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Archive: December 2018

Goodbye 2018: The Year of Grief, Success and Growth

I've tried to keep my private life as private as possible when it comes to what I blog about, I can't really describe why. I don't know if it's because I'm someone who likes to hide my feelings away and play miss sunshine all the time or whether it's because I don't want to bring attention to the bad parts of life or maybe it is because I want my blog to be a happy place. I write a lot of blog posts from the heart, about personal things, grief, unhappiness, you name it, it is most likely in my drafts. I find writing therapeutic, there are two things I do when I become engulfed in my emotion; I write about them or I listen to music that feels what I am feeling, it's my coping mechanism I suppose you could say. I'm not one to share my feelings, I never want to bother people with my feelings, so when my emotions begin to bubble I lock myself away with my laptop and my headphones and I let it out, but lately I've wanted to open up a little more and I guess it is a result of the past year. 

2018, the year of grief, success and growth. So 2018 has been a weird one for me. It was the first year we will begin and end without my beautiful nephew. My nephew, Aaron was born with a terminal illness and passed away at the age of four last May. After he passed, it was hard, very hard, my life, my family, the world changed for me. I wanted to pretend it wasn't happening and so I applied for a masters degree, I threw myself into achieving a distinction, I went to university every single day almost, when I wasn't at university I was doing university work. I never wanted my mind to be empty, if it was empty I'd overthink, I'd realise what was happening in the world, that he wasn't here and I'd break down. I told myself I did it for him, I went out to achieve a masters because I wanted to succeed in life for him because he never got the chance, and yes, it is partly true, I still want to do well in life because he never got to, but I was lying to myself. I did my masters because I couldn't accept the pain, I wanted a distraction, by focusing on university 24/7 my mind never got a minute to think about anything else. 

Goodbye 2018: The Year of Grief, Success and Growth

I finished university in April/May of this year, handed in my dissertation in August. Then came the hunt for a job, my mind continued to stay busy, little did I know, my mind was about to go blank. I got a job, a job I adore with people I adore and from nine until five every evening my brain is buzzing with content plans, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and office jokes, but once I get home at 6pm, suddenly there is nothing to do. There are no essays to write, no work to bring home, I have all of this free time, then I have 48 hours of a weekend where I am free to do whatever I please. A whole year and five months after my nephew's passing suddenly I was smacked in the face with the grief I had been pushing away. That's not to say that I didn't grieve all that time, of course, I did, but not in the way it has hit me recently. Filing away all my grief, my upset, my hurt into that little box for all those months made it explode and suddenly I am a tonne more emotional, not just in the way I grieve but in everything, I cry at everything from adverts to poems to Instagram captions. 

I was suddenly overcome by how short life is, by how important happiness and love are and by how nothing in life is ever guaranteed. I find myself thinking about my nephew a lot and as much as I cry, I am happy because I experienced him, his beautiful presence, his inspiring life and not many people can say that. I cry a lot, probably more than normal, but I guess that's what you get for pushing your feelings away for so long. I am happy to be sad because I am alive and I can feel. I am 22 years old and I hopefully have an entire long-winded future ahead of me, but I also may not and that's bloody scary, but it also means that I should be happy while I can, I should feel while I still can, I don't want to waste my time, I don't want to cry over boys who are too dumb to see how bloody fantastic I am because I want to live, I want to live for Aaron, I want to succeed and travel and fall in love and enjoy my life because I know that every second of it he will be there, maybe up there in that place people call heaven or maybe just in my heart, but he's there and he's going to experience it all with me, every smile, every tear, every scream, every emotion that life can possibly give me because life is so precious and beautiful and I only wish he could have experienced more of it. 

