God’s Own Junkyard & the self-love society

I got this shirt last summer and it’s been one of my most worn items ever since. Not only a piece of fashion but an important reminder. In case you’re wondering, the shirt says ‘No time for romance. Self-love society’. Do you know the saying that you can’t really love someone until you love yourself? Yeah I don’t agree with that. But – to stick with clichés – I do believe that we accept the love we think we deserve. We don’t need to love ourselves to be able to extend love and care to others and I think the most compassionate of us often struggle to practice self-compassion. Hands up if you are your own harshest critic. But in the end, self-love or maybe I should say self-respect can be our guide. It can remind us how much we are worth and how we deserve to be treated.

I am not afraid to admit that self-love is something I struggle with. Somewhere between problems at home and toxic friendships in school, that ability became lost. More often than not, my mind makes me turn against myself, telling me tales of negativity, reinforcing the previously experienced and adding to the mass that is burying me. But maybe I haven’t been buried, maybe I have been planted. (Yes, I am loving sayings and clichés today.) Maybe it’s time to break the cycle, step by step, shovel by shovel. Practising self-love doesn’t have to mean buying yourself expensive gifts. It can be a cup of your favourite tea. An evening walk after a day of working inside. A face mask (because seriously, face masks do fix everything). Reaching out to someone instead of isolating yourself when you are feeling low. Opening the window to let in some fresh air (or semi-fresh if you live in London). Making a home-cooked meal. Validating your emotions. The pleasant ones and the unpleasant ones. Acknowledging that you are worthy of help, worthy of recovery, worthy of happiness. I will continue practising self-love. And until I got the hang of it, I will have this shirt to remind me.

Last weekend, I visited God’s Own Junkyard with a dear (blogger-) friend of mine. Getting to Walthamstow (no guarantee that this is how you spell it) was a bit of journey but we made it and I was so glad we did – this place was unlike anything I had seen before. From neon signs to crazy armchairs, a Statue of Liberty and a random telephone box, this place has it all. It leaves you feeling like you have travelled back in time and yet into the future. Plus it has a café and a lot of great spots for taking photos. Although you are not allowed to use a camera, we could not resist taking some outfit shots with our phones. Apart from my self-love shirt, I am wearing a furry cardigan I got at Pull & Bear together with a pair of black casual trousers that I got from the same shop. Lastly, I combined these items with my trusty boots and some hoops (whenever I say hoops, I have to think of that video where a YouTuber’s dad thought the saying went ‘the bigger the hoop, the better the hula, anyone else? I realise that’s very random). The outfit I am wearing is a bit of a mismatch but it still works. In that sense, let me finish this post with another cheesy but very true statement – you can be both a masterpiece and a work in progress. How do you practice self-love? xx

What I’m wearing:

Top – Topshop

Cardigan & Trousers – Pull & Bear

Boots – River Island