What Are These Thoughts?

Here goes, I am about to share something very personal, something that is hard for me to admit to other people – my relationship is not perfect. There I said it! Now I need to remind myself of a little truth – that does not mean we are going to break-up any time soon. When things get tough my automatic reaction is to go into damage control – the key word being CONTROL. Alternatively, I get caught thinking about worst-case scenarios, trying to identify what is going wrong, analysing every small interaction, words said or not said. The problem I am finding is that this only exacerbates the issue. I have the idea that I can only feel happy or o.k if everything is predictable and within my control, I have a need know my place and the places of others. I really want to continue to develop myself in a positive way. I’m trying to teach myself to let go of the idea of controlling my emotions, thoughts and environment. I want to get to a place where I can accept what is out of my control and be o.k with that. I cannot control what thoughts pop into my mind or what emotions arise within me, but I can control how I react to them. Similar to not having control over other people, but having the power in how I react to their words and actions. Too much stress and anxiety stems from worrying about what other people will do, the what ifs, and worrying about possible disappointment because of expectations we might have. A wonderful book called ‘The Happiness Trap’ is helping me to see the light. It’s o.k to feel shitty, acceptance is more helpful than control, but also so much harder to master.

There are circumstances recently where I have felt jealousy, insignificance and sadness – Why? What can I do to change this? ‘The Happiness Trap’ tells me it’s o.k, accept it – do I need to understand why? I am a little skeptical about this part. I do feel that it is important to have an awareness of ourselves, but maybe making space for our negative emotions and learning to accept them does not automatically mean sacrificing self-awareness. Maybe I can allow for an understanding, but also remember to let go of the need to control. Russ Harris explains is it the act of letting go that greatly helps us to ultimately be happier in general because negative emotions are a normal part of everyday life. I will challenge myself to let my emotions be, to allow myself to feel them instead of fighting to stem their flow.

This weeks challenge: Disconnect with unhelpful thoughts and create space for negative emotions to simply exist.

Sending Love and Pixie Dust,

Anonymous Girl

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Jealousy

It is definitely one of those unwanted emotions. That burning in your chest, it leaves you feeling ambivalent and ashamed.

Jealousy, it was something I was feeling just the other day, in the face of the success of an acquaintance. At a time when all I wanted to feel was happiness for the achievement that had come from all of their hard work, all I could find was shame at my own lack thereof. Although I put on a brave face, even going so far as to message the individual my congratulations to prove my vicarious happiness – to them or myself? Who knows! An activity that did nothing to alleviate the burning ball of jealous that had taken root in my soul.

What is jealousy? It is defined as ‘feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages’.
While it often has quite negative connotations, there may just be a way of turning it into something positive. From my past experience jealousy seems to signal a lack of satisfaction with ones own life and activities – we are not currently living up to our own values. Being aware of this has allowed me to take those moments of jealousy and learn from them – it can be a catalyst for self-evaluation and change (that big, scary thing I wrote about in a previous post 😉 …not always so big and scary).

My aim now is to use my moments of jealousy to focus inward, look at what things can be incorporated into my life to achieve a sense of fulfillment, what do I need to change about myself.

Sending pixie dust and sunshine,

Anonymous Girl

Change is Hard

We all know change is difficult, sometimes it is exciting, sometimes it’s terrifying, and sometimes it’s both all at once. Either way it is always difficult to face. With change comes new challenges to overcome, new things to adjust and adapt to, something that becomes more difficult as we get older.

I recently finished University, so I am now looking for a new job and a new place to live. It seems that there are so many things changing all at once! I can see a safe predictable future, one that is a definite possibility if I so choose it. This safe future would involve remaining at my current job, moving home or moving in with another friend and getting into a routine of sorts. On the other hand, I see a future that is unpredictable, one that has no plan and could very well include a lot of mistakes and mishaps. My anxiety, which would prefer the safe future, is at war with my adventurous spirit, the part of me that wants to experience all of life and courageously face all of it’s challenges. The thing about safe is that sometimes it’s boring! Safe can be great, everyone needs to feel safe sometimes, to retreat back into their shell occasionally. What makes it boring is when it becomes the everyday life you lead. I have led that life, that predictable, stable, safe existence, my anxiety often pushes it upon me. I have also lived that exhilarating, spontaneous, exciting life, or at least experienced moments of it, and in those moments, as Stephen Chbosky wrote in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, “I feel infinite”. I have barely scratched the surface of what life has to offer, how sad it would be if I let my anxiety become the dominant aspect of who I am, cutting off all possibilities of an exhilarating life before I have even had the chance to discover it.

