Saturday, 16 September 2017
So this years theme was 'take a minute, change a life'. I thought this was lovely. It puts emphasis on the importance and significance of speaking up, and seeking help. But also on taking more time out to listen to people and support them. It kinda splits the role and I like that. Right from when I was younger and started to struggle with anxiety and self harm (the latter is more applicable to when I was younger), I have had some great people that have been prepared to sit and listen to me for hours if I needed it. I wouldn't have gotten through some pretty strange stages without them (that sounds lame, I know). And some of that advice has carried me through and improved my confidence now. I've said it before but I couldn't have imagined ever being this comfortable talking about things such as mental health. So I am very grateful to the few teachers that made time for me in high school, for my parents, a couple of friends and for Jennifer Niven. That support system was very much needed and integral to my own progress. So I cannot stress enough how important in general listening is. it is so important to make time for the people that you care about. But I'd say even more so with regard to mental health and suicide prevention in particular.
What I really wanted to write about tonight was being kind. I guess to yourself, and to other people. It seems daft to think that such small acts of kindness have the most impact on a person. But it is true, it's the little things. It's somebody checking on you to make sure if you're okay or somebody telling you to be careful on the way home or something. The odd smile whilst on a shift at work, or a brief hug. I don't know. It can be anything. But I know that other people can help and listening is a good thing.
I know that reaching out and asking for help is so so scary. It feels like admitting a weakness. I think it can sometimes come with the same shame that crying in public does. But there is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. It is far easier to say that you are 'okay' when things are falling apart. But it is so so important to reach out and ask for help if you need it, and it is okay to need it. It is okay to be falling apart. It's not the best or more desirable feeling in the world. And yet it happens. I know that it's entirely possible to feel weak. But asking for help does not make you so. Reaching out is brave. Admitting you need help is brave. And yet on the flip side of things, it is entirely okay if you don't want to reach out and instead decide to curl up and stay in bed. Your preferred method of dealing with life is okay and nobody should judge you for it. But sometimes people can help.
I wanted to talk about being kind to yourself too. I suppose that there are some smaller things that you can do to be kind to yourself. You can do things for yourself and relax. That's something that gets overlooked I think. Okay, I get that it is really easy to get swept up in... life and that its easy to forget to care for yourself whilst being swept up in it. Things are busy. But seriously where's the harm in running a bath or watching a shitty dvd? There seems to be stigma attached to self love, sometimes. I am really confused by it, despite the fact that I don't practise loving myself enough and I know that. But nonetheless, it is important. I should take more baths and read more. Anyway, being kind to yourself is integral and taking time out of your daily routine to do so is a good thing. I found this post not so long ago, on Instagram. I really like the concept of a person just needing themselves.
Something in particular that has been on my mind lately is the concept of letting things go. So I suppose that this can apply to not judging yourself or being too hard on yourself. I'm not saying being depressed, and feeling sad/anxious or staying in bed is necessarily the best thing. But I do think that it is okay, and it is important to cut yourself a bit of slack if you can. You are not letting yourself down by taking some time out or behaving in a way that seems reasonable to you. Sometimes you have to put yourself first and there is never a wrong time for that decision. So whether you are sad or not, try to either lessen or let go of the negativity that you aim at yourself. I guess what I am saying is that there is no good to be found in putting yourself second.
I guess that not being afraid of let go is really important. And letting go is a luxury I think I've been depriving myself of for too long. I hold on to too many feelings and emotions, surrounding myself and others. But I think I'm afraid of letting go of people too. I know that there are a few people that are still in my life that sometimes cause me a lot of unnecessary heartache. So why have I not walked away? I don't know. Because I have not yet mastered the art of just needing myself. I have convinced myself that I need this other person and maybe in some aspects I do. I know that I like having them around, and that I would miss them if they were gone. I don't know. Thinking too hard about letting go really hurts my head. Because what is the criteria for letting go? I think, although it is complicated, it is a good idea to let go of things that hurt. That do not help a person grow positively. I am having to learn, with the help of friends and family, that change is as good as the rest.
Long story short, what I am trying to say is make decisions surrounding you. Reach out to people if you think you need help. Reaching out, and wanting to be heard is not an act of cowardice. You are so brave for reaching out, or for not reaching out. You are brave for dealing with any form of mental health condition, I think. But at the same time its important to remember that it is okay to rely on people. And remember the small things like taking time out for yourself. It's important to remember the importance of things like chocolate, cookies and food. Sometimes, I think that even admitting you are not okay is an act of self love.
And god, please remember to be kind to others. Listen to them. Pay people compliments! I don't understand why compliments aren't given more. Be sensitive, is the last thing I want to say. Sometimes people are struggling more than they care to admit, and more than they are willing to show. Be mindful and be kind.
Okay, I'm going to end on probably the worst piece of advice. It gets better, no matter what. My favourite author shared a post on facebook this week about preferring 'I am here', over 'I was here' and I couldn't agree more. You're not alone.
I hope that you all sleep well and appreciate this post (I have been writing this thing for a whole week due to working). See you soon guys!
Monday, 4 September 2017
But for now, I am curled up on the sofa under a fluffy blanket. I am having trouble sleeping again. I guess I should include a recap after my last post confessing my continued period of extreme sadness. There are good days and bad days for everyone, I suppose. There are some days that I can feel everything very separately and I can distinguish happy from sad. These are the good days. The bad days are the opposite. But this week is a good week. I’ve hung out with Chels, watched some films and tomorrow is my day off. I am finding that if I don’t think about how I’m feeling too much, then it is easier. I know that I will dip in and out of sad and anxious spells for a while, but I also know that it will always pass.
It's now midnight. Midnight used to be a lonely time, but it's nice having an empty house and watching television till whatever time I like in the morning. I am numbing my brain this evening with Sex and the City. It's an odd film. Time passes incredibly quickly in this film and in all honesty, it's trash. But I can see why it might be comforting sometimes. Okay, moving on!
