moving out, MyStorys

A Goodbye Letter To My Home Town

I’ve lived in Liverpool my whole life. 20 years of memories, mistakes and lessons learnt. I fell in love for the first time here, had my heartbroken for the first time here. I’ve grown up here, matured here. It’s my home – it was my home.

I am not ashamed of being from Liverpool. A lot of people see Liverpool as a bad place. But, for me at least, Liverpool was never a bad place. In fact Liverpool is a place full of personality and history. It’s simply the terrible memories and bad people I can no longer ignore. I will always remember my days out with my dad – he would take me everywhere. He was proud of Liverpool. I remember the friends I have made here, the ones I have lost and the ones whom are still in my life today. I remember the people who changed my life. The ones that shaped who I am today. The ones who got me here today.

Regardless of the good memories I have in this place, it is forever tinted with the bad stench of the many sad and painful things that have happened to me here. Sadness is an emotion I am more then familiar with. Pain is a feeling I have felt most of my life.

I have tried to ‘turn over a new leaf’ here in Liverpool many times. It took me a long time to realise that I wasn’t failing at that task because I was failure but because it is impossible to start over in a place that pain follows you around. I take a bus somewhere and I pass places I once smiled in, places I once cried in. These places make my stomach turn and my eyes water. They bring me actual pain. A place and a memory is causing me pain. Like a sinking in my heart. I have had enough of that feeling.

My mental illness is something I have been coming to terms with for a few years now. I have good days and bad days. But, I am here. That has to count for something. I took the medication. I went to the therapy and yet my pain hasn’t gone. ‘It takes time’ they tell me. ‘You’ll get better soon’ they said. ‘You’ll get back on your feet one day’ they promised. When those things didn’t happen within the months and years of hearing the words, I started to wonder why nothing was changing for me. Why wasn’t I getting better? Was this it for me? Forever the girl who is known for her depressive episodes and dark thoughts. I started to realise that part of my depression was demolished whenever I stepped outside of Liverpool. Leaving Liverpool was like a massive wake up call for me, every time I left. It was like the air was different, clean of the misery I felt back home. It was like the concrete had been lifted from my body and I could breathe and move again. I was happier, I was me. I was free. I felt so free. It was around this time I made the decision that moving was the best thing for me. For my health and for my sanity.

I close my eyes and I see my life in flashes. The smiling, the joking, the laughing, the crying and the screaming. I see the people I care about leave, being hurt or dying. I see myself hurting, wanting to leave, wanting to die. I see my friends and my family confused and worried for my well being. I think about my future in Liverpool and I see nothing – I literally see nothing. A massive black hole. I see nothing, I hear nothing. The thought of not being able to see a future here ate me alive. For the first time in a long time, I wanted to see a future for self and I couldn’t. It almost broke me.

When I met Ben and we started making plans that went past a life in Liverpool, I started seeing a future. A light came through the darkness in that black hole of nothingness. I realised that I could be someone, I realised that I didn’t need to live my life out in a black hole. I could leave and get better. I could smile and laugh again and have it be a real smile and real laughter. We made plans and I felt like I was going to make it out of this.

I love Liverpool. My accent will always be with me. I will always be proud of my home town and its history. Most people in the UK know about Liverpool, its history and most importantly our accent! And, I am proud of that. I love my mum will all my heart and she brought me up here, I went to school here. I have too many memories here to just forget them. Liverpool will always be the place I was born, the place I grew up, it will always be the place I come from. And, I hope my accent and fast talking stays with me because I don’t want to loose what this place gave me. It’s just time to move on. Start fresh. Begin again. It’s time to enter my 20s somewhere new and end this part of my life here.

Goodbye Liverpool.

Shannon x

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moving out, MyStorys

Moving Month!!

So, today is the first of May, which marks the beginning of a big change for me. For the past 5 months, a move has been in the works for me and my boyfriend. I have spent the past few months looking at properties and beginning to pack for our move. We had a lot of different places set in mind for the move and a lot of criteria to met, so it hasn’t been an easy search.

We have never lived without our parents before. I am 19 and my boyfriend is 23 so this is all new to us. Where we moved too was important for both of us, so we looked for places that were quite, but not to secluded as we still needed to close to a town centre. We needed to be within walking distance from a train station and ideally no further than 30 minutes by train to work for Ben. We capped our limit for monthly rent at £450, as this is a first apartment and we aren’t willing to spend more than that on our first places as we will have other expenses, like electric and water bills, broadband bills, and food/household items to buy.

We found a property we liked on Rightmove and we booked a viewing. The property was small, but we was still willing to put a deposit down as it was super close to the station and was in a lovely area, right by the canal. However, due to issues with the property being best suited for a single person and other people interested, we didn’t end up filling in an application form. We instead moved on to other properties. The very next weekend we viewed another property. The property was a little further from the station, but still close enough to walk each day. It was in a lovely little area, right by a big park as well. The actual flat had one bedroom and a massive living room. Oh, and the kitchen was so nice! ( this is important for me!) The flat had recently been redecorated and was decorated in a neutral colour all over. I was very happy with this property and we decided to put in an application form for the property.

