Tag Archives: advice

What’s the point in loving?

Flames to dust, lovers to friends. Why do all good things come to an end?” says Nelly Furtado, one of my many idols. It was a song I sang many times in my youth, not understanding what she meant. Now I’m older and dare I say, wiser, and I have begun to overthink the song.

Love is the strongest and greatest emotion on earth. We crave it, we feel it, we search for it. It motivates us and confuses us.

All love stories start in different ways and in different places, but is usually as follows;

Boy meets girl. They date, get butterflies when they kiss, begin to fall in love. They date until they become in an official relationship. They meet each others friends and parents. They have sex, they have arguments. And unless they’re one of those lucky people that ends up settling with your childhood sweetheart, they break up.

Like the beginnings of a love story, they also end in different ways. It can be an abrupt, passion fuelled argument ending in screaming and punching, or it can end in an awkward conversation sitting across from each other in a silent room.

I started dating around seventeen, but never really found myself attached to the boys I was dating, and I ended things. In my younger years I never really focused on how they would feel about me breaking up with them. It’s one of the luxuries of being the break-upper, not the break-upee.

And then it happened to me. Honestly, I think the pain was more about my ego and pride than my boyfriend breaking up with me. But the one thing that really angered me was that in the beginning of our short lived romance, I didn’t like him. He pursued me, chased me, wooed me. Begged me to go out with him until I finally acquiesced. Our date went surprisingly well, and so did our relationship- until we broke up.

Afterwards, my heart mended and I met another boy, and the process happened again. This was a longer, more fulfilling relationship, but after two years I decided to end it. We’ll chalk it up to ‘personal differences’ as this is a blog post, not a therapist session. I was happy about my decision, he wasn’t, but even after trying again, it just didn’t work.

A year later, at a party, I met another boy. The night was honestly, as cliché as it sounds, magical. Perhaps it was the alcohol, but it was the most romantic beginning. He stayed behind at one of my parties to help me kick out the stragglers that wouldn’t leave at 5am, and we spent the whole night and day just talking. I suddenly realised that I didn’t want to date him. Well, I did, but I didn’t want the future break up that dating would bring. It’s a rather pessimistic idea, I know, but the fact is when you date someone, you either end up with them until death, or you will date until you break up. As nice as boy #3 was, I didn’t see myself walking down the aisle towards him at the age of 18.

So, upon our first meeting, I proposed an idea. What if we just had a wonderful night together, talking and getting to know each other, and never see each other again. That way it would forever be perfect. It would never be tainted by future arguments or betrayal, and whatever happens in our separate lives we could both look back on our one perfect night together. He liked the idea but disagreed, wanting to see me again.

I am not a very strong willed woman, and so it’s safe for you all to assume that yes, we saw each other again after that. A lot. We dated for a while, and it was nice. But guess what? it ended. He was heartbroken, but again, I’d made the right decision. He was moving away and I was studying and it wasn’t right. We stayed friends for a while, but after he moved away he turned into a dick and then we never spoke again. Every time I catch myself thinking about it, I just wish that I’d stuck to my guns and had kept that first night for what it was- perfect. Now, when I think back on that night, every other little detail comes to mind about our subsequent relationship and painful break up.

I renounced dating after that, and after three years of living the charmingly fun yet sometimes lonely single life, I’ve met another boy. Telling me not to overthink it is like telling the sun not to shine; impossible. Already, within the first few weeks of dating, I’m already jumping the gun, wondering what painful mess this new boy is going to bring into my life? Will he cheat on me? Am I going to be heartbroken again? Will I hurt him? Is it… worth it? Again, at the age of 22 I’m not ready to settle down yet, so I know this relationship will end at some point.

But I’m okay with that.

I’m not the type of girl that meets a guy and would marry him right that second. I don’t mind that I’ll date different guys, have different relationships. Because when I finally find the right guy, and end up marrying him, I know that I’ve lived my life, experienced other relationships, but found the best one for myself.

Some girls walk into a store and find their perfect shoes sitting there in front of them. Some girls have to try on a few before. I’m going to try and think of it that way.

As the old saying goes: you gotta kiss a few frogs before you catch a prince.

