Saying Yes to Every Invite and Doing Something Outside of My Comfort Zone Every Day

After having lots of problems and being on the receiving end of some rather nasty jokes in the second year of my time at university, I completely lost my confidence and stopped going out and often turned down invitations because I found it too intimidating. I felt like I couldn’t talk to people and socialise with them at my uni because I thought that everything I said would be turned into a joke behind my back.

This fear has pretty much ruled my entire university experience and I experienced crippling FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) so I have decided recently, with just 3 months to go till I finish university, that I am going to make the most of this time and I am going to say yes to every invite I receive. I’m going to fight that little voice in my head that always tells me i’m not wanted and I’m not welcome.

I also decided to start doing something outside of my comfort zone every day, whether that be going to the gym alone, trying a new technique with my art (I ventured into the screen printing workshop for the first time recently) or reaching out to people more. I mean whats the worst that can happen? they say no? I’ve even been on a night out alone.

Reaching out to people and asking them to hang out terrifies me because in my mind, even if I haven’t spoken to them for a couple of weeks, I think I’m being too clingy. I know this isn’t the case however and this idea is holding me back. I always think when I ask someone to hang out that they’re going to think “who is this girl? we’ve only hung out on a night out once, we’ve only spoken a handful of times”- This is a pretty toxic way of thinking. If you don’t ask people you’ve only met a handful of times but think you’d get on well with to hang out, how do you ever make new friends?

Several of the people I’ve reached out to, I later told that asking them to hang out had been terrifying for me and its not something I usually do and they told me that they don’t ever reach out to new people for the same reason.

since I’ve been doing this I’ve made new connections, found myself being invited to parties and growing my social circle and my confidence has increased tremendously.

Through my increased confidence, I’ve also found myself going on nights out alone. I never set out to go out on my own, I start pre-drinking with my friends and then they decide to go home before we make it to a club and I’m not ready to go home so I stay in town and head to the clubs on my own. I don’t recommend doing this unless you’re absolutely certain that the town you’re in is safe. I wouldn’t do this in my hometown, however currently I am living in a small cornish town where there isn’t much happening and I know I’m perfectly safe. I also live right in the town centre so I can get home quickly and easily if there is a problem, unlike at home where I live several miles out from town, in a Village.

I’ve thought about going out alone on several occasions but never did because I thought people would think I’m weird, that I’m sad. Instead when people find out that I’ve gone out on my own, I’m met with kudos, smiles, high fives. Nobody has laughed at me for it, they all tell me how impressed they are. I also feel a sensation of empowerment in doing this, as strange as it sounds. I’ve never felt more independent, I even proclaimed after a few too many drinks one night that I’m a strong independent woman, and I’m so much more confident.

Some of the best nights out that I have been on in Cornwall have been ones I’ve done alone.

Through all of these things, I’ve found myself growing in confidence, my social calendar has never been more full and I’m learning that I do not need other people to have a great time. It’s been a huge step forward in learning to love myself.

This post has been lots of talking about myself, but if you take anything from it, you don’t need other people to have fun, you are your own best friend, and you should give pushing yourself and doing one thing outside of your comfort zone every day a go

 

Where I’ve Been- Life Update

Since April, I’ve been very very quiet on here, making the odd post here and there but nothing really regular. I have a good reason for that. The last 5 months have been mental.

Starting in May, I had my last ever university deadline which meant throughout the last few weeks of April and the first week of May, I was in university 9am-10pm every day trying to complete all of my work.

After I handed in, I had to set up my degree exhibition. I spent a week sanding walls, filling holes, painting walls and hanging wallpaper.

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Two weeks after this was set up, my degree show opened to the public. That night was such fun, celebrating 3 years of hard work with my family, my friends and their families and all of my coursemates. After a rough 18 months in which I didn’t think I would make it to the end of my degree, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment to have reached this stage.

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A week after the opening of my degree show, I received an email from the University telling me that I was one of 26 Fine Art students who had been selected to exhibit their work in London at the end of June.

I spent 6 weeks after the opening of my degree show exploring Cornwall with my friends before we all moved to different parts of the country. We visited The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Marazion and St Michaels Mount, Truro, Mawnan Smith (Trebah Gardens), had our graduation ball in the grounds of Pendennis Castle. During this time, I also received the news that I would be graduating uni with a BA(Hons) Fine Art 2:1 and I was so thrilled that I phoned my parents who were back home in the Cotswolds and I cried.

At the end of June, I said goodbye to the beautiful Cornish seaside town that had been my home for 3 years and made the move back up country to my childhood home in the cotswolds before heading to London for a week to do this exhibition I had been selected for. That London exhibition is at present one of my proudest achievements. There were so many incredibly talented people on my course at uni, I was the last person I expected to be selected to exhibit my work. Working with curators and professional artists to put together this showcase was such an interesting and beneficial experience for me and I had so much fun doing it.

