Sunday, 16 September 2018

WHAT I'VE LEARNT FROM THE BOYS I'VE LOVED

OK, BEFORE WE BEGIN - This blog post is not inspired by, 'To the boys I've loved before' on Netflix. I'm pretty sure I've talked about writing this blog post to a zillion of my friends (ok, all the 4ish I have), for ages. If you've followed me for a while, you'll know that relationships/love and all that jazz is something I enjoy writing about. (I wish I knew why, too). I've been single for as long as I can remember, (I mean, not that long - around 2 years now I guess?) and considering I've been loved up since the age of 17, with not many significant pauses in between, this lonesome gap has given me a lot of, lets say, reflection time.

#1

Number one, is obliged to be my number one - forever, I guess! Even though I am now 26, I still look back on this time in my life with great fondness and light hearted memories, (when I ignore all the fights/arguments lol). I will always feel so grateful for having a stereotypical 'first love'.
I fell in love for the first time when I'd not long turned 17. From what I remember of it, it was everything you'd hope it would be, the perfect recipe for a teenage romance. The boy that everyone seemed to have a crush on, had a crush on me (?!)(lol, 'crush'). Sneaking into bedrooms when we weren't permitted to have same bedroom sleepovers, falling asleep nose to nose. Thinking, texting, calling, skyping each other. Sleeping, breathingliving, side by side. Clinging to each other for dear life at every social event. Intense, emotional pillow talks and relentless sexual activity at any. given. moment. (I had sex on my stairs once, in a friends bathroom another (sorry friend - you still don't know this), 'did stuff' on an aeroplane another (A proud 'I have never' claim, I must admit). Completely obsessive, passionate, ridiculous - all the while still feeling like I was in my own little fairytale. I actually still have a diary from 2009 about this phase in my life and I'm pretty sure I'll keep them forever. (I know, vom)

Number one set my standards high from day one. Considering how young we were, he'd always make me feel genuinely looked after during emotional and traumatic times in my life and always seemed to support me. I was cared for and admired relentlessly until the end. However, number one also taught me to recognise the controlling aspect in a relationship, taught me how I should always expect support and encouragement, meanwhile remembering it's not okay to make each other feel bad for spending time with friends, or do things separately - have your own lives etc. In the end I know this is the reason we ended - as a little 20 year old, me and my romantic, curious and most importantly - young heart, just couldn't breath anymore.
Number one taught me - that 'real love' feeling does exist and to never settle for anything less. Taught me to always recognise perhaps, the toxic side of an obsessive relationship and although heart breaking, always know when to leave.

#2

Sometimes I question if I was actually in love with number two. However when I really think about it, he was the classic 'accidental love' you read about in chic flic-y books. I stumbled upon number two while dressed as a cat in a kebab shop. How all good love stories start, am I right? I'm pretty sure he was initially interested in the friend I was with, however a spontaneous trip to his flat to watch films and eat the remains of our late night culinary delicacies - proved other wise. Me and number two hit it off instantly. I was in the 'I'm mother fucking single' stage, where you're all excited to meet, talk to, snog - all of the men. (FYI the thought of that now genuinely turns my stomach.. oh maturity, you're fun.)  Number two was the bubble of fun that needed to enter my life, at that time. We kept it fun, casual and exciting for near enough the entire year we were seeing each other. I look back at this time as the happiest year of my life - still to this day! I was admired but from a distance this time. I was out boozing constantly and getting my first taste of travelling Europe with friends, while spending my down time (mostly hungover) slobbing around a beautiful flat in Clifton and being wined and dined with the central convenience of Just Eat.

I didn't treat number two too well. He was my happy, fun, escapism boy - but ultimately, still my rebound. When things started getting a little more serious than getting pizza in our joggers - for example, meeting parents, hotel stays, 'anniversary' gestures, Facebook announcements - I think I just got a little scared, so ended it. Looking back I just wasn't ready to feel the feelings I felt with number one, with number two - despite all the fun I was having.
Number two taught me that shared laughter, fun and spontaneity are some of the most important qualities to create a wholesome relationship. He taught me that looks or 'type', aren't the be all and end all to the law of attraction (he wore the worst clothes - I'm sure you all know how I felt about that, as a 21 year old blossoming fashionista).




#3

Ahh and here we meet, my first 'Tinder love'. Things with number three probably had the most rapid chain reaction so far. From what I've experienced, both from a personal perspective and also from the outside looking in, Tinder 'relationships' always seem to happen so fast. I feel like due to the nature of the app it self, once you find someone you remotely get on with and find attractive, suddenly you find yourselves holding onto each other for dear life, subtly shoving in everyones face an influx of superficial social media posts - 'LOOK, we found each other, Tinder does work' *insert hundreds of 'boy did good' posts*. The fear of swiping through the next 10k of unsuitable mugs (sorry but, its true), is real - it appears. I had my first 'date' with number three in my local pub and he brought me Sainsbury's cookies because I had mentioned craving them once in one of our online chats. (Cute or creepy, you decide). I fancied number three a hell of a lot. You know the ones that just aesthetically tick a lot of the boxes?

Number three turned out to be an intense version of number one and two combined. It was all a bit much when I actually look back. A boy that seemingly appeared to be besotted with me (he once told me it was like watching a super model go down on him (stop it) and I'm not gunna lie, it's something I hold close to my ego to this day - cheers mate). When in the next breath - my phone was being checked weekly, I was given the cold shoulder treatment for the slightest interaction with other boys (usually an Instagram like for a taken lad I went to uni with, for example) and I was once chucked out of his house during the early hours for not doing what he demanded during a night out. Insecurities were a huge part of this relationship. I was still flying high at this point from my previous 'adoring' relationships I'd seemed to encounter, so my self esteem was sky rocketing. I guess I can kind of  understand how number three may have felt inferior to my some what, sassy persona at the time?
Number three taught me to take things slowly. As temporarily great the sex may be with someone you aesthetically fancy - it never lasts long. Number three taught me not to rush into something just because of the intensity. Head over heart, Love over lust, always wins in the long run.

#4

Number 4, another Tinder find. If I haven't already used the word 'intense' enough, I'm about to use it now. Maybe I'm just an intense person? Maybe this is why I also attract, intense personas. (Is there self help books for this issue?!) I met number 4 during a very sensitive time. I was going through a hell of a lot with my health, that even included hospital stays. Number 4 was like my strangely comforting, cyber buddy. We spoke at all hours, of every day. (I honestly couldn't tell you how we had so much to talk about.) I'd be lying if I didn't say things moved insanely quickly with number 4, also. Just three months into dating number 4, I found myself introducing him to family members, on a flight to Egypt by his side, and dropping the L bomb (literally, wtf mads?). For some reason I just seemed to find instant comfort in number 4. I wanted to spend every moment, of every day, with him - why? I honestly couldn't tell you. I kind of get it now when people say that phrase 'when you know, you know' with out actually really knowing, why? I found myself falling hard and quickly, not really sure what was going on with this crazy heart of mine but embracing it anyway. Then shortly after our Middle Eastern mini break - dumped. Wait, me? Dumped? This came as a huge, huge, emotional shock to me. I had never been dumped before, I was always in the control chair, always the one who decided when enough was enough or I was just 'bored' or didn't quite 'fancy' them anymore. This time I was on the receiving end and I'll be honest, it was awful.

