april, 2018

bonjour and hello to you, the reader of this post.

how are you? well i hope. is it just me or has april been another january? as in, it’s felt like it has lasted about 700 weeks. it is finally the end of the month which means i can use my favourite meme in this post because…

how am i? well, this month i’ve mainly spent it feeling like i’m in the way and a bit forgotten if i’m honest. which, i know sounds to most either

  1.  bratty
  2.  utterly ridiculous
  3.  a bit pathetic

the thing is, i know it is probably all of the above but it’s how i have been feeling. so shoot me, why don’t ya. it’s a feeling i’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to shake off. i know people are just very busy and that i am not the centre of their world. i know that cancelled plans and minimal communication is just a result of people being busy and having more important things taking up their time but it’s still how i’ve been feeling and i wont lie to you. and i wont apologise for it either because, as i’ve told many a person, you should never apologise for how you feel.

in a complete 180 i have also been feeling very inspired by all the marathon runners, both Brighton and London. how fantastic are they all? (answer: very)

our very own Teddy’s Tribe did it, raising a phenomenal amount of money in the process. the cheerleaders spent their time wandering around Brighton seafront (one of my favourite places in England, just FYI) sporting their Teddy’s Tribe Foundation T Shirts, and myself the chipped tooth and fat lip i gained courtesy of my nephew on the train down there.

hero of the month

celebrity

Jameela Jamil

i have followed Jameela for what feels like years now. i remember her presenting on T4 back in the day but i really started to love her when i started reading her columns in Glamour magazine. at least i think it was Glamour, it might have been Cosmo, it was one of them. i loved how ballsy she was, i loved that she didn’t hold any prisoners, i loved that she had fucking opinions like a real person and not some puppet created by a PR company to give the generally acceptable answers that didn’t differ from the status quo.

in more recent times people will know her as Tahani in NBC’s ‘The Good Place’. holy forking shirtballs it’s good. it’s one of those shows that are very easy to watch.

she also runs two Instagram accounts, one of which is the reason she is my celebrity hero this month.

‘I Weigh’ is a movement. a movement that encourages people to see themselves as more than the number on the scale because that is only part, a small part, of what we are. it’s bloody fantastic.

personal

there isn’t one this month. sorry, i just generally hate everyone this month sooooo

book of the month

giving myself a pat on the back because i read not one, not two but THREE books this month.

learning more about people April edition was : Patti Smith – Just Kids

what a story. a story of friendship, love and survival. a story based in one of the best cities in the world – NYC. a story that shows that success is not an overnight job for anyone. hard work is rewarded. a beautiful read that i would highly recommend.

Joanna Nadin – The Queen of Bloody Everything

a novel. this was sent to me for freee (i love it when that happens). i had to read it and then give my feedback on it. what i loved about this is that, whilst it was a love story, the main love story wasn’t based on romantic love but rather parental. the main relationship was between a mother and daughter – and we all know how complicated they can be.

Dolly Alderton – Everything I Know about Love

now this was supposed to be my ‘learn more about other people: May edition’ book but i read it in one day. so i need a new book for may, if you have any suggestions then send them to me.

my friend Amy, upon seeing i was reading this, said to me she wants to start a cult of dolly. well, Amy, sign me up. i devoured this book. every 20 something woman needs it.

i also realised after i finished that i always seem drawn to people and the stories of people that aren’t necessarily traditional. a lot of the biographies i read the people have made royal cock ups, or have had their hearts shattered, or have some form of mental illness. they’ve experienced the very worst of what life can give you, felt terribly alone, or like a failure, like they’ve been left behind but have lived to tell the tale. their stories fill me with hope and a sense of calm. they make me feel less alone, i guess.

soundtrack to the month.

there have been three songs on repeat for me across this month.

patti smith – because the night

anne-marie – 2002

chris lane – take back home girl.

