New Years Resolutions? Don’t be daft.

I didn’t achieve my new year’s resolutions in 2016. And either did you.

Last January I decided to be a little more realistic than writing my usual wish list (ie. learn to do the splits, give up chocolate, read a book every week), and settled with just one goal for the year – finish the novel I was working on. While I do have over 80 thousand words, and some characters that feel like real friends at this stage – it is only a first draft, far from finished.

I know that you didn’t achieve yours either, because I recently read that only 8% of people do. So, statistically I’m going to bet that you didn’t learn the splits or give up chocolate either.

And that’s okay. Sure, new year resolutions are a bit mad anyway, aren’t they?
I mean, I usually leave the festive season feeling tired and tubby, with a stubborn gathering of sugar/alcohol-induced spots on my chin and cheeks, and a strong desire to do some kind of yoga retreat on a far-away mountain for a couple of days. And in that state, it’s far from “getting in shape” and “saving a few bob” one should be thinking of. It’s only a recipe for guilt, and maybe even a mild heart attack.
Honestly, I’ve battled with new year resolutions for time immemorial. When I was seven, I decided I was going to complete the Harry Potter books my older brother had been reading. From January to July I struggled with the overwhelming amount of words, too stubborn to admit this to anyone in the world (I’m a cancer). That July I was given the next book in the series for my birthday, and the whole ordeal culminated in an early-life break down, and a weird resentment towards Harry and Hogwarts for the rest of my days (soz).

Then, a couple of years ago, I joined the bandwagon and decided that once January hit, I was going to “get in shape”. A completely mad idea, for more than one reason.
Firstly, past Tull-Meister couldn’t even define what this ambiguous goal meant. What is “in shape”? Is it the ability to sprint 4 miles, or do ten push ups? Is there body fat percentage involved? Or did I simply just yearn to look like the images of perfect misguided models and Instagram babes being shoved in my face every day? A little like finishing a novel, it was something too vague to be achieved.
Yet, off I went, (like the big cliché consumer I am) and bought new runners, some yoga pants, and about twenty lunch boxes to fill with only very green stuff. Then, feeling like a true adult with lunch boxes in every corner of the house, I got completely ahead of myself. I challenged my two athletic (male) house mates to see who could do a plank for the longest. If you don’t know what a plank is, just think of an intense form of torture and you won’t be far off. I had approximately 60 seconds of glory when I won, closely followed by three days of feeling like I was bet up. Then, when I turned to my lunch boxes for comfort, I was struck by the realisation that the pizza in the freezer was a lot tastier and more suitable for my line of work at the time – broke student.

Yes, perhaps if my goals were a little more specific or achievable, I would be part of that 8%. But for now, I am content to enter the new year in my traditional tubby state, guilt free. Join me.


“Fur Coat, No Knickers…”

In case you’ve been living under a rock like me, the above phrase is used to describe a woman who seems elegant, but in reality is actually quite vulgar.

I only learnt this recently, (every day is a school day when you follow the king of Snap Chat, James Kavanagh @jamesksnaps) … and to be honest, it has absolutely nothing to do with this post, at all.

I just really wanted to let you all know, I finally got the fur coat of my dreams, and couldn’t think of a better way to get your attention!

Now that I’ve got your attention, may I speak freely about the love I have for my new coat? Thank you.

I cannot tell you how fabulous I feel when wearing my new beauty, it has changed my life. Even if I’m constantly being compared to Bet Lynch which is not the look I was going for at all…

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I still feel happy and warm and fabulous …..

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Now, I know tis far from fur coats and personal shoppers that we were reared, but I’ve come up with some links to where you can get a warm, fabulous fur like mine. Honestly, don’t thank me, sure I only love traipsing around shops and sites and doing everything except what I’m supposed to be doing.

I got mine in my beloved, New Look for around 80 beans. There are also some pretty tempting ones in River Island, and of course Top Shop.