I've been following a bit of advice over the past month and not setting hard and fast rules for myself. I have got to say, it's easier. I've been putting less pressure on myself and that has helped so much. But I have taken some time out and my feelings have settled to the steady level that I am used to. Perhaps not always happy, but I am not currently occupying a void. I feel as though I can feel things right now, and okay sometimes I would like not to. But the alternative is kind of a weird numbness in which I feel everything at once. (Crazy, right?!) I would like to avoid that state of being that resembles a constant headache, thank you. But anyway, I think the most important thing is to remember to give yourself credit for even the little things. It's important to remember to reward to small victories. I went shopping this week and treated myself to some new clothes, underwear and other things. Why? Because I felt like it. It felt good to not question whether or not I deserved it.
So I guess that's what I am here to do today, discuss small victories a little bit. Okay. What I really want to write about was some of the things that I liked about this month. I feel pretty good right now (with the exception of this killer headache. Seriously- ouch!). So lets make the most of that whilst it lasts.
Okay, here goes nothing:
In the month since my last post I have been running a couple of times. Running always helps and I would recommend physical exercise to anyone who is struggling with mental health or feeling negative. I've stopped running the same route too and have been wandering around the surrounding forest. The other day I went early, and sat on a hill half way through. Getting out of the house is good for a person. The other day, I ran in the rain. And I took my hood off. I ended up with a little bit of a cold afterwards and it looked like something out of a silly romantic movie. A tad pathetic. But I like the rain a lot and I've never ran through it before.
I finished a book! Reading has been really slow for me this year, despite buying and downloading books really regularly. But finishing a book was a small victory and it made me happy. I'm probably not going to hit my reading goal for this year, even though it's only September. But I'm gonna cut myself some slack- it has been a long year! I still have a bunch of University books to buy
Okay, I am really uncomfortable with saying this. And I hate that I feel bad for saying it. But one of the things I am happy about this month is my waist line. I can't work out if I've lost weight or put it on. But I am okay with my figure right now and just 'okay' will do for me. Oh and I also dyed my hair myself for the first time. I am kind of proud of that. I feel pretty happy with myself. Which is strange. And I think I will always have the unhealthy habit of putting myself down, I think. I'm used to it. I don't know that either and I hate that this has become a pattern for me. But I'm working on it. I am not as down on myself right now as I usually am. In the spirit of self love, here is a dodgy picture of me that I actually quite like.
The point I've been trying to make is that I've been trying, and I'm not sure why I needed to write that. However, it felt good to acknowledge myself a little bit. There are still loads of things I need to work on- the whole not letting people walk all over me being pretty high on the list, still. But trying will always be enough. I wish somebody had told me this even six weeks ago. I'm never going to be prepared for the next little blast of those feelings. And of course I still get day to day anxiety. God knows when that will go away. But I am tyring to be kinder to myself, to be brave and force myself out of bed, and to smile.
But here goes nothing; the point of this strange post that is full of rambling is to say that I feel a little bit okay again. I feel awake, rather than sluggish and drunk-ish. Or I am starting to. And this feels good.
I've learnt also and realised a lot of things in the past month, and I have been writing lots in the drafts section. And my next post might be on loving people and things, and letting go. But I think the most important thing I've realised is that nothing is more important than myself. Not even the love of somebody else. I think it’s really hard to put yourself first, but I’m giving it a go! I wish more people, including myself, appreciated themselves more. Especially when feeling as utterly shit as I did a few weeks ago. Why don't we acknowledge getting dressed? Or going through the day without panicking? Eating three meals in a day? Or even just getting out of bed? Why are these not as big as achievements as running marathons or getting good grades, etc? Amidst the rambling, what I'm really trying to say is to remember to be kind to yourself. It helps, more than you'd think.
I hope that you are all okay, and if you're not I hope that you know you will be soon.
I really am going to be around a lot over the next few days- I have so much to say!
Have a great day guys.
Friday, 1 September 2017
Monday, 31 July 2017
I've been away for almost two weeks now and it has been really difficult. I've never just stopped writing before. And in those two weeks, I haven't really been doing anything solely for me. But today I was advised not to set hard and fast rules for myself and I felt like writing today. So here I am. And I guess I'm here to be honest about what's in my head right now. I'm trying to be brave. I'm also trying to worry less about what people think. I found a J K Rowling quote that helped with this. Newt said that '[his] philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice'. So I'm trying to worry less. I suppose that this is a post of change.
I want to say how negative I've felt just lately. I want to be all 'hey I'm not okay right now'. But that sounds really daft. So I guess I'll settle for the word 'unsettled'. Admittedly, there is a lot of change going on right now. Life is very unsettled and I've felt a little bit numb recently. I've felt a bit spaced out over the past few weeks and I'm not sure if that's because I'm not getting enough sleep or whether I can't sleep because I feel spaced out. I don't know, and I feel a lot of that. I feel a lot of I don't know. Does this make sense? But I left my blog for a little bit because nothing I was writing felt decent. In essence I had forgotten how to blog and what I even wanted to do online anymore. It felt floaty and full of really weak links and so have I. I just know that I have felt more than anxiety over the past couple of weeks. I have not felt okay. I've felt stuck, and as though I have been letting myself down. I also realised that I am too hard on myself. I'll make a mistake and literally reprimand myself for it almost instantly. It is pretty crazy.
Now it's been a really long time since I've felt like this. But I know that it is easy to settle into a pattern of thinking that you will never be happy again. Because I do this all the time. It is really easy to fall into a void and to feel consumed by it. I feel the sense of emptiness in my chest and some days it is damn hard to move from bed. It's really easy to feel like a failure if you don't manage to get up.
I feel pathetic writing about this and I hate that I feel like that. I am worried about sharing this post, and people I have to see in my day to day life reading this. I am worried that they will look at me differently and I fear judgement. I don't know why and I wish I didn't. But maybe that's because I look at me differently sometimes and I am too down on myself. I worry that I'm oversharing. I've said this before but not being okay is perfectly fine. Feeling numb, and submersed within said void, and feeling panicked is completely okay. It's also okay to feel nothing (or to cry). It's not perfect, or the most desirable situation. But sometimes it is there. Sometimes it's taking time out and waiting for it to pass. It's been a very long time since I've dealt with something above anxiety. Of course, there are good days and bad days. This week I have had a couple more good days than I have had bad.
