Hi, Friends, I’m Back

As I sit here, watching Jeremy Kyle on catch-up TV, with a mushroom and ale pie cooking in the oven and a cup of tea in my hand, I couldn’t shake the guilty pit that was building up in my stomach. My beloved blog, where have I been? All of my lovely readers, I’ve treat you so badly. Don’t for a second think that this came easily. Every single day I think “Is today the day? Do I have time?” and since Valentine’s Day, the answer has always been no.

Blog Stock Photos Camera and Flowers

I have reasons though, so let me explain.

I’m in the final two months of university. As you can imagine, all of my deadlines and exams have come crashing down. That’s not my issue though – I work so well under pressure and I’m great at what I do. The work isn’t the problem. What I’m struggling with is the lack of passion I have left for the whole degree and any prospect of going into this field of work after graduation makes me feel sick. I hate it. Believe me, it’s incredibly difficult to put your heart into working hard on something when you hate it so much.

Silver lining? I realised what I actually want to do for a living. I’ve always known, but I didn’t believe it would be possible. I want to be a photographer. Always have, always will, and I finally think it’s in my reach. I remember debating whether or not I should study photography at university, but I was met with laughter. Being easily influenced by other’s opinions of me, I gave that dream up. However, last year, I set up my own portrait studio at home and I’ve been steadily and happily growing my clientele ever since. I love every second I spend with a camera in my hand. The problem is that I have a hard decision to make – follow my dreams and make very little money after graduation, placing a lot more pressure on Matthew to get a job that supports us both, or follow my degree’s career path, be incredibly unhappy and make a lot of money. Happiness or money?

During my year in industry at university, I spent my time as a software developer for a company that builds software for the fire service. The work was fine but the environment was soul destroying. I broke. My whole mental health was shaken and I’ve never been the same since. It’s been over a year now and I still fight daily. Honestly, I don’t think I could do that again. This is horrible to admit, and I’m sorry, but I wanted to die. I’ve never felt such pain. I’ve been getting better and I don’t want to go back to that dark place.

If I didn’t experience that, without a doubt, I’d be happy running and dancing and bounding straight into a graduate developer role after university. However, I now know better. On the other hand, if I didn’t have a fiance, a home, two precious fur babies, a wedding on the horizon and if I had a bed to return to at my parent’s home like a lot of single students, following my dream would be a piece of cake.

Yeah, there’s a lot going on in my head right now. I won’t know which path I’ll follow for a few months yet, so I can’t imagine I’m suddenly going to be back like nothing happened, but I’ll try. With me in the process of creating social media channels and a blog for my photography, my entire social media presence is soon to increase. Maybe that will influence me to write more often, too. I hope so!

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I’m massively sorry that my reintroduction to this sweet little blog was such an unhappy one, but sometimes the truth needs to be told. Getting something off your chest is always a sure way to make yourself feel a little bit better, and I sure as hell don’t feel that guilty pit in my stomach anymore! Honestly, one blog post later, I do feel a lot more excited to be back (again).

How have you been?

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You can read my previous post here.

Currently, I Am… | #10

Hi, friends! Ah, I’ve missed you. It’s been almost a whole month since I’ve shown my face on my lovely little blog, but it’s definitely been well deserved. The first few weeks of 2017 were filled with coursework and university deadlines, so The Rose Quartz had to take a bit of a backseat. Don’t worry though, I thought about you every day!

After that, I had a few days of beautiful nothingness and relaxation with Matthew, before me, him, his brother and his girlfriend went off for a 4-day bender to Butlins for the Giants of Rock festival. That, I tell you, was flipping fantastic and I’ll be talking a lot more about that the next time I’m around! We saw some incredible bands and some really impressive musicians – it was mind blowing, really. As well as enjoying lots of music, the nearby beach was just beautiful. We spent a lot of time walking around and taking pictures – you know what I’m like.

Butlins Minehead

My “Currently, I Am” series is always a great post for when I return from a pretty long break. I haven’t posted one of these since November, just after Trump managed to find his way into an incredible, ridiculous position of power. Coincidentally, this one comes just after his inauguration and the reinforcement that his new found power is taking America down a horribly familiar, slippery slope.

