4 December 2017

Can love be found on Tinder

Jumper - H&M
Jeans - Boohoo
Fishnet tights - Primark 
Necklace - Handmade by me 

I have been reflecting on life recently,  I was on and off Tinder for about 3 years having had a string of failed acquaintances in that time and I'm pretty sure hundreds of dates that ended in ghosting, lets downs and boredom. After all those years I didn't have very high hopes for the app that pretty much had a reputation for hook ups and free meals. So after a solid three years I was kind of done with the whole dating thing, most of my mates had settled down with their partners and in many ways I wanted this and would always make myself feel like I had failed as I hadn't found myself "the one" I had so many people tell me that Tinder wasn't the place for real and proper relationships and I still tend to agree and at times I just felt that I had got lucky with my boyfriend. 

I'll take you back to early January last year, I had been seeing someone who I genuinely ended up hating and just made me angry whenever I saw him this ended after a few months and the relief I felt was amazing I blocked him and vowed to myself I wouldn't bother speaking to anyone else. That night I had a message from a guy (my now boyfriend) that pleasant and we chatted. I think both of us were pretty bored of the app, I made barely any effort to fully reply as I had promised myself I wouldn't make the effort. A day or two would go by before I would reply to him occasionally I got the "have I done something wrong message" I felt bad so we arranged a date on the Friday his shift patterns meant that it couldn't be sooner. Anyway Friday bowls up and I want to bail. I had had so many dates in the past where it was a complete waste of make up and effort, I didn't need a confidence boost or reason to leave the house. So I text saying I felt off, I could tell after the week of chatting he was disappointed, so I decided to make one last effort. 

I don't do fancy dates, I feel uncomfortable dressed up, so I was glad when we decided on a rubbish little pub where we could just chat and have something to eat, I'm pretty sure it was just us in the pub, which always adds an air of awkwardness but I didn't even really notice. He was hilarious and ate pizza like a child and we chatted for so long that the car almost got locked in the car park. I don't remember much of our next two dates, just endless giggling, chatting and general niceness, but on the third he asked me out. Its always really funny to be asked out as an adult but it was sweet.

I had no faith in Tinder or maybe just the men that I matched with, was it a right swipe at the right time?! who knows, the past 11 months have been a bit of a blur, and I have had some really hard times and doubtful moments and now I feel I don't know what I would do without him. I hadn't really ever been with anyone that could withstand my really down days, or someone that just fully trusts me like he does. I swear the fact he's northern completely changed everything for me, I dated guys from London and to them women were easy to come by on tinder, quick hook ups nothing with any real meaning, but it was nice that we both made the effort and had kind of got to the point we were both bored of our loneliness and decided we were just about tolerable as a couple, ha! 

This isn't a soppy declaration that I'm in this happy bubble all loved up, its not true. I am in love but he is over 4,000 miles away for our first Christmas together, our first New Years, valentines and first year anniversary and Im pretty sure when my brain isn't being distracted I miss him every 15 seconds.  The main thing for me is I like who I've become since I've dated him, I'm still occasionally a handful, with bouts of depression but even knowing he's one text away settles me. I'm working through my trust issues that I have accumulated over many years of being cheated on and made to feel worthless but it doesn't feel overly like too much effort. At times I annoy him with the typical lets be more committed shit, but things happen for people at different rates and I have to remember this. I still find it unbelievably embarrassing that we met on Tinder, hopefully It will kind of be normal soon but not many people ask anymore. 

It truly is hard and takes a hell of a lot of courage to put yourself out there, I wasn't actively searching for love, but I wanted to find myself someone who made me happy and someone I could waste my Sundays with. Everyone deserves to be loved, if online dating isn't for you, thats fine I wasn't the biggest fan but you never know. I am only a month into this long distance thing its tough but most of the toughest things are worth working hard for. I've packed up his Birthday and Christmas present in hopes that it arrives soon so he feels somewhat loved. Heres to another three months away from each other and to anyone wallowing in the depth of tinder wondering where have all the good matches gone believe there are still some goodies out there to be found. 

