The Year of Gain

Hey gals,
happy weekend.

I hope you’re doing alright, I think we’re all quite shocked at the news this week covering the death of Sarah Everard 😢 It’s so horrific and terribly upsetting to all who knew and loved her.
But also to young women up and down the country. It gives me goose bumps every time Sarah comes to the forefront of my mind this week (which is a lot) as it could have been any of us. We all walk home alone in the dark when just commuting daily (in normal circumstances). I saw an Instagram post this week that went viral that basically said every single woman you know has been scared – has double backed on herself. Has pretended to dawdle by a shop window. Has held her keys tight in her hand. Has made a fake phone call. Has rounded a corner and ran. EVERY SINGLE WOMAN YOU KNOW. That is not okay.
I was talking about it with my family one night this week and it made me realise the countless of times I have done all of the above and more. Several times I have been been obviously felt up on the tube in London. There was one time that I was leaning against the doors of the tube and it was pretty crowded. When the doors opened up at the next platform, people shuffling in and out, this man ended up facing me. Next minute he puts both his hands up against the doors, his arms blocking either side of me (totally unnecessarily), I felt completely trapped and claustrophobic (and I’m used to a packed tube). He’s edging closer and closer to me to the point I can feel his hot breath on my face and his legs touching my legs. It was awful but I didn’t say anything. Why didn’t I say anything! I just stayed like that until the next platform and pushed my way out of the train. This was just on my way to work.
Nobody noticed what was happening of course, we’re all wrapped up in our own lives, our phones and I’m just the same. But if we spoke up more, reported it more, noticed what was happening around us more then maybe we can save others in the future ❤️
My heart goes out to all of Sarah’s friends & family and anyone else who’s ever gone through or going through something similar.

I feel like we all needed a bit of a positive boost this week and with the weeks still dragging on without anything particularly new and exciting going on, I thought I’d write about this past year as we get closer to the ‘anniversary’ of lockdown no.1 (sorry to remind you).

This picture was taken 28th March 2020, just a few days into lockdown. Little did we know back then blah blah blah (you’ve heard it before). But I’ve been thinking recently about a post or a video I saw on social media. A young woman in her 20s was talking about how she feels like she’s lost a year of her life, a year of her 20s that she’s never going to get back and she feels anger. Your 20s is meant to be when you have adventures right?
I totally understand where she’s coming from, I completely get it. But I also think it depends which way you choose to look at it. In our minds we can control how we look at something; in a positive or negative way. Obviously we can’t control how we naturally feel but consciously we can choose to look at the past year of halt in a positive way.

When this picture was taken, I was enjoying being at home. I was enjoying the freedom of whether to dress up (or just get dressed at all) or spend the day in pyjamas (nobody will notice on Zoom right?). I was enjoying my clothes and my possessions, so many things that give me joy, now more than ever.

It doesn’t mean to say this year has been easy at all. People have lost loved ones, lost jobs, lost livelihoods, perhaps feel like they’ve lost a part of themselves in a way with how all our lives have been restricted.

So if you need a positive boost right now, maybe my list of things I’ve GAINED this past year will help. Maybe it will make you think about what you have gained? I’d love to know!

I haven’t learnt a language, baked banana bread or picked up any new hobby really. What I have done and what I have gained is…

1. A new perspective on what is important to me. I have come to appreciate and value my friends and family in a whole new light. Things I’ve taken for granted before I vow to never take for granted again. It’s true that we’ve slowed down and that means we’ve taken in our surroundings more.

2. Focused on my running which I love more than ever and has kept me sane in lockdown. That’s not to say I’ve not had the odd week off. I actually haven’t exercised at all this week as I’ve just felt too tired. But I will get back on it next week.

3. Spent more time writing on my blog and creating content on Instagram; using it as a tool to express my creativity. It has also kept me very sane during this past year. Even if no one reads this (I know you are and thank you 💖) it gives me a sense of routine and a way to put my thoughts and any worries onto a page.

4. I have read more books in a year than I ever have before and spent time reading magazines, online articles, blog posts etc, continuously educating myself to different cultures, different lives, different struggles, different opinions.

5. Looked after myself more, taking the time to learn more about how to look after my skin and taking the time to apply skincare.

6. I have saved money for the first time ever. This might not apply to you and that’s okay too, money has been a difficult one for so many people and everybody’s situation is different.

7. Spent time in Norfolk where I’m from, the most time I’ve spent since I left at age 18 to move to London.

When life does return to normal I’d like to think I will appreciate so much more the things that were taken away from us. Dinners out at a restaurant, drinks with friends, picnics in the park, even just commuting to work in a way.

I hope you’re doing okay girls, coping in lockdown and trying to stay positive.

Lots of love and STAY SAFE OUT THERE xxxx

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