Things That Annoy Me: Not Being Able To Let Things Go

couple holding up a picture frame in the garden

I’ve planned some blog content for the next few months but following a particularly aggressive rant about a lady who tutted at me over the weekend, I’ve added another series: things that annoy me. Trust me, there’s a lot of things.

Some are serious, some are seriously silly – but here’s my space to shout about it and come to terms with those irritating bits of life, without chatting Will’s ear off.

Let’s kick things off with a bang with…not being able to let go of things.

It’s one of the qualities I dislike most about myself because I find it so hard to move past things. Something could have happened years ago: a conversation, an action or incident buried deep in the past and I’ll still muddle over it and consider what could have gone better, what the correct outcome should have been, what I should have said.

Let me give you some context to how far back this goes

We were in primary school (I’m talking year five) and my brother was in year three. There was a massive campaign at the time on road safety for children, and schools brought in reflective teddies for every pupil in the UK to put on their bags. As we lined up to get them, my brother got to the front of the queue and was told by his teacher he couldn’t have one because he had apparently been naughty that day. Oh my god. I’m nearly 30 and I’m still so cross. The INJUSTICE! You’re telling me that EVERY child is entitled to this item that will likely help them be seen and NOT GET RUN OVER, but you want to be petty about it. You, a grown teacher? I think I gave him mine in the end, but I STILL think about how I should have handled it, despite the fact I was a literal child.

More recently, a situation within a close friendship group was mishandled and now, unfortunately is completely out of hand. Other people got involved without knowing the context which made things worse, and now so much time has gone by, it’s unlikely that this rift will ever be fixed. Despite this, yeah you guessed it – I can’t let it go. I move through emotions of anger, frustration and pity before ending up with crippling anxiety on a regular basis.

Why can’t I let things go?

I often ask myself this. Some people seem to breeze through life looking forward and we are often told that we shouldn’t dwell on the past and to stop worrying about things we cannot change.

I read this blog which told me: “Letting go is releasing all doubt, worry, and fear about a situation, person or outcome. It’s releasing anything that disrupts your happiness and no longer serves you on your journey”.

Oh man, I WISH I could. Like literally bye, girl, bye. But they’re still there in my skull, pushed up against all my lovely moments, my future goals and dreams.

I ain’t got room for them all so they need to vacate, sharpish.

I’m hoping that over the coming months, I’ll be able to begin releasing the grip I’ve got on things in my past. I’m starting therapy and am also working with a couple of bangin’ babes on mental wellness. I aim to:

    • Focus on things I can control
    • Differentiate between ruminating and problem-solving (guilty)
    • Create a solid plan to manage my stress
    • Develop healthy techniques and affirmations to manage and control my anxiety

If I’m able to do any ONE of these things, I will be amazed. You know when you’ve lived a certain way for so long you can’t see it changing? I hope I can though. I’m sick of lying awake at night thinking about that one person said to me in 2004, or the way I handled a situation six months ago.

From the blog above: “The present is all we have. We can’t go back and fix the past, and what happens in the future isn’t here yet. We must make an effort everyday to remember that and allow ourselves to open up and enjoy what is unfolding right in front of us: all parts of the journey both easy and hard, good and bad.”

Can you let things go? Let me know how you do it!

The Blog – Eight Years In Review

millennial pink balloons with watermelon

When I started this blog, the Instagram we know today was barely a twinkle in its father’s eye and being an ‘influencer’ wasn’t even a thing. We had celebrities and that was your lot. We kept up with them via red-tops, or if they had a documentary out – I’m looking at you Katie Price.

Ella In The Big City was started on WordPress with an in-built blog theme, of which you could choose from about five and I had great fun with it. I was proud I had my own platform to say what I liked, even if I was talking to nobody – because trust me, no one was reading it. 

Remember, this was back when Twitter had about ten members, one of which was me, all screaming into the void.

Nowadays, whilst I have a lovely audience of my own, my platform is swamped in an oversaturated market. Voices louder, better and more intelligent than my own surpass me and other people with their highly-curated ‘Personal Brand’ and large Instagram followings get book and brand deals.

I am not complaining, dude. It’s just the way of the world. I’m proud that I settled myself in for the ride many moons ago and am not hanging on the coat-tails of those who went before me. I was there before them. 

I hope to still be pissing about with words long into my old age. Did you hear? I’m getting on for 30. 

Although I’m sorry to say, in recent months I have neglected my corner of the internet and have starved it of my own words and thoughts, except for accepting some paid sponsored and contributed content. God, I am such a sell-out! I hate myself for it, I promise I’ll make it up to you.

