Monday, 5 November 2018

Why It's Okay to be Happier Single

It's something I address more often than not; being happier single is perfectly normal!

It's something I address more often than not; being happier single is perfectly normal!

My family and some friends will never understand why I prefer being on my own. It's not like I am socially inept, in fact, I am quite the opposite. I love to meet new people and get to know the ins and outs of their life, but that doesn't mean I want to share my entire self with someone else, at least not right now. 

I need a little more time to myself than the average person I will admit. Having my space is essential to me, and I need a good day or two a week to just be alone and enjoy my own company. I don't wish to come across as cold or unapproachable because it couldn't be further from the truth. When I am in relationships, I go above, and beyond expectations, I love and love and love even harder. But as of this moment in time, as with many other times in my life, I am perfectly happier single.

At the tender age of 22, people seem to think I have to be following a particular lifestyle to have 'real' happiness. Perhaps I should have children since my mum had two at my age. Or maybe I should have a rock on my finger since many other people in my school year do. Why should I feel like I have to constantly live by everyone else's standards when I am honestly, quite frankly, more than okay by myself? I am in love with my life, being alone doesn't make me lonely!

I have just moved out with three other single girls, and I am having the time of my life. I am getting to know new people, going out for plenty of dinners and getting drunk beyond belief, not once during that time have I wondered if my life would improve if I had a special someone because I am upgrading it myself, every single day. 

Don't get me wrong, I do love the idea of romance. I would love to come home to someone I adore and enjoy a peaceful meal and ask them about their day, but right now I have three people I can do that with, and nothing is missing from my life. I am only adding more wondrous things to it as time passes.

I only have one relationship from my adult life under my belt, before that, I had spent four years single, and despite being the only friend to have so much alone time, I am a better person for it. I have had so much time to get to know who I truly am inside, I have grown up in my own shadow, and I know exactly what I want from life.

This is not to throw shade at those who spend their lives in and out of relationships, not at all, but for me personally, I needed that part of my life to be separate from someone else to flourish.

I have gone from an insecure, quiet girl to a confident, outgoing, strong-minded woman. I am in love with who I have become and in all honesty, I don't think I could've found her if I was busy spending my time focusing on others. 

During my most recent relationship, I really thought he had brought this confidence out of me, he got me out of the closed shell I was hiding in and thanks to him, I could love myself again. But that is just not the case.

I was the one who stood in the mirror every morning telling myself how great I was despite not liking what I saw. I was the one who picked up all of my broken pieces, just as I always have done, alone. And that is okay. I am okay, for the first time in my life I am okay with it all.

I am not bitter because I am single, I could still be in a relationship right now if I wanted to, but I realised my worth and what I deserved, and that was never stress or wondering why I am not enough. That is not healthy. I will never accept something when I know I deserve more.

It's something I address more often than not; being happier when single is perfectly normal!

There are moments where I wish I had someone to wake up to in the morning, but for now, I am happy having a double bed to myself. I love making delicious meals for one, it doesn't matter if I slightly burn my pasta bake or let my vegetables go cold because that's exactly how I like to eat them. I can watch as many Netflix episodes as I want without having someone nag at me for watching it without them. I can do as I please, on my time, every time. Yay for being single. I glow better when I am the one and only.

I have never been very good at living up to other people's expectations of me. I am far too set in my ways of wanting to do what feels right for me and I'm not sure whether that is a positive or negative trait. However, when single, I find that I have come to enjoy doing 'couple' things on my own far too much to sacrifice my naturally independent personality. I love to go shopping, eat lunch and go on days out alone or with a few friends. I don't really feel like I am missing out on much at all. 

Please never feel like you aren't worthy because you don't have the validation of a relationship to fall back on. You are wonderful and have many great qualities to bring to the table, and someday someone will see you exactly how you want to be seen. Sometimes you think you have found it, but sadly it doesn't always work out how you want it to, but that doesn't mean you are to blame. The universe works in funny ways and boy does it have a sense of humour.

There is someone for everyone, and I am happy to focus on my own self-worth and wellbeing before it comes my way.

Have gratitude for every little thing, you'll have so much passion for life once you start to replace the 'Why don't I have this?' for ' I am so grateful I have this'. Nothing is missing if you truly want it. 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Master Manipulators, I Am Not Your Mistress

Even the strongest of people can suffer from manipulation. Click to read more about manipulating and mental health.

Even the strongest of people can suffer from manipulation.

And no one is innocent when it comes to manipulating either. Everyone tells me how kind and pure I am, but I will tell the truth now and own up to manipulating just as much as the next person. I manipulate situations and other humans so things will go my way. No one can say they haven't, but there is a line that myself and any other half decent human being could never cross. Their hearts are too full of love to go that extra mile.

