I Overcame My Anxiety and Flew to Amsterdam On My Own // Bloomon Floral Festival

16.8.17
first off, i want to say that i no longer feel embarrassed about the title of this blog post. no longer feel like i need to play it down by saying 'i know it sounds dumb but ...'. we're past that and i know i'm not alone. and whilst there's still a vast percentage of people that may not *yet* understand it; i know most of you reading this will ~ whether you experience anxiety first hand or have friends, family and loved ones who are going through it. i don't feel the need to isolate or patronise anyone by saying 'it may not be a big deal to you' because it's a big deal to so many of us and to be quite honest, i now know more people who suffer with mental health issues than those who don't. all because we're now less afraid to talk about it and share our experiences. it's not an embarrassment. it's not a flaw. oh lord is it a hindrance but there's also the most incredible sense of achievement when you take even the smallest steps to getting through it and actually feeling proud of yourself. in some ways, that's quite magic.

the other week, i set off on my first ever press trip. i got so caught up in the excitement when holly from bloomon first asked me, i forgot about the fact i'd never done it before. navigated an airport alone. gone through security alone. located my gate and sat and waited with what, quite frankly, feels like the eyes of everybody in there when you're a bumbling mess who's forgotten basic skills, like how to tell the time or read a board. i've done this before. multiple times with my family. so why is it so difficult alone? why is the thought of it so difficult alone? i'll admit i did feel slightly sick and on the verge of tears at multiple points throughout my journey. but what else are toilet cubicles, transparent powder and eye drops for? i was a woman prepared. and the best thing is? i survived it. landed. located holly, met fleur and toni and off we went, to meet the rest of the group who were patiently waiting on the rooftop for us late arrivals.

SHOP LOOK ONE


if there was ever a word to sum up amsterdam, quaint would be it. so apologies that it's probably gunna crop up again in a minute ~ we're not quite done yet. our afternoon of exploring took us on a journey around every instagrammer's paradise. at least after sinead, lauren, chelcie and i finally got our bikes on the go ... remind me how many girls it takes to hire a cycle? thankfully, we all arrived back in one piece, despite getting belled at by one-too-many pissed off locals who had no time for our ill-informed sh*t (i feel them). just kidding though, on the whole it was refreshing to be around humans who don't actually hate your guts for breathing (hi london, am chatting about you but still love ya!)

being a homebody (meet liv, the epitome of a cliché cancer who centres her entire world around her little hovel), the zuko hotel provided the ideal amount of quaint to fill that welcoming solace i sought from the uk. cosy but not cramped. modern but not stark, and showing all the right amounts of love, care and attention with added cacti for nature comforts. it was perfect. pinterest-perfect to be precise. 10/10 would return again. if not only for the spinach and caramelised onion omelette at breakfast.

SHOP LOOK TWO



***speaking of food, our lunch on the first day was a work of art. imma let the chickpea fritter, topped with halloumi and cashews speak for itself ...
the flower fields were most probably my favourite part of the trip. which leads me on to share with you my favourite fact i learnt (which you may or may not have seen via my stories). see, not only do we divulge emotional/sometimes embarrassing anecdotes over on liv in fashion, but we're also, at times, quite informative too. did you know that chickens are used to de-weed? at the lily farm, we met some little feathered friends having the time of their lives, munching, sleeping and even sh*tting everywhere, which in turn also fertilised the flowers. what a wonderful circle of life :)

bloomon flowers are received direct from the grower, so where most companies have a middle 'auction' man before they reach the brand you're buying from, these are fresh-to-death bloom with a much longer shelf-life, coming straight from their original source and still filled with that love and attention taken to nurture them ~ special! speaking with the owners of each flower field we visited, it was obvious to see the passion in their words and excitement. there's something so lovely about seeing a genuine desire for a craft shine through. and it helped that the people we met were just god-damn adorable! 

far better explained info about bloomon can be found here, and for all you fellow bouquet novices, who are yet to quite master the art but want to order your first bunch, you may wanna head to this link to read all about the series of summer workshops they're running. trust me, we took part in one, making flower crowns, and i left feeling like a fulfilled flower fairy who had (sort of) found her calling. i mean, i say that but i should probably just stick to fashion and leave it to our expert, anton, who had the patience of an absolute saint.

if there's one thing you take from this post, aside from chicken poo making fabulous lily food, let it be that we need to give ourselves more credit. mental health issues or not, we live in a day and age where our lives are dictated too much by pressure. and less so by passion. we do things because we feel we have to; no longer out of the love we have for them. 

and whilst a huge chunk of this pressure does come from the world around us, the brunt of it comes from ourselves. because we let it. we let it control and consume us, failing to realise that we're actually doing just fine as we are. 

it took one comment from sinead, over a year on from the time i last saw her, telling me she was proud to see me come on this trip, to hit home. 

"a year ago, you couldn't even get the tube on your own and now you're here in amsterdam!"

and with that totally-out-of-the-blue and unexpected sentence, i finally came to terms with how far i've come. finally learned that i'm better at life than i let myself realise. and whilst yes, the breakdowns will still come. and they won't come easy. they're always just one more baby step towards accomplishment.