Under The Influence

Living your youth in this generation can be daunting to say the least. In a world full of filters and Influencers, it can often be hard to let ourselves be our own influence. I will even admit myself how daunting it can be, and this is coming from a woman who is trying to break into this world of social media influence. I am always looking for new ways to get my writing out to an audience and often get overwhelmed by the time and emotional strain that goes into this. Sometimes I just have to take a moment to have a breather and remind myself that the majority of things staring back at me on that screen are false. Honestly, as deep as this sounds, I have recently realised that I have been trying to fit into a world that I don’t really fit into at all. In fact, trying to show the most confident, perfect side of myself to the world is an exhausting mind game. I feel few people address this toxic issue to the people who keep up with them all the time, so I wanted to. As a completely ordinary woman, I want to talk to other ordinary women about the sugar (filter and photoshop) coated ordinary women.

To be quite honest, people’s social media followings are growing at the same rate as their lips and I just cannot keep up with it. I think teenage girls nowadays deserve an applause for being themselves. They are caught up in a world where you are expected to have the highest points of your face popping with a completely unnatural glow, cheekbones chiseled like a renaissance sculpture and you will always think your eyebrows have to be drawn on at a perfect angle. Don’t even get me started on the waist line, the real struggle to squeeze into your skinny jeans in the morning is something that is often brushed under the carpet, or under the Gucci belt (or for us normal folk, the €4 Penneys equivalent because I jumped on that basic bandwagon too!)

As if your teenage years aren’t hard enough already – They are the years for making and losing friends, following and starting trends and let’s not forget that dreaded time period of first moments that have been hyped up to be like something in The Notebook when in reality you can’t believe that was what all the fuss was about. Today’s young women will be waiting for Mr. Insta Perfect to land on their doorstep without realising he doesn’t exist. Just because someone’s relationship fits perfectly into a certain theme, it doesn’t mean the reality is like that.

I tried the Insta-relationship, and although the pictures were cute and all seemed well on the outside, on the inside it didn’t click. I lost myself trying to find him when he should have been there already. To everyone else it was the perfect pair, but there was an invisible wall between us and eventually I had to stop trying to climb over it. This man was fooled by the falseness of his screen and the woman I am never looked like any of the models he followed. I couldn’t bring filters into bed, I never woke up airbrushed or with my teeth whitened, and the only six pack I possessed was when the Cheese and Onion Walkers were on offer in Tesco. Remember, a boyfriend isn’t just for Instagram! So I let him go, making room in my life for the man who doesn’t need to edit parts of me so I fit into his world or his heart. Also, I had to go on a hunt for my self-confidence again because sadly, perhaps unknowingly, he ran off with it.

Look, this may be a controversial thing to hear in our generation but honestly, as much as I love it, social media drains the life out of me. This caught in the moment photo business should really be called “My mate was caught in the moment because I had her down on her hands and knees snapping photos of me staring at the ground or laughing at my coffee cup for a good hour.” Trust me, I’ve seen it, and I can promise you the cappuccino wasn’t that good at telling knock-knock jokes.

I know you feel like you should fit into a certain ideal but being honest gals, the reason you don’t look like these beautiful women is because they don’t even look like these beautiful women. And no, this is not me criticising other women, this is me telling women who don’t look a certain way that they don’t need to. For example, why are we praising naturally stunning women for posting the rare makeup-free photos? Don’t get me wrong, I know many of us have our insecurities but has this become such a strange phenomenon that every woman spotted without an added layer on her face deserves some sort of goodie bag? If so, I’m owed four from this week alone, an extra one for sporting a puffy eye and and an extra two for the spot I didn’t notice had grown into a volcano on the verge of eruption on the end of my nose until I got home.

Filters, editing and angles have become far too easy to master, and yet our nation’s future of women are expected to believe these are the results of the latest foundation on the market. Save your money, or spend it on the cheaper dupes, because no price tag on a foundation bottle can turn you into the images that are currently flooding your Instagram feed.

