17 things people in long term relationships know about

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1) That word- compromise- It really is EVERYTHING. You kind of get used to it, but having enormous, adult-style strops every so often is acceptable.

2) It is totally possible to communicate feelings with just a look. Anger, being unimpressed, pissed off, STOP DOING THAT IMMEDIATELY. You can say it all with your eyes.

3) Mind games can be applied to get the other person to do the worst chores- changing the bed sheets, cleaning the shower, emptying the vile bin. All is fair in love and domestic war.

4) Humans are capable of making really, REALLY weird noises in their sleep. The longer you sleep next to someone, the bigger the catalog of nasal groans and painful sounding teeth grinding gets.

5) It’s normal to talk in a sort of made up, shortened version of the English language that only the two of you can fully understand.

6) You think back to when you were first seeing each other and realise how hard you tried at everything and how hilarious it was that you ever put that much effort in to going to Nandos and how often you threw around the word picnic.

7) The idea of ‘Tinder’ and ‘dates’ sound utterly terrifying because you are so out of the game and you both watch your single friends and admire their bravery.

8) It is basically mandatory that whenever you go away together you spend most of the time coming up with names for other couples in your hotel. People watching becomes your relationship sport.

9) You reach a point where you can tell something isn’t right just by the position of the other persons eyebrows/mouth.

10) You develop strategies for everything. You never discuss them, but they exist. Finishing off food, making tea, doing washing, splitting the cost of food. Systems are in place and you don’t need a spreadsheet or a weekly meeting for them. They just happen.

11) Using the bathroom simultaneously is not a decision, it’s a necessary survival technique. And joint showers do not always mean sex.

12) You constantly think you know something the other person will like (film, sex, food, sport), and you are absolutely sure they want to try but they just won’t tell you out of stubbornness, so you bring it up, they deny it and you continue thinking it anyway. You probably repeat this process every so often because stability is key.

13) You probably lied or exaggerated greatly about liking something to impress in the early days, and a few years in you are STILL keeping up the lie. Lols.

14)  Relationship osmosis- You end up really liking things your other half (vom) is into and knowing LOADS about them simply by absorbing it from them. Like you sit next to them and information just leaks into you. Life.

15) There are words you use or tones of voice you adopt that you explicitly agree can never be exposed outside of your exclusive club of two.

16) You constantly look for things to pluck, pick or squeeze on the other person. It’s like having your own personal beautician, but not really.

17) Sometimes you stop dead in the middle of a conversation because you realise, much to your horror, that you are morphing into your boyfriend/girlfriend and then you panic and remind yourself that you are still an individual. Hello me, this is me, we are still me etc etc.

Important things to concentrate on in your 20s

Remember when the most important things in life were being on MSN every night and having the right trainers? Yep. I also miss my biggest decision being which song lyric I should have for my MSN screen name that best represented my emotional state. Probably something by Nelly. Being 14 was hard after all.

Stuff has obviously gone and got a bit more complicated because of that thing called growing up. I’m pretty happy about it though because being in my 20s so far has meant slowly earning more money, discovering jalapenos and being able to stay in bed all day on a Sunday whenever the mood (or the hangover) takes me. What I’m not so keen on though is how freaking fast they are going. I mean, they’re halfway done (sharp intake of breath) already, which is pretty bloody scary. These are the things that have come into focus as really quite important now, and stuff to take notice of as time continues to fly by. Can you slow down life?

1) Keep yourself well. Educating yourself on eating is important. That phrase you learnt when you were younger- you are what you eat, well who knew it was SO true? Eat green things, avoid excess sugar, don’t overdo it on the caffeine and try and cook from scratch when you can. You should also go get those niggling little problems looked at a by a doctor. Oh and also go to the dentist even if you don’t have a toothache and get your eyes checked even if you think you can see fine. Don’t waste money on a gym membership you won’t use, but do SOME exercise, if it’s indoors. There’s an app for that.

2) Travel as much as you possibly can. Say yes to trips, go to new places, experience as much new culture as you can and buy lots of amazing T-shirts along the way. As someone much wiser than me once said and many Etsy prints will tell you- travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.

