Sunday, 19 July 2015

The People You Meet Along The Way...

One of the most exciting things about travelling or moving somewhere new is the people you meet. Some may be a little strange, some even creepy, like the boys that wait like vultures for the foreign girls to come to town so they can offer strong helping hand because of course, every female with a passport and the desire to travel is a brainless damsel in distress! But aside from the creeps, dickheads and weirdos there are some genuinely amazing people from all over the world waiting to meet you!

Since I’ve been in Lisbon I’ve met so many people from so many different places that I’ve lost track. But then there are always the ones that stick with you, like the bubbly landlord who gave me the best welcome ever on my first day. I’d barley even checked in and before I knew it we out the door and on our way to an art exhibition, a fresh juice bar and an outdoor book fair. We talked about the how amazing life, yoga and the universe are and of course boys... duh! But what was even more amazing is that 2 weeks prior leaving the UK I’d started to think about how difficult it was going to be and how lonely I would be in my first few days when I arrived, but as soon as I met my landlord all those feelings disappeared. We talked about so many things that without realising it, we were helping each other make sense of our current life situations, so we decided there and then while chowing down on some sort of green veg chocolate cake (I swear is was scrumptious), that we would write a book titled, ‘Everything happens for a reason’. And just like that a new friendship was born.

Then there’s the lovely enthusiastic Brazilian lady I met at a language exchange. We agreed to meet one afternoon to practice our language skills and I am so glad that we did because she reminded me of how excited and in love with Lisbon I was the first time I visited which helped me to remember what brought me back. It wasn’t long before I felt like I’d been reconnected with a long lost friend and again, that was the beginning of a new inspiring friendship.

When I had my weeks of weakness of feeling homesick I met an amazing group of people who have no idea how much they cheered me up! From that group of people I met a lovely free spirited, kite surfing French girl. It had almost been a month since we’d initially met but randomly one day I was on Facebook and saw her name pop up, so I took it as a sign and said hi. Little did I know she was leaving the next day so we spontaneously met up for the afternoon and as we began talking we realised that we had a lot in common. We talked about how much we love Lisbon, our travelling experiences and some of the things that we want from life. And just like that, in one afternoon, I went from being in limbo about what to do next with my life, to feeling like I had found the next piece to my puzzle!

And then there’s the 67 year old American lady who is just dying for me to meet her cat, Squeak! This fiery lady left home at the age of 18, found herself some European loving and hasn’t looked back since.
When we first met, I asked her where she was from, she replied “now that’s an interesting question”, to which she gave an interesting answer. I suppose when you’ve travelled and lived in as many places as she has it can become a bit difficult to say that you’re from one specific country, town or city, when your life has been shaped by so many different places.

After sitting next to this lady at an outdoor documentary movie while she decided to become a personal quirky commentator, mainly commentating on how shite she thought the documentary was, I knew I liked her. 
On the train back into the city we talked and talked and I realised that this woman has the most amazing spirit and I loved being around her because she honestly reminds me of what life is all about! Despite going against what society told her she should be as an 18 year old girl in the 70’s, she had the balls to go against the grain and follow her heart which has taken her on so many memorable adventures.

For me there is nothing like meeting a complete stranger and discovering you have a connection with them, even if it’s just for a moment or it lasts an entire lifetime. I live for moments like these because these random people I meet from all over the world have helped and continue to help shape the person I am and the person I will become!

Although most of us were raised on a strict ‘Stranger Danger’ policy, I highly recommend you trust your gut combined with weirdo raider and get to know a stranger every once in a while, you never know what will happen.

Love Sara. xxx

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Finding a New Path

Can you believe that my first month in Lisbon has already gone?

So how did it go? – Well to be completely honest the first 2 weeks were pretty bad as I experienced the worst homesickness I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’ve always been one to get homesick but this time it felt like it was never going end which made it even worse. Immediately I stated making plans for my return home to England and how I would just carry on with my life as it was. For a while this was comforting but then after returning home for a week for a family event and spending time talking really openly with my family and two besties about what I was feeling, I began to remember all the reasons why I made the choice to move to Lisbon and give myself a break and live life in a new place for a while.

Taking myself out of my comfort zone and starting over the way I did was such huge thing to do and I clearly underestimated the impact that it would have on me, as I had gone from having a super busy job, friends, family, and social life, to having no job, plenty of time and just me myself and I to keep myself company. But as awful as those few weeks were, I got over them (thank God) and was able to start putting things into perspective, like the fact I am living the my favourite city in the world with endless possibilities!

Now a full month in I can say that moving here for the summer (or maybe longer who knows) was definitely the right thing for me to do because although I change my mind as often as Rihanna changes her hair, being here and having time alone has given me the chance to start thinking more about what I want from this new blank chapter of life, what’s most important and how I can achieve it. And yes, it’s likely that I will change my mind a gazillion times before I get to the place that I’m supposed to be, but I’m happy to say that this is a start, and for the first time in a while, I think I may be on the path that was designed just for me.

Love Sara. xx

Friday, 12 June 2015

Heeding The Signs

Hello there love bugs!
I hope you’re all well and happy?

It has been a long time since I have posted anything on here and my, my, my, has a lot changed since my last post on 29 November 2014! (What a shameful time gap!)

