Letter 5: Change in Perspective

I’ve written a few blog posts about how I’m not enjoying the structure of my 9-5 job anymore and want to discover my passions and pursue these. If you’ve read these you may have noticed that they can be quite negative when I’m talking about my job (even though I don’t hate my job, I’m just not passionate about it).

After a bit of time I’ve come to realise that I should enjoy my job, I should enjoy the self-discovering journey that it is allowing me to go on. Without my job, I would have more time to pursue my passions, but I’d also have no money – which isn’t an option right now.

I’ve come to the realisation that my job is a positive thing, it is supplying me with money and the skills I need to pursue my passions in my own time – it is actively helping towards achieving my dream life, and that is something to be thankful for.

Since coming to this realisation I’ve started to enjoy life a bit more, the weight on my shoulders has decreased. Looking at the positives of situations is not always doable, but I’m trying to do so wherever and whenever I can. Life is a journey and without having my job, I wouldn’t be on the path I am now – so I am very grateful to have it.

I think we can try to be more thankful for the journey we are on right now, even if it isn’t perfect.

What is something you need to be more thankful for?

Letter 4: The Minimalist Journey

Recently, I’ve discovered the term ‘minimalism’. At first, I thought this just referred to décor, but having delved deeper I’ve discovered it is much more than that.

My first introduction to simple living was through the book “the subtle art of not giving a f*ck” by Mark Manson. Although the book itself is not about minimalism, it does discuss how our value should not be in materialistic items. Delving deeper, I learned that minimalism was about intentional living, promoting the things we value and removing things that bring no value or distract us from it. For most of us, this can be the items we have in our house, most of which at face value probably don’t bring us any value but act as clutter.

Whilst I’ve never been a particularly materialistic person, I do own a lot of items such as makeup and clothes, and certainly, some of these things do bring me value, but a lot of the items I own aren’t even used – they’re saved under the pretense that I’ll use them ‘someday’ but that day never comes. I realised my monthly shopping spree for new clothes to make myself look good was pointless, I was merely wasting my money on things I didn’t need. After this, I began searching more into minimalism, watching documentaries and YouTube clips to learn as much as possible.

I would not class myself as a minimalist, but at some point, I think I’ll get there. Especially with the start of the new year, I’m going to declutter all my items, from clothes to makeup to shoes etc and donate as much as I can. Ever since starting this ‘journey’ I’ve distanced myself from the need to buy and I’ve saved a lot of money. I don’t need a new pair of shoes or a new top to be valuable, and I resent having to spend all my money just because that’s the ‘normal’ thing to do. I’d rather spend my money on experiences and things that will bring me joy, rather than spend my money on material items that will soon bear no meaning to me.

What are your thoughts on minimalism?

Letter 3: Thinking Back to Childhood

After graduating University and starting a job which would be the perfect start to my career, something within me clicked. I realised that the 9-5 rat race of the corporate world was not for me, and I’ve become dissatisfied with my job at the earliest stage. Day by day, as I noticed the spark within me fizzle out a little more, I realised that I wanted a job that I was passionate about – but I must admit, I’ve had trouble finding my passions.

I’m the type of person who has quick short bursts of excitement towards a new thing, which quickly burns out and I suddenly become disinterested. This has happened many times for example, learning how to crochet, making an app and even kayaking.  Whilst at the time I was genuinely interested in learning these skills, after a few weeks my passion for it seemed to burn out. This is somewhat of a weakness of mine, it’s hard to determine whether I’m genuinely passionate about something, or whether the excitement of something new has sucked me in. This often stops me from trying new things, as I’m scared I’m just going to give up again.

I guess this is the same with my current job, initially I was excited, but the passion has quickly worn off and I’m left stuck again. This has left me somewhat in a predicament, how can I find my passion if everything I’ve tried I’ve given up at? This required a bit of soul searching until I thought of my childhood.

If you think back to when you were a child, what did you love to do? What did you spend most of your time creating and getting involved in and why have you stopped? Once I asked myself this question it clicked. As a child I was very quiet but very artistic, I spent most of my time drawing or reading a book. Whilst I don’t really enjoy drawing anymore, I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing and have continued to do this up until this point – I just hadn’t realised it. I remember telling my friends when I was younger that I was going to be a writer when I grew up, and somewhere along the way, in traditional education, I must have forgotten what I wanted to do. It seemed quite simple really, I’ve continued to read and write, and even had a go at writing a book before, unfortunately I didn’t finish it as I had too much going on at the time.

