Tag Archives: lifestyle blog

My Life Changing Event

We all have those moments in life where we are taken on a completely different path. Some life events have the potential to change our points of view and some have the opportunity to wipe us out completely.

With everything going on in the world at the moment it makes me nostalgic. Thinking back I take time to consider those life changing moments. For me it was when I was aged twelve and I was just starting my second year of high school. As per usual I had arrived late and the first session was P.E. Across the road from my high school were playing fields where most of the outdoor classes were held. The few other stragglers and I got dressed into our kits and headed across. Between the school and the playing fields is a very busy road. Already a little shaken by the speed of the traffic and anxious that I was already late I crossed the road and was (perhaps inevitably) knocked down.

I spent months in the hospital recovering from the injuries, watching the opening game of the 1998 World Cup from my bed. Even to this day I don’t remember what happened. All I can go on was the stories told by my family as they were given the news and my school mates who were there to witness the event. The point is that when I came round some weeks later I was in a strange hospital with absolutely no clue as to how I got there. It was strange to not recognise the hospital because as a youngster I had pretty much toured all the medical facilities of the city.

As I recovered I was reminded by the physical pain I was in, the reactions of my loved ones and by the gifts and well wishes I was inundated with that I had come so close to no longer being around. To this day I would have been but a memory of some little girl who had once been part of the family. This sounds really morbid and I do have a morbid fascination with death but In times of trouble or when things get me down I think upon that moment and remind myself that there is still much life left to live. I am still here and as such I can still contribute. It stops me from wasting time and it helps me gain the confidence to reach out when I need help.

So I put it to you to think about those moments that changed you or changed the world around you. Let’s use those moments to push ourselves to do better and to remind us to make the world around us a better place in whatever ways we can.

Can’t Live Without

“We forget the things we should value the most.

Too busy seeking those shiny things to boast.”

Have you ever been asked what you would find difficult or even impossible to live without if you were stuck on a desert island? No? Well consider this my putting the question to you.

Internet seems to be incredibly important to people these days. It’s a way to research and keep in touch with friends and family so let’s assume for the sake of this pondering that it was taken away. What then? Maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself and the internet is one thing that you would most definitely not live without. After all, whats the point in being on a sun kissed island if you can’t send those snaps to insta? But let’s assume phones, tablets and their ilk are not possible. What then?

PEN and PAPER

Even in this day and age with all the streaming devices I would be content just to have a pen and paper to scribble away. I would document my thoughts, fictional stories or maybe a detailed description of the conversations I’m having with a favoured palm tree on this imaginary island. To me if you are able to do that there is no amount of isolation that could get to you. I’ve always been a weird kid with a nose in a book though.

MUSIC

life on that deserted island would be pretty dull without music, wouldn’t it? I live my life by music. It wakes me up, it follows me throughout the day and it puts me to sleep again. I’m not exactly sure how this would work without modern conveniences to play music on but one way or another I’d need to have music around. Maybe the crashing waves could provide the music …

A WAY TO TELL THE TIME

For as long as I can remember I have always been a little anxious when there is nothing around that is able tell me with some degree of accuracy what time it is. A clock, a watch or even a home made sun dial would be something I would need. Although time keeping is a man made construct and being on a desert island would be an opportunity to learn to not live your life around the clock.

A COMFORTABLE CHAIR

Whether it is for resting, dozing or pondering I would need to have my favourite shady spot. I guess it is in human nature to try and find that little space we can call our own. Give me my comfortable chair and I’ll be content.

THESE GUYS

My niece and my nephew. They are as close to me as my own babies. It would be a struggle to be without them. I guess I’m not as good with isolation as I thought …

So what about you? What would be those things that you just couldn’t live without?


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Caution: Toxicity is Harmful to your Health

“He’s your blood.”

We’ve all heard things like that said before.

“You should make up because you are family.”

This is sound advice, normally, but when there is someone so toxic in your life you should not feel guilty for cutting them out. Being blood related is no excuse to bring negativity and poison to you. For the sake of your mental health and that of those closest to you it is important that you keep these toxic people at bay.

We have all met them. Those who go out of their way to make you feel bad about yourself or who belittle what you are doing or what you are trying to achieve. Mostly this is because there is something so unsatisfying about their own lives that it makes them insecure to be around positive people who are making a difference. It might not be in outwardly cruel words or violent actions, it may also be in more subtle suggestions or manipulative tactics.

