The Beauty Of Letting Go

Wow what a year it has been. So far I’ve spent the year in a bit of an existential crisis; getting through the grieving process that is an unexpected break up coupled with such elevated anxiety and depression that I honestly didn’t think I would get through it at times.

And all the things that come with that, going up a stone through comfort eating, an everyday battle with non existent self-esteem and general hopelessness about the future.

It’s been an absolute battle this year that’s for sure. Probably the worst one on record but thankfully it’s started to turn around. After months of not working (at times the threat of homelessness was real) and struggling to find a job more than 12 bloody hours a week, I finally found a job and things started to turn round.

Now I have a worthwhile job working as a support worker with young adults who have gone through the care system. Becoming aware of their individual early childhood experiences has been a humbling one, knowing that my life has been no where near as bad as theirs has helped to give me a swift kick up the proverbial and a shift of perspective.

I’ve had one of the worst post break up experiences just happen recently; finding out the ex has moved on and is besotted with his new girlfriend. This cut like a knife and I knew it would; but it has been very enlightening. It was the final hurdle in an exhausting journey.

I realised I’ve been spending my time holding onto the past. Holding onto something that is over, something that has had its time and has gone. Even seeing a photo of the ex with his new girlfriend really didn’t hurt as much as I thought; I realised that I actually was over it a lot more than I’d previously thought.

Then I started to think about the magic of new beginnings. I’ve been single since February and in August I decided to join Tinder. Now, I think there’s something very shallow about swiping right and left in determining how you effectively want to bone someone but I was also curious. It was a short lived affair; I’ve deleted it now but it was good whilst it lasted. It marked the start of me getting myself back out to the world again.

All I know is that I’m entering a new phase of my life right now. I’m ready to be comfortable in my own skin again and live in the present and see what my future holds. One of my favourite quotes is by the amazing David Bowie who said “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring” and he echoes my sentiments entirely.

I do believe that everything happens for a reason and that I’m starting to see life with a renewed sense of vigour; I’m much happier and ready to get on with my life at last. There’s so much more to come and I can’t wait to discover it.

Sometimes you just have to let go of the things that are literally killing you. The beauty of letting go is that you set yourself free from mental anguish and suffering, you set yourself free from the things you can’t change and you throw open the door to things you can.

I know the things I desire in my life are simply waiting for me to realise them and take the given opportunity at the right moment. The future is looking bright and that’s because I’ve broken the chains and finally let go.

 

 

 

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A Love Letter To…UK Garage

For anyone who has actually heard my accent (which at the best of times resembles a London market trader, and I don’t mean the stock market, think more Billingsgate) I hail from the gorgeous commuter belt city of St Albans in Hertfordshire. I moved to Devon when I was 21 and although I’ve grown accustomed to the sea air there will always be a huge part of me that misses it and one day wishes to be back there. As they say ‘You can take the gal of Hertfordshire’.

When I think back to my life prior to moving to Devon, there has always been one major influence that stands out and is still present in my life now, and always will be. Appearances can be quite deceptive at times but I’m here to make a confession, something I’m actually really proud about. I am a huge fan of UK Garage (UKG). Yes, that felt good. Music is instrumental to most of us and in a world of division it’s usually the one thing that can unite us,  so I never fail to see its importance.

UK Garage is now over two decades old and is an undeniable influence over a lot of the music you hear now. Grime is one of those prime examples, when you look into it’s root and musical influences it has grown from the emergence of Speed Garage in the early 1990s into the bass, breaks and beats of Drum and Bass of the early to mid noughties.  Sadly, UK Garage faced a bit of a decline in the early 2000s but thanks to the continued efforts of UKG stalwarts such as DJ Luck and MC Neat, DJ EZ, So Solid Crew, Craig David, Shola Ama, Sweet Female Attitude to name but a few, Garage is thankfully starting to make a comeback.

