| KARLA DALY |
Karla Daly is a freelance writer based in Bondi, Sydney. Her work has been featured on News.com, Mamamia and Meet the People.
She works with folks in the wellbeing and creative industry who need their blogs, websites or products primped up with fabulous prose.
She loves coffee, play, the ocean, avocados, books, music, sign-language, mojitoes, road-tripping and writing with truth (swear words included). Her open journal on being responsible for your experiences in life and other pieces of her heart (poetry included) can be read here.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO JUST GO FOR IT, AND START LIVING THE LIFE YOU LOVE? WAS THERE A TURNING POINT OR AN ‘A-HA’ MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU REALISED YOU NEEDED TO MAKE THE CHANGE?
I’ve had many aha moments in the last five years and change in my life is constant. Epiphanies happen all the time. I’ve grown to understand that rather than expect your life to all change in one hit, you need to be ready to transform and adapt to anything that is thrown at you. There might even be things you love doing so much but there just comes time when it doesn’t feel right anymore, and while that’s even harder to give up, it’s meant to be.
Choosing how to respond to any situation in any given moment I think determines how you fall in love with life. Even if it’s a terrible job, relationship, or even the passing of someone you love – if you see it with the perspective that you can take something away from it, your life will be more enriched.
The sun will rise up everyday for you to clench your fists and take a risk.
HOW IS YOUR LIFE DIFFERENT NOW AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
My life is different now because instead of valuing my job, money or status, I put more value on my connections with people, the love I have for my husband and family, the late night wines and deep conversations with my girlfriends, my writing, self-growth, the sunrise, the feeling of diving in the ocean, adventures and endless creativity. They are the things I’m going to remember on my deathbed when I look back on my life.
WHAT WAS YOUR GREATEST FEAR OR BLOCK (EMOTIONAL, MENTAL OR PHYSICAL) THAT YOU HAD TO OVERCOME TO GET WHERE YOU ARE, AND HOW DID YOU BREAK THROUGH IT?
Re-defining success and expectations. I work as a barista four days a week and I love it. It allows me to freelance without restrictions. But there were times when I would punish myself because I thought I needed a full-time job because people wouldn’t value my worth. It’s this sort of mentality that plummeted my confidence.
My Grandma passed away recently and that shook me up to my senses. She was an incredible woman who valued family over anything else, and was the very person who encouraged me to be creative and be proud of anything I did.
We think we have to accumulate big wins to celebrate our life. Like a dream job, a house, a husband or a big paycheck. But we tend to forget our daily triumphs, the ones that refuel our enthusiasm for life itself. If what you are doing each day inspires you and you truly enjoy it – you should be damn proud of yourself. That is what I call a breakthrough.
HOW DID OPENING UP AND ‘BEING AUTHENTICALLY YOU’ AFFECT THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU OR YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEM?
I believe people just generally catch on whether you’re being yourself or not. If you’re authentically you, not everyone will gravitate towards you, but the right people will. You could say you clean toilet floors for a living and if you have self-respect, say it with conviction and don’t give a shit what people think, then people will go ‘that’s sweet’.
But when you talk about improvement in relationships, it’s not necessarily about being happy all the time just because you’ve finally created a life you love and now you’re in a mood to share it with people. But it’s about the ability to communicate when something’s up. When you’re not having a good day. Being vulnerable and sharing your fears. Because that is what real authenticity is, and the recipe for some of my deepest relationships.
DID YOU FACE ANY JUDGEMENTS OR CRITICISMS, WHETHER FROM YOURSELF OR OTHERS?
I think in this messy world it’s easy to get caught up in expectations or standards. I recently wrote a post on being important for someone else’s reasons. This answers everything about this question.
WHAT IS YOUR TRUE ESSENCE? THE NATURAL PART OF YOUR BEING THAT MAKES YOU SPECIAL.
Losing my perfection is my true essence. I accept my curves, my introverted nature, my mistakes, my short temper, my overthinking and my sensitivity.
I’m fire and I’m water. I can cut loose on the dancefloor after a few drinks, or I can stay curled up in bed and read books. I can be serious about some things yet light-hearted about others. Sometimes I’m weak and sometimes I’m strong. I’m just a girl that feels and does it all.
It’s taken time, but I’m happy with exactly who I am. Life is too short to be anything but.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF?
I might react before I respond in the moment, however I’m very good at looking back on situations and asking myself. How could I have handled that better? How can I do better next time? I think self-exploration is very important and a great way to not get angry at yourself for being angry. Just figure out how you can grow from it.
WHERE DO YOU FIND BEAUTY AND INSPIRATION?
We’re creatures of habit, so as soon as I jump out of my routine and hit the road, go to a new place, or eat at a different cafe, I’m instantly inspired. As a barista I’m also inspired by the human connection, some of the stories I get to listen to are fascinating. People are rad.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO DO?
Writing. My grandma used to rip the names of racehorses out of a newspaper and encouraged me to write a narrative story to challenge myself. She also bought me my first calligraphy set. I wrote lists, narratives, diary entries, pen pal letters. I was just a little pocket rocket of prose.
WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP AND WHY?
Spontaneity, because this comes with no expectations. Meeting new people by chance, going out late at night and randomly watching a sunrise, waking up on a Sunday and taking a road-trip.
WHEN LIFE GETS BUSY, OVERWHELMING AND THE NEGATIVITY STARTS TO CREEP IN, HOW DO YOU UNWIND AND ALLOW YOURSELF TO ‘JUST BE’?
If I need comfort and some self-care, I’ll put on a soothing spotify playlist, lay down and just chill the eff out. Or I make sure I schedule a yoga class for that day. Or if it’s a boxing session and I need to punch out some crap, that works too.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE WANTING TO RECONNECT WITH THEIR OWN NATURAL WAY OF BEING AND FIND THE BEAUTY WITHIN THEMSELVES?
This is a repeat message, but I really do believe it begins with letting go of EXPECTATIONS.
If you haven’t read Women Who Run With the Wolves or The Untethered Soul, or The Invitation from Oriah Mountain Dreamer, then these literary pieces are a great place to start and they completely changed my perceptions.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE YOU?
It feels fucking good. There’s nothing more freeing and liberating. What more can I say really.