Hey, It’s Okay… To Be Different

Hello! It’s been a while since my last Hey, It’s Okay… post. They are some of my favourite posts to share and some of the most read and most popular on the blog. I still have so many things I want to talk about in these posts but instead of committing to one every month, I tend to write them when I feel strongly about certain topics.


Most of my life I have felt different. It’s a hard feeling to describe but one of the easiest ways I can think of is a square peg in a round hole. It’s not so much a feeling of isolation but more to do with the way I think and how I perceive things. Right now I am super proud of the person I am! I don’t let being an individual define me as much as it once did.

I want to use this post to explain some of the ways I have felt different but at the same time I realise other people may deem these differences as ‘normal’.

School

At school I was the well behaved student, who always handed work in on time and always did her homework. I didn’t perceive myself as better than the other students, I’ve always had a strong work ethic and was worried what would happen if I didn’t get it done on time. I thought I would get a detention or get in trouble. I was never a big fan of the social element of school either, I didn’t party or drink alcohol. I never made drunken decisions I would later regret and did well academically. 

Blog Monetisation

I have spoken about this briefly before and in fact dedicated a whole post to it *HERE*. I never started blogging with the intention to make money from it. I don’t get paid to review products and I have never been sent anything to review. I don’t mind the fact I don’t do this because my readers know this blog is purely me and I talk about products I have purchased with my own money or won through giveaways. Having so many new products to review and write about would overwhelm me. I very much like comfort zones.

Dating & Relationships

Before I met my boyfriend I had no previous relationship experience and sometimes I felt like I was strange and that there was something wrong with me. I never felt like I had to have a boyfriend and it would happen when I was ready but now I don’t see what I was worried about. Even though I had never been in a relationship before I don’t feel awkward in any situations and feel like I have to act a certain way. I’m just me and I’m so thankful the person I met I can be myself around. I also feel like our relationship is ours. We’re not a showy couple, we don’t even have a picture together (yet) but we don’t mind. We don’t have rules, we just enjoy being with each other.

Work

Work is kind of like school for me. I follow the rules, do what my boss tells me to do and I always turn up on time. I’ve never taken a sick day in my current job and have only not turned up to work once because my mum was ill. I go to work to do my work, I’m focused on the task at hand and take pride in my abilities. I would be scared to take the day off work for no reason, I couldn’t bring myself to do it because I’m so honest. I’m not saying other people don’t have this approach to work but I always see and hear people talking about the younger generation’s work ethic and whilst there are some people who do slack off and don’t want to learn, I’m the opposite.

My Mind

There is one link tying this whole post together; my mind and the way I think. The way I think is very considerate and 95% of the time tends to favour other people and their feelings rather than my own. I think about things in an abstract way and present options that aren’t what would be considered the norm. I’m calculated in how I act and what I say and like to think I have a high emotional intelligence (EQ). I am smart and focused and I know what I want. I have morals and standards but I don’t try to impose those on anyone else. I understand that everyone is an individual and they make their own choices and decisions. At times I feel like my mind is wise beyond my years but I am sensible and organised and that has always taken me far. Your mindset is important, it determines how you think and how you act.


I am proud of the person I am and I don’t see these things as differences anymore. It’s all about perception and how you choose to deal with them that matters. It’s okay if you didn’t like school but turned up everyday because you wanted to do well in exams, it’s okay if you’ve only had one relationship at age 22 and most of all it’s okay if you think outside of the box and not like everyone else. Being different is what makes you special!

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Hey, It’s Okay… Not To Have Many Friends

I’m going to start by saying I’ve never been the most social of butterflies. I don’t enjoy crowds of people and throwing myself into social situations. I have my comfort zone and tend to stick to it. That doesn’t mean to say sometimes I’m not brave and I don’t like socialising but I lean more towards being an introvert.

