Lessons in My 20’s

Growing up I was always considered a “nice” person. As a child, I had (fortunately) never really experienced what it felt like to be left out, or actively disliked. So when I arrived at University, it was a shock to learn that not everyone was as nice as me. That just because I was kind, did not mean others would be kind back; a lesson I’m sure we all have learned along the way. As an adult, I was even more shocked to learn how often rude and patronizing people somehow ended up as managers. This made me wonder, do nice girls and guys really finish last?

Over the last few years, I have unfortunately heard stories and seen firsthand adults be publicly embarrassed in the workplace, only to be left on the brink of tears. I remember earlier this year on my Monday commute into work, I had a similar instance – albeit not in the office. There I was, smiling and standing patiently at Marylebone Station on a cold Winter’s morning, completely unprepared for what was to happen next. There had been issues with the ticket barriers that day – a nightmare for any London commuter. As a result, this meant pandemonium erupted among the hundreds of people who were rushing to get to work. When it was my turn to go through the gates, the employee checked my ticket only to realize I had the wrong one, and reacted as if I had tried to cheat the whole of Transport for London. She shouted at me as if to make an example out of me, utterly humiliating me in the process in front of a crowd people. I remember my face began to feel hot, my eyes began to well up with tears, and my blood began to boil. I was completely taken aback by her overreaction and this moment of humiliation. I then became increasingly aware of the eyes of onlookers watching this moment of drama unfold, all before it was even 8 AM.

It had in fact been totally her own fault, rather than mine (which I suppose so often is the case in these kind of scenarios) as I had told her as I approached, about the ticket dilemma. However I managed to hold it together, and calmly called her out on her behaviour. I stood up for myself, correcting her on what had actually happened with ticket-gate (excuse the pun) and told her there was absolutely no need to treat me, or anyone else like that. I then proceeded to complain about this to one of her team members. Whether this was taken seriously I do not know- I certainly did not receive an apology. Nonetheless, I was proud of how I handled this stranger’s outburst and that I had kept myself mostly together. In that moment, I empathized with those who may experience such behaviour in the workplace. Thinking about this now, I wonder how this kind of scenario may be playing out in a remote setting. I also wonder if I would have reacted the same way if it was my boss speaking to me in such a rude manner, rather than a complete stranger. How would I act, especially now, where there is an increasing amount of anxiety around job security? I sincerely hope that I would have the courage and resilience to deal with this, or that a kind colleague would step in and show me some support if needed.

2020 has been a tough year on many levels, and whilst I may not have all the answers, I know that being nice does not cost a thing. I remember reading an article on The Everygirl about protecting your heart at work, which emphasized just how important emotional resilience is. Although I still have so much more to learn and I know inevitably there will be more hurdles to overcome, here are some of the lessons I have learned in my 20’s so far…

  1. The company I keep both in an out of work is important
    The people we surround ourselves with have a direct impact on our wellbeing and outlook on life. Take a look at those nearest to you and figure out if they add value to your life and if they build you up as a person.

  2. Other people’s opinions of me do not validate me
    Whenever I catch myself ruminating about silly thoughts like what I said earlier that day, I stop myself. Instead I try to focus my energy on my own goals, rather than wasting energy on needless worry.

  3. Showing my “true” self can be daunting but liberating
    I used to differentiate my identity between my “work” self and “true” self, and now count myself lucky to work somewhere where I feel I can and want to, bring my whole self to work. This also means I feel more authentic in my choices and am able to bounce back easier on days which are challenging.

  4. It’s better to be understood than to be liked
    Not everyone will like me, and that’s fine, despite the people pleasing voice I have in my head!

  5. Not everyone shares the same ideas or outlook as me
    As obvious as this, really taking time to digest and understand this has made a huge difference. This was also summed up really succinctly for me in the Everygirl article,

    Most people see interactions as swift, emotionless transactions ; whilst this is true in many businesses, it doesn’t mean you have to be the same, just recognize that there are others like that”.

  6. How people act and respond to you often comes from them projecting their own feelings from what’s happening in their own life, rather than in response to the actual content of what you have said.

  7. Being smart and kind will always be cool

  8. Always trust and listen to your gut

  9. Feel the love

  10. Nice people certainly do not finish last
    Being nice isn’t a weakness, it is a strength.

I’d love for you to share some of your tips or lessons you have learned with me in the comments below!

If you liked this post, you should subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about!

Connect with me on socials:

Facebook | Natalia Talks About

Instagram | @nataliatalksabout

YouTube | Nataliatalksabout

You may also like:

Dear 2010’s

5 Ways To Look After Yourself This Week

There’s Still Time For Us Yet…

Kindness Doesn’t Cost A Thing

A Weekend in Costa Del Sol

Travel Vlog | Wine Tasting in California!