I have been abused, controlled and manipulated quite a lot considering I haven't had much experience in companionship. At 13, I was already exposed to a toxic 'grown-up' relationship which was as tightly controlled as a 24-hour security company. Going to family parties where I had too many male cousins attending was disapproved. Hanging out with my female friends was frowned upon, let alone conversing with male ones. They did not exist.

Many moments will haunt me forever, but one I will mention, which is much less 'traumatic' occurred and it made me realise I was experiencing manipulation.

Weirdly, despite the rules of hiding me away from any male attention, that boy loved to cause trouble just to punish me. I was in school, and I had just told him I could not come over to his house that evening. I had no excuse other than the fact I was tired, tired of having to pluck up the courage to walk 20 minutes home through the woods at 11pm every night after school.

My punishment? He pulled my skirt up and exposed me to half of the school, only to scream and shout at me later on for wearing 'revealing' underwear. Like it was my fault that everyone had witnessed it. It seems so petty writing about this after ten years, but with many other, more abusive situations under my belt it was simply another straw for such a young, naive girl to deal with.

Luckily I had such a wonderful relationship soon after that one, someone who taught me what was acceptable in a relationship and how I truly deserved to be loved.  I am grateful to him for that time in my life.

After a painful week of exposed secrets that forced me to uncover a recent heartbreak this year, all of my past sufferings have made me think about the cruel act of manipulation.

At 22, I am very strong minded. I am powerful, outgoing and full of life. The idea of following a person's orders again makes me feel enraged. There is a huge difference between respecting your partner and having to live in fear of their unrealistic expectations.

I witness friends, family and strangers on the internet get manipulated on a daily basis. Their emotions are owned by their 'superior'. Both guys and girls suffer, this is not a 'man-hater' post at all. I know exactly what girls are capable of as well as boys, and it's a shame that not enough people take the time to recognise a man's sadness as much as a woman's. This is a problem across both genders. 

It breaks me. After years of going through it myself, I vowed I could never do it again, no one could ever control me. Little did I know, even the manipulators who lightly sprinkle their shit on to you will squeeze through the cracks.

Sometimes I feel exhausted by my sweet nature. I often allow others to take advantage of my kindness. Some could even get away with murder if I truly love them enough. I hate it, I hate making excuses for bad people because the reality is they are never going to take accountability for their poor actions, no matter how much you desperately wish they would. I have to remind myself that vulnerability is not a weakness regardless. 

''We have all done something bad at some point in our life. Out of selfishness or pure hatred, we have all done it. But that does not mean we are bad people, or that we will do bad things forever. You could spend years being an awful person but tomorrow the sunlight will beam in a different direction, and you can change as a person. No little black book writes us off forever. We are human, and we make mistakes or act in manners that we may regret in years to come.''

^ I wrote that before the week from hell I just had and now I am beginning to question my own morals. Perhaps this 'independent, strong-minded' girl isn't so tough after all. I had fallen back into someones manipulating ways far easier than I ever imagined I would again. Love is blind after all. We all make the mistake of manipulation, but it is important to realise who will recognise themselves in the act. If you can't, you are most likely not as good of a person as you thought. 

It is time we just let people be. You can not control someone else's actions or way of thinking, you can give suggestions and perhaps try to get them to see things differently, but most often than not you are wasting your time and energy. Allow those around you to do as they please, their actions will tell you exactly what you need to hear. 

For those who have had life experiences stolen from them by a manipulator, there is still time for you to grow, on your terms. No one has power over you, your mind or your soul. Be selfish, love yourself and never allow someone else to have a say in how you live, as long as you are doing so respectfully. 

Never feel guilty because you have set boundaries. Enjoy the space you have created for yourself to breathe without any worry or fear about others opinions. 

Manipulation is not love, it is ownership, and you are not a pet. So no, master manipulators, I am not your mistress. Never again will I accept such behaviour. I will wear what I like, talk to whoever I want, wear a drag queens amount of makeup and no one will ever tell me otherwise. 

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Please Leave 'Ghosting' to Halloween

When did ghosting become a thing? Click to read more about why we need to leave ghosting to Halloween.

When did ghosting become a thing? 

I'm sure while we all complain about it happening to us, we are also guilty of becoming a ghost when things get tough or uncomfortable.

I won't pretend that I am a saint, I have ghosted on people plenty of times before, I just didn't think anything of it until it happened to me.

It was once a simple way for a f*ckboy or girl to quit when things seemed like they were getting serious with someone, now, even the love of your life won't even hesitate to commit the awful crime. That happened to me too.

