14 Things I Learned in 2014

Hey, I can’t believe I haven’t uploaded a blog post since September! The reason behind my blog name is to live life with no excuses, so that is exactly what I have been doing! Here is a list of the things I learned in 2014:

1. There is no such thing as normal

What is normal?

‘conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.

Who sets these standards? I’ve been called weird more times than I can count on my fingers. I didn’t quite understand why I was put into this category. I would thoroughly think about my actions to determine what was so abnormal about them.

I’m still yet to come to a conclusion, I do not care for being ‘normal’. I only know how to be Rochelle and I will continue to do so. So the next time someone says ‘You’re so weird ‘or ‘Why are you so weird?’ I will take it as a compliment. Who wants to be normal anyway? 😛

2. I am in control of my emotions

The moment I left ‘self-doubt’ and any fears I had at the back of my mind, I was finally able to live life and experience new walks of life. One day I was so fed up of everything and made a conscious decision to make a change. It didn’t happen overnight, however it did happen so fast that I didn’t have time to think through what was going on.

I started to enjoy life at present and not over think everything or allow any negative thoughts to corrupt my mind. I started feeling happier, braver and most importantly I started to believe in myself more. 

3. My ‘problems’ are minuscule in comparison

Whilst I’m over here stressing over a little breakout or what to wear on a night out, there is someone out there going through something 100 times worse. I have seen true strength over the last few years, some of my loved ones have been through the worst and you would never even know it. Although you can’t run away from your problems, some problems aren’t really problems and it all depends how you perceive them.

4. Partying isn’t the only means of fun

I’m used to seeing people upload pictures of nights out and I sometimes think ‘Aww I’m missing out’. At one stage I thought I was in the boring category when I had no interest in going out, but you know what I’m not a boring person. I have my own idea of ‘fun’ and that’s where the party is at for me. Every once in a while I will throw on a dress, some heels and shake a leg or two, but there is only so much shaking one can do and it becomes repetitive. Quite frankly I would prefer to be snuggled in bed with a cup of green tea and a good read (haha I sound like a right adventurous one right?)

5. I am adventurous

One evening whilst I was on holiday I thought it would be cool to attempt to fly. I’ve seen superheroes do it on TV, so it was only right I put it to the test. OK- I’ll tell you the actual story. I sprained my ankle whilst of holiday last September. Just my luck right? I cannot recall how exactly it happened or how I managed to miss one step (Yes, it was one single step and it wasn’t even that steep). I can assure you that it didn’t stop me from enjoying my girly holiday. I picked myself up and continued with my evening, then I spent the most part of the following day in a Spanish hospital. Unfortunately I was unable to participate in any water activities for the remainder of my holiday. Next time I will stay clear of all stairs, I promise!

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6. Sleep is my sweet remedy

I love waking up feeling refreshed and raring to go. I’m one of those people that aims to go to bed early and it usually work out (Well 9 times out of 10 it does). I must admit the cold weather makes it almost impossible to drag myself out my bed, however once I’m up, I’m up! Gone are the days when I force myself to stay up and find some sort of entertainment. My duvet, pillow and iPod are my means of late night entertainment. By 10pm I have already planned the last few tasks before I hit the sheets.

7. There is no ‘happy’ in settling

If you have experienced waking up and having to mentally prepare yourself for a day filled with activities you dread- you will understand where I am coming from! I have spent days counting down the hours till I am finally free. The moment I’m free, I’m happy and in my element. There was a period of time where I woke up feeling excited and I looked forward to the day ahead. I loved what I was doing at this time and it was a highlight of my year. I will return here again. Always be grateful for what you have right in front of you, we have to do what we have to do to make ends meet, but do we really need to compromise our happiness for XYZ?      

8. I like my own company

I always have… I don’t get bored of my own company. I’m the kind of person that will go out and socialize from time to time, but after a while I need ME time. Not because I am depressed or in an emotional state, this is how I operate. ‘Don’t take it personally’

9. If everybody is going left and I want to go right, go right!

Just for the sake of it! It may be the wrong choice, but at the end of the day it was my choice. I don’t need to be where everyone else is.

10. Wasted time is worse than wasted money

This one speaks for itself. I can forget about the money I’ve put towards overindulging in my favourite snacks; however my time is so precious. Money can be made to replace what is lost; I can’t get back the time I’ve wasted on people or things. I often think about all the time I have invested in other people and irrelevant activities and if I could turn back the hands of time I would have thought twice about doing so. Note to self: set aside time to invest in yourself frequently. You live and you learn!

