Sexy Self Help

Ssh!

The Love Declaration

When is the right time to tell someone you love them?

I am prone to telling people I love them more than they probably  need to hear it. It’s how I end phone conversations, sign cards and give advice. It’s not that I love everyone, but its important to me that the people I love know about it.

In terms of my family, I genuinely love them to bits. I am lucky in that I am surrounded by extremely loving family. We are there for each other when it counts, no matter what our differences. My two grandmothers are completely different in the way they love. One is emotional and will talk about her great love for you every two minutes. My other grandmother is a little more reserved and will never end a phone conversation with ‘love you’, but shows it in more subtle ways. Actions rather than words. They are both great examples of the best and most enduring kind of love, in terms of how they treat our family, but also in the great love stories of their lives.

When it comes to romantic love, I think we get really used to that film scene that has become a cliché now: two people are in a relationship, one says I love you and the other replies ‘…thank you?’. How does this picture compare to reality?

Well I have limited experience with this, but I can relate in a couple of ways.

The first time I told a guy I loved him it went horribly. He didn’t answer and I just kept repeating it again and again – we were under the influence of something but the memory is still so clear and completely humiliating. He turned out to be not worth it – I was heartbroken for a while but now I’m pretty philosophical about it. Our world views were so different that it wouldn’t have worked in the long-term.

The first time a guy told me he loved me we were on our first date – which made things remarkably awkward. It’s romantic and sweet but also puts this enormous pressure on everything. It made me feel a bit like I had tricked him, I’m not really a girl you can love on first meeting. It takes time.

Moving along through my somewhat rocky relationship history. I then dated an absoloutely wonderful man who said he loved me and though I didn’t mean it really, I responded in turn. I know it’s a horrible thing to say if you don’t mean but he wanted us to work so badly that I would think ‘maybe if I say it, it will all work out’. It didn’t.

My parents met, fell in love and got engaged four days after meeting. Now that’s romantic. Growing up with that story as a reason for my existence I have always believed that ‘the one’ will be like that. Two people will meet and just know that this is the person they have to take the biggest risk by trusting. Of course the ‘person’ I meet may have had a completely different upbringing that changes where he’s at in terms of sharing the same view on how ‘love’ happens. I guess I need to stay pretty flexible and not just think about my own speed.

Amusingly perhaps, I am pretty much all set for an engagement ring. I’m not a terribly girly example of a girl — but we have a few rings that have been passed down  through the family and I love the idea of a preserved connection. The awkward thing is when to let someone know, do you wait until you have dated for a long time, and then sound like you’re trying to nudge them into marriage, or do you tell them awkwardly early and then risk them thinking you want marriage now. Perhaps best to say nothing at all and let fate play out, I guess with the right guy you can talk about the future without it being this terrifying thing.

Unfortunately to meet your frog you have to kiss a lot of  princes (I prefer the saying that way around!) – I think my general guide for the love declaration (in my case anyway) goes a bit like this,

You can tell someone you love them if:

– You have been completely faithful during the relationship
– You’re not saying it to get something
– You imagine a long-term future with them
– They are aware of the biggest skeletons in your closet
– You have been dating longer than a month
– You are not saying it post-sex
– It’s not loudly declared in a public place
– They have seen you at your ugliest and most unpreened
– You actually love them.
– You are not saying it by text.

Possibly an incomplete list but I think that covers all my bases for me, what would your list be?

I was dating someone earlier this year and one day he brought up the subject of marriage. I was terrified. I thought ‘if the concept of marrying him gives me no other feeling than sheer terror, this is not the guy for me’. So since my birthday I have been on a no-men pledge until my next one. It’s going well and only four months to go until I can try a bit of dating, should the opportunity arise. I figure I have a few things to sort out in my own head and it’s not fair to expect someone else to love you when you don’t really love yourself.

I don’t want it immediately, right now, or in any specific packaging but I do want the man, the wedding, the husband and the little run down dream house with a little family in at some point. It doesn’t scare me…and when I do meet ‘Mr Right’ I guess it won’t scare him either.

Ssh!

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The New Zealand Woman’s Guide to Running, Part One

There is a half marathon that I want to run next year – it will not be my first half marathon, but it will be the first one that I have specifically trained for and completed for reasons other than ‘because my parents are doing it and it will be good to spend some quality time’. I’m not hoping to run it speedily or come in any competitive sort of placing – I just want the satisfaction of having trained and completed it.

