Going back to some roots 🌲 

I am a tree hugger!

As part of my July Challenges – point 5 was to ‘spend time in nature’. After suffering with ‘imposter syndrome‘ for most of the day, an email I’d received from ‘Margaret Rushing‘ sang to me. In it she challenges the reader to go out into nature and ‘hug a tree’. 

I really couldn’t be arsed venturing back out after I’d got home. But……I knew if I didn’t I’d be annoyed with myself for the rest of the evening. So off I went – in search of a tree.

Continue reading “Going back to some roots 🌲 “

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July – The Challenges 🙀

I’m a huge fan of Brené Brown so immediately purchased ‘Rising Strong’ when I made the decision to start focusing on challenges.

The book takes a look at getting up after a failure. As I am turning my ‘year of vulnerability’ up a few notches, I know there are going to be times when I am down and want to quit. To retreat back to a cocoon of safety.

Continue reading “July – The Challenges 🙀”

It’s time to face the mirrors!

I am beautiful.

This is how I feel when I look in my bathroom mirror on most evenings. Just before I take the remains of my makeup off and for a moment or two after. I stop and take a moment to look deep into my eyes, give myself a genuine grin and appreciate myself!


A few steps into my bedroom and alas…………..I am no longer beautiful.

As unfortunately my bedroom mirror doesn’t tell me the same! Nor any other mirror.

I’m back to seeing myself as unattractive!

I curse my flaws, my features, my angles. Oh why isn’t there a camera filter that makes me look like I do in my bathroom mirror?

I am pretty there.

How can it be so that I’m only truly comfortable with how I look in this one mirror?

It is a belief I would like to turn around. Along with some other thoughts, habits and beliefs that have weakened my self-esteem over time.

There’s the unhealthy habit I have of creating scenarios in which people are judging me.

This happens more often that I’d like to admit. In fact, my thoughts on Saturday night actually inspired this post.

Getting ready to go out I was actually enjoying the pre-party for one in my bedroom. Indie-Rock music blasting out, a couple of beers and some serious….ly silly dance moves.

I had a few minor wardrobe wobbles when the first two outfits didn’t fit me. But was happy with the 3rd outfit and got a respectable slow nod and satisfactory smile from my housemate.

As soon as I walked out of the house, the mind chatter began:

  • My skirt is too short
  • My thighs are too big
  • I’m overdressed
  • I’m too old to be dressed like this

Then came the scenarios about how people would be judging me. Which led me to justify who I am and why I’m dressed like I am. It didn’t stop there as I started to question myself, and then the world! It’s fucking tiring.

Another thing that is kryptonite to my self-esteem is the way I don’t always admit what I actually want. To be fair to myself, for the most part I don’t even realise that I’m doing it.

For as long as I can remember I have confidently confirmed:

‘I’m terrible at making decisions’ 

And that was that. Nothing I could do about it. It’s part of me! Not for once thinking that it was a belief muscle I was building.

It’s only been recently that I have actually taken a closer look at my inability to make decisions. And it hit home. Smack bang wallop in the face!

  • I’m a people pleaser
  • I don’t like to be the odd one out
  • I shy away from confrontation
  • Plus the biggie – I don’t want other people to feel uncomfortable

So I take the easy way out using phrases such as:

I don’t mind’, Whatever you want’ and ‘I’m not sure’. Or I’m just silent and go along with things with a smile on my face.

I know this habit is past it’s sell-by date as it became too frequent that I was looking at others with an envious eye. And the message was, they were a reflection of me. A me I truly wanted to be! To be that confident to go for what I want regardless of others (or my made up) judgements.

All these reasons are why I’ve decided to spend July tearing down the protective walls that once served a purpose. It’s time to work on building new ones.

In my last post Life – who’s in charge? I revisited the reason why I started this blog and noted that I had got off track. Well I am back in the game and the theme for July is ‘self-esteem’. I am going to set myself challenges and give myself permission to go for things.


If you have any suggestions/ideas/tips on what can strengthen my self-esteem muscle please pass them my way.

One of my goals is get to the end of July and be able to look into any mirror and truly say.

I am beautiful.

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday
Twitter: @boomerhalliday

p.s. If you’ve liked this or any of my other posts, I would be grateful if you could give them a share. 

Life – who’s in charge?