3) Worry less. Don’t freak out about your career and when you’ll have babies and when you’ll meet the person you’ll want to marry. Stress won’t make these things happen any faster.

4) Meet as many new people as you can. Networking gives you the chance to meet people who change your mind, inspire you, teach you new skills and fill up your contacts list with helpful souls who you might need to call on one day.

5) Save some money when you can. Even if it’s just a little bit that seems almost not worth it, you never know what might happen that requires a few pennies. (You also never know when you will NEED something from ASOS. You know, like really NEED.) It’s also a good idea to learn how to handle money and get a pension (I know, omg). Spreadsheet anyone?

6) Keep the people you love close to you. 

7) Take every opportunity you get to learn something new. This shouldn’t just apply to work either, bettering yourself is something you’ll never regret.

8) Record your memories properly. If you’re going to do life, you may as well do it right. Facebook might seem like all you need to memorise everything you do and keep a photo album of it, but you might want something a bit more solid (and involves less scrolling) in twenty years time. It’s always nice to have an opportunity to spend money on Paperchase scrapbooks, right?

9) Be open-minded.

10) Have an absolute shit load of fun. Have all of the fun now, and keep having all of the fun forever. What’s the point of being on this earth if you’re not going to enjoy it?

FOMO: Fear of missing out

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FOMO. Fear of missing out. Also just generally quite fun to say. I introduced FOMO in my office and after explaining seven or eight times that it was an abbreviation, I got a chorus of ‘ahh I hate missing anything but life, money, sleep, life.’ Life, money, sleep, life indeed.

Not an easy lot of things to balance. I think I’ve just got over FOMO. I think i don’t care as much anymore and what a great time in life it is. There literally is only so much of you to go around, and when you have more than one friendship group, a job and a limited bank balance, the fear of what you might miss out on that one night or one trip or one holiday or even one meal can be all consuming.

I used to tire myself out by constantly having plans. I’m now at the stage in life when coming home after work, maybe going to the gym to feel better about my three breakfasts, and having little else to do is basically the dream. Getting up early every day of the week to work, getting some stress at work and having to use a lot of energy caring and emailing and meeting and discussing and meeting some more takes it out of you. After a long day at work I have a strong love for laying on the sofa and dipping various foods in Nutella while thinking about what I can actually cook.  Who really feels dandy on a Friday after a packed week of work followed by socialising every evening? Not me. Good grief. I can barely find it in myself to wash my hair sometimes. But it’s fine. Working hard at this stage of life is kinda the best time to do it. I think so anyway.

I also think you gotta just let it go when you can’t make the party. By party I mean anything from mid-week drinks to a week away in the sun. What’s actually the worst thing that can happen if you don’t go apart from Instagram envy and maybe a lack of tan?

I feel like realising this worry of not being part of everything is stupid and letting it go has allowed me to actually move on to what I want to do. Me. Meeee me me me me. I want to save money and move house. Current plan. Current feels. So that’s what I’m doing. If it means saying no to Sunday brunches and missing a birthday tequila marathon or two, then so be it. I like to think I’ve developed a surrounding of friends who understand when you turn down plans. Some of the happiest people I know certainly don’t have FOMO, and I’m pretty happy to join the club.

32 things I’m very glad I know now

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1) Eyebrows make a BIG difference to how your face looks. It’s best to pay them some attention.

2) Cereal bars are not the definition of ‘healthy’.

3) Friends don’t always last forever.

4) Going to the dentist as regularly as they tell you to is actually worth while. Who knew?

5) Breakfast is important.

6) Tidy room= tidy mind

7) McDonald’s do a cracking cappuccino for under £1.50.

8) Everyone is insecure about something. Probably a fair few things, so you aren’t alone.

9) When bad things happen, crying is okay. shrieking is okay (in your own home). Full on choking on tears is totally acceptable.

10) Lipstick and chapped lips are not a match made in heaven.

11) Handcream is a necessary handbag item at all times.

12) Somedays, you will look like shit no matter what you do, and that is completely fine. A lot less people will care than you think.

