Okay so this doesn't sound like the kind of post that any reasonable person might read but you should. I've been fired twice while I've lived in England and I've had three be honest, this is not great statistics-wise. However, in some jobs, in fact in the two that I got fired from, I hadn't actually even got through my probationary period. This sounds is, it truly is. 

Here's the long as you don't lie on your CV or during your interviews and you are honest about who you are, what your skills are and what you can bring to the's not your fault if you don't make it through the trial period. This was not particularly apparent to my brain yesterday though when I got taken in for 'the talk' after only 6 days at the company. By the way, by 'the talk', I mean the 'we don't like your work/think you're right for the job/believe you can do this' talk and not the sex talk...that would be infinitely worse. 

To say I felt like shit would be an understatement. Basically, my boss didn't like the job I was doing and expected more of me (within a week apparently) but this isn't actually very fair. I was myself during the interviews and told them only the truth about my abilities and the work I had done. I am 23 years old and I have about as much experience working in an office as the average cat. They knew when they hired me what I could do and somehow, a weird assumption was made that in fact, I'd been lying about my talents in the opposite way...that I'd somehow been underselling myself. 

There is not a person in this world who doesn't make mistakes and fail occasionally, it's part of life. The best thing about mistakes and failures is learning from them. As long as you're learning from your mistakes, you aren't failing, you're just learning and growing. Essentially, there were one or two things that I definitely could have improved on but I didn't get the chance. The thing about employing someone in their twenties is that no matter how highly qualified and how good they are at their job, they will screw up because that is how you learn and grow and get better at your job. 

Both of the jobs that I got 'fired' from were in the fitness industry and I think I might have finally got the message that I just don't belong in fitness. I somehow managed to make the same mistake with two different companies.  That first job was stressful and horrible and I spent a lot of time crying even before I was 'let go'. The people weren't nice at all and I found myself being constantly badmouthed when they thought I couldn't hear them. 

My first boss really was an awful little man who thought a lot of himself and was really good at manipulating employees, particularly the female ones. He was quite rude and quite mean. It stands to reason that when he fired me, I cried. I cried right there in his office and it wasn't the silent and dainty kind either. This probably reinforced the idea that I was too young and immature to him but really, sometimes you just cry and you can't help it. I made things much worse for myself by begging him to reconsider, which he was definitely not going to do. Looking back, I know that my actions on that day were not good and I could have dealt with it much better. I don't like him and I have little to no respect for the company because of the way in which I was dismissed and the way in which I was treated whilst I was there. However, this isn't meant as a hateful post so I'm not going to go into it. 

After that job, I took a job in luxury retail...the job was okay but my boss there was a wonderful woman who respected and appreciated me. She was a great mentor and leader and she taught me a lot while I was there. I did not get fired from that job. That job, however, included a lengthy commute from the depths of Kent to London every day which easily took 4 hours extra off my day and sometimes I would end up working 7 or more days in a row without a break. I enjoyed the selling and the clients, I built great relationships with my colleagues and learnt a lot both about myself and others but I couldn't continue. 

It's hard to admit it but for me, London was just too much. There are so many people and its always so busy. I always ended up feeling alone and like it had managed to suck out all my energy. It was because of that and my respect for my mood and body that I decided to leave and start over in Brighton. 

Before I could move to Brighton though, I needed a job. I didn't actually even reach out to them, they found me. What I didn't realise in the midst of my desperation to settle down and get a job was that this was the same job and the same style of company as my first company. It was only the week before I started that I began to have doubts because, thinking laterally, it was so so similar to that job I'd been fired from. 

It just so happens that in fact, I was right and this job was exactly like the first job. I tried really hard there, I honestly did. I was nice to everyone, took all the criticisms on board (and all I actually got was criticism) and looked happy even though the constant negativity from my boss was making me very unhappy. I tried everything in my power to impress her and I failed but I honestly don't believe that there was anything else I could possibly have done, I don't think I could have impressed her if I stood on my head and whistled 'God Save The Queen' through my asshole. There was just something about it and we just didn't gel for whatever reason. Funnily enough, I feel no hatred for the company at all, I just wish that they'd at least allowed me a month to prove myself. 