The exhibition being in London meant that friends who hadn’t been able to come and see me in Falmouth were able to come and see my work and share my achievements with me. One friend was even kind enough to help little 5’3 me take my wallpaper down from the wall that was easily about 8ft tall at the end of the exhibition before we headed into London for the day to catch up with each other.

3 days after my exhibition came down, I had a job interview to be a teaching assistant. 4 days after my exhibition I flew to Rhodes for a week with one of my friends from uni. We had a fantastic time and I didn’t want to go home. Award for the most perfectly timed photo also goes to that week in Greece.

8 days after we returned from Greece, Nicely tanned and exhausted, I returned south to Cornwall for my graduation.

Graduation was an amazing and highly emotional day as it officially marked the end of my 3 years at Falmouth. It marked that transition into the real world and I just wasn’t quite ready to leave my Cornish bubble behind. As our university Chancellor, Dawn French, said “You can leave Cornwall, but she’ll never leave you” and “Always remember, Jam first.”

I returned home for 4 days of relaxation and catching up with friends before embarking on another adventure.. Working for a local youth charity.

I spent a week in Devon, camping and doing water sports, and 3 weeks fundraising in my hometown with the charity.

Then came September. That job interview I mentioned, from the day before I flew to Greece, I got it. I started my new job at the start of September and I’m loving every minute of it. It keeps me busy and I’ve never been so tired but no two days are the same and I love it.

Now that I’m more settled in my new routine, I’m hoping to start posting more frequently.

Vegan Banana Pancakes

While I am not actually Vegan, I do love to experiment and try different foods. (I’d love to be but living with meat eating parents who don’t get vegetarianism or veganism makes that very very difficult but I’m trying to make that transition)

I’m not one to ever follow a recipe exactly. I’ll use a base recipe but change it up to suit me/depending on what I actually have in my cupboards.

This morning I decided to experiment and try making pancakes. I had no idea what to expect with these pancakes so I was really pleasantly surprised by just how nice they were and just had to share my recipe.

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of Porridge Oats

1 tsp Chia Seeds

1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

2 ripe bananas

1 cup plant milk

1 tbsp Maple Syrup

1 tsp Cider Vinegar

1/4 Cup Ground Almonds

handful of Frozen Fruit

Olive Oil

 

Method

  1. tip your oats, chia seeds and bicarbonate of soda into a blender and blend into a fine powder. Place in a bowl for use later.
  2. put your two bananas, plant milk, maple syrup, and vinegar into the blender and pulse until smooth.
  3. tip the almonds and the oat flour back into the blender and blend until mixed thoroughly.
  4. heat oil in frying pan. When pan is warm, cook pancakes for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked all the way through. Using a small frying pan I was able to cook two pancakes at once, with a large frying pan, I’d imagine I would be able to cook maybe 4 pancakes at once.
  5. Once cooked, serve with a handful of frozen fruit. (I used frozen mango and pineapple) and a small drizzling of maple syrup.

 

 

 

Things No One Tells You About Getting a Nose Piercing

3 months ago, I was in Truro with a friend shopping for our grad ball and our holiday to greece. She went into a local piercing shop to get her nipple bars changed and I came out with a stud in my nose. It was totally unplanned. Totally spontaneous. Perhaps considering it was just two days before my grad ball, it wasn’t the best move but I love it and I can’t imagine myself without my nose stud now.

It Hurt. 

Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. I was told it would just be a little pinch. No different to getting my ears pierced. It was more like a sharp pain but it was over super fast and then my nose just burned for a bit.

It hurts for a few days after and I was terrified to sneeze for the first time. It actually took me 10 days to sneeze after having my nose pierced. 10 days I fought off all sneezes.

It hurts to yawn and laugh too. I’ve always been told I have a little bunny nose because my nose twitches when I laugh. Two days after having my nose pierced, I saw a video on facebook that made me cry laughing. At this point my nose was still very tender and I had to hold that side of my nose while I laughed to stop it twitching.

3 months on, from time to time my nose will get sore still.

It’ll Bleed

I didn’t expect this at all. I don’t know why I didn’t but I didn’t expect it. Of course it makes sense for it to bleed when you think about how many capillaries there are in the nose and how easy it is to have a nose bleed.

My nose bled loads when I had it pierced. It eventually stopped but would periodically start bleeding again. I’ll never forget the mortifying experience of sitting in Mcdonalds the day after having my nose pierced with a napkin stuffed up my nose while I finished my Chicken wrap.

I also developed a bloody crust around the stud and on the inside of my nose but I had to let it flake off gradually. If I picked at it, I’d just make my nose bleed again.

