Hey team,
This dress is so so special to me because it has such a lovely memory attached- one I can’t wait to share with you all!
So as some of you know I’ve just finished up my degree. The structure of my degree was pretty abnormal and I actually commuted two days a fortnight to study for intense full days in Cambridge and then would be travelling back to London for work/ my placement (which was also a part of the degree). Because of all of this what I had in education I lacked in uni culture and experience- never had a Freshers week, never joined a society, never stayed in halls- and in some ways my friends and I compensated for our lack of uni experience (by drinking a lot when we were together) buttttttt one of the experiences I wanted the most was formals- winter balls and summer formals. Knowing that this would be one of the things I’d miss most, my amazing friends Catherine and Tim organised a little ‘leavers ball bbq’ for me which meant good friends, lots of pimms, and an excuse to get dressed up.

Soooooo I found this amazing dress on ASOS, whacked on some heels and had a lovely time sharing a meal, some 00s R&B and some lovely encouragement and support from my friends. The pictures for this post were taken by an amazing photographer I knew- as a congratulations gift- and I just need to share every one of them because I love them so much! This dress makes me feel incredible and is so summery and light. The flow and frills are feminine but it’s still light and breathable enough for summer. Plus you know I love florals!

One of the most awesome treats of that evening was that our friend Tom has been working in Belgium for months- but actually was able to come along! Plus I got to see some good friends I hadn’t properly hung out with in ages. Not an advert for church (I promise) but almost all of my friends in my local area I’ve met through church and small groups- other friends live all over London but there’s nothing nicer than someone who can be at yours in 10 minutes if you need them!

(also check that hair halo!)

The reality is it’s hard to meet people and make friends in London- in terms of colleagues I work with 5 other people and am the youngest by 15 years and don’t have children so every one is in a different season than me. Commuting for uni means I don’t have an easy circle of local uni mates either. But some of the friends I’ve met through church I just know I’ll have forever- I truly feel so grateful to be doing life with them and don’t get the wrong idea- ‘church friends’ go to the pub and for meals and make terrible decisions just like everyone else!
But friends who put their energy into celebrating your achievements without any benefit on them are real friends. Was so touched by everyone’s energy that night.However as someone who’s never had a big birthday party or thrown a party before- I did hit the wall with attention/ anxiety a little: I just find it so awkward to celebrate, well, me. So instead we just utilised the occasion as an excuse to see every one and catch up.

I’m torn because I don’t have any pictures from the evening itself which in a way is a shame but is actually a joy- some of the greatest moments are the ones where I’m just being and having fun without looking through a lens- not to say I can’t take photos and have fun too!
It’s so important in life to surround yourself with people who make you want to capture the moments you spend together- but who don’t make you want to reach for your phone. To have friends who celebrate your achievement and put totally unselfish effort into blessing you is amazing. Just remember to try and be that friend too.
I once saw a phrase ‘don’t cross oceans for someone who wouldn’t step over a puddle for you’ and it made me so sad. Cross oceans, put you entire heart in, try your hardest to care for other people because you can only control your actions, not someone elses. There is a great joy in being able to say you did your best when the going gets tough. Yes, some people will not appreciate it, but letting our bad experiences and hurt, own us can make us too scared to get close to anyone else- whether it be a familiar, romantic or platonic relationship, and then whoever let us down wins and we end up lonely. All I’m saying is it’s scary to be vulnerable and try but it is so wonderful to love and be loved.

Thanks for reading, speak soon!
Love Jody

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