Where my journey with education ends?

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Jumpsuit: Nastygal // Jacket: Primark // Shoes: Converse // Bag: Charity Shop

Last Wednesday I ventured down to Epsom to go visit the University for the Creative Arts campus and chat to the staff about my education choices. I always love a good trip down to London but this trip felt a bit odd, I was going back to the place where I was supposed to be studying right now. The last time I visited Epsom was January 2017 for my interview, it was the month before I became symptomatic with Ulcerative Colitis and my last month of being IBD free. 
Going visiting did feel quite bitter sweet but I'm so glad I did and I'm going to tell you why.

You're probably wondering why I'm talking about University when I've titled this post 'Where my journey with education ends' but I suppose it's more of a question than a title.
Education has always been important to me as throughout school I was always motivated to do my best and make the most out of the opportunities I had. Living in a country where education is free and compulsory up till 18, I do think we sometimes take it for granted. Of course there were times when school was stressful and it was my least favourite place to be but looking back I appreciate how much I learnt. Even if I don't use SOH CAH TOA or the periodic table now, some things still come in handy!
I left high school with 6A*s and 5As and left college with A*AB so University was the assumed option for me in regards to what was next. My plan had been to study Fashion Management and Marketing at University for the Creative Arts in September 2017. Unfortunately, due to my illness (Ulcerative Colitis) I deferred my offer until September 2018 as I needed time to prioritise my health and find the right treatment. When I made that decision my plan was to use the year to my advantage, once my health was stable I planned on getting some work experience in, trying out different business ideas and just generally building up my knowledge around the fashion industry. Fast forward almost a year on and things didn't really go to plan. My health hasn't been stable so I haven't been able to commit to working or interning as I simply haven't been well enough for a long enough period. I've spent my year trying to expand my knowledge through dedicating a lot of time to my blog, beginning selling bits on Depop and talking a lot about business to my Dad who runs his own company. 
It is fustrating that I haven't achieved what I planned on doing but when you don't have your health on your side, life feels impossible.

So when does my new journey with education begin?
I've made the decision now to defer my place until September 2019 giving me another year away from education and another year to better my health. I've still not found any successful treatment and thats the main reason why I'm going to wait another year. Waiting another year really doesn't phase me anymore and I think it's an option which people should speak more about. 

When I was at College nobody even said 'What if you have to have a gap year?', it was off to University and that was that. The path of going from School to College to University felt like the right thing for me but looking back I really don't think it was. I was so excited about University to meet new people, live in London and be surrounded by like minded creative thinkers who would hopefully get me, I hadn't actually thought about the looking after myself part. When it hit me that I wasn't able to go to University I was devastated and so stressed about it all. At this point I wish someone had told me that it is okay to wait a year or two, it is okay to not know whats happening in the future and its okay to not follow the path most travelled. 

After a year out of education, I can happily say I'm so excited to go back but not just yet. I've learnt and overcome a whole lot in this past year and probably grown more as a person than I would've if I'd have been well and gone to University. Even though I haven't been well enough to hold down a job this year, I've started little business ventures selling clothes and assisting my Dad to try and make some money. I'm fortunate enough to be supported by my parents right now but the minute my health is stable I want to be out there working, earning and simply finding my feet again. I've tried my hardest to not let this disease knock me down but I know that without my health, life can seem so impossible but I just have to keep pushing on.
 I have so much drive and motivation in me to keep discovering what I want in life and I think time away from education is the way to do it. Giving yourself space away from people, rules, timetables, basically just having time free that you have to fill is so weird at first but I'm now realising how much it's benefitted me. I've spent a lot of my year alone, not in a sad lonely way, but that has really helped me become my own best friend. It's taught me that time alone isn't boring, it's valuable but it also taught me that I thrive off people and need to socialise to boost my mood. I've also learnt a lot about who I want to surround myself with and become so much more grateful for certain people in my life, quality over quantity. 

Overall I feel I've become a better, more well rounded person these past 12 months even if they have been the toughest months of my life. I suppose if I hadn't become ill things would've been completely different with University but I do think even if you are set on going to University, you should have that back up plan of 'What if?' and I think teachers should encourage you to do so. My goals for the next year are still the same...

