Hello! I feel like I don’t know how to start posts anymore argh but I hope you’re all doing well! If you’re in the UK, you’ll know that we’ve been having a (bit) of a heat wave lately, which I have been loving – what a great way to start the summer (ha yes sunburnt and exhausted from the heat but it’s cool).
As you may be able to tell from the title (well done to all you observant people), I am starting a mini blog series for the summer called ‘Summer’s The Word’ (I know, I know. It’s a bit cringe-worthy). My thinking behind this is, I want to try to start writing for fun again about what I’m getting up to instead of writing about my thoughts and feelings. Although using my blog as an outlet helps me deconstruct my thoughts, I want my blog to be a more positive place, something I can look back on and be proud of what I have achieved. I’m hoping this series will act as a kind of virtual scrapbook of my summer that I can look back on and smile at all the good times I had.
So, to start of the series, I’m going to be sharing with you my bucket list for summer.
A Bucket List with a Twist
If you’re wondering what the ‘twist’ is (now I’m doubting if this actually even is a twist – is there even a set definition or purpose of a bucket list?? Who knows), I have basically compiled a list of things I would like to do over the summer but prioritising self-care. The last few months have been a bit rocky for me mental health wise and I really want to use my summer to work on getting myself back into a happier state.
Lately I keep remembering things I used to do for fun but at some unknown point stopped doing, so I’ve put a few of things back on my list in the hope that they’ll help me to feel happier and more present, as connecting to the present has been something I’ve been struggling with.
Beach days!!! I live near several beaches, so I can’t not visit the beach.
Arty stuff. I’ve always loved art and I really want to get back into sketching and painting again. I’m hoping to do a whole post about my love for art (watch me never mention art again oops).
Reading. I really haven’t read much this year – I mean, I read half a book at Christmas and I read the set text for French A Level a few times, but I have many books I want to read.
Scrapbooking. As part of being arty, I love making scrapbooks. I try to make a scrapbook after every holiday abroad I go on, so last year I started one for my trip to Marseille, got halfway through and still haven’t finished it. So I definitely need to do that. I’m not sure if I’m going to make one after my trip to Amsterdam (9 days away!!), depends if I finish last years one!
Yoga. Again. So I started yoga just before exam season, and I managed to do it every day for a month. I really, really loved it. It made me feel at peace with myself and was great stress relief but during exams I just, didn’t have time for anything other than studying. I really want to get into the habit of doing daily yoga again!
Prepare for uni. I guess this isn’t really self-care, more of a necessity, but either way I’m looking forward to getting all the bits and bobs I’ll need when I move out in September. I’ve already got some stuff, so I’ll definitely be doing a haul soon!
Get back into blogging. I have missed blogging regularly so much!
Social media detox. I know this will rally help my mental health. If I can just spend a week or a few days away from social media, I will have time to collect my thoughts and fully relax. I usually have a detox of sorts when I go camping with my family, however this year unfortunately we’re not sure if/when we are going away.
Musical instruments. You may or may not know that I play the guitar and keyboard (or attempt to in the case of the keyboard). I haven’t been able to play regularly since last summer, so I’m going to dedicate time to practice and enjoy playing music this summer.
Cycling. There was a point where I used to have a weekly cycling routine but then, as with everything else, I just…stopped. But I do love cycling and the feeling of the wind rushing through your hair, so I want to try to cycle more often.
I think that’s it for now. I’ll probably add more stuff as the summer goes on. It’s strange, I didn’t realise how hectic my life had got or how many things I gave up in the midst of studying until I sat down to write this but I’m excited to start doing things because I enjoy them, not because I have to.
