The True Sea

Slow Living, Inner Peace and Self Love


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How I became a seaside dweller

How I Became a Seaside Dweller | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI have completely turned my life around this year. It started with the decision that I refused to stay where I was. Geographically, emotionally and mentally. London had been draining me for far too long. I kept meeting people who treated me badly and as a consequence I lost my self-esteem. I struggled to find work because I had too many other unpaid commitments eating away at my job hunting time. I felt desperately isolated and lonely. That said, I did meet a few kind souls who helped me on my journey for which I’m forever grateful. I’m even more grateful for the unselfish advice, support and encouragement of the ones I love. I owe you everything. Love really doesn’t know distance.

I had been toying with the idea of moving to Brighton since the end of 2013, because I love this city and I wanted to be near the sea. I started looking for work here. In May, an organic essential oil company offered me a part time job after I had done a few training days with them, but I couldn’t accept as I needed full time work to be able to move. There was no place I would have rather worked so it broke my heart having to turn the offer down. Keep reading, my heart gets mended!

Around this time, I decided to step away from crafting and designing to focus on writing. I found a full time job at an ethical supermarket in Brighton which allowed me to move. A now dear friend of mine, who I met during those training days, knew a lady who had a spare room to rent out short term. At the beginning of June, I packed one huge suitcase and my Kånken backpack, and took the train down to the seaside.How I Became a Seaside Dweller | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comThe job wasn’t right for me at all. I knew it straight away but for weeks I tried to convince myself that I could do it. The landlady and I were from two completely different worlds. I could feel myself slipping back into depression which put me in full-on panic mode. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to play out! Brighton was supposed to be better than London. I was having none of it. I was done with being unhappy.

I paid a determined visit to the organic essential oil company and asked for a job explaining that that’s where I wanted to be, but that I needed to go to Sweden for an unspecified amount of time. My mum was having tests and there were concerns that she might be very ill. They said yes but that they could only guarantee part time work until the end of the year. At this point, I just wanted a job that was of benefit to my mental health. They asked me to keep in touch while I was in Sweden and to let them know as soon as I knew when I would be back.How I Became a Seaside Dweller | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI handed in my notice to the ethical supermarket and worked at the essential oil company when I had time off. We took a day trip to a lavender farm and walking through the lavender field, I knew I was making the right decision. I wouldn’t get paid until later that month so I sold my beloved DSLR (because what are material possessions compared to being with your mum when she’s scared?) to buy a one-way plane ticket, and went to Sweden to be with my friends and family. In the end, my mum was fine but I’m so glad I went because my mum and I connected in a way that we never have before.

In Sweden, I spent a lot of time talking to my best friend, my dad, my mum and my brother about what I needed to do to be happy. I walked in the woods, sat zazen and did hours of stream of consciousness writing every day in order to reconnect with myself. Something happened inside of me. I decided to start forcing my life to happen the way I wanted it to. When I came back to Brighton at the end of August, I was full of willpower and motivation (after crying my eyes out leaving my beautiful home country).How I Became a Seaside Dweller | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI went to London and collected the rest of my stuff, and that chapter of my life was officially closed. The next day, I started my job at the organic essential oil company not knowing how long they would have work for me. I worked hard and after a while, they offered me permanent full time work. For the first time in my life, I look forward to going to work and I’ve even been promoted to workshop manager. I love my job and my colleagues so much!

Things were finally falling into place but there were still a couple of things in my life that didn’t feel right anymore. I decided to quit the magazine and limit the time I spend online. Since I came back from Sweden, I had been putting away money for a deposit and a first month’s rent. After a month of intense flatshare hunting, I found the perfect flatmate and moved into her beautiful flat by Brighton Pier. I couldn’t be happier! I put all my energy into making my new life happen and in the end, I got what I wanted.