I reached for my beautiful turquoise notepad, which was a thoughtful Secret Santa gift from a work colleague. I absolutely love notepads……and stationery in general. That feeling I get visiting Paperchase, The Works, WHSmith and other such stores. Browsing the shelves churns the creative cogs in my mind. 

But notepads have always been my favourite! A blank canvas, igniting inspiration – ready to transform into whatever you want: 

  • hold words that help craft stories
  • plot and plan dreams
  • harbour deep secrets 
  • doodle

I thumb through my notepad and am slightly disheartened when I see the empty pages. I’ve barely made a dent in it. This highlights my habit of starting things with gusto only to move onto the next thing – leaving that particular dream on the shelf! Unfortunately this trait overflows to other parts of my life. 

It’s the book I excitedly started in January – for my year of vulnerability. 

On the first page, I wrote:

“This year I decided to have a theme which I would focus on for the year. That theme is vulnerability. So many things {career, relationships, travels} have been stopped, stilted or not allowed to flourish due to me putting a shield around myself. So it has to stop – here! I am bored of not getting what I want for fear of getting hurt so let’s get to it! This is my scrapbook. I’m going to be journaling, blogging, note taking. Along with doing Facebook Lives, Instagram, reading, therapy sessions and challenges. Bring it on!”

I accompanied this with a list of things that I planned to do – the majority remained unticked.

I seem to have taken a slip road on my journey, which isn’t particularly a bad thing but it is important to reassess what I actually want from this year. 

It’s funny – in life we generally don’t tend to assess things. Our relationships (with family, friends, partners), our jobs, where we live, how we like to spend our spare time. We often make that choice once or fall into it and then let life unconsciously take over – only changing when we have to! I know I’ve spent more time assessing and planning where I want to go on a holiday than anything to do with my life. Crazy!

I love this quote by Zig Ziglar:

As much as the idea of ‘life happening to you’ and ‘working in your favour’ sounds so romantic and the easier option. I don’t actually believe it is. I used to be in the ‘fate’ fan club and living for today. 

This was great for excuses when life hadn’t gone the way I wanted it to: 

“Don’t blame me – blame fate”

But not so great on the purse strings: 

“Fuck saving for a rainy day – tomorrow never comes!” 

Well it did and it has! And many a day I’ve let life guide me too loosely – trying to mask my disappointment with the outcome. 

Planning for the future and the thought of choosing to stay in one place, one job, with one person used to paralyse me. Never considering that I could actually change my direction……..anytime. That I had the choice to do that!

With that notion firmly in my mind……….(again). I’ve learnt this lesson countless times but this time………this time…..it’s firmly in my mind! 

I actually want to be the one leading the show – making the decisions about my life!

Control taken back. Excitement levels restored. 

I pick up my trusty notepad. 

I’m ready to plan my heart out!

This year of vulnerability has just turned up a notch!

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday
Twitter: @boomerhalliday

p.s. If you’ve liked this or any of my other posts, I would be grateful if you could give them a share. 

5 things single women (okay me) are tired of hearing 🤐

1. What’s wrong with you?
Is this a rhetorical question? How are we supposed to answer this? Is this where we admit our weird habits and behaviours? Hmmmm, Where do I start? Do you want me to open Pandora’s box? If this comment was a physical item it would be a boxing glove! Making us question who we are and beat ourselves up. It’s pretty offensive and it confuses me. 


2. But?!…………..you’re gorgeous/pretty/beautiful (delete as appropriate)

Having a partner isn’t based on looks alone. Well not for most people. So it’s a bit of a shallow statement to make. And again how are we meant to answer this? Although it is nice to hear that some people think my face is arranged in a pleasant way. Definitely not helpful. Actually………….it’s a lovely compliment and I’m not hearing it from the single guys so this one can stay out of room 101! Okay, go on – you can lavish me with compliments!

3. Mr right is just round the corner. 
As I said in my intro post. ‘My year of vulnerability’. Which fucking corner? The same people that throw this comment around will then say “I told you so” if/when it happens. No matter how long the time is that they’ve said it. It’s basically like me saying – it’s going to snow. And then 9 months later it does and I say “I told you so” – in a smug, I may become a tarot reader, kind of way. 


4. As soon as you stop looking you’ll find him.  

Most single girls I know are not constantly on the lookout for a relationship every waking hour. We do things like go to work,  spend time with friends & family, party, shop, go on holiday, wash our hair etc. Basically getting on with life. I have gone years without scouring bars, getting thumb ache from swiping right (that’s Tinder speak to those of you not in the know) – I haven’t always ‘been looking’. To which I then get told – well maybe you should look. Confusion has set in again! Which one is it? Is there a perfect ratio that has passed me by? If so – send it my way! 


