The Pros and Cons of Long Distance!

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that my boyfriend and I have to make long distance work. He’s a Sound Engineer which means he can be away anything from two nights to two months, well, that’s the longest run so far.

If you’d have asked if a few years ago if I thought long distance could work for me I would have said no, but life changes and shit happens. I’m super proud of what he’s achieving but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. So, I thought why not let you know what think the pros and cons of long distance are.

img_5082

Pro: You really appreciate the time you have together

I am in such a good mood when Ali is home. I’ll hang out with him all weekend, sometimes we’ll get breakfast together, other times we’ll just do our own thing but like that the other one is in the house.

Con: You can end up having to go to a lot of events alone 

It’s only been a year since Ali started working as a full-time Sound Engineer but there have been a lot of birthdays, events and things that I’ve gone to alone or am planning to go to alone. I can be a little sad, particularly when there’s a lot of couples around.

Pro: You’re made to be independent and have your own interests 

I’m very independent and that’s something that’s been enhanced with Ali’s job. I’ll quite happily spend time alone, I can find things to do, go out and see friends. On the boring side, I  cook, clean, sort out my car etc.

Con: It can get pretty lonely at times 

On the flip side, it can get pretty lonely at times. The house can get really quiet, the bed can feel too big. I go visit my Mum and have a cuppa with her quite a bit when Ali’s away, message people etc. I might be introverted but I also need a bit of company sometimes!

Pro: You always have something to talk about each day 

When he’s travelling there’s always interesting things going on, stories from the tour bus etc so we always have things to talk about. On my end I have stuff to tell him too, although they’re normally not as exciting as his.

Con: There’s not always a lot of time to talk! 

There can be so little time to talk, I might be in meetings all day, he might have a double show day. Or if something really exciting happens (like when I got taken on permanently at work) I have to wait to tell him.

Pro:  Getting the bed to yourself 

Spreading out with no one stealing the covers, I’m not mad about it.

Con: Distinct lack of cuddles 

Although cuddles are lovely and I miss them a lot.

Pro: You realise what really matters  

I think it’s changed our relationship a lot. There’s no point in me getting angry because he’s away on my birthday. He doesn’t get irritated when I don’t spend every second of time with him when he’s home. We don’t need fancy meals or an Instagram worthy couple shot because it is such small stuff to worry about.

Con: Big life decisions can be difficult 

People ask me about kids a lot, and I get a lot of weird sympathy which makes no sense at all to me. I wouldn’t want Ali to change a job he loves for kids, I wouldn’t change mine so to make that decision I’d need a big support network. It’s not something we’re thinking about for a long while but it is just a part of how long distance works.

 

What are your pros and cons for long distance? Let me know in the comments below!

Long Distance Love – Visiting on Tour!

 

Sunday night I got to experience a bit of what has been Ali’s day to day life for the past month. I finally got to visit and see the tour, because it was finally in a venue close enough for me to drive down and watch. Sunday night it was at the Hexagon in Reading, about a 40-minute drive for me.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Ali at work and I’ve never seen him doing something of this size so it’s a totally different situation to when I normally hang out at a venue with a cider and just chill. I got to the venue about 5pm to catch sound check and see the rest of the crew. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I was so amazed by Natalie Lowe’s dancing I just stood and couldn’t take my eyes off her (yep, I looked like a weirdo).

I got to go on a little tour of the venue before going to sit on the Tour Bus and hang out. It felt so strange seeing Ali’s bunk and his life when he’s not with me and knowing we had about an hour to chill out, talk and get tickets before he went off to work and I found my seat.

I’ve never seen a show like it. Just the energy, the music, the happiness from both the performers and audience. It made me want to learn to dance and made me appreciate how hard everyone on that tour works to make it happen every night. So, of course, I was proud, hell I was bursting with pride, my boy is a part of this incredible show! I even saw his dancing at the side of that stage.

It was hard, at the end of the night leaving him to pack up and get on a bus while I went back to my car to drive home. There were a few tears as I drove home. It’s tough, no matter how much I know he loves it and is having a great time, there’s a small part of me that wishes he was coming home too.

Now that’s it, I’ll see him in 3 weeks! Let’s see what the final 3 weeks hold!

Long Distance Love: 28 Hours, 22 Days.

I haven’t seen my boyfriend in 22 days, 3 weeks and a day. Now, I know there are people who go without seeing their partners for even longer than that! That said, this is our first go at having a long distance relationship while Ali’s away touring with Rip It Up as a Sound Engineer. So when on the first day he told me he would have one day to come home I booked it off immediately, he was mine for a matter of hours.

