Friday, 28 October 2016
As I was pondering what to write about this week, there's been one person on my mind. My mum. This past week for me has been a weird one. One that's seen lots of tears, both happy and sad. It's just been one of those bleurgh weeks, you know the ones? Whenever I'm down, there are two people I turn to and my mum is one of them.
When I was growing up, people used to ask who my inspiration was, most people would talk about the latest girl band taking over the charts or the popular sports figure, mine was always my Mum. So, this ones for you Mum.
Thank you for teaching me the absolute importance of honesty and integrity, for teaching me the value of patience, for showing me that the best way to deal with the bullies is simply to smile, for indulging in reminiscent conversations over Costa coffee about how things were when you grew up, doc martens, baggy trousers and an "I shot JR" t-shirt, for endless nights snuggled on the sofa watching 24 hours in A&E, for answering my late night phone calls when I'm in a panic. Your strength and wisdom is astounding. Thank you for a lifetime of support and laughter, for being the support system I've always needed, for giving me the honest truth and tough love. Thank you for teaching me how important it is to work hard but equally play even harder and live life to the absolute fullest. For giving me a sister and brother who you have also taught to encompass those very same qualities. I am enamoured by your undisguised openness, to know that I can be 100% honest with you about anything and everything, for building a family so strong.
A lot of people who meet my mum always tell me how wonderful she is, this I know, but it makes me so proud that I know it's not just me who see this wonderful attributes of my mum's beautiful personality.
Here's to you, Mum
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Whilst I sit here, snuggled in my Thumper onesie, accompanied by rich tea biscuits, water in a sippie cup, Lindsey Kelk and Netflix, exhausted from a permanent headache and spending an unpleasant amount of time curled up in a ball praying to keep food down, I had a sudden urge to let my creative juices flow and have somehow managed to muster up the strength to string some words together in order to give myself a distraction, and also keep up with my new willingness to get back to blogging.
Have you ever seen this meme? I, I'm sure along with many others, am that permanently exhausted pigeon. Between balancing uni, working, trying to keep up a social life, whilst also maintaining a tidy house and finding time to spend with B and our families, it doesn't leave much room for anything else, but even as a permanently exhausted pigeon, I am so grateful for all of it. That I have the choice to go back to education and study freely (freely doesn't include the £9000 fees, which are soon to rise, again, as well as a maintenance loan that SFE be like "oh I see your parents get two toppings on their pizza, you must not need much aid) BUT yet still grateful that I am able to do all of those things.
When I am at my weakest, it is then that I realise how much I have surrounding me to pull me back up, pop me back on my feet and send me on my way. I can't help but quote Dumbledore here: "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." What a wise old sage.
Why did I wrote this post you might be asking?
The answer... simply to remind myself that although being a permanently exhausted pigeon can suck, it's also a blessing in disguise that I have these things in my life that although do make me tired, are wonderful things to be balancing.
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet?
Adele pretty much summed up the severe neglect I've put my blog through in the last year. Blogging has always been my favourite form of outlet. Sometimes I find myself drowning in creativity, other days I feel that I am far from the creative shore, and as a perfectionist this instability unsettles me, but slowly I'm learning, it's okay to be a little rough around the edges, so here I am attempting to make amends with my domain.
Every time I come away from blogging, I'm always itching to get back to it. This past year has been my hardest yet, I've been battling with myself an awful lot and through that I lost a lot of my confidence and a lot of my personality. But more recently, piece by piece my life has been put back together and I'm finally in a place where I'm starting to feel like me again. There are still days that get me down, but for the most part the troughs are few and far between compared to the peaks. From now on, rather than disappearing for a year, I'm vowing to myself to become more transparent on my blog. To be more honest, real and raw.
Looking back over my blog is one of my favourite things to do, an online journal of my life and the journey I've been on, both physically and mentally. My blog exists to remind myself of this wonderful world that we're all a part of. I know that there are a lot of negative connotations that are attached to this virtual society we have become engrossed with, but it is also one of the most powerful tools that we have access to, so I'm determined to make this special little place of mine on the internet a positive one.
I can't promise that my updates will be regular, or even of much use to anybody, but here's to making amends and finding myself again.
