green grass brick building

An Anxious Introvert’s Guide to Freshers’ Week (Part 1)

At school I was always the kid hiding a furious blush behind a curtain of hair, desperately hoping not to be noticed. Whenever a teacher threw a question out into the room like a knife-edged boomerang, I became painfully aware of the chair jamming into my spine as I attempted to disappear into the plastic. In short, some school days felt like being led to slaughter (in front of a cheering crowd). So not too pleasant, really.

I’m not saying I hated everything about school, I actually liked plenty of things about it. But I did find it extremely difficult to be part of a group and to interact with people I didn’t already know very well. Understandably, when I left college at 18, I did not want to go to university; I took a bit of time out of education to figure things out and, perhaps naively, hoped I would be able to fully overcome these awful feelings.

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Time, Space and Vulnerability: August Reflections

Normally when writing these reflection posts, I sort of know what I want to say as I begin typing. There’s a theme that comes to mind, or something I’ve learnt about myself or the world. I’m not sure August has held such monumental realisations as I haven’t been travelling, working or studying (but I’m sure at least one will emerge as I type). It’s been more like a collection of moments, all coincidentally held together by the fact that they occurred within the same month, and all surrounded by a bit of time and space.

This is definitely something I needed – a month in which to process things and prepare myself for what’s to come. Perhaps some will see this as pathetic (maybe it is), others will see this as a clear show of privilege that has allowed me to have this time (and that’s certainly true). Either way, I’m so grateful to be in a position that gives me these freedoms.

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potrait of girl in dungarees dress

12 Things I’ve Learned in the Past 12 Months

A year ago today I was probably walking home exhausted and over-heated from my full-time job at an ice cream shop in town. I was in a totally different place then, to where I am now. Not just in terms of work, but in all areas of my life. I guess the same can be said by comparing any two months a year apart, but I think I become particularly reflective around autumn, and this past year has held a lot more change than most.

Coming into September always feels like a new beginning – the start of a fresh academic year breathes a renewed wave of energy into everything, even if I’m not personally attending school that year. And so this seemed like a good opportunity to reflect on the last 12 months – the good, the bad and the lessons I’ve learnt.

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You Are What You Eat: Considering Going Vegan?

A friend from America once told me about a slogan that exists over there for a popular supermarket that describes itself as ‘at the corner of happy and healthy’, and although the cringe factor of that is eye-roll-worthy, there is an important concept in there. What we eat isn’t just a matter of giving our bodies some kind of energy, it’s about giving them good quality energy; energy that is compatible with us. In this way, we’re much like cars in need of gas. I’m no mechanic but I’m pretty certain that if you filled up a vehicle with the wrong kind of petrol it wouldn’t run at all, let alone at its best.

We’ve all experienced this ourselves, I’m sure. You know, that day you ate fast food twice, an extra piece of cake and somehow forgot fruit existed? Yep, we’ve all been there. And most of us can feel the impact of that either straight away or the day after: the tiredness, the sluggishness, the mood swings, the irritability… Even if you never linked these things to what you were eating, it is likely that the food you choose to fuel your body with is leaving its mark on you through how you feel physically and mentally – whether that’s positive or negative.

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July Spreads: Getting Back Into Bullet Journalling

Shock horror – I’ve taken two months off from the blogger’s essential hobby that is bullet journalling. But don’t worry, this isn’t as disastrous as it sounds. This time away from rigorous planning was, ironically, planned in. I was travelling for (nearly) the entirety of June and half of July and so it felt ridiculously redundant to set up bullet journal spreads I wasn’t going to use – trackers, to-do lists, goals… I wouldn’t find a use for any of these pages!

I could have set them up anyway, as they’re fun to design and relaxing to draw (not to mention writing posts about them pull in more views than many of my other posts) but that wouldn’t feel authentic. If I knew I wasn’t going to use them I’d feel fraudulent creating them. So if there’s one thing you learn from this post is that I’m keepin’ it real, 24/7. But if you’re a regular reader I guess you already know that from the eclectic mix of happy/motivated/life-completely-sorted posts, sad/anxious/where-is-my-life-heading material, and down-right-angsty content that appears each month. Don’t mind me, riding the rollercoaster of every single human emotion possible in the space of thirty days.

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June Reflections – Illness and Travelling

Well it looks like we can all breathe a little easier as this post is going to be a lot more positive than May’s Reflections: otherwise known as the episode in the series in which disorder is the star of the show and no one knows where the plot is heading next. I would say head on over to check out why May was like rooting for Germany in the 2018 World Cup (on paper it looked like it was going to be a celebration but in reality it was a stressful disappointment) but that post is pretty depressing. For that reason I’d recommend sticking with this one (which has been more like the Russian football team: everything surprisingly and impressively pulled together in the end, and no matter what happens now no one can deny the excitement and success so far).

If football references aren’t your thing – and believe me, they’re not really mine either, that’s just what happens when you spend a month travelling with a football fan – then don’t worry as that was the last of them.

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31 Moments of Gratitude from May ft. Just Hannah Here

After my last post, my reflections on a slightly shambolic May, I think it’s time for a little pick-me-up. A highlights reel of glittery moments. Some sparkly POSITIVITY. Yes that’s right kids, I’m dusting off the concept of ‘gratitude’ and shoving it centre stage again. Because Mayย was a tricky one for me (slight understatement, but we’ll go with it): I struggled with illness and essays and generally feeling helplessly stuck.

But that doesn’t mean good things didn’t happen – in fact, they did. It’s just hard to fully appreciate the taste of a fine wine when you accidentally pour it down your windpipe (or if, like me, you think all wine tastes like a grape-infused oil slick). These are the most important times to recognise and be grateful for good things in life though. Noticing the small moments can help to lug us back up the hill so we have a chance at seeing the sunrise.

At the start of the month I was talking to the lovely Hannah, from JustHannahHere. She writes about all things lifestyle and I really love her content! We decided to collab on the topic of gratitude, noting down a small thing from each day that made us that little bit happier. I’m going to be honest here: I didn’t do this every single day. Life has been hectic and I didn’t make the time for it. Oops.

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