purple and pink starry sky

To My Big Sister Who I Never Got to Meet

9th December is my sister’s birthday and anniversary. A day which my mum and dad never forget no matter how many years go by. A couple of years ago I finally asked mum the questions that were always on my mind about losing her baby girl. This year marks 26 years. And mum never puts the Christmas tree up until after 9th December.

Each year I wonder what it would’ve been like to have a big sister. You hear many siblings saying how they clash with their sisters or they can be annoying. But surely there are so many positives. Here are the things that I think about…

The girly chat, following a path of guidance.

Friendships, periods, makeup, boys, general girl stuff, you know? And even coursework and exams. When it comes to guidance I’ve taken my own path and done things quite independently. As close as I am to my mum, I couldn’t always talk about all of the girly things. A lot of the time I kept a lot to myself unless I told a friend. I always felt behind when it came to boys, knowing how to apply makeup and being the girl you think you’re supposed to be. But then I hope that my sister would’ve told me to be the person I want to be and that is being myself.

Someone who’s there on stressful days when no one understands…

I often imagine coming home and being able to run to the girl who would’ve been my big sister to scream, cry, or just rant away. Instead I scream into my pillow just like Lilo does with her sister in Lilo and Stitch. So perhaps, that how it would’ve been on some days anyway if we got in each other’s way?

The go to person for fashion advice.

I know loads of girls complain when their sisters wear or borrow their clothes, some they never see themselves in ever again. But isn’t that part of being sisters? I also think that my big sister would’ve been amazing with advice on what to wear. I don’t know why but I just think she would’ve got me to be fashionable a lot sooner. It would’ve been funny to see the styles that we both went through influenced by our parents and then by our own decisions.

None of these thoughts can change anything but I remind myself…

I’ve got a best friend in my life who’s like a sister when it comes to someone who will sit in a car for at least an hour catching up and sharing everything that’s going on before you’ve even got out of the car to go into the shop for god knows what. Food, clothes, Disney stuff? We don’t always know but we do it anyway.

Last but never least, you have a man who has talked to you about things you didn’t even imagine anyone on earth would. Those weird random traits of yours. The public embarrassments when you’re fooling around.

Oh and don’t forget you’ve spoke to him about your periods, toilet habits, and trying to perfect a certain kind of hair style or outfit. What does he tell me every time? He tells me that, “It’s going to be okay.” This isn’t because he doesn’t care and just says it. It’s actually because he cares more than anyone in the world and he’s right when he says everything will be okay. It always will be because he’s always there for me.

He will completely understand after reading this post what I’m talking about.

The amount of times I’ve told him I’ve always wanted to be the daughter that my mum and dad deserve, I can’t even tell you.

Nicola, it seems that we couldn’t both be here together. Mum and dad will never forget you. And even though we never met, I’ll always think about you. Happy 26th birthday. You are their brightest star in the sky. I’ll always imagine what it would’ve been like to have you as my big sister. I think we would’ve been the best of friends.

girl walking on sand to the beach port

When You Know Where You’re Supposed to Be

This post is a message I’m sending to myself and to anyone, to show you that you’re where you’re supposed to be.

All of the talk you’ll hear in your life about what you want to be when you’re older and what your plans are for the future, can leave you with so much uncertainty. But it’s okay to face the unknown with a future that holds several options because at some point there will be a time when you say, “This is where I’m supposed to be.” Even if it’s not forever, it’s right for this moment in your life.

There’s a reason that people come into your life even when they don’t stay.

Part of life is realising that people will come and go. Sometimes it’s for the best when it comes to ‘friendships’ that weren’t such friendships. Other times will bring upset because there will be at least one person who you thought you could share a friendship like no other with. It’s okay though because as I’ve said before, the people who stay and stay true to themselves are the best kind of people for you.

The biggest thing I’ve learnt is that, you can’t be your happiest without facing your fears. You hope for a bright future full of positive things. But where’s the reality in that happening without facing some scary or nerve-racking moments along the way? Having the courage to do the things that scare you can lead to something you never thought you’d have. If you read my post about taking chances you’ll see why.

