Sunday, 28 April 2013

30 Posts of Truth-Part 5

5. Something You Hope To Do In Your Life.

I don't really have much of a 'bucket list'-I don't have mental lists of things I want to do before I'm x years old or before I die, or places I want to travel to or anything like that. In fact I would go so far as to say the things I want to achieve are fairly boring and un-original, what most people would hope for in their lives, but they're dreams none the less.

-In the short term I want to get a job (at the moment, anything) that will pay me enough to move out of my parents house and hopefully back to Sheffield, where my heart is.

-I want to fall in love again, because I miss having a someone.

-I want to end up in a career that makes me happy every time I get up to go to it, that fulfils me and that I love. (I just need to work out what this might be first)

-I want to own my very own house, that I can decorate and make completely mine. I don't necessarily want to share this with another person, or at least I never imagine it that way. I am a bit terrified at learning to live with someone else again, so for now I just want somewhere that's mine and maybe the rest will come later.

-I do want to get married, but NOT YET. The very thought strikes fear into my heart, really. I'm not ready to commit to something for life yet (apart from my tattoo, and even that I thought about for 4 years before getting!) and I wouldn't want to get married for the sake of being married, I want to be married because it's right. Almost certainly in white Doc Martens =p

-I never want to stop going on stage, because it's the biggest feeling ever, and it's totally addictive. I don't (really) drink, I don't smoke and I don't take drugs but I have a massive craving for that spotlight. Call me a diva if you like, it's probably true, but being in shows as often as I can is really important for me, it makes me happy, it makes me fly. I never want to stop feeling that feeling.

-I would like to accomplish something-but I don't know what yet. I've always wanted to have a book published and still do, although I recognise the difficulties with this dream now. But I want someone, even if it's just one person, to know my name because I've done something that they found inspiring.


So that's my life plans, what about you?

-Jenni-

Friday, 26 April 2013

Five Minute Fridays: Friend


For a while after graduation I felt really lonely-I felt like I’d left all my friends behind in Sheffield and didn’t really have many people here in Nottingham. I’m glad to say that this has now changed, and that I have people in both cities (as well as scattered around the country) that I can call my friend and I feel really lucky for that. I’ve got people who I don’t see very often but when I do it’s like we’ve not been apart at all. I’ve got friends who let me kip on their floor when I need to, or who always offer me their spare room if I want it. I’ve got friends who make me laugh until my sides hurt like I’ve just done 20 sit ups and friends who are there when I need a shoulder to cry on. I’ve got friends who I miss, friends who I don’t realise how much I’ve missed until I see them again, friends who I really wish I saw more of. There’s this whole network of people stretched across the country (and in some cases across continents) that I know I could call on if I needed it-if I wanted someone to talk to at stupid AM when I can’t sleep or just wanted a hug, or if I wanted to spend a day pulling stupid faces at all the cameras at a theme park. I’ve got pen friends, and blogger friends too-people I’ve never met but who comment on my blogs, or tweets,  or write me | letters telling me about their lives and all the things they love. I’ve got so many people who care about me that I don’t know how I ever felt lonely-in this age of technology no-one is more than a text, email or Facebook poke away. And you know what? That’s BRILLIANT.

To all my friends. You’re wonderful. You give me a million reasons to smile, laugh, and wince when you’re telling cringey stories that come with actions.  I’m so bloody grateful for you all.
THANKS.


| denotes where my 5 minute alarm went off.

To find out more about what Five Minute Fridays are all about/read more/take part yourself then all the appropriate information can be found here: http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

There's Been A Change In Me, A Kind Of Moving On

It's more sad if it's blue, right?
[Source-Open Clip Art Library]
A year ago on Monday was the worst day of my life thus far. Sounds melodramatic but it's true really-my world as I had known it for 3 years and approx. 27 days ended and I experienced all kinds of hurting that I'd never known before. I've always had a strange affinity for 'dates that things happened on' and I can remember the days significant life events occurred on for a very long time-the "anniversary" (for want of a better word) of the day my last relationship ended being no exception. I'd actually expected to feel a bit down in the dumps with the memory of that horrendous day hanging over me, but actually everything was fine-good in fact. I can't say I wouldn't have been miserable if I were on my own doing nothing, but I wasn't, so it wasn't an issue at all. In fact, I didn't really think too much about it, except when I was mentioning it to my friends, and it didn't make me sad one little bit-which is excellent. One of my mates commented that it feels like its gone by really quickly but for me the 22nd April 2012 seems an age ago-I was someone else then and I can tell there have been changes in me between then and now. And mostly, it's been a pretty good year-I've learned a lot in it and I'm pretty certain I'm over that relationship now. It definitely doesn't have a hold over me any more and that's brilliant.

