One Way or Another, We All Fail

Seeing one’s flaws in life, can sometimes be either a realisation that maybe you’ve never seen them like that before. Or maybe sometimes it can be a good smack in the face, fall down on your bum fail that you have to learn to pick yourself up and learn from what’s you have just

Recently I have become fascinated by informative podcasts that are readily available on Spotify. Particularly that from the works of Elizabeth Day who as a writer, journalist and novelist who has come into light with her recent book “How To Fail” talking about her personal failures in life. Under such topics as: Work, Tests, Twenties etc. I found that the “How to Fail in your Twenties” chapter really spoke to me and it seemed really relevant in how I am feeling at this particular stage in my life.

From reading this, I found out that she has a podcast of the same name, in which she interviews well knows actors, journalists, singers even that of a Monk. Hearing their emotions on stories that we never would connect them to, really opens up how you start to perceive them as a ‘normal’ individual, just as ourselves, and they too have had their struggles in life.

Sometimes being able to switch off the outside world and just listen to an intimate interview between two people can be an eye-opening experience. If you just close your eyes and just to listen, it seems like they are in the room with you. Maybe by just listening, you may even see some similarities in you can feel a personal connection. Having just finished listening to Vicky McClure’s interview, when she was talking about her education and about her feelings about the concept of social media. Her experiences and views really resonate with me personally.

It’s sort of got me thinking: What do I see as failures in my life?

For one, I’m putting my education out there. Growing up I was a very slow learner. Being in and out of hospital as a young child, I often missed out on some important educational milestones. It wasn’t my fault that I failed on my exams. If you asked my mom, she’d say that I did try with great difficulty, but with the brain damage I had suffered due to past trauma, the information just wouldn’t go in and stay in. You could say I have a brain like a fish. And so I really didn’t get the grades that I thought I could’ve achieved. It just meant that I needed to retake my English which I passed finally and eventually my Maths which I failed miserably.

Second I would have to say friendships would be a big one. From a young age I haven’t been able to integrate myself within a specific social friendship circle. I had often tagged along with people who really didn’t realise I was with them to begin with. It has continued long into my adulthood and I think because of this lack of social interaction within social situations, I haven’t been able to develop the art of banter and so certain situations make people seem uncomfortable. It’s just never been my forte to be able to converse and become part of social situations, even though I may seem like I can.

Thank you to the 3 years of Performing Arts I did at college!!

There are many other failures that I could go into, but I feel that that they’re a bit more personal to me as and who I am. I guess my confidence won’t let me go that far. But I’m glad really as it shows I have gained the skill of restraint, that maybe years ago, could’ve become the main reason to why I am the person I am today.

To conclude this blog, all I’m going to say is that we all have our failures in life, including people in the limelight, but we have to get up from these situations, dust ourselves off and move on. We can all gain success from failure, we just have to find it.

Reaching Out: Taking the Leap of Faith

Being one of many people out there that find it difficult to interact within social situations that are uncomfortable. Being able to reach out to people you haven’t seen or even spoken to, can seem nerve wracking. But taking the plunge, that first step, can be the start of a new life, even a new you.

Being mentally strong enough to be able to say ‘yes I will go out and do this’ gives you the confidence that change is going to happen, and its you that’s going to make it happen.

Sunday 14th April, I did just that.

Signing up to an online meetup group that, I know does sound quite geeky but sometimes you need to do sometime that a bit different. It did feel like a leap of faith that could all go tits up by the end of it. But hey most of the things in my life do anyway.
So roll out of bed, get scrubbed up ready for an 8 mile walk into the unknown world of a new social journey of questionable conversation, silent pauses and one frozen face.

Creating that first connection between you and another person you don’t know can be daunting. On a panic scale of 1 to 10 1 being confident enough to make the first move into conversation 10 being ‘Oh my god I cant do this’ I’d say I was a 7.Yeah seriously!!

