesn’t work and I am sure it will, it is still a good type of placebo cos I know I will be okay. I want to concentrate on this. Oh yes! Once again the power of mind! And let’s face it, if something has been around for 1000s of years, there is a good chance it works.

#get inspired and write a fabulous plan for 2016!

PS: after a year I can tell that acupuncture did help a lot and however I couldn’t stop eating sugar completely I did reduce it which is great.

Next: The unsent messages

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

Smile

 

 

It’s been a year

Time is such a strange thing… It meant to be consistent but it never is. It never feels the same. At school when I had my exams time was never enough. When I am in a rush and waiting for a bus or train it feels like an eternity and every second passes very slowly. When happy, time flies. But what about when you are not happy?

This particular winter was the longest in my life. I had to travel 4-5 hours almost every week and stayed in hotels. The longest 6 months ever. No contact, no social life, no money. I had nothing but the routine of work. What makes me to think about this? Today I am celebrating my one-year of freedom!

One year ago my life changed completely….now I stand here and I am quickly measuring everything. The past and my present and my potential future. I am standing in my flat, exploring a new job and my social life is slowly picking up. My heart is slowly healing and I have so many plans that I am actually looking forward too. My eyes are turning wet, letting out the final drops (I know now that they were the last ones over him) and I cherish my memories and letting them go (or putting them in the right box). I am thankful for the 5 years and thankful for the journey after. It’s the first time that I wouldn’t change it all, the first time when I feel it’s going to be ok and it will work out. I like my new life and I can see all the opportunities. Having a bit more money means I can do some courses and thinking about all the dreams I would like to achieve. Sleeping is still a bit challenging and my confidence is damaged. I have a lot to sort out and learn. The journey is still on but today it is the end of an era, no regret, no sadness, only acceptance and feeling that I am on the good path…. It’s time to grow

PS: as you know this blog is a good year behind and I can tell you for sure that from this point everything changed. I have been looking only forward ever since! Being single for a year in London is a very easy thing, don’t think even for a second that anything is wrong with you. You are perfect, once you are ready and you open your eyes you will start to see again. See things you meant to see. Your brain can focus on things you desire. You just have to decide what you desire… And this can be more difficult than achieving those dreams and goals. My single life hasn’t stopped here therefore I can promise you that there are so much more to come, many lessons, ups and downs, challenges, happy moments and sad moments… 😉

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

Next: Sugar free – or something like that

it's time to grow

Being a “yeti” – don’t let it happen

This is a big challenge I know. Why would you keep up with high standards when there is no one to do it for? No one is there to inspire you and bring out the woman from you. I agree and I can imagine what you think right now trust me. Long trousers will do, make up goes to the minimum, nails are all good as natural and hair is boring as hell. Black and white outfit is safe and simple. I hope dear reader that you never had that standard drop. I have been there for a short period of time. My look was not a priority on my list. It didn’t click straight away what a catch 22 I was in. How could I feel better and feel like a woman if I didn’t put effort in? But I had no energy to do it.

You always do it for yourself and not for others. To satisfy your need and feed your inner glow. Looking in the mirror and smile and feel satisfaction.  Standing in front of the cupboard for long minutes and not feeling anything. Can’t imagine any outfit, can’t mix anything and you don’t feel any tiniest motivation to look good. Not even having the “I have got nothing to wear” drama. That’s when a strong nail varnish or lipstick can really help actually but when the confidence level is down red is not the first choice. It would attract too much attention. You need to be able to wear it and it is not always easy.

Me and my razor stayed friends luckily but I have many friends where razors were a distant memory (and you become a yeti ;-)). No judgement. I just hope that you can get back into the habit regardless who can see it or feel it 🙂 and don’t do it because I said so, do it for yourself and try to get that desire back. The need to feel your stunning (inner and outer) self every day.

Go out and get a nice nail varnish, a colourful lipstick and if you have some extra even a colourful top. Maybe check out a hair video on YouTube, go on Pinterest and copy an outfit, go for a run and show the world what is in you. Hopefully sooner or later every morning you will put on the most important accessories you can have and use: your smile!

