A selection of things I’ve considered since quitting my job

If quitting my job has provided me with anything, it’s thinking space.  And if thinking space has provided me with anything, it’s a list of things that I’ve considered since quitting my job – from the ones that are quite likely to happen (Odeon card, ear piercing) to those that are…slightly less likely (Brighton, Birmingham).

So, here you go. 15 things that I have considered since I’ve quit my job. No reasons, no explanations You’re welcome.

  1. Going on a long, long holiday
  2. Getting a tattoo
  3. Signing up for an Odeon Limitless card
  4. Re-starting singing lessons
  5. Getting my ears triple pierced
  6. Going to the gym more
  7. Doing a PhD (no, really)
  8. Vlogging
  9. Re-starting piano lessons
  10. Moving to Brighton
  11. Training for a 10k
  12. Moving back to Birmingham
  13. Taking up improv comedy classes
  14. Re-starting violin lessons
  15. …blogging more. Ah.

Please do send me your encouragement/discouragement for the above. Maybe apart from number 2. My parents would not be amused…

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On taking risks

Almost exactly two months ago, I handed in my notice at work, taking something of a leap of faith.

Taking risks has never been my strength, but my time at my former job was bookended by just that. I was initially rejected for the job, but took the risk of calling and telling them they were wrong not to hire me (a risk that clearly paid off!). When I handed in my notice, it was a risk again – I was leaving with a plan to start up my own company, which will also hopefully pay off soon.  The safe, easy option would have been to stay, despite the fact I wasn’t 100% satisfied, and just trundle along.

Exactly a month since I walked out of the office on my last day, and I’m already feeling much more fulfilled.

I’m seeing friends more. I’ve made new friends, been to the cinema far too much (more in the last month than I have in the last year!).  

I have a new found love for brunch. I’m still undecided about Bloody Marys (…or should that be Maries?)

I’ve rediscovered my love for sitting in a coffee shop and getting my work done, whilst watching the world go by.

The point of this ramble? To remind myself to take more risks. So far, some of the happiest times I’ve had have come from the biggest risks – and my biggest regrets have come from not taking the risk that I knew in my gut I needed to take.

Until next time,

L x

 

Resolutions.

It’s been 6 months since my last post. Well done, Lizzi. Good work, fantastic regular blogging, round of applause!

Somehow, we sailed through 2015 and seem to have landed at the end of January 2016. I’ve had 6 months of ideas float into my head…and then vanish again before I have a chance to put pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard…), and my intention was to kickstart the year with the old cliché New Years resolution post, but as ever I’m slightly late to the party!

Right, that’s my excuses over. On with the rest of it!

Last year I wrote a post called “Never Mind The Resolutions” which started much the same as this (spotted a pattern?!).  Looking back, I completely forgot about my one resolution for that year: to keep a note of one good thing for each month to post at the end of 2015. And whilst I’m not too impressed with myself for that, I’m still going to try and pull something together, because for the most part I enjoyed my 2015.

But onto this year!  I decided on four fairly simple resolutions for this year: read more, write more, socialise more and worry less. All too often, we put too much pressure on ourselves on the new year to lose a stone, read 100 books, travel to five new places or whatever else it may be – but I just wanted to focus on the things I enjoy.

So far I haven’t done a whole lot of reading, but I have been doing a fair bit of writing over on TenEighty Magazine (if you like YouTubers, that’s well worth a read!). I’ve definitely upped my socialising – and I’m trying to set up some regular social things that I can rely on, because I know I’m not great with the spontaneous things! As for worrying less…I’m trying. But that one’s a long process!

I’d love to know what other people’s new years resolutions are, and how you’re getting on with them at the end of January.  Let me know!

Until next time,

L x

 

Disconnecting

I’m writing this from my seat on a flight to Copenhagen just as we are preparing for take off. It’s that “turn your flight safe mode on” time – and the start of an hour and a half of enforced disconnection from the outside world. And this always gets me thinking of how peaceful it can be to just disconnect yourself from everyone turn off your wifi, your 4G…the whole lot.

We live in a world where we’re constantly online; updating Instagram needs Twitter, looking at old friends’ Facebook timelines and living vicariously through others. But sometimes it’s nice to get a bit of peace and quiet. When I was in Italy, I ran ou of data and was totally reliant on wifi at hotels to check in and update my social media- and it ended up being more for myself so I could remember what was where than anything else. I began to enjoy the fact that I couldn’t check Twitter every hour, or flick through Instagram to see who had posted something new since the last time I checked.

Don’t get me wrong – I love social media – it can be so useful. I’ve spent time browsing travel hashtags on Twitter for inspiration for my next trips (hell, it’s the main reason I’m on this flight!) and I’ve even given some great tips, but now I think it’s time to switch off for a bit.

I want to try and navigate my way round the old fashioned way – clutching a map and some hastily scribbled directions. I want to wander round the streets of the city, and follow my (questionable) sense of direction to my next cup of coffee, or back to my hostel. I want to walk round without google maps talking in my ear telling me to head south west as I curse it and try to work out which way it means.

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Obviously, as I post this, I’m connected to some wifi in the lobby of my hostel, and yes – I’ve posted some photos along the way from fleeting moments in cafes. But you know what? I’ve been here for 30 hours, and I’m already wondering how much longer after this holiday I can keep my 4G switched off, and just enjoy my surroundings…

Until next time,

L x

Enjoying the gym?!

It’s been a while since I posted an update about my attempt to go sugar free, so I thought it was about time!  I still haven’t bought a bar of chocolate for myself, which I’m feeling very positive about.  Other sweet things…well, that hasn’t gone quite as well, but I’m working on that! I don’t think I’ll ever completely cut out sugar – it’s just too restrictive for me, but I do want to cut out the majority of it.

