Self Improvement

Hello all, yes, I have returned from both the excitement I’ve been harbouring for my mother and myself, and the trauma of restarting university again. I can now say I am more than half way through my university career at least. I’ve achieved great grades for my first semester, but through this trauma and feeling of overwhelming dread, I have been wondering if it was worth all of that stress and anxiety. Was it worth the weight I lost because I could not eat? The sleep I missed out on due to nightmares? The craziness I put myself through because I did not have the time to socialise or to even put on clothes, let alone wash them. I do wonder at how students can say university is a dawdle and how people can look down on students and call them lazy or whatever. You get out what you put in. So, naturally, I’ve been a bit worried about coming back into an environment which I am mentally, not particularly equipped to handle. Luckily, George was around to remind me of the end goal. That’s important.

So, have I tried to make things better reader? Well, I assume that you assumed by the title of this piece that I have found a way to help with stressful situations. I have tried a few things.

I am awfully unorganised. I have poor temporal awareness and my spatial awareness can be pretty awful too depending on which one is my main focus. My mum suggested a To Do List app so what do I do? I go onto Google Play and I don’t just download any to do list… I download THE To Do List app, todoist, which is what my spelling looks like when I’m thinking of a million things at once, as is the usual then. It’s come in pretty handy… when I actually remember to make a list of the things I need to remember. I must remember to become better at that.

I then decided to keep a diary. I’ve always kept a diary since I was very young. I like to write about things regularly and I love to have a good reminisce. My diary was never a regular thing though, unfortunately. Maybe once every few weeks, if I really tried. This diary was going to be different though to my usual angry and depressed self tearing pages and smudging ink. This one was going to be a health diary to find out what I ate and when, how I drank, slept, socialised (in person, as apposed to the too regular virtual contact), exercised, toileted ect. I’m sure you get the picture. I realised that it’s a human thing to do all of these things and yet I struggle to remember how long it was since the last time I did any number of normal human functions.

This diary lasted 2 and half days and I am rather proud of myself. What I found was, that instead of documenting accurately what I do daily, I found myself doing everything more often and correcting myself so I had plenty to write about. I’m never usually that interesting. So, after two and a half days I started to find myself in a rut where I couldn’t move from my position in bed and I hated my entire life. I realised at this point the diary was a bust (it was on the table, too far to reach from bed).

A diary would not do. The moment classes started up again, I realised I’d be far too busy to be able to go so in depth as I did. I needed something else. I needed purpose. A reason to smile. A reason to haul myself out of my safe zone. I needed a daily goal. So, three nights ago I started writing down a number of possible things that I could achieve. Some easy and some more difficult. These included: diet and exercise goals, appearance goals, hobby goals, house goals, social goals, habit breaking goals, spiritual goals; something I could do in a day, or for a little bit of the day.

The first goal I had was to sit with my housemates. This was a scary prospect to me for some reason because I have become quite the recluse. It’s one thing to talk to people through the internet, another thing entirely to look at people and to talk to them. So, that evening I asked if they’d like to watch an episode of Shadowhunters with me (review to follow) and they agreed. So we watched an episode and I felt very proud that I both fulfilled my first goal and had a nice time doing it. I didn’t set myself a time limit, so I didn’t have to push myself too hard on the first go.

Yesterdays goal was to stay away from Twitter accounts that I deem as bad. In terms of ‘bad’, I refer to the twitter account of ex friends which I now passionately hate. Hate can be a very addictive feeling and can be very hard to pull away from, particularly when they have caused you harm and have acted like a complete douchebag and it brings me a certain amount of pleasure when I see they are going through a rough patch. I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel that way. We’re only human. Anyway, I knew I could do it for a day. I don’t check twitter everyday, although I did yesterday, I was able to refrain from the devils call.

Today my goal is to play music and sing. I have always loved music and singing. In fact, I saw myself as a singer growing up more than I did a writer. I hated reading as a kid and for most of my teens and I loved singing. I entered my school talent show, I took BTEC Music, it really was the direction I saw my life going in. Funny how directions change. So, this evening I shall be singing, might even get the guitar out if I feel I have the time. University is really asking too much of its Creative Writing/ English students this term.

Anyway, I hope this has been useful to anyone that is also struggling. Keep up the good fight. x

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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!

