‘Nothing is impossible’ | Uhmmm.... Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

I need your internal voice to say 'bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.' like Kristen Bell's character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall for a) the full effect b) to make sense of why I wrote 'bullshit' four times instead of just the one. Also, it's one of the best lines from the entire movie, obviously except for the timeless classic 'YOU SOUND LIKE YOU'RE FROM LAHNDAN.'

Tangents, they're kinda ma thaaaang.

Back to the subject at hand, there are so many versions of this quote or ones along the exact same lines [IF YOU BELIEVE IT, YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT] etcetera etcetera (and vomit, vomit) that I'm genuinely surprised the Pinterest server hasn't overheated and exploded from the sheer volume of aspirational positive quotes pinned to its virtual moodboards.

I'm Jen, and I'm a glass-half-empty-kinda-gal. In fact, I'm a

This glass of liquid they have given me is half empty.

It's Pepsi.

I asked for Diet Coke and it's FUCKING. PEPSI. (if you know, you know).

It's flat.

It's WARM!

It's warm, it's flat and it's Pepsi.

There's a lipstick stain on the glass.

And, of course, there is a dead fly floating in it.

Now, if you've been following me on Instagram recently [shameless link to my instagram coming up right about now] you'll see that I am, in fact, making a genuine effort to be a little less like the above and to be more positive and open minded.

I went into town today and purchased a notebook in which I *coughs, whispers* intend to turn into my 'compliments' and 'self-love/self-talk' journal.

I know, who the fuck am I? Me from 5 years ago is side-eyeing me SO HARD right now she's out side-eyeing-side-eyeing-Chloe. But it's true, I am genuinely trying to focus on living with a purpose, setting goals and intentions, focusing on talking to myself positively and accepting compliments and not focusing on negativity. But this doesn't mean that I have suddenly lost the ability to see reason and I think it's imperative that we do keep our dreams and goals realistic.

Certain things are in fact, impossible. They will never. happen.

It's not possible for me to have children in my twenties.

Ooo, that sort of took a turn, didn't it?

But I'm not being negative, just factual. The realisation hit me like a truck a few months ago and it has taken me awhile to get my head around it and, in all honesty, it did leave me feeling slightly sad.

A goal of mine was to have children in my twenties - and it didn't happen. That ship has officially sailed.

We can double pin, share, retweet, save and double tap as many inspirational quotes and platitudes as we like, hell we may even order some fancy prints and frame them or sip our tea from a mug with such sayings printed upon them in swirly, curly writing surrounded by pretty little hearts and stars but, the fact of the matter is, as we get older doors close and ships sail.

But that's okay.

Is it possible for me to have children in my twenties? No.

Was I able to be a god-mother to two amazing boys? Yes! Was I a nanny to three awesome kids? Yes! Did I work at one of the best summer camps in the whole of Manhattan, surrounded by kids? Yes! Will these things help me when I do reach my eventual goal of becoming a parent - YES! Ultimately, does a few years here or there really, really, truly matter - no. Are there ways of becoming a parent that might not have been what I originally envisioned - yes!!! Can I sit and list dozens and dozens of things that I am grateful for and are awesome in my life - YES! Am I working on becoming the best version of myself and creating the best version of my life that I can? - YES!!!

Perhaps you always wanted to be a famous actress. Maybe you will be, maybe you won't be - but imagine how all of the classes have made you a better artist, all of the auditions that have made you work on your weaknesses and impervious to criticism, the knowledge you have of the industry that sets you apart from others, the drive and commitment you've shown that will stay with you for life - perhaps you can change your goal to 'make a living from doing what I love, live and breathe to do' - so along with auditioning perhaps you share your talent and become the world's best drama teacher or move sideways into directing, scriptwriting and maybe even discover that's your true passion?

Maybe you're freaking out because you don't have a shiny ring on your finger and the next twelve months of your life to tspend figuting out how to spend thousands of pounds on flowers that will be on show for precisely one afternoon, a cake that no-one will actually eat and painstakingly creating and posting out invitations and thank-you letters that AREN'T NECESSARY BECAUSE IT'S 2018 AND WE ALL HAVE EMAIL ADDRESSES!?!?! (can you tell I'm not a massive fan of weddings?).

I get it though.

