A city love affair

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As many of you  know, I used to live in Chester. Chester is a beautiful city in the North West, and it’s the first place I lived entirely on my own without my family or any of the people that I grew up with all of my life. I lived in a tiny room in a old fashioned block of flats, and my friends lived directly across the road. Things like not being able to drive weren’t an issue as shops were a ten minute walk away, and as I lived on campus, it was literally a two minute walk to lectures. For that year, my friends became like a family to me. I think that because of that, Chester always feels like home to me in a way that I’m not always convinced Manchester does.

Although I class myself as living in Manchester, where I actually live is Sale, a small town in the suburbs which is technically in Cheshire. Where I live is very leafy and green, and it does feel more like home to me now than it did a year ago. It helps that Rich is here and that my family aren’t too far away, and I do feel as if I’m putting down more roots now that I have a part time job in the city. But then the other day, I caught the train down to Chester for a night out with some of my friends who live there. And I got that feeling as I were going home, as if I still lived there.

Although I’ve accepted that Manchester is my current home, and I’m happy with living there, I guess a part of me will always love Chester. It has beautiful sunsets, it’s where I met my boyfriend, and it’s somewhere that for a short while really made me happy. What I’ve got to remember is that life goes on, and that Manchester is somewhere that opens up a wealth of opportunities in a way that Chester didn’t. I have a lovely flat with Rich, I get to live the cosmopolitan city lifestyle, and I’m closer to my family and hometown.

I think I need to remember that whenever I do travel down to Chester for uni, which I currently do three times a week, although Chester is no longer my home, it’s still there for me when I want it. It was a stepping stone into my current life, and in the same way that my memories are always within reach, so is my favourite city.

Do any of you feel like this about a city? Let me know.

Beth xx

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ANY JOB IS A REAL JOB: DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIST

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It’s been a while since I continued with my blogging series, any job is a real job, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about it! This week, Poppy Mayy from http://poppymayy.co.uk/ is sharing what her job as a digital marketing strategist is like. It was really interesting to hear about another role in the media industry! The media industry seems to be expanding all the time, and there seems to be lots of opportunities to get into it, and I think it’s the sort of role that a lot of bloggers out there want. I hope you enjoy reading this post, and  I want to say a big thank you to Poppy Mayy for getting involved. You should definitely check out her blog, as she’s a great writer that I think a lot of you would enjoy. 

1. Explain your job title/role…

My official job title is digital marketing strategist at a creative web design and marketing agency. However, I am certainly not limited to just strategising. I take care of all the in-house digital marketing from email campaigns, social media channels, online advertising, content marketing and SEO (search engine optimisation). I am also responsible for various clients’ digital marketing.

2. How did you get into your job?

Funny story, the company I work for actually belongs to the husband of a guest lecturer at my university. So I got my job through a recommendation from her and one other lecturer. Obviously I still had to submit an application and interview for it though. But it turns out it does pay off being teacher’s pet 😉

3. What do you like about your job?

The variety. No day is ever the same as I’ll either be dealing with different clients or different marketing channels so I’m never bored.

4. What do you hate about your job?

The pay. As a recent-ish graduate though, I can’t be picky.

5. Where do you want to be in five years time?

Preferably I’d love to be a marketing freelancer or running my own digital agency. Having a lot of freedom in my career has always been something I’ve wanted.

Do any of you out there do something similar? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, let me know if you want to get involved in this blogging series! 

 

Anglesey- A beautiful Welsh gem

 

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Last weekend I went to Anglesey, which is an island in the North of Wales. I went for three days, and it was lovely. I always had it in my head that Anglesey was a much smaller place than it actually is. I don’t think a lot of people realise that it’s kinda big. Rich’s family own a cottage in Treaddur Bay, right near the beach, and it’s so beautiful. The above picture is a sunset taken on the beach there. We drove down from Manchester on Thursday night after work. We were expecting it to take around two and a half hours, but it actually only took about one and a half, which was pretty good going.