bad joke of the month

this got me giggling this month

food of the month

i’ve been enjoying yoghurt pouches like the 5 year old i am and also, lots of tea and biscuits. as lent finished i’ve been making up for lost time. oh and MARMITE CHEESE. my mouth is watering just writing that. motherforking shirt balls, it’s delicious.

realisation of the month

i will always have a love-hate relationship with people. they fascinate me, but they also piss me right off.

april 2018

i’ve been thinking a lot about stories this month. everyone’s life is a story and we try to write it simply as beginning – middle – end but perhaps we have it wrong. perhaps our stories aren’t as simple as that. perhaps they are lots of little stories that each has their own beginning –middle – end. maybe the people we meet are who make up the chapters. maybe we need to let go of the role we think people play in our stories to see the role they really play. i’m sure i’ve played the heroine in some, the villain in others. i’m sure i have hurt people in ways i can never make up for even though it hurts to admit that. perhaps my ability to face the things i don’t want to, the things i convinced myself i wasn’t strong enough to make me the hero of some stories, perhaps it makes me the hero of my own story. the character i play in other people’s lives, the role i’m cast in is not mine to decide, really. some chapters, no matter how much time passes, will still be painful to revisit, as painful as they were when they came to an end. these chapters will mean we actively avoid things; places, foods, movies and music because they remind us of that pain and reliving some stories are too painful. at least for now. one day we’ll gain those things back – sure, deep down we’ll hear that song and remember that person that broke our heart, or that friend that let us down, but one day, we’ll be able to claim back those things and rewrite their meaning in our chapters, in our stories. at least that’s what i’m hoping.

happy may, friends.

be good. to yourselves and others.

xoxo micks

people need other people.

it’s 10pm on a wednesday night and here i am, just a while in from having dinner with someone very special and i’m sat in bed crying.

why you ask? or maybe you didn’t but either way you’re finding out.

the reason i’m crying is because i have just finished reading Bryony Gordon’s book ‘Mad Girl’. the book is Bryony sharing her story, her mental health story.

some of the parallels in our illnesses are scary but it made me realise that we, Bryony and I, are the lucky ones. we had people around us, both at home and at work, that cared. that care. that care enough to not give up on us when our demons get too much, that don’t run the other way saying ‘fuck this shit, you’re on your own’ but stand next to us, gently guiding us saying ‘you’ve got this’.

tonight when i was at dinner my friend told me about a colleague she had who had passed away recently, this colleague had struggled with his mental health (his death was unrelated to any mental health illnesses) in the past which eventually led to him leaving his position – by all accounts the management were not very supportive of the days out he needed to take.

(please note, needed is accurate. when you’re depressed you can’t simply say to depression ‘oh well today isn’t a very good day for me to be depressed, i’ve lots on. can you come back tomorrow?’ depression, in case you didn’t know, is a bit of an inconsiderate bastard).

at his funeral she learnt how much having that job meant to him. she said she never realised the impact their day to day jokes and interactions had on him, and on his life.

i’m crying because i realised that i was lucky, i was lucky that back in september i had someone who was able to notice i was poorly before i did – Momma Sophs, you recognised i was ill before i did, before anyone did. i don’t know how but thank you.

i was lucky that, when i was stood on a train platform a couple of weeks later listening to the voices in my head telling me to give up and that me dying would be for the benefit of everyone, that it would be better than the constant battle in my head, i had diane on the end of the phone telling me not to listen to the voice in my head that was telling me that. that it was lying to me.

i was lucky i had my sister to call and make the doctors appointment when i was too ill to myself.

i was lucky i had denise calling me every few hours just to check in, telling me to come to her house after work so she could feed me and let me get some of these thoughts out my head and feelings off my chest.

i had my boss – who i was super nervous to tell i was poorly because, well i was embarrassed, i was embarrassed of being ill again and of how bad it had gotten and what it might make him think of me – tell me that it was a tricky illness but that he knew i was more than capable. he understood why i text him to tell him and didn’t call and then spent time with me on the phone the next day trying to understand the illness, what it looked like for me and help me figure out what my triggers were.

now i have my new boss who was, as well, brilliant when he found out – as i’m still recovering i thought it wise to tell him and it came up very organically in conversation so i was comfortable telling him. parts of our conversation went like this…

me – i don’t run around screaming at everyone that i’m mad but it makes sense you should know.

him – you’re not mad because you’ve got depression…. you just need to make sure you tell me how you’re feeling, keep me in the loop.