I'm also learning that I am also far too trusting and naïve. I was told this by a good friend just yesterday; and that I let people walk all over me. This, it turns out, is true. So I am starting to realise that sometimes I am the problem. But sometimes I am not. This week I reached out for some help and advice. I was terrified. I panicked right before even going into the building. But I was shocked to find that it actually helped me to work through some stuff. So here I am trying to put myself first, and organise my life again. I have been putting myself second for too long.
I'm wondering right now why I let myself worry. It seems kinda daft to get as anxious as I do. And boy would my life be easier if I didn't worry as much, or have anxiety issues. Hell yes it would. However, unfortunately worrying is a part of life and it is a part of me. If I could turn off all of the feelings and thoughts that acted as a hindrance to me, things would undoubtedly be easier. But I think I like being sensitive. I don't like that I have the capacity to feel this much and yet feel so little. Yet it is there.
So in summary, it isn't okay for anyone to hurt you. I know that I need to stop giving people easy rides in and out of my life and stop letting myself be used. There are some people, and elements of life, that I need to leave behind.
Honestly it's really hard to focus when feeling like this (best way I can explain it is like being drunk? But without that little happy buzz when you're giggling constantly). That is why I went to seek advice. I honestly can't recommend reaching out enough. Sometimes reaching out can mean going to visit a doctor or sourcing counselling. Personally, I am not a fan. But I cannot encourage this enough. I am normally a fan of bottling things up and this is not good for you. Or me.
Anyway, I am trying to do things that make me happy and mean that I am at the forefront. Self love and self care is very difficult to practise and very easy to forget to do. But I have been doing my make up differently, and that's making me happy. I'm trying to get back into my reading and creative writing. And I've been running more (which is crippling my legs by the way). But I think that the point I am trying to make is that I am trying. And I genuinely think that's all anyone can ever ask of a person. Your best is good enough.
Long story short, once again I have not been okay (with good reason I think). But I will be okay and I am getting there. Things are not all bad and there are some very good people in my life. It's so so important to try and draw on positives. This brief experience has meant that I've learnt a lot about myself. It's also extremely good advice to try to surround yourself with good and positive people that do not drain you when feeling like this. People do not make you feel worse and will support you. I promise that your problems are never ever insignificant, so don't let anybody make you feel as though they are. You deserve to take up space in whatever way you chose.
I think if I was going to give anybody any advice right now it would be to believe in themselves. I cannot stress enough how important it is. One of my managers keeps telling me that if I go into things believing that I will fail, then I will fail. Self belief is a really powerful thing guys.
I know that it is shit advice, but it's even more important to remember that it is not your fault. That it will eventually pass and be okay again. And that you can do it. You got this and so do I :-) Please remember to be kind to yourself and to others!
I guess that my point is that I need to take my own advice. I'm good at giving it. But not taking it has got me in a little bit of a rut right now. Running is helping, as is reading. And I'm really excited about all the positive and independely chosen changes that are going to be coming my way.
I am getting there. I think. I've been sleeping, running and reading and have been looking after myself. I'm starting to feel a little bit lighter and happy. I'm doing better.
And with that, it is almost one in the afternoon and I've been brave enough for today. I need to get up and finish cleaning my house, make some lists, and maybe even go on a run. So I will bid you farewell. I hope that you all have wonderful weeks and are happy. I'll be pretty active this week with a creative piece and some fairyloot updates. I'm so glad to be back!
(I apologise for oversharing- if I am oversharing. Idk!)
Have a good day guys xx
Monday, 17 July 2017
Okay. This post is really hard for me. Like you have no idea. I'm not abandoning this blog permanently. But i am going to be taking a few weeks break. I'm hoping it's just a few weeks.
I'm still going to be writing behind the scenes. But not publishing anything for a while.
Why? There's a lot going on right now. I don't feel in a position to write positively about anything. And I'm sick of writing about how anxious or sad I am. So I'm taking some time out. Going to try practice some self love and get back to the great position I was in before.
I hope you guys have a great couple of weeks.
Friday, 14 July 2017
Hello and welcome to 'I am having a wobble today'. I've been doing really well for the past couple of weeks and I'm hoping that it is because I am tired that I seemed to have slipped.
Either way, I am sitting in the middle of my bed. I have some candles lit, and my fairy lights on. I am wearing my favourite t shirt and I am eating a bowl of tinned spaghetti. I am probably going to run a bath at some point before what I can feel is already going to be a late night. But right now I cannot be bothered to move. I am not freaking out, I just want to be still for a moment. So I guess that's a good thing.
I'm still looking for something new to read.
I hope you all have fantastically positively weeks.
See you soon.
Thursday, 13 July 2017
First of all I'd like to thank everyone who read my latest post about body confidence (whether I forced it on you or not!), who liked the link to it on Facebook or who messaged me about it or even spoke to me about it at work. Every one of those little things make me extremely happy and positive. So thank you to every single reader and I'm really glad that you guys liked it so much. It was really daunting talking about it at work for the first time. But sharing helps me. (Side note: Thank you to everyone who has checked on me with regard to how I've been feeling. I think I'm doing okay-ish now!)
I'm quite firm in my belief that you cannot possibly get any further if you are incapable of loving yourself even just a little bit. That doesn't mean loving what you look like, per say. Or loving everything about yourself. I just mean that sometimes respecting yourself comes in handy. And putting myself first and being kind to myself has improved my mood significantly over the past week.
In the spirit of self love I was thinking about cutting my hair (hell this post is as opposite of deep). And for once I did something kinda spontaneous! I had about an inch off but I love it. I feel fresh and fabulous (probably look less fab than I feel). And Chelsey dyed the new mop for me. So in line with my body confidence post, I currently like my hair (woohoo!) I can't tell you how good it feels to like something about myself. This doesn't occur very often so when it does I'm always pretty happy.
