Do We Ever Really Get Our Shiz Together?

I’ll be the grand old age of thirty two in a few weeks. Thirty two seems absolutely ancient to me, considering I had always assumed I’d be at least married with three kids, multiple generations of golden retrievers and living in a house I could ill-afford but it has a veranda and it’s mine so who gives a crap?! Well…that didn’t happen. My relationship status could be described as more complicated than quantum mechanics explained through hieroglyphics, I have zero golden (or otherwise) retrievers and the only thing I own is a pair of Nikes that I’ve already scuffed because I can’t take care of pretty things (or houseplants, FYI). I don’t save money, I just had a jar of Nutella for my supper and there’s a spider living in my shower that has taken control of my bathroom to the point that I ask his permission before I pee (his name is Sebastian and he appreciates common courtesy). Basically, I’m an overgrown woman-child who probably shouldn’t be allowed to use adult scissors without supervision. In my defense, those mother effers are SHARP.

I always assumed that I would reach a certain age in my early twenties and BAM I’d level up and know how to adult. My day would consist of a seamless routine of healthy eating, classical music, being evangelical about the deliciousness of avocados, drinking half a glass of Malbec, picking up children (presumably, my own) from activities like décolletage and ballet, and cooking a tasty yet nutritious meal (see: avocados) for my appreciative family who would then serenade me with a nighttime song before bed (my hypothetical children are indeed the Von Trapps). Instead, any semblance of routine is nonexistent. I have a job, which I adore and…well, that’s it. There are no Disney children, no spinning classes, no lunchtime tipple with Sandra whom I rotate the school run with. I get up, throw on whatever clothes I’ve decided to wash, lament the rotten avocado in my dustbin, go to work (I do adore my job), come home, work some more and basically collapse. Sometimes I’ll exercise, binge watch Queer Eye and maybe make a sandwich. I’ll WhatsApp audio my friends with the fascinating details of my day ‘my favourite stapler broke…but stand down, I fixed it.’ When it comes to anything approaching adulterific (see: Oxford English Dictionary, probably), like bills or errands, I get it done but in the most chaotic and least seamless way possible. Don’t get me wrong, I have no debt, I have no major stresses or issues when it comes to my personal or financial life, but that’s not to say it isn’t difficult. I have a pile of clothes in the corner of my room that basically looks like some kind of textile Everest. I have a press of expired cans of beans that I assumed I would need in case of some kind of zombie apocalypse. My heating has been broken since Obama was in office. There is zero organization in any part of my home. I realise I’m not alone here, but I also realise there are countless people my own age who are just more…adult. They have savings, they have health insurance, they have orthodontists for crying out loud! Do you ever look at some people your age who just seem so together and think how the hell do they do it?

For me, adulthood is the realisation that you’re entirely responsible for yourself. There’s no one else who’s going to pay those bills, or get that boiler fixed. Sure, you might have a supportive partner or even parents who are always willing to lend a hand, but when push comes to shove, it’s all you boo. And it’s tough. I mean, I know that’s all part of growing up. And it’s exciting in its own frightening way. And I’m far too old now to be complaining about what are really my own responsibilities, and simple enough ones at that. It’s just…I often wonder… will I ever have this adult thing down to a fine art?

The answer is probably NO. I think, like most people, I’ll always struggle a little. When I was a child, I viewed adults as absolutely infallible. They were, in my gullible eyes, were beyond fault. I know now what I didn’t know then: that I make mistakes every day. That I’m still scared, that I’m still foolish (at times 👀) and that I’m still learning and growing. And I think that’s a lifelong thing. There is no moment in life when everything finally comes together and you’re presented with some grand prize for finally having your sh*t together. I’m maturing everyday (though do not point out a Great Tit bird to me without expecting a bashful giggle). Most importantly of all, I’m happy. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and really, isn’t that what matters most of all? Well, that and cats wearing top hats. So maybe I’ll never be a boss at adulting, but doesn’t the world need people like me who can’t figure out what a tracker mortgage is? DOESN’T IT?!

