18.

 

There comes a certain age when you stop complaining about being too young and start to complain about getting older.

I have definitely started doing the latter. I realise that, in the grand scheme of things, I am actually still pretty young but having a lot of responsibility at work coupled with friends partaking in grown up activities like baby making and married life makes me feel older than I am.

Whilst getting older means more responsibility (sucks balls, right?), thinking about it, I am actually enjoying getting older. I am more confident in myself, and who I am. Those who knew me at school would meet a very different person now. I have set my limits of what I expect of others and myself. I’m no longer interested in being popular; I’d rather have a few close friends than hundreds of fake ones. I know what I look for in the people I surround myself with. I have no time for the pettiness and dramatics that I had time for at 18.

Thinking about it, being 18 is quite possibly one of the worst ages in the world. You leave school and BAM. You’re an adult. Now, you’ve been preparing for this your whole life, you know its coming (that’s generally how ageing works), but, you’re a little bit in denial. You think it will be all drinking in pubs with your friends instead of on fields, dancing in clubs instead of your friends’ living room. Making big steps towards being a real adult, no one can tell you what to do, or how to live your life. You don’t need any advice; you’re an adult now!

You laugh at all those year 11’s who are distraught (at least according to their social media) that they are leaving ‘the best friends a girl can ask for’ ‘I’ll never forget you guys’ ‘I’m gonna miss you guys sooooo much (insert heart emoji here). You laugh at them for thinking that leaving year 11 is the worst thing in the world because you know different. Leaving sixth form is the worst. All those year 11 friends you promised to stay in touch with no longer exist in your real life; you’ve realised you didn’t like them anyway. You’ve seen the inside of the sixth form Centre; you know you’re the real adult now. And you’ve been so caught up in all of this that you forgot at the end of it you need to make real decisions, and you will actually be an adult. Who has to have a job, or move away from home to go to university – you are regretting all those times you hormonally shouted at your parents that you couldn’t ‘wait to move out to be away from you!” because you suddenly realise you’ve had it pretty easy for the last 18 years. You are realising the incredible weight that comes with actually being an adult, a real adult in the real world. You’ve heard so much about this ‘real world’ and thought that it was a place filled with all the best things. But now, as you are about to step into it you realise, it’s actually a bit scary. You won’t have people to make tough decisions for you, who will fix everything for you. You’re an adult; you are expected to do it for yourself now. Not an adult that still goes to school and is still being told what to do, still being guided by teachers and your parents. You realise you’re going to have to make real decisions for yourself. You realise that actually, you’d quite like to stay where you are, and not be an adult in the real world. But that’s not an option.

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So what do you do? Do you have a plan? Do you curl up in a ball and cry, hoping it will make the decisions of these next steps any less real? Do you just trundle along hoping that somewhere along the way you’ll stumble into a career and be vaguely happy? Do you get pregnant and get a free council flat? Do you go travelling? Go to university to spend three or four years in, what can only be described as limbo. You’re technically an adult who is old enough to move away from home and drink in the pub, but you also still have the option of returning home once in a while to see your mum who will quite happily cook for you and do your laundry (because truth be told she’s missed your stinky socks).

 

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is what you want to do. It doesn’t matter what university your mum wants you to go to, or if your teacher thinks a gap year travelling is a waste of an opportunity. Ultimately you will be living with the consequences of whatever you do, so you need to decide.

When it was ‘applying for university’ time, I will admit that I hadn’t a clue what I wanted to do next. I applied for university because it was another option for me. I got in to all the universities I applied for; something I am still surprised at because I did minimal revision for any exam. When the time came to responding to offers I was too, being completely honest, scared and nervous to go. Anyone who knew me then would probably agree. I was a bit scared of everything and everyone.

 

I decided to take a gap year to work, and thank the little baby Jesus I did that. In that year I progressed within the business I was (and still am) working for, I saved some money, I made some great friends and business contacts but, better than all that, I grew in myself. I started to learn about the kind of person I wanted to be, what I enjoyed, what I didn’t. I learnt to handle responsibility; I learnt to handle myself.

 

A year later I felt ready to be a big girl and went to Kingston University to study Primary Education and I had some of the best and worst times of my life in those 3 years. Now, clearly, I am not in the teaching profession although I did pass, graduate and qualify with a 2:1; again not sure how that happened. I was the girl who started the essays the night before they were due. Shout out to Sedg for keeping me company all those looong nights in the library. Thankfully my teaching placement grades were high. As the end of the course came nearer I was in a bad place personally, and I knew that I didn’t want to teach anymore, having fallen out of love with it. Like a roll of toilet paper, the closer to the end it got, the quicker it went (time, not toilet paper). I was feeling the pressure to make a decision on life when, I got a message. Not from God, but from an old colleague about a management opportunity in my old store. It all worked out, and I went home. I went home in more ways than one.

