Sunday, 30 November 2014

blurry photographs and cold days

I admire people who can something so simple into art. Whether it's food, music, writing, fashion or make up, I find it so interesting that the things some people think of as boring or normal, others view as a blank canvas for them to display their creativity. With so many social media platforms these days, it seems that everybody can be an artist. The problem is, this leads to so many people taking things like instagram seriously, as if it was their job. I've seen arguments over shout outs and insecurity about follower count, which seems slightly crazy to me. 

While our parents used to take photos to store in photo albums that only see daylight every few years, spending the rest of the time gathering dust, this generation seems to share everything online. As long as it has an appropriate filter, there are no boundaries. Social media is the home for millions of teenagers captioning everything '#likeback' to seem popular to people they'll never meet.

Although I am impressed with people who are able to take flawless, HD photos that look as if they have been taken through someone's eyes, it is not something that I can achieve. I've decided to embrace my lack of talent, rather than feeling left out amongst the talented members of the blogging community.
Sometimes the best photos are the ones where the lighting is wrong and you forgot to alter the focus, because you know that behind the blurry pixels is a shooting star or your 16 year old face laughing about a joke you can't remember. I tend to favour photos that were rushed because otherwise the moment would go, rather than those that I spent so long trying to get perfect.

I was walking home last week and I decided to attempt to capture the moment in a photo. I didn't even stop to take them, partly for the sake of the photo and partly because it would be embarrassing if someone I knew saw me. Despite the fact I will be offending someone with my lack of photography skills, I kind of love how they turned out. This is the kind of photo I'll see in years to come, and still remember how freezing I felt.

Reminding myself that I don't need to fit a mould while blogging has helped me to write about the things I want to, rather than what I think will get the most readers. If you think something is right, then do it, no matter how small.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

a guide to healing yourself

It's engraved in our codes to have a slightly imperfect life, yet nobody embraces it. We've been raised on movies that make life seem like it should be perfect, so we blame ourselves when it's not, and we convince ourselves that something is wrong. Lately it seems that my blog has transformed into a study on weird human behaviour, but I can't help but be fascinated with the strange things we do. Unlike other animals, we don't seem to be able to get up and carry on as easily. We need to build ourselves back up before we can try again, and there's nothing wrong with that. There's something to admire in people who have been through the worst and still fight back, every time. 

I'm currently in the process of attempting to become happier, and I know this is a goal for most people too. Whether you're going through a challenging time, or just don't feel too great, I really hope I can be some help to you.

I am so frustrated by people who tell me "happiness is a choice!", as if I am choosing to feel this way. I understand that positive quotes and the possibility of a better day isn't going to help, so I have attempted to devise a list of things that will guide you on your way. 

  • Re-discover things that you once loved. Watch a film you loved as a child or visit your old favourite place. Things that provided happiness and comfort in your past are likely to do the same now, so take some time to find them again.
  • Find new things that you love, too. Learn to paint or remix classical music, bake, write a book, make a short film. Don't take it too seriously and treat it like therapy. Tell yourself that this is going to help you on the road to becoming a better person. Life is so long sometimes, it's good to have something to fill the void, and it's always good to learn something new anyway.
  • Read. Sometimes all I need is to escape between the pages of a book to feel okay again. There's also something so satisfying about the sense of accomplishment that finishing a whole book can give you. Learn from the characters and carry their story with you for the rest of your life.
  • Change something around you - or everything! When I'm stressed I take down all the pictures in my room and replace them with new ones. I move my furniture and change my bedding, and sometimes I dye my hair. An instant change is so refreshing, and it's not something we should be afraid of. 
  • Wake up early and let yourself feel the serenity that being the only person awake in the house supplies you with. Use the time to make your morning easier. Make something interesting or complicated for breakfast, or do your hair differently. 
  • Eat healthily - but eat what you want. When I'm not living on chocolate and microwave rice, I have more energy and I generally feel better. Still allow yourself to eat what you want. Don't calorie count or worry about carbs, it will only add more stress into your life. If you want to eat a whole back of biscuits then do it because you deserve to, but try to make a concious effort to add more healthy foods to your diet.
  • Make a happy playlist. Sometimes I don't need the help of a friend or family member, I just want to be comforted by music. Play anything upbeat or positive, whether it's ABBA or One Direction. Music is so powerful in the sense that it can really transform your mood, that there's really no time to be a music snob when you're sad. If it makes you smile: play it.
  • Have a shower! If I ever feel like the stress is too much, I let the water burn my skin as I drown my sorrows in Snow Fairy shower gel. Spend 10 minutes or an hour letting the steam be your therapy. Imagine that as you're scrubbing your skin, you're scrubbing your problems away, watching them run down the drain.
  • Sleep. Sleep is the best escape, because it's as if you don't exist for that time. Put on your favourite pyjamas and let yourself drift away, giving your mind and body the rest it needs to carry on.
  • Give yourself time. Don't be angry at yourself for taking so long to be okay again, be patient. Use this time to learn about yourself and teach yourself to be happy.

