Why I’m Bird Boxing My Way Through 2019

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By Rachael.

My year hasn’t got off to the best start, so I’m considering Bird Boxing the shit out of the next 343 days. I’m not looking anymore. If it’s not within reaching distance, it’s not relevant to me. If I can’t see it, it can’t kill me.

I can already hear an angry mob of bullet journalers planning my demise. Overly-efficient (while masking some sort of disturbing personality disorder/drug habit… probably) lifestyle bloggers with book deals will curse my name. Marie Kondo will get wasted one night and slip into my DMs to troll me, damning me to a life void of joy and full of the messy chaos I’ve brought upon myself. But y’know what? Having it all figured out ain’t what it’s cracked up to be. Sure, I can see the value in setting goals and working towards them, but could there be even more value in letting go and just… seeing what happens?

Think of every bad thing that happened to you this past year; would you have wanted to see that coming? The sociopaths among us may say yes (welcome, sociopaths – here at Jaded we do not judge), but most would agree that we wouldn’t. Now think of every good thing that happened — would they have sparked as much happiness had you been given prior notice? There’s something exciting about the unknown — something our generation has lost in a fog of anxiety. Between upload schedules and gym classes and ‘ladies night’ and working hours and ‘me time’ and long term goals and short term goals and bucket lists — we’re leaving very little time to just live. Live with no agenda or expectation, or with any vulnerability. Take Bird Box as a concept. Something about it kept us all hooked to our TVs as we watched, let’s be real, strangers walking around blindfolded for two hours. No more, no less. Is the inability to know what’s in front of us – until the very moment it actually is – really that terrifying?

Last year, life threw me a curveball, a curvebrick, and a curve-fucking-steam train. But this isn’t a pity party — it’s a reminder to roll with the punches. Trust chance. Trust yourself to navigate through life one moment, one day at a time. I’m finishing this post with a Dalai Lama quote, cos I’m deep as fuck and ready for my #journey:

“An eye for an eye….we are all blind”

I have no idea what it means but… seemed fitting? Blindfold up, bitches! Let’s do this.


Why Happiness Doesn’t Exist

By Elle.

It’s taken me 31 years, but I can confidently say I no longer believe that true happiness is attainable. And the irony is, once you realise this too, you’ll instantly feel more content by default. ‘Content’ – that’s the key word here. My brain keeps reading as ‘CONtent’ because that’s all we ever think about now. As in, is this gin-in-a-tin I’m drinking on the train right now good Instagram content or nah. But no, I’m talking about contentedness – ‘being in a state of peaceful happiness’.

So, what’s the difference? For me, I can feel when I’m content – it’s a far more tangible emotion that happiness. It’s sitting on the bus listening to a new album you haven’t had time to listen to till now. It’s a glass of wine on Friday evening, drunk standing at the kitchen worktop while chopping veg. It’s the feeling of the sun on your face after days of frizz-inducing grey rain.

No-one craves contentedness, but we’re all forever hungrily chasing happiness. Working our way down a list, ticking things off that we believe are bringing us closer to ‘happy’. If social media is to be believed, that list looks something like; go on holiday. Buy a new car. Drink lots of fancy cocktails. Get a house. Get married. Have a baby. Have another baby.  The danger is that when you get to the end of the list and feel no different, panic sets in.

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My own list-fear set in about a year ago. My boyfriend and I decided it was time to move up the property ladder and sell our flat so we could get a house. A proper house! With loads of rooms to decorate! And a garden – I could finally get a chimnea and one of those outdoor corner sofas! And while I know I’m fortunate to be able to have a nice house, it was quite shock to realise it didn’t automatically make me feel settled or like I was suddenly ready to start popping out babies. Perhaps I’d subconciously subscribed myself to the life to-do list I’m always slagging off… It also made me realise that I’d never been happier than in our old flat – suddenly it dawned on me; hindsight is the only real way one can know true happiness.

