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April Favourites

Another month gone which only means one thing – another favourites post!

Health & Beauty

This item is something I’ve used for several months and LOVE, it’s Zoella’s ‘Let’s Spritz’ body mist which is just divine. It’s quite a strong, long-lasting scent so could be used instead of perfume to be honest. It’s such a fresh smell, perfect for this time of year. It’s available online or in store at Superdrug for £8 which is a steal.

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Then, of course, I have had a few new LUSH items to add to my list. Their Easter range was incredible. My favourites were these Bubble Bar carrots! Three in a bunch but one carrot was more than enough for one bath so really it was 3 for the price of 1 so yes, I went and stocked up before the range finished. You might be able to grab some in the bigger stores – if you can, buy them! And then, instead of a chocolate egg this year, mum and dad for me the ‘Which came first’ LUSH Bath Bomb – it was huge! It came apart like an egg to reveal a mini egg inside and the colours and noise it made as it plopped in was brilliant…it really doesn’t take much to make me happy does it!!!

This item was a by chance buy when I was in Superdrug, it just goes to show that by putting items in pretty baskets whilst you wait in the queue will entice people to buy more! I love moisturising my feet so these caught my eye although I did think they were a bit gimmicky. They’re called Foot Nourishing Socks and wow, how marvellous they are! I tried this honey and almond pair and I gave mum a peppermint pair to try and we both loved them! They looks ridiculous but feel a-maze-ing! Normally £1.99 a pack but at the moment they are on offer at £1.49 and I will be heading back for more. You snip the socks in half, pop them on and seal them with a sticky tab and leave them on for 15-20 minutes. When you remove them the lotion just needs to be rubbed in but your feet will feel pampered, soft and smell delicious! Home spa eat your heart out!

Now this item is possibly my favourite of my favourites this month. If you know me you’ll know I’m a big water drinker. I don’t drink tea or coffee and very rarely have fizzy drinks or squash. But I haven noticed lately that although I am drinking water, I’m not drinking anywhere near enough. And then I stumbled across this Joseph Joseph click water bottle and it is genius! We are meant to drink 2 litres of water a day which seems like a lot when you say it out loud but this bottle makes it seem manageable. Simply put, each bottle is just over half a litre, and when you fill it and screw the lid back on it will click and show one little dot. The next time you fill, it will click and reveal a second dot and so on..the aim is to get four dots which will mean you’ve drunk you’re daily requirement. Mum has bought one too and it’s become a silent competition between us to see who achieves it each day! I think I have done it most days bar a few but it most definitely makes me aware of how much I’m drinking and strive for my target!

TV

Oooooo TV has been so good this month! Where to start, these aren’t in any particular order and if you haven’t seen them -why not and when are you going to catch up?!

Broadchurch

Broadchurch

This was the third and final season of this classic whodunnit series. It was gripping, emotional and at times quite a disturbing watch but brilliant. So well acted with humorous moments added by the two main actors, Olivia Coleman and David Tennant. They are such a great duo who have a perfect onscreen chemistry as the two detectives leading the case – in this series focussing on a rape. It keeps you guessing until the end and I will really miss it being on our screens. Series 1 and 2 are equally brilliant and if you haven’t watched then you must find a way to catch up on them all.

Car Share

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It’s back! (enter me doing a little chair dance with little whopping noises!) Peter Kay is a comedic genius. The way the world is at the moment we could all do with a good belly laugh and seriously, this is the programme to meet that need. Sian Gibson is his colleague who he car shares with to get to work and the conversations, sing a longs and story lines that follow are just spot on. This is the second series so I would highly recommend you go back to watch series one because it will set up the relationship between the pair and I guarantee you will laugh until you cry at some episodes. TV at it’s best, Peter Kay, I salute you.

Designated Survivor

designated survivor

Granted we are a family who was in love with ’24’ when it was on our screens and we do love a bit of Kiefer Sutherland. So when Dad was recommended this new Netflix series it didn’t take us long to get hooked. And when I say hooked, we watched every episode available in a week – whoops! So now we have to wait for every Thursday to roll round when a new episode is uploaded – proper old school! We hadn’t realised that in America when congress are gathered all in one place, one person is secretly nominated as designated survivor and is taken somewhere else, in a safe place, incase something catastrophic happens to congress and that person will then step in as president…get where this series is heading now don’t you?! It won’t be everyones cup of tea because some of it is for pure entertainment and you have to get past the fact that it’s unbelievable and just take it for good telly. It does have some fab twists and turns and some sneaky ’24’/Jack Bauer lines are in there so you’ll be saying ‘Dammit’ before you realise and be wondering why you’ve never tried talking in a hushed, whispered way before! We love it and I’m sure you will too.

