Things from July

So I moved to London. Might as well start with the big news, right? 

Long story short I had a, somewhat mentally draining June, full to the brim with being busy at work and interviews and rejections and hospital appointments and anxiety. I left my job at the end of the month, then three days later got offered a new one. 

In the space of a month I then went on holiday, found somewhere to live, started a new job, moved my life to London for four months, and spent most of it completely exhausted. 

But let's start at the begining.

Dodgy disposable shot of the Trevi Fountain

Dodgy disposable shot of the Trevi Fountain

Rome

The day after my 'congratulations new job news' I headed off to Rome armed with my best friend, my best SPF30 and my best attempt at packing light to date. Three dresses, a jumpsuit and two pairs of shoes. I've finally nailed it.

My first answer to everyone who has asked me how it was has been, "Hot." Because it was. Very. 

We did the expected and visited the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and looked at the hoards of people taking selfies by the Trevi Fountain.

We also ate a lot of pasta and a lot of pizza and I took a lot of questionable photos on my disposable camera.

I'm really glad to have visited (and also ticked a first trip to Italy off my list) and now I can't wait to get myself to some of the greener / coastal parts of Italy too. I'm thinking Amalfi Coast next year. 

Roman Forum ft. a hot and sweaty me and some fences in the background

Roman Forum ft. a hot and sweaty me and some fences in the background

ALL OF THE GARDENS

I've developed a bit of a thing for gardens lately. Probably something to do with my new found appreciation of the outdoors, but also the fact that there's going to be a cafe and somewhere to get a cup of tea at least every 20 minutes. At the very start of July, Charlotte and I spent an impromptu afternoon walking around Compton Acres, before heading off to Kew a week later. 

What started off as a cloudy morning turned into a beautifully warm day, which meant that what started as perfectly unburnt skin (I managed not to burn for the entirety of my trip to Rome) turned into very pink shoulder by the end of the day, despite having re-applied my Hawaiian Tropic constantly. 

and the rest

Once I'd finished eating all of the pasta and wandering round botanical gardens, I thought it might be a good idea to find somewhere to live. So I did. And then I started my new job, moved up to London and spent all of the days since then missing my cat. I'm here for the next four months, and after that?  I have no idea.

P.S

I also signed up for Laura's writing summer course – Don't be a writer, be a storyteller. It's a six week course (currently on week four) and it's all kinds of educational and inspiring and challenging. 

 

Change

change

noun

the act or instance of making or becoming different.

IMG_4896.jpg

I used to think I was afraid of change. Six months of CBT has taught me, however, that what I'm actually scared of is the uncertainty that accompanies change (although that's another story for another time – really, it's currently saved in my drafts.)

This past month, my life has seen a lot of change. I left my job, got offered a new one, found a place to live, and started said new job, all in the space of 18 days. For months I'd been craving change. I needed something new, something different, something to shake off the uninvited black cloud that had been following me round for what felt like a lifetime.

Then it happened.

And now? Now I'm not really sure how to feel. I'm a mixture of terrified and excited and sad and apprehensive and a few more adjectives thrown in for good measure. But all of these feelings aren't trigged by the change itself, they stem from the uncertainty of leaving my comfort zone. And, although my comfort zone is a nice place full of naps and beds and cats, it was getting pretty limiting. 

Change is good, and if I keep telling myself that, I might start to believe it. Things change and people change and circumstances change, and that's ok. I've changed so much in the past couple of years, I can look back and read things back and struggle to recognise myself. On the outside, I probably look the same; minus a few lbs and a couple of inches off may hair. But I think nicer thoughts and I feel different things and, whilst I've found life more difficult, ultimately I'm pretty sure I've changed for the better.

Nothing stays the same. Not forever. Some things just change quicker and more drastically than others. And it might be scary, but I think it might be ok too. 

Compliment

compliment

noun

a polite expression of praise or admiration.

You know the warm feeling you get when someone compliments your new dress? I like to extend that feeling to other people. I tell people when I admire their outfits, and congratulate them on their achievements, and never think twice about doing so. Yet I – and by I, I definitely also mean we – rarely ever extend the same treatment to myself* (*ourselves). 

When you're feeling especially 'not enough', it can be hard to remember the things that make you 'more than enough'. I know this because it took me weeks to think of enough things take up more than an opening paragraph. But I also know that there are things. And it's about time we started complimenting ourselves. 

Things that I like

My freckles. During the winter months, I can almost forget that they're there. I suppose that's what comes with looking at the same face in the mirror every day. But in the Summer, they come out in full force, and every year I'm reminded how much I love them. How I really quite good at remembering things. Things like someone's favourite colour, an unimportant and not very interesting fact, what I was wearing on a specific day three months ago. Those sorts of things. My hair. 24 years later and I've finally started agreeing when people tell me they like it. Because so do I. Most days. My sense of humour. I'm not laugh out loud funny. My jokes leave leave a lot to be desired. But I'm quick, and I can muster up many a context based sarcastic comment. I amuse myself anyhow. My body. Yes, I said it. Not all of it. Definitely not all of it. But I wouldn't be sharing the above photos if I didn't like something about it, right? Loyalty. I feel like this is a weird one, but I was recently asked to describe myself in three words, and 'loyal' was one of them. If I like you, you're kind of stuck with me. I tend not to give up, and absolutely hate to disappoint. In fact, let's add reliability to the list too. I like to pretend I'm not one for star signs, but if I were? Well I'm such a Taurus. My intelligence. I may have given up on academia around the same time I gave up on my Journalism degree, but I've managed to keep the clever thing going to some extent. I like to learn new things, and I manage to have the odd intelligent thought every so often. And lastly, to quote Maurice Moss – “I like being weird. Weird's all I've got. That and my sweet style.” – I can put together a pretty decent outfit, and enjoy myself whilst doing it. 

And there we have it. It may be hard to always like myself, but it's doable. Even if I could only come up with nine reasons for now.

Things from May

I've been feeling very not myself for the past few months. Not all days have been bad. Some days have been great, but some days have been awful, and then some days just ok. As if life I suppose.

It's almost as if words got a bit too much. So I bought a couple of disposable cameras and took a photo (almost) every day for the whole month. Disposable cameras leave very little room for curation, aside from standing pressing a button and wondering whether you should have used flash, so I suppose it's an accurate enough representation of May.

Here are the highlights.

1st May 2017 – Southbourne Beach, Dorset

1st May 2017 – Southbourne Beach, Dorset

6th May 2017 – Boscombe Beach, Dorset. (also my 24th birthday)

6th May 2017 – Boscombe Beach, Dorset. (also my 24th birthday)

8th May 2017, – Stourhead, Wiltshire

8th May 2017, – Stourhead, Wiltshire

10th May 2017 – Mudeford, Dorset

10th May 2017 – Mudeford, Dorset

20th May 2017 – Primrose Vale Pick Your Own, Cheltenham

20th May 2017 – Primrose Vale Pick Your Own, Cheltenham

26th May 2017 – Boscombe Beach, Dorset

26th May 2017 – Boscombe Beach, Dorset

31st May 2017 – Southbourne Overcliff, Dorset

31st May 2017 – Southbourne Overcliff, Dorset