Life is so unpredictable that we never know what's around the corner. If you're reading this and things don't seem to fit right now, I truly hope that soon you feel so immensely happy that you wake up every day smiling. Please remember that I'm only an email away at any time, and I will always listen.
I hope your week was amazing, and if not, lets both try again next week.

Monday, 17 November 2014

oh nostalgia I don't need you anymore

Do you ever see a photo of yourself that was taken a few days before something significant happened in your life, and just stare at it? I've found myself transfixed on images of my younger, smiling face; a version of myself that is clueless as to what's going to happen next. I almost feel protective over myself, wishing I could offer advice to my younger self through my phone screen.

I am currently living my last few months of high school and although I know I should be enjoying the last months of being a teenager, I can't help feeling oddly nostalgic and very sad about the whole thing. Part of me is desperate to move on and leave, but the other part is wishing that I could re live it and do everything differently.

I wish I had taken thing the drama less seriously, and taken the work more seriously. I wish I had cared less and done the things I really wanted to do. I wish I had been more confident. More than anything I wish I had never let people walk all over me, and let them know it wasn't okay before they got used to it. Sadly, no matter how many times I wish things had gone differently, I can't change the fact that they didn't.

The thing about time is that you can't control it, yet it is so unpredictable. Sometimes a second feels like a year, and years fly by like days. Humans seem to be obsessed with the concept of time, living so strictly by its laws and cursing it whenever things go wrong. If you miss the train by 10 seconds, you retrace your steps and hate yourself for pausing to change the song on your iPod, or waiting to cross the road. On the other side, if you didn't wait you could be in hospital wishing your biggest issue was missing the train.

I am so fascinated by the unpredictability of life. You never know when something is happening for the last time. The last time you hear your favourite song, see your best friend, get on a plane. It seems that only the dying appreciate how valuable every second is. Unfortunately, despite how aware I constantly am of this fact, I cannot comprehend the value of life. Only occasionally I panic because I remember that my time on this planet is only temporary, and I don't know how or why or when it will end. The rest of the time I drift a long in a strange state of extreme awareness and ignorance, all at once.

Sometimes you realise what you should have said a year too late. Sometimes you're lying in bed when you realise that when they called to apologise you should have accepted it and laughed about what happened. It all seems simple when you look at it a year later, and you find yourself wishing that you just said no, or yes. The smallest details are so huge and you critique every thing that you did that lead to this moment.

 I wish that things weren't damaged beyond repair, and that I could start a conversation as if nothing happened, so everything fell back into place. I wish I had more happy photos and had spent less time wanting everything to end. However, wishing doesn't work and sometimes you have to take life as it comes.

Maybe it's necessary to cut the strings that are still tying you to your past sometimes, just to let yourself be free. Rather than hanging onto things that happened and forcing yourself to re live them, imagine if they didn't. Imagine a version of you that didn't learn those lessons or experience the thing that almost tore you apart. Sometimes it's better to move on.