Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Hello strangers!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?! I’ve been so busy with life in the real world that I’ve been struggling to keep my poor little blog updated. But here I am two days before Christmas holed up in my boyfriend’s bedroom and making sure that I have some time to up date you all as we come to the end of another roller coaster of a year!

2013 has definitely been a roller coaster, but thankfully with more ups than downs. This is the first year where I have felt that I’ve definitely figured out who I am and where I want to go in life, and that is honestly the best feeling in the world. I know who I am and for once I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in life. I’ve never had that before, I’ve never felt so settled and comfortable in my own skin, and I guess you could say that is down to a few factors. Let’s see what those factors are, shall we?

1. Confidence – This year I made a resolution to myself that I was going to try and be more confident in my appearance and start wearing clothes that I would normally lust after but never actually purchase. I’ve always hidden behind the fact that I’m not really a girly girl in order to get away with not wearing pretty dresses or short skirts, but this year I promised myself that I was going to start wearing whatever the hell I liked, and if people had an issue with that then that was there problem. It’s been a year of bright colours, short skirts, dresses and no shame. It has been such a liberating feeling to go out wearing clothes that I like and not feel bad for wearing them. Sure, now and then I’ll get a comment or a stare, but I don’t care about those anymore. They would have destroyed me a while ago, but now I know that it’s their issue; not mine. I’m comfortable in my skin, I’m happy in my life and what I wear does not define me as a person.

2. People – Being surrounded by loving and supportive people has helped greatly in my journey to self acceptance. I’ve got great friends, a wonderful close family who support me no matter what, a fantastic college class full of a mixture of the most talented and odd people that I’ve ever met – they’ve definitely got me through the first term of college, but more on that later!- and of course, last but not least, I have the love of a good man to get me through even my darkest moments. He makes everything seem safe and that is a wonderful feeling. He’s been in my life for six months now, but it feels like he’s always been there. We’re just two matching pieces of a puzzle, and it feels absolutely lovely to share that bond with someone.

3. Belief – As you all know, I’m not the religious type. But that does not mean that I don’t have a belief system, it simply means that I believe in something a little different from the majority of today’s society. I believe in people, and I think that if more people did then the world would be a much nicer place. I believe that no matter how anxious I feel about something, it will no be the end of the world. I believe that every little thing that happens in our lives happens for a reason. I believe that what is for us will not pass us by, and I believe that it is our duty to grab those things with both hands and make the moments perfect instead of waiting for the perfect moments.

So there, the three things that have made this year my most self-confident year yet. I’m so content with life right now that there are only a few things that could knock me off of this cloud; but I’m not going to discuss them in this post. This post is a yearly roundup and I’m hoping to leave it on a positive note!

So, top ten things that happened this year?

  •  Deciding that life isn’t about what other people think
  • Interviewing one of my idols, Rae Earl
  • Being given my own column in the Konect Directory
  • Landing a job as a photography intern
  • Starting college and learning more and more about photography
  • Meeting Andrew and finding the wonderful love that we share
  • Coffee mornings for DLYG
  • Hitting 5,000 followers on the Don’t Lose Your Grip twitter account!
  • Reconnecting with my oldest niece, Chloe
  • Being proud of the person that I am today

It may not be the longest list in the world, but if I were to go through every great thing that happened this year then I would be here all day.

Over the years I’ve learned that life isn’t about physical things, but in the moments that surround you every day. This year has been full of wonderful moments that I will never forget, and the majority of those would not have happened had it not been for the people that are in my life. The people who are by my side no matter what.

As we come close to the end of the year, my head is full of ideas and hope for 2014. There are a lot of people out there who can’t wait for this year to be over, but to be honest I’m sitting here daring next year to try and be better than this year, and I’m sure it will be.

I want to wish all of you a magical Christmas and wonderful new year when it comes. Keep your eyes peeled for a more in depth update in the new year that will include a run-down of our hopes for Don’t Lose Your Grip and Chrisselle.com in 2014. Things are getting exciting, and I’m so glad that I get to share this journey with you all.

Much love,

Chrisselle xox

Family of The Twenty-First Century

Society changes every generation it seems, and it would look like not only our society, but also our needs and wants as humans are changing. Family used to be what the world revolved around, but with more and more families breaking up and us becoming more and more reliant on our friends – be them best friends from school, family friends or even friends we have met online, there is definitely substance to the saying.

“The family of the 21st century is made up of friends, and not relatives.”

In my case, this is extremely true. Although I may come from a large family, we aren’t the closest bunch in the world. This does not mean that I care for them any less than anyone else cares for their family, it simply means that to me, family simply means that you’re related and share some traits and genes. I, however, am a firm believer in nurture over nature.