I recently spoke with a young woman who is a few years younger than me. As we both scrolled through our phones we shared our thoughts on social media and how it affects us. Overall, I realised it was having an influence, but unfortunately a rather negative one. We scrolled past a false idea of perfection many times and watched the amount of likes on pictures of people we had never met raise into the thousands. Even when my own Instagram came into question, an account with hardly any followers in comparison to others, I was faced with the saddening comment “Your life looks amazing, it looks like you go out all the time!” And while some people may like hearing that their life is portrayed as perfect, it hit me in another way. I had a sickening feeling in my stomach because my Instagram is not my entire life. I do not go out all the time nor do I have a particularly spectacular life. I have spent every evening over the past three weeks watching I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and I had a vomiting bug on Monday. I have days where I feel extremely down and have spent a portion of this year trying to mend a masked broken heart all by myself.

I have spoken to many friends of my mum and listened to the alarming negative influence this Insta-world is having on their children. Too many people are feeling pressured by society to portray perfection and reach over 100 likes to keep up this false front. Embarrassing teenage pictures no longer exist because the teenagers of today are keeping up with Insta-trends by the second. We are quickly losing our youth to a world that isn’t even real.

I am not saying I hate social media or dislike following people, in fact I absolutely love it, but sometimes that’s the problem. Quite often we can become so absorbed in the lives of other people, that we can forget we have our own paths to follow. Yes, while there are negatives, of course there are also positives when you find people who inspire and motivate you and I think this can be important too as long as it is something healthy for your mind to strive for. This post is not meant to be a rant, in fact it is just a small reminder to the people who can’t see behind the scenes that everything is not all it seems. Our world is becoming an increasingly weird one. So, so weird. Society has changed massively. A few years ago none of this online influence was around, so why is it having such a major impact on people’s minds?

I think it’s absolutely okay to look at yourself in the mirror and love the person staring back at you, even if you sometimes feel she could be smaller, or taller or less pale, that is completely normal, you’re human, of course you will have your own insecurities. And it’s okay to be unable to afford trips to the Maldives every six months, and if you haven’t found the love of your life yet, it doesn’t mean he’s not out there. And no, despite popular belief, photoshopping birds into your pictures isn’t a requirement. It’s really okay to take a step back from everyone else’s picture perfect lives to nurture your own. You can’t have great lighting on every single part of your life all the time. They have the bad days, the bad breath and the bad breakups too, they just choose not to highlight it.

Your worth is not measured by followers, photoshop skills, a consistent Instagram feed or your amount of visits to a luxurious Greek Island. Are we all just under the influence? Is this addiction really healthy? You only have one life, are you really prepared to waste it by comparing it to false lives you’re watching through a screen?

 

For You And I

As 2018 has now arrived and everyone is thinking about New Year’s Resolutions, I was also thinking about my own. My plan for the new year is quite simple: To focus on myself. Not in a selfish way of course, but I mean mentally and emotionally I plan on devoting TLC to myself because, well, I deserve it. Today, January 6th, is Nollaig na mBan, a traditional rest day for women. I decided this was the perfect day to write my first blog post of 2018, focusing on myself and all of the wonder women in my life.

Upon reflection of a recent lunch date with a few of my best friends, something has struck me. Four women laughed together, four women who are completely different. Different appearances, different interests, different backgrounds, different stories and different things to offer the world, while all equally important. We all decided on different things on the menu and then proceeded to catch up on our different lives. Perhaps I’m bias here but I must say, what an amazing table that was to be sitting around.

Last year wasn’t my best year to date. It was high and it was low, but overall I don’t think I’ll miss too many aspects of it. However, despite the lows, I made it to the other side and am probably unknowingly stronger because of it. I also spent that year with some amazing women, and truth be known, without that support it would have definitely been harder to strut into this year ready to fight my own dragons. This year, women across Ireland and the world need to come together to celebrate and push. To celebrate 100 years of getting the right to vote and to push for our own choice when it comes to our bodies. 1918 was the year we came together to vote, and hopefully 2018 will be the year we come together to Repeal the 8th.

I guess the ‘My body, my choice’ statement has contributed to my New Year’s Resolution. You and I should hold the power of who we choose to let in and have control over us physically and emotionally. And while 2017 was a struggle emotionally, I can only learn and grow from this in 2018. As a woman in 2018 you should absolutely have the right to focus on yourself. Know yourself, grow yourself and empower yourself. Be brave enough to be both a ‘yes’ woman and a ‘no’ woman and if you find yourself getting a little lost along the way, your table of supporters aren’t far off.

I have an overwhelming gut feeling that 2018 is going to be a wonderful year. I have dreams, I have plans, I have fear and I have courage. The woman I admire most is myself. That is not vanity, that is self-belief.

