Don’t be a Slave to the Man

So just to get some of the boring admin crap out the way first… Like, where the hell have I been all your life? And why the heck haven’t I blogged in forever? I shall explain.

I may have accidentally had an unscheduled extended break from the blogosphere for a while. Like somewhere around a year ish. The reason why? Well I started a new job. A job that came with a whole new lifestyle and a lack of routine. A job in which time just ‘flies’ by and I feel tired approximately 90% of the time.

I am a flight attendant now. I love my job. It’s fun, I get to work with some great people and fly all over the country, seeing cities I wouldn’t see otherwise. But boy, has it been a lifestyle change!

It’s no 9-5. Sometimes I start work at 4am, sometimes it’s 10pm. Sometimes I’m away from home for four days at a time, sometimes it’s only one.I usually only sleep in my own bed a few nights a week and miss my partner and doggo A LOT! There’s no routine. And I like routine. Even excercise has taken a bench seat. When I am home, I really value the time I get to spend with my two boys. I appreciate the sleep ins, being an introvert as much as socially acceptable and catching up on z’s. But I also have to find time for life errands, seeing friends and just general adulting.

The adjustment was especially hard when I first started. I was exhausted allllll the time (now I’m just tired the majority of the time), I was getting sick way too regularly (because, passengers and germs and run down), and did I mention I was always bloody tired? So naturally, my absence from One Active Life was to be expected in those initial months of finding my feet and getting accustom (both mentally and physically) to #cabincrewlife. But slowly, as I spent more time away from writing, the less motivated I was. I thought about it sometimes, but never opened my laptop. The more time away, the less passionate I became. To the point, One Active Life wasn’t even something I thought about anymore.

Writing used to be something I enjoyed. Something I loved. Something that gave me a sense of purpose and gave me a outlet for self expression. It wasn’t a burden. It was a joy. A way for me to clear my head and hopefully inspire others at the same time. So I’ve had to ask myself, how did I let it get to this point? How did I allow my priorities to slip?

I read a quote the other day which is relevant on so many levels, including this context. It said:

Your killing yourself for a job that would replace you within a week if you dropped dead. Take care of yourself.

Heavy. But holy wow isn’t it true?!

So many of us work so hard, we have no life left in us to actually live. To actually enjoy our down time, our hobbies, our passions, our families, our friends – the simple things. How freakn sad is that! Where’s the balance? And for the most part we are burning ourselves out for someone who doesn’t even appreciate or acknowledge all the hard work and overtime we put in.

To a large company you are disposable. You are just a number. A easily replaceable cog in the machine. If that’s all you are to them, don’t make them your whole life. Unless you are self-employed, living out your passion or perhaps working for a small business that truly appreciates you, I know you can relate! (Having worked for both a small business and large organisations, I’m raising my hands in an ‘amen’ to that!)

By all means, do your job, do it well, work hard but don’t take that shit home with you. Clock off and clock off mentally too. Don’t get too busy having a career that you forget to have a life. Stop working so bloody hard for a company that doesn’t value your worth and start living! Find a healthy work life balance so that in twenty years when you do look back, you remember doing more than just working, eating and sleeping.

And while I (clearly) have a lot to express about all this to the point I could go on to write a novel, I’ll try not to digress any further. Basically, I’ve realised that I too have allowed my job to take over my life this past year. And as much as I do love flying, (it’s not the job itself I have beef with, but the by-product of #cabincrewlife aka the tiredness, the fatigue, exhaustion and lack of motivation to do anything other than hermit), I’ve decided things need to change. I’m no longer going to be a slave to the Man. I’m going to do as much as I can to be home more often and manage my sleep. To enjoy my time off and spend time with loved ones. But most importantly, I am going to start writing again, rekindle that passion and maybe even feel purpose beyond serving tea and coffee on a plane.

I can’t promise it’ll be a regular thing but I am committed to do something for ME again. I AM going to fall in love with writing again.

Unit next time…

Love Eloise x

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Another Year Over

It’s that time of year again when everyone is starting to think about their New Years resolutions and set intentions for the coming 12 months. We’re all gearing up to kick start 2016 with big plans and a list of carefully thought out goals. Usually including something along the lines of ‘get fit and healthy’, ‘stop eating junk’ or ‘give up drinking’. All of the above are especially common after the party season and all the Christmas (over)indulging. In fact, I feel like I need to write a couple of those ones down myself.

