Category Archives: Books

Emotions are tricky

When I was in high school, I always thought of emotions as
solids. They remained as they were, standing tall and unmoving. Like happiness.
I grew up thinking happiness was a state of being that would remain with me.
Maybe you thought so to, growing up happily ever after.
Emotions are not solids but liquids, they’re fluid. They
move and change every day. We can’t hold onto an emotion, like happiness,
because we have to experience other emotions like anger or sadness, in order to
feel the value of happiness. The feeling of how lucky we feel a moment of complete undiluted happiness.
In order to explain my next train of thought, I have to tell
you I’ve been reading BECOMING by Laura Jane Williams. And with that, I confess
it’s been a while I’ve sat and read for long periods of time, but with Becoming I can’t stop reading. I have to
put it down every once in a while because I don’t want to stop reading it. It
feels precious, like every thought or
emotion I’ve had since having my heart broken at 16 matters. I didn’t think it mattered. Because I was
young. And then I felt it all again at 17 and 19, with the same boy, and it’s
still the same heartbreak over and over again.
The thing about Becoming, is that I was finally told
that being heartbroken mattered. That the period of healing mattered, and that it
isn’t always two weeks and a vodka swig away.
And as I write this I haven’t finished, because I need to
write everything I feel with this book because my lost is starting to feel a
lot like my own becoming. (You can get Becoming
here, on Amazon).
Emotions are fluid. They come and go. There’s nothing you
can grapple on to, it simply flows and flows through your hands. But it
matters. It all matters, even if this mattering only stays for a day, a week or
even an hour. If you believe it matters, then it does. That’s it.
I couldn’t stop laughing when I realised this, the tears
streamed down my face as I slowly went from cackles to quiet chuckles. It felt
like a moment, because it was a moment. It still is a moment.
All of this stuff
I carried with me suddenly became lighter, because it became of importance, of
value. Like, I was no longer even carrying this stuff. It was a piece of me,
like my bones and my heart, not a rucksack on my back.

I think we get caught
up in thinking we both do matter, and don’t matter. It terms of social media,
we want approval or to be seen through likes on a picture. And like, there’s
nothing shameful about it. But we feel this shame. We feel we have to make
ourselves smarter or cooler, when really we’re just existing like other people
are existing and that’s all there is to it.
 There’s work and
peoples lives and advertising, all penetrating our bubble but like. There’s
more than that. There’s sounding wank on the internet because everyone is a
cynic and looking out to make the first laugh, to get retweets and that’s
funny. It is, it is but also there’s talking. And being honest, being open,
having someone listen and reply to you. And you will sound wanky, even writing
this might strike you as wanky but everyone gets wanky. If you cut out the part
of you that goes on about it, you get to the other stuff. The deeper stuff. The
important life stuff.

I don’t mind sounding like a wank, I’m a writer so it goes
in the job description.  
Because that stuff, the stuff
that happens to you? That matters. It does. It comes together and it forms you,
moves parts of you like liquid, rearranges stuff to form this new version of
you. Don’t think it doesn’t matter because some people might not listen or

I think we all deserve to be told our feelings matter, our experiences.
It’s simply the degree in mattering that we should question. It should matter
to us, to the ones we love and who love us in return. But it may not matter to
others, to the strangers or acquaintances but that’s okay. As long as we
believe it matters, then it does.
I think having my heart broken so young, and then so
regularly by the same boy matters. It’s shaped me into who I am and how I see
myself. And since this heartbreak happened during high school (I’m 20) then to
a lot of people it didn’t matter. It was brushed under the carpet, even by me
because I got sick of hearing myself. I got sick of trying to work it all out
when I didn’t yet have the tools to understand.
So it’s Sunday and I’m in bed finishing off Becoming and I want you to read this as
a reminder; your experiences, emotions and thoughts matter. They do. You may
think they don’t, because at times the world (and the internet) can be a lonely
place. But you’ve got to remember to OWN your stuff. If you believe it matters,
OWN THE THING. Have confidence in it, because it’s important.

