Some of you may know I have a tattoo on my foot with the quote “Hoping, Wishing & Dreaming”. I’m a lover of quotes (honestly my room is full of them) and wanted something inked on my body. I chose this because essentially this is all I do, I live a lot of my life through fantasies in my head only to be disappointed by the reality. This doesn’t mean that I don’t work hard for things and commit to things because I believe someone is just going to magically make things happen for me, but I do spend 90% of my brain going through various scenarios, imagining the various outcomes. Today 8 years on my tattoo is somewhat faded (due to bad placement on my foot and years of poor shoe choices rubbing against it) much like the hopes, wishes and dreams I had when it was tattooed on my body. Then I wanted a career in Musical theatre, my group of friends then consists of a dozen people I barely speak to now and my love life was as dismal as it still is today.
This week has been a challenging one, honestly I don’t know where to begin with this week, let alone the rest of life. In the grand scheme of things my problems are minuscule, however they are my problems. Whilst I can contribute to the battling larger issues, I single handedly cannot change the world.
So allow me for a moment to be really fucking honest with you about my current hopes, wishes and dreams.
Recently I’ve got my hopes up about a few things. I know I shouldn’t, I know I will always be disappointed and I know at the end of the day it’s only me to blame for that disappointment.
I’ve been hoping for a while that my job would get better, in fairness there isn’t anything wrong with the job at all but it’s lonely and leaves me feeling a little cut off from the world sometimes.
This week I got my hopes up that I would get into the London Marathon on the ballot. I didn’t, and whilst I hoped I got in, I expected this result. Thousands of people apply and thousands don’t get in. I’m still searching for a charity place, otherwise I will run a different marathon, but I really feel like next year will be the year to do my first.
I’m as single as anything, I’ve never been in a serious long term relationship and the longest relationship I have been in ended with words something along the lines of: “When I said I loved you, I didn’t mean it, you were just experience. I’m getting back with the previous girl I dated.”
And from there I’ve dated and I’ve got my hopes up that a guy will see me as more than a sexual object or experience, someone who wants to stick around longer than the last and means what he says and still everytime I start to like someone I’m quickly put back in my box and we chalk it up to experience.
I spent a long time battling depression and anxiety and didn’t want to date, and when I did it was for all the wrong reasons. But now I’m better, stronger and mentally in the right place. I feel confident in myself, my body and everything I can bring to the table and know I’m worthy of being loved but I feel like the chances of that happening are similar to the chances of me getting into the London Marathon ballot.
My biggest wish is that I could change the past, take away the hurt I’ve caused and received and do things a little different. I’m happy with my life and even with the things that aren’t great, life is still pretty good. More so I wish I could get out of my anxious cycle. I’ve been through my own personal hell and back and I’m still stuck in this vicious anxious cycle. It’s not so bad anymore, but it’s there and I wish I could be a little bit more carefree.
Like I said earlier, 18 year old me had very different dreams than 26 year old me.
My number one dream, as stupid as this sounds is to be alive. By that I don’t just mean breathing, but actually living me life, not wasting what precious time so many others have unfortunately lost.
I don’t have any dreams for my career anymore, I’m still figuring out where I want to go with that and right now I’m happy earning good money to pay for my dream holidays and tick more things off my bucket list. I do however have big personal dreams. I dream of owning my own house, a nice car, being settled and having my own children. I dream of living my life loving another person and then loving me back, and as silly as that might sound to some, that’s all I’ve ever really wanted.
I love Musical Theatre, there’s something so exciting about seeing a show, the hard work and dedication it takes for every one involved to put on a production. I love that you can take a little piece if the show home with you, with a souvenir or cast soundtrack.
I studied Musical Theatre for a long time and was always a career I wanted to go in to. Unfortunately I had to be realistic and this wasn’t a viable option for me and my mental health when I left university, however just because I don’t work in that industry doesn’t mean I’m any less passionate, in fact maybe I’m more passionate about it now. Musical Theatre is a go to for me, when I’m feeling any kind of emotion there is always a song that will resonate with me. I’ve found musicals to have a significant impact on my Mental Health.