I have always wondered what the proper definition of a best friend is. I imagine best friends know each other since they were little, grow up together, are always at each others houses, and no topics are off limits. Is that what it’s like or is that a cliche? It wasn’t until recently I felt like I had a contender for best friend (no offence to anyone I know in real life if you’re reading). I had no idea my boyfriend would become like my best friend when I met him. We talk every single day and I always love the conversations we have. I feel like we can talk about anything which is important to me because I haven’t always felt comfortable talking to some people about certain things and now I have this person I can talk to about everything. I feel similar towards my mum, but not every personal detail gets shared with her.

At school I had a few close people to call on but there were times during high school I would sit by myself at break times or go to the library and read or finish off work. When you’re young being popular makes you feel good but most of the time I didn’t mind being by myself or having a small group of friends and I still think that way now. I have a couple of school friends who I don’t see regularly but we’re still close and when we see each other we pick up where we left off. It can be months without seeing or talking to each other. I’d like to think we will always have that bond. We’re in different stages of life, naturally you grow and move on but we still keep in touch.

I know I’m different and I’ve come to accept and love that! I was always the kid that did their homework at weekends instead of going to parties. I’m not bad at socialising and can hold my own in a conversation. I will have a conversation about nearly anything and I’ve always been an asker of questions. I genuinely enjoy learning about different things and what makes people tick. If I don’t have an opinion on a topic or don’t feel knowledgeable enough I will say so which often leads to more questions and picking up new information. I like to think my social skills are acceptable and generally I’m a friendly person and easy to get along with.

I won’t pretend I’ve never felt lonely because there’s been many a time. It teaches you what kind of friend you’d be and the type of friend you are. I’ve never been the like sisters, always in each others pocket friend and maybe I am more reserved and close myself off more than I intend. I’ve always respected my need for space and alone time and maybe I assume everyone else is like me and needs the same amount of space/time. When I write these Hey, It’s Okay… posts they really make me think and question why I am the way I am. For me, that’s important, it shows growth and the ability to analyse and evaluate purpose.

I always seem to talk about Facebook in these posts but the amount of ‘Friends’ you have on Facebook doesn’t reflect anything. I prefer to text people rather than update them through social media so that’s probably why I don’t use it too often and I don’t get many notifications. We all have those people we’re Facebook friends with because we know them but we don’t follow their every move and we may not even know them very well. Facebook is a bit of fun, and a tool I use to stay in contact with people. I don’t make it my life. I don’t update my status regularly so if you’re close to me, chances are you know what’s going on and how I’m doing. I prefer catching up in person rather than through a screen.

The point of this post is basically to say don’t worry about the number of friends you may or may not have, quality over quantity! It doesn’t mean you’ll never make friends or meet people you click with. I’d be lost sometimes if I didn’t have this blog and wasn’t able to connect and interact with my blogging family. It’s nice to have like minded people around you and people you can confide in and talk too but wanting your own space is also healthy.

I’m sure there will be friends you grew up with but no longer see or you grew apart. Most of the time I believe everything happens for a reason and while you may not know why it happens at the time, someone will come along and make you forget about that lost friend. You’re never alone! You’re even luckier if you get to marry your best friend and grow old together, they’ll always be by your side!


What does friendship mean to you?

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Hey, It’s Okay… Not To Share

Hey It's Okay

Before I get started with this post I’m letting you know I will continue to write Hey, It’s Okay… posts. I’m not aiming to get one up every month but if there’s a topic I want to discuss or something influences me, I will write about it. I hope you enjoy this as much as the others!


It may surprise you that although I have a blog I am a very private person. Sometimes I don’t like talking about myself and there are things that I feel don’t need to be shared. On the flipside, when I do open up and share I am very honest and I don’t apologise for that. I think everything through and nothing comes out of my mouth (or appears on a screen) that hasn’t been carefully considered.

Recently I had a conversation with someone who reminded me that you don’t have to share everything that goes on in your life. For example, if you put something on social media the majority of the world can see it and even if you think you’ve removed it it may be able to be found and traced back to you. That is a slightly scary thought but I know I try to be kind and considerate at all times and I’m not unhappy with what I share and post on social media. I try to remain happy and uplifting on the platforms I use and I have never bullied someone or bad mouthed them. I would never use social media to bring someone down.

