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Closer to 30

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Officially turning an age that means I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20 seems even more significant that turning 21.

It’s as if all of a sudden, your decisions should start becoming sensible … as if the steps you take from here on in are actually going to have an impact.

21 to 25 is like a trial, a sneak peak into adulthood. Because although you’re working and paying a few bills, no one expects you to know what you’re doing and have your shit together.

But when you tell someone you’re 26, they start asking about your career and where you live and who you live with, it’s as if all of a sudden conversations become 10x more invasive because everyone expects you to have locked down what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with ….

I hate to break it to people fresh out of university ready to start their “adult life” but you will now just start to look for adultier adult in situations where you forget that you are in fact an adult yourself.

Most of us are still here making exactly the same decisions that we did when we were at uni or in our teens, constantly seeking attention from the opposite sex, texting our ex’s, getting drunk more than once a week, ending up in our overdrafts … the only difference now is that our hangovers last three days instead of three hours.

Getting older isn’t as exciting as I thought it would be, I can remember thinking in my teens that 25 was OLD, can we all just laugh at that together? Now I’m here just pretending to know what I’m doing.

But you know what, once you figure out that everyone is out here doing the best we can to not die of alcohol poisoning or undercooked food, you’ll feel better about your life. Everyone is at different stages and doing different things, especially in your 20’s. Some of my friends and married with kids and some of them are traveling the world, either of which is totally fine.

We’re all on our own journey and we shouldn’t be comparing it to other people’s.

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A Backwards Step Isn’t Always Bad

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Sometimes, we have to take a backwards step to realise just how far we’ve come and recently (annoyingly) that’s what I’ve done. It’s made me realise that something thats been left in my past, isn’t what I want in my future and if figuring that out while staring it straight in the face isn’t growth, then I don’t know what is.

Growing as a person establishes itself in many different ways and normally after a particularly difficult break up, we push ourselves to move on and grow at a faster pace than we’re necessarily ready for. When we’re so focused on pushing ourselves forward, we can become distracted from what we were moving on from in the first place, but when we go back to the root of the problem … sometimes it can really show us that the ‘convincing’ ourselves we no longer want it wasn’t actually necessary at all. When we’re face to face with our past, we can really see that it just isn’t for us anymore, without any fake convincing at all.

If you look back on the version of yourself from five years or so ago, you realise that back then you thought you were so established as a human being, that your views and thoughts on things were set in stone and that was it. Shall we all laugh at that together?

I can say with the utmost certainty, that what I wanted at the age of 21, would most definitely not tick my boxes now. Sometimes we can’t move on from the sensation of familiarity and I’ve realised now that for the last few years, that’s whats been happening to me. I got caught up in the idea that all I ever wanted from life had walked away from me and I would never find anything to compare to what I used to have, but god was I wrong!

The fact that I decided to drive myself all the way back to what I thought was square one of a situation, was honestly the best thing I could have ever done . It helped me to realise how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown but above all else, it really showed me how much the things I want from life have changed.

My square one didn’t make me feel how I remembered, in fact, it made me think more of my future than my past, I was concerned that going back would resurface all the feelings I had years ago, but actually it didn’t, instead it made me open up more to the person I’ve been keeping at arms length, because I didn’t think they could compare to what I used to have and ultimately what I thought I wanted.

However, what I thought I wanted, was wrong. I partly craved familiarity, to be close to someone who at one time, was everything I ever wanted. But being close to them three years on, didn’t bring back the feeling that I thought it would. It didn’t hurt to leave, in fact, when I walked away I felt like I could finally breathe. It had given me closure, something that I’d been searching for in others for years.

It took this action, to finally realise I was better off where I am right now than where I was when was 21, when I thought I’d found everything I ever wanted. I no longer want the same things and to be honest, I’m bloody relieved. It was also a great feeling knowing how much I’d changed but my past had remained exactly the same.

