Losing my identity…

You’d usually associate losing your identity with things like getting divorced, getting married, or other big life changes…but I’ve felt a little bit like this lately…because I’ve stopped watching soap operas…

To be fair, I’ve watched soaps for longer than a lot of people are married and it did form a lot of my identity, if people had a soap related question, they’d asked me! I was a soap expert!

Lately I’ve been uninterested in them, maybe it’s since they have been on less because of lockdown. I’ve started to read more and watch Netflix.

This is all well and good, times change, people change etc etc but it just made me think, who am I without my love of soaps and could I just carry on half heartedly being a soap expert, if it wasn’t really ‘me’ anymore?

Answers on a postcard..

So far I’ve asked myself why I’m bothered…it could be a few reasons…I like to be the best at things, what if I’m in a social situation and someone asks a soap question and someone else knows and I don’t? They’re taking away ‘my thing’ if I’m not ‘Soap opera girl’ do I need another thing? Should I become ‘knitting girl’ ‘creative writing girl?’

It’s important to remember that without this part of my personality I’m still me, I’m still a worthy person and this too shall pass…

Thanks for reading – K xxx

What I thought of ‘Derek’

This week I’ve watched the two and a bit series of Derek. I’ve laughed and cried (mostly cried)

It’s nothing like I thought it would be…

I thought it would be Ricky Gervais taking the piss out of someone who was autistic (although he denies that Derek has any disorder).

But it was actually a great show about people at the end of their lives, how they can be forgotten, the people that look after them and how the best thing you can be is kind.

I worked in a nursing home for about a week as an Activity instructor. It was a very ‘all hands on deck’ operation and although I was there to plan social and community events for the residents I was asked to do things like help to feed them and take them to the toilet.

I won’t lie, I cannot do it, I’m too squeamish and I was so scared of hurting them if I was to help them up etc. I applaud anyone who does that job, you have to be physically and mentally strong.

I think the show reflected that, the characters were tough but compassionate. It really showed how it is hard to have a life in a job like that, that it becomes your life. I’m so glad that Hannah met Tom and they had a life together even if it was an unusual one. I suppose the upside of working somewhere like that is that you feel like a family.

I remember an episode where someone from the council came along, I think all of us in our different jobs can identify with someone coming in and picking apart what you do, when they would have no idea how to do your job. It’s a shame that nursing homes have been shut down due to this in real life, what the character of Hannah said stuck with me – that most residents will die within 6 months of being rehoused.

Some things I took from the show…

Even if you’re a dick head you can turn it around.

It’s never too late to make up with your family.

Old people are wise.

You’ll always be a failure if you don’t try.

All in all a fab, thought provoking masterpiece 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻

Thanks for reading – K xxx

My first week home working…

It started with the usual worries…will everything work, will I be able to get help if I need it…will my inconsiderate neighbours upstairs start banging part way through a call? But at 9am I was switched on and ready to go…not too bad? Until the first call…the customer couldn’t hear me! Noooo!

A few calls to IT and my manager and I was sorted again. The rest of the day went quite well (apart from me having to push the microphone into my cheek for customers to hear me).

This was my original set up! For my first week…

I did a bit of a poll on my Instagram asking advice from people who had been home working for a while, the main piece of advice was to have a comfortable chair. Luckily for me, I have an arm chair which has served me very well.

Another tip was to have your ‘office’ somewhere that you can close the door on at the end of the day. I don’t have a lot of choice in my one bedroom flat so I’ve been spending most evenings in my bedroom.

It’s not been too bad!

I love that I can get stuff done, like cleaning, in my lunch hour. I think I will miss the social aspect…eventually but for now – I love it!

For this work week I’ve upgraded my office area and I’m still near the window so I can see the real world! Now I’m in a routine and I’ve got the first week out of the way I’ll start to spend time outside too.

Fashion!

I was determined I was not going to resort to lounge wear and comfies because I was working from home (getting fully dressed helps for my mental health) so this was my outfit on…Tuesday? I definitely wouldn’t have gotten away with this in the office!

This week I’ve transitioned to a very defined ‘smart/casual’ as long as I’m wearing a bra I’ve not lost the battle!

