It’s the small things…

Upon my walk to work, sunlight beams through the trees and dozens of songbirds proclaim the dawn. Bluebells dance in the fresh morning breeze, and everything seems right with the world. 

Until it’s not. 

A schoolgirl cuts off my path, and proceeds in front of me at exactly that awkward pace where you’re stumbling over your feet trying to maintain a socially acceptable distance, but you can’t speed up to overtake for fear of getting caught in that cringeworthy momentary parallel stride. For now then, it seems like I’m stuck staring at a frizzy head and listening to that tinny clatter of teenage angst music coming from cheap headphones. Suddenly the sun seems to have disappeared behind a cloud. 

We continue this way for some time, my new companion and I, until finally she veers off to the right and disappears into some bushes. Don’t ask. All I know is that my path is finally clear and I am able to continue happily along my way, with a regained skip in my step. 

My next turn is a left, down a familiar narrow alleyway leading to the boating pools. Lo and behold, heading straight in my direction are two gangly adolescents hand in hand, the boy pushing a bicycle on his other side. Now keep in mind that they’re straddling the whole alleyway, leaving about a foot’s gap between the girl and the wall. ‘Fine’ I think to myself, ‘They’ll adjust themselves to let me by’. 

Do you think the girl thought to step back and make room for me to pass? Did she fuck. They barged straight past me, forcing me to the wall. And when I say barged, I mean she physically made contact with my shoulder as she pushed by. 

I stopped in my tracks and took a deep breath as that familiar sense of rage began to bubble up through my stomach into my chest. My hands curled into fists, and I considered looking back and shouting something, but I closed my eyes and let the sun sit on my cheeks as I regained my composure. If anyone had been walking towards me, they would have questioned my sanity. 

Luckily I was alone, and after a short pause I remembered that I have a long day ahead of me, and it’s not worth allowing an irritable morning to ruin my whole day. The sun is sparkling off the sea, people are happily going about their morning errands, and I’m making the decision to have a GOOD day. 

Whatever is in store for you today, breathe in the fresh air and make a conscious effort not to let the little niggles in life get to you. 

Life is too short to be anything but happy! 

A face that betrays me

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My friends and colleagues love it – I’m one of those unfortunate souls who, despite my best efforts, has a  complexion that is no mask for my emotions. Naturally, people like to take advantage of this in jest (much to my dismay).

I have a habit of allowing my mouth to work faster than my brain, and consequently, I do tend to say some ridiculous and nauseatingly embarrassing things. No sooner have the words escaped my lips, than I feel that all too familiar prickling, warm sensation of the blood rushing up my neck and into my cheeks. Before you know it, I’ve turned a fantastic shade of crimson and I start babbling, grasping to find the words to drag myself out of the hole I’ve dug for myself, which I am, in fact, only digging deeper at this point.

To make matters worse, I’ve recently dyed my hair a washed out pastel pink, so whenever I blush, my whole head from the neck up turns one mortifying colour. I think I’m going to start carrying a pink sheet around with me, so that when I talk myself into a knot, I can just put it around my body and blend in like a chameleon, and melt into the background.

One last thought: I would SUCK at poker.

Have a great day!

Today in anxiety..

It’s a dreary Thursday morning, and my whole day consists of painfully waiting to go to work. Do you ever get that feeling? The one where you just can’t seem to focus on a task or get anything done, because you’re so lethargic from the pinching knowledge that work is looming 4 hours away.. 3 hours now… 2 hours… Oh God, I have to go to work in one hour.

Once I’m at work, I generally perk up and start to feel okay. But as someone living with that gut wrenching feeling of anxiety, triggered seemingly by the simplest things, the build up to work can be torture.

I’m an extroverted introvert. For those of you unsure of what that means, basically I’m great with people and I love interacting and socialising, but only subjectively. Some days, the thought of getting out of bed or sending a text to a friend can overwhelm me completely. I need to stay hidden away in the safety of my bubble, my cosy little nest. Other days, I’m up bright and early and I can’t wait to get out of the house into the sunshine, or go to work, or nag my friends and family to come and visit me for coffee. It just depends on what my emotional state is like on any given day.