So, I did what any girlfriend would do, I got up and went to get him in the pouring rain at 3.30 in the morning. I couldn’t stop smiling from the second I got in my car to when I fell asleep an hour later. The best part? We spent most of the day doing nothing. We slept until 11am, cuddled together. We got up and had breakfast, watched Rick and Morty, sat together. I baked while he used his computer. We napped together.

We had 28 hours to make up for 22 days of each others company. I know for a fact I am way more soppy and sentimental about all this, he will admit that. Ali is a lot more chilled and laid back than I am, he always has been. Do I get insecure? Yes. Do I miss him like crazy? Of course. We spoke about this, I told him how I was dealing with it better than I thought, he told me that he was so busy all day he didn’t have much time to think about missing home.

It’s something I didn’t expect us to be doing so soon but if yesterday made anything clear to me, it’s that we’re very much in love. Despite the fact we can only really FaceTime once a week, we can text, call and just know the other one is there. I didn’t think this experience would make me love him more, somehow it has. Wow, how soppy is that. We need to get back to our mocking of each other soon!

I guess I’m writing because if you’d told me 5 years ago we’d be making this work while he was away on for chunks of the year I wouldn’t have believed you. I would have screamed and kicked and said we wouldn’t do that, we couldn’t. The thing is we’ve grown together and as Ali said to me, I’m not 16 anymore, I have my job, my friends, my own life and hobbies at 16 he was absolutely everything to me. Don’t get me wrong he’s still my best friend and my world but he needs to do his thing, I need to do mine.

All in all, I miss him while I write this but when I dropped him off at 7.30 this morning I didn’t cry, I smiled cause I just felt pretty lucky. Those 28 hours will do for now, I am looking forward to getting him home for a bit longer than that though!

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.

IMG_8145

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!

Yes, your butt looks big in that – honesty in relationships

IMG_8145

It’s a long standing joke, the question, ‘does my butt look big in this?’ Most of the time when watching films, usually a comedy, the partner will exclaim ‘of course not!’, without thinking they will boost your ego. But, what if it does make your butt look big? I’m talking about honesty in general, of course, there are a lot more pressing issues than how your bottom looks in a new piece of clothing. A lot of us say we want a completely honest relationship but if your significant other was to tell you that it did, what would you do? Or would you tell your partner your true feelings?

Ali is an honest person, he always has been. If I ask him for his opinion he’ll tell me. I once asked him if he thought I’d put on weight, he told me ‘yes’ but went on to say if I wanted to do anything about it, he would help me, if not, that’s fine too. We’ve been this way for a long time, even as teenagers he would call me out on my BS. If I was having an argument with a friend and went too far he would tell me. Of course, there have been little white lies, I’m sure. I’m not going out with a saint.

What is great is that it will work both ways, I’ll tell him when I think he’s being too nice or if I have a different opinion on work for example. Have we had arguments form being honest with each other? Of course. Is it always nice? Nope. That said, I’d rather the person I trust the most tell me than him let someone else because he’s too scared to, what kind of relationship is that?

I’m not saying it’s easy, because it’s not. It’s taken us nine years to get to this point. Where we know how to say it as well as what to say without hurting the other person’s feelings. Instead of saying ‘your butt looks huge it’s a no go’, he might say, ‘I’m not sure it shows off your shape that well’ instead. See, honest that it’s not the right dress, not cruel.

What are your tips and troubles with being honest in relationships?

Let me know in the comments below!

The Truth About Being in a Long Term Relationship

A lot of people in my life ask me about my relationship. Ali and I have been together for almost 9 years. We met at school and have been together since the ages of 13 and 14. This isn’t common and I only know one or two other couples who are in a long-term relationship in their early twenties.  There is this fascination whenever new people find out about us and there are a LOT of questions, so I thought why not make a blog post about them.

Do you ever feel like your missing out? 

No, not really. I’m in a relationship where we can do what we want to do. There’s no asking permission or anything like that. I’ll check we haven’t planned anything before finalising plans with friends, out of politeness. I can do what I like and so can he so I don’t feel like I miss anything.

Is it easier now you’ve met someone? 

I don’t have the same stresses in terms of relationships that my friends have, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t without struggles. We’ve been together 9 years so of course, we have disagreements and arguments. I wouldn’t say it’s easier, it takes patience, time and love!

What’s the best part of being with someone for that long? 

We got to grow together. We’ve literally seen each other through our awkward teenage years, through becoming who we are at university. We’ve seen some of the worst parts and some of the best. That’s really special because I’ve seen him become the man he is today and I love it.

Do you have to compromise? 

Of course, we’re two individuals with different opinions.

Dude, why aren’t you married yet?

