INS & OUTS FOR 2023.

Samantha Jones, Sex & The City, My 2023 Icon

In:

  • throwing out the rule book 
  • solo movie dates 
  • matching effort 
  • intimate dinner parties 
  • do not disturb 
  • spontaneity 
  • matinees
  • hard launching everything 
  • top shelf tequila 
  • being “too much”
  • walking 
  • kill lists
  • sparkly, shiny everything 
  • transformation 
  • becoming a regular at a jazz club/dive bar
  • glossy lips
  • making bag and not being shy about it 
  • sweating, schvitzing, steaming
  • boldness 
  • villain era 
  • consistency 

Out: 

  • owing anyone anything 
  • almond milk 
  • small, basic people with small, basic lives 
  • scrolling
  • expecting things from people 
  • uber eats
  • minimalism 
  • limits 
  • imposter syndrome 
  • long nails 
  • relationships 
  • doing things you don’t want to do 
  • self doubt 
  • matte anything 
  • following the rules 
  • one shower a day
  • perfection 
  • comfort pits and zones 
  • shame
  • beige 
  • faux outrage over swearing

22 THINGS I LEARNED IN 2022…

The hardest year of my life has taught me a few things — who is there, and who really cares. How being strong is both a blessing and a curse. How grateful I am for the past adversity in my life, because it’s wired me differently. And probably saved me. How I am only just beginning. How young I really am. How special and rare it is to meet and make so many new friends at an age when most people’s circles get smaller, and, let’s be honest, often more boring.

Thank you, #TWENTYTWENTYWOO. I am at peace, and yet somehow on fire. Here’s to my next chapter: #TWENTYTWENTYFREE — it’s going to be my most undaunted, audacious, completely savage, terribly striking, utterly magical, slightly unhinged, unreservedly formidable year yet. 

  1. Throw out the rule book — you can rewrite your story anytime.
  2. Match effort. Respond to energy. 
  3. Sometimes being alone is an upgrade. 
  4. Two things can be true at once.
  5. Your greatest loss might just be the biggest opportunity you ever have to become fully alive. 
  6. Success is often seen as one big breakthrough, one major milestone. But the reality is success comes from the small, slow, tedious work of showing up for yourself and your dreams over and over and over again. 
  7. Even in trauma, we can still find joy. 
  8. We are all alone. That is not to say we must be lonely. Keep company. But you better like yourself. Because it’s all you’ve got.
  9. We are all flawed, but we are still worthy. 
  10. Sometimes the fear doesn’t go away, so you have to do it afraid. 
  11. Life is full of sudden goodbyes. 
  12. The most courageous thing you can do is…what you want. This will make other people uncomfortable. They can get used to it or choke on it. Their call. 
  13. We are all going to suffer. You decide whether you cling to it, or whether you heal from it. 
  14. You know who’s going to give you everything? Yourself. 
  15. Children learn what they live. Your actions and attitude will determine if they live well — the rest of the stuff we worry about is just noise. 
  16. As you vibrate higher, as you level up, it may seem like your world is falling apart — but it’s falling into place. Don’t be surprised when those preventing progress are removed from your life.
  17. Spend the afternoon. You cannot take it with you. 
  18. Many people will be drawn to your light but will fold at their inability to handle it. Take nothing personal. 
  19. Romanticise your life. Even through the mess and uncertainty. Especially through the mess and uncertainty. 
  20. Perspective and gratitude is all you need to live in the now. Practice both daily. 
  21. It all works out in the end. 
  22. The woman who’s hustling cannot understand the woman who’s hating. We don’t speak the same language. This year, I’ve come to understand my hustle offends some. Good. I hope my hustle offends the shit of out you. I hope my stamina frightens you (it should, you could never). I hope my sparkle burns your eyes. I have so much more for you to be mad at. Just wait. 