I have become rather unfit lately – I seem to go through stages. At one point in high school I was very athletic but that was really the high point and since then my interest in excessive amounts of exercise has been a little patchy. My favourite thing to do is hula hoop, which sounds silly for a grown woman perhaps but it is fun and a bit sexy – plus it works on all those niggly little core and torso muscles – no crunches for me! So I am in shape, just not really running shape.

I recently picked up a copy of The New Zealand Woman’s Guide to Running by Annemarie Jutel – my belief at the moment being that anything you want to do you can do, provided you equip yourself with appropriate resources. It was $8 which I consider to be a bargain price, although the cost of buying books does add up, especially when I am not really employed at the moment.

The book is a systematic guide on how to become a regular runner. It doesn’t launch into an aggressive training schedule, in fact the first two weeks of the guide involve no running whatsoever – which I was pretty happy with! It goes over what you need to wear (support very much favoured over fashion, which is awesome) and what to do for any niggly running ailments such as blisters.

The mantra of the book seems to be ‘Push yourself, but listen to your body’. My first official ‘training’ started yesterday with a small jog in our local forest. NOt a terribly long amount of time or distance but it was continual jogging for nearly all of the 28 minutes it took me – even the uphill bits!

The information is all put exactly where you might want to find it with tips and explanations on everything from types of training to when to eat. The real hook for me was that it is aimed at women: with information on things such as sports bras (yes, running with breasts does require its own section) and how to keep yourself safe when running alone.

There is a bit where you can ‘design your own training program’ but I thought I would start with hers first to bring up my running-fitness and stamina. Part two of this will be posted when I develop a running schedule for myself, for now I will keep a ‘running diary’ in the blog on the ‘Activity Journal’ page.

Ssh!

 

 

A House

When I was a child my family moved around a lot. The last house we lived in was an old Victorian-style farmhouse in the middle of a scrubby landscape between an ostrich farm and a sugarcane plantation. The area we lived in was dangerous so the property was surrounded by high fences with barbed wire rolling along the top. Just outside the gate there was the small house for the security man – it seems a world away from where we live now, where we barely remember to lock the doors.

The garden was huge, not terribly decorous but at the bottom there was a twisty guava tree growing in the corner. Often during the day the monkeys would come over the fence and sit in the tree, throwing the guavas like missiles at any person or dog that came near. Below the house was a cold network of little tunnels, it was a sort of cellar but at one time I believe was ‘servants’ (read: slaves) quarters, but now was home to masses of delicate little fruit bats.

My room was at the far corner of the house, its only noticeable feature being that the bees had made their hive on the roof above. Shortly after we moved in, honey started creeping down the corner of my freshly painted room. Before long this slow stream had  reached the floor, and on a very hot day I would come home from school to find a room full of bees – to which I am allergic. My eldest brother would put on vinyl wet-weather gear and stride in to fetch clothes for me to change into after school. It never occurred to us to get rid of the bees – they always moved off after the hotter part of the day had passed.

Sometimes we would find a snake – normally a common garden snake, and we would put it in a big container and take it to the kitchen. Then we would wait for someone to go release it away from the house – often taking the opportunity while we were there to terrify Elsie the maid; who was superstitious and petrified of snakes.

There was a tall row of pines along the back property line where a family of the huge, and fairly magnificent Crowned Eagles made their nest. We had three dogs at the time: Two german shepherds and a small ‘pavement special’ dog, the latter was just the right size to be carried off by an eagle, so we always kept an eye on her.

It seems like the longest time ago that we lived there – but it was one of the parts of my childhood that makes me feel so lucky. It is so far away from my present reality – no technology, no artificially constructed community, no corner stores or subdivisions, no traffic jams or shopping centres. This was the old country; harsh, fertile and made to be worked.

Ssh!

Today I am Happy, Because:

I washed my hair.

I ran in the forest, and afterwards took off my shoes and hula hooped barefoot amongst the trees.

I accidentally wrote something I love earlier. Sumbitting to the next journal intake.

I love my family. Warts and all.

I remembered to believe in myself. The things I want have a chance of happening.

I thought about a man I’m besotted with.

I thought about him some more and then stopped. Because one sided-besotedness is trouble.

My kittens trust me entirely, even though I dont entirely trust myself.

If my grandfather was still alive, my grandparents would have been married for 54 years today.

I closed my eyes and reached my arms out to feel the planet shrink until I could run my fingers along buildings I’ve never met before.

I gave up looking after being only able to find the Left shoe, and at that point I stumbled over the Right shoe.

I perched on the bonnet of my car and lay in the sun.

