Me: marmite sandwiches, zombies and imperfections.

Me: marmite sandwiches, zombies and imperfections.

umbrella.jpg

I am Bronwyn. My closest friends and family call me Bee. I have a little scar next to my eye from standing on a chair in nursery, shouting at the top of my lungs for a marmite sandwich and an undying love for foam bananas. I’m terrified of zombies (despite the fact I know they don’t exist). Having worked in a baby shop and children’s nurseries- I know a ridiculous amount about babies without ever having had one (and for some reason I could list off 15 pushchair brands, but struggle to recall what I learnt last week at Uni). I love cats, but fear them equally- for I find them peculiarly unpredictable creatures. I study history because I enjoyed it and it seemed to close the least doors for me in life. I’m an open book, my emotions are splashed across my face the second I feel them, I’m oversensitive, silly 80% of the time, prone to over-apologising and ultimately imperfect, but not insignificant. I am a people person. I like to please. I am working on accepting that not everyone will like me all of the time- and that’s OK. I have been, and still am, vulnerable at times and have found confidence isn’t borne out of things going right, often confidence grows when, quite frankly, the shit hits the fan.

I am a work in progress. I am enough. I belong. I am me: perfectly imperfect.

Remember you are too. Your best is enough. You belong. You are fiercely loved. You are perfectly imperfect.

The Cherry on the Cake Theory

The Cherry on the Cake Theory

I am a free, independent woman, who don’t need no man. (This is not to say I don’t very much appreciate my man, but that’s by the by!)

I have always been very set on this. My life is my life. People can add to it, but my life will always remain exactly that- mine.

One of the best, most valuable life lessons that my Mum has taught me, is the Cherry on the Cake Theory.

Metaphorically speaking, the cake is life. In life we should surround ourselves with people we aspire to be like, people that make us happy and (most importantly) people who add to our lives. That make our lives that little bit sunnier. People come and go- and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s really easy to find someone special and fall for them, hard. My Mum has always maintained that this someone should be ‘the cherry on the cake’. They should make life better. But they should not be the cake itself.

My Mum knows a lady who lost her husband at an unfortunately young age. While they were talking she asked her how she managed to cope with it, and the lady responded that she had her own life too. That her husband wasn’t her entire life. He was, naturally, a huge piece. But she kept a piece for herself.

The point is, no matter how happy you are with your partner, it’s so incredibly important to keep your own life too. Keep in touch with your friends, have your own hobbies- have your own life. You’ll have more to talk about, you’ll be happier and you’ll never feel isolated.

I Am An Emotional Sponge

I Am An Emotional Sponge

In a world that is so stressful and highly emotionally charged, it’s easy to take on other people’s problems. Research has even shown that emotions can be contagious, you can potentially ‘catch’ fear, anger and joy from people without even realising it. This is something I know I do. I am very susceptible to ‘catching’ people’s emotions. It’s something I really struggle with.

Are you an emotional sponge?

Being an “emotional sponge” isn’t always a bad thing. Being sensitive towards other peoples emotions, I like to think, can make you a better person.

The question ‘are you OK?’ is majorly underrated. Those three words can make someone go from feeling alone in a situation, to having an outlet. Being sensitive means you observe emotions far more than others. Being an emotional sponge means you probably worry about how someone is feeling perhaps more often than others, and can read situations differently.

Though, sometimes it’s easy to take on too much. I find this incredibly easy to do.

me

So, in being aware of my sponginess, I hope to be able to deal with it better and use it to my advantage.  Here are a few ways I have learnt to deal with my tendency to be an emotional sponge.