It is now Wednesday and we are now half way through the application process. One thing I have to say is that it’s the most stressful thing I have ever had to deal with in my life. I am looking forward to the day that this process is done. I have my fingers crossed and I’m just doing as the letting agents are directing me to do each day of the process.

I currently have boxes in every available inch of my house. My mum’s cupboards are piled high with boxes and bags, all packed and ready to go. Under my bed are boxes full of kitchen essentials like my knife set, pots and frying pans, dinner set, cups, mugs, and my food processor. Each corner of my room is also filled with boxes, filled with books, DVDs and bathroom essentials! I’m not going to lie, I am getting slightly fed up with looking at boxes 24/7.

I am currently in a stressful state. But I do get moments of excitement and nervousness run through me as well. Of course, I am excited for this new adventure. A step up in adulthood. The next step for me. I am looking forward to this, but at the same time, I am a little nervous. I know that’s normal. I’ve always had a safety net under me while living with my mum. I didn’t have to worry about falling as much as I knew that net was there to catch me. Now it won’t be. I am also quite sad. I’m going to miss my mum a lot, she’s been my rock for so many years and now I won’t see her everyday, that makes me tear up thinking about to be honest. I’ll also miss my dogs. Our family dogs are really important to me and I know I’ll struggle saying goodbye to them. That being said, I know that our new home is only a 25-minute train ride away or a half an hour car ride away. If I do get homesick (which I probably will) I can always jump a train to see my mum and dogs. This move is necessary for me. Its what I need. I know these feelings are normal, I just have to let them be and I will get used to not being in my family home once I make a new home for me and Ben in our new flat.

Right now, its all a waiting game. We are crossing our fingers and hoping for our applications to be accepted.

Shannon x

MyStorys, Uncategorized

My Unpopular Opinions

I have a lot of opinions. Most people who read my blog are probably thinking ‘you could say that’. The reason I started my blog in the first place was to openly talk about my opinions. I enjoy doing just that. My opinions aren’t always ones a lot of people agree with. In fact, some of my own friends completely disagree with my opinions on some things. I have spoke about my opinions on social issues just recently and today felt like talking about some of my unpopular opinions that are more mine than a universal opinion. I do know some people who agree with opinions on this list, but I know some who don’t as well. Either way, these are just my opinions and I would love to hear some of your unpopular opinions down below.

Starbucks is overrated

I think I would lose track if I was to go on Youtube and try count all the times YouTubers have gone on and on about how much they love Starbucks. I’ve been to Starbucks, I’ve ordered some fancy sounding drink, I’ve handed over my money, and I’ve drank that drink. What did I learn? That I was buying the logo on the cup, more than what was actually in the cup. Yes, they’re drinks are good, better than McDonalds or any other chain that doesn’t specialize in just drinks. But, are they as good as other competitors like Costa? The answer from me is no. In my opinion, I could have gotten the same quality drink from Costa for cheaper. Starbucks is overrated. Personally, people think they’re all trendy by buying a drink from there, and that’s where the problem lies.

Coffee tastes like crap.

I love Gilmore Girls, but Rory and Lorelei’s love for coffee has always gone over my head. Rory’s love for books? I’m the same. Lorelei’s witt? I’m all there. But, their daily coffee fixes will never make sense to me. I’m with Alexis Bledel on this one, no coffee for me.

Beyonce isn’t all that special

Is she a strong, black woman in media? Yes. Is she a good singer? That’s a personal opinion. But is she so special that she deserves the title of ‘queen’?! I mean, personally I’d go around calling Sophia Bush queen, because in my opinion, she is. But that’s a matter of opinion. Some people take the opinion of Beyonce being a queen to whole new levels. Insisting she is infact a “queen”. I never saw the hype with Beyonce, but then again, the only hype I have towards modern artists is for Ed Sheeran. But, going back to what I was saying, Beyonce doesn’t warrant the title Queen. She too is overrated. Yes, she’s a strong, black female in the medias eyes, she’s someone for people to look at, and say ‘she’s like me’. It’s amazing to see people of different races and genders out there taken the world by storm but I personally think there are more powerful women of colour out there that we should be calling a queen.

