I have OCD. And you?

OCD-mental-health-petite-wordsWhen you think of OCD you probably think of the continuous washing of hands or of someone turning the light switch on and off 100 times. But is that it? Is that really OCD? Nope. It’s part of it, for some people, but like all mental problems,  OCD comes in many shapes and sizes.

I have OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. I was born with it. And I will always have it, because OCD never leaves you. And if you let it, it will eat you up. It will make you feel isolated, hopeless and like the most dreadful person in the world, which of course you are not.

OCD is a clamp on your mind, it twists your thoughts and memories and can play them on repeat until you’re literally about to explode, anxious, torturous, THAT is OCD.

It started when I was a child, I remember having to tell my mum EVERYTHING, that was the first compulsion, THE TRUTH. I’m a compulsive truth teller, which most people actually admire, until I tell them something a bit too honest and  then suddenly friends vanish in a puff of smoke, never to be seen again. Why am I telling you all this?

Well, I think you need to know, because it’s my belief that there’s a of lot of us out there and a lot of people too scared to admit it.

But WHY?

Even today, where the gates of mental health are pretty open, there’s still such a cloud of uncertainly, too many questions unanswered. So as soon as you mention ‘MENTAL HEALTH’ you get thrown into a box marked ‘risky’ because  the brain is a funny old thing, it’s unpredictable and most people don’t like unpredictable. And here lies the big problem….. Of course we don’t want to admit we function differently from other person,  because god forbid we are actually different.

But I wonder… if we really got down to it, how many of us would have a mental health problem, at least at some point in our lives. I can’t talk for all mental health issues but I can give a little voice to OCD.

So here’s what you should know about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

You should know your child could have (it often starts at birth)

You should know it will never completely go away but it can be tamed

You should know that drugs (antidepressants etc) are not the answer

You should know it’s not just about ritualistic actions but also repetitive thoughts

You should know it’s really hard for people to admit they have OCD because explaining how they feel seems like the hardest thing in the world

You should know  going to therapy doesn’t help most people

You should know OCD is irrational, you cannot rationalise it

You should know about CBT, a great technique to deal with OCD

You should know Mindfulness and learning to live in more spiritual way is really helpful for calming OCD

You should know OCD has a good side, people with OCD are often more dedicated, motivated and push themselves until he job is done

I believe I was given OCD for a reason. I believe I can control it and I believe I can harness it for the better. If I wasn’t OCD I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be so ambitious, so pushy, so driven and I’m certain I wouldn’t see the world as I do.

I now understand that OCD is a part of me and by rejecting it I just made things worst. The hardest lesson in life is learning not to hide from ourselves, we have to embrace our demons and we have to remember there is no light without dark.

P.S  A  person who just washes there hands lots probably doesn’t have OCD. We call these people ‘hygienic’. This is something we need to think about because throwing labels around like they’re the cool new adjective can be really damaging. Ditto with ‘depressed’ you bf didn’t text back and you’ve finished the Ben and Jerry’s boo hoo, that’s not depression.

Mama.

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Mama and me have this thing, we have this thing where we can communicate without words, it’s not telepathy, it’s just what we do.

Because when we’re together we can think as one. So even though our minds are so very different, we really are the definition of chalk and cheese,  I feel her thoughts and I know she feels mine too.

Mama and I are one of the same and no matter how grown up I become, the fact will always remain, I was made from her.

I am hers and she is mine.

And there is something unequivocally wondrous about that.

Because being a mum is extraordinary.  Yes it may happen every day, it may be as common as taking a breath, mother’s are everywhere. But that bond between mother and child is really something to be in awe of.

And yet… how often do we stop to soak it all up, to sit quietly and drink it all in.

Today I am doing just that, for today is Mother’s Day. We are both sitting here, counting the zillion wonderful blessings we share. We’re here just having laughs and eating cake and loving it all, because there’s nothing quite so perfect as my mama.

Mama,  I will always be with you and near you, no matter how time and space separates us. We will always be US. And US is something so special, so treasured that it laughs in the face of disaster, it stands firm against disease and not even death can make a mark, for too much love has been shared and too much happiness has been granted. So US is impenetrable, US is forever. There will always be US mama.

Happy Mama’s day.

 

What IS LOVE?