Do you know how EXPENSIVE it is to get married?! It’s something we’d like to do some day but right now we’re pretty chill living together.

Do you feel like you’re just part of a couple? 

People often think of us as ‘Chloe & Ali’ but I still feel like an individual. I know what I like, he knows what he likes. We have similar friends but different careers, different thoughts and opinions. I think that’s really important in a healthy relationship.

What advice do you have? 

Other people’s opinions can be the worst thing for a relationship. There’s no set way to have a relationship, no strict timeline. As long as there is trust, friendship and respect then you do you!

Sunday Seven: Seven Things My Weekends Are Made For

pexels-photo-57627-large

Lie Ins 

I try not to make plans before 12pm, after 5 days of having to get up early a lie in is all I want most weekends.

pexels-photo-large

Baking

I’m not keen on actually cooking, but baking is entirely different. There’s no pressure if you’re just baking for yourself or for family and, you know, it’s less likely you’ll go disastrously wrong with cookies or cupcakes.

coffee-cup-mug-apple-large

Sofa Days 

Being able to curl up with a duvet or big blanket, usually with a stack of books and mug of tea is one of my favourite parts about the weekend.

pexels-photo-103886-large

Good Food 

I don’t stress about what I eat at the weekends. If I want a burger, I get a burger. If I want to eat a bag of cheese puffs, I eat a bag of cheese puffs. Life’s too short to be constantly worrying about what you eat and I’m speaking from experience.

11930889_10154225071528206_8684867348378646063_o

Travelling

Depending on where you want to go, a weekend or long weekend can be the perfect time to go exploring. Last weekend I was up in Durham , I’ve also spent a few days in Amsterdam before. Now that we’re working, Ali and I are also looking at going to different places across the UK for the weekend. I love a good relaxing weekend but exploring is great too.

IMG_0154

 Quality Time

The best part about the weekend for me is being able to spend quality time with the people I love. Waking up and dozing with Ali on a Saturday morning, not having to rush to get up and get showered just makes me so happy. It’s definitely the little things.

IMG_7225

Book Bingeing 

If I have a free day, I read. It’s as simple as that. I love curling up with a good book (or three) and just blissfully enjoying reading. Since finishing uni I don’t have the time to read as much as I used to, simply because I drive to work, rather than getting the bud everywhere. With that in mind weekends are the best, you can stay up late reading Friday and Saturday with no consequences, win!

Of course there are so many other things I could have added to this list but these are just a few. What do you like spending your weekends or days off doing?

Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Sunday 7 – 7 Things I’ve Learnt Since Breaking My Spine

I’ve been feeling fairly emotional in the last few weeks about today. It’s been one year since breaking my spine and I just feel kind of weird about it. I broke down in tears after a particularly bad pain day, because I’m still in all this pain a year later. I just felt so fed up but then I had a hug with Ali and he reminded me of what I’ve been saying to myself for the past 12 months. I may be in pain but I’m still here and I’m still walking. What happened to me was bad enough but it could have been a lot worse! I’ve also really grown as a person in the past year, my opinion on life has changed and I’m truly grateful. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I’m glad it happened, it changed a lot and I didn’t have the best year BUT I am really proud of myself, how I’ve reacted and what I’ve learnt.

You can have all the ridged plans you want, but life doesn’t work that way.

IMG_3640

Before the accident, I had a plan of how my life would go and it would go that way. I was like I’ll graduate then and I’ll go straight to my masters, then my Phd. I’ll have a house by this time, a dog, a child, another child, I WILL HAVE CONTROL. I learnt after the accident that life can throw ANYTHING at you, there was a point where I physically couldn’t walk. Of course, I didn’t plan that, no one plans almost losing the ability to walk. It made me realise that I can’t have this idea of infinite control, so I’ve let go a little. Things will happen as they do, I only have so much control.

Stop being so hard on yourself! 

Recovery was hard, super hard. I constantly get told by my physiotherapists, pain specialists, lecturers, family, Ali that I need to stop being so hard on myself. They’d remind me all the time this wasn’t a small break, this was a huge part of my body trying to fix itself. So what if I put on weight, if I didn’t get the top grade in my class. I realised striving to be great is good but I don’t have to be perfect all the time.

The human body is a beautiful and amazing thing.

For a long time after the accident and sometimes still now I resented my body. I hated that it had broken in such a simple fall, I hated the stretch marks that had bloomed all over my thighs, I hated the fact people commented on how much weight I’d put on and I hated that I didn’t fit into any of my clothes. I had a realisation at a point that I just thought my body has been doing so much work. It’s literally been healing the main pillar in my body that hold everything together, that’s amazing.

img_6822-1

When you’re sick enough, you can cope with your hatred of needles/hospitals/ claustrophobia. 