ALL WE HAVE IS MOMENTS…

Every now and again I turn to my camera roll and flick through moments captured in time, and every time I find something new. It’s often raw and unpolished and of nothing terribly, seemingly significant, except maybe to me. And in that one little reflective moment, it all comes back. The hum of the city. The footsteps beside me. The heat. The orange sunset ricocheting off the 9th Avenue buildings. If those streets could talk. The stories they would tell. If we only understood that all we have is moments, strung together, that we bundle up and call a life. Maybe we’d make the most of our moments. Maybe we’d live more, in every moment. Maybe we’d never take a single one for granted, ever again.

Almost Two Months.

Day 54.

Almost two months.

Of juggling and wading and balancing and shifting.

Almost two months of going through the gamut of human emotion.

Almost two months of elation and sadness and confusion and productivity and exhaustion and positivity and cocooning and laughter and frustration.

I made a decision almost two months ago, one I didn’t even consciously realise at the time; this whole experience wasn’t going to happen to me — I was going to happen to it.

That if I couldn’t go anywhere, I’d instead go inside myself. And ask some questions.

Like why do I think the way I think? Am I using my full potential? What does success mean to me? What do I want to change? What habits do I want to foster? What stories do I tell myself? What really matters to me?

I have pages of questions and more pages of answers.

I have fostered new habits.

I have dug deep and I’m not nearly at the bottom.

I’ve realised there’s some things I miss about ‘normal’ life, but some I absolutely don’t.

There’s some things I can’t wait to get back to, and some things I never will.

I knew this period would offer growth, and clarity, but I didn’t realise quite how much.

I love getting uncomfortable — I’ve made a life out of it — but I haven’t often enough allowed the space for things to get really quiet. And really still.

Because that’s genuinely uncomfortable.

Sitting — still, silent — with yourself.

Now I do it on the daily.

And, almost two months on, I can say with absolute assurance that you will bloom if you take the time to water yourself.

Also — I’m still living in playsuits. 

Courage And Cause.

“I was waiting for something extraordinary to happen, but as the years wasted on nothing ever did unless I caused it.” —  Charles Bukowski 

I think about that quote, one of my favourites, a lot. In many ways, it’s one of the defining manners by which I live my life. Not the waiting bit, I’m no good at that. But the bit about causing things to happen. I get that.

I sometimes wonder, like I was just now, walking around in the glorious autumn sunshine, ‘how did I get so lucky?’ ‘Why am I so blessed?’ ‘Why me?’ and then I realised it’s not by chance, not by coincidence, not by fate, and certainly not by luck. It’s because I caused it. 

Because I’ve been ferociously protective of where I invest my energy. Because I’ve gotten uncomfortable. Because I’ve done the work. Because I’ve shown up. Because I keep showing up — even, and especially — when it’s hard and inconvenient and tricky and messy. 

It’s because I’ve gone deep. Because I’ve taken responsibility. Because I’ve owned my choices. Because I’ve lived in accordance with my values. Because I’ve believed in myself —  backed myself. Because I’ve operated from a space of no judgement — no judgement on others, on myself. Because I’ve chosen, and continue to choose, my attitude. Every single day. 

It’s because of these things that I find myself here — mid global pandemic, in the throes of social isolation, with an empty schedule and a strange new normal — filled with gratitude. Occupied with excitement. Loaded with love. Exploding with ideas. Executing plans. 

You don’t accidentally wind up living a life that makes you burst out of bed each morning, one that fulfils you, one that enriches others, one that makes you proud. 

It takes guts, and courage, and gumption, and nerve, and an abundance of never-ending work. And all of that is reliant on you taking action. On making things happen. On causing it.

I’m reminded of the old Latin proverb; ‘fortune favours the brave.’

Turns out, it’s true. 

