Why being positive every day is one of the worst things I’ve ever done

Close up of a red parking meter which instead of the standard money amounts, says POSITIVE CHANGE.At the start of the year, I decided to recommend something new every day on my Tumblr. I started with the book I was reading at the time, and went on to talk up essays, songs, podcasts, films, and people whose writing I love. (You can see all my recommendations here.)

My reasons for doing this were simple. I wanted to force myself to be positive on social media, on a daily basis, instead of taking days off when I feel low, or worse, passive-aggressively grumping it up on Twitter and Facebook. I also wanted to have a daily commitment, like one of those people who publishes a bestselling book or gives up their job to write a blog and a movie about how they changed one small thing and became less self-obsessed and now here they are in a mansion by the sea feeling more fulfilled than they ever thought possible. Continue reading

Jealous, much?

Close-up photo of two gulls hovering close to the water. One has a chunk of bread in their beak, while the other looks on, surprised and horrified. A small caption says "Damn it."Can we all just admit there are moments when we’re filled with raging, bitter, foot-stomping, fist-curling, about-to-cry jealousy? Yes, technically I’m talking about envy, but jealousy sounds so much nastier, so much more base, so much more accurate.

Recently, I started counting how many people I’m jealous of. I had to stop when I got to 40, because I’m a grown woman and that’s ridiculous. But I’ve felt so jealous of people who have things I want NEED that I’ve wanted to punch something. I’ve burst into tears. I’ve felt like I was worthless. And I feel like it’s really not OK to admit it. Continue reading

A lesson in banking and calming the hell down, in which I come across brilliantly

Close-up on statue of man with head in hand, blue background..If you’re offended by people talking about money, you might want to look away now because I’m about to get into it. The idea that some topics aren’t “polite” so you should pretend that everything’s great while lugging around your secret shame is so British, and so alienating and stupid. But while I am sharing some stuff, I’m not looking for advice (ever) or handouts (right now). Continue reading

This is why I’m fat*

Close up of a small, fat gold Buddha statue on a shelf, some books behind him (titles not visible). *I’m using this as a judgement-free descriptor like “brunette”, not as an insult.

Dieting

Diets don’t work. I know this. But I still went on one a few years ago. It wasn’t to lose weight, which allowed me to feel superior — it was to detox from sugar in an attempt to improve my health. (I failed, which allowed me to feel inferior again.)

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What I think about when I think about thinking about thinking about having children

Close up of a crying baby, eye closed, mouth open in a wail..1. Kate Garraway wants me to crack on straight away, if not ten years ago. (And it is her business.)
2. I can’t have a baby right now. I’m not well enough, I don’t have any money, I’m technically homeless. And (minor detail) I don’t know anybody who could be the baby’s father.
3. I always said I didn’t want to have children. When I was 11, people just laughed. When I was 21, they told me I’d change my mind.
4. In my late twenties, I went from “Hell no” to “I don’t know” and seem to be stuck there. Sometimes having a child sounds like the most scary, boring, horrifying thing I could ever imagine. Sometimes it sounds… life-affirming and stuff.
5. OK, fine. I might have teared up at every stupid Evian babies ad I’ve ever seen. But I still think kittens are cuter.

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I need to be less movie-stupid: what should I watch?

Close up of old-fashioned red cinema ticket which says ADMIT ONE, on a blue background with a little popcorn at the edges of the photo.As I might have mentioned, I want to change almost everything about my life, from getting more work to having better health to becoming someone who doesn’t have to fight the urge to claw her face off in any social situation. I’d like to be “normal”.

But that doesn’t mean I only want to change big, scary important things. I want to try ridiculous/kooky/lighthearted potentially life-improving stuff, too. (If you have any suggestions, especially if they’re cheap, please email me.)

I also realise that there are a lot movies that I really, really, really should have seen. Continue reading

I’m giving up sugar by not giving up sugar yet, which actually makes sense (or it will in a minute)

Close up on candy hearts, including a green one saying "ALL MINE" in pink letters. For me, sugar makes life worth living. That’s ridiculous, but it’s also true. Sure, I like watching a TV show, going to the cinema, or spending time with friends and family. But if those things aren’t accompanied by chocolate, popcorn, or a good meal followed by ice cream, the world’s in black and white rather than technicolor.

As overdramatic as it might sound… this is addiction. You’re not going to find a sugar addict passed out in a nightclub doorway after a binge, or stealing televisions to pay for their Maltesers habit. And I get why an an alcoholic or drug addict might look at someone complaining about how they can never get enough Cadbury’s as a wimp with no self-control.

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