Tag Archives: Personal

How I’m Currently Juggling My Life

Good Afternoon Munchkins!

Today I thought I would have a little chat with you about how I’m currently dealing with and juggling my life. As a little bit of background, I’m in my final year of school (i.e. stress overload), I upload three times a week on this blog and I’m a general teenager with all the bumps in the road along the way. I just fancied talking you through my new-found stress levels (ahh the joy!) and maybe compare it to how I end this year, which will hopefully be much better!

So what I used to do was concentrate all my school work (i.e. revision, homework, extra lessons) into the main 5-day week and then blog on weekends as I do still consider this a leisure activity. However, with the arrival of mock exams (i.e. Satan disguised in candyfloss), that has all gone out the window and I’m cramming my tiny 15-year-old brain with all this different stuff I will definitely not remember for June! Basically, I am now revising for 2-3 hours after school every night and spend all day revising at the weekends if I’m not doing anything. I do still make time to blog but I just don’t feel as if there is enough time in the day to do everything to the level that I would like. This isn’t the blog post where I announce the end of this whole thing I’ve created or anything like that, I just thought I would document this stage of my life! There are so many things I want to do in a day and don’t have the physical time for, it’s crazy. On a positive note, my coursework is all up to date! I think this is definitely the deciding factor on whether I take A Levels or not!

Just as a little example, here is how my day has gone at the time of writing. I woke up ridiculously early for a weekend so chilled for a bit before starting to work out. Was pretty impressed with what I did and then completed it with a nice, hot bath! I then walked all three dogs, had some lunch, caught up on a little bit of YouTube before taking blog post pictures and starting to write. This is my ideal day because I’ve done the things I enjoy but have still done some work that needed doing. After writing some blog posts, I will go and revise, though I definitely won’t get it all done! I still have the biggest stress headache and am just looking forward to the end of it all! It genuinely shocks me how after June I won’t need to know nearly everything I’ve learnt over the past 11 and a half years. It all comes down to this!

Before both of my grandparents died at the end of last year, most of my weekends were spent visiting them, particularly my grandmother when her cancer became terminal. I don’t know how I did that and everything else, particularly Blogmas! I know it sounds harsh but if any of you have been in this situation you will understand what I mean when I say it’s a massive weight off my shoulders and I no longer have to feel bad for spending the weekend catching up on school work instead of visiting my family. I guess it was for the best and now I’ve just got to push until the end. Oh, and I’ve actually decided to go to prom now (did I ever mention I was massively deliberating whether to go or not?) because I have a date *screams intensely*. I’m so excited, I just need to do all I can to make it worthwhile!

And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – I don’t know what the point of this was, I think I just want to be able to look back and think ‘that was one of the most stressful things in my life but I did it’, because (somehow) I am! I think I’m just acting a bit oblivious to it all because that is my only coping mechanism but I am absolutely pooing myself for the real exams! Let me know if you’re in the same situation or if you have any advise, it will be muchly appreciated!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Tuesday,

Rachel xx

 

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My 2016 In a Nutshell

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today I will be reviewing and chatting you through My 2016 In a Nutshell. I’ve basically taken inspiration from Sprinkle of Glitter with a video she did last year about her 2015, going through month by month about what happened in her personal and professional life and I thought I would do the same, but with just my personal life. I’m not doing this for any sympathy or for any kind of unnecessary attention, I’m simply doing it to pinpoint different stages in my life and for me to look back on when I’m a little bit older and think ‘oh, that was nice’ or ‘well at least I know I can get through that’.

I’m going to put it out there now, 2016 was not kind to me. It followed 2015 hand-in-hand and, as I keep saying to my counsellor, if I had known what life would be like if I was sat here typing now, I would’ve quite easily commit suicide when I was simply thinking about it. I guess last year, luckily, I was in a better frame of mind and have been able to grow and develop as a young woman in order to help combat these challenges even more, when in the winter of 2015 I just didn’t have the willpower or want to do that. Some of these things had to happen and others didn’t, but everything does happen for a reason and I do genuinely believe that if I hadn’t gone through these things, I wouldn’t have the amount of mental strength and ability as I do now (I sound like such a wise old owl!). I do kind of feel over the past 2 years, everything that could’ve possibly happened has so I can only look forward to the future as mentally/emotionally/physically drained I am. I will just be going month by month and speaking about the highlights with the notes I’ve written during the year.

January

I have, quite vaguely, written this as an ‘okay’ month. I was able to form a friendship with my ex-boyfriend (which I needed for my then situation) and was on top of my school work, so no stress was there to mentally destroy my life! The only thing really bringing the month down was me beginning to become reliant on alcohol. This is something I would like to go into more detail on and, of course, I don’t endorse excessive or underage drinking, I just think at the time it was something that was literally handed to me and I used as a relaxant (though there are other ways of doing this, of course).

