Happiness 

Happiness is hard in this world that is filled with feelings of: Confusion 

Loss

Loneliness 

Fear

Anger 

Sadness 

Bitterness 

Jealousy 

etc, etc… 
So if you’ve read my recent blogs you’ll know that I’m pretty confused about the future. And very conflicted about where my passions and dreams lie- what I want as a job vs what would be deemed “suitable” for a job. 

But one thing that remains clear for me is that, I want to be happy. Whatever job I choose and whatever job I get- I want to enjoy it and I want to be happy. 

But happiness is found in places other than job / financial security. 

Happiness is found in the simple things in life. But I feel that there are two major drains on “happiness”… 
One: Lack of self esteem 

And by “self esteem” I mean, self belief, self confidence, security and confidence in your looks and actions, being able to love and respect yourself as well as having a positive view of yourself and your abilities (that sounds repetitive). If you can’t love yourself for who you are, what you look like, it has a huge affect on your happiness. You can’t truly be happy in life unless you are happy with yourself. I could say something cliche here like “you’re beautiful just the way you are” (which is true but really hard to take in). Truth is, if you see something wrong in your life, change it. Make it happen. Be the person you want to be- stop complaining about it and get out and get busy! 

“The only person you have to be better than, is the person you were yesterday” 

Believe in yourself. 

You can achieve anything you set your mind to- if you’re determined enough, you will succeed, just don’t give up. This is a daily struggle for many; “I’ve been rejected / put down/ I’ve failed so many times. I should just give up” 

“When the world shouts “give up”, hope whispers “one more try””

“Never never never never never give up. Never give up”- winston Churchill 

Never stop trying.

Back to self esteem… 

You are you. Obvious, but hear me out. There is no one else out there like you. You shouldn’t compare yourself to other people. ESPECIALLY people’s instagrams/ twitter/ Facebook. Because social media is a chance to show off. 

Don’t compare your bad days to someone else’s good days. Don’t compare your downfall to someone else’s stroke of luck. 

Be happy with the little things in life. The chance to see the sunrise, spending time with family, getting lost in a good book or movie… 
Drain on happiness number two: Lack of “peace” 

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”- Isaiah 9.6 
That’s all I’m going to say about that. For now. 

**my advice is not perfect or scientific. It is mere opinion** 

Guilt Trip 

Hold on tight, this is a Christiany one… 
We are free, we are forgiven. So why do we always make ourselves feel bad by going over and over our mistakes? 
It’s something I think everyone is guilty of (is that a pun? Seems ironic at least!). 
It’s important to remember though that we are all imperfect. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has bad days. We all say stupid things and we all embarrass ourselves somewhere along the line. 
As a Christian, I know that God has forgiven me 
“I, even I am he who blots out your transgressions and remembers them no more” (Isaiah 44.22)

“I have blotted out their sins and will remember them no more” (Isaiah 1.18)

“You are… Washed as white as snow” (Isaiah 43.25)
Are just some biblical quotes that talk of his forgiveness. Which is incredible, not just because it’s endless but because it’s LIMITLESS. It doesn’t matter how far we stray, what we do wrong, if we are truly sorry and truly ask for forgiveness, believing that he will provide it, honestly intending to try better- we will be forgiven for our sins, no matter how big or how small as many times as we mess up. 
You know what else astounds me? 

He still loves us. There’s never a period of him needing to calm down after we confess our sins. 
Like, if a friend hurts us and then says sorry and means it- no matter how good a friend you are, it’s going to take a while to get over that sting. 

BUT THATS NOT SO FOR GOD!! 
Straight away you are accepts back into his open arms. Because he loves you so much When you stray, he’s right there waiting for you to come back. Calling you, waiting with open arms. Arms outstretched to welcome you back. 
I think I got sidetracked. 
Nobody is perfect, we have all done things we regret and ultimately, we will continue to do so, because we are all human and it’s human nature to make mistakes- mistakes are a part of life, a learning curve. They let us grow as people, shape our character, improve us and teach us lessons! 

Don’t be ashamed of your mistakes. Let them shape your future, learn from them. 
Please like, share and comment. Thanks. 

Bright dogs? (Bright sides and Underdogs)

I got some advice from an old teacher, 

“Just keep going, enjoy the journey and have fun” 

This teacher was one of the kindest, most encouraging men I’ve ever met (and a great teacher!). A total legend and I’ve had the privilege, not just to be taught by him, but to work alongside him! 

