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Thinking out loud: the woman & the man-child

As women
Living in this image obsessed 21st century world
Is it our duty
to educate our men
the basics of relationships?
Respect?
Commitment?

Love?!

or do we just accept our fate?



I’m tired,
of being made to feel, 
that is a woman’s job to teach a man how to behave

‘it takes a certain type of girl to change him’
‘you need to behave this way and he will change’

Like our behaviour will influence the way in which the man conducts himself around other women
-ha ha, what a joke-



Isn’t it a step backwards to burden a woman with such a task?



A woman should be many things:
classy,
sassy,
strong,
sexy,
confident
and bold
but the one thing 
a woman should never be
is a tamer,
of a promiscuous man


- Fuck that -

I can’t be the only one 
thinking that something has to change
I can’t be the only one
who is bored of the assertion
that the way a man behaves
is a direct response of the way his woman does.
Forgive me, but I just don’t see the correlation


So, [promiscuous] men
this is my message to you:


Grow up
Straighten your priorities
Re-learn the basics
& get your god damn acts together.





What I would tell my 16 year old self


At 16 you are at the beginning of adulthood, finding your identity and trying to work out what you want to do with your life.  It’s an emotional rollercoaster of excitement, nerves, fear and uncertainty.  It’s the best year of your life, completing your GCSE’s, looking forward to prom and having the LONGEST summer ever before embarking on your next chapter. 

Throughout school, I matured very quickly, both physically and mentally and always felt as though I was ahead of my peers on the scale of maturity.  At 16 I remember thinking I was so grown up and knew everything there was to know about everything. Despite this, I was shy, reserved and lacked confidence.  I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life which scared the hell outta me and put so much pressure on myself to have everything figured out. 

This pressure continued through to my early adulthood and only now, 6 years on,  at the humble age of 22 is the pressure finally starting to ease off.  What I’m basically trying to say is that if you are 16 years old, reading this post and totally relating to everything I’ve said above, please know that things get better.  Trust me! It sounds so cliché to say but just like a fine wine, things do get better with age.  I couldn’t tell you why, I don’t honestly know, it’s like the things that you used to worry about gradually float away with age.  Now I know what you are probably thinking - ‘easy for her to say’ - right?  I used to agree with you until I grew up and realised that everyone who used to say it to me were so right.

Anyway, I’m rambling now so let’s get into the nitty gritty of this post.  I have compiled a list of ‘things I would tell my 16 year old self’.  I hope that you find this list relatable, encouraging and that it inspires you to just enjoy yourself. You’re only 16 once!

Stop caring about what everybody else thinks
I mention this one first for a reason as I believe it is the most important.  When you are constantly worrying about what everybody else thinks, you forget to be you.  This will do you no favours when trying to determine who you are and what you were put on this earth to do (i.e. your identity). 

Unfortunately, it is something we all as humans do worry about – it’s normal.  But what isn’t normal is allowing the thoughts and opinions of other’s tarnish your view of yourself.  You are one of a kind and nobody should make you feel otherwise!  What matters is how we choose to let it affect us, I try to always remind myself that the ‘people who matter won’t care and the people who care won’t matter’ and the saying is so true.  There will only ever be one you and that is a very precious gift so be you, bold, brassy and sassy and live your life to the fullest.  If you don’t, you’ll look back in years to come and regret it.

Stop comparing yourself
As I mentioned earlier, I matured very fast and with this came stretchmarks – in particular on my boobs, stomach and thighs.   I remember the first time I noticed the dreaded little silvery pink lines on my body and I honestly thought my life was over.  I would compare my body to that of my friends and to celebrities in magazines and because my body was so different to theirs, I convinced myself that I had something wrong with me.  I could never wear a bikini again and what guy would fancy anybody who has stretchmarks?!  Wrong. Oh so laughably wrong!  The only time anybody has mentioned anything about my stretch marks is when my mum’s ex partners’ son (age 10) asked me if I had been scratched by a tiger which was pretty hilarious.  I now wear these tiger stripes with pride!

Following on from my previous message, there is only one you so embrace you! Flaws and all you are enough and you don’t need to compare yourself to nobody gurl!

Take a break from social media
Instagram – the playground for comparison!  None of it is real.  Well technically it is but what people choose to post on there are super imposed, glossy, photoshopped versions of their life.  We live in a society that likes to show off this façade of a perfect life where the sun shines everyday, nobody works (or ‘work’ is speaking to a camera in your bedroom and uploading the video onto Youtube) but yet have money to afford to travel the world and buy the latest Louis Vuitton handbag or Range Rover Evoke and post all the pictures on Instagram to prove it to their thousands of followers. 

Thankfully, when I was 16 I was just about transitioning from Bebo to Facebook and the closest thing to Snapchat was Blackberry Messenger so I haven’t felt the enormous image centred pressure that I know the majority of young people face today.  But I do know that taking a break from social media and learning to use it purely as a tool for inspiration rather than comparison can’t do you any harm.