I am so glad I read this book, because I feel like I’ve
finally came to understand my heartbreak matters. I knew, deep down, how much
it had changed me. I was ashamed, because it was a high school romance two
years ago. But it was also my first love. The first time my life became entwined with someone else’s.  And I think
I no longer hold guilt talking about this, because it was my experience and
this is my space to talk about things I wish. I don’t have to want Him back to
talk about it, because I don’t.

I just want to work out my own Becoming.

All my love,

Lou x

Want to send an email? Contact
Twitter; @LouiseRamsay_
Instagram; @LouRamsay_

Today I am 20. That’s two decades of life, or 240 months or
7300 days that I have been living, breathing and growing on this planet. Now
being 20 I’m looking back and asking myself, “well what the fuck have you
I’ve done the obvious as most babies do, learning to walk
and talk. I’ve gone to school, both primary and secondary, as fortunate and
lucky I am to have been born in a first world country. But what has stuck with
me? What have these 20 years of life amounted too?
      1.    STICK WITH
one of the most important things I have learnt, not only at 19, but in all of
my life is to stick with what you love. So much so I have the words tattooed
onto my arm, in the crook of my elbow. Maybe one day I’ll tell the story of
when I received this piece of advice, maybe not. But what I will tell you is
sticking with what you love is important for our wellbeing, as terrifying as it
can be to have only ONE thing in this mad world of choice (thanks Social
Media). It doesn’t have to turn into a job, but it’s something you stick with
consistently and constantly work at.
     2.    Never be
with someone who makes you feel hard to love
Relationships are about commitment and support, as well as
love, in equal measures on both sides.
Being with someone who makes you feel uneasy, who you worry over and who makes
you question things often isn’t what a relationship is about. Transparency
is key; communicate clearly and calmly. You shouldn’t be with someone who makes
you feel like hard work, or hard to love.
Fashion is a funny thing. Trends can get confused with
personal style, so even if Vogue is telling you FLORALS FOR SPRING, wear your
black and white if it makes you feel confident. And you don’t have to wait
until you have that office job to
wear linen shirts and smart shoes, you can rock them at 16. In fact, rocking
them at 16 is super cool, so don’t listen to the mean kids at school.
     4.    First loves
are beautiful, messy things
A first love blows your mind; when it’s reciprocated it’s
indescribable. Remembering mine, the fact the cynic in me didn’t win out is
what really boggles my mind. Dating apps and sites can be fun, but there’s
something about having the very first
you love love you back, it
makes life sweeter. Obviously they end as most things do, but there’s so much
you learn from loving for the first time, like the important of communication
and how deep commitment needs to run.
     5.    MIXING
Mixing drinks just shouldn’t be done, period. And tequila
shots are the devil. I feel queasy writing this, NEXT.
     6.    Home isn’t
always a place
You’ll find more comfort being with people who make you feel
comfortable, than a soft bed in a certain house. I have two homes and it’s
weird to consider two places on separate sides of the country one idea of home. Making home a place you keep
inside yourself rather than a street name and number is the way I’ve tried to
figure it out. It’s a feeling more than anything. My friend  Anna
wrote this piece of homesickness, which sums it up better than I have
so take a look
     7.    YOU DON’T
If there’s one thing I wish I could rewind and do over, it’s
my teenage self at 16 and her attitude to food. It’s frighteningly common with
girls, wishing to look like some advertised girl in our pages of beloved
magazines. You forget they’re looking that way because of hours of makeup and
hair, exercise and a clean diet, because that’s their JOB. You forget they’re
trying to sell you something, because that’s their JOB. And you start to hate
yourself a little bit and envy the girls in the magazines a lot, but it’s their
JOB just like I a have a job and so do you. It’s something they love, which
pays the bill but you don’ have an obligation to Planet Earth to look like
that. Look like YOU; look like you WANT to look rather than what you think you
HAVE to look like. Emma Gannon wrote
this piece I feel sums it up nicely
     8.    Learn about
mental health
Because it’s normal and okay to find out your mental health
might not be in the best place. It doesn’t make you a failure or less of a
person, but it does mean you can try figure yourself out a little more and find
what helps. I wrote this
on what helps me.
     9.    YOU WILL
It can feel all too easy like you’ll run out of time to get
everything you want done before your body clock hits a point of ‘no longer
young’ or as I like to think of it, ‘The Age of Getting Your Shit together’.
Happily I can say there’s no point you have to have every little thing ‘done’
so deep breaths, you’re totally okay. It might not be sorted today, whatever it
is you’re worrying about, but it will come together one day. My friend Katie Oldham wrote this fucking
fantastic piece on growing old,
I recommend you read this girls.

