On kindness

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“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

 

I’ve been thinking about the above quote from Iain Thomas lately.  I come back to it whenever I feel like I’m not acting like myself: like the world is making me ‘hard’.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being tough. There is certainly nothing wrong with being strong. And I want everyone to be confident and I always admire chutzpah, bien sur. But I worry that too many of us are becoming/feel they should be ‘hard’ to the world.

Don’t let the world take your softness.  This is nothing to do with femininity, with sexuality or gender. This is nothing to do with feminism or equality. For me it’s about allowing yourself, whoever you are, wherever you’ve come from, to sometimes be vulnerable. It’s about letting people in. It’s about coming from a place of kindness and letting a little optimism in sometimes.

No one needs to become super sunshine happy. But I worry about myself. I spend all day trying to conceal my feelings that when I finally have a chance to release them, they come out as anger or resentment or aggression. I don’t want to be aggressive.  I don’t even like being passive-aggressive.

Over the last 18 months I have turned into a ball of stress and discomfort. I’ve been difficult and rude. I’ve been passive-aggressive and unkind. I’ve been unhelpful and negative. I’m working on it.

I like feelings. Feelings are important. Feelings tell us so much, even when they’re confusing. I am not scared to feel them, even when I hate them. Why would you want to be devoid of feeling? To me that seems like hiding. It seems like withdrawing. It seems like running away.

I don’t want to run away. I know what needs changing and I know my behaviour is not always acceptable. But I also know I have high standards and I need to be kinder to myself, too.

Embrace where you’ve been, who you might have been, who you were not so long ago, who you are now. And aspire to be kinder, to be more open, to free yourself of what’s weighing you down.

 

…xxx

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New Year’s Day

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Above is a picture of me this morning: hair all fallen over, mid-morning New Year’s Day (though it being 3am, it’s now the 2nd already). Last night we went to an excellent party (pic just below) but I got to that point where I was more tired than tipsy and alcohol wouldn’t have gotten me to the point where I could ignore the sleepiness and be silly with others, so I went home. We got home at nearly 4am, mind you.

 

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Sometimes homesickness comes in waves and I’m not 100% sure what to do with it. On Christmas Eve I picked up a box of wrapped presents from the Post Office and sobbed for a few minutes before I collected myself – I then spent hours looking forward to Facetiming home, only to have the connection be so terrible I missed half of the conversation. I was distant and quiet and I hate when I do that – I’m so soppy and emotional but with my family I sometimes just get so sealed up that I feel cold and I’m not cold. I hope they don’t think I’m cold.

Today the homesickness was back, but it just rolled over me. It was a gentle wave. Not so scary.

 

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We go home to New Zealand so soon – it’s now 99 days until the wedding which sounds so far away yet so close at the same time.

And most of my homesickness stems from seeing pictures of my 3 nieces – they are growing up so quick and I feel like I have missed so much of it. To think that I moved here when Violet was just 3.5 and now she is 9, it is mind-blowing. They now message me on Whatsapp and have their own Instagram accounts, and it is just the best thing ever.

 

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We’ve been talking a lot lately about our future plans and they are super exciting. I get a bit intimidated about diving into the future but I feel so secure in the choice of who I have decided to dive in with.

Anyhoo, this is a bit of a disjointed ramble, but it’s a new year and I just wanted to write. So I’m going to try and just write. I hope you had a great NYE (and Christmas!) – 2015 is going to be great, I’m sure.

 

 

…xxx
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2014 stats

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. It wasn’t a great year, obviously, but I’m working on it.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Counting

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I feel like I’m spending all of my time counting lately.

 

93 days til we fly to NZ

109 days til the wedding

30 days of yoga

1250 calories a day

 

 

 

One of the first things to point out is it’s no news to me how long it’s been since I’ve been here. I know, I know.  There’s been periods of great unhappiness and periods of great happiness, and I haven’t had the time or inclination to be writing (and it shouldn’t be a chore).