Friday, 24 October 2014
Friday, 17 October 2014
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
As most of the world probably know by now, I spent Summer 2014 working on a Summer Camp in North Carolina, and I just can't stop talking about it. I'm pretty sure you're all sick of hearing me talk about anything camp related by now, but here's one last post. My Camp America story. In September of 2013, I found myself applying to Camp America, I didn't even think of the implications of what would happen if I was successful and actually got placed. Nevertheless, everything fell in to place (if you want to read my earlier posts about the process, you can read them here and here) and on the 23rd of May I packed up my life in a suitcase and boarded several planes before arriving at Camp Tekoa.
Undoubtedly the best summer I've ever had. So good that just a few days after I arrived home, I found myself already in the process of applying to Camp America as a returner. If you're looking for something new to dip your toes in, and quite like the idea of spending a Summer in the USA, I highly recommend applying for the CA programme. Camp is a place where people you've known for a few days become the people you can't imagine living your life without. Every time I see somebody from Camp posting on Facebook, my heart aches a little with how much I miss being back there. It's also a great conversation starter in interviews and it's definitely a little gem to add to those CV's of yours. Trust me, I've recently had an interview where they were so interested, they wanted to apply. It's also an opportunity to develop some keys skills for the working world; team work and communication just to name a few. But it really does make you shine.
There literally are camps for everything. Equestrian camps, gymnastic camps, band camps (yes, they're a real thing) christian camps, tennis camps, surf camps, the list is endless. Each camp is individual and no two camps will be the same, some camps will have campers for 9 week stretches, whereas other camps will simply be day camps. The varieties are endless.
Camp is a great excuse not only to make new friends and incredible memories, but to explore more of the states, and probably places that you'd never have thought to travel to. Live like an american, cheer on a local team at a baseball match, shop in the mall, and travel in the bed of pickup trucks. Honestly, I can't recommend this programme more.
If you're interested, head over to www.campamerica.co.uk to find out more. I promise you won't regret it. I couldn't speak more highly of the staff at Camp America, from the information sessions right up until your fly date, and even when you return home. Always on hand, and they've all been councillors too, so they really know what it's like!
You can also view my highlights from my trip here
Thursday, 11 September 2014
I absolutely adore New York City. If you've never been, it's a definite must-see, not only for it's obvious beauty, but for the hidden gems that you don't see on Seinfield, Friends, Gossip Girl or any other New York City based TV show. This was my second visit to NYC, and I still found myself tripping over my own feet because my eyes were constantly looking up. It really is an incredible place to be.
My favourite locale is probably the high-line. One of a few spots where you can find peace, tranquility, and personal space (a rare privilege) amongst the 100 miles per hour lifestyle buzzing below. The High Line is a mile long linear park built on a disused railway line on the west side of the city, with amazing views all around. I'd definitely recommend it if you're in the area.
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
A few weeks ago, I got to tick off Miami from my "Places to See" list. If I'm honest, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, the only part of Florida I'd seen before was Orlando, one of the biggest tourist traps in America. Sure it was a heap of fun, but it just doesn't seem like America when you're surrounded by a whole bunch of other Brits. So, seeing some more of Florida was definitely on my to do list.
My sister and I stayed in the Miami Beach area, our apartment was literally 50 steps away from the sandy shore and just a few blocks from local shops etc. The temperature regularly crept up into the 100° F bracket and we only saw rain once for all of five minutes whilst we were there.
Ocean drive was by far my favourite part of this leg of the trip, palm trees for miles and glorious skies, with locals rollerskating and boarding down the drive. It really is like a little slice of heaven.
Friday, 1 August 2014
Tomorrow begins my final month here in America. Everyday I am grateful for the opportunity I've had here, and I'm still continually amazed by the new experiences I encounter day after day. The past 10 weeks have taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined. The theme for this summer here at Camp is Move and it could not have been any more applicable to my life.
The beginning of this summer saw me move away from home, move to a new place and move in to a new short but sweet life here in Hendersonville, NC. Camp life is a bubble, secluded from the rest of the world, and life here is very different from anything else you've ever experienced. Having campers 24/7 for 6 days a week = constant head counts, a variety of "keep you busy whilst you hike" repeat-after-me-songs, dish games to last a life time, enough tie-dye t-shirts to clothe Africa amongst many other things that only a camp councillor could understand.
As the Summer starts to end, the bittersweet thoughts of home are more frequent, goodbyes have already been said and I'm starting to prepare myself for moving in to a new chapter of life. Starting a new school and taking a new direction. The biggest thing that camp has taught me is that it's not how much work you do, but the impact you make.