happy birthday blog

At the beginning of August my blog turned 1.

What started out as a place to record my year abroad & never tell anyone about has turned into something I never could have imagined. My blog has become somewhere that people feel safe and comfortable enough to share their experiences with mental health, including myself, and somewhere that I can share my inner ramblings. And the best part? People actually want to read what I write about.

I’ve connected with other bloggers on Instagram & Twitter. I have had people on my Facebook who I haven’t spoken to in years who have reached out and told me they enjoy my posts or something I’ve written has helped them. I’ve had work colleagues read it and say nice things to me the next time they see me in the office. Even my dad has read it & he is the guy who got Twitter for about a week and has never had a Facebook account.

Basically, this whole year has been a totally new experience and one I hope I continue to participate in and continue to love as much as I do now.

Thank you to everyone who has ever read, written for or said something nice about this little space on the Internet I call my own.

find me here

twitter // insta // bloglovin // tumblr // youtube

if you want to work with me / write for the blog / talk to me email me at: completelyrambling@gmail.com

having a pen pal

During a #thegirlgang chat on Twitter the topic of pen pals was brought up. I had been thinking about writing snail mail for a while, having seen my insta feed flooded with people’s letters.

A few hours after the Twitter chat I got a DM from a gal called Liz asking if I wanted to be pen pals with her. We chatted for a bit online & decided that we would both write a letter to the other answering 5 questions – which we had come up with between us. They were things like ‘do you have any pets’, ‘where was your favourite holiday destination’ etc – nothing too pressing & personal but enough to get a sense of what the other was like.

Over the past month or so I have thoroughly enjoyed receiving Liz’s letters. She always includes a little something with her writing which is super cute & I have taken to picking up postcards from my travels and including them with my letters. We have swapped stories about holidays, recommended stationary shops & books to each other & chatted about our favourite Lush products.

pen pal 1.jpg
insta @completelyrambling

I love writing  & sending letters, especially in these times where you can connect with people instantly online. I like that I have to wait a week or so to get a reply and I enjoy setting aside time to write to her rather than just typing a tweet that takes 5 seconds to send & receive! There is a real thrill about getting to chat to a blogger who lives at the other end of the country and who I would probably only talk to online every now and again otherwise.

penpal2
insta @icecreamwhispersclara

 

 

If you are interested in becoming someone’s pen pal – tweet it out! There are probably more people on your timeline than you think who want to take part. Of course, please make sure to stay safe. Don’t publicly tweet out your address and if you have an address you use specifically for blogger mail, always use this one rather than your home address.

happy writing

x x x

find liz here:

twitter // insta // blog 

find me here:

twitter // insta // bloglovin // tumblr // youtube

if you are interested in working with me / writing for the blog / chatting about mental health – email me: completelyrambling@gmail.com

let’s go to italy

This is what my dear friend said to me a few months ago when we were talking about what we should do for the summer. And so, it was decided. A 2 1/2 week long trip driving from blighty to tuscany via strasbourg, milan, a tiny town in the south of france & gent (belgium).

Roadtrippin’ with good company, sweet tunes & LOTS of snacks as you venture through parts of Europe you usually glide over in a plane is kind of magical. I now also consider myself a connoisseur in European service stations.

a few snapshots from our stops

strasbourg; light shows on cathedrals, the most delicious red wine & quaint little houses

milan; due to traffic coming through the swiss mountains (where we lost our minds & sang  ‘high on a hill was a lonely goatherd’ x10000) we didn’t actually get to venture into the city…. milan, we will be back!

tuscany; we stayed in a gorgeous villa near perugia in the umbrian countryside. we were poolside most of the time with a few trips to perugia itself, montepulciano for wine tasting, spoleto, assisi & of course, beautiful florence.

if you follow me on twitter/instagram you will know that during a thunderstorm our villa got hit by lightning which damaged the roof & cut off our electricity, water & totally fried the TVs and wifi. it was a bit of an adventure but we were definitely glad to get the internet back – we felt totally cut off from the world/our families for a few days!

crémieu, south of france; a little town with toy shops that look like fairy castles, dinner in a barn & houses with towers covered in vines.

gent, belgium; we never made it to gent. we locked the keys in the car & had to smash a window to retrieve them. we decided that parking a car with a towel covering the place a window used to be in a town we didn’t know may not be the smartest idea so we made our way to callais and took the eurotunnel home instead.

