Friday, 11 August 2017

Getting Back into Reading TBR

In the last few months I have completely fallen out of the habit of reading. I think I can almost 100% blame this on just exam stress, however, maybe a little bit of personal laziness may have snuck in there too (oops). So I ransacked my admittedly far too vast book collection in order to select a few titles that I want to read in the next few weeks/months before starting university. As you are reading this I have already managed to finish Ms Marvel Volume 3 (spot it almost unrecognisable at the bottom of the pile) and I can't wait to move on to volume 4. Another graphic novel at the top of this list is MAUS. As a soon to be history student I can't believe I still haven't read this highly praised book.
As well as some graphical novels I also want to get back into reading novels again. I am currently working my way through James Patterson's 'Along Came a Spider' which I am already loving. As a big crime and mystery fan I can't believe it has taken me this look to finally get into reading some of Patterson's work, but I think he is going to become a firm favourite of mine. Also on my list is Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare, which is book two of her new series The Dark Artifices. I read the first book, Lady Midnight, last year and I really enjoyed it and seeing as I have just finished binge watching Shadowhunters, I feel like I need an extra dose of the Shadowhunter world.
Two books that have remained on my bookshelves unread for far too long are An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I have been really excited to read these for a while now, but for some reason they always end up being pushed aside for new releases. 

Let me know what you're currently reading at the moment in the comments and whether you have any recommendations for me or other readers. Over and out x 

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Unknown, Unnoticed



 There has always been something about a rustic, shabby aesthetic that has appealed to me when it is matched with something so beautiful and appealing. Like messy hair and a diamond necklace; a single red rose among thistles and thorns. But the worst of these is a dark soul with a beautiful smile.



Sunday, 11 September 2016

"Just be yourself"

"You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously." - Sophia Bush
It's your first day at a new school and you're terrified that you won't make any friends. Your mum bends down, gives you a hug and utters that age old piece of advice..."just be yourself".
The truth is, I've never known how to take this advice. I didn't like myself, my life or the situation I was in. I felt like I had lost control of my life, so I hid behind people and social media in order to forget that I wasn't ok. That I was terrified of facing who I was. Once things in my life changed, I woke up. I saw things for how they were and I made a change.
At least, that's how simple I wish it was.
I was always the shy kid in the corner of the classroom, not necessarily alone, just... there. I've always had friends, sometimes even fairly popular friends, I was just never like them. I have always just been a little boring, or invisible I guess you could say. So when people would tell me to "just be myself", I guess I didn't know what to do. To me, just being myself meant continuing to be invisible. To be quiet and only speak when spoken to because that's what people had come to expect of me. I was never the pretty one, the smart one, the funny one or the artsy/talented one... I left that to my friends. Simply, that's what I was, I was a friend. I was always just known as somebody's friend. You won't believe the amount of times people have come up to me and said "Hey! You're (insert name here)'s friend, right?"
Honestly, it didn't even bother me for a long time. But by the age of about 15, I guess it kind of did. I started to feel like the person everyone knew me as, just wasn't me anymore. I wasn't shy anymore. I wasn't ok with blending in and being invisible. So, I changed, and I've been changing. Every day since then I've slowly changed things about my life and how I act and look. There have been a lot of step backs, and I can't look another human being in the eye and say that I'm fully put together.
So, being told to "Just be yourself". Here was my problem. What if you discover that you don't actually like yourself? What then? It's not as if you can just hop on a train and pick up a new personality from the nearest department store. And then of course, that leads onto a whole other problem of "what if I don't like what I see in the mirror as well?". I mean, looks aren't everything, but they can seriously derail a person's confidence. What if you look in the mirror and all you can think is that your forehead looks too big, you have too many spots, your skin is too pale, your eyes are a boring colour, etc? By nature we seem to be able to focus on the negatives rather than the positives.
So once you realise you don't like who you are, whether that be inside or outside, surely this is where you decide to make a change. But, where to start? Is changing yourself really a good thing? I'm trying to have a fresh start, as I realised that due to the people in my life I began changing who I was without even realising it. But once those people left, I was stuck. I was angry at myself for changing who I was for another person's approval, however, the only real option I saw to get myself out of this situation was to change... again. It's funny really, how the problem can also be a solution. A big change I have made, and am still in the process or making, is caring less about social media. I'll admit that I got caught up for a while with how many likes I got on a selfie I posted on Instagram, or how many people looked at my story on Snapchat. But it soon becomes like an addiction. Like you can never be good enough. The truth, and this took me a long time to learn, is that how people see you on social media really doesn't matter. A filter can hide a lot, but you can't wear them in real life. Social media is often like a competition to see who can look the most put together. But the truth is, nobody is. Surely if our lives were really all that great and put together then we wouldn't NEED to gain confirmation from others or brag about the material things in our lives.
Truthfully, I've tried a lot to change. Cutting down on social media, or at least viewing social media differently, was my first step. The next thing I did was start to look more closely at the people in my life. I was surprised by how... well, how damaging some of the people in my life were and in some cases still are. In order to be happy in your own life and in your own skin you need to surround yourself with people who build you up and make you want to be the best version of yourself. I realised that many of the people in my life were the complete opposite. In fact, they actually made me feel worse about myself. They would belittle me and make me feel worthless in order to make themselves feel better. There is only one word for this... bullying. So, that's the change I'm working on right now. Not only am I trying to distance myself from those who made me feel so low, but I'm also trying to introduce more positive influences into my life. So far, I like to think that I've made a pretty good start (you know who you are).
Mistakes. We've all made them. For a while all I could think about were the mistakes I had made. I was so caught up in the past that I couldn't really imagine much of a future for myself. But, I realised something. Are mistakes ever really mistakes? Of course we all make decisions that we regret. But, if we are able to learn a lesson from them and use the knowledge we gain from them to better ourselves, how can it really be a mistake? Sometimes pain, especially the pain that comes from regret, is a necessary step in rebuilding yourself. I had to completely crumble before I could put the pieces back together, and believe it or not, but crying helps. I will never understand why so many people see crying as a weakness. If anything, it shows wisdom. It shows that you understand that for you to move on and reach acceptance, you must be ready to break apart and stop hiding from what's hurting you.
So, at this point you're probably wondering WHY I crumbled and how I came to a point where I even needed to learn all of this. Well, that's something I can't really talk much about. Mostly because it wasn't just one big thing. It was a build up of little things. The truth is, I ran. I ran from the problems in my life. I even used people and relationships to distract me and make myself feel better. That's my biggest regret. Not only was it not fair on those people, but it wasn't fair on myself. I wish I could end this post with something inspiring. I wish I could say that I'm 100% put back together. But I'm not. I still have a long way to go, but I'm trying. This post is quite simply what it is, it's a jumble of thoughts thrown together. It's just honest, and that's all I can offer anyone right now: honesty. But that's ok, because I'm trying. I'm slowly making the pieces of myself fit together. Basically, the whole point of this is to say, it's ok. It's ok if you don't know how to "Just be Yourself".




