Friday Lust

It’s been ages since I’ve written a Friday Lust post and that’s mainly because I’ve only been window (internet) shopping for things I can afford. But then Selfridges sent me an email with a link to this:

Pink Sequins

Sequin two

L.K. Bennett x Preen Sonic Dark Pink Sequin Dress, £550

If you aren’t wowed, it’s because you need to go online and see it properly – do it now!

Sequin 3

I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed it. Might have to sell my house… 

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Where did this expectation come from?

A really weird thing has been puzzling my brain lately and it’s about expectation. I think it’s popped in there because I’m nearing my 32nd birthday, I feel old and young at the same time and I’m probably even more directionless than I was at 22. Sure, at 22 I was just finding my feet in terms of a job and I was still living at home, dating a guy I knew I didn’t want to be with and wishing something, anything would change. Now I’m nearing 32, I’m much more confident, (in some ways) I have a better job, a MUCH better BF and a house to call my own…but I feel even more lost than I did before.

At 22 I felt the burden of expectation, I had big ideas and grand plans for my future, I was going to make it. What “it” I was going to make was a little hazy, but I knew I was going to get there. I was comfortable with my discomfort, I needed it to get me out of bed every morning and I wanted to live up to all of the expectations I had placed on myself.

Now, I question whether I was trying to live up to my own expectations of myself or the expectations others had, that I took it upon myself to live up to. Most of the decisions I made were made by carefully weighing up which boxes I could tick in other people’s minds if I did certain things. I made almost no decisions because I felt that gut-wrenching urge to do something. When I look back on that time now, I realise that I probably failed in delivering on the one expectation I’ve always had of myself; living honestly.

If you fail to do what’s true to you, over the years you’ll find yourself becoming more and more enslaved to the expectations of others. Personally, I believe that sometimes people break down when they have the epiphany that actually they can choose which expectations to live up to…but they realise this so late that they crumble under the pressure of change. At 22, I was bumbling around making erroneous decisions and ignoring what my intuition was telling me but I never worried about the consequences because I knew that I could change things at any moment, and I was sure I would.

Today, I can’t even hear my intuition. I’ve buried it so deep that I’ve almost completely lost it. Sometimes I meet a person and it shouts at me, a strong warning that I don’t need that individual in my life, but other than that, it seems to be speaking a different language. So I’m directionless. I don’t even have the direction to ignore in favour of other people’s expectations, all I have is my adopted set of expectations and the awkward feeling that I’ve gone wrong somewhere. On paper that’s not the case but the endless babble sitting in that void in my core tells me otherwise. But I’m nearly 32 now. I have a mortgage. I have a dog. I have a significant other to consider. I don’t know what the rules are and whether I can break them yet; the expectation seems to be that you need to have midlife crisis for that to become permissible and that just doesn’t sound like something people would expect me to do.

How long can you sit still for?

*I wrote this ages ago and wasn’t sure about publishing it but it still seems to ring true 2 years later, so here it is!

It’s funny how the world has evolved; you look at the first world countries and you see millions upon millions of people spending their days sat in offices, looking at screens and wishing they could leave already. That’s a funny version of the “free” societies we claim to operate. How is it that years of hard physical graft turned us into extensions of machines, often doing jobs that let’s face it, mean nothing in the context of humanity.

When was the last time you produced something real? Something tangible? Chances are, unless you’re one of the few who works a trade, it’s been a while. If you’re like me, it’s very likely that you produced a few emails, wrote a few lines of code or perhaps wrote a quick blog post and produced a lot of hot air explaining some abstract concept using a load of jargon-y words. I bet you thought that was a productive day, too.

Do you get the itchy feet though? The restless bum on your corporate torture device (chair)? The achy muscles that feel like they want to burst from your body because they’re so underused? No…you’re probably on the low energy current then; how about constant sugar and caffeine cravings? Incomprehensible weight gain? That headache that just won’t go? Almost everybody I know who works in an office complains about at least some of these symptoms and usually many more, so why do we put ourselves through it? We’ve built whole industries based on these office jobs that chain us to desks and they only exist because they’re mutually dependent. Why don’t we just go back to making things and using our bodies to do more than type every day?

