Turning 21

Over the summer, I’d heard peoples plans for their 21 birthday. One girl’s family were taking her abroad, another girls family were buying her a car, ect. ect. Over the summer, I guess my idea on what turning 21 was like, was, in the end, highly inflated. This being the last ‘big’ celebration I’d have until I’m 30. The first big celebration out of my teens. In the states, you’re officially an adult. Here, you’re celebrating three years of surviving as an adult. I had high hopes of holidays and elaborate surprise parties and a meal the size of a banquet. What actually happened was much smaller and much more quiet. It wasn’t awful and it wasn’t really amazing either. It was a calm, content medium. There was some excitement but that was soon snubbed out. Like mot nights out these days, I ended my birthday with my mum and a quiet gratefulness that she will always be there.

Sure, no one had made any plans and I ended up planning my birthday on my birthday and by the time I get the big three-oh, I will only remember that day for getting my first piercings, but it could have been worse. Things can always be worse. One thing that overwhelmed me on my birthday was the idea that the day would be so mediocre, and my imagination had been really let wild, that I would disappoint myself purely on the basis that I had let others convince me that a 21st birthday was supposed to be a grand and special event. It wasn’t really either for me. It was a time for coming home and panicking because between September and December, that was my only break from Falmouth. That was the only time I’d get to see my family and friends, regardless of the fact that I do the chasing.

I woke up to my fiance. I finally, in my old age, got my ears pierced (because apparently piercings are the norm), I saw my family, ate Chinese and had a mate buy me a shot of tequila, ending the night with my fiances best friend saving mine and my mothers asses by driving us both home. It didn’t last long; it ended too soon. And there were tears, and hard decisions. Should I talk about it? Probably. Will I? Possibly . Will I share this for everyone to read? Nope. I know everyone, in their own way tried. Do I want to make a point about the disappointment and frustration I felt on the day, leading up to it, and afterwards? No. Literally just writing for therapy here.

I guess, if these was a tale, there would be a moral and the moral I guess would be along the lines of: Never expect anything, from anyone. If you want something, go get it yourself, but don’t rely on others for your happiness. People are messy creature, unorganised. They’ll never behave in the way you want. Hoping for it to happen,  and staying quiet out of politeness, is futile. If there’s something you want to happen, organise it yourself. Don’t listen to what others have got going on in their lives. Jealousy isn’t going to help and expecting the same will only lead to your being disappointed. If you begin feeling pessimistic from the beginning then maybe you’ll end up pleasantly surprised instead of starting off majorly optimistic and ending bitterly disappointed; not at one particular person, but at yourself.

I’m done here.

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Running Out of Steam

Some days, I feel like I’m running out of steam. Through the week the train moved faster and faster and I feel better and better and then I hit Friday. The train out runs itself. I crash and I crash pretty hard. It’s becoming a reocurring theme but at least a pattern is emerging. Unlike last year, where it was completely unpredictable.

It’s my birthday next week but I don’t really care for it. I’ve been told it’s important but it just seems like something that’s stopping me from being happy right now. I have to hold off feeling comfortable and happy until then, for then, which is alienating me. I’d rather nothing happened that weekend so that I could see everyone this weekend and the weekend before ect.ect. I’ve got to some how last until December without spending more than a couple of days at home. Last year I had a week in October, this year, I’m pushing aside uni crap so I can have a weekend at home for my birthday but I wish it was longer. I don’t care about having longer for Christmas. I feel like I’m dying now, and I would sacrifice anything to have someone visit me. I would sell both wardrobes full of my clothes. I would give away all of my food (not that I have much left).

Pondering over this is going to make me sad. May be I’m already too late. Sometimes I love living alone in Falmouth and something it feels like I’ve made myself a prison and I have to live with the consequence in silence. I keep telling myself it’s less than a year left and then I can return home and never have to leave it again, but I know I’m going to miss it. I don’t expect anyone to read this pile of crap. I can feel my anxiousness catching up with me. It’s shit.

I need a hug.

Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Welcome to my first look book. I’ve posted a few outfits here and there, but this is my first big look book. I’ve got a number of different styles of clothes and make up to give you some 80’s-inspo!

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Big bows!
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Peplum! (I’ styled mine a bit long here, but draping fabrics, often quite heavy ones, does the trick. I pinned my dress up with a velvet corsage. And don’t get me started on Polka dots!
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Body suits and leg warmers are the classic flash dance look but I really didn’t feel like I had the confidence to go for it. On seeing how many other flashdancers there were, and in what a variation of body size and shape, it’s easier to leave your insecurities at the door! I paired it with a polka dot headband, neon beads and arm warmers!
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Wild hair and side ponytails!
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Punk! Ascot, leather fingerless gloves with bows and studs, of course, fish net sleeve top and tartan skirt!
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Close up of that black action
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The body suit + I’m not even sure what that kind of fabric is but it reminds me of the outfits I’d dress my barbie dolls in as a child. It’s mermaidy, shiny and often in cool colours!
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Bright, tetris style eyes. All I’ve used here it a black liquid liner, and a pop colour pallet in pink across the lid, purple for the crease, a block of blue up to the brow, a sweep of green under the lower lashes and a dab of yellow around the tear duct.

