5 Things I’ve Gained From Jobs I’ve Had Since Graduating.

When I left university I thought I would get a job, stay in that job for a few years and not even have to think about another one until I wanted to. With hindsight I laugh at myself then, because what I didn’t know is that it’s simply not the case. 

From the examples I’d had in my life you worked in one place for a long time, people in my family had worked at the same place for over 10 years sometimes – they might have changed roles but they were with that company. The thing is, that didn’t seem to apply with me. 

I’ve moved around a fair few times since graduating. For some, it was simply the fact that my position wasn’t needed anymore and so my contract ended, from others I wasn’t right for the role and let go and some were simply short term contract roles. In some of those I was miserable and leaving was the best thing I did…but when I was made to leave I couldn’t help but feel like a failure. But, with the gift of hindsight I realised I actually learnt a lot.

Doing a good job is important but so are boundaries.

I’ve always been an overachiever, but I had to learn about boundaries. I would work and work and work way past what I should have been.

I needed to learn to separate my work life and my home life. To know that my job wasn’t my entire life (although this gets a little more difficult when you are working for yourself). I learnt that I work to live, not the other way around! It’s an important lesson.

Learning what I want and what I don’t in my personal and professional life

I learnt that I love the world of digital, have a passion for social and like to be creative. Traditional marketing methods never spoke to me short-term and instead of managing campaigns I wanted to be in the thick of it! I wanted to be writing, making, creating.

I also learnt that a 45-minute drive every morning and every night made me miserable, as did a rigid 9-5.30. That the corporate scene bored me and that I needed to enjoy what I was doing.

I have to look after my own health because other people won’t

In more than one of my jobs I felt that I had to hide any health issues I had, even mentioning the word stress was looked down upon. As if I couldn’t do my job.

When I worked late and gave my all, it wasn’t noticed or acknowledged but if I was overworked and got ill or wasn’t my ‘normal self’ it was pulled up. I had to learn the hard way I needed to look after myself because no one in the working world was going to.

Resilience

Every time I got knocked down I got back up again vowing to do better next time. Once, after being told my job wasn’t going to exist anymore I cried, drove back to my home town and immediately got online and started contacting people who might know of some leads.

Did I cry when these happened? Of course, I did, I’m human! Did I have times where I thought I just couldn’t do it and wanted to give up, duh! Somehow I did it.

There are good people in every company, organisation, etc

Ultimately in every single job I’ve had I met wonderful people. People who I’ve stayed in touch with to varying degrees. No matter what there are good people in the world and that’s always a good thing to be reminded of.

What have previous jobs taught you? I’d love to know in the comments below!

My Top 10 Highlights of 2018

My Top 10 Highlights of 2018

We made it to the end of 2018 – wooooooo! It’s been a weird year of up and downs, but I’ve learnt a lot from it. I wanted to share with you just 10 of my highlights from 2018, it was hard to whittle them down! If you’re looking for my bookish favourites of the year you can find those here.

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Paramore

We kicked off the New Year with another trip to see Paramore, our 4th time together. As you can see Ali still doesn’t want to smile for pictures. Despite how it looks we had a great time!

Becoming A Published Poet

Finding out I was being published and then recieving the final product! I’m a published writer!!! I wonder what I can publish in 2019…

London Book Fair 2018

Visiting the London Book Fair

I was invited to attend the London Book Fair as a blogger with my Mum. It was something I wanted to do for a while and it was an interesting day, even if I did feel a little like a deer in headlights.

Hammies

One became…three. I said no more and then Ali and I went to Pets at Home and we saw our little guys BB & Artoo. I’m now a hamster Mum x3 and I absolutely love my little buddies. They really keep me company when Ali’s away.

YALC

I got to go to YALC! A whole day of being around book people, buying books and it was magical. I also got a pretty impressive book haul, which I’m still making my way through. Hopefully I can finish tme all before next year!

Going freelance & starting my business!

I’d been toying with the idea of going freelance for a few months but thought it was something I would never be able to do, until I had to! I’m now living life as a freelancer and absolutely LOVING it!