5. Relationships are not all they’re cracked up to be. 

We know that what you see on the surface of relationships isn’t always what’s going on. Closed doors not only hold the funny and romantic times. They hide heartache, quarrels, insecurities and silence. Plus – every relationship is different. We’ve been in relationships before and know that they don’t solve all our problems. You take the bad with the good. Why wouldn’t we want the good? 

Anyway………

list rant over. I know that these comments aren’t said in malice and are often said from the heart to help comfort us. At times they do – especially if we’re going through a recent break up. But as the years go by and we’d be rich if we had a pound for every time we heard one of these – they can be a little bit grating. 

Bonus statement

6. If I was a guy, I’d date you! 
Said by slurring drunk girl mates. As sweet as it is. You’re not. So it’s a moo point (one for Friend’s fans). You can stop kissing my neck now…………

This post, although my true feelings, is written in jest. So if people do want to make these statements, that’s totally fine. But as I’m a girl that is open minded and loves advice – how about giving me a suggestion of places decent guys hang out, setting me up with someone or just forgetting that I’m single and having a regular conversation. I’m reasonably well read so have a number of topics we can talk about. 

Note: this all goes out of the window if I’m moaning asking “Why am I single?” – then you can revert to comments 2 and 3! Oh go on then – 6 too!

Emma x

p.s. If you have a certain comment that you’re tired of hearing. Please share for the giggles 😊

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday
Twitter: @boomerhalliday

The Dating Rollercoaster!

I started the night secretly retrieving tissue from my pocket……to wipe sweat from my forehead. I ended the night forgoing the tissue as tears streamed down my face. 

What a night. 

What a mixture of emotions. 

Such is the life of a single girl, diving back into the world of dating. 

As I’ve mentioned on a couple of occasions, I am single! In my post, ‘The Single Side of Me’, I delve deeper into how I feel about it. 

One of the reasons I started my year of vulnerability was due to my single status, which – I put my hands up and admit – I am to blame for! 

As the great Jim Rohn said: “For things to change. You need to change.”

And boy do I want things to change. 


So I’m looking at my situation from different angles, donning different shoes. It’s scary, staring my demons head on, feeling the emotions. But with it I come through the other side with a lesson. 

Although……..I wasn’t expecting tears on the tube, on the way home from an event, to be part of the journey. 

It all started Wednesday night when I nervously arrived at Farr’s School of Dancing in Dalston, for a silent dating event. The event Shhh party, was something that I’d never experienced before but it wasn’t totally out of my comfort zone as I proudly have ‘improv skills’ on my CV. Plus, silliness definitely is in my DNA. 

Not a stranger to being alone in a room full of people due to countless networking events and courses I’ve attended, I found it interesting that I confidently strode up to 2 women and asked if I could join them. Usually I would linger around the side of the room waiting for someone to approach me. 

Dating stories were swapped and I admitted that it had been over a year since my last date and that I was eager to ramp it up again. Hence the deep end. This event!

We started off with a few warm up games, making our way around the room, in silence, introducing ourselves in various ways. There were about 30 men and women, almost equally split, so there was always someone new to greet. Each round of games required more energy, confidence and movement than its predecessor, which didn’t bode well for my skinny black jeans in an already hot room. 

As I mopped my brow, taking off my freshly done makeup in the process, I realised I didn’t mind as I was having so much fun. My face ached from smiling and I was eager to see how the night would unfold. 

The games continued, not all in silence. The host, Adam Wilder, was the perfect compère, hilarious and engaging. He explained the reasons for playing each game, which also turned out to be perfect life lessons. Totally up my street.  

After the break the games took a sensual turn, shining a respectful light on intimacy. Something that lacks in so many people’s lives, not just those that are single! I don’t want to divulge too much into the event for those that may be interested in going themselves. So I will just say the last game was surreal, powerful, beautiful and……….sad!

The evening ended with people staying on for drinks to talk, finally introducing themselves by name. Some people coupling off and leaving together. 

I got a number. 

A woman’s number. 

Yup. I got me a wing-woman!

On the phone to my friend as I headed back home, I was laughing as I expressively explained the set up. All of a sudden, without warning, the gloom set in and I was……..despondent. I felt rejected and further away from my goal. 

