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?

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.

two hands held together

To the One Who Loves Me Completely the Way I Am

This post is for the one who loves me in a way I never thought anyone could love another person.

I’m the kind of girl that gets lost in my own thoughts, the girl who loses perspective from time to time. But that’s where you come in. You hold my hand to guide me through the hardest times. You lift me up in the air and spin me around just to see me smile. Even if I say I’m okay, you make it your mission to make sure I’m more than okay.

You’ve seen it all – the weirdest, craziest, happiest, saddest versions of me.

And you love me for all of them. Never have you asked me to change or do something better. But you let me know you’re there if I do want help to do something differently. Managing my emotions as you’ll know can be difficult for me to do.

It means the world to me that I’m the one you open your heart to, ever since those years ago. And I’m so glad I did with you. Many things come our way but we face them together. I could feel like I have everything hit me at once and you lift it all away.

I always say, “I’m a strong independent woman” but part of that is because I’ve had you. Without you I wouldn’t have built up the courage to achieve new things in life. And I honestly don’t know what I’d do without you. Well, I’d be lost. You have helped me shape into the woman I am today. It’s amazing to think how one person can lift your mood when you’re at your lowest. You’re also able to make me happier whenever I think we’re at ‘the happiest’ part. You show me that it’s the two of us against the world.

You’re the one I want to continue to share everything with.

No matter what challenge or sadness arises, you’re always there for me. Together, I feel like we can accomplish anything. Let’s continue to dance even when there’s no music. You make me happy in more ways than you’ll ever know.

Our love is forever. I won’t always be perfect but I’ll always be yours. And you’ll always be my everything.

Who’s the one who loves you for who you are?

colourful umbrellas open together

Living in a Positive World Starts with You

Living in a positive world can seem far from easy when there are so many negative happening. Sure, but have you ever considered all of the wonderful things that there are to live? Whenever I think something goes wrong, I tell myself that “It could be worse” or that “There are worse things going on in the world.” It’s important to steer towards positive thinking about the future. The happiness in your life starts with you.

A positive mindset, positive friendships and relationships and feeling positive about yourself are three key things to living in a positive world.

Among the high level of pressure in today’s society to achieve things by a certain age to be successful or look a certain way to be classed as attractive is ridiculous. Be whoever the hell you want to be and don’t let anybody else’s appearance determine how attractive you are. There’s beauty in everyone and behind each and every human being are backgrounds that no one could have a clue about. That’s why I think we should grow into our own person rather than what we have seen.

Start with loving yourself

You can’t make people love you so why not love yourself? One of my weaknesses is self-criticism. Whether it be my face, my figure, my hair, skin (the list goes on) there’s always something to pick out. And if it’s not physical it’s wishing I could do better. More recently though, I’ve been recognising my potential. I’ve always believed in taking footsteps on my own journey rather than a vision of somebody else’s. Making my own choices has built the foundation of my happiness today.

Don’t be like everybody else

What’s the fun in being the same as everybody else? I’m probably one of the weirdest and random people you will ever meet. I know it and so do the closest people around me. I’m quiet sometimes but I’m also the giddiest at other times. Following the crowd isn’t my kind of thing. I’m happy to say that I’ve got a handful of close friends and not a single one of them has ever asked me to be different. Every single one of my friends have something different about them that I love. Express those personality traits regardless of what anyone has to say. Being your natural self is the best and you’ll be much happier.

Always believe that something amazing can happen

Going back 5-10 years ago, do you think I imagined to be where I am today? Nope. Having ambition, working incredibly hard and finding who are along the way has helped. I entered this world 3 months early so to my parents, I’ve probably always done the unexpected. I never thought I’d have a man in life who could love me just as much as a father love his daughter or a grandad loves his granddaughter. Being a homeowner by the age of 24 was never a plan but it happened at the right time and with the right person. Heading into a media/writing skilled carer was something that I thought was never going to happen but it did.

Never back down when life gives you heartbreak, challenges, or a sense of disbelief. Always be yourself and never let anyone dull your sparkle.

4 plant pots that together spell 'HOME'

Living Together Creates a Whole New World of Happiness

For us living together isn’t all arguments that some people make it out to be. In all honesty, we just don’t argue, it’s not us. If we feel an atmosphere we either talk it through if there’s an issue or we wonder what we’re actually doing and hug it out. Little nags here and there is all normal but it means absolutely nothing when living together is the best thing in the world. 

A brand new house all to ourselves!

We have never felt happiness like it. You think the amount of years you’ve spent together, the travels, adventures, endless amounts of laughter is as good as it gets. But there’s so much more. Living together opens a whole new world. I don’t think I could ever get bored of eating together, waking up to each other and spending more time together.

It doesn’t have to be all of the stress that people make it out to be. Sure, there are times that’ll test you if something doesn’t work or something isn’t how you expected to look or be. But guess what? You get through it together. Laugh it off or for the more serious stuff, tell each other that it’ll get sorted because you’ve got this! Them kind of moments take patience and keeping the motivation that everything will and is coming together.

The money side of having our own home hasn’t once made us panic. We’re very sensible when it comes to bills and putting our priorities in order. That being said, we also now how important it is to ‘live’ – not only to survive but to enjoy life. Being so strict with our savings and staying organised helped us a great deal. We loved working through everything together from the buying process to moving and purchasing decor for our new home. It all seemed so easy because we did it together. The best things in life take time and this has definitely been the best and biggest yet.

Neither of us have ever wanted anything more or wanted so long.

But that’s me and Danny, we never rush into anything. We built our relationship from friendship to love, learning to know each other in all kind of ways. Watching each other grow and achieving this milestone is just more amazing than words can describe.

On a personal level, I feel like a weight has been taken off my shoulders. I always had a big bundle of worry as you might have noticed if you’ve seen some of my other blog posts. But now, I’m a new person. Maybe my confidence will improve to? I hope so. 

Living together has opened my eyes to finally believe that, having each other is all that matters. Nothing else, no opinions need to get in the way.

Living together brings you even closer.

Every hug, small or big gesture towards the other – it means everything. You value it all. Leaving the odd sock on the floor really doesn’t matter when it means you’re in each other’s company a whole lot more. Oh and it’s a bonus that the sunset views at night are so nice!

This is everything and more than we’ve ever dreamed of. Does it get any better?