Category Archives: Chats

Planning For The (Long-Term) Future Through Distance Learning.

If you read my blog at the start of July, you will have read my post about being made redundant and during this time, it has given me a lot of time to think. I learned that I was still at a point in my life that I didn’t know what direction I wanted to head in. As I’m slap bang in the middle of my mid-to-late twenties, it gave me the perfect opportunity to sit down and think about the choices I would like to make in the future, more long-term than anything else, even if I haven’t chosen my exact career path yet so that’s what today’s blog post is all about. (All photographs are available from Pexels.com)

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I recently wrote about “Dropping Out Of University” and “What The University Experience Taught Me” focusing on my previous education as well as the short time I spent at University in England. What I learned while writing both those posts is that education still fascinates me and I even wrote in those that I wouldn’t rule out another form of education in the future so while I have had the time off to think about what I want; the thought of education has popped in my mind continually. I don’t think I would head back to a traditional University route simply because where I am with my life financially, I wouldn’t be able to afford to go back to University full-time for three or four years. This is where the Open University comes in…

I’m sure many readers know about The Open University but if you don’t, it’s a form of distance learning that doesn’t require you to sit in a classroom environment (This only happens when you have exams to complete) and lets you work from home instead while studying around your job. As well as that, there are many different forms of payment which is a benefit to many students that may only be able to pay for one module at a time. Due to it being a distance learning University, you have the option of stretching your degree over three years, six years or if necessary, even longer (This will all depend on the time frame you are looking at, how often you can study and the course type too).

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Being a researcher at heart, I have been on and off the Open University website for months, and while that is very handy, I always feel more confident about something when I’m listening to someone face-to-face. The opportunity for this came up when they were hosting an open day at the end of August so I took advantage of this and went along. I’m still not great in social situations so I was quite nervous but plonked myself at the front of the room to listen to the presentation. It was very generic for obvious reasons but I wasn’t looking advice for a certain course, I just wanted to have an overall feel for the University instead, which is what I got. I’m a note taker also, so they covered; their most popular subjects, the myths and realities, how their studying works, how fees and funding works, what skills you need to be a student and student experiences. (This was, of course, just a few of the talking points.) I came out of the presentation with a better understanding with what I wanted to do, which I didn’t think would happen.

I had wanted to go down the sports and fitness route but I haven’t actually considered what career I would want, I just know that that is something I enjoy. When I started looking at their business courses, they had quite a few varieties and you were able to attach it onto another subject like marketing or economics. While the sports course is something that does intrigue me, it’s something that isn’t as broad as business, so that’s why business appeals to me more. On a recent job interview, I was asked what does the future hold me in terms of my career. I was completely honest and said that I didn’t know, but I knew that taking on new challenges and new opportunities within a new business, I had hoped, would help me find out what I want to do with my life. I think that’s the aim of any job isn’t it? If you aren’t growing and learning more about yourself, then the job no longer serves you, and I want my next job to serve me in finding out what I love and what I don’t love so much. That’s where I believe a degree in business will help me along whatever track I take.

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I know that right now isn’t the right time to sign up to the OU and that’s completely fine with me. That was never the aim; I simply wanted to find out more about it with how it works, the fees and funding and how it is differs from the traditional University route. I’m not in a financial situation to take on a degree right now and I want to make sure I have a good work life balance before adding more to my plate. However, I know that this is something I will reach towards in the future and I’m excited by it because I do love learning even if I’m not the traditional type.

I would love to find out anyone else’s experience about either the Open University or other distance learning courses, good or bad, so if anyone can think of any posts that spring to mind, please let me know. Thank you so much for reading today, I really do appreciate it!

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Why I’m No Longer Counting My Steps.

We seem to ask technology to enhance our everyday life; we have everything from fitness watches, earphones that no longer connect via a wire and even shout “Alexa” or “Siri” to turn our music on. In my case, I used a step counter for over three years and sometimes it felt overwhelming and even have the opposite effect of what it’s meant to do. Today’s post is all about how and more importantly, why I’m no longer counting my steps.  

IMG_20180528_105123_748.jpg(I used it to not only track my steps but to also, track my workouts.)