Dear 2010’s

Dear 2010’s,

We’ve had many fun memories along the way,
Ones that have really shaped me to be who am I today,

2010 – you were great,
I celebrated my sweet 16 with all of my mates,

2011 – The year of the rave,
But oh – how we misbehaved!

2012 – The Olympics came to town,
Although my studies, made me frown,

2013 – University, moving out,
All of a sudden how grown up I felt,

But it was not so simple, to make friends like me,
It was tough to do so, being sure of myself, whilst getting a degree,

2014 – You taught me to be careful with my money,
As some may try to trick you and think that it’s funny!

2015 – I continued to work hard and studied,
Along the way I made some close buddies,

83377923_474190879930254_3896951237865635840_n

2016 – Ready and willing to try and stand on my own 2 feet,
The job market was tough, how could I compete?

2017 – I felt more adult, a job in hand,
Yet it felt like I needed more planned,

2018 – I travelled and saw some of the USA,
I soon landed a new job in the city, yay!

2019 – I was hopeful, but soon you knocked me for six,
A turn of events meant loved ones were sick,

Through these challenges, I grew and learned to rise,
Learning it’s not all written in the skies,

Oh 2010’s how much you gave,
It really was an interesting decade,

From bad fashion trends, thin eyebrows and bouffant quiffs,
To school exams, house parties and friendship tiffs,

Enjoying sleepovers pulling all nighters,
As I grew older, my hair got lighter,

Relating to the cliché of what it means to be me,
Alongside climbing the career tree,

Some friendships have gone and others have stood the test of time,
I found my best friend in the first love of mine,

Now 2020 is here and what can I say?
I don’t know who you are, or what you will you bring me today,

I’ve learned to be stronger, believe and aim high,
It may not all be smooth sailing, I’m sure there will be a few sighs,

Dear 2010’s – I bid you Adieu,
– Excited and inspired –

2020’s, I’m ready for you.

82590358_928872130848036_6446427800248254464_n

If you enjoyed this post you should read:

A New York Minute | Day 38 – 44

Opening Up About Mental Health

California Travel Diaries |A Weekend in San Diego

Goodbye 2018 & Hello 2019

What a year 2018 was. It truly was a year that had many ups and downs; a year where I learned to appreciate the value of living in the present moment. I took more chances on myself and stepped somewhat outside of my comfort zone. I took a road trip around California and had a Summer of a lifetime with some beautiful L.A. sunsets. I worked in 2 different workplaces and learned many valuable lessons along the way. I’ve gained sister in laws, closer bonds with family members and my long-standing truest friendships have continued to be a strength and light in my life. This time last year, I set myself some resolutions like most do when we say goodbye to those long, tiring and often testing 12 months, in hopes of enriching ourselves in a good old Bridget Jones positive type of way. These resolutions of mine were of course set with good and more realistic intentions than my girl Bridget has done, however like Jonesy, they may have got somewhat lost along the way…ahem… apologies for my eight week hiatus on the blog! Nonetheless if there is one thing i’m taking with me into 2019, it is to relax, to not hold back waiting for that “perfect” moment and to stop worrying quite so much.

One example being that I was waiting to give myself the time to create more engaging content and memorable pieces such as those of my California trip. I started many blog posts with hopes of getting back into the swing of things. Yet upon reflection I can see that the issue was that I was becoming too concenered on everything being “insta-worthy” rather than the joy of writing, sharing and creating, so I decided instead to not to post anything at all and binge watch Gossip Girl until I “had time”. We’re all guilty of this kind of behaviour right? Plus it doesn’t help that GG is highly addictive! So in the spirit of these reflections and with new positive intentions being reset going forward, here are some of my personal top 9 moments I didn’t share as much as I should have in 2018.

Winter Snow in the UK | Despite the disruption and how England stops functioning for a few days, there is something quite magical about snow in the U.K., no matter how little!

Glamour Beauty Festival | Mother’s Day – I had a lovely day out with my mum at the Saatchi Gallery in London. After a tough start to 2018, this was one day we both really needed to remind ourselves to relax

Family Bonds | My Grandmother – As life goes on, our loved ones grow older with us. My grandmother is the strongest fighter I know and every moment together is a moment I treasure. A relationship between Grandchild and Grandparent is truly special

California road trip | Yosemite – Hiking is something I hope to do more of in my 20’s and this day really was a bucket list moment

California Road Trip | Monterey – Because Big Little Lies. Need I say more?