It's weird to think that the last time I spent a full year totally single was in 2004, and now it's 2013. I'm nowhere near the same person I was then, and boy am I glad I'm not still the angsty teenager desperate to have a boyfriend any more, because really-who wants to deal with that?!? Now I know myself better and love myself more, I know what's in my heart and how my head works and I reckon I'm a better person in a myriad of ways. I'm repeatedly astonishing myself by the things that I'm learning about myself that teenage me would never have believed-that I don't need to be in a relationship to be perfectly happy and content, that I don't need someone else to complete me, that life is perfectly fulfilling on its own without someone to share everything with. That I am no less amazing just because there isn't someone who believes that besides myself, and that I don't need someone to tell me that I'm beautiful to make me feel it.

I feel it's been a necessary year too. I don't think I could have even contemplated starting a new relationship for much of it because I was too hung up on the effects of the old one-that's been a much more recent development. This past year has been enough to allow me to grieve, to heal, to grow and to move on and close the book on that chapter of my life. It happened, it was good, now it's done with and a new one is unfolding in front of me full of unknowns and intrigue. Now I feel I'm ready to be in a relationship again, should the chance cross my path, although there's nothing on the immediate horizon and I'm OK with that too. Sure, there are definitely parts of my brain and heart that keep telling me how much I need a boyfriend NOW, but they're much less insistent than they were when I was a desperate-to-be-loved teenager, and I can happily ignore them most of the time.

So there we go. I survived my first year ever (basically) of singledom, of not having a boyfriend, not being in love, not having sex or someone to share all the minutiae of my life with, no snuggles, no cuddles, no kisses. I'm proud of myself. It might not seem like a big achievement but for me it is-I'm the girl who stayed with my first boyfriend 18 months longer than I really should have done because I was terrified of being single and didn't know how to be just myself again as opposed to half of a couple. I'm a girl who really likes being in love and all the crap that comes with it. I'm the girl who falls for people stupidly quickly and incredibly obviously so all the world will know.
But as I said, I've grown up and learnt a lot in these 365 days. Yes, it really hurt sometimes, and it took me to some dark and lonely places, but I'm glad it happened. Here's a toast to the 22nd April 2012, and the fact it doesn't have a hold over me any more.

It's just another date.

-Jenni-


Title of post taken from 'Change in Me-Beauty and the Beast'

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Boudoir Botherances

Source
Something that's been running through my mind a lot recently is worrying about what The First Time is going to be like when I find a new boyfriend...no, not that (although I have touched upon that subject already, here), I mean the first time I have to sleep-actually sleep-with him.

Now I will be the first to admit that I have weird sleep-related issues-foreign beds always give me problems, as do rooms with the wrong levels of light or sounds. Worst of all though is when I have to share a room, or especially a bed, with someone else. Basically everything about the entire situation of sleeping in a new person's bed for the first time is going to keep me anxiously awake for much of the night. Which is, you know, fun.

It's bad enough that I often struggle to fall asleep in my own bed where everything is exactly as I like it to be, let alone without the addition of a whole handful of unknowns in the form of another person.
For starters there's the issue over the side of the bed-and this is pretty non-negotiable for me-I sleep on the left hand side (if you were lying in it) and that's something that doesn't change. To discover that a potential partner would want to sleep on the same side of the bed as me would be a deal breaker-it would have to be single beds or nothing!

spooning leads to forking
I wish, haha. It actually leads to
irritation and elbowing.
From busyprinting on flickr
although I'm pretty sure it's a
David & Goliath design.
Then there's the fact that I like my room to be dark and quiet-no lights, no noises, especially no clocks that tick. It's a noise that I just can't tolerate and it drives me absolutely barmy until I can't concentrate on anything but the tick tock tick tock echoing around my brain and then I'm never able to drop off. It was always a bug-bear between me and the Ex that I made him turn off his clocks the first time I stayed over at his house, and he never turned them back on again because apparently it was too much hassle. I can cope with lights a little better-but only by wearing a black out sleep mask which isn't the most fetching look in the world. The worst offenders are laptops with blue/white lights that flash on and off slowly-they're so bright that they force themselves underneath my eyelids and they seem to get brighter and brighter inside my head, even with my eyes shut tight. It means that before I get into bed I go around covering up light sources with towels and cushions, earning myself my fair share of dodgy looks as I do.

