life posts

Are You Purposely Avoiding Achieving Your Potential?

November 13, 2019
ebony-nash-mental-health-life-writer-blog

Thanks to that arguably click-baity title, if you’ve even landed on this article – chances are you’re not feeling 100% fulfilled in your life. Whether that can be attributed to different areas (e.g. career or relationships), or you feel your life has just become a demotivated veritable shitshow, something is clearly awry. 

If you’re anything like me, you’ve found yourself trialling self-care measures with gusto, then – after a measly couple of weeks – loudly vilifying them for doing ‘shit all’, only to fall gladly back into the self-destructive patterns you’d tried to replace. Then stubbornly wondered why something’s still wrong.

After all, those self-destructive patterns are just that – patterns – which are, by their very nature, familiar and comforting. And hey, it’s freezing out there right now, so why wouldn’t you want to settle back into the routine of necking bottles of wine under twelve blankets, whilst the life you want passes you by? Hitting the gym at 7am in this weather? Girl, you really are cray.

With a predisposition for being a mood-hopping mardarse (thank you, BPD), I understand this pull back to the messy familiar more than you know. Pessimism was (and sometimes still is) my lifeblood – you’d find old me judging a sober person in a bar, or scoffing at the concept of mindfulness whilst dragging on a cigarette – so, where exactly do I get off writing something with a semblance of self-help to it?

For about 13 years, I spent my time acting like nothing mattered. Nothing apart from my achievements – which I saw as my only true value to the world – and whether or not I was deemed as desirable meant a jot. And when either of those pinnacles of ‘worth’ crumbled, so did my entire sense of self.

Feeding a sense of self on achievements and morsels of affection from inconsistent lovers, unsurprisingly, does not work. When those lifeboats sink, you’ve not built up enough of a foundation within yourself to stay afloat. So you clutch at whatever’s nearest to numb the pain – enter alcohol/drugs, more toxic relationships, avoidance of self-care and most damagingly, the inability to take responsibility for your own destiny. 

By using a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure to distance myself from the fact I wasn’t getting where I wanted to in life; I was miserable, but I was safe. You can’t fail if you don’t try, right? You can’t fail if you’re too busy drinking your evenings away or chasing relationships like your life depends on them. You can’t fail, because you’re not trying. 

It isn’t the nicest sentiment to swallow at first. There’s definitely a wilful percentage of you who’ve just mentally flipped me off and told me to mind my own business. But unfortunately, it’s right. 

When I was living in my ‘fuck it’ bubble – where mental illness and its self-destructive pals ran the joint – I deluded myself over and over that it was okay not to be trying, that I’d been dealt a shit hand, so I should just continue wallowing in the destiny I thought I had no control over. That just surviving was enough – anything else was a bonus. Resigning myself to a life of feeling misunderstood and isolated? That’s just how it was.

With the help of therapy – which has come as a giant stick up the arse – and the wonder of hindsight, teamed with a desire to unravel the person I’d been smothering under self-hatred; it became clear that I was the only person in control of what happens in my life. Hand over the reins to your poison of choice and it’ll do a great job of distracting you, but – in the cold light of day – you’re on your own with this big scary life thing and you’re the only person who has the power to make it better.

This process looks different for everyone. For me, the hardest part has been growing up and taking ownership of myself. Realising that as much as I let myself fall off the rails – nobody else can fix my life for me and the only person I’m truly hurting is myself (and the people who really do love me). Quitting drinking has been another eye-opener, as Drunk Eb took a lot of responsibility for time-wasting and life-ruining. 

Whatever you need to do to reassess factors within your life – and whether or not they deserve a place in it at all – it’s your fight. People around you can help and champion you along the way (and if they don’t, fuck them off and message me on Twitter – cause I sure will) – but you’ve got to put the legwork in and take responsibility for your own happiness. My past was fucking terrible, but as of earlier this year, I’m finally learning that my future doesn’t have to be too. 