Goodbye 2018: The Year of Grief, Success and Growth

It's been one hell of a year, I have tried to deal with the grief as it comes, but it can be overwhelming at times, I put on my brave face, I cry myself to sleep at night and I let it run its course because I want to grieve forever, I never want there to be a day that goes by when I don't think of Aaron and the love, light and inspiration he brought upon this world. I will carry my grief with me forever, but I will also be happy and succeed because I know it's what he would want because I know he is rooting for me. So, what does 2019 hold for me? I have no clue. Maybe I will fall in love, maybe I will win the lottery, maybe I will be hit by a bus, who knows? I mean let's all hope that last one won't happen, but no matter what happens I want to be happy, I want to be surrounded by people who cheer me on, who believe in me, who I connect with. I don't want to waste my time, I don't want to lose sight of my big picture, I don't want to rush into anything either, I want to always trust my gut and trust that my guardian angel has my back like he has this past year. He was there for me getting my distinction and he was there for me getting my wonderful, wonderful job, so I know he has my back and I trust him to lead me to happiness. 

I've always been an ambitious person, I've always wanted to be successful and do amazing things with my life, it's why I've always worked so hard because I am ambitious and I want to make something of myself. I never want to be someone who relies on others for anything, I am often told I am too stubborn and independent. I want to make my own future, I want to make my own money and buy myself a treat every now and then, so I work hard. Sometimes that hard work pays off and this year I got a job working in a wonderful social media marketing agency. I felt like everything I had been working towards was suddenly beginning to pay off in some way. It's hard for me to describe this year, to talk about it, decide whether it was good or bad because it was both, at different times and at the same time. I feel like I am a completely different person than the one who entered this year. I've grown in so many ways, I have taken control of my emotions in ways I can't even understand myself, I have succeeded in life and made moves towards becoming the person I want to be. I have grown in confidence, I am starting to become happy in just being me, I am learning that yes, I have my bad habits and my flaws, but I am also really quite funny, I'm intelligent and I am so much more than those annoying quirks or the visible flaws that bug me so much.

So, if I could summarise 2018 in one word it would be growth, the year of growth and I am very excited for 2019 and all the wonderful wonderful opportunities it holds. Where will I be this time next year? I don't know, I literally have no plans for what I want to happen in 2019, but I am ready to take on another year. To live my life to the best of my ability to do everything Aaron never had the chance to, for both him and I.

I usually ask a question here, but I don't even know what I would ask, but if you are ever going through a tough time and need someone to talk to please do not hesitate to get in touch. Whether we've spoken before or not, email me or find me on social media: 

Christmas Shopping With St Enoch Centre

THIS POST IS IN COLLABORATION WITH ST ENOCH CENTRE

I am absolutely obsessed with this time of year. I start listening to Christmas music in November, the trees go up on the first of December every single year, I own an advent calendar and I go above and beyond with Christmas presents all too often. So when I am invited along to Christmas themed events as a blogger it is one of the most exciting times for me. I mean, I even held back on coming back to blogging until it was December just to set off my favourite time of year properly. This year, just like last year I went along to the St Enoch Centre's #ShopStEnoch event to look into all the festive goodies available and once again I am beyond impressed. 

St Enoch Centre has always been one of my favourite places to shop in Glasgow, especially at Christmas time, there is a shop to fit every personality in your life. I wanted to do something a little different with this post, instead of walking you through the wonderful event, I want to let you know all of the amazing places and ways to shop for the people in your life in St Enoch Centre. As regularly as I shop at St Enoch it's not until I see all of the amazing shops showing their festive pieces that I realise... wow, I could do a full on Christmas present shop here without going anywhere else. The wonderful event let me see all the goodies on offer and gave me so many ideas on what I want to buy the amazing people in my life for Christmas this year. 

Christmas Shopping With St Enoch Centre

FOR THE MAKEUP AND BEAUTY GURU
St Enoch has so many amazing shops offering makeup, skincare and beauty. The first place I always think of it Boots, it's the perfect first stop on any shopping trip. There is haircare, skincare, makeup, perfume, body care... no matter what you are guaranteed to find a gift set that the makeup and beauty guru in your life with adore. I am actually loving Niomi Smart's collection which is available in Boots at the moment, I love what Niomi stands for and I think her brand is so her, plus everything is fruity which I adore. Boots also have a whole bunch of perfume gift sets which are perfect for gifting to mums, grans, aunties or even a friend or colleague if you know their signature scent. The next stop for beauty in St Enochs for me is always The Body Shop, they are doing so many fantastic gift sets for Christmas, I am especially loving their Christmas limited edition sets, it just makes a product slightly more special when it's limited edition, right? Lastly, I tend to go a walk around the beauty counters in Debenhams, some slightly more high-end or luxury beauty, skincare and perfume brands over at Debenhams. I tend to buy my best friend a palette or makeup set for Debenhams every Christmas, so I always like to pop in and check out their sets. Too Faced are killing it with the Christmas sets this year, while Bobbi Brown, once again have me heart eyes for their limited edition Christmas products. 