Most people who know me would say that I am a confident person in terms of how I come across in day to day life. But knowing I am meeting in a social group and meeting new people after such a long period of time, well this is a side of me that few people get to see. just shows how well those three years in performing arts really helped.

The walk overall was brilliant I cant doubt that, plus I hadn’t even realised how big Sutton Park really is, definitely going to try and re-trace my steps(hopefully). Throughout the entirety of the walk though, I did come to realise that 1. I really cant make conversation to save my life, 2. I must’ve been the only person there that nobody really wanted to talk to and 3.. because of this I realise that I am either a boring person, I smell or they just don’t like me because people seemed to be keeping their distance.

In the moments after the walk had been completed, I came to the conclusion that maybe I really aren’t meant to have friends, and even though I didn’t go into any detail about myself, friendship is not only about how much confidence you have to make the first move, it’s about who you know and what you have in common that counts.

By reaching out and taking that leap of faith, has confirmed to me that being in your own company, can make you stronger.

The Climb: Three Friends One Mountain

Snowdon, a challenge for any novice or experienced climber. Standing at 3,560 ft above sea level, there is no way of telling what will be in store for you as you climb nearer and nearer the summit. Not knowing how the weather will change, whether you will slip somewhere you never have before, or even sprain your ankle between two rocks and have to turn round just as you’re near the top.

One thing is for sure, it can become very unpredictable. 

It was the 24th February, temperatures climbed to an unseasonable 17 degrees in Wales, surely too warm to climb a mountain right? Well that wasn’t going to stop me and my friends Sydney and Vicky. Equipped with sweets, energy drinks, water and all the essentials in our backpacks, we slowly made the ascent from the bottom. Not conquering Snowdon before, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.

Advised by both my friends and staff at the Trespass store, I layered up ready for what the weather had to throw at me, especially at this ridiculous time in the morning. Leggings under my Craghopper trousers, t-shirt under a hoodie I had got in the sale and finished off with my faithful walking boots, I felt prepared, pumped and strong ready to go.

Walking slightly up hill, the sun beaming down on us like an interrogation lamp, I was wishing I’d never put these trousers on over my leggings. Doing a leg session on the Friday before was helping but with it, the thought that my thighs seem huge didn’t help! Feeling constricted with how far my pace was I had to take them off when we stopped to have a little break.

Upon seeing the first of the ponds up the mountain, we thought this could be a great place to stop. Unfortunately for me, being the awkward person I am, taking mt Craghoppers off was not the most straight forward of tasks as I couldn’t get them over my walking boots. Ugh! Off come the boots as well I suppose. Comfort regained, Percy Pigs and Nature Valley bars eaten, we headed off once more up the path. Unfortunately for me I still had no idea what I was in store for.

During the quiet, but breathless periods of the rest of the climb, my thoughts of what I am hoping to achieve in June and doing the Three Peaks swept over me. Being able to experience what I am getting myself into first hand worried me a bit with how hard it’s going to be. Time to get that thought out of my head and just keep trucking on. Just keep positive, light-hearted, and just have fun aye. Not being the most stable person on her feet anyway, I thought best keep my mind on the task ahead. Especially when I nearly cracked my head open on a slippery rock in the middle of a running stream.

Finally being able to conquer the cobbled staircase of Hell, (not actually sure that it’s called that, but I see it that way), a bit of scrambling steep and rocky heights and steep paths we were on the last leg to the top. It was in our reach!!

During the last part, our thoughts turned to the euphoria of what we had just achieved. I know that my friends had already done this a number of times and are used to the route etc, but being able to achieve something so great on a day like today was incredible. Then the thought of achievement slowly turned to the realisation of ‘oh dear we have to get down the mountain’ hit us. To be honest it seemed the hardest part as having to walk, plus balance ourselves down hill was tough on our legs and above all our dignity.

What an amazing feat achieved, just what we needed to do on a Sunday! Just shows that we are all stronger than we think we are, and sometimes we just need that extra push to achieve our goals.

