‘Comparison is the thief of joy’

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” —Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve really wanted to write something about this ‘topic’ for a while but I haven’t known how to approach it without one: sounding like a moaning myrtle and two: Pride, my star sign being a Leo, it’s a major issue for me and admitting/stating that I compare myself to everyone and everything is a bit of a dent to it. While I sit and write this I can think of numerous times where I’ve thought the following; ‘they’re better than me’ oooor, ‘I wish I looked like them’ oooor ‘wish I was them’. For me it is simply a character flaw hidden somewhere in my head.

Nonetheless, as I’ve heard even just writing things down boosts positive thinking and this is why I’ve decided to actually write this post, I’m not really a person who likes to say how they feel I just ‘get on with it’, as some of my friends know, I used to live by ‘emotions show weakness’. But I am almost certain I’m not the only person who has felt like this at some point in their life.

I have discovered there are an infinite number of things upon which we can compare ourselves and an almost infinite number of people to compare ourselves to. Once we begin down that road, we never find an end.

I have always thought that others had more or were better than me because they were luckier/smarter/prettier/skinnier than I was. I felt like I have lived in the shadows of those around me, but the truth is – I put myself in the corner with my constant lack of self-confidence.

But the only thing I have learnt is that comparison robs us of what actually matters. We each get 86,400 seconds each day. And using even one to compare ourselves or our accomplishments/pay packets/looks to another is one second too many.

When really all I ever need to tell myself is:

The only person I should try to be better than is the person I was yesterday.

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SNOWDON AKA’ SNOWDRONE

“Shall we climb Snowdon” – the four words that sounded exciting whilst sat comfortably chatting in the warmth.

And in actually fact, it was a cracking idea.

At 1,085 meters, Mount Snowdon is the tallest mountain in Wales and taller than hiking enthusiasts in the UK.

 

Check out the drone footage from Snowdon: 

 

 

Well what we weren’t initially prepared for was the long journey to Wales; Google Maps had us down for a looooong 5 hour 40 min drive from Colchester. Including a pit stop god knows where, it took around 7 hours.

After that journey, I have never been so relieved to see our camp site for the two days (Llyn Gwynant) which all I can say was the most scenic camp site I have ever seen.

I mean c’mon:

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After about 6 hours sleep (normally I need about 12 to feel normal) we awoke to a cold, damp campsite, but somehow we found the motivation to get up and drive to Pen-y-Pass arriving around 8:30 and the car park was already FULL. So we had to find a place to park the car which ended up being 1.5 miles away, adding 3 miles on to our already 8 mile journey.

We took the Miners track, this track starts off gentle (or as gentle as can be) as for a couple of miles it’s just a slight gradient, however after a few miles this all changes, the incline becomes VERY noticeable as it includes, many steps and climbing but if I can do it, everyone can…If you fancy taking this route, you will want to park in the Pen-y-Pass car park. Post Code: LL55 4NU.

The views as we got higher just got better and better – plus it was so peaceful to be in the middle of nowhere without having to think about anything other than keeping going, after three hours, we reached the summit of Snowdon, anyone who has ever climbed a mountain can agree that arriving at the summit is an amazing feeling, especially when the last part of the climb is the most difficult.

 

 

My Road to Graduation

I have slightly neglected my ‘blog’ the past couple of months as I’ve been mega busy trying to find the time to actually sit down & blog something ‘worth reading’ (I say worth reading lightly). As I’ve been working near enough full-time lately, as well as recently starting to volunteer as an Appropriate Adult with a company called Open Road. This company is a leading provider of drug and alcohol services in Essex, delivering services to help individuals & families to recover from the harmful impact of drugs and alcohol. This doesn’t leave much time to ‘chill’ and write (finding a perfect work/volunteer/life balance may be a working progress for a while) but for now. Here we go: Road to Graduation

Everything started three years ago when I decided to attend the University of Lincoln to study Criminology. It was never easy, i can honestly say I had my ‘moments’ or for a better word, meltdowns when I just wanted to give up and go home. Living away from family & friends for the first time is never an easy thing. However I was lucky enough to meet some of the most amazing people I feel I will ever meet. The university experience for me has improved my life in so many ways it’s hard to know where to to even start. Before my university journey I was a shy girl who hated standing out in a crowd & just wanted to blend in but fast forward three years, taking every challenge that University life chucked my way, i feel as though i can say i am a confident young woman, who has moved half way across the country to a new town, with new people and new job prospects. They say ‘life begins at the end of your comfort zone’ and I can certainly vouch for that.

  After 3 loooooong years of studying Criminology at the University of Lincoln, the 6th of September marked the day in which all the blood (maybe not actual blood), sweat and tears and when I say tears, I mean an ocean full came to a head. I want to share with you one of the most proud moments of my life. It was such a special day filled with love and support from all my family and friends. Thank you to my best friends (you know who you are) that even though we don’t live in the same city anymore, we always have each other’s back and I feel like that will never change.

  It’s so hard to process that I am now a part of the ‘real world’. It feels great because it’s done but it’s weird that I have to start doing as the adults do, so any fresh graduates out there who have same feeling as me?

