A 2016 Update On Happiness, Mental Health & Blogging

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If you’re looking for a blog post with a point to it, then you, my sweet friend, are in the wrong place. Because this isn’t it. This is a wild, rambling brain dump of every thought and emotion currently swirling through my brain like a deep mystical bath bomb.

This post is the written equivalent of a lengthy catch-up with an old pal over a bottle of wine. It probably won’t make much sense, and it’ll dart in unexpected directions and lol overshare and omg ok nod and pretend you’ve been listening to what she’s been saying rather than going off on a wild daydream about stuffed crust pizza.

So, let’s get chatting shall we?

Today has been the first day in over a week where I’ve had time to stop and just be. To take a step back from life and take in where I am and how I feel and what I’m doing. To look in on myself and my life as an outsider.

And y’know what? I feel in a really fucking good place.

Although ha I have cried about four times today because lol period is a-coming. I cried at the vets and had to whip tissues out of my bag to mop up the trickles coming down my cheeks. Rudey looked upset that there was a dog in the waiting room and omg my poor angel only has three legs and has been through so much and she’s so depressed and she used to have such a good life wandering round the local streets flirting with humans and now she’s getting poo stuck in her bum fur.

I mean yes, it’s been a pretty glamorous day to be fair. But I cried because I can’t bring her leg back and I can’t change the past. My little girl.

But, aside from the hormonal waterworks, I’m really fucking happy.

Oh no, ffs, I’m welling up again. SOMEONE COME AND FIX MY TINGLY CRY BABY FACE. Does anyone else get that pre-tears? It feels like facial pins and needles and you have to use all your big girl strength to MAN THE FUCK UP.

Anyway, moving on.

I’ve got a lot going on at the moment. A lot of life-changing things running under the surface, running deeper than anything I can really talk about on my blog right now. Things that might, one day, get tweezed out of me when I’m writing book chapters in a Starbucks in weeks or months or years from now. Things that I can’t even begin to assemble into a blog post.

But, despite everything, I know, I just feel it in me, that I will always be OK. I feel like I have got this. I have really got this. I feel so emotionally and mentally strong. So together and stable. I feel like a version of myself I didn’t even know I was capable of being.

As I’ve mentioned approximately 42375632 times on social media, Chris and I got stuck on the M25 for five hours on Monday evening. A two-hour drive home from Gatwick took nearly six hours, and neither of us had phone battery for any of that journey. So we sat, with the engine turned off, parked on the inside lane between junction 3 and 2, just being.

We picked our noses and took guesses about what time we’d get home and gossiped about every single person we know. And, in some weird twist of fates, we didn’t bicker or irritate each other. Despite our tiredness and desperate want to get home to the cat babies.

As we hit the 4th hour of being stationary, I was still feeling chipper. Because, as I quoted to Chris: ‘I can’t be miserable about this. I’ve just landed from a fantastic long weekend with some of my fave people and tomorrow I’m getting paid for a full-day of work for MY OWN WEBSITE. I am living the life I always dreamed of.’

Humble brag. Soz n that.

When we did finally start moving, the clutch control was heinous. I still have knee ache in my left leg when I walk. Can I sue the M25 for that or nah?

I got to sleep at about 1am with a belly full of service station food and a bladder that felt so happy to be out of the car, with an alarm set for 5.30am ready for a voyage over to Reading for a blog campaign the following day.

It sounds silly and it sounds obvious, like something my first world brain should have hit on earlier, but I’m here. I am at a place where I am so grateful and so appreciative of my life.

Maybe this is growing up and letting go of anger and the feeling that the world owes you things, or maybe this is something I’ve been consciously working towards for a little while. But I’ve made it. Even at rock bottom (if you can call gridlock on the M25 physical rock bottom), I was feeling upbeat and fist-pumpingly happy about life.

I mean, I was a little bit less fist-pumpingly happy about an hour ago when Chris took NEARLY 90 MINUTES to make day-late Pancake Day pancakes (WHAT WAS HE DOING IN THE KITCHEN? PRISING THE EGGS OUT OF A HEN’S VAGINA?), but I can’t reaaaaaally be held responsible for anything when I’m hangry.

Realising I am in control of my emotions and my own happiness has been the most liberating thing I’ve ever learnt.

Realising that it is not circumstantial, that it is down to me absolutely owning-it in my own head, has changed everything.

Life is always going to throw bad shit my way. It is going to throw bad shit your way. All we can do is look for the positives and try our damned hardest to stay in control of our own emotions. To realise that happiness is a conscious decision and not just something everyone else, with easier lives than you, has.

It’s no secret that the blogging industry is full of as many highs as it is lows. YEY I’M GOING ON A TRIP TO AMERICA, but boo three people have called me fat this week and someone wrote an entire blog post about how much they hate me.

And I’ve found that the more I step back from blogging and the industry, the less space I let it take up in my head, the happier I am. The stronger I feel. The more kick ass I feel.

And when I say step back, I don’t mean pulling back from content and vlogging and omg which VSCO cam filter is going to nail it, I mean pulling back from the emotional attachment to it.

Give a fuck if I don’t get invited to an event all my blogger pals have. Oh look everyone else is being paid to work with one of my fave brands, cool story.

I have detached myself from the high levels of self-comparison that 2015 brought with it, and I’m focusing on using my mental energy on my real-life, not my working-life.

Prioritising perfect weekends with friends, having phone free date nights with Chris – in fact, trying to source other people to take my blog photos so that he doesn’t get dragged in to ‘working’ in his spare time – has all made such a difference to my quality of life and mental health.

It’s like I moved blogging and work a few pegs down in my mental list of priorities and the exhilaration that comes from focusing my attention on the real things that matter is like suddenly coming up from air after a lifetime tumbling about in choppy waves.

I think the happiest bloggers are the bloggers who don’t pin their happiness on the campaigns they get, or the emails that hit their inbox. The bloggers who have a meaningful life away from technology. And I think the same can be said for everyone – creating a wonderful life outside of work and career goals and Instagram numbers, is the key to smiling through the hard times.

Does that make sense?

We need to bin this idea that our careers and numbers define us, because they don’t. Not one bit.

I will always love the internet for everything it has done for me: for the opportunities, the voice it has given me, and for the friends I’ve made. But, it doesn’t deserve to clog up my brain.

Work is such a tiny part of life. It doesn’t deserve to be an energy or mood drainer, just something we do to pay to get by and have roofs over our heads and warm food in our bellies.

Life is about people and experiences and doing something positive every single damn day: whether that’s lighting a candle for a YOU hour, or smiling at an old person in the street, or giving a quid to a homeless person or telling someone you like their hair.

Anyway, I’m off to do the pancake washing-up and stop preaching about how you should live your life like a cult leader would.

I’m just saying I don’t really care about your 6 figure Instagram following (although high five you, sister) because I HAD TWO CATS SLEEPING ON ME EARLIER and that, that is the purest form of happiness in the world.

Peace out you baberillas.


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