A positive spin on 2016 (if you can believe it)

I feel as though 2016 will be known as the devil year for a very long time. So many terrible things have happened in the past 12 months, I’m unable to keep count of them. I found myself lost in thought on a train a few weeks back and started to think of positive things that have happened to me this year and without meaning to brag, it really hasn’t been THAT BAD. In many ways, this year has ruined me. So much has happened and everything in my life has changed. Thankfully, some of the events of 2016 have been fantastic and it’s always better to focus on the positives. So here are some of the nicer things that happened to me during this Black Mirror year…

I left England for the very first time,

Sadly, until I was 21 years old I’d spent my entire life in the UK. For years I’d been desperate to get out but time, money and a fear of the unknown held me back. It wasn’t until February of this year that I finally hopped on a flight to Budapest. I was what can only be describe as a fear-ridden zombie walking through the airport, I cried on the plane, the air hostess had to calm me down. It was all very embarrassing, particularly after ten minutes in which I realised flying is nothing to be worried about, if anything it’s pretty boring. Not to mention, the Hunger Games is hard to enjoy when you can see a woman in your peripherals praying you won’t have a panic attack.

I stepped off the plane expecting the air to feel different, inhaled deeply and my nose filled with the stench of fuel. In the same holiday I travelled over to Vienna; went ice-skating, fell and cut my head open. I had to get stitches and acted as though they were amputating my leg. It was definitely a holiday for firsts.

 

I decided to try out veganism…

…and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I finally have a healthy relationship with food and I feel so much better in myself. It may sound silly because for many people veganism is simply not eating animal products but I feel as though it changes your everyday life, it’s inspired me to be healthier and aware of what I’m putting in my body (unfortunately meaning I’m also more aware of all of the bad stuff!) Veganism has undoubtedly had a positive impact on my life and has introduced an abundance of fantastic food into my very accepting tummy (I love you tofu scramble, never leave me.)

 

I got published by Cosmopolitan,

Fast forward to April and I had my first internship at Cosmopolitan Magazine. It was quite literally a dream come true and the entire experience was unreal. Particularly when they decided to publish my work! If you fancy having a nose at it, click here.

 

I faced many fears, 

When I started University I was hit with a crippling angst and for years I purposefully avoided events, activities and people. I dodged absolutely everything I could, whether it was the dentist or simple activities like swimming. .

This year I entered in the sea for the first time since I was 8 years old, I went to one of the biggest (scariest) waterparks in the world AND I even visited the dentist without crying. I know that these are simple everyday tasks but after years of not even being able to be myself in a room full of my friends – I’m so proud of where I’m at.
I spent a FANTASTIC weekend at Boomtown with my pals,

I’d just returned home after spending 4 years away from Rugby and drifting away from so many of my friends. Being able to spend time with them at arguably the best place in the world was unreal. I’m pretty sure I’ve never laughed as much as I did throughout the course of that weekend.
I travelled around Italy with my best gal, 

I’m still in shock that we stuck to a drunken plan, I had been dying to go to Italy since seeing the Lizzie McGuire movie in 2003 and it was even better than I could have imagined. The food was everything. It was undoubtedly one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen and spending time with Jen after a year of living apart was perfect. I literaly think about it every single day, if you ever see me looking at my phone, I’m not contacting anyone, I’m looking at pictures of food from Italy (okay food from everywhere, but they are the closest to my heart.)

 

I went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

and it was AMAZING. Still not over it, probably never will be. I really want to write more about it but I don’t want to be the person who spoils it for you. Nobody deserves that.

 

My blog had it’s year-aversairy

I can’t believe that I’m still posting on this blog nearly a year and a half later. I remember sitting in my third year bedroom, terrified for the future and itching to get some of my angst out. Furiously typing with no idea of where I was going with my babble. I like to think it’s gotten better over time but I’m probably far too self-critical. The main thing is that even though I post every once in a blue moon and spend half my time berating myself for failing to write anything – I’m still here and people are still reading what I have to say. This makes me a very happy person and hopefully in the New Year I will stop neglecting my little blog and develop it further.

 

I think it’s easy to dwell on the harder times in our lives, it’s simpler to get frustrated with what we can’t change and accept that everything is crap. But I truly believe that if we all took five minutes out of our day to think about the brilliant things that happen in our daily lives, we’d all be much happier people.

Happy New Year friends, here’s hoping it’s a good one!

