4 weeks – 4 new skills

Hey guys and happy Friday. I am in serious need of a weekend this week after what has been a stressful and draining week both physically and emotionally. I do not want to dwell. I have allowed myself time to feel my emotions and now I am making an effort to continue progressing and working towards a happier and healthier me. A little bit a love to anyone else who might have had a rubbish week before we get started, I found this fab Instagram this and wanted to share a motivational quote with you:  

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You can find more of Veronica’s super cute work here.

Anyway, so as to follow with the theme of things I am doing to work towards becoming a happier and healthier me I thought I would share with you a little self-set project I have been undertaking over the past month and am continuing to undertake as we welcome in February. Over the past 4 weeks I have taken on 4 new challenges. I’ve gone along to different clubs/societies at University and learn 4 new skills. Here’s how it has all gone…

Week 1: Salsa 

So myself and the lovely Sophie went along to Salsa. I used to dance back in the day (I say that like I’m an 80 year old women, which  to be fair you would be forgiven for assuming based upon my social calendar) and so I was super excited to get back on the dance floor and shake what my mama gave me. Sadly that is not a lot of the boob front… bit of a let down there. Salsa, however, was not a let down! I sussed it pretty quickly and loved it. First skill – DONE.

Week 2: Latin and Ballroom 

So, after my fling with salsa, I was in the mood for dancing only this time I was stepping it up a gear. Salsa Society are more of a social bunch but latin and ballroom is more of a serious ‘competition’ sort of vibe. Was I ready for it? Probably not. Was I going to go anyway even though Sophie had abandoned me for her degree? Absolutely. One thing I had to overcome during this challenge was the ‘fear’. You know, walking into a room when you don’t really know anyone and you feel like an awkward turd everyone is trying to dodge? Yeah, that. I had the ‘fear’ but it is something that I think I learnt to embrace. It’s not fear anymore, it’s the ‘buzz’. You know, like a bee that everyone is trying to dodge- … well that didn’t work. I learnt 3 different dances in the hour and a half session: Cha Cha, Quickstep and the Jive. Now, it was a lot harder than salsa. A LOT BLOODY HARDER. I class myself as a pretty fit person but the jive was a bit of a killer. I loved it though and it is definitely something I want to try again. I’m maybe not quite at competition standards but….

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Week 3: Meditation 

I’ve posted about meditation before – a skill I have tried at and failed at numerous times. I decided to give it another go. One thing I learnt during these 4 weeks was that nothing comes to anyone over night. Very few people are naturals and even those people need to learn the necessarily skills. This is why I decided to try meditation again. I’m not going to pretend it was the most successful thing I have ever done but I did make time for myself to relax and just think about nothing (didn’t quite go to plan but it’s the thought that counts, right? NO JAMIE, YOU NEED TO STOP HAVING THOUGHTS THAT’S THE BLOODY POINT. Oh god…). I did, however, have a bit more luck at clearing my mind after incorporating meditation with yoga and I have heard there are plenty of apps out there that can help with this sort of thing so skill 3 is kind of done but not quite done. 10/10 for effort though, if I do say so myself.

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Week 4: Being thankful 

Eurgh, it started so well with actual skills and now look where it’s ended up. Stop, cringe, vom. Sorry not sorry guys! (I am, however, sorry for saying sorry not sorry because that is cringe.) My final skill was being thankful. It was going to be Quidditch but the match got cancelled…

Anyway, in all seriousness, during this month I had had the opportunity to try new things. Salsa, Ballroom, Yoga. I also did loads of new things that I didn’t intend to actually be ‘new things’. I went out for the first time since a difficult fight with anxiety. I got up early one morning and went for breakfast at this place I have been wanting to go to for years and it was delicious. I arranged to meet a friend I hadn’t seen for ages for coffee. I did all this and I hadn’t yet considered how fortunate I was to be able to do these things. I started to reflect on my time at University and the opportunities that have come from it. This is something I haven’t done before. When I usually reflect on University it is full of negative memories and for the first time it wasn’t. I was walking past a tent that had been put up to celebrate the Christian society’s Week of Wonder. I’m not a religious person but I am also very open minded and willing to explore ideas that might be different to mine – I decided I might find my skill here. In this tent there was an overwhelming sense of appreciation. Now, most were appreciative of God or the free food that was on offer… to be fair, that was very kind of them I must say. I’m aware this is sounding like I’m about to go into this spiel about having a revelation and being touched by the almighty. That is certainly not what happened. I did not leave that tent anymore religious than went I went in. I did, however, leave feeling more thankful. I went home and I made a list of the things I was thankful for. It can be hard on a day to day basis to think about what you have to be thankful for. It tends to be things you take for granted, certainly it was that case for me and so practising gratitude was the most important skill I learnt over the past 4 weeks. 

Well, that got very deep very quickly. I do want to end on a slightly lighter note. I will be continuing to learn new skills and trying as many different clubs and societies as possible whilst they are still on my doorstep here at University so if you have anything you would recommend or that you want me to try so you don’t have to… you know pole dancing or something, comment down below and I will see what I can do. Finally, if you learn one new skill this February, make it gratitude. Comment below and tell me what you’re grateful for.

See you next week. 

Jamie x 

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