Events

Hello dear readers. I hope you’ve had a nice start to September and that as summer has finally ended the autumn weather has slowly seeped in as the days go by. As I am writing this post, my cousin Savina is off to Australia and it’s been a month since we got married. I honestly can’t believe that time has passed so quickly within a blink of an eye that it’s almost quite terrifying to be fair; and so I thought I would share with you all a quote from Brian Cox about The Arrow of Time:

The Arrow of Time dictates that as each moment passes, things change, and once these changes have happened, they are never undone. Permanent part is a I a fundamental part of being human. We all age as the years pass by — people are born, they live, and they die. I suppose it’s part of the joy and tragedy of our lives, but out there in the universe, those grand and epic cycles peer eternal and unchanging. But that’s an illusion. See, in the life of the universe, just as in our lives, everything is irreversibly changing.

Brian Cox, Wonders of the Universe, BBC 2.

I think that the quote summarises beautifully how life moves on in one direction and that in this vast universe things are not always fixed and constant; just like relationships, friendships, people, interests, your state of mind. Within these relationships and lives, there are so many things that are happening all at the same time- people growing, moving on, falling in love, learning from experiences and making new connections etc. I found the quote so moving I did actually cry as I was writing out my speech- I felt extremely grateful for having and knowing so many people who care about us. And in saying that, I was going to read this for my speech but I ended up changing it as I found something else which was shorter! TBF, I lost count on how many times I ended up editing my speech until I was happy with it.

When I look back it all seems like a distant memory. I’m still looking at photos from our wedding day and whenever I look at them I always seem to pick up other people’s expressions, which gives me a different perspective during that moment in time.

So, September is another time for change (for me anyway) let’s see what happens in the next couple of weeks. My art has been a bit on the back burner lately and unfortunately I’m not feeling too inspired to pick up my pen and draw, maybe because of the stress of the wedding and starting a new job at the same time has left me slightly burnt out. I hope to start making more new artwork when I’m feeling ready and energised again. For now though, I’m not pressuring myself to make any new artwork as I now that I’ll most likely hate what’s on the computer.

This post seems more like a diary entry than anything I have written in the past. I love having this space to be honest about stuff and to let go of negative thoughts. I hope you all take care and look after yourselves. Remember, you’re not alone. Reach out to people if you need a chat about things. There are always people out there who will listen to you.

Enjoy the rest of your week,

Jo

I’ve been off the radar with illustration work as it’s been pretty intense these past couple of weeks. I feel as though I don’t have the time and energy to make any pieces of work as the countdown to the wedding is coming thick and fast. Um, 5 weeks guys. 5 WEEKS!

I have enjoyed every bit of the journey since we started planning it out almost a year ago. But. And there is a but coming. But it’s been pretty bloody stressful at the same time. My friend did say that it’s quite common to get wedding blues about it, as in, it’s not all rosy/ Pinterest filtered dreams. The nitty gritty bits of it all come rolling in at once. So, this post is about keeping the momento going whilst looking after your mental and emotional wellbeing at the same time. After all, this is one of the biggest shifts and life changing moments in your life so trust me you’ll get there- just take it day by day.

  1. I suppose Sam and I have learnt that you can’t please everyone. Well, we knew that from the start but it’s easier saying it than accepting it completely and moving on. The food has been a mega curve ball as not everyone likes the food you like- obvs. At the end of the day it’s our day so, yes, accepting that some people may not like it BUT at the same time being mindful about what we want. I said to Sam if people don’t like the food they could always nip down to Green Lanes for a kebab and come back. Yes, I actually said that and I mean it. Guests, we love you all to bits but please try and remember Sam and I aren’t running a restaurant so if you don’t like fish or garlic, well that’s YOUR choice though isn’t it? Also, how can anyone not like garlic??!!!
  2. Divvy up the task to other people and ask for help. I’m the type of person who finds it really difficult asking for help, but when that times come and you need people to make loads of paper flowers with you just got to ask for help. It also takes that extra pressure from you and the whole process should be an enjoyable one too.
  3. I try and limit my time on social media looking at wedding images as I’ve found that I got completely bogged down by it and it was really unhealthy. If course, it’s great to get inspiration or look up DIY tips to make something. But it’s hard to get away from it as it’s so easily to access it 24/7.
  4. There are about a gazillion one things to do and keeping on top of it all can bee mega overwhelming. We’ve got a spreadsheet and list of what we need to do so that’s been great in keeping track of everything. Can’t stress enough to spend some time and get everything down. There’ll be things you’ll need to add along the way but the spreadsheet has been absolutely fantastic.
  5. You need a break from wedmin so do all the things you love to do like cooking, watching a film, going for a walk, stroking a cat (works for me), eating nice food etc. Don’t feel like you need to be doing wedding things everyday otherwise you’ll get bogged down about it.