As a blogger, I understand why the title of this post may seem misleading. Confusing? I don’t know which is the better word. I enjoy reading posts written by fellow bloggers from all corners of the world, all of whom have their own writing style, their own talents, their own themes of which they like to discuss. The more and more I read the words of other people, the more I come to the conclusion that I am not a writer. Words don’t come easily to the (virtual) page for me. My writing doesn’t have that effortless flow that some writers seem to be naturally gifted with. I am not a writer, I am a thinker. I write because I want to share my thoughts but the clarity of my writing never matches that of the thoughts that stimulate my mind. You see, what I’m writing now isn’t entirely what I’m thinking, because sometimes thoughts are not formed of words, they are feelings, images, sounds, impulses, which I do not have the ability to translate into a language that others can understand. I do, however, enjoy writing. It’s an outlet for my creative mind and a way for me to document my thoughts and feelings as I grow up. Maybe even the most well-written of bloggers still doubt their ability to write. Or maybe they don’t. Maybe I do have a style but I am just unable to recognise or identify it. It doesn’t bother me that I am not a writer, it’s just amusing that I’ve only just realised it. But I will continue writing nonetheless, and so should you even if you don’t feel as though you are a natural writer! Anyway, that’s enough musing for one day, back to revision for me. 🙂
You know, I’ve always admired the way that L can convey his thoughts and ideas by stringing words together in a way that makes them flow seamlessly across the page and become a work of art. They aren’t merged together in a higgledy-piggledy fashion like most of my rushed rambles and spools of thoughts turn out to be, instead it feels as if each word coexists with it’s neighbours in peace and is as deserving of it’s position as the next, and the next and the next.
When I did a poll on Twitter recently asking what my followers wanted to read on my blog, the winning option turned out to be “random thoughts”. Although polls are reletavely insignificant in the grand scheme of things, it has made me think about my own writing style. L’s writing is a joy to read and an inspiration, as are so many other bloggers within this community, but sometimes I wonder why it is that people read what I have to write here, in all it’s un-spectacularity.
I realised, after some thought, that it’s for the same reason that I enjoy reading other bloggers writing – because within words there is life.
Thibk about it – a machine couldn’t craft sentences with such emotion and meaning as a human being – the art of writing is truly something that can’t be lost to the “digital age”. Not least because there is an army of bloggers here prepared to fight for it.
Writing is something truly special and unique, a glance through a keyhole into the inner workings of someone’s mind, a fragment of a window into another person’s life. I find it fascinating how we all have or own ways of writing and conveying our thoughts, how there are infinite possibilities and meanings of the order that words are placed in. Typing out each word is like taken footsteps through a thick forest – you don’t always know which way you’re going to go or which twists your writing will take, but you know that each person traversing that forest will take unique combination of twist and turns and leave a unique trail of footsteps, such as each blogger types out a unique combination of words, leaving their very own digital footprints.
On reflection of that Twitter poll, I’m not sure if this is anything like what people wanted to read when they voted for “random thoughts” because such as the forest there were many ways I could have gone about writing this. This is just one of many infinite outcomes of my writing and another trail of footprints documented here. So I very much hope you enjoyed reading this random train of thoughts and phylosophical style that I have got out of habit of writing in, and I wish my fellow bloggers on their various wordful journeys a happy day.
Hello! Just a brief update to follow on from my last post.
I’ve decided to freshen up my blog a bit, and give it a name and design that I feel better suits me now, as I’ve changed a lot since setting up this blog!
You may have already noticed that the appearance of my blog has changed a bit – I’m going for a yellow theme to accompany my new site name ‘Yellow’s The Word’.
I decided to name my blog after the bookshop in the film “Pride” (one of my favourite films ever – definitely worth a watch!), ‘Gay’s The Word’, and incorporate the colour yellow into it, as yellow is and has always been my favourite colour, and it makes me so happy to fill my life with such a cheerful colour!
I will also be changing the url and the site name officially in a few days time to http://www.yellowstheword.wordpress.com, but I thought I’d let you all know beforehand, so you don’t see a random blog come up in your reader and wonder who it is! I thought about changing my username too, but I decided to stick with Em is Lost because I want to keep the connection with the old blog name that I loved, but felt it was time to change.
I will be keeping all of my posts too, because I’m very proud of some of them!
Bye for now, and hope to see you all on the other side 🙂
Hello! I’ve always been a creative person, however since A levels became such a major a part of my life, I’ve neglected my arty side and found myself reaching for a paintbrush or my sketchbook much less then I’d like to (*sobs*).