If you follow my blog you will notice I talk about managing my mental health mainly through exercise, but I also have a great group of friends/family supporting me and take small steps and different practises to look after myself. As part of my self care routine, I put on my epic Spotify playlist (which I amend often) with lots of my favourite show-tunes and do the things I need to do to make myself feel a bit better. You can find my playlist here.
I’ve listed a couple of songs that I really love to listen to, that I can relate to or make me feel better, when I’m not having a very good mental health day.
Song: For Good
This musical reminds me of a lot of special people. I love that it is a musical based on two strong female leads, and tells a story of an unlikely friendship. I’ve watched this show more than any other and it’s by far one of my favourites.
Song: Wait a bit
Show: Just So
This was the first solo I ever performed in University. My singing teacher picked this and not only is it a beautiful song but really resonated with how I felt. Having the opportunity to perform this gave me a massive confidence boost and now this song holds a special place in my heart.
Song: Words Fail & For Forever
Show: Dear Evan Hansen
“Dear Evan Hansen, today is going to be a good day and here’s why; because today at least you are you and that’s enough”
This musical is perfect. Ben Splatt is perfect. No one can argue with me on this. This musical talks about mental health and suicide in a way other musicals haven’t. The story line and song are something I can personally connect with. How anyone can watch this musical or listen to the soundtrack without crying is beyond me. This musical is currently my “go-to” when I’m feeling a little bit down, as much as the songs are sad, it’s great to connect to something knowing that at some point someone else also felt like you did, and to know you aren’t alone in any given situation.
Song: Anything Worth Holding on to
Song: She used to be mine
Another new show I am fond of and can’t wait for the west -end version. I love going on a journey with a character and feeling a range of emotions with them, this musical is definitely one where I can do that. I love this song, it’s sung beautifully. Also check out Sarah Bareilles version, she wrote the music for the show and performed it on Broadway too.
Song: Journey to the past
This song reminds me of my good friend Sasha, and singing it together in University. I love Dreamgirls and the film, but I love the musical version of listen and would have loved a Jennifer Hudson & Beyoncé version of this.
Show: Little Women
For the finale production of my university course we did the musical Little Women, I had never heard of it beforehand, just the book. I loved the storyline and the music so much and this was one of my favourite songs from the show. I think this show taught me a lot, and was possibly the start of a very difficult time for me so it holds some conflicting memories however I still love the song and listen regularly.
Song: Finale B
Another of my favourite musical. So many lyrics strike a chord with me in this show.
Fun fact: I auditioned for University singing a song from this show too.
Song: My Shot
This show is amazing, I cannot wait to see the London show in December.
Fun fact: I like to Rap this song whilst I run, I am terrible at it but it often get me over a big mental block to at least attempt it.
Song: I can do better than that
Show: The last 5 years
Show: In the Heights
Song: I’m Here
Show: The Color Purple
Listen to this song, then listen again. Now Read the book, watch the film, listen to this song on repeat for the rest of your life. This Book & Film helped me through a bit of a rough patch, I’m not much of a reader but once I stared this book I couldn’t put it down. Not only am I a fan of the book/film/musical but also a big fan of Cynthia Erivo who performed the role of Celie in the latest broadway revival, alongside Jennifer Hudson and Danielle Brooks, I tried my best to go to New York and see this show but unfortunately I never made it.. gutted.
This show is so emotionally powerful yet at the same time so educational.
I always find that I click on one YouTube link and tend to fall down a hole and then next thing you know if watched every single thing each performer has ever done. So enjoy listening and feel free to follow my playlist.
What are some of your favourite show-tunes, or songs that help you when you aren’t feeling great? If you have any recommendations or even want to talk feel free to comment or send me a message on twitter or Instagram (@megandaniella).
Apologies in advance this is going to be a long emotional post… Look away now if you aren’t interested. I won’t take offence. 😉
Today I’m going to post something I usually wouldn’t post on social media. A transformation.
The above photo is from 2011/2017. Now I wish there was some major weight loss transformation to show you but there isn’t.
- Just left uni
- Struggling to find work, not sure what I wanted to do
- Felt ugly, fat and unhappy with myself and my appearance
- Struggling to find my place in life and felt like I wasn’t good enough and constantly felt like the world was against me.
I was about to face some of the toughest years in my life soon after this photo. I spiraled into depression and anxiety. For more info on that please see my mental health post.