Six The Musical

Musicals!

I saw not one but two new musicals this year which I didn’t realise how much I missed! When I was younger I was a total musical nut, I even wanted to be a musical theatre actress when I grew up (more on that in another blog).

I loved Heathers enough to see it twice and I’d happily see Six again when it moves back to London. I’m looking forward to getting more shows in 2019!

10 year anniversary

We made it to 10 years! I’ve been lucky enough to spend the past decade with this wonderful human. He’s pretty great.

Disneyland!

I got to go to Disneyland!!! DISNEYLAND. I loved it so much I wrote not one but two blogs. You can read the first one here and the second here.

I Read 115 Books!

After setting my Goodreads goal at 50 so that I didn’t feel any pressure, I managed to double it and then added some! I read some really amazing books (and some not so amazing books).

There are more things and people that I haven’t had a chance to add but here’s to hoping I have an even better 2019!

Top Posts of 2018

My Most Popular Posts Of 2018!

I don’t know about you but I find my analytics absolutely fascinating. Stats might not be everything but year after year I love to see what my readers have been getting up to on my site. So, I thought, why not make a post out of it? 

I’ll always write what I want to write but, at the same time, my blog – and the opportunities I get from it is down to my wonderful readers. On that note I’m going to stop babbling and let you actually read! 

Number 10: Fibromyalgia And Me 

I’m really pleased this post made my top 10, because it was one I was very nervous about posting. I only got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia earlier this year and my reaction was…complicated.

I didn’t want people to see me differently BUT needed to reevaluate parts of my life. Now I feel much better and can be much more open about living with Fibro. The post that started it all is here.

Number 9: I’m Starting Again 

In July I found myself job hunting again and it knocked my confidence. This post was just chatting about how I felt, what I was trying to do and a general update. You can read about it here

Number 8: I’m In A Funk 

Another one of my mental health posts to hit the top 10. I wanted to get out there that I was struggling and comparing myself a lot to others. It was a to the point post about how we look at ourselves and comparison. 

Number 7: Carrying On: Surviving The Past Year 

A post from April about the previous 365 days that had been pretty tough (little did I know this year would have a LOT of ups and downs too!). I like to keep you guys in the loop and this was looking back on how far I’d come.

Number 6: I’m Obese? 

I really wanted to write about body image and expectations because of a few knocks I’d had. Following on from a doctors appointment where I was deemed overweight-obese by my BMI, despite being a size 12-14 I decided to get my feelings down once and for all! 

Number 5: Why I Will NEVER Use An App For Birth Control 

Responding to a worrying idea that people were using a fairly risky app as a way to try and prevent pregnancy got in the top 5. I made my feelings very clear and, actually, had a lot of great conversations about it! 

Number 4: The Pros and Cons Of Long Distance 

I’m in a long distance relationship for chunks of the year. I get asked quite a lot of questions, some weird sympathy and so I wrote about what’s it’s like – and you can check it out here.

Number 3: Taking The Plunge – I’m A Freelancer 

Not something I entirely planned for this year but it happened! I’m planning to do an update on being freelance in the new year too! The blog about how it all started is here

Number 2: Harry Potter Haul: Updated 

One of my most popular blogs EVER was a Harry Potter haul I wrote while at university. So, when I went to London for a Potter filled day shortly after Christmas I came back with a little collection and wanted to share! The updated version is here.

Number 1: Stressed, Depressed, But Well Dressed? 

This is one that really, really surprised me. I wrote the post a few years ago about a top I saw with the slogan on and how I felt about the phrase. Next year I really want to talk more about Mental Health! You can read it here.

So, that’s my top posts of 2018! Thank you to each and every one of you who head read, liked and commented on my posts – it means so much. 

Which of these was your favourite? I’d love to know in the comments below! 

*please note these were the most popular at the time of writing.

November Favourites

November has been and gone and while I am fully extra and in Christmas mode right now, let’s throw it back to what I got up to. November was a crazy busy month and I’m really excited to share it with you all!

