Em-braces (or how to feel a bit less stuck)

On my way to work a few days ago I noticed a guy enjoying a bite of his sandwich. He looked so content, truly happy he had his breakfast whilst walking down town and I felt a bit jealous. I wish I was that happy.

Last November I wrote about this disturbingly confusing state of mind, not feeling myself (you can read about it here). I never would have thought that almost 8 months later, I’d still feel lost and not that happy.

I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while, hoping it will help my brain to at least attempt to make some sense out of it but all I could produce were interjections of confusion and desperation (e.g. AAAAHHHHH), but I’m now at a place I can better articulate my thoughts.

Have you ever experienced heavy turbulence on a plane? Holding on tight, scared to death but not able to do anything, that feeling of having no control?

That’s how I’ve felt for a while, intensified by the recent pandemic. I feel I can’t plan anything, I have no free time for myself, hell sometimes I feel I have no time to think. I’m stuck and I’m not sure what’s the best way out because I just don’t feel I’m in control and my confidence also went down a notch.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for what I have, a job, a place to live, my friends and family, my loved ones. I’m happy for these.

But I know I can and want to do more and the lack of me-time and inability to make any firm plans or big changes at the moment are feeding my misery.

So what can I do? Well, focus on what I can control for now and work on improving myself on all fronts in order to make moving forward in a turmoil easier. So here’s one of the things I did.

I recently got braces.

‘How come you decided to do that at this (*late) age?’ a colleague asked.

I was taken aback. I didn’t expect such a question. I guess because I wouldn’t ask something like that and I wouldnt expect someone as open-minded and liberal as him ask such an old-fashioned in a sense question. Do only kids get braces? Does getting braces have an age limit? Does anything really have or should have an age limit?

‘It’s not just for aesthetic reasons, it will also help my bite, it was needed to be done’, I said. I didn’t want to point out the obvious, that the question was not appropriate, or share my deepest insecurities with a stranger, that I always hated my crooked tooth and the side gap I had and I’ve been wanting to fix it for years but couldn’t afford it or the timing wasn’t right.

It’s been almost two months now and I don’t enjoy wearing braces, they are not the prettiest and are QUITE uncomfortable, they need constant cleaning and looking after. I can’t wait to take them out. Weirdly, though I hate them I also like them, because at least I have something to look forward to and that helps.

Getting braces isn’t the only change I made or going to make, but it’s just an example of how doing something with an ‘end date’ , (especially in time like this when uncertainty is part of our life and noone knows when this horrid situation will end), can help you move forward or feel a bit less stuck at least.

PS. Here it’s me with braces, in case you were wondering.




Cherish Skincare-not just about your skin.

Whilst I was on my holiday in Italy I got a message on Twitter by a lovely lady called Mel, inviting me to the launch of a new, ethical, organic skincare company just starting in Southampton called Cherish skincare.

I’m not sure why I was invited. I’m not a professional or a fashion/beauty blogger and make no money off my blog, but I was really excited as I’m a big advocate of wellbeing, self care and loving oneself as well as local, independent companies,  and I love meeting new people and trying new things so the combination of the four grabbed my attention and I actually looked forward to it.

Unfortunately I could not make it on the day, it was on the week I was back from my holiday, it was crazy busy at work and I was extremely tired for the whole week. I went to bed at 9:30pm on a Friday! So I asked Mel and Beth, the awesome gals who invited me initially and the co-founders of Cherish if they’d like to meet for lunch and tell me all about it.

So yesterday we spent more than an hour at Mettricks telling me all about their business, how Cherish is not just about skincare but a holistic approach on caring and treating yourself, and ended up chatting about digital marketing, the 5Ps of copywriting and other useful tips and advice I discovered through my personal interest and reading on marketing and social media on how to promote their business.

Mel is a full-time mum of two and Beth is actually a recent hair and make-up graduate. I felt immensely proud when I found out she just graduated from Southampton Solent University, my work home for the last six years. I told her all about the support and advice she can get from our Employability (Solent Futures) department and offered any help I could. I posted about it on LinkedIn today and I have already been contacted by our PR and Comms team asking me how they can get in touch with Beth!

All their products are organic produced by Mel and Beth and the idea of Cherish is to offer a suite of products from night oils to spray on your pillow to help you sleep better to day creams, anything to improve your skin but also your health and quality of life.

I left from our meeting genuinely excited and grateful I got to meet these two inspiring ladies. I can’t wait to see their business flourish!

Cherish Skincare co-founders Mel and Beth

They have just set up their website so if you want to find out more go have a look here and if you like what you see, spread the word! You’ll be supporting an inspiring local business as well as promoting wellbeing and self-care, something so basic but essential more than ever in the busy, crazy world we live in.

I wish you all the best Mel and Beth!