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?


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!


Hey, It’s Okay… If You Don’t Go To University

Hey It's OkayDisclaimer: All opinions are entirely my own and I don’t wish to try and influence anyone. This post outlines why I chose not to go to university and how I arrived at that decision.

From when I was five years old until the day I left school you couldn’t accuse me of not working hard or being lazy. With hard work comes success, a lot of which I enjoyed as a result of applying myself and just getting on with things. I’ve always been very conscientious and I not only like to get things done, I like to do them properly. I was your typical model student, never late for class, always handed work in on time and I never got a detention. It seemed to shock people when they learned I hated school and didn’t enjoy being there. Despite hating school, I still went everyday because I knew that I didn’t want to be a failure and I wanted to get qualifications.

Looking back I am still not entirely sure where this fear and hate stemmed from. I wasn’t someone who found it difficult to learn or didn’t enjoy learning but I was so scared of the other students. It seemed to start when I was 11 years old and I started becoming paranoid that everyone hated me and didn’t want me to be around. From then on and throughout high school I would very much keep to myself; I dreaded group activities because I was convinced no one wanted me in their group and I spent break times alone. I think here it’s important to point out that while I am naturally shy, I didn’t mind talking and working alongside other people, it was the feelings and insecurities that made me become hermit-like.

They say school years are the best of your life and for some people they might be, but because I found things so emotionally difficult I used to think to myself, “I hope not.” I didn’t want to have this constant fear of people and life and not to be able to complete ordinary day-to-day tasks.

I think another reason I disliked school was because there was many a time where I had finished all my work and no one else in the class had. Therefore, they would then get an extension or extra time to finish and I would be sitting there waiting for them with nothing to do. I don’t claim to be a genius or find everything super easy but I’m very strict when it comes to deadlines and part of me was scared I would get in trouble if something wasn’t finished.

I know this is meant to be about university, but it’s vital you have a backstory about my schooling so you can understand where I’m coming from. As you progressed through high school and got to choose your subjects and certain subjects weren’t compulsory anymore I found that difficult. I knew what I didn’t want to do but there wasn’t anything jumping out at me that I did want to do either. My subject choices were always academic and centered around writing. For example, in my last year of school I had five subjects (English, Media Studies, History, Health and Maths) and had exams for all of them, when lots of people only had three exams.

I always admired friends and students who knew exactly which university they wanted to go to and what they wanted to study. I had numerous people try to convince me to go to university but deep down I knew I didn’t want to. This sounds silly considering I want to move to England one day, but I was afraid to leave home and I didn’t want to feel lonely like I did at school. I have no sense of direction and being by myself in a new city scared me.

I decided to continue studying though. I signed up for a journalism course but ended up doing a Communications course. Three days before I was set to begin, I received a phone call saying it had been cancelled due to low numbers and Communications was the next closest. Some of my friends also studied on the same campus so it meant a feeling of familiarity. The course was one year long and I graduated in 2014. I’m not going to lie and pretend that course helped me get my current job or that I enjoyed every minute but I did meet some nice people and I’m proud of myself for giving it a go. My average grade overall was either an A or an A- which I’m also really proud of!

As I mentioned earlier, my problem has never been that I don’t enjoy learning or I’m not ‘smart’ enough but rather not knowing what to study. It’s hard to know what jobs are out there which is something I’ve always struggled with. Of course there are obvious ones such as, lawyers, doctors, nurses, chefs etc. but not everyone ends up being one of those. Even though I love music, I never considered studying it because quite often you have to play an instrument and know how to read music which I don’t. I did consider studying a beauty course but one of the things that put me off was the waxing element.

There’s nothing to say I won’t ever go to university or I won’t study again. I don’t regret the choice I made because I believe at the time it was the right thing for me. There will always be people offering advice and telling you what you should do but don’t ever let their opinions shape your decisions and what you want to do.

Let me know if you can relate to this post in any way. The discussions on my Hey, It’s Okay… posts are always riveting and extremely insightful!


