Women who have a positive influence on my life

women-who-have-a-positive-influence-on-my-life

I have witnessed a lot of women – especially as of late – tearing each other down, seeing each other as competitors in an unhealthy way and just not seeing a good sense of sisterhood and that honestly upsets me. I don’t like the slut shaming or bitchiness, there’s honestly so much of it going on and it genuinely breaks my heart to see. So, to make a change, I thought I would do a blog post dedicated to women who influence me in a positive way in life. From famous faces to family and friends, I am going to celebrate some amazing ladies here and I hope this post encourages you to do the same and remember we should unite together. There’s a lot against our gender and we should be part of the #GirlGang and stick together.

Famous faces

Little Mix

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Little Mix are currently one of the biggest girl groups of our generation. Besides their catchy music and beautiful looks, what really appeals to me is what these girls stand for. They are girls for girls and as much as they have a glitzy and glamourous life, they are very down to Earth and keep it real. The real life issues they face aren’t hidden. True, they have private lives, but they are fairly open with their lives, including struggles. This was hugely showcased in their latest book, ‘Our World’, where the girls discussed struggles growing up such as family splits, illnesses and insecurities. Though all four girls influence me, I think it’s Jesy who I can relate to the most. During her time on ‘The X Factor’ she struggled a lot with her self-image and it’s something I also have an issue with. Though I may not have the confidence she has now found in herself, she has inspired me to try and be able to look in the mirror and not be in hate with myself. I’ve got a long way to go but she is someone who shines a guiding light I can look towards.

Demi Lovato

102.7 KIIS FM'S Wango Tango, Backstage Portrait Studio, Carson, America - 14 May 2016

Demi Lovato suffered majorly with her mental health and to make things worse, it was all under the spotlight of the media. The demons faced in struggles of mental illness are beyond difficult, but Demi overcame many issues and has found a way to deal with her struggles. She has turned a negative into a positive by getting involved with charity work and organisations relating to what she has been dealing with and is living proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes, during my darker days, I can look to Demi and be reminded that this doesn’t have to be permanent and I can eventually get to a better place.

Miley Cyrus

The ONE Campaign And (RED) Mark World AIDS Day And Celebrate 10 Years Of Progress With Concert At Carnegie Hall In New York

Though quite the controversial character and someone I no longer consider myself a fan of, credit is due to Miley as when I was growing up, she was the first woman I looked up to. She was the person that made me realise it was okay to be different, to not want to walk the same path in life as my peers and to not lose sight of where I want to go. Her autobiography, ‘Miles To Go’, was something I could really personally connect to. It’s also her charitable heart that helped me maintain my passion for helping others.

Beyoncé

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Of course, many women look up to Beyoncé and it’s no wonder why. But beside her beauty and talent, I am in awe of her passion, her work drive. She is extremely hardworking and it’s something people should take note of. What she stands for is something that is also highly admirable, such as her feminist views and of course all her efforts with the ‘BeyGood’ campaigns. She also flies the flag for beauty in women not only in the stereotypical sense, but in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, backgrounds, religious views and that women are worth a lot more than written off as.

Joan Jett

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Perhaps it’s thanks to Joan where I first got my feminist views, even if I didn’t realise. I loved how she paved a path for what she wanted to do and was considered what is different from ‘norm’ for women, especially when it came to music. She’s done a lot of good for females in the industry and it’s quotes such as “Other people will call me a rebel, but I just feel like I’m living my life and doing what I want to do. Sometimes people call that rebellion, especially when you’re a women,” that empower me and give me the strive to believe I can do whatever I damn well want, regardless of my gender or who I identify as in live.

Miranda Miller, Nia Lovelis, Rena Lovelis (female members of Hey Violet)

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Similar to Joan, I feel as though Hey Violet are bringing back women in the music industry behind instruments and in bands. They’re also very in the know of rights for young people and our generation. In particular, Miranda, Rena and Nia do face a lot of criticism from those who don’t believe in them, but their drive is strong and they work incredibly hard to get where they want to be.

Friends

Sarah

Sarah

Though a few years younger than me, Sarah has taught me a lot. For example, I’ve witnessed her go on a journey of self-discovery and she seems to be a lot happier with who she is as a person. From identifying with her sexuality right down to her beliefs and views in life. Sarah speaks her mind in the most respectful way and isn’t afraid of saying when she disagrees with someone. She’s very okay with being ‘different’ because if this world was filled with people who were all the same, it’d be pretty boring. Sarah isn’t very materialistic either and takes every small thing with the utmost gratitude and is happy with the smaller things in life. She is always willing to go without if it means it benefits another person for the best, which is something highly applaudable.