Anyway, let’s not talk politics. Let’s have a bit of a catch up!

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Currently, I am feeling

…oh, well, a lot of different feelings actually. I’m gunna quickly take you through them, otherwise this could go on for a very long time. I’m feeling excited and nervous about my wedding day – I get married in November and there’s a lot of exciting plans to be made! I’m feeling anxious, unprepared and lost with regards to my future career prospects – I’m graduating in the summer, with no passion for my degree or field of work in any way. I’m feeling tired, because sleep is alluding me – that’s probably because of all these FEELS.

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Currently, I am watching

…Daredevil S2. We recently finished Jessica Jones too, which was unbelievable. Kilgrave is one of my all time favourite villains! He’s easily Marvel’s best on-screen baddie. His ability to manipulate people, simply by talking to them, is a really clever way of avoiding “not-another-fight-scene”. Daredevil is also picking up. The first season started off incredibly dull, picking up towards the end. The second season started a little slow too actually, but it quickly sorted itself out and now me and Matthew are both really enjoying it.

Since my last catch up post, Westworld finished too. That was one of the best bits of television I’ve ever seen. Highly, highly recommend.

Currently, I am reading

…The Great Gatsby. Can you believe I’ve never read it? I also recently read Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories which was a super interesting and super quick read. It’s worth it though. The title story was one of the longer short stories/poems in the collection and it actually made me feel pretty sad. Poor, Oyster Boy.

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How have you been? What have you been up to recently?

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Getting Festive in the Studio

Can you believe that it’s the first of December? I still don’t have my Christmas decorations up and I don’t actually see it happening any time soon. For someone who normally has their Christmas decorations up in the first week of November, this is a bit of a big deal!

Despite the lack of festivities in my personal life, my photography studio been been regularly bringing a snippet of Christmas Day into my home.

Recently, I had the sweetest little elf visit for a Christmas photo-shoot, and once you see his little smile, you won’t blame me for wanting to share these with you. With his little pointy ears, his festive cheer and his childish wonder, he brightened up my home. I admit, I did feel a festive twinkle whilst photographing this beautiful baby in his little elf outfit. I’m only human!

The Rose Quartz Photography Christmas PhotoshootThe Rose Quartz Photography Christmas Photoshoot

Once he left and the Christmas props had been packed away, however, all signs of Christmas cheer vanished into thin air and the reminder that Christmas is almost upon us made me cringe. I promise, I’m not always this much of a Grinch. This year has been tough – really, unforgettably tough – so mustering up a bit of happiness for something that 2016 has to offer me is proving a lot harder than I thought it would!

The solution: lots of Christmas photo-shoots!

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If you’d like to have a look at my photography page on Facebook, you have find me here.

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

I’m Getting Married!

Our engagement story is a sweet one. Despite months of hypothetically talking about it, the whole thing was actually a massive surprise to me.

After spending the afternoon of my birthday being pampered with my mum – we both had a massage and our nails done at a salon – I head home to spend the rest of the day and night with Matthew. He met me at the car (with an umbrella because it was raining) and he was dressed up in his fanciest shirt, but I still didn’t realise anything was different. He’s always pretty well dressed anyway.

When I walked into our living room, “our song” was already playing and the cats looked a bit coy – they had new, light purple collars on with bells. Matt didn’t like the idea of dressing himself up without dressing up our girls. I presumed, at this point, that this was just an extra special birthday treat. He handed me a birthday gift, which I opened. It was a beautifully bound, golden edged collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales and poems. As you can imagine, I loved that.

He then passed me another gift. So, I’m sat there thinking ah, no, stop spoiling me! I’m already cooing to the max about “our song” playing in the background. I open up this second present, and it’s a collection of love poems. How adorable… Matthew tells me to flick to a particular page and there, cut open in the centre of the book, is the message “will you marry me?”

I couldn’t believe it. I transformed into ultimate girl-mode and just stared at him – wide-eyed – for an unreasonable amount of time. Honestly, I thought it was a weird joke. We’re a pretty progressive couple, in the scheme of things, and I just presumed we’d one day say to each other “so, we’re gonna get married soon, right?” We were already practically married anyway. This, though, wow. It was honestly one of the most romantic, memorable moments of my life. He put so much thought and effort and secrecy into the whole thing. I knew he loved me anyway, but understanding the time that someone puts into something is beautiful.

