The Exception

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Every day there is some new article directed at relationships regarding this generation. Chivalry is dead. Dating no longer exists. Love is lost. Getting played. Men have stopped trying, and the list goes on. While I think these posts are valid and speak the truth, I feel that they don’t project much hope for those who are looking for the real thing. Not only that, but they take away from those who are the exception.  Yes, unfortunately things have changed. Gone are the days of hand written letters, phone calls to hear their voice, and having to actually see the person face to face in order to know what they wearing that day. The vast amount of technology has made it easy to meet and connect with many people.

People now look for quantity over quality. Having a few on the side has become more thrilling than having the one. If you not playing the game then you not interesting enough, not exciting enough. If you don’t sleep together almost immediately then you considered virginal, boring, and more often than not replaced by someone who is already next on the list.

Every person is entitled to live their life the way they want to. If you are one of the above and it makes you happy then that’s good for you. It doesn’t make you a bad person, as long as you are playing with those who play the same game. If you are playing with those who are the exception, the ones who long for the real thing, the ones who believe in honesty, loyalty, and old fashioned dating, then that makes you someone who should question their morals.

And so I speak for those who are the exception, for those who wear their heart on their sleeve. The ones who don’t play games, who say how they feel, who know what they want. You beautiful people will be played, you will be hurt, you will be victim to the game, but you will come out on top. Why? Because you see the best in people. You don’t guard your heart and you don’t give up. No matter how many times you interact with the generations players, you still believe that those genuine few are out there, and all you are is one person closer to finding them. You learn what to look for, what to stay away from. You learn what it is that you don’t want and you become even clearer on what it is that you do want.

No matter how much negativity you read about the dating game, no matter how many times you hear the same story, know that the genuine ones do exist- you may just need to change the way you have been looking.

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Reflection

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Reflection;

looking back so that the view looking forward is even clearer

Have you ever stopped to look at your life right now? Did you expect that a year ago you would be in the position that you are today? A few days ago I was walking on the Promenade with a friend and we laughed at how shitty my last year and a bit had been. I had been bedridden for 3 months with viral encephalitis, watched my uncle battle pancreatic cancer, learnt the hard way as to who my real friends were, and went through a break up. Not only that, but I was in the final year of my Undergraduate degree, somehow had to ensure that I didn’t end up having to repeat the year, and had no idea what to do with my life in 2014.

Now here I am; the end of 2014 approaching, finishing off my Post-Graduate and entering the “real world” of work and adult responsibility. I took time to reflect on where I was to where I am now and it is amazing how many things you learn along the way and how your life changes in an instance. Not only does reflection make you appreciate your life, but it fills you with gratitude and motivation and allows you to learn from the mistakes and focus on building a better future. This is what I learnt;

Health & Body

I learnt that my body and health is so vital in everything that I do. Something that seems so obvious but is taken for granted. This led me to being more active in 2014 and incorporating a personal trainer into my weekly routine, something that has become a habit and brings a lot of laughter and happiness into my life each morning.

Friendship

It is okay to have a handful of true friends in which you spend your time with rather than exhausting your energy on those who don’t have your best interests at heart. As I have grown up I have encountered many types of friendships, but the ones that I am now interested in investing my time with are the ones who actually add value to my life. The ones who look out for me, who are not afraid to speak up if I am out of line, the ones who I know I can rely on, trust them with my life, and who I can be my complete self with.

Speak Up

Something I am still learning to do. It is so important to say what you feel when you feel it. Don’t be afraid to tell someone how you feel, don’t be afraid to speak your opinion, don’t sit back and hold it in. Regret is for the weak.

Your happiness depends on you

There is only one person in this world that can make you completely happy, not your other half, not your best friend, but you and only you. Take responsibility for your life and find out what makes you happy. Whatever doesn’t, remove it.

And so I leave you with this;

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself”

Think Pink

The month of October- for those who are unaware this means that it is Breast Cancer Awareness month. A cancer that has a 98% survival rate when detected early in the localized stage. So what does this mean? It means we need to take responsibility for our health and go for our check-ups. Self-examinations, mammograms, clinical breast exams are all ways in which Breast Cancer can be detected.

We only seem to realise the importance of our health when something happens too close to home. We then realise how lucky we are to have our health, to be alive in this world, but soon after we go back to our old ways often neglecting ourselves. What do we do in our everyday lives that can potentially be causing us more harm than good?

Here are some of the risk factors for Breast Cancer as stated by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc:

  • Lack of Physical Activity:  A sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  • Poor Diet:  A diet high in saturated fat and lacking fruits and vegetables can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  • Being Overweight or Obese:  Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for breast cancer. Your risk is increased if you have already gone through menopause.
  • Drinking Alcohol:  Frequent consumption of alcohol can increase your risk for breast cancer. The more alcohol you consume, the greater the risk.
  • Radiation to the Chest:  Having radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30 can increase your risk for breast cancer.
  • Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT):  Taking combined hormone replacement therapy, as prescribed for menopause, can increase your risk for breast cancer and increases the risk that the cancer will be detected at a more advanced stage.