I personally don’t find Facebook a useful sharing tool and I don’t share a lot of my life on it. People get competitive and treat Facebook like a popularity contest. I mainly use it to catch up with friends and most of the time I prefer texting over Facebook messaging.

Going back to me being a private person, my boyfriend and I are ‘In a Relationship’ and Facebook official but before announcing it we didn’t really tell anybody. The only person I told was my mum and my boyfriend told his parents and a couple of friends. I didn’t feel the need to tell anybody else because I was enjoying spending time with him and wasn’t concerned about posting updates about what we were doing to my news feed. Even though I was really excited and it was a big deal for me, I didn’t want to announce anything right away. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to tell my friends or thought they shouldn’t know but I was taking time to figure things out and enjoying being in the moment.

I don’t speak about my boyfriend much on the blog purely because I don’t know if he’d be comfortable with that. Most of the time I talk about makeup which isn’t relevant to him anyway. I’ve had numerous comments saying how cute we are and I’ve been asked to share how me met. I’m not nervous or ashamed but again I don’t know if he’d want me to do that so I kind of leave it there. Maybe one day I will, who knows!

It’s not only personal details I get a bit apprehensive to share, it’s hard times too. In my Gratitude Journal: January post I mentioned that January had been a strange month and there were a few personal struggles going on. I didn’t talk about these apart from with those involved and it made me realise what is truly important. I love being able to connect and talk about one of my biggest passions through this blog but I don’t have to share every ounce of my life here either. I don’t mean that negatively but there are times when you don’t always feel like talking and you’ve just got to cry, stress out and get through the next week. There have been times over the past few weeks where life has felt hard and I haven’t felt like sharing my struggles with the world. I don’t try to sugarcoat life and make out that everything is great and running smoothly all the time. I am thankful for those who offer words of kindness and support and help when I need it. I remind myself that I am strong and still look for something good in every day.

Do you like to be open and honest or play your cards close to your chest? Perhaps, like me, you’re a bit of both? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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Hey, It’s Okay… If Christmas Isn’t Your Favourite Holiday

Hey It's Okay

Hey everyone and welcome to the twelfth and final Hey, It’s Okay… post for 2016! Before I get into the post, let me just clarify I’m not going to get all bah humbug and Scrooge on you.

Twinkling lights, snow falling down, fireplace roaring, stuffing your face with food, sounds like Christmas right?! Movies always paint a picture of how Christmas looks and how it should be when in reality it’s not always like that. Take Christmas in New Zealand for example, Christmas is in summer so it’s always warm – you won’t see snow and there won’t be a fireplace roaring. I’ve had 20 summer Christmases (coming up 21) and I still find it weird. I’d love to experience a cold Christmas one day and curl up on the couch with a cosy jumper opening presents.

Personally, Christmas isn’t my favourite holiday but it’s not my least favourite either. I have reasons why I like it and reasons I don’t.

I love the idea that Christmas brings family and friends together and you get to swap presents and celebrate and spend time with each other. Christmas is also a great excuse to indulge in lots of yummy food and overeat. Roast pork with crackling is what my family normally has for our big meal at lunch and it is delicious! Pavlova (a meringue based dessert) is my absolute favourite and a Christmas treat I always look forward to! Let’s face it, we all love receiving presents and the fact someone has gone to the trouble of thinking what to buy you is really what counts but I thoroughly enjoy gift shopping for others and I boast that I’m a pretty decent gift giver. I like to get my shopping out of the way early to avoid the last minute rush. Christmas lights and decorations automatically make things feel more like Christmas and I never tire of looking at fairy lights.