Christmas Shopping With St Enoch Centre

FOR THE (BIG) KIDS IN YOUR LIFE
We all have nieces and nephews or brother and sisters to buy toys for... or maybe you just have a big kid in your life that you like to shop in kids shops for. The first place I always go is Hamleys and I usually find myself getting lost a thousand times. Hamleys caters to everyone from babies to toddlers to school kids and pre-teens. Right now they have an entire corner of the store dedicated to Harry Potter with merchandise even some 30-year-olds will be going mad for. I also love their little Christmas themed teddies, perfect for popping in the top of gift bags for kids. Hamleys kindly gifted each of us our own personalised bears at the event and he is so soft that I won't be rehoming him, he is staying with me. The next stop for me is always Disney, whether I am looking for Moana toys for my nice, Cars toys for my nephew or a new mug for my best friend I think Disney caters to all. They also have some absolutely stunning Christmas decorations in which I want every single one of. For the bigger kids in your life, aka the children in adult bodies Debenhams has a wonderful collection of board games, trivia games, collectables and I found myself walking around for twenty minutes just looking through it all... possibly debating a few games for myself. 

FOR THE FASHION SAVVY IN YOUR LIFE
Where to begin with this one. I think St Enoch has such a wide number of clothing shops there is definitely something for everyone's price points. Starting with H&M, I think H&M is perfect for the staples especially jumpers. If you know someone who loves a good fuzzy jumper head to H&M to find the perfect match. If you're looking for a cute bag to add into someone's present I always find Dorothy Perkins has cute small bags at reasonable prices. My favourite place to go is Topshop, there is one out on Argyle Street or one in Debenhams and both stock some of the most beautiful pieces. Whether you're looking for some shoes for your best friend, a jumper or dress for your sister or are just looking for some pieces for yourself Topshop will most likely have exactly what you're after. In Debenhams, there are also a bunch of other clothing shops so if you're ready to spend two hours of your life in there and buy more for yourself than your loved ones then head up to the clothing floor. 

Christmas Shopping With St Enoch Centre

FOR SOMEWHERE TO LUNCH
Is it just me or does shopping make everyone absolutely starving?! There are so many places in St Enoch to eat but I have two favourites in particular. Kimbles, Kimbles is perfect for anyone looking for a coffee and to walk away with a bag filled with sweets. They have a whole range of Christmas themed chocolates and I will definitely be popping by again for some little chocolate Santas asap. The other place I adore for a quick lunch on St Enochs is Muffin Break. Muffin Break do absolutely incredible coffees, but on top of that they now have a Christmas menu, so if you want turkey, pigs in blankets and cranberry sauce on your panini to fill that festive belly of yours, they have you covered. Their food is prepared fresh for you and is always so tasty, I am getting hungry even just thinking about it. 

FOR THE PERFUME PERFECTIONIST IN YOUR LIFE
We all have someone in our life who has a perfume collection bigger than our wardrobe. If you are looking for the perfect perfume for someone you have a massive choice of perfume shops to go sniffing around. Debenhams is one I always find I get the best service in, I always feel like sales assistants will stand with me, let me rhyme off the giftees signature scents and they will know exactly what kind of perfume fan they are and will come back with one the person adores. If you like more of a specialist environment when shopping for perfume The Perfume Shop and The Fragrance Shop are the places to be. Overpowering scents give me a headache so sadly for me I can't enter them often, but I always find the staff of both to be so helpful and they always have wonderful sales on leading up to Christmas if you're a savvy shopper. 

