Taking chances

So…it’s been a while, just when I got into a routine with this blogging malarky, life has been a bit upside down for the past couple of months. In a sort of good way with a lot of stress in between but as they say, ride the storm and you’ll get a rainbow.

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Yeah I know it’s a cliche but I don’t like to be negative on my blog and some people might wonder if I’m showing a true representation of my life but to be honest, I don’t want everyone knowing EVERYTHING. You could probably accuse me of only posting positive tweets/statuses and that makes it seem like life is golden all the time but it’s not. No one’s life is.

As much as it’s interesting to see raw emotion on someone’s blog, I’m not comfortable with it because it’s there forever on your little corner of the internet. People write things in the heat of the moment and that’s good from a personal diary perspective but some may regret this later down the line.

Before I go off on a tangent, the things I basically haven’t written about in a heartfelt way on here is the stress of not knowing if I’d have a job by Christmas, having been on a maternity/temporary contracts for the past year. I’ve cried lots, I’ve drove my family, boyfriend and friends mad (and myself), my sleeping pattern is all over the place at the moment and my appetite has waned.

But I didn’t particularly want to whinge and moan ‘Woe is me’ all over social media and my blog; I’d rather treat it as a life experience and then write about it all afterwards. It’s been frustrating to put it all in a word but would I change any of it? Some parts maybe but on the whole, it’s something that I’ve had to do to get to where I am today.

I could have gave up a couple of years and just accepted that getting into journalism wasn’t going to be easy, I could just work my way up in retail or get a secretarial job (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but would I have been happy? Having had experience in both sectors, I knew that I couldn’t give up on what I wanted to do and one of the worst things that anyone can ever tell me is ‘you’ll never be able to do that.’ Yeah…well, watch me.

I’m absolutely over the moon to finally have a permanent contract at The Mirror now as an Online & Digital Assistant. Having graduated nearly three and a half years ago, I’m so glad that I didn’t give on doing what I wanted to do, when at times, it seemed like the easiest option to do.

It is worth taking a risk and a chance sometimes and if it doesn’t work out alright in the end, it’s still something you can learn from. If things hadn’t have gone as I planned, I have gained so much experience from it all and have met some awesome people along the way.

Typically I’m one of those people that always wants to run before they can walk- what’s next, kind of thing. I know where I want my career to go and I know with anything, it’s not simply a case of going from A to B. Sometimes you gotta throw in your plan C, D or even E at times. But for the time-being, I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

Balance is the Key to Life

I’ll confess that I had a bit of a mini break-down last weekend, which sounds sooooo dramatic, I know but as most girls will know, every now and again, you end up crying buckets for absolutely no reason. Damn hormones. Well…not for no reason, I guess I started feeling overwhelmed again and gallivanting around everywhere all the time, didn’t really help. There are a few things at the moment that are stressing me out and I’ll be glad once I know the outcome of them (sorry to be cryptic) but in the meantime, I think I’ve been distracting myself by doing loads of things and trying to be Super Girl ha. As usual, I end up feeling ‘burnt-out,’ so this week I’ve decided to chill out more, spend some time with my family and get a few bits and pieces done that I’ve been putting off doing. My little sunshine get-away to Spain on Saturday has come at the right time too!

I find it hard to get the right balance in my life sometimes and I feel at times I’m neglecting some things more than others and to be honest, I’m so busy worrying about those things when I’m concentrating on what’s in front of me, that I turn into a complete and utter grouch. Like I said in my previous post about the art of saying no, I’m trying to get into my mindset that its okay to miss out on things or turn things down because I need an evening monging out in my pjs, watching one of my guilty pleasures (usually a crap chick-flick or Geordie Shore).

So in spirit of my couple of weeks of ‘Me-time,’ although I don’t like calling it that because it sounds selfish but anyhow, here are a few of my creature comforts that I do to relax and unwind. Ah…bistoooooo… Creature_Comforts A nice bubbly bath- You can’t beat a laaaavly scalding hot bath filled with a beautifully-scented bubble-bath, I love Palmolive’s Naturals range (Milk & Honey- yum!) and BodyShop’s Passion Fruit Shower Gel because you can still smell them hours after a scrub in the tub and they’re kind to your skin. I know most bloggers are Lush fans but I don’t dig being covered in glitter.

