I would describe myself on the whole as an independent person. I’m not always very good at accepting help (or advice – and I know I need to take my own advice sometimes too, but I’m conscious of this and I’m working on it). But, with all the sh*tty stuff that has happened to me over the last year, I have definitely become much better at accepting (mostly gracefully) help from others, and I have also got much better at asking for help from friends (to be honest mainly because I’ve had to), but you know what, it’s been amazing.
#besties #squadgoals #strongertogether – all fab
How about #metoo ?? This was a hashtag following on from all the Harvey Weinstein stuff in the last few months of 2017 where people wanted to highlight just how common sexual assault and harassment of women was (and, very sadly, it’s WAY too common). Although difficult to see it, for many it was a relief to see it. Why? Well it helped them realise it wasn’t just them. They weren’t on their own.
And I believe that is true for almost everyone in almost every situation – you don’t want to be on your own. It can be lonely going through shitty stuff in your life. In a fairly social media centric world where everyone posts all the little ‘casual’ snapshots from their day and everything has a filter on it or people can pick and choose and edit and photoship their lives, it’s super hard to admit that things aren’t all rosy. You do it. I do it. We all do it. I have taken 3 or 4 pictures of my breakfast before to get the one that makes it look AMAZING to post online. When breakfast doesn’t look pretty? I don’t tend to take a picture. When life isn’t pretty? We don’t post about it. We may be telling ourselves that we are getting better at dealing with imperfection in society, but really only if it still makes it pretty (look up wabi-sabi if you’re not sure what I’m talking about).
As such, telling people that you’re going through something that isn’t that nice can make them uncomfortable, so it’s often easier not to. But if you do, if you take that little leap and are honest with people, you can sometimes be totally surprised. And I promise in 99.999999% of the situations, things will be better.
Now, enough ‘preaching’ – what has this got to do with My Project 35? Well, I am having to make changes to my life to, you know, change my life. Change for many is painful. We don’t like things to be different. But, with support it can be less painful, or maybe even fun! And so when you want to make changes, big or small, call in the support team.
I am super lucky in that I have an amazing group of friends, and through the sh*tstorm of 2017, they were there to support me. And despite the ugly crying and shouting, they are still there. I am also truly fortunate to have made new friends who are just as valuable to me.
Ultimately your normal is affected by people around you – as an individual, typically you will “tend to normal” in a group. What I mean by this is that, because most of us don’t like to be too different / outsiders / on our own, we will often adjust our behaviours to accommodate others. Peer pressure in simple terms potentially.
For example, you decide to do dry January. No drinking for you. 100% alcohol free! Woop. Good plan. But then it is someone’s birthday. You go along for a soda water, but you get offered a glass of *insert favourite beverage here* and nudge nudge wink wink 15 minutes later you have just the one. I KNOW THIS IS NOT ALWAYS THE CASE – as I said it’s just an example. I have been on whole boat trips without drinking alcohol (as per my plan) whilst everyone else was. But I know it’s not always that way. New job? Join the after work drinks instead of hitting the gym. New relationship? Go out for dinner rather than staying in. You get the idea.
I used to spend hours just finding ‘fitspo’ pics and pinning them to a Pinterest board. I had hundreds of them. I was trying to motivate / inspire myself to ‘get fit’. By sitting on my ar$e in front a computer… oh no wait. In the terms of joy queen Marie Kondo, did the pics ‘spark joy’ – did they inspire? Well mostly no!!
But is actually motivating is the people around me. They are helping me to add positive things to my life. Since my bestie has been with me in the BVI, I have been drinking green tea in the morning instead of coffee, I’ve prepped my lunch for 4 out of 4 days at work so far, and I’ve done yoga (kind of) regularly!! how did I survive previously mentioned boat trip? (If you’re saying what boat trip you weren’t paying attention, go back to the beginning and start reading again!) Mainly because I didn’t have the peer pressure from my friends encouraging me to drink. They knew why I was doing what I was doing and were supportive of my goals.
True friends are those who accept who you are now but also help you on the path to become who you want to be
It is important to surround yourself with similar people (don’t do clones stepford wives style, not good) but look for people who already have the habits you want to cultivate. Find the friend who does yoga regularly. Find the friend who reads more books. Find the friend who already speaks spanish. And ask for their help, for their advice. Or just ask to join them.
And to my friends (in case any of you bother to read this) – thank you. I couldn’t have done it all so far without you. And I wouldn’t have wanted to. And also thank you in advance for your help with my continuing goals – I don’t want to do it without you.
Photo credit: Me. And a few of the besties (note to self, need to try to get you all in one room at one point…) Always connected somehow and always there for each other. Stuck like shadows. And often childish idiots hahahahaha