Ghosting is just damn cowardly! On the one hand, I can say that you don't owe strangers anything - if you don't feel like getting to know someone, don't. It is as simple as that. But leaving them in the dark, wondering what might be wrong with them or why they are not good enough is not okay.

If a conversation dies, you can let it rest at peace. If you don't want the situation to go any further, cut it off, but have the basic courage to be honest about it. Give them the answers they deserve. I wish I had got the answers I deserved.

My situation is very different, worse than your average ghost story. I never intended to share it because I am tired of talking about it... and hurting about it. I had far too much respect for my ghost to ever express the gory details but that respect is now lost in the rubble of deception. I was blinded from continually romanticising unrequited love, and now I can see the light. His halo is now gone, and I realise his sorry excuses of his past are no longer tolerable.

I spent 8 months in total from 2017 to 2018 in love, sharing my soul and secrets with someone who I adored. Utter adoration. The sun shone out of his arse. Now all I can smell is shitting diarrhea. (LOL, sorry but the situation STINKS!) I hadn't let anyone into my heart for years beforehand, but he pushed and pushed until he broke me. We chatted on and off beforehand, but as my fear grew, I ghosted him. 

24 hours went by until I caved and couldn't cope with the deceit any longer. My heart is too full to treat someone that way, especially someone I had developed feelings for and who felt the same way about me. 

We had gotten past that little hiccup, and everything became a dream I didn't want to wake up from. Somehow my kind nature attracts damaged souls because my brain can't seem to comprehend that I can't and never will fix someone, especially when they have no interest in changing.

''That's just the way I am now.''

8 months of my life were spent tiptoeing around his self-destructive behaviour. I am a strong person, I know when someone isn't treating me right, but if I love someone, I love with all I have. However, not expressing the way someone makes you feel in fear of their reaction is unhealthy. Toxic in fact. 

He is a good person at heart, don't get me wrong. I know that he did love me at one point. We shared a great connection and beautiful memories together. That is the reason why I forgave him every time. A damaged person doesn't recognise their wrong doings but unfortunately there comes a time when you must stop playing victim to your past. It is not your fault that you were hurt, but YOU are responsible for how you heal. You can not project your problems on to someone else. Not someone you love.

Imagine being upset over someone constantly cancelling plans at the last minute, you have every right to feel that way, but when you're afraid to speak up about it knowing that they will then turn away and not speak to you for some weeks, even after pouring your heart out every day, waiting for them to come around again is NOT ok. Ghosting when things don't go your way is cowardly on all levels. Particularly when you are in a relationship with them, you owe them an explanation of some sort.

I deserve better than someone who cuts all 8 months worth of communication off after one disagreement. Everyone who experiences ghosting, even in the slightest form does. Please don't allow someone to make you feel worthless because they are unable to hold a conversation or own up to their wrong-doings. It is never you. 

Also, please keep in mind that not everyone will have the same morals or way of thinking as you do and you can't expect them to either. We all deal with things in different ways, and some are less respectful than others, but you have to make sure you remain a good person regardless of what happens. Don't be bitter, be better! Wish them all the best and send them on their way to the next person. It's an endless cycle, and only they can get off of the bike. No pushing allowed. 

I didn't want this to be a negative or bitchy post, I no longer have anger towards this story. Today my heartbreak was quickly switched off and is now left in the darkness. I truly hope she isn't treated the same way as I was. This is most likely the last post or piece I write about this narrative. I have closed the book and while I enjoyed the overall plot line of the story, the climax quickly became dull. I have no time to read the resolution.

My words are far too magical to fall victim to the unworthy. I wish to focus on more positive blog posts from now on! But you all know that I write nothing but the truth and as I always say in every post... the truth often hurts.

I hope more than anything you can all find the strength to move on from your ghosts and not allow their poor manners to hurt you anymore. You deserve real, raw love filled with trust, loyalty and respect. Never live in fear of being ghosted because there is always someone or something better along the way, and you won't have to worry or work for it.

S x

Monday, 15 October 2018

Vulnerability is Not a Weakness

It's a phrase I hear far too often. A question that is over asked and unwelcomed, but vulnerability is not a weakness. Click to read more.

It's a phrase I hear far too often. A question that is over asked and unwelcomed, but vulnerability is not a weakness.

''How can you be so vulnerable on the Internet? Aren't you worried that people will judge you? You might not find a boyfriend if they know too much about your mental health.''

I'll stop you right there. Vulnerability is not a weakness. As a writer, I am expected to overshare. It's in our blood! I write best when I am writing the truth and unfortunately, more often than not, the truth hurts. 

