2017 – Seven ways to a happier self in 2017

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                                                                             – CK illustration

Scrolling through Facebook – like I do every morning – I stumbled across an article which really hit the nail on the head. It put things into perspective… something I’m shit at. It was basically a kick up the arse to say slow down and take a breather – you’re only 22. I’m guilty for going a hundred miles an hour and never making time to stop and take it all in. I can never sit still and hope things fall into place. I guess what I’m trying to say is I never trust fate. To me, fate is only something you can make. But, I suppose that’s not always right. I’m so scared about the future and then I realise what’s the point – life isn’t meant to be meticulously planned out from start to finish. I suppose there wouldn’t be any fun be without spontaneity. So, before I go off on a massive tangent and bore you all to death, here’s a few of the things/mini goals I hope to achieve by the end of 2017.

  1. Blog more

Blogging is one of life’s little outlets. It’s where I feel I can write about absolutely anything. The triumphs, the shit situations and everything in between. But, I feel I’ve neglected it lately. They say a problem shared is always a problem halved – so I guess it has health benefits too.  I’m determined to talk about things a lot more and give my input on the little (or big) things that crop up in life. I’m not talking political bullshit, we hear enough of that as it is. So, be prepared to see a lot more of me.

2. ‘Try’ to be a bit more organised

In with the new and out with the old, I decided to welcome in 2017 with a well-needed clear out. If you know me well, you know how much I love to hoard. So, as I’m starting a new job on Monday, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to bin all the baggage and get everything organised. For the first time in my life, my shoes and wardrobe are freakishly organised. But it’s still early days so we’ll see how long that lasts for. It’s weird how much better it makes you feel.

3. Don’t be a cookie cutter

While reading through a recent Vogue edition, Alex Shulman used a phrase which has stuck with me ever since. Funnily enough, it has nothing to do with food. She talked about how important it is to be inspired rather than to be a copy. No-one wants to get lost in the crowd and nobody wants to follow other people’s dreams – I certainly don’t. I feel as though it is very easy for our generation to be pressured into becoming cookie cutters. There is this constant pressure to follow the old-fashioned way and be in a relationship, have a steady career and be a homeowner by a certain age. That’s definitely not me. I’m completely content with being single – I’m still figuring out what I want myself, I can’t be doing it for someone else aswell at the minute. I’m far from ready to settle down. The sheer thought of settling down scares me because I feel like I have so much to do and get out of my system first. As for a career, I don’t think I’ll ever know until the dream hits me in the face.

4. Stop putting so much pressure on myself

I’m my own worst enemy. I criticise everything I do and always try to do better. It’s a very annoying trait to have. During the mega clear-out, I came across an old school report – it was so weird. My tutor wrote “Be happy, keep working hard (but don’t be too hard on yourself)”. Some things never change. I’m determined to let things pan out for themselves instead of forcing them. Jobs, friendships and paths.

5. Stop panicking and enjoy my 20s

I’ve learnt the worst thing to do is let time slip through your fingers. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Spending three years away for Uni proved that. Before you say it, no I’m not talking about Carpe Diem – that phrase literally makes my skin crawl. I’m just going to enjoy the fuck ups and appreciate the surprises. My hair might be turning grey ( I know, shit ain’t it) but I’m not ready to take on the role of a fully fledged, responsible adult just yet. There’s plenty of time for that later.

6. Travel more

Whether it be  hundreds of miles across the globe to Asia, weekend trips to Europe, or even a quick trip up to Manchester – I want to travel much more. I have no ties and I know I need to use it to my advantage. After learning so much about myself in America, I want to learn even more. I can do it, I just need to confidence to tell myself I can do it.

7. Be happy by learning not to give a fuck

Simple as that. Do what makes me happy. Stop trying to make other people happy.

I hope 2017 is a fabulous year for everyone.

The Mad Grad

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Better luck next time – ‘Computer says no.’

 

Rejection – I’m sure you’ve experienced it sometime or other. It ain’t pretty. We’ve all had heartbreaks, feuds with bouncers and had our train tickets spat back at us. However, I’ve never felt rejection like the  ‘you’ve been unsuccessful’ email. That’s always a killer.

I guess I’m not afraid to admit it – I hate failure. I always strive to succeed in everything I do to achieve the greatest results. You could say I’ve always felt like I’ve needed to prove myself. Perhaps, for my own peace of mind. Saying that, aside from the bit-too-determined and driven front,  deep down I’m a bit of a mouse.

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On Tuesday, I attended a group interview in Manchester with a company which sounded like Google on paper. The website bragged of an office decorated with a gym, steam rooms and a state of the art bar. The benefits boasted starry-eyed bonuses, numerous social events and free booze on a Friday afternoon. It almost sounded too good to be true. Curious to see if there was any truth in it, I set out to complete the quirky job application. Successful, I started to imagine what it would be like to start a life in Manchester – yeah, I got pretty carried away.

The office looked exactly how it sounded on the website. There was a bar. There was a giant chess-board in reception. And yes, people did actually walk around with no shoes on. It was crackers. It seemed like the place to work. Not every CEO organises a make-shift beach or ice rink to be built in the car park.

I spent the whole morning downing bottles of water to hide the hunger pains – the interview really was that long. Psychometric tests and pointless Q&A sessions – the type where pretentious candidates splurge all the facts and figures they’d read on the website. Basically, a computer was testing me to see if I was fit for a creative job – logical. It didn’t take long for me to realise that practically everyone in the room was going for the same job as me. Picture this, we’re talking about 30 people here. Proper bottleneck. Or, as Darwin would say, it was the survival of the fittest. Safe to say, I knew I had been defeated by the maths questions, but stood my ground as well as I could and left with my head held high.

It didn’t take long to be brought back to reality anyway. The walk into work the next day was enough to do that. So, you can imagine how I felt when I received that email on my break. The day just went from bad to worse. Initially gutted, I’ve realised it could be a blessing in disguise. I think it’s so easy to lose sight of what you actually want just because something sounds like an easy option or incredible on paper. I’m guilty of it. I was proper disheartened. I’d failed at something and now I’m admitting it.

So, I guess that’s telling me something. I’ve changed and I’m a lot stronger than I think. I only have to look back a few months to the passing of my absolute hero to see that. I’ve discovered that sometimes things do fuck up and don’t go the way you want them too, but that’s all part of the plan – I’m convinced.

For the first time in my life, I’m going to forget everything I’ve done previously and follow my gut instinct. Screw the salary, the over-sold job specs and over-exaggerated benefits – I’m going to focus on achieving exactly what I want. Not something easy that I can settle for, or even a job which I think is going to make my parents happy.

I want to be a newspaper or magazine editor, so that’s exactly what I’m going to be. Jennifer Rink made it to ‘Poise’ in 13 going on 30 and Isla Fisher made it to ‘Alette’ magazine in Confessions of a Shopoholic. Call me mad, but I think one day I could see my name in the byline of a high-end magazine, who knows.

At the minute it’s just a dream, but with a shed load of perseverance and determination I reckon I could achieve it – or maybe get somewhere close.

For now, this is my everyday inspiration and I’m excited to watch it grow.

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The Mad Grad. 

 

 

 

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