His sarcastic wit is second to none, but his gentle encouragement has been the one thing that gave me the self confidence to go on to study the subject that I love (which is geography, in case you haven’t read my other posts!)

Sometimes it’s hard to see the good in situations. Life is hard and throws challenges at us every chance it gets. But it’s how we deal with these difficulties that makes us grow as people and develop into who we are. 
A quick side note: Everyone loves an underdog when they win. It’s exciting- it’s a plot twist! 

In many ways I think of myself as an underdog. Despite all talk of “equality” people cannot help but judge. I’m partially sighted, I’m pretty small, I’m a girl and I’m young. BUT have I ever let this stop me doing what I love? NO! 

If anything, the fact that people feel the need to offer help- however sincere the offer may be- has made me fiercely independent. In many ways, I could look at this as a “bright side”. Without being offered help (sometimes “babied”) I wouldn’t have had the determination to show them that I can handle myself. I wouldn’t have had the drive to make myself independent! 

The underdog is often seen as someone or a group of someone’s who have no chance. People who are out of their depth. But you know what I say to that? 

Strive in it 

Let that experience change you 

Let that experience make you stronger, smarter, better. USE it to drive you forwards!

Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young. 

Do not let anyone think less of you because of your looks or gender 

Never let anyone’s judgement of you depict your opinion of you 

Whether you are an “underdog” or not- never let anyone think less of you because of your past, your appearance, anything. Be yourself. Fight your corner. Stay strong. Stand up for what you believe in.   

Even when you get knocked down because people think you’re not good enough, you can look on the bright side because you KNOW what you’re capable of. You can use their criticisms as a drive for what you want to do- PROVE THEM WRONG! 

No matter what happens- and some terrible things CAN, WILL and DO happen in this world, try to find the positives. 

Whether it’s using someone’s criticisms to power through a tough situation just to prove them wrong, whether it’s learning to cope with life without someone, their suffering has ended, they are at peace. It’s hard, I know, but our loved ones would hate to see us wasting our lives pining for them instead of making the most of the life we have been left with. 

Whether you’re suffering from illness or injury, at least there’s a chance, at least you have time, at least you know that your are loved and taken care of. 
SEGWAY- “Brexit”

As you’ve already heard (unless you’ve been living under a rock in the back end of nowhere with no wifi) Britain are leaving Europe. Without going into too much detail, several areas voted to stay and were very disappointed! But trying to find the bright side… Well, I guess we won’t be embarrassed by watching our entries at Eurovision, maybe trade will improve, maybe we’ll get the British empire back? Not sure… BUT I know that what’s done is done and we all need to accept it, pray for those in charge- that they would have wisdom to make the right decisions for EVERYONE and that we would all get through this ok- and just keep going, smiling, loving, making the best of everything we have, because, really, what else can we do?! 
There are so many situations and I can’t cover all of them. And I know that in some cases the situation will seem utterly hopeless. But, try (really TRY) to think of one good thing. ONE good thing EVERY DAY! 

Whether it’s your favourite song played on the radio, getting a question right on a TV quiz show or even seeing a cute dog when you’re out and about! Always look for the small things that make you smile. Always look on the bright side. 

I’m going to try and post some highlights of my days on Twitter (maybe even some pictures of cute dogs I get to meet!). So give me a follow on Twitter @WeeJudiee (I also tweet some pretty amusing stories and jokes so…) 
God bless x 

Passions and goals

I’ve been thinking lately about careers, dreams and talents. And so I started to think about what I want from my life, what is my goal, what is my passion- what do I want to be remembered for? 
It’s difficult sometimes to work out where your heart truly lies- what the main focus of your life is, because life is so busy and so full of loads of different things happening. I’ve thought about this a lot- what am I passionate about? What do I love doing? And it’s harder than you might think- trying to work out what exactly it is you want from your life! 

But anyway, this is what I came up with: 

I want to help people feel good about themselves. 

I want to make people smile. 

I want to make people laugh. 

I want to make people feel involve, a part of something- so they don’t feel alone.

I want people to feel loved and to love themselves. 

I want to make the world a better place. 
I know that’s a big ask. But, I have big dreams. I want people to feel loved and accepted… 

If that means I have to start a charity or organisation to include every kind of person and show them love, then so be it. 

