ramble · reflecting · reflection · twenties · Uncategorized

2017

It’s that time of year again! Here is my 3rd yearly summary.

 

I moved shops AGAIN. I subsequently quit Sainsbury’s because my boss was a misogynistic, bullying asshat. I got a job at Home Bargains. I quit said job. I worked at Boots for a month. I lost said job. I started my own business. I became officially self employed in October. I went to Majorca. I got engaged on a beach. I got food poisoning from a milkshake. I scowled at children. I went to Cyprus. I went quad biking through the Cypriot wilderness. I went for a sunset hack with my fiance and some family members. I failed my theory on the first time. I passed on the second time. I passed my practical driving test first time with 4 minors. I realised just how expensive running a car is. I had my battery replaced. I blew my first tyre and had to be rescued by Tom’s brother in law. I replaced 2 tyres. I ate most of an entire box of Celebrations. I realised i had Borderline Personality Disorder. I finally saw a Doctor. I went on a psychoeducation course. I went to Alton Towers twice…again! I did the scaremazes…again! I went to Scarborough on Boxing Day. I gave Tom pneumonia. We went to Blackpool….it was dead. I built my first ever Gingerbread house. I saw a Panda for the first time. I visited Scotland for the first time. I lost 3 rats. I dyed my hair ginger. I dyed my hair red. I dyed my hair bright pink/purple. I saw my childhood best friend whom i hadn’t seen for around 5 years. Tom and i had an engagement party. I failed at making a speech. My Grandma passed away. I turned 24. Both Tom and i were ill for it. I got conjunctivitis twice. I got ear infections twice. Tom got diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis after injuring his knee. We were scared for months. Our relationship was tested financially, emotionally, mentally and physically. We realised that nothing will break us. A cat adopted us. We named her Sausage. She gave us fleas. It took us a month to get rid of all the fleas. We adopted 3 girl rats. We adopted 2 boy rats. I wore latex for the first time. We saw Pete Tong again. We visited Manchester’s gay village and were unimpressed.

 

In terms of events, it’s been a massive year to be honest! I won’t pretend it’s been fantastic. Obviously the highlight was getting engaged, as well as our two holidays we were lucky enough to go on, but financially it’s been a huge struggle, especially with my mental health deteriorating.

I’m feeling so much more positive about next year. I’ve got a 6 week anxiety management course starting on the 10th of January. We’ve now acquired some money we’re going to use for the wedding. We’re looking at applying for a mortgage in a few months. I just need my business to pick up after the Christmas lull and we’ll be on our way up!

Thanks for sticking with me this year. I can’t imagine it’s always easy nor enjoyable to read the drivel i come out with sometimes. I appreciate anybody who uses just a moment of their valuable time to check out this blog – i love you all and i hope for a fantastic 2018 for everyone.

L x

20s · babies · Body Positive · childhood · ramble · reflection · twenties

Boys shouldn’t wear makeup

I got home from work today and decided to spend a couple of hours watching The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds and play Sims 4.
It’s a great show and i always find it interesting to see what children talk about with others their own age.

Today’s episode was a little different though. There was an experiment in which they were paired off and had to dress up like a married couple, and at the end they were told about a twist in which they would have to swap outfits and essentially dress up as the opposite sex.
A scary percentage of the children (mainly the girls surprisingly!) were making fun of the boys and saying that ‘boys shouldn’t wear dresses or makeup’ and it got me thinking.
The programme has little segments introducing a few of the kids’ families and most are in or around my age range, or at least around Tom’s (21-35). This is essentially my generation that are still teaching our children gender stereotypes and that inanimate objects can be only for a certain group of people. I find this really unhealthy and quite worrying!

I suppose it’s impossible for me to understand how you could be so closed minded about what toys and clothes your children can have because i’m someone who will give pretty much anything a go once and i’m a huge hippie (without the cultural appropriation/dreads).
But what benefit can you see from putting a child in a box and forcing it to act a certain way? As a kid i loved Barbie and horses and Polly Pocket, but i also enjoyed catching spiders and keeping them as a pet in a tissue box and playing make believe games because i was ALWAYS the boy/husband and learning how to play football with my Dad on Colwick Park. Haven’t we learnt anything? Repressing feelings only leads to resentment, unhappiness and an extreme pressure to act a certain way.