I still hate needles, I will always hate needles BUT when you’re sick enough (like when I was in the hospital earlier in the year) you get on with it. I still don’t like hospitals (who does) but now it’s just another place I have to go sometimes. I won’t lie having my MRI and CT scans were pretty nerve wracking and claustrophobic but the people running them understood that. Basically you can get through a lot more than you think you can.

The gym is better than any therapy session and any religion. 

IMG_5884

If you’d have asked me a year ago about loving the gym I would have laughed at you, now I’m stressed when I CAN’T go. The gym is a love and an obsession and I can’t wait to get back into routine and slowly keep building my muscles and be in so much better shape than I was a year ago.

It’s ok to have days where it all feels like too much. 

You’re only human, you need these days, it’s okay!

The people who stick around are the ones that are meant to be there. 

img_6433

My relationships changed a lot after the accident, I lost a lot of people and I gained some others. More than anything I learnt that the people that are meant to be there will be. I also learnt that some people are in your life for a certain amount of time and that’s okay too. I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason.

So far, so good

I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t too keen on 2016. Now I know that the clock wasn’t going to strike 12 and my life was going to change but I was wary about it. That said we’re a week into 2016 and so far, so good. I can’t say that I’ve done anything spectacular and I haven’t had a lot of sleep but that’s ok. I’ve spent the beginning of this year how I mean to go on, looking after myself. My only regret so far is that I haven’t been able to go to the gym yet because I had my implant put in Tuesday and it’s still sore, but hopefully I’ll go next Tuesday morning and start my routine again.

I have had a first good week though

  • I’ve got stuff done that I needed to get on with.
  • I’ve lost a stone so far and I’m closer to my goal weight for my height
  • I’ve had a lot of good ideas for creative stuff, I mean they usually come to me at 1am but ideas are ideas.
  • I got my implant redone on my own (braveness points up)
  • I’ve become obsessed with to do lists – not even sorry
  • I went on my first double date! Ali and I went to a local Italian restaurant with Ben and Abbie before chilling with drinks at home
  • I got a first on my Creative Project! I was absolutely dreading getting the mark for this back after having to completely rewrite my piece of creative writing it in a week but I did it and managed a first, a great confidence boost.

All in all 2016 is doing well so far and I’m hoping that it gets even better. I really want to work with my mentor how how I’m going to handle all the changes too and feel a little bit more in control and not let my anxiety and depression take over.

 

Milestones

I’ve been thinking lately about milestones. I don’t know what it was exactly but I’m guessing it’s a combination of turning 21 (which I don’t understand why it’s a big deal in the UK), seeing more and more of the people I went to school with having children and getting engaged and a lot of my other friends graduating, starting careers and all that jazz. To put it simply milestones freak me out, I’m sure they do for most people. You’re supposed to do this, do that at a certain age, a certain time. For girls there’s a choice between being a mother and being a career woman, because we’re told we can’t have it all.

In some ways I’m lucky, I found the love of my life when I was 13 years old and we live together. Now we’re more than happy together, we’re both doing degrees we love and have careers that we want, but for everyone else it’s not enough. Everyone asks me when we’ll get married, when we’ll have a baby (never if). I just feel a bit stuck and part of that is because I am a woman. Ali NEVER gets asked when he’ll be a father, he’s asked about his job and what he’s going to do for work, it’s all pretty frustrating. I know that I’m an intelligent woman and I have big aspirations, so why do people ask about these ‘traditional’ things.

I’m in no way saying that people my age shouldn’t be married or have children, most of the women in my family had babies by the time they were my age and they’ve all taught me so much. My best friend became a mother at 17 and she’s one of the most awesome ones I know.The thing is my dream right now is walking across that stage to pick up my degree, being able to treat myself with money I’ve earnt and being happy. I will have children, I’d love to be a mum at some point but I wish people would understand there is so much more to me than the fact I can grow a human. I liked this picture below, it definitely made me smile.

0fa7ea56c0067b3e8747a2011f376ee1

This isn’t an anti-children post, which is how some will read it, it’s just a frustration that sometimes I’m judged by these milestones when I have other amazing things going on. I hate that I have to think about body clocks and all that crap when I’m trying to plan things out about where I want to be in my life, because I’ve been bombarded with media listing risks and problems. Like I said why am I even thinking about this as a twenty year old!

I appreciate that this post might not make much sense, I don’t even know if it does to me, but I can’t be the only one who feels like this. Who knows how I’ll feel in a month, a year or ten but I just want it to be on my own terms, not because of supposed milestones and other people’s ideas of what happiness is.