(that’s what i needed to hear from him. it was a big weight off these shoulders, i tell ya. also, nb, i often tell people i’m ‘mad’ because i think i’m being funny and most people feel more comfortable when you joke about serious stuff)

i had steph, who always seems to message me at just the right time, who always makes me feel like a better human than i am.

i guess, the short version (i’ve never been very good at getting straight to the point), is that i was crying because i was grateful.

i was grateful for this year and for these people (and many more not listed here). i was grateful for the days when i thought i wouldn’t make it to the next one because, if nothing else, i’ve learnt the human spirit is made of strong bloody stuff.

2017 is the year i realised that i didn’t have to keep all my problems to myself. it was the year i learnt who my friends really were. i learnt i don’t have to keep my cards so close to my chest. i might be a burden sometimes, but then aren’t we all? the ones that think i’m worth it will stay. for the good and bad.

i learnt people need other people.

we really do.

people need other people.

and there’s nothing wrong with that. nothing at all.

xoxo M

p.s if you want to try to understand mental health illnesses and how they make you feel and think please read Bryony’s book. she words it so well, much better than i ever could.

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

happy birthday, John

it’s 1.35 am. i can’t sleep.

when i have trouble sleeping i always seem to do one of three things; listen to music, watch friends or write. tonight i am combining two of those. music and writing.

i am currently listening to a mix of The Beatles and John Lennon’s solo work – in case you didn’t know today would have been John’s 77th birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN.

for those of you that know me, you’ll know The Beatles are my favourite band, John is was my favourite member. to this day he is my favourite musician/artist/lyricist in the history of the world. to some it is an obvious choice, to others a cliché. to me it is the only choice. laugh if you will. i don’t care.

the best compliment i ever received (or one of them) was from my mum. having read a John biography she concluded that john and i were very similar in personality. she has since repeated that to me, and it still makes me happy to hear.

my love affair with The Beatles began when i was around 10 years old. my mum, a lifelong Beatles fan, insisted on watching a movie called ‘Help’ on the telly one Sunday afternoon. i can’t remember my response to being told this is what we were watching but i remember my reaction when it finished. i was intrigued. this was before the age of smart phones and wi-fi so i couldn’t just hop online and listen to their back catalogue and find out about the band, i remember asking my mum about them, i’d heard their songs my whole life but never really paid that much attention to them, until now. i remember my singing along to their songs in assembly (Nowhere man was a fave of our music teacher, so was Ob-la-di Ob-la-da) with way more enthusiasm.

the older i got the more my taste in music (and men) varied but i always came back to John and The Beatles.

my 21st birthday was not spent in some generic nightclub getting wasted, (not that there is anything wrong with that), it was spent wandering the streets of Liverpool, stomping the same pavements that John once had. we visited the Cavern, we strolled around the Albert Dock, we visited Penny Lane, saw the house George was born in, the registry office that John and Cynthia got married in. i remember being on a tour (so wonderfully titled “magical mystery tour”) and the tour guide/host was firing questions at everyone. who got most of them correct? who was the youngest fan on the bus? me and ME. the tour guide actually turned to  me at one point and said “it should really be you stood here doing this job” day=made.

i couldn’t pin point what it is exactly about John and his music that i love. it’s really a load of little things. there was an honesty to his music that i adore, a vulnerability. he was, in my opinion, very comical but also had a depth to him that was evident in his music and his mind. i admire how he handled his unconventional upbringing, and the tragedy that came to him early in life. he wanted to bring people together. he was wise – i mean, sure, we can’t assume that all these quotes attributed to him are ALL really his, but there’s no smoke without fire, right?