Line of Duty

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I. Love. This. Show.

Is that enough for me to convince you to go and watch? Okay..I’ll expand. I have watched every series, and every series gets better and better. This is series 4 and you can watch it as a stand alone although again, go watch the previous series as they will help you with characters etc – series 1 and 2 are on Netflix now. The premise of the show is based around AC-12, the anti corruption unit who need to work together to solve crimes and uncover corrupt officers in the police. It’ll have you on the edge of your seat, it is so gripping. How a 15/20 minute interview with four characters sat around a desk can keep you so engrossed is writing at it’s best. This Sunday is the final episode of the series so don’t start watching then, go start from the beginning – you won’t regret it!

And that’s it for this months favourites, not many but my goodness they were good’uns!

Have a brilliant weekend – I know you will because it’s bank holiday and I will see you in May!!

#hairlesshannah

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The reality behind the photo

It’s been a while since I wrote about how I’m coping with having an invisible illness. I’ve now been formally diagnosed with ME/CFS which was both a relief and a worry. A relief because I can now answer questions definitively about what is “wrong” but also a fear because part of me really didn’t want it to be ME. I wanted it to be something curable, treatable…for someone to be able to ‘fix’ me.

I’ve been using social media much more to promote my blog lately and as we all know, social media portrays an image of people that doesn’t always reflect the honesty of your reality. Some people that I follow who have ME are truly brave and use their accounts to show the reality of daily life living with ME, but I don’t. I guess I don’t because I try to keep as many aspects of my life positive and happy in order to keep myself as pepped up as possible. There is nothing wrong with either but my option does then cause problems. By posting a photo that shows me out, smiling, laughing, with people, posting positive etc etc it would appear there’s nothing wrong with me. I’m not opposed to the odd selfie but I also don’t always feel comfortable to show reality through them, my space for being honest is here in my writing.

But what I want to write about in this post is the story behind the social media photos. Photos give you a snap shot. Take for example the photo below.

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This was taken on Friday evening at a surprise party for my ex head teacher and friend. I was picked up at 7pm…well 6.45 as Olivia was EARLY!…the party started at 8pm and my Dad picked me up at 9.30. In the photo I am laughing, surrounded by some of my loveliest friends, drink in hand, having a ball. And I was. In that moment I was happy, I was with people who accept me for who I am, support me through what I’m going through and understand my limitations. To many people though they will see this photo and possibly think the following:

  • Hannah is out, she tells us she’s in bed by 9pm
  • Hannah is dressed up and out at night when she tells us she struggles with noise and busy places
  • Hannah tells us she is in constant pain and can’t do very much let alone go out with friends

Now, I will tell you the reality behind that photo. I haven’t been out in the evening in a party situation since July last year and on very few occasions have been out for a meal in the evenings, so Friday was a big deal. I was anxious about going and I spent most of the afternoon trying to nap to have enough spoons to cope and calming myself down in anticipation. When we arrived it was much louder than I’d imagined it would be. I put my ear plugs in straight away but soon realised that because it was so loud, music plus ear plugs meant I couldn’t hear a word anyone was saying! So I spent the entirety of the few hours I was there with an increasingly banging headache and fuzzy head. I loved those few hours, but I also felt so self-conscious. I was literally the only bald person in the room, I felt like the light was catching my head or that people were staring at me and I certainly didn’t want to be in any photos. I felt hideous, I didn’t feel feminine, I felt ugly and awful and the worst I’ve ever felt about myself. So that photo was me putting on the biggest show of my life in a way – I was happy but would have been happier to not have been captured in that moment. By the time Dad collected me I was done. My legs, knees and back were throbbing, my ears were ringing to the extent I felt like I was shouting when talking to him in the car on the way home and my head was pounding. As I lay in bed that night it was like I was drunk (I only had diet coke!) my head was whirring, my legs cramping and having spasms, my knees seizing. I finally fell asleep at around 8am. That is the reality behind what it took for me to be at that party for two and a half hours.

