I’m done with Monday Syndrome.

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Over the past few months I’ve talked openly about trying to change not only my perspective on my life, but in my attitude too. It’s a very hard road at times, no-one can ever be positive one hundred percent of the time and I would never claim to live up to that impossible standard, but the harder days is when gratitude plays a significant part.

The one thing about trying to have a more optimistic perspective is that you look at every aspect of your life to see where the negative energy tends to stem from and I’m very lucky that my period of therapy so far has had a massive impact of me figuring out the positive and the negative.

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“Remember, Mondays are fine. It’s your life that sucks.” A quote said very simply on Twitter by Ricky Gervais that always seems to have stuck with me. There’s nothing more time consuming that complaining about a Monday, just think about it; the amount of time you complain about it, you could be doing something a lot more productive. You could be looking up a new class to go to, you could be planning a run, you could be writing a blog post or you could be reading a new book for example. The amount of time and quite frankly, energy we put into moaning about it on Twitter, thinking about it in our head or actively talking about it, don’t you think we could use our time more wisely?
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I think the majority of us can admit that we’ve either felt like this or still feel like this on a Monday and it is understandable. Many of us start back to work on a Monday so that means coming back from a chilled work-free weekend so it can be overwhelming to start back for another week. Let’s face it, most of us are in a career for the next forty to fifty years, so I’m sorry to break it to you but Monday’s will keep coming round every week for the next while and there is no way I’m spending the rest of my life complaining about something that I can’t change.
So what can we do about it? Well we can’t avoid Mondays so here’s what I personally do to make the start of my work week on a better note.
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1) Have a morning routine.
For me, having a morning routine is absolutely key to keeping my mind in check and my morning starts at 4am, yes, I did just say 4am! For those wondering why, I’ll be writing a blog post on my routine soon (which will be linked here) but ever since having a morning routine, my day has started off on a better foot. I’m not always running late for work (It does still happen sometimes, I’m not perfect!), I’ve given myself enough time to meditate, head to the gym, have a tasty breakfast and have some cuddles with my kitten before I leave for the day. It’s all about what is important to you and how you want your morning to look, which leads me onto my second tip…
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2) Find your motivation.
This is one of the most important points I’ll make in today’s post. Why? Let’s face it, if you don’t have anything to get up for in the morning apart from work, how will you convince yourself to do it otherwise? For me, I wake up early and go to the gym. What’s my motivation? Well, I like to live a healthy and active lifestyle, I prefer going to the gym in the morning rather than the evening and I see myself constantly progressing when in a gym or workout environment. So whether that’s feeling like my fitness levels have been raised when I’m pushing myself on a cardio machine, hitting another personal best on a weight machine or getting a faster time during a run; that progress is what makes me strive to go to the gym more. Your motivation could be that you want to sit and eat your breakfast in peace instead of only having five minutes to eat it while rushing out the door. Your plan could be to get up twenty minutes earlier and either get ready for work and have that extra time before taking some time for yourself to sit down and eat your breakfast, or why not do it the other way around? Your motivation can be that simple, but if you can’t find a reason to change your morning even by the slightest detail to boost your mood, then you have to ask yourself, do you really want to change?
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3) Plan your week.
I love knowing what I’m going to do for the next week and if you’re like me, you’ll know how satisfying it is choosing what days to go to the gym, when you’re going to meet up with a friend or even have a night to yourself. Whatever plans you like to make, write them down somewhere you’re going to be looking on a regular basis and make sure they’re realistic. Being busy every single night of the week might seem like your productivity is at its highest but if you don’t pencil yourself in for some down time, are you going to have time to enjoy yourself in amongst the busyness of the week?
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4) Having time for myself.
Reflecting on my last point, taking some time for yourself is incredibly important. For the last five months, I’ll admit, this hasn’t been on the top of my list, but I’m going to make it a priority again soon. Every Monday evening after work, I would attend my favourite yoga class about thirty seconds away from my office. Now you might think it’s strange to go to yoga on a Monday night, it sounds more like a weekend or even a Thursday or Friday activity. Surprisingly (when I didn’t have a morning routine), this is what made me just a little more excited for Monday’s. I got to focus on myself and be present for an entire hour without my phone and without worrying about anything. You don’t have to have your “me time” be a yoga class; It can be having a date night once a week with your partner, you can have your best friend round for a tea or coffee, you can go to bed a little earlier with a candle lit and read a good book. You don’t have to be extravagant and book yourself in for a manicure every week (but if you want to do that, and can afford to, then you do you!), it really can be very simple things that will give you a better perspective on the week.
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In no way am I saying that I never complain about going to work or the fact that it’s Monday again, I do sometimes but I don’t want to do that forever. I don’t want to “live for the weekend”, why live for two days out of the week when you can make the most of the seven we already get? Monday’s are always seen as a new week, a new perspective and a fresh start so use that positivity in your favour. You never know what you might achieve by slowly changing your mindset around!

