Hello 2019

Hello 2019!

Well, here it is, we’re in 2019. Hopefully, those of you who went partying last night are starting to feel a little more human by now! 

We have a whole new year ahead of us. 364 more days to do whatever we want to do – yippie! Now, I can’t even remember the amount of people who ask me EVERY year what my resolution is and it’s always the same – I don’t have one. 

Instead of setting resolutions I try and look at the bigger picture. I don’t say I’m going to go to the gym once a week this year. Firstly, because I won’t happen but also because of this warped pressure in a cold and dark month – no thanks! 

In 2019 I want to focus on myself and my happiness. Does that sound selfish? Maybe, but why is that a dirty word? I’ve been known to give and give to others without looking after myself and that’s something I’m going to work on. 

As with every year, there will be ups and down but I’m looking forward to seeing what happens and what opportunities come from hard work. Let’s be real, just because I’m going to look after myself better doesn’t mean I won’t be working my arse off! 

Are you going to be working on self-love this year? Do you make resolutions? I’d love to know in the comments below! 

Happy New Year! 

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!

What I Thought of Dumplin'

What I Thought Of Dumplin’

Dumplin' Film Poster

When the novel of Dumplin’ came out a few years ago there was a lot of hype but I never read it. I knew nothing about beauty pageants and they didn’t interest me so I left it at that…fast forward to 2018. After seeing a lot about the Netflix film and seeing the trailer I was intrigued. So, what did I think? 

When watching I actually got quite emotional which I didn’t expect. This isn’t a story about weight, of course Willowdean is fat but that’s not all there is to her. Ultimately, this is a story about family and love. I absolutely adored it.

I loved the fact that the pageant girls weren’t portrayed as being bitches in the film. I’m not sure if this is true of the book, but it was so refreshing not to have a whole book about girls hating each other for how they look. There wasn’t the cattiness and nastiness that we’ve seen time and time again.

I would have liked to have known more about the side characters, although I’m told there is a second book called Puddin’ which explores some of the other characters and um, yes please Netflix!

If you’re looking for a feel good film that isn’t about Christmas this is perfect. I recommended it to one of my best friends and she’s also fallen in love with it. I’m hoping we can both read the book too.

What did you think of Dumplin? I’d love to know in the comments below!

Trying to be ‘perfect’

We all want to be ‘perfect’, come on you know that in some way you do whether that be career, family, image or anything like that. I’ve been back at uni for two weeks and the familiar anxieties have started to creep in, am I doing enough? Am I going to get a good degree? Will I be able to get onto MA? Will I be able to get a job? Theses are things a lot of students think about a lot of the time, but sometimes that doesn’t make it any easier.

I’ve been musing over what to write for the past two days when I received a notification that Hannah Gale had just written a post about trying to be the best, in the low mood I was in I was curious. I started to read and I couldn’t stop, Hannah had just put it all in perspective for me. Although I’ve never met her I just wanted to hug her and go YES SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS HOW I FEEL! I’m constantly putting pressure on myself to best the best, to try and be just a little bit perfect, but that doesn’t work for me.

I always put pressure on myself to do well, I don’t know where it comes from because I’ve never had those kinds of pushy parents. My Mum’s words for me were ‘do what makes you happy, if you’re happy I’m happy’ and so I chose everything I have today, she never forced me to do anything despite visiting Kingston endless times with me so I could be sure she just wanted me to be happy. None of my family have been academics and it’s fair to say that by year 11 no one thought I was going to be an academic, maybe that’s what spurred me on, being the kid who people thought would get no where.

So I work on and on and on. Everyone tells me to take a break but I just have such high standards for myself, all the time. I don’t regret it but I’m learning to love myself a bit more which for me means not being so hard on myself. Not getting angry when I have a low or don’t do as well as I planned or have to stay in bed because I’m sick. After pushing myself for years and being that kind of person it’s hard but step by step I’m getting there. I’m planning trips around Europe, writing again and honestly trying to get through the hurdles as best I can.

One day I’ll let go of ‘perfect’ and 100% appreciate happy for what it is.