If you can’t find change, create it. Oh, and don’t forget to take the occasional tea break along the way. Let’s face it though, we got this.

To 2018 and the women living the adventure with us xx

Christmas Wishes

As a blogger, I could sit here and tell you what to get your boyfriend for Christmas or tell you how to hydrate your skin during the cold weather, but the truth is, there are many other things that I would rather tell you about in the run up to Christmas. For many people Christmas is a magical time, of course it is, look at the decorations, the lights, hear the music, feel the excitement. However, Christmas can also be a very hard time. The truth is, the majority of people probably have a tiny part of them that is dreading Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas. It is the most beautiful time of the year and I could give Mariah Carey a run for her money that’s for sure, but it can also awaken the feeling of grief and burn holes in pockets that may have been empty to begin with anyway. There is an undeniable beauty surrounding the Christmas period though. It is completely selfless, it is basically a whole month you dedicate to others and for many people it is their favourite time of the year. Christmas brings people back together and causes memories to come flooding back. Christmas really is magical at every age, whether you’re reminiscing with the ghost of Christmas past or focusing  simply on the Christmas present.

Every Christmas Eve my family visit an elderly person who lives alone, and every single year I leave that house with a heart that is always somehow split in two and brought to life all at once. The tin of roses, bottle of baileys and annual chat may fill a void for them, but it sure creates one in me. We all take the little things for granted – watching a movie together on Christmas Eve, a family of stockings hanging in a row, the usual family argument when it is time to decorate the Christmas tree and the simple fact that every room in the house is lit up. As cheesy as it sounds, Christmas is Christmas because of the love surrounding you. The flickering lights wouldn’t add half as much warmth to an empty room. Christmas is about family and to be honest I think in this case family can mean anyone close to you, a neighbour you barely know or an acquaintance that has been going through some hard times. Christmas cheer is the most contagious thing we know and there shouldn’t ever be a limit on where we spread it to.

To be honest, some people may have Christmas spirit running through their veins, but it is the financial aspect that they are struggling with. As expensive gadgets, designer handbags and €40 candles are all the rage, I firmly believe that there is nothing that a good selection box won’t solve. I have spent the two weeks leading up to Christmas in Cork City and when I went home last weekend my festive cheer had slightly disappeared. I actually cried when I thought about the amount of people living on the streets in the middle of that concrete jungle. I cried with sadness, rage and helplessness. I made up some Christmas packages and handed them out to some of the homeless people that I saw around the city, and even though it may have helped them, I climbed into my bed that night and I noticed that it lacked warmth. I saw a man who must have only been several years older than me and the moment his face lit up when he realised I had attached a Christmas card to the present was the moment my heart bled some more. At some point we were both innocent children, but unfortunately one of us got a little lost along the way. That could be me tomorrow so I will never judge a wandering soul.

The sensitive side of me cried for these people while the strong woman I am wanted to fight for them. I may not be able to give every person a home, or even a selection box and some fluffy socks, but I am most definitely not powerless. I think sometimes baby steps may be strong enough to help someone through today. I think a voice and a genuine heart are two ingredients of hope, and if we all use these parts of ourselves then hope becomes a miracle. Becoming immune to the problem only heightens it, and the combining of little steps can effectively change the world.

Today it is not only humans that are on my mind, but suffering animals. Some of these animals are horses very near to my home town and heartbreaking images of these poor creatures being treated horribly flooded my social media timelines. If there was ever a time to believe in the power of prayers, it is now. These prayers need to be used for the rest of the animals who are just about surviving, and we need to give these creatures a voice because ours are much stronger. This Christmas I am just wondering to myself – Why is it so difficult for everybody to love the same way? Isn’t the ability to love and care such a basic skill everybody should possess?

Sadly, for some people, Christmas can be the arrival of the cold on the inside as well as the outside. The Grinch had it spot on. I think any Christmas movie or song has the same message and no matter how many material items are flying down the chimney, Christmas is nothing without those people. Those special people who may be particularly skilled at making mince pies or are quick to duet Fairytale of New York with you. For some lucky people out there, it really is as simple as picking up the phone, but for those of you who feel you are missing a particularly special person this year, make sure you say hello to the little robin perched outside of your window because they’re probably a lot closer than you think.