If you’ve followed me on my Instagram for a few years now, you’ll know that for a long time, my first board of call when it came to documenting my fitness was my FitBit. I went from the Flex to the Blaze, and I have had the FitBit Blaze for a little over two years now. I even got my Mum and her partner to get one too and they love theirs. The only time I didn’t wear it was when I went for a shower; with it being able to track your sleep, I wanted to see all that information so taking it off when I went to bed, wasn’t an option for me. Over the last month or so, I decided to take off my tracker to see how I felt because I had been using it for so long, I wanted to see if I felt any different without it. When you’re so used to each step being counted, it is strange to suddenly not have it there anymore.  

So why exactly did I want to try living without it? Why is this so significant that I felt the need to write about it? The problem for me was I relied on my tracker too much; if I didn’t hit the 10,000 steps the one day at the weekend that I was cleaning the house, I felt bad. Sure, I had cleaned the house and felt great for it, but I didn’t get that little buzzing notification that I had hit my steps. I started to feel bad over one thing I hadn’t done rather than the small tasks I had done around the house. Having been in therapy and working on validation issues like these, I knew it had become a problem. Some people could say, “Well, why don’t you just take it off?” When you have depended on something for so long and you look to it for validation, it’s not quite as simple as that. 

IMG_20170812_110243-02.jpeg(In terms of running, it wasn’t that reliable when it came to accurate distance when running.)

To give you some back story on me; I’m a fairly active and fit person. When I was working in the city centre, all I needed to do was walk to work which was half an hour and back again, and that was 10,000 steps. It was almost too easy to hit that target every day but for someone else who was driving to work and not getting out of the office as much as I was, it could have been harder for them. I would go to the gym twice a week and I would try and do the same in terms of going for a run too, so I never had a problem with needing to hit my step targets.   

LPP-podcast-artwork_3_3000-300x300(Picture from LivengProof.com)

I’m a massive fan of podcasts and one I have been listening to recently is “The Liveng Proof” podcast by Engrid Latina. If you follow me over on Instagram, you’ll see her pop up in my stories at least once a day (and for very good reason too!) In one of her latest podcasts, her guest was one of her clients called Dorothy and you can tell they had a very special relationship, just by how the conversation flowed. In this episode (which is linked here) Dorothy talked about how she worked with Engrid about helping her fitness get back on track and it starting out with walking, to create those guidelines to help figure out where she was starting off. Dorothy then talks about her mentor taking off her FitBit off and that inspired her to take hers off. She openly says it was for vanity reasons, and I really feel her in that because they can be quite bulky and let’s face it, they’re not the most fashionable of accessories, are they? She goes on to say that this gave her more freedom and she didn’t feel the need to track every step so I definitely felt like I was on the same wave length as Dorothy while listening to this episode. She goes on to say that she thinks it’s important to open ourselves up to new things and I believe that can still be the case when we talk about letting off of every single tracker we have on ourselves.  

It’s all about purpose; do I believe step counters are important? Of course! If you’re someone who wasn’t aware of the exercise they were doing before and wants to keep an eye on it, then absolutely. If you’re someone who doesn’t feel like they walk enough during the day and wants to see if they can improve themselves with a step counter, then that’s even better. However, if you’re someone who struggles with control and sometimes lets little things take over, then maybe (like me) you need to re-evaluate if you need a tracker in your life.  

strava879400568.jpg(This is an example of the tracking that Strava can do where it gives you the map with your distance, your time and your average pace per kilometre or mile.)

Don’t get me wrong, I still use trackers. I am a massive fan of Strava which can be used for a number of different exercises on Apple and Android, but I tend to use it for my running and my cycling. It’s a fantastic way of keeping track of all my runs and how far I have come in terms of my timing for running a 10K distance for example. I always like to keep an eye on it when I go cycling too because I never tend to know the distance when I’m cycling, so it’s nice to have that too. I’m certainly not against trackers in any way shape or form but for me, I believe that it needs to have a purpose and for me, a FitBit no longer serves its purpose for me. 