I encourage you all to adopt healthy habits from today. Make it a lifestyle change. You are only benefitting yourself in the long run.

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Accept the unknown

cab7de7d09768a62390f1b8ed558e6ffFor all those soon to be graduates (or in my case post-graduates), the time is approaching. The real world is almost upon us. CVs are being handed out, people are starting to go through the interview process, the competition is becoming real.

It can be a very daunting time in our lives. Where do we want to work? Do we want to relocate? What is the best decision for our career?

For me, this process couldn’t be more exciting. As much as I have my goals and an idea as to what I want, I am a firm believer in what’s meant to be will be. I believe that the place I end up will be the place that is meant for me. I believe in being nothing but myself and with that I will end up with a company that suits my personality and values.

Many people get discouraged if something that they wanted doesn’t work out. My belief is that it didn’t work out because there is something even better just around the corner. Sometimes we think we know what is best for us, but maybe we don’t have a clue?

Trust the unknown. Accept the unknown. Believe in the process and enjoy the ride.

xxx

Life IS Short

Life is short. We think we grasp this but we really don’t.

Today I heard the devastating news of the death of a young man who was taken far too young. A tragedy that really puts life into perspective – you never know what your life has planned for you.

What shakes me from this loss is that we aren’t promised tomorrow. We have no understanding of what awaits us and so we live our lives in an egotistical way. We hold grudges, we leave words unsaid, we take for granted that the people we care about will always be here and so we don’t constantly show them how much we actually do love and appreciate them. This scares the crap out of me because I for one know that there are things that I have left unsaid; thinking that it always gets better with time. But who said that time is guaranteed?

Have you ever put off a dream holiday because maybe next year will be better? Have you gone to bed mad at someone thinking that just a little bit of time will calm the situation? Do you find yourself saying “I’ll start tomorrow”?

Well I think it’s time to start today. Forget about what you fear, the worry, the anxiety, the stresses. Snap out of your ego. Appreciate today.

“Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? kinder? More compassionate? Decide.”

Life-is-short

Passion

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n.

 A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger / Boundless Enthusiasm

Sunday evening. A time to reflect on the past week, a time to look forward to the next. This past week was filled with so many activities that the moment I stopped for a brief second I crashed. Who knew that making decisions, working on your CV and starting to prepare for the working world could be so exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time?
Friday morning I found myself standing in the car park with classmates chatting about our next step, where should we be looking, where should we be living, do we think it’s a good decision, do we think it’s a risky decision? To end the conversation with big smiles across our faces as we concluded that we are ready, that we are going forward with our decisions and we will figure out all the other steps along the way.  The common factor here? We were and are all filled with PASSION for what we do. We are Marketing and Advertising students and we are loving each and every single day that we get to be a part of the industry.
What is my point to this post? I know that if this past week was as busy as it was, but for something that I had no interest in, then it would have felt draining, it would have felt like a burden, something that I had to do, but didn’t want to do. But because I am passionate about what I do I was able to get through it all with a smile on my face. How many of you are studying or in a career in which you are passionate about? Doesn’t it make a difference to your day? I personally find that those who are doing what they love are always more attractive, more determined about all aspects of their life.
It’s as simple as this quote;
“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose”
Passion gets your heart racing. Passion is energy. If you focus on what excites you then you will feel that powerful feeling. When you bring passion and enthusiasm together then that is when you will find success. Your life becomes joyful. It becomes meaningful when you are doing what you love so make sure that whatever it is you do it is filled with an abundance of passion.
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For The First Time

When was the last time you did something for the first time? For me, it was this past weekend.

Sometimes we are too comfortable in our everyday lives or just too scared to take a chance that we don’t step out of our comfort zone. We may have things that we want to do, we may say that one day we will do them, but do we ever do it? The majority of us are scared of the unknown so we stay within the lines. We are scared of what the outcome may be. We like to know what will happen. But do we ever know unless we try?

This year I stepped out of my comfort zone. I did things that I had never done before. From the simplest of things such as going for a run on the promenade (something I hadn’t but wanted to do) to the more nerve wrecking things like going on a date with someone I didn’t know. No matter how big or small it may be, doing something for the first time is always rewarding. No matter if it was positive or negative, either way you experienced a new experience in your life.

