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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. 

Stained

“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.

Little to Big

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.

34 Hours

What i learned from working 34 hours in 3 days, a lovely 4 am start to a 6pm finish.

  1.  You are more capable than you think
  2. You can survive on a lot less sleep
  3. The lack of sleep will catch up with for a solid 8pm bedtime
  4. Your patience will be tested
  5. You will eat less
  6. You will miss out on seeing loved ones
  7. Time will fly by
  8. You will have moments of doubt that its worth it
  9. You will have moments where you are finding it easy
  10. 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
  11. You will make difficult choices
  12. You are terrible at saying no
  13. You did not pack appropriate clothing
  14. Or snacks
  15. Maybe you are not as unfit as you first thought
  16. It will end
  17. You will feel a tad lost when no longer at work
  18. You will create bonds
  19. You will gain confidence and reassurance and renewed sense of motivation
  20. 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

Reflections On Trump

So, its clear that Trump has turned out to be as bad as we were expecting, maybe even worse.

I don’t want to reflect necessarily on the bad, as they are obvious, his complete lack of regard for human rights, women’s rights, his total racists and xenophobic policies speak for themselves and there is no defending them.

But in a world of such uncertainty that he is creating, i want to look at a few positive, or at least different results.

1 – He has created some solidarity. I know this may seem like a crazy idea when all his policies are there to isolate and discriminate, but in his hate he is forcing us to show love. The mass of women’s marches is an example, he has brought together women and men of all races, sexualities and backgrounds to a place where they can show compassion and love for one another, while having a common belief and agreement. This is rare in the world today, where two people can come together and share an idea and a principle, not only enough to fight for it, but enough to show support to all those that can’t stand up and fight along side them. Another example are the attorneys that are lining airports across america offering their services to fight his injustice, to help people they do no know, to help people truly in need and those truly suffering under trumps brutal regime.

2 – He has shown that politics can be honest. This can at times sound like support for Trump, please do not take it as that. I simply want to show that he has done exactly what he said he would and in a world where politicians make endless promises about real change but never come through, at least he is a breath of fresh air. His policies are horrendous and things i think we all believed nobody actually had the power to do, and yet he did them. Which begs the question, if he can enforce such ridiculous ideas why can our normal politicians fail to pass policy on basic and humanly necessary things? I guess one argument is that Trump is not a politician by nature, he is first and foremost a citizen and does not clearly have the regard for rules and practices that other presidents stand by. But even so, if he can enforce a travel ban on citizens from several countries, why couldn’t the tories keep the promise to no cut tax credits?

3 – People are educating themselves and reducing their apathy. People are taking an interest in politics, in what the people in power are doing and what their vote means. And i personally think this is a triumph, i think it’ll lead to more people voting, and actually knowing what and who they are voting for. I am hoping it’ll lead to voting not on a party, or as a protest, but on policies and make parties really take care in their policy making. It’ll create more transparency and accountability because it wont only be the few that know what sneaky games they are playing, but the majority and the majority are the ones that really hold the power. We are the ones that can make and break a leader and an institution, because if the majority say no and really act on that no, then there isn’t enough force at the government disposal to stop us. And i am not calling for mass protests or riots, i am calling for people to actively in engage in lobbying, charities, communities, voting and mostly in parties, because the more people that join and can vote on party policy the more accurately it’ll represent real peoples needs and wants

So Trump, a complete and utter disgrace and a very dangerous leader. But maybe also, the wake up call we needed and the protagonist for change and political engagement.

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO used to be, and still on occasion is my own personal torture.

In a world that is telling you to say yes to more, to go and explore, to just leave the house. Sometimes you just want to say no. Sometimes you just want your duvet, not leave the house for a couple of days and live in total bliss that the rest of the world doesn’t exist and isn’t going on without you.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, that little luxury is very quickly killed by snapchats, tweets, instagram and the ease of communication. Because, of course, the one time you don’t go out will be the day they all take photos and put them up everywhere for the world to see how you aren’t there, how ‘lame’ and ‘not fun’ you are in comparison.

