Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Day 21: A blast from the past

I've got to admit, when I saw today's topic I was a bit 'meh'...having spent the last hour or so reading back over past posts however, my mind had been well and truly changed. I won't lie, I even got a tad emotional in (quite a few) places - maybe this Ice Queen aint quite so frosty after all.

So, without further ado, some of my favourite past posts -

A Lesson in Self-Worth

Love The Skin You're In

Food Porn and the Toxic Environment

Here's to you, 2012

Part of where I'm going, is knowing where I'm coming from

Class of 2012

In Five Years Time

The Princesses and the Playsuit

My Embarrassing Fat Body

Enjoy ;)

With all my love,
Lauren xx

Monday, 20 May 2013

Blog Every Day In May - Day 20

I most certainly dropped the ball on the Blog Every Day In May challenge last week - for this I offer my apologies! I had an extremely busy couple of days followed by a couple of extremely 'can't be bothered days' - I was considering trying to catch up with all the posts but I think instead of that I will just start afresh from today, and try to keep up.

So, day 20: Get real. Write about something you're struggling with right now.

Ok, I can do that. Be warned though, its not going to be pretty.

It's no secret that I suffer from depression. I've written about it on here several times, and alluded to it many more. It's not something I write about with alarming frequency, partly because I don't want to come off as being all 'woe is me, look how terrible my life is' (it isn't), and partly  because I don't want a medical condition to define my life and what I do with it. And ok, partly because I'm embarrassed.

I've suffered from depression, to the best of my calculations, since I was about 15 - possibly younger. 15 was the age at which I became aware of being 'a bit different' - a bit more melancholy, a bit more analytical, a bit...angrier, than my peers.  Of course the word 'depression' wasn't really part of my vocabulary at that age - I just thought that was how I was built. It wasn't until I got to university that I was diagnosed with depression, and even then it wasn't a conclusion I came to on my own. I went to the doctor with extreme fatigue. By this point I'd already joined Weight Watchers and had lost a couple of stone. My mind made the connection between the weight loss and feeling worse - but it didn't quite figure out that the reason was because I was no longer self-medicating with food. After a chat with my doctor about my options, I was prescribed a course of antidepressants - which I didn't take - and referred for counselling - which I didn't attend. I didn't want to be labelled as depressed. I didn't want to take pills or go to counselling or be 'that girl'. I was adamant that I'd be ok. I'd be ok once I'd lost the weight, I'd be ok once my exams were done, I'd be ok, I'd be ok, I'd be ok.

That was towards the end of my first year at university. My second year was worse. Far, far worse. I didn't like my course, I didn't like the majority of my housemates, and I definitely didn't like myself. I was angry all the time. I wouldn't leave my room for days - and if I did I timed it so that I wouldn't have to speak to anyone else in the house. On the rare occasions that I went out I got hideously, embarrassingly drunk. I started regaining weight. It was a bad, bad time. I never ever planned to hurt myself in any way, but I was in a bad place. I saw a tv ad, one of those road safety ones in which a teenager gets knocked down and killed, and I thought to myself 'if I got hit by a car and killed tomorrow it wouldn't really bother me'. I made a doctors appointment for that afternoon.

This time I did everything right. I took the tablets, I went to the counselling sessions. I started losing weight and exercising again. Gradually I started enjoying things again. Under my doctors advice I took the antidepressants for well over a year - a few months for them to take effect, and a year feeling 'stable' on them. Just before Easter last year my doctor advised that I start coming off them - gradually. My dose was decreased every month for three months until I stopped taking them. This coincided with my final exams, graduation and starting full time work.

