One day I was trying on my favourite bikini to check it still fit for my holiday. It did. Like a glove. To be honest, I thought I looked great. I’d been working really hard in the gym and actually remembering to feed myself at regular intervals throughout the day (instead of you know, eating nothing all day then eating my entire house and the complete cast of Newsies when it got to 8pm). So yeah, overall I was feeling pretty hot. And then I saw them. These long white stripes across my bum cheeks. I have stretch marks. Continue reading “How To Survive Feeling Like a 2/10 (When Everyone Else Seems like a 12/10)”
The lovely Kindly Katie (click to see her blog!) had some great ideas for those of us who’ve come home from university, travelling or anywhere else and are back living with our parents. Although the free food in the fridge and household heating might be a luxury at first, sometimes the novelty wears off of being back home, but Katie’s gathered a few ideas about how to cope with this:
People of WordPress!
Just a quick one to ask if there’s anything you’d like me to survive for you? Since you’re following me on here, or accidentally stumbled over here, I guess I should see if there’s anything in particular you’re interested in. I guess?
Any experiences or social situations you’ve been stuck in where you just don’t know how to react? Any news stories you’re still getting your head around? Any exercise regimes etc. you’re not so sure about? Send them to me on my social media links or comment below and I’ll see what I can do!
I’ve always been told I’m headed for great things. I’d like to believe that. Who knows, maybe I am? However, right now I can categorically say I am not doing great things. I am nothing out of the ordinary. I’m average. I’m a student. I drink, I write essays and hand them in on time, I maintain a good grade, I go to the gym. I know that sounds quite productive, like the usual good student having fun but remaining studious, but it’s average. Masses of twenty year olds in the country are doing the same.
Now, that thought may seem like a belittling, negative one, but bare with…
All my life, I’ve been reassured by loving parents, grandparents, sometimes even strangers that I’m the “prettiest” , the “most intelligent” , and a “very promising” girl. That could be correct, given the right circumstances, but it’s probably not. This isn’t an “oh boo hoo I’m so ugly/stupid/useless” post, it’s positive, I promise, I’m getting to it. Basically, my whole life I was conditioned to be something special, something exciting. I was going to be a performer, I was going to be something so admirable, and exciting and I’d have hilarious stories to tell quirky strangers in bars. There was this huge pressure on me, particularly through college, that being ordinary, being like everyone else just wasn’t enough. That’s probably because it was a performing arts college, leading us all into a competitive industry, however, I do believe at some point everyone feels this same pressure. This pressure that to be important and popular and unique is everything.
I used to spend ages scrolling through Instagram looking at people I thought were the most beautiful. I wanted to look like all these girls with perfect make-up and gorgeous clothes, and I wanted to be surrounded by these gorgeous, edgy male models drinking gin and flashing their watches. They were the best, the elite and I wanted to be part of it. I wanted this lifestyle that involved gorgeous people, with cool creative jobs, who seemed to just effortlessly stroll into VIP Lounges and tell people stories about the time they met such-a-body from the radio or how they partied with such-a-body from TV through their most recent acting job.
Basically, I used to spend hours convincing myself I had to be something more than what I was. I’m not the sort of person who gets into VIP just by strolling in. I don’t even like clubs that much anymore, I’d really rather be in bed by 11pm. My stories are somewhat quirky, but they’re usually at the cost of my own dignity, and don’t often involve celebrities or much more than me making a fool of myself. I like gin, but I’d really rather drink it with my friends on a weekday than with some guy in a snobby bar who just wants to tell me how much his watch costs. I used to think I had to do all these things so I’d have something to impress everyone with, so I could be the kind of person who had a witty anecdote if ever needed. But really, how often are they needed? And who am I impressing?
The fact is, being cool, being new and exciting is nice. If you are cool and exciting and you have all these amazing stories and interesting careers, really, more power to you and keep up the good work. I admire that, and there’s still this part of me that wants all of that, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting that. But some of us aren’t there yet. And that’s okay too.
It’s okay not to be the most beautiful. It’s okay not to be the most intelligent. It’s okay to not have everything together yet in a nice Pinterest-worthy package of a life. You probably are headed for great things, but your parents will be proud of you if you’re happy. It’s equally as impressive to have what you need and not want more, to have a quiet life with a small circle of loved ones. Your job doesn’t have to be the most exciting to strangers if it’s exciting to you. You don’t need to post a quirky picture of “the best night out everrr [insert party popper/champagne emoji]” on Instagram every week to make people think you’re interesting. Doing the ordinary isn’t settling. Doing something you’re uncomfortable with is settling. Never settle.
I hope this made some sort of sense. If you need a summary after my rambling: Ordinary is okay. Most people are ordinary and they’re perfectly happy. Just be happy, and do you, boo, do you.
