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13 Reasons Why.

6 Apr

It’s just hit 1am on a Thursday and I can only describe how I feel as being emotionally drained. I’ve had some time off work this week to just relax and catch up on TV and in particular over the last 2 days, I’ve been binge-watching a new Netflix series called ’13 Reasons Why’.

So, I know binge-watching or binge doing anything isn’t always the healthiest way to go about things but honestly, I just had to share my thoughts on this TV series. I’ve been hooked to it over the last 24 plus hours and it hit me so hard.

It’s making the rounds on social media at the minute and that’s what got me watching it. Everyone has been tweeting about it so I thought I’d check it out for myself.

The theme of the programme surrounds the impact of bullying, rape, teenage suicide and mental health on a selection of 17 year old high school students. This intense thriller follows the suicide of a character named Hannah Baker. The premise of the programme follows the harrowing stories of Hannah Bakers suicide told by the girl herself and why she decided to take the path that she did. It’s a very sad and upsetting story but it’s also so powerful and meaningful.

Without wanting to give too much away, the journey of this sad tale is mainly lead by one of the other protagonists, Clay Jensen. A previous friend of Hannah Bakers, Clay discovers a set of 13 tapes that were recorded by Hannah and so he takes us on his personal journey of learning about the real reasons behind the results of Hannah’s suicide.

The actors in this series, brilliantly display the hardships and turmoil that meet the high school students along the way. With the narrative going down the route of flashbacks and previous stories, it almost takes you on a backwards journey as to what happened. I was hooked on every episode and couldn’t stop thinking about what was to come next.

I’m so glad that Netflix are promoting and creating such important and powerful content in relation to the topic of suicide and mental health. For so long, we’ve been battling with the stigma of suicide and to this day, it’s still being treated as such a taboo. 13 Reasons Why helps young people and older people alike to understand the effects that social pressures and bullying has on people at such a young age. I think it’s vital that school kids watch a show like this to understand the impact words and actions can have on others.

Hannah Baker ends her own life because of the actions of others. She is affected by so much surrounding her life and nobody takes notice as to why. Nobody talks and nobody takes the time to understand what is going on. These type of things are happening in the real world that we live in. Males in particular are being highlighted to have such high statistics/rates of suicide. Campaigns like #itsoktotalk are helping us fight this problem and I really hope that the introduction of such a hard hitting TV series like 13 Reasons Why can continue to fight the battle. I’ve been so moved by this programme and truly hope that others can take something from it too.

As a way to round off this blog, I’d just like to state 13 reasons why you matter in this world. 13 Reasons why you should remind yourself to keep on keeping on and 13 reasons why you should always choose life.

  1. You are stronger than you think. Life throws you hurdles but you keep jumping over them. Go you!
  2. The sun is shining today. The sky is blue and clouds are nowhere to be seen. Go out and enjoy that sun beaming on your face!
  3. Pizza is a pretty great thing that exists in this world and it makes your life that much greater! Go grab yourself a slice of cheesy goodness.
  4. You are beautiful inside and out. Flaws and all and only you need to tell yourself that.
  5. The world is there to be seen. The world is there to be explored and there is always adventure around every corner.
  6. Struggles in life always seem tougher than they are at the time but all it takes is a little perspective and some time to reflect. Time heals all!
  7. Music is always your friend and always has a way of taking you through something. Stick those earphones in and escape to a world unknown!
  8. If music isn’t your thing, TV and film are always great ways of exploring and expressing yourself too. Try Netflix, try this show called 13 Reasons Why…… you won’t regret it!
  9. You matter to this world because you have a purpose! You have a skill to be shared, you have a story to tell and you’ll bloody damn well do it to the best of your ability!
  10. Always choose life because otherwise, when else can you drool over photos of Zac Efron shirtless?
  11. Sometimes, there is a greater path in life other than just you. You can use your voice to help others or to make things count!
  12. Keep on keeping on because you are going to be the stronger person. Stand up for yourself and tell that mean co-worker to stick it where the sun don’t shine. Hold your ground and stick with your gut!
  13. And finally, you matter because you’re you. And no one can replace you!