If this piece resonated with you, drop a comment below and share a) what you want to achieve and b) what’s in the way of you doing it. Alternatively, you can share with me on Twitter @Ebzo.

UPDATE: Life Overhaul

August 27, 2014

You may notice that I infamously promised that I’d be back on the blogging scene sometime last month, and mysteriously vanished shortly after making such a bold claim – I apologise, but I HAVE MUCHOS NEWS. After my fight (which sometimes felt disturbingly literal) to secure a graduate job without drowning to the bottom of too many merlot bottles first, I happened to get an interview for a very exciting position on the still rather new and incredibly dynamic Web Team for Primark.com – and guess who got the flipping position as Womens/Kidswear Content Assistant? That would be me! *Insert many streamer emoticons*

So, since the 3rd August, I’ve been trying to get my head around a completely different town in a completely different part of the country: I’m now a big ol’Southerner and I live in Reading. Bit of a wander from the likes of Lancaster and Manchester that I’m used to haunting, but I’m finally starting to get my bearings and have just put down the deposit for a gorgeous studio apartment that I snapped up this morning – so all systems are go – go – go with regards to new life planning! Since I got here (less than a month ago!), I’ve already experienced some amazing times: snagging a Saturday day ticket to Reading Festival and going with a complete stranger (who turned out to be fabulaaaarse and I can’t wait to hang out with her again), a whirlwind work trip to Dublin and far, far too many bottles of red wine (happy bottles though – makes all the damn difference!).

I just thought I’d drop in and remind you all that I still know how to type and (hopefully) construct reasonably interesting posts – and will be doing far more proactive things with my blog now that I’m officially part of the fashion industry and incidentally, have developed an absolute obsession with buying new (Primark) clothes. So if you want to know anything Primark-related from hereon in; I’m your girl. Once I get settled in my new apartment (which is totally OOTD-background friendly, woo), I’m going to be setting up my tripod (wheey) and posting more fashion-focused posts, rather than my verbose ramblings. You can thank me later.

 

 It’s good to be back. xo

10 Signs You Know You’re Procrastinating in the Library

March 7, 2014

Just to kick start this post, there’s is a definite chance that I may actually be in the midst of procrastinating in said library as we speak. There’s a chance that the entire fundamental basis of this post is summed up in the crime that I’m currently committing. Sue me. We’re all feeling it – studentitis, that terrifying onslaught of bizarre compulsions which seem only to be triggered when we wander wayward into our university’s hallowed library walls. Currently, I’m flailing in the throes of the dreaded godfather of studentitis: thirdyearitis. Muffle your screams. So, on the vibe of  ‘there’s no time like the present’ (to waste some more valuable library-dwelling minutes) – I think it’d be a brilliant opportunity to simply give in to my nagging longing to write and compile this utterly pointless, but hopefully entertaining amalgamation of library-procrastination-thought-processes: (somebody come find me and stop this madness)

