Saturday 29 December 2018

Realising my own strength in 2018

Realising my own strength in 2018 | Jen Lou Meredith

"Where there is no struggle, there is no strength" - Oprah Winfrey

It's a funny concept, to discover something about yourself. That something was there all along, but was maybe brought to the surface through an event, journey or even another person. It doesn't necessarily mean that you're a different person afterwards, but you've discovered a piece of knowledge about yourself that may change the way you live your life from now on. As we know, knowledge is power, and knowledge about yourself can be the most exciting kind.

In 2018, I discovered something about myself. I went fully freelance in autumn of 2017, but with doubt in my mind that I would succeed. I spent the first year with one foot in and one out, reserving a back up plan in case it all went wrong. Though it's always important to have a back up plan, it's also important to believe in yourself - and that's what I lacked due to past experiences in my career.

When people asked me how my work was going, I would hesitantly answer, 'it's okay,' careful not to jinx myself. I dreaded people prying any further. I dreaded giving people positive news, only to have to have to take it back later on. I'm good at acting, so it wasn't hard for me to conceal my real emotions - stress, worry, sheer exhaustion - but I'm not a liar, so if I was really probed, I would have to spill the beans.

Realising my own strength in 2018 | Jen Lou Meredith

The truth was that I had been working 12 to 16-hour days, almost every day for months, in order to tackle the workload I had deliberately given myself in order to meet this idea of success that I had become obsessed with. If I didn't meet it, I would be a failure. I would have to admit that to myself, and to everyone else. And after that? I don't know what I'd have done.

So with the constant worry that everything could come crashing down around me, I ploughed through my first year, keeping my head down and working through the tiredness. There was always a lingering fear that I was not strong enough to succeed, but when it finally came to a year - my first year working for myself - I breathed the biggest sigh of relief knowing that I had made it work. But that realisation didn't just revolve around the fact that I was stable work-wise, it was also the realisation that I was strong enough to succeed at something I was so worried I would fail at. And to do it on my own (not taking away from all the wonderful people who have been kind enough to recommend my services this year) has been the cherry on top.

In 2018, I have proved to myself that I AM strong enough, despite my own fears and uncertainty. Discovering this about myself means that I can go into 2019 with more confidence, and more belief in myself. I think many freelancers would agree with me when I say that we all need a little more self-worth, as it's so easy for our doubts to affect our work, and our lives. I hope 2019 brings you success, whatever your career. Here's to knowing your worth 🥂.

Sunday 16 December 2018

Stylish Wireless Headphones from Sudio

It's clear that wireless headphones are going to be on many people's Christmas lists this year. We've struggled with wires for so long, and now that Apple has finally released their AirPods for iPhone users, it's time for us to breathe a sigh of relief as competing electronics brands will fight to create wireless headphones to top the last. It can only get better from here.

So far, I haven't seen many well-known brands trying their hand at wireless in-ear headphones (bar the comparitively expensive Beatsx and Sennheiser anything). And those that have, aren't creating anything particularly stylish.

Sudio, however, makes beautiful, minimalist wireless headphones under the radar. And I advise you to get a pair soon if you want to be ahead of your friends - these really are gorgeous products.

Based in Stockholm, Sudio has that coveted minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic that will blend effortlessly into your life and wardrobe. The Tio headphones (pictured) can be worn with any outfit without detracting attention, and even look great when they're just laying on your dresser. My pair is pink, however they're also available in green and white.

Being a freelancer, no two days are the same for me and I am often on the go. Whether I'm commuting to the city, walking to a client meeting, working on the sofa or having a quick break at the gym, I always have a pair of headphones with me. What I can't stand is when my wires get tangled, and I spend more time fiddling with them than I spend listening. With Sudio's Tio wireless headphones I can just whip them out of my pocket and listen straight away, as my headphones connect via Bluetooth to my phone instantly.

The controls are easy to get the hang of. It's just three buttons located on a panel, controlling power, volume, call answering and more. However, one of the features I liked most about these headphones was the range of ear bud sizes; I seem to have very small ears, which means that 'standard-size' buds often slip out of my ears. Customising the ear bud size is a small feature which makes a huge difference. Even when I'm running, they don't fall out easily. Combine this with the high quality textile cord and you have a very comfortable pair of headphones.

Stylish Wireless Headphones from SudioIn terms of sound quality, these are plenty loud and appear to have the same or similar quality to my regular wired headphones. I'm very happy with the quality I receive when I'm listening to music on the tube or a podcast at the gym. As a regular listener, I would say the Tio is perfect for my needs.

At £59, these headphones are much less expensive than many of the wireless headphones I've seen so far - and, as I mentioned, much more stylish. If you use the discount code jenloumeredith you can get an additional 15% off! Sudio also offer a range of other headphones, including on-ear, over-ear, wireless buds and other wireless in-ear designs. Browse the Sudio website here, and let me know your favourite pair in the comments section below!

My current playlist

thank u, next - Ariana Grande
How Can I Make You Stay - Joseph J. Jones
Strip (feat. Sharaya J) - Little Mix
Truthfully - DNCE
Sara - Fleetwood Mac
Here You Come Again - Charlotte Day Wilson

Podcasts I'm listening to

My Favourite Murder
Girlboss Radio
Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Stylish Wireless Headphones from Sudio
Stylish Wireless Headphones from Sudio

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