Just remember that Christmas is a magical time as long as you create the magic. With how busy they are at this time of the year, Santa and his elves can only do so much!

Merry Christmas everybody and wishing you all a happy and healthy 2018! xx

The Beauty Of Inspiration

A few days ago, on a normal Friday, I found myself talking about the simple importance of inspiration. “Inspiration is a big word, tell me more about that” said the man who was leading this discussion. He was right, it is a big word. In fact, it is so big that it takes up a huge portion of our lives. As I am writing this in my home, a rural cottage surrounded by silence bar the noise of the roaring fire and a snoring Shih Tzu, inspiration is everywhere. It is in photos – The smiling graduation photo of my sister, the photos of both my Grandfathers (one of whom I never met so imagining what he was like constantly feeds my imagination, and my other Grandad who’s mop of white hair I can still see over the top of the newspaper as he peers over at me with his oversized reading glasses while sipping his mug of tea) and simply, inspiration is in the Halloween pictures on the wall when I was nothing more than three foot tall, a witches hat, a Plasticine nose and limitless dreams.

Wrapped up in my dad’s cosy cream jumper it is hard to believe that he is usually the one who encourages me to buy the bright yellow boots in shop windows or tells me which 80s icon my outfit resembles today. Right now though, my outfit is completed by a pair of Disney pyjama bottoms, something I have adored ever since I was a little girl – it may just be make believe to most people but to me it was my mum’s way of showing me that if I dream enough I can transform from normal girl to Princess and years later it is giving me the belief that Prince Charming is out there. I was raised by one after all so they can’t all be just fairytale characters.

Inspiration is important to me, my mind and my soul. From the sentimental writing of Taylor Swift to my brother’s love of fitness and dedication to the gym (Ok so maybe I’m still working on that one!) I think everyone would like to know they’re inspiring people, and while you may not think you’re inspiring masses of people, maybe you have inspired just one. One person who now holds the key to inspire more people. Or maybe you have inspired many and they haven’t expressed it. When I started thinking about it, I realised that every person, place or thing you know holds the power to inspire. If it wasn’t for beautiful architecture, different food or the impact of nature, why would we have the desire to travel? If nobody ever did anything wonderful, daring or completely terrifying then how would we know we want to try it?

Inspiration is one of the most underrated things in the world because it isn’t even taken from everything positive. Sometimes you can take a negative situation and inspire yourself. A bad day may inspire you to dream bigger for tomorrow and a heartbreak makes you realise you never want to feel that way again because you deserve greater things than the soul destroying feeling that you’re not good enough. Maybe today the only person you need to inspire is the voice inside of you. And funnily enough, I have just realised that one person and one discussion inspired me to write out all of these feelings and share them with others.

Everything we know is inspiring someone in some way. Fashion, films, music, media, politics, landscapes, the size of my jeans, the style of my hair, my love interests and my moods are all symbols that the world is constantly changing and motivating one person to change their own life. Inspiration is huge and if you can’t recognise any of that outside of yourself then look inside of yourself because I can assure you that you will discover an entire library of minor characters and major, sometimes rocky, stepping stones that all came together to give you the heart and mindset you possess today.

At the end of the day, it is both our right and our responsibility to inspire, so go and do just that because even though it is everywhere, and at times scary, I think the world needs more of it.

10 Things I Find Scarier Than Halloween

1) My bank balance – Ah, when you think you have notes to throw at peasants but in fact you are the proud owner of €4.52.

2) The alarming rate my jeans shrink at when I spend that €4.52 on sausage rolls. 

3) “Opened 2 minutes ago” It’s gone past the minute mark, there is no way he is going to reply now. No matter how good the lighting was, how much makeup you have on or if your cleavage was pushed up to your eyeballs, it’s time to inform the bridesmaids and cancel the wedding. No looking back.

4) Seeing my ex on a night out after I’ve had a full bottle of prosecco to myself. A Halloween costume in itself to be honest.

5) Wearing spanx on a night out. Okay so my organs are all being squashed and I’m pretty sure my tummy blubber has nowhere to go but up to my 45 chins, but this is completely fine.

6) Life as an adult. Look, I refuse to ring the doctor or the dentist. I’ll just let this toothache take me and if this is how I go so be it, nice knowing you all xx

7) That time I voluntarily let some fella pierce my nipple.