On the flipside, like many other holidays Christmas seems to be becoming more about children. I know children are fascinated with the idea of Santa but I think if we focused more on family traditions as we grow up we wouldn’t feel as stressed and overwhelmed by all the shopping/cooking/preparing that needs to be done. Christmas to me has always seemed like the type of holiday that is for the family (compared to something like Halloween where it’s normally only kids that go trick or treating). Christmas should be a time of togetherness and celebration, not worrying about trying to top last year’s presents. This brings me to next point, I don’t want this to sound rude but a lot of children these days are spoilt. When I was a child (and still now to an extent) I would never ask or suggest what I wanted as presents. It’s the thought that counts and you get what you are given. Love and thoughtfulness should not be compared to a monetary value! For many families, they can’t afford extravagant gifts or the latest technology and I know from personal experience and growing up that way that what you do receive is appreciated more.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t give presents or exchange gifts but instead of the price we should be focusing on the meaning behind the gifts and how special the people giving them to us are. Often it’s personal, handmade gifts that are far more meaningful.

Maybe I am being overly critical and assuming everyone sees Christmas the way I do but things have changed since I was younger and the magic of Christmas seems to have gotten lost among commercialisation. There are elements of Christmas I enjoy but it’s almost like the excitement of Christmas is lacking. We should spend time trying to bring that back rather than who can get the best bargain in the sales after the big day!

Is Christmas your favourite holiday? Does it still feel magical for you?


I really hope you enjoyed the Hey, It’s Okay… series! Let me know if you would be interested in more posts next year and if you have any suggestions or topics you’d like me to discuss.

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Hey, It’s Okay… To Feel Unmotivated

Hey It's Okay

This month I wanted to talk about motivation which is highly important to me. I like to think of myself as a very hard working, motivated person in pretty much everything I do. I don’t do things halfheartedly and I like to be proud of what I’m doing, whether that be at school, taking time to make sure my makeup is applied correctly and looks nice or this blog. My self motivation is part of the reason I was successful at school and why I like to succeed. I set standards and it feels good when you reach them. (I promise I can be relaxed and easy going too).

A couple of weeks ago I shared a post called, ‘Taking a Break’ and it was nice to have a short time away and not think about blogging as much as usual. I keep mentioning how busy I have been over the past couple of months and I’ve been contemplating whether more of an extended break would be a good idea. There are a few reasons I have been busier recently, I started a new job, I traveled (twice) and I have been seeing someone. Our relationship is still pretty new and I’ve been in two minds whether to share that information or not just because I don’t know how much he would be comfortable with. A lot of time lately has been spent with him which I have loved and I got to thinking maybe I could do with a break from the blog.

I don’t want to say I won’t be posting at all. If I get an idea and feel like sharing it, I will. However, there may not be three new posts a week like there is at the moment. I’m going to trial this until the end of November with the possibility of it extending into December. This will not affect Project Pan, my Monthly Favourites or my Happiness Highlights – those posts will still go up as usual.

I don’t want to stop blogging but I want to make sure the posts I write are exciting and blogging doesn’t feel like a chore. I never want to get to the point where I’m tired of blogging and don’t want to do it. It’s healthy to want time out and need a break now and again and that relates to many aspects of life. It’s normal to experience a lack of motivation so don’t make yourself feel bad about it. Some days you might not want to get out of bed – don’t, some days you might feel frustrated and upset – cry, you don’t have to do anything that doesn’t make you happy if you’re not in the mood to do it.

Sometimes you need a break from something to miss it and realise why you enjoyed it so much in the first place, you will come back to it eventually. I have worked and run this blog for 2 and a 1/2 years and I love everything it has become. It has made me more confident, it has taught me so much and it allows me to share my thoughts. This time away is about focusing my energy and motivation on a part of life I haven’t experienced before because like everything else, I too want that to be successful.


P.S. These posts and this series has become one of my favourite aspects of the blog. I love sitting at my laptop and pouring out honest thoughts. I want to say thank you for all the interaction on last month’s topic relating to Blogging Freebies. If you haven’t read that post yet, I urge you to check it out!

P.P.S. I will be back on Monday with a Project Pan post!

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Hey, It’s Okay… If You Don’t Receive Blogging Freebies

Hey It's OkayIn August, I discussed what it’s like if people don’t read your blog and not to let popularity and numbers affect your feelings towards blogging. (CLICK HERE to read that post). This month’s topic follows a similar route and I will be talking about my thoughts relating to PR, sponsored content and sample products.