Hey, It’s Okay… If You Don’t Like Facebook

Hey It's OkayHi everyone, I can’t believe it’s time for the fourth Hey, It’s Okay… post already. I am so pleased you have been enjoying the series and I really appreciate all the thoughtful and supportive comments I have received. One of my first ever blog posts was about Facebook and my feelings towards it. This month’s topic may seem lighthearted and less serious but under the surface there’s much more to it.

My Facebook journey began in 2008 after making the switch from Bebo and encouragement from friends who had already joined up. My first stint on the site lasted around three years until I deleted my profile. I didn’t delete my profile because of anything that had happened or to create drama, in fact my friends knew I was thinking about it and tried to convince me not to. I deleted my profile simply because I didn’t enjoy using the site. I had a small number of friends (87 to be exact) and wasn’t using my account except to play games.

In 2012 I created a new Facebook profile which is still the one I have today. One of the biggest factors in me rejoining was due to feeling out of the loop. Let’s face it, everyone’s a little bit nosy. I gained more friends this time round (numbers aren’t everything), made an effort to post regularly and enjoyed keeping up to date with my friends. I played the odd game here and there but it wasn’t long before the old feelings of disappointment and unease started to reappear.

I think now is the time to point out my mum has never been a fan of Facebook and vows never to join. I admire her for this because she’s not conforming and isn’t worried what other people are getting up to. Part of me has always felt like I’m defying her by using the site and maybe that’s some twisted explanation for why I’ve never really liked it. I always felt like an outsider at school (which partly was probably my own doing) but in most ways I like who I am and I like being different. I’ve mentioned before I’ve never been a party girl and didn’t go out to get drunk. Facebook seemed to turn into who had the best party that weekend or who could get the most friends and be the most popular. Even though I had my group of friends and my own interests it seemed even social media didn’t have a place for me.

Eventually these feelings bought me to the place I’m at now. I’d be lucky if I post to my timeline once a week because I know no one is going to read what I have to say and it’s easier to say nothing. Forgive me if that sounds desperate and exaggerated but it’s the truth. Take my two most recent statuses for example, they have a combined total of five likes. Perhaps it’s because I don’t interact with my ‘friends’ enough but conversation is a two way street. I hardly ever get Facebook messaged and the only notifications I get are to tell me it’s someone’s birthday.

Recently I have been thinking about deleting my profile again. Facebook isn’t an accurate representation of my life, I’m more than words and images you see on a screen that have been crafted purely for other people’s benefit and approval. Some of you may then ask, “Why do you have a blog?” but I can honestly say I don’t feel like I have to try to be liked and fit in and I can be myself. If you know anything about me, you’ll know how much consideration goes into everything I do down to the words I speak and choose to write.

That’s why I can’t leave this post on a negative note. I don’t blame Facebook for not accepting me and for me not liking it because the principles behind it are genius (even if I think social media can make us more antisocial – a post for another time perhaps?) You can connect with friends and family all over the world in one easy to use platform, you can share photos, memories and even meet new people. I don’t know what this means for me on Facebook or the page I set up for the blog and whether I’ll keep using it  – I’m still figuring that out.

Do you use Facebook? Leave any thoughts or comments you have below!


Hey, It’s Okay… If You’ve Never Been On a Date

Hey It's Okay

Hi everyone! It’s time for another Hey, It’s Okay… and this month’s topic is similar to last month’s. In February I discussed being single (CLICK HERE to read that post) and I was overwhelmed by all the supportive and reassuring comments I received. One in particular stuck with me and it was from Lizzi over at Thoughts and Things. She commented, “Do you date? It terrified me when I was a teenager but I think it’s good for the soul. Gives you good nerves, makes the heart race, challenges me to keep being a confident talker. Also tests my ability to feign interest in many topics but that’s a whole other issue.” and it got me thinking, hang on a minute I could turn that into a post.