13) Travelling doesn’t have to be to the other side of the world to have a big impact on you.

14) It’s good to have people to look up to.

15) When older, wiser, more experienced friends tell you it’s going to be okay, it most likely will, no matter how much you’re panicking.

16) People forget about embarrassing things you do quicker than you do. It’s going to be fine, just untag the photo.

17) Selfies aren’t always self-indulgent and vain, sometimes they just make you feel good. (Four filters for life)

18) It’s absolutely fine to have breakfast for dinner and just go straight to bed when you get home.

19) Sometimes the only thing you need to inspire you, is a break from whatever you’re trying to do.

20) Calories are actually a thing you need, not just a mortal enemy.

21) Handwriting things is important from time to time.

22) Sending people well wishes and love for no reason should be done way more often.

23) Spots happen. It’s life.

24) Letting your hormones do their thing is a million times better than bottling them up.

25) Exercising a bit really does help period pains (but so does laying in bed with three hot water bottles and a Crunchie)

26) Taking off really chipped nail varnish is worth while, no matter how lazy you feel.

27) No one is going to hate you forever for putting yourself first sometimes.

28) Spending a bit of money on make-up makes all the difference. Apart from collection 2000 liquid eyeliner which always be a God among eyeliners.

29) Food guilt is wasted energy.

30) Crumpets are the ideal anytime snack, and everyone needs a good anytime snack in their life.

31) Goals take time and giving up or aiming lower is NOT the answer.

32) Wearing SPF on days that don’t only involve a beach is everything important in life.

Think about it, you’re actually doing just fine.

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I’m slightly concerned about the internet at the moment. By internet, I mean my internet, like stuff I look at (blogs, news Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). I’m a bit worried about and sick of people moaning and putting themselves down so publicly. It’s really not nice. It’s also usually about really trivial things. If you’ve eaten something that makes you feel awful for breaking your diet, don’t share it with the world and give yourself a horrible time over it. Seriously. This is the kind of stuff that’s not alright. I discussed this with a close friend over the old Whatsapp this week, and we were both a bit shocked at the sort of stuff we’ve seen people posting.

Everyday (while eavesdropping or being OTT with my friends) I read, hear or personally say things like ‘Life is just SO hard’ or ‘Why isn’t my life more like…’ Most of the people who say these things (me included) really shouldn’t. I beat myself up all the time over things, even stuff like forgetting to turn the bathroom light off. Lame or what? I need to get over it, and so do lots of people.  I worry that I should be trying to get a different job, or that I should move house, or that I should spend less, eat healthier, work more, actually do exercise rather than just plan to. All the normal things really. I feel like everyone I know is beating themselves up. Shall we all just stop it?  I’m surrounded by people who give themselves a hard time and think they’re doing a bit shit at life, or could at least do better, when actually, is it really that bad? I don’t think it is.

Worried about your salary? Not doing as good as someone you follow on Instagram and have never met? Think you should own a house by now? Concerned you’ve made too many big mistakes and now you’ll never get your dream job or own three puppies and live in a mansion? I’m not about to advertise my life-improving services, don’t worry. Why don’t we just slowly ease away from these things and have a Kitkat. Or a Dairy Milk. Much better. Why don’t we think about these things instead:

-Being able to rely on your friends (or even just one friend, or your boyfriend/girlfriend)

-Being able to support yourself, even if just in one thing

-Having things to look forward to, no matter how small

-You’ve overcome something, and came out the other side stronger

-You can list three things you think you’re good at, no matter how stupid they are

-You know how to cheer yourself up and when you need it

If you can do a couple, or even better all of them, is your life really failing? It doesn’t take much when you put life in perspective, to realise you’re probably doing alright. Also that being rich and having a glossy lifestyle like a Kardshian clone won’t give you eternal happiness and a life of smiles and rainbows. I need to remember this the next time I have a ‘WAH EVERYTHING IS SO UNFAIR AND AGAINST ME’ moment. Which is quite a lot. Oops.

Surely having good friends, plans to be excited about, the satisfaction that you are earning money or trying to should be enough to not be self-hating all the time.

