Monthly Archives

January 2020

Lifestyle

How To Deal With Making Friends In Your 30s

friendsPhoto by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Making friends can be a seriously tricky business growing up. I think we all remember those super awkward moments at school when you try chatting to someone for the first time. It’s awful! Feel sorry for us socially awkward who tried to hide from all contact. Friends were like a currency of school life. Depending on who you made friends with ensured what your time at school is like.

It’s not quite like all the scenes we see in high-school TV shows/films!

You make friends, you lose friends.

Not a lot of fun when you fall out with people you might have known from primary school. Surprisingly, I didn’t fall out with any of the people I knew. They just grew in their confidence and I kind of stayed socially stumped. That said, I am still friends with a handful of people I’ve known since I was 11. One of these people actually bullied me early on and we’ve seen past that since he joined the Army and apologised!

What school doesn’t really ready you for is making friends when you are an adult.

Sure you can meet new people at college, university or even at school but they are usually acquaintences. You speak to them at that particular place but it doesn’t go any further. According to an article I read last year, we don’t become emotionally mature until our 30s and sometimes even into late 40s.

I second this article! I might not be the most stable mentally anyway due to my mental health problems, but I’ve always felt like I have moments where I’ve acted like a teenager. Mood swings, randomly crying and all those wonderful feelings! The elderly may suffer a lot with loneliness if they are house-bound or have no family, but even younger adults can feel really lonely!

HA! I made it sound like I was young.

Why do we need to have friendships in our 30s? You need minds that know what you’re going through. You share how you’re feeling about things, chat about when you were all at school and makes you feel less lonely. Woo! Plus you get to meet up with them for long chats or even go on holiday with them. The perks of being a grown-up! There are a few ways you can make friends at this age!

Find something that connects

The way I’ve made most of the friends I’ve made in my 20s was through sharing a common interest. As you can guess, that was through Harry Potter and blogging! These have led me to being able to talk to strangers and even bonding with them.

I’ve gotten the chance to connect with so many quirky people like me and they have truly made me feel special! If you see someone wearing some merch for something you like, compliment them about it. That’s the first step! You can then tell them that you also love that thing.

Makes life so much easier!

Chat with people you already knew

New friends are great but why not reconnect with people you’ve already met? Remember those friends at school that you might not have chatted to for years? Friend material! You already have that first hurdle done and you’ll have a bunch of things to catch up on. They might be married and have kids now or have started a career you couldn’t have guessed!

It’s never too late to start chatting again. I actually chatted with a girl I met when I was 5 over Facebook a year ago so it can be done! If any of my old school friends see this, let’s chat!

Take your time

We might be getting closer and closer to being middle-aged (we old!), but we still have a bunch of time to meet people. Don’t feel like you have to rush things with someone just so you have that one friend. You have more time than you meet! If that person really becomes your friend, they won’t be going anywhere.

Don’t be afraid to chat with someone different

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed as I’ve grown up, it’s that I have found myself drawn to a number of different people. Back at school I would only talk to adults or people in my class. These days I have friends who are parents, teachers, nurses, tattoo artists and actors. You meet so many incredible people over the years and I’m honoured to know that I have such a wide group of people to gush over!

I had one person last year say that I seem to know more people who are considered ‘different’. Whether it’s because they are LGBTQ+, disabled or from another country. We’re all the same at the end of the day! Plus they put up with me so that’s handy! Haha!

It’s okay to have younger friends

I always feel a little weird with this one but then I accept that there isn’t anything wrong.

What is the one thing that connects almost all of my friends?

They are a few years younger than me. I think the youngest of my friends is 20 and she is like the oldest-minded 20-year-old that I know! I’m more her age than she is and she constantly tells me too! My best friend is even in her mid-20s! I used to think that I must be creepy to only go for people who are younger than me. Why didn’t I have friends of my own age?

The answer is that I’ve always been like this. Even when I was at school, my close friends were younger. I was in Year 11 and had friends in Year 8. I didn’t see age as something that should be stop me from chatting. If we have something in common and we enjoy each other’s company, then we can be friends! I’m pretty sure my brain is still stuck as a teen anyway!

Start afresh

There are going to be a few times in your life where you move home. Whether you’re staying in the same general area or moving to a different part of the country for work, you have the same chance to start afresh. It can be really hard to make friends when you know absolutely no-one but it can also be fun. You can start chatting with your neighbours, join in events in your new communuty and talk.

I did this when I moved to my flat and made friends with my elderly neighbour! I can now happily go over to chat with her, drink tea and she even gave me a birthday card yesterday.

What tips do you have to make friends in your 20s/30s?

