My First Time in York

This weekend I made the long drive up the motorway to visit my best bud since birth, in York. As it is Valentine’s weekend and with both of our boyfriends currently working abroad we decided it was the perfect opportunity to have a girly night in together.

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I have never been to York but had heard how picturesque it was and I can safely say I was not disappointed. As soon as I came off the motorway I was greeted by quaint stone houses and little independent shops, all glowing in the sunshine (a rare sight for England in February). After finding a parking space and a cup of tea later we were headed off to campus as Beth had a quick meeting with her work group. I have to say it did make me chuckle how easily I slipped back into being in a seminar scenario! Whilst the project they were working on obviously had nothing to do with me my brain kept telling me to concentrate and I even found myself almost contributing to the discussion! Bearing in mind that I know absolutely nothing about the degree Beth is doing it did amuse me how naturally the uni routine came back to me. This is actually quite reassuring seeing as I will be back at uni in 7 months!

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With the meeting over we headed into town for a little wander round. One of my favourite things about Brighton is  a place called the Laines which is full of quirky and independent shops. Therefore, I was delighted to find the Shambles in York which has a similar vibe to it. After taking in the sights, including the Minster, we went to a place called Cafe Concerto for milkshakes. This music themed cafe’s walls are covered in sheet music and there are various musical instruments hanging from the ceilings. It’s a fab and inexpensive pit stop if you ever find yourself in need of a coffee in York.

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Our evening consisted of fajitas (with Quorn chicken), red wine, chocolate and watching our childhood faves Gok Wan and Fearne Cotton in their show Off the Rails. Beth and I used to have sleepovers every weekend when we were growing up and despite being in our twenties we followed a very similar routine of eating too much, laughing at silly things and talking until way past midnight.

The next morning called for brunch so we headed back into town and sought out a Bill’s. Your brunch game is not strong enough unless you’ve managed to get some at this fab place. We had an agonising wait but it was well worth it when I was presented with peanut butter & banana french toast topped with an almond butter and dark chocolate sauce and strawberries!

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After brunch it was time for me to leave as I had a long drive home and wanted to get back before it got dark. Although short, this trip was exactly what we both needed to combat the Valentine’s blues we were both at risk from getting. Having a best friend who you’ve known your whole life is an absolute blessing. Beth & I know each other better than we know ourselves and there is something very comforting about not having to explain myself to her. Friends like these are rare and I am very lucky to have this little star in my life.

What are your weekend plans? Have you ever been to York & if so do you have any suggestions for where we should go next time I visit? Let me know in the comments or find me on social media:

twitter: sophrambling // instagram: completelyrambling // email: completelyrambling@gmail.com

if you want to see what I got up to last month you can head over to my Youtube channel where I upload monthly vlogs:

Completely Rambling Youtube Channel

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What have you been doing? 

I haven’t sat down & reflected on the progress I have made since returning from my year abroad. I thought now would be as good a time as any. 

After being diagnosed with severe anxiety & depression I felt like my whole world was crashing down around me. I felt that I had lost the person I had once been.  Now I feel like I have taken on my mental illness & made myself a better person because of the experience it has given me. 

In the next few weeks I will be finishing one internship & beginning another. I have also secured a volunteer placement at another well known charity helping them with their social media, their events & their fundraising research. If you had told me that in October I probably would have said yeah, that’s the dream but I doubt I’ll actually get there. In October I struggled to get out of bed, shower and get dressed. Now I get up at 6.30am and I’m out the door and ready for work. 

Another fear driven by anxiety that I may not have conquered but have definitely improved upon is travelling. My anxiety began with a fear of going to new places, getting on public transport or even driving my car. In the past few months I have been on more tubes & trains than I care to think about with only 1 panic attack. I have driven long distances, something I would have point blank refused to do and I bought a new car! I go to new places all the time, I love exploring the country I live in! I also just booked my tickets to New York for the Summer & I’m excited to push myself a bit more out of my comfort zone. 

