14 Things I Learned in 2014

Hey, I can’t believe I haven’t uploaded a blog post since September! The reason behind my blog name is to live life with no excuses, so that is exactly what I have been doing! Here is a list of the things I learned in 2014:

1. There is no such thing as normal

What is normal?

‘conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.

Who sets these standards? I’ve been called weird more times than I can count on my fingers. I didn’t quite understand why I was put into this category. I would thoroughly think about my actions to determine what was so abnormal about them.

I’m still yet to come to a conclusion, I do not care for being ‘normal’. I only know how to be Rochelle and I will continue to do so. So the next time someone says ‘You’re so weird ‘or ‘Why are you so weird?’ I will take it as a compliment. Who wants to be normal anyway? 😛

2. I am in control of my emotions

The moment I left ‘self-doubt’ and any fears I had at the back of my mind, I was finally able to live life and experience new walks of life. One day I was so fed up of everything and made a conscious decision to make a change. It didn’t happen overnight, however it did happen so fast that I didn’t have time to think through what was going on.

I started to enjoy life at present and not over think everything or allow any negative thoughts to corrupt my mind. I started feeling happier, braver and most importantly I started to believe in myself more. 

3. My ‘problems’ are minuscule in comparison

Whilst I’m over here stressing over a little breakout or what to wear on a night out, there is someone out there going through something 100 times worse. I have seen true strength over the last few years, some of my loved ones have been through the worst and you would never even know it. Although you can’t run away from your problems, some problems aren’t really problems and it all depends how you perceive them.

4. Partying isn’t the only means of fun

I’m used to seeing people upload pictures of nights out and I sometimes think ‘Aww I’m missing out’. At one stage I thought I was in the boring category when I had no interest in going out, but you know what I’m not a boring person. I have my own idea of ‘fun’ and that’s where the party is at for me. Every once in a while I will throw on a dress, some heels and shake a leg or two, but there is only so much shaking one can do and it becomes repetitive. Quite frankly I would prefer to be snuggled in bed with a cup of green tea and a good read (haha I sound like a right adventurous one right?)

5. I am adventurous

One evening whilst I was on holiday I thought it would be cool to attempt to fly. I’ve seen superheroes do it on TV, so it was only right I put it to the test. OK- I’ll tell you the actual story. I sprained my ankle whilst of holiday last September. Just my luck right? I cannot recall how exactly it happened or how I managed to miss one step (Yes, it was one single step and it wasn’t even that steep). I can assure you that it didn’t stop me from enjoying my girly holiday. I picked myself up and continued with my evening, then I spent the most part of the following day in a Spanish hospital. Unfortunately I was unable to participate in any water activities for the remainder of my holiday. Next time I will stay clear of all stairs, I promise!

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6. Sleep is my sweet remedy

I love waking up feeling refreshed and raring to go. I’m one of those people that aims to go to bed early and it usually work out (Well 9 times out of 10 it does). I must admit the cold weather makes it almost impossible to drag myself out my bed, however once I’m up, I’m up! Gone are the days when I force myself to stay up and find some sort of entertainment. My duvet, pillow and iPod are my means of late night entertainment. By 10pm I have already planned the last few tasks before I hit the sheets.

7. There is no ‘happy’ in settling

If you have experienced waking up and having to mentally prepare yourself for a day filled with activities you dread- you will understand where I am coming from! I have spent days counting down the hours till I am finally free. The moment I’m free, I’m happy and in my element. There was a period of time where I woke up feeling excited and I looked forward to the day ahead. I loved what I was doing at this time and it was a highlight of my year. I will return here again. Always be grateful for what you have right in front of you, we have to do what we have to do to make ends meet, but do we really need to compromise our happiness for XYZ?      

8. I like my own company

I always have… I don’t get bored of my own company. I’m the kind of person that will go out and socialize from time to time, but after a while I need ME time. Not because I am depressed or in an emotional state, this is how I operate. ‘Don’t take it personally’

9. If everybody is going left and I want to go right, go right!

Just for the sake of it! It may be the wrong choice, but at the end of the day it was my choice. I don’t need to be where everyone else is.

