So, I've had a slow start to 2019. This you can probably tell, since I've barely posted since this new year start. 

This was partly born of laziness, I can hardly deny that I'm not the most motivated person even at the best of time, but more so, it was simply due to uninspiration not just with this little space on the internet, but with life in general. 

I went home from university in December with a heavy sense of un-achievement, with the prospect of a new year looming. I felt as though 2018 was supposed to be 'my year', and it had been yet another year that I had let myself down. I was most definitely in a negative headspace and I did not feel at all enthusiastic about the new year, because I simply kept asking myself the question, 'what is going to change?'. 

Sometimes we get into a rut, don't we? We're not too sure of the direction that we're heading or what we really want to do and achieve in life. I envy those people who don't think so deeply, but just live - I am simply not one of these people. I am constantly racked with the questions of whether or not I'm doing my *best*, making the most of life and achieving the best I can. More often than not the answer to that question is 'no', and it fuels a constant cycle of being dissatisfied with where I am, this dissatisfaction meaning that I feel unmotivated, and then therefore not doing anything. There is no time when I feel this stronger than at the start of a new year. I suspect this is a time when most people get this sense - they're called 'January blues' for a reason. We're encouraged, through yearly roundups, and traditions like new year's resolutions, to assess ourselves, and assess our progress. It is always at this time where I feel completely lost and completely out of my depth, as though I have achieved nothing in the previous year and that I'm unlikely to achieve anything noteworthy in the next. Social media certainly exacerbates this. It enables us to compare our achievements, and of course, there is always someone on the world wide web who is doing a lot better than you. 

Since this thinking is what has plagued me recently, January has been a slow month. It's been difficult to be motivated and set goals. Indeed, last month I was so close to quitting the blog and shutting this whole thing down. I knew that this was partly due to general low mood and decided not to make any rash decisions when I wasn't in my most stable state of mind, so instead, I just left it. Took away from social media, and tried, as best as I could, to just immerse myself in home life over my break from uni. 

Now we're heading into February, I'm feeling slightly more optimistic. I don't approach the new month with a newfound conviction that '2019 will by my year', because it's too much pressure. But I have a little more hope. I think this was a result of the fact that one day I decided to just look view my blog, and browse over my posts. And I came across this one from the beginning of 2018, which was actually my 2017 yearly roundup. This was the first time that I realised that 2018 wasn't the failure that I had led myself to believe it to be. 2017 had been the most difficult year of my life, and re-reading that reminded me of how much I went through and how far I came over the following year. In that perspective, I realised that there was no need to be so hard on myself, and I think this is a good tip to employ whenever you are feeling down. Whether you write a blog, keep a diary or some such, when you feel completely lost or as though you aren't achieving anything, think back to a time when you struggled or suffered, and realise how far you've come. I'm not always a fan of putting things into perspective, because I think sometimes this tactic is deployed to invalidate your feelings, but on this occasion, it's helpful and relevant. Step back, look back, realise how far you've come, breathe, and then, move forward. 

2019 is a particularly scary year for me, as I (hopefully) graduate from uni. With that comes a new lease of liberation and opportunity, but also a wealth of fear and anxiety. I have no idea where I'll be or what I'll be doing in a year from now, and for someone who dislikes change, that is incredibly bloody terrifying. But, I'm trying to be more positive. I'm trying to adopt a philosophy that I learnt from counselling - to take it bit by bit. Sometimes, when life becomes too overwhelming, that's only day by day, or even hour by hour. It's good to plan and have expectations, but it's also important to make sure that those plans and expectations don't in themselves become burdens. 

So now for the roundup - what have I been doing this month? 

1.) I'm back at uni for my 2nd to last term, and I'm beginning to feel the pressure. I have a 10,000 dissertation to write, a bunch of essays to do, and a tonne of reading, and I'm trying not to let that phase me. I've found that this has led me to (inadvertently) complete dry January! Definitely not something I thought would happen, but I've certainly saved a lot of money!

2.) I bought my first designer bag! Very trivial thing I know, but truthfully, a big thing for me! I'm hoping to actually film a youtube unboxing very soon to mark the occasion (lol), and I'll let you know as soon as that is up!

3.) Pre-Marie Kondo hype, I was already in clear out mode, and actually had a wee wardrobe clear-out. I realised that I just have so much stuff, and still want to buy more, and for that to happen, I really need to start regularly swapping things out so I don't hoard. If you are feeling a little lost or stuck in life, I'd always recommend a clear-out. For some reason, there is something about getting rid of things that makes you feel more clear and less claustrophobic - it's almost as if clearing out the physical clears out the mental. When getting rid of things, I like to sell things on to make a bit of money, but it's also a great feeling when you can donate some pieces to charity. 

Now, in this post, I've kind of indirectly lambasted the idea of new year's resolutions. I'm not too sure that I have 'resolutions' as such. But there are a few things I would like to be more mindful of: 

The first was actually influenced by the 'Fyre Festival' documentary on Netflix that I watched, called 'Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened'. If you haven't yet seen it, please please do. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience.  Firstly, Fyre highlighted to me, in particular, the exploitation developing country workers, and I was incredibly disturbed by the fact that the Bahamian workers were paid nothing for the long hours they worked for months, and I realised that this is probably more common than is first thought. If you have watched the documentary and were also struck by the injustice of the treatment of the Bahamian workers, you can actually donate to a GoFundMe set up by MaryAnn Rolle, the restauranteur who lost $50,000 of her own savings. I donated as soon as I watched the documentary I was affected so much - here is the link. 

What also really stood out to me was the power of the 'influencer'. Now, you all know that I strongly dislike that pompous term, but that documentary proved to me that it was nothing but accurate. I hardly think so highly of myself that I believe myself to be in possession of 'influence', but it did make me think about what sort of blogger I want to be, what sort of brands and companies I want to represent, and what sort of content I want to put out. It has always been important to me to be transparent, but after watching the documentary, I'm determined to be more aware of not just the companies I work for, but all the workings on further back, because what is promoted on our blogs and social media truly does have an impact. It is incredible the reach and impact posts can have, and I think social media users now have to be far more conscientious with what is posted. 

Secondly, in a similar vein, this year I want to be way more aware of my purchasing choices and sustainable fashion, hence my little clear out at the start of the year. This is something that I have been thinking about a lot recently, and I want to seriously consider my contribution to it. I'm therefore hoping to start to shop more ethically, and to try to phase out, as best I can, my shopping from 'fast fashion' sites that I know produce low cost, low quality items that not only harm the environment but also grossly exploit workers. I'm sure there will be times when I am weak and purchase something simply because it is cheap, but going forward I will be thinking far more about the fabrics and materials used, the amount I'm accumulating and how much of what I buy I actually need, and adding better quality, higher priced items to my wardrobe less frequently. 

So, that's all for today! It's been quite a ramble-y, unorganised, higgledy piggledy post, but I hope you can take something for it. How has your January been? Has it been slow for you too or have you been in motivation mode? Leave me a comment below!

Until next time, 
Bisous <3


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