metal chain at a port during sunset

Having Strength Through the Good and Bad Days

For weeks now, I’ve had this blog post pending. When I say ‘blog post’ I mean a blank screen with question marks as the title. The truth is, I’ve been having a serious case of writer’s block and this has got to be about the fifth time I’ve revisited this post. Music and reflection have got to be my biggest motivators though. So, right now it’s a bit of soul music and thinking about where I am today to get me through.

You can’t predict the future

As someone who loves to be organised and plan things in advance, the future is unknown. That’s something I have to remember every day. You never know what’s going to happen. You might have an idea of how something’s going to play out. However, the unexpected can happen at any time.

Take these two examples – one for the better and one which posed much hurt in our family this year. Not too long ago I was promoted to marketing manager at work. I couldn’t quite believe it but I had to because there’s a great deal of work involved and it’s important to get stuck in put ideas together. Some could say that this is the light at the end of a sad situation. Although age is no barrier, it’s a huge accomplishment for my age, I think?

Putting everything into perspective

In June we lost a family member to neuroendocrine cancer, our uncle Dom. Losing someone makes you crumble. You retaliate with anger, question everything and think of all the ways to have it together. But the truth is, you don’t have to be the one who’s always strong. Being perceived as ‘the strong one’ holds so much pressure. And being on that end of the picture, remember that tears don’t make you weak.

The same goes for anything, you don’t always have to have all of the answers. You can be good at something but no one’s perfect. And as much as it might seem that others ‘know it all’, they don’t. No one does. I honestly think that as prepared as you might be, life can throw all kind of things in your way. Don’t let hurdles get the best of you. Jump over them as high as you can and believe that you will always aim for bigger things. Whenever you think you’re having a ‘bad day’, think about the hardest times you’ve got through before.

You’re stronger than you think

I can’t say it enough because it’s so true. It’s always taken someone else to show me this but it’s something I truly believe in. Strength is down to you build and your mind is the most powerful part. Until you put doubts aside and not let giving up be an option, you’ll find a new perspective. Seeming powerful on the outside is one thing, but until you discover what’s inside, is when you’ll be the best version of you.

It’s amazing to see how much your confidence can develop. There might still be scenarios when you don’t see it yourself but for the most part you can be amazed at the things you never thought you’d be able to do. For example, speaking in front of a large audience, one a speech about grief at a funeral and the other about love at a wedding. Both hold such different emotions but I presented the both of them. I think you never know until you try. Maybe public speaking at events will be a new thing… who knows?

Don’t be afraid to try something new. When it comes to the negativity, ignore what others might think and focus on what being happy means to you.

girl jumping in the sky

What Makes You The Person You Are Today

I’m very much a ‘whatever will be will be’ kind of person but I think that, in terms of achieving more, it takes a lot of hard work. You might look around and think that some people get a lot of things handed to them. It could be the case but you also don’t know their backstory. It might be that at the eye, they look as though things in life come ‘easy’ to them. But you don’t always know. This post is about the person I am today through my challenges in the education and employment world.

Going back to your roots

Looking back at your roots is important and it’s something I for one, never forget. No matter the number of accomplishments, it’s your background that has a huge impact on you. You can keep it with you or look towards what could be in the future. It’s down to you to decide what you want to do when you become an adult. And as tough as it is, it’s a road you have to take. Everything you experience shapes you into the person you are today e.g. friendships, bullies, childhood, employment etc. You can be influenced from what others have done around you or you can do something different.

Education after education

Take your childhood years, what kind of kid was you at school? In primary school I was probably referred to as let’s say ‘a geek’. But I have always enjoyed learning. Writing and creativity along with numbers here and there has always been my thing.

In high school I worked even harder and my grades shown that.

College is where it became difficult. There were 1 or 2 subjects where I wasn’t performing as high as I wanted to be when it came to exams. Isn’t it funny, when you think if you sat those exams today you’d understand them a whole lot better?

Still, I made it into university. It wasn’t through clearance but through them taking a nerve-wracking 2 weeks on my side of waiting to see if they saw potential. I count my lucky stars that they got to meet me in an interview when applying and they looked over my application again and seen something in me. I didn’t love university but I didn’t hate it. Graduating though, is one of my proudest moments. Just like my school and colleges years, I wasn’t the most popular person in the room but the love from my family in the crowd and a couple of classmates did it for me.

Employment in the big wide world

As much as you think the above are going to be the biggest challenges in your life, you soon realise how wrong you was. Securing a full-time permanent position was one of my biggest struggles. It took a massive toll on me mentally and I believe it played a part of the many times of worry I had. Constant doubts in myself whilst telling myself something good would happen… a bit of an uneven field really.