 

 

But I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the year and reflecting on me and my life and what I’m looking for lately, and I find that friendship has been coming up as a theme a lot in the last few months.  I’ve put a lot into new and old friendships, and I’m a bit flawed in that I’m terribly loyal and a bit overenthusiastic and I think it puts folks off.  No one likes it when you’re needy. (I’m just keen, I guess). I also have pretty high standards and I think I’ve been trying to reach a balance in nurturing relationships with the right people.  I was talking with a work friend on Friday night about how friendships shouldn’t feel like hard work, and if it feels like it’s hard work and that they make you feel guilty, bad, unhappy, awkward, unloved.. then maybe it’s time to step back. So I’ve done that a bit this year.  With mixed results, but it’s been good for my sanity.  I’ve noticed others have stepped away from me, too.

 

 

There’s an awful lot we don’t say outloud in life, and don’t like to say to each other – but we think it and mull over it and stress over it, and well, it does me no favours.  I think the people you can just be yourself around are the people that you should hold onto.  I catch myself trying too hard to be what others like and want from me, sometimes.  But if I take the time to be selfish and ask for something from others, I don’t always get it.  I’ve also been learning that as soon as I realise that a social media account I follow or a person I spend time with makes me feel uncomfortable or gives me negative feelings (on multiple occasions), then I need to unfollow or walk away, so I’ve been doing that a bit too.

 

 

Why do we keep hanging on/sticking by stuff that makes us feel bad about ourselves/life/the world? It’s such a waste of time.  Why aren’t we all choosing more often to just be happy?

 

 

But back to counting. I’ve been counting calories, counting my weight and measurements, counting the days until everything coming up in my life (and there is a LOT), counting my pennies… it’s all about tracking at the moment. My sleep, my temperature (BBT charting, because, well, yes), my food intake.. I’m kinda looking forward to Christmas so I can let all of that go for a few days.

The weight loss worked brilliantly, and then didn’t. It’s amazing how it can completely reverse when you let the control go for a few days. So I’m back to trying, as always.  I have a dress fitting in 25 days, though, and I don’t how I’m gonna fit it, but we shall see!  I’m working on it, and I’ll have a post about yoga coming up very soon, because I took on a challenge to do it every day and now I can’t see myself without it.

 

 

I dyed my hair a lighter red that I love in preparation for the wedding, and I cleared out old/small clothes, and I threw out or sold stuff I don’t need- I’ve been having a clear-out overall. Physically and emotionally.

I also want to post and write about the wedding in general, because it is coming up so quickly. We’re having a much smaller guest list than anticipated, so I’m looking forward to it being an intimate day. And it means that a few friends we didn’t think we’d be able to invite have been asked along, and extra family.

 

 

And then there’s work. It’s hard to write anything publicly, but a lot of weird things went on at work this year and I’ve been re-evaluating what I want for a long time. I’m hoping 2015 brings some clarity and I can work on a path.

 

 

Anyhoo, that’s a lot for one post, and geez, all a bit vague. But hi! I’m alive; I’m exhausted and completely emotionally and physically burned out, but I’m here.  And gosh, what a year.

 

 

…xxx

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Currently

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Always start a post with a selfie.

Always start a post with a selfie.

 

Reading: I’m still on Game of Thrones – eternally. I’ve lost track of what’s actually happening, but I’m getting it back. I’m also trying to catch up on my RSS feeds, and discovering new blogs all the time. I still love reading blogs and following along with peoples’ lives and families. Reminds me that I need to write more, as always!

 

Dave and a ridiculous cushion.

Dave and a ridiculous cushion.

 

Thinking about: Work and how I feel about it lately. What I want out of it, what I want to do, how I want to progress. Deep thoughts, dudes!  In short, I’m just not feeling what I’m doing just now, and I’m not sure how to move on or improve it. I have a whole post in me about this, but I better keep it brief, really.  Let’s just say that I don’t like who I am when I do this, and that’s not a good thing. I’m also always thinking about this dude above. I mean, seriously. He’s so cute.

Listening: I recently changed mobile providers and now have unlimited data, and this means that I’m finally able to stream all of my tunes using iTunes Match (which I’ve had for a while, but now can finally use to its full potential!) – it’s a magical thing when you can Shuffle All and get everything from Musicals to French rap, Taylor Swift to Meatloaf. Surreal yet fun. I’m still really into the Pierces, who I’ve now seen twice, and I’m not sure I’ll ever stop listening to Sara Bareilles’ album The Blessed Unrest.  It just speaks to me.

 

Winter is coming.

Winter is coming.