With hindsight, it was a stupid move. In a time of great upheaval, the last thing I should have done was stop taking them. I queried it when my doctor suggested it, but you just sort of go with it, don't you? I mean, they're doctors. They know what their talking about. I should have insisted I stay on them until I was settled. Everyone has 20-20 hindsight, right? And in fairness, I was ok. A few mopey days here and there, but overall it was fine. Towards the end of October I started feeling the familiar pangs - what I can only describe as a sense of hopelessness, and the inability to see the point in anything. I attributed it to being bored with my job and having a lacklustre social life. It wasn't until early February that I finally realised it was happening again, and that something needed to be done. So on Valentine's Day (and they say romance is dead) and had a very frank discussion with her about where I was at and what was bothering me. And I mean, very frank. We're talking home life, work life, sex life, the lot. She told me what I already knew - that there is no logical reason for me to be depressed. I had a happy and stable childhood, in spite of my parents divorcing when I was nine. I was well cared for and well provided for. I've never been abused or assaulted or neglected. I've never lost a parent, or sibling, or child, or spouse. I have a stable job, a good education, I'm in good health. My life isn't perfect, but by any standard it's pretty damn good. There is not, nor has there ever been, any external reason for me to be in top third of the depression scale.

Internally, it's a completely different story. Because my depression isn't caused by a traumatic event. It is, quite simply, a chemical imbalance in the brain. A chemical imbalance that is genetic and that is never, ever going to go away. Sure it can be treated. I can be made to feel better with drugs and counselling and cuddles (never underestimate the power of the hug). A healthy lifestyle will ease the symptoms, but they will never truly go away.

I was told there and then by my doctor that she was happy to put me back on antidepressants, but it would be under the assumption that I would be on them for the long term - possibly for life. Alternatively she told me to work through some of the stresses in my life to see if that improved how I felt about things generally. I took the latter option, still terrified of spending the rest of my life dependent on the little white pills. Still not wanting to be cast as 'that girl'. Still desperately trying to believe that if I could make everything in my life perfect then it would all go away. So I dealt with the stresses - I got organised at work and reduced my stress there, I got my finances sorted, I spent a long time chatting with my mum about the way things were at home, I had the dreaded 'relationship' conversation with the boy. Three out of four of these things went my way - the final one threw me for a little while, but I'm getting there. Slowly.

I gave it three months. Nobody can say that I didn't try, because I did. I had the conversations I didn't want to have and I dealt with the consequences - one of which being the end of a fledgling relationship. I know that part of the issue was him, but if I hadn't pushed, if I'd let it run its course, things may have been different. He wasn't ready for there to be 'labels and expectations', and I'm too neurotic and insecure for there not to be. It's that simple.

I gave it my best, like I try to do with everything. Eventually I had to accept that it wasn't going to be enough, and I'm struggling with that.

I'm struggling with the knowledge that there's something wrong with me - that there's a part of my brain that just doesn't work the way everyone else's does. I'm struggling with the fact that, to all intents and purposes, I am broken. That all the weight loss, all the dream jobs, all the fantastic friends, all the wonderful family, all the kings horses and all the kings men aren't going to be able to put poor little Lauren's brain back together again.

I'm scared of what this means for the future, because people don't like the depressed girl. They like the happy-go-lucky, bubbly, perky girl, and that is never going to be me. I'm scared of how I'll cope - not only with work but with life in general. How will I manage if, god forbid, I should lose someone close to me? How will I manage if and when the time comes to have a baby? Am I going to be one of those mothers crippled by PND, unable to bond and resenting her kids? Am I even going to be able to have kids - am I going to meet someone who is willing to take on all the stuff that comes with this problem?

How am I going to explain it to people? How am I supposed to look people in the eye, people who have gone through far worse things than I ever have, and tell them that I'm depressed?

So yes, I'm struggling. I'm also angry. I'm angry at myself for being like this, and at whatever genetic anomaly it is that has resulted in me feeling this way. I'm angry that I have to remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life, instead of just being able to appreciate them. I'm angry that my options are either medication or a constant, oppressive feeling of hopelessness. I get to decide between Prozac or a life spent wondering 'what's the point?'. Lucky me. I'm angry, and sad, that part of this problem is the constant over-analysis of everything. Everything is a puzzle to be solved. A conversation is obsessed over, a sideways glance from a stranger on the train is picked apart and examined for every possible meaning. It's exhausting and it's maddening and it doesn't endear me to myself or anyone else. And knowing that it's not going to get better, that this is what my life will be...that's what I'm struggling with.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A Day In The Life

Day 15: A day in the life (include photos from throughout your typical day - 
this could be 'a photo an hour' if you'd like)

Sunday, 12 May 2013

'A picture is worth a thousand words, but memories are priceless.'

