Dear Uncle Brian,
Dear Uncle Brian,
It’s the final countdown. The last couple of weeks of the year, and the world is feeling the lull. Dragging our feet to the finish line. Sleepless nights and cramming for deadlines. Willing Christmas weekend to be here already.
While commercially joyous, December can be a bit of struggle. But do not give up now! Not when you are so close to the end, the final stretch!
Wishing you a fulfilling season!
So originally I was going to write my own response based on this video. A beautiful video reminding us to really look at how beautiful we are and take pride in the details of ourselves – or at least that is what I took from it. Next time I tell myself my butt is big, I’ll remind myself that it’s a beautiful curvaceous French butt from my great great grandmother 😉
But then I got some super valuable coaching last weekend that I was just that bit more inspired to share and sort of tied in anyway.
Last week I got where my fear in my capabilities came from. Where I began in my life to tell myself that I couldn’t have success. That success was not something I could have. And so I have always half-finished or never quite fully completed or committed to projects, relationships of all levels, everything.
Now, if you’ve read the letter you’ll notice it said to my seven year old self and might be thinking that a seven year old can’t think all of those complex things at once. And that is true. But it planted a seed. “Something is wrong”, “something is wrong with me”. Small hints that then got chipped away at throughout the last fifteen or so years since.
I got I don’t love myself. And so I was encouraged to throw myself into that letter to uncover just where I had fallen down the rabbit hole of self-sabotage. I wrote it crying, laughing and intrigued. I finished the letter and felt ten times more beautiful. I have begun to love myself again. Sure the gremlin of horror resurfaces every so often, but I get where I am self-sabotaging and so allowing others in. I told a guy he matters to me, I am allowing him to support me and being brave for the both of us.
My to-do list is moving again and switching up each week. I’m reaching levels I never thought I would with my creative work and allowing for it to happen. Considering my steps carefully and thinking fully. It is a beautiful thing to stand and admire one’s work.
As for myself, I am more considerate of what is going on in my head. My inner dialogue.
And that is kind of it. Not much else to say. But wow is it relieving to have found it! Like dislodging a thorn in your side you didn’t even realise was there!
Moving forward I give my word to:
It feels like there should be a third but I can’t think just now…
I hope you have a lovely Easter and get time to switch off and be with the ones you love dearest. You got this!
Are you spending time with family or going on holiday?
*Brick Lane mural.
In 1999, you were in the playground at school. You had your hair in plaits and wearing the big comfy school fleece. You were playing tag. Then the game changed to girlfriends and boyfriends. The girlfriends were suddenly allowed into the hut. All the boys had grabbed a girl and run into this wooden hut. No one grabbed your hand.
But you ran in anyway because you didn’t want to be left out. You were determined to be part of the fun. But one of the boys said “no Hannah you can’t come, you not one of our girlfriends”. You said “so” but they blocked you from going in. I think you then ran off and found some less popular boys to play with and they accepted you.
In 2017, at 24 years old, I forgive you. I forgive you for deciding we aren’t good enough for the popular boys. I forgive you for deciding we/I am ugly. I forgive you for getting scared and running away to avoid further rejection. I forgive you for deciding that I/we can only be good enough for not so strong boys. I forgive you for making it mean I don’t matter to boys/men. I forgive you for deciding that I’m not perfect enough and my clothes are ugly. I forgive you for deciding I’m the odd one out, the ugly duckling, and there’s something wrong with being different and active and adventurous and independent-minded.
I forgive you for deciding to feel uncomfortable in your own skin. I forgive you for shutting down on who you are. I forgive you for shutting down who I am and buying into who I am is not perfect. I forgive you for accepting that I am not perfect. For thinking I am imperfect.
I forgive you for taking on I am imperfect and all I can and ever will be is imperfect and incomplete. I forgive you for deciding your voice is unimportant.
I choose to be ten times more proud and ten times more excited about what I am up to in life. I am powerful, loving, lovable and creative. AND ADVENTUROUS!
We matter. We are important. We contribute. We are free.
I. Am. Free!
I let you and the stories and the decisions go.
Enjoy nothingness. I love you.
Lots and lots of love,
Present & Future Han (aka Hannah) x
*The evening after I wrote that letter.
So last Saturday I had the pleasure of collaborating with Cook With Amore. Two Italian sisters based in London with a passion for good food and sharing this love with the community.
I have found that I have got so caught up in working and being busy that I have le go of being aware of what I put in my stomach.
While I have never thought of going vegan myself, individual recipes are certainly on my radar – particularly when they are this god damn tasty!
