The MBAWYAO Series – Episode Four

Hello and welcome to my MBAWYAO Series – Episode Four. (I’m quite impressed by the fact that I’ve stuck to this series for more than two episodes.)

A while ago I wrote about my ideal jobI’ve only “manifested”* two things so far and look, one has already happened! Well done universe – I mean, ME – for not giving up and finally being hired at the place you’d been pestering for months.
To celebrate my newly employment, I thought I’d do a little “expectations vs reality” comparison and see if this is actually the job of my dreams. This is a list of what my requirements were before I had a job, and whether my current job meets them or not.

  • No set location
    I work in a supermarket, so the location is: the supermarket. I can’t work from home unfortunately – those shelves are not going to restock themselves, are they – but since I’m only working part time this doesn’t really bother me since I can still go to the library or to a cafe’ and get the rest of my work (aka writing my book and this) done wherever I prefer.
  • Human interaction
    My job provides the exact amount of human interaction I need. My colleagues are incredibly nice and it’s great to have a chat with them from now and then, but it’s also ok to spend our lunch break reading or napping if we don’t feel like talking. And since it’s an organic shop, the clientele is also selected which basically means our customers are decent human beings who don’t treat you like a piece of trash. 
  • Stable income
    I am a casual worker for the time being, which means my income varies every week. However I’m never working less than three days a week, so I know what I’m going to get at least. Also payday is fixed which is also nice (it wasn’t in my previous job and it was crap.) 
  • No dress code
    We do have a t-shirt and an apron we are required to wear, but we can wear whatever bottoms we want as well as jewellery, as long as it doesn’t bother us/get in the way. Also we are allowed makeup, piercings and tattoos. I really don’t mind the t-shirt as I would wear a t-shirt anyway (I’d be more concerned if I had to wear office clothes, bleurgh). Also if it’s chilly we can wear a jumper on top and it’s all good so I can pretty much wear whatever the heck I want.
  • Flexibility
    Being a casual means I can pick and choose my shifts, which does make it very flexible. It’s kinda frown upon to take a shift and then change your mind, but I’m generally given enough time to plan around them so I’m happy with the situation.
  • Creativity
    You’d be surprised to know how much creativity my position requires. This is not your regular franchise: it’s an independent family business, which means there are no crazy rules such as the tile pattern has to be the exact same in every shop all around the world (I’m looking at you, Subway). Everyone is given room for their own initiative and ideas. Although we do have to stick to some general guidelines, we are also free to express ourselves however we see fit.

Overall, I am extremely happy with my job. It also have the extra bonus of providing me and my colleagues with free food and a 20% discount which let’s be real is fucking amazeballs.
Conclusion: work hard for what you want, and you’ll get there eventually.

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*Remember I’m not using the word “Manifest” in its strict meaning (“the ability to convert the energy of our thoughts into a newly materialized form”). I’m using it as a way to find out what I want out of life.

The MBAWYAO Series – Episode Three

Hello and welcome back to my MBAWYAO Series! For those who are just tuning in, this is a series where I go through tings that are important to me and I MANIFEST them. However, I take the word “manifest” with a huge pinch of salt. In fact, I’m not using the word “manifest” in its strict meaning (“the ability to convert the energy of our thoughts into a newly materialized form”). I’m using it as a way to find out what I want out of life.
You can read episodes one and two here.

Today I want to focus on my ideal home.
This is something that’s always been very dear to me. I love decorating and making a space mine. When I was a kid, while all my girlfriends were planning their dream wedding, I was planning my dream house. And in this particular case, I mean literally planning: I would draw the actual blueprint of each room, measure the layout, decorate the walls with pictures and plants and imagine the colours of the walls and what kind of furniture would go where. As a teenager, I’ve moved my room around countless times (as far as the original configuration allowed me). Every time I am in someone else’s house, I always imagine what kind of makeover I would give it to bring the place more in line with my own taste.

I’ve lived in a lot of houses. Eleven, to be precise (twelve if we count the van). All these houses I’ve been renting (except the van), and if you are anything like me you’ll be familiar with the frustration of not being able to move things around the way you’d want to, or repaint the walls, get a nicer sofa, and just in general not being able to find a way around all those obligations that your contract entails.
Of course, none of the above applies once you get our own house. Back in London, buying a house was one of our main priorities. Unfortunately, unless you already own a country, good luck trying to approach the merciless world of real estate.

