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The Vintage Valley: Project Joy...

The Vintage Valley

The personal blog of a vintage & goodwill shopper

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Project Joy...

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I wanted to share with you all a little weekly venture i have started called Project Joy! 

I realize even though i feel like i share quite a lot about my life here on this little blog i actually probably don't its more on the surface bits and pieces and mostly the happy and positive side to me which is what i find about most bloggers (makes sense though...i mean why would you want to read a blog based around negative things anyway!) but i have had a few life changing events happen to me recently that have put into perspective my view on my life and ultimately who i want to be. (getting deep now huh!) 

I wanted to start by sharing with you that i have recently been diagnosed with anxiety, if your wondering "she seriously doesn’t look like someone with anxiety" then your not alone on that because i didn't know that myself for a long time, to describe what it is like is pretty simple! You know that stomach in knots feeling you get when you are about to speak publicly in front of a crowd or when you are going on a first date its exactly like that! the thing is i feel it almost all the time and a bizarre sense of dread fills my thoughts and sometimes it makes the easiest things like being home alone the hardest things in the world.

Now i know i am not the only one who has this condition and i guess because i have always been a happy-go-lucky kinda gal and this has recently become a pretty big part of my life i wanted to share it with you in the hopes you don’t feel alone too if you are going through the same situation. 

So in the light of all this i have spent the past few months changing sections of my life that i never realized were a negative influence on me and i now know that even though i am a good person who does the right thing blah blah blah, i want to do better than that! I swear along the way through life i have lost my ability to be open..truly open with people and my surroundings! I move away from crazy looking people on the train, i see a piece of rubbish on the floor and i walk past it, i don’t MAKE time for those i don’t see often in my family, i sometimes rely on others to induce happiness within myself and if things get rough i generally sit and wallow instead of turning my misfortune around into something positive. 

I know its all well and good to want to be a positive ball of inspiration bouncing around so i have set myself a once a week challenge that will hopefully gradually become something more frequent. 

I kick started this little project last week when i letter dropped my neighborhood, filling my KikkiK notebook with positive sayings and just dropping them around for people to read, i imagined how i would feel if i were to have a cruddy day at work and find a little pick me up note! i would have to say it would make me feel a little happier! 

I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you all and i hope that you might even give it a go yourself and let me know about all the random joy your spreading around! Huzzah!! 



Blogger Lizzie Montoya said...

I have an anxiety issue as well, and it does get better once you know that it's an issue. Thank you for sharing this with your blogworld, and your idea of positive sayings is such a great one :)

February 21, 2013 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Madeline Wainscott said...

Aw, darling, I have an anxiety disorder as well. Mine was so bad I started seeing a therapist. I've been on antidepressants for years now, and they have helped quite a lot. You're definitely not alone. I hope things start looking up for you, and I love this little project you've started!!



February 21, 2013 at 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(((hugs))) what a beautiful project. As someone who's anxiety is so bad it was misdiagnosed as bipolar I feel for you. Your not alone.

I don't know if your aware...but the lovely Nora from Nora Finds is hoping to find some more Australian vintage sellers to be a part of her give away for mental health awareness. Maybe you & your store could take part and help spread the word and help de-stigmatise mental illness.


February 21, 2013 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Hanna-Kaisa said...

I too can say you're not alone.
Your project sounds wonderful! It is so easy to just concentrate on all the struggles in your life, rather than see, that even the smallest of things can bring happiness into your life. Something that I forget way too often.
I wish you all the best!

February 22, 2013 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger Louise Mc said...

What a good idea to do something each week that helps. I think we can all forget the little things that bring us joy in todays hectic life, sometimes it's good just to take time out. Xx

February 22, 2013 at 1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw Ally you're most definitely not alone in how you're feeling! I just wanted to let you know you're actually a role model of mine. I think you're so beautiful, and when I came across your blog I became so inspired to recreate vintage looks. I adore your sense of style, and more than that, you seem like such a lovely person too. I'm sending you lots of love, hugs, and support! xx

February 22, 2013 at 2:36 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

I'm sorry that you've been diagnosed with anxiety. I suffer from it too and I know how horrible it is.


February 22, 2013 at 5:01 AM  
Blogger look see said...

Ally, you are so brave sharing this with your readers! I can empathise with what you're going through and I think you are finding a great way of dealing with it. It's such a good thing to know you aren't alone in feeling this way. Thinking of you xx

February 23, 2013 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Sophie Isobel said...

What a beautiful and brave post my dear. Thinking of you and loving that you are finding amazing ways to bring joy to yourself and others. Sending lots of love and support! Sophie xx

February 25, 2013 at 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth Muir said...


