Being an A**hole…

I have a massive chip on my shoulder *Not literally, I am perfectly healthy*

Semantically that phrase could have a multiple of meanings, the first assumed usually being “a person who thinks highly of themselves without the credentials”. However, my chip provokes a defiance and hostility, when an insecurity is provoked. *sigh* Because I have many.

I love to keep up with Celebrity Gossip and News, being an avid reader of Cosmopolitan to the Daily Mail, and yesterday an article was written about a celebrity interview that struck some home truths.

Jennifer Lawrence has been an advocate of honesty and is usually one for removing the rose-tinted glasses of Hollywood, which is something I completely adore about her. She was in the midst of being interviewed for the show ‘Actors on Actors’ by Adam Sandler, when she expressed that when she socially interacts in public she becomes “incredibly rude” because it’s the “only way of defending” herself and this is something I can completely relate too.

As a species we are expected to be sociable and amenable, however that can expose us to many opportunities of hurt. Dating, education, careers and other scenarios which expose us all to knock-backs, rejections and successes which shape our characters as individuals.

I am completely aware that my knock-backs and rejections have strengthened my mentality in dealing with them, as I will always get back up and continue; however, I wrongly assume that my success is a coping mechanism which is a hostility when someone pokes the monster that is made up of my insecurities.

I work in a predominantly male environment where “banter” overrules the art of conversation but as the finger points to me, after months of trying; I have used up all of my witty remarks and sly digs, resorting to my old friend hostility and defiance. Some may not say hard enough, but during these last few months I have tried to get out of my comfort zone as much as possible, by taking part in activities that previously made me want to melt into the ground.

I tried to resolve my defiance and hostility by putting in zero effort when socialising. Which I thought would be a better idea, than putting in effort and failing; as that would definitely light up my insecurities, when the jokes punchline was me.

It’s something I want to shake off, but when I feel vulnerable I find myself saying hateful things that I don’t mean, in the hope that the other person will retract and leave me to deal with myself. This is of course all going on inside my head and on the exterior, I am a “calm, calculated” person that hates to make a fool of myself (mutually felt by many of us) even though it comes naturally. I’m just a mess.

My current inability to quash my insecurities, prevents me from doing so many things; from sport, to being on stage (a dream) *sigh*.

However, I am still rather young, with lots of time for growth; something I intend to do. Grow.

Have fun out there!

With love,

Pipedream xx

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Diaries of a Potato

As I mooched around Sainsbury’s on a mission for ingredients for the evening cooking sessions at school; I realised that I’m slowly creeping into my old comfort eating habits and general laziness.

Last week was a big week for me, because I had joined the gym with lots of good intentions and abs in mind. The problem is however, that I have a classic potato mindset, I’m insecure about people seeing me workout and I’ve just started watching stranger things… resulting in me not going once these past couple of days. Instead I’ve stuffed my face and cried in the mirror.

Fast forward to today and I feel a little disgusted by my joy and enthusiasm for eating (all the bad things) and rewarding myself for merely getting out of bed this morning; with my favourite strawberry liquorice and a pot of liquid chocolate *face palm*. It’s now getting to the point where I am worried to even try on my gym clothes, because they probably won’t fit around my fluctuating hips, expanding thighs and don’t get me started on my poor sports bra (it has already been through enough as it is).

BUT Christmas is plastered all over our shops and I’m using the whole “it’s Christmas” excuse to prevent the shame of admitting my eating habits are disgusting and I’m a bit of a carb mess. It’s also November and I’m told “too soon” for Christmas. Humbug.

As I age I feel like weight is such a controversial subject for me because somedays I “werk” my winter coverage feeling all empowered, owning my body, but other days I cry in the corner, wiping my tears away with magazine cut outs of Victoria Secret Models. Le sigh.

The problem I feel is I signed up for the gym because of superficial reasons, I want to look “hot” and my idea of hot is not my body shape. My height also intensifies weight gain and coverage because you can look a lot bigger due to being a little compressed in height compared to tall people. Small people, do you hear me? Or is my 5″3 self making up b***s***?

My heart and happiness definitely lies with sugary, carbohydrate food and lots of it, and I never feel joyful after exercise. I just hurt. I need to find the middle ground and I will; but just for tonight I’ll finish my bag of sweets (with joy) and think about all the seriousness of health tomorrow.

Have fun out there!

Love,

Pipedream xx

Magic

Throughout my childhood, I can always remember being surrounded by avid story tellers; my Grandad being the biggest.

