5 Things I Learnt in 2018

5 Things I Learnt in 2018

In a word, 2018 has been intense. I’ve felt like I’ve been pulled in every direction but I’m a world away from where I started the year. When I thought about how I wanted to write about the year I was a bit conflicted, I didn’t want to make it look like everything was perfect but didn’t want to moan.

So, why not put a positive spin on the crappy times from this year? Instead of thinking about how much things sucked, I wanted to look at what I learnt from them. Do any of you try to do that too? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

My own happiness is important

This seems quite obvious but it’s something I neglected for a long time. I thought the aim was to work as much as possible, that’s it. It didn’t matter if I couldn’t do anything at the weekend because I was so exhausted or my skin was an angry spotty mess because of stress. This was life right?

Wrong. I started prioritising what was important to me and what I wanted out of my life. I still don’t have the perfect balance (I probably never will) but I’m working on it.

Sometimes doing the scary thing is the best thing

Going freelance was slightly terrifying. When my job was no longer needed I didn’t know what to do. I did what I thought I was meant to do. Applying for more office based jobs, trying to find something closer to home.

I didn’t think anyone would hire me as a freelancer, and besides it was too much of a risk. But I posted on Linkedin, chatted to a few people I knew and within a month I had started in a job I could only dream of. I’m finally happy and the fear was worth it. Doing this comes with it’s own challenges but I’m ok with that.

Standing up for your own body is important

My body isn’t always kind to me but knowing when something is normal and when it’s not is so important, especially this year. I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, after knowing something wasn’t right. That was the first step. Similarly, knowing when side effects of medication was too much was also important.

Later in the year, I had to really push myself to disagree with medical professionals to get help. After a lot of misdiagnosis I had a few days in the hospital, we’re still not clear what exactly happened but I was firm with my doctors that something wasn’t right and needed investigation – or at least pain relief!

Finally, I had to deal with a dismissive Gynaecologist who refused to acknowledge my own feelings about the Coil. After talking to a brick wall, I thought about my options and replaced my implant – as I knew the pill would impact my mental health and was pleased I listened to my body as it was exactly what I needed!

I’m allowed to say no or walk away

I used to feel like I owed something to the person who employed me, loyalty and positivity at all times no matter what. I thought jobs were meant to be for the longest amount of time possible. Wrong.

Much like being in charge of my own happiness, I’m allowed to say no to things! I’m allowed to walk away if I don’t feel like I’m being respected. At times, these had consequences but I’m proud of myself for actually putting my own sanity first.

I am a badass!

There, I said it and I’m going to keep saying it! I haven’t given up or given in this year when things got tough and I’m pretty damn proud of myself.

What have you learnt in 2018? I’d love to know!

2018 so far

How’s 2018 going so far?

Getting towards the end of last year I was nervous, I didn’t know what 2018 was going to bring and I was a little scared. I had a really shitty time last year and I didn’t know how much more I could deal with. So, how’s 2018 been so far? 3 weeks in.

In the last 3 weeks, I’ve started to feel something that I haven’t in a long time, and if I’m honest I’m almost afraid to say it, but I’m feeling hopeful. That’s not to say I’ve gotten into a ‘new me’ phase, I certainly haven’t, I have just carried on living my life as it is but it’s been ok.

So far I’ve already seen positive steps in where I want my career to go. I’ve been working on my blog and thinking about what I want to do and where I want to go with it. I’ve had conversations about the future. Am I optimistic? I guess, but I’m more cautiously optimistic than anything. I’m just working my hardest and hoping that it’ll get me where I want to go this year.

As my readers know, I set goals at the beginning of the year and I’m working towards them in a chilled out way. I’ve been working on my goal of getting to 5000 Twitter followers this year and I’m already a quarter of the way there (you can follow me here). I’ve noted down a few ideas towards my novel and I am working my ass off.