Looking back to childhood has given me the answer I’ve been searching for, for a long time – I’m passionate about stories, reading and writing and always have been. This has inspired me and sparked my joy again, after a few days of thinking I quickly thought of a plot that I was interested in and have decided to write my own novel. Whether the novel turns into anything or not, thus far I’ve enjoyed writing it. I’ve set myself a daily task to write every day and I’ve made real progress since starting. Typing the book is coming so natural to me, even after a long day at work, typing up my novel is bringing me real joy – and I’m excited what this joy will bring.

Hopefully this blog will also help with sparking my joy, getting my inner creativity and thoughts out into the world.

If you’re having trouble finding your passions, I’d suggest you also think back to childhood and see if there’s anything you can discover from it.

Letter 2: Favourite Beauty Products of 2018

I didn’t think I was going to write this post, but beauty is something that I’m interested in so I thought why not!

I’ve always enjoyed makeup, especially creative and special effects makeup. I’d love to watch an SFX artist on a film set create their artwork – I’ve done creative makeup a few times for Halloween and loved doing it. But for the purpose of this post, I’m going to focus on products I used the most in 2018.

Most of the below products are vegan and cruelty free (apart from one), so I hope you enjoy looking at my favourites!

Number 5:

Brand: Wet n Wild
Product: Bronzer (Kind of)
Price: £3.78
Cruelty-Free: Yes
Vegan: Yes

The name of this is slightly misleading, although it’s a bronzer the shade ‘Reserve Your Cabana’ is very light, and can be used as a setting powder for pale skin! There are very fine shimmers within the product that when you pat it over the top of your powdered skin, it gives it a flawless finish and although it seems counterproductive – adding this powder actually takes away the powdery look from your skin and leaves it looking glowy and amazing.

If you’re pale and/or have dry skin I would definitely recommend.

Number 4:

Brand: Revolution
Product: Conceal & Define Concealer
Price: £4.00
Cruelty-Free: Yes
Vegan: Yes

This Conceal & Define concealer is amazing for the price, at just £4 you get full matte coverage without the cakey finish. There are 25 shades from pale to dark so anyone can find their colour. I often spot conceal over my face using this for my non-foundation days and it makes me look much more alive.

Although this is a matte finish, I still really like it for my dry skin, so don’t be afraid to use it!

Number 3:

Brand: Becca
Product: Backlight Priming Filter
Price: £28
Cruelty-Free: Yes
Vegan: Yes

The Becca Backlight Priming Filter is the nicest primer for a glowy finish. The fine shimmers throughout leave your skin glowing from within rather than shimmery, and all my foundations sit wonderfully on top of this.

There’s not much to say other than this has drastically changed how my face makeup looks, even throughout the day – my skin looks less dry and more glowy. If you have dry skin (and even if you don’t) give this a try – I will continue to repurchase this!

Number 2:

Brand: Morphe
Product: 35 Colour Eyeshadow Palette
Price: £37
Cruelty-Free: Yes
Vegan: No

After wanting this palette for about a year I finally bit the bullet and bought it, and I don’t regret it! The shades are buttery and pigmented and the shimmers are smooth and definitely do not disappoint.

The palette consists of mainly warm tones with just a few pops of colour, but is a great addition to any makeup collection!

Number 1:

Brand: Nars
Product: Sheer Glow Foundation
Price: £33
Cruelty-Free: Yes
Vegan: Yes

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation has drastically changed how my foundation looks, this paired with Becca Backlight Priming Filter gives my skin the best natural looking glow. It can be used in the day or built up to give more coverage, my skin looks hydrated and smooth after using this and it’s one I’ll 100% keep repurchasing!

I’d recommend especially if you find it hard to find foundations for dry skin.

So that was my top 5 products of 2018 – I absolutely loved each of these and paired together I feel as though my makeup looks a lot better.

Let me know your favourite products of 2018 (whether makeup or not) I’d love to see!

