Would you change the past if you could?

 

 

Simply, no…

Despite the ups and the downs of my 25 years so far I would not change anything about it. There are often moments of reflection but part of my understanding of living this life is that you have to face certain hurdles in order to learn the lesssons which hopefully mean that you leave this Earth a little wiser than when you arrived.

Guilt can be a huge motive for wanting to change what has passed. I think this is especially true when the death of a loved one is involved.

For me, I look back and have to physically put myself back in the time and moment that decisions were made. There are reasons for everything that has gone, there are circumstances in each of those moments as to why those decisions were made. It is not always easy to remember the details of the why, it is often much easier to blame, but in reality blaming does no good whether it be yourself or someone else.

I was recently talking regrets with my Nana, now 91 years old. She was talking about her marriage, her work before she got married and many other things after that. She suddenly looked at me and said “Bekki, if I had my time again I’m not sure I would marry.”

It then dawned on me that this woman in front of me had lived in this ever changing world for 91 years. She was brought up in the days when toilets were still at the end of the garden, she lived through World War II and here she is living to witness the extremes of modern living. The changes that she has seen throughout her life time, especially in the progression of women and how they live their lives both personally and professionally, is huge.

I discussed many of these changes with my Nana. I asked her to go right back to how life was when she go married and asked her whether she would really change the fact she got married. She looked at me and agreed that no she wouldn’t change it because it was “what you did back then.”

It was sad for me to see this woman who has lived through so many decades of change now look back at parts of her own life with regret, not based on what life was like back then, but based on what it could have been had she been born into a different era. Looking to compare the life she has led with how I, as a young woman, am now living my life in 21st Century Britain.

never-regret-a-day-in-your-life-good-days-give-9855654

Even if we wanted to change the past, it has been and gone. There is no point in worrying about the things we have no control over, there is no point in looking back at what has gone and wishing we could change it.

We can look at the past as a key to unlocking the emotions tied into those events which have gone, we can express those emotions in the present in order to release how we felt at that time, and most importantly we can learn from what has been in order to change what is yet to come.

Focus on the here and now, focus on those things that we can impact positively on and live this life to the fullest, it is far too short to be wasted.

 

 

Christmas Time

Christmas this year for me was one of the best I have had for a very long time.

christmas-2016

For me Christmas doesn’t really signify anything religious, I don’t enjoy the huge commercial aspect of it and I definitely don’t enjoy spending massive amounts of money (penny pinching accountant here)!

In May this year I took a leap into the unknown, moving my entire life from the wild West Welsh coast where I had lived for around 6 years, to start a new adventure in the South West town of Taunton. Although this was a move closer to where I spent my childhood in Gloucestershire it was still an almighty change from the slow paced, sleepy, Welsh comfort that I had become so used to.

I managed, with great difficulty due to the number of clothes which I definitely ‘need’ and the unnecessary number of duvet sets which I seem to have acquired in varying colours and materials over the years, to pack my entire life into a Vauxhall Corsa.

Nearly 8 months down the line I can safely say that I could not have made a better decision in my life than to come to Taunton when I did. My job was the main reason for moving here. It has more than lived up to expectations, giving me the challenge I need and allowing me to progress in a career which I enjoy and have great respect for. This job has also given me more than that, it has given me a new set of friends. A group of girls who all support each other through the ups and downs of, what can be, a tough place to be at times!work-girls-christmas-2016

When initially moving I decided that the best way to settle into a new place would be to move into a houseshare, hoping to meet people in a similar situation to myself! Again, 8 months in and this could not have been a better decision. Spareroom.com has a lot to be thanked for in bringing me some of the best friends I could possibly ask for. 6 ladies in one house may sound like a nightmare but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it 🙂 I have never really been a girl’s girl, but it just takes the right ones to change your perspective on that!

So, having completely changed my life with a move to the South West, a new job, new house and new friends, the run up to Christmas was new and exciting. We didn’t spend a lot of money but we did all the things that meant a lot to us; decorating the house, visiting Christmas markets, playing carols and going to Carol concerts, decorating the office to add some fetive cheer, wearing as many Christmas jumpers as you can get away with and generally being merry (lots of mulled wine involved).housemates-2016

By the time I had finished work to head back to West Wales for Christmas I was feeling extremely festive, and ready for a rest! My family had agreed that we were not going to buy Christmas presents this year, so Christmas passed with the enjoyment of good food, DVDs, a brisk walk in some very chilly weather, playing Pointless and just being with each other. However chessey this may all sound, it is true, and one of the happiest and most enjoyable Christmas’ that I can remember.

So here we are having started the New Year of 2017. I feel very hopeful that this year is going to be a positive one, full of many more of life’s lessons, I am sure. The last year taught me that in order to progress and achieve in life sometimes you have to take huge leaps into the unknown no matter how scary these may be. It has also taught me a huge amount about self worth and what I am worthy of, and I will never settle for anything less than what I deserve in my future. So, what will 2017 bring?

