Loving Yourself Is The Greatest Revolution

One of the main things I have been working on the past few years, but have really been starting to achieve this year, is just loving myself. A big part of that is in the way I see myself in the mirror, so sadly it has a lot to do with how I look.

When I was younger, I was always very skinny, mostly due to puberty not really hitting me till I was about seventeen. For me, that was an ideal way to look, so skinny you could literally fit into the smallest size without an issue. That, in itself, is an issue. Turns out, my “womanly” body, as my mother calls it, is quite curvy. Now let me tell you, curvy does not fit into the smallest size. And for me, that was tragic.

From there, started the years of diets, restrictions, and emotional turmoil, all due to hating the way I looked and the fact that I was not skinny enough for myself. The “for myself” is key because I was plenty fine for everyone else.

It is actually ridiculous how you can get so into your mind about something that is not even a problem. It is usually just societal ideals being put into your mind and you deciding you are not good enough. That is what makes it so heartbreaking.

I look at myself today, and I might not think I’m perfect, I still may diet, or have days that I cry about the way I look, but I finally know I’m enough. Just the fact that I don’t obsess about the scale or cry because I don’t fit into something I may have the year before are big steps for me. I’m proud of those steps. I’m proud that I can look in the mirror and feel beautiful or the fact that I finally know I don’t have to be everyone’s idea of perfect. I’m perfect in my own way.

It is with those tiny “victories” that I started loving myself a bit more. To love yourself, in any way, being mentally, physically, or emotionally, is not an easy task and I give props to anyone whose working on that. My advice, is to take it day by day and stop being so hard on yourself, usually it’s just all in your head.

Cheers!

Mirjam

Mothers & Daughters

The mother/daughter relationship for me has always been one of the harder relationships to handle. For many, the mother/daughter dynamic is seen as a “best friend” relationship, where they go shopping together, talk about boys (or girls) together, and gossip about whatever else. It is a thought that has always put a lot of pressure on the actual relationship I have with my mother, a strain almost, to try and create that “ideal” relationship, one that we have never really had.

Let me continue by saying that I love my mother, I really do. I look up to her, I see how strong of a woman she is, how hard she has worked to raise my brothers and I, and how loving of a wife she is to my father. Regardless of all of that, she is not an easy woman, and neither am I.

My teen years were not easy, I was a bit of a nightmare teenager, and with my mother having a similar personality to mine, our relationship took a huge hit during those years. In fact, we sadly stopped speaking for a while. Looking back on it years later, I wish it had not happened that way, but yet it is what has given us the relationship we now have. We pulled through, I got older, matured, and saw my mom in a different light. She went from being someone I really had no interest in knowing, to a person I work really hard to understand. Through that effort of at least trying to understand her, we have almost developed societies “ideal” mother/daughter relationship, I just think we have changed it to fit our ideal. It may not be telling each other secrets all the time and calling each other our “best friend,” but we respect each other, and have fun when we get together to have a girl’s day. For me, that’s really all I ever wanted, just to have a mom who gets me and for me to get her. I’m lucky in that, I have a mom that would never give up on me , and “ideal” relationship or not, I’m forever grateful.

To all the girls out there who might have a difficult relationship with your mom, know that sometimes it just takes time.** Try and see things from her perspective a bit more, and remember she is only human, and everyone makes mistakes.

Cheers!

Mirjam

**P.S. I know that this is not the case for everyone because sometimes there are very bad situations between mothers and daughters. This is a very broad statement more based on my own experience and what I took from it**

“Quiet the Mind, and the Soul Will Speak.”

Meditation. It is one of those things I have always been quite pessimistic about. Lately though, I have been opening myself up to trying new things, one of those being meditation.

Initially, I had thought of meditation as just sitting while breathing slowly and hopefully it relaxes you. I mean, I wasn’t far off, but there is SO much more to it than just that.

It has never been easy for me to shut off my brain and just sit in my silence, everything just roars too damn loud. Yet with meditation, it seems my thoughts have been replaced with emotion and when those emotions are released I finally have silence.

