Why I Stopped Taking The Pill

Before I start this post, I just want to make it clear that I’m not trying to suggest that every woman should quit taking the pill. It’s your body and therefore, it’s your decision. If it works for you then keep taking it. But if you’re currently on the pill and experiencing terrible side effects, keep reading…

I started my period when I was 12 and I experienced painful, heavy bleeding almost every month. Sometimes, I took the day off school because I was throwing up or the cramps were so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed.

Still, I refused to go on the pill.

I’ve always been hesitant about putting artificial hormones into my body. The way I see it, having a period is natural and trying to alter it can come with a ton of side effects. Every woman is different and what works for one might not work for another, so you can’t assume that something will agree with your body just because everyone else seems to love it.

Having said that I decided to give the combined pill a chance a few months ago. The main reason was to regulate my period and to make it lighter and less painful each month.

At the beginning, I had high hopes. I felt like I was taking control of my body and that eventually, I’d get to a point where I wouldn’t feel terrible for a couple of days every month.

But that good feeling didn’t last and I soon started getting all the side effects. I had nausea, loss of appetite, bloating (I felt 6 months pregnant), cramping, mood swings, fatigue.

After nearly 3 months, I’d had enough and I could see that this pill wasn’t agreeing with me. So I went back to the doctors and she suggested taking the mini pill instead. I instantly thought that this would be a better alternative as it contains fewer hormones and therefore, fewer side effects.

I was wrong.

If anything the side effects were worse including fatigue, bloating, nausea, stomach cramps and spasms, headaches and generally not feeling like myself at all.

About 4 days ago I decided to leave the pill alone altogether. Maybe there is a certain pill that works for me, but am I willing to go through each one experiencing all kinds of side effects? No. Absolutely not.

Instead of giving us a leaflet with possible side effects, we should be more educated about the health risks before we start taking the pill so we know whether it might work for us or not. I wrongly assumed that any side effects I did experience would be mild and gradually fade over the first few weeks.

If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have taken it.

At the moment, I’m looking into non-hormonal methods of birth control because I know that this is the best and safest option for me. Everyone is different and I think it’s just about finding what works for you and sticking to it.

There’s also fertility apps out there that might work for you if you’re looking for a non-hormonal option. I’m using Clue, which so far has been really helpful. You can use it to track your cycle or to find out when you’re most fertile.

Other than that, if you’re thinking about changing your birth control make sure that you’re aware of the side effects and don’t make a rash decision. If you’re worried about jeopardising your mental and physical health, there’s always alternative options!

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Top Websites For Freelance Writers in 2017

Finding paid writing work is tough. In fact, finding that very first paid writing gig can take months. I’ve learned that you have to be persistent when it comes to writing, even when you feel like quitting. Trust me, hard work always pays off. Something that you should remember is that what works for one writer might not work for another. So, if there’s one website that you’re not having any luck with, just know that there are lots of other opportunities out there.

Here are some of the websites that I’ve found to be the best so far.

Freelance Writing Gigs

This is a great website to find the best writing gigs. If you’re very busy and you don’t have time to look at various job boards, then this would definitely be a great place to look. There’s a list of new writing gigs Monday – Friday and with a range of content wiring and blogging jobs, there’s a good chance you’ll find something on there that suits you. I’ve found work through this website!

Pro Blogger

Even though I’ve never found a paid writing job directly through this website, I know of other writers who find regular work on there. Of course, most of the jobs posted on here will also be found on the site above but not all of them are, so it’s worth having a look on there to see if there’s any that you might have missed.

Twitter

Not everyone realises it but social media is a great way to find writing jobs that you wouldn’t normally find elsewhere. Searching through the “#writerswanted” and “#bloggerwanted” tag can help you find some new opportunities. You can play around with the wording and search for something that is more specific to the work that you’re looking for. It can be very hit and miss but I’ve found a couple of paid writing gigs through Twitter!

Fiverr

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this website. It can be a great way to earn extra income but that all depends on the job that you’re providing. Some freelancers have luck with Fiverr, others can’t even make one sale. I’ve only managed to make a couple of sales but perhaps that’s because I haven’t dedicated enough time to promoting my gigs. Either way, it’s worth checking out this site as it might be something that works for you or someone you know.

Fivesquid

Fivequid is very similar to Fiverr, except that it’s targeted at people who live in the UK. As this site is less popular, I’ve found that I get more work. In fact, I found a regular client through Fivesquid, which I really didn’t expect. If you’re having no luck with Fiverr, then I would definitely suggest switching to this site.

People Per Hour

Although I created an account a while ago, I’ve only started using it recently and I’ve found that it’s a really good website to find regular or one-off writing gigs. There’s also a lot of other work you can find on there, like social media, web development, and admin. Depending on your experience level, you can search for entry, intermediate and expert level jobs. You’re bound to find something on there.

For now, these are the main websites that I check regularly for writing work. I’ll be sure to update if I find any others that might be useful. Just remember to be persistent and don’t be disheartened when you’re not landing any writing gigs. It just takes time and a lot of hard work.