Being alive isn’t supposed to be so hard that you can’t bear it. Of course, there will always be difficult stuff that you have to deal with, but a lot of things in your life are within your control. If you’re not happy where you are, change things. If you get beaten down, try another way. If you can’t do something on your own, ask for help. Don’t let anything or anyone trick you into thinking that you’re powerless. Life is too short to spend time doing things that you don’t want to do. Go after what you want. Be persistent. You will get there.

I fought hard for my happiness and this post probably won’t illustrate how hard. I’ve been beaten down so many times over the last 5 years that I’ve lost count. I’ve been broke and unemployed. I’ve been on the verge of becoming homeless. I’ve been tied to time consuming commitments that were forced upon me. I’ve been in chronic pain and I’ve had broken bones. I’ve been on the verge of giving up my life in England and moving back to Sweden. I’ve been on the verge of ending it all because I felt so completely trapped in my situation. There are no words that can express the gratitude I feel towards the ones I love who helped me through those particularly dark times. All I can say to them is: I love you.

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I trust my journey

I Trust My Journey | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI’m in a much, much better place now than I was a year ago. I have the determination, the hope and the love. I know that I can do whatever I want. I just need to figure out exactly what that is. Aren’t we all trying to figure it out? I trust my journey, even when life seems impossible. I’m a fighter and I’m never ever going to give up on creating a happy life for myself.

Right now, my living situation is my only pressing problem but it’s having a huge effect on my well-being. Life seems to have turned into a vicious circle of living in people’s spare rooms. Since May last year, I’ve lived in three different spare rooms and I’m now facing the prospect of moving into yet another spare room before moving again soon. I just want it to stop. I just want to settle. I miss having a home. I miss having a place where I can relax and feel safe. I miss having a place where I’m not constantly bothered by people who think that it’s okay to treat me like I’m worthless.

Apart from that, I’m good. I have supportive loving people around me. I’m hoping to be able to visit my friends and family in Sweden for a while again soon. I have a job that I love and the most wonderful colleagues. It’s a huge thing for me because I’ve hated every job I’ve ever had save one, but even that one ended up boring me in the end. My job is only guaranteed until the end of the year though and when it ends, I have no idea what to do. Life has been repeatedly pulling the rug from under my feet for far too long.

I’ve decided to use all the insane stuff that I’ve been through over the last 5 years as material for the autofiction book that I’m writing about my past. The working title is Can I Go Now?, a nod to my commitment issues and my tendency to get impatiently bored with things and people. I have no intention on holding back on anything in it, so I’m going to tell my family that they best not read it.

For a while now, I’ve had this idea of becoming a life coach. I want to help people live like they mean it. There’s something about me that makes people talk openly about their thoughts and feelings, so I figure it might be a good idea. I want to build on the psychology courses I’ve taken. I want to use my knowledge and my life experience to help people live happier. Frankly, the only thing stopping me is the fear of being self-employed.

How about you? Do you trust your journey?


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Lately, according to my phone: Sweden edition

I’ve been in Sweden visiting friends and family for almost 4 weeks now and I’m savouring every moment of it. I’ve been catching up with people who I haven’t seen in years and I’ve paid several visits to my favourite Swedish shop INDISKA. Most importantly, I’ve had no responsibilities and I’ve been allowed to just be. Something that I haven’t been able to do for years. Though I didn’t see it at the time, I suffered from learned helplessness during my last 4 years in London. Being around loving, supportive people in Brighton and in Sweden is making me remember who I really am. I’m a strong, assertive woman who goes after what she wants and does what makes her happy, no matter what. No one can tell me what to do. Isn’t it wonderful what love is capable of?

Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comWatched The Enfield Haunting with my best friend and her cat.
Chanterelles, the gold of the forest.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comBefore attending a Birthday party for a girl I met at art school.
A few beautiful things. Love my brother’s Buddha statue!Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI’m always struck by my hometown’s beauty when I visit.
Went to INDISKA and got a top, an open tunic, a dress and trousers in the sale.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comBlueberries straight from the forest.
The Swedish countryside is so beautiful and serene.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comBefore attending a dinner party with girls I went to school with.
Love the fact that you can buy mochi ice cream and Pocky in my tiny hometown.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comWent to INDISKA again and couldn’t leave without this gorgeous maxi dress.
A Happy Buddha on a sunny Friday afternoon.