The emotion is the hardest part of meditation, the amount of times I find myself in tears could quite possibly put me into a mental institution. But it is so worth it, just to feel whatever I am holding on to finally come out and to feel free from whatever was holding me down. It is to the point that I am able to place what I’m feeling just by where in my body I am feeling that emotion. i.e. if I feel it in my throat, it is grief, in my chest, it is anger, in my stomach, it is fear. That, in itself, is completely new to me.

With this, meditating has become one of the best parts of my day, it is a time for myself, where I get in touch with my feelings both good and bad, and allow myself to actually feel them. It has enabled me to understand myself just a little bit better and look at life in a new, healthier perspective.

Because of that, I would recommend meditation to just about anyone, cause it never hurts to understand yourself just a little bit better.

Cheers & Namaste,

Mirjam

There she goes, disappearing again…

I know, I know, I am the worst. Saying “I’M BACK” and disappearing for yet another few months…BUT I promise, this time I really am back!

Let me hit you with a quick update on the life of Jam a.k.a me:

  1. Moved back to good old ‘MURICA.
  2. Got a new job (still in shipping, cause gotta stick to what you know.)
  3. Moved into a new apartment (all mine and lovin’ it.)
  4. Got my little ol’ self into therapy and have stuck to it for the past eight months. (It’s been busy putting all my pieces back together.)
  5. Became a bit of a Yogi (not the bear.)
  6. Still working on loving my body, but the number on the scale stopped bothering me as much (so that’s a win right?)
  7. Met and fell in love with my best friend.

There, of course, is plenty more that has happened in the past year since you last heard from me, but the ones above are by far the biggest. It’s always been a fight, but lately its begun to feel like one I can win. While the world has been in chaos all around me, it seems funny that I have never been at such peace.

Each of these seven points will be elaborated on in future posts, but for now I’ll leave you with that.

I hope you all are well and are staying safe & healthy.

Cheers!

Mirjam

How to get through the “lows”

Hi All!

Sorry it has been so long! Life has handed me a rough patch and with it came the dreadful “lows.”

There should be no shame when it comes to mental health and I will be the first to admit that I have battled with my own mental health problems for years.

Life will not always be easy and the majority of it will be completely out of your control. It then becomes about learning how to get through the difficult times and if you have mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, what helps bring positivity or even just the belief that you will make it though the rough patch at all.

This post will lend a look into the ways I deal with my periods of “lows” and hopefully help others realize they are not alone.

1. Try and find reasons as to WHY you may be in a “low” period.

Most of the time when I am going through a low, there are underlying causes as to why. (Of course, with depression this will not always be the case.) By weeding out these causes I am able to remove or fix them. For example, I had previously gone through a low and by taking a step back and evaluating my life, I found the reason behind my low to be an unhappiness with the shape I was in. This impacted various aspects of my mood, from not wanting to go out, to hating the way I looked in the mirror, to just being insecure in general. Once I realized that it was the root of my low, I set out to get in shape and with that I was able to get out of my rut. There are many reasons why one may be having a low and sometimes no reason at all, but no matter how hard it may seem, you will make it through.

2. It’s okay to not be happy ALL the time.

So many people go out into the daily world with a face of strength on. This face is meant to hide the feelings or the going ons beneath the surface. It is also why it is easy to feel as though we always need to be okay, that we all need to be happy 24/7. Sadness and lows are a part of life, embrace it, you will only learn from those emotions.

3. Stop comparing your journey to others.

With the world even more involved in social media it has become much easier to see how other peoples lives are evolving. This can lead to one feeling as though they are behind or they should have their own lives as completely together as others lives may seem. Try to remember that people do not post the bad on social media, it is like looking at the world through rose colored glasses. Go at your own speed and know that what is meant to be will be. Until then just try YOUR best, don’t let your life become anothers.

4. Leave your room!

With lows and depression, many people tend to isolate themselves. Even in movies people who are depressed are depicted as staying in bed in a dark room for days. DON’T do this, it will only make one feel more low. Go outside, sit in the sunshine, surround yourself with others even if it is the last thing you want to do. It will help distract you from whatever is going on in your mind and help you remember what living is all about.

5. Be gentle with yourself.

Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to have it all together. Realistically, none of us have it all figured out. Love yourself, be proud of the things you have lived through and fought through. Remind yourself how strong you are, how courageous you are, how absolutely one of kind you are. We all contribute something special to this world, people love you and believe in you. Just TRY to believe in yourself too.

