Saturday, 17 February 2018

First times

The first time is always uncomfortable.

The first time you tell a white lie, fall in love, or break someone's heart can make you blue. The first time you crack a bone, bruise flesh or push through recovery can leave you skittish. The first time you scrape your car and hide the paintwork will rattle your guilt. The first time you speak up, and let someone hear you, will shake your voice. The first time someone touches you can start a fire. Nothing about these things is ever easy.

Then there is the first time you allow someone else to see you, and know you, after living in hiding because of what he did. The first time someone else makes you smile, without making you cry afterwards.

Firsts in life are always terrifying.

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Thursday, 8 February 2018

What it's like to be afraid

Everyone is scared of something, and we all have something that keeps us awake at night. We all have our reasons for keeping the covers on the bed, and a safety blanket never hurt anyone. I used to think I wasn't afraid of much, I've seen a lot, after all. I can come across as fizzy, sharp and confident in my self awareness. I have accidental charm. I can lighten up a room around me, or tear it down.

I'm not scared of a good gaslighting, because I know my own brain better than they do. I'm not scared of slammed doors and the silence as he hangs up, and I'm not scared of other women. I'm not scared of talking about my mental health, or speaking up about whatever's pissed me off about the world.

But, I am afraid.

That's valid, right?

Saturday, 30 December 2017

A goodbye list

A really good goodbye should be short, sweet, and painless. Endings should be succinct. Things rarely turn out this way, but you can't blame me for trying to get one thing right as the year closes. 2017 was awful for a lot of reasons. It was confusing, infuriating, and tragic for most people I know.

For me, it was exhausting. I somehow managed to live my worst life, and in the end, remember the best of me. I started to believe again. My hair grew out, even after cutting three inches. I also told a few really good jokes at my own expense, so there's that.

For months, a home crumbled around me, as I fought battles without weapons and pushed through a wreckage with few allies. It was always chaotic, never safe. The majority of my year has been about him. Believing him, leaving him, defeating him. I swallowed lies like a virus until I became the worst of hosts. In the end, he weakened as all viruses do when they start to fail. To defeat a virus you must get plenty of fluids, plenty of rest. Take pain relief as prescribed. I won.

I always do, by the way.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

How to love a sociopath

Over the last year, I've come to realise that there isn't a lot I know for sure in life. Actually, I'm almost positive I know nothing, and I have no answers. I second guess myself a lot these days, because I'm not sure of anything anymore. He did that to me by taking away my ability to believe.

I used to believe in true love, forgiveness and magic. 

I wish I could remember why.

What I do know a lot about, is unhealthy relationships. It took me a long time to admit what was my fault, and what was his. It's hard to swallow, like unsweetened medicine. I have to take it, but it doesn't mean I like the taste. The truth is always bitter, even when it's on my side.

I never wanted to think of him this way, he used to be sweet. He used to be funny, grounded, and loyal. I sat with those words for a long time, guilt resting comfortably in my ribcage. "Used to be." I loved him dearly.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Brief encounters

fireworks image
Six years ago, I never thought we would still know each other.

We started off as strangers turned friends, turned friends with benefits, then nothing. Then back again. We met through a friend, neither of us interested in knowing each other. We've had a lot to hide over the years, as much from each other as everyone else.

Our brief encounters gave us plenty to remember. It's too easy to get drunk on attention and high on nostalgia. Friendship is a fix.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Fragrance: Vera Wang Lovestruck Floral Rush

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Lovestruck Floral Rush Eau de Parfum 30ml
Finding your favourite perfume can be a bit of a task. Most of us buy perfumes and associate them with different times in our lives, and we rarely stick to one scent. Perfume is a luxury, and plenty of us wait for birthdays and Christmases to replenish our stock. 

Back in 2011, I discovered my signature scent. The original Vera Wang Lovestruck EDP is my longtime love, and I've gone through so much of it that my old bedroom quickly became a graveyard of glass bottles. 

At the moment, I have a couple of spritz's left in my old bottle, and I'm hanging on to them in case of an emergency. You know, like in case I meet Obama or the Queen.

I was rummaging through TK Maxx a few weeks ago, and came across this version of my old favourite. It was hidden on the bottom shelf behind some make up brushes and a broken eyeshadow, but patience is the key to finding anything in TK Maxx. I have no patience at all, because I like to see everything in front of me - but Rhys is great at rummaging, and usually finds things while I'm busy sulking at the mess.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Photography: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

instax image

Over the last few years, I've really fallen in love with taking photographs. I won't call it photography, because I'm more of a hobby photographer and I won't take away from what professional photographers do. Sometimes, words can be exhausting. So when I can't write, I like to focus on something through a lens. It helps.

Okay, so I really like cameras. Unfortunately, it is a luxury hobby and I can't always afford to fund it in the way that I would like. Last year, I really got into the whole instant photography thing. I was gifted this by Rhys before we went to Florida in October. I had been nagging anyone who would listen for months. More than anything, I really wanted to come home with some tangible memories. I wanted something I couldn't copy, and couldn't replace.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Books: Mindy Kaling - Why Not Me?

why not me mindy kaling image

Oh Mindy, my long lost best friend. How I wish I knew you.

Basically, I want to be your buddy. Please, tell me anecdotes about Hollywood diets and the making of Kelly Kapoor. Let's have a cocktail and talk about who we'd rather play Truth or Dare with, Bill Clinton or President Obama? Let's debate pizza toppings and compare ex boyfriends.

With our incessant chattiness and self awareness, we could be a power couple: BFF edition. Like Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss, or Kim Kardashian and Instagram. We could make lists about our favourite scenes in Meg Ryan movies, and we could rank our favourite snack foods.

Sunday, 12 June 2016


disneyworld fantasyland tangled image

My hair hangs at the base of my back, and is not as golden as it used to be. I now have two silver scars on my left leg, three on my arm and one on my hand. My skin is flat where rosy cheeks used to be. Some things happen with age.

I always say that 21 was my glory age, and every year after that got progressively worse. You expect to have your shit together by 25, but it was probably the hardest, most traumatic year out of them all. The good news is that it is very nearly over.

It all sounds very much like another case of the quarter life crisis. Another twenty something using the Internet to moan incessantly about the complexities of adulthood. You've heard it all before. Your finger hovers above that grey cross in the corner of your computer. Except, you know that it's not a crisis. You know that sadness, confusion, and terror are all part of the human existence. Is there anything we're not afraid of?

Don't be so dramatic, Shelley. 

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Why everyone hates PRs

Everyone in PR has a bad reputation. We all get some flack for being lazy, or for hounding journalists who really don't want to take our calls. People assume we're all spin, no substance, and that we're simply journalism grads who didn't have the gravitas to make it.

It's rough out there for a lot of us in public relations, and we're constantly having to defend ourselves and prove our worth to everyone else in the industry.

So why does everyone hate us?