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A Reflection: Anxiety and The Teen Years

In the weeks leading up to my 20th birthday back in August and the subsequent months following I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about my teenage years and reflecting on how I spent them. I think it’s only natural upon hitting a somewhat milestone birthday or on entering a new decade to look back on the previous years, often with a sense of nostalgia and fondness, but as well as those feelings I also had an overwhelming sense of missed opportunities. I don’t want this post to instantly become all doom and gloom, but I thought it might be insightful to some or relatable to others to discuss the ideas of the regret that come along with a mental illness such as anxiety. As the worrier I am, it’s a topic that’s been buzzing around my head for a little while now and I’m hoping putting pen to paper (so to speak) will push me to edge bit by bit out of my very established comfort zone.

Anxiety is the sort of mental health issue that can manifest itself differently in every sufferer, and in my case it mainly comes into play in terms of meeting new people, social situations and dealing with change (not much then, lol). As a result of my qualms with social situations and feeling extremely nervy about putting myself ~out there~ I missed out on countless nights out, holidays with friends, parties and celebrations and doing the crazy, reckless, spontaneous things that are so synonymous with finding yourself and experimenting as a teen. I know I’m not alone in feeling I missed out on so many opportunities like this, but I think the important thing to remember is how to channel the regrets you might have into determination for future adventures. Looking back I now realise how although saying ‘yes’ in those situations would have felt difficult, nearly impossible in fact, it would have only given me more confidence and hope for all other opportunities that I since missed out on. Of course in hindsight it’s easy to look back and say I should have pushed myself out of my comfort zone with more determination, but I truly think it’s important to reflect on these situations in such a way that gives me an incentive to try harder in the future.

I’m the only one that can make myself take these opportunities, I’m the only one who can force myself to say ‘yes’ even when my mind is screaming ‘no’ and I’m the only one who can really reflect my words into actions and make a change in my 20s. Hitting the big 2-0 (I honestly feel so old) has given the fresh perspective I needed to recognise where I can improve and challenge myself and I’m really, truly excited about the future and the idea that it will involve happiness and spontaneity. Below are some of the things I’ve done since being 20, both as a reminder that I’m doing a good job of fulfilling the promise I made to myself, but also to anyone else feeling the same sense of sadness about pushing themselves. GURL U CAN DO IT.

1. As a birthday treat for myself and Scott, we booked a hotel in Brighton for 2 days to celebrate entering our 20s together and it was THE best decision I’ve made in such a long time. We went on the pier, wandered the shops, ate way too much Italian food and cuddled on the beach. I was determined to start my 20s as I mean to go on and I’m so proud I actually did it and made some of the loveliest memories I have of Summer 2017. I love that our birthdays are two days apart because it means I have him by my side for all the achievements I set out for the next year of my life. 

2. Another beach getaway next (there’s no stopping this gal), I headed to Margate with my dad and sister for the August bank holiday weekend and explored a city that had been on my ‘To Visit’ list for years! Although Margate was a tad different to what I expected (read: our b’n’b had newspaper as wallpaper and dolls heads everywhere) it was still so lovely to visit another UK beach destination and see Dreamland in the flesh, which let me tell you, WAS SO DREAMY. 

3. I’ve been to two hot tub parties in the space of two weeks, one very spontaneous and one planned after the first one was such a success. I spent both evenings with some of my best pals who I don’t get to see nearly as often as I would like because we’re now spread across the UK at different uni’s, so it was so lovely to get a little bit tipsy, eat nachos and cookies in the hot tub and laugh a LOT. 

4. I've landed myself my DREAM placement as Social and Content Intern at Birchbox UK and I honestly couldn't be happier career wise than I am now. The last few months of being 19 were spent interning at a variety of places and although on the whole I learnt a lot, I did have a few negative experiences along the way. Despite those not so great times, it's actually been a blessing in disguise in helping me full appreciate my new role and I feel so excited for the future. It's actually only my second day there and I thought I would feel so much more anxious than I do so maybe my baby steps are all making a difference!

5. And finally, an achievement that will ensure I end 2017 on a high. Scott and 7 of my friends are heading to Edinburgh for New Years Eve for a few days of exploring, laughing, eating and drinking some amazing food and seeing in 2018 in style. It was a big decision for me to book this trip yet now I only feel excitement towards it. 

I know this post has been fairly short and sweet compared to my usual ramblings but I truly hope it's provided hope for others in the same position or provided a perspective of an illness you have no personal experience with. Thank you so much for reading (as usual) and I would love to hear of any achievements you've made this year <3 

