Monday, 31 October 2016

Blogtober 2016 Round Up

Some of you may not know, but earlier this year, struck with the realisation that I was only 13 months away from being 25, I decided to challenge myself to either do or learn something new every month. That's 13 challenges over 13 months, and so far I've tried my hand at Mandarin Chinese, calligraphy and baking, with some pretty mixed results. Long story short: Chinese and calligraphy were moderately successful, baking definitely was not! October's challenge was to participate in Blogtober, where I would write a blog post for every day of the month. A very quick glance at my blog will tell you that I wasn't successful in that endeavour. Although I didn't quite manage to post 31 times in October, I did manage to write 27 blog posts, including this one. For me, that's incredible. There are some months where I barely even manage 10, so I'm ridiculously proud of myself for doing what I did.
For my final blog post, I'm just going to link to everything I've written this month, and talk a little about some of my favourites.

My September Favourites
The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix
This was definitely one of my favourite posts to write as it gave me an excuse to reread one of my favourite book series of all time. Writing it reminded me of why I love the series so much, and how it was one of my big inspirations in my own writing when I was much younger.
The Circle by Dave Eggers 
Where I Am Right Now: Aylesbury 
Three Liquid Lipsticks: The Good, the Bad and the Patchy 
I am inordinately proud of that title.
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho 
Current Favourite Blogs 
This was a great one to write, but one I was definitely nervous to publish. I absolutely love all of the blogs on this list, and it felt slightly weird to be telling them so!
 What's In My Bag? Burgundy Fossil Bag
Yet Another Beauty Haul
There's nothing super exciting about this post but I loved using this old jumper for a background.
Where I Am Right Now | Pendle Hill 
My Thoughts On KonMari 
 Bizarre Homeware I've Somehow Collected
This was tonnes of fun to write because I got to sit and think about how on Earth I ever got these things in the first place
How Much Is My Face Worth? | Autumn Makeup 
Nod by Adrian Barnes | An Emotional Review  
L'Oréal Clay Detox Mask 
My Week In Lipsticks
Friends With Benefits | Can It Ever Really Work?
This was super weird to write as it's new territory for me emotionally, and also the guy in question knows about my blog and occasionally reads it (Hi).
Two Months Until 2017 | End Of Year Goals  

And there you have it! That's basically what I've been doing with my time for the whole of October. Next month I'm writing again for my challenge, but instead of blog posts I'm going to be participating in NaNoWriMo, where the idea is to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. Fingers crossed for me folks, this is going to be tough!

Stalk me!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Two Months Until 2017 | Goals

There are just two months left until 2017, and there's a hell of a lot I still want to do. It's been a very odd year for a lot of us (and by odd I mean bloody awful), what with Brexit and those looming Autumn elections in the States. It's been a year of break ups for me and my friends, as one long term relationship ended then another. Six of my friends and myself all either broke up with or were broken up with by their partners this year as if they had a ripple effect upon everyone else. I think it's probably more to do with the fact that we've all changed and finally, properly become adults now, as we're all around 24/25. We all figured out whether or not we were really going to commit to this, and for many of us it seems the answer was no. 
Needless to say, 2016 has been tumultuous, to say the least, but here are the things I'm determined to achieve before 2017 rolls around. 2017, no pressure but it had better be good.

  • Get a new job. 
It doesn't have be an amazing job, it just has to be a step in the right direction. In truth, I'm not sure what that direction is, but I'd like to be heading towards a more creative industry; one where I can write, read, and use the skills I'm trying my best to hone through my work on this blog. I may not manage it by the end of 2016, but damn it, I am not giving up yet. The constant rejections from jobs this year as I try and figure out what to do have been tough, but I'm not quite broken.

  •  Pass my driving test
I didn't do the usual thing and learn to drive at 17, which I do think was for the best. I wasn't ready then, and while I could be trusted with a lot, I think I would have really freaked out if I had attempted to control several tonnes of fast-moving metal. As it is, when I first started learning to drive a few years ago I still freaked out, but that was more to do with a terrible, shouting driving instructor and a close call with a bus; that combination caused me to swear off driving until earlier this year, when I finally got back in the driver's seat. My test is in early November, and while I'm not convinced I'll pass, I'm going to give it my best. If I fail, I'll be booking it again. Nerves will be my worst enemy, so I'm hoping that even if I fail I'll be alright and much calmer the second time around.