10. Wasted time is worse than wasted money

This one speaks for itself. I can forget about the money I’ve put towards overindulging in my favourite snacks; however my time is so precious. Money can be made to replace what is lost; I can’t get back the time I’ve wasted on people or things. I often think about all the time I have invested in other people and irrelevant activities and if I could turn back the hands of time I would have thought twice about doing so. Note to self: set aside time to invest in yourself frequently. You live and you learn!

11. There is a first time for everything

It’s been a while since I could talk about any new experiences. I would avoid answering questions like ‘When was the last time you tried something new?’ because knowing me I would answer with ‘Yesterday I tried Texas BBQ flavoured pringles’ – The sad truth is that was as exciting as my life was.

As some of you know I had never been on a plane, I hadn’t even spent more than 5 days away from home. 25 years on the planet and the only place I really knew of was ‘Home’ (London). Towards the end of 2013 my friends and I discussed going on a girly holiday. At that point in the time I wasn’t sure how I would get there, but I did! I spent 7 days in Ibiza with 8 other girls which was a little out of my comfort zone (I’m not a party girl!). The holiday opened my eyes to the unforeseen and I cherished every minute of it. Now to plan where I’m off to next!

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12. I am a blogger!

Yes blogging is my thing! I have my own domain name and the freedom to write about whatever I like until my hearts content! 

In April 2014 I decided to write a blog, I had no idea what to name my blog or what I was going to write about. I’m not one to express myself in so many words to any and everyone; however blogging was a whole new world to me and there was no looking back once I started. Before I knew it I was hooked on my blog and my blog has kept me going. In the past I’ve struggled to write 500 words about myself and here I am publishing my 80th post. Whoop!

13. Turning 25 wasn’t the end of the world

To be honest I do not feel 25- I’m still young at heart and there’s no reason for me to act my age. I’m over my ‘OMG I’m not married or in my dream job role yet’ rant. My life doesn’t have to be in order at this point in time. This year was spent investing valuable time into figuring out where my interests lie and it has worked in my favour. I will make mistakes like everyone else and pick myself up and keep going.Things will fall into place when the time is right.

14. I am whatever I believe I am

If I think I’m incapable of being the best I can be, I will portray this to the world and the world will respond to this. I have been working hard to ensure I feed my body with healthy foods and control the amount of junk food I consume mentally. I was afraid to be happy due to past experiences; I was stuck in a loop where I imagined everything being taken away from me in a blink of an eye. I believe there is so much more out there for me and I am going to go and get mine! If everyone else can do it, why can’t I?

2 0 1 5 I’m ready for you!

Here’s to Living with no excuses

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You Are Whatever You Believe You Are

Lately I’ve been so wrapped in my thoughts and this time around its helped me a great deal. It’s been an odd year to say the least. I had high hopes of a lot of things and ended up with so many disappointments. I was looking forward to new ventures and ended up in horrible situations I’d rather forget.

The first part of the year is a blur; the less I think about it… The better! Many of the people I met were nothing more than a mere lesson. I attended a pity party for one and thought to myself ‘Why me?’ ‘What did I do to deserve this?’, I had to leave the party early- it wasn’t my scene!

I spent far too much time dwelling on things in the past instead of working on improving my year. I am a bit of a worrier at the worst of times, I had to turn things around and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am in fact a warrior! I’ve put on a brave face and soldiered on and I will continue to do so!

Surround yourself with those who uplift you

I posted a poem I wrote called ‘Don’t take it personally’ and although I strongly believe time away from loved ones is needed, it is also crucial to vent every once in a while. Not everyone will be able to offer you the advice you need, however it will help you feel better and vice versa. Keeping things bottled up all the time will not harm anyone but yourself. Not everyone will have your best interest at heart, it is up to you who you decide who’s shoulder to cry on and in due time you will discover who is really down for you.

you can’t help others until you help yourself

I hate seeing my friends down in the dumps and I try the hardest to lift their spirits, but I found it so difficult to do so when I wasn’t feeling 100%. I kinda thought I would be of no help since I was struggling to help myself… I was totally wrong here, it’s possible!

My friend was in a similar situation to me, we were pretty much in the same boat to be honest. Every time we spoke he would offer me encouragement and advice. The last time we spoke I discovered he had found an escape, he knew what he wanted and he got it, one of the last things he said to me that day was ‘Sometimes you just have to go out and get it Rochelle’.

