Hi I'm Mary, welcome to my little corner of the Internet. Here I try to navigate my 20's whilst finding myself in the big wide world. I post about travel, life and my favourite finds. I'd love it if you would join the journey!
This week I’m coming at you with something I’ve never done on my blog before, my beauty favourites! With lockdown taking up the majority of the year, I’ve only been following a really basic beauty routine and using my absolute favourites, and I want to share them with the world!
1) Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser I received this product as a Christmas present in a gift set last year, and oh my gosh, this stuff is amazing. The gift set came with some little muslin cloths and instructions on how to use the product, which I’ve been following, and my skin feels fantastic! I use two pea-sized pumps and use small circular motions to work the product into my skin, leave for two minutes then wash away with warm water. It leaves my skin feeling baby smooth and so much bright! I’ve already repurchased twice, and will definitely be stocking up again!
2) Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Exfoliating Pads I first bought these pads around four years ago when I was desperately looking for a good exfoliator as I was having problems with my foundation going on patchy as well as the longevity of it too. These did not disappoint. The product comes in the cutest little pot, handy for travel or having in a drawer for easy storage. A pack of 60 is £5, and I find one pad is enough for my whole face, and using every other day means I rarely have to repurchase these. I can’t imagine not using these, and paired with my Hot Cloth Cleanser, my skin feels fantastic, AND you get 20 Boots points when you buy, winner!
3) Kylie Cosmetics Kybrow Eyebrow Powder Words cannot describe just how much I love this powder. I purchased this in February 2019 and it’s still going strong! The pot comes with two shades: dark brown and light brown. Personally, I prefer the darker powder however I do use the lighter shade if I’m just going for a natural fill as I do have my eyebrows micro bladed also. I usually apply this in the morning, and I can always guarantee they will stay in place until I take them off myself. Sometimes when I’ve shamelessly fallen to sleep with my make up on (usually after a night out) I wake up and they’re still perfect! Once, I even kept them on for the next day too! Embarrassing, I know.
4) Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic Something I’ve never really used in my skincare routine was a toner, however since I got this product in my Liz Earle gift set, I’ve been hooked. I like to use this after I’ve used my Hot Cloth Cleanser, using a generous amount on a cotton pad and sweeping all over my face. Admittedly, I don’t like the smell, but the way it makes my skin feel afterwards means that the smell is something I’m more than willing to put up with.
5) Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara This mascara has changed my life, no word of a lie. I first tried the mascara around two years ago in a gift set I bought myself, and I’ve not used anything else since. I’m not really a fan of the regular Bad Gal mascara, but this new formula is something else. I have quite short natural eyelashes, and they’re also quite light, so often I look bald in the eyelash department, this mascara, however, makes my lashes EXTREMELY long and EXTREMELY black. I have blue eyes, and this product makes my eyes pop! When using the mascara, I can get away with just mascara and be ready for the day, I love it so much. I’ve used so many mascara products over the years, but I can’t see myself trying anything else any time soon.
I’d love to know your favourites, as I’m always looking to add to my collection – you never know, your suggestion might be the one to lead me astray from my own favourites! Please leave them in the comments!
Hi everyone and welcome back to part 2 of my trip to New York! I really hope you loved my previous post that you came back for more, I love reminiscing about the trip, it seems a lifetime ago already. Without rambling, I’m going to get straight into it!
Tuesday we woke up to a drizzly city, tops of buildings were hiding behind clouds and everything was grey. We had luckily planned to visit the American Museum of Natural History in the morning, so we sat in Times Square, ate our bagels in the rain and headed for the subway. I’d like to say it was plain sailing, however my jeans split as we were boarding and then we got off at the wrong station and still had to walk a good twenty minutes rounds the streets finding our way to one of the largest museums in the world.
When we’d finished in the museum, we crossed the road and headed into Central Park, taking in nature around us whilst Face Timing my parents. It’s so strange how you can be sat in such a silent place yet over the road the street is crawling with people as it’s so busy. Located between the Upper East Side and Upper West Side and covering 843 acres, Central Park has an estimated 38 million visitors annually, making it the most visited park in the United States. I love Central Park, there’s always something to see and it’s full of wonders, we even came across a Castle! An actual Castle inside a park!
As the day was so grey and misty, we took a leisurely stroll up Fifth Avenue and ate chicken tenders from a food cart before heading back to the hotel to change (I was still wearing my ruined jeans!) and get ready for our Night Bus Tour.