Maybe I’m dreaming and maybe we’re all too lazy to do that, maybe we’d prefer to just sit still and moan but that’s exactly where I think the problem lies. I think that the more days that pass where people sit still and moan, the lower their tolerance becomes and the consequently, the lower their “productivity” is. So really what we have is a load of people running at a very low productivity level who should be set free to do something more useful with their time. Why don’t we make sitting jobs like national service? Something you have to do for a few years to keep the world turning and then you’re allowed out into the big wide world to do something you actually want to do.

It could just be me though; I said from day 1 that working in an office would be a struggle and the days when I’m not out and about, oh boy it really is!

Sometimes I can’t help but feel lucky

A few musings from last week…

As I sit sipping my coconut milk, caramel latte in a spacious New York hotel room located right by the World Trade Center, it’s hard not to count my blessings.

I believe that life is a roller-coaster of peaks and troughs and these can last for days, weeks or even years. Right now, mine’s on a peak and it has been for some time. I don’t know when I’ll fall off that peak or how far I’ll fall but while I’m up here, I’m sure going to enjoy the view.

So many of us find it difficult to realise what we have when we’re caught up in worrying about getting to places on time, earning more money, wearing the right clothes, etc. Actually what we need to do is appreciate what we have; for every one of us with the time and resource to read this blog, there’s someone else in the world who’s worried about the basics of survival, someone who doesn’t know where they will find clean water or food for their family.

Before my trip to New York, I was hugely anxious to the point that I was viewing it as a burden rather than perk of my job. All I was anxious about was that people wouldn’t perceive me the way I wanted them to. Sitting back for a second, I can’t believe myself and I can’t imagine how I reached that level of self indulgence. Who cares what they think of me!?! I am safe, I am well fed, I have money, family, love, respect – I have everything I need and so much more. Not to mention the happiness that comes with it these days.

So as I sit here and ponder whether or not I have the energy to head out and explore, I’m going to take one more deep breath and just remember that the small stuff really doesn’t matter, I am blessed.

Wishing you all many blessings of your own x

Is it really possible to be a new me, this new year?

We’ve all been there, every new year we are bombarded with propaganda telling us that if we buy this, eat that and wear these trainers, we can uncover a new, improved version of ourselves.

And a lot of us fall for it. We believe that there is something wrong with the person we were the previous year and we try our damnedest to fix ourselves. We throw money at the situation left, right and centre and yet somehow we usually fail. Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t aim to improve ourselves, because I am one of these many people trying to do this every year, but I wonder to what extent it’s really possible with the approach we tend to take.

Here’s what I mean…

Say you want to lose weight, it’s likely that you wanted to lose weight prior to January 1st and it’s also likely that during the preceding year, you had several attempts at doing so. “Diet starts Monday.” “After Easter, I’ll stay off the chocolate and I WILL lose weight.” “The summer is a great time to eat salads, so I’m sure I’ll lose weight then.”

You don’t do it, or you do it for a very short time, otherwise you wouldn’t need to make a resolution to do so the following January. So what is different about January?

Well, I’m not sure anything is except that there’s an increased focus on improving yourself in the media.

In my opinion, we can’t change things just by saying we will change them and subscribing to a few products and services to help us, we have to make a conscious decision to change our mindsets. And that is where I have a question mark. Have I really changed my mindset? There’s nothing about January itself that dictates my mindset has changed, so how do I know I’m not wasting my time?

How do I test my mindset? Am I really dedicated to the change I have publicly stated I will make?

The only answer I have is to give it time and if I fail, I guess my head’s not in the right place. If I succeed, even if only partially, then perhaps I’ve started consciously making better choices that lead me to my goal. If my head’s not in the right place for success, then I’m not quite sure how I get it there and that’s where I’ve fallen down time and again before.