I've also been trying to read more, and it's really helped. I just finished How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. I don't even know where to begin with this book. Easily one of the best books I have read and will read in a while. Having Shakespeare, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald as characters was genius and so entertaining! I was thinking about what I would perhaps stop time for. Maybe not stop it but slow it down for. Days off- without a doubt. Just for some extended moments of peace. I'd slow down my panic attacks. I think if they were slowed down, they'd be less than an anxiety attack. Dodie suggested just experiencing panic and that would be easier to observe if they were slowed down. I don't know. It's later.
So this evening I've had a candle lit bath and I'm going to get an early night in (yes, one in the morning is still early). But first I'm just going to let you guys know that I am working on what should be a very long project for this blog. I'm hoping that it's going to be helping me in the process but it's going to be very honest and mental health related (of course. please don't roll your eyes guys). But I have some fairy loot posts to catch up on. So my hours have gone up at work but I will be much more active here from now on (YAY!). My tablet is living in my bag right now so this will help.
I also know that I'm behind on a Fairy Loot unboxing for last month; I'll just merge the two when this months box comes!
I hope you all have tip top weeks and I will return very shortly.
Saturday, 1 July 2017
I know that a large number of people start every new year with the declaration that 'this will be my year!' and I can't help but wonder how many people have found this year to be a good one thus far. 2017 has seen a lot of political shit, for starters. That discourages me from saying anything positive about the year before we even touch on my personal life. But here goes nothing.
This year has seen me progress toward being a manager at work. Seen the birth of a new baby sister; Harper (congratulations to my dad and his girlfriend). This year has seen many arguments, and more panic attacks than I've ever experienced in my life. I'm learning how to move on, and how to get rid of the toxic people that seem to fill my life at the moment. I'm learning to let go, and it's one of the most important things I've ever learnt (side note one of my friends sent me this video earlier and my god, it is so so helpful). I'm letting go of grudges, and the little things that get to me day to day. Boy it is difficult.
Okay. So I think this may be a long one and I apologise in advance. I watched this video too and I loved the concept of being able to turn insecurities and self perceived flaws into positives. Why have I only just discovered this youtube channel?! Thank you Lauren.
I hate my nose. I have done for many years. My little sister has got the same nose, I think. And I just hope that she grows into it. I feel as though my nose takes up ninety percent of my face. It is too big and urgh. Okay, now to turn this into something positive (HOW DO I DO THIS). No. Okay. This nose is my dads nose. It means that I have a feature of one of my parents and I think that's a pretty damn good thing. It's like an identifier, I guess, so that's cool.
Okay. What else do I hate? My lack of boobs (I apologise for this one but anyone who spends any amount of time with me knows I make jokes about this pretty regularly but I do not appreciate other people making jokes about this). My sister does not suffer from the same misfortune! (SHE IS THREE YEARS YOUNGER THAN ME!) But yeah. I'll not go into much more detailing about this as I am uncomfortable with certain people reading about this. Okay, here I go attempting to turn it into a positive. I guess I get to buy pretty underwear and I'm pretty tiny with regard to my entire form so I am proportionate. Small boobs aren't really a terrible thing, I suppose.
I hate the bags under my eyes the most of all just lately. But I guess the best way to turn them into a positive is to think of them as a sign of hard work. I didn't sleep much in my second year of university because I was working, and doing uni work at the same time. It was exhausting but really rewarding. So with passing my second year, I'm gonna consider those bags a small price to pay!
So what do I actually like about my body? I've learnt to like my legs (except knees. But knees are weird in general), over anything else. And maybe my waist line. I'm just going to point out that I feel uncomfortable saying I like something about my body. I feel as though it makes me vain if I admit that I like something. But loving my body, even in parts rather than the sum total, is a relatively new concept. I was happy starving myself and carving marks into various limbs for the most part of my teens. And if you'd have asked me a couple of years ago, I'd have said I hated those scars more than anything. Truth is, you can barely see them now. But it wouldn't bother me either way. Thinking about it, I think I appreciate my body more now. I don't deliberately mistreat it anymore so perhaps I am going up in the world with regard to self love.
I wonder if I have been conditioned to feel as though I should put myself down? I don't know. But I am used to rejecting compliments, like it comes second nature to me now. I'm not being modest. I genuinely don't believe said compliments. Some guy told me I had a nice smile last week and I laughed in his face. I feel for Chelsey who has to deal with my panic about what to wear every day and how to wear my make up. I have nothing but praise for her and Lauren, who constantly build my confidence. I really appreciate and admire women that tell other girls they are pretty (I'm not fishing for compliments, I just think this is a lovely idea. Everybody needs support).
Lauren suggested compiling a list of things that help me with my insecurities. This was really hard in general to think about. Do I combat my insecurities at all or am I simply just accepting of them? I don't know. I know a good skin care routine helps me feel a bit better, and physical exercise.
I think it will take me a very long time to love my body completely. I take very few selfies that without filters. I'll load up snapchat and look at my face, and think 'hmm. 4 or 5 out of ten. Not bad. Maybe this will be a decent selfie'. But then I'll load up a filter and my face will get thinner, and any spots will fade away and I'll feel as though my actual face has suddenly lost all of its credibility. When in actual fact my face is not fat, and the filter has not slimmed it down all that much. The only difference is that I have a flower crown on my head. Maybe the lighting is a little better with a snapchat flower crown. So why am I so favourable toward filtered selfies in comparison to those that are unfiltered? Who knows but this worries me, a lot.
The truth is, I don't think I am stunningly good looking but I've realised that I am okay with how I look. Have I accepted my insecurity? Is this defeating the object of me promoting self love? Am I simply accepting what I think is my lesser standard of looks? Probably. But I think it's a lot to ask to expect somebody to be okay with themselves entirely when a) they have anxiety and b) they are surrounding by many societal expectations, comparisons and prejudices. The world is a very negative place when you are trying to develop body confidence. I don't want to sit here and make out like its easy to feel good about yourself because it really isn't. But I feel like we should feel good about ourselves and its awful that there is no room to do this.
