Imagine. You wake up refreshed from a deep sleep, uninterrupted by the occasional buzz and vibration of social media notifications on your smartphone through the night. The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning isn’t scrolling through your Instagram feed to check whether you’ve missed anything important during the night, and subsequently getting a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) – before you’ve even got out of bed. Your journey to work isn’t spent frantically attempting to get the very best Boomerang of the scenery on the way to share to your followers. You’re not surrounded by robotic commuters glued to their smartphone screens, aimlessly scrolling their lives away.
I can’t quite believe that we’re now in December. Like, how is this a thing? It only feels like yesterday that I was singing Take That on karaoke in a Grimsby pub last New Year’s Eve. Two words: easily pleased. Anyway, I’d be lying if I said that the last few weeks have been good. In fact, they’ve been bloody shit. Without going into too much detail, one of the closest people to me in my family is poorly in hospital, I finally understand why people say the third year of uni is soul-destroying, and I think it’ll be a long time before I learn to trust again. The last few weeks have been like something out of a bad dream, without the waking up part. But we all have our bad times, don’t we? I know that I will come out of this a stronger person, because I always do, and I know that these feelings won’t last forever. Because they never do.
Here’s some valuable life lessons that I’ve learnt in 2018.
I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about this for a while, because I have pretty strong views on social media as a whole. I’ve written a couple of features about the correlation between social media use and mental health struggles, and I’ve based lots of my essays at University on social media in journalism. It’s a tricky one, this, because I’m an active user of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – the latter is primarily to promote my blog and actually get people to read it. But even so, I still feel like a hypocrite for saying how unhealthy I think social media use can be, when I’m an active participant in it.
So, it’s pretty fair to say that last week was a bloody good week. It all started when I woke up at 8am on Friday to watch Princess Eugenie’s wedding. Yes, I did do that – and no, I don’t care. She may be one of the lesser-known royals, but she is still royal, and that’s a good enough excuse for me to get my royalist hat on and cry without shame at how beautiful she looked.
She wore a classic, elegant backless number that showed her scar from a spinal operation she had aged 12, simply because she’s not ashamed of it – she’s empowered by it.
This struck a chord for me, because I have a 6-inch scar on my stomach from an emergency operation I had aged 18.
I’ve had a bit of an unhealthy love of leopard print since I was about 15. And considering that I’m now approaching my mid-twenties, that’s a bloody long time. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I fell in love with the print when it was a dominant feature of a 2010-esque hot pink Paul’s Boutique bag. God, that makes me feel old.
The fact that leopard print has been prevalent in fashion since the 1920s speaks volumes. Unlike many other trends, it is something that hasn’t come around, been hugely popular, only to go dreadfully out of fashion and then come around again two decades later, and go swiftly out of fashion again (ahem – chokers), leopard print has remained a style staple for many.