As I mentioned when I talked about Engrid’s podcast, Dorothy felt freedom when she stopped using her tracker and so did I. It was hard at first to let something go that I had used for so long but it gradually got easier. I didn’t put so much pressure on myself to hit my target each and every day and that was big for me. Scott has tried to encourage me to start using the Samsung Health app to track my steps but again, it’s not important to me to do this. He loves using it and he’s always in the top 5% in the world of steps but it’s not for me, right now at least and I’m pretty proud that I have been able to take a step back.  

Let me know your thoughts on today’s post; do you use a fitness tracker? Do you count your steps? Why do you count your steps or have you stepped away from it too? Thank you so much for reading it, and if you know of any other posts that are similar to this, please send them my way. 

My First Year of Running.

Running has been in my life for a little over a year now so I thought now was the perfect time tot to talk about my journey so far; what I have learned and what my goals for the next year are. 

IMG_20170820_192743_994(Scott and I at my first 5K race: the Connswater 5K in August 2017)

I started running in the Summer of 2017 because it was something I had always wanted to get better at. I was already so focused on the gym but I wanted to progress my fitness further. It helped that my boyfriend loved running and he wanted a running partner that he could coach, so it was a win for both of us. I’m very lucky that my blog has grown into a haven of lifestyle, mental health and running so I have blogged about my various races, my longer distances and the lows that I first experienced, all which will be listed below. 

Training for a 5K Race: An Introduction and My First Run. 
Training for a 5K Race: Running and Negative Mental Health. 
Training for a 5K Race: The Lone Run. 
Training for a 5K Race: My First (Unofficial) Park Run. 
Training for a 5K Race: Last Minute Training!
Training for a 5K Race: Race Day! 
Training for a 5K Race: What happened after? 
Training for a 10K Race: Yes, 10K! 
Training for a 10K Race: Starting Out With Longer Distances.
Training for a 10K Race: Wait, again? 
Becoming Comfortable With Calling Myself A Runner. 
Training for a 10K Race: Three Loops and One Long Run.
Training for a 10K Race: One Last Check In. 
Titanic Quarter 10K (2018) Race Day! 
Lisburn 10K and Half Marathon (2018) 
Not Eating Enough Before A Race. 

I have a much healthier relationship with running than when I first started out which is fantastic but there were a few weeks where I wanted to quit because I wasn’t sure if I could handle being anxious on something that was becoming a hobby. Thankfully that calmed down a lot over the year and I’ve continued running for the majority of time. During the colder winter months, it was definitely hard to go out for a run and especially after work when all you want to do is have your dinner and go to bed. I managed to pick up a good running routine during the Spring and Summer months of this year however. 

27467803848_0f1d1a6b91_b-01.jpeg(Who doesn’t love a good running shot?)

While only taking part in seven races over the year, four being 5K’s and three being 10K’s, the majority have been enjoyable experiences and I’m glad to say that I am less anxious in crowds now and I don’t tend to compare myself to other runners as much as I used to. 

In terms of timings, I have progressed majorly which I’m so proud of. I have brought my 5K personal best time down from 44:48 to 30:02, an incredible 14 minutes difference and my 10K personal best time down from 01:12:00 to 01:04:18, another amazing achievement for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not hitting those times every time but right now, I’m not concentrating on time surprisingly. I’m still tracking every run and I do look at the time and while it might be slower than I’m used to, I’m trying to use every opportunity as training and getting back into a routine rather than trying to hit a personal best every time. I would exhaust myself sometimes on a run and I would finish it to see that my time had been slower than before, it was really taking the fun out of it. That’s why I’ve taken a step back from looking at the time so much but it’s still important, just not as important. 

IMG-20180620-WA0004-01.jpeg(The Lisburn Half Marathon and 10K where I got my new 10K personal best.)

I don’t like planning too far ahead for my running goals mainly because I like to see where my running will take me but I know it’s important to keep striving for something. I would like to start training for a half marathon; I’m not sure when exactly I’ll take part in my first one but I know I would love to take part in next year’s Belfast City Half Marathon which is next September. Yes, I’ve given myself an entire year to prepare for that one, but it’s more achievable that way. I believe I am physically able to take on the challenge but mentally is another story when it comes to running, so that’s what I need to work on. I have one more 10K race coming up soon which I’m preparing for but once that is done and dusted, I’m planning on going further in my distance training. The furthest I have ran is 14K and I completed that in just over an hour and a half so I know I can run further, I need to put it into action now. 