February

This month, as much as I didn’t want it to be, was a pretty terrible month. Despite turning 15 and being so excited for this, I relapsed with my depression and self-harm which I thought I had begun to recover from just before Christmas 2015. This was stimulated by becoming involved with a particular male who basically told me what I wanted to hear and then dropped me as soon as he found someone else. He wasn’t a boyfriend and it lasted no longer than a week, but then news got out about it around school and most people got the wrong end of the stick and so the wrong/fabricated perception of me was passed around. Luckily, I was surrounded by a group of very close friends who supported me wholeheartedly and really stood up for me, something I really needed at the time. I don’t think I appreciated it that much back then but looking back, I feel so grateful. This also caused me to rely on alcohol a little bit more to cheer me up and I began to struggle with my school work because my head was just constantly worrying about the next thing that could potentially happen.

March

This month was a bit of a mixture but in my notes I’ve written quite a detailed account of one particular day that I do remember loving and treasuring very much. For my Mum’s then-girlfriend’s son’s birthday (you got me?!), we went to Paulton’s Park and my ex-boyfriend came with us as we had a spare ticket. That was a day where we spent the whole day together continuously and really did become friends, something which would be a stretch to say whilst we were in a relationship. On the way back, I fell asleep on his shoulder because we were sat in the back 3 seats of the car and he fell asleep with his head resting on my head. There was then a moment where he just grabbed my hand and I distinctly remember texting my best friend that night saying ‘it’s as if he’s mine again!’. It really threw me off because he didn’t message me after that (something I’ve found very common with boys my age since!) but it did make me fall for him again – a story which will be continued later on! I also became much closer to my best friend and her girlfriend, which has been resumed to this day and I am so happy about due to all the happy memories we have been able to make together since. This was also the month of the Brussels attacks, another terrorist attack which will never cease to disgust me at the brutality of how far a human will go just to prove a point or get his/her way. I could go on about that for hours but I think it would be wise if I didn’t! I also started writing down little couplets which would turn into song lyrics in the month of March.

April

By the looks of my notes, this was another emotional month. April marked the 10 year anniversary of my Granddad’s (Dad’s Dad) death. Normally I can quite easily talk about my Granddad and the limited knowledge I have on him but for some reason this just really effected me. I think because it was such a landmark anniversary it just made him and my one memory of him appear much more faint and almost as if he was never real. 10 years is just a really long time to be without someone, particularly someone you hardly knew. I’ve always had a general thinking of ‘what was he like?’, ‘what would he think of me?’ or even simple things like ‘what does his voice sound like?’. I think it was just particularly exacerbated at this time. This did, in turn, really make me appreciate the grandparents I had left, however, particularly my Mum’s parents. Since my parents split, they were always there for me and my brother and we had arranged a trip to Paris for the three of us and later in the month we went to see Breakfast at Tiffany’s at a theatre near-ish to where I live. I really did enjoy my time with them. This was also a month I specifically remember being quite tough within my home and the people I lived with; I began feeling ‘bullied’ by my Mum and her then-girlfriend and this strained all the relationships in the household. It was only the beginning but it was very tough and I would spend a lot of my time going out just because I didn’t want to be with the people in my home. This bullying would later turn into emotional abuse that has, so far, effected my mental health quite significantly and will be something I can only be thankful for being over.

May

At the very beginning of May I went to a festival. I’ve previously spoken about this before but it was a huge step-up in my anxiety and depression; 6 months before this I didn’t ever want to leave my house again let alone go to this huge event with thousands of people and only a couple of friends to ‘take care’ of me. I felt so happy once I’d done this and I don’t remember feeling too anxious during the actual concerts, it was mainly just beforehand where I got a little bit nervous. I felt quite grown up, if I’m going to be honest! This was also a month where I found out about the severity of my ex-boyfriend’s depression, through his Mum (who I was quite close to). As his friend, I was genuinely upset and worried for him, and so decided to just take a bit more care towards him as opposed to being the sour ex-girlfriend I could’ve quite easily been. At the end of the month I was able to watch a quail hatch in my own home, which was so exciting for all of us. I love animals in all shapes and sizes so a little baby quail was more than welcome in my home! I also completed my first drama exam of three (a lot of fun, by the way!) and began writing on Wattpad.

June

Again, a very mixed-emotion month (such good English!)! Something happened at the beginning of the month which really dictated the rest of it and I don’t really know how to say it because it’s a long story and not exactly something you can just drop into conversation. I actually told one of my friends last night and got quite a negative reaction so now I’m just really unsure of what to say! I have written an entire blog post on it which explains it in so much more detail for those who want to know. Mentally and emotionally, it really did screw me up and, as if my trust issues weren’t bad enough, they were damaged so much more because of this! You will find it out, it’s just difficult to say. That blog post will be up on the 3rd of March. Something which is sort of to do with the ‘big thing’ is my Mum’s then-girlfriend’s behaviour started becoming much more tense, with me in particular. We are both very similar people so we just clashed all the time; two Aquarius’ who are very stubborn and have very strong opinions is a bad mix! For the first time in forever *cue Frozen* I actually began to like my body, though that soon changed and I went back to normal! I think it was because I’d started toning my legs, but I then got out of the habit of it. I think I will start it back up again soon, though. The EU referendum also took place during June. I’m underage so couldn’t vote but I don’t think I could have decided anyway as I am so indecisive! I don’t really understand politics but I would be quite interested to look into what is supposedly going to happen now!