Pamper sesh- I’m not patient enough to sit there with a facial mask on but I do love a cleanse/tone/moisturise regime. I treat myself to Clarins products every now and again and their everyday exfoliater and cleansing milk is gorgeous. My skin is mostly combination but it can be quite sensitive too and I find that Clarins is not too heavily perfumed to cause irritation. Admittedly my skin is driving me nuts at the moment because I keep getting a few break-outs (I had none when I was a teenager!) so I’ve been using some blemish treatments (Bodyshop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion and Witch Blemish Gel) to keep them at bay.

Snuggly PJs- I’m a sucker for a cute PJ set (not very sexy I know) but sometimes you just need a bit of comfort when you’re slobbing out. Tesco and George at Asda always do really reasonably priced sets and the quality is good. I usually then like to snuggle up in my dressing gown or a blanket with a pillow. I’ve been looking for a couple of quirky scatter cushions for my bedroom for a while now but haven’t really found any that fit my duck-egg/cream theme. Think I may have found a winner with this Layla Grayce one…

Tea & Cookies- Nothing beats a good British cuppa and of course, what goes best with a brew? Cookies! Yeah I know you’re supposed to lay off the refined stuff when you’re feeling a bit under the weather but that’s 70 calories of happiness, right there.

Girly Reads/DVDs- I love buying three or four magazines to read over a weekend so that I can flick through them at my leisure. My fave glossies are Elle, Company magazine, Look and InStyle but I’m gonna wait this week to stock up at the airport for the plane journey. Most of the mags are giving away some awesome beauty mini’s this month. My TV at the moment is being dominated by Sport (good job I’m a fan!) so yeah I’ve watched about 90% of the World Cup and most of the Grand Prix, Tour de France and Wimbledon…I think I’m entitled to a month of trashy chick-flicks! Katherine Heigl is one of my favourite rom-com actresses so I guess it’s no surprise that 27 Dresses is one of my guilty-pleasures, probably because I can relate to the main protagonist Jane’s Type A personality and I’ve been a bridesmaid like 7 times! Don’t get me wrong, I do prefer a comedy/thriller most of the time (currently on Season 3 of Breaking Bad) but sometimes you just need to watch something that doesn’t require too much concentration.

What are your creature comforts for maximum relaxation?

The Girl who didn’t go to Paris

I’m a firm believer in not having regrets in life because I think that sometimes that’s just the way things are meant to go sometimes, c’est la vie etc. However, is there one that you’ve spent the last couple of years or so kicking yourself over? I kind of feel that way with Paris…

Basically, between my second and final year at uni, we had the option to do an exchange year abroad and one of the choices was Paris. I put myself forward, went to all the meetings, pretty much had my place at Sciences-Po and was in the middle of a complicated process to find somewhere to live for 8 months but then…I bottled it.

Image courtesy of Anirudh Koul via Flickr

Image courtesy of Anirudh Koul via Flickr

The U-turn came about when I was ‘stuck’ in Spain for a week longer than I should have been (remember the Icelandic volcano?) and although I was staying with family, I suddenly went into a complete and utter melt-down about how I’d cope being pretty much on my own in a different country, where the first language wasn’t my mother-tongue (even though I’d been learning French since the age of 11) and how terribly home-sick I’d get, despite only being across the channel. I was being sent tenancy contracts that were entirely in French (go figure) but I kind of became overwhelmed by everything and I thought that the change would probably give me a nervous break-down and I’d end up back home within 3 months.

Part of me now is telling my 19 year old self to stop being such a baby because it’s such a good opportunity but there’s no use in beating myself up over it. Some things are meant to be and I know I just wasn’t ready to take the plunge. By that point, it was also too late to change my destination and instead go to Australia with my two awesome girls Kiki and Sally (yeah another kick, right there) but then again, I didn’t have as many hangovers in my last year haha! I’m kidding, I missed them both terribly.

I know people move out at 18 and go away to uni and they deal with it just fine but at the time, it just wasn’t for me. I justified my decision by saying it was okay because within another year I’d be done with uni forever and then I could go to Paris whenever I wanted and enjoy it from a tourist’s point of view, without studying and fending for myself. Would I do it now? Probably not and part of me wouldn’t change anything because I obviously needed another year or so to feel ‘more grown-up.’ I might be the girl who didn’t go to Paris but since graduating, I’ve done some pretty awesome things so far.