11. There is a first time for everything

It’s been a while since I could talk about any new experiences. I would avoid answering questions like ‘When was the last time you tried something new?’ because knowing me I would answer with ‘Yesterday I tried Texas BBQ flavoured pringles’ – The sad truth is that was as exciting as my life was.

As some of you know I had never been on a plane, I hadn’t even spent more than 5 days away from home. 25 years on the planet and the only place I really knew of was ‘Home’ (London). Towards the end of 2013 my friends and I discussed going on a girly holiday. At that point in the time I wasn’t sure how I would get there, but I did! I spent 7 days in Ibiza with 8 other girls which was a little out of my comfort zone (I’m not a party girl!). The holiday opened my eyes to the unforeseen and I cherished every minute of it. Now to plan where I’m off to next!

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12. I am a blogger!

Yes blogging is my thing! I have my own domain name and the freedom to write about whatever I like until my hearts content! 

In April 2014 I decided to write a blog, I had no idea what to name my blog or what I was going to write about. I’m not one to express myself in so many words to any and everyone; however blogging was a whole new world to me and there was no looking back once I started. Before I knew it I was hooked on my blog and my blog has kept me going. In the past I’ve struggled to write 500 words about myself and here I am publishing my 80th post. Whoop!

13. Turning 25 wasn’t the end of the world

To be honest I do not feel 25- I’m still young at heart and there’s no reason for me to act my age. I’m over my ‘OMG I’m not married or in my dream job role yet’ rant. My life doesn’t have to be in order at this point in time. This year was spent investing valuable time into figuring out where my interests lie and it has worked in my favour. I will make mistakes like everyone else and pick myself up and keep going.Things will fall into place when the time is right.

14. I am whatever I believe I am

If I think I’m incapable of being the best I can be, I will portray this to the world and the world will respond to this. I have been working hard to ensure I feed my body with healthy foods and control the amount of junk food I consume mentally. I was afraid to be happy due to past experiences; I was stuck in a loop where I imagined everything being taken away from me in a blink of an eye. I believe there is so much more out there for me and I am going to go and get mine! If everyone else can do it, why can’t I?

2 0 1 5 I’m ready for you!

Here’s to Living with no excuses

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You Are Whatever You Believe You Are

Lately I’ve been so wrapped in my thoughts and this time around its helped me a great deal. It’s been an odd year to say the least. I had high hopes of a lot of things and ended up with so many disappointments. I was looking forward to new ventures and ended up in horrible situations I’d rather forget.

The first part of the year is a blur; the less I think about it… The better! Many of the people I met were nothing more than a mere lesson. I attended a pity party for one and thought to myself ‘Why me?’ ‘What did I do to deserve this?’, I had to leave the party early- it wasn’t my scene!

I spent far too much time dwelling on things in the past instead of working on improving my year. I am a bit of a worrier at the worst of times, I had to turn things around and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am in fact a warrior! I’ve put on a brave face and soldiered on and I will continue to do so!

Surround yourself with those who uplift you

I posted a poem I wrote called ‘Don’t take it personally’ and although I strongly believe time away from loved ones is needed, it is also crucial to vent every once in a while. Not everyone will be able to offer you the advice you need, however it will help you feel better and vice versa. Keeping things bottled up all the time will not harm anyone but yourself. Not everyone will have your best interest at heart, it is up to you who you decide who’s shoulder to cry on and in due time you will discover who is really down for you.

you can’t help others until you help yourself

I hate seeing my friends down in the dumps and I try the hardest to lift their spirits, but I found it so difficult to do so when I wasn’t feeling 100%. I kinda thought I would be of no help since I was struggling to help myself… I was totally wrong here, it’s possible!

My friend was in a similar situation to me, we were pretty much in the same boat to be honest. Every time we spoke he would offer me encouragement and advice. The last time we spoke I discovered he had found an escape, he knew what he wanted and he got it, one of the last things he said to me that day was ‘Sometimes you just have to go out and get it Rochelle’.

I woke up the next day feeling much more motivated. I could see my friend had removed himself from somewhere he wasn’t happy and made some progress. I was happy for him. By now I knew it was my turn, I had nothing to lose after all.