“Do you love food or yourself?” – Elena (Cook With Amore)
When they cook they ask you to question “how you feel after?” Does it look exciting to eat?
And to be fair, it seems so simple but it felt like an enlightenment moment.
Being on the go means picking up the nearest thing and quite often I do in fact sometimes overlook how it makes me feel.
I mean, sat here today I had a ready meal curry for lunch because it was cheap. However two hours later and my stomach feels bloated and uncomfortable. I feel begrudged to do much as well.
I am at least watching my caffeine intake and have stopped stopping by the biscuit bowl in the office kitchen. I don’t actually really want them… I pick it up almost out of boredom!?
From what I was lucky enough to experience, Cook With Amore is definitely a couple to follow! I would never have guessed that vegan Gorgonzola could taste as good as the original and beetroot would taste so incredible mixed with hummus and olives.
1 cup cooked quinoa
50gr mixed leaf organic salad
1 carrot grated
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
½ tsp barleygrass powder (super food)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Mix all the ingredient together and enjoy!
“I usually bring this salad with me on the train when I go to Paris, what I do is I keep all the dressing and the super food in a different container and when is time to eat I mix everything together and is perfectly fresh!” – Monica (Cook With Amore)
Aside from their awesome food – I absolutely love these ladies for their message. It’s super refreshing to find creators who have goals for themselves but also have a heart. Cook With Amore is all about giving life and love back into the community through food. It’s like a breathe of fresh (mixed herbs) air. A message which, I believe, we all need every so often: to look after ourselves and love what we have in front of us.
What is your take on food on the go? Do you take note of what you eat when you’re busy, or grab the nearest thing?
Ok, so I have shelter, a 9-5:30pm job and a life. Now what!?
Duh, everything! There is absolutely nothing stopping me from creating a life I love, except myself. So what next?
And you can do this with me 🙂
For me, in this present moment, I have a wall planner with actions to work towards:
A budget plan has been created, I have reached out to multiple companies, cut out alcohol and have signed up to two dating apps (which goes against my instincts but hey, I’m getting in the zone at least).
The life you want is out there, if you are willing to make it happen. Which is the most important ingredient.
What action will you take next?
It’s like that post I wrote back in the summer. I’ve had quite the shift this week, but I can’t find a way to start telling you!?
So here it is: I was meant to be flying out to Dubai next week and now I am not.
I am moving back to my mum’s for a little bit.
Mumma T is awesome. She said to me that she would pick me up with my stuff and we would thrash everything out over the weekend. I love her so much.
She said to me, get it sorted and then blog about it. And while I was actually going to do just that – I love her even more for thinking about it.
So here is the situation.
I booked to fly out to Dubai back in September, and I was half going to see my friend but also was going to take my CV and see if I could get a job out there too.
However, as time went on, I couldn’t save the money as easily as I was hoping to and to be honest the idea of it slowly became quite tiring mentally, for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I L O V E to travel and go on adventures! But I became surprisingly less excited as time went on, and then I came to quite the revelation: I am tired of running.
I realised I was trying to run from reality. I was still trying not to commit to something. I mean going on holiday meant I could put off getting a proper job for a while longer; getting a room; committing fully to the lovely people I coach. I have run from committing to a lot of things all my life. However, now I mentally want to stop. And commit to something.
So, I told my friend I wasn’t going and I called up the airline.
And do you know what? I felt relief. Relief, that I was putting in place a space to create a home. Not that I wasn’t going to travel ever again. But as Gloria Steinem puts it, after years of moving around, it’s so much nicer to come back to a base of sorts. A space you can call your own after those crazy adventures.
So this is it. I am staying put, and I am committing. *I’m choking up a little as I type this* Like the resolutions I began at Christmas instead of New Year’s I am beginning my projects that I want to build now and not when I get back. Because I am going nowhere.
For the first time in my life I am planting my two feet on the ground and standing strong. For you and me.
I am an entrepreneur and a creative. And this is the year I shine. The year I go for it!
And you will be the first to know.
(Anyone else thinking of the Dream Girls song “I’m not going”?! No? Just me? Ok…)
What lies down yonder road of life?
What kind of space do you want to create for yourself this year?
2016 is nearly over and wow has it been a rollercoaster on all levels!
It’s safe to say that we’re feeling the strain and energy could be running low, even after the Christmas festivities.
For me, Christmas is a wonderful time to immerse myself in the surrounding calm of my hometown and reenergise the soul in nature.
Life gets so hectic and full on, that even one walk on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day (or as in this year both) is enough for me to stop, take deep breathes and admire the beauty around me. It’s so easy to get swept up in life and not take a moment to appreciate what you have around you at your disposal.