- More confident (not 100% there yet)
- Love myself (again, not 100% there, we all have shit days)
- Stronger, fitter, faster
- Earning good money, focused more positively on a career and work orientated goals
- Making and smashing goals constantly
- Has performed in Aerial shows, and competed in Races
I am a lot happier but I am constantly working to improve my physical and mental health.
- Had been dancing every day at uni
- Was on the pill, binged heavily every time I got upset
- Not sure of exact weight but around this time I was approximately 12+ stone.
- Running for a year and a half
- Aerial on and off for 3 + years
- Eat whatever I like but don’t control my emotions solely on food anymore.
- Has a better relationship with food
- Approximately 10 stone.
I look at the person on the left and just feel sorry for her, in both pictures although I’m smiling I wasn’t very happy and the worse was yet to come. Six years between each picture and so much has happened, I’ve grown up so much and changed in so many positive ways. Anyone who knew me in 2011 may have known I wasn’t the nicest person to myself or to others, I regret some of the decisions I made back then. Now I am thankful I’ve lived through everything and grown as a person. I have been on the biggest roller coaster with my mental and physical health, after the lows it’s been really hard to feel comfortable in my own skin and around other people. Having scars, stretch marks and then feeling fat and ugly I thought I was unworthy of ever being loved or even liked by other people, I realised that this was a mindset I needed to get away from and started making positive steps to love myself and change the way I appreciated my own body. Soon enough I started feeling the love from other people and I realised that things weren’t as bad as I felt like they once were.
I can’t explain exactly how these changes were made, you find what works for you and stick with it. It’s not easy, you need to constantly adjust and adapt and put yourself first in order to get the results you want. For me it was a long hard road with many up and downs. Now I am always adjusting what works for me to maintain and grow.
Bonus picture update:
My first half marathon of the year is done, with it being an extra difficult one mentally and physically I now need to take more time to focus on looking after myself. Here are my top ten self care habits that I like to do.
- Hot Bath
Even when I’ve not been running, I sometimes feel tense even if I’ve just got a lot going on Mentally. A hot bath helps me relax. I love adding bath bombs, bubble bars, epsom salts or essential oils to the bath to help me de-stress and unwind.
- Read a Book/Watch a Film
Often combined with number 1. I’m not much of a reader but a few of my favourite books to read or re-read are “The Color Purple”, “The Perks of being a Wallflower” and “Silver Linings Playbook”. My go to feel good films are anything Disney (obviously) like Mulan, Hercules, or The Little Mermaid to name a few favourites. My all time Favourite Film ever in the world is Sister Act (stop laughing) it holds so many good memories for me and can always put me in a good mood.
Sometimes doing your nails, hair and make up just makes you feel good. Clean Hair, fresh nails and make up makes me feel like I am ready to take on the world.
A good way to connect with your body, listen and understand your body’s needs and give your mind some time to recouperate and focus. Click Here for a previous post on stretching.
- Light a candle
I love a good Candle. Yankee Candles are my favourite. I have a wax burner in my room and love all the different smells you can get. Right now my room smells like a cupcake and I couldn’t love it anymore.
- Go for a walk
I’m quite passionate about a good walk. It gives me time to clear my head and forget about the worries of the day. It’s been a year and a half since I started walking to work daily. Take a look a one of my old posts here about walking.
- Do a Hobby
I love crafting, I love going to the theatre and I love Aerial. If I’m having a tough time doing any of these things for fun can always help me mentally and physically feel my best.
- Listen to music
I created a 12 Hour Musical Theatre playlist, and it’s amazing. I listen to my favourite songs to put me in a good mood.
Anyone else find cleaning weirdly therapeutic? If I have a lot going on up in my head, physically doing something like running is a great way to transfer the tension and release it. Sometimes when I don’t want to run, cleaning has the same effect. Organising and rearranging helps me put order into my life.
I love Food! If I want to eat something I will, I have no restrictions in my diet. If my body needs fuel, I feed it good foods, If my body needs comfort food, then that’s what it will get. Sausages, Mash & Peas will always been my favourite dinner.
What do you do to take care of your Mental and Physical health? Let me know in the comments! 🙂
Weight is nothing but a number so tell me why I’ve felt I’m of more value if the number on the scale is lower.