And I moaned. 
“In dating situations today you have to vie for attention and it often feels like the guy is the one pulling the strings. Making the decisions. Whilst the girl patiently waits. Takes unnecessary digs at herself. Compares herself. Why do I let myself get pulled into this situation time after time, without actually giving my permission?”

And I cried. 
“I was sad that no-one showed an interest, even though I wasn’t particularly interested in anyone. I was tired of always having to try when others only have to look at someone to be in a relationship. I was fed up of constantly being the 3rd wheel amongst friends. I felt happy and independent one minute and then so alone the next.”

And I blamed.
“Damn the time of the month making me extra hormonal. Is there a full moon? It feels like it. I’m tired. I’ve had a few to drink. It’s been a long day. It’s probably the stress of the election. Damn you Theresa May.”

And my friend.
Knowing how I feel about advice and papering over problems with sickly sweet throwaway words of comfort, remained silent. I loved her for it ❤️

I can’t speak for all single women, nor would I want to, but I’m sure the majority will agree when I say that there are a list of things that we’re sick of hearing. I scribbled my top 5 down to include in this post but then realised it didn’t flow. So my ranting list will be in a separate post – you lucky folks you! 

Sometimes all anyone needs to feel better, is a non-judgemental person who will sit and listen. Listening is underused and underrated – in my opinion. Thanks to my friend’s ears, my tears soon dried and I was able to move on and the lessons, they came a-knocking. 

Lesson 1
Putting on some size 9 trainers, I looked at the guys that I had turned down in life. Who had bravely asked me out and I had snubbed their advances. Why was it any different when it happened to me? It’s hypocritical. We are all entitled to our choice. It just feels like I’m playing snap with no sets of pairs in the card deck. 

Lesson 2
As I was drifting off to sleep I laughed as I realised that this was what vulnerability felt like. I had asked for this. To be open, on my quest for love, could mean……..hurt, pain, rejection! I was firmly on the right path. This made me feel okay. Actually, this made me feel more than okay!

Lesson 3
When walking back from the polling station yesterday evening. I thought of Jim Rohn’s quote again and began to dissect it further. 

‘You need to change.’

I see this as not changing my personality to fit into someone else’s perfect partner mould. Instead, I see this as an opportunity to change into the person I want to be. A ‘me’ that would fit into my ideal relationship mould. 

I want my partner to be outgoing, open-minded, healthy, sporty and love the outdoors. I laugh as I try and remember the last time I went camping without it been a festival. Or the last time I went to the gym or picked up my kettlebells (which I’ve only used once). How can I expect to attract someone like this when I’m not this person myself? 

The lessons are always there. After the demons – they are there. Many people choose to spend most of their time entertaining the demons by playing hide and seek or wallowing with them. 

This time I chose to sit with them, with the pain. And I hurt. I moaned. I complained. I cried. Coming out of the other side feeling stronger and more certain than ever that I will not settle and will not give in! 

It cemented the fact that I still believe that I will get what I’m looking for. 

I’m so grateful for Shhhh Party for getting me there in the most fun rollercoaster dating experience I’ve had. I highly recommend it to anyone. Maybe you’ll meet your partner, a wing woman or a demon with a message. Whatever happens one thing I can almost guarantee is – you’ll have fun! You can check it out here www.shhhdating.com

Finally I am beyond grateful to my friend who was ‘silently’ with me as I battled my demons. You know who you are 😘. 

Emma x

p.s. On Sunday night I deactivated my Facebook for a much needed break, you can see why in my post ‘We are on a Break’.  This has resulted in a more open and raw account of my feelings. As the amount of people that this blog will reach is smaller than my other posts I felt more confident sharing. Plus, I don’t have the opportunity to sit watching FB waiting for the feedback. Phew!! 

If you have liked this post feel free to give it a share. 

We are on a Break!

I’m

A

Woman

Obsessed!

Infact. I’m starting to actually believe I’m……..possessed.

With Facebook!

It’s taken control of me. My mind. My habitual functions. The slip of my hand mindlessly reaching for my phone. A scroll. A like. A glance. A smile. A sigh.

Feeling like I’ve got the extra oxygen I need. Before I repeat. I repeat. I repeat. Over and over again.

No notifications. Is the phone needing to update? Is the site on a go slow?