 

Watching:  The leaves change, and the light change and the days bleed into each other. It’s scary how fast this year has gone and is going, and how we’ll soon be living in this darkness again for almost 18 hours a day.  It’s strange but comforting in its own way.  And in these longer nights, we’ll be inside more, which means more TV and more couch time – we’ve been rewatching The West Wing again, which has been great.

Trying:  To take stock of life where I can, to appreciate moments when I have them, to keep in touch with people, to grow a little bit every day. And to work fitness back into my life. It’s a struggle, kids.

 

Two cuties on a couch.

Two cuties on a couch.

 

Loving:  This man, who puts up with my shit and lets me pause TV shows while he explains what I missed (because I was on my phone or asleep), who’ll play PS3 games I am really keen on but too scared to play, so I can watch (though he enjoys them too!) and does all of the washing because I am a slacker, and is just generally the best. As we get closer to our wedding day, I get more sentimental and soppy about it, cause I am a huge sap and I can’t wait to be his wife.

 

iPhone 6 brag selfie.

iPhone 6 brag selfie.

 

Wedding and stuff:  My veil arrived last Monday, and I got to try it on Saturday night with the dress, because, y’know, not all “ivory” stuff is the same, and also who am I kidding, I don’t need an excuse to put on my wedding dress. It still doesn’t fit, but I’m working on it (it hasn’t got far to go to zip up). It was a dreamy moment, standing there with the dress and the veil and feeling very bridal. I also sat on the bed for a few minutes and a got a bit weepy and then noticed you could see my feet when I sit, so hurray, maybe my pretty shoes (that I have not yet purchased) will be seen after all.

I also, as planned, got myself the new iPhone 6, as I am subtly showing off above, and it has been a total pleasure. Because of this, I put myself on financial lockdown until the end of the year, unless it’s for the wedding or clothing on my H&M account (which is quite limiting). And of course holiday gifts. One of the purchases I made before I said/decided this was of 2 dresses from Etsy that arrived on Monday and are very sweet, here’s the top of the navy one:

 

Navy dress with lace and a bt of upper boob.

Navy dress with lace and a bt of upper boob.

 

I also got it in mustard yellow (which has white dotted lace at the top), so I’ll instagram that when I wear it, of course.

I hope y’all are doing well! I can’t believe it’ll be October soon.

 

…xxx

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Alba gu bràth

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I love you, Scotland. Hoping and praying for positive steps forward in the Union, and for people to live together in kindness and civility over the coming months.

 

 

 

 

I did vote Yes. But life will go on! And the turnout was simply incredible. What an amazing moment in history. I feel honoured to have been a part of it.

 

 

 

 

And hey, I was interviewed about it for NZ news on Tuesday night. Which was hilarious and fun and I got this super silly picture of me with the 3 News mic. New career?

 

 

…xxx

swhite

Currently

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Watching:  Dave and I have been re-watching The West Wing lately, after I decided I felt like watching it again. I’d forgotten how funny it is and how much I love these characters.  I’ve also been into Say Yes to the Dress (even though I’ve found mine) and as always, there’s an X Files episode or two in my week. And hurray! America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway are both back in full swing.

Thinking about:  Wedding stuff! Of course.  We’re coming up on 7 months to go now (like, when did that happen – it’s been 9 months since we got engaged, and it has passed in the blink of an eye) and lots of stuff needs to be finalised. It sure is fun looking at all these options online though…

Reading:  Game of Thrones. At this rate, probably until the day I die.

Listening to:  The new album from The Pierces is out! Creation is fantastic and well worth a listen. While I really love Kings, Creation, and Believe in Me, I can’t stop listening to Elements at the moment. I wake up with it in my head.  I’m also seeing them again in a few weeks!

 

 

Celebrating:  I’m not sure about this one this week. It has been one of those weeks. Everything seems difficult and tough and I just want to flail my arms and lie on the couch and sulk. I guess they come around every so often. Dave has been very patient with me.

Making me happy:  We were very kindly given a PS3 from Dave’s brother, as he is moving back to NZ with his family (Dave’s brother is married to a Kiwi and they have 2 kids – yes, I know…) and this means I’ve been able to play FFXIII.  It has been many years since I’ve been able to play a new Final Fantasy game, and I’m really enjoying this one. The gameplay/battle system is fantastic, and yes. Thanks to Jamie.

 

…xxx

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