I will start by saying I have NEVER received a product from a company or person in exchange for written content or promotion of that company’s brand/services etc. If I had, I would disclose it like most bloggers do. I have however been asked to collaborate with a few brands in the past and write posts to assist with the marketing of their brand but I received no compensation in exchange.

To reiterate, I have never received compensation for any post written on this blog. I’m fine with that. I didn’t start this blog to try and get free products or to be noticed by companies to help promote certain products and campaigns. This blog is very much a personal space and while I’m not saying I don’t want to collaborate it was never an aim when I began blogging. I can honestly say all of the products I use and talk about have been purchased by me, given as a gift or won as a prize through a giveaway.

Like a few things when it comes to blogging, sponsored content, samples and PR seems to be one of those taboo subjects that isn’t talked about very often. In some ways I get that because there must be an element of privacy and confidentiality that comes with new product launches. Sadly though, there are people who are out for all they can get and if they can get the freebies and samples, they’re not going to go round telling other people how they can do the same because they don’t want to miss out.

There are blogger networks and programmes you can sign up to. Personally, I’m not a member of any. (I did sign up to Webfluential but I’m not completely sure what it does and I’ve never used it). One of the main reasons for that is because they’re US based or based in Europe and I don’t live in either of those places. In all honesty, I think while it would be exciting to try out samples and products at the start, I’d get sick of products arriving because I’d get confused about what to use and what has been tried and what hasn’t. I get overwhelmed with my beauty products at the moment and compared to most people, my collection is tiny!

In no way am I having a go at bloggers who do sign up to those networks and programmes or who do receive free products in exchange for written content. I’m just saying that you don’t have to be one of those bloggers. I have always been different in the way I think and the way I go about things and you might think it’s crazy that I don’t want free stuff or promotion for my blog but as I mentioned earlier in the post, that’s not what I had in mind when I started this blog. My blog is almost like my diary, I document different makeup looks, items I purchase and share some of my most personal thoughts. I like to think my readers enjoy my writing and appreciate that my blog is different and more than a beauty blog. I try to keep my content fresh and interesting and most importantly, unique. I don’t mind being open and honest and sharing.

Blogging shouldn’t be about how many free products you can get and thankfully for the majority of people, it’s not. When you start a blog it should be to talk about your interests and passions and to connect with like-minded people. Everything else is a bonus! I don’t know why there is so much secrecy and confusion over sponsored content and the like when there doesn’t need to be. Blogging isn’t a competition. Also, if you do get approached by a company, you don’t have to accept their offer. If the brand/product is something you don’t believe in or wouldn’t use, politely turn them down. Your blog is your brand and you want to make sure it’s ‘successful’ [insert your own definition here] for the right reasons.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope it didn’t come across in a preachy, holier-than-thou way. Again, I will point out that I have nothing against anyone who signs up to blogger programmes and networks or anyone who works with companies and receives any form of compensation.

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Hey, It’s Okay… To Be Pale

Hey It's OkayUnlike other topics in my Hey, It’s Okay… series where I’ve learned to love and accept certain things about myself, being pale is something I’ve always accepted and strangely liked. Being a redhead and being pale go hand in hand and it’s no secret that I am a proud redhead! I have always been different and as I’ve grown up I’ve realised that those differences are special and aren’t anything to be ashamed of.

Having red hair is a huge part of my identity and I love how it makes me unique! Did you know that redheads only make up 1-2% of the population? I get my fair skin and my hair from my dad but what’s actually really interesting is that there’s Scottish ties on my mum’s side and I’m part Maori. You wouldn’t think it to look at me, but that’s another thing I get that from my dad. I’m also covered in freckles and my favourite way to describe them is, “little kisses from the sun.” I read that somewhere and thought it was beautiful.