Oh! I just remembered that I recently saw on Twitter that ASOS hadn't edited out a models stretch marks! How great is that! Seriously though, the world needs more of that. I want to look at clothes online and not feel like 'oh man I am not going to look that good in that shirt' or 'my ass won't look as good in those jeans'. You go ASOS.
I guess the point of this post is to say that there will probably never be a time when I am completely happy and in love with my entire body. But right now I am content and okay. In all honesty I've spent the day in bed, I am still in my pyjamas and I don't have that much make up on. But in the spirit of being body positive I thought I'd take a picture and use the only one I took for this post. It has no filter on it at all. So here is a picture of me, standing in front of my book case. The picture quality is awful and my skin looks shite. But it was the first one I took, and I am accepting it. I look happy so I guess I'm good.
I leave you with a some final words of wisdom that I first heard whilst watching The Princess Diaries when I was younger (so here, have a gif!). But the original source was actually Eleanor Roosevelt. It's a multipurpose quote and I think it applies to appearance, personality and intelligence. Everything. The message is so important. You are in control.
I hope that you all have a happy and confident week and I will return very very soon with a June Fairy Loot unboxing.
Thursday, 29 June 2017
Okay, I'm going to start by sharing my house. I am very proud to be a part of Ravenclaw! Sharing a house with Luna Lovegood would have been brilliant! I wish I had the bravery and courage of a Gryffindor but Luna is proof that yu can be both brave and courageous without being in Gryffindor.
I know it's unusual but I actually only finished these books earlier on this year at nineteen. I read plenty as a child but went straight from Roald Dahl to Meg Cabot, then onto Kim Harrison's Dead Witch Walking Series when I was about thirteen. I just seemed to have skipped over Harry Potter. I'm pretty glad about it now. I appreciated them more than I perhaps would have a few years before,and I took my time working through them. There's so much that can be learnt from Rowling's brilliant series. I think if I am ever to have children, I would rather withhold this series from them until they are mature enough to appreciate it.
So what's my point with this post? To bring you a list of my favourite things about Harry Potter, of course! Here goes nothing;
1. Hermoine. She is one of my favourite literary characters ever. I adored Hermoine from the word go. For her intelligence and its coexistence with bravery most of all. I loved her because of her curly hair, for her compassion for the Elves. She is the perfect example of a girl with good intentions growing up in a really shitty world. She is conflicted, and passionate and a relatable character for any number of ages. And who doesn't love this particular line:
2. Umbridge. Now if I were you I'd be reading this and feeling outraged. How can anybody like her?! I included her in this list because I think she is hilarious. She brings a whole new dynamic to the 'crazy cat lady' and a new dimension to the concept of a villain. She's a mature woman, who wears pink consistently and loves cats. Typically, she is the furthest thing from what one would expect from a villain. Yet she's one of the most sinister, terrifying, characters that I have ever come across. I love that we had some female villains. She and Bellatrix are pretty sinister and it's extremely interesting. Is it acceptable that there are equal oppurtunities even in villainy? (Does she remind anybody else of Theresa May?)
3. The possibility of defying the odds. These three characters have just about everything thrown at them. Their families are threatened and occasionally killed, they are left wondering the world alone and resourceless in search of means of destroying He Who Shall Not Be Named. Even when they are captured, they still manage an escape. Hope never loses its value in the Wizarding World. With this presence of hope, comes the unexpected nature of the universe. I'm sure a better reader than I could probably have predicted what happened in some of these books. But for me, the element of surprise was always present.
4. Snape. Professor Snape is one of my favourite characters. He's got one of the best character developments in this series I think. From my favourite villain to my favourite hero. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a little bit of a strange attraction to Professor Snape (I'm sorry!). I think in the end I liked Snape much more than I liked Dumbledore.
5. Quidditch. Do I even need to explain this? Wizards and Witches have their own sport, involving broomsticks and flying! It's awesome!
6. The political aspects to the series. There are so many political elements to the Wizarding World. I think the books would be really helpful to younger readers as an introduction to the Political World. The concept that torture is wrong. Dumbledore's Army. And do I even need to comment on the parallels between Miss Rita Skeeter and a certain red headed journalist in the real world? I think not! Rowling remains clever, entertaining and amusing with the introduction of politics though. But it isn't difficult for younger readers to acknowledge right from wrong.
7. A happy ending. I'm a sap, okay? I like a good happy ending. Harry and Ginny are a beautiful couple!
8. 'You're a wizard, Harry' and a squashed birthday cake. Simply Genius!
These are just some of my favourite elements to the Wizarding World. I absolutely adore this series and I cannot wait to start rereading them at some point; they are a series that I will always return to. I hope to someday make it to the studios in London. I hope you're all having wonderfully magical weeks and I will return soon.
Saturday, 24 June 2017
It terrfies me. Life right now is full of endings, and of new beginnings. And lots and lots of change. I'm wondering about what the end of my degree even means. Am I meant to finally start getting my shit together? But then, what does that mean?
But finishing my degree is the end of such a big chapter and I am worried about leaving it behind. I'm going to miss seeing friends every day and even announcing my panic in the safety of the lecturer's office. All of it.
Am I meant to start looking for a graduate job? I don't even know if I'm ready to do my masters or why I'm thinking this far ahead? I'm worried about being out of education; will my brain turn to mush?
Am I the only one who is worried about all of this?
I don't know. I'm hoping that all of these recent changes will bring about happiness and peace (probably a very unrealistic and stupid thing to hope for but here we are).
I hope you all have wonderful and stress free weeks
Friday, 16 June 2017
I've seen both R. M. Francis and Willis The Poet perform before and they're both incredible entertaining and talented. Willis is hilariously funny and witty. However, the rest of the line up was entirely new to me. There were poems about parenthood, death, loss, love, heartache, the past, and the West Midlands. They were all so beautifully different. I laughed and smiled but sat in awe. I envy those able to perform their work. Especially so confidently! Maybe one day, eh?
