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.

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

The Maths Of Feeling Lonely

I read The Age of Loneliness by An Author’s Life, and this is supposed to be a bit different but aware of the mentioned text. I don’t know how to mould the content so I’ll just have to see where it takes me.

So, unsurprisingly this is today’s topic because I woke up feeling lonely today. I’d spent this weekend staying with one of my best mates from home who attends Plymouth University. There were laughs and there were tears. All in all, it was a great weekend. I find loneliness one of the most frustrating feelings of all though. I wake up without George (the fiancé) every morning and it’s lonely. I go about my morning, getting ready and doing work by myself. That get’s pretty lonely too. The afternoon progresses, I might see people on campus. I might get a phone call from George, I might actually have social plans formed and yet, but that point, in can be pretty hard to know when to turn that switch off.

And I know, it’s not just me. This weekend alone, I realised that a lot of people around me feel it too. Being around people can be a distraction but when the distraction is over, you are left with yourself and for some people, that can be pretty damn scary. Some people say that the outside world is scary but I believe that our own minds are even scarier. At the end of it all, you are born alone and you die alone. There’s one voice alone in your head. It’s the internal that can be most dangerous.

View loneliness as a warning bell.

When you feel so sad that you can’t do anything and the silence gets too much, and the lack of company gets too much, it’s time to go find some. That’s not always something you can do, like me waking up alone in the morning. That’s something I have to endure until George visits again. But there are times when you can do it. If you’re at home, watching stuff or playing games, whatever it is, go and seek out those you live with. Parents get taken far too easily for granted. They are there to help you and they’d probably tell you you were being silly if they saw you choosing to remain alone when you are feeling lonely. Being around people doesn’t always help satisfy it, but it certainly can help. Especially when they are people that you are close with and trust. If they aren’t, then perhaps don’t bother with them.

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The issue with loneliness is that it comes in so many forms. Moving away, losing a partner, losing friends, being overloaded with work, losing a pet, and there are probably  loads more. Loss in general is enough to trigger loneliness, whether someone walks away or is taken from you, a hole, no matter how big or small, will open up in your life. Equally, other big events can make you feel lonely as you’re having to replace sociality with whatever is currently consuming your time. Social media and virtual experiences of people, aren’t enough to satisfy the need for actual human contact. 

I was going to call this ‘The Art Of Feeling Lonely’ However, loneliness isn’t like over thinking. It’s not something that takes you to places, regardless of if you want to go there. Loneliness just happens. It’s not tied to age or experience. At the age 6 I felt lonely. At the age of 15 I felt lonely, and now, nearly 21, I feel lonely. I’m dead sure that it won’t be the last time that I feel lonely either. So, I’ll call it an equation of maths instead, where loneliness is a feeling of subtraction in your life. Something has been taken away which has made you feel this void. It might even not be something you’re aware of. The subtracted could be you. Before this feeling, you may have enjoyed being alone. It’s something that many people are good at; but then something happens inside yourself and you realise that you don’t enjoy your own company any more. It happens.

The thing with maths, is that you can add things to your sum. When you feel something has been subtracted, add something, or someone. Experiment. The numbers you add don’t have to be huge, or daring. They don’t have to feel like a leap. There’s no point in over compensating. Do the maths that you can do and the loneliness should take care of it’s self.

Thanks for reading everyone (: See you soon xx

 

My Experience Of The Wedding Industry Pt2: Engagement Competitions

Hello darlings, I recently entered a local engagement competition on Facebook, you may have read ‘My Appeal‘,but probably not. it was something that popped up on my timeline from friends that had liked someone’s post in the competition group page. They had posted their engagement story and a picture of the moment. I thought it seemed like a lovely idea so I looked into it more. There were prizes: a photo shoot, a £50 voucher and various small discounts off of local vendors. The couple that had caught my attention on my timeline had a lot of publicity and exposure on Facebook. I thought: why not and through George and I into the competition.

It was tough.

