Sunday, 26 April 2015

5 LESSONS WE LEARN IN OUR TWENTIES


1. It's the decade to be selfish. We may not be married or have kids yet, and we may not really have a 'proper' job yet so now is the time to do everything we have always wanted to do. Travel, spend money, skinny dip, climb a mountain, swim with dolphins.. whatever you want to do! Because as you get older, the more responsibilities you'll have. I'm not saying you won't be able to do these things however, once you hit thirty my guess it that it's a lot harder to walk out of your job/family because you've now decided to go road tripping around Europe.

2. Nobody really has a clue about what they're doing. You know when we're five years old and think that all adults, especially our parents, are superheros and have their sh*t together all of the time? Well, we are now those people and guess what? We aren't actually superheros. We are all just muddling along, trying to make the best of our lives. We are perfect but we are human. Making mistakes and learning is a really important part of life!


3.  'You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do' - Eleanor Roosevelt. There's not much more to say really, is there? The teenage years of doing things to please others are over and wearing a certain thing to 'fit in' isn't your biggest problem any more. Because actually, people are too busy thinking about themselves to give a damn about what you are doing (in the nicest way possible, of course). Life's too short to care about what others think anyway, because the people who matter will simply support you.


4. Money isn't everything. Sure, I like a designer handbag, holiday and hefty wage packet as much as the next person but I think as long as you are happy and doing what you love, then that's all that matters. I know being secure is important because I'd be lying if I said it wasn't, but (
and yes I know it's cliché) money can't buy you health, happiness or love.

5. Trust the process. One lesson that is perhaps the hardest to come to terms with, but learning to trust that the universe will provide you with what you need, when it's time to have it, is definitely quite important. I always fear that I'm going to sound really philosophical when I write like this, but I really do think that if we work hard then we will be rewarded, however when and how are not always so clear. Maybe things happen for a reason, maybe they don't? But learning to enjoy life and the journey in which we get from one road to another is something I think we should all do.
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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Sri Lanka

I'm writing this very late at night after what has seemed like the longest day I've had in a long time (7 hours in Uni presenting and watching presentations). If you read this on the day I've posted, then I am actually presenting my final ever Uni presentation today which is pretty exciting!

However, what's more exciting, is that yesterday I was offered a place with an organisation to volunteer in Sri Lanka for 3 months, supporting individuals who suffer from mental illnesses. It's a mixture of working in hospitals, supporting those who have suffered from the trauma of the tsunami/civil war, and teaching children/young adults with special needs. Perfect experience for a wannabe clinical psychologist, don't you think?!

You may or may not know, that last year I went to Thailand to teach English in primary schools for 6 weeks, living with another volunteer and host family. Well, this is a similar concept as I will be living with a host family again, just doing slightly different work. Volunteering does mean funding it myself but I am set on getting a job and funding the whole trip myself this time (partly because the website isn't justgiving and I am not happy with people donating to a site that takes a chunk of it for themselves!). So, if anyone wants to give me a job, feel free ;)

But more seriously, I feel much happier about taking some time out. Following on from my last post, this is what I was thinking about doing - traveling, seeing the world and supporting others. And sure, getting a random job may not be the 'ideal' thing to do when you come out of Uni, but if I get to see the world then it doesn't really matter. I am still only 21, I don't need to find a 'proper' job yet. I have the rest of my life to do that so why do I need to do that now when I'm going to be working until I'm 65 at least!?

I remember being in Thailand riding an elephant, standing in the monsoon drenched, looking out over the mountains whilst eating dinner, and genuinely feeling like I was on top of the world. It was the most surreal six weeks of my life, maybe the best six weeks of my life, so I'd be stupid to not go and do what I love.



So, roll on Sri Lanka 2016!
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Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Journey

I feel like this blog has changed dramatically over the last year, and I should add that it's definitely for the better. It no longer houses dark, eating disordered diary entries but more the upbeat, mainstream kind of posts that I guess I believe is what is expected. I was talking to a good friend of mine a few days ago about blogging, discussing how many years ago we both set up a blog anonymously for the same reasons, but also not really knowing where our lives would go and what direction our writing would take. Years later, and this blog has changed and grown, but because of that, the content has had to change. You have to be aware of your readers because the last thing anyone wants, is to be left feeling vulnerable.

But there are some days where I miss just coming on here to write. Write anything. Write anything that comes to mind without thinking about a fancy picture or layout, or being funny or attracting readers. I kind of miss simply writing for myself.