I’m 31 in a few weeks. I should have been there with my friends on Friday until 1am dancing, drinking a Malibu and coke and being the one snapping the photos like I have always been known to do. I should be looking back on my 30th year and have it littered with good memories of adventures, holidays, milestones and happy times. Instead, it’s a year of appointments, medications, blood tests and sleep. Of course I have had happy times in the year but I think you know what I mean. I feel like a shadow of my former self and I find myself needing to defend how I feel because of photos like the one I’ve talked about. I refuse to not post those photos because otherwise I will not have any memory of these years, in effect I will be missing from these years of my life. There’s a campaign called ‘Millions Missing’ that promotes ME. It talks about how people who have ME are missing from their jobs, social lives, holidays, families..we can’t participate in life in the way we used to but we are still here, we still make the most of what we can when we can. Last year they organised a protest in Whitehall and various other places across the world where people left pairs of shoes to demonstrate how they were missing from their lives because of ME and protesting for the fact that more needs to be done in terms of research and greater funding needed from the government to help people understand the illness more and treat it and it’s sufferers better and with more care and consideration.

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I have been talking to a dear friend this afternoon about this but also about mental health and the similarities that we share. Mental health is also an invisible illness. Just because we had a good day or hour or five minutes yesterday, doesn’t mean we will today or tomorrow or next week. Mental health and ME are fluctuating conditions with no rhyme or reason, no straight path or definitive ending. They are illnesses that need understanding and for people to simply say, “I believe you.”

I find it hard when I see people who say, “You’re looking so well,” or “You’re looking so much better than when I saw you last,” because it makes me feel like a fraud. I feel like I need to defend myself and explain that it’s a hidden illness and looks can be deceiving. If I could wear a wig and pop on some make up I would look totally and utterly fine but I’m not. I feel embarrassed to have to then explain that I’m not actually feeling great but, “thank you for saying I’m looking good.” I know whole heartily that these people are probably being really genuine and kind –  it’s my issue not there’s, I should be thrilled to be told I’m looking well. But because of my personality, I worry that they think I’ve been having them on. My positive attitude and positive mask can work against me in that way because people come to believe it and don’t question it. I saw a friend the other day and we talked about how I am, the loss of my nose hair (!) and everything else in-between but when I saw her again on Friday night she said something that made me smile from inside out. She said that when she got in the car to drive away the other day, she thought about me and what we’d talked about but then she wanted me to know she thought, Hannah is still the same as she’s always been to me. Wicked sense of humour, same old laugh and smile and sense of caring for everyone. To hear that being said so genuinely meant so much, it wasn’t focused on how I looked, or all the changes in me that have occurred, it was a comment about me as Hannah.

Living with an invisible illness is teaching me so much and I’m sure there’s more to come. It’s such a debilitating condition that is stripping me of so much of what I consider my identity. And there’s no end in sight especially when the only recommended “treatment” of a course of CBT is a waiting period of 4-6 months! So, I will continue to try to test different ways to cope and pace myself, I will deal with the ups and downs, I will continue to try and like myself and my appearance, I will try and start to accept that I can’t drive or have much independence and I will continue to strive to stay positive.

It’s a lonely place in this little arena, my bedroom and little writing area are my safe place but they are also lonely. It accentuates the fact that I’m not in a busy classroom or planning for nights and days or even weekends out. But it means that when I do see my friends or I do go out with my family that I don’t take it for granted. I savour every moment even though it may hurt and will inevitably wipe me out for hours, days or nights after. Because at the end of the day, whether I like it or not, this is my life and I will still only get one shot at it. If and when I get better there won’t be a rewind button.

So as with so many of these blog posts, I leave you with this thought: many people you know or will meet may have so much going on in their lives that isn’t visible to you. So be kind and patient and understanding. Give them time, give them a smile and possibly some chocolate…every little helps!!

See you Friday.

#hairlesshannah

 

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Mini Egg Cookie Dough Bars

So the Easter Weekend is upon us and I’m sure lots of you will be spending your long weekend/last weekend of the school holidays celebrating with chocolate, entertaining and having some fun! So here is my second Easter baking blog for you to try – super easy, fast and will make everyone happy.