I don’t believe in the practices of religion

Quite a controversial subject, but my opinions normally are just that. I don’t believe in any faith. I grew up in a religion free home and I am so glad I did. Don’t get me wrong, I respect peoples views. I just think that in this day and age, the words of the Bible and other forms of it, are outdated and need to hit the bin. We grow, we age, we learn. So, why haven’t some religions decided it time to modernise the bible. The Bible (and other forms of it) where written by men, in a time when we let a small group of people decide what was right and what was wrong. It’s controlling behaviour, telling people how to, and how not to live their lives (especially women). Making people live by their idea of what a perfect family was, their idea of what a “right” marriage consists of, their idea of the “correct” way in which a woman should handle herself. It’s bullshit to say the least. Update your “rules” and maybe I won’t be as angry about how this book treats anyone who isn’t a straight, white person with no flaws. People are all different. We believe in different things, we like different things. We are different races and sizes. We are sexually attracted to different people, we choose to identify as someone we want to be. We wear different clothes and we talk in different languages but we are all human. No one deserves to be made to feel bad about what they do with their life (unless they’re hurting someone). No one should be judged for what they wear, or what lifestyle they lead. No one is going to hell for who they are, and an outdated book and old fashioned people of faith should open their eyes, and see that they aren’t perfect. In fact, they need to step off their high horse and realise that by judging, bullying and preaching their nonsense, they’re the worst kind of people. Not the people who have sex before marriage, or get divorced, or are sexually attracted to the same sex.

I believe the Death Penalty should be legal again in the UK

Yes, I’ve heard the stories. Yes, I do realise some innocent people were killed. No, I do not think that every criminal should receive this level of punishment. I do however believe this kind of punishment is the ONLY way we can bring peace of mind to victims of brutal attacks and the family of those victims whom lost their lives because someone took it from them. Manslaughter, accidents, drug charges, and other charges like such shouldn’t be considered a case for the death penalty. But, serial killers, spree killers, pedophiles, and rapists should get capital punishment. They do deserve to die. I don’t care about their “rights”. Did they care about the rights of that young girl they raped? No, they took her rights away. Did they care about the rights of the children they shot dead in their classroom? No, they took their rights away. Did they care about the life they took away when they murdered that boy in cold blood? No, they took his rights away. These kind of criminals don’t deserve rights. A correctional facility isn’t going to cure a rapist or a killer. They’re just going to wash away the governments money (our money) to keep then in a building, where they are fed, where they can earn money, where they get clothes and can take classes. These kind of criminals can’t be cured, they’re wired wrong. They think having sex with a child is okay, it turns them on. They think going into a school with a gun and shooting children is okay, they deserved it, they’ll say. These criminals deserve death. Save prisons for criminals we can actually try and rehabilitate. Give them the classes and their work ethic back. Don’t waste resources on those that will get out and strike again. Don’t allow them that.

Do you have any questions for me? Write them below.

Shann x

MyStorys, Q&AS, Women; It's safe here.

My Opinions on Social Issues.

Everyone has a voice. Everyone’s voice matters. Over the last century we have worked so hard to give people the right to control their own mind and body. And, because a rich, white man who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth and old world views is now president, all of the control we have gained in our lives could be gone very soon. I think it’s important we speak up, tell people your opinions. Just because you’re young, or a women or seen as a minority (or just simply not a middle aged white male), you have the right to your opinion. Don’t let anyone tear you down or make you feel like you’re not smart enough, old enough or educated enough to have those views. So, copy and paste these questions, use this Q and A as a template and fill in your answers on your blog, on your twitter, on your Facebook. Let people know you have a voice and that your opinions matter as well. Don’t be silenced by society. Tell them your opinions.

Here are the questions and here are my answers. I plan on doing many more of these for different issues in our current world.

Should terminally ill patients be allowed to end their lives via assisted suicide?

Yes, but only after a psychological examination to show that they fully understand their choice.

What is your stance on abortion?

Pro-Choice. I believe life starts at birth and that a woman should be able to do what she wants with her body.

Do you support the legalization of same sex marriage?

Yes!! Of course. Someone’s sexual preference shouldn’t matter when it comes to marriage. As long as it is two consenting adults, it doesn’t matter whether they are sexually attracted to women or men.

Should health insurance providers be required to offer free birth control?

Yes, health insurance providers give out Viagra for free, they should be giving out birth control as the only use for Viagra is for men to get an erection. Whereas the pill offers women piece of mind when having sex, as well help with period pains and some illnesses. There is no justiciable reason as to why birth control isn’t free, but Viagra is.

Do you support the death penalty?

Yes, but only for cases that are horrific and have undeniable evidence attached. Like, rape, and murder.

Should a business be able to deny service to a customer if the request conflicts with the owner’s religious beliefs?

No, someone’s religion shouldn’t prevent them from getting the same service as someone else would get.

Should businesses be required to have women on their board of directors?

Yes. I think it is only equal to have both women and men on their board of directors. Just like a jury has 6 women and 6 men.

Should the government continue to fund Planned Parenthood?

Yes. Planned Parenthood is a much needed charity, it has helped millions of people since it opened. Planned Parenthood not only offers Abortions – like most pro lifers will have you believe. They also offer free contraceptives, breast cancer screenings, STD testing and treatments, LGBT services, men’s health services, pregnancy testing, vaccines, and more. Planned Parenthood has been advocating and educating for over a 100 years. Only 3% of Planned Parenthoods services carried out are abortions.

