Motivational Monday #12: The Bigger Picture

Today is the last day of August and in my eyes, that marks today as the final day of Summer as I know it; I’m back at school this coming Friday, the bad weather is returning to my mornings, and I’m back to working as hard as I can as much as I possibly can. With that comes a return to blogging that I’m trying to make permanent this time as well as trying to produce as much good content as I possibly can without losing my mind. So today I thought I’d take time to reflect on the time I’ve had away from the computer; the summer that started with me making my dreams come true, but was followed by a great sense of sadness.
I have an idea that I spent this summer feeling so sad and glum because I felt so fulfilled after going to New York. It’s funny when you finally get something you’ve always wanted: I ended up sitting around doing nothing for days on end and I didn’t really mind, because I couldn’t quite work out what I had left to do with myself really. I had so much free time on my hands that I didn’t know if I had deadlines to meet or if I could more than happily cram Seasons 2-6 of Pretty Little Liars in five days (trust me, that is possible if you have the strength to try it!)
As Summer drew to a close, I came to realise that I didn’t need to feel like this. I didn’t need to spend my time feeling sorry for myself for absolutely no reason, or making myself just generally feel so down in the dumps constantly. I read an article online that reminded me that I was the controller of my emotions: if I was choosing to see this time of complete freedom as a sort of prison sentence, it was my own fault for feeling that way and I had no reason to blame anything for it – I could easily see this as a happy and positive situation. And so I did. I chose to stop, think, and see the bigger picture ahead of me.
It was funny when that moment came and it’s actually funny to write about it because I make it sound like it was so easy, but it was such a revelation when I soon realised that I didn’t have to see my free time as a bad thing and I didn’t have to see my trip being over as the end of my world: I could look forward to making my dreams in New York a reality, or the fresh start I was going to be having in September, or the fact that I had so much free time to complete projects again. I could see joy in how I was going to the theatre again on a really regular basis and was spending my time doing exactly what I loved the most: living life how I love it.
Sometimes, it takes a moment of internal conversation to push us into the place we want to be in. I have now come to learn that you don’t need to feel certain ways all the time if you just stop and take a look at the bigger picture. There will most definitely be times when everything seems rubbish for absolutely no reason and sometimes, those times last for a lot longer than we want them to. We have to let those feelings fester for a while but when the time is up, the time is. I know now to stop and think of the bigger picture and remember that what is happening now will be all but a memory in years, or maybe even months to come. Remember that the future is bright, we are talented people, and that it gets better.

Motivational Monday #11: Dreams

For as long as I can remember, people have picked up on the fact that I am a very driven person and am extremely motivated by my life goals. So I was sitting around this evening and wondering if the post I wanted to write for today was appropriate, and I soon realised that this was a topic I think needs to be discussed: dreams. For some, the thought of dreams is a scary one and people instantly assume that their dreams are unattainable and are far too ridiculous. Ironically, I think most people are rather ridiculous for thinking that.

For my entire life, being a star of the stage, screen and the charts was what I wanted to do; nothing excited me more than the thought of head lining a new musical or a new movie or a concert, and that exact thought still excites me to this day. The truth in it all and the reason why I’m so driven is because I use my dreams as life goals that inspire me in my everyday life.

I am a firm believer in that anyone can do whatever they want to do and I want to apply that to this revival Motivational Monday posts; our dreams are totally achievable and trying to achieve them is what makes us happy. This is true on almost all levels. Silly things like getting a new top that you like would make you happy – buying that top is your dream and when it’s fulfilled, it makes you happy. Even the trip to Topshop or wherever you’re buying it from makes you happy and makes you think happy thoughts. This is the road to your dream, is it not?

I have several big dreams; some are blindingly obvious and some are quirky ones that I want to keep quiet. I didn’t really want to get too deep in this post but I just want to remind everyone to keep on dreaming; keep on striving for what you want in life and make sure that you do one thing each day that will help you get to those dreams. No matter how old or young you are, how crazy your dreams may seem to your or those around you, or how much hard work it may take to get there, your dreams are reachable (for the most part of course. If your dream is to become a Koala then I’m afraid you might have to settle for a Koala onesie or something…)

Remember that dreams are vital to give life purpose, and that they’re what makes us truly happy. And who on Earth doesn’t want to be happy?

