Looking Forward Into 2021 & A Retrospective Look To 2020

We live in a world full of oversaturated images of ideal circumstances. Pinterest and Instagram is stuffed full of overly clean interior design: kitchens without a drop of mess, living rooms with no life, bedrooms lacking spice and excitement. We see pictures of DIY projects completed seemingly in one go by yoga practicing, straight laced, ‘my body is a temple’ gods and goddesses, who seemingly have endless holidays and limitless bounds to their finances.

Overall, there is something very wrong with the way we present ourselves on social media.

Once we lose sight of the fact that these perfect lives have taken hours to capture the right moment on camera, waiting for the right lighting, the right opportunity, we start to wonder why our own lives don’t reflect those of the people around us, or who we chose to follow online. It begins to affect us in ways we cannot always physically see, in ways that niggle us from the corners of our minds. Suddenly, our own imperfect images online aren’t good enough, and we’re not sure why. Suddenly, the pictures from a very merry Christmas with aunt Susan and nana Peggy don’t look as fun as you remember.

In 2020, the world took a very strange turn into the world of the online due to Covid-19. We worked online, saw our friends through the palms of our hands, and we found ourselves alone a lot more than usual. Now, although this seclusion at first glance doesn’t appear the best, we found that we had time to reflect on our lives, retrospectively assess how we wanted to spend our time.

Some of us, myself included, felt that 2020 was the year we hit rock bottom. We saw a record loss of jobs and an increase in people asking for help. We saw people learn to live with their new surroundings, survive with the bare minimum and surprise themselves in situations they didn’t think they could survive.

Yes 2020 was the year we hit rock bottom but if we hadn’t hit the floor, we wouldn’t have found our solid foundations on which we could build and grow from.

Its important that when we look at the lives of others online who have seemingly thrived during the pandemic as motivational content rather than as competition, or something to be jealous of.

Its Ryan Serhant who said that this year has been like sitting in the backseat of a moving car and looking out through the right window and seeing a brickwall, dark, dingy and unappealing to look at. Its easy to think, looking through the window that this is the only outlook on life that you can have yet if you switch up your outlook, jump from one seat to the other and look out of the left window you might see bright sunny skies and a beautiful view. You’re still in the same car but with a tiny bit of effort you now have a much lighter view.

Its easy to slip into bad habits, think negatively about your situation and here’s the thing: no one is responsible for changing your world views but yourself. You can’t rely on anyone else for your happiness. Your sadness is caused by your outlook on life.

If you’re sad, lacking in motivation, craving change, then it’s you that also needs to stop being lazy and get moving. Wherever you are with your plans, implement something today. Not tomorrow, today. Why wait?

Yes we’ve had a bad year in terms of a life threatening pandemic but it doesn’t mean life has to stop, we just have to learn to adapt and change with it.

I think in 2021 we should look to incorporating more life into our online presence, more human error. We should promote normalcy, encourage candid shots of everyday adventures and show people that life is perfect just the way it is. We need to start creating a world we are proud to leave behind to a future generation of community based survivors, people caring prodigies, life loving collectives.

Believe in the message? Join in with the candid collectives on social media by using the hashtag #candidadventure in your everyday positive posts and help build our positive vibes across the globe.

Because when we help each other succeed, we all succeed.

Until next time, beautiful readers.

Reinventing Yourself & Coping With A New Direction

Sometimes things don’t work out the way we expect them to. You might have a grand plan in your head of which path you’ve chosen for your life but a strong wind has turned your sail and suddenly you’re facing a different direction. You might battle against the wind, try to get back on course, but sometimes the wind is too strong. So we learn to accept our new course, we plod through each day with a new perspective on life.

We might feel saddened that our old life is no longer before us, we might even cry from time to time, thoughts of shattered hopes and dreams clear in the forefront of our minds.

You might lure yourself into a false sense of security that one day things might be different, that your old life will resurface and things will be better, but you know deep down that this is a coping mechanism to help you get through the bad days.

Obviously we never know what the future may hold. Some reminders of our old life are bound to resurface around us, a bit like as if we were on a boat in the middle of a shipwreck. Floating debris bob up to greet us, some may even get close enough to scrape the side of our boat and if there are survivors then you know damn well we’re right there pulling them aboard. It’s inevitable when your life was so important to you, that aspects of it will still be present but it’s our actions and how we proceed which determines what kind of person we are.

This being in lockdown is bizarre. It’s simultaneously the best time and worst time for reinvention and starting a new course. On one hand we have effectively broken all of our patterns and are in a changed position anyway, which means that we will have to not only start this new course during lockdown but also figure out where this new path is taking us when everything returns to some sense of normality so its almost like starting again twice. On the other hand, lockdown is a chance to get things done retrospectively, without outside influences.

Starting a new course is scary, especially when you have been forced into a new direction, but we can do it. We can make the best of a bad situation and we may even end up on top, living a better life than before.

Sometimes we will have moments of confusion and others of clarity. We’re human. We’re allowed to feel these things. We want to know why the thing has happened but also we know why and accept it, sometimes. We might get angry and our bodies might suffer with the consequence of sadness, but its important to remember that tough situations don’t last but tough people do.

Until next time.

3am

3 am is a time for lonely people, a time for people who over think. Its a time for creatives, those trying to finish a project, too absorbed in their craft to notice the time.

3am is for the party lovers. For the people spilling out of the clubs as they close, not wanting to go home so soon.

Currently, 3am is that tipping point between night and day, when the darkness is at its peak before, as if by magic, the world becomes lighter again. Its a time which feels stuck, almost like a limbo, much like this lockdown.

The silence of this time is simultaneously a blessing but also totally deafening. I fear making a noise too great, it seems unnatural to watch a video or listen to the radio at this time so instead I opt for writing down my thoughts and feelings. Suddenly, 3am starts to feel like a retrospection and things start to fall into place.

3am is a rare time to see. It’s often too late to stay up to and just that bit too early to wake up to.

Obviously there are people out there who work nights and probably see this time quite regularly but I wonder if those people who spend more time in the limbo of the early hours are more at peace because there aren’t as many distractions from the outside world.

3am, in my flat, is currently a place for retrospection and contemplation, a time to miss people and cry until I inevitably fall asleep again or decide to get up and face yet another day in lockdown.

I have only been struggling for a couple of days but there are some of you out there who have been struggling for weeks, months even, as the lockdown continues to disturb regular life.

For those of you who are also up at this time, try a sleep hypnosis podcast. It might seem silly to listen to a calming voice telling you that you are feeling sleepy but for some reason, it works. Whether it’s hearing a different voice, whether it’s because it’s calming and relaxed, or a mixture of things, listening really helped me to stop. It stopped the thinking so I could drift off.

One of the things I learned during my counselling sessions a few years back was the importance of distracting ourselves when our brains start to think of things we cannot control. If we are unable to do anything about our situation, unable to better the situations by actions then the next best thing is to forget about it for a while. Give your brain the much needed rest.

Sure you’ll feel guilty at the beginning, as if somehow taking a break from worrying is going to make the situation worse, but persevere as a break from stress can, more often than not, help us to gather our thoughts when we are more in a place to deal with them.

I hope we all can learn a thing or two about finding inner peace, without meaning to sound too Buddha, and although I don’t wish people to suffer, I also wish people could witness the humbling impact of 3am.

As always, my message box is open if anyone wants to talk, be it on here as a comment or though twitter @kirstyawriter.

I also created a Spotify playlist for sleep which is a mixture of guided meditation and nature sounds for a truly good night’s sleep. You can find it here.

Until next time.