I recently got told at work by an older colleague, that the best life lesson she’s learnt in life is that self-worth counts for everything ( I was hungover and talking about getting under the desk at the time.) I can obviously see why she says this, although I know a lot of people have major demons in this area and don’t see much in themselves. Give it a go. Also, if you need eat 6000 calories, get drunk and buy new things to feel better, just do it. Screw it. What’s the worst that can happen, honestly?

My friend Hannah Gale who you will most likely have heard of if you read blogs wrote this yesterday, and I thought I should include it in this as I’ve had this scheduled a few days. Take note people: 27 signs you’re doing better at being an adult than you realise.

We can’t just go around claiming we are awful and feeling like we’ve messed up or gone the complete wrong way when there’s still plenty of time to turn things around or change things for the better. What’s actually going to happen if you don’t buy a house, earn 40k, and have two kids in the next year? NOTHING. Chill out. Everyone chill out.

Most of all though, think about it, really think about it, you’re actually doing just fine.

Remember when true love blossomed on MSN?

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I had a chat with my friend earlier about how cringey we were in high school when it came to boys. It’s led to me basically thinking back to 2005/6/7 all day, helped along by seeing a young teenage girl on the tube putting concealer on her lips. Who knew that was still a thing? Romance has sort of evolved hasn’t it? I mean, online dating is massive and we use phone apps to meet people.

I remember when the way to get noticed by a boy was to log in and out of MSN while he was online. The next step was to make sure you had a really cool MSN name and listened to really cool music so it showed up on the main screen. Then there was learning how to angle the webcam to take a perfect, grainy selfie of you in your computer chair looking really fit with your poker straight hair. That was great, wasn’t it? “Oh I’ll meet you on MSN tonight at 6:30 yeah?” The height of romance. Of course it was always possible your parents might ruin your only chance of happiness by having a long phone call with auntie Mary meaning the dial-up was out of action for two hours and you’ve missed your instant messaging date and OMG MUM WHY? Love has it’s challenges, that’s for sure.

We have definitely become a lot more frantic from the days of £5 credit and Bebo. REMEMBER BEBO. You would put some sort of cryptic bio up about yourself with a further grainy webcam picture and then select a background that made you stand out from the crowd. It was also nice to head on over to someone’s Myspace page to take a look through their photos and be greeted by some God awful song that you can’t work out how to turn off. I actually quite miss 2006.

These days I have a boyfriend. I have had for four years so lets call it long term. I’m also extremely happy about this and wouldn’t change it for the world. I am out of the dating game, but there are times I wish, purely for the hilarity factor, that I could just delve in for a laugh (sorry Dan, obviously I won’t) because it just seems like a laugh a minute in 2015. Sitting around on Friday nights drinking wine with my housemates and listening to them hysterically giggle over who they have matched with on Tinder makes me slightly jealous that I can’t really join in on the conversation, having never swiped right. Then I see a picture of someone staring into space with a hawk on their shoulder, topless, on a mountain ledge, and remember how lucky I am. Sorting through these people must be a chore, but it’s a really bloody comical chore if you let it be.

At least everything now is instant. I can’t really imagine trying to orchestrate true love with a pay-as-you-go phone. I think everyone from the generation of Facebook, Whatsapp and phone contracts is impatient to the point where waiting four minutes for anything is unacceptable. Having unlimited texts and using Whatsapp also means you can share unlimited information (in all forms of media) with your potential suitor. ‘Just had cornflakes.’ ‘Here is a photo of me naked.’ It’s amazing how much people share on Whatsapp.

Now when I see friends who are having a bit of trouble in the love department, It’s usually some kind of upset about information that would be best left out. Being able to see that someone has read your message and not responded for near on 24 hours is enough to drive you to distraction and throw your phone in a blender. Ten years ago, you would have just assumed they ran out of credit or have just been busy or something. Another classic is extreme Facebook stalking. You see a photo of your love interest with someone really good looking from 2009, then spend ages wondering if you could look more like them, or who they are, or where they are now, or how much they weigh. SO MANY QUESTIONS. Maybe you can find them on Twitter. Can you just Whatsapp and ask about them?  Er no, unless you want to be put down as a psycho stalker with mental issues, but I think we are all now stalkers to some extent anyway, so what does it matter?