July

I only have two notes for this month, one of them being meeting someone who I nicknamed Donkey. He is my Mum’s ex-girlfriend’s uncle and I hated him the moment I met him. I first met him at a party and, being the stubborn person I am, thought I was set in my tracks about my opinions of him. At this time, he was addicted to drugs and gave some to the people within the family I actually liked. Don’t worry, he soon knew my opinions on him and just as quickly became clean!

August

One of the most significant things about this month was that I didn’t go to Paris. I had planned and booked to go to Paris with my grandparents, as I mentioned earlier, but this didn’t happen. I tend to get quite anxious before going somewhere new and it would’ve been my first time leaving the country without my parents but it was something I was genuinely excited for. This was because my Granny was beginning to suffer from symptoms of the cancer she would later be diagnosed with at the mid-section of the month. I tried to remain positive whilst she was having these tests because it could’ve been anything, but it was in fact pancreatic cancer, with secondary in the liver. She started chemotherapy but it was inoperable, so they could only shrink/control it. Unfortunately, she reacted really badly to it and by the beginning of September she did begin to look more and more ill as she very quickly lost weight. I did stay with them for 3/4 days the week I was supposed to go to Paris and I have the fondest memories of that time. I think the speed of which the cancer and it’s symptoms took over was the most horrifying thing; within a month we could go shopping together to her only being able to go from room to room due to the pain she was in. Sadly, she was diagnosed the week after her brother died from a different form of cancer. At the end of the month, however, I went on holiday with my Mum, brother, the ex-girlfriend and her kids, my ex-boyfriend and Donkey. It was the best holiday I’d ever been on and it really did prove to me how much I loved my ex-boyfriend. There are loads of different stories from that holiday which I’m sure you will gradually hear about, some funny and some not so. Donkey and I managed to form a friendship during the holiday, so I guess that was a bonus.

September

In September I started Year 11 and, in turn, my stress levels began to rise significantly. I’m now at the point in my education where I’m counting how many months I have left and just trying to do as much as I can in that time. My Mum and her ex-girlfriend broke up at the beginning of this month but they remained friends, so in a way it was better but not 100% good again. I was initially quite angry as this girlfriend had promised me she would be there for the ‘long haul’ then, after only 18 months, left us all to pick up the pieces. By the end of my month, my Mum found a new girlfriend (she doesn’t slow down!) who is much nicer and I prefer so much more than the old one! She is lovely and I couldn’t have wished for someone better. Also, all three of my grandparents were in hospital at the same time over one weekend but, of course, all in different hospitals. That was a really weird weekend of just travelling between hospital to hospital. My Nan was out quite soon but my other two grandparents weren’t doing that well.

October

At the beginning of the month, I lost my Granddad (who I called Pops). It wasn’t a necessarily sudden death, he had been in hospital for about a month but there is loads of legal stuff surrounding it which is still being continued to this day. Basically, he went in at the beginning of September as he had become breathless and he had previously had pneumonia so it set alarm bells off and he was sent in. Whilst in there, his leg swelled up as they took him off his beta blockers for his blood and they only released him when he could walk supported by a walking frame after around 4 weeks. I know to some that may sound amazing because at least he could move, but even the week before he went into hospital he went to the gym 4/5 days a week, he was always active and doing, and when his wife was diagnosed with cancer, he did everything in his power that he could to support her. Anyway, he was sent home on the Friday and by the Sunday he was back in with septicemia in the High Dependency Unit. He died the following Saturday. So there is now loads of stuff happening with who said he was ‘okay’ to go home and the day/night carers who didn’t send him back to the hospital, because we did. Losing him was a massive shock and I guess in a way I’m still in denial as he did die in hospital. I loved and do still love him wholeheartedly; I was always closer with my Granny but in the last few years we became closer and one of my proudest achievements was teaching him about the importance of highlighter! One day it’ll hit me and will do so hard. His cremation was tough and he then had a memorial a few days later as he was a really successful creative director in advertising so it allowed those people to come along and pay their respects. Due to his success, there was actually a newspaper article written about him, and I just found the headline really insensitive. It basically said his name then ‘dies’, as if those three words should just suffice. I know I’m going on but that wasn’t even a patch on everything I could possibly say. My Granny’s illness also progressed and she lost even more weight, hence looking even more ill. When she went back home a few days after Pops died, she started having a live-in carer who was amazing and I know became a really close friend to her. I also had a huge argument with my Mum’s ex-girlfriend in October which was probably my stress coming out sideways but she is now 100% out of my life, something I’ve wanted for nearly 2 years, so that was a success! I also began applying for colleges.

