Hello my lovelies and welcome back to another post. Recently I have been thinking deeply about a lot of elements in life in general and things that have happened this year, which is of course a lot. Probably things that have been crazier than what we ever thought 2020 would bring and I just wanted us to sit down together and reconvene and get on the same energy level together. I am always someone who loves a late night DMC (deep meaningful chat) at the end of a night out/ house party when you’ve drank more than your body can handle and all you want is cheesy chips (the best after a night of drinking.)
So I thought why not bring that vibe to my blog today. Grab yourself a drink of your choice, not necessarily alcohol, and let’s have a deep chat about life.
So I guess first we should talk about the massive elephant in the room which is of course, Corona. She is still out after 10pm and is now patrolling the “non-essential” isles in the Welsh supermarkets according to the government. But wittiness aside, there’s no denying that this pandemic has been an emotional ride for many of us in different ways and of course it is not gonna end any time soon. I personally think we’re going to be figuring out ways to live with it into 2021, maybe even for the whole year of 2021. Which I’m not saying to upset or scare any of you, as I know a lot of people don’t like it and don’t always wanna talk about it because it’s happening and it’s real and it’s every where you look and go etc. And I know for some of you and some of my close friends, it’s quite a triggering thing, of course, a pandemic isn’t something any of us probably thought we’d live through/ go through in our life time. As of course you hear about things in history and what has happened but you just don’t, you know think to yourself when you’re walking to work in the morning, ‘Oh next year maybe we’ll be in a global pandemic battling a virus.’
I saw Heather and Chloe the other day and we were talking about how crazy it is to think how quick the time has gone since lockdown. It’s mad to me that I’ve been back at work since June and then seeing friends and family again since late June. Now we’re approaching the end of October, going into November, and then onto Christmas, and almost one year of Covid being a part of our universe. I think sometimes, until you’re directly affected by something it can feel like it’s not real. Or we all do that thing where we know it’s around and it happens but “it’ll never happen to us.” Which we’re defo all guilty of. I was the same when both my mum and dad got ill, last year and two years ago. Those moments always stick with you and re-ground you almost. When both my parents were ill and had to go into hospital it really highlighted to me how much they truly mean and are needed in my life and how much I am not ready to not have them with me. When I was a teenager I took them for granted quite a bit, which let’s be honest, when you’re a teenager you’re only really thinking about you and what you’re going through and how to deal with yourself. That’s how I felt as a teenager until I was 18 and then went off to uni. But it wasn’t until I moved back home afterwards that I realised how much I couldn’t do without them.
Now I do look back at moments in time where I was quite snappy and could be harsh in my tones with my parents and although I know it was just me growing up and figuring out me. I think back and go, ‘Oh why did you do that?’ because obviously I would never act quite like that anymore. I think definitely when you start to grow up and your parents are still getting older as well, you do you start to wake up and realise they wont be here for your whole life. Which to me is quite scary, I don’t know about the rest of you, but your parents are the first people in your life, they’re the first people you know, the first people that get to love you and get to know you, and learn about who you are as a person and that’s the same for when we’re all born too. Our parents are the first people we meet, the first people we get to know, and learn from, and love, and hear stories from, and experience life with. Which of course my mum, dad, and I still do now. We still go out just the 3 of us just like when I was younger which feels a lot more special now than what it did then. I think when you experience them going through something out of everyone’s control, including theirs, you just have to put your faith in the universe by being positive and just enjoying existing together in a space and in a time because you don’t know when that will be gone. Fortunately for me and my family the health scares of my mum and dad ended positively and they’re still here, which I’m forever thankful to the universe for.
I think one thing that Covid has taught us and is still teaching us is how much people matter. How time is precious and moments are magical but you don’t know you’re in one until it’s over. But just how much family and friends matter in our lives. I have been much more grateful ever since I came into my early twenties and this year it has been more important to be grateful for what we all have. I am grateful for all my family and my friends and Jake, and for my cats, to be earning money still, to have a place I call home, for my health, for life’s little luxuries. I’m just so so grateful to still be here and that all my loved ones are still here and we’re in good health. This virus has claimed so many lives, definitely more than any of us ever thought probably, which is utterly devastating and it breaks my heart to know so many people have lost their lives to something that could’ve been prevented or might have been spread less if we’d have all worked more efficiently in the beginning. But there is no point looking back and feeling regretful about what we didn’t do because what matters now is what we are doing and about moving forward. But also remembering as we’re moving forward and seeing our family and friends again and getting to do more things again compared to a few months ago is how lucky we all still are to be here. We’re going through a pandemic and we’re still here, still fighting, still pushing, still changing, still growing.