26 November 2017

Sunday morning rambles my thoughts on being freelance

My brain at the moment seems to be constantly consumed by work, if I'm not drawing peoples portraits I'm planning on how to create the next image for Instagram and how to keep people interested in what I do. It's pretty tiring and does get to me the majority of the time but, its completely self inflicted. 

I am often engulfed with mix emotions on what I do for a living my dad doesn't consider it a living and highly doubt he ever will, he's one of those worriers unless you're in a 9-5 job you'll never make ends meet. So often I have his voice in the back of my head probably reinforcing my fear of failure, but nevertheless I keep doing what I do. I did considered heading back to retail for a bit for a steady income and to squash the fears of the lack of money that might suddenly dry up forcing me to feel like a failure. But I physically can't stop what I do and I have friends telling me off for evening thinking about bailing on what I do. 

Often I'm seen on Instagram stories working, and people say to me how hard I work, it makes them feel bad, that I never stop. Its an odd thing because even the drawings I do for myself I guess I could consider them work. People around me always seem a million times more impressed with what I do to earn my way then I am with myself. I feel that that might be blamed on the good old imposter syndrome I seem to have harboured the last four years I've been doing this.
I'm never completely satisfied with the work I create and in a way I guess thats kinda good for me as I'm always researching, drawing and trying but it does take its toll on the hands, my joints aren't what they use to be in my arms and in my hands, I'm only 29 but the stiffness and pains have settle back into my fingers joints and wrists, and something I think I need to look into in the new year, best ways to keep the arthritis that runs in my family at bay well at least long enough to give me a fair whack at my job. I find the winter months the hardest so hopefully it will soon subside. 

My work is also my crutch whilst my beloved boyfriend is deployed I find it crazy to think how far away he as I type this, the drawing keeps my brain occupied during the dark evenings and slow weekends. So I am grateful to currently be inundated with pet portraits and requests for live illustrations. I get this odd fear each and every time I draw in front of people or even drawing a pet portrait its a constant fear that washes over me, that people will discover I'm a Fraud and I can't really draw and no-one will want any work done by me again - its that pesky imposter syndrome. 

I awoke this morning after a late night drawing, I didn't crawl into bed till 3 am and I awoke at 6:46 am so really I barely slept, I've not been the best at sleeping since Mum died and for me thats one of the worst parts about losing her, its every night before I sleep and every morning just as I awake up, it comes sometimes as a fleeting memory or often before I fall asleep its pretty much a full blown flash back of the morning I found her dying. Those are the times I hate trying to sleep because I know at that point it wont come. So I seek comfort in drawing and I love the moment my brain switches off and I could genuinely lose hours in my own art therapy. 

So really my work isn't really work, it means more to me then making a few quid here and there, its part of who I am as a person. Don't get me wrong  I have client work that I have to slog through and beat myself up over time to time and I often have a good handful of clients who email me about 40 times a day but who doesn't have parts of their job they aren't overly keen on? I'm lucky my talent is being recognised and obviously I would love more publication work but that will happen in time I'm sure. 

You're probably wondering what is the point to this endless ramble, it triggered with me this morning after whilst working last night my best mate was messaging me stressed about repaying her mortgage and at times making me feel like my job wasn't a real job, it just had an air of well now I have more responsibilities then you but guess we can all count our blessing indifferent ways people probably look at my job and see it as an easy ride. It is I guess compared to a nurse, doctor, builder or fireman. But also like other jobs its a hard slog meeting deadlines, chasing work, chasing money, constantly selling myself and often the grass looks Greener on this side of the fence but it take a shit ton of self belief, hard work and stubbornness for me to not admit defeat with it on a daily basis. I myself am also saving for a house on freelancers wage is tough sometimes and disheartening when a client at times goes with someone cheaper or cancels the project, and I am learning not to get excited with things until contracts are signed. Overall I am pretty lucky I wake up everyday set my own times and work on my own projects it could be a hell of a lot worst. 

7 November 2017

The story behind my latest tattoos

Hidden in the depths of my SD card lurch these photos snapped by the ever amazing Natasha I don't often walk around with cling film masking tapped to my arms but I'd waited a while to get another tribute tattoo for my late mum, I now have two dedicated around the time she passed away but six in total for her but these piece meant a hell of a lot more to me then the others. I asked the amazing Dirt Nap who is a long time friend of Lyzi from being little and came high recommend I just always knew it was him who I wanted to create this piece for Mum. 