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friendSarah)

 

Next: It’s been a year

yeti

London is full of broken hearts

Living in London as a single person is the easiest. Why? Because this group is not the minority. Here being single is normal- almost expected. A buggy on the tube is not as common (except maybe at the weekend around the Natural History Museum). London very much exists on a different parallel to the rest of the country. The rest of the country is full of engaged women/ women expecting/women with all of it. But in London you can be free of any pressures. You can explore yourself and the city and grow with it. In fact you are sometimes forced to live with other single people (or couples) to be able to actually live. The good thing is that you have many choices to go out and learn, to experience and get to know people. However here is the difficult part. How to find that one girl who would go out with you to explore (something I used to struggle to achieve). All you can see and hear is the dating sites and how to get a guy. It’s everywhere but finding a friend is another story.

But luckily I was attracting single people like magnets. This is the force of nature. When you are in a relationship you go on double dates and trips and you love it! When you become single you fall out from this system and your social group changes. How to fit in and find your place again? Not as easy as it seems.

The more people I meet the more I realise that everybody has a story. And they are in different status e.g. happy to be alone or at least learnt how to be happy alone or, broken and in agony, lost, hurt and anywhere else in between. There is a common thing though regardless how bad or good they feel, usually their hearts were broken at some point and they all have a story. When you learn how to listen again you hear these stories and suddenly you feel better. Why? Because it makes you think. Human nature is tricky and we tend to feel better when someone has a worse story than ours, how bad is that?! But our empathy kicks in and we want to help. However we forget to feel sorry for ourselves. My nanny told me once that if everybody put their pain and problems in a bag and they put their bag in front of the door to swap, people would straight away take their own ones back. (She was old and wise and amazing.)

Time helps and you start to open up and see the bigger scheme and realise that the meaning of life is so much bigger and even though our story is huge and painful and it almost killed us, when you look at the bigger scheme you realise that you are really lucky with what you do have and you start to appreciate that. Your pain begins to shrink away. You appreciate everything you have. Your family, friends, job, any belongings you have but mainly the fact that you can still have someone to call…. Make sure you call though and you don’t close in. Open up and go out and concentrate on others a little bit. Then start to rethink your future. It is your life and you are the only one who can change it. You can waste it and you can make the most of it. You are in charge, you always have been. Now you have the time, power to shape it and direct it. This is your chance to be yourself. As a clever man once said: everybody else is taken.

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

Next: Being a “yeti” –  don’t let it happen!

be yourself

 

What is POF?

One year after the break-up and I finally decided to put myself on the market again. Hottest place to be on the market was (apparently) Plenty of Fish. All happiness apparently happens there. Can I be the same? Can I find the one right here and now? Let’s see…

I “loved” my friend’s stories about all of these dates. How one guy went off mid-date to try a pair of trousers on and she never saw him again. How she went to dinner with a guy she really liked and noticed the “white” line on his finger where he didn’t get a tan…. My other friend went to dinner and the guy’s payment card just didn’t work. Went to the machine and he had 5 cards in his wallet but his card just didn’t work….after he explained how he spent 500 pounds in Westfield…Women could write an endless book about these a**h@l#s. It should’t put you off of course!

Anyway, at least it’s good fun right? Took me two hours at least to fill in all the forms and viola I was on the market. (With this move I have just given away my data for free and made them an even bigger data collection site). 1000s of profiles to flip through. Which is not so great when you are that type who always likes to finish things (a book or a film, etc.) I can’t stand to leave something half done/half arsed! The first night I could hardly stop searching. Can be very addictive. Always hoped that a good looking man would come up or someone who has got a good profile. (Wishful thinking, I know)

It is a great confidence booster if you see past the creepy messages and read the compliments… Albeit I am not sure how well intentioned some of these men were with their compliments.

But it didn’t feel right, me liking guys, maybe I am very old fashioned but I like when a guy makes the first move.Very soon I noticed that more idiots and losers were on the site than good ones and it was very time consuming to filter them. (So tiring!!!!)