Goodbye to Shaunyland…

For those of you that have been following me since I first started then the picture above will be a real blast from the past! Unfortunately though, those memories will only be memories as of tomorrow. This will probably come as a massive shock but as of 9:00pm on Saturday the 26th of April, both my YouTube channel and my blog will be no longer accessible. 
Since Christmas, my heart really hasn’t been into this and I thought it would pass but it hasn’t and the thought of removing the blog and my channel has been at the front of my mind for a very long time now. I also feel that this really isn’t what I’m suited to do. For those of you that know me personally, you will know that theatre has been my forte for as long as any of us can remember and that really is where my heart lies and where I want to make sure I focus my drive and my passion instead of on here. I will always be around Twitter and Instagram etc. like I always am so feel free to keep on following me on those platforms to know where life is taking me, but I’m afraid Shaunyland shall be no more as of tomorrow evening.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for bringing me sheer joy and happiness over the past year and a bit. Even though the actual blogging eventually became dull and uncomfortable for me, you guys have been amazingly supportive and have meant that I’ve learned a lot from Shaunyland and I now have new found life skills that I’ll be taking into my future with me. This blog has had almost 25,000 hits in it’s run and my YouTube channel has had almost 20,000 since it began with almost 350 subscribers. So thank you very much to all of you that have commented, liked, subscribed, read and watched because it has all meant ever so much to me. I will, however, continue to keep my theatre related blog so for those of you that are interested, you can find it here.
Shaunyland really has let my creativity, confidence and determination to make my dreams a reality grow since I started it and it’s been such a fantastic learning curve. Not only have I made some lovely friends along the way, but I’ve also managed to discover who I am, who I’m not and who I want to be in the future.
If you have any questions, please feel free to tweet me (@shaunycat) or comment on this post and I’ll be sure to answer them by the time the blog vanishes (or of course, afterwards if you send me a tweet).
Thank you very much for making the past year and a half so magical and memorable. I’ll be sure to remember my beauty blogging days for many years to come. Good luck in your futures and I love you all very much.
This is Shaun Nolan, signing out. X

Motivational Monday #10 – Cut, Print, Moving On

Motivational Monday’s are finally back! I haven’t written a Motivational Monday blog post since August after I started ‘the Week’ blog posts and I decided that doing two weekly-recurring blog posts was a bit dull. Since then, I’ve stopped writing ‘the Week’ blog posts, too, so I thought it was about time that a Motivational Monday post made an appearance! 
Today, I want to talk about moving forward through life. I recently finished a blog post/YouTube video ideas notebook so I went on a hunt through my notebook collection to find a new one and came across a really old Moleskine notebook of mine that was originally owned by my aunt. My aunt is very much a motivational person (part of her job is counselling) so she’s very good with quotes and on the inside cover of the notebook reads: “Each step you take should be a conscious move forward to what you want”. This got me to thinking: Do I make sure that every step I take is towards the goals that I want to reach in the future? Or do I allow myself to become distracted by things that are truly a colossal waste of my time?
Carrie Fletcher (a popular YouTuber who is currently playing Eponine in Les Mis) posted a video last week entitled The Value of Time which also got me thinking about the exact same thing. Do we just not realise that we waste a heck of a lot of time that could be used for preparing our futures? I mean, sure, it’s irritating to do huge bits of homework sometimes or to write a blog post (yes, sometimes, I find writing a blog post very tedious) but surely that small window of time is worth the slight struggle if you know that what you’re doing is going to be very valuable to you in the end?
I realised that the only way you can make the conscious effort to move forward in life and to achieve your goals is to cut the strings that are holding you down and letting you be the person that you’re not liking very much at the moment: a time waster. I’ve found myself having to cut some strings that I actually found pretty difficult to cut recently and now that I’ve done it, I know that I can spend a lot more time focusing on things that truly matter to both me and to my future.
Sometimes I wonder to myself why I’m feeling a bit down or why I’m not doing what I know I should be doing and I usually realise that it’s because I’m pre-occupied by doing something that isn’t valuable and that I don’t have to do. If we all took a moment to sit down and re-evaluate the situation that we’re in, cutting the strings that need to be cut to help us become better and more forward-thinking people, then our lives would be a lot happier.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum

I caved in and decided to fall for the hype over the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum and how I lived without this stuff I will never know. It’s like liquid magic in a bottle. I has amazing coverage, you hardly need any to make you look so effortlessly flawless, and it gives you an amazingly healthy glow that you almost don’t feel like you need to put anything else on afterwards (but who would do that when the wonders of bronzer and blusher and mascara roam the planet, eh?)

Maybelline Colour Tattoo review

It’s Tuesday on Shaunyland and that means a review! This week, I’m reviewing the Maybelline 24Hr Colour Tattoo’s now that I have four of them! I reviewed one of them (in Pink Gold) here but I thought that they needed a bit more attention because I love them so much!
The concept is incredible. A cream eyeshadow in a really attractive glass jar for only £5? Well that sales technique has totally sucked me in! The pigmentation is amazing and it’s so easy to apply. Plus, the colour range is amazing too which is such a bonus! The only downsides are that it can tend to crease sometimes if you don’t prime your eyelids and that collecting them becomes highly addictive! Other than that, they’re amazing and well worth a fiver!
I can’t wait for America to send us over some of the new 24hr pigments from the same line. Rock on, Maybelline! These are fab! You can check out the video version of this post by clicking on this link.

