Metanoia

When we know who we are, we are more able to live with intention. As most of you already know, this past year has been a journey of rediscovery for me; who am I and where do I want to be in life? For a month now I have been super quiet, apologies! I’ve been reflecting on the past, finding out where I am at right now and mapping out what’s next for me.

After a lot of journaling over the Christmas/New Year break, some quality me time and catching up with a friend I have not had one on one time with in way too long, I had one of those light bulb moments. That moment people call an ‘Epiphany’, but I like to refer to it as ‘Metanoia’; the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life.

I found myself saying “I value who I am, I love my life, I know I am worthy and after ever hurdle look how much I have accomplished.” I can proudly say I am so content with where I am and who I am right now. For so long I have been trying so hard to get back to that girl I once knew, the one who I felt was taken away from me. I loved that version of me but I am not her anymore. I still hold onto her dreams, her values, her optimism but as life’s hurdles approach us, they shape us, move us and we grow.

If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

You may feel very secure in that pond you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know there is such a thing as an ocean. Holding onto something that is bad or good for now, may be the very reason why you don’t have anything better. Close your eyes and envision where you see your life in five years. Don’t get hung up on the details you feel you’re suppose to know (career, savings, marital status) but instead focus on the aspects of your future that are important. Do you see yourself in a new city, learning a new hobby or feeling a certain way? Can you ever be sure you are on the right path in life? What path do you see yourself on now, describe it to yourself. Did you have to make sacrifices to get there? What would you change?

Life isn’t fair, but its good. I find it great, but we all have our lows. When in doubt just take that next small step. Life is too short to fill your life with things and people that no longer serve greater purpose in your life. Burn candles, use the nice sheets, wear that fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special! Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful. And no matter how you feel, get up, get dressed and show up because those simple steps helped me more than you know and the best is yet to come.

I ask you this: Is there a difference between happiness and fulfillment? What does it take for you to be happy? What does it take for you to be fulfilled? Are the qualities the same?

Things I have learnt to keep a relationship alive.

Things I have learnt to keep a relationship alive.

Yes, I know I’m currently single but man have I learnt a lot from past relationships. Who hasn’t?! Some people think that being in a relationship in your early 20’s makes no sense at all. They assume you’re wasting away your youth; however I couldn’t disagree more. During this time it’s fun (and always should be no matter your age), you learn valuable lessons and you truly find what you need in a partner and what they need in you. Dating & Relationships should be an exciting time and you should never stop making effort for one another.  Here are some things I have learnt…

Making time for a “Date Night” 

Everyone is busy, I get it! Between being over-worked, having  family and social commitments, there is hardly time to fit in an episode of Netflix, let alone have quality time to spend with your partner. When was the last time you and your partner had a Date Night, just the two of you or put away your phones and switched off the TV to have quality time together? I love getting out of the house; I get cabin fever being cooped up all the time. But now and then I do also love a good night in with a movie, doona, a few bevvies and snacks. Date night doesn’t have to always be out of the house nor do you need to spend a fortune. Just carve time out to be focused on each other, once a week or fortnight. I saw on Pinterest this amazing Date Night idea, it a Date Night Jar. What an amazing way to avoid the “What do you wanna do?”, “I dunno, you?”
All you need is a Mason Jar, coloured icy-pole sticks and a Sharpie. Point to note: colour code to identify different categories and make a key on the inside of the jar lid. Make 100 date ideas; include what you love, what your partner loves and what you both love doing together. Better yet how about adding in a few of those Bucket List things you’ve always spoke about wanting to do. Now to categorise the dates; categories can be: Out of the House, Free, Indoor Activities and Outdoor Activities. For some amazing ideas click on link at the bottom of the page.

Set honest expectations from the start

Over the past 7 years of dating and relationships this would have to be in my opinion the most important rule when it comes to any kind of dating and that is to be clear on what your expectations are with the relationship. If you see it lasting for the long run, then make sure that your partner knows that. If you’re looking for someone just to have sex, then say that as well. Being honest with your expectations is fair on both of you, it shows confidence and respect. Too many of us by-pass this whole rule to avoid the awkwardness of not being on the same page and ending up alone. But I know I would rather be honest than to find out weeks later I have wasted my time and energy with someone who did not have the same feelings. Or even worse to actually be that person that lets the other cruise along, all the while they have more feelings on where this is heading.

You can still have friends

Never exclude yourself from your circle of friends to hang out with your partner 24/7. Your partner isn’t the only thing that’s important in your life. You still have other people who want to spend time with you. Be sure to keep up with your friends and do fun things together. They have been by your side for years and you need to give your partner space to keep the relationship fresh.

