My Love is For Sale

This week saw that most commercialised of holidays, one that tends to evoke some pretty passionate responses perhaps above and beyond other holidays. I’m talking of course about the love-fest, also known as Valentine’s Day.

I used to be pretty unenthusiastic by Valentine’s Day, let’s call it V Day for brevity’s sake. I saw how commercial it was, with its forced roses (not just any old flower will do), its chocolates in heart shaped boxes and its heart covered cards. In fact, its general overuse of hearts, the colour red, and the colour pink made me do the mandatory independent lady response and gag. I also hate the idea of a holiday making people feel bad, unloved or worthless.After all, that is not what a celebration of love should be about. Even in a relationship, I was secure. I didn’t need Hallmark to tell me when to express my love!  I didn’t want jewellery or a fancy dinner. I still don’t particularly want the fancy dinner, and jewellery shouldn’t be limited to February 14th.

Having said this, over the last couple of years my attitude has changed towards V Day. I’m not saying I’m into heart shaped chocolates, I’m just saying that I’ve started to get a bit more excited about the day. Now that my husband and I are a little bit older and have more disposable income, we can use it as an excuse to buy each other presents. With our birthdays in the spring and our anniversary in the autumn, V Day gives us a nice reason to share gifts at the start of the year. It’s probably something we’d do anyway, this just frames it for us. I love giving my husband presents, and for us, these don’t need to be themed or limited to heart shaped items. Valentine’s gift for each other have included; tickets to gigs, clothing, and books. It means we don’t have to save up leftover Christmas present ideas until spring!

So although I get why some people hate Valentine’s Day, I’ve begun to embrace the excuse to get dressed up and revel in the joy on my husband’s face when he opens his new Moana t-shirts* and Japanese language text book**.

*We both adore the movie Moana. Seriously we’ve had that soundtrack on loop since the movie’s release and saw the actual film together 3 times in the cinema (I then went a 4th time with my parents).

**My husband wants to learn to speak Japanese.

Tells us about you

I have recently started a new job, hoorah! It’s all going great, however I failed to prepare for an obvious situation, and now I’m kicking myself. Hopefully this post might help better prepare others for this situation, which can happen in any environment with new people, if not then at least this should remind me for next time.

It was Friday afternoon, I’d made it all the way to the end of the week, I’d even made it to the office beer o-clock and we were all having drinks and chatting. Then came the obvious and simple question I had forgotten to prepare for, ‘so, tell us something about you that we wouldn’t guess.’ Of course the question isn’t always worded exactly like this, but some sort of prompt for me to open up in a social situation was clearly going to happen. Having not prepared for this question, I froze. I stammered a little bit and then answered, ‘oh, I don’t know, hmmm…’ then racked my head for things to say that would be interesting enough to satisfy the question, but not so interesting as to taint my new colleagues view of me. I struggled for so long that the colleague eventually changed the subject and the conversation moved on. I was left feeling very embarrassed for not having been able to give an answer, let alone a satisfying one.

Me being me I have since spent some time reflecting on this situation, asking myself why does that question always throw me so much and also what might be some appropriate answers for next time. As for why it throws me, I have decided this is mainly because I don’t know what assumptions people are making when they look at me. Do I look like someone who is into heavy metal or pop music? Do I look like I’m into sitcoms or reality TV? How much of me can people see? Do I present as a regular adult, or is it obvious I’m a responsible person, but very much in-tune with my inner child. I realise this might be over thinking it a little, and of course that is also classic me, I’m an over thinker, maybe you didn’t know that about me but now you do. I also struggle with the question because I’m a people pleaser. Making others happy make me happy and I’d hate to disappoint others. Therefore I put more pressure on myself than is needed, I have to give that perfect answer, not just any old thing.

Having gone through the process of reflecting on why it threw me so much, I have decided that they only logical course of action is to prepare some answers for next time. If you are reading this and also struggle with these situations maybe my answers could help you come up with some responses of your own. So, what might people not guess about me:

  • I love BabyMetal (and a lot of J-Pop)
  • I love WWE (Smack down and NXT in particular)
  • I used to have snakebites (that’s a type of lip piercing)
  • I’ve had blue, purple, orange, black and blonde hair
  • I have tattoos (this only works if they haven’t seen them)
  • I am a massive Disney fan, and Moana is quickly becoming my favourite movie
  • I’m vegan (again, this only works if that hasn’t come up before)

Those are all answers that, having had time to prepare them, I think give people a little window into who I am, maybe surprised them a little but isn’t too embarrassing or likely to put them off of liking me.