Then the games began. My first on-off relationship that you can read about here. Something I would highly NOT RECOMMEND. Despite the ups and downs, mental health bouts and general emotional trauma (dramatic but true), I endured during this time, I wouldn't change any of it. I've probably learnt the most from number 4. Maybe I was just given a taste of my own medicine? Maybe this is how I'd made all the boys in my life feel previously to now? (Isn't karma a bitch tho?)
Number 4 taught me that there are boys out there that can be deeply caring, thoughtful, loving and kind, however should never be excused for emotional abuse and general bad/disrespectful behaviour. Number 4 taught me to seek that 'winning formula', that equal balance of love, fun, and respect. Number 4 taught me to know what I want and more importantly what I don't. Life lessons come to us in the funniest of ways sometimes and I'm sure, embracing them will only take you higher. 

I'm telling you now. The age of 25 has been the weirdest year for me, I've learnt so much but in quite a sad, depressing and inconvenient way. During my late teens/early 20's I felt as though I was pursued by boys, a lot of the time.. I felt like boys I seemed to meet (not many, btw) - fancied me in some way or I fancied them and things always progressed more than just friends. Meanwhile 2017/18 has provided me with so many more Tinder dates than I'd planned,  so much more 'disappointment' and generally so much #singlelife-ness. I feel like I'm a million miles away from a lot of friends who are engaged, have babies on the way or enduring in a consistent and flourishing relationship. It's a weird feeling when you've always been the 'one with the boyfriend'. However, when I really think about it, am I even ready for all that? I'm still exploring things I like, career options, moving cities, figuring what makes me tick, let alone mixing boys into the equation. Sometimes I think its unfortunate for me that I haven't yet found myself building a home together with a loved one or discussing which washing machine to get or if we're in the right catchment area for schooling - then I remember, theres so much more I want yet - from life in general. Slow and steady wins the race - Something I always try and live by.

Hope you enjoyed the read and hopefully I didn't cause any offence (eek).
Let me know if this is the kind of content you enjoy (I have a tonne more I want to write about including awkward encounters and battling dating apps).
Thanks for reading!!
Madi xo

Thursday, 23 August 2018

I HATE THE INTERNET

Okay well thats obviously a complete lie..

I don't think I really hate the internet. If anything, I love it - a love/hate relationship, you could say?
I was pondering on what to title this blog post, 'WHY I STOPPED BLOGGING', or the current..
Life has been crazy lately, or at least in my head it has. Does anybody else get that? When you actually stand back and look at life, you're still doing the same old things - driving to work and back, sleeping, eating, drinking - the usual. When for some reason, your head seems to think a mammoth of events are taking place, resulting in general exhaustion - mind, body and soul?
Don't get me wrong, it's recently been my 26th birthday (yup, hard pill to swallow), my dads got remarried, and I've been battling with the stupid negative voice inside my head, yet again.
*rolling eyes emoji*


Truth is, I really miss blogging. I miss it so much, I indulge in it literally every single free moment, of every day. Constantly scrolling through Instagram, religiously catching up on my favourite Youtubers/content creators. I am a woman obsessed, really. Sometimes I realise I give myself no extra time to actually do anything else..
Read? nope - have to watch so-and-so's latest Q&A. Whip up a nice meal? nope - must consistently scroll through Instagram incase I miss anything. Gosh, that all sounds very sad, doesn't it?
I'm pretty sure I've been addicted to the internet and general social media since I was around 11. The days of Habbo Hotel, Bebo, Myspace and not actually having a single care in the world other than if you had HC club that month. (aka the good old days, before quarter life crisis' began taking over my brain box).



So, why DID I stop blogging for so long? If it's something I enjoy so much?

I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH  I'LL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH
I think everyone on the blogosphere gets this - or even on the internet in general. After all, I don't see people posting badly lit photos of their chipped nail polish, selfies after they've been crying, or a dirty dinner table with half eaten food. As much as I love writing and sharing content with the World Wide Web, I'm never really sure if what I'm doing is really worthy of.. anything? Especially when online content improves, expands, and exceeds expectations, on literally a minutely basis these days.

I went for a job interview in London recently, and after the interview was coming to a close, I gave the interviewee's the opportunity to ask me any other questions - The only question they had?
'Why didn't you stick to going freelance?'. (Remember that time when I really tried to push my Instagram? - setting up staged breakfast scenes of elegant looking pancakes, planned outfit photoshoots of me posing by a fruit market or flat lays of my most loved skincare - naturally with the added couple of cacti to make the cut.) My excuse? I didn't really have one, embarrassingly. Why haven't I ever stuck with trying to go freelance? I'm pretty sure there are people out there who are completely owning their content (and control of their rent money!), who popped up way more recently than 2009.


'DISCONNECTED' NETWORK
Okay so this is going to sound really pathetic. Alas, I don't actually really know that many bloggers online, let alone in real life. Trying to get popular/general interest from your immediate network of friends/family etc with your own blog is really damn difficult. Especially as you notice that it's sometimes the case that said immediate network, will rarely really even interact with your online content. I completely get it, not everyone understands the world of aspiring to an online business, or the importance of having an aesthetically pleasing/visually coherent 'grid'. In my case, I often feel like I'm getting rolling eyes, sighs, or just that I'm generally being a 'show off', because lets be honest - 'Can you take another photo of me?' can be interoperated in the wrong way when you've already asked 5 times..

As a fully fledged Leo (apart from the out going part, I've always disagreed with that - give me a hot chocolate and my bed with my duvet wrapped around me over a room of new faces any day). I've always strived from ego boosting, compliments and pep talks - much to the exhaustion of my friends/family (sorry about that). I've never been 'in it for the likes' or anything like that when it comes to the online world, I find that all a bit tiering. However, to be acknowledged and told what I'm posting is 'cool' or 'inspiring', always gives me a boost. So when I'm not getting that, I generally tend to think - 'Madi, nobody actually cares'.



IS THERE ANY POINT?
I often make the mistake of thinking, 'If my friends aren't reading this - who is?'. I get this crippling anxiety of people wrinkling their nose whenever I say I've posted a new blog post, or acquaintances tutting at yet another professional photo of me frolicking around in Clifton. When really, the reality is - anybody could be reading my blog. A girl all the way in Australia, the women who barely even flashes a smile at work, the guy who had a crush on me in 2008, a potential employer, or heaven forbid - not just one, but a couple of ex's. (Sometimes that thought does humour me - my first love from 2009, reading about some soup I've made on the weekend, or the latest eye cream you 'just have to have', lol.)

There is so so much I want to write about, I even have a pretty hefty list in my notes on my phone, (thoughts that usually tend to come to me during my drive to work at 5.30am, strangely). I (and you, if you're struggling with posting content again), need to realise -
If I want to write about my new favourite shoes that I know a friend would hate - I can.
If I want to write about dating, despite my ex reading - I can.
If I want to post a load of posed photos of me in an outfit that made me feel good - I can.
For some reason my general mind set towards blogging over the past few months has been consistently negative.

'Can't do that, it'll be shit' - 'Can't say that, he/she will get offended' - 'Better not write about that, they'll think I'm full of it'.