Many people find me too much, and can’t cope with my up’s and downs. Friends don’t always understand why I’ll seem to disappear for a week or a month without any contact, but the truth is, I just find it incredibly difficult to keep up with my social schedule – as small as it may be – all the time.

Today is one of those days. Today I feel the need to cover myself in my duvet, shut the curtains, hide from the outside world and heal in my safe place. But I can’t, and I won’t, because responsibility calls. This is the battle we face every day, the sensation of being tugged in two directions. Responsibility on one arm, anxiety on the other. But we carry on, we lead lives that, on the surface, look normal to the unsuspecting eye.

And actually, I am a normal person, leading a normal life, I’m just fighting my demons the same as the next person. Everyone is fighting a battle that can’t be seen from the outside, and whether it’s minuscule or monumental, we can all use a little compassion to help us along the way. I try to never judge a book by it’s cover, and admittedly, I don’t always succeed at first glance and sometimes have to correct myself. But I set myself straight, and I remind myself that at the heart of it, we are all human and we all have to deal with these niggly little things we call emotions, so no matter who crosses your path, show a little kindness, even if it’s just a passing smile.. You never know the impact it could have on somebody’s day, and you’ll be surprised at how that kindness and positivity makes it’s way back around to you when you need it the most. 🙂

I’m 22 and still call them Mummy and Daddy – I probably always will.

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I woke up today with an excited little knot in my tummy, and an excited little poodle cuddled up by my side. We’ve been waiting for this morning all week!

I’ve been taking care of Islay, my Mum’s dog, while they jetted off on a spontaneous trip to Fuerteventura for a week. I know, it’s alright for some, right!? My Dad works month on, month off in a job that enables them to take two holidays per year. So, their new habit is bursting into a poor, unsuspecting travel agent’s office at the very last minute and shouting “SEND US SOMEWHERE!!!” (Maybe not quite as dramatically as the image I’ve just portrayed, but you get the point). Last time it was Samos, and the time before that it was Lanzarote.

ANYWAY! – The poodle and I are very excited to see them. I’ve had my up’s and down’s with both of my parents, mostly during the years I was aged 14-18, but isn’t every teenager a little shit who’s much too edgy and cool for their parents? It was a learning curve for all of us, but once I pulled through and came out the other side of my ‘Teen Angst’ phase, we were best of friends again, and have been ever since.

I honestly don’t know where I would be without my Mum and Dad. We haven’t always had a lifestyle with luxuries like buggering off on holiday at the drop of a hat. When I was little, times could be hard. But not once did that stop them from draining themselves completely to make sure we had what we needed. Whether that be a new pair of shoes for school, another jumper from the best charity shop in town, or the last bite of their dinner. They have done everything in their earthly power to ensure that my brother, sister and I had the best upbringing that we possibly could. I’m incredibly blessed to be a part of a tremendously strong family unit, each of whom would lay down their life without hesitation for any of the others. While no family is bulletproof, my parents have taught us that family is everything, and that no matter what obstacles we face in life, or how much damage we take, we can get through anything together and heal together with love. They’ve worked bloody hard for everything they have now, and they only made it because they did everything together as a strong unit, despite the rocky patches they’ve faced over the years. And you know what? I’ve never seen two people more in love than they are today. My parents have set a wonderful example for how I’m going to strive to raise my own family. They have set the bar high, they’re my biggest role models in life.

So while although I’m a grown ass woman with a life of her own, I will ALWAYS need my Mummy and Daddy, and love them unconditionally.

International Day of Happiness!

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Some of you may know that as well as being the first day of Spring, today is also the International Day of Happiness! But what is happiness? I spent so many years chasing the wisp of a dream, in desperate pursuit of what I thought the word ‘happiness’ meant. I drained my bank account and travelled the world, left my friends and family and threw away any sense of reason, searching for… well, I didn’t really know what.

Needless to say, I didn’t find what I was looking for. My biggest mistake was in assuming that happiness is something that you can hunt. I lived forever in tomorrow, always pursuing, always chasing, wondering if in a few minutes, a few hours, days, months, years… I might be happy. When I wasn’t in tomorrow, I was stuck on yesterday, reliving all of my mistakes and misjudgements, regretting things that I couldn’t change. I completely switched off to what was happening right then, in those moments that were unfolding right there before my eyes. I forgot to feel the fresh air in my lungs, the grass between my toes, I didn’t hear the waves breaking on the shore. I missed a stranger’s friendly smile and looked straight through her and walked on by. I lost contact with my friends and slowly drifted from my family. During those years, my loved ones grew older, people grew, evolved, changed and moved on. Every second I spent in that daze was a second that could have been treasured, wasted.