I am a bit of a veteran when it comes to tattoos and I've got about 24 dotted on various parts of my body some done by ex's some done by me, and the majority done by my favourite artist but these two piece came with the most significance I'm not really one together sentimental tattoos but I wanted something that would be on me forever as a reminded of my Mum's battle those last few days to try and stay alive. I've spoken pretty candidly about my mothers death. You can read a little more here about my loss  and still at times now I feel that I never really had a mother at all as it's still pretty hard for me to comprehend that she wont be coming home. 

The idea behind the tattoo is really pretty simple, when my mum's life machine was switched off and she was pretty much expected to die there and then her heart kept beating for far longer then expected she had some strength left in her as we stood for three hours around her hospital bed waiting for her heart to stop beating, I got the words by Ben Howard an amazing musician that I went to Falmouth Uni with "keep your head up, keep your heart strong" which actually had a weird link to Oli the tattooist who went to college with the singer so I took that as an amazing sign. Now we had planned to have it together on one arm but at the last minute we decided to turn it into two tattoos. 

I was so over the moon and overwhelmed by the work Oli did, on the day of getting it I had it done at Parliament tattoo I just felt this lack of stress and anyone who knows me knows my anxiety levels outside of my comfort zone are just crazy but the day of the tattoo wasn't filled with any stress or dread which made for an really nice experience if you can call getting a tattoo a nice experience. 

I know tattoos aren't for everyone and my dad hates mine, its just an extension of me, sometimes I wish they weren't there so people don't look at me weirdly or question my choices but it's part and parcel I guess of being creative with your skin and barely regret them . I love the meaning and even though these photos don't show how simple and lovely they are I have them on me forever, I know my mum would tut at me and say "Ella you're sucha tit" but that brings the biggest smile to my face and at the end of the day isn't that what life is about, isn't that just the best way to remember someone with a smile and a less heavier heart then yesterday? difference is now I can wear mine on my sleeve to tell the world its ok to miss someone special. 


6 November 2017

Where to eat breakfast in Manchester - Federal Cafe

 I feel very much like an adopted northerner and Manchester has to be by far my favourite city, so last weekend when Ben said he wanted to pop into Manchester to try the goodness that is Federal Cafe of course I jumped at the chance to try something new and I wasn't disappointed. We wandered into the cafe completely unaware of how popular it was and had to wait about 10 minutes to be seated but it took us about 10 minutes to chose what we were having for breakfast as it all sounded so nice 

 The Cafe itself is pretty Diddy and obviously breakfast and lunch are the busiest times so bear that in mind when you go, I opted for the french toast and it was bloody amazing literally massive wedges of goodness. I'm not to sure what ben went for but he added a few things to his plate like extra mushrooms and bacon and he seem pretty happy with his choice. The atmosphere is very lively and it's probably not one of those cafes you could stake out and work from for a few hours as the turn over of customers was pretty high and a little hectic but it was such lovely cafe. 

I'm a massive fan of a good coffee, but I am trying to cut down for my anxieties as to much coffee can push me over the edge but I had to have two as they were so tasty, we did finish off our breakfast was a warm piece of banana bread that Ben was adamant to have with butter, I didn't manage to snap a photo of said banana bread because we pretty much wolfed it down and it might of been up there with my top 5 breakfasts ever. So I think its really worth a visit to Federal Cafe if you are in Manchester because those Australians and New Zealanders really know how to make coffee. 


5 November 2017

5 Things I didn't learn at art school

It's been a fair while now since I graduated from Art school, it was my childhood dream to attend I had studied art for as long as I had been at an education institution so I kinda know a thing or two about Art and being an Artist. 

