Reasons to be happy

Reasons to be happy

Besides the fact that we woke up today, we’re breathing and we’re alive – I found myself thinking about so many reasons to be happy this morning. For the first time in a long time, I feel settled. I’ve slowly managed to accomplish a lot for myself here in Atlanta, and having my mom visit has been the icing/cherry/giant brownie on the cake. Sometimes when you’re trying to live by taking each day at a time, after a while you lose sight of how far you’ve come or how great your life actually is when you just live in the moment.

Having my family here with me in the States would make life a bizzilion times better/ easier but that doesn’t change the fact that I do have a pretty awesome life here now. Yes, the number one thing I wish for is being able to see my family and friends but you’ve got to just appreciate what’s possible and enjoy every second I do get with them when I get the chance. It’s been incredible being able to show my mom around Atlanta; where I stay and where I work, the beautiful nature, the city, the people in my life here. It’s an awesome feeling knowing she is more connected to my life here now that she has seen it with her own eyes, as opposed to the countless Facetime sessions.

I’m Twenty Four years old in 9 days. Super exciting yet nerve-racking, as everyone older than me keeps telling me that every year of your life will keep going by faster and faster as you get older. Nevertheless I look forward to what my future brings. I’m proud and blessed to have had my experiences and memories from my past, and I’m excited for my 24th year on Earth. I feel like I’m at an awesome age – I have a great job where I feel significant and valued, I’m independent, I’ve traveled the world and still have so much to see, and I don’t have any serious life-long responsibilities at this stage of my life. I’ve got my degree and I’m going to start applying for my post-graduate studies to see what my options are here for Psychology. I finally have a car here which is monumentally life changing and really made me feel more stable and secure. 

My family (Mom, Abba & Rachel) have the opportunity to move to Manchester, England at the end of the year – which is going to be such an incredible adventure for them. I so look forward to having them a little closer to America! I’m excited for them and I know as challenging as it can be moving to a new country, if I can do it then they definitely can. It’s sad to think about selling our home, but ‘home’ for me over these last few years has had to be in the hearts of those whom I love. My family and friends are my home. They are what hold me together when I feel unraveled. Even though I wouldn’t change this experience of my journey to independence, self-realization and self-love – it makes a massive difference having the support system I have around the world. I’m so lucky to live in a day and age where most of my closest friends and family live around the world and I can still be in contact with them daily through the internet.

Next weekend I’m flying to Canada to spend the weekend with my family and finally to meet my gorgeous baby cousin Kailash. Being able to spend my birthday with my mom and my awesome Canada family is going to be bloody incredible. Plus, Ottawa is magnificent! I cannot wait. Also, one of my Atlanta besties Claire and I almost share a birthday, so we’re having a little fiesta together next week to celebrate before I’m away for the weekend. It’s nothing major, but just being able to have a get-together with the cool people part of my life here is massive to me. The last few birthdays since I left SA have been pretty awful/ average to say the least, so I am really looking forward to having a fantastic birthday with no expectations – just awesome people. 

Overall today I feel grateful, happy and hopeful. Hopeful that life will work out the way it is meant to; for me, my family and everyone I love. There is always something to be grateful for.

“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is meant to look like, and celebrating it for everything that it is.” 

❤  

 

Struggles with self-awareness

Struggles with self-awareness

Here goes another happiness vent to myself.

First off, never regret anything that once made you happy. You can miss the person, the memories, wish things were different; but there is no point in wishing it never happened or having regrets. Everything is a lesson and part of your journey. Sometimes it’s not just about people and how they feel, but the timing that is significant. You can have two people who adore spending time together but it can’t work if you ultimately want different things, have other priorities, or different perspectives.

It is so important to be aware of your own happiness. Sometimes we quickly start relying on those who bring happiness into our lives, and it feels great. It is an amazing feeling having someone/ people in your life that make you happy and excited for new adventures in life. But what we can’t forget is everyone is fighting their own battles. Everyone is in a different mindset and stage of their lives. Sometimes it’s hard to not take things personally. Sometimes it takes a few days, weeks, months or even years to really accept and make sense of certain circumstances.