An Open Letter to a Suffering Friend

Some of you may find this hard to believe, but I actually have a serious side, AND I have friends… Take a moment to get over the shock of that – boil the kettle,do what you need to do. When you are ready, below are some words I shared with somebody suffering from depression recently. They may be of some help to you, or somebody you know.

Hey there, funky tits…

I’m going to start by apologising for my delayed reply. I have no excuse, only that your message deserved more than a quick generic response. You deserve more, ______. It breaks my heart to think of your pain and suffering, but I need you to hear me when I say this: I am honoured that you opened up to me. Thank you.

I know that the distance between us may make it a little easier for you to come to me, and I get that … but I am so glad and grateful that you did. I also know that you have huge support with your family – it puts my mind at ease to think of you at home with those crazy creatures these days – but I need you to know that you have all my support too. All of it.

I do not know your pain, but I want to try and understand it. I want to be the person that you can call at 3am without a second thought. I want to be the person that can make some sick inappropriate joke that will lift you for even the tiniest moment.

I want to make it all go away. I wish that I could. But I can’t. All I can do is offer you my support, and some thoughts. Maybe they will be of little help to you, or maybe you will find some comfort in them. Please just hear me out.

As I said, I do not know your pain. But, I know that your pain wants to make you feel alone. That way, you are more vulnerable. Please don’t let it do that, my precious _______. Even if you feel like a feeble baby bird in a nest, unable to fly or fend for yourself. Even if you feel like a baby gazelle being pulled from a pack by a vicious lion… please remember, your pain wants you to feel that helpless. You are not that helpless. You are not alone. Please share it with me, it might make it the tiniest bit more bearable.

I’m getting real deep here, maaaaann. But I suppose January can be a reflective time of year. When I think that this time last year … I was probably walking around in my purple dressing gown, consumed with worry about chapter plans for my novel, not having a clue that you were in your dressing gown, consumed by this. But also not having a clue that we would become this close. Isn’t that a scarily, glorious kind of thought? I feel blessed that we have become close, and that through our friendship I have learnt so much about life and perspective.

Although a year is not very long in the world of friendship, I feel like I am in a position to say that everything that you have been through has molded you. You can tell me I’m a total cliche, but I feel that your pain has made you stronger, wise … somebody who really cherishes the value of happiness.

Remember the idle chats we had outside _________ on those worry free afternoons? Remember how we laughed. Remember how capable of being happy that we are. Remember how you would snort and wipe tears of laughter, then take a moment to be mindful of how great it felt to laugh, to have friends, to talk, to live… From that, I learnt so much!

But mostly, remember how tears would spring to your eyes if I told you of other people’s suffering. As if you really understood and felt these random peoples pain. ________, I am sure you have realised this, but compassion and empathy like that are rare and special. In that way, it could be said that your own suffering has made you even more beautiful.

It’s those kind of qualities that drew me to you. You are real, humble, warm and genuine. You do not deserve to suffer any longer.

I wish that I could advise you what to do with your pain. But that is really up to you. I completely understand how doing destructive things might make you feel like you are lessening it for a bit. I get that. Drinking, smoking, eating, harming …. I understand the search for anything that will deaden it. Anything that will distract you for even a moment, probably feels right. But you know it’s not. I know that you know.

The fact that your suffering has lead you to who you are, makes me feel as if you could use it as a tool. Sometimes, the people who let their pain in, understand where it comes from, are the best … and eventually happiest people!

You have stood in front of pain, been broken by it. And that is probably why I love you so dearly. Because of it, you have become compassionate, empathetic, sympathetic, warm, understanding, positive, humble, real, hilarious … a million things that my descriptive skills will never even touch on the beauty of.

Every time I think that somebody as special as you could suffer so horrifically, a knot of discomfort forms within me. It is unfair. I don’t know why or how that happens. But it does. And I am here for you when that happens.

I don’t know if any of this helps. But I hope it does. Maybe not right now. Maybe later.

Anyway, I am here for you. You absurd, charming being.
I love you so very much,
Caoimhe x