Should the military allow women to serve in combat roles?

Yes. Women have been proving that they’re just as strong as men for many years now. There is no reason why women cannot serve in combat roles.

Should “gender identity” be added to anti-discrimination laws?

Yes. Whether a person decides to identity as a man, woman, or other, they deserve the same rights as someone who identifies as the gender in which they were born with. They shouldn’t be treated any differently. So, to protect them we should add these laws to the anti-discrimination laws.

Should marital rape be classified and punished as severely as non-marital rape?

Yes. It doesn’t matter if someone is married, the penalty for rape should be classified as the same kind as non-marital rape. Marriage doesn’t give someone a free pass to rape someone, they aren’t someone’s property just because they’re married.

Should gay couples have the same adoption rights as straight couples?

Yes. Gay couples can make amazing parents, just like straight couples can. There is no reason they should discriminated against.

Do you have any other social issue questions to ask? Comment below and ill answer.

Shannon x

Cooking With Shan, MyStorys

Why I’m NOT Vegan

Over the last few years more and more people have been opting for a plant based diet – known as being ‘vegan’. Now, I understand that a lot of people choose this kind of lifestyle because it is a meat free and dairy free diet. If you’re allergic to dairy, it’s an amazing diet to be on. Going vegan does have a lot of benefits, including lowering your blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and increasing your antioxidant levels. However being vegan does also have its disadvantages, like the loss of essential vitamins and minerals, the potential interference with existing medical conditions, and unrealistic expectations.

A lot of people believe that by going vegan, they are somehow choosing a healthier lifestyle because they’re cutting out meat products and dairy products. That isn’t always the case however, because when most people go vegan they aren’t doing it the right way and end up becoming ill because they aren’t getting the correct amount of essential nutrients that dairy products will supply them. I completely support going veggie, as you can still get all of the nutrients you need from other items except meat. For instance; protein from eggs.

I think what puts me off vegans is that SOME, not all, but some can be quite patronising. I respect that people choose to be vegan for health reasons. As long as they know what they’re doing in terms of making sure they intake enough protein, there isn’t anything bad about that. I respect that some people will want to be vegan because they believe it is beneficial to animals. That’s what I don’t get. Yes animals produce eggs and milk, but I DO NOT think it harms the animals to consume their produce. Those chickens are still going to lay those eggs, whether we choose to eat them or not, same goes with milk. In this day and age, wasting eggs and milk because you believe it hurts the animal is a massive reason why we waste so much.

I am personally NOT vegan because I do not believe that we are harming animals by consuming their produce. I think there are too many health benefits from eating animal produce to cut them out completely. I have cut my intake of dairy down since last year however, only consuming either 30g cheese each day or 250ml of semi skinned milk – to cut down on fat intake. I eat a lot of eggs and beans however, to keep up my protein levels as I do have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. I know a couple vegan people and most of them don’t constantly try and make me feel bad, and like I am a bad person for eating what an animal produces. I do however know a few who think they’re right for being vegan. What I have to say to those people is ‘good for you, what you put in your body is up to you but don’t try and preach that your lifestyle is better than the one I choose to live’. I believe that people at least need dairy products – especially if they aren’t getting any nutrients because they don’t eat meat.

Becoming a vegetarian is something I may consider in the future, as I do believe we don’t need meat to gather all the nutrients we need each day. And, I do like meat supplements, like Quern.

All in all, I have nothing bad to say about people who choose to be vegan, but, just like religion – I don’t need it shoved in my face. I will choose what goes into my body and I choose to NOT be vegan.

Shannon x

MyStorys, Uncategorized

An open letter to my former best friend.

A few years ago I made a blog post titled ‘an open letter to my abusive ex boyfriend’ and today I wanted to make another open letter blog post, but for a different person who was once a massive part of my life.

Dear ‘A’

I don’t think I can count the amount of times I’ve wrote to you. I’ve wrote a few letters over the years and I recently found some of them when I was cleaning for my move, and as I read through them, I was transported back to the time in which I wrote them. I could tell by the way I was writing how I felt about you, I didn’t need to read between the lines with my own writing, I may have tried to hide my sadness or bitterness but it was plainly there on the pages I wrote in the many letters over the years. One of the first letters I spoke about how much you hurt me, how confused and sad I was, I just didn’t understand why my best friend would hurt me like he did. As I kept reading through the letters, the words on the paper turned from confusion and loss to sadness and pain to anger and betrayal. I think I must have went through every emotion throughout the many letters I wrote. I sat and thought about the letters for a while, about our past, about what you did and said back then, and then I ripped the letters up and throw them in the bin. I had no use for them anymore. You see, I wrote those letters when I always expected you to walk back into my life, a time when I wanted you to because I missed you or I wanted answers from you, after a while I learned that the new ‘A’ wasn’t going to be the same person anymore and I needed to expect I’ll never get the ending I wanted.

