Risen from the Dead… With Updates

Wow, it’s hard to pick back up writing after TWO MONTHS of silence. I haven’t really had the words – an identity crisis will do that to you. Especially when you’ve put yourself in a box as one type of writer, and then struggle to stay within those parameters because you feel yourself changing. Plus, bearing my heart and soul on the internet week after week got a little straining. You could call the last few months a “vulnerability hangover” of sorts.

Agh, life.

Anyway, the month of June has been busy and fun and crazy and up and down. I will put some of it in here to try and get this ball rolling again. I like this place and I want to stick at it.

Three Peaks Challenge

The three tallest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales, in 24 hours, when one has never climbed a mountain before? Yeah – I like to throw myself in the deep end. This was awesome, but also the hardest thing I have ever done. I am fitter than I was a few months ago but there were some FIT people in my group and I struggled to keep up. It was a brilliant experience and I am proud to have completed it. It’s not too late to donate to the cause – a small orphanage in Kenya that a friend of mine visited last year. Having to close the home down was a possibility and we are hoping the proceeds will keep it open and running for another year. Amazingly, we are currently very close to reaching the £10,000 goal. Click HERE to sponsor me and the amazing group I did the trek with!

Krakow, Poland (#girlsontour)

I think I may write an entire post on this weekend with some extra thoughts, but put simply, it was a fantastic three days. The city break came about through a casual conversation about travel over a dinner in February. Thanks to the incredible organisation skills of my friend Emma, it actually happened. There was six of us, all different but all with something to bring to the table. We tried Polish food and after a hilarious sitting that involved eating steamed vegetables as a starter, promised not to again. We did karaoke, visited Auschwitz and had two dips in the fountain (which made me feel like a kid again, and anytime I feel like a kid, I am happy). Krakow was beautiful but I more appreciated the quality time with five wonderful friends.

Northern Ireland adventures

“I’m in heaven”. That was probably the three words I said most over the weekend. My version of heaven? Green fields as far as the eye can see. Sheep. Cliffs. Castles. Tea. Brownies. More good food. Irish hugs (to clarify, this is essentially a hug from an Irish person. They don’t actually hug very differently but they are IRISH). Irish accents. Swimming in the cold sea. Almost getting blown away by gale force winds. It was the loveliest weekend and my friend Leigh-Ann is a spectacular host. It was almost like a retreat weekend and I was sad to leave. I may have invited myself back for Christmas… (awkward)

Well, that’s it folks. Enjoy the gallery of the above mentioned events. Please forgive me for being flakey and I would appreciate a comment or two, just so I know there hasn’t been an apocalypse…

Thank you, Internet

When I went through a break-up that rocked my world and tipped it upside down, I started reading a lot on the internet and discovered a whole world that I never knew existed: the blogosphere.

The hundreds of relevant, interesting and encouraging blogs for women, singles, travellers, Christians, or whatever your interest is. Written by a melting pot of people from all over the globe, each with their own story.

I was feeling more alone and misunderstood than ever but after reading some of these blogs, I realised I wasn’t alone at all. Others had been in my shoes and it was a welcome relief. I started writing everything out on my own space of the web, and it was a way for me to process the pain and draw out a gift at the same time.

Recently I was sailing through Croatia and my mind was battling against me. I was supposed to be on holiday, but it’s true that the wicked never rest and my fears were running riot. I think too much and sometimes it gets a bit much.

Happy from the travel but weary from the worry, I hung out in Istanbul airport for 5 hours on my way to Athens. While sipping my ice-water and sweating it straight back out, I caught up on my favourite blogs. There were two posts that day which changed the course of my thinking for the rest of my holiday.

Written by women that I don’t know personally, but whom basically gave me a virtual hug. They opened their hearts and shared stories of their past, and essentially said ‘I’ve been where you are and it sucks, but I got through it and so will you’. When you’re alone in a foreign country and fighting the devils of your mind, reading such pieces of writing are exceptionally helpful and comforting. There is nothing like it.

We are a self-documenting generation. The internet has exploded and plays a massive part in our lives, and people will debate all the good and bad of it. Yet I can only speak for myself, and for me the internet is a profound blessing. It’s connected and enlightened me.

Thank-you bloggers and readers, one and all, you rule!

In the spirit of sharing, here’s a categorised list of my favourite blogs:

Faith/Life
Modern Reject
Allison Vesterfelt
Prodigal Magazine
Good Women Project
Ruthie Dean
Sammy Adebiyi

Travel
Twenty-Something Travel
Nomadic Matt
The Great Affair 

Funny
I Can’t High Five
Why Am I Weird

Photography
The Big Picture
Canadian Hiking Photography

What are your favourite blogs? How has reading blogs or writing one yourself helped you? What do you love or hate about the internet? 

Photo credit

New Venture | So Worth Loving

I am so excited to be partnering up with So Worth Loving, a clothing brand with a message of positive self-image. I’ll be writing for their blog a couple of times a month which is such a privilege. Their clothes are rad and I couldn’t help but buy one of their t-shirts when I found them online! Michelle (of Beyond Rubies) and I were their first overseas order, and we feel pretty cool being the only two Londoners with these tops. For now!

Today my intro video for their readers is up – check it out and have a look at their brilliant products! Quality made, cute and affordable.

Click here to be redirected to the SWL blog.

We’re All Pretenders

There are so many women I admire, that I either directly know or have heard about. They are strong and secure, confident and beautiful, talented and humble. From the outside they look organised (such a coveted attribute), fun and free. But on the inside, I think they’re just like me: afraid and unsure of what they could do if they tried. Pretending, even just a little bit, that they’re already there.

Then there are the ones that aren’t pretending, they’re just not public about it. It’s amazing how much we can presume about a person without seeing them behind closed doors. Whether we admit it or not, we all share this in common: we doubt ourselves. Whether it be hourly or daily or whatever, we all do it.

I’m sick of thinking everyone does it better than me. I’m over making comparisons, because obviously I never come out on top, and then I’m back to square 1 of being discouraged and not good enough. It’s getting a little old to be honest.

For me right now, it’s this blogging world that I have stumbled upon. I’m scared of this blog; of it’s potential to flop and become yet another abandoned hobby; or of the success and opportunities that it could lead to. More the latter than the former. What we are capable of is daunting, so much so that we end up not doing nothing.

Reader, you intimidate me but I want you here more than anything.

I don’t know if I’m disciplined or talented enough, and the more effort I invest, the more risk involved. I know I know, it’s not complicated, all I need to do is write. As long as I know the reason for my words and keep close to the Source that provides them, then I’m good.  It’s about keeping the main thing the main thing.

I find comfort in knowing that the women that inspire me in the blogosphere, the ones that look like they totally know what they’re doing and have a million things to say; they started out the same as me, and might still be there.

We are all in the same boat. Some further along in the journey, others just pushing out from the dock. We all have something for each other and none of us are there yet.

Let’s do this together, by stepping out individually and encouraging each other collectively.