8 March 2020

Driving Diaries: Progress, Car Shopping & Theory Test

Welcome to my Driving Diaries: an anxious girls mission to pass her driving test

Well, I've officially been learning to drive for two whole months. I know, I can't believe it either.

Since we last spoke I've finally mastered junctions, I'm becoming a pro at changing gears and last week I did 60mph down a dual carriageway whilst overtaking a funeral procession (cue that scene from the Inbetweeners). I'm finally starting to feel confident behind the wheel and it's all thanks to my instructor who literally has the patience of a saint.

It's not all been plain sailing though, I've had my fair share of run-ins with idiot drivers (the new bane of my life) and I've been this close to quitting on a few occasions, one being my second lesson when I kept stalling at junctions and couldn't pull the handbrake up far enough. I feel defeated when I can't do something for the first time but I keep reminding myself that I'm learning a new skill and perseverance is key - the worst thing I can do at this stage is give up.

I've had two major driving scares in this first two months; one when a van didn't see us and nearly drove into the side of the car, and the second when a DHL lorry was driving on the wrong side of the road at a ridiculous speed and I panicked. These really knocked my confidence but my instructor takes me back to the places where these incidents happened to make sure I'm not scared driving round those areas.

One thing I used to dread before learning to drive was changing gears. I didn't think I'd be able to change a gear and I struggled at first, but it's a skill that's improving week after week. I also dreaded stalling and the first time I stalled, I nearly cried. Then I realised that even the most professional drivers stall a car and the more I did it, the less it bothered me.

Nevertheless, I still dread every lesson and get so nervous beforehand. I quite literally have to psych myself up to get behind the wheel but once I'm driving I'm absolutely fine. It's mad how the basic skills are just applied in more complex situations.

The Theory Test

The first test I have to pass is my theory test and I already hate the damn thing. It feels like being back at school revising for an exam. It's literally an information overload and the answers are so contradicting. 

I've downloaded the best apps and I read over the highway code when I get a spare minute but I still haven't passed the multiple choice and the hazard perception at the same time on a mock test. I'm hoping to have booked in for my theory test by the end of the month, but somethings telling me that passing could take a little while. I'll keep you updated. 

Car Shopping

Another complicated thing about learning to drive is the weird and wonderful world of car shopping. As a twenty-two year old female who doesn't know the first thing about cars, this has been quite a whirlwind. 

Now, I know what you're thinking - 'Meg, you haven't passed yet. Why are you looking at cars?'

Well, it's always been the idea to buy a car before I pass my test. Firstly because I want to get some extra practice outside of lesson time and secondly because I want to get used to driving a different type of car. The car I'm learning in is a stop/start car but I also want to be comfortable driving (and stalling) a key start car. It's logical when you think about it. 

I've currently got my heart set on either a little Fiat 500 or a Citroen C1, both of which are cars I've wanted since I was 16. Thankfully, I've got my Mum and my friends sharing their knowledge and helping me find the best deal. Who knows, maybe next time I update you I'll have my own little car! 

So, that's the update! 

I'm moving on to manoeuvres next week which I should probably already have been doing, however my instructor wanted to build my confidence on the the actual driving skill first as I was incredibly anxious after the first few lessons, what with stalling and dealing with other idiots on the road. 

I'm already dreading reversing but like I said, I dread every lesson before I'm actually behind the wheel. Then the indicators are on and we're going! 

Lots of Love,
Meg x







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14 February 2020

Why I'm Okay Being Single In My Twenties

Happy Valentine's Day! 

There's nothing quite like Valentines day to remind you just how single you are; if it's not the soppy posts on Instagram then it's the lack of flowers on your doorstep. At one point, I would have said painfully single but this past year, I've realised that being single isn't actually painful at all. 

