Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Aaaaand breathe

So it's been just under 10 months since I last wrote a blog, that's kind of shocking isn't it? And whilst I wish I could say that it's been the best 10 months of my life and I've really found myself I'm afraid I can't. This isn't a blog of complete doom and gloom though! I just wanted to share what I've learnt and most importantly how I'm coming to terms with the fact that I am young, I am lost and I have plenty to be thankful for. 

Well then, what have I done? Well, I graduated (again) from Loughborough, I've been on a few short trips and I'm nearing the end of my internship. Most significantly I've not got a freaking clue as to what I want to do next. The notion that society should place less pressure on young graduates to find the job of their career and how my generation and others are more likely to have several jobs throughout our career is one that resonates with me. However, this is said by those who have successful careers! I find myself forever asking what I want from my life, do I want to be rich? Do I want to be successful? Wouldn't it be nice to have some kind of idea as to what I want to do with my life?

I know I am in a position many would argue is an incredible one to be in and I am not taking my position for granted. I have worked hard to get where I am, although I am ridiculously self critical and have never truly felt I deserved anything. Right now I'm thinking MAN you are such a drama queen but hey I'm just saying what's been on my mind for a while...

One thing that strikes me as important in terms of finding myself is doing something that puts me out of my comfort zone, I'm rather aware of the fact that I haven't really done anything to push myself and perhaps that's an explanatory factor in my dissatisfaction? And I don't think pushing myself in the gym counts, although it does make me feel good because endorphin's! A few weeks ago I wrote a list of things I wanted to achieve, it ranged from run a 5k to write another blog post (oh heyπŸ˜‰). I'm definitely working on the former and if you're reading this then I've achieved the latter! I reaaaaaaaaally want to travel at some point in my life but I think I'm far too busy wallowing in the feeling of being lost to get organised. Hoping to wake myself up a bit with this post I think!

A few things recently have thrown me off balance, I shall spare you the details but truthfully they've dulled my spark a bit. I never thought I'd say this but I do miss retail, I miss knowing I'll get that interaction with people, although it might not be meaningful but I'm a people person you know and not going to lie I miss the discounts. I thrive off talking to people, well, pleasant people har-har. At the moment I'd rather be anywhere but where I am right now, and I suppose I should accept that because life isn't all dandy and happy all the time is it? But I am healthy and I have wonderful family and friends so it's up to me to find what makes me super happy. 

This post has been majorly therapeutic to write as it's like just letting all my emotions out and anyone that knows me knows that I am THE MOST EMOTIONAL PERSON EVER, so even if you didn't enjoy reading this I enjoyed writing this (well maybe enjoyed isn't the right word but yano) xxxx

PS Here's a photo of my ab fab purchase from Cheltenham's vintage fair! Thanks Lou Lou's πŸ’‹

Friday, 26 August 2016

Why Retail Has Taught Me So Much


So I'm sitting preparing for my penultimate shift at my current job and it's given me a bit of time to reflect. I've worked in retail for six years and over those many years I've learnt so much and it's definitely shaped me into the pretend adult I am now (definitely not a real adult for about two weeks ;)). I've worked a steady weekend retail job since I was 16 and juggling school life, work life and a personal life.

Without this I reckon I wouldn't be half as hardworking as I am, I always did my school work to ensure I could enjoy some free time and make it to work without being super stressed. It certainly wasn't easy, working every weekend, socialising and revising was a major test of my abilities, sometimes my grades reflected this but hey look I've come out on top now. One thing I know for sure is that working taught me to be punctual, I think in six years I've been late for work about twice and this is pretty true for my social life too. You know how in a group of friends you have that one (or three in my case) who are always late? Well I'm the opposite, forever turning up on time and waiting around for the stragglers to turn up! Yes I do tell some of my friends a meeting time that's half an hour earlier than the real one...

