When I was 13 years old, my eyes were opened to the world of AOL: Instant Messenger, chatrooms for every topic imaginable and having to wait until your mum got off the phone with her pal before being able to actually access them. The good old days!

Harry Potter Chat, Quiz Chat and Weird Questions Chat were my jam, (don’t judge) and I spent most nights after school wrapped up in conversation, getting to know the different people in each one, especially Weird Questions Chat. Those who accessed the chat most days – we called ourselves “The regs”. Us regs started to get slightly annoyed by the randoms in the room, so one of the guys created a separate message board for The Regs to access. And so, WQ dot com was born.

Over the past 13 years, these people have become some of my best friends. I tell them everything. This year, we attended the first ever WQ wedding (congrats Becky and Kim!), which was one of the most exciting weekends of my entire life and I’m so glad to have it all documented on video.

So, here is one of my favourite vlogs I’ve ever uploaded. Enjoy!

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Do you feel embarrassed when you hear someone mention their period?

Do you think people should keep these things to themselves and refrain from talking about them in public?

Does it make you uncomfortable?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then I’m sorry, but you’re part of the problem.

Why is menstruation such a taboo topic? 

In the past, I remember being absolutely mortified when a bunch of tampons spilled out of my bag on a packed train. Or when I leaked through my white joggies (I know, I was a fashionable kid!) during gym class in high school. The worst was when my high school bully found my mum’s letter to the teacher that read:

Dear Mrs Green, 

Erin can not participate in gym class today as she has a very heavy period.

He showed it to the rest of the boys who all found it HILARIOUS of course, while I held back tears and tried to pretend I didn’t care.

Mortified.

Society has taught us to keep Shark Week on the down low because it’s gross, embarrassing and something that we should refrain from talking about. In primary school, the boys and girls were separated for “special talks”, where the boys were taught about growing hair in scary places and the girls were taught about what to expect when they got their first period. Why didn’t we have both those talks as a group so we could all learn about what the opposite sex had to deal with? Instead, it turned the whole thing into this huge secret that we couldn’t possibly mention in front of boys because it was embarrassing. It wasn’t for them to know about, right? Nowadays, we try to hide our pads and tampons on the way to the toilet (my friend, Kirsty, described it as: “it’s as if we’re taking part in some sort of dodgy drug deal”), we refrain from bringing up how bloody sore (pun intended) our cramps are, for fear of making others feel uncomfortable and worst of all, we’re made to feel gross for being on our periods because GOD FORBID, BLOOD is coming out of our VAGINAS?! Ewwww!

Because of this, I decided to make a change.

Now, I make a point of mentioning my period occasionally in conversation, I don’t hide my pads, tampons or menstrual cup when heading to the toilet anymore – people can just get used to seeing it and I started a youtube series called Week in the Life of a Period.

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I’m currently filming my 5th vlog in the series, (it’s been 5 months already – where has the time gone?!) and I’m loving it. Each video is filmed throughout the entire week I’m menstruating and I vlog about PMS, flow, cramps, emotions, leakage, products, spots…all the gory details. NOTHING is held back.

It was slightly terrifying to post the first video. I mean, my family and my boss watch my videos – did I really want them to see me crying in bed while stuffing my face with chocolate?

YES. I did.

Despite the fear of people thinking I was off my head, it actually went down really well! Comments started seeping in (lol) from women sharing their own stories about their cycles and engaging in discussions about the different types of experiences we have while bleeding from our vadges. More and more women have started opening up in the comments of these videos and it’s become a safe space to discuss periods without any sort of attached stigma or unnecessary negativity. However, these videos aren’t only for women. Men have commented too, explaining that it’s given them insight into what having a period is like, which I think is GREAT. Everyone is welcome to watch these videos!

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Menstruation is a natural part of life and this proves that the more we talk about it, the more it normalises it. If people start getting used to hearing about our experiences, it won’t be an “embarrassing topic” anymore, it’ll be normal.

Comparing our own experiences can also bring abnormalities to light, that otherwise wouldn’t have been noticed.

Having your period isn’t something to be ashamed of. This isn’t Carrie. I often hear the argument, “I don’t talk about my bowel habits, so you shouldn’t talk about your periods”. NEWSFLASH: POO AND PERIODS AREN’T THE SAME THING, (if you bleed from your bum hole, you should probably consult a doctor). I agree, I think poo is pretty gross, but I don’t take my menstrual cup out, see blood on my hands and think, OH MY GOD, I’M SO DIRTY AND DISGUSTING. Menstrual blood is clean. Of course, hygiene is important and washing your hands before and after using your cup is a must, but come on, comparing the two isn’t even a legitimate argument.