I woke up the next day feeling much more motivated. I could see my friend had removed himself from somewhere he wasn’t happy and made some progress. I was happy for him. By now I knew it was my turn, I had nothing to lose after all.

One minute I was counting my misfortunes and the next I was counting my blessings

I recall feeling so angry about EVERYTHING. I walked around feeling like the world was on my shoulders. I overlooked all the good things in my life and when I read about so & so doing XYZ I felt like crap. My automatic response to ‘how are you?’ was never a simple ‘I’m fine’ it was always ‘I’m fine, but..’ but what? I had to remind myself that I am alive, healthy, I have a wonderful family, a great set of friends, a job and so much more. I stopped complaining so much and refrained from driving myself crazy with my thoughts. In no time I noticed a big difference… I started to feel a lot better about all aspects of my life, then I started to see results.

Not everyone will understand your journey, but its okay its not theirs to understand

YESSS, please read the above again. Lately people don’t seem to understand why I am so content. ‘Don’t you have any complaints?’ ‘You’re telling me everything is A-OK?’ Yup that’s exactly what I’m telling you. I keep getting questioned about what is happening in my life lately and why I don’t want to divulge. As long as I’m doing okay that is all that matters- right? I’ve never felt the need to explain the in’s and out’s of what is going on in my life to any and everyone.

Don’t be afraid to be happy

Another blogger said this to me a few months ago.  Its taken me a long time to process the last month or so. It feels so unreal and unlike the beginning of the year, this is a good thing! I’ve proved to myself that when I put my mind to it, I can achieve it! There’s no reason why I can’t live happily like everyone else!

Its all down to my thoughts at the end of the day. If I keep feeding my body with junk food how can I expect to be healthy, its the same with my thoughts.. How can I expect a positive outcome with negativity running through my veins? It doesn’t work like that!

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Learning To Love The Skin You Are In

Hi all, I’ve decided to post something a little different. I had second thoughts about sharing this as it is a touchy subject and something that has been an issue for the last decade or so.

My skin has pretty much been up and down. I used to be terrified of trying new products since my skin was so sensitive. I spent so much time researching new products, reading reviews, trying products and witnessing my skin taking a turn for the worst. There is one brand of skin care products that I now cannot live without….

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I have never had any major break outs using any Simple products, it did take me a long while to get where I am today….

I have discussed my issue with a few friends over the years that were going through something similar. As a teenager you expect the odd spot to appear and to have a mini freak out session where you vow not to enter the school building because of it. Well imagine this happening ever other week for years. I accepted the fact I was one of the unlucky ones to have uncontrollable breakouts as I tried to find a solution for it.

I was told I was perhaps luckier than my peers since I was still only young and once I’m older and my skin clears up that’s when it will hit others (This is one of those things people tell you to help you feel better).  Many of my peers had perfect skin in my eyes and a breakout never occurred in their teenage years from what I could see.

I was never bullied; people noticed my skin and I would get stared at. I tried my hardest to keep quiet and I wouldn’t interact with people outside my social group much in case someone commented on my skin. I know how cruel kids can be and I didn’t want to be the centre of attention. Whenever I could I would wear clothing with high necks to try and cover the spots on my chin.

My friends would tell me it didn’t make a difference and my chin was still visible, I didn’t care it was like my comfort blanket. It never occurred to me to wear make up in school to be honest, I dare not ask for make up anyway as the answer would be no 100 times over.

makeuI ran into a girl in the year above me one summer and she looked me in the face and said ‘Err what happened to your skin?’ and I thought ‘Hmm how nice of her to point it out’. I’ve had little kids point and say ‘What’s that on your face?’ ‘Why do you have so many spots?’ Daddy why are those things on her face?’. Although I wanted to the floor to swallow me up in embarrassment I didn’t let it get to me- Kids will be kids.

I remember there was a guy who started to show interest in me and I overheard his friend say ‘She’s ugly though, have you seen her skin?’ I won’t lie those words hurt and for quite sometime I believed I was ugly, I went home one day and asked my mum why I was ugly. To this day I can’t recall my mum’s response to this. By now my self-esteem was at level 0, but I still prodded along and went to school everyday.

