So in 2020 I decided it would be a fun idea to pursue or even create a blog full time, meaning posts that are more regular instead of once to twice a year. As you can see, this didn’t really work out that well and I’ve barley written anything.
Not through lack of ideas, this I seem to have plenty of. I am very good at writing internal blog posts in my head and it’s just the sitting and writing that seem to be the problem.
I need technology to create a device that can just take my thoughts straight from my brain and write it down for me, before I forget it or before I get the inevitable writers block.
A couple months ago, I met with some friends and one of them said some really lovely things to me about one of my posts ‘Quitting my job during the pandemic’ and it really inspired me to write again. It was so nice to hear someone really liked my writing; it’s those words of encouragements that are so warm to hear. I often wondered if it may be worth writing what I got up in the time between quitting my job and finding a new one – is that something you’d like to read?
Following this meeting, for weeks afterwards I walked around full of thoughts and drafts, all in my head of course, and nothing came of it sadly but I held onto the feeling and here I am restarting this writing journey.
I properly started bookstagram a year ago, originally I created an Instagram page for interior ideas, I moved into my first proper flat with my other half and I wanted to get some ideas on how to make a home feel cosy. This then went on to finding some very thrifty Instagrammers whose main goal is restoring, up-cycling and saving money! Definitely saving all the ideas for when I do hopefully, maybe eventually buy a house. (HA!)
In between that, I popped a photo here and there of a book I read, until eventually, I actually discovered a whole Bookstagram community and I felt like I was home. Cheesy I know.
I deleted all my random content and focused on books, now I feel like I have a slightly unusual account because I very much tend to read books not everyone has heard of, leaving small reviews. I am that person that judges a book by its cover and picks it up on a whim because ‘it looks good’. Usually, this works our for me and I get a really good read.
I am also that person that HAS to finish a book even if it takes me absolutely forever and I don’t like it – but I want to give each author a chance. In my head, I believe the author took their time writing their book so the least I can do is give them some of my time reading it. Does anyone else do this?
Here are my thoughts for now, let’s see what this becomes, I think I may do more extensive spoiler filled book reviews on here because sometimes I have so much to say and it’s hard to not spoil it in my mini reviews on my Bookstagram page.
So for what I think is the 3rd time, welcome to my blog!
In the middle of a pandemic & during a third national lockdown.
I am fortunate in the fact, that leaving my job was a decision I could take, on my terms and leave at a time I was ready. I am aware that many jobs have been lost and many people have been made redundant in these uncertain times. I wanted to share my experience with you because I know there are people out there with a similar internal struggle and I just wanted to say “Hey, it a tough decision but don’t think about it alone, share your thoughts with someone, it’s okay to think about whats right for you”. I also want to mention that I am not going to sit here and bash the company I worked for, I am just going to share my headspace with you all.
For the first time in my life, I felt a strong need to prioritise me. I took a step back and thought about what is it that I want, what is not bringing me happiness? I felt like for a while, I haven’t been growing and I very much felt like I have been standing still but not really sure why and what I was waiting for. Eventually it dawned on me, I didn’t find my job fulfilling anymore.
Now for a bit of back story, I was in my job for just under three years and is started off as any new job does; it was great! The best place I ever worked in, I loved the environment & the energy, the people I met and worked with and the individuals I dealt with on a daily basis. It was exciting & it was something new!
Over time, it came to a point, where in my heart, I realised I wasn’t passionate about my job anymore, I couldn’t agree with the direction the company was taking and I craved something more. I needed something full-filling, something that kept me stimulated on a daily basis, something to help me thrive. I always imagined myself being in a job which I was able to continue to grow in, this is so important to me. A job which would continue to challenge me, helping me develop professionally and as an adult but also I need my job to provide enough stability for me to one day be able to buy a home, start a family, purchase a cute little pup and my dream car. Over time, I realised that if I wanted something bigger and better I will have to make a choice. I also realised the only thing truly keeping me there, where the people I worked with, because despite everything, I felt like we were a little family and it was hard to picture myself flying from the nest, so to speak.
