23 Things I’ve Learned in 23 Years

Yesterday I turned 23! I’m determined to make this a good year for me and already have some really exciting things planned but it made me think, what have I learned in the past 23 years on this planet? Well, here it goes…

You know your body better than anyone

There have been so many times that I’ve felt something wasn’t right and after being persistent with my doctors or consultants have been proven right. Listen to your own body and don’t be embarrassed to get a second or even third opinion.

You’re allowed to change your mind

I’ve changed my mind on so many things. It’s all part of growing up, adapting and changing. This isn’t always a bad thing! In so many situations you can and will change your mind.

Feminism is incredible 

Just like I said above changing your mind is allowed, I completely changed my mind on Feminism as I got more educated. It’s such a brilliant thing promoting equality, which is why I started my ‘Feminist Friday‘ series.

Everyone makes mistakes 

And that’s ok! It’s definitely a part of growing up. I am still a perfectionist and really struggle when I make mistakes so I have to remember this, almost on a daily basis.

Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever 

This was so hard but I’m a firm believer in this. Some people are meant to be around for a reason and then go.

Fun is what you make of it 

Sometimes I just like grabbing some dinner on a Friday night, others I like going out for a drink, others I like getting an early night. Fun is different for every person! Own it 🙂

Should is a shitty word 

I HATE the word ‘should’. Why is it even a thing! It just stresses us out, no, no, no, no.

 But No is a great one 

I’m still not great at using the word ‘no’ but it’s a powerful one and one to learn how to use.

Me time is so important

It’s not selfish. We all need some time to ourselves and that’s good for you! Personally, I like to curl up and read, write, watch YouTube whatever I feel like!

No one has the right to make you unhappy 

No one at all, whether that be family, friends, partners, colleagues. I spent too long letting other people impact my happiness, no more.

Mental Health is as important as physical health! 

Repeat, repeat, repeat!

If you don’t ask you don’t get

The worst someone can say is no.

How you see yourself isn’t always how others see you 

I’m not always the nicest to myself, think about the way your friends and those who love you see you. Trust me.

A good book is priceless  

Very few things are better.

Sleep is important, not overrated  

It’s so important to get enough sleep. For me if I don’t get enough sleep I feel really poorly. So, to all who tell me sleep is for the weak, I’ll be in my Harry Potter PJs, snuggled up under the duvet.

A few good friends are worth more than  loads of acquaintances

I used to want to be part of a huge friendship group, then I realised I didn’t really want or need to be. What I did want was to have friends who knew and loved me.

Saving money is important but so is treating yourself sometimes 

I saved constantly through uni and was obsessed with saving. It was also driving around in a car from 1996 that I thought would go on forever. Thankfully my family convinced me that maybe it was time to let go and use my savings to buy another car…

The voices in your head don’t always tell the truth 

They can be your worst enemy, don’t listen to it.

Let go of the rigid life plan 

I had a plan, I had a perfectionist plan. I was going to graduate uni with a first, come out and get a good job, save for a house, get married, have children. Then life happened. I broke my spine and that changed everything. I lost my job, that changed everything. I got a job I loved, everything changed again. I’ve let go of a rigid plan and have goals instead.

Find exercise you love, you’ll thank yourself later 

I was always adamant that I hated exercise. I hated PE at school and thought I’d never like exercise. Then I found horse riding and I fell in love with it. Now, post injury,  I quite like the gym.

It’s ok not to be ok 

I will keep saying this until I’m blue in the face, I even wrote a whole blog about it. You can read it here.

There is nothing wrong with a good night in! 

I go ‘out out’ once a month. I save money and get to stay in my PJs, what’s not to love here?

No one really knows what they’re doing

This is the most important lesson. Everyone is winging it, absolutely winging it.

 

Goodbye 22 – Looking Back on a Weird Year

 

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As I write this it’s my last day of being 22 and in the words of Hayley Williams of Paramore ’22 is like the worst idea that I have ever had’, I’m not sad to be turning 23, not at all. I’m pretty happy that I’m walking away from a very, very weird year.

There’ve been so many ups and downs to this year, going to see Britney (a dream since I was a little kid) and spending quality time with my Mum was a great way to start 22 but then I lost my hamster, Noodle a few days later. That set the tone for the rest of the year I think.