I'm Getting Married Engagement News

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After a lot of hypothetical plans and dreams (and two years later!), we recently and finally booked our dream wedding venue. Dream wedding venue isn’t even an over-exaggeration – when we visited, a very long time ago, we didn’t think we’d ever be able to book this place in time for our own wedding. It’s a beautiful country house, a little on the outskirts of our home city. It really is something special.

I'm Getting Married Engagement News

So, it’s official! Me and Matthew will be getting married on the 26th November 2017. I honestly cannot control my excitement and I’ll be talking about this for the whole year.

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Obviously, we’re both so excited! We’ve been planning this for ages and for it to finally be happening is just fantastic. 

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Currently, I Am… | #9

Being back at university is weird! I feel like I have both no free time and lots of free time, you know? As illogical as that sounds, it’s pretty accurate. Yes, I could technically stay in my pyjamas all day and play games, but as a final year student that’s not going to lead to good grades or any sort of rise in self-confidence. I’ve been staying late at university a lot recently, hence the lack of attention I’ve been giving my beloved blog. Once I’m home, sitting in front of another computer screen has been one of the last things on my mind. As you can imagine, a computer science degree involves a lot of screen time.

Anyway, hi friends! Let’s have a bit of a catch up.

Currently, I Am Catch-Up

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Currently, I am feeling

…lots of things, which is generally a good thing! I’m feeling busy and a bit stressed but that’s nothing I can’t handle. I had a wonderful birthday weekend, I’ve had some great marks in my university work from this semester and me and Matt are in full-on wedding planning mode! So, despite the stress, I have lots of good stuff going on.

On the other hand, there’s this giant black cloud hovering above me. The recent news, the terrible news, that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States rattled me to the core. It’s terrifying that this joke of a human being – this monster, racist, homophobic, sexist, rapist – could possibly be granted any sort of power. Yet, here he is. Stay safe.

Currently, I am watching

…well, I’m in the middle of watching quite a few things at the moment, but they all got left behind! Me and Matt started Stranger Things, which we were loving, but after maybe three episodes we got distracted and busy. When Westworld aired, we super excitedly started watching that too. Then, we got busy again… We’ll catch up eventually, I promise.

Currently, I am playing

…Skyrim! I recently bought Skyrim remastered for the Xbox One. It’s my favourite PC game of all time, so having the chance to play it on an updated console with achievements is just a no-brainer. It’s fantastic, obviously.

Currently, I am excited for

…the first thing that comes to mind, our wedding. I’ll be covering this in a post of its own some time soon, but me and Matt recently set our date, booked the venue and put down a deposit. It’s our dream venue. I’m also pretty excited for Christmas, obviously. I’ll be putting the Christmas tree up soon!

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So, what are you most excited for? Do you have any good news?

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You can read my previous post here.

Taking On Too Much

Well… howdy. I’ve missed you, the community and my writing an awful lot. I never thought I’d take a break from blogging but, here we are, almost 20 days later saying hello all over again.

Taking On Too Much

The transition between September and October (and the weeks that followed) was a bit manic, to be honest. After finishing my work placement, a.k.a Hell on Earth, I was quickly reintroduced to the life of a not-so-typical university student. A lot of people seem to think I took a year out of university to get a job, but that’s not the case. Instead of sticking with three years, my degree is made up of four with a year of industrial experience plonked right in the middle – that’s what I was up to last year and, frankly, it was crap. It was obvious I’d never be able to smoothly transition back into my final year of university but, as a whole, it hasn’t been so terrible. It’s nice to be back on my own schedule and it’s really nice to not be surrounded by bullies day in, day out.

Despite that, it wasn’t university that led me to take a break. I just took on way too much, way too quickly.

