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

20somethingfreak has moved on!

Hello everyone!

***It seems that I somehow messed up the scheduling so this didn’t post last Monday as it should have done. Sorry – here it is now!***

Well, the day is finally here and I am 30 years old. As from today, all of my 20somethingfreak followers will be re-directed to 30somethingdreamer.

I’m super excited to begin a new decade of blogging. I thought about giving it up but then I realised that would be the definition of insanity and what I should actually be doing is blogging more frequently, not giving it up. Duh!

I feel like I’m the same old me except that this time, I’m not so much blogging to fill a gap in my life but blogging just because I like to write and ramble on.

I’m in NY right now, likely having the time of my life. I’ll update you on everything when I’m back. In the meantime, have a super week and get those Christmas trees up 🙂 x

Is it just that some people aren’t good on their own?

Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, (Joe)’s just not good on his own”? I’ve heard it a number of times and it usually relates to men but what does it really mean?

I’m sure you’re familiar with the context; it usually comes up when talking about relationships and someone that flits from one serious relationship to another, but that doesn’t actually explain what we mean when we say it. Typically we assume that it’s not healthy to behave in this sort of way and I’ve lost count of how often I’ve heard people talking about friends who leave one relationship and land straight in the next. We all need to “learn to love ourselves”, “be comfortable just being you” and “embrace the freedom of single life”, yet some people slip through the net.

Joe, (or Mr. Bloggs as you might know him) gets away with this behaviour because he has been deemed beyond help. Despite being an intelligent human being, Joe couldn’t possibly be expected to look after himself physically or emotionally and he needs someone by his side at all times to help him out. Is this what Joe says or is this what we say? Why isn’t Joe being told to buck up and love himself / love the freedom to get down and dirty with anyone he chooses? Is it because Joe told everyone else to sod off and let him be or is it because poor old Joe really is entirely helpless? Maybe his mum did too much for him when he was a kid, maybe he cries at Bambi which is clearly a sign of a man on the edge or maybe, just maybe we’re not comfortable with people who behave differently to us so we’ve created a box and shoved Joe into it.

This really is one of those questions that I don’t know the answer to. It might be that some people really are better when they have a companion. Maybe it’s the age-old introvert vs extrovert problem of the different personality types not understanding each other. Whatever it is, I’m not sure it should matter to anyone other than Joe and I damn well hope that nobody ever says about me that I’m not good on my own. x

The Eureka Moment!

Hello hello!

I can only sa29y it feels like forever since I last had time to post on here. I’ve had so many ideas pop into my head and pop right back out again when my work and social lives have taken over. Here I am though on 5th December 2014 and I’ve realised that I’ve been 29 for 5 days and not done my annual changing of age post.

In previous years my posts have been about things I wanted to achieve, fear of my age or reasons I should be positive about getting older. This year is, in some ways similar but in others it’s completely different. Over the course of this calendar year, something changed about me and I want to share it for those who are also hoping for a similar change.

I can only really remember my true thoughts and feelings as far back as when I was about 9 years old; before that it’s all just vague memories of events that happened. From the point I really remember onwards, the thing that really sticks in my head is how blue I’ve felt. People have often described me as a happy person or someone who’s always smiling but that’s never been me under the surface. Sure, I have always been game for a laugh and have found pleasure in things but it’s always been overridden by the core feeling that I wouldn’t really mind, or even at times, that I would quite like it if I didn’t wake up tomorrow.

It’s a hard thing to fight when there’s nothing really wrong but you just don’t have the zest for life you think you should have. My battle was fought by simply pretending I did, apart from those few days here and there when it was apparent to everyone that I didn’t. The days when I couldn’t get out of bed, when all I could do was stare at the wall and wish I was someone else.

Those days still come BUT the difference is that when they go, I have this overwhelming feeling of wanting to live forever. It’s like I’ve finally woken up and I’ve realised that if I never woke up again I’d be gutted, absolutely devastated, because it would mean the end of my days with my family and friends. That’s the message I wanted to share. I never thought I’d get there or feel that way but finally, at roughly age 28.5 this all clicked into place so I have entered my final year of being a 20-something with no silly objectives, no pretences, just a feeling that I’m happy to be alive. At bloody last!

