The Struggle Is Real – #TimeToTalk

Today is #TimeToTalk – the one day of the year (although it should happen every day)  where people across the UK are encouraged to talk about mental health with anybody, family members, friends or a work colleague. Hell, why not strike up a conversation with a stranger, conversation is more often than not the first step towards someone experiencing mental ill-health to seek out the help they need.

I’m choosing to talk to you because:

  1. I love a good chat
  2. I’ve done it before and it helped massively with my own recovery

So here goes.

In 2014, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and experienced one of the most numb and miserable years of my life. I covered this in a vague way in my first post, but I think I can speak about it more candidly now. It had been a build up of many factors:

  1. I couldn’t get a boyfriend and that really pissed me off.
  2. I had experienced 3 significant bereavements over the course of 3 years
  3. I was concerned with my home and family life
  4. I was worrying myself to death about finding a job and starting a career
  5. I was missing my friends and the companionship I had had at university
  6. I was missing the companionship I had with my friends from home

While all this was going on in my head, I was trying to complete a Masters course.

When I started to get better I felt like I wanted to share my experience with other people, namely people I had as friends on Facebook on my blog. The response I had to this piece I wrote was amazing, so many messages of support from different people in my life, people I hadn’t spoken to in years and friends who had helped me during this difficult period.

I read through that post today, along with all the posts on the #TimeToTalk hashtag – and on reflection that post was being written by a person still struggling.

  • I was still very concerned with what people thought about me and about the subject matter of the post
  • There’s uncertainty in tone
  • I wasn’t very confident in myself physically or mentally at the time – although I had got into running at this point

If there is one thing I’ve learned about mental illness since my diagnosis, it’s that there is no ‘quick-fix’ or a cure. I also realised you can’t put your happiness in the hands of other people. For a while, I was certain that I would be good as new once my romantics relationships improved – but in reality, I’m so much happier now and nothing much has changed on that front. It was more the battle with my own insecurities and confidence that was the root of the problem.

The depression that hit me like a ton of bricks in 2014 didn’t just go away once I got my job or my situation changed. The black dog is still there and it’s lingering, anticipating when to strike next.

‘I wonder when she will next feel vulnerable, lonely or upset. That’ll be a good time to show up.’

I don’t mean to sound bleak here, but I’m never going to be rid of this. It’s just a stone cold fact that I have learned to accept. When I got anxious last week resulting in a spell of insomnia, it wasn’t the anxiety ‘coming back’ – it had never really left.

But the way I deal with it has changed, and through reading other people’s stories and coping mechanisms, it doesn’t effect me anywhere near as brutally as it did in 2014. I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to talk. Even if it is to a stranger or a colleague – as a depressed person you feel alone enough in the world, reach out to people, they want to help you.

One more thing – my experience with my doctor was utterly SHIT. My doctor didn’t really care and never asked how I was doing when I went for check ups for other things which made me feel like he couldn’t give two fucks about how I was doing.

I also went on a date with a Junior Doctor a few months ago, and he charmingly told me he would rather focus on ‘really serious things like heart attacks’ than go to a mental health session his boss was suggesting he went to.

You can imagine how well that went down.

I’m not accusing the entire NHS of not caring about mental health obviously, but my personal experience signifies that there is room for improvement and that it should be made more readily available to those it cares for.

The whole fact there is a #TimeToTalk day is a huge step forward.

To those of you out there worried about a friend or a loved one, please talk to them about how they are feeling. Get them a cup of tea, pop round to visit them, give them a call or a text – whatever works best for them. You could be saving their lives.

To those of you facing your own battle with your mind, I agree, the struggle is real – but it will just get tougher to deal with if you don’t talk about it.

Thank you for reading and take care of yourself, you really do deserve it.

 

House Share Life – My Experiences

I didn’t really know what to expect when I embarked upon my first house sharing experience. Part of me thought it would be similar to the first year of university halls, where I would walk into the kitchen all bumbling and awkward but after a few vodkas I’d be up on the stage in some club dancing to Beyonce with my new roomies.

It wasn’t quite like that, mainly due to the fact I was now living with ‘young professionals’ in a nice little house in a residential area just outside of Newcastle. In the mornings I say hello to the old dears tending their gardens, while the birds twitter away in the trees, how quaint.

Living in this house over the last six months has been… an experience. I have met both people I would consider life long friends and others I wouldn’t mind seeing in a reality TV show based on The Hunger Games.