Three years on from graduation and I still haven’t been to Paris but hopefully that’s all about to change because we’re looking to take a trip to the city that I’ve put on a pedestal for the last few years, in September.

I’m obsessed with anything Parisian so I’m hoping that it lives up to my expectations (sadly had people tell me otherwise) but if anyone has any tips/advice on where to stay for a couple of nights, which touristy things are worth doing etc, that’d be très super!

Merci beaucoup!

Time to Come of Age

Today I turn the grand old age of 24 and according to the Vaccines, its time to come of age. I always thought that turning 21 was the definitive time that you become “an adult,” but looking back, I was in my last year of uni and the biggest woes I had were completing my final project without having a mental breakdown and trying to pass my driving test. In this day and age, kids seem to grow up quicker but when is the exact moment that you ‘officially’ become an adult?

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Is it passing your driving test, getting your degree or getting your first job? Or is it moving out, getting married and having kids? A couple of years ago I did feel like I was a million miles behind some of my friends, I was still fighting to get a job role that I really wanted to do, most of them were in long-term relationships with some of them living together or getting married. This time last year, I told myself to stop worrying about what everyone else was doing because you reach milestones and ‘life events’ (cheers Facebook) when its right for you and not to try and play ‘keeping up with the Joneses.’

My parents were married, had a house and me by the time they were 24 but as much as I’d like to be living in my own place right now, its not feasible, times have changed and we shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves to try and follow in the footsteps of generations before us. Women are having their careers first and their children much later, young adults are living with their parents longer because the mortgage situation is quite frankly ridiculous and most of us don’t marry the first person we fall in love in with. There’s no such thing as the ‘norm,’ anymore and I’ve realised that life isn’t a long to-do list of things you need to tick off, its about experiencing them at the right time for you. Don’t run before you can walk, as the old saying goes!

So I’m going to enjoy my last year of being an 18-24 year old and see where life takes me next…

Cheers to the next 365 days!

Forever 21

Isn’t it funny how small events can lead to significant changes in life? Time seems to be going at 100mph and before I can even catch my breath (or a wink of sleep) another week appears to have rolled by and before you know it, it’ll be the dreaded C word…Christmas.

I’ve said this before but I feel that since graduating two years ago, life is zooming by at an alarming rate. I didn’t want to turn 20, let alone 24 on my next birthday in January but I guess I can revel in the fact that I still get ID’d for absolutely everything. Maybe I’ll be one of those women who can pull off looking 30-odd in their forties, here’s hoping!

Graduation was two years ago...whaaaa?!

Graduation was two years ago…whaaaa?!

Anyways, I digress…I had a little shingdig at mine last weekend, which resulted in several games of Twister in the wee hours (you’re never too old!) but by the time 3.30am rolled around, I was most definitely up way past my bedtime and if my life were a Disney movie, I’d most definitely have turned into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight. Despite then getting up at the reasonable time of 10am (hangover-free, I might add!) my Sunday was a complete and utter write-off  and I channel-hopped my way through most of the day, with even the small task of making lunch being an arduous one. It seems that I can’t hack a night out past 1.30am these days let alone do two nights out on the tiles and god forbid ever going out on a school night.

I’m hoping that my inner dormouse will soon adapt to living la vida loca again, especially as I’m back in the big, bad city.

It’s not just my perchance for a decent night’s sleep, it’s also little things like suddenly becoming interested in things like the British Bake-Off, Grand Designs and Countryfile. Meals out also seem to be more common than a night out, I mean with a Tastecard, you’ve got yourself a 2-4-1 bargain there and I’ve also noticed that between my friends and I, we’re no longer opting for the House Wine, just because it’s the cheapest thing on the menu…no more alcoholic vinegar for us! Bring on the knitting needles and beige velcro shoes!

I’m totally kidding, I’ll still be rocking sky high heels, whizzing around in my Madge mobile when I’m like 80-odd!

Anyways, you’ll be glad to hear that on the job front, I’m settling in well. I only get lost on a twice-daily basis now, I’m still in awe of the amazing view from the office and I’m enjoying meeting and speaking to new people. My gym regime has also upped its ante (possibly due to the amount of cakes and biscuits the Notebook team get sent…yummy!) and I’ve also experienced my first fire drill evacuation, let’s just say that I’m super glad that we have to go down fifty flights of stairs, as opposed to up! I’m still praying that Canary Wharf will see sense however and open up a Greggs within the vicinity, I was spoilt in Essex with not one but three within reach of my old office. Mmm…baked goods.