It itches

I already had two piercings in each of my ears and neither of them ever itched when they were healing but my word the itching drove me insane when my nose was healing

Snot

I didn’t know it was possible to produce so much snot. No more than before, I’m just more conscious of it because I can’t blow my nose properly anymore and it all gets stuck in my nose screw so I often resort to sticking a cotton bud up my nose to clean it.

It will fall out and it will hurt.

I caught mine on some glasses and the screw got yanked clean out of my nose. It bloody hurt.

Changing it is a bitch.

I gave up trying to change mine myself and went into a piercing shop to get it changed by a professional because I just couldn’t get the piercing stud out of my nose. I’d also heard horror stories about people not being able to get their new stud in and I didn’t want to risk that as there aren’t any piercing shops in my hometown where I could get help.

You’ll wonder what the hell you’ve just done.

to begin with, I thought my stud was massive, I could see it in my peripheral vision, I thought it took over my whole face and as I wanted to work in a school, I’d never get hired with it. I wondered what the hell I had done.

Now that I’m used to it, I love it. I can’t imagine myself without it now. I’ve changed it to a smaller, daintier crystal stud because I did get hired to work in a school and the smaller the stud, the better it is for work.  I’m so excited for school holidays, when I’m off work, so that I can change it to a ring too.

 

If you’re considering a nose piercing, don’t let this post put you off. It took me 8 years to pluck up the courage to get mine after I ended up in A&E with an ear piercing but I’m so glad I did it.  It was uncomfortable for a few days but worth it in the long run and I really cant imagine my face without that bit of metal in the side of my nose anymore.

 

A Week in Rhodes, Greece

to celebrate graduating from university this summer, my friend and I booked ourselves a holiday to Kremasti, a small town on the Greek island of Rhodes.

Kremasti is a quiet town, but we still found plenty to do. We stayed in a studio apartment at the Emerald Studios hotel, on a bed and breakfast deal, which meant that we had our own kitchenette so we didn’t have to eat out every day which made it a lot cheaper.

Because we only payed £400 each and the hotel is a 3*, we went in not expecting much but we were pleasantly surprised. the room was basic but it was clean, comfortable and perfectly positioned with a balcony overlooking the pool. The hotel itself was small but hosted plenty of pool space and sun loungers.

We flew out to Rhodes from London Stansted on Wednesday ,July 4th, not arriving at the hotel till 2am on July 5th and so decided that Thursday, our first full day, would be a pool day. We divided our time between splashing about in the pool and sunbathing on sun loungers at the side of the pool.

On Friday, July 6th, we decided to get the bus into Rhodes City (Kremasti was a 20 minute bus journey from Rhodes) to explore the old town and visit the palace of the grand master.

The Old Town was stunning. It was so much bigger than I’d expected and busy with little shops selling all sorts of tourist merchandise. It was packed with interesting restaurants too. There was so much to see and so much history, I was in my element.

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After visiting the Palace of The Grand Master, it must have taken us a good two hours to find our way out of the old city where we then found a beach. I couldn’t get over how incredibly blue the water was. The photo below hasn’t been edited at all, that really is how blue the sea was. I also nearly fell into the sea fully clothed just after this photo was taken. Oops.

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That day in Rhodes was unbearably hot, I was sweating in places I didn’t think possible but it was so worth the sweat.

After that day, we didn’t leave our hotel again until Tuesday, the day before we came home, because it was too hot to do anything but lounge around by the pool.

Lounging around the pool taught me just how little grace I possess. We bought ourselves pool inflatables. I bought a pineapple rubber ring and my friend a lilo. I got into a fight with the pineapple. The pineapple won and made for this fantastic photo set.IMG_0629IMG_0630

I had similar fights with the lilo.  I never did master the art of sitting gracefully in my pineapple. As well as the images above, I jumped onto it and fell straight through, I landed in such a way that a jet of water was sent between my legs and straight into my face, I lost it getting out of the pool and hit a complete stranger in the face with it but everyone saw the funny side.

Our last full day in Greece was much cooler than previously so we took advantage of this and went back into the city to explore the many shops they had that we don’t in the English West Country before heading back to Kremasti for one final night before checking out of our hotel and flying home.

During our time in Kremasti we were treated to some spectacular sunsets, We laughed a lot, befriended some lovely people who made our holiday and I had a fantastic time.

I will definitely be revisiting Rhodes in the future.

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My Favourite One Tree Hill Quotes

I love One Tree Hill. I freaking love it. I grew up watching it. I’ve rewatched it hundreds of times since and every time I rewatch it, it feels almost like home. I’ve even met members of the cast (Mouth McFadden, Skills Taylor, Nanny Carry, Mia Catalano, Chris Keller, and Taylor James).

I love everything about One Tree Hill. The characters, the storylines, the life lessons, the soundtracks, the cheese. Everything.

