Film, Life Experience

One for the History Books…

Sunday 20th August is going down in history as one of the greatest days of my life, and I know this already because it will be the day that I finally pick up my very first, very own, not-very-new car!

I passed my test in mid-July after taking double lessons every week for 6 months and since then I’ve been driving my Dad’s car to and from my Nana’s, to the shops, to see friends and to pick up my sister from work – nothing too exciting unfortunately. BUT the point is that I am driving after being desperate to for years.

The independence you get from driving is incredible, there’s nothing else like it, especially when you’ve relied on England’s horrendous public transport every day, or have had to beg for lifts when the usually buses fail. It feels like something people take for granted, but I’m still amazed that I can literally hop in the car and go wherever I want, whenever I want.

I feel that a lot of people do actually take driving for granted, and see it as a right more than a privilege, which is a shame. I’m sure you know that when you’re a learner, you experience a lot of aggression from people who might be annoyed that you’re going as fast as the speed limit, or get frustrated if you stall the car, somehow forgetting that they were also a learner driver once.

Since passing, I’ve had a green P plate fixed to the back of the car which I’d like to think creates a bit of a bubble around me (it doesn’t); but in theory it serves as a warning to people that I’m still finding my feet with driving a car on my own without the observations of an instructor. However, it by no means curbs any aggression from people. Sometimes, it actually makes it worse, but getting a thicker skin while driving is something that I’m definitely working on each time I’m on the road.

Back to the excitement however, all that aside, by Sunday evening I will be the proud owner of a little A-B, runaround vehicle, my very own bright blue four wheels! I can’t wait, I can’t physically wait. Please do anticipate a myriad of photos when I have him (he’s called Marty)! Ah!

P.S. It’s not a DeLorean unfortunately…

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Life Experience

This 14th February, treat yo self

I always liked Valentine’s Day, the romance, the cutesy-ness, the flowers. Love is in the air, as they say at the end of Strictly Ballroom the Musical (my latest obsession).

And a few weeks ago the thought occurred to me that I’ll be single this Valentine’s Day for the first time in a few years. For about 0.5 seconds I felt sad, but then I remembered that the last few years haven’t been the most romantic experiences. In recent times I’ve bought my own flowers after being told I didn’t need any; a sweet aquarium trip meant for 2 turned into a busy group outing; and I’ve heard the actual words, “I’m going to let go of your hand before we go in so we don’t look like a couple.” That last one is my favourite.

If you’re single and think you’re going to be miserable around this Valentine’s period, take it as a day to treat yo self. Love yourself, and why not? Here are a few things that I think will guarantee a super time spent in your own company away from the faff of couples fighting for romantic restaurant tables:

  1. Clear at least an evening of any plans or work
  2. Line up a few of your favourite and most-loved films or TV shows
  3. Get in your favourite food, whether that’s something you love to cook, or ordering from the Chinese takeaway down the road
  4. Add some snacks to your shopping list – my favourites are cookies, shortbread, Magic Stars, Galaxy chocolate and Kettle Chips (maybe not all at once!)
  5. If you drink and, like me, love a good rose, get in some of your favourite alcohol that you wouldn’t normally have during the week

These are actually my plans for the day – absolute and pure relaxation. I might add in a facemask and new PJs somewhere…

This Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided that I’m going to get the most love ever, from me. I’m going to treat myself to some pretty daffodils and have a day where I can just be. Being single is definitely better than being unhappy, 100%.

You’re the best person that you know, so spend the 14th of February taking care of number 1, you deserve it!

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the couples, it’s for singletons to self-love as well!tumblr_mgldye3mau1qeog6uo1_500

Life Experience, Uncategorized

Getting Back Up Again

I’ve been staring at this screen for a while. The last few weeks, I’ve loaded up WordPress with the intention of writing blog posts, but I always press the red cross. It’s not been worth it, writing. The truth of it is that for the last few months I have experienced the most horrific heartbreak I never thought possible for one human to feel. It meant that anything I wanted to write about was either depressingly miserable, or bitterly nasty. And what good would that do? That wouldn’t help anybody, especially myself and someone involved would likely call me out on it. I know that I’m not entitled to an opinion in this… oops.