| My City Break to Rome | Part Two |

In December, I went on a little city break to the beautiful city of Rome and I’ve decided to tell you the best bits, funny stories and little memories from that trip. You’ll find Part One right here, and if you’ve ever been to Rome, tell me what was your favourite memory.

IMG_8898.JPG(The architecture was beautiful.)

I felt like I might die in a taxi.

This does not just apply to Italy, it also happened in Finland and Russia. I only used transport twice in Rome; once to get to my hotel and once to get the airport. Both times it was taxis and the taxi to airport was very fancy! It was the hotel taxi so it was more expensive but the car itself was just very swoosh! The taxi from the airport were obviously guys who make their money off picking up people from the airport because it was so expensive. Anyway, in my experience, it seems like if you drive outside the UK, the driving is crazy. I’m not talking breaking the speed limit a little; I’m talking breaking the speed limit by about 40mph, zooming in and out of cars constantly and flying around corners for no reason. If I had have been religious, I would have prayed for my own life, and I’m not joking.

20161213_122216(The little Italian streets had so much character about them. I truly fell in love with the city.)

I walked a lot.

I have a FitBit Blaze so naturally, this made me want to walk everywhere and see those steps go up! It’s one of the ways I was able to justify having not the greatest diet because I was genuinely walking everywhere. You see more when you walk too. I lost my way a few times and you end up seeing more of the city that you thought so it was always a surprise if you found something you didn’t expect to.

20161213_155019(Just before heading back to the hotel to meet my taxi on the last day, I sat here for about half an hour watching the water. It was so peaceful.)

I went back to the hotel early at night.

Maybe that sounds boring and I wouldn’t have done it if someone else had have been with me but I thought it was the safer option to go back early in a country I didn’t know. I wrote blog posts, scheduled tweets (for my blog posts) and caught up with some YouTube that I had missed. It was quite nice just being on my own in a room catching up on the blog when I had the chance.

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(What a view!)

I visited the Colosseum.

I was so excited to visit one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks. Despite not being a history buff nor had my marks ever been great in history class but when you get up close to the such an iconic building like that, it’s very hard not to be taken back by something so beautiful. That sounds very clique and very “from the movies” but it truly was breath taking. I went on an English tour around the whole building which was fantastic; the only downside to the tour was that there was an Irish woman on it too and every ten seconds she would butt into the tour guide and either comment on something very loudly or ask an additional question.  It was very very distracting to the point where it was very irritating. He ended up telling her that she had to stop asking questions or he’d never finish the tour.

20161213_141159(The Trevi Fountain was too stunning not to get a photograph at.)

The Trevi Fountain was beautiful.

I paid a visit to the Trevi Fountain quite a few times during my trip. The first time it was far too busy to even attempt to get a photograph but to be fair, it was early morning on a Saturday but I went back early on a Monday morning and it wasn’t as busy. Being so up close to it is remarkable; it was like a surreal experience, I was visiting this monumental piece of art essentially and I couldn’t believe I was there. It was gorgeous!

20161212_124315(If I don’t say so myself, probably one of my best and favourite selfies.)

 

I didn’t get to visit everything that I wanted to, and that’s okay.

This trip for me was a relaxing one so I didn’t want to plan it out to an absolute tee, so missing out some sight seeing wasn’t the end of the world. I would have loved to see The Vatican but I missed out this time, but the way I look at it is if I ever go back, I can go next time. That’s the fun of going on holiday, you don’t have to see everything at once; if it’s within your budget and you genuinely want to go back (which I do!) then you can see it next time, it’s not the end of the world.

Thank you so much for reading today’s post. As I mentioned before, I really fell in love with Rome and I already know I’m planning on making another trip back. I hope you have a lovely day! ☀️

I am a body shamer.