“Open your eyes , And know you’re free to come alive, You gotta live it while you can, We only get one life. Look to the sky, Don’t ever let it pass you by, You gotta live it while you can, We only get one life. It’s time to stand up and fight. It’s time for making it right. We only get one life. One life, one life”

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All we have is Now

You never know the value of a moment, of a person, until it becomes a memory, until it’s gone. Why did you miss it? Most of us are never fully present in the Now. We are too concerned about the next moment, we daydream about the past and we long for the future. We hope that this will provide us with comfort- which it does for a little while- but it steals from this precious moment of the Now.

All forms of fear, whether it be tension, worry, anxiety, are caused by too much thinking of the future and not enough presence. All forms of non-forgiveness such as guilt, regret, resentment, sadness,  are caused by too much thoughts of the past and not enough presence. You are only at peace when you are living in the present moment. We need to stop analysing the past (it’s gone, it’s behind you), stop planning the future (it hasn’t arrived yet), stop figuring out precisely how we feel (our minds and hearts contradict daily), stop deciding exactly what it is that we want (sometimes what we want is not what is planned for us), and just see what happens. Trust and let go. Live in the moment. You might find that you end up giving yourself more than you ever thought you wanted. You may find that those things that you “fear” were nothing more than thoughts made up in your mind.  You may find that by living in the Now, learning to trust what you feel and go with it, may be exactly what is it that you needed to do.

You don’t get the same moment twice in life. Years from now you will look back at your life and be disappointed by the things that you didn’t do rather than by those that you did do. Why would you want to live your life this way? Why cause unnecessary stress in your life? You can’t determine what will happen tomorrow. You can’t undo what happened yesterday. So why hold on to these things?

 Enjoy life. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is never promised. Today is the day to love, believe, do and most importantly LIVE.

Our entire life is made up of Nows. Don’t miss yours.

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Thank You..

So a lesson for a life full of happiness, according to Robin Sharma (The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari), is to write thank you notes to anyone who you are thankful to in your life. This is not all of whom I am thankful to, but it is my top list so here you go;

Thank you to my leading ladies (the old and the new)- You have proved the definition of friendship day in and day out. You have gotten out of bed when I needed you, you have handed me that drink, you have been by my side through it all. You understand my weirdness and accept my random outbursts of song and dance. You make me laugh constantly, you are my family, the sisters I never had, you are my best friends.

Thank you to those who hurt me- you showed me that no matter how much it may hurt, no matter how bad a situation may be it always works out for the better. You taught me to never give up, you developed a strength in me that I never knew possible, you made me a better not bitter person, you taught me how to forgive and forget and you directed me from the wrong to the right.

Thank you to those who have doubted me- you only have ever increased my motivation to succeed

Thank you to my Stewart-Moore-Stephansen family- we have been through many difficult times, we have lost too many too soon, but despite it all we always stand together and come out stronger. Our weird and wonderful family functions are always filled with love and laughter and a sense of humour that only we will understand. You show me the meaning of family and unity and inspire me with all your successes.

Thank you to my brothers. Shauny and Just, you are both unbelievably successful in what you do. You have worked your asses off from day one and have never let any bump along the way defeat you. Through my life you have taunted and teased me, but as you say it was to make me the strong woman who I am today so thanks. You always have my back, even on the dance floor (the only time you have failed me is when I needed someone to play Barbie’s with) but other than that you are pretty awesome big bros!

Thank you to my Red and Yellow classmates- 7 months down the line and I feel like we have known each other for years. Always so social and willing to go the extra mile, you are all a ball of positive energy. You make the work feel like play.

And lastly..

Thank you to all of you who read my posts- what started out as a blog for the Ogilvy Grad Programme turned into something so much bigger.  It has become a weekly habit, a habit that I enjoy, and a habit that I hope is able to inspire and uplift all of you special beings.

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what Cancer taught me

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Those of you who have battled cancer, have lost someone to cancer, or are currently in the cancer battle will agree that this terminal illness gives you a different perspective on life. Here is what it taught me:

  1. Life is short and unexpected
  2. Your health is so important- appreciate it and stop taking it for granted
  3. Important words should never be left unsaid
  4. If you love someone then you better tell them while they are still here
  5. Leave your fears at the door- take those risks
  6. Start living out your bucket list
  7. Stop waiting on things to happen- make it happen
  8. Don’t hold back- pursue whatever or whoever it is that you want
  9. Have empathy and grace for all people- we are all fighting our own battles
  10. How to be an advocate for my family
  11. Don’t sweat the small stuff- it is not worth the stress
  12. Treat your body with love and respect- it is your very own temple
  13. Forgiveness is essential to move forward
  14. Laugh often
  15. Make time, not money
  16. Feel your feelings and let them out
  17. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness
  18. “Fuck Cancer” can’t be expressed enough (http://www.letsfcancer.com/)

      Sometimes it takes a bad thing to make a good thing happen- don’t wait for this revelation.

Start living your life as if today was your last day (cliché but oh so true!)