I have made a few positive changes.  I’ve finally found a gym routine that suits me – I now have a weekend membership in a gym local to where I live, and I’ve found a love for taking my time with my workout. I’ve even started to enjoy using the weights, ooh-er.  There’s no huge difference on the scales yet, but I’m ok with that- I would rather increase my fitness and lose the weight slowly than have a sudden dramatic weight loss that I can’t keep up.

My next goal is to give up the bag of sweets that seems to constantly live in my desk drawer.  In the last week I’ve been logging all my meals in myfitnesspal, and every time I add another sweet onto my day’s tally, I feel just that little bit guilty. I know that it would be so much better if that entry was something more substantial with an equal number of calories, and it’s just so shocking to see how those extra little bits add up!

What are your tips for keeping yourself motivated?

L x

On Solo Travel  – A Trip to Berlin

I’ve spent the past couple of years talking about how I should travel more – see the world a little bit (other than my annual trip to Cyprus with my parents). The problem has always been who to travel with – I’ve always been slightly nervous of travelling alone.  Travelling with friends always creates it’s own problems too – diaries and budgets don’t always coordinate, and it can be hard to agree on what you want to get out of a holiday.  I have the added complication of having lots of friends scattered around the country, rather than one core group.

However, earlier this year I was lucky enough to go to Berlin for a couple of days with work – I spent the first couple of days at VideoDays Berlin –  a huge concert featuring some of Germany’s biggest YouTube stars, and I was quite impressed with how much I could understand,  proving to myself that my work bushing up on my A Level German had paid off! (even if I didn’t manage to speak as much as I had hoped.  Still, baby steps!)

After my two days at VideoDays, I switched hotels to somewhere slightly more central and cheaper (the Aletto Ku’Damm Hotel & Hostel – would definitely recommend!) and gave myself two and a half days to do a bit of exploring. And so, armed with my Lonely Planet guide book, I did a bit of exploring.

With relatively little time, I wanted to cover as much ground as quickly as I could – and there is far too much to fit into one blog post without boring anyone reading to tears! But it has to be said, I did enjoy the freedom of being on my own whilst exploring and walking round museums. I could whizz through things I wasn’t so interested in and linger a bit more elsewhere.

My favourite outing was to the DDR Museum.  It was tiny and very busy which made it a little tricky to see everything, but it was jam packed with informtion about life in East Germany after World War 2. I am fascinated by that “real life” side of history, so it was amazing to see how people actually lived and what life was really like for people living there, and the interactive nature of the museum definitely kept my inner child happy!

My other top recommendation, abeit for very  different reasons, is the Holocaust Memorial.  On paper the concrete design sounds unappealing, but in reality it provides a very moving experience indeed. The bleak concrete blocks that get increasingly higher as you walk through are eerily claustrophobic, and the  underground Holouocaust museum is a harrowing experience, but one I felt I couldn’t miss.  I definitely shed quite a few tears walking around.

For a first time solo traveller, I found Berlin to be perfect.  Public transport was easy to understand, everything was very reasonably priced and there was plenty to do without getting bored.  The free wifi in my hotel helpled too – Netflix kept me amused in the evenings once I was back in my room after a long day of exploring!

I’ve posted a couple of pictures of my trip below, and there are a few more over on my instagram.  I would love to hear your tips for the best solo travel cities – so please leave your recommendations.

 

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On Body Confidence

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In the last couple of years, there’s been a big increase in the number of articles and posts I’ve seen about body confidence….and before I go any further, I just want to make it clear that this is A Very Good Thing.  Of course we should be promoting body confidence, and of course we should all love the way we look! But as for the whole “take off all your clothes and look at your beautiful self in the mirror” school of thought?  Nah mate, I’d rather not.

You see, I have  one little gripe about this whole “body confidence/love yourself whatever you look like” movement that’s happening.

“Don’t be silly, you look fine”

“Yes, but chocolate’s so tasty!”

“Why? Eat some cake!”

“Why are you torturing yourself with that healthy stuff?”

“Are you still on that stupid diet?”

“Here, have some more cake.  Have the cake. EAT THE CAKE.  Why won’t you eat the cake?”

All the above are things that have been said to me at one point or another when I’ve mentioned to a friend that I’m trying to eat more healthily, or want to lose a bit of weight  (or, 2 stone of weight!).  And ok, the last one was said to me by a particularly persistent (and slightly creepy) person from my past after I’d already eaten some damn cake and didn’t want to eat any more  (don’t get me started), but at what point did it become acceptable to make someone feel embarrassed for not being confident about how they look?

Ok, the “you look fine” are often said with the best of intentions – and don’ get me wrong, I can take a copliment when it’s handed to me (in a very British “oh no, really, no” kind of way, of course!).  But to me, a more helpful response would be “oh, ok. Fair enough” or “whoops, I’d better put the chocolate away!” – or even just the simple question “why?”.

And…why?  Well, other than the obvious answer of “I’d like to be able to fit into more clothes” and “I’d quite like to be able to run for the train without being completely out of breath”, the answer is simple. To improve my body confidence.

In aroundabout way, I guess what I’m saying is this.

Body confidence to me isn’t necesarilly about loving how you already look.  It’s about figuring out what you already like about yourself, and what you’d like to improve.  And no-one should feel ashamed for saying they dont’ like how they look – that’s absolutely fine.

Personally? I don’t hate the way I look. There are parts of me that I’m super confident about – and other parts that I’d quite like to work on and improve.

Self-improvement is one of the most valuable lessons to learn – it’s how we evolve, how we change and ultimately, how we become better people.

Until next time!

L x