I share very few personality traits with my family – and that isn’t a bad thing. It means that I’ve always been known for my individuality and for my ability to think independently, even from a young age. If it wasn’t for my ability to do this, then I wouldn’t have the courage to pursue the things that I do, and always have done. I’ve always thought differently from the rest of my family, and I’d say that this is a sign of nurture over nature.

I was brought up to believe in myself and supported to do what I wanted to do with my life. Whether it was my dreams of being a teacher up until I turned 11, my urge to move to America as soon as I turned 16 or my hopes and dreams of being a writer and a photographer – the dreams that I’m living just now – then I knew that I could always count on my immediate family to back me up.

But, as I grew up and started taking full control of my own life, and the people that I share it with, then that ‘immediate’ family has grown – and not because my parents had more children, but simply because I had this beautiful ability to choose the people that I got to share my life with. I think the best example of this is my relationship with my oldest best friend, Danielle.

Danielle and I have been best friends since we (ironically) met at a youth group for people who couldn’t make friends easily. We hit it off straight away with a day full of laughing and general loveliness and ten years down the line I’m extremely proud to be able to call her my best friend.

The thing is, she’s more than a best friend – she’s a sister. Now, I’m not one for clichés but there is genuinely no better way to describe our relationship. No matter how bad things have got in my life, she’s been one of the constant things there to pick me up and dust me off when I’ve needed it, and she’s not afraid to point out when I’m wrong or being simply ridiculous either, because she knows that I appreciate her honesty and more importantly, the fact that she cares enough to be honest with me, no matter how lovely or brutal that honesty may be.

She’s never once got fed up of my dreaming, and if anything she’s been the biggest support of it. If at any point I start to doubt myself, then she is right by my side to remind me why I’m doing this and the things I have already accomplished. She’s my right arm, and I would be lost without her. She isn’t just my family though, she’s part of my family. She’s been accepted as part of my family by my immediate family, and that makes it even better.

“Blood makes you related. Loyality makes you family.”

Sharing genes does not necessarily make you family; the ability to love and support each other is the thing that makes you family.

I’m lucky enough to be blessed with an immediate family who I love to pieces, but I know that it’s not just because we share the same DNA; it’s because as well as being related, we are friends and we choose to be loyal to each other. My mother and big sister will always be my two biggest inspirations, and that isn’t because I happen to have the same blood as them. No, that’s completely irrelevant. The reason they inspire me is because they are both strong women who have overcome hardship and came out on the brighter side. And, they’re my friends.

Life is too short to spend it waiting on people accepting you for whom you are, or for trying to get on with people that you simply don’t get on with. Spend your life with the people you love, and the people who love you for being who you are.

Nobody should ever feel the need to change any part of themselves for the happiness of other people, the only thing you can do is be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be, and the most important part about being that, is that you make sure you’re being the best version of yourself for you and not anyone else.

Thanks for reading,
C xo

The Story of a Girl

I think that in this day and age, the most important thing that people could learn about themselves is the thing that makes them happy. It sounds so totally cliche and cheesy, but it’s true; Each of us has a purpose and once you find what yours is then you start to stop feeling so lost, because no matter what is going on in your life you will always have that one thing that gets you through.

For me, the things that get me through are writing, photography and doing things with Don’t Lose Your Grip. Being able to make a difference to other people is something that is really important to me, and my friends are always yelling at me for not taking enough credit for what I’ve started, but here’s the thing; I’m just Chrisselle. I’ve never changed from being the overweight 15 year old that I once was.

The only thing that distinguishes who I am now from the person that I still feel like is that I’m more confident in who I am and what my purpose of life is, I know what I want to do with life and I know who I want to be, and that is such a delightful feeling. It’s almost like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and I’m able to focus on making the things I want to happen, happen. I want to be able to tell my kids that they can follow their dreams no matter where they’re from or what the dreams may be, and how can I tell them that if I don’t take the chance myself first? So 2013 is the year of dreams.

This year I am going to be making things happen for DLYG, including holding some small fundraisers around the West Lothian area of Scotland, and then once we have enough I will be planning to hold a charity concert in the summer in order to raise funds for SAMH – Scottish Association for Mental Health. We are currently looking for some bands, and for ANYONE else that would like to help out with fundraising, so if you’re from the central belt of Scotland, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me on Twitter! @Chrisselle_ or @dontloseurgrip and use the hashtag #HelpDLYG!