November

Not much happened this month in comparison to everything else! Donald Trump became president which I don’t really want to get into because I don’t know everything and I’d much rather have an ‘educated response’, though I have the same feeling that the rest of the world generally do! From what I know, he, as a human, goes against everything I have ever believed in and I’m just glad my Granddad didn’t have to see it! I had my first college interview and was accepted to do A Levels which is so exciting, though nerve-wracking at the same time! On the same day as my interview, I was also told that my Granny’s cancer had become terminal as she was suffering from the chemo so much and didn’t see the point in continuing the treatment. She was given 6-12 months, I think. At the very end of the month, my Mum bought my brother and I a little treat as we had all suffered so much last year and so she got us a little Shih Tzu puppy who we named Dexter. He is going to be 12 weeks on Thursday and has grown so much! I did write a blog post on him during Blogmas but there isn’t much to report other than I love him so much!

December

To be honest with you, I was really excited for Christmas last year so when December rolled round, I was so happy! We were going to celebrate my Granny’s last Christmas in style with her carer and have a day of Christmas jumpers and games! Unfortunately, a week before my Granny died at home in the arms of her carer. We knew it was going downhill that week, but not to that extreme. On the Thursday we were told she had a month left but by the Sunday she was gone. It is for the best in her case because she was in so much pain, had little to no quality of life left and kept saying how much she wanted to be with my Granddad. Losing one or both of your grandparents is hard, but losing them within 3 months of each other is more than enough to keep me going for a lifetime! Luckily, my Nan’s still going so I have one left! I still had a fairly decent Christmas, but it was dedicated to all those who were there in spirit. Her funeral will be next week so, in theory, I just have to get this out the way then I can begin my New Year as happily as possible.

Going into the New Year, I am understandably pessimistic. It is also going to be a massive year as I will have to sit my exams, go to prom and start college, all of which I am terrified for! Yesterday also marked the 3 year anniversary of my blog which is absolutely crazy, so at least I still have you guys to talk to and take my mind off things! As I said earlier, everything that could possibly be thrown my way has so, hopefully, things can only go up from here! I’m trying, and I will try to be more optimistic…but no promises!

And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – I’m sorry for it’s length, I just let myself run riot with this one! Let me know what your 2016 was like or what you have to look forward to this year! Anything I’ve mentioned in this blog post I’m quite happy to talk about to an extent, so if you do have any questions I will try to answer as sufficiently as possible.

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you Thursday,

Rachel xx

A-Z of Me | Blogmas

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today I thought I would share with you the A-Z of Me, which sounds really narcissistic, but I thought it would be a fun way of sharing little anecdotes and teaching you little things about myself. If this isn’t your thing I completely understand but I saw someone else write this a few months ago and wrote it down meaning to write it pretty soon after, but now seems like the right time! I’m going to write whatever comes into my mind first so be prepared for the craziness, happiness and sadness that will come from this blog post! I also highly recommend you guys try this as well because it really is fun and gets you thinking!

Amy Winehouse

Anyone who knows me will know about my complete love for Amy Winehouse! I started listening to her in around February and I have never looked back! I guess I just enjoy her style of music (jazz/soul) and as I go through life I find a lot more of her lyrics relatable so I then enjoy them more but with a lot more sass and bitterness to it (which is obviously always a good thing!).

Boys

This could be misconstrued so let me explain: I have been raised literally predominantly by boys. I have 4 male cousins (2 older, 2 younger), a younger brother, I used to have 2 step-brothers, and 2 third cousins who are the same age as me who are also boys. I personally really liked this because I feel it has made me into the person I am now (how cheesy) and means that now I’m older and want to go out with boys (as friends and perhaps, maybe, even more) I don’t get as nervous as other girls who have only ever surrounded themselves with girls. This is literally to the point where my Mum’s worried about my lack of female relations but I really don’t mind.

Cats

I have lived my entire life surrounded by cats. When I was first born, my Mum and Dad had this rescue cat called Elsa who they had to put down when I was a few weeks old, they then had Samson who escaped, then Pebbles and Tilly (I literally went into mourning when Tilly died but with Pebbles we kind of expected it!), then it was Jasmine who had three kittens, Max, Sophie and Ruby. Max disappeared (we think it was because the rabbit kept humping him) but Sophie and Ruby had a litter of kittens each who we then had to sell and then we finally got Louis. So we are now left with those final 3. To say I’ve had a fair share of cats would be a slight understatement!

Dad

Since my parents split up, I haven’t had the best relationship with my Dad. Let’s move on…

Existential Crisis

Literally every waking moment. This has only been exacerbated by the looming exams I have and moving onto college. When Donald Trump was elected president, I was literally woken up and told so the first thing I said at 7:15 that morning was ‘what is the point in life. We’re all going to be dead in 6 months. Everything in life is insignificant’. I have no trust in this president whatsoever.

Frank Sinatra

I am currently going through a huge Frank Sinatra stage. I love his songs and I’m actually looking forward to watching Elf this year just for all the Frank Sinatra music. I can’t even think what genre of music it is. Jazz? Swing? Soul? Either way, I love it!

Great British Bake Off

I really got into this years series of the Great British Bake Off… just as it’s about to move channels and lose all it’s Mary Berry goodness! Nothing pains me more than knowing I won’t have any sarcastic Mel and Sue commentary over sweating middle-aged women anymore.

