An 3.2 version

If you are still reading this you know my journey and you can easily understand why I am so grateful for this moment. We write and get inspired when we are sad. We need to let it out. Many teenagers (including me) are writing diaries for the same reason. It simply helps. How many songs and poems were born from pain and sadness. This time I would like to make sure it’s written when I am happy too. Not because I want to rub it in (that’s not me). It’s been a long journey since the big bang and I had “my share” I think. We all do. The biggest difference and how I measure my improvement is that nowadays I am able to enjoy what I have achieved so far. I feel completely balanced. Inside and outside as well. I am more than ok physically and emotionally, mentally and financially.  I am simply happy. Couldn’t complain even if I wanted to. Worked hard to get the job I always desired, being there where I hoped to be. (Yes, I got an amazing job straight away…. again…. I know I am freaking lucky)  I am attracting super people around me on a daily level. Based on the law of attraction recently all the right books, film, stories etc find me. Loving my new place (yes, moved again, it is London after all ), loving my new job and colleagues, loving my friends but mainly I am loving myself.

My whole inner game got sorted. I look up again, I walk straight. I smile all the time and be able to lough out loud. I am being able to inspire and motivate others again. Give them hope and energy.And yes, at this point I am still single. My calendar is finally booked with happiness. Always doing something good. Everything feels connected and every story has its meaning. Being positive and a natural giver again feels brilliant. Getting all the signs, doing all the things I meant to do, feeling all that energy through my veins. Watching the sunset, hearing the birds, seeing the nature in its true form. I am tasting food and enjoying the flavours. I am training the body and feeling the muscles. I am socializing and listening. I am studying and growing.

I am able to smile when I miss the last tube or my flight is delayed or I need to stay at work for longer or I make a mistake or someone doesn’t respond or just ignores me. I know who I am and what I am worth. No one can hurt me and I am confident. I am full of plans and I am looking only forward. It’s all about the mindset and positive thinking! It’s your life and you are the only one who can change it. It starts with now and it starts with a positive thought 🙂 Spread the love!

(Author: An, not edited)

Next: The next chapter

3.2

 

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)

 

Whatever happens in Dreamland…

It’s autumn…. The “6 months” darkness is coming and day by day it’s getting harder and harder to get out of the bed…. Finding a good reason to start the day…and make the most of it!

And this is the time when it is so easy to be trapped in Dreamland….

Have you have ever had that need to be in dreamland all the time? Because it’s safe? Dreamland is as perfect as you imagine it. In dreamland no one can hurt you. Everyone and everything are amazing. I wouldn’t call regularly escaping to a dreamland a form of depression. But it can quickly escalate to regularly feeling like reality is unbearable. I am not an expert, I can only talk from my own experience. It gives a break to the brain and allow us to relax a little bit. So in general dreamland is good, the problem starts when you spend far too much time there!

Yep, as much as I hate to admit it, I have done this. It’s awful. Well, I didn’t like it anyway. Ultimately though dreamland is fake and takes away every precious moment of life. It can be very hard to break out of but I hope you can and wish you all the best to not waste another moment. Reality is waiting for you! You can give yourself a day every now and then and that’s it. You shake it off and carry on! You will regret any seconds you don’t spend doing something better and more valuable. Reality will never be like this (or at least close to it) if you get stuck in dreamland. Dreamland is easy and it’s an escape. Fight against it and make sure you recognise it so you don’t get stuck in that world. Where everything is nice and beautiful. Where you are happy. Wanted, confident and not alone! Get out of there! Find your real world and do something about your unhappiness with it.

Yes it can be challenging sometimes, yes you might get hurt and yes it might be hard but it’s worth it. Simply because it will be real! And whatever you achieve will make you satisfied and you will start to glow and get more energy day by day. Allow yourself a night with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, a glass of wine, a nice bath, a good film/ series, switch off and the next day wake up and carry on! Desire reality 🙂

Next: Travel and explore, feed your soul!

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

Dreamland

He is just not that into you

“When they stop texting they simply stopped being interested and there is absolutely NOTHING you can do. Cos he is Just. Not. That. Into. You. Always happens when you fall for someone really badly of course…”

So when someone doesn’t respond within a day and just ignores me I always have this urge to end a conversation. Just end it straight away, clear cut. No games. I don’t need to waste time on thinking why he hasn’t texted etc. Why is that though? Is it because I am a girl? Or is it because I am an analyst? Why do I need a closure or an end? Honestly it is so trying to be able to resist finishing a conversation, or not sending a text saying “Okay Mr Idiot it’s so over! I agree! I get it” But I try to not text back because I try to remember that I will lose the last thing I have control of- my self-respect. It’s not worth it.