I pressed up against the daylight and wiggled my nose in greeting.

This.

Ssh

 

 

Bodysense

Another trip to the second-hand book store yesterday, I walked out with a big bag of books thinking ‘Oh crap why did I just spend $50 I don’t have‘ when I heard these girls behind me:
“I love bookstores”
“That girl looks so weirdly happy with her big bag of books”
I turned around and to my surprise realised I knew the girls – we had gone to high school together a long time ago and it was nice to catch up.

The book haul was a good one! Up late again going through Bodysense by Dr Vernon Coleman. This book is basically a massive health quiz where you go through a bunch of categories answering questions about different things, you get a score as you go and at the end it produces a ‘lifegauge’. Mine was slightly horrifying!

Life Expectancy: 70.5 years, the average for NZ women currently is 82.4 years.
Cancer Risk: 19 – Unlikely to develop this problem.
Heart Risk: 23 – Less than average risk of developing heart problems.
Chest Risk: 16 – Unlikely to develop this problem.
Stomach Risk: 33 – Less than average risk of developing stomach problems.
Joint Risk: 55 – Average risk of developing joint problems.

So thoughts – aside from being written in the 1990’s so perhaps a little outdated, this book is fantastic! What I love is that it gives you a very clear picture of your full body health status – and what areas can be improved, as well as how you can improve them. The areas it covers are pretty all-inclusive: Eating Habits, Weight, Fitness and excercise, Smoking, Alcohol, Other Addictions – Tranquilizers and Gambling, Medical Care, Mental Stresses, Hobbies and Recreations, Sex, For Women Only, Occupation, Accidents, and Travel.

My only recommendations would be that there was a Mens Health section (Prostate?!) and a section based on technology use.

The author mentions computers in his foreword in a way that possibly makes him feel a bit silly now:
“When I first had the idea for Bodysense in the early 1980’s I thought it might make a good computer program…In retrospect I am delighted that my friends in computer programming couldn’t cope with the mass of information I had available. Within a year home computers ad had their day. All over the country hundreds of thousands of small but fairly expensive machines were lying forgotten and unmourned in the bottoms of cupboards and wardrobes up and down the country. The expected boom in computer software never took place.”
I think the good Dr may have spoken a little too soon on that one.

If you are interested in his work you can find out more about Vernon Coleman here. Despite the point I made above, I think this book is a really great resource for evaluating and planning for your health and wellbeing. It is incredibly thorough and in my case  a sound $9 investment! I plan on doing this assessment again in 3 months time and hopefully having my number up by a couple of years!

Ssh!

 

There is a Light

I am hijacking todays blog post!

I spoke to my good friend this morning, he was largely the reason that I started this blog – in talking with him about the various places we are at in our lives at the moment I realised a lot of things about myself and a lot of things I maybe needed to work on. I am on one side of the world and he is on another so our chats are generally limited to the typed or skyped kind. I managed to catch a little chat this morning before I had to scamper off with my day in hand – and I then realised too late that it is his birthday today! To make matters worse when I got home there was a wonderful christmas card/letter from him in the postbox.

I am such an awful friend.

My awfulness aside, happy birthday my friend – I feel like I have known you for the longest time and you are both a steady source of comfort and a sounding board for all new adventures. You always have the best things to say when I am down, and the bravest challenges to give me when I am shying from things I shouldn’t be.

You make my life a truly brighter, bolder, better place and I could not be more honoured to call you my friend.

I hope that this new year brings you the right opportunities to push yourself further in the things you are passionate about.I know there have been some struggles, and things that may have seemed like setbacks – but your positive attitude has slowly ground the sharp edges away and I know that these things that seemed prickly will be memorable steps on your path to new blessings.

You are the best kind of person and I know that whatever lies in store for you is absoloutely AMAZING and I hope to share in your joy with you as this new year unfolds.

I am so thankful for the light you shine. You can’t tell right now, but I’m hugging you. Love you.

Ssh!

Ten Tips for Women Who Want to Change the World – Part One

I may possibly at some point require a self-help book that deals with sleeping earlier and more regularly. Without meaning to be, I was up until about four am finishing Ten Tips for Women Who Want to Change the World by Paula Prober.

This book is interesting. I enjoyed reading it but there are some bits that made me cringe. The dialogue is the kind that refers to women as goddesses seeking enlightenment. This hippie style of dialogue is right up my alley, but there is something sarcastic inside me that reads this and gnashes its teeth.