It's so many women (and men's) dream to find 'the one' and have that wonderful wedding wedding - aaaaand there's pretty much fuck all you can do to *make* it happen. It is impossible to make someone love you. (Believe it and you can achieve it! Just put your mind to it! No, my friend, that's stalking.) But if your goal was to be married or engaged by age 'X' and you aren't then my guess is you've kissed enough frogs (dated enough bellends) to know exactly what you don't want. You've spent enough time single to value your alone time and value yourself - you know your self-worth and won't settle for less. These are absolutely huge blessings. But what steps can you take if you do want to meet Mr.Right. Do you need to open your mind and perhaps rethink your criteria? Step out of your comfort zone and try some zany new dating app or event? Stop focusing on it entirely and just work on yourself? Have a serious think about how 1 in 2 marriage ends in divorce and stop focusing on the importance of 'having a wedding' or 'being married' and simply finding someone (or something, or friends, or a job) that fills you with joy?

What I'm learning here (at Phuket Cleanse - many more posts to come) and as I get older is that life does not always go how we want it to go - and that is a bloody understatement.

Our goals and definitions of success can and change as our situations and our life changes. We don't need to view any of these things we didn't achieve, haven't achieved yet or things that are or seem 'impossible' as 'failures' we can simply re-frame how we view the situation and learn from everything we've experienced.

I urge you to think of something you thought you might have achieved yet but haven't and list all of the things that you have done that have got you closer to your goal, enriched your life and improved you as a person.

Are there any other ways to reach that goal or is that goal you set 5, 10, 20 years ago maybe, now you think about it, actually looking slightly different now? Can you set some new goals that you can focus on? Buy a journal or open a google docs and get writing (I know! Who am I!? But seriously, you can be realistic and tell yourself to focus on the positives!)

The point I'm trying to make is that I think it's naive to think that anything is possible - because it's not. But that isn't 'depressing' or 'negative' because there is so much that IS possible!



How did it end up like this, it was only a kiss... | The Strictly Come Dancing Saga & Glaslighting In Relationships

The Killer's anthem chosen for this blog title seems apt (albeit slightly on the nose) to sum up the recent Strictly Come Dancing Seann Walsh and Katya Jones 'scandal'. The second song lyric that comes to mind is a line from Rihanna's 'Take A Bow' - 'Don't tell me you're sorry cause you're not. Baby when I know you're only sorry you got caught'. (also a rather relevant phrase given the nature of the show Katya and Seann should probably take the hint, take a bow and make a swift departure from the show and pasodoble their way out of the door). Although tellingly, Seann has not actually apologised to Rebecca herself, merely to the media. After he was caught red-handed.


However if there is indeed any bright-side to this (I'm done with the song lyric puns now) it's that Rebecca has managed to rid herself of a coward of a man in a dignified, mature and frankly impressively calm way She managed to to spill the tea on what a shit Sean is in a classy way and has garnered support and solidarity from people everywhere - I refuse to use the word sympathy - as she clearly states 'I am not a victim' and no, she is not, what happened is shitty but I don't feel 'sorry' for her as ultimately she'll emerge from this saga better off; Sean is the one who I feel sorry for in regards to what he has lost - 

What struck me the most about Rebecca's brilliantly composed statement is that she points out that she had her (warranted!) suspicions but was continuously told she was being a 'psycho'. Oh my GOD how many of us have been there!?' In that EXACT SAME situation. When your gut instinct is screaming at you, the red flag is waving and flapping like a goddamn hurricane is coming and every single fibre of your being is telling you that something isn't right - but your partner simply responds by calling you


Bitches be crazy? No, bitches be absolutely correct in their suspicions and your gaslighting is a conscious and calculated attempt to deflect suspicion away from yourself in order to make us question our own sanity, to somehow twist the narrative by turning us into the bad guy and therefore allowing you to continue with your shady behaviour; dialling up the denial so we spiral further and further into confusion. (I was once told, verbatim, after I found a string of messages including picture messages from my ex to another girl that I was ‘insane’ and he would send ‘the exact same to Adam!' Hmm. Methinks that Adam would have been seriously questioning both my exes intentions and his sexuality if those pictures and messages had popped up in his inbox.)

It's not just gaslighting that shady partners indulge in when attempting to evade being caught. Most people I've experienced (and, unfortunately, dated) also subscribe to the 'ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies' school of thought, that old 'what they don't know won't hurt them' chestnut. 

But when you do get caught (and everyone eventually gets caught) you don't just hurt someone - you destroy them.

The 'it was only a kiss' in the title is not actually meant to be a joke based on a relevant sounding song lyric but was chosen to hammer the point home that the actual act in the video that has everyone talking - the kiss - was clearly a short, silly and stupid drunken snog and the kiss itself is not the scandal. The kiss is not the point. It was, as the title says, only a kiss. I obviously do not and cannot speak for Rebecca but from my own personal experience and that of others I know, it's not usually the isolated act itself - the kiss, the picture message, the phone call, the sex, the 'whatever'-you are-doing that you-KNOW-you-should-not-be-doing thing. The thing that hurts you, that breaks your heart and that irrevocably breaks the trust and therefore a relationship is the lying, 

Deception is a destroyer. Plain and simple. 

