Goals Changed For The Better | A New Chapter

We all have a plan for our lives, whether it’s short term; ‘lose five pounds’, or long term; ‘I want to have a career in XYZ by the time I’m 30’. We all also know, that life likes to get in the way of our plans.

 

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#goals graphic, created with Fotor by @melissaholden94

 

My original life plan (at 16) was as follows:

  • Do A-Levels
  • Get a job and earn money
  • Go on lots of holidays
  • Get married
  • Get a Husky called Jeff
  • Learn to drive
  • Get a big house

…And that was effectively all I wanted from life.

Then, at 18, this was my plan:

  • Go to university
  • Get a degree
  • Get a part-time job
  • Save loads of money
  • Write my first book
  • Go travelling
  • Rent a house with friends
  • Get a tattoo

I did well on some points, and not so well on others.

At 20, my plan looked a little like this:

  • Get a temp job in home town
  • Go do my Master’s in October 2015
  • Graduate
  • Rent a house with Ashleigh
  • Go travelling
  • Pay off my overdraft
  • Save money
  • Learn to drive
  • Write more books

20-year-old Me was ambitious and didn’t plan for other people to affect her life plan. I had to move back home to be close to an ill family member. I had to leave all my uni friends behind and get a job in Bluewater.

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What I also didn’t expect, was to have graduated my Bachelor’s degree, moved back to the home town I hate, and fall in love with my new ‘supposed-to-be-for-six-months’ job. I ended up with a good, stable job in optics, and didn’t follow the plan. I didn’t start my Master’s degree in October. Instead, I was doing training at work to improve my skill set.

I ended up with a good, stable job in optics, and didn’t follow the plan. I didn’t start my Master’s degree in October. Instead, I was doing training at work to improve my skill set. I also, 2 years in, ended up being promoted to a Team Leader position, and am loving it.

I also didn’t move in with my best friend, because she moved back home to be close to her family, and to look after herself  – cannot argue with that, really.

Now, at 22 (nearly 23), my plan looks more like this:

  • Save my Student Loans and pay off my overdraft
  • Start my Master’s in October 2017
  • Graduate in June 2018
  • Finish writing Finding Jennifer
  • Move out to my own place
  • Start looking for ‘love’
  • Spend more time with my friends and family
  • Be present in the moment
  • Be positive
  • Blog more
  • Read as many books as possible

Perhaps some of those are loftier than others, but I love all my goals and aspirations the same. I am glad that my priorities have changed because it means I have grown and developed as a person, and I’m pretty proud of that.

What are your goals in life, and have they changed over the years? 

 

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500 Followers, A Milestone Post

Since it’s conception in 2013, this blog has had many purposes, many milestones, many birthdays. It is the one safe place; the one continuous space, where I can write freely and know my words will not only be seen but appreciated.

I just wanted to say thanks, to old and new followers – you make it worth posting. I know I am a bit of a sporadic blogger, but my work/life balance leaves something to be desired. I really appreciate the loyalty.

Thank you all so much for the love and support, and I hope we will be seeing more of each other soon.

Love, Mel ❤

Saying Farewell to my Pseudonym

The blog-fans among you will know that I have removed my pseudonym, Melody Carter, from the Internet. She’s gone now. *RIP fictional version of myself*

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I’ve waved goodbye to her website, her Facebook page, and her Twitter. I’ve exported all her churlish attempts at Children’s Fiction or bizarre tries at Adult Writing. She isn’t working well for my writing career, so, like the proverbial rose – she had to be dead-headed.

(Although the design for that website was pretty awesome, so I may have to move the typography over to another site… we will see!)

I found Melody Carter no longer had a place or standing in my writing portfolio; she had become just an extra tab on my social media to ignore and avoid during the low moments.

Any writer can tell you that this is not a fun career choice by any means – particularly as there is no money in it. So it becomes hard to justify your meager efforts when you are spread so thin across your many pen names.

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Instead, (if rather late in the day) I have decided to solely write under my own name; no pseudonyms or pretenses. Just little me and my little words on my little books.

I hope you can all get behind me on this, and as you have all been such lovely readers; I am sure you will be.

I’ll be back soon with some news about my upcoming novel, Finding Jennifer, but for now; I’m off to drink tea and ponder over Chapter 12.

Personal Changes | 22 Blog Series

Obviously, we go through a lot of changes and stages in our lives; whether that be physically, mentally or emotionally. It’s a part of life. But sometimes it’s nice to throwback and see how our hair looked ten years ago, or what on earth we were doing with our eyeshadow, but we never really remember changing or deciding to change.

22 blog series personal changes

I’m no exception to that, but the difference is: I’m a divergent. (#bookreference!) I have so many elements to my personality that sometimes they explode out of me all at once, and sometimes the sneak out in the form of clothes, hair, make-up etc.

I like having a look through my old TimeHop photos (my Facebook spans nearly ten years – so there’s always something to cringe at… mostly hideous typos and kohl eye liner).

So I thought I’d share a few terrible throwbacks that show just how much I’ve changed over my tender twenty-two years.

I’m only going to share photos from my university and post-uni days as I would rather not share my acne-ridden teen years, so here goes!