I read today that France is in a national lockdown again and of course Wales are in a 2 week lockdown here in the UK and up north are under much stricter restrictions compared to where I am down in the midlands. I also know that London has recently moved into tier 2 of the new restrictions system. It’s a weird feeling seeing places go back into lockdowns because for those 3 months or however many months you were in lockdown in your own country, we had no idea when it was going to end. We all entered an unknown phase of life and now seeing places go back into lockdowns kind of feels a bit like ground hog day. When I think back to lockdown it was such a special time and it has definitely affected people individually. It’s the one event in our lifetime that everyone will feel differently about. I personally enjoyed lockdown, I enjoyed the time off to rediscover myself and what I want and how I want to be living my life. Also what matters most and who matters most and it was just lovely to do whatever I felt like doing every day. Of course not every single day was easy, I missed Jake and my friends and family terribly but that’s why I am so grateful for social media. Without that I wouldn’t have been able to do half of the things I did over lockdown without it. It was really heartfelt to see a lot of us reconnect with old hobbies and discover new things we enjoy and start new hobbies and new traditions and just experience our lives at a slower pace without judgement from others and we got to do things just for the love and the joy in our hearts for doing them. As I’m someone who can get quite stressed about not being good enough to do something. If I can’t do something within the first few times I get frustrated with myself and then I get an anxiety about showing other people what I’m doing or have done, especially if they’re watching me doing something as me, not as like a performer or performance.
I can get quite in my head about those types of things these days which is actually not very healthy for me and I know it’s not because it puts me in such a negative rut about what to do and how I do things etc. So I really dislike that my mind has made me think and feel that way about certain things so I know I need to keep working on that for my own mental health. I don’t think what helps is that I’ve always been someone who has compared myself to others or not felt as good as someone else who does something or is doing something similar to me or what I want to do. Which is a bad way to think and be with myself as I know in my heart I’m good enough to do whatever I set my mind to do. But that old way of thinking and voice still sits there sometimes and it can affect me really badly. So I’m really trying my best to get out of that. Which for me is why my lockdown experience was so special because I gave myself the chance to rediscover me and what I enjoy doing and want to do more of without judgement from my own mind because I had no one to compare myself to. It was just me, myself, and I. Which I now need to apply that experience to my every day life when I’m doing things and going for opportunities because the only person I need to prove anything to is myself. Anyone else felt the same? So my lockdown experience was really special for that very reason. Now we’re in the second one here in the UK until early December (potentially) I don’t think it’s going to be quite the same as that because; I don’t know if this is the same for you guys, but in the first lockdown I never knew what that really meant. As in I didn’t know if it literally meant the whole world was gonna stop. Which of course not completely because we all need food. But the first time was completely unexperienced territory which is why when I was in it I really reconnected with me by doing all the things I want to do but sometimes “don’t find the time to do” because just before lockdown, all I did was go to work and see friends and see Jake. Which is fine but that way of living for me, looking back now, didn’t give me enough fulfilment because I was doing nothing just for me. So I think having an unknown (at the time) amount of days to do whatever felt natural and act however you felt and create whatever you want and experience whatever you wanted (within reason) and not have to worry about money (due to furlough for me personally – very grateful) and not having to worry about working and having enough money to pay for bills etc. It was honestly such a liberating thing for me and it really felt like the world had slowed me down for me to rediscover me at my core. Since going back to work, I have kept up a lot of the activities I really enjoyed getting back into over the summer. Such as reading, I’ve read so many books this year compared to previous years and I have the time in lockdown to thank for that. Now I read a little bit every day or every other day and I usually read just before I get in the bath or when I’m in the bath so I love that I’m keeping that in my daily routine. However also since going back to work, there has been some stresses these last couple months and that has been quite a negative drain on me personally. So to now have another month off to not have to deal with that is actually really nice. Which is not how many people feel about this second lockdown.
But as I was saying, I feel like this time doesn’t have that special element of what we’ll discover and what we’ll do with our time because, A) it’s not a proper lockdown as quite a lot of “non essential” places are still open, B) schools are still open, and C) we think we know when it will end but I personally think that will be subjected to change. So it’s not quite as unique as the first time round I’ll say. But I am very excited to be getting all festive a month early. Don’t even come for me ya’ll with the state of this year all of the “rules” are off. The other day I put some festive lights up, was listening to Christmas songs all day, and even wore my WHAM Christmas jumper. November has never felt so good! Have any of you put your trees up/ your decks up? Let me know in the comments! A wintery pre-Christmas room tour will be coming soon.