Doctors would laugh at me when I would ask to be referred to a dermatologist because my skin was fine and they didn’t see any problem with it. Mirror were off limits for me, when my friends and I waltzed into the girls toilet I would stand as far away from the mirror as possible. Staring at my reflection was just a reminder of how horrid my skin looked.1163909_80979652

When I was about 15/16 my classes changed and I started to mingle with new people. I was still very shy and after a while I learned not to care so much. The proof was in the pudding; I hadn’t even realised my skin miraculously cleared up until a class mate pointed out. This worked wonders for my self-esteem thereafter. I felt more confident and I realised  that those who truly did like me as a person didn’t care about such things.

My friends still hung out me regardless of me having a huge spot on my chin. I was worried my skin would instantly put guys off, yet it didn’t seem to bother the ones that liked me. Over the years I have had people say hurtful things, however they were not important people in my life. My college and university years were pretty much a blur to be honest, my skin flared up from time to time but I got on with my coursework.

I started to use a new range of skincare products earlier this year and I was convinced they would working for me. I decided to take a photograph of my skin and I wanted to cry (I probably did). I immediately stopped using the products.

I compared photographs of my skin in March and August and I like the results I see!!

I still make little mistakes and I often make the wrong choices and try products which are not right for my skin. For e.g. I brought a cleansing brush and regretted it after two uses. It was way too harsh for my skin.

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‘Just because it works for everyone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you’. Its all about trial and error and like I mentioned before Simple products work for me and ‘If it ain’t broke, why fix it?’.

Its taken me 10 years , but I’m learning to love the skin I’m in! I feel like I still have a long way to go though and when I can I will visit a dermatologist. There is more to life than having or wanting good skin, but at the same time it is not a nice feeling having to stare at your reflection and not being happy with what you see!

If anyone has anything to say about your appearance, do not let them have any power over you! You are in control, the moment you take control of your thoughts is the moment you will notice a change- it may not take immediate effect, however in time you will notice a difference mentally.

AND don’t forget to…

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Have You Missed Me?

I’ve found myself in awkward situations where I have reconnected with someone and they ask me if I’ve missed them.

If I have missed someone, I will immediately let them know and it will be genuine. Then there are times I will laugh or jokily say that I hadn’t noticed there absense presence (at this point the person gets the gist of it – I haven’t really missed them). Most people are used to my ways, at the best of times words seem to roll off the tip of my tongue and it’s hard to distinguish whether I’m being serious or pulling their leg. 

Sure I might think about certain people from time to time especially if they played some what of a big part in my life. I may even run through snippets of the good times we had, however this doesn’t neccessarily mean I’m yearning to be around them again or looking rekindle or start over. Let’s be honest overtime we look back at friendships/ relationships with people in the past and we start to see things a lot clearer. I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, in the beginning you might not think you can’t live without them and months down the line… Well what do you know, you are still alive and kicking!

I kinda feel like when someone says ‘I miss you’ a part of them wants to start where you left off and in reality (in my world) this rarely ever happens. After a brief exchange of words or a little catch up within no time it drizzles out and its as if the conversation didn’t take place.

An old friend came back into my life recently and halfway through the conversation he said he had missed me. I was so close to saying I had missed him too, then I thought about it for a few seconds … I hadn’t missed him. I felt bad, I really did but we spoke all the time and then spent almost a whole year apart, so I had more than enough time think things through and I definetly made the right choice to leave him to his own devices a year ago.

It doesn’t always work both ways unfortunately. For all I know I could have dived right in and told someone I’ve missed them and they haven’t felt the same. At least I made my feelings known I guess, you can’t knock anyone for expressing how they feel in these situations. I’m not going to apologise for not being able to say the words ‘ I miss you’ if i know deep down I don’t. However I will make more of a conscious effort to express myself in future regardless of how the recipient may respond to it.1206728_21045799 (1)

I Can’t Be The Only One!

It all started when I was about 13 years old. My friends and I were sat in our Geography class ‘working hard’. Only 3/6 of my group of friends (including myself) were in this class and we were lucky enough to sit together. My friend asked why our girl group wasn’t like other girl groups. I was curious to know what she meant by this. I thought we were pretty ‘normal’ (whatever normal is). My friend questioned why we didn’t talk about the guys we fancied like all the girls on TV did. My friends were crazy about boy band members and I never understood the fascination. I would think ‘OK he’s cute, now back to reality’.