Fresher Year of university and it’s 2013… I dyed my hair… a lot!

Second year of uni: 2013 – 2014 and I’ve still got pretty short hair, I’d lost a bit of weight and started to discover the vintage look… not always successfully! I’e still not learned to smile (properly) in photos.

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Late 2014: A red bob, and I’m definitely still rocking an emo fringe, but I’ve stepped up my pout game a little by this point!

20150709_103344It’s July 2015 and I’m in Berlin, Germany during my ‘I only wear t-shirts’ phase. I also wasn’t afraid on wearing shorts – despite the thigh rub that killed – and that were far too short for my chubby-and-proud legs.

Jump to August 2015 and my 21st birthday, I’ve still got the red hair, but it’s a bit brighter now – and a lot longer! I’m wearing glasses 24/7 by this point and had not yet discovered the miracle that is contact lenses – but (not that you can tell by my face), I was pretty happy with how I looked that day.

I’ve still got that tan jumpsuit, but despite losing a little weight since then…it doesn’t fit anymore. Bizarre!

Weirdly enough, these photos were only taken ten hours apart… and yet I look like a totally different weight/age/everything!

And now we’re in 2016 and I’ve finally got rid of my red hair – I truly loved it but my desperate need to travel and save money meant that going back to my natural blonde was going to be healthier, easier, and more cost-efficient! I am also growing my hair and it’s currently the longest it’s been since I was about eleven.

I would love my waist-length hair back one day, but I think that it might be slightly unruly whilst I am travelling around the world.13735534_10154275938312488_3013438026863761897_o

I think 2016 was also the year I finally learned about naked eyeshadow palettes, contouring, bronzer…and I finally mastered the winged-eyeliner-without-looking-like-Cleopatra look.

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And now, August 2016, we’re rounding up my twenty-first year with vintage glasses, highlighted cheeks, en-fleek eyeliner and bright blonde hair. Plus – I can finally paint my nails without it looking like a five-year-old went mental with crazy colours!

But the important thing is: I’m happy with who I am and who I’m on the way to becoming. Not just physically, but emotionally and mentally too. And that’s worth more than a million likes on Instagram to me.

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Don’t forget to read the rest of the 22| Blog Series! 

It’s All In The Name: Name Origins

nameberryI was scrolling through Facebook earlier today when an ancestry.com add popped up. Now, whilst I’m intrigued to find out my family history; I’m not willing to pay for it.
Instead, I found this website that tells you the meaning of your name, and when it was popular. Sounded pretty cool to me, so I checked it out. It’s called NameBerry – in case you were wondering…

So, let’s see what my name means – shall we?

Melissa:

Melissa is a more classic name than you might think, used in the U.S. since the eighteenth century and originating as the name of a nymph in Greek mythology: the mythical Melissa was nursemaid to the infant god Zeus.

  • Gender: F
  • Meaning of Melissa: “honeybee”
  • Origin of Melissa: Greek
  • Melissa’s Popularity in 2014: #224

Victoria:

Victoria is the ancient Roman goddess of victory, the equivalent of the Greek Nike, and also a popular third century saint.

  • Gender: F
  • Meaning of Victoria: “victory”
  • Origin of Victoria: Latin
  • Victoria’s Popularity in 2014: #19

Holden

Holden is a classic case of a name that jumped out of a book and onto birth certificates–though it took quite a while. Parents who loved J. D. Salinger‘s The Catcher in the Rye are flocking to the name of its hero, Holden Caulfield. 

  • Gender: M
  • Meaning of Holden: “hollow valley”
  • Origin of Holden: English
  • Holden’s Popularity in 2014: #292

So basically, I’m a Greek nursemaid – who is really a bee -, who wants to have victory over a hollow valley that is possibly full of J.D Salinger’s books. Well… you learn something new every day!

What does your name mean? Let me know in the comments! 

16 Books I Want To Read in 2016

Hey guys! I know, it’s been a while… life got in the way again. But I’m back and I’m bringing books with me for a good ol’ fashion TO READ list!

I was sitting in my room yesterday, scrolling through my Amazon Book Wish List when I (suddenly) realised that I had literally no space for the books I already owned, let alone any *inevitable* future purchases. 

SO, I’ve decided to start reading the books I already owned, and coveted for so long. This list is made of books that I waited ages to buy, but never got around to reading.

And of course, because it’s 2016: there HAD to be 16 books on my to-read list. (I’ve included some interviews, book trailers and movie trailers just to keep things interesting…) So, here goes:

16 Books in 2016

Alice In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (that’s the one on the Kindle)

Funny Girl – Nick Hornby

A Tiny Bit Marvellous – Dawn French

All I Know Now – Carrie Hope Fletcher

BINGE! – Tyler Oakley

The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire – Dan Howell/Phil Lester

The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

Billy & Me – Giavanna Fletcher

Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

The Shock of The Fall – Nathan Filer

Inkheart – Cornelia Funke

Collected Stories – Dylan Thomas

The Stand – Stephen King

All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

The Woman Who Stole My Life – Marian Keyes

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Keep an eye on the tag #16BooksIn2016 on my website and Instagram for updates over the year on my reading selifes and reviews from this list! 

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.