  •  Keep running
It's pretty normal for people to slack off with their fitness routines as we head into Winter. It's cold and dark, and all we want to do is snuggle up in our giraffe print onesies with a hot vimto (that might just be me). I've not been running nearly as much this month, but I'm determined to get back into it for the rest of the year as I've really been feeling the difference. When I run regularly my mood is improved overall and I just feel more like myself. Instead of feeling weighed down by my own miseries I feel like I can handle them, and I'm just a more confident and happy person. Running definitely needs to become a regular activity again. Speaking of which, I'm typing this all kitted out and ready to go, as I'll be off out once I've finished writing this post.
  • Get out more
This month has been a good one for getting me out and about with friends, and I'd like that to continue over the next two months. I used to go out more on my own, but I haven't done that nearly so much of late. It's time I started taking myself on dates again, and really have some quality time out with just me.

I think that's about it for my end of year goals, but they're all pretty big ones so I expect I'll have my work cut out. Right, I'm off running!

Hopefully, you've enjoyed this post, and if so keep an eye out as this is part of my Blogtober series where I post every day.  Check out my other posts from this month and see whether I actually manage to even think of 31 topics!

Stalk me!

Friday, 28 October 2016

Friends With Benefits | Can It Ever Really Work?

If you'd asked me that a month ago I would have said no. Or at least, I would have said not in my case. I have a habit of falling for my friends, which always seemed natural to me. They're my friends, so clearly I like their personality and enjoy their company, so it never seemed that strange to me when I inevitably developed a crush, however fleeting, upon one of my male friends. A crush would complicate any FWB situation and for that reason, I never thought it would be my thing. 

There was a time several years ago when I was not quite friends with benefits with someone. It never progressed to the point of actually having sex, but generally fooling around was something that happened semi-frequently. The problem? I was completely and utterly in love with the guy. While he was very clear that he was not looking for any kind of relationship, he definitely took advantage of my feelings. I won't go into details here, as it is neither the focus of this blog post and I'd rather not dig up bad memories, but I was pushed and cajoled into things I was definitely not comfortable with. Ultimately I confronted him, and it's never been the same between us, which is definitely for the best.

What I really want to talk about today though is my current FWB situation. I recently reconnected with an old friend, one who I've known, albeit with intermittent contact, for almost nine years. We get along like a house on fire, and can easily spend several hours talking on the phone before realising that it's three in the morning and we really should go to sleep now. We're both single, and if I'm honest we're both a little lonely and missing that human contact you get while dating. We met up in Manchester for a catch-up, which mostly involved eating chilli and watching TV while drinking, until one thing led to another. 

We've met up a few times since then and have followed a similar pattern. We pretty much just enjoy each other's company as we always have, and then sometimes, if we feel like it, we have sex. That's about it. Bizarrely, my concerns about developing feelings for him have yet to bear any fruit. In fact, the more we do this, the more confident I am that that won't happen. It sounds strange, at least to me, but the truth is that we simply have fun together as we always have, but now we sometimes have fun in a slightly different way.  

The only thing I'm not sure on is how I would feel if he was sleeping regularly with other people. Mentally, I have absolutely no objection to it and would congratulate him for pulling. Deep down, though, I think I don't like sharing. There's also the STD dilemma as well, and I'm just not sure I would be completely comfortable with it. A friend I talked to about this queried whether that was evidence of burgeoning feelings, but I'm confident that it isn't. As gross as it sounds, it's partially a hygiene thing. The other side of it, the not-sharing part, worries me a little; I can't quite pin down why I feel that way. It's not like I have an issue with sharing anything else in my life; it's more just a slightly icky feeling. That makes very little sense, but it's the best way I can think of to describe it. 

Am I crazy? Am I kidding myself? I don't know the answer to those questions yet. For now though, I'm having fun, noone is getting hurt, and there are zero feelings involved. I also think that if we were to stop right now, we could very easily go back to how we were. I think even if one of us did start to develop feelings for the other, we would just back off and would still be able to be good friends. 

I don't really know what I'm doing, but so long as we're both having fun and there are no romantic feelings on either side, I don't see any reason to stop. If one of us starts dating it would be a different story, but with the way things currently are I don't see that happening for myself anytime soon. I'm just going to keep fumbling along, and most of all, I'm going to keep having fun.

I really hope my Mum never reads this.

Hopefully, you've enjoyed this post, and if so keep an eye out as this is part of my Blogtober series where I post every day.  Check out my other posts from this month and see whether I actually manage to even think of 31 topics!

Stalk me!
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