I think the danger of living with complete strangers, together with short tenancy arrangements (we only needed to stay 3 months then the contract rolls) kind of turns the whole experience into a Russian Roulette situation. You never know who you are going to get next. Will it be a nice Primary teacher or will it be that bloke who has just been let out of the nick for sexual harrassment? We rarely know.

So in this post, I would like to document my experiences, both good and bad, of living in this house share.

*NOTE: I can’t speak on behalf of everyone living in house shares, I know people who have had amazing times and have stayed in this kind of housing situation for a while, so it’s all based on my personal experience.

Landlord DIY

My landlord looks like Paul Hollywood. He probably thinks he is too. If anything breaks in the house it is always him who fixes it, God forbid actually calling a skilled professional in an spending the money on appliances going kaput. Maybe they wouldn’t go kaput as often if he stopped doing it all his fucking self.

For instance, when the bath leaked through the ceiling (while I was in it), he told me he would get it sorted. The bathroom (which is apparently completely rotted underneath) was ‘fixed’ within days. I don’t use the bath anymore in fear of falling through the ceiling.

chandler

Passive aggressive housemates

THIS. EVERY TIME THIS. What on earth is wrong with people? Whether it’s getting pissy if someone slams a door to jealousy that someone you don’t know that well has moved in and gets on well with the other new girl that moved in that you also don’t know that well.

I lived with two absolute nightmares. They would make passive aggressive comments constantly, they would be plain rude and unpleasant to be around. A situation like this is always difficult, but it was slightly easier than my previous experiences of this because I owed absolutely nothing to them in terms of friendship.

When they ‘broke up’ it was all incredibly emotional with one of them collapsing in tears at the top of the stairs. I laughed a lot in private. Doe that make me terrible?

The best advice I can give is to avoid them like the plague and if you are unfortunate enough to come across them in the corridor or the kitchen, be polite and bitch about them afterwards. #MATURITY.

kim

I left my washing in the dryer over a weekend when I was going away and instead of taking it out of the dryer, my housemate TEXTED MY LANDLORD about it. The mind boggles. Really bitch?

Illusive housemates

There was one guy I lived with who we barely ever saw (although my friend overheard him playing out 50 Shades of Grey once).

Our new housemate had brought us some doughnuts and we had worked out that we could have 2 each out of the ‘dozen’. I had one, and decided to save mine for tomorrow as a ‘treat’ after the gym. On my way back from the gym, the doughnuts were gone. I called upon Emma and we started an investigation into the missing doughnuts.

We went into the garden (not sure why they would be there) and noticed that the bedding in the illusive housemates room had been stripped and we quickly realised he had moved out, without even telling the landlord.

And he took the doughnuts with him. What a bastard.

ross geller sandwich

Lying housemates

I live with one man and I am utterly dubious about everything he says. He often tells us about the gorgeous young women he’s having sex with, his monumental pay rises and that he used to take part in debates on BBC Radio 5 Live on various topics including religious conspiracy theories. He was also a renowned DJ in the 90’s apparently.

Recently he told my housemate he had committed incest when he was younger. For once I’m hoping that actually is a lie.

karl pilkington

Forced friendship

For some reason my housemates were insistent that we had to spend time together. This led me to invite them to any events  I held that they subsequently ruined by being unfriendly or just plain rude to anyone I invited over. I have always hated this idea that because you live with someone you instantly have to become best friends. We share a house, we didn’t get married. I don’t want to be friends with you and never will, sod off.

kourtney

Actual friendship

One of the saving graces of this entire experience has been making an actual friend. I love making friends – it’s one of my favourite things, but the main reason I am pleased I made a good friend is simply because I have no idea how I would have coped in this mad house without someone to mouth ‘WTF’ when somebody said something particularly horrendous.

stepbrothers

Romance

There has been many a romantic tale realised at Shitton Way. We had an actual lesbian couple at one point, who so kindly decided to break up at 1am on a Monday morning keeping me up for four hours so I went to work the next day like a living zombie.

I’ve overheard plenty of sexual exploits. In a desperate bid to drown out the trauma of the sex noises (and in a moment of depressed singledom), I blasted ‘Love is a Losing Game’ – that probably killed the mood a bit… for everyone.

Once, one room mate sent another a love letter, or more to the point, love poem. It rhymed perfectly and included a picture of their two sims in a loving embrace. He moved out shortly afterwards.

