I Know What I Want

This feels like an odd post to write, but it’s definitely something that’s on my mind a lot. A lot of people around my age don’t know what they want to do with their lives, or what they want out of them, and they don’t know what sort of people they want in their lives. And the thing is, I do.

And that can be quite isolating.

I know that I want a career, and I know what I want that career to be centred around. I know which sort of people I want in my life, and which I don’t – and I find it easy to read people, so it doesn’t take me long to realise if someone I meet is somebody I want to be around.

I know that I’m okay with working hard for the things that I want – I actually like working hard to achieve my goals. I know I’m not a party animal, and that I don’t have to be. I know that I don’t want to use Tinder, as much as it often feels like I’m the only person my age who feels that way.

The only issue, I find, is that most of the people I see in my day-to-day life don’t feel the same way. From my experience, at university, the guys I meet are far more likely to just be boasting about their drunken conquests, with no direction and no aims. Often, the girls aren’t much different. Pretty much everyone looks at you like you’re a weirdo when they find out you don’t drink alcohol. And a significant portion of people are reluctant to do the work necessary to achieve their goals – if they have any.

It’s a laugh for many people I see if they only turn up to one hour of lectures in a week, because they only came to experience the ‘student life’, whereas I came to university because I wanted to study. I wanted to learn about things I didn’t know about before, and build my knowledge base. Lectures and seminars and reading are the reasons I came to university, not the nightlife. I came so I could experience living somewhere else and meeting new people – but even meeting new people is hard after everyone’s settled in in first year.

You get people wondering and asking why you don’t have a relationship yet. Some people thrust Tinder and a billion other dating apps in your face. They talk about how they met their partners after six beers in a bar in the early hours. And for someone who doesn’t want to meet somebody that way, that idea doesn’t particularly appeal. I know people whose relationships have only ever started in a state of inebriation, and I can’t help but feel a little sad about the idea that people are so reluctant to speak to people if it’s not online or if they’re not drunk first.

I think many people I’ve met seem to be waiting for the dream to come to them, waiting for the solution to just walk into the room. And I’m not sure that’s the way to go about it. I’m not saying that it’s not okay if you simply haven’t figured out a direction for your life yet, because it is. But I do think it’s good to take time to figure out what it is you do or don’t want, however you want to go about it, because it allows you to make more valuable use of your time.

Room to Feel

Today I read an article about Andrew Scott as Hamlet in the performance the BBC aired last night, and one of the comments in it was as follows:

Andrew Scott often spoke about how young people, guys in particular, are forced to move on too quickly. Are being told showing emotions, mourning, is not manly enough.

I’ve not been following Scott long enough to tell you if this claim is true or not, but the premise struck me. It’s not a new revelation. Surely everyone is familiar with the strange stigma around men crying or being ‘overly emotional’ by now. It’s something that’s always baffled me, for multiple reasons – everyone has emotions, so why aren’t they allowed to show them? Surely the idea men can’t show emotion does a disservice to both men and women, by playing into the whole ‘women are overly-emotional’ stereotype and creating a larger contrast?

But what did strike me was the first sentence. That young people are made to move on too quickly. And I feel like that’s true – and not just for situations as obviously damaging as Hamlet’s father dying. If we suffer setbacks, we’re told to get over it. If we’re having a bad day, we’re being melodramatic. If teens feel like they’re under too much pressure, they’re told to suck it up, or that ‘that’s life’. If we get dealt a bad lot and are feeling it, we’re too sensitive. And a lot of the time, there’s some adage about the idiosyncrasies of youth and its naivety.

The general idea is we shouldn’t mind any of it. We should simply move on, forget about it, stop caring so much.

But I’m not sure I agree with that. Merely ignoring what you’re feeling, bottling it up, and – more than that – feeling ashamed or guilty for having those emotions, is what’s damaging. It’s what leads us to sitting alone in corners, expressing our thoughts to nobody but ourselves. It’s the reason people cry themselves to sleep in darkened bedrooms on their own. It’s surely part of the reason so many of us find so much isolation in our youth, even if we are surrounded by people and friends.