It takes you through a series of exercises to help you release your demons – I like her approach to this to be honest. It’s along the lines of ‘you can’t banish the negative, bitchy, awful parts of yourself altogether – but you can come to understand them and work with them better’. Paraphrasing a lot there but that does seem to be the general idea of the book. There are sections where you write letters to your inner demons or to yourself from someone (like maybe say an ex lover). Exploring these things through unsent letters does seem like a good idea. Maybe shes onto something.

It’s a small lightweight paperback book that can easily be read through in one go, but I suspect is more likely to have the desired effect when done slowly. I plan on going through the exercises, as much as they make me cringe a little. I am looking forward to it though as it seems like also just a good bit of fun. I may post the exercises here I may not – first I will have a look online and see whether this is available, otherwise I would feel too much like I am breaking a copyright by ‘disclosing’ all of the tips in her book online. I am really not wanting to disclose all of her ideas in a way that replicates content rather than discusses it.

Ssh!

 

StrengthsFinder 2.0 – Part One

So as I mentioned in my last post – a friend of mine, Chris, recently mailed me StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath as an incredibly sweet gift.

The premise of the book (as I understand it) is that we spend a lot of time working on things we are not good at, rather than succeeding and emphasising things we are naturally good at.

I am currently waiting to graduate and in the meantime applying for masses of jobs – so this book is particularly helpful for being able to really sell myself on paper. It is written largely to help maximise one’s professional life.

Unfortunately the first time I opened the book I seemed to go straight to the strengths descriptions without realising there was a survey to do first, The book makes it quite clear and I’m not actually sure how I missed it, however with a prompt I managed to find the code in the book to take the quiz online.

The ‘quiz’ is a series of questions where you mark how you feel you are along a scale between two ideas about oneself. It seemed to take forever to get to the end, but on conclusion it presents you with your five greatest personal strengths and ten suggestions for each of these, on how to maximise your potential in that strength.

Easy peasy to complete and all worded excellently for incredibly clear understanding.  It produces a long report on your strengths and I think what I will do is work through each strength one at a time and post them on here as I go.

My Top 5 Strengths:
1 Connectedness
2 Strategic
3 Empathy
4 Individualization
5 Developer

After a brief read through of the descriptions I must say I don’t particularly agree with these five as being my top strengths, or rather – I had a different view of myself.
When I was much younger I was extremely outgoing, the only girl in my family – I thrived on the attention. This changed when I went into intermediate and I progressively became more shy and timid – unsure of how to be ‘myself’ and too eager to please other people.

I wouldn’t say that I was bullied, but there were times when I was unspeakably sad and resented being alive. There seemed to be a grating tension between who I was versus who other people thought of me as, and I developed what I recognise now as being Depression.

I understand that it can be seen as a silly attention seeking thing… but I have never spoken of these moments outside of right now, and certainly not to anyone at the time. When things were difficult, this small version of myself would go into my room after school, sit on the floor with my back against the door, and cut large angry red lines into the top of my legs with a pair of scissors. I say ‘cut’ but it was more of a slash with open scissors to make a deeper cut. Sick really. As an adult these are still something I am incredibly ashamed of and I dread one day having to explain all of these scars to someone special.

I don’t know what the reason for this was – I think it was something to do with controlling my own pain, giving myself a legitimate reason, something I could pin down and name to myself for feeling the way I did. Because I had everything: my family loved me, I had no concrete thing I could point at to give reason for feeling that way.

Things got better over time, I started to develop a better idea of who I was and though I resorted to old habits when things got really bad – it was much less frequent. There seemed to be a fad when I was a teenager of being depressed, and cutting yourself. I remember sitting on our stools in Chemistry class and the girl next to me, a good friend, showing me her ex boyfriends name which she had cut into her arm with a scalpel she stole from Biology. I could never show anyone else what I had done in the same way… it was something I considered to be a private healing thing for myself, a darkly kept form of treatment.

Things manifest themselves in different ways – I found new ways of dealing with my ‘issues’ – boys, alcohol, weed, cutting school – I had private dysfunctional teenage years on one side, and on the other, a portrayal of being exactly who my family wanted me to be: a high achiever, a ‘good person’, someone who always did what was right.

It wasn’t pressure, maybe it was a natural role I fell into but still to this day I am the ‘well-behaved’ child. There are things my parents will never know, and sides of myself they havent seen. Ask me to do something, anything, and I would obediently do it. In  Let It Snow, by David Sedaris (My absolute favourite author) there is a scene where him and his siblings say  to the youngest ‘Tiffany, go lie in the street” and Tiffany, eager to please, does so. Thankfully the traffic skids to a halt without hitting her but that scene always sticks with me. “‘Tiffany, go lie in the street’ we told her, and she did.”

