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!!

A Winter’s Haze

The haze of winter has once again snuck up on us. It’s grasp has us tightly held, sending goose bumps down our spines, making our teeth chatter, even with us dressed all snug in a warm coat . The sight of our breath in the cold air verifies to us that the temperature has definitely dropped below -0 degrees. It’s always the not knowing of how long Jack Frost can keep his deep freeze going that’s always the issue. I don’t think the weatherman can give us that answer.

Walking around an ancient town like this one, and seeing how the ice has changed the landscape, buildings and old buildings around me is mesmerising. Ducks physically skating on thin ice, that were once able to glide so effortlessly along the water, now feel the sting of the frozen water beneath them as they land.

Business in the town must go on. Money to be made, customers to serve and profits to uphold, time still keeps whirring on like clockwork, despite the dropping temperatures. Walking in, and taking a seat in the warmth of a local coffee shop, many people have made the same decision to have a warm drink and defrost a bit before heading home after a morning of shopping.

Its so fascinating how the dropping weather conditions changes the way some of the more intricate objects into something more beautiful. walking down the fence of the pond I come across a spiders web, frozen like everything else around it, but it still sways in the cool air that breezes past it. How can something so delicate and intricate still keep its form and shape even in dropping temperatures? makes me think of a paper doily that’s made out of jewels of ice, seeming so breakable yet still so strong. Nature is spectacular by the way it can adapt and still look so exquisite.

Yes winter definitely has come and bound us in its beauty and splendour, and with it comes a change in the way we all look at nature. maybe just for a split second to wonder at how magical it makes your surroundings look, or if you’ve just popped out for some air to gaze in wonder and to appreciate how it makes you feel inside. Winter is truly marvellous!!

The Long Way Around

Walking is truly a gift. I am always in wonder at the times when I take an unexpected detour to work, or maybe take a long stroll to my local park, there are always sights and sounds I don’t usually hear or see along my usual path. Sometimes I even wake up that little bit earlier to watch the sun rise over the local fields near where I live. Watching as each tree is silhouetted in the suns rays.

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day”

Picture taken by me

Seeing the workings of Mather Nature at its best by walking is the perfect way to get perspective on how the seasons, even the time of day, can truly change the landscapes around us.

I know I sound like one of those Countryfile presenters on the television, but as someone who loves the outdoors, taking the long way to places can be even more eye opening to what nature has to offer us all.

For example, because I walk to work every day, I like to mix it up a bit and add maybe a steady hill, just to increase my stamina. And just by taking that little detour, and working a bit harder than usual, some of natures hidden scenery can be revealed.

Picture taken by me

Being at this point in the year is interesting because, as all the leaves have fallen from the trees and have slowly gone through their life cycle, the trees’ branches can reveal their majestic forms and its amazing.

The way the branches grow outwards makes them seem like they are coiled snakes weaving in and out of one another slowly making their way to the top, not knowing when or if they’ll end.

Taking the longer way around to places, can make journeys more enjoyable. I know it may take longer, but if you have some extra time on your hands and feel like the need to break free from the confines of the four walls that surround you, then I highly recommend it. Being able to maybe see the environment that when in a car are missed, creates a feeling of peace, and at the same time, stimulates blood flow and other health benefits too.

I highly recommend it to anyone!!

A Course for the Mind

Ok so I’m going to start this blog off with a quote from a famous author and activist, Helen Keller:

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved

Reading this quote today has made me think of how life can have so many ups and downs in the past, and yet you trudge on as if nothing has happened. But don’t so many of us? You have the scars, but you choose to hide them with a face of happiness, joy, love and laughter. And even though sometimes it might come back and bite us in the bum, you push on with living like nothing ever happened.

Recently I have embarked on a course that I feel is going to truly be my saving grace. Focusing on different aspects of life that you feel can’t see any hope of fixing. It’s truly eye opening to actually see what is causing me so much stress on the inside. Working through the various stages, answering who, what and why they are causing these feelings, creates such a big picture as to who I am right now as a person.

For anyone who knows me, knows I’m not much of a talker, so therefore I continue to bottle up all my feelings and emotions from everyone else. And therefore, it creates a different person to who I’m truly supposed to be. It’s like deciding which kind of person you’re going to be by flipping a coin to find out who you’re going to be that day and revealing the opposite side.

But by being able to differentiate between feelings of physical, behavioural, mental and emotional, has opened my eyes as to what the situations I’m going though actually fall into. As everything on the program is all confidential, I won’t reveal anything that I have written, but I hope that continuing and being able to complete the whole course, I will finally feel like a new person. And maybe even find the old me and bring her back to the surface again and into the light.