It can be hard to find the room to feel. Some people are lucky, and have a person they can confide all their innermost thoughts to, someone to listen even when they may be being irrational or may not have things quite in perspective. But many don’t have that person. Many find themselves caught in between their commitments and what’s expected of them and have no place of release. A lot of us turn to writing in journals and diaries in an effort to create a space for us to simply feel what we’re feeling, without the judgement and without being hurried to move on.

It seems clear to me that what’s important is finding the balance, where we’re allowed recognise our feelings and deal with them, but also not let them overtake us. Simply because there may be worse things out there in the world doesn’t discount your own experiences. Everyone deserves the room to feel.

Sunshine Blogger Award

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I’ve finally gotten around to writing my Sunshine Blogger Award post! I was nominated by Jenna from Northernbird84 and by Milli!

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award? Well…

The rules:

1.) Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog

2.) Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you

3.) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive this award, and write them 11 new questions

4.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog

I was nominated by Jenna first, so I’ll answer her questions first and Milli’s afterwards!

Jenna’s Questions

1) Which blogger would you love to work with and why?

Does a vlogger/blogger count? I’d probably say Tanya Burr. She stands for a lot of the same things I do, I admire her work ethic, and she’s not afraid to dream big.

2) What one thing could you not live without?

There’s a lot of material things I could go for here, but I’m going to go ahead and say I couldn’t live without my creativity. I get bored really easily, so if I didn’t have that, I can’t fathom how dull life would be.

3) Do you have pets? If not would you like to?

I don’t, but I definitely would like a cat… or a tortoise… something that doesn’t need to be taken on walks! I’m too busy/lazy to deal with that.

4) What made you start blogging?

I was extremely stressed in sixth form and decided I was too out of the habit of writing, so thought that if I set up a blog and made myself stick to a schedule (even though that’s gone a bit out of the window recently – but I have reasons, I promise!), I’d get back into it. I really wanted to improve my writing skills, and just become comfortable reading my own writing, and this seemed like a fairly accessible way of working towards that.

5) Has your blog changed over time?

Definitely. Massively. Different layout, different categories, different content. I think the only thing that’s stayed the same is what I write about Travel – but I’ve been so swamped by university that even that’s feeling neglected right now! I recently cleared out my old blog posts to give myself a bit of a fresh start, took away a few categories, and added one called Advocacy. I’ve decided I’m going to write about the things that matter to me about the world, and that’s where it’s going to happen. The first few posts there are already up, if you want to check them out…

6) If you were offered an all expenses paid holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go?

So many places! If I really have to choose just one, I’ll say Italy. I hear it’s expensive. I’m really interested in Roman history, and I’ve never really learned much about it, so I’d probably go to Rome.

7) What is your beauty must-have?

Probably a hair brush. It’s a bad day if I’ve forgotten to pack one of those – especially here in Liverpool, where the wind today as I’m writing this was simply mad. The six foot guys standing next to me at the lights were struggling to hold their ground.

8) Do you have a favourite blog post of yours?

I can’t think of one off the top of my head, so I’m going to say no. I don’t think I could choose.

9) Are there any brands/charities you’d want to work with?

I seriously want to work with the UN at some point in my life, particularly in the Global Goals sort of area. I’ve thought this for years. It’s so international, and I think it would be amazing to work with them.

10) What would be a perfect evening in for you?

A perfect evening in would definitely include good company, chocolate, a cosy film (let’s face it – a Harry Potter), blankets on a comfy sofa, and my laptop or a notebook so I could get some writing done. I realise that may sound like work, but I get restless and writing relaxes me.

11) If you could give your past self one piece of advice, what would it be?

