Relationships: Being an individual in a couple

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I have been part of a ‘we’ for almost a decade, for new readers, yes, I did meet my boyfriend at the age of 13. We’ve grown up together and have come to be ‘the couple’ in most situations. We’re often addressed as  ‘Chloe and Ali’ or ‘Ali and Chloe’, even at uni when we tried to lead lives that were separate we were ‘the couple’.

So, how do you be an individual and not become completely co-dependent? Sometimes, it’s difficult. Over time you’re often seen as a two and this isn’t a bad thing, it can feel quite nice, but, being your own person is important too.

Personally, I’ve found that once you’re out of education it’s a lot easier. And I mean a lot. Even when Ali and I studied at different campuses it was a community and if you didn’t know one of us, you normally knew the other.

As you all know though, these are two people with their own ideas, experiences and interests. So, what can you do?

Try to have at least one friend who isn’t a mutual friend 

We grew up together so we had a lot of the same friends but we’ve also found it important to have some friends we don’t share. I have a few girlfriends that are my friends, while Ali has friends from working and tours. It’s healthy to have your own relationships!

Invest time in your own interests and hobbies 

There are things that Ali and I do that the other isn’t interested in. I read books for days and collect Harry Potter & Funko pops. Ali goes Airsofting and loves looking at recording methods and how albums are put together. While we try to take an interest in what the other is doing, it’s really important to have your own things you enjoy!

Do things alone 

I recently spent two months living alone while Ali went on tour , which meant for the first time in years it was just me. That wasn’t a bad thing because I got used to my own company. It wasn’t always nice, but I definitely think it made me more confident.

Embrace your differences 

If two people who were exactly the same were in a relationship it would be boring as hell. I’m quite loud but also bookish, Ali’s quiet and would rather do things to learn. We’re different people, we were bought up in different ways and had different experiences but you know what? That’s what keeps it interesting.

Know you’re not going to agree on everything

We disagree on a lot of things, a lot. And this stems from the about point above. Personally, I don’t want to agree on absolutely everything. I want to be able to have discussion and debate with the person I love!

How do you stay an individual in a couple? Let me know in the comments below!

Self Doubt and Creativity

I love Sylvia Plath, back when I was at university, not knowing who I was or what I was doing (although that’s still ongoing). There is something about Plath that spoke to me in so many different ways, but there is something she knew well. The fight between self-doubt and creativity.

I’ve always found myself to be a creative person, writing stories and poems since I was small, singing, acting, dancing. When you’re young, for many there is no such thing as self-doubt, you dream and you do, that’s it. It’s only as you get older that a voice pipes up in your mind, not of hope, but of doubt.

For the past few years, I’ve had my heart set on writing a book, my laptop currently full of ideas and different starts. I have poems and song scrawled in notebooks at mine and my parents. I can’t help but have these ideas come into my head and keep going. That said, they remain unfinished and I know why. That little monster of self-doubt creeps in eventually and makes me want to get rid of it all!

With all this in mind, I want to get rid of my fear. I want to break free of my self-doubt and internal criticism. So, I’ve started just writing and not reading over it as soon as I finish. I’ve also been listening occasionally to the audiobook of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

How do you help yourself when it comes to self-doubt and creative fear? Let me know in the comments below.

My Health Mission

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Hello, hello, hello!

It feels like ages since I’ve written a post about health and how I’ve been getting on. Now I’ll be honest, my whole gym fitness has been awful for the past few months, truly, truly awful. I’ve neglected it and just didn’t have the energy, which I now know had a reason and after some medication, I have a lot more energy and can actually focus on getting back into it.

What’s spurred this on? I hear you ask well I had a checkup and wanted to know what I should be aiming for in terms of weight loss. I’ve known that my weight has gone up and down a lot since I broke my spine, but didn’t know what I should be aiming for. She confirmed what I knew, I was overweight.

My doctor was lovely, she knows that I struggle with exercise because of my spine and told me that under no circumstances I was to stress and beat myself up. That is was going to take me a little longer and I had to take it easy with my exercise, but that I would get there.