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You Will Need:

  • 275g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 115g butter/stork
  • 55g granulated sugar
  • 135g light brown sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 270g mini eggs
  • 100g chocolate chips

 

Method:

  1. Pre heat your oven to 170 fan and prepare your 9×9 square tin by lining it with some grease proof paper ready for use later. Smash up your mini eggs in a sandwich bag using a rolling-pin – do this on a chopping board! Make sure you save a handful of whole mini eggs for decoration later on.

2.  In a bowl, mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cornflour.

3. In a larger bowl melt the butter – I did this in a glass bowl over boiling water on the hob but you could use a large saucepan.

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4. Carefully remove from the heat and put onto a heat proof mat. Add in the granulated and brown sugar and which together until you form a smooth mixture.

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5. Now pop in the egg and vanilla extract and whisk again until smooth then mix in the dry ingredients, smashed up mini eggs and chocolate chips – use a spatula for this part as the cookie dough will form and it will be thick so a whisk would probably die a death!

6. Press the cookie dough mix into the tin and when evenly distributed, pop on the whole mini eggs that you saved to decorate.

7. Place the tin into the oven for around 20-25 minutes until the top on the bake is dry to touch.

8. Place the tin on a wire rack to cool, only remove from the tin after half an hour. Once fully cool, cut into bars the size of your choosing and then you’re good to go!

 

I hope you have a lovely Easter weekend with your loved ones and that my recipes help you to entertain the little ones, please the older ones and use up whatever chocolate you may have left over!

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#hairlesshannah

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Tasty Tuesday: Chocolate Easter Bark

Today’s Tasty Tuesday is as simple as it gets! It would be brilliant for your own family to enjoy or to break up, wrap up and give as Easter gifts or as something to display at an Easter/Spring party.

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You Will Need:

  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 100g white chocolate
  • Bag of mini eggs
  • Bag of white chocolate mini eggs
  • mini fudge pieces
  • any other chocolate you fancy throwing in!

This recipe is obviously geared towards Easter but you can use whatever you want in the bark, basically, have fun with it, use dark chocolate, use all white chocolate – it’s up to you!

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Method:

  1. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper, secure it with a little dollop of melted chocolate to stop it slipping.

2. Heat a saucepan of water with a bowl balanced on top – BE CAREFUL, USE OVEN GLOVES AS THE BOWL WILL GET VERY HOT.  Melt the milk chocolate and then pour it onto the baking tray.

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3. Now melt the white chocolate and drizzle on top of the milk chocolate, use a spoon to gently mix it and create patterns.

4. Put the mini eggs into a sealed sandwich bag and crush up using a rolling-pin.

5. Now have fun popping all the different eggs, fudge pieces and sprinkles into the chocolate!

6. Place the tray in the freezer for 15 minutes or into the fridge for about an hour before removing it and chopping it into your bark pieces!

And there you have it, Tasty Tuesday Chocolatey Easter Bark – yummers!

 

Enjoy!

#hairlesshannah

 

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Troubled mind…

I’ve been having trouble recently, trouble with my brain. My mind. I’ve been spending a lot of time in pain, both during the day and the night where the pain is so unbearable I can’t find comfort and so I have all this time on my hands to think and ponder. Specialists have suggested as a next step that I start seeing a psychiatrist – I know, scary word – but the explanation as to why try this is actually beginning to make sense to me.

The immunologist explained it like this. People bandy around the word stress but when stress is acute it can actually cause physical effects on the body which can linger long after the actual cause of stress has gone. For example, we think we can almost 100% say now that the stress that was the catalyst for all of this was the new job in Dubai and the lack of support I received. But that was over sixteen months ago now so when doctors kept saying stress may still be a cause, I just didn’t understand. But, stress to that level will have had a physical effect on my body i.e. the asthma attack I had and the recurrence of the glandular fever. Stress can manifest itself in so many different ways and because it alters some of us physically: our state of mind will also change along with it i.e my life has never gone back to being how it was before.