There’s always been someone and something there that you hadn’t seen before.

Many people will tell you about their dreams coming true and you begin to wonder what your dreams are. You come to think that you don’t really know or that you haven’t really had any at all. That isn’t entirely true. There can be things right in front of your eyes that you never realised you wanted, something deep down that you dreamt of.

I’ve never been someone who needs saving. Nor have I considered myself to be the type of person who needs to have someone to learn what happiness is. Family has taught me a lot about happiness through happy and unhappy moments. You learn how to have strength that can guide you through a lot of things.

You discover that this is where you should be.

One day you’ll look at what you have. You have the truest and best of friends that there is. You have someone who loves you for every piece of your personality that makes you the person who you are. As much as you love your independence, they’re always there to hold your hand. Sad times are put into the distance and you’re happiest memories come to live. These are part of the ones you’ll treasure forever.

One thing remains… no amount of accomplishments or love you’ve given, will stop you from wanting to be something more. It’s fine. Setting goals is an important thing to do. But remember, when you’re already told that you’re everything, maybe you need to accept how somebody else sees you. You won’t always see it yourself even though you should. But it’s something that will probably stay a part of you.

The only reason you should ever look back is to see the person you’ve become today.

This is where you’re supposed to be. Life will always teach you lessons, help you to find yourself and give you the meaning of happiness.

You can wish you would’ve noticed things sooner. But it won’t change anything. The best part of it all is that, you are with the person you’re destined to be with. Every step you take is an adventure together. You work through things as a team. He’s the biggest love you’ll ever have. Don’t let them go because this is where you’re supposed to be.

balloons in cloudy sky

Wishing You Were Here on All of Your Birthdays And Every Day

Hey granny, I can’t believe it’s your 77th birthday today. Whilst I’m wishing you were here I thought I’d dedicate this post to you. February marked 16 years since you became an angel looking over us. It seems like yesterday when I was sat on your knee whilst you were singing songs to me. Me, you, grandad, Phil, and Gaz taking spontaneous trips together. Saying no when I wanted to play shop so I only had grandad as my customer. But I loved you then and I still do now.

You and grandad were the two people in my life who shown me that, no matter how many years go by, the people you love stay in your heart forever.

I always liked how yours and grandad’s birthday are close together – 22nd and 26th July. Two dates which never disappear from my mind. It’s the same with your anniversaries too. It’s like my body is on auto mode, with a reminder in the lead up to them days before.

There are videos and photographs of you feeding me in my bouncer when I was a baby. I might not have the vision of that but I do have a mountain of memories shared with you. Adding salt to a packet of chicken super noodles; using jam and butter without getting either into the other jar; leaving nails everywhere around the house (the ones you put on the walls to hang photos up with); taking me on your shopping trips with you; putting my hair in that little bun I always liked with a million hair grips; and a whole lot more.

We had a special little bond didn’t we? The seven years I got to spend with you were some of the most magical times in my life. I still imagine you being here. Looking over my shoulder like you always did. There’s a photo in a frame on my bedroom wall. It’s of me, you, and grandad. And you’re smiling and looking down at me with your hand on my shoulder. I can still feel your hand. And I remember my smile from that exact moment.

Being your flower girl is going to stay as the most amazing memory in my heart from all the weddings I’ve been to yet.

I held those rings on a cushion thinking that yours and grandad’s love would last forever. And the truth is, I believe it has. A love that always stays with one another is something I’ve always wanted. The world took one of you away. But I think a dream came true for the both of you before this happened.

When you were no longer here, grandad was my go-to person growing up. My best friend. I could confide in him about anything. The most frightening things I’d seen, he heard all about them. And of course, the happiest ones. Most of which were the times we spent evenings chatting about you. I think you knew he’d have a huge job looking after us all. But you didn’t doubt him. And that’s why he never let go.

I learnt that no amount of tears could bring you back.

I’ve said before that I wish you both would’ve seen me growing up together. I’m more than three times the age I was when you were here. But I can only hope that I’ve turned out to be the young woman you imagined me to be. I pictured you at the school gates for quite a few years. It took me a while to understand that you weren’t here. I spent time alone crying. And I even cried when I was with my friends. I burst into tears not being able to say my lines for a school play. And I even let the teacher shout at me for it, as they were unaware.