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Making life happen

Chiaki Creates - Making Life Happen chiakicreates.comThe past 4 years of my life have been incredibly tough. If you don’t know me offline, this may come as a surprise to you as I made a conscious decision not to share all the bad stuff online. We are not our circumstances and I realised that blogging had a therapeutic effect because it forced me to focus on the good stuff.

Truth is, I felt horrifically lonely and out of place in London. Everything there is so fleeting. I was struggling to find meaningful work and I kept making friends who were only passing through. I’m originally from a small town in Sweden and as fun as London can be, living there stopped making sense to me a long time ago. I ended up spending my days desperately missing nature, seaside air and people who don’t live there.

So, 2 weeks ago I moved to Brighton to start a completely new life. I’m currently working in an ethical independent supermarket and living with a really sweet woman who was in a cult for 7 years. The transition proved more difficult than I thought it would be, but I’m making lots of new friends and there are lots of opportunities coming my way. This is my life now. I just need to stop resisting and let life take its course.

For 4 years I gave until there wasn’t anything left of me to give and it has made me really unhappy. I feel unbearably guilty saying no to people who are asking for my help and learning that “no” is a complete sentence has taken me many years. I’ve finally admitted to myself that I need therapy to help me work through everything that happened in London.

About 3 months ago, I wrote a plan for the future and I was pleasantly surprised by how specific it turned out. Since then I’ve been working very hard to create the life that I want to live. It’s been a painfully slow process but I’m taking steps towards a better life every day.

I want a simple, slow life. I want to write and help people live like they mean it. I want to go for long walks, cook good food, laugh every day, love with my whole heart, read good books, listen to music and podcasts, have super connection conversations, sing, watch good films, learn new things, go out for dinner or tea and cake, visit exhibitions, go to comedy and music gigs, go to the pictures and travel.

Artistic souls need space to grow and I’m never going to become the woman I want to be if I live conventionally. I was never made for a conventional life. I need to invest in myself and live the way I want to live.

That’s it. Nothing is more important than doing what makes me happy and surrounding myself with people who love me, believe in me, encourage me and make me cry with laughter. I just want to write and love and laugh. Here’s to a new chapter of my life.


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Self Love Exercise: 15 Things I Love About Myself

Self Love Exercise: 15 Things I Love About Myself | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comHere’s a wonderful little self love exercise for you. Write down 15 things that you love about yourself. I thought I’d find it easy but it’s surprisingly hard because you really have to look at yourself. You don’t have to share the list with anyone but you get bonus points if you do! Here’s my list.

1. I love that I’m well-read.

2. I love that I know how to be alone without having to be defined by another person.

3. I love that I know what’s important in life.

4. I love that my heart is full of love.

5. I love my flaws, my scars and my complex personality because they make me unique.

6. I love my hourglass figure.

7. I love that I never give up no matter how hard life gets.

8. I love that I go after what I want.

9. I love that I’m constantly learning and evolving.

10. I love my skinny legs and arms.

11. I love that I’m empathic and caring.

12. I love that I’m independent and capable of sorting most things out on my own.

13. I love my green-yellow eyes.

14. I love that I’m creative and can find beauty in most things.

15. I love that I’m able to recognise when a situation isn’t healthy.

Now it’s your turn to write your list. What are 15 things that you love about yourself?


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Ch-ch-ch-changes and the myth of a perfect life

Chiaki Creates - The Myth of a Perfect Life chiakicreates.comHello my lovelies! Hope you’re well. As you know, I’ve been conducting some rather intense self-analysis lately and felt that I needed some time off blogging. All this soul-searching made me realise that this blog doesn’t feel like me anymore. I started resenting how it represented only one heavily edited side of me. I’m in no way perfect. I don’t have a perfect life. Far from it.