Campfire: A Poem

CAMPFIRE

 

They sit with their knees

almost touching, almost

but not quite lovers.

Not a word passes between them.

 

They are mesmerised

by the flames, the kaleidoscope of

yellows and oranges and reds;

the place they call home.

 

Sizzling pops fill the silence

and the warmth

is like a blanket enveloping

the cold, damp forest.

 

Donations: paypal.me/coralle

Why Self-love Is A Long, Difficult Journey

The truth is, learning to love yourself isn’t easy. It doesn’t happen overnight. If self-love was as simple as declaring, “Hey, I woke up this morning and decided to love myself,” then the world would be a much happier place. But it’s not that easy and unfortunately, some of us never learn to fully embrace who we are.

I was recently speaking to a friend who preaches a lot about the importance of self-love. The way she tries to spread this positive message is inspiring, so I asked her how she started to love herself. She said that for a long time she wasn’t happy with who she was. This self-hatred was formed through years of bullying and abuse. She thought that she would never reach a point where she could honestly say that she loved herself, but here she is, trying to motivate others to do the same.

So, how did she get to where she is now? It started with self-care. It’s so easy to overlook the importance of self-care, but trust me, it’s a lot more than a bubble bath and a glass of wine. It’s about taking care of your mind and body. Like I mentioned before, this isn’t something that happens over night, which is why you should celebrate every small victory.

I’ve found that rewarding yourself for completing tasks or challenges is a good way to practice self-love. It also gives you the motivation that you need. Knowing that there’s something good just around the corner makes it all seem worth it.

However, I’ve read a ton of articles on the topic of self-love and I have to disagree with the message that some of them try to communicate. One phrase that I’ve heard far too many times is, “if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else.” Let me tell you, it’s not true. Since when does not loving yourself stop you from loving others? It doesn’t. I can love and appreciate and accept other people a lot easier than I would myself. And I know that’s the same for many people. We find so many faults and flaws in ourselves but we’re willing to overlook them in someone we love. Maybe it’s because we set too high expectations of ourselves; we feel a pressure to act and look a certain way.

We are our biggest critics and that’s why self-love is a difficult journey. We compare our lives to other people who seem happier, richer, luckier, without knowing their hidden struggles. We find things to dislike about ourselves because it’s easier than accepting who we are. But we shouldn’t use this as a source of negativity – we should use this as motivation to be the best version of ourselves.

So how do you love yourself? Well, maybe you should start with liking yourself first. Make a list of goals. Start a new hobby. Get off social media. Plan a holiday. Treat yourself to something you’ve wanted for ages. Don’t question why you’re doing it – it if makes you happy, do it.

How to fight your way through Writer’s Block

If you’re a writer, then you would have experienced something called “Writer’s block,” and you will know that it’s an absolute nightmare. You sit down at your desk, pen and notebook by your side, waiting for the words to form in your head – but there’s nothing. Instead, you stare at a blank word document questioning why you became a writer in the first place and doubting every good piece you have ever written.

The harsh truth is not everything you write will be a masterpiece. Not everything you write will receive thousands of views. Not everything you write will gain likes and comments. That’s just the way it is. However, you shouldn’t let that stop you from posting something that you’ve poured your heart and soul into. So what if nobody reads it? The moment you start writing solely for other people is the moment you forget the true purpose of what it means to be a writer. Sure, you should write to inspire others, but you should mostly be writing for yourself. You are your biggest critic. That means you shouldn’t post something unless you are truly happy with it. And trust me, your readers can tell if a topic means something to you, or whether you have written something just for the purpose of writing it.

The thing about Writer’s Block is it makes you feel like a failure. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown my hands up in the air and told myself that I’ll never be a successful writer. Just because I’m not earning as much as another writer, it doesn’t mean that I’m failing at what I do. If anything it should encourage me to keep writing and keep improving until I reach a point where I’m very happy with my earnings.

But still, it’s in my nature to compare.

I look at a piece I’ve written and immediately I want to tweak it. I deleted, rewrite, then delete. Sometimes I’m happy with the end result, other times I feel frustrated. That’s part of being a writer, I suppose. There are days when your fingertips won’t be able to keep up with your thoughts and you will write as if the words are literally spilling out of your head. There are days when no words come at all. On days like these, you should feel even more encouraged to write. It doesn’t matter if all you can manage is a few sentences or a rough draft – it counts for something.

Even though it feels like your brain is made up of clouds and rain, there’s still a light trying to break through. How do you overcome Writer’s Block? You write. You write anything that comes to your mind, even if it’s jumbled up. You write because you have a purpose. You write because it makes you feel complete. You write because despite feeling like you are failing, you are making a huge difference with your words.

Don’t let this mental block stop you from creating your best work yet.

 

Places I’m Planning On Travelling To In 2017

If nothing else, I want to do some travelling this year. I’ve already started saving up and although it’s not going to be easy (I spend way too much on food and makeup, but who doesn’t?) I’m more determined than ever. I’ve realised that you don’t have to have a lot in your pocket – if you want to travel, DO IT. It’s all about finding those amazing holiday deals and spending your money wisely. That’s what I intend to do anyway. There are so many places I’d love to visit, but I have to be realistic about it.

