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I joke a lot about balance. How I won’t eat all day because I’m too busy, then come home and devour a packet of grated mature cheddar – BALANCE! How I’ll go to the gym for a huge session, then end up topping it off with an equally huge session in the bar with my friends – BALANCE! So to a degree, I feel like I'm totally nailing this balance thing. But the one thing I’m finding insanely hard to balance is work/ life as an influencer – and I use that term reluctantly, because although technically that’s what I am, as it’s a multi-platform, all-encompassing term which definitely applies to what I do – there’s something about it that I feel undermines exactly the hard work that goes into it all. Which leads me neatly on to this very topic – the hard work that goes into ‘influencing’. Ugh that sounds so creepy when you use it as a verb - like, let me brainwash you! Join my cult! When your life is technically your work, it can be a very very difficult issue to navigate and create a separation.

This multi-platform thing is challenging. This very blog was the start of everything for me, and it’s developed into an Instagram profile, complete with Instagram stories (which is basically a whole additional platform in itself these days) and YouTube – where I post weekly videos. I was texting Chloe last week about managing it all, saying how as soon as I channel a little more energy into one social platform, the others fall behind. And she put it quite perfectly “it feels like you’ve got five helium balloons and every time you pull one to stop it flying away another floats up” – and it’s true. If my life was a photograph right now it would be me holding up four oh-so-instagrammable foil helium alphabet balloons that spell out H-E-L-P.


Expectations vs Reality of life as a blogger

Obviously we only put out online the best bits of our lives – I know I know I’ve written time and time again about social media only being edited highlights and realness vs fakeness in the blogging world. It’s a little bit dumb, and we’re our own worse enemies really, because we put out this glossy perfected image – or at least a nice balance of relatable and aspirational – of what life is like as a blogger or full-time influencer, rather than the less-than-perfect truth about all of the boring, dull, exhausting aspects of the career. Then, we get pissed off that people don’t understand us and think our life is simply a glamorous doss, rather than seeing the hard work behind it all - but it’s our own doing, as we never share the brutal yet boring truth behind the filter.

But then, if we shared these things, our audiences wouldn’t really care for it. They don’t want to see the 20 minutes spent choosing a photo to post on Instagram, or the hours editing a haul video (and the epic tidy-up that comes after filming the try-on part - oh god it's AWFUL) or the changing your outfit in a public toilet/ coffee shop loo when out shooting content – or at least, not as frequently as it actually happens IRL. The occasional snapshot of blogging in your pj’s with no makeup on? #relatable! Show that you do it every day? Totally unglamorous. Unfollow.





What an average week looks like for me 
People always ask what an average day or week looks like for me, but here’s an example of the capacity I’m running at right now.

Day 1. 6:30am Edit sponsored video project, 9am doctors appointment,12:30 afternoon coffee with PR agency, 3pm PT session, home at 5pm, edit additional video freelance projects until 10pm.

Day 2. Wake at 6:30am. Schedule Instagram post. 9:30am Hair appointment (2.5 hours travel to get there and back from it), 1pm 30 mins gym, 3pm go to film a freelance video project, 5pm edit freelance video work until 8pm (work still isn’t done yet) when I crash out and fall asleep bc I’m so tired.

Day 3. 6:30am – invoices sent off, calendar updated, other admin completed. 8am – organize for filming YT video. 9am get distracted/inspired to write a blog post. 11am film YT video. 1pm meet Gemma to shoot content for Instagram. 4/5pm get home & die a little bit. 6pm edit YT video and do all additional info + linking + thumbnail photo creation. 9pm edit photographs for Instagram + send any #ads for sign off with brands. 10pm free time!

And repeat x 4 more and you basically have my week covered.

Any meetings or events you have in the day cut into your creative time that would usually be spent at your desk. So those 3 hours out of your office in the day mean an extra 3 hours at your desk completing the tasks you should have been completing earlier tasks. So when people ask what I do with my time, well, it's that!


Is Success Addictive?

