Thursday, 11 October 2018

CHECK YOUR TATAS

Wow it's been over two years since I wrote my last blog post. So much has happened! Theres been two moves, three trips abroad, weddings, big birthdays, good news, bad news!

I guess I will start where I left off. After Thailand, my accident and recovery I moved into a friends amazing seafront apartment which was in a building called Palace Court. It was a hotel in the 1800's and has appeared in the vampire movie Byzantium. Anyone that knows me well knows I'm a huge horror and vampire movie fan so I loved the idea of living here. I was lucky enough to be paying cheap rent so I decided to quit my bar job as I'd had enough and I wanted to concentrate on my business as it had been a while since I had really done anything with it. Before I moved I had found a space up for rent in an antiques yard. Id always wanted a little shop again and this was perfect so I asked my friend who was a vintage collector if she'd be up for sharing. I was very excited about this and the timing was perfect. Its just what I needed. I also got a nice part time job on the pier serving the best coffee in a little hut. I loved this job because it was like working outside and my shop was like a cave!

Being single again I decided it was a good time to do some proper self healing. I hadn't really done this after I suffered with PTS. It had been a while since Id been single for a long amount of time too. I believe that the only way to really truly get to know yourself and get yourself back is to be on your own. I've never had a problem being alone as always been able to enjoy my own company so it wasn't too hard. I read up on so much stuff, spiritual, astrological I also read up on manifestation and the law of attraction. It all really helped and I started to make sense of a lot. Why I make the same mistakes, the guys I choose to go out with, the shit that always seemed to be relentlessly appearing in my life. I started to try and become a more positive person. Every day I woke up, if a negative thought came into my head I would quickly kick it outta there! Starting to feel more positive about life was like learning something new and I was having to retrain the neurons in my brain. Eventually it started to come more naturally and my old ways of thinking started to disappear. I was very aware I could get depressed really easily and sometimes it was incredibly hard to get yourself out of that dark muddy hole. I didn't want to ever go back there so tried so hard to keep myself above that sinking hole.

I went on lots of long walks with my best friend and kept drinking to a minimum. My taste from my accident was still not quite right so was eating really healthy. A combination of all this was helping with my well being massively. I was enjoying getting back to myself. It felt good getting to know myself again, sewing and being creative, spending time with friends, walking, eating healthy, the occasional night out and most of all binging on Twin Peaks after 25 years!! I felt I was on the road to being happy again!

I hadn't modelled for a while and thought it was weird that Marks and Spencer's hadn't contacted me about a shoot since before I went to Thailand. I went on their website and saw that another girl had replaced me. I had no direct contact with them so emailed the studios. They said they knew nothing so I emailed the charity that had got me the job. They contacted M&S and then got back to me saying that they had a new model. This was fine but I felt annoyed that they hadn't even had the decent courtesy of telling me saying thanks for modelling with us. I know this doesn't happen in that industry but I felt this was different as I wasn't a normal professional model and I'd got this job from having breast cancer. I told the charity how I felt and they agreed. They spoke to M&S and eventually got a call apologising and asked for my address. I thought great finally I will get some free underwear they promised me right from the beginning. I got sent a poxy bunch of flowers in the post instead. After that I decided to boycott them.

After only a few months we were told we were going to get chucked out of Palace court. The building had been bought for a mere £1 million and was being renovated for student flats. we were all pretty sad about his. Despite it being noisy and being kept up late by students below me some nights I did love living here and enjoyed impressing people who came round to visit. the views and autumn sunsets and sunrises over the sea were stunning! I loved sitting in the chesilong in the bay windows with a cup of tea and my cat watching the sea and life go by. It was so therapeutic. I thought how am I going to top this! I was lucky I'd found a huge room that fit most of my crap in it, rent was cheap, my cat was happy, I was happy!
This was the time to use my law of attraction and manifesting skills to find something something! After searching and searching and getting mates to hop on board to find a place and places falling through I really started to panic! The week before I was supposed to move out I rang this guy up that I didn't know well but he would come into my shop every weekend and we got talking, I told him about getting chucked out and he said If I got desperate he had a four bed house in St Leonards that most of the week was sitting there empty as he worked in London during the week. a few days I told him I had no where to go and so he took me in. So I moved all my stuff in much to his horror! His place was the opposite to where I'd be living, it was immaculate and brand new and here I was bringing in all my vintage and old crap. He said make yourself at home so that I did and made the house feel more like a home by spreading all my stuff out! He seemed to like it so all was good. Yoko was very happy here too, she got to go outside again and sniff the fresh air and watch birds fly by, this mad me extremely happy and I love watching her do this.