 

Do I regret spending all that time, energy and money studying for a qualification I don’t use? It’s something I’ve been asked more than once.

The honest answer is no. It wasn’t the right thing for me at the time. I didn’t have the passion to go into a teaching role and give it my all. Going into a profession such a teaching isn’t something you can go into half-heartedly. It’s not fair on the children. They deserve someone who wants to be there with them, someone who has the want to be the best teacher in the world for them; and that wasn’t me. People look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them that, but it’s the truth. I try not to live with regrets; sure there are things that I wish had played out differently but, everything that has happened to me over the last 7 years since I left school has happened for a reason and led me to where I am now (does anyone have a cracker to put with my cheese?), and I actually like where I’m at.

 

Life has been surprising these last 7 years, and of course, I’m not where I thought I’d be, but I don’t mind. In fact, I’m pleased. You can spend so much time planning your life and what you want it to look like and doing what you think you should be doing because it’s what everyone else is doing but that is no way to be. Life’s meant to be lived. You can’t control every part of it, if you try to you’ll spend your life disappointed and annoyed. Sure, work towards a goal or passion of yours (I always have my next move/goal planned.) but you need to be flexible about how you get there. Be nice, be brave but stop bloody worrying so much. It’ll all work out. It kind of has to. If it doesn’t though, I’ll meet you at the bar. Tequila’s on me!

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Xoxo

 

Micks

 

50 things to do when you’re sad

‘Pursuit of Happiness’ by Kid CuDi is, quite possibly, my favourite song in the whole entire universe (listen here). ‘Happiness’ is what we are all on the pursuit on, whether we know it or not. Sometimes, we hit bumps in the road, because as Kid CuDi sings “everything that shines ain’t always gonna be gold”. Some days really, well, they really suck balls. We’ve all had those days where we get home, look in the mirror and think, “well today was a COMPLETE waste of make-up).

I can hear you asking “What do you do to cheer yourself up when you’ve had this kind of day? What can possibly cure you of ‘Ihadashitday syndrome?” Funny you should ask…

Here are 50 ways to cheer yourself up.
DISCLAIMER: If these don’t work it’s not my fault, they are proven to work for me and a select sample of individuals (aka my family and friends).