I don't want to shy away from my life, why should I bother writing a blog based on mental health and not include the ins and outs? The nitty gritty details? You'd be surprised at how many people actually want to hear it, it surprises me that friends, let alone strangers are genuinely interested in what I am up to, but it is something I have grown accustomed to since finding my purpose to help others.

There has been something on my mind for quite some time that I don't think I will ever truly understand, but will always welcome with open arms.

It's nice to be nice.

One of my guy friends once told me that I love people so extravagantly that I often forget about my own needs. When I let you in, I will give you every last piece of my soul. I love with all I have, even if that person doesn't reciprocate. I just can't stop once I have started no matter how much someone tells me to quit.

I used to think it was a very weak trait to have and who could blame me when so many people have shit on me in the past? I deserve more than mediocre effort. I deserve to have trust, loyalty and love. In relationships with boyfriends, family and friends. Every good person deserves happiness, so where is mine? It is long overdue.

As I grow older, I have begun to realise and understand that just because I have these particular morals, doesn't mean I can expect others to act the same. I can not control another human being and the way they deal with things, and I can not change people or situations once they have occurred. It is a simple fact of life that it just happens and I simply have to live in it.

I love being kind and giving so much love to others. Knowing I can walk away from a situation after giving it everything I could is good enough for me. I am okay with the outcome of being left behind by others because I know I will never be left without closure. I will never have to ask myself  'what if?' because I gave it my all, every time without fail. 

Something else my friend mentioned: ''The ones with the hearts of gold will always get messed around, but karma is a beautiful thing. They are losing something so much greater than we are.'' I couldn't have heard more truth if I tried. What is so wrong with being in touch with your feelings and sharing them? Nothing. It's cool to recognise your emotions and deal with them accordingly. 

I refuse to mask my truth just because someone else might find it embarrassing or 'too much'. I am TOO much, and I am proud of it! We get one life and not telling people how you feel only limits future experiences and memories. I do not live in fear of judgement anymore, no one's opinion of me matters other than my own. I've never felt more love for my life than I do now, and I don't need someone by my side to prove that. 

For now, I will continue to share the ins and outs, no matter how uncomfortable it is. I am Shannon, and I am too much. Happily, perfectly vulnerable in the purest of senses. I will give people a chance after chance, I will accept the pain that people may cause me and I will love them until the last straw is snapped because my heart is full of gold. I can't help it. So do as you please, reject me or dislike me. Your actions are not my actions. I will remain kind and composed, and that doesn't make me weak. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

I am More Than a Selfie

From the outside looking in, or through the screen, you could assume I was nothing but a face. But I am more than a selfie. Click to read more.

From the outside looking in, or through the screen, you could assume I was nothing but a face. But I am more than a selfie.

Like I have mentioned in the past, I often worry about what people might think when I post one too many 'selfies,' in fear of looking vain.

The real truth? I am more than a selfie. I am more than what I portray myself as on Instagram, and that is my choice that I decide to make. Behind the screen, I am an intellectual. I enjoy in-depth conversation about subjects that most couldn't comprehend or won't give the time of day, (Y'know, conspiracy theories and all that dribble), I dedicate my time to campaigning for Mental Health, and I am in the process of writing my first novel. My photoshoots are nothing but a confidence boost and a way of encouraging others to love themselves.

There is more depth to me than what I share on social media. I don't care to try and impress people or prove my worth to a bunch of strangers. Some people don't deserve to know the ins and outs of your personality or life. Keep your quirks close and your skillset even closer. Nothing frustrates me more than someone talking down to me as if I don't understand their level of knowledge just because they've seen my posey pictures online and instantly stereotype.

I admit I take quite a thrill in my 'dumb cute girl' persona I'll put on from time to time when someone assumes that's my natural character. Because once someone thinks they know you and disregards your humanity, your secret intelligence can bite them in the arse. No one can take my self-worth away. No amount of belittling and judgement will ever stop me from speaking my truth.

We come from a generation of seeming strange if you spend little time on social media. You're a Catfish if there aren't many photographs of you to prove who you are, yet a few too many selfies can set you back as someone with minimal substance. What are we doing to ourselves and each other? Is it worth the negative energy? The drain of false perception? I'm tired. I don't wish to show concern for others believing I have nothing to offer because I don't want to provide them with anything in the first place. Those who are worthy will have gratitude for who you truly are on the inside.

For now, I shall continue to post as I wish. Whether I'm pouting in a bikini or taking a photograph of my shit dinner, it's none of your business unless you double tap to be quite honest. And even then, your compliment doesn't entitle false discernment. Instagram is not my full-time job; it's a mere hobby and a way of staying in touch with friends. You may know me on social media, but you won't ever know my way of life unless you're a part of it.

Never feel afraid to have fun and enjoy yourself as a person. Self-love, people!!