Camryn

Camryn

Of course, I could definitely consider myself as a fan of Camryn’s, but I also feel I can call her a friend. Camryn’s journey as an artist is beyond inspiring to me. She started out at a very early age and managed to prove herself to being a success, despite being so young. Camryn has worked tirelessly on her career and it has definitely paid off – by the time she was 13 she had toured with One Direction AKA the biggest boyband of this generation twice. She also became the youngest indie act to chart a song in the Billboard Top 40 since 1997. She hasn’t become an overnight sensation and I find that extremely admirable because in reality, it’s important to work hard and Camryn is a reminder that things don’t happen with the simple click of a button. What else inspires me is that she is such a genuine and kind person, always treating the people who work with her with the utmost respect and gratitude. When I witnessed this and hearing about her journey in person, it inspired me to pursue my passion as a serious career.

Emi

Emi

Emi is someone who understands her rights as well as others and has her heart in the right place. She is an understanding and compassionate person, but also won’t beat around the bush. She is honest in the most caring way possible and is always willing to lend a hand or offer advice, but will always make sure you hear what you need to hear, but without actually being abrupt or blunt. She is a very woke person who takes passion in equality and human rights. During recent political events, it was Emi who taught me a lot about people’s rights and not just the ones that would benefit myself. She has taught me a lot about different cultures and given me more of an insight of feminism and equality as a whole and not from the point of view of someone who may be privileged such as myself. Her independence and hard working ethnic is also something I look at with admiration and I have full confidence in her getting where she wants to be in life.

Lily

Lily

I only met Lily at the very beginning of this year, but she has had the greatest impact on me. It turns out that Lily and I have had a very similar walk in life and jumped the same hurdles. She has a burning passion to achieve what she wants in life and won’t let anyone get in her way. She’s always willing to make friends along the way, no matter who they may be. Regardless of who you are or your story, you can find a friend in Lily. She’s also not afraid to go out of her way to protect those she cares about and has definitely made me feel a lot more comfortable with who I am as a person, despite my battle wounds. She always has a positive but realistic attitude to everything in life and takes life by the balls and ploughs on, which is something I aspire to do myself.

Family

My Mother

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My mother is the biggest influence in my life. We have a very close mother-daughter relationship. I’ve seen her in some of the toughest battles but she never gives up. She ploughs on, even if it’s as though the world is on her shoulders. She always makes sure she looks after those she cares about and will always see herself go without if it means her family are better off. She is my actual rock and has helped me through the most darkest days I have ever faced. She has done countless of admirable things, but what I am taken back by is how strong she was when my dad fell ill. It was the most difficult time in our lives and not only did she look after me (who was the only blood relative), but she would do everything possible for my dad’s family, too. Though they divorced when I was a baby, my mother made sure she and  my dad maintained good friendship for my benefit and they were best friends. To have to deal with losing a best friend of 30 years as well as a grieving daughter (breaking the news to me being the hardest thing she’s ever done) and help ensure everyone got through the most difficult thing ever was so courageous and brave of her. I know many people would have broken down at many things she’s seen in life, but she strives through it with a brave face and to me is a true warrior.

Emily (cousin)

Emily

Emily and I may as well had been separated from birth. We are so alike but I really love her attitude – she does her best to see the positive, even in dark times. She works really hard to ensure that she gets what she wants out of life, even if there tends to be obstacles in the way. She makes it work, even if it seems almost impossible. She is also the one who opened my eyes to feminism and what my rights as a person and a woman are. She’s taught me so much and never fails to put a smile on my face, even when there’s times where I feel like I can never smile again.

My Gran

Gran

 

My gran has a heart of gold. She always thinks of others and always does right by everyone, even if they don’t do the same for her. She is such a lovely person that she gained the nickname ‘Joan Love’ at one of the places she used to work at. Even though generations have drastically changed since her ‘prime’ times, she will always accept differences and how things may no longer be the same. My gran always has enough love to give to anyone and everyone and genuinely cares for others. She does her best to not let her age get in her way and is the kind of woman I want to be when I grow older (even if she seems 20 years younger than she is).

