If you were going to get anything embroidered on the collar of a millennial pink shirt it would be a tough choice between ‘hustle’ and ‘self-care’. They are the watchwords of the twenty something, used to motivate or justify across whichever social network is in vogue. Hustle is the idea of coming home from your day job and launching straight into your second (most likely creative) self started job. It doesn’t necessarily relate to money or fame, more the idea of relentlessly improving your current position entirely on your own terms. Self-care on the other hand is all hugge, its cutting yourself some slack and listening when your body or mind says enough. It’s getting some sleep, making your world smaller, treating yourself like you are worth taking care of. But here is the problem; in terms of how you live your life those two millennial concepts are at opposite ends of the fucking scale.

If I want to be taken seriously in my career, or even on this blog, it takes a significant amount of time and effort. It’s hours and stress and not giving in. I have to be bloody minded and determined, it consumes all my energy. Everything you hear about successful artists or entrepreneurs is that they had to have a singular focus in order to succeed.

The fucking irony of the hustle is that it feels damn good. The thought of maybe getting to the end of the emails in my inbox and starting tomorrow with a fresh slate keeps me at my desk. The dream of one day holding my book in my hands makes me have wild Saturday night’s writing at my coffee table instead of Tinder dates like a normal kid. The hustle makes you keep climbing even when you have no energy left because it just feels like you are on the right path, and it keeps on feeling good right up until it doesn’t. Ambition isn’t kind when you burn out.

Then comes self-care. Stress is one of the number one killers, it impacts every part of your body down to a molecular level. So self-care seems like the ultimate solution, no problem so big it can’t be solved by an Anthropologie candle and a Lush bath bomb. Ok, slightly facetious. Eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep and taking time away from screens DOES make you feel better. Emotions are more even, life seems easier to tackle. For me even washing my hair can me the secret to feeling better (we all know that my hair is big because of all the secrets).

So treating myself kindly is happiness, but achieving something with my life is also happiness. If I wanted to get the sleep I need, work the hours I need to pay my rent and feel like I am making progress with my creative pursuits I would need around an extra 3 days a week. I have had an application in with the big guy to make this happen for three years and so far no dice. Instead I have a system to balance the two, I do what I can when I can; and if I find myself watching five hours of YouTube on a Saturday instead of doin’ the hustle I don’t beat myself up. It just is what it is.

Hopefully one day my jewellery line will be a success, hopefully one day I will hold my published book in my hands, hopefully I can manage to post on this blog every week. But if all that takes longer than it should, or I have to drop everything for a month its ok. Maybe self-care for the dreamer is just cutting yourself some slack every now and again.

P.s. I have spent this entire post spelling it ‘hussle’ which makes complete sense in my brain…spelling is something I definitely cut myself some slack on.

Nerd seeking nerd

When you go to an event or listen to an interview people are always introduced with fucking awesome intros. The intro gets you amped up and excited to be sat in front of a person full of such blazing glory. To listen it sounds like you are witnessing game changers, these are the people to look up to and casually worship from afar. But are they really all that? Don’t get me wrong I’m sure they are smart, ambitious or just really lucky people but they have the same ups, downs and monotony as you do, it’s just the introduction that makes them seem so great. It’s the introduction that focusses everyone’s attention and makes you believe in what they are saying. It’s the introduction that gives them the ability to capture the attention of the audience.

I think everyone needs their own awesome introduction.

Having your own bad ass introduction running through your head will give you a backbone of steel. It will give you the confidence to tell catcallers to go fuck themselves and your boss that you need a pay rise. At school you got certificates and stickers to tell you you are big, special and important; but now you need a way to do it yourself – and writing your own intro is the way.

It’s different to an elevator pitch or a list of accomplishments, your intro needs to sum up why you are the bees knees, why people should listen to you in a crisis and give you free gin at every opportunity. Your intro can be the little things that mean a lot to you “Rebecca can almost always keep her temper when talking to a knob-head”, the big things that you drunkenly tell people in a pub “Rebecca once quit a good job just for the sake of happiness”, or even just the little bits of weirdness that make you you “as far as we can confirm Rebecca was the first person to recreate the Lion King on Snapchat…scene by scene”.

Don’t sit there and tell me that you have nothing worthy of an introduction. Just to get through a normal day as an adult requires ten impressive feats before lunchtime.

When writing your introduction it is very important that you talk about yourself in the third person, there is no point saying such amazing things about yourself (that would just be boasting). And you have to make sure that whatever you write it is impressive to you, fuck what anyone else thinks. This will help you remain true to yourself in any situation and if you imagine Morgan Freeman reading it out will give you the confidence to try just about anything.

Rebecca is a writer, analyst and gin based life form who ran away to London with no plan and no hair straighteners. She moonlights as a blogger at Runawaykiwi while managing to hold down a job at the same time (and is always at work within twenty minutes of when she is meant to be there). A reliable friend and enthusiastic lover, Rebecca has almost a limitless ability to drink coffee and can spell “alert the amphibious squadron” without having to Google . Rebecca can see a cat in the street from a mile away, has never knowingly oversold and is about to self-publish her first book “How to sell roadkill on eBay”.

Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s just the intro.

Not selfies

*all photos kindly provided by other humans*

Oh the selfie, mocked by all treasured by few. The general consensus is that selfie taking reveals how vain a person is. You scroll through Instagram and just see endless close up faces, all taken slightly from above because we all know that is the most flattering angle. Taking selfies makes you a Kardashian, little substance just obsessed with projecting a filtered and flattering version of your face on an unsuspecting internet.

When I was looking through photos from my recent trip to New Zealand I noticed something really strange, there were photos of me. For most people this wouldn’t be something out of the ordinary but I live by myself in London. And more than that I like hanging out with myself (not a euphemism), drinking coffee with myself and going on holiday with myself. All of this means that my photos tend to be of monuments and food, not my lovely face.

I looked back over my 2014 photos (all 12,000 of them!!!) and there were maybe 10 of me, and most of those were group shots or accidently having my camera around the wrong way (#awkward). Its only going home and being around family where my life gets documented; go to a vineyard take a photo of you drinking wine, go to a beach take a photo of you on the beach, go to a cafe take a photo of you drinking coffee. I never thought it was important, after all I want to look back at places not me. But, but it is important isn’t it?

I know that I am no longer growing (lol to that I have been this short arse height since I was 13), but there are those indefinable changes that happen to you throughout your life. I want to be able to look back and see myself as that baby expat scared of getting the wrong tube and then look in the mirror and see the girl who is happy to get lost in London every day.

So short of hiring a professional paparazzi to follow me round (you can do that, seriously) I am left with the selfie. The vain ‘look at me’ picture that we all see as a tool for mockery and derision. That signifier that the person in the photo needs something bigger to think about. That way that I can see my life progressing and changing for the better.

So don’t judge me for me selfies, just think of them as a time capsule to be looked at in years to come.

Although if you have enough to make a flip book out of you may have gone a little too far…