10 Ways Your Life Will Change When You Start To Embrace Who You Are

Can you sit in a coffee shop sans a companion or smartphone, and love every second of it? Many will agree that doing things by yourself feels wrong and anti-social—and for that reason, there’s an almost universal stigma attached to it. We’ve been taught to believe that it’s awkward to travel, dine, or simply be without the presence of another human being.

But for those who embrace themselves and actively participate in whatever activity or opportunity of their choosing, despite having someone they know by their side, magic happens. There’s a real feeling of freedom when you can sit quietly in your own company and just enjoy the moment for what it is.

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And while forming meaningful relationships with friends, family members and partners is important, spending time with and loving yourself leads to 10 very beautiful things.

10. You’ll Become More Worldly & Culturally Sensitive

Having a group of great friends is wonderful, sure. But staying within the same clique for years and years means that you’re not really giving yourself the freedom to talk to and learn about people outside of who you are and what you’re about.

Breaking away from homogeneity, and giving yourself the opportunity to learn from those older than you (yes, they were wild once too, you know!) and erasing preconceived notions about those younger than you, means that you’re more in-tune with the world than five besties that meet every night for a daily bout of gossip.

9. You’ll Reflect (More)

Reflection and engaging in introspection is extremely beneficial as it gives you the time to really look at yourself and the things you have (or have not) achieved. And when you’ve absolutely fallen in love with yourself, you won’t be ashamed to admit that you do have flaws (we all do).

Instead, you’ll actively take the time to work on those flaws whilst trying to improve upon your list of positive characteristics. You’ll think about whether you’re truly happy, and you’ll start to feel inspired to make the necessary changes to live a better and fuller life. Base jumping in Norway? Do it!

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8. You’ll Find Your Passion

While we generally like to hang out with people who share our interests, this often stunts our ability to try something new. You like what you like, your friends like it too—why try something new? So instead of going to that oddly intriguing yoga retreat, you meet your friends for Book Club because yoga isn’t necessarily their cup of tea.

But when you truly become comfortable in your own skin, you’ll say, ‘Screw it!‘ and you’ll go to the yoga retreat…alone. What happens next? No, you don’t die from shame and embarrassment! You’ll find out if you love it or hate it, and you’ll probably meet some new and interesting people along the way.

7. You’ll Travel Freely

Unfortunately, we have to work in order to survive. That means that you and your loved ones will have set working hours with set vacation days and set schedules, yada yada yada. That, in turn, makes it tremendously hard to plan that weekend in Vermont or your yearly trip somewhere in Europe. You find yourself waiting on your friends to book flights, hotels, and to make travel itineraries—only to find out that Kerry suddenly can’t make it and Dan’s wound up with chicken pox. Holiday plans ruined? Heck no!

When you’re happy with your own company, you’ll plan trips spontaneously and frequently. You’ll see what you want, go where you want, and never have to wait on anyone ever again.

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6. You’ll Become More Independent

When you rely on yourself to get things done, you’re automatically bumped up to first class of being an independent human being—so, congratulations!

Many people are too afraid to try something new so they rely on their friends to do it with them. But when you get up and go to where ever it is or whatever it is that you want to experience, you’re allowed to admit to yourself that you really are acing this whole ‘adult’ thing.

5. You’ll Thrive Outside Your Comfort Zone

What are your plans this weekend? The usual Friday night drinks at your favourite bar? Saturday house cleaning? Sunday at the cinema to see the latest rom com? All three of those activities sound like tons of fun, but there really are only so many ways that a man can fall in love with a woman, and—your house won’t cave in if you shift things around a day or two, I promise.

When you’re in love with yourself and in love with life, your Friday, Saturday—heck, even your Tuesday, becomes an unpredictable whirlwind of cool things. “Life’s short“, “YOLO!” and, “Live, Laugh, Love“, you guys! Go out there and take up space in the world.

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4. You’ll Do Things You Never Dreamed Of

Having refrained from personal experience this entire time, it’s time to impart my pearls of wisdom onto you (I’m really just as lost as you are). I never thought I would ever live in Asia, date an American soldier, see 10+ countries in Europe, or become a professional writer (my dream job).

But I got up and made those things happen for myself, by myself. If I had have waited for someone to come with me, I would never have achieved many of those things! It all starts with you.

3. You’ll Live Life On Your Own Terms

We all have special quirks, likes and dislikes. Some are extremely organised and like to stick to a schedule, while others absolutely hate uniformity. But again, when you’re your own best friend, you literally live life on your own terms.