I find it painful to see 5 year olds already dictating to others about what they “should” and “shouldn’t” do and although society will play some part in that, i can’t help but look at the parents and wonder why. It’s inevitably something passed down through generations and i understand that traditional families still exist but it just doesn’t feel like we’ve learnt anything. Surely there’s enough hate and stress in the world already without adding in this expectation, this list of rules that you have to stick to for the rest of your life and if you don’t then you’re abnormal and weird and will be taunted and bullied…

I have quite a clear vision of the type of parent i want to be someday. It’s a mix of picking out the really good ideas my own parents have, learning from the mistakes they made and refusing to make them myself and things i have seen other parents do on Instagram/YouTube/blogs. Nothing would make me happier than seeing my future son having the time of his life in an Elsa dress and no strangers feel the need to make comments, or a daughter that follows her dream and becomes an expert mechanic (quite likely with her genetics to be honest!). Fortunately this is something i know Tom and i will agree on. I don’t know whether that’s upbringing or simply that we’re quite weird ourselves, but i’m completely determined that whatever humans we create will be self confident and free to be whoever they want to be.

L x

20s · ramble · reflecting · reflection

One year to the day

It’s finally here. The day i’ve been apprehensively waiting for.

One year ago today i watched High School Musical 2 and got picked up by my boyfriend-at-the-time at around 7pm. We went to McDonalds.
I was already planning to leave him within the next couple of weeks at this point but even now i’m not sure if i ever would’ve had the courage to.

Fortunately, he gave me a push. He asked for my phone to put a Spotify playlist on for the drive home. I offered to do it myself if he told me the name of the playlist. He demanded i give him my phone and he made attempts to snatch it off me. We ended up arguing, him shouting at me that i had something to hide. He probably thought i was cheating on him but in reality, i was pretty sure a friend had just text me mentioning my planned escape.

He drove us home like a maniac. I shouted at him to drive more carefully or he’ll end up killing us both. He didn’t listen.
We pulled up to our flat in one piece and he shouted at me again to explain what i was hiding. I refused and he stormed off inside, and i followed.

He went into the living room, the place that had been his bedroom for a couple of months, and i went into ‘our’ bedroom and looked around. I told myself it was now or never and so i began to make a small pile of things to take with me. I’d already made a plan with Janine a couple of months previous where i told her there would come a night where i would text her at near midnight saying i was coming over. She only lived a 5 minute walk from us thankfully.
I messaged her to let her know that tonight was the night and hunted for my work clothes. My trousers and deodorant were in the living room so i left them until last because i was convinced he would try and stop me leaving, even with physical force if it came to it. It wasn’t something i’d have put past him.

He noticed straight away when i skulked into the living room and asked what i was doing. I told him i was staying at Janine’s for tonight. He got up and followed me around, meaning i didn’t have chance to grab anything else. I never managed to get my trousers.
I put on my shoes and coat and ignored him raising his voice again, questioning me.

When i got to the front door, he opened it and shouted ‘if you leave now, it’s over!’
I repeated ‘i’m just staying at Janine’s for tonight’ and he slammed the front door. I threw myself in the lift, heart racing and smashed the 0 button.

Once i got outside the building, i ran to Janine’s street, looking behind me every 2 seconds. I was completely convinced he would follow me, try to stop me or bring me back. Looking back, i think he wanted it to be over too.
It was a turbulent relationship from the start. He was a very angry person, aggressive and controlling. He never told me i couldn’t see my friends or i wasn’t allowed to do things without him, but by our 1 year anniversary i found myself to be without friends apart from those at work and each time i went somewhere by myself or with someone who wasn’t him i’d be bombarded with texts and calls and questioned when i got home if i hadn’t replied as much as he wanted. He didn’t physically hit me but i had objects thrown at me on a couple of occasions or he would threaten to do things like push me out the car and drive off or throw me off the bed or out the window when i asked him to roll over so he wouldn’t snore so loud.
I was far from perfect. I completely gave in to the dark side of me and closed up. I didn’t want to talk or be touched or even be looked at. I just existed alongside him and replied to conversation he tried to make, trying to resist jumping out of our 4th floor window.