California | Wine Tasting – Sipping wine with my boyfriend in places like this was a pinch me moment

California | Sea lion selfies, being blonder than ever and embracing summer sun freckles

New York | Discovering new places. New York is now one of my favourite cities in the world

Croatia | My Brother’s Wedding – Being a bridesmaid & surrounded by so much love was really an unforgettable day

Whether there is such thing as “New Year, New Me” I’m not quite sure, but that’s not to say that resolutions are a waste of time. I love the really hopeful and motivated mood in January, where ambitions are high and the “I can do anything attitude” is held by most. I really think that we should recognise and celebrate our achievements more often and not worry that this may be misread as egotistical, unrealistic or unachievable. Because it is acceptable and necessary to give ourselves credit on more occasions than simply in the New Year! So, this year I’m making it a priority of mine to keep trying to achieve my goals and really celebrate my achievements, rather than worrying. After all, “worrying is stupid, it’s like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain” something that us British do oh too well!

What are your intentions for 2019 and what were some of your highlights from 2018? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this, please subscribe and like! You should also read:

The Magic Statement

The California Travel Diaries: Sonoma and Napa

A Bridesmaid Prep Guide

So far in 2018…

Happy Sunday everyone! It has officially been 2018 for 7 days and what a week it’s been. Donald Trump is in the news again for more altercations with ‘losers’ and just about everything that seems to be irrelevant to the political affairs of America. The UK has been battling stormy weather, Hollywood is getting ready for the Golden Globes, Crypto currencies are on the rise and gaining more media attention and our worst fears were confirmed. Game of Thrones will officially not be aired until 2019.

With all this noise in the world, I feel like Sunday is a good time to check in with myself and see how I am getting on with the little things. I can take comfort in that it is less dramatic than Trump’s “fictitious book” by that fraud.

This week I have managed to drink more water- carrying a 1.5 litre of water definitely helps. I have read my book nearly every day- something which really has helped me to wind down before I go to sleep.  I have also blogged daily which I am super happy about. Overall since 29th December I have posted 10 days in a row. Even more satisfying! To you, these may be small and insignificant achievements, but for me this is the creation of healthier habits. So what did I do differently? I decided to A) Put some effort in! B) Manage my time better.

I have been watching TV less, trying not to procrastinate and make both a mental and physical list of what I want to achieve today. To tell you the truth, it’s quite hard to be consistent. There I said it. Life makes it difficult enough to set out completing the tasks we want to do, both at work or at home due to natural daily disruptions, deadlines, social meetings, kids, health problems, travel- the list continues! So I am trying to improve the things I do have control of.

I feel that it’s important to reflect upon the last week. Whether that is a quiet reflection to yourself, talking about it with friends, complaining to family or writing in a diary. Whatever it is, evaluating what we did this last week we can get a potential representative of how this year could pan out. For example let’s say that I really wanted to reach my 10,000 steps daily but every day this week I stayed slumped at my desk in my lunch hour, to then drive to my car, to then sit on my sofa. If I am being honest with myself I can see that I won’t be changing my habits at all next week, if I carry on doing what I did this week of course. Then before you know it, it’s November and I’m thinking, maybe next year I will move more. You following me? So as I try to form new habits, I will reflect weekly on what I did do and learn from it. I often look at people I admire and think how on earth do they do it all? It must be that unless you have a team and your own PA you probably can’t. But realistically we all have 24 hours in the day and in some ways you can achieve just as much as Beyoncé, Joe Bloggs or Princess Consuela Banana Hammock. CAUTION: Just don’t try shaking your booty like Beyoncé you may throw your back out.

Before you all think I am mad because you know that it is human nature to sometimes plainly not be bothered to go for that walk, cook that vegan recipe, go to the gym, wake up earlier etc. I will level with you as I am sure that will happen inevitability this year. What did help me to dedicate more time to my blog, was when I had my time off from work over Christmas. Before you think I am implying that you need time off to make some changes, my week off was far from plain sailing and sleeping in every day (you can read about what happened in my post  What’s Been Going On) ; the only thing that really changed  was my mindset. Okay, I was less physically tired having not been at work all day, but I was inspired to make the most of my time and get out of my own way! Maybe it was a small almost quarter life crisis, (just less dramatic or pronounced). But a lightbulb switched on where I was like, “I am going to start actually trying to do the things I always say I want to do”. Simple as that- the tricky part is putting it into practice.

Now I am back at work I am in the swing of it and am definitely trying to make new habits. Rather than being lazy and ‘relaxing’ with mindless TV* I am putting more effort into my hobbies which will benefit me. (* I will try to save it for the weekends or on sick days!) So this week , I am going to add another challenge… To incorporate some exercise into my weekly routine. Challenge? That’s not a challenge you say! It is the mental motivation of actually getting on with the 5k or the swim at the gym consistently is the hardest part and this week I shall try to jump over this hurdle. Let’s see how it goes.

To finish today’s post and musings I am going to try to preemptively beat the Monday blues with this thought that I saw on fitness mogul Kayla Itsines Instagram:

 

Have a good week everyone!