The sunshine in Failing.

Failure, I’ve found, is something rarely mentioned on social media; unless someone is reminiscing on their climb towards their present success. I’m not ashamed of failure and I personally feel it is an important ally towards a positive future. Now of course, I am not too proud to suggest that failing causes me great distress but I am a big believer that things happen for a reason and I am reassured that “everything is happening as it needs to, using not a minute more than perfection requires”.


Today I failed my driving test… for the second time. I have discovered to date, that people only reveal they have failed, when they have passed (of course this isn’t rule of thumb). But here I am trying to reassure the percentage of people in the same position as myself, that failing is OK. The first time I failed, I carried misery around with me like it was a designer handbag.

In day to day life, I strive to be the best at all things I put my mind too, and failing really put me on the back foot. I didn’t have a shiny new car waiting for me (which is an example regularly received as an act of reassurance), but I did have a bubble-wrapped ego that hurt to damage.


I don’t like failing any more than the next person, but today I have realised it just wasn’t my time. There is no point dwelling that the bus appeared when it did or that I messed up on a gear change but what I do know is, it takes a lot of courage to drive someone unknown, around town, in test conditions and only receive 3 minors (obviously excluding the elephant in the room the MAJOR).

The test itself is not the problem, I work well under-pressure (but I just have a poor judgement when it comes to buses) but if you are someone that lets nerves overcome you… YOU CAN DO THIS. I know sure as hell, that I won’t let this defeat me and I WILL drive a test that ends with a pass. Failure isn’t the end; it’s the beginning of being better than before.

Alas, I have embarked on my rejection routine of eating away my feelings and whinging to my nearest and dearest (I am only human), but sometimes life throws you these curveballs for a reason and I want to take the positive from it.

Have fun out there.

Love,

Pipedream xx

 

Gear Change

For anyone that knows me understands that Art is a little backpack I’ve been carrying around with me since the age I could pick up a pencil. I’ve always been pin-pointed as a “quirky” (dare I say it) individual that paints in fields and drinks fennel tea but I have now opened a new can of worms. 

Like most decisions within my life, they happen last minute. I was forever indecisive about my future, but since starting this blog I have reignited my love of literature and the magic of stringing words together to make feelings. I had started my UCAS application with the intention of unpacking the Art that I carried around as an identity, and pursuing it into further education HOWEVER (here comes the gear change) I decided to apply for something that made me feel giddy with excitement and self-doubt. I thought that little-old-me with no A-Levels, was “too stupid” to study a subject my lack of qualifications “prevented” me from doing.

 
My New Year’s resolution was a cracker… be more spontaneous. Lists and scrupulous over-thinking was encoded in my DNA and secretly, I had little faith in the resolution set by myself. 
However, when I attached Journalism onto my UCAS application I never expected it to be taken seriously. I’ve always had this scandalous dream of presenting on Countryfile and adding Journalism to my list made it feel less of a dream and more of a reality. 


An Unconditional offer and crying with joy on the toilet later, being spontaneous was working in my favour. I’ve never had the confidence in myself to jump. Well, now I’m jumping. 
Sorry for the lack of blog posts recently, I just haven’t found the words to explain how I’ve felt, until now. 

Have fun out there. 

Love,
Pipedream xx 

The Black Dog

It has now been a month since I was diagnosed with the dreaded ‘D’. Depression. The elephant in the room or should I say ‘Black Dog’, which is commonly associated with the inconvenience, has been haunting me now since January. I had tried ever so hard to disguise my sadness with an OTT happiness (which of course is exhausting and impossible) in the hope that my own prejudices towards being labelled with the dreaded ‘D’ wouldn’t come true… Even if I knew those were the murky waters I was sailing on.


I had lost all motivation and passion for the things that had previously dominated my life. My self-care waned in my physical appearance and because I had stopped eating (which is unlike me as I LOVE food). My body was solely reliant upon smoothies, soup and sugary tea, as my taste buds were on strike and my stomach refused food any access. I didn’t like to be alone with myself, so I made sure I was always busy so that I could build on the facade that everything was “fine”, allowing me 0 chance to register the sadness.


