Monday, 30 May 2011

The Single Issue.

I have been "single" since 2nd August 2010. That's what? 9 Months and 28 days. (I'd like to add I only just counted, it's not a countdown (or up?!?) I regularly call to mind! 
But in reality, single is just a label, our heart, mind and feelings define our status exactly. So how long have I been fully single, heart and mind not occupied, not flirting with or considering someone? Probably closer on weeks, then months.
See, I have a confession... I like boys, I like being in a relationship. I like good morning texts, cuddles, having someone to call when it all gets a bit much, I like compliments and kisses. and I like having someone around to look after me. 
But, after my head and well... my ego took a few too many bruisings. I made a decision.
Single. Wholeheartedly. 
Physically, emotionally, mentally single.
No kissing, flirting, dating (yeah... coz I'm always going on dates... NOT!) and also, no sizing up every eligible guy as a potential boyfriend, (yes, that's an awful habit I've gotten in to)

Because it gives me time to heal, to grow in my relationship with God, to understand myself better, to deal with some emotional baggage which I really don't want to bring into my next relationship and because actually, it's totally ok to be single and in some respect, be selfish.

As a young Christian, I see couples getting married all around me. It's almost expected that if you're not married by 25 there must be something wrong. Why is that? In the secular world, 25 is just out of university, maybe moving in with your partner, working on your career. Why can't the same be true for Christian couples or dare I say... singles? 
At the end of the day, I'm 19. I've faced a lot in 19 years. I'm currently on a very demanding gap year, I've barely got time to breathe some days, so I'm in total awe of anyone able to give their relationship the tie it needs. 

I want to be able to give everything to my next relationship. Of course I'd like to get married, it's my biggest dream. But right now, I don't want to be starting a relationship when old scars are still healing, when I'm still able to cry over the ex boyfriends or, worse, the guys that "nearly were". I want to be able to give my all, my heart- fully fit for him, my time and my future.

Until I can do that, I'm going to take some time out. Grow in who I am, get to know God a bit better and maybe... just maybe .... understand a bit more about the man I'm meant to be with.

Besides, my onesie isn't ready to share me yet.

Love Laura 

p.s. another confession, I pretty much suck at being wholly single. but I'm learning. 

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Another Wedding Blog.

Today I am tired.
Yesterday was a lovely day of full blown weddingness!
Yes, finally Jess Brett-Allman married my only cousin Mr Mark Downton, to become another Mrs J Downton.
and boy did they do it in style!

First off, I had to get there. London to Bury St Edmunds (that's Suffolk, by the way) Easy, no?
But it appears, every time I want to leave London, something goes, a little wrong!
It took a total of... one London Overground, Two London Underground, One Train, One Coach and a Tax
4 and a half hours, to get toe the Hotel. But worth every second.
and falling into bed at the Angel Hotel, Bury St Edmunds. Felt ah-maz-ing!

The day started with breakfast and a girly trip the hairdressers. Curls, Fascinator. Check.
Then a (slight detoured) drive to Hengrave Hall.
Chloe and I were sharing a room, and it was a room fit for princess's.
I think I might move into the Rose Chamber, Hengrave Hall. For the four poster bed with thick pillows and the wet room!
Getting ready was so much fun. Make up with thanks to a youtube tutorial and my lovely lemon yellow dress with the world's most amazing gold glittery shoes. (check facebook for photos)

and then down to the most idyllic chapel in the ground, to witness the ceremony.
A beautiful church ceremony, credit to my big sister, Sam for her reading and for not falling on her ass!
Mark made a dashing groom and Jess looked stunning, with an amazing dress and beautiful hair!

The rest of the day was awash with celebrations, champagne, food (amazing), speeches, cake cutting
and then dancing.
The Downton Family is not renowned for being wall flowers at parties.
The tone was set with Mark and Jess' first dance, a fast paced dance which reflected the fun of such a brilliant couple.and of course, Chloe and I were next up on the dance floor and pretty much stayed there till the DJ closed down for the night.
To those who comment on my slightly erratic dancing, it became apparent that I was just born at the wrong time! I can shake a tail feather like nobody's business. Watch out, Beyonce!

Honestly, I can not imagine a couple who deserved a day/weekend of such joy, celebration, family, friends, laughter, (a few tears) and happiness. Mark and Jess have faced some difficult times recently and have come through it so bravely and strong. I'm so, so proud to now be able to call them both family!