I had three jobs, in a year which makes me CRINGE so much! The first had to let go of the marketing department (they were a startup and the money needed to go elsewhere), the second I was incredibly unhappy and being let go was one of the best things that could have happened to me, the third was a temp job for 3 months which made me get enough to gain the confidence I needed to get the role I’m in now, which I love.

Ali and I have had a big year too, we moved into our first flat dealing with everything ourselves, we lost two of our beautiful hamsters, Hamski and Noodle and ended up getting our third, Wickett. We’ve both dealt with making big career decisions and have spent a fair amount of time apart.

So, I guess in this big ramble I’m calling a post I’ll say that 22 was really, really, tough. There was a lot of stress, pain and growing up but coming into 23 I feel like I’m going to have a good year, I’ve gotten through a lot and I just want to get the next part started.

Book Review: Fully Functioning Human (Almost) – Melanie Murphy

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‘I’m just a girl who’s sort of stumbling through life, learning that we all have our own roads to walk – but that it’s still valuable, and rather lovely, to hear about other people’s journeys…’ 

Well, well, well, where do I start when I’m talking about this wonderful book and it’s even more wonderful author. If you didn’t know, Melanie is a Youtuber and a damn good one at that talking about life and sexuality, body positivity, Game of Thrones. So when I heard she was releasing a book I was all over this.

This book covers so much in a mere 300 hundred pages but the best part is that it feels like she’s chatting to you. This is totally in Melanie’s voice and it helps because it’s like a friend is talking to you and chatting about life, the good and the bad.

The book is divided into sections Media and My Mind, Food & Body, Beauty & Confidence, Sex & Sexuality, Love & Happiness. You can tell that in each of the chapters Melanie has poured her heart and soul into each page, without it being soppy.

While of course it has Melanie’s signature positive outlook, something which she credits partially to the Law of Attraction ( I LOVED this) but it doesn’t hide the darkness and I think that’s what I loved most, the openness. All of her struggles and flaws are laid out, to make you feel like we’re all going through the same thing. She talks about her struggles with Eating Disorders, Anxiety, Depression, Acne and also about deeply personal things such as her miscarriage.

I felt there was a perfect balance within the book of the silliness I love Melanie’s channel for and the openness. I didn’t it would impact me as much as it did, but thanks to Melanie I confronted one of my own personal issues, emotional eating  and now I’m taking steps to not use it as a crutch.

This is an incredible book, whether or not you watch Melanie I would recommend this to any young adult who wants to feel like they’re not the only one struggling along. I would also recommend catching up with her Youtube channel . I gave this four stars ****, Melanie is a brilliant writer and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Long Distance Love.

It’s been a week and a half since Ali packed up and headed off on a tour bus for two months. This is our first experience at long distance, it’s never been something that we actually had to do and while we were expecting it to happen eventually this came around a lot quicker than we initially anticipated.

So, what’s it been like so far? I think it helps that Ali’s been working a lot of lates and has been away over the summer. That said, it’s definitely not easy. We don’t get that long to talk on the phone which is tough, thankfully we can text and on his day off we can Facetime. We’ve been side by side since we were kids and I think the longest we’ve gone without seeing each other is a few weeks, it’s odd.

There’s definite loneliness and I think the thing I miss most is having everyday access to hugs. Which wasn’t something I thought I would be bothered about, but there we are! This is definitely a learning curve and every day I am so proud of the great job he’s doing, but at the same time I’m definitely looking forward to having cuddles when I next see him.

Typo Haul!

I found a new shop to share my love for all things organisation, stationary EVERYTHING! I went back to my old stomping ground of Kingston a few weeks ago and I’d heard about this shop, looked it up online, nothing could prepare me for my excitement and wants to buy all the things! So, when payday came and so did a 30% off sale online I had to treat myself, just a little bit. So, how about a long overdue haul?!

First of all, can we please appreciate the packaging. This came and genuinely fooled my boss into thinking that I’d been sent this massive present (I wish). This is the most amazing packaging and I love it. It was also really well packed, a lot of protection. I’ll be ordering again.

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Doughnut cushion – £15

Ali and I saw this in the Kingston store and I fell in love with it, next on my list is the burger. It’s so comfy and bright. It looks awesome in my living room.

iPhone Lenses Macro and Wide Lens – £7.00 

Ali picked these up first and after seeing how cool they were and the detail you can get (on the right is my sofa using the Macro lens). I know that there are other sets available too so I’m hoping I can pick those up too!

