moments to memories

I am fully in the Christmas spirit now, I had my first Christmas party yesterday and I’m feeling festive. I surprisingly did not wake up with a raging hangover but felt pretty fresh.

The last week or so I have been thinking about my favourite memories I’ve made in the last year. I have, overall, had a crackin’ 2017. Sure, there have been some terrible, terrible lows but I can look back on the year and see where the good times are and smile.

Here are some of my highlights from 2017

Dis-day 2018.

you cannot beat starting the new year off with Mickey and co.

 

 

LA KINGS Game

i finally, finally, finally found myself out in LA in season to go to an ice hockey game. it did not disappoint.

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Arlo was born.

my adorable second godson/nephew who isn’t my nephew but is was born. he is a dream.

 

Irish adventures.

one of my favourite countries in the world, the sexiest accent in the world and some of my favourite people in the world. i can never go wrong with a trip there.

going back to my old job.

the best decision i have made this year. swear down.

 

star wars day

friends and star wars. i don’t think i really need to add anything else to that, do i?

 

 

Nick Lashaway day

the best day with my American familia, celebrating one of the best! on a day that could have been so so so sad we all managed to smile and laugh through the tears at memories of Nick and i certainly learnt more about him on that day. the strength his whole family have shown, none more than his mama, is incredible. it was a beautiful day filled with love and i am so privileged to have been a part of it.

 

 

london zoo 

my two favourite chicken nuggets took me to the zoo for my birthday because they know i love that shit. i love spending time with them playas. couple of the year.

Passenger concert

the first of my two favourite memories based at Kew Gardens this year. i have loved Passenger and his music for a wee while and i was finally able to go to see him live. in typical british summer style it was absolutely pissing down but as soon as he hit the stage i forgot about the rain. what a gem.

Brighton 

in the summer my best pal, my 2 nephews and i spent the day on brighton beach watching The Lion King. hashtag winning

Kew gardens 2

i spent  a lovely day here in the summer with my pals amy and byng. we went to see byngs younger brother in The Wind and the Willows. the sun shone, the play was super cute and we laughed. loads. i really have great friends.

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annie

tomorrow, tomorrow, i love yaaaa, tomorrow! for my sisters birthday we all went to see annie in the west end. miranda hart played miss hannigan – she was a scream. i enjoyed it so much – i normally cry at the theatre and this was no exception. a great day.

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NYC

back to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of to celebrate momma sophs birthday. we hung out with old friends, julie came down from boston for a day, it was magicallll.

 

montrose days

i always enjoy trips back to montrose and this time was no different. whilst mark and i were driving around montrose singing along to some pop song, i had a moment where i just thought, yeah. i like my life.

mj

this time last year my nephew and i really weren’t pals. this year we made friends. he’s just a wee dote. i love him.

 

xmas party

the last minute entry was yesterday’s xmas party. i bloody love my work collegues, i bloody love my boss. i just bloody love my job. don’t get me wrong it does my feckin’ head in from time to time but i have great people around me to lean on if it gets too much.

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2017 isn’t quite done yet, i know but it was fun thinking back over the last year and what i’ve got up to. some is here, some isn’t. with a busy december coming up i’m sure i will have more memories to add to these by the end of the month.

i hope you have a december filled with festive cheer.

until next week,

M xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

2018 – the countdown is on.

 

Wednesday 22nd November – where has this year gone?

this time last year i had just booked a flight to the other side of the world. i was unhappy and running from who i was and what i had become. i was confused about who i was and what i wanted from my life. i was convinced that running away from myself and my life would be what i needed to figure myself out. i thought that it would provide me with the clarity i sought.

i know it sounds dramatic but its true.

well, i didn’t get on that plane.

i can safely say it was the best decision i’ve made this year.

so much has happened to me this year, none of which would have been possible if i’d have run away.

i feel like i have really grown this year, i have made peace with a lot of events that have happened, i have gained the clarity in most areas in life that i so desperately sought. i don’t feel as though i’m as lost as i once was. 

here are some lessons i’ve learnt this year, some lessons that life has reminded me of, just in time for 2018. 

family is everything

this year i have been especially grateful for my family. we’ve been through a lot together this last year and it has only brought us closer as a unit. i am lucky enough to say that i like my family, as people, not just because we’re related. a fair amount of my friends seem to spend time with their family because its what they feel obligated to do. i do not. i do it because i really bloody like ‘em!

 your friends aren’t always your friends.