History

I have always had a really geek-y obsession with History and I love it so much. I can remember at the age of 6 learning about Barnardos and the origins of it in Victorian London and being the only one in my class who actually enjoyed it. And I wondered why no one liked me!

Imagination

I’ve always had a huge imagination and I hope to put this to some use in a creative career of some sort one day. I’ve always had some kind of project that I’ve enjoyed fueling my imagination into and I guess this is how this blog has evolved.

Jacob

This was the name I would’ve had if I was born a boy and, as it happens, is the name of my Mum’s new girlfriends son. What a crazy world we live in!

Kardashians

About 18 months ago, I became completely addicted to Keeping Up With The Kardashians and, even though I don’t watch it anymore, I still stay up to date with them and track their every move. Obviously that last point I was joking…

London

For as long as I can remember, I have loved going to London on day trips because I live like two and a half hours away, so when we went it was always a special treat. My aunt also lives in South London and I love seeing her whenever I can. Fun fact, I was born just outside of London, as well. It’s basically the best!

Menopause

I’m literally already having nightmares about the menopause but I’m only 15 years old! Can you tell I couldn’t think of anything else for ‘M’?!

Nemo

I hate Finding Nemo and Finding Dory with a passion. It’s only because I have the biggest fear of the sea (I love Dory as a character!) and no one really appreciates how realistic Pixar designs it’s sea other than me. I literally can’t watch it just for the graphics. Well done but, no.

Orange

Officially the best colour ever! There is nothing I own that isn’t orange – it’s a slight obsession that’s become insanely destructive on my life!

Paris

This summer I was supposed to go to Paris for a few days but it turns out my Granny was actually developing a cancer tumor and was struggling to walk to the end of her garden let alone around France, so I ended up not going. My Granddad always promised that we would go once she was better but in October he actually passed away so when I do, hopefully, end up going to Paris, I think it will be a very emotional experience.

Quails

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to watch a baby quail being born (or hatch from it’s egg) in the comfort of my own home irl. I loved that little quail so much but I never saw him again. Sad times. His name was Bobby and he was just the cutest.

Rachel

For those of you who don’t know, my name is Rachel and I run the blog Chummy R! When I was younger I actually hated my name because I used to hate standing out and there was no one else in my year with the same name as me. I quite like it now though, being different doesn’t bother me so much, ecspecially as I’m in a school double the size now.

Spongebob

I think I was the only child ever who didn’t like and so didn’t watch Spongebob. I don’t know why, but I genuinely got weird vibes from Patrick. He just freaked me out and I don’t know why. Sorry for offending everyone!

Three Men and a Baby

This film literally raised me and it was my first favourite film ever! I think it explains a lot but if you haven’t seen it and love a comedy, this is the one for you! It is from the 1980’s but I still absolutely adore it!

U + Ur Hand by Pink

This was a song released when I was a lot, lot younger and now that I understand the full meaning, I am completely in love with it! I guess I find it more applicable now, as a lot of girls my age would, but I love really sassy, shady songs and so this ticks all those boxes! If you want a bit of a giggle, check this song out!

Viennesse Whirl

When my first boyfriend split up with me and got a new girlfriend, me and my best friend decided to nickname her Vienensse Whirl because her name was something similar to that and I could never pronounce it correctly! For those that don’t know, a Viennesse Whirl is basically just a sandwich biscuit with cream in the middle, but it made us giggle. Don’t forget, be the bigger person…even if it does make you giggle for a little while!

Walt Disney

I am a massive Disney addict and growing up has not and will not change that in the slightest! I really like the classic ones like Peter Pan or Cinderella but I’m not impartial to the new ones. The ones that have their own soundtrack that I can sing along to as well – love them! I also love those massive bumper CD’s of the best songs from over the years! I’m just a child in a teenager’s body, I swear!

Xylophone

One of my proudest moments from being a child was playing the xylophone in my class’ assembly at school on a Friday. If your class was the chosen one for that weeks assembly to perform a musical piece, you felt as if you had been blessed by the Gods and it was literally a fight of the fittest to get the xylophone, and one time I did. And it is no lie that a lot of shade was thrown my way! It was a huge responsibility!

YouTube

I am a huge YouTube obsessive! I love nothing more than watching half an hour long vlogs or makeup tutorials or hauls or just anything really. If there is click bait, you can be guaranteed I’m going to watch it!

Zany Zebras

In the summer, there was this Zany Zebra hunt in the city where my friend lives and we were going to go do it but we never got round to it which I was genuinely disappointed about! It was basically the art students at the university creating different designs on these model zebras for a local zoo to help raise money for it or something like that. Some of the designs were actually really cool and I really wish I’d gone to look for them!