Human beings are fallible.  No person and no relationship is perfect. People. Make. Mistakes. People hurt people they care about ALL THE TIME! But, if you do make a mistake you owe it to your partner to tell them the truth (the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God! But seriously...), to place the ball in their court and to allow them to decide whether they want to continue the relationship or not. 

Based on all the facts. Not a tangled web of lies or half-truths that you've spun together and spoon-fed them.

If you fuck up you try and fix it. You do not fuck up and then spend your time thinking and planning of how to cover it up and get away with it.

Cheating in any form is inherently wrong - but it happens. And, of course, there are a multitude of different 'levels' (I can't think of a better word) of cheating. But if you are hiding or lying about your actions to your partner then you are clearly aware that you have done something wrong and when you hide your actions, be it by omission or by denial, it's like you've switched your partners sunscreen for tanning oil, handed it to them swearing blind that it's spf 50 whilst sitting back and watching them burn.

 Admitting your mistake to your partner in my opinion is akin to hot water for sunburn - holy shit yes it hurts but ultimately what it does is it takes the sting out of it. This, for me, is why you need to step up and admit your mistake. To take the sting out of it for that other person that you've hurt. That 'humiliation' sting, the sting of the idea that you're the last to know, the sting that you and other people have literally sat and discussed ways to keep this secret from you, the sting of the knowledge that you've been lied to and gaslighted continuously, intentionally deceived in addition to being cheated on.

I mean option A is obviously don't be a shady fuck but this is 2018, we're all adults here and nothing is black and white, people make mistakes. So this is an open letter to all the guys and gals out there who are currently covering up their wrongdoings. 

Admit your mistake. 

Take the sting out of it. 

Allow that person to chose to whether they want to risk going back in the sun or whether they've had enough and want to leave for the shade.

But give them the fucking choice. 

And if you do have a partner that is as cowardly as Seann then I hope you can be as brave as Rebecca and walk away, head held high, knowing you deserve so, so much better.


(I realise that Katya is also married but her husband has not commented and as Rebecca made a public statement so I have focused on that. I have intentionally used the words 'people' as I am well aware that men AND women cheat! 'Bitches' is used as it's [sadly] the well-known-phrase!)


We are all just McDonald's Burgers | Insecurity, Instagram & Inconsistency

Do these photos scream ‘INSECURE GIRL’? No, they probably scream  ‘bloody narcissist’. You certainly wouldn't look at these photos believe that I have battled with crippling insecurity and the dangerously and devastatingly incorrect belief that my aesthetic was somehow intrinsically linked to my value.
[Spoiler alert - it's not!]

Fun fact - I'm actually one of the 'OG' bloggers. It's true, I've had this little space on the web since 2009 [my first post & you MAY recognise some of these people!!] ] and I'm happy to say I've been following so many girls I love succeed and fucking own it. You might well remember me as the girl who occasionally sparked controversy, tweeted a ridiculous amount or had the 'spider eyelashes' - but most likely you vaguely remember me as the one that’s consistently inconsistent; appearing then disappearing sporadically, seemingly without any explanation or pattern. 

But why?

 It destroyed my soul, crushed my spirit and broke my heart that the thing I loved the most - writing and creating - was ruined, simply because I didn't think I was pretty enough, that my photos were good enough and that other girls had more likes, more followers, healthier hair, perkier bums, fancier clothes, nicer cars, better skin. My focus on vanity metrics consumed me at the very same speed I was consuming constant curated content. Comparison truly is the thief of joy and the tentacles of self-doubt and low self-esteem wrapped themselves around me and spread like poison as I sat slumped in bed, Instagram open, as the artificial light from my iPhone screen bombarded me with artificial images of perfect girls and perfect lives.

So, in the end, I just gave up.

Blogging has changed so much from when I started and whilst I think we all logically understand that social media and blog photos are not depicting anyone’s reality and are simply a highlight reel; what we are seeing and subjected to 24/7 are the perfectly posed golden ‘gram’ shots that are then filtered, adjusted,  edited, vsco’d, bokeh’d, textured, mexture'd, huji’d and whatever-fucking-else’d often until it in no way, shape or form even vaguely  resembles what a human being, a sky or a building actually looks like. But, you know what I’ve FINALLY realised?

You will never look like the girls on Instagram.
The girls on Instagram don't even look like the girls on Instagram.
I think if we accept that, at least for the foreseeable future, Instagram is an advertorial. It is advertising - plain and simple. And I don’t even mean that in the literal sense of the multitude of paid partnerships I see every day (some are awesome and some are awful. so it goes).