Sometimes in life you just need to realise that everyone will judge you. No matter how hard you try, not everyone will like you - like what you write, like how you look, or just generally not like you?! (I experienced this this year, for the first time in my life - an expression of dislike towards me, for what? I'm still yet to find out, lollll). Thing is, in reality, when it comes to online content especially - if you really want to achieve something, you can! If Amy from Swansea can post about her new eyebrow routine or write about the highs and lows of Tinder and get paid for it, so can you.

I'm done with cooonstantly comparing myself to other bloggers/content creators (you know the ones - with the most perfectly sculpted bodies/faces, photographer boyfriends, most immaculate style and perfect Lightroom preset). Despite blogging since I was around 14/15, I need to remember that if I want to become serious at this whole blogging malarkey, I need to do it because I want to - not just for some glossy/fake photos that present a completely fake persona/lifestyle. My current followers/readers (hello!), follow me for me, because they relate to what I write, like my style, enjoy what I have to say on the interwebs or just generally enjoy a nosey (which is totally okay!)

I'm not promising 'blog posts every Wednesday' or anything like that, however I have a shit tonne of photos and recommendations for places I've visited this year! As well as some posts I'm excited to write about. Stay tuned! (I mean, if you like.. ;))

Thanks for reading!
Madi xo

Saturday, 17 February 2018

IF YOU'RE UNDER HIM, YOU AIN'T GETTING OVER HIM

Yep, thats right, the famous 'New Rules' verse we have all grown to know, love, shout to, cry to and maybe actually, even begin to despise (?) - I'm talking those times when it would blast out the car radio, on your shameful drive home from, yep, you've guessed it, your ex's. It's a mere fortnight since you'd sworn that this would never happen again and yet here you are, unbrushed hair, makeup from the night before, and a sock missing, regrettably driving through the streets you thought you'd never see again. You just can't help but feel that you've let Dua down, once again.

Yes, I picked up the phone. Yes, I let him in. Yes, we are now somehow, once again, 'friends' and at approximately 3.30am, four Saturdays after I'd sworn to myself I'd never speak to him again, I end up, under him.


S I G H H H H H...
Yep, this blog post is about on/off relationships. (Ooh, how exciting for you all). This is a topic that I never ever thought would be on my radar at any point in my life, alas here I am with a massive 3 years experience. Believe it or not, when this was my life (and yes, it did unfortunately consume my entire existence), I genuinely remember googling 'How to get over an ex' or 'How to stop seeing an ex'. Absolutely tragic, right? Anyway in an attempt to save you from the same despair, I thought I'd share some of my thoughts, feelings, and advice, in the hope that it'll help someone else in the same position.

THE FUNNY FIVE MINUTES PHASE (THE INITIAL BREAK UP):
You know when a puppy has an absolute mental moment? Usually in the evening time just after dinner, when it'll run round like a lunatic, crashing into things, rolling around and racing in circles? I guess you could kind of imagine that as this phase, but in human form.

Picture this: you've just had 'the talk' with your partner for the second time that month, so decided to 'mutually' end things. You walk away from the situation channeling a 'I'm a badass bitch and I don't care if you don't want me anyway' vibe, alas you secretly feel, incredibly heartbroken. Two days after listening to 'its not you, its me' kind of speeches, you see your now ex, on Tinder.


Shit. Gets. Crazy. You spiral into a some form of insanity you didn't even know existed. Suddenly your own dating profile is created and pimped out with in seconds, you message everyone you match with, and your Whatsapp group chats are blowing up with groups being renamed to 'This weekend xoxo' or 'Adventures with my bitches' (lol). You are now prepared to quite literally drown yourself in alcohol, march around town in a new outfit every weekend, and flirt with literally everyone - for the foreseeable future. I call this the 'funny five minutes phase' for a reason. This phase see's you doing things you wouldn't even imagine, let alone knew you were capable of. All fun, games, and 'stories to tell' at the time, but actually very dangerous looking back. I've actually never been dumped before, so I'm guessing this is how I initially dealt with the feeling of rejection. However, everyone is different. Some people throw themselves into new hobbies, seeing their friends all the time, or joining a gym. I just decided to drink. A lot.

This is something I wouldn't personally recommend. Yeah of course it helps to go out with your friends and get smashed, followed by giggling for hours the next day in your pj's. However it did absolutely nothing for my self worth and general wellbeing. Drinking a lot probably made me even more sad, not only about the break up I was going through but also about myself. I remember hating myself through this phase. Despite my Instagram being constantly glamourised with night out and cocktail pictures, looking like I was having 'the best time ever!' I was actually on the side line questioning everything. The way I looked, my personality, the way I loved someone, the way I was as a person in general. My low self esteem and general self neglect probably explains why I was so easily led back into the arms of my ex, every time the dreaded 'I miss you' texts came through.


THE SELF DOUBT PHASE ('WE ACCEPT THE LOVE WE THINK WE DESERVE'):
Ahh the best part. NOT. This is the part where you've been single for a couple of months, just about started to get a grip of your life again when out of the blue, you get a some what questionable text. Usually around two or three scrolls worth in length, and basically telling you everything you want to hear. 'I don't know what I've done.' 'I feel shit not speaking to you' 'I just want to hold you again'.
Ok ok ok, so the old Madi, the Madi who dumped everyone who appeared wildly in love with her - would've laughed at such messages and probably shared it with her new love interest with a roll of the eyes. (Yep, I've been a bitch, I know). However, when you're feeling so utterly down about yourself, such texts come as a euphoric relief. 'HA, he does miss me'.

Does he though? or is it just that nobody 'better' has come along? or he's just at an age where all his friends have partners and he feels a bit left out? or is it that he just knows you'll reply? These are the things that didn't even cross my mind at the time. I was officially love drunk. Any attention was good attention in my eyes. I remember through this phase of about a year, I was picked up and dropped like a hot stone. Lavish dinners out, hotel stays, day trips, weekends away, each time usually followed by being dumped, again. Yet through out this entire time I clung on to a little thing called 'hope' each time. I was fooled I tell you, FOOLED! Embarrassingly all I wanted was to be accepted and loved. At this point I'm not even sure if I wanted a relationship with this person, however the small moments of happiness together seemed to put a hush on the side of the relationship, that looking back, was just damn right toxic.


This phase is hard. Perhaps the hardest. A consistent conflict of the mind, you could say. Part of you knows that deep down, you deserve better than this. You shouldn't be in fear of when you'll next be disposed of, or wondering if you're just filling a gap as apposed to genuinely being loved. Relationships are about consistency, compromise and trust, all of which me and said ex struggled with massively. Something that I have never truly realised until now. Unfortunately, nobody can pull you through this phase but you. The amount of times my friends would tell me 'just don't text him back' or 'he can't possibly love you after everything he's put you through' or my family would express their confusion as to why I kept 'going back', yet of course, I would never listen. You have to get to a place where you know in your heart what you deserve, as apposed to living in a world where you think over and over again 'Maybe it'll be okay this time'.

I personally found that travelling and spending time with my friends and family helped this. Doing things that made me feel genuine happiness gave me a good comparison to the feeling I felt when dating my on/off ex. I hate the phrase 'do what makes you happy', but it is true. It solves nearly everything! Not to mention helps you remember that you are deserving of happiness, and you should never jeopardise that for a temporary feeling of being 'wanted'.