Whenever there is talking of missing something, I always find my mind drifting to a certain time, a certain group of friends, a certain set of memories that evoke a smile at almost the same time as this weird panging feeling I get in my chest. I can never really decide if that time was a good one or a bad one. One thing is for sure - it definitely wasn't boring.

I'm talking, of course, about the teen years. Specifically the latter part of my teen years, from 16-19. It's no secret that I was a complete monster when I was younger (blame it on the hormones) and I gave my parents no end of stress. I've said before that I think I was suffering from depression even then, a theory corroborated by my doctor last week - but that's a post for another time. I see this period of time as sort of a transitional period...at 16 I was a nightmare, but by the time I left for university just after my 19th birthday I'd managed to screw my head on a little better. I was no longer as aggressive and hostile and just generally unhappy as I had been. For the most part, anyway.

You might be wondering why I would choose this period of time as the time that I miss, when I was perhaps finding things difficult. And I won't lie, there were times when things were pretty damn bad. Even with the depression, and the added difficulty of a fairly volatile relationship (I once smashed his face into a car bonnet during an argument - ahh the folly of youth) I still mostly remember all the wonderful things that happened during that time. I had a brilliant group of friends, and I often feel sad that I'm no longer as close with any of them. I was top of my game academically, being one of the very few big fish in the small pond that was my under-achieving comprehensive secondary school and sixth form college. I went to local gigs, drank pints of snakebite and smoked endless Mayfairs, dressed up in ridiculous fancy dress costumes for Halloween, had my tongue, lip and nosed pierced, got both my tattoos, dyed my hair all manner of ridiculous colours - then cut it all off. I had house parties - house parties that have gone down as friendship group legends. I flirted with the boy who worked in the Gadget Shop, then wrote my number on the back of a receipt and gave it to him. He took me to see the Simpson's Movie and bought me a Peanut Butter and Oreo milkshake from Shake About. I spent hours and hours hanging out in skate parks, in the woods, in fields, basically anywhere and every teenagers go with their friends when they're at that age - that age when huddling under a half-pipe in the freezing cold and rain is a more appealing thought than sitting at home. I went on nights out with a fiver in my purse and a bottle of vodka stashed in my bag. I thought I was so painfully cool with my piercings and my converse and my angsty on-off relationship. I mentioned he was in a band, right? Yep. Drummer. I mean, it would have been cooler if he'd been the guitarist or lead singer of course, but still. He was in a band. And he had his own car. And his parents had a swimming pool. I basically thought I was the coolest person on earth.

Those were good times - much simpler times. When you're sixteen you think everything is the end of the world, that every drama is going to ruin your life and that nobody on earth has ever felt this way about anything or anyone ever before. And to be honest, I still feel like that now - it's just not as easy to get away with when you're in your twenties. I'm not sure when or even how it happened, but at some point it stopped being acceptable to be flighty and impulsive. To be overly emotional, to throw things at people, to spend hours doing nothing just 'because'. It's no longer ok for me to come home with grass stains on my jeans. Strongbow is no longer the right thing for me to drink. Now I drink wine or gin and tonic or fancy cocktails that I can't pronounce the names of. I am no longer allowed to burst into tears at the slightest provocation. Now, at not-even-23, it is no longer ok for me to like the boy that works in the Gadget Shop. Now I have to like the advertising exec, the banker, the insurance broker. When did that happen? When did which boy I like stop depending on a cute smile and start depending on their career prospects? When did it stop being ok for me to cry for absolutely no reason at all, which at the time felt like all the reasons in the world?
I am a woman now - a grown woman with a career, and I cannot for the life of me figure out how that happened.
I miss that time. I miss being a teenager. I miss being allowed to be angsty and angry and volatile. I miss having that 'get out of jail free' card that comes hand in hand with the hormones. I miss spending entire weekends raking the streets, traipsing around shopping centres, sneaking into pubs and clubs with fake IDs. I miss laughing over ridiculous things that I cannot for the life of me remember now. I miss whispering secrets to my best friend. I miss milkshake dates and that first day of summer feeling, when six weeks seems like an eternity and a heartbeat all at once, when you know that no matter how much you try you will never manage to do all the things you want to do but you're so excited that you don't care anyway.
And, you know what? I miss the Strongbow too.
With all my love,
Lauren xxx

Perfect 10.