I’m Khloe Kardashian when this letter was received:

gross

 

So yeah house share life was weird for me. Would love to hear what anybody else thought about theirs!

 

Peace xox

A Necessary Evil – Social Media and Your Mental Health

‘Nobody likes a show off.’

A phrase repeated to me by various old sage types through my admittedly brief life journey so far. This is an ironic phrase for people to coin, seeing as all of us like to show off, all of the bloody time. We just don’t appreciate it when other people do it. Nobody wants success and happiness shoved in their face when they are experiencing a period of woe. Throughout history this has posed less of a problem, we encountered showing off in the form of magazines and newspapers which can be easily ignored… going even further back it could be some dickhead effectively saying ‘look how black my teeth are’ to some poor peasant who can’t afford sugar – and the peasants didn’t come across the elite that much (I mean don’t quote me on that, I wasn’t there).

But it has probably never been as easy to show off as it is right now, in this moment. Social media has made it simpler than ever.

I want to get one thing straight before I begin, I love social media. It is one of the most useful communications developments of recent times and has been put to great use for fantastic causes.  I champion anything that enables opinions to be expressed and conversations to be started. I think it encourages  the world to debate important issues that they may have missed if they weren’t keen on reading newspapers or watching  television. I also think it’s a terrific way to avoid media bias and educate yourself on issues without some big wig earning a 6 figure salary telling you how to think.

But at the same time, it’s a fucking bastard.

As it’s Mental Health Awareness week, I thought it would be appropriate to document just how much social media effected my mental health and what measures you could take if you are feeling similar.

Last year was a very difficult year for me. A combination of stress, home sickness, loneliness and relationship problems led to a period of anxiety and depression that took a long time for me to combat and understand. Even though I spent the year fraught with worry, I can look back on it and be thankful that I experienced it.

Social media did not cause my anxiety, I want to make that clear,  it is a function that enables you to feel worse about feelings you are already enduring. For instance, I was feeling insecure about relationships, so Facebook being flooded with ‘couple selfies’ and status updates about grand gestures were unhelpful. I was insecure about job prospects, news feeds flooded with career advancements and new jobs made me feel worse.

You get the idea.

I think the most ironic thing is that I am guilty of posting these kinds of updates, like any other human. I have enjoyed gloating and fishing for likes – but never before have I considered how it could be making someone else feel. I think it’s important to celebrate yourself and your achievements in life – it is the name of the game after all, but do so with a sense of humility, someone out there could be having the worst day of their entire life and the last thing they need is one of your gloating selfies about how many boys fancy you or whatever.

I know what you are thinking here,  I should have  shut off all my social media, started living in the now, called up my friends, lived my life – that would have definitely made me feel better.

I deleted my Facebook around 4 times through this period, but I won’t lie, I was struggling with some serious FOMO (fear of missing out) and was certain that better things were going on without me, that I was getting left out of things etc – all of these worries were completely unfounded of course, this was just another symptom of my anxiety.

Social media was like an addiction for my anxiety – it was a necessary evil.

Now I can see it for what it is, I take things that people say online with a pinch of salt, I couldn’t give a fuck who your Snapchat best friends are, or whether you have read my message on WhatsApp. I’ve accepted that social media is  a platform people will use to be a passive aggressive cock, and that I don’t need to worry about whether their comment is directed at me.Through my recovery one large promise I made to myself was that whenever I could feel the urge to ‘stalk’ someone on social media that could risk my anxiety creeping back I would ask myself:

‘Is this worth the drama my mind is going to go through?’

The answer is almost always no.

I’ve come on leaps and bounds as a result.

I’m not saying I’m cured by any means, there are still moments in my life which bring on my anxiety, the main two being travelling and relationships (both friendly and ahem, otherwise). Occasionally the tight chest and quickly beating heart return – but through different techniques I can step out of myself and see the bigger picture. This allows me to rationalise my worrying and calm myself down – it’s incredibly helpful. The thing with your mental health is, there is no quick fix, the recovery process is long and arduous – and to an extent you never fully get over it. But there are coping mechanisms that can help. Everyone’s are different but I’d like to share mine.