at 28 i’m sure i should have outgrown the ridiculousness of this but alas, i am still learning that your friends are not always that. they will not always support you, they will not always understand you. an example – the reactions that some friends made when i told them that i wasn’t going to Australia… well… lets just say it stung.

being able to acknowledge when i am wrong / when i’m being an arse is one of my biggest strengths.

this year, more than ever, i have realised this is quite a rare trait. I can hold my hands up when I have been a sucky person, or a sucky friend. i mean, i hate being wrong – i always have been an insufferable know it all so i hate having to say i’m wrong – but i can, and will, admit i am wrong when i am.

i recently messaged one of my oldest friends, someone who has continually reached out who I have rarely responded to, and apologised for being a shit friend. i didn’t try and excuse my behaviours, i just tried to make her see it was me and not anything she had done and that i still adore her.

only you can take care of yourself and your health,

 the last few months are the months i have been the most grateful in my life for our NHS. i have been feeling the benefit of my tax money. i am now, hopefully, on the up both physically and mentally, but it has given me a new perspective on all things health related – so much of it is within our control, the care we take of ourselves has the biggest impact on our health. what we put in our body to fuel it, what exercise we do (or don’t do) and the impact that has not only physically but also mentally. we need to make sure we’re taking the best care of ourselves. the situations we put ourselves in, the pressure we put on ourselves, the people we surround ourselves with… we might not be able to control every illness, every accident, but we can make sure that we are taking the best care of ourselves; that is within our control. you have to make your own health a priority.

your gut knows when it is not right – listen

everyone will give you their opinion if you let them and whilst it can be helpful to gain the perspective of an outsider ultimately you know when it isn’t right. trust yourself.

 you can’t force anything.

if it’s meant to be it will be, sure you need to make an effort initially but if it becomes too much like hard work and you’re not feeling the benefits, you’re not feeling satisfied then let it alone. chalk it up to experience and move on.

the idea of something is often better than the reality but you should still try.

You never know, you might just be surprised.

 if you have people in your life that make you feel like you have to apologise for who you are and what you like, get rid of them.

 or at the very least, distance yourself. i understand we all like to take the hand out of our friends, me possibly more than anyone, but if this turns into them making you feel bad about yourself it is not ok.

people that don’t love themselves cannot love you. same for those that don’t like themselves.

exactly as it says.

 support can come from the most unexpected places – appreciate it.

this year i have had support and understanding from someone that i never would have expected, i don’t think i will ever fully be able to thank them and i don’t think they will ever fully understand how much i appreciate all they’ve done for me.

 

2017 has in some ways been so confusing but i feel a different person this side of it. this year i can really see the change in myself, i can see how i’ve changed for the better. i’m much more sure of myself, i’m much more appreciative of who i have around me. i stopped running long enough to catch up with myself. 

2018, you’re a few weeks away but i’m excited for the adventures already. 

the return of saturn.

xoxo M

Project Self Esteem

where I am : bed bound listening to Taylor Swift

 

hullo, friends.

I am feeling really very sorry for myself – I had a very eventful weekend. what I thought was simply a cold / ear infection made me end up at an out of hours GP appointment at 9:30 on Saturday morning, by 10:30 I was sat in another hospital in a+e. oh the fun we had! so now I am bed bound, completely shattered but also, completely bored! I am pleased to report that I am feeling much better; drugs really are a wonderful thing, as is our darling NHS.

some of you may recall in my previous post that I mentioned that I was starting therapy to try to understand my triggers for depression – im happy to say that it does appear to be working as I feel ok currently, I know all too well it isn’t something that will go away overnight and I still have my bad days but I am in a much better place than I was a month ago.

 through some of the work ive been doing with my therapist it turns out I have low self-esteem – which is no shock to anyone around me but is apparently a shock to me. I really thought it was better than it had ever been this year… oops.

anyway, some of the homework I was given was to write something down everyday for a month that I like about myself.

simple right?

wrong!

ive written before that I struggle to accept a compliment – something that I am better at now– I used to always laugh them off or change the subject but now I try to accept them with grace. I don’t know if it’s the british in me but I always feel that, if I say im good at something, that im boasting a bit, and I never want to be that arrogant person. we are known for our self-deprecation after all. luckily I had some of my family and friends on board to help me out when I struggled (although I do think my sister Melanie confused me more than she helped)

so, on this day, I thought id share with you my list because im trying to remember that saying im good at something, or that I like something about myself doesn’t make me arrogant.

big love to those that helped me, id love for you to share with me one thing that you like about YOURself.

Project self-esteem , here goes.

I’m loyalsometimes this is to a fault. but if I got you, I got you.