Since we move to New Zealand our priorities shifted, and recently we have preferred to invest our money in travelling and experiences rather than a mortgage. But the idea of building my own house, something I’ve always wanted to do, never really left my mind, and for a long time now I’ve been looking into tiny living. When I discovered the movement I thought that was exactly what I wanted: it’s affordable, sustainable, adaptable, and from all those YouTube videos it looks like anybody can do it. I’ve possibly watched every single tiny house video out there and I am proud to say that I now know everything from timber structures to energy-efficient fridges, from grey water systems to fibreglass insulation.
However, I’ve recently decided that a tiny house in its strict sense is probably not going to work for me (and for Giac and his 316519492 musical instruments). I have been downsizing for who knows how long, and I finally got to a point where I’m satisfied with my possessions. However, I don’t think I’d be able to fit all my belonging into a tiny house, and for the time being I’m not ready to downsize even more.

So the first requirement for my dream house is that is has to be slightly bigger than an average tiny house.
It also has to be:

  • Energy efficient – I’m not sure I’m ok with the idea of being 100% off grid (my main issue is the compostable toilet), but I definitely want the option to be there;
  • Self sufficient – I’m talking solar panels, wood burner, veggie garden etc;
  • Made of reclaimed materials – Ideally, I don’t want to buy anything new in the making of my house. I’d love it if everything came from op shops, friends and family, or the side of the road;
  • Cosy – Not tiny, but it has to have that homey feeling. I’m thinking lots of wood, lots of books, lots of blankets and cushions;
  • Big enough for me to have my own space – I currently have my own corner and I’m looking forward to having a whole room for myself where I can make art, pile up my books, hang my own posters, write and do my own shit;
  • Not cluttered – I don’t want any shit I don’t need in it, and I also want to love everything my house contains;
  • Easy to clean – As in, no stairs. I hate cleaning stairs.

I also have a colour scheme in mind: I really like white wooden cupboards with dark wood tops for the bathroom, lighter wood in the rest of the house, probably white tiles and wooden countertops in the kitchen. I also envision lots of plants (this entails that I also miraculously lear how to keep plants alive): I love the contrast between the forest green of hanging plants and the dark wood of the furniture.

My final request is to have a window above the sink. This is probably the only thing that has never changed in 30 years of me planning my dream house. I want to be able to do the dishes with a view.

I came to the conclusion that an Earthship would be my best bet. According to the guy who came up with the design, Earthships are actually the top solution in terms of sustainability – plus let’s be real, they are freaking stunning. (And mainly single-story.)
They are primarily built in the Southwest of the U.S., so I guess you’ll now where to find me.

The MBAWYAO Series – Episode Two

Disclaimer: I’m not using the word “Manifest” in its strict meaning (“the ability to convert the energy of our thoughts into a newly materialized form”). I’m using it as a way to find out what I want out of life. For more clarity, see Episode One here.

November is here – in spite of me struggling to believe it – which means December is only a month away, which means New Zealand is about to shut down. Christmas time coincides with summer holidays here down under, and during the months of December and January everything is closed and Kiwis disappear.
As a consequence I decided to take a break from sending CVs since I’m pretty sure nobody would get back to me anyway. I’m actually ok with this as I was in need of some time to figure out what I want to do with my life, which partly means trying to determine what my ideal job looks like.

Therefore, welcome to the MBAWYAO Series – Episode Two.

I wrote down a list of all the requirements that my idea job entails and the only thing I learned from it is that my ideal job is a big fat pot of contradictions. I mean, look at it:

  • No set location
  • Human interaction
  • Stable income
  • No dress code
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity

I’m not sure how this is ever going to happen. But this is the space where I let it out, just for me to define my priorities, in the hope that they will one day materialise into exactly the kind of existence I want for myself.

Anyway. My dream job doesn’t have a set location. I wake up in the morning, check the weather, and decide if I want to work outside in the garden or from a cosy café. I get bored really easily, and although I do like a bit of routine, I also need to spice things up and keep things interesting.
My dream job involves creating content. I love writing. And making zines (although I haven’t done that in a while). I’d be sitting at my computer, typing away – about veganism, Zero Waste, travelling, self love – pretty much anything I talk about on here. I’d be creating a community of people who want to talk about the same things I’m passionate about.
At the same time I’d also be able to get off my butt and go for a walk and be active any time I want. I can take a break whenever I feel like, have a day off whenever I feel like, go on holidays and take my work with me if I need the income or say fuck off for a while without the need to report to anyone.
I can wear yoga pants and flip flops or dress up if I feel like it.
In all this, I’d also have a stable income. One thing I don’t like about my current job is being paid by the hour, and never working the same amount of hours every week, and therefore never knowing how much I’m going to get paid. Having a set payday and a fixed (or at least minimum) salary gives me a sense of security.