10.Travel is
the best education
The winter before I turned 19 I packed a quick bag and ran
off to London, because life wasn’t going the way I planned. I felt stuck,
desperate to get out a rut so I ran away. I complied a list of things I learnt
once I had came back, which is a pretty nice read, if I do say so myself –
I’m going to Amsterdam next month *screams with excitement* so I can’t wait to
come back with lots of fresh ideas and life moments. My darling best friend
Kris is currently in Australia right now; hearing her talk about the things
she’s done and seeing the change in her is incredible, it makes my wanderlust
grow. Sometimes you forget how little things can be satisfying.

Just because something bad happens to you doesn’t mean
you’re a bad person. You don’t need to punish yourself for the rest of your
days over something, because in life you’ve got to learn about forgiveness.
Forgive yourself for every single thing that’s made you feel like a failure;
it’s a learning curve more than anything else. It’s brave to forgive, not
cowardly. Selflove is important, because small things go a long way. I’ve had
to learn to make peace with my past; it gets dragged around with you if you
don’t say goodbye.

12. You’re still
a girl with short hair
Growing up in a Disney Princess mad age can mean your
perceptions of what makes you a woman can become tangled in what’s being
presented to you. Long hair doesn’t make you better than girls with short hair;
it just means you can have longer dino braids. I’ve recommended this piece once
and I’m going to again, because Katie
just GETS IT
Find empowerment in short hair and fuck Disney for telling you princesses have
got to have flowing locks. Have you SEEN when Mulan cuts her hair off? Badass
as fuck.

Commitment is something so many talk about fearing; I reckon
it’s all about finding the right person and deciding ‘yeah you’re a good egg,
I’ll keep you’.  Relationships aren’t
just for the romantics; the relationships you have with your friend and family
need constant work to keep them strong. It’s amazing how one small text message
can perk someone’s day up, so don’t overlook it. It sounds so bloody simple,
but it’s the action which is important. 
Plus it’s nice to be nice isn’t it? Just remember people have their
lives going on too, it doesn’t just start and stop when you talk. Make sure you
both have an understanding and life will go swimmingly.

14. Sleep is
There is nothing fun about living on energy juice or coffee,
even if you get a bit of glee managing to live on tiny amounts of sleep. I know
this all too well being a student and I’m envious of high school Lou for
getting as much sleep as she did, with as little stress as she had. Exams but
barely any coursework? *shrieks* FREE PERIODS? I’ll take them back. One of my favourite writers Beth Norton
posted this the other day and I’m taking her advice to herself, for myself.

Girl hate. It never seems to end does it? Be it the bitchy
tweets on Twitter or the Facebook posts of “I’d just like to say…’, girl hate
seems to be everywhere. I forget the world isn’t my carefully cultivated
Twitter following, where girls are celebrated frequently and happily. I love
how many strong women I follow, who are proudly supporting each other. But girl
hate can be internalised if you don’t notice it. Are you hating on the girl on
the street? I sometimes do, so does that make me a bad feminist? Read this for
the reveal

16. Be patient
with yourself (and other people)
It can feel like a race to get everything done, because
everyone else on social media seems to have the Best Life Ever all the time.
Suffering from FOMO? Probably likely, but there’s no point trying to be like
the girl on your phone screen or work towards getting the things you you DON’T
want, Instagram just makes you think you do. Like detox teas or those shoes which always manage to make
their rounds every once in a while. You know the shoes, because everyone and
their mother has them. I liked this piece by Gemma Styles all about that Fear of Fomo

My mother hates tattoos, I adore them. Can you see the clash
already? It’s quietly there, the elephant in the room but I won’t ever stop
liking tattoos. Sorry, loving tattoos. Just make sure you
get them done well, because a crappy tattoo is with you for life. I screamed at
the standing price of most tattoo parlours, but it’s with you for like, so it’s
better to invest innit? (Please little brother read this and don’t get someone
to tattoo you in a garage).