I actually challenged him about his behaviour once. Towards the end i became less passive and joined in with arguments he started. I told him that something had to change because we were going to end up killing each other and that he needed to get control of his anger. He turned the entire conversation around on me, because in his eyes it was always my fault. My fault for making him angry, my fault that i didn’t want to have sex or even hold hands. He seemed incapable of linking my destructive behaviours to events or things he had done.

I don’t regret dating him. He pulled me out of a depression, gave me the opportunity to escape Mansfield and move to Sheffield and drove me to an interview for a part time job that led to a full time promotion within 10 months i’m still doing now.
His family have become an extension of mine and i will always adore his Mum and little sister and see them as my own.
I simply wish i’d had the courage and strength to leave when i first realised we weren’t destined to last.

This is the first time i’ve spoken so openly on the internet about what really happened. It’s good to get it out my head – the year anniversary has been plaguing me all morning.

I feel like it’s finally time to move on.

(Pictures below from my Timehop: the food i ate from McDonalds, my bed at Janine’s when i arrived, my first selfie of a fresh start)

img_3192img_3195img_3193

 

depression · ramble · reflection · twenties

January rambles

January is off to a weird start so far.

I had a driving lesson last week – probably my most successful so far. I only stalled once in 2 hours, and that was because i had turned around in my seat to look (and swear loudly) at a tree in the middle of the road adjacent, hadn’t noticed i was going uphill and hadn’t put enough gas on. There was also a moment that had me in tears of laughter after Laura (my instructor/Tom’s sister) told me to do a 3 point turn and “show the other learner how it’s done!” (one was pulled up nearby), to which i tried and failed to get into the reverse gear and caused a loud crunching. I ended up pulling over for 5 minutes while i tried to get a grip. Classic me!
The good news is Laura said she thinks i only need to master a couple more things before she’s happy for me to go out in my own car with Tom. So hopefully next month i’ll get my car (still unnamed) insured and MOT’d and taxed and i’ll be able to tootle about, with Tom of course.

This weekend just gone has been a difficult one however. Friday night at work was decent, i had a lot of laughs with some of the lads and i was looking forward to a day off Saturday. Tom didn’t work Friday night as he sometimes does so we were able to wake up at a respectable time. We spent the entire day Saturday lounging on the sofa watching Game of Thrones – i think we did 7 or 8 hours of it? It was a fun, relaxing day until we stopped. As soon as we stopped watching tele and Tom started to think about getting ready for work, my mood just dropped. I don’t remember much of that night but i know i was being stroppy, inconsolable, moody, irritable and distant to begin with. The last thing i did before i went to sleep was write down how i was feeling. It started with talking about how i wanted to die. This is something i still feel from time to time, it ebbs and flows over the years but there’s always a tiny part of me that thinks “this is too hard, i don’t want to keep trying to survive when it would be so easy to give up”. I’m not sure if this is something that will fade over time, or if being with Tom will help eventually or if i need some form of counselling or medication. Usually i can keep a lid on it but it all came storming out this weekend. Sunday morning, i opened my eyes and realised i still felt exactly the same. I hadn’t managed to sleep it off and i felt completely disconnected to the rest of the world. Tom noticed and pushed me to tell him what was wrong. Fortunately i had told him the previous night that when i try to push people away, i actually need them to be closer than ever. He wouldn’t drop it and bless him he was really great. We tried some things to draw me out and they worked…in a fashion. At 1pm i was in streams of tears, head laid on his chest and i talked about how it’s not fair on him or anyone else to love me – everyone gives me so much and i can’t give anything back. And how i don’t understand why sometimes i don’t want to be here when i thought i would stop feeling like that when i left my ex. He listened and comforted and eventually i was able to get up and get ready for work. It took me 4 hours of my 8 hour shift to stop feeling so emotionally exhausted, but eventually i did feel a bit better.

And today i woke up, relatively normal for me. Had a decent day at work. Got home and ate some Weetabix and watched a few Youtube videos and started to write this.

I’m trying not to take this as a bad omen for this year. I’ve not really got any plans for the year yet, apart from Tom and i going away in June for our anniversary, but i don’t think that’s a bad thing. I’m the Queen of planning – it lessens my anxiety and keeps me organised, but i do enjoy being spontaneous too.

This time last year, i wanted to be dead all day every day.
This year, i feel like that maybe once every few weeks?
Who knows what next year will bring.