So, circling back to Keller’s quote from the beginning, I realise that yes there are stages of our lives that you have to suffer, but it’s only through experience can we learn from this and create a more positive feeling of achievement and inspiration in life. That’s what I’m hoping to take away from all of this eventually.

Besides there are actually a lot of fun and exciting times that lie ahead of me this year. So, fingers crossed I will finish this course and eventually bounce back to my fun and bubbly side in readiness.

The Clearest Of Minds

Stepping outside to grab some air on foot, is one of my favourite ways to destress, focus and above all, clear my mind of any negativity that has been building up. Having been cooped in the house, for hours makes me feel like I can’t breathe, that my chest is constantly being restricted of real oxygen.

As the winter chill hits my face, like a ghost has just walked through me, I step outside. I feel free, my lungs can finally fill with the natural air. I can finally breathe! Putting my earphones in and switching the playlist over to “The Most Beautiful Songs In The World” one I have never listened to before but will definitely listen to now. Breathing in I feel my mind clearing. Muscles relaxing. Worries disappearing. Let’s do this!

First priority buy some bread and a newspaper from the local shop. On the way, I spot a police car driving past my on my right, hopefully just taking a short cut from the main road. Didn’t seem like he was in any hurry to get to a crime. But you never know. Looking up at the sky, blue as it can be at this time of year, I feel the breeze shift across my face. Birds flying high, soaring, swooping, in perfect balance so that the cool wind doesn’t interrupt their flight.

Armed with a small 40p bread loaf that had been reduced, and equipped with a paper under my arm, I say thank you to the shop owner and head to my local nature reserve. Listening to this particular playlist has got me in such a relaxed and tranquil state, that even a walk, which just takes me a couple of minutes, seems to last half an hour.  

Rounding the corner, I’m on the final approach to the reserve. Everything is silent, until the sound of laughter one of the ducks makes, breaks the ambiance. I swear they can sense when someone has come with sustenance. The rush of interrupted water means they have only come for one thing.  And it seems when I get there, I have an audience. Swans, geese and other birds alike, their expectant eyes looking up at me. Standing in place, I start tossing small handfuls of bread into the water. Each handful released feels like a piece of negativity being thrown away for good.

Sitting on the nearest bench, I looked out over the water. Ripples from the ducks dispersing were the only trace of their movement. Graceful, silent, elegant. Turning off my music, I sit and listen. What do I hear? Birds in the trees, whistling away in their own language that’s a song to my ears. The breeze shaking the trees back and forth, back and forth. In this moment, at this time, I am at peace, I am where I need and want to be. My lungs fully filled with air that feels natural. I smile to myself and think “this is me, finally, the clearest of minds”.

Happy Logging Out Day!

What a feeling. The moment you press that all important button that cuts you off from the online world. Feels just like my chest is a hot air balloon, and a weight has been freed to make it go higher. I don’t have to worry about Instagram or Facebook anymore. Don’t have to worry about putting where I am or where I have been that day. Wondering why people don’t like what I’ve put on there and why so many other people are getting more “likes” than me. I’m not going to let it rule my life.

I’ve noticed that I care more about what people think about my life, than how and what I need to do take care of myself. Time to think about number 1. Time to revaluate. This is day 1 of no social media and it feels great! It’s tight grasp has eased, I can finally breathe on my own without any judgement.

Maybe now I can concentrate on things that I am interested in, for example, finally getting around to finally enjoying and finishing Dan Browns “Origins”, the only one I haven’t been able to put my feet up and delve into.  I can finally finish my writing course that I haven’t been able to accomplish as my mind has been elsewhere. Hopefully now, my blogs will improve

Mental health is no joke, and more times than not, social media is the biggest cause of suicides. Not that I’ve ever considered it, and never will I might add. But as someone who spends most of my time on my own, seeing people really happy on social media, I really see the struggle. It’s like it consumes me, like an invisible force is constantly on your back weighing you down making your life a misery. It’s called dread. Always dreading that I never will meet a true friend. Dreading I will never one day meet that one person who I will truly love.

It’s stupid really, the fact that some people have thousands of followers, yet they only really speak to the odd few that are close. I personally don’t care about the number of people on my friends list, it’s the people who truly love me for who am as a person that matter in the end. They’re the ones who keep me going in life and who really make life worth living.

So as of today, I am officially logging out. cant tell you how long it will last for as I’m sure some of you have tried it and you’ve been straight back on the next day. But I have to do this, just to prove how mentally strong I can be as an individual. I’m hoping by the end of this to become a much better person and not counting on social media to tell me what my future will bring me in life.