I had a week to get as many likes on my post as possible. What I realised was this was firstly a popularity contest, secondly a writing contest and thirdly (if you submitted a picture) a beauty contest. To ensure my success, I decided I had to write the story well. I had to have emotion and hilarity and romance. My story is romantic and funny, but not everyone can word things as such. I picked a picture George and I took at my mums on Christmas day a couple hours after he proposed. I had the goods ready and they were pretty high quality, if I do say so myself.

The problem I was going to have was with the popularity bit. I’m a pretty introverted person and often keep to myself despite the fact I come from a big family and have a lot of friends. I didn’t really think they’d help but I messaged them anyway. After this, I think I must have gotten between around 150 likes. The leading couple were at around 220 and it was daunting because they were a lesbian couple. I really did not think I stood a chance against a couple that were potentially getting their likes from the LGBT+ community Facebook groups. I posted all across Twitter and Tumblr, but nothing really happened there. I then remembered that I’m a Pagan; I’m a part of a tight knit community, too. I saw a huge influx of fellow pagan people coming to like the page and I really couldn’t feel any prouder to be apart of such a wonderful community. And then there was also all of the different uni groups I was apart of, finally, there was a benefit to being a student.

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And then Saturday night happened. The leading couple gained around 200 likes and I really did not think I could compete. I felt down about it but George through my phone to the end of the bed and put on a movie, which made me feel much better about it all! The next day, we went out and enjoyed our Valentines day together before he had to go back home. After he went home, I had a sudden burst of faith. I shared the post again everywhere, added more Pagan groups and got my family and friends sharing on Facebook. I went to Instagram and Twitter with #WitchAndTheAtheist, because these things are easier to find with a hashtag, no? I’d gained 250-300 likes. I was far too excited to get the early night I wanted. I won with 10 minutes short of midnight.

I had messages coming at me, likes going through the roof and adrenaline. I really couldn’t believe what was happening and I could not wait to tell George in the morning about what had happened over night.

Of course, while this was all exciting, it wasn’t without drama. Right before I went to bed, a competitor had read through my comments and appeared to be getting argumentative. this worried me a little, I was too tired and excited to handle conflict but I did so well, and with the help of a friend. It wasn’t until I woke up and checked my notifications that I really had to laugh though. Someone had reported my engagement photo for nudity. I thought it looked a little bit suspicious but I chose to ignore it. I won. I didn’t know who did it, but it didn’t really matter.

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But I learnt a few things from this experience:

1. People go crazy for things that are free.

2. Where there’s a popularity contest involved, seek out a large group of people, just like you.

3. People will try and argue and even do petty things when you take things as seriously as they do.

4. Faith is a handy tool to keep about you.

5. There will always be another competition somewhere so don’t feel too downhearted if it doesn’t look like it’s going your way.

6. Entering competitions is a good way to pass a long engagement and keep excited.

7. If you have ulterior motives… such as a best friend having a unpleasant experience with one of the other competitors, this makes you even more eager to win.

Cheers for reading guys, hopefully this won’t be the first and last competition I enter, I had a lot of fun and I hope you have enjoyed reading pt2 and if you haven’t get checked out My Appeal, go for it. The competitions closed now but the post and story still remain.  x

 

Home Is Where The Heart Is, So They Say

Heyo, so it’s approaching that time of year when students start panicking about where they’re going to move over the summer. After already moving several times since coming to university last year, I hoped to settle down here. I found a house I like. It’s not dirty of messy like the last one. I’ve got nice house mates unlike the first one. I have lots of space, George can come over whenever he’s able to, and it just feels perfect. However, I’ve been told I’m going to have to leave because the landlords have given my house to another group. I hoped it wouldn’t come to this because I was told current tenants would get priority. I’m a current tenant and I didn’t not get priority. So it looks like, what’s left of us, will be looking for a new house. I’m a little bit peeved, I know how manky and tiny students houses can be. I’ve looked round enough of them. I’ve come to the conclusion, from the three landlords I’ve had now, that none of them are any good.