1. To get into remission and get my health back on track.
2. To keep up with my blog and talk about things I care about.
3. To intern in the fashion industry and get work experience.
4. To be grateful for every good day and treasure the good times.
5. To get to University!

So that's where my journey with education is going and I think I'm making the right decision. In the grand scheme of things, a year isn't a long time and when your health is involved that has to be the number one priority.

 Enjoy some snaps from my trip down to London visiting the cutest cocktail bar and the River Thames, it was a lovely day. I'd love to hear about your journeys with education past or future and see what your opinions are! Everyone has different perspectives but that's completely okay, drop me comment what you think and I'd love a little chat!

Lucy Jane

Matching the streets of Limassol Old Town

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Dress: Forever 21 // Belt: Charity shop // Shoes: Asos // Bag: Marc Jacobs

Hidden away through the back streets of Limassol old town, I stumbled upon the most perfect wall. Amongst the shops and cafes there stood a mural, painted with a picture of Frida Kahlo smoking a cigarette looking oh so effortlessly cool. Of course I had to snap some pictures and at least try look as cool as her...

The area of Cyprus I visited last week was Limassol, I'd never been there before but my family have had a house there for 20 years so I'd heard good things about it. It's an area of Cyprus that is constantly changing and there is a huge focus on new infrastructure, new investment and basically creating a whole new vibe about the place. I suppose in some ways it's exciting when places become urbanised as there is so much more opportunity but part of the process I saw going on whilst there made me quite sad. 

My favourite spot we visited was the Old Town which is where all the classic Cypriot/Greek restaurants and shops were. In comparison to the new built up areas, there was a sense of community and culture as you stumbled through the back streets. I always look at it in this light, if you can look around somewhere and instantly know what culture you're in, then they're doing it right.  All the bars and restaurants in the Old Town were definitely adapting to the new cliental coming into Limassol, but tradition was still there and I liked that. 

This particular evening we were recommended to visit Limassol Castle, it's surrounded by a little square of restaurants, bars and lots of cats. We ate at a restaurant called Artima and I am not joking, it was the nicest food I have ever eaten in my life! 
All my dietary requirements went out the window but it was so worth it!
We spent our evening sipping Brandy Sourz and getting to grips with the way Limassol works...

After seeing the Old Town and how things used to be, it's weird to think that soon the area may even be as built up as city like Manchester or Leeds. It's a coastal town with beautiful scenery and so much history and to think of it all becoming modern is almost like it's loosing part of it's identity. I definitely got the impression that the world of Limassol revolves heavily around money but I suppose where doesn't these days?
I've never really experienced such a contrast whilst away before and it made me think of how many other places are loosing their culture because of money, the world is a mad place...

Lucy Jane

A Cypriot Start to Summer

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Top: New Look // Skirt: New Look // Shoes: Asos // Belt: Charity Shop // Bag: Marc Jacobs // Sunglasses: Forever 21

Writing this post sat in my garden with the summer sun beating down on my cheeks makes it a little more suited I suppose, I can shut my eyes and take myself back to last week...

Todays post is the first of many I snapped whilst on holiday in Cyprus. I won't lie, it was a weird holiday because it has been a weird few weeks. One weekend I was in Barcelona, the next in hospital and two days later in Cyprus! My life has been a bit all over the place but I think things are getting back on track and that's all I can ask for. 

Summer clothes are my favourite and this year I've been feeling all kinds of confident so I was super ready to get the holiday clothes out! Lil bandeaus are my staple of this summer, they match everything, are so comfy and you don't need to bother with a bra. Pairing a bandeau with a statement skirt like this is such a simple outfit but gives off the brightest, prettiest, summer vibes. Let's talk about my new baby, my Marc Jacobs Camera Bag! 
For my 19th Birthday I decided to treat myself as I'd been eyeing this bag up for a while and thought 
'You deserve this!'. It was a splurge but one well worth it as I have been wearing it none stop, it will definitely be highly featured over the next few posts as I can't get enough of it, I'm obsessed!

I went to Cyprus with my family to have a week of relaxation, doing nothing and get a bit of Cypriot sun in before summer truly begins. The days were spent lounging around, reading endless books and sipping a few too many cocktails. Usually I feel inspired to write after holidays, to tell the tales I have from my week away but after this holiday I don't. May be in a few days inspiration will come but for now I can't pretend it gave me much inspiration.

