Nobody Likes You When You’re 23

Yesterday I turned 23 years young and other than playing Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” on repeat, I have had a big long reflect on turning 23 and everything that comes along with it.

Typically, most people my age graduated from university a couple of years ago and are in big boy jobs seemingly smashing life, settling down with a partner, getting engaged and having kids. Honestly, I have no problem with what other people do with their lives, but in the same respect, I don’t see it as a guideline for life.

As a kid when adults asked what I wanted to “be” when I was older instead of the generic ‘doctor’, ‘lawyer’, ‘firefighter’ responses, I nonchalantly answered “work in Poundland”…and no, my parents have never let me forget it.

Whilst I am yet to achieve my childhood dream of working in Poundland, I think 5 year old me was on to something with that sweeping statement of all my lifelong dreams being attached to being a shop worker.


Growing up, I had little to no expectations of myself. Not in like a totally self deprecating way but more so in the sense of “what will be will be”.

I was never really academic, I struggled but in the best part I just knew that I didn’t want to be involved in academia. I wasn’t dim or bad at school, I did okay in my GCSE’s, even if I did struggle to choose four topics, when all I wanted to do was music technology and music I ended up taking child development which wasn’t all that bad because I learned a lot about being an adult but I did have to take one of those screaming baby dolls home for 24 hours that has scarred me for life.

I left school at 16 and went to college to fulfil my passion of music technology which was by far the best two years of my life. All of my school friends were stuck in their uniforms still at the school’s sixth form attending 5 days a week where as I was in college 2 or 3 days a week in the middle of Birmingham wearing what I wanted, day drinking, meeting new people, going out and socialising whilst holding down my first ever job at a kid’s play area – that child development GCSE coming in handy!

After college I took a couple of years to work at pubs, my uncles sporting company and for music promoters in Birmingham. I had fun and worked hard but all my friends were at uni and I can’t lie, all of their social media posting gave me a serious case of FOMO.

But two years later I landed on my feet in Manchester, studying Events Management at a uni that specialises in music, and holy heck do I love it here.


Moving to Manchester always will be the best decision I made, it allowed me to be the independent little soul that I always was fighting to be, I met some incredible people and I fell in love with the city immediately.

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Taking time to do my degree and getting here a couple of years later than everyone else really doesn’t bother me any more. Getting to 23 you realise that everyone truly is at different times in their lives. I have friends with children, friends in full time employment in some really impressive jobs, some friends making it in the music industry giving me a glimmer of hope that in time, I will be there too!

Getting older doesn’t have to be, and really shouldn’t be, a set back at all. Growing older has just taught me that people work at different paces and it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to reach your goal, one day you will get there and the journey will be the most important and fun part!

So here is to living more in the moment, being mindful and present in the moment, taking time to be alone, because I’ve definitely learnt that me time is just as important as socialising, picking up old hobbies and discovering new ones!

Your 20’s truly are your golden years, everyone around you is at different stages and not one of them is winning this made up race at all. Take time, take chances and take risks because now is the time to be doing it.


My goals for myself in this next year are:

  • to be unapologetically selfish
  • look out for others
  • bring kindness wherever I go
  • have fun
  • network my way into a badass graduate job
  • make the most of my final year at uni, it’s the last chance I get to risk-free experiment, explore and find myself for the foreseeable future!

Let’s work on embracing ageing and all that comes with it, rather than cower away from it!

P.S: people do still like you when you’re 23, Blink-182 lied, I have the most wonderful bunch of friends who made my birthday very special:

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All my love, 

a slightly older, 

Journaling Maddie 



March 2018

I swear once January is out of the way, the year just flies by!

The first half of March was massively taken over by 2nd year deadlines (fun fun fun!), and I’ve since got all of my results for the year so far and I’ve done p. well so I’m happy!!

Trav turned 25 (official old man), and Amy hosted the most incredible surprise birthday party for him at Cane and Grain in Manchester NQ. It was so nice to see everyone and Max came over too which was great fun! A night of cocktails and good music, before going home (of course with a detour to McDonalds) and having a great nights sleep, feeling refreshed the next morning! The four of us spent said following day watching crappy movies on Now TV and went for a little walk just to get out of the flat.

I have become obsessed with Sims, it is official.

I’m making the most of playing it now while I’ve got a couple of weeks before I need to throw myself into uni work again. The best part is, we all play it, so evenings in our flat are completely unsociable!

I hopped on a train to Huddersfield to spend the weekend with Max, which was lovely, as always! Sara video called us on Friday night and we had way too much fun with the filters you can get on Facebook video chat.

