I’m so much stronger than I ever realised, and for that I am grateful

You never know if you’ll pick fight or flight in a stressful situation until you’re landed in one. You won’t know what your body and mind can endure until it’s faced with its limits. You cannot recognise your strength until that’s all you have.

But what if you don’t pick one, what if you embrace the fight AND flight? What if the flight is actually your fight?

The best way of battling through the trauma or stress could be to take a step back, to let go of what’s messing with your mind. It’ll be a draining experience for you to dance in and yet you’ll only be stronger for it.

Over the last six months, I’ve realised how strong I can be. I am a completely different girl than I was back in summer. Sad girl summer was taken to new heights before I could shed the darkness into a fresh, breathable space.

I’m not at peace with everything about me. I have my flaws, my insecurities but I know my boundaries. I know what to avoid, I can see the harm that was placed to block my way. I can see it as clear as the Tenerife sea (hello Ed baby still a tune) and I know now that I am so much stronger than I ever imagined.

Every year I would count the days, wondering if I’d make it. What would push me over the edge this time? What would break me into the shards I had been left with so many times before?

Yet now, as I piece myself back together I can see a whole new woman forming. The “sit back and take it” attitude is slowly diminishing with a new glimpse of IDGAF, it’s quite nice really.

The world doesn’t seem so haunted once you can see the positives that lie before you.

It’s a scary place, and I know I’ll get knocked down again – but it won’t be by the same hand twice.

I’m grateful for the darkness, as it means I can really enjoy the daylight and that in itself is beautiful.

She chose herself and suddenly the game changed.

2020 Vision

It was the end of a decade, but the start of an age – Taylor Swift

How have we made it through the 2010’s? Suddenly, we’re back into the roaring twenties, just with much less snazzy outfits. Slightly disappointing really.

I’m not usually one for looking to the year ahead and making resolutions, so I won’t do that. I won’t give myself a 100 tasks to complete within the month of January, I know I’ll  never stick to them and that’s okay. I have looked forward to the things coming my way this year though.

For me, 2020 is about finding my own feet, my own voice, my own life. It’s about focusing on my own needs to be sure I can enjoy this next trip round the sun.

This will be the one and only year I have 2020 vision – metaphorically obviously, I’m still blind AF.

This year, I’ve started on my own and that’s fine by me. I realised in 2019 the negative effects of relationships and trying to force something to be what it’s not. It’s shown me what I don’t want, it’s shown me boundaries I need to have and it’s allowed me to find myself in the chaos that last year was. I won’t regret it, even when I start to struggle with the facts of it all.

Although, 2020 is seeing exciting things for me in regards to writing. I’m on two contributors lists, which is two more than last year! And it sees me fall, hopefully with grace, into a work placement at my local newspaper. It’ll see me passing my HNC in Practical Journalism – if I ever get the hang of Shorthand and potentially finding work from there. It’s an exciting prospect, to know I’m in a course I actually want to take further. It’s funny, a course I avoided for years is the one that’s made the most sense to me now.

This is the year I want to explore who I am while getting my shit together. I thought I’d love turning 22 and while I get to really mean it when I sing-scream “I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT I’M FEELING 22!!!!” I feel this dense panic looming over me. Why? No idea. I’m 22, not 82 and yet I feel like I should’ve sorted myself out by now.

So alas, it’s time to focus on me. It’s time to nurture my soul and let myself heal. It’s time to see my friends and visit my family. It’s time to see places and enjoy the views around me. Wear new clothes, enjoy the curly girl life, bathe in all things that make myself feel more like me.

For the sake of not jinxing it, I’m not saying 2020 is going to be my year however it feels so calming to know it might just be the year I feel a little more like me.

 Much love x

Abortion Is A Personal Choice, Not a Legal Debate

The world is divided by a number of things – religion, race, Trump supporters vs. Trump opposers, does pineapple belong on pizza, is water actually wet – just log onto Twitter and watch your timeline flood itself with different ideas.

One thing the world is still very divided on however, is abortion. Many countries do not want to see it legalised, some are taking the right away and others are trying very hard to keep their grasp on it. It is becoming a vastly talked about debate and many are sure it should be made illegal. I completely disagree.

Nearly every young woman has had a pregnancy scare at least once in their life. Your period is late or you skip it altogether, next thing you know you’re on Google finding out you either have an STI or your pregnant. Neither is a great outcome for you but you start to think the first one might be easier to deal with, a lot them can be cleared up with some creams and pills right?

Most of the time we have neither, no infection and no foetus. All is right in the world again and you get to go back to your normal 9-5, gym going, lunch date with wine on the side routine, without worrying if the alcohol and busy lifestyle is going to hurt something that’s part of you – possibly apart from your head.

