April & May | Things are looking up (if “up” comes with a dose of “scary”)

A candid photo of me laughing, stood in front of a wall of flowers

April and May, what an intense couple of months you were.

April is barely a memory to me, this mind of mine having blanked the majority of it out due to sheer stress at all times. I know the facts: two essays to write – one of which being completely rewritten a few days before hand in – and an exam to revise for all in the same week. A summer placement to nervously apply for. Grades from previous essays coming back left right and centre. My brain feeling a constant pressure I attempted to keep at bay. But for the most part, it feels almost like April didn’t happen, this weird disconnection taking over and allowing me to run on autopilot. So there’s not much to say on that month (hence the lack of a monthly update back then).

Well, as stressful as April proved to be, I had plenty to look forward to going into May.

Cue the travels.

Actually, before frolicking into May with mind at ease from lack of deadlines, I squeezed in one small trip amongst all the work. At the end of the month I headed over to Nottingham and met up with a few lovely blogger pals – Charlotte @ Bookmarks and Blogging, Jess @ Read by Jess and Lauren @ Northern Plunderer. Being bookish gals, we obviously fell into the Waterstones and had a good long browse around, before accidentally (but happily) falling into an animal rights protest once leaving the shop. Though the weather proved to be a bit miserable, being able to meet up with other bloggers and have a good long chat has easily become one of my favourite things to do this year, and I can’t wait for the future meetups that are soon to come.

Four book bloggers/booktubers smiling

Jess and Charlotte actually both vlogged the day on their booktube channels too, so if you’re intrigued about what we got up to, click their names (in this sentence) to watch!

So, deadlines passed and freedom finally acquired, May proved to be an exciting month. Starting the month off right, I took a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, visiting good ol’ Shakespeare (or at least his homes) and watching Romeo and Juliet performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company. I actually wrote a full post on this li’l daytrip of mine since it had major bookish relevance, so you can check that out here if you’re interested!

Jump to a week later, and I found myself in London.

Ok, well obviously it wasn’t quite so easy as that. No simple act of jumping was involved, instead a 4+ hour long coach journey there and back. But all I can say is it was 100% worth it. We took a trip to the Tate Modern, wandering around the rooms as if we knew what we were supposed to be looking at and probably being snubbed by the adults who actually *did* know why the majority of those pieces were classed as art, unlike me. Still, a few of the pieces stood out to me, and I can never fault the Tate Modern on being an interesting place to fill time when needed.

A collage of two photos from the Tate Modern, a lit sign saying "the whole world + the work = the whole world" and a painting of a woman

But the purpose of the entire trip was to see Mamma Mia performed at West End, and oh. my. goodness. IT WAS INCREDIBLE. I already adore the movie (who doesn’t love a good singalong?), so seeing a version of it performed in front of my very eyes was just another level entirely. My musical-loving heart had always wanted to see something performed in London – don’t most people? – and I honestly had tears in my eyes at one point, I was so overwhelmed by how amazing an experience it was. The casting was perfect, I was in awe of the energy the cast had, there were added bonus songs that aren’t in the film, and they even performed a few more songs after the show was finished so that the audience could sing along and dance. And let me tell you, we did exactly that. In a really heartwarming moment, a couple to the side of our group stood up and started dancing really enthusiastically, which resulted in a wave effect of us all getting up, singing and dancing with all the happiness flooding out of us. It was such a wonderful feeling, and if I could’ve stayed in my seat and experienced it all again, I would have done. I’m so glad to have had the chance to go, and it’s something that’ll stay with me for a long time ❀

Travels aside, May was a glorious month both in terms of good news and weather. In the second half of the month I received my grades for the earlier mentioned essays and exam, all of which I got good grades for and have proudly passed my first year of uni. A sigh of relief can be given knowing all the stresses were worth it in the end. Not only that, I actually got the summer placement I applied for – my first job!! Though only for a couple of months, I’m so happy that I’ll finally have some work experience, as it started to put me on edge having virtually no experience going into my 20’s. And better yet, I’ll be working as a Communications and Digital Media Assistant, giving me *actual* experience working in the marketing and publicity side of industry, which will hopefully prove helpful when aspiring to go into that side of publishing in the future.

Though I’m super scared to start the placement (hello anxiety, you are not wanted here), I’m hoping June will have me thriving. The prospect of summer looked daunting before, a whole five months of nothing laying ahead of me. But now a considerable amount of that time has purpose to it, and I’ll finally earn enough money to afford a camera for my booktube filming (!!!).

My last free days were spent enjoying the sun, with a bank holiday family BBQ and a trip to the botanical gardens topping off a good month.

A photo collage showing two photos from the botanical gardens, one showing pale pink flowers, the other showing me standing in front of numerous flower bushes

Heading into June, things are looking up. They’re looking scary – the frets over this new placement are unstoppable and it’s taking constant work to stamp my anxiety down. But they’re looking up, nonetheless. Let’s keep it that way.

Until next time,

name

5 thoughts on “April & May | Things are looking up (if “up” comes with a dose of “scary”)

  1. Beautiful photos! πŸ˜€

    Well done for getting through an intense couple of months, and I look forward to hearing of how you enjoy your new job and any other adventures you get up to. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you have had some amazing times Ashleigh. I am so jealous that you went to London to watch Mammia Mia, I bet it was as amazing as you said. I would love to see it on the west end.
    Lovely photos as well and keep up your amazing work with uni. I know how stressful it can be especially with many deadlines and results all coming back, it sometimes feels like your just keeping your head afloat but you can do it!
    x

    Liked by 1 person

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