Despite a few mishaps along the way i had the most perfect couple of weeks hanging out with good people, eating good food & soaking up that sweet sunshine.

where to find me

twitter//insta//bloglovin//tumblr//youtube

email me: completelyrambling@gmail.com

Guest Post: Andy on taking a break

Just over a year ago, I walked straight out of college having got my A levels into the big wide world. I’d had it all planned out for at least a year and my head was full of ideas about what life would be like out of education.

Unlike most, I didn’t apply to university for various reasons but one of the main reasons being I’d already paved my own future in the form of my own software and web development company and I was lucky enough to enter into a considerably big contract mid-way through my final year at college. I didn’t let my grades slip but from that point on I was counting down the days until I could focus solely on my business. 

Sure enough to start with I powered through work. However, I’m not entirely sure if I was any more productive than I was at college – I don’t really remember what it was that I was doing. About a month into self-employment I started flagging on Sundays and not really being able to do anything that required brain power, but I’d had a long week – that starts to happen to everyone, right?  Well, shortly after that it started happening on Saturdays too, then Fridays, then most mornings actually.

Then it hit me. College didn’t just represent education to me, it gave me a place to be social and to go to get out of the house for a bit. Two things I hadn’t done very often since I left. It also meant people did sometimes interrupt me from solving complex problems to do something I could do with ease – talk.

It took me a while to realise that this could have such an impact and to appreciate that my brain does actually get tired.  I’ve often said that we are a long way off fully understanding our brains-they are possibly evolution’s biggest feat-and I definitely underestimated how important keeping your brain refreshed is.

The importance of striking a healthy balance between work, rest and play (for the want of a better word) is really what I want to get across here, and as you have read I can vouch for it first hand. It doesn’t just make you more productive, it improves your ability to think and learn, it helps to create a structure which personally helps me to relax and stay calm, it reduces stress, it does make you feel more positive overall and you’ll probably find that you’ll have more time.

I’m the managing director of Lyke Ltd. and a boss, but I have time to volunteer in the evenings and on weekends now. I also run an educational charity called Counting Hope, and recently I organised an event for students within the region. I can do all that because I now hot desk during the week between 8:30 AM and 5 PM. My mind recognises that I work there, not at home, so on the journey home my brain can switch off and forget about anything that happened until the next time I hot desk, leaving me to focus on other things that I enjoy doing including volunteering/charity work and working out. Of course there are times when I have to bend that rule because after all I have certain responsibilities to my clients, but the key is to be disciplined enough to make those occasions as rare as possible. My house now feels more like home rather than an office that I can’t escape from.

Working out is the final thing I’d like to touch because it is really important, to me especially. Not only does working out make you more healthy but it also releases endorphins that make you feel happy and positive. For me there’s a third reason as well; whilst my brain might need a rest, typing doesn’t exactly use a great deal of energy so if I didn’t work out/exercise I’d have struggle getting to sleep and my quality of sleep, which is more important than how long you’re asleep for in some cases, would suffer due to not actually being physically tired. Your brain and body really does thrive on a good nights sleep and that’s another way structure can help!

Hopefully my story hasn’t bored you too much and might help you! If it has, I’d love to hear from you. I’m still learning myself and things in my life are changing all the time, so my advice is don’t be afraid to test your theories and ideas. Some things are impossible to believe until you know they’re true.

Where to find Andy

Twitter & Insta: @meisandyg // Website // LinkedIn