One activity I would recommend for absolutely anybody is the Night Bus Tour with Big Bus Tours. Departing from Times Square, we were taken all around Manhattan and Brooklyn with a the most amazing tour guide, we got to see parts of Soho, Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, the Financial District, Macy’s, Flat Iron Building and East Village. We even saw Jay-Z’s old school and the late Heath Ledger’s apartment.
Wednesday I woke up incredibly ill. Remember the chicken tenders? I did. I dragged myself to get dressed and we headed straight to Walgreen’s where I purchased the most expensive Imodium ever and probably took half the pack just to get through the day. As we were passing, we ate (well, not much) at Hard Rock Café, which was amazing inside. Even though I spent money on a buffet that I didn’t really touch, I’m so glad we went because the décor and atmosphere was fantastic; from vinyl walls to Bo Diddley’s guitar, it was full of the stuff of legends.
Next up was Macy’s. Although world-renowned, we didn’t actually stay too long and sort of passed through it on our way to Victoria’s Secret and The Empire State Building. I had already visited once before, and Abigail wasn’t too fussed about it. I think The Empire State is one of my favourite buildings in the city, the build up to the top is brilliant, full of models of the building, a glass floor, and an exhibition of all the films the Empire State has ever featured in, including an interactive King Kong. The views from the 86th floor are truly spectacular, a 360° experience of Manhattan in all it’s glory. Until the construction of the World Trade Centre in 1970, the Empire State stood as the world’s tallest building, and again stood as New York’s tallest building after the destruction of the World Trade Centre until 2012, and now sits in at the city’s 7th tallest building.
A quick pitstop at Starbucks followed, then a trip upstate to Bath and Body Works, where I spent a fortune on candles and hand gels, unbeknown to me that a few weeks later I would need them in the middle of a global pandemic.
In the evening we took our seats in the Minskoff Theatre awaiting the curtain call of The Lion King. Words cannot describe how much I loved this musical. It was magnificent, the actors and dancers, the music, the costumes, everything about it was amazing. My favourite detail was the cast dancing between the stalls, a bird even danced next to me. We ended the night watching dancers in Times Square and eating giant pretzels in bed.
I woke feeling so much better and ready for the day, and we began by hopping on the Day Tour Bus. Much like our night tour, the tour guide educated us on many sights in the city, taking a slightly different route. We saw Fifth Avenue, Union Park, Washington Square Park and Waverly Place, to name a few. As it was a hop on tour, we hopped off downtown and walked a short distance to the Brooklyn Bridge. I have always wanted to walk the bridge, and it didn’t disappoint. Before the bridge, the streets are lined with stalls of keyrings, mugs, photography and lovely little trinkets that I spent way too much money on, and more on the bridge, which again, I spent too much money on. The views are amazing, I must have taken 100’s of photos of the city skyline, and selfies of myself against the skyline. At the end of the bridge we reached DUMBO, a quirky little neighbourhood on the outskirts of Brooklyn, we ate the biggest slice of pizza I have ever seen, and explored the neighbourhood before taking the subway back to Manhattan.
As we were in the area and we had our city passes, we visited The 9/11 museum. Again, I’m not going to say much about this out of respect, except that it was truly harrowing and I found myself overcome with emotion.
If you remember part one, you will know we missed our boat trip on Monday, however as it was the company’s fault, we were given an open date ticket, so that’s what we did next! The boat left Manhattan at around 5pm, meaning we got to see the skyline at sunset as well as in darkness, which was beautiful. We circled around The Statue of Liberty and past Brooklyn Bridge, meaning we could take in the views of both Manhattan on one side, and New Jersey on the other. The tour lasted roughly two hours, leaving us with the rest of the evening to return to Times Square and eat our fill of chicken and ribs and Junior’s Diner. Delicious.
Friday started with a chilly walk to Central Park for our tour with Frankie Legs. We’d had this booked for months and were both really looking forward to it having seen so many great reviews. The tour was absolutely fantastic, I cannot recommend Frankie enough. He biked through Central Park whilst giving us a guided tour; I learnt so many things about the park’s history, filming locations, the various statues, even the Central Park Rangers! We also visited John Lennon’s murder site and apartment, which was really cool. Luckily the weather was bright, highlighting the leaves on the trees and the ripples in the lake, but it was bitterly cold, by the end of the hour I really couldn’t feel my hands.
