Thursday, 21 February 2019

Why its OK to Remove Toxic People from your Life

We all have them, whether we realise it or not.

They make us feel guilty for not making continuous effort all year round, despite the fact they haven't picked up the phone themselves. They will make passing comments on how you aren't meeting their needs, yet only require your attention when they're needing to rant about trivial matters. Their own problems will pass their lips before they even say ''Hello, how have YOU been?''

Whether you have been friends for a matter of months, or even 10 years, once someone begins to bring you down a negative spiral, it is time to cut strings - guilt free and with ease.

I know its difficult - I used to be such a people pleaser. I would constantly worry about what people thought of me and I was petrified to ever speak up about what I thought was right. Not anymore, though. Perhaps that is why I am now getting rid of toxic people without even having to do anything. In recent months, I have had friends I've known for years remove me from social media with zero explanation. I've split with boyfriends who I never felt good enough for. They have all become cold and distant without reasoning, but unlike the old Shannon, I am left unaffected by the matter.

The truth is, when shit hits the fan and people decide its their decision to leave a friendship behind, you can only go forward with your head held high. Trust me, they are doing you a favour in the long run. Do you really need someones negative mindset constantly bringing your own spirit down? Never. If you are happy with yourself and your life, you should NEVER allow someone else's attitude to affect you. It is draining and you deserve better.

I realise that, sometimes, my crude humour can come across as 'vain' or 'self absorbed' but the truth is I am well and truly taking the piss out of myself. I haven't and never will take myself seriously. I am very aware of the fact that I am not everyone cup of tea but I'm not fussed because I would sooner drink a porn star martini. I will never change for anyone - your true friends will love and adore you for who you are regardless of how you portray yourself.

I am blessed to have such incredible friends and the people in my life are truly kind, selfless and all round wonderful. Life is far too short to hold on for dear life to people that wouldn't even pull you up if you were dangling from a cliff. I realised this when I published my first book. I never expected my friends to purchase it, but I proudly expected at least a 'congratulations'. Who wouldn't be proud of their friend achieving their wildest dreams? A toxic one. I have had friends for less than a week treat me with more kindness and respect than some I have held on to for years. Strangers have supported me greater on my blog and book than people who I have known forever.

If you're worried or scared and find yourself thinking: ''If I let them go, I will have no one'' You must take a step back and think: Is that such a bad thing? I would sooner be alone in my bedroom than in a room crowded with fake love and pretend socialising. Learn to love yourself and who you are - you know what you can bring to table and you have to allow them to do the same. 

If they want to they will. And that goes for romantic relationships too - find someone who loves you for who you are, no false pretences, no forced encounters and zero toxicity. There is someone out there who will go to the ends of the earth for you and it'll feel effortless. Never settle for basic or ordinary, and certainly never put up with abusive behaviour. 

Whether you are female or male, any form of abuse, physical or emotional is NEVER okay. Someone who loves you could never do that to you. Laying a hand on you wouldn't even cross their mind, even the thought of it would leave a shudder over their shoulders. Love is not control. A good person will lift your spirits and make you feel like the best version of yourself. You'll never feel insecure around the right person. 

It doesn't have to be nasty or a negative situation, there is no need for cruel words or harsh accusations. Leave peacefully and quietly. Continue your life how you wish, enjoy it and appreciate the good people you have in your life. Show gratitude for their great support and love they shower you with. You are lucky and blessed.


Monday, 11 February 2019

You do you, and I'll do me

I seem to have disappeared for a little while...

I can only apologise, but at the same time I have just been living my life. That is the only excuse I can come up with! I haven't felt mentally unstable and I haven't felt the need to shout from the rooftops about how incredible life is, but today I had something on my mind.

I fucking love the creativity I am seeing across social media right now. Whether it's poetry, makeup or even a picture of the outfit you love so much - we are all using our creativity and skill set in different ways. We are expressing ourselves with zero fear or embarrassment of what someone else may think.

I used to dress very 'Plain Jane', and while there is nothing wrong with that, it was never me. I am not Jane, I am Shannon and she is insanely expressive, not only through her personality but now her style too. I no longer worry about whether someone likes my choice of clothing or whether the quote from my published book is 'good enough'. You do you, and I'll do me.