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Sorry… ANYWAYS. I have taken now myself out of the situation. It was a very long time between the initial ‘incident’ and actually leaving the awful environment. It was actually only two months but it definitely felt like at least two years. If I had just one piece of advice for if  you are ever forced to live with your ex, it’s this: Don’t.

Just don’t do it. Get yourself out of that situation a.s.a.p. because it is bad for your mental and physical well being. (I have found actually that not many people are as unlucky as me to have to go through with this but it does happen.) I’ve felt like I’ve been going insane for the sad-girl-foot-in-water-black-and-whitelast few weeks, I’ve lost a lot of weight, had no appetite and have been sick and cried a lot. It has been horrendous. And the joke is, it could have been a lot, lot worse. But seeing your ex take up with you someone you live with really has to take the biscuit for things to break your heart. Painful doesn’t really cover it. Hurt doesn’t justify what I felt. Devastated does not even begin to describe the cavernous rip that tore through me…

But that’s not what this blog is about. This post is about the future and how things are starting to look up. I’ve started a Masters degree course at university, I’ve moved back in with my parents, I’m looking at starting driving lessons, I’m going to start swimming again, I’m making new friends, I’m meeting new people.

This blog is about however painful it is, and whatever heartbreak you’re going through whether that’s romantically or because of grief, work, trauma, anything, you will be okay. You are stronger than you think you are. Something I have come to realise is that you never know your true strength until that is all you have left. You might be collapsed on the floor, surrounded by tissues, your chest a gaping and bleeding raw wound. Your hair may be unwashed and you may not have eaten for 24 hours and you may be wearing the same pyjamas as you wore all day yesterday, but trust me when I say that things do get better. It will likely be one tiny step at a time, and the steps may be spread across weeks, but you will absolutely see an improvement in time. Nothing can hold you down so much that you can’t get back up again. Nothing.

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As for me, I’m nowhere near healed yet, and I don’t think I’ll be back to my old self for a long time, but now that I am away from that awful situation, the real work can begin. If you are suffering, all I can say is keep the faith, believe in yourself and go on Pinterest looking for inspirational quotes because you will realise than that you are not alone. Knowing that there are other people going through similar things is a weird kind of comfort when you’re hurting.

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You just have to believe in yourself.

Life Experience

Dive into the Eye of the Storm

A lot of what goes through a person when they experience pain or heartache is torture. We’ve all been there, we’ve all grieved for someone we love, we’ve all been hurt, it’s what makes us human.

I’ve done a lot of thinking over the last few weeks, and I’ve had a lot of time to myself to consider what direction I’m going in, and where I’ve been. I’ve been stuck, really. But I think a large part of being hurt is experiencing time standing still and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. You need time to contemplate and to heal, there’s no other way of repairing the damage.

What I’m trying to say, and what I’ve figured out, is that you have to weather the storm. You have to go through the darkness to reach the light. You have to listen to the tear-jerking break up songs and you have to go through the emotional moments. You just have to, otherwise you don’t get fixed. A lot of the time it is up to you and you alone to pick yourself up and dust yourself down. You may have a loving and strong support network, but there is only so much that your mum can do for your over the phone. Your friends and family can listen to you and love you, but ultimately it is down to you to get better.

It’s hard, I’m not saying it isn’t and I’m not even at the end of my journey yet. But I know that the next few weeks, or whatever will just make me a better person. I know it’s going to hurt, but I’m not prepared to hide from everything and bubble-wrap myself. I’m going to walk right into the eye of the storm and I’m going to come out of the other side a better person.

I should really blog more often…

storms

Life Experience

Me Again

I haven’t felt like blogging recently; I’ve not had much to say. It’s no secret that I’ve been going through a rough patch (anyone would get that from the melancholy posts that have cluttered my blog). But it is just a patch, just a temporary blip in 2016.

Last week I was on holiday with my parents and my sister, for one last family trip to Jersey (for now). It was a week filled with wall-to-wall sunshine, cake, sea and laughter. I haven’t felt so care-free and stress-free for a few months and the whole week did me a world of good. I’ll follow up when I’ve sifted through the many many photos with a post about sunburn, freckles and castles.