It made me realise that I’ve let go and that I don’t need to keep making comparisons between something I had and no longer want and something I want but haven’t given myself the opportunity to fully have yet.

As cryptic as that sounds, ultimately, going back to square one was the best thing I could have done for myself.

So after going against the advice of all my friends, who told me going backwards was the biggest mistake I could ever make, I can say that although my friends are normally right, in this case my stubbornness to go after what I want, paid off.

Thank you square one, for being everything I no longer want.

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Narcissistic Millennials

It seems like we all just pass the time by finding someone to waste our time on these days.

We’ll scroll through Hinge or Bumble or any one of the many dating apps we have available to us and find that one person who’s name will fill our phones for the next few weeks or months and then just as modern dating has taught us is acceptable, it fades out and we take on our “thank you, next” approach.

I don’t even think we bother taking the time to process the impact each of these fleeting people have had on our lives for a little while …. but we don’t need to, there are thousands more just like them at the tap of our finger.

Us people in our 20’s and 30’s seem to be happy when we have someone to go back and talk to when we’re bored, we’re like creatures of habit. Having constant attention off of one person makes us feel good and wanted, but we’re not phased if the source of that constant attention keeps changing, as long as we have someone making our phones go off like we’re wanted. It’s when our phones go quite that we realise we’re bothered ….

Having the ability to speak to as many single (and some not) people as we want to makes us feel good. Like we have a lot of power by being able to pick and choose who we speak to based on not knowing them at all, but maybe this whole practice is just turning us all into narcissists?

We’ve been give the ability to decide within a matter of seconds whether someone is worthy of us having a conversation with them purely based on the way they look and if that isn’t narcissistic then I don’t know what is!

If no one has slid into our dm’s following our recent selfie, we get offended, but for the people who do slide into our dm’s … well we ignore them obviously. Why would someone try and contact us just based on our “fire” selfie? How rude, they don’t know us like that.

Seriously … what is wrong with us all. It seems like no one can do anything right when it comes to trying to speak to the person they like the look of. We laugh at people for putting themselves out there and “trying” but at least they haven’t been sucked into this narcissistic lifestyle where no one is good enough.

If online dating has taught us all anything … it’s how to have egos bigger than our hearts. It hasn’t taught us any valuable lessons about love.

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The Almost’s

The hardest thing about loving ourselves is that we’re letting so many people have the power to give us reasons not to.

So many times we’ve given other people the ability to make us feel not quite good enough and we’ve ultimately led to our own downfall, even if we try blaming others.

But what if we took that control back? What if suddenly the power we thought other people had to make us feel wanted and valued actually belonged with us, we wouldn’t lose sleep over how we were impacting others because all we would be focusing on is how we’re impacting our own lives.

We all still seem to be healing from an almost relationship, a friend with benefits, a three night stand, or a summer fling. We keep searching for closure and looking for answers from the person that broke our hearts, when really we gave it to them before they even deserved it. A lot of us are struggling to move on from an old love like we were dumped, even though we were never given the label of boyfriend or girlfriend.

So what are we actually struggling to move on from? Because an almost relationship isn’t worth getting heart broken over and it definitely isn’t worth losing your sense of calm.

A very wise person in my life said something to me recently which has resonated:

It’s bad enough that people we spend years with have an impact on our lives, but letting somebody I’ve known for less time then I’ve owned a toothbrush affect me, that’s not ok

How many of us have been on dates that result in that person choosing not to reply to your messages, but will stalk your social media? All of a sudden it seems to affect your head way more than it should do, why has someone who’s relatively a stranger suddenly got the ability to control your state of mind? Let’s be honest, a month from now you probably won’t even remember their name anyway.

Or even that person you’ve been “dating” for a month or so, it was never official so you shouldn’t really have invested that much of your mental energy into it. But yet here you are wondering if you should message them, hoping they’re bothered by that picture you uploaded with another guy etc etc …. ultimately the only person who’s thinking about it loads, is you.