L x

20s · depression · ramble · reflecting · reflection · sex · twenties · Uncategorized

A letter to 22 year old me (from 23 year old me)

It gets better.

There’s much more to it than just that of course, but that’s the main point I want you to take from this letter.

 

Right now you’re probably working until 8pm because even though you’ve been promoted, you’re still working your old shifts. You usually get picked up by him. No doubt you’ll grab some food on the way home too. You’ll eventually get inside your dingy, disgusting flat. He’ll go into the living room and you might follow him, sit at the computer and browse Facebook for a few hours – ignoring each other. You might clamber over the rubbish to get to the bed, which only you now use. The bedsheets haven’t been changed in over a month and the bed frame is so broken, it’s basically just a mattress on the floor with surrounding wood. You’ll spend at least an hour each night in the utility room, staring out the window at the park your multi storey flat block backs onto. You’ll stare at the ground from the 4th floor, willing your brain to have the nerve to throw yourself out. He didn’t know you thought about things like that. He must’ve been just as miserable as you were but he played video games and shouted and denied instead.

You can’t see an end that doesn’t involve you smushed against the concrete below. You don’t think he’d let you leave. You tried to before, during a big fight. He always twists your words or changes tactic and makes you feel guilty.

I’ve got some good news. You do leave him and that horrible life. It takes you until February but you do it. It’s a struggle at first. The night you arrive at Janine’s at midnight – backpack with only your laptop, phone charger and a few changes of clothes inside – is intense. You’re panting from running the entire distance because you were terrified he was going to come after you. You’re ecstatic and the relief you feel is mind blowing, but it’s a huge struggle not to turn around and run back to him. You sit there on the sofa after Janine goes to bed and wonder how on earth you’re going to do this without him. Everything that has happened over the past 2 years has a link to him in some way and you’re not even sure who you are as a person anymore.

I think you leave it about a week before you put yourself on dating apps. Not to find a relationship, no you’re pretty adverse to that at the moment. You just want some fun. You end up talking to someone called Sam. You have some fun but get a little attached. Don’t worry, it’s normal. The same thing happens with Charlie and Josh. You’re being a bit reckless and slutty but that’s okay too because you’re dead against slut shaming. You drink a lot too and start hanging out with friends again.

There’s a moment, a couple of months after you start this new life, that just blows your mind. You’re sat on a rooftop, a little sleepy because you’ve been on an early shift at work. You’re having (non alcoholic) drinks with a guy he knows. You realise you haven’t checked your phone in like 3 hours and dread suddenly pours through your veins. You start to panic because you can’t imagine how many texts and missed calls you’ll have, especially if he’s seen you with this guy. You rip your bag from the ground with such ferocity that it stops the guy from talking and he watches you. You tear it open and desperately grope about for your phone. When you find it, you press the button and look at the notifications.

You had one..

From your housemate..

Telling you about her day.

That was a turning point in your head. That was the moment you realised you were free.

 

And now it’s the following October. You’re the happiest you’ve ever been in your adult life. You’ve met that person, the one you’re positive you’ll marry and spend forever with. He thinks it too. Your life still isn’t perfect: he has to work away a lot and it makes you sad, and your job is getting you down because the hours are taking their toll and your pay isn’t amazing. But I wish I could go back in time and spare you all the pain of not knowing, of wishing you were dead.

It does get better. It is better.

 

ramble · reflecting · reflection · twenties

Driving lessons and rats

I’ve done it, i’ve had my first ever driving lesson!
Something i thought would never happen and definitely not something i thought i would enjoy so much.
Tom (boyfriend) took charge of my aversion and booked a lesson with his sister Laura (she’s a driving instructor) and told me to at least try it. I thought being pushed into it would make me freak out and i’d end up breaking down in hysterical and extremely embarrassing tears but i actually had fun!!

I was super nervous beforehand and genuinely felt like i was going to puke. The 10 minutes before she was due to pick me up i just sat on the sofa staring into space, trying to calm the hell down and not have a freakin’ panic attack before i’d even gotten into the car.
But weirdly once i’d done my first start and stop, i was fine. I think i was too busy concentrating on the road and trying to remember everything to let my anxiety in.

I did a couple of start/stops, a few corners and junctions, 2 gear changes, an uphill start and only stalled 3 times..
Apparently that’s normal, though i’m a little disappointed because i wanted to be amazing and get through my first lesson without stalling once. I guess that’s too much to ask. Maybe next time.