I don’t know if this year will be better or not. I don’t know if this is a great start leading to an even better year. For me though, having hope after a really tough year is a great thing. I’m moving forward and I have a game plan, so 3 weeks in I’m happy and hopeful.

How has 2018 been for you? What are your goals? Let me know in the comments below!

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!

A new month, a new woman 

It’s not often that people blow their own trumpet, it’s frowned upon to stand up and say, actually I’m pretty damn awesome. It’s something I’ve got a history of struggling with and I’ll bet most of you do too. I’m more than certain it’s an ingrained British thing. We’re not supposed to shout about being great like our American cousins across the pond. But what if we did? What if we just thought we were cool?  I had that moment a few weeks ago. I felt like a new woman and that maybe, just maybe, things could get better from here. It’s a cautious hope but it’s definitely there. That is because the last 5 weeks of my life have been transformative. I know that sounds a bit sappy, but it has.

It started with leaving my job at Tech Data, I was given gifts and hugs from friends I had made in the three months that I’d been there. The confidence boost after losing my job in April was huge for me. Following that having a week in the sun, just Ali and I gave me a chance, for the first time since graduating, I could just enjoy my time without worry.  And I took a big step for me and my anxiety, I flew home alone, me! Someone who nearly cried when she had to get a bus alone for the first time all the way back in my first year of university.

Getting back and starting my new job I was nervous, of course, I was but something felt good about this job. I quickly started and got stuck in, learn names and met clients. I realised that I could pick things up in good time and maybe, just maybe, this was something that I could really be good at. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but for the first time since graduating I’m not in a constant state of anxiety over my job…and it’s been 4 weeks. That’s a record for me.

On top of that I’ve started dipping my toes into going out. I do like being at home, I love nothing more than having a nice weekend with Ali curled up in the flat. That said, sometimes my anxiety got too much and I would hide, I didn’t want to go outside. Now, I’m slowly planning things. I got to book club once a month, I go to the gym with Abbie, we’ve been out the last two weekends and this weekend I’ll go to Pride in Brighton.

I don’t think I’m cured, that I’m a different person and I’ll never be anxious or depressed ever again, but I do have some hope. I know all too well that the depression is always there, it’s somewhere in my mind and it will come back but I will deal with that when it comes and, of course, Ali will be right by my side.

Sunday Seven: 22 and a half

This week I hit 22 and a half, I know most adults don’t count their half birthdays, but firstly I don’t see myself as an adult and secondly I like using this as a benchmark to take stock of what I’ve done in half a year. I mentioned way back in January that I don’t like making New Years Resolutions, instead, I like to use my year birthday to birthday to see how things I have been going. So let’s take a look back and see what I’ve learnt in the past 6 months.

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You don’t need loads of friends to be happy 

Now I’m back in Basingstoke we don’t have as many friends around, but that really doesn’t matter. I still talk to Joe all the time, although it sucks I can’t just pop and see him. I also have Abbie and Ben on the other side of town. I have a lot smaller group of people that I’m in contact with but it’s really about the quality rather than the quantity.

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The pain of losing someone you love never goes away, you learn how to deal with it

A few weeks after my birthday I lost one of my hamsters. Although, to me they are my babies. Noodle passed away and it broke my heart, I still miss her each and every day and that never stops.

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I want to write, so I’ll goddam write 

Enough messing around, it was time to get serious, get planning and get on with it. We’ll see what happens…

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Having your own space is key to happiness 

We finally moved home! Having our own space has made it much easier for me to relax and have time to myself and Ali.

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It’s ok not to be ok. 

I have a problem with wanting to be perfect. I always have. In the last few months when things have gotten tricky I’ve had to remind myself that I’m allowed to feel tired or overwhelmed, that I’m human. So, I did what I always do and I wrote about it and it made me feel a lot better.

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Leaving a job that isn’t right for you doesn’t make you a failure

Back in November I left my first full-time job for a variety of reasons. I wasn’t happy there and didn’t feel like it was right. When I left, even though I had another job lined up, I felt like a failure because I hadn’t been there long. That said it lead on to bigger and better things and just because it didn’t work out didn’t mean I was a failure.