THE 'YOU DO YOU' PHASE :
Probably the most self healing phase, and where most of your strength of heart will (slightly) be regained. The part where you start to talk to other people, date other people, get a real feeling for realising its not just your ex that will fancy you or want you around.
This phase saw me travelling to different places, meeting new people and spending a hell of a lot of time with my best friend, Christina - who listened to the same stories every month, and was so patient with my '...so I did something stupid' shenanigans, over and over and over again. She helped me through more than she knows, just by listening (thanks bbe). I even dated someone else through these few months of no contact with my ex, who was much more to my taste and style which, (even though he turned out to be an absolute knob), having someone interested in me again, made me feel really good about myself! Life seemed good again.

Alas, I must mention, on/off relationships do take two to tango. I'm not saying I was an angel throughout this entire situation. So you can guess who I reached out for when I found myself in a bad place again. I feel like on/off relationships are toxic for three reasons; you both secretly know that one of you will always reply, you both know you can bring some form of 'comfort' to each other, and as time goes on, theres an element of trying to regain control of the situation each time you lose it, which I only now realise after looking back at our behaviour.

'He's asked me for coffee, do I go?'


My answer would be dependent on how strong you feel at this point, for me I remember feeling as though I'd be absolutely fine just being friends with the guy, giving him an exchange of my time in exchange for his flattery. I find it actually helped me to meet my ex again, at the time (Have you lost track of how many times we'd ended it yet met up again? cause' same). I felt much stronger after dating someone else, and after all, its not like my ex was all bad. We shared moments of genuine conversations and had a very similar sense of humour. I found meeting with my ex gave me a weird sense of power when it came to my self esteem. Even though I knew he had dated other people also, he still wanted me (or so I was always led to believe hey). This seemed to be the kind of fucked up confirmation I felt I needed at that point in my life, so I just let it happen. Until guess what? Naturally I ended up 'catching feelings' (gross), and again, I was left hurt.

Looking back, should we have met? No. Should we have even got back together after he initially told me he 'couldn't fall in love with me' after 5 months of dating right at the start? No. However, we all do stupid shit. I should mention here too, its absolutely exhausting hiding something from your nearest and dearest. I remember feeling so ashamed I was meeting my ex again, the same ex that saw my 24 year old ass crying on my bedroom floor countless times in despair, the same ex that saw me spend countless evenings cuddling my mum on the sofa, that I literally told nobody through most of our on/off period. 

Unfortunately, absolutely nobody can tell you what to do in such situations. All I wanted at points was someone to tell me how to deal with everything, how to make it all go away and how to stop it hurting. I'd tried the not replying, I'd tried the blocking, I'd tried getting my mind off it with other things. Nothing seemed to work and some sort of toxic gravitational pull kept pulling us together. Eventually it was pretty clear that this 'toxic gravitational pull' was, and that was, alcohol. Once you start to realise that the texts or messages you're receiving (or sending) are at 2am on Sunday mornings, ironically thats when everything becomes slightly more clear.


THE PRO LONGED DEPRESSION:
I hate to tell you this, but although feeling pretty depressed throughout the entire ordeal of an on/off relationship, I have to admit the worst was probably towards the end. I'm gunna say this is maybe the 6/7th time we'd reconnected (kill me now). The part where you resent yourself for pretty much every action you seem to take that relates to your ex. The texting back, the going to his house, the conversing with each others parents, the invites back into each others lives - everything just made me want to curl into myself with doubt, fear and sickening repulse at what I was doing, yet again, to my poor heart/head. 

I felt as though I was not only hurting myself but also my ex, I found myself becoming a horrible person, dishing out personal digs and just generally not being myself at all. I found myself almost a bully at this point. I was so mad at my ex for claiming to desperately want me again, after all the times I was let down and hurt. It was almost a 'how dare you even say that' sort of moment. I was mad at seeing him on dating apps over and over again, I was mad at him wanting me and then not wanting me, mad at him for admitting he really liked another girl he dated, mad at him for pushing himself on me with yet more gifts and what now felt like 'boy who called wolf' speeches.


I was sick, and I was tired, of being the girl that always 'gave in' to pleads and promises that looking back, can't have even been real. I was watching friends around me meeting new people and sharing new stories of love and interaction. Yet here I was with the same old stories that, at some point, my peers even made fun of. 'No sleeping with ____ this weekend then Mads?'. It was humiliating and just damn right awkward. Meeting with your ex again after so much has happened, is just completely and utterly pointless. You're both preventing each other from moving on, and in reality, I strongly believe that at this point we were both just clinging to each other due to loneliness. I can't tell you how much of a mess I found myself in at the beginning of this year. My mental health was at a place I'd never seen it before and my conscience was screaming at me to stop. I'm the sort of person who can't lie, and can't fake my feelings, so conforming to the pleads of my ex (AGAIN) was just completely against my Mantra.


THE CONTENT PHASE (THE HERE AND NOW):
Ahhh and here we are, the present day. I'm not getting drunk every second of my life, I'm not actively trying to seek a connection with someone new, I'm not bombarding my diary with dates, and I'm not pining for love. I am just me. Cruising through life, saving money, looking to my future, planning my future, lying in bed naked a lot, eating and cooking foods I love, wearing clothes I love, wearing loads of makeup, not wearing any makeup, having loads of long baths etc. I tell you now, being single is actually pretty awesome. I'm learning, slowly but surely to not be my biggest critic. My self esteem is slowly being gained as it was before, and I'm doing things for me, and not to please or want approval from anybody else. I'm maintaining my mental health by treating myself well - I'm resting, recuperating, learning new things, and doing the things I love again, like taking blog photos, painting, reading & dancing (around my room, lol). Don't get me wrong I get days where I'm incredibly lonely and all I want to do is cry and for someone to hug me for hours, however I know that it's only temporary. Before I felt I needed someone to love me to have worthy of happiness or self love. I'm sorry but how dumb?!?!


I'm not going to sit here and tell you to not stalk your ex's social media, because I know you will. However it never helps. No matter how much you tell yourself you don't care, you're over it, it was a long time ago. It will still sting to see something you don't necessarily want to. Every time I'd find myself bored or curious, I put an instant block on even the idea of searching said ex's name. It really helps to set your sights on something else, rather than content that is toxic to you. If I find myself tempted, I just put my phone down and walk away from it - go and make a cup of tea, go and have a cuddle with the dog, vacuum your room - anything that is more productive than stalking, is a step in the right direction.

Take this moment as time to appreciate yourself again. Find your sense of humour again, your sense of style, what makes you laugh and what makes you feel comforted and all round noice, yano? I was so caught up in feeling like everything about me was wrong, so it's nice to just literally start a fresh with yourself, and of course in the words of RuPaul,


'If you can't love yourself, 
How the hell you gunna love somebody else?'


THE BULK OF ADVICE:
1. As much as you might want me to say there is a fairytale ending, there really is no point in texting back, meeting again, double thinking that things could work out, after you & an ex have split (I mean everyones different, but it sure as hell was pointless for me). People who are in love don't just drop each other, with out attempting to work it out first, let alone proceeding to go on dating apps immediately after the deed is done. It's pretty obvious to me that I just didn't quite fit the bill for that person, whether they say thats the truth or not. Just remember the quote;
'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me'.

