Are your mid-twenties your make or break point?

It’s the time for finding yourself while trying to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life.

It’s the time for making mistakes but making sure they never happen again.

It’s the time when you essentially have ‘no responsibilities’ but feel like you have the weight of your decisions on your shoulders.

It’s the time for having fun but at the same time, to stop playing games.

No wonder, we’re all friggin’ confused!

Santa Monica beach

Living life carefree in LA on our trip

Your mid-twenties is a bit of quarter-life crisis for most people, I think. Most people are in their first/second job since uni but are still trying to figure out whether it’s the right thing for them while trying to scrabble up the career ladder that is missing a few rungs.

Most people are renting somewhere or living at home still, trying to decide whether renting is throwing money away for the sake of independence or whether to stick it out at the family nest to save up for a never-ending deposit while house prices are still rising.

Most people are in a relationship or heart-broken from a long-term one, where one person (in the middle of their own quarter-life crisis) has decided to call it quits because they don’t know what they want. Meanwhile, there’s always one half in a good relationship that’s trying not to fret over the future while still enjoying the freedom of how things are now, without a mortgage, wedding plans or babies.

Before anyone tells me how doom and gloom I’m being, I’m saying how it is. I love everything about my life as it is now, I feel like it’s an extension of my uni days, with a decent wage and more expensive taste in wine but with the same sense of ‘WHAT NEXT?’

There’s nothing wrong to looking to the future, there’s nothing wrong with having those days where you’re just like ‘Please can I just doze in my hoodie all day and watch my Big Bang Theory boxset’ because urghhhhh, too many thoughts and responsibilities. I guess it’s trying to figure out that life balance of having ‘THE PLAN’ and enjoying every moment of how things are now.

So, if anybody knows how to do that, leave your nuggets of wisdom in the comments…

25 Before 25- The Halfway Point!

Hello! Right, as I tweeted earlier this week (@daniellestacey1- follow me!) I haven’t abandoned my little blog, I feel that we’d just started to get into routine and then I’ve gone a bit off the radar. Meh. It’s all because of a good reason though because I’ve just started a new role at The Mirror as a Social Media Assistant, yes I’ve gone to the ‘dark side’ with digital but I’m loving being able to learn more about something that I’m passionate about!

Anyways, before I go off again into my happy bubble, it’s time to recap on my 25 Things to do Before I’m 25 post that I put up in January. It’s a little over the halfway point but a girl’s gotta sleep! I haven’t looked at how many of these I’ve actually done before writing this post so by the end I’ll either pat myself on the back or tell myself to up my game.

Image courtesy of lifesatravel via Pinterest

Image courtesy of lifesatravel via Pinterest

  1. Visit Paris – its on the cards for October hooray!
  2. Take on another sporting challenge-  I raised £260 for my Canary Wharf run back in May hooray!BHF
  3. Camp at a music festival- In my defence, you couldn’t camp at the Great Escape festival. So there.
  4. Get more work published  Reviews in the Sunday Mirror and an exclusive. Boom. Tom_Williams_Review
  5. Visit somewhere in the UK I’ve never been- Hmm…I haven’t ventured far from Essex and the City sadly.
  6. Try different foods (Big step for a fussy-eater!) This one’s a work-in-progress but I’m getting there!
  7. Cook dinner for my family- Does scrambled egg on toast count?! 
  8. Finish a TV boxset- Halfway through Breaking Bad, no spoilers please!
  9. Start saving for the future  Getting there but not enough for a riverside apartment sadly!
  10. Have two mad nights out in a row or go out on a school-night (Deal with the aftermath without complaint) Done! But I did complain a little! 
  11. Experiment more with my personal style (Note to self: You can’t live in floral dresses forever)  Crop-tops aren’t just for size 8s and midi-skirts aren’t just for Grannies. Huzzah.
  12. Host a charity event- Hoping to do Macmillan Coffee morning in September 
  13. Create a collage/photo album of “My Life 18-25″-  Have started this and need to update it so I can use it for comedic reasons later in life.
  14. Move forward in my career
  15. Learn a new skill or take up a short course- Yeaaaaah, I really should learn to cook! 
  16. Stop worrying incessantly about EVERYTHING! Just STOP.- Ha! As if that was ever gonna happen! 
  17. Develop and be consistent with my blog  Ha! Up until this point. 
  18. Face my fear of public speaking- I did get out of doing a presentation at a conference. Oops.
  19. Buy a newer car- I can’t face getting rid of Bella Fiesta
  20. Visit more of London’s landmarks   I’ve had a fair few jaunts around the capital this year.St Pauls
  21. Learn when to say “NO.” You can’t always be Super Girl I haven’t beat myself up as much when I can’t do something, probably because I’m too tired to! 
  22. Be a bit more impulsive  I jumped on a Boris bike and drove through Brick Lane? How impulsive do I have to be?! I’m an OCD organised kind of gal Boris Bike
  23. Start writing short stories again – Find me the 25th hour in the day and I might consider this…
  24. Tick more bands off my Live Gig list Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, Wild Beasts to name but a fair blimmin’ few! TGE_TheSubways
  25. Be happy with where I am in life and enjoy living in the moment- I’m not going to cross this one off because its important to always do this! 