Unfortunately, I had praised myself on being this “strong-minded”, confident individual that would try to deal with not only my own problems but others also. I would take on so much that I didn’t know how to process or cope with the pressures I was putting on myself. This last year I had experienced bereavements, setbacks and a level of stress I wasn’t willing to ask for help to deal with. Having depression, to me, meant that I was a failure, that I couldn’t “deal” with my responsibilities and this is 100% a self inflicted stigma. What I failed to realise was that I hadn’t allowed myself the opportunity to rest and process my thoughts, in turn making my brain work overdrive 24/7 and that is not healthy.

There ARE still stigmas around mental health, which I have been subject to. “Just pick yourself up, and get on with it” “Just smile” “You have no reason to be unhappy…” that one really gets me. I feel like people unaffected by mental illness view it as a lifestyle choice, as if sadness and unease are luxuries that can easily be discarded by replacing it with a smile. I mean, being emotionally unable to feel anything other than exhaustion and sadness is the perfect way to enjoy life, right? If you could choose an emotion every morning, I don’t think anyone would CHOOSE depression or any other mental illness.


Unlike the rumours you hear, my GP was reluctant for anti-depressants to be my first port of call, which I found heavily reassuring because I didn’t want to be on medication. I really wanted to train myself to deal with my Depression. I was advised to exercise more which is a natural feel-good hormone inducer, take up activities to ‘relax’ my mind and counselling.

You may be wondering why I am sharing something so personal with you all… Well, this week is Mental Health Awareness week and 1 in 4 of us are affected by Mental illness and a larger number of us don’t talk about it. Talking is power. I use my blog as my outlet and my power and together talking openly; without fear, is OUR power.
I hope that in me doing this, I can inspire a change. Whether it is seeking help, gaining an understanding that mental health comes in many shapes, sizes and experiences and is uniquely different and more common than you think.

Thank you for reading.
With love,
Pipedream x

Insta-Addict

Earlier this week I experienced my first EVER social media ban. At first I was a little offended and dejected as I was hoping that my first ban would be for something a little more scandalous (rebel at heart) but alas, it wasn’t. It’s actually a little shameful…


I was banned from Instagram for liking too many pictures. How on earth is that a bad thing? Just sharing some love. However, in my absence and abstinence from liking pictures, it gave me time to think and this raised the question… am I addicted to Instagram?

Instagram and I have been friends for a while now, and yes I do think I am a little over-attached to it. I decided to devise a list of what I feel the top 10 signs are of being a complete Instagram addict…

  1. You easily spend over 7 minutes editing your photos, to specifically fit your ‘theme’… You may take a super cute picture with all of your friends but if the colours off, it doesn’t make the cut.
  2. You take over 100 pictures for the one perfect picture, with the right angle, lighting and mood… Because everyone cares about that natural lighting, 225 degree angle chin tilt and a nice backdrop, right?
  3. You will take a picture of absolutely ANYTHING as long as it has Instagram potential… My word that bin has poise. 
  4. Your followers aren’t just followers to you. These people have your back and provide you with a wholesome feeling of love with every like. They understand you on a deep level, especially when they tag you in really relatable things that they know you will like. *Fist Pump* I love you guys.
  5. You have the stalking ability of an MI5 agent… You know things about Jenny from three streets away that not even her mother knows. Yes I saw that tagged photo of you at a party, when you were supposedly too ill for that family meal. Hmmmm…
  6. You have a series of back up photos that you can use if you haven’t done anything Insta-worthy in a while. Oh hi aesthetic coffee shop picture from 3 months previous.
  7. Upload fails can cause a mental breakdown…  
  8. Because there is ALWAYS an optimum time to post a picture. This level of knowledge has been conducted over 1 year 7 months worth of Instagram use.
  9. Its pure torture waiting for the first like… “Was that picture a grave mistake and a misinformed decision? I’m sorry followers for letting you down. LET ME DELETE IT!  Oh wait”.
  10. Reaching 11 Likes, make you feel like you’re Kim K…I mean, you could basically become a brand promoter now, right? People value your tastes. 

