7 Tips For Going To Events Alone

It may surprise the people that know me, but going to social events gets me all kinds of wound up. In fact, before going out I’m usually a completely anxious mess. As times gone on I’ve gotten better at dealing with it – a far cry from my student days when I would get stupidly drunk before going out so I wasn’t as anxious. Would not recommend.

As a result of Ali’s job he often has to miss events – whether that’s a birthday night out, dinners or family gatherings in the past year and a half I’ve had to get used to going alone. As much as I am independent, it is nicer going to an event with someone you love rather than on your lonesome. It doesn’t mean I enjoy it, but I have my own ways of either hyping myself up or having plans for if I’m not feeling great.

It got me thinking, I’m sure I’m not the only one having to face going to events alone! Whether that be social or otherwise so why not put down what helps me?

Make sure you feel confident and comfortable in what you’re wearing

If I’m going to feel good mentally, I want to feel confident in the way I look. Making the effort to go outside? At nighttime no less? You bet I’m going to look good! I quite enjoy making a fuss of myself getting ready with some good music blasting, taking time to do my make up and generally feeling good about myself. It puts me in a much better mindset.

That said I’ll also think about what I’ll be comfortable in, if I’m going for a big dinner I’m not going to be wearing tight jeans or a fitted dress! Hello skater dresses

Don’t be afraid to let friends know you’re feeling it a little bit

When I went out for my birthday last year I was really apprehensive. To be honest, I really missed Ali, it was my second birthday apart from him and I didn’t know if I wanted to bother. A few friends of mine had to cancel and I just felt down.

I didn’t make a secret of this to my friends. I simply explained that I was missing him, but I wanted to spend time with them, just give me a minute to get in the groove! And it worked!

Give yourself some ‘me time’ before or after

I’m an introvert and navigating parties and such alone can be exhausting! Because of this I try to make sure that I have some time to myself either before (a relaxing shower and pamper session) or the next day I might curl up with a good book and my own company!

Find something you’re looking forward to in each event

It could be that the place you’re going to eat does really good dessert. You might be seeing friends you haven’t spent time with in a while, there will be something in each event for you to look forward to! Focus on those rather than the things you’re feeling anxious about!

If you don’t want to drink, then don’t!

If you’re going out normally people are having a drink or two but sometimes you might not feel like it. And that’s ok!!! I’ve had to learn that just because other people are drinking, it doesn’t mean that I have to!

In the past I’ve drunk far too much when I’ve felt sad or lonely and you know what? It just made me feel worse, not better! Now I can be pretty comfortable to just not drink and mocktails are much cheaper!

Appreciate the time you’re spending with friends or family

I absolutely love my friends and family, when I go out I try to take pictures and remember every detail for later when I can excitedly share my day with Ali.

Going to these things alone can make me feel a little lonely but I’m not going to let that ruin the time I have with other people in my life! They know I appreciate them and their time!

Have an ‘escape plan’

I wondered whether to put this one in, but I want to be honest. There are times when I am struggling and the only way I can persuade myself to go out is knowing that if it gets too much I can leave or step out for a minute.

This might be as simple as popping to the toilet for 10 minutes if I feel anxious or driving myself to the event so I don’t have to rely on anyone else for a lift. It’s giving myself that feeling of having control over my anxiety rather than the other way around.

Is there anything else you’d add? Let me know in the comments below!

monthly favourites lifestyle blogger

August Favourites

It’s time for my August favourites… I am very aware that it’s the middle of September. I might have *slightly* forgotten to post it, oops. BUT there we go it’s here now and it’s a pretty good one! Let’s jump in.

Books

This was a month for YALC books (full haul here). My three favourites were all purchased at the convention and I LOVED them. Orbiting Jupiter absolutely broke my heart, This Is Where It Ends made me think and Vox is going to be a huge success. I wrote more about them in my reading wrap up. I read so much in August…let’s see how September goes!

Music

Has anyone else been listening to Sweetener on repeat? Ariana Grande’s latest album has been on constantly – I love it. I can’t wait to go and see her on tour when she next comes to the UK. Next up is an album that *just* got released in August – Emma Blackery’s Villains which has some damn catchy lyrics and is her best album to date. Also, I love Kacey Musgraves at the moment for her cool country vibes.

Musical!

