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The Journal: 10 Reasons Why Living Alone Is Awesome


If you'd have asked me this time last year how I'd feel about living on my own, I would have curled up into a ball and rocked in a corner for a bit. As an only child for most of my childhood, I actually quite enjoy my own company, but living on my own sounded scary. Turns out, it's actually pretty awesome, and here's why:

You get really good at life admin

A term coined by my friend Niki, life admin is all the pants stuff in life that just has to be done - whether it be washing your bedding on cleaning your toilet. These mundane tasks won't do themselves. On the plus side, you get really, really good at them.

You can pretty much do whatever you want

Fancy sleeping in until 3pm and then eating ice cream for breakfast? Go ahead! Want to spend all weekend dancing in your pants to Westlife? Totally cool. You can do what (or who) you want, when you want. It's pretty awesome.

Clothes become irrelevant

Aforementioned dancing in pants comes into play here. You can literally wear whatever you want, which means if it's hot outside and you fancy being nuddy? Voila my friend, strip and be at peace, no one's going to see.

Your time is yours

This might seem like a given, but if you've got to stay late at work, you can. No guilt about missing dinner or leaving your significant other to watch GoT on their own. No worries about missing out on anything because you can do whatever you want with your time.

You can socialise when you want

Having a day where you hate all people? That's fine, because you can create a sofa cocoon and stay there for as long as you want! Want to be surrounded by people - also cool, because your space is yours and it's totally up to you who comes into it and when.

Dinner time is play time

Since I moved into my flat I've had some of the weirdest dinners. Pitta bread and mackerel anyone? May I can tempt you with oven chips and poached eggs? As long as you're full, who cares that dinnertime is sometimes like a small child has been let loose in a room full of lego?

Mess is your mess

Now I don't really like mess in my personal space. However, the thing I hate the most is cleaning up someone else's mess in my space. No people = no mess.

Sleep is undisturbed
There's no one to crawl into bed drunk, or stumbling to the loo and putting on the bathroom light in the early hours. Just eight hours of pure, undisturbed zeds.

Responsibility becomes the norm

Bills and rent all all that nonsense used to seem like a huge hassle, and was really confusing. Now it's a doddle. When you've got no choice but to sort stuff yourself, you get pretty good at it, quickly.

You learn to like your own company

As I said before, I actually quite like being on my own. However, it had been a while since I'd had prolonged periods of time on my own and not got bored. So I started to do new things and learn a lot about myself and what actually interests me. Turns out I actually quite like dancing in my pants,,,

The Journal: 2015 Year of Re-Discovery


2015. Even just attempting to sum up the year in one post is proving incredibly difficult but it's probably best started in this way: 2015 was a topsy turvy, insidey outy type of year.

After coming to the end of my long term relationship, I was faced with lots of change. A new place to live, more free time on my hands, more responsibility at work, more opportunities to meet new people. It's funny how big life changes give you two options - you either go with the flow, or you resist the change. I jumped in. Head first.

This summer has been full of travel, people, love. There's been so much going on that I decided to take 2015 for myself, to not put pressure on myself to keep up my blog but instead find out who I was, and where I was going. So Summer was full of fun things -  I went to Dublin for St Paddy's Day, I headed to Ibiza with the girls, I ploughed through Tinder and met a whole host of weird and wonderful people. I even met someone and had a little fling.

I've been very much living in the moment, taking stock of the situation every now and again but for the first time in years I've just bobbed about with the times. It's refreshing not having plans, just seeing what opportunities that come about. Here's some of my favourite things that happened in 2015 so far...


Family...

My family and I went to Bamburgh in Northumbria for a week for my dad's birthday. A week of small boys, a hyperactive dog and a beautiful beach house by the sea was just what was needed after a manic few months at work. It's such a calming place, and a super long walk on the beach with my dad was the perfect way to end the trip. My family are the single most important part of my life and who I am, this year has just reaffirmed that. Spending time with them has been a way to glue myself back together and remind myself about what is important.


Friends...

I'm pretty sure there's not a bar in Leeds I've not sunken way too many gins with this kid. I've never been the kid of gal to have a 'best friend' but when I met Phoebe, it felt like fate. We gelled instantly, and I've loved the way we've experienced the highs and lows of single (and slightly attached) life together this year.


Work...

I've given everything to my job this year. I was determined to get to where I wanted to be, and living on the doorstep of work meant that I could really push myself and try and fast track myself to where I wanted to be. I feel so passionate about what I do, but the chance to get a promotion and make proper friendships with people I work with has been one of the most important parts of 2015.

What's been your highlights so far?


The Journal: Possibilitarian


Life is a challenge. On a daily basis I'm faced with some many factors that challenge my positivity, some days its my own mind that I struggle to stay chipper with. However, the other day I came across the quote above. 

It hit a nerve. So many people comment on my general mood; friends, work colleagues always comment on how I manage to be positive and give most things a good spin, but it's not easy

It's a series of small habits that get me from day to day, I've found that over the last year I've had to consciously rebuild the way I see the world...

Cultivating a positive environment

People either drain you, or they build you up. Whilst we sometimes can't avoid people who always see the darkness, we can choose who and what fills the majority of our head space. It's not always people that influence us - even the sources of information we surround ourselves with can drag us down.

