Put together & perfect


I don't have time to breathe. 

Anyone else feel like that? I need to work, eat healthy, sleep, keep fit, see friends, see family, the list never ends. I feel so pressured to do all these things right and all the time, who is pressuring me to do that though? 


I want to be able to do it all. I want to be that put together girl who manages to do everything. One of those people who get everything done and still has time for cocktails on a random Thursday. One of those girls who walks to work with a cup of coffee and perfect hair. I want to be seen as the girl who's got it all together. Yet I really don't have it together, I'm the opposite of together right now. 

So I really don't know where I've got this ideal person from?


Even though I try and be this person, there is always something that throws me off course and makes me feel like I've failed. My question is, am I actually failing? Is it even possible to be this girl or have I made it up. Surely if I've made it up can't be failing, so why does it feel like I am all the time?


In reality I never rarely go for cocktails - although they are the way to my heart - I walk to work with hot chocolate, not coffee, spilling on my hands with hair that has been ruined by the wind. I am not that perfect looking image and I'm definitely not the perfect together person inside.

I hate loosing control of things that I can control. I try and ensure that I plan and prepare for everything. Travel, clothes, makeup, I organise everything down to the tiny details. No matter how hard I try, there is always something that stops me from being in control.


After a good few years of feeling I'm not good enough yet, I've come to realise that I've made this standard of person up. No one has ever told me to be that person, I've just convinced myself it's a real standard I could eventually live up to. Yet I know that I'll never be that put together, perfect Holly, and I've now realised that maybe it's not something I'd want. I need to let that image go and stop comparing myself to a standard that just doesn't exist.



By comparing myself to that unrealistic standard, I'm not letting myself breathe. I have no ability to shut down and relax, I'm always thinking of what I have to plan next, but I want to be living in the moment.  If living in the moment means that I slip up from time to time that I need to accept that. 

It's hard to listen to my own advice, and I rarely do. However I seem to love dishing it out, so here's what I would say to my friends if they were asking for help in this situation.

It's okay not to be perfect. No one is expecting you to be. We're only human. If we were all perfect, life would be no fun and we need these flaws and mistakes to learn and appreciate life. So stop stressing about it and try to remember to experience life, not to control it.



Breakups


Breakups are crap. They make you feel terrible for weeks, question yourself in all areas, cry and distract yourself for a long time.

I was seeing a guy - lets call him Daniel - for around 2 years. We were never an official couple and although that may sound strange to some of you - seeing someone for that long without being together - it worked for us and that's what mattered. However, seeing someone for that long, spending so much time with each other, just meant we grew so close in every way. I have never been so completely in sync with someone as I had been with Daniel. It felt almost the same as having a boyfriend, most of the same emotions, the feelings and mutual care were there. For all intents and purposes, we had a relationship.


Recently we mutually ended it because he was going back to uni. We both knew it was coming because we had agreed this a while back. This didn't mean we didn't care - it wasn't just one night stands over and over, it was more. We met each others families, became friends with each others friends; we were involved in each others' lives.

When you become so invested in someone like that, it is hard to let go, whether or not you saw it coming. Daniel is one of the best people I know - we are still friends now and we would never take back the time we had. I thought I would go through all those crappy breakup feelings and drop everything just to mourn the relationship, however that was very different from how I've been feeling.


I did cry hard at first, I felt sad and I sometimes still have a few tears (bear in mind guys, this was only 2 months ago!) yet I didn't feel any of the crap I've gone through in breakups before, which got me confused. I didn't question myself, I didn't stop everything; there was no regret or anger, nothing. I just thought why, why am I not feeling as I 'should be' after a breakup? (I almost felt guilty for not feeling those things, wondering whether it was because I wasn't actually as sad as I should be.)


As I said, Daniel is an amazing guy and I'm grateful for having him in my life and being so close for so long. He is a positive, caring person and he is always having fun; he is definitely one of those people who has a personality you never forget. 

When I met him I was shy and quite negative in some aspects. Being with him brought me out of my shell.


He taught me how to look on the positive side of everything, he built my confidence and took me out of my comfort zone and showed me that I can do what I thought I couldn't. I used to think I was just a shy person and that was it, I would never be able to change that. I now know that if you shove me in a room full of strangers I can find my own way. At first I shone with Daniel by my side, but I had to have him next to me. Over the past year or so I saw that I could do it all myself.

Being with someone so confident, positive and happy for that long meant it just rubbed off on me. I know he helped me to grow into a better version of myself I never knew existed, but after while I realised that the key, is that although he helped me grow, he didn't create me.


He showed me what I could be and I grew into that person. So when we ended it, I knew I'd be okay. People have been saying to me 'you seem surprisingly okay' about the whole situation. In actual fact I'm not 'okay', I'm still gutted we had to end it as we were so good together, but I know I will be okay.

I know that I am a great person and I now know my potential. Through it all I am remembering all these things I am, rather than all the negatives.

Daniel enabled me to see my potential I am the one who now believes it and will maintain it. 