I have many fond memories sitting around the ever changing dining room table at the family home (I swear each time I visited, it changed) with Grandad at the head of it, deep within the depths of a story. And no story was ever the same.

They always, most definitely evolved into more dramatic versions as a new guests listened, and encouraged him further.

His stories revelled in magic and people within his day to day life, captivating anyone in his company and I guess I’ve always craved to tell stories like him. To make life seem a little more magic.

However, yesterday I swear I saw a little glimpse of that story telling magic return. I’m very aware of coincidences but I have always been a bit of a skeptic about synchronicities (“meaningful coincidences”).

No one likes to lose their phone, especially now that a life can be stored within a thin slice of metal and glass; Bank details, favourite songs that remind you of good times and the ever growing apps to keep you entertained instead of socialising with humans. But that was exactly what I had done.

I had remained casually calm but 2 hours later and my steps fully retraced, despair began to seep in. I had received help from lots of people in the attempt to find my phone and I had experienced no luck.

Side note: Why on earth did I not think to register on “find my iPhone”? Am I mad?

Zeb (my car) had been subjected to thorough examinations (and my erratic driving between the sites of where I work) and me dramatically hitting the steering wheel, begging the heavens for a little touch of magic.

Since having my car, it’s been my most convenient place to throw fits of rage, sadness and overwhelming joy in utter privacy. But as I drove away from campus, shouting at the sky, I cannot express my shock as lightning flashed through the sky, just at the pinnacle of my rant.

The lightning I experienced wasn't a dramatic as this GIF.

Something within me, in that moment, changed. And I weirdly knew (synchronicity?) that I was going to find it. Don’t even ask why… I was just following my gut.

I had parked up and retraced my steps further and face down in the mud (in tyre tracks) was my phone and it’s ridiculous coloured case… brown. (I had checked there prior but in the midst of panic, I must have overlooked it).

I understand that this sounds absolutely ridiculous, and lightning adds a touch of pathetic fallacy to the story but in that very moment all was ironic and a touch monumental.

I think I need to invest in a glow in the dark case or something with a little more pizazz, in case this happens again. And I absolutely intend to switch on find my iPhone…

I have no idea what point this post serves but I feel like you should be reading this around a fire, listening to equally dreadful stories told by others.

Have fun out there.

With love,

Pipedream xx

When life goes grey…

I have been back home from Paris now for two weeks and two days and I feel like my life has been resembling a spinning top, whizzing out of control.

I have of course been very busy with work and as the daylight hours dwindle, so does my enthusiasm for busy, social days (as I am zapped from the fast paced notion of my current career). But as I stop pouring in effort to maintain the life outside of work, I am slowly feeling a little lost and I’m not sure who I am as a person anymore.

I am finding myself trying to cling on to my taste in clothing; as I have always dressed differently (I definitely think differently too), I love adventurous, radical hairstyle changes and outfit combos full of colour. But I’m starting to feel like this liberal self-expression that I’ve explored for my meagre 20 years of life so far, isn’t suited to my life anymore and I’m starting to feel restless in my own skin.

I feel like the real issue is a sense of belonging. Paris really emphasised my need to be back home in this small seaside town, however now I’ve moved out of my family home, and relatives are all moving away; I’m not sure what home is supposed to feel like anymore.

With Venus meeting Jupiter in my 4th, impacting Neptune in my 8th the astrologer in me doesn’t think this is just a coincidence. Home is an important issue on the cards and the angles of the stars are making me pay attention to it.

All of this time away from family and friends has changed my perspective on my view of home. It’s not a set place, it’s the people that surround you which determine what is home and right now I’m craving the company of people that have help shaped my past which was full of fun and self-expression; something that I feel is waining within me now.

I no longer paint, sing cheesy songs in a dramatic way or do things that were remotely me and I feel my lack of blog posts resemble my current bleak outlook on life, as I have found it hard to materialise how I feel.

I want life to sparkle again. And I want to go home…

Have fun out there.

Love,

Pipedream xx

NOSTALGIE DE LA BOUE 

 NOSTALGIE DE LA BOUE: A desire to live a simpler, downsized, less indulgent life. It literally means “yearning for the mud”. 

I finished the final day in Paris with a mooch around the Sacre Coeur and the building itself made me feel something I would never associate with a cathedral. 

I was raised an atheist but brought up to be appreciative of everyone’s thoughts and beliefs (however different to my own) and a place of worship is not usually a place I will actively go to on trips away. I cannot deny that I wasn’t particularly enthused with the idea of traipsing around a cathedral, and the students were very disinterested in the whole affair; picking Crêperies over the architecture. I put my pessimism aside and stepped inside and the energy within the building was electric. 