2. Always be genuine and truthful. I can hand on heart admit that I never once said anything to my ex without meaning it. Towards the end of this bipolar relationship, I actually found myself saying 'I'm not in love with you anymore' and 'I don't want to be with you anymore' because thats how I actually felt. I wasn't going to pretend I was still in love or wanted the relationship, just because I was being showered in gifts, or to make myself, or that person feel temporary happiness.

3. Never underestimate how fast an ex will 'get over you'. Unfortunately it does happen, that one week you can look into someones eyes while they hold your hands and tell you all they want is their future with you, to the next week, seeing them actively dating again. It does suck at the time and even after everything, it still hurts, but always remember it's actually a blessing in disguise. You can finally now move on in peace too.

4. If you were happier and more content with yourself before the relationship, acknowledge that. I found myself pining for approval from my ex ever since he initially broke up with me at the start. Any form of disapproval from then on was magnified for me. Remember that we all love differently, and its nobodies fault if you don't quite match up when it comes to mutual support and making each other feel good.

4. Remember you are now free. Free from anxiety, free from regret, free from negativity and free from literally driving yourself insane. Free to learn about yourself, and of course, learn how to love yourself as you want to be loved.

5. ALSO - Bonus point - You're not pregnant with said ex's child. Thank. God.

THIS POST WAS SO LONG, OH MY GOSH. 


So sorry about that. This is something I've wanted to write about for about 18 months now, but guess what, I was so unsure of myself to not be in contact with my ex again, I couldn't bring myself to post it. Contact is a funny thing for our generation. Its so easy to pick up your phone and connect with people on so many different social platforms etc. This time around me and my ex actually sat down and mutually blocked each other on everything. It was unfair and completely unjustified to keep each other contactable, and I hand on heart believe its the best thing we've done, for both of us. I'm genuinely excited for us to move on and be happy, not to talk bad of our experience together, or let it effect any new relationships, but to just accept that the past is the past. After all, thats the goal, isn't it? I don't want this post to be about 'throwing shade' (what even is that expression lol), or a 'woe is me' kinda thing. I literally just wanted to put something to bed in my mind, and for me the best way to do that is to just spill my mind, meanwhile hopefully sharing some advice with anyone who might need it!

Remember that if you're going through a tough time in your relationship, be sure to communicate thoroughly, acknowledge and realise if you're not right for each other, and stick to any decisions you may make. I do still have hope in my heart (believe it or not), that there is such thing as a healthy, mutual and loving relationship. Just be true to yourself and I don't think you can go far wrong. DO YOU BOO :)


(Also watch this: #godblessWillSmith)

Thanks for reading (and fair play if you did),
Madi x

PS If you're interested in my outfit:
Bag - Urban Outfitters (about 7 years ago)
Earrings - ASOS
Jacket - Primark
Cropped Velour Hoody - H&M
Trousers - Zara
Shoes - Converse 
Lipstick - Lady Danger (MAC)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Chloe Harriets

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

2018 & BEING TRUE TO MYSELF

Okay, here goes, my first blog post of 2018. First of all it absolutely blows my mind completely that it is now 2018, I still remember to this day gathering around my grandad's TV and jumping up and down when the clock struck midnight for 2000...

I really do have such a mixed review on 2017. I feel like there were some massive highs but also massive lows, and not much in between. I've felt SO much pressure this year in relation to where I should be in my life at the age of 25, and to be honest maybe its the brick wall I've come to thats making me progressively anxious and low... However, I did tell myself at the beginning of 2017 that I wanted to travel to as many places as I could during all my annual leave breaks from work. Safe to say I achieved that! I also said I wanted to experience working in London - which I also did! (yay life achievements). Anyway, I felt like having a little blab this evening about my direction for 2018, so here goes!


WHATS THE POINT IN BEING UNHAPPY?
For many many months over the past couple of years I have repeated the phrase in my head, as well as out loud, 'whats the point?'. Whether this has stemmed from my lack of progression in my career/love life, or my general negative surroundings at home etc. I just genuinely got to a point where I thought, whats the point in even smiling anymore, let alone to carry on with this huge thing we call life? (sounds so OTT right? yet genuinely how I've felt for so so long)

However, when I was handed the prescription for a strong anti depression/anxiety drug this week, I thought.. wait, 'Whats actually the point in being unhappy?'. Whats the point in me taking these tablets to dull a feeling, emotion, or in worst case - lifestyle, that I can at least try to change, by training my own brain. TRUST ME, I know what its like to have a fight with your own mind on a daily, hourly, minutely(?), basis. I remember thinking when I was around 5/6 that I must have a much chattier brain than everyone else, because mine spoke to me so much all the damn time. Which now kinda makes sense, considering I'm one of the most sensitive, emotional, compassionate & anxious souls.

Learning about yourself is weird. I've personally realised that being unhappy, moaning about everything and being down in the dumps about what I don't have or haven't done etc, takes a tonne more energy than it does to just be. My nan tells me 'If you don't know what to do, do nothing', which personally completely freaks me out. Do nothing? What do you mean?! Sit down and actually read a book for an hour? Sit down and blog for an hour? but thats a waste of time, I could be doing this this and this, or walking the dog, or having a bath, or going to the gym or or or or or... and so it goes on.
I overthink so much, yet ironically, end up doing nothing. So tell me, whats actually the point in the over thinking part? the talking down to yourself part? the thinking you're not good enough part?

I've decided that this year, instead of going down a path of counselling and/or medication, I'm going to try and train my own mind to think in a different way. I guess my own form of meditation? I've always been the type of person to think 'what a load of bollocks', when it comes to things like yoga or meditation, but actually, when I give it a chance, instead of judging it, it's kind of easing my thoughts a little. Instead of opening my eyes in the morning and feeling my heart race at the thought of my day, I simply just picture the warm shower I'm about to get it, the nice face wash I get to smell to wake myself up. Literally taking my day step by step. Sounds crazy right? but its working.


REMEMBER YOUR WORTH
I'll tell you now honey, nothing will kill soul you more than putting yourself in a position that makes you feel like an idiot. Whether it be sticking in a friendship/relationship with someone whose done you wrong or trying to be someone you're not. Remember what you're about - I know I have a genuine heart and good intentions. I'm generally an all round nice person and I need to remember not to change that for anyone. I've learnt that I could never lower my personality to fit in with a certain friendship group, career path, or lifestyle, just like I will never let go of what I know I deserve as a person. What I'm trying to say here is, (the classic line), 'there is only one of you', but its true! You are precious, treat yourself as such. It helps your mental health, trust me.


NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS *cliche but true*
Okay so if I'm being completely and utterly honest, my dream would be this:

  • Live in a country house big enough for my two dogs, a sausage dog, a miniature poodle, and my two siamese cats. (Obviously a hunk of a husband would be nice, (as long as he's not too annoying) & maybe a couple of kids)
  • Have a Range Rover Evoque (completely black all over), have my own business (doing what, I dunno yet), but all the while, living my best life, you know?

OH and a holiday home in maybe three or four destinations?
But seriously.. being realistic I will always, ALWAYS, have in mind these three things:

HAPPINESS 

I can whole heartedly say my happiness has been robbed of me over the past 2 years. (I mean how dare it?). I almost don't even really know what happiness feels like anymore. I always think about this little old man at work, who can just about still walk. How can he be so happy every single day? He spends his time filling up hanger rails and pushing around cages, all the while singing and whistling to himself. He is always so cheery and smiley and I am so jealous!! How does he do that?!  I really struggle with monotonous routine, and for once I feel like its something I shouldn't be ashamed of anymore. I've always thought that you were just meant to have a strict routine of going to work every day, eat the same lunches, see the same people, talk about the same shit day in day out, and to be honest I think its what's driven me insane. My main goal for 2018 is to find some form of happiness, within myself. Not in a boyfriend, a job, a passion or a hobby, but in myself. I've kind of lost myself as of late and I'm finally excited for 2018, to give me a chance of new ideas and inspiration for my future.