18. There won’t
be a day everything is just stops
I admit it. I thought, as dumb as I am (though I prefer
naïve), one day everything would just settle down and be it. Nothing dramatic, nothing mad or important. There would just be
this moment everything would stop and I would be left to simply be. Life isn’t like that, oh man oh man
life isn’t like that. I will never have a moment at 45 and think ‘okay life is
down and dusted, everything is as it should be’. Life is constantly reinventing
you, even if you don’t clue yourself in. So I guess I’m making peace with the
fact working, simply being, is something that’s never going to judder down to a
slow stop like the old trains do, or your grandparents car. It just keeps on
going. Duh Lou.
Do I even need to explain this one? It’s probably the best
moment 2016 will see. If you treat your passions and work like Leo treats his
you’ll get the recognition you deserve one day. Hey you might even have most of
the Internet behind you when it happens? Self belief is important
[Edit] As I wrote this, not sat at my laptop Monday morning,
but in my head as I walked to the train station in the warm sun, I was struck
by one terrifying thought. My whole
life is in my hands.
It’s true, of course it’s true and I want to bellow it
from the rooftops. Your 20’s are your ‘selfish years’ – the years you do the
stuff you want without thinking about the concequences. They are the years you
form into a Proper Adult. My 20’s might be my ‘selfish years’ but I’ve got 20
years behind me already, grown and moulded to be the person I am right this
second. I think I started those
selfish years the morning I turned 18, I just never cottoned
on to it. I was finishing high school and my life, both future and past, were
sitting in the palm of my hands quivering with anticipation, wondering “what
will she do next?”
10 years have amounted to having my heart broken, breaking
the boundaries in my head of ‘things I can’ and ‘things I can’t, relearning my
perception of the world time and time again, especially since moving away from
my seaside home town. It’s been two years since I’ve left school and it’s flown
by. To think 10 years ago I was dancing around claiming to be an adult by 10,
when I’m 20 with no clue what ‘adult’ means to me. 20 felt like something that
wouldn’t happen to me, in the naïve way Joey Tribbiani thinks he’ll never turn

I test the word twenty in my mouth, trying to get a feel for
it, tossing it like a piece of chewing gum as I think. 20. It sounds weird, not
wrong, just weird. 20. It sounds
right, It sounds like a lot of fun. It sounds like I’m settling down into the
person I’m meant to be.
If you’ve read this far, God I love you a lot. Thank you. I
feel like I have so much to more to say, but it’s too much and not enough at
the same time. I’m in mourning of the age I’ve loved the most, the decade
that’s past me so bloody quick.
But here’s to the next decade. I can’t wait to see how it
All my love, as always,

Lou xxx

Want to send an email? Contact
Twitter; @LouiseRamsay_
Instagram; @LouRamsayX

As I’ve hinted on the blog (or more like stated over and
over again, that you’re probably getting sick of it. Soz bout it), the past
year I’ve gone from lost girl with no clue what she wanted, who she is or how
to live, running around London hundreds of miles away from her family for no
reason other than escapism to sassy female who isn’t afraid.
Now I know my sh*t. And now I AM the sh*t, god girls and
guys, it doesn’t half feel good to feel confident in yourself.
So here are a few things which helped me feel more secure,
confident and powerful. I hope they help you too!
 1.    Knowledge
is Power