  • Answer this: is this feeling mine, or someone elses?Sometimes I feel such strong empathy for other people, that it can genuinely dictate my entire day. From the moment I wake up I can find myself concerned for somebody else’s emotions. I often have to put it into harsh terms, with the question: ‘is this any of your business?’Because half the time- it’s not.
  • Recognise the difference between empathy and sympathy.Empathy is where you feel other people’s emotions, whereas sympathy is simply the compassion. If you empathise you’re putting yourself in their position. It’s better for you, and for you to guide other people, when you’re sympathetic, rather than emotional invested.
  • Express yourself.This is something I find so difficult: saying when enough is enough. It’s important to be honest, to say I’m sorry I can’t help you’. When you sit for hours and hours, listening, it is unbelievably easy to be a sponge. This is the one I find the most challenging, because often I feel that to back off can feel like you’re abandoning people.
  • Distance yourself from the suspected source.If you know specific situations or individuals can bring your mood down, and perhaps you’re particularly vulnerable to it at this time, remove yourself from the situation. I find this equally hard, especially as I like to help people and despise seeing people feeling isolated.
  • Talk to other people. If you’re concerned for somebody it’s easy to take on the role of ‘the rock’by yourself. But speaking to other people about it really can help. This keeps your own mental health in check. I always remind myself that I am far more helpful if I, myself, am happy.

I refuse to think of being sensitive as a weakness. To me, it is a strength. But sometimes you have to put number one first and that means taking a step back. I’ve learnt to accept that I am not responsible for others.

This is a personal struggle I am attempting to overcome- I want to be more sympathetic in life and a little less empathetic.

Why University Boosted My Confidence

Why University Boosted My Confidence

Forever a home bird, I found moving out and going to University difficult. Despite people telling me about this incredible new chapter/ season/ adventure I was about to experience, I honestly wasn’t overly buzzed to go. Which sounds dreadful, because most people I speak to are so excited for University. That’s not to say I wasn’t looking forward to it entirely, I just wasn’t as ecstatic as my friends. To me, it just felt like I was leaving behind my family and my boyfriend and stepping completely out of my comfort zone. It forced me to do things independently and my confidence in myself grew.

unnamed

I became comfortable in my own company.

It’s funny how our minds embellish things, when I think back to my parents dropping me off at my halls of residence, I picture me stood in my room, surrounded by my stuff- simply wanting to cry. Which is actually super sad. I remember forcing myself to walk into the kitchen, introduce myself and make a cup of tea. I wasn’t to know, at that point, that my flat and I weren’t going to ‘click’ (What People Don’t Tell You About University). I think this is a general misconception. I honestly don’t know anyone who has got along with everyone in their flat. But I know pleeeenty of people who met friends on their course and through societies. Anyway, I ended up spending a lot of time on my own- and most of the time I liked it. I got into YouTube (a lot) and I started blogging. I skyped my boyfriend and family once a day too. I was comfortable in my own company. Though, I did find it hard to adapt to. Now the idea of being alone doesn’t intimidate me, but I know for sure that I prefer being with other people.

I could start a conversation with anyone.

I decided that as my flat and I didn’t ‘click’ I would make new friends. I mastered the art of walking up to people I barely knew and inviting them to coffee. Maybe I did come across loopy. But I felt lonely. I liked being on my own for short periods of time, but I needed to socialise. Otherwise I would have gone crazy. I had recently watched ‘We Bought A Zoo’ and one of the characters said that all you need is 10 seconds of courage. And that’s how I justified it. Because once I’d said ‘do you fancy going for a coffee?’ it was out there and I couldn’t take it back, no matter how silly I felt. I went on quite a few coffee trips, meals out and started being invited to social events outside my flat. So it worked and it boosted my confidence! One of the things that bothered me most was that I worried I was the problem. This proved that I wasn’t.

I realised I was OK.

That was one of the biggest, and most important lessons  University taught me. I had struggled at school and had quite low confidence. College was good for me in that sense, but I became far more confident at University. I ended up thinking that if I smiled, waved or spoke to someone and they didn’t do it back it was their problem, not mine. What’s the worst that could happen when you wave at someone and they don’t wave back? You look overly friendly? I mean over friendly has never offended me.

I was confident in my own decisions.

I didn’t particularly enjoy my Freshers, I had a rather unfortunate experience on my first Freshers event, and it really affected me. I felt quite uncomfortable on nights out and I realised pretty quickly I wasn’t going to be peer pressured into anything I didn’t want to do. This was something I felt really strongly about. I did, and still do, only go out if I have my ‘wingman’ (or woman!) with me. I’ve never felt entirely comfortable with clubbing, it’s just something I get quite anxious about- and my solution was surrounding myself in people I trust. People I know wouldn’t leave me alone in a club, feeling vulnerable. This confidence through making decisions for myself made me far more self confident. I socialised with who I wanted and when. Even now, I try really hard not to give into peer pressure.