And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – although it took some time, I’ve really enjoyed writing it! Let me know what your personal A-Z would be or what things I’ve mentioned you would like to discuss – I’d love to chat with you guys!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow,

Rachel xx

Let’s Talk About… LGBT | Blogmas

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today I would like to chat with you about my views and personal role in the LGBT community. As those of you may or may not know, I literally am surrounded by gays and its the best thing that has ever happened to me! Obviously they’re still just people but I can never deny the bravery they convey to me and their strength they have against other people; one of my favourite things my best friend has ever said to a homophobe was ‘just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I can’t punch you’. She is literally my favourite person! There are more than just gay/lesbian people in this community, of course, but my main area of knowledge is with them. Just as a little bit of background, my best friend is gay and I’m really good friends with her girlfriend (who is also trans) and my Mum is also gay so I’ve got her and her girlfriend to live with as well.

First of all, I just want to point out that despite the fact I’m straight, I can and will still support the LGBT community with the same amount of strength as my friends. I honestly believe everyone is equal (can you tell?!) and we should be treated in this way. It doesn’t matter who you go to bed with at night, you should be treated by the quality of your personality, the amount of effort you put in at work or general life and just whether you’re a good person or not. I am kind of scared some people will think I’m treading on other’s toes who are primarily affected by homophobia, transphobia or any other issues surrounding the community but on the other hand, I kind of see it as ‘the more the merrier’ in terms of support. In my own way, I kind of know what it’s like to not be believed in on what you believe is 100% true, though of course it’s not on the same scale.

I know some may disagree but I also consider myself quite privileged to live in a time where people who are gay or trans or gender fluid, to name a few, are much more widely accepted. Homophobia does still take place (and it is brutal, I’ve been unfortunate enough to experience it myself when with my friends) but you aren’t going to be legally punished for it and you can also get officially married in this country now. I don’t want to sugarcoat or just brush past homophobia/transphobia or general bullying because it is a massive issue that should be resolved but I’m trying to say that in comparison to it being illegal to love who you want to love, it is miles better and individual countries have progressed so much in the past 100/150 years or so. Even if individuals can’t accept your true self, the state will now defend you as it is seen as harrasment or a hate crime when you know you are doing nothing wrong by simply being with your partner.

I think like a lot of topics, I was quite naive as a child and thought that we were all equal because it was the 2000’s and everything was obviously ‘better’ than in previous years. I don’t think I fully understood the ethics of the community at that point either; that has only come to me in recent years. I think up until my friend came out to me about 3/4 years ago I was quite judgmental; she looked nothing like a lesbian so how could she be? Of course that isn’t the case and you shouldn’t stereotype people on what they look like and hence what their gender or sexuality is. There are some that are really obvious with it but just let that person confirm or reject that idea – they could just like to look that way, after all!

Now that I’m older and have all this experience, I’m no longer a stereotypical person, nor do I ‘fear the unknown’ so much. My Mum is the exact same since she’s come out and so is my best friend (only they are so much happier). We still laugh about the same stuff, we still cry about the same stuff and she’ll still give me boy advice if I need it. I would say that I definitely love my best friend, and just because she now has a girlfriend, that love isn’t going to evaporate into the great abyss. I fell in love with her humour, Agony-Aunt-style-advice and genuine human-ness. Basically, your true friends will stick by you because they fell in love with who you are and not who you appear to be before you come out. That became really soppy, I’m really sorry about that!

Finally, the changes we need to make as a whole. It’s much easier said than done to do things such as eradicate homophobia completely or allow trans toilets because it is going to be a long process but bit by bit, we will get there, and it will take one person at a time to do so. In terms of homophobia, it can be reported to the police. You won’t be seen as ‘making a fuss out of nothing’ or anything like that – it’s a legitimate crime that can be dealt with. If you are in school, you can take it straight to your head of year/house or even head teacher as it is a very severe issue that should be tackled. No school should allow any form of bullying whether it’s racist, because of someone’s disability or sexuality, so they will do something for you. For much bigger, nationwide issues like trans toilets, that isn’t so simple to solve. However, we can all campaign and all fight as a whole because someone shouldn’t be torn which way to go when they need the toilet. It isn’t about classifying someone as ‘trans’, it’s about allowing them to be their true self. These were only two examples but, honestly, I would do anything for my friends and family to be truly happy and comfortable in themselves. Just because I fit the ‘normal ideal human’ doesn’t mean I don’t feel bad for them and want to help them. I feel like I’m just rambling now, but the LGBT community is something I feel so strongly about and is something I will support until the end of time.

And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and it has educated you or helped you in some way. I’m not a professional in this in anyway, shape or form but this is my opinion and my viewpoint on the topic. Let me know what you think of the LGBT community and how you would help them, but please keep it nice in the comments! They are still people and that should be more widely recognised.

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow,

Rachel xx

My Fear of Layering | Blogmas

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today I would like to write a chatty little blog post of My Fear of Layering. This sounds like an odd one, but I will explain and hopefully I won’t be the only person with this fear and I will find like-minded people who also thinks about these kinds of things in way too much detail! Anyway, let me please explain to you about My Fear of Layering.