I also have to confess that I am a wriggler-I toss and turn a lot until I'm ready to fall asleep (always on my left side, with one arm wrapped around a cushion and the other tucked under the pillow, because I am oddly specific about that part of it.) but if I'm sharing a bed with someone I'm conscious that my every movement has the potential to keep them awake. So I try to move as little as possible so that I'm not causing excessive mattress bouncing (not of the fun kind) but then I can't sleep because I haven't wriggled around until I'm comfortable and sleepy and it's a horrible catch-22.
Sadly, this also rules out spooning for me-it's lovely for a while but I can't bear being restricted to one position so after a while I have to free myself and move about. Also I can't stand having people breathing on me so it's not the most ideal position to snuggle up in.*

And on top of all that, there's other people. They bring in a whole host of unknown factors that add to my anxiety about sleeping-especially if they're people I don't even know. It makes me panic to be that vulnerable in front of strangers** and of course, that only amplifies the whole struggling to sleep thing. It doesn't help that my friends have often, and in no kind terms told me that I snore-LOUDLY. It's something that really embarrasses me-I hate the fact that I snore! I have somewhat enlarged tonsils so I can't really help it, especially if I have a cold at the time, but it's a social faux pas that people are not ever so forgiving about-and I can totally understand why-I hate to be kept awake so the thought that I might be keeping other people awake fills me with shame and dread. Ooh and it doesn't half make people cross-if they've had their night disturbed by the cacophonous noise coming out of your face they tend to be pretty grumpy to you in the morning which is never fun. (Mind you I am pretty grumpy myself in the mornings too!)

So yeah, the next poor unsuspecting bloke to end up in my bed is going to have a lot to put up with, but I reckon if he can cope with my irrational inability to sleep near a ticking clock, my insistence on covering up light sources (or my eyes) with something, my excessive wriggling and my horrific snoring then I am on to a winner.
Whether we'll get a good night's sleep though is anyone's guess.

-Jenni-

*The more of this post I write the more I realise just how peculiar I am. I have issues.
**Except if I am sleepy and on a train/bus/in a car. Something about the warmth and the feeling of motion lulls me to sleep every time. On the way home from New Year I slept from London-almost Nottingham on the train, which was obviously full of strangers. Clearly all I need to do to sleep better is invest in a bed on a treadmill...

Sunday, 14 April 2013

30 Posts of Truth-Part 4

4. Something You Have To Forgive Someone Else For

I've been putting off writing this post for as long as I possibly can because it makes me feel very 'meh' and isn't very fun to think about. But the other day I was talking about my situation and someone's response was "Bitter much?!" and although they were joking, I took it to heart. I have no intention of being bitter about this forever and would rather just leave it behind me and get the hell on with my life, but I guess I have to stop minding so much first. I'm sure a lot of my good friends already know what I'm going to be writing about today.
I need to forgive my ex-boyfriend and my ex-best friend, not for getting together (as I always knew this was a fairly inevitable thing from the moment he broke up with me) but for everything else that they've done that has hurt me a lot, whether they meant it to or not.
I intend to make this post the last time I talk about it, after all, it's been nearly a year and I really should just get over this the same way I got over him. It's not like I've not got wonderful friends to replace them with or anything, so I'm just going to use this post to put it behind me once and for all.

I need to forgive him for basically using me as a...let's call it a way to get his rocks off for a few months with no regard for my feelings or how this was basically dangling a carrot of hope in front of my poor muddled brain. Every time I got one of those texts asking for one of those pictures I felt my heart leap a bit, because I thought it meant that he still liked me a little. I realise this was somewhat na├»ve and foolish of me now but then I was just completely lost in my heartbreak. 

I need to forgive her for those Facebook statuses that I felt were deliberately targeted at me: "I'm so happy" "I can't believe how lucky I am" "It's so lonely watching Love Actually without your man to snuggle up to!"
I'm sure she wasn't really deliberately trying to constantly point out to me how she'd "won" and I'd "lost" in the battleground of love, she wasn't trying to constantly stamp on my bruised feelings or just make me angry that she could ever be so inconsiderate of how I felt but that's what it made me think. She was probably just overwhelmed with happiness in that same way that everyone is when they've just fallen in love, and therefore blinded to the fact that her words might not read as well to everyone on her Facebook list, that they might actually cause hurt. Still, at the time I hated her for it.

