Being very busy and the ‘a’ word

There hasn’t been a lot of time for a blog post these last two weeks. Moving south and starting a Master’s degree in the same week was ridiculously exhausting. I thought maybe I’d be able to put some content together, but it just didn’t happen. If i’m being entirely honest, I have been finding things a bit difficult. 

I started noticing it last week when I woke up and began getting ready. I felt the old tell-tale signs of the ‘a’ word creeping up. Anxiety. The heavy chest. The slight feeling of emotion, where I wanted to burst into tears. The feeling that I would have to put all of my energy and willpower into forcing myself out of the front door. I feel like it’s important to address things like this, like when I’m not feeling amazing. I tried to do this at the time, in this best way I could, on instagram stories, but I felt like I needed to write it all down. For that, I needed to wait until I’d stopped for a moment, got to the end of the first week and taken a breather. Personally I think it’s important to acknowledge, and talk about, when everything isn’t one hundred percent. Social media will lead you to believe everything is always perfect. Mental Health “problems” (I don’t agree with that term but we’ll go with it for now) are still stigmatised and the more people who talk honestly and frankly about the good, as well as the bad, will only make it more ‘normal’ going forwards. 

Everyone experiences anxiety differently, some people have never had an anxiety disorder and may not know the true extent. There may be people who read this and think “surely you can just walk out of the door, you don’t have an impairment?” And yes that may be true, I am very thankful to not have anything that physically prevents me from walking out of the door. The mental barriers are, however, not something to be taken lightly. 

Five years ago I had, what I now know, to be a panic attack. It triggered some intense agoraphobia. It isn’t really a fear of public places incase you’re wondering, it’s much deeper than that. I found it be more like feeling scared of experiencing anxiety and not being in a “safe” place. I’m also aware that it probably sounds ridiculous to some people, and that you could say there’s nothing to be afraid of. That’s kind of the point though, anxiety is not rational, it’s completely irrational. You can’t explain it to anyone. 

Over the last five years I’ve battled the good days, the bad days and everything in between. Finding out my anxiety is due to other health problems, that have only relatively recently blossomed, hasn’t made it any easier. It kind of just confirmed to me that there wasn’t a reason, that it was just my body reacting to other things – I suppose making it even more unpredictable. 

The good days have become more frequent and I will be forever grateful for that. I don’t think I will ever take being able to leave the house for granted again.  Although it tests every part of me, I’m hoping it will start to get easier. Tiredness is also a big trigger for my anxiety, personally, and I haven’t sorted out an eating pattern yet either which is also making things a bit tricky. The detached feeling I often suffer from is also really hard for me to cope with. It’s almost like I left myself at home. I lose my patience easily. Some days the anxiety goes away. Some days it hangs around all day. There is no pattern, it’s simply random. 

This week has been intense. The commuting brought me close to tears on more than one occasion. The vulnerability.  The exhaustion. The rapid heart rate. The detachment. The terrified feelings and the emotional rollercoaster. It’s all a lot more tiring than I anticipated. I haven’t given up, even if I really wanted to at times. This is something I really want to do. I think once I’m into a new kind of routine, once I’ve started a new kind of normal, things will ease up. Once I’m a bit more used to going out at a set time every day and commuting by myself. Fingers crossed anyway. Either way, I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

If anyone ever wants to talk about anxiety, please feel free, i’ll always listen. If you wanna talk about change, moving, university or anything else, i’ll always be about for a natter. If speaking about my challenges helps anyone else feel like they’re not alone, then it’s worth how I feel now.

Ps. If you don’t already follow me on instagram, you can find my link here and twitter, here.

Autumn / Winter Trends

The warm weather’s pretty much disappeared now, there’s a slight chill in the air and I’m slowly (but reluctantly) waving goodbye to my summer wardrobe. The one thing I do love about the colder months, though, is digging out my cosy knitwear and knee-high boots. Besides the old favourites and basic staples though, there lots of new and exciting patterns and trends appearing for A/W 18.

Heritage

Houndstooth, check, herringbone, tweed. My favourite A/W patterns year after year, always with a slight twist. I don’t think there’s a heritage print that isn’t universally flattering, and the various colour, texture and fabric options are near-enough limitless. I’ve found myself especially drawn to the punk-inspired red and the yellow clueless-vibes check. I’m not usually one for vibrant colours, at all. I usually find myself sticking with black and grey, but i’m tempted out of my comfort zone. The injection of a little colour, especially in winter, is definitely something to be embraced during the upcoming due and drawn-out days!

This image is not my own, this image is taken from New Look.

New Look Navy and Red Check Tapered Trousers

Image
This image is not my own, this image is taken from Pretty Little Thing.

