I guess I always thought I was just independent; I have been cooking and doing my own washing since I was about 11 and had my first job at age 17. But actually looking at it, being an introvert and being independent are different, although it seems being independent comes as a result of being an introvert. Or maybe it is vice versa.
I think introverted people are very misunderstood a lot of the time. Usually we shut ourselves off for a reason, mine is an internal defence mechanism, which usually kicks in when I am feeling overwhelmed by life or a specific situation. It is not because I don't care or am not interested. On the contrary, I care a lot, but sometimes I feel like I have had enough of giving to other people and need some me time to reboot. Because in my head if I can't be there for my friends 100%, I need to take a time out.
Over the years I have learnt how to cope alone; not only just living alone but actually being with myself, having me time and not going too crazy with it. Inevitably there comes a time when being a introvert is not good because it transforms into loneliness. The past few weeks feel a little like that.
There is so much to be done, to organise, to pack and to schedule. And while the pooch is wonderful, she isn't very useful when it comes to packing. I am feeling a little overwhelmed and anxious at the thought of an international move and have hidden behind my introverted personality to keep me sane. It has kind of bitten me in the ass and loneliness has reared it's ugly head.
I have to say, I cannot wait to be home in London, with my dad and have an adult conversation. Because the only conversation I currently get at home is with the dog and while she is rather intuitive, her answers are a little lacking.
Everyday I think about my mum. I know she would be proud of the person I have become, but I always have these little niggling thoughts in my brain; like what advice would she give me, what relationship would we have and would she have like the dress I wore. Well she would have loved today's dress for the pattern and the colour but all the other questions often go unanswered.
I know from others that I am a lot like my mum. I share her organised, calm and considerate nature, I share her neat handwriting, I share her perfectionist tendencies, I share her sense of humour and I share her ticklish spot; the soles of my feet if you're wondering.
What sparked this post? A simple conversation about arguments with mothers and how roles play out; daddy's girl and mummy's boy.
I don't recall ever having an argument with my mum, unless you count me throwing a tantrum in Tesco because she wouldn't let me put chocolate cookies in the shopping cart. My childhood was blissful in so many ways. I didn't come from a wealthy family, but I never felt like I missed out on anything, mainly because there was so much love in our house. And the fact that my mum was pretty creative and would knock out a little sewing project here and there and make cookies and do arts and crafts etc.
I never got to experience that turbulent relationship most girls have with their mums at some point in their lives. I went through my teenage years in a house with men and although it had it's downsides, part of me is very glad. Because I have nothing negative to say about my mum. I never got so annoyed with her that I said horrible things. I never shouted at her. And I never had any of those cringey conversations in the middle of boots about lady products. Sure I had to figure out a lot of stuff on my own, probably the reason i'm so independent now, but you do what you have to do in a situation.
What is it they say, when life hands you lemons make lemonade.....
This year, I made a pact with myself, as outlined in this post, to stop eating my cuticles. I know it is gross, but stress, anxiety and nerves all leave me biting at my nails and cuticles. This year however I am taking my problem seriously and as such, requested a little bottle of Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil be sent all the way from England in my christmas package from my father.
This little bottle of hydrating goodness has been working wonders on my dried out, unhappy skin. Especially teamed with a pair of moisturising gloves at bedtime. Ok I look a little weird lying in bed with white gloves on, but since I live on my own, only the dog is passing judgement.
Not only does it have a great apricot scent, it is crammed with cotton seed and soybean oil which really pack a punch when it comes to moisturising properties. So for anyone who suffers with dry skin, cracking cuticles and an inevitable urge to bite away, invest in this little bottle. It will change your life. Promise.
Sometimes I really feel like I was born in the wrong generation. My grandmothers' generation didn't worry about calories, fats, portion sizes, the dimensions of their plate, the amount of tea or coffee they drank nor did they spend hours trawling the internet to find the quick remedies for bloating, fast weight loss or how to cut out carbs. Mainly because they weren't bombarded everyday with this stuff.
No, my grandmother's idea of healthy eating is a plate that has meat, potatoes and vegetables. And there was always a desert on her table after dinner. No one ever told her that the chocolate pudding should have been made with dark chocolate because it is better for her or that she should have used less butter.
Oh the good old days. The again those were days where smoking was encouraged and medicine wasn't as developed, yet they were still healthy and happy right.
Part of me feels like the world has got a little too consumed with certain things. This is coming after reading this article, which I totally enjoyed and agreed with from beginning to the end. "I dont count calories. I dont track carbs. And I seriously couldn't care less about how much fat I eat". She sounds like my kinda girl.
Joking aside there are some really valuable points in this article which could help a lot of people if they just took a step back from the diet pages of the women's magazines. Because really, who can live off those meal plans they put in there anyway....