Saying sorry to your readers or viewers for not posting in a while is something I actually find low-key cringe. Like sis, no one cares that much. No one is scanning your blog and lamenting you, cursing your name to the moon for not posting a shit shopping haul no one asked for.

But I am. Sorry, I mean. 

Life has moved too fast for me over the last few months. My entire psyche and direction I thought I was going in has changed. The headspace of the world slowing down meant that I have been able to grow a seed of self-belief and actually get on with things.

Published freelance journalist? Completed it mate. Joking, it’s a game you can never complete. Pitches are life. I’m in the club now.

I’m making the move to set myself up as a company. I mean, how crazy is that!? A few short years ago I was sitting in one of those sound-proof telephone booths in a co-working space, trying to catch my breath in the midst of a panic attack. Good one Ella, box yourself in whilst you’re feeling boxed-in, that’ll help.

Anyway, the reason I FELT so boxed-in and panicked was because I thought I’d led myself down a certain path and that was IT. I cried every night for about three months solid because that’s just the kind of person I was back then. I didn’t realise holes could be climbed out of.

They can be.

Look, I need to go because I’m tapping away and getting serious Caroline Calloway vibes from what’s coming out of my brain. Am I channeling her? Who knows, maybe. 

I promise I’ll stop being such a sell-out on the blog, write more interesting things; show you some published bits that you can be proud of me for. In return, I ask for nothing but your continued support, your wonderful cheerleading when I’m up and especially when I’m down

I seriously, seriously love my life and that’s not something I ever thought I’d say, especially back then. 

And I love you.

Ex

5 Top Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Venue

-this post has been contributed-

Getting married is one of the biggest adventures of your life – it’s a fulls day of romance, and celebration. Choosing the right venue is one of the most important aspects of your planning. You might already have an idea of where you’d like your wedding to take place, or perhaps you’re undecided. Either way, these five top tips will ensure that you make a well-informed decision.

Consider your budget

When you’re planning a wedding, it’s important to carefully determine the budget of each different element. When you’re feeling excited, it’s easy to get carried away and end up blowing the budget! Of course, you want your big day to be perfect, but if you commit to a venue that you can’t afford, you’ll only end up getting stressed out. One of the best financial tips for planning a wedding is using a financial app. Popular apps include Spendee or Mint. Good Budget is also a great financial app, perfect for couples in particular. Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great wedding venue. Your wedding decorations (or theme) will enhance the space.

How much space do you need?

When you are choosing your wedding venue, it’s vital to choose an appropriate venue size. Choosing a huge venue for a smaller wedding will leave the building feeling empty and negatively affect the atmosphere. On the other hand, a venue that’s not quite big enough will create an environment that’s cramped and stressful. It’s best to have a solid idea of how many guests you’ll have before you start shopping around. That way, the manager of your venue can make the correct recommendations.

The best location

Location is everything when it comes to wedding venues. You need to consider where your guests are coming from, how they will travel there, and if there are suitable hotels close by. Rural locations are often beautiful, but if your guests aren’t able to get here, this will likely affect your decision!

Take your time 

It’s important to take your time when you are looking for a wedding venue. Shop around and see several different options before you make a choice. You might be worried about the venue getting all booked up, but if you rush your decision, you could end up regretting it. With careful decision making you’ll be sure to get everything on your wedding wish list.

A great wedding planner 

Above all, it’s vital to choose yourself an amazing wedding planner to support you with your wedding planning. Choose a service with plenty of experience; your wedding planner should be able to give you advice on everything from the venue to the catering, the theme, and the dress. Take the time to look over the weddings that your planner has been responsible for in the past. Write down all your wedding-related questions, so you can ensure that this wedding planner can meet all of your desires.

Things Your Wedding Guests Have On Their Own Wishlist

pink and coral drapes on bamboo chairs on a wedding aisle

Your wedding is primarily about you and your soon-to-be husband or wife. However, the biggest thing I worried about (and still am!) in the lead up to our wedding was the guest’s wishlist and their comfort. Will they enjoy it? Will they LOVE it? 

Thanks to COVID-19, I still don’t know the answer to these questions, but there are a couple of things I know our guests will definitely want.

A Well-Stocked Bar

A given on any wishlist, especially with our friends. It’s not for everyone, but drink, especially in the UK, is an integral part of any wedding day. Whilst it’s less common to have an open bar – which is more of a US way of doing weddings, making sure there’s one in sight and ready to go is very important. For any of our guests reading – don’t worry, we gotchu.