But honestly I am so excited for Christmas. I get excited for Christmas every year, you know me, but I think this year feels extra special because it’s the one event that wont get cancelled. Of course it’s not going to be how a lot of us normally do Christmas with social distancing and the rules changing all the time but Christmas will still happen because it’s an annual event that so many people celebrate around the world. I think we will have to adapt and work a lot harder to make Christmas as special as it always is. But really for me Christmas is about the magic and feel of the season and letting people know how much they matter. It’s a season to give back in whatever way you can and I think one thing the UK do really well as a whole is come together when things get tough and I’m sure this festive season will be no different. So if we have to do Christmas dinner on zoom or gift giving only small things because of postage then that’s what we’ll do. I think a lot of people feel pressure around Christmas time to fit everything in because it is a lot to do in like 24 days and I feel we all try to do Christmas as big and as good as we can. I know that I do anyway, I feel like each year I step it up a notch because I just adore this time of year so much. I love absolutely everything about it but it does mean I get quite excessive with decor, plans, gifts, the lot. So I just wanna say to you all, don’t put pressure on yourself this time of year. You shouldn’t anyway but especially because of this year, just enjoy the run up to Christmas for what it is and it doesn’t matter how much you get done or how much you don’t. All that matters is your happiness and your health and your loved ones. But I am so so excited! I think I need to get thinking of some Christmas content ideas for here and IG. As if I do go back to work in December then we all know it’s gonna be manic and crazy and hopefully the hours will be much better when we reopen. But it will mean December will just run away with me. Honestly my future career I really hope I can take the majority of December off to just enjoy the season as it is my absolute favourite. But this year I’m also really excited to make more content and post more content as in previous years I’ve been so busy that it’s been the last thing on my mind and I’ve blinked and it’s over. So I want to make sure this year that I fully embrace the season and make the most of these next couple of months. So expect to see some fun and creative A/W content as well as lots of Christmas bits too!
There has been another big event happen in the the last week which was the American election. Hello to all my American readers. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris being elected is by far some of the best worldly news of 2020. I feel like with voting when something has always been the same way, a bit like in the UK with the conservatives always being in power, you always have faith that something or someone will prevail and create something better. But there’s always that doubt in your mind of but this is how it’s always been and whilst people complain nothing seems to change. So with Trump being elected I was always 50/50 about if he would get in or not. It would’ve been one of those situations of disappointed but not surprised. But honestly I couldn’t be happier that Joe and Kamala have been elected and it just goes to show if you believe in a dream enough it can become a reality. It’s one of those potential life moments that you can imagine but sadly never turns out to be real, like myself when I was younger imagining I was going to win the X-Factor and the winners montage song be Greatest Day by Take That. No I haven’t replayed this scenario in my head, what do you mean?
But honestly I am so excited to see where Joe and Kamala take America. The country is in a massive state of divide and there’s a lot of social injustice going on in America right now and one of Joe’s main points is bringing the American people back together regardless of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that will be played out over the next four years. Plus something incredible to happen, Kamala Harris the first female vice president – amazing! But with extra sparkle on the top, the first female vice president who is black and of Asian descent. I can’t even begin to express how vital this is, especially right now with the physical violence when it comes to racism and how women are always being targeted just for being a woman. Honestly this is a moment in our history for the world to be in awe of, not just America. Of course it’s not going to be the easiest start with coming into presidency in a pandemic and of course America have been one of the worst affected countries due to Covid but despite all that I personally feel at ease for America, excited, and elated to see where they will be in 4 years time. Of course Trump isn’t going to go out of office without a fight but January 2021 is going to be the start of a new age for America.
I don’t know about you guys but I do really struggle to understand America’s voting system. For example, when Obama was in office he made lots of great moves to bring the American’s together, they made history as the first black family to be in the White House, he made a lot of moves for many sectors: ended the war in Iraq, created the affordable health care act to insure 20 million American’s for healthcare, resqued the country from the great recession and took unemployment rate from 10% to just 4.7%, ordered the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden, passed the American recovery and reinvestment act to help the economy after the recession, supported the LGBTQ+ community’s fight for marriage equality, put the country on track for energy independence, signed the deferred action for childhood arrivals which allowed 5 million people living in the US to have work permits and avoid deportation, signed the Dodd-Frank wall street reform and consumer protection act to re-regulate the financial sector, dropped the veteran homeless rate by 50%, and increased veteran funding, boosted fuel efficiency for cars, improved school nutrition for kids, signed the Lily-Ledbetter fair pay act to combat pay discrimination against women, nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court – the first Hispanic woman to serve as justice, won the Nobel Peace prize in 2009 for his conscious efforts to strengthen international co-operation between people, expanded stem cell research which lead to ground breaking discoveries in spinal injuries and cancer. So as you can see, Obama did so much in his 8 years in office and it was brilliant to see. Honestly a true asset to what America can be built to be.