I need to forgive them both for not returning my possessions to me. Sounds petty I know, but let me explain why this made me so cross. In early September last year I sent my ex a parcel with all the remaining things of his I could find around my house/room, and spent the last dregs of my money posting it to him. I also included a short letter saying that if he ever wanted to contact me again (although I recognised it was unlikely) then I wouldn't be opposed to it. I asked him if he could return to me two things: a book and a photograph of me that was taken on a photoshoot and was therefore quite expensive. I didn't expect him to have to meet me to do this, or even spend money on posting them-his girlfriend has to drive past my street every time she comes home, so I figured she could stop for 30 seconds and shove them through my letter box, and then be rid of me forever. Apparently not. When my things didn't turn up I got very angry and called them both a lot of unpleasant names in angry messages to my friends. It just felt like they were being somewhat discourteous to me, especially when I'd done (what I thought was) the adult thing and returned his possessions, and when I'd specifically asked for these things. Maybe it was just putting them out too much, I don't know.

Finally, and probably most importantly, I need to forgive them for cutting me out of their lives without a second glance. At the time, this hurt way more than me finding out they were together-I'd just graduated and was still finding my feet being back home. I didn't feel like I had many friends in Nottingham, and my entire support group was still in Sheffield and then two of the people who had been closest to me in my life disappeared from it. Not only that, but other friends went "with them" and also no longer talk to me, and I don't think I've ever felt so alone as I did then. The realisation that you matter so little to people who meant so much to you is a very hurtful one. I guess I can understand why they did it-you don't want your boyfriend's/your ex hanging around with you and your new girlfriend-but that didn't stop it from making me thoroughly miserable for some time. 

But now I'm done. I'm drawing the line, I'm moving on for good. I'm going to try to forgive them it all so I can leave them behind and not be bitter/angry/sad about it any more. I've got fabulous friends in two wonderful cities now, and I'm really thankful to have each and every one of them in my life, and I don't need the memory of them any more. I don't need to be mad at them any more-they're living their lives and I'm living mine, they no longer intersect and I can finally understand that that's great. Sure, I won't forget them any time soon, but that doesn't mean I need to give them the time of day in my life any longer.

Good riddance.

-Jenni-

To read the other Truths posts in this series, click here.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Awkward Duckling

Ugly duckling
Photo from treehouse1977 on Flickr
Last night I went out to celebrate my best mates birthday at a comedy club and as I left the house I was feeling AMAZING. I had on my new favourite dress (it's a polka dot rockabilly style halterneck and it's gooooorgeous!), my hair looked really good, my make up was perfect and I was wearing red lipstick which always leaves me feeling like a bit of a saucy sexpot. I was sashaying down the street with a smile and a sexy bottom wiggle and generally felt Fucking Fantastic (if you'll excuse the language). You know when you catch sight of yourself in a shop window and internally go "Phwoar!"? Well that was happening, and life was wonderful.

The comedy gig was good, well 3 out of 4 acts were, and the food was spicy but still tasty, and despite having been roasting in a very warm room for a good few hours I still felt pretty darn awesome as we stepped outside and headed off to find a drinking establishment to do drinking and some dancing in. And that's where the awesome feeling flickered and died like a lonely bulb in a dark room.

Put me in a room full of conventionally beautiful people wearing fashionable, skin tight clothes, or barely any clothes at all, surround me with "propa LADS" looking for some "banter" who are sloshing beer down my dress whilst they try and grind their skinny-jean-clad-peni (penii? penises?) into the ladies in the barely-there-clothes and suddenly I feel all awkward and dowdy and frumpy and a bit of an ugly duckling. I don't know whether it's because I don't really drink and never really enjoy being around drunk people, whether it was because I was gripping my £50 coat tightly in a bid to stop it touching the sticky, sticky floor, whether it's because I basically don't enjoy any modern music* or even because I was becoming increasingly aware of the fact that my tights had worn through on the inner leg region and any movement meant that I was slowly but surely removing the skin from my thighs**, but whatever the reason, I didn't feel comfortable.

Don't get me wrong, I love myself and the way I look most of the time, but faced with all those people who were enjoying themselves in an environment I felt completely alien in I could just tell that I didn't really fit. I was surrounded by girls wearing hot pants and crop tops and suddenly my mid-calf length 50s-style dress felt somewhat dated, like I wasn't gratuitously exposing enough of my body to be dancing in that room full of sweaty people with their libidos turned up to 11 due to copious amounts of alcohol. I left early because, ugh, life's too short to do things you don't enjoy and that don't make you feel awesome!

