Category Archives: Why fit in when you were born to stand out

Things I’m learning in my 30s

I’m 32 and I am starting to notice all the online articles on websites I’ve read for years are either aimed at people in their 20s or 30s specifically. It is like there is a solid line once you hit 30 that means nothing before is relevant anymore. I don’t think this is true.

There are lots of things I’m still interested in from my 20s and if anything I am less bothered about what other people think about it. I’ve been struggling and definitely feel like I’ve been transitioning to a new version of myself. Maybe that has something to do with being in my 30s, maybe it’s a transition everyone goes through at different points in their lives. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot in the last couple of years; about myself, about other people,  some good, some not so good.

So I decided to note down the first 10 things that came to mind:

  1. Putting yourself first can be met with resistance from those close to you
  2. It’s okay being the last single friend
  3. Money doesn’t mean much, it’s about what you do with it
  4. Comparison is your worst enemy
  5. Your passions don’t have to be your work
  6. Enjoying your job and workplace is important for your sanity
  7. Thinking about the future is important, just don’t get stuck waiting for it
  8. Therapy is worth the cost
  9. Quality over quantity every time (I’m still learning this with food)
  10. Your are good enough exactly as you are!

Fuck Budget

The strap-line for this book is “how to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like” and it tells you exactly how to do that. Well not exactly, but it gives you the prompts to think about your life and come up with the things you’re willing to give a fuck about and the things you are not. It’s the things I am not willing to give a fuck about that are the ones I need to focus on as they suck up my time and energy and do not bring joy to my life. I’ve seen a few blog posts about fuck budgets this year and it’s taken me a while to nail mine since I devoured the book just before New Year. It has resonated with many people and I think that is great and encourage everyone to think about their own budgets.

Sarah Knight encourages you to think about your budget in terms of Things, Work, Friends and Family – in that order. It is similar set to the tidying up book by Marie Kondo, which I used to help me declutter my house last month. So it made logical sense to do this to declutter my mind.

My Fuck Budget for the rest of 2017:

Things

More fucks – spending money on things that bring me joy. Doing things, see things, and experiences things are important to me and spending money on these things is never wasted money. Travel and exploration is important to understand the world and something I want to continue to do for as long as possible.

Less fucks – stressing about saving as much as I can. I have set up an emergency fund and my pension is automatic so things are good. Savings for holidays is easier when you know it’s what you want to do. Stressing about having enough money for every single thing that could happen is no way to live as it will never be enough. Time to stop worrying about this.

More fucks – what I already have. I have a wonderful life and have a lot of great things in it, sometimes its easy to always be wanting more in the age of social media. I want to enjoy the things I already have rather than covet things others have or seem to have.

Less fucks – comparing myself to others. This is the thief of joy and one I am prone to more than I would like. I am going to try hard to not do this whether it is in real life, on social media, or at work.

Work

More fucks – gaining experience. Focusing on progression can be frustrating and so shifting that focus to look at all the experience I am gaining through the day to day work I do will make progression visible in small steps. Looking at the experiences I get on a daily/weekly/monthly basis will be much more fulfilling and in time will lead to the progression I seek.

Less fucks – taking time off. I need to stop feeling guilty if I get sick or just taking holiday. There will always be work to do, but it won’t be as enjoyable, fun or fulfilling if I don’t take the breaks I need.  I work for a flexible organisation that means I can take time for appointments without taking holiday, but that does mean in return I often work longer hours than required. It’s all about balance and everyone deserves proper breaks.

More fucks – professional connections. People are key to having a great workplace and enjoying the work I do. I want to put more effort into making connections with the people I work with, both on the professional level, but also where possible to create lasting friendships for the future.

Less fucks – money. I work for a charity and therefore the wages aren’t as high as doing the same job in other sectors, but I love the organisation I work for and money is not the main driver for doing what I do. Comparing myself or what I earn against others is not helpful.

Friends

More fucks – having meaningful connections with my few good friends more often. I don’t need a lot of friends and the ones I have are wonderful, but I know I don’t always stay connected with them so I want to improve on that. This also means I need to put myself out there a bit more and invite others to join me in things I want to do, rather than wait to be invited all the time.

Less fucks – being the token single friend. All my friends are married or getting married and there have been times I’ve let that get to me. I don’t want to stress about this and making comparisons is not a fun way to live. Everyone is making their own lives to be full and meaningful and that does not make mine any less so, so stop worrying about it.

