On taking risks

Almost exactly two months ago, I handed in my notice at work, taking something of a leap of faith.

Taking risks has never been my strength, but my time at my former job was bookended by just that. I was initially rejected for the job, but took the risk of calling and telling them they were wrong not to hire me (a risk that clearly paid off!). When I handed in my notice, it was a risk again – I was leaving with a plan to start up my own company, which will also hopefully pay off soon.  The safe, easy option would have been to stay, despite the fact I wasn’t 100% satisfied, and just trundle along.

Exactly a month since I walked out of the office on my last day, and I’m already feeling much more fulfilled.

I’m seeing friends more. I’ve made new friends, been to the cinema far too much (more in the last month than I have in the last year!).  

I have a new found love for brunch. I’m still undecided about Bloody Marys (…or should that be Maries?)

I’ve rediscovered my love for sitting in a coffee shop and getting my work done, whilst watching the world go by.

The point of this ramble? To remind myself to take more risks. So far, some of the happiest times I’ve had have come from the biggest risks – and my biggest regrets have come from not taking the risk that I knew in my gut I needed to take.

Until next time,

L x

 

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Resolutions.

It’s been 6 months since my last post. Well done, Lizzi. Good work, fantastic regular blogging, round of applause!

Somehow, we sailed through 2015 and seem to have landed at the end of January 2016. I’ve had 6 months of ideas float into my head…and then vanish again before I have a chance to put pen to paper (well, fingers to keyboard…), and my intention was to kickstart the year with the old cliché New Years resolution post, but as ever I’m slightly late to the party!

Right, that’s my excuses over. On with the rest of it!

Last year I wrote a post called “Never Mind The Resolutions” which started much the same as this (spotted a pattern?!).  Looking back, I completely forgot about my one resolution for that year: to keep a note of one good thing for each month to post at the end of 2015. And whilst I’m not too impressed with myself for that, I’m still going to try and pull something together, because for the most part I enjoyed my 2015.

But onto this year!  I decided on four fairly simple resolutions for this year: read more, write more, socialise more and worry less. All too often, we put too much pressure on ourselves on the new year to lose a stone, read 100 books, travel to five new places or whatever else it may be – but I just wanted to focus on the things I enjoy.

So far I haven’t done a whole lot of reading, but I have been doing a fair bit of writing over on TenEighty Magazine (if you like YouTubers, that’s well worth a read!). I’ve definitely upped my socialising – and I’m trying to set up some regular social things that I can rely on, because I know I’m not great with the spontaneous things! As for worrying less…I’m trying. But that one’s a long process!

I’d love to know what other people’s new years resolutions are, and how you’re getting on with them at the end of January.  Let me know!

Until next time,

L x

 

Disconnecting

I’m writing this from my seat on a flight to Copenhagen just as we are preparing for take off. It’s that “turn your flight safe mode on” time – and the start of an hour and a half of enforced disconnection from the outside world. And this always gets me thinking of how peaceful it can be to just disconnect yourself from everyone turn off your wifi, your 4G…the whole lot.

We live in a world where we’re constantly online; updating Instagram needs Twitter, looking at old friends’ Facebook timelines and living vicariously through others. But sometimes it’s nice to get a bit of peace and quiet. When I was in Italy, I ran ou of data and was totally reliant on wifi at hotels to check in and update my social media- and it ended up being more for myself so I could remember what was where than anything else. I began to enjoy the fact that I couldn’t check Twitter every hour, or flick through Instagram to see who had posted something new since the last time I checked.

Don’t get me wrong – I love social media – it can be so useful. I’ve spent time browsing travel hashtags on Twitter for inspiration for my next trips (hell, it’s the main reason I’m on this flight!) and I’ve even given some great tips, but now I think it’s time to switch off for a bit.

I want to try and navigate my way round the old fashioned way – clutching a map and some hastily scribbled directions. I want to wander round the streets of the city, and follow my (questionable) sense of direction to my next cup of coffee, or back to my hostel. I want to walk round without google maps talking in my ear telling me to head south west as I curse it and try to work out which way it means.

