A Letter To My Younger Self

Close up of a girl smiling on the beach as she brushes hair out of her face

Dear Zara,

Count yourself as blessed, your life is one that is full of love and laughter. I know that there were difficult times when you were not sure how to smile but you will come to understand that with good times also comes difficulty. It’s through that difficulty that life becomes all the more sweet. 

You have never had trouble in making friends but in keeping them. As you grow older you will lose people from your life fast and hard but you need to understand that this is nothing personal. It is a natural part growing up. Your interests have started to change and there is less common ground to cover. In the long run, you will see that this is better than trying to maintain meaningless relationships with people. The loss of your friendship group makes you get involved with people who do not have your best interests at heart but you struggle to see that. Keep faith because you will and forgive yourself for not seeing it sooner. 

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30 Before 30

Person reading a book

After turning 25 this year I’m realising just how quick the years are going by. If you read my last post regarding my life you’ll know that I’ve been feeling a little lost and that I really want to start enjoying each day again and finding things I love. With 5 years in hand before I turn 30 I’ve started to think about things I’d like to achieve before I move into my third decade. So, I decided to knock up a 30 before 30 to help me move out of my comfort zone and fall in love with my life again.

1 | Get my TEFL qualification. I want to start helping some people in my community.

2 | Buy a house. This is a big one but I hope to get a foot on the property ladder and have a home that is my own.

3 | Become fluent in a foreign language. I dabble in languages but would love to become fluent and add a third to my list.

4 | Skydive. Anywhere. Anytime. Lets do this!

5 | Visit 10 new places. I have such a bad case of wanderlust. I have a few ideas of the places I would like to visit over the next couple of years but we will see what happens.

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Life & Times #1 – What Is Life?

Girl smiling in a field on a windy day

I wanted to write honestly and openly about how I’m feeling at the moment. Although blogging seems to be composed of well thought out posts that are structure to hit SEO targets and goals, I originally set this up as a place to share my life – something I haven’t done very much of.

Most of you will know that I am a PhD student in a School of Medicine meaning that a lot of my time has been dedicated to the lab and less so on hobbies. I am fast coming to the end of my time as a student (my submission date is the end of April, with some flexibility) and I can’t help but wonder what is life?

I am grateful for the offer of a scholarship and for being given the opportunity as soon as I finished my BSc but I’m left asking what more is there to life. More often than not now I get caught in a spiral of anxiety and imposter syndrome surrounding my PhD, career and future prospects. When I stop and look at some of my classmates and see them with houses and families, I feel like that is what I should be aiming for next but is it really what I want? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. There’s forever the massive pressure from a lot of people on the aspects of settling down but I’m not sure I want to run with that crowd right now. I feel like those classmates knew it was something they wanted and committed to it – I’m not ready for that commitment

Girl in a field on a windy day with her back to the camera. She is looking over her shoulder, back towards the camera.

Somewhere along the way in the last 4 years I lost myself. I’m not fully sure of who I am anymore or what I enjoy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not on about the career path I’ve chosen, I mean all the other bits that make a person tick. I dread ice breaker style questions that are meant to allow you to get to know someone because I never know what to say. It scares me that I no longer feel like myself.

At the moment my deadline fills me with dread for two reasons; 1) Someone will have to read my thesis and ask me to defend it and 2) what do I do with myself after I’ve submitted? I will suddenly have free time and I have no idea how I will fill it and although I laugh and joke with friends and family about sleeping days away and the return of my appetite I’m terrified that I have essentially forgotten how to live.

Girl in a field on a windy day. She is seen, unfocused, through tall blades of green and yellow grass.

This might seem like a really dramatic post but as it stands this is exactly how I feel. I want to make a commitment to myself to rediscover my hobbies when I have finally submitted and to hopefully feel like myself again – maybe even improve on my old self by trying new things. Until then I’ll attempt small changes (like easing back into blogging) in hopes that the low-level anxiety regarding my identity can be subdued.

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Does A New Year Mean A New Me?

Walking up a snowy path towards the camera

Well, hello there! It’s been a little while. 2017 went in the blink of an eye and now here we are in 2018. For most people a new year heralds a fresh start with good intentions towards change. Whether it’s getting fit and healthy or giving up on a bad habit – a brand new year means a clean slate for a lot of us. But does a new year mean a new me?

I have always struggled with making new years resolutions. I have every intention to stick to them but within the first couple of months in the year I find my willpower waning. And then inevitably I feel like ‘what’s the point?’ However, that being said, it hasn’t stopped me making plans for this year. Here’s a snippet of some of the things I want to achieve this year.

Reaching out and touching snow covered branches of a plant

  • Continue to hit the gym and be happier with my body
  • Finish my PhD
  • Work on my blog and youtube with more consistency
  • Be kinder to myself

This is by no means my full list but a few of the things I have planned. What I need to remind myself is that if any point I slip up and feel like I am coming off track from these resolutions – it doesn’t mean that I’ve failed. We’re allowed to make mistakes. Allowed to get things wrong and forget. Messing up for a day (or even a month in some cases) doesn’t mean I have to give up on the whole thing. It doesn’t tarnish the year or take away from the times that I had managed to work towards these goals.

Walking down a snow lined path away from the camera

2018 is the year I want to see myself change and grow. I’ve been stuck for a few years in the same space and the only person who can change that is me! So if you were to ask me does a new year mean a new me? I would say – well why the hell not? With a little bit of perseverance anything is possible.

Do you think New Year’s resolutions work? What are your resolutions for 2018?

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Who Is She? 20 Facts About Me

20 facts about me

Getting to know Z. Getting to know all about Z! And I hope that tune stays stuck in your head now! Having eased myself back into the world of blogging I felt it would be appropriate to give you a little insight into my life by setting out 20 facts about me. Rather than hang about let’s jump right in!

 

1) I am musical. I sing and play a few different instruments to varying degrees of success. I’m constantly listening to Spotify and if it wasn’t for music I’m not sure how I’d get through life.

2) I recently took up knitting and find it to be a really relaxing activity.

3) I suffer with anxiety. It can get bad enough that I can’t step out of the house. I’m working on it but no two days are the same.

4) Books take up a lot of space in my life. I am known as the girl who usually has a book in her hand and can recommend you an interesting read.

5) When I was younger I wanted to be a bin man or a professional kite flyer.

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