So, now we’ve collectively shattered all our illusions about the meaning of life (no biggie), where do we go from here? I’ll be honest – for a while my happiness ‘epiphany’ left me treading water in a ‘well-what’s-the-point-of-anything-then’ kind of headspace. Combined with a lot of shit things happening to several people I care about, the timing of my new mindset wasn’t ideal. And then came clarity.

All I could do was take things a day at a time; a cliche I’ve always loathed. There really is something in all that ‘living in the moment’ shit everyone keeps going on about. I realised I was so guilty of trying to plan eternity in my mind – it’s when you hold yourself to a lifetime of uninterrupted bliss that things will never measure up. But in small moments, you can be happy – everyone can, even in the darkest of times. I believe that Yin and Yang is an actual thing, so when said dark times feel unsurmountable, it can only mean a peak is to follow. So indulge in the little things – when you add them up, they’re worth so much more than a vanilla life unpunctuated by highs or lows.




It’s Over…ish.

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I won’t drunk text you for a shag. Pinky promise.

By Riley.

Well, shit. One day you’re in a relationship and the next you’re not. I tried to think of a clever, wittier way to open this post but to be honest, what’s the point? Time to be real here hun, you’re going through a break up. Grab a cuppa. Download Tinder. Let’s do this shit. Except, you don’t want to do this shit. You want to do that other shit – texting eachother about picking up bread, saying goodnight, Sunday afternoon delight. You want your normal back.

Breakups can entice a change in behaviour that’s as cliché as they come. Yet it knocks the wind out of you, as if you haven’t heard it a million times before in some doomed love song. You lose weight. You can’t sleep. Hermitic tendencies ensue, wrapping you in a forcefield of self-preservation. Friends quickly learn when to force entry armed with coconut milk lattes and when to sit on the sidelines. The words ‘order confirmation’ become synonymous with ‘break up’. Appetites — for food, for socializing, for life — are suppressed by something entirely different that fills your gut. While you could be tempted to find comfort in your banging break up bod, the quiet moments are there to remind you that you’re not out of the woods yet. Not even close.

Having spent years coaching my own friends through their messy breakups, I had no idea where to begin with my own. One thing I’d never accounted for when imparting my wisdom onto other broken hearts was the obvious — the searing pain felt when a heart has been broken. Not just an organ that pumps blood around the body, it becomes a vessel that holds a piece of someone else in everything it does. Without warning, mine had broken down and signed a DNR without my consent.

You start changing things. Recklessly, with no real plan. New clothes become new hobbies become new paint on the walls. You find yourself walking down the street looking at any man that passes thinking, what is my type? The thought of dating is about as painful as the break up itself. Then there’s the aftershock. What happens when you start to tell yourself that you’ll be fine without him, that maybe this was meant to be… then he asks you to lunch one day and he looks terrible, and before you know it you’re flirting via text and his toothbrush is back in your bathroom…or, our bathroom? What do you call a break up that never fully broke?

There comes a point (spoiler alert: it’s about 8 weeks later, sorry) where you see yourself differently. You’re not the girlfriend, or the breakup. You’re something entirely separate that you were the whole time. A person. Who is mind, body and soul entirely on her own. And whether this crazy thing called love works out or not, you can find comfort in knowing that there’s a best friend in there who’s got your back through all of it.

Have You Got Relationship PMS?

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By Riley.

You know what I mean. Those niggling pains (aka full-blown meltdowns in aisle 23 of B&Q between the what-the-fuck-is-this-wrench and the who-the-fuck-cares-spanner) that inevitably hit us every month. We know they’re coming, we know we will get through them (with wine)… but shit, do they test us.
We’ve all experienced the honeymoon phase — been there, bought the package holiday to Tenerife — but what happens when the exciting part is over and you’re just two people waiting for the other to forget to buy loo roll? Here are some of the ultimate trials to challenge your relationship staying power… and how to survive them.*

The mecca of all relationship breakdowns. Those tiny pencils and paper slips they give out at the entrance might as well be a compatibility test you fill in on the way round and drop into a box on the other end where IKEA finds your new suitor — because guaranteed it’s not the person you walked in with.
STEP AWAY FROM TINDER: How relaxed would you be watching his favourite club in a championship match in the pissing the rain when a football suddenly hits you in the head and scores an own goal for the opposing team in the final minute? MEN. IN. IKEA.

