My break up

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It's been roughly 4 months since my breakup, and about 8 months since I've seen him. I haven't really written about it yet, I've been very conscious that a relationship belongs to two people, and the breakup does too. I've reached a time when I'm ready to write about my experience of 'us' breaking apart, while not sharing anything that belongs to him. If you see what I mean.

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There seem to be two things you give up when you break up. Firstly, you give up how you'd imagined your future looking. How far ahead this went varies, but even your day-to-day future just disappears. I think we can often overlook what a hole this leaves us with; the future that won't exist now. Needing time to figure out what your new future may look like. Our relationships don't form everything in our lives, but they have an impact on all of it. So I've needed some time to just work out what my new chapter looks like, and even what I want it to look like. 

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Secondly, even if you did the breaking up, or believe that the relationship ending is a good thing, you still have a person that was a massive part of your life, and is no longer. Partnership aside, I miss him as a person. I miss hearing what he thinks about things, I miss having him to talk to, just as a person. So there is time needed to 'grieve' the person. Just getting used to not having him around, or to call. I miss his brain, you know?

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I've thrown myself into my next chapter; I've moved house, I went on holiday, I've taken a college course. I've dated. If you follow me on twitter, you'll probably hear me talk about dates. But yeah, I'm ready for the new stuff. Which is sort of sad all over again isn't it?

I've realised that there is also a third element that I have had to let go of. I'm no longer the person I was when I was with him. But I've come away from it all with so many positives; I learned how kind I can be, how patient I am, and that I'm more interested in the world around me than I realised. Our relationships help define us, we become part of a pair, and now I'm flying solo again. It's ok if that feels weird for a bit.

I've dated some nice men since, a couple of first dates with perfectly pleasant people but not the right match, and one guy I dated for perhaps a month, but again, not the right match.

I know the next chapter will be better than the last, I'm just not sure what it looks like just yet!

Visiting the gym....the ultimate in self care?

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The phrase self-care is all over my social bubble recently, so I'm sure you've heard of it. We use it as a permission to say no, or to have a day in bed, ot to put ourselves first. We're encouraged to administer some self-care to look after our mental health, whether by seeing friends, not seeing friends, hibernating for a weekend or treating yourself to a new purchase. 

We all have mental health, some of us have better health than others, and self care is for all, whether you have mental health problems or not. You have to administer your own oxygen mask before assisting others remember!

Having fallen off the fitness wagon, this week I've heaved my body back to it. On a rest day, while my muscles were tight and reminding me that I hadn't used them in a long time, I realised that we need to consider fitness one of the ultimate pillars of self-care. 

Visiting the gym (or insert your fitness preference here) isn't a punishment. It isn't a penalty for eating too much, nor is it because you hate your body. We should stay fit and exercise because we love our bodies (or want to!), and because its a way of caring for ourselves and our mental wellbeing. 

The Royal College of Psychiatrists reminds us that:

If you keep active, you are:

  • less likely to be depressed, anxious or tense
  • more likely to feel good about yourself
  • more likely to concentrate and focus better
  • more likely to sleep better
  • more likely to cope with cravings and withdrawal symptoms if you try to give up a habit, such as smoking or alcohol
  • more likely to be able to keep mobile and independent as you get older
  • possibly less likely to have problems with memory and dementia.

If that list isn't the ultimate in self-care I don't know what is! I also really liked that they challenge the excuses we give for not exercising, "If you are tired, exercise tends to give you energy. If you are worried, it can take your mind off your concerns for a while." - See more here. They also remind us that when we feel tired or depressed, we're less likely to do anything, which leads to us feeling more tired and depressed, which leads to us missing out on things that may make us feel less tired and depressed. Leaving us in a cycle of lethagy and emptiness. 

So I challenge you to try and flip your thinking about exercise. To view it as self-care for your mental health. To know that your body will respond well to becoming fitter, that the chemicals pumping around your brain are good for you. Find some form of active exercise that you will enjoy, and find a way to bring fitness into your lifestyle. No one regrets getting fitter. 

I got thrown out as a guest of a live BBC radio show

I've taken a few days to reflect on what happened earlier this week, to make sure I was clear what I wanted to share, and while my title may be a tad click-baity, it is basically what happened.

On Tuesday I received a phonecall, from BBC Radio 5, wondering if I would speak on the radio the next day, sharing my (positive) thoughts on selfies. They said that they had an author who had just published a book about them, and they wanted to have a discussion about the current obsession we have with taking self portraits (usually on our phones). 

