Series: The SFIWoman’s Guide to Surviving Everyday Life

In this difficult world, our constant need for definition and success can sometimes make it near impossible to see the beauty which is still existent in everyday life.

Let’s face it – life is hard. It’s a phrase that I’ve been saying for years now and despite where I am or which country I travel too, I always meet at least one other woman who will the say the same phrase back to me.

Life. Is. Hard.

Even then, sometimes the word hard doesn’t seem to do justice to the situations the universe so lovingly (really?!) places in front of us. Maybe it’s a degree we’ve been trying to finish and just can’t seem to reach the end. Maybe it’s a job we’ve been trying to find for over a year now. Maybe it’s a lover we’ve been trying to find or a family we’ve being trying to start. Maybe it’s a purpose we keep searching for. We’ve all been there at some point or other, and I’m almost certain some of us are still there right now.

Life as a strong, free-thinking and independent (SFI) woman in today’s day and age is not just hard, it’s downright exhausting. Not to mention frustrating and emotionally draining. The constant pressures of everyday life coupled with health, love and a career can take its toll on any SFIWoman. They say your twenties are the years for having fun, traveling and just being carefree. Are they right? I don’t know. They say your thirties are the years for focusing on your career and settling down. Are they right? I’m afraid I still don’t know.

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What I do know is that none of my twenties would have been bearable if it wasn’t for the strong free-thinking women I formed bonds with. Women of all ages and from all backgrounds, all around the world. Women who guided me and in turn needed guiding themselves. Women who provided solid advice in times of need, advice that I may have already known but was just too afraid to take. Women who helped me develop into the person I am today and who gave me the confidence and courage to stand on my own two feet and handle any situation I may find myself in.  Women who taught me to become someone who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, someone who knows what she wants and someone who, no matter the hardship, can pick herself up and move forward despite how many crumbling pieces of her heart lay on the floor.

For close to nine years now the phrase strong, free-thinking independent woman has stuck with me and over the years it’s grown to mean something more than just a phrase someone said in passing. It’s given me the courage to dream big dreams, set high goals and not be afraid of achieving them. It’s given me the strength to pick myself up on nights when I found myself crying to a universe and asking questions I still don’t know the answers too. It’s given me the courage to walk away from meaningless relationships, forced friendships and unnecessary conversations that were just no longer good for me and didn’t make me happy.

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With that, came the idea to start this series on my blog – The SFIWoman’s Guide to Surviving Everyday Life. Perhaps you’re busy finishing degrees, completing research, establishing careers, raising children or focused on developing and growing strong relationships with the people around you. Perhaps you’re planning a future and trying to make the most out of your life. Whatever it is, if you aren’t prepared – mentally, physically and most importantly – emotionally – it’s going to be hard. A SFIWoman needs direction and order, not just in her career but in every other area of her life too. And whilst the order of importance in these various areas will differ from woman to woman, one thing should remain constant – and that is the list should always and inevitably start with YOU. Sure, there may be times when all we need is a cup of something warm and another strong woman just to talk too. To help us work through the millions of thoughts swirling around in our head. Perhaps we just need another strong woman to guide us through a difficult situation which the universe has so infamously thrown our way. Come here. Come talk to me. Come find advice, tips, inspiration, quotes and guides, not just to inspire you but to provide you with the strength and wisdom that every SFIWoman needs not just to survive, but to thrive, grow and be simply amazing.

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Hi World! I'm Shal - an environmental microbiologist, writer, teacher and artist from Durban, South Africa. I've spent the last two years traveling and teaching Chemistry and English to young kids in Asia. Life of Shal was founded as a way to share travel experiences, tips and other worldly magic with you! Join me on my journey!

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