I was never a girl who was bothered about dating. Whilst most of my friends were out with their boyfriends and swiping on dating apps, I was quite happy in my own company and focused on my degree. Of course, I had little flings here and there but nothing I'd consider to be serious. I didn't conform to society's pressures of being in a relationship in my late teens and that's okay, I was a firm believer that it would happen when it was meant to happen. 

However, when I graduated I felt lost. I'm more than aware that life doesn't play out like the movies and the chances of meeting the love of my life at University were slim, but I felt the need to have some kind of companionship. I wanted to be moving on with my life and I don't know if it was loneliness, boredom or cluelessness but a relationship felt like the next best move. 

And so I joined the weird and wonderful world of Tinder. 

The idea of meeting the love of my life on a dating app was unrealistic but there I was, sat in bed trying to choose six half decent photos, write a witty little bio and select  'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' by Whitney Houston as my anthem *cue the cheesy pick up lines*.

At first it was a bit of harmless fun. I wasn't on there to mess around, I just saw it as a chance to speak to someone new. I spent my evenings swiping, matching and chatting, never intending to meet any of the guys in person. That is until I started speaking to someone I actually clicked with, plucked up all my courage and went on my first ever Tinder date. We went for a walk along the Albert Dock in Liverpool and I thought it went well. Clearly, the feelings weren’t mutual because I got ghosted an hour later. As you can imagine, I was gutted. 

Little did I know that this experience would prepare me for what was to come. In the past two years I've dated a guy who already had a girlfriend, a guy who was still hooked on his ex, a guy with the personality of a brick wall, a guy who was a catfish, a guy who loved nothing but himself and a guy who just 'didn't have the time'. As you can tell, it's not been my greatest success.

Dating is just the same old thing over and over again. 

And honestly, I am fed up of it. So, I deleted the dating apps.

I've had a lot of time to think over these past few months and I've realised that I was associating certain points in my life with the person I was dating instead of the achievement/milestone I was making. I don't like the person I become when I start dating someone. I completely forget who I am and neglect myself and the things that I love. It's exhausting putting your time and effort into getting to know someone for it to just crash and burn. It's a web of overthinking, heartache and disappointment.

Seriously, who's got the time? Just talking about it makes me feel tired. 

Why has society made us think that it's not okay to be on our own?

Yes, I know third-wheeling can be awkward and embarrassing, especially when the PDA comes out. And I know that sometimes being single can feel lonely but that's okay. I'm living with my parents, I've got no partner, I'm not dating and guess what? I love it! 

I've never felt so empowered. I can be whoever I want to be and do whatever I want to do.  I've got no attachments, nothing holding me back and not to be cliché but I really am living my best life. I wanna book a holiday? I'm going. I wanna buy that dress? I'm having it. I wanna eat my cereal out of the box? You bet I'm doing that shit. 

I won't lie, sometimes I do look at couples and want what they have but at the same time I know that it'll come to me when my heart is ready to carry it. It's not that I've given up on love completely because apparently the best things come when you least expect them, but right now I'm more than enough for me. 

Maybe my future for now is on my own and that's totally okay. In fact it's more than okay, it's bloody brilliant. 

Lots of Love,
Meg x




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20 January 2020

Driving Diaries: The First Lesson

A few months ago, I took the plunge and booked my very first driving lesson. At the grand old age of twenty-two I've finally decided that it's about time I get behind the wheel and learn to drive - much to the horror of pretty much everyone I know.

If you're a regular here, you'll know that I've been wanting to learn to drive for quite a few years now but just haven't gotten round to it. Trust me, the intention has been there and I could blame my lack of motivation on my busy schedule or the ever rising cost of driving, but the truth is I've been putting it off. And I've been doing this because I'm absolutely terrified.

The thought of being behind a wheel and in control of a moving vehicle sends my anxiety through the roof because not only am I putting myself in potential danger but other people too. I don't like that kind of responsibility. That being said, relying on public transport and late/cancelled trains has quickly become the bane of my life (Northern Rail, I'm looking at you) and I quite like the idea of having the freedom to go where I want, when I want.

