Tag Archives: Self Love

Watching Girls Go By

I feel like I spend most of my summer months obsessively people watching. Watching girls to be precise. I can take or leave men in summer or any month of the year – but women in the sunshine are something else.

The best outfits come out in the Spring as we tiptoe precautiously into the warmer months and I start to think about all the sartorial possibilities. Hey, if she can rock a blue and yellow print midi skirt with a plain navy tee, then I can, right? Hot pink? Why not? Stripey shirt that looks like a pajama top and mom jeans? I’m in.

I love it, it feels like hope and happiness to me. While the sun itself is sometimes my arch nemisis (ginger, what can I say?), I do like what it brings out in other people and I love witnessing women feeling themselves. They inspire me.

And it makes me think about age again but in a more positive way. Of how I don’t think I’ll ever be middle-aged in my mindset or attitude, how even when my body is heading south and my bones ache, in my heart I’ll still be as hopeful and dreamy and dorky as I was when I was 12. There’s very little difference between the girl I was and the woman I am. Except I couldn’t have dreamt I’d have Wonder Woman tattooed on my arm.

I think about how I’ll still listen to pop music, probably the same ten songs I’ve listened to since I was a girl as I walk to work. How I’m happy to grow up but not too much – and how certain things make me feel ten feet tall: jumpsuits, red lips, my rainbow umbrella. Less material things too: kisses and inside jokes, post-orgasmic chills.

I’m in a good place here, things are blessed. Sometimes they’re hard and sometimes I’m tired but I’m always open. To new possibilities, to new people. I’m surrounded by love and good companions, new and old. Young and my age and I’m learning for them everyday. Through them and through myself I am working out who I am and how who I am is okay. Honestly, more than okay.

All this introspection comes with the sun and with watching the girls go by and maybe to me that’s the best part of Summer.

Ageing

I posted this on Instagram late Saturday night in a moment of candidness and it got quite a heartwarming response. So I thought, why not share it here? It’s one of the things I think of the most at the moment, the relentless passing of time and how it affects my self-esteem.

I know it’s not something I can stop and I know we all feel this way from time to time, or will feel that way, it’s just a subject close to my heart. So sue me.

IMG_20180217_221136_012You know something? It’s hard getting older. It’s nice getting older but it’s also incredibly hard to come to terms with the fact that you’re not the young sprite you used to be. I’m insecure about being over ten years older than a lot of the people in my life but I like the variety and I feel more energetic and lucky to be able to learn from them too, I would never change it.

I mention my age a lot like a proper grandma but I wouldn’t change it. I’m mostly comfortable in my own skin and it’s so important to embrace who you are. I got to this place via a hundred funny stories, some loss, hardship and good old-fashioned love. Not to mention with (a lot) of help from my friends. Life is amazing and beautiful and it’s mainly down to the people you surround yourself with.

I wouldn’t change a thing, for all the tea in China. And I really love tea. ❤

What are your thoughts?

Crisp

I’ve had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year so it is officially Autumn and therefore the real New Year.

Fuck January and the blues that subsequently follow the turn of the year. Fuck wet weather and grey days. This is my new beginning, that beautiful crossover, from Summer into burnt and rusty Fall. I’m here for it more than ever.

It’s corresponds perfectly with the start of my new job which admittedly isn’t brain surgery or saving puppies, but it is exactly what I needed to do and I’m feeling much more myself than I have in months. My last new beginning turned out to be miserable and more than that, damaging to both confidence and general well-being and I am so delighted to be free of it now.

I feel positive again and valued, and that in turn makes me want to start creating. I’m dying to get back into writing more, reading more and just being more present in the projects I love – and with people I want to spend time with. I want to do meaningful things, even if they’re just for me.

I want to be me again – and that is what I’ll be focusing on for the rest of the year (like, the official end of the year). I’m going to be kind and generous to myself – start as I mean to go on, basically.

In other news, my new work crew are all lovely and interesting people. I couldn’t be luckier and again, that’s why I wanted to leave my old job in the first place – to meet new people, stretch my wings, learn new things and mix it the fuck up. Now I’m going to enjoy it.

How’s your week so far?

Begin

I’m starting again. Again.

I’m delighted about it and I’ll write more soon when I can get all my thoughts together but for now, just know that I’m making solid plans to feel happier. That is my bottom line.

Oh, and obviously it’s not all that major, just a job change. I’m not selling all my books and moving to Antarctica alone. Not yet anyway.