One thing I will say is that coming back from this holiday I do feel ready to push my life into new directions. My life has been on hold for a year and I'd accepted that because I'm ill and there is very little I can do to change that. I've decided now that regardless of my health, I want to branch out and grasp new life opportunities because I've been so stuck in this bubble for 12 months and it's driving me mad. I want to meet new people, have new experiences and grow as a person because I do feel I've gone nowhere and its kind of sad. I know I've overcome a lot in regards to my health and I know I've learnt a lot about myself in these 12 months but I need a change. 
Who knows what changes I'll make but my Cypriot start to summer made me ready to get going, you'll have to wait and see...

Lucy Jane

Barcelona Diaries: Pretty pictures, places and Park Guell!

Friday, 18 May 2018

It's been a while since my first Barcelona post but let's just say life got pretty hectic and I had a lot to deal with that needed to be dealt with so fingers crossed life will run smoothly for a while.

Our second day in Barcelona had a rather delayed start as after a day of exploring and a night filled with drinks, we were in need of a good sleep. We ventured out at around 1pm and decided to get some food at another oh so instagramable spot called Brunch and Cake and yes, it was as cute as it sounds. Sitting on the corner of a crossroads was this little Cafe with the prettiest decor and seating, along with food that didn't even look real. We ordered the Acia bowl, Avocado toast and Nutella Pancakes and they were amazing. I think my personal favourite was the avo toast as they made something so basic into something that tasted ridiculously good, I was in love! If you're looking for very cute brunch spots in Barcelona I would definitely recommend Brunch and Cake. A lot of it's hype is around the presentation of the food but it did taste delicious as well so it gets a 10/10 from me!

After eating we decided to get on one of the bus tours as we were lacking in energy but wanted to make the most of the day. Park Guell was a spot I really wanted to visit so we hopped on one of the buses that did that route. Whilst on the bus we passed many famous landmarks and areas which were all really interesting to see. Now I love sightseeing and exploring places but when it comes to famous landmarks, statues and buildings etc I feel like when you see them once, that's all you need. I hate to admit it but I don't really like history (don't hate me!). Don't get me wrong, when I'm interested in something I could spend hours reading books and watching documentaries about it but when I'm not really that into it, I'm a bit rubbish at learning about it! What I'm trying to say is I'm glad I at least saw these landmarks from a far rather than spending hours queuing to go inside. 

After about 30 minutes on the bus we arrived at the Park Guell stop which was about a 15 minute up hill walk away from the Park. Now I really didn't chose appropriate footwear this day as my new sandals may have looked pretty, but they cut my feet like mad! It was so weird stumbling upon Park Guell as it's situated within the city streets and just seems such a weird place to have such a beautiful piece of architecture. You walk up a few rows of houses and it's there, it's just bizarre! 
The shapes, the colours, the designs were all so unique and it is definitely a must to see if you're visiting Barcelona. Unfortunately we didn't actually get inside as it was so busy, but we spent a few hours ambling around the outskirts of the park, taking in the breathtaking views of the city. If you're visiting I highly recommend walking as high up as you can, although it felt like a total workout, the views from the top of the Park were so worth it! We snapped away some pictures and enjoyed the pretty scenery.
Park Guell is breathtaking, you can really appreciate what a beautiful city Barcelona is!

Lucy Jane

My challenging colour

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Top: H&M // Jacket: Pull & Bear // Pants: Charity Shop // Sunglasses: Forever 21 // Shoes: Nike Air Force 1 // Necklaces: Forever 21

What is your challenging colour?
That one colour you lust over, longing for it to suit you yet it will always challenge you.
If you know what I mean then good because I'm certain we all have that one colour we can't seem to get right!

My challenging colour is yellow. From neon yellow to mustard, throughout my life yellow has been a scary shade to me. Naturally I am very pale with very dark features and for some reason, yellow doesn't contrast very well with my complexion. It always made me look washed out and slightly ill which is never a good look when the majority of the time you are actually ill!
So with the sun rays brightening up our days over the past week, I decided to experiment with how I could bring a bit more yellow into my life and I think I've found the solution!