A Selfie-Booth

Picture Blast photo booths are finding their way into more and more weddings. Photo booths are a great ice-breaker, are a lot of fun and provide guests with a memento of their day immediately that aren’t the official, edited shots. 

Lots of Delicious Food

This is super important. When we first started planning the wedding (I’m talking early days), we planned to go super simple to try to cut costs slightly. We quickly realised that this would be a huge mistake as whilst we may save a few pounds, we’d be cutting corners and our guests would not only be starving, but also may not have a great lasting impression of our day. To make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible (and to soak up that booze I mentioned), lots of food on offer is a must. Whether that’s a sit down meal, buffet or canapes – your guests need feeding. Don’t forget you need to eat too – it’s tiring work getting married.

A Selfie-Booth

Picture Blast photo booths are finding their way into more and more weddings. Photo booths are a great ice-breaker, are a lot of fun and provide guests with a memento of their day immediately that aren’t the official, edited shots. 

A Creche For Kids

We didn’t go for having children at our wedding – barely any of our friends have them and it was just easier to have an adults-only event. However, some people have large, extended families and many children who waddle down the aisle as flower girls, or cute little page boys. When the party gets started, you may need someone to handle the children.

For creches to work, you can either hire somebody to attend the wedding to help with the children, or create a guest rota, where a couple of people keep an eye on the children while everyone else gets on with having fun.

An Emergency Kit In The Bathroom

This is probably something your guests didn’t think they’d have on their wishlist, but something that will be a lifesaver for them. I’ve planned to have a little box of ‘essentials’ for any guest emergencies whilst the party is going on. I’m talking hair pins, plasters, paracetamol, deodorant, face powder and tampons. Anything you can think of that will ensure your guests have the best time ever and not be feeling blue about anything except the night ending!

Is there anything you’ve incorporated into your wedding for your guests? Let me know!

Important Things To Do The Day Before Your Wedding

mrs and mrs wedding balloons pink and white

-this is a contributed post-

As you know, our wedding was postponed due to COVID-19. With only eight weeks to go, I was thinking about the final details of the day itself, planning my morning down to the tiniest thing.

When you’re on that final stretch, and only a few short hours away from your wedding day, there are still a few things you need do before you finally relax ahead of this major event in your life. 

If you’re getting ready to walk down the aisle, I have some suggestions for you. No matter how far you are into planning your wedding, remember to add the following to your to-do list for the day before your wedding. 

Check your wedding dress

If there are any last-minute alterations that need doing, it is better to find out the day before your wedding rather than on the day itself. So, try it on again, make sure it feels comfortable, and if there are any issues, do what you can to alter it, or ask somebody else for help.

Call your vendors one last time

If you made bookings with your vendors weeks or months ago, it might be that they need reminding of the details about your wedding. Call and confirm that they are still in the know about what needs to be done, and give them the details they will need, such as the start and expected finishing time of your wedding. Important people to call include the wedding photographer, the caterer, the venue owner, and any drivers you have hired for your big day. Our photographers gave us a great tip of writing up a ‘crib sheet’, with all of the vendors contact details on,  times of arrival, departure, if they’ve been paid or need payment on the day. Give this to a key person you can trust to ensure there’s no hiccups.

Sort out your emergency survival kit

Your wedding day will hopefully go to plan, but in the event that it doesn’t, it is always worth having a few emergency supplies to put in the bathroom, just in case. You might want to include some lipstick, face powder, and hairspray for any beauty-related mishaps! A sewing kit could be useful in the event that there is an issue with either your dress or any that are being worn by your bridesmaids. And in case of drunken injuries or blisters, you might want to include some band-aids, aspirin, and anything else that might be included in a first-aid kit. Your guests will be thankful!

Check the weather

Especially if you’re having an outdoor wedding, you should definitely do this, as you may need to arrange a marquee or other type of shelter last-minute if rain is forecast. Even if you’re not having an outdoor wedding, you might still want to consider an umbrella, a raincoat, and the appropriate shoes to ensure you don’t turn up to your wedding in disarray. Remember to pack the appropriate items if the day is going to be blazing hot too. Sun creams and bottles of water might be essential, for example.

Get together with your family

If you have delegated responsibilities to your family, then it’s worth sitting down with them to make sure everybody knows what they need to do. This is also your time to celebrate the love you have for your family before you get hitched!

I hope you have an amazing wedding day – can’t wait for ours! x