I don't have a massive Instagram following, so I don't get a huge amount of comment and conversation under my images, but yesterday's post (featuring this slogan top) and my confession to being a worry wart, encouraged countless others to share their worry related woes.
It really feels like worry is taking up too much of our precious time these days, and for many it feels like an impossible cycle to break.
I used to think it was nature rather that nurture, having grown up with a mother that often showcased the signs of being extremely stressed or anxious. Perhaps I just inherited this tendancy to concentrate on negative possibilities from her, like I have my knobbly knees, short legs and 'feature' nose (sorry mum), I thought. But I wonder whether it was due to being around her behaviour, as well as taking things on via osmosis, that my tendancy to worry became a notable characteristic.
My parents were fairly strict when I was a child and teen, not to an unfair level, but what I was and wasn't allowed to do was very different to that of my friends. It was definitely an aspect of my youth that made me feel different to my classmates, and as you guys will remember, fitting in was so important to (most of) us back then. They weren't being strict for the sake of it though, they were clearly concerned for my welfare, and were being extremely mindful about what I was exposed to at that age. They meant well, and in some ways they put me in a great position as an adult.
When everyone had Kickers, I had fake Kickers from Stead and Simpson with two green tags rather than the one red and one green. A lot of my wardrobe was also hand me downs from a family friend in Holland. At the time I'd cry every time it came to shopping for school shoes, but now I see that it has instilled something I value very much. I appreciate the things I have and feel truly grateful, and I don't tend to squander money. I also think I have my head screwed on about trends. Although I feel intense pressure sometimes as a blogger, I don't tend to adopt all the trends and spend endless amounts of money (I don't have) to ensure I keep up with them all. I realise that other, less superficial things, make your life far richer.
But a negative result of the restrictions they put on me as a kid is that I perceived more things as dangerous or risky. Because I wasn't allowed to do certains things or go to certain places, in time an an element of fear was created, which in turn lead to tendency for worry. Or at least this is what I think may have happened. When you're young I almost think it's important to do things that are slightly scary, and to be in a position where you canmake your own mistakes, because these are the moments that prepare you for adulthood. You learn from the experiences and equip yourself with the tools to deal with them when your parents are no longer around. So therefore, if you aren't allowed to experience these hazardous or grown-up things as a youngster, you feel lacking in the ability to cope with them once you are unwittingly thrust into these situations .
Another personality trait I got from my mother was that we care...perhaps a bit too much. It's good to care in some respects because I think it can helps you make kind/wise decisions in some instances, but caring too much about things that don't matter can make every day more stressful than it needs to be. I have forgotten the last day I had where I didn't worry what someone thought of me for instance, even when I'm doing something that no rational person should think negatively about. If you care greatly for others you also tend to take on their problems too, which in turn creates another cause for worry. There are times where mum and I have chatted about wishing we could be more dismissive, instead we constantly become amateur therapists to dozens of waifs and strays. Don't get me wrong, it's lovely that people feel comfortable to open up and come to us for sanctuary and relief, but it does take it's toll on people who are naturally/nurtureally a vessel of worry, and already weighed down with their own anxities and fears.
I've only just started reading the Power of Now, and there's a hell of a lot of information to take in and undertand, but I feel like this will be a source of some remedy. It talks of the voices we ALL have in our heads - the ones that cast doubt, the ones that draw us to our past, and the ones that make us panic about the future. So far I think what is being suggested in the book is that we realise these voices are natural and normal, but we separate ourselves from them. We need to find ways to knock them away, and to tell them we're not willing to listen. Once I'm further in I'll speak more of this....
I think the level of worry my generation has a lot to do with the time we exist in. With social media there is so much room for our words or actions to be misconstrude...without the use of tone people can often misinterpret what we say. I know I often worry that someone's taken a tweet the wrong way, and I've had people contact me saying they couldn't sleep because they were worried that I thought the content of their latest YouTube video was somehow aimed at me.
Then there's the pressure to look a certain way, to be a certain way, to think a certain way... Are we ever going to be 'on fleek' or 'goals' enough not to worry?