I just wanted to take time to celebrate a little bit of light at the end of a long, long tunnel with you guys. And I’ll be getting back into writing more regularly soon, both here and elsewhere. I can’t wait.

How are you all? ❤

Revenge Body

rembrandt_danae_fatcatart-fb

I’m sure most people have read or seen somewhere that Khloé Kardashian (formerly my favourite) has a new show called Revenge Body.

While I haven’t seen it, and probably won’t, I feel I know enough to say it sounds bad. KK gets people to tell their stories, about who they want revenge on (exes/haters) and then helps them lose however much weight they’re convinced is the key to their future happiness. I say helps, I think it’s the trainers and nutritionists, not to mention the ‘revenge seekers’ that do all the work.

The concept of looking banging to fuck off your ex is nothing new obviously and not invented by a Kardashian*. I can’t deny that it is a satisfying notion to bump into someone who’s been hideous to you looking your very best, but the thing about this for me is that it’s all the focused on the body. On looks on the whole.

Like, I get it. Fat is bad. Fat is the last thing any woman would ever want to be because it is so heinous, I get it. Every day it is drummed into me and I get it. We’re nothing and nobody while we’re fat and should always be on some sort of journey away from it, at the very least. Except, I am fat and I likely always will be. I also love myself.  What’s all that about?

Revenge Body and its current publicity campaign has got me thinking about my own RB though. The body I wish to express myself with, to defiantly face the world in. The body I would like to greet every one of my no-good exes with, should I ever be unfortunate enough to bump into any of them (there’s only one horrid one and if I saw him, believe that my RB would be the very last thing on my mind).

This body here. 

My revenge is my defiantly fat and well-loved body. Soft stomach, wobbly thighs, lumps, bumps and dimples.

And the greatest lesson I’ve ever learnt is this: if you can look upon yourself and say, you know what I see my ‘flaws’ and I love myself anyway, then nobody else has the power to take anything away from you. People can’t throw your own imperfections back in your face if you love them.

They can say “God look at your fat arse!”, and you can say “I know, it’s good right? MASSIVE!”.**

So fuck fat haters, diet chatters, guilt trippers, old boyfriends who treated you like shit, people who think you should lose weight, self-appointed doctors, ‘well-meaning’ relatives, men in white vans, men in any capacity, anybody who thinks they have the right to comment on anybody else’s body or looks, myself included. And fuck self-doubt.

Fuck them all.

*I’m not a Kardashian hater, promise.
**I make it sound easy, don’t I? It’s not easy, but it is satisfying when you start to really believe it. 

A Monday 

enjoyI’ve stolen this from Meghan who stole it from a family member. I’m not sure my usual weekly routine would constitute a good read but yesterday was quite the emotional roller coaster for me, so I’ll try to accurately relive it.

I’ll also mention work quite a bit which is rare for me. I tend to keep that part private.

~

My first alarm goes off at 6.30 so I know I have another half an hour to snooze before I have to get up. 7 comes and I roll out of bed.

I started my period the night before so my body aches and my stomach is cramping. As with all Mondays I have that knot of dread about the working week ahead (for no good reason). I think two things as I stretch: a) about that saying you’re in the wrong job if you hate Mondays (I think you’d still be wary regardless) and b) why do I always ache so much? It’s age, isn’t it?

Glynn has made me a cup of tea which is waiting on the side. I put the box on while I paint my face on. Glynn asks me if I’ve seen the new Ghost in the Shell trailer yet. I have, we discuss it for a few minutes. I have some concerns about it.

As I complete my face and run the straighteners through my bedhead, I watch The Goldbergs and then switch over to Good Morning Britain (I know, I know). Piers Morgan is on and is blowing hot air as usual. I leave the house at 8.10 after brushing my teeth vigorously. I had a filling a week ago and it still tastes like metal.

On the way to work I pass my official ‘selfie’ wall. I don’t stop this morning as my complexion is shot to shit (period) and I’m wearing a very unremarkable outfit. I pass the house of the guy who tattooed me last. I get toast with peanut butter on the way into the office.

I walk in and shout good morning. I get a few grunts back which is classed as a small victory, usually there’s nothing. Our small Marketing team has a brief catch up before and after 9am. Not just saying this for the purposes of a good post, I’m much luckier than most to work with such good people.