Maybe I just accidentally skipped the bit where teenagers/students/twenty-somethings like to go out and get sweaty and rub themselves against each other to awful modern music and went straight instead to the bit where I'd rather be in my PJs with a cup of hot chocolate than a pub full of noise and so much synthetic smoke that you genuinely can't see your own hand. I'm sure my friend doesn't mind that I left early, she knows it's not her, it's definitely me, because I am a big weirdo and old before my time.

But hey, each to their own, right?

-Jenni-

*Really not an over exaggeration. My favourite nights out are to retro cheesy club nights like Flares, or Reflex or the awesome Poptarts at my beloved Sheffield SU. I'll happily dance all night to epic 70s/80s/90s cheese, but stick me in a room with Rihanna and Lady Gaga playing and I'll get bored and go home, because I don't know any of the songs and I enjoy them even less.
**Note to self-buy thicker tights than 15 denier if you intend to be dancing in warm rooms for any length of time and value your thigh-skin.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Blogging on Blogging

Blogging
Source
Think I need to get this!
It's a weird thing, having a blog. Sometimes I can't help but feel like my blog is a demanding puppy who is craving attention and love even when I've got nothing left to give to it. Don't get me wrong, I love being a blogger-I love being able to write about whatever I like, I love interacting with the blogging community, I love it when people compliment me on it, or tell me that they enjoy reading it. I love it when my reading figures suddenly spike for no reason (Hello random influx of German viewers from earlier this week-thanks for stopping by!), I love when I write something that's well received, or that people agree with, or that provokes debate amongst me and my friends. I generally just love taking my words and flinging them out into this tiny piece of the internet and having other people read them.

But sometimes blogging makes me feel stuck-when I can't think of anything to write about, or when I can but the words stubbornly refuse to leave my head and collect themselves in an interesting and enjoyable manner on the page. At the moment I've got two partially written blogs just sitting in my drafts folder and I've got no idea how to finish them or even if they're going to turn out to be any good at all. I've got 3-4 more scattered through various notebooks or just lodging in my head having never quite made it out to paper.
Part of me thinks "Well it's my blog, I can update it however frequently or infrequently I choose to, no-one can tell me how I should be doing it!" but another, bigger part is saying "But if you want a blog that other people enjoy reading as much as you enjoy writing it then you need to keep updating regularly. If you want people to visit often and want to come back then you have to so new stuff so that it doesn't stagnate." And I know that however annoying it is, that second voice is right.

I reckon part of the problem is that the thing this blog was meant to be about was my life-the things that happen in it, the issues that affect me and the things that I think are excellent or terrible. The sad fact of it is that there haven't been many interesting things happening in my life of late-the biggest new development is that I had to finally give in and go on the dole like my Dad has been telling me to basically since I graduated. It's not just the blog that's stagnating, I am too. My life isn't really going anywhere at the moment and it's hard to find things to blog about when literally nothing happens to you.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I want to post something every day-I read some blogs that update daily and can't help but feel like sometimes the author is spreading their inspiration a little thin. In my opinion it's better to write three really good posts than seven slightly wishy washy ones. Mind you, I write looooong posts, I don't reckon it'd be that possible to produce seven good quality posts of the length I write them, without spending all my time on my blog! It would be nice, though, to be able to update once a week, not including my regular Friday and Sunday posts.

Even this is like a holder post really, it's not really saying anything much at all in its 700-odd words, only that I'm sorely lacking in inspiration and finding it difficult to blog about things at the moment. But I'm going to try my hardest to stop being a neglectful blog owner and get some proper posts written again soon. I'm going to try to stop feeling guilty at leaving it to fend for itself for so long, and instead lavish it with the attention it deserves and wants (as long as it doesn't try to lick my face with happiness.)
I've written a list of potential post ideas and I'm going to try and write one up a week and get it posted up and everything. I have friends swear by lists, so I'm going to see if they work for me too. Plus it's not like I have much else to do with my time, is it? 700-odd words a week isn't much to ask from a girl who wrote her 3000-word final year coursework in 3 days, is it? (NB: Don't do this people, it's a terrible terrible idea. Also, don't get dumped at the end of the Easter hols, that's pretty rubbish too!)

So yeah. I'm coming back. I hope.

-Jenni-