I have only gotten better and better professionally. There are these versions of myself: The chairwoman of the board, the trustee, the public speaker, the passionate advocate…still the high achiever but now in much more grown up terms. Then there is the lack of sleep, the “How are you?” by relative strangers where I can’t reply because if I spoke I would break down, the compulsion to drive into power poles, the prescribed antidepressants and counselling sessions I rarely follow-up with unless forced…. and still my family who I love so dearly don’t know about outside of the moments I completely break down, which are easily dismissed later. I need help. For the moment self-help will have to do.

In reading back on what I just wrote I see the dysfunction in my logic. I know I probably need a more concrete form of professional help. There was an incident last year where my parents were forced to see that side of myself – where I reached an absolute point of break down that I hope I will never be at again. Still, this was treated as something I did that wasn’t like me and that we don’t talk about. So it makes me wonder too whether it’s not just my inability to communicate this, but their subconscious reluctance to hear this as well. My mother says “Suicide is the most selfish thing” and I think about that often. It is the barrier between this dark side of myself and throwing myself into the abyss.

The reason I have told this story here is that because of all these ‘issues’ I think I project myself as a much nicer person than I am. I am so focused on being who people want me to be that I doubt whether I am genuinely nice, or whether it’s another way that I successfully describe myself socially. Someone who understands people, sees the strength in others and makes connections with people… is that really me?

I will end on a positive note: for me writing is a euphoric release. Particularly when writing creatively I get a true sense of my own voice and it elates me like a drug: it is the greatest High. I will continue on as planned with the exercises in StrengthsFinder 2.0. The pursuit of self-help gives me Hope.

– Ssh!

Self-reflection: Help!

I logged on to my computer tonight to post the first part of my experience reading Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath, which was recently sent to me by a friend (thanks Chris ♥). However I have been distracted by a response to my review of Fat Like Me, by the author herself.

So I thought I would instead blog my thoughts about that – because as I have said, this is a journal…and I really can’t think about anything else right now. It is consuming.

Ever since I was small I knew exactly what I wanted to be: a Writer (yes, noun). As I grew up this got more specific. An investigative journalist, a hard-hitting fact finder: someone who exposed ‘real’ truths. Many of my idols –  Rachel Carson, David Quammen, John Pilger, Timothy McDowell, George Monbiot, a few examples – all write non-fiction with a purpose. The kind of writing that makes me think ‘YES! I want to do that!’.

Then came Doubt.

Studying journalism was my goal until my father went through a small incident with our local paper. I will never forget the woman responsible for writing the baseless pieces that attempted to damage my fathers professional integrity, and for a while, succeeded in changing him into a person slightly less sure of his own professional worth. He has always been the unwavering rock; solid and immovable with an impeccable moral compass. This woman wrote about him like he was less than that and though this story for him did eventually turn out well, I will probably always hold that grudge.

At this time in my life I began to wonder about myself – how would I react if asked to write a piece like that? I doubted my own ability to hold true to my values. I did not at the time (and perhaps still do not) have the confidence to believe in the power of my own convictions. I went to see a careers counsellor, and ended up studying something else.

Five years of university have been a bit scrambley – a lot of fumbling about to find the ‘right’ thing for me. Then over the past couple of years I found that I have become enthusiastic about writing again – not necessarily as a profession, but as something I love to do. Words have their own sort of rhythm and they bring a calming tempo to my life.

So I now realise that while I stand behind my response on Fat Like Me, I feel ashamed because I am not sure of my purpose in writing it out as I did. One star out of five. Did I really feel that way about it, or was I using a harsh ‘Like it/Don’t’ like it polarity?

I wouldn’t feel so guilty about it if is wasnt for the way I put some things: “…have never been so disappointed.”…obviously I have been much more disappointed in my life. Why the gross hyperbole?

It is much easier to write critically on the work of others than it is yourself. Similarly with blogging it feels like you are dropping coins into a big well – you throw them in and they fall such a long distance without touching the sides, and you don’t hear them land. It’s easy to throw coins in, but virtually impossible to retrieve them again. Knowing that the author read my review does make me regret writing it as I did – and that should never be the case. The thing about words is that there are so many to choose from, the way we use them is meaningful and done to a purpose. If I don’t want to say something one way there isn’t some restriction that means I have to – there are choices in how you put ideas across and it is to this beautiful relationship that we as writers are so very accountable.

