Clashing Time

Personal and professional development of a 20 something year old

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Friday, 1 March 2019

The affordable midi skirt i'm wearing this season

I never used to be a midi skirt person because I genuinely thought they were the kind of thing my grandma would have worn. Despite seeing them everywhere in magazines and on Instagram, it took me quite a long time to see them as something that I could potentially look good in. I thought that only models over 5ft9 would be the type of people to suit this type of skirt so I am genuinely shocked that a few months later I'm being photographed showing how I've been wearing it. But then one day I was browsing through H&M on my lunch break and I stumbled across this printed calf-length pleated skirt and I thought I'd push myself out of my comfort zone and buy it to see if I could feel comfortable in it. Very much to my surprise, I put it on and instantly felt pretty damn good in it. I started swishing around my bedroom feeling a bit like a princess and am now constantly on the lookout for more midi-skirts to add to my collection. The thing I love about this particular skirt is that even though it is a subtle animal print, it is quite understated and doesn't look like I'm making a huge effort with my look. In this outfit, I've paired it with some Primark boots and my fave slouchy  H&M jumper and I feel confident yet in it works for a casual weekend look. 

I'm trying really hard to be a bit more responsible with my shopping recently as I want to buy fewer trend items and instead get more clothes that work well for work and for evenings and weekends. This skirt is one that fits perfectly into that category as during the day I've been matching it with a white blouse or shirt, at the weekend I've been dressing it down with t-shirts and jumpers, and then I've been dressing it up with a black tight body or a crop top for the evenings. It is so versatile! What do you think?


Friday, 22 February 2019

That white Instagram post

Today I shared a white square on my Instagram and the response has been pretty impressive, so thought i'd share my thoughts behind it here too! I know it might seem a little odd to only post a white square on my Instagram, but in some ways it represents closing the door on 2018 and looking forward to 2019. Putting a gap between my old content and looking forward to the new. I haven't posted since the 4th November and I can't believe that we're now almost in March. It's crazy how much time has gone by since I even thought about posting anything on here. I guess that says quite a lot about my attitude shift when it comes to Instagram for promoting my blog - especially as I've turned the notifications off on here too. 

On my personal account I have unfollowed all celebs, influencers and basically anyone I don't know (minus the pet accounts which are just too damn cute to delete) and it's been so refreshing. I'm posting more regularly and not caring as much about how I or my feed looks, it's just way more natural. On this account everything is more curated and planned out, and it's bloody exhausting. I'm sure i'm not the only one to think this! 

After a break away from it all for a few months, I've come back and have been surprised at how much more I like scrolling through the more heavily produced content from other people I follow. I don't necessarily relate to what they are posting, but it's not causing me any harm to view it. I guess the lesson I've learnt is that if I want to share images on here, then it needs to be more aligned with what is true to my life, and not just posting things because I think that is what is expected of someone who is interested in fashion/has a blog! I have so much going on and could definitely get this account back up and running, but I need to remember that social media should be fun and not stressful.

If you want to give my account a follow to see what next steps i'll take then head on over to @ClashingTime_

Friday, 1 February 2019

Time to be a bit more realistic

With a new year always comes hopes and dreams of becoming a ‘new’ person for some. As if I’m going to start being on time to things or join a gym, although I think we all know that I’m probably not going to do those things. But one thing has been rolling around in my brain for a little while and that’s about all the things I’m not reading, viewing, posting, listening to etc. It could be a podcast that I’ve had on my iPhone for months but I’ve never listened to one episode because whenever I have the opportunity to listen to a podcast I always go to my favourites. Or alternatively, it could be that someone recommended a great show to me ages ago and I never got round to it but i've been beating myself about not watching it for months.

Now I’m all for opening yourself up to new things an broadening your horizons, but have you ever heard of the old saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’? I’m a bit of a creature of habit so I kind of feel like until the things I’m doing go drastically wrong or I get bored, then maybe I need to be a bit more realistic about what’s achievable. One thing I bang on about it how there just isn’t enough time to do everything, but despite preaching to the choir, I still try to achieve more than possible. 