his mind

Some of my favourite John thoughts –

“The basic thing nobody asks is why do people take drugs of any sort? Why do we have these accessories to normal living to live? I mean, is there something wrong with society that’s making us so pressurized, that we cannot live without guarding ourselves against it”
“We all have Hitler in us, but we also have love and peace. So why not give peace a chance for once?”
“We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant…. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.”
“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong”
“I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people”

i could go on but i won’t. you can read more of his musings on brainy quote or a similar website.

his music

some of my best, and worst, moments are tied to his music. my 25th birthday, driving along the Almalfi Coast in the beautiful Italian sunshine our driver had John’s “(Just like) Starting Over playing. whilst it’s widely accepted that ‘Crippled Inside’ is about everybody’s hypocrisy, for me i use it to laugh at myself when my mental demons are loud and winning, much like they are now; but that’s another post for another day. there are also songs that i hope to attach to memories in the future – one day i hope to have ‘In My Life’ played at my wedding, i hope to sing ‘Beautiful Boy’ to my son.

 

 

 

 

 

it is also the birthday of the person John wrote that song about – his son Sean (who is a TREAT for the eyes).

Happy Birthday, Sean.

Happy Birthday, John.

and thank you.

xoxo

micks

#tb to when I went to NYC with a blanket around my neck and my favourite place in the city was empty except for me, my mum and a busker singing my favourite John songs.

feeling the love

oh hey.

it’s 6am in LA. I can’t sleep. so y’all are getting a post (2 in as many days #sorrynotsorry)

so, quick background on where i’m staying and who i’m staying with.

one of my best friends from university (hey, Jade) is from LA. Her mom (Momma Sophs) dad (Wilf) and god mom (Lisa) all live together in a beautiful house (her dad did a beaut of a job on it, he’s so talented). I’m staying with / visiting them. Jade isn’t here- she lives in Finland with her fella. My Irish pal is here too, though. I know, I know… it’s complicated.

i’ve know Jade for 9 years nearly, and her folks for maybe 6/7 of those. They have all known me during my struggles with depression and anxiety, they housed me for a summer so Jade and I could road trip west coast >> east, they housed me this January  when I had my breakdown over going to Australia or not. 

they know me well.

they know not to talk to me in the morning because I’m grumpy. They know I’m pretty laid back about most things – one of the reasons Jades mom likes to travel with me. They know I can be a sarcastic little shite. They know I’m obsessed with music; if I’m not listening to it, I’m reading about it. If I’m not reading about it, I’m singing. 

when I come here to visit it feels like a home from home. I feel so relaxed, there’s no pretense, no bullshit. 

they remind me that friends really are the family we choose for ourselves. I think to myself on every trip how did I luck out and meet Jade and then gain an extra family? a family that is genuinely concerned for my wellbeing.

yesterday morning I was in the kitchen and Momma Sophs and I had this conversation 

S “Oh I’m glad you’re here by yourself, I wanted to talk to you alone”

M “ok, whats up?”

S “are you ok, sweetie? You’re not feeling anxious, your depression hasn’t come back?”

M “no, I’m ok at the moment. Maybe a bit anxious with work but I’m fine”

S ” ok good, I just wanted to check because you’ve been really quiet this whole trip and I was really worried”

DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY AND LOVED I FELT WALKING AWAY FROM THAT CONVERSATION? 

Having conversations like that with anyone that has a history of mental illness is so, SO important. 

Knowing someone is looking out for you… priceless. 

This email from the universe is true 

I’m feeling the love 

Xoxo micks 

Thank you for being a friend.

Hi guys and dolls,

I hope this finds you all well. I’m currently sat on my bed in my pants, half singing/ half crying along to Maren Morris (totes emosh, hun) and eating Marmite on toast for dinner because I clearly suck at adulting.