Being all over-excited that I’d finished my work placement, I instantly began building up my photography portfolio. If you know me at all, you sure know how deep rooted my love for photography is, so I jumped at the opportunity to monetise my passion. I began photographing practically all of the children in my family and, without me realising, I didn’t have weekends to myself anymore. After finding myself completely chuffed with the results, I recently moved on to photographing friends of friends’ children and people I’ve never met before. I’m finding this more of a challenge as I have to maintain an air of professionalism whilst entertaining the children, reassuring the parents and working behind the camera. It’s tough, but I love it. The whole journey has been incredible in lots of different ways – incredibly enjoyable, because I am in love with being behind the camera, and incredibly insightful, because who knew it could be this hard?

With my degree, my photography and all attempts at maintaining this standard of mental health, my much loved blog just fell behind. A day hasn’t gone by without me feeling guilty but taking a break was definitely the right decision.

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Anyway, enough of the excuses. It’s good to be back.

What do you think of the new look? Check out my blog’s home page to have a peek at my new design!

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

Before writing up my 101 Thing in 1001 Days challenge, I didn’t know this list of questions existed. Apparently, they’re quite often found on people’s bucket lists. When I found them, I knew I’d love to complete the challenge one day. Today is that day.

Unlike a lot of question posts, these aren’t digging for your average “about me” answers. They make you think. They make you question things – your future, your past, your happiness. They’re also a lot of fun to answer, which is why I want to complete them.

When I was young and the internet was terribly boring, I used to find giant lists of questions to answer and store them in public memos for my Myspace friends to read. Ah, nostalgia. I’d love to say people didn’t care and people didn’t read them, but they all did… We were all just as sad as each other. Humans are nosey!

Don’t worry, I’m not having some sort of quarter-life crisis. I just thought you’d be interested to see how I answered them! You might also be inspired to take on the challenge yourself.

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

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1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

Either 6 years old or 40 years old, depending on what mood I’m in. If I could actually choose though, I’d be 18. That was probably one of the best years of my life.

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?

For me, failing. I hate failing. I’d rather never try anything new again than fail.

3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

We have to do the things we don’t like because society tells us that straying from the norm is a bad thing. Thankfully, this way of thinking seems like it’s finally starting to fade away.

Life’s too short to miss out on the things that make you happy!

4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

Probably, but that’s because I have so many ideas and so many plans that it would be practically impossible for me to do it all. There’s not enough time.

5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

This is a tough one! I’m conflicted between choosing war, poverty and hunger or equality. I think I’d most like to bring equality to the world. Surely, if skin colour, gender and religion didn’t divide people, the world would be a far more peaceful place.

Also, stop killing the planet, you monsters!

6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

Anything creative. Wow, I’d be absolutely loaded.

7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

Right now, I’m settling. That’s not permanent though. After university, I’m hoping I’ll be brave enough to do exactly what I believe in.

Related: If I Could Do Anything…

8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

I doubt I would have spent 22 years of my life with one simple goal of ‘get an education’. I love education, really, and I’m so proud of how far I’ve come but 22 years would be over 50% of my life!

9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?

Erm, I’d say quite a lot. I don’t really take any shit from anyone. Recently, I’m following a path that I don’t necessarily want to be on, but it’s for the greater good. I know it will benefit my future. Although I dislike the path, I still made the concious decision to stay on it.

10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

Honestly, doing things right. I don’t think I have a problem with worrying about doing the right thing. I’m sure that just comes naturally to me.

11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?

I wouldn’t stand for that. That’s not fair.

12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be kind.

13. Would you break the law to save a loved one?

Of course. Without a second thought.

14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?

Definitely, when I was younger and I didn’t know any better.

15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

The way I navigate socialising (or the lack of it) is quite different.

16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?

This is something I struggle with in real life. Because me and Matt are so similar, when I’m with other people, it baffles me how the things I like are so unappealing to them. It’s weird. That’s humanity for you, though.

17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?

I want to open an animal sanctuary. Money is holding me back.

18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

Definitely not. My future seems bright, no need to look back.

19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

Canada. Everything about Canada is welcoming. It has good health care, fantastic job prospects, an awesome Prime Minister and high social equality.

I’d also consider moving to Croatia, because… have you seen it?

20. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

Nope and nope. Patience, friends.

21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

I worry anyway, so I may as well be a worried genius.