Do you fancy eating a slice of chocolate cake for dessert at your favourite café? Or do you want to sleep in on Saturday whilst listening to cheesy 90’s pop music? Um, yes—of course you do! So do it!

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2. You’ll Find Out Who Your True Friends Are

A lot of people are pretty superficial and only really enjoy getting their own way. So when you’re actively chasing the sun, or having a down day, they’ll get pissy because you’re not in the mood to go to an 80’s themed party with them. And right there—you learn who your true friends are.

Because when people take the time to invest in you and your dream/vision, you’ll do the very same for them. Which means you’ll have to endure the occasional awkward friend-of-a-friend hen party, and you’ll make the effort to visit your bestie at any time of day or night when he/she’s experiencing heartbreak, because that is what real friends do. If they aren’t prepared to be there for the messy stuff, they can’t be there for the fun stuff. End of.

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1. You’ll Say ‘Yes’!

Know the expression, “Everywhere you go, there you will be“? It’s literally true—and if you don’t like yourself very much, life isn’t going to be very fun at all.

Adversely, loving yourself means that you’re happy trying new things and treating yourself in such a way that is mentally and physically stimulating. So the next time a sweaty human at the gym admits that they live a block away from you and that you two should go on evening walks together, say ‘YES!’ The world wanted you to meet that person—meet them!

So, I will leave you with this—life is messy, hard, and unpredictable. You’ll definitely experience deep and uncomfortable sadness once or more in your lifetime, and you’ll also experience that feeling of your heart pounding through your chest the moment you’re about to step outside of your comfort zone. But embrace those vulnerabilities because they really are just as beautiful as your strengths.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss

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Write

I move my cursor to the top right of my screen…”write“, it says. I click on it as it’s too enticing not to.

It’s Sunday and for the first time in months, I haven’t got any work to do. It’s weird. I love my job. I am writer. It sounds so lovely to say even lovelier to say out loud. I work seven days a week. I told myself today would be all about reading poetry and relaxing, but in all honesty—I am so fucking bored.

I did read poetry, dark poetry—Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Her poetry is so simple, like anyone could have written it. But at the same time, it has an effect on me. Her words don’t need to be deciphered, twisted, and analysed like the long and strange poetry we were forced to read in high school. They’re straightforward, and true. Perhaps that is why they have an effect on me… that and her brave account of how badly men have treated her.

I’m home in South Africa for now, and I have almost no stress at all. It’s weird. I sit beside the ocean and write. I hear the stillness of the night, I breathe fresh air, I feel the sun on my skin. I feel reality. It’s now my business to know what everyone is getting up to in their lives—and while I couldn’t really care, it’s sometimes nice.

These are my thoughts as the day—and week—come to a close.

Have a happy week, everyone.

x

Just, Adventure

For 22 years, I drifted my way through life. I rarely felt passion, I acted carelessly and I gave myself away too freely. What did it matter, though? I didn’t need to do anything substantial because I was constantly being taken care of by people in my life. My parents paid for everything, my friends took care of me when I was too drunk to get home and I didn’t have my first job until I finished university. Life was a mere spectacle. People loved my stories of how I ended up in dangerous situations and I loved telling them. I have always lived for adventure – the destructive kind.

I spent five years studying a degree I didn’t care about – little did I know, that it was this degree that would land in me in places I had only dreamed of. I ended up spending four years in Korea, teaching English, meeting locals and other foreigners, experiencing things that I thought were fascinating yet strange at the same time. I knew I had to take advantage of this situation, I knew that I was destined for more than a scandalous story.

I booked tickets to countries that excited me as often as I could. One such time, I ended up on Boracay Island in the Philippines on a solo trip. My hotel room overlooked the sky-blue ocean, great palm trees and the sun beamed into the full-length windows like rays of happiness. My bed was decorated with my favourite flower – the frangipani. Regardless of the abundance of geckos and lizards (my worst fear), I breathed in life. I talked with the locals who taught me about humility. I learned about the island in all its beauty that was jaded by social issues. The people were poor, but they were happy.

I visited a piercing and tattoo parlour on the beach and decided I would get my first tattoo – an outline of Africa on my back. It’s not big and it’s not magnificent but it is meaningful. After all those years I spent trudging through a boring and predictable life, here I was in the middle of nowhere, by myself, with a permanent symbol on my back that reminds me of who I was, who I am and where I come from. Africa will always be home.