Angie (my sister)

Angie

My sister was my first role model. I’ve looked up to her for as long as I remember and to be honest, I still do. She’s hard working and always stands by what she believes in. We aren’t close in age, so we didn’t have the stereotypical sister bond growing up and there weren’t really any fallouts or scraps, but to me she set an example that if you work hard and have the right attitude, you can get to where your heart takes you. Life isn’t perfect but in my eyes, she’s always dealt with everything, good and bad, in the best way possible. She’s very intelligent and always puts that knowledge to use. My dad would always both her and my brother up to me as I grew up and even if we don’t share the same dreams, she is someone who inspires me to just keep trying and pursuing what I want in life.

I hope you enjoyed my slightly different post today and if you’ve read this far, I tag you to do this post on your blog or even just a post on YouTube or social media. Let’s celebrate women because we damn well deserve it.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Life update: New job, mental health and looking forward

UNIVERSITY PRESS

 

Hey, what’s up? It’s been a while…

Well, been a while since I’ve done an actual life update. A lot has happened this year and it’s only April, but I feel like it’s been such a big change that I had to document it and tell any readers who are interested in me as a whole.

So, good news. After 18 months of writing for Maximum POP! voluntarily, I’ve been offered a paid position! I have been working so hard for this and it’s finally happened. I honestly thought I would never achieve it because for three quarters of the time I was writing for the site, my dad had fallen ill and it became a living nightmare. It meant a lot of letting the staff down at last minute and there wasn’t a single moment where I didn’t feel guilty because these were commitments that I was so passionate to keeping, but sometimes life is a bitch and you have to deal with it. But I guess that they saw some sort of potential in me as they decided to wipe a clean slate after my dad passed away and I was able to continue working again. My dad was almost as passionate about me writing for that website than I was. On days he wasn’t so bad, he’d encourage me to stay home to write instead of visiting him. In his final days, I promised him that I would work so hard to get a job with the site and to have actually kept that promise is so overwhelming.

The work itself is amazing. It can definitely be challenging on times, but you should never expect it to be a breeze. Within three weeks of working for the site as a paid writer, I had been promoted to full time, which was a shock but you’ll bet your backside I was thankful. And I can tell you one thing – it beats any school or uni work I’ve ever had to do. Interviewing pop stars, organising album listening parties, running the company’s Facebook? I’ll choose that over algebra any day. By the way, Mr Donovan, I’ve still yet to use algebra in my day-to-day life like you insisted. I told you I didn’t want to be a maths teacher.

If you read this blog regularly or follow me on social media, you’ll know I’ve taken up vlogging. Not a huge commitment for now as there’s not much going on in my life that’s vlog worthy. But I do go to some amazing concerts from time to time and I love the idea of sharing with fellow fans my experience. I’m also hoping that whenever I get an opportunity with MP, I can vlog behind the scenes. That’d be amazing. I have a handful of followers who are interested in getting into the field of work I’m in and to be able to show my career from a young person’s POV would be exciting. Next week I’ll be seeing 5 Seconds of Summer on both of their Cardiff tour dates, so I’ll vlogging the entire weekend to share with other fans. Keep an eye out for the videos!

Onto my mental health. I’ve been keeping kind of steady. I do have my ups and downs and that’s expected with cyclothymia. I was alerted by my doctor that it can definitely shake up following such a big loss in the family and I feel like I suffer the most at nights. I feel like as though I could have insomnia and that’s when my anxiety thinks it’s a splendid idea to overthink absolutely everything. If you haven’t noticed the publishing time of this post, it’s around midnight. I’ve just finished my last shift of the week as I’m expected to work one day a weekend as well as my weekly hours. My mother and I thought that working late may be something that could help me keep my mind busy until the end of the shift where I can just fall asleep. I’ve decided to blog because it was on my mind, but we’ll see if working nights helps me have a better sleep. I’ve also been suffering with nightmares which wake me up to a cold sweat. Of course, they all relate to last year, but it’s totally expected. I just wish there was a cure to make them stop.

Despite talking a lot about my dad in this post, I’m getting better. I found that talking definitely helps and since he was such a huge part of my life and partner in crime (and travel), we had a very close father-daughter relationship in comparison to a lot of my friends. Everything I work for, I think of it as a way that I’m keeping him proud of everything I’m doing. It’s going to be a long journey, but I’m on my way.

Hope everything is great with you and wishing you a lovely Spring!

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Interviews and Grocery Shopping

Hello!

I haven’t done a typical life post in… well… ever? I feel like after some of the crazy things I’ve been up to lately, it’s time to share some of it with you. So, grab yourself a cuppa, sit back and let’s chat.

