Arguing on the internet (and why you should just be nice, okay?)

Let me preface this with the following:

  1. I had intended to post a ribs recipe today, not something serious (don’t worry, the recipe is coming).
  2. Anyone who knows me even the slightest knows the love I have for social media and opinions.
  3. I don’t actually like having to remind people of basic manners.

Now, with that aside, let’s talk about arguing on the internet and why your opinion, and your right to have an opinion, doesn’t mean you get to be a dick. Continue reading



That little voice in your cubicle

I’ve been suffering from imposter syndrome lately, caught up in an erroneous belief that other people’s good perceptions of me are somehow mistaken. That I don’t deserve the praise I have been afforded. That I will let everyone down and they will discover I have no idea what I’m talking about.

But that’s all it really is, isn’t it? An erroneous self-perception. Unless you set out to knowingly deceive and manipulate others, unless you walk around deliberately proclaiming yourself knowledgable about things on which you are not, you’re never really an imposter. Not when other people, unprompted, compliment or reward you. Their perceptions are not based on the way you talked yourself up; their perceptions are based on your actions and ideas. Your skill. Your hard work. Their perceptions are the bits of yourself you don’t often see. And they’re more-than-likely right.

It took a conversation with a particularly lovely work colleague this week, and recollections of the faith my father has often shown in me, to remember that my failures to be given opportunities to prove myself do not define me. The fact that no one, despite my best efforts, ever handed me the work I love so much on a silver platter and said “can you do this, please” does not prove that I am not good at it. All it proves is that no one has taken the time to give me a chance.

Lately, I have been afforded those opportunities and I haven’t stopped smiling since I got the first. Is it stressful? Yes. Do I have doubts sometimes? Yes. Am I hella proud of myself? HELL YES! I made these chances by being true to myself and I will make the most of every single one.

I guess the point I am getting at is not to get down on yourself when you don’t get the chance to show off how awesome you are. And, conversely, don’t get down on yourself when you do! Shine like you were made to! Don’t hide your light under a bushel of self-doubt. You’ve got this x

tiny-potato

 



It gets better

Life can be painfully hard. I’ve written before about my struggles with mental illness and ADHD, losing people I love, bullying,  sickness, alopecia and autoimmune disorder, obesity and my physical health. I’ve even at times mentioned these concurrently, each overlapping and coinciding with one (or several) others. At my lowest point I was chin-deep in undiagnosed Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Depression, I was morbidly obese and unhealthy, my hair was falling out and I was being bullied at work. But that isn’t what I want to talk about today. I think we can all agree that at some point in their lives everyone will hit rock bottom.

What I want to talk about is how happy I am.

I don’t often go out of my way to discuss how wonderful my life is these days, not least because it’s so easy to get caught up in the stresses of day-to-day living. I also don’t want to brag. Every day people go through struggles I can’t comprehend; talking about how fortunate I am for the things I have seems tacky somehow.

But here’s the real deal: I’m happy. I love my life. It is full of wonderful people and amazing experience. Yes, sometimes stuff sucks. Sometimes stuff is hard. Sometimes I cry. But I am happy. Those two things are not mutually exclusive.

The point I am trying to make is that dejection, loneliness, misery, heartache… These things aren’t permanent. They’re transient. They come and go like waves on the ocean and, like my life now, can co-exist with happiness, prosperity, pride and success. I still have alopecia and ADHD. I still have Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I. Still. Get. Sad. But there is light and hope and this is what I allow to define me.

57f953eb555ed7a18af5d6371eed3670

If you feel like you are in the dark, that there is nowhere to turn, that things will never improve then please speak to someone. A doctor, a friend, a family member, a compassionate stranger on the internet, Lifeline. Please ask for help. Asking for help is so hard it seems impossible but I promise you it is easier than carrying on alone. And it’s worth it. Always.

If you know someone who needs help please send this on. Ask them if they’re okay. Talk to them about Lifeline or seeking help. Listen to them. The suicide statistics in New Zealand are horrifying, especially among young people. If this post, or someone who reads this post, can help even one person then I have achieved everything I could hope for.

It will get better. It won’t always be this way. Kia kaha.



A little piece of sanity

A quiet moment of ritualistic contentment. A simple pleasure. A wee moment of unadulterated peace and quiet. I firmly believe we all need them. Those moments in which you breathe deeply, straighten out the kinks in your spine, remind yourself just how fierce you are, and calm your centre. They’re the moments that re-energise and re-fresh you, re-centre and re-set. They are an introvert’s daily haven and a luxury extroverts often take for granted. And they make the world go around.