A New Chapter

Trousers: Topshop Similar HERE / Shirt: H&M  Similar HERE or HERE / Bag: Topshop Similar HERE / Jewellery: Accessorize and Dorothy Perkins or Similar HERE / Shoes: Primark. Similar HERE.
The title of this post and the reality that comes along with it is something I've been so excited to share, despite the 'pinch me I'm dreaming' feeling still lingering along with it. I've mention my degree and placement year plenty of times here on my blog and other social channels and I've found documenting the ups and downs of the process to be so therapeutic and a real outlet for all the highs and lows I've experienced. Since moving to London in May and beginning my interning journey, I've spent a lot of time trying to narrow down exactly where I want to go with my career (and life!) and in the process have felt every emotion from inspiration and motivation to being so overwhelmed that my most preferable option seemed to be hiding under my duvet with some Alpro chocolate milk. Not an effective solution I can assure you. Despite stepping out of education for the first time and moving to the Big Smoke alone being totally overwhelming experiences, I feel like over the past 4 months I've finally established where I want to go with my career and how I plan to get there. I adore fashion. The personal expression and creativity, the ability to be totally and unapologetically yourself, and career wise, I adore the fast pace and collaborative efforts behind so many success stories. Of course it took me some time to adjust to my new lifestyle but as of now I can finally step back and see how many obstacles and anxieties I've overcome during the past 4 months which fills me with so much hope for the future! London can be a lonely place, and I think my only real wish is that I could have had my closest course pals/boyfriend/family/friends by my side. Despite that I think the experience has proved to me that I am capable and that I can do anything that I set my mind to.

My latest new chapter is one I'm the most excited for yet, as in less than a week I'll be starting my new role as Social and Content Intern at Birchbox UK! I've never come across a position I feel so excited at the prospect of or that I can 100% see myself fulfilling and I feel so lucky to be on such an exciting new journey for the next 6 months. Of course I will keep my blog as up to date as possible along the way and can't wait to throw myself into this new adventure! Social media and content creation should have been such an obvious route for me, having worked on my blog and other social channels so hard for so long and I can't tell you how crazy it feels that soon I'll be able to channel the love I have for my hobby into an industry role! I wanted to share this post initially to keep you all updated on my new adventure, but also to show that hard work really does pay off in the long run and if you're caught up right now in whatever struggles life is throwing at you, just know that it will only make you stronger and more capable in the future. I can't tell you how many times I've cried down the phone to my dad or on how many occasions I've worried tirelessly over the future but in the end, things somehow seem to slot into place just when you need them to most. Lots of love to you all!

My Current Beauty Favourites

Hello everyone! It's not often I talk about beauty on my blog but there's a few products that have really revolutionised my routine lately and I thought a favourites post would be the perfect way to share some pieces that are making up my daily face. As a bit of a disclaimer, I'm slowly phasing out products and brands that test on animals, so although a few of these items are unfortunately not cruelty free, please know I'm slowly working towards having a fully CF make-up bag in the near future!

My base is always the hardest thing for me to get right, as covering scarring and active acne is always tricky. I'm definitely not a natural when it comes to make up, so a foundation that is easy to blend but heavy enough to give me the coverage I need for my troublesome skin is a must. Nars Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc is a product I come back to time and time again, as it's glow inducing formula but full coverage finish means I can achieve naturally healthy looking skin whilst not needing to feel self conscious about my spots! I've suffered with terrible skin for a few years now and so foundation is the real make or break product in my routine, and Nars continually helps me feel confident and happy with my skin, even when it is having a bit of a freak out. I'm so disappointed to learn that Nars are no longer a cruelty free brand; it's such a shame to see companies moving in this less compassionate direction. If anyone has any recommendations for similar bases then please do let me know for when I'm all out of my Sheer Glow love! 

My make up collection is extremely streamlined, with my everyday look of a glowy base and winged liner being my go-to in helping me feel like 'me'. Lipstick is the one thing in my routine that I tend to switch up daily, and Mac's 'Faux' has been a firm favourite of mine since I received it as a gift last Christmas. It's the perfect everyday shade for me skin tone, with it's rosy finish adding a some colour to my face without being too high maintenance. I love the formula of this lipstick, as the creamy texture means it's easy to layer up and re-apply if it's worn slightly after meal times! I love liquid lipsticks for their staying power but find them impossible to add to without them appearing slightly gloopy in their finish. Mac's Faux on the other hand is the perfect product for touching up on the go, and is a shade I carry in my handbag, always. LURVE. 

As is typical with acne prone skin I also experience an extremely oily complexion making it difficult for me to keep my base looking perfect for a full day. My routine was completely revolutionised by the addition of the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Microfinishing Loose Powder a couple of months ago, and since then has become a true staple in my routine. I tend to set my foundation with this powder first thing in the morning, and then use my normal Rimmel Stay Matte throughout the day as I find I can achieve the best results by combining the two. Make Up Forever has always been a brand I was curious to try, and their powder has been the perfect introduction as I'm now super keen to see what else they have to offer. I find setting my make up with their loose powder in the morning is a fool-proof way of keeping my make-up in place for longer, and I really can't believe my routine was ever complete without this product! 

And finally an eyeshadow that similarly to Mac's 'Faux' has become a complete essential in my everyday routine, and that is a quad palette from Suqqa in the shade 104, Natsusango. Suqqa is a Japanese brand that I was previously unfamiliar with, however was kindly gifted this little palette when I left Marie Claire, and it's pretty much been love ever since. I gravitate most towards to the two lightest shades, with my favourite being the pink shimmer for the perfect everyday wash of colour across the lid but I'm also DYING to experiment with the brick orange shade in the autumn months! As mentioned previously, I'm really not the best when it comes to make-up application, so easily blendable yet pigmented shades are my fave for an easy to apply look! I love pink shadows and find them especially flattering with my lighter hair so I'm super happy to have found my new go-to!