The subtle art of saying no

Have you ever been asked to do something that you really don’t want to? And you spent hours, if not days, trying to conjure up an excuse as to why you can’t do it? And not just any excuse, but a plausible excuse. Family events, a friend’s birthday, a reunion, a prior commitment at a prior venue that you simply could not skip on. Alternatively, we begrudgingly say yes and complain that we have to participate in this random thing that we’ve been asked to do, so that we don’t offend the person asking us.

We’ve all been there. Making up excuses, searching for excuses, before finally giving. But to be quite frank, I’m pretty sick of doing things that I don’t want to do. What better excuse of not doing something than simply, ‘I don’t want to.’

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I think from a young age, we are programmed to please people. Especially as a woman, we’re expected to be obedient, to play along, and do whatever it is to please the people around us. It means sacrificing our time, energy and effort to keep the peace and keep everyone happy. Whilst this isn’t the end of the world, and saying yes can be a great thing, there’s something terrifyingly empowering about saying no.

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This is not only apparent in our personal lives, but also in our professional ones. As a young professional, I have been brought up in an environment where I feel the need to prove myself. That I couldn’t possibly have earned my position because I’m too young. So I find myself holding incredibly high expectations of myself, pushing myself and putting my hand up for everything to prove how deserving I am of having the opportunity to have this job. This is a pretty self-destructive notion that will quickly lead to burnout and feeling unrecognised for the extra work you’re pushing yourself to do.

I used to think that saying no was saying no to new opportunities, to miss out on growing, to limit yourself and ultimately hold yourself back. And whilst sometimes saying yes to things that make you feel uncomfortable is freakin awesome and does facilitate growth, saying no doesn’t mean you miss out on that opportunity.

I’ve recently come to understand that time is one of the most precious things we have. And it’s important to protect it at all costs. As our lives get busier and busier, our weekends get booked out months in advance and seeing friends becomes a series of cancellations and rescheduling, the last thing you want to be doing is spending your precious time doing things that you don’t really want to do.

I’ve found myself asking, how the heck do I say no? To a friend, a family member, a colleague, a boss, a partner… so here are some little phrases and sayings.

  • That’s not really my scene
  • Thanks but there’s other things I’d rather be doing
  • That’s not really up my alley
  • I’m going to have a ‘me day’ instead
  • Can you elaborate on why you need me to do it specifically?
  • Can I think about it and get back to you?
  • I can’t commit to this at the moment

At the end of the day, saying no is an empowering thing. Saying no can set new boundaries. It can challenge people and get them to seriously think about what they’re asking you. It is self-care by honouring and respecting your time. And at the end of the day, you’re just one person. You can’t possibly do everything for everyone, and if you can, then maybe it’s time to start putting yourself first. Say yes to saying no!

Stretch Marks, Cellulite and Pimples Oh My! A Girl’s Journey To Love Her Body

It’s no surprise that the media, celebrities, influencers, magazines and Instagram make it feel like us women are not sexy, fit, beautiful and hot enough. We’re not enough, full stop. Well if you’re new around here, you know that’s not quite my style. I am all for embracing our bodies, loving ourselves and giving the finger to anyone who makes us feel anything less than awesome.

After a recent conversation with some girlfriends about our bodies, I thought I had to get specific. Specifically stretch marks, cellulite and pimples. How they make me feel, how I deal with it and how I embrace them.

Now I’m not going to pretend I’m a medical expert. There are plenty of reliable sources out there to help you with all your medical questions. This is purely my experiences, thoughts and perspectives towards my body, so don’t go trying to tell me I’m wrong.

Firstly, I am a curvy woman. I am well aware of this. I became aware of this when I was about 11 years old. I distinctly remember walking to my year 5 class when I was living in Townsville. I was walking alongside a friend when two of my friends walking behind me started laughing. We stopped to ask what was funny and they said that it was funny that my legs wobbled when I walked.

When I took up ballet classes when I was 13, well, you could only imagine. I didn’t quite fit in with my stick thin classmates. I was told to suck in my stomach, tuck away my butt and focus on strengthening ‘the right’ muscles (aka not muscles that added to my curvy figure).

I’ll never forget being intimate with someone. We were getting down and they made a comment about how thick my legs were. In fact, on several occasions, people have thought that during this time is an appropriate time to comment on my body hair, my tummy, my butt, the size of my breasts and my curves (but not in a sexy way).