As soon as the door closed behind me, I had goosebumps crawling up my skin and I felt a unique sense of unity which laced the air. Candles were flickering along the walls of the Sacre Coeur, lit by anyone and everyone giving a little hope to the world. I found myself seated in awe of the tourists like myself and the praying in the central isles. 
I sat there for nearly 30 minutes taking it all in; the elaborate décor, the hubbub of people and the energy of hope. One woman in particular, stole my attention. She was kneeling, facing the altar, her hands so tightly clenched that her knuckles were white. The words she was whispering to herself, were felt with such conviction that you could visibly see the determination and need for what little hope to be had, to be received by her. 
I cannot begin to imagine what she was so desperately seeking from the deity “above” but it let my mind wander towards the streets of home and how I am desperate to return to them. Paris holds so much love, hope and prospects but there is only so long a small-town girl can spend in the chic streets of Paris without craving the comfort of a scruffy, little seaside town which is my home. 


This week has been full of fun, and memories that will reside in my brain forever. But as I pack up my suitcase in preparation to leave tomorrow, I have a giddy excitement to see the faces I left behind. 
Have fun out there!
From Paris,
With love. 
Pipedream xxx

The real Paris 

I feel like I am resembling Del Boy Trotter as I get to grips with Parisienne life. 
The French I am realising, are very courteous of my lack of, as I forget to talk the language of their birth in favour of my own. I find myself casually wishing them good days and thank you’s, which is very polite if you’re in Britain, but I’m not. 

I am now starting to think that I have found a new talent which is: consciously remembering that I am in France and then creatively stringing a sentence together, blending the two languages into this weird mix that makes absolutely zero sense. *I’m a mess*

However, Paris is a dream and I am forever in love with this city. Personally, there is nothing quite like being a tourist in Paris, camera in hand meandering around the streets capturing generic shots of the Eiffel Tower and Arc De Triomph. But from yesterday’s experiences, that is not the “real Paris”. 


Paris is one of the most walkable cities around, as the architecture is a joy and completely insta-worthy and there is always something to pique your interest (of course mine are patisseries. I LOVE MACAROONS). However 20 children in tow, and a small budget (not allowing frequent Metro stints) we really had to utilise that “walkable” city. 

From our hotel, the main sights of Paris are a minimum of 1 hour 30 minutes away (walking), which is quite the challenge with unenthused teenagers that have 0 interest in the sights. 


However, before leaving for Paris, I had this romantic image in my head of tours through the chic streets of Paris, trying the cuisine and feeling pretty damn sassy… Not the reality which was myself, leading a group of school children through a building site (lots of complaints about ruined white trainers), this street where you don’t need to pick up dog poo apparently (further complaints about ruined white trainers) and an underpass dedicated to the self-made shelters of the homeless (health & safety nightmare). I never expected a scenario like it, and I cannot express how thankful I am for the fact we made it through without being mugged of stabbed. *slides risk assessment into the bin* 

I didn’t think we were in an era where people still cooked on barrels? especially corn, in the heart of Paris. I was a little overwhelmed by such a sight. However, it’s not all glamour and cliché shots after all. There is poverty in the midst of wealth and it’s quite shocking really. As much as I did fear for my job and the children’s safety walking through such areas, I think it was a lesson for all of us. 

At the time I was cursing Google Maps for sending us on a wild goose chase around Paris, but now, looking back; we were just seeing the real Paris. 

Have fun out there! 
From Paris,
With love. 

Pipedream xx 

McDonalds in Paris 

I don’t know how people remain looking chic and glamorous whilst travelling, but I am feeling like a bit of a mess right now. 

I’ll admit that I had good intentions to document Paris through the lens of my Nikon camera, but as the coach was cruising down the dual carriageway at 4am to Ashford; I switched it on to find I had left my memory card in my laptop at home. Classic me. 
Our trip to Paris was booked through a company that supposedly takes the “stress” away from taking groups on holiday during the half term. However, sitting with the luggage; as my seat had been taken, with students dotted around 16+ coaches, is not how I pictured “stress free”. But I love a mishap, as it wouldn’t be a “holiday” without one, right? 