“Would you like to interview The Janoskians?” One of the questions I was asked about a week ago. My mind was blown. Me? Interview The Janoskians? What is life?! For those of you who aren’t aware of who The Janoskians are, they are a group of five kids from Melbourne, Australia who post videos on YouTube. They’ve basically shot to fame through social media and winning the hearts of many teenagers and young adults across the world. I may not be their number one fan, but my friends go crazy over them. I can’t go a day on Twitter without seeing the words “Jai Brooks” or “Janofest” on my timeline. So, when Maximum POP!  offered me the chance to do a phone interview with them, there was no hesitation when it came to the answer. “YES. Yes, a thousand times yes.”

I’ve interviewed a few known faces from my time with CLIConline such as X Factor’s Matt Cardle, TV Chef Gino D’acampo and One Direction’s support act, Camryn, to name a few. I’ve been doing this since I was 15 but now it feels more real and like bigger doors are opening for me. In the space of a month I’ve interviewed two YouTubers, The Janoskians (Who are YouTubers but also do other stuff now, like music…), the director of Big Hero 6, the voice of Baymax from the film and a a member of the band Rixton. How crazy is that? When I tell people what I’ve done, they tend to think I live some lavish luxurious life and have money coming out of my earholes.

Image Credit: http://images.dailystar-uk.co.uk/
Image Credit: http://images.dailystar-uk.co.uk/

“Jazz, shopping is here, can you unpack it please?” Sigh. Back to reality. I’m no fancy pants journalist with a posh car and rich mansion (although the work my mother and stepdad have done on the house is amazing. I’ll have to do a house tour post one day…) I’m a 19 year old who still lives with her parents and visits my dad on a regular basis. I’m a fangirl, I’m no model or born with the beauty you’d see on the cover of Vogue. I don’t even have an office to do my work in. It’s just me, my laptop and wherever I feel like sitting (although the new sofa isn’t one to lounge on, so I’ve been banned from flopping out on there to work.)

In between doing these interviews and writing articles, I’ve been looking after my dad. I’m not his carer and he doesn’t need one. Well, not really. You see, he’s been ill since October. Nothing fatal, thankfully, but just some complications and it’s given us all quite a scare. He was very ill for a good few months and Christmas was not the same with him in hospital. But, he’s recently been released and just needs a helping hand to get back on his feet again, so that’s where I stepped in to stay a few nights to make sure he settled okay. He’s not fit enough to go bouncing about the place or anything, but he’s much better than he was. He still needs a bit of help and so I’ve been doing a lot of running around to make sure he has everything he needs. It can be hard, sometimes. Seeing a parent who used to do things for you not being well enough to do what they want and the tables have turned so now you’re doing things for them sometimes hits you and makes you feel emotional, but I’m not complaining. My dad (as well as my mother and the rest of my family) are my world and wherever I can help, I will. Even if it means having to delay interviews to put the ASDA shop away.

My dad and I on set of a photoshoot I had about two years ago for a newspaper article about me :D I thought this was a cute photo to include...
My dad and I on set of a photoshoot I had about two years ago for a newspaper article about me 😀 I thought this was a cute photo to include… although I don’t look much like this anymore

This year looking as though it’s going to be a pretty exciting one. After going to see The X Factor about two weeks ago, it’s got me super excited for the other concerts coming up. I’ll be seeing Olly Murs in just over a week’s time followed by two One Direction concerts and 5 Seconds of Summer in three consecutive days. Not to mention my best friend, Courtney, will be coming from England to visit for a few days. She’s just started blogging and I’ve been bitten by the blogging bug so we’ve got lots planned  do together while she’s here! I’ll also be seeing Disney on Ice in May with my family, so that’s another review to expect in the near future.

Life’s pretty crazy, if you ask me. One minute I’m doing something that not many would ever expect to do – especially at my age – and the next, I’m moping about the house in my PJs grumbling at the sun getting in my eyes and the time of day I’m awake. But, despite some flaws, I don’t think I’d change this life for the world. *cue Hannah Montana*

Anyway, expect to see more from me this year as I’m trying to maintain this blog and make it the best it can be, so there also may be a few changes going on now and then. I can’t really categorise myself as any specific blog other than lifestyle, because I cover anything and everything. But, whatever you see me as, I hope you’ll enjoy my upcoming posts and join in on the rollercoaster with me because I plan on sharing everything with you! Let’s be best buddies, yeah?

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.