I have too many young colleagues and boys around me to know and hear the other side. How they think about this and it always puts me off. Three nights in a row I started to see the same people, always on line. That’s when it hit me. You’re all here all the time. You don’t have a life. Going further into my thoughts I realized, I didn’t have a life. Why am I playing with my phone and scanning through 100’s of absolutely non-potential guys instead of going out and exploring? After 3-5 days I met with one guy. My first time. Guess what. He wasn’t using his own picture. What a big surprise. He really wanted to go back to mine and tried to tell me how good it would be. Never mind that he was not very handsome and very annoying too. I quickly escaped and as I was walking home I did the most reasonable thing: deleted my profile. It wasn’t the right time. It felt like a massive relief. Could breathe again. Wasn’t locked up in this fake virtual world with a crazy addiction. There must be another way… Or maybe not…Time will tell…

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

Next: London is full of broken hearts

Due to the fact that today is Santa day, see below combined Santa with POF 😉
– Happy Santa Day All!!!

POF and Santa

Ready for the next chapter

After being “brave” (and “stupid” according to some) I had managed to get an interview. How and why? It is an interesting story. Just because it was meant to be I guess. I was travelling a lot and trained the new person to take over my role so I had no time to look for a job at all. I was exhausted. Beyond walking dead. I just assumed I would find something after. Like I said, I don’t recommend leaving a job, having nothing lined up, if you don’t have savings though (see previous post).

Do you remember the girl from Pret? My first new friend in London? When I told her that I quit my job she gave me her recruiter friend’s phone number. I called him. In 5 min, he gave me some good advice and he also checked my CV and told me to do some changes. He sent my CV to one of his friend who is a top finance recruiter in London. I had nothing else, only this lead. I went to see him one week before my last day and he was great.  He sent my CV to one place and I managed to get an interview on my very last day! And after 20 minutes I got the job and for much more money than I was on before! Now I had the most important part to start my new life in London: a job in London. I started the following week! No time for a break and adjustment. I was very lucky I know. If this is not luck, what is it? (the Universe 😉 ) It doesn’t happen that often in London I am sure but it seems it had to happen this way. I couldn’t stop thinking about this: it all happened because I met that girl in Pret….

Additionally to this I actually helped a friend at the same time as well. She had an interview in London on the same day. She landed the day a before, I picked her up and she stayed at mine. Guess what, she also got the job. She was also told on the same day I was! We could both start our new chapter! Being single in London 🙂 with a new job!

I was very happy at the time. Why I had to get a job there and then, and what lessons I had to learn I only figured out later. I can confirm one old statement though: everything happens for a reason…

Next: What is POF?

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

Nothing expresses my feelings better than this song from a very talented, special singer Szilvia! She is really closed to my heart 🙂 It’s called Never Again and it was my anthem for a very long time… You will understand why!
“…cos this life is made for living no regrets no doubts..”

It’s time to say goodbye

When you work in an office and every day is the same you really wish you had the opportunity to travel for a living and stay in nice hotels. But when you do that constantly you get sick of it really soon, as I found out. No one is ever happy, human nature! Just like girls with straight hair wanting curls and vice versa.
I can’t complain I had some sort of job, was independent but I didn’t have a life. I had to travel from London to Leeds at least every second week, sometimes every week (see previous posts). I was spending my week days in hotels. Loneliness reached a very different level, as I had so much time on the roads with my job (and many other things) to
reflect. M1 and A1 became my best friends, know them so well.
In the end I would work later than I had to and fill all silence with noise because it was better than being in the hotel room alone. I knew it was only temporary, I had my plans however filling up that massive emptiness in a different city was a challenge. At the first I used to go to the bar area to get some company, hoping I could meet interesting people. Yep, me being naive again I know. It was full of ageing men with a good salary who can’t wait for vulnerable pray like me. Argh. Come on old men, just be faithful please! My little trips to the bar stopped pretty quickly!

