I wasn't planning on writing a post today.
I'm sure that many of you are starting to get a little tired from 2017. Personally, I've been feeling like the candle has been burning at both ends. Yesterday, when I saw Margaret Hema for a facial I told her I was feeling a little creatively drained. I have plenty to write about but didn't feel like it. We can all get like this, and I am sure you feel the same about something in your own life right now, whether that is a side-hustle or not! She reminded me to take care of my 'gifts'. "We all have gifts," she said, holding her hands outright before her "and we need to treasure them."
So, here I was on a Sunday night saying I was going to give myself the night off my normal Monday post (I still need to edit a video from fashion week and pull together some photos - please stand by - not sure when I'll find the mojo to get it done but please know I've still got juicy content up my sleeve). After all that, however, Matt decided to do some work-related reading, so, I've ended up writing after all, not because I 'had to' but because I genuinely felt like. Now in bed with an Aesop hair mask on and my navy blue cat PJs, (knowing that I need to do some ironing) I finally felt like saying something - but not what I was planning on posting. Instead of trying to fight the urge, I just went with it, ready not to post because I should but because I just want to talk to you guys (I WILL get back to that ironing).
So, let's talk about this business of looking after our gifts. It feels a bit, well, downright ridiculous to think I have any kind of 'gift'. We all associate being 'gifted' with someone incredible like Mozart or the slightly awkward school programmes you might have been put on (I was one of those children funnily enough, and yes, I did enjoy DGS - Developing Gifted Students - quite a lot because it was basically a period where we'd sit around and talk about philosophy and write plays and it sometimes fell in Math period so I never learnt long division properly).
What do you think your gift would be? For me personally, my gift is writing, I suppose. It certainly doesn't feel remarkable. We almost all write, don't we? I just write a bit more! Many of us have skills and talents that we share, whether that is looking after a family, volunteering, painting, acting or just nailing your job. They are gifts because they help others feel something or transports them to a safe, interesting or exciting place in some way.
When we use our gifts too often, it can start to feel like we're pushing out, especially when we're run down. We talk to ourselves when we work our gifts, whether we notice it or not. That talk is usually harsh, rallying or even mean. After a time of talking like this to ourselves, the gift can feel like a pressure. The need to be more, do more, push more. Self-talk is affected by that pressure and how we talk to ourselves affects how you feel about yourself. It comes down to how we regard what we do and how worthwhile we feel we are at any given time.
Part of driving this blog, at least in my eyes, has sometimes had me doing some harsh self-talk. Most do this. If we didn't we wouldn't show up for work in the morning. It's the voice in your head that says "Come on, move your butt or you'll be 20 minutes late for work again." When we ignore it and put a pillow over our head, it goes away but only for a short time. When we DO get to work, it smugly reminds us "Told you so."
Self-talk, like stress, is necessary to help us develop and grow and progress. What isn't good is when we completely lose self-compassion to take a break. I always think of a great analogy from Louis Hay, a writing of new-age books with titles such as 'You Can Heal Your Life'. While you may not believe everything she says, there is some wisdom from the book aforementioned which I read when I was quite sad in my early twenties that I've always remembered (I had un-ending bouts of unrequited love and a first job that was all wrong for me). I found a quote that sums it up below from here website:
"It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is a little child within who needs love and acceptance. If you’re a woman, no matter how self-reliant you are, you have a little girl who’s very tender and needs help. If you’re a man, no matter how macho you are, you still have a little boy inside who craves warmth and affection. There is a parent inside each of us, as well as a child. And most of the time, the parent scolds the child—almost nonstop! If we listen to our inner dialogue, we can hear the scolding. We can hear the parent tell the child what it is doing wrong or how it is not good enough. We need to allow our parent to become more nurturing to our child."
Take new-age things with a pinch of salt, but I really think that there is a truth in here. It is a good thing to be kind to yourself, to have a break, to rest that inner child. The idea is fine for others, but almost controversial when we think of ourselves. In this world of talking about 'gains', where we stay up later, work longer hours and have more on our plates at one time than is often healthy, we forget that unless we look after our basic core things we need to be happy, like eating good food, gentle exercise, and sleep, we cannot last.
When I started this blog Matt was studying to finish off his finance degree and was working nights. We had to get work done separately and I got into the habit of putting myself down at the desk or in bed after work and writing out some posts. I've really never stuck to any one thing, except my Resident interviews and the theme of Wellington, and jumping around has meant I've been very fortunate to do lots of varied things. This blog has been the thing I've stuck with the longest out of almost anything in life, bar relationships with people I love. But yeah, at times I get knackered, like all of you guys as well!
Sometimes I love pulling together city guides and tips about life in Wellington. Sometimes I feel inspired and have something genuinely good to share. Today I just wanted to sit down with you guys and have a cup of tea and a real heart to heart. I didn't want to provide you anything, except me just being me. This is where I am today. I am fine, pretty damn good in fact. But I want to not flog that inner child to craft some complicated post that has top tips and loads of photos. I want you to sit and chill with me, tell me how you are, what's been going on in YOUR life. [I know it seems silly, but I do see you guys as my pals and feel like I'd like to know more about you too, not just me. So please leave me a comment below in the box and tell me how you are. Like, really, how are you?]
Further, and not related, let's talk nostalgia. I think it is funny when you live somewhere all your life you see it change in some ways and not in others. I felt nostalgic for certain bars and days in Wellington once, places like Matterhorn or Mighty Mighty. These days I am very content to be at home. What does make me feel a bit nostalgic, rather than a certain drink or a place is how I have changed how I feel about life since my early twenties. Between 20 - 25, life felt so pregnant with possibility and so unresolved. It was almost melancholy, like watching a boy you like the bar but never speaking to him. These days feel much more settled. More full of tea, and food and rushing. I don't wish to go back or prefer that life, but I do sometimes marvel at how quickly it passed me by. One second, you're in your early twenties and the next you're facing 30. How did it happen in the blink of an eye?
So what's next? Well, I feel like something is a bit ready to come and develop. I'd really like to write a book. The whole point of this blog was to move further towards the person I felt I'd always been inside and I've always wanted to be a writer. I've kept that a secret for a while but I've just decided to say 'bugger it' and tell you all. Yeah, I want to write a book. Lord knows where I will find the time but if you have any help you can give me by way of encouragement, I'd really appreciate it. So if my blog posts start to go a bit more sporadic, please don't worry that I've lost my mojo. I'm actually just trying to be like those superheroes, leveling up so I can fire out a giant lightning bolt of energy towards this new project I want to do.
Goodness, where was I going with all this?! To sum up, this is the post I wanted to write today. Not a new city guide, not a summary, not an interview. Just some reflections on what it feels like growing up and trying to do your best each day. If you've got this far, you deserve a medal. We can all find a lot of joy in reviews, information, and recommendations. But there is also joy in the intimate moments, the quiet reflective times, where we can hear one another talk, about everything and nothing, and maybe, if we are alone, talk kindly to our inner child. Now, the inner adult in me must go and do the ironing. Excuse. Please, feel free to stay a while. I'll still be here.
Have a good week everyone. Feel free to subscribe if you haven't yet!