When a channel or all of your socials are going so well, the problem is, you really don’t want to take the foot off the pedal because you’re enjoying the success and growth and everything it brings with it (ok, bar the stress). You tell yourself that when you hit a certain goal post, you’ll relax a little bit, but when you hit it, it inspires you to work harder because you know exactly what you can achieve when you put so much into it. If anything, it becomes harder to take your foot off the pedal, and you find yourself putting the pedal to the floor instead - coincidentally driving yourself at lightning speed to Burnoutsville.

Self-Employed Culture

Taking on too much work is a problem too. I feel damn well #blessed for every opportunity I get, but I need to learn to be more selective. But part of the self-employed culture is that you don’t know if or when you’re going to have a bad month, so it’s very hard to ever say no to work. Plus, blogging hasn't been around for long, so it's a career where the longevity is somewhat uncertain, so you definitely feel the need to work and bank the coins whilst you can, just in case.






Holidays don't really exist

A holiday is never just a holiday when you're a blogger/ influencer, because it’s always a chance to capture content you wouldn’t get elsewhere and share your stories. Even if you tell yourself to shut off and enjoy it, you find yourself stressing and feeling guilty that you’re missing great photographic opportunities. What was totally liberating however, was turning my Out Of Office on whilst on my 2 week trip to Cambodia, so anyone chasing me up on things would know I wouldn’t always be able to reply within 24 hours.

But in a normal 9-5, when you go on holiday, you put your OOO on and you set someone else as your contact. You literally offload your responsibility onto Sharon, or something. I still had to deal with PR’s chasing me relentlessly when I was travelling between cities, taking journeys on sleeper buses, and going 24 hours or more without wifi or phone signal. I wanted to clap back and say I AM ON HOLIDAY GIVE ME THE BREAK I’M SO DESPERATELY TRYING TO HAVE! But you have to maintain professional, so breakdowns via email are probs not your best bet if you want to keep your jobs,

What's a sick day?


In a normal 9-5, when you’re sick, you call up and take the day off. Your emails don’t get answered and when people come looking for you your team mates just say “oh she’s not in today she’s sick”. Oh, and you still get paid, in most jobs. But as an influencer, if you have a job on and you’re sick and can’t do it – you don’t get paid. You still have people sending several emails demanding things from you that you end up feeling more exhausted and run down.

Relationships? 
For my YouTube Q&A, someone asked if it’s hard to start or maintain relationships in this profession and yes, it is. It takes someone more chill and understanding than Jesus to *get* what being a blogger/influencer really takes as a career. Or even as a side hustle/ hobby. If you settled down in the early days of your blogging career with a guy, and he’s stuck by you, that’s great because he’ll totally get it. My ex sure didn’t. In the end, he said he hated watching my Instagram stories because I’d be all happy and full of energy, then he’d see the ‘real life Sophie’ who’d be all stressed and exhausted. In the end he said couldn’t ‘deal with’ my career for a whole host of reasons - but that’s another story. When someone doesn't *get* your job, or take it seriously, it can really take it's toll.

Is It Worth It?

I’m aware that this may come across like a great big moan, and in fairness, it totally is. It’s an absolute brain dump of everything I’ve been feeling over the past few months, and weeks especially. Right now there's 1 million other things I should be doing but I felt inspired to get this all down on screen so here we are! I’m physically exhausted, having jumped straight back into work at full speed after allowing myself a little break on holiday and it's made my head a little frazzled, and when talking to my friends, they remind me I have this awful habit of piling so much pressure on myself - more so than most people.

The truth is, the benefits of this job far outweigh all this crap above – it doesn’t make any of it less valid, but it does make it all worth it. I’m earning money doing a creative role that I’ve made for myself. I get to work alongside so many incredible inspiring women. The influencer world, especially in fashion, is one dominated by incredible bloggers-turned-businesswomen that have helped carve out a career path that didn’t exist not too long ago. And knowing that I get the opportunity to connect, relate, and even inspire so many other people through these platforms makes me feel all gooey inside.

So I'll be sticking around here a lot longer, I hope.

