Reflection

There are often times when I wonder what I would tell a younger version of myself. I think about all the things that would help me have the upper hand, all the beauty tips that would make me prettier, all the food I shouldn’t be eating, all the courage I should fake towards bullies, all the times that I shouldn’t have shut my mouth and more importantly, all the times I should.  

As I think about this question more and more, one word sticks out, more and more.
This one word of advice gives you a powerful key in the world, it gives you the upper hand, educates you, makes you prettier, healthier, stronger, hands you top secret information and enters you into a secret underground world of truth into the minds of others.
What is this magical word?
LISTEN!
Yes, listen. It really is that simple. Think about it, yes especially the ‘mouth almighty’s’ out there, what good does non-stop talking do? What do you learn about others? What help do you give others? What other view can you gain if all that is being heard are YOUR opinions, YOUR beliefs, YOUR point of views or YOUR secret recipes? 
None.  
What friend can seek solace in opening up to you about their troubles and worries if you won’t let them finish a sentence!
What knowledge can you gain against your enemies if you constantly lay out a blueprint to your mind instead?
What can you learn if all you do is repeat what you have learned so far?
What respect can you gain if others feel that their say isn’t important around you?
Listen. Listen and learn.  
Stop interrupting. Stop picking up your phone when someone is talking to you. Stop listening only to wait for your turn to speak. Stop going on and on and on!
Now before I go any further, I would like to admit that I am quite the chatterbox, I always want to give my opinion or help someone with advice from knowledge I have gained. However, I have learnt to listen. I have learnt to activate a switch in my head and send a signal that says ‘shhhhh, just listen, forget what you are bursting to say and REALLY LISTEN.  
If you want people to actually listen to you then you have to give people respect and value what they have to say too.  
I learn a lot about people by listening. I learn who they are in between their words. I learn their strength in between their sorrows, I learn their weaknesses in between their excuses, I learn their compassion in between their fussing. I get to see some extraordinary qualities that I would miss if I did not shut my trap for once and pay attention (N.B. Paying attention is the most important part). I would also miss some ignorant qualities, some qualities that make me realise that that person is not who I held them to be. Most importantly I get to know someone, I get to walk in their shoes and learn their stories. Good or bad I’m grateful that they want to share them with me and I’m grateful that I paid attention and listened to them.
Thanks for listening pride!

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Finding happiness, leave no nook or cranny unturned.

We all want happiness right? We all want to feel that feeling of pure joy spreading through every fibre of our being.

How do we go about doing it? Some will travel, some will party, some will spend time with family or friends, and some will search every nook and cranny for a little taste of the good stuff.

It might be an interview for a job that you really want, so you turn up and do your very best to impress them.

You may be looking for Prince Charming so you scan every corner of every space you move through, making sure you don’t miss the chance to lock eyes with him. You make sure you appear fun and pretty at all times so he will see how worthy you are.

You may want a large circle of friends that adore you so you go out of your way for them and always agree with what they want to do or what they say, because you are ‘easy going like that’.

But has doing any of those things led to true happiness? I doubt it. What it normally leads to is denial. Denial about how little you value yourself, denial about how little you love yourself and denial about how unworthy you really believe you are. Denial then leads to excuses and before you know it you are in a vicious cycle keeping you securely locked into a false sense of happiness whilst you skate across a cracked frozen lake.

If you are going for a job interview, make sure you interview them too, you are going to be putting your time and effort into this company, you need to make sure it is the right place for you to spend so much time. Let them see who you really are, that should be enough alone for them to hire you. Being what you think someone else wants you to be implies you can read minds, you can’t so give it up!

Love isn’t a game of hide and seek, don’t waste your time searching for it. Instead enjoy time with yourself, enjoy being you, every part of you. If you find that hard then try new ways – speak to a counsellor, walk in the park, hug yourself and tell yourself in the mirror how amazing you are. Stop waiting for a man to save you, Prince Charming will find you when you become a Princess and Princesses don’t need anyone else to tell them that they are royal!

If your friends only adore you when you are people pleasing or acting as their servant then they aren’t your friends. True friends want the best for you and give as much as they receive – maybe in different ways but it is a balance nevertheless.  

All this work you put in to convince others you are worth something could be spent on discovering your own worth. Expecting someone else to save you is as beneficial as waiting for a ferry at a bus stop. Put time, money and effort into your self-growth and you will see the things you want so bad are actually manifesting around you naturally.  
Happiness comes from within you!  Find it inside of you and stop looking for someone to save you because you are the only person who can, how exciting!
Standing strong on our feet pride!

THE RUNNING MAN

So I was actually talking to a couple of guys off of an online dating site. One day I received a message from a guy saying:

‘Fancy running away with me and making a load of babies together?’

