LEARNING TO LET GO

I've had many friends in life, those who I still consider to be close to, and those who have slipped right through the net of life. The ones you think about when you see a Facebook post telling the world they're newly engaged or moved in with their partner, to which you make the effort to congratulate them by having a light catch-up - don't roll your eyes at me,

I KNOW

you've done this before! It sounds savage, being so honest about it, but I think I've finally become a person that doesn't want to hold on to old '

friendships

', because what's the point when you've moved on and so have they? I think you get to a certain age and it suddenly hits you, '

who are my true friends?

', you start to eliminate the people you no longer want to spend your free time with and focus on the ones you do. When you become an adult you don't have a lot of time for socializing like you did in school, it's a whole different ball game now.

In school you'd spend five days a week with 20 or more pupils, learning everything about them and who they are, then forming special connections with a selected handful. You were able to hang out after school, walk home together and play GTA non-stop until mum said it was dinner time. Now, I find it hard to switch on my XBOX for anything but catch-up TV in the background of a working situation,

on my own

. You'd be able to have fun

all day

on the weekends and be nothing but totally free, I'd head to the beach with a few of my friends, sitting in the sand dunes for hours listening to The Killers on repeat until it was finally time to get fish and chips, drag that on for a bit and wait for a call from my mum to tell me dinners at 7pm, not what I wanted after stuffing my gullet full on fried goods. But that was my early teenage years, nearly total freedom and no adult responsibilities. Friendship isn't an adult job, it's something we cherish and adore, but when you out grow your teens you start to wonder if you'll ever keep in touch with the people you had these memories with, or if they'd forget all about you once they'd moved off to new places. This was me, picture the scene... Just out of college, not wanting to spend another minute of my time studying, but watching all of my friends apply for University, getting in and leaving me on my own. It was a lonely time but one that certainly grew me as a person.

What else was there to do but think?

My parents tell me it gets harder, your best friends form new lives, get married, have a baby and then you only ever see them for the celebration of a new life in

their

life, another person to take them away from you. It all sounds incredibly selfish and very doom and gloom, but it's the cold hard truth. You grow up, learn to let go and live your life as is, with a close knit group of friends while the rest is history. It's funny how we think our school friends will be best friends forever, we look towards the future and imagine living together, holidaying in a hot country and being each others Maid of Honor. That was all I wanted when I was fifteen, but now it's a very distant memory. We all grow up and most importantly,

we change

, more often then we think. I've grown to love change and enjoy new possibilities when they arrive, this included friendship. The past year I've made some great new friends, and I hope these stick. I'm 24 this year and I want to make all the time in the world for the best friends I have today, and learn to say goodbye the ones that have left my life for good. I'm embracing the new and not spending too much time thinking about the old, as I think reflecting on the past can be dangerous. That's not to say I regret or don't miss my old pals, I very much do. But it's also nice to remember those times for what they are and leave it at that.

I'm a dreamer

, I often go into a world of my own and think about my life all those years ago, while looking forward to new beginnings. New friends come and they go, but I'll be embracing every one that comes my way and treasuring it for what it is, whether it's here for the long run or the short. I think it's good to enjoy it and if it loses it spark, that's OK too, it's still a memory.

I've said farewell to 'BFF'S' and made new ones, and I don't regret anything because some people just aren't for me. Life throws obstacles at you and situations don't work out the way you think they will. Over the New Year period a lot of people were talking about making a conscious effort to get rid of toxic people, the ones that put you down and don't make your life enjoyable. This is a good way of thinking, who need's a bad friend in their life when they have others anyway? And if not, will be sure to make some a long the way. It's best not to get caught up in these things and think about yourself, because if there is one thing I've learnt in my (

almost

) 24 years of life, it's that we need to focus on ourselves more often. We don't need negativity surrounding us when life is hard as is, it's all about making it  as much as a positive experience as humanly possible.

I love everyone in my life right now, and I'm so excited to meet new people and see what the rest of my young adult life has in store for me. Now's the time when I'll be meeting the most inspiring and incredible people, and I couldn't be more ready for it. I've released my sadness about losing touch with old friends and keep reminding myself that the best is still yet to come...

WHAT I WORE

SHIRT -

WASITE VINTAGE*

FLARES -

TOPSHOP

HAT - H&M 

JEWELERY -

BLOODY MARY METAL

& VINTAGE

UN-LIKING INSTAGRAM



I've been having a bloody good moan about every single social media out there at the moment, it's like we were best buds and now we're sworn enemies - we just don't love each other anymore... On my Instagram I've been posting stories about this subject, I've even been tweeting about it, so it's probably time I actually wrote about it. Here goes nothing!