If you are a regular reader of For The Love of Moi, you would’ve noticed that in the posts leading up to the last one in November last year, FTLOM took a turn in the type of content that was being shared. I assure you that this was not planned but was merely a reflection of what was going on in my life at that time.

So to give you the short version, here’s the skinny on what led to the changes in the content and my life.

Now as some of you may remember in 2013 I managed to get the job of my dreams that I had been working so hard for! Don’t get me wrong it was no high flying job with the salary to match, but was that foot in the door that I had wanted and was enough for me. However the more involved I became in my job the more my body was trying to tell me to slow down, but as much as I was learning about heeding the signs of life, I sure as hell wasn’t heeding these signs until one day at our busiest time of the year on my way to work I was involved in a car crash which should have been more than enough to make me or anyone for that matter stop and say, “Ok universe, I’ve heard you loud and clear! From this day forth I vow to put my health first”, but no that wasn’t enough for little ol’ me now was it, as the very next day I was back at my laptop, (even if it was from my living room whilst propped up by ever cushion in the room.)

It wasn’t until I had a full blown panic attack in the canteen whilst at work with embarrassing visions flashing through my mind of being airlifted out of the campus and taken to the nearest hospital that I realised that I was suffering from anxiety which the doctors failed to pick up on when I told them I was having breathing problems to which their solution was to put me on steroid based medication!!!

So after going back to the doctor and telling them that the problem was not asthma, but was in fact anxiety (imagine having to tell your doctor what they should have told you! A rant for another day) they told me the best thing anyone could have ever told me at that stage of my anxiety, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear … which went something like this; ‘Sara, you have two options, you can either find a way of coping or you can find a new job’!

Fast forward one year and this is where I’m at; I worked through a lot of my anxiety with the support of my family, friends, colleagues who have become friends and an amazing yoga teacher and realised that there were a lot of things that needed to change in my life which started with the way that I was treating myself and the way that I approached life.
I found ways of managing my workload as well as more time for myself, I realised that there were other factors that contributed to my anxiety which I am still learning how to deal with, but the most important thing that I have learned so far, is the importance of the connection with myself which I somehow managed to lose along the way. However since this realisation I have managed to restore and continue to build this connection every single day, and yes, even on the shit days, because we all have them no matter how zen we deem ourselves to be.

As for the job, I called it a day and followed my heart to rekindle an old flame. I packed my bags, left on jet plane and to be honest, I’m not too sure when I’ll be back again!

But in mean time I plan to keep sharing my experiences and discoveries with you all, which will include the good, the bad and the hella ugly, as I know I’m not alone on this amazing rollercoaster we call life and what’s an experience if you’re not able to share it? Even if it’s only through a blog.

Love Sara. xxx 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Epiphany of Change

Last week I had a long overdue lunch with one of my mentors, who always manages to add some sunshine to my day.

Over the past few months I have experienced complete and utter exhaustion, being overwhelmed and anxious to the point where even I at times didn’t recognise myself!

Now a few months down the line I’m nowhere near ‘cured’ or free of the above, but I’m definitely on the path to a much better place.

Earlier this year I had a car accident, which in hindsight was the straw that thankfully broke the camel’s back. Unfortunately in this life its takes a negative and frightening experience to slap you about and tell you to wake the hell up to reality and that’s exactly what that accident did for me.

For almost the past 2 years of my life I have allowed myself to become so involved in my professional life by trying to keep up with those around me and what societies idea of what a young professional female should be, that I forgot about the most important person in my life… me! Sounds silly I know; how can I forget about me when I spend every single day with me? But this is easily done when you become so consumed with the day to day tasks of work and life that sometimes you forget to stop, breathe and take the time to take care of you. Well I had been doing that for longer than I can remember and when I finally realised that this is what I’d been doing, everything began to change.

As they say change is good, but what I have had to learn is that change is also flipping hard, especially when the change is so big that you know that every relationship in your life will change as a result of the changing of the relationship you have with yourself. This has been no easy ride and changes by the day, sometimes even by the hour. But with each day I have learned to understand it all a little more and accept it a little more, but here is what I learnt and understood last week with the help of my wonderful mentor.

With change there is always a loss and this is sometimes why change can feel uncomfortable. I also learnt that throughout life we have ways of doing things that have always served us well, but sometimes these things no longer serve us and this is ok. But when these things that we do and may have done for our entire lives, or the last decade of our lives no longer serve us, it’s ok to let them go, because there is no point in holding on to something that no longer works in our favour. Sometimes this can mean letting go of something that has become a part of you, but this doesn’t mean that you a losing yourself or even compromising who you are. It just means that you are making space and opening yourself up to something new that will serve you and will allow you to evolve, grow and develop in to the person who you are destined to be and that will help you flourish in your next chapter.

This is simple and deep down this was something that I already knew, but through having this casual lunch with my bubbly and supportive mentor, the penny finally dropped. By letting go and cleansing myself of certain habits and ways that I have always had does not mean that I am losing myself. It means that I am giving myself the permission and acceptance to grown into the person I need to be for the next stage of my life and I should not, regret, mourn or feel anger or fear towards this, instead I should embrace it and let it be.

These are just some of the lessons I learned last week that I wanted to share with you… There plenty more where they came from so I’ll do my best to share them with you when I can.

Love Sara. xxx