So today, I am unsubscribing to a hell of a lot of podcasts, I am unsubscribing from the newsletters that I forever say I’m going to read and then never get round to when they pop up, I am unfollowing those YouTubers who I never watch when they upload because I know I’m going to go to my favourites every time. Then I'm going to cull anything else that I feel inspired to get rid of. WHAT FREEDOM. How much more fulfilling could it be if I didn't feel overwhelmed by all the many things I could be consuming? Well, I am bloody excited to find out.

It's not at all to do with the fact that I don't want to have all of these things, it's just that it seriously isn't possible. There is just too much stuff out there! So I feel like I just need to have a pretty stern chat with myself about not over committing and then telling myself off about it afterwards. If someone says ‘have you listened to x?’ I should be able to just say ‘no I haven’t, would you recommend it?’ and listening to that one thing rather than going home straight away to consume their recommendation and more. I’m not a ‘failure’ for not having a spare 10 hours a week to listen to all the extra podcasts. I’m certainly not a ‘failure’ for not reading the many Marketing Week emails that come through in the morning. And if anything I’m the opposite of a ‘failure’ for putting a bit more realism in to my day and for doing some Marie Kondo-ing on my life.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

So I got made redundant...

Heads up...this isn't an inspirational post, this is real life honesty at it's finest.

This all feels a bit strange to me as I never really thought i'd be talking about redundancy at the age of 26. I don't know about you but I tend to think of redundancy as being something that happens to older people in an organisation when the big bosses at the top are squeezing out some employees who aren't as up to date with the latest skills and technologies. I might be incredibly off the mark there, but whenever I hear about people being made redundant it always seems to be so and so's dad or whats her face's aunty, it never seems to be your younger friend.

Two months ago I turned up to work, was taken in to a room and then they said it..."We are doing a restructure within the organisation and unfortunately your role is no longer needed within our new team". Boom. Decision made. Deal with it. Or in simpler terms, "You've been great and all, but you're no longer needed here as you're less valuable to us than joe blogs who sits next to you". It's a bizarre thing to hear (especially after only 5 months being in a company) and that's because when you have a job, you don't think about the concept of leaving that role unless you're deciding to do so. You tend to assume that you'll get up, go to work, come home, sleep and then do it all over again, until a time comes that you don't want to be at that company anymore. So when the option was taken away from me two months ago, it's safe to say that I felt a little lost.

I've been working for 10 years ever since my part time job in retail at 16 and I've always loved feeling useful, being in an office, and getting that pay slip at the end of each month, so suddenly having some forced time off felt pretty weird to me. I'm not going to sit here and say that it wasn't nice to have a few days where I didn't have to get out of bed and go to work, but equally the novelty ran out pretty damn quickly. I did manage to keep myself busy for a short while by pottering around London, watching Netflix, organising some cupboards and generally bumbling around the house not really knowing what to do with myself. However one day I realised that I was really not feeling myself, and I didn't know how to entertain myself anymore.

The feeling can only be explained as being glum. Not really a word used very often, but Google tells me it means 'looking or feeling dejected'. Downcast, downhearted, discouraged, dispirited...the list goes on. I genuinely lost my sense of purpose completely. I felt like control had disappeared and I didn't know how to regain it. So it is safe to say I needed some serious support from the people around me.

I reached out to my nearest and dearest and thank goodness I had them to reassure me that my time away from work was only temporary and it is completely okay to not know what to do with myself for that short time. I have been really fortunate as I managed to get a new job lined up to start in the New Year, but for some reason that day seemed so far away. What saved me was being told to write down some goals. I set myself targets for things to achieve daily, weekly and over the whole period of time off. I really tried to get my life in gear and ready to kick start the new year with a bang.

I don't really have a conclusion to this post because at the time, I genuinely felt down. However now I am a week and a half in to my new role and that 'dejected' sensation feels like such a long time ago. I guess all I can say is that no matter how awful something feels at the time, it has the opportunity to pass if you let it.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Scrolling is making us unhappy

Clashing Time Scrolling is making us happy

This week I've been trying to catch up on all my favourite YouTubers. I don't watch live TV very often, so my spare time is either spent checking out a show that someone has recommended or watching YouTube (normally more the latter). I love how raw a 20 minute clip of someones week can be, showing the reality of their life when they have to go and do the weekly shop, take the dog for a walk, or go to a work event. It's the stuff that they think is tediously boring, but to me it's refreshing and relatable. It demonstrates that we really aren't all that different, despite living different lives.