Cringe worthy life advice over. I’m no preacher but I think it’s nice sometimes to put some positivity out there! Do with it what you will, but I hope you’ve enjoyed reading! Let me know if you’ve watched 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. How did it make you feel!?

Thanks for reading. Ciao for now x

 

Visiting New York: The 9/11 Memorial and Museum

4 Apr

On September 11th, 2001, the world as we knew it completely changed when the tragic events of a horrifying terror attack on the World Trade Centre catapulted every human into a reality unknown. In February, whilst visiting New York, I spent a day at the 9/11 national museum and memorial that has been set up to remember the lives of the victims of that day. My visit started with a very sombre and moving look at the physical memorial itself which stood in the exact same spots that the twin towers used to be. The large area had been turned into two stunning water pools that featured the names of all the victims affected by 9/11. Each name carved delicately into the steel, stood out immensely, especially the names that had a white rose next to them which indicated the birthday of the fallen victim. The atmosphere surrounding this area was one of peace and tranquility and I think the exhibitors or creators of this memorial really thought about that when designing it. The symbol and sounds of water radiated a calm feeling for anyone spectating and this generally sets the tone for the rest of the museum experience.

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As I made my way to the museum entrance, the first thing I remember noticing was the openness of the building. The large glass panels were purposely built so that you could get a view of the new One World Trade Centre building that replaced the old tower. As you get a glance of the spectacular building, the journey then follows a path going down towards the start of the museum. I felt as though it was a very symbolic path to follow as if I was heading down to the wreckage on the day. It made me feel like I was in the shoes of the people present on that day.

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There were a variety of exhibits at the museum. Generally it began with a timeline of events and a lot of photographs and video footage of how the day unfolded. The narrative of the historic day were very clearly portrayed through maps and diagrams and it evoked a feeling of shock and a reminder of what exactly happened that day. It was certainly designed to capture your eye with the use of large photographs and moving images of people on the streets on 9/11. There was no background music as such to follow which was fitting as it was certainly more respectful to be silent whilst taking in everything around you.

Further into the experience, I was greeted with a very large blue coloured wall. The wall must’ve spanned a good few yards and was made out of 2,983 paper pieces(1 piece of paper for each victim of 9/11), each with a different shade of blue. On the wall, read a large quote that said ‘No day shall erase you from the memory of time’. Our tour guide for the day explained that the wall had been created by artist Spencer Finch and that the purpose of the blue wall was to denote the colour of the blue sky on that very September morning. The morning of September 11th for many was remembered as a stunningly beautiful day with no clouds in sight. The artistic quality of this piece was very poignant and it was something that stood out for all to see.

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Other interesting parts of the museum included a large exhibit of all the artefacts that were found and kept from that day. Airplane seatbelts, radios belonging to the firemen, police uniforms, high heeled shoes of office workers left behind from the disaster site. So many intriquite items on display that were accompanied by stories of the heroes of 9/11. Around every corner was also an audio theatre. Each theatre followed a different theme or story and the purpose of it was so visitors like myself could sit and listen to the stories of that day by the people who were there themselves. Audio and subtitles were accompanied with moving images relating to the day and it was a very immersive experience to hear the stories. I think the exhibitors aim was to make you feel as if you were in a room having a conversation with that person yourself. Again, it followed that theme of feeling like you were in their shoes. It was a very personal moment that evoked a sombre and sad feeling.

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The one thing that stood out the most to me about the 9/11 memorial and museum was how interactive it was. Although there was many a moment to just stand back and physically look at the wreckage and the damage from that day, the small interactive items throughout the whole exhibit was fascinating. I recall coming across an audio station where you could pick up a phone and all you could hear were hundreds and hundreds of repeated voicemails that were left for a certain person from that day. I stood there for 10-15 minutes just listening to the sheer volume of voicemails that were left just for one person. It really hit me hard about how many other people were affected by that day, let alone the individual in question. This was a very clever use of audio and it evoked a feeling in me of surprise and a reminder that not just 2,983 people were affected that day, but hundreds and thousands across the globe.