Of course there are 100% more important things in life other than Instagram but Instagram is my sanctuary and it allows me to focus on something other than how scary the big, wide, world is for the minutes a day I use it.

Have a lovely weekend.

Love,
Pipedream xx

No Chill

Being told to ‘chill’ and responding with ‘I am’ is a new level of small talk I am starting to embrace. You always see those memes of Kim K wailing on social media with the caption “No Chill” but the more I looked into the meaning of ‘No Chill’ the more I realised that this is relatable thing, which has probably affected all of us at some point.


I always feel like ‘No Chill’ really comes into play when I am trying to impress someone either professionally or because I am a big fan of theirs OR because I’m so attracted to them, my rational mind is void.

My top 10 scenarios of having ‘No Chill’ are as follows…

  1. When you exchange numbers, you know things are getting a little spicy. They reply and you text back immediately, or you want too but shouldn’t because society has this rule where you should leave it a casual 2 minutes + before replying to keep things ‘Chill’ and to not seem too interested (am I the only one that missed the ‘How to be chill’ memo…) because I spend that interval internally debating with myself HOW TO BE CHILL.
  2. When you don’t see the speech bubble (with 3 dots inside) appear precisely 2 minutes 1 second after your reply, you jump to conclusions and think that that person has 0 interest in you. I will then either take the time to have a mini breakdown or send an emoji to remind them I still exist… NO CHILL

  3. YOU TYPE LIKE THIS A LOT
  4. Double texting is a big sin and screams ‘No Chill’. It’s apparently not professional and it is deemed too full on, however when you are in panic mode (which is how I spend half of my life), your brain splurges on short, staccato sentences which 9 times out of 10 don’t even make sense and consist of completely different subject matters. “You have great hair… how many dogs do you have? I really like cows…”
  5. You cannot just go with the flow. You are consumed with nervous energy, completely envious or in awe of people that can breeze through life without experiencing daily neuroticism/ anxiety. E.g. Being invited somewhere on the same day is a no no, you need precisely 1 week 6 hours to plan your outfit, rule out possible conversations (with how you would react) and mentally prepare yourself to be ‘Chill’.
  6. You are also completely upfront and have 0 brain to mouth filters, which usually results in a lack of finesse when it comes to admitting your feelings for someone or expressing gratitude. “You have a lovely face, I’ll keep you… wait, I mean you’re not a possession, you are your own person…” *Nervous laughter*
  7. Compliments usually turn into a full on life story as to why the compliment is void, “You have lovely eyes…” “Well actually I don’t because my cat once scratched my face and distorted my eye and now its wonky and I look uneven…” and then you feel really stupid because they were trying to be nice, and now you have basically made it appear like you think their opinions are rubbish. So stressful.
  8. You manage varying levels of stress and self doubt by appearing disinterested, usually with a resting bitch face, when internally you are having a melt-down unable to function like a civilised human being.

  9. Keyboard spasms are a legit form of communication, especially if someone has told you important news/gossip… Friend: “I’m in a relationship” Me: !!!???233!”##
  10. But really having ‘No Chill’ is because you are emotional, caring or generally happy to have those people in your life/excited to be alive.

Is having ‘No Chill’ really such a bad thing? I know that the only reason I have 0 Chill is because I whole heartedly care too much, and I’m just enthusiastic and really appreciative of having that person or moment in my life. Life is too short.

Have fun out there.

Love,

Pipedream xx

Haunting…

If you have dated online or interacted with a romantic prospect online then I’m sure you have experienced the dreaded term ‘ghosting’. Ghosting for anyone unaware, is when all communication in a personal relationship is stopped without explanation and it can leave you feeling pretty rubbish about yourself, unless the feeling is mutual.
Well, recently I have been experiencing the next level ghosting however I never knew it was an official thing or even what the term for it was, until this morning.
Cosmopolitan is my go-too on snapchat, the articles are sassy and completely relevant but I wasn’t expecting a mini-revelation to happen on a Sunday morning. ‘Haunting’ is the new upgrade to ‘Ghosting’ and I cannot express how much I related to this new phrase.