No matter where I go (and I plan to go everywhere), Africa will always have my heart because now, I am in a place where I can truly love and admire the beauty of my home country, the inspiring people that encouraged me to live my best life and the astounding diversity that makes this world spectacular. I no longer crave destructive adventure – just, adventure.

Couldn’t be Happier

I won’t lie – the OCD in me makes sure that I post on this blog at least once a month so that I can keep up my months in the archive list. I have missed one month, somewhere along the line, but I’m just pretending that didn’t happen.

It’s February! And after much uncertainty, I am still at my writing job in London and I am still absolutely thriving and loving it. It makes such a difference to your life when you love what you do.

I really do love that people are still reaching out to me about their worries and or concerns about moving to Korea in terms of their weight, and I am always happy to help out when possible – so keep the messages coming.

Things really are just great at the moment. I have nothing to complain about and if you know me, you’ll know that’s rare. It’s liberating to not be angry, annoyed or upset every day.

I still sometimes pinch myself to see if this is all a dream, but it’s not. I’ve made it. I couldn’t be happier with my life.

Great Feeling

Before January gets away from me – I wanted to express the weird feeling that I have right now – it’s happiness. This is so strange for me – for the first time in my life I absolutely love my job and it’s made the world of different to my life.

After teaching in the UK for four months – and being utterly miserable the entire time, I thought maybe I was stuck in this career. I took a shot and have now got a new job as a writer in London. This is what I have always wanted!

This is such a great feeling.

My Time to Shine

Today was really something spectacular.

I’ve just come home from a holiday at my brothers place – not far from here, but a short plane ride away. It was a well-needed time off but along with any family gatherings, there’s of course irritations and annoyances. Either way, I can honestly say that I was taken care of for a solid ten days and I was very grateful for that.

Whilst on the train home from the airport –  I sat and I smiled. Perhaps I should give you the backstory to this smile. I recently applied for a writing position as I have been in and out of work at different high schools around England and this profession is turning me into a bitter woman who hates every minute of her job. That’s not why I moved here. In fact, I moved her almost for the sole reason to find a job that I love. Anyway, as I was applying for different teaching roles, I thought – why the hell couldn’t I be applying for a writing position? I have a degree in English and tons of writing experience, albeit non-professional, but still. I sent out my CV to some companies, thinking not much of it. I was asked in for an interview for a well-known company in London. I went for the interview almost two weeks ago, after which I was asked to write a few pieces for one of their less popular websites – sort of a trial/test. Yesterday, I was given back amazing feedback by a few members of the company and was offered the job.

I thought about how all of this began – not this being my job application, but me turning into a passionate person. I’ve always loved to write – but for a good few years, the light inside me was out and I stopped caring about things. It was only in 2012, when I started this blog, that I re-realised my passion for writing. Thinking back, what was it that re-lit that fire within me? That made me sit down and actually write and keep up the writing, to start my book and to then further my passions into photography and film? Well, and as oddly as this sounds – I feel as though I owe all of this to that one douche bag who I dated in 2012 that made me so heartbroken that I actually started this blog. I wonder if I would of ever sat down to start it under any other circumstances? And although I still feel fucked up and bad and weird feelings for that guy – I am here now, over three years of blogging, an almost complete book and a career in the industry that I love. I also felt as though I owed some of this success to my weight. As I am coining in and talking about my experience of being overweight and the humour – I almost feel as though my body is something to be proud of. It’s one of the reasons I am sitting with something to show for my life. And thirdly, I owe it to Korea. For changing and moulding me into a brand new, spirit-awakened person.

Thank you, universe. It’s my time to shine.

Stories I’ll Remember.

I’m sure you’ve visited my blog thinking that it was going to be a bit of a laugh? How embarrassing! I have been complaining for about twenty-thousand consecutive years now. Re-reading some of my writing has been cringe-worthy to say the least. So then, let me sum up my life for the last seven months in England, using a different perspective – humour and light-hearted ridiculousness.

Seems I’m not really cut out for teaching that special breed that is English school children as they are rather cuntish but as I look back on the last few months having literally sat on the side of the road with my luggage, in Birmingham of all places, to getting very drunk outside a train station in London by myself on a Sunday with the occasional wee in the local Indian restaurant and friends popping over to say hi – I guess you could say that I am pretty much winning at life. And although I’ve mellowed out considerably, going from “I can’t believe I’m still alive!” to only letting my ex boyfriend finger bang me, these are the stories I’ll remember one day.