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All in all, the 9/11 memorial and museum was a simply stunning experience. The layout of the museum was exquisite and everything had it’s own individual standout point. One of the hardest hitting rooms within the museum was a gallery room with individual pictures of each and every single victim of that day. In the middle of the picture gallery was a dark projector room with benches placed around the square shaped room. The floor beneath was a see through glass panel that had different mood lighting to it. I took a seat on one of the corner benches and sat there for 10-15 minute whilst I was presented with each victims name, face and story. Descriptive stories told me of their ages, what they did for a living, who they left behind and some individuals were accompanied by a short audio clip from a close family member telling us about their loved one. I felt almost intrusive on such a personal thing but it was fascinating to hear at the same time. I felt honoured that the family members would share such personal details and it certainly evoked a feeling of warmth when you got to hear of all the incredible people from that day.

I entered the 9/11 memorial feeling sad and unprepared for what was to be ahead but I left feeling positive and warm. To take that feeling away from what is such a sad event in the history books was incredible. It was nice to know that the victims of 9/11 and their families had such a poignant tribute left behind for them. It was done with such style and class and it is certainly a recommended visit when in New York.

I got up to all sorts of stuff whilst over in New York other than the museum and I made it into a video so please check that out below!

Thanks for reading, ciao for now! 🙂 x

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHN1d_Nz5Qs << video!

Hello 2017…

27 Jan

Sorry I’m a little late! What’s up January?! Ok, so it’s nearly like the end of January now. Oops. My bad. Anyway!….thrilled to be back to the blog! I hope everyone is well. Aren’t we all glad to see the back of 2016 eh?! Although to be frank, the bleak outlook of 2017 with the activities of Donald Trump so far doesn’t set out the greatest prospects for us all but hey, let’s not look at it negatively! Time to look at the positives. (I mean did you SEE the women’s march last week? Holy shitballs, women of the world unite!)

I’m feeling fairly optimistic for 2017 at the moment. I have a couple of fun things coming up in my diary. Coldplay concert in July for my birthday is a highlight! A theatre trip to see Hairspray in August with mum is also on the cards. I’ve already ticked off one theatre show for the year with Mary Poppins a few weeks ago (ohhhhhh and what a show it was!) and I’m just so excited for all these little things I get to do.


Although 2016 was a tough year for me in many ways, I really was truly blessed with the trips and events I got to go to. My favourite highlights included a Coldplay concert, a Beyoncé concert and an Adele concert. I mean, triple threat right there! My late summer months involved awesome solo trips away to Spain and Disneyland Paris, (Please take me back 😭) and my Christmas period included a fantastic trip away to London with my mum to go and see Dreamgirls in the west end! Hands down THE greatest west end show I have EVER seen.


I moan a lot about my job situation but I really am so blessed to be able to experience all of the above. I wouldn’t be able to do any of it if I didn’t work hard and reward myself. I am in such a fortunate position to be able to do these things whilst living independently in my own flat.

2017 is the year for gratitude and just a general continuation of 2016. I already have some fun things to come but I’m so excited to plan even more and get the best out of life from the little things that count. Career wise, I’m still a little stuck on that one! I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% in my career path but I am determined to make a change. I need a fresh start and I need to get out of shitty call centres because it’s draining my soul!

Family is still very much the forefront of my life. We’ve had some ups and downs this year but we’ve all pulled through and stuck together 🙂 I hope to spend even more time with my family this year and maybe even fit in a holiday together somewhere. (Florida 2017 anyone……?👀)


There’s not much more to blog about for now! This was just a little hello to the new year and a brief update. I hope everyone else has had a good start to 2017 and I look forward to blogging a few bits and bobs throughout the year.

Here’s to a positive 2017! Xo

Solo travelling: Spain

25 Sep

Hello hello hello world! How are we? I hope you’re well!

So if you’ve been following my recent blogs I’m sure you may have realised that I am all about preaching alone time! I sound like such a hermit but something I’ve come to learn in the past few years is that having time to yourself is fucking awesome! (Excuse my french.) I’m not someone who lives alone or has no friends (trust me, I do like to socialize!) but something that I’m on a bit of a hype on at the moment is solo travelling. Lots of people solo travel and ‘discover themselves’ and trek the amazon or some shit but I’m actually just talking about going on little trips! Backpacking in the desert isn’t really my thing but seeing new places or going to a nice hot country is right up my street.