Not only have I been single all my life but I’ve also NEVER been on a romantic date of any description. Part of me worries and is a little nervous what dating is like and the ‘rules’ of dating and how to date but those feelings I have in regards to relationships as well. Dating to me is often portrayed as being lots of fun, involves plenty of flirting and very easy when in reality, it’s probably not. The thought of meeting someone new for the first time can send people into a state of panic, “Do I look okay?”, “Will he like me?” and ultimately make them afraid of being themselves. With time and experience, I’m sure those feeling will pass. You shouldn’t have to put on an act to try and please another person. It’s clichéd but being yourself really is the most beautiful thing.

If you’re having trouble finding people to date or where to find people to date, you are not alone! There is nothing wrong with having standards and qualities you find attractive in a person, just don’t let that cloud your judgement. At the same time never feel like you have to settle for something you’re not sure about or don’t want. As for where to find people to date, I have this mindset that I could meet anybody at any time and I want to make sure the impression I give is a good one and I’m putting my best foot forward. I don’t desperately try to get anyone’s attention but if someone does happen to look my way I know that I’m being true to myself and treating everyone with kindness and respect. This relates to all situations from me dealing with customers at work to spending time with friends and family.

One of my favourite quotes sums it up perfectly:


My conversation with Lizzi also made me think about my attitudes towards online dating. Over the past couple of years apps like Tinder have become more popular. Personally, I have never used Tinder but I have friends that do. I might be old fashioned in the way I think but I’ve always imagined meeting someone and having them sweep me off my feet. If I was chatting to someone online I’d always be wondering if they were telling the truth and how many other people they were chatting to. It’s wrong of me to make assumptions like that but I tend to stay away from Tinder etc. for that reason. I’m not saying I will never use dating apps or other people shouldn’t but it’s a personal choice. There are genuine people out there trying to find friendship and find love but there’s also not.

By fate it seems, I came across dating guru Matthew Hussey when writing this post. Not only does he have the most adorable British accent (and is pretty handsome) I have learnt so much and found his videos so helpful. His thoughts are real and honest and make a whole lot of sense. He gives you tips on dating, early stages of a relationship, how to keep a relationship going and a bunch of other useful information. He’s not afraid to get intimate and personal and the videos are very entertaining to watch. I’ve linked a few of my personal favourites below:

  1. What You Should NEVER Do On a Date With a Guy
  2. Get Any Guy To Approach You With This 1 Simple Trick
  3. The 7 Most Unromantic Romantic Gestures

As always, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you have any dating tips you’d like to share? Pop them in the comments below!


Hey, It’s Okay… To Be Single

Hey It's OkayHi everyone. I always knew when I came up with the idea for this series that February’s post would centre around love and being single because of Valentine’s Day and me being timely and all that. I have been single my whole life so I am pretty good at it! This post is purely me sharing my thoughts and experiences in and around love.

Love is a word with many meanings and each person has a different concept of what love is and what love should be like. Love is a strong feeling of affection, love is a great interest or pleasure in something, love is being attracted to somebody else. Those are just three different meanings of ‘love’ and yet they are all different but still evoke the same emotions of happiness, content and belonging.

Like every little girl, I dream of meeting my prince and falling in love. I know the path to love may not always be easy but I never want to lose sight of the fact that it will be worth it. I’ve never had a relationship before and I’ve seen friends meet people and it feels like they’re moving forward and you’re just stuck. Of course you’re happy for your friends but a little part of you thinks, “why not me?” I know from experience it can be hard to take yourself out of this mindset and it can set off a spiral of negative thinking. Many a time I’d convinced myself no guy would ever want to be with me or could possibly find me attractive. Then I thought, is that really all I want? Is having a guy find me attractive the most important thing? Truthfully, I am still learning to get over these feelings but I have come a long way. The growth in my self-confidence and the belief my little quirks can be beautiful, my thoughts can inspire and I can make someone smile really help. I’ve always thought of beauty in other people as more than physical, so why wouldn’t everyone else?

