the end

we did it bitches! we survived the year we never thought we would.

(i love u so much Newcastle, i could write a whole essay about why this has been the best fucking place to be a teenager)

I wanted to write all about growth and healing and time but I can't really process it and verbalising such intense emotions is kind of tricky.
I do know I've bloomed in every way. In confidence and self-worth and belief and rationale and adventure and happiness and learned that exercise makes me happy and the value of socialising and the value of time alone and how to make the nicest risotto u have ever eaten and spend a whole day reading and fill my day of fun things and love myself mostly. I look back on the previous 12 months nd see a different person. And that's exactly how I wanted it to be.
I've learned what I want and what I don't, why I feel the way I do and that its okay, that time heals everything, that my mum is the best, that the bad days roll on and eventually they disappear, that sad insta quotes see u through, that music is good and social media is (mostly) bad,  that writing saved my brain, that nights out in Newc will forever be the best, that I finally found happiness and that earning money and spending it has been a fucking good feeling.

But, growth is also a linear process.
so here are some things I want to learn:
how to hold eye contact
accept rejection, learn that people have the right to say no nd I'm not stupid for asking
return to education with a pma and all the lessons I've learned from this year about life just being fun
fear of heartbreak isn't a reason to avoid it
be more tolerant and less judgemental about the small things
bad foods r ok (slowly getting there with this one yey)
how to challenge the bad things people say rather than being too scared
how to be forward with what I want
letting people finish what they're saying before interrupting (because I've noticed this one is v annoying)
accept that sometimes a crush is enough and enjoy the emotions (influenced by this)
have the ability to watch more than one tv show at once and keep up with the plots
be more emotional and open and tell people how i feel
be more patient, with people, with ideas, with life

And now I am confronted with a long to do list and not many hours to do it in. Lmao, classic. I've finished work (which was a lot sadder than it felt it was going to be 5 months ago, i'll miss the cute kids and the gossip and being in control lol nd in hindsight it was actually really fun) nd volunteering (which had the most elaborate farewell eva) and flute and clubbing and driving my lil car and everything is drawing to a close. Its time, but its scary.

So yeah. thanks to you for sticking around, for listening to the whining and existentialism, for the reassurance. Peace!


"When was a time you were most happy?"
"This summer. Now. These past few months. All of it"

I have been living in the most golden euphoria. In love with my city, my life, my friends, myself (for the most part) nd just living in an ethereal bubble.
Everyone deserves to feel happy nd at peace; obviously there's the yin and the yang and you've gotta have the bad to feel the good blah blah but I think I was pretty fucking ready for my yang.

It has been a ceaseless blur of nights out and days at work and a constant go and busy-ness and so many plans and adventures and trips and I have adored spending nights with my friends and knowing they are there for good and have laughed and reminisced and spent it all either drunk, hungover, at work or in the sun. What a lit way to spend your days. I've hardly slept and definitely haven't stopped but idk, its been sick. And I now have 2 weeks to focus on everything that was neglected, re-centre, sleep and prepare.

best bits:
listening to getting curious in my hungover naps
spending (pretty much) every single wage in the same bar (visited >4x per week lmao)
lying on a scottish beach with my fam in the beating sun
golden light on my wall
walking home too late nd hearing the birds singing nd the sun coming up and realising you're fucked
a night out that will never be forgotten
brunch the next day nd evie on my doorstep at 7am
eating pasta in Buda with my babes
the flight home from Buda (messy)
breakfast with my brother and sister
breakfast with my bffs who agreed to meet at 8am so we could see each other
a weird date and the messy entangled-ness that ensued but also the fun
corsican sun and corsican food and corsican mountains
reading in the sun
eating bread in the sun
sleeping in the sun, especially on the beach
floating in the sea
breaking my self-enforced drinking ban to watch the world cup nd drink beer on holiday
moroccan sun
moroccan palais
siestas by the pool
flying over africa with a sick view and realising how much I've grown
meeting my pals in the pub straight off the train, suitcase in hand, nd their excitement
seeing mamma mia 2 (for free)
a night of a problematic free tequila shot nd sunday nights in our fave bar
discovering the best club in newc (msa for anyone who's wondering)
walking along the quayside hungover nd crying at how much i love my city
a day in edinburgh
a sole walk on the beach
an eve watching shrek and eating takeaways
sitting on the street at 4am chatting shit
cooking pasta with libby and drinking too much gin
exploring nottinghill with dalal
driving nd freedom
seeing an old friend nd feeling happy that she'll be in Oxford to cure my loneliness
running in the evening sun
a day spent in the rain in scotland playing games and eating and not much else
drinking wine in Paris
eating picnics in Paris in the sun and reading
walking along the seine at 3am
monet's waterlilies
finally deciding how i like my coffee (soya cappuccino)
eating mexican food with a friend i haven't seen in years and catching up on the lost time
drinking trebles with my babes 1 last time then dancing to disco until the sun came up
guilty feminist nd the feeling of total safety and warmth and activism that surrounds the audience of that podcast (if u ever wanna feel good about society/need a safe space, go to a live show)

It has been the best. summer. ever.
I feel so lucky because its been so mint but I also worked so hard to make it like that so I guess you reap what you sow???
The nights are dark and cold and its scary but I think I have enough warmth and love from these months of joy to see me through. And when its lonely or its too much or I am returning to the sadistic ways of my previous academic self, I shall return to Jardin du Luxembourg, in the sun, or the Moroccan poolside, or a room full of my best pals and trebles, or my bed with my cat and peace, and remember there is so much more to life than it seems.