Struggling With Work/ Life Balance as an Influencer






I joke a lot about balance. How I won’t eat all day because I’m too busy, then come home and devour a packet of grated mature cheddar – BALANCE! How I’ll go to the gym for a huge session, then end up topping it off with an equally huge session in the bar with my friends – BALANCE! So to a degree, I feel like I'm totally nailing this balance thing. But the one thing I’m finding insanely hard to balance is work/ life as an influencer – and I use that term reluctantly, because although technically that’s what I am, as it’s a multi-platform, all-encompassing term which definitely applies to what I do – there’s something about it that I feel undermines exactly the hard work that goes into it all. Which leads me neatly on to this very topic – the hard work that goes into ‘influencing’. Ugh that sounds so creepy when you use it as a verb - like, let me brainwash you! Join my cult! When your life is technically your work, it can be a very very difficult issue to navigate and create a separation.

This multi-platform thing is challenging. This very blog was the start of everything for me, and it’s developed into an Instagram profile, complete with Instagram stories (which is basically a whole additional platform in itself these days) and YouTube – where I post weekly videos. I was texting Chloe last week about managing it all, saying how as soon as I channel a little more energy into one social platform, the others fall behind. And she put it quite perfectly “it feels like you’ve got five helium balloons and every time you pull one to stop it flying away another floats up” – and it’s true. If my life was a photograph right now it would be me holding up four oh-so-instagrammable foil helium alphabet balloons that spell out H-E-L-P.


Expectations vs Reality of life as a blogger

Obviously we only put out online the best bits of our lives – I know I know I’ve written time and time again about social media only being edited highlights and realness vs fakeness in the blogging world. It’s a little bit dumb, and we’re our own worse enemies really, because we put out this glossy perfected image – or at least a nice balance of relatable and aspirational – of what life is like as a blogger or full-time influencer, rather than the less-than-perfect truth about all of the boring, dull, exhausting aspects of the career. Then, we get pissed off that people don’t understand us and think our life is simply a glamorous doss, rather than seeing the hard work behind it all - but it’s our own doing, as we never share the brutal yet boring truth behind the filter.

But then, if we shared these things, our audiences wouldn’t really care for it. They don’t want to see the 20 minutes spent choosing a photo to post on Instagram, or the hours editing a haul video (and the epic tidy-up that comes after filming the try-on part - oh god it's AWFUL) or the changing your outfit in a public toilet/ coffee shop loo when out shooting content – or at least, not as frequently as it actually happens IRL. The occasional snapshot of blogging in your pj’s with no makeup on? #relatable! Show that you do it every day? Totally unglamorous. Unfollow.





What an average week looks like for me 
People always ask what an average day or week looks like for me, but here’s an example of the capacity I’m running at right now.

Day 1. 6:30am Edit sponsored video project, 9am doctors appointment,12:30 afternoon coffee with PR agency, 3pm PT session, home at 5pm, edit additional video freelance projects until 10pm.

Day 2. Wake at 6:30am. Schedule Instagram post. 9:30am Hair appointment (2.5 hours travel to get there and back from it), 1pm 30 mins gym, 3pm go to film a freelance video project, 5pm edit freelance video work until 8pm (work still isn’t done yet) when I crash out and fall asleep bc I’m so tired.

Day 3. 6:30am – invoices sent off, calendar updated, other admin completed. 8am – organize for filming YT video. 9am get distracted/inspired to write a blog post. 11am film YT video. 1pm meet Gemma to shoot content for Instagram. 4/5pm get home & die a little bit. 6pm edit YT video and do all additional info + linking + thumbnail photo creation. 9pm edit photographs for Instagram + send any #ads for sign off with brands. 10pm free time!

And repeat x 4 more and you basically have my week covered.

Any meetings or events you have in the day cut into your creative time that would usually be spent at your desk. So those 3 hours out of your office in the day mean an extra 3 hours at your desk completing the tasks you should have been completing earlier tasks. So when people ask what I do with my time, well, it's that!


Is Success Addictive?