 

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Dear 18 Year Old Self

For a couple of weeks now I’ve been ready to write another blog post, but for some reason I’ve been struggling slightly with what I want to write about (you could say writers block, even if I’m not a writer per-say) until I came across this question. If you could write a letter to your 18 year old self, what would you say?

Well, here goes:

Firstly, you’ve finally finished sixth-form; something that seemed would never end at the dreaded 9.00am Monday morning double Sociology class with Mr Sykes. Wow could he talk (from what I can remember, he stopped waking me up after a while).  You’re also going to spend the most amazing 3 months of summer with your best friends before you whisk yourself off to start University in a completely different city, cherish your summer because soon everything changes…

The first day of University is here, the new chapter in your life is about to begin. My advice, don’t be shy I know it’s hard for you to be in a new place (seen as you are such a home bird) but the people you are going to meet here are going to be some of the best people you will ever meet. Stay at Uni on the weekends, don’t go home it will only hinder the real experience, stay and make new friends. Enjoy that life! In a matter of 2 years you will miss it.

Now this is a big one: You are allowed to make mistakes; nonetheless, you will make mistakes, but for god sake, take chances. I know that attitude you have right now. That, “I’ll do whatever it takes to get anywhere,” attitude. I know you think that is a legit feeling you have right now ‘untouchable’ but sweet cheeks, you aren’t. Life happens to everyone, you will go through heartbreaks in more ways than one. You are going to experience loss so great you’re going to lose your sense of self. But you’re going to be strong (you are stronger than you ever thought you were) and you know those people you were scared to meet on your first few days? Well they are going to be the people you will lean on the most.

You’re going to miss your friends from home, but they are always there, no matter what they are your original squad. But you’re allowed to make those new friendships; I know you will meet some friends for life.

Fast forward 2 years, now this is the worst part, remember that sicky feeling you had on your first day at University? It comes again, but this time it’s because you’re leaving. Those friends you’ve met and bonded with (probably closer too than some of your family) you’re going to have to leave. Not having that structure of education anymore and actually coming to the realisation that you have to now (ADULT). Don’t worry we haven’t got that 100% down yet so that may have to come in the next letter.

P.S – Go to class, honestly, third year will kill you. (You don’t get a 2:1 without having to work your butt off; I can tell you that from experience)

P.P.S – The next few years will have many ups and downs, but they will mold and shape you into the remarkable woman you will become. You will spend many nights spent driving around you hometown with friends, eating McFlurries and complaining about ‘boys’ (the only thing that will change is instead of driving around your hometown, it turns into Facetimes and phone calls complaining about boys (I’ll let life show you why).

Yours Truly: Your 21 (22 in 12 days) year old self.

 

 

Life After University

Well that’s it, it’s officially over. My 3 years at the University of Lincoln is complete, I lost my student status 31 days ago (not that I am counting).  I cannot believe how fast it all went by; though I thought I could say that I experienced substantial stress throughout those 3 years, when I thought the stress was about to finish I realised that it hasn’t even started!

In all honesty I am yet to figure out whether I’m either excited or terrified to enter the ‘real world’, I often find myself asking whether or not I’m ready to ‘adult’ yet. Sometimes there’s a feeling of dread, at the reality of University being over, now this petrifies me. But those other days I feel so excited about the new experiences I am about to embark on; starting a career in an area which I feel so passionate about (fingers crossed) and beginning a new chapter of my life in a different town, or should I say county, over 100 miles away from my home town.

Yes, I am a northerner venturing south. From my hometown of sunny Goole (okay it’s not sunny) where both my family and friends reside, I am packing up and moving down south to the home of ‘SHAT UP’ and ‘DROP ME OUT’, Essex. There are several emotions in which I could say I am feeling right now, but they can all be summed up by: Nervous. Don’t get me wrong I am so excited about all the new doors which can open for me but it is also very nerve racking to essentially start again. (This is why I am starting this blog initially, I’ve been hearing that writing is good for the soul and writing experiences, and adventures can have positive effects on your mental health, so why not ey?).

Recently, I’ve been reading  numerous articles and blogs which provide advice for preparing us for ‘Life after University’ such as:  living back at home, opening graduate bank accounts and getting that ‘ideal Graduate job’ but what they don’t cover is the fact that you are parting ways from the people who have practically been your family for 3 years, having formed incredible bonds with people you have lived with: partied with, laughed with and confided in, supporting each other through both universities difficulties and academic pressure (in my case have helped me through about 10 Britney meltdowns and talked me out of quitting University all together around 5 times). Maybe it is a cliché thing to say that the friends you form at University are friends for life and I certainly feel like I have definitely made friends for life. This is what I feel is the real sadness of University life.

Nonetheless, it’s 85 days until Graduation, a time to celebrate all our achievements throughout the 3 years and we get to share it with both our families and friends. I have no doubt in my mind that saying ‘goodbye’ will not be easy but then there’s always the excitement of what lies ahead helps balance it a little (and I mean a smidge).