Why appearance isn’t everything

I think in today’s society we’re far too worried about what we look like. We fuss at ourselves in the mirror trying to achieve perfection. We feel self conscious if we don’t look our absolute best. We judge people based on their clothes, whether they have any makeup on, whether they’ve got their roots showing, or whether they’re covered in dirt. We often don’t know that person’s story. For all  we know, they might not be wearing any makeup because they’ve ran out and haven’t had chance to pick up anymore, they might be covered in dirt because they’ve been running around after their children in a park, and they might not have got their roots done because they’ve just paid for their son’s new school uniform.

I’m guilty of worrying about my appearance all the time. My job at Next often requires me to go to work in my scruffy clothes when I’m working in the stock room, and as soon as I get on the tram in my ripped jeans and oversized tops, I feel as if all eyes are on me, as if to say, why are you wearing that? When I’m on the shop floor, I have to wear smart clothes, and it’s only then that I feel like I blend in, and that’s not right.

I’m the type of woman who feels like they can’t leave the house without their lipstick, that their shoes have to be perfectly polished, that their hair has to be perfectly tamed. The thought of leaving the house in old clothes fills me with dread.I want to take pride in my appearance but then sometimes I think that I’m over worrying. As long as I’m happy and comfortable… does it really matter?

I think the real issue is that we’re too busy worrying about what everyone else thinks. Often they’re people that we don’t even know and probably will never see again. Even worse, sometimes it’s people we know, people who love us, and we’re worrying about what they’ll be thinking. The truth is, if they love us, then they’ll love us regardless of what we look like.

We’re also too busy worrying about what everyone is doing. If that woman on the bus looks tired and weary, and looks as if she’s forgot to brush her hair, and her makeup’s smudged, then leave her alone. Maybe there’s a reason that she looks like that. And if there’s not, then good for her. She probably doesn’t care about your appearance that much, so why should you be worrying about her’s?

It’s time we stopped mindlessly judging. We’re all adults here. Let’s behave like we are.

What do you think?

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Natural hair, no makeup, who cares?

The ‘glad to be alive’ feeling

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Is it just me who gets a certain sort of feeling when they’re somewhere really special? I’m talking about that feeling you get when you’re watching a glorious sunset in shades of orange, red and pink, the feeling you get when you’re driving in a car near the beach with the windows down, your favourite song on and beautiful sunny weather, the feeling you get when you step off the plane in a foreign country and it’s vibrant, and new, and amazing. The best way to describe it is probably to call it the ‘glad to be alive’ feeling. It’s euphoric.

I think a lot of us spend the majority of our time on this earth worrying about our daily lives, worrying about exams, about work, about our appearance, about our relationships. We don’t focus enough on the happy moments. We take what we have for granted. The problem is we’re not really living when we do this. We’re simply existing. I’m not going to be unrealistic and suggest that we wake up every single morning with a massive grin on our face, but I do think that we should embrace those mornings where we do wake up feeling happy and joyous.

Like most people, I’m guilty of waking up in the morning and having a good grumble about what lies ahead. I focus on the negative in situations instead of the positive, but all the while I should be concentrating on what will next give me that ‘glad to be alive’ feeling. I think it’s important to remember that there are people out there who have a much harder life than we do. They don’t have the same opportunities and the same resources that we have. Their search for their ‘glad to be alive feeling’ is so much harder than it is for us.

Last night I was lucky enough to go and see one of my favourite bands in the world live. As the crowd sang in unison, and the stadium was lit up with fireworks, lights and technicolour, I felt that ‘glad to be alive’feeling. This morning I woke up feeling happy and I still have the remnants of that feeling.

Tomorrow when I wake up and grumble about how early it is, or complain that it’s raining outside, I’m not going to forget that feeling. I’m going to do everything in my power to create it again as soon as possible. At the end of the day we all only have one life so we should do everything that we can to capture every moment that will bring us that feeling of being in harmony with the world. We’re blessed to have everything we have and life isn’t something to be taken for granted.

What do you think?

Why I’m doing what’s right for me

 

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I think it’s so hard to not be influenced by those around us. I always used to feel as if I was copying what others were doing whilst not making any proper decisions of my own. I’m not sure if I did this because I didn’t feel that I knew what was best for me, or because I thought that what everyone else was doing was the only way for me to do things too. Over the last few years, I’ve been trying to escape that mindset, as I want to do what’s best for me now. At the end of the day, my choices affect MY life, they don’t affect anyone else.