A couple of weeks ago whilst slogging away at work in a cramped office, I was sat dreaming away of a sunny destination and with a lot of annual leave and savings available I decided to book myself a last minute trip to Spain. Life is short so why not!? Naturally, I would usually go with a friend or something but with no one available, I decided to go alone! The excitement was real but everyone I spoke to gasped in shock when I told them I was going alone. Even speaking with people now, they all look at me in bemusement as if I’ve murdered someone. It makes me chuckle but it really didn’t bother me! I really enjoyed my time alone and had THE most relaxing time!

My trip started in the super early hours (I’m talking 3am) and my kind dad gave me a lift over to Bristol airport. I flew with easyjet and got myself the speedy boarding option that pretty much allowed me to skip all the queues which was FABULOUS. I rolled in feeling like an absolute G but it was soon short lived when I realised that actually, I’d still be sitting in a big old tin next to some screaming baby on a 2 hour squishy flight. Boring flight over and I soon arrived at my destination which was Palma Mallorca!

Palma was a strange airport and the departures and arrival lounges/gates all merged into one so after a bit of a confusing walk through to security, I was soon out of the airport and into the HEAT! I got a taxi from the airport to my hotel (top tip: always go for the official airport taxi rank! Don’t get roped in by some randomer trying to offer you a taxi especially if you’re alone.) 20 euros later (vom) and a 10 minute taxi ride and I was at the hotel!

I stayed at the Hotel Pamplona which was right by the beach in Palma. It was a 4* hotel and what a delight it was. Due to my early morning flight, my room wasn’t quite ready so I had about an hour or two to just hang by the beach until I could go back to check in. The Palma beach area was so lovely and I’d never seen such a nice, pretty beach view. Miles of golden sand and twinkling blue waves lashing back and forth with a mountain view to follow. HEAVEN!

Everything about the area was just easy and convenient for someone like me travelling alone. Endless supermarkets/shops nearby, a beach, my hotel with a lovely pool and even my own private cabana to lay on all day and do nothing!

I won’t lie, it got to half way though the week and I was going a little stir crazy not speaking to anyone but I soon got over it. Being alone wasn’t as bad as I thought it was gonna be. I thought I might find it a bit awkward with eating food alone but it really wasn’t an issue. With the type of hotel I had, the main meals were included in the deal anyway so it was a help yourself style restaurant which was a dream for me! I could go in, eat food and just go straight back out without the hassle of waiting around for the food.

I can’t say that I really spoke to many people at the hotel apart from the staff. Mainly because, everyone was German!?! I swear, I have never seen so many Germans in my lifetime! Palma is obviously a popular destination for them. They even had German bars and clubs along the walkways?!

Having a whole 7 days to just think about nothing or no one really switched my brain off which is what the doctor ordered for me! A blissful week of reading, music and sleeping was all I needed and doing it alone was even better. I didn’t have to converse with anyone (dear god, that makes me sound like such an anti social. I promise I don’t hate people) and I could do whatever I wanted on my own schedule.

I got to enjoy some time adventuring in the Palma aquarium half way through the week and would regularly walk around exploring during the night times (mainly catching Pokemon, I won’t lie,  but I CAUGHT TWO PIKACHUS THOUGH!!!!) I probably could’ve ventured into Palma city centre and seen more but to be honest, with the type of holiday I was on, I couldn’t really be bothered to venture far! I was so comfortable and relaxed in my own little routine and it’s something I’d definitely do again.

My next solo adventure actually begins in a weeks time which is ridiculously exciting and I can’t believe I’m on it again already! The next destination you ask? Well, it’s only bloomin DISNEYLAND PARIS!!! Wahhhhh!!! What is life!?! I am so so excited to go and I don’t think it’s actually quite sank in that I’m going?! I’ve been back in work this last week and haven’t prepared a single thing for my trip. It was super spontaneous but I love that! I will most definitely be filling you in on that trip when I return in a few weeks so keep your eyes about for that.

For now, I shall leave you with sunny photos of my Spain trip! If there’s anything that you take from this blog then it’s to go wild and book yourself a solo trip! Do it, do it, do it! I promise you, you won’t regret it. I feel like it’s something everyone should experience just once. Even if you don’t enjoy it as much as being with others, it’s such a good life experience and helps you get back in touch with yourself!