Everything I share online has been carefully chosen and edited, which is fine but it’s not the whole truth. I don’t tell you when I’m too anxious to leave the house for a couple of days or when I can’t stop crying because I’m fed up with fighting my depression. This is something I struggle with on Instagram as well. Many people don’t realise that it can take 20 minutes to get a snapshot right. They look at the pretty pictures and think that my life must be perfect. It’s just how our brains work.

The truth is that I’m fighting for happiness every day. Some days I’m not even sure I want to be happy because it just seems like too much work. All I really want to do is talk about difficult things. I want to talk about how life can be improved. I want to be radically honest with you. I want to focus on my two biggest passions: writing and the human mind. I have no desire to do any more crafty tutorials or outfit posts.

I’ve been labelled a craft blogger, fashion blogger and even an interior design blogger, yet I never wanted to be either of these. I blogged a lot about crafts yes, but I never wanted to be locked into one subject. I felt like my blog was going somewhere I didn’t want to go so I’ve changed direction and given my about page a makeover.

“This blog is all about living with intention, creating your own reality and appreciating the simple pleasures in life. My aim is to empower and inspire you to live like you mean it by showing you how you can make your life happier, better, simpler and fuller. I want to encourage you to question everything and realise your full potential. Most of all though, I want to make you smile.

I’ve been dealing with mental health issues (mainly depression, anxiety, panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder) my whole life. I’m not claiming to have all the answers but I’ve learnt a few things along the way, so I write to help others, as well as myself.”

I hope you’re as excited for this new journey as I am.


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I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring

Sixties Vintage Fabric Bright Rainbow Pom-Pom Tassel Scarf by Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI love the novelty of new things. Always have. I thought that I was simply a woman who gets bored very easily but recently it dawned on me that the reason that I love change so much, is that I’m not willing to commit to anything. I’ve always strongly disliked feeling trapped and I’ve now realised that I’m afraid of becoming trapped due to poor decision making. Of course then it’s easier to not commit to anything, but I wasn’t even aware of the fact that I wasn’t committing. It was quite a revelation.

I never stay long in the same place. The last few years I haven’t had many belongings because they make me feel tied down. I didn’t go to uni because I couldn’t bring myself to commit to a subject for several years and I also didn’t want to commit to a never-ending student loan repayment plan. I change jobs often because I’m afraid that I’ll end up working in the same place forever. I’ve re-invented my personal style and adopted new personas so many times that I’ve lost count. I can’t commit to creative projects for too long because as soon as they’re not challenging anymore, I move on to something that is. I’m passionate about something for a while and then I find something else to be passionate about.

Frankly, I’m not good at committing to relationships or friendships either. I don’t let people get too close to me emotionally because I don’t want them to be able to hurt me. I know, it’s ridiculous. What’s even more ridiculous is that I do commit to people who are not available, e.g. friends who end up moving to the other end of the world or men who are unwilling to commit to a relationship. I’m still not completely OK with the fact that my parents divorced when I was 12, and I believe that being the product of a broken home is the reason why I’m so independent. It’s also the reason why I don’t let myself become too attached to people who are within reach.

So it appears that I have unconsciously designed my life like this because I have a pathological need to be able to move on from things when I get bored, to leave before I’m left behind. I cherish my freedom but at the same time, I miss having something that I can rely on. My 30th Birthday was a massive turning point and I’m determined to learn how to commit to the people and things that I genuinely do want in my life. I’m at a crossroads right now and I can feel a shape shift coming on. I’m slowly changing how I dress and I’m selling off my belongings again. I have so many different ideas at the moment. I don’t have it all figured out yet but that’s not a reason to not move forward.

The irony of this blog post is that I’ve decided to take a break from blogging to be able to fully focus on a creative soon-to-be-announced project and everything else that’s going on in my life right now. Don’t fret, I will be back before you know it and I might blog every now and then if inspiration strikes. See, I can’t even commit to not blogging for a while! I’ll still be on all other social media though and you can always send me an email.

The title of this post is a quote by the master shape shifter himself, David Bowie.­