You don’t need hundreds of friends
Just a few good ones! As you get older you lose contact with people who you thought you’d be friends with forever and you gain new ones through different experiences.  As long as you have at least one good friend who you know has your back no matter what, you are good. 

Everything will work itself out, trust the process
I would tell myself this because I spent many sleepless nights worrying and feeling overwhelmed trying to figure out my life plan.  Take some pressure off yourself, trust yourself and the decisions you make.  At 16, I never imagined my future in London. living with my boyfriend and working for a legal publishing company in the heart of the City but here I am!

Be nice to your parents – they only want the best for you!
I had my fair share of Kevin moments as a teen.  Its actually quite embarrassing when I look back now with all my knowledge and wisdom and I realise that my parents really did only want the best for me.  Give them a break and be nice to them!

Get more involved
As a shy, chubby teenager the thought of getting involved on Sports Day or getting involved in anything other than applying my make up in the toilets with my girlfriends was enough to make me want to run for the hills.  I wish now that I had got involved with more as it definitely helps your confidence, self-esteem and will help to start building your CV.  Put yourself out there and say yes to things that are way out of your comfort zone.  The more you start to do this when your young, the easier you will it when you are older as your confidence will have grown and things that used to scare you, no longer will.

HAVE FUN!

I can't stress this enough. Stop thinking the world is against you.  Yes, you missed the bus this morning but you didn’t need to have that meltdown, another one is coming in 5 minutes! Chill.  Enjoy your younger years as you have many more difficult years ahead of you! 

How to live a more positive life

*Back at it again with the life tips*

This week it's positivity.  I often get asked how I stay positive so I thought I'd share some tips with you that help me.  As always they are derived from my own personal experiences and what I have learnt, so you may not agree.  Sometimes it's nice to nosey on what other people find useful init?

1. Show gratitude
Find something in each day that you are grateful for, no matter how big or small.  On bad days, look a little harder!  You woke up this morning? You are BLESSED!  The more you practice gratitude the more you optimisitic you become. Gratitude is food for the mind, in my eyes.

2.  Don't sweat the small stuff
This point leads on from #1.  Stop making mountains out of mole hills.  You missed the bus this morning but did it kill you?!  If you're reading this then I'm pretty sure that it didn't.  ha ha

Training myself to just 'get over it' is something I've struggled with and I'll admit it's a constant effort.  Everytime I find myself about to open my mouth to moan I have to consciously remind myself to stop.  It can be difficult sometimes but the more I've practiced it the better I've become at it. Stop and ask yourself, can I change it?  Chances are you can't so whats the point in worrying about it or allowing it to ruin your day?  Take control over what you will and won't allow to consume your thoughts.

3. Be present
Allow yourself to be sad.  Allow yourself to cry.  Allow yourself a down day.
We all have our ups and downs and you're not going to feel like Beyonce all day every day ... AND THAT'S FINE!  Recognise your emotions and ride whatever emotional rollercoster you are on.  It's ok to not be ok all of the time, despite what society makes you think.  I feel like we really feel the pressure to get over our emotions these days that we often refuse ourselves the opportunity to overcome the actual problem.  Brushing the problem under the carpet and hiding your emotion will never do you any good.  By allowing yourself to actually feel the emotion, recognising the triggers of that emotion and learning how to deal with it will really help you to get to know you. Get in tune with yourself and thank me later.

Oh but I'm not just talking about emotions, be present with where you are in life.  For ages I put so much pressure on myself to find a career I loved and compared myself to everybody around me who already had it figured out.  It consumed my thoughts daily and I never got a career I love from it.  Thinking about it I was actually mentally torturing myself.  I came to realise that I will get to where I want to be with patience, perseverance and accepting where I am right now.   I'm a hell of a way off where I want to be but I'm so much further from where I was!

The important thing is that you know where you are and where you want to be and if your making plans to get from A to B you'll get there! Just enjoy allowing it to happen.

4. Switch off from social media
Following on from my previous post about passion, we feel a great deal of pressure to just be someone that we can often get caught up in the lives of others on social media we end up forgetting to live our own lives.  Remember that not everybody is who they 'post' to be.  People portray a life they get paid to portray and it's not real life.  Use social media as a means to inspire you or take some time away from it completely.  Don't watch other people's lives and wish it was yours, it's detrimental to your mental health! 

5.  Remove yourself from other people's issues
Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with lending an ear to a friend or family member and helping them out from time to time but when you feel like your carrying too much of their sh*t, it's time to unsubscribe from their problems.  As harsh as that might sound, we can get really invested in other peoples issues that it starts to weigh us down.  You aren't a crutch. Sometimes just listening to others moan about their partner day in and day out or how much they hate their boss can really mess up your positive vibes.   B*tch don't kill mine!

6. Live UNAPOLOGETICALLY
Live your life for you boo.  Don't apologise for being you and certainly don't worry about what other people think.   Wanna be a tomboy and play footy with the lads? Go for it babe.  Wanna be Youtube's next top beauty guru? Don't let me stop ya!

How do you try to stay positive?  I'd love to know, please comment and share below :)