So I’m on a mission, not to punish my body but to try to help it and lose the weight in a way that doesn’t make me feel rubbish. I know I can do it, it just might take a little more time and a little bit of restraint.

 

October Favourites!

While I’m not sad to see October disappear it wasn’t all bad! Here are some of my favourites from the month of October!

Books 

It was a bloody brilliant month for books. From two of my most anticipated reads, Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and Her Flowers and John Green’s Turtles All The Way Down released I had high hopes. I was also sent an ARC of The Tattooist of Auschwitz which was an incredible read (review to come in January). Sarah Millican’s How to be Champion made me laugh a lot as did graphic novel Lumberjanes. I also really enjoyed Female and Raising Ryland, both looking at gender.

 

Fashion & Beauty

This month money was tight so I don’t have my usual fashion and beauty highlights but I did get some nice gifts. My grandparents bought me some foundation after mine ran out, knowing I’d be going to a lot of interviews and I can be very self-conscious about my skin. Bare Minerals is the only thing I can use on my skin without pain. My parents bought me some beautiful autumnal shirts (all from Primark) and they are SO flattering. Also, I managed to pick up a bath bomb from Lush as a treat for myself. I’ve also been having house pride with my Gryffindor scarf that I got from Lootcrate.

 

Relationships 

As most of you know, my boyfriend was travelling the country for the majority of this month. I was lucky enough to go and see him and the show in Reading at the beginning of the month and three weeks later I got to have him home after what felt like an age of waiting (if you’re curious to know what it was like when he came home you can find out here).

 

MCM London! 

This month was also MCM London and I got to wear my Wednesday Addams costume after seeing the wonderful Carrie Hope Fletcher play Wednesday on stage. Abbie went as BMO from Adventure Time…we certainly looked odd together.

 

General 

I finally got my hands on my piece that was printed in Love From (you can order issue 8 here), which was really cool. I also got my pre-ordered Harry Potter Pop Vinyls and found the Luna Lovegood absolutely adorable with her lion hat and there was some further Potter magic when my Dad bought me some Christmas decorations for my future tree in the Hogwarts houses. I’ve  also been enjoying the Autumn vibes with some walks and a great Halloween party.

 

What were your favourite parts of October? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Spooky Halloween Tag!

Happy Halloween my wonderful followers! For tonight I wanted to share with you a spooky tag that I watched on ProblemsofaBookNerd (video at the bottom of this post). So while I’m apparently too old to go trick or treating, here’s a treat for you all!

1. Favourite horror or Halloween-themed song?

Thriller, I LOVE  this song and the video and the cover artwork. I remember listening to it as a kid and the laugh scaring me but loving it anyway.
2. Name something you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark forest or in an abandoned building.

A zombie.
3. Have you ever played with an Ouija Board?

Nope, nope, nope.
4. Favourite horror monster or villain?

Dracula.
5. The creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?

Feeling deep cold around me when it’s warm, like something was there… not ruling it out.
6. If you were dared to spend the night in a “haunted house”, would you do it?

Run the hell away.
7. Are you superstitious?

Yes, I wish I wasn’t but I am. I don’t tempt anything!
8. Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

I definitely do
9. Which urban legend scares you the most?

I don’t actually know any!
10. Do you prefer gore or thrillers?

Thrillers every time.
11. Do you believe in multiple dimensions or worlds?

No, I don’t think so.
12. Ever made a potion of any sort?

I used to mix everything up in the bathroom to make ‘potions’ as a kid.
13. Do you get scared easily?

I definitely do! I’m not a fan of scary!
14. Have you ever played Bloody Mary?

Nope!
15. Do you believe in demons/the devil?

No, I believe in something afterlife but not demons or the devil.
16. You’re home alone but you hear footsteps in your house, what do you do?

Grab something heavy and hide.
17. If you got trapped in one scary movie, which would you choose?

Umm can I choose none of them? Or a ‘scary movie’ because they’re meant to be funny…
18. If you could only wear one Halloween costume for the rest of your life, what would you be?