When a channel or all of your socials are going so well, the problem is, you really don’t want to take the foot off the pedal because you’re enjoying the success and growth and everything it brings with it (ok, bar the stress). You tell yourself that when you hit a certain goal post, you’ll relax a little bit, but when you hit it, it inspires you to work harder because you know exactly what you can achieve when you put so much into it. If anything, it becomes harder to take your foot off the pedal, and you find yourself putting the pedal to the floor instead - coincidentally driving yourself at lightning speed to Burnoutsville.

Self-Employed Culture

Taking on too much work is a problem too. I feel damn well #blessed for every opportunity I get, but I need to learn to be more selective. But part of the self-employed culture is that you don’t know if or when you’re going to have a bad month, so it’s very hard to ever say no to work. Plus, blogging hasn't been around for long, so it's a career where the longevity is somewhat uncertain, so you definitely feel the need to work and bank the coins whilst you can, just in case.






Holidays don't really exist

A holiday is never just a holiday when you're a blogger/ influencer, because it’s always a chance to capture content you wouldn’t get elsewhere and share your stories. Even if you tell yourself to shut off and enjoy it, you find yourself stressing and feeling guilty that you’re missing great photographic opportunities. What was totally liberating however, was turning my Out Of Office on whilst on my 2 week trip to Cambodia, so anyone chasing me up on things would know I wouldn’t always be able to reply within 24 hours.

But in a normal 9-5, when you go on holiday, you put your OOO on and you set someone else as your contact. You literally offload your responsibility onto Sharon, or something. I still had to deal with PR’s chasing me relentlessly when I was travelling between cities, taking journeys on sleeper buses, and going 24 hours or more without wifi or phone signal. I wanted to clap back and say I AM ON HOLIDAY GIVE ME THE BREAK I’M SO DESPERATELY TRYING TO HAVE! But you have to maintain professional, so breakdowns via email are probs not your best bet if you want to keep your jobs,

What's a sick day?


In a normal 9-5, when you’re sick, you call up and take the day off. Your emails don’t get answered and when people come looking for you your team mates just say “oh she’s not in today she’s sick”. Oh, and you still get paid, in most jobs. But as an influencer, if you have a job on and you’re sick and can’t do it – you don’t get paid. You still have people sending several emails demanding things from you that you end up feeling more exhausted and run down.

Relationships? 
For my YouTube Q&A, someone asked if it’s hard to start or maintain relationships in this profession and yes, it is. It takes someone more chill and understanding than Jesus to *get* what being a blogger/influencer really takes as a career. Or even as a side hustle/ hobby. If you settled down in the early days of your blogging career with a guy, and he’s stuck by you, that’s great because he’ll totally get it. My ex sure didn’t. In the end, he said he hated watching my Instagram stories because I’d be all happy and full of energy, then he’d see the ‘real life Sophie’ who’d be all stressed and exhausted. In the end he said couldn’t ‘deal with’ my career for a whole host of reasons - but that’s another story. When someone doesn't *get* your job, or take it seriously, it can really take it's toll.

Is It Worth It?

I’m aware that this may come across like a great big moan, and in fairness, it totally is. It’s an absolute brain dump of everything I’ve been feeling over the past few months, and weeks especially. Right now there's 1 million other things I should be doing but I felt inspired to get this all down on screen so here we are! I’m physically exhausted, having jumped straight back into work at full speed after allowing myself a little break on holiday and it's made my head a little frazzled, and when talking to my friends, they remind me I have this awful habit of piling so much pressure on myself - more so than most people.

The truth is, the benefits of this job far outweigh all this crap above – it doesn’t make any of it less valid, but it does make it all worth it. I’m earning money doing a creative role that I’ve made for myself. I get to work alongside so many incredible inspiring women. The influencer world, especially in fashion, is one dominated by incredible bloggers-turned-businesswomen that have helped carve out a career path that didn’t exist not too long ago. And knowing that I get the opportunity to connect, relate, and even inspire so many other people through these platforms makes me feel all gooey inside.

So I'll be sticking around here a lot longer, I hope.