Nagging isn’t cool

We’ve all been told ‘chill’ and ‘stop nagging me’. If you’re anything like me I like sh*t done yesterday not tomorrow. I’ll admit it; I can be nag if I feel I am not being heard. Your partner will do things that piss you off, as you will to them. Don’t nag. This is immature and you will lose your partner’s respect for doing it. Openly and calmly discuss your opinion and why you feel the way you do. Say things when you think of them before they build up and you explode at your partner.

Keep your relationship semi-private

It’s ok to post a couple of cute pictures here and there on Instagram and Facebook, but the reality is that people really don’t want to see pictures of you kissing multiple times per day *cue the spew bucket*. While people may be happy about your relationship, they don’t want to hear about it 24/7.

Always be yourself and let your partner do the same

Let yourself and your special someone be themselves. You were attracted to this person for a reason, and there’s no need to try and change them. Never let someone try to change you; you are who you are, and if that’s not good enough for either of you, then lets be honest this isn’t really a relationship that’s going to work.

Communication is important

Open communication is critical in a long-lasting relationship. Each night, talk about your day, your concerns, your thoughts and your dreams with one another. There is nothing I love more than to reflect on my day with my partner, all the great things to celebrate and even the shitty things to help you wind down, re-focus and move forward. It can start to feel lonely not having someone to talk to at the end of the day, even just to be asked “How was your day babe?” can go along way. And always remember that when the other person is talking, be sure to listen and communicate your interests and feelings.

You need trust, but don’t be naive

Trust is the backbone of all relationships. Don’t hack your loved one’s phone, this isn’t going to solve anything. If you feel you have to do that, then question yourself “Why?” If situations arise make sure you trust only reliable sources and openly communicate with your partner.  On the flip side, don’t be naive about the situation either. You both deserve to be happy, and if things don’t work out, they don’t. Yeah, it will hurt but why put yourself through the pain and anxiety. There is someone out there who will treat you right.

Excitement

A relationship should inspire passion in both of you no matter what’s going on. When your partner walks through the door, are you excited to hold them in your arms? To kiss them? To want to do nothing but run your hands all over their body? Successful relationships turn on the passion at the start and never turn it off. Yes, of course it might cool slightly for periods of time – like after children are born – but it never dies completely, and it can always be rekindled.

Finally… be adventurous and enjoy your time together

You’re still in your 20s and you should be having as much fun as possible. Take time to do both of your favourite things. Be adventurous and try something new that you’ve both never done before. *cue the Bucket List dates from your Date Night Jar*. And remember don’t take yourself all too seriously.

DATE NIGHT JAR LINK

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Aside

Because I’m twentysomething.

Because I’m twentysomething.

When I was thirteen, I couldn’t wait to be eighteen.  And when I was sixteen, I planned to be married by age twenty-six & have two kids by thirty. I’ll always smile to myself when I think about how time changes things.

A funny thing happens about the time you turn twenty-five. People start asking about marriage and kids and houses. You begin to worry about savings, retirement, and health insurance.  You start spending your money on plates, pots, new tyres, right? And sometimes you start to compare your 25 years with everyone else’s. You wonder if you’re on the right track, if you’re falling behind, you start going to your friends’ weddings and buying baby gifts for second birthdays. Suddenly you realize you’re at the exact age that seemed so far away just five years ago.

The older I’ve gotten, the more aware I’ve become of how quick these years pass and the pressure to fit the mould of all of the rest of the twentyfivers. How easy is it to become controlled by our age and the expectation of what that signifies? Well I say forget the expectation, forget the moulds. Live your life the way you want to, rather than the way you think you are expected to. Especially if that means taking a big jump, even if it feels like a free fall.  Maybe quit your job and go back to school if that feels right, get married or don’t, chop off your hair,  change your mind,  travel, end a relationship that no longer serves you, become a different or better person, maybe move away or move back home.

While you’re in your twenties, I hope you buy a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, I hope you get lost wandering all of the streets, meet new people, have interesting conversations over warm cups of tea, drink out of mason jars while dancing barefoot in the grass, spend time with those who matter. Set your goals and change them, say goodbye to all of the things that have held you back or no longer serve purpose in your life and vow to keep moving forward. Experience everything you can. My biggest fear is looking back on my life when I’m 80 and thinking ‘shoulda, coulda but didn’t’.

I hope you aren’t held back because of a number and that you don’t rush into things because it feels like time is slipping by. Do what’s right for you.  Your age is your age, but more importantly, your life is your life, don’t change your journey so that it matches someone elses. We need to walk different paths so the whole world can be explored.