For those who I’m close to, you’ll know I’m on medication for my mental illnesses. It’s going good, despite the occasional person asking me questions like ARENT THOSE ADDICTIVE?!? The answer to that is yes they can be. My answer is no, I would like to be off these ASAP because I’m not the biggest fan of being on medication whatever it is. However, I recognise that right now I need them & that is totally okay. Moreover, if anyone has ever tried to get a counsellor through the NHS you will know how long the waiting list is. So I am trying to get off these meds but the process for getting a counsellor isn’t as easy as I expected. 

I am so grateful for my friends and family who have continued to be wonderful throughout this journey. I am treasuring the moments I can spend with my nieces and nephews whilst I am home. I’ve been helping with homework, reading bedtime stories, getting lots of cuddles and generally loving being able to watch these little people discover the world. 

Finally I feel like I am using my ‘time off’ well. I put that in quotation marks because I have never been this busy at university. I am using the time to build up my CV and pursue some amazing ventures with great charities.  I am researching for my dissertation – yep, I’m still doing that despite not starting uni again until September. I am trying to achieve two personal goals of keeping my fitness level as high as it would be as part of my uni running club as well as trying to read 20 books this year (just because). 

I really advise taking some time to reflect on how far you have come in the past few months. Whether it is a bunch of small personal goals or something like a promotion they all matter and they are all worth celebrating. The other day I celebrated because I finally mastered parallel parking on a busy street! Take time for you and your achievements because you are 100% worth celebrating. 
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 Twitter: sophrambling // insta: completelyrambling// email: completelyrambling@gmail.com 

Accepting your bad days

Recently I had a really hectic week filled with exciting new adventures and opportunities. However, despite all the excitement something happened that made me go from being on cloud nine to feeling like the heavens had just opened and thrown a load of crap on my day.

I won’t go into the details of what happened but I wanted to write this post to reassure myself and others that having bad days or weeks or months is absolutely 100% completely OKAY. This is something that should be taught in schools from day one because from the time you are born until the time you die you will definitely have a crappy day & we need to understand how to accept them.

After hearing the bad news I received I immediately told myself not to cry and ordered myself to get ready for my gym class. I was about half way to the gym, trying to hold back my tears when I realised it was absolutely pointless going to a class when the last thing I wanted to do was to be surrounded by people. I often use exercise as a way to escape my problems for a bit and get some headspace. However, if you really don’t feel like it, for god’s sake do not FORCE yourself to do it. If you want to have an ugly Kim K esque cry or eat a couple of cookies or curl up in a ball, LET YOURSELF HAVE THAT TIME.

This is something I really need to learn myself as I have spent years never letting myself have time to just feel everything completely uncensored. Once you have given yourself that time you have to come to terms with whatever it is and pick yourself back up again. That’s super hard to do but its ten times easier when you’ve had some time, rather than just trying to get on with it and suppress your feelings. They will bubble up inside you and cause more damage than you can imagine.

When I got home I sat on my kitchen floor and my dogs came and snuggled their faces into mine and I had a really good cry. I talked it out with my dad and my boyfriend and then sat down to write the words you are reading now. I have only been writing this for about five minutes but I can already feel my mind,body & soul all breathing a sigh of relief. Just by giving myself time to feel I already see things clearer and feel more positive.

Recently I was listening to an episode of the Fempire podcast (a very sassy podcast, check it out!) where one of the women said that before she goes into auditions she says “let the universe give me this or something better”. This is one of the best rituals I have ever heard of and I’ve been trying to apply it to my life recently. Its very comforting to think that when something doesn’t work out it means there is something better out there. So far the universe has proven this to me in many different ways. My year abroad didn’t work out but hell am I loving what I am doing now WAY more. I am working with some big names that I could have only dreamed of being involved with before!

So, for anyone having a rough day/week/month please remember that this is totally okay. Give yourself that time to have ALL THE FEELS and then remind yourself that something better is waiting for you.

social media bits:

twitter: sophrambling // insta: completelyrambling // email: completelyrambling@gmail.com