We spend hours deciphering texts, ranting to friends and over thinking message responses over someone who just doesn’t care. They’ve never introduced you to their grandparents or bothered to learn when your birthday is or in some cases even bothered to make plans with you more than once. So what’s the big deal?

If you take a second to sit back and think about it, it seems as though we’ve stopped entering serious relationships, but we haven’t stopped getting our hearts broken, or at the absolute minimum, we haven’t stopped letting it having a serious affect on the way we think about ourselves. It seems a shame that we’re letting others around us control our energy that much.

And on that note, I think we all need to try and focus more on our own actions and how they impact our moods rather than focusing on how other people are making us feel. Especially people who ultimately end up playing a very unimportant role in the story of our lives, people who are fleeting and unimportant, people who ten years from now when you recall the most memorable and important events of your life ….. won’t even make the top 100 things to reminisce about.

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What We’ve Learnt From Previous Relationships

Looking back at past experiences where love was once involved can sometimes be quite daunting. It can be scary thinking about the past and how it’s lead you to where you are now.

I’ve seen a countless number of my friends go through break ups that have had them crying their eyes out but ultimately ending up feeling stronger at the end of it. I’ve known the person who has walked away and I’ve also known the person who’s been walked away from and seeing it from both sides makes it easier to understand why people do what they do. One thing I have learnt is that no one ever breaks someone’s heart spur of the moment, normally it’s been lots of little events that have driven them to that defining point (either that or one of you has just been a total prick to the other person)

I’ve been in relationships where I feel unsure about whether or not I should stay or leave. I’ve had to ask myself if I should I stay just because I feel like it’s the right thing to do, or if I want to stay because I love them despite the fact I know they’re not treating me how they should.

We’ve all learnt things from our previous relationships and here’s a list of things people have told me they’ve learnt from their ex loves. Some things that may help others and some that they just wanted to get off their chest when it comes to talking about the shit part of a relationship… the end:

1. Even when you don’t want to walk away, you should always listen to your gut instinct … sometimes it’s telling you things your heart doesn’t want to hear.

2. A cheat is always a cheat, it doesn’t matter how much you believe they will change for you. They won’t.

3. Your friends will see their flaws way before you do. Sometimes you should try and see things from their point of view. Being blind sided by someone fucking sucks.

4. If they move on quicker than you after you break up, it isn’t something you should take personally, just shows their true colours.

5. Sometimes people want to be in a relationship so bad they will become an altered version of themselves to please you. But that charade won’t last forever!

6. Getting under someone to get over someone is perfectly acceptable! Never feel ashamed for wanting to experience other people.

7. Be with someone who’s also your best friend. They’ll never be the person who keeps you awake at night worrying about what their doing.

8. Attraction alone won’t keep two people together for very long. A relationship needs to be so much more than that.

9. Without having both trust and communication within a relationship you’ll never be able to grow together and if you can’t grow together, where’s your future?

10. Ultimately love must be ABSOLUTE trust. A relationship without trust is like a phone without signal, all you end up doing is playing games.

11. Trying to change the person you’re with is a pretty big red flag that you’re probably not with the right person in the first place.

12. Hustle together! If you’re both driven towards goals for a shared future, very few things will be able to shake that.

13. A mutual respect for each other as individual people is very important. You don’t need to be glued at the hip 24/7 to show you love each other.

14. Ultimately, if they’re going to cheat. Nothing you can do or say will stop them. You can check their phone if you want but it won’t prevent their actions.

15. Make sure you love yourself before you try and love anyone else. Sounds cheesy, but the more you care about others opinions the more it can effect your relationship.

16. You think you know love, but that heartache you get when they leave. That’s the love, sucks but it’s true.

17. Lust is NOT love. Infatuation is not long term and that fire will burn you at some point.

18. There is no right way to handle a break up. Do not let your friends or family make you feel bad about how you’re processing your own emotions. You wanna shag a dude …. you shag a dude!