 

University hasn’t been the easiest journey for me, but it taught me a lot about myself and what I want out of life. I would love to hear if you learnt any life lessons at University, had a bad experience or feel like an experience has shaped you as a person.

 

High Expectations: Perfectionist vs Optimist.

High Expectations: Perfectionist vs Optimist.

From a young age, the expectation to ‘be good’ is something we have drummed into us. But sometimes our expectations of ourselves are simply too high. We’re perfectionists.

Perfectionism: Perfectionism means setting our goals too high and having unrealistic expectations. Being allergic to failure is often driven by an underlying sense of shame. If we can achieve some lofty goal and be perfectly successful, then no one can shame us. Failure is often a prerequisite for success.

shame.gif

Sometimes these high expectations of ourselves and want to ‘do good’ can stop us from getting properly stuck into life. I have learnt that there are times to ponder over decisions and there are times to just do it. 

If we let expectations rule our lives, we set ourselves up for disappointment.

I always feel so embarrassed when people ask me what I intend to do with my History Degree. As a Final Year Undergraduate, I really hoped I would know by now. I know what I want to do, in a generic sense- Marketing, HR or Advertising. But I’m not entirely set on anything. And I am not willing to make a decision, or even fib, just so that I don’t feel silly answering that question. Degrees are SO time consuming. I admire anyone who has something lined up after University, because the application processes are crazy long! But that’s the thing: I have time.

I’m itching to get a job, to have money and I want to travel and be one of those ‘free’ twenty-odd people I see all over social media. I was so set on having the above, and (for some peculiar reason) linked it with having a job lined up. But I have years to find the ‘perfect‘ job. And I will. My expectations, set by 18 year old me, of my 21 year old self, were too high. 

My favourite phrase recently has been ‘but we’re millennials’. My friend, Hannah, uses it all the time, and I kind of love it. I use it almost as an excuse! Us ‘millennials’ are pretty fortunate, we can have multiple jobs in a lifetime, we’re supposedly more self-assured and have a stronger sense of ‘civic responsibility’ and a healthy work-life balance. So, as a ‘millennial’ I want to focus on the now. I want to be my own kind of ‘good’.

(Note: having googled ‘millennials’, i am not one. How tragic. For the purposes of this blog post I will pretend I am. Though I am actually Generation Z. How naff does that sound? Lol.)

marilyn.gif

I want to ‘be good’ in my own way. What does this mean? 

  • I will not be letting my own, or others, expectations of me rule my life. This is a vicious cycle, whereby I set myself up for disappointment. Then judge myself harshly for it.
  • I am going to try to think of life in terms of adventures and ditch my ‘expectations’ and instead set myself realistic ‘goals’.
  • I will be hopeful that I exceed these ‘goals’ and will happily make way for something bigger and better.
  • I plan to trust that everything will work itself out, it always does. I’ll just keep working away.
  • When things go ‘tits up’ I am going to try my darned-ist to remain positive. 

I want to enjoy the little things in life, and look back with achey cheeks and wrinkles from a lifetime of smiles and have zero regrets when reflecting bad on my good’ life.

 

 

The Realities of Working Out

The Realities of Working Out

I am what I like to call: Fit(ish).

Fit(ish): semi-fit and a little bit podgy. Someone that likes the idea of being fit, but likes food too much.

I strive to be healthy. To me, this means two things. To be physically fitand active, and eat a healthy balanced diet. And mentally fit, whereby (to avoid mental breakdowns, and maintain sanity) I eat cake when and if I want it. I think it’s a pretty healthy diet. I would never want to resent being ‘healthy’ if it meant I couldn’t eat birthday cake, or have a takeaway every now and then. I’m a firm believer in treatin’ yo self. 

But that’s enough natter, here are some of the realities I have found with working out!

