International Women’s Day

The day is upon us! Where some people love to scream it from the rooftops whilst others quietly raise a toast, I very much like to do the latter.I love that we celebrate women in all of our glory, that it gives men the opportunity to also show that support. I see people everywhere paying homage to the women in their lives who have made them the people they are, and its the most beautiful thing I’ll see until Halloween.

So for my tribute to the thousands, I wish to celebrate the unsung heroes in my life. The only reason I say unsung is because despite numerous emails, the Nobel Peace Prize I requested for them all, seems to keep getting lost in the post… It was very hard for me to pick the people in my life to highlight on this day, and those I have left out are in no way less than these, its more I had to narrow myself to 5 or this post would be decades long. Every single woman in my life has been of influence in some way shape or form, these are the 5 I feel need more love from me.

So onto the first. It will come as no surprise to anyone that the award for unconditional determination goes to…. Mum! Thats right, my Mother. (I’m allowed to award her with stuff its my job) Throughout my life she has remained strong, encouraging and compassionate. No matter what I’ve thrown at her (Trust me, there has been a lot) she has always managed to see things not only through my eyes, but from a completely unbiased point of view. Allowing me to understand the world in a far better way. She is fierce for her daughters, like seriously… Don’t mess with us… Ever. Yet strong with us too, she is thoughtful, kind and friendly to all without exception, provided you treat her with the same respect. This taught me to accept myself and whilst understanding the value of a second chance, when its been about 5 second chances and its time to leave. She gave me the confidence to be who I am today.

The second Lady to mention is very much a Lady. Lady M to be precise. I speak here of Jo, who very deservingly gets the award for unwavering sturdiness. Which sounds weird, but let me explain. I cannot think of a situation in which Jo has not only met it head on, with a hockey stick, but so head on that the problem either slowly starts to shake and regret its life choices, or it simplifies to a far more manageable state that actually it always was, but decided to get cocky. Jo makes time for everyone even when actually she should be looking after herself, she runs a wonderful page called T.W.I.T.T (Today’s Women In Tomorrow’s Technology) Which basically encompasses everything IWD is actually about. Her determination and pride in her family, friends and work makes her formidable to the common folk, her excitement at disney is only rivalled by the excitement I get towards dinosaurs, even then its a close call… In short, Joanne taught me that I am worth sticking up for, that I should argue back when its correct but also remember that others have feelings. To pursue my passions and to be confident in what I do.

 

My third award winner is none other than my cousin Hannah, she will be awarded the Positively enlightening award. No matter how hard things get, nor how bad I feel, she always pulls me back up. Whether its a phone call, a disney night or simply snapchat filters, she is relentless in her pursuit of positivity. Her thoughtfulness knows no bounds, as an example for christmas she took me to see Jurassic Park at the Natural History Museum. If thats not knowing me inside out I don’t know what is. She is completely selfless and enthusiastic about everything. Her ability to blend in with any friend group amazes me, I don’t think she could ever make anyone feel unwelcome if she tried. Despite her own hardships she has always made time for me. She has taught me to smile. To believe in myself because I truly believe she is my biggest fan. To think positively and encourage others to do so too.

 

Award number 4 goes to my sister Jade. We may not dine together all the time, we may not have been the cosiest of sisters growing up, but the award for endless support goes to her. No matter what I’ve done, how silly, serious, upsetting or wrong. She listens. She not only listens but she tells me what I don’t want to hear, the truth. Throughout our childhood I have gone to her to talk, to vent about anyone and everyone. Sure, she joins in too but the point is that she knows me so well, I cannot hide from her and there isn’t a better person out there. She sees things from everyones point of view and points out where I could be wrong, or where I am right. She looks out for me in ways I would never do for myself and motivates me to be a better person. Jade makes me become more honest, with myself and with others. She helps me to see from a different viewpoint and my god is she funny! She makes me laugh way too much and I couldn’t be happier. She has taught me to be open and never to bottle things up. That its ok to be cross at someone and vent it out to someone else, to get more viewpoints on a situation before acting on them.