I understand though, that redheads aren’t the only ones who are pale and I want my fellow fair-skinned beauties to be able to relate to this post as well. No matter who you are we all want to love the skin we’re in and a huge part of that for me is embracing my natural colour and not trying to change it. I’m not here to preach and tell you not to use tanning products or what to do because every person has their own idea of happiness and how they want to look so who am I to judge? However, I am here to tell you that it’s okay if you don’t do what other people do and you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for that. I am extremely lucky that I’ve never been made to feel inadequate because of how pale my skin is and I’ve never felt the need to try and change the colour of my skin so I look more tan.

Being pale doesn’t just relate to tanning. There’s been many a time I’ve tested a foundation or concealer in a shop and the light shades are still too dark for me. It’s quite a common problem which can result in a lot of swatching and research but once you find products that work for you, you’ll notice the difference. Personally, I like a natural, light coverage and nothing too heavy. I don’t have dark circles or a lot of lines and I like to think I take good care of my skin. Most of the time, pale skin is a lot more sensitive to the sun and sunburn so you have to be careful about the products you use and how long you spend in the sun.

Like anything, there are positives to being pale. As I mentioned, if you’re a redhead you’re already special because there are only a small number of people like you in the world. When it comes to blood tests, it will be easier to find veins because of how translucent your skin is. When I’m swatching makeup like lipsticks and eyeshadows, the colour doesn’t differentiate if I swatch it on my arm or my hand from when I’m wearing it on my face. My lips are pale too so they don’t dull down or alter the colour of a lipstick and they hold the pigment so well.

One of the best makeup discoveries I made is a range called Dainty Doll by Nicola Roberts. Nicola is best known for being 1/5th of Girls Aloud and created the range to suit redheads and pale skinned beauties like herself. The makeup range was discontinued in 2013 (I think) but I’ve managed to pick up a few products from it online and it is truly marvelous. All of my blushes are from Dainty Doll because I know they aren’t too pigmented and they will enhance the colour of my skin.

There are brands out there that do cater for us pale folk and probably now more than ever. Byrdie compiled a list of five pale girl approved makeup lines along with product recommendations from each one which you can check out HERE!

So, no matter your skin type or your skin colour, embrace it because it’s the only one you’ve got! You never know who might be looking at you thinking how much they wish they were like you or had what you have. Being pale is nothing to be ashamed of, and while it may make shopping for makeup difficult at times, I wouldn’t change it for anything!

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Hey, It’s Okay… If People Don’t Read Your Blog

Hey It's OkayBefore I get into the post, let me start by saying this isn’t aimed at anyone and is intended as a generalisation.

I’m sure one thought that crosses a lot of people’s minds before they start a blog is, “Will anyone read it?” It’s a valid point because I had that thought myself and it’s ironic how that becomes irrelevant. When you’re starting out, it seems like numbers are important, and while it’s nice to have people reading and commenting, that happens naturally over time. The main reason I have stuck with blogging is because I genuinely enjoy it (and I hope that shows). There are people who start a blog and try anything to get followers and see how many ‘likes’ they can get but you can tell those people apart. After a couple of months they burn out because they don’t have genuine passion for what they’re talking about and they disappear.

The aim of this month’s Hey, It’s Okay… is to tell you that it’s fine if you don’t have instant success and if you do enjoy blogging to stick with it. When I started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t have a posting schedule, I didn’t know what I wanted to talk about and I certainly didn’t know much about themes and behind the scenes, techie stuff. I think one of the reasons I enjoy blogging so much is because there’s lots to learn and opportunity to grow and improve photography skills, writing skills and more.

I’m certainly not saying, be like me or do this and do that because there’s no certain way to blog. I can however, offer my advice and try to help by sharing what works for me. I mentioned that when I started, I barely knew what I was doing and in some ways, that’s a good way to be. You don’t take anything for granted and you set little milestones for yourself and you’re even more excited when you achieve them. It is definitely true that as time goes on, you worry less about the numbers. While they are nice, it’s more about connecting with people and being able to talk and share things with them. I see a lot of bloggers as friends and while we’ve never met and we may not know every single thing about each other, I know they’re there to support me and they’re never far away with a kind word.