If they do not realise how awesome you are it is their loss. It is simple as that. Never wait for their response for too long. It is a waste of time. Stop your mind from spending hours to dream about something, which will never happen. Life is too short.  I can’t repeat myself enough. Once your self-esteem is back you won’t wait for anyone’s response though. You won’t care I promise. You should know who you are and how much you are worth and be confident that there is NOTHING wrong with you. Don’t blame yourself. People sometimes do not click, it happens. Let’s move on.  If they care they will text you and they won’t wait for days with a silly response. When someone starts to play that game I send them away or stop texting them. They are time wasters, nothing else.

I can hear my best friend saying in my head: “Am I right to say that you are negative a bit recently?” I guess I am, yes! Even without being on these brilliant dating apps and websites I attract more idiots than I desire, so I have my right to be slightly negative sometimes. Just give me a break.

I have learnt not to open up as it scares them away, and not be too kind because they tend to throw it back in your face. And I can physically feel my heart harden up. Slowly becoming cynical and sour and over-protective. I am building that massive invisible wall (good luck to anyone to break that one). My mum always told me not to kick a person when their down. It is such a shame that not everybody was taught this lesson. These “players” do not respect kindness and morals. Hurting someone else’s feelings for some quick smug fix, is in my eyes the lowest you can go.

I know I am direct, too direct sometimes, but we are old enough to be straightforward and to follow what we want. There are so many girls and boys who don’t mind to just have some fun so just be open and find those. Leave those alone who want more.

However, to be fair, I still believe and hope that if it is the right person they will appreciate me and not be scared by my knowing what I want. There is no such a thing as being too much of yourself if someone is actually, truly, interested and not just playing.

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

Next: Dreamland

It’s my birthday and I am over 30…

It’s my birthday, it’s my birthday – I’mma spend my monneeeyyy!

I LOVE birthdays and I love making it special for others around me. However birthdays when you are single can sometimes be a challenging and emotional day. Especially over 30. How many times have I heard someone say “I am not going to celebrate over 30”? It becomes a day that people just want to get over and done with.

Negative thoughts creep in…  I am in my 30s and single, I have nothing to celebrate! I do have the odd negative thought about how I should be hurrying up too but I choose to ignore them (most of the time). What a shame though when we have these thoughts and pressures from ourselves and society!

I wish I could gather all of these people and tell them- Please don’t hide! Appreciate this magic day! Please think about this as the best day ever! I wish I could just explain to them how awesome birthdays can be! Anyone can make it awesome and it’s all about the mind-set! Personally I celebrate my birthday for practically the whole month but that’s a little bit extreme I know.

So how can we make birthdays memorable and how can we make sure to enjoy every second of it? I believe this is achieved through a positive mind-set, and achieving a positive mind-set all depends on how much effort you put into creating it. What you give is what you get!

Just to give you an idea this is how I do it.

  1. Sort out my attitude!
    The day will be the same but it’s all up to you if you put a smile on and enjoy and embrace that day or if you are miserable and you ruin it for yourself. Getting old is normal. Getting old means you are smarter, matured, you have more friends and I am sure you actually look so much better than ever. You know your values and you are not shy anymore. Love being over 30!

2. I book a ticket home (or travel home)! (Mentioned before)

As always being with your loved ones are the most important. Pick the weekend way upfront and send out an invitation. Pick the venue, choose the time, job done! I always start early so friends with kids can pop in. The good ones always turn up 🙂 Secret recipe: have no expectation who can make it and who can’t. If two of you are there it’s already a good night and you can shake your butt off and try all the bars. Also organise a family lunch on a Sunday. Let them love you and make you laugh! Homeland ticked!

3. I let people know at work it’s my birthday

Bake something special and organise a lunch out, it’s your day! Only of course if your colleagues are nice. Most of the time I have been lucky but I know the exception…

4. I book a day when it’s only me!

Find all the deals on the net and do the following: hairdresser, manicure & pedicure, message and shopping (I can’t do that for more than an hour, drives me nuts)! I would never miss that day! If you can afford it try something new you have never tried but always wanted. Skydiving is not just for 30 and you have cheaper options. Wine tasting, chocolate making, new sport etc.

5. Finally (if you live far from home like me) organise a cocktail night for everybody you know

Again no expectation on the number, over 30 quality what counts not quantity 😉 trust me! As a bonus I try to book a weekend somewhere else in the month but this one varies. Just be open minded and have some options.

This is your day (month)! Make the most of it and let people enjoy it with you!