Next up, we crossed the city to Ulta, where I managed to spend $200 on make-up. The less said about this the better. Following my splurge, we headed to Madame Tussaud’s. What a wonderfully weird place it is! I think we must have been there at least three hours, taking selfies with HUNDREDS of life like wax celebrities over five floors. I had never visited a Madame Tussaud’s before, and I thought it would be boring, but it was so much more than just wax; the rooms were styled as sets and the attention to detail was second to none, even down to the Queen’s pot of tea in Buckingham Palace. I loved it.
As we had the Knick’s game later, we grabbed a slice of rainbow cake from Carlo’s Bakery and chilled in our hotel room and started to pack our cases so we had less to do the following morning.
Around 5pm we rode the subway to the game at Madison Square Garden, settling in our seats with a fantastic view and overpriced bottles of water. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what we experienced. It was great! From the DJ, the dancers and the T-shirt cannons, I loved every minute. The atmosphere was something else entirely, I’ve never seen anything like it, even kids as young as ten years old were getting involved in the shouting and excitement of the game. Unfortunately the Knick’s lost the game, but it was great all the same! We finished the night in Times Square eating hot dogs and watching break dancers, I love it so much.
Our last day! I was so sad packing my case that morning, I really didn’t want to leave. After checking out of the hotel and storing our luggage, we ate the delicious lemon pancakes at Friedman’s again, as the hotel was next to a bigger restaurant. They were just as amazing as the ones in Chelsea, I miss them.
As we had two slots left on our city passes, we decided to go ice-skating at Bryant Park. When I was a kid I loved skating, however this time around I hated it! The skates were so uncomfortable, I was so shaky on my feet and people were skating around so fast I was scared any wrong move would result in serious injury. I must have only skated around the rink twice before I got off, but it was nice to watch everyone else whilst Abigail skated too. When Abigail had finished, we had steaming hot chocolates in the pop up café and had a look round New York City Library. What a magnificent building.
By this point we were nearing the end of our time in the city, so we ate a chipotle in Times Square, finished off some last minute shopping and had our last Starbucks (the American drinks are so much better) before getting on the coach to the airport.
Now, I would end it here, but it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t tell you about being delayed in JFK, having only 35 minutes to reach our connecting flight, and being searched by armed police in Frankfurt because I left a mini deodorant in my bag in security. It was wild. Thankfully, we made our flight by the skin of our teeth, and landed back in Manchester to wind and rain, home.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! This was my second visit to New York and I already long to go back, I absolutely love it. If you’ve ever visited, please leave any suggestions of what to see next in the comments, or if you want to visit, please let me know why!
A whirlwind week in New York City has got me itching to visit the city again, like ants crawling on your skin, or the urge of scratching chicken pox. An itch that simply can’t be scratched.
On the 15th of February 2020, I embarked on my biggest adventure yet; New York City. Well, strictly speaking, that is not entirely true, I have infact visited New York once before with a college trip five years ago, but this time, I was left to my own devices. My friend and I had the task of navigating ourselves through the airport(s)! and finding the right planes to get us to our big adventure, which, let me tell you, was a task in itself!
We flew with Lufthansa, departing from Manchester airport early in the morning and catching a connecting flight from Frankfurt. Now, when booking the flights, it seemed simple enough. We would land in Frankfurt at 11am, and have just over an hour to disembark our flight and board our next one. However, no one told us that we would end up running (RUNNING), nearly three miles through Frankfurt airport, begging security to let us through fast track, desperately holding in a wee and nursing a stitch for a good 15 minutes before even setting foot on the plane. Side note: the return journey was worse. The cab from JFK into Times Square was like the F1, I was scared for my life and contemplating sending goodbye texts, however once we hit Manhattan and the driver took his foot off of the accelerator, he was so friendly and informative, letting us know loads of little tips we would go on to use during out visit.
We did so many things during the trip that I’m not actually sure how to go about telling you, so I think I’ll go day by day.
Day One: After around 20 hours travel (including airport runs and our layover in Frankfurt, we were pretty tired. Our hotel was a two minute walk out of Times Square, so we decided to explore the shops get to grips with our surroundings, and grab some food. Truth be told I can’t even remember what we ate, I was so sleep deprived it was ridiculous. I had a car accident a few months prior and found my bag was already digging into my shoulders, so I bought myself a bumbag to save myself the pain, then headed back to the hotel.