More fucks – self love and respect. I love my friends and in order to really appreciate them I need to spend time loving and respecting myself so that I can do the same for them and ask for it in return. The times my energy is low is also the times I struggle with self-esteem  and start comparing and resenting people so putting myself first is really important.

Less fucks – saying no. I so often feel guilty for saying no to doing things with my friends, but I always have my own reason for doing so. Whether it is because I don’t enjoy the things suggested, it’s not in my budget, or I’m not feeling up to it mentally, they are all valid reasons and I don’t need to feel guilty about saying no.

Family

More fucks – quality time. This is similar to the one about my friends as I would much prefer to spend quality time with members of my family, rather than attend multiple events with too many people there. I want to enjoy the time I spend with them and have real connections, not just shallow ones because we are family. I need to make this clear and not allow myself to be guilted into just being there.

Less fucks – fitting in. I have felt a change over the last year or so to one where I don’t really fit in with my family anymore and that’s okay. I just want to be me and if that means people don’t like it I’ll change the time I spend with them. It relates to the one above as I want to spend quality time with the people who accept me for me.

More fucks – being myself. This again relates to the one above as in therapy I’ve been working through some stuff on feeling like I have to wear different masks to fit in. This has to stop and I want to focus on being myself and not worrying about what others think of that. I want to share the things I enjoy and if others find it weird or silly, so what, I’m happy being me.

Less fucks –  keeping everyone happy. Again this connects to all the other family ones. I worry too much about keeping others happy, when really I need to focus on myself as above. So I’m going to stop this and without going out of my way to hurt others, will stop worrying how others react to my decisions or actions. I can only control how I behave, not other people and it is not up to me to please everyone.

Wow that is a therapeutic process to go through. It really makes you think about what is taking up you time physically and mentally. I’m going to print this out and pin it to my fridge and above my desk as a reminder of what I am willing to spend my fucks on.

Skincare Magic


I’ve never been one to believe those skincare adverts that promise to solve all your skin problems, but that hasn’t stopped me trying multiple products and regimes over the years. None of them worked well for me. I’ve spent so long not fully understanding my skin and what it needs that now I’ve finally found products that work I’m amazed by the difference I feel in my skin and myself!


I’ve stepped away from the complicated multi step routines to find that a few products really work well for me. In taking the time to understand what my skin needs I’ve discovered it needs to be clean and moisturised. Simple.

I have realised that all the stuff I was trying was drying out my skin even when trying to add moisture back in. I am prone to breakouts (and think this is beyond a skin issue) and that can really impact my self esteem. Feeling good in my skin is less about how it looks, but more about how it feels. When it’s clean, smooth, and not greasy I feel amazing and forget about the odd pimple. If it’s dry and irritated it’s all I can think about! 


So I’ve taken it back to basic. Frost I get my skin clean. Now I get my makeup off with Clinique Take the Day Off Balm. It’s a solid that becomes a cream then rinses away. It doesn’t strip the moisture from skin but removes every single bit of makeup and dirt. My skin feel smooth and soft after using this and a lot lasts quite a while. I currently need a new pot so that’s my plan for the weekend!


Then I need to add moisture. I simply use moisturiser and since finding Orba Vitamin E face cream I have not turned back. It’s so good and although it’s quite thick it completely obsorbs into the skin leaving it matte and feeling soft and fresh. 

The third thing I do, but not everyday is us the the Orba facial scrub. I find my skin still gets a bit dry and peels after a few days of makeup so this scrub gently removed the excess skin and feels super lush! 

Because it was working so well as on my face when I needed some more I also bought the body lotion and use it a couple of times a week. This is also amazing. It absorbed into my skin and leaves it feeling fresh and cared for. 
I still get breakout and currently am having the worst one for a while. I get my chin and lip waxed and every so often my skin hates it. It’s not all the time though, maybe twice a year. I think it’s hormones and diet related. I keep thinking about find a dermatologist to ask questions ask out adult acne as I definitely there is more I could do to help it out.

Overall my skin is much happier than ever!