However, we/doctors don’t often see the brain as a part of our body that needs treatment. It goes unnoticed until the word mental health or depression is mentioned and then there is this huge stigma attached to it. Initially when the word psychiatry was mentioned I automatically thought they thought I was bonkers. But no, it was a medical professional acknowledging that what I am going through is having a profound effect on both my physical and mental being. That there is a chance that by treating my mind, by looking at calming me internally, targeting the potential stress triggers that may be lingering, it will potentially have an impact on my physical symptoms.

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It has taken me weeks to get my head around this and I’m still not sure I trust in it totally – I want someone to help me with my pain, with this new life – I want a cure, I don’t want to be managed! But, I guess in the meantime all I can do is trust the healthcare professionals dealing with my case. This idea has sparked something in me though because although I write this no holding back blog, I do hold back. I hold a lot back actually because I STILL continue to worry about what people may think about me, what they may say behind my back. But that isn’t healthy and I know that, and that doesn’t mean I’m going to start divulging every little thing about my life that may or may not still be clinging onto my brain awaiting exorcism so I can move forward, far from it! I just mean that I should write about things I want to write about without fear of who will read it and cast opinions – we can’t all agree on everything and I am under no disillusion that my blog is exempt.

So this is a new blog post from a somewhat pain-clouded Hannah who needed to get something off her chest that has been clinging on and has been causing stress and upset for far too long now. So here we go, attempt one at looking after my mind and being true to myself!

“You’ve got too much time on your hands” was a sentence thrown at me in the early stages of falling ill. Apparently too much time to worry and over think things and therefore be way too sensitive to suggestions made by this particular person. I’ve never openly written about the demise of this friendship because I’ve been too worried about mutual friends etc. It has been suggested recently by professionals that this may possibly cause emotional stress because I’ve held onto the hurt and pain for too long without properly getting rid of it. I know that I’m too cautious of other people’s feelings to the detriment of my own.

I’m definitely not here to rip to shreds a friendship that I cherished very dearly: I suppose that I have just had more time to think about the downfall of said friendship now that enough time has passed for me to not feel so bitter and tormented about it. As I’ve thought about it more, I’ve realised that it was this friendship that has in turn caused other insecurities to creep in more recently about the strength of other relationships I have. Isn’t it funny how we can let one person colour our views and opinions of others? How comments made by one individual can sway and impact our thoughts, feelings and outlooks? To my knowledge, only one ‘friend’ has ever questioned my illness. But that is all it took. That was the start of my self-doubt because hell, if someone who I was so close to can think that all I needed was a “kick up the backside” then surely others must feel the same too? As things have got worse over the past few months and I’ve been able to do less, as people’s lives carry on and mine doesn’t, I’ve questioned whether people think I’m just dragging out this façade and are just getting fed up with me.

As I’ve said before in my blogs, I know I am far from perfect, I know I have my faults but I do self reflect a lot and if I’m wrong or cause hurt then I am happy to hold my hands up, talk things out and move forward. But, as I have also said before, my friends, my close friends – they become my extended family because, as I have found out, when the chips are down, it’s your friends as well as your family that will literally drag you forward kicking and screaming. Sometimes I think we only see the good in people because we love them and although this particular friendship is done and dusted, this is by no means reflects on the years of happy times we had.

However, the hurt I felt when this friendship unravelled was similar to the pain I felt when I split up with my ex. After all, we had a relationship, we shared our lives – ups, downs, tears, laughter, travels, weddings, babies and everything in-between and I would of course do it all again. I have spent hours thinking about what I did wrong for this friendship to have failed so miserably but you know what, all I come back to is the fact that I got sick. She didn’t believe me, she didn’t have time to support me because of her own life and in the end she tried to turn it back onto me because she didn’t have the guts to see that she was in the wrong. Now, I get that people have busy lives, ALL of my friends have jobs, most are married and some have children yet ALL of them have managed to text, ring, send post and come visit me, we have maintained our friendships as two ways streets. They made and continue to make time because a) they want to, b) they know I’d do the same for them and c) we make time for those we care about whether they are blood related or not, whether we have 23 hours of our days for the next 6 months planned out already – we simply make the time. End of. No excuses.

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I may feel like I am at my weakest at the moment, I’m currently writing some of this at 1.37am whilst in excruciating pain, but it’s these times that give me strength. Strength to know that I did nothing wrong in this specific situation, I can finally see that now and I need to get it out there in order to let it go.