And in other good news, I’ve officially accepted a place onto an MA course at the University of Leeds to study Writing for Performance and Publication which is just SO EXCITING. That starts at the end of September, after another little holiday to Majorca with my best friend.

So yes, the last few months have been hard going, and the rough ride hasn’t ended yet, but I’m making the most of my new found freedom and keeping myself busy and happy, making more delightful memories for 2016 than sad ones.

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Life Experience

Two Choices

It’s no secret that life throws plenty of opportunities at you to be sad, miserable and down. ‘Oh woe is me, why is the world against me, what did I ever do to deserve this?’ The truth is, you probably did nothing to deserve the hardship and the pitfalls that are dealt to you and at times it can feel like it’s just you against the world.

When something goes wrong you have two options, just two. You can turn away from everything that has happened and hide, you can pretend amongst the tears and the panic attacks that everything is actually okay and that if you protect yourself with cotton wool, you will be fine. You can run away from the trauma, guard yourself and build high walls to make sure you won’t get hurt again.

Or you can confront the pain head-on. You can stare it in its beady black eye and understand it, why it’s come for you specifically. It might not reveal any of its reasons or let you in on its secrets, but by facing it you can be damned sure that you can push past it and move forward.

It’s easy to hide and it’s easy to shut down, to close yourself off from the world around you. It’s most definitely a surefire way of protecting yourself, we all know that. But ultimately, it’s also the death of you. You can’t grow as an individual without taking on challenges willingly or otherwise, and you will never learn more about who you are by turning your back and running away.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to be sad and upset, because when you bottle your real emotions – men and women – it makes everything 100x worse. But there should always come a natural point where you decide what to do next, and that’s the crucial moment. Do you blanket yourself and try to smooth over the cracks that have appeared? Or do you stand up with your head high, borrow some glue from someone who supports you and take a leap of faith?

Well I took the glue, and I would choose to take a leap of faith every time. You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, nobody does, and it’s really scary to throw yourself into the unknown alone like that. But me, I wouldn’t do it any differently. I didn’t hide and here I am, Brittany v2.0, and I will continue to not hide every time a difficult challenge comes along. I want to confront life and take control of what happens to me and of how I feel, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do from now on.

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Life Experience

Acupuncture Me

acupuncture

You may remember from a while back (and I do mean a while) that I was diagnosed with sesamoiditis which is the posh word for stupid annoying painful foot. After two whole steroid injections and the threat of developing arthritis if I had another one, I looked to other cures.

And the short answer is: there are none. This little bone in my foot is going to be cracked forever and the only thing to stop it will be to literally take it away from me. Now this, I Mr-Spock-mr-spock-10874060-1036-730have been warned, is a procedure done a maximum of once a year and there is the impending danger of it turning into what doctors lovingly call a Spock foot, ergo not an option.

So I started looking into preventative measures to try to manage the pain, rather than looking to get rid of it altogether. It was then that I found acupuncture, something I had never even thought of as a remedy (I had always seen it as a luxury treatment, like a massage). Turns out, acupuncture can do a lot for the human body *cue groan from scientists* and can actually help a lot of conditions.

I’ve been going to sessions for a good few weeks now, probably going on for 20, and there has been the most dramatic improvement to the pain in my foot and how I walk. I’m no longer limping, which is fantastic until your right foot realises it has to share the load and then starts having a paddy. But that’s neither here nor there because my left foot is really, really fine. Who knew?!  It’s felt like a magical experience and I can’t quite believe that the stupid bone in my foot is now being calmed down, thanks to crazy thin needles.

I’ve had a few people tell me that it’s hocus pocus and it’s all bullshit, but hey, I’m not limping anymore so… 1-0 to acupuncture.

I’m still going to sessions, because it would be crazy to stop and botch up the wonderful work that Rachel (hi!) has been doing for me. And even though it hurts when the needles go in the bottom of my foot, I still enjoy going because it allows me 20 minutes out of the week to just relax and to just be. It’s incredible what such a short amount of time can do for your well-being.

If you have a condition of sorts, whether it’s anxiety, headaches, rough periods or anything, I would say seriously look into acupuncture as a treatment because you might find it’s entirely worth it.

