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Being Happy: Part 2

Previously on my blog I mentioned a little about my attitude in life and how I love being happy. There are days, however, when I just don’t want to get out of bed. I’m sure we all experience these times. It could be because of sickness or being overworked or just because. Regardless, I have my dark days as well. They don’t number as high as my happy days, but I do see them occasionally increase as I step out of my bubble and see more of the world.

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There are times when something bad happens and you feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel, no hope on the horizon, but it is these darkest days that we can shine more brightly. There was time when I just felt hopeless and didn’t know what to do or what was expected of me. I didn’t feel like going to work. I didn’t feel like writing. I didn’t even want a cup of coffee. Even now, writing about this is difficult.

I experienced a touch of anxiety, which I didn’t even know about. I eventually got out of this depressive state and was happy when I did, but the point is that no matter how happy I am or may seem to be, I can still have days where I just don’t feel good.

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This may be obvious to many people. ‘Duh! We all have bad days!’ Let me clarify. Hardly anyone ever sees my ‘bad’ days. Why? I honestly don’t know.

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Perhaps my own expectations of myself are too high. This happens quite often, though. Many people would rather hold everything in or only feel ‘true’ when they are alone, but it shouldn’t be like this. We should accept that everyone cannot always be the way they are on an average day. We need to see everyone’s high and low and still be there.

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Is that true friendship? Maybe. Is that healthy? Probably. Is it needed? Definitely.

 

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Holey Living

I grew up in a typical Midwest suburban, with a hint of country. It wasn’t uncommon to see huge trucks roll into the school parking lot shortly after a mudding expedition. Girls wore makeup under their trucker hats and most pieces of clothing had holes. I remember even seeing one pair of jeans that was nothing but holes and thinking what a waste of money. I much prefer to let my jeans naturally attain those holes.

Living in a city for the first time in my life, however, I find that wearing worn-out and old clothing is not acceptable. The standards in city living is much higher and people are always looking at what you are wearing, I feel. There are some days, though, I just want to be comfortable and lazy. Today was one of those days.

I put on an old pair of jeans, t-shirt and shoes and headed out the door to run a few errands. My jeans, having several small holes in them already, ripped more as I bent down to tie my shoes. It didn’t bother me and was actually more comfortable with a wider hole in the knee, but when I walked down the street, I could tell people were looking at me.

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It was the kind of look that they couldn’t believe I would be wearing something so ragged, yet my confidence was through the roof. I felt like me, not uptight, but relaxed and able to move and run. I felt free.

So why do we wear such constricting clothing? Is it because we think it looks good or is it because others say it looks good? I’ve always thought that confidence is beauty, no matter what you are wearing, and I feel most confident in my jeans and t-shirts.

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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Unknown to this World

 

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The Land of Nowhere

Sometimes it’s hard to fit in and find close friends in a new country. Then other times it’s hard to find friends from your own country. All of this friend-finding leaves you with the feeling that no one quite understands you. At least that is how I feel.

I spent most of my life trying to understand why I was so different. My morals, my religion, my standards, my humor, my thoughts. I accepted myself as weird and I loved who I was, but I always wanted at least one person to understand 100% of me. That was a hefty task, I know, but then I met my husband.

He was from a completely different country, culture and language than me, but he felt that he couldn’t truly be himself either. People just didn’t understand him and, yet, there I was, understanding him. For the first time in both of our lives, we found someone who understood 100% of each other. We said we were from Nowhereland.

It was a land where only we belong and we don’t mention it much anymore, until recently it came up again. We have lots of friends, so don’t get me wrong, but most of them only see one side or part of who we are. We aren’t keeping anything secret. It’s just how it is, usually. We are pretty goofy and can also be serious. We love being free but enjoy staying inside some nights. We just ‘get’ each other.

Sometimes I get frustrated not to have such close friends, but then I am reminded of the closest friend I have. It happens with a crooked smile and a shrug of his shoulders before saying, “we are from no where”.

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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in Love, Unknown to this World

 

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Flipboard Cafe

 

 

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Flipboard Cafe is an innovative cafe, where the designer took a small space and made it work in so many ways. The style of the cafe is mostly plain wood, but the simplicity of it is ingenious that you appreciate how it looks.