8) Trying to be sexy in a bodysuit. “Sorry, it’s a bodysuit, let me just open that there. Sorry, hang on a second, sorry.” *falls off bed and ghosted into oblivion*

9) When you’ve been texting him again and your friends find out. He’s changed gals, promise. You know what they say, 746th time lucky.

10) Tinder. I constantly feel like Jane arriving in the jungle and have yet to find Tarzan.

My 24 Hours Without The Kettle

I woke up at 8:25am on a much anticipated Monday morning. I stayed in bed listening to the start of the howling wind until the words “Feeeee, tea!” made my body get up and hurry down the stairs, similarly to a child on Christmas morning. I sipped away like I would any other day and stared out of the window at the darkening skies and swaying trees. As I took my final sip, and this was actually final, unlike many others I always finish every bit of my cup of tea, even the last drop. So, as I took this final sip I placed the mug on the tea-stained coffee table and kept on living as normal – Snapping friends, arguing with my brother, communicating with my cats through the window, etc. However, as the clock struck 9:30 (ish, the details are all a blur) and the glow of the lamp beside me fell into darkness, it suddenly hit me – The power had gone. Storm Ophelia hadn’t even fully arrived yet and she had already taken the power… my power. “What now?” I pondered as my wifi disappeared and my 3G failed to load. “Oh, yes! I’ll make a cup of tea.” I decided, but it was not that simple.

I then spotted my dad braving the walk from the kitchen to sitting room, carrying a pot over to the fire. At this point I realised that this was our kettle for the day. And you know how they say a watched pot never boils, well the creators of that saying had a bloody valid point. As everyone became engrossed by the sheer power and beauty of mother nature, I watched this pot and the raging flames beneath it. Wrapped up in a blanket, I stayed on the couch snuggled up like a human sausage roll and waited. The teapot was becoming more and more lonely on the coffee table. I lifted the lid, all that remained at the bottom of the teapot was a trickle of warm water from an hour ago and two used teabags. Nothing else was going through my mind, I no longer cared about the lack of phone service or the lack of light in the room, I just needed a fresh, easily made cuppa. Was this addiction?

After three pathetic (great effort though) cups of tea, by 8:30 that evening I had my hat and coat on, ready to brave the remainder of the howling winds and head into my dad’s workplace. Did I bring my phone charger? No, the only thing in my arms was a flask which I was protecting with every maternal instinct within me. Our neighbours were also without power, so my dad’s shop was our only salvation. After the 15 minute journey, I prayed to every saint, god and deceased pet that the power would be on here. When the lights worked I made my way towards the kitchen area and I stared at the kettle for a moment. How beautiful it looked, so curvy and inviting, offering a warmth for all. The boiling sound increased and filled my ears like a beautiful melody composed by one of the greats. As the water poured into the flask, the steam rose and my imagination brought it to life, making it seem to grow into blissful shapes and pictures – Biscuits, doughnuts, puppies, Zac Efron topless, you name it.

On arrival home I realised that every cup of tea that day had a strange taste to it. It did not sit as well with me as tea usually does, but it had to do. It was the usual no sugars, bit of milk and nice chunky mug, but something was different. This tea was not made with tender loving care, it was made out of necessity, the desire to feed the addiction. I went to bed at 10:30 that night, allowing my thoughts to fall out of craving and into a blissful slumber.

The next morning I got dressed in darkness with a dead iPhone beside me. As 9:15 arrived and a lamp began to flicker, something inside of me also flickered. I think this flickering was hope. Hope kept me going through my 24 hours without the kettle, and as the lamp turned on for good, I ran out onto the landing, my ears expanding to hear the sound that I knew was coming – The boiling, the beautiful boiling. I smiled to myself and continued getting ready. When I was a little bit more glam and ready to go, I made my way downstairs, and even though my phone was still dead, the fire unlit and there was a slight chill in the air, the four cups of tea in a row on the coffee table seemed to put everything back together again, as if Ophelia had never come near the Fox household. I know this storm changed me and I can’t explain how, but all I know is this house had once again become a home and four mugs awoke four souls. Oh, I also found out that a watched pot NEVER boils so don’t even try making eggs on the fireplace mid mini hurricane!