  1. Sometimes you just need to get it out. So cry.
  2. Have a nice cup of tea. There are very few things a cup of tea can’t solve. If you’re putting the kettle on make me one too (milk, no sugar). Cheers.
  3. Eat something. Anything that makes you feel better. Fuck the calorie/fat content. I would suggest eating Peanut Butter straight from the jar, it always works for me
  4. Remind yourself that if Britney Spears can survive 2007, you can survive today.
  5. Watch this and remember. You matter.
  6. Lie on your bed and listen to the rain (if it isn’t raining outside, go to rainymood.com – it’s my new favourite website)
  7. Roll down a hill
  8. Get sweaty. In whatever way takes your fancy. Exercise = endorphins = happy happy.
  9. Know that on one of my school reports my teacher told my parents I was thick. Quote ‘Michaela lacks the mental capacity’ unquote
  10. Watch a Disney movie. Sing a Disney song. Disney makes life better. I’d choose ‘Aladdin’ – Robin Williams as the Genie, best cast choice ever – and ‘When will my life begin’ from Tangled.
  11. Do what I said for number 10 but replace Disney with Christmas. My film would be either ‘White Christmas’ (just because of this scene) or ‘Muppet’s Christmas Carol’. The song would be all of them. I LOVE CHRISTMAS
  12. Spend an hour on ted.com listening to inspiring, thought-provoking talks. I adore Sarah Kay’s ‘If I should have a daughter…’
  13. Listen to your favourite album from start to finish. Music is the cure for most things.
  14. Google Earth Stalk that one place you always wanted to go.
  15. Jump on the bed – it’s still fun no matter your age.
  16. Be around children. Their innocence is endearing, they are the better than any type of anti-depressant going. The same applies to animals.
  17. Watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S. If you have never watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S this is probably why you’re sad.
  18. Write a letter to the person that upset you. Or write the universe. Get it all out. Don’t worry about grammar and spelling, just get it out. Word vomit on that page. Then rip it up. Throw it in the bin. It’s gone. So is your anger and sadness.
  19. Call your best friend.
  20. Call your mum or that ‘mother-like’ figure you have in your life. Everything they tell you is pretty much true.
  21. Ladies, Shave your legs and wash your sheets. Then get in bed and try to be sad. Try. Yeah. It’s impossible. Lads, you’re welcome to try it.
  22. Get nostalgic. Look through old photos. Remember the good times.
  23. Do your hair/make-up. Who cares if you have nowhere to go. It’s fun to glam up!
  24. Scream into a pillow. Or just scream. You know, whatever works for you.
  25. Email me, I’ll try and cheer you up. (michaelawright89@hotmail.co.uk) I didn’t win an award for being ‘the best shoulder to cry on’ at school for no reason, you know.
  26. Write your bucket list out. Get lost in your dreams.
  27. Go shopping. Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.
  28. Eat Mexican food and drink margaritas. You can’t eat tacos and be sad. It is simply impossible. (this might only work if Mexican food and tequila are your number one food/alcohol choices).
  29. Watch ’50 shades of Grey’. Appreciate the perfect form of Jamie Dornan and laugh at how bad the movie actually is.
  30. Look out the window. Imagine being blind and not being able to see what you see.
  31. Look in the mirror and say out loud “I am enough”. Repeat until you believe it.
  32. Remind yourself of this…Screen shot 2015-07-23 at 21.13.26
  33. Know that when I was at university I got so drunk once that I threw up on my door. Then next morning I was hung over and had to clean it up. Be glad it wasn’t you.
  34. Create a playlist/ make a mix tape of your favourite songs from your teen years. Play it loud and sing along. Try and remember the old dance moves. I bet you still know some of them.
  35. Remember that tough times don’t last, but tough people do.
  36. Draw/paint. On paper or yourself. Whichever takes your fancy.
  37. Go for a walk, be outside and just breathe. Inhale deeply.
  38. Whilst on said walk go to the park and feed the ducks. You have food, therefore you are their God.
  39. Bake a cake. Lick the spoon. And bowl.
  40. Some of the best days of your life haven’t happened yet. How cool is that?
  41. Penguins. Look at pictures of them. Watch videos of them. Watch Happy Feet. No animal will give you more joy than penguins. Promise.
  42. Bubbles. Bath. Facemask. It’s a no brainer.
  43. Think of 5 things you like about yourself. Write them down. Tape it to your mirror. If you can’t think of 5 things, ask your nearest and dearest for 5 things they like about you. Tape THEM to your mirror.
  44. Hard boil eggs. Throw them at the wall. This is best done outside. It has the same effect as plates but doesn’t cost you as much, and is less messy.
  45. Take a nap
  46. Do something nice for someone else – you can’t sprinkle a little happiness around without getting some on yourself.
  47. Remember that it never gets easier, you just get better.
  48. Nighttime – drive somewhere quiet. Lie under the stars.
  49. Read ‘Rockettes, Rockstars and Rockbottom’ by Keltie Colleen. It will prove to you that you will survive.
  50. Remember, I love you. Also, remember this

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You’re welcome.

Xoxo

Micks

p.s what would you add?

p.p.s I was inspired to write this list after reading this

Travelling with pals? Give this a read.

Heyyyyyyyyyyy you guys!!!!

Anyone who knows me well will know I love to travel; my passport is most definitely my most prized possession. It has taken me lots of places and is taking me even more this year. From Barcelona to Boston, Cork to California, New York to Naples, Paris to Postonja… I’ve done my fair share of travelling.

The majority of my trips I have gone on are with friends and I can tell you now there is nothing better than exploring a new place with your pals to cement a relationship. The good memories (like taking photos with Peter Pan at Disney) to the not so good (getting lost in Postojna) become fun memories and great stories that will make you laugh for years. Travelling with friends means you get to know them better than you ever have done, spending time with people 24/7 is a sure-fire way to ensure that. However, if you are not careful it can also be a sure-fire way to arguments and silly disagreements. In worse case scenarios there can be friendships lost forever. We all know those friends who went away together and came back barely speaking, right?

Over my travels I have learnt quite a lot, not just about the cities and cultures of the places I’ve visited, but also about how to travel with companions. I realised in Paris how much I had actually learnt about travelling with friends over the years. How to avoid arguments and how to ensure that you all, no matter how big or small the group, get the most out of your trip!