But! The wonderful Michelle from The Writing Hufflepuff recently started a new series called The Artsy Hufflehoe, where she discusses art exhibitions she has visited recently in Amsterdam, and I absolutely love it! Although there aren’t as many art a galleries where I live because I don’t live near a capital city, I do live near Bristol, which is such a multicultural city with a vibrant art scene. Michelle’s posts have inspired me to explore Bristol’s artsy side (instead of just staying in the shopping quarter haha – when your friends don’t appreciate art rip me) and as Bristol has become my favourite place to relax and escape the small-town-bubble that I usually live in, I was excited to see a different side to the city.
I’ve been to Bristol many times, due to living in Somerset, yet I still haven’t seen the entirety of it! But recently I ventured into the city with my mum and we visited a few of the museum’s and galleries, as well as discovering some of the outdoor art and just general pretty places!
However, my artsy adventure is no where near finished, so as well as sharing some places I have already been, I’m going to share some things I would like to do and see over the coming months.
The first place we went was the MShed (there’s a bit of a theme in Bristol – there’s an MShed, a Cashed, a Watershed – I could go on – basically, all the “sheds” line the harbourside which used to be part of the busy dockyard there and vital to trading, and they’ve now been converted and modernised). The MShed is a free museum documenting the history of the city. You may be wondering how this is artsy, well, let me explain. The way exhibits are presented in the museum is very modern and intuitive – my favourite but is the little model boats in glass blocks in the shed doors, so when you look out you can see the harbourside. (The boats were painted but it was hard to get a photo to show that!)
There was also an exhibition in the second floor, about democracy, fighting for minority rights and a slave trade memorial. Throughout the exhibits there were artworks, often with a political message behind them, this was my favourite!
On the third floor they house temporary exhibits. When we went it was an exhibit on skeletons, which was a bit gruesome, but sometimes they have art exhibitions there!
Next we headed to one of Bristol’s most renowned art galleries. I hadn’t been to many galleries before – I have vague recollections of going to the Tate Modern when I was quite small, and a gallery in Cardiff when I was at secondary school, but I guess I was too young for them to have made an impression then. However I really enjoyed the gallery. I loved how one artists exhibition takes over the whole gallery, and there’s loads of little – and big – rooms to explore.
The exhibition we saw was The Stars Were Aligned For A Century Of New Beginnings by Egyptian artist Basim Magdy. Magdy is a visual artist, so a lot of his works comprised of video clips of his travels where he used different chemicals on the film and experimented with light leaks to give the clips different overlays of colours and patterns. The first thing I noticed about his artwork is that it was quite pessimistic about life, and it was interesting to see the world from that perspective. My favourite clip was on rules of life, where he used tulips with faces drawn on and many other interesting objects as props. The rule that was most poignant to me was along the lines of “don’t pretend to love nature and the environment, we’re all aliens here” – it really made me think.
Another of my favourites was this collection of his works – some of the captions were very interesting, for example:
Sometimes I wish the sky above was a mirror, he said, instead, all the facism, impression and lost lives evaporate into clouds that are only capable of reflecting massive fires.
It just really made me think about the world in a different way, and how much we can learn by reflecting on ourselves.
In the reading room at the top of the gallery, there were questions asked by Magdy on the walls, and people had left there responses on little cards, which I loved reading!
After visiting the gallery, we wandered round the city, exploring places we wouldn’t normally go. Collage Green is in the university quarter, and when we went it was graduation, so there were tonnes of graduates in their gowns and mortar boards chilling on the grass in the sun. Whilst College Green is very pretty, it’s only once a year it gets turned into a work of art as graduates hang their old shoes from the branches of trees – it was actually quite pretty to look at.
St Nicholas MarketMarkets are always full of creativity, with people selling handmade goods at every corner, and this was no exception. St Nicholas Market is a permanent market housed in a lovely building (honestly, the curling was so pretty with sculptures and fairy lights, I wish I’d taken a picture!). I went to a little textile shop, because I needed some lace edging for the hem of a dress I’d made into a top, and there was so much choice! It was so lovely.
I actually visited this a few weeks earlier, but thought I’d include it as well! The Watershed is an independent cinema, that shows films from all around the world and is certainly a hub of cinematic arts. I watched a french film here with a friend, and it was brilliant! Plus, the staff are really friendly!
