Sunday, 11 September 2016

"Just be yourself"

"You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously." - Sophia Bush
It's your first day at a new school and you're terrified that you won't make any friends. Your mum bends down, gives you a hug and utters that age old piece of advice..."just be yourself".
The truth is, I've never known how to take this advice. I didn't like myself, my life or the situation I was in. I felt like I had lost control of my life, so I hid behind people and social media in order to forget that I wasn't ok. That I was terrified of facing who I was. Once things in my life changed, I woke up. I saw things for how they were and I made a change.
At least, that's how simple I wish it was.
I was always the shy kid in the corner of the classroom, not necessarily alone, just... there. I've always had friends, sometimes even fairly popular friends, I was just never like them. I have always just been a little boring, or invisible I guess you could say. So when people would tell me to "just be myself", I guess I didn't know what to do. To me, just being myself meant continuing to be invisible. To be quiet and only speak when spoken to because that's what people had come to expect of me. I was never the pretty one, the smart one, the funny one or the artsy/talented one... I left that to my friends. Simply, that's what I was, I was a friend. I was always just known as somebody's friend. You won't believe the amount of times people have come up to me and said "Hey! You're (insert name here)'s friend, right?"
Honestly, it didn't even bother me for a long time. But by the age of about 15, I guess it kind of did. I started to feel like the person everyone knew me as, just wasn't me anymore. I wasn't shy anymore. I wasn't ok with blending in and being invisible. So, I changed, and I've been changing. Every day since then I've slowly changed things about my life and how I act and look. There have been a lot of step backs, and I can't look another human being in the eye and say that I'm fully put together.
So, being told to "Just be yourself". Here was my problem. What if you discover that you don't actually like yourself? What then? It's not as if you can just hop on a train and pick up a new personality from the nearest department store. And then of course, that leads onto a whole other problem of "what if I don't like what I see in the mirror as well?". I mean, looks aren't everything, but they can seriously derail a person's confidence. What if you look in the mirror and all you can think is that your forehead looks too big, you have too many spots, your skin is too pale, your eyes are a boring colour, etc? By nature we seem to be able to focus on the negatives rather than the positives.
So once you realise you don't like who you are, whether that be inside or outside, surely this is where you decide to make a change. But, where to start? Is changing yourself really a good thing? I'm trying to have a fresh start, as I realised that due to the people in my life I began changing who I was without even realising it. But once those people left, I was stuck. I was angry at myself for changing who I was for another person's approval, however, the only real option I saw to get myself out of this situation was to change... again. It's funny really, how the problem can also be a solution. A big change I have made, and am still in the process or making, is caring less about social media. I'll admit that I got caught up for a while with how many likes I got on a selfie I posted on Instagram, or how many people looked at my story on Snapchat. But it soon becomes like an addiction. Like you can never be good enough. The truth, and this took me a long time to learn, is that how people see you on social media really doesn't matter. A filter can hide a lot, but you can't wear them in real life. Social media is often like a competition to see who can look the most put together. But the truth is, nobody is. Surely if our lives were really all that great and put together then we wouldn't NEED to gain confirmation from others or brag about the material things in our lives.
Truthfully, I've tried a lot to change. Cutting down on social media, or at least viewing social media differently, was my first step. The next thing I did was start to look more closely at the people in my life. I was surprised by how... well, how damaging some of the people in my life were and in some cases still are. In order to be happy in your own life and in your own skin you need to surround yourself with people who build you up and make you want to be the best version of yourself. I realised that many of the people in my life were the complete opposite. In fact, they actually made me feel worse about myself. They would belittle me and make me feel worthless in order to make themselves feel better. There is only one word for this... bullying. So, that's the change I'm working on right now. Not only am I trying to distance myself from those who made me feel so low, but I'm also trying to introduce more positive influences into my life. So far, I like to think that I've made a pretty good start (you know who you are).
Mistakes. We've all made them. For a while all I could think about were the mistakes I had made. I was so caught up in the past that I couldn't really imagine much of a future for myself. But, I realised something. Are mistakes ever really mistakes? Of course we all make decisions that we regret. But, if we are able to learn a lesson from them and use the knowledge we gain from them to better ourselves, how can it really be a mistake? Sometimes pain, especially the pain that comes from regret, is a necessary step in rebuilding yourself. I had to completely crumble before I could put the pieces back together, and believe it or not, but crying helps. I will never understand why so many people see crying as a weakness. If anything, it shows wisdom. It shows that you understand that for you to move on and reach acceptance, you must be ready to break apart and stop hiding from what's hurting you.
So, at this point you're probably wondering WHY I crumbled and how I came to a point where I even needed to learn all of this. Well, that's something I can't really talk much about. Mostly because it wasn't just one big thing. It was a build up of little things. The truth is, I ran. I ran from the problems in my life. I even used people and relationships to distract me and make myself feel better. That's my biggest regret. Not only was it not fair on those people, but it wasn't fair on myself. I wish I could end this post with something inspiring. I wish I could say that I'm 100% put back together. But I'm not. I still have a long way to go, but I'm trying. This post is quite simply what it is, it's a jumble of thoughts thrown together. It's just honest, and that's all I can offer anyone right now: honesty. But that's ok, because I'm trying. I'm slowly making the pieces of myself fit together. Basically, the whole point of this is to say, it's ok. It's ok if you don't know how to "Just be Yourself".