CARDIO:

Getting bored after 5 minutes of any form of cardio. I have always hated running. I simply don’t enjoy it. But I do try. (I’m far better at running out of money, if I’m honest)will.gif

Running next to someone and it feeling like a race. They up the speed, so do I. Bring it. run.gif

My running style: drunk woman slowly being chased by absolutely nothing.drunk.gif

When you take your headphones out and realise you were making panting/grunting noiseswhile you did cardio.sponge.gif

When people look at you while you do cardio.melissa

When you up the speed too much and your heart skips a beat, because you can’t keep up.gym.gif

Me doing cardio: ’20 minutes left. That’s two lots of 10.  It’s only 4 lots of 5 minutes’(then I congratulate myself on the 30 seconds wasted on that mental maths session)wil.gif

I like to think, when people see me jogging outside, they think ‘wow an athlete’, but in reality it’s ‘aw, good for her’.

Quite frankly, the best bit about running is the end.

I’ve honestly come to the conclusion that running is wrong. I agree with Miranda Hart,unless it’s running professionally, or as a child- it’s not OK.

SWIMMING: 

Is this just me? As a kid, at swimming lessons, I would convince myself there was a shark in the pool– so I would swim faster. Maybe I should imagine clowns on the treadmill behind me.shark.gif

MOTTO’S I THINK IN THE GYM/LIFE:

‘Sweat is just my fat crying’.

‘I may look like a potato now, but one day I’ll turn into fries and you’ll all want me then.’

‘I work out because I know I would have been the first to die in the Hunger Games.’

‘I wear all black in the gym, like a funeral for my fat.’

REGRETS: 

When your ‘cheat meal’ turns into a cheat week.shame.gif

Stepping on the scales and seeing no change after weeks of exercise: ‘off to Krispy Kreme I go’.donunt.gif

Leaving the gym feeling great, waking up the next morning feeling like your legs are hungover.
running.gif

FIBS:

Aim:to be the weight I told the app I was.

‘Drink more water’ they said, ‘it will be good for you’ they said. I’m weeing ALL THE TIME.

(Last time I did that 2 litre a day thing, my Mum sent me to the Doctors thinking I had diabetes.)

My summer body expectations vs reality. summer.png

Embracing your summer body like at least my flipflops still fit!fat b 2.gif

So there it is, a page full of GIF’s, personal experiences and life contemplations, from a Fit(ish) individual with some serious love for cake. 

New Series: ‘Teenage Struggles’

New Series: ‘Teenage Struggles’

Hi everybody,

I have recently turned 21. And with this came the realisation that I’m no longer a teen. I mean, that was obvious when I turned 20 as well, but it really hit home on my 21st birthday. I’m no longer just out of my teenage years. I’m in my twenties.

It got me thinking. I experienced a lot of the stereotypical things that teenagers go through, from spots of every kind, periods from hell and body changes that seemed totally premature. I also had my fair share of mortifying moments, from embarrassing crushes, rejection, splitting my trousers at school and sitting in chewing gum (my own!!)- to list a few!

Basically your teenage years are a whirlwind of emotions- and sometimes completely crap. I have a 14 year old sister and I watch her going through exactly the same things as I did. So I thought I would start a series of blogs all about ‘teenage struggles’. I absolutely love writing my ‘girl problem’ series, and I thought I could share my own experiences (and ultimately what I’ve learnt!) with you.

So here it is, my official introduction to my new series ‘Teenage Struggles’, because the #struggleisreal 🙌

So cheers to raging hormones, friendship struggles, big ass spots that appear on school photo day and the emergence of wobbly bits! And all the things that make us stronger women💪

I will be uploading one a week (🤞) and will be posting about these on my instagram too (@abeesworld)!

Bee xoxo

#FirstWorldProblems

#FirstWorldProblems

Hello everybody!

I find reading about other peoples problems and thinking yay, I’m not the only one who does that’ is oddly reassuring in life! So today’s blog is all about the awkward moments in life.

I think I should point out these are all ‘First-World Problems’. If you didn’t know what that means, it is a slang word for issues that take place in a First World nation. The sort of issues that are complained about only because of the absence of more pressing concerns.