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It’s an odd question isn’t it… What IS love? I often wonder about it, I bet you’re thinking , WOW here’s a lady with way to much time on her hands, but no, I just think it’s a question that deserves a thought and it IS almost Valentine’s Day!

LOVE: some say there are different types of love; the love of husband, love of a mother, a father, love of a friend, sibling love, to me it’s always been ONE love, like Sir Bobby Marley preached. And that’s how I knew, when I met my husband, that’s how I knew I loved him. He felt like my family, almost instantly,  like I’d always known him, he was the missing piece of my Petite jigsaw.

So we all know LOVE is amazing, but do we ever really stop to ponder the true ‘power of love’, yes I know it’s pure cheddar cheese, but do stay with me…

I believe we don’t think about LOVE enough, we talk about it enough, but never really stop to give LOVE  enough credit.

I get it, life is busy, we get comfortable, sometimes we take love for granted (naughty naughty!) but I can’t help thinking that us humans have complicated life way too much. I mean ‘All you need is love’….. and if the Beatles said it then it’s probably something we should take pretty seriously.

And whilst some people question, what about health, what about money, love won’t pay the bills and love doesn’t cure diseases. But… doesn’t it?

I mean, that do you think?

Here’s what I think about LOVE… incase you wanted to know:

I think far from blinding us LOVE actually gives us clarity, to view with magic eyes the true beauty and purpose of life.

LOVE unravels all problems, even if it takes a long time, it does.

LOVE moves us to the places we need to be.

LOVE is the biggest reality check, EVER.

LOVE makes even the grey days shine. Even when all hope is lost,  love has a way of soothing pain and calming reality.

LOVE teaches us the lessons that nothing or no one else can.

LOVE nurtures us without judgment and truly cares, unconditionally.

LOVE guides us to make better choices.

LOVE inspires us deep down to our roots.

LOVE shows us perfection isn’t real and that life and people are imperfect by nature.

LOVE teaches us that death is a fragment in time, but LOVE will be forever.

LOVE heals our wounds, no matter how deep they are.

LOVE gives us the space and confidence to grow into the person we are meant to be.

LOVE puts us back in tune with nature.

LOVE gives us unnerving strength to hold us up in the darkest of times.

LOVE makes us fight, for what is  good in the world.

LOVE brings out the best in our hearts and brings our souls back to life.

That’s what I think…. but look at me babble on like a love sick pony, let’s end this gooey eyed post before we both turn to mush.  Wishing you all a very happy day of love, today and always. One LOVE people, one love.

The Elusive Grey Goddess.

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I’m 27. I have 0 grey hairs (that I know of!) a few cackle lines and a dabbling of cellulite but nothing else…yet, because I’m young, but one day (if I’m lucky to live long enough) my frizzy hair will go grey, my plump skin with loose it’s bounce and my face will crinkle and soften declaring it’s chilled comfort in the body it calls home.

EVERYONE GROWS OLDER. Every second, of every day, from the day we are born….

But somewhere down the line, we’ve starting ‘Bejamin-buttoning’ backwards, sprinting fast as we can from our real age,  shameful of the years we’ve collected, survived and strived through.

WHY?

Society, the media, advertising, we’ve been had up, we’ve been scanned and quite frankly, damaged, by it all. Because we are not born vain, we didn’t come out of the womb and make a beeline for the nearest mirror, we’ve been conditioned ladies and gentleman and it is not good, not for me and not for you.

Vanity and it’s juicy lips and taut cheeks are plastered all over the media, it’s in films, in magazines, the celebrities we admire (sadly) and the fashions we tend to follow. Even our once geeky pal Carol Vorderman has joined the plastic babe brigade, what a shocker that was.

Some may say “Well, good for her” but is it really GOOD for her. Is inserting plastic in your body, a GOOD thing? Is injecting toxic chemicals into your face a GOOD thing? Is bowing down to vanity really a GOOD way to feel happy about yourself. I don’t believe it is.

Imagine a generation of perfectly pumped boobies and pulled back faces, where all lips are plump and all hair is dyed, where all nails are acrylic and all cheeks are contoured. And where bare faces are lost in the crowds of smokey, wrinkle less eyes.