The kids I sat next to in school are now creative directors in their own right - making movies, music, writing and just living their best damn lives. Although we see it through rose tinted glasses on Instagram, they are creating something magical and I am enjoying the show. Why is it magical, you ask? Because they are putting something they love or have passion for out into the big bad world without a second thought. It's amazing and I am here for it. 

I suppose what I am trying to say is: Be yourself. As cliche and cringe as that may sound, you'll never feel as happy as you do when you're authentic. There is nothing more special than enjoying your life and all of the little things you love most. I love to explore the many incredible pieces street wear has to offer at the moment, but I also enjoy wearing pink sparkly acrylic nails and lashes up to my eyebrows. 

No one can tell you what you can or can't do. What to wear and how to dress. Who you can talk to or what music you can listen to. I'll listen to Post Malone one day and Metallica the next. 2019 is the year we no longer put ourselves into a box of stereotypes. Let's float through life and treat it like the dream it really is, regardless of whether you own the best designer brands or drive the most expensive car.

A short blog from me today - sorry. I hope you take something away from it however small. Here is the link to my first published book: 21 - A Year in the Life! 

Think of five positive things that happened today x

Thursday, 3 January 2019

21: A Year in the Life - Your Questions Answered

I had a lot of feelings I needed to get out before it drove me insane. I never intended to make those words into a book but after I let a few people read it they convinced me I must, so, fuck it. I published my private life.

It's here. My book exists, and everyone is now getting around to reading my truth about the year I turned 21. 

I can't believe I am officially an author. Honestly, my head cannot comprehend it! This has been my dream since I was 6 years old. Now, at almost 23, I am very much loving holding the physical copy of my masterpiece in my hands. 

I want to take a minute to write all of the fluff and cringe. Thank you. Thank you so much to my readers for believing in me and my work. I always say this but I feel like I have a purpose now! Everything feels great and I hope you all enjoy the book as much as I did writing it - through the breakdowns, tears and anxiety, that is...

This blog did and still does serve a great purpose but I have always wanted more! So here we are. My first book. There have been some questions that I took great interest in answering, so, if you'd like to know those answers I hope you continue to read on about the book I can't shut up about.

What brought you to write this book?

I had a lot of feelings I needed to get out before it drove me insane. I never intended to make those words into a book but after I let a few people read it they convinced me I must, so, fuck it. I published my private life.

How long did it take you to write the book?

Technically, only the year I turned 21. However, through a lot of pain and heartbreak in between, it was quite difficult to turn on my laptop and get writing when my life was turning to shit. So here we are, two painful years later, with plenty of editing and re-adjusting. Worth it. 

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I still believe I have so much to learn when it comes to writing despite doing it as a day job. I read a lot of literature as I can be quite lazy with words and language despite having rich knowledge on the matter. But I will say I am very good at making metaphors about almost ANYTHING in life. Especially the weather...

What advice do you have for writers?

Write what hurts... write about what you love most! You will write best when it comes from your heart, and when you are speaking nothing but the truth. I love fiction but I struggled to come up with a story when I was dealing, so horribly, with my own.

What is your writing process like?

My phone is full to the brim of random notes, quotes, sayings I have made up in my mind throughout the day or even when I wake up from a dream in the middle of the night. I write it ALL down, even the shit bits. 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don't stop writing. Write about everything, even if you only share it with yourself. Writers have creativity in their blood, but practise makes perfect. Read, read, read. All of the beautiful literature. All of it!

What did you edit out of this book?

Aha. Oh dear. A lot of negativity, believe it or not! I know this book isn't exactly pretty or fluffy, but that was the point. Life at 21 wasn't pretty for me. A lot of toxicity surrounding my most recent ex boyfriend was taken out as I had written it whilst hurting. Although it felt amazing to get it out, I wanted to keep those details of my life private. It was a very serious and tough time and I've got to keep some of it secret, right? I didn't want to slander anyone. That was the last of my intentions, we are all about that mature life in 2019. 

Do you believe in writer’s block?

I honestly do. I write best in the midst of a breakdown, however, sometimes my brain has nothing to spill onto those pages. It is what it is - don't force it if you don't have the motivation or brain power. It will come to you when it is supposed to. Like fuckboys, for instance. 

Where there alternate endings you considered?