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

Next: Addicted to selfies – the power of feedback

Birthdays are the best

Birthdays are the best

The first meet up

The first meet-up is always the hardest. Going on my own and knowing how to start a conversation when my confidence was not on its best form was a big step. You might be as scared as I was but it is a great therapy. Really soon you realise that other single people have been doing this for a long time and that they will probably be confident enough to approach you and ask you the usual questions, that you might have forgotten. “Hi! I am (insert name) and I do (insert job title here). How about you?” You smile at each other and you basically start to follow a very simple script. The result- you get along merrily…most of the time. The hardest thing though is to escape from a conversation when you know after a couple of minutes that s/he is completely different and you do not connect.

My biggest challenge was to be able to listen and not talk about myself. When you are locked at home and have no one to talk to you can lose the art of conversation (when finally you do talk to an actual other human)!

Also some small tips: don’t talk about your past or ex! No one cares. I know you want to let it out but don’t. Actually, I have a nice friend who told me that after her break up whenever she went clubbing, she talked to the ladies who maintained the toilets, and would tell them, her whole sorry heart-break story. For 6 months she did it. She cried constantly… (As an aside, she knows how deep the pain of heart-break can be. She is happy now but she told me she will never forget experience. It has made her stronger and we gain knowledge and experience but she will never forget how it felt to have her heart-broken.)

Ooops… I have lost track… So anyway back to the first meet-up. It went really well. I joined a group where I learnt a lot about video optimisation. I always wanted to learn about it (geek I know). Also it was free. And sure it did attract many smart and lovely people. And I learnt a lot from these people as by then I knew how to shut up a little bit and also I learnt and practiced how to talk about myself. What is good and what is not. Testing the reactions and breathing in life stories like air. I had a great night and really soon I knew how to be independent in a new group and how to interact with people again. It was brilliant.

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

Next: Mask Party

Don't stay in

Don’t stay in

The first “To do list”

When my first ever plan (post breakup), became visible I started to write my ideas down. You can’t keep everything in your head, it is not possible! Even if you are really smart I recommend you get a notebook/ your phone and start to make your own plan. When you see something you like make a note. It can be a short course, a place, a movie, or a nice shirt, anything! Also start to write down your thoughts or feelings or a good quote you have just heard. It worked so well for me. When I didn’t know what to watch or where to go I just checked my notes. I created a new account and started to send my notes there and named the subject by the group (place, film etc…). Once you have this you have to make sure you review and start to plan ahead (just like with your shopping).

Make sure that family and friends are put first in your plans. You career is important but your colleagues won’t be there for you when you are in trouble. I love working hard and provide the best quality but now I am over 30 I do appreciate that I have a life and it’s not all about work. And if you are not happy in your job you should concentrate on getting another one. You spend most of your time at work so if it’s cr*p IT WILL UPSET THE BALANCE IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE. I used to be told “don’t worry about it is just work” but did I stop worrying at 5pm? Noooooo. Couldn’t switch off. But as a clever person once said; you are NOT a tree! You are mobile and you can move. How fortunate. It’s all up to you. If you stay don’t whine. If you whine make sure you try to change what is making you whine.

I had recently handed my notice in (time for a change) and was starting to concentrate on repairing the broken pieces of me, gluing them back together. I used much stronger glue this time. I am sure I am still breakable but now that I had mended the foundation I hoped it wouldn’t be as easy.

Sport helped me in general (sorting out body first) and due to the fact that dancing was expensive I did a 30 day shred DVD – which was awesome- and I started to run too. These were all part of my first plans and since then I have never looked back.

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

Next: Work friends… and some

The first plan

The first plan

Let time do the job!

One of my biggest problems is that I am not really a patient person… However I feel like the Universe has taught me well recently and given me plenty of opportunities to practice. Being on your own again is one of those practices. I knew I couldn’t/didn’t have it in me to start a new relationship, I knew I couldn’t start a new job just yet because I had to save first and I also knew that my friends were busy around Christmas. And I knew that I had just moved to a new City and new friendships do not happen overnight.

So I had time to pass (winter season btw). It was okay though because I didn’t have too much energy and my self-esteem was nowhere to be seen. So what to do when you need to switch off and heal? Yep, this is the right time to catch up with all the books, films and boxsets you have heard of recently. Personally, I wasn’t sure about 24, I was never brave enough to start it as I thought I would never get my life back. I had finished Dexter, watched Mad Men and read the Divergent trilogy and many others. But there were many others for me to lose myself in (see my collection on the 10 of something page). There is one rule you must remember when you are at this stage: Never watch love comedies! Instead of giving you hope that it can happen to you it will make you really depressed, you might think it’s not possible to feel lower than you already do, but you can-trust me!