But because I’ve had time to think and look back over the last sixteen months I can quite clearly see that only one person is no longer in my life and everyone else has mysteriously stuck around. So that tells me something: my friends do believe me, do trust me, do love and support me and do want to help me gain strength within this new life I find myself living. I’ve had time to read countless blogs about people living with chronic illnesses who have lost friends via similar circumstances. Why is that? Why in the time we need these friends most do they desert us? I really can’t come up with an answer and that is the bit that still hurts because I will never know. It just appears that because we suffer with a hidden illness, some people think that tough love, harsh comments and causing tears will snap us out of this situation we’ve ‘landed ourselves in.’ And you know what – shockingly, that doesn’t work because we are actually are ill. We can’t be magically cured, we need to be trusted, loved, supported and above anything else believed. Because if you think we are vying for attention believe me, there are soooo many other ways of doing it without making ourselves broke, medicated up to the eyeballs, missing out on life in general and getting depressed.

Make it your task this weekend to tell the people you love how much you cherish them, make them feel loved and make time to send a text to a friend you may not have spoken to in a while. Those little things are so much more meaningful sometimes than the bigger gestures.

Have lovely weekends.

#hairlesshannah

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February Favourites

It’s that time of the month again, it seems like the days are flying by but I still manage to have several things I want to share with you all that I’ve loved during the month of February!

Business & Purchases

At the end of January I went back to Canterbury to have my eyebrows topped up. I cannot recommend Helen Porter highly enough. If you want your eyebrows done for cosmetic or medical reasons, she is your woman! She offers so many other semi permanent make-up options too as well as other beauty treatments. She is moving from the shop location soon but follow her on Instagram @helenporteruk to see what she does and get in touch for treatments.

Whilst in Canterbury we visited a few of my old haunts – I went to University there. Mum and I like to have a little nose around a shop called Siesta and I found this gorgeous little vase in the sale section. I paid £2.99 and am so pleased with it! I love a quote but also, I wanted to have some decent fake flowers up in my room to brighten it up and this works perfectly! I got the fake flowers from HobbyCraft – you’ll see I chose sunflowers for the main feature!

Subscriptions

On Instagram I saw a few people receiving special boxes through the post from a company called Treat Box. I had a little look on their website and fell in love with the idea straight away! Each month they will send you a ‘treat’ filled box to brighten your day and the start of your month. It’s £12.95 for the box which believe me is such great value and it fits through your letterbox so no need to stay home for delivery. I received a few postcards with quotes on, a ring dish, a heart shaped garland for Valentines day with a tube of Love Heart Sweets. Then there is the gorgeous keyring – ‘free as a bird’ and some beautifully scented hand wipes to pop in my handbag. Then they send you a calendar page for the month which I’ve popped in my planner but could easily be displayed in an office or pin board and finally a little quote card with a choker type band with a charm on that says ‘beautiful.’

The whole box is wrapped exquisitely and it really did feel like I’d spent a good few minutes indulging myself in something that made me smile. You can subscribe for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months but you can also make up your own treat boxes to send to a friend or family member or visit their shop to buy individual items. Everything is chosen specifically with the aim to make people smile and feel treated – I would personally say I feel the audience is primarily for women. I have ordered my March box and can’t wait to see what arrives next – have a look if you fancy treating yourself!

 

LUSH

This month Lush have outshone themselves with their Valentine’s products. I have loved every bath bomb and bubble bar I’ve tried, seriously the best baths around!

Ladybird Bubble Bar, Cupid Bath Bomb and Lover Lamp Bath Bomb.

Storage

So my January sort out has continued into February. I have been gathering a lot of bits and bobs to use for blog posts and they were spilling out everywhere and cluttering my tidy spaces! My room is a loft conversion so some of my surfaces are quite hard to organise hence why bits of paper, letters etc just get thrown there and it just makes me feel unorganised and messy. WHSmiths have helped me overcome this with their storage sale – buy one get one free! I got one set which is a combination of 3 boxes of differing sizes and the free purchase was a matching set of drawers. They fit perfectly on my side ands house my materials so that I no longer feel cluttered. I think March may be a storage/organisation free month but you never know….