LOVE - 

"LOVE IS LIKE OXYGEN, 
LOVE IS A MANY, SPLENDID THING,
LOVE, LIFTS US UP WHERE WE BELONG,
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE" 
(cheeky Moulin Rouge quote for you there). 

In all seriousness, I've realised love is so so important to me. I love hard. Truly, madly, deeply, if you will, (vom). I don't need love to survive, but when I do have it in my life (I'm talking in a romantic way here), I need it in the right way. I basically realise that I would be the shittest gold digger ever. You could give me all the shopping money in the world, my favourite car, a beautiful flat and a new pair of black boots every single week, but if I don't feel that warm, fuzzy, stupid, excessive, over the top, crazy passion from someone in return for my heart (and yes, it does exist), I can't do it. Its all or nothing for me baby. I'll never understand those couples that can go on an evening out and just stare at their phones, or come home from a day at work or a week away and not be welcomed and celebrated home. It just blows my mind. I'd rather snuggle together in a cardboard box than live in a mansion being ignored, you get what I'm trying to say here?

HEALTH 

My health being at 80-100%, is the dream. It's very precious to me, I know what its like to have it taken away for months at a time and I'll tell you one thing, it ain't nice and it ain't pretty. Even on my lowest of days I count my lucky stars that my general health has been decent for the past 6 months. I also try to remind myself most days that I can see, hear, walk, talk, breathe, like.... how lucky am I?

I'm still not really sure what my #goals are for 2018 yet, and to be honest, I'm a little bored of reading the 392589 '2018 GOALZZZ' blog posts I've been reading through the month of January, so I'l spare you that. I'm not really sure the point of this post actually is, maybe just to remind myself, and you, that you are bad ass and you can do anything. Whether that be training your brain to tell you you'll be okay if you get out of bed that day, or doing a sky dive - your choice. Whatever you chose to be happy, whether it be big or small, celebrate it. Any victory is a step in the right direction hey! :)

PS if you're interested in my outift:
Jacket - Primark
Jumper - Primark
Trousers - Zara
Shoes - Reebok
Necklace - Topshop (old)

Thanks for reading!
Madi x

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

TWO WEEKS OF LIVING IN LONDON

Before writing this post, I already know people will be thinking, 'God Madi, get over it, you were only in London for two weeks', 'Madi, it's not that big a deal, you only did a two week placement in London'... etc etc. I really hate that part of blogging/social media/the online world. Why do we all make fun of each other so much? All the screen shots of bad eyebrows, bad outfits and soppy couples we've all put on the group chat at some point. We're all so quick to judge, and its sad. Its one of the main reasons I truly deem myself as an 'anxious blogger', (I just made that up). Sometimes I get so worried about what people will think of what I'm writing about or photos I want to share, I just don't share anything at all. Stupid isn't it? We all like different things, we all want to share different things, some of us want to share a lot, some of us nothing at all. I guess at least I know that some people are genuinely interested in the stuff that I share. So fuck it! Here's a little about my trip to London the past couple weeks..

{Some Houses by Jenny's flat}

Ok so background info: So as you may or may not know, I have a degree in Fashion Promotion and I've always aspired to do the best I possibly can when it comes to my education & career. The only thing thats got in my way is mental health, and physical health. If it wasn't for my sometimes crippling depression and anxiety, and my sometimes debilitating illness - I have no doubt that I'd be a little further advanced in my career level than I currently am right now. 
Alas, I decided to try and push myself this year, after a break up that left me feeling rock bottom about myself, and a bout of illness that left me feeling pretty useless in general - I decided to send a few emails around and try my luck at getting my first ever placement in London. (Don't ask, don't get and all that).

I was really lucky to be able to stay at my friend Jenny's flat, as she is currently a live out Nanny in Islington. The area Jenny lives in is really accessable to the destinations I needed in London (ie - Central/Victoria), so it was pretty easy for me to figure out my commute and only took around 25 minutes one way for me to get to the office. Before I left for London I can't even begin to explain to you how anxious and nervous I really was. I was just super worried about getting around, and I get really worried about getting hurt/being unsafe in over crowded places, especially at this time of year - can't really blame me what with some of the news this year. Ironically, on my first day the tube station by Jenny's flat was actually closed, and there were 'emergency response' workers outside, meaning I had to get the bus. (Luckily I left around 1.5 hours early for the start of my day during the first couple days, incase of such incidences). (I arrived a whole hour early one day). (lol).

{Amazing lights in Oxford Circus and Soho}

My general day to day, included two tubes, lots of people, lots of awkward eye contact and potentially flirtatious side smiles. Followed by a green tea in the office's cafe considering I was usually early. I would then go up into the office and experience my first taste into Fashion PR work and what it really involves. Lots of important emails and phone calls? correct. Lots of making connections with brands, editors, and journalists, while being surrounded by glossy magazines? correct. Sounds glamorous right? Some of the days me and the Fashion comms assistant would go back and forth to the Oxford Street store carrying hangers or samples, we'd personally wrap PR packages to send to bloggers, and one of the days I helped to undress some of Christmas tree's. It was all very varied - which I loved!


{Me and Jenny went for dinner on the roof top garden above John Lewis Oxford Street - although a bit chilly, absolutely stunning food and definitely made me feel at least a little festive (I'm not sure why but I'm a bit of a bah humbug this year!} 

I really really enjoyed my time as an intern. It was much more hard work than I expected, mainly because a lot of physical work was involved, what with a shit tonne of PR samples to sort through, vans to load, cages to push, but it was all work I was used to doing with my current job as a Merchandiser, so as the days rolled by I actually felt more and more confident with this potential London PR girl work/life scenario I was immersing myself in. Some days I was sent to get lunch or coffee's for the team, other times to drop off some dry cleaning or pick up more glossy magazines - I actually loved this part! It meant I got to go on a little solo adventure to source whatever I was told to get. Whether it was sushi from the local Waitrose, or magazines from Selfridges - The intrigued explorer with in me was more than game to set up my google maps and face the challenge of navigating the busy streets of Central London.