Dancing was the highlight. When Amy had a free night and we went for dinner was always the best. I am ever so grateful! I also went for a swim whenever I could and talked to random people in the sauna. I really think I tried everything to keep myself busy. It did help no doubt but happiness was far-far away…
Finally my last day at this job arrived. As usual, being on my own in the pool (around 9pm it is expected), I enjoyed my last swimming there. Water has a special effect, it really switches my mind off. To breathe and feel weightless. Magic! I had so many thoughts in my head, selection of emotions, it had to come out somehow. Therefore when I went back to the room I wrote one of my final “diary rhymes”. (Since then I have created a busier, happier life so have no time for rhymes anymore.) I knew everything would change after this particular day on the roads. I had only one interview on my last day at my job. I had absolutely nothing else lined up….

Three hundred and thirty, and it’s really not dirty
I am alone in the room, I cannot be wordy
It’s been for a year, it’s always only me
My final night is here and I am getting released

God put me here, to be on my own
Not to hear a sound, so I find the inner glow
I learnt to shut up and listen to myself
Not to get distracted, be happy in my head

To hear my own soul, (cos) it was lost in a hole
Found its way back, finally it grows
I was really alone, this room was my home
Living in a hotel, it wasn’t my goal

The tea in the draw, the pics on the wall
I swear I won’t miss it, I am ready to go
The number has changed but the rest stayed the same
I needed to get out and start a new game

Ten thousand miles, what I drove with my car
I sang the same songs like a million times
It was in York but not in the New
Shire is the end and the people are cool

I am ever so grateful, I can’t say a word
Everything I learnt here I really deserved
Things will be fine, I am standing at the door
Of course I am scared but this was my choice

Next: Ready for the next chapter

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

 

only some of them

only some of them

Turning point – handing my notice in

This moment was a magic moment. I will never forget it. That smile on my face was solid. I had the money I needed to be able to do it, finally! It was spring time, perfect timing and my one year working in marketing on the agency side, was done and I had learnt all the things I set out to learn. Finally the dark period (travelling and no life) and my hotel life came to an end. The light appeared at the end of the tunnel. I would get my life back. No more waiting, I am in charge of my life again. Did I have another job? No! Did everybody think I was an idiot? Yes! Were they right? No 🙂 Thank god! You will understand this later on…

My young female manager wasn’t the best boss of my life I have to say, so letting her know that I was leaving was the best feeling ever. She made my life difficult (not the first and not the last). Let’s say we didn’t click. However I can’t be grateful enough because if she had been nice I might have stayed longer and I shouldn’t have. She was my sign. She gave me the last kick. I will give her, her due though, I have learnt a lot from her. I have learnt how to handle challenging work folk!

Couple of thoughts:
1. When someone makes your life miserable at work, be grateful for it! It means you got your sign and now it is time to move on!
2. Don’t complain about your job! If you hate it, move on and change your life! This is your life and the only person who can change it, is YOU! Take some actions and find another one, stop looking for excuses! However I have to say, sometimes you do need to stay for a bit longer (e.g saving some money first, finishing a course, maybe moving is coming up, waiting for spring when the market is better etc.). When it happens just always concentrate on the finish date and knowledge that it is only temporary! It will help you to concentrate on better things 😉 trust me, when you are constantly complaining you are not a fun person to be with!
3. People used to tell me that your job is only a job and you shouldn’t worry about it. When you finish work just stop thinking about it…. I can’t think like that. I admire everybody who can switch off though. I do believe when you are surrounded with like-minded people and you love what you do, you have more energy at the end of the day.
4. Whatever you do, be good at it and make the most of it! Smiling cost nothing! You have to go to work anyway so might as well do it with a happy mindset. Also think about how you can do more, maybe do some courses and improve your skills. When you are growing your confidence will increase as well.
5. Sometimes you start a new job and you realise that you are different and you don’t fit in. It happens! Don’t lose faith, nothing is wrong with you! You are not better or worse, you are just different! You can give yourself some time and see if it gets any better, it might do. Maybe there is a lesson you need to learn (this is how I think about it anyway). The choice is yours: you are not a tree, you can move!

Warning! Do not quit your job without planning and/or savings! Thank you!