  1. Listlessly attempt to avert gaze from people watching. Whilst in the feral terrains of campus, eye contact with these strange creatures is strictly forbidden – but in the craptastic atmosphere of the library, anything’s a first-class drama: an unfortunately amusing sneeze would hit the spot right now. Hell, would rather have a conversation than write this essay. A conversation with Paris Hilton, even.
  2. Torture self over whether that abandoned Evian bottle is full of piss, or just orange juice. Please, please god be orange juice.
  3. Fight sudden urge to take up sock darning/gardening/thimble-collecting. Be beaten by stronger urge to mindlessly Google ‘World’s Biggest Thimble Collection’ (it’s 8,003 – you don’t have to thank me).
  4. Briefly wonder what would happen if you stripped off and ran screaming through the aisles, throwing books off the balcony. On plus side, if you got thrown out – you’d no longer have to write a dissertation, right?
  5. Organise life into a myriad of lists. To-do, to-don’t, wishlists, favourite breeds of cat… Debate list-making for toilet visits and even consider venturing into writing a list for when you ought to write more lists.
  6. Ironically indulge in animalistic bout of longing for indulgence. Fantasise about wild masturbation, followed by a GIRLS marathon, teamed with a bottomless bag of Doritos. Fantasise about bathing in pink champagne and drinking way out. Fantasise about life post-degree. Inspire Step 7:
  7. Battle inherent fear of leaving university and having to live at home again. Fret incessantly over the possibility of no longer living off favourite cereal and rosé, the prospect of having a screechy parent as an alarm clock once more, and the cessation of life as an occasional nudist.
  8. Consider the physiological aspects of twerking. Do extensive research, watch countless YouTube videos, until you almost forget surroundings and go for it Miley-style at the desk.
  9. Watch every single music video by Rihanna that ever was. Rinse and repeat for every single Vevo-residing popstar on the planet. Realise it’s nearly midnight and the word count’s at 3. And that was just from when you accidentally leant on the keyboard.
  10. Wonder what sick bastard decided to put so few Milky Stars in the packet. Consider wasting time with an angry letter to Mars Consumer Care. Fuck it off and go buy another bag of Milky Stars. Accidentally fuck the library off and go home…

How To Survive Summer.

June 25, 2013

College/university’s out, the sun’s making an attempt at showing its face – albeit a piss poor one, and the prospect of having sweet sod all to do for months seems damn appealing. This is, until you realise that you’re no longer fourteen, your lease ends in two weeks and you’re flirting with becoming the two dread words: “homeless” and “bum”. Then Summer becomes a snarky little bitch of dread – gone are the days of wasting your mid-teens holidays getting messed up on the local park with a tactfully scavved bottle of Lambrini. Instead, my summer has thus far consisted of: countless hours spent crying in bed staring at yet another data-entry-at-minimum-wage job that I still bizarrely won’t get; trawling miles (oh, just approximately ten) through business parks in ridiculous creeper boots just because I’m going for a fashion-related interview; receiving all too many ‘sorry, can’t today – got work’ texts from my friend circle; spending almost a week in bed because – for some reason – factor 50 still isn’t enough for my glacier-white skin and I started flaking off like something off a horror film. At the moment, I’m seething in a little pit of financial and motivational despair, throwing out emails like sporadic paper aeroplanes, in the seemingly vain hope that someone will notice my potential. At present, the only person to do such was some woman from a stripper club – where I had applied for bar work in a desperate attempt at income – who, upon seeing my CV picture (FYI: don’t put a picture from a party where you’re a mass of cheekbone and red lipstick on your CV), claimed there were no bar jobs left and wanted me to come in for an “exotic dancer” interview. And such is the colour of my summer, as it stands.

The only upside to this entire sorry affair is that, after the sunburn fiasco, I have emerged facially reinvigorated from my bed of tears and dairy free mint chocolate – and 99% spot free after a short, but franticly needy relationship with a tube of aqueous cream. Perhaps Simple or Garnier will pick me up off the street for their next ad, or I’ll enter BINTM and be the founding face behind their “Joke Applications” section. I’m narked off. It’s one of those weeks: I’m looking at my blog through sceptical eyes, sneering at the poxy pageviews since I started being a perpetual sulk – I even got to the disgraceful stage of lying in bed this morning, scanning the Twitter profiles of successful bloggers/writers that I know, eyeing up tweets about their latest achievements, and having to stop scrolling as I eventually couldn’t read through the pesky tears that’d emerged. I’ll be grand in a couple of days, something will pick up and I’ll have a new lease of life – a new project to get my sorry ass set on. But I thought I’d write this post for those of you who have been, or are still in this position too. I get a little pissed off with how blindly positive the beauty/fashion blogging world can be – given we spend about 75% of our posting time yannering on about how ‘AMAZE’ the latest BB/CC/DD/ZZ cream or ZARA piece is – yeah sure, we want our posts to be as beautiful as the things we’re writing about, but sometimes it’s good to just get out the virtual face-wipes and just see a blogger behind all the ‘lol – #lookatallmyfollowers’.