This is my blog after all and it's my choice as to what I write. I (we) should be able to produce content that I can look back on and think wow, you've come a long way or you really were worrying about nothing etc..

And on the note of choices and writing for myself, I want to remind myself that options are great. I am thirteen days away from finishing my degree. I know what I want to do with my life, or at least I think I do. However, getting to that point isn't so clear.. and I need to remind myself that that is OK. I may find that by setting out to do what I think I want to do, that another opportunity arises and that is OK. I may decide to go traveling again and enjoy what the world has to offer, because hell knows I enjoyed it so much last time. I may decide on a completely different career path such as management or journalism. Who knows?!



But not knowing isn't a bad thing like I previously thought it was. Having options means I'm not driven by a set of rigid rules. It means I am free to choose and I should enjoy the process. I think sometimes we set our sights on an end goal, but really there isn't ever an end goal. Life doesn't just stop once we complete our personal missions, and because we forget this, we often forget to enjoy the journey.

The journey - which is just as, if not more, important than the destination.

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Wristbands to identify mental illnesses?

If you are reading this from the UK, then you'll be well aware of the General Election that is happening on the 7th May this year. If you're not from the UK and didn't know, you do now ;) As a young person, I know I'm not alone in that I'm not 100% certain about who I am going to vote for just yet but I am 100% certain that I WILL vote, and so should you. I could bang on about how important it is to vote, that not voting puts you in no position to complain afterwards, that it definitely does impact on your life, and that woman died for us to vote.. but I'm sure you already know this!

No, instead I wanted to discuss a suggestion made by a conservative parliamentary candidate for Cambridge, who said that mental health patients should wear colour coded wrist bands to help identify their mental illnesses.

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

As if there isn't enough prejudice about mental health in this country already! How can this campaigner possibly think that this is a good idea?!

I genuinely don't even know wear to begin when discussing how wrong that would be. Firstly, and I can only draw on my own experiences, but hardly anyone knew I was ill (or if they did, not much was said). This meant I functioned like a completely normal human being.. I never had a day off work or college, I completed my A-Levels, I carried on attending the Am Dram group I was in. What I'm trying to say, is that I was no different to anyone else regarding my ability to work (which is primarily why this campaigner thinks wristbands should be introduced). So why should I have been treated differently?

Secondly, like I've already mentioned, there is sooooo much stigma already, WE DO NOT NEED TO MAKE IT WORSE! A lot of people I know, are so frightened to tell others that they have a mental illness because they fear being labeled 'crazy', so forcing them to disclose something that still remains to be personal, is very unfair. But also, what about those who don't even realise they are ill? Or those who are recovered? I don't consider myself mentally ill anymore but when would I have been allowed to take the wrist band off?

Finally, a different colour for each illness? What about those with multiple mental illnesses.. are they going to be made to wear an armful? Mental illnesses are just too complex to classify into colours! Unfortunately, symptoms over lap and it can take years to diagnose an illness.

Basically, this is so flawed and just wouldn't work at all. A policy like this is really disappointing and emphasizes just how far society still needs to go.
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Monday, 13 April 2015

Twenty One

You may have read that on Saturday I turned the big two one. Long gone are the days in which your biggest problem is not having the smelliest gel pen or not having the shortest school tie, eh? No, twenty one means you are most definitely an adult. I don't actually mind be twenty one, because really what is being an adult? Sometimes I just think adults are older people simply pretending to how to live. Fake it 'til you make it and all that..

Back to my Birthday though, my weekend was lovely. I had some wonderful presents and messages, and went to shop/see Shrek the Musical in Birmingham, followed by a meal with perhaps my favourite family members yesterday (I know.. we shouldn't have favourites, but when there's so many of them, it's impossible not to, right?). I may have also pre-ordered the new MacBook.. oops!


But, what I think know was most important to me, was the time and effort made my some family members and friends. You could give me all the money in the world, and it still wouldn't mean as much as say a yankee candle, my favourite perfume or a personalised card. And put materialistic gifts aside, a room full of family members laughing and taking the p*ss out of each other is something that should be treasured. Life's too short to surround yourself with negativity - celebrate with the people you love and I can guarantee you, you'll never have a bad time. 

I didn't take many photos as sometimes I believe it's important to live in the moment rather than being too busy trying to capture it but here's a few. Also, thank you to everyone who wished my Happy Birthday, it really did put a smile on my face.