If you have been ghosted then haunting is the stage after the person has completely abandoned all communication with you but still interacts on social media e.g. liking your social media posts or following your stories. They come and go as they please and never really leave until they find a new person to haunt and to be clear they just generally lurk which makes it hard to move on as social media is a 24/7 thing. Now I am someone that likes a clean break. If you have abandoned all communication, then why is it necessary to follow life updates?
I understand situations can be different and the hauntee maybe biding their time to rekindle what was lost, however I feel like this is just a way to keep check on someone to make sure their life is as good or better than the person they are ‘haunting’. Now I could be wrong and 9 times out of 10 I am, but my fragile heart finds it hard to accept the hauntee because of how offended I was to be ghosted…
Now the adult thing would be to confront the situation but there is the stigma where you may look completely crazy confronting your hauntee because it could be just in your head and that you’re reading into things too much which obviously would make the situation worse. All I can say is, if any hauntee’s are reading this, and you want to rekindle, just slide into their DMs and maybe create some closure for both parties or walk away (by removing each other from social media as life is too short for negative energy) because there is a reason it ended in the first place. However, you could just let yourself be ‘haunted’ because if it wasn’t meant to be then there is something magical around the corner and it’s not good to limit your capabilities by dwelling on the past. Either way, do what is best for you.

With love,

Pipedream xx

Sunday Soundtrack

Glass Animals – Pork Soda
Vera Lynn – We’ll Meet Again
The xx – On Hold
Julia Michaels – Issues
Circa Waves – Fire that Burns
Asgeir – Unbound
Methyl Ethel – Ubu
Kasabian – You’re in Love with a Psycho
The Strokes – Under Cover of Darkness
Tom Odell – Somehow
Bears Den – Agape
The Kooks – Be Who you Are
Radical Face – We’re on our Way

Oh hi Mercury in Retrograde

I’m in a bit of a slump at the moment and I’m blaming the stars… Mercury is in Retrograde now until May, conversations can go awry, technology fails you and things that matter the most are re-evaluated.

Recently, I have been feeling insecure about my lack of career progression as I feel like I am wandering around in mud, with a blind fold on not doing much with my life. 16 year old me fancied myself as a driven, entrepreneur with the intention of studying at university. But I find myself verging the big 2 0, stuck in retail, not studying, with no enthusiasm aka a huge motherf****** rut.
I of course understand that I can’t just go through life passing the blame on Mercury being in retrograde but I 100% feel like this acknowledgement of re-evaluation is just what I need (or the help of Professor Brian Cox because he always has the answer).

University is not always a suitable route for people and I was determined to try the “long way” because of a negative stint in education and the looming debt putting me off, however its becoming apparent that the way I’m ticking along is self-destructive and a waste of my time. I’m an indecisive little peanut and I am aware that by the time Mercury is in forward motion, this could no longer be a relevant thought within my head (or because life is always throwing new challenges).

As we all are, on this strange planet, I’m in the pursuit of happiness and I guess I should try something before I completely rule it out. Hold me back, I’m going for it.

Love,

Pipedream xx

Sunshine Saturdays

I am always overwhelmed with happiness when it’s a sunny day on the coast. It’s great for the garden and it really boosts Hastings’ aesthetic appeal. I have recently got into this habit where I leave my bedroom curtains open at night (I am not an exhibitionist) as it weirdly makes me feel more relaxed, but it’s really paying off in the morning because the sun beams in, enveloping me in happiness. Yay.


