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. 

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