Mental Health

How To Make Small Changes For A Happier 2020

small changesPhoto by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Something that I have started to understand in my old age (I’m almost 33!!) is that you’ll never succeed with unrealistic resolutions. I’ve spent so many years attempting your average choices: lose weight, go to the gym more, drink more water. You name it, I will have tried it over and over. My brain doesn’t seem to accept such big goals so I don’t even try anymore. I instead know that I need to make small changes to how I think for them to stick.

Am I making sense? Probably not but I’ll try to explain what I mean!

Say yes when you usually say no

I’m surprised that no wasn’t my first word as a baby because I say it way too often! I’ve missed out on a number of things by saying no. I’ve said no to going out with friends and even to going on a city break. If I have a solid reason, then I don’t feel so guilty, but most of the time I’m just scared.

Do you see why I’m not a Gryffindor?

I’m always going to have anxiety and feel nervous about new situations. That doesn’t mean I can’t start saying yes to opportunities. At least I’ll know I’ve tried if I get anxious!

Accept compliments

Okay…hands up if you’ve ever given me a compliment and I’ve not accepted it? I bet a lot of you will have both hands up! It’s an awful habit that I’ve developed. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate when someone gives me a compliment. I really do! I just don’t believe I deserve it. It’s really irritating to everyone, including myself.

If you give me a compliment, I’ll do my very best to try and accept it. Even if I just say thank you! It’s better than saying I don’t deserve it!

Love yourself more

Oof.

This is going to a major topic for me to focus on when therapy starts. The thing is this has been growing for decades and I’ve had many people telling me that I need to be nicer to myself. They’ve told me that I’m better than I think I am and that I have many great qualities.

Everyone deserves to love themselves a little more. Look into a mirror and compliment what you’re wearing today or how well you might have done your makeup. It will take time but that’s why these are small changes.

Don’t suppress your emotions

We all do this.

Whether it’s to protect our loved ones, our friends or because we’re afraid of what we’re feeling. I did this so many times to protect my mum. I didn’t want to worry or frighten her with all the thoughts that were going through my head. It even took me a while to tell someone that I didn’t understand something. I didn’t want my teachers to think I was dumb.

Suppressing how you feel only leads to more heartache and pain. No-one said that it would be easy to accept your emotions. You just have to acknowledge and take it from there.

Pretending to be someone you’re not

My whole life I’ve pretended to be someone I’m not. I’ve pretended to be fine when I’m sobbing inside, I’ve pretended to be chatty when I wish I could hide and I’ve pretended to be normal when I’m a little different. Acting is a great way to pretend to be someone but even then you have to have an element of you there!

Social media (especially Instagram) has people posting images of their lives and themselves looking gorgeous. It gives people a false idea of what real life is and you don’t see that someone is struggling. Not everything has to be posted online. You don’t have to let everyone see everything but just keep in mind what your audience might think. We’ve got teens seeing celebs who look stunning or super skinny and feel like they need to pretend to be like that to be popular or accepted.

Life really isn’t like that. I’m pretty sure my LGBTQ+ friends will agree with me. Don’t be afraid to be the person you know you are inside.

Understand when you need to step back

Sometimes life can be go, go, go! You’re trying to get as much work crammed into the day as you physically can and don’t always realise how thin you’re spreading yourself. Only when something gives do you suddenly discover what damage you’ve done. You need to recognise when you need to take a step back. If that means taking a day off from work to rest or if you need to give something up, do what you need to.

Forgive yourself and those around you

This is a tough one.

You know the saying ‘Forgive and forget’?

There are days when you need to be the bigger person and forgive yourself/someone else. It will hurt and, like a lot of things I’ve mentioned in this post, it will take time. It will happen though. It all depends on the circumstance, I think. If it’s a massive thing then it might not be possible to forget but you might forgive one day.

Don’t push aside your beliefs

It’s sad when people push aside what they believe in or someone doesn’t acknowledge it. Whether it’s your religion, your eating habits or your views on a subject. Not all beliefs should be accepted (such as racism, targeted abuse etc.) but you shouldn’t have to put your belief to the side. If you don’t believe in eating meat then that person should give you the courtesy of understanding.

I saw so many tweets from friends who had family members who refused to cook a meat-free meal for them!

What small changes do you think someone could make to feel happier?

 

 

Lifestyle

7 Goals I’m Going To Achieve In 2020

2020

Welcome to 2020 on my blog! We made it! I hope you all had a brilliant night however you decided to celebrate it. I was happily in my PJs, in bed, and going in between watching Graham Norton and Netflix. Before it hit midnight, I did try to watch the fireworks on BBC One but I thought they were pretty rubbish. Craig David was really good though so was glad his music brought in 2020.