—————

Obviously, as I post this, I’m connected to some wifi in the lobby of my hostel, and yes – I’ve posted some photos along the way from fleeting moments in cafes. But you know what? I’ve been here for 30 hours, and I’m already wondering how much longer after this holiday I can keep my 4G switched off, and just enjoy my surroundings…

Until next time,

L x

On Body Confidence

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In the last couple of years, there’s been a big increase in the number of articles and posts I’ve seen about body confidence….and before I go any further, I just want to make it clear that this is A Very Good Thing.  Of course we should be promoting body confidence, and of course we should all love the way we look! But as for the whole “take off all your clothes and look at your beautiful self in the mirror” school of thought?  Nah mate, I’d rather not.

You see, I have  one little gripe about this whole “body confidence/love yourself whatever you look like” movement that’s happening.

“Don’t be silly, you look fine”

“Yes, but chocolate’s so tasty!”

“Why? Eat some cake!”

“Why are you torturing yourself with that healthy stuff?”

“Are you still on that stupid diet?”

“Here, have some more cake.  Have the cake. EAT THE CAKE.  Why won’t you eat the cake?”

All the above are things that have been said to me at one point or another when I’ve mentioned to a friend that I’m trying to eat more healthily, or want to lose a bit of weight  (or, 2 stone of weight!).  And ok, the last one was said to me by a particularly persistent (and slightly creepy) person from my past after I’d already eaten some damn cake and didn’t want to eat any more  (don’t get me started), but at what point did it become acceptable to make someone feel embarrassed for not being confident about how they look?

Ok, the “you look fine” are often said with the best of intentions – and don’ get me wrong, I can take a copliment when it’s handed to me (in a very British “oh no, really, no” kind of way, of course!).  But to me, a more helpful response would be “oh, ok. Fair enough” or “whoops, I’d better put the chocolate away!” – or even just the simple question “why?”.

And…why?  Well, other than the obvious answer of “I’d like to be able to fit into more clothes” and “I’d quite like to be able to run for the train without being completely out of breath”, the answer is simple. To improve my body confidence.

In aroundabout way, I guess what I’m saying is this.

Body confidence to me isn’t necesarilly about loving how you already look.  It’s about figuring out what you already like about yourself, and what you’d like to improve.  And no-one should feel ashamed for saying they dont’ like how they look – that’s absolutely fine.

Personally? I don’t hate the way I look. There are parts of me that I’m super confident about – and other parts that I’d quite like to work on and improve.

Self-improvement is one of the most valuable lessons to learn – it’s how we evolve, how we change and ultimately, how we become better people.

Until next time!

L x

Taking a moment. (TW: mental health issues)

Oh my goodness.  In the grand scheme of twitter, 700+ retweets isn’t that many.  In the grand scheme of my twitter…that’s pretty bloomin’ viral.

I have never written a post with a trigger warning before.  I don’t even know if that’s how you trigger warning a post (please tell me if it’s not, I’m still learning!) but I just felt like I had to…say something.

I posted this tweet yesterday, and I was absolutely overwhelmed with the response:

The obvious answer is that it’s already taken too many, and there’s so much I could add to the conversation – and want to add to the conversation…but I want to take my time to construct that post.   It’s a very difficult subject, and one that I don’t want to approach recklessly.

So, for now I’ll leave a video that someone sent me in response to that tweet, and a few numbers that might be helpful to someone should they stumble upon this post.  I really, really hope it does.  As Faye said, it’s time to talk.

Samaritans:  08457 90 90 90
Mind: 0300 123 3393  and lots of helpful info at http://www.mind.org.uk/
Childline: 0800 1111

On regrets.

The thing about life is that with every passing day, week, month and year, you can accumulate knowledge and experiences that pave the way to where you end up next. The only problem is the people you meet and the things you see can easily lead you to wondering if could have turned out a different way.

