colourful umbrellas open together

Living in a Positive World Starts with You

Living in a positive world can seem far from easy when there are so many negative happening. Sure, but have you ever considered all of the wonderful things that there are to live? Whenever I think something goes wrong, I tell myself that “It could be worse” or that “There are worse things going on in the world.” It’s important to steer towards positive thinking about the future. The happiness in your life starts with you.

A positive mindset, positive friendships and relationships and feeling positive about yourself are three key things to living in a positive world.

Among the high level of pressure in today’s society to achieve things by a certain age to be successful or look a certain way to be classed as attractive is ridiculous. Be whoever the hell you want to be and don’t let anybody else’s appearance determine how attractive you are. There’s beauty in everyone and behind each and every human being are backgrounds that no one could have a clue about. That’s why I think we should grow into our own person rather than what we have seen.

Start with loving yourself

You can’t make people love you so why not love yourself? One of my weaknesses is self-criticism. Whether it be my face, my figure, my hair, skin (the list goes on) there’s always something to pick out. And if it’s not physical it’s wishing I could do better. More recently though, I’ve been recognising my potential. I’ve always believed in taking footsteps on my own journey rather than a vision of somebody else’s. Making my own choices has built the foundation of my happiness today.

Don’t be like everybody else

What’s the fun in being the same as everybody else? I’m probably one of the weirdest and random people you will ever meet. I know it and so do the closest people around me. I’m quiet sometimes but I’m also the giddiest at other times. Following the crowd isn’t my kind of thing. I’m happy to say that I’ve got a handful of close friends and not a single one of them has ever asked me to be different. Every single one of my friends have something different about them that I love. Express those personality traits regardless of what anyone has to say. Being your natural self is the best and you’ll be much happier.

Always believe that something amazing can happen

Going back 5-10 years ago, do you think I imagined to be where I am today? Nope. Having ambition, working incredibly hard and finding who are along the way has helped. I entered this world 3 months early so to my parents, I’ve probably always done the unexpected. I never thought I’d have a man in life who could love me just as much as a father love his daughter or a grandad loves his granddaughter. Being a homeowner by the age of 24 was never a plan but it happened at the right time and with the right person. Heading into a media/writing skilled carer was something that I thought was never going to happen but it did.

Never back down when life gives you heartbreak, challenges, or a sense of disbelief. Always be yourself and never let anyone dull your sparkle.

Looking Towards the Future Is Such an Exciting Thing

October will soon be coming to be an end. Once Halloween is over, Bonfire Night will soon be here and then before you know it, it’ll be Christmas. With preparations for the house kicking in, looking towards the future has never been so exciting.

Earlier me and Danny were talking about how we can wish the week away wishing it was Friday as soon as Monday arrives. We all wish for a longer weekend, right? It’s not so good to wish your life away but of course, it’s always nice to have things to look forward to.

We’re using small milestones to reach our goal of getting the house. The excitement is killing us inside but we want to wait until we’re further into the process so we know for sure that, without a doubt, it’s really happening.

While I’m on a positive trade of thought towards the future, there are a few things that have been on my mind recently.

I’m in one of the happiest places I’ve ever been

You know when you’re sat there thinking “I’m really happy where I am right now?” Well, that’s how it is at the moment. And it’s only going to get better. If we both keep working hard and stay motivated, the journey we’re sharing is going to become even more incredible.

The worrier I used to be doesn’t exist as half as much as it used to. Being yourself is the best way forward and having someone who loves every inch you inside and out, is my version of perfect. The reality is, he goes above and beyond everything I’ve ever dreamt of.

Having patience really does help

Sometimes you want things to happen right here and now. But looking towards the future is so much better, as you can see how worthwhile it really is. If everything happened exactly when you wanted it to, surely you’d run out of things to look forward to? I think it leads to more excitement when you’re closer to such an important event in your life.

Patience helps you to be healthier mentally. You’re not stressing about what’s to come. You simply live in the moment and know that time will take its course. Good things are coming, you have to keep believing that they will.

There’s no one else on earth I’d want to share my future with

I couldn’t be more sure about this one. He’s the one person I want to experience the same old things with and all of the new. Danny has taken me on the biggest journey of my life and it’s only going to get more amazing. How does he put up with my weird, random antics? We’re a right pair! Just the other day we were both in stitches in public and laughing together is one of my favourite things to do.

Count your lucky stars when you have someone and something to hold onto forever. Use each experience to go from strength to strength. Together, you can get everywhere you want to go regardless of what anybody else thinks.

What have you been feeling excited about recently as you’re looking towards the future?

Would You Rather Meet Someone’s Expectations Or Go Beyond Them?