In the last post I shared I spoke about how life had been a bit of a shitter lately,  well my very best friend in the whole world knew I’d been having a shit time and decided to book me a wee treat to cheer me up. Last night Rachel and I had a cracking night at Komedia in Brighton. Their Sunday night comedy club, dinner and drinks was JUST what the doctor ordered. We walked out of there with tears in our eyes and stitches in our sides.

I’ve dedicated a post to Rachel before, and I can pretty much guarantee that I will again. She is just THE BEST. When people have asked me to describe her I say she’s just like me but SO MUCH BETTER. I’m sorry for the shouty capitals but she’s just my favourite. It’s a very rare thing to feel understood and accepted for all your sides, some of which are really not pretty and she’s never made me feel any less of a person for not being so completely imperfect. Rachel is one of a handful of people who I will happily talk to at anytime, always via text because not only does she understand how much I detest talking on the phone (WHO HAS TIME FOR THIS) but she hates it just as much.

THANK YOU, RACHY-RACH. YOU DA BESTEST.

As I am a big geek I then started Googling (what did we do before google?) different types of friends and it appears a lot of people have a lot of opinions on the different types of friends you can have.

Quite famously (well, in my friendship groups anyway) I once upset my favourite Irishman by saying we were acquaintances at a time he thought we were legit friends (I’m nothing if honest). He’s still bitter about it to this day – MARK SEWELL, IF YOU’RE READING THIS I’M SORRY I’M NOT SORRY. I LOVE YOU LIKE A BROTHER NOW THOUGH OK. YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND UNTIL I’M DEAD. AND THEN WHEN I’M DEAD I’LL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU BECAUSE ANNOYING YOU IS MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO.

Back to my point though, I think a lot of people throw the word ‘friend’ around too easily these days. I actually put a lot on that word. Maybe I’m overthinking it but maybe I’m not. I like to keep things neat and organised so I box people in to either ‘Internet friend’, ‘Friend of a friend’, ‘work friend’, ‘ acquaintance’, ‘friend’ , ‘BEST PALS’. I always say I don’t have a lot of friends, even though when I list them I do probably have more than average. It just feels like I don’t sometimes because all of my friends are so scattered over the UK and various other parts of the world.

I am very good at staying in touch though; I will always make the effort with those I want in my life. Though don’t get me twisted it is a two-way street and if it’s me doing all the reaching, I’m out.

The older I’m getting the more I’m appreciating my friends that are chilled. I have no time for the drama anymore. I want low effort relationships. If you’re too much hassle, SEE YA PAL. I also find myself listening to my sisters more as I get older. They have told me before that they think people aren’t good for me which, of course, at the time I am completely shocked and offended by. In hindsight though, they are usually completely correct. I need low-key, like me.

 So to my best best best friends, thanks for always making sure it’s a two-way street, for making the effort and letting me moan and vent and be sad and perfectly imperfect around you. I hope I do the same for you. Thanks for not being extra. I actually like you, guys. Like, a lot. I’m sorry I’m not around more. It’s because whilst I love you, I hate people.

Thanks for putting up with me and my brutally honest self. Thanks for letting me sing Disney in your face one minute and then debate politics with you the next. Thanks for telling me when I’m right (you know I lap that shit up) but, more importantly, thanks for telling me when I’m wrong.  Thanks for being there to discuss the really important things in life-like “Do giraffes get neck ache?”. You know I would go to the ends of the earth for you, especially if you’re meeting me there with Tequila. I hope I make you feel equally spesh (I’m not so good at expression soppy emotional shit, so I’m gonna stop now before it just becomes stupidly sarcastic and insincere). You’re all on at least a 3 year sentence so I must be doing something right?!

 BIG LOVE, FRIENDS.

 AND THANKS.

xoxo Micks

 

 

The Women Who Made Me

 

Ladies, in case you didn’t know – Wednesday is OUR day.