I would like to get my 5K time down to 28 minutes or as close as I can. Considering I knocked 14 minutes off my time over this first year, you would think that would be easy as pie but it’ll be a lot harder than you think. I do push myself a considerable amount on those personal bests but Scott has suggested I start doing sprint sessions to help me with my speed and stamina. I have to say I’m clueless when it comes to this so once we get the upcoming 10K over us, I’ll be getting him on board to help me with this.

I’m really excited for what the next year of running will bring and I can’t wait to share it both on the blog and through my Instagram too. Thank you so much for reading today’s post and if you have any running blog posts, please send them through to me because they are some of my favourite posts to read.  

Letting My Skin Breathe.

Make-up gives me confidence, there is absolutely no doubt about that and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that either. When my make-up is looking great, I felt a new type of confidence and it feels fantastic. I soon found out that I can feel just as confident with no make-up on and I wanted to give my skin room to breathe so that’s what today’s blog post is about. 

IMG-20180822-WA0007-01.jpeg(Northern Ireland sunshine means Victoria has gained quite the tan! If you can see my cheeks, they have quite a lot of nasty red bumps on them which weren’t too painful but whenever I was washing my face, you could really feel the roughness of them.)

My period of unemployment has taught me quite a lot about myself (and there will be a blog post on this very soon) but one of the things that I have learned is that I certainly don’t need to wear make-up every day. I wore it every day because in my previous job, I was on screen and even if I wasn’t scheduled to interview, there was always the potential that I would have to at the last minute. Don’t get me wrong, I loved interviewing but those studio lights didn’t do me any favours and sometimes even with make-up on, I looked very pale. That’s why I preferred to wear some, because I felt more confident in my interviewing technique and presentation and if I felt confident in those aspects, then the interview turned out better because I felt better about myself. 

My skin over the last year hasn’t been in the greatest condition and there are so many factors that I know have played a role in that. My stress levels, possible dehydration and using skincare that wasn’t working underneath the surface are the three factors that I think affected it the most. That meant that putting makeup on became a challenge and made things even worse because you could see my spots and the rough areas of my skin more because make-up would make them worse. I still applied it but my confidence took a knock. 

IMG-20180822-WA0011-01.jpeg(As you can see, I have a lot of little bumps around my forehead and my cheeks are always red, I’m not sure what it is, possibly rosacea?)

Becoming unemployed meant I have had less need for make-up and my skin needed that break, because it’s feeling and looking much better. I still have my blemishes, my blackheads and my problem areas but they have been given room to breathe. My routine before was I had my make-up on by about 7:30am and it wasn’t taken off until about 10:30pm that evening, if there was any left on my face. I was never one to use a make-up wipe and I rarely slept with make-up on (I couldn’t sleep if I did!) but having make-up on for that long for five days out of the week, had negative effects on my skin. 

I have been trying out some new skin care products over the last month which I’m excited to share on the blog because 1) I never talk about that unless it’s something incredible and 2) I got to meet the wonderful Caroline Hirons on my birthday and she gave me some much-needed skincare advice. So along with that advice and using the new products from her new box that she collaborated with Space NK to bring together, I’ll be posting about that too very soon. 

My skin is getting better as I have mentioned; it feels more hydrated because it used to be very dry and it even became extremely oily at one point but I think that was more to do with the very hot weather. I’ve started to use more oils on my skin and a better cleanser so I don’t feel that dullness that I used to have, I do feel fresher but a number of my problem areas are still there. You can’t cure your skin in a few weeks though so I wasn’t expecting a massive change but I’m happy that I’m seeing a little small change at least. 

IMG-20180819-WA0000-01.jpeg(This is one of the latest photographs I have that wasn’t taken too long ago, and my skin looks like it has calmed down dramatically. It’s good to note that this was before a running race and I would never wear a full face of make-up when doing exercise.)

