stacey joanne marie

A British lifestyle blog

Untitled When I was 8 years old I wanted to marry this boy in my village. When I was 12, I wanted to be a backing dancer for Britney Spears. And when I went off to university I wanted to land a high flying magazine job in London the minute I got that degree.

I didn't marry the boy, and I unlike the millions of girls out there, don't really want to get married full stop. Britney Spears never came knocking on my door to audition and I've been working in Manchester for 5 years. I can tell I really banged on about the London dream, as to this day my friends and family question when I'm going to go get it.

Through the make ups and the break ups and the good and bad times life throws at us, what I have learnt to long for is less. Don't get me wrong, if Jo Elvin were to offer me my dream job tomorrow, I'd snatch her hand off, but you get to a certain point in your life when you're content, when you've found that balance and that you couldn't imagine looking elsewhere or longing for anything else.

The older I get, the more I feel life is flying by. Some friends I only see twice a year through busy schedules, work, families and partners but that's also the beauty of life, being able to pick up where you left off but always being there, if not physically but mentally. Whilst I love my life, at the start of this year I reevaluated where I was placing my time. My working day is long, my blog was ticking over nicely, social media scheduled and my social calendar bursting. Yet my relationships dwindled and as soppy as it sounds, what's your life if you're not sharing it with someone or interacting with others? I love blogging and social media but I love my real life more - which sounds ridiculous and this isn't me waving goodbye to the way of life I've known for 5 years but just me, as this post and the internet phrase goes: "like realising stuff."

They say you make time for the people you want in your life and I'm sure exactly who 'they' are but they're right.

You can never get time back so make the most of it. Spend it the right way with just how you want to spend it. My close friend repeatedly hinted at me that I'm always "so busy" and that "we never see you." I think that also made me, like, realise stuff. I won't lie, I'm still pretty bad at texting back but some things don't change.

Some of the best times of your life will be doing the most mundane things. Like lying in bed the morning after laughing at the memories you made last night or just walking in silence with someone you're comfortable doing that with.

Cut out the material, the want for more, the bad people that you no longer need that perhaps are weighing you down or any situation that adds a cloud to your life.

A friend of mine came up to me the other day afraid to text this guy she liked because she was told to "never double text." Life's too short for sh** like that. Send a million texts, well not quite, otherwise you WILL run out of time but you get where I'm going with this. Don't waste time playing it cool or even if your job if it doesn't make you excited anymore, don't waste time staying. Don't do what others do or what you've been told you should do. Listen to your gut and always always, follow your heart instead of your head. Mistakes shape us, lessons make us wiser and you'll realise stuff. You only get one life and you owe it to yourself to live it to the fullest. If you're not laughing out loud everyday - change something. Anyone who makes me laugh is in my circle of trust immediately.

Do things that scare you, push yourself, love, laugh and live every moment. Never stop growing and declutter your life of anything that hinders your path. Choose quality over quantity and go out and make memories. So if you see my posts dropping, that's why. I never want to put a post on here I'm not proud or happy with and right now, my mind's in other places. I'm fixing my offline life for a bit and I'm realising stuff.

I love life. Many don't believe me when I say it, but I think of it like an engagement ring, not everyone will like yours or want it for themselves but as long as you like it, as long as you want to wake up every damn morning because you just can't wait to see what the day has in store for you - to hell with everyone else.

Whilst I'm a lover of life, I like to think I've got my head on my shoulders too and I don't always walk around with rose tinted sunglasses on (although I recommend you wear yours often as often as possible). Because life is a rollercoaster as Ronan Keating once famously sang - "you just gotta ride it." But at the same time, hey it's fall out of love with life.

You can fall out of love with absolutely everything and anything at any one time. A few years ago I was pleather obsessed and loved wearing my hair in the biggest beehive you've ever seen. I've fallen out of love with that now and that's just my life evolving. It can be something as small as that or it can be more of a life changing turning point. Maybe you've spent your entire life working towards what you thought you once wanted but you've been coasting along with an OK life but what's not OK is settling with your life if you're not absolutely in love with it.

Perhaps the career you've trained for and having been doing since day one doesn't light up your life anymore. That's completely fine. So do something about it. Maybe you're like me and have always had a list of things you want to do. I love photography, videography, interior design and writing so I hope that if I ever do fall out of love with what I do, I'll have a plan B.

You'll fall out of love with where you're living, with certain foods and even your partner. Look for the signs because guess what, it's time to make a change. What does your heart want? Shut off that head for a second. Maybe you've been living in the city for a few years but deep down you're yearning for village pubs, a garden for your dog and rolling hills. Perhaps you always thought you wanted to be a lawyer but animals are everything to you. If so, go do.

Falling out of love ain't bad. OK, romantically speaking it's like having your heart ripped out, but it's life's way of giving you a second, third or fourth chance to live your life to the absolute fullest. Don't ignore it, because that's slapping life in the face. Follow your heart and sometimes that's not where you ever thought it would take you, but maybe that's exactly where you need to be.

Untitled When Britney Spears took part in James Corden’s carpool karaoke a few months ago, something struck me. She mentioned how she didn’t believe in happy ever after or marriage. It’s a sad statement but also one in this day and age, away from the Disney fantasy of meeting your prince, that’s relatable.

When I was growing up, my first memory of what I thought love was when I was around 7 or 8. I’d weirdly got my parents to buy me a kids wedding dress complete with veil because I wanted to marry a boy in my village. It didn’t happen. Heartbreaking. But since then and up until present day, I’ve fallen for a handful of people. Some could see it as sad that none of those were ‘the one’ but I don’t. I feel so blinking lucky to have felt something for so many people. It’s a rush, it’s exciting, it’s fun and your heart grows by each and every experience. Forget shoulda woulda couldas, if it was meant to work out, it would have done, or you would have fought harder to keep it.

Society builds up 'the one' to a pedestal level. Tie that in with #boydidgood and so many uses of the word ‘bae’ and it can send you under. Be with ‘bae’ for the right reasons, like he remembers just how you like your tea or leaves cute notes on your pillow. Not because you’re so set on finding the one, you’re not complete without it.

It’s the same concept as your ‘best day ever.’ Hopefully by a certain age, you won’t have just the one. I know I don’t. I could go on and on and on about the best days of my life so far. And I hope they never stop. I hope I’ll never get to a point where it is just one day, but a catalogue of magical 24 hours. As for love, don’t limit yourself to ‘the one’ or the idea of it. If you’ve found it, great. If you’re looking for it, great. But not everyone is meant to be with one person for the rest of their life, and the option of that is okay too.

And whilst you’re in between romantic relations, all of the break ups and make ups, remember love isn’t just found in your other half. It’s in the 5am sunrises, the banter at work and cooking your favourite brunch at the weekend. It’s the stories you’ll have ‘to tell the kids’, dancing ’til dawn with your best friends and travelling this beautiful earth. And most importantly, it’s in loving yourself, your own company and falling in love again because you’re ready, and not because you’re lonely.

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