When you really think about it though, we stalked on Myspace and on Bebo. We accepted strangers when they added us on MSN and chatted to them. We freaked out to our friends before school that so and so hadn’t messaged back on MSN despite them definitely being online. Maybe it hasn’t evolved much at all. We just have unlimited data, texts and we can give someone the green light simply with a swipe.

Powercuts and getting old

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I’m writing this on my phone, during a powercut. It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s bleak. It’s also happening in Fulham and Chelsea so there will be well-groomed chihuahuas everywhere wondering why their electric dog beds aren’t switched on. The struggle is real.

Maybe having no power and doing things by candle light makes you more philosophical or something, because I’m starting to think about getting old. The three most positive things that have happened this week are my best friend’s sister having a little baby girl, my other best friend sending me a postcard and photos of her adventures from Asia and me finally having some important medical tests. Raise the roof. Calm this bitch down. WILD.

Alright, so those aren’t three things that scream youth and excitement to most people (although babies are exciting!) but I don’t really care.

I did have a bit of wobble after New Year about turning 25 but then I pulled it together because I will not be old before my time. I still like going out and requesting Britney Spears and buying trays of tequila. I still like spending all my money on travel and then accidentally not having enough for food. I also still like quoting Mean Girls at all situations.

I love going to work and making money and having a flat and being able to have a bad day and say ‘Fuck it, one is going Topshop.’ It’s nice to go away on adventures and weekend breaks and I secretly like doing budgeting (doesn’t always work, mind) and I like food shopping for myself because ALL THE HOUMOUS.

I don’t really get the whole thing of being in your 20s and acting 65 years old. I know some people are homebirds and some people just like staying in and the quiet life which is fine. I like it too (sometimes) but I just don’t want to wake up 20 years from now and think OH MY GOD I WASTED MY YOUTH. MUST GO ON A BENDER AND BOOK A HOLIDAY TO IBIZA.

I’m going to basically take hold of my 25th year and do all manner of fun, travel, dancing, wine drinking, laughing, face mask wearing and shoe buying.

Oh and I’m also going to talk my boyfriend into getting a pet lizard because it’s 2015 and why the hell not.

OH and if you give up on your youth and decide you are old and destined for an armchair when you’re under 50, then you can’t sit with us.

Where do broken hearts go?

Right, so Whitney (RIP) has been trying to answer this question for a long time. Where DO broken hearts go? Can they find their way home? ect ect. Moving away from 80s power ballads and into 2015, the inspiration for this post, and I realise it’s random, came from watching a young girl, who I  would say was about 16/17, crying on the phone at a train station. She was on the phone to either her mum or a friend I would say, explaining how she’s had a bad day and he hasn’t responded to one text since they finished, not even to ask about her Grandad. She sounded pretty cut up and she looked it too.

If you were in love as a teenager, you’ve most probably been this girl (or boy, obviously). In fact, if you’ve loved and lost any age you’ve been this girl. Heaven knows I have.

I was trying not to listen but it was silent aside from her and she was pretty loud about it. I can even tell you they were together for two years, as she kept reiterating this point to person at the other end, who I’m guessing was trying to console and calm the mite down. There were a few comments like ‘but when though?’ and ‘I just can’t help it.’ Three minutes of listening to this girl explode with all of the emotions was enough to send me flying back to when I was 18.

Heartbreak is no walk in the park. I’ve been there once, and to be honest, it was so awful, I think I’ve mentally blocked bits of it. I would never disregard a teenager who claimed to be broken hearted because they’re too young, or too inexperienced and I know back then if anyone had said to me ‘but what do you know about love?’ I’d have probably punched them. Love is love, you can’t define it with time or age and when it goes wrong it can go catastrophically, horrendously wrong.

