Thursday, 28 December 2017


I have been thinking about writing this post for a while now. I honestly did plan to write so many Christmssy blog posts - from gift guides to XMAS outfit inspo. For once though I don't really want to write about knitwear or what colour I'm digging at the moment - which is always gonna be black isn't it really. I guess sometimes you have to listen to yourself (which is kinda the point in this post - trying to do that more).

The Ivory Tower has always been my outlet in some way or another - although I didn't even realise at the time I signed up to Blogger, the things that I care about and when I have topics I want to discuss - this is always my first port of call. Even posts I have in drafts that I have never published - getting it all down in this little place of mine has always been what I have wanted to do. I was probably going to leave this in drafts - but I recently read a post by Robin James about wanting to post so that he can look back and see how he got through things. I like that.

So recently I have been taking some time to reflect on some things - maybe (definitely) because it is coming to the end of 2017. People sometimes make comments about a New Year - but its definitely a good opportunity for a mental refresh. The past 12 months have gone so fast to the point where I feel a little hazy looking back. It can sometimes take actually stepping away from a situation to fully understand what is going on and what it means. I can't really find a quote lately that summarises how I'm feeling so I am gonna just try my own words this time...mental, I know.

This year there have been times where I have been in a  relatively negative mentality. At times, I wasn't particularly finding it easy to sleep, I found myself only being honest with myself after I'd had a drink, and maybe getting a little (a lot) aggy. In reflection I wasn't really happy with who I was. So much so to the point where I remember scribbling notes in my phone, trying to explain clearly the feelings I was having and the reasons why (if it can be clear after a couple of wines) and basically, just wanted myself to fucking do something about it. I think I somehow thought this was normal though? That was just how things were? I didn't really say anything to anyone and sober Mel ignored a lot of things for a hellaaaaaaa long time.

See, I have realised how for the most part of life - it's not always just one factor that causes you to get into this mentality, it is a build up of lots of factors and separate moments. I have realised now that is is much easier to first of all just be honest in facing what is going on, and in turn being able to distinguish between behaviours that are good for your soul and those that are certainly not - effectively removing yourself from the latter.

I remember some time ago I read some messages that had been sent to someone I cared a lot for at the time - the person who sent the messages I had never met nor even knew of. Amongst other things discussed, in those messages I was being completely mocked. Having the piss taken out of me for taking pictures and for actually caring so much about taking them, and I wasn't being defended. That has stuck with me, sure - but in reality I think it has actually just made me want to take pictures even more. I feel that I can sometimes get very defensive now when I get any rebuttal against me taking photo's (is it not just a bit ridiculous that there actually is any?). I am very confident in doing it, don't get me wrong, after all, it is my job, but I can't help but feel this instant defensiveness for myself. I have had amazing support from the people around me and it is sad that some negative comments are the ones that stick with you - but I guess that is what we do. I have realised that it is important to always stick to what you want to do and not what others expect you to do. At that particular time I wouldn't even say I took as many pictures as I do now...and sticking with it has meant that I now get to take pictures for and work with brands that I absolutely love and I truly get more and more enjoyment in it as time goes on. It is so nice to see people who have a genuine passion, and do you know what? You never know what a little bit of support can do for someone.

For the most part of my life I have always been the first to make fun of myself - I genuinely don't take myself very seriously at all, and to be frank, I do come out with comments that don't even make too much sense to the majority of people (shout out to my old work work pals who got to witness the old Mel Harris quote board). People laughing because you thought Jonathan Creek was a wine - totally cool. People diminishing the fact that you have a first class degree because of the University that you went to - not cool. If you are proud of something you have achieved then my god shout about it - and find people who want to shout about it too. In reality you are probably going to be limited in the amount of people who truly truly want you to succeed and actually big you up. I am very fortunate with those that I have in my life. 

One major thing I have learnt this year is actions are EVERYTHING. Ever think that you don't know why you feel a certain way and there isn't a reason? There is.  Gut feelings? Also a thing. If people want to speak to you and make time for you, then they will do it. Simple - it is just human nature. And if its not you that they are doing that to, but someone else instead, then it is what it is - you cannot force people into acting a certain way. So previously I found myself reading my horoscope daily - but now realise I was trying to find the answer to some questions in an app. Why though? I was pinning quotes on Pinterest boards - thinking they could explain things and I wasn't crazy for thinking what I did. I wasn't crazy - in fact I was bang on the money and to be honest - we usually are with these things (I still love a quote though). A lesson that I have learnt moving forward is that we should always trust our instincts.

So in a nutshell - I have realised it is how you view/respond to negative situations that really matters. For real my parents have been telling me that since I was about 1 (not really 1) but we don't fully appreciate these nuggets of information until it is presented to us in a real form. We don't actually even realise it at the time but we can look back and say "oh shit yeah". It's a shame that there is sometimes a delay in our responses. That doesn't always have to be a reflection on us though, I think speaking from my own experience sometimes you can be blinded by a lot of things. Thinking about the bigger picture (and reading a couple of books about not giving a fuck...FFS sorry for swearing...again, Mum) along with the law of attraction I feel like I can flip some things on it's head here.

So maybe things happen to teach us how not to do things, a lesson to show us what is good for us and also who is actually there for you when things aren't going so great - that's a definitely a biggy for me. I guess this is a mental nod to being able to recognise situations for what they truly are, and being confident in focusing on the good, not the shady.

2017 was the year for growth and I now know the direction I want to go in and feel genuinely content with it all. So this is the last post for this year - and one that I am taking into the New Year with a positive, bold, and confident attitude! I am so freaking excited to get started.




  1. So much love for this post!

  2. Loved this, Mel.
    "How not to do things" is so important. Really glad you wrote this. Best of luck for 2018. xx

  3. Such a lovely post Melissa and so brave of you to write about how you have been feeling! What a horrible person mocking you and saying mean things about you and your photos. Your photo's are always amazing and you always look like a total babe in them. Excited to see more post's from you in 2018! xxxx

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