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Friday, 10 April 2015

Girl On The Train


Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel catches the same train to and from London everyday, and each day the train stops at the same place meaning Rachel can see into one specific house. This house belongs to Jess and Jason, a loved up couple. This house is also near Rachel's old home, and now home to her ex-husband and his new wife and child. As the days pass, Rachel sees a new man in Jess and Jason's house, and soon Jess goes missing. Rachel thinks she is valuable for the investigation, however Rachel is also an alcoholic and doesn't seem to remember that night at all...


And if you want to find out what happens, you'll have to read it!

Firstly, apologies for the photo.. I could not get a photo without a part of me reflecting back from my kindle screen! However the book is actually really good, not a great piece of literature but definitely a thrilling book full of suspense. Sometimes you just need a good story, don't you? I don't have much to say about this book, without giving the entire plot away. other that I really enjoyed it and I recommend it! It didn't take me long to read as I wanted to know what was going to happen, and it's an easy read so doesn't require much thinking. One for those sunny afternoon's in the garden or to take on your holidays for sure!
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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

BMI Bullsh*t

As I've moved house, I've also had to change everything document wise. Driver's license, bank accounts, doctors.. and what comes with the latter, is a registration health check up. Oh, the joys!

So, later on I will be weighed by a nurse and she'll tell me that my BMI is 'healthy'. In fact, it will be the first time ever that a health professional has told me that I have a healthy weight - and that's a 'in the middle' sort of healthy weight, not just the 'hanging in there by the skin of my teeth' healthy weight. It's probably something to be pleased about, and yes I guess it is, but you know what? BMI is a load of bullsh*t.



This notion that everyone is healthy within this certain range is completely ridiculous. The idea that my 5'5 body will be at optimum health, at the same weight as your 5'5 body, is just not feasible at all. We are all unique, individual human beings. Small, tall, thin, short, slim, big, large, round, pointy.. you get the idea. We are diverse. BMI, however, does NOT account for this. It is a single measurement, one of which doesn't account for energy levels, happiness, cognition... life!

For starters, we all know that muscle weighs more than fat. So classifying an athlete, who is much fitter than your average person, as obese is laughable. Similarly, classifying an anorexic who has restored weight to BMI 20 but is still freezing, hungry and can't think properly, as healthy is also laughable. I should probably mention that I am not healthy at BMI 20, and only around 10% of the population are. We don't get to choose our optimum weight, just like we don't pick our height or shoe size.

Before I get questioned, I'm not saying that being severely underweight or morbidly obese is healthy, and I think if you fall into either of those categories, then deep down you know that. But what I am saying, is that you nourish your body with goodness, have great energy levels, think and function properly, interact socially, laugh, dance, cry.., chances are you are healthy even if your BMI is 'overweight' or 'underweight'. And if you've just changed your lifestyle to include those things, then don't get caught up on BMI, because your body will find it's optimum healthy point, naturally.

So yes, I finally have a healthy BMI, but really it's all a load of garbage. We are not all the same model of iPhone.. we are diverse human beings.
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Thursday, 2 April 2015

Life Lately | #5


So as you know, I'm currently at home and life has slowed right down. So much so that I'm becoming a little bored already. I love being busy so it doesn't 'chilling' doesn't always sit well with me but I guess it's all about work/life balance, and I'm definitely restoring that balance. Plus it means I have a little more time for this space!

This is what I've been up to anyway..

I went | Apart from coming home, I've not really been anywhere worth noting BUT I am back on the road! You won't know this, but I passed my driving test 3 years ago and have not driven since! However, as I'm about to finish Uni and my brother needs to drive to school, we're both now insured so I have managed to do some driving. And despite being petrified (and laughing at my Mum who is sat in the front also petrified), I'm kinda enjoying it. I'm also surprised by how easily it has all come back.. although if you do see me out and about, I'd advise you to keep your distance for now ha!

I'm reading | I should probably rephrase this to say 'I stopped reading' Zadie Smith's 'On Beauty'. I rarely stop a book but I just can't get into it at all!

I watched | Private Practice! I'm back into loving series again and this is a spin off of Grey's anatomy so it's perfect for me and any other grey's addicts out there.

I finished | MY DISSERTATION! DO YOU KNOW HOW GOOD THIS FEELS?! It just needs proof reading, printing and binding and then I am done. D.O.N.E. Can you tell this makes me happy? I only have one essay left to write and two presentations, and then I'm almost done for good :)

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