It was supposed to end at Chapter 21. You know, the lovey dovey happy new year? Well, like I say plenty of times in the book... SHIT HAPPENS. I actually wrote the epilogue only a few months before the book went to print, I couldn't bare the story ended where it originally ended. I had so much to say, even if it wasn't a part of the year I turned 21, but I suppose that is the whole idea of an Epilogue. 

What's next for you? What are you working on now?

Absolutely nothing, and it feels so good. Besides this blog post. I love writing more than life itself but that book drained me. It was all worth it of course, but, I want to recharge my batteries before I work on my next project. A fiction! 

Thank you so much for your questions, I love the fact people, let alone one person, have taken interest in my work.

I don't care for the money aspect, I just want someone to read it and feel something. I am super proud of myself and finally feel like I can amount to something. I could never have done any of it without the constant support of my family, friends and many kind strangers on the internet. I feel so lucky and happy. I truly hope you enjoy!

You can find my book on Amazon here.

If you could be so kind as to leave me a review (if you enjoyed of course) that would be incredibly appreciated! 

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Confidence is Key and You Can Fake it Till You Make it

You heard me, confidence is key to becoming your best self and you can fake it till you make it regardless of how impossible it may feel right now.

I used to walk down the street, struck with anxiety, with my head always down in shame. I hated the way I looked. I had gained two stone in a matter of months due to health issues which then turned into comfort eating to my heart's content. 

Self-hatred took over my life and I didn't even know who I was anymore. I didn't want to be seen in the local shopping centre let alone to go out and have fun with my friends. I didn't want anyone to see how disgusting I was. I HATED what I had become.

I remember my blog having an online presence at the time and I had written a blog called 'Yes, I have gotten fat.' and my heart hurts for that girl. She believed no one could love her the way she was. Her body was too big, her nose was an odd shape and she had far too much of an overpowering laugh.

I am still that girl today, yet somehow I look very different now. I am the same size and I laugh even louder now. But I love who I am. There is a glow that shows so powerfully in my photographs and I have a soul that shines when I smile. I am invincible, and nothing has changed besides my mindset.

These photographs are taken 6 months apart. The same dress, the same figure and the same girl. Different attitude. There is confidence in the girl I am today and I allow her to show it off because she deserves to feel love and happiness. She deserves to feel appreciated and to appreciate herself, just the way she is.

I'm not sure when I found my inner spirit, but I remember waking up one day after a break-up and feeling brand new. I didn't want to be a victim of my own misery anymore. I didn't need the validation of someone else to make me feel worthy - I could do it all on my own.

I often ask myself: 'Does this add any value to my life?' whenever I have negative thoughts and that is something that has changed me for the better.

Telling myself I am worthless and unlovable adds no value to my life. Thinking poorly of and judging others adds no value to my life. Looking in the mirror and finding something I love is a gift to treasure. Commenting on someones Instagram photo because I think they look beautiful, knowing they deserve to hear it, adds light to my life. 

Kindness costs nothing, cruelty will make you pay the price in guilt and insecurity. Life becomes what you expect, and you should expect the best - always! I am so grateful to everyone who has messaged me and told me I add positivity to their lives. Honestly, I simply cannot describe the feeling I get when reading them! I have found purpose in life and knowing I can support you with yours is the BEST gift of all.

I don't care for bitter people. They are not allowed in my life - In fact, I no longer attract them because I am vibrating on a much higher level and I do not mean that in regards to looks. My morals, spirit and attitude to life simply can't be competed with. I let myself win while not even playing the game. Get into that mindset and you can have everything.

Good things happen all the time if you look close enough; purchasing a bargain or driving home during the sunset are fucking awesome things you must appreciate if you want even better things to come. Drowning in negativity adds zero value to your life. You make your own happiness, it really is as simple as that.

Take bomb selfies, practise self-care and have fun with friends and family. Who cares what other people think? The bad people will say horrible things regardless, you might as well do as you please and enjoy yourself! I don't care if people think my positivity posts are annoying or that my constant Instagram updates are vain. I'm out here living my best life yet nothing is really happening at all, my power is making the best of basic, and having a positive outlook whatever the outcome is.

This is such a short post but I wanted to post something at least. Love yourself because you deserve it.

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.