I don’t usually like to make a thing of allocating one specific day of the year to a good cause or campaign, but I feel today is a good excuse to shout out the women that inspire me. It goes without saying that my mum, grandma and best friends are positive influences and inspirations in my life, so here are the females who inspire me and probably don’t know it/ never will.
Pauline Narvas: Me and Paw worked together a few years back. She was always a smiley, positive character who never let the perils of retail (and there can be a few at times) get her down. But I remember her coming into work one day crying, Pauline, crying? She was going through a difficult time to say the least and I couldn’t have imagined how she would bounce back. She took to the gym and is now actual body goals, she is CONSTANTLY working with other women all over the country with Code First: Girls. She’s just so sweet and positive I love her. It’s women like her that run the world.
Maya Jama: Need I say more? She’s beautiful inside and out, she’s absolutely smashing her career and is so humble (my favourite trait in any celeb). I don’t know what else to say really she’s Maya Jama.
Frankie Clarke: Me and Frankie briefly know each other, but through social media she shares truly moving concepts and ideas, making me feel like I know her more than I do. She’s an articulate writer and thinker. She conceptualises those thoughts we sometimes can’t even understand ourselves into words- that’s talent. Her posts are so provoking and have encouraged me to focus much more on self-love, which I now believe is vital super- power we all should practice, male or female.
Laceinne/the.pinkcoconut: I don’t actually know her real name but they’re her IG handles. She’s an holistic lifestyle coach and a plant based vegan who’s not afraid to show it. She’s so caring for others, her community and the world. The things her and her partner do are just amazing. She has made me think so much more about what I put in my body and what I do for it. Health really is wealth and boy she is a walking epitome of health.
When we stay nice and cozy in our comfort zone, we aren’t experiencing all that life has to offer and can miss out on opportunities- ones that you’ll never know exist until you find them.
The most rewarding moments I’ve experienced have been the moments where I asked that question I was nervous to ask, when I forced myself to do something I’m not totally sure of or even got up that bit earlier to squeeze in a morning gym session.
Or that time I jumped out a plane (despite saying I’d never do it).
Want to do something? Can you do it?
That uncomfortable feeling is good.
If you want growth, you must push yourself out of the comfort zone. Just like training, if you want to build muscle, you must increase resistance. 💪🏼
Like many women out there, I’m victim of an unfortunate and uncontrollable condition, commonly referred to as Resting Bitch Face (RBF). The most obvious symptom of this is displaying facial expressions of misery, anger or disappointment, despite the fact I might actually feel happy/content.
As a female suffering with RBF (all jokes aside now), I certainly don’t appreciate the arrogance of people who seem to be under the impression it’s there God given duty to let me know I’m not smiling, or better still, that I need to smile.
This genuinely is uncontrollable and by no means should indicate I am unhappy or need to be told to be happy…
I don’t go out to clubs and bars very often, but when I do I’m subject to petty, condescending comments, telling me to smile, or cheer up despite the fact I was actually having a good time BEFORE they had to come along and tell me that.
I know it’s not just me, I know this happens a lot and it’s not nice.
Almost every time I’ve been out, a man tells me to ‘cheer up’, ‘smile love’ or the worst, ‘smile bitch’. The latter comment has only been said once might I add.
This goes out to all the busy-bodies that think they have the right to tell me and any other woman what to do: kindly, f*** off.
Without delving too deeply into my unusual family situation, up until recently, I didn’t know what race I was. My dad never met his dad and so he grew up knowing only his mother, who is Irish.
I knew was that I was half English (from my mum’s side) and quarter Irish and quarter ‘something else’…
For years, I speculated as to what I might ‘be’, but I wouldn’t say I have features that indicate one specific race which made it hard for me to guess.
So I finally decided to order a DNA test from myheritige.com. It arrived a week or so later.
There were two cotton bud swab sticks that I swiped in the side of my mouth for 30 seconds, then popped each of them in a small vile filled with liquid.
I sent them off to the lab and waited patiently.
Almost a month later, I received and email confirming my results were ready. I was both nervous and eager to find out.
So I clicked on the link to my account and these were the results:
I can’t say I was too surprised, being Asian has been ‘on the cards’ if you like, for years really. I remember talking to my friends about what I could be when I was in school and being Asian came up a few times.
The mixture of European ethnicities didn’t come to my surprise either, simply because of migration patterns of Europeans over the years makes it highly likely that if you’re white, you’ll be a mixture European races.
I was overwhelmed to finally know. It was weird actually knowing and no longer being a ‘mystery race’. I now don’t have awkwardly explain to people that I don’t know what race I am when my unusual features compel people to ask. The combination of mildly foreign features like the brown curly hair and freckles juxtaposed with probably the broadest Yorkshire accent and dialect going, throws people, leading to the question, “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but where are you from?”.