Grandad taught me how to be strong showing me the importance of being able to love someone no matter how near or far away from you they are. He shown me that the ones you love won’t ever think you’ve forgotten about them. And he was always referring to his love for you. I understood this more as I got older.

Happy birthday, granny. Wishing you were here today, on all of your birthdays, and each day we spend apart.

girl on swing

How Your Happiness Changes Over the Years

When I was a little girl I used to wonder what was beyond the happiness I had then. I remember the time my face lit up when I got a purple bike for Christmas or the time before that when I had this huge Crayola board. Let’s take a look through my life.

Chapter 1: Primary school

Happiness was playing with water and sand in primary school. Thinking you were so artistic with paint when you used to do that thing where you splatter it everywhere with different colours. Learning how to read, write, and listen. Learning a bit of Italian. Understanding what polite mannerisms are.

Being the kid that enjoyed maths and English. Running around carelessly in the playground. And then running to your parents at the school gate. Getting new stationery and cute little outfits when mum or the grandparents would take me shopping. Oh and how can I forget the endless amount of sweets at the pick ‘n’ pix?!

The school holidays were so exciting as you got spend lots of time with your friends and family. This continues into high school.

And I was still the aiming high kind of person. I wanted to work as hard as I could to get the best grades I could. Happiness at this point had more downfalls than it did in primary school.

Chapter 2: High school

The worst thing to happen to me during primary school was losing my granny. So I thought the hardest thing about high school but be difficult GCSE exams. Nope. I like to think I handled them pretty well. Grandad passed away in the second year of high school. You lose one and you think the other will stay forever. If that was a dream then what are you supposed to do when someone tells you to chase your dreams? Little did I know things were about to get harder.

High school brought bullies into my life. Not just to see it happening to others but to myself. I thought seeing others go through torture was horrible. It changes you as a person. You feel weak. Everything they do and say stays with you forever. You even start to wonder if the words they use describe you correctly. Or if you deserve things being thrown at you. It turns out I was the strong one and they were weak. They couldn’t do anything on their own but I got through the rest of high school with them being around. I stuck to working hard, enjoying time with friends and accepting that not everyone can accept you.

To be honest, I knew that from the get-go.

When the girls from the popular groups are superior to you. I remember my first week in year 7 (the first year of high school). One girl from my brother’s year was telling me what length to have my skirt. And another girl was telling her to leave me alone. I don’t think I wore a skirt from then on. Sticking to a pair of black pants and a white blouse was good for me.

I think about this one time my I was heading over to the toilets in the annex building alone. A boy in my year walked past and looked at me.  He turned around and said, are you in my year? I said yeah followed by answering with my name. From the large group of everyone who was ‘known’, someone stopped and took the time to see who I was. They weren’t nasty or judgemental – simply friendly.

Those kind of people would always say hi passing, cheer on the relay run at sports day, and had a laugh with you in class, they were the good moments. By year 10, I was happy again. I ignored everything that had ever got me down, started to put my hand up in class again, and walked with my head held high.

Chapter 3: College

I used to wonder who was going to hold my hand as I was getting older? Knowing that my parents will be there for me inevitably was sure. But what happens now?

Before you know it, you’re an adult. You see your brothers getting older and you think oh no, it means this is happening to me too. You might think you can’t wait to be 18 but your mind just has no idea what the future holds. Being a 16-year-old was difficult enough. Going through that stage where you think a boy might like you which can be exciting but doesn’t last very long. Perhaps college will bring new friendships?

I was so happy that it reunited me with people from primary school. I always thought that some people were shocked to see that I knew certain people. But I did. College was so hard. You gain more independence. But oh my, there’s a whole lot of hard work. Sometimes I would get the grades I wanted and other times I didn’t.

Your first 3 months of college can be spent as someone who’s challenging who you are.