Next: It’s time to say goodbye

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

Notice

One of those days

I felt a bit down. Something along the lines of, when did I get so fat? Why does everybody hate me? Why am I good for nothing? I have nothing… I am worth nothing… I am not good enough for anyone. I am ugly and I have many spots and I look awful and I don’t have any decent clothes to put on…. Does it sound familiar? And in no time the tears were flooding. The only thing, which could force me to get up: was just knowing I had to or it would be a miserable, miserable day (and perhaps maybe if I had had any chocolate it could have enticed me out of my pit). So what happened since last night, when I was happy and full of ideas and energy and friends and I looked fabulous? The answer is damn simple. … Isn’t it obvious after so many years? It’s just one those days…

 

I used to spend these days inside the house and feeling sorry for myself. What a waste! But back then the sadness from my heartbreak was so strong that I couldn’t see reason or sense. When you have fewer reasons to feel sorry for yourself logic has more chance but of course we can find reasons anytime no matter how full that glass is. Due to human nature we can never feel satisfied can we?

So what now? Suddenly it’s like being in the matrix movie. We have two choices. Firstly shall we stay in bed and survive this time with ice cream (which clearly is the easier option) or we can choose the other, the one where we have to face our life and all the difficulties and face the challenges no matter how big or small they are. Yes it will be harder but I guess we all know this is the right choice.

Ok so we finally decide to face reality but the next question is: How? When we have no energy, no motivation, no solid purpose. Searching heavily in our mind to find at least the tiniest reason for our existence and purpose. Finding this on a morning like this is impossible. So let’s go back to the basics. Shall we just start to feel like human again? Creating a very simple to do list is a start on the “how”:

  1. Bathroom: hair, teeth and face
  2. Clothes: any (if you start to make smarter more presentable decisions then you can tap yourself on the shoulder as you progress)
  3. Food: whatever you find and definitely a coffee. If you are really good you might even consider to go out for a coffee or do some shopping (you can be really proud by then)
  4. Make up: even if you stay at home do it! It gives you confidence no matter what
  5. Phone call: best friend or family- anyone will do. Start to talk and feel alive. I love asking them to tell me off and tell me that I should do what I wanted to do (see previous post)! Works every time.

The rest will come after this! You can function again and make your real list! 🙂

Or was it the weather after all? ☺

Next: Turning point

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

 

Mother II – time is ticking

After a year break my mum felt the need to tell me that I should “hurry up”. For a year she was quite good she didn’t ask anything directly. She stuck to basic questions and subtle digging for information- asking me if I had met anyone nice etc… Desperately hoping that one day, I will break the news. Except that I didn’t. And her desperation for me to settle down became quite obvious. Luckily for me (unluckily for my dear mum) I have learnt to ignore her probing and not to take it too seriously.

One particular time she thought that I needed a reminder that I am not “that” young and I don’t have too much time to waste. That I should hurry up! Wasn’t a short conversation either…Nice one! She also explained that giving birth under 30 is much better and easier. (Really? I have never thought of that…) Like it has ever been my choice?! Well she can talk as she had two in her twenties and one when she was 33. I am well aware that I am not as young as she would like for me to be having babies but what shall I do? Shall I just go on the street and ask guys if they want a kid? Because my mum said so?! 

Most of the time I can bat her sense of disappointment away but sometimes it can hurt. Of course I know what she is saying and why but I worked really hard to wait for the right person and to not worry in the meantime. It can make a person upset and, worse still, in some cases it can send you off desperate to settle for any man! I would rather wait than be with someone who is not right just for the sake of it.

As I am writing this on the tube two handsome guys are sitting right in front of me. Yes, they are together of course, it’s London after all. And I am happy for them. However it reminds me so much how difficult it is going to be. Finding someone who is single, handsome and fun. It is a mission in London. I know I am picky (too right) because I would like someone who has got brain as well. They are not visible/ clearly labelled walking around though…
Sorry mum but this is going to take a while!

Dear Mums,

Please don’t give your kids all the wisdom and advice you can possibly think of! Please sometimes give them a break, allow them to find the right person, at their own speed and maybe just pray quietly…..

Thank you in advance
In the name of all the single girls on this planet

Next: One of those days

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

Advice

Advice