So, let’s get into the rating of this cafe:

  • Proximity: ☕☕☕
  • Quality: ☕☕☕☕
  • Price: ☕☕☕☕
  • Atmosphere: ☕☕☕
  • Service: ☕☕☕☕
  • Creative Connectivity: ☕☕☕☕

Total Rating: ☕☕☕ +.5

The overall rating of this cafe is 3.5. The proximity of the cafe, though it is in the CBD, can be a bit of a walk from any train station. It is closer to trams. The quality, price and service were all good but did not ‘wow’ me, which is what it takes to get a 5 coffee rating. The atmosphere is wonderful in warm weather, but during winter, it is too cold to sit outside and the inside is usually crowded, which can make it difficult to find a seat. If this cafe were in a warmer city, I would give it 5 coffees for atmosphere. The creative connectivity was the hardest part I found about rating this cafe. The design is amazing and I could sit in a cubby hole all day, sipping coffee, but for the purpose of writing, it was more difficult to feel it. I think this cafe is great for meeting up with friends and chatting over a hot cuppa, but I think it tends to be a bit too small or not comfortable enough for writing purposes.

Some fast facts about Flipboard:

  • The cafe was designed by Brolly Design.
  • They are closed on the weekend.
  • It is considered a niche cafe.
  • It sits above a jazz club.
  • The small tables are up-cycled magazines.
  • Coffee price: $4 (extra 50¢ for soy milk)

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The below images are credited to Flipboard’s website:

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Posted by on October 16, 2015 in Australia, Cafe Culture

 

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Pure Blood

Just a reminder that you can download my first book for FREE here.

Pure Blood cover FINAL

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2015 in Pure Blood, Writing

 

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Snail Stepping

Snail Stepping (v):

1. A dance-like way of avoiding crushing snails after heavy rainfall

2. The art of avoiding topics that may offend someone

A few years ago when I lived in Queensland, Australia, the summer season meant humidity and lots of heavy rain showers. Those rain showers brought hundreds of snails out of their tropical homes and onto the hot sidewalks. Normally, it wouldn’t bother me. I’m all for being one with nature, but I’m not exaggerating when I say there were hundreds. The ground was covered in snails, of all sizes, to the point that you couldn’t avoid them. I had to take a deep breath and close my eyes as I heard the crunching beneath my feet. That is how I created the term ‘snail stepping’, because it reminded me of hopscotch or when, as a child, I pretended certain places were lava and I couldn’t touch them. Then, twenty years later, I found myself playing those games once again, but under different (and quite detrimental to the snails) circumstances.

As I thought of this ‘dance’ if you will, it also reminded me of a game we play as adults. This game is more subtle and, if not played right, can cause friendships to end. I am referring to the second definition of the term ‘snail stepping’. I found that, much like those childhood games, there would be moments in conversations with friends, colleagues and complete strangers where I would have to sidestep to another topic or end the conversation altogether to avoid going someplace I would rather avoid or to avoid any embarrassment for other people.

I shall give you an example.

Last week, we took a mini-trip, or paseito in Colombian Spanish, with friends. One of our friends brought another friend, whom we had never met, but we love meeting new people. This person had the same background as all our other friends, which isn’t uncommon. My husband was talking with our friend and this new person, getting to know him, when he mentioned (in context at the time) that multi-cultural relationships do not work. Now, our friend knew that I (from the US) and my husband (from Colombia) had been together for years and was trying to tell his friend that that wasn’t true and he shouldn’t say things like that, but my husband just smiled, knowing that person had no clue about me.

You see, my husband was engaging in the art of snail-stepping, because he wanted to not embarrass the new person. It’s these delicate moments which can turn ugly or even confrontational if you let them, but when engaging in snail-stepping, can avoid the death of a conversation and even, sometimes, a friendship. So, even though I made up this phrase, I think it could be quite useful when referring to these moments and others like them.

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Being Happy: Part 1

A lot of people want to know how I ‘tick’. Why I am the way I am. I am a naturally joyful person with an optimistic outlook on life. In fact, this comic strip typically sums up what people think about me and how I think in general:

Peanuts Comic

Peanuts Comic

I love smiling and being happy and this makes people question my behavior. I find it disheartening sometimes that they do not believe that one person can hold so much happiness, but I believe sharing and showing this natural state of ‘being happy’ helps people who struggle with finding happiness on a day-to-day basis. I feel that if I were down, then I would want to be around someone who was joyous, because I would want to pretend that it is contagious and proximity would give me better chances of catching that person’s happiness.

Happiness is perhaps not a choice for some people, but I like to believe that it is a lifestyle. It’s not always easy being happy and upbeat when such tragic things occur around the world, but I feel like, even with such horrible things, it is still better to live feeling happy than to sit down and be dismal.

Maybe, one day, my funeral will consist of a dance party…

Perhaps all of this is wishful thinking or downright false, but believing is always better, in my mind, than giving up. After all, perhaps happiness is contagious.

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