And there begins the conversation again – to what extent is it really possible to uncover a new me and how would I do that if it is possible?

I’d love to hear success (or otherwise) stories from people who’ve managed to make a change for good. Let me know if you have any winning tips! x

2017: I can do this!

Hello one and all and a happy new year to you!

I absolutely love new year’s day because it feels like such a fresh start, when the world really is your oyster and you can achieve anything you want to.

Despite the Brexit debacle, I feel extremely fortunate to live in the UK right now, this whole blog post is entirely indulgent. It’s me documenting trivial things I would like to achieve in 2017; please read it as such, or don’t read it if you will find it offensive on that basis.

Over the last few years, I seem to have become rather busy with being a grown up and I’ve lost my way with blogging and other creative outlets that used to guide me through the days. I feel a bit like that part of my brain is slowly shrivelling up and I’d like to begin the process of reversal this year.

So, as in former years, I have laid out my personal objectives for the year and I’m hoping that by having this reference point, I’ll feel compelled to achieve them.

Here they are:

  • Get back to blogging
    • Between this blog and my narrow shoes blog, I will write 52 blog posts in 2017
  • Perform in 1 show
    • Playing Shelby in Steel Magnolias was the highlight of my 2016 and I’d like to feel that proud again
  • Dine in 12 new restaurants
  • Try singing lessons
  • Read at least 12 books
    • Should be easy but time really does fly!
  • Finish the year at least 1st lighter in weight than I begin it
    • Gotta get this health thing under control – old age is massively catching up with me

I’d love to hear any of your objections / resolutions for 2017 so please share if you’d like to and remember that they have to be achievable or you’ll give up before you’ve even started!

Have a FAN-BLOODY-TASTIC year everyone! x

30-Something Life

A year ago my 30th birthday was rapidly approaching and I faced it with nothing short of fear; fear that things would have to change because 30 is grown up and I was not.

Well here I am now, nearly a year on and having survived the year (almost), I’m here to tell you that 30 is nothing to be scared of.

I’ve learned quite a lot in the last year about the myths and truths that surround the move from being a 20-something to a 30-something. Let me share a few with you and please do comment if you have any others you wish to add!

Things I’ve learned about being 30:

  • You have a bit more money than you did when you were 20
    • If you don’t, it’s likely you’re doing something you enjoy more than you did when you were 20
  • You’re well into all of the age brackets you need to be in to enjoy life, whether that be legal drinking age or cheaper car insurance age – you’re there
  • The number at the beginning of your age has changed, it’s very likely your mentality remains the same as it did at 29
  • It’s ok to still not know what you want to do for a living
    • Just a bit scarier to think about how many years you’ve been in this state
  • Marriage is not obligatory
  • Children are not obligatory
  • Spending too much money in Primark is still ok
  • Wearing Primark clothes is still ok
  • Owning more pairs of shoes than you can fit in your wardrobe is practically law; you’ve had many years to collect them
  • Getting wildly drunk is still ok; chances are your drinks will taste better though as you’re more likely to be in a nice bar
  • Life does not start at 30; it started when you were born and you still have to make an effort to live the life you want
  • You’ll probably spend more time inspecting your face for wrinkles than you did in your 20’s
  • You may be fatter than you were a few years ago
    • I’ve found a great solution to that is buying bigger clothes; I can do that because I’m now a rich (er) 30 year old
  • The friends who are still by your side are probably the ones you’ll be swapping dentures with in your 80’s

The main thing I’ve learned is that there’s no need to fear turning 30 because you really do get to maintain control of your life. The world is changing and no longer are you expected to have hit certain milestones by a certain age; we’re really the first generation to experience the full freedom of that shift. Embrace it, continue to be yourself and your 30’s will be whatever you want them to be. That’s something I didn’t understand at 20, but I wish I had.

Happy ageing, fair folk! x