Does my bum look big in this? Or, my ongoing battle with self esteem.

For as long as I can remember I’ve had this issue with my appearance. It mostly stems from being bullied in school and constantly comparing myself to everyone around me. 

No matter who they were, or where they came from, they had something I didn’t. They were prettier, thinner, more talented, richer, had nicer eyes, nicer legs… whatever. It was all better than me. 

Every friend I’ve ever had, I’ve hated in some respect. I’ve hated their perfect smile, their tiny waist, their flawless skin. 

For years I’ve looked at other people and burned in my very veins because I just can’t match up. My heroine is JK Rowling and I even hate her a little bit. She came from nothing and got everything she wanted and I hate her for getting there. 

I have such an obsession with other people’s stomachs. My life has been plagued by bad skin, wonky teeth and a wobbly belly. Until I was sixteen, I was taller than all of my friends and so skinny that clothes just hung off me, I was gangly and it was something else for the bullies to call me out on.

But now, nine years later it’s all caught up with me. I don’t have that wonderful metabolism my Father so kindly gave to me, it’s been snatched away and I’m left with an ever increasing tightening of all of my clothes around my hips. 

I’ve always pushed it away by saying it’s what that other person has, but I’m okay. And I have a boyfriend now, which is something I haven’t had in the longest time. And so it’s so easy to push it to the back of my mind, because he loves me, and I can pretend my belly isn’t hanging over my jeans because he still wants to have sex with me. I can eat chocolate and sweets and cake and pasta at midnight because he does, so it’s okay. 

I ignore that he’s over six foot and built like a rugby player and can eat twenty four hours a day without adding a single bloody ounce. 

My problem is that I have zero self discipline when it comes to anything. I can’t make myself stick to anything. I’ll eat well for a couple days, I’ll go for a couple jogs, and then before I know it I’m back eating brownies and muffins and pizza and not moving from my bed all day. 

Today I put on a pair of shorts that I’ve owned for years. They were comfortable before. They were baggy around my thighs. But today? Today they hurt. They rubbed on my skin and were tight on my legs. And walking home I caught sight of myself in a shop window and wanted to cry. I was, I am disgusted with what I’ve become. And I know I have absolutely nobody to blame but myself. I am the one who has sat and stuffed my face. I’m the one who stopped my gym membership. I’m the one who sits in night after night and eats fatty, sugary foods and drinks fizzy drinks. I’m the one sat here almost in tears because of how much it bothers me.

Yet I’m the one who came home and ate another brownie. I shoved it down like it didn’t matter. And I’m fuming with myself because I did so. 

Why, when I know how important this is to me, why can’t I stick to sorting it out? I’m not huge, it wouldn’t take a massive amount of time to lose it. And yet I don’t? 

I’ve spoken with a good friend about wanting to write, but not bothering because I’m scared I’ll fail, I’m scared I won’t be good enough. 

Is it the same with this? Do I just not bother because I’m scared I still won’t like me when I lose weight? Will I still be an insecure little mess? Will I just find something else to hate about myself?

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No matter what they say, manners remain free.

Having worked in customer service roles for years now, it continues to amaze me how unbelievably rude people can be.

I’ve worked in shoe shops, newsagents, department stores, Argos, bars, restaurants and coffee shops. Currently, I remain in the latter, serving up caffeine injected beverages to the residents and guests of my city on a daily basis.

Now, I love my job, 99% of the time I do. Okay, 85%. Maybe 60/40.

The trouble is, it’s made by the customers. If I have shit coworkers and a messy store and an angry manager, I can take it as long as the customers are being nice and understanding and don’t think they’re the only person wanting a cup of coffee that day.

Since I first went to a coffee shop when I was 19 (yes it took me that long), I’ve loved them. I love the idea of comfy chairs and people reading books or typing on their laptops, meeting friends or just on a break. I love the different names and faces and characters you meet every day. I started working in one and it fueled my love affair with these tucked away paradises so much that I now want one of my very one. In a bookshop, of course.

Every morning, owing mostly to the fact that my first seven customers are the same seven elderly men every morning who are all friendly and know me by name and we ask about each others days, I’m in a good mood. I start the day positively.

After my magic seven, I’d say it takes less than an hour before someone has pissed me off. Someone has spoken to me like I’m one of those machines you speak into and voila, your crap excuse for a cappuccino is poured into a plastic cup and off you go.

Here are some other things that customers do that just make my day;*

Ignoring me. Ignoring the fact they’re in a queue. Ignoring the fact they’re in front of other people willing to talk to me.

People on their phones who glare angrily at me for interrupting their conversations.

The finger. No, I don’t mean the middle finger. I mean the index finger that goes hand in hand with the pursed lip because they’re not ready to engage me in social activity yet.