As a general rule, I don’t really do the whole New Year resolutions thing. I think having goals to work towards is great, I even encourage it, but there’s just something about the idea of ‘resolutions’ that I don’t love. Maybe it’s because 99%* of the time (*not an actual statistic) they end up broken. It has almost become inevitable, accepted even, that new years resolutions are destined to fail. There’s never much longevity in them and people are pretty blaze about it when they don’t last. It’s expected really.

With ‘goals’ on the other hand, our attitudes are a little bit different. We are far more focused and motivated towards success. Achieving a goal is something to be proud of and when we don’t quite get there we can feel like we have let ourselves down. This is why I prefer to set intentions and make goals, not resolutions.

So in 2016 I intend to:

  • Exercise daily – I do exercise regularly but sometimes I can be a little lazy and make excuses not to workout. In 2016 I am going to find 30 minutes of activity every day. Even if it’s just a short walk on my rest days for active recovery. The only workout you ever regret is the one you didn’t do.
  • Start yoga once a week – I am not much of yoga person, preferring to get my heart rate up and sweat on in the gym instead. But I have developed quite a few niggling muscle and joint issues that I know will be helped with stretching, strengthening my core and increasing my flexibility. Time to get bendy!
  • Focus on my career and harness my creativity – 2016 is the year I will chase my dreams. I am determined get out of retail for good, follow my passion and start pursuing my creativity. I need a change and I am determined to make a career out of my writing. In fact, in January, I am heading over to bali for 4 weeks for a Travel Writing Internship with Global Hobo, which I believe will be a catalyst to bigger and better things.
  • Daily Gratitude – The more you express gratitude for the things you do have, the more things you have to feel grateful for. Every day I try to take the time to meditate on the things I am thankful for. From January 1st I will start a gratitude journal in which I will write down 5 things every day that I am grateful for.
  • Be the fittest and healthiest version of me – I say this every year and every year I feel like I fail on this one. Why? Because to be honest, it is pretty ambiguous. Like, what does that actually mean? The thing with goals is they need to be both specific and measurable for them to work. Think numbers. I have a body fat % I want to achieve and that is what I am aiming for in 2016.

So what are your intentions for 2016? And how are you going to stick it out?

If you are someone who struggles to stay committed to goals and new years resolutions, you might like the idea of Promise Or Pay. Promise or Pay is an awesome little initiative where you make a promise to achieve a goal but if you don’t stick to it you pay money to charity. Your promise is made public on the website and people can also donate to charity on your behalf if you do achieve your goal. So its a win-win, AND it keeps you accountable.

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The close of another year is also a time when we reflect on the past 12 months, the good, the not so good and the amazing! It’s an opportunity to think about all the things that we have achieved (or did not achieve), the challenges we faced, the people we met and the lessons we learned.

For me, looking back on 2015 makes my heart swell with gratitude and joy. I actually would go as far to say (and this is a big call), that 2015 was the best year of my life so far! Not because everything was perfect. It wasn’t ALL rainbows, sunshine and smiles. But even when I was faced with challenges I pulled through and found an inner strength I did not know I had. In life there are no mistakes, only lessons learnt and thats the approach I had towards any ‘wrong turns’, which were never wrong turns at all. They were part of my path for a reason and those reasons were valuable lessons.

I also met some of the greatest people this year, in circumstances I never could have foreseen. People I now cannot imagine my life without. Including my soul sister and someone I now consider one of my best friends. (You know who you are). Someone who is equally as awkward and dorky as me, but also has a heart of gold and so much love to give. Someone who has brought out a part of me that I feel has been hiding and just waiting to escape up until this point and I am so thankful for that. Someone who I have the most intense, deep, spiritual and emotional conversations with one second, and then we will be belly laughing on the floor the next.

I really came to genuinely and wholeheartedly love myself this year. I have become accepting of the person I am and have no concerns of what people think of me anymore. I cannot even begin to express how elevating this is. To be so content and happy with the person I am has only strengthen me and helped me to grow further.