If you are a fellow student I have some advice for you:

Make sure you know what you’re mates are like before you move in with them. If you’re like me, messy but considerate, it will drive you insane if one of your group leaves your communal areas in a mess frequently. At my previous house, this drove me insane. because it was all the time. It’s not so bad every now and again but living in a mess all the time is a nightmare. How are you supposed to organise your work if you can’t even organise your kitchen? If you’re unlike me, and doesn’t understand how to use a bit of Fairy and a sponge, I suggest you learn how before you get slaughtered, or alternatively, if you’ve got one, use a dishwasher. But, make sure you rinse stuff off first. My house mates and I found out far too late. I don’t want you to be susceptible to the same fate as ours.

Mould is a problem I didn’t even realise existed. I mean, in my last house, don’t get my wrong, my windows were grotty as hell when I first moved in, but I didn’t realise walls got it too, until this house. If that’s a problem you’ve got, I suggest a few things: First, wipe it all off with an old flannel and some Dettol Mould spray. That works pretty well for any new mould However, it will take some of the paint off of the walls, but that’s your landlords problem, not yours, hopefully. Secondly, when you have the heating on, unfortunately, you will need to open the windows a little. You’ve got damp problem and you need to heat that water up and waft it out of your house.

Food can be expensive and 99% of the time, I bet you can’t even be bothered to cook. You’re tired, you’ve been working hard (or not) and cooking isn’t even in your vocabulary. Nor is food shopping. But guys, you’ve gotta eat! If you’ve not thought of it, try doing a house shop. Each chip in £5-10 a week. And do house meals, that way, you’ve got at least half the week where you’re going to be eating something good for you. Neither of my two previous houses did this. Well, the first one did, with my other house mate, but not with me and the second well, the living arrangements were as messy as our kitchen! In this house however, we did this and it was cool. it was nice to get to experiment and you got to try new things. Like, I’d never eaten lemon chicken before and my house mate’s was weird and delicious and while I didn’t like it, I really did and I wanted to stop eating it but I couldn’t… you get the picture? Keeping a house together is about team work. Your house mates need to be people you can depend on, work with and have fun with, of course.

I think that’s all of my student housing advice for now. I next want to talk about home. Home can be really subjective. When I say home, I can be talking about 5 different houses and yet none of them are really my ‘home’. My uni house can’t be considered home because I’m getting kicked out of it in 5 months. It’s a temporary solution. Home is something permanent. When I go back to Yeovil, I stay with my fiancé and we move between his mums and dads houses. Neither of these feel like home either, because like my uni house, they are temporary. I move between the two regularly and then I’m off again to Falmouth. I recently realised that moving in with your boyfriend (or in my case, fiancé now) and his family is an odd experience. I call it coming home, because I get to be with the one I love. However, it’s not quite home because I still feel like a guest; I don’t have a history there. It’s a new setting halfway through my story. I felt like that when I lived at my grandparents. It wasn’t my house, but someone else’s. they had different rules, different ways of doing things than I was used to. Then there are my parents houses.

My dad’s house is the one I grew up in as a child until about 14. That one doesn’t quite feel like home any more because: A. it has gone through many changes, B. The rest of my family aren’t there any more and C. It feels like so long ago since I lived there, I was just a kid. It’s got history, I’ll give you that, but it lacks something present, something now. My mum’s is the most like home out of all 5 houses. My mum’s there, my sisters are there, my dog’s there. I lived there very recently, before kind of moving in with George and I still go there a lot. It’s got more of a history and I’ve cooked there. That’s what I have decided the criteria for making a home is. Permanence + Memories + Being able to cook and clean comfortably + Family presence = Home. Family Presence can be taken out of the equation and still mean home, if you live by yourself, you can still be at home. You might have pictures of family or some kind of trace still around of them, they don’t necessarily have to live there with you.