You’ve moved in together and spent the past however many years agreeing on and enjoying meals. Suddenly you’re cooking the chicken for too long, he uses too much pepper, and you’d rather Insta live a bikini wax than try to cook a meal together. Takeaway it is then.
Their home section is the shit right now and they have some really nice memo boards/kitchen menus that can save even the Donalds and Melanias out there. Plan your meals, take turns cooking, and banish eachother from the kitchen while you get your cous cous on.

Moving in together can be an exciting time — until two weeks later when you have to empty that vast new space of all hopeful romance, and instead fill it with overpriced furniture and hostility. No amount of hot water bottles, family pack galaxy bars or chick flicks is going to ease the pain of fighting over that horrendous rug.
VLOGGERS ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND: Either their Insta husband is giving them the run of the place or you’re watching them buy a marble topped drinks cart that’s worth more than your car. Meanwhile you’re choosing between teapots in Home Bargains. Stick to Pinterest for inspo, keep your relationship. Win win.

*I am not a relationship guru. I’m not an anything guru. I only fake tan the 3% of my body that’s on show and hide my ASOS orders from my boyfriend on a weekly basis. DO YOU, BABY GIRL.

5 Ways To Feel Like You’re Winning At Life

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By Riley.

“Don’t let life get you down. Learn how to dance in the rain. Live your best life.”
Well y’know what? Sometimes it can feel like life is gunning for you and it can make the team here at Jaded a lil’ frosty. Here’s our top tips to score some small wins when the universe is being a bitch…

Create a checklist
Every morning – even on weekends. It’s bordering on ridiculous how much more productive I am/how accomplished I feel when I can look at a completed list at the end of the day. Sure, some days it won’t get any more serious than ‘send Carol follow up email’ or ‘throw out that growing cheese, you shit adult’ — but that’s OK. Winning at life tip: add something to the list that you completed yesterday and tick that bad boy off straight away to get you started.

Get fat, buy new shit.
“Fitness is a lifestyle.” “No pain no gain” Sorry but, my health is my wealth doesn’t apply here. I spend more money than I care to mention on gym gear that I inevitably wear around the house, and protein bars that only fall on deaf ears love handles. Calculate your annual gym membership cost and put that money away for something else in 12 months’ time. Fat or thin, you get a prize at the end of it. EVERYBODY WINS.

Find a new love
No, don’t bin your boyfriend (unless he’s a prick). Find a book, a podcast, a band… anything that makes you tune in to your brain and tune out of the wider world. Brains are where worries grow and doubt festers and fear impedes. Taking yourself out of it every once in a while lets you appreciate things so much more when you check back in.

Try power posing
Disclaimer: I got this from Grey’s Anatomy. But it’s a researched, tried and tested, someone’s done a bloody Ted Talk on it, real thing! Two minutes in the power pose can help to increase confidence, decrease self-doubt and make you S-L-A-Y. So shoulders back, hands on hips, and puff that chest out. BECAUSE YOU ARE WONDER WOMAN, CIRCA KIMMY K 2008.

Scrub up, hun.
Whether it’s a bit of fake tan, tweezing your brows, buying a new lippy, buying new tits… treat yourself to some TLC that you can see. I’m not saying it’ll rid you of all of life’s bullshit, but if you look in the mirror and think you’re looking fly, who’s gonna stop you?!

How To Not Hate Your Home

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Gettin’ hygge-y with it.

By Riley.

Social media gets a lot of flak these days. From unattainable highlight reels to misleading paid partnerships, we give ourselves a lot of reasons to question how genuine Instagram really is. But one thing you cannot fake is a fly home. And Instagram’s got thousands of ’em.