In some ways it might be easier never having had a relationship because when you finally do get one, it will feel all the more special. You don’t have any preconceived notions on what it is going to be like and you can go into it with a fresh set of eyes and enjoy learning about that person and getting to know them. For a worry wart like me, you’d think it would scare me not knowing how something is going to turn out but that’s part of the beauty of love, it should be spontaneous and make you feel things you didn’t know you could feel.

I think when you are single and might not have been in a relationship or don’t have a lot of relationship experience it teaches you a lot about yourself. Single life teaches you how to be independent, how to enjoy your own company and how to make yourself happy. Another thing being single has taught me is the person I want to be when I am in a relationship. I know for a fact I am one of the kindest, sweetest, most thoughtful people and I am also pretty funny and love to make people laugh. (Not writing for a singles column I swear!) I am finally getting to the point where I am confident enough to be myself and not be afraid to share my passions and interests with another person. I never want love to feel like a chore or be difficult. Call me romantic or deluded but I believe one day I will find everything I’m looking for… he just hasn’t found me yet!

This particular Hey, It’s Okay… is very personal and close to my heart (pardon the pun) but it felt good to get these feelings out and share them with you. I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading!


Hey, It’s Okay… To Be Teetotal

Hey It's OkayHello and welcome to the first post in my new blogging series Hey, It’s Okay…!

This month’s topic is teetotalism and for those of you who aren’t sure what that is, it means I don’t drink alcohol. I want to point out that not drinking is a personal choice and I don’t have any problems with people who do.

I felt teetotalism was appropriate for this time of year as many people enjoy a drink around Christmas and New Year. As well as that, I have my 21st birthday coming up and I’m not one for having a party and getting off my face. I’m not a judgmental person and I don’t care if getting drunk is your idea of fun, just please don’t judge me when I say it’s not mine. One thing I have noticed is that people who drink are more conscious of people who don’t and I always thought it would be the other way round; people not drinking would be more conscious of those who do. I am proud to say I have never been pressured into drinking alcohol by those around me and they accept my decision not to drink.

So, I guess you’re wondering how I came to make such an important lifestyle decision? There are a few simple reasons but there was also one main influence: my dad. I don’t speak about my dad a lot because we don’t get on. He left when I was four years old because alcohol and gambling was more important than his family. My dad wouldn’t just have a beer or two with dinner or go out to the pub once in a while, he’d be drinking most of the night and most of the day at weekends; basically whenever he could. My brother and I would stay with him every second weekend and most of that time we’d be at the pub. Growing up with that and seeing what it does to a person is actually really scary. There were times he wouldn’t remember things you’d told him or know how old you were turning on your birthday. I have this fear that alcohol takes away your control and I wouldn’t like to feel I’m out of control, I’m quite obsessive like that. Another reason I don’t drink is the fact I don’t even know what alcohol tastes like* and it can be bloody expensive! I’d much rather put the money towards a new outfit or new lippy. My mum doesn’t drink and my brother rarely does so it’s not a big part of everyday life. I also suffer from migraine headaches and I’d be worried alcohol would aggravate them.

*I am partial to a shandy though (beer mixed with lemonade).

There are also some pretty neat benefits about not being a drinker:

  • You’ll feel healthier.
  • You’ll be richer – who doesn’t want more money?!?!
  • You’ll sleep better (apparently).
  • You’ll have total clarity, you won’t wake up foggy or hungover and be trying to remember what happened the night before.

Teetotalism is something I feel strongly about but it’s totally cool if you think everything I mentioned was complete and utter garbage! These are simply thoughts and observations I have surrounding the topic of alcohol. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

I hope you enjoyed the first post of this new series. The point of these posts is to introduce more personality and feeling into my blog. If you have any ideas you’d like to see turned into a Hey, It’s Okay… post, feel free to share them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: All opinions are entirely my own and I don’t wish to try and influence anyone. I want you to enjoy these posts and get a snippet inside my head as to some of the “issues” I face and reasons for doing the things I do.