Thanks for reading and ciao for now xo

Life tip: Take a break!

27 Aug

No folks, this is not a sponsored blog about kit kats but another philosophical blog entry about keeping on top of your mental health and looking after yourself!

The last few weeks have been really really hard for me personally due to a lot of different reasons. I’ve faced a lot of challenges including being made redundant from my job, losing friends and facing a deterioration in my mental health. My depression creeped up on me really bad again and I felt like there was no way out. This time, I made a trip to the doctors and tried antidepressants which is not something I ever thought I’d need to do. I’ve always been able to pick myself up with a strong mind but for a short period of time there was just absolutely nothing that I felt could take me out of my rut. I was sad, angry and bitter over so many things and I couldn’t shake it. For a temporary period, the antidepressants did actually help which really surprised me! I’d always heard horror stories about antidepressants and how they make you feel zoned out or like a zombie but the experience for me wasn’t too bad. I had no major side effects except bad heads at times. I felt very balanced for the first time in forever and I felt like it was a little push that I needed. It wasn’t all stars and rainbows but for the majority, I felt quite ok in myself. I think I took them for about 2 months or so and I eventually just reached a stage where I felt done with them. I didn’t want to keep relying on the tablets and realised I still needed to work on the psychological side of things.

Something that really helped me with that was just taking time to myself to relax and just enjoy my own company. I had a week or so to myself when my flatmate had gone away on a holiday and it was so beneficial. I still had a lot of job shit going on (still do!) but I felt so content with myself. I took a break, I followed my own little routine and I just chilled and worried about no one and nothing. It was another wakeup that sometimes, I just need to think about myself and take care of me. I think a lot of us get wrapped up in worrying about others lives sometimes and wish to be the hero and save the day. I’ve always been a caring person but can never seem to stop myself when it comes to solving others problems. It’s not a bad trait for me to have but it can be my downfall in a lot of ways because I invest too much time in others and lose focus on myself which can become really catastrophic for me.

Last week, I booked myself a holiday to Spain (10 days and counting OHMYGODDDDDD) and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m actually going on the holiday by myself which a lot of my friends and family think is crazy! It really doesn’t phase me though. Don’t get me wrong, I can go batshit crazy when I’m on my own for long periods of time (ha!) but I really do enjoy my own company. It’s so nice to reach that point where you don’t have to rely on others to feel content. I think it’s such an important skill (if you call it a skill!?), for people to hone. I am so so so excited to go away to Spain for a week, to lie in the sun and do absolutely NOTHING! Work life and adult life has been a real struggle over the last year and I feel like this is a long deserved break for myself. I’ve saved a lot of money that’s been sitting in my bank account looking pretty for ages and it’s about time I spent some of it and treated myself.

So folks, if there’s one thing you do today….. TAKE A BREAK. Yes, even if it is to have a kit kat (lolz) or to catch up on some TV (pssst, bake off is back….). Go on a spa day, enjoy a meal with friends or family, take a walk, read a book or go on a damn holiday!! Just remember to always take time for yourself to relax and process things. We live in such a busy world and I don’t think we take enough time to just process ‘life’.

I look forward to blogging about my sunny getaway in a few weeks and hopefully I’ll be back with no disastrous holiday stories!! Wish me luck and ciao for now xo

“Just Keep Swimming” – Being at peace with yourself!

2 Aug

Hi blogging world. Apologies once again for the lack of blogging. Oh dear, there she goes again! Hashtag broken record. Honestly, I’m the worst. I kick myself in the teeth everytime I do this. I start my blog and I set out with a goal in mind of doing this weekly things but it just never happens. Clearly my downfall is consistency when it comes to blogging and for that I apologise! From now on, there will be no more deadline setting. I will blog when I feel and that’s that! And really this ties into my blog post today about feeling happy with yourself and feeling at peace.

You know, for a really long time, all I’ve ever done is try to please others. Look out for others, care for them, impress others and generally worry too much about what others think and quite frankly world, I’ve had enough!