Being a body shamer doesn’t just mean body shaming other people, you can be a body shamer by doing it to yourself. I take full responsibility for both so today I wanted to talk about body shaming..

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(Source Image Credit)

This post is inspired by two things. Firstly, there’s a lovely YouTuber I watch called Avia (also known as thesparkleicious on YouTube) who I’ve been watching for a few years now. She seems so lovely and she talks about issues that many of us are thinking in her series “Woman to Woman” . One of these issues was body shaming and she spoke about fat shaming more specifically but I’ll be speaking about body shaming overall. The second thing I was inspired by was my own behaviour (after watching Avia’s video)

In Avia’s video (which is linked here) she talked about getting comments from someone about her body shape and how she looked on Instagram and on YouTube. That led her to reading an article about body shaming and she spoke about how she feels when it comes to talking to someone about how they look, whether that is their weight or their overall looks.

For me, I didn’t understand how someone could go out of their way to make a horrible comment on someone’s personal picture about something that doesn’t involve them. At the same time, I know I have made comments about a family members weight to them, not because I hate them and I wanted to be a horrible person (because I don’t) but it’s because I genuinely cared and I wanted to help. I never really thought about the fact that it’s probably not that helpful. Yes, I was pointing out the obvious but ever since watching Avia’s video, I’ve looked at my behaviour towards other people to see how I can change. In reality, I was being a massive hypocrite and I was and still am very ashamed of myself for ever thinking that was acceptable, even if it was a family member.

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But what about my behaviour towards myself? If you sat me down and asked me what I liked about my body, I would ask you, “can I tell you what I don’t like instead?”. For me to think about something I like about my body is very difficult, I find a flaw with something. For example, I love my hair colour but my actual hair is thin, it’s so greasy and it falls out so easily. Another one would be I love when my nails are painted but my actual nails have become very flaky and they’re not as strong as they used to be.

My weight is something that I have struggled with ever since I lost a large amount of weight a few years ago. Having been through a weight loss journey and talking to others who have been through the same, I’ve started to realise that I’m not the only one who goes through these thoughts. I worry about gaining the weight back instantly, I worry about not fitting into something so I buy a bigger size and it makes me look even bigger than I am. What also fits into that is trying on a size that you’re meant to be and it being too tight and those thoughts of “You’ve gained weight, it’s starting again” creep in. Now this could be one of two things; either you have actually gained a little weight back (which in hindsight, isn’t a big deal) or you’re in a shop where their sizing is so up the left that it’s really a guessing game what size of clothes you really are wearing. (Don’t get me started on clothing sizes in the UK).

I’m not going to sit here and say that I’m so happy with my body because I’m simply not. I make numerous comments to myself on a daily basis about my body and my looks, that’s something I’m trying to control but to be begin with, it’s very tough. “Well Victoria, if you’re so unhappy, why not change what you don’t like?” We all have that little voice in our heads and that’s mine. Funnily enough, I make choices on a daily basis to try and improve myself; I eat a fairly healthy diet, I drink lots of water, I don’t drink alcohol or smoke and I go to the gym about four or five times a week. This isn’t a new thing by the way, I’ve been doing this for a while but I just need to find a balance with really making a difference to my body and changing my attitude towards myself.

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To end this post today, please go and watch Avia’s video and if you were like me and body shamed without even realising it, I think you’ll take a step back and reflect on what you can change. I’m all for being yourself but if you’re hurting someone (or yourself) with your words, you need to realise that that’s not okay and change your attitude by looking at it through another perspective. How would you feel if someone was saying it to you? Would you like it? If you’ve asked no to those, then you know that you need to look at your own outlook on it.

Let me know what you thought of today’s post. Do you body shame? Have you been body shamed? What are your thoughts on it all? Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this ❤

| My City Break to Rome | Part One |

Towards the very end of the year last year I decided to take myself on holiday to Italy. I wasn’t in the greatest head space at the time and I just needed to get away from my own life for a few days, so I booked myself a city break to Rome. I’d never been to Italy nor had I ever been on holiday on my own before, so I was getting two experiences for the price of one.

I’m not going to write a “What I Did In A Day” but I’m just going to tell you some of the places I visited, some tips for travelling on our own and about some of the things I done while I was there. I’m splitting this into a few parts because there’s quite a lot I want to share, so welcome to Part One!

