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Things I Love Thursdays #18: Coming To Terms With This Worst


Last week I wrote about coming to terms with one of the worst periods of my life, roughly on the one year anniversary of it occurring.

One year on I felt great. Whilst there was a lot of crying done in the past year everything else had worked out perfectly, and one year on I was basking in what I had achieved and how great life was.

Until I woke up on Saturday morning to realise I had been burgled. Whilst asleep. In the next room.

Despite having had a few experiences in life that taught me "never assume these things happen to other people" I had complacently left my window open. On a ground floor flat. With the first interior door open so you could see right through my living room.

Yeah. I'm an idiot.

And whilst this is obviously a terrible experience and I will try and grieve it out properly ('cause I normally don't) I am going to use this TiLT to try and see the positive through this time of my life.

Nothing happened to me
I am okay. At least physically. I was in the flat at the time and need to be grateful that my bedroom wasn't touched. (In fact the first thing that struck me as odd was the living room door which leads through to the hallway, bathroom and bedroom, was close to be being completely shut).

I had slept through it
Yes, I may have had more to tell the police if I had been woken up but I am grateful I slept through it. If I had been woken by the noise I may have been frightened, by myself, at two in the morning. Eleven in the morning is a better time to discover your missing possessions when you can phone people and have someone be there for you. Plus, what if I had innocently woken up, not heard anything, and wondered through to the kitchen for a glass of water? I think we all know what that could have meant.

Not much was taken
My first check after finding my teapot outside (yes, true part of the story) was for my purse and later I spotted my camera was gone. Whilst my point and shoot camera was one of my favourite electronics they might have also got my phone, or PC (which was in the living room), netbook or baking equipment (as the president of a baking society this would have been quite hard to deal with).

It was an opportunist attack
Whilst the police reminded me to keep my window shut they did repeat several times that I don't live in a high crime area and it there is nothing to believe my flat was targeted (I'm a student, duh). Whilst still hard to deal with someone having been in my living space; knowing that my flat wasn't targeted for some reason is a relief.

I was planning on replacing the stolen goods
Well at least considering. So the choice to replace them was taken away but my purse had a broken zip and my camera had so-so battery life and these days you can get 14 mega-pixel cameras for the price I had bought that one for. Maybe some photos were taken away (happened when my PC crashed and I know I can move on from that) but I can buy a new camera (a better one).

Everyone around me acted quickly
I had a friend round in six minutes flat. My mum set out to move one city across only a half hour after my call. She also stayed the night and insisted it would be better than me going home to them and then having to come back to the flat alone. My parents have also given me a spare camera from their house until I sort out my new one. The Bank of Scotland also dealt swiftly with the stolen card and I already have my replacement. So thank you for everyone that helped during these few days.

Remember kids, stay safe, lock your windows and get contents insurance.

Morag x


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How To Get Over A Break-Up


The thing with break-ups is that everyone deals with them differently. Whether or not one way is better than another is debatable (some are sure as hell healthier!) the important thing is to work out what works for you. Keep a check from past break-ups to see what helped and incorporate if needed in the future. This is just my take and what helped me through and looking back on the practices now that I am officially "over it".

In The Immediate Aftermath

Take Some Time To Properly Grieve
Mop. Wallow. That kind of thing. No, it will not be fun and you may want to drink every milliliter of alcohol in the house but it is essential that you have some time with your tear-soaked pillow. This time last year I think I tried to be too optimistic (yes, you can overdo it!) and ended up having to re-visit my feelings again a few months later in order to fully get myself around them. This wasn't fun either. I would have better off in the long run if I had sat and mopped for a few days.

Don't Kick Yourself If You Don't Get Your Five A Day
The same goes for other health issues. Not sleeping properly and not feeling particularly peckish are perfectly normal behavior for someone right out of a break-up. Just let yourself be. Looking after yourself is great but this isn't the best time to decide on a new radical diet. Just get by. If after a fortnight there is no sign of improvement then that's when there might be an actual problem.

Limit Your Contact With Your Ex
I say limit because some of us can't drop an ex straight from our life. I have been lucky in that I was able to cut contact fully. We had different friends groups (a benefit of long distance is when you break-up you never have to see them again!), we were on different courses and don't tend to frequent the same venues. However you may be different. Maybe you live in the same building. Maybe your best friend is their cousin. Or maybe you work together. This can get sticky. If you and your ex split on reasonable terms then you'll need to sit in the same room and work out how this is going to work. Delete each other off Facebook for the time being or stay friends on it? Make sure you don't cross each other at venues? Maybe you could just stop their messages coming up on your news feed? But if it was nasty, purge purge purge, delete, delete, delete. Don't look back. Get someone else to do it for you if it has to be that way.

Decide What Needs To Be Thrown Away
Personally from one relationship I threw out romantic tokens but kept the presents. The other I threw out everything and gave him back a necklace he bought me to "show how much I didn't want it". Again, you'll need to look at the situation for yourself. One thing that can work is giving the stuff to a trusted friend who will know when the time is right and you can look at it again without crying and instead in a fond memories kind of way. They'll know when the time is right.

A big note that I have to make on this one is that you will forget to purge something. Despite deleting all e-mails, deleting him off MSN (well, in fairness he beat me to that one), giving back all presents, deleting all photos and our conversation backlog, I still found things later. A picture of him as a toddler, a sticker from his best friend and drawings of us as x-rated stick men were included.