1. Don’t look at your exes on social media. 

2. Go for a run.

3. Make a list of all the lovely, funny people you can talk to when you’re feeling down.

4. Call one of them.

5. Treat yourself to something you really love. (In the past these have been new clothes, massages and cups of tea if you need inspiration)

6. Turn off your computer and read a good book.

7. Listen to some really great music (AVOID sad music like the plague – Coldplay are a definite no).

8. Watch The Thick Of It or Peep Show. (Aka. something funny)

9. Volunteer or do something selfless for someone else.

10. Don’t beat yourself up, remind yourself that you’re doing fine.

I will leave you with my favourite quote about comparing yourself to other people’s lives.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.’

 

 

2014.

As we approach the end of 2014 our news feeds will be inundated with ‘New Year New Me’ statuses, New Years resolutions will be made, and everyone will be terrified they’ve caught Ebola.

I always quite enjoy the end of the year, as I see it as a point to reflect on the year that has passed, the good and the bad and think about how you’re going to move forward from here. I have nothing against New Years resolutions at all, but I see no reason to put a title to the goals you set yourself. I always like to look at what I’ve done through the previous year, and see how I can grow and improve personally from this point, rather than making drastic changes which I probably won’t be able to uphold.

So, I’m going to share with you some things I learnt about myself from the year that has passed (some are more serious than others).

1. Being charitable makes me feel good.

We all know about the friends episode when Phoebe and Joey have the argument about how there is no such thing as a ‘selfless good deed’. To a degree I do agree with this statement, but I do feel that doing good for other people is a great way to feel good about yourself, everybody wins. This year I fundraised for a 10k run, I set myself a goal to run in memory of my Godmother Audrey, who was a very big part of my life and heart. Once the race was finished I felt so happy and proud that I had stuck to my goals and really pushed through to do something for somebody else. Next year I plan to do more runs for different charities because this experience had such a great effect on me.

run

2. I like writing.

Okay, I always liked English, it was one of my favourite subjects in school, but as I got older I didn’t do as much creative writing as I had been used to previously. A lot of the academic work I was doing was pretty much looking at what other people have said and saying why it’s good (even if I didn’t think it was) which drowned some creativity in a way, particularly in my Masters year. Starting my blogs gave me an opening into writing about things I care about and sharing it with others. I know a lot of people aren’t really fussed about blogging, but it has allowed me to express myself and hone some writing skills which could be useful in the future.

3. I get passionate about anything to do with women’s rights

I never really saw myself as a political kind of girl at all. I just bumbled along and thought anyone who got het up about such things just needed a good cup of tea and some sex. However this year as a part of my job I have become far more involved with the news and politics. It shows that the world has a long way to go yet, and that more people should engage with politics as it effects all of us. I see myself as a feminist, somebody who believes in the social, political and economical equality of the sexes (so no, I don’t hate men) and I would have never thought I would say that a year ago.

he for she

4. I’m allergic to my cats

I’ve had my cat 10 or so years and all of a sudden I’m allergic to him. Recently, I have spent a great deal of time with dogs so I think this might be his revenge for crossing to the other side.

killy

5. I am mildly obsessed with Kim K

This one makes me sad to my utter core. I can’t make my mind up about Kim at all. Part of me thinks she’s the worst person in the world, and the other thinks she is the cleverest celebrity out there. From the worst person angle, she appears to be a narcissistic, vain and have very little shame. But everything she does is orchestrated to obtain a reaction. Break the internet with a picture of my bum? Outrage from everyone, everyone is talking about her. Crop my own baby out of my Instagram picture because she had her eyes closed and I was ‘feeling my look’? Outrage. Forget my baby as I get into a car? Outrage. See the pattern? This woman cashed in to her own humiliation inflicted by her ex in releasing an intimate video of them both, and as a result, her family are rich, she’s married to a superstar rapper and rakes in millions from her mobile game. Fair play Kim.

I even dressed up as her for Halloween.

kim k

6. I can’t be bothered with jealousy

Jealousy is a disease. I don’t think there is anything that can make you more miserable. As we approach 2015, I can say I am the happiest I have ever been with myself. My body, my face, my personality, it’s all okay, it’s me. I can’t change it (well I can but I don’t have the money and I’m scared of needles and being unconscious for a long period of time). I admire how other people look, and I am always wanting to improve my fitness and my make up technique, but I don’t want to be anyone else anymore. That was a huge one to overcome for me and I’m glad I’m there.

