Blissfully Happy

This morning I woke up and opened my curtains to the delight of blue sky and sun. I love this time of year when the weather’s getting warmer and the days are getting longer. After doing some work, I joined my parents in our garden and sat in the glorious sun, reminiscing about all the memories this garden holds. 

When I was younger, I remember running around making up elaborate fantasy games with my sister, or playing football and cricket with my dad. Those rare heat waves where it would be warm enough to get the paddling pool out are some of my favourite memories. As I’ve grown older, the garden has become more of a place of rest and studying. For the past few summers, I’ve spent my days revising in the garden surrounded by flowers and birdsong and the sound of mowing lawns and children playing outside as I once did. I love it. I love how seeing blue skies and sun reminds me of all of this.

Summertime in secondary was great, we used to sit out on the picnic tables and laugh lunchtime away, not to mention the after school water fights. Summer breaks we’d go away camping as a family together and explore the Great British Coast. 

I guess I’m feeling about nostalgic because this spring/summer will be my last summer at home, surrounded by my friends and family. The last time I can revise for exams in our garden, the last time I can make trips to the beach with my friends and revel in our lack of responsibility and being able to get away with acting a (little) bit childishly. 

I’m determined to make the most of my last few months at college though, surrounded by great friends who I hope I can stay in touch with and spend our last summer together with. Thinking about it, college has been the best few years of my life so far and I know I’ll cherish these memories forever. If I could go back and do it all again, I would definitely make sure I spent more time socialising and having fun with my friends instead of declining invitations in order to study like I did last year. If there’s one thing you should all take from reading this, it’s to cherish your teenage years and have fun whilst you can.

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The Power of Talking; breaking mental health stigma

(I’m living life on the edge right now trying to type this out before my laptop restarts for yet another Windows update).

I met up with a friend today, spontaneously, but messaging her and asking if she wanted to meet up was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. I think I wrote in this post, about how I haven’t been feeling at my best for some time and of how I started isolating myself from people, being trapped in my mind and quite honestly driving myself mad from overthinking. I made a promise to myself to get out of that phase, to interact more with my friends, to be more open and honest about my feelings, but since half term started, I’ve become more and more isolated and lonely and have just generally been feeling awful.

However today I decided to reach out to my friend, who I haven’t seen in quite a while, but for a moment I stopped overthinking that I wasn’t worthy of anyone’s time and sent her a message. When we met up, I didn’t want to pressure myself to talk about how I was feeling – even thought that’s why I wanted to see her, just to be able to talk to someone who has been by my side for a long time and who I trust – so I just said to myself that whatever happens, I must be honest. And I was. I almost had a breakdown in the middle of a park but we had some really deep conversations about overthinking and anxiety and social pressure, and I’m proud of myself for actually giving an honest answer when she asked how I was, instead of the usual “good, thanks”.

Through talking to each other, we discovered that we’d been going through similar things and we understood eachother, which really meant a lot. As I’m used to bottling up my emotions, the world can sometimes seem a little mad because I overthink so much that nothing makes sense in my head and eventually nothing makes sense in real life either. But talking, casually, about mental health whilst walking in the fresh air – and eventually over a box of chicken nuggets – made it seem normal and okay.

Some of the advice my friend was giving me really made me think. She can be very philosophical in her outlook on life, and although it probably won’t have as much as an impact once translated into my words, I want to try to share some of her insights in life here, so maybe it can help others too.

One thing we were talking about was the pressure of social media, because I explained how social media is becoming a huge source of overthinking for me. It’s the pressure of being constantly social, and active and talking to other people. This need to be constantly in touch with the virtual world can make us presume that if someone hasn’t replied to a message then they automatically don’t like us, don’t want be friends with us and don’t care about us anymore. This is becoming a big problem for me, because I almost constantly pick apart all my friendships based on people’s activity on social media – it’s a downward spiral, a trap. Sometimes if a friend doesn’t reply to a message, but I can see they have been active on social media, I will think that’s it, the friendship’s over, they don’t care about me anymore, I’m not worthy of anyone’s time, there’s no point contacting other friends stop because they won’t want to talk to me either, I’m just being annoying, none of my friends really like me and so on. It’s ridiculous that social media controls my emotions in such a destructive way, and that my friend – and probably many of you – could relate. Although it’s hard to avoid social media and the pressures that come with it in the world we are living in, I need to find a balance between real life and the virtual world to be free from this pressure. I do want to have social media in my life, because I have met some amazing people as a result of it, but I also want to live in the present and for social media to be a positive addition to my life, not a negative obstacle that holds me back.

