Monday, 31 December 2012

New year, new start?

I am in a way very excited to wave goodbye to 2012, whilst at the same time being petrified at the prospect of 2013.

2012 wasn't a very good year for me. Nothing particularly happened which I would refer to as 'achievement' worthy, and as a huge perfectionist, I love to achieve. Looking back on the year, I have no idea what I actually done with it!

And that makes me sad. For whatever reason, this year lacked a lot of goodness and excitement which previous years had or had not done. Sounds sad but I don't recognise my A-level results as achievements, and I don't recognise my job as an achievement and I look at myself and feel disgust at how little I have achieved as a mere 20 year old girl.

Of course, I want that to change next year. I'm determined to do it, as always, but the prospect of a new year is always rather overwhelming. There is always some immense pressure to be a 'perfect' person, with new resolutions and targets.

I used to be that kind of person that set resolutions for absolutely everything An utmost perfectionist at heart, I'd make a huge list of ways I could be 'better', knowing full well it was unrealistic. And back in the way, my ways to be 'better' were through not eating and exercising loads, and of course, completely unhealthy. I have been making lists this year, but they are ways of bettering myself in a positive way, in a way that is going to benefit myself and those around me. In a way that is going to allow me to feel as if I have accomplished something.

2013 could be a huge year for me, but only if I make it that way. It's in my power to assure that I make it the best of my ability, and I can't turn the blame on anybody else in that respect.
I'm starting my brand new degree in February, and diving right back into studying again. Am extremely excited and motivated to get organised. And being a student again is going to be strange, but rewarding and exciting. I am currently learning to drive, so progress with that will be an achievement. Things are looking up with my boyfriend in regard to his career, with the prospect of a new job for him just around the corner, the job he has always dreamed of - which may mean we can begin to progress forth as a couple.

I guess some of my goals for this year are not unachievable, but incredibly scary. I wish to move out of the world of retail at some point this year, which involves a huge revamp of my CV and making a point of my achievements. I want to expand on my creative writing in preparation for writing goals later on in my life. I want to travel and visit my friends at University, York, Kent, Edge Hill, Brunel, Warwick. I want to witness my best friends at their graduation ceremonies which will be occuring this year. I want to celebrate turning 21 in style. I want to go abroad for the first time. I want to develop a healthy relationship and attitude towards my body (although that, I am aware, is going to take much longer than a year).

I also want to learn to relax next year, as I seriously struggle to. To make time for myself as well as others. To keep myself healthy and to look after my well-being. Because as well as looking after others, we need to look after ourselves.

I believe I can make this a good year, and I'm hoping you all can join me. What are your positive goals for the new year?

I also hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I'll leave you with some pictures of my year - pictures are not in order of when these events occured for some reason, hence why my hair changes a lot throughout the picture!

Happy 2013! Let's make it a good, recovery focused, one.


Hit Factory Live - December 2012 - the night I saw Kylie and Jason perform 'Especially for you'

Our 4th Christmas together!

Charlotte's gypsy 18th!

Florence + the Machine, with Tanya!



Sister-in-law!


Race for Life 2012 with Gracie!

The night I found out I got the job at Mothercare! A bit to drink by this point!

IRELAND! One of the highlights of my year.

I met the beautiful Michelle this year!

Christmas 2012 - my parents!


Brighton!

My brief stint at Kingston!

Brighton nightclubbing!

Caterham buddies!

Fancy dress party!


Ellis' 18th

Leaving school - FOR GOOD

Ilona's 18th!

Standard night in at Charlotte's!

20th birthday celebrations!
I visited Downton Abbey!

Drag queen times!

Summer BBQ!

Drunk, I think!

Family wedding with my boyfriends family!



Smith, Hodge and I - pub times!

My class picture with my form - 13O!

My beautiful cousin, Ireland times!


Maire's wedding!


My gorgeous cousin getting married!

My amazing boyfriend!


FLORENCE!

A brilliant and memorable English class with teachers I'll never forget!


Christmas!



HAPPY 2013!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Sad news, and good news!

So another member of my Mums side of the family has been diagnosed with cancer.