6. Speak to a loved one or someone you trust.

One of the trickiest things for me is putting aside my pride and asking for help. It is okay to ask for help. No one said you have to do it all alone. Realize that asking for help is what makes one strong. Being in tune with your own emotions is a remarkable thing so be proud of that. The people who love you will always be there for you, all you need to do is ask.

7. Stop running.

My biggest fault is that I run. the second that life throws me a curveball or I hit a low, everything in me screams that it’s time to go. Suddenly I’m doing everything I can to escape, to not have to face what I’m feeling. That needs to stop. sometimes the best thing to do is face what you are most afraid of head on for it is the only way to conquer it. The only person who can get yourself out of a low is YOU. Running will only postpone that, the lows will come again and again until you say ENOUGH.

Depression, anxiety, and any other mental health problem can be the hardest thing one has to face in life. Sometimes we can conquer it, other times it remains a life long battle. Just please keep fighting, know it will be alright, and remember that you bring something special to the world for you are one of a kind and absolutely amazing.

Cheers,

Mirjam xx

What are some tips that you may have when it comes to mental health or fighting the dreadful “lows?”

Comment Below!

Oh, What a Life

Hi!

I hope you all have had an amazing New Years and that this 2019 will be the year you conquer it all. This post will be focusing on the lessons I have learnt in 2018. While some may not relate, I hope at least a few of you will.

**Warning: this is much deeper than what I tend to write, both style wise and topic wise**

  1. Even when you are afraid, still take the leap.

Sounds cliché, I know. Still, it is 100% true. Moving to Ireland was one of the biggest leaps I have taken in my life. I left all my friends and family behind, to start my own life. There are many “what ifs” that go through ones mind when moving to a different country. Not knowing anyone, not knowing the area, working at a new company, and wondering whether this is the RIGHT decision all create worries. What I took from that is  9 times out of 10, your worries don’t actually come true and that by doing what you are afraid of, you gain the most.

  1. Being alone is okay and loneliness is normal. It is what you make of it which matters.

Most people are afraid to be alone, so they get into relationships or get drunk every weekend with people they don’t even like to avoid being alone. While that is fine, the reality of it is that those people may not be alone, but they are most likely still lonely. So, what I have taken for that is not to settle for relationships or create bad habits to avoid being alone, but to embrace it. From that, you learn a hell of a lot about yourself and then after a while being able to be alone is what makes you strong. Loneliness proved to be a lot more difficult. Through loneliness comes sadness, and with that come decisions you may regret or the feeling that you actually can’t do everything you once thought you could. I learnt that you can’t control the feeling of being lonely, everyone feels lonely sometimes, it’s a part of life. Just try and remember it is but a feeling and it usually leaves just as quick as it comes.

  1. Stop trying to control every aspect of your life, the fact of the matter is that what is meant to happen will happen.

I’m a perfectionist, growing up I had every part of my life planned out. So far, none of those plans have actually happened. Life throws a ton of shit your way and suddenly you find yourself going down roads you never thought you would. At the same time, opportunities and people come your way, and if you take those opportunities and get to know those people, the plans you once had are replaced by new ones and the control you wanted is gone. I’m now okay with the lack of control I may have over what happens in my life because I know good or bad I can handle it. 2018 taught me just to take it as it comes.

  1. Explore, the world is gigantic and life passes you by whether you see it or not.

Moving to a different country and starting a job in maritime has opened many doors to seeing the world. Each trip I take allows me to see a different way of life with different types of people and mindsets, opening up my own mind and creating new opinions and thoughts. It is seeing the beauty of the world and the good of the people in it which makes me appreciate life and want to live every part of it to the fullest. I want to know that I did everything I could do to see as much as I possibly can. I refuse to be the woman who sat and watched life go by while everyone else lives it.