I admitted that some of the problems social media was causing me were due to the fact that I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere, because I don’t really have a set friendship group anymore and I’ve been feeling a bit lost. But I know now that that’s okay, because people come and go through our lives and I understand now that, to borrow my friend’s analogy, even if you keep watering a dead flower, it won’t come back to life. That is to say, you can keep trying to hold onto friendships that are falling apart and friends that are drifting away, but there comes a point where you need to let the flower die – for both individual’s sake – because this makes room for new flowers – or friends – to come into your life and blossom. I may feel like I’ve lost a lot of friends, but I still have a few “flowers” who I can always count on, and that’s what matters. I will meet new people and make new friends, just as the people who have slipped out of my life will or already have.

We also talked about anxiety and the stigma surrounding mental health. I explained how I’d been suffering with anxious feelings for the past month or so, probably the result of stress and pressure from college combined with social pressures, all of which has contributed to this constant overthinking and worrying about what other people think. It’s tiring – draining – to feel this way; it’s been a long time since I felt like I could do something with ease, in a relaxed way without my mind constantly racing with all sorts of irrational scenarios and thoughts. It was comforting that my friend understood and we could talk about it freely, it really showed to me that it was okay to talk about mental health, because we all have mental health and the sooner we break down the stigma around discussing it, the better it’ll be for everyone. No one should have to face mental health alone – we are so much stronger if we tackle it together.

Now I feel so much lighter after discussing all this with someone I admire and respect a lot, and I think it helped her too. Although I don’t see many of my friends often, I am now a little bit more reassured that they still do care and the friendship is still there. I can’t express enough how much today has changed my perspective on life. Although my thoughts aren’t coherent and I’ve still got a long way to go, I took a risk in reaching out to a friend for help, and it paid off. Life’s all about taking risks, we don’t always know which ones will be worth taking until we’ve taken them, but we always learn in the process.

Here’s to more opening up about mental health, on my part and yours.

 

To The Friends I’ve Lost

Sometimes I shout into the void,

Hoping to salvage the remnants of a friendship,

Of a life time – a journey shared,

But disintegrated now.

I wonder why – when – it all changed,

Was it me? Was it you? Was it us?

Now nothing is left of us,

We’re drifting; drifted.

I don’t resent the memories, the happy times,

Of friendships built to last,

But they weren’t – were they?

And now we’ve fallen apart.

Maybe I am different, maybe I am quiet,

Maybe you don’t need me anymore,

So you shut another door,

That I can’t walk through.

No words destroyed us,

Just silence; unbreakable,

It tore us apart before we realised,

We can’t go back now, can we?

We’re not who we used to be,

When we laughed and joked through the years,

Our current selfs are no longer compatible,

Our conversations vacant then nonexistent.

We forgot how to speak eachother’s language,

So we stopped trying,

I’m sorry.

We lost eachother,

And I don’t know if we can be found.

The Real Value of Friendship

I was looking through my draft posts as you do when you’re having a break from studying, when I came across one from almost exactly two months ago entitled “The Value of Friendship”. I thought, that’s odd, I was just about to write down some thoughts about friendships that have been whirling round my head for the past few days. So I opened up the draft and had a read. I can’t believe how differently I feel now to when I wrote that post. For whatever reason, I didn’t publish that post, but I’m glad I didn’t because it was a jumble of thoughts derived from a particularly persistent phase of overthinking.

The post I originally set out to write today by piecing together little memos of writing I made over the past few days couldn’t be more different. Everything that happened since that draft was written on the 17th November really has been a whirlwind. Last week I had to take a break from social media for a few days – not for long, it probably wasn’t even noticeable – but everything became so complex and overwhelming that I just wanted the simplicity of not having access to the online world for a few days. All my time and energy was taken up by events and people in real life, so I had to focus just on that for a bit.

On reflection of what’s been happening in the past little while, I will say that my close friends and I have gone through some very tough times. I know, however, that we have become stronger because of it and my love for them is greater than ever.

I’ve realised that in life you don’t need to have lots of friends to be happy, you just need a few wonderful individuals who care about you and have shown it. We may not completely understand each other because every human is so complex, but I know that they would walk alongside me down any difficult paths that life throws at me, and I would do the same for them without hesitation.

They haven’t been there since the beginning and it’s taken me a long time to find friends like these, but by miraculous coincidence we found each other and through our friendships I have learnt to be a better friend to myself. These friends have the power to make me happy just by saying a few words, just by being there, and I’m so grateful that they have been there when I needed them, even if they didn’t know it or if I didn’t directly ask for help. They have a comforting presence, which is more than enough to put me at ease in the most stressful of situations.