We are human. It is okay to not know how we feel, it’s okay to have a bunch of feelings, and it’s okay to be confused or even numb. This morning it really hit me that my happiness hasn’t been as big of a priority of mine as I thought it was. I thought about my awesome job, how I finally have my apartment, how much I’d been looking forward to having my own space, how I actually get to go home in two weeks! I finally had the things that I thought would make me happy but then why am I feeling like this? I realized I’d been making excuses and depending too much on other things for my happiness, instead of living in the moment, appreciating each of my accomplishments and focusing on the positives in my life.

You can have everything and still not be happy, so even though it is good to have things to look forward to, we can’t just depend on those things to make us happy. What it comes down to is that it is vital to ultimately take a step back and look at the bigger picture. We need to break it down and focus on these key aspects:

  • You control your own happiness. Literally no one can make you happy if you don’t value your own happiness. Even if you think they make you happy, if you’re not happy without them bringing you happiness then you need to work on yourself and what you can do that makes you happy.

 

  • Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is going to get you closer to where you want to be tomorrow. Every day you have choices to make. Focus on your goals and if what you’re doing isn’t getting you where you want to be, then change it.

 

  • If you feel like you deserve better, you probably do. Don’t expect anything to change if you don’t. Don’t settle or justify anything because of how it used to be. We can’t always get what we want, but we have to be aware and have the self-worth to know when we do deserve better.

 

  • Never force anyone to make a space for you in their lives. If they want you in their lives and truly know your worth, they will choose to create the space. Sometimes you need to forget what you feel or how it was, to remember what you deserve and what you actually want.

 

  • It is what it is. You can beat yourself up thinking about how it coulda /shoulda/ woulda been but that’s honestly not going to get you anywhere. Once you accept the reality and how everything happens for a reason whether you believe it now or not, you will be more at peace. Your mind will eventually accept the reality but it is your heart that requires time to heal.

 

  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. All your struggles will make you more appreciative. All your achievements will make it worth it. All the mistakes will be a lesson. When you look back at your life you won’t remember every single time something made you cry, or how hard some days were. What you will remember is how you overcame your struggles, how the hardships made you grateful for the good times, and how even though it wasn’t always easy you can look back at know it made you a stronger person who focussed on the positives.

 

Life can’t always be rainbows and butterflies, so instead of focusing on the storms we need to look at the bigger picture and understand that even a flower needs rain before it can bloom.

There’s just something about Miami

There’s just something about Miami

“Currently sitting in the restaurant at Freehand Miami, next to Ami James (famous tattoo artist, Miami Ink) and his friends”. 😀

That is all I managed to write down before I convinced myself they would all think I was some kind of weirdo reporter writing down their every move. I mean I did literally start this post with writing those exact words in my journal so maybe they were right to hypothetically be concerned. Okay, losing focus here let’s get back to the post.

“After a long day of travelling I finally arrived at Freehand Miami to stay for the night. I had to come to Miami for my Visa appointment tomorrow morning – wait let me phrase that better – I got another awesome opportunity to visit Miami even though it was just for my Visa appointment 😉

I took myself out for dinner and a glass of wine. It is so amazing being back here. I forgot how much I love this place.

Discovering that I’d have to fly to Florida just for the application on top of the mission to sort out everything for the Visa was very stressful and it was a huge ordeal getting it all together. Now that I’m here it all seems like it happened for a reason though. I needed this mini trip to Miami.

Living in Georgia has been amazing so far but these last few weeks have been exhausting and overwhelming at times. I’ve been an anxious mess. But now I’m sitting on this bus back to Miami Beach (my appointment was in Downtown Miami) and I don’t remember the last time I felt this calm and genuinely happy.