Here’s what 2017 looks like:

Alicante, Spain

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Photo credit: Pixabay.com

The purpose of this holiday would be to visit family so Alicante is a very convenient location. It’s worth mentioning that I’ve never been to Spain before for many reasons, the main one being that I’ve always assumed I wouldn’t be able to handle the heat, which is why I’m planning on going towards the end of May and staying for 7 nights. I do get bored easily, so I expect I won’t stay there for the entire time. It’s not far to travel to Calpe or Benidorm. As you can tell nothing is planned as of yet as I’ll probably be looking for last minute deals nearer the time. Either way, bring on May!

Paris, France

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Photo credit: pixabay.com

Since reading Paris For One by Jojo Moyes I’ve been filled with an urge to explore Paris. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, I always see photos of the Eiffel Tower on my Instagram feed. And every time I think about how amazing it would be to witness the beauty of Paris in person rather than through a screen. A weekend trip would probably be ideal, giving me enough time to explore on a low-budget. Day trips are quite cheap too, as it’s a quick journey it means that I’d still be able to explore the sights and eat some good food. Now I can’t stop thinking about croissants.

Brighton, England

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Photo credit: pixabay.com

I’ve been to Bournemouth, Clacton, Southend… but I’ve never been to Brighton and I really want to tick it off my list. I think out of all the seaside resorts, I’d probably like Brighton the most. It seems like it has more to offer. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t go this year.

Bath, Somerset

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Photo credit: pixabay.com

A weekend trip to Bath would be amazing. There is lots to do there and I’ve always wanted to visit the Roman Baths. If work starts stressing me out, I’ll probably take a trip there to relax and get away from everything for a bit. I’d love to think I could afford to book into a Spa hotel but that would be slightly unrealistic.

York, England

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Photo credit: pixabay.com

I was talking to a friend a couple of weeks ago about travelling and she told me that one of her favourite places in the UK is York. She said it’s a great destination for a solo trip and that she usually spends the weekend there. I’d be interested in visiting Clifford’s Tower and going on a boat trip! I also like the look of some of the cafes/restaurants so I feel I would really enjoy it.

These are just some of the places I would like to visit this year. Honestly, I have no idea if I will tick them all off. I hope so but it depends on whether I can afford it. I may even surprise myself and travel to more places than I could have imagined. Where would you like to travel?

Why You Shouldn’t Have A Life Plan

I don’t have a life plan. And neither should you. Are they helpful? Maybe. Are they necessary? Absolutely not.

Some people plan their lives down to the tiniest details. At the age of 23, they want to start travelling the world. By the age of 30, they want to get married and have two kids. At 63, they want to sit down with the grandchildren telling exciting stories of their adventures.

When I was much younger I used to think about my future. Like most kids, I naively couldn’t wait to be an adult. I couldn’t wait for my 18th birthday as that meant I could go to the pub with my friends, fall in love, learn how to drive, move into a one bedroom flat, and do some travelling. I’m 19 and I’ve achieved only one of those ambitions; can you guess which one?

The truth is I’m not even close to achieving these goals I set for myself. I’m still living at home, I’m single, I don’t plan on learning how to drive, I have no intentions of moving out anytime soon and my anxiety makes it difficult for me to travel. However, I don’t expect my life to revolve around the dreams of my younger self.

One of the best things about life is being spontaneous and making our own choices. If we lived by a book of rules, we would feel restricted and our lives would be unfulfilling. Not everything goes according to plan. Sometimes we have to switch paths. Sometimes we take risks that ultimately don’t pay off. Yet we are still learning. These experiences, whether good or bad, will teach us so much.

I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with my life. 

Honestly, I expected my life to be different. I had high hopes when I was younger, but when I look at what I have achieved in my 19 years of existence, it is dismal. What did I expect? I’m still young and I have a lifetime to find what it is I’m looking for. But it won’t be easy.

You can’t achieve your goals by wishing for it, you have to do it. And believe me, it’s easier said than done. But if you do nothing, your entire lifetime will be a stretch of emptiness. It’s better to fail at something than live with the regret of never trying.

There’s so much to be thankful for. 

I’m not where I want to be but at least there are other aspects of my life that I’m content with. First things first, I have a job that I love. Well, you could say it’s a love-hate relationship. The friends I have are incredible, honestly, I don’t know what I would do without them. I have a place to live and all of the necessities that some people are not fortunate to have. I know that doesn’t translate to happiness, but it’s something I’m really grateful for.

You don’t have to have it all figured out.

Let’s just imagine for a moment that you did have your entire life planned out. Would it provide you with a sense of excitement? Or would it cause you immense pressure and anxiety? The best ambitions to have are the simplest ones. To be happy and healthy and to be living. That’s what you should strive for.

Take a look at your life and realise that you are OK. You’re doing brilliantly and the most important thing is that you are doing your very best. That’s what counts. It’s not about where you are going to be in five years time. It’s not even about where you will be next year. It’s about where you are right now.