So this is for us, sulky bloggers – for anyone who’s felt a bit shite recently and needs a little pick-me-up. I’m writing this for all of us, myself included, as this is going to be a little brainstorm of things that we can get working on to stop ourselves from being stuck in that aforementioned pit of despair:

  • On the Job Hunt: Explore all avenues. Apply for every little bastarding thing on Gumtree/Indeed/Reed/Job Centre – I don’t care if it takes two days (yes, it took me that long – and you wonder why unemployment is making me bitter) – you’re only going to get something if you get out there. Join a temp/recruitment agency: I’m signed onto one in Lancaster that helped me out a decent amount with admin jobs last summer, so I’ll be joining one in Manchester this time for when I move. Get eagle-eyed with Twitter – there are lots of internships/jobs that get mentioned everyday, my favourite is @UKfashionintern. Finally, get old fashioned and trawl your local shopping centre/food district: I’m going to be marching around Manchester, especially the Arndale, laden with CVs. 
  • On Beating the ‘Average’ Fear: This is one of my biggest issues. Sometimes I get myself in a state of – ‘well, they’re doing so much better than me, look how average I am right now: what’s the bastarding point’? Arguably juvenile, I think it happens to us all sometimes and it’s just something to work through. My worst habit in these situations, is lying in bed all day – mining through the work and accolades of others, often in a cruel bout of masochism, but occasionally in a bid to seek inspiration and motivation. Just don’t sleep all day – that shit is bad. Nobody wants to hire the person who goes to sleep at 5am and wakes up at 3pm. 
  • On Post-Summer: For the two preceding summers I’ve had that have led up to a university year so far, I’ve had a slacker tendency to just not bother doing any reading and then tackle the beast head on when it comes to the beginning of term. This year, my final year, is going to be different – it’s time I grew up, had a good sniff of the coffee and got down to some serious business with Hemingway… 

 

This Month’s Fashion Events: in the North.

April 8, 2013

And many more!

Fashion events in the North, as you know if you’re unfortunate enough to live here too, are usually so few and far between that they sneak up like a good buy in a Topshop sale. They’re also inexplicably difficult to discover, unless you’re in the Fashion/PR/Marketing industry, generally due to a lack of coverage and a lack of an obvious ‘HELLO WE POST NORTHERN FASHION EVENTS’ Twitter page. This narks me off, no end, as I always seem to miss out on stuff and end up finding it popping up all over the Twittersphere weeks later so, before we all start emigrating to London – I’ve done a little research and here’s a compilation of events (generally in the Manchester area) that I’ve spotted coming up this month:

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Ebony Plans A Detox – Something A Little Different.

April 2, 2013

I’ve recently been on a documentary binge and one of the most poignant ones I watched was ‘Hungry For Change’; a film centred predominantly around American nutrition (or lack thereof) through anecdotes of people who had either turned to juice detoxes or started incorporating juicing into their diets. I would strongly recommend you give this a watch if you think that you’re not treating your body properly: it’s surprisingly influential for a Netflix find. Give it a watch!

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Beating The Blogger Blues.

October 18, 2012

We’ve all been there. Something messes up in your personal life, or it’s just one of those days – and everything seems pointless. All those countless hours you’ve spent writing posts, collaborating images and data and you’re thinking – why am I bothering? You feel like noone’s reading it, you’re doing it for nothing and can even go as far to think you’re just wasting your time. This happens to pretty much all of us.

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Ebony. 25. Manchester.
Marketing Manager who likes to mouth off on here about stuff she cares about. Expect mental health, Borderline Personality Disorder, and reviews - from restaurants, to books, to fashion. Talks to cats more than people, but seemingly has a lot to say.
ebonylaurenn@gmail.com