 

What is Ulcerative Colitis….?

Alot of you may not even know what Ulcerative Colitis is. There have been many times where I have had to explain the ‘medical’ definition of UC. This can sometimes be difficult…..toilet humour is not appreciated by all!

As far as the medical profession are concerned it is a auto-immune disease which inflames the intestines and bowel (UC and Crohn’s disease collectively know as Irritable Bowel Disease affect different areas) and causes diarrhoea and rectal bleeding along with many other symptoms, all of which don’t really have any medical explanation to them…

This brilliant organisation has much more information – http://crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

From the point of view of someone who has lived with this disease it is much more…..

The inflamation of my bowel left me with a hugely bloated stomach. I was left with no confidence in my body or the way I looked. I should imagine that this is the same for both men and women but as a teenage girl this was a particularly difficult symptom of the condition to overcome. Also, extreme weight loss may sound like a brilliant thing, but losing around 3 stone in 6 weeks is not healthy or attractive – take it from somebody who knows!

My stomach cramps were unlike anything I had ever felt before, leading me to be doubled over in extreme pain at times and unable to even leave my bed at others. There were days when I felt so debilitated and weak that I was genuinely not sure if I could carry on….it wasn’t that I didn’t want to live, it was that I didn’t want to live with the pain any more. The thought of being in hospital and being looked after was so much easier than having to fight through each day. I was not able to physically do the things that I wanted to do, having to rely on my family to do the regular daily things like cooking and cleaning in order to make sure I could go to work and just survive each day.

There were times during the two years that I suffered with severe UC, when I was having to go to the toilet 15 or more times a day. My mind became completely distracted by where the next toilet was, or where the next toilet would be. How long would I have to go without knowing where the next toilet was? What if I had an urge to go in between now and knowing where the next toilet was? It was literally an on going cycle that never stopped.  There were a few times where I was nearly caught out in public places. These are the times when your faith in humanity is restored! After thinking like this for so long it took a long time to train my brain away from these obsessive thoughts.

The symptoms that make up this condition are not just an illness, they take over and become your life. In my experience when you are in the depths of all of the above you are completely absorbed in it and have no space for anything else. Surviving becomes the main aim for each day……….

Can I Avoid Disaster?

I think every 20 something should read this; such beautiful writing. Society would like us all to be ‘perfect’ and it is just not how reality is. Everybody has there ups and downs, some people’s downs are bigger than others, but we all have our journey to fulfill and we are all faced with fears to overcome in all shapes and sizes.

“You are beautiful right now. I don’t care about your shape or your hair or your personal hygiene habits. Right this minute you are gorgeous.” – this is a beautiful sentiment and something we should all learn to truly believe however young or old.

The SisterWives

It is too easy to get caught up in the process, sometimes, of what we do. We forget why we started in the first place. This letter, from Sarah, arrived for us one day, and we all wondered what we might have to say to someone who was so earnestly seeking advice.

Quite a bit, it turns out. Today, we will hear from Michelle, who wrapped her arms around it in the way that only she can.

Thanks, Sarah.For reminding us.

DearSarah

I’m Sarah. I’m 23. And I was wondering if you could help me answer a few questions.

Some background: I’m working on recovering from the frighteningly non-unique mess that is childhood sexual abuse followed by self harm. And I want to be beautiful, and strong, and kind. But stereotypically, early to mid 20 something’s are kind of the opposite of all of those things. I don’t want to suck…

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Why women talk less

A really interesting read, definitely one to think on.

language: a feminist guide

This week on Newsnight, Evan Davis talked to three women about all-male panels—a subject made topical by the recent popularity of a tumblr set up to name and shame them. Why, he asked, are women so often un- or under-represented in public forums? Are they reluctant to put themselves forward? Are they deterred by the adversarial nature of the proceedings?

The women offered some alternative suggestions. Women don’t get asked, or if they do it’s assumed you only need one. Women aren’t seen as experts, unless the subject is a ‘women’s issue’. The age-old prejudice against women speaking in public means that any woman who dares to voice her opinions can expect to be deluged with abuse and threats.

But while all-male panels are obviously a problem, they’re only the tip of the iceberg. Just ensuring that women are represented on a panel does not guarantee their voices will…

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A smile to be proud of!

The smile I now have is a real smile and the person behind it no longer has anything to hide. Ulcerative Colitis is the hidden disease that changed my life for the better, made me the person I am today, but took me through struggles that I never thought would end.

I was rushed into hospital in 2011 at 19 years old after fainting due to blood loss….I had no idea what was happening to me.

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis a few days after being in hospital and looked set to face a life with this disease.

I want to share my story to show that there is hope for those who have UC. There can be light at the end of the tunnel…..you do not have to suffer in silence or hide behind a forced smile forever.

UC has played a huge part in making me the person I am, it has taught me a huge amount about myself but it no longer rules my life.