Who Else Needs Deleting?
Something I've learned from break-ups is that mutual friends never really are that. They will eventually pick a side. They might still remain in each of the ex's life's but they'll grow closer to one. And you may need to decide who you want in your life. If deleting an ex off Facebook then it's probably best to delete his best friend, mum and cat too. Are they really going to actively be part of your life now? Probably not. When you break up with one person you're breaking up with more people than just them. Again, asking a friend who isn't heartbroken for their logical advice can help with this process.

Get a Break-up Buddy
I never did this but instead I am stealing the idea from Renee. The idea of having someone to call at 3am instead of him sounds amazing. Personally I used to get a lot of texts from my ex and then when I got zero each day it was gut-wrenching, having a break-up buddy to almost ease me out of this no-texts per day thing would have been comforting! And hugs and cuddles was a hard things to remove myself from - get someone new to make psychical contact with! (Though sexually, you'll need to look elsewhere) Also if your eating pattern doesn't improve they can be on guard to feed you.

Once A Month Has Past
Now it's time to get moving and well, move on, with your life. Get yourself back into a routine. Stop overdosing on ice cream every night at 3am and get back on the game! You're still allowed to cry, just not as much!

Let's Assess How You're Life Can Now Change
Hey, lady (or guy!) you're life is now different. No boyfriend? This now means a smaller amount of compromise. I became vegetarian in the aftermath of a break-up (I also began taking soya milk). Is there anyway in which you could change your lifestyle? Maybe you only really developed that coffee habit whilst you were with him? Maybe he hated fruit? Maybe he wasn't as active as you? Was he less ambitious? Maybe he didn't like the idea of you becoming a model? Try and build the real you.

Get Out The House
Accept all social invitations. Cinema nights. New nightclubs. Friends birthdays. Get out and have fun! Make it a celebration. Maybe I did go overboard with going out this time last year but I don't regret it. Going out made me realise that just because no one was in love with me, it didn't mean that no one loved me. I was still fun. I was still likeable. I still had a large social circle.

Build on Yourself Professionally
Whilst this past year has been sans-romance, it has been pretty epic as you get professionally. I got involved in charity events around my university, helped organise my own charity event, helped form the Business Society within my university, recently founded my very own society (Cupcake and Baking) and landed myself a pretty sweet job within social media which has now become my main ambition in life (plus some pretty snazzy freelance jobs are coming in!).

The only negative thing I have to add is not to get too carried away here. Whilst I achieved a lot, within the January/March period I participated in a charity hitchhike, threw said charity event, helped my friend run for the Student Executive and stayed in bed for two weeks with tonsillitis.Don't let the last one happened to you.

Dress Up and Look Pretty
This is a time when your self-esteem has probably taken a battering. Time to change that around. Give yourself a reason to twirl in the mirror. Even perhaps a change in your life could be your style. My first boyfriend wore black all the time and as a result my style became very tailored and muted. My next boyfriend had loads of quirky "gamer t-shirts" with "geek humour" on them. As a result I became quite whimsical and bright (I wore glitter eyeshadow for a causal night out playing pool). Now I'm quite into my prints but keep my make-up simple yet glamorous (when you look at pictures of me now compared to last year I've certainly learnt a lot more about make-up).

But do be warned. Don't do this encase you run into your ex. No lipstick to the local shop "just encase you see him". Try and not have any over the top Facebook profile picture, unless of course you were always into that. I wore more make-up after the split 1) because the lack of sleep made my skin lack sparkle and 2) encase I seen him I wanted to look my best. Looking back I think 1) you rarely see him anyway and 2) you dressed up more than the girl he left for you indicating that he sees himself more with someone casual than glamorous. So now I dress for me.

In The Long Run
Don't Jump Into A New Relationship
I've done this and boy is it bad. I also had a re-bound after my last one but it turned out the guy had liked me for some time was really hoping this could be the real thing (note to anyone who fancies a recent singleton: give them time!). Don't get involved in anything for some time. Re-bounds aren't bad in themselves so long as both parties know what they are getting themselves in for. Casual sex hurt no one, just make sure it isn't your best friend who is secretly in love with you.

Enjoy Being Single
It might sound like an oxymoron but once you enjoy being single again that's when you can enter a new relationship again. You need to be happy first and comfortbale in your own skin before you let someone in that deep. "Happiness doesn't come from men, it comes from within. If you're not happy single then you won't happy taken".

Try and Learn From It
As hard as it is we need to learn from the experience. Look at it closly. It's all too easy to blame the other person but you need to take responsbility for what you possibly did wrong. Maybe they were a D*** but you agreed to let them in your life. Why? Was there any warning signs you purposely ignored or any that you genuinely didn't notice until the end? What do you need to work on before you enter a new relationship (personally I need to work on walking away and standing up for myself).

And Finally....
So that was long, wasn't it? It may sound daunting and that there's a lot to it (well, there is). Whilst there is no quick way to "get over someone" these are tips and pointers to help you on your way. Try and keep your self-esteem up, look after yourself (but don't beat yourself up immediately after the break-up) and look forward. Embrace life and realise it loves you, along with so many people. Chin up you, you'll be fine!

Morag x
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