When I was young had expectations about how my life would go. I'd go to uni, leave, then straight away get the career I wanted....then get married at about 28, and shortly after start having kids. I went to uni, but after that everything else on that agenda failed to materialise. I'm not alone, for twenty/thirty somethings everything feels a bit up in the air, unstable....even hopeless at times. Being able to afford a house/flat now seems unrealistic, and even rent is impossible for many like myself. So many of these adult life landmarks they we grew up believing were a given, aren't happening for us, so worry has been an inevitable reaction. Even though we do know there's a lot of us in the same boat, being able to view the lives of those who have it seemingly better (via social media/YouTube) makes our relative slow pace feel far more stressful.
In short we are a highly pressured generation - we have lives that fuel worry. It's so important we find effective techniques to manage and rationlise this worry, and I'm determined to find and share them with you.
(There's too much to cover on this subject to write just one blog post, so expect me to delve much deeper over the next few weeks, here and on my channel. Comment below and let me know whether you are a massive worrier too, and what you have found to help. )
Now let's talk about the clothes, as I'm sure some of you don't come to the blog to read me drone on for pages on end.
I've found that I'm more inclined to grungey looks and muted tones at the moment, probably a style side effect of this relentlessly gloomy weather. The trousers are from H and M and are so strokeable I can't help but caress myself, rather offputtingly, whenever I wear them. The fit of these was a bit of a revelation actually. I have a pretty awkward bottom half to buy clothes for. I have wide hips, squidgly thighs, with slim but very squat legs from the knee down. If I get trousers that fit on the hips they tend to be too baggy round my calves. It's an absolute nightmare, well not if we are being rational, but in terms of shopping it's a massive pain. I'm annoyed that I hadn't tried H and M sooner, because they have a huge selection of denim these days and I feel sure I'd be able to find some pretty amazing jeans there too. Once I have some money to spend I'll do some 'research.'
I think part of this reason I haven't shopped at H and M much recently is because most of my spending is done online and their site has always been abysal...like, mind-boggling lacking in functionality and 21st century technology. Their stores seem to have been given a major revamp lately, and the addition of beauty and homeware makes me think they're a brand really looking to improve . As I write this I've decided to look at the website for the first time in ages, since I neglected it in sheer frustration, and my goodness it looks SO much better. So chances are they may be my new go-to when it comes to trousers.
This Don't Worry top came from a Sale panic on Zara's website. I noticed loads of bloggers I follow alerting their followers that the sale was live, and almost like they were ruling my fingers I found myself scrolling through the reduced items. When you see other people from your industry buzzing about something you almost feel like you should be too, even if the state of my balance should have steered me away from following suit. To be fair, I do love Zara, so at least it was a brand I knew I'd be able to find things I would genuinely get a lot of wear/content out of. Sales of such popular brands do stress me out though. So often have I put things in my cart only to see them disappear because I've spent too much time contonuing to browse or umming and ahhing over the purchases. With Zale sales you need act swiftly, ideally know what you are looking to buy before it goes live, or you are in danger of missing out on that much lusted after item. In my frazzled panic mode I ended up putting too much in my basket - I won't tell you how much I spent but it was way more than I should have. Someone needs to invent an app that stops you from spending on things you don't need....but knowing our compulsion to spend we'd no doubt just find out a hack to disable it.
As a worrier - when I say this in real life people think I'm saying warrior, sadly not - this tee spoke to me instantly. People are always saying these words to me, and I find myself saying them to others, even though I know from personal experience how useless it is. Anways, the aesthetics...I like how it looks kinda DIY, my dad even thought I'd created the text myself with tape. He would think I'm silly to spend money on a top that looks homemade but of course he's missing the point...right?
The high street is abundant with crop tops at the moment, and while I love them for summers which actually feature sun, right now though they're definitely out of my favour. This top is perfect for covering my doughy butt and belly, but by flashing a bit of skin through the slit it ensures I don't look like your drowing in material.
The Boots are from Zara a few years ago. Sadly they don't get much wear as they are very stiff and I'm terribly lazy when it comes to breaking shoes in. I want them to make me feel like I'm walking on clouds... instantly. The hat is from Zara Mens that I got last Christmas, and is the perfect beanie - just the right amount of slouch and in a slate grey that goes with everything. I tried a couple of sunglasses for the photo because I was being indecisive and didn't know whether it benefited from a pop of colour or looked cooler maintaining a largely monochromatic aesthetic.
What do you think of my Grungy look?
H and M Trousers
Rayban Black Sunglasses
Tourist Shop mirrored sunglasses
Vera Meat ring
New Look Bag
Vera Meat ring
New Look Bag