 

Pretty Little Thing Yellow Check Tennis Skirt

Animal Print

Leopard was a big trend for S/S, and i’m pleased to see it’s made its way into A/W, bringing a long a couple of further additions – snake and tiger. As I’ve mentioned already, i’m not usually one for bold, but i’ve already been drawn in once by leopard, and I can feel it happening again with snake. Animal prints are another print, that in my opinion, are universally appealing. The colours and tones are browns, greys and beiges – a colour palette that i’m always drawn in to and couldn’t be more in favour of. Team this with a silky-style fabric or a boxy shoulder and i’m sold.

This image is not my own, this image is taken from Topshop.

Topshop Faux Snakeskin Flare Trousers

This image is not my own, this image is taken from Silkfred.

Silkfred San Diego Shirt in Leopard Print

Puffer Jackets

I am all for a sensible trend. My eighteen year old self would probably cringe at that, and would never consider that there could possibly be a trend that’s comfortable. These days, as a self-confessed granny, i’m way over sporting painful shoes and inappropriate clothing for the sake of fashion. Leaving the house in a duvet is like my dream, so this is the closest thing I can possibly get to it. Team it with one of the on-trend prints i’ve mentioned above, or just opt for something plain – preferably bright and colourful or more understated if you prefer to blend in with a crowd (like me…)

Boohoo crop hooded puffer jacket
This Image is not my own, this image is taken from ASOS.

Boohoo crop hooded puffer jacket

Missguided pink hooded ultimate puffer jacket

Brown

I’ve chosen to save the most simple, but my personal favourite, until last. One colour. A colour that is often overlooked – I have to admit I am usually guilty of it myself. Navy and black often draw me in more than brown, but this A/W is a whole different story. Rust, chestnut, cocoa, umber – brown is taking centre stage. In the form of everything from a tapered trouser or a pinafore dress, this colour is perfect for a subtle injection of neutral into a wardrobe.

This image is not my own, this image is taken from New Look.

New Look Dark Brown Tie Waist Trousers

This image is not my own, this image is take from Topshop.

Topshop Rust Spot Print Shirt Dress

I hope you’ve found some inspiration for the coming season from this post. Some of the pieces are already contenders for firm favourites and i’m definitely adding many of them to my wishlist for this season!

Honest feelings about moving out (for the second time)

I was 19 when I first moved out of my parents’ house. Heading off to university after a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design after A Level’s, ready to take on the Textile world (not quite by storm…). If you’ve read my other blog post about university (you can find it here) then you’ll already know that it went the complete opposite of ‘to plan’. I didn’t expect I’d have to permanently move back home after two false starts at my second year. That anxiety would plague me, consume my every move and rule my life, for the best part of five years. So, to say I’m nervous about moving out a second time around is an understatement.

I’m very close with my Mum and Dad and, as cliché as it is, my dog is like my best friend – we’re literally together almost all of the time. I completed my degree via distance learning, so I’m completely out of a routine that involves commuting in any capacity, especially to university. The last time I did that, or attempted it, was 2015. I’m used to the routine of home, I know where everything is, I generally know what time everyone is around, and I generally know what I’m doing every day. It sounds pretty bland when I put it like that, but it’s not as regimented as it seems, this is merely the black and white. Things deviate from this, as they do in life, but the overall routine tends to generally stay the same. As those of you who have experienced anxiety will know, however, it’s fairly comforting to know your day-to-day plan. Change can be a potential trigger, which is going to be one big test with so much altering all at once. I am prepared in some ways, though. I already know it’s going to be a struggle. I’m going to have days when I’m homesick, days when I miss my old routine. It’s all part of growing up and maybe the older you are, the worse it is. I’ll be able to tell you the answer to that one soon! 

Don’t get me wrong though, I am excited. I’m excited to have more than one room that’s ‘mine’ (well ours, there is three of us, but you get the picture). I’m excited to have my own sofa and my own houseplants. I’m excited to invite people round and pretend to be adults, to get back into baking and to buy my first food mixer. To find my own routine and to feel the exhaustion, but also positivity, of a long day doing something new. I’m already prepared for how poor I’m going to be, I’m well aware postgraduate study is even more money-depleting than undergraduate. For every down, though, there is an up, and that definite up is another year of student discount! (What will I do without it…) I’m going to be studying something new, something that has always excited me, but I just didn’t quite realise it had potential until 2018. Something that, when I finished at the open evening, I had a buzz of excitement in my stomach that I haven’t felt in quite a long time! (I promise i’ll be less cryptic once I’ve started, a blog post will definitely be written)

To put it simply, I’m excited for the journey that lies ahead of me. If it doesn’t go to plan, then I’ll figure it out, like I always have. If it does, then in just over a year’s time I’ll have an MA. If you’d have told me I’d be doing any of this, even a year ago, I’d probably have laughed at you.