I realise that I sound quite bitter now in writing this so I am going to take a little step down from my proverbial high horse for a moment and try to explain my reasoning.

Firstly, I absolutely and completely hate bullying. For me, toxic people make natural bullies. Their hunger is only satisfied by the upset of others and they will go out of their way to get it. They are also natural narcissists and if you call them on their bullshit they will work it as best you can to make it seem like you are the one being unreasonable or that it is your own fault for feeling upset.

Secondly, the reason I would like to take some time to draw attention to this is because we all, unfortunately, will encounter toxic people at some point in your lives. If you are lucky enough to have only been surrounded by positive, supportive people then I am so happy to hear that and that there is some like you in the world. I hope you take something from this then and gain an understand of toxic people and what that means.

For most the toxicity comes from family. It is said that, ‘those closest to us can hurt us the most,’ which is true. Seems a little nihilistic for my tastes but it can’t be denied that those closest to you have easier access to your emotional triggers. Therefore, when the toxic person in your life is a family member and they are making you completely and utterly miserable, you are well within your right to cut them out. You will be made to feel guilty by other family members for having done so but this will likely be because the toxic person will already be making it seem like your reaction to their behaviour is disproportional. It is not.

Life is too short to not have people in your life who are behind you 100%. You deserve to be supported in reaching for your dreams and you are worth the time of those closest to you. Never have anyone make you feel otherwise. Also, family is more than blood. Family is about being there for each other, helping one another and bringing out the best in each other. Toxicity is harmful to your health.

It is important to open the discussion on these matters. My DMs are always available for those who are struggling  and wish to talk (no penis pictures please 😉 ). If you have any thoughts on toxic people feel free to comment below.

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Bullying

Firstly, what is a bully? To me a bully is someone who deliberately targets those they deem weaker than themselves to give a sense of empowerment. In my experience – from the play grounds to the work place – a bully is masking insecurities of their own and looking for a target to vent their frustrations.

It was always understood to be a childhood ailment like the chickenpox. ‘Every child goes through a bit of teasing’ it is said. Is that dismissal good enough? Is a child coming home after having suffered a day of physical and mental torment simply a rite of passage? It shouldn’t be. Children can be cruel to each other, especially teenagers. At a time of life where they are at their most vulnerable and most insecure is when these bullies tend to surface (being vulnerable and insecure teens themselves). So who is to blame for this distinctly inhumane way of behaving? After all, no child is born bad. Television, magazines and mass media not only fuel these insecurities by displaying glossed over images of what they should aspire to be but they also make violent images and videos more accessible. This is likely to be a contributing factor but I don’t think it is wholly responsible. After all, bullying has been present in our society long before the age of social media.   The home life of the child can also be a huge influence on how they behave with their peers. If bullying is witnessed at home it will follow them into the rest of their lives. This isn’t always the case either. I have met many children from difficult backgrounds and they still approach life with the most pleasant natures. The issue of bullying isn’t something that one solitary person/scenario can be blamed for. It is a problem which we as a society need to take collective responsibility for. Some where along the line the younger generation have been given the impression that it is okay to treat those ‘weaker’ or ‘different’ with hostility.This isn’t a new phenomena. Bullying has been around since society was first established. An alpha instinct is deeply embedded within our psyche but as civilised people we should be moving past that.

Bullying doesn’t stop in child hood. It is becoming evident that more and more adults are experiencing bullying in the work place. Let’s be clear… This means that grown men and women are subjecting colleagues to taunts, slurs and sometimes even physical abuse. Someone once said to me, “I’d rather be the bully than the victim.” This was a man in his twenties.

I have always had a special resentment against bullies. It is likely to come across in this article. Having been the victim of taunting because I was a ‘different’ child and because I would rather read than spend time with my classmates. The advice I received at the time was to make myself more like the other children my age. That was not helping. I am thankful that it made me a stronger adult for others this doesn’t ring true.

The problem with bullying is that it becomes more acceptable by people dismissing it as ‘a way of life’ or in adulthood by making the victim feel like they have done wrong by not ‘taking it’.

To quote a much beloved character penned by writer and friend Leo St Paul, ‘Bullying is the worst kind of cowardice’  I wholeheartedly agree.

Image courtesy of endbullying.org.uk