 

The final award goes to… Myself. What is this tomfoolery I hear you bellow. A travesty you say? Well, actually no. Today is a day to celebrate women, and I am one of those. I spend so much time looking at the good in others that it would be an insult to those who have shaped my life if I didn’t give a little pat on the back to myself now and then. So the award for hard earned bravery goes to me. Because for these women to shine through I needed hardships, for the light there must be dark. I have forced my way through, kicking and screaming at times, but I have done it. I have made mistakes that would make Trump cringe, but I’ve also brought smiles that Disneyworld will never see. I’ve encouraged, loved, supported and inspired people I don’t even know about. I have shown others their worth, boosted confidence and encouraged understanding. I have given advice (that I so seldom follow myself) -I can make Alice In Wonderland references…-  And I like to think I’ve given some degree of happiness to people. I work hard and beat myself up harder,  I second guess myself and I question my worth with every breath I take. But you know what? I can face it. I can face my life because not only do I have these women, I have an army more. I have men who know  what equality is. I have family who know how to love. I have friends who inspire me daily and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

So on International Women’s Day, if you’re going to celebrate a woman in your life, make it you. Because Castiel be damned you’re worth celebrating.

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Social Circles

Like most people, I have different social groups, some from the good old school days, others from my more recent endeavours in cosplay, and even those groups split into different mini groups. 

But something I’ve noticed about my groups, is that I am very much on the edge of them all. I don’t feel deeply involved in any despite efforts to meet up or message. Now, this isn’t me bitching about anyone or anything in particular, it’s more a musing on my social skills, I am awful at replying to messages, meaning I do get left out of the loop, at social gatherings I don’t tend to try and strike up conversation anymore, I’d rather play with the candles or be lost in thought. 

I wonder if this leads me to come across as rather unapproachable, or just as lot of hard work. Either way I am happy to have  the people in my life that I do, but it does make me feel a little isolated at times. It’s something I’m trying to improve, but I am a sensitive soul, so when I try to actively be a part of a group but still get left out of plans and occasions, it can be a little hurtful. Knocking the confidence and starting the loop again. 

I’d love to get to a stage where I can happily interact with everyone, be the person people invite out and want to talk to, but I know it takes a long time and lots of work to get there. Besides, friendship is a two way Street, and as much as there are groups I long to be a bigger part of, there are others I feel I’ve overstayed in, that perhaps my efforts will never quite be enough, and that my dears, is when it’s time to walk away. 


 

Day One

Well, here we are. I’ve committed now so there is no turning back. I’m taking part in the “De-Choc” event set up by The British Heart Foundation. The idea is to completely cut out chocolate for the course of March. This ties in nicely with those participating in Lent, if I last the month who knows? I may even extend it to the length of Lent too, but no promises! 

But Alice! Why are you doing this?! I possibly hear you cry. Well, yes it does seem to be a bit counter productive for someone who is trying to gain weight, but I actually think chocolate resides at the root of my problem. You see, I’m a rather fussy eater, so chocolate has always been something I know I can comfortably eat without worrying, meaning it’s become pretty much the core of my diet. Contrary to popular belief, this does not help me gain weight at all, in fact it fills me up quicker and stops me from eating normal food. 

Now it may be worth noting here that I do suffer with a horrible relationship with food, I am not diagnosed with an eating disorder however my attitude and emotions towards food are highly indicative of one. To summarise my feelings quickly and easily, I am repulsed by food. The thought of having to eat each day makes me feel sick and I cannot stand hearing or watching others eat. I find meal times distressing and do not enjoy food at all. It is NOT associated with body image or weight, if anything I am keen to gain weight as I have Neen humiliated by my lack of body fat countless times. 

Ok… so why? Why take out a food I have come to rely on so heavily? Well for that reason. If the food that I rely on to avoid eating proper food is gone, the hunger will still be there. Thus forcing me to find other alternatives. (So  far I’m snacking on bananas) it is to encourage me to find new foods and improve my attitude towards eating in general. The hope is, by the end of it I’ll still have the same appetite, but with new foods in place chocolate will become a treat as opposed to a staple food. I am doing it properly, of course. No half measures! Meaning no hot chocolate, milkshake, nor chocolate flavoured…anything really.

I am well aware of how mentally draining this will be, people may laugh and say “it’s only chocolate” but from what I have said above I hope the weight of what I am doing comes through, I’m tackling something huge in my life that is sure to cause me distress, I’m pushing myself to think about food, to try new foods and effectively put a spotlight on a part of my life of which I am terrified. I know the positive outcome will far outweigh the initial struggle, but please bear with me for this month, I’ll probably be a vulnerable ball of nope. 

Here’s to my birthday being on Easter Sunday!