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Just Another Blog Post

My next blog post was going to about ‘Why I had a Selfish Christmas?’. This was supposed to be written and posted back in January. I even got you guys to do a poll on Instagram about what I should talk about and this is what you wanted. Well, I’m sorry, it’s the end of February and March is literally days away and posting something about Christmas now is pretty much useless/pointless.

If I had myself organised I might have been able to upload a post about my visit to Glasgow Botanic Gardens in November. I’ve written the blog post, I’ve just not had the films developed yet. I should throw that post up as it’s something fun and I shouldn’t worry about waiting for my film negatives to be developed but again I keep telling myself not to post it. (Let me know if you think I should just go straight ahead and just POST IT ALREADY).

But here I am now rambling about why I’ve had zero motivation to do a blog and that needs to change. So instead of it being ‘Why I had a Selfish Christmas’, I’m changing it to ‘I’ve had one of the most positive winter periods in a long time.’ Bit of a mouthful though.

A lot of people are affected from the lack of daylight in winter. Although I haven’t been officially diagnosed as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), I’ve just diagnosed myself with it. I’ve struggled through winter months for years. Usually it’s not always so bad or other circumstances have heighted it. But winter makes me want to turn into a fuzzy little ball, sleep a lot and eat.

This time last year I was severely depressed. I’d only been on antidepressants for maybe a few months, it could have been longer. (I’ve lost track). I’d been self-employed as well, which over the Christmas period was brilliant. But January & February was hell on my mental well-being. Luckily about a year ago I was offered a job working with Wild Leaf, which has dramatically changed my life.

So last year, I was in a pretty dark place, but this year I’ve been distracted. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy and I doubt I’d be able to be cope what I’m doing if I wasn’t taking antidepressants. Maybe distracted isn’t the correct word but busy. Wild Leaf has taken up quite a large portion of my time over the past couple of months. It’s given me something to focus on, rather that dwelling on bad thoughts at home alone.

Other contributing factors to having my most positive winter in years is because David and I are living in our first flat alone together. This move has definitely had a positive affect on my mental well-being. It’s so light and warm, my plants are loving it! It also meant David and I could have our ‘selfish’ Christmas.

I don’t like Christmas at the best of times but this year we decided that it was time to do Christmas alone. Trying to decide which family to go visit, trying to fit in everything around our working schedules it just too much for me to think about. December is pretty stressful for most, and knew that I needed to have a selfish one for my own mental wellbeing.

And you know what? I’m glad we had our own Christmas. It just meant that I started 2019 on a better foot. I was more refreshed, I was looking forward to getting back to it. Now I know that at stressful periods like Christmas I do need to put my own well-being first and will be trying to do same this year.

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Working at Wild Leaf

I know I keep saying this on Insta a lot, but fuck it’s been a crazy year! This time last year I was still part of the Extract Coffee team – never did I think I’ll be working at Wild Leaf. It was honestly only something Octavia would joke about as we dreamt of plant businesses and adventures we’d go on.

So in that time I decided to go self-employed and boy what a mistake that kind of was. It was coming up to Christmas time and I knew I would have to put a lot of focus on the business and knew that working in a fast paced roastery & trying to do LOOF would pretty much kill me. It was already slowly taking a toll on my anxiety and my body (honestly don’t get me started on my IBS through that time, let’s just say it was a bit of a shit time).

Being self-employed over the Christmas period was fine. I was rammed up with weekends of markets and filling the other time with bespoke/custom orders, little did I know how shit the new year would be. Self-employment isn’t the easiest in any field, but my business relies on holidays/annual events.

Those first few months of 2018 we’re pretty terrible and being depressed I wasn’t really doing any work and was spending a lot of time not doing much. You’d think that the impending doom of having to pay rent each month would be enough motivation to push yourself to bring income in through your business. Not when you’re depressed – it reassured my thoughts of thinking I was as useless at starting a business or what’s the point, I’m putting my soul into this and not getting much back.

There were a lot of times when I was ready to give up, throw in the towel. Fuck it, let’s just get a 9-5 and be done with it. But luckily I’ve got some incredible people around me (shout out to Davo) and if it wasn’t for Octavia setting up a meeting between Tya & myself I wouldn’t be working here today.

But Wild Leaf is more than just a job that pays bills. It’s a happy space where I turn into a big child and get to talk about how fascinating plants are to people on a daily basis. I get to be in an environment that I never want to leave (you’ll probably catch me after hours taking photos or getting some admin done). It’s given me confidence in what I’m doing – I’m knowledgeable enough about the plants to really advise people on what would work best to their needs and environment.

Working here has also given me the opportunity to start workshops which, was a goal of mine to do this year. I get to constantly learn about plants and I’m forever adding to my growing collection. I keep falling in love with some of the big guys and end up buying them instead. It’s really helped me as a person, as well as a business and that I’ll always be grateful for.

Thanks so much for reading. Follow Wild Leaf on Instagram here or check out their website www.wildleafbristol.co.uk