The early 20s struggle; I’m a strong independent woman who don’t need no man vs “I WANT A BOYFRIEND, NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE ME”

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Those of us born in the early 1990s – or maybe late 1980s, are going through a strange time right now. Struggling through the transition from childhood to adulthood, having our first “grown up” job, paying bills (sometimes), realising that very soon there will be no 90s born children in the compulsory schooling system…and *gulps* some of us may be starting to think about (or already have) starting a family or getting married.

Then there’s people like me, who are so far away from the marriage and kids thing that it’s actually laughable. In my 22 years of living, I’ve never had an actual boyfriend. Sure I’ve had some fun times *sniggers*, but I’ve never even been close to being in love. But that’s okay, right? I’m still young. I have lots of things I want to do in my life before settling down; go travelling again, get that travel bug out of my system, come home and get studying again in the form of a PGCE so I can become a teacher. Yes, plan. Besides, it’s 2015. People get married and start a family a lot later than they did say 50 years ago. Women are now more independent and focusing on your career isn’t frowned upon.

I have plenty to be happy about at the moment you know, I have a job that I love; working at a Special Needs college, with young students with all kinds of learning disabilities as well as physical, who inspire me every single day. I have an amazing family, wonderful friends, and lots of exciting things I want to do with my life.

The early 20s struggle; I'm a strong independent woman who don't need no man vs


So I like to tell myself…and sometimes I really do feel that way. Until I see yet another “friend” from school on Facebook announce their pregnancy or engagement. Until I see all my younger friends and even my little sister who are in incredible relationships (sorry Cherelley, you know I love you and Tom Tom and I’m immensely happy for you both).

It’s so weird and I feel totally stupid about it, because I absolutely know for a fact I don’t want a baby or a husband right now. I know I want to do other things before I settle down. But at the same time, I can’t help but think “when is it my turn?” When will I meet someone who thinks the world of me, and who I think the world of. When will I meet someone who will put me first, someone whose hopes and dreams I can share?

Recently I met a guy who was so so lovely, we really hit it off and I really thought it would go somewhere. Then suddenly, he just stopped replying to my texts. It really really upset me, like what is so wrong with me that we can go from getting on like a house on fire, talking about meeting eachother’s friends and family, to completely no contact? My sister has a boyf who bought her tickets to see The Lion King for her birthday, and what did I have? Some fuckboy who won’t even reply to my texts. Of course, I have now come to terms with the fact that he’s an idiot and I am fabulous and it’s entirely his loss. But what if it never happens for me?

Like I said, I am only 22, and I know there is plenty of time for all of these things to happen. But of course, there’s always a chance that they won’t, and that’s fucking terrifying.


It all comes down to the fact that, despite all the great things I have in my life, I actually feel pretty lonely. Instead of talking to someone about all this, I’ve written a blog about it.

My feelings are massively conflicting, but all I know is that I needed to get that out of my system, sorry that my first blog post in months is a completely depressing feeling sorry for myself post. If you’ve got to this point and actually read this post, you’re a hero!

What I also know is that, I’ll know I’ve found what’s missing in my life when, if I need to share my emotions, I don’t need to write a blog post about it…


My superstar Uncle Dave ❤️

Many apologies for breaking up the travel blogging for a minute to write about something very serious and close to my heart.

On this day in 2007, one of the most amazing men in my life was taken away from us and now resides in heaven; my Uncle Dave. When I was a kid he was my cool, funny and hilariously annoying Uncle; but as each year has passed and I’ve got older, I’m understanding more and more what an extraordinary man he was.

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When I was growing up, he was the man who;

  • Nicknamed me Fatalie (I wasn’t even fat) and re-worked the lyrics of Grease songs at my expense…”look at me I’m Fatalie, I am so damn greedy, won’t go to bed until I’ve been fed”…”Fatalieeee, can’t you see, you’re so greedy; you sit at home, all alone, eating like a pig.” It wasn’t just me who was subjected to the above kind of ridicule, he made songs out of my cousin’s nickname too and pretty much made fun of everyone he loved. His banter game was strong.
  • Didn’t have a conventional “grown-up” job like most adults; the adult version of myself now would assume he was a freelancer in the media field. He appeared as an extra in TV shows such as Eastenders, The Bill, Desmond’s and Family Affairs, went to Greece for work A LOT, and he even wrote, directed and produced his own TV show – Flash Tash records. Most impressively, in the 1980s he worked as a Michael Jackson lookalike! Uncle Dave was even used as a decoy to distract fans and the press when the real MJ was in town.
  • Had the messiest room of any adult I knew!

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Now, as a 22 year old woman, I’ve come to realise what made him such a spectacular person. I don’t want him to only be remembered as someone who “fought cancer so gracefully” and “lost the battle”, but the way he dealt with his illness is a big example of the kind of person he was. In May 2006, we lost my Grandad; and it was around this time my Uncle was diagnosed with cancer – himself and one family friend knew it was terminal, but he didn’t share this with us. He wanted to carry on his life as normal, look after his family, and just be the Dave we all know and love. In the last 6 months of his life, he re-found his faith and was very positive, made sure he carried on going to the gym when he was well enough, went to Greece again, and took my Grandma to her homeland of Barbados – the place he took his final breaths.

My Uncle Dave was only 39 years old when he passed away; he didn’t have any children, but he spent his life helping others. He lived at home looking after my Grandparents, and looked after my Grandma after my Grandad passed away. As I mentioned before, that coincided with his diagnosis, we were all mourning – Uncle Dave had all of that to deal with but he never complained once.