So, now that I've taken the plunge and committed myself to a little blue Renault Clio, whom I'm naming Benny, I thought it'd be fun to document my driving experience on the blog for those of you who are scared/anxious about learning to drive or just curious about it.

Welcome to an anxious, northern girl's mission to pass her driving test.

My First Lesson 

When the text came through to confirm the time and date of my first lesson I was instantly filled with regret- what on earth have you done!? There were so many questions whizzing round in my head; what if I can't do it? What if I hate my instructor? What if my instructor hates me? Will she shout at me? What if I crash? The list was never ending. 

Luckily I had Christmas to take my mind off things and when the day of my first lesson rolled around I was surprisingly calm and a little bit excited. I had my lesson at 9:15 on a Wednesday morning for an hour and a half. 

What Happened?

My driving instructor picked me up outside my house, introduced herself and I made a point to let her know that I was nervous straight away. To my relief, she was lovely about it and drove me to a small, quiet, straight road just five minutes away. We filled in a little bit of paper work and she explained that all we'd be doing is getting to know the car and stopping and starting a few times. Fab, I can do that

It was all fun and games until she said, 'so, shall we swap and you can get in the drivers seat?' 
Oh shit, I thought, it's actually happening. 

First I got to grips with the car. I learned how to adjust my seat and my mirrors and then how to start the engine. I'm learning to drive in a keyless car so it's a little different, I'm still getting used to the fact that I only need to press a button and not turn a key. 

Then she pulled out a little pink folder filled with diagrams and explained about how to start a car; pedals, mirror checks, signalling, the lot. It was an overload of information, especially for a novice like me but I nodded along, trying to take in as much as I could. 
'Right, shall we give it a go?' 
I looked at her in disbelief. Oh shit, I've actually got to drive this thing. 

But guess what? I did it and I actually enjoyed it! We stopped and started a few times, each attempt getting better which boosted my confidence a little bit more. Then we somehow went from moving and stopping to changing gears to then doing a three-point-turn in front of a tractor and all without stalling. 

Let me just pause for a moment whilst I give myself a round of applause. Believe me, I'm as shocked as you are right now. 

My Thoughts

The hour and a half flew by and I returned home feeling like I'd actually accomplished something. I was expecting to hate the whole experience and put myself off driving for life but I just couldn't wait to get behind the wheel again! Yep, another shock revelation for you there - I really am full of surprises. 

I know there's a long, challenging driving journey ahead of me but for the first time I'm feeling really happy and excited about this experience. I'm going to keep updating my blog with my progress and my thoughts every few weeks so that you can see both the highs and lows of learning to drive. 

Wish me luck on Junctions next week! 

Lots of Love,
Meg x 














 


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12 January 2020

My 2020 Resolutions

Happy 2020!

It's my first blog post of the year and let me tell you, it feels good to be back. I hope the new decade is treating you all well and that you're feeling inspired and motivated to make it wonderful. 

We had a lovely New Years Eve, it was a quiet one but I welcomed it in with hotpot and a glass of gin whilst dancing round the living room with my Grandma and Grandad. I couldn't have been happier and I like to think I've started the year as I mean to go on. This first week has consisted of coffee dates with friends, getting back into the gym and I'm finally taking driving lessons seriously (yes kids, stay off the roads!). So, you could say 2020 has been kind to me so far. 

I don't know about you but I absolutely LOVE this time of year. It's the excitement of new beginnings, new adventures and new relationships. Seeing peoples motivation to reach their goals makes me feel so inspired so I thought I'd share some of my goals for 2020 - it'll be fun to look back on and see how much I've achieved. Plus there's nothing like New Year motivation; a feeling I only get on January 1st and my Birthday. 

My 2020 Resolutions 

1. Pass My Driving Test

Oh look, another year and I still haven't passed my driving test. Well, that's changing because guess who had her first proper driving lesson last week? This gal! I'm finally taking lessons seriously and I'm determined to have passed my test by the end of the year. I can't take another twelve months of delayed trains and buses, it's the bane of my life. 