Of course, I had a mini-heart attack when it was time to get off the train as we entered Paris. The 20 lives I have to return safely back to school, were floating further away into the throng of people departing the international station. Alas, we made it to our hotel.
However, I would be lying if I said the Eurostar wasn’t enjoyable. The journey itself was actually one of the most pleasant I’ve had. We cut directly through the French countryside, watching the lull between dawn and day as the villages awoke from their slumber. I have always had a soft spot for France and this seemed to relax my spirits. 
Getting to the hotel was pretty simple (except for needing to be Popeye to lug the overpacked suitcases up a vertical flight of stairs) and Paris was full of the charm that I had previously remembered. But, then my Paris rose-tinted glasses fell off with a smash…

It is not physically possible to seat 20 people at lunch in Paris but this is a completely necessary feature of our trip – eating together that is. After debating many restaurants, only one could possibly prevail amongst a group of teenagers… McDonald’s (when in Rome) which was massively busy and overflowing at the door. The picnic creature, that resides in my soul, decided it would be a good idea to sit in the middle of a shopping centre and eat the said meal, whilst a boy played “fix you” on a piano, really setting the mood.  


It’s been a whirlwind of a day and it’s not even over. But, I cannot wait to sleep tonight in my Hotel room with such an Insta-worthy view. 

Have fun out there!
From Paris (Pipedream),
With love xxx  

Paris Soundtrack

* Jens Lekman – Put your arms around me

* Johnathan Bree – You’re so cool 

* TIEKS – Say a prayer 

* RY X – Bad Love

* RY X – Salt 

* Halsey – Sorry

* Pale Waves – There’s a honey 

To Paris, With Love 

If someone told me in January of this year, that by October I would be co-leading a trip to Paris with 20 international pupils in tow, I would laugh in yo’ face.  
The charming streets of Paris have always had a piece of my heart, especially in the cusp of autumn. However as tomorrow looms, the city of love fills me with nothing but dread. 


A few months ago, I couldn’t even breathe without my mothers assistance, let alone be responsible for 20 human lives, alone. Overseas. 

I am beginning to realise also, how daunting it is to look after such sacred things as passports. They are literally little books of gold dust and as I gather them all together, along with their visas, the whole situation is beginning to dawn on me. 

These little bundles of life and their parents are depending on me (and another member of staff *phew*) to give them a trip to remember… and I have everything crossed  that it’s for the right reasons. 

I cannot deny that I am excited and a little giddy to meander down the riverbank of the Seine, and to see Paris by night up the Arc de Triomphe as I’m a big romantic at heart. But, part of me wonders whether I will actually enjoy the experience as I feel like I will forever be holding my breath because of the possibility of something terrible happening!  *Cynic O’Clock* 

 Luckily I love my job, and the students are absolute joys! But I have a feeling in my waters that this will definitely be a trip to remember. For good or for bad! 


But alas, I will channel my inner Miss.Clavel (Adventures of Madeline) as I set off for the Eurostar at 4am tomorrow and enjoy Paris in all its autumnal beauty 

Have fun out there!

Love, 
Pipedream xx 

Lady who Lunches.

As I stare at the Michelin Man look-a-like, which is my reflection, in the mirror; something has got to change. *Exaggeration o’clock*  

I am very, very susceptible to weight gain because I am a lazy individual with the mentality of a sloth who absolutely loves cake (brownie in particular) and anything that goes well with bread. My working day doesn’t really leave me much time for a good night’s sleep which then results in me substituting tiredness with sugar and I have 0 problems with convincing myself to “treat myself” in the sugar department. Sweet-tooth-city.


I have always been incredibly insecure around weight gain (like the majority of the population in today’s society) and I know I am not unhealthily overweight, but we are superficial creatures and I look at myself and I am just not happy… However, I am absolutely comfortable with flaunting my imperfections on social media to hopefully inspire others to appreciate themselves but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I pine to look like the women in the articles of Vogue.

I understand that the models in Vogue are a singular perception of beauty, and everyone is beautiful. Period. But Fashion is an art, and art celebrates the “beautiful” or aesthetic and I feel that because those specific body types of women are celebrated so frequently that, that must be the ideal. 

And we are always looking for the ideal.

Over the years I have been round, normal, unhappy, non-eating, frivolous-with-food, content but never happy… Jheez so hard to please.


My new job has changed a lot about me, including the amount I eat. I eat if I am happy, sad, stressed, tired, alongside 3 meals a day and it is impacting my weight (which is obvious). The food itself never really leaves me with much energy or satisfaction, but it provides a sense of comfort and calm. *Can Jamie Oliver and Kayla Itsines enter my life please? I need some guidance.*

I really want to change myself in the pursuit of happiness and a little self-love. I would love for some help, if anyone wants to give me some tips…?

Have fun out there!

Love,

Pipedream xx

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