I would have liked to have given station girl a hug, and told her that I used to be her, and now 6 years on I am whole and healed and I love someone new. I would have told her that there comes a time, maybe just one day, that you wake up and you feel differently. You feel better. Without sounding like someone’s nan, I’d have told station girl (if she hadn’t ran away or alerted staff to me already) that time is a healer.

I didn’t talk to station girl. I did however, think about her and the version of me from 2008 for the rest of the day. I say version of me, because I think you are a different you when this happens. You aren’t quite right and rightly so. Hard bloody times aren’t they? Well I am no expert, and I can’t imagine I’d make much of agony aunt to anyone, but I can tell you where broken hearts go. They go nowhere. Those sharp, stabby, aching little things do curl up into a tiny ball of memory and stop hurting your brain, but they don’t just disappear. No one forgets a broken heart, and thank goodness for that.

At age 24 and a half I don’t think I’ve had all of the big life lessons yet, but having my heart broken is one piece of free education I’m damn glad I got. If you’ve been station girl, and you’ve endured the feeling that life will never be the same and you are alone in the world forever, you probably know that it was a lesson well learnt. I know where to draw a line and I know how to get a grip thanks my own. I will also happily be on the receiving end of a heartbroken chat with anyone needs one, because I needed them once. How people communicated things back then without the vast selection of emojis we have now, I’ll never know.

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I imagine a broken heart to hangout in a tiny pocket in your brain, waiting for when you need a little reminder or something to draw on, before it momentarily jumps out and slaps you. It slaps you because it cares. It slaps you because your heart works best when it’s whole.

Learning the tough way that life really is for living

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Time is a funny thing. It seems to be moving so fast that I sometimes sit back and wonder where the last five years have gone. How can so many different things have happened and ended in what seems like no time at all? We have no control over time, we live within its constraints and it’s a guarantee that it will keep on moving, probably at what feels like a hundred miles an hour. One thing we can do , which the last month has really taught me, is not waste it.

Going through something incredibly tough really does put so many things in perspective. I’ve never reflected so much on life until life has felt like it’s constantly kicking me in the face. What’s been the hardest four weeks me and my family have ever faced, has at least thrown out one positive. I’ve heard a million times that life is too short, but it doesn’t really, truly mean anything until you face a big shock or wake up call. I don’t think it does anyway.

When I downloaded the iPhone app Timehop about five months ago, I began getting a daily reminder about just how fast life passes you by. Pictures of me and my university friends grinning like maniacs and drinking blue VKs on nights out felt like they were only taken five weeks ago, not five years ago. I nearly fell off the train platform looking at a photo of me and my sister in a pool in Cyprus taken seven years ago, on a day I remember like it happened yesterday. How can it be 7 years ago? How can time have gone that fast?

I’ve always been one for trying to get the most out of life, but I’ve realised that it’s taken an extra shove in the right direction to truly appreciate that life will end and I’ll be taking nothing with me. If it has to take a negative, scary event to make you wake up and see that time waits for no one, at least something positive has come out of your battle. In the last month I’ve stopped worrying about staying thin and how many calories are in my lunch, I’ve stopped freaking out over putting too much in my savings and needing to get it back and I’ve started looking forward to things SO much. It’s so nice to wake up and realise a few home truths. I cringe and roll my eyes when I see people post things like ‘times likes these you know who your real friends are’ on Facebook (vom), but actually, maybe it’s true. Maybe it’s for the best to know these things. Why waste time on people that won’t spend any time on you?

I don’t think I will ever fret over trivial things the same way again, as much as I don’t think my family will either. I think from now on I will appreciate every beautiful view, every amazing day out, every travel adventure and all of my relationships just that little bit more. Life is for living while you can. I also get irrationally pissed off on New Years Day when I see endless tweets of ‘new year, new start’, but this time around I actually think I will wake up on January 1st ready to squeeze every drop of love, adventure, hard work and fun out of 2015 that I possibly can. Something I’ve never, really, truly felt the need to feel. I really want all of my friends and family and basically, all people, to realise how much time we waste on stuff that ultimately means nothing. If you can all realise it without the hard times really bringing you down, then even better.

We only get one life, so we really should do it justice.

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