2. Buy A Car

After I've passed my test I would like to buy my own little car. I think 2019 made me realise how much not having a car was holding me back in both my career and in relationships. I don't wan't to be one of those people who passes their test and then doesn't continue to drive, plus I'm already planning my road trip playlists. 

3. Get My Ears Pierced

Yep, you read that right, I don't actually have my ears pierced. The earrings you see in most of my photos are clip-ins and seeing as I wear them every single day, I think it's about time I get it done. I've always put it off because I was too scared but it's a new decade and I'm facing my fears. 

4. Travel Somewhere New 

Last year I was determined that I was going to Amsterdam and I got there and I loved it. However, this year there isn't a specific place on my travel list, I simply want to see somewhere new. From Barcelona to Budapest to New York to Copenhagen - I haven't got anything booked yet but I can't wait to see where this year will take me. 

5. Spend Less Time On My Phone

Last year I became more conscious of how much time I was spending on my phone. I'd be awake at 2am scrolling through twitter and it was having a drastic effect on my mood. So, I've taken advantage of the Screen Time option on my phone and I'm making a conscious effort to spend less time with my eyes on a screen and more time appreciating the people and things around me. Hopefully I'll feel happier for it too!

6. Write More 

Whilst studying at university, writing became a chore. I grew to hate it and associated it with stress. Recently, I've been reading my old writing journals and I've decided I want to find my love for writing again. I do have a talent there, I just need to start believing in myself. 

7. Focus On Self Love

I've got a blog post about this coming soon but last year, I found myself focusing so much on other people and relationships that I was neglecting myself.  I lost my sparkle and I promised myself that this will be the year I get it back. I'm all about self love; if something isn't making me happy, it isn't worth my time. 

8. Do More Of What Scares Me 

I'm fed up of being so scared of everything. I'm scared of learning to drive, getting my ears pierced and even moving forward in my career. I get comfortable very quickly and I've realised I need to push myself out of my comfort zone if I want to experience anything worthwhile in life. I was lucky enough to meet someone last year who helped me find my more rebellious, fearless side and I'm channelling her into this new decade! 

9. Balayage My Hair

I feel like the main theme for 2020 is transformation. I've never dyed my hair before because I'm very protective over it but this summer, I'd like to switch things up a bit. I'm thinking of having a natural balayage put through my hair and although it doesn't sound drastic, it's a big step for me! 

10. Switch Up My Wardrobe 

Admit it, there's no better feeling than the confidence of going out in a new outfit. I want to be more daring with my fashion choices and buy things I wouldn't usually wear. It's all about self-love, self-acceptance and a little bit of confidence! 

But most of all, I want to be happy, healthy and loved; genuinely, intensely, consistently. 
Here's hoping that 2020 is going to be another lovely year and the start of a decade to remember! 

Lots of Love,
Meg x






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31 December 2019

2019 │The Highlights

Happy New Year Everyone!

After the whirlwind that was 2018, I knew that this year was going to be a quiet one because in my eyes, nothing could compare. Nevertheless it's been fun; a year full of adventures, laughter, romance, heartbreak and, as always, a lot of life lessons along the way. 

If I'm honest, 2019 has been one massive blur. It's December before we know it and I feel like I've spent the majority of the year trying to find out who I am and where I slot into the confusing puzzle that is life. I've travelled to new places, made lots of new friends and even had afternoon tea in Royal Residence. I've watched myself overcome so many obstacles and I'm flourishing into a confident, independent young woman who's ready to take on the next stage of her life. 

And just like that, we're going into a new decade. 2020. 

Tonight I'll be celebrating a decade full of success, love and magic with my nearest and dearest, and a bottle of gin. This time next year, I hope I'll be telling you about 12 months of adventures, happiness and success (hopefully passing my driving test) but for now, I'm going share some of my highlights of 2019.