 So this sounds a bit like I’m trying to entice you into
becoming a ruler of the Galaxy and get you to embrace the force within,
but honestly you never stop learning. You can finish high school thinking you
know all there is to know from passing some exams, but every day you have the
potential to educate yourself more. Being uneducated in the modern world when
you have the opportunity (which you very likely will being able to read this)
is kind of like pretending to be poor when you’ve got £100,000 in the bank. It
doesn’t add up. So really, you should take the time out of your life to read
more, watch some documentaries and think. Really think about stuff, and not just
what someone said in the break room or the latest gossip rag story. That’s
fluff that won’t get you forward. Really invest in yourself.
And when I say get educated, I’m not saying go study Austen
or the Old Masters at length before bringing it up in the pub on a Friday
night. No, I’m meaning learn more about human rights (that’s LGBTQIA+, women’s
etc) and the things we as a team can improve on. Become more aware of sexuality
and gender, racism around the world and how some things you say can be harmful.
This isn’t me attacking you, it’s me sparing you being attacked. There’s no
reason not to want to be a better human every day. Spread a little love huh? Oh
and if you do want to chat Old Masters and Austen, go for it.  Just make sure it isn’t when the footie is
2.    Feminism

2015 was a big year for progress, and feminism was front and
centre. Brands were jumping on the girl power and feminism train like it was a
trend, and to a point it was. But knowing your worth as a girl is super
important and wont go out of style like pink eyeshadow or skinny jeans. It’s
here to stay, because it’s part of you as a human being, you are as
worthy as a guy and you can do a lot of cool sh*t girls. Realising this,
getting it ingrained into your mindset is super important to becoming more
confident and powerful. In moments of doubt, like ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I’m
pathetic because’ try working backwards to why you’re thinking it. I can
guarantee once you start thinking about it deeply, you’ll be able to shake
yourself out of the negative mind-set and move forward positively.
by Sophia Amoruso
“A #GIRLBOSS is someone who is in charge of her own life. She gets what
she wants because she works for it.”
#GIRLBOSS is a book I cannot recommend enough to anyone feeling
hopeless over their future job prospects; it’s straight to the point, blunt and
ballsy. Sophia doesn’t fuck around – she’ll point out the things you haven’t
paid attention to and call you out on your bullshit. This book gets you off
your ass and working. I was glued to it the day I picked it up, missing out on
meals and the sun setting because I couldn’t.stop.reading. With self help
books, it can be too soft, too positive, too fake but #GIRLBOSS makes you
realise you can do anything. You can change your life one day and never look
back; all it takes is getting up and DOING it. Sophia’s story of setting up Nasty
Gal is admirable and really connects you to your own passion, as unlikely as they could be.
   Want to feel
powerful, capable and well… like a boss? #GIRLBOSS is for you. Don’t be scared.
Just pick up and read. “You’re going to take over the world, and change it in
the process. You’re a badass.” 
Because there is nothing more satisfying as a girl than being told you’re a
total badass, able to make up your own rules and throw the punches.
  4.    Big Magic
by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic made its rounds on social media, with almost every
blogger gracing their Instagram feeds with this colourful book. And it was for good reason.
 For those who might not know, Elizabeth Gilbert is the woman
behind EAT PRAY LOVE. Yeah, that movie with Julia Roberts in it eating gelato
and ‘finding herself’. *Fun Fact* it’s the movie I watch when I’m feeling
particularly worthless slash being plagued with wonderlust.
  Anyways digressing.
Big Magic is the book every creative soul needs, especially if you’re in a rut.
We human beans overthink and overcomplicate things like CRAZY. You one of them?
Yeah? Grab Big Magic and thank me later. Never has a book calmed me, pointed
out the obvious we all overlook and get me thinking positively about
writing/creating stuff I really want to create but for some reason fail to
follow through. It’s a good kick up the ass we all need from time to time.
The way I see it, we’re in a maze and can’t see the exit because everything
looks the same. Big Magic is the person overlooking the maze with a clear view
of which corners to turn the right way. It’s the direction you need when
you’re lost. Don’t think you overthink and overcomplicate? No? Ok you’re in denial, go grab Big Magic and
have your world turned upside down. Or is it turned the right way round for
once? Who knows.
5.    Short
Hair Fun