So, that’s just a small selection of Bristol’s artsy attractions, but there is so much more I want to see!
Spike Island (a contemporary art gallery on the edge of the city centre).
Grayson Perry’s The Most Popular Exhibition Ever! (Which is coming to The Arnolfini in September I think!)
Bristol Museum and Galleries (I’ve been before but haven’t been in the galleries).
Banksy street art tour (Bristol is home to Banksy and if course many other amazing street artists – I’ve seen a few and they are incredible, so I think I’m well overdue a tour).
That’s it for now! Have you ever been to Bristol? Or explored art in other cities? Let me know below!
The amazing Thoughtful Tash created this tag so us bloggers cna spend a bit of time appreciating what we love about ouorselves. I think this is such a wonderful idea, becuase self-love is something we all need to do more of and actually sittig down and thinking about what I do love about myself instead of dwelling on my flaws has actually been really beneficial to me, and I’m sure it will help others too. So. thank you very much to tash for making this tag, and you can read her post introducing it here.
THE RULES (as stated in Tash’s post)
Post the award on your blog
Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you
Leave a link to the original tag creator (ThoughtfulTash) to get a bit more info about WHY this tag has been made!
Write 10 things you love about YOURSELF and WHY
Nominate at least 5 other bloggers
In the comments of the blog post, spread more self-love with compliments to each other! THE MORE LOVE THE BETTER!
Why I love me:
1. My love of life
One thing I love about myslef is how much I love life, it’s the main thing that gets me through hard times becuase I know I’ve got my whole life ahead of me and it doesn’t matter if I’m struggling now because I will get through it and one day I can look back on what I’ve been through and be proud of reaching my goals and fulfilling my ambitions regardless. Also remembering and thinking of all the good times makes me realise how much I do love my life and how iwouldn’t have it any other way.
2. My passions
My passions are part of me and always will be, they are the one thing that stays the same as I grow and change as a person and I’m really glad to have these passions like blogging and photography and politics and reading etc that make me happy and make me who I am.
3. My creativity
I love the fact that although I haven’t chosen a creative educational path, I still keep up with the creative things that I’ve always loved like painting and sketching and that although I don’t want a creative career, I haven’t closed that part of my life off.
4. My optimism
Although I don’t regard myself to be a constantly optimistic person, I do have a lot of optimism for the future and that helps to motivate me to keep working hard to get where I want to be.
5. My personality
Most people would think of me as quite an introverted person, which is true, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a personality! I love the fact that I’m quite introverted actually, as it means less people get to know the real me and when they do it makes the friendship more special. I love the fact though that I can be myself around my family because we’re all a bit mad!
6. My way of thinking
Another thing I love is the way I think. I think we all have our own unique way of thinking about things and I find it fascinating the way we all percieve things differently. I love how I can read about something or see something and my brain will make all these millions of connections ot different things, or I’ll suddenly be inspired to do something. Although I don’t like overthinking so much, it’s still a part of me and I’m growing to love the fact that I only overthink because I care so much about other people.
7. My height
I’ve always felt a bit awkward being so tall – I think I’m currently about 5 ft 8″, which isn’t huge but I’m still very tall compared to most of my friends – but as I’ve got older I’ve grown to love my height becuase again it’s just a part of me that I can’t control and if I can’t change it, I’ve gotta embrace it.
8. My love for the world
I honestly find the world so fascinating and just want to constantly learn about the people that live around the world and all the different countries and EVERYTHING!!!! I’m so interested in how we all live in the same world but there is so much variation between different cultures and countries, and I love the fact that I’m not just invested in my own life and ‘world’ and want to know about others.
9. My music taste
This is a bit random??? But honestly I love my taste in music because it varies so much! I can go from listening to 80s music, to French electro, to pop, to rock, to indie – I’m just interested in so many different styles of music and I love it!
10. My drive to learn
I sort of mentioned this before, but I just really want to be learning all the time. SOmetimes doing homework or revision isn’t even tiring and monotonous because I want to do it so I can learn, and I love that I love learning as it definitely helps to motivate me to study and work hard.
