The Lessons I’ve Learnt

Oh hey there, as you read this I will be either dancing around because it’s my birthday (and I love a good birthday) or I’ll be having some kind of mini-breakdown over the fact that today, I am turning 34. I mean WTF, when did I get old!

Photography by Laura Haley – Hat from Miss Selfridge | Jumper from New Look | Skirt from Superdry | Espadrilles from ASOS

But the another year older, another year wiser saying is so unbelievably true for me. But if I’m honest I feel as though the older I get the more I actually learn and the last twelve months have been incredibly educational for me.

If you caught my ‘2017 – A Year in Pictures‘ post then you will be well aware of what a fantastic time I have had, however, you may not be aware of the things that I learnt along the way…

That having a healthy headspace is crucial. 

You may have started to get the message by now… I need to take more time out for me, more often. Feeling stressed and under-pressure is a viscous circle for me, it leads to me become a bit of a mess both emotionally and physically as it sets off my IBS and that gets me down. The more down I get, the less I want to do and the more stressed I get. 

Essentially I need to chill the eff out a little and gather my thoughts.

Taking a step back sounds like a too good to be true solution, but I promise you it is the first step on a road to a nicer, happier more grounded Emma. Over the past month or so I’ve tried to meditate more as well which usually works so well that I wake myself up doing my best Walrus impression after a while.

I’m chilled, not glamorous!

A digital detox is always a good idea.

This is something that I am doing a lot more and enjoying the benefits of on a regular basis. I dabsolutely love the little networks of beautiful and eccentric people I have built up on Twitter and Instagram (even if the latter does get on my last nerve on a regular basis), I don’t think that having them in my life 24/7, 365 days a year is that healthy.

I mean yes I love staying up-to-date with the latest happenings, successes and gossip (got to love the gossip) but hell it can be hard work sometimes, especially when sometimes it feels as though no matter what you say, there is always someone there with a water pistol ready to piss on your parade.

Have people forgotten that we are allowed to think, feel and look different in this century?

These days whenever Mr D and I head out for tea I try to leave my phone in my bag on silent, I don’t need to share my Nandos Platter with the world (’cause we all know they’re good right?) and I certainly don’t need to reply to that message the second it lands (because if girlfriend can’t wait for me to finish my chicken, is she really a friend?). I also try to have a day a week pretty much away from social media a week and not be so attached to my phone I’ve really noticed a difference in that I feel more relaxed and productive too.

Because I can’t clean and create at the same time.

Living outside of your comfort zone can be liberating.

Until this year, I haven’t exactly been one for putting on my brave pants and getting out there, into the big wide scary-ass world beyond my door. But I’ve met some amazing people this last 12 months; Em Shel (one of the sweetest, most kind natured people I’ve ever met), Carly Rowena (who truly kicked my butt), Amanda Bootes (who gave me one of the most fantastic opportunities of the year) and Sian Ryan (the most inspiring human ever) to name but a few. 

And without allowing myself to live outside of my comfort zone none of this would have been possible.

This year I want to push myself further … to meet new people, go more places and to scare myself more often. They ladies I’ve named above helped me to make some incredible memories last year and grow my confidence, more than they probably realise and this year I want to keep on making those memories, whilst gaining more confidence in myself.

Having an office really bloody helps productivity.

Even if YouTube does encourage me to procrastinate more than I should/ is humanly possible. After I had my epic bout of food poisoning in May this year, I came to the conclusion that I really needed to set myself up a little workspace somewhere, especially now that my day job allows me the flexibility of working from home these days.

I never realised how much I craved a desk and a chair and cute little cliche succulents.

Of course I opted for a white desk, pale pastel walls and my #BloggersBlogAward has pride of place where I can always see it when I’m working (it really helps when I’m having an existential crisis). But guys having a workspace I can call my own has helped so much in the last six months that I would encourage anyone thinking about it to just do it. 

It doesn’t need to be a set room, just a space that isn’t the floor / sofa / dining table and somewhere that you can walk away from at the end of the day and on a lunch time. Even if I do still eat my lunch here whenever I’m working from home, having a desk to eat at just feels more efficient than the living room floor!

Life is good right now.

And this is the one thing above all else that I need to think about more often. Life right now is good. I have an amazing boyfriend who understands and supports me more than anyone else on the planet (even if I do drive him up the wall with my lack of timekeeping, attention to anything and general Emma-ness on a daily basis), I have a job the offers me the flexibility to sleep in some days (which this year I have needed so much already) and I have a hobby that gives me more opportunities that I could have dreamed of.

Yes I may not be jetting off on glamorous shoots with luxury brands, but I have never used a luxury brand in my life. But I have had opportunities that reflect who I am, that have seen me win awards and that make me smile so, so much.

I never thought that I would still be finding my way in this world at 34 (thirty-flipping-four for crying out loud) but I am and I couldn’t be happier. I have made more friends in the last 12-months than I have in the last 12 years and I know that these are friends for life because they are the kind that don’t want to know my every movement, that don’t mind that sometimes I need to go AFK for my own sanity and spend an evening on the sofa carb-loading and drinking gin.

I am so bloody lucky. 

What lessons have you learnt that you are grateful for?
Let me know below and I’ll catch up with you again soon, until then though x

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