I bought Sam Roden's chapbook, Catch Ourselves in Glass, at the end of the event and it is beautiful and witty. With regard to favourites, I'm currently torn between Shove Your Tissues and Zero.
I cannot wait to go along to another poetry event. They're always inspiring, and I cannot help but wish more people attended.
Have a good evening folks.
Thursday, 15 June 2017
I've been gone for a few days; partly because I've been working and I've been so very tired and partly because I've been trying to process the results of the general election. I think it is safe to say that
I am disappointed. I really thought that change was coming. I suppose that in a way change has come. Labour gave the Conservatives a damn good run for their money and I am proud to have voted labour. I do not regret my vote at all. I'm very worried about the next five years after today's outcome. I'm worried about the world that my sister is going to out into in a few short years. Worried about the world my children will grow up in. I am scared. And DUP?! What's that all about Mrs May?! I mean I'm pretty happy that Jeremy Corbyn hasn't given up. Oh and that Mexican wave from her this week guys- pretty crazy right? But the real question is: is the Mexican wave crazier than her running through fields of wheat? I think not. You simply can't top that level of cheeky.
Okay... last week I went to see Wonder Woman with Chels (dinner and a movie ready to be crossed off the bucket list for the summer). It was a pretty spontaneous and I only had about half an hour to get ready. But oh my god, and wow. Patti Smith's Wonder Woman is easily one of the best films of this year.
Okay, so the opening of the film depicts the Amazons; a tribe of women living on the isle of Themyscira. Diana is just a young girl when the film opens, and she is seen escaping her tutor in order to observe the other Amazons learning to fight. However, her mother catches her and explains their history. Their island was protected by Zeus, and hidden from the God of War that is Aries. Diana's mother discourages the little girl's dreams of joining the defense ranks by telling her this story; their origin story. She also introduces a young Diana to a room in which the gifts from the God's are hidden and includes objects such as the lasso of truth. The central gift within the room is what Hippolyta refers to as 'The God Killer'. I should probably mention that Diana herself is a gift from the Gods. She was fashioned from clay by Hippolyta and Zeus gave her life. Diana is already very unique.
Anyway, Diana's isolation is interrupted by Chris Pine. Now I haven't seen Mr Pine in anything since I battled my way through Into The Woods (ouch). But his role in Wonder Woman was amazing and much better than Into The Woods. I was very impressed and grew attached to his character quickly. Okay so Chris Pine, also known as the lovely Steve Trevor, crashes a small plane into the ocean surrounding the island. Diana, after unleashing a strange power when engaging in combat with her Aunt, is stood on a cliff and sees the man break through the protective barrier. And she saves him from the water without a second thought. It was refreshing to see it reversed; a male in need of a woman's aid. The long and short of it is that Steve Trevor is a British Spy and has just blown his cover in Germany. Now, the young man must return to England with vital information that will stop the 'war to end all wars'.
From the very beginning there is chemistry between Gadot and Pine. Steve Trevor presumes Diana to be completely inexperienced and naïve in all aspects of life, after all she doesn't even know what a watch it. Yet he raises the topic of sex and her response is my absolute favourite. She admits that she has read about sex and is well informed, but the books she has been reading have informed her that men are not very good at it. She is brilliantly funny, strong and yet very feminine.
The World War One setting was very uncomfortable for me. I've sat through films such as Saving Private Ryan and the like, and not felt even half of the emotion that I did whilst watching this. I don't know if it's because I was seeing it from a female perspective or not. But this film was touching and I cannot disagree with Empire that it gave Jenkins 'a chance to play with themes of female empowerment, feminism and standing up against oppression'. From a woman walking out into no mans land to the same woman questioning the practicalities of female clothing. It covered it all. Diana repeatedly denies every male order she is given; she refuses to be instructed and confined. It was so refreshing and entertaining.Empire continues to state that Wonder Woman is 'a film about the evil that men do, from small, snippy stuff to the big, bad, bigoted bullshit that could destroy the planet'. I couldn't agree more but the film is about an underestimated woman who battles against all of these evils with her empathy. This was amazing to watch.
I guess it's important to mention that Wonder Woman was joining the ranks of female super hero flops such as Catwoman and Elektra and yet it blew all projections out of the water with its incredible sales, even in its second weekend. So I may not have not the election result that I wanted, but it seems that change is coming with regard to the role of women in cinema and the superhero franchises. It is inspiring and beautiful. Oh and her hair is pretty damn good.
Oh and on a side note, Remus Lupin makes an appearance. I will never be able to disassociate the actor from the character that is Lupin.
Have a good week folks!
Monday, 5 June 2017
don't know. But this week is sure as hell not appealing. This is not me challenging the universal stigma surrounding mental health, for once. This is me trying to be brave and admitting that I have had a bad week. The slightest little things have been making me anxious and teary. Like the fact that my Norton anti-virus is up in a few days. How crazy is that? I probably would have been better off staying in bed this week but I feel as though this evening I am coming out of an anxious episode. I've spent my day off relaxing, reading and shopping. And I'm quite happy to admit that I am feeling a bit better! I am on the road to being fully functional again.
Last night I rediscovered Eat Pray Love. I didn't watch all of it and I'm under no illusions; this film is soppy as hell! It's not your typical chic flick and it is what inspired me to want to go to Italy after graduation. Sometimes, it's helpful to me. Last night I watched to the point of Liz Gilbert's discovery of the Italian word 'attraversiamo'. I forget this word often, and I shouldn't. I think it's the whole reason I watch this every now and then. This beautiful Italian word means 'let's cross over'.
So I came here with some thoughts on self care. I know that I forget that I have the option to change and 'cross over' every single day. To me, this word means that just because you are walking one path it is never too late to look across the street and decide you would prefer to walk a different path, instead. For whatever reason that is, it is okay. You are never stuck. Right now, I want to express how important it is to accept that sometimes a person must be selfish. At some point one must learn to love and appreciate the sound of their feet walking away from the things that are hurting them. By god, I wish I had perfected this art by now.
