Change is hard at first…

Messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end – Robin Sharma 

Change (verb) : to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone; to become different; to become altered or modified (dictionary.com)

whether you’re after a quote or a definition about change, it is pretty easy to come by. There’s a whole array of quotes about how a person or a situation can change. They make it seem feasible. Within your reach. That it is an attainable goal. Physically, yes it may be easy. I mean it’s on the outside. The change shows. You can see the change. Others can see it. There’s often so much more available to help you change on the outside. But is it really just as easy as to change oneself mentally as it is physically. Can people really change? 

I believe they can and here’s why. I feel like in a way, I am a living, breathing, in actual transition of a person changing mentally. It all starts with a trigger. A catalyst. Something that makes you become so aware that you need to make a change. And for me that was F breaking up with me. 

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Pulp Fiction

Friday night and a new adventure for me and F. As a couple we aren’t the type who always have to be out doing things and spending money, we’re more than content to be sat at home watching a film or whatever sport is on the telly. However, we do like an outing here and there.

A month or so ago I spotted an event on Facebook that I thought would be of interest to F. It was the chance to see Pulp Fiction at The Grand in Clapham. I’m not a film buff. I don’t have the attention span to be able to sit there and watch a film unless I’m in the cinema or I’m sat with someone who is forcing me to watch it. On my own I get up halfway through a film and get distracted by menial tasks such as cleaning my room or organising my books just because I can’t sit still. F is the opposite. He loves a good film and Pulp Fiction is up there as one of his favourites. Being such a great girlfriend (😉 haha) I suggested it to F and booked it up.

The night finally arrived after booking it a month in advance. It was being held at a venue called the Grand. It was established in 1900 and is a grade II listed Victorian building which used to be a music hall back in the day. A venue right up my street. I love a listed building and a bit of history in a place.
For a cinema night, the Grand converts its hall into a 500 seat cinema. And what an incredible place it was! From the outside it looked grand, I can see where it got the name from.

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The One, The Only, F.

I would love to introduce you all to the number one man (scrap that, the number one person) in my life. My Boyfriend and best friend, F.
We met the modern way, through a dating app called Tinder. Yes, I resorted to finding love on a dating app, an app with a flame as their logo! I was desperate to be loved and well, like they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.

It all began one day in April, a sunny day I’m sure, like all romantic fairy tales start. I must’ve swiped right on him and it came up as a match straight away, so he clearly liked the looks of me and gave a swipe to the right too 😉 Being very old fashioned, despite using modern dating methods, I always believed the boy should message first.
I was bad on Tinder, I barely swiped right on anyone, not because I didn’t like the look of them just because I thought I couldn’t envisage anything with them despite how ‘perfect‘ they looked.
F, an older gentleman by four years, had a picture of him stood in front of a London landscape and another with him in the distance with a pint in front of him. I’m not going to lie, yes the pictures were good, but also the fact that he was older than me was one of the deals for me swiping right. I’ve always had this delusional idea that I wanted to date an older man because he would be more mature and more ‘manly‘. Haha, what a misapprehensive thought, no matter the age, I don’t think a man ever truly grows up, and in some ways that’s a good thing, it helps to keep you young and grounded as a woman too.
I’d only ever dated guys my age, maybe a year older but they all failed. They were toxic. They weren’t what relationships should be. I got cheated on, led on and heartbroken. There were maybe one or two times I thought I could have been in love but looking back, and since being with F, it wasn’t love that I felt with the others, I think it was infatuation, obsession with wanting a relationship, wanting someone to want me, to love me, to need me. I never got those things, I was easy to discard, to boss around, easy to forget.
The reason I turned to Tinder was because these past relationships, I had met in bars and nightclubs and I was fed up of doing things that way. Also, it didn’t help that around the time I turned to Tinder, I had become such a recluse, with few friends and little plans. Even when I did have plans to go out, my anxiety would get the better of me and I would cancel plans last minute, which soon became an annoyance to my friends who stopped trying.

So yes, I turned to Tinder (I keep getting side tracked, every flaming blog goes on a tangent!). It was a way of me not leaving the house yet hopefully building a connection with someone online who then eventually I would have the confidence and trust to meet.