Also, hi Tom 🙂
Life Experience

“I can’t go out, I’m sick.”

Dedicated to Michael Cornell

When you’re ill and all you want to do is drown in blankets and hot chocolate, and just kim-possible-sickbeing asked ‘are you okay’ makes hot tears seep down your cheeks. Not because of sadness, you just have too much liquid in your face.

Lemsip and tea are the only real medicines that work and sneezing just becomes a fact of life, eventually following a schedule.

How many tissues are in the bin? Or are they actually all inside my brain?

Who decided that breathing is not as important as it used to be? Because I quite enjoyed that when it worked properly.

I’m losing energy like it’s going out of fashion and my eyes feel like tennis balls.

When you’re ill and you can’t even finish a blog post well so you give up and try to find some health from somewhere.

Education, Life Experience, University

Brains, Not Boys

When I graduated in 2014, I knew I wasn’t finished with learning. I always enjoyed schoolwork, and even when I didn’t I threw my all into it regardless. But to complete a Masters degree, like I wanted, I would have to fork out thousands of pounds that I just didn’t have.

And then came the wonderful news that a Postgraduate loan was going to be introduced, kindly provided by Student Finance England, that would add to any undergraduate loans already waiting to be paid off.

I almost didn’t apply for this year because I felt too busy and “there is always next year”. But we all know that tomorrow never comes. Luck would have it that I suddenly became single and was thrown into a pit of unknown. The only way out, I saw it, was to focus only on myself, to better myself and to achieve more.

I’m (hopefully if they love me) going to study at the University of Leeds, on a writing course because…well, as I’ve said many a time on this blog, I want to be a writer. Desperately, truly, it’s all I can think of to do.

If I get in, I’ll be the happiest girl in the world. I’m glad I have transformed into someone whose life is completed by education, rather than by a man*.

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*However, applications are still open, apply within.

 

Life Experience, Music

Golden – Ruth B

 

I can’t get enough of these lyrics right now, from the song ‘Golden’ by Ruth B. YouTube link at the bottom  ❤

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The fire used to burn, all the words used to hurt

But you’re not like us, you are different
I couldn’t see that that was a compliment
Cause the last thing I want now is to be you
And the flames don’t feel as hot as they used to

Burn, burn, burn
They used to yell
You thought I was coal
My friend, I’m gold
Can’t you tell?

Burn, burn, burn
They used to yell
You thought I was coal
My friend, I’m gold
Can’t you tell?

Cause I’m not weak, I’m not broken I am bold
And the fire you put me through turned me into gold
I’m not done, I’m no loser
Watch me take on my bright future
Tonight I’m no bronze, I’m no silver
You’ll be thinking, damn I knew her
But you didn’t
Don’t get it twisted

Out of the ashes you buried me in
I, I am golden
I, I am golden

You tried so hard to break me down
Like a fire-breathing dragon, but I guess I took your crown
You pushed for me to change for you
But I’m so glad that I stayed true to who I am

Burn, burn, burn
They used to yell
You thought I was coal
My friend, I’m gold
Can’t you tell?

Burn, burn, burn
They used to yell
You thought I was coal
My friend, I’m gold
Can’t you tell?

Cause I’m not weak, I’m not broken I am bold
And the fire you put me through turned me into gold
I’m not done, I’m no loser
Watch me take on my bright future
Tonight I’m no bronze I’m no silver
You’ll be thinking, damn I knew her
But you didn’t
Don’t get it twisted

Out of the ashes you buried me in
I, I am golden
I, I am golden

The fire that you tried to burn me with, it made me who I am
All the things that you said I couldn’t do
Guess what, Yes I can

The fire that you tried to burn me with, it made me who I am
All the things that you said I couldn’t do
Guess what, Yes I can

Cause I’m not weak, I’m not broken I am bold
And the fire you put me through turned me into gold
I’m not done, I’m no loser
Watch me take on my bright future
Tonight I’m no bronze I’m no silver
You’ll be thinking damn I knew her
But you didn’t
Don’t get it twisted

Out of the ashes you buried me in
I, I am golden
I, I am golden, golden, gold
I, I am golden, golden, golden