Monday, 15 August 2016

18 Things I Want to do Before 18



On the 1st November I'll officially be turning 18 years old, and I am kinda freaked out about it! The idea of being a legal adult sounds like way too much responsibility, and has happened way too quickly. I feel like it was only yesterday that I was buying a Cheshire Cat plushy from the Disney Store... wait, that WAS only yesterday. Despite my months of denial, I have finally acknowledged and come to terms with the fact that turning 18 is just around the corner. With this in mind, I decided that it was about time I embraced the feeling of still being 17 and doing the things that I just never got around to before. So, here is my list of things I am determined to do before I turn 18...
1) Watch a sunrise/sunset
2) Pull an all-nighter 
3) Take myself on a date
4) Pass my driving test
5) Find my happy place
6) Strike up a random conversation with a stranger
7) Carve my name in a tree
8) Re-read Harry Potter (again)
9) Be myself for one day (no letting anxiety get the better of me)
10) Scream as loud as I can
11) Go to a party
12) Write a letter to my future self
13) Bury a time capsule
14) Make something from scratch
15) Leave a note for a stranger in a public place 
16) Do 50 random acts of kindness
17) Learn Morse Code
18) Start a scrapbook

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Current Playlist | 28/06/2016



So exams are over, meaning my stress levels have drastically decreased and I finally have more time for blogging again. Considering this is my first post back I thought I would keep it fairly simple, so here's my current go-to playlist at the moment. If you have any suggestions for songs you think I should add to the list please let me know in the comments ;)
  1. Wetsuit - The Vaccines
  2. The Good, The Bad and The Dirty - Panic! At The Disco
  3. Mad Hatter - Melanie Martinez
  4. The Judge - Twenty One Pilots
  5. Thnks fr th Mmrs - Fall Out Boy
  6. Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time - Panic! At The Disco
  7. I Always Knew - The Vaccines
  8. Lovely - Twenty One Pilots
  9. Somewhere in Neverland - All Time Low
  10. Send my Love - Adele
  11. In Our Bones - Against The Current
  12. I Predict a Riot - Kaiser Chiefs

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Appreciation



"When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each colour of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath you take. Find yourself in the appreciation of life." - Christy Ann Martine

For the last few years my life has revolved around the idea of spending each day planning and preparing for the next. Spending every available hour studying for the exams that will make sure my life is a success. But recently I've realised that's the problem; success. When did the amount of money you earn or the brand of your clothes start to determine your success, your worth? Why should we all care so much about the opinions of others, when those opinions are so heavily based on how you look and what you have to your name? 

Recently, I realised that success isn't about what you have, it's about who you have in your life and how happy and content you are within yourself. When I found the above quote, it opened my eyes to just how much I have and how thankful I am to the people in my life.

 I want to show my appreciation for the people that have allowed me to develop and grow into the person I am today. My family who, despite the challenges of the past few years, have taught me to be proud of who I am and that no goal is too great. The friends that made me realise that being strong doesn't come from hiding your weaknesses, but embracing them and trusting others to accept them. And the people who have an ability to make me smile even when I'm at my lowest; those people who seem to know exactly what to say at just the right moment.

Despite how cliché this sounds, life is short. This is one thing I've learnt more than anything else this year, so make sure you show your appreciation for everyone who has ever taught you something, or even just made you smile before it's too late.
xxx

Sunday, 13 March 2016

My Favourite Words | 2016


You may have noticed recently that my posts have been a little short and spaced out, and for that I apologise. I've had a lot of work to do recently, but hopefully I can get back to doing a few more in-depth posts again soon. As for today, I wanted to do a bit of a different post. As a book lover, words are kind of a big deal for me. So, why not share with you a few of my favourites...
  1. Cacophony - a harsh mixture of sounds
  2. Blasphemy - profane talk
  3. Enigma - mysterious or difficult to understand
  4. Antagonism - hostility, opposition
  5. Fastidious - attention to detail
  6. Bane - cause of great distress
  7. Myriad - countless/ extremely great
  8. Beguile - to deceptively charm
  9. Supercilious - acting superior to others
  10. Pragmatic - Sensible and realistic