Letter 1: Favourite Books of 2018

2018 is very nearly over, which provides a good opportunity to look back at some of the books I’ve read and enjoyed! Although I didn’t read nearly as many books as I would have liked, at least it gives me a goal to read more books in 2019.

You may notice a theme, I didn’t realise that I gravitate to one type of genre until now! But anyway, here are my favourite 4 books of 2018:

Number 4:

Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil
Genre: Psychological Novel

I read this psychological novel whilst on holiday and quite enjoyed it. It’s definitely a page-turner and I couldn’t put it down for a second as I just needed to know what happened!

The story follows a woman named Emma who loses her young son in a flood and his body is sadly never recovered. After rediscovering joy 10 years later, she gets married and falls pregnant… until her missing son returns. Too traumatized to speak, questions are raised around who took her son and why. “It’s Aiden who has the answers, but he cannot tell the unspeakable.”

It can seem a little far-fetched at times, but if you like a psychological thriller – I’d recommend you give it a read.

Number 3:

Stalker by Lars Kepler
Genre: Crime, Thriller

Again, I couldn’t put this book down, it is incredibly gripping. It is quite gruesome and violent so if you’re not a fan of gore I would stay away from this book. My whole family borrowed the book to read it too and loved it.

The story follows a stalker/serial killer in Stockholm who films their victims (unaware they are being watched) and sends the video to the police. When the video arrives, detectives attempt to identify the victim but are too late – at the time the video was sent, the killer was already inside the house. Who will the stalker target next?”

I really enjoyed this one, and if you’re into crime/thriller/violence – I’d definitely recommend you read this.

Number 2:

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
Genre: Thriller, Crime

Now, I’m sure this one doesn’t need much of an explanation. I’m sad to admit that I only read this book a few months ago after already watching the film, the book definitely didn’t disappoint – it’s a great suspense novel,

The story follows a woman named Rachel who catches the same train every morning, dreaming about the people who live in one of the houses which she passes by. Their life as she sees it, it perfect. Then, she sees something shocking – and everything changes, Rachel gets the chance to be a part of the lives she’s watched from afar. “Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…”

If you haven’t already read this, please do! Especially if you enjoyed the film.

Number 1:

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
Genre: Self-help

Now, this is a little different to all of the other books on my list, but I’d say this is the book which impacted me most.

A Counterintuitive self-help approach to a good life, Mark gives an honest and different approach to self-help than you may have previously read. Cutting the crap and being honest about life, this is a refreshing read about how to stop giving a f*ck about everything. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.”

Self-help books may not be your thing, but if you’re looking for a refreshing take – I would highly recommend this book.

These are all my favourite books of 2018 – clearly, I enjoy a thriller or two. In 2019 I’d love to branch out and try different genres and read a wide variety of books, so I’m open to any suggestions!

Let me know your favourite books, I’d love to read them!

The beginning

A recent first class graduate from University, two weeks after completing my exams I bagged myself a job. I was ecstatic and keen to get onto the job ladder to begin my career. With an ok starting salary and a chance to work in an organisation where I could ‘work my way up’ I couldn’t have been happier. This honeymoon period lasted approximately 4 months, until the reality of working a 9-5 job truly sunk in.

Getting the train into work every morning with all the other miserable commuters, it got me thinking. Is this what I want my life to be? Do I want to work from 9-5 at an office every day? Do I want to compete with other employees for days off work? Do I want to dread waking up early every morning to do the same commute again? The answer is no.

Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a 9-5 job, but the reality of working in one has made me realise that actually, it might not be for me. There are also times where I am enjoying my work, but it seems to be few and far between as the months go on. If I’m starting to feel this way now, how am I going to feel years down the line when this is the only thing I’ve done with my time? I resent spending the majority of my time away from family in an office block and then being too exhausted to spend any real quality time with anyone or spend time doing things I love.

I’ve come to the realisation that if I don’t want my life to be spent in an office, I need to decide what it’s going to be and make that change. On this blog, I’m going to document my own creative journey. I want to discover what I love doing, what I would wake up early for and spend all day doing, what would make me excited to wake up – something that won’t make me go to bed with dread.

So join me on my journey of self discovery! Lets see where this thing takes me…