Whether you are nu wave or old school with your Garage tastes (personally I’m a bit of both) it’s so good to see UK Garage starting to make a comeback again. In a commercial sense Garage and Drum and Bass has been at the forefront of music successes for the past few years now. Redlight’s Get Out My Head,  Disclosure’s Fool For You, to name a couple and Jax Jones’ You Don’t Know Me directly samples the bassline of M.A.N.D.Y vs Booka Shade’s 2005 hit Body Language which is, by itself an absolute beauty. UK Garage is even making its strides with the much younger generation, such as DJ Archie. He is three years old and already a force to be reckoned with. Search for him on Instagram and be amazed at his UK Garage and Drum and Bass DJing prowess, he was on This Morning a couple of weeks ago, and rightly so.

Now, back to why UKG means so much to me. My older sister was more into House (and still is) but she would play a lot of Judge Jules on Radio One before going to Epping Forest Country Club. I’m almost seven years younger and so I would sit in doing homework on the other half of our partitioned bedroom and feel jealous that I couldn’t go out too. I remember my sister first getting the vinyl of Soul 2 Soul’s Keep On Movin’ and to me it was like a revelation, I confess to playing it a good few times when she was at work or out.  It was amazing. You could say I had a really good introduction into the genre of UK Garage (without even knowing it) in a way, seeing as the roots of UK Garage are traced back to the Soul of 1970’s New York city.

In the late 1990s was when I started to listen to UKG. It was starting to emerge between my friends and it was dominant in all the clubs we went to, such as Batchwood in St Albans and Destiny in Watford. I remember being 16-17 when my mum first started to buy the CD compilations for me, from the infamous Pure Garage complilations of DJ EZ, to DJ Luck and MC Neat presents, to The Heartless Crew Presents Crisp Biscuit, So Solid Albums and more. I only wanted Garage to listen to, for a variety of reasons. It became the way to help deal with my teenage angst and it was perfect for me and my peace loving friends who just wanted a good night out with no drama.

At 18-19 years old I would spend my time listening to the female powerhouses in UK Garage. A lot of the time I felt I had no one to talk to. Particularly about boys, and relationships with friends. Most of what I listened to gave me a renewed sense of empowerment when I felt really fed up. I would get ready for nights out whilst listening to songs such as Nicole‘s Groove, Flow and the unmistakable fearlessness of Boo! by Miss Dynamite. Also, songs that just connect with a woman’s inner psyche such as Amira’s My Desire, Romina Johnson’s Movin’ Too Fast  and MJ Cole’s Be Sincere were on a constant loop for me. When I look back now I realise that they were helping to form a lot of my morals too, on a subconscious level which is another amazing thing about music isn’t it?

Garage for me also has that undeniable soulful and spiritual side, from Nitin Sawhney remixes to Todd Edwards, DJ Narrows and Restless Natives. To DJ Zinc’s GO DJ to 138 Trek, to the first time I heard With A Little Bit of Luck on cassette at 15 years old. The list is endless for me as to the profound influence this music has over my life. UK Garage for me is quite simply a time machine, if I need an instant positive dose of energy, there it is on Spotify, ready to transport me back to dancing around my handbag with my friends to KCI and Jo Jo’s Tell Me It’s Real and Monsta Boy’s I’m Sorry. 

In recent times I’ve been to the 02 to see an 8 hour DJ EZ set (I must admit I see him as a bit of a god to state it lightly), and I was lucky enough to see DJ Luck and Mc Neat perform in Plymouth a couple of years ago. They say you shouldn’t meet your heroes but that’s not always true. MC Neat was so humble and really respected the fact that I was a fan of theirs from the beginning. The thing with UK Garage is that so much of it comes from the heart, and if you’re ever lucky enough to attend a Garage night you definitely should. They are truly one of the only places where you see people of every nationality, ethinicity and religion all partying and having a great time alongside one another.  Being a fan of UK Garage is something that never leaves you and I’m really proud to feel part of that family.

 

5 Favourite Spring Instagram accounts❤

Instagram is an amazing place for being a hive of all things music, culture, art and so much more. So today I’ve decided to compile a list of my most favourite accounts for Spring.