Anyway, back to the question in hand: what’s the point in loving? There’s a high percentage that my new relationship won’t work out in the long run. (I’m being realistic, not pessimistic guys, jeez.) But I really am fine with that. Friends and partners come and go, and I believe that different people are brought into your life and taken out, but they imprint on your life and leave you changed afterwards. They are in THAT section of your life for a reason, and if they’re not in a different part of your life, that’s fine. The 18 year old version of me and 22 year old version of me are very different, so I doubt my first relationship would’ve worked out for long anyway. We change, we adapt, and grow up, constantly. It makes sense that sometimes, we outgrow people. We’re all on our own journey in life ,and sometimes people walk with you for a while, and sometimes they need to go their own way too.

I don’t mind getting my heart broken again. It will heal, as everything does. And falling in love is worth it, it really is. We can’t walk around in a bubble of plastic wrap to protect ourselves from the world, and we can’t harden our heart to protect it. We have to accept our decisions, accept falling in love and new people, and what will be will be.

All good things may come to an end, but there’s plenty more to come after.

That’s all folks, for another 3AM rambling.

xoxo, Molly.

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DEBATE AND AN ARGUMENT

A debate is defined as “arguing on a subject, especially in a formal manner.”

Maybe this is true. Maybe a debate is a polite way of arguing. God knows I’ve seen enough religious and political debates to turn into arguments. but there is a difference. A thin line between debating and arguing. That line is respect.

Having a debate with someone should be fun, enlightening, a challenge. An argument is about shouting and hurting the other person, insulting them.

Arguing is simply shouting your point at the other person, refusing to listen to anything else, whereas a debate is a discussion between two people in which different topics are brought up. Both parties listen, and learn during the debate.

I love debates. There’s something about two people getting passionate about a subject- be it beliefs, or simpler, like a TV show or book. You can feel your own enthusiasm and the others persons, and see new things you haven’t before.

I am also very, very good at debating. Whatever argument people throw at me, I find a way to turn it around, give sufficient evidence or reasons why they are wrong. I think it’s one of the reasons I chose English Literature at University. Debating about books combines two of my favourite hobbies, after all.

As stubborn as I am, as good as I am at sticking to my guns, I am not so unwavering that I cannot change my mind. In fact, if someone manages to change my mind on a topic I feel strongly about, fair play to you. I have strong ides and passionate beliefs, so if someone has words of such power to change my mind or even make me think of the subject different, fair play indeed. And it isn’t a weakness.

Back to arguments, if you change your mind or back down, you “lose”. However, in debates, it’s quite the opposite. If someone’s manages to change your opinion slightly, you have enriched your own mind, become more enlightened upon something. You’re not belligerently insisting on the same idea without really deconstructing it, but you’re taking the idea apart, and growing as a person.

As much as I love changing someone else’s mind, getting them to understand my point of view, it’s equally fruitful vice versa. Because it makes you think differently, act differently. It opens a whole new world of interpretation to a subject you thought so surely on.

Is it a weakness is our minds are so malleable? if we change our beliefs on a whim? (that’s what I imagine people will cry)

Well, I give you this: It’s not on a whim. It’s after you’ve exhausted the topic to every inch, its where another person spins it in a new way you haven’t even considered before, which means your ‘belief’ on that subject might not be that strong. We are made of opinions, it’s true- but whose? As a child, do we have strong opinions on things? or do we learn them from our environment? Do we pick up our opinions and beliefs from our parents, our school, our friends? I think so. So none of our opinions are completely original anyway, and changing them simply means your choosing your own ones that you truly believe in, therefore making them stronger. If that makes sense. It’s three AM in the morning, so excuse the rambling.

Where arguments leave you upset, and bitter, with hurtful words running around your head, debates should leave you feeling refreshed, passionate and with a thirst for learning.

It was, in fact, a heated debate that led me to write this article. Me writing is often spontaneous and seems like a chore at times, but after one short debate with a friend, it’s lead to me finally being productive and getting back in touch with another passion- writing.

So, readers, remember this: Debates are supposed to be fun learning experiences. If you feel strongly about something, debate it well. but don’t be afraid to open your mind to another persons opinion. It might change your life, or even yourself.

THE DEPENDENCY ON MAKE-UP AND HOW TO WEAN YOURSELF OFF IT!