I have a very contagious laughit makes people happy. (this one is credited to Denise, thanks pal)

I’m very accepting of people – I don’t judge (‘a very difficult quality to have – another one from Den)

I’m passionate 

I’m supportive

I listen (but like, really listen – thanks, Di)

I love hard 

I’m inquisitive

I’m not afraid to admit when I am wrong (I mean, I don’t like to be wrong but I can admit when I am ) 

I’m dedicated 

I’m fun – well, i can be 

I have standards 

I’m opinionated

I can laugh at myself (and do, regularly)

I don’t try and be cool I realised I wasn’t ‘cool’ years ago and have since stopped trying. I’d rather be a freak anyway.

I’m honest (sometimes too much)

I’m calm in a crisis (thanks, Melissa)

I write well (again, thanks Melissa)

I like to think I’m pretty chill, like, I’m pretty low maintenance

Material things aren’t my driving force in lifeyes, having nice things is a bonus but it isn’t the be all and end all.

I’m a glass half full kinda galI always try to see the silver lining.

I’m realistic with a dash of not so much

I can’t control my facial expressionssome people dislike this about themselves but I actually enjoy it

I have the ability to take something complex and be able to explain it in a simple way

I always want to be betterI never want to settle.

I’m good at keeping friendsmy best friends live all over the country, all over the world, but I still see them, I still talk to them as often as possible. distance doesn’t make a difference.

i’m stubbornagain very often seen as a negative but I like it! 

my imagination – oh it’s a wonderous place to be!

so there you have it, 4 weeks worth of things I like about me!

xoxo

M

 

 

Trust.

 

Listening to: Kelly Clarkson ‘Breakaway’ (what a banger of an album)

 

 Hi friends,

This week I have a question to ask you.

Can you still be friends with someone who you don’t trust?

You’ve probably heard the saying (or a version of it) that trust is like a mirror, once it is shattered it can be put back together but never truly repaired. Side note: I think my favourite version is Gaga in her ‘Telephone’ video –

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The only problem I have with that explanation of trust/ broken trust is that it’s always led me to believe that, and expect that, my trust would always be shattered in a big way. Like the person would pick up our shared mirror and smash it like a plate at Greek wedding but that isn’t always what happens. Sometimes it’s little chips over time until one of these chips is so big that it causes a ripple effect and you find yourself unable to see your reflection in the mirror, or be able to trust the person who’s mirror it is.

Part of being friends with someone is being able to rely on each other; to trust them. You should know whole heartedly that they won’t run off and tell someone what you said, they should know you enough to know the things that shouldn’t be shared. You should be able to know that some things are only shared between you; some things aren’t meant to be shared. What is possibly even worse than sharing private thoughts and feelings is sharing thoughts and feelings with a twist – sharing a fabricated, sometimes exaggerated, version of the truth. You shouldn’t have to watch what you say to your friends, you shouldn’t have to have your guard up. Should you?

How can you be friends with someone you can’t trust?

Are we, or rather am I, too quick to call people my ‘friend’?

A couple of years ago someone who I definitely do trust called me out on how much I use the word ‘love’. I didn’t ever ‘like’ it, I always ‘loved’ it. It was a great observation, and made me realise that I DID use the word ‘love’ too much. Perhaps the same could be said of the word ‘friend’, perhaps I use it too freely, perhaps I use it too much, or too quickly.

Perhaps the word ‘friend’, like the word ‘love’, should be used sparingly.

xoxo

M

shantaram – pt.2

 I posted about the book Shantaram a few weeks back but due to my crazy I stopped reading, primarily because I could not concentrate on it nor lift my head off my pillow to read a sentence, let alone a page. I am still about half way through but am determined to finish it because, in case I didn’t mention it before, I adore this book.

 It never fails to amaze me just how powerful words when combined in the right way can be yet when we see them in a dictionary alone they seem powerless. We have to use them wisely because they can empower us but also destroy us.

I shared before some of my favourite passages from the story, but that was just the beginning. The more I read the more food for thought this story seems to give me.

Read on below to see some more words of wisdom.

 

I think suffering is a matter of choice. I think that we do not have to suffer anything in this life if we are strong enough to deny it. The strong man can master his feelings so completely that it is almost impossible to make him suffer. When we do suffer things, like and so, it means that we have lost control. So I will say that suffering is a human weakness.

 

Is it not true that some of our strength comes from suffering? That suffering hardship makes us stronger. That those of us who have never known a real hardship and true suffering cannot have the same strength as others who have suffered much?