The Unexpected Darkening Of My Brightest Days

This is my third attempt at writing this blog post. I have never been afraid to write a post for my blog, until now, and even at that I don’t know if this will even get posted. However, when I discovered that today is World Mental Health Day I felt it was important to share my story because I believe every story, no matter how big or small, is an important story… So here goes.

I guess I don’t know when it all started, I just woke up one morning and realised this lingering sadness wasn’t going away. I rolled over and checked my phone hoping no one had contacted me. They had. I put it back onto my bedside table and pulled the quilt back in towards me. I stared at the ceiling, weighed down by the unfamiliar feeling in my heart. Was it sadness? Numbness? Was I empty? As familiar tears rolled gently down my cheeks, I heard footsteps and prayed they weren’t walking towards my bedroom door. I wiped away the tears, but there was nothing gentle about that. The door sprung open, my mum throwing her hair back into a ponytail – “What’s wrong?” she asked. “I just feel sad all the time.” I mumbled through blubbers. This was the only way I could describe it – the pains in my chest, the love for my bed and the frenzied thoughts in my mind – I just felt sad. There was nothing dramatic about it. There was no major cause or occurrence. I just felt sad. I still feel sad as I am writing this in the same place I was that morning – my bed, my safe haven.

In general I am a very social and sensitive person. I love getting involved in conversations, I am always open about my emotions and I am never afraid to cry. Recent times were different though, I would wait until late at night when I was alone to cry because I didn’t want to worry my family or burden my friends, and the thoughts of social media made me feel anxious. I became unmotivated and lost that zest for life. I wanted to be alone, I wanted to go unnoticed for a few days, maybe even weeks, in order to come back to a world that felt enjoyable for me to be in again. Eventually I did cry, I cried on an average Wednesday in a room full of people. I didn’t want to cry in this setting but it was something I had no control over. I then went home and cried some more, and I have been crying ever since.

 I feel sad, I feel lost and I feel confused. Very confused. I felt my identity drift away as my confidence and happiness did. Even coming back to my blog now, I feel guilty. I feel guilty for the absence I needed to take. In my head my wisest words are covered with dust and my smiley pictures are a little blurry. While I want all my dreams to come true, I want to pause life for a while. As my plans and to-do-list built up, I became overwhelmed and everything else shut down. I cannot explain how or why but for some reason I feel negativity fall on me every day.

This feeling is new to me and pretty scary. Although I have always been an anxious soul, not being able to lift myself out of this gloomy phase makes me feel powerless… I used to be able to throw on some music and a nice outfit and instantly feel lifted.  I worry about life, I worry about myself and then I worry about every other thing I have absolutely no reason to worry about. I have always been a worrier, but right now I really need myself to be a warrior.

I have no explanation or cause for this feeling, and the thoughts of sharing this story scares me even though it is minor in comparison to the stories of many others. It scares me because I feel alone, it scares me that other people may not understand it and think I am strange or making it up. My only explanation is that lately I go through periods where I just feel overwhelmingly sad. However, there was something about today that needed to be the day. As I walked through my local town this morning, I was met by a man working on the road, he looked at me, the warmth of his smile beaming onto my face just like the sunshine was. “Beautiful morning!” he said. And he was right, there is something beautiful in every day and even though darkness can linger for a long while, the sun will always appear again eventually.

I wanted to write this because it may have been unexpected. You may not have seen it coming if you read my blog or meet me during the day. You may only hear my humorous, disastrous night out stories or see my over the knee boots and denim jacket strutting past you down the street while I’m holding three Penneys bags. That is okay though because this feeling was a surprise to me too. I think it is time to take care of my body on the inside just as much as I take care of my body on the outside.

And how about the fear of sharing this here even though I share hundreds of other stories about my life with my followers? Well, I guess that all comes down to the stigma around mental health, but my mum advised me to do what I do best even if I just wanted to keep it to myself. Of course she was right as always, because writing is what I do best and it turned out that writing this was a refreshing form of therapy that only I could bring to myself. So from me to you, whoever you are and wherever you may be, here I am, a physically healthy 21-year-old woman with an endless love of laughter and socialising, pouring my heart out from behind closed doors onto my most public platform. At the moment I am not feeling okay, but that is okay. A problem shared may not always be a problem halved, but I would definitely prefer to cry with a cup of tea and a friend by my side, so I really hope you do that too.