I love wearing make-up. There’s something ritualistic on sitting down at my desk, laying everything out, and getting to work. I start with foundation, covering my face and making it smooth and even. I draw on my eyebrows, making them thicker, fuller, even. I put on my blusher and bronzer, layering highlighter on top. I coat my lashes with thick mascara in several coats. I sweep on eyeshadow, draw on eyeliner. I finish off with lipstick or lip gloss, and then I’m done.

Sometimes, it’s a bit rushed. I’m late to work and I have to hurry my routine, frantically caking it all on quickly, not realising that in the morning light whilst commuting to work I look a bit like coco the clown. But when I’m going on a night out, I take my time. Paired with a glass of wine and some female empowerment music (traditionally, Destiny’s Child), I’m having a party all by myself before the actual party begins.

I tell myself, like other girls do, that I wear make-up because I enjoy it, not because I need it. But that would be a lie.

I lived with a girl at university that used to wear a face full of make-up even when she was going to the shops, and I thought how silly it was. Girls at work would wear false eyelashes, fake tan and fake nails. To work! I only ever used a full face of make-up if I was going for a big night out, but after a while, it began to change. I got insecure, and started to feel better when I looked better. It’s the same as wearing nice clothes when you go out, instead of shabby old tracksuits (which yes, I sometimes adorned on very hungover university mornings.)
I took pride in my appearance. I love looking nice, love wearing nice jewellery, nice clothes, and fabulous make-up. But I began to become more and more dependent on always looking nice, on always wearing make-up. And it’s starting to wear a bit thin.

I first realised make-up was becoming an issue in my life when I removed my make-up and I didn’t want to look in the mirror. My natural face didn’t look like me; it felt foreign, hideous.

Let’s be honest for a second: some people do look better with make-up. It covers our imperfections, makes us look healthier, brighter.  I have very fair hair, so my eyebrows and eyelashes are basically invisible. I work a  lot and get little sleep, so I have bags under my eyes, my pale skin needs a bit of blusher to make me look less like death, and my skin has imperfections, as most people. 

I’m a confident girl- when wearing make-up. but without it, I started to feel like a shell. Even when going round to the shops to get some milk I found myself putting on just a bit of make-up, in case I bumped into someone I saw.
The other day I was extremely hungover, and late to work. I had no choice but to wear the bare minimum of make-up, and I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t talk to people as much,  I just wanted to get through the day with my head down. A few people commented on my appearance, wondering if I was tired or ill.

I’ve found myself growing more and more panicked about how terrible I look without make-up, particularly in situations where people have to see it. I’m going on holiday with my friends soon, and they’ll see me without it. When I start dating someone I look nice, but will they still like me without make-up? Would they have entered a relationship with me if I’d gone to the date bare-faced? I think about guys coming up to me on nights out, or people that only see my snapchat and Instagram pictures, and I wonder if they would still approach me if I didn’t have make-up on.

I still love wearing make-up. It’s fun, I can experiment with different colours and styles. I love mixing eyeshadow colours, picking out different lipstick dependent on my mood. I love how shimmery my face is after I put highlighter on. But now I’m beginning to feel guilty, hating the fact that it takes layering on make-up to make me feel better about myself.

The strange thing is, if I never started to wear make-up to begin with, I would still be confident. As a child or young teen, I never worried about make-up. But with the abundance of make-up tutorials on YouTube and facebook nowadays, make-up has become a necessary, essential part of our shopping lists, rather than a luxury. I had a friend who would put aside her small wages on food, make-up and then bills, in that order. She prioritised buying foundation over her rent sometimes. Now I don’t think I’m that far gone, but I never thought I would become the person to hate my face without make-up. I’m so used to wearing make-up that it feels strange without it. It would’ve been so much easier if I never put it on to begin with.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Like all addicts, I have a plan to stop my addiction. (yes, i realise I’m beginning to sound like an alcoholic). Instead of quitting cold turkey, I’m going to slowly wean myself off make-up. I thought I would share my technique on here to help other gals out there reduce the amount of make-up they wear in small, easy steps.

Firstly, prioritise your make-up. What is essential, what items can be dropped one by one.

