It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Continue reading
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Continue reading
A huge, huge hello from Barcelona. Yep, hello, I’m actually blogging. After a four month hiatus, it was time for me to spill my words onto a screen and stop hiding.
So, the gorgeous Rhiân has asked me to guest post here on her blog while’she’s off gallivanting (and as I sit here on an overcast, typically British day, let me tell you I’m ALL the jealous).
Allow me to introduce myself.; I’m Joanna and I blog over at Teacups & Trainers. I’m a big fan of tea. And running. And goats. But mainly goats. I also start a lot of sentences with ‘so…’
So, when Rhian asked me to write a guest I was all like ‘Yeah, I’m all over that!’. Then I was like ‘Sheeiiiit what can I write about that will do her blog justice?’. So I thought I would write about what I know best; and what I know best and what my life is all-consumed by right now is long distance relationships. Specifically mine.
Now, I’ve been in a long distance relationship for all of about 3 months and when I say long distance I mean 200 miles (Me Midlands, him SW England). I know there are couples who battle far greater distances and for years at a time, and to you I take my hat off a hundred times over. But this is what I’ve learned on my journey so far.
1. It sucks. There’s no getting away from the fact that it is completely and utterly shit. When I knew that I was embarking on a long-distance relationship, my head filled with romantic notions of two tortured souls wistfully longing for each other, and romantic reunions at train stations. The truth is, it;’s mainly torturous. And train stations aren’t very romantic. I reckon airports would be better actually. Like off of Love Actually.
2. Romantic love-letter writing has happened. Which is pretty neat. And they have become my most treasured possessions. After y’know, my child.
3. It’s expensive. I don’t drive, which has increased the expense factor and lined the train company’s pockets somewhat, but that aside, petrol costs have massively increased (obvs) and who knew stamps were so expensive?!
4. Plus, I think you can fall into the trap of feeling that you have to do super exciting stuff every time you do see each other. Whilst it’s great to want to make the most of your time together and means you don’t take those precious days for granted, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to spend big money to make it special. After being apart, just being in the same room is special enough.
5. It makes you have the big conversations way earlier than usual. For two reasons, I think. First, because you both have to be committed to it to make it work. And you probs won’t know that for certain unless you talk about it. Although we both knew early on that we were right for each other, I think the situation forced us to voice it earlier than we normally would. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Also, for me certainly, I couldn’t have embarked on a long-distance thing if I knew it was going to last indefinitely/forever. I had to be clear that there would come a time, in the not-too-distant future that we would be living closer together. Thus comes the potentially horrid conversation about which one of you is going to uproot their lives to move closer – when all you should really be thinking about at that stage is whether or not it’s too early to let him see you without makeup on. (I thought it was – he thought not. He didn’t run away in horror, so all good).
6. It makes you want to kiss the person who invented Skype. SERIOUS relationship saver. Do not underestimate the difference it makes to see their face. And other body parts you might be missing. Soz, but he’s got AMAZE thighs.
7. It doesn’t necessarily provoke trust issues. I reckon that if there are going to be trust issues in a relationship, they will be there regardless of whether you see each other once a day or once a month.
8. It means you don’t question the other person’s commitment to you. If somebody is going to drive for 3.5 hours across the country after a long day at work, just to drive back again the next day, you know they want to be with you. And properly be with you. It’s a hella lot of effort for a shag.
9. The we’re-finally-reunited-I’ve-missed-you-so-much hug can’t be beaten. You’ll live for that moment.
I’m soon to be leaving my steady, well-paying job, soon to be leaving our lovely flat with the perfect location and perfect views, and most importantly, to me, leaving my beloved city of York.
York has been more than just my second home for the last 6 years. It has been my absolute sanctuary. When I first moved here from a tiny village in South Wales at the age of 18, I had no idea that it would be the place where I would experience some of the lowest lows and highest highs in my life so far. Heartbreak and despair; elation and liberation. This city has played host to every emotion, every experience, every thought I have had for just over 2000 days. God, it feels like so much more.
It feels like I grew up here. My formative years have been these 6. They mean so much to me. How can I leave this place?
Chris and I are moving to Newcastle, back to where he grew up. It’s one of those moves which is ‘logical’, really. Chris finishes studying soon, my job isn’t in an area I want to continue in, York, due to its perfection, is hella expensive to live in. We are taking a leap, a leap that will allow us to save some money, will allow us to explore what we both really want to do, and give us a taste of living in a bigger city. All that ‘explore while you’re young’ jazz.
I’m really excited for what’s to come. But I am also achingly anxious too. I’m leaving everything I know behind. I’m a first class worrier in usual circumstances, so right now I really am high up there on the worry-scale.
But I know that despite the uncertainty, this is right for us both. The circumstances in which Chris and I met were quite unique. Not in terms of how we met, but the timing. Almost timed to the second. One of our favourite songs is ‘Something Changed’ by Pulp, because it so accurately describes our beginning.
And I know that we will be okay, everything will be okay because this is where we are meant to be.
So, I just wanted to write this worry-list, to show you all that yes we all worry and no we don’t all have our lives together just because it seems like it on the outside. You’re not alone. Worrying is okay (it will get better).
1. Finding a new job
Never mind finding a new job, I’m not sure what it is I actually want to do. So there’s that.
See above. Existing is expensive these days.
See above, re: everything.
4. Body image
I gave up smoking ages ago, I put on weight. It’s not an uncommon occurrence. But it has meant that I am concerned with how I look right now. I’m not comfortable in myself, and that’s the worst. But I am being proactive, I am making so much more time for all types of exercise (and I did run a marathon, that was no easy feat I’ll tell ya).