Here are my Top 5 tips for an argument free va-cay…

  1. Make sure you both/all understand what it is you want from the trip

Do you wanting to spend all your time on the beach with a cocktail in hand? Is your companion a person who is all go-go-go, sightsee-sightsee-sightsee?

I am someone who loves to walk around wherever it is I am and see loads of things but even I can only take so many museums. However, the idea of spending more than 1 or 2 days being a beach bum is the least appealing thing to me, ever. I could never enjoy spending a whole week lying on a beach, I’d be too bored so having a chat about what you all want is a sensible thing to do… and this brings me to my next point quite nicely.

  1. COMPROMISE

 

Compromise is key in all relationships, possibly more so when you are travelling. You’re in a foreign place where you either don’t understand/ have a basic understanding of the language. This confusion and unfamiliarity is a breeding ground for anxiety and short tempers (trust me, I’ve been there). Even if you do consider yourself fluent in the language of the place you’re visiting chances are you still don’t know the local customs and slang.

Compromising will help you get the best out of the experience. You really want to go and see that statue? Basilica? P.O.I? Your friend wants to go shopping? Well why don’t you do one today and the next tomorrow? It seems like a pretty basic tip but you’d be surprised how quickly it can go out the window when you have your heart set on something or somewhere.

  1. BUDGET

Money. This can sometimes be a sticky subject, even between the best of friends. However, in order to know what you can all do and get without making someone have to re-mortgage their home or sell their car, you must have this discussion. Both before you book and before you plan excursions.

One thing I am extremely lucky to have is friends that are honest about this and what they are will to scrimp on and what they are not. A lot of my friends share the same thought as me, so long as where I sleep is safe, has a bed and a shower it can be a $35 a night hostel. I am not a princess and, being on holiday, I don’t plan on spending much time in the room anyway. I’d rather spend less on accommodation and have more money to upgrade a long haul flight, or go and eat at that Michelin starred restaurant (foodie4lyf) than have a fancy hotel room.

Decide before you go how meals are going to work. Are you going to pay for what you ate or split it down the middle? Where do alcoholic drinks come in to that equation? If you have 5 beers that cost $5 a pop but your friend that is paying is drinking tap water all night is it really fair that your friend is footing that bill?

Talking about it and understanding what the other person can afford stops any embarrassment or anyone feeling left out-of-pocket.

  1. Divide and Conquer/ Make sure you get some alone time.

Don’t be afraid to split up! If there is something you want to do but your bud doesn’t and visa versa why not go off and do your own thing for a bit? You will, more than likely, have your phones with you. Agree to stay in touch and meet at a certain time and place and you’re good to go. Not only does it mean that no one begins to resent the other, it gives you much-needed alone time to soothe any frustrations. You’ll also enjoy sharing those escapades over a cocktail or two at dinner that night!

Be sure you don’t hold those differing interests against each other too. If you would rather stay up till the wee hours talking with a bunch of randoms she just met, or with the receptionist in your hostel then that’s fine! Go for it. Just don’t get shitty with the rest of the group that would rather get a relatively early night before a long day of travelling.

Spending time along on a trip is healthy for you; some people (me) need it more than others. Don’t think this is weird, don’t take it personally if it is your companion that wants or needs more alone time than you. Very often they just need some time to process everything – holidays are very often sensory overload and we all need a moment of calm.

  1. Be considerate of other people’s feelings.

 

Be conscious of your travel buds mood and fatigue. Are they ratty when they are hungry? (Sophie) Or when they get to an airport? (Sophie). When they are tired? (Me). Don’t take this too personally. We all get crabby from time to time, just ignore them, I do. They come around eventually. Don’t hog the bathroom, respect that they need 10 minutes to be silent in the morning (me) before you; the incredibly energetic morning person (Leanne/ Jade’s mom) jumps on them.

More than anything though… Have fun! Take too many photos, make a fool of yourself, leave part of your heart in another city (Valencia), live like the locals… make the most of your trip – after all, it may be the only time you visit that place!