Despite his somewhat mean banter, Uncle Dave was actually nice to everyone. The day of his funeral the church was full to the brim, so many people wanted to pay respect to a person who touched the hearts of everyone he knew.

Most importantly, he made us laugh all the time! He’d ring up and say “Hi Fatalie, ask Cherelle how are things in Addis Ababa”, “you should know” I’d reply. Context: my sister Cherelle was a super skinny child, Uncle Dave would say she looked like a starving African that you’d see on a Save The Children advert, or in Addis Ababa, for example. Uncle Dave was also very skinny, so “he should know” exactly how things are in Addis Ababa. In the 14 years I had the pleasure of having him in my life, I never saw him unhappy, and never heard him speak badly of anybody. He was an effortlessly funny and kind person.

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photos left to right: me & Uncle Dave at the Rhein Falls in Switzerland 1999; Uncle Dave, my dad & Grandad – Christmas 1989; my mummy with Uncle Dave & Uncle Carl on my parents’ wedding day 1990

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photos from top left to bottom right: Uncle Dave on the far left, with his brother & sisters (my mum, aunties and uncles); Uncle Dave (in the pink shirt) with my Grandma & his brother & sisters; Uncle Dave on far right, my mummy next to him, Uncle Carl, Auntie Michelle and cousin Sadie); the Forde kids with their parents/my grandma & gramps (Uncle Dave at the front in the England football shirt)

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Uncle Dave & my mum with baby me in 1992; Uncle Dave & Auntie Miche with 3(?) year old me in 1995 maybe

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photos from top left to bottom right: Uncle Dave (on the far right in the blue hoodie) with my mum, his siblings and friends in the 70s/80s(?); Uncle Dave (second in from the right) with his family Christmas 1989; Uncle Dave holding my sister Cherelle at her Christening in 1997; My grandma’s birthday in 2005 (Uncle Dave second in from the left, on the back row)

It’s been 8 years and this never gets any easier. Early 2007 was the hardest time of my life so far, how do you deal with losing two family members you were so close to, within 8 months of eachother, when you’re only 14 years old? I dealt with it the only way I knew how; keeping my thoughts to myself. I’m not one for talking about my emotions, writing this blog post is the first time I’ve really said any of this stuff where anyone can hear it. Thankfully, I have a very supportive and loving family; through our times of grief we’ve come together and tried to make sure we’re living a good quality of life, which is what Uncle Dave and my Gramps would’ve wanted.

David Forde was a truly wonderful man, uncle, brother, son, cousin, nephew and friend. I miss you every single day Uncle Dave; we have family parties, we do Christmas and New Year together,we go on holiday together, we have family group photos but they will forever be incomplete without you. I’m sure you’re up there having a great laugh at my expense at some of the things that go on in my life; there’s so much I’d love to tell you! I will treasure the memories we had with you forever and ever – I wish you were here to see the woman I’ve become, I’m proud of myself and I hope you’re proud of me too. I love you.

David Anthony Forde
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28th April 1967 – 14th January 2007

Getting to know me, getting to know you…

Hello, bonjour, hola, sawasdee ka!

Welcome to my little blog! My name’s Natalie Goode (silent E, hence good(e) life); I’m a 22 year old English lit graduate and Support Worker, from a little place in West Sussex, named Crawley.

I’ve wanted to start a blog for a long time, but never felt I had anything interesting to say. However, I’ve just returned from a short backpacking trip to Thailand which was one of the best things I’ve ever done and want to remember for the rest of my life; so now feels as good a time as any to start a blog to document my experiences (travel and otherwise).

So a little bit more about me, a few of my likes and dislikes which might give you an idea of what my blog posts will include.

I absolutely love reading! As a kid I would keep all my favourite books under my pillow, and I’ve had a passion for reading ever since. My favourite books are The Hunger Games trilogy, Divergent trilogy, The Fault in Our Stars (and pretty much everything else by John Green), My Sister’s Keeper, The Spectacular Now, The Diary of Anne Frank and many more!

I’m a sucker for TV shows, but not in the same way as everybody else. I’m not the type to spend an entire evening watching the likes of Breaking Bad, Orange Is The New Black or The Vampire Diaries on Netflix; however I will do just that with my box sets of a few classic faves – such as Friends and The Inbetweeners. I’ve seen every episode of both of those so many times, and I laugh as if I’m seeing it for the first time.

A similar thing goes with films. I haven’t seen many of the big classic films that everyone loves, like Die Hard or Star Wars; but I will rewatch my personal faves over and over – Grease, Hairspray, White Chicks, and my absolute all time fave…Mean Girls! I could quote that entire film backwards, I can make fetch happen!

I love my music as well, my all time favourites are Michael Jackson and Bob Marley; they are my absolute idols. Other favourites include Boyz II Men, Ed Sheeran, The Script, Ariana Grande, Sam Smith…but I like a bit of everything. One of my favourite things to do is go to concerts, live music is just the best!

Last, but definitely not least, the hobby that has taken up the most space in my life is dancing and acting. I have been doing these things since I was 11 years old (so for 11 years!) and I absolutely love it. I’ve performed on stages in my hometown of Crawley and in London. Performing and training has seen my confidence soar, and my friendship circles grow; the people at the dance school I attend are some of my bestest ever friends, we’re like one big family!

So yeah, I think I’ve rambled on enough now! If you’re still reading, thank you so much; I hope you’ve enjoyed this and continue tuning in for my future blog posts.

Until next time,

Nat xx