Fast forward to the moment that it finally clicked that happiness can be found nowhere else but RIGHT NOW.

I’m a very emotional person. And I mean, super mega ultra emotional. Everything I feel, I feel deeply. I can be an unstable, roller coaster-like mess when things aren’t calm and balanced in my life. The turning point for me was when I met Ben. He calmed me. When I saw his face, every rushing thought in my head seemed to dissolve in front of me, and suddenly it was now. All of that momentum which had been driving me forwards slowed to a stop, and I was left standing there looking at this human that had appeared into my life and touched it in a way that made all of the turmoil I had been experiencing, just drop to the floor around me. Suddenly I was there. In that moment. I felt the oxygen flowing in and out of my lungs. I could hear my heart beating. I could see his eyes, those eyes filled with limitless expression, staring back into mine. In that moment I realised that happiness is now, and it is only as potent as your ability to recognise it. I now take nothing and nobody for granted, I live in the moment and treasure every memory made as it is in the making. Everything that happens in life has a time and a reason. If you live your life craving the big moments, you miss the small joys in between. Those big moments will come either way! So why not enjoy the ride in  between?

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve always been a happy and content person, I had an amazing childhood and overall I’ve had a pretty sweet life. My family are incredible and absolutely irreplaceable. But Ben was my turning point to my true happiness. He makes me happy himself, yes, but he also encourages me to identify my own happiness. He has taught me to truly love myself, and by extension, love others. Not to mention that with Benji, comes the most incredible little girl, Nevaeh, who I love like my own. They are my happiness.

Happiness is all around us. It is the people we love. It’s the colours that paint the sky at dusk. It’s the joyful laugh of a child and the smell of rain on warm tarmac. It’s the feeling of ocean spray on your face and the pretty little song of a robin. It’s in those precious moments that we all too often overlook, because we are too blinded by our pursuit of happiness to realise that it’s staring us in the face. Don’t waste your happiness, recognise the little things you’d usually brush off. Hug your loved ones and go for walks in the rain, show others compassion and love, and it will be returned to you.

May every day be an International Day of Happiness! 🙂

Spring has Sprung!

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All hail the arrival of spring! The sun is out, the birds are chirping away in the hedgerows, and I even saw my first little lamb a couple of days ago.

Even for those of us working in retail, hiding away in the depths of big, looming, fluorescently lit grocery stores, the arrival of spring is well noticed and deeply appreciated. Gone are the days of dreary drizzle and the dull glow of headlights lazily passing the shopfront in the rain, splashing puddles at unfortunate passers by. Instead now, we are seeing brighter, warmer days and an exciting changeover in stock; the compost is arriving, the bulbs and seeds, people are buying daffodils and tulips and hyacinths. Every time a ‘Spring-y’ item comes through the checkout, a little spark of happiness bubbles up inside of me and paints a sunny smile on my face. We have entered a new, rejuvenating season of birth and life and growth!

I love Spring so much. For me, it represents all things fresh and clean and new. Spring showers wash away the sorrows of winter, and provide a lifeline for young plants in their first stages of life to bud and blossom and bloom. Colourful flowers start to sprout, trees begin to regain their beautiful gown of leaves, and animals give birth to the newest generation of life. What could be more beautiful?

Ben and I have just moved into a beautiful new house. It’s a lovely little Cornish cottage in a charming little area of Heamoor. It’s off the road, blissfully quiet and peaceful, and has a beautiful, happy vibe to it. It’s the perfect family home for Ben, Nevaeh and me. I am so grateful that we were able to move into this gorgeous little home at the beginning of Spring, because it really magnifies the sense of a brand new beginning for us.

So step outside today, let the fresh, crisp Spring air fill your lungs and just enjoy being here in this exact moment. Remember how wonderful it is to be alive, and to once again be blessed with this new beginning, as we are each and every year. Have a wonderful day!!