I've fallen out with social media, mostly Instagram, which feels strange because we've been attatched to the hip for a very long time. For a wannabe creator and picture-maker, an app where you can make pretty grids with your personal work on is the dream. Honestly, when I first came across it I knew it'd be love at first sight. Now, it's a whole different story.



So here's me about to sound low-key pathetic while I moan about engagement, tragic! As we all know, Instagram has changed a lot recently with it's algorithm and shadow-banning. Not sure what this all means? Let me break it down for you.

ALGORITHM -
noun
noun: algorithm; plural noun: algorithms
a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.


In Instagram terms, this means that images and users with high engagement such as likes, comments, shares and views will rank higher on your feed. Which is my terms mean MY POSTS DO CRAP. I'm only small, so my posts have never received a lot of likes, but recently it's dropped increasingly. When you've only got a small following you don't expect all of the likes, but you do expect something. Last week I posted a photo I really liked, but it flopped so hard I had to take it down and sulk about it. This is what upsets me most. I, as a photographer, enjoy images and the ones I take. I take pride in my content and when no one else sees it or feels the same, that's really quite sad. I don't expect to 'break the internet' but I do expect Instagram to not hide my content from my followers. I need all the help I can get to grow myself as a creative, and not having this platform to support me anymore is devastating. 


SHADOW BANNING -
Stealth banning (also called shadow banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting) is the act of blocking a user or their content from an online community such that the user does not realise that they have been banned.


Basically, our posts are starting to disappear and not become visible when using hashtags. Instagram responded to this by stating that
'When developing content, we recommend focusing on your business objective or goal rather than hashtags'. OK INSTGRAM let me try and build my business without the genuine help of a fucking hashtag. I personally don't see any issue with using this symbol, I often search for posts using it. To come back with that is a huge bite in the ass, and it's users didn't take it lightly. 

I'm not over exaggerating when I say that every single day I see at least three people talk about this ongoing issue. My problem is that I'm trying so hard to produce work that I love, enjoy and want to share with my online community, but I'm not having the support or platform I need to do so. 


I am not on a level where I have a huge following and this doesn't overly effect me, I'm attempting to grow myself and my personal brand at the moment, but I feel like it's not going anywhere. It does make me want to give up, but then I remember that yes it isn't about the likes and it is a little bit tragic to get emotional about it, but then I also remember that this is peoples careers and one day it could be mine. In reality, even these incredible creators are finding it a struggle because they're the ones being paid for their engagement, so actually they need the views more than me!




SHIRT - NASTY GAL | TROUSERS - H&M | RINGS - BLOODY MARY METAL

All in all, the whole thing is grinding on me. I never thought I'd be someone who cared about this, but all I want to do is succeed. On a recent programme titled 'Celebrity Hunted', Jamie Lang (Made in Chelsea) has a break down about not living his life to the full and caring too much about his Instagram likes, which completely shook me. It's so easy to feel self conscious online and I believe a lot of people related to this. Jamie, I'm with you!  We are the modern age, social media and an online presence is huge, so it's time our platforms had our backs again! 

I have a little solution for this, and I like to think it'll help a tiny bit. I use Instagrams one decent tool which is the notification button, which means I turn on notifications for my favourite accounts. When they upload a new photo, I get told! So, I can constantly see what they post (and it doesn't get lost on my time line thanks to algorithm) and like the image. Simple. I'm still seeing my favourite content and their still getting my love. 

I know I'm not the only one having a moment, so I wanted to write about it and almost get it off my chest. Also, if anyone wants to make a new platform I highly recommend it, hell if I had the brains to make an app I'd do it in a heart beat!
 

INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY


First off, happy International Women's Day! We don't need a day purely to celebrate our women's rights, we should be celebrating it on the daily. But neither the less, it's amazing seeing men and women across the globe shouting about it constantly for a glorious 24 hours. Let's keep it going!

My heart goes out to my mother today, the woman who helped me become the person I am. She taught me how important it is to love yourself, support your rights and fight for equality. Not only does my beautiful mother give me the courage I need, but the dozens of inspiring gals in the world of blogging give me light and a huge breath of fresh air in this sometimes cruel world.

Everyday I struggle to see people on social media fighting for our rights as women, fighting those who are against us. So today, I wanted to mention my favourite blogger babes who inspire me in both their writing and their selves as bad ass feminists!

Firstly, a personal thank you to Megan Gilbrade who I have the pleasure of knowing just a little. Your writing is the most powerful I've read in a very, very long time. You write about personal challenges and it gives me a whole lot of strength when I need it most. Knowing you're not alone in life is so important, and Megan reminds me of that when she gets real with us on her beautiful blog. You're doing so well, please never stop being you!