I know what you’re thinking: get back to planet earth, young lady. Nobody has a job like that!
Well you know what? Some people do. And if I have to dream, I might as well dream big.
Now, problem is: all this seem to imply that I should be self-employed. Unless I find somebody willing to employ me and then leave me there doing my own thing. Unfortunately, I know I don’t have it in me to be my own boss. I struggle at self-motivation and absolutely suck at marketing myself.

So the solution I’ve found for the time being is writing a book.
In my head, this means that I can take my time to do the writing, then either self-publish it or even better have it published by a mega super cool publishing company, and after that I can spend the rest of my life being an acclaimed author, going on tour, writing more books, hosting book signings at Waterstones, and living off royalties. HA.
This combines me doing my own thing and somebody reminding me to do my own thing.

Now that I think about it, being a writer has always been my dream. I guess I’d temporarily gave up on it just because I am aware of how freaking hard it is to get published. But I’ve never stopped writing. And the point of this MBAWYAO Series is to figure out what’s important to me and go do it.
Hope you’ll do it too.

The MBAWYAO Series – Launch

Hello beautiful people who take the time to read this blog, today I want to talk to you about: MANIFESTING. This is something I keep on hearing about, and at first I was very sceptical because it always seemed to be brought up in relation to crystals and energy and vibrations. So I did some research and it turned out I was right all along: manifesting is horseshit.
If you google “manifesting”, the first result that comes up is this guy’s blog that describes manifesting as “the ability to convert the energy of our thoughts into a newly materialized form.” No offense, Wayne, but that sounds like a whole lot of crap to me.
In fact, I lost interest in my research pretty quickly, and stopped as soon as I thought I grasped the general idea and gathered enough knowledge to write a blog post about it. Basically, from my vague understanding, manifesting means acting as if what you want in life is already happening, until it actually happens. It means funnelling your “energy” and “intentions” into your “desires”, and if your “vibes” are positive enough the universe will give you what you want. (And if it doesn’t, you can always see it as the universe’s “mysterious ways” of letting you know that maybe you didn’t really want that particular thing in the first place.)

Now. I’m a strong believer in working hard as fuck in order to get what you want. I can sit on my ass all day manifesting that I am an acclaimed world-famous travel blogger and that I have long flowy hair and I live in a van in Colorado surrounded by Mexican blankets, but that ain’t gonna happen unless I actually write, wait, move and, well, buy Mexican blankets. Is that manifesting? Because to me, that is called acting.
I understand that, say, if I want to be a writer, then I write and write and write and send and send and send my stuff to magazines and publishers and then one day maybe I get discovered and then maybe I do become a famous writer. But that’s not the universe deciding to help me out, this is me acting towards my aspirations in life.
Is manifesting just a new hippie term for working your ass off?
In my opinion, if you’re using manifesting as an excuse to dawdle around until the universe throws money and success in your face, you’re a lazy bum; if you act as if your life were exactly how you want it to be, you’re working towards it.

Of course the whole energy thing is complete bogus. THERE IS NO FUCKING ENERGY and the universe couldn’t care less about your stupid ass. (In fact, the universe doesn’t care – period. It’s not a sentient being.)
However, I will give you this, Manifestors¹: doing all this research made me want to write down all the things I want in life. AND it made me want to start a new blog segment called the Manifest Series, except of course I don’t really want to use the term Manifest so I’m going to call it the MBAWYAO (Manifest But Also Work Your Ass Off) Series instead. In this segment, which I’m aiming to update once every couple of weeks, I’ll try to explore different aspects of my life, go deep and develop them and find out exactly how I want them to turn out.
Just yesterday I actually grabbed the biggest piece of paper I could find and I wrote down what I want my ideal job to be. Seeing it all there on paper made it so much clearer and real, and helped me realise what I need to work towards (see? Work towards. Not manifest).

I’m going to start off with an easy one: What am I passionate about?

  1. Travelling
  2. Writing
  3. Reading
  4. Reviewing books
  5. Teaching languages
  6. Zero Waste/sustainability
  7. Veganism
  8. Basketball
  9. Self love/positive mental attitude
  10. Yoga pants

This was easy because I didn’t really have to think too much about what to write down. I already knew what my interests are. The exercise would be, how am I going to implement them? What am I going to do with them? I’ll probably create a vision board or just print this list out and stick it in a place where I see it often, as a reminder that I should focus my attention on these things, because they are what truly makes me happy.

I’m going to confine manifesting to this: a pretext to and find out what I truly want in life. No crystals, no energy, no vibes. Just another expedient to torture my subconscious and overanalyse my poor synapses.

Hope you’re with me and till next time, fellow rational beings.

¹ I wasn’t sure about the spelling of this so I looked it up and of course somebody else had already come across the same issue. This website made me cringe so bad I almost deleted my blog post all together.