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Being the best version of you

16 Nov

Waiting for New Years to change the way you live your life means missing out on living time to the full, so I’m starting from today. My betterment scheme includes both appearance and emotional-based changes, to make me feel better about who I am. Rather than trying to be a poor imitation of someone I’m not, I’m going to be the best version I possibly can be of myself.

Self-help is a huge sector in the book industry recently, but I think that the best way to improve your life is to identify what you don’t like and change it, no matter what title or label you give this change. I think this advice cheat-sheet could help anyone improve themselves and the way they feel about themselves. Or course, some things (like “don’t be show-offy”) will vary for each person. You might want to replace that with “be more outgoing”. Anyway, print this (or your own list) out, cut it out, and stick it somewhere you’ll see it everyday. For more subtle reminders, since I don’t want everyone seeing my list for self improvement in my school homework journal for example, take a word from each sentence and write them everywhere to trigger your memory while not letting everyone in on the secret.

  • Smile more often, and bring happiness into your life and other’s lives straight away.
  • Be nicer, kinder and softer, and discard the brash-side you use to hide your insecurities.
  • Don’t be patronising or show-offy, avoid trying to look cool.
  • Give everyone a chance, be sweet rather than sour.
  • Make an effort with clothes and hair, always feel good about how you look.
  • Avoid procrastination and keep your deadlines.
  • Practise any commitments you’ve taken up, such as instruments or sports.
  • Actively be in a good mood most of the time.
  • Try and ignore insecurities and make yourself act quietly confident until you feel it naturally.
  • Eat lots of fruit and veg.
  • Do a little exercise every night to help you sleep.
  • Sleep for eight hours!

This is my to-do list. I’ll check back here to tell you all how I’m getting along with the whole self-improvement thing.

Stress and Panic

14 Nov

At the moment, I’m finding myself under an immense amount of pressure. I am constantly stressed, yet completely unproductive. Over the last two days I’ve had two maths tests and an English test, and I have a physics test tomorrow. I’m prepared for physics (just about) but was completely not ready for the other three tests. I have a piano exam in three weeks, and I am no where near ready, as I haven’t had a piano for four months when it was destroyed in the flood that ruined my house. I also have a violin exam, but that’s further away.

According to my mom, all my activities (my piano, violin and dancing) are counted as leisure time, so I have to work at home helping her on Fridays and the weekends from now on. Which means I have absolutely no social life for the moment. It also means I feel completely trapped. Every minute of every day seems to be timetabled for me; I always have something to do. Like right now, I have homework to do. But this will only take me a few minuted to write, and a want to post it now.

I don’t get to sleep until well after midnight every night due to homework, housework and other commitments, and then I have to get up at seven every morning. I’m constantly moving, there is no time to just relax, and take a deep breath, or eat even. And it’s not that I haven’t considered giving something up, I have: my mom then claims it has been a waste of money and time over the years that I’ve been doing it if I quit now.

Every now and then when I realise how much I have to do, I have a little panic attack. This usually happens at night in bed, just before I go to sleep. I know my grades and schoolwork are suffering because of how exhausted I am the whole time, and how I don’t have enough time to study. I also am currently surrounded by constant negativity, which is really hard to filter out.

Anyway, I’m not sure if you want to hear it, but I needed to vent. Any stress relieving ideas?

Doing a Musical

12 Nov

This is a post I published a while back on a different blog, but I think it fits this blog better, and would suit the readership more. It’s also a very important thing in my life, so I want to share it with as many people as I can. Apologies for anything that might not be relevant for this blog!

***

I got a massive nostalgia rush a few moments ago when I saw the lyrics to “My Secret Love” on a blog. I want to talk about the cause of this nostalgia… a few people who read this blog may have already guessed (hey Grace!). It all started in a badly-lit classroom on a grey, miserable day. The posters had been up around the school for some time now, saying that two of the teachers wanted to hold a musical. The room was full of everyone who was interested, a mixture of all year groups. We awkwardly sat in little clumps, since none of us really knew each other that well, even though we have a fairly small school. Oh how that changed.

The musical we did was Calamity Jane, and I still almost burst out crying every time I hear it mentioned, or see the lyrics of a song from it. For months, we lived Calamity Jane. One of the teachers involved was a bit of a perfectionist; each and every one of us knew the play off by heart.

But how could something like a school musical make such an impact? It’s not that big a deal, right? Well, I’ve added everything up, and apart from school, musical rehearsals are the activity I spent most my time doing during the school year. We had two-hour (and sometimes longer) rehearsals Monday through Thursday, and a three-hour rehearsal every Sunday. After that much time learning every detail of a two-hour musical, your heart beats in rhythm to it’s songs, whether it be the fast tempo of The Windy City or the more sedate The Black Hills of Dakota. You begin to hum the tunes everyday, and sing the harmonies and counter melodies to distract yourself from doing something else. You find yourself using expressions and accents from the play in everyday life, like drawling, “Now what in tarnation?” when you hear something odd. You smirk to yourself every time you hear or see words like sasparilla, stage coach, the Windy City, lieutenant, Yellowstone…. well, the list goes on. It takes over your life.