Since decorating my flat, it took approximately 2.5 finger scrolls to realise that I hated every nook of it. While I suppressed the pain for a few months, it only took a trip to Elle’s house recently to remind myself how wonderful hers was and how shit mine is (I may or may not have panic bought a sideboard, cushions and a shower curtain that night).

While I know I’m a long way off finishing my flat (let’s all just appreciate that I’m now organised enough to keep up the application of gradual tan), Instagram has definitely inspired me to Pinterest my tits off until I get there. Here are just a few Insta faves giving me aaall the interior feels!

Kate La Vie
Kate’s feed is full of polished #ootd pics and lots of interior inspo. She and Jordan live in Glasgow and every corner of their flat is a dream. If you’re around, this dreamy interior has spilled over to their coffee shop, @marketgla.
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Home Adore
Join two million of us as we scroll open-mouthed through an absolute doozy of interior lush-ness. With over 3600 posts, I dare you not to feel inspired/sick with jealousy.
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Marjorie Vidal
Marjorie is a French blogger who is passionate about decor. She’s not afraid to add texture and depth to her rooms — offering a breath of fresh air amongst all the immaculate, minimalistic interiors we’re seeing so much of recently.
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Public service announcement: I LOVE GREY. You can imagine my joy when I came across Reena’s account. Far from dull, I find myself taking the time to stop and look closely at every shot from inside her Cardiff home. SLOW CLAP FOR REENA.
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Lucinda Mitra
I found blogger Lucinda’s account as she started decorating her home and felt compelled to check back for regular updates. Her bio says ‘slowly doing up our first home’ and she describes her style as an eclectic mix of rustic, Scandi and industrial — which I LOVE.
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Got a home crush to share? Want us to visit your gaff on the next season of MTV Jaded Cribs? Link us in the comments!

The New Hobby

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“Shit. I misspelled fleek.”

By Riley.

I never really pegged myself as one of those new year, new me folk… but this year decided it was time to invest more time in something for myself. Something measurable I could work on through the year that would give me a sense of accomplishment come December 31st.

Become a better person? Girl, please.
Up my fitness and improve my diet? But… cheesecake.

When both fell through the cracks, the choice was clear — CALLIGRAPHY. Because why the fuck not. Like most decisions made on the cusp of the new year, there’s a high risk that it’ll fall by the wayside come Feb 1st. So here I am – with this blog post – to make sure that doesn’t happen! To me, I mean. You can do whatever the fuck you want.

Do you think I grew up dreaming of curly letters? No — I randomly saw some nice calligraphy on a wedding invitation while I was Pinterest-ing my hypothetical (SUPER hypothetical) wedding and thought yeah, I could give that a bash! With new hobbies, it’s all about catching yourself on impulse and jumping in. If you had a passion for it, you would have started before now. Take the chance, and let that passion grow as you learn!

OK, so you’ve bought the book, the practice pad, the inks and the nibs. You’ve even started a Pinterest board and looked up some YouTube tutorials. Remind yourself that there’s not a time limit on it… whether it takes you a week or six to master the ‘S’ (s has got to be the tricky one, right?), go at your own pace. Just. Go.

Whatever you’ve decided to introduce into your life, it’s eating up time from elsewhere in your routine. The effect it has on your usual day could be small or significant, but something will inevitably feel the ripple. Don’t let your usual routine push it out, and don’t let your lack of confidence or motivation use it as an excuse to stop. They say it takes 90 days to overcome an addiction, and only 30 days to conquer a new hobby. I know which I’d rather try.

I think we’re conditioned to set ourselves up for failure, even if it’s doing something that we’ve introduced into our lives with no outside coercion or agenda. Who says we can’t try something new on a whim and find our calling in life? We might fail — even the baddest of bitches fail sometimes. And that’s OK. Challenge yourself, and there may just be a reward waiting for you at the other side.