19. Feeling lonely when they’re sat right beside you is far worse than actually being alone. If they make you feel like that, you’re better of by yourself.

20. Women talk. If you upset them their whole circle of friends will know. Be prepared to apologise to more than one female when you’re in a relationship.

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You Deserve Better (This Was Not Written By James Arthur)

He’s treating you like an option and you deserve better than that. You know it, I know it and let’s be honest, he probably does too.

But you’re letting him get away with treating you like a disposable nappy, you are not disposable and you are most definitely not a nappy … the only one full of shit around here is him. You think you’re done and then you’ll get a message from him saying he misses you, or that his current girlfriend is ok but she’ll never be you.

On that part, he’s right, she never will be you … you’re a whole different person to her, made up of totally different atoms, but that doesn’t mean that you’re better than she is (sorry). If you were everything he wanted, he would be with you. But he isn’t is he? The only time he’s really ‘present’ for you is when he wants to have sex with you.

You guys might have history, but it’s just that, it’s history. And do you want to know what the definition of history is?

History: the study of past events, particularly in human affairs. Or in our personal lives, we can view it as the whole series of past events connected with a particular person or thing.

Your history is your past and it’s what makes you, well …. you. But your history has no right to define your future. You do not need to keep letting your past come back and bite you in the arse, or in this case grab it. We learn wonderful things from our past experiences, they shape us into wiser people, even when those experiences are difficult and maybe suck. Ultimately you’ll always grow from what you’ve been through so try and embrace it.

So, to my beautiful friends who find themselves reading this and thinking ‘oh god she’s writing about me’ maybe I am, but only because I want you to know that everyone who is currently in your life brining positive elements to you, love you in a way that he never will do.

Don’t text him back just because you feel lonely and he gives you a sense of familiarity, don’t get upset when you see pictures of him with the girl who has taken your space … you didn’t want it remember? If anything, you’re looking at the girl you gave your space to because you outgrew it. You outgrew him and you’ll continue to do so, through the things that you experience that have nothing to do with the version of yourself you were when you guys were together.

Getting over someone is hard, but it gets easier. I’ll be honest, years down the line you may suddenly be struck by some painful memories of being with that person and normally this happens when you least expect it, when you’re with someone else, happily getting on with your own life. But … you’re no longer thinking about them every day, you’re no longer wishing you were with them and you sure as hell don’t wish you were still together. The person they were when you first fell in love is no longer there, they’ve changed as well and trust me, you don’t want that person. The one who no longer adores you and treats you with respect. Memories can be bitter sweet but everyone has them!

So here’s a tip I’ve used repeatedly when trying to get over someone who I never thought I would:

1.Think of 5 negative situations you were in with them at some point during your relationship, this should be situations where they’ve made you feel less yourself, or angry or hurt.

2.Think about the whole event that made you feel like that and replay it in your head.

3.Think of each of those five situations three times over and again. Any time you feel yourself missing them, try this!

It will gradually reprogram your brain slightly and those rose tinted glasses that you were seeing them through will suddenly become much clearer.

You’re welcome!

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Next Year

Next year I’m not going to chase anyone.

I’m not going to let arse holes walk in and out of my life as and when they please. If you want me stay, if you don’t then leave. Don’t ghost for a month or so and then pop back up on my phone like nothing happened, I’m not down for that kind of attitude thanks.

I’m not going to stand for anyone giving me half assed efforts, either give me all of you or just sod off. I won’t be standing for time wasters, or people who aren’t sure what they want. Don’t be a cop out. Be sure about wanting me and if you are sure, then tell me there’s nothing sexier than confidence. I know far too many people who have told me too late how they feel, don’t wait for tomorrow or the next day. If you have something to say, then say it.

In all honesty, deep down everyone does really know who they want and who they don’t. They just get scared to tell the truth. But if you can’t be honest with me then I don’t want to know, honesty is what builds the solid foundations of a relationship, something which I didn’t learn from my last experience of being with someone.