The thing I love most is the quotes. They’re cheesy and sometimes cliched but they’re thought provoking and beautiful so I thought I’d share my favourites with the world.

    1.” You ever look at a picture of yourself, and see a stranger in the background? It makes you wonder how many strangers have pictures of you. How many moments of other peoples life have we been in. Were we a part of someones life when their dream came true or were we there when their dream died. Did we keep trying to get in? as if we were somehow destined to be there or did the shot take us by surprise. Just think, you could be a big part of someone elses life, and not even know it.”

2. “Every song ends, but is that any reason to not enjoy the music?” – I actually have this one engraved on a bracelet

    3. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, stumble and fall, because most of the time,     the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. maybe you’ll get everything you wish for. Maybe you’ll get more than you could have ever imagined. Who knows where life will take you. The road is long and in the end the journey is the destination.”- This quote speaks so much truth. pushing myself way out of my comfort zone for a job last summer has made a huge impact on my life. The job terrified me and pushed me to do things I never thought I’d be able to do and I loved every minute of it and this job has changed everything I wanted to do with my life.

 4. “All you can do is your best, okay?”

   5. “Live for the moment because everything else is uncertain. Take advantage of whats right in front of you.”

Getting My Nose Pierced

Anyone who knows me will know that I’ve talked about getting my nose pierced since I was 14 but I never got it done out of fear. The last piercing I had were my seconds when I was 14 and despite being done professionally, they went horribly wrong and I ended up in A&E on the gas and air while doctors pulled at the earring with a pair of “pliers” on either side of my ear. This traumatised me and I’ve been too scared to get another piercing since.

2 weeks ago, I was shopping in Truro with a friend who was going to get her nipple bars changed and at the same time, she turned around to me and said “why don’t you get your nose pierced while we’re here?” so I did. It was impulsive and a huge step for me.

Does a nose piercing hurt?

Yes. People always told me that it was just a quick pinch and that it doesn’t hurt that much. I found it to be a more intense pain than just a pinch, it was enough to make me gasp, but it was over quickly.

I also learned that nose piercings bleed. I have no idea why, but I always assumed a nose piercing would be like an ear piercing and not really bleed that much but boy was I wrong. My nose bled quite a lot and I had a bloody ring around the piercing for a few days that I couldn’t clean off because it would make it bleed more.

The bleeding lasted a couple of days. Not constantly, but I did find myself in McDonalds on one occasion with a serviette stuffed up my nose to try and stop it bleeding.

It was tender for a few days. My nose twitches like a rabbit when I laugh, much to the amusement of my friends, and when I found myself crying with laughter at a facebook video, I had to hold the nostril I had pierced from the bottom to stop it twitching.

When my nose piercing was 2 days old, I woke up with a sharp pain going through my nose because I’d hit myself in the face while sleeping and woke myself up, and I’ve caught it once or twice while in the shower/ while washing my face but two weeks on, I feel like I’ve had it forever and barely notice it.

I’m still cleaning it twice daily using a saline solution and cotton buds and having to go for regular check ups at the piercers due to my history with piercings and so far so good.

I love the piercing and I’m so glad I overcame my fear and had it done

 

Thoughts on Finishing My Degree

3 years ago on September 12th 2015, I moved 220 miles away from my home in the Cotswolds to the south coast of Cornwall to start a degree in Fine Art. 2 weeks ago, May 11th 2018, I finished my degree, and today, May 29th, I found out that I will be graduating with a 2:1!

I have very mixed feelings about finishing my degree and finishing university. Uni has been both the longest and the fastest 3 years of my life. It’s been the hardest but also the best. It’s taken me until just weeks before the end of my time here to find a group of friends that I’m happy with and feel comfortable with (I mean maybe the fact that I threw up and passed out the first time I met them all has something to do with that. oops) and as a result I’m not ready for everyone to go their separate ways just yet but I’m sure some of my friends and I will stay in touch. heck one of them and I are off to Greece for a week in July.

At no point during my 3 years at uni have I got on with the people I live with, and I feel I would have been better off living alone but not liking the people I was living with certainly encouraged me to get out and socialise more and find more opportunities.

I had a horrendous second year, which for ages I blamed other people for. I’ve since realised that every problem I had was a byproduct of my poor mental health. I wanted to drop out of uni, I spent most of my days alone in my bedroom, I phoned my parents in tears every day and I didn’t think I would ever finish my degree.

3rd year has been my best year by far, I’ve pushed myself, achieved things I didn’t think I would, I’ve made loads of friends and will most certainly look back on my time at uni fondly as a result.

Upon finishing my degree, I’m excited to be finished, scared about the future but also excited about what the future might bring, sad to be leaving Falmouth but also excited to move back to cheltenham, where my family are and all my old friends will be.