Added to this, my skin has been a pretty chaotic rollercoaster. I got my first acne break out when I was 11 years old. Yep 11. Tiny little Adelaide had sweat pimples scattered across her forehead. 13 years later and the breakout, pimples, acne scars haven’t gone away. I still have frequent breakouts and black heads (and yes I’ve tried Proactive and all those other toxic products, and they don’t work). I’m nearly 25 years old and pimples are very much a part of my life.

When it comes to stretch marks, I guess I got pretty lucky. Yes I faintly have them around my thighs, hips and butt. I don’t have them on my boobs (I’m still waiting to grow into my boobs), and I know I got off pretty easy with the stretch marks. I’ve witnessed my friends bodies grow and as a result, get stretch marks. I’ve seen them get embarrassed and feel ashamed, all for the little wriggles that tell the story of their growth.

Cellulite is a new addition to all this. It’s a strange one because us women are told that having cellulite = failure. Cellulite is something we should be afraid of, fear and reject whole heartedly. It’s something that’d decided to say hello to my thighs in recent years and become more prominent. Whilst no one has made any comments like they did when I was 11, from the way society comments on women’s bodies, I already know it’s not ‘acceptable.’

It’s hard to have all of these experiences, fears and judgement and still hold your head high. Whether we like it or not, people are pretty judgemental and make assumptions about your health, diet, skin care routine and fitness. As hard as it is to step back and brush it off, you’ve just gotta do it. Because it’s a million times better than the alternative.

It sucks that that we are made to feel ashamed of their bodies. It can completely eat people up. It can dictate the way we dress, whether we go to the beach or not, if we try a new sport or not, if we feel confident getting intimate with a partner, if we have that next slice of pizza or if we stand a certain way in a photo. There’s definitely been times in my life where I’ve felt down and insecure about my body. Times that I don’t feel pretty enough, sexy enough, thin enough or fit enough. But I refuse to let those insecurities dictate my life, my happiness and my worth.

We am so much more than our bodies. My body is a vessel that I choose to fuel and nourish. Sometimes with veggies and salad, and others with pizza and pies. I love going rock climbing, doing yoga or going for a walk, and I also love sleeping in all day and watching YouTube. I like to wear crop tops and mini-skirts, and I like to wear baggy shirts and be a complete dag. Whatever I’m doing or wearing, I just like to happy being me!

At the end of the day, life is so much bigger than a pimple on our chin, some stretch marks on our hips and parts of my body that wobble. Let’s focus on what’s really important, the smiles on our faces, the bounce in our steps, the energy we bring to the room and the way we make people feel. The important stuff. The stuff that reflects our kindness, compassion and excitement for life. I’d rather go my whole life with a giant pimple on my forehead and live my best life, than have clear skin and still be uncomfortable in in nit. Life is too short and too damn great. Wobbles and all!

If you’re interested, I made a little video a few years ago about my experiences living with acne (it’s super cringey because I made it in 2016 but hey check it out!).

8 Things I Love About Myself

Yep, you read the title right, this blog post is publicly owning up to the things I love about myself. And before you think, OMG here she goes, just think about the last time you had an open and honest conversation with yourself and thought ‘damn, I really love that about me!’ It’s probably been a while. In fact, some of you may never have actually verbalised the things that you love about yourself.

With Valentine’s Day come and gone, and it seems love is in the air. So I thought I would try this little exercise to show myself some self-love and challenge you to list 3 things you love about yourself!

I love being a redhead

I seriously believe that being a redhead is now a part of my identity. It’s funny because growing up I was teased and ridiculed for being a ranga. But now I freakin love it! I couldn’t imagine having any other hair colour. I love that I’m unique and stand out in a crowd (I don’t exactly love that it means I’m sensitive af to the sun but I guess that’s part of the package). I love that some of my best friends are redheads and seriously we are a force to be reckoned with.

I love that I have a healthy relationship with food

If you know me, then you know that I LOVE food. Food is a freakin way of life and I’m always looking forward to my next meal or snack. It makes me so sad when I see people who are self-conscious, picky or have a troubling relationship with food. Food is literally fuel for your body. We need it. So we might as well enjoy it! Of course, eating a balanced diet is crucial but I don’t see the point in beating yourself up about having that extra row of chocolate (or eating the whole block). Or cutting yourself off from some delicious French cheese. Or saying no to that fourth slice of pizza. Seriously, life is too short not to enjoy the goodness of food.