Notepads – £2.50 

I could have bought so many more of these. They have amazing designs and even some of The Simpsons. As you all know I love a good positive quote and these were perfect.

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Varsity Laptop Case 13’3 inches – £20 

I’ve needed a new laptop case for so long, I saw this and fell in love with it. This is one of my favourite colours and it’s just such a beautiful design. I’ve seen a matching bottle too!

 

If you want to look at these or some of the amazing other stuff that’s in my wish list then you can visit the Typo website! I know where my birthday money is going to go!  This is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share my love for a new brand I’ve found! I hope you guys love it too!

August Favourites!

Let’s jump right in and see what I’ve been loving in August!

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Books 

This month it’s been quite a slow reading month I just really couldn’t get into it. The silver lining though is that I’ve loved the books I have read. I finally got my copy of Our Super American Adventure by Sarah Graley which is absolutely awesome, I’ve met Sarah before and love her artwork and stories about her relationship. I also finished what I think is going to be one of my top books this year, My Shitty Twenties by Emily Morris, an honest account of being a single mother in your twenties and still being badass, you can read my review here. I also kept seeing the Andrew Morton book Diana Her True Story and decided to download it on Audible it’s a tough book and I did think it was interesting but incredibly sad on the 20th anniversary of the princess’s death. And finally Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is just amazing, meant for children but should be read by EVERYONE! My gushing review is here.

 

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Watching 

Is there anything else to talk about this month? Of course, there’s not. Game of Thrones is over for another season and this one was everything I hoped it would be. I’m not going to post spoilers, because that just not cool. All I’ll say is the following for people who have watched the finale, they deserved that and oh lordy what a beautiful sight. Now I have to wait for the next season…my Dad has already tagged me in a countdown timer.

 

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Fashion and Beauty

I did a whooooole post about my little haul this month over here. So head over for all the info you need to know!

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Brighton Pride

I went to my first ever Pride and I can honestly say it was the best party I’ve ever been to. It was fun and flamboyant and there was glitter everywhere! I got to sit in a giant deck chair, dance in an 80s disco and I ended up sponsoring a dog…yep (wine may have been involved). I wrote a whole post about 7 reasons you should go next year!

General

This month started off on a good note with a trip to Pizza Express with my ‘spec squad’, that’s me, Abbie and Sarah to celebrate our new little group. It’s been a month of spending time with people I love. Ali went to Brighton and Scotland this month for work, and bought me home Charlie the Highland Cow from the latter, he’s adorable (the cow I mean, although Ali’s ok I suppose). It’s also had milestones with my little sister getting into college! I also went to see 80s super popstars Bros at the O2 in London, which was actually a brilliant laugh with my Mum, sister and mum’s best friend. I also may have gotten a new cauldron mug from the new Primark collection…maybe. And last but not least I’ve been spending as much time as possible with Ali, including on our 9 year anniversary, before he heads off on tour tomorrow!!

 

My favourite posts 

Feminist Friday with …. Jess Willby 

A new month, a new woman 

Nine years, new adventures 

 

What have your favourites been this month? Let me know in the comments below!

My Boyfriend’s Leaving Me For Two Months?!

You may or may not know that my lovely boyfriend Ali is a Sound Engineer. Last year he graduated with a first in Creative Music Technologies and he’s been working various sound jobs ever since. Over the summer he’s been off all over the country doing live sound from our local Basingstoke Live, to Brighton Pride. Things have been going well, but we thought it would be a little while before he headed off on tour. Not so much.

On Sunday I’ll be waving him off on a tour months as he prepares to tour the UK as an engineer. Living his dream. We’ve been busy the past few weeks getting everything ready, replacing some of his equipment that was stolen and generally just spending time together.

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The weird thing though, people keep asking me if I’m ok. I understand it but I just brush it off. You see Ali and I have been together for nine years, in those nine years the longest time we’ve been apart is 2 weeks. We have our own lives but I like knowing I get to wake up next to him every morning. So the fact I won’t for 2 months is very weird to me.

It’s going to be a new challenge and adventure for us. I do get to visit the tour and see what he’s up to and I have a lot planned, especially on my birthday! I’m excited for him, nervous for me. I’ll be blogging throughout about my long distance love, so let’s see what I get up to…

Any tips for long distance? Let me know in the comments below!