Restart.

I talked about self care a couple of blog posts ago, and today I am focusing on that again.

I am sat at a cafe by myself and I feel more at peace than I have done all weekend. This is my first day off in two weeks, and I needed this day, and this time, so bad. I go mad if I don’t get to be just me with my notebook, my computer, and my stupid TV shows at least one day every week. I have been productive without feeling stressed or forced into anything. I have sent emails that I needed to send, I have written paragraphs that I needed to write, and I have made phone calls I needed to call.

And I feel better. Nothing has been hoovering over me today, and I am so relieved.

Now I want to see people again, I want to talk and share, I want to socialise.

But sometimes I need just me, to restart everything.

 

Romance.

I have had a pretty romantic day, but not with Dennis. Dennis woke up two minutes before he had to be at work and threw himself out the door five minutes later. Instead, I have had a love affair with:

The weather. The other day I felt the wind blow spring into my face, and it kept doing so today. I took a walk down to the river and just stood for a while. I held my hands against one if the metal gates leading out to the river bank and it was warm from the sun. I listened to sunny music and skipped as I returned home.

Food. I made the most beautiful tomato sauce that I had with pasta, mozzarella, and lots of basil. I made the sauce yesterday and cooked it with one red onion, tomato puree, garlic, eight chopped up tomatoes, a spoonful of sugar, salt and pepper. Honestly, it was sexual. And basil, I love basil.

Tonight Dennis and I will open a bottle of bubbles and eat cake. I think he’s cooking. He might think that I am cooking. But at least we’ll have Prosecco.

Lastly, I just arrived at work, and the semi famous actor who lives next door to the family where I am a nanny is having a successful Valentine’s Day. I guess he has a few dates to tick off during the 14th of February…

I found grey hair…

This weekend has been a bit crazy. I worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and have had a bit of a crisis when I felt sad and done with everything. On top of that I found grey hair in my fringe. I’m not really afraid of grey hair (although I don’t know if I could find my hair colour anywhere else but my head), but I am afraid that I am stressing too much, and that I am in a bad place right now.

I am not sure how to deal with this phase, which is the same as when I started blogging every day a couple of weeks ago, and I don’t know what to do.

Sunday will be my first day off in a while and I can’t wait until I can do nothing.

Tell me about self love.

I have been thinking a lot about self love today, and what I do to listen to myself and feel a bit better.

It is hard, this self love thing, because we are so caught up in everything else all the time, and in all the people around us. It is easy to forget what we actually want for ourselves and what will make us the happiest.
When was the last time you did something nice for you, and you only?

I cook a lot, for others but also for myself. When my partner is away I enjoy putting on some music and cook a nice meal, full of veg and spices. I also like to have a glass of wine while cooking. I feel mindful when I cook; I think about my day, what I have achieved and what tomorrow will bring. I think cooking time is a good time for self reflection, and self love! I am so glad I don’t have a complicated relationship with food and can use that time for thinking and, sometimes, dancing.

Another self love routine I enjoy is going for a walk in a new area. London is still undiscovered and there are so many places, in my area only, that I haven’t seen. I walk, and walk and walk, until I see a cafe that looks nice enough for a coffee break. There I sit, think, listen to podcasts, read, and smile at baristas or babies in push chairs until I feel ready to go again. On my way home my phone usually dies, but that is okay.

And speaking of phones, another self love thing is to turn off your phone. For just a bit. Maybe for a bus ride, while you eat, or an hour before going to bed. You don’t need to be reminded that everyone is so productive all the time.

But I still feel like I need more tips of how to be more self loving, please tell me about yours! Here or on twitter, and let us pass them on so that everyone can spend a bit of time loving themselves. edit7

That was when I realised, I am too.

I finished my article! At least the first draft. I am currently waiting for the interviewee to have a look and give me feedback.
Today I have also taken care of a feverish Hugo. When I woke him up from his sleep his cheeks were red like apples and he was hot like a sauna. 38.7 degrees. Poor thing.

