Things I Wish I Knew As a Teenager

​I’ve been an adult for a little while now and have spent some time learning a little bit about just what that means. Having said that, though, I’ve also had time to reflect on my time spent as a teenager. So here’s a few things I wish I knew back then.

1. People will bitch and backstab and gossip. As will you. Don’t take it to heart.

2. Work hard and save as much as you can. Trust me, you’ll need it.

3. Everyone has struggles. Everyone has their shit. Some just hide it better than others.

4. You don’t have to do things or squash yourself down just to fit in.

5. Before you stress about something, consider if it’ll matter in five years’ time.

6. Take pictures. Every chance you get. Everyone you love. You will treasure them.

7. It’s okay to not like things everyone else likes. And vice versa.

8. It doesn’t matter if you’re popular, unpopular or somewhere in between. It doesn’t make a blind bit of difference the minute you’re out of school and into the real world.

9. Find your passion and don’t let anyone laugh at you for it.

10. It’s okay to not know what you want to do with your life. I’ve already changed the career I was working towards three times, and gone back into education twice since A-Levels.

11. Honesty really is the best policy. People value it and you’ll value it in other people.

12. No one has it all figured out. I don’t now, and I doubt I will when I’m 80. That’s just life, I guess.


Bargains and Beyond

​Whilst my guest posts are usually covering bigger topics, I thought today I would try something different.

I have been living by myself now for around two months, and whilst actually getting homeware has been stressful and taken all of my savings (although to be fair, that wasn’t much), it has allowed me to be resourceful, and I now know what is worth splashing out on and what’s best being cheap and cheerful.

So whether you’re like me, about to move out, a student off to uni halls, or even just a bargain lover, strap yourselves in for the wild ride that is my top 5 places, in store and online, to get cheap but decent quality homeware.

1. Wilkos. This was my absolute saving grace. Where else can you get a bowl for 75p? Wilkos sell everything you could possibly want for kitchens, bathrooms and more. About 75% of the stuff in my home is from here.

2. Primark. If you’re looking for bed sheets, I highly recommend Primark. They’re cheap, and often offer fairly decent quality. I own two sets of bedsheets (one is Christmas themed and I use it all year round, but we don’t need to talk about that) and they’re both from Primark. They also do towels and general home trinkets.

3. eBay. This site isn’t only about second hand things as some people think; it can quite often be home to some hidden gems too. I have an Aztec blanket from here, which was lovely and cheap, but is also thick and warm!

4. TK Maxx. Whilst the store is quite messy, and can sometimes be a bit of a headache to walk round, they do a lot of homeware cheaply. I find they’re best for kitchen utensils, but they do plenty of other home bits too. Definitely worth a look round (if your head can manage it!)

5. Last but by no means least, Amazon, an obvious but often overlooked choice. Amazon has literally anything you could ever need. Mixing bowls? Check. Microwaves? Check. Nicolas Cage pillowcase? Check. Don’t ask how I found that last one out.

Hopefully this short list will help you in not completely breaking your bank when you inevitably have to flee the nest.


The Condition You Have Described Has Not Been Recognised

Mason asked a fair while ago if Will, Tamara and I could write a post each about our conditions, but naturally I had completely forgotten about it until Will wrote his own. Luckily I can use my condition as an excuse here, as memory issues (also known as “fibro fog”) are a big symptom. This leads me nicely on to explaining what on earth is wrong with me – specifically, Fibromyalgia.

For those of you who are unsure of what Fibro is, it’s described as a “long term illness” or “condition”. The biggest symptoms are widespread pain (sometimes chronic), fatigue, and muscle stiffness. It also causes memory loss (as mentioned previously), difficulty sleeping and concentrating, and headaches. Unfortunately, not much is known about Fibro. There has been little research done into it, and they have struggled to find a common cause. It has been suggested that it’s linked to abnormal levels of particular chemicals in the brain and the way that the central nervous system processes pain messages that are carried around the body. The main triggers appear to be mental trauma (e.g. losing a loved one or having an operation), childbirth, and inherited genes. Mine is likely to be a combination of the former and the latter, as my mother also suffers with it.