  1. Starting off I’ll drop the lipstick and gloss. I’ll only use Vaseline to keep my lips smooth.
  2. Eyeshadow is certainly not essential, and so unless it’s a night out, I won’t wear it.
  3. After that, highlighter and bronzer can go.
  4. Blusher is the next off the list.
  5. The next step will be removing foundation from my routine. I can make this step simpler by still using concealer for problem areas (bags under eyes and imperfections)
  6. I will improve my skincare routine and wear moisturiser instead of foundation so my skin still looks healthy.. After I feel more comfortable, I’ll stop using concealer.
  7. After that, I’ll stop using mascara. Luckily I don’t wear false eyelashes, but if you do, the first step is get used to your eyes without eyelashes, and then go from there. You can do it in even smaller segments, like only using one coat, or only on the top lashes. You could also use clear mascara to enhance your natural lashes, but I don’t think I’ll bother with that..
  8. The final, dreaded step, not drawing on my eyebrows. As aforementioned, I’ll probably do this in stages by drawing them in lighter each time. Alternatively, you could semi-permanently tint your eyelashes and eyebrows so it still looks like you have make-up on, but you’re bare faced. I think for the first time I’ll do this, and eventually go back to natural.

Et voila! In gradual steps, you’ve gone back to your natural face! hopefully, friends and colleagues won’t notice the gradual change and so you won’t get bombarded with the tired/ ill comments that people seem to love giving out.

I’ll still wear make-up when I want to, if I feel like it. Like I said, on a night out it’s a very enjoyable part of my night. But when it comes to casual hanging out with my friends, going on holiday, going to work, I’m going to learn to be comfortable in my own skin and not feel pressured to wear make-up.

We are the ones that wear make-up, not the other way round. Let’s keep it that way.

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REVIEW: CRAZY EX GIRLFRIEND

A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon a show on Netflix called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I decided to give it a go, and boy, I’m glad I did. Rachel bloom performs as Rebecca Bunch, a career orientated woman depressed and despairing at her empty life, when she stumbles upon her ex boyfriend, Josh Chan. On an impulse and obsessive decision, she decides to move to West Covina (which just so happens to be where Josh lives) in an attempt to regain some happiness in her life, and so, an ingenious show was born.

I didn’t realise upon watching that it was a musically inclined show, and the first song that appeared I was not prepare for and may put some viewers off but I promise, stick with the show and you will be rewarded. It is new, innovative and incredibly refreshing, but above all, realistic when dealing with events in life. It removes the romanticism that Hollywood often prescribes to everyday life, and instead takes dark matters and deep themes such as depression, mental health and sexuality, and presents them in a wonderfully light hearted and comedic style. Rebecca is all of us: slightly crazy, obsessive, kooky, weird and, in other words: not perfect. She is such an accurate representation of the modern woman that I couldn’t stop laughing and empathising with her. Rebecca’s character is one of the best female characters I’ve come across in the last year or so because not only is she empowering, but she’s also so relatable. You know those days where you look like shit, haven’t washed or put makeup on, just dashed out of the house to maybe stock up on tampons and chocolate? Or where you try and play things cool, when really you’ve been obsessing over it endlessly and you just brush it off when it’s brought up? Well, Rebecca Bunch, as the ‘everyday woman’, does these things too. She’s like an average role model, the one who celebrates her quirkiness and imperfections.

Some of my personal favourite songs (on YouTube if you fancy watching)
– The Sexy Getting Ready song (an accurate documentation of the process girls go through getting ready, and absolutely hilarious)
I’m the villain (A Disneyfied anti-hero narrative that’s incredibly catchy)
Sex with a stranger (for anyone who’s had terrible experiences on tinder)
I gave you a UTI ( A hilarious jaunty song which includes genius lyrics such as ‘My sweet love Injection caused a urinary tract infection’ and ‘If it hurts to take a leak
That’s just part of my technique’)
Greg’s Drinking Song (an old fashioned, Irish folkish song performed by Greg (the fantastic Santino Fontano) coming to terms with his alcoholism, yet in the most light-hearted way. Includes lyrics about him puking on his cat, having sex with a bush, and trying to fly for a plane). One of my personal favourites.