The last few months have been pretty tough for me in my personal life with career highs and lows and my mental health definitely taking a tumble. It’s been a struggle and I’m being faced with new challenges every day and every week but as time passes by I feel a growing strength within me.

This week in particular, I’ve really been feeling at peace with myself which is the best feeling ever. Considering my circumstances could be a lot better at the moment, I am somehow handling it well!

It will probably sound so silly to some but I had an inspiring moment this past weekend when I went to see Finding Dory in the cinemas! (Seriously, you NEED TO SEE IT!!!) The famous quote that comes from the film is ‘Just Keep Swimming’ and my god what a simple yet genius statement. When life gets you down, you really do just need to keep swimming! It can seem so so hard at times but eventually you reach a point where you can just accept what’s happening and choose to process and deal with it.

I’ve had that within myself this week and one of the key contributors to it has been having time by myself. It’s been good to be selfish and spend time by myself. I’ve truly accepted to stop caring about others who don’t care about me. I’ve gotten into a really nice relaxing ritual at nighttime involving face masks and candles which has relaxed me to a level I never thought possible and for that I’d like to thank the candle gods! ❤️

I know that I may find this routine a struggle in the next few weeks as my work pattern gets juggled all over the place but it’s nice to know I’ve found a place where I can feel serenity and peace on my own.

For so long, I’ve tried to find that happiness and peace within others but it’s just not possible to get it that way. You’ve got to get digging deep and find it within yourself (cheese alert soz).

So I guess all I really wanted to get out of this blog was a positive message that it’ll all be fine and to keep on keeping on. Find what makes you feel happy and relaxed and take the time to do it! Self care is so important so stop wasting your energy on things that mean nothing to you and do more of what makes you happy!

Thank you for reading.

Ciao for now x 

 

Mental Health: Be Wise With Your Words.

21 Feb

Hello hello hello world! How are we? I hope you’re well! Apologies for the delay on this weeks blog. I’ve been down with the flu and not been feeling too slick but fear not, my trusty immune system has stopped being mean and is fighting me back to good health. Hurrah!

Time to get serious in this weeks blog and today I’m talking mental health. Oooooh, she went there! Don’t run away just yet kids – I’d like to think that what I have to say is of some importance and hopefully we can all learn something together.

So you wanna know what bugs me? I’ll tell you what bugs me. Every once in a while, when we’re all having a bad day in work or in our personal lives and it’s all going tits up, there are often one too many times that you hear the phrase: “Oh my god, I just want to kill myself.” or another popular one “I think I’d rather slit my wrists”. Very cut throat statements that have very big impacts. Well, to me they do anyway.

As you may have remembered, back in 2014 when it was World Mental Health Day, I shared a very personal story of my own regarding the struggles I’ve had with my mental health. (click here to read) Self harm and suicide is a really sensitive topic for myself so it really gets to me when people use it so freely like it’s a joke. The guffaws of laughter that come after such a statement baffles me. I know that most people really don’t mean any harm when they say it because sadly, that’s just the way society seems to go these days, but I’d love to see a change in the way we use our words on such sensitive issues.

In this day and age, I don’t think anyone would even dream to say something crass about someone’s sexuality or the colour of their skin. It’s just not acceptable anymore. I’ve certainly been guilty in the past of using the phrase ‘that’s so gay!’ and straight after I’ve said it, I feel so bad! I shouldn’t say it because it can be so disrespectful and I don’t wish to hurt someone. We’re at a time now where we’re all open and welcome to diversity, and the history books have come a long way to make that change. I strongly believe that the same needs to happen for mental health. We cannot stand by and slander mental health or joke about suicide. Regardless of whether you mean no harm – we need to stop and think about what we’re saying. Words are a powerful weapon and you never know what struggles someone has been through or is going through.

There are some fantastic charities and organizations out there for issues like self harm, depression and anxiety and the more we see the support systems the better!

I’d love to see everyone pledge to be wise with their words and really make a difference in this world, whether it’s a big or a small change – any change is better than none. So I hope that you can all take something from this blog this week and spread some kind words. Think before you speak next time and say something positive instead of something negative. I don’t want to be a crazy preacher but just want to voice some good!

If you’ve had similar experiences, let me know in the comments! 🙂

Thank you for reading and ciao for now x