The Procrastinator

I’ve never heard this word until recently. Didn’t even know it existed to be honest.

Its was only during a recent training session. I just had to lookup what it meant when I got home. Two people said the word and I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about, it went straight over my head as usual. It was yet another visit to the Google helpline when I’d recovered. If I could remember the word.

Procrastinate:

To delay or postpone an action: put off doing something”

Ah now I see! Find it funny to be honest as I’ve never imagined a word that summed me up that well. My mom probably thinks the same! “

The realisation that from taking that one sip of water that I needed to hydrate, doing some unnecessary lunges, was my way of delaying the inevitable pain of my next leg exercise. I just couldn’t stall it anymore unless I just left my things and did a runner. Here we go, bring on the pain!!

Looking back through life, I realise that there are numerous examples of times where I have put things off right to the last minute. When even the most important tasks that should’ve been done a few weeks back, are completed right on the last day because I have been so “busy” catching up with something on Netflix, or going out for some me time after a busy week at work/ gym. You need some rest sometime right? to be able to enjoy life and enjoy yourself away from this busy world we live in.

As a highly skilled procrastinator, I have the ability to be able to put numerous things off until the last minute. I find it funny really that I am so laid back with life when everybody is rushing around doing so many jobs at once to the point that their head might explode.

I am really not a regular woman in that I am not a multi tasker, and I really don’t have the ability to be able to think of more than two things at one time. I definitely should’ve been a boy to be honest. Mind you I do act a bit backwards sometimes, especially when I’m at the gym or I’m at work.

Being a procrastinator, is definitely the way the rest of my life is going to be, as being two years off 30 I’m really not going to change my ways now. So sorry everyone who thinks that it’s something that can happen overnight, it really doesn’t. I can learn from my mistakes and make life better for myself, but the protagonist in me will never leave.


Sunday’s Thought: Is Going Back to a Simpler Life better for us all?

During a conversation, well more like a discussion with my mom and her long-time friend this morning, we touched up on the topic about how going back to a more simple and basic life may be better for everyone in the long run.

As the years have gone by, we have succumbed to the power of technology, new avenues, and options there are for us all to take these days, that really aren’t for the better. Options that may be destroying us all as a race and also to our planet. With the constant prices of plastic bags going up in shops, and the constant use of plastic packaging for fruits, veg and ready meals, and the amount of pollution in the air from greenhouse gasses, I can clearly see why the Earth is literally suffocating.

Reading an article online on The Guardians website, it describes the fact that within the last 25 years, we as a human race, have destroyed a tenth of the worlds wilderness to make way for a “brighter” future. We need the help of your rainforests and wilderness to help our eco system function, without it then I’m sorry to say, we are doomed. World leaders are more concerned at how to grow their economy and how to create bigger populations than thinking about the consequences of their actions. And its only now that research on the worlds oceans do they see the bigger picture.

Circling back to this mornings conversation, we talked about the possibility of a total power cut to everywhere in the world. What would happen then? Would this then mean that we would have to be forced to think about how we would be able to survive? How would we cope without technology, electricity etc?

To be honest I think when it comes to that stage, the world will be a big flame of gas, and well, it would be too late anyway.

There was a power cut to our neighbourhood and even though it was a shock and an inconvenience to us all obviously, it really brought me and my mom together in terms of being able to have a proper conversation without something interrupting us, i.e. the television, internet, phone etc. We were enjoying the flow and listening to what each other had to say, that when the electricity was back on, we automatically turned the lights off again and carried on with the conversation.

It seems to me that because we are all so used to all these facilities being readily available to us, that we all think that it will make our lives better in the long run. Really look at how it is affecting family and friends relationships. Is there actual laughter? Is there conversation? Are we actually bonding together? Or is it all done on our phones, tablets etc?

Times are precious and we are wasting too much of it not spending time with the people who mean the most to us. we are more concerned about how many followers, likes and views e are getting on our profiles than watching family slowly growing older, and then before you know it the older generation have gone, and you wonder why you hadn’t listened more to them.