Apart from now being super organised and super hardworking (sheesh could I blow my own trumpet any more?!), working in retail has taught me manners and the importance of how you present yourself. Sure I've been in some foul moods and whilst when I was younger I wasn't so good at hiding this at work but now I know that it's much easier to put on a smile and pretend everything's okay because believe me once you force yourself to smile everything seems that little bit brighter! Also, the way you interact with others can be so crucial to setting the tone of your day and your career, if you're pleasant and chatty to people they instantly warm to you rather than thinking you're shy or obnoxious. Having grown up a bit I now feel a lot more confident in striking up a conversation with someone at the till point, after all we're all human and a friendly chat can be the highlight of someone's day.

One thing I'd love to say retail has taught me is the value of money but alas I'm still learning this one. Ask anyone who knows me, I have a reaaaaaaally bad spending addiction. Sure, when I was in school I got paid weekly and it was nice having that extra bit of cash but once I got a taste for shopping there was no going back. Working and saving (haha trying to save) has meant that I've been able to go on some great holidays and trips and I'm super grateful for that. However, for the first year at uni I was without a term time job and boy did I feel it!! Not entirely sure how I managed to get through that (thanks parents!!!). I was still spending as if I had a job and yes things got a bit tight, so back to work it was.

I've had a range of jobs, working for a couple of major high street retailers and a little cafe and I've loved everyone of them. I've worked in some great teams, met some fabulous friends for life and learnt the importance of hard-work. Whilst I'll be super sad to say bye to retail for a 9-5 office job (eek) I'm sure when I'm old and grey I'll end up volunteering in a charity shop or something similar!

A little secret all retail workers know is that it's not "the customer's always right" it's "let the customer believe they're right even though you know how wrong they are". Boy I've dealt with some difficult customers and my tactic is to be polite and deal with the problem in a manner that's professional and shows the customer you're there to help them. In some instances this isn't the easiest but I always think if you're being helpful and polite and they don't appreciate the help, who's worse off?

Anywayyyy, I'd better finish getting ready! I'll miss the short shifts and easy hours for sure but it will be so rewarding doing a job that's going to further my career!

Ps. Shout out to all my bosses and colleagues, past and present, thanks for everything :)

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Update :D

Hi all!

So I'm nearing the end of my year as a postgrad - eek. With just under two months to go it's safe to say I'm bricking it to enter the real world. Yeah I'm gonna have a full time 9-5 job!!!! As much as I'm excited to have some independence back I'm going to miss being at home so much, where the house is always clean and there's food in the fridge.

Moving away can be scary and daunting, granted I did it a few years ago when I went off to Uni but this feels different somehow. I'm not going to be surrounded by like-minded people of my age. I'm entering a work-place where I'm going to have to make my own opportunities! I want to set myself some goals for when I move to ensure I make the most of it.

1) Make some friends - this might sound daft but this year I felt I haven't had an amazing social life, I have made some fantastic friends but then again at times I've felt lonely.

2) Find a new hobby - probably another thing to combat loneliness if I'm honest, whilst I've been at home I've relied heavily on one of my closest friends and now that she won't be a 6 minute drive away I'm going to need to find something to fill my time!

3) Maintain my fitness levels - I don't know how many of you know (or care) but this past year I've worked on my fitness, I want to be strong!! I'm slowly getting there and I don't want this move to be an excuse to let it drop. I've already decided I'm going to try out every gym in the area before I commit, I can't be dealing with joining a bad gym!

4) Budget and eat sensibly - I've ALWAYS been bad with money. However, I feel myself getting a little better and I want next year to be the year I crack down on saving haha a girl can dream hey! I want to find ways to eat well without spending a fortune.

5) Make time to travel and see pals and family - this might be a bit contradictory to my previous goal as travelling is expensive! But one of the reasons I want to budget is so that I have a bit more money to go and see people, I mean if I'm going to have my weekends back for the first time in 6 years why not!

There you have it, I've written it down now so I have no excuses for not sticking by these goals! Hopefully next year will be interesting and provide many challenges and I'll continue to grow :). For now it's back to assignments. (Yes okay this kinda was procrastination lool)

U x

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Five Things I'd Like To Thank My Mother For

As you've probably guessed this is going to a bit of a soppy tribute to my mother! As it's Mother's Day I thought I'd say thank you for five rather non-trivial things I'm ever grateful for. Whilst I'm so lucky to have a woman who has fed, clothed, housed and supported me for 21 plus years there's so much else my mum has done for me.