One minute I was counting my misfortunes and the next I was counting my blessings

I recall feeling so angry about EVERYTHING. I walked around feeling like the world was on my shoulders. I overlooked all the good things in my life and when I read about so & so doing XYZ I felt like crap. My automatic response to ‘how are you?’ was never a simple ‘I’m fine’ it was always ‘I’m fine, but..’ but what? I had to remind myself that I am alive, healthy, I have a wonderful family, a great set of friends, a job and so much more. I stopped complaining so much and refrained from driving myself crazy with my thoughts. In no time I noticed a big difference… I started to feel a lot better about all aspects of my life, then I started to see results.

Not everyone will understand your journey, but its okay its not theirs to understand

YESSS, please read the above again. Lately people don’t seem to understand why I am so content. ‘Don’t you have any complaints?’ ‘You’re telling me everything is A-OK?’ Yup that’s exactly what I’m telling you. I keep getting questioned about what is happening in my life lately and why I don’t want to divulge. As long as I’m doing okay that is all that matters- right? I’ve never felt the need to explain the in’s and out’s of what is going on in my life to any and everyone.

Don’t be afraid to be happy

Another blogger said this to me a few months ago.  Its taken me a long time to process the last month or so. It feels so unreal and unlike the beginning of the year, this is a good thing! I’ve proved to myself that when I put my mind to it, I can achieve it! There’s no reason why I can’t live happily like everyone else!

Its all down to my thoughts at the end of the day. If I keep feeding my body with junk food how can I expect to be healthy, its the same with my thoughts.. How can I expect a positive outcome with negativity running through my veins? It doesn’t work like that!

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The Tilted Home

I’ve never been able to get my head around people that decide to bring a child into the world, then disappear off the face of the earth. There are people in the world pining for their loved ones who are no longer with us, there are those who are unable to have kids and are longing to be able to hold a child of their own. Then there are ones that give up before they have even begun.

So what if you and the other parent do not get along? This shouldn’t have any impact on your relationship with your child. If the door has been open from the start then there really is no excuse.

If you have the opportunity to get to know your child, then please do! If you do not have the funds then please understand your child will appreciate your visits. Quality time cannot be match up to any amount of money. You may feel you have nothing to offer your child, but a half an hour visit every week might mean the world to them.

If you know you didn’t have the best upbringing, then why not put your energy into ensuring your child does not experience the same. Treat your childhood as an early lesson in parenthood.
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Everyone deserves a chance! Your child is a result of your actions, face up to your responsibilities and don’t have any regrets. She/he didn’t ask to be here, you made it happen!

Being a parent to a child isn’t an on/off relationship. One day everything is peachy and the next you decide you want out, it doesn’t work like that and sadly there are far too many stories similar to this. Your child may have a new step mother or father, but you will always be the one that helped bring them into the world. Take it a little further and be the one that guided them through life. Attend their graduation ceremony and be able to say ‘I’m proud of you’ and know the push in the right direction was down to you.

So when I hear people say don’t be bitter, how can do you explain feeling incomplete? or feeling like you have to compete for the heart of the one you’re dying to greet? Imagine seeing your parent with his/her new family or knowing that they are playing happy families with someone else’s child.

Imagine waiting by the phone for a phone call and not knowing if your parent is still alive. Imagine vaguely remembering what their laugh sounds like and attempting to generate memories of stories that never did unfold. Imagine looking through photo’s and only seeing his/her’s silhouette or finding a photo of the younger you next to a person you feel you’ve barely met.

Why don’t you try to make amends? Well my friend that all depends… If you insist on me reminding them that I still exist. It isn’t a one way street and why should I have to have my actions on repeat? I’ve been the bigger person I’ve been brought up well, but to constantly think people will change I’d have better luck wishing into a wishing well.

I really wish I could take away the pain from those who grew up in these types of households. The classic ‘broken home’; the home isn’t broken, it’s tilted! It still functions correctly I can assure you. You learn to adapt and keep your pride intact.

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~This post is based on my own opinions and I do not intend to offend anyone.

9 Lessons I’ve Learned From My Mum

1. Take everyone with a pinch of salt
Not everyone will be to your liking. People have said that I see the best in people and this isn’t necessarily the case. I’m far from naive; I’ve been taught that giving people the power to annoy me will not benefit me in the long run. There are situations that could have turned out the complete opposite, but I refused to let people get the better of me. Of course there are times when this is hard to do, I am only human! Accept differences whenever possible and keep it moving!
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2. Every spoil is a style
There have been a few times I’ve questioned my mum’s outfits, although she wears her clothes well! My mum responds with her famous line “I paid for it, it’s clean and I didn’t rob anyone. So I will wear whatever I want”. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in!