So for anyone else who feels the way I felt for so long, things can change. Keep fighting and you will get there, life absolutely is worth the effort and it will all pay off.

Right now, I have 1 year left of being a 20-something and I’m going to make the most of it. What I do need to think about now is new names for my blog. I never thought I’d keep it going this long when I started it but at times it’s been a lifeline, something connecting me to the world when I was struggling to do so in reality.

Happy December everyone! Enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year”!!! x

What’s Stopping Me Writing?

Every now and then a question pops into my head which is “What’s stopping me writing?”. I can’t place the exact day, time or place that blogging took a back seat in my life but it certainly seems to be the case right now.

There was a time a couple of years ago when all I wanted to do was write, blog, write and blog some more and I had absolutely loads to say. I had post ideas popping out of my head and I just could not keep up with the ideas as well as my daily life; all I knew was that life was getting in the way of my writing.

Fast-forward to now and I’m struggling even more to fit blogging into my life. I still read blogs, I still love the freedom of having this outlet at my fingertips but for some reason I’m just not using it. Not only am I not using it but I’m not missing it very much either. Every now and then, like today, I have a sudden urge to throw my ramblings at any poor, passing reader who will listen but most of the time, I’m pretty content not doing this.

So I come back to the question of “why?” and my only explanation is quite simply that I’m now happier with the life I’m living offline so I feel less of a desire to supplement it with a strong online life. A couple of years ago, I wanted to be everything, I needed to feel like I was achieving things because I couldn’t find anything that made me happy. Now, I’m largely content so while I have big blogging ideas, I end up shelving them in favour of  spending more time enjoying the moment, rather than capturing it in text.

Has anyone else had a similar thing happen to them?

Beating the Loneliness

Inject Some ColourDo you ever have days when you just feel “meh”? Sort of lonely, tired, worn down and just a bit like you’re all alone in the world despite knowing you have loads of lovely people around you. It’s horrible and what I hate about it most is the way it just creeps up on me from nowhere, really and truly like I’ve just got out of bed on the wrong side…except I always get out on the same side so I’m not 100% sold on that being the cause 😉

I spend the day feeling like there’s some kind of barrier between me and the rest of the world and by the time the evening comes round I tend to curl up on the sofa and hide away in front of rubbish TV. But that’s not how it always works so tonight, as I was sat there feeling bored, lonely and a bit useless, I wondered how it was that previously I’ve been able to break myself out of this mood. Then I remembered…blogging! At the time in my life when I felt lowest, I blogged a lot and read a lot of blogs so I’ve hopped online and done the same thing tonight. Blogging tends to fall off my radar when I’m really busy, which is stupid because it’s when I actually have the most interesting things to talk about and it means that I really feel the gap when the busy-ness hits a trough.

For me, blogs hold a special kind of magnetism, I can read about anything I want and engage with people whenever I want without feeling like I’m in the way. There are also those very special blogs which really give you a glimpse into other people’s lives, exactly as they live them. It’s like peeking through a window or looking over the fence and watching all of the other life options you have. I can make decisions about things I’d like to do or try just by picking up my laptop and consuming the lives of others. It’s not boring like watching TV is boring because it’s real and in real-time so you can feel a connection with the other world and believe that it’s attainable if you want it.

A lot of the time I think technology is to blame for the breakdown of our society but actually, what it’s done is reshape our society. I may not know my next door neighbour but I can talk to somebody who lives half a world away who shares an interest or hobby with me. I’m not alone, I never will be but just like I’d have to make the effort to pick up the phone or walk round to a friend’s, I have to make the effort to keep in touch with the people feeding me their blog-lives. So here I am, step one, remembering to feed the people who are relying on my blog life to quash their feelings of “meh”. x

As Fresh as a Daisy!

New Picture (2)Sooooooo…I hope you can tell what this post is about. 20SomethingFreak (2SF) has a new look! I’d been looking at the old theme for a while and thinking it just looked a bit tired and dated and then today was the day I just HAD to change it 🙂

I won’t lie, this freshen up is also part of a much larger 2SF project that is ticking away in the background and hopefully I’ll be able to tell you about some exciting changes soon. In the meantime, I hope you appreciate this little facelift and I’ve also added links to a 2SF FB page which is part of the upcoming changes and my YouTube channel. Both of these will be seeing a lot more action in the near future.