Bridesmaid Body Positivity

I’ve been thinking a lot about body positivity lately and have Ben enjoying following amazing women on various social media platforms. But I still get really self conscious about my own body and appearance. I’ve also been putting my own mind to test recently as I was a bridesmaid at my best friends wedding. I always really wanted to do it for her and had fun arranging the hen do, but the bit that always. Oncerned me was finding the dress and then being comfortable in it all day.

I’m not one for wearing dresses at all. I just never feel comfortable in them. I tried on quite a few dresses when searching for my bridesmaid dress. I chose the one below as I liked the shape I saw reflected back in the mirror. I was also comfortable as it did not restrict my movement at all and I could easily sit down.  However I still felt very self conscious the whole time I was in it. It took a few drinks for me to enjoy dancing with my friends.

It wasn’t until after that I realised I didn’t get many photos of myself during the day. The one above and the one below were just as we finished getting ready. I prefer the photo above as I feel very forced posing in the one below. I would like to work on being able to look at photos of myself and not automatically look for the flaws I see. I want to look at them and see the happiness and other emotions and remember the moment. A work in progress for sure.

I did buy myself some shapewear to wear under the dress and actually I found it really good. I didn’t go for a tight, suck it all in thing, but rather something that slight smoothed the lines and had shorts as I hate tights! I didn’t buy the shapewear for anyone but myself. I wanted it to let me forget my flaws for the day and feel better about being in photos. I definitely noticed a difference as I didn’t feel I was holding everything in all day. I found I relaxed more than I would normally in a dress. It allowed me to enjoy myself freely.


I loved being my friends bridesmaid. It was an honour and I am so happy for her and her husband.


But I am the last single girl in the group. Another friend from school just got engaged and it’s stirred up feelings. This has made me feel a bit odd recently and I’ve been talking about it to my therapist. It’s not that I’m lonely or looking for a relationship. At some times I really think I don’t want one. I love being independent and selfish and wonder how I would fit in being in a relationship. I’m not sure how I’m feeling at the moment and just know it’s something I need to explore. I truly believe you don’t need to be in a relationship to be whole…

Red Lips

I’ve been looking at different ways to making myself feel good and that has meant experimenting with make up a bit more in the last 6 months. It’s been fun and confidence building. It makes me feel good to put on make up purely for myself. I enjoy putting it on and seeing a bit of a transformation in the morning, especially when I’m feeling a little low or tired. It’s like a 10 minute morning pep talk to help me start the day feeling fresh and confident.

I started off buying a few products I’ve tried in sample versions and loved them so decided it was time to buy the full size ones. All from Urban Decay I love the Makeup Setting Spray, the Eyeshadow Primer Potion and the Naked Skin Concealer. These all make so much difference and with a good primer help my makeup stay put all day. I didn’t think it was possible, but I have been proved wrong on eyeshadow and face coverage. All I need now is way to get lipstick to stay!

My next purchases were wild cards for me! All lip based from MAC I decided to take a chance on two of their iconic shades and a lip primer to help me keep them on. The lip primer is fantastic and make my lips feel smooth. I’ve since teamed it with a sugar scrub form Lush to get rid of any dry flakes. The only thing I wish I could do would be to add this on top of the lipstick, but I’ve not tried it and don’t know if it would work!

I first went for Velvet Teddy in a matte lipstick. This is very similar to a colour I already wear, but is definitely longer lasting than the moisturising based one I have been using. This was different because it’s matte, but I love it!

It’s definitely my new everyday and office colour. I love how it looks as it is a bit darker than I would normally go and it catches my eye in the mirror. The only thing I am still getting used to is how matte it is. After a while I can feel my lips starting to dry out and I have yet to figure out how to keep the moisture in my lips. I end up licking my lips more than I would like. It’s something I need to look into.

The next one I went for was a red! A true wild card for me! This is Ruby Woo in matte and it amazing!

I first wore it at Christmas as I was dressed up as a Christmas tree. I have then wore it a couple of times, but am still feeling a little self-conscious about how bright it is. I do feel goo when I put it on though and round the house I exude confidence, but for whatever reason I am self-conscious as soon as leave the house. I have been following a few more body positive people on Twitter and Instagram and that is definitely helping as they are amazing!

The other thing I am trying to do more of, but again it is taking a bit of time to get used to it, is to take fun selfies. I love it when people I follow do fun and free selfies and I want to do that myself. it is definitely fake it until I make it at the moment, but I am doing them, which is progress!

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