As you can see (from the various photographs throughout this post) I’ve become gradually more comfortable with having my photograph taken with no make-up. I didn’t use to allow it as much but I’m much more used to seeing my face “naked” if we can call it that so I’m comfortable with it. I believe I still look better with make-up on (not even the boyfriend can convince me) but right now, while I feel like I don’t have to wear make-up as much, I am embracing it completely. 

This post isn’t all about how I think I should be wearing make-up when I work because I don’t think you have to but I know when I do get back into the workplace, there is a very good chance that I will go back to wearing it most days and that’s perfectly okay with me. I do feel more confident with make-up but I wanted to use this period to lay off the make-up as much as I could, sort my skincare routine out and give my skin room to breathe and that’s exactly what I have done.  

Thank you so much for reading today’s post and keep an eye out for the post all about Caroline’s new box and the products I’ve been trying out, I can’t wait to share it. 

Does Curating Your Feed Come At A Social Price?

I remember when Instagram first started and I thought to myself, “Why do we need a place just to post photographs? Isn’t that what Facebook is for?” Little did I know that it would become one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. However, over the last six months, I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I should and I started to put so much pressure on myself. So, instead of complaining about it, I did something about it and that’s what today’s post is going to be about. (I understand the irony of that last sentence because I know the first paragraph coming up, is me complaining) 

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Before you roll your eyes, I’m not talking about engagement. The amount of Instagram posts, blog posts and tweets I have read about “the lack of engagement” is shocking and quite frankly, very boring. I understand that the platform has changed recently and less of our followers are seeing our posts (I talk about how this hasn’t been the case for me later on in the post) but the constant stream of complaints is too much. Putting your new post in your Instagram stories but colouring half of it in to make me click on your profile and go to the new post, is not going to make me like your post. If anything, it’s going to make me swipe through. I understand why people do it; maybe it’s a tactic that works to get more people engaged with posts, but for me, it’s extremely frustrating. 

I have got caught up in the Instagram hype before. The platform was exciting and fun for such a long time but there was a time where I got obsessed with having to post twice a day and I always worried that I didn’t have good enough content. It’s that “comparison is the thief of joy” quote that comes into play and I can relate completely. My flat lays were never good enough, I didn’t think that my content was interesting and I saw so many other people who were so careful with what they posted that it became this beautifully matched theme. I started to question why I was bothering. Thankfully, I seem to have dug myself out of that hole before it got any bigger. It’s now is a place that I post on when I want to, not out of pressure (on myself). If I don’t post for a few days, I really don’t mind now. It’s the quality over quantity that I believe we should all be focusing on. 

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For the last few months I have struggled between two bridges. One bridge is supporting as many bloggers as I can and the other bridge being that I want to curate my feed with what I want to look at that fits my style, my personality and how I want to live. You can’t do both, trust me, I have tried.  

I felt guilty at first because I am a former people pleaser so that started to creep in a little; you don’t want people thinking you don’t like them especially with those you know locally. That’s the biggest pressure I put onto myself and I absolutely hated that I couldn’t get past it for a while. We preach so much about how important it is to put ourselves first especially when we talk about topics like self-care so doesn’t this fall into that too? What’s more important; following lots of accounts so you can say that you support everyone but missing out on the content you actually want to see or is it more important to see content you prefer but feel less involved with the blogging community? Do you even feel less involved because you don’t follow everyone? Do you have to follow everyone to feel involved? 

I would be the first one to stand up and say if my content isn’t your style or if you find it completely boring, then unfollowing me is the best thing for you. I could never be offended or annoyed at someone who didn’t enjoy my content anymore. I wouldn’t want anyone following me because they felt like they had to or they thought I would hate them if they didn’t. At the same time, I don’t want people to automatically think I don’t like them (because that’s not the case) just because I’m no longer seeing their content or simply because their content is just not for me, that should be perfectly okay. 

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I’ve never been someone to have one of those applications on my phone that tells me who follows me or unfollows me. I have no interest and I believe it can be quite damaging to your self-esteem if you are constantly checking who is unfollowing you. There’s certainly no judgement on my part if you are someone who likes to check that type of information but it’s not for me and really, is it any of my business why some-one doesn’t want to follow me anymore? 

