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

 

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April Favourites

As April draws to a close, I thought I’d compile a list of all the things I’ve been absolutely loving this month to share with the world.

  1. The ASOS DESIGN denim jacket in polka dot print here

I bought this jacket on a whim/ as a birthday present to myself. It’s so loud and totally out of my comfort zone in terms of fashion but I’m in love.

The first time I wore it out and about I was nervous to do so but I received so many comments on it. So many people asked me where I’d bought it from! I even had guys ask me if it was unisex because they wanted it.

2. ASOS FACEMASK pom pom flat sandals here

due to the fact its only April, I’m yet to actually wear these outside but I’m absolutely in love with them and can’t wait for summer to be able to wear them

3. Terrace House

I’ve loved this show for a couple of years but they’ve recently released a new series of it on Netflix. If you haven’t already heard of it, it is a Japanese reality show in which 6 young strangers, 3 boys and 3 girls, are thrown together in the most stunning houses. A bit like Love Island, they’re all attractive and all single, but they’re aloud to come and go as they please, keep up their jobs, keep their phones and continue to hang out with their friends outside the house.

the show shows the girls chatting in the bathroom, and the guys bonding over laundry. It shows them doing every day mundane tasks.

Between each scene, the show cuts to a panel of comedians who discuss and dissect what we’ve just seen.

It shouldn’t be so interesting but it really is. It’s so strangely addictive watching people go about their normal daily lives and its so different to what we would usually think of as reality tv (you know what I mean, the on screen sex acts, screaming matches, celebrities eating insects)

4.Full House

I tried watching Fuller House when that premiered last year and couldn’t get into it (likely because I hadn’t seen Full House and therefore didn’t understand it) and I recently found it on uk Netflix while searching for something else to watch having finished terrace house and finally finishing Greys Anatomy.

It’s ever so funny and heart warming. Uncle Jesse and Michelle melt my heart.

Plus, young John Stamos 😍

5. McDonalds

Its deadline season, I’ve been working 9am-10pm in the studio most days. By the time my friend and I leave uni, its too late to want to start cooking so we head straight to McDonalds for a “wrap of the day” fix and a creme egg McFlurry.

6.Beach Trips

IMG_2582.JPG

As anyone from Britain would know, we had a heatwave towards the end of April which meant lunch trips to the beach to enjoy the sun and weekends spent at the beach.

Unfortunately for me, I’m so fair skinned that even slathering myself in factor 50 every 30 minutes, I managed to burn.

7. Blood Brothers

blood-brothers

If you went to school or are at school in Britain then you’ve almost certainly heard of this. If you haven’t, you’re missing out.

The Willy Russell musical about twins separated at birth is just fantastic. It’s got the balance of comedy and tragedy perfect. It’ll make you belly laugh and want to cry all in the space of about 2 hours.

It came to Hall For Cornwall, my local theatre, the week of my birthday so my parents took me to see it as a birthday treat. It was the 3rd time I’ve seen it and the best performance of it that I’ve seen so far. So good it had the entire audience on their feet, cheering, at the end of it.

 

Top 5 Pieces of Piano Music I Want To Learn

I’ve been playing piano since I was 7 years old, thats 15 years.  I’ve always liked a challenge and always aspire to learn big pieces. It takes me years to do but it keeps me motivated. I set myself the challenge of learning Chopin’s Nocturne in C sharp Minor when I was just 11 years old. I didn’t learn it till I was 18/19 but knowing during those 7-8 years that I would learn that piece eventually motivated me. Since I’ve learned that, I’ve started looking for other pieces of music to aim to learn one day and this is my top 5 pieces.

  1. Be Our Guest- Beauty and the Beast (arr. Kristen Mosca) Here

I know you’re probably all thinking “Be our guest isn’t that difficult” but alas, it is. This specific version is a ragtime arrangement of the piece and I’m obsessed but I can’t get my hands to co-operate with that many chords to play

2. American Beauty Rag- Joseph Lamb here

Ragtime is my current obsession. This one is definitely within my capabilities, I’m just so busy with uni right now that I don’t have time to sit down and learn it but as soon as I’ve handed in my final project I WILL be playing this.

3. Maple Leaf Rag- Scott Joplin here

ANOTHER Ragtime piece. shocker. I also believe this to be within my capabilities but a more challenging piece. I don’t think it’s one I’ll be able to pick up quickly but if I persevere at it, I will.

4. Nocturne, Op.9: No. 2 in E flat Major here

Anyone that knows me can tell you that Chopin is by far my favourite composer. I adore his music and have done since I first heard it on the soundtrack of The Pianist when I was about 11.