One thing that seems to have been a very common theme in many of the vlogs I've watched this week has been comparison. But not just any old comparison, but comparison that has formed from scrolling. Scrolling through Twitter, through Instagram, and through looking at thumbnails of other creators work. I get it, if you're a content creator as a full time job, it must be impossible to not constantly look at what other people are doing and either wish you were doing the same, or feel bad about yourself that you haven't achieved x, y and z. However, I'm not a full time content creator and I feel the same.

I've been feeling quite bored recently during 9-5 so I've been escaping to the world of social media every so often to fill some time. Only now that I've listened to other people vlog their feelings about their social media comparison issues has it hit me that I am my own worst enemy.


Thursday, 25 October 2018

Why travel is always a good idea

I really love London, I always have done. Moving to work here has been one of the best decisions I've ever made - but sometimes it's bloody good to leave. I've had some amazing experiences since I've moved from Cambridge over two years ago and I genuinely feel grateful all the time that I get to be here. The only issue with it is that there is SO much to do that you end up feeling a bit overwhelmed from time to time and need to escape for a little while to reset your batteries in order to be able to cope with it all. I know that this must sound like serious 'first world problems' as I do 100% recognise how fortunate I am to spend my time in one of the most amazing cities in the world, but at the same time I want to take a moment to explore why sometimes it can be a great thing to escape.

A few months ago I spotted a journalist I follow on social media asking people to contribute to an article she was writing titled 'How travelling can impact our mental health'. Unbelievably, I was fortunate enough to have a few paragraphs in the article in Stylist Magazine, and when I was writing the email over to her it really got me thinking about how true it is. I don't travel that often but when I do it means so much to me and I feel so much more gratitude for it because it's been a while since my last trip. Below is a snippet from my space in the article so I hope you like it!


Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Why I set up LDN Laptop Club

Why I set up LDN Laptop Club

As I'm sure you've noticed, I've been a pretty bad blogger recently. Ever since I moved to work in London two years ago, I've found it harder and harder to find the time to blog. Now I really don't want to be one of those people who says 'I'm so busy' 24/7 (as we all know that's boring to listen to), but it can be hard to motivate yourself to use any spare time you do have to actually put your thoughts down. After asking around, I realised that I am not the only one who has this issue, so I tried to work out how we can alleviate the problem. Then a few months ago I found a solution! I don't know about you, but I personally think it is way more fun to do things with other people around, so I decided to set up a monthly group to meet up and write blog posts at the same time. 

Every month 2 or 3 people come along, buy a cup of tea or coffee (and maybe a slice of cake), and get their laptops out to blog or work on a creative project. We chat about our lives, work and blogs, and come up with ideas for what each of us could write about. Sometimes your passion is there, but writers block has got in the way and you just don't know how to begin starting your post - so it's amazing to have friendly faces around who can help you to see some direction. 

LDN Laptop Club began earlier in the year when I was feeling especially uninspired and I'm so pleased that it's still running now. I've met some incredible people, (who I now hang out with outside of the club) and actually started to blog! Yes, it may only be once or twice a month, but it is a hell of a lot more than I would be if I was left to do it on my own. Every single time I leave laptop club I feel fulfilled, like the pressure of blogging has diminished and I feel like I can tackle it head on. I look forward to attending and seeing people who have felt exactly the same as me, and I like the idea that I can go along and no one judge me that I've not even looked at my blog since the last time we met.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Eight reasons why everyone should be watching Queer Eye

I don't watch TV shows religiously and I'm not the kind of person to stay in to watch something I love, so Netflix and catch up is absolutely perfect for me - especially on the go. I normally tend to watch one thing consistently until I finish a series, and then move on to something new after a recommendation from a friend. Netflix gives me the opportunity to watch things as and when I choose, and I love the flexibility it offers me. With my latest addiction I am ashamed that I am so late to the game as I genuinely don't know how on earth I missed watching it for so long! So let me introduce you to a show that pretty much everyone has been talking about over the last few months...

