I didn’t know what to call this – it’s advice to you, advice to younger girls, advice I’ll tell my daughters, advice I wish I’d been told, and advice that I need right now. I hope you reading this can find something helpful.

  • Growing up is confusing. Sometimes you might feel as if you’re losing your identity as you invent and reinvent yourself with each new mental, emotional, and physical development. Sometimes it feels like your mind is ahead of your body in maturity, and visa-versa. One day you might wake up and not realise who you are anymore. That’s okay – that’s growing up. Don’t lose yourself. Development is good, so embrace it. Get to know who you are, and pinpoint your values. Be proud of them.
  • [This is something I’m trying to tell myself right now]: NEVER STRESS BECAUSE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE NOT AT THE POINT IN LIFE YOU THINK YOU SHOULD BE AT. And stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone’s path of life is SO different. Your early twenties are terrifying. Everyone around you is graduating and getting internships and postgrad jobs and travelling and you’re not. And that’s okay. It’s all going to happen the way it should. Remember that.
  • Never take problems from your old relationships into new ones. Don’t enforce unfair and damagingly poor expectations on a new boyfriend that you learnt from old lovers. Every man teaches you something new and wonderful. Take the good lessons. Be cautious, but don’t tarnish someone with an old brush.
  • Take some risks. Do some shit. You’re young. Never ever punish yourself for being young and making mistakes. It all sculpts your morals and values and ultimately the person you are today. Plus you end up with some great stories and some sordid secrets. Stay out until 6am even though you’ll be tired at work the next day. Kiss that boy. Send that text.
  • SKIN. Take care of your skin. It’s such a trial and error thing that takes years to understand, but once you get it, you’re sorted. Please take your makeup off before bed. I got away with 18 years of not doing so, and I REGRET IT SO MUCH. Take your damn makeup off. Every night. I don’t CARE if you’ve been dancing on tables until 5am, you get home, and even if you’re using devil face wipes, get that makeup off your face. And drink some water.
  • Speaking of skin; PUT SPF ON YOUR FACE. Get a good daily moisturiser with a decent SPF in it. Even everyday British sunshine and UV exposure is damaging. You won’t regret it, I promise.
  • Never underestimate the power of sisterhood. Your girl friends will inspire you, educate you, support you, empower you. Appreciate them.
  • Clean your room! A tidy space is reflective of your mental state and helps you think better. I promise it helps to make things seem not quite as daunting and impossible. A tidy desk and living space helps me feel like I can start anything on my To-Do list.
  • That boy you’re obsessing over and making excuses for because he’s not texting you back, probably isn’t interested. If he ain’t replying, go read a book. Do a face mask. Messaging you shouldn’t be an exhausting task for him.
  • Laughter is the most amazing medicine for bad moods. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh effortlessly.
  • Along those lines, take time to pamper yourself. Do a hair mask or a face mask. Paint your nails. Read. Go for a run if you need to blow off some steam. Have a shower, fake tan; do whatever makes you feel that little bit more accomplished and complete. You’re a goddess in your own right. Look after yourself.

I hope this helped at least one person reading! I needed some of this advice right now, so I figured someone else might benefit from my words, too. If anyone has any incredible advice for pulling yourself out of crippling writers block, that would be stellar.

Have a fab day, guys.

At your cervix!

At your cervix!

So on a Twitter poll a few weeks back, I asked you guys if you wanted to hear about my experience and advice with the coil, or with menstrual cups first. The coil won – so here we are!

[I’d usually do a disclaimer about hearing all about my cervix, but I feel like I talk about it so much anyway that it’s not really an issue. WELCOME!!]

Two years ago I got the Mirena coil fitted after about three years of being on and off the Pill. I tried about five different forms of the Pill, including Brevinor and Norothisterone, amongst others. Long story short, the Pill makes me mildly insane, unstable, and completely depressed. I tried so many times, for so many months. My periods that used to run like clockwork despite being painful, atrociously heavy, and six days long, became sporadic, unpredictable, and savage. My own uterus was basically launching guerrilla warfare on me.