Have a fab honeymoon and here's to years and years of happiness, joy and celebrations
Love Laura

p.s see facebook for photos

Sunday, 15 May 2011


I just saw this on a Facebook picture. 
And I have to say, it's exactly what I needed to read.
Today has not been the best day ever, as a consequence of being very, very sick last night so feeling horribly tired and shakey I missed out on an action packed day, and stayed in bed. Which was exactly at the point where my mind decided to start thinking about just about everything... cue tears!

I'm happy to say that after a good cry, a chat with Papa (God) and some supportive words from some of the most important girls in my life, I'm feeling happier and more content. 

But reading the words of the beautiful, amazing Audrey Hepburn. (Who, I once dressed up as... Ala, Breakfast at Tiffany's) gave me even more hope. 

Facebook is probably the worst for self esteem, it's easy to get caught up in a cheeky facebook stalk, and instantly compare all your flaws to the girls who don't seem to have a sing;e bad picture tagged of them, or look at everyone's relationship statuses as justification that you are the only single person in the whole world (an irrational crisis I had earlier this week) but actually, all these things aren't helping us to beautiful, self- (not arrogance) and happiness is sexy. Let's be honest, who really wants to be with someone who can say.. Yeah, she's pretty but... she's miserable all the time and boring as sin. Not me, thank you!

So isn't it time we actually stopped worrying so much? I'm not saying don't make an effort, I'm all for not being able to leave the house with mascara and have recently become attached to my pale pink lipstick. But make an effort for yourself, for your happiness and confidence. If you feel most confident in the baggiest trackies, zero make up and hair scraped back. Then go girl! I'm impressed! 
But just be happy, be strong, be confident. 
Be a woman! and go get them!

and finally, in the words of Audrey, sung by Fleetwood Mac and more recently by Glee:
Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don't stop, it'll soon be here,
It'll be, better than before,
Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone.


Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A Beautiful Mind or A Beautiful Heart

"It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reason can be found. I am only here tonight because of you " - John Nash, A Beautiful Mind (2001) 

So, last night I watched A Beautiful Mind for the first time and I think it might now be one of my most favourite films. Afterwards, we discussed just how incredible the main character, John Nash's, (played by Russell Crowe) wife is. 
A Beautiful mind is based on the true story of genius, John Nash who is later diagnosed with crippling schizophrenia (note, he is NOT a "Schizophrenic. as with an illness it's a diagnosis not a label". 

His wife, Alicia stick by him, regardless of his anger, delusions, depression, lack of sexual function, nearly drowning their baby, hurting her and ultimately acting completely unlike the man she fell in love with and married. 

This got me thinking, isn't that the sort of partner we could only hope to be?
I remember once being told that the "litmus" test for a relationship would be if you could stay with someone after crippling illness or accident, if they were paralysed and potentially, there would be no recovery. Life would be changed completely.
My mum once nearly had to make this decision, when my step dad was in a horrific motorbike accident, we thank Jesus that he lived and nearly four years on, you wouldn't ever know he'd had an accident. But it's got to be a haunting moment right?

I give enough Kudos to the boyfriends who have dealt with my depression, one of whom stuck around from 6 months after diagnosis, for a further two years. Even now, he's one of the only people who can understand what I'm trying to say when I'm crying too much to talk properly. When I think about how I can be at my lowest, I do have the most intense respect for anyone who can stand by and deal with that, particularly if it's something they have never experienced before or had the opportunity to understand before. 

But schizophrenia is just so much bigger then most cases of depression, mine included. It genuinely made me wonder if, when I finally meet the one, I could stick around and support. If I could go against medical judgement and allow my mental unwell husband to stay in my house, around our children. Encouraging him to keep trying and pushing himself each day. Never knowing if the symptoms could arise their ugly head again, to put us all at risk. 

But ultimately, isn't that what a love between a wife and husband should be. Husbands are instructed to love their wife's as Jesus Christ loved the church, i.e. Unconditionally and it only seems right that wife's love their husbands to that extent to. 

Right now, I can't answer if I could stay and sit it out, as Alicia Nash did and still does. I can only hope that I never have to answer that question, that it will remain a rhetorical question at the back of my mind. 
For now though, Alicia Nash will become one of many female inspirations. I hope my heart, can be as beautiful as hers. 

"Perhaps it is good to have a beautiful mind, but an even greater gift is to discover a beautiful heart"- John Nash (deleted scene) 

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