I’ve been thinking about the idea of home and what it means to me personally, for a while. I wondered why I just couldn’t quite feel comfortable anywhere. I began thinking that I just didn’t belong any where and this made me feel very sad. I know now though, that all of these places are what makes up my home. I’m a bit of a traveller at the moment, moving from place to place, and I’m not quite feeling settled, but I know I will soon, once all of the temporary places get replaced for one permanent place. What’s your idea of home?

xx

I Have Returned!

Hello everyone. After a long spell away from WordPress (unfortunately, not from the keyboard) I have returned. I have a whole bunch of new topics to write about and moan about ect. ect. hopefully, for your enjoyment.

Where have I been?! I hear one of you rhetorically ask, well. That is a very good question and I’m glad one of you rhetorically asked it. My being away has been down to a number of this: Struggling to cope with being me, university life and life in general. I’ve found it difficult to stay motivated and happy. The next thing was Christmas. Coming home in it’s self is a massive rukus. I had lots of arguments with relatives (which didn’t help with the moods), I shopped like a hard session at the gym, I poorly attempted to study (which I shall return back to) and I got engaged! Yes, Sam Wiltshire shall, at some point in the hopefully near future, shall become Sam Clarke.

What’s that reader? How did this happen?  Well, It was Christmas. We had a whole line up of places to go and people to see. In the morning we went to my dads and we all had a lovely time. George was acting a little strange in that he refused to take off his coat, despite it not actually being cold. His words were ‘you know what I’m like’. Yes, I do know what you’re like Mister, and you were being weird. But hey, it was Christmas, I wasn’t going to question it. Anyway, we then went to Dorchester to have dinner at his aunts house with his dad’s side of the family. It was an amazing dinner, I must say. Everyone worked so hard and the results were absolutely delicious. So, I told my mother that we would be joinging then at 3.30pm-4.00pm. It was 3.15 but the time we finished dinner. Yes, I was panicking a little. It was going to take 45 minutes to get back to Yeovil. George was dwardling and I was panicking.

He pulled me out into the hall way and asked if I was happy with him. Well, of course I was! I love him so incredibly much and it was Christmas. How can you be mad at anyone on Christmas? Anyway, I was confused. He took me back into the dining room with everyone else, asked how long I wanted to be with him. Forever, of course, was my answer and BOOM. Clarkus gets down on one knee and whips out the box. Overwhelmed all I could do was try to pull him up and kiss him. At this point I’m sure I could imagine the words that were going through his head: Get off me you crazy bitch and just let me propose to you. So naturally, I had to try and compose myself and try to listen to what he was saying and doing and I was just so shocked that the whole thing is a bit of a blur now. I remember seeing this ring glistening in this little box and I remember seeing his face full of happiness and pride. I remember looking like a complete twat in front of his relatives. Somehow, I managed to say yes and he slipped the ring onto my finger. Rose gold ring set with diamonds and an oval cut stone. “It’s something different and it felt like you.” And I agree, it’s perfect.

What I can never forget it all of the pictures his uncle took of us, and how everyone was crying, including me, of course. I was so glad I refrained from putting make up on because if my screwed up facials didn’t ruin those pictures, the running make up would have. Everyone gave us cuddles and, George’s aunt, seeing how I was quivering like a loose leaf in the wind gave me a glass of champagne to wash it all down. I felt like I needed a lot more than just one glass, however, I had a large in take of sherry through the dessert so it was probably best I didn’t over do it. George took everyone but his mum by surprised and I was glad that everyone was as happy as I was. And at least I had a valid excuse for turning up to my mums so late on Christmas day!

natalie hiding

By the time I got to my mums, we’d announced the situation, everyone was chuffed as punch. My step dad ordered me not to plan the wedding the same year as my mums. I of course, like the angel that I am, promised I wouldn’t even consider upstaging my guardian angel. Upon returning to my sisters in the living room they came together as a choir to sing me the chorus of Goodbye My lover by James Blunt. I think that’s probably been the happiest day of my whole miserable existence. I joke, I’m only miserable on, usually, from Monday to Thursday. Luckily, Christmas was on a Friday.

