So I have been home for almost 2 weeks now, and after months of pining to be back, I can’t wait to go again!
The inevitable dread of starting back at work, at having to live at home with my parents again, of having to balance my social life and do all the other adult things is already wearing down on me!
The only benefit: the fact it’s summer. The hot weather and promise of a holiday in a couple of days is the only thing dragging me through the harsh reality of being back from my travels.
Holiday blues are real, and they are punishing.
So i am very new to the sticker planner girl community, although i am a long time sticker lover and have always been an avid watcher of PWMs and Sticker hauls on youtube. Elle from Glamplan being my guide and guilty pleasure channel for ages.
These are things i have learned so far:
- I am terrible at laying down stickers
- Stickers are expensive
- Planning is time consuming
- Planning can be stressful!
- I am fussy
- The community is amazing – Literally everyone is a fantastic person, caring, loving and supportive and i am so grateful to have found such an outlet and group of people to vent to and seek assurance from
- I need to search etsy more
- I need to reach out more
- You can cover any mistake if you need to
- Boring things can be fun and pretty
So admittedly some of these things are superficial at best, but hey, its my planner, only i need to see it and only i need to use it, so what if i like pretty stickers, whatever motivates me to do something is a bonus!
So here are a couple images of my first attempt to a more recent spread, so you can see the slow transformation. Shout out to Sugarloop (NZ based) and Lovecloud Creative (AUS based) for the beautiful stickers! There is a lot to work on and to work out, and my style i imagine will mature, but we all have to start somewhere!
More recent attempt
So i have just been sat here watching a poorly shot but interesting TED talk on a theory called the ’10 Item Wardrobe’ – if you want the full effect and explanation this is the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3CLRL32Mcw
My first impression was of immediate horror and the idea seemed impossible. To cut down my wardrobe to 10 key items, 4 bottoms and 6 tops and just continuously wear the same items over and over again. In our society the idea of wearing the same outfit once a fortnight is ludicrous! Although i am a big repeat offender in that respect, i generally try to avoid wearing the same clothes around the same people as much as my wardrobe allows and continuously complain at its lack of variety and choice to help me avoid repeat outfits. So, this idea of cutting even more from it is very alien and very scary.
However by the end of the talk it seemed quite liberating. The idea that you present yourself in your best clothes all the time, that you represent you in your truest self in your style and your comfort… sort of just makes sense. Why am i buying all these pointless clothes that i don’t feel amazing in just so i have more choice of things to put on? What i should be doing is using that money and time and investing in things that make me feel amazing all the time and worry less about what other people think, or whether i am repeating an outfit… because heck, that outfit looks great on me and makes me feel confident and sexy, which is a much better accessory than a purple crop top i bought to inject some colour into my wardrobe.
So maybe 10 is a little radical for me, i need some variety, i live in England our weather changes so often that layers and clothes for all weathers are a must have. But maybe the excessive amount i do have, even now when i am on the other side of the world with one suitcase that i don’t wear half of, should be the wake-up call i need to cut it down. So this is my promise to myself that i will get it together tomorrow, throw away anything with a stain or a rip, or that doesn’t fit me quite right and start enjoying the clothes i do wear, everyday, not just when its been long enough since the last time i wore it.
So the last week has been one of the most stressful, full on and hellish weeks ever. So i quit my horrible job at the bakery 3 weeks ago but my last day was last Thursday. The relief to be done with them was overwhelming…but very short-lived.
Firstly; i didn’t get paid on the usual fortnightly date as they said they would pay it with my final pay packet. – Not immediately a problem, a bit annoying as i was out of pocket from travel costs, rent etc for the 3 weeks since our last pay came in. However had i known the shit storm to come i would have put up a much bigger fight about this.
Secondly; I only had to give a weeks notice, i ended up working 3 weeks as favour to them as i didn’t want to leave them without staff and struggling. – WHAT A MISTAKE THAT WAS. I went out of my way for them and they basically took the piss by making me work over time for those few weeks and treating me with their usual shit.
Thirdly; So after staying longer, working over time and training my replacement, none of which were contractual obligations, all of which i did because i am a good person, they go and royally screw me over. They take a deduction of $550 from my last paycheck. This was made worse by the fact it was made post tax, so of the $1400 they owed me, $300 went to the tax man, $550 went back into their pocket and a measly $620 made it into my account meaning my 76 hours of work came out to be worth just over $8 an hour, a lot lower than the $15 minimum wage and a hell of a lot lower than the $17 an hour they are usually worth.