I know it is not the best period and if you can force yourself to go out you are stronger than me but if you can’t, instead of crying (which isn’t great for your skin and general look so by this time I skipped this option for good) then it is easiest to put on a film/ grab a book, and lose yourself in another world. Let time do the job for you!

This period really helped me to “fade” those memories and the past in general. Eventually my brain started to clear out and even though there was a long way to go, I began to feel slightly more enthusiastic about everything again. The journey was still long from here but I was a step closer to finding my happiness again… and really soon I had a new plan to work on my body, soul and mind!

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

Next:  New Year – Appreciate all that is great

Let time do the job

Let time do the job

The science behind “singles” shopping

Shopping when single, after having been in a long relationship, can be tricky. It’s all to do with habits and routines. We all know how hard it is to break them and bring in new ones. Shopping is an example of this.

After a long time I was slowly getting better at eating and food shopping again. Except I couldn’t break the habit of shopping for 2. Result: wasted food and wasted money. I kept telling myself I was alone now but I couldn’t stop myself and I reasoned I could easily eat what I bought. I couldn’t.

I have listed below my approach to shopping at that time.

STEP 1 – “POPPING” TO THE SHOPS…

I was starting to think about shopping a bit more and buying small amounts more often (when you live in London you have to anyway because it is really unlikely that you have a car). My fridge was looking good again. Yes, “popping to the shop” often can be seen as time-wasting (long queues and decision-making etc…) but expressing an interest in food and healthy-eating again, was positive.

STEP 2 – QUANTITY

I bought the same things each week, which is quite boring, but for the most part, I was using it all up. I did improve my project management skills by having to plan for the whole week ahead what I would eat though. This is because food packaging has never been designed for single people.  THIS IS THE TRUTH! Neither are the marketing offers. (Although thankfully it’s not as scary shopping for 1 here, as it is in America. As I’ve mentioned before- have you seen the size of the food over there?! It’s huge!)

Therefore I suggest you plan/write your list, head out and look hard for the smaller packages, the smaller offers… When you buy a box of peaches because it is cheaper, you will waste it (or eat peaches all week and get sick of them).  Instead stick to buying one lemon. It might not be fairly priced but at least you know you will definitely use up what you buy. Or if you buy 4 avocados and not individual ones because the singular avocados are more expensive, then make sure you eat avocado soup one day, an avocado sandwich on the second, avocado smoothie on the third and so on and so forth… I have just learnt a good trick with avocados from my super-smart Spanish friend. When you buy more, pick the harder ones and wrap one or two in newspaper and they will be ripped faster. However ultimately I recommend buying only one of what you need (same story when buying tomatoes, peppers or even cucumbers).

STEP 3 – 2-4-1

I had to organise my whole week ahead or at least know kind-of when I am at home so I could adjust the quantity of my shopping basket. When it was “just” for me and even if something was on sale 2-for-1, I resisted. My economist heart was bleeding (and my friends are laughing out loud because they know how true this is) but for the sake of my purse I had too, also hate wasting food.

I did love the fact that when I got to the till the assistant usually told me that I can get another pack as part of a deal, as I felt like they were looking out for me but I always explained that unfortunately I wouldn’t use it, not mentioning the reason was because I was SINGLE. (By the way now I do pick it up, if it is not too heavy, and simply give it to the neighbour but this is another story.)

STEP 4 – 21st CENTURY GIRL

And when I had enough of carrying heavy bags on the way home finally I caught up with the 21st century and discovered home delivery! No more heavy bags! Victory! Who needs a man? Buying fresh food online is risky a bit but most of the time it was ok. Also fresh food could be bought on the way home from work. My first online food shop took me hours and I had to/ have to, plan to be at home at some point for the delivery but it is worth it once in a month.

In spite of my new shopping habits now that I was single my fridge jumped between looking full and being empty due to my social life picking up. Having a social life is quite expensive however Boots was helping a lot to keep my costs down with their £3.79 offer. (I know all the prices in Tesco, Sainsbury, M&S, and Pret etc. for a quick sandwich meal deal.)

And finally the last thing is being prepared when unexpectedly you need some food at home (and you don’t do flat sharing and you can’t steal borrow). I have some items I always have at home just in-case: cheese and biscuits, rice crackers, long-lasting almond milk, porridge, chicken in the freezer, rice, and pesto. Job done! Of course cooking is a different story….it starts when you get bored of tin soups and sandwiches.

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

Next: Getting over with going under …..

Single girl shopping

Single girl shopping