Anyway, I promise this wasn’t just a post about my engagement. After that, in the New Year, I had to return back to reality (turned out I’d been trapped in some kind of  fairytale) and I had a week or two to complete five pieces of work that counted towards my final grade. This, naturally, did not leave any room for enjoyment and leisure. Leaving behind my fiancé was awfully tough. While the work helped to take my mind off of it, it also stressed me out even more than I needed to be. I saw a counsellor during this point. I said I would get myself booked in last semester and I did. It helped a lot to work out what I was feeling and I booked another for next week. All of my deadlines are done now and its a case of writing as much crap as I possibly can, paint stuff, plan ahead for the next semester so I don’t have this womb ache ever again and spend time with my lover man and the family, because I miss them all like hell too. And Pagan Society stuff. Actually, that’s a point. I’ve made quite a bit of progression with that now and we’re planning to take it even further. I’m very excited.

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Thanks for reading, see you in the next post! xx

Pagan Hypocrisy

Today, I engaged myself in a heated discussion on religion, Islam in particular, which as some of you may have guessed, I tend to do easily and quite often. It started off as a person asking about Satanists and ended as a discussion on the evils of Islam. This annoyed me  and brought me to the realisation of how small minded and racist other pagans CAN be. I’m not saying Pagans are, because I’m certainly not and I know a lot of Pagans that are as open minded, however, there are a lot that are and this surprises me.

It surprises me for a number of reasons. First of all, all Pagans do is wish for acceptance, understanding and recognition in society. I, myself, have had difficulty in getting certain loved ones to understand, to accept and recognise, but the majority do. I have a lot of friends from different religions and we are all on the understanding that neither wants to be converted, and we leave it at that. Yet, in the discussion, some Pagans did not wish to show acceptance, understanding or even recognition to other religions, particularly Islam. I found this terribly hypocritical. Pagans, the most open minded people, were in this case, the most close minded and it saddened me.

One certain character decided to pick out vague parts of the Qu’ran that promoted paedophilia, mass murder and racist beliefs about those of other religions. I pointed out that Pagans thousands of years ago, may have sacrificed animals and the young. If my friends started hiding their pets and children from me out of fear, I’d be incredibly upset. It works both ways. Religion is a very very old thing. We are not. Therefore, religion is something to be interpreted by us, who are affected by time and space. I don’t do ritual sacrifices of any kind because in this day and age, I don’t believe that it is necessary, or just and I imagine that the same applies to any other religion. You pick and choose what fits the day and age. The laws on same-sex marriage are proof of that.

Another reason it surprised me is because I was asked WHY I was defending Islam, despite not reading the Qu’ran yet. This was an interesting question, considering Wicca’s laws of ‘An it harm none’ and ‘Live and let live’ did not seem to be relevant in this conversation but are very relevant in my life. Talking slander about another religion, in my eyes, causes harm. Considering I have friends at university that are Muslim and are lovely, I would not wish them this harm and I’m happy to defend. If it had been the other way round and they were horrible to me, like certain Christians, then perhaps my opinion would be different. However, I can only go on what I seen with my own eyes. I don’t believe in placing my faith in hear say. Then, there is the whole idea, of just let people live their life the way they want to. If they aren’t hurting you, then what is the problem if they choose to place their faith in a book, or just certain pages of a book? I see no issue here. If someone came to me and told me what I believed in was wrong and that I was a bad person for believing in what I do, I’d tell them what they can do, and where they can go very promptly.

This is just a short article expressing my displeasure that some of the hypocritical members of the Pagan Community. Discrimination, unfortunately, is very much alive and well in the Pagan Community and I don’t believe that there is any room for it. After thousands of years of persecution, why are some pagans believing that it is their right to now dish it out?