So, that’s my first week working from home, hope you enjoyed reading – K xxx

The mental endurance test that is ‘Unfollowers’

So, I’ve found this new, cool App that tracks when people unfollow your insta (I am aware it is neither new or cool, unless you’re me and you’ve just found it and me and you like stats).

I initially downloaded it when I got cancelled (see my blog from a few weeks ago) to see who I’d offended and if I was bothered that they’d gone. I lost quite a few I considered friends but that’s their choice and I did say if you don’t want to follow/engage with me then I’ll understand. (Not that I’d have put a hit list together if I hadn’t stated this!)

This is what I’ve been looking at pretty much every day for around a month, which brings me to my first point. Don’t get too obsessed with it (I speak from experience, I was actually banned from searching it for a while) maybe check in once a week? And ask yourself why you’re checking it. I know when I was checking it all the time, it’s easy to think that every unfollower hates you…but truth is they probably can’t even remember your name.

This is supposed to illustrate me walking away from following 😂

Second point…people often follow to unfollow 😳😳😳

What a shower of bastards! Yes! They’ll come along give you a compliment and a follow and you think (because you’re a bit of a hippy who likes to spread the love) I’ll follow back! (We’re all friends here).

Next thing, @coffeelover1098 (I attempted to make this up, if this is actually a handle I’m sorry) unfollows you…doesn’t block you (because they wanna keep the follower count up right?)

Panic, paranoia and worry may set in…why did they unfollow me? What did I do wrong? Should I drink Kenco instead of Nescafé to get them back?

No!…feck em! People who do this are all about the numbers and we want people who are all about the love and support – right?

3rd point – Follow loops…

Love them! I think it’s a great way to find like minded people. The bit I don’t agree with is forcing people to follow others or the aforementioned ‘follow to unfollow’ crew. A lot of my online friends have asked not to be included in these loops because they’ve been burnt before (by the follow unfollow crew).

In conclusion…

This is a great tool for keeping up to date with who is unfollowing. I check it now, mostly to unfollow back (two can play at that game) I’m mostly indifferent to the reasons unless it’s someone I considered a friend and if I have recently changed the style of my page I’ll maybe take another look at my content to see if it’s causing a lot of people to switch off but mostly I just get on with my life and continue posting for the majority of lovely people who ARE following me.

If anyone would like to unfollow this blog after this tirade…I will understand 😂

K xxx

I’m not competitive – you are…

I’m Kayleigh and I am competitive!

Similar to addiction to drugs, alcohol and gambling it will always be with me waiting to impose itself in my life.

Being competitive isn’t always a bad thing. It can keep you motivated, make you successful in life and help you reach your goals.

However MY competitive nature has more often than not led to injury, frustration, massive highs but terrible lows and an eating disorder (or three).

‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’ (great saying but I think the folks over at Oxford Dictionary HQ would argue that is NOT the definition of insanity)

Anyway…this leads me on to tell you how I made a change! Got better, recovered but more realistically, how I manage the part of me that would compete in everything if she could and either win or die trying!

Being realistic…

None of us are good at everything. Even us perfectionists. It took me a long time to realise that and it happened in steps. At first I could accept that I wasn’t good at first aid (I am bad with blood) and that I’m not very good at playing Pool (unless I’m having a particularly flukey day).

Followed by what I didn’t NEED to be the best at – I don’t need to be the best at football (I don’t wish to pursue a professional footballing career). I don’t need to be the best at building (because that’s not my job).

Owning it!

I’m technically challenged. (I’ve asked for help putting an out of office on my email).

I can’t draw (I’m really creative but my sister got the arty gene).

My balance is shocking (I need around three people and a chair to support me when I try and stand on one leg!).

I will always be trying to beat my PB but I’m a lot calmer about it than I used to.

Thanks for reading – K xxx

13 reasons why – A Review

*This blog post contains spoilers for 13 reasons why season 4 *

I spent most of this weekend binge watching 13 reasons why season 4. I have done this with every season but wouldn’t recommend doing this as some of the content is quite heavy and there are triggers everywhere!

Jessica…

Jessica had her moments this season but for the most part I didn’t like her. I understand why she does the things she does, sadly I understand that all too well. However the way she spoke to Diego (Not an angel himself) I found disrespectful. She treated him like a trophy and something a guy would be slated for if he spoke to a girl the way she spoke to him. I’m all about equality not women are better than men.