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On our first day, we went up to Chemlyn bay which is on the north of the island. It’s absolutely breathtaking. There’s pebbled beaches, blue sea, and it feels like there’s nothing for miles around. We spent hours just wandering on the beach, taking pictures of the views, and just enjoying being somewhere so relaxing.

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On the second day, we went to Beaumaris, which on the east of the island, right near the Menai bridge. It was such a lovely little town. We spent a few hours going round the little independent shops. Rich bought me a gorgeous handbag for Christmas (I know it’s a while off but you can never start too early), and we also visited lots of galleries, a Chilli shop, and shops full of trinkets. After a few hours of shopping, we went to an amazing fish and chip shop and had a walk down the pier, and walked along the sea front which had views of the Snowdonia national park.

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On the last day we were there, we went to Newborough which is on the south of the island. If you’ve ever been to Formby Beach in Merseyside, it’s quite similar to that. There’s a massive pine forest which borders the beach, and there’s also an island called Llanddwyn Island which is stunning. It has a little lighthouse, a ruined church and lots of little coves. I wish it had been slightly sunnier on the day we went as it would have been perfect for a picnic. It’s quite a walk so you need to take your walking shoes, but it’s definitely worth it.

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It was a fabulous weekend, and I can’t wait to visit again. If you need somewhere relaxing to charge your batteries, then definitely check out Anglesey, as it’s full of hidden gems! How many of you have been to Anglesey before?

 

I’m feeling at peace

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For the first time in months, I finally feel at peace. I think that’s because the last six months or so have been a blur of coursework, exams, train journeys, job interviews and a tonne of stress. However this week, I’m finally feeling a bit more settled with my life and where things are going. It seems to help that I’m filling my life with as much positivity as possible whether that’s in terms of work, in terms of family, and in terms of my social life.  Me and Rich also renewed the tenancy on our flat for another year last month, so it’s nice to know that that’s all sorted out too.

I’ve settled into my new job and am finding myself enjoying the routine of it all. I’ve been training in the stock room and on the sales floor which has meant having to learn lots of new things, and also has had me pushing myself out of my comfort zone as I’ve been meeting lots of new people and getting used to a new environment. I was pretty worried about how often I would be working etc, but I’ve been lucky in that my contract means  I don’t have to work weekends, something which is really important to me, as Rich works full time in the week, and the weekend tends to be the time where we spend some time together whether that’s visiting a new place, visiting family, or just relaxing at home.

I’ve also had great news as I’ve passed my second year of uni! I don’t know what my overall grade for the year is yet, but I know I’ve managed to achieve a 1:1 in my Publishing module, and 2:1’s in my Poetry and Work Based Learning modules which I’m really proud of. Uni has had me feeling quite unsettled this year, as at the end of my first year I didn’t do as well as I hoped and even considered giving it up. Now I’ve reached the end of this year, I’m so glad that I didn’t. Commuting to uni has really helped me to focus on what’s important in terms of my studies and I’m grateful for that as I want to give myself the best start in life possible.

A couple of weeks ago you guys might have read my post on driving lessons. That post was written at a time when I was feeling really down about my lessons and was even considering giving them up altogether. After a lot of consideration, I decided that I needed to make a change, and in my case, that change was switching driving instructors… for the third time. Okay, so I know it seems ridiculous, but I just wasn’t gelling with my second instructor. I was feeling stressed and angry after every lesson as I felt that I wasn’t really making any progress, and it struck me as strange that as a learner with over forty hours of driving experience under my belt, I was still driving around quiet side streets. Therefore, I switched for the third (and hopefully final) time. This time I think I’ve struck lucky, as after only three hours of tuition with my new instructor, he’s advised me to book my driving test, which I have! It turns out I’m not a terrible driver after all. We’ve been working on roundabouts, driving on country roads, hill starts and manoeuvres, so hopefully by the end of this year I’ll finally have my own car…. hopefully.

So there you go. That’s why I’m finally starting to feel a bit more at peace with everything. How are you finding your peace?