22. Why are you, you?

Because, kids, when mummies and daddies love each other very much, they do a special dance…

23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

Oh, definitely. I’d love to have me as a friend. I’m ridiculously empathetic, I’m a great listener and I’d take all your Instagram photographs for you, because what else are friends for?

24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?

Losing touch with a good friend who lives close by. That’s a choice. That’s rejection!

25. What are you most grateful for?

This is a bit difficult. Obviously, I’m grateful for my health and my home. I’m also insanely grateful for Matthew who’s made me happier than I’ve ever been before, my gorgeous kitties who fill such a void in my heart and my family who still love me even after I moved away from home.

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26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?

My entire life revolves around memory. I photograph everything and keep thousands of mementos simply because I’m terrified about losing my memory. So, this is hard.

Initially, I was going to say I’d rather never make new memories, because letting go of my old, precious ones would be way too difficult. What if I gave up my old memories and then wound up in an accident and died? But, then again, I have a future. I’m getting married soon, I have a full life ahead of me. I can’t imagine not being able to remember it all.

I think I’d rather lose all of my old memories, but I’d be forever heartbroken about it. I’ve had some incredible moments throughout my short life so far.

27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?

Yeah, without a doubt. “Is that a window? Yes.”

28. Has your greatest fear ever come true?

My greatest fear is dying so… no. All of my other fears sprout from this main bad boy, and some of those have already come true.

29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?

Yes, and it will always matter. My heart still hurts to think about some of those things.

30. What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?

Oh, this is a good one! I have so many wonderful childhood memories. I can’t particularly pin-point a specific memory though. All the times we went camping, pinching my dad’s style of music, all the hilarious car journeys, jiving with my mum, making silly videos with my brother… the list is endless.

31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

In one year, me and Matt made the decision to move into our first home together, got accepted into university, got our first jobs, saved up lots of money for a deposit, found a gorgeous city centre flat, moved into our flat and then proceeded to have the best few months before starting our first year of university.

That was amazing.

32. If not now, then when?

On Monday. It’s always Monday.

33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?

You could fail.

34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?

I don’t walk up to people, stare at them and walk away, no. This sounds like it should be one of those romantic questions, but I don’t think it works. It’s just weird.

35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?

Crazy people take things to the extreme. They take their religion, twist it, and make it fit whatever messed up ideal they’re trying to share.

36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?

No.

37. If you just won a million pounds, would you quit your job?

I’d continue until September to finish my internship, but I wouldn’t then quit my final year of university. However, I wouldn’t find a job after graduation. I could do so much good with a million pounds…

38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?

This question depends on how much work you already do. I’d rather do lots of enjoyable work – like, dream job material. If it wasn’t dream job stuff, then give me less work and I’ll be fine.

39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?

No, actually. I don’t feel like that at all.

40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?

Hmm, I have a new idea every week. If anything, this is one of my downfalls.

41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

Mum, dad and my brother, Jared.

Does Matt die in this scenario too? So, I lose all my family and the love of my life? I’d just rather die too, to be honest.

42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?

No! Life is already too short.

43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?

Alive is coping. Work, pay bills, sleep. Living is doing what makes you happy.

44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?

When you have nothing left to lose. Until then, I’ll probably always calculate risks and rewards.

45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

I think it’s drilled into our heads from a young age that making mistakes is bad, so once we eventually understand that people can learn from their mistakes, it’s already too late.

46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Wow, so much.

47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?

When I read this question, and involuntarily took a big, deep breath.

48. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?

I love so much. I love too much and too hard. I think this blog post is full of lots of love, and so much honesty! Before then, I had a giant cuddle with Harley (one of my kitties).

49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?

Not off the top of my head, no. I could always check my blog to see what I posted that day, or me and Matt could nosey through his “line a day for 5 years” dairy. I’d manage to remember if I tried hard enough!

50. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

I’m making them for myself. For sure.

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Well, I enjoyed that! I hope you did too. If you feel like answering these questions, tag me or link me your blog posts – I’d love to see how you got on.

I actually feel really calm right now. I feel as if I just contemplated my whole past, future and now, coming out the other side a little more stable and a little more prepared.

What do you think?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills