ANNOUNCEMENT: My Family’s Challenge + How YOU Can Help

Heyo there people 💙✌️

I’m really, really excited to share this post with you all today. It’s something that’s really important to me and I would so appreciate any support you can offer as friends and members of this amazing community we call the blogosphere 😊

My family and I are taking on a bit of an epic challenge this year and I’m here to tell you all about it and to let you know how YOU can get involved! Hopefully we’ll all have some fun along the way…

Slightly crazily, we’re driving around the UK coast on only £10 a day (£5 food and £5 fuel for a family of five 😬)  to raise money for CatZero. CatZero are a charity transforming the lives of young people and making a huge difference in their futures. They use sailing as an intense learning environment to teach self-confidence, resilience, teamwork and other invaluable life skills.  As someone passionate about creating a better world for her generation and generations to come, as well as sailing and the difference it makes, CatZero are an inspiration to me.

Round The UK On A Tenner A Day is 100% a bit crazy and it’s definitely gonna be an adventure, but we’re all up for it and would love for you to follow us on our journey. Here’s our challenge video to explain a bit more about what we’re doing and how 👇 

Now for some ways that YOU can get involved!

  • Donate directly to CatZero! We’ve set up a giving page which makes donating online super quick and easy 😄

 

  • Share our story on your blog/social media! Here are the links to our TwitterInstagram and FaceBook. Please feel free to spread the word and help us get Round The UK On A Tenner A Day out there in whatever way you can.

 

  • Do your own mini fundraiser….whether it’s a cake sale….a sponsored walk or cycle…dye your hair…sell something you don’t need anymore…..whatever.. be creative! You can donate any money raised directly to CatZero through our giving page and support the life changing programmes they run for young people.

    •If you live on the UK coast then definitely get in touch and maybe we can arrange to meet up…we’re always grateful for a driveway to park on for a night as we pass through and it would be awesome to meet some of you guys along the way…

 

 

Feel free to do as little or as much as you would like or are able to do – just knowing I have your support and encouragement means a lot 🙂

If you have any ideas or questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or to drop me an email via my contact page. Thank you all for reading ♥️🤘

Gracie xxx

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Deeds Not Words ~ A Lil’ Rant

When I sat down to post today, I was going to share some quotes that have inspired me recently, but then I thought differently. I am surrounded by people talking about things whilst the problem just gets worse and, although I definitely see the importance of communicating and sharing thoughts, I also see the need for action.

My Dad has always told me  ‘deeds not words’ and I believe he’s right. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the darkness around us, but we have to use the emotion, that anger, sadness and confusion, to make a difference.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to put my energy into solving problems and creating solutions and I want you to do the same. This applies to everything – relationships & friendships as well as bigger issues that affect our families, communities and society.

 

 

A Teenage Perspective: Q&A Collab With Erin @KittyJadeBlog

Hey there people,

Today I bring you a Q&A collab with Erin from KittyJadeBlog. We’ll both be sharing our experiences, opinions and thoughts on the world around us, all from a teenage perspective. To read my answers to Erin’s questions, head over to her blog– be sure to follow, she’s a talented writer and her posts always give me something to think about.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing young people in our society?

I know from experience that comparison is one of them. Just looking through your best friend’s story on Snapchat can trigger a certain nerve in your brain that says ‘I wish I was having a day out with my friends’ or ‘I wish I looked as good as her’ etc. Instagram also does this, but you have got to think: would you post a selfie of yourself when you are having a really bad day? Would you not edit your photo before you post it? No one is perfect, no one is not insecure about something (external or internal) and if they did love every bit of themselves every day – they would be vain.

This is very clichè but: when you are happy this won’t matter. Consider your feelings over your body. This is how you are made and you can’t change things (without spending loads of money) about the skin and bone. Maybe take a break from the mirror, the selfie camera, and see the difference.

What do you find most frustrating about the society we live in?

At the moment I am at an age where either you are mature, sensible and hardworking or time-wasting, immature and foolish. I know where I kind of fit in. I go to school and I see people in my form wasting their education because they ‘can’t be bothered’. They are ungrateful for this free education that they have and never considering someone who doesn’t have an education and wants one. So my main frustration is ungratefulness. It is hypocritical of me to say that but if we could change the importance of money and put happiness there instead I think that people would be more grateful. Young people don’t work as much to live nowadays (in certain countries, like England for example) and obviously you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

If I could change one thing, it would be to get people bothering again – rather than can’t be bothered.

What are your plans for the future?

I have only ever been to two continents (Europe and America) so one big thing of my ‘bucket’ list would be to travel and try to explore every continent of the world. In my near future is university. I would like to study politics and English but I’m not sure what the outcome of that would be. Art is another thing that would be an option I could potentially succeed in but the subject would be a hobby, not a career choice. Or maybe it will. I don’t like to plan too far ahead; it will kick me in the butt.

Tell us something you have read/experienced/heard about that has changed the way you have lived your life?

Over the years of my life, many things have influenced me and had a great impression on me. I do not think I could narrow it down to one thing. People obviously play a big part in all of our lives and my biggest influence is the one thing I have grown up with: school. I am so super grateful that I have the opportunity for a free education at the moment and I appreciate the influences that it has on me: so many experiences available, so many people I can see and good and bad influences clearly separated.

If the whole world was listening to you for a couple of minutes and you had their full attention, what would you say?

I love this question. Despite having this great opportunity, I would probably be speechless. There are so many different people in the world and I would want to offend anyone – so I’d probably stay silent. Maybe an awkward ‘hello’? Probably just a smile.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out Erin’s blog to read my answers to her questions.

Now, tell us your thoughts! Discussions welcome in the comments section down below. We wanna hear your answers…from your perspective….

Following On From Empty…

What I talked about in my last post, Empty, is something that’s very important to me and, after a conversation with a friend a couple of days ago, I’ve  decided to elaborate on the thoughts that I shared.

There is this thing that I see in so many of my generation and that I recognise in myself – the desire and desperation to be stronger, more confident, prettier, more than what you already are. It stems from an underlying fear that somehow we are not enough. I think what I’ve learned from it is that sometimes it’s okay to break or to be broken, sometimes it’s okay to be weak or just not as strong as you’d like. Sometimes that’s where we’ve got to start.

Hating ourselves gets us absolutely nowhere. We have to accept where we are and then build on that. We have to do it for real – fake confidence and fake strength won’t do the trick. We cannot hide our hearts under fabricated shields.

As I said in my poem, I’ve seen some of the strongest, most confident people in my life break down and cry because underneath it all they’re hurting so badly and they hate who they are. I’ve heard people who five minutes ago made a stupid suicide joke tell me they thought about taking their own life last year. They use this whole don’t-care attitude to hide their pain.

I do it too. I’m not as sure of myself as people seem to think, I’m still learning, I’m still growing, under the confidence, there is still definitely insecurity about who I am and who I’ll become….

I think that if we all opened up more, if we were all more honest and real, then our so called ‘flaws’ wouldn’t need hiding and we could work on them together. We could build ourselves up into truly strong, confident people. And of course, somethings aren’t even flaws, we just see them that way. Maybe we’d come to realise that they’re not what make us weak.

I love my friends and I care so much about my generation and our future. What future do we have when we’re growing up learning to hate ourselves? What future do we have when everything we do, everything we say, everything about ourselves is fake? It’s a defence that we put up to stop others from seeing who we are underneath. We can’t live our lives like that.

You can keep covering your wounds with plasters, but they won’t get any better. You’ve got to treat them properly and to do that you have to take the plaster off, no matter how much it hurts.

It is your responsibility to love yourself. No one else can do that for you. It is your responsibility to be content with who you are and to work towards becoming the best version of yourself that you can be.

It is us and only us that can make that change in the way we think and the way we live our lives, but we have to support each other too.

So stop tearing people down and start building them up. Stop helping your friends put the plasters on and start ripping them off. Start listening, start sharing.

You may not be perfect, but at least you’re not fake.

Gracie ✌️

Empty

Sad eyes on smiling faces. I can’t bear it when I see my friends and other young people of my generation hiding their pain behind this mask of fake confidence and a don’t-care attitude. I’ve seen them cry, I’ve heard them talk and sometimes we don’t see what’s deeper down. So why don’t we all quit hiding and start sharing. Here’s a poem lol 👇

Empty

emptiness.

they say it’s like a blank space.

they say it’s so shallow.

they say it’s a defence,

but what does it replace?

what i want to know is

-honestly –

does it make it better?

or does it just numb the pain?

just for awhile, of course, ’cause we both know it won’t stay away.

 

well, i guess maybe i wouldn’t know ’cause,

i am not the suicide joke,

or the false laughter that follows,

i am your tears as you sob into my shirt,

’cause this is your story

and i ask you ‘why joke about what almost killed you?’

 

that laughter makes me angry.

why, why do you make this into something funny?

all i want is to tell you it will be okay,

don’t be ashamed of your pain.

you’re not empty. you’re not empty.

 

you are made from heart-shaped scars,

deep breathing, panic rising,

you are talking to the stars ‘cause you’re hurting

and they’re the only ones listening.

you are biting your lip and tasting blood and screaming

you are strength because you are tired of feeling weak

this is your story

you are anything but empty.

 

you are made from shattered glass and picking up the pieces

you are made from getting hurt and feeling like you’re worthless

there is ugliness in your pain

but from that truth comes beauty

do not hide behind that mask of empty, empty, empty.

Positively Rebellious™

I am a total, self-confessed rebel. I love going against the grain and, of course, I love my rock hands 🤘, but recently I’ve been thinking…how can I put that spirit to good use? How can I use it to really make a difference?  In our society there are so many negative things that we can rebel against and so much that we should do differently.

 

I’ve come up with this list of things both you and I can do to be Positively Rebellious™. If you’re up for a challenge, have a go and let me know how you get on!

  • Dance in the street (or wherever you like really…supermarkets are also pretty good)💃
  • Just forget about what other people think of you for awhile. Prepare to be liberated!
  • Tell someone that you love their smile 😄
  • Speak your mind and be honest. It will get you so much further than faking it and if people don’t like it…well…tough 😂
  • Stand up for something you believe in 💪
  • Turn your music up, up, up 🎧
  • Stop dwelling on the problems and put your energy into coming up with solutions.
  • Do something you’ve always been too scared to do before. You’ll be fine! ☺️
  • Commit a random act of kindness ❤️
  • Use something you’re passionate about to help someone else.
  • Let go, laugh 😊
  • Take crazy photos 📸
  • Consciously put someone else before yourself 👍
  • Tell people you care about that you love them 💕
  • Share whatever you can in whatever ways you can 🤝
  • Be a pirate (or whatever else you feel like being) for the day ☠️
  • Don’t just follow the crowd, always make the decision to do the right thing 👍
  • Swim in the sea – it will be cold, but I can promise you it’s worth it 🌊
  • Don’t walk – run! Or hop! Or skip! Or jump! Or sail 😏😏
  • Forgive someone for their mistakes ❤️
  • Wake up early and watch the sunrise 🌇
  • Send someone an encouraging text 🤛
  • Most importantly, think for yourself! Act upon what you believe in, do something about what you care about and dare to be different ✌️

If you have anything to add, don’t hesitate to comment down below! Also, I would absolutely love to hear how you get on being Positively Rebellious™ so be sure to let me know. I hope this inspired you and made you smile 😊 so, what are you waiting for, Positive Rebels?! Get out there and go!

Playground Swings

 

Playground Swings – a poem

**all photo credits to my sister**

silence
a child’s cry
they both call me to this place of familiarity
at different times
I think it’s
the security of a soft landing
the comfort of children playing
the simplicity of just saying
or
or it’s the lonely poeticness of a playground when it’s empty,
the cold, quiet paradox of a place like this in silence.
and something about the way
I can always smile here

thinking out loud on playground swings,
these creaking chains are the only ones that will ever set me free,
and yet still I’m trapped,
torn back down to earth
by the limits of my wings,
I want to fly higher
and I will
never quite knowing
stomach lurching
you will catch me when I’m falling
right?

Hood up
pulled over my face like a shadow
legs stretched to the sky
lips and mind searching for the ‘why’
in everything

my fingers are getting cold
kinda slipping
letting go
I’ve been here too long
nostalgia
memories burn holes
in your pocket
matches set fire to the past
then watch as flames destroy souls
and poetry is composed
and the future is all they leave us
covered in ash
so close and yet so far away

the wind blows in my face
just reminding me of its power
I rise and fall like the waves
and I can do nothing
yet I still strike out for the shore
and swim
but sometimes I am torn between
the devil and the deep blue sea
and sometimes
the mystery of the horizon
is too beautiful
and I fill the ocean with my tears
whilst the tide takes me
and I have to decide whether to fight
or to let go.

but I am stronger
I am stronger
than anyone knows
and I will sing a song
my song
and people will hear me
and they will lean over the fence and listen
and I will be a child on a playground swing again

To The Boy With Real Courage

Just had to share this xx

I saw a teenage boy at the pool with his mum and his sister today and I was like ‘aw, that’s so sweet’ that he came swimming with his family, most boys that age that I know wouldn’t even dream of doing that. So then I keep doing my lengths and when I get back to the shallow end, I see his mum getting out some bright orange armbands and suddenly he’s putting them on and I’m like ‘what?!’ because my brain was having a hard time processing this. He’s climbing into the pool and kinda visibly shaking like he’s super scared and his mum and sister are really encouraging and supporting him. He doesn’t look embarrassed at all – just terrified, but kinda super focused at the same time.

So he gets in the pool and he’s taking tiny steps and he looks really afraid, but he’s doing it and his family are helping him and he seems so determined and I’m swimming along smiling ’cause that’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in awhile. That is true courage.

 

2018 – The Year Of The Ship

2018. Where do I even start?

I’ve honestly been staring at this screen for over six minutes and I still have no idea. So much has happened this year and it’s all going through my head right now and I can’t even….it’s just….a whole year is such a long time and I’ve changed so much and experienced so much and I don’t know how to begin explaining that.

I’ve called this post The Year Of The Ship because that’s what it is in my mind. Sailing ships and friendships ☺️ here goes….

Life’s weird. I wasn’t expecting to go on a sailing voyage and come back like ‘Bam, I know what I’m gonna do with my life now’ but hey, that’s what happened! That first trip sparked my love for sailing and the ocean and the whole seafaring way of life and I realised that I could use this to make a difference. 

I’ve been on three voyages since and, in total, have spent a whole month at sea this year! I’ve met some of my best best best friends and have completely and irreversably fallen in love with sailing and sail training.

This year has been really hard and full of challenges.  I feel as though major changes are constantly being thrown at me. Teenage life isn’t easy as I’m sure many of you well know and trying to juggle relationships, my future, feelings, new responsibilities and changing the world is pretty demanding, ya know? 😉 

I honestly think 2019 has made me a completely different person and that I’ve changed so much, in a positive way, for sure 🙂 

I think I’ve finally found a world I belong in and at the same time, a way to make a difference. I feel both lost and found, if that makes sense. As if I’ve found a place and people to belong to and yet I’m still searching and still trying to make the world a better place. 

I also just want to mention all the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with this  year – blogging friends, real life friends, the crew of Pegasus voyage 1 & 2, the crew of Alba Explorer and all my Small Ships Race mates. 

2018 hasn’t been an easy year for anyone and I’m so so so proud of everyone for getting through it and being the incredible people that I know. Love ya all. Stay strong. 

I think that pretty much sums up my unsum-up-able year lol. To listen to my soundtrack for 2018 click here for a playlist I made for a few friends. It’s full of all the songs that mean the most to me and I’d love for you to give it a listen 💕 

How has your 2018 been? What’s been the most important thing to you this year? Would you say that you’ve changed a lot? Did you listen to the playlist?