Spend or Save?


Spend or save? This is a question I've been battling with over the past year or so. As I'm getting older my goals and the things I want out of life are changing. I'm starting to want - dare I say it - *adult* things; to move out on my own and have an amazing career I love and eventually start a family of my own. Yet I still feel pulled back and forth by this question all the time.

Do I want to go out with my friends a lot? Yes. Do I want to have money ready to move out in the near future? Yes. Do I want to go on amazing holidays or travel to new places? Yes. Do I want to save for an amazing wedding when I am A LOT older? Yes.


Over the past year I've probably been spending more than I have been saving and I don't regret it one bit. I've been on lovely holidays, out for meals, seen my friends and spent more time with my family. I've been a bit more spontaneous this year, with the help of my friend Katie, booking events I would never normally think of going to. I've been pushed out of my comfort zone and although I've been hesitant to spend money on things I wasn't sure I'd like, it paid off and they've been some of the best days I've had recently.

Of course I feel genuinely grateful that I am able to have the opportunity to do these things and will cherish these moments forever. However I can't stop thinking about the future; what will it look like if I keep spending as much as I do at the moment? I can't decide between living in the moment or being cautious about what I'm doing.


I did an Instagram Poll the other week - you know I love an Insta Poll - asking the '20-somethings' of my followers whether they'd rather spend or save at this point in their lives. It was so interesting to see the results with it being around 60/40 with more votes for spend. I obviously know some of my followers and could see that those in their older 20s were voting for save and those similar ages to myself voted spend. I also asked if people felt pressured to save for 'important things' in life e.g. a wedding or a house. A lot more people voted for yes, they did feel pressured and it felt a bit better to know that a lot of us are in the same boat. We want the experiences and fun, but feel pressured to cut down on that and spending money on it to save up for other things.

So maybe the reason I'm feeling guilty for spending is because of the fact that I, along with loads of others, feel pressured to save for all that stuff we're expected to have in the future. Don't get me wrong, I want a house and family eventually, but not right now! I can't see past this year if I'm honest with you, so why should I be solely focused on saving for things I really can't visualise right now?


I'm 21 and I feel a bit guilty every time I go out with my friends, buy new clothes or looking for another holiday to go on. Obviously I am not saying I have the money to be jetting off somewhere every week or buying designer everything, I'm just spending money on the things that make me happy.

Everyone says to enjoy your young years whilst also putting that pressure to save for that house or that wedding, which one am I meant to be focusing on? Please make up your mind!


I am still saving for the future as I do know I want some things further down the line, but I'm not going to let that stop me from making memories right now. I won't be reckless with my spending but I want to experience life right now. So if those experiences mean that I'm spending a bit more than I should be, who cares? At the end of the day, I don't remember that night out as a sum of money, I remember the fun I had, who I spent it with and how it made me happy. Memories I'll never forget are my priority right now.

Holly Anastasia xx

PHOTOGRAPHY: JKG PHOTOGRAPHY


Reconnecting


I used to find myself getting lost in magazines and photos and editorials, I remember being so young and inspired by all of these images. Just thinking the fashion industry is one that I really want to be a part of.

The first time I got struck by an outfit was in a copy of Company Magazine, one of my favourite magazines back in the day. I saw this outfit and although when I look back at it now it was nothing revolutionary, however at the time I was absolutely taken aback by it. The outfit consisted of a long flowing dress which covered the top of some high knee boots, both of which were covered in black and white star print. I'm not sure why I was so blown away by it but I remember so clearly thinking 'Oh my god, I need this outfit'.


I think that copy of Company Magazine came out around 2012 and I know that I've grown and changed so much, in a lot of positive ways, but I'm also starting to feel a bit disconnected from the fashion industry. The roots of my blog were my love for fashion, and as my style has progressed I feel I've moved in a different direction with my blog. Although I love writing a bit of lifestyle and I know you guys have told me you like it too, I am just still so in love with everything fashion and want to reconnect with that passion. 


Following trends have been something I've tried to get away from; I wanted to be a leader rather than someone that just follows. However as time has gone on, I feel like in this feeling to tear away from the crown I have forgotten that sometimes it's that same crowd that can become your inspiration for your own growth.


So here is me trying out a trend, the Baker Boy hat. I did shoot this look with Jade a lot earlier than now, when the trend was at it's peak. However I've been so slow with posting, which is why this is so late! I was in Topshop looking around and saw the hats and had such an urge to try it, so I did. I kind of loved it, I felt like I was part of something even though it was just a hat.  For me it was kind of a reaffirmation that I can reconnect, try out and enjoy the trends without feeling like I've lost my own style identity.



You guys are probably thinking the Baker Boy hat trend isn't really that major, but for me it bought back that feeling that 15 year old me had when I saw the star print outfit for the first time. I love this outfit I've shot here and although it's a bit late for the beautiful weather we're having now, I thought I'd share it alongside how I'm feeling now about following the trends. Although my blog is leaning towards lifestyle at the moment, I'm looking forward to continue connecting with fashion again.