“Grow through what you go through” 
Love Fenella, 
aka that girl who is still that fashion loving disaster magnet who drinks tea by the gallon.
xx

Me, You and a Ghost or Two

There are too many negative dating terms lately. I’ve been benched, breadcrumbed, cushioned, ghosted and bloody french toasted more times than I can count at this stage. Ok, so I don’t think french toasted is an actual dating trend term but I’m sure it will be eventually. You heard it here first, folks. Funnily enough, anytime I read about the latest dating trend it seems it is happening to me at this exact moment. Whether he is sending the odd sexual suggestion every few weeks or cancelling every date we plan, when rain begins to fall on blossoming relationships in 2017 you can guarantee that Fenella Fox has been hit by gale force winds, severe floods and a flying trampoline or two.

I can’t keep up with my own hunt for love these days, anytime I start to develop any sort of feelings I feel like I’m going on some deadly expedition with Frodo and that dodgy ring. To be honest, for me the amazing excitement was taken out of dating once I hit man number 7 who told me he didn’t want a relationship and my mum’s “There haven’t been that many, you can still count them on one hand!” logic went down the toilet quicker than my phone on a night out.

For me, love comes with too many limits these days. Unfortunately, my alcohol intake doesn’t though, nor does my cheesy pasta consumption. In more recent years, this little girl’s dream of her wedding dress has definitely morphed into the dream of an outfit for a second date. Actually, even a first date because I don’t know if we can consider spooning with one eyelash hanging off after 3am or vomiting out of his car door as a first date. I’m kidding of course, I don’t vomit while in the presence of potential love interests, only old ones who shook me off a long time ago and I begin to feel lonely after that third shot of tequila sets in and they start to look like a great idea, similarly to the platefuls of cheesy pasta.

I had to change my music taste recently too, I soon realised eighties love isn’t welcome in 2017 so I feel perhaps it is more appropriate to listen to the music from the Conjuring or Insidious instead whenever I start to develop feelings. I mean, you can’t say you’ve been too badly ghosted by a man if you’re being dragged out of bed by the devil, can you? Surely that’s worse? Although sometimes these supernatural forces are less scary than the ghosts from my romantic past and at times I wonder whether I would prefer to be dragged out of bed by the devil rather than happily climb into bed with him.

My nan asked me whether my hair frightens men away, but to be honest, in my dating life the excessive volume of my scrunch dry is the only thing that keeps protecting me from the force of the blow. And as for the ever changing colours? I like to keep them on their toes.

So many people don’t want labels on their dating life, so why do dating trends have so many names? Why do people think it’s normal to have a ghost in their life rather than a boyfriend? Why do I have to scroll through Cosmo anytime my love life goes pear shaped and I need to put a name on what has happened this time? Or more importantly, how can I be told I’ve been benched when I wasn’t even aware I was sitting on it? Why are we allowing men to treat us as subs when it is quite clear we’re wanted out on the field by the real players who have no intentions of playing us at all?

Time to get off this bench and stop the ghost hunting because this woman has got a life to live and dating trends are harder to keep up with than Game of Thrones when you’ve missed the first three seasons. No, don’t bother texting me in six weeks time because all you’ll find is a dusty bench and strands of my old hair colour. Byeeeeeee.

Ok I’m bored and desperate for attention, maybe I’ll just reply the once…

Am I Going Crazy?

There is something surprisingly comforting about the moment when you hear girls talk about the lads in their life who have referred to them as “psycho.” As a female, you can often feel like you’re in it alone when you’re storming around your room and blaring Dua Lipa New Rules. Sometimes things can build up to the point where you can actually feel yourself gradually going insane. You want nothing more than to text a load of boys who couldn’t give a crap about you while you mentally attack the master of mind games in your life with a shoe. Yes, there is something comforting about the desire to fall into the arms of men who will only hold you for a moment while you’re on the mission to get over the arms who act like they want to hold you but somehow always end up letting go of their grip.

Tip toeing around your problems is about as elegant as a Saturday night dance floor grind. I am curious about how many girls are currently staring at their phone only to see plenty of messages from the girls saying “Don’t text him!” but there are no texts from him. Not one text has been sent from the phone of that man who had sent you so many sweet texts previously. No matter how many squad members try to help you keep the psycho in (bless them the sweethearts, they always mean well,) sometimes you need to take control of your own life before your own thoughts suffocate you or convince you to do stupid things to intentionally try and ruin his life because you believe that is the answer to long term happiness. Example 1 – Hitting on his best friend. Example 2 – Eh, only to be looked into if example 1 doesn’t work well enough, but it might be an idea to have a supply of eggs ready to go. Also, if you’re anything like me, every group needs that bold member who always sends that third unanswered text to determine whether Saturday night needs to be a vodka or wine night.