So there you have, I’m probably halfway through my list, so hopefully I’ll be a well-accomplished 25 year-old although you never stop learning of course!

The Art of Saying “No”

No, Non, Nein, Nee, Niet…it’s a simple little word so why is it so hard to say sometimes?

As part of my 25 Before 25 list, I’m trying to learn the art of when to say ‘no’ to things and erase the consequential ‘guilt’ I feel afterwards when I do so. I mean in the sense of doing things that go a little bit above and beyond and it’s hard because I want to be as helpful as possible to everyone. Some might call it ‘people-pleasing’ and maybe there is an underlying sense of wanting to be liked and feeling like everyone can rely on you. Admittedly it does become a bit tiresome when people then expect the ‘super-girl’ routine from you and you then feel like you’re massively disappointing them when you don’t immediately jump to it. I suppose in a way I’ve created my own little cycle that I find hard to get out of.

 

Photo courtesy of Pinterest via Media Web Apps

Photo courtesy of Pinterest via Media Web Apps

I also feel like I have to reply to emails straight away and it makes me uneasy if I have a full inbox of unread messages but I am starting to realise that it’s okay to make people wait. My day-to-day job is busy, fast-paced and sometimes, everything that I have written on my daily To-Do list doesn’t get done, especially if I have to drop everything for something far more important. Again, I’m starting to wonder whether to-do lists are actually good for you at all or whether they are the root of a compulsive person’s problems. That little piece of paper with all of your tasks staring back at you, putting pressure on you to tick them off. Sure, you feel like you’ve truly accomplished something when you’re scrawled through them all but if I see one or two that I haven’t, I feel like I haven’t been productive, even if I’ve spent the day running around like a blue-arsed fly. Aaaaand the trouble is, your work is never done, that’s why it’s a job, because if you didn’t have anything to do, what are you being paid for?

Back to the art of saying no, before I make a pros and cons list of to-do lists…in the past couple of weeks I’ve declined offers of going out after work and have tried to be a bit more firm with things e.g. “I’m really busy at the moment, not right now but I’ll try to later.” Not out of principle but so that I can create a more balanced lifestyle; if I went out to every event/gig I’m invited to, I’d be burning the candle at both ends and surviving on Wetherspoons meals. Been that, done that. Yeah I’m only 24 and this is the time to be living la vida loca but I feel I can a bit more choosy and I’ve learned its okay to say that I’m tired or I’m trying to save money, without feeling like I’m missing out on something or being a bore! Let’s be honest, I’m not exactly a hermit anyway!

Sorry if I’ve rambled on but sometimes when I feel a bit overwhelmed or a bit stressed, it’s therapeutic to write things down to get them off my mind. Maybe I should write a semi-autobiographical tale like Danny Wallace and entitle it “No Woman.” Hmm…

Anyone else find it hard to say no? Send your tips and advice my way!