Next year I won’t be going on second dates with people I don’t instantly feel a spark with, I won’t wait around to see if it’s something that could build into being beautiful or not, I won’t be wasting my own time like that again like I’ve done this year.

Next year, I’m going to try not to put the nice guys as second best, the ones that treat me with respect. I will not go back to dating fuck boys.

Next year will be different, next year will be a me year. When I get back into my fitness regime and looking after myself better, I’ll replace Wednesday night dates with Wednesday night PT sessions and late night last minute plans to early nights and more time spent at home chilling out.

I can’t wait for next year year.

*insert ironic standard new year new me quote here, not really … I’m not that person*

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Ex’s and … Oh’s

 

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An oh … you know that sound you make at the front of the mouth and you can use it to show a wide range of emotions, like surprise, shock, regret, disappointment, resounding happiness at the outcome of a situation … I believe that’s a good enough list to show what I mean by a rage of emotions.

But Ex’s and Oh’s … now that really can be a WIDE rage of emotions, like, ‘oh, you mean he didn’t get hit by a car like I dreamed last night, thats a shame’ or ‘oh, holy s!?t we can actually be friends, without wanting to murder each other, or sleep with each other .. WIN’

Today I am writing about the second kind of ‘oh’ because I think theres only so much I can write about wanting some of my ex’s to get hit by a car *insert serious side eye face here for dramatic effect* giphy-3

So picture this, childhood sweethearts, never thought anything would tear them apart because they were all they ever needed and thats all that mattered! … Cue university annnnd growing up annnnd realising that if you were with the same person from the age of 15 to forever that you would probably end up murdering them by the time you were in your 30’s and suddenly the childhood sweethearts were no more. Add in a few drunken post break up shags and almost getting back together and the ‘oh’s’ are starting to sound more like awkward drawn out sudden realisation kind of sounds, you know the ones I mean right? Like the kind of ‘oh’ you say when you’ve caught on to a joke way later than you should have.

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Now we skip five years down the line and the childhood sweethearts actually enjoy talking to each other *shocked gasp sounds made here* but not in like a ‘we are going to get back together and it will be the most romantic story ever’ kind of way, more like a I’m genunily interested in what you are doing with your time these days type of vibe. So this ex’s oh … is more like a surprised kind of ‘oh’ as in … ‘oh, I didn’t realise we could ever genuinely be friends with each other, this is a nice turn of events’

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So this leads me to a question, surely all ex’s and their oh’s are different?

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The Three Kinds Of Love

Throughout our life, we keep falling in love and breaking up — sometimes only to get together again. Some people enter our orbit, others go away, making us experience dramatic emotional ups and downs we didn’t even think possible.

But psychologists say that a person can only genuinely fall in love three times. And each such experience, in its own way, is important and even necessary. I have to say …. I’m still waiting to experience the third.

1. The Fairy Tale Love


Quite often, our first love arrives when we are still very young. It seems to us the kind of feeling which we’ve been reading about in fairy tales. So we idealize it and believe that it is for life. At this point, we tend to do things our peers or family members expect us to do. We refuse to pay attention to small problems and are prepared to sacrifice our principles for the sake of our relationship because, deep down, we believe that everything is as it should be. The way our relationship looks on the outside is more important to us than what we really feel. The way our relationship looks on the outside is more important to us than what we really feel.

2. The Complicated love


The second love of our life is the most complicated. Confident that we’ve learned our lesson from previous experiences, we take care to choose a completely different type of partner. Or so we think. We’re likely to be manipulated, lied to, or even hurt. We cling to any opportunity to patch up our relationship, but each new attempt turns into an even bigger failure. It’s a real drama with only occasional moments of happiness. Once again, our true feelings get sidetracked in favor of something else — in this case, endless attempts to save an ailing relationship. Such love teaches us that it is important to be loved in return.