Having a small number of people who enjoy reading your blog posts and interact is better than having thousands of followers who you never speak too and are just faces behind a screen. One of the best pieces of advice is to write a blog you’d love to read. There are certain brands and topics everyone seems to talk about but if you don’t have something new to offer or think a different way, things become generic. Instead of rushing out to buy the new Jaclyn Hill highlighter and swatching it, why not try finding other alternatives to suit everyone’s budget or come up with other ways to use the highlighter. I always label myself a beauty novice because I know there are people with greater beauty knowledge and tips and tricks than me but I don’t let that stop me from running a beauty blog. I love to learn and discover new products and I adapt beauty to suit me. You won’t find me posting about “high end” products because I don’t own any and the truth is a lot of products in New Zealand are overpriced, 80 something dollars for a Clinique moisturiser, I don’t think so!

I have always posted what I want and I try to put my own spin on things and not just follow what other bloggers do. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with what other bloggers post but similar to the Jaclyn Hill point, I don’t want my reader to be 20 different posts about one lipstick or one eyeshadow palette. I try to come up with series and posts that are unique and a bit different and while my blog may not be the most successful or most followed, I DON’T CARE. I want to be able to look back on this blog in five years time or when I’m older and be proud that I stayed true to myself and talked about things that mattered to ME. Often I say how much I enjoy writing and sharing these personal posts because the thoughts are entirely mine and it’s just raw honesty.

The whole point of this post is to reiterate that you don’t have to be a superstar blogger to enjoy it and have fun. Write about the things you want to write about. Naturally as time goes on you will develop your own niche and style and people that truly want to read your words will find you. Don’t worry if you only have 10 followers after one week, don’t worry if you don’t have any. Blogging is a ride and it goes wherever you want to take it. If you’re passionate and determined to stick with it, please do! It’ll probably be one of the best decisions of your life!

As always, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post! How do you stay motivated when it comes to blogging?

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Hey, It’s Okay… To Be Shy

Hey It's Okay It’s time for another Hey, It’s Okay… post and this month I will be talking about shyness. I have always been a shy, quiet person but often once I get to know someone better and feel more comfortable around them, I become less reserved and more confident. Recently, I began to wonder if maybe I was misinterpreting my shyness? Thinking about it, I tend to get nervous more than anything and perhaps the feelings I’m getting are of angst and worry as opposed to being shy.

Shyness is defined as “the tendency to feel awkward, worried or tense during social encounters, especially with unfamiliar people.”

The definition above does fit with what I have experienced and felt before. One of the main reasons I get nervous is usually because I haven’t done something before and I don’t know how things are going to go. I don’t know whether that’s a normal reaction or if it’s me over-reacting but I like to feel in control. I’m not a control freak or anything like that but I like to be certain of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Once I’m over that initial fear, it’s like I instantly become less shy.

I can honestly say, I am not and will never be an arrogant person. There’s nothing wrong with confidence but I don’t like it when people are made to feel less important as a result. I don’t always like sharing if I do well or I’m good at something, I prefer to keep that knowledge internally to myself. At school for example, I’d always feel guilty sharing the marks I got in case the person asking me hadn’t done as well. I also have quite a vast general knowledge but I don’t brag about it or try and act like I’m better because of it. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and that is one thing being shy has taught me. In conversations I’m more of a listener than a talker but I don’t mind that because you pick up so much through listening.

I’ve mentioned before, I’m not the most confident when it comes to body image and the way I look but I have no qualms when it comes to bold lipstick. I don’t feel shy wearing a bright red, pink or purple lipstick, (some people might, and that’s okay) I feel confident enough to wear it because I want to and I don’t mind drawing attention to my lips (meant in the least arrogant way possible). If you’ve got it, flaunt it right? People tell you to embrace who you are and live life boldly but sometimes that fear of being seen as too together and too confident makes you feel you have to shy away from who you really are.

I have always felt I lean strongly towards being an introvert but you can’t assume because someone is shy they are an introvert. I believe I have extrovert tendencies, I can be very loud and my introversion is more veered towards socialising. I don’t like huge crowds of people and a lot of the time I don’t mind being alone, staying home and not going out, it’s not that I don’t enjoy social outings.