Getting into a relationship with someone you barely knew but it was one of those things that happens because it happens. Trying to keep a hold on where friendships are going. Coming to terms with the fact that some people can just be strange or choose not to be associated with you. The “Oh I think a boy likes me” comes back into play just when you think you can’t be liked again. But then you realise you’re not like the girls you see photos of on Facebook or around in general. Being pretty or fun enough was hard. You’ve done a few things you probably wouldn’t have expected yourself to. But then you’re tired of trying to make things happen so you decide to live.

You realise that you were stuck in-between trying to be yourself and also trying to follow the crowd. That doesn’t work for you.

Chapter 4: From then onwards

All in all, university didn’t really live up to my expectations. Although the day of graduation feels surreal when you’re up on the stage and realise that 3 years of your life have gone by so fast. In July, another 3 years will have passed since that day. You don’t even have to worry who’s watching you in the audience or in the photos. You know they’ll be in your life forever. Perhaps you won’t stay close to all of your uni friends. But you’ll keep in touch with one or two for sure. Your group of friends was small for a reason.

Again, like college, university challenged you. You don’t like to look back on certain things. Everyone has opinions. You hate drama but seem to have caught up in it at times. People won’t always see why you did what you did but you stand for everything because you know. That’s what matters. This chapter stays small even though it’s the biggest part because you look back.

The pieces of the puzzle fit together.

Earlier in your life, you wondered what was going to happen next. Well, here’s where everything comes together and you see it happening. Someone who has been on your path several times is heading in the same direction with you. There were three key stages in your lives prior to this. Primary school, the summer holidays before you began college, and the first year of college itself (their second). You think that after they’re not there not year or so, that’s it. Just like everything else that passes.

A simple funny little message from you and your contact is back. Of all the people in his life, he hasn’t forgotten about you. You remember the first time he ever complimented you. It turns out that the time apart was a very small part of your lives. As we got closer, I was frightened that it would all be taken away. I didn’t think he was beginning to feel what I did. But let’s look back on some key signs I may have overlooked at the time.

  • Your brother would choose to ask him “Where’s Tash?” on nights out.
  • The look in his eyes when he thought you were near somebody else hits you.
  • After all, he’s kept you safe for a while now.
  • He’s even lifted you over puddles in the rain.
  • He’s always there when you need someone to talk to.
  • He meant every single word you never wanted to believe for a very long time ago.

It’s him – he’s my happiness!

You open your heart up to him. All of the mistakes you think you’ve ever made. From all the things he doesn’t already know, you tell him everything. That’s when everything falls together. It’s the second time round (that I was aware of) that he leant in to kiss me. Last time, I bit his lip and I was so nervous! In a room full of people, we just looked at each other and he held me. This time, I just knew it was meant to be.

The walks home at 2am in the morning. Holding my hand for the first time walking down the road. No care in the world other than the happiness in our faces and our hearts.

Ever since, he’s held my head up whenever I’ve been down. Wiped my tears away and turned them into smiles. Held my hand and travelled on so many adventures together. My biggest and most exciting adventure. This is where my happiness lies now and forever. The best decision I ever made because it’s lead to the greatest happiness.

To the people who think, “It’ll change when you live together” you’re wrong.

When you’ve waited so long for that moment and took the time to make your relationship what it is, nothing changes who you are together. We waited for each other for so long, we know that nothing in the world can faze us.

Valentine’s Edition: 20 Reasons I’m So Glad You’re Mine

You don’t need me to tell you that its Wednesday 14th February – Valentine’s Day. I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Oh here we go again. That day of the year where couples are devoting their love to one another.” Go back over 5 years ago, Valentine’s Day was just an ordinary day to me. I wasn’t one of those people who felt depressed because I was single on this one day of the year as well as the rest.

I never had a boyfriend, a date, a bouquet of flowers, a card etc. on Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t even one of those kids where their parents would write a card out for them. I probably wouldn’t have understood why if they ever did. So what’s changed since?

As I’ve already told you, I remember the first time someone wished me a happy Valentine’s Day. And even more so, it was so special to me. It wasn’t a random kind of text message. It wasn’t just a “Aww thanks!” moment. Ever since me and Danny got together there have been so many things I wish could’ve happened. But we just have to be glad that we are where we are today and we made it happen through believing in each other and the love we have for one another.