As it has become significantly colder over the past few months, I have noticed that a very popular trend appears to be layering clothes. This could be in the practical sense of willful Mother’s trying to shove 3 jumpers over their toddlers heads while they’re kicking and screaming or those oh-so popular Tumblr girls who layer a shirt under a jumper and then wear a really trendy (usually khaki) but ridiculously thin coat over the top of it. In both senses, I am not a fan. It is only in November/December/January my true introverted self fully appears and I will not leave the house without 4 layers on (beanie included) – but this is also when the fear arises!

As the first born in my family, I was basically the ‘tester’ child. I received all the vaccines, I was given strict bedtimes and, most notably, I was forced into layer after layer during these colder months until I left the house with my arms entirely horizontal to the rest of my body due to all the clothes I was currently wearing. This was not helped by the ‘puppy fat’ I lived in until the age of about 13. I have the most vivid memories of my Dad struggling to pull my zip on my coat up without it popping open over all my layers (yes, it became a ‘Dad job’!). I do still like the ‘practical-layer-up’ because I get cold so easily, but I do this much more subtly now: top, jumper, coat, fluffy socks, fluffy boots, beanie. This does still mean I’m freezing cold but it does mean I have the ability to walk, which is always necessary!

Then there’s the other sense. I’m not a Tumblr blogger and it’s safe to say I will never reach that form of antisocial hierarchy in my life, but we can all dream can’t we! On some girls, the collared-shirt-jumper-ridiculously-thin-coat-trend can look amazing and I really like the effect it has, just not on me. I just feel it would be quite suffocating and on my *slightly larger* body it would just look wrong. I feel I would look like one of those people who try to fit in but, at every opportunity, fails to do so. I think, with my body shape and natural allure (oh yeah!), collared-shirt-jumper-trend would do me no favours whatsoever. I would also forget to keep my head raised for the entire day so my skull would just melt into the collar where my neck should be! This is the same for roll-neck jumpers. What is the point of buying a jumper with this feature when I can create my own neck-rolls very easily and much more inexpensively?! It’s also unique to me and my DNA (bringing out my Biology GCSE there, going to use that at every opportunity!)!

So in this colder season I will not be layering up. Instead, I will sit back in a chunky knit cardie, my array of black jumpers and my candles burning at any given opportunity, watching episode after episode of American Horror Story! Perfect!

And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – something a little bit different but I really like just chilling and chatting and I have a lot to talk about (can you tell??) so let me know if you would like to see more of these. Also, don’t forget to let me know what you think of this issue; are you a little bit bigger and have the steel-like courage to wear this? If so, please tell me how!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow,

Rachel xx

I Am A Feminist | Blogmas

Good Afternoon Munchkins!

Today I will be writing to you voicing my opinions on feminism. I know there is quite a clear divide between feminists and those who aren’t, but if you could please take the time to read this blog post, do your own research and then make up your own decision (if you haven’t previously made it up) then I will be happy. I don’t want to force my opinion onto you, as much as it may seem that way, but I want to just let everything out and enlighten you on my viewpoint and personal experiences.

For those that don’t know, feminism is a type of movement that originated to basically stand up for women and to ensure there are equal rights because despite it being 2016, there are still some significant differences between men and women. Personally, when I started researching this more, it really opened my eyes because I’ve always felt or had this thinking that in the 21st century everyone is equal, at least in this country. When I was a child and would research different points in history, such as the suffragettes, it made me really happy to think that these things have been conquered and I was born into a world where I’ve basically got the green light to go and get on with my life. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, and feminism spreads all over the world, not just in the UK (another thing I naively thought). A couple of examples of things to fight for within feminism is getting girls all across the world to go to school or equal pay for men and women. This isn’t about proving women are better because truth be told we’re not; we are all equal and this is a fact that shouldn’t be shadowed by anything or anyone.

The first way feminism personally affects me is in terms of sexuality. I think this is a point that you wouldn’t necessarily put in the same box as feminism but once you start thinking about it, it really does start to make sense. If you’ve read my blog for a while now, you will know that I don’t really like my body and if I can show off a little piece of body I like, I will. I like certain things like my hips so if I have the opportunity to show these off,  I will, but for me and no one else. I don’t have a boyfriend, so it is primarily for me. If I’ve decided to gain the courage to wear a crop top that shows off my boobs or my hips in anyway, I shouldn’t have to be stared at like a piece of meat by men of any age as I walk down the street. This is my body – it’s not going to stay this way for ever. As I grow older, I will have children and reach certain milestones in a woman’s life that will ultimately change my body and it’s physical appearance. Don’t look at my body and immediately judge me for it because I can promise you that in 40 years it won’t look the same as this! If I ended up with a guy who fell for my body instead of me, he would get a massive shock as we got older! Some people say that this is the reason why more women are subjected to rape or sexual assault – no, that’s your excuse. There could be a woman walking down the street who was plus size, wearing glasses, no makeup, hair greasy wearing a  particularly ‘revealing’ outfit and most probably won’t go for her. But roll on a size 6 woman wearing an old jumper and jeans with her makeup done perfectly, you are more likely to target her because she fits your ideologies as a shallow, arrogant male. Children get sexually abused; are you seriously suggesting that this is because of the ‘revealing’ little dresses and playsuits they’re wearing? This is a particular scenario I’m very hot-headed on!