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Top 10 Favourite Disney Movies



As a big Disney fan I felt like writing a post all about my favourite Disney (some Disney Pixar) movies, specifically animated movies. So, lets get right into it...
  1. Big Hero Six
  2. Tangled
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. Aladdin
  5. Alice in Wonderland
  6. Tinkerbell
  7. Frozen
  8. The Little Mermaid
  9. Cars
  10. Ratatouille

Monday, 15 February 2016

A letter to a friend


So, your 14 years old. I can't believe that was only a couple of years ago for me. You've come a long way. I know right now your worried about the future, just counting down the days until life actually becomes a little more interesting. Unfortunately it isn't quite that simple. The best advice I can give to you is, stop waiting. In the last few years since I was your age I've learnt a big life lesson; that nothing that comes easy will ever be as satisfying as the things you have to work your arse off to achieve. Waiting for your life to include a little more sunshine won't just come to you if you hope for it hard enough. You have to attack life and what you want from it with all the passion I know you have inside yourself, even if you don't see it.

Ok, I get it, kind of an intense start right? Let's touch on a sightly more light-hearted topic. Your excited for when you get to be my age. To you 17 sounds like an awesome stage in life, where you'll be partying, popular and probably have a gorgeous boyfriend that things the world of you (at least, that's what your diary suggests ). Well,... not exactly. Don't get me wrong, life isn't bad, it's just unexpected. You realised over the years that those things just didn't matter as much as you thought. So what that your not little miss popular? You have a group of unbelievable friends that love you despite your weird little laugh and kinda creepy sense of humour. So what that you don't go to parties? Trust me their over rated, and you hate loud music, drinking and big groups of people anyway. Believe me there will be nothing you like more that a big mug of coffee or tea (in a Disney mug of course) while watching Netflix. Wait! Do you know about Netflix yet? Shit, well don't worry about it. It's like your best friend but comes with a subscription charge. Anyway, back on topic. Where was I? Right, So what if your single and writing this letter alone on valentines day in 2016? Sixth form's hard. Correction, Sixth Form's a bitch. It takes a lot out of you and your going to be so focused with just getting all the work done that dealing with the drama of a relationship is the last thing on your mind. It's not what you wanted I know, but it isn't that bad. You're a good student and you've already achieved really good results at GCSE. OK, so maybe you didn't get those A*'s in History and Business that you wanted (sorry for the spoiler) but you still did really well. You also actually leave your bedroom once in a while, half the time just to go to the library but outside is still outside.

Your also a lot more confident when your my age, at least compared to how you are right now. I'll admit, you still sometimes look in the mirror and hate certain things. Your hips are too big, your ears stick out, your teeth aren't perfectly straight, blah, blah, blah. But in the end none of those things matter. You appreciate life so much more. and you're actually passionate about things. You care about the world and what happens in it. Soon enough you will be introduced to conflicting ideas about equality, justice, etc.  and you will develop your own opinions that you should stand by. Those opinions are strong and you should never be ashamed of them, even if they are a little different from the majority. I'm only telling you this for your own peace of mind, so try and keep it to yourself, but you're actually not a terrible person, despite what some people might tell you. You may not like everyone but you believe in equality and treat people accordingly. You care about what happens to others, even if they don't see it. Oh, and about that problem you were having with that 'friend', don't worry. You sorted that out. It actually becomes one of your proudest moments. I didn't know you had it in you.

The point I'm trying to make is, you don't suck. Life may not be perfect, but it never will be. All I can really say is it gets better. You find a love for blogging and consequently, photography. You have far too many books, but you'll read them all eventually. You learn 'interesting' facts about things, such as the mating habits of snails and you also get to see pictures of genitalia with STD's in school (that's one thing you probably could have lived without seeing, at least you have a fair warning now, right? That probably doesn't make you feel much better). All you really need to remember is... it gets better. Including your fashion sense and taste in, well, everything. Just a hint, but do yourself a favour and listen to a few Panic! At The Disco songs tomorrow. You won't be sorry.
Love,
17 year old you
xxx

Monday, 8 February 2016

A Week In Reflection | #4


Favourite Songs Listened To...
Turn off the lights - Panic! At The Disco
Figure Me Out - The Summer Set
Hurricane - The Fray
LA Devotee - Panic! At The Disco
Death of a Bachelor - Panic! At The Disco

Books Read...
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (finished)
The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger (started)


Photo of The Week




Most Interesting Google Searches
Harry Potter socks
How do they put the design on socks?

Curious Thoughts
What would happen if humans were human, but with unicorn horns?