As well as this happening, I’m planning to at least write two reasonably good stories to consider for publishing and I’m planning to blog more – which is proving difficult considering how busy I am! BUT, I am planning to write about a different topic each week, including book reviews etc. and, there will be a very important post on the DLYG portion of this site very soon, that will include the interview with the incredible Rae Earl. 

I want to take this chance to thank the people in my life that are supporting me through all of this. I am genuinely humbled by just how much these people believe in me, and just how incredibly supportive they are of everything I do. I couldn’t do it without any of you, and you all know who you are. If it wasn’t for the late night chats, the empty bottles of wine, the coffee mornings, and the nights of me forcing you to eat my food I don’t where I would be. You’re the best people in the world and I am forever thankful for your love and support.

Well, this blog doesn’t really make much sense and I’m sorry about that, but I promise that they will get better as the weeks go on – bare with me just now!

All I can say is that life is wonderful, if you make it wonderful.

Diary Of Depression

chrisselle

Well, when I say ‘diary’ I really mean that what this post is going to be about is pretty much how I go about living with depression. A lot of people won’t understand why I’m posting this, or maybe a lot of people who know me (even well) will ask me why I posted it in such a public form. But here’s the thing, I started a platform that encourages people to talk out about their mental health issues, eating disorders and self-harm. If I can’t speak out about my own issues, what gives me the right to tell others that it’s okay for them to talk out about theirs?

Continue reading “Diary Of Depression”

Stand A Little Taller

Life has a its own special way of chewing us up and spitting us out, doesn’t it? 

The past seven months of my life has been some of the toughest of my life. Maybe that’s why I’ve took such a long break from blogging– I find it hard to share the tough things with people. I guess I’ve just grown up in an environment where I’ve had to be strong for others and find it scary to drop that wall enough to allow myself to rely on other people being strong for me.

Continue reading “Stand A Little Taller”

What It Means To Be Living

Hey guys! I know that it’s been a while since I blogged, but that’s mainly due to the fact that the past month or so has probably been one of the hardest, and oddest months I’ve faced in a long time. My relationship ended, two of my uncles became life threateningly ill, and pretty much everything has been against me. But, somehow in all of this negativity; I’ve managed to find myself. And although that sounds too odd for words, it’s true.

Continue reading “What It Means To Be Living”

Shiny Happy People

Hey guys! I realise that it’s been forever since I last updated you all, and for those that are interested a proper update will be coming in the next few days! But for now, I think that I’m just going to spread some positivity by following the #50thingsilove trending topic on Twitter, and converting my fifty things into a blog post. I hope you guys enjoy it, and can maybe even relate to a few of them!

Continue reading “Shiny Happy People”

Day Eight – Dog Days Are Over

I don’t actually know what I’m going to blog about right now, but I’m just going to type what ever come to my mind.. or rather my heart. One or the other, but yeah I have a feeling this could get personal.

I was working on the DLYG Twitter account yesterday when I saw someone tweet a twitlonger of about 700 words, and each one of them was negative about the person that posted it. The only way to put how I felt into words is that it broke my heart.

People seem to have forgot what it’s like to be nice to each other, not only that, but they’ve forgot how to be nice to themselves. Too many people are living their life a certain way just to please other people, be it parents, friends, or other people that are close to them. But, at the end of the day, why should you live your life a certain way to make someone else happy? The only person that has to be happy with how you live is you. The people that really care about you will support you, no matter how they feel about it. At the end of the day, your life shouldn’t affect their’s.

It scares me how many people my age there is that don’t see a way forward, what terrifies me more is the fact that there’s people even younger than me that are so depressed that they only light they can see is suicide.

Life is about living, no matter how hard it can be. It’s about scraping your knees, getting a grass stain on your favourite pair of shorts, it’s about playing in the swing-park even though you’re a teenager. It’s about beautiful sights that you’re lucky to see, it’s about falling in love, it’s about doing what makes you happy. It’s about friends, family, BBQs, and anything else you can think of that puts a smile on your face. Life is about smiles.

Life isn’t something that you’re born knowing how to do. I’m still learning how to live, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I don’t think you ever stop learning really, I think you just learn how to cope with things differently.

Basically, what I’m saying is this: Don’t let someone live their life through you, do what makes you happy and enjoy it. Smile more, laugh more, see pretty sites, kiss with all of your heart, hug like you’re never going to let go and maybe, just maybe you’ll start to see the beautiful things that are left in the world.