People who throw money at me. I am not a stripper.

People who let you make their entire drink and then as you go to put the lid on say; “Oh did I say mocha? I meant latte. Skinny. And decaf.”

Any order that begins ‘soya’, ‘decaf’, or ‘tall’. **

Everyone in this world makes a snap judgement. A decision is made in a millisecond what you think of a person. And if I say ‘hello’ to someone and their response is a grunt that somewhat resembles the word ‘coffee’, I immediately don’t like them and all hope of me making small talk with them is gone.

Now don’t think I’m just a massive grump who hates everyone. (That’s for another day.) There are a large number of people who come into that store and make my job seem worth it after all. There are the aforementioned magic seven. There is the older chap who comes in daily and his drink and his swirly wirly cake (which is actually a pan au raisin, but he’s nice, so we won’t correct him). There are the two men in sharp business suits who appear like your average office wankers, but who make my day every time I see them, always gossiping away, always with some new theory, or news on his nephew’s antics for me. There are Ray and Angie, who I don’t mind naming because if there were ever two of my favourite customers in any job I’ve ever had, they would be it. Always friendly, always chatty, they know more about my life than my own mother.

There are tourists who come in and ask me questions about my city, which I’m happy to oblige because I’m so in love with it and love seeing other people fall for it too. Americans especially. They have a tough deal when it comes to being tourists, there’s a stigma against them in many places, but let me tell you, they’re the best I’ve come across. They’re the politest, the friendliest and the funniest too.

Even before I worked in hospitality I would never dream of dolling out some of the abuse I get. And having worked in a restaurant, I can say that coffee shops have it worse. I work for a chain, and we’re expected to be just that. Corporate robots, churning out cups of coffee as fast as it pleases you. Excuse me for having a personality.

I’ve left and returned to this job more times than I remember moving house, because the good guys keep on pulling me back.

I maintain that coffee shops are wondrous places, that have a magical element to them. I’ve seen people become best friends, I’ve seen people fall in and out of love, I’ve seen people get engaged. I’ve seen women have babies and watched those babies grow into five year old kids with personalities, and they’ve grown up knowing me as someone consistent in their life.

I could let the bad guys ruin it for me, I could walk away and find a job that to me, is only okay. But I won’t do that because I love my job, and thank those people who make it for me.

*If you didn’t know, that was sarcasm, and if you didn’t know, you probably shouldn’t have continued reading.

**The only exceptions to these rules are if you are lactose intolerant, pregnant or blind and don’t know that you haven’t walked in to S-bucks.

One small step (literally), one giant leap.

See also – how soon is too soon? Etc…

Three weeks on Saturday and Rob and I will move into our new place together. It’s a one bedroom flat on a gorgeous street in my favourite city in the world. It’s big, open and airy with high ceilings and massive windows. It’s clean and bright and new and I’m excited.

As with anything, there is that niggling voice that I’ve grown accustomed too, and whom I’ve named Gwenyth.

On the 11th, we’ll have officially been together for five months, and known each other for just under six. (It only took him two weeks to ask me to be his girlfriend – awww/bleurgh)

I was with my ex – M, for two and a half years and whilst we talked about the future we never actually acted upon it. We were only seventeen when we met and fell in love and I was still in school. So it’s fine that we didn’t make any progress with big decisions because we ended pretty badly and if a flat/car/cat were thrown into the occasion it would have been a hundred times harder.

I first moved out when I went to university. The best part of two years were spent in Plymouth. I loved my spaces, halls and then a house both of which were lovely places and I made the rooms my own. I have some truly great memories from there, it’s just that the bad outweigh the good and I had to run.

When I returned to my Dad’s, it was safe and easy and he didn’t charge rent. But time ran away with me and before I knew it I wasn’t seventeen anymore and needed to take a step and move out of that safety zone. The hardest part was leaving my cat.

I’ve lived in this dingy top floor flat for almost a year and can’t wait to be gone. It’s overpriced and dirty and falling apart. I didn’t think it was that bad until I saw the place we’re moving in to, and how much less we’d be paying for something so much nicer.

Then there’s the whole thing of actually living with a boy. He’s practically lived here for the last four months anyway, the shape of his ass firmly imprinted in my computer desk chair. So I know we’ll be fine on that front. We know how to live together. We take it in turns to cook and wash up. He doesn’t mind if I sit online for five hours and I don’t moan when I come home from work and he’s spent ten hours playing computer games. I don’t get mad when he doesn’t do any washing and he doesn’t say a word when I beat the shit out of him whilst he’s sleeping. (He snores, I’m not like… a psycho, I just think in my sleepy state that kicking him in the shins will stop him snoring. It doesn’t.)