I managed to stop myself at five or the list was probably going to be endless! So without further ado-

1. Max From Tax @maxfromtax

Max is a art curator in Brooklyn and also owns the @taxcollection Instagram showcasing a beautiful online collection of modern art, graphic design and installation. Max (I’ll assume for now this is his real name) keenly promotes a lot of up and coming artists and designers and everytime I visit his pages I never fail to feel inspired in some way.

2. Tyler Spangler @tyler_splangler

Tyler is a freelance graphic designer who graduated in Psychology and is an ‘art school drop out’ (one can relate to the latter) according to his Insta bio. His work is very bright and has psychedelic and punk influences whilst often promoting a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach to the messages he conveys so brightly. I’ve only just discovered him via my homepage and I love the positivity he represents. Also, you can’t go wrong with a mesh of colourful modern print patchwork, right?

3. Neon Talk @neontalk also @concepttalk

Neon Talk is all about the 1980s and early 1990s design aesthetic which I’m a major fan of. Think cherry tipped martini glasses, Electronica, Power Females and the design influences that cast a quirky cutting edge over anything from make-up to architecture. Neon Talk is absolute treat for the eyes and a lovely (and sometimes cringeworthy) trip down memory lane.

4. God’s Own Junkyard @godsownjunkyard

Continuing along the theme of neon (which I am obsessed with) God’s Own Junkyard is an actual bar and cafe in Walthamstow, London. Its Instagram showcases the beautiful collection of newer, older and vintage neon it houses and it’s safe to say it is on my to do list for a visit.

5. Ekaterina Popova @katerinaspopova

Ekaterina is an up and coming artist who really seems to understand where I am coming from! I’ve always been a bit of a interior design obsessed homebody and her beautiful works just set fire to my soulll! She paints simple scenes so beautifully, from messy bedrooms full of important personal possessions to bathrooms filled with the things that make people feel better about themselves. What’s not to love? ❤

Guess who’s back….back again.

Today I’ve decided to come out of retirement. The word “retirement” is usually used when someone is going into a period of rest from a set of habits that they’ve become accustomed to, whether that is through work, relationships, a lifestyle or a choice made in life to essentially have an overhaul, or to instigate a major change. Change gon’ come eventually, and I liken my current state to that of one of reawakening from a hibernation that I have been stuck in for many years.

After a particularly difficult period in my life recently, I’ve had the time to reassess and think about this word “retirement”. And then I realised something. I was retiring from too many things, too early in my life. Retiring from things I haven’t even tried yet, retiring from discovering anything new about myself and others. I didn’t want to go out with my friends or family anymore, I didn’t really want to do anything if it didn’t resemble being in bed for three quarters of the day, without getting into it too much I didn’t want to be here anymore.

Big life events and change can happen to us all at any time in our lives and to have so much change going on at once can be overwhelming can’t it? In the past month both my job and relationship has reached an end, I’ve become a vegetarian (not every change is a bad one) and I had a breakdown. I hit the lowest of the low and my horrible nightmares I’d be plagued with for months became waking ones.

Whilst going through this lengthy process of recovery, one which is evolving and is never-ending in some respects, you are often encouraged to remind yourself of that which inspires, motivates and drives you as an individual. And something quite remarkable happens during that time of self evaluation. You start to remember who you are. You remember the things that bring you joy, from the songs that evoke a range of memories, to the rediscovered photographs and handwritten cards from your childhood friends. You realise that all of these things have always been there, they’ve always been present, it was me who wasn’t.

Buddhist philosophy is concerned with us all training our minds on living in the present moment; not thinking too far into the past or the future, but living in the here and now. Much easier said than done, of course. Buddhists also say that nothing is ever really under our control either, which when you think about it it’s true, we can’t truly influence every little thing that occurs to us in our lives.

Back to the point in hand and in the spirit of following a lifestyle which always helps me and a lot of others, I’m coming out of my negative self- imposed “retirement” and now I aim to try and live in the present moment as much as possible. There is so much left to see and do in my life and small, positive steps will help to get me there. I have plans which I will keep under my hat for now. But at least now I will be actively working towards them whilst starting my beloved blog again from afresh. So expect to see lots of different things from fashion, friendship, music, mental health and such other tomfoolery.

Peace. X

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