Choose Joy…

Around this time of year, people start wishing for it all to be over – the year, the day to day, the busyness of life. But I don’t want to plod my way across some imaginary finish line that marks the end of the year. I want to roll in with a bloody bang. And savour every last day. December isn’t a month to be wished away. This decade is never coming back. So this is your friendly reminder that you could die, at any time, or your entire world as you know it could change, at any given moment. Maybe, if you’re not already, it’s time to start living like you mean it. Living like this one precious life you have is fleeting. Maybe it’s time to stop telling yourself stories and start getting uncomfortable. Living in truth. Maybe it’s time to start choosing joy. Joy doesn’t just happen. It’s a decision you make about how you are going to live your life — and how you are going to respond to life. Here’s what I know: joy attracts joy. Here’s something else I know: who you surround yourself with is who you are. Who are you spending the rest of this year, this decade, with? My advice is to find people who speak your language, so you don’t have to spend a lifetime translating your spirit. The kind of people who understand what you do not say. The kind of people who light a fire in you. The ones who fill you with joy. Find one, or ten, of them. But more than anything, be one of them. The clock ticking over at New Year might signify a fresh start for some, but I don’t buy into that, and never have. You can reinvent yourself anytime you like. You can reflect, and reassess, on any day of the damn year. Fresh starts happen anytime you decide to embark on one. All you have is now. And, to me, that seems like a perfect place to start. Go be who you want to be. The person you need. Don’t put your happiness in a person, a possession or a profession. Joy is up to you. So is how you spend the last thirty-four days of this year. And any days you get beyond that. Find your joy — and keep choosing it every day.

A Great Perhaps.

the poet spoke seven last words ⁣
“i go to seek a great perhaps”⁣
but i don’t want to wait until i die ⁣
when it’s time to join the birds⁣
to start seeking a great perhaps⁣
to finally feel like i can fly⁣
i want to feel this life while i’m in it⁣
uncaged, vibrant, brutally conscious, free⁣
perhaps ⁣
oh what a word⁣
filled with so much possibility ⁣
perhaps⁣
is an uncomfortable place ⁣
but what a place to be⁣
true ⁣
free⁣
it’s the life for me⁣
perhaps ⁣
perhaps⁣
there’s nowhere i’d rather be 

Unfuckwithable.

I’ve never understood people that choose negativity over positivity.

But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised that some people are wired for negativity – they get off on being argumentative and combative. They thrive on being toxic. Thrive on destruction. And drama.

It’s harder to be positive. It’s harder to spread positivity. But – and I’ve said this a million times – it’s so worth it.

Negative people think they’re a victim of circumstance; positive people know they create their own reality.

Negative people live in scarcity – with a mindset of ‘there is not enough.’ Positive people live in abundance, knowing there is always enough.

Negative people know they are alive temporarily, and that scares them. Positive people know they are alive temporarily, and they think that’s awesome.

Negative people are in competition with the world. Positive people are in harmony with the world.

Negative people complicate things – they lie, especially, and most importantly, to themselves. Positive people are happy – especially, and most importantly, within themselves.

So why do people persist with being negative?

Ego.

Ignorance.

Control.

And because it’s easy.

And most people are lazy.

It’s easier to criticise someone else than to focus on your own shortcomings. It’s easier to plant the seed of doubt in someone than it is to work on your own self-doubt. It’s easier to judge than it is to self-reflect. It’s easier to mock someone else’s dreams than it is to have the courage to pursue your own. It’s always, always, always easier to be negative than positive.

But good things don’t grow in negativity. And do you know what’s louder than it? Positivity.

Positivity wins. Always.

For those of you working hard to be positive; keep it up. Stay in your lane. Ignore negativity. Do not feed into drama. Do not allow toxicity to drain you.

People will try and kill your dreams. People will try and assassinate your character. And when they don’t get their way, they’ll try harder. When they realise they can’t control you, they’ll try and control how other people see you.

Stay above it.

Trust that other people will see the truth.

And they will.

Because you can only hide in negativity for so long.

Be unbothered.

Unbothered by negative souls.

Because that’s a goal worth striving for.

If you can be unbothered by negative souls, then you’ll understand the true meaning of the word freedom.