Books

I got a good bit of reading in this month, despite the fact that it’s been super busy! My favourites start off with Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook, a collection of poetry that I really connected with – I’ve loved both of her collections and I can’t wait to read more. Up next a true favourite and one for all Feminists – New Erotica For Feminists, this made me laugh so hard and I wrote a review ahead of its release here. And my final two reads were ARCs and I can’t wait to share my full reviews with you in 2019! Pilu of the Woods and The Year I Didn’t Eat were both brilliant reads for different reasons. Keep your eyes peeled.

 

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Films 

From the moment I found out about it I knew I wanted to see Bohemian Rhapsody. I love Queen and think Freddie was one of the greatest showmen on earth. This film was incredible and I was surprisingly emotional watching it. If you haven’t seen it yet make sure you do, you won’t regret it.

Ali’s 25th Birthday 

Not only did I get the boy back from tour at the end of October (yay) it was also his 25th birthday. We spent the day in London as he was working BUT went out with friends the following weekend. Can we take a second to appreciate my hair actually going well to go out, I was so proud of it.

Six The Musical 

Your next favourite musical is here. The six wives of Henry VIII take back the spotlight to tell their stories. I went with my friend Lucy and it was absolutely incredible, I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat. They’re going to go back to London soon and you can read my post all about it here.

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Spice Girls Tickets! 

Yes, I did it. It kicked me out multiple times but I am going to see The Spice Girls in June 2019. I don’t even know how to put my excitement into a paragraph. I’M GOING TO SEE THE SPICE GIRLS (again).

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Muggle Mastermind 

How do you spend your Thursday nights? I meet up with some of my closest friends and go to a Harry Potter quiz. Oh my lord, this was so much fun. There were decorations, super hard questions and prizes. We might not have one but I can’t WAIT for the next one. All the info on the quizzes is here for you.

 

Tonight Alive 10th Anniversary Show 

Ali and I have been fans of Tonight Alive since we were teenagers, so we got tickets to see them at Bush Hall, London for a special acoustic show to celebrate 10 years. It was incredible and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Beautiful.

Vote for me! Badge 2 #UKBA19

The UK Blog Awards!

I’m in the running for a UK Blog Award! You can read all about it and even vote if you want to by clicking here.

Thank U, Next 

If you haven’t been dancing along to this absolute TUNE what are you doing? So I’ve listened to the song constantly and then on the last day of November the Queen Ariana Grande dropped the video. This is a pre-teen dream with most of the dreams I loved watching in one place with my favourite song of the year.

 

What were your favourites in November? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

Muddled Millennial_ The Beginning

Muddled Millennial – The Beginning

As I write this, I am sitting in Cookie Monster Pyjamas, with a doughnut pillow behind my head and an existential crisis brewing in my head. Welcome to my ongoing mid-twenties crisis. Take a seat.

I’d been toying around with writing a few blogs about being a millennial, because everyone seems to think we’re terrible and um, I think we’re kinda okay. Maybe not all of us, but for the most part. I kept putting off writing it because, well, I was procrastinating. It’s as simple as that.

The logical part of my brain is telling me I need to calm down, it will all be fine I am not the only one. Plus, when I googled quarter life crisis there was a HELL of a lot of people feeling the same. So I thought I’d do what any self-respecting millennial with a blog would do, write about it. Standard.

So, you know the crushing panic that comes with being in your mid-twenties? You do? Awesome we’re on the same page. I’m in this weird part of my life where my friends think I have my shit together, I think they do but really we’re all muddling along.

I’m watching my feeds fill up with ‘I said yes!’, baby posts, new jobs, amazing holidays and here I sit, in my pyjamas. The thing is I don’t have a bad life, in fact, I’m fortunate. I have a wonderful partner, a nice home, family and I’m working for myself – so why do I feel so stressed?

When we were kids we thought we’d have everything sorted by 25. I thought I’d have a mortgage, be married with a kid. Have I done any of these things? Nope, not one. I have done cool things – but sometimes even that feels like it’s not enough.