Day Two: After a morning Starbucks (it was right across from the hotel!), we rode the Subway to Battery Park, catching the ferry over to The Statue of Liberty from there. The ride is only around 10-15 minutes but when you’re stood being battered by sub-zero winds, it feels like much, much longer. As I’ve visited New York before, I’ve done a lot of the main tourist attractions, however I still loved doing them all over again. Liberty Island is only small, housing a cafe, gift shop, museum, and Liberty herself. Did you know her nose is 4ft long?
We bypassed departing at Ellis Island as we had a lot of other things planned that day. Walking to Wall Street we came across lots of little gems we hadn’t planned to see, such as the Charging Bull and The Trinity Church; we lit a candle for my friend’s grandparents. Admittedly, I rarely visit churches, but this was so beautiful and tranquil. Wall Street was anti-climatic. I naively anticipated the hustle and bustle like the films show, but it was really quiet and covered in scaffolding! We did however find the cutest little street and ate chicken and waffles whilst sipping cocktails.
Shortly after, we found ourselves at Ground Zero. I won’t say too much about this as this is not a tourist attraction, but a place of remembrance. It’s beautifully harrowing.
As we were already there and the sun would be setting soon, our next stop was at the top of the One World Trade Centre. The views are amazing and to see a sunset over the city was breathtaking. I’m not really a fan of heights but I loved this. The views were so mesmerising that we visited the Rockefeller Centre and sat atop a wall for a good hour taking in the lights and sparkle of the city that never sleeps, feeling like we were on top of the world.
Monday morning started with the longest subway trip ever, having got on the wrong train TWICE and going round in one big circle under Chelsea and SoHo. After travelling for what felt like hours, we wondered round Chelsea and found our way to the Highline; the most tranquil and beautiful railway line I’ve ever seen. Sounds mad, but it’s exactly that, a converted railway line. Suspended above the ground, the breath-taking views last for almost 2 miles, filled with bright flowers, small wildlife and amazing art. Nestled at the end of The Highline is Chelsea Market, where we had the most amazing lemon pancakes at a little café called Friedman’s, stuffing ourselves silly.
Abigail and I really took the day to take in the city rather than rush round, we had a sunset cruise booked for the evening (which we missed FYI), but other than that we had nothing solid planned. We strolled through SoHo and around China Town, enjoying a drink in a small corner bar in Little Italy. As we were nearing late afternoon, we headed down towards Battery Park to find our way to the cruise we had booked. We were far too early so sat on the river bank and watched the blazing sunset in silence, a rare treat in New York City. We sat for an hour as the sky lit on fire against the still waters, the birds singing and the cool breeze blowing. To cut a long story short, we arrived to our cruise in plenty of time, only to discover the company had changed their departure times without informing my friend (it was my birthday present), and we were sent away feeling extremely disappointed. Not to end the day on a sour note, we rode the subway back to Times Square to much on hotdogs in the cold, cheer on the street performers, and really take in the hustle and bustle of New York’s night life.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! I had the most amazing week and I want to share it ALL with you. Come back next week for part 2 of my week in New York!
Living with a chronic illness is tough. It is debilitating, it is isolating, and at times it feels like the whole world Is against you. Just over five years ago, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, a condition that plagues sufferers with enormous amounts of both physical and emotional pain and exhaustion.
I had always suffered with painful periods from being twelve years old, with many teachers, friends and even family members thinking I was dramatic and using pain as an excuse to miss school and activities, but this wasn’t the case. Realising this wasn’t normal, I visited my Doctor’s Surgery regularly begging for help, but all I was told was to take painkillers and apply heat. At fourteen years old, I wanted to die. For the next few years life went on like this, screaming, crying; or mostly rocking back and forth in bed for days on end wishing something or someone would take the pain away. Occasionally there would be a new contraceptive pill thrown into the mix. Jazzing it up a bit, I think.
Fast forward to my first day of College, I had been suffering with stomach pain and sickness for a little over a week and barely made it through the day; that evening I caved and I finally saw a doctor. One minute I was in the Doctor’s Surgery, the next I was laid in A&E being prodded and poked with needles, pumped with fluids and a burst vein leaking all over the floor. I was suspected of having an appendicitis and admitted to hospital after my bloods showed an infection somewhere in my body. I then went on to have the week from hell. I was vomiting constantly, crying in pain, injected with blood thinners, hooked up to a drip, and the nurse wanted my blood nearly every day.