Max took me into his work to show me some recordings he’s been working on for In Session. It’s such a bittersweet feeling being sat in his work place office which is a recording studio. I went to college and studied music technology and I honestly intended on going to uni to follow my dreams of being a live sound engineer or working in a studio as a producer, but instead decided to follow the management route. Going to see Max in his workplace makes me somewhat jealous that I’m not doing the same, but on the other hand I’ve gained so much managerial knowledge over the past few years that maybe one day I will be able to combine the two – who knows!

As always, we grabbed coffees at Espresso Corner. Sunday was spent in Marsden (a neighbouring village), having a wander around and grabbing Sunday lunch at Mozzarella (10/10 would recommend).

Bonus pic of a cute dachshund in a car at the train station:

Amy got her hair cut and I was a good pal and went with her for emotional support haha. Also the hairdresser had the most beaut boots I’ve ever seen.

Term 2 finished and I honestly can’t get my head around that. I get a couple weeks off before term 3 but before I know it second year will be over and I’ll be graduating in a years time!

I WENT HOME!! I can’t actually remember the last time I visited home, so it was really chill to just have some time alone. I got the hair chop that I’ve been wanting for the longest time – it feels so good to have it all gone!

My best friend, Erin, is in one of the coolest bands around (I may be slightly biased, but not too biased as they really are freaking incredible) and they pulled off the most insane single launch at the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham! I honestly felt like I was 16 again – reliving Saturday nights at the Sunny watching some cool bands. Odd mix of feelings of nostalgia and feeling really, really old.

My parents very kindly brought me back up to Manchester, so I showed them around where I’ll be living from September, and I am so glad that they love it – particularly my mom!

I jumped on a train to Huddersfield to spend a couple days with Max & have some quality time together. We watched Zootropolis, started Greys Anatomy from the beginning (Max hasn’t seen the whole thing), went to a gig at a new venue called Northern Quarter (getting serious country western vibes), baked brownies and had cuddle time.

Let’s talk about TV. Teen Mom UK and Teen Mom OG have come back this month with new series (if you say that you don’t watch any of these you’re either lying or you need to start watching them), some great films (Pitch Perfect & Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) have been floating around on catch up, and so much more trash TV (Five Star Hotel, Celebs Go Dating, Our First Gay Summer, Izbia Weekender etc. etc., I’m sure you get the drift!). I have lost count of how long Amy & I spent catching up on all of these shows whilst bashing out our work for term 3.

In case you can’t already tell, this month has been a lot of back and forth for Max (mainly Max coming to Manchester, it somehow fell that I wasn’t doing as much travelling this month yay)!

Lydia came to visit with Tom and they ever so kindly took us for a day out at the Trafford Centre, I finally had a Wagamamas – I know, I am so late to the party – and it was so so good, I am officially on the bandwagon!

We had a long traipse around the shops and Lyd treated me to the most gorgeous Summer dress (so granny-chic) that I fell in love with, I can imagine myself in it, lightly tanned on the beach with a glass of Sangria (a gal can dream).

Cinema pick was mine this month – it’s super rare that I want to go and see anything – I kept seeing ads for Unsane, was really captivated by the story line, and the fact the whole thing was filmed on an iPhone intrigued me even further. We went to see it a couple of days ago and maaaaan was it intense! I would defo recommend it.

March has been crazy for me – I hope you’ve had a fabulous one!

Journaling Maddie x

Turning 22

I had been dreading this day for months and months. For me, turning 22 felt like I was about to hit a midlife crisis. I know it sounds stupid, to dread turning a specific age, especially when I am still so young, but for some reason I couldn’t shake the feeling!

I think turning 21 was such a big deal, that inevitably turning 22 would be the end of childhood and the start of adulthood & responsibility that I just wasn’t prepared for.

My birthday was last week, and I am so lucky that my amazing friends made the day so special for me. The day that I had been dreading since turning 21 was so incredible. Everyone knew the dread that I was feeling and I feel so blessed that nobody judged that and instead celebrated it with me.

This will now forever be a birthday that I will never forget – for all the right reasons!!

I now vow to not let a number rule my emotions or feelings.

My amazing friends in Manchester, specifically Sara, Amy, Travis and my boyfriend Max made such an effort to make an incredible weekend of my birthday.

On the Friday my boyfriend came to Manchester, we made food, had a couple drinks and just chilled out with Amy, Travis and Sara. Max also gave me an early birthday present of the most beautiful sparkly rainbow Doc Martens that I had been eyeing up since they released them!