The best thing about the show is, in my opinion, it’s music. Ingenious lyrics, really- it’s incredibly clever  puns and play on words (Getting-Bi is a good example of a man discovering his sexuality, and just getting by with it, for example). And each song is different and unique- there’ll be rock styles, pop music, R & B songs, Country songs, good old power ballards, all of them). And the attention to detail in the show is magnificent, in Season 2 they compiled a song made up of different songs from season one- imagine! One big song made of different songs?! It’s awesome. The hilarity of the show is matched only by the skill of the vocals from every cast member- while Rebecca is indeed the protagonist, we are treated to individual songs from different characters with their own struggles and styles.

I could go on describing all the songs, but this post is becoming increasingly too long already, so just go and watch the show yourself. The characters are absolutely hilarious, including Greg, a sarcastic, alcoholic bartender with a pessimistic attitude, feeling trapped in his own life, his drinking and his poor taste in women, Valencia, a ‘Humble yoga instructor/ Kate Hudson / Princess / Bitch’, Heather, an intellectual goth-emo-scary chick who just so happens to be ‘Miss Douche’, and countless others.

The main content of the series is beautifully simple; Rebecca, on a pursuit of happiness, which we can see is an uphill struggle with lots of laughs on the way. Season two follows this idea, with Rebecca hanging onto the belief that if she ends up with Josh, she’ll finally be happy. (Spoiler for S2 in the next sentence)

The amazing finale shows a final epiphany for Rebecca as she is left at the altar, all her dreams crushed as she comes to the realisation happiness will not be found in Josh Chan, or the other men in her life that have left her (we see an amazing parallel of daddy issues shown between Rebecca and her new hot boss, Nathaniel)
By the grace of God, Season 3 has been confirmed and so I will eagerly await its release. The show delves into all kinds of issues: from having crushes on people, to making friends, meeting the parents, fucking everything up, being stuck in a love triangle, the hardships and weirdness of being a dad, the importance of female empowerment and feminism, homosexuality, racism- you name it, it’s got it. It’s and if nothing I’ve said has persuaded you to watch the show, check out some of the songs on Netflix or youtube at least, it’s worth listening to.

What’s the deal with Fifty Shades of Grey?

I vaguely remember the storm around E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey when it came out. I remember gathering around a copy with my friends, trying to find the rude sections, and giggling as we read it out. I remember seeing pictures of women brazenly reading it on trains for the world to see, and being fairly impressed at this unapologetic display of an erotic book on their way home from Charing Cross on a Tuesday night. I am in Great Britain, after all, and even though we are known for our prudishness, we are not one to ban stuff.
With the arrival of trailers of the second film, Fifty Shades Darker, I decided to get off my high horse, and watch it. Now, I know it was originally written as a fanfiction from Stephanie Meyers Twilight series, hence the reason why I avoided the film like the plague. Like many others, I assumed it was directed at middle aged suburban women, thrill-seeking and trembling in their cinema seats. But alas, I watched it. And like, what’s the deal with it?

The plot was very simple, very dull, and I kept waiting for something dramatic and exciting to happen. But no. It’s was just a series of meetings between Ana and Christian as they bonded (and later, bondaged… ignore that. I’ll work on the puns later). I did wonder how they were going to direct a film all about explicit sex (from what I gather, I haven’t actually read the book so lack the means to compare) but it was done very tastefully, and the sex scenes weren’t half bad.

Now, I don’t know if I’m being a feminazi here, or whether the film genuinely displayed an almost abusive relationship. Christian draws up a contract for Anastasia, in which she, as a submissive sexual partner, can’t drink alcohol, can only eating food from a specific list, and specifically says she must do anything sexual he asks for ‘without argument’, because nothing says sexy like the underlying threat of rape.

Now, if a guy tried to tell me I couldn’t drink, or I wasn’t allowed that second slice of pizza, he’d be out the door before you could say dildo.
Ana, like any self-respecting woman, doesn’t sign the contract, and eventually gets on with her life, until Christian, displaying EXTREMELY possessive, obsessive tendencies, hounds her via text, getting genuinely pissed off that she’s taking her time considering signing her soul and dignity away. Eventually, instead of giving her the breathing time that she needs, he decides to stalk her, enter her apartment without asking, and has sex with her. Talk about seduction. Already at this point warning bells are going off in my mind. lets face it, girls love a bad boy. Sometimes, it’s cute when he gets jealous. But this goes so far beyond that.
Christian goes so far beyond cute to stalker-psycho, more like Patrick Bateman than Patrick Swayze. He tears her away from her graduation with her father, tells her she cannot go to see her mother and then when she does, turns up and -oh you guessed it- drags her away from special time with her mother. The guy doesn’t have boundaries. He takes over her life completely, and its not sexy, its not cute, its borderline abusive.