3. The Mature Love


The third love appears in our life when we’ve already given up waiting. It comes uncalled for and doesn’t seem to comply with our idea of what true love should be. It doesn’t appear to be perfect. But it’s a genuine relationship, characterized by a feeling of extraordinary ease — something that cannot be explained with words. At this stage in life, we no longer have any expectations. We don’t waste time thinking up qualities that the love of our life must possess. So we’re finally prepared to accept our partner for what he or she really is. And, just as importantly, our partner perceives us in exactly the same way. Such love teaches us to be real and that a relationship doesn’t need to be perfect.

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I Know You’re Struggling So Here’s My Crappy Advice

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1.The people that can handle the ugliest parts of life are the people that deserve to share your victories. Those people that can see you at your absolute worst and still say, “I’m here,” are the people that deserve to make up your inner circle. There are a lot of people that will want to use your momentum when you’re winning, but those people will ultimately quit when you aren’t.

2. Whatever you call your personal beliefs, should bring peace and comfort in difficult times, not add to it. If it doesn’t reassure you when everything is going wrong, it needs to be reevaluated.

3. Answers aren’t always necessary, sometimes we just need to verbalize thoughts to help show how untrue they really are. Many times our own heads are our worst enemy, specifically in difficult times. It’s easy to blow things out of proportion in our minds and we don’t always realize that’s what’s happening until we hear it out loud.

4. Terrible things are part of life, but without them we can never truly understand the beautiful parts of life. We can’t appreciate light without darkness, heat without cold, love without lack thereof. It is never easy to experience difficult times, but it brings into sharp perspective the incredible things in our lives.

5. One of the most authentic signs of a mature and wise person is that they know and understand what they are truly capable of. Someone once said to me that a person’s greatest strength is in knowing their greatest weakness and that kind of self-awareness speaks volumes.

6. Everyone is broken; the strongest people are the ones who can admit that and know it doesn’t mean they are worth any less. Brokenness is part of the human condition. We have all been dealt blows and wounds, but the best of us understand that and know that neither our self- worth nor our value is tied to that brokenness.

7. Surround yourself with people who are authentic rather than people who pretend to have it all together. It takes nothing to put on a façade of perfection; any person can say the right things or posture to an audience. Real growth and healing comes from people that can empathize with you, but also push you out of your comfort zone.

8. For every low there is a high, but that doesn’t make the low feel any less infinite. On some level we all know that pain and hurt is temporary. However that doesn’t change the feeling, in the moment, that this is just how life is now and it is ok to feel that way for a time.

9. Tragedy has a way of revealing our true character. How we respond to pain and tragedy is one of the most honest reflections on ourselves we will ever see. Be aware in those moments, but also be gracious with yourself

Heartache and grief have a way of burning away anything that isn’t essential.

Maybe someone you love dearly has died or your boyfriend — who you thought was the one — just dumped you. Everything changes when you’re in this sort of pain that makes it hard to breathe. You don’t have the energy to hang out with friends you feel lukewarm about or go to a job that’s sucking your soul. Instead, you see clearly for a moment what is absolutely essential in your life. Your best friend shows up to hold your hand. Your cat snuggles you. Your brother helps pay your rent. You realize what matters.

When you have a great deal of experience with pain, you are more equipped when it inevitably occurs again. Buddhists consider people who look pain squarely in the face to be warriors. They see the process of facing pain while still remaining soft, as useful, because when the world throws another curveball your way, you’re less likely to totally lose your shit again. Instead, you have some more ground under your feet to stand on.

Allowing pain to soften you means you bring more joy to the world. Ultimately, there are two ways to deal with pain: let it harden you or let it soften you. If you let it harden you, there will be grave consequences to your well-being.

Plus, you will be uniquely useful to friends in the future who experience pain. You experience a devastating breakup that tosses you into a deep depression for months. You know what it’s like to be unshowered, living in pajamas, and not wanting to see the light of day. Once you’ve healed from your loss, you now have this experience under your belt.