Tom’s going to Wales tomorrow morning overnight for work and i’m working 6 late shifts in a row.
Yaaaaay…
Last night i was saying to him that i can’t wait for this stage of our lives to be over. It’s hard sometimes not living super close to one another (it takes about 40 minutes on the tram, 20 in the car) and with us both working conflicting rotas all the time. That’s more my fault though, his shifts are the same each week whereas mine change every week. It’s something i have a love hate relationship with. It stops you from getting Monday blues because sometimes i might be off on a Tuesday, but it means i usually work weekends.
I’m just looking forward to coming home to each other. Hopefully at a decent time by then, i hate finishing work at 11pm.
We also talked about our favourite names (i’m not pregnant! Just female) and he hates 90% of mine!! I’m shocked and offended that he hates Aurora and Luna.
Ah well, future-us will deal with that.

The Autumn Ball works do is coming up in a couple of weeks. I need to stay away from wine this time round. I can’t remember much of the Spring Ball if i’m honest..

In other news, i gave the rats some chicken bones for the first time and they went mental. Absolutely LOVED them.
They really have come on a long way since i got them at the start of June. All can be handled without biting, Arya only bites occasionally – usually a warning nip if i try play fighting with her – and Astrid is starting to come out of the box at playtime to explore my bed.
They’re also all comfortable with Janine (housemate) now which is fantastic, especially for if i go away again or stay at Tom’s for more than one night.

Do you guys prefer these personal rambly posts or do you like my opinion ones more? I feel like noone would be interested in my life enough to read this blog if i posted in a diary style. Let me know in the comments!

Lora x

20s · body love · Body Positive · ramble · reflecting · reflection · self care · self love · teenage · teenager · twenties · Uncategorized

Your early 20’s – the truth (and some positive points)

1.There comes a time where your Mum will get sick of booking your dentist/doctors appointments for you.

2. Time really does go faster the older you get.

3. You cannot survive on Pop Tarts and cheese.

4. School taught you nothing about renting houses and making your wages last the entire month.

5. Making your wages last even a fortnight will sometimes be a struggle.

6. Don’t stay up until 4am watching Netflix when you have work the next day. You will regret it.

7. Working 6 days in a row hurts but sometimes it’s necessary to make up for the fact that you spent your rent money on takeaways and vodka.

8. You also can’t survive on shop bought sandwiches and Coco Pops.

9. You might feel 14 forever but you will learn how to adult more over time.

10. Freshers aren’t getting younger, you’re getting older.

11. But yes, they are noisy, annoying children with ID.

12. Speak to your parents more, especially if you’ve moved out. They miss you.

13. Have lots of sex. Have some sex. Don’t have any sex. It’s your body. Just don’t let anybody try to tell you what to do with it.

14. You also don’t owe anybody your body. Not if they’ve spent £100 on dinner or bought you flowers and presents or promised to kill a man of your choosing if you consent. Okay..maybe that last one.. (kidding! I’m sure there’s another human out there you actually want to have sex with who will adhere to your murderous side).

15. Work sucks but it pays the bills. It’s also easier to find a new job when you have one.

16. But – if like me – you’ve spent time unemployed, don’t fret. Volunteer, go on courses, ask friends and family. You’ll get there.

17. Yes, a house takes a surprising amount of cleaning to keep it looking decent. And yes, it’s boring as fuck.

18. On that note, you will be spending the rest of your life washing clothes and dishes. Endless chores, urgh. Save up for a dishwasher and maybe a maid.

19. Take lots of photos. Have albums on Facebook, your computer or a hard copy. Separate by year.

20. Every body is a bikini body.

21. Use a condom. Pregnancy scares and STD’s aren’t sexy.

22. Spending 3 days in the same pyjamas without showering is ok. We all need time to fester. Just remember to get a good wash at the end of it and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it earlier.

23. Save up what money you can and go on days out or holidays. Make the most of being young.

24. Don’t worry too much about the future, you’ve made it this far after all.

25. And lastly, don’t get so drunk that you throw up on your dress, your boyfriend’s tshirt and your hair. Also make sure you properly clean any sick up, especially if you’re abroad. Ants like puke a surprising (worrying) amount.