Are we not born beautiful, in most unique sense of the word? So, then, why do we spend our whole lives trying to be somebody else, struggling to fit in with societies model of beauty. Surly we just need to find out how to be ourselves.

Because how long can we keep this up for?  Isn’t it exhausting….

And who made those ludicrous beauty rules anyway, why are wrinkles and grey hair such a terribly unattractive thing? I mean I get it, we’re programmed to be attracted to perky breasts and smooth skin but isn’t real BEAUTY more than that. What defines beauty, WHO defines beauty, surely WE do…. not magazines, not hollywood.

We are heading into a time where age and ageing are taboo, where silver foxes and grey goddess’ are an elusive thing of the past.

And if you’ve seen on of those mystical white headed  wonders you’ll get what I mean. It’s someone who ages with grace and wonder, someone who has clearly stuck two fingers up at the status quo. And those people, glow, they glow with the confidence and radiance that only a person who is truly comfortable in their own skin can achieve.  And I think WOW because THOSE are the characters we remember. THOSE are the woman and men that make you stop and stare. The pretty faces, the youthful rosy glows, they are lovely, but quite frankly anyone young can be youthful, but not everyone old will grow old gracefully. It’s a skill, it’s an art and it’s about knowing who you are and believing in your own kind of beauty.

It’s about time we jumped OFF the plastic face bandwagon and we stopped judging, stop pushing for youthful glows and smooth everything… let’s just BE, let’s have wrinkles, let’s go grey, let’s live.

And most of all let’s not be defined by fashion, by the media, let US define ourselves.

Kindness: we’re robots without it.

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Kindness, I never really thought about it much, it was just something you’re told from a young age is good and that you should try and BE IT. But often, as busy human beings we just forget to think about other people. And we’ve started mistaking NOT being ‘unkind’ as being kind, which of course it is not.

KINDNESS is doing something to give happiness, protection or general goodness to another person without any obligation or benefit to yourself. Do you do that? Do you do that everyday? Once a week? Now and then? Hardly ever? Never?

I remember when I lived in Italy, it was a tiny little town, the kind of place where your only friends are Mr biscotti and Mrs gelato. I was working  there as an nanny and every day I’d go to collect my newly adopted twins from their little nun run kindergarten. And because I was a newbie, a stranger, a clearly non-Italian fuzzy haired crazy, with flower power sunglasses,  I was mostly greeted with frosty chic glares and perfectly plucked, knitted brows. However, there was one lady,  a sweet Italian grandma and instead of staring, she just smiled.  I think she could sense my loneliness. And  when everyone else pointed and whispered, she spoke to me and we laughed. We could hardly understand each other, but that didn’t matter, because she understood something more important than English, she understood my need for a friend.

And at the end of that first month, she handed me a gift, it was a ceramic glazed Madonna and baby, she said it was to hang on my wall and to ‘protect’ me.

I was touched. I was so moved that she cared enough about me, a stranger, to make sure I felt safe and protected.  I’m not a religious person, but that day I converted, to KINDNESS.

I think the world is in danger and no I’m not talking about ‘climate change’. Did you know it’s now illegal in America to give food to a homeless person? I mean what? We’re encouraged by society to grown our ‘selfness’,to be unique individuals, but what about our fellow human beings, who we share this planet with, shouldn’t we give a stuff about them?

And of course the media, with it’s big skewed lense seems to focus only on the ‘unkindness’ of the world, as if there’s not a spec of kindness left.

And so we take for granted that people can be kind. We stop noticing it, stop seeing how special kindness is. And maybe we even feel entitled to it. Have you ever been queuing at a supermarket, when you’ve got a handful of items and the large trolley loaded customer doesn’t let you go first in the queue, you felt cross didn’t you,  you see?

So, turn off the tv, smile at people, give someone your parking ticket, help an old lady with her shopping bags, give a homeless person a sandwich, just sprinkle kindness, because kindness will always be something worth investing in.

The NY Resolutions You Actually Need

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Quit smoking, banish cake, drink less wine, New Year, new you.

My problem with New years resolutions is this… when the fresh NY vibes wear off and you start back at work, the schedule resumes and your new year good intentions end up on the recycling pile next to a very sad looking Christmas tree. Game over.