Have yourselves a lovely Thursday, I can’t believe how quickly this week has been flying by! x

The Information Age of Bad Writing

PunctuationBefore I embark on this tirade against most people who use the internet, I feel I must preface it with an acknowledgement that I am not perfect and I know that I make mistakes too. However, that is not going to stop me ranting about the shockingly poor level of literacy we seem to have in the western world today which seems to stem not from poverty but from laziness.

To my mind, the internet is a good thing and the very fact that I am writing this shows that I am a keen user; I use most of the standard social networking sites, I shop online, I blog, I bank and I generally spend a good deal of time “browsing”. The problem I have is that the internet is possibly the most un-edited method of communication we have ever had. Not only do we have trolls shouting out abuse that they’d be far too scared to actually say to anybody’s face but we have the literal problem of a lack of editing. How many reviews have you read which are written in text speak? How many times have you seen the word “definitely” spelled as “defiantly” or “definatly”? This is just the tip of the iceberg…

When I was a school girl, my world was much smaller than it would be if I were at school today. Encarta was the goddess of computers and homework research, she knew something about everything. I mean an encyclopaedia in a computer, who’d have thought that was possible!?! The thing about it though was that it was edited, it was largely fact rather than opinion and the English in it made sense – words were even spelled correctly! These days kids grow up with literally no idea how to write; for every Dickens novel read by a child, they probably read 100 incorrectly spelled and punctuated comments on the internet. This wouldn’t be such a problem if they had parents whipping them into shape but we now face an era where stupid literally breeds stupid. If there is no role model for the child, they are unlikely to learn the correct techniques from external influences because there is simply so much rubbish out there.

We have spell checkers and a wealth of tools at our fingertips allowing us to write something that vaguely resembles the language it is supposed to be yet still people get it so very wrong. What’s worse is that it seems to be okay to do this. Even people who I know are teachers write appallingly badly and they’re not writing in text speak, they genuinely do not know how to use apostrophes or what a semicolon is. If they don’t know that, however will we end this continual cycle of error-ridden writing? As somebody who loves to read and write, this concerns me. It concerns me on other levels too because this is a symptom of a much wider epidemic of laziness and this laziness seems to be getting worse rather than better. I don’t want to live in a world where it’s acceptable to have low standards, I want to live in a society that is proud and hard-working but it seems to be drip, dripping down the drain and unfortunately one of the things I love most seems to be escalating the issue. Sorry internet, I do love you but you seem to be allowing the lazy people to thrive and I’m not sure I’m keen on that.

I don’t know what I can do about this and the fact is it’s probably little more than writing this post and giving people I know friendly nudges that they might want to check their work but I had to say it. It was one of those things I needed to get off my chest and some encouraging words from a couple of my theatre friends gave me the final push I needed to publish this. I’d like to say I’m sorry if I’ve offended you but really, you’ve probably already offended me with your terrible writing so now you can consider us even. As for the rest of you, have yourselves a super day and I’ll be back soon with something more upbeat! x

Things I Know: Relationships

HeartsSat in the office on a dull, grey Wednesday musing about the life I could have had if I had taken any number of different paths, I decided to change tack and start thinking about the life I actually have had. Now I’m only 27 so I’m not exactly a wise old lady but at the same time, recently I have realised that a lot of things have started slotting into place and I’m finally learning some lessons and working out how I can turn my life into something I am proud of rather than just a series of events that somehow happen to me. So I thought why not share what I think I have learned with the rest of the world and maybe receive some “constructive criticism” to shape my views even further and really cement my thinking. For part one of “Things I Know”, I thought I’d start with relationships as they are something I have been thinking about a lot in the last few months.

Obviously relationships extend beyond just romantic encounters but I tend to find that it’s the romantic relationships that cause me the most trouble. Luckily I am blessed with a wonderful family so I always know that we will overcome any blips that appear in that camp and my friends are equally fabulous too. To put my chatter about relationships into context, I should start by saying that I have pretty much been a serial monogamist… when I say monogamist, I mean I have mainly jumped from one relationship to the next; take the word “monogamist” with a MASSIVE pinch of salt!