 

I think that when we grow up and learn that happiness is rare, we become disillusioned and hurt. And how much we suffer is a mark of how much we have been hurt by this realization.

 

When we act, even with the best of intentions, when we interfere with the world, we always have a new disaster that mightn’t have been of our making, but that wouldn’t occur without our action.

 

Some of the worst wrongs were caused by people who tried to change things

 

The worse things that people do to us always make us feel ashamed. The worst things people do always strike at that part of us that wants to love the world. And a tiny part of the shame we feel when we’re violated, is shame at being human.

 

Lovers always find their way by such insights and confidences; they’re the stars we use to navigate the ocean of desire. And the brightest of those are the heart of breaks and sorrows. The most precious gift you can bring to your lover is your suffering.

 

Men reveal what they think when they look away and what they feel when they hesitate; with women it’s the opposite.

 

At the moment most of our ways of defining the unit of morality are similar in their intentions though different in their details. So the priests of one nation bless their soldiers as they march to war and the imans of another country bless their solders as they march out to meet them and everybody who is involved in the killing says that he has God on his side. There is no objective and universally accepted definition of good and evil and until we have one we will go on justifying our own actions whilst condemning the actions of others.

 

If you turn your heart into a weapon you always end up using it on yourself.

 

Sooner or later fate puts us together with the people who show us what we could or shouldn’t let ourselves become. Sooner or later we meet the drunkard, the waster, the betrayer, the ruthless mind and the hate filled heart but fate loads the dice of course because usually we find ourselves pitying all of these people and its impossible to despise someone when you honestly pity and to shun someone you truly love.

 

My hate is what saved me. Hate is a very resilient thing you know, hate is a survivor. I had to hide my hate for a long time, people couldn’t handle it, they got spooked by it so I sent it outside myself. It’s weird that I was a refugee for years, I still am, my hate was a refugee just like me. My hate was outside me. My family were all killed, raped and butchered and I killed men, I shot them, I cut their throats and my hate survived out there. My hate got stronger and harder and then I woke up one day working for Khader with money and power and I could feel the hate creeping back into me and it’s here now, inside me, where it belongs and I’m glad, I enjoy it. I need it, Lin. The stronger I am it’s braver that I am, it’s stronger than I am. My hate is my hero.

 

 

 

I mean… *insert heart-eye emoji here*
Xoxo

Micks

28 things you might not know about me. 

Where I am: sitting in Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice latte in a mug next to me (I’m so basic sometimes, it hurts)

Listening to: Mariah Carey (it’s really hard to not start singing at the top of my voice)

so, update time – after my post about World Mental Health Day i received a lot of messages of support from friends both near and far and so i’d just like to say thank you for that, i really appreciate that you all took the time out of your lives to reach out. thank you to those of you that shared your stories with me, it really is overwhelming just how many of us are touched by mental illness.

i have started therapy now – it’s weird but i’m hopeful it will be have a positive impact on me. i try really hard to not let it dictate my life.

i had a number of people message me to say that they would never had imagined i suffered, that had i not posted about it then and previously, i would be the last person they would have thought had depression and anxiety.

 

off the back of that, because we all know how egocentric i am, here are 28 other things you may not know about me…

  1. i will always be jealous of everyone that can play (competently play) the piano and violin. growing up my parents couldn’t afford for me to have lessons so it is something that i never learnt but always wanted to.

 

  1. my favourite seasons are spring and autumn. they are both transitional seasons and they feel just like starting over to me. spring is full of hope – everything is new. autumn clears my mind, when the leaves fall and so do the cobwebs in my head.

 

  1. i’m much more a ‘bunch of wildflowers’ girl than a ‘bunch of roses’ girl

 

  1. the best sounds in the world are my nephews laughs (all three of them) the sound of the waves crashing is a close second though.

 

  1. i am a bit of a tea snob – i take mine milk, no sugar. Preferably it will be a Barry’s tea bag or a Yorkshire. To end the debate once and for all – THE MILK GOES IN LAST.

 

  1. i do not like wine. Or champagne. i really wish i did. It looks so sophisticated, but it all tastes like vinegar to me. i do however enjoy a nice glass of Bucks Fizz and can stomach a glass of Prosecco but that’s as sophisticated as i get.

 

  1. if i were to ever design my own home and you told me i could have either a really big closet or a really big library i would choose a library every time.

  1. i really do want world peace

 

  1. the most perfect place i have ever been is the Island of Capri at sunset

 

  1. i really want to live by the seaside

 

  1. my friend Steph once bought me a notebook with a map of the world as a cover – she brought it for me to document my travels in. now, whenever i visit somewhere that requires me to board an aeroplane i always pick up a postcard from the destination and stick it in that book.