WHY? Because intentions, no matter how sterling, mean nothing without the drive to back them up. For example: I subscribed to babbel, I WILL learn Spanish, I bought a yoga dvd, I WILL do yoga, I bought green tea, I WILL get into my skinny jeans. What’s missing is the actually WILL that gets IT done.

I think sometimes we don’t understand ourselves, sometimes we’re just not ready for a change or sometimes we just don’t want it enough.

But that’s ok.

We shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves, our minds are a strange thing and instead of beating ourselves up about not getting the results we want or depressed because we’re not dedicated enough, we should do this… Be honest with ourselves.

So here’s the 5 REAL NY Resolutions that we should be making this year:

-Accept who you are. I don’t have Scarlett Johansson’s assets, my makeup will never be a flawless like Kim K’s (thank Fudge for that) and in the words of Bridget Jones “I’m always going to be just a little bit fat” We need to make peace with our wonderful selves and decide just how to emphasis our fabulousness, not paint another version of ourselves.

-Take baby steps. Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a long and winding road to goodness knows where, so you’ve got to be in it for long haul. Quick fixes and rushing into things never gets stuff done, make a plan, stick to the plan, get it done.

-Learn about stuff. No one can easily go from sausage rolls to raw kale in a week, especially if you’re only eating it because someone said ‘it’s good for you’. Try learning about healthy living, educate yourself about what super foods actually do, it IS truly fascinating and gives you a much better incentive rather than mindlessly munching carrot sticks like a clueless rabbit.

-Accept what we really want. Do you really want a six pack, or are you just wanting to be a little less jiggly, because they really are two different things. The end game of fitness doesn’t have to becoming world’s strongest woman, just be honest about what you really want and you’ll obtain it much easier.

-Look at you life from a fresh perspective. Sometimes we just need a little time away, from our family, our jobs, just to see who we are and what, if anything, needs to change. So, go for a walk, stay with a fried you’ve not seen in ages, just have some ‘thoughtful’ time because my goodness have any of us actually had time to THINK about 2016 and what went down, we need to, we must.

Cheers to 2017! May everyone reach their true potential and OWN this brand new year like the super stars we are!

I’m rubbish.

low-self-esteem-petite-wordsThat’s me somedays. Telling myself I’m rubbish. I’m not clever enough. I don’t smile enough. I’m not kind enough. Maybe I’m just not a good enough human being.

I can be pretty hard on myself somedays, especially given none of the above is true.

In fact… I am a pretty wonderful person.  I am kind and I care about people. So if you know me you’re probably reading this thinking ‘WHAT!?!’  because on the outside I’m a very ‘together’ person, I am ambitious and happy, but, like most things in like a story is so much more then the cover.

And despite all the happiness there are still some days when that unwelcome little whisper tells me I’m just not good enough.

I’m not the only one am I?

We’ve all been there, we’ve all listen for too long and too attentively to that sad little voice in our heads, the self doubt, the anxiety of ‘what if’.

Low self esteem, there you go, I said it. It’s there and it’s as common as a hipster in a flannel shirt, so why do we still feel ashamed to talk about it?

I blame the British ‘stiff upper lip’ nonsense. We’re scared of coming up inadequate or letting our insecurities be seen  because god forbid we aren’t actually perfect. So we bury our heads in the sand and we paint on smiles instead of accepting our problems and working to find a solution.

But I say let’s STOP. Let’s not spend a second longer doubting our awesomeness. We are amazing and it’s a new year, a perfect time to give ourselves a big hug and take back control. Here’s my top self-esteem boosting tips, because you ARE a super star, go ahead an whisper that to yourself!