This is actually a really hard question, because I feel like struggles you’ve had teach you something, and they make you who you are. But I think one thing would be to go to the doctors way earlier about acne, because I had that for a solid nine years and it was definitely a stress I could have done without. It took enough trips to the doctor to get a treatment that worked, but it would have been good if I’d done that about two years earlier!

Milli’s Questions

1) Do you wish you’d started blogging sooner?

Not really. I started around the time I turned eighteen, and moved platforms a couple of months afterwards, so I’ve been here for 2 years. I don’t think it would have been worth starting any earlier – I was writing online for a website for a while in my teens anyway, as well as a few things for my school’s newsletter, so I think adding a blog may have been too much.

2) Do you want to make your blog into a career or is it just a side hobby?

I don’t have specific plans to make my blog my career. I want to write, but I’d really like to be a novelist/screenwriter, so I guess I’d have to say side hobby!

3) Are you single or taken?

Sin-gle. As single as can be.

4) If you could only eat sweet or savoury for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

Savoury. As much as it pains me to say it, savoury. Savoury foods are just more filling, y’know?

5) What is your Myers Briggs type?

INFJ-A, so apparently one of the rarest? I did the test a couple of times, once a couple of years ago and once more recently, and the result didn’t change. I have friends with some of the same letters, but I’ve yet to find another INFJ. Either way, the result probably tells you more than enough about me!

6) What’s your biggest goal for 2018?

*Whispers* Get a book deal. Shhhh!

7) What is your job role and do you enjoy it?

I have a very flexible role as a brand manager on my uni campus, so if brands host events at my uni and need promoters, I can do the promotion. A lot of it so far has been online work, just promoting competitions and things on social media. It’s an alright position, nothing too stressful going on. It’s good I can work it around my studies and other commitments.

8) Did you enjoy school?

Complicated question. Yes and no. I’ve always enjoyed learning, I enjoyed seeing lots of people every day, and all that – but the education system in the UK infuriates me for reasons too long-winded to go into here!

9) What’s the last purchase you splurged on?

Like, really splurged? My camera. I got it last summer, and it’s probably the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought myself! The camera was on a deal on Amazon, and the deal was one of those lightning things that only lasts a certain amount of time, so I basically just went for it. I wouldn’t say I regret buying it – it’s really great quality, and it’s meant I’ve taken many more photos since I got it. I’m really trying to save money now, though.

10) Any exciting trips planned for this year?

No 😦 unfortunately not. Depending on when my one exam for this semester is, I may be going to the Lake District with my parents for a week in a couple of months, but if my exam is later than I hope, I’ll be staying at uni. Dying for a sunny holiday, but that’ll have to wait for now!

11) Favourite genre of music?

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite genre. According to Spotify, I listen to pop the most – but I don’t pay attention to genres. I like a lot of different things – pop, indie, country, whatever… A bit of Evanescence. All that.


So there we have it! My 22 questions from 2 nominations. Now it’s my turn…

My eleven nominees:

1) Tarnya (@sweet_allure)

2) Highlands2hammocks (@highlands2hamm)

3) Dani (@daniwanderlust)

4) Jess (@FairytalesJessx)

5) Hels (@thehelsproject)

6) Elizabeth Walton (@Life_WithLizzie)

7) Farrah Aslam (@farrahaslamblog)

8) Emmax (@lifeofemmax)

9) Esther Wyse (@EstherRuthWyse)

10) Grace K. (@blogherosix)

11) Honey (@Honey_KJ)

My eleven questions:

1) What are three things you really want to do in your lifetime?

2) If you could help solve one world problem, which would it be?

3) What song’s been in your head recently?

4) Name one public figure, outside of the blogging industry, who inspires you and why.

5) Are you an earphones person or a headphones person?

6) Do you write anything outside of your blog?

7) Have you gone to/are you at/will you go to university?

8) What do you see yourself doing in two years’ time?

9) Are you a ‘foodie’?

10) Are you interested in world affairs?

11) What’s one thing you wished people knew about you?

I look forward to reading the responses!