Monday, 15 August 2016

18 Things I Want to do Before 18



On the 1st November I'll officially be turning 18 years old, and I am kinda freaked out about it! The idea of being a legal adult sounds like way too much responsibility, and has happened way too quickly. I feel like it was only yesterday that I was buying a Cheshire Cat plushy from the Disney Store... wait, that WAS only yesterday. Despite my months of denial, I have finally acknowledged and come to terms with the fact that turning 18 is just around the corner. With this in mind, I decided that it was about time I embraced the feeling of still being 17 and doing the things that I just never got around to before. So, here is my list of things I am determined to do before I turn 18...
1) Watch a sunrise/sunset
2) Pull an all-nighter 
3) Take myself on a date
4) Pass my driving test
5) Find my happy place
6) Strike up a random conversation with a stranger
7) Carve my name in a tree
8) Re-read Harry Potter (again)
9) Be myself for one day (no letting anxiety get the better of me)
10) Scream as loud as I can
11) Go to a party
12) Write a letter to my future self
13) Bury a time capsule
14) Make something from scratch
15) Leave a note for a stranger in a public place 
16) Do 50 random acts of kindness
17) Learn Morse Code
18) Start a scrapbook

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Current Playlist | 28/06/2016



So exams are over, meaning my stress levels have drastically decreased and I finally have more time for blogging again. Considering this is my first post back I thought I would keep it fairly simple, so here's my current go-to playlist at the moment. If you have any suggestions for songs you think I should add to the list please let me know in the comments ;)
  1. Wetsuit - The Vaccines
  2. The Good, The Bad and The Dirty - Panic! At The Disco
  3. Mad Hatter - Melanie Martinez
  4. The Judge - Twenty One Pilots
  5. Thnks fr th Mmrs - Fall Out Boy
  6. Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time - Panic! At The Disco
  7. I Always Knew - The Vaccines
  8. Lovely - Twenty One Pilots
  9. Somewhere in Neverland - All Time Low
  10. Send my Love - Adele
  11. In Our Bones - Against The Current
  12. I Predict a Riot - Kaiser Chiefs

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Appreciation



"When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each colour of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath you take. Find yourself in the appreciation of life." - Christy Ann Martine

For the last few years my life has revolved around the idea of spending each day planning and preparing for the next. Spending every available hour studying for the exams that will make sure my life is a success. But recently I've realised that's the problem; success. When did the amount of money you earn or the brand of your clothes start to determine your success, your worth? Why should we all care so much about the opinions of others, when those opinions are so heavily based on how you look and what you have to your name? 

Recently, I realised that success isn't about what you have, it's about who you have in your life and how happy and content you are within yourself. When I found the above quote, it opened my eyes to just how much I have and how thankful I am to the people in my life.

 I want to show my appreciation for the people that have allowed me to develop and grow into the person I am today. My family who, despite the challenges of the past few years, have taught me to be proud of who I am and that no goal is too great. The friends that made me realise that being strong doesn't come from hiding your weaknesses, but embracing them and trusting others to accept them. And the people who have an ability to make me smile even when I'm at my lowest; those people who seem to know exactly what to say at just the right moment.

Despite how cliché this sounds, life is short. This is one thing I've learnt more than anything else this year, so make sure you show your appreciation for everyone who has ever taught you something, or even just made you smile before it's too late.
xxx

Sunday, 13 March 2016

My Favourite Words | 2016


You may have noticed recently that my posts have been a little short and spaced out, and for that I apologise. I've had a lot of work to do recently, but hopefully I can get back to doing a few more in-depth posts again soon. As for today, I wanted to do a bit of a different post. As a book lover, words are kind of a big deal for me. So, why not share with you a few of my favourites...
  1. Cacophony - a harsh mixture of sounds
  2. Blasphemy - profane talk
  3. Enigma - mysterious or difficult to understand
  4. Antagonism - hostility, opposition
  5. Fastidious - attention to detail
  6. Bane - cause of great distress
  7. Myriad - countless/ extremely great
  8. Beguile - to deceptively charm
  9. Supercilious - acting superior to others
  10. Pragmatic - Sensible and realistic