"What do I wear to an afternoon tea?" - It's a question I've been asked by my friends a surprising amount of times. I'd like to think it's because my friends respect my style choices rather than the fact that they think I'm fancy - because let's face it, Afternoon Teas are definitely a little bit fancy. It's why we like them so much! There's something so satisfying about treating ourselves with this kind of indulgence. Afternoon Teas retain their reputation - one of high class and etiquette, with the almost too cute to eat finger sandwiches and dainty china. The plates may be refillable, but this is certainly no all you can eat buffet. It's quintessentially British, but it's actually a lot more relaxed than people assume it's going to be. 





Fortnum & Mason’s Afternoon Tea is held in the stunning Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, which was opened by The Queen herself. The whole concept came from the Duchess of Bedford's desire to fill the gap between lunch and dinner with a light meal of sandwiches and sweet snacks to satisfy hunger. Now, the Duchess of Bedford is clearly a lady after my own heart (4pm Hanger is never ideal), and clearly many others, as Afternoon Teas have remained incredibly popular ever since.

Many selections tend to be sweet-heavy, though it’s not just for sweets lovers. Whilst I’m (very) partial to a scone, I’m definitely more of a savoury kind of girl and Fortnum & Mason has that covered as you can choose different variations of Afternoon Teas - including sweet, savoury, and vegetarian options.

Our 'Tearista' was extremely helpful in helping us pick out what we wanted, suggesting we opt for one sweet and one savoury afternoon tea - and that everything is refillable.



There's no ball gowns or suits or petticoats necessary here. In fact, when it comes to style, an Afternoon Tea dress code is more smart-casual than formal. Of course, people like to dress for the occasion. It's fun to put on a pretty frock and feel like you're truly indulging yourself - it's half of the fun! And it's why tea dresses are the perfect thing to wear to an afternoon tea, especially in the spring/ summer months. 



As it's now pretty wintery, I decided to layer up. With Afternoon Teas being quintessentially British, for me it seems only fitting to dress with true Brit Girl style. We're renowned for great fashion sense - looks that tend to be a little more trend-lead, or laced with an element of edginess. I teamed a skirt and jumper together - but now without putting my own little bit of London edge into the look via the leopard print and oversized jumper combination. Okay, I might be wearing a jumper that says Paris on it, rather than London, but it still counts. 

The point of the matter is wear what makes you feel comfortable, cool, and stylish - whatever that is. It depends entirely on you, and what your personal choice of smart casual is. I've pulled together a few key pieces of what other things I'd wear to an afternoon tea below. 


So what are you waiting for? It's time to indulge your inner Brit. Have your cake and eat it too! (It's refillable, remember?) You can book it via Virgin Experience days here.

All I need to do now is to figure out if it's pronounced scone or sconn... 

This post was created in collaboration with Virgin Experience days 

What To Wear To Afternoon Tea





"What do I wear to an afternoon tea?" - It's a question I've been asked by my friends a surprising amount of times. I'd like to think it's because my friends respect my style choices rather than the fact that they think I'm fancy - because let's face it, Afternoon Teas are definitely a little bit fancy. It's why we like them so much! There's something so satisfying about treating ourselves with this kind of indulgence. Afternoon Teas retain their reputation - one of high class and etiquette, with the almost too cute to eat finger sandwiches and dainty china. The plates may be refillable, but this is certainly no all you can eat buffet. It's quintessentially British, but it's actually a lot more relaxed than people assume it's going to be. 





Fortnum & Mason’s Afternoon Tea is held in the stunning Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, which was opened by The Queen herself. The whole concept came from the Duchess of Bedford's desire to fill the gap between lunch and dinner with a light meal of sandwiches and sweet snacks to satisfy hunger. Now, the Duchess of Bedford is clearly a lady after my own heart (4pm Hanger is never ideal), and clearly many others, as Afternoon Teas have remained incredibly popular ever since.

Many selections tend to be sweet-heavy, though it’s not just for sweets lovers. Whilst I’m (very) partial to a scone, I’m definitely more of a savoury kind of girl and Fortnum & Mason has that covered as you can choose different variations of Afternoon Teas - including sweet, savoury, and vegetarian options.

Our 'Tearista' was extremely helpful in helping us pick out what we wanted, suggesting we opt for one sweet and one savoury afternoon tea - and that everything is refillable.