Do you ever feel like you need to meet someone’s expectations? It’s crazy how we live in a world like this. Some people are brought up having to achieve certain grades and milestones to make their parents proud. My childhood was always about doing my best and if great results followed that was just a bonus. The main thing my parents wanted was for me to play, make friends, and learn new things in the process. But there have still been times where I feel like I disappointed them. It’s something we go through even as we get older.

The growing up stage

Growing up you learn that some friendships are forever and some drift away. And that’s okay. You’re still continuing to learn… you always are no matter no age. Facing the fear of not meeting someone’s expectations will worry you. Why? Because you’re afraid they’ll think less of you, or take away your feeling of being ‘good enough’.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve punished myself for not doing as well in something as I thought I would. Sometimes it’s about making more effort and a whole lot of hard work. But not always. At times, you’ve done all you can and it is what it is. As much of a challenge as it’s been, choosing to go on my own path had led me to the best things in life.

The 3 things that have brought out the best happiness in me are:

  • Sticking to my passion for media and writing throughout primary school (writing stories), high school (beginning a media studies qualification) and continuing with that in college and university. It led me to the job I’m in today which I wouldn’t have got with sticking to my dreams and working hard.
  • Doing things to remember the ones I’ve loved and lost. I’m glad that grandad has his name with granny on their plot. Having his name on there is so important to me. Completing the Great Manchester Run in memory of him was one of the most emotional rollercoasters. And it was one of my biggest accomplishments. I’ve also created my fundraising own event to raise awareness of premature babies, still births, and baby loss for Tommy’s. You might have seen my mum’s story about her experience of a still birth.
  • Being in a long-term relationship with my boyfriend who’s so much more than a ‘boyfriend’ – he’s my best friend. Everything I see in my future is with him. He gets frustrated with some of my insecurities and worries because he wishes I’d see what he does. Having someone who sees nothing but the best in you regardless of your flaws releases an amazing feeling.

It goes to show that you can go beyond your own expectations of yourself

Be proud of yourself. There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in what you do. I’ve probably told you several times that life is living. Make a list of all the things you’ve ever wanted to do and plan how/when you can do them. If being happy means you need to remove yourself from environments that drown you in misery then leave. Ask for help if you’re struggling. Surround yourself with positive people and a positive mind will follow.

The key message is, everyone struggles in some way or another. Have more faith in yourself and you’ll see that more things seem possible rather than impossible.

So what do you prefer to do – meet someone’s expectations or choose your own goals and choices? I’d love to know what you think. Comment below or tell me via Tasha Lifestyle on Twitter.

How Your Happiness Changes Over the Years

When I was a little girl I used to wonder what was beyond the happiness I had then. I remember the time my face lit up when I got a purple bike for Christmas or the time before that when I had this huge Crayola board. Let’s take a look through my life.

Chapter 1: Primary school

Happiness was playing with water and sand in primary school. Thinking you were so artistic with paint when you used to do that thing where you splatter it everywhere with different colours. Learning how to read, write, and listen. Learning a bit of Italian. Understanding what polite mannerisms are.

Being the kid that enjoyed maths and English. Running around carelessly in the playground. And then running to your parents at the school gate. Getting new stationery and cute little outfits when mum or the grandparents would take me shopping. Oh and how can I forget the endless amount of sweets at the pick ‘n’ pix?!

The school holidays were so exciting as you got spend lots of time with your friends and family. This continues into high school.

And I was still the aiming high kind of person. I wanted to work as hard as I could to get the best grades I could. Happiness at this point had more downfalls than it did in primary school.

Chapter 2: High school

The worst thing to happen to me during primary school was losing my granny. So I thought the hardest thing about high school but be difficult GCSE exams. Nope. I like to think I handled them pretty well. Grandad passed away in the second year of high school. You lose one and you think the other will stay forever. If that was a dream then what are you supposed to do when someone tells you to chase your dreams? Little did I know things were about to get harder.

High school brought bullies into my life. Not just to see it happening to others but to myself. I thought seeing others go through torture was horrible. It changes you as a person. You feel weak. Everything they do and say stays with you forever. You even start to wonder if the words they use describe you correctly. Or if you deserve things being thrown at you. It turns out I was the strong one and they were weak. They couldn’t do anything on their own but I got through the rest of high school with them being around. I stuck to working hard, enjoying time with friends and accepting that not everyone can accept you.

To be honest, I knew that from the get-go.

When the girls from the popular groups are superior to you. I remember my first week in year 7 (the first year of high school). One girl from my brother’s year was telling me what length to have my skirt. And another girl was telling her to leave me alone. I don’t think I wore a skirt from then on. Sticking to a pair of black pants and a white blouse was good for me.