 

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Things that you could be doing instead of scrolling through Social Media

I am a self-diagnosed Instagram addict. I just want to confess here and now that if I know you, I have stalked your Instagram account. I have been 80 weeks back into your life, I have hurried to unlike an image I’ve accidentally double tapped and then hoped that you would never mention it. Heck, even if I only know you through association – I know what breed of cat you own. Recently I had an experience of internet rehab in which I got through a month without the internet in my life. (You can read more about my gruelling time dealing with it here.) During this time I realised that it’s definitely not normal to spend two hours of your day scrolling through the lives of others so I compiled a list of things you could be doing instead.

  1. Exercise

    I am a firm believer in the uplifting power of exercise (not enough to actually do frequent exercise but that’s another story) and I really do feel as if moving around for even half an hour everyday will make you feel great. It’s a really simple and effective method of feeling better about yourself – especially after scrolling through images of incredibly attractive and toned humans for hours. AND it’s the perfect excuse to take all of the gym selfies. I mean you haven’t actually exercised unless you tell the world about it, everyone knows that.

  2. Book a Holiday!

    If you can’t beat them, join them. Fill your account with holiday spam to help with the pain of viewing a thousand holiday snaps throughout summer.

  3. Community Projects

    There are so many great things going on within communities all over the country and loads of associations that are always in need of supporters and extra help.

  1. Spend time with your Family and Friends

    Remember those people? The ones that you’re always seeing extreme close ups of on Snapchat? Go and see them, and put your phone away when you arrive! There’s so much joy to be found when sitting for hours talking about silly things with the people you love.

  1. Develop a Skill

    It really disheartens me to think of future generations and the zombie-like expression they will have whilst staring at their super cool and modern devices. My Nana could knit, sew, crochet and cross-stitch. She was pretty much an all round badass who didn’t need technology. All I’m saying is that if you spent enough time developing a skill, you could be an all round badass too.

  2. Garden

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    This is definitely a cheat number because it totally counts as developing a skill (yes I will be mentioning hobbies later as well) but who hasn’t sat drinking a cup of tea and looking at the small patch of concrete at the back of their house wishing it was covered in flowers. And fruit trees. And a vegetable patch. With rabbits running frivolously around loving life. Maybe a few chickens and a friendly neighbourhood deer.

Basically I think we should all move to Surrey and subscribe to Amateur Gardening

  1. READ

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    So many people I speak to –myself included- mention that they love to read but they have no time. I understand life is hectic but y’all sitting on Facebook all day. Put the phone down and pick up anything written by Nick Hornby, your day will improve tenfold. Fact.

  2. Use the Internet for Good!!

    Your phone and other devices can still be used with good intent. The thing I find strange is that we have more information than ever before and yet we use our tools to judge one another online. I’m sure the person that invented the internet didn’t work for years hoping that one day Tinder would be a thing.

  3. Eat Great Food

    Recently I’ve been looking for and trying out tons of new recipes. There is something so satisfying about spending an hour making food and of course the aftermath is fantastic. I have been focusing loads of my time into baking – and by baking I mean trying to find the easiest possible way to make cake. It’s not going great   so far but BOY it is fun.

    I NEED Ferrero Rocher Cake in my life.
    I NEED Ferrero Rocher Cake in my life.

    P.s, I tried to make an infamous mug cake and it looked nothing like the images. I did not feel very good afterwards.

  1. Study

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    I know it’s not the most fun in the world but it’s worthwhile. The amount of difference it makes to do just one hour of work every day is shocking. Even if you’re not attending an educational establishment, you can still learn new things every day. I’m currently learning French again – and it’s going almost okay!

  1. Bathe
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    I’ve discovered Pinterest…

    I am a strong believer in the medicinal power of ‘Me Time.’ Furthermore I think the best place to spend ‘Me Time’ is in the bath. Listening to Explosions in the Sky.

  1. Get a Hobby!

    Learn how to play the Clarinet, play Basketball! Remember all of the strange extra-curricular activities you used to do when you were younger – try and re-develop those skills. It’s healthy to put time and energy into something for nothing other than sheer enjoyment.

  1. Volunteer

    Volunteering even two hours of your time each week could be such a big help to people in need. There are so many charities looking for helpers every single day and it is so worthwhile.

‘Do it’ has a range of volunteering opportunities that even reflect individual interests. This website is host of so many different opportunities and can be tailored to a crazy extent so you are able to find something that fits your interests and skills perfectly.

It’s so natural and common for us to share our lives online and show people the aspects of ourselves that we wish to be seen. This is fine, until we’re sitting around for hours of the day obsessing over an image someone has posted or something that we’ve seen in a Facebook comment. So often we are relying on screens for entertainment and it’s no good! We need to put the devices down and open our new issues of Amateur Gardening – and then everyone will be happy and healthy (I hope.)