Yesterday's (sorry, still playing catch-up) Blog Every Day In May topic is 'sell yourself in ten words or less' - infinitely harder than 'describe yourself' or 'sum yourself up'. If I'm selling myself, these all need to be positive traits...or at least be traits I can put a positive spin on. Right?

Ok, here goes...

Insightful. Determined. Compassionate. Eloquent. Communicative. Independent. Supportive. Analytical. Protective. Funny.
So what do you think? Would you buy me? ;)
Which ten words would you use to sell yourself?
With love,
Lauren xxx

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Top Cringes

Ahhh, I've had so many....so many horribly embarrassing moments that spring to mind. Off the top of my head...

The day I got so drunk I was sick in my boyfriends bed...the day we got together. I was sixteen, it was the last day of the school term, and we'd spent the night at his with four of our friends. They were all older than I was and as such we're seasoned drinkers by comparison...obviously I tried to keep up and ended up completely wasted. I passed out in his bed, woke up long enough to throw up in his bed, and then had to be carried home by aforementioned horrified new boyfriend. He delivered me to my fathers doorstep, rang the doorbell and ran before my dad had a chance to answer the door! Not my finest moment...

Halloween 2012...getting so hammered I was sick in a pint glass IN THE CLUB and was then sick again in my friends bathroom sink.

My dad's 50th...got drunk, fell over in the kitchen and then passed out in a pool of my own vomit.

My graduation night...oh god, I can't even.

Hmm....I see a pattern developing here....

Don't worry, they don't all involve me getting hammered and misplacing my stomach contents.

There was also the time I flashed the entire swimming pool after my too-big swimming costume fell down. I COULD HAVE DIED.

Let's not forget the time I tripped over thin air and ended up with a broken ankle. Or the time I went over the handlebars of my bike and had to have an ambulance called out to attend to me WHILE I LAID ON MY BACK ON THE PAVEMENT. Mortifying.

The time my boss walked in on me in the staff kitchen discussing what I'd been up to the weekend before. I don't think I need to say any more than that.

Oh and let's not neglect to mention all horrifying fat moments that continue shame me....not being able to buy clothes from normal shops, the whole 'fitting behind lecture tables' issue, just generally being 'that fat girl in our seminar'....shudder.

So yeah, these are just a few of my social faux pas (is there a plural of 'faux pas'? I have no idea) over the years. I promise that I am actually a very refined, classy and cultured young lady....until I move or speak, that is.

What are your most cringeworthy moments?

With all my love,
Lauren xxx

A Moment of My Day

Ok, so I'm cheating slightly with this one, having dropped the ball and missed two days of the Blog Every Day in May challenge. Worry not, I intend to make them up!

The following photo was taken yesterday evening. After an extremely stressful two days of playing catch-up at work (it's almost not worth taking time off just because of the stress it causes afterwards) and when I was on the verge of throwing my computer across the room, I look up across the office, and saw this:

That, ladies and gentlemen, is my boss.
Well, if you're going to be at work at 7pm on a Friday, it might as well be with Britain's favourite soap star. Right?

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Borrowed Wisdom

So ladies and gentlemen, here we are. We have made it to day eight of the Blog Every Day In May challenge, and so far I can't help but feel it's all going swimmingly. I will be returning to work tomorrow after a very pleasant few days off - lets hope my efforts continue to be as sterling as they have been so far!

Onto today's post...

Day 8, Wednesday: A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.

This is a post that has me umming and ahhing somewhat. On the surface it's easy enough, but when it comes down to it I'm not all that sure I have any advice that would be of value. I mean, I'm 22. I haven't really lived yet. I can't give advice on marriage, or parenting, or mortgages, or career advancement or any of that stuff because I haven't done it. I could probably offer some wise words on losing weight, but that would depend on who I was talking to and what their situation is. Maybe if I was pushed to it I could offer advice to other people in a similar situation to myself, but even then it's pushing it. To me 'advice' is something you get from someone older and wiser, more worldly and learned. You categorically do not get advice from someone like me. I mean, it took me ten minutes to be able to switch on the dishwasher yesterday. For real.