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Grades aren’t everything. 

For a good few months, I hid my degree certificate. I didn’t want people to know that I wasn’t perfect and didn’t get the first I’d been dreaming about. I hated mentioning it and whenever I did I’d follow up with ‘but I was only 3% off of a first!’ as if getting a 2:1 in literature was something to be ashamed of. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t hurt but at the same time my life was a mess in third year, to come out at all with a degree is fine with me. It now happily sits on my desk while I write.

January Favourites

Hello, hello, hello!

It’s FINALLY the end of January, which is probably my least favourite month of the year. The excitement of Christmas is gone, it’s dark, dreary and everyone is skint. I haven’t been feeling the positive vibes! BUT every month I’m going to share my favourites, this month is fairly random, simply because I haven’t done much but I’m hoping others will be a little more interesting!

Promising to look after myself 

I’ve had a rough old time this January but have tried to spend a little bit of time caring for myself, embracing the Hygge way of life. 

Lady Dates 

Abbie and I had our First Lady date in AGES this month, popping to a little pub for dinner and dessert. I need these little catchups over some dinner, chilled conversation and food by a cosy fire. Shout out to The Weatsheaf in Dummer, top notch as always. 

We moved! 

7 months after graduating we finally got the keys to our new home. While I might be going a little mad waiting for internet I’m so happy to have our own home! 

Birthday Celebrations! 

My littlest cousin Jamie turned one this month, I love seeing my little smiler so happy! 

Getting back into fitness 

I’m starting to try and go to the gym, get a routine and try something new, hence boxing. 

Little treats 

I love the Powerpuff girls, I always have. I was SO happy that my Mum picked these up from Primark for me 😊

Content planning 

There’s going to be lots of fun and new content here! Keep your eyes peeled! 

Ed Sheeran 

Yes he really made the end of the month. I love his new track Castle on the Hill and thanks to my Mum I’m seeing him LIVE in May! Eeeeek! 


Hamski 

As always my little Ham never fails to make me smile ❤ 
I can’t wait to see what February brings! Let me know your favourites from January in the comments below!! 

 

Sunday Seven: Things To Look Forward To In 2017

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Happy New Year!!!

Hello, lovely, lovely people and welcome to 2017! We’re almost a day in and I wanted to share with you some things I’m looking forward to in 2017. Now I’ve said before and I’ll say it again I don’t believe in new years resolutions, nope, nope, nope. I want to spend the whole year setting goals and I know for a fact that I find it harder in the dark winter months to be happy and motivated. So, instead, I focus on things to look forward to! So, here are 7 things I’m looking forward to.

A New Home 

This year at some point Ali and I will move into a new home. It means so much to us and we’re really excited!

Getting Stuck Into Work 

I can’t wait to get even more stuck in with my job, it’s a really exciting time for me. I’m in a company I love and a job I really enjoy, I can’t wait to see what this year brings.

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Carrying On With Spine Recovery 

In the next 8 weeks I should have an appointment for my spinal injections. While I’m absolutely terrified I’m also excited because it’s another chance at relieving the spinal pain I’ve been living with for the past 20 months!

Going on Holiday! 

Ali and I will finally be getting a relaxing break together later in the year, a week in sunny Spain. We haven’t had a relaxing holiday in years so it’ll be a nice time to chill out and spend some time together.

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Improving My Blog 

I’m really focused on my blog and this year I can really focus on it without university work taking up each and every evening. I have some great ideas and plans so keep an eye out!

Celebrating 9 Years 

Yes! The boyfriend and I celebrate 9 years together this year, which is crazy. I’m so lucky to have my best friend by my side every day.

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Caring For Myself 

I bought so much stuff from Lush in the sales, meaning I have a lot of bath products for relaxation purposes. I’m really bad at relaxing, I’m always doing something so I need to work on that but this year I can make that time for myself.

What are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below!