Art school is a place of artistic experimentation, freedom and creativity but I walked away with my degree pretty deflated in one hand I gained an ok grade but in the other no real sense I had learned anything new. I often receive emails from students who are currently studying asking me for hints and tips about freelance life and how I got to where I am. I make no bones about my work, style and life, I'm an open book often when it comes to these things. I did study fine art at Falmouth University and did my foundation at Camberwell and as much as these are institutions that produce some of the top artist I did find myself questioning my life choice. Now looking back If I had the choice now I don't think I would of studied fine art, I loved it, loved the friendships I made, adored the fact I could have my own studio space and work but in the end I never felt like I learnt much from doing the 3 year course. Fear not there were some positives and I believe we do things in life for a reason if I hadn't gone I wouldn't of met my ex and I wouldn't of started this blog but I may have discovered something just as rewarding on my other path but who knows hey?!

I wanted to share my thoughts on the things I didn't learn at art school, this is from my experience and I can only speak for myself 

1. How Market yourself well

Studying for my fine art degree especially at Falmouth was very insular we were never directed on how to Market what we were doing, I understand with fine art it's very old school and being a tortured artist is great an all but when I leave I want to keep working, making and earning a living from my art. We were never truly advised on this.

2. How to draw 

Now don't get me wrong I turned up with a knowledge on how to draw but my idea of learning about art was how to learn more about techniques my naive self thought I would be shown these wonderful ways to use watercolours, oils but alas nope. 

3. To have confidence your my work

When I turned up to do my degree I had no idea what I was doing, if I was good enough. My lectures never really instilled in us a sort of confidence with our studio work. Now I am never the confident type and but my confidence in the art work was at an all time low when I was at uni because you're surrounded by super talented people and just expected to keep producing top notch work with no really boost to what you're doing. 

4. Creating a professional portfolio

During my time at uni I created over 150 sketchbook, large canvases and other mix media items, did I had any idea what to put in my portfolio? no not really, and if I'm honest I didn't use a single piece of art work created at uni in my professional portfolio I came away feeling like a failure and wanted to start a fresh. 

5. How to make a living from your art work 

This for me was my biggest disgruntle maybe it was just my uni course, but we were never directed in the way of exhibitions, contacting galleries and negotiating the art world. It was just never talked about, there were not functional style skills with the course I joined, I spoke to my illustration and graphic design house mates who had been given the low down and were offered work placements on their course. 

Look back now to a decade ago when I first started my degree, I was naive I wanted to live by the sea, as far from London as I could get, I wasn't looking to my future as an artist and in that respect it was my fault but often we don't figure out our path until a lot later on through sheer hard work, determination, stubbornness and failure do we really know how to make being an artist work for us. 

Now people will look at that list and go Ella really you should of just discovered those things yourself, should I of? if I am paying an institution who has told me I am good enough to gain a place on their course not give me something back? maybe things have changed and other peoples courses were better but I can only speak from my experience when at 16-18 we are told to make a choice that could effect the rest of our lives its tough to make an informed and right choice. But I have learned all these 5 things off the back of going to art school. I learned them in spite of my degree and even though I loved studying I was left with a very bitter sweet taste when I finally graduated with no support network when I came back to London three years of art school under my belt and this wide expanse facing me, you have to learn to navigate yourself. 

Art school is what you make of it, it gave me three wonderful years of working alongside my best friend in a studio, it taught me what I didn't want to be as an artist and it also taught me that the art world can be very cut throat but everything in life has its pros and cons. Just make sure that no matter what you do in life you work hard -  thats really all that art school taught me. 

3 November 2017

All Bar One lunch time Menu

Since finding myself in a relationship with a guy that has a big appetite I have found myself trying all different kinds of food not that I was fussy just that I didn't eat out as much, so when All Bar One contacted me about trying out their lunch time menu, I couldn't think of a more willing candidate to join me devouring tasty grub then my boyfriend. We were visiting his family at the weekend and decided to hunt out the All Bar One in Chester 

To start with the customer service whilst we was there was just fab the waitress that served us was the sweetest and I chatted to the manager about our trip to Chester so its always nice to be welcomed and made to feel comfortable. Both me and ben had eyed up the menu before had through the All Bar One app so we pretty much knew what we were going to order. Being a pescatarian they had a few options for me which is always great. 

We opted for small plates which are pretty much like starters and we decided on pan fried king prawns, garlic flat bread and butter milk chicken wings. The small plates are definitely worth it, the flat bread was my favourite and I was a little stuffed after the started. we both agreed that the sauce the pan fried king prawns came in was insanely good. 

