Channelling Spring vibes.

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You’d be forgiven for forgetting that today is (or ought to be) the first day of Spring. We are still grappling with yet more snow, seem to be a million miles away from the sunshine and I’m curled up in bed with the worst illness I’ve had in years.

As April looms closer I’m all too aware that I’m nowhere near ready to let go of my chunky knit sweaters and bowls of tomato soup. Yet, I want that feeling that comes with Spring. I want that feeling of a new start and new possibilities. So, I’m resolving to channel Spring vibes even when the weather outside isn’t playing ball.

With Winter, comes the desire to hibernate under my duvet. Healthy eating falls to the wayside as I indulge in junk food safe in the knowledge that any extra pounds will be hidden under cosy jumpers. Gym sessions and runs in the sunshine are neglected at the first sight of chilly weather when Netflix marathons and cuddles in bed are so much more appealing. But Summer has to come around and so too does a healthy mentality.

Something’s got to give. I live in a tiny one bedroom apartment with my boyfriend that’s filled to the brim with useless bits of tat that we have both accumulated over the years. Pieces that I’m sure would be endearing in a nice little house but that are ridiculous and needless in a tiny flat. Yet somehow I still cannot let go. I cannot part with my childhood books, with phone chargers that I know are broken but daren’t discard and with old nail varnishes that are starting to solidify. It’s got to stop. 

Even with the winter chill outside, I’m resolving to have a spring clean, to start a new fitness routine and to focus on a healthier diet. I’m donning on the marigolds ready to tidy my apartment, I’ve purchased some daffodils for my dreary mantelpiece and I’m trying to convince myself that (contrary to the weather outside) spring has indeed sprung! Here’s to hoping it works!

Life milestones and how it feels to miss them.

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My phone buzzes as I receive a Facebook notification from an old school friend that I’ve unintentionally drifted apart from. It’s an invitation to her engagement party. My heart stops for a split second as I scour her Facebook page in the same frenzied manner that I empty old handbags for coins as payday painstakingly looms.

Plastered all over her newsfeed are her immaculately manicured fingers adorned with a sparkly diamond ring and accompanied with a grossly sentimental caption gushing for her new fiancé. This is the girl who used to sit in the corner of the classroom sobbing upon the discovery that her then-boyfriend had cheated on her yet again. The girl who used to meet up with totally inappropriate boys from different parts of the country against the advice from all and sundry.  Now she is engaged.

It’s hardly shocking; her and her fiancé share a dog together, own their house and are in the process of purchasing a second property. Yet still I’m shocked. Shocked that this friend of mine has ticked off this milestone. Shocked that this is a perfectly natural and perfectly normal thing for someone of our age and standing to do. Shocked that I’m nowhere near this point in my life.

And that’s the bite.

I genuinely am happy for my friend. I’m happy that she’s found the one, that she’s successful and that she’s making the life for herself that she had always wanted. What hurts is the inevitable reflex reaction that makes me look at myself. It’s easy to bumble through day to day without actually stopping to reflect on your own life. But then a friend will get married, have a baby, purchase a property or set up a business and the news is sobering. It stops you in your tracks and compels you to take a long hard look in the mirror. Perhaps it’s the automatic response of a selfish and narcissistic millennial to think only of themselves when someone else speaks of their success.

Whoever said that comparison is the thief of joy was on to a good thing. It’s not that I am jealous of her engagement, I’m not even sure that I’m ready for that stage in my own life. The problem is the fact that I’m not there and not ready for it. It’s almost as though I lost my way somewhere along the line. At some point, whilst I was making poor choices, my friends were making the right ones.

I’m not being an entitled, petulant brat- I like my life and I know that I have a hell of a lot to be grateful for. I have an unrivalled girl gang around me, a lovely boyfriend who I wake up next to every day, a family who love me unconditionally, a job I enjoy and a flat that I am so lucky to own.

Every rational bone in my body knows that I’m doing okay. I don’t have it all but I have a lot. My success has, and will, never be defined by a man beside me or a baby in my arms. That doesn’t mean that I don’t wonder how different my life could have been though. On rainy Sunday afternoons when things feel a bit bleak, I can’t help but wonder if there are goals I should be pursuing or milestones I should be reaching. As I trawl through Instagram I can’t help but question if my life could be a bit shinier, a bit warmer or a bit prettier. I know that social media is essentially a highlights reel. I know that real life can’t be filtered and that we’ll never see how many hours of hard graft paid for brunch at The Shard…but even so. It still doesn’t make it any easier to plough through the online wedding albums of not one but two ex boyfriends’. It still doesn’t stop you from questioning your life plan as you become godmother to your childhood best friend’s baby daughter.

I could be travelling the world and getting tattoos of crescent moons all over my body. I could be settling into married life with a lovely partner and raising offspring of my own. I could be pursuing a dream career and dedicating myself to progressing up a career ladder. I could be doing any of this but I’m not. Maybe I am just dawdling through Limbo. Ultimately though, I am happy. Surely that’s the end goal for us all, however we derive that happiness? Surely, that’s all that matters?

 

 

Stepping out of my comfort zone.

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Over the last few days England has been hit by more snow than we know what to do with. In typical British style, as with any extremity in weather here, absolute chaos has ensued. Schools have shut, public transport has been cancelled mid-journey and worries that we’d run out of gas have plagued our minds.

As a nation, we are ill-equipped to deal with anything more than a couple of inches of snow. Mothers bite their lips nervously in fear of their sweet darlings tumbling off their sledges, hoards of shoppers panic buy essential items from supermarkets incase they’re housebound for a couple of days and I, well, I’m no different. Yesterday morning was so chilly that I only managed a few steps down my street when I turned back, waited in the lobby of my flat and ordered an Uber to work. For the duration of my chauffeured commute, I assured myself again and again that I’d work harder on being a strong independent woman tomorrow.

In much the same way that I fled from the prospect of an uncomfortably icy stroll, I have found myself increasingly side stepping anything that may cause unnecessary discomfort in my life. I’m stuck in a rut. At twenty six I should be throwing myself head first into opportunities and experiences that I would never ordinarily encounter…but I’m not.

I’ve had a number of different jobs, embarked on numerous qualifications and as a result made life long friends during all of these experiences. I’ve uprooted myself to four different parts of the country and, having finally found a place I love enough to call home, took my first step on the property ladder at twenty three. Yet somewhere along the way I stopped taking risks. I found myself a boyfriend with whom I share a love of indulgently lazy weekends and am surrounded by a collection of old friends who have gravitated towards this city. So I potter around in comfortable familiarity. I rarely seek out new friendships or new opportunities to enhance my already content life.

This year is my year to change that. I’m not trying to do anything radical I just want to be more open to new things…and so this blog is born. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained- right?