And that makes you unfuckwithable.

When you are truly at peace and in touch with yourself, you’re unfuckwithable.

When nothing anyone says or does bothers you, you’re unfuckwithable.

When no negativity or drama can touch you, you’re unfuckwithable.

A dear friend recently described me as having ‘a no-fucks vivacity and an all-the-fucks heart.’ It might just be one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

I do give no fucks, about the things that don’t matter.

I do give all the fucks, about the things that do.

I am unbothered. And unfuckwithable.

And I hope you can find the courage – and the calm – to be so too.

You have no idea how petrifying you will be to someone who only knows how to deal and trade in negativity when you’re unfuckwithable. When you’re positive. When you’re happy.

Their energy is wasted. Their words fall on deaf ears. Their efforts amount to nothing.

All the while you soar.

Believe.

Achieve.

Be kind.

Be positive.

Stay in your lane.

It’s harder.

It’s tempting to veer.

But stay in your lane.

I promise you it’s worth it.

Go And Make Your Life Beautiful.

“When I finally get…”

“Once I’ve bought…”

“When I finish…”

“Once I’ve done…”

Boring, wearisome words.

Lifeless excuses.

If you want to rob your life, of the good, and the great, of the grand, and the majestic, keep feeding yourself lies.

Wrap them up into a neat, safe, beige parcel and call them reasons.

Believe they’re what’s holding you back.

Believe they’re why you haven’t already.

Tirelessly wait for better days.

For “when I finally get…” and “once I’ve done…” and then, when you’ve got and you’ve done, you’ll realise the cost was living your one, precious life. Abandoning your dreams. Abandoning yourself.

You have everything you need – right now – to make your life beautiful. To do the things you love. To be the person you want to be.

You do not need to wait, or delay.

“When I…” and “once I…” are traps.

And you know they are.

Stop making excuses.

Stop waiting for the right time.

Stop wishing your life away.

I will say it again: you have everything you need – right now – to make your life beautiful.

Go and make your life beautiful.

34 Things I Know, Now That I’m 34…

  1. Never stop being a good person because of bad people.
  2. Your worst battle will always be between what you know and what you feel. Go with the latter.
  3. Never let success get to your head. Never let failure get to your heart.
  4. Your time is best spent with people who make you see the world differently – not with those who flatter your view.
  5. Two things you’re going to need in life: hope and purpose.
  6. Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
  7. Find someone who speaks your language, so you don’t have to spend a lifetime translating your spirit.
  8. Own your choices.
  9. You need at least one friend in your life who understands what you do not say.
  10. Get uncomfortable. As often as possible.
  11. Some people may not deserve your love, but it doesn’t mean they don’t need it.
  12. Mostly, it’s the will, not the skill, that will be the difference.
  13. Be alone, more often than you’d like. It’s good for you.
  14. Positivity is a choice. And the happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
  15. Being broken doesn’t give you the right to break other people.
  16. Be louder.
  17. The secret of your future is hidden in the habits of your daily routine.
  18. You give life to what you give energy to.
  19. Be afraid, but do it anyway.
  20. Perspective is everything, perception is just a lie.
  21. Never go too long without watching a sunset.
  22. Don’t put your happiness in other people’s hands. They’ll drop it. Every time.
  23. Only boring people get bored.
  24. It’s not a coincidence that the happiest people are the ones that do the most for others.
  25. Follow the flame from the fire that burns inside you, and you will always feel the light.
  26. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Every day is a special occasion.
  27. Only insecure people judge others.
  28. No one else knows what they’re doing either.
  29. You must know your worth, and not discount it.
  30. You do not have to unscrew another person’s light bulb in order to shine.
  31. If you accept your flaws, no one can use them against you. And that’s power.
  32. The wound may not be your fault, but the healing is your responsibility.
  33. It doesn’t matter who you’ve been, or what you’ve done – all that matters is who you want to become.
  34. In a world full of fish, be a shark.