In between munching down on our small plates and waiting for our mains I managed to stupidly trip up the stairs (thank god no one was watching) and also catch a glimpse of Shaun lock as he wandered into the bar just to use the loo so it was a Pretty eventual few minutes I must say. 

With the embarrassment of falling up the stairs I was happy to be sat in the comfort of the window seat still intact when our mains arrived I opted for the pad Thai with extra tempura seasonal mushrooms and ben went for the Mexican burger and I was pleasantly surprised by mine, I would definitely recommend getting the extra options with the pad Thai as its a little plain without. But you do get a fair amount for your money. Ben was pretty silent through the meal which is always a good sign thats he enjoying whatever he's eating.

Overall the meal was really nice, the customer service was amazing and the company was pretty fab but I am rather biased with that. I don't often eat out for lunch its mainly tea but it wasn't too much that I would be stuffed or needing a nap from far too much food consumption so I think they have the balance of food just right. Obviously there was plenty on the menu that we didn't try but I would be coming back again to try something different. 

*All views are my own this isn't a sponsored post but I was given vouchers to review the menu 


2 November 2017

Having a little more me time.

Anyone that knows me knows my love for a chunky knit, I think I might of inherited the love from my mum. November has to be my favourite time of year, the excuse to wear all the layers, and sip all the hot chocolate while watching all of the fire works!? whats not to love? If I'm honest its a pretty bitter sweet month for me, it marks the deployment date for my boyfriend who as we speak is 3559 miles away, thats pretty bloody far but as much as it comes with slight anxieties of him being away it comes with a chance to do somethings for myself. 

With this chance to spend time focusing on me it also comes with the daunting task of self analysing what it is I want to achieve over the next few weeks and months. If you asked anyone I'm close to my anxieties have been pretty much ruling my brain for the last few months, and have come to a head the last few weeks (my poor boyfriend) If I wasn't completely anxious about missing a flight, I would become anxious over the littlest thing like replying to an email. My brain works in pretty mysterious ways and if I am completely honest its been exhausting. The thought of feeling more grounded and having a stretch out in front of me that means I have space and time to focus on tackling my anxieties is actually giving my brain a little peace. As much as I love my relationship sometimes we lose sight of our own goals and needs so really I am trying to look at this as a chance for me to find new passions and enjoy some me time. 

With the prospect of working on a slower pace of life I am hoping this winter for me is all about work. I've spent the last 3 weeks living out of a bag between trips to Budapest, Chester, Manchester, and warrington so it's nice to be back home in London with the prospect of a busy couple of months business wise, while Ben is away. With the prospect of a hectic Christmas about to hit me I am actually looking forward to working, never thought I'd say that. It has been a struggle for my in recent months to juggle a busy schedule but I've come to the conclusion if I simplify it hopefully it will work better for me as I spoke about above with my anxieties I have a pretty high functioning level of anxieties to the point where you probably wouldn't clock it but for me once I have my work in order I feel good. So it's really learning to balance life and being freelance thats a little bit of a struggle but with my well organised bullet journal I feel that its the way forward, I am currently prepping my bullet journal youtube video so watch this space!

I am slowly realising that the best way I can get through the next four months of my long distance relationship is being extra nice to myself, focusing on me for once, taking time to enjoy the small pleasures in life, being healthy and exercising as well as saying yes to friends who want to spend some time with me. These things are tried and tested for helping me cope with my anxieties. I need to push myself really because I am pretty happy with a documentary and an evening of drawing that I sometimes can go days without leaving the house so these things I hope will push me to be a bit more welcome to change. I can always rely on Natasha to give me some healthy advice and a good laugh as we snapped these photos and wandered around Covent Garden, after I helped her pick out some pretty snazzy new ray ban glasses, my love for all black clothes is pretty apparent in this outfit Natasha actually chats about the colour black in her Colour Calendar I am hoping this winter though to get some colour into my everyday outfits and I am on the hunt for a pretty colourful knit after being inspired by Megan Ellaby like she's the queen of colour I'm hoping to brighten the pretty dark winter months. 