There's no ball gowns or suits or petticoats necessary here. In fact, when it comes to style, an Afternoon Tea dress code is more smart-casual than formal. Of course, people like to dress for the occasion. It's fun to put on a pretty frock and feel like you're truly indulging yourself - it's half of the fun! And it's why tea dresses are the perfect thing to wear to an afternoon tea, especially in the spring/ summer months. 



As it's now pretty wintery, I decided to layer up. With Afternoon Teas being quintessentially British, for me it seems only fitting to dress with true Brit Girl style. We're renowned for great fashion sense - looks that tend to be a little more trend-lead, or laced with an element of edginess. I teamed a skirt and jumper together - but now without putting my own little bit of London edge into the look via the leopard print and oversized jumper combination. Okay, I might be wearing a jumper that says Paris on it, rather than London, but it still counts. 

The point of the matter is wear what makes you feel comfortable, cool, and stylish - whatever that is. It depends entirely on you, and what your personal choice of smart casual is. I've pulled together a few key pieces of what other things I'd wear to an afternoon tea below. 


So what are you waiting for? It's time to indulge your inner Brit. Have your cake and eat it too! (It's refillable, remember?) You can book it via Virgin Experience days here.

All I need to do now is to figure out if it's pronounced scone or sconn... 

This post was created in collaboration with Virgin Experience days 






There's a meme that I have screenshot which will never fail to make me smile.


Me at 18: When I'm 25 I'm going to own my own house, have a great job and be married.

Me at 25: you know what Sandra? Make that two supreme pizzas.


It's funny because it's true and #relatable. Didn't our 18-year old selves all think we'd completely have our shit together in our twenties? Whereas when we're actually in our twenties, we're in that awkward stage of being semi-grown up, having all of these new responsibilities, jobs at work with 'titles', paydays and budgets to work out, but all without quite knowing what to do with it and how to act about it all.

What strikes me as odd, in some ways, is that our younger - albeit more clueless - selves embraced the idea of totally self-sufficient adulthood, but right now we seem to have this strange internet culture where we're simultaneously scared of becoming fully-fledged adults, bemoaning adulting and doing things like paying bills and sorting out credit cards, yet also wanting to be total #GirlBosses that are nailing all things grown-up. We talk about being 'independent women' whilst eschewing certain things that bring us that exact independence and autonomy.




I'll get real for a moment though. Of course this new-found adult life isn't all post-work margaritas with your colleagues on payday and a sophisticated cheese and wine night on a Sunday, like pop-culture can so often make it seem. With an uncertain and somewhat terrifying future lying ahead - dismal job prospects and lack of job security, untouchable house prices, global political unrest (not to mention what's happened on our front door over the past 18 months - Brexit and the general election, and across the pond with urgh, Trump) - much like a Primark end of season sale, I can see reasons why everyone is more than a little sceptical and reluctant to take a step forward into it.

But contrary to all of this, I absolutely love growing up. Since graduating from my first degree and moving to London, every single year my life has got better and better as I've become more and more responsible, got more clued up, and got more of my shit together.

Last month I moved into my own flat. By that I mean renting, of course! It is London, after all, and there is no bloody way I could afford to buy around here by myself (and would I even want to in this market? Ok I'll save the rant on renting vs buying for another blog post...) Nothing feels more empowering than learning to do things for yourself - especially the adult things. I put up several bits of furniture totally solo (despite a few guys offering to help, nah babe I got this!) fixed a window (okay I had one phone call to my dad to help out a little bit), organised my bills, purchased a Dyson hoover, and spent money on actual nice interiors stuff from places other than IKEA. I actually have a DIY drawer!




Moving in solo has taught me to do things for myself. I enjoy the new challenges that come my way because they're so satisfying, and I took great offence when my dad absolutely insisted on coming down to help rewire the television for its new place in the lounge because I wanted to do it all by myself. I saw it as a new challenge, and the fact he had to come down and do it for me made me feel incompetent. All of this stuff feels liberating in the tiniest little way.