Maybe if you come back to me in ten, or fifteen, or twenty years time I will have some profound words of wisdom to offer to you. Maybe by then I'll be some famous PR 'guru' (I hate that word with the fire of a thousand suns) who flies around the world consulting with mega brands. Maybe I'll be one of those nauseating women who thinks she's the only person in the history of the world to get married and reproduce, and therefore believes she's qualified to tell others how to conduct their marriages or raise their children (I'm pretty sure we're safe on this one, but you never know). To be perfectly honest with you, I don't mind what advice I'm qualified to give in twenty years time. I just hope I've got the hang of basic household appliances by then.

Because I am so woefully under-qualified to offer advice on any topic at all, I thought I'd borrow some from a woman who knows far more, and can express it far more eloquently than I will ever be able to. I first read the below when I was 16, and it stuck with me ever since - in bold you will find the lines that resonate strongly with me. My lovely readers, I give you Mary Schmich.

'Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.'

With all my love, as always,
Lauren xxx

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Blog Every Day In May - Day 7

Day 7, Tuesday: The thing(s) you're most afraid of.
There was only one thing that immediately jumped to my mind when I read the subject of today's post. I mean sure, I have more than one fear.
I have all the usual ones, of course. I'm terrified of losing my family and friends, and I'm filled with a sense of awe when I look at those around me who have lost loved ones and still maintain some semblance of functionality. I don't think I could do it.
I'm scared of failing - something that links to yesterday's post. I'm scared of messing up, of not being able to do something. My self-esteem is fragile enough to find the thought of failure terrifying.
I'm scared that - God forbid - something bad will happen to me. That I'll leave the house one day and never come back. Not necessarily because of what that would mean for me - more because of those that are left behind. I'm scared that I won't get a chance to tell people how important they are. Also because it would mean my parents finding my bank statements, which I'm almost certain would give the pair of them a coronary on the spot.
I'm scared of ending up alone. Yes, I know I'm 22. Yes, I know that chances are this will not be the case. A lot of this fear in particular is down to my job and my own messed up neurosis. I'm in that dreadful post-breakup-except-it-wasn't-a-real-breakup-because-we-weren't-together stage where all I hear in any social situation is how I should already be out there dating new people. And I have been. I've been on a few dates. They were hideously tedious and awkward and not an experience I have any particular desire to repeat any time soon. I blame it on work being so time-consuming and energy sapping, but what if I always feel like that? And then what if, one day, I wake up and suddenly realise that I'm 48 and I've spent my entire life not bothering with people? That I'm actually dried up and alone with nothing to show for my efforts except my job? That is a thought that scares me. I spend quite a lot of my time worrying about that.
So yeah, all of those things scare me. But there is one thing that terrifies me above and beyond everything else.
Blindness. I am absolutely petrified of going blind.
This may seem slightly strange - allow me to elaborate. I have bad eyes - I have done since I was 12. Probably before, but that's when the headaches and squint got bad enough for me to end up at the opticians. For a while they gradually got worse, then the rate seemed to increase. It is now no longer a gradual decrease of visual field - it's become a hurtling descent into blindness. Every time I go to the opticians I get the concerned look as they pile higher and higher prescriptions in front of my face to find the one that actually allows me to see more than 30cm beyond the end of my nose. In the three months since my last contact lens check-up, my left eye has decreased by a further .25. Means nothing to a lot of you, but most people's decrease by less than that over the course of a year. If anything. Me? Three months. Three tiny, insignificant months.
Laser eye surgery is an option. Eventually. When I have the money. Right now I'm limited to contact lenses and glasses and getting good at reading the signs my body sends me. Twitch in the left eye? Time to head to the opticians again. Stomach-turningly severe headache radiating from the centre of my brain? Definitely time to head to the opticians again.
I don't want to go blind. More than anything else in the world, I can't bear the thought of going blind. Sometimes if I sit up too fast my left eye goes blank - apparently nothing to do with my eyesight and everything to do with me bolting out of bed and not allowing my blood a chance to circulate to important parts of my body, such as my brain - and I'm gripped with panic at the thought of it never coming back. I think I could handle almost anything else, but the thought of ending up in the dark truly terrifies me.
That and spiders. Ugh.
With love,
Lauren xxx