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Here I’ve swept a deep line of pink under the lower lashes and dragged the colour down my cheeks to form a blush which fades into my natural skin tone. You could use blush, but I didn’t have the bright pink that I wanted based on some of the cool 80’s artists at the time.

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Big colour and a blue lightning bolt. I chose pink and blue to match my shoes :3 I used a blue eye pencil for the bolt and shadow for the main colour but for a bolder look, I’d recommend using a liquid/ cream eyeshadow.

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Big wings! Here i covered my lid in a light pink and contrasted that with purple in the crease and almost up to my eyebrow. I swept a wing of liquid eyeliner across my upper lash line and outwards. Then, I dusted my lower lash line with light green and carried that out with my liner.

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This was the look I chose for my 80’s night. I covered my entire eye area with pink and winged it out past the bottom of my eyebrow. Under my lashes, I then lined it with blue eyeliner. In the final look, I used a black eyeliner pen to define my lashes.

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Here I played around with the idea of contouring. I noticed that a lot of the big 80’s stars used blushers of bright colours so, using white, pink and deep purple, to get a more ‘chiseled’ look while also packing my face with colours. However, as you can probably tell, I am not very good at contouring. Yet. I am not very good yet. It would help if I could locate my cheek bones first 😐

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This was the look (or at least half of it) the my friend went for. This was a Lolly inspired look, using pink, blue and yellow. In the final look, I did away with the blue across the eye lids and made the stripes symetical on both sides, while creating some dramatic lash effects with the winged liner.

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This one was my more subtle favourite. covering the eyelid in pale blue and contouring the eye area with a brighter shade of blue below the eyebrow and where you would wing your liner.

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This was the second to last style I tried and it was quite late. I don’t have any professional lighting, as you can probably tell. I shaded the first half of my eyelid (closest to my tear duct) with pink, with a dot of green next to it. I then went around all of that with a blue eyeshadow and drew two horizontal lines extending from the bottom of my eye and going between those with a green eyeshadow like you’ll see in the next picture.

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Putting the make up together with an orange lipstick, with the dress I really thought I was going to wear. Damn those last minute doubts!
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My friend and I are now ready to parrrrrtaaayyy! Waved my hair for big volume, orange lipstick, and added a denim jacket and spiky leather collar for a bit of added coolness.
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Towards the end of the night now, and we girls were definitely have fun!

An After Note: I’m hoping that anyone viewing this doesn’t notice the fact that I still haven’t fully unpacked my belongings yet. The problems of moving into a smaller house than the previous one is that I just don’t have the room I’m used to!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look book as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together! xo

Being a Pagan Student

This new academic year has begun and freshers has now passed. It was a hectic time for me and the other society council members as we put on the events and met the new pagan students of Falmouth Uni. By the end, I was asleep by 8pm and felt like death, narrowly deflecting Fresher’s Flu.

I had a hard think about what would be useful to the freshers. Being Pagan has a diverse meaning so we needed to cater to everyone. I recently saw an article about how freshers is all about drinking and it excludes new students, but that wasn’t the case at our uni, nor can I imagine that was the case at all. Our first event was a tour of the groups magickal, mystical and natural spots. I was pretty nervous throughout freshers as the society wasn’t really successful last year and I’d grown comfortable with the group. This year, we had freshers to get through and attract as many people as possible. The tour went well and lit up the imaginations of five freshers. We visited places such as The Grotto, a pond in the shape of a star with a war memorial near by, built by American Soldiers, surrounded by a tall wall of bamboo and near by a stream; a fertility statue built into a wall, hidden by trees, The Walled Garden, which encompasses an orchard; Tremough House Garden, a lovely italian-style garden which accompanies the old convent, and we ended with the Chaplaincy cottage, the hub of inter-faith relations.

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The Star Pond at The Grotto during the Chaplaincy Tour for Pagan Students

The second event we’d put on was a gathering for the Eclipse. I really did not expect 20-30 students to turn up, most of them with no idea on what was expected of them. I have never led a ritual for any more than three, so it was incredibly daunting and I didn’t intend to, as I’d written on the event ‘individual ritual/meditation’ so when everyone asked me what they were doing, I could have died. I did not come prepared, but I should have expected lots of non-pagans with no experience, really. The numbers after that fell, unsurprisingly. I apologise to those that thought I was going to lead a big dramatic ritual, with drumming circle, passing round a shisha pipe, chanting under the eclipsed moon, or whatever it is people do at festivals. In my mind, it was going to be something much more quiet and personal. The energy that was invoked however was amazing, a few other freshers picked up on it. I guess there really is strength in numbers.

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Just some of the students that turned up for the Lunar Eclipse gathering! 

The last freshers event we had was our Mabon feast. Mabon is the second harvest festival, a time for reflection, giving thanks and wining and dining yourself before winter comes around. It was a lot of fun. We went to Zizzi’s as it was easy, provided for lots of different dietary requirements and preferences and was no-fuss. We’d under booked.

As time goes on, as president I’m seeing a lot of pressure on me, again it was something I should have expected but coming from an ‘easy’ year or desperately trying to pull in members and not putting on any big events because of this, going from one extreme to the next was quite maddening, to fulfil spiritual duties. As president, everyone looks to you for advice and wisdom, something I’ve not before experienced. It was lovely though to see so many people interested in Paganism. Especially when I was told during my time as a fresher that it would not be popular. I’m having a lot of fun with this though and I’ve made a lot of new friends. It’s everything I was hoping for when I was a fresher.

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My new friends 😀 

xo

Transition: What I Did Last Summer

So, I’m back after a long stint away from the keyboard. I’m in my final year of university now and keeping myself incredibly busy. My modules are going pretty well, I believe that my novel should be finished by Christmas. After finishing the first draft and not looking at it for three years, I feel like I’ve now acquired the necessary skills to see what I was doing wrong and put it right. That was my purpose in coming to uni. It wasn’t like I came to Cornwall for the nightlife, or to get away from my family; or to throw money I don’t have in to an elitist institution for the fun of it. No, my aim was to have The Ascendant finished by the end of my stay here. However, my Novel Writing module seems to be just the catalyst I need to get the motions moving. It’s pretty damn exciting.

The summer, much like university, has been a time for transition too. I was working two very different jobs, I lost and found some core people in my life, not necessarily the same ones. It was a roller coaster from start to finish and yet, it didn’t really feel like anything happened. When I was asked what I did over the summer, all I was able to say was ‘work’, and yet, even just from work, I felt myself changing. It had been a couple of years since I’d been in a job and since that experience, I’ve not wanted to go back into retail, or employment. I didn’t like how vulnerable you were when working for someone. I didn’t like feeling like a punching bag for customers and the employer. I haven’t been back inside the shop since. I haven’t even been into the other ones I didn’t work at because all I thought of when I saw them was the bad stuff. How I’d cry, or fall asleep, or both, when I’d get home, if I was lucky. If I wasn’t, then I’d cry at work, making sure I’d shut myself away somewhere first. It can be hard to think of the good when there’s a lot of bad stuff about.

This summer, I was afraid it would happen all over again. I picked up some work as an Avon Rep, delivering to friends, family and the neighbours. I liked that job because I love make up, I liked not working for someone else and I liked meeting new people. That was the first step to gaining my confidence. The second was when my sister offered me a job at the pub where she works. I was hesitant and so anxious that I’d end up with a horrible boss and I’d have to plan a murder or something. Getting into the swing of things and getting to know my work mates took a bit of time but I did get confident and I was pretty good at what I did. The experience of earning money again was a thrill I had forgotten existed. However, I still didn’t have a large amount of money as seeing my friends and family was still top priority, despite having two jobs, because once you go to uni, you don’t really see much of people. You can’t afford to.

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My best friend Jess cheering me up on a night out after having a hideous time with a friendship break up. 

The best part was hanging out with my sisters. It’s somehow easy to forget how much you miss them when you’re busy working a lot and you realise just how much you’re not around to see. That’s the hardest part. I was able to have a lot of interesting bonding experiences with my family. The situation with my friends changed a lot too. It’s like the saying goes really: You win some and you lose some. I expected that if something like that ever happened, I would have been a lot sadder than I was. Don’t get my wrong, I was pretty hurt, but I felt a little prepared for it. Like all of the previous arguments we had had begun building up a wall for me. If it had come out of no where, it would have hurt a lot more. And at first I thought: ‘I don’t have any friends now’. Then I had to take a step back from what I’d been thinking, slap myself in the face, and tell myself to ‘Stop being stupid, you’ve got loads of mates’. And I started to talk to and hang out with them more, alongside my family and I realised that when people love you, they don’t expect you to have to put in a load of effort all the time and they appreciate it when you do. When you love them, you want to but it’s not always viable. I’ve tried to show the same patience people show to me, back to them. I feel more secure.

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My sisters et moi lunching in my final week back home

The last phase of this transition was moving house. Same landlord, different house and a lot more problems. Will I ever rent from a private landlord again? No. If being at uni has taught me anything, it’s that landlords are more than happy to rip you off a bit of dolla and they think they are in the position to do so. *

Reflecting over the summer, I see that I have changed. Maybe not physically, maybe not deep down in my soul (I’m still forgetful, forever tired, and at times have difficulty concentrating) but I am wiser. My plans are becoming clearer and I’m coming back out of the shell that I’d put up over the last year. Now I’m back at Falmouth, I’m feeling much better for it. How was your summer? Have you felt a change of self? xo

 

 

 

Feature Picture by Cummings Photography

*I’ll probably write up on this further in the year