After high school I went to my first ever interview and secured a casual/part-time job in a retail store for a football club.

I gained a lot of recognition there and experienced many different aspects that there was to offer. But there comes a time when you need to think about your future – where do you want to be? Even if you don’t quite know what.

I took a part-time (temporary) job working in the learning support department at a college.

Although it was only for a short period of time, I gained more professional day-to-day experience of an education environment from the other side, rather than the student perspective. Again, I was highly respected and thanked for repetitively for my contributions.

Luckily, during my time here, I submitted voluntary writing to their marketing department which led to a marketing assistant (maternity cover) role.

The problem – it was another temporary job and the environment wasn’t as it seemed. It was very patronising and I felt down most of the time.

How many interviews later?

You start to question if all of your education was worth it, if you should settle for something in the meantime? But that’s where my stubborn nature kicked in. I went against what the majority of people around me said.

I fought harder and harder. Giving up was never an option and I knew that too well. Having faith in myself to travel on my own path through all of the hurdles I faced has been one of the most worthwhile things I’ve ever done. Including the two roles above it took 25 interviews to land my dream role.

I found my match in the employment world

I’ve volunteered and fundraised for charities since the age of 15 years old. So the news that I was joining a charity as an employee was amazing. In the last two and half  years I’ve grown so much. My confidence and strength has massively improved. The old me who would worry and stress, way more than necessary, if even necessary at all, sees a new light. And that’s on a personal and professional level. Maybe becoming a homeowner with Danny has also helped? Whichever way I look at it, I’m much stronger than the person I used to be.

And today I’ve reached a bigger place than I ever thought I would – becoming a marketing manager. My mum melts my heart with the messages she’s been sending me since receiving the news. Danny smiles even more than ever. And out of anyone they both continue to tell me how proud they are of me.

Don’t be scared to share your journey

Whether you put pen to paper or type online in the digital world – if you have a story to tell, share it. You will honestly be amazed to see who reads it, who cheers you on and those who learn that there is more to you than they thought. It also helps you, to see how far you’ve come.

What makes you the person you are today?

smurf brushing its teeth

The Electric Toothbrush You Need In Your Life

Want to ditch your manual toothbrush for an electric one but don’t know what brand? Lisergy kindly sent me the new ION-Sei electric toothbrush, created behind Japanese technology and designed in Germany. It’s advertised to have ‘ionic brushing superpowers’ so immediately it got my attention because anything to do with superpowers, I’m all in!

I’m quite nervous when it comes to using electric toothbrushes because I have a bridge fitted.

ionsei toothbrush next to product box

Gifted by Lisergy

Obviously, the orthodontist knows it’s made for a purpose – to be there to serve as any other tooth and not be pushed out by dental products or everyday eating habits. However, me being me, I still worry. That was until I started to use the ION-Sei electric brush.

I’m very cautious about how my teeth look. I want to eat several cups of tea, eat goodies every once in a while and eat the foods I enjoy. But apparently, getting older means your teeth can get discoloured – yes even at 25 years old?! So I wanted to give this toothbrush a chance to see if it could work any wonders.

I’m currently under a treatment plan with my dentist for the whitening side of things but I hoped the toothbrush would do it’s job in keeping my teeth looking healthy and getting to parts where an ordinary toothbrush doesn’t.

It does just that – removes more plaque and your teeth feel very refreshed after every brush.

toothbrush and dental products

Gifted by Lisergy. The other dental products were not gifted – I purchased them.

Lisergy sent me a soft brush head and two standard brush heads so I was very pleased. It turns out that the standard brush head isn’t too harsh on my teeth even on the highest setting. It’s nice and gentle on your gums too. I 100% recommend using the standard brush head because it removes the extra bits of plaque on your teeth and gives a more sparkling result.

The freshness of brushing your teeth in the evening stays until the next morning and your teeth continue to feel smooth after each brush.

My favourite features about the toothbrush are:

  • It’s lightweight
  • Ultra violet (UV) light
  • The choice of settings
  • Innovative design

For more information about the ION-Sei electric toothbrush visit: www.ion-sei.com or purchase on Amazon. Thank you to Lisergy for this gifted product.

young man walking over the bridge

You Shouldn’t Hold Your Feelings Inside

Why do so many of us hold our feelings inside? A lot of people think we feel with our hearts and think with our minds which is true for the most part. But what about when you let your mind control how you feel? We are so quick to judge someone before we know what they are going through – perhaps they don’t ever tell you. Is this why we can refuse to open up about our own feelings?