20161210_153026(One of my favourite photographs I took close to the Ponte Sant’Angelo)

Always made sure my phone was charged.

It’s so important now that we live in quite a dependent world of technology to make sure your phone is always charged. It was important for me, I can’t dance around that fact, but it’s important when you’re anywhere on your own especially if you don’t know the place, to make sure you have something so you can keep in contact with people, if needs be.

20161212_114811(Some of the postcards I sent!)

I sent postcards!

I have always loved the idea of postcards; mainly because it shows your friends and family a sense of where you are and what you’re up to. It’s also more personal than a text message and you can’t write a lot so you really want to talk about the best bits. Seeing as I went around the mid-December period, my friends and family didn’t receive their postcards until midway through January. I assumed they had just been lost in the post but they eventually turned up, the Christmas post must have slowed them down.

IMG_20161215_073624_938(The camera I borrowed from my Dad for the trip.)

I took lots of photographs.

I’m aware that you should live in the moment and there are still people who would give you a look at a restaurant or when you’re out on a walk if you think about taking your phone out to take a picture. There’s a time and a place for certain things, right? However, on holiday, while having the mental memory of it is great, there’s nothing I love more than looking back through photographs and that’s why it was really important to me to take photographs. My Dad kindly let me borrow his digital SLR to take with me and I also had my mobile phone so I wasn’t going to run out of photography options. As this was a solo trip, there were quite the number of selfies, and while that makes me seem like I was just taking pictures of myself all day, I was far from it. However, I did love taking a few photographs of iconic landmarks with myself in the photograph as well, because why the hell not?

20161211_152240.jpg(The only photograph of myself that isn’t a selfie; this was at the Fontana Del Tritone in the City Centre. The story behind this is below.)

Get someone to take your photograph for you.

This is a funny story actually, probably one of the stories I’ll tell for years to come. So one morning I was walking into the centre of town for some ice-cream and there was a really beautiful fountain called the Fontana del Tritone that I had walked past once or twice before. I had got a few photographs of it before but I decided to go out of my comfort zone and ask someone to take a photograph of me. I was in a foreign country, I knew no-one so I just had to walk up to someone and ask them but I listened about for a few minutes to see if I could hear anyone speak English. This isn’t me being racist or against anyone from another country, I just can’t speak any other language apart from English so it just made sense to do this. As I go to do this, a fairly older couple come up to me and ask me to take their photograph so I’m like “This is perfect!”. I take their photograph and they seem happy enough with it so they walk away and find a few more angles of the fountain. I got back over to them and say “Would you mind taking my photograph?”, the woman nodded and I showed her how to use the camera and she seemed fine with it all. So I stand and smile, as you do, and I see her hit the screen a little too aggressively then she hands me the phone back and asks me if that’s okay. I look through the photographs; she’s taken six and my shoulder is in one of them. That’s it! Quite literally just my shoulder. So I tell her, “Oh you didn’t actually get me in the photograph, I want to be in it with the fountain behind me.” She asked me how to take a photograph again which I found really strange considering I took their picture with a smart phone, and they’re pretty much all the same now. So the same thing happens, she barely gets me in the photographs so I stand and explain to her for a second time how to do it and how I want it to look. Just as I’m about to go back to my spot and pose, an Australian guy comes over and taps me on the shoulder to tell me that his niece might be able to take a photo for me instead. I said to him “If this doesn’t work out again, I’ll be right over.” Yes, I was right over. Her photographs were terrible, so I really hope she wasn’t trying to make any lasting memories with the photographs she was taking for herself. I go over to this man’s niece and ask her, she must have been about fourteen and I said “I’m assuming you know how to work this yeah?” so she laughed and said yes, so I handed her the camera, and she took a really lovely photo. This is the only time I asked someone else to take my photo because I didn’t want the hassle of the first woman to happen anytime I asked someone.

20161210_140439(The ice-cream never disappointed.)

 

Pizza and ice-cream were consumed the most.

When in Rome, right? I wasn’t plant based back in December so my typical day was ice-cream and a cup of tea for lunch and a pizza for dinner. If I had have been there for a month, yes I probably would have got sick of it but I was only there for a few days so it wasn’t all bad. It’s not the greatest diet in the world I’ll admit but I was walking a lot so I was walking some of it off at least!