Monday, 6 May 2013

Blog Every Day In May - Day Six

Yes, alright, so I skipped day five. I'm sorry, ok!? I didn't like the topic and I was too sad and hungover and generally mean-spirited to write a love-post for anyone. Mostly I just wanted to eat my body weight in chocolate and rip out the eyeballs of every person that dared look at me funny. Needless to say I'm feeling better today, which leads me nicely to today's topic...

"If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question 'what do you do?'"

The answer to this one is quite simple really.

My best. I do my best.

I try my hardest, I give my everything. Sometimes that isn't enough - and that kills me. Sometimes things don't go my way, and that's hard. It's hard when things don't go your way anyway, but it's especially hard when you've thrown everything you have at it and it still doesn't work. It's a bitter pill to swallow, and it leaves you feeling wounded and insignificant and like nothing you do will ever be good enough. It leaves you feeling like you aren't enough.

Sometimes though, your best is enough. Sometimes throwing yourself into it is rewarded. Your efforts are acknowledged and praised, and you know that it was worth it. The hard work, the exhaustion, the hours of effort ploughed into a task or project, the fleeting bursts of resentment you felt at having to work so damn hard wither and die when confronted with a smile of gratitude, a word of thanks, some small gesture that lets you know what you did was noticed and appreciated. That it made a difference.

Does the good always outweigh the bad? No, not necessarily. I'm my own worst enemy, harshest critic, biggest saboteur. For me, the bad will always be far more potent than the good. That chest-crushing feeling of frustration and helplessness will always far outweigh the memories of jobs well done. I will always wonder why my best wasn't good enough. But I will also know that I gave it everything, that I threw all I had at it and that there was nothing else I could have done. I learn from the mistakes that I've made in the past, and I hope that one day my best will be better. And there's comfort to be taken from that

I do my best. It might not always be good enough, but it's what I always do.

With all my love,
Lauren x

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Blog Every Day In May - Slightly Belated Day Four

I know, I know, I missed yesterday....so will be making up for it today instead! I spent the whole day yesterday travelling up to Liverpool with my family and headed straight out in the evening to get food and party like its 1969 in the Cavern Club. It was probably one of the best nights I've had in a very long time - which my current hungover state can definitely attest to!

Anyway, onto day four...today's subject posed something of a problem for me, because I hand HUNDREDS of favourite quotes. I guess when you spend three years memorising quotes for essays and exams its inevitable that a few will stick with you! I'm also well known to be a complete sucker for nice words so things from songs, films and tv shows stick with me. Here are a few....

'Well don't you know that it's a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder.' - Hey Jude, The Beatles. Partly because its beautiful, but mostly because it reminds me of my mum.

'I like the night. Without the dark, we'd never see the stars.' - Stephenie Meyer, Twilight. Cringe I know but it reminds me that sometimes something bad has to happen, to help you appreciate all the wonderful things you do have.

'I have made the most important discovery of my career - the most important discovery of my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reasons can be found. I am only here tonight because of you. You are the only reason I am. You are all my reasons.' - A Beautiful Mind. Just because its so incredibly beautiful.

'Life is far too important a thing to ever talk seriously about.' - Oscar Wilde, Lady Lady Windermere's Fan. I think it's something we would all do well to remember from time to time.

'It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.' - J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Sometimes everyone gets so caught up in what it is they want to do, what they aspire to be, that they neglect to live now. I'm as guilty as anyone. This quote reminds me that it's fine to have aspirations and dreams but not at the cost of what we have and who we are in the here and now. Aim for the best there is and the best you can be, but make sure you enjoy the ride there.

With all my love, as always,
Lauren xxx

Friday, 3 May 2013

Blog Every Day In May - Day Three

When I read the topic of today's post I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about it. A lot of the things that make me uncomfortable would make no sense at all to other people. Chances are voicing them aloud would result in the swift arrival of the men in white coats. But then I thought, well that's a risk I take every time I open my mouth and speak, so why change the habit of a lifetime.