7. Friendships come and go

I used to put a lot of emphasis on being somebody’s friend. Sometimes I even put them before myself, and I want to make sure everyone is happy and okay. But I’ve realised that for whatever reason, a fair amount of ‘ships’ don’t stick around, no matter how close you think you are to them. Don’t stress too much, there are always new people to meet and new experiences to have, you don’t really have to rely on anybody. There are people I consider my best friends now who I barely knew at the beginning of the year, and some I’ve known since I was 4 years old who I meet up with and it’s like I was never gone. Friendship is not how long you have known someone as such, it’s the effort you make with contact which is important.

friends

8. My ears generate a lot of wax

Right, I knew this one for ages but as anyone who knows me well will know, I often end up deaf. It was beginning to bother me and I thought I might have some actual problems, but I have ended the year with the news that in fact I’m just an ‘extreme wax producer’ which means my ears want to be infection free an extreme amount. So that’s that.

9. Scotty T is my favourite TV character

No man will ever make me laugh as much as Scotty T does in Geordie Shore. He is so far beyond ridiculous.

scotty t 3  scotty t 4scotty t 5scotty t 8

10. Life is full of opportunities

I have never been so excited for a new year as I am for this one. I have a full time job, actual money that’s my own, holidays to plan, people to meet and a career to grow. I also have a lot of travelling to do. This time last year I was pretty miserable, and that carried on for a while, I’m quite pleased to leave this year behind and I’m glad I’m approaching the new year with a fresh outlook and a happy heart. It’s all any of us want in the end. 🙂

me

Happy New Year everybody, and thank you for reading my blog this year I really appreciate it.

Lot’s of love for 2015. xoxox

The ‘R’ Word

‘And yeah I’ve let you use me from the day that we first met
But I’m not done yet
Falling for you
Fool’s gold
And I knew that you’d turn it on for everyone you met
But I don’t regret falling for your
Fool’s gold’

One Direction (or possibly the person who writes songs for them)

Hey folks, welcome back. I had a great response to the first post in this blog, so why not continue?

This post will be focusing on one of the topics I most dread being asked about.

Relationships.

I am not lucky in this area, at all. Actually, I’m fairly sure if you tried to think of someone worse at holding down a meaningful relationship it would be difficult, I mean, Charles Manson has found someone to marry him now, so I reckon I’m slipping down the pile.

But in all seriousness, it is true, I have been single all my life. *cue gasps* Yes. All my life. Some have major problems adjusting to a life without another person accompanying them through the journey, well, if you want tips I’m well educated in the area. Being on my own is second nature really, and it’s something I have found very difficult to embrace growing up.

Let’s take it back to the old school shall we.

In school, I wasn’t particularly bothered about boys, I mean, I had the odd crush and some lucky lads made it on to my ‘Top 5’ list at sleepovers, but aside from this having a boyfriend wasn’t of utmost importance. As I got older, the idea began to frequent in my mind far more, but there was nobody I was particularly interested in at home, and I thought once I was at University that would all change. I would meet somebody I had an emotional connection with, who would want to be my best friend as well as my romantic partner. It would all be very cozy and lovely. So yeah, I’ll wait till University, boys are different in the UK.

University happens. Boys aren’t particularly interested in getting into relationships, which is fair enough, Uni is there to go wild and have fun. EMBRACE THE FUN.

University is coming to an end, and I meet someone, FINALLY. Everybody jumps up and rejoices (including me), this is the moment I’ve been waiting for, warm fuzzy feelings, the lot. This is the real deal. Excellent.

Except it’s not.

tumblr_miizy0tGwn1qb6e15o1_500 (1)

I am not the first or the last person to fall for somebody who is ‘just not that into you‘ (I finally understand the real meaning behind those words). It is a frustrating situation to be in, particularly when you know that if anyone else was treating you this badly they would be out of the picture quicker than Gemma Collins left the jungle. I think of myself as being a very honest person, and I will tell someone if they have made me unhappy or if they have upset me. But I couldn’t even do that in this situation. I was frozen by infatuation, even though they made me sad by how they behaved and the lack of consideration for my feelings. Friends constantly told me to move on, forget about him, meet someone else, which is all well and good but hard to do when you’re bordering on obsession with someone else.

‘I told myself I’d asked for it. After all, Joaquin never said he’d break up with his girlfriend. He let me know from the start that he was a tell-it-like-it-is-onator. He never even told me he’d call. But I also think when we embark on intimate relationships, we make a basic human promise to be respectful as we explore each other. Joaquin didn’t keep up his end of the bargain.’