I put so much effort into you, into our friendship. I often ask myself ‘why?’, now because let’s me honest, you’re not worth the sacrifice of my dignity and pride. I guess the reason why I thought you was worth it was because the old you was worth it, he was a generally good person. I often tell my friend Megan that lads will hurt you but that doesn’t define you, you let your emotions out and you move on. No lad is ever worth the pain I went through with you, you’re not special enough to have me shed another tear over you.

I remember when we was younger, you told me you wanted to leave Liverpool. You said you wanted to join the army and get as far away from Liverpool as possible, I guess leaving Liverpool isn’t even a thought that crosses you’re mind anymore does it? I honestly cannot imagine what goes through you’re mind these days, but those thoughts probably aren’t about plans of a bright future, which is a shame, you could have had a good future, a generally happy one. You cannot tell me that the meaningless ‘pocket change’ jobs you have these days are what you wanted for your career path. You cannot tell me that doing drugs every weekend and not being able to stay loyal to one girl is giving you a ‘fulfilled life’ feeling.

What happened A? What happened to the friend who I went out with every night after school, what happened to the friend who was always there for me, always supported me and cared about me? Where has he gone A? He faded a long time again, but has he completely disappeared? I hope for your own humanity and the ones who still care about you, that he hasn’t completely disappeared.

I could say I will always care about you, but honestly, you don’t deserve my affection or care. I tried my best and I suppose I’ll be the one leaving Liverpool and having a fulfilling life. Funny how things work out.

Love you loads (haha, not really)

Shannon.

Advice♥, MyStorys, Uncategorized

New Chapter – I’m Moving Out!

It’s been hard to write lately, I don’t really know why. It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to write about what is going on in the world at the minute, but between planning and prepping for my move and having major writers block, I just haven’t posted anything.

I am currently budgeting, planning and organising for my move in a few months. Right now I am excited about the move, but I think nearer to the move I am going to start getting nervous and a little sad. Don’t get me wrong I can’t wait to get out of Liverpool, I won’t look back at this place, however, I do have some people that mean a lot to me here and it’s going to be ridiculously hard to say goodbye to my mum. I have lived with my mum my whole life – minus a year I lived with my dad when I was 9. She has been my rock all these years, through all the shitty times, she was on my side, looking out for me.

I know most people have a hard time leaving home, home is their comfort zone, it’s all they’ve ever known and moving out for the first time is a massive step into adulthood. This home isn’t really my comfort zone however, yes my mum is here and I have made my room my safe place, my ‘safety net’ as someone once called it but this house, my stepdad, they’re not home. I need the freedom to do what I want, to roam my home without fear of repercussions. Not only do I not get on with my own stepdad, I feel like a prisoner in my own home, it’s not like I am trapped in the house with bars on the windows and a deadbolt on the door, but with my anxiety around this place, I don’t feel safe or confident around here. It’s part of the reason I am leaving Liverpool to start with.

Liverpool has been my home my whole life, I have lived in this area of Liverpool since I was 9 and before that I lived in another part of the city. It’s never felt like my home however. I feel as if I don’t fit in here, I always felt different. I never liked parties, getting dressed up on a Friday night and going into town and getting drunk, it wasn’t my idea as fun when I was younger and it still isn’t.  I am not the girly girl type, I do get spray tans, in fact the only time I apply tan is for some important event like a wedding. I do my own nails and most of the time, I don’t even bother with that. If I can get away with not wearing make-up I won’t wear it and I would so much prefer to wear a pair of jeans, hiking boots and a t-shirt with a leather jacket then skirts and dresses. I feel like there is this expectation to be like everyone else around here, like if you stand out, that is weird. Everyone around here listens to the same music, wears the same shoes and all have the same hairstyle. Where is the originality? It frustrates me that I feel as if I can’t be myself here.

I’ve spent my whole life unhappy, uncomfortable and unsettled, I want that to change, I need that to change. This move is about my health more than anything, I guess that doesn’t make complete sense, how could a move possibly solve all my problems but it’s the last thing I can do to try and get my life back on track. For a long time I didn’t even want to be alive, I would wake up in the morning and be upset that I was still here, I used to go to bed and hope I wouldn’t wake up. I am still depressed but I want to want to live. I want to smile and laugh and it be real. This move is the first thing in a long time that has given me some hope for my future. It has given me something to hope for, as sad as that may sound to some.

 

Shannon x

 

Advice♥, MyStorys, Uncategorized

My gradual dislike for YouTube ‘Creators’

I know I am not the only person who has discussed the decline of popularity of some of the *previously* most loved and popular YouTubers, however I have some of my own opinions on these YouTubers. I started watching YouTube as a young teen, I don’t actually remember some of the first YouTube channels I was subscribed to, it is completely possible it was just a bunch of ‘Make-up Tutorials’ because I was a 12 year old girl after all. YouTube had started to become very popular for those kind of videos when I was a teen, apparently YouTube was no longer for funny cat videos (I’d take a cat video over a Jake Paul/Logan Paul video any day). YouTubers like Meredith Foster, Bethany Mota and Zoella became some of my favourite YouTubers. Flash forward to today, they’ve become some of my least favourite.