  1. Get out there! Don’t just stay at home, playing out your life, pondering all the things that could go wrong. Get dressed and push yourself out there, a good friend once told me ‘If we don’t go, we can never know.’ Exactly.
  2. Meditation: Like it or not, meditation and just being still is a great way to clear the fog that self-doubt and negative thoughts bring, allowing you to see more clearly. It always works for me.
  3. Think Positive: It’s all about the mindset. Tell yourself something enough times and you will believe it, this works with both positive and negative thoughts. I find affirmations help me a lot, telling myself I am loved, I am a good person that has a wonderful family supporting me. Try writing a list of 10 positive affirmations and repeat them each day. Read my own affirmations to give you a little inspiration.
  4. Chakra Healing: My wonderful par gave me a great book ‘The Book Of Chakra Healing’ by Liz Simpson. I’m finding myself more and more draw to this kind of life choice, because it just seems to work, it keeps me calm and helps me to find a balance. If you’re unfamiliar with ‘Chakras’ do look into it, I’d try and explain it, but I wouldn’t do it justice, read more here, you won’t be sorry you did.
  5. Do what you love and do it more often: So many times I’ve seen people feeling so low, with no confidence and I look at their life and think ‘no wonder!’. Because they don’t seem to love themselves. If you don’t truly love yourself your world will just crumble. We must make time for ourselves, be it time for eating truffles in the bath or reading novels in bed, we MUST put ourselves first, at least a little of the time.

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How To Find The Christmas Spirit

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Christmas, the most magical time of the year, a fairytale of tinsel and wonder, a time that will either drive you crazy or bring on a happiness of epic proportions. Me? I’ve always been a devout lover of Christmas, I’m not religious, I just believe in the spirit of it all and the magic that it brings.

However, the older I get, the more I find myself troubled by the confusion and misdirection of it all. Between the continuous stream of advertising and the palpable pressure society puts on us, we’ve lost our way. We’ve let the true spirit of Christmas fade into tacky Christmas jumpers and maxing out our credit cards.

Since when was Christmas about money, has it not always been about JOY. About love,  about giving and being united in our happiness.

So this year, I want to do my bit in spreading Christmas cheer with my top tips to find the magic of Christmas, because it really is the best gift of all.

  • Don’t buy too many presents. No my name is not scrooge and yes I DO like presents, but hasn’t it all got a bit much? Some may gasp in horror, others may say “Well it’s only once a year!” well so what, does that mean that we must turn into greedy delusional monsters, I’d rather not. And because money, as we all know,  does not buy happiness, it just buys something cool, something pretty, which will probably end up in the charity shop come next year.
  • Deck the halls as a family. This is a definite giver of joy and a great chance to get away from the madness outside and embrace the warmth of your home and family. Just put on some Christmas tunes, pour yourself something sweet n strong and enjoy the whimsy of hanging all kinds of knick-knackery around the house, knowing it will never, EVER be dusted and nobody cares, it’s Christmas.
  • Don’t go shopping in December. As if shopping wasn’t a big enough horror story, you can still see people madly dashing about like headless reindeers days before the ‘big day’. All in the name of “just one more this” or “Oh no I’ve forgotten that” There is no end to it, until YOU put an end to it. You really don’t NEED what you think you need.
  • Embrace the Elf gift wrapper within. It’s gotta be done, and providing you followed RULE 1 then wrapping your presents should be pretty effortless. So grab a glass of festive cheer (yes elves DO drink prosecco) and imagine you’ve been hired by Father Christmas as head gift wrapper. Then award yourself prosecco for a job well done!
  • Bake Christmassy Stuff. It frustrates me to see so much stress caused by the Christmas dinner, we really do pile those expectations on. So I much prefer pre-Christmas baking, and the happiness that comes from making sweet treats like marzipan fruits, mince pies and the naughtiest of all Chocolate log! So embrace the festive baker within, the turkey can wait, now is the time for jolly experimentation and cooking fun!
  • Go out for mulled wine. Like it or not mulled wine has a magical way of bringing about festive cheer. I’m not sure whether it’s the alcohol or the various spices, it just works, so go on, chin chin!
  • Take a walk in a forest. Especially if you are permitted to snip snip a holly branch or 2! There’s just something truly beautiful about forests and woodlands in wintertime, the crisp winter air, the feeling that everything is content, nestled sleepily waiting for spring, super peaceful. And no, it’s not the mulled wine talking!
  • Listen to a Christmas band. This marks the start of Christmas for me, a brass band’s nostalgic hum bringing people together, iPhones down, ahhh can you smell Christmas in the air?  
  • Spring clean the house. It may sound like the last place you’d find festive cheer but truly giving your house a good clean banishes all kinds of negative energy, making way for the all Christmas joy to come.
  • Go tree shopping & Buy and REAL tree. For me Christmas died a little bit when a silly man invented a plastic tree…. I’m sorry plastic tree people, it’s nothing personal, you just can’t replace that divine pine smell and the feeling that Christmas, like your sap leaking tree, is REAL…
  • Go for brunch. I can’t pin-point why it feels so good, I just know that it does. Brunch around Christmas time just fills me with a glow, a happiness like the day is all a fresh and there’s so much wonder to come. And it’s always so much more chilled than festive lunches or bustling dinners out. And coffee is always endless.
  • Buy Champagne. Nothing says Christmas like the clinking of bottles, especially sparkling bottles of delight. Champagne is my absolute favourite drink and still remains my no.1 fav thing about being an adult. And it doesn’t have to cost the earth, just know that champagne is so worth it. I’m sorry prosecco, you aint got nothing on Queen Champers.
  • Spend time with your siblings. We never truly grow up, do we… so your brothers and sisters remain like portholes back to Christmas’ past. And all the memories you’ve shared glow even brighten at Christmas. The excitement of being with my brothers at this time of year, will always remain one of my favourite things about Christmas, we remember we are always siblings, always someones children forever, no matter our ages.