20161212_160158(I got this particular pizza in the cutest little Italian quite close to the Colosseum.)

Gluten Free was easier than I thought.

In the country of bread and pasta I was worried I wouldn’t find a lot of places to eat but I was pleasantly surprised, they catered very well to gluten free and the majority of places had it on their menus without having to ask them. There was one pizza places I went to, I got lost trying to find somewhere else and I stumbled across it so I went and had a look. All their seating was outside and there were a few men in their mid-forties standing about so I sat down anyway and ordered, made sure I said gluten free quite a few times and the guy said that was fine. Another guy came and sat some bread down beside me and said “Free bread with your dinner” so I asked him if it was gluten free but after saying it a few times, he called over the guy who had served me and I asked him if it was gluten free. “Yes, yes, it’s free!” This was when I started to get worried. “No, no, is it gluten free?” He seemed confused and proceeded to tell me that it was free. I tried again and the same thing happened so I said “Okay great, thank you!” I moved the bread across the table and about two minutes later, my pizza arrived. I never had a bad pizza in Italy, I’ll give them that but here I was still concerned if it was gluten free. Thankfully afterwards, I had no symptoms or signs that it had gluten in it so I was very pleased. The guy who served me came back and pointed to the bread and said “Do you not want the free bread? Eat it, it’s free!” I politely declined and said that I was full from the pizza. Apart from that one experience, everywhere else I got served were fantastic.

IMG_8922.JPG(One of my favourite midshots of the Fontana del Tritone.)

 

I went on a social media break.

This was a very conscious decision and I’m glad I did it. Only my close friends and family knew I was going away, I didn’t post about it on my social media and I didn’t mention it on my blog. I still took photographs of places, myself and food to use later on (and more importantly, to keep for myself) but I didn’t want to be living on social media when I was there. I wanted to take in the sights, I didn’t want to have to worry about hashtags or updating everyone on the exact location I was. I know you never have to do that but this was such a new experience to me that I wanted to embrace it for all it was worth.

Thank you so much for reading Part One of my Rome trip! Part Two will be up next Friday so when it’s up, I’ll link it right here ❤

I promise I’m not rude. I’m just really shy.

Put your hand up if you’ve ever wanted to say this to a group of people whether that was a group of friends, people you’ve just met or even in a work meeting? *puts hand up*

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I was shy even when I was younger. It worked to my advantage the majority of the time though. In high school, I could have my mp3 player in my school blazer and one earphone in, and it was so low that teachers never heard it. As long as I was getting on with my work and not distracting people, many teachers never had a problem with it. I wasn’t the best student in the world, and I certainly wasn’t the smartest, but I tried my best. So my shyness has pretty much been there my entire life and I find that I can talk a lot more openly and honestly one on one or even with two people, rather than one big group.

Being a shy person is hard because for me, social anxiety is also added into the equation. I work in media so in my job I have to be out of the office sometimes, going up to people I don’t know and ask them for interviews. You get rejected about 90% of the time especially if it’s something like vox pops that aren’t set up. (Vox pops are the public’s opinion on a subject and you’d normally do these in the city centre if you want a wide range of opinions or at a certain event that you want opinions on a specific subject). If we have guests coming into our studio for interviews, you have to make them feel comfortable and you don’t do that by sitting in the corner so you do have to build up this almost fake wall and pretend that you’re comfortable to talking to strangers; when really, it fills me with dread. Not because I don’t like them (because I do) but it’s this sense of putting yourself out there and they have the ability to judge you based on that very small limited amount of time you are with them.

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(Photo Credit)

So why can’t I use this in real life situations outside of work? Take a blog event for example that I attended a few weeks ago, I seen so many women bloggers who’s Instagram stories I would watch on a daily basis, I would comment on their photos, I would read their blogs but could I go up to them and start a conversation? No. I was far too nervous and that’s when the social anxiety would kick in. It’s also a self confidence issue too. They have more followers, their posts are more popular, they get more likes on their Instagram, they know more about [insert subject] than me, they seem so much more confident than me, why would they want to talk to me? I’ve never been one to look at numbers especially on Instagram, so why does it suddenly matter so much now?

Do I seem rude? Yes, I’m at an event and it’s main purpose is to network with other bloggers, some I’ve met before, others I haven’t.