I was watching Just Laura Jayne’s Instagram stories recently and she talked about the fact that we didn’t need to follow every single local blogger because we still see them at events and some we don’t even talk to even if we do follow them. I definitely felt the pressure to follow every local blogger or every blogger that followed me, even if their content wasn’t even close to what I wanted to see. Doing that meant my feed wasn’t curated for me, it was curated simply because I wanted to feel like I was a good person. It’s almost like we’re putting this platform on a pedestal and using it to show how connected we are like we used to do with having tons of Facebook friends or having the perfect top friends on Bebo. I shouldn’t have to prove how connected I am to an interest by how many of that same community I follow.  

Curating my feed took quite a few days; I wish I had saved the exact number of accounts I used to follow but I know it was close to the 2000 mark and now it’s around the 500 mark. I’m really happy with the changes I have made because I’m seeing more varied content which makes the platform more interesting again and it’s more “me” now. I’m following more accounts that post about home interiors, minimalism, wellness and health and you have no idea how nice it is to see more posts that I feel more connected to. 

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Funnily enough since making these changes, I find that more people are seeing my Instagram stories. Now, I’m not sure whether this has anything to do with minimising my followers but it’s certainly a nice surprise. I’m really happy that it’s something that I feel like I can be open about and put into my own words because it’s something I had struggled with for such a long time. 

As for the title of this post, does curating your feed come at a social price? It really depends if your followers determine your worth. If you’re doing it for you and you’re seeing more of what you want, then it’s not coming at any cost. If someone unfollows you because you don’t follow them anymore then that’s something you shouldn’t worry about because they’re in it for different reasons than you. However, if you slowly but surely see your followers drop and you feel bad about unfollowing the accounts you used to follow, then yes, you are paying the social price. At the end of the day, it’s all about how you view yourself on a social platform. 

I would love to know your feedback on this because I certainly can’t be the only one who felt the pressure to follow everyone, whether that was on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s important not to take these platforms too seriously but at the same time, I can understand why someone would feel worried about unfollowing a certain person or a group of people. Thank you so much for reading today’s post and if you have any similar posts to this, you can always catch me over on my Instagram or Twitter. (Oh and all of today’s photographs are from Pexels.com)

Why I Took My Septum Piercing Out.

Towards the end of 2017, I had been itching to get a new piercing so just before the New Year, I went ahead and got my septum pierced. In today’s blog post, I’m talking about why I decided on that piercing and why I took it out after only a few months. 

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If you’re not sure what a septum piercing is, it’s a piercing that goes through your nasal septum or as most people know it, the part between your nostrils. If you’ve ever seen anyone with a ring between their nose that looks like a bull ring, that’s exactly what it is. I have been fascinated by it for a few years now because it was so different. 

Currently I have five piercings; two lobes, one upper lobe, one tragus and one nostril. I believe I got my two lobes pierced when I was around seven, I was sixteen when I got my nostril pierced and my upper lobe and my tragus are only new within the last couple of years. I don’t have any tattoos and I don’t think I could have any because I’m far too indecisive so piercings have been the lesser of two evils.  

As I mentioned, I had been looking at the septum piercing for a while but I never thought of making the plunge until just after Christmas last year. I was going through one of those phases of life where I felt like something was missing; I didn’t know what it was I was missing but naively, I thought if I got another piercing, it might fill a void (Spoiler alert: it didn’t) In terms of pain, it’s definitely the worst piercing pain I have had, the others were so easy compared to that one, but that didn’t really surprise me because you’re going through a thicker part of the body. 

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I liked it then I didn’t. I loved it then I didn’t. I started to like it, I loved it and then I didn’t again. I spent four months falling in and out of love with it and started to become all I saw. Every time I looked in the mirror, it’s the first thing I looked at and I couldn’t help it. This will sound really vain but I think most people will know what I mean; I felt less pretty with it. I couldn’t focus on any of my other features because I was only ever looking at my nose. I told myself I would give myself four months to see if I wanted to keep it in, I didn’t think one month would be long enough. I stuck to that promise to myself and one night, I took it out and felt so much better the minute I did.  