Today I got my wellies on and headed into the countryside. It was such a beautiful day, the kind where you get a glittery feeling in your stomach and you feel so motivated to enjoy the day, that wonderful things happen.
I rode a chestnut-coloured horse called Strider, a chubby (easy to see) Welsh Section D mare, down the country lanes with a spot of schooling and she is starting to be a Grade A student (instead of the naughty kid in the class, which is how she started off). I’m not sure whether I am reading into things too much but I think she is secretly starting to like me. Whilst on my little mooch down the lane, I noticed that the daffodils are starting to die off making way for my favourites… bluebells. I remember watching a Ray Mears survival program once, a very long time ago, and he made glue out of bluebell pods and I remember feeling heavily inspired to have a go… I never have. Maybe this year.


Time flies when you’re having fun, or it just flies in general as you get older. I remember sitting in class as a child, counting down the seconds to when school would be over. Now I miss school, and can never keep up with the days, let alone seconds.


I really enjoy being outside as I literally cannot stand being cooped up… which is 9/10 how I feel when I am at work. Roaming free, I had the pleasure of spending my Saturday with some cows and their calves, lambs and some donkeys but I am a sucker for some chickens. Nothing beats country air and company, and I strongly believe it’s the best kind.


Have a good weekend out there, in the oyster that is our world…

Love,
Pipedream xx

Anxiety and Me

I try to keep my social media outlets upbeat, but the truth is, that is completely impossible and not true to life. I got into the habit of only posting blogs that were of something warm and smiley and a little too flowery. However, I feel that the small number of posts I have shared with you have confirmed how minimal those days can be. I am only human and bad days do happen.


We are 88 days into 2017 and these have been some of the most testing days I’ve had to experience yet. I’ve found that the image we present of ourselves on the outside, is sometimes not what is going on in the inside and I guess this is where my blog really begins. My previous posts were nice and light-hearted, but what I’m passionate writing about is something I was a little reluctant to share… until now.

Half way through March I found myself hiding behind a fake shield of confidence. Kalms had become my new night time companions, I had been having internal battles to pluck up the courage to do a food shop at my local supermarket. I would get sweaty palms when crossing the road because 1) I feared being run-over and 2) I would get embarrassed about the possibility that I could be walking funny or my clothes had wriggled into a position that would make me look silly.

Damn you Anxiety. You devilish creature.

I’m no expert in defining anxiety, (I am merely expressing my own experiences NOT symptoms that are medically classified) so if you do feel like you experience or have experienced anything similar to the above, I’m 100% not saying these are recognized traits of anxiety but these are situations that I associate with my own. If you do feel the need to be reassured I would advise going to your GP.

After expressing how I felt to people close to me (I am lucky to have a wonderful support network), I became aware of how many people have or have had the same little battles as me within their lifetimes but hadn’t openly spoken about them until now. The only way I can describe anxiety is that it is a chameleon, it can appear in many different forms, within different people but it’s all associated with the same thing. The feeling of unknown, inexpiable dread.

One of anxieties many causes can be related to elevated levels of stress.

In January, I experienced a traumatic situation that I had suppressed and tried to ignore (which is my own coping mechanism for grief I guess) but weeks later it revealed itself in the ghoulish physicality that is anxiety. I bought myself flowers (nature and plants are things I have found to be really grounding), indulged in chocolate and gave myself confidence-boosting pep talks in the mirror… a little technique I semi-stole from Alice in Wonderland, although she was told that thinking of six impossible things before breakfast was rather useful. Luckily, I have learnt to deal with my run-ins with anxiety in my own little ways and it doesn’t severely affect my life as it does some, which has meant medication hasn’t been something I have needed.

Edna the Hyacinth 

Whilst writing this, I feel like I am settling back into myself and I decided to write this when I felt a little better, (I have wanted to write this post for weeks but finding the right words were hard) so I could give a well rounded outlook on anxiety because it is only a chapter within life and it is something that isn’t defining of who you are as person. You CAN get through it.

Normalising something not spoken about enough is a goal for me. I somewhat feel empowered because sharing IS caring and its better when we can all stand together. I have wanted my blog to be an honest insight into my life and I slowly feel like I’m achieving that.

with love,

Pipedream xx

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