Heathers The Musical

I saw my first Musical in FOREVER! I loved Heathers so much that not only did I write a blog about it, I also booked to see it again in October. If you’re unsure what it’s about, think Mean Girls but a lot darker and set in the 1980s. Could you think of anything better? Nope, neither can I.

Anniversary!

I’ve spent 10 years with this lovely man. It’s hard to put into words the feelings I have for him. We had a small garden party, I went with him to work for the day and we went to the Zoo. All in all a pretty perfect anniversary.

Lego

This is a very odd one. I really like Lego, but in August I LOVED Lego. The new Harry Potter figures were just the start, followed by a bigger Lego set (with spiders), a Star Wars set that I picked up for half price at a car boot sale and a trip to the Lego store in London.

Finally a phone update!

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After two years I finally got a new phone, look at the beautiful red colour though!

Ladybird Social

LB563 Ladybird social logo final

I’m proud that my freelance business is now official! Ladybird Social is now up and running and I couldn’t be happier!

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Spending A Day With Sound Engineers 

Spending A Day With Sound Engineers

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that my partner is a Sound Engineer. I’ve visited him at events before, but I’ve never done a full day with him as he works on a job to this scale. He wanted to show me what it was like to do his job and I was not prepared. Could I be a Sound Engineer? No, no I could not – but why?

We left the house at 6.30am – I can’t remember the last time I left the house this early. That was just the start of the day – we didn’t get home for another 21 and a half hours…yep. A quick stop off at McDonald’s and picking up one of Ali’s colleagues and we were on our way.

Me in High Vis

Guys, I’m not kidding this is a serious days work. As much as I joke to Ali about pushing a few buttons it’s intense. There’s the getting set up for a start. Every event you go to there is so much prep. I’m not going to embarrass myself by pretending I know what I’m talking about or trying to explain it. I know that at least some of the guys have read my blog before, they’re going to find this hilarious.

Ali and I Ascot 2018

I’m really lucky that I get to go and see some really cool shows and see what Ali does. Not a lot of people get to go and see what their other half does. I spent the whole day watching, trying to understand and ultimately just being a bit amazed. There was three hours of music (as well as rain) and you’d think after that the day is done…you’d be wrong.

This was about 9pm, the plan at this point was for me to go back to the van while they got to work if I’d helped I would have made the process even longer. I went back to the van and slept, 3 hours later, the boys were back. Hometime? Still no, back to the warehouse so they could unload the trucks. We ended up getting home at 4am.

So, could I join the ranks? Not on your life! Even if I did have the talent that the boys do it is such a full on and intense job. So, next time you go to a show, spare a thought for the teams behind it, they’re pretty great.

 

 

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.

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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!

carrying on surviving the past year

Carrying On: Surviving the Past Year

Hello, hello, hello

I know, why am I talking about the past year when it’s April? You see the past year has been tough, really damn tough. It was unexpected and difficult and at times I didn’t really know how I was going to get through it all. I wish that was me being dramatic, I really do.

Career Changes

Aaaaaand this is where it kicked off. In April 2017 I was let go from a Marketing job. To be fair I wasn’t happy in it and now I know it was a good thing, a really good thing. So I did some temp work, some more work which turned out to be temp work before I found my current job. Now I do what I wanted to do when I graduated, I work in Social Media. I love doing extra research, looking at stats and people listen to what I have to say! That said my confidence took a really bad hit for a chunk of the year but I’m back guys!

 

Relationships!

So, Ali is a Sound Engineer and back in April 2017 he hadn’t done much travelling for work. We also hadn’t spent more than 2 weeks apart since we were 13 and 14. Everything changed in that regard this year. Now we’re used to spending time apart from a few nights to two months after a busy summer and his first tour. When it first came around I panicked, I cried and I was petrified of sleeping alone. Now? I miss him but hello, double bed for one? Yes, please.

Personal Challenges

Only a few days after losing my job, I lost my second Dwarf Hamster, Hamski. That was heartbreaking, we knew she was old but the timing just seemed cruel. Because of everything that was going on my mental health took a hit, I became very anxious and depressed, I thought that everything was destined to fail in my life. I was in a lot of pain which, I found out was going to continue to be a constant in my life. I really had to work hard to overcome my personal issues to succeed.