And Christmas is, let’s be honest, one of the best times to do it!
Growing up I didn’t appreciate living in the countryside so much ie. it was a bigger effort to get into town/more expensive to pay for a taxi after a night out etc. However now I appreciate the calmness and the peace of it.
You take a deep breath and your lungs fill with pure air – not quite so easy to do in London.
After a couple of days I feel clearer and better prepared to take on whatever comes my way in 2017. Balanced.
Dressing in hiking gear, getting properly lost along forest paths, watching your dog leap through ferns. If I come home with a couple of scratches it actually makes me kind of happy, because I’ve actually spent time outside. Weird I know.
How do you restore your balance?
As is the option, Facebook reminds you what you did on certain days x amount of years ago. The other day it brought up: this photo.
And a part of me was shocked by it, part reminiscent and part envious.
I was 21, and had been back from my first semester in Brazil (part of my year abroad) for about three days.
I flew from Florianópolis to São Paulo to Paris to London and remember getting off the layover plane in the UK very early in the morning, along with a cabin load of business people – the only other people crazy enough to get on a plane that early on a Sunday morning. They were all miserable, grumpy and wrapping themselves tighter into their jackets. Me? I screamed to myself: “FRESH AIRRRRR!!” Brazil could be SO humid.
Anyway, this was three Christmases ago.
Back at the end of 2013 all I had to worry about was submitting a chapter for my dissertation (which I finished the night before I went to Mexico a month later). I assumed I would ‘figure life out’ at some point before graduation.
I bought that Christmas jumper because some small business people at the time called Zoella and Fleur De Force were ‘obsessing’ over festive wear.
Fast forward three years and I don’t recognise me. Physically and mentally.
I am so so grateful!
Grateful for the places I have been, my friends, my supportive family and the incredible opportunities I have been given. Grateful for the body I live in and the space I inhabit on this little planet.
I showed my friend this pic, and we got to reminiscing about where we were in 2013 and three years before that and three years before then too.
It dawned on me that ten Christmases ago my family and I had just moved back from Spain. That s*** cray! And again, never could my fourteen year old self have guessed I would be where I am today…
I couldn’t predict it then and, to be completely honest, even now I couldn’t predict what my life would look like one, three, five or ten years from now.
But that is the fun of it!
Don’t you think life is just that much more thrilling and exciting when it’s not played out for you!? When you take a detour or drive without a map!
For memory’s sake, I am going to predict that Christmas 2019 I will have lived abroad a couple more times – which in 2013 I never thought I would do – I will have a Spaniel named Bubble (after the Absolutely Fabulous character). Taken a couple of big career leaps, taken out my belly piercing (the nose piercing I then got in 2014 and thought I would have for a while has now gone) and have a flat of my own in the UK. I’ll throw in a Christmas ski trip in the Alps and made friends with a celebrity as well…
I can’t wait to see how this pans out!
Questions I have for 2019:
Where do you think you will be ten years from now?
*What I love about this photo is: I’m not wearing red lipstick, but it covers my lips like lipstick would…
December tends to be a season when we overindulge in the name of ‘festive spirit’. But then January rolls around and we’re depressed about getting on the treadmill to shed the ‘Christmas layer’.
Every year. Why do we do this to ourselves?
So instead of the brief relief of drunkeness and mince pie eating, I have devised a couple of ways that help me detach without the sugar high.
A Christmassy bath bomb, some scented candles and a book in a bath.
I don’t actually remember the last time I used a bath bomb but as part of my coaching I am taking some actions that I wouldn’t normally take. For me this includes taking some proper time out to treat myself.
I went into Lush and found the usual blogger suspects like the Magic Wand but it was the Pud bomb that really did it. I recommend buying the ones that you’re attracted to most at the time.
For me it was this one because of it’s relaxation properties. It smelt like a warm hot drink with a hint of lavender.
It miiiiiight have been the Benzoin in the bath bomb, but I completely switched off and felt SO calm afterwards. Granted it took me a good ten minutes to stop finding excuses.
I highly recommend the Kate Spade “Rise To The Occasion” candle.
Take a walk.
Again, seems simple and cliche, but when was the last time you took an actual walk around your neighbourhood or town?
Took off the headphones, switched off your phone and simply wandered.
I LOVE London in Autumn and Winter for the colours and the crisp air.
I have found that working from home makes it twice as hard to actually switch off. Having the TV available and having the sound up as loud as you like, it makes it more difficult to take a break. So these small actions make for some brief relief.
What was the last relaxing thing you did for your Self?