As an ambivert (or, more specifically, an ENFP/Campaigner – the most introverted of the extroverted personality types) I am all too familiar with how quickly life can get away with us. I fill my time with friends and hobbies and noise. I book my weekends weeks in advance and surround myself with music and the hustle and bustle of life. And then one day, in a quiet moment, I wonder why I’m so tired.

I’m tired because I’ve lost those little moments of sanity. And I am so tired. After months of moving, burglaries, money problems, job hunting and career uncertainty, study, new routines, new friends, a new relationship, travel, late nights, homesickness and germs I am exhausted. On Thursday, midway through date night with my wonderful boyfriend, I developed flu-like symptoms. I have barely left bed since. Two pairs of pyjamas, a duvet, two blankets, two hot wheat bags and the aforementioned boyfriend snuggling me weren’t enough to keep my teeth from chattering so hard I almost chipped one. It was the last straw.

Some people walk or run. Some listen to music. Some paint or write. Some knit. Some cuddle their pets. Some, like my boyfriend, play computer games. Some find their peace in that first morning coffee 10 minutes before the house rises. Some in their early morning walk to work. I enjoy and value all these things. But my true sanity lies in literal self-care. Most specifically, in the ritual of bathing. The hot water, the steam, the aromatics and the soft and rough sensations of scrubs and moisturisers on my body. In those small moments of routine and cleanliness I find my centre.

Today, after an amazing (and exhausting) lunch with a good friend, I wandered into Lush and bought a cacophony of peace and deliciousness. Bath bombs, shower scrubs, body butter, face masks and exfoliants. I stocked up. I spent the princely sum of $100 for what will amount to months of happiness and sanity. Aromas of rose, lavender, peppermint, lemon and sandalwood fill my bathroom now, tempting me every time I walk in. And tonight, finally, after dinner and chores and further exhaustion brought on by basic tasks, I let myself seek my solace.

My bath was heaven. Peace. Quiet. Solitude. Heaven. I lathered on a face mask, filled the tub with marshmallow scented pink water, scrubbed myself down with green sugar and rubbed cocoa body butter into my skin. I read my book and let my concerns leak from my mind with every line on the page. I lit a candle and closed my eyes and drifted. And slowly but surely every broken piece of my core glued itself back together.

You see, you don’t need to fork out a tonne of money or go somewhere exotic to relax. You don’t need trained practitioners, expensive treatments or complicated detoxes. You just need to take a few moments, however brief or stolen, entirely for yourself. Regularly. You owe it to you to be calm and content. No one else will look out for you first, however much they may love you. No one else can see your true exhaustion or how lost you may feel inside. That’s all you. Only you can ease that confusion. Only you can dim that noise.

A friend recently told me a secret. She said that no one really knows what they’re doing or where they’re going; that everyone is just faking it and hoping for the best. And she’s right. But in moments like these, in my little pieces of sanity, I feel like I can put the puzzle of the world back together.

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 10.27.30 pm



Guest Post: My decision to donate my eggs (Part 5 – the results)

Chicken-or-egg-300x200

It’s with an extremely heavy heart and through lots of tears that I write this final post. I got an email from the recipient couple this morning with devastating news. None of the embryos made it to day 6. We don’t know what went wrong but none of them are suitable to be implanted. I’m absolutely torn this morning and can’t stop crying. I knew meeting them would make this process more personal, and with that makes this bad news even harder to take. This was their last chance to have a child. I can’t imagine what it’s like for them at the moment.

Of course I have a few questions, mainly did I do anything wrong? Or could I have done anything differently? I also wonder about my chances of getting pregnant in the future if there is a something wrong with my eggs. I have a follow-up appointment next month with a doctor at the clinic so will be able to ask these questions. They also have a wonderful councillor I can talk to, and I will probably go back at some stage to talk all of this through.

This has been such a journey, but now with the worst possible outcome. I keep trying to tell myself that at least I gave them the chance. I have to hold on to that.

***

@katiepie_nz is a paediatrics nurse, baker, knitter, friend and all around good person. You can follow her on Twitter or send me any questions or kind words you have for her (I will be sure to pass them on).

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Katie xx