So tell me, can you adult good? And if so, maybe share some tips while I try and stay inside the lines while I colour.

My Blogging Dilemma

Hi everyone!

I have a little bit of a dilemma in terms of my blog and I would really appreciate any advice or opinions you guys can offer. After all, you’re all so wise and learned (see how I’m buttering you up, eh? *hands you plate of chocolate chip cookies*).

I began this blog four years ago as an outlet for all my random and somewhat zany thoughts. I didn’t tell anyone because a) I wanted to be able to discuss private matters without worrying about who in my personal life would see them and b) because I genuinely didn’t believe a single person would actually read my blog. Over the years, I’ve let a selected few in on the secret but have elected not to tell my family, or anyone on my personal social media accounts.

There are, of course, benefits to this. I can write freely without fear of being judged or ridiculed by the people whom I see frequently. Let’s face it, we all have a little rant now and again about someone who annoys us on social media. I worried that my blog and twitter feed would irk people or cause them to take me less seriously. I know I shouldn’t care, but I do. It would hurt me if I knew people were being overtly critical of this blog. I’m probably way too sensitive.


I think there have been drawbacks to keeping this a secret too, however. Firstly, I’m really proud of my blog. I don’t want to sound smug or arrogant, but I have worked hard on it and I would like to share that with the people closest to me. When I was nominated for an Irish blogging award in 2014 alongside some of the most famous blogs in the country, I couldn’t tell anyone. I was so flattered and excited to be named a finalist but I couldn’t share that excitement with anyone. The same happened in 2015, when I became a finalist in the Weblog Awards or “Bloggies”. I was nominated alongside The Bloggess, who is, like, blogging royalty. I felt so honoured and so proud that all my hard work seemed to be paying off. It was difficult not to tell people, but I knew that I would have had to compromise my semi-anonymity and I wasn’t ready then. Now, as my blog readership grows and I am being presented with some very exciting opportunities, I am having to spend long hours working on drafting posts, networking and keeping up to date with all my social media accounts. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I love creating new content and connecting with new people. But it is time-consuming. The people around me assume I’m sitting idle all day, throwing blueberries at my cats (that’s only on Sundays). I would love them to know that I’m far from idle and that I work pretty damn hard.

So does this mean I’m ready to reveal my blog? I don’t know. I keep going over the pros and cons in my head. You might think I’m overthinking it. I mean, would anyone even care? Sure, they’d probably check it out if I posted a link on Facebook, but they’d forget about it in a couple of days, right? Possibly. But there’s also the fact that I’m a teacher. I have professional connections on my personal social media accounts and I know my blog would probably go down as well as a salad in an enclosure of lions. As a teacher, there is always the possibility that my blog will be discovered by former employers, prospective employers or even worse, students (aaaaargh). I mean sure, I’ve never posted anything insanely inappropriately but I’m hardly a paragon of professionalism and maturity here, am I? The thing is, I don’t want to be. I set this blog up to be a space where I can be all kinds of silly. Ireland is a small country. Putting my blog out there would mean that people would see it, and quickly too. Sure, they may not be terribly interested but it could work against me when I’m trying to convince someone I’m not a lunatic who does yoga with her cats (it’s Zumba, FYI). And I don’t want to compromise myself on here either. I love being able to be a little crazy here. It’s liberating!


There’s also the matter of my family. Sigh. I love them. I do. They are all kinds of wonderful and lovely but daaaaamn can they be judgemental and morally superior. I can actually hear the criticism already:

“You’re a teacher, Jane. It’s just all very unprofessional and silly.”

“It’s a little narcissistic, don’t you think?”

“Isn’t it a little immature?”

“It’s not really a big achievement though, is it? You should be focussing on what actually matters.”