This man is my Mum's cousin, and as I have no first cousins on my Mum's side of the family, I've always been closest to my second and third cousins, and great aunts and uncles as opposed to immediate relatives. So of course, finding out this news has been a little weird on the old heartstrings.
His father, my great uncle, we lost to prostate cancer over 2 years ago now. His sister, died suddenly from unexplained causes 3 years ago. Luckily his mother, my Nan's very nutty sister whom I love to pieces, is still alive and I go and visit them alongside my Nan and occasionally my Mum about three times a year. These are the people I grew up with since birth, the first ever people who came to visit me after I was born, and the people I spent my Christmas' with before my step-father came into the equation. So it's quite difficult in a way, seeing that aspect of my life slowly being taken away from me. I feel incredibly sorry for my poor great aunt, now having lost her husband and daughter and perhaps at some stage her son. I'm close to my great aunt and I love her dearly, and having to see her at said relatives funerals has been one of the most painful things I've seen.

I don't have much family, but the family I do have, especially the blood-related family, as there isn't much anymore, I appreciate and look back on the memories of childhood that I shared with them. You can't choose your family, at the end of the day. Am wishing my cousin all the success in the world with his treatment if he chooses to accept it (he is, like many people I know - as stubborn as a mule!).

On a much happier note, I've had a lovely few days off, going shopping on both days with Nathan, to Oxford Street and Stratford Westfield. I love Christmas shopping, and I feel that this year I've done extremely well with my gifts, especially in regard to my family. Whilst what my Christmas entails due to my working hours still lies in the balance, I am as always thoroughly looking forward to spending another Christmas with my family and extended family. Also seeing some good friends who are home from University! Nathan also had some fantastic news today regarding his job - more to come when it's all finalised but things on the whole are looking up!


In other good news, I've officially enrolled for my new degree with the Open University in Psychology. The decisions regarding my choice are entirely personal and required much thought and consideration, but I am so completely ready to get my head stuck back into studying and working hard, and having a focus once more. I begin in February, so it's very soon!
Am looking forward to 2013! I'm going to be very soon making some, not resolutions as such but small goals of things I want to do/achieve by the end of next year. I have so many thoughts and ambitions of what I want to do and get done and succeed in - and will very soon be sharing those with you all. 2012 has been an up and down year, better than the last three for sure, but up and down. I want to bring in and live through the new year in complete happiness. I hope I can make that happen!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Florence and the Machine + Christmas!

So last Thursday night, the wonderful Tanya and I took a trip to the O2 to see the beautiful Florence and the Machine.

I saw Florence live for the first time only 3 years ago, before she became famous and when her main claim to fame was providing the soundtrack for the Apple advert with her track 'Kiss with a Fist'.

It's so amazing to be able to recognise how far she has come since then.



What I love about Florence is how she graces the stage with such energy and vibrancy, yet manages to capture nothing but powerful meaning and strength throughout her lyrics.
One of my favourites, if not my favourite song of hers is 'Shake it Out'. For me, the 'devil' represents depression, 'it's hard to dance with the devil on your back so shake him off' completely echoes pushing    your past and those negative thoughts to the back of your mind and focusing on the present. And when I heard her sing those words live, I felt even more inclined to shake that devil on my back off and look forward to a brighter, happier and more positive 2013.

She is most definitely one of my favourite artists of all time, such depth behind those lyrics whilst carrying extreme modesty and energy and kindness.

I had a lovely night with Tanya also, and felt extremely blessed that I was able to share this experience with someone who loves the Flo as much as I. This being my second time meeting Tanya and having spoken to her many times through various internet forms, she is undoubtedly one of the beautiful, kindest, and inspiring friends I have and I am incredibly blessed to have her in my life. Her blog, which I will link: (http://tanyabeetham.blogspot.co.uk/) will always serve as a form of inspiration for me. A lady who has been through so much yet has managed to achieve and succeed in so much, also. And her belief in the power of positivity is something I wish to absorb, as well as her coffee addiction!


I've been feeling pretty lonely recently in regard to friendships. Every friendship I have seems to let me down and it's hard to see where friendship lies in some people. Not with this lady, though. Days like Thursday are those where I am so grateful for the internet and the opportunity it has given me to meet so many wonderful people!

In other news, not long to go until Christmas! I'm a complete Christmas-junkie and love everything to do with Christmas, it is no doubt my favourite time of year. On my day off today I ventured to buy a new tree for my room as my baby one was getting a little bit tatty. Needless to say I was very pleased with the result:


I am now feeling officially festive!

Hopefully, I will be able to get some video blogs up in the next few weeks about coping with mental health around Christmastime, and thoughts and resolutions as the new year approaches.
It's no doubt been a tough few weeks in regard to my mental state, but am trying very hard to keep my chin up!

Hope you are all keeping well and are feeling festive!