TOP - TEE & CAKE | SKIRT - TOPSHOP | BOOTS - TOPSHOP | TIGHTS - PRIMARK | SUNGLASSES - MATALAN

Secondly I'm saying cheers to my gal pal Chloe Plumstead, a loud and proud feminist who I absolutely adore. Chloe wrote a big something last year titled, 'Feminism: Can We Blog About it More Please', a piece of writing that has stuck with me for nearly a year now. It stuck with me because of the truth told within the post, and the sheer amount women commenting and sharing their thoughts and stories with us all. Coming together as a community is unreal to see and like Chloe says, we need to shout about it more. Whether it's sex, equality or other taboos - we need to use our voices! She has surely helped me gain confidence to be my extroverted self and with that, keep on being the sassy little feminist you are!



I dont want to take away from the importance of this post, so I'll briefly mention about my outfit. I'm in nearly head-to-toe Topshop, no shock there! Topshop are owning the high street with their range of 'girl power' pieces. I paired my skirt with the sassiest metallic pink mini skirt, which is my favourite piece in my wardrobe at the moment. I've had so many compliments on it, the only thing is when I say mini I fucking mean it, I'm pretty sure you can see my butt cheeks - still cute though!

I'll leave on a thank you, a thank you to every single person out there who credits themself on being a feminist. We have the power to overcome the vast negitivity that still surrounds this strong and powerful word, so let's do this!

WELCOME HOME | 24.7.16



One week ago I moved out of my studio flat and into a four bed house with my three best friends. A decision not to be taken lightly, but a one to definitely consider. Since we moved in we've had the most fun together, getting up in each other's business and just having a good old time. People always say that living with friends isn't as good as you think it'll be but I can't think of anything better than to live with three people I have chosen to call my friends.

I wanted to share some of it with you as it's coming together rather nicely, I'm sure our parents would like to see what it looks like too. So, if you're into home decor or you're one of our rents, then this is for you! I've tried to link a few of the pieces shown but a lot of it is either vintage or not available to buy online anymore. Hope you enjoy this little sneak peak around our new abode!



MY BEDROOM

I left home for the first time last year and since then I've lived in four different places. I'll be brutally honest, life's a bitch. I've got a lot of nice homeware out of it though which has come in handy when decorating our new place. It feels nice to unpack boxes that are familiar to you rather than buying a load of flat-pack furniture with zero sentimental value to them. My room is full of my style icons and coffee table books that I've kept for years, and even though I've seen them so many times before, I couldn't unpack my room without them.

I've got a lot of personal items on display, like a frame filled with photographs and gig tickets that me and Kieran have been to which I adore seeing every time I come into my room. I've also got my vintage Arizona varsity jacket hanging up by my beautiful bay window to remind me of my mother and our family. You don't really realise how sentimental you can be until you start to fill up a room full of your fondest memories. I'm totally in love with my new room and can't wait to make it even better when I cover the walls in giant posters of Robert Plant and Kurt Cobain.



HOMEWARE ITEMS

White lantern - Ikea
Arrow cross stitch - The Cove Boutique
Cactus - Ikea
Cork Board - Wilkinsons
Clear hanging photo frame - M&S
Popcorn basket - Poundland
Pulp Fiction print - Parlor Tattoo Prints
Bunting - Tiger
Pegs & string - Poundland




The rest of the house is filled with tacky knick-knacks that we all have a love for, like endless pictures of our favourite musicians and vintage home wear like my ceramic pineapple that was once used to store drugs in 70's (so the man in the charity shop told me). Like I said, so tacky but I wouldn't change it, a home should be where you can express your true self and we've certainly let all of our personalities come out and made it the homliest of homes for all of us.

I personally have a love for home decor which makes having my own space to get crafty pretty exciting and makes my hefty Pinterest board worth all the effort that went into re-pinning the 500+ images within it. It's not quite that LA loft space that features in my dreams, but it's something.



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CAN'T WRITE? DO IT ANYWAY! | 4.7.16



I haven't been blogging for a while, it's been an on and off hobby for some time. This isn't because of my usual excuse of life getting in the way, it goes far deeper than that this time. I've been struggling with self confidence and not of the appearance kind. I've started to feel low about my ability to write and create which is upsetting me to no end. I feel like I've always been a creative person, I was always terrible at math and anything that needed my brain to function even slightly, so being creative always made me feel comfortable and like I am actually capable of doing something good.