What were the best parts of your summer???

If you want more in-depth accounts of my summer adventures (because who wouldn't?!!?) check out this, this and this. Oh, and this.

musings #5

As I write this I am sitting in the library, surrounded by literature of the Reformation, attempting to rekindle my studious streak, after a year of getting drunk and reading trashy chick lit.
I've decided I like libraries, their calm sense of focus. Maybe I am looking forward to the resumption of education.

"remember to be tender"

Life is strange, I suppose when is it not.

"collecting tiny moments of joy to help confront the chaos"

I'm feeling a lot of things, primarily an overwhelming sense of emotional tenderness. Not sadness, just emotions. An episode of Rebelliously Tiny taught me about emotion and openness and how its okay if your innate response is to cry if you walk along the river and are hit by a love for your city, or if you are lying in bed tired from a lack of sleep, or if you hear a song that reminds you of a happy day. So I am attempting to embrace this tenderness, allow it to empower me not terrify me. I watched Sierra Burgess is a Loser and felt sad that my life will never replicate a teen coming-of-age movie and probably need to spend a bit more time telling myself I love myself in the mirror. Because, as What a Time to Be Aone taught me, no one else is going to do it if I can't. Expectation is haunting, and I think much of my expectation is unrealistic. I need to learn to let it be, but this is all part of the self discovery. I have had a euphoric summer (didnt I say?) and have had the happiest months of my life ever (so much more to come on this) and now I've just got to confront the reality that life is going to change. And its a good change and its exciting, but its scary. And that's okay.

"tender hearts work hard"

What else.
I got my hair cut to establish a new self to confront this new dimension, I am unable to picture this new self which is distressing for a brain that seeks to find reason and justification in everything. I've been on some hilarious nights out that have rolled into one mass of drunken memories and have been enjoying work. I've eaten too much cereal, not done enough exercise, spent too much money, laughed until my stomach ached and napped a lot. I am refusing to admit my emotions about university (a blur of imposter syndrome, fear about friends, fear about food, fear about enjoyment, fear about mental health, excitement for new people, excitement for new experiences, excitement for education, excitement for sitting in libraries drinking coffee, excitement for independence) and repeatedly tell anyone who asks that I "haven't really thought about it yet".

"moving forward with uncertainty and enthusiasm"

But really, I'm just rolling with the chaos of life. Understanding that euphoria and fear, peace and sadness, excitement and overwhelm, can exist mutually.
That emotions are dimensional, that I am too.

For all of you who are too moving on a new chapter, its scary and its overwhelming and the unknown is daunting. But its growth and its movement and, as this Rookie quote reminded me:
"sometimes pushing yourself leads you to discover a whole new dimension to the world; other times it just adds another item to the list of supposedly fun things you'll never do again. But the thing is, there's no way to predict the result of any leap of faith until you take it".
We are brave and we can tackle this adventure.


Its a remarkably autumnal September morning. The date marks things I don't want to happen (return to work for the final month, September in general, uni) and I'm lying in bed, surrounded by stress-inducing mess, refusing to move until 10:30 and the manic rush to make it to work in time.
I'm dreaming of the past, the 2 weeks of holiday I jam packed with a trip to London, a visit to my grandparents, a weekend in Scotland and a paradisiacal adventure to Paris. The latter induces the strongest longing.

The trip was symbolic; Libby was my gap year g (despite living 300 miles away) nd it was a homage to our experiences and adventures and the challenge and growth of our years out. We were celebrating surviving and conquering some of our most testing days, and where better to do it in my favourite city in the golden sun of late summer, drinking wine and slipping into a faux Parisian life.

It was fucking magical, as though it exists in an ethereal paradise, to which my memories don't belong.
Our weekend was filled with minimal sleep and trains and croissants and coffee and pasta and reading in the sun and picnics in stunning spots and endless photo taking and walking and metro trips and laughing and wine drinking and relishing in the peace of Monet's water lilies and the beauty of Paris and hours sitting on the banks of the Seine in golden hour and indecisive coffee traipses and trying to recreate the most cliched Parisian stereotypes (see: stripes, skinny cigs, red, white & blue) vulnerable and intimate conversations (s/o to Libby for encouraging me to do dis)
and speaking broken French and outfit crises and ice cream eating and feeling very, very happy.

Some of my most treasured memories include:
drinking in our apartment, feeling at ease to be totally emotionally vulnerable and wishing time could stop
opening the shutters to see the morning sun and hear the shouts of Paris waking
our picnic in Garden de tuillieres
walking through the streets of Paris at 3am
our meal on the final night, feeling suave and pretending we could actually afford to eat there lmao
reading with wine in hand and the sun on our faces
the eurostar there, excited nd consuming good-ass snacks

I love Paris and this trip reinforced my adoration. It is undeniably stylish and sophisticated and I could stare at the architecture and walk along the banks of the river and explore the parks endlessly. My next dream is to study at the Sorbonne and I refuse to admit its unrealism. I will. One day.

I owe this girl a lot of thanks nd love for saving my gap year, soothing my loneliness, spending hours existentialising with me and just being the best. And I also owe a lot of thanks and madness to blogging nd this site nd the internet which has given me literal friends for life and provided mad opportunities and just given me somewhere to escape when its is all too much.