Lena Dunham

‘Ships’ always have the ability to create frustration and anxiety, whether it be friendships, relationships or the Condor (always delayed). Somehow they can become far more complex than they need to be, when we are craving everything to be simple. I am under no illusion now that relationships are in fact a lot harder than I may have thought when I was 18. I was sure everyone in a relationship was completely sorted out, and all I would need to do would be to find a man and that would be it, alas as proven by my own experience, that’s not the case.

I have a few pieces of advice for anybody feeling upset in a ‘ship’ situation, this isn’t exclusive to the lovin’ variety. I understand everyone’s experiences are different, but these are the points I would lay out for past me, now.

Know your worth. This one took me a long time to get my head around. I was certain I had found the one for me, surely someone who I got along with so well had to be the ever mentioned ‘one’. No. No he wasn’t. Somebody who makes you feel sad and shows a complete disregard for your feelings is not the one, you are not soul mates if you feel this way. Believe me.

Let your heart break. I don’t think I have ever been in love, but I do think my heart was broken (I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive). I spent a very long time trying to be ‘cool girl’ I didn’t care about that guy, he could do what he wanted, and so could I. I was a strong independent woman. I was Beyonce. I refused to admit it was affecting me in any way shape or form, even though those close to me could tell it really was (especially when I kept crying listening to Ed Sheeran and Coldplay). Just let yourself be upset for as long as it takes, because it’s true, one day you wake up and something clicks.

Don’t try to move on too quickly. The phrase ‘the best way to get over someone is get under someone else’ is the biggest load of utter bullshit ever. Move on when you are ready and do not force it, you’ll just make yourself more upset.

Don’t blame yourself. Sometimes, things just don’t work out. It’s upsetting and it’s tiring trying to get your head around why it hasn’t, but sometimes it’s as simple as ‘you just didn’t match’. I was certain that I was too keen, and I over analysed my own behaviour far too much. I was chatting to a new man on Tinder (classic) and he asked me ‘What is the most unattractive thing about you?’ which is admittedly quite a strange question to ask, but anyway this is how I responded:

Me: I think my biggest problem is that I care far too much about how other people are feeling and sometimes it freaks them out a bit, you?

Him: Oh right, I go fishing quite a lot.

We never made it to the date.

Being single is not the end of the world. You are not defined by your relationship status (believe it or not) there are many great things about having a significant other, but it can also be wonderful to be single. You aren’t Bridget and you aren’t a Crazy Cat Lady (even though I’m not sure that is a bad thing).

bridget

Single does not mean alone.

For the first time in my life, I am embracing my singledom. I’m no longer embarrassed to admit I’ve never been in a serious relationship, because why should I? It may not fit in with societal norms, but I am a firm believer that you need to trust the timing of your life, and for now I am thoroughly enjoying Tinder (there I said it).

Just proof that sometimes you need to have your heart broken to realise how important it is to not be with the wrong person.

Plus, this could still happen.

hello

🙂

Thanks for reading xxx

To be honest with you…

Well, seeing as you’re here paying a visit, I’d better say hello.

You’re either here because you have liked my first (admittedly more serious) blog, or for the polar opposite reason that you despised it/me and you’re looking for one more way to take the piss out of me. Either way, you’re very welcome and it’s nice to figuratively see you.

Firstly, I would like to give a bit of context as to why I have created yet ANOTHER blog of ramblings for you to scroll through. I recently posted about my struggles with anxiety, and how there is not enough awareness about what people with mental health issues go through. It was an incredibly difficult decision for me to post that, as I felt it exposed my vulnerability, and everyone would know who I was that little bit better. Was I ready for that? Well I bit the bullet and the feedback was truly wonderful. The support and compassion shown by those who read it and shared it completely restored my faith in human attitudes to honesty. Some told me that it helped them feel less alone, and that in seeing someone else go through these problems provided some comfort in their own personal struggles, which was just a phenomenal feeling for me.

The way I felt after being plainly honest about how I had been feeling in the months prior to the blog post was telling. It made me think that we all need to be a bit more honest. With the growth of social media, young people seem to feel the need to show that life is perfect for them all the time, whether it be through pictures on instagram or status’ on Facebook. But what hit me was that honesty about the struggles can have just as much of an effect on people as learning about your successes, probably more so. I spent so long worrying about how imperfect my life was, because there was nobody else to join me in the worry (or so I thought) everyone else had it completely sorted while I sat outside Ouseburn Farm on my lunchbreak in tears listening to Ed Sheeran’s new album (and no, it wasn’t because it was so bad).