Now I just have to make sure I get into a situation where someone will ask me the question again so that I can show off my new answers!

Resolutions

So it’s 2017! The champagne has been drunk, the countdown is done and it’s into remembering just how freaking cold January can be (I always forget)! Of course, January is also the time for resolutions, for pledges of, ‘a new year, a new me’ and vowing that this year will be different. The jokes and memes at this time of year are naturally all around how these declarations of improvement will soon be abandoned come Easter at the latest, as the enthusiasm wains.

For this reason, I am not really one for making resolutions, not least because I’ve finally gotten to a place in my life where…I like myself. I don’t really wanna make any drastic changes. Sure I could lose some weight, but I’m happy with how I look and since there are no negative health problems (at the moment) I acknowledge any big diet or exercise change wouldn’t last. I’d like to try and eat better and make healthy choices but this is a constant tweaking process in my life and not something I am going to meaningfully change with a single vow.

Naturally, this is the part of the blog where I turn heel and go, having said all of that, I think that the end of one year and the start of a new year is a good time to reflect and evaluate areas you might want to extend more effort. For me, this is just generally expending more effort. I’d like to be less lazy about everything. I’d like to put cups in the dishwasher straight away so that a mess doesn’t build up, and put the dishwasher on before I go to bed, not once I’ve run out of clean forks. I’d like to stop watching repeats of TV shows I’ve already watched (30 Rock is just so nice and comforting) and instead pick up a book and read, or play a video game. These are not big changes or unrealistic pledges, these are small changes that I can make gradually, and that don’t go against my personality. I’m not trying to eat things I know I won’t like, or completely change my lifestyle. I’ll still eat tofu hot dogs (I like to call them hot cats), I’ll still drink beer on Sundays and lie on the sofa after work watching TV. So help me I will still watch 30 Rock for the millionth time. I’m simply aiming to alter the last 30 minutes of sofa lazing to be reading rather than watching.

Maybe I’ll review in the summer to see if I’ve started to make these small changes. That all depends if I keep my goal to blog more than twice a year 😉

HAPPY 2017!

Body Confidence

So, I have some thoughts about body confidence and I thought I’d share them here. Maybe they are helpful to someone else, or maybe it’ll just be nice for me to back them up somewhere that isn’t my own head.

My first thought is that, the best thing we can do for other people’s body confidence is lead by example! I remember as a little girl, my mum would always tell me I was beautiful and then turn around and look in the mirror and moan about this or that on her own body. To me my mum was beautiful. So if I thought she was beautiful, but (according to her) there were problems with her body, then even though she said I was beautiful that didn’t mean there weren’t problems with my own body. Couple this with media portrayals and peer pressure and I have certainly struggled with loving my body in the past. I love my body now and realise that the flaws I see as massive are often so tiny or insignificant that no-one else would really notice them.

Besides, once we learn to love ourselves we tend to be better at looking after ourselves. Think about it. If you look at your body and think it is a pile of worthless trash then that is how you will treat it. If you look at your body and see something you like, if you feel happy, then you will look after it. So feeling comfortable or happy, accepting that your body is how it is and learning to love it can be the first step to changing it by encouraging better habits. If you don;t want to change it then you don;t have to, but you will likely still be healthier because you will treat it better (I’m not just talking about food and exercise, when I feel good about my body I tend to make sure I moisturise and generally look after my whole body).

Oh, and the biggest thing is of course to not care about other people’s bodies. Seriously, it doesn’t affect you, what someone else looks like. Of course if you have a loved one and you are worried about their health you should have a gentle conversation – but even still don’t push them and don’t try to address it by making little comments or jokes. That won’t be helpful and could make them feel more insecure. Some people are naturally really thin, some people are bigger but as long as they are happy and relatively healthy it doesn’t matter. Nothing is nicer on a person than confidence, it’s attractive not only in a sexual way but in a generic way – you want to be around that person whether it is for business, social or romantic reasons.

So those are a few thought I have. As I said it has taken me years to be comfortable with my body and I still have bad days where I think I’m a hideous ogre monster woman, but even that is fine. Just recognise an off day as an off say and prepare to feel better the next day.

Remember that you are awesome, because you are you and there is only one of you in the entire world!

 

I’m not cool, I’m me.

There is no way of writing this without sounding like a douche, so I’m just gunna write it.

People sometimes call me ‘cool’.