The 1975 


I started the year in London which is where I seem to have spent the majority of the first half of 2019.
In January I went to see the 1975 at the O2 Arena with my best friend Liv and they were absolutely out of this world. Not only are they my favourite band but getting to see them perform live at the O2 was an experience in itself; a real dream come true. We jumped around and sang all night, there really is no better feeling than hearing some of your favourite songs performed live. Truly, it was the perfect way to kick the year off in style.

Kensington & Afternoon Tea at Kensington Palace


February was a strange month. I experienced a little bit of heartbreak and spent a lot my time trying to get back to my old fun-loving self.

This was helped by a girly weekend trip to London with my lovely Mum. We stayed in Kensington and explored everything that the district had to offer including my first trip to Harrods which was beyond my wildest dreams. Whilst we were there we also took a trip to Kensington Palace, saw the Princess Diana Dresses Exhibition and stopped for a spot of afternoon tea, which was an experience I'll never forget. I felt like a Princess the entire weekend and I wrote a whole blog post about it, if you fancy a read.

Cornwall


February also saw us take our annual family trip to Newquay or as I like to call it, my home away from home. As most of you know, Cornwall holds a special place in my heart and every time I visit I leave a little part of me there. It's where I'm at my happiest. We spent the week in beautiful sunshine doing coastal walks, browsing the boutiques and running along the beach with Buster. And yes, it is February, the sky really was that blue and it is as warm as it looks.

A Night At The Florist


March was incredibly busy, it was a month of celebrations, making new friends and reconnecting with others.

I started the month by taking a trip to the Florist in Liverpool with one of my close friends Francesca. We met in High School and we've been friends for almost eight years but we lost contact when our lives got busy and we embarked on the blur that was University. However this year we decided to go for coffee and it was like we'd never stopped speaking - you couldn't shut us up and that to me is a sign of true friendship.

We planned a cute girly night in Liverpool where we got dressed up, went to some very snazzy bars and drank some very lovely cocktails. It was one of my favourite nights of the year and although it only seems small, it was a true highlight.

Mum's 60th


Then the celebrations started. My best friend, also known as my Mum, turned 60. I know, she doesn't look a day over 21. It was the most special day spent with wonderful people and trust me when I say, she treasured every second. We had afternoon tea, a big meal with the family and then I whisked her away on a special trip to London to see...

Phantom of the Opera


Mum absolutely loves going to the theatre and her favourite musical is Phantom of the Opera so as a special treat for her birthday, I booked us tickets to see the show in London. It was my first time seeing it and I must say, everything about it was beautiful. Mum cried when she opened the tickets and cried during the show but they were happy tears and it's safe to say that her 60th is definitely one she'll remember. Although, Phantom is going to be a hard present to top next year.

You'll be glad to know that's last trip to London for the year but March didn't stop there. I met some lovely new friends and went to my first ever Bongos Bingo in Manchester which is up there with my favourite nights of the year. It was non stop laughs and my childhood dreams came true when Lee Ryan and Simon Webbe from Blue made a special appearance - I'm still in shock to be honest. 

Good Friday Derby


In April I went to my first ever Saints Vs Wigan Good Friday Derby. As most of you know, I took quite an interest in rugby league last year and that has continued into 2019. The Good Friday Derby is one of the biggest games in the rugby league calendar and as my first, it didn't disappoint. The sun was shining, the atmosphere was electric and to top it off nicely, we won. 

Turning 22 & Ghetto Golf


And then I turned twenty two, the age I've been dreaming of since Taylor Swift wrote a song about it. My birthday was one of my favourite days of the year and as always, my family and friends treated me like a princess. I had a super chill day, went for a meal with the family and then extended the celebrations at Ghetto Golf with my friends where we had the most hilarious night. 

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling twenty twooooo! 