It took me a while to have a very frank conversation with myself because leaving a job is scary. Especially in the world we live in now, but I had two choices, leave now and be scared but exhilarated by the possible opportunities out there, or be too scared to leave and stay in a job I don’t love anymore for the sake of comfort and familiarity. You can see which one I chose.
Making this decision was not on overnight thing, it was over a period of time, where I realised what I had just wasn’t aligning with what I wanted. I mentioned before, I had to take a step back and evaluate things, I thought about my life and I thought a lot about my mental heath too. I have always been the type of person, that if I am unhappy I don’t tend to share how I feel and I tend to hope it will go away on its own some day. I felt that if I leave, I will will be letting people down. I felt like I would be disappointing my parents because my decision might seem irresponsible. I felt like I would be letting my partner down, that it would be selfish of me to be the only one without a job in our relationship. I felt like I would be abandoning my team, my friends and my manager because we’re in a pandemic and I’m tapping out.
This feeling, this guilt, it wasn’t healthy and I just needed to stop. To stop over thinking and evaluating because at the end of the day you have to put yourself first. Sometimes unapologetically. What do you do with the people around you? Well, the rights ones will understand and they will stand behind you in solidarity. The wrong ones? They were never meant to be a permanent piece of your life.
Telling the people closest to me, outside work, I felt a collective but silent sigh of relief from them and received so much support for the decision I have made. I was wrong when I thought I would be met with doubt and uncertainty followed by questions such as “are you sure” and “maybe this isn’t a good idea”. Each person I told showered me with support and love and it only solidified my thoughts further; I was making the right decision.
Telling people that I work with, especially those with whom I have made deep friendships with- boy that was another kettle of fish entirely! Handing my notice over, had to be done over a video call, it was definitely not the most ideal way to have that conversation. The moment I saw my managers face, I started bawling, I think I gave her a fright to be honest! It was very difficult to say “I’m leaving..” to someone you care so much for. Telling my team? I barley managed to get my words out! See the one thing I will always be grateful to my old job, is that it brought some truly wonderful people into my life and created friendships which I will always cherish and hold close to my heart.
I think it was the moment I stopped putting pressure on myself that I realised I’m ready to let go and it was then that everything just started to feel right. I finally felt like leaving is the best decision for me and for the first time in a while something stirred within me. It sounds silly but it’s almost like there was a part of me that go so caught up in life and working and adulthood, that I’ve just shoved it down completely and me deciding to take control of my life again, resulted in this little part of me waking up again and I want to do everything that I can to never let that part fall asleep again.
I’ve also decided to take a little bit of a break in my life. I have pretty much had a job since I was 17/18, whether it was full time or part time, I’ve always been working. It seemed like the expected thing to do, having a break is such a foreign concept unless you’ve booked annual leave from work! To be honest, I probably would have tried to immediately find a new job right after finishing my old one, if it wasn’t for my partners friend who asked me if I’m taking a break. I thought to myself “A break from what? I need a new job, I need to make money”. We are so programmed to think we cannot take any time off, that we must have a job at all times and that something must be wrong if we don’t find one as soon as possible. The work life balance is so faint & we only take time off when someone allows us to!
So yes, in answer to her question I am going to be living life in the slow lane for a little while. I will read, I will take walks, I’m going to take beautiful pictures. I’m just going to live life for a little while and try and be in the moment. I will still apply for jobs, but I will not put pressure on myself to take the first one that wants me.
I feel so positive that there is something really good out there for me, I know deep inside that the next step I take, the next job I find will be what I have been waiting for. I know things happen at the right time and I am trusting the process.
Am I scared? A little yes, but I am thankful that I was brave enough to take this step. Sometimes you have to do what’s right for you.
Welcome to this next step of my journey.