#1 Thank you for encouraging me to try so many different things as a child. With the exception of sport (well I mean you tried but let's face it I was having none of it) my mum encouraged me to take part in so many activities, from flute and piano lessons, dance lessons to being a girl guide, throughout my childhood. So I might not have been the worlds best ballet dancer but I did achieve a number of things. In addition to actual achievements I learnt the importance of hard-work and dedication, I also learnt to appreciate other people's talents and my own.

#2 Thank you for supporting me in everything I do. From the obvious financial support to the emotional support you're always there to tell me I can do this, you've never prevented me from doing anything I wanted to do. From day one when I looked through University prospectuses and said "I want to go to Reading" you supported me in getting there and once I was there you supported me through the tough times and were there to celebrate with me at my graduation.

#3 Thank you for trying to educate me culturally. Yes I may have complained once or twice when we traipsed around castle after castle in the bleak Welsh weather, or frowned when you said we were off to ANOTHER art gallery in Cornwall. But truthfully, I'm so glad you did! Now you probably wouldn't believe me if I told you I enjoyed walking round new towns and discovering old history but there's a first for everything.

Here's a snap of one of our most recent outings :D

#4 Thank you for bringing me up to be the person I am today. I always remember reading the "Children learn what they live" poem as a child, it's always stuck with me. Thank you for being patient with me whilst I was a stroppy teenager, thank you for working hard at everything you do, and most of all thank you for being polite, kind, caring, and understanding. If I turn out to be half the woman you are I'll be happy!

#5 Thank you for giving birth to me. (Ew I know) If you hadn't I wouldn't be able to say thank you. Hopefully I'm going to make you proud as pie. Not only that, but thank you for my darling siblings too, growing up with them may have been testing at times but I know I'm so lucky to have all of you!

I know, you can all stop throwing up now. I guess that's another thing I have my mum to thank for, I'm such a soppy git when I want to be. Hope you all have a lovely day with your mummas!
Urs xxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Just Another Week

Hey guys,
Made it to the end of the week phew!
This week's been a hectic one for me so I thought I'd write a short and sweet little post reflecting on how far I've come recently. This week I attended my first assessment center, yes I know entering the real world, scary stuff right? No I'm not going to disclose much about it I guess you'll have to wait and see! Here's what I will say though, it was a great experience and I loved putting on my suit (those who've heard about the suit will understand my excitement regarding this!). I think I may be coming to terms with the fact that I can't remain a student forever and it's inevitable I'll have to say goodbye to my lovely life of studying. Until I do a PhD (possibly, we'll see).
Here's a cute pic of me in my suit (pose was on request of my mother)

This week I also managed to squeeze in a trip to Reading, where I was lucky enough to catch up with two of my wonderful friends who're still in Reading. Although it'd been a while since I'd seen them, like true friendship, it felt as though nothing had changed and it was so lovely to see them and catch up. Promise it won't be left that long again girls!
I cannot stress how more organised I feel in comparison to my scatty self a year ago, I think I bought a diary and maybe wrote my name in it whereas now I actually use my diary to keep myself informed of all my plans and deadlines. One of my housemates had a diary and I was so impressed with how useful it was to her and I can only say thank you because now I've gotten myself into the good habit of writing everything in there and reviewing it before I start my week so I know exactly what's happening.
In an attempt to organise my personal life I'm having a bit of a clear out, mainly of clothes. So if anyone reading this wants any garms I an abundance of clothes all in decent condition that could do with a good home! It's always hard for me to say goodbye to clothes because they're associated with so many memories but I guess what I've realised is that those memories are my memories in my head anyway so why do I need a dress to remind me of that time we went to *insert cheap restaurant* for so-and-so's birthday!
So to summarise, I've had a busy but enjoyable week and I'm on my way to becoming a real adult (still have a long way to go ahaha)!
Ta for reading as always!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Living Positively

I'm never very good at starting these posts like what do I say "Hey guys it's a drizzly Monday and I'm full of a stinking cold!"? Well I guess I just did the hard bit.
This post is about positivity and how it's not just a mind set but something you can actively work towards. Most people who know me will say I'm a bubbly, happy, chatty individual but there are times when I'm the complete opposite, I'm one of the worst cry babies I know but I'm trying to cry a little less haha.

