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?

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_

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.

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.

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.