But it wasn’t all bad…

Of course, I’m going to throw in a cliche. It has to rain for flowers to grow. I believe that everything happens for a reason in your life, this year reminded me how resilient I am. I’ve been knocked on my arse and got up again. I’ve got a job that I love, that I feel so passionate about. I have my little Hamster, Wickett. Ali and I are actually closer since he started working away and then coming back. I started to get comfortable with how ‘boring’ I am. I know I can be fully independent if I need to be.

Long story short, it was shit but I got through it and I bet you could too.

 

Book Review: Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton

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Well, what can I say about Dolly and everything she knows about love. Finally, finally, we have a memoir that a twenty-something can relate to. There’s talk of MSN Messenger, of life before iPhones and the frustration at the current housing crisis. Love, jealousy and most importantly, friendship are all woven throughout the pages of this book in equal parts. I wanted to laugh and cry throughout.

I’ll be honest, in the first few chapters, I wondered if I would connect with Dolly. She talks about the suburban life, her boarding school, living with girlfriends etc. Not exactly things I relate to but, as she grows I could see myself and, at the moment in my life this was the book I needed. Nothing is off limits and while, in the beginning, I was frustrated that Dolly seemed to gloss over problems, this was only for a short period, by the end of the book I was rooting for her, I saw myself in her and her friends.

While the title is all Dolly know’s about love, she doesn’t clarify what kind of love. This isn’t a self-help book, this is how a young woman has navigated the relationships in her life whether that be with partners, her friends or herself, each is mentioned. Of course, there are hilarious stories of bad dates, strange men and questionable antics it’s not just a ‘look what a crazy single girl’ type book. It has heart, and that’s the most important.

The best part though? The humour. Dolly writes satirically about when friends grow up, the expectations for hen dos, baby showers and the like. About the feeling of loss and insecurity when your friends are moving faster than you are. About trying to work yourself out in your twenties and having no idea where to start.

In short, this was a brilliant book. I’ve given it 4 out of 5 stars, I only do so for two reasons, one there were recipes kind of randomly placed throughout the book and two, I wish some parts had gone more in-depth but understand that Dolly may not have felt she could. I 100% recommend this for anyone in their twenties who needs a pick me up!

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and author who gave me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

Music Growing Up With Paramore

Growing Up With Paramore

Friday night I was lucky enough to go and see Paramore for the fourth time. I’ve been a Paramore fan since I was 13 years old and coincidentally since I met Ali, but Paramore isn’t about just that.

I think everyone has a band or artist that impacts their life, for me that was, and still is, Paramore. Hayley talked a lot on stage about how the band and fans have grown up together and it made me think, a lot about what the band meant to me. If I’m honest, I got a bit emotional.

When I was that 13-year-old who first heard Riot I was just getting into my own identity and working out, as a teenager, who I was. A friend recommended this band, Paramore. I loved it and I loved the lead singer she was short, a redhead with a big voice. She was everything  I wanted to be.

I listened to Riot on repeat and I met a boy that I really liked. I waited for Brand New Eyes to come out and it was like nothing I’d ever listen to. I fell in love with each and every song and they made sense. Brand New Eyes came out in 2009, it was around this time I was struggling with Depression, it hit me hard and that album got me through, The Only Exception became ‘our song’.

 

Couple Paramore 2010, 2013, 2014, 2018

When Zac and Josh left the band, I was devastated, I thought the band I loved was over. And then the singles came out, and then ‘Paramore’. At first, I didn’t get it, it seemed petty, it didn’t measure up to Brand New Eyes, all of these thoughts went through my mind. Then my band broke up, I was leaving for uni and the unknown. Suddenly it all made sense. The lyrics, the music it all made sense. My heart soared and it felt like the music held me together for the next few years.

Then another album and another part of my life, ‘After Laughter’. I’d graduated I was an ‘adult’ now but things weren’t going to plan. The single ‘Hard Times’ was released on the 19th April and it seemed to be the perfect thing for me, I’d lost my job 2 weeks earlier and graduate life wasn’t great. I listened to that song obsessively, again the tracks made me feel a little less alone, a little more capable. Then the album came out and ‘Rose Coloured Boy’ and ‘Fake Happy’ became my anthems.

Hayley was right the other night when she said we’re not the same people we were when ‘Riot’ was released and ‘Misery Business’ was all I listened to on repeat. I felt so many emotions watching. I was proud of this band and proud of myself for overcoming so much shit in the past 10 years and still being able to smile.

This might be fangirling, might be OTT but I really feel like I owe Paramore.

What band is it for you?