I'm no psychologist but I can't count the amount of times I've given the following advice to friends "Just try and keep smiling, the more you make yourself smile the sooner you'll find yourself smiling without realising.". Like most people, I suck at following my own advice so as of today I've adopted this outlook and every time I notice I'm not smiling I'm just going to smile to myself - yes this might result in a slight Cheshire cat resemblance but it's for a good reason!


In another attempt to be more positive I've started doing some "adult colouring" (it may be "adult" but not like that guys c'mon...). I mentioned that I'd read that colouring was a great way to de-stress and relax to mum so naturally she bought me a book for Christmas, it's "The Art of Mindfulness, Happy and  Energising Colouring" and it really works, much to the amusement of one of my dear pals. During exams I completed two full pages and started another two, I know I really should finish one before a start another but hey you can't always live by the rules. Sometimes I just did a bit for a break from studying and other times I did it to calm myself down the night before an exam and it was as if I could feel all my stresses flowing through the pencil onto the paper and right outta my life πŸ™‹πŸΌ

I've always been a fan of incense, much to my mum's displeasure, and quite often I find myself just watching the smoke whirl upwards in a spiraling fashion and it's strangely soothing and relaxing. Couple this with a relaxation playlist from Spotify and after half an hour I feel so refreshed and my outlook on life is rosy I highly recommend it! Sometimes I'll go a little crazy and listen to music, colour and have incense burning in the background - is this overkill?  Nah, when it comes to positivity I don't think there is such a thing, what I'm hoping to highlight in this post is that it's about finding the little things that make you feel positive, some of the positivity challenges on the internet are a little intense I'll give you that, realistically I'm not going to sit for twenty minutes listing five things I'm thankful for, 3 positive things I did today and two positive qualities someone else has every day. But I will do these little things like wake up and say "Today, I'm going to smile and be happy!".

Something I'm sure you'll all agree with me is that tidying has to be one of the best ways to feel better about yourself, I'm a terrible creature when it comes to my room, I'm far too materialistic for the size of my room. However I'll go through phases where I do my best to tidy my room and usually in an attempt to clear my head or just when I'm fed up of not being able to find the top I bought yesterday...

I hope after reading this blog you've embraced the positive outlook on life and if not, there's always tomorrow! 
Peace out xx

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

So it's February...

Okay I know I've been absent for a while but it's like the gym, you have to give it a few goes before you're fully committed, sorry guys! 
I can't believe it's February already, well, I can considering I lived in the library, or study (formerly known as the dining room sorry mum!) over Christmas and January. Setting myself high standards meant that I pushed myself so hard and I really hope it pays off, less than two weeks and we'll find out.

Even though I've been work focused for the past couple of months I managed to set myself three realistic news years resolutions:
1) to be more responsible with money - the reason behind this one is that I'm potentially entering the real world of work this September and I can't keep throwing money away on materialistic things such as clothes and make up, oh and food. This ones been going quite well as I managed to dramatically reduce my spendings for January and hopefully I'll continue this trend.

2) stop promising to meet up with people I know I'll never actually see - this one I have to confess I stole from a post I saw on Buzzfeed. We all know what I'm talking about, you'll bump into someone you haven't seen and one of you will say something like "it's been ages we should have a coffee" well I've vowed not to agree unless I really mean it, because let's face it it's probably been so long for a reason. No offence it might just be that I'm super busy and trying to focus on other things. It's weird how easily people pop in and out of our lives just the other day someone popped up and asked me how the blog was going and to be honest that's what prompted me to write one again, I just needed a little push. 

3) take better care of myself - this is a bit of a general one whether it be getting back into the gym, which I have done, eating better or making better life decisions. This is also means having more self respect, knowing when to walk away and when to invest more of my emotions and time in someone.

These resolutions shouldn't be too hard to keep because I know they're designed with my best interests at heart. And at the moment the most important thing is to focus on me, to make sure I can be the best version of myself possible. 

Nice to be back, hope you enjoyed this one :) 
U x