On my way home I listened to one of my favourite Podcasts by two writers from Stockholm. They talked about expectations and how it is to always try to fit in and be the greatest version of yourself. How stressful and exhausting it is. And how afraid we are of failure. How we don’t dare to do what we really want because we are afraid of what other people will say. One of them said “I want to write a book, but I don’t dare. Because what if my biggest dream will be my biggest failure? What if I am not good enough?” And I thought, come on, you are already a published writer who obviously are good enough. That was when I realised, I am too.
I have been published, not as much as she has but still, and still I feel like I can’t do it. I am too afraid to write that book because I am afraid that it won’t be good enough. That I won’t be good enough for my dream to come true.
So, shall I take my own advise and believe in myself? Or should I keep thinking that everyone is better than me? (Probably the second but at least I gave it a thought).

 

To change over time.

I pride myself with the fact that I haven’t changed. I have said, ever since I moved to London, that I knew that if I stayed true to myself, and who I was growing up, I would come out stronger and happier. And I did. I feel strong and I feel happy. Most of the time of course, I am still human. But lately I have thought about how much I actually HAVE changed, and how weird it feels to discover that.

Let’s start with what hasn’t changed. I have the same values and morals that I had when I was younger; they might not have been as strong, but they were there. I was loud, I still am. I thought of myself as an interesting person, which I still do. I read a lot, I read a lot. I was kind to other people, and I still see myself as a kind person. I have never been afraid of talking to new people, and I love socialising.

Pretty nice right? Values, morals, staying true to myself. Great, but what has changed?

Let’s start with love, and how I used to be the most hopeless romantic. I believed in true love, the rom com version of life, romance all over the place, and good guys. I believed in good guys! Wow that has changed, London did that for me. The amount of men that have proved me wrong. I was so wrong. Men are bad. (Of course not all men, can we please skip that bit?) I have long ago stopped believing in true love and that ass holes can change.
And whilst we talk about love we can talk about those rom coms that I believed was true. I used to love them. And I talked about guys like they were guys from movies. You know the stories our friends tell us about how men are treating them badly? Like, not answering texts, flirting with other girls, only contacting when they felt like it? Yeah, I used to be the friend who said stuff like “He might just be busy”, “No he wasn’t flirting with her”, “I bet he’s asleep, doesn’t he do floorball today”. Today I would have been like “Babes, fuck him, he’s not good enough for you.”
Any love story, I would swallow it whole.

Music next. I guess that changes for everyone? Well, my music taste has changed in an odd way. I didn’t have a taste growing up, especially not during the time you were supposed to have a taste in music. Spice Girls were my queens, and I bought Aquas new album twice, but after that, when I was around 12 and up, I didn’t care and I didn’t know what music I listened to. I listened to what my friends listened to, and to the radio. I didn’t have an emo phase, I didn’t properly listen to pop, I was nothing.
But then One Tree Hill came into my life. The already epic TV show has the most amazing soundtrack and my introduction to indie rock started. One of my favourite songs were The Mixed Tape by Jack’s Mannequin, and I started living for Jimmy Eat World.
Nowadays I listen to my indie pop/rock, but also pop, 80’s rock, and the mainstream lullabies. I might not have a special taste yet, but at least I am listening.

Makeup. Not the normal story though, not different styles and extremes mixed with lows and too much blue eye shadow. I wanted to wear makeup, because my friend’s told me I should. My parents told me I shouldn’t, and of course I listened to my friends. Then followed a long period of not caring about make up at all, I think I rarely wore it. I just did it when I “had to” and never felt like it would be something that I would like doing.
Then I moved to London and got obsessed with eyeliner and my wings. Good years. Whilst now, I bloody love it. I am still not good at makeup (except for my eyeliner, it always rock), but I do enjoy it and I have an interest in how to do makeup and what brands to use. 18 year old Hanna would be like, “Who are you?”

Who can relate? Who else found their true music taste in One Tree Hill or some other TV show? Who else used to believe in love and stopped? And who did not believe and now do?

Change

“It’s my favourite smell”

Done and done!

I have interviewed and written a “script” for my article that I will finish tomorrow. I am very excited to finish this piece. The man I interviewed, the owner of the restaurant, was lovely and very chatty. I can’t wait for April when I will be in Stockholm and can go and see the place.