Am I rude? I don’t think I’m a rude person generally (However, I do have resting bitch face, something which is completely out of my control). I spoke to my boyfriend about this; when I first started talking to him before we started going out, the first time we bumped into each other, he said he didn’t know how to take me because I seemed very nonchalant. I didn’t seem to be very anxious or interested when really, I seen him as soon as he came up the stairs and I was really nervous, but only because I really liked him. So I build up this wall and was able to look like I was cool and collected, when really, I wasn’t!

StockSnap_VUD9ZQRAMK(Source Image Credit)

Self confidence and self esteem are two of my weak points, I can admit that and it’s something I try and work on every day. Blogging, working in the job that I do and speaking to lots of lovely people from Twitter and Instagram (and meeting some of them in real life) really do help little by little but like anything, I still have a long way to go.

So the next time you’re maybe at a blog event or you’re with a big group of people in general and you see a few people off at the side talking in a smaller group or just sitting on their own, try and look at it from a different perspective. It’s not that they don’t like you, it’s not that they don’t want to talk to you; they might just not be great with talking in big groups or they might be intimidated, a friendly hello can boost someone’s confidence more than you might realise. And for anyone who I’ve met or you’ve seen me and I haven’t seen approachable, I’m sorry, that’s not the impression I want to give, and I hope I’ve been able to express why this is through today’s post.

If you’ve ever experienced anything like this (from either side), please let me know either in the comments below or over on my Twitter! I know I’m not on my own in this ❤

Re-evaluating my Facebook friendships.

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Last week I was on my Facebook account (as you do!) and I looked at my friends list; I had one hundred and fifty friends. For me, I didn’t think I knew 150 people, never mind be friends with that many people!

So what did I do? I had a “Facebook Refresh”. I hear people who have had “a Facebook cull” and to me, a cull is just deleting people for no real reason or purpose, unnecessarily. This wasn’t unnecessary (Plus, cull isn’t a very nice word, is it?) Why do I need people who I never talk to on one of my most personal accounts? It’s also very important for me to say I didn’t dislike (or hate) anyone I removed, that’s not what this was about.

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I had people from the one year of University that I haven’t spoken to since. I had one person who I used to be best friends with in Primary School (for a good five or six years) and when we “reunited” on Facebook, her Mum had to remind her who I was (Yes, that made me feel missed!). I had people who I went to college with but hadn’t really spoken to them since we finished. I had people who I met ONCE on a night out. I had people who I spoke to quite actively on Twitter but very rarely on Facebook.

(And speaking of Twitter) Like many others, I have a Twitter and Instagram account where I have some of these lovely people on there instead. So, I still like their tweets or Instagrams; it doesn’t mean I don’t want to see things they post, it just means that I can use my other social media channels to do so.

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I’m not a massive Facebook person anymore. I used to be but I think as you grow older you don’t feel the need to add every single photograph, feeling and restaurant you check into. If I could get away with it, I wouldn’t have a Facebook account but it seems to be the one social media account most people I want to stay in contact with, have so it makes sense to have one for that reason and to use it for its purpose every once in a while.

After my “refresh”, I went from 150 friends to 70 friends and you would be amazed afterwards why you had so many people in the first place. Sure, I might not get as many birthday wishes, profile pictures likes or as many new posts every time I refresh my app; but realistically, if you’re worried about someone you don’t talk to wishing you a Happy Birthday, I think you need to re-evaluate why that is so important to you. I know people who have over 1000 friends on their list; I can’t imagine they talk to every single one of them because who has the time for that?

So is it a numbers game? How do other people view it? A popularity platform? A positive re-enforcement? A pressure cooker of needing constant approval of your life? Or simply just a simple hello to your friends and family every so often?

How important is Facebook to you? Do you value it more than other social media? Thank you for reading my post and if you have any thoughts on it, leave them below or tweet me over at @RetroSnowflake

Speaking from Personal Experience | Engagement Dates.

When I was eighteen, I got engaged. I was on holiday in England with my boyfriend (who lived there) who I had been in a long distance relationship with for about three and a half years. 

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What sparked this topic for me? Valentine’s Day was a few weeks ago and we’ve just waved bye to Christmas too. Being on any social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, I’m sure you seen at least one engagement, right? I’m very involved in Twitter especially so I seen a small number of the girls I follow, get engaged. However, what I also seen was some of these girls having to defend themselves and having judgement passed onto them about getting engaged close to on or Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day.