Being a very pale gal is something that has never really bothered me, I loved getting a bit of colour over the summer but I was never bothered about keeping an all year round glow. With being ill over the past year there has been many times where I've looked in the mirror and thought 'OH GOD I LOOK LIKE DEATH'. I've looked so SO pale, it's scary and I am not about the zombie life!
Recently I thought I'd venture into the world of fake tanning which is one which I'd always stayed away from. For some reason I had it in my mind that if I ever bothered fake tanning it would go horrendously wrong and I'd be stained for life, who knows my brain works in a weird way but fake tan scared me! Over the past few weeks I've started tanning because to be honest, I was sick of looking at my lifeless self and wanted to brighten things up a bit...
I've been using 1 hour express tan by Bondi Sands and I adore the golden glow it gives my skin. I apply it, leave it on for a few hours and am left with this bronzed bod for days!

So the solution to my challenging colour is FAKE TAN! Having a bit of a golden glow does miracles for my complexion and for once, I don't look like death! Todays post is a showcase of how you can make your challenging colours work, you've just got to change things up!
I'd love to know what your challenging colour is!

Lucy Jane

My Disease: Hospital Life

Saturday, 5 May 2018

My disease is Ulcerative Colitis and it is going to be mine forever! 
The time feels right to start raising awareness and sharing my story because my disease is not  going anywhere, and it certainly is not going to beat me. Please don't let the title of 'My disease' scare you off because I want these posts to be knowledgable, helpful and informative. Having a chronic disease has become part of daily life to me, I want to write these posts to share my experiences and not feel isolated throughout.

As I'm writing this post I'm lying in a hospital bed and I'm quite happy about it. Over the past few months I've been on a drug called Humira and although my body hasn't created anti-bodies to fight it, I've not been getting any better. I've had soooo many tests, my levels have been all over the place and basically since March my life has consisted of waiting. Waiting to see if Humira would work, waiting for second opinions and waiting to see whats next. It's been hard not really knowing whats going on, but I truly do think I've pushed through and battled on. Unfortunately, over the past two weeks things haven't been going very smoothly and it was decided I'd be admitted to hospital to have various scans, tests and have a course of IV Steroid treatment to try and maintain my symptoms whilst decisions are made. So right now I'm getting steroids injected to me 4 times a day and they do work wonders, I just hope my course of steroids doesn't last too long for my moon face to return!

If you're reading this, you're probably wondering why I'm on my laptop or snapping selfies in hospital, well it's because I'm in a private hospital. I received my diagnosis privately which a lot of people chose to do as it's much quicker, but then they are referred back on to the NHS. For me, I receive a lot of care both privately and on the NHS and I am 100% grateful to have access to both services. When I was diagnosed I was 17 which is technically still a child so the influence of my parents played a huge role on where I went for care. We originally thought going private for the diagnosis would be it, but due to the severity of my disease and the instability over the past year we carried on privately. I honestly don't know what I'd have done if I didn't have access to both services as my health has been so unstable. 

Personally, I've never addressed this on my blog but I didn't really think it was important. I think the NHS does incredible things every single second of every single day and it definitely has done for me however, people working in private healthcare are just as incredible. At the end of the day I use private healthcare because of my family and if I had to support myself, I wouldn't be in the position to use it. I've never wrote about this on my blog because I feel people might view it as quite controversial? I don't know. 

I think of it like this...
I'm just as ill as I would be if I was 100% on the NHS and either way, I need care. All doctors, surgeons, nurses, occupational therapists, mid-wives, radiologists, EVERYONE needed in ANY hospital is incredible at their job whether it's NHS or Private. It can be quite controversial as I feel people think 'Well if you're private, why should you use the NHS?' but to me, everyone deserves access to the NHS if they contribute. My family pay tax just as anyone else does meaning they pay for the NHS, they simply made the decision to use our private healthcare as they thought that was the best option for me and I agree, it was. The NHS is struggling and I do believe things might've gone differently if I had gone through the NHS. Yep, I would've probably been diagnosed but it may have taken a lot longer to get the diagnosis and thats not me slating the NHS as I still think it's incredible, it's me speaking from experience and others experiences.