Now that we’ve started a new decade, I’m in the mindset of setting myself goals. There are a couple of quotes that I’ve fallen in love with to describe how I want this year to go:

“Don’t call them dreams. Call them plans.”

“Don’t tell people your plans. Show them your results.”

The reason why I’ve been sharing resolutions on my blog is to have proof online that I’ve set myself goals/targets/whatever you want to call them for all to see. If people see that I’ve created these, I’m more likely to do them. Though that didn’t exactly work out last year but it will this year! I’ve tried to simplfy my 2020 goals so that I don’t confuse myself and can get to work.

Reduce my antidepressants down to 100mg

This is a big, big thing for me and will only work if I dedicate myself. I’m going to be starting therapy sometime this year and I’m wanting to lower my dose by the end of the year. What some people don’t know about antidepressants is that you can’t just stop and start your medication. They can give you some nasty withdrawal symptoms and could be damaging to your body if not taken seriously.

I’m currently on 200mg (the highest dose) so I see 100mg a realistic goal to aim for. It’s giving me plenty of time to take my time and keep my body happy.

Start volunteering

While I’m sorting out my mental health I want to be able to start doing something meaningful. I’ve been doing a Work and Disability programme to help prepare me for applying for work. The general consensus is that I won’t be able to handle a full-time job right now (which is true) and that volunteering will help me get recent experience and references.

I’ve applied for a call-line called Elderfriends where you get to chat with anyone elderly who is lonely. I figured this might work since I could do this from home and it’s flexible. We’ll see if they contact me back!

Read 50 books

If you love books and go on GoodReads, then you will know that the site holds a reading challenge. You decide how many books you want to try and read during the year and you get to document all the books you do. Last year I managed to read 30 books which I’m very proud of. This year I’m aiming for 50!

You never know what the year will throw at you so any book I read is a win! If you’re doing the challenge, good luck and have fun!

Visit a relative

The only time I’ve seen a relative in the last decade has been at funerals. So morbid!

Most of my Mum’s side of the family live in Northern Ireland whereas my dad’s side live in Birmingham. I don’t have too many left down South but I do have an aunt who I chat to every month on the phone! She’s 80 so there is no chance of her travelling to see me. I really want to go and visit her in case the inevitable happens. I’m just worried that I’ll be super awkward chatting face-to-face!

As for my other aunts, I do plan on seeing them. It’s just a little trickier. I have to try and save up some airfare to fly over and it wouldn’t be the happiest of circumstances. I want to scatter some of Mum’s ashes where she was born. I’ve got the documentation to fly over with her ‘remains’ so it’s just a case of saving. My chats with them are less frequent since I definitely feel awkward around them! Maybe 2020 will finally push me out of my comfort zone and get me chatting. Family is family at the end of the day.

How do you guys handle visiting relatives you don’t see often?

Watch 2 plays (Local/London)

Before you say it, I know that seeing 2 plays doesn’t sound like a lot but it is for me. I haven’t seen a play in over 2 years (it was Cursed Child!) and I really miss seeing theatre. The actress in me wants to be on the stage along with the cast and there are so many amazing plays to see! I have my eyes on The Ocean At The End of the Road but it’s sold out! Fingers crossed that some return tickets come back so I can see Sam Blenkin on stage again! He was the last guy I saw playing Scorpius! 2020 is the year of theatre for me! Emmie, you better be reading this post!

Other plays I’m loving the sound of are:

  • Endgame (with Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming)
  • The Play That Goes Wrong
  • Dragons and Mythical Beasts
  • Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield)
  • My Cousin Rachel (Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield)
  • Trojan Horse (Derby Theatre)
  • W*nk Buddies (Derby Theatre)

I reckon I’ll be able to see at least 2 this year especially the ones in Derby! Those sound really interesting!

Decorate part of my flat

My dad may have been a painter/decorator but I did not inherit any of his skills! I attempted to paint in my old house and it looked so bad! I literally cringed every time I had walk down the corridor to the front door. Part of me wonders whether I should try again and take my time or get someone else to do it.

Getting a pro to do it still counts as achieving my goal, right? I really want to get at least one room done this year so it looks like someone capable lives in my flat!

Write in my diary every day

For the last decade I’ve written a diary.

Have I written in it every day? Heck no! I’ve literally had months upon months of nothing. I can usually do a couple of months and then I stop. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy writing it but sometimes you just don’t want to read about your bad days. I’ve managed to do write every day since last September! The fact that I’ve lasted this long could mean this goal might actually happen for the first time ever!

Have you got any goals set for 2020 or are you just going with the flow?