That was a really roundabout way of getting to it, but basically, this blog is going to be me being completely honest about my life. I find it therapeutic to write about,  I am a single girl, in my twenties, starting out in a career. When I was 17 I was fairly sure I would have met the love of my life by now (we would have met at University) and we would be sorting ourselves out in London, possibly planning a wedding, or at least nice holidays.

But I managed to manoeuvre my way through University without even the chance of a boyfriend cropping up, ending up in stupid situations with emotionally (and religiously… don’t ask) unavailable men with the most meaningful relationship turning out to be with the man at Pizza Base who checked I was feeling alright after I had passed out on the bench whilst waiting for my pizza (yes really). I’m still in Newcastle, many of my friends have left, and instead of saving up for weddings, I’m paying obscene amounts of money for ‘going out clothes’ even though I hardly ever go out anymore as I would much prefer to stay in with a cup of tea and watch Max Branning on Strictly Come Dancing. Sounds economically viable…

max branning

I had the BEST time at University, it was far better than your experience. I met a huge amount of creative and vivacious people, who all had a passion for performing and bringing entertainment and joy to others. It was great to spend time with these people for three entire years. We spent our social time together, as well as our University time, had some mad parties and created amazing theatre. I actually marginally blame my Drama degree for my mental decline this year.

halloween

Where do you go from there? As I began my Masters degree (partly because I just couldn’t “let go” of the student life and also due to the fact that I realised to start a career in PR I might need to learn something about it first) I started to just feel a bit meh.

Yes, I just used ‘meh’ as an adjective.

Like, I’m not being funny, but this was no where near as fun (not sure what I expected). I was suddenly thrust into this world of less group work and presenting, and far more theory based learning, which we had touched upon in Drama (still don’t know what Semiotics means) but not as in depth as this.

I also decided I didn’t want to make any friends as I ‘had enough already’ (probably wouldn’t recommend this philosophy to anyone seeing as you could end up anywhere in the world at some point and making new friends is just going to have to become a part of your life). So I wasn’t exactly forthcoming about securing friendships at the beginning as I couldn’t be arsed. But luckily, no one on my course particularly was either so that was a home run.

All was good for a while, getting used to the new University, experiencing a different side to academic study, joining a society… I pretty much just tried to do all the things I had missed out on at Northumbria because I was too hungover to care.

But I missed everyone. The nostalgia was painful, short reunions with friends which made us believe we were still carefree students (I was technically still a student but by no means a carefree one) over a weekend came and went, each one more depressing than the next.

NO ONE prepares you for life after undergrad. Nobody. It’s like school cradles you all the way through those exams, gets you to University or work, then just leaves you there, like a Furby, who everyone was really into until they realise you never shut up so they shut you in the pantry until you went away (yes I am middle class enough to have a pantry, and yes the Furby is still there). It’s just a, ‘Right, that’s it see you later, hope you survive!’ kind of thing. A bit like entering into Total Wipeout but arguably less fun.

I may be being a tad overdramatic, there were some really good moments during my Masters year, and I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today without it, but it was a hard adjustment, and I think whatever I had decided to do after graduating it would have been just as difficult.

I’m really pleased I enjoyed my time at Uni, and I would say that is the best advice you can receive about Higher Education. It may sound obvious, but it is so easy to get caught up in how stressed you are, whether it be with housemates, coursemates or knobby tutors. After this you will likely be worrying about a whole other range of things as you start working life, so enjoy it while you can, like I did, but also prepare for the downward spiral your life will take once it’s over (I’m totally joking). Saying this, my biggest problem today is that I didn’t manage to get the monochrome jumpsuit from the Kardashian Kollection winter range, so maybe I should just get over myself.

Either way, that is my first post done, and my first piece of life advice done and dusted. I hope it was honest enough for you, as was my intention and that you will look forward to the next installment. I will try to do these at least monthly (my life isn’t exciting enough to do it weekly) but I regularly update my other website, Under PRessure, which is decidedly more serious (boring).