Okay, I’ve made them sound a little more heinous than they actually are (LOL, oops) but that would be the gist of it. I would feel like an errant six year old who just stuck pebbles up her nose.  I would want them to be proud of me and to encourage me but I doubt they would. And that would hurt. A lot.

Okay, so that seems like problem solved, right? Telling people about my blog seems like a bad idea. But I still have that little nagging voice (let’s call her Kim) that says “go for it!” It would certainly open up more possibilities. I could actually attend blogger events and make real-life connections. I could stop worrying when my tweets are featured in newspapers and magazines (and lately, even TV, thank you Big Brother Uk) that someone I know will figure out that it’s me. I mean, the chances are pretty minimal but still…
Best of all though, I could include my nearest and dearest in a journey that has meant so much to me. I know the majority would be so kind and supportive and would even help me. Many probably wouldn’t even care all that much, and that’s fine too. It would be amazing, but also terrifying. I’ve been semi-anonymous for so long, it would be so strange to give it up. And once I do, there is no going back.

So, as you can infer from this meandering, semi-coherent post, I’m conflicted. I would LOVE your thoughts and opinions on this. Please share in the comments!

P.S. I owe such a debt of gratitude to those of you who have supported me along the way. You will always be my MVPs. Love you guys.

P.p.s. I set up an Instagram account for my blog and would really appreciate a little support. You can follow me here and I will follow you back because I love you. Too much? Too much.

Makes Sense 

I feel happy. And pretty carefree. Probably because I just had tea and a biscuit which usually results in a sugar-induced euphoria. Anyways, I hope you guys are having a wonderful Monday (I’m sure it’s possible) and I’m going to spin in a circle with my hand extended so everyone gets a high-five. Here’s my thought of the day: 

It’s been a while…

                                                                          
Where do I even start?! The last few months have been a little crazy. I mean, not Liza Minelli in a tutu eating fried chicken crazy but…pretty crazy. In a nutshell, I had to move away from my beloved fiance (yes, I said beloved) to take a temporary job in a school I actually worked in a few years ago. While I am so happy to be back teaching, it’s been really difficult living away from Jack and my pets. Lots of other little things have prevented me from blogging, but right now….

                                                                               
Instead, why not come say hello (you know, if you remember me….*awkward silece*) and I can cling to you and not smell your hair because that’s weird. 

Until I get a chance to write a much more detailed and cohernet post (hey, it could happen)….

Peace! 

Is Blogging Narcissistic?

During my college studies, I was part of a small class of close-knit friends. Every Tuesday, the girls in my group would go for tea and gossip about the boys in our class. Pretty standard. During one of our many bitching sessions (hey, ten points to me for honesty), we were talking about a guy in our class that was really irritating the majority of the girls. He didn’t really bother me as much, but I listened as the girls discussed why they found him so annoying. ‘His hair’, ‘his face’, ‘his shirts’, ‘his habit of giggling like a schoolgirl at something that isn’t remotely funny’ seemed to be his worst offences until one of the girls piped up with:

‘Oh, and he has a blog.’

There was a collective groan. All the girls were shaking their heads as if it had just been revealed that he enjoys kicking orphaned puppies in his spare time. I sat there silently, waiting for someone to explain why this was such a cardinal sin. I didn’t have a blog at the time, but I had frequently considered setting one up. I didn’t understand what the problem was. After a seemingly interminable silence, I asked ‘erm, what’s wrong with that?’

You know when you say something in a group that virtually no one agrees with and literally everyone of them starts talking at the same time, with the express intent of letting you know how dumb your opinion is? Yeah, that was one of those moments. This is basically a quick run-through of their opinions on blogging:

‘It’s so narcissistic. I mean, no one cares what you think.’

‘Someone who blogs clearly has too much time on their hands.’

‘What does someone actually expect to get out of it?’

‘It’s like something an angst-ridden teenager does.’

I hope you guys aren’t getting too mad, but don’t fret, because I’m about to drop some TRUTH. 