I think about this one time my I was heading over to the toilets in the annex building alone. A boy in my year walked past and looked at me.  He turned around and said, are you in my year? I said yeah followed by answering with my name. From the large group of everyone who was ‘known’, someone stopped and took the time to see who I was. They weren’t nasty or judgemental – simply friendly.

Those kind of people would always say hi passing, cheer on the relay run at sports day, and had a laugh with you in class, they were the good moments. By year 10, I was happy again. I ignored everything that had ever got me down, started to put my hand up in class again, and walked with my head held high.

Chapter 3: College

I used to wonder who was going to hold my hand as I was getting older? Knowing that my parents will be there for me inevitably was sure. But what happens now?

Before you know it, you’re an adult. You see your brothers getting older and you think oh no, it means this is happening to me too. You might think you can’t wait to be 18 but your mind just has no idea what the future holds. Being a 16-year-old was difficult enough. Going through that stage where you think a boy might like you which can be exciting but doesn’t last very long. Perhaps college will bring new friendships?

I was so happy that it reunited me with people from primary school. I always thought that some people were shocked to see that I knew certain people. But I did. College was so hard. You gain more independence. But oh my, there’s a whole lot of hard work. Sometimes I would get the grades I wanted and other times I didn’t.

Your first 3 months of college can be spent as someone who’s challenging who you are.

Getting into a relationship with someone you barely knew but it was one of those things that happens because it happens. Trying to keep a hold on where friendships are going. Coming to terms with the fact that some people can just be strange or choose not to be associated with you. The “Oh I think a boy likes me” comes back into play just when you think you can’t be liked again. But then you realise you’re not like the girls you see photos of on Facebook or around in general. Being pretty or fun enough was hard. You’ve done a few things you probably wouldn’t have expected yourself to. But then you’re tired of trying to make things happen so you decide to live.

You realise that you were stuck in-between trying to be yourself and also trying to follow the crowd. That doesn’t work for you.

Chapter 4: From then onwards

All in all, university didn’t really live up to my expectations. Although the day of graduation feels surreal when you’re up on the stage and realise that 3 years of your life have gone by so fast. In July, another 3 years will have passed since that day. You don’t even have to worry who’s watching you in the audience or in the photos. You know they’ll be in your life forever. Perhaps you won’t stay close to all of your uni friends. But you’ll keep in touch with one or two for sure. Your group of friends was small for a reason.

Again, like college, university challenged you. You don’t like to look back on certain things. Everyone has opinions. You hate drama but seem to have caught up in it at times. People won’t always see why you did what you did but you stand for everything because you know. That’s what matters. This chapter stays small even though it’s the biggest part because you look back.

The pieces of the puzzle fit together

Earlier in your life, you wondered what was going to happen next. Well, here’s where everything comes together and you see it happening. Someone who has been on your path several times is heading in the same direction with you. There were three key stages in your lives prior to this. Primary school, the summer holidays before you began college, and the first year of college itself (their second). You think that after they’re not there not year or so, that’s it. Just like everything else that passes.

A simple funny little message from you and your contact is back. Of all the people in his life, he hasn’t forgotten about you. You remember the first time he ever complimented you. It turns out that the time apart was a very small part of your lives. As we got closer, I was frightened that it would all be taken away. I didn’t think he was beginning to feel what I did. But let’s look back on some key signs I may have overlooked at the time.

  • Your brother would choose to ask him “Where’s Tash?” on nights out.
  • The look in his eyes when he thought you were near somebody else hits you.
  • After all, he’s kept you safe for a while now.
  • He’s even lifted you over puddles in the rain.
  • He’s always there when you need someone to talk to.
  • He meant every single word you never wanted to believe for a very long time ago.

It’s him – he’s your happiness

You open your heart up to him. All of the mistakes you think you’ve ever made. From all the things he doesn’t already know, you tell him everything. That’s when everything falls together. It’s the second time round (that I was aware of) that he leant in to kiss me. Last time, I bit his lip and I was so nervous! In a room full of people, we just looked at each other and he held me. This time, I just knew it was meant to be.

The walks home at 2am in the morning. Holding my hand for the first time walking down the road. No care in the world other than the happiness in our faces and our hearts.

Ever since, he’s held my head up whenever I’ve been down. Wiped my tears away and turned them into smiles. Held my hand and travelled on so many adventures together. My biggest and most exciting adventure. This is where my happiness lies now and forever. The best decision I ever made because it’s lead to the greatest happiness.

To the people who think “It’ll change when you live together” you’re wrong.