I’ve spent years trying to figure out what race I am and its associated culture that I should identify with. I’ve always felt a bit lost in a way, because I saw not knowing where I was from as a lack of identity. I felt like I can’t identify myself properly just because I didn’t know where the hair and darker skin came from.
Much to my own and other people’s surprise, I actually have very little desire to investigate my racial roots any further than I already have. Why? Because I know my culture, it’s what I was brought up with and I needn’t look any further than home to find it.
Why is it we struggle to embrace the inevitable? Of course, I’m talking about change.
I like to think of change as a curse and a blessing in life- you never know what’s round the corner.
Sometimes, we find it hard to accept new people, new situations and the hardest of all- to let go of the old stuff (I’m pretty bad for this). But we can’t fight it and even if we do, it comes at the expense of our energy and most importantly, our time.
You can’t ever really prepare for what’s coming, how could you? After all, the future only exists in your head *mind blown* but there are ways we can handle change better:
Never be complacent🛌: don’t get so comfortable in a situation and think its there to stay, because it might not.
Awareness👁: Simply acknowledging that nothing is concrete makes you so much more accepting when life throws unexpected things your way.
As the old saying goes, there’s only two things in life we can be sure of; death and taxes (lol) but I say their is a third- change.
For the past year or so, I believed I should live everyday in the pursuit of happiness and that I should strive to make every situation happy, regardless of the circumstances. Because, what’s wrong with trying to be happy?
However, recently I’ve began to question whether we should aim for constant happiness. The reason being, I’ve found myself feeling worse trying to be happy all the time- because I can’t make every moment worth cartwheeling for (well, I can’t anyway, I’m sure some people can). Again, setting unrealistic expectations for myself.
What should we chase then?
I watched an inspiring TED video by Emily Esfahani, on why happiness isn’t the be-all and end-all. It gave me the answer I was in need of; we should aim to create meaning. According to Emily’s studies, living life meaningfully leads to more fulfilment than focusing solely on happiness.
Think about how you can bring meaning to your relationships, work and all that you do.
To create meaning, we have to add value to what we do and make it mean something to us. Here are ways we can do this:
Listen👂– actually listen to what people say to you and interpret it, you don’t always need to jump in with an opinion.
Take notice of your environment👀– be aware of the space you’re in, appreciate it.
Stand up for your beliefs💥– fill your beliefs with passion and unapologetically hold them.
Self- reflect🙏– no one persons’ experience of life will be the same, recognise yours and how you have got to where you are now, value your changes.
Believe in yourself🐝– remember, you are only bound by the limits you set yourself. Have faith in yourself and create what you want.
Surprisingly, chasing happiness is not all it’s cracked out to be. Following what makes you feel fulfilled, on the other hand, is.
Think of all the things that have made you sad in the past, and why?
A majority of the time, we feel dissatisfied because our expectations are not met, whether we are conscious of them or not.
For example, a friend may upset you, because their behaviour does not conform to how you would like it to, or a day out may not go to plan, not conforming to how you wanted the day to go.
In all honesty, I’m guilty of basing my life around unrealistic expectations. I often set out ideals for things, people, and situations and when they are not met, I feel dissatisfied and frustrated.
There are two ways of dealing with with our expectations.
1: Achieve them – if your goals/expectations ARE realistic, make the necessary changes to achieve them. I.e., wanting to be on time-get up earlier, organise the things you need in advance to avoid being late.
If not ⬇️
2: Change them – If what you want to happen is not tangible, or unrealistic, change what you expect. I.e. someone not behaving how you like- you can’t change people, so change your what you EXPECT of people. Maybe they aren’t who you think they are, and maybe that’s not a bad thing.
When we alter our ideals, we are more open to change and so avoid ‘heartache’. This helps eliminate negative thoughts, thus making us happier. 🤗
The constant inundation of visuals and statuses from friends and followers via social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook can be deceiving. They trick us into believing we are social creatures, more so than the the previous generation. However recently, I have found this is not true.
Social media changes us *duh* stating the obvious I know.
I think it makes us lazy. We seem to think because we see a friends’ story or most recent post we know how they are. We are less inclined to give them a call, send a message and have a chat, because, why would you need to? They’re doing just fine!
Call me old-school, but I really think this a step backwards socially.
I’m not saying call your followers. Just keep in touch with people you care about, don’t just watch their stories go by.
Sign out of one of your most used social media accounts (mine’s Instagram, as you can see ⬇️), for a day maybe?
Would you feel disconnected, out of the loop? If so, is that how it should be?
Try giving your friends/family a call that you don’t usually. Or if that’s too much, just a text. Let’s go back to being human- talk.