9 October 2017

Morning baking with Jamie Olivers 5 ingredients cookbook

I adore Jamie Oliver and love the fact he's bought this book out that is so simple, I came across the book when visiting my boyfriends mum who was cooking from a recipe in the book and snapped it up that evening. I've been promising for a while now that I would bake something for Ben so after a night of Asthma attacks I wanted to have a self care morning and figured it would be the best time to get baking.

Cooking and baking always reminds me of my Mum so it's a pretty calming process for me, she was also a big old fan of Jamie Oliver. I baked two recipes from the book 5 Ingredients. 

I would really recommend this cook book to anyone that has dyslexia, I struggle following instructions and processes with my dyslexia and this book is just so simple and the food actually tastes pretty damn good. The fact that the recipes are simple means to cook a meal is pretty cheap and saving money is always a bonus. 

I decided to make the Chocolate Orange Shortbread from the sweet treats section and if I am honest this is the first recipe I have ever made that actually looks like the photos in the book. So I am really hoping Ben thinks they're tasting. I loved drizzling all the chocolate across the top and the orange that comes through really keeps the shortbread light. It was nice to be able to take my time to just bake this morning and take some time to myself. I would really recommend this book, it has such a wonderful variety of meals through out the book. 

22 September 2017

plans for the rest of 2017

I can't believe how fast this year is zooming by making me have a slight inward panic but there are a few more months of 2017 left and I wanted to share with you a few things that I am hoping to tick off my list and life leading upto 2018


2017 has been a mix bag for me work wise, last year I worked with a lot bigger names on more high profile campaigns and I have kinda felt like I lost my mojo a little bit but thats just the way creative life goes sometimes and the competitive world of image creating can get like that. I want to put in motion large pieces of work for maybe a solo exhibition. What with Christmas also upon us I have a few craft markets on the list that I will hopefully be doing live portraits at so thats something to brush up on.


I am currently wading through Stephen King's IT for the first time completely oblivious that it 1154 pages long, but I am determined to finish it because I am actually really enjoying it and I have about 15 other books to wade through into 2018. I'm finding reading before bed really helping me get more of a natural sleep


I've given myself around 7 months to hit a savings target so I will be able to comfortable move away from home, I know it's not really a proper goal of 2017 as it leads into 2018 but I'm trying to get the wheels in motion now, because renting or even securing a mortgage when you're freelancing is never really that easy so I am trying to take those difficult steps (for me anyway) to remain organised and bring in a enough so that I can fill that help to buy isa up! Saving in London is also really bloody hard to live, function, and survive that costs money so I think less coffee buying and more scrimping needs to start happening! 


I have been dreading the day when the boyfriend is deployed its been coming for about 6 months we've currently only been together 8 months so it's kind of been this shadow thats hung over me, he's completely chilled about it but I'm the worrier in this relationship! So we have decided to really make the most of the last few weeks we have together before he's sent thousands of miles away, I'm sure the four months we are apart will go ok, but he's missing Christmas, New Years, our first anniversary, Valentines, I'll be missing his Birthday. But as they say absence makes the heart grow fonder right?! Ha! 


I have taken the plunge of talking to someone briefly about losing Mum, this time of year is always a major struggle for me, when I popped into the doctors for my flu injection I made an appointment to speak to someone who then can refer me for bereavement counselling, so I am hoping that the last part of 2017 I'm living less in my head and creating more positive healing actions. 

Gosh there are probably so many plans in place for the next few months and things always change but soon it will be October in one of my favourite seasons so lets embrace new challenges 


11 September 2017

The realities of loss

September for me is hard old month, it's really a month I wish to pass through unscathed. Often I talk about my mum on here, on my Instagram and in person, it's been a pretty tough learning curve and an experience that I went through that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. You don't expect to lose a loved one in such an abrupt way. You got to bed one night then wake up the next morning having to resuscitate your dying mum. Long and the short of it thats pretty much what happened. I often receive a lot of Instagram messages and emails from young people that have had a recent loss in the family and often people say to me how hard it must be, how brave I am and how they admire my courage to talk so candidly about the death of someone so close to me. I was born into a family thats pretty hard nosed, raised by both parents that would tell you to just get up and carry on if you fell over, don't cry over spilt milk, and being one of five kids it wasn't a pampered wrap the children in cotton wool environment. So I faced my mother death with a sort of practical mind set. Don't get me wrong I often cry my eyes out until I bore myself and just crack on with whatever I have to do. In the spaces of those two years since I lost my Mum it feels like a million things have changed but at the same time like nothing has happened at all. I have hurled many things I felt I couldn't do without her by my side, exhibition, craft fair, relationship advice, learning to drive. 