Be kind to one another,
“I quit my job, in the middle of a pandemic & during a third national lockdown. By choice”
I’m constantly on the prowl for new books so recently I subscribed to a book subscription called “A Box of Stories”, you can check them out here —>https://aboxofstories.com/
It’s a pretty nifty idea, a collection of books from undiscovered authors, hand picked for you based on your chosen genre and there’s a few to choose from! You have:
I went for Crime, Mystery & Thriller and I must say I was pretty happy with the selection I received, I am currently finishing book number three, which is The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana. You receive a surprise box each time and you can change the frequency of the deliveries. You can also link this to your Goodreads accounts too, so you don’t accidentally get a sent a book you’ve already read, it’s great!
I have left small reviews on 2 out of the 4 books that I’ve read already so if you’re interested, do check out my Instagram page, but the book that has left me pondering days after I’ve finished it is “The Woman in the Dark” written by Vanessa Savage. I’ve enjoyed it so much, that I bought a copy for my mum!
So this brings me to the true intention of this post: my first book review! So grab a cup of tea, get cosy and enjoy reading! There will be spoilers! So stop reading now if this is on your “To Read” list.
The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage
A a psychological thriller set in modern day South Wales, we meet Sarah, who after the death of her mother has a very difficult time piecing herself back together. Her husband Patrick, worried about her and their children, feels a new start will be best for the family so they move down to live by the sea in Patrick’s childhood home- a home in which a brutal murder took place 15 years ago and therefore been renamed to the Murder House.
The first thing I want to unwrap is the trigger, the final nail in the coffin, so to speak, which becomes the reason as to why the family has to move; Sarah accidentally overdoses on sleeping pills. Six months before this her mother passes away, leaving her a small sum of money, which Sarah wants to use for travelling the world with her family. After her overdose, Sarah agrees to give this money to her husband so they can buy his childhood home and start a new life.
Shortly after moving into the new home, strange things begin to happen, over time Patrick becomes aggressive and unpredictable, falling into fits of rage and mood swings, always lovingly apologising afterwards. Little bizarre “gifts” such as children’s toys are left at the front door with no explanation and let’s not forget the stranger watching the house from across the road. We can see this is very quickly becoming a toxic environment for the entire family. Sarah, feeling responsible for their families unhappiness, is desperate to make things work and to help her husband create the perfect home he dreams off.
Patrick believes they can bring the house back to its former glory, but we soon come to find the murderer of the previous owners has been released on parole, we are introduced to cold spots in the house, writing on the wall hidden under peeling wallpaper, stares and whispers from neighbours. We very much get a creepy possibly haunted house feeling, the paranormal element always at bay and with lack of any explanation this only increases the tension keeping you gripped up until the last page.
Sarah has been instructed to take medication for her anxiety but this results in her loosing her grip on reality thus becoming disconnected from her children. What I liked here was that we didn’t have to deal with little children that had to be taken care of, we have a 17 year old boy and a 15 year old girl, both developed characters with their own little storylines within the book. This idea by the author, also helped to shows us readers, the effect the medication had on Sarah and the lack of knowledge she actually has about what happens in her children’s lives, this becomes particularly evident when her son is admitted to a hospital after being assaulted and we come to find out how her daughter has lost her virginity.
After you finish this book, you come to realise the title gives a fair bit away. It tells you that the stranger watching the house is indeed a woman, from a darker time, but I feel like it also says a lot about Sarah. Due to her blind love and trust in her husband, she was unable to see the way she was being manipulated and gaslighted by Patrick from the day she met him. Because of the medication she took, she wasn’t able to see the pain & difficulties her children were going through and how her lack of support affected them. She was in fact, in the dark in regards to all the people and things that matter.
Overall, this is quite a dark read, with a lot of twists and small elements of horror, however it’s written so well that it is difficult to put down. It keeps you guessing not only with the storyline but also the general theme of the book, you half expect a possession to take place and I guess in a way it does with Patrick, who becomes a completely different man to whom we were introduced to at the start. The final chapters in the basement, felt like a lid has been lifted to years of secrets, the violence from Patrick demonstrated him spiralling completely out of control. It also resulted in Sarah finally being exposed to who her husband really is and how he has been orchestrating their entire life.
If you are looking for a good read, I would definitely recommend this, it was a solid 5 stars from me.
Has anyone else read this? What were your thoughts?