So, this is a kind of muddled, messy introduction to my latest series where I’m going to spill the tea about being a millennial and hopefully get some of you to as well!

Are you also a muddled millennial? Let me know in the comments below!

 

monthly favourites lifestyle blogger

September Favourites!

September favourites, already? Yep, we’re now in the last quarter of the year! No, I don’t know how it happened either. September was a funny old month, there were some excellent parts, and some not so excellent. That said, let’s get cracking with my September favourites.

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Disney

Just in case you missed it, I got to go to Disneyland in September. DISNEY LAND. I had the best time with my Mum and my sister and I won’t gush too much here – so here’s a part 1 AND part 2. You are welcome!

Books 

I didn’t get too much reading done in September but some of them I really did enjoy. I managed to finish an early release copy of Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Ligh (review to come) about a shooting in a women’s health centre. Different to her other novels in the way it was written, but a good read.

I also read Ask Me His Name, which is an important and heartbreaking read about a mother who doesn’t get to bring her son home after his death at 3 days old. My final favourite for the month is Disconnected, a breathtaking collection of short stories and poems. This was amazing and I can’t wait to share my review with you.!

Things to do

I went out a fair bit this month, I went out with some friends for my birthday (absolutely in love with that skirt!). I also met up with my friend Lucy, the first time we’ve hung out without any little ones in 5 years! And last, but not least, I saw the incredible Sarah Millican at one of our local theatres. My face hurt at the end because I was laughing so hard.

Harry Potter 

I spent most of this month building some kind of Lego or other. As I type, Ali has ordered me the Great Hall set for me to carry on with for his final few weeks of the tour. I also picked up this adorable candle from Primark, I wish I had smell-o-vision because it’s so gorgeous.

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Birthday! 

I spent my birthday wrapped up in blankets with the worst cold ever. So, not exactly how I planned it. I did get some absolutely lovely presents. They’re all really grown up as you can see.

General 

And just a few little things that I really loved. Walking in the Autumn sunshine with my lovely Lottie. Also, the cheeky tub of Ben and Jerry’s because I haven’t had any in SO LONG and it was on sale. Just a reminder if you want the Ice Cream, eat the damn stuff because life is too short.

Posts

You Matter  – A post for suicide awareness

18 Good Things That Happened At 23 – Looking back at 23!

Book Review: Tyler Johnson Was Here

10 Reasons Autumn Is My Favourite Season

What were your favourites in September? Let me know in the comments below!

You're Doing Better Than You Think Mental Health Lifestyle Blog

You’re Doing Better Than You Think

Hey you,

Yes you, reading this for whatever reason. I’m going to tell you something that you need to hear right now. You’re doing better than you think you are. Hear me out. I’ve had shitty times in the past few years where I’ve felt like a giant failure, hey, at the time of writing this there are parts of my life I feel like I’m not where I thought I would be. BUT you are your biggest critic, I am mine and that’s not a terrible thing.

We do have a word with ourselves but think about what you’ve said to yourself. Would you say that to a friend about their lives? That they were a huge fuck up and things weren’t going to get better because they don’t deserve them. I know you’ve had those thoughts because I have to.

Sometimes the voices in our own heads take over our thoughts. They shout so loud with comparisons look what they’re doing, why aren’t you doing that? or perhaps you just think what am I doing? Am I doing what I’m meant to right now?

Last month I was in a funk, I was really struggling with myself. Well, I thought I was doing terribly, I’m not close to buying a house (are any 23-year-olds with student debt?), I’m not getting married and the books I’ve been working on for the past few years still aren’t finished. My mind was full of anxiety and self-doubt and just struggling, even though I was reminded by various people I’d been doing great and am still doing great in different areas of my life.

I didn’t write this to tell you how much better I feel. In fact, the opposite. This post doesn’t end with bragging about how wonderful I’m doing because that my lovely readers would be a big fat lie. I still have thoughts and days where I think I’m doing terribly. This was written to let you know that we all feel like that and chances are you’re not giving yourself enough credit.

You’re doing better than you think, you’ve got this.