Not all of us are that lucky. Sometimes the test comes back positive and we now have a life changing decision sitting in front of us. You never really know the emotional hurricane you’re thrown into unless you’ve had the scare yourself – and you can never know what it is truly like to make that decision until you are in that position. You can sit and say, “I would never get an abortion”, but you don’t know what situation you could be put in and if it could lead to you considering it. There are so many factors you have to bring into your decision before you keep a baby – your lifestyle, your job (or lack of), your financial state, your mental health, how the baby was conceived and if this pregnancy will dangerously affect the mothers or the babies health.

Some who have had this decision to make don’t always have their life completely set together. They haven’t got the ‘dream life’ in place where they’re married to the love of their life and living in the most beautiful house and going to the perfect job. Maybe they’re in debt, they and their partner have split, they’re too young to really look after a child or they had a one night stand. Maybe it was rape. Are you telling me you could happily have a child to the man who destroyed your life?

I understand that there is so many different reason that people oppose abortion. Religion, moral beliefs, is it or is it not murder, past experience – the list goes on. Many believe you are taking away the right of a life when you end a pregnancy and if you do it too late on then the foetus will feel pain as the abortion takes place. You cannot take away a life in order to make yours easier but can we really bring another life into this world when we are not ready? Can we bring another child into poverty or into an unhealthy living environment? Can we really bring another child into the world when there are already so many who still need a family?

Many argue that the aftermath of abortion will affect the mother in too many negative ways to be classed as a feasible decision. The Sunday Telegraph reported that women who have an abortion are 30% more likely to develop a mental illness. Similarly, Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University claimed that women who aborted have a 55 percent higher risk of mental health problems compared to women with an unplanned pregnancy who gave birth.

Yet here we are, trapped in an estranged world that uses mental health as a reason to not have an abortion when there’s still so much stigma around the topic. Yes, abortion can bring on all kinds of emotions, as can any other life changing, or everyday, decision. It can aggravate depression, anxiety, guilt or an addiction. It’s a chance these women knowingly take. We cannot use mental health as a reason to illegalize abortion when it’s still yet to be fully accepted. We cannot sit there and announce that it’ll unleash the mothers depression while telling her to get over it. What about the women that feel relief and safety after abortion? Are we to tell them that their feelings, the way their brain is made it up, is wrong? Where do we draw the line?

Abortion is a personal choice, not a legal debate – a popular opinion within the pro-choice community. Do not torment and take away the right a woman has to try make the best possible decision for herself, and ultimately the child.

What 2018 Has Taught Me

Every year I start January off by announcing that it’s going to be my year, that things will work out, that everything’s about to fall into place. It’s going to be the year I go travelling and fall in love and find my dream job. So, in a way that happened.

It also really didn’t.

I think the thing is, no year is going to be all round fantastic. Life throws curve balls at us constantly, it’s a continuing war between you and the rest of the world. Some people thrive on it, and other people crumble. I’m both. I crumble and then I thrive.

And thats what happened. I crumbled and it’s only now I’m starting to come out of it. Helloooo world, you’re suddenly not looking too shabby.

With that, heres what I’ve learnt in the last 12 months.

A job is literally that, a job.

It is not worth the stress and tears. In October I gave up a “career” for what’s classed as a “gap year job” and I’ve never felt better. Yeah, theres drama and cliques and the usual shit but there’s also my best friend helping me everyday, a whole new group of incredible people, I work in a place where I don’t bring the stress and grief home with me. It’s not an outrageously good job, I’m not amazing at it yet, it’s not my dream – but I’m so content and that in itself is bliss.

No isn’t always saying no.

It’s something I’m still trying to wrap my head around. It’s something I’m working on. It’s something that wasn’t my fault. It’s okay that I feel like this – scared and unable to be comfortable in intimate situations. It’s something that we all need to accept, no isn’t always shouting “no” and if you’re unsure if its a no or a yes, then you stop.

Fuck boys ain’t shit.

I swear I have like this sixth sense that just makes me unintentionally attracted to them. They’ll mess you around, tell you they love you when they don’t, go for your pals, they’ll make you feel like you can’t go on without them but when reality hits, and its you out there living life after deleting their number, it’s wonderful.

With that, it’s okay to have your heart broken.

Mine broke this year. I feel like a dramatic school girl but there, I said it. My ex told me he loved me and two weeks later broke up with me via Snapchat. And I was crushed. He came back and left and came back and left. Each time, the pain in my chest got even harder to handle as I realised he wasn’t sticking around, that the amazing start we had was long gone, that I wasn’t enough anymore. And he’s allowed to leave, he didn’t have to stay but it didn’t make it hurt any less.

Travelling helps the soul.

I didn’t travel much this year and guess what, the little plane shaped tattoo in my heart is sad. Seeing other countries, cities and cultures brings you a feeling like nothing else can. I spent some time in London this year and it was actually calming to blend into a hectic city and take it all in. I just want spend my life making memories out with the sane little town, have a routine but always have something different happening.