After a few months of getting off the pill, and trying to let my body sort itself out, I was recommended to getting the coil fitted. Mirena is inserted into your uterus by a doctor or nurse, and once in place, releases a localised progesterone hormone. It thickens the mucus in your cervix, and thins the lining of the womb, both of these making it difficult for an egg to be fertilized. Some women even stop ovulating all together.

Like with any form of birth control, Mirena comes with it’s side effects and potential negatives like mood swings and breast tenderness. The latter is something I get really badly these days which I definitely didn’t have before Mirena. It’s uncomfortable, but it doesn’t impact my daily life.

The insertion of Mirena isn’t exactly pleasant, and has to be one of the weirdest sensations of my life, and honestly, I could barely walk for three days. An hour after insertion I started with cramps which only intensified over the next several hours and days. Pain killers helped, and it’s manageable, but I couldn’t stand for longer than about ten minutes the next day. Showers turned into baths, and I had to call in sick at work for two days afterwards. My uterus felt like it was being put through a blender. You’re not allowed to do anything mildly strenuous for a while after, either, or lift anything heavy incase it gets misplaced. It takes a few days for Mirena to settle down, but when it does, you forget you even have it in.

Overall, Mirena has been great for me. I have a few problems with it every now and again with bleeding suddenly and for long periods of time, but on the whole, it’s been a dream. Even with Mirena fitted I still track my bleeding and my moods with the period tracking app; Clue. Clue is incredible for tracking just about everything to do with your period, PMS, moods, pains, bleeding, everything. It picks up on patterns during your cycle and helps to predict them for next month. It’s also really helpful to have months of this invaluable data, especially at doctors appointments. For example, Clue tells me that I mark being depressed in the second half of my cycle for the past seven months.

I DIGRESS, but when Mirena messes your periods up a bit, tracking bleeding is great when everything is a bit less predictable. (Also I really recommend tracking periods regardless of whether you’re on birth control or not. TAKE CARE OF YOUR VAGINAS, FRIENDS.)

I know that every woman is different, and my experience may not be the same as others, and indeed, Mirena isn’t for everyone. But if you’re like me, and can’t deal with the Pill or anything else where the hormone travels around the body, give Mirena a try. Five years of no worrying about birth control (and it can be taken out at ANY point) seems worth the discomfort of insertion. Birth control is such a trial and error – find what works for YOU.

Hope this helped anyone looking for alternatives or advice if you’re already considering Mirena! My post on MENSTRUAL CUPS will be up SOON.

The end of second year

The end of second year

Today marks the end of my second year at my current university, but the end of three years at university. Seeing all my friends handing their dissertations and preparing for post-grad courses, travelling, and jobs, makes me so proud of them, a little jealous, second hand scared for life after uni, but also so thankful for where I am at the moment.

In a BEDA blog post the other month, I wrote about change and choice, and how no choice you make is ever wrong. I talked about my decision to not accept my study abroad placement and how this granted me with strong friendships and the beginning of my incredible relationship with my partner.

I should have also written about my decision to change universities at the end of my first year, starting over in a new establishment. Moving my life to a new city was the best decision I have ever made in my life, and as I write this, I am so over-whelmed at the friendships I’ve made, the opportunities I’ve been given, and the lessons I’ve learnt from moving.

It’s now been almost two years since I made that choice, which was so heartbreaking at the time. But I am so glad I did. Everything happens for a reason; and I was meant to wait a year so all these amazing people could catch up and come to university to I’d meet them.

If you couldn’t tell, I’m feeling very emotional but in a good way.

This year has been one of stories, and adventures. It’s been impromptu nights outs, ending at some house party, being carried home on the shoulders of my iron man of a best friend. It’s been one of being in the library until 3am, almost in tears over Hippocrates and accidentally rewriting Italian history. It’s been a year of learning about myself, being comfortable and confident in my body and owning my sexuality.