At the end of the week, the surgeons decided that my infection markers were low enough for me to go home with a cocktail of drugs to take for the next month, and if my symptoms persisted I was to see the Outpatients Gastrointestinal Team. Side note: my symptoms never left. Throughout the course of the year I learned to live with the pain and different combinations of drugs that were thrown my way; occasionally the diagnosis of IBS and Stomach Migraines were thrown about too.
September 2014, it happened again. The same week of sickness, the same pain, the same Doctor’s Surgery, and a suspected appendicitis. this time however, I was rushed straight through to surgical admissions and put on a drip her again, nil by mouth just incase they needed to operate. I won’t bore you with the details. I stayed in hospital for another week until one doctor looked me in the eye and proclaimed “Some people just get stomach ache.” Great.
It took a few months of numerous tests and appointments until one day, around six weeks before I flew to New York, my travel insurance fell through. Eighteen months of inconclusive tests and no official diagnosis meant the travel insurance my College had taken out didn’t cover me. I was devastated. Despite the fact things were looking so bleak, my angel of a Mum made sure I got to experience the trip of a lifetime though. Even though I was eighteen, my Dad’s workplace Private Health Care still covered me, meaning we could fast track to a local private hospital and push to get a diagnosis in time, and it worked! Within two weeks I saw a consultant who diagnosed a chronic appendicitis so I could travel, and agreed I needed surgery to investigate the problem. Six weeks after the initial appointment I went under the knife, awaking minus an Appendix and a fresh diagnosis of Endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to that of the lining of the womb grows in other places such as the Ovaries, Fallopian tubes, the Bladder and even the Bowels. In rare occasions, Endometriosis can spread beyond the Pelvis, and grow on the Diaphragm, Lungs and Brain. Symptoms can include heavy periods, painful sex, pelvic pain, nausea and infertility. Endometriosis is currently up for debate as to whether it’s actually an autoimmune disease, which would then mean that women suffering severely would get more recognition and the disease would be vastly understood, as with many other autoimmune disorders.
I was relatively pain free for years, and in 2017 I even wrote a post about my experience with the condition, however I spoke too soon. In 2018 my periods did start to return to their awful selves and for a week every month I was doubled over in pain and swallowing tablet after tablet, however I managed.
In July 2019 I had just flown home from Tenerife and was working my first shift back at work when I had to go to A&E. I hadn’t felt myself for a couple of days but it wasn’t something that required immediate attention, however this particular day the pain was so bad I could barely stand. After seven hours in A&E I was admitted to hospital with suspected Gallstones and again, made to swallow a cocktail of drugs every few hours. The pain was horrific. Again, I won’t bore you with the details and I’ll cut to the chase; nothing was found. No Gallstones, no blockage, no infection. I was sent away with a possible diagnosis of a UTI with advice to seek medical attention with my GP should it continue. Well it did, for another six weeks. I went back and forth from Doctor to Doctor until one particular female Doctor tested me for just about everything that could possibly be causing the pain, and referred me to the Gynaecology team at the Outpatients.
Seven months after my initial stay in hospital, I signed the dotted line agreeing to a diagnostic laparoscopy which would hopefully help the surgeons to help me. This surgery would take place in March. Unfortunately, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, my surgery has been postponed and I’m unsure as to how much longer I’ll be waiting. I now spend at least a few days a week in pain, feeling nauseous and lethargic as the Endometriosis completely wipes the floor with me.
The point of this is to raise awareness of the difficulties surrounding Endometriosis and chronic illnesses, as I have come across many people in my life that are ignorant to the fact that I am constantly in pain, and sometimes need to take time off due to it. They believed that I was dramatic, not wanting to work, attention seeking and lazy. However I am the opposite! These people were teachers and managers and they really got to me until I realised they just didn’t understand, nor did they care to. That’s not to say all managers are like that though, I have had managers that have been amazing and have completely understood my situation, doing everything they can to help me; whether that be extra time off for pain, reduced hours, or even just letting me have five minutes every now and then when I needed it. I am forever grateful to them.
If you know someone that suffers with anything similar, offer them support. This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, sometimes just offering help in anyway you can makes a massive difference in someone’s life. I know that my experience has made me more considerate and understanding of other people’s struggles, and I hope that one day everyone can recognise that every individual’s suffering is valid and true.