So there you have it, my Feb Faves all wrapped up quite neatly! Hope you’ve had a lovely month 2 out of 12 and I shall see you again next month for my March Madness!

#hairlesshannah

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Always the Bridesmaid

There’s a saying, “always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” There’s also a film named ’27 Dresses’ that is basically based around the quote. It’s a saying that is relatively true to my life, I have been bridesmaid three times now and don’t get me wrong, each time has been a total honour and I’ve loved being part of those special days, but as mentioned in my post earlier this week about being single, as I get older, that thought does creep in – maybe I was born for the bridesmaid role and not the actual bride!

Now this isn’t a poor me, need love and sympathy blog, far from it. I am one of the lucky people to have actually experienced love, and I mean proper true love and I am very grateful for that. I have so many happy memories and it makes me have the belief that one day I will find that again.

However, it is a fear of mine that I won’t find that person, my lobster, that one person I will grow old with because I want to have my own family unit that I can love and nurture. I have always wanted to get married and have children and give them the love and experiences that I’ve been lucky to have. But as with many things in my life, I know this is, in many ways, out of my control – especially at this point in my life. I’m not in a situation where I can ‘put myself out there’ because of real, physical reasons and I would also be nervous about getting myself out there because of reasons that have impacted my self-confidence and self-worth so much. So, I’ve had to learn to be, or try to be okay with my current single situation more than ever before.

Being single totally has its perks, I know that. It meant that I could up and move to Dubai without a second thought of how it may impact on a partners life, I could travel and do as I pleased on the whole and make decisions based on my wants and needs. It means I have my whole wardrobe and bedroom to myself for storage and to house my shoe obsession and I have the entire bed to myself which is always a benefit – no snoring or quilt hogging to contend with or cold feet!

But I would happily exchange this and make adjustments if it meant meeting the right person coming into my life. I do still believe there is someone out there for everyone, it’s just a case of that chance meeting at some point, I am a strong believer in three things:

  1. It happens when you least expect it
  2. What’s meant to be won’t pass you by
  3. Everything happens for a reason

Each experience we have in life be it a relationship, job, holiday, illness, loss…they all teach us something. I’ve struggled with number 3 recently because I can’t get my head around how so much awfulness can happen to so many lovely people and explain it away with – everything happens for a reason. Yes we learn things about ourselves and others through these tough times but do we really need that to happen to such an awful extent in order for this lesson to be taught?  That I struggle with.

But in terms of relationships I have never looked for any of the meaningful relationships I’ve had, apart from one online, they’ve just happened – one from a chance meeting in a shoe shop and one through friends of a friend. My longest relationship almost didn’t happen because I told him at my 18th party that I didn’t want to dance with him because I was having too much fun with my friends – priorities!!  And because things happen when you least expect them, I believe that things won’t pass you by because if they’re meant to be, they will seek you out. And then depending on how things work out, no matter the heartache or happiness, I do believe that what is meant to be, will be.

I personally think many people are afraid of being single or admitting how long they’ve been single. It’s like being single is something to be ashamed of, like you’ve been rejected from society and are some kind of freak. I know I have felt terribly embarrassed by the length of my single life but it shouldn’t be that way, there’s nothing wrong with me, I just haven’t found anyone who is right yet that’s all. I’m actually quite pleased I’ve had this single time as an adult because I’ve had time to work out who I am for real without influences from anyone else. I’m a strong-willed, fiercely independent woman – sometimes to my own detriment – but I do believe that without being single, I may not have discovered these characteristics in their entirety and I may not have travelled and had some of the experiences I’ve had without this single time. I’m now fully aware of what I want and don’t want from life and a partner, I know what I’m willing to compromise on and what I’m not and I am happy to stick with that. The right person will come along because I know that I am meant to be a wife and a mother and it will happen when it’s meant to be…am I justifying this too much?!

Until then, I just have to keep going through my own life’s challenges and uncovering new things about myself which will in turn continue to build me as a person. So if you’re single, don’t feel sad, there’s many of us in the same pool, so lets just enjoy it until it’s time to jump out and enjoy the next chapter of our story!

lobster

Phew – last daily blog for February, now I’ll be back to one or two blogs a week which I have to say it’s much more manageable for me! So have a lovely weekend and see you soon!

#hairlesshannah