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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

Let Music Take You There

Music is a translation of what we think, what we know, how we feel. We communicate with complex strings of sounds which make up words and symbols. Music goes beyond our usual method of communication. It seems to have a direct link to our memories. One song can tripper thoughts and feeling that had long since passed, or give way to knew ones we didn’t think we had.

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Bastille’s first album Bad Blood, for example, is a summary of my entire trip to New York. When I was seventeen, my auntie and uncle had given me the fantastic opportunity of visiting them in America. I’d only ever been abroad once before, to France with my grandparents, and had never been on a plane. I had mixed emotions about the journey, which I had to take alone. I was upset about leaving my family behind. I was excited about going somewhere entirely new and seeing my cousins again. It had been so long. I was a little scared about flying. I was happy about finally having some time off after working pretty hard over the summer. I was sat on the plane, probably about half way through my eight hour journey when I’d finished watching two films. I was ready to settle down now so I was looking through the planes album list. I didn’t really see anything I was interested in but Bastille was the latest thing so I thought I’d try it. I fell in love. I listened to that album for about… the next three hours. I listened to it while I was in New York. I listened to it on the way back. These songs became a comfort to me. Now whenever I hear the album, it’s a symbol of my journey. It’s my travel music.

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Another example of music marking my life would be 1989 by Taylor Swift. My boyfriend, George, bought me this for my birthday. I am an avid Taylor fan. I needed the album so badly, and like the darling he is, he got it for me. While I was at uni I’d listen to this album and I’d think of him. This album reflects my relationship and the journey I made to get to uni. It’s all a ‘state of grace’, so to speak. When I felt sad about George having to leave, or when I felt lonely and missed my family, I’d switch on my CD player and I’d listen to a bit of Taylor. I moved house twice last year so this album is the symbol of my change. George stayed through all of that, just like, despite the huge changes of sound Taylor has gone through, she’s still Taylor Swift. Despite all of the changes I’ve gone through, I’m still Sam Wiltshire.

Music makes up our identity. It interlocks with fashion and hobbies and our personalities. in a way, a person’s taste in music makes them who they are. You often know pretty quickly after finding out a person’s taste of music, whether or not you’re going to like them or not. You have a point over which you can bond. George for example, is so very different from me but when I looked through his small CD collection the other day I realised that he was exactly the kind of boy I would have pined over at school, if we’d gone to the same one. Someone who listens to a lot of techno and house is often not going to give someone who listens to Papa Roach religiously the time of day.

In my eyes then, music is magick that holds physical evidence. You can hear it and you can see the effects it has on people. It can make them sad, it can make them happy. You can move people with a good song. You can change the world. Good music isn’t help back by language barriers. Everyone can understand sound. Music, in my eyes is something that everyone should be able to access and create if they wanted to. I grew wishing I could learn an instrument but my parents couldn’t afford it. My learnt to play the recorder for a few years in primary school and in my last two years, I had the pleasure of playing the flute. I adored it. The flute is a beautiful instrument and I wasn’t actually too bad. It was such a shame when I had to leave it all behind. These days I play the guitar, not very well, but I am self taught and I love to sing. I have sung since I was very young. These are skills that I would love to pass on to my children in the future. You don’t need to cling on to the charts to hear good music. It’s all around you.

I was a little outraged by Taylor’s move to make people pay to listen to her music online. I buy her albums because I adore her music, but I usually can’t wait long enough to buy her deluxe editions, nor do I usually have the money to afford such luxuries. So therefore, I can’t listen to her extra songs. It’s elitist. Music has become a gigantic industry for the elite. What has happened to the ‘lower’ forms of music? The local gold mines and community spirit? I have instead chosen to listen to other people’s versions of her deluxe songs and I thoroughly recommend it. No, they do not have Taylor’s beautiful voice, but they do not need it. Music is music. It doesn’t need to have a stamp of ownership. Everyone knows the song belongs to her. She makes a lot of money. Give people a break and try to remember what it’s all about.

So, I guess what I’m trying to get across in this article is that you should take advantage of what you can listen to. Experience all that there is to experience. Let the music take you there. And if you ever get the chance to make your own- do it. Music is the language our memories choose to speak.

Thanks for reading guys, see you soon! x