Pretty much all of my teen years were spent watching ‘Zoella’ before she ‘wrote’ her books, brought out a beauty line or homeware line. I don’t know if Zoe was always a very talented manipulator of younger viewers or whether she was once a genuine, humble, selfless young women making videos for ‘fun’. Now, I don’t know which one of those statements is true, I hope it is the second one but even the thought of her realizing she could con young viewers is just as bad to be honest. Obviously, most people who are in tune with the ‘scandals’ (if you’ve call them that) of  YouTube are probably aware that Zoe, or should I say her ‘management’ decided to charge £50 in Boots (Boots sold for the recommend retail price set by the supplier) for a 12 day advent calendar that was worth around £15. A lot of people have had a lot to say, when I saw the calendar in store myself I personally thought it was rather steep for a 12 day calendar, it’s not like it’s a Chanel beauty advent calendar after all, but when I saw videos of what was actually in the box, I was utterly shocked. I was shocked that she thought, or her management thought they could get away with charging £50 for products you could get in Poundland or Home Bargains for under £15.  Like I said I used to love her, whether it was a genuine ‘Zoella’ I loved, or my young mind looked up to her because she was so good at making you believe she was like you, I don’t know. Her videos about her fight with Anxiety and her cheating ex, related to me, so as a young naïve girl I related to her. She could have very well went through those horrible things, but now I’m wondering whether it was just an act for views, subscribers, and eventually money. I also cannot be the only person who has noticed her content has gone down hill in recent years, she doesn’t seem to put much thought into the things she posts these days, I stopped watching before Christmas 2017 because her videos became boring, unoriginal, and repetitive. I stopped watching ‘PointlessBlog’ years ago because it became painfully obvious how much of a fake he was, however it took a little longer to see it with the ‘perfect’ Zoe.

As for other YouTubers, I have to say that my subscriptions bar has gotten pretty small these days. I was coming onto YouTube, seeing a load of videos from people I no longer care to watch. One of those people who I unsubscribed to was Oli White, he is one man that I cannot stand anymore. I am pretty sure I found out about Oli many years ago through watching Joe Sugg’s videos, but in recent years Oli has become unbearable, mainly for two reasons – the excessively loud shouting in videos like he’s filming at a concert where no one can hear him and the other reason being his crappy personality.

However that is NOT the thing that pisses me off the most, surprise, surprise, it is about the prices they charge for their ‘merch’. Merch can be a great thing, it can be a way for  fans to express their feelings towards an artist. Most musical artists will have merch when you go see them at a concert, but the difference between YouTuber merch and merch at a concert is that merch at a concert is cheaper. That is INSANE to me. I pay less for a t-shirt supporting a world famous artist then a t-shirt with a few words on from a ‘famous’ YouTuber. I recently found ‘JAACKMAATE’ on YouTube and started watching his videos (more like binge watching…its not creepy, I swear) and I completely agree with ALOT he says about YouTubers, including his video about Oli White’s hoodies. I’m sorry but I could never justify myself paying £30+ for a hoodie that says ‘what is up’ on it. I know for a fact that I can get a hoodie with more detail on from BooHoo for £15. I could NEVER justify the price to my mum either. Something I have always said, as I don’t see the point in big, expensive name brand products is ‘you’re not always paying for the product, but for the name on the product’. I don’t care if your shoes are Nike and cost over £100, if they’re shit quality, they aren’t worth it just because they have the Nike name plastered on them. I know for a fact I can find good quality products for a fraction of the price name brands will sell them for. These YouTubers aren’t stupid, they know people will buy the products simply because they’ve got their logo stuck on them. Prime example is Alfies Deyes’ tops, his tops are literally plain t-shirts with a ‘PB’ logo on a small part of the t-shirt. Creative!!! Who is buying these? I wouldn’t be wasting my money on these, not for me, not for future children I may have. Nope. Nope. NO. Like with most of the world, greed is playing a big factor in the production and selling of unoriginal, boring, predictable products.

Every ‘big’ YouTuber has their own merch these days, like they’re some massive artists with TONS of talent. Now, I do agree some products brought out by YouTubers are quality products, but most YouTubers are just throwing products out that take 5 minutes to design and £5 to produce for greedy reasons. It’s not because they want to ‘share their designs and work with us’. That’s bull! They want money.