‘What boy do I like?’ I thought to myself. I was yet to have a crush on a guy and I felt quite embarrassed about it. Around this time there was this guy who seemed to think he was in love with me. I told him early on that I wasn’t interested in having a boyfriend. All I wanted to do is play games, watch TV and write. Why would I need a boyfriend? I knew for a fact I would never get to see him anyway, so it would be pointless.

My friends went off into one about this one guy they both saw around school. Both of my friends were able to describe him to a tee and I sat there clueless as I had no idea who he was. Before I knew it all eyes were on me ‘Who do you like Rochelle?’ I looked outside and pointed at the first boy I saw. I wasn’t attracted to him in the slightest, he had a queue of girls pining for him- however he wasn’t my cup of tea!

It stuck with me throughout the next two school years. ‘Rochelle look who it is, its brown eyes!’ and I would pretend to be happy to see him. I wasn’t… I really wasn’t! I couldn’t wait for it to be old news. Then when I was 15 I had my first crush, he was there all along. He was OK looking and I found him to be annoying at first. Then when I got to know him I started to realised how handsome he actually was, he was far from annoying and I discovered what butterflies were. In fact I was unable to get my butterflies to keep still.

To this day I’m still the same. There are no celeb’s I’m crazy about. I am always in the background when my friends talk about the guys they consider eye candy in the public eye. I can’t define the type of guys I like, I like what I like. I have no particular preference and it takes a lot more than physical attraction for me to start ‘crushing’ on someone.
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Maybe I am the only one?

Health, Fitness and Determination

Hi guys,

I haven’t updated you all in a while. I’m still going strong with my healthy eating and exercising. The food part is easy, I have no qualms eating lots of fruit and vegetables everyday. I make sure I stay hydrated throughout the day, I now add slices of lemon and it feels odd drinking water alone.  I reintroduced white rice to my diet in small doses. I don’t feel as though I have missed out on anything, besides bulgar wheat has taken its place! Bread is still a no no; my colleagues were used to me sitting eating sandwiches for lunch, now I have a container of salad in front of me.
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I wake up at the crack of dawn to exercise 4 times a week. It works best for me! Halfway through the workout I realise I’m awake and before I know it the workout is over.

I have less than two months before I go on holiday and I’m still far from excited. Why? I feel like I’m no where near my goal. I said I didn’t have a goal- I don’t, just an idea of what I want to look like and feel like. I had the shock of my life looking through old photo’s of my stomach and I noticed a slight difference! My brother says there is a big difference 😀 I can’t expect things to change overnight, so I shall keep going.  Even looking at a picture of a beach is more than enough motivation for me.
Ibiza Platja En bossa beach with palm trees

I was aiming to make more smoothies, however it turns out my ‘Magic bullet’ wasn’t magic after all! So I purchased a Kenwood Smoothie Maker for £19.99 from Argos. I had a voucher and it was either a handbag or a smoothie maker. I have used it once and I give it 5 stars, its compact, it isn’t too loud and does the job well.

kenwood

So far I have learned...

1. To stay away from the scales. I was never one to jump on off of scales, but I did give it a go. Within a space of 2 minutes my weight changed 3 times (my scales are dodgy). I will use the one at the doctors one day. I measure myself using a tape measure and keep note of the measurements.

2.  To refrain from junk food when I’m stressed, it will not solve my problems! It will add to it if anything.

3. Perseverance is key in all aspects in my life!!! If I can get through a half an hour workout surely I can get through whatever else comes my way.

4. Jilian Micheal’s is the bomb! I feel like I have my own personal trainer in my living room. She often reels off motivational quotes during her workouts and it helps me push myself.

5. I have had my fair share of cakes, biscuits, crisps chocolate and so on. This doesn’t mean I will never eat these foods again. It will be in small doses and on rare occasions.

6. Health is wealth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I took my good health for granted. Recently I was taken a back by some news and it has sunk in now. The bottom line is: looking after myself is so important! What doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger!

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