So there’s the 10 things that I love about me. I’m going to nominate some bloggers below so they too can explore what they love about themselves. 🙂
^ Basically how I feel right now when it comes to think about the future 😂
But on a more serious note, I feel like I need to have a bit of a ramble about my indecision over what to do in the future and more specifically at uni. For a while now I’ve had my mind set on studying geography and history joint honours at university, because I enjoy both of these subjects so it seemed sensible to carry on with my academic journey down that route. So naturally I had been doing my research and had narrowed it down to five university that do that degree and we’re located in areas I’d be happy to live in, booked open days to go and visit them in the summer and was content with the fact that for once in my life I’d actually managed to make a decision. On Tuesday, the college took us to a UCAS convention at a local-ish uni (I say local but it took like an hour and a half to get there…in a coach that had a hornet/giant wasp thing buzzing around…FUN) where there were representatives from nearly 200 university from around the UK for us to talk to about the degrees they offered. As I’d already been researching universities beforehand, I knew (or thought I did) what degree I was interested in and knew what universities I was considering, so headed straight over to those and found out more info about their geography and history joint degrees, picked up a prospectus and various freebies and then went off with my friends whilst they looked at other unis and courses. I came back from the UCAS convention feeling quite happy with myself as I had had a good chat with some of the unis I was interested in and felt like my future was actually planned and in order.
However, due to the fact that some of the unis I’d previously picked out no longer offered geography and history, yesterday my dad said he wanted to sit down with me and research other unis that were perhaps a bit far away for me to have considered at first that did the degree I was interested in, but dads being dads, I started googling and researching waiting for him to come and help and he went off and did some gardening for ages so once I’d exhausted what I was originally researching, I started looking at other degrees just out of interest. Which was – hence this post – a fatal error. Or was it? I don’t even know 😂
Basically, I started questioning why I wanted to study history and geography in the first place, which isn’t an unusual thing to be asking myself because when I write my personal statement to apply to unis I’ll have to explain to the unis why I want to study that course. However when I thought about it, I realised I didn’t actually know why I had my mind set on studying that. I mean yes, I do enjoy geography and history and the overview and understanding of the world they give me, but am I really passionate about it? Is it something I’d want to work ridiculously hard for for the next three years? Do I even want a career to do with geography and history?
The truth is, I may be enthusiastic about geography and history – I’d defend their importance in the education system to the ends of the earth if I could, because I think it’s really important to have an understanding about the wider world and the past world which allowed us to be and live the way we do today, but having enthusiasm for a subject is different from being passionate about it. Passion is more of a feeling, a thrill and a thirst to learn more about that particular thing, and if I’m being honest with myself, I’m not really passionate about history or geography. I do work hard, I do extra work and background reading when I have time, but that’s just because my teachers advise me to do it. I’d work hard at anything, even if I hated it, I think before I’d been a bit oblivious to that because I just assumed because I worked so hard at those subjects, I must really really love them. But then I thought back to my GCSEs and realised that although I worked extremely hard for each subject, I didn’t like everything or enjoy everything – science didn’t interest me, neither did maths or English – so came to the realisation yesterday that it’s more the desire to do well that drives me to work hard at history and geography, not my passion for them.
So then I though, what’s the point of studying those subjects at university when I’m not really passionate about them? It would just be illogical, I mean I enjoy history and geography now but I don’t think studying them in intense detail would interest me at all, I think by the end of a levels I might have reached my limit with them. Also, although I’d had it set in my head that I wanted to study geography and history, I had absolutely no idea where that would lead me as a career or what I even wanted to do as a career. Hence I changed my mind. Again. For like the 50 billionth time.
The other subject I am studying at a level is French. Before yesterday, I’d never considered seriously studying French after college. I mean, I knew I didn’t want to gradually lose my French skills after college so I didn’t want to finish it completely, but was just going to carry it on in my spare time at uni or choose a language module if the course allowed it. Then yesterday, for some unknown reason, I randomly googled language degrees and found one called European Studies (or varients of depending on which uni it is) where you basically study one or two European languages, cultural and social ideas within that country as well as European politics and history and honestly, it was like a light bulb was switched on in my head.