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  1. most girls i know have thought in great detail about their wedding and what they want it to be like. i have not. i have, however, thought a lot about what i’d like my funeral to be like (morbid, i know)

 

  1. although i was christened COE when i was a bubba and i’m not overly religious now, i do still believe in God. i’m not sure in which sense – i don’t believe it’s a big dude sitting on a cloud, but i do believe in some kind of higher being. i also believe that Karma is a very real force in this world.

 

  1. If i could have anyone narrate my life i think i would choose either David Attenborough or the guy that narrates Come Dine with Me because he is a sarcastic ray of sunshine.

 

  1. i am obsessed with Crime documentaries and stories (i’m not sure what that says about me,really)

 

  1. yes it’s true, i was on the telly not once, but twice. autographs are 50p. per letter.

 

  1. i am a musical freak. my favourite is West Side Story.

 

  1. if i watch friends with you i will most likely quote at least 50% of the dialogue at you. if you’re really lucky it may be more.

 

  1. unless it is work, a medical appointment or something like a wedding or funeral I will be at least 10 minutes late. at this point i’ve realised it’s just who i am as a person.

my friends know.

  1. i love Cliff Richard!! – i grew up watching Summer Holiday and The Young Ones (see no.17 musical freak) and i think this is why i love him.

 

  1. most people are scared of clowns, rodents, snakes, spiders… not me. i’m scared of Octopus and Squid. i’m shivering just thinking about them now. Eurgh.

 

  1. i will put ketchup with pretty much anything. there isn’t many dishes that a squirt of Heinz can’t make better.

 

  1. want to know if you matter to me? find out if i have a song/songs attached to you. music is in my heart and if you are too, there will be a song for you.

 

  1. my favourite handbag designer is Kate Spade. And, unpopular opinion time, i do not like Michael Kors. at all.

 

  1. i really love Caroline Flack. i want her to be my friend. the same goes for Dawn O’Porter

 

  1. i have a bit of a crush on Gary Oldman. especially as Sirius Black

 

  1. my favourite accent in the world is the Irish (Northern > Southern, soz guys)

 

  1. one of my earliest memories from when i was very young is someone walked past me in the town, burning my left hand with their cigarette. that’s how i learnt my left and right.

reflections on a younger self. 

last night i found myself looking through my old journals and diaries. i don’t know why but as i was placing a book on my bookshelf i saw them and decided to pull some out and relive what i’d lived. 

a lot of the entries are not dated so i don’t know the last time i wrote in them – i can only guess it was around this time 2 years ago because of what i’d written about in them, certain incidents in my life that happened then are the focus of my last scribbles.

what i do know reading them is that i’ve changed. i can see the change in myself through the words on the page. is that weird? life is the strangest thing – we don’t see that we’re moving forward day to day but when we look back so much has changed. so much has happened. 

i like this person i’m becoming.

even on the days when i can’t see through the fog, even on the days when i want the world to go away. i like the person i am becoming. 

i look back at my old entries and feel what i felt back then but i am also able to see it differently. i can see the heart and heartbreak i felt over the boy who didn’t love me enough to not hurt me, the boy i would have moved across oceans for had he asked me again and not only see my pain, but also his. who am i to say he didn’t love me enough just because he didn’t love me the way i wanted him to love me. i can see the good in that goodbye.

i read back through the confusion and see that i have gained clarity, not in everything, but in some things. and for now that is enough.

i look at the old entries and see someone who was fighting against herself but couldn’t see that’s what she was doing. who thought that emotions were a sign of weakness (especially the sad ones). i was so proud of being so guarded and so unfeeling to the world. i was so proud of never having shared my true self with anyone. 

i thought that made me strong.

in actual fact i think now it showed my weakness, my insecurity. the ability to feel, to show emotions – the good and the bad – is part of what makes us so wonderfully human. you can’t shut it out, you can’t shut yourself off from it. you can try, but it will catch  up with you eventually. everything you run from always does.

i know more about me now.

what i want

where i want to go

life makes it hard to remember those things  sometimes but that’s why i write. it reminds me who i am and what i want. it focuses me when i need direction. when i need to get stuff off my chest. when i need a friend. there’s always a piece of paper and a pen around, no matter what time of the day it is. 

when i get lost i can pick those friends up and draw myself a map back home. 

xoxo

micks.

pictures of me from 2008 to the present day. there is one every year from 2008 doing various things with various people. the only year missing is 2016 because it wouldn’t fit!