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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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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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?

The Sweet ‘n’ Sour Fruit Tale Part 2

You can read Part 1 here

Over the next 5 years Beth and Arnold still kept in contact. It was usually Arnold who would send Beth messages to check up on her. Then within no time he would disappear off the face of the earth. Beth was used to it; whenever she questioned his disappearances he would avoid the question entirely. Beth assumed she wouldn’t hear from Arnold again when he announced he was moving to another city. Then one day he popped up again…

“Can I ask you a question?” Beth asked out of the blue.

“Sure you can!” Arnold said with a hint of curiosity.

“Why do you keep disappearing?” Beth questioned as she expected the worst.

“Honestly I liked you a lot and I was finding it too hard ” Arnold explained.

For the first time Arnold didn’t avoid the question. Beth was finally able to understand where he was coming from. They were finally getting somewhere after all these years. The best part was the fact Arnold was moving back to her city!

“You inspired me to write a post on my online journal” Beth randomly mentioned in one of their conversations.

Arnold had a tendency to encourage Beth to write on her online journal. He would occasionally read through posts and give her feedback.

“Oh really, I want to read it. Send me the link!” He said as his voice was filled with excitement.

“No, I don’t think I want you to read it” Beth said nervously. Beth was nervous about sending Arnold the link. She didn’t want him to question why she had remembered a conversation they had 5 years ago.

“I’m waiting! You’re breaking my heart” He said jokily. Arnold knew Beth could be a little stubborn. Within no time she sent him the link and asked if he had remembered the conversation.

“Of course I remember!” Arnold said as he chuckled.

“Phew” Beth thought to herself. She felt a sense of relief now she was assured he didn’t think she was crazy.

There were barely any fights or disagreements. However when they fought their exchange of words hit home. Beth and Arnold had planned to meet up for the first time in ages. Beth was a little nervous and Arnold asked if she needed more time. She didn’t- it was a day she had thought about for a very long time. Then a couple days before their planned encounter this happened…

“Are you alive or are you just bored of me?” Arnold asked in a text message.

“I’m alive and I’m not bored of you” She replied swiftly as she anticipated what was to come.

“I feel like we are going backwards. I thought we were moving forward and over the last few days you seem away” He ranted.

Beth was genuinely confused. For the last week or so she was the one to initiate the communication. Arnold had taken a step back and she questioned his lack of conversation, however she didn’t express her feelings vocally.

“I have had a lot on my mind at the minute. If I have been away, it hasn’t been intentional, sorry” Beth explained; she felt like she was apologizing for no reason.

“That’s when you should talk to me, so I know how you’re feeling” He snapped.

“I would have if I needed to. It’s not like I haven’t made contact for ages, I even messaged you yesterday” Beth had a point. They spoke yesterday and even then everything seemed okay.

“I could sense something was up over the last few days, but I guess we can be friends. It’s better than nothing”

“Wow. You’re not listening to me. If I have been slightly away it has nothing to do with you!”

“K” He responded with the dreaded letter that ends conversations promptly. He shut her down, no matter what Beth said he didn’t believe a word of it.

Things took a turn for the worst and the day Beth had waited so long for wasn’t likely to happen. The fruit was slowly becoming sour…

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6 Reasons To Appreciate Your Job 

1. The people you meet

I’ve met some truly awesome people at work who have become friends outside work. There are days that may not be considered as good days and it’s the people I work with that make my day. You may not make any friends, however you may benefit from learning how to adapt to working with all kinds of people.

2. The experience/skills you gain

It looks better to have a job then to have a huge gap on your CV/resume. Believe it or not future employers do sympathize and understand the difficulties people go through to find a job. Your skills are transferable in one way or another.

3. The income

We live in a world where everything has a price, so do what you have to do! Your job title is irrelevant; it’s what you do when you’re there. Be proud of how far you’ve come. You see that pay check you just received? You earned it! Go you!

4. The connections 

Ok not every job you’re in will have worthwhile connections. Stay in touch with those you get along with. I’m not suggesting you force contact with everyone; Let it come naturally, check up on people every once in a while. Stay on good terms and never close doors unnecessarily. You never know what the future may bring; they do say it’s who you know that puts you at an advantage.

5. You were offered the job for a reason

Your employer likes you? Great! I’m sure they didn’t hire you for that reason alone, I can guarantee they expect you to put the work in. If this wasn’t the case they would be better off hiring someone they dislike, but does the job well. At least they would be getting their money’s worth.

I had to remind someone of this the other day. This person seemed to think that due to his employer liking them, they were sure to hold onto their job. I pointed out that their recent actions were giving their employer reasons to think otherwise.

You are being paid to do your job, at least do it well!  You could be the best computer programmer in town, but don’t think for a second that the best programmer in the next town won’t snap up your job. Don’t be the one that gets replaced. Always keep on top of your game!

6. You chose to be there

Your employer offered you the job; however you took the first step and applied for the job, you sold yourself, they offered you the job and you accepted. You didn’t have to say yes, but guess what? You did! At one point in time this was what you wanted and you got it. It is your choice to remain there. If over time things have changed rethink/reevaluate your goals and start over.
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