Zack…

I was ready to lose him, I think he was the red herring for who’s funeral we would eventually be seeing. Being a football player and going off the rails but it was too easy for it to be him. It was difficult seeing someone as smart and controlled as Zack really losing the plot and wanting to get hurt.

Ani…

Last season she really bugged me in a ‘who is she? Where did you find her?’ type of way. She just seemed to have plonked herself in the middle of an established group and started telling them how to run their lives. Not helped by her romance with Bryce although I understand how she got there. This season I saw how much she meant to the characters, like Jessica, and I warmed to her, although she will never be one of my favourites.

Alex…

So Alex is gay? Something, much like Justin’s death, that I saw coming for a while. I love that they had two kings at the prom, I love that it wasn’t a surprise, that it’s just something that happens now! I’m glad Alex never gets punished for Bryce’s death but I don’t think he’ll be able to live with it.

Tyler…

There’s something definitely off about Monty’s sister and I wouldn’t trust her if I was Tyler. I feel bad that the guys were doubting him during the lockdown drill but I was happy when we discovered he wasn’t involved.

Tony…

I’m glad Tony got his happy ending he was, like Clay, someone who began by being dragged into everyone else’s drama. Tony is the friend you want on your side and has always been one of my favourites.

Justin…

I knew early on that he was going to die. It’s always a tell when a character starts to recover and things start going well for them that their life will be cut short. All we were missing was the ‘I love you’ before (something that always happens when a character is heading towards certain death). Although I was expecting it, it was still upsetting and got me in the feels for how true it is that sometimes we can can work on being a better version of ourselves only to die anyway…sad time’s.

Clay…

Clay literally ended up in this whole thing by accident, by knowing Hannah and I feel like he’s suffered mentally more than anyone in the show considering he did very little to deserve it. He gets dragged into every mess going and he was really losing the plot this season. I suffer with anxiety and I really felt for him, especially the disassociation. I really hope he can go on to college and be happy.

So, will there be a season 5? I hope not…I thinks it’s time to end it now and quite frankly, we’ve all been through enough…

I’d love to know what you thought – K xxx

Getting cancelled…

This week I’ve had a learning curve with social media and had a taste of what it feels like to be ‘Cancelled’.

I’ve written this post to show how damaging this ‘call out’ culture can be and how you never know what’s going on with someone or why they may choose not to take part in things.

All last week many influencers ‘muted’ themselves to instead share posts from people of colour to get their voices heard.

This began with many accounts posting black squares as a show of support. It happened around lunchtime on Tuesday.

When I post to Instagram I usually do it early in the morning before I go to work. So by the time I had become aware of this movement I had already posted my content for the day. However this caused many people to unfollow me, stating the reason was that I carried on posting my own content.

On Tuesday night I received the first of four messages. Some were a friendly why aren’t you joining in with the black lives matter campaign whilst others were more aggressive and told they were disgusted by my attitude and behaviour.

I posted three black squares that said Back Next Week on both of my platforms. To give space to people of colour and not post my own content for the next week.

I got negative comments about this too. The basic point of which was that I wasn’t doing enough. One comment even said that I had been given the chance to explain myself which it seemed was forewarning me of what was about to happen.

I had personal reasons for not taking part in the campaign, which as I’ve said before were private, however as a sign of respect I made space for people promoting the campaign.

In my real life I was in training for my new job I had ongoing assessments which I had to pass to become accredited and able to continue in this job. Due to these messages and comments which I was seeing each time I went on a break, there were periods of my training that I had no idea what the trainer was saying because I just couldn’t concentrate, constantly thinking over what I was being portrayed as on Instagram.

I’d like to say at this point that these anecdotes aren’t for sympathy but to point out how harmful ‘call out culture’ can be.

That night I had really bad period pain. I suffer quite badly with it. However I chose not to take any painkillers, because I felt like I deserved the pain because of what had happened on social media, a part of me felt I should be punished. This is not ok. I did not deserve to be punished and it sickens me that I even had that thought, more so that others who had been called out in the same way could do worse, did we learn nothing from Caroline Flack?