It’s hard to express my love for them through something as logical and structured as words, because as with most things in life, friendships are often illogical and jumbled. I can’t express enough how much I value them as friends – they make everything seem a little brighter and a little calmer when the world seems crazy.

Through the hard times and the good, the laughter and the tears, I have learnt the value of friendship, and it’s a truly beautiful thing.

//People can be FAB//

First of all, sorry for my absence!! I haven’t been feeling very inspired to write recently (a levels do tend to drain all the life out of you, just a heads up!!) but yeah today I had a sudden wave of ~inspiration~ and am really sentimental about people, of all things (which is quite unusual for me as I am v awkward and not the biggest fan of people in general).

So yeah, since starting college, I have found myself becoming more and more sociable (?). It sounds a bit cringey but college has been a sort of fresh start for me, and I’m really grateful for that! I was lucky to be going to the same college as the majority of my frineds from secondary school, which was good and made settling into a new environment much easier. The difference between college and school though, is that there are SO MANY new people to meet. Also, I have escpaed the people who used to bully me back in school (yipee!!) which was obviously a relief when I started college, because now I can be mre myself and more confident without being judged and mocked.

At first, I sort of just clung to my original frineds and didn’t really make an effort to try to ‘branch out’, as it were. Now however I am finding myself being quite confident in social situations and I quite like it! I’ve somehow managed to fit into my French class really well – they are all really lovely and I really enjoy spending time with them. I’ve been spending more time with them out of lessons too, like on the bus or meeting up during our breaks which has been nice! I’ve also made a little squad of friends in geography too and they are all HILARIOUS. Our field trip last week was so funny because of them – there was so much banter it really made my week – I haven’t laughed so much in AGES.

It just feels really nice to be able to say that I have made new friends and to prove to myself that I can, actually, be sociable and confident. The majority of people at my college are really friendly and it’s just such a lovely atmosphere that I actually look forward to going, whereas I sort of dreaded going to secondary school.

Today, I spent the afternoon in geography with my friends and all the banter from the geography trip started again and it just makes me really happy to think that I’ve made some really good friends. After geography, we were queuing from the bus and I managed to socialise with STRANGERS, believe it or not!! Me and my friends from geography bumped into my friend from French and her friends and then we just started chatting to these two guys at the bus stop who were waiting near and us and I strangely felt really relaxed and cheerful.

It’s taken me a long time to actually find people who make me happy and who I really enjoy spending time around but it was so worth the wait! When I started blogging and talking to bloggers and The Blog Squad, I was just in awe at how frinedly you guys all were – and still am! Honestly, to all my blogging friends, you are all amazing and I’m so grateful to you for your constant kindness and just general loveliness. ❤

But yeah, that’s enough of me flailing about ACTUALLY! MAKING! FRIENDS! and how fab people can be. 🙂

Hope you’ve all been okay!!

//A Weird Kind of Happiness//

Hello! As you can probably tell from the title, I am in an oddly happy mood today. The past week has been quite stressful so it’s nice – yet surprising – to end it on a positive note.

I don’t know why but everything about today just seems so…perfect? Well, maybe not perfect (I don’t really know what I’m trying to say here so just bear with) but just lots of nice things have been happening.

Firstly, I Skyped the lovely Elly last night. There’s always something *magical* about Skyping blogger friends, hence I’m still in that kind of ecstatic mood where I can’t believe I actually talked to one of my internet friends face-to-face. I really enjoyed chatting to Elly and it helped me relax after a stressful week, so thank you very much Elly for always being so amazing ❤

Secondly, I’m wearing my favourite jumper ever today. It’s a knitted mustard-coloured jumper and it’s soooo comfy I just love it so much. It does make me feel very much like a Hufflepuff but I don’t mind because I really admire Hufflepuff house. Even though I am a proud Ravenclaw, I feel like I can relate a lot to Hufflepuff too so I think it’s nice to acknowledge my other, less obvious traits from time to time.

Another great thing was that my hair actually managed to stay in a bun today, despite the fact that I’ve recently had it cut to just below shoulder length. I also managed to go shopping between doing homework and buy a notebook and a candle (two of my favourite things ever) then proceeded to spend an hour or so taking photos of them (bc aesthetics amiright?).

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The candle.
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The notebook – on the spine it says ‘Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures’ and on the front it says ‘Explore’ and has a really pretty pattern.

This morning there was this aesthetic board tag thing going round on Twitter and even that made me happy to see other people’s aesthetics and make my own (which you can see below).

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That inspired me to go through my old phone photos and find pictures to make aesthetic boards with so I spent a fair bit of time doing that.

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Here’s the ‘Daydreamer’ aesthetic I made.