Thanks for reading guys x

 

 

Why I won’t accept ‘You’ve lost weight’ as a compliment

Weight has never been an issue with me. I like myself the way I am and I’m comfortable. Sure, I get periods of insecurity but I think it’s generally agreed that all women, in fact, all people, that we suffer lapses of self judgement. We are, at times, our own enemies, our harshest critics, but we can also be our own best friends and at  times, we are all we can rely on. So, growing up, I never wanted to be anyone else, physically. Mentally, as some of you may know, I’ve wanted nothing better than to trade minds with someone else that seems more stable, more like they’ve got their shit together and figured out.

Yet, I’ve nearly always held my physical appearance in high regard. I try to eat well, balanced, and I like to keep myself on the go. I go through periods where I may not eat much, out of stress, or eat more than I normally would, out of stress; and I may not do as much exercise, due to work as I find it stressful, or I may do lots more exercise because I’m trying to procrastinate against feeling stressed. This leads to a kind of yoyo effect in weight. The changes aren’t usually that great, up to half a stone recently but it’s enough for people to notice. I don’t usually notice a difference in appearance, except for what the scales say. What I do notice, is how I feel. Sometimes, when I’ve put a couple pounds on, I’m really really happy and nothing could get me down. Recently, I’ve been fucking miserable and I’ve lost quite a few.

People don’t think about this though and it’s frustrating. It’s my understanding that when someone makes the comment of ‘You’ve put on weight’ that it’s meant negatively and they are insulting you. Likewise, the moment someone says ‘You’ve lost weight’ they are being positive, or trying to be, and are trying to pay you a compliment. I’m having trouble processing this right now, because I can be feeling most confident about myself, when someone has the nerve to pull out the ‘You’ve put on weight’ card to knock you down. And it does knock you down because what it feels like they’re really saying is ‘You look fat and ugly today’. Fat, for some reason in this society, seems to correlate with ugly. And God forbid anyone on this planet should be deemed ugly! What would a person have left? Their intelligence? Personality? Strength and speed? Kindness? Skills and talents? Let’s hope that no one should be afforded a compliment based on these merits! Let’s instead compliment someone’s ability at losing some of their body. What frame of mind they’re in doesn’t matter, they must be happy if they’ve lost some weight! And likewise, they must be miserable if they’ve put some on because who could be happy when they’re fat and ugly?

It makes me feel sad when I hear people base their worth out of how much body mass they, or a person that they are looking at, has. There is much more to a person than their appearance. There is so much more that one could compliment, or criticise. A person’s appearance is temporary. It is never fixed because it can not be. It is dependent on the individual’s internal processes and the environment in which they live. These things change. You will change. Why is such importance based on something that, in this life, in this world, does not really matter. How many people, in history, are remembered for being slim? For being big? For being ugly? Beautiful? History does not care. Why do we?

I’ve been brewing this one for a while. It makes me feel sad when I hear the ones I love worry about their weight and how they COULD look in the future. We do not live in the future, we live in the present. Of course, look after yourself today and you SHOULD feel better for it tomorrow but what is the point in wasting your life, focusing on something that, for some, is unlikely to ever happen. I find that the people most conscious about weight, their own and that of others,  are those that really have nothing about getting fat to worry about (underweight-lower healthy weight) and may not ever have anything to worry about. For some people putting on weight is impossible, a challenge. And for others, it can be easy, a challenge not to.

It’s a hard frame of mind, I’m sure, to break out of, judging the worth of yourself and others based on the size, weight and shape of a person’s body and I feel a degree of sorriness to those that feel that they have to criticise, or turn to something meaningless and temporary to compliment or insult. How about instead complimenting the size of their smile? Their healthy habits when you see them? The things they’re good at? Things that matter? This is why I can only take judgements and comments about weight as an insult. The person clearly doesn’t know me well enough to make a comment about something that actually matters.

I get that loved ones can be worried about health which is linked to weight. That’s understandable. A person can’t love you if they don’t worry about you from time to time. HOWEVER, My bones aren’t popping out everywhere. See this as a sign that I am eating well. Compliment that, if you’re really struggling. I can move freely. I can breathe. I can run fast, if my life depends on it. I have no disabilities due to obesity. Compliment my ability to live.