One of the biggest qualms I’ve had to deal with is the expectations of being a student. As a student you’re expected to be out partying every night, drowning your weight in alcohol, and flirting with as many people as possible. The thing is, that’s just not me. I like dressing up in pretty clothes whilst sipping on cocktails in a sophisticated bar, and I enjoy going home at a reasonable hour whilst still knowing where my head’s at and what I’m doing. I used to think that that made me boring, and that I wasn’t getting enough out of ‘the student experience’ but I’ve started to come to the conclusion that I’m now getting the student experience I want. I still go out occasionally, and yes I still occasionally get drunk, but the majority of the time, I’m quite happy spending the night chatting away to friends and generally having a laugh. I don’t think that makes me boring.

Consequently, I’m doing what’s right for me in terms of studying. All through school and college, I tried my hardest with my work as I was so determined to get good grades and do well for myself. One of the things I kept a secret for so long was that I was younger than everyone else. When I was in primary school I was moved up a year. Since then I’ve continued with people older than myself, and yet I was ashamed of it. I worried that people would think I was too geeky and weird, and when people did find out about it, they weren’t always nice. Luckily, all of the people that I’ve got in my life at the moment know about it all, and they don’t care. That’s why I feel liberated enough to share this on here. I’m not ashamed of it anymore. So what if I skipped a year of school? I’m proud of it now.

Furthermore, I hate people trying to tell me what’s best for me in terms of my future. When I originally chose my course of BA English Literature and Creative Writing, I was met with some stick about what career options that would leave me with. For some reason, I started to get it into my head that English was a ‘soft’ subject and that I would lend up without any career prospects. But two years into my course, and I’m happy with my decision. My course challenges me, and how you can say it’s a ‘soft’ subject I’m not sure, and to be honest is quite offensive. I’ve started to think about future careers and again, I keep being told that that I’m not going to get into the industry I want because it’s too competitive. I’m determined to prove that those people are wrong, and even if I do fail, I know that I’ve done what’s right for me simply by trying.

I’m glad I’ve started to realise that it’s my choices that count. I’m my own person, and I know my potentials and downfalls. I know what makes me tick, and what doesn’t. Therefore I’m going to keep doing what’s best for me, and I don’t care if it bothers you. It’s my life, and that’s all that matters.

 

Thought of the day

“Happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to other people”
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Like most people, I find myself constantly wanting to be like other people. In our culture it’s so easy to do this whether we’re comparing ourselves to our peers, or families or celebrities that we’ve never even met. I don’t spend enough time being proud of myself, because I worry that I’m being selfish, or that I will appear vain. But at the same time, I expect other people to admire me, and then I lend up in a sort of vicious circle.

I find myself comparing myself to other people in silly ways sometimes. I look at fellow bloggers (my absolute new favourite is Audrey Leighton whose Frassy blog is absolutely gorgeous as well as stylish and inspirational) and wish that my life was more like theirs. I want to be travelling around the world, soaking up the sunshine and experiencing new cultures. What I don’t remember is that this is not the only thing that these people do. They’ve worked hard to get where they are, and if I put my mind to it, I could one day achieve something like that. Instead of focusing on comparing myself to others,  I should be working hard too, to achieve my own personal goals.

Sometimes I wish I was more like my friends, whether it’s the fact that they’ve done better than me in exams, or they’ve got a job, or they’ve passed their driving test. What I need to remember is that, at least I’ve passed my exams. I’ve had jobs before and I’ll have jobs again. And one day, despite the fact that it’s taking me forever to drive, I will pass my driving test.

The worst type of comparisons I make are to celebrities such as Nina Dobrev, or Taylor Swift. I wish that I was as skinny as they are, I wish that I was as tanned, that I had loads of money. What I don’t remember is that okay, I might not be super skinny, but at a size 12, I’m not fat either. Although I might not be tanned, I have nice pale skin that goes well with my green eyes and subtle freckles. Nina Dobrev and Taylor Swift are gorgeous but I’m never going to look like them, and that’s fine. People still think that I look okay, and I still have a boyfriend that loves me the way I am. It doesn’t matter that I’m not everything they are, because I’m unique in myself.

So from now on, let’s try and focus on ourselves and how great we are. We need more self confidence, and it’s not vain to be that way.

What’re your thoughts?

 

Thought of the day

“Drink tea, read books, be happy”

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I’m the sort of person who constantly feels like they should be doing something or going somewhere new. The thought of a day with nothing planned terrifies me, and I hate waking up with nowhere to go and no one to see.

Since leaving college, where I was in every day from nine till four, and starting university I’ve found myself with so much free time. For a lot of people all this free time is great as it leaves time for sleeping, Netflix and just general pottering around, but for me it’s the worst thing in the world.

