happiness

Beyond the gentle waves is where the real turbulence lies.

​I knew I needed time off work, but I didn’t realise just how much being there was causing these negative feelings I was experiencing every single day. I thought it was my just my general mood, because I was struggling to find my feet as a journalism graduate. I thought it was because of the mudane pressures that come with being an adult.

Still, a few days away was enough to put things into perspective for me. I went away to places I had never been before and I explored.It gave me a moment of pure calm as I looked up to the moody sky and realised for once I didn’t feel the same. I took a deep breathe and then watched the waves of Loch Lomond roll out and into the roots of outgrown trees.  As myself and my boyfriend crossed a wooden bridge we peered over like excited children, chatting about all the different kinds of pebbles. We discussed and challenged the easiest route to get around a slightly alarming puddle. We saw some ducks. I was content.

Walking is my therapy, so these trips became more than just your every day stroll. I ended up with the kind of soul-searching, outwith my usual boundries kind of walk which usually occurs when life is in the process of adapting around you.

Walking brought up feelings, and it was refreshing to break through the numb quiet I have become used to, a gentle reminder that despite my moment of calm, I am still struggling.

Most people in my life know this, that mentally, physically and financially I am drained. 

Though it may be unbelievable, I am still happy, I have very good friends, and I like coming home to my supportive and intelligent partner. (And of course my cats). But when i go to work, I become sad. It’s like a shift in personality. I stiffen, I expect negativity, to be talked down to, to be cursed at, shouted at irrationally. But I can handle that. It comes with the job and you find positivty and kindness goes a long way in dealings with these situations. But I become unbearably sad and it isn’t right. Work doesn’t give me any feeling of pride, I no longer feel a sense of achievement. I feel stuck, badly paid and unappreciated. I am not happy about the way things are run, or with some of the people “running it” I am unhappy not just because of me, but having to watch everyone else I have grown attached too struggle and feel just the same in varying ways. 

It is a workplace that is in no way shape or form forward thinking about the welfare of its employees, nor their livelihoods. Everything is a bother, or a problem. You request a day off weeks in advance and you are verbally called a pest. You work your socks off, you produce sales, instead of gratitude, you gain nothing. It is a still silence.

It is an expected silence.

And so you watch a manager get a hefty bonus for sitting in an office huffing about its awful staff and how everything is left for them to do, because we are incapable. While the staff and other management are hard at work serving, dealing with the everyday issues and nonchalantly working away, indifferent to the opinion of one on their individual abilities.

I spend most my time there, but this work is not my life, just my livelehood. And that is something I am made to feel ashamed of and restricted to. I did not spend 5 years studying journalism to be forced into a weirdly controlled working environment that tells you how to feel, or do, without reflection, a moment of creativity, a challenge or offer any prospects. It is not a happy workplace and I will never lie about that. 

So my time off has been very much a rude awakening. 

I already knew I was stuck and there is nothing I can do about that until I can find a new job.  While I never expected to be in this position, at least time off has confirmed what the problem is, that I need mental stimulus and respect. I need more than this and that is completely okay. It is a simple conclusion but a sign of a changing attitude, because if there is one thing I do best, it is that I believe I adapt well, even if I don’t realise at the time.

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The importance of finding yourself

You’re sitting at home alone in your comfiest pair of jammies, armed with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and a soppy rom-com you’ve watched a million times. It’s not because you are getting over a break-up, it’s not because you are feeling self-conscious or that you’ve had a bad day. It’s because you are enjoying your own company. It’s taken a lot of time for you to find this place, this state of mind where you don’t feel as though you have to be surrounded by people to have fun. Even back then, you weren’t really having that much fun anyway, you still felt lonely.

You remember that it wasn’t always like this, you grew up exploring woods and paths. You never felt the need to have company, because you were having fun doing things by yourself. But then as you grew older certain incidents happened and it changed you. You relied on others to make you happy. You craved affection, and acceptance more so than you should of, because you wanted to be loved – but not in the natural sense, more of a reminder that you were. You dived into a relationship with your best friend and fell in love, but as time went on you lost yourself and turned into someone else entirely. You were only ok when you were with him, he was the only thing keeping you together. As soon as he left you felt alone and unloved. You needed him too much. But you weren’t even happy with the relationship, you were only happy to see yourself as happy. The relationship past it’s sell-by date and you stayed, because you were a coward in your own right. Afraid of being alone, afraid of confronting any issues with your past and with yourself. You tried to fill that void by getting a puppy. You just wanted feel something, because you were so numb. But it only made matters worse. All you wanted was to be loved, but it wasn’t enough because you didn’t love yourself.

Then one day something changed, everything became clear. The life you built for yourself was not what you truly desired. What you really wanted was to find yourself again. Be the happy kid getting grounded because your mum caught you up a tree again– you wanted to feel grounded within yourself. And you were ready to change your life, so you did. You found the courage to find yourself and now you are living life just the way you should be – happy.

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Kyra xo