Notifications. Beam. Oh, I have no interest in them.
Or
Ooh….. that’s interesting. You have my attention. For a moment…….

Yup! Possessed!

I love Facebook. I love the ways it has improved my life. How it’s easy to connect. To find my tribe. To have a voice. To live another part of me. The part that’s not as introverted.

I’m always found on the defensive side when people try and blame Facebook for what is wrong with the world today. Like a caring big sister who can hate on her sibling but woe betide anyone else who tries to!

Knowing deep inside that my defensiveness comes from agreeing with some of the opinions that are aired. I once downloaded an app which tracked where you were spending most of your time on your phone. After the 2nd day – my defensive reaction was to delete the app! Well of course I’m on it all the time. I need it for work! Ahem……

When I first heard about Facebook I was in a relationship with a guy that thought it was a “load of tripe” or words to that effect. As soon as we broke up I didn’t run into the arms of another guy – ready to rock the rebound. No – I joined Facebook.

I believe that’s one of the things that helped get me through a challenging breakup. Facebook was the distraction I needed during the day whilst my super strong sleeping pills took care of the night. (Which I had to use sparingly as the doctor said that one prescription was my lot).

I connected with old friends and started to live an adventurous life. I was opening my eyes to a world outside of Leeds. I started to see what was possible. The places I could go. The things that I could be. I didn’t just see them. I did them.

Facebook saved me.

So actually admitting I have a problem is tough!

It doesn’t help that I’m a procrastinator. Facebook is like catnip to me. Always wanting that extra hit. To find out what’s going on. It’s not all positive though. I unleash the Comparison Cashier and start passive aggressive arguments in my head at something someone has said. Their views. Their opinions. Pitching up camp in my mind.

Too much Facebook and I’m tired and feel guilty. A tad empty inside. In my previous post Partying with Guilt and Fear! I mentioned that I often feel lazy. To which, the feedback I received from a few friends that know me. “Lazy is the last word I would use to describe you”.

And I get why they said that. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been called ‘busy’ and was even embarrassed with the word at one point. I agree, I don’t appear to be lazy as I’m always ‘doing something’. They don’t see the other side though. The time wasted – doing absolutely nothing but aimlessly scrolling until numb. When I have:

  • people to text back
  • books to read
  • documentaries to watch
  • items to declutter
  • a novel to start
  • a blog post to write

I actually started to write this post yesterday at 11.50pm! I said I would be in bed by 11pm. I always lie to myself when it comes to bed times. I get caught up with something that needs to be done/viewed/researched – immediately! Normally on Facebook.

So after almost 10yrs of using Facebook as a crutch. I’ve admitted that a break is called for. Not a long break but a break nonetheless.

I’d decided this some weeks ago but after finishing ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers on Monday evening, it was the extra push I needed. It’s a dystopian novel about how technology and social media is taking over our lives.


The book itself was a simple read and kept me engaged. Plus, I could actually see how this could be a reality. People, myself included – I’m up near the front of the queue – are continuously doling out sections of their lives for technology/others to control. Maybe:

  • For an easier life
  • To always be entertained
  • To never be lonely

Lonely!! 

And that’s when it struck me!

Although I’ve been single for 10yrs. I ran head first into a different type of relationship. I’d been screwing Facebook!

Longest rebound ever!!

Maybe I thought without Facebook I would be lonely, bored and……..vulnerable?

Not even half way through the book and I knew that I was going to take a break from Facebook. I decided a weekend would be enough. Then increased it to a week and just now I have further increased it to 3 weeks!

To many this isn’t a big deal. But to me – I see my oxygen reserve slipping away. In addition to connecting with friends and stalking. Come on – we all do it! I’ve used Facebook for networking, business and learning. It’s a HUGE part of my life! That statement itself hit a nerve. It’s really quite sad.

A lot can happen in 3 weeks. So I’m excited to see what my creative mind has in store for me. Will letting go of Facebook present a new, tangible love? Will I read more books? Sleep better? Be happier?

It is widely said that it takes 21 days to break/make a habit. So I therefore announce that from 5th-25th June (inclusive) – I will deactivate my Facebook. The messenger will still be on as a way of contact but that is all.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Facebook and social media in general. How attached are you?

I will still be updating my blog – you’ll be able to see new posts via my Twitter and Instagram.

Here’s to me taking control of my life.

Facebook – we are on a break!

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday
Twitter: @boomerhalliday