Yes, I am terrified of making mistakes, and yes I am terrified of dying, I’m also petrified of ending up alone in this world, but the challenge here is to live anyway. And that is not just to passively live, but to ACTIVELY live. My goal for 2016 is to acknowledge my fears, but not allow them to guide my decisions and actions. Change can be good and it can be bad, but it’s what you do with the situation you’re dealt that really counts, that is what makes you who you are, not the change itself. Please, don’t sit back and watch your life just HAPPEN to you, step forward and grasp life, PULL it to you, make with it what you can. The biggest regret anyone could have is that they didn’t even try.

Take note, there is no need to be overwhelmed by this, it doesn’t require you to go out and quit the job you hate and move to another country. There are so many small things you can do everyday that are important, start taking a class on something you’ve always been interested in – I will be picking up a dance class next year. Start small and that small change will grow into something big, maybe one day you will find yourself quitting that job and/or starting your life anew somewhere else. In that moment you might look back and be amazed at how your life changed, and be proud of the person you allowed yourself to become.

The point here is – do those things you want to do, build the courage to face the things you’re scared of, because we only have one life. Make those changes you’ve been meaning to, the ones that go on that resolution list every year, the ones that hide away in the deepest alcoves of your heart. They may be scary, terrifying, but that is what life is about. Once you stop challenging yourself you cease to really live and experience your precious and brief life.

Sending Love and fairy dust,

Anonymous Girl.

Regrets Aren’t All Bad

Regrets are a funny thing, we seem to spend so much time worrying about them. Regrets we have, regrets we might have in the future. So much worry, so much effort. I think our perspective might just be a bit off. Maybe what we should be focusing on is not the regret itself, but what it taught us, and changes we made, or can make, because of it. If you can take a mistake and learn something from it, then you should be able to make peace with yourself and let it go. Easier said than done of course.

Just like everything else in life this constructive way of perceiving mistakes and regrets takes practice…a lot of practice! There are so many challenges, like deciding what lesson can be learnt from a regret. What can you learn from a bad break up? So much! Instead of seeing it as a failure, regretting everything you think you did wrong or regretting the entire relationship altogether, what can you take from the experience that might help you in a new relationship?

I have my own personal ‘bad break up’ story, I won’t go into detail, but take my word for it, it was painful, emotional and messy. Hearts were broken. At first all I could see was everything I had done wrong during the long process of breaking up. I beat myself up, and was constantly wracked with guilt about the pain I had caused my now ex-boyfriend. Then followed the weeks of analysing the entire relationship, finding reasons to blame him for the eventual end, as opposed to hating myself for developing feelings for someone else. Eventually I came to terms with it, I realised we had a lot of good memories together, some that I can now look back on fondly. But ultimately we just weren’t right for each other, something that was neither of our faults. Different people just seem to accentuate and appeal to different aspects of your personality. You might find that you don’t like the person you become around particular individuals. Don’t beat yourself up, it just means you learn the types of people that bring out the best in you and seek them out. Those are the people you want closest to you. That is a lesson I took away from my bad break up.

Sometimes the lesson isn’t so immediate, it might come a few months or a few years later. The important thing to remember is that if you leave yourself open to it, one day it will make sense and you will realise making that mistake, having that regret, prepared you for something else, something important. And, this is absolutely not limited to break ups either, it is important in all aspects of life.

Sending love and fairy floss,

Anonymous Girl

To New Beginnings

I recently made a major change in my life. I spent three years working my arse off, pursuing a career in teaching. With the benefit of hindsight I can now look back on those three years and see every moment of doubt and hesitation, each hinting at the possibility that it wasn’t my big dream. That’s not to say you feel no doubt or hesitation when you pursue a dream, I would be telling one big, fat lie if I said that. Of course you doubt yourself! The difference is the passion you feel, the motivation that drives you. Sometimes we can convince ourselves that we want something, we can really believe the lies we tell ourselves. Earlier this year I was ready to stop lying to myself, and say the words that terrified me:

I don’t want to be a teacher!

Why did those seven simple words scare me?
Because once I put them out there, they meant that I needed to make a change in my life.

The Script sang,

You have one life, so love what you do.

Those are some inspirational lyrics, kudos to The Script (one awesome band!). But they are just words in a song, they lose their meaning unless they’re actually practiced. Meaning this girl suddenly deferred her university degree and took some time off to work and sort herself out.

I had no idea what to do with myself. That, ladies and gentlemen, is pretty darn terrifying, particularly for someone who can be so focused on what the future will look like.

But you know what?
The past few months that I spent working and contemplating life have been really helpful. I realised, those things that I love to do, but never considered to be realistic, those are the things I want to do with my life. That’s where this fancy, new blog comes into the story. I have a lot of inspiration and motivational advice to offer. Oh and I love to write …light bulb moment!

Welcome to One Girl’s Anonymous Life, where you can share in the stories and adventures of my haphazard journey through life…maybe we can both learn something!

Sending love and fairy dust,

Anonymous Girl