7 and a half years ago (urk), I followed my heart to music college. At the time it was exactly what I wanted to do, but a few years later, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. And now, the further I get into the blogosphere and the….vlogosphere (!?), the more I wish I had started this when I was 18. But who’s to say that if I’d done that then, I would be where I am now? For all I know, I could have tens of thousands of hits or followers…or I could have decided that it wasn’t for me.

I always used to say I had no regrets – for a while that changed. But recently I’ve come full circle and realised that my 18 year old self was right all along.

Regrets are pointless – all they do is hold us back. It’s far better, and far more enjoyable to live in the moment. It’s never “too late” – we’re never “too old” to try something different or learn something new.

So, next time you think “I should have done this a year ago” then follow that up with “…but better late than never.”

Never mind the resolutions | My 2014.

It’s that time of year when every blogger and vlogger puts up their new years’ resolutions – but I kind of did that in my last post.  You know, the one where I said “LET’S DO THIS!!!” and promptly….didn’t post again for over a month.  Whoops.  At this stage, my blog runs the risk of becoming an endless list of “things I’m definitely going to do….one day…soon…” – a pattern that I think lots of us find ourselves in.

We always spend the last days of one year and the first days of the next thinking about what we’re going to do, but we rarely think about what we’ve actually done, the things we’ve achieved and the things we’re proud of.  So here’s my list – a few highlights from my past year that I’m proud of.  Perhaps it’s slightly self-indulgent, but sometimes we need to pat ourselves on the back! So here goes…

In February, I went back to my old school for a careers evening – I sat behind my own little table with my name label and talked to an endless stream of 15-16 year olds about my career so far, my university qualifications and everything else in between. And yes, I had a lot of “Do you know Danisnotonfire?” and “Have you ever met Jack and Finn?”  (incidentally, the answers are ‘yes, he’s very tall’ and ‘once, briefly’) but amongst those, there were lots of girls (and a couple of boys) who genuinely wanted to hear what I had to say. I half-joked afterwards that it was the most popular I’d ever been within those walls!

I joined a gym and realised I actually enjoy exercising in my lunch break at work. I bought myself a corset and a Vivienne of Holloway dress – two things that have been on my wish list for quite some time now.

I’ve made a fantastic group of friends, been to loads of really exciting events and even organised a few myself (including a party for ChannelFlip’s YouTubers at the Harry Potter Studio Tour for Halloween!) Going round the studios after hours followed by some overly-energetic dancing to the cheesiest music possible is definitely one of the high points of my year.

#Twinmas was a project I worked on with my v.good friends Niki and Sammy and Lizzy – we spent days (and evenings) getting everything together – a live audience, a full set, live G+ hangout…the list goes on and on. It was a massive success, and something we’re all very proud of.

I’ve kickstarted my creativity again – with this blog, and with my YouTube channel – yes, only two videos so far, but it’s a start. And I’ve even got my violin out again.  My friend Luke even gave me the world’s nicest shout-out in the fabulous TenEighty magazine’s “YouTuber Picks”. You can go and read that here if you really want to…

And as for a massive “I was there” moment? I spent a day getting a few people organised to be in opening shots of this year’s YouTube Rewind. And then, on a very quiet Friday afternoon, I popped out of the office and went along to that video shoot to see how it was all going. The video itself has had 75 million views so far, and to say I was even a tiny part of that is huge. I even managed to (accidentally) make it into the official behind the scenes video  (top marks if you can spot me. Hint – I’m wearing yellow!), and of course a few of my friends’ own vlogs from the day too. Whoops?

Above all, I’ve come to realise that life is what you make of it – I could make excuses for weeks, months, years…you get the idea. But ultimately, if I want to do something then all I need to do is make a start.

So here’s my one New Years’ Resolution:  keep a note of (at least) one thing from each month that I’m really proud of. And then, on the 31st December 2015, I’ll post my own personal “rewind”.

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope you have had a fabulous 2014, and I hope that 2015 is even better.

L xx