When you’ve waited so long for that moment and took the time to make your relationship what it is, nothing changes who you are together. We waited for each other for so long, we know that nothing in the world can faze us.

Life Lessons Learnt in 2017

What lessons have you learnt this year? Yep, that’s another year that’s nearly over and done with again. I used to think I couldn’t quite believe it but then there comes a time when you realise how fast time can go. And you learn that time is so precious. One of my biggest goals for 2017 was a personal one – to worry less. Sounds much simpler written down, doesn’t it? I’d be lying if I said that I had fully achieved this. However, one thing is for sure, I’ve done my best to maintain a balance of positive thinking.

What I aimed for in 2017

Remember I told you that I wanted to get more active this year, as well as thinking a lot more positive? For the first part I really surprised myself. I didn’t become a fitness maniac but I conquered my gym fears and did all of the things I felt comfortable doing in order to increase my exercise activity. This hasn’t been everyday and this month it hasn’t even been at all. But I certainly do feel better once I partake in exercise. It boosts your mood and makes you feel stronger and fitter at the same time.

Taking a different perspective

As for the worry side. That’s always been a big part of me, it’s always been in my nature to worry. However, I started to learn to handle things differently. It was time to stop worrying about others so much and start to realise the impact it has on me. Especially a young woman with migraines and high blood pressure (which I’m hoping will go away in the new year).

Sometimes, I actually wonder why I’ve made myself so crazy. It’s mad. Running round in circles thinking what if, this or that… absolutely pointless. You only end up putting yourself on a downer when actually, you should be nothing but happy to move towards the future and live your life. Just the other night I was out with my two friends for Boxing Day. Truth be told we all got very merry and had a great night, especially me! I woke up thinking, oh no, me again. But then I thought, you know what when you’re out with friends, these things don’t matter. Another little thing I stopped myself from looming over.

Happiness is the most important thing

We just need to get a move on now and hope that more of our dreams start to come true in 2018. I’m sure I’ll share any new experiences that we face with you all. We really hoped to have moved out but that’s now of the things we know will be worth the wait. We’ll keep on saving and it will eventually happen. I do believe that.

Have you accomplished anything new this year?

The Power of Strengths and Weaknesses

Today I’ve been thinking about what to write. What do I want to share that’s new, something I haven’t done before? That’s when strengths and weaknesses come into my mind. We all have them so it’s a topic for anyone to discuss about how they feel about theirs. Sometimes, no matter how hard you want to try to get rid of a weakness, it isn’t always possible. But you can help yourself by working on ways to overcome particular situations or doing something less.

We all have a weak side

Take me for instance, if you didn’t know already, I’ve always been a massive worrier. That’s my biggest weakness. I’ve realised more than ever this year though just how pointless it can be to worry about things. You think you’re right to at the time then you realise it isn’t relevant or you didn’t have anything to worry about from the start.

Like I’ve said before, it can help to have someone there to show you how strong you can be.

He has given me the most amazing adventure and it’s only been a small part of the rest of our lives together. No matter how many insecurities I’ve had, no matter what weaknesses or downfalls I have, he’s there.

Other times, it’s up to you to decide how strong you can really be. Think of all of the great things you’ve accomplished. Even if it hasn’t been your day, month, or year, there’s got to be something. Earlier this year I felt like giving up. Facing unemployment or unhappiness in the workplace takes a serious toll on so many things in your life that others don’t always realise. However, once I began to believe in myself and that the right job for me would come along, it’s one of the biggest strengths I’ve ever had.

And then we have our strong side to show

March was when it all began to crumble. I began to feel worthless but ever since May this year something changed me as a person and my attitude to everything. Seven months later, I can say that I feel like I’m moving forward. All of your past experiences and choices make you who you are today and I’m proud of where I am. Securing a new permanent position was my most-needed goal for 2017. I’m happy, I’m respected, and growing up has become a whole lot more real. And it’s probably going to become surreal when more goals for the future are accomplished.

Take moving out for example, that was my most-wanted goal for 2017. Although me and Danny haven’t yet got our own place, we understand now that we are on a better path in getting there. Saving is under way and we keep imagining what our lives will be like together in our own home. We have more of an understanding of what it takes to meet that goal and are giving ourselves as much time as it needs in order to happen. That’s another key strength of mine that I like to have – patience.

It’s all down to you, just remember that we all have strengths and weaknesses

I think it can take a lot of persistence, patience, and believing in yourself to get through any kind of year. Remember that you can dream big but you can’t have it all. You might see that some people do ‘have it all’ but you start to realise what’s important in your life. And your life is what matters the most. No matter what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can make things happen.