Basically, I'm bored in hospital and thought I'd just ramble on a bit. I'd love to see what peoples thoughts are as I feel it can be quite a taboo topic and I don't think it should be. People in private education never feel as if they should hide that so I don't see why private healthcare should be any different. I'm just mumbling on now as tomorrow morning (Saturday), I'm having a Flexi-Sigmoidoscopy and I need to take my mind off that. It's really not the worse thing in the world, but I'll be glad when it's over!
Holiday posts will be back soon when I'm out of hospital but for now enjoy some sick, steroid selfies!

Lucy Jane

Barcelona Diaries: Sun, sightseeing and SO much food!

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

I wish I could speak more spanish but thats about as far as my skills go.

Last weekend I hopped on a plane with my best friend Ella and we went off to spend a few days in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Surprisingly, I've never actually been on a short city break abroad before so I was filled with excitement as to what Barcelona had to offer. The plan was to see the sights, eat good food and simply enjoy life.

We arrived Thursday night at our hostel, the hostel was called 'Urbany Hostel Go BCN' and for the price we paid, it was so lovely! I would definitely recommend it to anyone travelling as it was perfect for cheap drinks, meeting new people and it was such a central location. 

We woke up early on Friday morning and decided to begin our day with food as there is no better way to start a morning! We went to Flax & Kale to try the infamous Acia bowls which tasted as incredible as they looked. I went for the gluten free, dairy free option due to my very restrictive diet but it was still incredible! The restaurant itself was so chill, everywhere you looked seemed so effortless and cool even the toilets were the most beautiful toilets I've ever seen! The overall vibe in there was definitely very aesthetically pleasing, if instagram built a restaurant it would almost certainly look like that but I'm not complaining, I loved it!

After eating, we ventured off into the city to see some of the famous sites. Our first stop was at Barcelona Cathedral which was situated in the middle of the Gothic Quarter. Our plan was to go inside but the queue was ridiculously long, so we admired from the outside instead. It was surrounding by street markets, narrow lanes and so many people enjoying the Barcelona life. Our next stop intended stop was Sagrada Familia but we accidentally stumbled upon the Arc de Triomf. I loved this area so much! The promenade behind the Arc was lined with palm trees and it looked so beautiful in the sun, like a picture postcard moment.  Our approach to sightseeing was simply ambling through the back streets and seeing where they would take us. We ended up in areas that weren't bustling with tourists and it felt so much more relaxing exploring the city this way. We found so many pretty streets along with amazing architecture and it felt nice to not be in a rush. 

Finally, we made our way to Sagrada Familia and it was honestly breathtaking. I genuinely don't think pictures could ever do it justice as the vastness of the building is so hard to even comprehend in real life. The architectural design is so unique and it's a building I don't think I'd ever get tired of looking at. We unfortunately didn't go inside but I imagine if the inside is any reflection of the beauty on the outside, it would be just as breathtaking. After spending a few hours roaming through the Barcelona hostel, we decided to head back to the Hostel to have a rest.

We ended up spending our afternoon on Barceloneta Beach which was so pretty! It seemed so weird to me to have a beach right next to a bustling city, don't get me wrong I loved it but it felt so bizarre. Friday was the warmest day with temperatures getting up to about 23 degrees, definitely sunbathing weather. We lazed around on the beach for a few hours, bathing in the sun rays and then decided we were in need of some more food. We ate in a cute restaurant near the harbour, sipped a few fruity cocktails and were feeling so content with life. 
I'm sure the sun has magic effects on me!

We finished our food and decided to walk back to the hostel, it was only a 30 minute through the city so we thought why not? I stopped off on the way to get some vegan ice cream which had quite a questionable taste but it was okay. Once we got back to the hostel we basically crashed. We'd walked everywhere all day and were pretty much exhausted. After a while in bed procrastinating moving, we found motivation to put make up on and actually get ready. 
The rest of the night was filled with vodka lemonades, meeting new people and endless amounts of chatting bullshit, the best type of night I suppose!

Our first day in Barcelona was incredible and I truly did fall in love with the place. Having the busy vibe of a city right next to relaxed vibe of the beach was something I'd never really experienced before but it was the perfect balance. Exploring new places is so exciting to me and I spent a lot of the day in awe of where I was and what I was seeing. 
My first day was perfect and set the trip off to the best possible start!

Lucy Jane


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