In the meantime, I have become uber-addicted to Pinterest! It’s always be a slight little obsession of mine but now its out in the open. I’m an absolute sucker for a mood board and if I wasn’t chasing my journo dream, I’d want to be an Interior Design. Just one small problemo…I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler and I probably couldn’t be trusted with a glue gun. Ah wells, at least I can make things look pretty virtually instead. Check out my latest trend boards here; Beautiful Burgundy, Pretty in Pink and Halloween.

Posts will be more regular from now on- I pinky-promise. I unfortunately keep having recurring headaches/migraines and by the end of most days, my eyes feel like they’re bleeding from the strain (niiiiice mental image, soz) but I’m getting the ol’ blinkers tested at the end of the week just to rule that out.

I’m off for an early night with a cuppa tea and a good book…oh life!

 

Time is of the essence

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock.

 

“You may delay, but time will not.”

– Benjamin Franklin ( US author, politician and inventor)

I recently stumbled upon this quote, while looking for another way to tell one of my friends to stop procrastinating with his uni work and it has struck a chord with me ever since.

In one way, I suppose it could be viewed negatively because we are constantly reminded that life is too short, time goes real quick and most of us are obsessed with clock-watching our way through our days. I know that even while on holiday, I still like to know the time so I can plan my day accordingly, which is downright silly to be honest.

But on the other hand, it’s a quiet reminder that while we’re all delaying, putting off or just being down right lazy, deadlines, opportunities and even people can pass us by. And as Shakespeare once said, “Opportunity knocks but once.”

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t all stop to sniff the flowers every now and again but try to make the most of every minute of your day. Speak to that friend or relative you haven’t been in touch with for a while, apply for that job that’s dropped into your inbox, go for a drive or a walk and visit that place you’ve always wanted to go to. Always try to do something that is productive or meaningful each day so that you can say that you haven’t wasted a single moment.

Remember, life’s too short.

 

 

 

 

All the Two’s…Twenty-Two

So over the weekend, I celebrated my 22nd year on planet Earth and upon reflecting over the last few years of my life, I’ve decided that for the rest of my twenties, I am going to approach life in a different way.

After graduating last July, I have fretted non-stop about nabbing that perfect media job which will set me up for life so I can have a view of the city from my fabulous bachelorette pad in London and finally own a Chanel 2.55. I’ve spent many a sleepless night wondering if whether I’m making enough effort to nab said job or whether to retreat back into my shell and give up. I go through stages of feeling bitter about the current economic situation and wondering why on earth I’ve got myself into approximately £18,000 worth of debt from tuition fees and student loans when I haven’t moved from my current rung of the ladder.

BUT then I realised…

(And yes, Mother, if you’re reading this, it’s what you’ve been telling me all along!)

Something WILL come along eventually and I am determined that through hard work at my current job, blogging, other side projects and the contacts that I know, it will all pay off.

I’m an impatient person but at the end of the day, 22 isn’t old and there are still so many doors that are waiting to be opened. Sometimes in life, one door opens for you and stays open. Other times, the door lets you in but swiftly smacks you back in the face or it doesn’t let you in at all. Just learn from those “doors,” until you find one that gives you a key and allows you to paint it your own colour.

Like Alice, find the right door

I’m making the best out of what I have at the moment and I’m determined that if I have any setbacks, I won’t lock myself in my room and cry about them, I’ll take a step back and reflect upon them and therefore learn from them. Of course, human emotion can sometimes overpower rationale but to use the old cliche, if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

All of the above can be applied to any aspect of your life whether it be through work, social or personal. I’ve also learned from the past year that trying to keep forcing a door open when it doesn’t want to be opened or let you in anymore doesn’t work so I’m shutting it and walking away from it. In the long run, surrounding yourself with things that make you feel negative can affect other aspects of your life so it’s best to end that chapter and move onto the next.

I know this blog entry is all very philosophical but I think birthdays can always be seen as a sort of fresh beginning. Although you don’t feel older initially, it’s always a good starting point for reflection and making the next 365 days as good as and even better than the past 21 years.

Close one chapter and start the next...

Today is how my book begins…the rest is still unwritten.