Wishing you stress-free, happy travels,

Xoxo

Micks

 

 

 

 

My bucket list

This blog originally appeared on my old blog site micksmusings.tumblr.com

Sitting at dinner with Dennis and little bean on Friday, Dennis and I were talking about our plans for the next while and I mentioned that I’m hoping my next adventure will be Peru and trekking the Inca Trail. I mentioned it was on my bucket list, to which Den replied “I’d like to read your bucket list, write it and put it on one of those ‘musing things’ you write. So here it it, and remember, if this is boring to you, you’ve only got Dennis to blame ; )

The term ‘Bucket List’ comes from the phrase ‘kicked the bucket’ so in normal words it means ‘the-things-I-wanna-do-before-I-die list’. They are normally associated with people who don’t have long left on earth, we hear through family, friends and the media of those who have been diagnosed with (very often) a terminal illness who decide to do all those things they always said they would do, these things become their bucket list. It becomes a race against the clock for those people to complete as much of their list as possible. The most recent example I can think of it Stephen Sutton, the lad was diagnosed with cancer aged 15 and then wrote a bucket list of 46 things he wanted to do before he lost his fight with the disease. One of the things he aimed to do was raise £1million for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Unfortunately, Stephen lost his fight in May, but not before he had raised over £3 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust (you can read more about the incredible Stephen here: www.stephensstory.co.uk )
I always wonder why does it take something like death and illness for us to sit and really think about those things that we want to do with our time?
We all know our time on earth is limited but we often take our tomorrows for granted. The average life expectancy in the UK according to the UN is 80 years old if you’re male, 83 if you’re female. When we are young, naive and impressionable becoming old and grey is the last thing on our minds (as it should be), we get caught up in day-to-day activities, lost in the rat race and before you know it you’re 75 and you never got any of those things you always wanted to do done. You never wrote that book, swam in that ocean, saw that band live, climbed that mountain. You were so caught up in making money for the machine, creating the life that you THOUGHT you should have, that everyone EXPECTED you to have, that you never got to live the life you always wanted, filled with adventure, silliness, creativity and imagination.
So, thanks to Dennis prompting me, I’ve got a list of 50 things I always wanted to do (some of them I’ve already done). I think you should do the same, I’d love to hear yours.

Xoxo Micks
Mick’s Bucket list: 2014

  1. Trek the Inca Trail
    2. Go on an African Safari
    3. Swim with Sharks
    4. Learn a new language
    5. Sky dive
    6. Road trip the USA (DONE: summer 2013)
    7. Sleep under the stars
    8. Complete a half marathon
    9. Meet a real, live penguin
    10. Attend a music festival (DONE: Glastonbury 2010, Wireless 2012 – I wanna do Benicassim next)
    11. Volunteer on a project close to my heart
    12. Have Breakfast at Tiffany’s (DONE 2013)
    13. Celebrate Holi festival in India
    14. Visit the birthplace of The Beatles (DONE 2011/2013)
    15. Sleigh ride through the snow with huskies
    16. Toboggan down the Great Wall of China
    17. Visit the Tiger Temple in Thailand
    18. Ride an Elephant
    19. Go to an airport and get on the next plane outta there, no matter where it’s going
    20. Go on a ‘girls’ holiday. ‘Beeeeefa! Get in. Let’s get fuckin’ mortal!
    21. Donate blood
    22. Fly in a helicopter
    23. Take a gondola ride in Venice (DONE: July 2009)
    24: Visit Auschwitz
    25. See a show on Broadway – preferably West Side Story which is my fave
    26. See Ringo Starr and/or Paul McCartney in concert
    27. Learn to surf
    28. Find a career that makes me happy
    29. Visit the Amazon Rainforest
    30. Fly a kite on a beach
    31. Spend Christmas abroad – preferably somewhere like NYC
    32. Travel abroad alone – at least once
    33. Visit NASA! – I’m not actually sure if that’s allowed
    34. Throw a drink in someone’s face – just because!
    35. Get a tattoo for my bro (DONE 2013) RIP Martin ❤️
    36. Learn to fly a plane : ) be afraid, people!
    37. Go to an outdoor cinema (DONE, thanks to Rachpal. 2014)
    38. Toast marshmallows on a campfire (DONE, Cape Cod 2013. We weren’t camping but it was a campfire, so it does count. It does!)
    39. Genuinely surprise someone. Genuinely. Like a proper “OH MY GOD” surprise
    40. Get my palms read
    41. Chase a tornado/experience a tornado – no I don’t have a death wish, they just fascinate me. I blame my mother.
    42. Attend a ‘Murder Mystery’ party – such fun!
    43. Visit Old Trafford
    44. Complete a colour run
    45. Own my own home, complete with vegetable garden : )
    46. Visit Paris at Christmas (DONE, 2012 I think it was…)
    47. Go to the Opera
    48. Go to the Ballet
    49. Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain
    50. Find my forever person