So we all remember how my wonderful friend Lauren and I wrote those letters to our younger selves? Well I've been doing a lot of thinking today about the things I wanted to tell future me. I hope that future me will have so much more common sense and be a lot wiser than I. Right now I feel pretty stupid and naïve about the world. So I'm hoping that twenty five year ld, even thirty year old me, will be better at, erm, life.
I'm going to aim for three pieces of advice and anything else is a blessing.
1. Okay, number one. I hope that you learn to put attraversiamo into practise. I hope you learn that crossing over and walking away is always an option. I suppose this comes under the much and simple phrase that is 'never settle'.
2. Never stop questioning. Seek adventure! I cannot wait to travel!
3. This is crap advice but be happy. Do whatever it takes to achieve this state.
Right now, I'm going to leave you with the mental image of me dancing around my kitchen listening to the Coyote Ugly soundtrack- Don Henley's All She Wants Do Is Dance is my absolute favourite song right now (I just finished watching the film!). I have cheese on toast cooking so I'm going to enjoy that! I hope you all have a wonderful week; I hope that they are anxiety free weeks. I should be back soon- probably after my interview tomorrow.
The Globe Theatre was beautiful! There was something breath-taking about sitting on a bench, watching a Shakespeare play and being slightly anxious that the heavens were going to open at any moment, despite the consistent sunshine. Well the good news is that it didn't piss it down and my ribs hurt due to constant laughter. The performance of Twelfth Night was absolutely brilliant! I've not read it before, so it was a total surprise to me. It was hilariously funny and Olivia was by far my favourite character! Gender roles were quite radical, I thought. The cross dressing elements and hints are homosexuality were surprising! Totally sympathetic towards Olivia though, very sadly. Poor sod.
I'm going to round up my appreciation of London with a picture of me stood next to a rather snazzy looking bin (why am I so awkward). I desperately wanted to express how much I wanted to go back to London when I got home, on social media. Yet very sadly I felt that I couldn't. Just as I got home and into bed there was a news update of another terror attack, in London not too far from where we'd spent the day. It hasn't even been two weeks since that god awful night in Manchester. I had a series of messages from friends asking if I was alright. Over the course of a couple of hours, two more attacks across London were reported. Chels and I sat there marvelling at the craziness of these terror attacks. I just cannot believe that we are in this situation and encourage everyone to stay safe. I caught the last half an hour of the One Love Manchester concert on television after work last night. That made me cry, it was so so beautiful.
Once again guys, I hope you all have a good week. Stay safe and be kind.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Okay so I know that the election is looming over our heads right now and I'm sure that with this comes a lot of anxiety. Hell, I know that I'm anxious about it. I've spoken to lots of people thst still aren't sure who they're going to vote for. I could sit here all day and express my own political views. I've had several 'debates' with colleagues at work this week too and these conversations have made me question a lot of things about my views. But I'm comfortable with who I plan to vote for and it's no secret that I'm not a huge fan of the Tories. I would like to make something clear though, I am not planning to vote solely on the basis of university fees or based on my position as a student. Obviously this will be a factor in my decision because I am a full time student. But mainly I am voting as a young, working class, woman.
I wanted to write something that would seem less judgy with regard to who you are planning to vote for.
I'm hoping by now that more young people registered to vote. Because every vote counts. I've grown up being told that one vote cannot make a huge difference. This is not true. One vote can make a massive difference. Over ten million people all had this attitude in the last election and didn't vote. Imagine if all of those people had voted.
Research is so so important when considering voting. After the dreaded brexit vote, I spoke to so many friends that hadn't voted because they felt uninformed about it. I'm researching even more after my discussions at work this week. As I said, listening to somebody else's views at work raised doubts for me. I think it's really important that you make an informed choice. I would hate for anyone to feel as though they made the wrong choice or not vote because they didn't look into the options properly. Most politicians have Twitter, you can watch debates, etc.
I mentioned that i was voting as young woman from a working class back ground. Now my parents don't vote. Neither of them have ever voted. But this is my vote. I sort of get where my parents are coming from. But ultimately I do believe that my vote will go toward making a difference. It would not sit right with me to be silent in the election as it's such an important event. There is so so much change that will follow these votes. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't let somebody else's views automatically be your own. Everyone will vote for different reasons and it's important that you understand why you're voting and whos views you are voting for.
One final thing: be proud if you vote. As I mentioned, I grew up in a non voting house hold. And I'm learning now that politics is one confusing feild that just following requires a certain amount of commitment. So voting is a huge deal. Congrats in advance and I hope that you get the outcome that you were looking for.
I had planned something very different for this post. But in the light of the early morning sun I've opened for encouragement and no judgement.
I hope you all have a good day and I'll probably return in a few hours.
Saturday, 27 May 2017
Afternoom folks and welcome to post two of the day (wow I need a hobby)
Okay, before I start, I'd like to make it clear that I did not bear witness to any of this. I am working on the words of somebody else. But the concept itself is not unheard of and it is unsettling to me as I'm sure it is to others.
Yesterday I was informed of something particularly disturbing. My sister is in her first year of sixth form; she is going to turn seventeen next month. She informed me yesterday afternoon that there are some girls in the year above her that have been sent home recently. When I asked why, she answered that it was because their tops were considered 'too revealing'. I asked my sister what the girl was wearing, despite the fact that I had already made my mind up with regard to my opinion, but I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt. She was wearing a vest top. I'd like to point out that the West Midlands has been blessed with a bout of blazing sunshine this week. There have been highs of 27 degrees. No wonder she was wearing a bloody vest top! I wouldn't turn up to university in a blouse, for fear of over-heating, sweat patches, and similar issues and embarrassments.