3. Dance like nobody is watching
No matter what the occasion is my mum will dance the day or night away. She is the party! Wherever there is music she will dance, even if there isn’t music I can guarantee she will make her own. I’ve been in the middle of a conversation with her and I’ve turned around to find her dancing on the other side of the room. Dance your troubles away!
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4. Don’t put dampers on it
If I’m frowning and my mum enters the room, I know I have to turn that frown upside down ASAP! She will question me and once I begin to reply, she will cut me off and say “I don’t want any negativity in here” then a little rant will follow this. You may be wondering why she didn’t give me a chance to reply, this is her method of helping me get back on track and it works! I grew up on tough love and it didn’t do me any harm! Try to remain positive!

5. Do not rely on anyone
No expectations = No disappointments. If someone pulls through, then great! If they don’t, no biggie! We all need a helping hand from time to time, however if you can do it yourself then…

6. Do it yourself
I can’t even count the amount of times I have witnessed my mum do things I wouldn’t even imagine doing. Whilst my friends were playing outside; I was inside helping my mum plaster a ceiling or assisting her as she built a wardrobe from scratch! I remember a neighbour saying that my mum and another lady on my street were manlier than all the men on the street put together (There was a compliment in there somewhere I promise lol). If my mum can do it, so can I! I am not implying that I will be making a wardrobe from scratch though.
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7. Friends come and go
Over the years I have realised the amount of friends I have is insignificant. I can count all my friends on one hand and that’s okay because they are the ones that have been there for the long haul. My mum would tell me about what to expect in terms of friendship groups and I didn’t imagine it coming true. I guess my mum knows best!

8. Passion is your oyster
I’ve never come across anyone as passionate as my mum. I almost feel as though I’m looking into her heart as she talks. She was lucky enough to find her passion at a young age and it is has stuck with her to this day.
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9. One kindness deserves another
I consider this to be my mum’s all time favourite quote. She has mentioned this quote over and over recently. I can hear her in my head right now saying this quote to my brother. If someone is kind to you, be kind back!

 

I Can’t Get Rid Of Them!

Daily Prompt

I still own every single birthday card I’ve received since the age of 1. I read through a bunch I received as a child when I was having a big clear out last year (I clearly didn’t let go of the cards though). I feel like birthday cards hold so many memories…or maybe it’s the hoarder in me typing right now!

I can remember a handful of birthdays and everything from what I did to who I spent my birthday with. Who knows I may never throw them away! I found a bag full of my birthday cards from my 21st birthday, it was a great birthday and I wish I was 21 again!

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/antique-antics/

 

What’s In The Box? (It’s My Birthday!)

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Each year my loved ones ask what I would like for my birthday. I usually browse the internet searching for possible gifts and then I narrow down the list.

Two years ago I jokily asked for a money tree (as you do) and to my surprise my friend turned up at my doorstep with a money plant. Luckily he didn’t take it literally and think I was after money! It was as if he could see beneath the surface; he completely understood that there was some truth in my joke. I was amazed by the fact that he had given my gift so much thought and his gift still means so much to me!

“I promised to take care of Monty The Money Maker and rub his leaves regularly”.

Recently I was asked what I wanted for my birthday and my reply was “I would like a box” A box? Yes, a box of happiness! The responses I received were along the lines of “Wouldn’t you prefer something more realistic like shoes or clothes Rochelle?” You mean materialistic? To me what I’m asking for is as realistic as it gets.

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I would be lying if I said material things didn’t make me happy. I would love a new wardrobe so I could reenact London Fashion Week on my daily strolls! However, if I mistake a new wardrobe for anything more than short term happiness it will only lead me back to square one.

I’m not knocking material gifts; I am so grateful for all the gifts I receive, I’m merely looking at things from a different perspective! Gifts are a way of showing affection, they can come in many forms and they serve the purpose of making the receiver happy. But what about the non-materialistic things we often take for granted that contribute to our long term happiness?

I know you can’t put happiness in a box and hand it to someone, but if my loved ones were to hand me an empty box it would speak volumes! The last year has been a roller-coaster and they have been by my side every step of the way. Little do they know that they have all contributed to my happiness! I am truly blessed beyond measure! All I ask is that they continue to fill my life with joy…

So what else is in this box of happiness besides my family and friends? Everything I’m grateful for..

  • The knowledge I’ve gained
  • The lessons I’ve learned

And last but not least, the little things!

I’m so thankful for the present, I will remind myself that it is gift and undoubtedly the greatest gift I will ever receive!

Happy Birthday to me! One year older, one year wiser!ballonies