9 Jan 2019

Let's start over...

Pardon the theatrics, but would you expect any less from me?
When I was offered the job down in London, it all happened very quickly. I didn't really have the time to think about it or process what was about to happen. I was so caught up in the stress of where I was going to live, packing my cosy little house into boxes again, and saying goodbye for now to all of my friends, that it never occurred to me that actually, my entire adult life as I've known it was about to change drastically.
When I first moved to Manchester in 2012, it was for university. I used to visit my hometown at least once a month and I'd even spend the summer and Christmas breaks back there too, so it never seemed permanent. When I headed to Australia, again, this was never going to be for longer than 2 years and I was travelling with like-minded strangers. I think this is why it seemed like such a bigger deal to be headed down the M1 to London than it did to fly across the globe alone at 22 years old to Sydney.

When I was sat in Manchester feeling sad, anxious and excited all at once about leaving everyone and everything behind, a friend of mine said to me "Raven, you're going to love it, honestly." And I just simply didn't believe it, I didn't want to believe it. I'd even had a stern word with myself that I'd go through with it all as the opportunity was far too good to pass up, but if I didn't like the city, which I was sure I wouldn't, then I could always come back. I was so worried that the comfort blanket I'd established up North was going to be ripped away and I'd find myself in a terrible place again. But how wrong I was! I really had no reason to be worried at all. 

Now when I actually sit and think about the fact that i'm settled in London, I'm pretty f*cking chuffed with myself to be honest. I never saw this coming, I honestly thought I was settled in Manchester. I was happy with every aspect of my life apart from my career. So whilst being signed off as "unfit for work" by my GP, I applied for this job, and it's probably saved my life. I've started a career, I've met so many incredible people and have rekindled old friendships, too. I'm experiencing a social scene like I've never known before and dating? Well, that's a whoooooole new kettle of fish I tell you!

I'm truly so shocked by how well I've taken the move in my stride and am honestly loving it. I've rediscovered a confidence in myself and my ability which I haven't seen since my school days. I really feel like I can be myself down here and it's the biggest relief in the world.

Manchester will of course always feel like home to me, it would be strange not to after 6 years, but for now, London has my heart.

Just Write About It.
Raven Twigg 

31 Oct 2018

Off I Go Again...

So exactly 12 months after I'd moved back to Manchester, it looks like I am moving on again. Some how, my life has taken a dramatic, but extremely exciting turn. I genuinely, wholeheartedly believed that I was here to stay in Manchester. I call it home. I love it here. I have my whole life here. A nice house. Three jobs. Amazing friends. I even have the bee tattoo'd on my body. And I’m so bloody grateful for all of that. Now here’s the but... I've always known that I'd be eager to pursue a career within the live music industry and in order for me to do that, I’m relocating to London. I’ve been given an opportunity which is truly amazing and which I simply could not turn down.

I’ve resigned to the fact that I’m not going to be one of those young women who dream of their wedding day and building a family at the age of 24. I’m 100% career orientated and for that my personal and dating life usually suffers but dya know what? I’m totally fine with that. I have my heart broken an average of 2-3 times a year by frog after frog and so it could not have come at a better time that, in true Hollywood fashion, I’m upping and leaving for a new city entirely. 

6 years ago, at 18 years old I moved from Lincolnshire to Manchester for University. At 20 I travelled to the USA alone to work at a summer camp and spent my 21st birthday by a waterfall in Connecticut. At 22 I jumped on a one way flight to Sydney, Australia. At 23 I flew to Budapest alone to see a friend. And now, at 24, I’ve finally secured a salary paid job and established a cosy little life back in Manchester. The common denominator between all of these things? I achieved them all on my own damn two feet. One thing I 100% believe in after experiencing all of those things? EVERYTHING WORKS OUT IN THE END. And I mean that. It really does. The universe has this magical little way of making sure the stars all align at the end of each day and it’s bloody wonderful. Bugger me, 18 months ago if you’d have told me what I’d achieve I would never have believed you. In January I was out of work and could barely afford to eat. Now look at where I am! Disgustingly and fortunately busy with 3 jobs and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I work my ass off because I want to live a comfortable and happy life and it’s so worth all of the hard work.

I'd be a big fat liar if I told you that I wasn't so totally nervous to leave everything I've ever known as an adult behind. I've been trying to focus on what i'm leaving for, rather than what i'm leaving here in Manchester. There's always planes, trains and automobiles anyway, right? 