Motivational Monday #9 – I Can Wait

For the first time ever, I think I’m going to write my Motivational Monday using my experience that I’m experiencing right now. I mean, I have done that before, but I don’t think I’ve ever been as wise as to write a Motivational Monday about motivation I’m currently putting in to practise.

To start, this song means the world to me. I think it must be one of my favourite songs ever and I’m so glad that it was actually released as a recording (I grabbed it from iTunes) because it is such a perfect motivational song.
I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been going through a pretty tough time lately. Relationships with people are difficult to maintain sometimes and other times, I feel myself investing in a friendship a heck of a lot more than the other person. If anyone knows that you can’t trust everybody, it’s me. I’m very selective with my friendships which sadly can cause a lot of upset and emotional struggle when they don’t go as perfectly as I could’ve hoped. There’s no point in having a friend that doesn’t support you through everything.
Another problem that I think is very obvious that I have is people not really accepting me. I know that a lot of people call themselves ‘freaks’ because they think they’re so weird or that ‘the haters don’t like them’ (the word haters makes me cringe!) but I think it’s pretty fair to say that, to small-minded people, I am a freak and I can accept that. What I do struggle to accept though is when friends of my parents and family members somehow find out about Shaunyland (I don’t know how they manage it because it’s not like many people know about this little place) and like to mock my parents for it, too. I honestly do not see what my parents have to do with any of the choices that I make in life. My parents are there to support me in whatever I want to do – it does not mean that it was “their idea to raise me a freak” or it’s “their fault he turned out that way”. Since when was your perspective on reality the right one? How can some people be so small minded and not understand that people don’t have to be like you to be normal? And to those people, I say: I actually think that your lifestyle is a bit weird and if I’m honest, I feel sorry for you that you have to be such a social stereotype and not feel comfortable enough to come out of your shell a little bit more.
I think it’s fair to say that life is never going to be perfect. Not everyone is going to like us or the choices that we make and yes, I think it’s fair to say that life can be absolute shit most of the time but life will get better in the end. Make sure everything you do is in preparation for your better future. If that be like myself; escaping from where you live at the moment to a bigger place with more opportunities and more accepting people. Or if you idea of a perfect future is the opposite; escaping everyone and living in a secluded area with your spouse and a mouse (ooo, what a poet!) 
This perfect future and dream is yours and if you work hard enough for it, you will get to it. Just channel that upset and emotion into power to make your future and make it happen.

As Tracy says in the song: “If I can just stay true to the steps I’ve taken, it will all come through. Name the date and say when, but ’til then, I Can Wait.

Motivational Monday #8 – Taking a break isn’t always bad

I saw this picture a long time ago on Pinterest and even though it’s such a common phrase, seeing it right in front of my eyes made it a whole lot more effective. I came across this phrase around the time I started to get off my arse and start blogging and YouTubing properly and not just giving it a half hearted job. Obviously though, after a while, that did get tiring. Some people can handle blogging every day and making videos twice a week and socialising and all of that but those people are full grown people doing it for a living – not a teenager who has to go to school five times a week and has (on average) four pieces of homework to complete every evening. After a while, everything started to take it’s toll and I skipped videos some weekends because I didn’t feel well enough to do them. I was stressing out about school and homework and then stressing out about blogging and YouTubing and then stressing out about socialising and rehearsing for things and attending classes after school and in the end, exhaustion caught up on me and I had to take a break. Then I cut down from seven days of blogging a week and two videos to four days of blogging a week and one video. This helped considerably and because I was writing all my blog posts the night before, I was definately getting a lot more sleep.
A couple of months on and here we are. I’ve started the same blogging regime again and life hasn’t changed, so where do I find time do fit it all back in again without killing myself from exhaustion?
I went back to this quote: I can and I will. I had to find a way to get back on track with the blogging before it eventually fizzled out and I’d wasted my time so I sat down and had a think. Suddenly, inspiration hit – I was being so organised with everything else and holding on to it all so tight that the blogging got neglected. Why don’t I just relax a little and try and be more organised in every area of my life?! So now, I prepare all my blog posts and videos on the Sunday before the week they’re due to go up and because I usually take Sundays as a day of doing nothing, it does me no harm at all! I don’t find myself moping around and getting bored for no apparent reason – I’m actually doing something worthwhile instead!
I took a break from blogging for a while until I realised that I can and I will. I can make some time to blog without ruining my health and I will do that for my own benefit if anything else. So next time you think you need to give something up just because you can’t cope with it, have a bit of a re-jig. You can and you will.