FOR PRESENTS THAT MEAN A LITTLE MORE
Right now St Enochs are currently doing a shop local event where local brands are doing pop up shops in the centre in the lead up to Christmas. Supporting local businesses is an amazing thing that helps small companies grow and continue to do what they love. If you want to buy something that means a little more you should definitely look into what local businesses are on offer. I cannot wait to check them out myself and get my loved ones gifts that are unique and that go a long way to helping people continue to live out their dreams and passions. 

What kind of giftee are you at Christmas? A fashion lover? A beauty guru? A big kid? Let me know in the comments below or catch me on social media: 

I'm a Master of Marketing AND I'm Making a Return to Blogging?!

I've not blogged in so long now that I've forgotten how to do it... but I am back! It is December, my favourite time of the year, I am excited, I am happy and I am more than motivated. It's been a pretty busy, quick and exciting few weeks since you last had me rambling away on your screen. As you know I got a job working in social media aka the best job in the world. It's been pretty hectic, I work 9-5 and as I travel 30 minutes each way, most nights I get in just before 6pm, eat dinner and fall into bed because I am exhausted. I've been getting a little more used to the schedule now and can usually keep myself awake until at least 10pm on weeknights and for possibly the last week I have been using that time to plan out blog content, so really, I have been back in the blogging mind frame for a week or so, but I wanted to come back after graduation and in early December, just so I could give it my full attention outside of work hours.

I am so excited to be back in the blogging world, I started posting a little more regularly on Instagram this past week and was especially inspired by the St Enoch Centre #ShopStEnoch event I attended last Tuesday where I got all the Christmas feels tingling. I will be posting all about that wonderful event on Thursday, I was writing up the post yesterday and suddenly realised I haven't blogged in so long and should probably do a little update before I get back into regular posts. I am really excited to blog again, as much as I adore my job, I do miss blogging, it is just trying to find that balance again, but I am slowly getting there. I will probably get used to juggling right before Christmas holidays knowing me. I have two blog posts going live this week however and have two set up for next, so as long as I keep up this motivation and energy I should do okay. 

I'm a Master of Marketing AND I'm Making a Return to Blogging?!

The motivation I guess came from how fantastic my past week has been, I graduated from a masters of science degree in International Marketing with distinction. It is honestly one of my proudest achievements and after having a pretty tough year leading up to starting my course and being teamed up with a very problematic individual for most of my assessments I am truly proud of myself for achieving distinction. I adored every moment of my masters degree, I truly believe I learned more in those short 12 months than I did my entire undergrad. Not just about marketing but about myself. I was pushed to breaking point by a certain individual multiple times, I cried and thought about dropping about as that individual tried to sabotage my grades. I learned that I can battle on, that I can stand up for myself and that I can confidently present to 14 of the senior members of NHS Scotland and be part of the team they chose as their favourite of the day. It was a whirlwind year, with certain parts I'd love to relive and certain parts I'd definitely not, but overall I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and the experience I had.

I'd like to say I'd love to go back and do it all again, but I wouldn't, not because it was hard or stressful, which at times it was, but because I am so happy with the present. Getting a little sentimental right now, but I am so happy to say "Hey, I did a masters degree, I got distinction, my hard work paid off" and I am even happier to say "Hey, I have a job I adore and work with some pretty amazing people, how about you?" So, in the past month, I came to the end of my first month in my first adult job, I went back to high school for the day, I cut off my hair into just slightly longer than a lob, I graduated, I attended a Christmas, fun-packed event and had a ball doing it all and probably a bunch more things I have missed in between. I even started to watch Vlogmas and am making myself keep up with all the shenanigans of my favourite YouTubers, whether it's catching up in the evenings, on my lunch breaks or binging at the weekends, I want to stop being lazy and using "I work 9 to 5 as an excuse for not doing anything but lying in bed drifting in and out of sleep until it's acceptable to actually go to bed.

I'm a Master of Marketing AND I'm Making a Return to Blogging?!
Oh, and here is my new haircut!


Nothing says I am back quite like a random, half sentimental, half nonsense filled ramble, right?

So, what festive activities have you tried your hand at already this month? I want to know in the comments below or catch me over on social media: 
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