So why did I tell you that I was engaged at one point? I got engaged on my eighteenth birthday.

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Birthday’s for me were always quite special and so they should be. Christmas and Valentine’s Day are on the whole, something that (almost) everyone celebrates together but your birthday is something that is special to you.

The engagement didn’t work out, we never got married. We broke up when I moved to England, and a few months later after finishing my first year at University, I came back to Belfast. I have never regretted not getting married and not going further with that relationship; we lasted for a little over six years with five and a half of those years being long distance. It was my first ever relationship, I didn’t know what I was doing right and wrong most of the time because it wasn’t a “normal” relationship. There were more things wrong with the relationship than right. Looking back, I was worried about coming home, not because I was sad that it had ended (because I wasn’t), I was more worried that I had build this vision up of myself that I got engaged so young and he was my first everything and we were the perfect couple. (My trait of being a perfectionist had ideally slid in from here I think). I had to come back with my tail between my legs essentially and explain to people that we weren’t together.

Ever since then, I didn’t enjoy my birthday as much. The first birthday that I had when we weren’t together was my 21st. Again, another big birthday for many and I had a different outlook on it. I wasn’t excited, I didn’t want a big fuss, I didn’t think I was worth fussing over; it was just a day to me now. That’s how it was every year after, until my birthday last year.

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I wrote a short little blog post on it but that was my 25th birthday; my boyfriend at the time had gone all out for me to give me the greatest day ever and for the first time (ever), I didn’t think about that failed engagement. I didn’t think about how my life didn’t turn out the way I thought it would at eighteen. I was so overwhelmed with the amount of thought and effort that had gone into celebrating my birthday and making it special that I couldn’t feel or think of anything else but utter happiness.

For those that criticise others for getting engaged at Christmas, New Year’s or Valentine’s Day (for example), it’s no=one’s business when someone gets engaged apart from the two people in the relationship. If you think it’s cliche, fair enough but don’t push your view and your negativity on someone who is currently on cloud nine after just having an amazing moment happen, and quite a life changing one at that.

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I’m not against anyone getting engaged on those days, not at all. Getting engaged is different for every couple, so Valentine’s Day might have an even bigger meaning for you than most. I know that for me personally, it’s not something I would like again. I have told friends and family, and I even told my ex-boyfriend that I don’t want to get engaged on days like that or my birthday again. It’s nothing against those that choose to do it on those occasions but I now have the understanding that not everything works out the way you want it to. I used to love my birthday and it just became a “day” to me for a few years, I just didn’t want the hassle and I didn’t think I was worth it. Some people don’t like their birthday at all and that’s fine, but that never used to be the case for me.

My point is, I understand it from both sides. Stepping away from the criticism for a minute; I’ve been there, I know how it feels to look back a few years down the line at a failed engagement and be disappointed. Not that I’m sad that we didn’t get married (because I’m very thankful that we didn’t in the end) but because I looked back on it on my birthday. A day that should be about me (It sounds selfish, but that’s essentially what your birthday is, right?) yet I thought about this momentous event that was dampening my birthday experience years later.

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When you’re in that moment, it doesn’t matter what day it is. At the time, I didn’t think for one second how this could affect me in the future because I didn’t have anything to worry about. Maybe most people won’t but we have to understand that sometimes things don’t work out and that is perfectly fine. If everything worked out the way we wanted every single time, I would take a guess and say most of us would hate that, we wouldn’t be challenged and we would feel like life is far too easy. I’m just saying that doing this on a more celebrated occasion, it could be more likely to affect you if it doesn’t work out.

I’ll give you a really simple example; I don’t remember the day my ex-fiance and I broke up, but I do remember my most recent long term relationship break up because it was on a family member’s birthday. Chances are, when that birthday comes around, I’ll still think about that on that date whereas a few years down the line, if it had have been on a random day, I would probably forget the date altogether.

I hope from reading this that you can see there is another perspective of engagements and dates that you might not have heard before. Again, you do you, your engagement and the date it happens is special to you, I’m certainly not wanting to put a dampener on anyone’s happiness. I’m just sharing part of my story and how it affected me years down the line. Thank you for reading! ❤