So, things that make me uncomfortable -

Having my hair tied up.
Shoes. Yes, really. I have weird shaped feet and shoes hurt me.
Bras. Pretty sure I'm not alone in this one - right ladies?!
Exercise. Because I don't care what any of you say, finding it that difficult to breathe definitely isn't good for me.
Posh people. They make me scared to speak.
Bad grammar. As long as we're now accepting 'uncomfortable' as a substitute for 'downright furious'.
No eye make-up. Because I have tiny piggy eyes. And yes, I know you're now looking at my photos and noticing it.
The entire Punk Goes 90s album. Don't ask.
Cherry Lambrini.
Jeans. I'm just too disproportionate.
People who bop along to their iPods on public transport. I'm sitting next to one right now. Like dude, sit fucking still.

What makes you uncomfortable?

Lauren xx

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Blog Every Day In May - Day 2

Day 2, Thursday: Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at.
So, I made it to day 2. You're impressed, I can tell.
This is a challenge that I suspect will be very difficult for a lot of people. I'm imagining reams of posts all stating 'but there's nothing I'm good at'. And to be honest, that's exactly how I feel. Sure, there are things I'm ok at, but I've never really excelled at anything. I had decent grades and graduated with an ok degree, but nothing ground-breaking. I'm not terrible at my job but I wouldn't go around singing my own praises either. I can't dance, or sing, or draw, or take photographs, or any of that wonderful arty creative stuff. I can't even walk in heels without falling over.
So instead of what will inevitably be a painful and humiliating foray into my sad, empty, talentless life, I thought I'd take a further leaf out of Laura's book and share with you something that I do know.
This quote has been with my a lot recently. I'm at a stage - in my job, in my life - where I'm learning. Learning and adapting, and all I can do now is my best. And eventually I'll learn - I'll figure out better ways to do things, I'll learn new methods. I'll change, be different, be better.
So what am I good at now? Nothing, really. But the question is, what will I be good at one day?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Blog Every Day In May

So in typical Lauren fashion - I saw something, I thought it was cool, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. Precisely five minutes ago I spotted a link to my friend Laura's first 'Blog Every Day In May' post, and thought to myself...why the hell not!? Having previously stated that I will never be a consistent blogger, I know some of you may be rolling your eyes. And I am too, if I'm honest! I think having prescribed subjects will definitely help...I'd blog more often if I felt like anything I had to say was of any interest to anyone!

If you want to know more about the challenge you can find out here.

So, here goes.

Day 1, Wednesday: The story of your life in 250 words or less.
This is going to be a tough one. We all know 'concise' is not my strong point.
Ok, so that's me. Lauren Elizabeth Jones, first known as 'Baby Parle', born 15th September 1990 at Harold Wood Hospital weighing 8lbs 4.5oz. I was raised by my parents in a myriad of homes in Essex and London. In 1996 my little brother arrived, and in 1999 my parents separated and subsequently divorced.
I was not an easy teenager to raise. I went from a happy child to the demon bitch from hell, pretty much overnight. Throughout my teenage years there were fights, arguments, disappearing acts, inappropriate boyfriends and even run-ins with the police. In spite of all that, and to the frank disbelief of family and teachers, my grades were always very good. Knowing what I know now I’d say I was already suffering with depression – but that’s a story for another post.
Throughout this time I was ‘overweight’. By the time I finished my first term at uni in 2010 I was 0.4 BMI points shy of morbidly obese. Everything I have achieved between now and then is due to my decision to join Weight Watchers. The pictures here and in the sidebar speak a thousand words, but it’s still not enough to convey the effect that losing weight had. I was on the verge of leaving university, miserably unhappy, horribly unhealthy and starting the think ‘the bad thoughts’. Life isn’t all sunshine and butterflies now but it’s a world away from what it was. It sounds incredibly shallow to say that my life has been shaped by losing weight, but it’s true. Many of my closest friends I met through Weight Watchers. It led me into my current career. I think it’s fair to say that in one way or another, it shaped everything that happened between then and now.
293 words…close enough ;)
With all my love,
Lauren xx