Taking Stock

Stress builds itself up. Taking a little longer to think, talk, moving around from day to day might seem like a hassle to begin with but it also means negative thoughts and the stress of rushing to fit everything in diminishes over time. 

Adding value to someone else's life

It sounds cliché, doesn't it? Making someone else happy or improving their day to day doesn't need to be something complex. Something as simple as sending a song that will cheer someone up can surprisingly make your self worth increase.

At the end of the day, it isn't easy to see possibility in every moment of the day, but its surprising how easily it becomes part of your everyday when you introduce small snippets of positivity here and there.


The Beauty Box: Neal's Yard Rose Facial Oil


Even though I have dry skin, I've always been put off using facial oils for fear that they'd leave me feeling greasy. There's always the worry that oils are too heavy or rich for my skin as it can be super sensitive. However, this little wonder product was a gift for my birthday and its safe to say a must-have product if you have dry skin.


As it's a Neal's Yard product, I automatically have high expectations. The price tag and quality of every product I've tried from them (slowly making my way through every range) is never anything less than spectacular.

This facial oil is no different. It absorbs really quickly, and rather than old grandma's rose perfume, it has a fresh, floral scent. As a natural product, it's not crammed with loads of nasty perfumes meaning it does the job it's meant to - moisturising!

After a couple of months using this oil, a couple of drops massaged into the skin after cleansing, I've noticed a really substantial difference in the moisture and overall balance of my skin tone. I'd definitely recommend checking it out if you're looking for something easy to use and simple to shake up your skin routine.

You can get it for £20, here on the Neal's Yard website. You get 30ml in a bottle which is loads, considering you only need a couple of drops per time! 

Do you use facial oils? Do you have any recommendations of others to check out?



The Journal: 3 Notes on Friends

Niki, Myself & Phoebe

Friends. They're funny little things, aren't they? People come and go in our lives, leaving their marks here and there. Touching our hearts in ways that we least expect. If there's one thing the last six months have taught me, its that friends are that one source of support that we should never neglect. So here's three notes on mine:

April Blues

Around April I had a little bit of a dip. I'd been quite positive up until that point but I had a few weeks where I was just generally down in the dumps. These two showed up uninvited armed with wine, flowers and giggles and for the first time in weeks, I was crying happy tears rather than the blue kind. I realised at that point, that aside from family, I invested so much love into my relationships with these girls because of their kind, genuine hearts and they gave it back tenfold when it really mattered.

Mischief

Getting a flat all to myself has been so exciting.Whether I've been causing havoc with them or regaling my tales of mischief, I've had so much fun in the last six months. I'm incredibly grateful that a situation that could have been terrifying and lonely has been full of silly memories and lots of naughtiness!

Lessons

I truly believe that everyone we meet in life is here to teach us lessons. Whether it be that you should really stop moping and get up off your bum, or that sometimes when you're both sad the best thing to do is to cuddle and eat your weight in pizza, I've learnt a lot from these two characters. School's never out when they're around. 

The Journal: 10 Things Learnt in my LTR


As I mentioned in my last journal post - my long term relationship sadly came to an end towards the end of last year. Whilst I'm in a really good place now, I've had plenty of months to reflect and wanted to share the lessons I learnt.

It's really important to have your own life.

Whilst it felt right at the time, we vry much lived merged lives. It's so easy for this to happen when you live together and live in new places, but I didn't take the time to carve out my own life and identity.

Just because something this comfortable doesn't mean its right for you

It's so easy to fall into a pattern of comfort because it works for you, but I've realised that just because something is comfortable doesn't mean that it's sustainable in the long term. Sometimes coming out of your comfort zone and doing the things that scare you the most lead to the best experiences and opportunities.

It's important to live in the moment

As a self confessed organisation freak, I'm always thinking about the future and my next step. This sometimes holds me back though because instead of living in the moment and appreciating the here and now, I'm looking to plan for the future. I'm learning to just breathe and go with the flow.

All relationships are a process of growth and learning

Even though Matt and I have gone our separate ways, I have learnt so much and grown  into the person I am today because of the time we spent together. Whilst in the immediate aftermath it's hard to see this, looking back I feel hugely grateful that we were both there for each other at exactly the right time.

The words 'always' and 'forever' are pretty loaded words

Everyone is guilty of making promises they can't keep. I guess I've just learnt to take these words with a barrel full of salt when I hear them.

Space and time are great for perspective

One month out of it = world is ending. Four months out = a positive outlook and a drive to move forward.

We sometimes don't tell ourselves the truth

Gut feeling is definitely a thing that we don't give enough credit. Deep down you know when something isn't right or isn't as you make it out to be. I'm learning to be more honest with myself about how I feel, and acknowledging those gut feelings rather than silencing them.

People we trust aren't always who we think they are

People change. When things fall apart people do and say hurtful things you'd never expect and you even find yourself doing and saying things you never thought you would. Time and emotion can change a person quite dramatically.

It's better to be alone than bobbing along

I used to be terrified of being on my own, like it was the worst thing in the world. Now I'm realising that being on my own is pretty awesome, and I'd rather be doing this than just letting life pull me along.

Life goes on (and don't forget to wear sunscreen)

I felt like my life's plans had completely gone out of the window, and I had no idea what to expect. However, life goes on. Time moves and things get easier. It's just like Baz Luhrman says 'Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's'.