I sat and I listened as each girl basically explained why bloggers are the scourge of the planet, and must be destroyed, one post about cats at a time. Of course, I didn’t agree with them and yes, I defended blogging, even before I was set up a blog myself so you guys should basically see my like this now:

Disclaimer: I can’t fly and my cape is in the laundry….

Now that I have my own blog, I’ve been able to form more considered opinions about the whole situation. Yes, you could argue that, as a “blogger”, I’m completely biased. Of course I am. I love everything about the blogosphere, especially the free wine (which I will now drink as a show of solidarity… you’re welcome). I  don’t think that any of us have to defend our choice to blog, but I have often found myself explaining why I chose to start a blog. The girl from college has not been the only person that I have met to refer to blogging, and bloggers by extension, as narcissistic.

So it blogging narcissistic?

Maybe a little. 

I understand that ‘narcissism’ is a very strong word. I also think that society is becoming increasingly self-interested. The population of the world is growing all the time, and I think many people feel that they must compete to get ahead and get noticed. If we all were 100% honest with ourselves, and each other, we would admit that as bloggers, it’s nice to be noticed. It feels good when a post that we have worked on gains attention. So maybe that does make us a little selfish at times, but isn’t everyone a little selfish?

 

Anyway, if having a blog is even a small bit narcissistic, then what about having a Facebook account, or a Twitter account, or an Instagram account, or a Snapchat account or a Bitch, I’m Totally Amazing, Look at Me account?

So I totally made one of those up….guess which one?

I think that any form of social media is inherently a little narcissistic.

We all like to show off a little, let’s be honest. We all like a little bit of attention. Everyone like some praise from time to time. We choose to share aspects of our lives for a multitude of reasons. If there is something we’re good at, we like to feel validated. A writer will share their fiction, a poet will share their poetry, a photographer will share their best shots, and a joker might share a post about farting. Ahem.

I told my friends that day that I understood why this particular guy would have a blog. He was intelligent, opinionated and very knowledgeable on current affairs. A blog seemed like the perfect outlet for his thoughts. To the girls, however, it was incredibly narcissistic of him to acknowledge as much. How dare someone have confidence in their own abilities!

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being confident in your own abilities or wanting to share aspects of your life, even if some people out there don’t necessarily agree with your choice to do it. What’s wrong with being good at something, and wanting to share that with others? I follow many bloggers who are excellent writers, poets, photographers, artists, teachers, and musicians. I honestly love and appreciate getting a peek into the lives of so many people around the world. I am often awed when scrolling through my reader, because I am reminded of the huge variety of talented people that blog. I also find that bloggers tend to be very welcoming and friendy; this certainly applies to the ones I have connected with. My life is truly enriched by them (you).

As for my own blog? Well, girl from college, in the unlikely event you’re reading this: I like my blog. It is a hot mess, there’s errors, I have no niche, but it’s mine. ME ME ME ME ME ME ME…sorry…

I make no apologies for blogging, and neither should anyone. So the next time someone asks you why you blog, you tell them the truth: because you’re amazing and the world deserves to know that. Too much? How about: because you’re good at something and you don’t mind other people knowing that. Yes, you are good. Great, even. Believe that and believe that it’s okay to believe that. Yes, I know what I said. Even if you feel like you’re not the best writer, the best photographer, the best anything, you’re expressing yourself, and that’s always a good thing. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

What are your experiences with people whom you have shared your blog with? Do you agree with me or want to punch my face? Sound off in the comments! 

 

Heeellllllooooooo

My lovelies, I haven’t forgotton about the awards posts I must do, or the guest posts, or the interviews, or the challenges…basically I had to have an engagement party, it was my birthday a few days back, it was me and Jack’s 12 year anniversary and my friends all surprised me with a trip so I am just getting back to normal now 😀 I am going to be all over this blog like chocolate spread on my toast all over my faaaace…okay, getting distracted. Will post very soon 😘😘 Hope everybody is good…and weird, but mainly good. 