With the help (a lot of help) from my incredible Momsy, my Visa appointment and application is all done and sorted, now all that’s left is excitement for my Eurotrip with my bestie Moooky ♥

There is just something about Miami. Something about the way the sun feels on my skin, the wind in my hair, the clear blue skies (until it pours with rain), the amazing beaches, the streets, the palm trees, the people, the vibe. I wish I could stay here for longer and just relax on the beach. But this was just a trip for my real trip, and I’m so appreciative I still got to visit!

After feeling very overwhelmed before I got to the airport yesterday, I felt like everything kept going wrong, I’d mess something up, I wouldn’t be able to afford to get anywhere, etc etc. I went and chilled outside in the park and spoke to my late Bobba.

I asked her for a sign that she is with me and that she knows how much I miss her every single day. I didn’t feel anything, but had to started missioning to the airport. It felt like one thing went wrong after the other, be it the public transport or the airport security lines. Yet, without fail, it all seemed to work out just perfectly in the end.

I managed to be on one of the last flights out that night to Miami due to crazy storms. I made it to the hostel from the airport and everything worked out perfectly fine for my Visa interview, all without a phone I could depend on for maps or uber or ANYTHING BECAUSE THE BATTERY LASTS SHORTER THAN okay I’m sorry it just drives me absolutely crazy.

My darling Bobs was watching out for me and I know it 🙂 I miss you and love you and I know you’re loving getting to see Miami today, because you’re here with me in my heart.

So right now I’m still on the bus back to Miami beach and I plan to tan and chill out by the pool for a little bit before I make my way back to the airport.

Sometimes you need to truly be on your own to remind yourself you are perfectly capable of anything you set your mind to.” ❤

X

 

Friends.

Friends.

At first I had a hard time making friends here. Meeting people was easy, becoming friends with people is a different story. What was hard was that I have my friends back home. I have people who care about me and make an effort to be there, but it’s hard to not feel lonely when they’re all on the other side of the world.

I’m a bubbly person who doesn’t have any issues with being outgoing and meeting people. My issues come with having the confidence to put yourself out there, make plans and get to know new people personally.

Part of the problem would be that I would meet people who seemed like they wanted to hang out and spend time together, but would only let me down by bailing last minute, or making plans when they had nothing better to do.

I don’t have a problem if you don’t want to be friends with me, but instead of giving someone false hope and constantly letting them down, just don’t make plans in the first place.

Nevertheless over the months I have learnt that some relationships we have with people are temporary, and some become friendships. I’ve learnt to not let it get to me or take it too personally when people are busy with their own lives, or just don’t want to make the effort for you to be in their lives.

Being here has made me realize who my friends back home really are. I feel truly blessed to have such special friends back home. There are also so many people that I considered myself friends with in South Africa, who I’ve barely been in contact with since I’ve been here, even though I tried to make an effort over the first few months.

It makes me smile to think about the fact that today, right now, at this very moment, I’m happy. Yes I have a ton on my mind constantly making me go crazy, but I had a fantastic weekend. Why? Because I can say I’ve got awesome girl friends here who make an effort and want me to be part of their plans.

No we didn’t go into the city or have some crazy adventure. On Friday after Shabbat Dinner I went out with them, Saturday night we had girls night with games, movies, popcorn and wine, and yesterday we went shopping and got Chipotle for dinner. Nothing crazy, but a fantastic weekend; because they make an effort.

So maybe I don’t have a massive amount of friends here, but I’ve got friends. These girls don’t realize how much of a difference they’ve made to my experience living in America so far, and I appreciate them so much it’s probably annoying 😛

Yes, some weekends I love just chilling out at home having Netflix marathons in bed. And no, I’m not all upset and think no one likes me if I don’t have a lot of plans for a weekend. But after a shitty week at work, having a lovely weekend really does make a Monday morning better ❤

Exciting news for next weekend: Miami with my Robs 🙂 😉

Happy Monday everyone

X

“Laughter itself may be meaningless,  but it’s effect on the soul is profound”

Weekend away in the city with the Momsy & Vlogging

Weekend away in the city with the Momsy & Vlogging

My mom and I stayed in NYC from Thursday last week till Sunday, and it was amazing. I was inspired by one of my besties Robyn to start vlogging. I thought instead of taking a million photos and only ending up posting a few of them, taking little videos of the weekend adventures and putting them into a vlog would be awesome. She did one for her trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand last year, as well as when she came to visit me in New York City & NJ a couple months ago, and they were incredible!