Perhaps this love of growing up has something to do with my upbringing. I love my parents, but I was totally over-protected and felt like I missed out on a lot growing up. Being an actual adult now means I can do what I want, when I want, without having to call my parents for help or permission. I couldn't think of anything worse than clinging onto those younger years, and the dependency that came with it.

It's not just about loving new-found responsibilities, however. I feel more confident, too. I've written before about my experiences being bullied, and how they affected me and my confidence, but as I've grown older I've become more self-assured. I've learnt from the workplace and from building my own business how to stand up for myself and get what I want professionally - yes, I still have so much to learn. My early twenties were a blur where I lacked all clarity and direction. It was like walking with a blindfold on, hoping whatever I was grasping at would take me in the right direction. Now, I feel like I'm there. I feel safe and happy - and the idea of growing and learning more excites me rather than scares, saddens or disillusions me.




When I had a reunion with my home friends in July, we spent our time talking about how great life is - promotions at work, pay rises, ENGAGEMENTS! Someone actually wants to MARRY one of my friends?! - and it was so amazing to know we're all doing so well. This conversation replaced the ones we had in our early twenties, talking about struggling to pay rent, our shitty junior roles at work, not knowing where life was taking us. Now look at us. I wouldn't trade my years now to go back to how I was when I was 22, not for one second. In the past year I've even noticed that I refer to myself as an actual woman, rather than a girl, because the word girl just feels so infantilised.

Growing up is about being independent, coming in at 4am and making toast without pissing everyone else off, it's about not having to answer to anyone else, you can binge-watch that Netflix series and you can assemble flat-pack furniture quicker than you can say 60 Second Makeover, you can pay all of your bills on time and still afford to buy that coat you've been lusting after from Topshop since last payday. It's the liberating feeling of bringing a boy back to your house without your mother questioning his job, salary, and where he went to university. It's knowing that if there was a zombie apocalypse, you'd probably survive at least 60 minutes into the film adaptation.

Getting older is not about saying goodbye to frivolous times: it doesn't mean you can't be silly. If anything, I still feel like I'm 19 a lot of the time, but with all of the extra added benefits of being a grown up - financial security, freedom, and much better eyebrows. There is no line that you cross between being a fun young adult and a boring grown up. It's all perception - and you can be grown up and still have fun which doesn't involve libraries or car boot sales and 8pm bedtimes each night.




If you needed any proof then this is just about it:
The first weekend I moved into my flat - the weekend before my 26th birthday - all solo and self-sufficient, having essentially moved everything almost by myself. I felt like an actual proper grown up. On the Saturday, I had a crazy night out, woke up and in a hungover state, I accidentally ordered 2 pizzas.

I essentially became both parts of that meme - minus the marriage and the owning the house - but almost. There's nothing wrong with growing up. Not right now, anyway.




Calling Bullshit On Growing Up Being A Bad Thing






There's a meme that I have screenshot which will never fail to make me smile.


Me at 18: When I'm 25 I'm going to own my own house, have a great job and be married.

Me at 25: you know what Sandra? Make that two supreme pizzas.


It's funny because it's true and #relatable. Didn't our 18-year old selves all think we'd completely have our shit together in our twenties? Whereas when we're actually in our twenties, we're in that awkward stage of being semi-grown up, having all of these new responsibilities, jobs at work with 'titles', paydays and budgets to work out, but all without quite knowing what to do with it and how to act about it all.

What strikes me as odd, in some ways, is that our younger - albeit more clueless - selves embraced the idea of totally self-sufficient adulthood, but right now we seem to have this strange internet culture where we're simultaneously scared of becoming fully-fledged adults, bemoaning adulting and doing things like paying bills and sorting out credit cards, yet also wanting to be total #GirlBosses that are nailing all things grown-up. We talk about being 'independent women' whilst eschewing certain things that bring us that exact independence and autonomy.




I'll get real for a moment though. Of course this new-found adult life isn't all post-work margaritas with your colleagues on payday and a sophisticated cheese and wine night on a Sunday, like pop-culture can so often make it seem. With an uncertain and somewhat terrifying future lying ahead - dismal job prospects and lack of job security, untouchable house prices, global political unrest (not to mention what's happened on our front door over the past 18 months - Brexit and the general election, and across the pond with urgh, Trump) - much like a Primark end of season sale, I can see reasons why everyone is more than a little sceptical and reluctant to take a step forward into it.