If someone makes you feel gross for talking about it then:

  1. They probably aren’t used to hearing about it.
  2. They need educated on the subject.
  3. They’re a douche.
  4. You should throw tampons at them. (Don’t actually do this, they’re expensive).

I’d encourage everybody who menstruates to make small changes to get rid of the stigma once and for all, be it refusing to get embarrassed when buying menstrual products in the shop or speaking more about it to the men in your life. Even the tiniest steps could make a huge difference!

Remember: Periods are natural, healthy, normal and definitely aren’t something to be ashamed of.

Click the picture below to see my Week in the Life of a Period Playlist! Also, shout out to Tara/Cattitude & Co for also making amazing Shark Week videos!

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jan faves

I’m slightly freaking out about how quickly January passed us. What the hell?!

The end of the month calls for a new favourites video; but first, here’s a wee sneak peek of some of the things I’ve been enjoying!

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I’m interested in all things to do with Everest, so I loved this. It’s about the 1996 Everest tragedy and it’s INTENSE. The book also intrigued me because Jon Krakauer wrote Into The Wild – another of my favourites!

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My friend Emma bought me a scratch map – how cool is this?! You scratch off all the places you’ve been to and it’s great inspiration for deciding where to travel to next.

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loved this film when I went to see it in the cinema (although the projector stopped working halfway through and when the movie finally came back on 20 minutes later, it was restarted half an hour before we left off). As usual, Leonardo doesn’t disappoint.

What are some of your favourite things from last month? Leave a comment!

To see the rest of my January favourites, make sure to watch the video below!

I think it’s important to keep a diary and to write in it regularly. It not only helps you remember what you’ve done throughout your life, but it helps you to see how you’ve changed and grown over the years.

In my new youtube video, I read some of the entries from my old high school journal. It was painful to read because of how strange and immature I was back then and you’ll probably die of second-hand embarrassment while watching.

Enjoy!

I don’t normally set myself new years resolutions, but this year I decided to set myself 10.

If you’re interested in hearing about the goals in more detail, have a watch of the video below, but here is a list of my 10 Goals for 2016

1.  Read as many books as possible. – I haven’t set an exact number of books to read because I’m unsure of how many I’m capable of reading in a year. I’ll read as many as I can, then next year I can set myself a number to beat.

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2. Get fitter. – At the end of 2015, I was attempting 5k runs, doing more youtube HIIT workouts and trying to do squats/press-ups everyday so I want to get better at those to tone up my body.

3. Go a walk once a week. – In 2015, I got so into hill walking and climbed a couple of munros, but this year I want to not only climb more, but attempt 1 walk a week. It doesn’t have to be a big hike every week, but even a 5k or a trail will suffice.

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Ben A’an, Aberfoyle

4. Climb more. – I’ve been enjoying bouldering a lot recently, but because climbing every single week isn’t feasible all the time, I want to make sure I climb once every 2 weeks, at least.

5. Travel more. – Last year, I visited Italy which was great fun, but this year I’m even more excited because in April, I’m going to Berlin and South Africa! I also visited Skye, Inverness and climbed a few hills in Glencoe in 2015, but I want to travel around Scotland even more this year, and another country if possible.

20150430_114810Quiraing, Skye

6. Vlog more. – As I said in my previous blog post, I’ve started a youtube series called Creep Week, which involves vlogging during an interesting week and putting it altogether in one video. Vlogs are probably my favourite videos to film, so I’m aiming to do more of those this year.

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7. Put more effort into youtube. – I want to be proud of every video I upload, so I’m aiming to really step up my game and give youtube my all.

8. Blog more. – I started this blog in 2015, but I hardly posted anything! So over the next 11 months, I’m going to write a post relating to every youtube video I upload, which will be once or twice a week. However, I’m hoping to get into the swing of writing other posts that aren’t related to youtube.

9. Write in my diary more often. – I have a LiveJournal that I write in once a week or every 2 weeks but I’m struggling to remember what I did over the weeks when I’m updating it! The goal is to write in it either every day or every second day.

10. Work on my anxiety. – This is a biggie! I’d encourage you to watch my video to understand what I want to achieve.

Let me know what your goals for 2016 are!