[SOURCE: GOOD: 28 of Obama’s Greatest Achievements as President]
And then Trump comes along and basically reverses all of that. I know we all make mistakes but Trump really was a disaster as a president. Don’t get me wrong he did a few major moves in the ways of the terrorist group ISIS, the first step act to do with the law and criminal justice system, a tax cut and jobs act that was claimed to help the economy but as far as I know didn’t do an awful lot in the long term, created a new space force, and reshaping the federal judiciary. But for the most part Trump has done some pretty questionable and awful things in his time as president: the failure to bring people together during times of sadness and tragedy, e.g. the loss of American’s due to COVID 19 and the tragic deaths of George Floyd and so many other black American’s due to racist acts, his impeachment, the global image of the country, separating migrant children from their families, doing next to nothing for the minority communities, causing chaos in the middle eastern countries due to the nuclear weapon deal withdrawal, taking away the affordable care act, the economy is in bits spurred off of the pandemic due to tens of millions of job losses – he’d done nothing to help relief people when it came to not working due to Covid, he caught the virus which goes to show his recklessness in this pandemic, messing with the postal voting system with the election.
[SOURCE: Business Insider: Trump’s biggest accomplishments and failures]
I really struggle with American presidency’s because you have Obama for example who did so much good and put so much in place for the America people and was really well rounded in the work he did and then you have someone like Trump who comes and reverses half of that. I just feel like there should be more safeguarding when it comes to laws put in place in a previous presidency because Obama did so much work for half of it to be taken away just because he wasn’t in office anymore. I personally find that so wrong and disrespectful. But then of course there is the argument what laws should be safeguarded and what ones shouldn’t. As there’s a lot of laws that Trump has put in place that need to be changed because really he’s just caused a lot of problems for many working class American people. I have complete faith that Joe and Kamala will follow more along in the ways of what Obama did for the country whilst still putting their own stamp on things as they’re all from the same party. I just find it so hard that someone can come along from the opposite party in 4 years, 8 years etc and just wipe out everything you did for your country. Now of course that’s a reflection from the other party and not on you as a person or your party. But it’s just hard as I feel like we’re gonna be fighting the same battles all the time. For example, abortion was legal because it just should be, it’s a woman’s right to decide what they do with their bodies and the fact that some men think it isn’t is still something I find challenging to link together. But anyway in some states that’s illegal when it shouldn’t be and we’re still battling this in 2020 when there are bigger issues going on that really need to be spoken about compared to if a woman does or doesn’t want a baby. The fact that women’s rights are always under threat just really winds me up because we all exist here in this bubble therefore we should all automatically have the right to decide about anything that directly affects us. I’ve also seen this week they’re trying to ban abortion in Poland as well which is just utterly devastating. Like why are we constantly taking a million steps back to laws that shouldn’t be changing. Laws that affect people’s rights for the better shouldn’t legally allowed to ever be changed or compromised. I know there’s a lot of rioting happening in Poland because of this. Stripping away people’s rights to me will always be criminal and I hope we can keep fighting for justice even though we should be allowed to exist as we are.
But I do think the fact in 2020 we have a female vice president, finally, is very telling to how we’re viewing the world and a step in the right direction and I hope all American girls and women and girls and women all across the world of all genders, race, sexuality, ethnicities, think, ‘yes, I can do that.’ It will be because of people like Kamala that more women will step up because finally justice prevails and as women we are shown for once, that yes we can, hard work pays off, being honest pays off, doing good pays off, and being unapologetically you pays off. I’m excited to see where these 4 years take America and how that can be reflected on the rest of the world.
Well my loves, I think that is me done for this post, that is pretty much everything that has been on my mind lately. I hope you are all okay and are coping through the second lockdown. If you do feel like you need someone to chat or to listen, you guys know where I am. Always up for a chat! I will see you all in a future post, most likely a Christmas themed one as I’ve been doing some planning and I’ve got some creative and fun ideas this year. There’s also going to be a special something happening on Instagram which I am in the process of creating, so don’t forget to follow me over there @katiej0hnson for all the festive and fun content.