So, have a very very MERRY CHRISTMAS wonderful people! See you in the new year, 2017 I can see you coming…..

Q&A Blogger Tag

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Hello! I’m Petite, so nice to meet you and have you here, reading my blog! The wonderful Lucy Locket nominated me to answer her little Q&A so here goes….

  1. Describe your favourite way to spend a Sunday.  It would be a long breakfast with endless coffees, pancakes and bacon, in bed,  just chatting, watching some anime. Then walks in the park/ on the beach with my family and cosy films snuggled with chocolates and cushions.
  2. What is your all-time favourite book any why? Oh just 1, I can’t, I’m sorry! It’s got to be Peter Pan by JM Barrie, just pure enchanting wonder, Memories of a Geisha by Arthur Golden because it’s so beautifully written and about one of my favourite countries to read about historically, Japan and finally The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, because she taught me that unique thoughts are a powerful thing and I always kept that idea of ‘individualism’ firmly in my head, a brilliant, insightful read.
  3. What song, if any, makes you cry?  LES FLEUR – 4hero, truly Euphoric. I chose it for our end of ceremony song at our wedding blessing, it was a tough tough job to reach that point in our lives, with immigration issues etc (husband is from Colombia) and now every time I hear it I think of how empowered and joyous I felt and how exceptional life can be, against all the odds.
  4. Who inspires you and why? My mama, for alway finding a way and being beautifully strong and kind. Children, working with them gives me daily bursts of inspiration! Other bloggers, so many of who I’m in total awe of! Roald Dahl, for his wonderful way of looking at the world and for having unique quirks and tastes and sticking to them. And Frieda Kahlo, for having the integrity to lay her soul bare and for being an absolute Goddess!
  5. Do you have any hobbies? If so, what are they? Drawing, mostly with the iPad, writing, evidently and Yoga/qigong when I can pull myself away from the writing/drawing. And TRAVEL, the 2nd love of my life.
  6. What has been the highlight of your year? This year has been a pretty epic… but I suppose I’d have to say our wedding blessing, because it was pure love and magic!
  7. What is your favourite blog post that you have written? My  favourite would have to be… ‘Life is perfect, but here’s what you didn’t see’ because it’s my most REAL post to date. I really poured my heart into it and it seemed to effect so many women and stirred up a such supportive and relative response, which was amazing.
  8. What is one piece of advice you would give to a new blogger? Find yourself, don’t replicate other bloggers, EVERYONE has a unique voice, I really believe that and if you think you don’t then you’re just not looking deep enough!
  9. What is your top goal for 2017? To keep the happiness flowing….A goal for life i think. And to focus more on mindfulness and strengthen my mindset. I go from feeling empowered to doubtful too quickly and I’d like to work on that.
  10. Describe yourself in 5 words! Driven, eccentric, childlike, kind and frank.