  1. When love comes knocking, let it in.

Life has handed me many battles, the biggest ones being in relation to love. I’d say it turned me bitter and into someone I never hoped to be. Building up walls is a dangerous thing when you allow it to turn you cold. I always knew that love and “feelings” would be a hurdle and for a long time I didn’t even try to get over it. I hurt a lot of people through my hurt and I will always be sorry for that. But what’s done is done and all I can do now I hope to become better. The biggest thing 2018 has given me is the realization that I am okay, I am not bitter anymore, and my heart is more open than it ever has been. There will obviously be bumps along the way cause that is what comes with growth, but I have gotten over the hurdle. If you had asked me a year ago if I would have answered the door when love came knocking, it would have been a hard no. This year though I’ll welcome it with open arms.

New year, new me… Nope, it will always still be the old me, but with some improvements. Growth is continuous and if you want to measure it with a timeline, then doing it yearly makes the most sense. The reason behind this post is more than I needed to understand exactly what I have learnt and how much I have grown. It was a year of emotions and challenges, but I am proud of myself and what more could you want than that.

I look forward to what 2019 will bring me, whether it be good or bad, I’m ready.

Lots of love,

Jam

Let me know what lessons you have learnt in 2018 or even what you hope to gain in 2019 below!

I’M BACK (AN UPDATE)

Hi Boys, Girls, and all in between,

SO sorry I have been MIA the past few months. Apparently life easily gets in the way… who knew?

The life of Jam has consisted of me getting engaged, buying a house, and making a million dollars. So all in all, I’ve absolutely been living.

Now, if you fell for all that, then you really are a sucker.

I am still single as a Pringle, though I am attempting to put myself back in the shark infested waters, aka the dating life. In a future post I will update you all on my thoughts to do with modern dating.

I am still working and living in Cork, Ireland, where I absolutely love my job. Cork at times can become a bit suffocating, due to the size comparison to New York, but there is no place I’d rather continue building my life.

I have been on many more adventures, travel wise, which I will go into great detail in my future posts, full of what I recommend or even IF I recommend.

I also met my soulmate in life, her name is Ally. Nothing romantic. Please take your mind out of the gutter. To explain her that will likely cover multiple posts related to friendships, soulmates, and why you need one when you move to another country alone.

As I wait for my bus from Dublin airport to Cork (a lovely three hour journey), I go over all the thoughts I have gathered on my trip to New York. I saw family and friends there, which is always lovely, but have a bittersweet feeling in my heart. It leaves me with a question, which hopefully in due time I will have an answer for:

When does a place you once though of as home, stop being home? When do you realize that home might be elsewhere and you have finally made a life completely of your own?

That’s all for now folks, sleep is quickly trying to take over,

-JAM

Life in Cork, Week One

Let me start off by saying…I LOVE IT HERE. Literally, it is as if Cork and I are a match made in heaven. There is not one thing I don’t like about it, and for someone who always has something to critique, THAT is saying a lot. Now, it has only been one week, so who know what will happen? For now, I will give you my first five observations of Cork.

  1. The people here may be the friendliest in the world.

This is not New York, people here want to talk to everyone. They are ridiculously welcoming and would do anything for anybody it seems. Go anywhere alone and I guarantee you will end up having made a new friend.

  1. The weather is a popular topic.

I have not had one conversation which the weather did not become an important topic. It isn’t a one sentence type of topic either, the Irish really put their hearts into it and this topic can last a few minutes. It is quite impressive.

  1. Cork is a small, but extremely charming city.

Honestly when it comes to city size, small is always better. I love being able to walk literally anywhere in at most 20 minutes. It helps that its beautiful too, no matter where you look there is something which will catch your eye and you will have to stop for a second and stare.

  1. People love to drink.

I LOVE to drink, or so I thought… no, the irish LOVE to drink. Compared to the Irish I am at a “like” level and need to step my game up. It is fascinating how early in the morning (every morning) you see the empty kegs lined up alongside the street and a special truck just for kegs picks them up. If that doesn’t tell you what a love for drinking is, I don’t know what will.

  1. It rains a TON.

They weren’t lying when they said Ireland gets a ton of rain. They also didn’t mention that it isn’t a bad sort of rain, it’s more like a half drizzle. Most of the day it’s not raining at all, but I always pack an umbrella cause those downpours catch you when you least expect it. Living here for only a week, it turns out that I rather enjoy the rain.

