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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Time to flourish

'...her regular reading consisted of tabloids and travel folders and astrological charts...'

January is too often the Sunday night blues of a new year. The 'oh, we have to return to work now?' The 'oh, does this mean I can't watch ELF on loop for the next month?' The 'oh, I'd better replace mulled wine with a green shake' feeling. But why, when it promises a fresh beginning, do we curse at the opportunity to shimmy into the new year as the sass queens we all want to be?
Perhaps it's slightly ironic to say this myself when my eyes brim with tears as my Winnie the Pooh stocking is packed back into its box (I refuse to get a new one after twenty years with this one). 

My December was filled with festivities, family time and weirdly, fancy dress. 

My housemates and I hosted an 'Around the World' themed party to celebrate our birthdays. I'd hoped my 'I'm a Celebrity' outfit would steal the show, but I was no competition for my friend's inflatable globe costume.

As the New Year approached, Holland and Australia beckoned half my flatmates to join them, so our Bridget Jones' anecdotes must now be communicated across FaceTime. (I can't wait for this week's lowdown!) However, not all was lost, as our quiet house of two has become a cosy trio with our newest addition from Germany. 

Towards the end of January, my Mum and I had a lovely staycation in Edinburgh. Our couple of days there were kickstarted with the exciting news of gaining a place at Camp America at the recruitment fair, so over the following days we clinked many cocktails in celebration. We also embodied pretentiousness wholeheartedly, as we explored The National Portrait Gallery - a beautiful building worth a nosey even if the portraits aren't your thing - as well as checking out Turner's exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery. A little research also lead us to a great brunch spot at Urban Angel. Their Acaii bowl and French Toast was a winner - Mum and I did a 50/50 split! As well as pretending we were JK Rowling scribbling away in a cafe, we navigated the cobbled streets, where Mum smugly reminds me that someone told us we look like sisters rather than Mother and daughter. (Not impressed.) That said, the older I get, the more I value my Mum as my best friend. 
Adult life has also been knocking on my door more persistently recently, as the University has planned employability days, as well as my conscience being burdened with the all-encompassing 'Oh-my-God-what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do-once-I-graduate' panic. On the upside, I've been placed at a children's Camp in America for this summer where I will be working as a General Counsellor for eight weeks! The relief of knowing where I'm going to be has supplied me with a new lease of energy and motivation for the next few months. For Christmas I received the book Get Your Sh*t Together (subtle hint from my parents really), and perhaps her advice is aiding me more than I'd like to admit. Last week I even hosted my first dinner party - homemade lasagne, red wine and candles really hammered the message home that this is adulthood feels like. Yikes.



I normally dedicate my Sunday's to indulgence - slobbing around in my PJs, binging on a series and ensuring my spoon hits the bottom of at least one pot of Ben and Jerry's. However, this weekend my new flatmate and I were buckled into her car and on the road to Holy Island by 9:30a.m. - a rarity for any student! Not only did this provide her with a useless human Sat Nav (me) and a hopeless tour guide (I've never been to this part of the North-East in my defence), but it replenished our souls with fresh air, surreal scenery and a kind of laughter that fought off any anxieties for the week ahead. This was a different kind of Sunday bliss that I could become very accustomed to.


And the traveling just doesn't stop - on Tuesday I zoomed down to Manchester to visit one of my friends, and this brought a brimful of memorable (and hilarious) moments to my week. In a couple of weekends I will also be jetting off to Salamanca to visit a friend studying there. (Think it may be time to grab a few extra shifts at work!)

As I was writing this blogpost, I had little clue of where it would be going and what my common theme would be. However, for my Creative and Critical writing module at University, we have been advised to create a scrapbook teeming with our 'obsessions'. The flimsy pages of my scrapbook have now been stamped with a surer notion of what makes me happy. In Manchester I also treated myself to a copy of 'The Happy News' - full of positive articles in a world of glum headlines. So in 2018, I've decided to be indulgent, and perhaps a little selfish, by doing the things that make me tick. With my summer planned in America, and my year already teeming with travel, I think I'm off to a good start. 

So this is my proposal to you. Be indulgent this year. Spend time finding happiness. Find out your obsessions, and let them consume you.