But the real cruncher here, is that Christian, whilst displaying a psychotic sort of cold affection towards Ana, states there would be no romantic relationship, only a sexual one. Ana can not touch him, or sometimes look him in the eye. And whilst all the women watching this film look with goggle eyes at Jamie Dornan (Christian), they fail to acknowledge this insult. This guy is the epitome of what we now say ‘fuckboy’. He is not interested in dating her, being nice to her, getting to know her, only using her for his own pleasure. And women find this… sexy? If a boy texted one of my friends saying he wasn’t interested in her for her sunny personality, only her vagina, we’d both laugh and cast him off with all the other fuckboys. But I guess it’s different if it’s a sadistic famous millionaire (A GREAT message for young girls, by the way).

Christian gives Ana a new laptop, expensive books, and even a car (though it’s crucial to point out that without asking her, he got one of his henchmen to sell her old one. See why I have a problem with this?)So basically, it’s a sugar-daddy/ escort situation, but it’s okay because he’s hot.
The main redeeming factor is Anastasia finally leaves Christian, and it seems apparent that she is standing up for herself, not allowing him to hurt her, buy her or own her- a point that now seems redundant considering there’s a second film- but we’ll get to that later.

Now maybe I am reading to much into it. And whilst I don’t want to come off too feminist-lefty-liberal, I honestly do see some worrying displays of abuse in the film. I get the whole dominant-submissive sexual thing, but when it surpasses the bedroom, and takes over the couples life, surely that becomes a problem? If Christian wants to dominant Ana in the bedroom, and she consents, then its all fun and games. But it goes past this, to him controlling what she eats, what she drinks, her friends, when she sees her family, what car she drives, where she lives. So what do you guys think? Is it a disgusting portrayal of an abusive relationship, condoning dominance in young couples? (It’s key to remember this that some young audiences, will watch this and think this is how functional relationships work because majority of teenage audiences are young, dumb, and full of cum.)
Or is it a harmless film that plays around with sexual stereotypes? What do you guys think? Even if you haven’t watched it and have stuck this far, what reading do you get from it? I’d be fascinated to know what others think of this film, as it seems weird for me to bring it up to my friends after years of it being released (and I’m almost ashamed to admit watching it). Let me know what you guys think. Peace Out.

Revenge is… Happiness?

The best form of revenge is to be happy. Truly. The burning rage people feel when they are hurt by someone, only hurts themselves. We torment ourselves, replaying the same thing over and over again, the hurtful words or actions that someone has caused us.
So I began to think, how can I turn this anger, this hurt, into something productive? People say that every cloud has a silver lining, and this is true.  So when you are upset, hurt or angry, instead of festering over it, hurting yourself, turn it into something that will make you happy.

I was in the library, studying for finals when I had an argument with my ex boyfriend. When the phone call ended, I couldn’t even concentrate on my work because I was so fixated on everything he said. I lost out on some valuable hours of education because of this boy, and so I began to use this to my advantage. Whenever I thought about him, and I couldn’t concentrate on my work, I began to clean my room. For some reason, whenever I have a clean room, I have a clean mind. And then I would organise my notes, printing helpful articles for my work, making schedules that would help me with my studies. And eventually, whenever I had a negative thought, I would automatically start working. one bad thought would make me do hours of work to help my education, instead of lying in bed chain-watching some Netflix programme. And so easily, instead of being angry over my ex boyfriend and focusing on every stupid argument, I used it to further my education, not wasting my time thinking over it.

Next, if I had an argument with someone, and I was focusing on what I didn’t say,  what I should’ve said, or if I didn’t do something, I would start exercising. And the pattern continued- instead of getting upset over petty arguments, I began to work out, doing press ups and sit ups, going for a jog. Not only would this clear my mind, and help me think straight, but soon I began to get healthier, and stronger. Just like that, I managed to turn all of my bad feelings, all the negativity, into something positive for me and my body.