Online Dating: Tried, Tested, Failed.

Never having much luck on the dating scene. But then again, I’ve probably not had as much experience as many others I know. I’m sure there are many individuals that have tried online dating, and quite possibly been able to find that one special person to spend the rest of their lives with. And They All Live Happily Ever After!!

Yeah Right!!

To tell you the truth, I can be quite secretive about my love life. Possibly because I’m not that experienced with it, or because I’m not as confident as some people perceive me as. Could be both, but it could be something else. Perhaps I should Google it?

“Hey Google, Why can’t I find someone to love?”

“Sorry unable to find what you’re looking for”

That settles it, I’m just going to be a crazy cat lady. I knew it!!

No but on a serious note, what does it really take to be good at this online dating? What makes a successful candidate? Probably not one to ask Google as we are all very different people and have our own little ways. But its’s not all about swiping right, right?

So, what is it about me that’s not ‘relationship worthy’? Joining a dating app I had hope that this time was going to be it. Entering in my interests etc, not putting anything too revealing, it all came down to the all important picture. Ugh, suppose the most recent one should do. And submit!! let’s see shall we?!

To me, being in this predicament again, makes me think that I’m just not trying hard enough. I’m probably not and I’m just wait for someone else to make the first move. being a few years out of practice doesn’t help either. plus well, I really don’t have that much experience, especially in the position I’m in now.

Having tried, tested, failed, tried, tested and failed again, I don’t hold much hope. but lets see shall we. It’ll probably happen all of a sudden, out of the blue when I least expect it. but until then, I just feel like the person in Calum Scott’s song called “Dancing On My Own”.

A Fundraisers Journey

The feeling of fulfilment, accomplishment, and achievement can only come from something that you have been building up to for however long you’ve been working towards. Being able to see that your hard work has created a difference, both for yourself, in terms of personal confidence and for the people who are battling for survival, hoping beyond hope that one day a cure is finally found.

Being able to prove to myself how mentally and physically strong I am as a person, is all I’ve really strived for through my life. It’s probably what’s made me into the person I am today.

So, with this in mind, last year I decided to take one of the biggest challenges of my life so far. To some it may not seem that big, and you’ve probably completed it numerous times and succeeded. But for me, taking on the three biggest peaks in England, Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon in 24 hours, and knowing what the dangers and conditions I may face are, it’s pretty nail biting.

Reading the paper in one of my favourite cafes last June, I came across a news update that had been circling around the UK for quite a while. It concerned a little boy, whose fight to obtain the medical treatment he so desperately needed, had been taken off him. That treatment was cannabis oil. Legally it wasn’t allowed on UK soil, but if it works and it is a tried and tested solution in other parts of the world, then why not? To some it can be a lifesaving solution to help keep them alive and well, and I support that notion. As someone who suffers mildly from the same life-threatening condition, at that moment in time, I felt so helpless.

With all this news swirling around everywhere, I made a pact with myself quietly, that my goal between now and June 2019 is to raise as much as a I can and to be able to complete my next venture.

I know that to some of you that it seems like I’m doing it to help myself, in some ways I am. But, I’m not doing it for the fame, glory or even the medal at the end, it’s just another achievement I intend to say “yes, I’ve done it! I’ve achieved another goal in life!” and being able to look back to the good old days when I’m older and think my life was worthwhile after all.

With a bake sale, static bike challenge, treadmill challenge and Christmas bag packing under my belt and over £500 already raised, there is only one charity evening left before I really knuckle down to endure the joys of training for the big event.

I am determined as ever to complete what I’ve set out to do for the cause I feel so strongly about.

As many people who know me, I am very open about my condition and I don’t shy away from making it known that I have epilepsy, even when going for a new job or joining a club as they need to know. the only advice I can give to people like me is don’t give up, we can fight this!! You are strong enough!!