So I'm still there after a year and quite settled which is rare for me. Last summer was great! I felt so happy and more confident then ever!! I was going on more walks with my best mate, hanging with friends down the beach, going to lots of gigs, I really couldn't complain . I decided I wanted to save and go to America for a road trip. There was a festival coming up in California so I bought a ticket for that and booked my flights! I was so excited. I had the best time ever! I think that could be another blog post.
I travelled from the south of California up through Oregon and then Washington. I extended my stay twice and crammed in as much as possible going to film and TV series locations. My favourite one being Twin Peaks. I fell in love with Seattle and didn't want to leave. Alas I had to come home, my cat was waiting for me and I'd run out of money.
I got home and was so happy to see Yoko.

In the new year I decided to give up my shop and take the plunge by going online. Ive always been quite old school and not a huge fan of technology so I wasn't looking forward to it. I however surprised myself and got on with it calmly and with patiently (patience isn't my strong point) I had a bit of crap going on at the time which had really upset me but I managed to get on with it all and I was just even more proud of myself. Just before I had gone on my travels I decided to start designing 70's style T shirts. I also had help designing a new Forest Elf logo which ended up being exactly what I wanted. Things really started to feel like they were coming together and I was so happy!

I usually hate winter, especially the beginning of the year but this year I had the best one id ever had. My business was doing really well I was having fun and going to gigs with friends and I started planning my next trip with one of my Brighton pals Holly. Id never done a girly holiday before so was so excited about this one. I'd wanted to to go a festival in Austin called Levitiation for a while now so we bought tickets for that and booked our flights. I worked my butt off waitressing in my friends American diner The Pelican saved as much as I could. April came round and I had another trip of a live time. Having a girl partner in crime was a lot of fun and we became so much closer as a result of it. I couldn't help myself and extended my trip again and flew back to Seattle for a week. Got to be the tour guides assistant on the Twin Peaks tour and met lots of new cool people. Seattle in the Spring is unbelievably beautiful and was great to see it after the rainy autumn visit. The Deep South trip was more music orientated then film n tv and and was a huge contrast.


SO back in England once again and this time I really struggled being back. I'd felt my mood change this year and wasn't quite as happy and bouncy as I'd been last year. I couldn't figure out why. I assumed I was just getting impatient and had a desperate urge to move to America so badly and I was bored with Hastings. I was definitely more emotional and I guess my hormones were changing. Im in my last year of being thirty and I still haven't got children. I was started to get this urge of wanting to love something or someone. Maybe it was my biological clock ticking or maybe I felt ready to be in love again. I had been very guarded over the years and had created a tough exterior after being hurt in the past and being treated badly by men. I think that wall was coming down and I was starting to soften. I've never been massively maternal but I was starting to feel a need to love and care for someone. I realised I probably just needed to turn that love around on me and it was me that still needed more love. However I did feel ready to love again but the thought of a relationship did still scare me. I was happy to keep concentrating on myself for now.

Summer arrives and I'd planned on going back to America or even Canada in October, I carried on working really hard but started to feel pains in my knees. Not only this but I feel my mood dipping even more. The weather was amazing this summer, the best in years and here I was wishing it away. My body was starting to crash. I'd done so much in the last year, worked and played so hard. I was never very good at balancing my life. I go full throttle and then burn myself out forgetting that I actually have quite a sensitive constitution and that since cancer I've never been quite the same again. I'd been working n playing so hard and inbetween not looking after myself. My taste was pretty much back to normal and I was eating and drinking all the things I hadn't been able to. I was suffering with the worst acid reflux I've ever had in my life. In fact I had never suffered with heart burn till now. All that coffee, spicy food, eating out had taken its toll. I had to cut all these things out. My system had become so acidic. This is never a good thing especially if you've ever had cancer because cancer thrives in an acidic environment. I found it hard to be super healthy when Im not feeling happy and all I wanted was comfort food. I started to really stress about my future and worry about what I was going to do and how I was going to achieve my dreams, with not much money and being too old for working visas and having no profession as such I had no idea how I was going to get out of Hastings. I'd felt like I'd outgrown it here and felt ready for bigger things. Its kinda strange When you get to my age and are still single, there doesn't seem to be as many friends around to do stuff with unless its going out drinking and I was trying not to because I needed to really give up drink all together. People my age usually have families by now, my other friends are a lot younger then me and one huge night out can take me days to fully recover and I get ill more easily after my immune system was battered by chemo. I had to avoid the headonistic life I once lived or at least keep it to a minimum. Hastings is great for partying and Hastonians really do know how to party hard. I couldn't lead this life anymore and needed to change a lot about my lifestyle which seems to be incredibly hard to do here. The pain in my knees got worse and worse and I had to give up my part time job.