This forced me to go and see a lawyer to see what could be done about the massive deduction and at that point the withholding of my pay. The lawyer unhelpfully told me that i did have a case but it would be a long and dirty fight. Considering that i am leaving the country in 35 days that wasn’t really an option for me, which my previous employers knew and took advantage of.
So i finished the week feeling deflated, taken advantage of and stupid for ever agreeing to work for those people and with very little options.
I made the decision not to pursue a law suit or hate campaign towards them… for the simple reason THEY ARE NOT WORTH IT. They are not a worth a single second more of my time, and after this post i will have blocked the numbers and started moving forward with my life having learned a big lesson and grown up a hell of a lot more than i realised i need to.
For the last week i have been tracking my calorie intake with Lifesum and using the Nike Training Club app with the Start Up Plan to kick start my fitness and get it back on track.
I have never been overweight or really had any weight issues, I am now slightly podgier than i would like and don’t really know what to do about it, as well, i have never been in this situation before. Which causes mayor issues, as my ability to say no to yummy food and motivate myself to exercise are basically non-existent! So lack of experience with dieting or food management or consistent exercise in terms of work outs is a very new and a very steep learning curve for me. So this is my journey, one week down and a hell of a long way to go, but at least i have started.
What i have learned just in this last week:
- Exercise is hard
- I am not very fit
- I am not very flexible
- I snack too much
- I work too much
- I have very little time
- I do not prioritize health
- I live for the sweet things
- I need more leggings
- Progress is slow, well completely nonexistent a week in (no idea how that’s motivational, thanks a bunch body!)
- I do a lot of walking, and don’t do a lot of anything else
- I can’t bet on myself
- I am hungry
- I am lazy
- I am embarrassed to be seen exercising
Ill keep you posted on how my second week of it goes, lets hope i can learn some slightly more positive things and actually start to move the bulge!
“You’re still all over me like a wine-stained dress i can’t wear anymore”.
We have all had that one ex that was your everything, your all encompassing world and who broke your heart and left you lost and alone in a world you didn’t know, with a person that you didn’t even know existed without him.
Clean by Taylor Swift i think gives an interesting and relatable approach to what it feels like coming out the other end of that relationship. And i could do a thousands posts on him, and that relationship and the aftermath of it, but for now i don’t feel like this is the place to share that.
But i want to discuss one line in the song that has stuck with me. The idea that you continue to wear that person and that they still have a place and hold in your life. And me for one completely believe that to be true. They are your past, they defined you for a long time, and they helped to form you into the person you are today and truly without them you wouldn’t be you, even to this day. Which is not the most comforting reality for the majority of us, who like to cut them out of our lives and show how we have ‘moved on’. But i don’t think it necessarily has to be a bad thing, i think we should be proud to wear that stained dress, because that’s the newly tie-dyed better version of yourself that may no longer be in its purest form, but has the colour of life and learning and shows how far you have come.
So i don’t want to be clean. I want, just like in the immortal words of rocky horror and Christina Aguilera to get dirty.
I want to get stained by the people who have changed me, who have impacted my life for the better, or even for the worst, because where i stand today is only as a result of me and how i have overcome the hurdles they created. But a life without hurdles to climb would leave me lazy, lonely and boring… Which are not the words you would use to describe someone in a wine stained dress.
When i was little i wanted to be a Vet, and up until i was in year 9 and having to chose my options for GCSE i was pretty certain that is where my life was going go. I was going to be a vet, get married, have 5 children and live happily ever after. I am now 22, far from being or even wanting to be a vet, both wanting and being terrified of the prospect of children and almost completely lost to where my life is going or where i want it to go.
When you are young its very easy, you make a plan and there isn’t any life to get in the way of it, it all makes sense and sounds plausible and perfect and right. Then you sit down with that piece of paper at 14 and have to decide what subjects to drop and what dreams go out the window with them. For me, that was being a vet, i didn’t want to do triple science, something i was told would be essential for me to pursue being a vet as i would have to do at least one science for A-level in the years to come to be eligible to study veterinary science at uni. I wanted to do dance and drama… so being a vet fell to the wayside, and along with it my life plan and career goals.