I think we need a world with more empathy. People should be able to speak up about what they’re experiencing with the thought of them not having it has hard as somebody else. We all suffer in some kind of way at least once in our life whether it be grief, relationships, battling your own mind just to name a few.

So why shouldn’t you hold your feelings inside?

When you think about how of us are on the planet, don’t you think it’s shame we live in a world where people can’t open up, to share experiences, understand each other, and most of all to try and help each other or be there for one another?

When I cry, there’s only a handful of people that know what to do. Most expect me to be smiley all the time because I don’t overly share what’s going on, only when it gets tough. And for me that’s works. For others too, privacy is important and only letting people in when they let you in, works fair in my eyes. But it’s so important that when someone is there for you 1000% not to shut them out. Especially when they’re always making an effort with you. Otherwise you’ll only end up pushing them away and loneliness is the last thing you want.

No matter how perfect you might think someone’s got it, the likeliness is that, they will continue to be there for you. They might have or might not have experienced the same thing. But it doesn’t mean they can’t listen. If something is dragging you down more than it ever has before or more than it should, speak to someone. Whoever that person might be – your friend, parent, grandparent, work colleague, doctor, counsellor – talk to them.

You’ll be surprised how often people underestimate the power of a small chat. It’s not supposed to ‘fix’ things magically but it helps. If gives you a sense of acceptance and gives you an insight that you never seen before to deal with the pain you’re feeling.

You, me, the queen, celebrities, all of us, are human.

Listening to someone is one of the kindest things you can do. And for people on the other side, don’t sit there and think, “They don’t want to or won’t listen to this.” There are people in the world with a heart you know. When they realise that you’ve been battling your own thoughts so much is something that would probably hurt them too.

The reality is some days/weeks/months/years will be tougher than others. When you lose someone close to you, the healing process isn’t something that can be measured for each person. We’re all different and cope in our own ways. Memories are so precious. Always hold onto them.

The other day I visited my granny and grandad at the cemetery and I cried for the first time in years. Getting older can make you stronger, it doesn’t mean to say that because you cry you’re weak. Others might ask themselves why I cried when it’s been over 17 years for one of them. That’s because your heart never lets go of love. I wouldn’t just shut off my feelings towards them because they’re not here, it’s not how life works. I like to know that I can talk about them any time I want with my boyfriend and talk about memories with mum, dad and my brothers.

There will be times when everything will get on top of each other.

When a certain amount of time passes by you’ve started to learn how to deal with a situation… then life happens. Since my uncle passed away this year I’ve realised that losing another family member doesn’t make it easier. You still grieve. You’ll cry when you don’t want to. But you soon realise that it’s okay and that you shouldn’t apologise when these things happen in front of people. If we held those feelings inside we would have an outburst one day and it’s a whole lot healthier to let your tears out.

If you’re someone who is going through some stuff right now that doesn’t seem ‘serious enough’ to talk about, if it’s getting you down then it’s important. Don’t think you’re going to be a burden to someone. Open up to someone and you might just see a new perspective.

girl looking out to the sea during sunset

The Idea of Perfection

Perfection doesn’t exist? Of course it does – we live in a world where there’s crisps, chocolate fudge cake and pizza! That sounds pretty perfect to me. But now, to more serious talk, the idea of perfection in ourselves.

Some of us are happy with the bodies we are in, some aren’t.

Many of us feel the need to wear makeup to cover up, to wear certain clothes to hide our imperfections etc. I’ll admit that I’m guilty of this. Spots, dry skin, bad hair day – you name it. But when anyone else experiences either of those things I honestly think they look fine.

In the gym, do I see sweaty red-faced girls? Nope, unless you rephrase that to girl (myself). I see girls who look amazing considering they’ve just completed a fitness workout. Then there’s that girl over there (me) who’s dying for a bottle of water and to get home quick before someone sees me looking the way I do. Stupid, right? But it’s true.

I have come to the terms with the fact that no matter how perfect you might think someone looks, they don’t live for their ‘perfect appearance’ as much as it might be perceived on the outside. They’re just doing their thing. For some it’s lots of makeup, for others its au natural.

Let’s take work as another example. I wear bare to little makeup – lucky if I put mascara on now and again. I used to love wearing eyeshadow and mascara. But now, when I wear it occasionally, it makes me feel more towards some kind of beautiful. And it makes me feel good about myself.

