SMALL VICTORIES – OCTOBER

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Am I on fast forward? Is the earth spinning faster? I’m starting to get worried. How have thirty days passed since my last Small Victories post? And how the hell is Halloween just around the corner?

Starbucks have released Autumnal paper cups, I’ve been wearing scarves to work and shops are selling Christmas goodies – apparently September just ceased to exist – but did I achieve what I set out to over the last four weeks?

Yes.

And no.

I worked my butt off, inside and outside of the confines of my 9-5, but I could have done – and want to do – better.

So, this month, I will be staying on the road to job-fulfilment bliss, but with a couple of added extras thrown in for good measure. So here goes.

1. Keep at it.

By ‘it’, I mean blogging. Writing. Hustling. It will all pay off, I know it.

2. Stretch.

I could probably count on one hand – or even finger – how many times I have taken to the mat this month. And I can feel it in my mind and in my muscles. Yoga is my valium. Yoga is my therapy. And I am in desperate need of both.

3. Explore.

This one is harking back to August when I promised to enjoy everything that London has to offer, but ‘never got round to it’. Although the weather might not allow for outdoor expeditions as such, a scarf and a hat are more than enough to get me to a gallery. No excuses.

4. Spend time with friends.

Trying to balance a new job, a boy, a blog and my friends over the last month has proved challenging. I have had no time for anything but sleeping and eating, so as October rolls in I’m hoping I’ll be able to stop for a moment and spend time with the most important people in my life…

And there we have it. My small victories that I am reaching for this month, which I will probably fail to achieve because LIFE IS MOVING SO GODDAMN QUICKLY post-25.

But anyway, aside from pinning down a ticket to Glastonbury and nailing the perfect Halloween costume, what would you like to achieve this October?

Whatever it is, make it constructive, doable and inspired. Good luck!

The Month

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September. The academic benchmark of a new year.

A time which used to signify the prospect of a crisp, new uniform, an unreasonable level of concern over pencil cases and the feeling of dread surrounding homework.

This September, I’ve realised (like most), that there’ll be no more school ties to keep me looking smart, no new pens to improve my writing and no fresh teachers to do the job of inspiring me. All that I have leftover this month is a yearning for carnivals gone by and the summer holiday that I never had.

I feel like it’s time for change, or at the very most, a new year’s resolution. This is probably because I’ve somehow fallen out of sync with the rest of the post-education, adult, population and have refused to let go of this month as the beginning of a new year. I feel like it’s a time to be honest, to start learning again and to make promises; much like I’ve felt every Michaelmas since nursery school.

So, with the changing of seasons, as the leaves begin to drop, so does the tempo in the capital and the slog to save for Christmas begins. And moreso than ever, I have realised that hard work really does pay off. I’m not sure why after seventeen years of education, it has taken me one year of not being educated to realise this, but the penny has finally dropped. I have achieved what I have thus far by learning and that doesn’t have to change because I am no longer a student. I’ve rediscovered the importance of surrounding myself with people who I can learn from, finding books that entertain me and learning a language despite the slog.

So seeing as our parents have forever banged on about our schooldays being the best of our lives, we should probably head back to them and start a new year all of our own instead of dwelling over our post-summer slumps.

And why wait until January?

Happy New Year.

The Fall

Over the past few days I have heard nothing but complaints about the seasonal changes that are fast approaching the capital. And I have to say, I’ve heard enough. I’ve got a lot of love for autumn and all its golden glory. In fact, I would go as far as saying it’s my favourite time of year, and always has been.

Here are the reasons why I love to celebrate this underappreciated season:

Firstly, the cityscape is far more idyllic and so much more romantic than in any other season. St James’ Park is dusted with crispy leaves and people’s padded clasps look all the more cosy in soft leather gloves. And talking of gloves; Autumnal wardrobes are the best. Bejewelled cardigans and eclectic jackets for ladies and huge collared coats and brogues for men. Less unmanicured toes and too short-shorts and more muted tones and red nails. It’s without a doubt, the classiest time of year for fashion. Something which also compliments this is the complexion of our skin beyond September. For those post-holiday; a warm glow still remains but for those who aren’t, the windswept blush will suffice. The look is somewhat post-coital but without the sweat. No need for blusher.

Not only do we look better, but in my opinion social activities are far more satisfying wrapped up in a woollen bow. For instance, it’s the perfect time to go city-surfing. The romantic setting will be pre-packed for you by the falling leaves and darker evenings so no need for champagne and strawberries. All you have to do is find someone to explore with and snog as you’re encompassed in an auburn hue. Let’s be honest, a photo in front of The Eiffel Tower would not be complete without a beret. And you can’t wear one of those in the summer can you eh? Aside from city-hopping, our bad behaviour becomes more and more appropriate too; i.e. eating lots. September is an excuse to gorge on that chocolate cake after behaving for the duration of the summer months and not worry about it as you know that your oversized boyfriend jumper will cover it up whilst making you look utterly adorable to unsuspecting eyes.

And if you Londoners are still not convinced; autumn brings a smooth running TFL. As we all know, transport in London is pretty much non-existent in the winter due to the snow and is pretty much un-usable in the summer because it’s so hot that you feint, thus falling into the arms of a sweaty builder in a beater. In the autumn it’s cosy enough and regular enough to truly enjoy it.

“But the rain!” I hear you cry…

Yes, I will admit that the rain is somewhat irritating when you’re heading to a party or when your new French Soles are soaked right through, but as always, there’s a light at the end of the puddle (sorry). It’s an excuse to share your brolly with that fittie at the bus stop, or run into Starbucks in a bid to talk to the gorgeous girl behind the counter. Plus, the much sought after Toffee-Nut Latte will be re-introduced sooner than you can say ‘Christmas’.

I hope you now agree (at the very least) that autumn isn’t so bad after all.