I had this conversation (kind of) with a loved one recently. It was a touchy conversation but after some thought I realised that this was all I wanted to say. I’m not upset about someone worrying about my health. I’m in a bit of a pickle, mentally. But, a person IS going to be aware of their health. Only they know what they are eating (or not). Only they know how much exercise they are doing (or not). If a person is in a deep state of denial, then maybe a doctor should be involved. However, generally, a person knows their own truths. If you’re worried about someone ask them subtly. ‘Do you want to go for a run with me tonight?’ or ‘Prawn pasta salad for dinner?’ is much nicer than saying: ‘You’ve put on weight.’ This is a tip for those reading that know that this applies to them. I hope this helps you. Making a comment isn’t going to make a person more determined. If you love them, you’ve got to get involved with them. Complimenting their soul will make them feel so much better than complimenting the outer shell that’s only going to die in a few years any way.

Cheers guys, thanks for reading. I hope this has helped. It feels good getting crap off my chest. x

 

 

How Does Love Come To Be?

Sitting on my grandfathers knee,
I asked him how love came to be.
I just couldn’t understand how you could fall
down to its’ beckoned call.

My grandfather laughed at my foolishness,
when all I could think was: love is a mess!
What kind of girl needs to be saved
by a silly boy that pretends to be brave?

All my grandmother could do was wince.
“Your grandfather was my handsome prince!
My dear, my dear, can’t you see?
Your grandfather was the one that saved me!”

I had heard the story a million times;
I had heard all the lines.
My grandfather, the soldier,
fresh from war,
came running back through my grandmothers door.

Forced to marry a snivelling worm,
my grandfather made his offer firm.
He took my grandmother far away,
but my grandfather wasn’t allowed to stay.

But he fought and he fought;
he wouldn’t let them get caught
by their terrible parents whose approval they sought.

“Yes, grandmother, I do understand,
how my grandfather is an amazing man,
but I do not hope to find
a man who will change my mind.”

The grandmother looked down at her little granddaughter,
eager to see where her story had brought her.
She remained insistent throughout the years,
until the little granddaughter out grew her fears.

Sitting next to her grandfather now,
her back against cold stone.
“Grandfather I see now how love comes to be.
I just wish you were still around to finally see
the incredible man that came to save me.”

Reading Gives You Wings

I used to hate reading. What would possess person to waste all their precious time staring at empty words on a page? It was a boring, rewardless, time consuming punishment. Then I found it. The spark. I felt it change me; my mind expanded, my boundaries became endless. Each book I picked up was unknown territory I had to explore. I became an adventurer. I fell in love with vampires and werewolves, fought demons and dragons, time travelled and ventured to faraway lands.

Reading became my escape hatch. It’s the pair of wings I’ve spent my life pining for. Why had I not found this love sooner? Books are my dear friend now, my secret. They take me away. They make me laugh, make me cry; make me throw them at walls in anger. They make me smile, make me scream and make me fall in love all over. In them, I found my passion; my identity, within the pages along with so many lives I long to live.

It’s not a chore anymore. It’s a gift. Reading is one of the greatest gifts. Sometimes, I wish my sisters could feel this way about books. I wish they could see the magic that the authors of my favourite novels and poems have created. I wish they could feel the same release I do from this ‘boring, rewardless, time consuming punishment’, because then they could get away like I can. They could be anything they wanted to be. They could be free.

Reading is just a part of me now. Without this opportunity for imagination, you see, i imagine it to be like missing an organ or a limb. Too many take the skill for granted and don’t put it to proper use and it’s sad, really because one day I hope to be on the other end. I hope to be the one producing escape hatches and wings. I hope to make people feel for the characters like it’s all real. I hope to help people find their passion. I want to give people the gift like Lauren Kate, Cassandra Clare and Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia gave me.