Tatty and I receive a group message on Facebook from a colleague saying that another colleague has split up with her partner over the weekend. We all agree she needs extra TLC. Later said colleague mentions the break up to us herself. We all tell her she deserves the moon and stars because she does.

The morning passes in a blur of emails and phone calls and quote requests. I email James my podcast partner a lot to discuss this coming week’s viewing homework. We have seven films to watch by Saturday’s recording. We record two episodes of All Out of Bubblegum fortnightly and publish every Wednesday. I talk about my podcast a lot because I love doing it so much. This week will revolve around a film a night, not really a hardship for me.

I have a baked potato for lunch and write some of a blog post. It’s my review of an Egyptian film called Excuse My French, due to be published tonight. I collaborate with Jillian who will post her review at roughly the same time, her time. I also order a dress for the Christmas party, coming up on the 9th. I was going to go for a hot pink number but at the last minute, opt for chocolate brown.

I have lots of creative pursuits outside work which make me very happy indeed but sometimes it reflects back on my day to day work unfavorably. As a team we do a lot of production which I enjoy as it involves talking to lots of people and is very varied but I do long for more creative projects. Wahhhh, I’m such a baby.

After lunch Tatty and I gossip in the kitchen with our colleague, the one who’s just split up with her girlfriend. She’s in good humor but we’re both angry she’s been hurt. We talk for at least 15 minutes over the kettle. I get back to my desk still in a good mood but there’s something on my mind. I receive a parcel which is a bag I’d ordered the day before. A few people roll their eyes as they walk past me into a meeting. They all know I have an acute shopping addiction.

I’ve not been feeling great about myself or things for a while now and I’m emotional today. At around 4 something happens with a project I’ve been on the outskirts of that makes me cross ( I won’t bore with details). I’m bad at hiding my negative feelings so talk to Tatty in a separate room.

Once I close the door I burst into tears and it feels like I’m crying for everything bad that’s ever happened (like the Le Tigre track). I’m really embarrassed but it feels good to open up. I express myself badly about frustrations at work, my crisis in the lead up to my birthday (on the 25th), how I feel about myself. I’m a hot mess but we iron things out and I know things are going to be better.

The gist of where I am is this: I’m a (nearly) 39 women with no clue of where I’m going in life (career wise). Tatty pointed out my creative drive and helped me understand that nobody hates me, even though I think they do every day. I know my anxiety is out of control, I doubt everything I do and I want to feel better. I cry some more but come out feeling better, despite the puffy eyes. I’m impressed with my friend who’s great at this stuff and practical too. We’ve formed a plan for me to get more out of my role, which is to build it the way I actually want it.

Even though I feel better, I feel a bit foolish for being so snotty, I’m the ugliest crier. I know I won’t be judged but paranoia tries to mess with my head again. I’m going for birthday drinks after work so fix my make-up and try to remember that tomorrow is a new day.

At the pub I enjoy a double vodka and diet Coke, catch up a bit with my friend Paul. The boys leave and I spend time with some of the girls, who are all from a different department. There’s a guy there who was fired a few month back. He’s on good form though, we talk about work and other things. At 7.20pm I leave and pick up a terrible TV dinner for Glynn and I. Glynn’s been cleaning the kitchen and has done a load of washing. I burst into tears again when I see him. He hugs me, makes me tea and then feeds me. I’m the luckiest person on the planet.

We watch a documentary called Tabloid together about a nuts but remarkable American woman who caused a major scandal in the 1970’s in England. I get confused because I’m not concentrating as I’m finishing up my blog post. I eat a Wispa for pudding and have a cup of tea before bed. Glynn has dry roasted peanuts. We retire to the boudoir at 10pm. I shower first and read a bit of my current book The Disaster Artist, which was recommended to me by James.

It’s homework for an upcoming ‘special’ on our podcast. I tweet a bit, on behalf of the podcast (@alloutofgumpod) and as myself. I talk to a business owner I really admire about a piece I’ve commissioned. It’s a necklace that looks like Barb from Stranger Things. I look forward to receiving her now, maybe tomorrow.

I go to sleep at about 11pm. I still feel embarrassed about my outburst this afternoon, which I hadn’t planned. I think again how I have to do something about the way I’m feeling and my own self belief. But then I think it only gets me at low points, in general I’m a happy person. I remind myself again that I’ll feel better in the morning.

Don’t you just love the time between lights out and total oblivion? ❤