AKA these are trivial things.

Here we go:

  1. Holding the door for people– at what point do you stop holding it? How long do you wait if you’ve made eye contact with the next person? I mean, nearly every time I get mugged off, I end up standing for ages, awkwardly, waiting for people to stop coming through a doorway. Why is something so simple made so complex?! door
  2. What’s worse sitting on a warm toilet seat or a cold one? The anticipation and mental preparation to sit on a freezing cold toilet seat is never enjoyable. However, the warm toilet seat is deeply disturbing.toilet seat
  3. Standing in the shower, wet, and realising you don’t have shampoo– story of my life. The amount of times I’ve had to dart out, grab a towel and sprint to my room leaving a trail of water behind me. Pure dopiness.
  4. The phone rings every time I’m in the loo– and half the time it’s a cold caller. So I automatically regret hurling myself down the stairs to be greeted by dodgey connection and discovering I had a car accident (one I can’t remember apparently).
  5. Brushing your teeth, then realising you haven’t drunk your drink– anything citrus-y is the worst for this. It tastes so vile. But you have that overwhelming urge not to waste it.
  6. Putting the wrong milk in my tea– I do this with soya milk all the time. It’s a proper mood killer. It separates and looks like off milk. But darker. It’s not an enjoyable experience. soya tea
  7. Standing in the rain, yanking the door handle of the car, to realise you haven’t unlocked it– this is pretty much a daily occurrence for me.
  8. When someone finishes the nutella or peanut butter, but you can’t tell from the outside– pure evil. The amount of times this has happened to me.
  9. Staring at the laptop, phone or tablets screen for too long and developing a head ache– this is actually a genuine University issue, most of my resources are online. Even my books are online, and I do a History Degree, so I read a shed tone of them. I really do wonder what my eye sight will be like at 60, because even now it ain’t great.
  10. Getting in bed and realising the light switch is out of reach– which basically means I have to leave the warmth of my bed very begrudgingly.
  11. Stepping on an upturned plug socket– there are no words. plug
  12. Opening a bag of crisps and thinking how stingy the crisp companies have become– it saddens me deeply. The excitement of having a packet of crisps to open it and find 10 in there.
  13. Closing tabs you didn’t mean to– angers me so much. I think it could possibly put me in a bad mood for over an hour. And I’m fully aware it’s a first world problem. tabs2
  14. Dropping a biscuit in my drink– yes, I am a biscuit-dunker, no I have no shame. Except for that yucky bit at the bottom of the drink where the lost biscuits lie. tea dunker
  15. Not wanting to wear jeans because they’re expensive and they’re ripping– student problem? I hope it is. I can’t be dealing with this forever. I have thick thighs, which basically means I go through jeans super quick. So my wardrobe revolves around the status of my jeans. mermaid
  16. Overly fizzy coke (or champagne!) that spills over the top– then you’re faced with another problem (besides spilt beverages)… do you rush to sip the overflow up like a panic stricken alcoholic (lets be real I was talking about champagne)? Or do you pretend you’re actually a lady? A mental struggle i have.
  17. Auto-rotate on my phone- never rotates when I want it to, rotates when I don’t want it to. I can’t win and end up shaking my phone as if its a maraca. autorotate
  18. Getting too excited for food… and burning your mouth- again, I just get super moody when this happens. trump
  19. My dog has a drink, leaves a trail of water and I step in it– wet socks is one of my least favourite feelings in life.
  20. My Laptop restarting itself without asking– this really ticks me off. It’s always at the most inconvenient of times. I end up repeating ‘no’ at my laptop, getting higher and louder with each ‘no’ until it defies me and I have to sit and watch it restart for what feels like a lifetime.

Let me know in the comments whether these issues are ones you experience too!

Bee xoxo

Defining Moments

Defining Moments

This blog post was inspired by Natalie Leanne’s Blog Post that I read on the train journey home the other day. I’m super nosy and love learning more about people. Natalie’s Blog is so open and just so relatable- I highly recommend checking her blog out (natalieleanne.com).