I put a lot of faith in the universe this year, trusting in the timing of my life and guess what, things really did seem to fall into place seamlessly. I know that things can only get better and better from here and I am so thankful to have had the best year of my life in 2015.

Cheers to the New Year! I cannot wait to see what 2016 brings.

Love Eloise xx

What A Healthy Relationship Looks Like

First and foremost, a healthy relationship begins with YOU! You must first have a healthy relationship with yourself before you can even consider delving into one with someone else. So often people fall into relationships for the wrong reasons – whether they know it or not. Commonly to fill a void or to compensate for a self-love deficit.

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Obviously I can only write this from the perspective of a woman. But a woman who was once a young, fragile girl with no self esteem and no sense of self worth. A girl overcome with so much self hatred that she (unknowingly, until now) relied on others to feel any kind of happiness and love. A girl who is now transformed into a strong and independent woman. A woman who has finally learnt to love herself and is completely content in her own skin.

In hindsight, (along with life experience), I can now see that my self-love deficit was a huge contributing factor to why my one and only true relationship broke down. Yes I was in love once and yes it was magical. It was five years ago and it was three years of my life. I was so happy and so in love. I look back on it with fond memories but I was also young and I didn’t know who I was. I was insecure and easily broken. I was emotionally weak and far too dependent. I put up with things I probably shouldn’t have but I also caused a lot of my own heartbreak by failing to love myself first and as a result settled for less than I deserved.

It is only now, five years on, that I realise how important self-love and self-acceptance is in order for a relationship to work. You need to be content with who you are as a person and have an understanding of yourself. You need to have established your own beliefs and be grounded in your values. You need to love yourself fully and accept yourself as you are. You need to do all this before you let someone else in, so that you can be sure you are embarking on a relationship for the right reasons.

“It’s all about falling in love with yourself first and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit” – Eartha Kitt

Once you have established yourself as a person and truly know who you are. When you have learnt to be happy alone and content in your own company. Once you truly and wholeheartedly love and accept yourself. Once you understand the value of your worth and know what you deserve in a partner, is it then, and only then that you will be ready to share your heart.

When that time comes, it is about finding someone who brings out the very best in you. A person who supports your dreams, your ambitions, your goals and drives you to achieve them. Someone who constantly makes you happy, your smile bigger and your laugh louder. A best friend. A soul mate.

A healthy relationship should be nurturing, compassionate, selfless and comfortable. It should be built on a foundation of trust, mutual core values and similar beliefs. You should be able to co-exist as two independent individuals. There should be open and honest communication and unbreakable loyalty. Both partners should be equally committed. It should be real. It should be raw. It should be passionate. It should be fun.

“Why should a relationship mean settling down? Wait for someone who won’t let life escape you, who’ll challenge you and drive you toward your dreams. Someone spontaneous you can get lost in the world with. A relationship, with the right person, is a release not a restriction” – Beau Taplin

People ask me why am I still single. The answer: because I am not willing to settle for anything less than a love that is REAL! Of course I want to find love again. I want to find my soulmate. I want to be able to share my life with someone – to share my greatest hopes, my biggest fears and my wildest dreams with them. To talk together for hours on end with raw authenticity. I am at a point where I am so happy within myself and all I want from here is to continue to grow as a woman. To thrive in my career goals. To travel the world and experience life. And as much as I want to pursue all of this on my own, it would be so amazing to have someone by my side to share all this with as well. But I am just not going to settle for anything less than a love that I deserve.

I refuse to settle for mediocracy. I don’t do things half-hearted. I am either all in or all out. And love is absolutely no exception. Love should be passionate. It should feel like fireworks every time you are together. You should feel excited butterflies and even a little bit nervous around one another. It should feel 100% right. There should be no doubt in your mind. This is what I am waiting for. I am searching for someone who will be build me up and push me to achieve my dreams. Someone I can grow and mature alongside with. A partner in crime, who makes the smallest, simplest things in life fun. I am looking for that elusive spark. That spark I have only ever felt once before, but believe with all my heart that I WILL experience again one day.

“Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn’t be one of them.” – Unknown

Until then, I am so content cruising along solo. I trust in the universe and have faith that my person will come along when the time is right.

Love Eloise xx