Queer Eye is a Netflix original series which is 'more than a makeover' show. Each episode shows the "Fab Five" advise men (and sometimes women) on fashion, grooming, food, culture and design in order to try and give them a new lust for life and help them achieve their life goals. It might sound like a bit of a silly show with a simple concept, but actually it goes so much deeper than the superficial. It looks at how people can get stuck in a rut and often they can't get out of it without a little bit of help - which is where the fab five come in. Here are my eight reasons why you should start watch Queer Eye right away.

1. It's a show that celebrates homosexuality and emphasises that people who are not heterosexual are no different from anyone else. Although the show highlights some of the prejudice that they have felt during their lives, they also discuss how they always come out fighting. There's no doubt that there are still issues throughout the world with people disagreeing with homosexuality, but I think shows like this are fantastic at opening the minds of those who choose not to accept equality for all. If a redneck from the US can welcome five gay men in to his life and sob like a little baby when they leave, then surely we can expect an attitude change from other people too?

Monday, 21 May 2018

So I've started a podcast...

A few months ago I was round at my friend Kat's house and we were drinking a lot of prosecco. We wanted to film a video for her youtube channel all about internet dating so we sat down in front of the camera to have a bit of a chin wag about our individual experiences. A few hours later after we'd finished (talking, giggling and drinking) we drunkenly decided that it would be a really good idea to turn the audio from this video in to a podcast! After all...what was the worst that could happen? We loved the way that our three different experiences and opinions worked well together on the recording, and thought that it would be good to move forward discussing a whole host of subjects. It seems that when you've had a couple of bottles of prosecco and lots of sweets and snacks, the impossible seems a hell of a lot more possible. Well I'm so grateful that our intoxicated conversation turned in to a reality, because eight episodes later and it looks like this is a proper thing now! The Prosecco Sessions was born. 

We now share weekly podcast episodes (started fortnightly) on a Sunday morning on subjects that interest us and record whenever we can whilst drinking a glass of fizz or two during recording. The hosts consist of me, Laura from LovedByLaura and Kat from ShesAGentry, and we're a pretty good team if I don't say so myself! We all live in different places, are all different ages, and all do completely different job roles - which makes for a really interesting conversation from three women with different lives. We each have different family situations, different relationship histories, and different likes and dislikes, and it means that we can add perspectives that maybe one of us hadn't thought about before. We pick a subject for each episode and spend a few days beforehand thinking about it and looking in to anything in particular that we want to bring up. Then we come together and get chatting for a couple of hours and pick the best bits for you to listen to!

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Let's talk about stress and mental health

Unless you've been living under a rock then you'll know that it has been #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek between the 14th-19th May. Started by the Mental Health Foundation in 2001, this week aims to raise awareness of mental health and the problems associated with mental health in order to inspire action and promote the message of good mental health for all. Not an easy challenge, i'm sure you can agree! This year they are focussing on the subject of stress as their research has shown that it is a key factor in many peoples struggles. Although it isn't a mental health problem in itself, it can lead to depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide - so if we don't talk about stress then we are in danger of people developing much more severe issues. Whether it is stress in your personal life, stress caused by work, worrying about money, health concerns...whatever, it is crucial that we highlight the epidemic which is happening amongst many people in the UK at the moment. 

"Three quarters (74%) of people have at some point felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope" (Mental Health Foundation Survey of 4169 UK adults)

So in the spirit of opening up the conversation and encouraging people I know to delve in to discussions about it, I went to Twitter to get some information on how different people handle stress and cope with their own mental health. I hope this helps!

1. "I have what I call my 'Basic Humanity Checklist' which I run through whenever I'm feeling low/stressed. 1. Have I eaten food in the past 24 hours? 2. Have I drunk water in the past 12 hours? 3. Have I had enough sleep in the past 48 hours? 4. Have I moved/washed my body in the last week? 5. Have I had any meaningful human interaction in the last week? If I get through all that without feeling better, it's time to talk..." @Becki_Bush, Book Editor, London

2. "I find when I'm suffering, every night before I go to sleep, I think back through my day & write down anything good that's happened, even if it's as small as someone smiling at me in a coffee shop. Looking at the good rather than the bad really helps me in day to day life." @CaraWood, Manager, London

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