That was fun! Now, pretty please join in the questiony fun ladies:

Julia (Rainbeaubelle),  Emily (My Petit Canard)Claire (A Life In Practice),  El (Babies, Biscuits & Booze)

My questions are as follows:

1. What’s your favourite cake?

2. What advice can you give someone about to give birth?

3. What is your strongest asset?

4. What was your favourite childhood toy?

5. What’s the most inspiring blog post you’ve ever read?

6. What do you think about Organic products?

7. What’s your favourite Christmas tradition?

8. What’s you absolute fav item of clothing?

9. Can you tell us a little secret that no body knows?

10. What’s on your Christmas list this year?

 

Life is Perfect. But here’s what you didn’t see…

what-you-didnt-see-petite-words-inspireI’ve recently been writing an article, about how we’re seen in the eyes of others, asking people to choose one positive and one negative to describe me. And a woman I know  gave me a negative that really haunted me…and inspired this post.

She said “I’d say that maybe your positivity and energy sometimes could make people think… your life looks way too perfect.” I was astounded that someone thought that way about me! Had I been flaunting my happiness in other peoples faces…. no, not that I was aware of. So it got me wondering, what gives someone the right to judge our happiness. To assume that it was so easily obtained, like happiness comes easy to me!

And so I wrote this post…..because it’s important. It’s important that people know: NO ONE has a perfect life, even if it looks perfect or things are perfect at times, you never see the behind the scenes, you never see the work that goes into another persons life, no one ever does. We judge, because we compare only fragments of our lives but we have no idea the demons people are fighting.

So, here’s what you see:  A happy life. Married to a man she loves. Travel and adventures. Her family are her soul mates and she owns a business that she’s passionate about. BUT….

Here’s what you didn’t see….

You didn’t see me leave my family behind, when I moved thousands of miles away to China.  Because I was so desperate to make myself and my family proud,  and England was a jobless, hopeless pit for me.

You didn’t see me hold my head up in Chongqing and what it took to make a new life. You didn’t see the first weeks, with no internet, no phone, jumping on a train for an hour and half to reach Starbucks, just to hear my families voices muffed over Skype. You didn’t see when I fell down the escalator and no one helped. And  you didn’t see the months of waiting for my infected wounds to heal in the 40′ Chongqing summer.

You didn’t see the cockroaches that infested our apartment, or the untroubled landlord that refused to help.

You did’t see me, when I couldn’t take it anymore,  amongst the grey clouds of smog, which seemed to soak up my hopes of home. You didn’t see how I was torn between the man  I’d fallen in love with and my precious family, thousands of miles away.

You didn’t feel the guilt of taking someone from their country and changing their dreams… Sometimes I would cry at night… caught in limbo, I had so much love, but felt so very lonely. You didn’t see that.

You didn’t see the months in Italy, when we lived on a single part time salary, when we ate fish finger pasta and cut a pork chop into 4 pieces. You didn’t see how happy I was going to buy a €2 bar of Milka chocolate and  you didn’t see me breaking it off row by row, so I could have a treat each day.

You didn’t see the months of struggle, wrestling every week, waking up at 6am, hustling though the Milan commuters,  queuing up outside the Immigration centre, like lepers. You didn’t see the waiting, hoping and praying that this would be the week, the week my husbands gets his papers…You didn’t see the look on my face when we hit another brick wall and how it felt like we’d never get home.

You didn’t see the nights of fierce arguments and rings thrown across the room, of days exhausted and feeling the wrong choice had been made. The days when I wanted to give up, when I packed my life into my suitcase, then unpacked it all again.

You didn’t see the forest of paperwork that had to be lovingly filled out, the years of evidence that had to be carefully complied: utility bills, library cards, photos, letters it was the ultimate monument to our love.

You didn’t see me working all night, staying up until 4 am, eating and typing, juggling a new business, learning from 0 and feeling hopeless.  You didn’t see my doubtful face, you didn’t see the pressure, the stress. You didn’t see me answering emails throughout dinners, during holidays, on the bus, feeling sick, typing and holding it together.

You didn’t see the puffy eyes from last nights tears and the threadbare patches on our marriage.  You didn’t see that. You didn’t see any of it.

So there you have it, now you see.

Can we not just rejoice when there are triumphs and for god sake saviour the sweetness. Let’s stop feeling bad about good things happening, about being a success,  about hard work paying off, about earning the credit you finally deserve, about finding love,  because heaven knows we worked hard enough for it!

So here’s to you and your happiness and shining like a star whenever you blooming well feel like it!

And to the lovely lady who highlighted that negative point, thank you and I’m sorry you didn’t see, maybe I just didn’t show you….

 

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