I feel like I have slammed YouTubers throughout this whole post, which I guess I have, I could have said A LOT MORE. I am not even going to touch the disappointment of the human species that are Logan and Jake Paul. Regardless of what I have said in this blog post, I do still watch some YouTubers and still do have some favourite channels including; SORTEDfood, Lindsey Hughes, Joe Sugg (just hope he doesn’t turn out like his friends), Gabriella, Laura in the Kitchen, CupcakeJemma, Emma Blackery, and JaackMaate. Looking at that list, most of those are cooking channels, oh well, they still count to me, otherwise I’d only have 4 people to watch on YouTube, which is kind of sad.

If you have an suggestions for any more YouTubers who aren’t greedy, rapists, homophobic, bland, boring, unoriginal, uneducated, vein, racist and/or sexist I would love to hear about them!

If you’d like to buy a nice hoodie, t-shirt or cute phone case and don’t fancy forking out £30 for Oli White’s products, check out Boohoo! – www.boohoo.com (not sponsored, I just love Boohoo!)

Tweet me @lifeasshanx

Shannon x

Advice♥, MyStorys, Uncategorized

It’s another New Year with no resolutions

A few years ago I decided to scrap making ‘New Years Resolutions’. Mainly for the fact that I find them stupid, but other reasons include;  not keeping to them anyway, life happens, we can’t control and over organize every minute of a year to fit your resolution, it’s not possible. So, instead of telling friends all the things I want to do next year, I look back on the year I have had. I can hope for things to happen in the future, in the next year but making resolutions just usually ends up in disappointment the following New Year. Some pretty amazing things may happen next year, and I sure hope they do but with good things, bad things also happen. We have to learn to accept that we can’t control everything and that sometimes we can’t always do what we set out to do, by accepting that, we avoid the feeling of failure a little less.

Today marks the first day of 2018, it’s not really a special day, it’s just another day, another year but we live in a world obsessed with new beginnings and fresh starts, so to some, this day is something more then just a Monday. But, the truth is, we can have a fresh start on any day of the year, it doesn’t have to be today, tomorrow or in 2 weeks, it can be whenever you’re ready. Maybe these next few months are going to hard, maybe you have lost someone close to you or had an argument with a friend, but that doesn’t mean your whole year is ruined! You decide when your fresh start begins. Not a calendar. Just for today, try not worrying about the year ahead, don’t worry about what will or won’t happen and look back at the year you have had. The mistakes you have made and learned from, the days out and holidays, the achievements and accomplishments you have made this year.

Look back at the good things from the past year.

This year I have lost 2 stone with Slimming World and I bought loads of new clothes, that I can FINALLY fit into, like my new leather jacket. I went on my first holiday without family. I met my boyfriend and I made some pretty big decisions about my career and moving out. I finished my Level 2 diploma in animal care, I made a 2 tier cake for a wedding anniversary.

I’m pretty happy with everything that has happened in my life in the last year. There has been sad moments, moments filled with confusion, anger and sadness but like every other year, I got through it and I’m ready for another year of exciting things! I just don’t know what they’re going to be, and I’m actually okay with that.

What is your best memory from 2017? Let me know on twitter – @lifeasshanx

Shannon x

Advice♥, MyStorys, Women; It's safe here.

Why I NEED Feminism

Anyone who is a feminist out there has their own reasons for being one. Most of the time, these reasons are similar or the same to others, but their reasoning for needing it, that’s what different, because everyone’s experiences with the things that fuel the need for feminism in the first place are different.

Feminism. Yes, it’s a word and it’s not a bad one. Yet people are stigmatized for stating they are one. Just like periods, masturbation and fetishes, feminism isn’t taboo. It isn’t about some gender being a head of another. It’s about equality, something everyone should be concerned about. Yet, feminists get a reputation for being ‘crazy, lesbian, men hating ugly women’. Isn’t it funny how, when we are talking about equality and equal rights, people have to put a label on what they think the cause is about. They don’t agree with it, so they stick a label on the cause, they stigmatize these people. For what? The hope that less people will become a feminist? Because god for bid you become a ‘crazy, man hating women’ right? Wrong, it’s not funny. Not at all.

Although the feminism movement didn’t appear till the 1960s/1970s, women have been fighting for equal rights since 1848. The first women’s conference was held in Seneca Falls, America in 1848. It was at this time that women started to realise that in order to change society they would need their own organisations to do so. But it wasn’t really until 1897 that the move for women to have a vote actually started. Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women’s Suffrage. The word ‘suffrage’ means the right to vote. She wanted a peaceful protest. She felt that any violence would persuade men that women could not be trusted. Her tactics were patience and logical arguments. She argued that if parliament made laws and if women had to obey those laws, then women should be part of the process of making those laws: she argued that women had to pay taxes, like men, they should have the same rights as men. It was unfortunate that her progress was very slow.

She converted some of the members of the Labour party (known as the labour representation committee back then), most men thought women wouldn’t be able to understand how parliament worked and therefore should not take part in the electoral process. This made women angry, which prompted the creation of the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters.