Speaking of beautiful things, today I get to see my baby niece. I’ve not seen her in six weeks, now yeah, that may not seem like much to you. But I’m used to seeing her every other day, so you can imagine just how much I miss her! She has this ridiculous way of just making me smile even if she’s screaming about how she wants her pacifier. She’s 10 months old, and what gives her this power is her innocence. She doesn’t know what judgement is yet, and that’s something so pure. She doesn’t care who you are, if you look at her she’ll give you a huge gummy smile and a little giggle.

Maybe that’s what humanity needs? To forget what judgement is and to realize that we’re all human.

Much love and many thanks for reading,
Chrisselle.

I Think That You Are Beautiful

This is just a quick post really, about being home and about friends and family in general.

So as you all know, I recently spent a month in Liverpool. Words cannot describe how much I loved it. You see, Liverpool just seems to feel like home to me. I guess it kind of feels like the place I’m supposed to be. It’s that place where I finally realised that I was growing up. That I was finally becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be.

I love home, don’t get me wrong. I love my friends and family here more than life itself, but sometimes growing up means that there’s going to be a lot of changes. My location and attitude are going to be the only things changing.

I’m so tired of drama, so if you cause any, do expect to be removed from my life. I’ve went nineteen years with constant drama, whether it be family feuds or friends falling out. But right now, I’m so completely happy where I’m going, I adore every single person that is in my life, and I feel completely grateful to have them.

They say that when you find your place, you just know. Well I know I’ve found mine. I may only be young, but people that don’t go after what they want, don’t get what they want. I want happiness, and I’ve found mine. I’ve found somewhere where I can be the person that I want to be, without worrying about who thinks what. I’m happy.

This is going to sound so completely sad of me to say, but I’ve never felt this content in my life. I’m at that place where I know that it doesn’t matter if I have a face full of make-up and cute clothes or if I’m in sweatpants with my hair scraped back. I’m at that place where I’m comfortable with the person I am.

I’m not perfect.. and I don’t claim to be. I have anything but the perfect body, but I’m proud to be able to walk down the street and not care what the person looking at me thinks. I’m me, there’s no-one else on this planet that could fill my shoes, or feel the way I do about the people that make me who I am. I’m not being conceited, I’m being real. I believe that we’re all here for a reason.. and maybe we don’t see that reason, but the people that care about us do. Maybe we’re the reason for them to wake up, or maybe we’re the reason they’re smiling right this second. You can never know just how much you mean to someone, so please never underestimate that.

I know for a fact that a few of you are going through tough times at the moment, and although I may not know all of you personally, I want you to know that if you ever need anyone to talk to, I’m here. You can tweet me @iwrestledahammy, or if you don’t use Twitter you can find all of my social networks on the ‘Networks’ section. I’m more than happy to chat with any of you, whether it be for a casual chat or for some reasurance that everything will be okay. Because trust me, it will be.

I love how I said this was going to be just a quick post, but I realised that I actually have quite a lot to say. I don’t know if any of it makes sense, but I do know that it has to come out somewhere.

Today I spent so much time Skyping with two of my best friends; Angela & Hammy. These two make me ridiculously happy. I cannot wait until Hammy and I fly out to Alabama to spend some time with Angela in exactly 102 days. I’m looking forward to laughter, hugs and roadtrips. Sunburn, sleepovers and soul food. But most of all? Most of all I’m looking forward to spending time with my best friends, with the people that are constantly there for me, no matter what.

Many of you may know that I have a little niece called Isla, she’s the youngest of all of my nieces and nephews. She’s this little adorable being who has the biggest most innocent eyes I’ve ever seen, the cutest button nose that ever existed, and more importantly, she has this smile that makes everything in this world seem perfect. I adore this little girl with every inch of me, just like I adore all of my nieces and nephews. The reason I’m mentioning this is that she’s only 8 months old. She’s got her entire life ahead of her. She’s so happy and bubbly all of the time, and it’s like a breath of fresh air. I hope that she never loses the ability to make everything seem perfect. I hadn’t seen her in over a month, I walked into my sister-in-law’s house and this little girl knew who I was instantly, you’ll never know just how much that means to me. What I want you all to do, is realise something. Realise that you could mean so much, to someone so small.

So basically what I’m saying is that even though you may feel like you mean nothing, you more than likely mean the world to someone. I can gaurentee  that you are the reason someone wakes up in the morning. How can I do that? Because someone has dedicated a huge part of their life to making sure that you’re alive, not only that, but to make sure you’re living. Because trust me, being alive and living are two completely different things.

So if you do one thing this week, make it something for you. Make a decision for you, make the most important person in your life happy; Make youhappy.

I’d also like to thank the incredibly talented, beautiful, Hammy Havoc for the new site design that I absolutely adore. ♥

Much love, and many thanks for reading.
Chrisselle.