International Women’s Day. A whole day to celebrate us because, being honest, we’re pretty bloody great aren’t we? I find so much to admire about my gender and the people who fall into it. I’ve been lucky to have been around some pretty fabulous women my whole life. I am a combination of these women; their lives, experiences and influence have helped shape me in to the woman I am today.

The women who made me come from everywhere. All over. Some real, some make-believe. Some I know personally. Some I don’t. Their influence on my life has been no less because I don’t know them on a personal level, or because they are the figment of someone’s imagination.

I am surrounded daily by women whom I admire, women who have traits and qualities I covet, women that teach me things about myself and the world, that influence me in all areas of my life. The women I surround myself with are my biggest cheerleaders, my biggest challengers. Badasses, the lot of ’em!

The women I am about to write about are the women that I feel had the biggest influence on turning the painfully shy, socially awkward Michaela into the less shy and slightly less socially awkward Michaela I am today in the years when I was still trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be.

 

My Mum – the ever delightful Mazza.

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Those of you that know me well would know to expect to find my mum on this list. What can I say about the woman who raised me? She’s fuckin’ nuts. She really is. Aside from the standard ‘mum’ lessons that most mums instill in their children, the biggest thing she has taught me is to laugh. Life is there to be enjoyed; laughter is the best medicine. She taught me humility and gave me the gift of being able to laugh at myself. She gave me my love for music – without which I would be completely lost. Music is my best therapy, aside from writing, and there are many times in my life – without sounding too dramatic – that music has saved me from feeling too lonely and lost.

 

My siblings.

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My sisters also deserve their own shout out because they too have had a hand in making me who I am. I am really mix of both of them. They have both always been very protective of me as the youngest child. Melanie is loud and strong, stubborn as a mule – traits that have definitely rubbed off on me. Melissa is quiet, shy and can be quite conservative, I have those sides of me too. One thing that I have gained from these betches is balance. As I said I am a mix of the two of them – so whilst I can be stubborn I am often the one that helps Melanie see the other side of the story and that goes for situations I find myself in too. Being able to see both sides is a trait I’m proud I possess. Melissa has helped me developed my “fake it till you make it façade” – when I push the status quo too far Melissa is there as my moral compass, keeping me on the straight and narrow.

 

Cinderella

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 Cinderella was my favourite Disney princess growing up. She was kind, gentle and she persevered through a mass amount of abuse from her stepmother and step sisters, and she still managed to come through the entire ordeal without wishing them any harm or wrongdoing. The animals were her friends. She lived in harmony with them – she even treated Lucifer (I hated that cat) with respect. She was soft but strong. Something that I aspire to be, even now. She was the lesson that whilst you cannot always change your circumstances or how people treat you, you can make the best of the situation – you can control your reaction to it.

Miss Glover/ Miss Meredith/ Miss Rao / Miss Brown.

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I have no pictures of my old teachers so here is one of Miss Honey from Matilda.

Miss Glover – Year 2 and 3 teacher

Miss Meredith – Year 6 teacher

Miss Brown – Biology teacher in Year 8 and 9

Miss Rao – Psychology teacher in years 12 and 13

These women are the female teachers that made me love school and learning. At 27, I still love to learn. Without sounding arrogant I was a bright student; academically I was above average in everything, except perhaps I. T (I still hate technology). I was however a lazy student – if the subject matter did not interest me, or the teacher was not engaging I would switch off and there was no going back. I fluked my way through all my GCSE and A-Level exams; rarely looking at revision books or notes.

Miss Glover was the first teacher that made me enjoy learning – she coaxed answers out of me in front of the whole class, something which no other teacher had been able to do. I was so shy in my first years at school that I would tell my friend what I thought and she would tell the teacher and rest of the class, until Miss Glover came along. To this day I still have no idea how she did it.

Miss Meredith was the first teacher I really looked up to. I remember just really liking her and would have happily stayed at school long after the bell rang when I was in her class.