The best analogy I can find to describe how I feel about everything is this... 

 Okay, so, yes, A maccas burger CAN indeed  look like that - but every single one of us knows that they bloody don’t look like that in reality. But it's all about substance over appearance, right!? Photoshoot-ready or not, we’re/it’s still fucking delicious (okay so comparing people to food has got a liiiiiittle bit weird and also let's not get into the specifics regarding the healthiness etc etc of a mcdonald's because that's a whole 'nother rabbit hole .... but I’m hoping the point I'm attempting to make does a little wave and sort of makes itself known).

When it comes to our content, right now,
We are all just McDonald's Burgers at a photoshoot.

And, you know what? As long as we keep reminding ourselves of that but at the same time we keep pushing forward with the dialogues around the portrayal of women in the media and WHY we feel the need to filter and edit our content and WHY we feel the need conform to a ridiculous societal ‘norm’ then I think I’ll continue to tentatively dip my toe back in the proverbial instagram and blogging waters and hope that someday soon we can dial it back and just enjoy and celebrate a burger for just being a bloody delicious burger.

one of the ladies who has managed to blend substance and style - befrassy 'a few small habits in self-love' - read her blog and follow her. she is ah-may-zing.


Why You Should Be Grateful For Being Ghosted.

I re-entered singledom just over two years ago, when dating apps were at the height of popularity and every other person I knew was whiling away their evenings swiping right and eagerly showing everyone their plethora of new matches.

Having spent the past ten years in long term relationships my only prior encounters with dating were a few hours tipsily spent playing on my single friends apps (you know, sending ‘hilarious’ messages to poor unsuspecting dudes, come on we’ve all done it), so to suddenly find myself rather unwillingly catapulted head first into the world of dating, bombarded with apps such as tinder, happn, hinge, POF and countless others combined with well-meaning friends and colleagues desperate to set me up, I was left SERIOUSLY confused and totally out of my depth.

I felt rather like Alice after she tumbles through the looking glass and lands with a bump in Wonderland. “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked – I feel you Alice, I feel you girl I really do. I didn’t want to end up here either. But guess what, here I am. Here we all are; and whatever you want to call it – benching, ghosting, flaking, whatever –the majority of people stuck in the dating world are seriously half-assing it.

Dating today is the equivalent of shoe shopping, because no matter how much we like the shoe and how well it fits; we just HAVE to see how we look in something else. There’s no real commitment made to any one and we know that. We literally give no sh*ts if one date doesn’t work out as we have another four lined up, another eight matches to talk to, four more apps to swipe through and Barbara in accounts knows ‘JUST the person’ for us. On the Human Interaction Stock Exchange, our words - when it comes to dating - have lost almost all their value

That is, until that can’t-eat, can’t-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over- the-fence, World Series kind of stuff comes along, slaps us in the face and literally drags us out of our indifferent dating stupor.  When you meet someone that you really like, I mean REALLY like, when that feeling hits you, quite simply you would do anything to be with that person. ‘A thousand miles seems pretty far but they’ve got planes and trains and cars. I’d walk to you if I had no other way’ hell, a person who’s really into you would swim, cycle or crawl. If someone wants to be a part of your life then they will make the effort – no ifs, no buts, no excuses. People make their priorities, well, just that – a priority.

“Every movie we see, Every story we’re told implores us to wait for it, the third act twist, the unexpected declaration of love, the exception to the rule. But sometimes we’re so focused on finding our happy ending we don’t learn how to read the signs” and most of the time that sign is so glaringly obvious it may as well be lit up above our heads in neon fu*cking lights. They take days to reply? They drop off the face of the earth for weeks at a time? They constantly cancel dates? They ONLY text you after 11pm? They STILL HAVE DATING APPS ON THEIR PHONE? Sweetie, you need to face the cold hard facts – THEY. ARE. JUST. NOT. THAT. INTO. YOU.

But actually, so what? So what that one particular person isn’t that into you? So what if it seems like the last twenty people you’ve dated just aren’t that into you. The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, they must inspire you to say “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them. The Law of “Fuck Yes or No” also states that when you want to get involved with someone new, in whatever capacity, THEY must respond with a “Fuck Yes” in order for you to proceed with them. If you’re in the grey area to begin with, you’ve already lost. You don’t need someone who’s indifferent, on the fence, or keeping you on the bench. You don’t WANT someone who isn’t that into you! You don’t need to prove your worth to anybody.

As Carrie Bradshaw so eloquently explains, “Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.” Being alone means you’re available for something amazing – for real love. “Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love”. 

So to all the guys and girls that are ghosting and benching us – thank you.

Thank you for ensuring that we don’t settle for anything less than butterflies.


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