This is a little piece I wrote a while ago and I still stand by what I think.
It has become more and more apparent to me that we live in a society where we seek social validation through all the different social media platforms. Many ( notice I didn’t say all!) girls post more revealing pictures of themselves because they know that this will bring them more likes and followers, some guys pose with their newest purchases and flex their muscles in the gym (or outside ) Don’t get me wrong some of these images are encouraging body positivity of all shapes and sizes, telling stories and sharing different experiences but most of these images are there for us to see and envy (because that’s what a lot of us subconsciously end up doing)
For some people, social media is about sharing aspects of their life casually and inspiring others but there are people who need likes and comments to feel a certain way about themselves. They need others to know that they have hit a certain pedestal and need to feel important. I am not slashing anyone that does this, these are just my thoughts, if you feel the need within yourself to build up a persona online then maybe there is something about yourself that you need to work on?
A couple of years ago, I went to a concert with my dad to see my favourite band, the experience was great, we had standing tickets and were in the middle of the whole crowd. Now I’m pretty average height and I could see relatively fine in between all the people in front of me, however the minute the band came on stage everyone’s hands went up in the air. It wasn’t to cheer the band on, oh no, ALL the mobile phones were out to film every second of the concert. I admit I did pull my phone out and film the concert a few times but maybe 30-60 seconds at a time. It was very difficult to actually see the stage and there was a lady in front of me who was filming and sending the videos to every social platform she seemed to be a part of.
So my question is, when did we stop to live in the moment? When did we stop and just enjoy our surroundings? Our friends and our loved ones? The older generation watches us and probably feels sad that we spend so much time living through social media rather than just actually living. I’ve noticed lately every where I go people are using their phones; friends at a dinner take part in a photoshoot before actually eating their food, couples pose millions of pictures online to show everyone how in love they are, others tweet every action of their day.
People are using Snapchat and Instagram stories to show everything, where is the privacy? Everything is on display, you can follow a random person on Instagram and scroll through their pictures and be able to tell their life without having to ask them directly.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am also guilty of sharing things on social media and there was a time where I did Snap something everyday, but it was times where I didn’t take my phone out that I created the most memorable moments. It is so easy to miss something when you’re trying to open up your social media to share something. My Facebook was always filled with me ‘checking in’ at a location or a new picture/ selfie. Nowadays if I decide to post something it is usually a day or two after rather the same night.
When I’m out and about I love to capture a few pictures but 9 times out of 10 I get caught up in the moment and forget to use my phone. Why do people feel the need to snap their entire night from the minute you’re getting ready with your friends to the second you’re in your bed at the end of the night? What is it inside you that feels the needs to show everyone how much of a good time you are having? I guess what irritates me is the necessity to almost perform on social media that you’re having a good time because you want to convince others around you that you are. What happened to having a good time for yourself?
A few weeks ago I was walking across the embankment in Central London, it was a beautiful sunny day and yes I did pull my phone out and took a picture but then I just stood there and watched the world go by and my brain and everything that was frazzling around in my mind momentarily stopped and I relaxed and as basic as that sounds I do believe we need to do that more in our lives. Enjoy each moment, actually live it. Or in this instance, just stop and breathe.
Sometimes when I talk to my parents they tell me about the things they got up to when they were my age, through the way they describe it and their faces, I can tell that their memories are really wonderful. They are able to portray this picture without a need of a physical image to show me. Sometimes I envy them, they lived in a much simpler time, everything was so much more appreciated and sometimes I do think that because everything is so accessible we take it for granted without realising it.
Now I’m not telling people to stop using their phones, but I do believe we should find a balance of what we share with social media and what we keep for ourselves. Social media is very much starting to consume our lives. If you surround yourself with people that only validate you through your social channels then you are spending time with the wrong people. If you’re having a night out and your priority is to snapchat the entire night rather than have a good time with your friends, maybe you should re-think your priorities.
You only get one life, don’t live the majority of it through social media.
Be nice to one another,
Thanks for reading! Do subscribe to my blog if you enjoyed reading this!