On that note, I am going to share some of my defining moments in life and hope that others can relate!

Defining Moment Number 1: University. Seems pretty straight forward, but actually this was a defining moment for me in a way I totally didn’t anticipate. My first year of university I found really tough, and I know I’m not alone in this. I just felt so alone. I missed home, my family, my friends and my boyfriend. Plus I didn’t “click” with my Flat as much as I had hoped. My first year of university was a defining moment because it taught me so much about myself. I realised I am OK on my own, completely capable, but I wanted to be around people. I spent so much time alone, that now I try to make plans all the time, so I’m not. I almost exhausted my own company. Having said that, being alone doesn’t scare me as it used to. University also taught me to be independent. I didn’t automatically have those “life-long” friends from uni in my Halls, so I became that person who walks up and introduces themselves, asked if people to wanted to grab a coffee after lectures or meet up later on. This was SO out of my comfort zone, but I knew I didn’t want to feel isolated, so I did my best to make lots of friends. It actually worked and I met my two best University friends through having that little bit of extra courage. I came to the conclusion that being overly friendly isn’t a bad thing, that if all people can say about me is “she’s overly friendly” then I’m 100% OK with that. My initial sense of isolation and home sickness actually just pushed me to question myself, ask me who I wanted to be. Lonely wasn’t on my list, and friendless wasn’t either. So I forced myself out of my comfort zone. I still do this now. I have an added confidence in the fact that I’m a good human being. And if anything I’m more aware of other people’s feelings because of my experience.

(My University best friends, the ones I forced myself upon and have absolutely no regrets about!!!)

Defining Moment Number 2: is a rather random one. I can’t remember where we were when I heard it for the first time but I watched “We Bought a Zoo” a few years ago and the phrase “all you need is 10 seconds of courage” popped up. And since then it’s stuck with me. Through the difficulties at Uni, I would convince myself that all I needed was 10 seconds of courage. Once you’ve said “hi” that’s the hard bit out of the way. I used it for my first job at 15/16, in a huge store with loads of people I didn’t know. It helped me with handing in CVs (and resignations), with interviews, and dealing with situations I wasn’t comfortable in. 10 seconds, and it’s done. No take backs, just dealing with the consequences.

Defining Moment Number 3 is a little bit different. During my Freshers week I experienced something that a lot of women unfortunately experience in clubs. I had gone out with my flat and it was my first night of Freshers week. This experience really knocked my confidence. But it also proved to me that I knew what was and was not OK. And I like to think it’s made me a stronger person. I am very conscious in clubs, I’m constantly aware of my surroundings and actually find it quite hard to let my hair down and enjoy myself if I’m not with Jack. But it made me realise my worth. This is my body. I think recognising your worth, your value as a human being, is so important to a happy life. I genuinely believe I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it. I know I am as good as any man. This experience simply raised the question: are you ok with this? And the answer was hell no.

(This is a picture of Jack and I, in 2015, 1 week after Freshers. My family and him came to visit, and they were my rock!)

Of course I still have my insecurities, I most definitely have my (weekly/daily!) wobbles. But I would say that, now, I am confident in myself, as a person. I try hard to be the best version of myself.

I hope you enjoyed reading today’s blog.

What are your Defining Moments? Have you experience something similar to me? Let me know in the comments!

Bee xoxo

20 Life Lessons, learnt in 20 years.

20 Life Lessons, learnt in 20 years.

  1. Money does not equal happiness.
  2. Saying no is OK.
  3. Empowered women, empower other women.
  4. Stand up for what you believe in- always.
  5. Don’t compare your life to others.
  6. Surround yourself with those that love you and make you feel worthy.
  7. Giving will make you happier.
  8. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  9. Nobody is in charge of your happiness but you.
  10. Paying someone a compliment can make their day.
  11. Avoid negative people.
  12. Be honest.
  13. Admit to your mistakes- don’t let them define you.
  14. Family comes first.
  15. People come and go, enjoy every second.
  16. Be yourself- you’re one of a kind.
  17. The grass is always greener on the other side.
  18. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  19. Life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.
  20. Having dark days simply makes the bright days brighter.