And yet she was sent home anyway. I wonder what the answer would have been if one of them had dared to ask why they so desperately needed her to change. I wonder whether it would have been an issue with the fact that it simply didn't adhere to the dress code. Or whether it would have been because it was distracting. My sister, however, pointed out that her boyfriend was always walking around school in vest tops and he's a sports student. What was different? And her teacher, jokingly, observed that he was well built and therefore had a right to show them off. Joking or not, this angered me. You have stopped a young woman from attending her lessons in a day, because of dress code. Yet you have accepted a young man's dress code as a service, almost. Very very strange. It's okay to objectify men, it seems.
I just visited the website of the same school, in which they celebrate International Women's Day? Like you can't celebrate something as amazing as that day, and then teach your women that they must remain covered up and worry about being a distraction to males. That is wrong, and disgusting. I'm just gonna bring in the same argument that Emma Watson employed when accused of showing too much skin. She stated that feminism was about liberation and freedom. It breaks my heart that women are still subjected to this crap and that it's still considered acceptable to objectify men like this.
Here's a picture of everything that came in this months box and I already can't wait for the June box!
I hope that you all have a lovely weekend and I'll hopefully be back later today, after yet another shift!
Monday, 22 May 2017
Right, I'll point out once more than I am not politically minded. Before last year, I didn't bother taking notice. But oh my god. I am shocked by the number of people that do not vote, and the sway they have over the election. It is appalling. It is two minutes out of your day, to really make a difference.
In case it wasn't already obvious, I wanted to list the reasons I will not be voting Tory in the general election on June 8th.
I'm going to start with something I read today. I found it on facebook. But it came from Theresa May's official facebook page. I link you to the post, here. Whether you read it or not, I found it disgusting and is full of reasons not to vote conservative. This was my favourite paragraph, though:
Theresa May wants children to have the best start in life, and yet she has announced that she plans to remove free school dinners for thousands and thousands of school children. Who in the hell does this benefit? This is madness.
Following this, May has proven herself to be a liar time and time again. Did she not campaign for 'remain' during the EU referendum? She argued that Brexit would 'risk Britain's future'. Yet now she is the face of Brexit, with her infamous slogan 'strong and stable' driving us all crazy. Do we all remember her saying that there would be no 'snap-election', yet here we are with the deadline to register to vote looming over us. Now, she introduces what the public are calling 'dementia tax'.
Strong and stable is fine. But I want a strong and stable leader. A leader who does not refuse to participate in debates with other politicians and yet insists she is capable of leading us through Brexit and negotiating with something like twenty seven other countries. I want a leader who does not make so many damn u-turns. A leader with a clear vision that she is dedicated to. A leader with the best interests of this country at heart. Theresa May is not that leader. Sure it would be fantastic to have a strong and stable leader that was female; a elected female prime minister. I'm sure there will be those that argue this. But I am voting who I think is the strongest and the most stable leader. I am sure as hell not voting for a woman who voted against gay marriage, not just once but ten times. So on June 8th I will be voting Labour. I have no regrets.
There is so much uncertainty right now. I can only hope that the right choice is made.
Friday, 12 May 2017
I cannot stress enough how important raising awareness of these issues is. There is so much stigma that still surrounds them and I do not know why. I am sure that a lot of people would consider themselves to have a good standard of awareness of mental health issues. But I very much beg to differ. If we were as aware as we needed to be, then the world would not need shows like Thirteen Reasons Why. I have been so many pictures, tweets, and posts this week, and I started writing this post on Monday. I have read so much that the world has posted in support of this week. And it has made me feel so very happy and supported and I wanted to join in. I found Matt Haig the best at putting things into words. This particular tweet was my favourite. It really sums me up as a person and I was very grateful for it. Matt Haig has a wonderful habit of making me feel very normal (I still hate this word).
I am much more open about my mental health than I used to be. When I was younger I couldn't even imagine being in a position where I wasn't hurting myself on a daily basis, never mind being able to reflect upon this so positively. Apparently being this open is a tad unusual and my lecturer informed me that I am much more open than he was at my age. But I had a teacher in high school that used to tell me that my experiences would one day come in useful. I don't know whether they are useful, per say. But I am not ashamed anymore. So why not write about it? I see no sense in hiding something that has contributed to my character. I would like to note that they have contributed, not defined, however.
I suppose you could count what I did this week as research. And I discovered something that I know I am very guilty of. I often separate my mental health from my physical health. But I think we all do! Okay, so if I get a cold it's a physical condition and it's just a cold. But if I'm having a day in which panic attacks are frequent, even though they physically affect me, I refer to it as a 'bad mental health day' or something alike. I wish that it were socially acceptable to state that 'I am having a bad anxiety day'. However frequent, or extensive these periods are, I would sure as hell be grateful for the opportunity and room in which to say it. Mental Health is more important, I think, than the majority think. In some places and situations, I do feel comfortable sharing. I have a wonderful group of friends at university, and I know I could turn to Chelsey or Lauren at any point and inform them of my anxiety. I am grateful for this. I just wish that I could do this more widely, and that other people could.
I have a friend at work who suffers with small bouts of anxiety. A couple of weeks ago we started to refer to these sudden, sometimes unexplainable, bouts as 'having a Walter'. Now, having a Walter can refer to anything from the smallest feeling of anxiety to the biggest panic attack one can have in the middle of a shift. Even if this friend and I do not share what is bothering us or what's caused the anxiety/panic, it is very helpful to be able to share what I am feeling and have somebody understand. More often than not, we hug and go about our shifts. This definetly makes me feel better and makes things more bearable. I know that it seems silly that the smallest acts of kindness can have the most impact, but it's true. It's the little things.
But I wish that more people knew that healing is the furthest thing from linear. I wish I could have planned out my recovery from self harm. I wish it had been smoother. It sounds clichéd but life does not work like that and recovery doesn't either. Some days are always going to be harder than others, whether you are recovering form something or coping with anxiety and/or depression. But the best advice I can give to anybody is to be gentle with themselves. Any mental health condition can make a person feel alone but it is so so important to remember that you're not. I think here is a good time to drop in one of my favourite Jennifer Niven quotes:
I guess what I've been trying to say in this post is that I am not okay. I am not okay more than I care to admit. But that is okay. I am not a failure, or a mess, or crazy because of it.