Why I’m so glad your mine, not just on Valentine’s Day but for the rest of our lives…

I know you’re someone I can count on

You’re my rock whenever I’m at my lowest or just need a little push

You see me in a way that nobody else does

We can’t argue – we prefer a bit of silence that lasts about half an hour

We tackle challenges together

You’re the easiest person to laugh and joke with, even if it is at me

You look at me like nobody else does

Whenever someone asks me about the future, you’re there

Because you make me happy in every single way

We get the chance to miss each other

And we also get the chance to feel excited

We look forward to things together

We want to help each other chase our dreams

We motivate each other, because we both want nothing but happiness for each other

The one person I always wanted, wants me to

If we made it to where we are today, we can make it anywhere

You can make me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world

I know that I can confide it you with no need for embarrassment

I’ve got you and you’ve got me

There’s nowhere else on earth I’d rather be

It’s amazing to think that I didn’t think you’d want me for more than two weeks. But when I look back, you asked me several times about being in a relationship. To the compliment you paid me back in 2010 to the many, many more along the way, you’ve everything and more that I’ve ever dreamed of.

balloons close up in the sky

What Missing You Really Means To Me

Have you told anyone “I’m missing you” recently? There are people who’ll come and go in your life. You’ll think you miss them. But when it comes down it, you’re not really missing them. Perhaps, you need to focus on something else or it’s the simple fact that, you use the phrase too loosely.

As you get older it holds much more meaning. Sometimes, I miss seeing my best friend. But we’re always there for each other at the other end of the phone (when she remembers to reply) if not in person. I’ll tell my brothers I miss them and I often wonder if they miss me too. That’s just two examples but there are going to be two main focuses in this blog post. I share a memory of telling someone I miss them and I talk about those I miss every day.

The “I miss you” text message

Three words – ones which don’t mean a lot to some people. However, this ‘I miss you’ was so much more. I told someone I missed them in a texted message and I got them thinking I’d messaged the wrong person. Oh they were wrong. This was definitely meant for them. That night, I miss you opened up a whole new door. Or maybe the door was already open, they’d probably say it was. But I just took forever to see it. It led to one of the longest heart-to-hearts I’ve ever had with this person, and if anything, ever. I let go of all of my insecurities for one moment after letting tears stream down my face, and felt something.

I spent too long chasing other things and this sudden moment made me realise who I really was and what I was really feeling. I was falling in love. A feeling entered my mind and heart that made me feel like no one else was but us. Since this day, we’ve shared conquered a lot of challenges together, taken many adventures, and we’re even more in love with each other.

So now today, I dream of the day where we have our own home. So I won’t have to have those days when I miss him. He’s the person I need when times are the hardest and he’s also the person I have to share all of the best times with. When you feel this, it’s amazing, isn’t it?!

The “I miss you” letters I wrote to my grandparents

I still have these letters along with a lot of things that remind me of granny and grandad. Whenever I see a star in the sky, I see them loving over us. I’ve thought it ever since granny was the first one out of the two to fly into heaven, when I was 7-years-old. Night after night I had to see that same star shining in the sky until I could sleep and go to bed. It was becoming a thing I’d still do if someone was babysitting me. Then I realised that maybe I could look outside my bedroom window. Granny and grandad were two of the most heart-warming people. You don’t need me to tell you that, memories are precious. But I will say that these two people shown me how important it is to live for each moment of each day.

I think when you look at an old photograph or a piece of something that reminds you of someone and it can still cause tears to roll down your face, you know it still hurts that they’re gone. It one thing that I know won’t ever stop. But that’s okay because it means they’ll always be in my heart. I imagine they’re still me sometimes so that I’m still sharing everything with them. Granny saw very closely, the girl I used to be. And grandad saw the little girl turning into a teenager. Wishing they could see me as the young woman I am today won’t bring them back. So every day, whether it’s out loud or in my head, I let them know that I miss them.

Who was the last person you said, “I miss you” to?