As of late, this hasn't been the case, I've struggled to pluck up the courage to open up Blogger and let my fingers do the talking. I have come to the bitter realisation that writing isn't something I'm that good at, it's more of a 'where do I put this comma' sort of thing, but I do struggle on knowing how to string a sentence together too. It kills me that I don't even know how to use proper punctuation, or that I write a paragraph full of useless mumbles that is hard to read. It's definitely top level embarrassment when you have to start getting some poor sod to proof read your posts, especially when it's a post about this subject - awkward! I've got myself really worked up over this and it hurts that this is yet another thing I probably suck at.

It's even harder to feel confident when you're surrounded by incredibly talented people who have no issues spewing out some impressive conversation time and time again. Not only do they know how to speak proper English, but they seem to excel in every form of anything. Why do some people have to be good at quite literally everything?

This sounds like a pity party but I always feel it's good to share emotion of this sort just in case some of you are struggling with this too. This has been eating away at me for weeks and it's time I got the fuck over it, I need to wipe away my sorry for myself tears and get back to it! I shouldn't be putting myself down like this but it is hard to feel good at things when the majority of people around you do it so much better than you. I'm inspired by many of my 'internet friends' to make regular content but when I can't even inspire myself, how can I? I need to give myself a slap round the face and a bit of tough love and say GET OVER IT. Who cares if my paragraphs don't end the way they should, or I used the wrong version of 'there', it's not the end of the world! I'm not publishing my posts onto a page of a book, I am simply using this platform to casually create content that means a great deal to me. I love seeing my work on a web page that I've worked so hard to make and although it may not be the most professional blog you did ever see, it's mine and I adore it.

I'm quite a sloppy person so I'm all for blog posts that feel like a casual conversation between friends which probably means if you're looking for a blog that is beautifully written using fancy words and keyboard symbols I have never seen, this maybe isn't the one for you, but I would like it if you stayed. Let's just have fun and leave the judgement behind, it's not that much of a big deal that I didn't use a full stop when I should of somewhere in this post, right? I'm not the next Jack Kerouac but I applaud you if you are! I wish I was but I accept myself as I come.

You do you, don't try and sound like a different person or try to mimic other people and their content. Be yourself, even if that means people can't understand you sometimes...



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ONE YEAR ON | 20.3.16



This shirt strongly represents how I'm feeling because in exactly 49 days time it'll be my one year anniversary of living in Bristol, what a hectic and crazy year it has been. I wont scrimp on the details with you after all I put hard work and effort into this blog so why not put my heart and soul into it too? This past year has been full of stress, complications and a lot of tears but that's been completely out-weighed by the glorious feelings I have towards my life now.

I moved to Bristol with my now past boyfriend thinking that our new life would contain happiness and last longer than the few months it did but I wasn't happy and I didn't want that life I'd created to last any longer. I don't regret moving away because that wouldn't of made me the way I am today, or my life the way it is either. I learnt a lot during those few months, some more valid then others like how to set up a joint account or what a water metre is and that some men leave urine on the toilet seat, so there were some great life lessons to be learnt. I'm sometimes a strong believer that things happen for a reason and I wouldn't be here in Bristol without that shit happening.

I am now out of the flat I shared with said ex and into a house share which by the way I worked myself up about for weeks on end. It's so daunting thinking about moving into a house with complete strangers that it made me ridiculously anxious, will we need the bathroom at the same time? What if I need to brush my teeth and the bathrooms occupied? Which by the way has already happened and I ate a whole pack of mints that day. These are all very petty things to dawn on but my brain overworked itself and my nerves were another level when I first moved in. Don't get me wrong it's still a little awkward and not quite the one bedroom flat I dream of but it's far better than living with an old boyfriend.

I've also moved on in a relationship sense and without getting into it too much I'll just say it's all tops. Being with someone so kind and loving through the hard times I've faced these past few weeks has been a blessing. With that and what I suppose you could call my new life I'm doing well, really well in fact. I'm still on the hunt for somewhere I can call home but I'm keeping my head held high while browsing Gumtree every hour for a housemate. That being said I'm the happiest I've been in months or maybe even a year which is a good example of things happening for a reason, wouldn't you say? I adore my life in Bristol and wouldn't change this past year for the world, OK, maybe less tears would of been nice but I won't get picky.

I can't wait to see what the next year of my life holds and in the nearer future I'm so looking forward to summer. Who else is counting down the hours until it's warm again? I don't mean to be rude, Spring, but do get over and done with so I can feel the heat again. I have a hunch this summer is going to be one of the best ones yet! I do hope you are all doing well and keeping yourselves happy in life, if my rubbish situation could get better then yours could too. Chin up, move on and enjoy life.

TIGERLILY x