5. My diet
See #4. I’ve been making a real effort with what I’m putting into my body, exercising, drinking gallons of water. I’m seeing little changes. Nothing drastic. And I’m FED UP. So, I’m doing more research into what I’m eating. It’s hard when you’re a fussy eater too. And I hate weighing my food.
See #1. I am constantly worrying that I have no discernible skills. What am I even good for?!
One of my new year goals was to make more of an effort with friends far and wide, and I feel like I have made inroads here. I’m off to London to see my friend next weekend and am texting and calling and writing to people more. But I still worry every day that I’m neglecting people and they hate me.
This ties in with the whole having no skills nor idea of what I want to do for a job. How does ONE have goals when ONE has no endgame. ARGHHHH.
9. My mam
I had a bit of a meltdown the other day when I was crazily hormonal. I just kept thinking of how little I see my mam and how much I love her and oh my god what if she dies?!? I literally couldn’t stop crying. Living so far away from the person you love most in the world is really painful and very hard. Then she rang me and told me to stop being silly and that she will be around to annoy me for a long time yet. (I’m still worrying though cause I love ya, mammy).
And then there are the ridiculous, obnoxious, self-indulgent, not-really-worries-but-everyone-has-them worries..
10. Skincare routine
How am I meant to choose from so many products? How do I part with £20 of my hard earned cash to purchase something I have no idea will work? How often should you change your routine? Can’t I just use huggies wipes?
11. Posh candles
I received several ‘posh’ (read: expensive) candles for Christmas. Haven’t used one of them yet, cause I’m scared of ‘using them in the wrong place’. Don’t wanna leave them sitting on the shelf though. Oh the woe.
12. My receding hairline
I have always had what I believe to be a receding hairline. It’s getting bigger, I’m sure of it, I’m a slaphead.
I don’t think I’d be alone in saying that I compare myself or my situation to someone else at least daily (and mostly negatively). As many have put forth before me, in a world such as this, where there exist a ridiculous amount of media platforms for us to share on, comparison is all too easy, and misinformation is actually pretty rife. So someone has ‘the perfect life’ on Instagram? They’re probably struggling with 50 other things that they don’t choose to share. And choosing not to share those isn’t a bad thing. It’s just sometimes how it is.
The problems begin when we start to take social media too seriously. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest – they’re all great for their own purposes. When we start reading them as the only things which represent a person’s thoughts, feelings, experiences and even selves, that is when insecurities and comparisons begin to occur.
“Comparison is the thief of joy”. That’s what Theodore Roosevelt said. Because comparison doesn’t just exist on its own. At least that’s what I think. I believe the more we compare, the more we can start to resent. Why don’t I have that? Why does she get what she wants? God, I hate her. Have we all been there, or is it just me? I’ve read posts about it before, so I know I can’t be alone!
When did we all become so cynical? When did we start believing that just because someone posts a few lovely pictures of themselves enjoying themselves, doing whatever and with whoever, that maybe they aren’t suffering with a myriad of other things. Because someone has posted pictures of new outfit after new outfit, and holiday after holiday, does that really mean that that person is only their pictures?
I made a point in my Wishlist for 2015 that I wanted to avoid negative people. I know that sounds stupid – we don’t often try to engage with the negative folk around us. Because the negativity don’t stop on the internet! But sometimes we can’t help that they exist in our lives and we have to try to tolerate them. Along with this, I’ve tried to stop dillydallying on social media, being jealous and envious of things I haven’t got, or things I haven’t done. I have a bloody lovely life, I also have a lot of problems in my life. I want to, and I make a point of celebrating those good things and good people I have in my life with other people who want to celebrate them too, those who wish me happiness. There are some people in my life who don’t want to celebrate my accomplishments, they think my accomplishments are a threat to them, or they are quite frankly unhappy that I am happy. I mean, what’s that about? I definitely don’t ever want to be that.
So really, I’m talking about two things. The people who we compare ourselves to, and those who are actively unhappy for us.
I’ve stopped letting the second lot of people be a factor in my actions and my feelings. Almost stopped. They have no place there, and I’m happier for it. But hell, it’s not easy. Sometimes, a good block or mute on social media is the way to have a good break from negativity. As for the first lot of people, I still compare myself. I still compare myself to one of my best friends who has bought her own house with her boyfriend. I still compare myself to my other best friend who is an actual doctor. An ACTUAL doctor. She’s so smart. They have worked so frickin’ hard to be where they are and I couldn’t be happier for them.
I want to start celebrating other people more, instead of de-celebrating myself. I’m sticking with de-celebrating as a word.
We went to the 1914 Exhibition at York Castle Museum.
I didn’t want to upload too many pictures as it might spoil it should you ever go and see it yourself – but it is a wonderful exhibition. If you live in York and have a residents card, you get free entry!
I made some decoupage for my Mam and my lovely friend Minal. I am toying with making these and selling them. What do you reckon?
I bought some new skincare items! My hormonal breakouts got the better of me and I splurged on some nice skincare, taking advantage of Boots’ 3 for 2 offer at the moment.
We went to Minal’s birthday shindig in Leeds. We ate Sukothai and it was lovely. Happy birthday, my lovely girl. P.S. She has commissioned 2 other pieces of decoupage from me 😉
I posed like a fool for some pictures of my lovely skirt. Yup.
And I also took a picture of my dress for Minal’s birthday in the posh Sukothai bathroom. Sorry for the unforgivable quality.
So this post has been a bit longer than intended, but I had a lot to think about and do this week and also it’s 2 days later than planned.
What do we think about comparing ourselves? Is it getting worse, or is it just perception? Let me know what you think below!