Any job is a ‘real’ job

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One thing I hate more than anything is when people don’t refer to jobs in the retail and hospitality sector as ‘real jobs’. As I’ve said in my last few posts, I’ve recently started working part time at a clothing store. Since I’ve started working there, I’ve had quite a few people telling me that it’s not a ‘proper’ job. Now I understand that when they say that, they’re not intentionally being offensive. Maybe it’s because it’s not full time, or because it’s not a job that I’ve attained through my degree. But in my opinion, it IS offensive. Some of the people I work with are in their forties, their fifties, and to them their job is their ‘real’ job. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

A lot of the people who’ve said that my job is not a ‘proper’ job are people my own age. What they don’t seem to remember is that for their parents’ generation, getting a degree was not the norm. A lot of their parents work at places such as a clothing store, and they don’t get told that they don’t have ‘real’ jobs. So why do I? Even now, not everybody goes to university. I know lots of people who’ve gone through apprenticeship schemes, or have gone into a practical vocation, and sometimes I envy them. They’re the people with their own money, they’re buying their own houses, and they own their own car. Meanwhile, yes I’ve been studying at university, but I don’t have any of those things.

I guess the point that I’m trying to make is that any job is a ‘proper’ job. When I do have my degree, I probably will still be working at somewhere like a clothing store. The job market today is fierce, and I’m just grateful to have any job at all. Although I know personally that this job is not something I want to do for the rest of my life, I’m grateful for the income that it’s bringing to me, and that it’s enhancing my knowledge of what it is like in the working world. So try to keep in mind that any job is a job. And I’d rather be working hard then being the type of student who has to rely on their parent’s money. But that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?

Fairytale Prison

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Leaves that symphonise in rapunzel orange, spiraling, twisting amongst the cinderella branches that try to escape their captive, the tree of knowledge. There’s no sign of goldilock’s rays that yesterday chased away, replacing the happiness with the goblin’s smoke that infuses the evil that is to come, creeping closer, ever closer.

It’s okay to be shy

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If you know me, then you’ll probably be wondering what this post is about. That’s because in front of my close friends and in front of my family, I’m not shy in the slightest. I’m loud, I can be sarcastic, I can be moody, I make jokes, and I’m confident. The problem comes when I meet new people or when I’m in a situation where I feel totally and utterly out of my depth.

The thing is, I like meeting new people. I try to be friendly, I try to get to know people, but sometimes my shyness gets in the way. I often worry that it makes me come across as rude when I don’t say a lot in social situations, or when I don’t make eye contact.

I don’t think it’s just me who feels this way. I think a lot of people do. When you’re shy, it can often seem lonely. You actively go out of your way to avoid situations that make you feel uncomfortable. It makes things such as job interviews or even simply going to a party a living nightmare. We constantly think that all eyes are on us. It makes us blush, it makes us fumble our words, it makes us want the ground to swallow us up.

I read an article recently that said that people tend to trust shy people more because shyness is a way of people outwardly expressing their emotions. Apparently shy people tend to be more emotional, they tend to care more about others, and they tend to have a generally warmer personality. The words of this article really stayed with me. I do try to always think about others, and I do tend to be quite an emotional person. It helped me to see the positive side of my shy nature.

I keep seeing the same quote- ‘shyness has ruined so many great opportunities.’ In a way it makes me angry and I found this to really affect me. It’s true, shyness has ruined opportunities for me, but it doesn’t mean it has to ruin any more for me. As I’m getting older, I’m trying to break away from my comfort zone, to break through the shyness. I think that believing that quote will stop you from taking great opportunities, and that the best thing to do is to not let shyness be the catalyst that stops you from living the life you want to.

My main aim of writing this is just to say to all my fellow shy people out there- it’s okay. You’re not alone. People don’t dislike you because you’re shy. Chances are, when they get to know you, and realise that you’re shy, they’ll go out of their way to help make you feel more comfortable. And besides, confidence grows as you get older. Remember that. You don’t need to let shyness control your life. Take a deep breath, remember that it’s just who you are, and try your best. Shyness doesn’t have to hold you back anymore.