Another thing that primarily affects me and my future is equal pay. This recently surfaced in the past few years when it was released a particular supermarket paid men more than women for doing the exact same job. I personally thought this was absolutely ridiculous and could understand no reason for this whatsoever. If I’m doing a job that deserves minimum wage, I will take that; I’m not someone who will only ask for more because I do know what I deserve. But if there is a male who is working alongside me and is getting paid more, I will say something and to think that the only difference between us is what’s between our legs actually horrifies me. I actually feel degraded as a woman and feel less worthy of the money I’m working so hard for. Most Mum’s now a-days are single for a whole host of reasons and tend to have the majority of the custody of their children, so I have no idea why they receive less – surely they can’t survive on their child benefits alone. I realise that has just got onto very dodgy territory but I would rather be in and out of jobs instead of working for someone who pays me less than the bloke next to me. As I did mention earlier, this is just about being equal and being viewed in that way. I just think it’s logical for two people who are doing the same job to be paid the same.

My final argument is getting all girls into school or full-time education. Luckily, this doesn’t directly affect me in this country but it is a huge, widespread issue in third world countries. I kind of live with the ideology that everyone should be educated because you could be preventing someone from becoming a life-saving brain surgeon or the scientist who discovers the cure to cancer. I feel very strongly about this, as well as the more obvious things like women are being refused education to go be married and become a mother at a ridiculously young age. The idea that there are girls my age or younger married and with at least one child right now never fails to bewilder me. Kind of like my previous point, everyone should be given the same opportunities because you never know what will come with it. This also links to my first point of women being seen as sexual objects or simply birthing machines, which we’re not. As women, we have the same amount of intellect as a male, the same amount of potential and the same amount of passions we would like to endeavour in. The fact that these young girls are being prevented from this simple exposure to some education actually angers me and I feel like sometimes in this country we do take advantage of our education system. Yes, it’s difficult but it allows me to progress as an individual and complete the things I really want to do, not what someone tells me to do.

I feel like I haven’t written enough to suffice on such a subject but I feel like I should draw this to a close before it gets too political and dangerous on my part! I hope you have been able to take something from this blog post and don’t forget to let me know what you’re opinion is! And please keep it nice. I’m actually nervous to upload this now!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow,

Rachel xx

Meet Dexter! | Blogmas

Good Evening Munchkins!

Today I would like to introduce you to a new little friend of mine who was a complete surprise for all of us! Meet Dexter! That sounds really bad as if I had an unexpected pregnancy! Well any pregnancy I have at this age would be unexpected. Anyway, I digress!

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This is Dexter. He is 8 weeks old and is a little baby Shih Tzu. My Mum bought him as a little surprise for me and my brother after we’d had such a horrible year and I’ve, of course, taken on the motherly role. Apparently he was the runt of the litter but he’s grown so much since we first got him (a week last Wednesday). He is so adorable and has the most gorgeous little brown eyes. I can’t believe he’s actually mine! Obviously it’s not all plain sailing because he’s a puppy and he’s teething (I just happen to be his favourite chew toy!) and needs training to do certain stuff, but he’s already developing so quickly. Shih Tzu’s are supposed to double in size every two weeks so hopefully by Christmas he’ll be able to fit into his Christmas jumper!

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Other than the teething side of things, I love everything about him! The way he walks, his little baby bark and when he’s sleepy he is just so floppy and cute! He has his little hyper moments which are expected then just randomly passes out for half an hour – it’s crazy! He’s definitely changed our lives for the better! I’ve had Year 11 Mocks on for the latter half of this week and he’s helped relieve so much stress, even if he has delayed my work a little bit! He has a few favourite toys that he momentarily chews before seeing my arms once again! We have another dog, Pippa, and she *very delicately* tells him when she doesn’t want to play as she is quite elderly now but he’s a poppy, so he’ll eventually learn. I just love him so much!

In the New Year I will finally be able to take him out and about for walks, which I’m so excited for! This is shocking to literally everyone in my household; I haven’t willingly left the house in about 7 years! He just needs to have one more jab and be off with it! Everyone he meets falls in love with him – well, how can you not with a face like that! He’s even famous on the vets Facebook page, now! He gets so restless indoors, I just think taking him out and about will be so new and exciting for him! And yes, I do treat him like a baby, but he is after all!

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Anyway, the main premise of this blog post was to obviously inform you of my little man and ask if you would like to see any further blog posts on him or puppies or anything surrounding him/raising doggies! This is my first time raising one from a pup so I think it’s going to be a learning curve for all of us, but we have got a lot of educated, supportive people surrounding us who have had their fair share of dogs! That’s only if you’re interested, if not then don’t worry – you still got some cute puppy photos!

And there we have it! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post – this is what I said I was excited for yesterday! Let me know if you have any particular questions on Dexter or other puppies and I will try my best to answer, though I feel like a first time mother so it may not be 100% factual or correct; it’s just what I’ve found most effective and useful for our little one in his first week!

Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow,

Rachel xx