5. Mingxin Du – Shui Cao Wu (Dance of The Waterweeds)here

I heard this piece because it was on the ABRSM Grade 7 syllabus a couple of years ago and I thought it was beautiful and I had to learn it. I bought the Grade 7 book for this piece only but I’ve found it extremely difficult and I’m yet to actually learn it but I will.

22 Things I’ve Learned in 22 Years

I was born at 12:34am on Saturday April 13th 1996 which means that today, Friday April 13th 2018, I’m celebrating my 22nd birthday.

In celebration of turning 22, I thought I would schedule (I’m out at The Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell, right now)  this list 22 things I’ve learned in 22 years

 

1. People Come and Go

As the saying goes, Friends for a reason, friends for a season and friends for a lifetime. As a teenager my mum was always telling me this, each time I got upset as friends drifted. Life is changing all the time, for everyone. Everyone’s lives are leading them in different directions, different work places may mean different towns, new social circles etc. Drifting is inevitable.

It hurts when a friend stops talking to you, especially when it’s someone you’ve been friends with for a long time and just because you’ve not found a best friend who you can count on for anything yet doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. My mum didn’t meet hers until she was pregnant with me, 22 years ago. I still haven’t met mine.

2. Do Things Outside of Your Comfort Zone- It’ll increase your confidence tremendously.

it may even change your outlook on life completely. I did something last year that was way out of my comfort zone and it pushed me to do things I never thought I would do. almost a year on, I’ve continued doing things outside of my comfort zone and that one snap decision to apply for a job that was so outside of my comfort zone has changed my outlook and ambitions completely.

 

3. Don’t be afraid to act goofy in public because you’re worried what people might think. They don’t care.

seriously they don’t. If anyone is looking, 99.9% of the time they aren’t judging. Instead they’re likely thinking “They look like fun”

4. Be Nice To Everyone

This isn’t always easy, some people will really test your patience, but it pays to be nice to everyone. Everyone is going through something, whether its big or small, and a nice gesture as small as a smile in passing on the street could make their day.

5.Be Careful What You Do and Say on Social Media. Don’t Post anything You Wouldn’t Want Friends, Family and Potential Employers to See.

this one is one that came back to bite me on the arse. I tweeted about something that someone had done that annoyed me and got into trouble for it.

6. No-one is better than you, They may be your equal but they’re not better.

At a time when my self esteem was at rock bottom, my dad would frequently tell me that nobody, not one person, is better than me. They may be my equal but they’re certainly not better.

We all start life the same way and we all leave earth in the same way so what makes one person superior to anyone else?

7. While you can learn to like some things, others you can’t.

I’ve tried and tried to like both cheese and tomatoes and it just won’t happen. I still believe both to be the spawn of the devil

8. The things worth having don’t come easy.

Your dream job, a house, a car, money, success, even a relationship, require effort and hard work. They won’t just happen if you don’t work for them.

9. A Trip to The Beach Can Fix Everything.

I’ve spent the last 3 years living on the south coast of Cornwall, not far from lands end. During the last 3 years, as mentioned in previous posts, I’ve experienced some of the hardest times of my life and there was nothing that a trip to the beach couldn’t fix. It didn’t matter how low I felt, how distraught I was or how anxious I was, a trip to the beach would instantly calm me and I’d go home feeling so much better.

10. Don’t Be Afraid To Say “No”

while I’m an advocate for saying yes to every opportunity, you shouldn’t be afraid to say no to things otherwise you may burn yourself out.

11. Save Save Save.

I’m talking money here. Put aside a sum of money each month (obviously leaving yourself enough to live on and still have fun). You never know when you might need a money cushion to fall back on.

12. Stop Dwelling on Mistakes.

You can replay a mistake over and over in your mind, I know, I do it enough, but that’s not going to change it. Accept you made a mistake, learn from it and move on.

13. Follow your Passions.

if you’re passionate about something, go ahead and do that. Don’t let someone make you feel silly about your passions. I’ve been told countless times by people that they think my dedication to guiding is lame and it doesn’t matter but truth be told, it matters far more to me than they do. If I had taken on board what these people said and given up, I wouldn’t be a guide leader now, I wouldn’t have made the friends I’ve made and I wouldn’t be giving pre-teens the fabulous experience I got to have as a pre-teen, teaching them the skills I learned, helping them uncover new interests and passions and there’s nothing more rewarding. I’ve been told that my face lights up when someone mentions guides to me.