Rainbow Glitter Docs

The following day, Max & I got all dressed up and went out for lunch at Alberts Schloss and it was simply incredible. Max had told them we were celebrating my birthday, so they brought over a complimentary glass of rosé prosecco and at the end of the meal a dessert on the house for me. It was the little attentions to deal that made it super special for me! It felt so amazing to have a proper date with Max too, it is so rare that we get dressed up and have time just the two of us!

We got back to the flat decorated with birthday banners and balloons courtesy of Sara and Amy! My mom provided some balloons but upon further inspection we realised she had brought “New Teenager” balloons by mistake hahaha but it certainly made me feel better about turning 22!

On the evening our friend Lydia came over and we did some tequila shots, had a few drinks then headed out to Soup Kitchen for a gig! It was so much fun, amazing live music with wicked company!


Me, Amy, Max and Travis then went off to boogie in Hold Fast which is my fave bar/club in the Norther Quarter. We had a dance, chatted to a load of people about getting old and had a big Happy Birthday sing-song at midnight which was so lovely and slightly embarrassing so I just hid behind my glass haha.

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Hold Fast with Travis, Amy & Max

When we got home at 2am, Max presented me with my birthday gifts and insisted I opened them right then haha. I received so many amazingly thoughtful presents, but my favourite was by far the last that I opened. Both of Max’s grandparents passed away, but most recently his granddad, and he has spend the past few months clearing out their bungalow. On a day where he was sorting out the loft, he came across one of his late grandma’s coats, a long black faux fur beauty, and immediately thought of me. When I opened this gift and Max told me the story behind it I instantly burst into tears (70% emotional 30% drunk haha), I don’t think I have ever received something so thoughtful or with so much meaning behind it.

The next day I woke up and I was 22! I made breakfast for Max and opened my presents off Sara, then off Amy & Travis too (they were all so lovely, and very glitter/unicorn-esque themed which is very me at the moment!). We then went for a Sunday roast to heal our hangovers at it was so damn incredible!!

All in all, I had an insanely good 22nd birthday, knowing now it was nothing to worry about, I vow to just enjoy every birthday that I’m lucky enough to reach and celebrate them with my closest people.

M x

May in photos

As previously mentioned in my half year round up, May was a little all over the place. It began with me being the happiest I’d been in the longest time, but combined with uni deadlines stress, my best friends amazing birthday celebrations, drinking too much and a city brought together through a horrendous attack, May was also a very emotional, full on month. The negatives have not in any way tainted my incredible memories from this month, and it is only right that I include all of the amazing memories that I will always hold close to my heart for a multitude of reasons.

This is going to be a lengthy one, this month was incredibly important to me and I want to include as much as possible!

May, thank you.






spontaneous date night



just strollin by our new place



pizza pizza pizzaaaaa



long doggo



glitter babes x






the birthday celebrations begin



I decorated Amy’s flat for her birthday!


the birthday girl


my babes xxx



birthday fun



junkyard golfers



Saul // Clean Cut Kid






Junkyard golf team ft. the birthday gal!



Walk It! for Crohn’s & Colitis



memorial at St Ann’s Square



amazing NQ art for Manchester



no fear here



Oh, Tony Walsh – you need to read this poem if you aren’t familiar with it 



we are Manchester



the sweetest posters left around town



art for Manchester




a trip to Huddersfield



kinda fell in love with how creepy this was (Parish // Huddersfield)19059820_10155319502843398_358006677347712471_n

we found a teeny tiny secret bar




we got a new hooooome yo



home. not our new one. the restaurant.






Rochdale canal walks



The Haçienda


yes, yes we really do!

M x

March in photos

March was a massive step up in both my personal and professional life, being asked to be interviewed on BBC Introducing Manchester was simply incredible and an opportunity that I am still so grateful for!


romantic meal with my love before we got evacuated hahaha



Huddersfield in the sunshine!



BBC Introducing (whaaaaat)17352205_10155058217288398_7325978964126035855_n

my beautiful looby-loo




fave gals



happy bday trav!



weekend to chill out17457427_10155078646623398_205782867479409839_ntopman on tour








sunshiney manc


M x


January in photos

I took it upon myself mid January this year to daily post on Instagram, 50/50 for wanting to document my life and wanting to make my life more exciting hoping that the pressure of daily posts would get me out of my flat and doing stuff.

So naturally, I have a lotta photos, here are some of my faves from January!


Sara’s 19th


my favourite human




Northern Quarter16195613_10154890841088398_2523097579873240729_ncosy coffee shop




Phil & Niko!! (lifewithmalamutes) (yes, yes I did go to a dog meet up)



M x