If you’re a regular reader (and I’m not sure I have any of those to be honest) you’ll have noticed I’ve been absent for a while.
I had to take a break. The last 3 months of my life have been hectic. I’m not going to beat around the bush, me and my fiancé parted ways. I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t see it coming, I had trying to initiate the break up for many months, it was just a bit of a shock when he finally understood. A then-in-law was in a very bad way in hospital when it happened, and afterwards I received the news a member of my family had cancer too, so I started to find it very difficult to see all the perfect lives being portrayed online, in blogs and YouTube videos- So I stopped looking.
While all of this, plus splitting up our finances, dealing with not having my puppy anymore, finding a flat and moving, was going on, I was also trying to write my dissertation. My dissertation centred around the rise in use of social media amongst the youth with an emphasis on its effects on heath and body image, I came to a subchapter where I talked about the lives being portrayed online (wether that be a friends Facebook page, a celebrities twitter, or a blog) being edited. Of course mean this in the traditional ‘photoshopping’ sense of the word, but also that people show you a highlights reel of their lives, rather than all of it. Having been blogging for nearly 2 years, I knew that, I’m guilty of all the same charges, but reading about it from a theoretical and scientific stand point made me realise how much and how often this was happening- and that even me knowing that this was the case, it was still effecting me. I then realised that removing myself from blogging/watching vloggers/ most social media was exactly what I needed to let myself heal and remember what living a real life was, rather than these ‘white-picket-fence’ lives being shown to me.
I love blogging, and now more than ever it will serve as my own sort of therapy, so I had to get back on the horse. I’ve waited until now (I submitted my dissertation just before christmas, so really have just had a ‘break’- I say break, I’ve been working- to get some post ideas together, and spend time with my friends and family) but I would like to say, I am back. Armed with the knowledge that it’s okay to be human, and it’s within our nature to hide all those bad little bits, and thats okay too, I’m back and I’m making an effort to not sugar-coat my life. My life is full of clutter, and it’s not only okay not to be perfect, but it’s beautiful, And I’ve gone long enough having my beauty swallowed by selfish people.
and with that said, I’m going to take 2015 and run with it. To make sure I do that, I’m going to be setting myself monthly or bi-monthly goals. Just small things I can do every month to make sure I’m making the most of myself. This month I’m gonna take the opportunity to post my year-long goals however;
- Stop biting my nails. I’ve been trying to do this for song long, and I was doing really well until I got to writing my dissertation ‘for real’, then they either broke or got bitten off in stressy times. I’ve bought a few products to help with this already, so expect an update!
- Wear my glasses. This one came to me as I was writing the last sentence, and turning down the brightness on my laptop because I can feel a headache forming. I’m meant to wear them any time I’m looking at a screen, and a photography student, that is a lot of the time. My current glasses are a wee bit scratched so they actually irritate my eyes, so once I’m back in Edinburgh I’m going to get an eye-test sorted and get some new face enhancers.
- Stop basing my self-worth on what other people think of me. This one is a bit of a biggy, but also something I think everyone should try to do. I’ve spent the last 21 years of my life basing my own self worth on what other people, namely the men in my life, think of me. I’ve had 4 real relationships, and all 4 of those people have cheated on me, so as you can imagine my self worth is somewhat lacking. However, I’ve read a lot of feminist theory for my dissertation, and am currently reading Lena Dunham’s ‘Not That Kinda Girl‘ and Caitlin Moran’s ‘How To Be A Woman‘ both of which are teaching me the lessons I wish I had learned many years ago. I’m truly single for the first time since I was 14, and I plan to use this time to really get to know me and a singular rather than a plural.
- Keep a diary. From 2008 to about half-way through 2010 I kept a live journal. I had just been dumped and needed somewhere to vent, and it turned into 2.5 years worth of teenage ramblings that bring back both beautiful and really hard memories. Only one person has ever read these ramblings other than me, and she is the only person I would ever let read this new one too. But I remember just how much it helped me to have that escape, how much it helped me grow up. Hopefully it’ll do the same for me this time.
- Lose weight. Anyone who has ever known me in real life, will know I have weight issues. Both physically and mentally. But I started living a much ‘cleaner’ life last summer, and I’ve managed to maintain the weight I lost, but it’s time to kick it up a notch. I’m not happy, and no one is going to change that bar me. I no longer have anyone to tell me I am pretty, I gotta tell myself I am, so this is my first step. I’m maybe going on holiday abroad for the first time since I was 8 this summer, so I’d like to be in a position where I can wear a swimsuit and not feel horrific by then.
- Read more. I read a lot already, but nearly always uni books. Now my dissertation is handed in, I’ll have significantly less reading to do so I’m going to spare some time (at least 2 nights a week) to get some reading done. I’ve also downloaded some audiobooks, which I’m counting as reading, because it’s the content I want rather than the actual act. It’ll be much easier to fit audiobooks into my schedule.
- Take more photos. I realise this sounds a bit weird coming from a photography student, but I’ve realised that I take less photos now than I ever have. I have spent the last 3.5 years only taking photos for uni, and more recently for my blog. I want to make sure I’m taking more of my actual life. My grandma has a giant storage box of photographs, literally thousands of photographs, and my favourite thing to do is to tip them all out and look at every single one. I want my own grandkids to be able to do that one day. Maybe I should start printing them all now.
- Get my blogging on a good schedule. I’ve been trying to do this for a while. And It may take me a while more, my life is very different now to what it was last time I got a schedule worked out, but by June I want to have a consistent schedule, complete with quality content- because I would hate to post crap just because I didn’t want to miss my day! This is gonna take a bit of work, but bare with me.