If you didn’t know, last year I studied government and politics at school and it was unexpectedly thrilling. I loved learning about the way the government and the UK’s political system worked because it felt like I was learning something useful about the mysterious world of law-making and governance and political stuff, I almost carried on the subject at college but it wasn’t possible because of different exam boards so I would have had to retaken the year which would have been a bit pointless considering I did well in the exams. Since stopping politics, it’s still been in the back of my mind – I mean how couldn’t it have been with Brexit and Trump in the news every other day – but as with French, I hadn’t given it much serious thought, mainly because I didn’t know where it would lead me other than becoming a politician which wasn’t what I wanted. But then, the European Studies course just sounds so fascinating! We studied one module about the workings of the EU last year and it was my favourite by far, so I started thinking about maybe a career working for the EU – maybe as like a political advisor or the EU equivalent of the civil services (I’m not really sure if it would be possible now the UK is in the process of leaving the EU but who knows) be wise if there’s one thing I do feel strongly that I want to do with my life is to make a difference to the lives of others,so maybe this is the way to do it?
The more I’ve been contemplating this degree, the more I’ve realised that maybe French – or languages in general – is my passion. I mean, something must have made me decide to take French a level after 5 years of learning it (badly) in school with classes full of people who weren’t even interested in French and teachers who didn’t actually teach us properly,so maybe that was passion? Even now, I’m finding French hard and so so demanding, but still finding myself wanting to put in the effort and wanting to immerse myself in French culture by listening to French radio or watching French TV or reading French news, and I wouldn’t be doing that in my spare time if I didn’t love it would I?
When I think about it, I am very passionate about the importance of languages,especially in education as it’s a well-known fact us British people are reluctant language learners. But I strongly believe that if the way languages were taught and examined in schools was reformed, more young people would be encouraged to take languages, and this is a change I want to campaign for and make a difference towards. And because of this, I think it’s important for me to consider a language degree and not dismiss it on the grounds that I’m not confident enough or don’t have the ability because I have fought too hard for too long to get to even this competency in French which could barely be described as intermediate to give up. I want to keep fighting to become fluent in French and then help others to do the same in a far less stressful environment that students have to learn languages in today.
Although it may sound like I’ve got everything figured out now, I really don’t. Not many universities in the UK actually offer European Studies, and most of them are in Scotland which is miles and miles and miles from where I live. In addition to this, none of the universities I’ve already booked open days for under the pretence of doing geography and history at offer that course so I’m going to have cancel all my plans and start all over again. Finally I’m still yet to convince my parents – and myself – that I’m capable of making the right decision and that languages/politics is a viable career path for me. I mean don’t get me wrong my parents know I’m indecisive better than anyone – the only reason I’d managed to narrow the universities offering geography and history down to five was because they were the only ones within a reasonable distance (of which I mean about 150 miles) of home,and even then I couldn’t find a favourite but that wasn’t too much of an issue as I could figure that out once I’d visited them on their open days in the summer. So when I dropped the bombshell that I don’t want to study that anymore and wanted to change the course completely, they probably thought I’d gone mad. It took me long enough to decide to do geography and history – prior to that I wanted to do just history – so because I keep changing my mind, they probably think I don’t have a clue what I want and will get to uni and change my mind after a few weeks. And honestly, I’m struggling myself to trust myself to make the right decision. It’s hard, and I’m sure there are many other people my age going through the same thing. It’s drilled into us that what we decide to do at uni will set us in a particular path for life – as we progress few education, we gradually make our options narrower and narrower by going from studying 10 GCSEs, to 3 a levels, to one/two subjects at degree level – but that’s not the case, because many degrees lead to a wide variety of careers and sometimes you don’t even need a specific degree for a job, so really unless you do something very specific like ship building, then you should be fine. I’m gradually coming to terms with the fact that my choice for university degrees won’t ruin my future, or limit me too much, but I feel like the next week or so are going to be very hectic trying to persuade my parents and myself that European Studies is what I want to do.
Anyway, that was a bit of a long ramble so congratulations if you made it to the end. If you have any tips for choosing what to do at uni or are in the same situation as me, feel free to comment below. 🙂