I decided to create a statement to justify my actions but I felt it was important to include that I had felt bullied into posting it. When I posted this I got some negative comments and messages, however a lot of comments were caring and people were identifying with me too, saying they’d had these call out messages and they too had felt badly. Some of these people are extremely vulnerable too and I was saddened to see them targeted.

You never know what is going on in someone’s like or what their history may be, so please do not force your agenda on them. By all means call out racism in people but do not come at people for not getting involved smashing through their self worth with your high horse.

This is not like the blogs I usually write but I felt it needed saying, thank you for reading… K xxx

Filters…when it stops being fun…STOP!

Filters are fun but as they say with drinking and gambling – When the fun stops…STOP.

If you’re changing the filter to a blood red to give the impression that you are in a Tarantino movie (see below) it can be fun!

If you do find that you’re putting a filter on every selfie before you upload it, whether it’s to make you look more tanned, hide blemishes, look thinner, take a step back (I know it’s easier said than done). It’s time to think about how you feel about yourself.

Literally the day after I decided to do this post that freaky thing happened where your phone seems to be reading your thoughts and adverts for things like Face tune’ starting showing up on my insta feed. Luckily I can scroll past but there are many that would download the app which is promising them a ‘perfect’ selfie.

What bothers me most about apps like this and their advertising is the wording they use like ‘better’ ‘prettier’ ‘perfect’ this isn’t a bit of fun like when you’re putting some love hearts on your face to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s about taking away everything that makes our face individual.

As you may know I’m big on self image and body confidence (Sshh) so my main concern is that people aren’t accepting their imperfections and perceived flaws. I have worked with many people for whom putting a natural selfie on would be their idea of hell but after breaking it down and addressing the real problem they have they’ve gone on to post confidently.

I’ll finish with the image above because I like to practice what I preach! As I said earlier I’d find it easy to scroll past a ‘perfect selfie’ app but that’s because I’ve put a lot of work in and I grew up around people who told me I was beautiful. Not everybody has this. If you’re one of those people, come and talk to me, or talk to someone – K xxx

Going into self isolation…

On Thursday night I woke up coughing. It gradually stopped and in the morning nothing.

But this was enough for me to keep myself inside the house and away from everyone.

I may have had an exaggerated reaction to what may have just been a bit of dust in my bedroom, because of my anxiety but I think it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially during these times.

It’s not been so bad, this is my third day. I’m used to being on my own and only talking to people on the phone so it’s not new, other than not being able to pop up to my Dads a few floors up?

I keep myself busy with ‘To do’ lists and I always find lots to do. I have been quite tired though so sometimes it’s just finding a new series to watch, speaking of which have you seen ‘Normal people’?

I’ve started playing virtual chess and I’m 4th from the top on ‘who wants to be a millionaire’. I’ll be top before this is over and I might stop losing at Chess!

I’m looking after myself and making sure I shower every day, it makes me feel less ill?

I’ve also been doing the #OOTDinmay which is a challenge thought up by @happyfattyholly on Instagram. That’s made me get dressed after said shower…

My mum is fab and has been to get some shopping for me and my dad has phoned me 4 times (today) but mostly because he feels guilty for not having his phone switched on when I’d rang him to tell him I was poorly (2 days before).

Well, that’s it! I’m not gonna tell you what you should be doing with your time in isolation or giving you any medical advice because I’m not a doctor or an arrogant tosser!

So, I’m just about start Father Ted!

Speak soon – K xxx

I’m only a teenage adult…

As you may know, I love reframing thoughts and finding different ways to look at things.

I really wish I could remember where I read this analogy but it made so much sense I had to share it!

So, as adults we feel like we need to have everything sorted and have the answers for everything.

What the mystery passage I read proposed is that as an adult you start out in something new. So as a twenty – one year old, you’re actually only a three year old adult.

This reinforced to me that you’re still learning the same as you did, in the case above, as a three year old child.

So, I worked mine out. I’m a teenage adult, I’m 13 and a half! Did I expect myself to know everything as a 13 year old…no! (Thinking you know everything is a different matter 😂)

When I started thinking about my life and adulthood in this way, I stopped being as hard on myself for not having everything sorted.

I’m still learning and I need to have patience because I’m only a teenager in adult years!

Give yourself a break! How old are you as an adult?

Hope this helps – K xxx