Hogwarts Student, I feel like that’s going to be happening a lot in the next few years.
19. would you ever go to a graveyard at night?

No, no, no!
20. In a zombie apocalypse, what is your weapon of choice?

I feel like a baseball bat is a good weapon of choice. I wouldn’t trust myself with a gun.
21. Would you rather go to a Halloween party or go trick or treating?

Trick or Treating every time!
22. You’re in a horror movie. Are you the final girl, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I’d like to think I was a final girl but I’d probably end up dying first haha.
23. Do you have to watch something happy after watching a horror movie so you can go to sleep?

Why would you watch a horror movie before sleeping! What is this madness!
24. Whilst watching scary movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, the person with their eyes covered the whole time or the person who falls asleep?

I go between shouting at the characters and hiding behind my hands.
25. Are you the one who gets scared, or the one who does the scaring?

The one who gets scared, I’m a total scardy cat.
26. Favourite scary book?

Ohh that’s a tough one! Jane Eyre I think. I loved how creepy and gothic it was!
27. How old were you when you saw your first horror movie?

I think I watched part of one when I was 11 or 12 maybe just a clip? I’ve generally just avoided horror films.
28. What was your first Halloween costume?

My Mum informs me that I was a pumpkin.
29. What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

I was a Hogwarts student for my best friends Halloween party and Wednesday Addams for Comic Con.
30. If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf), what would you pick?

A black cat, hands down. I get to look after Ali’s Mum’s black cat Suki and she is beautiful!

There are my answers! Let me know your replies in the comments!

Check out Cici’s video below!

I’m Not Going to Miss October – Life Update.

It’s been a funny old month and although I was really looking forward to it initially, I’m not a fan of October 2017. This month my life has, again, completely changed in a way that I didn’t expect, although that might not be a bad thing, in the long run, I’m still working that out.

At the beginning of October, I lost my job, something which was a complete shock for me. It completely knocked me off balance. I had a lot of self-doubts, a lot of questions, a lot of stress. Following that, I had my bank cards eaten by a machine, a nasty case of tonsillitis and ended up in Accident & Emergency. It was pretty tough for a few weeks. Why am I writing about this though? Why am I posting about it on the internet?

When I started this blog I wanted to be honest about what my life is like, initially at university and now as a graduate. I didn’t want to mislead those of you who read my blog. It’s been emotionally and mentally draining to go pick myself up again and go on the job hunt when I wanted to just cry.

It hasn’t all been negative. Ali’s come home from tour and having him here has been wonderful. Having company again and someone to wake up to and wish me luck as I leave.

I’m determined to make November better, to be back in work and back on track heading towards 2018.

When Your Confidence Takes a Hit

Hello, hello, hello!

It’s been a little while since I’ve spoken about how I’ve been feeling lately, which was how this blog started in the first place. I mean it’s, possible, that I’ve been doing this on purpose, maybe.

Almost 3 weeks ago I was let go from a job I quite enjoyed. It was something that happened out of the blue and I went into shock and immediately doubted myself and what I was good for. Which seems like quite a natural response, I think. Either way, I didn’t expect that I’d be looking for a job again, going to interviews again and trying to rebuild myself again.

My relationship with confidence has been a long and interesting one. To a lot of people, I outwardly seem a very confident and savvy person. In fact, in interviews, I’ve been told I’m a very confident person. Yes, I can be. In situations where I pull out my confidence cape and I’m Super Chloe, I can do anything. Then I go home.

I go home and then the cape comes off and I struggle. I wonder what the hell I’m doing, if I’m going to be able to make all of this work. If, in the next 5 years, I will have to go through it again.

We all know that, in life, we’re going to have highs and lows. There’s going to be times when it completely floors you and your confidence. I’ve been dealing with that a lot in the past few years and trying to piece myself back together and carry on.

I’m taking steps to be more confident and to embrace whatever happens in my life. It’s hard but sometimes you need to be your own cheerleader, know your strengths and ignore those who want to put you down. It’s such a tough internal struggle for all of us but, to me, carrying on is the only option.