So something totally unexpected happened. You may remember a blog post about “surviving” (quotation marks because really it’s not something to endure or survive) being single.
Well, basically… um… my male friend got a hair cut and now he’s my boyfriend. I’m so shallow. No, really, he’s lovely. All round great guy. So I have to admit, this is scary territory for me.
There was a bit of a hoo-haa about when we were becoming “public” (lol who are we, Kimye?) to our friends. We’re both part of the same friendship group and weren’t sure how it was going to go down, but to be honest, after much faffing about trying to keep things on the D.L, our friends just caught us kissing at a party a few weeks in anyway and that was that. The moral of that story being not to care. No one’s really that bothered as long as you’re happy and not PDA-ing in front of them 24/7.
I also had the super scary experiences of meeting his friends and his Dad. I can’t even explain the panic. I should specify, unnecessary panic. What do I wear? What do I say? What if they hate me? What if I choke on my drink? What if they find out about my total incompetence when it comes to public transport? The horror! Really though, the reality is nothing like this. The first time I met my boyfriend’s friends I was silent. Possibly for the first time in my life. I got so worked up every time I went to see him because I was so nervous about talking to his friends. It took me a while to realise the following… Your partner likes you, so there must be something about you the people close to them like about you too. They’re on your side. They want to like you. Just ask them questions. People love to talk about themselves. Worst comes to worst, your nerves will calm over time and people will warm to you. You can’t be that bad if there’s a significant other willing to spend their spare time with you.
Now, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that your boyfriend/ girlfriend isn’t your chaperone/alcohol monitor. Picture this scene: Me, dressed as Paris Hilton wearing a blonde wig, having to be carried out of a house party by my boyfriend whilst I cried because “someone stole my wine” (Note: My wine had been hidden from me hours ago for obvious reasons). I was a mess, and my poor boyfriend missed a whole party because I pre-drank too hard. It’s okay every now and then, accidents happen, alcohol is messy and tricky to master and it’s nice that your boyfriend is there to make sure nothing bad happens to you while you’re in a state. However, relying on your boyfriend/girlfriend for total safety and competence whenever you go on a night out together isn’t good. It ruins your night, it ruins there’s. No one has fun so just look after yourself first and foremost.
Overall though, I think I’m doing okay at the whole being a girlfriend thing. I may have been a neurotic mess the odd day, but I buy him chocolate milk and feed him occasionally, so that’s alright. Right?
So I have a very overactive mind. I’m always worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet, calculating the worst possible outcome of things and overanalysing everything I say to others and others say to me. A lot of the time, this leaves me feeling horrendously tense and, simultaneously, drained. Seriously, reading the same three word text and trying to decipher its hidden, usually non-existent, nasty meaning various times throughout the day is exhausting. So I thought there had to be a way to change this.
After some googling, and repeatedly seeing the term “mindfulness” cropping up, I was eventually led to some Buddhist teachings, and the idea of meditation. I thought it couldn’t hurt to try, and there was a Buddhist centre in Manchester which offered lunchtime meditation sessions.
Now, admittedly, I was worried I was going to end up feeling like Julia Roberts when she goes to the Ashram in Eat Pray Love, and everyone’s chanting and reading this book she just hates, and they’re all fasting or silent or scrubbing floors. It turns out, it’s nothing like that. You don’t even sit with your legs crossed saying “ohhhmmmm” over and over. (I mean, you can sit with your legs crossed if you want, but nobody makes you chant or anything.)
Basically, everyone took their shoes off and was led into the Shrine Room. The name may seem intimidating but it’s actually a really nice place. There was a large Buddha, and a picture of Sangharakshita (Founder of Triratna Buddhist Community) at the front of the room, so it’s kind of Shrine-like but not in the creepy way, more in like a “Oh what a lovely place, what a happy Buddha.” kind of way. It really sets a good atmosphere. Most people sit on cushions, but you can sit on a chair if you want. (You’re shown how to sit, but there’s no right or wrong way really and you’re free to move around if you become uncomfortable. Some people even lay down under blankets) The emphasis on sitting instantly made me feel like this was something I could get in to; I’m pretty darn good at sitting doing nothing if I do say so myself.
I don’t want to say too much in case anyone wants to go, I’d like them to have the same new experience I did, but there’s a few things that I learnt in my first session. So firstly, a whole range of people benefit from meditation. Some people looked like they’d come in during their work lunch break, there were a lot more young people than I expected, and also plenty of older men and women. It wasn’t some big, cult-like experience where you come out having an epiphany after chanting to a deity, but the whole ordeal was very relaxing. For a whole hour I was away from my phone, nobody was asking me to do anything, or to pass an opinion on anything, it was just breathing.