If you have any wedding tips to share please post them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading as always and, yes, 5 weeks to go now!

I do tend to harp on about the fact that I’m from Doncaster and most people pick up this from my accent (‘You’re from up North/Manchester/Sheffield?’. Me: ‘Yeah…at this point I describe in minute detail about where Doncaster is in relation to Leeds and Sheffield’.)

I was asked by Future First if I’d be up for volunteering for a day back at my old college. For those who are unfamiliar with Future First they’re a organisation that links up with schools to colleges and they get in alumni’s to support sessions run by Future First facilitators. I thought it’d be a great opportunity to be able to talk to current students about how I got to where I am an sometimes when you study a degree you don’t always end up doing what you studied.

So what did the day involve?

The day started with a brief introduction with one of the facilitators from Future First, Jeanette, who was super lovely and really energetic right from the start. She got right in and gave me and another person (who already works at Doncaster college) a quick 5 minute briefing about the session and what to except. The two sessions were both about work experience and they were not limited to: how to get work experience, how to answer questions during interviews, approaching companies about work experience, building up their confidence and the benefits of getting experience. The volunteers are basically supporting the groups of students during group work and discussions, any questions the students had in terms of work experience (as this is what the session was about) we’d be able to answer them 1:1 as a group.

All in all there seemed to be mixed responses on getting work experience. Some students thought it was pointless getting work experience. I tried to explain to some of them that it’s about building towards their future and trying to get as much positive experience the earlier on in their career, at the end of the day I told them that their tutor or teachers aren’t going to be there to tell them what to do. Some of them had explained to me that it was very difficult in getting work experience due to the high volume of other students applying but also the fact is that Doncaster is a vey small town, therefore there are a lot less opportunities compared to other larger towns and cities. The route through education from the time you leave is such an important time to learn what you like and don’t like. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not doing things you don’t like because what would be in point in that? It’s more about building up on communication skills, networking with other people, exposing yourself to situations where you have to think on your feet. One student said that being a YouTuber was a job and that’s what he wanted to do. I wasn’t completely phased out about what he said but I encouraged him to build up on his interests and I emphasised how important it is to gain these set of life skills.

What did I take away from the day?

A lot. I sort of had mixed feelings by the end of the day. I actually left me feeling like I wanted to do more for our generation if I’ll be honest here. I can see why some of the students see work in general completely pointless- there seems to be underlying social and political issues going on here which makes me think a lot about Doncaster and how I got to where I am. The first thing here is opportunity. Or, should I say opportunities. Doncaster is a relatively mixed area, poverty is quite apparent especially if you look at the high street for instance which is a good indicator.

Secondly, the individual’s attitude towards education and work. We live in a society whereby instant gratification of objects and images (scrolling through Instagram) is immediate; we buy, we consume, we throw away stuff. And the whole cycle continues. If it’s easy to consume goods then you’re probably less likely to see the point of work. Also, they’re transitioning into adulthood and that itself is pretty freaking scary. When I look back into my early to late teens it was such a weird time in my life because I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, whilst revising for my A-Levels and catching up with my friends. I do really emphasis with the younger generation and I don’t mean it in a patronising or horrible way. The youth have got it even harder today: high rents, low waged jobs, bloody Brexit, the affordability of housing- oh, man I could go on!

If you ever come across with the chance to volunteer with Future First, I would 100% tell you to do it. Why? Because now is the time to invest in our future generation and it made me think of the choices I made when I was 17.

Happy Tuesday everyone. ✌️