I was hoping after some rest my knees would sort themselves out. I went for an Xray but didn't think it would show up anything and figured I'd just wait for a scan and probably find out that it was cartilage wear and tear. My Xray was in August and only last week after calling the doctors a few times did I find out the results. The results show that I have Bi lateral medial osteoarthritis. I couldn't believe it, it definitely was not what I was expecting. I felt really bummed out by it and a little upset. It had been 10 years since my cancer diagnosis and I was meant to be celebrating and possibly off on another trip. I thought once again "Im too young for this!" just like breast cancer diagnosis. I have lived life to the full though and been on my feet working since I was 18. Im pretty sure my cancer treatment will have made them worse and the more people Ive spoken to the more I hear that the people who have had cancer now has some sort of arthritis or osteoporosis. Im not going to let it make me feel angry. Ive been there before and it really doesn't help. I survived cancer and glad to be alive and that is the main thing. I can get obsessed with my health and make myself miserable so there is a fine line between being healthy and over obsessed with it. I have changed my diet and started eating meat again, something I was told to do years ago but didn't as it was against my principles. Now I realise that my health benefits from eating meat so I do, I just make sure its organic or local. Ive cut out dairy and trying to cut down on sugar and alcohol. Im not depriving myself completely though and have the odd treat! If anything this news just makes me want to make the most of life even more and to the fullest but perhaps in a slightly different way. It has forced me to stand still and live in the present. For the last year I was always looking into the future wanting to do the next big trip or trying to plan a way of moving abroad and then getting frustrated not knowing how my future will pan out, this stopped me from living in the now and I was making myself ill. About a month ago I realised it was pointless worrying and stressing and almost over night managed to calm down and view things differently. Its made a huge difference and I feel a lot happier. I let go of all my thoughts and worries about the future knowing I had no control over it and it has made a huge difference. My health is my priority again now and Im focusing on that. The future can wait. Weirdly since quitting my part time job, been happier n stressing less my live has got busier and more things seem to be happening. It was like I was stopping the flow with my thoughts. My business is doing well, I get asked to do random jobs here and there, lives good and busy despite painful knees. Like anything I think if we focus too much on one thing and get obsessed about it you can stop the flow.

I have really suffered with emotional pain and depression over the years and know a lot of it has manifested into physical illness. I can honestly say Im the happiest Ive ever been and thats down to all my own hard work. I believe you can create your own luck and you can change your life around simply by the way you think. I know life isn't free of its hardship and my live is a massive rollercoaster ride! Im also learning how to deal with the crap when it comes along and not let it affect me too badly and how to cope with stress when it comes my way. I don't think Ive had the best coping mechanisms in the past so thats another thing I've been learning to do. I could talk about this for hours!! Ive already written an essay and there is so much more I could write about.

Just one last thing.....
It was 10 years since my cancer diagnosis at the end of September. October was coming up which is Breast cancer awareness month. I wanted to do something to celebrate. I thought it would be a great idea to design a 70's style T shirt and donate some of the sale money to a breast cancer charity. I choose the Hello Beautiful Foundation after a friend sent me a link to them. They seemed perfect! They have a really cool shop in London where I will be selling them as well as online. Im so pleased with them and was the hardest design to do so far mainly for the size and positioning on the T shirts as us girls are all different shapes and sizes and I wanted the daises to be perfectly placed over the boobs! So far they've sold Really well and I hope it creates more awareness and to remind women and even men to check their boobs. Save the tatas was the slogan I chose.



So much has happened the last two years, here is a tiny glimpse of some stuff that was happening in no particular order......