{Beautiful Oxford Street Christmas lights}

I feel like Fashion Internships are something that aren't talked about much on the internet. You're just expected to do them if you want to get somewhere when it comes to the world of fashun. They're predominantly unpaid, and it's said that you are usually over worked and under appreciated. I won't lie to you, I was exhausted after the two weeks I volunteered myself. The first week I was there was the launch of the long awaited Christmas Advert (which was super cool to see behind the scenes/commercial work that goes into it), and the second week was the SS18 Press Show. I met a couple of big magazine editors, bumped into Mary Portas and got to see new releases before anyone else. All. very. cool. Now I've worked within PR, I know that its something I would definitely be interested in as a career, and after all, thats the reasons you should be doing internships/placements etc. I spoke to a few people in the head office and found myself saying 'I just don't really know what I want to do yet', and a lot of them responded, 'Well thats a good thing! You get to explore whatever you want'. (I still wish I was a self assured aspiring Investment Banker to bring in that sweet dolla, but hey ho #creativeprobs)



{Some lovely London architecture - you know I love me some beautiful buildings}

I think as a generation we're so pressurised into thinking whats wrong and right for a career. I constantly feel pressurised to earn more money to be able to invest in property etc. Which I completely get, and ultimately thats the goal, however I need to remember that if I worked in a city or a company/job role that didn't feed my soul and make me feel excited and inspired - I'd crash and burn. I think the internship I did was a long time coming. I was struggling here in Bristol with my mood and general mental health, I think everyone tends to come to times in their lives sometimes where they feel they've hit a brick wall. I can't stand the monotonous routine of doing something thats not giving my life the best and most motivating impact it possibly can. Why would I want to use my energy on something that I don't feel is benefiting my life or making me happy?

SO WHAT HAVE I LEARNT?

London gave me the feeling I got when I was back at uni. That feeling of rushing around, getting a train here, driving there, doing this project and that project, and putting my all into everything I did. London excited me and challenged me in more ways than one. I completely get why Londoner's say they could never leave. As tourists we see busy streets and stuffy tubes and bright and over whelming shops. However, I saw a different side of London this time around, considering I spent more than just a day/long weekend there. (and I wasn't there just to shop).

{The best cookie I've ever tasted from a Vegan market me and my friend Jenny went to one weekend - Me feeling slightly sassy in my all black attire (and a massive head apparently)}

My time away from home/Bristol gave me a time to have my own head space, to focus on portraying myself in the best way possible and absorbing as much information as I could. In three words - Fun, Interesting, Missedmybed. I would urge anyone to try an internship in London if you get the chance, and really take the opportunity and run with it. Every task I was given I tried my very best, if it was to scan some magazines, I did it as fast as I could. If it was to put together a coverage report or competitor research, I made sure it was as neat and informative as possible. I almost feel as though I got my 'mojo' back when I went to London.
After a year of being emotionally drained by a tough relationship, a sometimes tough home life, and a general stunt in my motivation, it was nice to go back to feeling like the old me again - immersing myself in creativity, learning new things and exploring new places - my fave things ever.

{This day I had the day to myself as my friend and her flat mate were both busy - I did want to go out and explore some places but over thinking got the better of me, so I ended up making myself a big comforting breakfast and exploring the local area instead!}

I'm not sure where I'll go next when it comes to my career goals. I'm the sort of person that has to take the time to really absorb new information/experiences and reflect on it once I've had some time. I'm just so proud and excited that I finally did it. All by myself. Worked in London, in the Fashion industry. Something that sounds so easy and laughable to some, but a huge achievement for me.

{Till next time London! - Can we just acknowledge how b u s y Paddington station was on my Friday evening depart, I literally nearly got stampeeded over with my massive suitcase. (I did get a seat on the train though yaaas)}

Anyway, well done if you got through that mammoth of blabble & thanks for reading!
Madi x 

Monday, 30 October 2017

AUTUMN ANXIETY

Its been so long since I've sat down and typed at my laptop, I'm not even sure how to start a blog post any more, let alone write one! I'm literally just going to sit here with no plans, no bullet points, no structure, just type my mind (so sorry if its a bit of a mish mash of rambles).


So, Autumn, most peoples favourite time of year. Where everyone goes into a knitwear frenzy, everything suddenly becomes pumpkin spice flavoured and if you don't have a photo of some form of autumn leaf or carved pumpkin on your Instagram, you can't possibly love Autumn as much as the next person. I'm usually in a state of content this time of year, where my working days seem short (due to the first couple hours being before the sunrise), and the hours I spend snuggled in my dressing gown with Theo, or curled around an endless stream of Youtube videos from my phone while wrapped up in bed, seem to have not much of a limit. This is my happy place. Or so it was.



This year for the first time ever I'm left with my own thoughts. A lot. So the time I spend alone in my room or snuggling my dog aren't quite as sacred as they were before. They've become the norm, which means instead of feeling content and happy, I just feel lonely and exhausted by the thoughts constantly circling my head. For me the main reason for that is this - I am single. It's never really hit me before, that feeling of being truly alone. Where you could look at your phone after a couple hours and there be nothing there to read or respond to, you have no bags to pack for an overnight stay or nobody to wait for to meet after work. I've been in very serious relationships over my entire teen/young adult life, so for me, without having someone intertwined in my life, is a very strange, elating but also a completely empty feeling.

It's only this Autumn where I have truly realised what it must've been like for all my family and friends the past decade. I was the girl who always gave all of her time to her boyfriend. I was the girl who sacrificed rest and alone time for a boyfriend. And I was the girl that didn't give a second thought to how my friends would feel when I would cancel plans last minute because my boyfriends plans had changed. I am the girl who prefers one on one male company to any other company, and this year for the first time ever, I've experienced what it feels like to be on the other end of that, and to be honest, I'm glad. I think its the smack in the face I've been needing to make me not only truly appreciate time with my friends, to make time for them and make them feel valued in my life, but also value the time with any future relationships I may have. Its this year that my head has actually come out of the sand and realised all the cool things my friends have done while I've been spending all my time and energy in relationships.




Which leads me to thinking about myself and my life from now on. This year - this Autumn so far, has been a strange one. I've never ever felt more low, and I've never ever felt more disheartened and disappointed in myself, for wasting so much time on toxic relationships, that I now realise I was only holding on to (despite them making me deeply unhappy), to avoid this very feeling. I was using relationships to make me feel valued and worthy. I was using relationships to make me feel wanted, attractive and not alone. I realise now without that constant attention/distraction I'm desperately unhappy with myself.




ALAS, heres to happy changes. I'm not the type of person to dwell for too long and I hate moaning/people who moan too much. I'm constantly trying my very best to pick myself back up from low points and push myself for the next challenge, which is exactly what I'm about to do. 0 boyfriends in tow. Next week I set off to London, for a two week placement at John Lewis's head office in the Communications department. Even typing that makes me feel weird. I am quite frankly, pretty petrified. Right now I'm thinking about if my coach will get from Bristol to London ok, let alone getting up on time, getting ready, catching the tube, finding somewhere to eat lunch, navigating my way around London etc. I just know once I get there I'll think 'why did I worry about this so much', but for now I'm all kinds of nervous/excited. All my friends, ex boyfriends, and family, know that this whole working in London and putting my degree to use thing, is something I've always wanted to do, and to be honest, this time last year theres no way I'd have the balls to even enquire about such things. So, heres to Autumn 2017 - having the balls to try new things, nipping depression in the bud, valuing and giving time to myself and people who actually care about me over anybody else, and recognising my personal achievements, no matter how small.