Here's the key thing though, when she told me that they had decided to 'let me go' I didn't cry or freak out (externally). I was shaken but I managed to calmly explain to her that I didn't believe that they had given me enough time to prove myself and that I had more to give. I also expressed to her that I understood and thanked her. In the spirit of full disclosure, I did end up crying when I got back to my desk but it was just drippy and sniffly, at no point did I bawl and at the end, I turned in what I had done (in my first job, I rather spitefully deleted it all but I don't believe they would have wanted it anyway), thanked her, told her that I hoped we would get to work together again sometime (albeit a bit tearfully), she gave me a tissue, walked me out and thanked me. 

If I can give you my top tips on being fired (because shit happens) 

  • Don't ever beg for your job back, that is below you
  • Don't expect them to change their minds but do explain why you disagree with their decision (try not to do this while bawling)
  • Don't spitefully delete everything, even if they have treated you abominably and you are thinking of ways to burn the place down
  • Don't ever be rude (or as my Dad likes to say, don't burn bridges as you just never know where you will end up)
  • Try your best not to cry, although this is just human so if you do, just give a watery apology
  • Clear up your desk, pack everything up and just leave
  • If you're feeling very teary and trying to walk down the road, I suggest an audiobook or song to distract you. Try to take deep breaths and don't walk in front of traffic. 
  • Don't get angry, it's over
  • Do whatever you can to end it on good terms
  • Go home and have a good wallow (for how to have a good wallow, see Daisy Buchanan's book: How to Be a Grown Up - Chapter 12 you can get this book from Audible if you click on this link ( or click on the link below.



Aria has been a huge part of my life since I got her as a birthday gift in 2011. When I got here, she was just a little bundle of fluff, about the size of the palm of my hand and my favourite thing in the entire world. She was so small, and had such little legs that she couldn’t make it up (or down) any steps and slopes were nigh to impossible. It was in a carpark in the outskirts of Krugesdorp (holla Krugersdorp and SA) that I chose Aria and my life changed forever. My grandparents wanted to get me a puppy for my birthday and there had been a lot of begging involved. Finally, Dad agreed and said I could have her. Nana and Popa said I could choose any puppy, any breed and I could have it. It was almost impossible to find a miniature Maltese but I had my heart set on having one and my internet search was unrelenting to say the least. Eventually, I found Ari and her siblings on Gumtree (which I know now is more than a little sketchy). There were only three puppies left and my Grandparents drove me out into Krugersdorp to go and choose one of the three. All of them were lovely and so, so cute. One though, came to my feet, leant against me and started licking my toes. That puppy was Aria. 


It was a steep amount that Nana and Popa had to lay out for my birthday gift but I can only thank them and maintain that it is to this day, the best birthday gift I have ever received. Aria has, many a time, saved my life and for that, I am eternally grateful. After the money changed hands, we were given Aria with her certification and all her vaccinations and off we went. I had nothing for this dog and I mean nothing. When she got back to our house, she didn’t have a bed, she didn’t have food…she literally just had me. I think that the first night she would only eat from my hand whist sitting on my lap and a vague memory says she was given chicken and rice. When I got her home, I sat her on my bed (risky I know) and at that point I only had a three quarter bed. Now, I had a few month old puppy on the bed and she obviously needed to go to the bathroom but had no idea how to communicate this to me. But instead of just weeing on the bed, she wandered around the bed, found a piece of paper and had a wee on that instead. Ari has always been special and she has always had an immense understanding of me as a human and all my weird, personality traits and moods.


Since then, we have had a bond which has been unbreakable. I did everything with her, she even came to school to visit me while I was still there. She shone a light through the dark clouds that haunted my later teenage years and to this day, I can look into her eyes and feel the veil of sadness lift. I see her and almost automatically, something inexplicable shifts and I can breathe again. Since 2011, she has been with me, shared meals and happiness and and sadness; she has slept beside (or even on top of) me in our bed with me every night. She has danced with me, showered with me, swam with me and chased me through parks. My whole life since 2011 is Aria covered and it’s something that I simply couldn’t be more grateful for. 


Leaving her was the worst…is the worst. I’m up to a count of three times now, three times that I’ve left with the promise of coming back to fetch her and not knowing when. I have promised three times that come hell or high water I will get her to England and that we will be reunited. The first time very nearly broke me when I knew I was going to England and I didn’t know when I’d be able to have her but the second was somehow worse. I’d just assumed that I would go to England, get a job, keep said job for at least three months, rent a flat and then move her here. The course of life never did run smoothly though and I ended up with an absolute bastard as my boss for my first job. He treated me like crap and promptly fired me after just a month of working there with no real reason at all. Suddenly, just like that…I was back where I started and I didn’t have job nor a salary. I had to find another job and quickly and I did but it doesn’t pay as well and I can’t afford to have a flat much less Aria. I had promised her that I’d be back to get her and whilst I was back, I couldn’t have her and it cut me to the core. 