As those of you that have met me know I am shorter than average. 5’1 to be exact. Of course growing up I was aware that I was much smaller than most of my class mates and it was never something that gave me much trauma but I was always very aware of it. Miss Brown was also a petite lady but she more than made up for it in attitude and she helped me see that being short didn’t mean you had to be ignored – you could still be short and sassy. She helped me learn how to own my height and be comfortable with it.

Miss Rao gave me my love for all things psychology related. Even now the human brain and psyche fascinate me. I love to observe people and find out why they do what they do, mental health issues and diseases fascinate me. I also just remember her being so cool for a teacher. She was young when she taught me, maybe mid twenties. She loved to travel in the holidays and would come back and tell us all these stories of what she’d done and where she’d been. I was just in awe of her and her confidence and how she carried herself – she really made being intelligent (and passionate about things) cool.

 

Keltie Knight nee Colleen.

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Keltie is an entertainment journalist based out of LA. She used to be a dancer and has danced with everyone from Beyoncé to Kanye, Panic at the Disco to Christina Perri.

I was going through a really tough time when I found Keltie online, it was around 2010 that I began to follow her. She used to send out emails to her blog followers called ‘Moonbeams’ – a weekly lesson or thought. She has provided me with food for thought for the last 8 years and continues to do so now. She has reminded me time and again that people need other people and spreading happiness can be effortless.

Her book “Rockette, Rockstars and Rockbottom” taught me to own my vulnerabilities, to not be ashamed of the bad times and the sadness that surrounds them. That it’s ok to be sad and have a pity party every now and again but you can’t stay there – you have to get up and fight again.

Diane Alice Lorraine.

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Funny story: when I met Diane I didn’t like her. She hired me when I was 17, buggered off to run another store for a couple of months, came back and I hated her. I still remember the first thing she ever said to me and where it was. Fast forward 10 years and I’d be completely bloody lost without her. She’s put up with the majority of my crap over the years, calling me out on my shit when it’s needed and providing me with some much-needed pep talks. The one thing Diane has taught me, I think more than anything, is that it is ok to want more. Some people are happy to settle but it’s ok not to. As a girl from a working class background that grew up on a council estate people would expect me to settle – so many do, Diane made me see it’s ok not to. In fact she actively encouraged me not to. Thanks, C**t.

Marina Diamandis of Marina and the Diamonds

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“Are you satisfied with an average life?”

“Look like a girl but I think like a guy”

“Can’t let your cold heart be free,
When you act like you’ve got an OCD”

“It’s okay to say you’ve got a weak spot
You don’t always have to be on top
Better to be hated
Than loved loved loved for what you’re not”

Marina was the first female singer / songwriter that I related to – her lyrics where about everything from not feeling good enough, mental health issues, being bored with what society demanded of females and the standard idea of beauty we see in gossip magazines. Of course she wasn’t the first EVER female to sing about these things but she was the first I related to from my age bracket that I listened to. Her lyrics could have come out of my journal, even my friends have remarked over the years that her songs ‘could be about you’. Especially her song ‘Girls” of which Marina herself has said: Of her song

“It’s a call for women to stop being their own enemies. These days you’re either a nun or a whore, to be both and neither, all in one. I want to help redefine women’s place in society.” I love her.

 

These are, of course, a handful of the women that helped make me who I am. I have 4 Aunts who each have played their part in who I am. Up to the age of 20 they and those name above were without a doubt the biggest players in making me, well, me. There are friends that I have made over the years too that have played a part. Becky was my first best friend, Rebecca in middle school – I remember many a sleepover at her house, Neysa in secondary school – she helped me find my singing voice, encouraged me to join the choir which led to many more memories… I could sit here all day and list the women that made me, everyone that has influenced me. The list would be never-ending because I guess in a way, everyone we come into contact with impacts us. We are the people we surround ourselves with.

 

To the women that have made me, thank you!

To the women I know and surround myself with – thank you!

To women all over the world – you matter, your stories matter and you fucking ROCK.

 

Here’s to having a vagina!

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xoxo Micks