So, inevitably, you drag yourself out of bed, have the long over due shower and force some kind of clothing on to make yourself look photo ready. Because, god forbid, you miss out if you don’t.

The reasons to drag yourself out when you just aren’t feeling it are countless… more than likely you will enjoy yourself when you get there, you rarely have the chance to see everyone in one go, you haven’t been out in ages. Unfortunately, we all know the real reason we are putting ourselves through this torture is because we don’t want our friends to think we are boring.

And we need to get over that. Our friends are our friends for a reason, and that won’t change just because we don’t want to go to the club this Friday night. They won’t think you are boring if you take the occasional night to yourself, although they may tease you are getting old, or some other rubbish in a last ditch attempt to drag you out.

We have created a culture that doesn’t allow you to just fancy some time at home, but instead guilt trips us into not allowing it for the literal fear of the social ramifications. Those social ramifications meaning you can’t join in that story, that something big might happen and you’ll be the last to know and worst of all you won’t be in the group shot that everyone has as their cover photo. Maybe i am getting old and boring, but, i am just sort of sick of the ridiculous amount of pressure i put on myself to go to things i just don’t want to do. I know i can just message my friends another day for dinner or to come round for a movie night, or something that just feels better for me. And that’s how i want my friendships to be, on a mutual happy little level where i don’t feel like i have to do anything or go anywhere to avoid judgement and loneliness.

So screw the FOMO, if i miss out, i miss out. At least i will wake up to hear plenty of gossip, of which none will be about me, I still have the killer group shot from last time to have as my cover photo and i know i will hear the story enough times that i will basically feel like i was there anyways. So yes, life might be about making memories and the big moments, but its mostly made up of small ones and boring mundane nights in, and you know what, that makes a pretty cracking life all on its own.

 

Success For A Woman

Many people have spoken about success and what it means to be successful, and most of them have been men, because for a long time, only men had the opportunity to achieve it. If you will, they had a monopoly on success, not only as an idea, but also in practice.

The door is opening for women to come forth and be more present in not only this discussion but also in this practice of achieving success.

But again, how do we measure it, what does it look like, how do we achieve it?

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence” – Colin Powell

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come” – Dwayne Johnson

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” – Mark Twain

But what is it that makes you successful, that lines you up for success? Is it ignorance, consistency, perfection, enthusiasm? Or is it something else?

I don’t believe there is one way to measure success, one recipe for making it, one way to celebrate it. It is a personal struggle and a personal achievement that to me equates success. Only you can measure yourself and how far you’ve come and how far you have to go, if anywhere. That’s why i believe you can find no simple answer for what success looks like or what it is the measure of.

So i can’t give you something to work on, or look at, or ponder, or in fact any answers at all. But i can let some very important women give you some wisdom, that you never know, might just inspire you to find what will make you the most successful you that you never knew you already were.

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakely

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama

“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

This is my take on success, and one womans voice in this great debate.

1 Week Down

So my little blog has been alive for a week, this will mark the 7th post on the 7th day. And in all honesty i am thoroughly enjoying it. Although, out of pure fear that i wont be able to keep it up and write about things i truly want to write about i think i am going to post more on a 2 times a week basis. On a Monday and Thursday i think, just to break it up a little and allow for me to work when i finally find another job.

I have been temping with Sunglass Hut which i have absolutely adored, but now that the Christmas period is over they no longer need me, as obviously its much less busy. So i am back on the job hunt!

So this is my disclaimer, just in case it looks like i have abandoned it already, i haven’t, i will just be scribbling behind the scenes and letting it out into the world on a more regulated basis.

So what have i learnt from a week of blogging:

  • Getting a single view on my page is the most thrilling and reaffirming feeling
  • That i miss writing
  • That i know more about things, just from living and doing than i ever thought i did or could
  • That i like pretty pictures just as much as pretty words
  • That there are people and pages that speak to me better than i can express myself
  • That i can be proud of something and feel a sense of achievement even if nobody ever sees it
  • That i am not ready to share this with real world people in my life and i am not sure why
  • That i have a lot of ideas, thoughts, feelings and thing i want to share