I miss her terribly though and my mood is always lower without her than it ever is when i’m with her. I see her and the veil lifts, I leave her as I did again today still with the promise of coming back as soon as possible and getting her (and I will) and it breaks my heart. I feel physical pain without her by my side. For now at least, I have to do whats best for her and right now, that doesn’t match what’s best for me but that’s just the way it is. It is what it is for now. I can understand…she can’t. 


Ari, the reason the blog is called Ari&Me, I love you and I miss you.




  • Titanic museum; 
  • The Giants Causeway; 
  • The Old Bushmills Distillery; 
  • Botanic Gardens, 
  • Grand Opera House, 
  • Belfast Castle, 
  • The Golden Mile, 
  • St Georges Market, 
  • Carrickfergus Castle, 
  • Cavehill, 
  • Parliament Buildings.  



  • Galway City Museum
  • Lynch Memorial Window
  • Dunguaire Castle
  • Galway Atlantaquaria 
  • Hall of the Red Earl
  • Galway Arts Centre
  • Oranmore Castle
  • Terryland Castle 



  • Guinness Storehouse
  • St Stephen's Green
  • Dublin Castle
  • Jameson Distillery
  • Ha'penny Bridge 
  • National Gallery of Ireland 
  • National Leprechaun Museum
  • Irish Whisky Museum




  • Central Park
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • MOMA 
  • Empire State Building
  • Times Square 
  • Ground Zero 


  • Eiffel Tower
  • The Lourve
  • Notre-Dame
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Le Marais
  • Montmartre


  • Acropolis of Athens
  • Parthenon
  • Acropolis Museum
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • Elafonisi
  • Myrtos Beach
  • Theatre of Dionysus


  • Piazza San Marco
  • Saint Mark's Basilica
  • Bridge of Sighs
  • Grand Canal
  • Venitian Lagoon
  • Lido di Venezia
  • Murano Glass Museum


If I say the word 'real' what do you think of? What do you associate with being real and reality? Here's a reality check, nothing is real these days. So, is being 'fake' about shielding others from the real you, or is it more the complete opposite? Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook work on the basis of perception. You only post certain images to your accounts and they go through rigorous checks before posting - am I right, right or right? How many people here have actually posted a 'no make-up selfie' to Instagram with no make-up on? If you're like me and you really have posted a real one, how many filters did you use, how many apps did it go through and would you ever have considered doing so when your skin wasn't at its best? I think I can answer that for you, no, absolutely not! Truth is, I won't Snapchat anything before reapplying some lipstick and checking my hair. Does that mean I'm fake, though? The simple answer would be yes. But I'm not 100% sure that it's all as cut and dry as we'd like to think. 


Ask me the question and I would reply that I wouldn't consider myself a fake person. Why? Because I take real selfies sometimes? No, I don't think that real vs fake really revolves around any social media. You see, the social media platforms themselves are fake but using them doesn't make me fake. Do I take pictures of myself crying on my bedroom floor and post them to Insta? No, that would be mad but strangely enough, it's not exactly that I wouldn't want other people to see it, I just don't want to admit that sometimes I am only human. I don't really want the whole of Instagram or Snapchat to know every single detail of my life. Because, and here's the real crux, they actually aren't that interested. It's like when someone says 'Hi, how are you' and if you told them how you really felt, they'd run a mile because they aren't actually interested, they were just being polite. Nobody wants to ride the bus with you when the limo breaks down, right?*


People go onto social media not only to see what other people are up to, but also to get away from reality. Social media is hardly a reality check, it's the opposite, it's sort of a haven where a generation which struggles most with depression and all that goes along with it can take refuge and showcase the good parts of their lives. Its also a breeding ground for comparison and thus anxiety etc (but that's for another day). 


Remember those jars where you would write down something good that had happened that day and you would do it religiously every day? Then when you were unhappy, you could re-read all the good things as a reminder of how great life really is? Well, I think that's what social media is for all intents and purposes. It is a jar where we keep our proudest, greatest and happiest moments to look at and share not only with everyone else but ourselves...because life can be quite gloomy.