 

So, these are my first five observations, clearly all very positive. I think as this journey in Cork continues, my love will only become stronger for this wonderful, tiny city.

 

Cheers,

 

Mirjam

A Journey Through Boulder, Colorado

Recently, I visited Boulder, Colorado (as stated in my airport post) to attend my best friend’s graduation. While it was fantastic seeing her, I have many opinions on Boulder itself. Below, you will find my various thoughts and takeaways from my trip to Boulder.

  1. It is legitimately hipster nation.

Honestly, I can’t stand hipstersand it’s not about how they dress or how “chill” they are, it’s just that I can’t relate. Hipsters and I have nothing to talk about and the ones in Boulder beat the ones in New York, for at least the ones in New York have reasonable plans for their future. So, if being an extreme hipster is your life’s goal, you will love Boulder.

  1. It has some of the best restaurants I have ever been to.

Literally, I think I gained five pounds and went to heaven multiple times with how amazing the food there was. From Asian to Southern, there was an endless choice of where and what you were going to eat. If eating is your thing, take a visit.

  1. Everyone is in shape.

The amount of people who made me stare in envy at their amazing bodies reached a whole new level. A constant topic is the amount of hiking, skiing, or biking that one does. And trust me, the time they spend doing these activities have definitely paid off. If you have some chub though (like me), you might feel a bit self-conscious, but hey, love yourself CAUSE YOU IS BEAUTIFUL.

  1. They are not lying when they say it is more difficult to breathe.

For one thing, the air smells much cleaner than New York air, so that is a plus. Due to the extreme elevation, the air is also less dense, thus it is more difficult to breathe. This was mostly realized when we climbed a mountain and I was ready to pass out within five minutes (worth it though.) It also makes you much more tired and dehydrated. So, if you have the urge to visit drink lots of water and take your time.

  1. It is absolutely stunning.

One of the aspects I loved about Boulder, was how beautiful the nature and scenery was. The mountains, both during the hike or just in the background, were breathtaking. This is “Sound of Music” level mountains and will not disappoint.

 

So, those are my five main takeaways from my trip to Boulder. It is not a place I would live or visit a second time, but would recommend everyone to visit at least once. It is a different way of living, but sometimes it is good to see how other people in different places live. For me, I just ended up appreciating New York more, cause it also has great food, more people with chub, and less hipsters.

 

P.S. I have determined that I enjoy writing in lists and most of my blogs will be in this format from now on. 

Boulder Mountains

“You’re all going to watch me disappear into the sun.”

This is a lyric from Lorde’s song, “Liability.” Since the first time I heard it, it has been engrained into my mind, and with this, my soul. While at first reaction it may seem like an extremely depressing lyric*, for me it is one which embodies an essence of hope and peace.

Turmoil in life is not something I am a stranger to, and while I can tell an entire sob story which explains all of the turmoil, that would counteract the purpose of my blog. Let’s remember, this is a blog meant to spur my more positive side and I aim to accomplish that. Also, as the cliché states: “Keep the past in the past.” AMEN, to whoever came up with that one.

So, back to the lyric, hope and peace. Hope is what every person needs in their life and peace is what one wants to accomplish in the end, is it not? Sure, some people say, “I want to be successful.” Or “I want to be insanely wealthy.” Or “I want to live until I’m 100.” Those are all GREAT aspirations, but are they what bring hope and peace to ones life? I doubt it, I mean success and wealth mostly lead to discontent in ones life or the feeling of never having enough, while saying you want to live until 100 tends to be unrealistic and might actually take away from you fully LIVING.

“You’re all going to watch me disappear into the sun.” For me, it is letting go of all expectations from others and yourself and leading a life that gives you peace. It allows you not to care about what the world thinks of you. It lets you leave the past behind and into a better, brighter future. It gives hope that one can get to that point, that even if life may be tough at the moment, there’s hope. It embodies the life I want to live. Remember, nothing stays bad forever, it will always turn around and we will all get our chance to disappear into the sun.

 

*I realize it can also be in relation to death and the sun being her form of the heaven. Different meanings for different people. Although the sun being the door to heaven (or whatever one believes in) would still be a peaceful thought.

 

What is a lyric or quote which inspires you and how?