In all honesty I didn’t expect to hear from F and I forgot about him. A few days later I woke up to a new message on Tinder and it was from, go on guess who, no, not Ed Sheeran or Joel Dommett, but F, yes my F! (Ah damn I’ve now given away the ending. Just pretend you have no idea who F is, humour me!)

So we got chatting, the odd message here and there, him attempting to impress me by saying a word in French because he read in my about me that I studied French at university, me eagerly relying with questions about him. This went back and forth a while before we eventually met up. I felt myself gaining confidence just by speaking to him. I was coming out of my shell that I had hibernated under for so long.

He went on holiday to America a couple of weeks after we’d been speaking. I expected our conversation to die out and that be the end of that. To my surprise I did still receive the odd message here and there and he still seemed keen. *jump for joy* he even sent me a picture of him at Times Square!

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Kaleo – Handprint

This is the gig I’ve been waiting for,  the band I couldn’t wait to see live. I had already had to cancel seeing them last year due to prior arrangements and now nothing was going to get in my way of seeing the Icelandic quartet who boast a beautiful sound of folk, blue and rock.

The band was started by JJ Julius Son, David Antonsson and Daniel Kristjansson who were best friends at school. They soon added Rubin Pollock  and in 2012 Kaleo was formed. (After a bit of research Kaleo is hawaiian for the sound.)

Tuesday 31st January, Kaleo were continuing their Handprint tour across the UK and it was the turn of London O2 Forum in Kentish Town to be graced with their sound.

Once again my boyfriend was the lucky individual who I dragged along with me. He was fed and watered beforehand so don’t feel too sorry for him (and he very kindly paid for dinner too, what a sweetie 😘)!

The weather was miserable and the rain was continuous but armed with my umbrella and my man I was excited to get to the venue.

O2 Forum kentish Town is a perfect intimate venue. It isn’t too small nor too big yet anywhere you stand on the bottom floor you will have a good view as there’s different levels and also a bit of an upward slope.

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Oh the Irony!

Do you ever feel that the universe just loves to mock you?

Well,  maybe not the universe but technology and in particular apps. One of my apps, not pointing any fingers (yes I’m looking at you Dictionary app), decided that word of the day would be something that would run so ironically with me. And it decided to inform me of this word at 8 in the morning after a night of little to no sleep.

That word being: ataraxia
Definition: a state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety; tranquility. 

This app could not have chosen a less apt word for my word of the day. I mean the antonym words the dictionary had for ataraxia literally described my state of mind and the night of sleep I had. The main antonyms that jumped out at me were anxiety, upset, worry, turmoil and uneasiness. 

I had such a tumultuous night of sleep. Normally sleeping with F by my side is so much more relaxing and calming and I normally manage to get more sleep than I do on my own (even if we don’t always go to bed early wink wink).

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D-Day

Or otherwise known as diagnosis day.

Wednesday 18th January, I finally hit my metaphorical rock bottom. I had sunk to my lowest.

It had been building up and up all week and all it took was a quick look at my rota at work for me to break.

The anxiety. The claminess. The nausea. The lump in my throat. The washing machine stomach. The fear. The impending fear and worry. It was exhausting. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t get through the day without crying and just wishing I wasn’t around anymore. I couldn’t cope anymore.

It’s hard to come to terms with how bad it got so quick in such a short amount of time. The week before, I couldn’t have been happier. Me and the boyfriend, F, had gone on our first holiday together. We went on bike rides, excursions, sat by the pool, couldn’t keep our hands off each other, went for meals, even found our own regular bar to indulge in cocktails every night before our meal.

This holiday in my eyes was the making of us. I knew before that I loved him and saw a future with him but after the week together, on our own, in a foreign place, I knew even more that he was the one. The one I could see myself having a family with and getting married and celebrating the milestones together. This was a big step for me. I never wanted a family. Or kids. I never wanted the marriage side of things. I had convinced myself I didn’t want them nor did I deserve them, but with F that’s all I want and all I can envisage.

Towards the end of the holiday I felt the anxiety come creeping back. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t cured whilst on holiday I still had moments where these thoughts would come rushing into my head and cause my stomach to churn and make me feel so on edge. One night I was so anxious I had to sit on the sofa as I didn’t want to wake F up with how much I was fidgeting.

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