When you're faced with such a shit situation you have no choice but to face things head on. I'm a mix of realist and a dreamer and thats an odd thing to be. As I faced my life at 27 without the comfort of my mother I decided from that day that I would do my best to make the most of things. Now I'm not big on the old travel front, I love seeing the world if I get the chance but for me, I want to enjoy all the things that life throws at me and when she died I had the mindset of throwing all the caution to the winding and living everyday as if it was my last, but I found that inevitably I became a tad self absorbed and lonely. None of my friends had faced such an earth shatteringly shit thing like the death of a parent, nothing that close had happen to them and selfishly the more I dwelled on this fact the more I pushed my friends away and in turn the less my friends could relate to me. I found it a very hard balance to strike. I became pretty hard on myself and my agoraphobia kicked in pretty hard. Now I wouldn't want to hang out with a bitter, depressed agoraphobic friend, I just sadly probably wouldn't so I decided that as much as I wanted to seize the day it just wasn't in my nature. So thats when I realised if I made small conscious everyday decisions eventually my life and mind set would at least in the tiniest part be better then it was the previous day.  These choices to other people would probably appear insignificant but to anyone in the depths of depression mourning their loved one felt like triumphant leaps. I would make a mini to do list for the day, that may just involve texting a friend back, (which I am currently failing at) eating three meals a day (I lost an extra two stone after mum died) painting one commission a day. When you feel that your life has come a tad isolated having structure is the way forward I found, like I talked about previously tiny conscious efforts have helped me massively. 

Now this isn't something I have portrayed via my social media, death and loss isn't really something other people truly care about, harsh reality is that they really don't, people feel bad for me but it's not their life and thats ok, we often turn to blogs for inspiration and a place to escape realities. Not to be faced we such sad realities but I have learnt through writing about losing Mum it has given other people the comfort to know that there is life after death, cliche I know but I was blessed with an incredible mother who don't get me wrong had faults but without her I wouldn't be who I am and some people never have that sort of unconditional love in their life, so really I was blessed. 

As I lost that love and 2016 was a rough time, Fast forward to January of this year on a whim I went on a date with a bloke who I kinda fancied, but I wasn't really overly keen on getting into a relationship (god who would want to date an agoraphobic stressed mess who's main joy in life was watching history documentaries and drawing?) and anyone who knows me knows I have some pretty hilarious dating stories so I wasn't expecting much,  But one date lead to another and then it just fell into place. Don't get me wrong and if you ask him its not easy dating someone who occasionally bursts into tears for absolutely no reason, but because of him I feel a lot more like "me" these last eight months then I have felt since Mum's passing. I am pretty lucky to have found someone who is  rather good at absorbing my hard times and making me laugh. He's bought some security back into my life and when at times life feels a little stormy it's nice to have him at the other end of the phone. So yeah life does go on, it's a pretty harsh reality to get your head around and at times I still go to phone or text mum and then realise that she won't ever reply. But It's comforting to know she would be proud of what I've achieved since she's been away.

I don't think life is meant to be easy and I don't think easy is really for me, I like to feel like I've worked for all I have in this life and it's pretty much kept me going in the hard times, so if you are face with anything hard or you feel unsurpassable just know that things do get better, maybe not straight away but I believe that the human spirit is pretty unbreakable and nothing lasts forever, it's ok to struggle and bear your soul because from what I have learn't is you never know who's reading and may need to hear those words. 

I'm not 100% on the path I wish to be on, but I am edging closer to it day by day, I still have the lofty heights of saving enough to buy my own house, buying my first car and creating more important work but I have a fire in my belly this September that I am hoping will propel me to better things and that at the end of the day is all we can hope for in life. 
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