*Oprah quote (indirect) 

Oh and thanks to Arye Kellman for being the inspiration for this post (well your show anyway)




Let me clarify something before I even begin, this is NOT clickbait. I know that revealing this particular story on the blog won't make friends. The truth is, I already lost friends over this happening and for the longest time I didn't even realise that what had happened to me was in fact sexual assault until someone else very brave recounted her story and told me that it was. I remember not wanting to 'make a big deal' about the whole thing. He was my best friend's boyfriend and though we weren't close, I knew him. Because she loved him and I trusted her, I trusted him and I shouldn't have. 


She was there the night it happened, in fact I think she was sitting right next to me when it happened and she didn't bat an eyelid. We've all heard the term 'boys will be boys' but truth be told I'm sick and tired of hearing that. I wasn't raped so I don't know what rape feels like and I don't claim to know nor am I able to imagine it. What he did though and what he said was at the very least sexual harassment. I don't remember saying 'NO' or 'STOP'. I think I told him to stop but maybe I didn't. I do remember being in a group of 10 guys (maybe more) and around 3 girls. The girls who were there knew me and claimed to be my friends. I wasn't drunk at the time and I don't remember what I was wearing (nobody should care). I was drinking but not even tipsy. It was a birthday party. The girl I called my best friend was one of the only other girls there. All I really remember is the boys taunting me, a few of them trying to touch and grab what was never theirs to touch. Then him. He claimed protectorship on the basis that I was his girlfriend's best friend. I don't know how much he had had to drink at that stage. To be honest, I don't care. All I know is that he grabbed me, touched me inappropriately commenting on how my hair was now the same colour as his girlfriend's hair and so obviously he could have both of us. I remember that he touched my breasts. Nobody has touched them since. 


That night after all the taunting and touching and inappropriate behaviour (all at the first bar) I couldn't work out what was 'wrong' with me, why I didn't feel myself and why I was constantly fighting the urge to cry. I couldn't figure out the pain in my chest or the unfamiliar feeling that was flowing through my body. I wanted to scream, shout or hide in a corner and cry maybe all three. Instead of going home, calling an uber or calling my parents I stayed and I smiled and I pretended. The girl I called my best friend didn't stand up for me when I couldn't keep it together anymore at the end of the night. The boys drove home with a guy in the group who was notorious for drinking and driving. From the car, her boyfriend called her and lied (joked?) that the friend in question had been arrested and that they were all being driven home by a third party.  He did this when he knew that just a few months previous to this 'party', I had been held overnight in a police station for drinking and driving though the charges were never upheld and I wasn't drinking and driving anyway. They thought it was funny when they pitched up in the car with the driver not arrested and instead killing himself laughing at our (or rather my) expense. They thought that I was overreacting when I wanted to walk and didn't want to get into the car. They laughed. I gave them the finger. I wasn't sober enough (nor did I feel mentally able) to drive myself home and the plan had been to stay with at her house with the group. She attempted to calm me down and wondered why it didn't work. She didn't notice what was actually a full blown panic attack. That she didn't see the signs earlier in the night amazes me. That when I shook and cried and held myself, she didn't see it. I cried, they laughed uproariously from the living room. I called my Mum and I left.


I saw her maybe the next week. I wanted to explain myself, explain what had happened. She repeated that I had overreacted, was in fact currently overreacting and that everything was 'just a joke'. I haven't seen her since. I have survived suicide attempts, anorexia and depression and I have no doubt that I will overcome time. Right now though, I'm not sure I know how to be in a relationship or how to be touched. I know that I cannot expect someone to love me when I cannot love myself. I'm giving myself time to heal, as much as I need...


*This probably wouldn't be everyone's version of events from that night but this is mine, this is my truth. 

*Also, this is not aimed at anyone but I feel that enough time has passed and it is important to speak out on issues like this. We need to stop the stigma. This is my story...



Thank you, Jen Su, for inspiring me to write this,

I can’t really pinpoint the day my struggle with anorexia started but if I had to pick one, I think I’d pick a day way back in 2007. No idea what day of the week it was, in fact, I can’t really remember any specifics of that day. All I can tell you for sure is that I was still in primary school and we weren’t in our school uniforms. I have a feeling we were celebrating the end of grade 7 (sort of a graduation party if you like). I was never one of the ‘skinny’ girls and in fact had the tendency to carry a bit more weight than was average or healthy.