A post shared by ReeRee Rockette (@rockalily) on

Now, I'm no stranger to a selfie. I don't facetune, but like a slight contrast and light adjustment, and I know which angles I prefer in my face. I share selfies when I feel kickarse, when I'm at the gym, when I'm about to go on a date, or just when I fancy saying hello to the world. So I felt I could add a viewpoint to oppose the often negative slant that the media like to give selfie taking.

Don't get me wrong, I was nervous, but I'm a fan of doing things that scare you, so I agreed to it, took down the address and carried on with my day. Wednesday arrives, and I'm on the tube headed to Westminster, to the studio.

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I got shown to the studio, and had to just sit and wait. When you're nervous about something, waiting is the worst isn't it!? After about 30 mins, the producer took me to the studio, where the presenter was talking live, and whispered that I should sit at the first mike, with the black headphones. I sit down, get my notes ready, and get my headphones on. It's now or never.

I quickly notice something is up. The man who had been shown in with me, whispered something about not knowing someone else would be in the room, and he walks out again, asking to speak to the producer. The producer quickly re-enters and whispers for me to step outside. I already have a hunch about what's happening.

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I enter the side of the studio behind the glass, and can see the man, take his seat, and the live interview starts. He's the author, and he clearly wasn't okay with me being included in the interview.

The producer has recovered my notes and my bag and hands them to me.

The poor guy is pretty mortified, and very embarrassed, and starts explaining that Will (the author) hadn't been told there would be anyone else in the interview with him. That it was their fault, but they simply hadn't really considered that he would need telling. The lovely presenter is mouthy sorry to me through the glass. I'm asked to stay and give my side an hour later, but by this time, I'm running late for my next appointment (first day at BSL college!) and I'm sort of over it now. They offered to get me a car, as an apology, which I of course accepted, as it was pouring down with rain at this point, and I was late for college. They asked again if I'd consider facetiming from college, but I said no thank you. 

As I hopped into my taxi, I tweeted about what had happened, and despite being asked to take it down, I decided to leave it up. 

The BBC team made it clear it was their error, and Will tweeted me swiftly an apology, which I RTed into my feed. 

However, I've since had time to ponder what happened, and I just wanted to get some things off my chest. 

Firstly, how rude. I simply cannot imagine behaving in the same way. I can't fathom feeling so cocksure that I'd walk out of a live interview that is due to start in 1 minute and demand another guest be removed. I obviously don't know what was said, perhaps he just refused to come out, and the they offered to remove me? Either way, I honestly can't imagine ever behaving that way. 

Secondly, doing some work promo on a topic that you've researched enough to write a huge book about, and yet feeling unprepared to have a 10 minute discussion about it seems equally as unfathomable. What did he imagine I'd say? Am I too intimidating looking? Too stupid looking? It's the BBC....you don't just get a 5 minute advert for your book....or do you? That's another discussion I guess ;-)

Thirdly, and the point that has been simmering and making me more angry as the days go by....

Why does he get to call the shots? If he was unhappy with the set-up, why wasn't his spot thrown out, and I kept in? The BBC doesn't owe anyone an advertising spot for a book. You can't buy air time. Why in that split moment, was he able to get me removed? We could have discussed his book release without him, or even just discussed seflies without a mention of the book. So why did he get to out rank me? 

Maybe it was because he demanded it, and a rash (poor) decision was made in a split moment. Maybe it's because he's a man, and men generally get to pull rank over women? I honestly don't know. As I said, I don't know what what was said, but why was his guest spot deemed more valuable than mine? The BBC doesn't owe him a spot. I was given so little thought, which seems ironic given the book is about narcissism ;-)

Anyway, I'm just sharing what happened to me, which is basically what my writing career (smaller than Will's but still valid) has been based on. For years and years I've shared my face and my thoughts with the internet (and print!)  so apologies to the BBC for continuing to do so. I'm not so sorry to Will though as I don't think he gave me much thought either.

 

What losing a loved one taught me

Grief fades, and we heal. Life continues to plod along. I lost my dad suddenly 19 years ago today, when he was just 42 (I was 15). His death and my grief shaped who I am today. What his loss taught me is that no one and nothing is permanent of forever. I know that may sound obvious, but we often forget. No one is ours forever. People come and go, whether through death or other circumstance. It shouldn't be so surprising when people leave us, yet it always tends to be, because we fall into a sense of security that we will always have them around.