Following on from last weeks blog, I thought I would put together photos from my visit to Amsterdam back in February. I love this gorgeous city, the sights are breath taking and there’s always something to do. Whether you love eccentric or peaceful, I guarantee there’s something for you in Amsterdam.
In February I had the most amazing week in New York, and with plenty of time to spend at home in light of the current situation, I’ve been looking through all my photos and pining to go back. I love this magnificent city and I hope that you enjoy these photos, and they give you at least a little bit of happiness at this time. Here are some of my favourites!
Talking about mental health is never easy. In 2019 mental health is still a ‘taboo’ subject that not many people like to talk about, and one that is generally only spoken about when a celebrity loses their battle with the illness, we need to change that.
Did you know, mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people? That means that 25% of the worlds population suffer and it we still don’t recognise it as we should. I have been quite open about my anxiety for a few months now, and I find that talking about it actually helps rather than bottling everything in, as I have done in the past. I first started to suffer with anxiety as a teenager, maybe aged 14 or 15, only mildly – but it was still there. In March, I was made redundant and that’s when my mental health started to really spiral and I was having upto 15 panic attacks DAILY. I was a complete wreck. After about five weeks of intense pain and crying I finally sought help and was prescribed sertraline; an antidepressant commonly prescribed to help ease, or even stop panic attacks. In my case, it almost stopped my panic attacks entirely, I only rarely have episodes suffering from chest pain and shortness of breath, and even then it is manageable.
I choose to embrace my anxiety because I find that if I am open about my thoughts and feelings, I don’t feel as alone – anxiety will not define me. Since being open about my anxiety, I have discovered that a lot of my friends actually suffer and have been suffering in silence, I’m amazed at just how many people refuse to open up until someone opens up to them. Anxiety can be consuming and make you feel like the whole world is against you, but when you look past that, you realise everyone is infact WITH you.
Again, I don’t know where this post is going or why I wrote it, but it just felt right. I finally feel more myself and I am happier! Talking was the best thing I ever did.
Panic attack: A sudden period of intense fear that may include palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling something bad is going to happen. This is Google’s description of a panic attack, I would describe them as hell on earth. I have always been quite a shy, introverted person, someone that doesn’t like to bother other people, keeping my feelings to myself. Recently I was made redundant from a job I loved, the five weeks since then has been one of the worst times in my life, I have experienced emotions and pain that I have never experienced before, I have cried more times than I care to count, and I have lashed out at the people I love the most.
I once visited a doctor in 2017 because I was feeling extremely low, crying for no reason at all and feeling like bad things were going to happen – I was told to use an iPhone app and return if I didn’t feel any better in a few months. Fast forward 18 months and I am now In a worse place than ever. I did start to feel better, then I was promoted and felt on top of the world – I worked in a great environment, had great friends and family, I loved life. Honestly, I did still feel low at times, but it was manageable and it didn’t consume my life.
I can probably recall my first panic attack when I was 15; I had a bad experience at my work experience and I really didn’t want to go back, I cried for hours and hours uncontrollably, I didn’t know how to stop it. My next one I can remember was when I was 17, I used to dread going into my Saturday job. It would get to Tuesday night and I would already feel sick and filled with anxiety, things had happened which made me feel as small as an ant, and being only 17, I couldn’t speak out about it. On both these occasions, I didn’t realise what was happening, I thought I was pathetic and weak, now I realise it’s actually an illness and I’m not weak, I’m strong.
When I was first made redundant, I cried so much I could fill up buckets upon buckets, but then I started to process that my job had gone, but the tears didn’t stop. They got worse. Along with the tears came chest pains, piercing through my chest like a spear, taking my breath away. I tried to hide them as long as I could, but this only made things worse. I felt like I had nobody to turn to, when In reality, I have so many people that love me that I can confide in.
Panic attacks can come on in minutes – even seconds, and they can be so severe some people actually think they’re having a heart attack. I’ve been having panic attacks that consume my every thought, going on for hours at a time. They start at any point in the day, my chin begins to wobble, the pain pierces my chest, and the tears spill onto my cheeks; most of the time I struggle to breathe and feel as though I’m suffocating, the feeling of gasping for air under water. After a long talk, another panic attack and a big hug from my mum, I’ve only had two panic attacks in as many days – considerably less than the past couple of weeks as I must have been having upto fifteen a day.