As much as we hate to admit it, every girl has at least one guy, if not two, who make her blood boil like the contents of Mount Vesuvius just before it took out Pompeii. You try your best to act completely normal around him but all you can think is “Wow, here you are talking to me about your new job yet yesterday evening I was almost shaking backwards and forwards in the corner of my bedroom or about to come down the stairs backwards while my head was spinning 360 degrees.” Yes, this is normal, it just means you care about this little peasant boy who at this moment in time just looks like the poo emoji in your mind. Mature I know, but whatever helps you to drag him kicking and screaming off his pedestal.

The most frustrating thing about all of this? The fact that you probably just stubbed your baby toe on a door or hit yourself on the head with your phone by accident while in a complete fit of rage (just me?) and he is probably sitting on his own bed laughing away about the influence he is having on you while he throws more junk into his bubbling cauldron.

Is it just me? Am I just easily wound up like an old fashioned music box or are today’s men becoming increasingly good at making us question our level of sanity?

The General Snap and An Eyelash Attack

I’M BACK! You’re probably all wondering where I’ve been recently, right? Well, unless it’s only my mum reading this, and if that’s the case then sorry to break it to you mum but I haven’t been in the kitchen packing the dishwasher so please stop getting your hopes up.

Since my last post in July I have been over to the Czech Republic, to my first festival and recovering from several absolutely horrendous doses of the fear… again…  No, but honestly, these ones were bad.

Example number one – I think one of my SOSU eyelashes is in some random fellas bed and I am waiting for him to be super creeped out when he stumbles upon it someday soon. No, don’t get excited, there is nothing exciting to report there, not even a cheeky kiss. There were several of us in one bed and I dozed off fully clothed and without a spoon while chatting complete and utter nonsense. Actually raging though, don’t really wanna be forking out six quid on a new pair of lashes when those ones were in mint condition. Here’s hoping he has the cop on not to bin it since I can’t really text him asking him to save it because, well how creepy would that be? Imagine receiving a text from a girl asking you to save her eyelashes? “Alright mate, lost me eyelashes in your bed, keep them safe on your bedside locker for me if you find them… cheers x” I mean, I know I’m probably a locally renowned nutter (borderline bunny boiler according to some past lovers I will admit) but that would be crossing the line a tad.

Example number two – I sent a guy a drunken “general” snap because I wanted him to reply, but I actually captioned it “General snap” Would you actually be well living on earth at the same time as me? I had to leave the snap below because for some reason I saved it, probably thinking I was an absolute HOOT. Honestly, I am so glad I did save it because no one can benefit from it fully until they actually see it. Just look at it. LOOK AT IT. Okay moving on… Oh, he did reply by the way, so god definitely exists or I have a very loyal guardian angel who wouldn’t let this gal go down without a fight!

Back to the topic of lashes, the weekend before that one my Duo Glue worked so bloody well that I was unable to open one eye properly so I spent the night looking like I was winking at everyone. What could potentially look seductive on a huge portion of the world’s female population did me absolutely no favours and I even spooked myself out, never mind any of the lads I encountered that night. Saying that, I missed half the room because I could only see past my scrunch dry on one side. I can never see sense on a normal night, so look, whatever mortifying things happened that night we can blame on one eye being stuck together and my inability to see things clearly. Ahem, general snaps…

It’s only today that I could finally face blogging about my recent shenanigans. I have plenty of things to say but finding a way to say them is a different story. Mainly because nothing in my life has dramatically changed, including my attitude to junk food and unreliable men – both are still causing me serious problems but also providing comfort as summer draws to a close. Ah, the joys of being a hopeless romantic with thunder thighs. Below are some pics of myself and my reactions while heading in and out of toxic situations, please take a moment to enjoy them. Yes, food is always an important part of life no matter what life is currently throwing at me.

I will leave it there for today, although I do have plenty of things to update you all on so don’t worry, I shall be back!

Talk soooooon xx