Its not a tried and tested form of counselling, I know. And maybe it won’t work for everyone. But for me, it feels amazing that I can make something good out of every negative feeling, everything bad that happens. And the next time something bad happens, I won’t get too upset, or angry, because I know I can use it for my benefit, to be happier.

 

Everyone is not as happy as they look.

Setting off to university in my parents car crammed with all of my stuff, I was excited to begin a new chapter of my life. I was finally going to be living with a group of people my own age, and I imagined it as some kind of 90’s chick flick, where we’d sit on the sofa eating popcorn and watching corny films, or cry over a tub of ice cream about boys, wearing face masks and having sing-alongs. And it wasn’t like that, it wasn’t like living with my best friends. While my first year was filled with a lot of fun, I didn’t get on with some of the girls in my flat. They all did the same subject, I didn’t. I had my boyfriend over a lot of the time, and I was working and concentrating on making friends on my course. And so, what begin as enthusiastic friendship turned into me feeling isolated and alone. Now, I had a lot of friends both at home and at uni, so it didn’t phase me that much, and it dawned on me that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, the girls were just in a clique, didn’t have any friends themselves so stuck together like a boring pack of hyenas. I was naive, but eventually came to realise that life is not like a film. in fact, films glorify and romantisise everything about life, giving us false expectations of what life should be like.

And so, when Christmas came around, I was in the pub with some old friends, and I ended up telling one how I didn’t feel it was fair that everyone had great housemates and flatmates, while mine were shit. I told him how I’d go on facebook and instagram, and see all the cute photos – “house meal with the gang!” or “flat girls night out!” and get jealous. And then he told me that a) I was being dumb, and b) that everyone pretends to be happier than they actually are. He told me that people aren’t going to put on facebook when they’d argue or felt isolated with their flatmates, or when they felt ugly. They weren’t going to show instagram their breakdowns and tantrums, but instead, put happy photos on to make themselves feel better, even though it was a lie. Instagram pages, full of little photos just show the highlights of everyday life. They’d show pictures of the best parts of their life- and none of the bad. And this ‘best of’ feature means we obsess over other peoples couple pictures and feel crappy about our own relationships, see their ‘Squad goals’ pictures and doubt our own friendships. See their gorgeous selfies and feel baad about how we look when we don’t have makeup on or our hair done. It feeds into the competition of ‘whos-got-the-best-life’, a page where even though your life isn’t perfect- far from it- in a series of pictures, it appears to be.

And it’s true, we compare our lives with what we see on film, or on our friends social media, but we don’t know the whole story. As the phrase goes; you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. And it made me feel better. Our whole lives, we are told and trained to search for the ‘elusive butterfly of happiness’- a term I’d recently discovered. I’d have moments where I didn’t really know how to be happy, or even if I could be. It seemed that the few shining moments of happiness I had were merged in a sea of feeling shit, upset, angry or just numb. So I almost take comfort in knowing that sometimes, especially on social media, people are not as happy as they seem. Now, I never feel bad about my own life from seeing other people online. I recently spoke to an old friend, at a different uni, and looked like she was having the time of her life, going out all the time, new friends, new boyfriend. It was only when I spoke to her on the phone she told me she was quite heavily depressed and miserable. There is a song called ‘Wear Sunscreen’ by Baz Luhrman that gives advice on life, and to be honest it is one of the most accurate things I have ever heard, and never fails to make me feel better. One bit that always sticks out to me is when he says “Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind.The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”

We spend so much time comparing our lives to what we see from other peoples when it doesn’t matter, at all. At the end of the day, you are the protagonist of your life, and your life is controlled by you only- your decisions, mistakes, choices. It is your life that matters, not what you see of someone elses. You never know what that person truly feels or who they are from an instagram page, and it doesn’t matter anyway, because it has no relevance to your life. So, the main thing I try to keep in my mind now is to focus on how I, myself, can make my life happy, not to compare it to other peoples, and most importantly, understand that there are going to be rough times ahead, bad periods- maybe years even, when you’re not okay. But you’re not alone in this, something easily forgettable. Life is hard, for everyone, but you need to focus on yours, and making it as happy as it can be.

Anyway, late night ramblings over. Peace out. xoxo