Keep your drinks close.

I’m *99.9%* sure I was spiked not so long ago. One minute I was a happy drunk making memories and the next is a black hole where no memory is ever getting out of. There’s other factors and symptoms to make me (and nurses) think this without having a blood test done. And honestly, I’m scared. I’m so scared to go for a city night out again. I’m scared of what I did or said – or what I didn’t say. Keep your drinks close – we always say things won’t happen to us, and then they do. Be safe and be kind.

Toxic people aren’t worth your time.

If someone is bringing you down, explicitly or otherwise, then ask yourself – do you really need them in your life? I’m currently working on having those who really care about me in my circle. I don’t want to be part of bitchiness or competitions or lies. Take it elsewhere. Let your soul be happy.

Don’t lose your hobbies.

I’ve been so bored when I’m not crying or working or sleeping or drunk. I miss everything. I miss shinty and photography and hell, I miss writing. Let’s go to the gym, try that pole dancing class, go on road trips, cinema dates and when summer comes, let’s not hide away because we’re insecure. I want to experience it all because I’ve experienced nothing and it’s not worth it.

You deserve to be happy.

I mean who says we shouldn’t be? You deserve all of the above; quit the job that’s causing unreal stress, ditch the boy who’s only thinking of himself, lose the friends that aren’t interested, pick up an old hobby. Be you. As cringe as it is, as soon as you’re you, that’s when you become happy.


Head to toe in Primark. Bag old stock.

Ciao x

Do You ACTUALLY Need To Be The Best?

I used to think I had to be the best. After one attempt and I didn’t succeed, I would most likely give up. Who knows, maybe I could of been a very talented guitarist and dancer bUT HOW WILL I EVER KNOW? I mean, do we really need to be the best? Do I need to be an extremely talented writer to keep my blog?

This all started when I worked really hard on preparing folio pieces for a writing course I had been wanting to apply for for the last three years and well, when it came down to it, I didn’t get in. Yep, your gal got a right good slap to the face and was unsuccessful and so I cried, got really angry and have continually got angry every time I’ve looked or thought about my writing/blog since. It wasn’t just anger though, there was the humiliation when I realised I had sat in that interview room and tried to explain to the – though not very calming – lecturer that the only things I really loved in life were photography and more importantly writing. I tried to show him I wanted the spot on that course, that despite my obvious nerves I was in the right place. But then I realised, would he really turn a young girl – or anyone – down from a place on a college course because she was nervous?

So basically, my portfolio (that actually had two pieces I thought I was quite proud of, makes me cringe now because clearly we have different opinions) didn’t seem to impress them enough, if any. I won’t ever know, they don’t get in touch personally, it’s a generated (un)successful email you receive with college/uni after all.

Then came the dread and the anger and the seemingly never ending “stupid girl” running about my head when I realised I really thought they’d give me a chance, the only preparation I had given myself was repeatedly saying “nah I won’t get in” to my boyfriend. But now it’s a Thursday afternoon, I’m meant to be at work but thankfully (did I say that?) the snow has kept me off and I’m thinking, I cannot be fucked watching Netflix again and it’s too cold to venture BACK out into the knee deep snow, so what’s a girl to do?

Do I actually have to be the best blogger/writer/photographer/whatever to enjoy it? Not really, I’m just really bloody hard on myself. I constantly have ideas running through my head – not all good ones but hey, can’t win at everything – and the concept of not being able to do something relatively creative with them makes me feel a little too, well shit, to be honest.

So while I was waiting on hearing back from said course, I created a new blog I was happier with over here on WP instead of Blogger and I thought, you could use this to help get opinions on your college work as well as the odd bit of beauty on the side. Now? I don’t really know what to do with it. Do I keep it? Do I bin it? Do I throw away something that yes, I wasn’t the best at but made me happy because one set of blokes told me I wasn’t good enough?

Soooo of course in my basic girl femme ways, I’m saying sod you to them and going to keep going anyway. Maybe I need experience and confidence. Maybe I should be giving it up but no one will tell me either way. Maybe I was okay but someone else outshone me (hell, its hard to be good at anything nowadays) or maybe right now my life is just a shit storm and it wasn’t meant to be so I’ll just have to continue to wing it and see what happens – because let’s be real, I don’t really know what else I can do.

Also if anyone wants to tell me they’re on a similar boat so I don’t feel so damn lonely and rubbish then that would be great.

Ciao x

PS: welcome to the new blog!

Jacket: Quiz / Top & Jeans: Primark / Shoes: Zara / Choker: Primark / Sunnies: Home Bargains | Photographer: ABBY LOUISE TOMBS (altphotography)