Peace out fellas! xoxo

 

graduating

 

 

Life’s Little Niggles

Life sucks. No one ever tried to convince you otherwise (apart from those uber enthusiastic and zen yoga maniacs that sometimes pop up on Instagram). Now I’m finished with University, I’m getting stuck in  with working life. And with this transition I have become a slave to routine. Sorting out lunches for work, having ‘gym days’, buying a steamer that receives regular use, etc. Although this doesn’t sound very thrilling, I am quite enjoying the routine aspect to life that I must admit has been missing over the last four years at University, but with it comes its challenges.

I get so annoyed at the smallest things now. General life irritations that were eclipsed when you were a student as you were too busy having your existential dilemmas. Without a dissertation to finish, it’s now easy to push these niggles to the forefront as the worst things to be going on in your life. I have compiled a list of said irritations, do enjoy.

(Forgive me if these are a bit ‘venty’ it’s just a girl has got to have a platform to complain)

 

Taxi Drivers who don’t know where they’re going

THIS. Whenever I’m in a taxi these days (which albeit isn’t very often) there always seems to be one aspect to the journey by which they are unsure. Whether it be, where they’re picking you up from, where they are dropping you off, which route to take – and somehow, I as the passenger, seem to be the most equipped in this capacity to answer these queries. This one doesn’t irritate me as much in Newcastle or Guernsey, as generally I know where I’m going, but when I get asked this in other cities and respond with ‘I don’t know’ more often than not taxi drivers give a big sigh like ‘well I don’t know either’. I feel when you throw sat-nav into the mix, there isn’t really an excuse for not knowing where you’re going, particularly when it’s in your job description. As the great Mark Corrigan says when the midwife asks him if he wants to cut the umbilical cord of his newborn child…

‘No, do you want to offer advice on credit ratings or work in a Mexican restaurant? Let’s stick to our jobs shall we?’

Once the taxi driver made a joke about how we may never reach our destination.

I looked like Pharrell in this situation.

pharrel

 

Ticket inspectors and their inconsistencies

If there is one thing I can say about train conductors, it’s that they are unpredictable. One day you might have one that is friendly, comments on the good lighting on your railcard and doesn’t ask to see the reservations part of the ticket. Alternatively, you are greeted with the ticket inspector who takes his job extremely seriously and has a no holds barred approach to ticket inspection. Then there are some in the middle. I NEED CONSISTENCY.

Also- not entirely sure there is any need for so many documents to be required to prove you have bought your entitlement to the train journey.

can-you-repeat-the-part-of-the-stuff

 

People interrupting you while you are speaking

Anyone who knows me will understand fully that I am not one for confrontation. I’ve been called a people pleaser in the past, and more than likely if I was in the Big Brother house, I would be the Keith Chegwin character that would frustrate everyone (look it up if you aren’t sad enough to understand that reference). It takes a lot to annoy me, BUT when people interrupt me that is not the one. When I begin to speak, let me finish. If you think I had finished but realise your error, apologise and let me carry on. Give everyone a moment to voice their opinions in a fair way, it ain’t difficult.

So just no Kanye, you are off my list of would-be pals.

The people who think they are God’s Gift

I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about this one, I have a lot of admiration for those who are confident in themselves whether it be aesthetically or in terms of intelligence. Go you. It’s great that you are sure of yourself and happy. Just we don’t need it shoved down our throats on Facebook/Instagram every day. Accept that humans are flawed. Why do we want to show how great we are at everything all the time, forever keeping up appearances but to please whom? Be real, be raw, it’s there you’ll gain real respect.

I embrace my inner left shark because sometimes the people who make the mistakes end up becoming the star of the show.

‘Read at 00:00am’

Which bitchy person decided ‘read by’ information would be something people would want? As of we weren’t all paranoid enough already, how about we throw in something so people can pull you up on why you’re ignoring them ‘coz Facebook told me’. Or even worse,  the venomous ‘Snapchat Best Friends’ which has disappeared for now, but will no doubt be back with a vengeance to fill everyone with distrust and misery again. Just stop.

So if you ever ask me about my Snapchat Best Friends or why I haven’t replied to you when I’ve clearly read it, my only response is:

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Complaining all the time (ironic)

This kind of ranty post is very out of character for me, I enjoy looking on the bright side. But sometimes you just need to vent these frustrations. That doesn’t mean you need to vent them every waking moment of your life. At first, I do care that you hate your job, I really do. But after months of complaining sympathy runs thin, do something spontaneous and see what happens, you could even end up understanding how small these irritations I have expressed are.

I’m a happy chappy really 😉

Plus it’s difficult to stay annoyed in a world that brings you moments like this.

Peace xox