Let me kick off by writing I’m that girl who literally wants to be friends with everyone.
Just ask the countless people who leave Virgin trains most weeks with my email address in their back pocket and I, theirs. That sounds super dodgy doesn’t it?! Promise it’s not!
I’m simply fascinated with people, what makes them tick, their stories and points of view on the world (it’s the documentary filmmaker in me) and importantly, I love the feeling of making a new connection, sparking with someone new, who in the time it took me to travel from London to Leeds became a friend.
It makes life that little bit more bella right?!
I like to think of myself as open, friendly and warm, a fast talker, an attentive listener, full of energy like my father, a person who tries to throw kindness around like confetti but equally takes no s**** like my mother. I reckon if I met myself I’d like myself (as long it was outside of PMT week or I’d probably block my ass on twitter 😉 )…
…But here’s the thing, lately things have shifted a gear…
Firstly, I’ve changed the way I work, with the last few months seeing me reach a 3 day work week most weeks (hi five-to reaching my definition of success I’ve written about before here) meaning Xander and I get quality time midweek-and whilst I’m still working my booty off when it matters across the other days, I genuinely feel calm and in control when it comes to my schedule (however busy it might look on the outside).
I’ve been taking my own advice and saying ‘no’ to stuff, people and work that just haven’t felt deserving of my time and energy and big fat ‘yeses’ to those who have.
Sounds so simple huh but often we get so stuck in a people-pleasing rut, we lose sight of ourselves and what makes us happy.
Putting everyone else above ourselves, makes for one drained mama.
I’m feeling content when it comes to my work/life balance and it’s no coincidence it’s happened in correlation with with being taken on by manager Neil Ransome at renowned agency, Insanity.
I now have someone who gets me and my vision entirely, someone who oversees my career with much-needed objective clarity, always steering me in the right direction both as a person and a brand, with a view of the long term.
Neil helps me prioritise what matters and helps combat the inevitable self-doubt when it rears it’s ugly head. Being a creative is a bit of a mind f*** right?!
…And things feel a lot more meaningful around here.
For example, I don’t feel my phone owns me. When I’m working, I’m working. When I’m not, I’m really NOT. Take that iPhone.
I can’t NOT write, draw and film every single day-it’s a need, to me, like breathing (and coconut water;)), it’s my raison d’etre, my love but as I used to remind my MA screenwriting students in my lecturing days, it’s vital to LIVE LIFE in order to create. To chill out in order to make.
Something else has inevitably occurred along with these changes too…
I’ve found not physically being online as much means I’m not in touch with as many people there as I once was. I’ve even drifted from some I used to connect with daily.
Not all of course. I have (mostly) women in my life thanks to blogging who feel like sisters to me, chicks I would have chosen a thousand times over even without our blogs, platforms or babies.
And that’s life right there and lessons I’m constantly reminded of.
I just can’t be mates with everyone, however much I want to be.
I can’t be close to 30,000 followers on Twitter! I can’t even be friends with 300 (even if that totals the number of relatives I have in my Big Fat Greek Family 😉 ). 30 maybe, 13 more like it.
The ties that have loosened recently are no bad thing really nor is anyone to blame for that matter, people naturally lose touch at times or that mutual commonality, and, as with real life, friendships can stagnate, evolve, need more work, or just no longer feel right.
The upside to all of this, along with the 3 day work week of course, has meant tons more opportunity to connect with great friends, old mates and family members I get to see more and it’s also offered up more windows of time to travel, to spend evenings with my main man, Peter, chatting and planning our future, not tied to our laptops…and most importantly, quality time with my most precious of peeps: my kids.
And it’s created a domino effect, all this feeling content and reminding myself what matters IRL.
I’ve sifted through my social channels-FB, Instagram and Twitter and un-followed/friended people whom are undoubtedly lovely but I no longer regularly chat to and I’ve returned to making my Pinterest boards personal again (not open to others to pin) meaning a total reshaping of the space I’ve created and curated online to feel more ‘me’ again, to reflect my ‘right now’.
Change is good. It’s positive and enriching, even when it might not always feel it at first.
And it’s almost 6 years since I started this blog so it’s probably time to reflect and rejig. To redesign this site as I have done and redesign my work life.
And it feels good. Ordered and full of purpose.
Looking around, my space online now matches my place offline, and for the first time in a long time, feels like home.
Photo by Kirsty Mattsson Photography.