So in a weird way this has turned this book into an enormous bit of ‘self-help’ for me. Is it selfish to point out this gain? That my lesson comes perhaps at the expense of an authors impressions of people’s reception to her writing?

Last Summer I did a writing course at the University. There was a man in my writing group for the class who one day point-blank rejected a piece of my writing. “I couldn’t be bothered reading this”. I was absolutely crushed. At the time I was house sitting for my parents and drove the long way home in an absolute fit of tears. The piece was a two page poem which focused in on family scenes…it was intimate and extremely close to me and in his rejection of the words on the page it made me feel as though my very core was too,  being rejected.

I didn’t handle it terribly well. I am of a sensitive disposition and cry at the drop of a hat so I then avoided all eye contact, spoke to him infrequently and withheld my affection for the next two days. At the end of the class on that second day he asked if he could speak to me, I could see that he knew I was hurt over the matter and wanted to apologise… but I walked away as though I hadn’t heard him. Maybe tomorrow. I walked away satisfied that maybe he would feel awful on his way home, as I had done.

The next morning the lecturer informed us that the young man had died the previous evening. How I wished I could turn back the clock because as much as he had been rude, the responsibility of my actions to him was my own: being cold, alongside death it does not matter at all, and I regret the fact that in his last few hours of life he may have had any anxiety over this.

Tania Roxborogh’s response to what I had written is the way I wish I had responded to him. It is full of grace, and does not use words to do the same injustices to me that I had done to her in the way I wrote it. I apologise for the choices I made in writing my review. I want to go back and delete things but I don’t think that is the best way to do things – instead I plan on rereading her book and posting a few comments and alterations to some of the things I said, and the way I said them.

It seems almost silly to have written such a long post about this, but it’s not silly. Writing is so very personal and strongly tethered to that thing in side of us we might call a ‘soul’. I guess I needed to go over this – for myself, for her, and to follow through on the purpose of this exercise in self-exploration.
– Ssh!

 

 

 

Yelling At Myself

I often find myself quoting talk show hosts in my day-to-day life. Ellen. Dr Oz. Rachel Ray. It’s not an addiction, it’s not adoration, I may not even like their show that much… but they all do seem to have had quite quotable moments. My favourite talk show quote of all time was said by Oprah: “You would never allow other people to speak to you the way you speak to yourself“.

You are a failure.
You are a callous bitch.
You made your bed, now lie in it.
The girl in the mirror does get a bit mean I suppose. I like to think everyone is like this, when confronted with who you truly are you see the entirety of yourself: not just your ambition, your achievement but all at once you see these alongside your most painful truths. I could stand there for hours looking at the mirror and watching myself.

A journey of self-help seems a little bit like this. Severe introspection and self absorption. I can’t look at who I am and not see everything, there is no button that I can push to edit out the bits and pieces that I do not like.

Often when mirror-gazing I travel into the third person, I am now looking at someone else. A girl who looks a lot like me – it’s like watching a movie where the protagonist reminds you of yourself. Without failure, without bits that are niggly and unpleasant… the character would seem dull, unrealistic and a leave one feeling, well, a little flaccid. In the third person all the bad things make sense, I think it’s easier to be sympathetic when you treat it as observation of an independent character rather than introspection.

So, a few observations about myself:
I am good at empathizing with other people.
I am a poor advocate for myself.
I am terrible at organising my own life, and fantastic at organising my professional life.
I don’t brush my hair very often.
I am obsessive about dental hygiene. And switching off electrical sockets.
I am weirdly enthusiastic about my cats. I treat them like small, extremely high-priority people.

Those were an attempt at honesty, I could be more honest – but I don’t feel a need to put the biggest failings of my life on the internet just for the sake of admission. I can admit these things to myself, I checked with Me and I was okay with that. Admission without purpose always irritates me when other people do it.

Self-help is essentially a drawn out examination of oneself, it’s always a test, but its open book – resources, formulas and cheat sheets are allowed. If Oprah wasn’t Oprah, but rather just another woman standing there with whole truths bared I think that I would like to have a chat with her about that thing she said that one time, whenever it was, a while ago.

You would never allow other people to speak to you the way you speak to yourself.

Every time I look at myself and think ‘You awful fucking failure‘, I stop and think of Oprah because as stupid as it may seem,  that one line reminds me to not just lead an accountable life but to be so accountable that even my inner dialogue is measured, considered, and a balanced reflection on reality. Oprah reminds me to help myself defeat my head demons. Self help, it actually is sexy, who knew.

Ssh!

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