14. Volunteer

you’ll make new friends, pad out your cv with experience and most importantly give back to your community. Volunteering doesn’t have to be boring. It’s actually great fun, it just depends what you do.

15. Not Everyone Will Like You

and that is totally okay

16.Do What You Love

the saying “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” couldn’t be more true. While I’ve never had a permanent job, I had a temp job once during the uni holidays that I loved, Every day was so exciting and it never felt like I was working. It opened my eyes to what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.

17.It’s Okay To Ask For Help

don’t ever feel embarrassed to ask for help. If you need it, Ask.

18. Exercise is Important (and Fun)

exercise doesn’t have to be dread worthy. join a gym, attend a class, find a routine you enjoy. I’ve taken up boxing and I’ve never felt fitter/healthier! Plus boxing is incredibly therapeutic, especially if you pretend the punching bag is someone you don’t like!

19. Don’t Rush.

My mum always tells me that life is a journey and once you’ve done everything, you’ve reached your destination and where do you go from there?

In other words, Don’t rush to do something. Don’t hurry into wearing make up just because everyone else is, Don’t rush into a relationship because everyone else is doing so. Live life at your own pace.

20. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

I frequently fall into this trap. I see others instagrams, that curated feed of the best parts of life and automatically think their whole lives are like that. That they’re so much more popular than me, happier than me, prettier than me, more exciting than me. Reality is, their photos are edited and they’ve chosen to show a small snipped of their lives. No one ever wants to share the mundane and the negative on social media, instead we like to share the things that are fun and exciting.

21. Learn to Forgive

holding a grudge requires so much energy. Wasted energy. It’s not always easy to forgive someone but the sooner you do, the sooner you can stop stewing over something and holding a grudge and the sooner you can move on with your life.

22. Subscribe to Buzzfeeds Dog a Day

they send you a different photo of a dog every day, need I say anymore? its like receiving a little bit of happiness every day

5 Ways To Keep Motivated

If you’re a school student or a university student then you’ve probably got a lot of exams/ coursework deadlines coming up and if you’re anything like me, you may be finding motivation hard to come by.

Being the absolute queen of procrastination (I make jars of jam to avoid doing my uni work) I’ve come up with a list of ways to keep myself motivated and avoid filling my fridge with endless jars of homemade jam.

  1. Rewards- Tell yourself that you can have a square of your favourite chocolate or that you can watch an episode of that show you’re binge watching right now after you’ve done an hours work/ when you’ve completed a certain number of tasks.
  2. Make plans with friends away from work- Again this acts as a reward for so many hours or days of work logged. By filling your time with social activities you’ll have less time to procrastinate and will feel the pressure to work instead of procrastinating. This was what I did when I was writing my dissertation at uni and it really helped keep me focussed knowing that I didn’t have so much working time.
  3. Get PLENTY of sleep– Everyone is different but I find that if I’m tired I’m pretty much non-functional. My mind wanders, I become overly emotional which means I can’t handle stress well and it becomes harder to focus.
  4. Eat regular, balanced, meals- a hungry tummy= a wandering mind.
  5. Listen to classical/instrumental music- this one depends entirely on my mood. Sometimes music with lyrics is fine, other times the lyrics serve as a distraction because I’m too busy singing and dancing along to it

My Life Ambitions.

To be a homeowner.

At 21, few people are thinking about owning a house. We’re so young, people don’t think they need to start thinking about this.

In the UK, House prices are so high that actually buying a house and getting on the property ladder is near impossible for a first time buyer, and many first time buyers don’t buy till they’re well into their 30s or even their 40′.

I don’t want to be living at home with my parents when I’m 30, I want to be thinking about starting a family then and I don’t feel like I can do that when I live with my parents.

I graduate this summer and the first thing I intend to do is take out a help to buy isa to help me save for a deposit for my first house and then save as much as I possibly can each month when I’m earning.

I don’t want to rent a house, I want to buy. I want the security of knowing that once I’ve paid off my mortgage, my house is mine and it can’t be taken away from me. I want the freedom to be able to paint a chalk board wall, or to paint my living room outrageously bright orange if I want to.

To Teach and Inspire

I want to teach. I want to work with future generations and inspire them to be creative.

As it is at the moment, our education system shuns the arts and produces robots.

The world doesn’t seem to appreciate just how important the arts are and how important that space for creativity and self expression is for development and for wellbeing.

Without the arts, and design, so many things wouldn’t exist as we know them. The Laptop or phone you’re reading this on was designed by a designer, a creative person. Your toothbrush was made by an artist, the images in your college text books were taken by a photographer or drawn by an illustrator. Even the text layout was designed by someone and for this reason, I want future generations to keep art alive in the education system.