We need to remind ourselves of the temporary nature of people and life, not to feel depressed, but to remind ourselves to feel gratitude and mindful of what we have, when we have it. 

So, push yourself to learn to let anger go, to reach out more and to show your love to others. It's hard, we get busy and distracted, but I promise that grief is so much more bitter when its filled with regrets and words unsaid.

I wrote this two years ago today - on how I like to remember my Dad.

If I were rich....

I really used to believe I'd be a millionaire. I'd quit my job and was preparing to open my own business. I think you need to be naively optimistic when you're risking it all, or you'd never go for it. Don't get me wrong, I adore my business, and my life, but it won't make me rich. So now if I want to dream about my future rich self, it generally starts with "What would I do if I won the lottery?", and not much beats playing the "what would my life be like" game over a glass of wine. This post is in collaboration with Lottoland.

Would I quit my job?

You can't just not work, but you can definitely work in some glorious places. I'd take my laptop, and work from some sunnier climes for a bit. Get me some decent wifi and I can do most of my job from abroad, and I'd definitely get my bag packed as soon as my winning bet hit the bank account.

When I was in Bali last year I looked at some properties, so perhaps I'd rent that house that I fell in love with for a year but walked away from.

What would I buy my Mum?

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It's not that I think spending over a grand on a bag gets you much more than spending £100 on one, but I've always said that one day I'd buy my Ma a Prada bag, and winning a big chunk of money would allow me to fulfil my promise. Maybe I'd even treat myself to buying it in New York. I've worked in the state of New York twice, but didn't really explore the city that much. I'd love an excuse to really explore the city so fancy they named it twice.

What would I do with my friends?

I'd love to take my best friends away on holiday with me, to a private villa with some staff on hand to cook for us. Great cocktails, great weather and great company. It's harder to go on holidays with your friends as you get older, holidays with partners or children come first, and we can't afford to take multiple breaks! I went on holiday with them when we were 15/16 years ago when we'd completed our GCSEs, and almost 20 years later it would be awesome to recreate it.

Where would I live?

I've blogged a lot about the trials and tribulations of renting in London before. I'm always in tiny places, with cheap furniture and often no central heating. I'd love to rent (or buy?!) a lovely little apartment for myself. I don't want a mansion, and I'm happy in London, I just want a little more space, and a little more luxury. I dream of an at-home office, and a bath. Gosh yes, a bath. I'd go back to having a fortnightly cleaner too, a couple of years ago I had one, and the joy it brought me never got old.

What would I buy myself?

I have never learned to drive anything more than a bumper car; growing up in London just meant we didn't really learn to drive. Public transport was pretty brilliant, and parking is often non-existent. I'm now edging towards 35, and I still can't drive, and I can't foresee a time when I'd decide to learn. However, given a big windfall, I'd maybe take an intensive course and buy myself a Vespa. No doubt I'd be too scared to ride it in London, but if I'm living in Bali for a year I'll need a scooter. They look pretty fun if I could shake the fears. Cute too.

It turns out, I probably wouldn't want too much more stuff if I won a payout, experiences and quality of life matter more now. I'm not saying I wouldn't enjoy a shopping spree at times, but generally I'd rather be chilling in my new spacious flat, preparing for a trip to the sunshine!

Lottoland offers lotto betting - a way to place a bet on lottery numbers from around the world. 

Junkyard Golf Club - Brick Lane

This isn't my first crazy golf rodeo. I visited Moby Dick golf and Birdies golf last year, and definitely enjoy the thrill of the ball. This week it turned out that I got invited to two separate events at Junkyard Golf and saw no reason not to go twice!

Again, as ever when I accept freebies, I always write what I fancy. If you're not new here, you know that already, but it doesn't hurt to repeat myself!

Tucked away in Brick Lane, East London, Junkyard Golf is a fun, loud and boozey crazy gold experience. They have 4 courses, and a couple of bars. The drink choices are fab, the food choices less so. I'd eat before/after you play. 

Over my two visits I was able to play the creepy clown course (twice due to International Clown Week!) and Gary, the course themed on garages and cars (cooler than I'm making it sound). Which means I still have two more courses to play!

I'm such a fan of an 'activity' like crazy golf. It gives you all something to get childish about, and I of course enjoy winning...he he, who doesn't! I loved their music choices too, we were definitely dancing as we played!

Junkyard Golf Course is a 15 minute walk from Rockalily Cuts, so they're basically our neighbours, and we definitely intend on returning for a rematch soon!