I don’t really know where this post is going or why I’m writing it in the first place, I just need somewhere to write down my thoughts and feelings. I’m currently using iPhone apps to try to calm myself, but I plan to visit a doctor in the coming week, I believe everyone should seek help when they need it. I think what I am trying to say, is if you or anyone you know if feeling some type of way similar to the way I am, talk to someone.
I never thought that I’d be writing something like this. For the past two years I have worked In a beautiful coffee shop within a large shopping centre, working my way up from Shift Manager to Assistant Manager within a year.
It was a normal Tuesday; we were fairly quiet in the morning, we cooked fresh pastries and laughed together. It didn’t take long for the day to turn sour – 12:15 and my managers needed to sit down with me. I panicked. I had a whole rush of emotions, I sat down and immediately knew something was wrong, then they delivered the blow – we were closing in 5 days. I cried, a lot. I have never felt anything like it, I absolutely loved my job and my team, I felt like I had just been smacked in the face. Honestly, nothing being said was sinking in, I thought I was going to throw up, I got up and saw the looks on the teams faces – they instantly knew what was happening, this was the beginning of our nightmare.
It’s a really weird feeling being told you no longer have a job but it has nothing to do with you or your performance, I actually think I’d deal with the whole thing better had it been my fault I was out of a job.
We actually closed three days later before my shift had even ended, it was so surreal closing for the last time – draining the machines, pulling in the furniture, and handing in our keys. I had been a part of the team since before the store opened and I was there until the very end. The end of a short lived, but well loved era. I have learnt so much the past two years, and have grown so much as a person. I’ve learnt to trust my gut, how to be a great manager, and how a team of people can become your family. We may no longer work together, but we’ll remain friends forever. We all bring something different to the group; we’re all crazy and we all love and support one another as friends should. I will treasure the memories they have given me forever.
The past three weeks have been horrendous, filled with tears, screams and frustration. I’m still hunting for work but I am confident that only good things are on the horizon and this nightmare will allow me to explore new desires and opportunities. I’ve hung up my apron for now, but not for long.
Quirky, unusual, eccentric – three words I would use to describe the city that is Amsterdam. I booked a trip to the city way back in August for my partners birthday and had been eagerly anticipating the trip since that very day.
We travelled there via the overnight ferry, which was a great experience too, we upgraded our room to the Club Suite meaning we had a cosy double bed and a complimentary mini bar, fantastic! We enjoyed games of cards whilst admiring the distant shore lights and smooth waves before heading to bed ready for the day ahead.
We arrived In the city mid-morning and had only five hours to explore, I was slightly disappointed that we didn’t have more time but off we went to see as many things we could In the given time, and being an Amsterdam virgin, I wanted to see everything. Amsterdam is famous for the amount of bikes in the city and let me tell you, it is no lie – there are more bikes than I’ve ever seen! I loved how the streets were filled with cyclists and how the canals were lined with racks upon racks of bicycles; a beautiful contrast to the busy streets we see every day in the UK. We walked for hours and hours – exploring the gorgeous canals, cobble streets and the abundance of sweet treats Amsterdam has to offer.
We visited the infamous Sex Museum, this little gem is filled with everything you COULDN’T imagine! Probably too graphic to share, the Sex Museum showcases an historic photographic sex show, mechanical flashers, and a giant penis It is a perfect representation of everything Amsterdam is promised to be. I found the Red Light District to be very unnerving; sex shows everywhere and girls lining windows – I couldn’t help but find it quite sad and feel sorry for them.
The afternoon was spent exploring the city in the sun; we ogled the flowerbeds that lined the canals and the water rippled softly, who knew that something so tranquil could exist in such a packed out city. Although I didn’t get many photographs, the ones I did take speak of the gorgeous waters and chic buildings that Amsterdam boasts.
I would love to visit the city again for a longer period of time and delve into the city’s museums and enjoy the city at night – I’ve heard it’s worlds away from the afternoon streets. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and would 100% recommend to anyone! Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to visit later in the year, have you been to Amsterdam? What was your favourite place? Let me know in the comments!
Hi I'm Mary, welcome to my little corner of the Internet. Here I try to navigate my 20's whilst finding myself in the big wide world. I post about travel, life and my favourite finds. I'd love it if you would join the journey!