Then I decided to make a Tumblr account because I need more aesthetics/just generally cute and fandom-y things in my life and I want to make things and share them with people but I haven’t got very far in setting it up yet as Tumblr is very confusing lol. I have managed to choose my blog name and design though and upload my avatar image so that’s a start! I just need to figure out how it actually works.

Whilst doing all that, I’ve been listening to Bastille’s ‘Wild World’ album on repeat and fell in love with Bastille all over again (lets be honest, I never stopped loving Bastille).

So all in all, it’s just been a very lovely, relaxing day and the first time I’ve felt genuinely happy for a while. 🙂 I keep thinking throughout the day about how wonderful all you guys are. I really couldn’t have wished for better friends than the ones I’ve made on here and on Twitter and I love you all so, so much ❤

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend!!

 

 

//Swap box with…Eve//

So, as you’ll know I also did a swap box with Just A Blank Space which I talked about here but as well as that, I did one with the lovely Eve (appletaile) from A Twist In The Taile (actually I did five in total so expect to see more of these posts over the next week or so)!

The parcel arrived two weeks ago today but I’ve only just got round to writing the blog post up (I have no excuse – I’m just feeling very lazy at the moment). So, without further or do, here is what I received from Eve!

Firstly I opened the package up to find this awesome bag from The Wimbledon Shop. *Fun fact *: I have a collection of plastic bags from interesting places such as The Doctor Who Experience and Le Tour De France Shop. I’ve added this bag to the collection too!

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Inside the bag was a Wimbledon key ring (which I have already decided is going to be attached to my house key when I eventually find it). I’ve never watched Wimbledon (except from on TV) but it is definitely something I’d like to do in the future!

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Then there was also a Soapasaurus Butter Beer lip balm which is absolutely amazing and it’s smells so lovely and is, in my opinion, a genius idea because not only can you taste Butter Beer when you apply it, the scent is so powerful it makes you smell like Butter Beer too!! I love this so much and I’m so grateful for Eve to have sent this to me!

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Alongside the key ring and the lip balm, there was also a cute little pin badge that said ‘Blog Squad’ on it. I love it because it makes me think of the lovely Blog Squad themselves – a group of teen bloggers on Twitter who I am so grateful to have as friends. Shout out to the Blog Squad and to Eve for making this!! ❤

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Now I can’t remember if this was in the Wimbledon bag too or not but next there was a rubber from the Tate Modern in London which I went to ages ago (when I was like 8 or something) so can’t really remember it – which, of course, is a good reason to go back some time! I love any kind of stationary to be honest and, knowing me, this will probably join my collection of ‘ceremonial stationary’ which I use purely for display purposes in my bedroom as they are just too pretty to actually use.

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Next there was a map of the tube in London which is very helpful because I find over ground trains confusing enough as it is and last time I was in London I had no clue which line to get on and where to get off at. Also I haven’t quite mastered tube etiquette yet so this will probably be helpful with that too (well at least I can look like I know where I’m going instead of being a confused tourist).

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Then there was a pocket map of London that I can colour in and customize myself! I love maps and exploring new places very much and I also really love colouring so I’m going to really enjoy colouring this in and finding out more about London (it’s really bad – I barely know anything about my own capital city but I guess now is as good a time as any to learn)!

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Lastly, there was a copy of a July edition of TimeOut London magazine.

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Not knowing much about London itself, I wasn’t even aware that this magazine existed but now I’ve had time to read it through – I love it! There are some really interesting articles in their (particularly the below interview with Matt Smith) as well with just general news about London and ideas of things to do in the city. When I was reading this, I actually started to feel a bit like an actual Londoner, or at least someone who knew more about London other than the fact that it was the capital of Britain and was very huge.

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LOOK LOOK!!

There was also a rather interesting newspaper in the middle of the magazine The Unusual Times.

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It had many surprisingly useful articles in it (and some that were just very odd – like the unusual horoscopes – but were still a good read). I also found the Cucumber Facts feature to be particularly useful.

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I mean, I wouldn’t of known a cucumber was a portal into another dimension if it wasn’t for The Unusual Times!!

Eve also sent me a lovely little letter (which wasn’t too rambly at all). It was very cute and it was so surreal to be reading something that someone I’d only ever talked to online before had written!

Here’s a picture of everything in Eve’s swap box together:

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All that’s left to do is to thank Eve very much for everything she sent me – I love it all and I’m so grateful that they wanted to do a swap box with me because I have absolutely loved learning more about London and feeling more connected to my internet friends! 🙂 So thank you Eve!

Also don’t forget to check out Eve’s blog because they are awesome and their posts are so intriguing and are well worth a read!