It’s been a year of laughing until I cried, maturing, stabilising, and grounding myself. I’ve found my passion and my area of speciality, and explored options for my future. I’ve grown and learnt from the women I’m lucky enough to surround myself with. I’ve been strengthened and supported by the men who make me proud every day.

I love being in this mood where I just sit and look at my life and I’m just so lucky and proud of myself.

I can’t wait for this summer; researching for my dissertation, working hard at my job, travelling to see friends, and my partner, and just being happy.

Day 30 – The Final Day

Day 30 – The Final Day

Well here we are; the last post of BEDA.

I wanted to come out of this month with a novel, but I came out of it with another 30 blog posts and a bullet journal. So I guess I achieved something.

Running dry for this post. I’m tired and I’ve actually been doing work for my upcoming assessments (shocker, I know). In a way, I’m glad that April is basically over; it’s been mentally tiring, constantly thinking of writing blog posts, or writing my novel.

The beginning of May is going to kick my ass a bit with all of my last assignments due in the first two weeks. But after that, I’m going home and starting work again. I have mixed feelings about moving back home. Everyone at uni will be so far away from me. But I’ll be home, I’ll be working, I’ll be travelling to see my pals and my partner, and it will be sunny.

So it will all be alright.

And like I said last year; May is a bright, burning orange for me. May is emotive.

Signing off for the last time, guys. Thanks for sticking with me; it’s been wild. And you’re all great. Thank you for the constant reading and supporting. Couldn’t have done it without you, team.

Day 29 – A Year Ago

Day 29 – A Year Ago

A year ago today I had a novel. A year ago today, I’d written my third 50,000 word novel, and the last time I’d done it was when I was 17.

A year ago today, I was at home, about to head to Yorkshire for a fancy ball with my parents and their friends who are my second family. A year ago today I was with someone completely different, and in a bad way.

A year ago today, stress, anxiety and depression were sky high, my weight was the heaviest it had ever been, and I was miserable. I was just trying to get through the rest of the semester, but dreading going home and going back to work because I’d almost been made to quit.

But now, a year on from all of that, I might not have a novel, but I have my health, my happiness, my new and wonderful partner, and a work family where I finally feel like I belong.

I might have failed in getting my novel this year, but I’m in a much better place than I was last year.

It’s amazing the difference you can make in just one year; in your personal life, professional life, and in yourself.

It really is about counting your achievements, more than your failures.

Day 28

Day 28

This was going to be a story time post BUT heaven forbid I’m having a social life.

Friend said that reading my blog posts was like a rollercoaster and he’s not wrong. (Hi, Reece. Welcome to the team!)

See you kids tomorrow. Make good choices.

Day 27 – The Last Novel Update

Day 27 – The Last Novel Update

Today, I closed down my novel document.

I’m tired. I’m down. My mind feels like it’s been wrung out completely from motivation and creativity, and I can’t force it anymore. I’ve hit 35,000 words and on day 27 when I should be at 45,000, I know that even with the best will in the world, I won’t be able to catch up. Plus, I have an essay due on the 2nd May. So I should probably be focussing on that. This isn’t me giving up. This is me realistically recognising when enough is enough.

UGH I hate posting whiney posts like this, but my brain is so mushy right now. I wanna go back to writing my old stuff and posting it, so at least those efforts were being read and reviewed. It’s nice to have people reading my creations.

So because I’ve closed my novel off, there’s some people I really want to thank for supporting me.

First of all, my boyfriend Luke. For not understanding why I was even putting myself through that torture in the first place, he’s been great at bringing me tea, chocolate, and tidying his room because he knows that the only way I can concentrate is if I’m in a tidy place.

Also a massive thank you to my gal pal Mia who’s helped me through numerous writers blocks, and told me constantly how I need to count my achievements over my failures. Mia, you’re my sunshine.

All of my other friends have also all been incredible at texting me to write when I’m clearly procrastinating and for cheering me on. TEAM, YOU’RE ALL AMAZING. I have great friends.

Signing off now. The blog posts will continue, and you’ll be glad to know there will be no more novel ranting or whining. Thanks for sticking around.