If that means I have to join an existing organisation, awesome. 

If it means I can get into writing or acting or presenting, so that people can feel the same love and connection I get when I watch TV or listen to the radio, then sweet. 

Whatever it means, however I can do it, I intend to do it. 

I know nothing in life is easy, nothing comes without dedication and hard work. But this is something I believe in and something I am passionate about- I’m willing to work, I’m willing to start at the bottom and work my way up. No matter how long it takes, I won’t give up. 
I know that God has a plan for my life. And I just hope that this is along the right lines of what he has in mind… 

Love more 

I had planned a blog for today but due to events over the past few days I’ve decided that this post is more relevant. Apologies for lateness and potential* (*definite) rambling / randomness. 
A lot of violence and senseless killing has gone on this year, and generally throughout my lifetime (and I live in Northern Ireland so… Yeah we’ve had our fair share of “senseless violence” too over the years). 

People can blame this on many things- race, religion, jealousy, the list goes on! But things like this are unlikely to stop- a sad truth, but one that is, well, just that- truth! 

But it’s how we deal with this violence that defines who WE are as people. Do we blame them? Do we then associate that kind of behaviour with anyone of that religion / ethnicity / skin colour / country of origin etc? Do we form negative views of some cultures just because one person did a stupid thing? Do we hate certain religions because certain groups of activists behave aggressively? 

No. 

We should love. 

Retaliate with love, forgiveness and peace. 

Return hate with love and kindness. 

Meet aggression with peace. 

Treat them the way you would like to be treated. Treat them the way you would treat your best friend. 

Treat them the way you would treat a family member. 
No matter who you meet- no matter what their religion, ethnicity, beliefs, whatever are- even if you don’t agree with them- accept them as a person, a human being, a beautifully flawed, imperfect but valuable individual. Just like you.  


Gifts and Talents

1Corinthians 12:7
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Romans 12:6
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.

Talents and gifts. Everyone has them, but not everyone uses them.

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what your talent is. And it can be equally hard to try and use your talent without seeming conceited. You may want to help out by singing at a local event, but you feel like if you put your own name forward, everyone will think you’re just showing off.. If you want to start selling your artwork, maybe people will think you’re just a bit full of yourself… So how do we share our talents with the world??

It can be hard, especially when today’s society is so full of talent shows and talent flops. It can be a little bit scary to step out and how your talent, because, what if you’re not good enough? What if people laugh?
In my own experience, this has been largely what has held me back…

I’m afraid that people will think I’m showing off.
I’m afraid that people will think I’m silly.
I’m afraid that, maybe I’m not as good as I think I am.
I’m afraid that maybe I’m not as good as someone else these people know.
I’m afraid I’ll be rejected.
I am afraid I’ll let people down.

The truth is, there will always be someone who tried to hold you back or knock you down. There will always be that one group of people who laugh at you or poke fun, whether it’s through jealousy or some other reason. But if what you are doing is for the right reason, if you enjoy it, if you’re making at least one person happy, then it’s worth it…
If the opportunity arises for you to use your talent, whatever it may be, GO FOR IT. Whether it’s big or small, whether it’s local or maybe even further afield, grab it with both hands and don’t let go.

It can be hard… I honestly cannot say what my “talent” is. I enjoy a lot of things, mainly music and drama, but no matter what I seem to do, there is always someone better. I’ve spent years playing catch up, practising, learning and practising so much more and yet still, there always seems to be someone younger, more talented and with better opportunities than I have. And it is so frustrating!! I know that there are plenty of people in the same boat!
This begs the question- and this is a genuine question that I do not have an answer to yet- I always felt that, your talent, meant that you could be great at it, with practise, it was something that was yours, something that made you special. It was a thing you could do, better than most others and it was your own… So why is there always someone better?
Perhaps, it is to encourage us, to give us a goal, something to work towards. Perhaps it is the devils way of messing with us and lowering our morale, encouraging us to give up and stop trying/. Perhaps it is a way of God showing us, “keep going and one day you can be that good”… Or maybe it’s all about perception. Are we really not as good as that person? Maybe we are as good as that person… But because we feel inferior we allow ourselves to be pushed back, we allow ourselves to be overshadowed because it saps our confidence. We are no longer trying as hard as we can because we have begun to accept defeat to this “better” person.

And maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s all about self-confidence. Maybe we need to believe in ourselves and our own abilities in order to succeed. Maybe we can be the best if we believe n ourselves, but the key thing to always remember is to always do things for the right reason… “Pride comes before a fall” and that has happened on so many occasions! How many times as a child did you manage to balance across a beam, and just as you start waving to your parents to show off what you have achieved, you fell down?
Never do anything to “be famous” or “be rich”… Do things because you love it, because you enjoy it, because it makes people smile, makes people laugh, makes your grandmother proud or makes your dad chuckle…
Whatever your talent is, whether you know it or not, be proud of it, practise it, grab every opportunity you have to use your talent and above all, do it f other right reasons!

Feel free to leave a comment, share this with your friends, follow me on twitter or read my other blogs…
God Bless.

Careers and Dreams

So. I finished university. Education complete (level up)! It’s crazy to think that I have finished my educational career. Although, of course, “you never stop learning”! And there’s so much more I want to learn- physics, astronomy, French, psychology and drama… As well as a huge number of musical instruments (piano, violin, banjo etc.) 
But I am at a complete loss of what I want to do as a “career”. Many people have a chosen career path, eg: a doctor, a teacher, a radiotherapist etc. But I have no clue. I am being pressured to get a job to earn some money and I know that I need to… I want a job but I just don’t know which job… (Does that make sense?) I’m qualified as a geographer. I DO NOT WANT TO TEACH! (Been there, done it a few days, could not do it every day. Please see previous blog for more on this). 
The only thing I have ever wanted to be, was an actress. But I was told at a young age that that was not going to be possible because of a lack of opportunities where I live. I also never had the chance to study “performing arts” or “drama” at GCSE or A-level at my school so I have never “learned” it so to speak. But I know about script writing, learning lines and accents. I know this isn’t nearly enough to get a career in acting, or even study it at any university. But if I was ever given the chance I would grab it with both hands. 
I believe that everything happens for a reason. I wouldn’t change my degree, I love geography and the past three years (or at least the last two) have been the best time of my life. I’ve made new friends, rekindled old friendships and become more confident in myself. However, I am still crippled by social anxiety at times and am, as always, my own harshest critic! So I honestly don’t know how I would cope if I had to work in theatre. Although I feel that it would help me, in many ways, to confront my fears. In many ways, when I act, I feel more confident, because I can pretend to be someone who isn’t me. I can pretend to be the person that I want to be; confident, likeable and bubbly! Maybe that’s part of the reason I enjoy acting so much, I get to be someone who isn’t me for a while… 
I recently watched a talk (on YouTube) by BBC radio 1 DJ Greg James, a man I really admire and look up to. He’s funny and he genuinely cares about people and wants to do things to help people (like his “gregathalon” which he undertook to raise money for sport relief). He spoke about being a nerd. He spoke about how no one “deserves a job”. You have to work hard for it. You have to be a nerd about the job you want and you have to believe in yourself (quietly. Don’t be cocky!). He spoke about his experiences and how he came to work in radio. And it was amazing.

Greg also spoke about the importance of doing something for the right reasons. That if you go into radio and TV in particular, if you’re working simply to “be famous” then you’ll never be happy. You’ll never be satisfied. You have to do it for the right reasons. 
I love radio shows, BBC radio 1 in particular because I feel like I know the DJ’s / presenters like friends (that sounds so sad! I do have real friends!) listening to the shows, the podcasts, emailing / tweeting/ texting in, hearing your email / tweet/ text read out… Even though you are just one of thousands of listeners, you feel like it’s just you they’re talking to… And that is magic. 
As I mentioned, I wanted to be an actress from the time I was very young, maybe 6 or 7 years old. I wanted to do it because it was something I enjoyed, because I liked making people smile and laugh. I wanted to do it because I really admired the actors and actresses I saw on screen, their talent! I wanted to be like them, meet them, work with them. 

Even now it’s still burning inside me. That desire to make people smile and laugh. To entertain people. To make the world a better place (even in just a tiny way).
So basically this blog was just me getting my thoughts out onto paper (figuratively speaking). I want to be an actress or a tv or radio presenter. Not to be famous, but because I want to make people smile. I want people to feel that same connection that I feel with radio DJs and actors, to make people feel like they’re special (which they are) and that they are part of a community or a family… I know it’s unlikely, but everyone can dream, can’t they?