Today Dennis and I had a cute moment, that pretty much explains our relationship. I came back to our room after cooking. I had been cutting vegetables, spicing chickpeas with cumin, hot chilli powder, and coriander, and in the end I crushed a few garlic cloves. When I sat down next to him in bed, after kissing his whole face, he said “You smell nice,” I smiled and said “It’s garlic,” which made him say “It’s my favourite smell,” while smiling broadly. He never says I smell nice when I am wearing perfume, but when I am covered in garlic he gets excited. At least he’s not a vampire.

365 Questions for a better you – January edition.

Today I have been writing a lot.
I have prepared questions for an interview that I am doing tomorrow. I am writing another article for Scan Magazine and will be covering Restaurant of the month in the March issue. More about that later…
I have also started writing 365 questions for a better you to reflect on the past month, my goals, and how I am feeling at the moment.
My writing is closely connected to what I am doing and how I am feeling doing those stuff, and I have realised that I wrote more, and more exciting stuff, when I was single and went out and discovered London a couple of years ago. My writing was also strong during my illness and, of course, when I had to write for university.
I need to find that motivation again, without feeling the need to get drunk and sway around under flashing lights.

Here are some of the questions for a better me:
1. What is your biggest dream? – To write and publish a book.
3. How do you feel today? – Pretty good. I have been cooking a lot, and discovered new recipes, which always make me feel peaceful.
7. What’s your goal for next week? – Write the article and apply for three freelance positions.
10. One word that describes you day? – Tastebuds.
12. What is one of you strengths? – I see everyone and include everyone.
13. One behaviour that you need to let go? – That I always have to win an argument.
16. One thing you’d like to do more? – Hang out with friends. I don’t have that many in London anymore.
20. What’s your favourite dish? – Black Dhal and Halloumi stroganoff.
21. What was your biggest victory yesterday? – That I handled the restaurant in the pub although it was very busy and people were tricky.
29. Something that gives you energy? – Nice weather and good conversations.

Pub life.

Working in a pub is never predictable.
Today I have served a million Sunday Roasts (ish) and countless of pints, I have been running around in the restaurant area and called the kitchen for horseradish, extra gravy, butter, and gluten free potatoes.
We were understaffed and one man down in the kitchen. The roasts ran out like Jägermeisters on a Saturday. I have served scampi and chips without chips, and roasts without yorkshire puddings. It has been a busy and weird Sunday.
But it was fun, until Arsenal lost against Manchester City. That was predictable though…

Today I have only been writing in my calendar. I have written down how I work this week, when I am babysitting, and how much money I will get this Friday when I get paid. That was fun to write down, especially because I have gotten a lot tips today.

Tomorrow I am off, and I will be doing some proper writing, and look for more freelance jobs. Exciting!

Hungover

Today is the first day where I am seriously considering not posting on here. But that would be disappointing.
So I am doing some late night free writing. A very “dear diary” kind of free writing but oh well.

Yesterday was spent celebrating my birthday. Properly. I was ill during my actual birthday two weeks ago. We (me and 9 others) rented a sauna outside of London and spent four hours slapping each other with greens, getting steamed, creating the biggest splashes in the pool, and playing ping pong. It was so much fun! Afterwards we went to a friends house and continued the party until early Saturday morning. So today has been a hangover day, which we spent watching The Hangover and eating left over food from yesterday. Cheese salad and cake, yum.

To finish this off I’ll list five good things that has happened today, and five things I like about myself.

Today:
1. I had the most amazing cake, which was even nicer after a night in the fridge.
2. I had a nap, or a second sleep rather, around 12 o’clock, and it swooped away my headache and troubled tummy.
3. Dennis and I had a nice trip back to London. I love when we are cuddly.
4. I have been watching Sweden got talent and cried a lot.
5. Now I am about to go to bed.

Myself:
1. I am not afraid to stand up when I feel that something is wrong.
2. I like when I make people laugh.
3. My confident has been better than I thought this weekend, especially since I spent a lot of it in a bikini.
4. I have been drinking a lot of water today (I am usually very bad at drinking water).
5. I managed to write this blog post! Yay me.