Fast forward 8 years and i am still just as lost as i was sitting down with that piece of paper and changing the course of my life forever. Maybe i want to go back to uni and study social work? Maybe i want to travel more? Maybe i want to work in PR? Maybe i want to start to settle down? Maybe i am getting too old to have options? Maybe i am still really young and have time to mess around for a while?
Maybe i am stressing over nothing?
But right now, i feel lost and don’t know how to start to make decisions and create a new course for my life and in 6 months i will be back in the UK and the need to make a decision will be upon me.
The very common phrase “Its the best thing since sliced bread” so i decided to culminate a list of things that are definitely the best thing since the invention of sliced bread in 1928.
- The Internet – like where would we be without it! Definitely not reading this that’s for sure…
- Birth Control Pills/ Implant – i mean without this we wouldn’t have had the swinging sixties, a liberation in women’s rights and the chance to establish ourselves as people rather than only mothers
- Velcro – not as useful now but as a child hands down the most important and useful substance in existence! Nobody could get their heads around that tying your laces business!
- Tupperware – I am not a meal planner, but i am an over cooker, and how on earth did people store things before the Tupperware container?
- The Mini Skirt – how odd that it took to the sixties to work out we could cut the fabric shorter..
- Disposable Nappies – i know that fabric nappies are back in fashion and a million times better for the environment, but honestly with the prospect of little to no sleep and a screaming child, laundry i doubt is the top of your priority list!
- Mobile Phone – Oh the joys of being contactable 24/7 pretty much anywhere
- Sun Tan Lotion – How did people manage without it? Did they just boil in the sun to hide from the rays?
- Monopoly – Cant even imagine a life without the 3 hour onslaught of monopoly and the inevitable 2 hour post game slump and festering anger
- Jet Engine – The ability to fly at monumental speeds and giving people the freedom to travel, interact and expose themselves to everything and everyone life has to offer, if that isn’t better than sliced bread i don’t know what is!
On what a cliche of a day, and oh what a joy or torment it can be.
I am lucky to not have to spend it alone this year, and have the solid not presents rule, but just taking it as an excuse to treat ourselves and have some truly quality time together. Which is a shame, that it takes an almost made up holiday to stop you enough in your tracks to actually spend time and enjoy the company of your partner. Obviously it would be impossible to treat yourselves everyday, or spend that much quality time together that you wouldn’t kill one another or the specialness of it be significantly reduced. But, maybe it shouldn’t be a once in a blue moon affair, we need to take more time away from the screens, from work, from lovely but interfering friends and really work on the core relationship itself and that unique bond. Because sometimes if we don’t take a minute to check in and be present, we lose the time we have with that person and eventually them altogether, because no one can live just waiting for that one day a year that they become your priority.
Having said all that, i don’t necessarily think valentines day has to be about couples. It never was for me when i was a kid, my mum used to get me and my sisters a card and some chocolate every year just to show she loved us. It was an excuse to show love, in any form. This for me includes self love. The utter importance of showing yourself love, really taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and financially are the basis for a happy, secure and fulfilled life. Valentines day may just be that check in point early enough in the year to get you back on track from the faltering new years resolutions. So this year treat yourself and be your own valentine before you are anyone else’s. Take the time to have some ice cream, have a bath, watch a movie all snuggled up, have a takeaway or go out to eat, just refocus on you and binge because tomorrow will be a new day and maybe a good place to restart that new year kick up the ass!
What i learned from working 34 hours in 3 days, a lovely 4 am start to a 6pm finish.
- You are more capable than you think
- You can survive on a lot less sleep
- The lack of sleep will catch up with for a solid 8pm bedtime
- Your patience will be tested
- You will eat less
- You will miss out on seeing loved ones
- Time will fly by
- You will have moments of doubt that its worth it
- You will have moments where you are finding it easy
- You will realise that things you dreamed of are a possibility but will require compromises you are unsure you are willing to make now faced with them
- You will make difficult choices
- You are terrible at saying no
- You did not pack appropriate clothing
- Or snacks
- Maybe you are not as unfit as you first thought
- It will end
- You will feel a tad lost when no longer at work
- You will create bonds
- You will gain confidence and reassurance and renewed sense of motivation
- You will let things like hygiene slide, because quite simply wearing the same top two days in a row isnt that bad and you are in no position to do laundry or care very much