I was only diagnosed in January this year, after seeing several specialists, having a very minor op for a dislocated jaw and being misdiagnosed a couple of times. They informed me that my record showed symptoms from as far back as Year 7, when I was struggling with back pain, and then from Year 9 onwards, in the forms of recurring costochondritis, headaches, and fatigue. By far my biggest issue, as a lot of Fibromyalgia sufferers find, is the lack of support I receive. Not only is it an invisible illness, but there is rarely any awareness raised for it. I get a lot of “you shouldn’t complain so much”, “it’s all in your head”, and “you’re awfully young to have a condition like that”.

I sometimes feel almost claustrophobic about it all. I rarely talk about it to anyone anymore unless they explicitly ask because I’ve been made to feel like it’s a hassle listening to me. Luckily, I currently work in a pharmacy – so my boss has the pleasure of being the person I confide in. I can only hope that anyone reading this will know to make sure their loved ones are okay and supported, whether they are affected by a condition or not.

Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind.


It’s The Little Things

When Mason asked me to do another blog post, I was more than happy to oblige; but naturally I had to wrack my brains to find a suitable topic. Or at least one I’d actually want to write about. Thankfully, Mason already had a question waiting for me – what makes life worth living? This question is one that has many answers, and the answer you’ll get is completely dependant on the person you ask. I can only answer for me, of course, but my gut instinct was to say the little things are what makes life worth living.

To me, little things are the things that make me happiest. The smell of freshly cut grass and old library books, the taste of my first cup of tea of the day, the feel of fresh bed sheets, the thrill of trying something new, a sweet message from my partner or a friend, a compliment or a smile from a stranger – although all cliches, all give me that little buzz of happiness in my gut. Another cliche answer is love. Whilst this wasn’t my gut-instinct-answer, it’s all too true. Not just the love of a boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband, but the feeling of support and warmth from family and friends. When I’m feeling down, you can guarantee that my other half or my best friends are there for me in a heartbeat. I don’t consider myself to be someone with a lot of friends – but my closest friends are always there to remind me life is worth living.
They say to do one thing every day that scares you. Sometimes, just living can be the scariest thing. But if it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be important. Remind yourself that the little things are what makes life worth living, and you’ll be okay.


The Price of Politics

Hello readers, I’m Emily. I’ve been a friend of Mason’s for about 5 years now. Once I saw my other friend Will post on his blog, I jumped at the chance to get involved.

I consider myself a very political person, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to post about, but I have no blog of my own, and I was reluctant making one just for this. Thank the Lord for Mason.

I reiterate, I consider myself a very political person. I’m very much a left-wing, feminist nerd, if you will. But one thing I always encourage everyone else to do is make their own decisions and do their own research.

I grew up in a Conservative run area, which lead to quite a big pressure to vote for them. This is partially why I am so passionate about people forming their own opinions, as I’m far from considering voting for them now!

I believe that you should not force someone to get involved with politics – doing so may sway their vote towards a party they don’t fully understand. Some believe that women especially should always vote if able due to feminists dying for us to be able to. But they died to give us the same opportunity as men, which is the CHOICE to vote.

Politics is a funny thing, there are no right or wrong answers to it (morally is a different matter). Everyone’s opinions will be different depending on personal experience, how they’ve grown up and the views they’ve gathered from the outside world themselves. Regardless of who you go to, whether they feel they are impartial or not, chances are if they know a lot about politics they will have a biased opinion. And I’m a firm believer that you should decide for yourself your own views.

Someone once told me I would make a good politician – something I was very offended by. Some of you may find that odd being that I introduce myself as a political human being. Here’s why – politicans are professional liars. Some politicans are much more honest than others. But a lot of the time you will find some hide some of their policies (those which the majority would disagree with) whilst speaking publicly. Similarly, asking someone for their political opinion for guidance will be sheltering you from lies from one party and truths from other. Everyone likes to make the party they support seem perfect, and that’s never the case.

Moral of this post? Do your own research. And never tell someone they’d make a good politician!