25 Things To Do Before 25

I’ve said before that I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, they’re just set up to make you fail but I do love a to-do list and I’ve been wanting to compile a 25 Things To Do list before I become a Quarter of a Century Year Old. I started making this before Thailand so I could have technically cheated and added “Go somewhere exotic,” to it but here’s my 25 to tick off for the next 337 days…no pressure then!

1. Visit Paris

2. Take on another sporting challenge

3. Camp at a music festival

4. Get more work published

5. Visit somewhere in the UK I’ve never been

6. Try different foods (Big step for a fussy-eater!)

7. Cook dinner for my family (apologies in advance)

8. Finish a TV boxset

9. Start saving for the future (ooomph)

10. Have two mad nights out in a row or go out on a school-night (Deal with the aftermath without complaint)

11. Experiment more with my personal style (Note to self: You can’t live in floral dresses forever)

12. Host a charity event

13. Create a collage/photo album of “My Life 18-25” (My mush 19- 23 above)

14. Move forward in my career

15. Learn a new skill or take up a short course

16. Stop worrying incessantly about EVERYTHING! Just STOP.

17. Develop and be consistent with my blog

18. Face my fear of public speaking

19. Buy a newer car

20. Visit more of London’s landmarks

21. Learn when to say “NO.” You can’t always be Super Girl

22. Be a bit more impulsive (last minute break, an expensive purchase and don’t feel guilty about it!)

23. Start writing short stories again (Childhood/Adolescent hobby that left me when I had to start writing 3,000 word essays)

24. Tick more bands off my Live Gig list

25. Be happy with where I am in life and enjoy living in the moment

I know a lot of you are at the same sort of stage in life right now, so what do you want to accomplish before you turn 25?

Wonder what I’ll be doing this time next year…

Hello Monday!

Sooooooooo…it’s been a while but I am fresh and freckled from Thailand. Admittedly I haven’t felt with it for the past week or so since we got back so that’s blogging and anything that required intense concentration outside of work, took a back seat. I learned that jetlag is horrible and that I will never complain about a 2 hour trip to Europe- AGAIN! Thailand was an amazing adventure and I’ll be putting up a post mid-week to share all of the best (and funny) parts with you. It was utterly delightful to come back to the wind, rain and the tube strike and I dare say that it’ll only be another week or so before wanderlust kicks in once again.

Hua Hin Beach, Thailand. Take me back!

Hua Hin Beach, Thailand. Take me back!

In the meantime, I thought I’d just write a little catch-up post because I keep promising myself that I will be strict with my blogging and get a proper schedule going with it, it’s on my 25 Things To Do Before 25 list (coming up very shortly) but I’ve also included “STOP WORRYING ABOUT EVERYTHING” on it too. I think the latter will be better for my well-being!

Anyways, work has been go-go-go! Really enjoying writing the Gig Panel each week in the Ticket for the Daily Mirror (check it out every Friday). Outside of work, had a really busy weekend after we got back, which didn’t really help the jetlag but it was worth it. The girls surprised my friend Emma and I with a belated birthday present- Afternoon Tea at BB Bakery in Covent Garden! It had cuuuuuuuuuute written all over it from the illustrations and the china-ware to the delicious cakes and scones.I didn’t realise how quickly you could feel full after half a dozen bite-sized treats but we hit the shops afterwards to burn it all off.

Of course, Friday just gone was Valentine’s Day and after a manic week, it was nice to just go out for dinner and then do absolutely sod-all for the remainder of the weekend. This Monday has turned out to be less of a struggle than previous ones, amazing how much sleep can rejuvenate you! Tomorrow night I’m off to see an Andrew Lloyd Webber production Tell Me On A Sunday at the Duchess Theatre, as part of a Press Night (exciting!) and I’m taking my dear Mumma along for a nice, girly evening. I’m also hunting around for a 1920s style dress (too much choice!) at the moment as the girls and I are off to an awesome Prohibition party next month. Send any links/suggestions my way, s’il-vous-plaît!

Hope you have an awesome week, I’ll be back soon with my 25 list and loads of Thailand pics to make you dribble…

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!