The Races and Nile Rodgers & Chic


The birthday celebrations continued with a trip to Haydock Races to see Nile Rodgers and Chic. We spent the evening placing a few bets and dancing in the late summer sunshine to the grooviest of tunes. It was my third time seeing Nile Rodgers and Chic but I love them more and more each time. I leave their shows feeling so happy and literally dancing down the streets. They're amazing!  

Finishing Roaccutane! 


It wouldn't be my 2019 highlights post if I didn't mention the fact that I finished my course of roaccutane. I won't go into it too much because there's a whole post about my experience on the blog but all I will say is that I'm so confident and for the first time in my life I feel beautiful in my own skin. It truly has worked miracles and although it was tough, it's one of the best decisions I made this year.

Dad's 60th


July was also a month of celebration as my Dad turned the big 60 too. He truly celebrated in style and somehow made his celebrations last for the whole month. It was a time for family, friends and lots of laughter and I know he had the most wonderful celebration. I don't say it enough, but I'm so proud to call them my Mum and Dad.

Amsterdam 


This summer was by far one of the most amazing summers of my life. I finally ticked something off my bucket list and went on a long-awaited trip to Amsterdam. If you read my 2019 Resolutions, you'll know that this was one of the things I really wanted to do this year and I'm so glad I did. I wrote a post all about our adventures in Amsterdam, including me crashing a pedal boat, so all I'm going to say is that the trip was a real dream come true, we met the most wonderful people and I left a piece of my heart in Amsterdam.

Amazing Blog Opportunities


This year I've been incredibly fortunate to have the most amazing blogging opportunities. Not only have I made friends for life but I've been given the opportunity to attend bar launches and work with brands I could only dream of. It still baffles me that people read my rambles on here but I'm so glad that you do, it really does meant the world to me and I'm so grateful for every opportunity that presents itself. 

Super League Grand Final 


As I said, 2019 saw me continue my interest in rugby league. My Dad and I spent the majority of our Friday nights watching the Saints and cheering them on from wherever we could. This year we made it to the Grand Final at Old Trafford and WE WON!!!! It was one of the most stressfully amazing days, the atmosphere was electric and I still smile just thinking about it. 

Not only has it been a crazy season for Saints, its also been a pleasure to go to the games with my Dad. I absolutely love our father-daughter rugby evenings and I already can't wait for the new season to start! 

Christmas Party


Fast forward to December and it was finally Christmas party season. This year, our work party was Hollywood themed and it was such a fun night. It was the chance to twirl round in a pretty long dress and wear lot of sparkles so as you can imagine, I was in my element. I absolutely loved everything about the evening from the decor to the music to the company. It's going to be a hard one to beat next year!

Family 


My family have played a huge part in making 2019 as successful and wonderful as it has been. If it wasn't for their constant support, optimism and advice I don't know how I would've made it through the year. They've helped through the hard times by making me laugh when I wanted to cry, given me the best advice on all my dramas and they constantly remind me of my worth - even my little partner in crime who's always there with a cuddle. I'm truly blessed with the best and I look forward to entering the new decade with them.

Friendship 


If there's one thing I'm proud of this year, it's my friends. They're all doing amazing things; one of them has moved to China to pursue her dreams, another is a little clever clogs doing a Masters Degree and others have finally graduated from University. These guys are my personal cheerleaders, constantly picking me up when I'm down and making me howl with laughter when I don't even feel like smiling. I'm thankful for every single one of them, for all the laughs, the tears and the impromptu nights out. They're just wonderful and I can't wait to see what 2020 brings for us all.

Overall, it's been chilled year but a good one. It's taught me a lot about myself but I'm thankful that I'm still healthy and that my family are too. I feel so lucky to have had such wonderful experiences, amazing opportunities and met some absolutely beautiful people. I'm walking into 2020 grateful, happy and motivated to make it not only a successful year but a successful decade. 

I hope you all have a fantastic New Year and that 2020 is filled with love, happiness, health and a little sprinkle of pixie dust!

Lots of Love,
Meg x





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