By grade 7 and aged 13, I had been to a dietician and on a diet plan and was probably weighing the least I ever had. I was more than likely the healthiest too but I don’t really remember. Anyway, with all this weight loss, I had this new pair of red shorts, which I loved and could now wear. I had chosen to wear them that day and I’ll never ever forget the little boy who saw me, looked me up and down and then called me thunder thighs and told me I should never wear shorts again.If you want to know how much your words can impact people, here's a vague idea. To this day I struggle to wear shorts and every time I do manage, I feel as though everyone is judging me in the same way he did. With all my intellect, I know this is not the truth but facts don’t really come into play here.


Indeed, all the intellect in the world couldn’t save me from myself.


I guess, looking back, a few things came into play. I was liked more by the other kids and at least it seemed to me the teachers when I was skinnier. This trend continued on through high school with boys paying me more attention when I was skinnier than when I was a little on the chubby side. All through the beginning of high school, I struggled with my weight. Things got really bad when I was in grade 10, good grief I hated that school so very much. I was so stressed, I didn’t fit in anywhere at the school and my friends were, I was very different and that certainly didn’t help. I was bullied and spent a lot of break time alone. I went back to thinking that if I was skinnier it might be better. It never got better. I always felt alone and stupid at school. For them, it wasn't the system that was floored but me and I assume, people like me. 


My lowest weight was 42kg, certainly not emaciated for an anorexic but not strong enough for what I was doing. I was dancing, singing and acting as well as trying to [occasionally] do homework. I was tired all the time and of course depressed. Depression and Anorexia are practically best friends and if they were teenage girls, they would go everywhere together. 


Already we’re talking about a lot of baggage for a 17-year-old girl and looking back, it really is clear why I never had a boyfriend. Who could love a girl who doesn’t even slightly care for herself?


Also during 2012, I tried to overdose and tried to kill myself,  it never worked and for that I am very thankful. The troubles continued until I reached a point in 2014 where I honestly thought my life meant nothing and tried to end it all in a bathtub at a hotel.


I think the trouble with things like anorexia and depression is that far too many people think they are far too simple to solve. In the case of anorexia, just start eating again. It just isn’t that simple. I will always know the calorie content of everything that I put in my mouth. Anorexia makes you a maths genius, all those numbers to add up. Everything you put in your mouth needs to be counted and then, of course, there are all the conversions you have to do, from kilojoules to calories etc... Then  there's the mind vs itself. All the decisions you have to make based not on what you WANT to eat but what you deem okay to eat calorie wise.


Depression...well contrary to popular belief, you can't just BE happy. There are some days where the depression is controllable, for a while you are able to shove it under your bed and almost forget about it. Then there are the days where it truly is the monster and you feel it could eat you alive with even the slightest movement. Depression and anorexia are mental diseases so please, the next time someone confides in you don’t tell them to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘look on the bright side’. When you are there, you honestly cannot see the bright side, you can't see tomorrow or 'how great your life could be'. Please help us with love and support but don't show pity, it makes us feel worse. If you don't understand, tell the person who is struggling and listen (if they will talk), then, try to understand. Please don't make it about you. There wasn't anything worse than my family 'treating the bystanders', I was the one struggling and hurt but they insisted that I had damaged them. That is very selfish, as is driving the person away or treating them as if they are insane. We already feel guilty, trust me. 


I just want to thank all the people in my life who have helped me along the way, this year for the first time I was able to eat because I was hungry and to choose what was appealing. It doesn’t mean I don’t know the calorie content, I do, but I choose to ignore it and live for me, live for today. 


I hope anyone reading this who has struggled or is struggling can understand that recovery is a long process and that there may never be total recovery. However, it is worth the struggle and honestly not impossible by any means.


Thank you to: 

My parents and friends who have supported me throughout and managed to do so with the utmost confidence that not only would I get better but also without ever acting selfishly. Special thanks to Tracy and Charles Mahony, Ronelle and Gary Sartor, Dean Sartor, Kyle Sartor, Shane Thompson, Jen Su, Boyd Meihlon, Marina Goetze, Caitlyn Mollett, Gabby Van Niekerk, Kevin McLennan and Jill Grogor.