Finally, things have eased up in my neck of the woods. Exams are done, hooray! Yet, that is simultaneously terrifying as that’s me done with education. I’ve moved back home and am currently taking a break from attempting to squeeze everything I own into my cubby-hole sized room that even Harry Potter would be like ‘jeeze how do you fit in there’ (but I love it because it’s filled with duvets and blankets so it’s okay).

This past year has been crazy, tumultuous, turbulent (93%) and just absolutely mad.

Has it been dark? Yes. Has it been scary? Yes. Has it been filled with overwhelming uncertainty? Yes. All the above are true.

Yet, without a doubt it has been the best year so far in my twenty-one. As I sit here taking a breather from lugging around heavy boxes, it’s nice to be able to pause. To stop. Breathe. And think.

Sometimes things get horrible and difficult to handle BUT I’ve composed a brief list of things that ground me, help me get up again and 100% make me smile when I think of them.

‘The feeling of sand between your toes,
cold, gentle waves reaching out to kiss your ankles.
The smell of freshly ground coffee,
accompanied with the reassurance that it’ll be flowing through your veins soon enough.
The warmth of the sun delicately dancing on your skin.
The sound of rain beating against the glass of a window,
watching the drops race each other to the bottom.
Wrapping yourself in a bundle of blankets
a cosy escape.
Cracking the spine of a new book.
The kind of laughter that you can’t stop,
even when you’re doubled up uncontrollably on the floor.
Catching eye contact with a random stranger and sharing a smile.
The gentle crackling of a campfire,
flames hypnotising.
Driving with loud music and no particular destination.
The amber glow of old streetlights,
guiding you home on a dark night.
A cup of tea on a gloomy day,
a welcome hug in a mug whenever you need it.’

To list just a few.

Obviously, your things will differ. I can hear people recoiling at the thought of cracking the spine of a new book. But they work for me.

So – it’s important to note that things will be broken, messy, scary… and that’s okay. As long as you still have the little things that bring you back and remind you of something good. Whether that be the sun (hard luck if you live in Northern Ireland) or the rain (the reverse) or it be the people you are surrounded by (which, despite my list, are definitely my number one).

This week I had the best time sharing my favourite places (White Park Bay beach and Bothy) with some of my favourite people – you can bet I had ‘Favourite things’ from Sound of Music on repeat in my head the whole day. We had an easy day, just driving away – eating, drinking, walking on the beach. And I am thankful. Thankful for people that make me want to move forward. For people that make me laugh. For people that are ridiculous and as weird as me.

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I am thankful for days that I can pause.

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