I love my passion

I am an incredibly passionate person. I get excited about the littlest of things. If you’re going to do a job then you might as well do it the best you can. And for me, that means being passionate about my work, my commitments and activities. When I get behind a cause, there’s no stopping me!

I love that I am supportive

I’ve always said that I’m the best secondary someone could have. I think it’s because I don’t always like leading the way and being out in front, but I can absolutely get behind someone, push them, believe in them and enjoy their success. Whether it be my friends business selling coasters, cards and cheese boards, my friends earring business, my friends band, my friends music performance, their race, their new job, their upcoming travel, their engagement… I am 110% there! I love the people that surround me and I genuinely believe in people and I want to see them succeed.

I love my curves

Oh baby this has taken a long time but I feel that I’m finally in a place where I love my body and I really couldn’t imagine myself not having curves. I feel like I’ve ‘grown in’ to my body and I feel like a woman. It’s pretty damn awesome and it’s something I’m sharing because I think we all need to have better relationships with our bodies. This isn’t to say that ‘I’m hot’ or that I think I have a perfect body – of course I have insecurities. Everyone does. But when I love my body I feel so much better in every other aspect of my life than when I hate it. We have to believe that we’re given our body for a reason and we simply have to own it.

I love that I’m ‘Worldly’

Some of you may not know that A Worldly Addiction, started as a travel blog to share my experiences galavanting around Europe. But it was also created with the idea of exploring new ways of thinking and new experiences. I love that I’ve had the opportunity to travel and study overseas. I love my curious and inquisitive nature. I love that I’ve been to many beautiful countries and I love that I have many more on my bucket list.

I love that I can have long-distant friendships

OK so I generally hate having to say goodbye to friends and it sucks not being able to see them regularly, but one thing I’m proud of is my ability to maintain friendships across the seven seas and for years. I’m really secure in my friendships and I know the value of my relationships. I feel so lucky to have incredible friends no matter the time or distance.

I love my empathy and vulnerability

I think I’ve got a really great sense of empathy – in fact – sometimes a little too much. I’m highly emotional, and yes I cry from time to time, but like to believe it’s because I’m able to put myself in other people’s shoes. No matter the situation, I can stay calm and respectful of people’s feelings and experiences. And I love the fact that I’m vulnerable and open about my own feelings and experiences – heck, I’m dedicating this whole post to it!

Over to you…

I challenge you to share at least 3 things you love about yourself!

Valentines Day? Newly Single? Take Yourself Out!

Valentine’s Day sucks. Especially if you’re newly single and trying to piece back together the fragments of your heart and remember who you are without a man in your life (woah dramatic right?). But this isn’t a depressing post. This is a fucking happy post. Life has been crazy recently and I’m sure yours has been too (I’m suspecting there’s something in the air). I feel like maybe it’s February, just as you’re getting settled into 2018, February comes to slap you in the face and say ‘wake up bitch, don’t you dare get comfortable!’

Well after my ‘Me Day’ I am wide awake and refreshed, in love with myself and proud of who I am.

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I thought there might be a few others out there who may be having a rough time at the moment, and I get it, it sucks. But it’s not going to last forever, and it certainly isn’t the end of the world. So I wanted to tell you about my day and hopefully inspire you to do the same, and love yourself that little bit harder in your time of need.

“Hi, you’ve reached Adelaide. Sorry I can’t take your call right now. It’s ADELAIDE DAY today and I’m out taking care of myself. Leave a message and I’ll get back to you whenever I feel like it.”

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Cancel Work

I work casually, however lately, work has consumed my life. It’s good though, with so much craziness in my life it’s been a great distraction. I love my work and my work mates. But my Adelaide Day meant not coming in to work. I emailed my boss and was completely honest. Hey, I know I’m supposed to work tomorrow, but my life has been a bit crazy lately and I really just need a day to gather my thoughts and look after myself. Do you mind if I have an Adelaide Day? Because I work with such amazing and supportive people, she said yes and just like that, my day was free.