Don’t let the bullies who called you ugly in high school make you think you’re ugly. Don’t allow the girls who told you that you hadn’t had enough boyfriends make you feel unattractive. Most of all, stop seeking for a more ‘perfect’ you.  There’s this idea that someone is ‘prettier’ than another. Embrace your beauty; don’t spend time trying to mimic someone else. I’ve already spoke about how social media affects how you feel and look.

Personality reveals all

There’s no one better than the person who you are deep inside. Personalities have so much power but the first thing you probably judge from someone is how they look. You haven’t had a conversation with them so appearance is the first thing you see.

A quick chat can reveal so much. The ‘prettiest person in the room’ could be feeling the lowest and steer away from conversation. Yet, the person who you haven’t paid much attention to could be one of the sweetest and bubbliest people you will ever meet. I like the quote “don’t judge a book by its cover”. I can’t reiterate enough how there’s always more to a person that what meets the eye. Yet people are so quick to judge.

Regardless of what someone looks like or if they seem more powerful, whether it be achievements, possessions etc. be kind. Everybody’s idea of perfection is different. And attributes of happiness vary from one person to another.

I have days where I feel so low about myself. Someone can take a look at me and not understand what reason I have to be down. They see a smiley person that’s always so positive. I see a girl who just wants to look and be better. But to be honest, in more recent months that feeling is starting to fade (I think and hope). I’m learning to embrace every single piece of me that makes me who I am, flaws and all.

You and I are here to be happy, not to be perfect.

a true love story never ends

Our Never Ending Love Story

Nowadays, people class their anniversary as different things stemming from first time they met, to their first kiss or their first date. Not everyone refers to the day one of you said ‘yes’ to being your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s significant other.

How did we meet?

This is a question that the both of us never really know how to answer; unless people are prepared to hear the long version. There’s much more to mine and Danny’s relationship than meets the eye. I’m afraid there’s so short side so this post does give the long version.

We went to the same primary school but we didn’t fall in love then, that would’ve been cute though. Being one year above me at school wasn’t the only thing that made me feel as though he was some kind of superior to me…

High school is something we didn’t share. But the end of my high school journey is when I remember being brought together. Our primary school was due to be taken down and that’s where we met on 4th July 2010 – easy to remember because it’s Independence Day in America. To be honest, even if it wasn’t I’d still remember.

After chatting about college, as Danny had already experienced his first year there, I noticed the high level of intelligence he had. So much so, I was nervous at the thought I’d be studying maths and bumping into him.

Chatting away is something that’s always come so easily to the both of us.

And in fact, it’s what made our friendship so strong. From the silly conversations e.g. texting, commenting on social media to face-to-face talk during nights out a couple of years later, our friendship was always there.

So why was it before those couple of years later, when we would cross each other in the same hallway on many occasions at college and not know what to do but smile? Sounds daft asking myself that question now because I really should have known. It clearly wasn’t a joke when someone made a comment saying, “Danny likes you.”

I think it shows that we had something to hold onto when we both came back into each other’s lives. Nothing was planned. To this day, I believe we were supposed to find each other.

Again, we had many chats through text which led to my surprise that he was coming on the same night out (we had the same friendship group). We had so many laughs where nobody would understand what was so funny half of the time. Even on separate nights out we would see each other and he always gave me the biggest hugs. People thought we were together.

Some months later, a simple “I miss you” message I sent to him gave me the biggest kick of reality.

Something was happening. When I look back I see so many amazing memories. From Danny’s first kiss attempt to our real first kiss (after a long heart-to-heart) there was a look and he made me see the bigger perspective.

I mean, a couple of months before this he lifted me over puddles in the rain. Surely I should’ve kissed him then? But no, our friendship was too much to think that something could take it away (something being me not being what he’ll be able to put up with!) Everything has its time and place though. And we always found ours.

He never stopped showing me how serious he was. A number of dates later and an even higher number of asking me to be his girlfriend… I said yes. I just had to be brave, you know?

Nothing worth fighting for should be easy every single day. Whenever battles come our way we face them together. Because if you don’t have together, what is a relationship?

And here’s the now… Danny has always invested so much time in getting to know me on a personal level.

When I feel ugly, he has the ability to make me feel like the most beautiful woman in the room. And even when I get things wrong, he still encourages me to be the best I can be.

We have experienced so much together – the ordinary and the extraordinary. Becoming home owners is one of our biggest dreams come true. Having spent these years and each day forward together is something I never thought I’d experience.

There’s no one that can make me feel more like myself than Danny does. He’s got the most amazing heart and I’m incredibly lucky to call him mine.

Who has always had your heart?