My Cat The Stripper and Other Musings

Hi guys! Sorry I’ve been absent lately. Would you believe me if I said I’ve been away doing top-secret spy stuff? No? Good, that’s what I want. Okay. You got me. I’ve really been hanging upside down off my sofa wondering: A) How long would it take for all the blood to rush to my head for me to pass out and B) How the hell do bats do this all the time?! So yes, I’ve been productive. I also got totally hooked on the podcast Serial which kinda stole my life for a week. If you’ve listened to it please come talk to me in the comments because I have no one to speculate with! 

You may remember I was going to a hen party, or bachelorette party to those of you across the water. It was so much fun to catch up with everyone and I had a relatively alcohol-free weekend. I know guys. This is not a drill. I DIDN’T GET WASTED. Does this mean I’m now a grownup?! Wow, that’s scary.

Anyway, I actually stopped by to share probably the best headline you will read today. I was scrolling through an Irish media app that I have when I came across this:

 
Like, WHAT?! I don’t even know where to start with this. I haven’t been to many funerals, but I think if all funerals sounded this exciting, I would go to all of them. Literally, every single one. 

I also wanted to share some pictures of my cat. We got her a scratching post for, you know, scratching. The thing is, she doesn’t actually use it for scratching. She seems to think it’s some kind of stripper pole because she has been hanging off that thing like her name is Kandy Glitterbox and I’ve been resisting the temptation to throw money at her. Or kibble. She’d probably prefer that. 

  

  

I am the worst mom ever…

Sorry that this post is all over the place but you guys know the deal with me by now. I will eventually get around to throwing together a somewhat coherent post soon, but until then why don’t you tell me what you’ve been up to while I enroll my cat in a convent school? 

Thank You <3 

My last post dealt was difficult to write and I was very reluctant to post it but I’m so glad that I did. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the wonderful, considerate and thought-provoking comments you guys left on the post. It really moved me that you guys took time to leave such kind and caring messages. I mean, this was my face reading the majority of them:

  

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to you all. You have no idea how much you have helped me and I am so lucky to-…

*music starts playing*

No, no don’t cut me off. I’m not done…I’M NOT DONE. 

*fights security guards*

Okay, I’m done. But thank you. Sincerely and from the bottom of my heart, thank you. 

  

  

Oops, I’m a Finalist

So I woke up this morning and found out that I have been selected as a finalist in the Most Humorous category for the 2015 Weblog Awards, or Bloggies. Then I hit myself over the head with a shoe, because I thought I was dreaming. 

But no, it’s true. Looook:



There I am! Also, look at my battery power. You’re looking into the mind of a champion.





Of course, I owe a huge thank you to all of you who nominated me. So thank you; sincerely and from the bottom of my weird heart, thank you. 

If voting for me to actually win seems like something you would like to do, then you can follow the link below to do so:

2015 Weblog Awards

Voting is very simple and won’t take long. You just click on the blogs you wish to win and submit your vote.

The truth is, I’m up against some really famous bloggers who have a lot more followers than I do and my chances of winning are slim. Nobody in my “real” life knows about my blog, so I can’t pester my friends on social media to vote for me and that’s definitely a drawback. If you want to share the crap out of this and bug your friends, I would be eternally grateful! I’ll name my firstborn after you.*

 I’m still really honoured to have even gotten this far though. I’m definitely going to make myself a cup of celebration tea (it’s like regular tea, but with wine in it…okay, it’s just wine). 

Also, I would like to congratulate Ben from Ben’s Bitter Blog who has been chosen as a finalist in the Weblog of the Year category. Well done Bitter Ben! You guys can also vote for him by clicking the link above. 

If you do vote for me, I love you. I know that it might be a little soon but seriously… I love you. If you don’t, it’s cool…we’re still friends. *plots your downfall*

Thanks for all of your support. 

*you…Emily Dickinson…Hulk Hogan…it’s all good…