But contrary to all of this, I absolutely love growing up. Since graduating from my first degree and moving to London, every single year my life has got better and better as I've become more and more responsible, got more clued up, and got more of my shit together.

Last month I moved into my own flat. By that I mean renting, of course! It is London, after all, and there is no bloody way I could afford to buy around here by myself (and would I even want to in this market? Ok I'll save the rant on renting vs buying for another blog post...) Nothing feels more empowering than learning to do things for yourself - especially the adult things. I put up several bits of furniture totally solo (despite a few guys offering to help, nah babe I got this!) fixed a window (okay I had one phone call to my dad to help out a little bit), organised my bills, purchased a Dyson hoover, and spent money on actual nice interiors stuff from places other than IKEA. I actually have a DIY drawer!




Moving in solo has taught me to do things for myself. I enjoy the new challenges that come my way because they're so satisfying, and I took great offence when my dad absolutely insisted on coming down to help rewire the television for its new place in the lounge because I wanted to do it all by myself. I saw it as a new challenge, and the fact he had to come down and do it for me made me feel incompetent. All of this stuff feels liberating in the tiniest little way.

Perhaps this love of growing up has something to do with my upbringing. I love my parents, but I was totally over-protected and felt like I missed out on a lot growing up. Being an actual adult now means I can do what I want, when I want, without having to call my parents for help or permission. I couldn't think of anything worse than clinging onto those younger years, and the dependency that came with it.

It's not just about loving new-found responsibilities, however. I feel more confident, too. I've written before about my experiences being bullied, and how they affected me and my confidence, but as I've grown older I've become more self-assured. I've learnt from the workplace and from building my own business how to stand up for myself and get what I want professionally - yes, I still have so much to learn. My early twenties were a blur where I lacked all clarity and direction. It was like walking with a blindfold on, hoping whatever I was grasping at would take me in the right direction. Now, I feel like I'm there. I feel safe and happy - and the idea of growing and learning more excites me rather than scares, saddens or disillusions me.




When I had a reunion with my home friends in July, we spent our time talking about how great life is - promotions at work, pay rises, ENGAGEMENTS! Someone actually wants to MARRY one of my friends?! - and it was so amazing to know we're all doing so well. This conversation replaced the ones we had in our early twenties, talking about struggling to pay rent, our shitty junior roles at work, not knowing where life was taking us. Now look at us. I wouldn't trade my years now to go back to how I was when I was 22, not for one second. In the past year I've even noticed that I refer to myself as an actual woman, rather than a girl, because the word girl just feels so infantilised.

Growing up is about being independent, coming in at 4am and making toast without pissing everyone else off, it's about not having to answer to anyone else, you can binge-watch that Netflix series and you can assemble flat-pack furniture quicker than you can say 60 Second Makeover, you can pay all of your bills on time and still afford to buy that coat you've been lusting after from Topshop since last payday. It's the liberating feeling of bringing a boy back to your house without your mother questioning his job, salary, and where he went to university. It's knowing that if there was a zombie apocalypse, you'd probably survive at least 60 minutes into the film adaptation.

Getting older is not about saying goodbye to frivolous times: it doesn't mean you can't be silly. If anything, I still feel like I'm 19 a lot of the time, but with all of the extra added benefits of being a grown up - financial security, freedom, and much better eyebrows. There is no line that you cross between being a fun young adult and a boring grown up. It's all perception - and you can be grown up and still have fun which doesn't involve libraries or car boot sales and 8pm bedtimes each night.




If you needed any proof then this is just about it:
The first weekend I moved into my flat - the weekend before my 26th birthday - all solo and self-sufficient, having essentially moved everything almost by myself. I felt like an actual proper grown up. On the Saturday, I had a crazy night out, woke up and in a hungover state, I accidentally ordered 2 pizzas.

I essentially became both parts of that meme - minus the marriage and the owning the house - but almost. There's nothing wrong with growing up. Not right now, anyway.




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