So I am currently trying to get it all edited together whilst working 11 hours a day during the week, but I’m almost done 🙂 Hopefully I will get it posted sometime this week. I also have no idea how to ‘vlog’ so no judging please 😛 The idea of travel vlogging is fantastic and I hope I get good enough to post some awesome vlogs!

In the mean time, here are a few moments from our weekend in the city:

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Natural History Museum
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You gotta have HOPE
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View from the gym in our hotel – One UN Plaza in Midtown East
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Natural History Museum
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Untitled waiting for the bus selfie
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Starbucks because Starbucks
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Brooklyn Bridge-ing
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Subway Selfie
Six Life Misconceptions

Six Life Misconceptions

These are 6 things that I’ve personally dealt with/ am dealing with/ have come to the realization of 🙂 ❤ 

1) Life is meant to be fair. 

Who decides what is fair and what isn’t? Something horrible might happen and we think ‘Aahhh life is so unfair’, but who determines that? Two people living in very different circumstances would have different concepts of ‘fairness’. If life was fair for everyone, the world would be boring, predictable, and wouldn’t teach us anything. You will have good days, and bad days. The important thing is to remember that we learn from our experiences; both positive and negative.

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2) It gets better.

Everyone has had someone who cares tell them that it will get better. But the truth is it doesn’t. Yes it may give some hope to someone going through a hard time, but the truth is it doesn’t get better; you have to make it better.  If you aren’t trying to make the most of something, or challenge yourself, and you have a negative mindset – nothing will change.

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3) That “it will never be okay again”.

It will. Trust me. Some things obviously take longer to deal with, but it will be okay. Sometimes something happens and it feels like you’re going to feel like this forever. I know the feeling.  “In the end everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end” 🙂

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4) Assuming that people are doing things deliberately to hurt you.

Yes you do get horrible bitches, but in most cases people have their own lives. Without any communication about how something they do/ are doing is hurting you, they could have absolutely no idea about it. And you’ve wasted your time being upset/ angry about it. Talk about it. If they’re still hurting you intentionally then that’s a different story, and they don’t deserve to have you in their lives. This one is hard to explain, but what I am trying to get at is don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of your happiness; by assuming.

For example, I might not message someone to make plans because I think they don’t want to hang out with me. So firstly I’ve missed out on possibly chilling with someone, I’m assuming they don’t like me, and have gained nothing. Who knows if the girl / guy assumed the same thing, and doesn’t message me either. Maybe she didn’t want to hang out with me in the first place, but you’ve got nothing to lose by finding out. Assumptions don’t get you anywhere.

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^ This photo was being so difficult. It doesn’t want to follow the crowd and be in the center.

5) “This will make me happy.”

Happiness isn’t something that is given to us or something we can go get. It’s a struggle sometimes, and all the positive thinking in the world means nothing when you’re at your worst. I’ve been there. But it’s important to be aware during the bad times, that they are the bad times. Life is full of good and bad experiences. There is no point in pretending that it doesn’t suck sometimes; because it does. Society tells us if we do this or buy this or go here, you’ll be happy. Be happy for no reason, that way happiness can’t be taken away from you. Happiness shouldn’t be determined by anyone but yourself, and we have to learn how to value our self-worth regardless of comparisons to other people.

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6) Being alone is the worst thing that can happen to you.

Being lonely and being alone are two very different things. I myself have issues with being alone that I can admit to. But that’s why this year has been very significant for me because it has forced me to deal with being alone. It doesn’t mean it’s been easy, or that I’ve even gotten comfortable with being alone yet, but as long as there is progress being made then I’m happy. If you can’t be happy alone, then you can’t be happy with anyone else. Being emotionally independent is so important. Happiness is a state of your mind and heart, so why do we let other people get in the way of it?

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