For a girl, getting your hair cut is dreaded. We’ve watched
so many Disney movies that the idea of short hair makes us think we’re further
away from being a beloved princess, and more towards a troll doll. But last
March I turned 19 and decided the whole short hair thing wasn’t something I had
to save for a truly terrible breakup, took the dive and lost 6 inches of hair.
I cannot recommend enough you do the stuff you want to do
with your hair suddenly, randomly and happily. Was I scared shitless? Errr yeh.
But the moment my hairdresser told me to stop being baby and look in the
mirror was WOW. I felt like I was looking at the real deal me for once, not the
crappy high school people pleaser. Going short is what I identify as my
first step towards really loving myself. Saving short hair for the bad breakup
reinvention? PU-LEASE. We don’t need boys being crappy to rock the Posh Spice
bob. We just need confidence. THIS piece explains it in words I can’t even
describe. READ girls! And give my girl +Katie Oldham a follow, a thumbs up and a gin for creating one of the many beautifully written pieces I’ve read during this journey. 
6.    Exercise

I know, I know all you read on this positive posts is
healthy diets and exercise blah blah blah but seriously, I’ve never felt better
than I do when I’ve finished a run. 
After I went through first year uni, I had Freashmen Fifteen’ed like a
motherfucker. There was no escaping it, heck I was eating packets of biscuits
as meals, can you imagine? All that sugar and no working out? Ugh I don’t know
how I did it; I can’t even eat biscuits or anything really sugary now. Not even
cocktails, they’ve got to be sour and bitter than sugary and sweet.
  I worked out during
summer for something to do, mainly doing spinning classes, which make you feel
invincible as hell. Seriously, you feel like you can’t make it half way through
the class but once it’s finished you’ll want to fight in boxing matches and
race Usain Bolt. They’re incredible. Once I started second year uni I picked up
running again after two years barely putting one foot in front of the other, unless it was to the fridge or the TV remote. I couldn’t sleep after finishing
late shifts at the bar I work, so I just started running late at night as a way
to get rid of pent up energy and help me sleep. Then when I would miss out
running a week or so, even three days, I felt really anxious so running became
a fixture for me. Now I run every two days and it’s the best thing ever. I feel
more alive, more productive and stronger than ever. In July 2015 in ELLE UK,
Ellie Goulding spoke of how much she loved working out – “as a woman, keeping my
body healthy and strong is really empowering. My legs could be slimmer, but I
love them because they are strong
   Reading that just
struck with me, because after all the crap we go through in our lives, don’t we
want to be stronger? More powerful? I mean you’re reading this now because you
want to be, so why not up your workouts to beast mode and really challenge
yourself? Become a #GIRLBOSS, grit your teeth and get on with it. No mucking
around, really get into working out and be proud of yourself. And that’s not
even touching on the aesthetics of working out regularly. That speaks for
7.   Company

I know this is a long post and be now, you kinda want me to
hurry up and finish. But this last point is super
important. Without good company, you will feel lonely and sad. There’s no
two ways about it; everyone needs the help of other human beings to become
better humans. We need people to challenge us, support us, talk back, argue,
agree, discuss, cry, laugh and dance with. With good company of other
like-minded women you’ll feel more confident in yourself and supported.
  Support your local girl gang, compliment your fellow women, help out
your girlfriends and give a hand to the stranger on the train. One of the most
amazing things we have, you and me, is the power of being a woman. We
understand women, we know how to help and the bond we have with each other is
indescribable.  We are our first team and
we can’t go all Troy Bolton on each other. We’ve got to bring each other up,
more powerful than ever.

 This isn’t to say my life is perfect and everything is warm sunshine mornings and stress free Mondays. God no; but I’m better than I have ever been in my whole messy, emotional life. These things are just what I’m putting towards you as strongly advised suggestions. I think they helped and they’re worth a whirl.
Thank you for reading this far. All the love,

Lou x

Want to send an email? Contact
Twitter; @LouiseRamsay_
Instagram; @LouRamsayX