An interesting point in this article is that after years of dieting and chasing the dream of "thin" she realised she was tired of being hungry. Well I hate being hungry for one day let alone a few years. I think growing up I was lucky to have a mother who put balanced and yummy meals in front of us. But I think a really important thing is that I never heard my mother complain about her weight; I never saw her sucking her stomach in or getting upset whilst standing on the scales. And I am so thankful for that. Because I have a really basic attitude to food. I like food. If I want to eat I will. And I have curvy figure; an ass and wide hips and a little wobbly stomach that I am ok with.
Because you know what, I would rather eat the 4th or 5th oreo cookie than not because I think it will affect my chances of being stick thin. Because shockingly enough, my body will never be stick thin because of it's structure. And I am ok with that too.
I would much rather look like Kate Winslet than Kate Moss.
So, read the article. Take from it what you will. And stop worrying so much. Life is too short to put the oreo cookies down.
Burt's bees is one of those brands I have always meant to buy, hearing so many good things about their products, but never actually got around to it. A poor excuse I know. But santa fixed that for me this year, with a cute little gift tin of their best known products.
The brand has a great story behind it and at the heart of it is a simple philosophy; "what you put on your body should be made from the best nature has to offer." They are a company that not only cares about profit but also people and the planet. A pretty nice philosophy if you ask me.
The lip balm has been in my pocket ever since it came out of the tin on christmas day. It is 100% natural and aside from beeswax has a whole host of ingredients including peppermint oil, vitamin e and coconut and sunflower oil. It feels really nourishing and refreshing all in one swipe.
The hand salve has been some what of a saviour the past few weeks with the cold weather leaving my hands dry and oh, dry! I slather it on right before bed and it has a great aroma that I am convinced sends me off to sleep better than before. Packed with beeswax, olive oil, rosemary and lavender it is super hydrating.
My favourite product though turned out to be the lemon butter cuticle creme; with lemon, beeswax, rosemary and sweet almond oil it has totally revived my dry and cracked cuticles. Plus it has a similar fresh and herby aroma as the hand salve which I really love.
If you haven't tried Burt's Bees products yet, I highly recommend you do; they have great scents, which is really important for me and they really care for your skin. On my "to try next list" is the naturally nourishing honey and milk body lotion and the orange essence facial cleanser.
I am not shy of hard work. But sometimes life is really hard work!
I feel like I must have been really bad in a previous life because lady luck is not on my side and never has been really. The boyfriend feels the same so maybe we are both bringing our bad luck to the equation.
Anyway. The point is, we are making some pretty exciting plans at the moment which will actually involve us living in the same country and seeing each other for more than 4 weeks a year. Yep in the past year, I have had just 4 weeks with the boyfriend. Which sucks when you put the words on paper. And since I have been such a patient soul, I wish my luck was just a little better. Is that too much to ask?
Well the point is, as we make plans I feel like we come up against one wall after another. This isn't meant to be one of those oh-my-life-is-so-tiresome posts, because in all honesty we have had some amazing opportunities and have worked hard at every turn to ensure we make the best of each situation. I guess these trials and tribulations are part and parcel of a international life. If we want to move, travel, experience different countries and cultures, there is bound to be some pretty big barriers to break down right.
A mammoth task is ahead of us and international moving is never easy, but seriously, the obstacle course the universe is throwing at us is rather unnecessary. And that's before we even factor in relocating our little lady. Precious and slightly high maintenance cargo that she is, has really thrown a spanner in the works and will inevitably leave a large dent the bank balance, a lot more than anticipated but there is absolutely no question of her being left out of any plans.
Anyone who has a pooch will echo my sentiments I am sure. She is part of the family and where the family goes, she goes (but boy oh boy would expat life be simpler without her....ssssssssh.....I didn't say that).
All of this basically comes down to one thing. The Cyprus chapter of my life will soon come to an end.....for now. We will surely return one day, but at the moment those days are far into the future. And in amongst all the plans there is some really important things to consider.
Like redesigning the blog for one! Priorities. Priorities.
Adult life is a little scary. When your a kid, you always want to grow up faster. And when you get there, you suddenly realise that you should have treasured those worry free early days more than you did. Because adult life involves decisions; decisions which may be right or wrong, but ones you and you alone have to make.
Over the past few weeks I have had those oh my god moments of stress, anxiety and uncertainty. There have been scribbles on note pads, to do lists and long distance skype conversations. And all because we are at a time in our adult lives when some serious decisions must be made and how can you know if your making the right one.
All a little cryptic I know, but the full account of said situation will all become clear at some point. For now I just needed to use this rather neglected blog space to share all the whirling thoughts I have in my head.
And I know, I really must do better with the blog posts right; February was a slow starter to say the least.
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