I’m comfortable with him. I know I’ll be happy in that beautiful flat with this great, rugged man I get to cuddle up with when I’m cold or sleepy or just wanting cuddles.

Gwenyth is there though, poking her ten cents worth in and asking if it’s too soon and will it ruin everything? I think five months is enough to be out of the honeymoon period and to know if you get on or not. People get married after less and can be together for lifetimes.

Gwenyth just won’t shut up because of all the damage M caused. He provided such fuel to my insecurities and my fears and my over analysis addiction.  Life is a continuing lesson though right? And I should let myself breathe enough to enjoy Rob and this relationship.

It’s like Charlotte in Sex and the City. “I’m so happy that I’m terrified.” 

Pathetic.

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Pinch of You

I know I’ve done these in the same day, but I’m enjoying them.

This challenge was coming up with a “recipe” for you. Here’s the example the lovelies at DP set: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/weekly-writing-challenge-recipe/

They say you can write about someone significant in your life if you can’t break down yourself, but I like the challenge of picking out things about myself that I’d use in a recipe for me. It was genuinely challenging, which is the idea I suppose.

Strawberry Kirsty Tartlet

Filling:

3oz dry sarcasm

5.5 oz lifelong insecurities

2 boxes of every hand written letter I’ve ever received

Harry Potter books, films, merchandise, theories, discussions, fanfictions (Amount to suit individual taste)

Pastry:

150g of crazy cat lady tendancies, rolled out flat to line case

To Garnish:

5 tattoos

1 birthmark

1 addiction to More4 programs like Come Dine With Me and Supersize.

INSTRUCTIONS;

Line case with cake, add ingredients, pop in the oven, curl up on a beanbag in an independent bookshop with a good book and a cup of tea, overanalyse everything, take a deep breath and fall asleep on the sofa.

Serve with Ice – Cream and avoid Lavender at all costs. Eat more cake if concerned.

 

Weekly Writing Challenge: I remember

I remember…

I remember always wanting a huge family. I remember being young and Christmas day used to mean going to my Aunty’s house, we’d eat, then have presents, then play games, then come home. 

It was my favourite part of the day because my immediate family were never that close, and my Aunty always made so much effort and my Nan loved being there. I remember looking around and thinking that I wanted a huge family and I wanted to make Christmas the biggest and most exciting thing for my kids. I wanted them to enjoy the holidays in a way I never did.

I grew up wanting them to have traditions and when their friends asked what Christmas was like at our house, their faces would light up and they’d get all excitable and giggly and talk about how we’d let them have a present on Christmas eve and we’d all watch a Christmas film and I’d make them mint hot chocolates before bed. They’d have stockings at the end of their beds and how I’d always save a present for boxing day, which they’d open after we’d taken the dogs for their walks and gone to see some family. 

As I got older I grew to dislike Christmas more and more. My Mum left, my Aunty stopped having us over and it stopped being fun. One year I spent it with my boyfriends family who spoiled me rotten and let me join in the games, but whilst it was fun, it hurt because it wasn’t my family. We split up and it went back to being lame again.

The last couple of years it’s just been my sister and me, the first time her boyfriend of the time was there, and last year her housemate Katie, and the baby brewing in her belly were present. My sister is one of, if not my best friend and so I’ve enjoyed these times.

In April she had a baby boy, who has become my absolute favourite person in this whole world. He’s incredible and I adore the hell out of him. So I know that every Christmas now, there’s going to be this little kid who is going to get spoiled rotten. He’ll be too young to understand for a few years yet, but that won’t stop us making it all about him. 

The Dad isn’t involved, and she’s doing an amazing job of raising him alone. I will do everything within my power to make sure he’s happy and looked after. Starting with Christmas… 

Every year I’ll build traditions for him, I’ll get him excited for it from December the 1st, I don’t know exactly what yet, but he’s going to get the Christmas times that we never had growing up.

I remember wanting kids to spoil, and now it’s begun. He’s not mine, but he’s family, and I intend on making him aware that his family is one he can talk to his friends about. He can say Aunty Kirsty is the best, she’s great, especially at Christmas.

(For the DP Weekly Writing Challenge, more info here; http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/writing-challenge-remember/)

1. (well, technically, 2.)

So, another day, another blog.

Reading posts by friends on blogs they run always make me want to run my own. If I had a tenner for every blog I’ve ever started and abandoned I’d have… well probably about £100. 

David and I have promised to encourage each other to update at least once a week. I really miss writing, so hopefully this will push me in the right direction. They say to write anything and everything so let’s give it a go.

I’ll write reviews of things I’ve seen and read. I’ll write about my life. I’ll moan about people.