Surprisingly only one person pointed out that I had taken it out (Well done Aideen!) not even my boyfriend noticed. It wasn’t until the day after I asked him why did he not say anything and he said that he knew there was something different but he couldn’t figure out what. A few months after I had taken it out, I asked my friends in work why they didn’t comment on it and they only realised then that it was gone. I was so surprised that people had become so accustom to it and they looked past it but yet for me, it was the first thing I looked at.  

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I still miss it from time to time, it’s a really nice look and I love seeing it on other people, I’m just not sure if it’s for me right now (or ever). I’m really glad that I tried it though because I would have done it at some point anyway but because of where the piercing was positioned, the hole isn’t noticeable which makes it even better. 

In terms for my next piercings, I want both ears to match so my left ear only has the one lobe piercing whereas my right ear has the lobe, the upper lobe and the tragus so I would like to match them at some point. I’m not sure I would go with any more face piercings but I still really love my nostril piercing ten years on. 

Thank you for reading today’s post, it’s an experience I’m glad I had but I’m equally as glad that I was able to take it out and feel better about myself. As I said, I love them on other people, just not on me so if you have a septum piercing, please don’t think I’m saying you’re not pretty because that definitely not what I mean. It’s just not for me. 

Dealing With Disappointment.

As I sit and write today’s post, I found out this week I had been turned down for another job opportunity and I was more disappointed this time around than I have been since becoming unemployed. I decided that it would be quite apt to talk about this in today’s blog post, all about dealing with disappointment. 

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Disappointment can take on many meanings but for me personally, it’s something I have always feared yet I felt like I was constantly guilty of it. I don’t like letting people down; I don’t think anyone does, and as a former people pleaser, I felt like I couldn’t let anyone down or else I was letting myself down. Thankfully I have become more comfortable with saying no and being a more honest about how I feel which does come with some negative connotations but I’ve found as I become older, I don’t care as much.  

The most current type of disappointment aside from another job rejection is being that I’ve been unemployed for a month and a half and I feel like I should have a job by now. In my counselling session, my counsellor and I talk a lot about the use of “I should and I must” because those two phrases put a lot of unnecessary pressure on me but I don’t seem to catch it when I’m out of session. It’s really strange because it’s not like I have been sitting around doing nothing; I have been filling out job applications, I have been sending CV’s out and so far, I’ve had three job interviews so I know I’m doing something right. It’s really just that final push that I need to be successful but I’m not sure what that final push is and what I need to do to get there.  

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It doesn’t help that I am my biggest critic and I believe that most of us are so while I’m not considered with what other people think as much as I used to be, I feel like I am disappointing myself more. We’re in our own head all the time and because it’s quite hard to break down that barrier and give our heads much needed silence, we always have an opinion on what we are doing. In turn with that, this means that I put pressure on myself about everything because I still have a hard time turning my mindset into positive energy rather than floating in the negative. 

I talked a few weeks ago about dropping out of University and that is still one of my biggest disappointments. It was completely the right decision for me and I’m proud that I made the decision to leave because I could have tried to stick it out for another two years; but not having a degree and seeing how many proud parents are at the graduation ceremonies, I do feel envious. I had a college graduation but it didn’t feel the same, I’m so happy with my Higher National Diploma, don’t get me wrong, because I worked so hard for it but there’s something about a degree that I think a little part of me will always be disappointed in myself that I didn’t get. 

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I’ve started to listen to a new podcast series called “The Best Life Podcast” hosted by Danny Johnson and Jill Coleman. I was scrolling down on their episodes and found one called “Overcoming and Master Encouragement” and while it’s not the same as disappointment, it is on the same level especially when we become disappointed, that often leads to being discouraged. Danny takes this episode on as a solo podcast and she talks about six different ways to overcome discouragement. I would highly recommend listening to the podcast yourself; she talks about our own seasons, trying not to compare ourselves to the person we were ten years ago or comparing ourselves to the person sitting across from us and understanding the difference between what is and what is not in your control. 

“Let’s face it: None of us are ever going to get to the place in life where we have no more disappointments. We can’t expect to be sheltered from every little thing. Disappointment is a fact of life–one that must be dealt with.” A quote from Joyce Meyer that I love; no-one can go through life without living with disappointment because it’s one of the emotions that makes us human. It’s not nice and it’s really uncomfortable but it’s something that will pass eventually.