Sunday, 30 September 2018

Month in Review: September 2018

Sunday, 30 September 2018

"And now, after everything, I know this: there is a reason I am here, and that reason is bigger than me. So I will carry on with great faith beyond what I can see, in pursuit of bold courage, on the adventure of the journey." - Morgan Harper Nichols

Hi friends!
It's certainly been a while since you've seen me around here, I know. A lot has taken place over the last couple of months - some good, some bad, all eventful. As it's the last day of September, I figured now would be a great time to do some reflecting. I haven't written anything quite like this since my Summer Recap last year, so it's definitely a strange feeling, but I've taken some distance from the craziness that has happened over the last 30 days to share with you all a snippet of the stuff that's been going on in my life.

I'm mainly writing this for my own pleasure, but I'm hoping others will be able to take away something from it too as I'll also be setting some new goals for the month ahead. Enjoy!

Moving Home

This month, it finally happened: I moved out! This was a big milestone for me, and a huge goal I set myself at the beginning of the year.
Truth be told, we'd been trying to relocate since mid-summer, and faced many setbacks and disappointments with other properties we had applied for. But in the end it all worked out and we managed to secure a generously-sized, modern flat! We're still in the process of decorating and getting actual furniture (so far we've got a sofa) but I'm loving it already. I've got my eye on a few pieces from Ikea, as I still need a desk and wardrobe (currently using a laundry basket as a closet until I get my finances in order!) but 'll be sure to update my blog with better pictures once everything is finished and furnished :-)

Starting my Internship

Technically, this all happened way back in July (hard to believe it's been 4 months already!), but I'm including it in my recap as it was another big 'life change' for me. I got involved with a work placement through my university, and honestly wasn't aware beforehand that they even offered paid internships! I'm a marketing assistant at a shopping/deals website, so I basically deal with all the social media planning and content, as well as scouring out new advertisers and companies that would look good to work with. I'm really enjoying it and have learned some valuable new skills I can add to the CV, and I suppose this technically counts as crossing off another goal - finding a job I like - off my bucket list for this year: even if it is just temporary!

Eighth Grade

I'm including this film in the list not just because I watched it last night and thoroughly enjoyed it, but because of its powerful message regarding young girls and social media in society today.

Directed and written by the incredible comedian, Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade tells the story of Elsie Fisher, and her struggles navigating through her transition from middle school to high school. I'm not American, so it was a bit confusing trying to figure out how old the characters were, and what our British equivalent would be in terms of 'grades', yet this didn't detract from how much I could personally relate to what Elsie went through. Even with the increasing rise and importance of social media that is way more prevalent than it was when I was in school (only ones we had were Myspace, Bebo, and old-school Facebook - accessed mainly through the shared family computer fought over back at home), the pressure to fit in, to look a certain way, to have so much of your life together is really illustrated in this film, both devastatingly and beautifully. I also love how Bo was able to capture the 'essence' of Youtube, and this false image we portray online as a whole - OG Youtube was a part of my life growing up and I felt a very personal connection with the film from this.

I would truly recommend giving it a watch, no matter your age or gender. This film made me want to go back in time and give my 13 year old self a hug.

Revisiting Yoga

One thing I've continuously told myself I'm going to get back into, time and time again, is yoga. And the gym.. and my fitness in general. Despite signing up for a new gym membership several months ago, I've seriously been neglecting my workouts lately and my body and brain is paying for it. I put this down to a mixture of business, laziness, and un-cooperating moods, but last week I managed to get myself to a yoga/pilates class. An actual class - where people do yoga TOGETHER!

The sheer thought of this used to give me serious anxiety, but earlier this month I jotted down in my little journal that I wanted to go to at least ONE yoga or spinning class by the end of it. As the weeks went on, and my motivation plummeted, I was certain it was just not going to happen. But, my sister came to my rescue, and suggested I see if there are any remaining places available for the class she had signed up to. In our own way we helped each other: turns out she had also been meaning to try a class for a while, but we both lacked the courage we already had to actually attend one. It turned out to be great fun, albeit a little challenging (my knees don't quite work like they used to), and we will be returning tomorrow for another session. I only went to the gym once last week, but that's enough and I'm giving myself a massive pat on the back for even getting there.

Overcoming Challenges

Relationships have proven to be a significant area of my life this month, both within my family and personal life. From extreme highs to extreme lows, I've had to deal with loss - again, disappointment, anxiety, vulnerability, and all of the things I try my hardest to avoid.

If anything, I've learned there is no avoiding these things. It's a part of being alive, of being human: it's a significant part of life that teaches us and guides us in the direction we need to go, which is sometimes away from certain people, behaviours, bad habits, self-limiting beliefs and toxicity of any form. My goal for next month is to practice compassion and acceptance, not only for others but for myself too. To accept myself and others as flawed human beings, to let go, and to prioritise my love and care to myself. Especially during the dark times. More importantly, I'm reminding myself it is okay to say no - to establish boundaries, to put myself first, and to relinquish my need of pleasing others at the expense of myself.

Whatever your goals are for the month ahead, I challenge you to take this journey of self-improvement and self-care with me, wherever you need it the most. October, I'm ready for you!


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