Most people think the whole aim of meditation is to clear your mind, but I found the emphasis of this session to be on noticing things, and letting them go. Noticing your breath, noises from the outside, noticing your thoughts and feelings, noticing your mind wondering, and then letting it all go, and bringing yourself back to your breathing. The importance of kindness was also stressed, being kind to yourself in particular. Whenever I noticed tension in my body or mind (apparently my shoulders are hella stressed about something because they just would not drop) I was asked to breath in with kindness and get them to relax.
Overall, I’d recommend guided meditation to anyone. I didn’t come out feeling like a new person with an urge to hunt down the Dalai Lama himself and ask for the meaning of life, but I did feel like for an hour, nothing mattered. For a whole hour, I wasn’t bothered about checking my ex’s Snapchat story, how many likes my latest Instagram post had gotten, or how many new Tinder matches I had. It was a nice break from “real life”.
Most cities have a Buddhist centre (from what I can gather from Google anyway), and even if it doesn’t seem like your scene, I’d recommend giving a meditation class a try to anyone. There’s no yoga, you can wear whatever you want and all you have to do is sit and breathe whilst someone with a calming voice keeps you focused and relaxed. It’s like napping without the guilt of wasting your day. There’s even blankets if you want one.
Hello again. It’s been like, five-ever, I know. I don’t even have an excuse, I’m just a bad person.
Having just completed my first year at uni, and knowing a few people going into theirs, I thought this might be a good post to ease myself back in with. I’m hardly a beacon for social or academic graces or anything, but I did definitely learn a lot whilst at uni, particularly about people, myself, and the dangers of eating nothing but Pringles and Dairy Milk (Don’t do it, it only leads to acne and stomach aches.)
First of all, and not to scare anyone or anything, but, people are mean. Girls are mean, boys are mean, staff can be mean, everyone is mean. Even the nice ones are mean sometimes, just not necessarily mean about or towards you. The fact is, everyone can be a bit of a bitch. Even you. You’ll probably be a bitch to someone hitting on you on a night out at some point, you’ll probably accidentally be a bitch to your flat mates when you’ve had a bad day, you’ll probably even be a bitch to your boyfriend/girlfriend, and most of all, people will be a bitch to you. People get bored. People get jealous. Sometimes people are bored and jealous. So they say stupid things, and start silly rumours or tell people things you trusted them with to other people, just because there’s nothing better to do. Yes, even now, after high-school, after sixth-form, people still do that. But at the end of it all, it’s all been done or said out of boredom or jealousy, and you’ll do a lot better for yourself by staying out of it in the first place or forgiving and, either, forgetting or staying well away from whoever bitched at/about you. Some fights aren’t even worth fighting, so, as my mother would say, “riiiiise above it” (Idk why she kinda sings it. But I always hear it in my head when people cross me.)
You’re also going to be drunk. Probably more drunk, more often, than you plan to be. Once I actually got so drunk with my friend we cried the whole way from the club, into McDonalds, all the way to my flat, into my living room eating McDonalds, and then eventually, to bed, for what we can only assume was no reason whatsoever. Full on, drunk girl-wailing for at least twenty minutes straight up and down the streets of Newcastle. All we know is Vicky wrestled a DJ for a hat and we definitely shouldn’t have had that “last tequila for the road.” It’s okay to get that drunk sometimes, but you’ll almost always regret it the next day. So get drunk. Just be prepared for the shame and guilt that’s coming the next day. And go to your lectures, even if you’re hungover and still have your party-eye make up from the night before. Just take a bottle of water with you.
You’ll probably undergo your first trauma, away from home, and actually say the words “I want my mum.” For me it was when I fractured my foot on a night out and howled in the middle of the street. For some people, it’s when they’re diabolically ill, for others it’s when they get their first essay back and their tutor’s basically told them it’s awful. Whatever it is, call home. Just ring mum, dad, sibling, cousin or whoever. Sometimes it’s nice to hear someone who loves you tell you it’s all going to be okay. I’d also advise that you make sure your home friends visit. No matter what uni you’re at, how good or bad the nightlife is, have them visit, get black out drunk, hold their hair while they projectile vomit in your favourite trebles-bar, show them the sights and go and visit them too.
I do think, undoubtedly, the most important part of uni (apart from getting a good degree and moving on with your life) is making good friends. I know I said everyone is mean, and that is kind of true, but some people’s meanness is a significantly smaller part of them than others, so find those people. Find the kind of friends that will take you to A and E instead of finishing their night out, scream Wiz Khalifa lyrics endlessly, not disown you because you threw up your pitcher of Woo Woo in Wetherspoons beore 2pm in the afternoon (… definitely haven’t done that before… eek.), make you cups of tea when you’re sad and laugh at you when you pull a minger.
Finally, always have paracetamol around, Freshers Week is overrated, learn how to “tactical chunder”, and always double check what date your deadlines are. Oh, and pasta and ketchup is definitely a suitable meal if that’s all you have in.