Holly Anastasia xx

STYLING: HOLLY ANASTASIA EDWARDS // PHOTOGRAPHY: JKG PHOTOGRAPHY






Unapologetically You


"Tonight is about you, tonight is about the energy in this room that we bring together. Tonight London, I want you to be yourself - be your authentic and true self. Lose all your inhibitions, be your most unapologetic you and never listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. Let's dance the night away and take tonight's feeling everywhere you go."


This was the intro Dua Lipa gave at her concert a few weeks ago. It gave me chills, filled me with excitement and inspiration all in one go. She was essentially just encouraging the audience to go crazy, to be ourselves totally freely, singing and dancing without feeling restrained or self conscious - and I fully embraced her message. It was the most fun I had had in ages, and it was so amazing to share that feeling with my friends.


When the concert was over my voice was almost non-existent from all the singing and my body was aching after dancing so much. I don't know if any of you have had the feeling after a concert of just feeling so fulfilled and exhilarated; or like you're ready to take on the world on your own? That's how Dua's show made me feel.


A few days later I was reminiscing on the concert, looking through photos and videos I'd taken on the night, and came across a video of the intro again. I couldn't help wondering: was the reason I let go of my self consciousness that night was because there was permission, or would I have let loose and been myself regardless?


Dua is only 22 years old; I am 21. Despite how much I love her and her music, her success does make me a little jealous. She has an incredible career already established at this young age, and I think one of the reasons for  her huge success so early is her personality. She seems fearless and unafraid to speak her mind or make a bold statement. Her songs come from a place of personal experience and are relatable to so many people. She puts herself out there - just herself, no sugar coating - and this is what makes her standout.


Her confidence and presence are so strong it makes me wonder at what point she knew 'this is me'. I'm not sure I've had that moment yet and I sometimes lack confidence in who I am - however this might just be because I'm too concerned with what other people think of me. I find that I often subconsciously alter myself to suit the expectations of the people around me, maybe toning myself down so they don't think I'm strange - when in reality, all these tiny aspects of my character that I'll change or hide from people are actually parts of me.

They're parts of my identity and are what shapes me as a person. As long as people aren't seeing those traits, they aren't seeing the real me: so how can I expect to be fully confident in myself as a person?


Dua's show was so inspiring for me; to see someone so young living out their dream is amazing - especially someone I look up to so much; someone who isn't afraid to be themself. The introduction to her show has had a huge impact on me and is helping me to understand what's stopping me from becoming my complete self.

Taking inspiration from her show, I will start to become my most unapologetic me.

Holly Anastasia xx

PHOTOGRAPHY: JKG PHOTOGRAPHY





That Rachel Green Skirt


How many times have I watched the whole series of Friends since it's been on Netflix? Too many times to count. How many times am I planning to watch the whole thing again? I wouldn't be able imagine a number. I am obsessed. One of the things I'm obsessed with in the series is Rachel Greens' style. She always looks so chic and wears so many interesting outfits. I've noticed when I've been watching is that she is a fan of the mini skirt and I am here for it.


I saw this skirt on ASOS and I instantly fell in love with it. It was around the time that I was watching Friends religiously. So I definitely took some inspiration from Rachels' style for this outfit.
Inspiration and influence is a funny things and I do find it strange how people do things because of what other do. I guess it is a natural thing and it happens all the time, especially in the blogging industry or celebrity culture. You see a photo of someone you admire, love what they're wearing and because they're wearing it, it gives you that little nudge to buy it.


Although I don't particularly look up to Rachel Greens' character, I do love her style and I definitely remember thinking that this is the sort of outfit she'd wear. So the thought and the influence did still run through my mind as I was buying it. It is hard to keep thinking for yourself in a world of social media, influencers and people telling you what to do, think and look like. I've found myself thinking 'do I want this because I want it, or because Kim Kardashian is wearing it?'. Most of the time it's something that I love but there's always a cheeky purchase because Kimmy K has something similar. This idea of us being influenced to do things, whether it's something we want to do or not, is probably why it's so hard sometimes to be ourselves.


I have found it fairly hard to understand what sort of person I am at times. Comparing myself to others is something I do quite a lot and it's obviously not a healthy habit. I'm trying to understand for myself that there's nothing wrong with looking up to people or buying things because your favourite celebrity is wearing it. Although I need to think for myself, learn what I like and don't. I've started to understand that what some people do or what they wear won't always suit me or my lifestyle, and that's okay. You can still be inspired by others without compromising your own loves and passions.



These influences and inspirations I have like Dua Lipa's cool girl vibes, Rachel Greens' style and even the Kardashians in general are so okay to have. However I can't get lost in their lives and neglect my own. I know this skirt is one simple thing but as you guys will know - especially if you've read my most recent blog post - that fashion represents a lot for me. I love this outfit so much and feel really 'me' in it, even if it was influenced by Rachel Green.

Holly Anastasia xx

© Holly Anastasia

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