To live to 105 years of age

this probably seems like an odd one but I was born in the mid-late nineties. I will turn 105 in 2101. If I live until then, I’ll have lived in the 20th, 21st and 22nd centuries and I want to be able to say “I’ve lived in 3 Centuries.”

 

 

What ambitions do you have? Let me know in the comments!

Book Review: Here Come The Girls- Milly Johnson

7 years ago this summer, my family and I embarked on our first cruise to the Mediterranean. Shortly before boarding the P&O Ventura, a friend gave my mum this book to read, and she recently passed it on to me.

The author, Milly Johnson, is obviously a P&O regular, as I can pick out so many references to their ships, and so many P&O influences.

The book is about 4 school friends, Frankie, Ven, Olive and Roz, who dream of fabulous futures, the world being their oyster. Fast forward 25 years, fortieth birthdays looming, life hasn’t quite gone how they had hoped, Marriages ended in divorce, Roz’s philandering ex leaving her with trust issues and Frankie and Roz have had a major falling out.

Ven persuades them to join her on an all expenses paid cruise to celebrate her 40th birthday, and obviously the girls all jump on board.

Rather unusually, this story doesn’t have a main character, instead it boasts 4 strong characters, each so loveable and so different from one another. Each woman has a different story and yet Milly Johnson manages to weave these stories together so wonderfully.

Johnson tells tales of hardship, of romance and adventure so beautifully. The story was witty and light hearted and made me laugh till I cried in places. My personal favourite quip was “Asparagus tits” because I’ve still got the sense of humour of a 12 year old. Or tales of a dashing captain turning one of the girls into a bumbling mess.

Even without having been on a cruise, or been to any of the settings featured in the ports, through Johnsons fabulous story telling, you can really start to picture the ship and imagine life on board. The descriptions of the characters met aboard the ship are so accurate also. I’ve met every one of these characters on board the multiple cruises I’ve been on. Her clear descriptions of each port also paint an image of Venice, and Kefalonia in your mind, even if you’ve never been.

I know chicklit isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I know some people would rather stick needles in their eyes than read a chicklit book but  I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for some escapism, and a good laugh.

A Letter To My Mum This Mothers Day

Mummy,

You won’t see this because you still don’t know how to turn on a computer and probably don’t know what a blog is but I’m writing this to thank you.

I’m writing this to thank you for being the most wonderful, selfless, caring mother and best friend a girl could wish for.

You’re odd, you’re stubborn, and you have a funny way of showing that you care and I snap at you for it sometimes but I know you’re also the kindest, hardest working person I’ve ever met. Just know that I do appreciate everything you do for me, no matter how big or small. Everything is appreciated.

The long hours you work in order to give me every opportunity you can, you’ve given me everything I could ever want. The days out just you and I, day trips to London to explore art galleries that I know you aren’t interested in but you do it because you know I love them followed by the traditional wagamama’s, you were even prepared to take me to Croatia to see a particular art gallery that I’m interested in! The late night phone calls from 200 miles away when I’ve got myself worked up over something and need you to talk me down, It’s all greatly appreciated.

Rewind 6-7 years, I know I was an utter horror to deal with, I know I was moody and unpleasant and argumentative and we didn’t get on at all and I don’t know how you kept going and didn’t give up on me. Honestly, at 15, I never thought we would get on, let alone find myself, at 21, calling you my best friend.

This last 18 months in particular, we’ve grown much closer. This 18 months have been incredibly difficult. I was in a really dark place 18 months ago and remember getting myself worked up, making myself hysterical, over the smallest, most insignificant things and phoning you, unable to pacify myself. You never lost your patience with me, you never raised your voice. You calmly talked to me about anything and everything to distract me from whatever it was that had caused me to get like this, you promised me that we’d get help and you contacted the university for me because I couldn’t do it myself and got me into counselling, you even encouraged me to stay at uni, and not to drop out, something I will be eternally grateful to you for.

I know how difficult you found those 18 months too, I know you felt helpless because apart from being on the end of the phone, thanks to the 220 miles between us you couldn’t do anything to help me.  Just being on the end of the phone at any time of the day, no matter how early or late was more than enough.

Now, 18 months on, its not been easy getting here but I’m so much better, I’m happier, healthier, I’ve got friends again and I’ve almost completed my degree. I couldn’t have got through it all without having you on the end of the phone, without your encouragement.

Thank you Mum! I doubt I’ll ever be half the woman you are, and one day half the mother you are, you’re my best friend and I wish I could be with you for mothers day