It all started when I was 14 and I dated a guy who was 18, at that point we definitely wanted different things so we split up and got back together a year later when I was 15 and he was 19. Still to this day I don’t know why I agreed to be his girlfriend. I thought he was a nice guy but I had no desire to be someone’s other half; some people blame it on what was at that time the recent passing of my mother but personally I think I just figured I may as well tag along for the ride because, well, he was cooler than I was. Three and a half years of on-again, off-again passed with a few infidelities (on both sides) along the way and much character abuse because we simply weren’t well matched; finally I found the balls to call it off once I realised a super hot guy I was working with also thought I was hot. Done! I vowed to be single and love it; that lasted about a month and then a messy situation turned up where I went to the Christmas party with one boyfriend and left with another and then suddenly I was in ANOTHER relationship. 18 months later I left him for a new guy I had just started seeing.

The new guy was great at first, though when I say “at first”, I really mean he was great from a distance and even from date number 1 I knew things weren’t right and that I found him immensely annoying. So I did the right thing, I dated him for over 3 years just to be sure that my concerns were real and we definitely didn’t have a future together. Oops! During that time there was more cheating, though this time on my side only.  At this point I had cheated on every guy I’d dated, mainly to prove to myself that I wasn’t stuck with them forever, that I could have other men if I wanted them. I still don’t fully understand why I didn’t just leave them, I think it was a fear that I’d have no friends even though I clearly did and most of them prefer the single version of me anyway.

Finally, when that relationship ended I really was single and happy to be single, determined to remain so even. Then I drunkenly slept with a good friend and he made it very clear that I had to choose between just being friends, now with a damaged friendship or a relationship. Given how well we got on as friends, I eventually opted for the relationship figuring it was better to try and fail than to give up before you’ve even started. That was my ex; he broke the pattern of cheating because I respected him and liked him as a person but he still fitted the mould in that I knew from the off we wouldn’t be forever. Regardless, I put my heart and soul into that relationship and was gutted when we split but a secret part of me was relieved that I could stop wondering “what if this really is my future?”.

Now I have rambled on for ages filling you in on the history and you’re probably wondering what 12 years of making the same mistakes over and over has actually taught me. Here it is: “If you know it’s not right, follow your instinct and get out sooner rather than later”. I firmly believe we all need some failed relationships to truly understand what we do and don’t want from a partner but once you know somebody isn’t the one, move on. It eats away at you wondering why they don’t understand you, why you argue so much and why you can’t seem to get through to them. You don’t need that; go ahead and be single instead, it’s far more fun and you get to spend your time doing things you like with people you like!

I appreciate that sounds simple, basic and obvious but how many of us really realise this? We labour at things thinking that if we love someone there must be a way but sometimes we need to admit defeat and realise that liking or loving someone doesn’t mean being with them is right. I wish I’d had the balls to end every single one of those past relationships sooner, at the point when I realised my gut instinct was right instead of being afraid of throwing something away that I’d later regret. Now I say follow your gut, every single step of the way, it knows you well and it’s telling you exactly what you need to hear; you won’t regret it no matter how hard it seems at the time.

Oh, and for the record if you are like me, not every beginning to a relationship will feel wrong and come with a ticking time bomb, I’ve recently met someone amazing and for the first time ever I don’t have that nagging feeling of knowing what our downfall will be so who knows what the future holds!?! x

Download My Blog App!

Hello everybody!

Today is an exciting day indeed; not only is it SNOWING, but my blog is now available in app. form for your mobile!!! I’m a huge fan of BlackBerry, though I only converted about a year ago when I started working for them and was given my first BB. Nowadays, I no longer work for the company but still love their products and cannot wait for the launch of BB10 later this month.

Anyway, I digress… the point of this post is to tell you that if you are a BB lover like me, you can now download my blog as an app. on your BB so you can catch up with my ramblings super easily when you are on the move 🙂 The app. is free and all you need to do is go to the BlackBerry App. Store, search 20 Something Freak and there you will find it. I’ve downloaded it already and I love it, I hope you do too!

Happy reading my little snow angels!!! x