Shows/Movies Watched
Pretty Little Liars
Shadowhunters
Bones
Cars
Stella
Cinderella
Criminal Minds

Favourite Quote
"Never be afraid to fall apart, because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along." - Rae Smith



Monday, 1 February 2016

January and December Book Haul | 2016



I know, I know this post is a little late, but with all the New Year's stuff I've wanted to post about this is the first chance I've had to share all the books I acquired over the festive period. I don't see how this post will need much explaining, so I'm going to jump straight in. However, If you do have any questions then please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.

1)Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
 This book was given to me as a Christmas present (thanks Shayleigh!!!) and honestly, I hadn't really heard anything about it before.

2) The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling (Penguin Clothbound Classics)
Another Christmas present (a much loved one, thank you Becky). This is one of those books that I grew up knowing the story of but never got around to reading.

3)Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (B and N Leather bound Classics)

4)This Side of Paradise and other stories by F.Scott Fitzgerald (B and N Leather bound Classics)

5) Gray's Anatomy by Henry Gray (B and N Leather bound Classics)

6) Five Novels by Charles Dickens (B and N Leather bound Classics)

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Our consciences are always so much heavier than our egos | Outfit #5




Outfit details:
Top - H&M
Pinafore dress - Topshop
Necklace - Etsy
Shoes - Primark
Hat - ASOS
Socks - ASOS

Who knows what song the title of this post is referencing? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, 18 January 2016

January TBR


TBR or To Be Read posts are something I don't generally do. I usually base which book to read next on my mood at the time, but I found that last year I sometimes needed a little push to try something new. So, in order to keep on track with my 2016 reading challenge (50 books) I thought making a list of the books I want to read in January would help me avoid straying from my goal. This also helps me to get through more of my unread books that, despite my excitement to read them, have been perched on my bookshelves for over a year.  
This month I've selected a varied selection that I can't wait to read. I have a first book in a series, a classic, a YA and a good mystery. Sounds like a perfect mixture to me.

1) All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
2) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
4) Nemesis by Agatha Christie

Monday, 11 January 2016

11 Favourite Blogs of 2015


I feel inspired by fellow bloggers every day. You can learn a lot from others and in 2015 I definitely learnt a lot from a selection of individuals. So, I thought I would share with you a selection of my favourites that always put a smile on my face when I see they have written a new post. I have added links to all of their blog URL's so I urge you to go over and spread the love for what they do. So I present to you, my 11 favourite blogs from 2015...
(In no particular order)

Monday, 4 January 2016

New Years Resolutions | 2016


Happy New Year! Looks like it's that time of year again when we all promise to do or achieve a list of goals that we realistically probably wont remember after March. At least that's pretty much what I do every year. However, despite my poor track record of new years resolutions I have decided to set myself a few this year that are a little more realistic and hopefully by sharing them with you all I will be more likely to actually achieve some of my goals this year. So, here goes, my 2016 resolutions...

1)Read 50 Books
Technically, this is a recycled resolution as it's one of my unachieved goals I walked into 2015 promising myself I would do. Last year I only managed to read about 23, so I definitely need to step up my game this year.

2) Write at least one blog post a week
I have been a pretty crappy blogger recently. Actually, I was a pretty crappy blogger throughout 2015. My main problem was that I felt really uninspired and begin to view it as a bit of a chore. However, this year I am back with more of a flare for my little piece of the blogosphere and I am armed with a string of ideas that I can't wait to utilise in the next few months.

3) Begin learning sign language
This may seem like a bit of an odd one and honestly I don't really have much of an explanation for it. In 2015 I really began to notice how few people know sign language and it made me sad to think that such an important skill is so commonly missing. Clearly I talked about this a lot as my mum got me a book for Christmas so that I can at least start learning the basics. This resolution I think is definetely the most important and I can't wait to get started.

4) Step out of my comfort zone (and try new things)
2015 was a generally crappy year and I don't really feel like I made enough memories in those 12 months. This year I really want to start trying new things and possibly starting a new hobby that takes me out of my comfort zone and helps me build my self confidence a little more.

5) Be a more adventurous photographer
This one is very closely linked to number 4. I didn't really feel very inspired last year, especially when it came to photography. Despite it being one my favourite hobbies and being the most effective way to calm me down I felt like everything I took in 2015 was a little.... well, the same. This year I am determined to try taking a little more adventurous photos and, hopefully, this will lead to me going on some new and exciting adventures.

6) Watch a sunrise
No explanation for this, just something I've always wanted to do.

7) Care less about what other people think
Ahh, the age old resolution to block out the bitchy opinions of people that use their snarky comments to make others feel even more crappy than they probably already did. This is something I definitely made a little bit of headway with in 2015, getting better and better at just not caring. But, I definitely still see room for improvement and am especially determined to walk out of the house every morning without worrying about other peoples opinions of how I look.