So to all of those teachers who'd said 'I never thought you'd make it through college', and to those friends who turned their backs on me as soon as I left Lincolnshire... Little Twiggy is about to move to the Big Smoke, and I got there all on my own! You can truly achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

Have you recently relocated to London? Let me know. I wanna know all the tips and tricks to fitting in darn sarth.

Just Write About It.
Raven Twigg

12 Sep 2018

Mind, Body and... Gin?

Recently I started a new job. It's like nothing I've ever known before. A salary, a permanent contract, requesting annual leave... an ADULT job. I've worked since I was 14 years old. That's a whole decade of working and yet the government has shoved me into hourly paid, zero hour contracts to keep me off the unemployment list. And despite being a valued member of the teams I have worked in over the years, circumstances meant that I'd outgrow the positions quickly, or I'd move onto the next postcode with my backpack.

The previous role I had, I loved. And I mean, loved. The only reason I left was because an opportunity arose which meant I could swap my zero hour contract for stability and progression. I wasn't even looking to make the move when the offer came around. But suddenly it presented itself in front of me and I was faced with one of the hardest decisions I'd ever made. Not because I didn't know what to do, but because I knew what I had to do in order to be the sensible adult I've managed to suppress for twenty-four wonderful years.

Within the first fortnight at my new office, I'd received some terrible news from home and it made me realise that I'd depended on my previous workplace and colleagues a little too much. On occasion I'd spent 60+ hours a week there, so it's really no surprise that I'd found it difficult when I received the dreaded phone call in an office full of strangers. It made me fear that I was going to retract into my dark place once again. It was touch and go for a week. The tears have been on and off. My moods were so low and even the smallest comment could set me off again. So I've really been trying to think positively and 'do the right thing'. But have you ever tried to do that without anyone familiar around you to confide to? It's tough I can't deny. Cleethorpes couldn't have felt further away if I'd tried, and that's saying something.

1. Mind. So my new approach was to stop thinking of the future and just think about today. As cliché as that may sound. Today isn't so bad. Today has gone quickly. Today I'm OK. It's much easier when you look after your own mental welfare, to realise that everything else will quickly fall into place.

There's no denying that I've lost a significant amount of weight without realising in just two weeks. Not because I'm purposely not eating well, but when your anxiety is sky high, it's difficult to even have an appetite. This is something else I've been focusing on, too. 2. Body. I started the Couch to 5K challenge and have signed up for the Yorkshire Three Peaks hike in April 2019. I'd be lying if I'd said that running is a strength of mine. In fact, it's likely I've been mistaken for an injured calf when gracing the pavements of Salford with my New Balance trainers, but bugger it. It's the effort that counts, isn't it?

Which brings me onto 3. Gin. Now, I love a drink. I always have, and I dare say that I always will. But one thing I've learned is that sometimes you should probably avoid a few bevvys when you're not feeling 100%. Sometimes all you need is to sit down with a Gordon's and put the world to rights with your girls. But other times, it might be a better idea to switch the Gordon's for a Tetley's and grab a pack of Bourbons. When you're feeling your full sassy self again, make a point of it. Put some slap on and dress yourself up to get those golden instagram snaps we all undeniably live for. You'll enjoy it so much more than ending up in some takeaway somewhere in buckets of tears. Trust me on that one.

I think what I'm trying to say is that it's OK not to be OK sometimes. Really, it is. And all that these blog posts truly are about is to help to break the stigma. To anyone that's told me to 'be strong' my answer is no. For what? Who are we supposed to be strong for? The strongest thing you can do for your mind & body is to let it all out, take a step back and realise that life is precious and if we didn't do things which put us out of our comfort zones every now and then, well... that would be a very boring existence indeed.

To anyone who feels a bit rubbish today, my inbox is always open. I couldn't thank my readers enough for all of your support over the years. That's all 47,000 of you. I love hearing from you and if I can cheer up just one person's day, well then, that's enough for me.

Stay sassy always.

Raven x

2 Sep 2018

Sassy, Selfish & Single.