The thought of being around boys makes me extremely shy because it’s something I haven’t experienced before but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to experience it. When I do get the opportunity to go on dates and be in a relationship it will be even more exciting and feel worth it because of the wait. Over the past couple of years my confidence has improved and it’s still growing all the time. Lately, I have even considered trying online dating to see what all the fuss is about.

My aim with this post and with all posts in this series is to embrace these aspects of my personality and accept that these things make me me and to stop defining my worth by something I have or haven’t done. The truth is, I quite like being shy and once people get to know me, that wall does comes down. It’s all about finding the right people to take down the wall for!

I hope you enjoyed this post and can relate if you’re shy! Let me know if you have any tips to combat shyness! If you were shy in the past, how did you overcome it?

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Hey, It’s Okay… If You Can’t Drive

Hey It's OkayWhen trying to decide on this month’s Hey, It’s Okay… topic there was one I kept coming back to and it is something I have received a lot of backlash for over the past five or six years; not being able to drive. For most people driving comes second nature and they’d hate to imagine what life would be like if they weren’t able to drive. If you ask me why I don’t drive it’s not because I’m lazy or I don’t want to but I’ve never done any driving before and the thought of having to control a car and not knowing what to do if something went wrong terrifies me.

In New Zealand there are three licence progressions. You can sit your Learner’s Licence (theory) once you turn 15 and have to have that for a minimum of six months before sitting your Restricted Licence (a mixture of theory and practical). Once you’ve had your Restricted Licence for two years (18 months if you complete a defensive driving course) you can then sit your Full Licence test. At school everyone used to get so excited about getting their licence and learning to drive and that was just something that never interested me. My priority was my schoolwork and I only lived 10-15 minutes away from school anyway so I walked. After high school when I did my Communications course it was refreshing to meet people who also didn’t have their licence and it made me feel like less of a loser. I took the bus as it was free for polytech students and a lot of people did the same.

I’m not completely useless when it comes to road rules and how to drive. I know what most parts of a car do and I have The Road Code (the New Zealand equivalent of The Highway Code) which I have read more than once and have had my brother quiz me on the questions multiple times. The questions for the Learner Licence test are multiple choice so I don’t think I would have a problem there because I have done practice questions online and seem to get them right. I start to worry and think about once I’ve got my Learner Licence and need to start practicing driving in a car for the next two tests. I picture myself as one of those people who drives 20km an hour and gets beeped at to speed up. Just the thought of sitting in the driver’s seat fills me with anxiety and dread. Another fear I have is that I won’t be able to reach the pedals because I am so short.

I do feel that not having my licence may have impacted the time it took for me to find a job. I personally didn’t see it as an issue because I am the kind of person who will always be at work and find a way to get there. Currently, my mum drives me to work and picks me up and I pay her petrol money. She doesn’t mind doing this but it’s amazing how much it affects other people and how they think they have the right to weigh in on the situation. I’ve had work colleagues almost imply that I’m lazy and need to gain some independence. I know they’re only trying to help but it hurts my feelings. I have never been late for work and it doesn’t harm anyone so why does it matter how I get to work as long as I’m there?

I don’t never want to learn to drive but I want to make sure I’m ready. After my course, I focused on getting a job as it was more important but I am working my way (slowly) towards sitting that first test. I am going to set a goal that I would like to sit my Learner Licence test before the end of 2016. Once I get over that initial hurdle, I will probably feel a lot better about the situation. My brother is really keen for me to learn how to drive and in a lot of ways I have to thank him for teaching me things and going through the questions with me. I am also lucky that I live in a town with a reliable bus system and town is not vastly spread out so it is possible to walk most places once you’re in town. As I said, I don’t have my license because I have no ambition to drive but because I am trying to learn how to deal with my emotions and feelings and make sure I’m prepared for when I am ready to drive.

I hope this post helps you understand me a bit better and if there is anyone else out there like me who worries about driving, know you’re not alone! It would be nice if we could encourage and support each other. For those of you with your licence, let me know if you have any tips for first time drivers!

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