Take this weekend for example. Bear in mind that I’m currently on a work placement where I’m in full time from Monday from Friday. On Friday night I was quite happy to just stay and chill with a glass of wine after a long working week. On Saturday there was the usual errands to run such as shopping, getting the boyfriend’s hair cut, and popping into town for some hair dye, and on Saturday evening, I went for dinner with some friends at Coast to Coast. Then it rolled round to Sunday, and suddenly I was faced with the one thing I hate the most- having no plans all day long. I tried to fill out the day by cooking a breakfast, taking a long shower, and watching a film. But by four o clock I was bored. And it wasn’t as if I’d been sat in all weekend either.

I wish that I was the type of person to be able to just take comfort in doing nothing but I’m not. I’m a creature of routines, I love trying new things, and despite complaining when I’m exhausted, love being busy. But the problem is, I need to understand that not everyone feels like I do and that not everyone loves rushing through life at 100mph like I do.

Instead of moaning about all my free time I need to ravish it, as it’s not going to be this way forever. One day I’m going to have proper responsibilities. I need to start spending my free time wisely, catching up on all that TV that I’ve missed, watching all those films that I want to watch, and taking as many long, hot baths as I can. And I need to know that there’s all the time in the world for me to try new experiences and that I don’t need to rush through everything. I need to take my time, relish in the smaller things, and to just enjoy the big things when they happen instead of spending all my relax days waiting for them to happen.

Thought of the day

“Stars can’t shine without darkness”

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Despite living in a big city for the past year, I’ve only recently noticed something. I’ve noticed that from the window of my flat, it’s practically impossible to see the stars. Due to the city smog and the constant artificial light, all I can see is a blackened sky with patches of slightly lighter sky, and if it’s a ‘clear’ night, I can see the moon. This saddens me quite a bit as in the past, in the town and then the city I lived in before I lived here, I could see the stars and all their constellations. I enjoyed looking up on a cloudless night and seeing them twinkling above me and it was a sort of comfort to know that they were always there, waiting and ready for those nights I needed to see something raw, real and beautiful.

After feeling sad about this for quite a long time on Saturday night, I started to realise something. Just because I couldn’t see the stars, it didn’t mean that they weren’t there. They were there, I just couldn’t see them at that precise moment. If I really focused my eyes on the night sky, I could see what looked like a remnant of a star attempting to break out of it’s prison as it glittered briefly at me. But it was over in a flash and once again I was left with a starless sky.

For many of us, just because someone is no longer visible in our lives, whether that’s because of physical barriers or because we’ve lost track of time and forgotten their importance, we forget that they existed or are still existing. In the same way that the stars can’t be clearly seen from my window, just because you can’t see a person anymore, it doesn’t mean that they’re not still there on the outskirts. They’re still raw, and real, and beautiful, and they’re a still a part of you.

That’s the logic I want to embrace. Instead of worrying that I can’t see the stars in the place that I am at the moment, I’m going to smile and remember that they’re still up there, getting ready to smile right back at me one day. The smog will disappear, and I’ll see them twinkling and proud, but for now, it’s enough to remember that they still exist in my memory.

Thought of the day

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At some point in most people’s lives, people worry. The majority of people worry every single day about something whether it’s something major or something tiny. As a student, it’s so easy to spend too much time fretting, whether that’s fretting about being able to afford your weekly food shop or worrying about affording drinks on a night out. Then there’s emotional worries about whether we’re gonna pass our next assignment, or whether we’re gonna get a date with that cute guy that we really fancy.

The problem is that we’re spending too much time worrying. At the end of the day, we have to remember that we’re not psychic and we can’t change the outcome of something once we’ve done something. Well at least the majority of the time, and hey, if you know you’ve done everything you can to change the outcome, then remember there’s nothing more you can do except sit back and relax.

I worry all the time. Sometimes I worry about irrational things, irrational things such as what would happen if a spider came into my flat when I was alone and there was no one to get rid of it apart from me, who’s completely utterly and terrified by spiders. But what’s the point in worrying about things like that? If it happened, I’d probably scream a lot and hide in a different room, but the point is I’d survive. It wouldn’t change my life at all.

Sometimes I worry about completely normal things like what I’m going to do when I graduate, but in this case, I know I’m working my socks off to get the best grades I can, and I’m trying to gain work experience, so what more can I do?

I think what I’m trying to say is that, a little bit of worry is normal. But don’t let it take over your life. Next time I’m worrying away about something stupid I’m going to run myself a hot bath with loads of bubbles, and try to get rid of some of that stress. It won’t completely remove my worries, but it’ll take my mind off things for a bit, after all I’m only human.