"Here she is again. Blogging about periods, boys or being single". Yep, Here I am!
I often get asked why I'm single. The reality is that I have been single, officially, since I was 18, I'm now 24. I've obviously had some near-misses, but officially, I've spent my entire adult life being selfishly independent. More recently I've taken an interest in my single reign coming to an end, yet I think it's become blatantly clear that I'm so not ready to settle just yet. 
I'm not ready to give up my lazy evenings lounging around in my own company, waking up without someone under my feet while I attempt to get ready for work. I've met some striking chaps on my quest to find the one. Some complete A holes too... but mainly nice gents. I think I wanted the comfort of feeling wanted, without the hassle and drama of them hanging around for breakfast the next morning.
I love that I can come home from work, cook whatever I fancy, close the door behind me and sing my lungs out to Britney with my hairbrush in the mirror if I want to. 
I find it a little sad that people find themselves lost without their partners around. If you're not comfortable in your own company, who can you be comfortable with?
Here's some tips on how to be sassy, selfish & single.

  1. Put yourself first, always. Don't live for other people's expectations and instead, live for your own.
  2. Be confident. They say there's nothing more powerful than a woman who knows what she wants. And my God they're right.
  3. Take the compliment. Guys can be intimidated by a sassy single lady, so when they show a interest, it actually means more than you'd think.
  4. See your friends regularly. It's important you're there for them and they're there for you. No matter what.
  5. Find your style. Dress how you wanna dress. Listen to the music you wanna listen to. The world would be a truly awful place if we were all millennial clones.
  6. Get a hobby. Go for walks. Read. Exercise. Keep your mind and body active on those cold lonely evenings when you're not feeling your full sassy self.
  7. Accept help. Swallow your pride and knock on your neighbours door if there's something you can't reach. Ask the tall gent in Tesco to reach the top shelf. You're still a strong, independent woman. Just a small one...
  8. Sharing sometimes isn't caring. Buy things for you. You work hard to play hard, right? So treat yourself. You deserve it.
I've found that I'm worth more than the men I've met. Just because I'm single and have been for a long time doesn't mean that I don't deserve to be wined and dined. Guys automatically assume that you're an easy catch because you long for that company. Well, not this little lady. I'm content with my three jobs, Netflix account and big double bed for one thanking you very much! I like the idea of sharing my life with someone but the reality of it is that if I'd have dedicated my time to someone else, would I have travelled to Australia for the year? Would I have been the Camp Journalist in Connecticut, USA? Probably not.

Live your life for you, when the time is right, someone will come around and sweep you off of your feet I'm sure. But in the meantime, own your sassy, selfish and single self.

Just Write About It.
Raven Twigg.

29 Jun 2018

Carpe Diem - and all that jazz!

Today I turn 24. The big two-four.
In true millennial fashion it only seemed right to reflect on my past year and publish it for the whole world to see.
The past year of my life has been the hardest, darkest but yet most rewarding so far.
I spent my twenty-third birthday with a single ticket to Budapest to hide the massive anxieties I was feeling at home. I'd only been back in the UK for three months and let's face it, I've always been pretty good at running away. I began my 23rd year on this Earth as a complete shell of myself. Some days I didn't want to get out of bed. Other days I didn't want to wake up at all. All because of the pressure I felt trying to settle back into a place which didn't feel like home anymore. I was desperate. I wanted my friends to remember me again, what it was like to have me around and include me in their plans. I wanted my family to depend on me, and I wanted to be there for everyone. And so that's what I did. But the most vital thing of all, is to be there for yourself. You simply cannot live your life by being everyone's rock. You need your own rock sometimes, too.
So I made the decision to relocate my life, for what i'm certain will be the final time, and learned how to look after myself again. And I don't mean just doing the housework or cooking dinner. I mean really taking care of yourself. Eating better, exercising, socialising, practising that hobby you've always wanted to. And I did it. I really am content with how comfortable I am in my own skin again. 
Bloody hell, a year ago I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror. And no one has gotten me to this stage other than me, myself and I. 
At 23 I learned that I can fall in love again and the idea doesn't completely repulse me anymore. I learned that things don't just happen by sitting around on your arse. You have to go out and do things. I became a believer in the idea that things always work out in the end. Honestly, it's true. I fell in love with the universe and solely trust that if you think positively and put the right amount of effort into something, you'll get exactly what you're owed. I realised which traits I need to suppress in certain environments and which I should encourage. I've also discovered that it's OK to make mistakes - f*ck it! That's how we learn these things. Not one person on this planet is perfect and the sooner we all come to terms with that, the happier life becomes.
So you might not be feeling it today, but tomorrow go out there and seize the day! Carpe diem and all that business.
Don't take life too seriously, you only get one shot at it!

Just Write About It.
Raven Twigg