First, thank you for being honest about having anxiety. There is so much stigma attached to anxiety, depression and other conditions of the mind. It forces 'sufferers' to suffer in silence, and often people won't seek the help they need for fear of being 'labeled'. As you touched on, you don't need to look sick to be 'sick', Or necessarily have things to be anxious about to suffer anxiety. Or have had some troubled upbringing/neglected childhood to have depression. There is also, in some circles, a belief that some level of neurosis is 'normal' that if you aren't stressed, anxious or sad all the time then you must be crazy (pardon the pun?), and seeking help is taboo. I know right... its unnatural to want to feel happy apparently?!

Secondly, Yay for Project Joy. Sending positives into the universe is the best way to ensure positives come back your way, or so I believe!

A few years ago whilst facing some of my own issues, I decided the world was too negative. I was focussing too much on what I didn't have, what didn't go right, and all the little things that irked me. Many, Many, Many people I know are exactly the same. The glass is always half empty and there is always something to complain about. Some more 'enlightened' peers had been telling me for years to focus on what I had rather than the things I couldn't have. I decided finally after years of 'issues' to give it a proper go.

Gratitude. Kikki K (Love!) actually have a whole book to write gratitude in, but I just cheated and wrote in in a cute, but cheaper notebook. You write down three things every day you are grateful for. Like for me, today, it would be Cat snuggles in the morning, Old friends unexpected visits and Wine/chocolate ending the day. Some days are easier than others. Some days i am grateful for the coffee, which allowed me to face such a challenging day. Other days its simply that the day has ended and I can sleep in my comfy comfy bed.

But soon it didn't matter that 'she' didn't return my texts, my original plan in life was ruined, my degree down the drain, my wallet wouldn't stretch to the wardrobe I thought i wanted and that they planned a lunch catch up and didn't invite me. Sure these things hurt at the time, but I remembered to put more time and energy into cultivating relationships with the people I already had, than chasing people who clearly didn't deserve me anyway.

Once I started focussing on the small positives every day, rather than the tiny negatives, I became happier within myself. It took a long time, and dedication- not like "I sent positives into the world, now wheres my good karma" but I have achieved a lot since I switched to this positive outlook. I took opportunities I'm sure i would have missed if I had stayed focused on all i did not have in life.

Now i don't write things down, but i still find myself doing a mental gratitude check occasionally. Obviously i still get a lot of moments where i think 'oh god, today is just S*&*%*, the world hates me, I seem to screw it all up, why did i think i could do this. Everyone is laughing at me. They secretly hate me and just pretend to like me' etc etc but these thoughts aren't as crippling as they once were.

Anyway, this is a mammoth of a reply, but forgive me, it is 2.30am, and I am awake. Plus, 'mental health' is something I have always felt strongly about. I hope it doesn't sound 'preachy' or self help-y because it isn't. Its one small thing that i did on top of lots of other things to make my mind better again.

As someone who has struggled with many demons of her own (the above is a tiny glimpse of the iceberg), I wish you all the best in getting on top of your anxiety. I'm always in my store, and would always welcome a visit and chat- both frivolous or serious! (I have chai tea, green tea and GOOD coffee).

February 27, 2013 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger HeartsAndCrosses said...

What a great project, I hope you feel better and good luck <3

A little bit Unique


February 27, 2013 at 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Tasha said...

Sorry to hear you have anxiety, but it's so good that you are being open and honest about it. I love the idea of Project Joy! Something I've been reading a lot on blogs lately is that people only show and share the good parts of their lives, and that we are all lead to believe that everything is perfect. It makes others feel bad, to think they aren't leading such a perfect life, but then no-one wants to read a blog that's all doom and gloom. So bloggers and readers get caught up in this cycle. It helps to remember this when feeling down xxx


March 4, 2013 at 5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this brave post. I love your blog and this new challenge. I use an iphone app to track my gratitude list every day. There seem to be several free gratitude apps so it might be worth exploring! :) Good luck x

March 5, 2013 at 3:17 AM  
Blogger Ally said...

Thank you for taking the time to write this! its so nice to read (made me tear up a little) its nice to know im not the only one who struggles to stay positive all the time and that there is so much support out there! It is so easy to get caught up the circle of negativity and im glad we can all lift each other up a little! i feel we need to talk about this over a coffee :) xxx will pop in soon.

March 5, 2013 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Ally said...

Thank you! thats so sweet of you to say :) xxxx Thanks for the hugs x

March 5, 2013 at 8:42 PM  

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