Whenever this happens it kinda weirds me out, because to me, I’m not cool I’m just….me.

In my head I’m still the girl who had to pretend she didn’t like Barbie or My Little Pony anymore because her friends didn’t, even though she still played with them by herself.

I’m still the teenager who ate lunch alone and wrote poetry locked in a toilet cubicle because no one wanted to hang out with me.

I’m still the uni student who ate Pickled Onion Monster Much for dinner, even though I hate them, because they were the only thing in my halls room and I was too anxious to leave it.

I’m not cool, I’m a socially awkward loser who society has made it clear doesn’t fit in.

So when people call me cool. I find it kinda weird.

Glasses

I wear glasses. I’ve needed them for the past 21 years, although have only really started wearing them properly in the last 5 or 6 years. By properly here I mean full time.

When I first got glasses I was 6 years old, and I was pretty good at wearing them at school. Then I decided I didn’t want to wear glasses because I didn’t look as pretty (a ridiculous sentiment I now realise). When I moved into my teenage years I did wear my glasses occasionally (my vision was getting worse and I was getting more headaches for not wearing them), but I didn’t really like any of the styles I could get from the high street. I wanted Kurt Cobain’s glasses. Well, I don’t know if they were glasses he wore often, but I remember seeing him wearing them in a picture and thinking, ‘Yes!!! Those are the kind of glasses I want!’ Alas, I could not find them and I was stuck in narrower frames.

kurtcobain21

I went to uni, where I soon discovered I didn’t really have a choice but to wear my glasses. I was getting worse headaches and my vision was getting worse. It still isn’t awful, I can manage about 15 minutes glasses free in the morning before I get a headache, and even without my glasses I can still see, everything is just more like an original version of a 80’s TV show, just a little soft around the edge, and as for reading, forget it, no chance of me doing that without glasses! So I embraced wearing my glasses. I had ones with thick plastic frames, they were still narrow but it was a compromise. Naturally, towards the end of my teens I started feeling more confident in myself as well, and embracing ‘me’ more so it all kind of fell together. I started wearing glasses full time (not for showering or sleeping).

Then this wonderful thing happened to me, I discovered my independence! It didn’t happen at uni, well it was technically in a uni, but it was when I was working there after graduating. Financial independence really was the next step in me becoming more of my own person, and so I started to explore more of my own ways of doing things – whereas before I had just done things the way my parents had e.g. going to high street opticians and buying their expensive glasses. At that time a colleague was getting new glasses and brought in his free trial from Glasses Direct. This got me thinking, why haven’t I tried a service like this? So I started to investigate. Long story short, I’m now in love!

For the past 4 years I have gotten my glasses online from Glasses Direct and I love it. The free home-trial is great, as you can ask loads of different people and take selfies without feeling weird. After all when picking a set of frames you need to make sure they are Instagram worthy. It also means you can take a longer time to survey friends and relatives opinions (and then completely ignore them and get the ones you wanted any ways because it’s about pleasing yourself and not other people, after all it’s your face!)

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That’s me trying out sunglasses last year (you can get the lenses tinted when you buy them). Spoiler I went for number 1.

The ordering process is then also super simple, just get a copy of your prescription from your optician (note, they should give you a copy of this when you get an eye test done any way, so make sure you have it). Enter the prescription when prompted, choose lenses coating options (all much cheaper than I came across on the high street, we’re talking anti-scratch and anti-reflect which I cannot cope without now days). As I mentioned above you can then add a tint to the lenses to make them sunglasses. Place the order and then wait a couple days, to a couple weeks, and your glasses come in the post.

If you have plastic frames and you need to adjust the arms (make them shorter for example) this can easily be done with a hair-dryer and some gentle bending. I’ve done it successfully before, and it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. Maybe I’ll make a video on how to do it at some point. In the meantime they do have advice on their website on doing all sorts of glasses adjustments.

This isn’t an advert for Glasses Direct by the way, I mean I guess it kind of is but they aren’t paying me. I wish they were. Hello Glasses Direct, if you need an advocate I am all in!

Last thing, I do have a code available as part of their ‘recommend a friend’ scheme. This is something that is open to all users. Basically if you use this link to order your first pair of glasses with them you get £30 off and I get a £15 Amazon voucher. There are certain Ts&Cs, for example the glasses have to be over £55 and not part of the boutique range, but check it out and see if there is anything you like!

https://glassesdirect.mention-me.com/m/ol/aap-domi-sinclair