The union became better known as the Suffragettes. The members of the suffragettes were prepared to use violence to get what they wanted. The suffragettes continued fighting for the right to vote, holding protests and even getting arrested for doing so. The Cat and Mouse Act was introduced to deal with hunger strikes that where being held by jailed suffragettes. The act would allow the suffragettes to starve while in jail if they did not want to eat, they would then release the suffragettes, so the government wasn’t responsible for the death on an inmate. Once they were fit and healthy again, they were re-arrested for any reason and this process would happen again. On the 8th June 1913, Emily Wilding Davison died after stepping out in front of King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby on the 4th June 1913. She was a member of the Suffragette movement. She was their first martyr. In 1918, women over the age of 30( who also met a property qualification) were given the right to vote. It wasn’t until 1928 that all white women over the age of 21 had the right to vote.

Of course, it didn’t end there. There was a lot that still needed to be fought. For instance, the pay gap between women and men, discrimination in the work place and sexual and physical violence issues.

In 1948, The NHS was introduced, which gave everyone access to free healthcare, where as before only the insured (mainly men) would benefit. In 1974 contraceptives become available, free under the NHS.

In 1977, the first rape crisis centre opened in London.

In 1985, The Equal Pay Act allowed women to be paid the same as men for the work of equal value.

In 1994, Rape in marriages was made illegal.

What shocks me more then the years in which some of these things were legalized or made illegal is that we are still having to fight for the most basic human rights. Men still earn more then women in some job roles or in some companies. Women and men are still subjected to physical, sexual and verbal abuse by partners, little is being done about these issues. Sexual harassment is a massive issue, one that seems to get swept under the rug more often then not.

Women and men are being sexually harassed all over the world, every second of every day. If you’re in a room filled with people right now, you can bet they have been harassed at some time in their life, and most likely it was sexual harassment. It’s to common and it shouldn’t be.

I need feminism because these women fought for my freedom. They fought for my vote, my access to free contraceptives, my right to have a legal abortion, to study anything I like, to have any Job I want, to file for a divorce, to own my own property, to have my own money. Most importantly they fought for me to be my own person. To be me, not just someone’s daughter, wife or mother. They gave me the freedom and decision to be whomever I wanted to be.

I need feminism because I am a victim of sexual abuse and our country does very little for abuse victims. Schools aren’t teaching the important issues of the world, but as long as you know algebra, who needs to know about the suffragettes and what an abusive relationship looks like… right? No, they need to learn these things in high school because too many teenage boys, boys who have grown up in the 21st century still think its acceptable to smack a girl on the ass, or stare at her chest. There are people out there that think groping, cat calling, inappropriate messages and unasked for nudes are acceptable.

I need feminism because I am taught that walking alone at night, wearing a short skirt or flirting is dangerous and that I should not do those things if I do not want to get raped. I live in a world, where we sexualize children, teach teenagers what to do to not get raped and stigmatize women for living their life their own way. I live in a world where my 8 year old sister cannot take her top of at the beach, without someone telling me that it is wrong and she needs to out a top on. I live in a world where teenage boys are allowed to be young and silly. They’re allowed to be ‘boys’ but teenage girls need to careful and watch what they say and do. I live in a world where women fear walking down the street after a night out. Their heart beats faster and they start to panic when a man walks behind them in the dark. They get even more scared when that man approaches them, and he may only be asking her the time or for a lighter, but she has accepted in her head ‘this man is going to hurt me’. Why, why in 2017 is this even still possible? Why are women still living in fear? This is why I need feminism

I rejected a boy today. I was honest, I told him I didn’t have feeling for him and that I was attracted to someone else. He seemed fine about this at first, but suddenly his messages started getting meaner, he started picking at my past relationships, slut shaming me because I have talked about sex and stated I enjoyed it, I am not ashamed of that fact. Yet, he tried to make me feel like I shouldn’t talk about it openly, fuck him I thought.

So, what I took from this was, a boy who was told weeks ago of my feelings for another boy used verbal abuse to try an intimate me because he was mad at me for liking another boy or because, he wanted to make me feel bad about not liking him. It didn’t work. Neither of those reasons are okay. I respected that he may be upset but that does not mean I deserve any kind of verbal abuse for stating I did not like him, in the kindest way I could.

If I ignore a boys advances or messages, I start getting hate for it. I’ve been called a snob for ignoring a message on Instagram from someone I didn’t even know. I’ve been called a prude for not messaging back someone who sent me a nude at 1am on a Tuesday, waking me up. I have had people message me telling me I am showing a little too much of my body in pictures on Facebook. Apparently its okay for lads to pose in a mirror, flexing with no top on and caption it ‘finished my workout’ but not for a girl to post a picture in shorts and bralett captioned ‘feeling good today’. It’s the same f***ing thing!

Sexual Harassment isn’t just unwanted touching or advances. It’s all of those things I have mentioned and trust me, there are many more ways in which people are sexually harassed. It’s disgusting, we have come so far already, but we are nowhere near finished fighting for rights, for protection, for justice.

Shannon x