Sleep In

I’ve recently been converted to a morning person which means that if I wake up after 7am I feel like I’ve wasted my day. I love waking up early, watching the sunrise and getting a head start on my day. But this is Adelaide Day, and Adelaide required a sleep in. I slept until 9:30am and honestly, felt so rested. It was simply glorious waking up without an alarm, with sunlight shining through my window.

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Beach & Sunshine

There’s nothing that says ‘I love you Adelaide’ like a dip in the ocean and a nap on the beach. I headed down to soak up some rays with Dylan. There’s something so medicating about the ocean that instantly washes away your problems and invigorates you with energy and life. I laid in the sun just a little longer than I normally would and felt so relaxed. When I got home and looked in the mirror, I felt like I’d been at a spa treatment all day. I felt sleepy, relaxed, smelled of coconut and my hair was a mess.

A Bite To Eat

I love going out for lunch and I love going out solo. I went to one of my favourite cafe’s, ordered my favourite meal, with my favourite coffee and wrote in my journal. You’ve gotta look after your taste-buds and caffeinate.

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Retail Therapy

Nothing says treat yourself like a new outfit or two. Even if it’s just trying on clothes to get some ideas, I love a little window shopping. And I love it even more when I find gorgeous clothes that make me feel like the Queen I am (or think I am – depends if you get me on a confident day or not). I bought some gorgeous flowy pants, some crop tops and some sparkly underwear for Mardi Gras (which I’m way too excited about). Sometimes you just have to tap your card and not look at the total – that’s future you’s problem.

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Cooking

A little known fact about me is that I absolutely love cooking, I just rarely find the time or inspiration. But on my Me Day, there was no excuse. I made some delicious burritos for Tiger and Chloe. Plus we had an extravagant cheese board with a few too many beers. Cutting, chopping and creating something delicious and nutritious for your body and tastebuds sure is rewarding.

Sex & The City Marathon

Did you know that Sex & The City can cure anything? Yep. Fact. By chance, a SATC marathon was on TV. Naturally, we stayed up til midnight watching it. One beer per episode. By the time it reached midnight, I was pretty tipsy and feeling pretty damn amazing.

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I know it’s not always possible to have an extraordinary Me Day. There’s work, prior commitments, homework…. the thing is that in our crazy lives, these things will always be there. Sometimes you just have to cancel your day and show yourself a little love. Maybe I just didn’t do this enough when I was in a relationship. Take some time for me. But hey, at least I won’t forget it any time soon. And I think it’s something we have to do every now and again. Plus, who doesn’t love a SATC marathon?!

Be strong. Be kind. Be kind to yourself. And have a break. You deserve it. 

Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day. The one time of year we can eat chocolate, have our cheeks flushed pink, watch chic flicks and write clichés in cards… Actually that’s every other weekend for me. Regardless of how often you eat a box of heart shaped chocolates, there’s no escaping the fact that the 14th of February is all about love. And whilst it’s nice when you’ve got that special someone to spend it with, the most important date you’ll have on Valentines Day (and for the rest of your life) is YOU. Yes, I realize it’s clichéd to write about how important it is to love yourself but hey, it is Valentines Day. So here are some things you can do (or I try to show myself) a little loving.

Picture from http://www.personalityhacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/do-you-love-me_personalityhacker.jpg
Picture from http://www.personalityhacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/do-you-love-me_personalityhacker.jpg

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball

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Buy that dress you’ve been eyeing off on ASOS to show yourself some appreciation.

Walk with confidence of everything you’ve accomplished and dreaming of.

Embrace your flaws.

Surround yourself with positivity.

Dream big and act even bigger.

Paint your nails blue, or green, or purple to brighten your day.

Play your music loud and sing even louder.

Call your family/friends and tell them how much they mean to you.

Have a relaxing bath with candles.

Cook a lovely meal for yourself.

Lay on a grassy hill and watch the clouds roll over.

Crack open a bottle of wine.

Binge watch How To Get Away With Murder (woops, too late).

Download Taylor Swifts album.

Put on your beautiful jewellery.

Write down all these things that make you happy and feel loved for future reference.

And don’t forget to finish this all off with a small box of chocolates… you’ve earned it.

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Happy Valentines Day to each and every one of you. xxx A

Pont des Arts, the love lock  bridge in Paris
Pont des Arts, the love lock bridge in Paris