PS this is the first outfit post I've done in literally YEARS. I used to be so confident strutting my stuff in front of a camera (granted it was usually on a tripod in my bedroom), so it felt super weird for my slightly shy/awkward 2017 self to be photographed by the lovely Chloe (from Chloeharriets.com)

Jumper - Primark
Earings - Primark
Trousers - Primark
Bag - Primark
Boots - Topshop
Watch - Marc Jacobs
Lipstick - MAC - Stone

Thanks for reading and I hope you're enjoying the Autumn season as much as the rest of our generation seems to be this year! 
Madi x

Saturday, 30 September 2017

SUMMER 2017 ROUNDUP & A/W GOALS

I can't physically believe that Summer 2017 is officially OVER. (Well, officially on the 22nd of this month - which !! whhhy). Anyway, as you may or may not be aware, I have completely failed at my monthly updates (and I was doing so well!).. this is partly due to being unwell for the majority of Summer, but also because once I am well, there seems to be no stopping me. I suddenly become the biggest social butterfly known to man, and make time for nothing other than getting up and out of the house and trying to make the most of being able to do so! I thought I'd do a little round up of my Summer in general (considering I've missed out, what, like, 3 months pretty much?... oops

So obviously I started my Summer being pretty poorly sick in general (ref. photos below). After much determination NOT to give up my normal life, you know, of literally just going to work and occasionally socialising. I had to give in at the beginning of June and call in sick to work, miss friends 25th birthday parties, and once again, be bed bound for around 11 weeks (!!!).
HOWEVER, enough doom and gloom. I wanted to just share a few odd moments from this Summer that, although cut short for me, has been one of the best, since the oh so famous, 2013 (the Summer I will forever obsess with as being the very best of my life so far, bless me).


TYPICAL MADI TIME:
Obviously what with the time I had with being off work/not being able to get dressed properly etc, I've spent a good amount of this Summer trying to heal myself/keep calm/stress free etc (same old same old). I actually managed to finish an entire book during the time I was unwell (which is a pretty big deal considering I'm a very slow reader), I also surrounded myself with as much outdoors as possible, and must've visited 80% of the coffee shops in Bristol and consumed at least 50 soya hot chocolates. Me and Christina spent a morning walking around Bristol Botanical Gardens in Clifton, during one of the hot days we had, somewhere I would really recommend if you're wanting to escape the city, while still being in the city.. if that makes any sense.







FEEL GOOD, DO GOOD:


As the months of June & July went by, I began to gain my strength back up again and my new medication started to kick in (yaaas). This meant I was able to feel stronger, physically and mentally, and actually go out and see my friends. This year I've been really focused on trying to get the most out of every opportunity/situation. I've pushed myself to be the get out there and do things I wouldn't usually and become the social butterfly I once was back in 2008 (lol). When I look back now, I've actually done everything I wanted to! Travelled, met old friends, met new friends, got a pay rise, got a new car, exercised (twice..) - its all happened! 

SUMMER CELEBRATIONS:





As well as most of my other friends, I turnt 25 this year! (cry). I'm still not really sure how I feel about it. I almost feel like this is the first year I've actually felt like an adult. All of a sudden I feel super ready to fly the nest and take care of myself, by myself - if that makes sense. I suddenly feel a lot more grown up than I did and a lot more responsible. Maybe its because I've stopped getting so drunk? or maybe because I've been single for the entire year? either way, it feels pretty nice.. I guess!
I put a lot of effort into my birthday party, which was nice but it just all felt a bit anti climax in the end. I wasn't drinking any alcohol at the time so nothing got too crazy, and every one left for town after a few hours, as naturally thats what we would've done in the past. Fancy pre drinks followed by a boogy in town.. HOWEVER, I'm so thankful for my pals Austin and Christina for helping me organise such an amazingly decorated party, doesn't it look cool!? (and of course thanks to my mum for the food, my nan for the Pimms, and my dad for making me an entire Tikki Bar!!).

HOLIBOBS:





Not being funny, but how on earth have I managed to go away not once, not twice, but three times this year? I'm not even just talking about affording it! I mean the general organisation of such get aways. This year is probably the first year where I've used my initiative and sought out holidays to go on, I've booked hotels, booked flights, navigated the airport multiple times. I know these are such easy and simple things to do, but for some reason before this year, the thought of typing my card details into merely an online site of any kind would give me mild anxiety. Me and Christina kicked off the travel side of things by visiting Budapest in May, then for my birthday we went to Edinburgh in August, and me and my very oldest friend Maddie, went to Corfu in September. Year well spent - I think so.

NEW ARRIVALS:




This year presented a really new and some what eye opening situation to me. I've never had a close friend whose had a baby, neither have I had babies in my family since I was around 12, (when you're too young to understand or really give a damn about whats going on). However this year, my step sister had her own little sprog. While I was unwell, she was also unwell (and heavily pregnant), so we spent a lot of time together. We'd talk for hours about the future, what the baby would look like, days out we'd have with the baby etc. I think the new arrival to our family has really been one of the main reasons I suddenly feel so grown up this year. Even though Elly is not my full sister, without really knowing it, she's made me feel a big sense of responsibility as a new step auntie, and its made me realise more than ever that life is so very precious, and whatever we chose to achieve/strive for, whether it be to bring up a family, or excel in a career, life is way too short to not give your best shot. Am I right or am I right?

Apologies for this blog post being a little all over the place. Its safe to say it took me a good THREE sit down attempts to get my photos organised, edited, and the post actually written. I'm not sure why I've suddenly lost a little passion/urgency for editing and uploading as frequently as I was - I do love it though! So as from now, just because I'm getting better and have less free time, I promise not to let my blog slip again! (I was doing so well god damn!!!). All in all I've had such a good Summer. Its been really strange for me as I'm pretty sure its the first ENTIRE Summer that I've spent with out a partner since I was 17. I've definitely learnt LOADS about myself, what I want from the future etc. As well as gaining a new confidence of independence and not relying on anybody for anything. It feels good! PS I have loads more posts planned with a tonne more photos I have from this Summer - I almost have too many to cope with!! paha. I thought I'd just do this post in my classic little round up style.

AUTUMN/WINTER GOALS:


1. SAVE LOTS OF MONEY - I've spent A LOT of money this year. I've bought a new car, AND been on three holidays.. (As mentioned above). For the next few months I really want to try and save as much as I can, and only spend on the necessities/gifts.

2. TRY AND REUSE WINTER FASHION FROM LAST YEAR - Another thing I've done way too much of this year - shopping. And do you know who I blame? Instagram. (And Christina.) Instagram has been such a huge part of my world this year - I've felt really involved with bloggers through it and slightly increased my sense of networking. All good things! However the outfit envy needs to stop..

3. TRY REALLY HARD IN MY JOB - Due to being off sick for a while this year, I'm really focused on working my butt off as from now. I want to prove to not only myself, but my managers/colleagues/peers etc, that I'm not just the girl thats always ill. I'm the girl that will get the job done, and help you if you're stuck, and generally gain as much information as I can surrounding the working environment.

4. BE IN A STABLE PLACE FINANCIALLY TO MOVE OUT IN 2018 - It annoys me even typing about this.. I've been talking and thinking about moving out since I was what, 18? All I've ever wanted is a cute 2 bed flat with a mate, or a bedsit flat that I can decorate to my own taste and snuggle up in in the evenings. Next year is the year I have to take the leap. Yeah I may be skint, and yeah it may not be my dream place, but I feel as though if I don't now, I never will. Who wants to be that 30+ year old singleton still living with their mum - not me

5. DO ALL OF THE WINTER ACTIVITIES - I'm talking ice skating in London, Pumpkin picking, Bonfire displays, Christmas light shows, Christmas markets, Garden centers, Log cabin stays, etc etc.

Thanks for reading lovelies!
I'm not very proud of this post but hopefully the next one will be better!
Madi x