I of course rolled my eyes as I read this, normally I would ignore someone like this but I was in an upbeat mood so instead I replied:

‘Are you actually sending messages like that to people?

‘Well it got you to reply didn’t it!’ He replied

I actually found out that he had sent one of my friends a very similar first message online – this was clearly his pick up line, I felt ashamed with myself for even responding!!!!! Not even an original message – tut!

He did have a point though, it did get me to reply. I entertained his conversation just a little longer and was actually surprised. He was quite funny and had interesting conversation. In my head I laughed and said to myself ‘this guy is nothing but trouble’ but he seemed harmless enough and was at the very least, for the time being, entertaining.

*Now I am looking back at this I am very well aware that I should have run as fast as I could the other way, however, I have made my fair share of mistakes with men and there’s no point hiding my mistakes now is there, they were all very important lessons….some that I was a little…..ok VERY slow in learning!*

We talked online for a while longer and he asked for my phone number. So I gave it to him, I was very aware that this would go nowhere but for now it was fun conversation with someone who seemed like a laugh.

We started talking all day long, we were actually getting to know each other and apart from him being a little bit cheeky he seemed like a very nice guy so when he asked me out I said yes, I mean, why not, people can surprise you right? We arranged a day for just after New Year and then as we were talking more and more he told me he didn’t want to wait that long and, still keeping our original day, he also arranged a day sooner.

We went for a drink and ended up staying out for hours talking. He was good-looking and interesting. The night had been great. Maybe I had this guy a little bit wrong.

We continued to talk and see each other, he was very respectful and even when he invited me round to his house didn’t push any boundaries. I let myself start to trust him and for the first time in a very long time things were moving forward with a guy AND looking hopeful.

So it had been a couple of months and I was going to go round to his after work. Things were looking like they may be moving forward yet again and so I was nervously excited about going to his that evening.

We talked all day long as normal, he kept telling me to hurry up and finish work. He was excited for me to get there. I had one more client to see and then I would be on my way.

After work I went to return a message to him to say I was on my way, I noticed that I couldn’t see his ‘last seen’ on Whatsapp, I thought this was a bit odd but this was back when sometimes Whatsapp liked to do this so it wasn’t completely abnormal. I tried to call him but it was going straight to voicemail. Never mind, I will just go and get ready.

So I went home and was ready to leave and still hadn’t heard back, he still wasn’t showing on Whatsapp either. I messaged him and told him that I was going to my friend’s house who lived on the way to his and to message me when he got this. I wasn’t going to sit around waiting, besides, she was like family to me so at least I could pop in for a cup of tea.

My other friend was messaging me asking if I had heard from him when she suddenly said ‘Rach give me his number’ I thought it was weird but I gave it to her anyway. A couple of seconds later she messaged me saying ‘Rach, he’s blocked you, he’s online right now on Whatsapp’. My stomach rose to my throat….WHAT????????? I picked up my other phone and went on there to check – yep, he was online. I messaged him asking what was going on and he immediately blocked me on that number too. I sent him one text asking what the hell he was playing at knowing I wouldn’t get a reply. So I instantly erased him. I was seething but my friend was talking to me about some serious stuff so instead of making the evening about me I poured a glass of something quite a bit stronger than tea, threw it down the back of my throat and refilled. I pushed this idiot to the back of my mind and listened to my friend.

By the next day I had two dates lined up for the weekend (cue Mr WB…now that’s a good story) and had completely forgotten who the hell he was. That was the last of him in my life!!!!! Of course…..as you will soon know, it wasn’t. I do know how to pick ’em don’t I?

Happy Monday Pride!

HAVE YOU SWEPT YOUR DOORSTEP?

Something I hear alot from people is what and who they are. A constant reminder of their qualities and traits. I often find that what people spend their time telling others that they ‘aren’t’ or ‘are’ are usually the exact type of things that THEY aren’t or are.

I also notice the things they talk about disliking in others often contribute to a big part of their own make up.

Bearing this in mind I started to observe the things I was saying to other people. I would notice things I woud say often about myself, in particular the things I would say I didn’t like in others. I actually realised I wasn’t all the things I thought I was and I saw similarities of my dislikes in myself. I noticed that some of the things I was saying about who I was were actually traits of who I wanted to be, but I wasn’t actually being them.

I feel it is so important to express the value of observing people around you. In particular when someone tries to put you down. I find it so interesting that people will subtly attack someone else for traits that they in fact have in themselves. It’s almost hypocritical except I honestly think that they believe they are different.

Being aware of this provides us with a good opportunity to be able to look inside ourselves, to grow and to learn more about who we are and why we are that way. It is also an opportunity to observe our judgement of others. Do you really know who you are or do you try to convince the world you are the way you want to be?