In addition to the story of Calamity Jane seeping into your veins, the people I spent all those hours with became family. And after family, they were the people I spent the most time with throughout the whole year. People I had half-known before became my best friends, and “inside-jokes” infested every moment of the play, from the secret love between a Can-Can dancer (who we decided to call Evangeline) and Doc Pierce, to how we would all cry with laughter at the words “Look at her go!” do to a long convoluted story involving Calam being hoisted across the stage on ropes.

Closing night was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my whole life. I didn’t have much contact with my new found family outside of musical rehearsals. Most of us were crying, including the teachers. I was probably a little more emotional then some due to exhaustion (I’d been up since 5 that morning, going to an enterprise competition). Thankfully though, I have managed to stay best friends with the people I got closest to over the months of practice. But the thing that gets me is… it will NEVER be the same again. One of our posse is gone to college, and all the others are going into either sixth year or third year, i.e. exam years, and so are not allowed to the musical, IF we do another one this year. Which I doubt will happen anyway. And if it happened the next year, I myself would be in the sixth year, and wouldn’t be allowed either.

I arrived home the day after the closing night, and sat in my room wondering what I was going to do with all my evenings… how I was going to survive without the hours of hilarity and hyperness. Those were black days those first few… So even thought I think the High School Musical films could be used as a kind of torture to correct youth offenders, I can see what a big deal a musical can be. And how… (God I’m a sap) magical it can all seem. It’s a once off thing, so you have to savor every moment.

God, I can feel the tears coming again… I love all you musical guys!!! ❤

Can boys and girls be (just) best friends?

11 Nov

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, because I was recently talking to an acquaintance (who’s a guy) who claimed that guys and girls really can’t be best friends without having any romantic feelings all tangled up with the friendship. I don’t think I agree. Of course, there are guys I’m friends with where there does sometimes seem to be a bit of awkwardness or tension because we’re not both of the same sex, but I don’t think that a true friendship is impossible.

One of my best friends is a guy. He straight, cute, and really sweet. Yet I have absolutely no romantic interest in him, at all. I mean that in all honestly and truthfulness, and I really think he feels the same way. We are totally ok with complimenting each other on our achievements, or each others appearance, and spend a lot of time together. Yet the idea of kissing him really feels wrong. I mean, he’s like a brother. And this isn’t friendzonation really: it’s a two way thing. We’ve discussed it before actually, when I was going out with a guy, my friend said (while we were cycling through the woods near his house) how is relieved him I was going out with someone, so people didn’t keep asking questions about us.

The crazy kind of stuff we do. From mytrueselft.tumblr.com

As well as being nice to each other, we are perfectly adequate at being mean to each other. We both acknowledge that we hang out with different kinds of people: he finds my circle of friends nerdy and I think his are big-headed. We fight, ignore each other, bitch about each other behind each other’s backs, and fangirl (he might complain about that verb) over Doctor Who, The Hunger Games, The Sisters Grimm and Harry Potter together. We sit together in art class and help each other out, show each other our English and history essays, and try and figure out maths homework over text.

We get each other presents too when we’re on holidays, and do each other favours: he’s just ordered me a mockingjay pin off Etsy (I’ll post a picture as soon as it arrives). Next month we’re going on a four hour train journey to look at NCAD (the art college in our capital) together, and we are both fantastically excited.

So I don’t believe that boys and girls can’t just be friends. Or maybe we’re just the exception to the rule. I’m really interested in what you think though. Do you agree or disagree? Has a friendship ever turned into something more for you? Leave your comments below please!

 
NB!

Since writing this post, I would like to add that shortly after meeting a guy, another guy friend who I would have considered almost as close as the one I described above… admitted he liked me.

My Dad

11 Nov

So this year, some crazy stuff happened. My Nana, almost like a parent to me, had a stroke and ended up partially brain damaged. Sometimes she doesn’t remember who I am. Then, her house got flooded. Her and my granda had to move out for four months, almost five. They’ve jut moved back in. We sort of didn’t have lots of money to pay for my brother’s different speech therapy and occupational therapy needs (he’s got autism), so money has been a bit of a struggle. On top of it, since last January, my dad now lives in Australia.

Him and my mom are still together, but he had been unemployed for over a year, then was offered this job. On the other side of the world. Because he’s brave, he went and took it.

So far, he’s been home for a week at Easter, and a week in July. Hopefully he’ll get back for two weeks at Christmas. Anyway, it’s because of him that my family can survive. He Skypes us once a week, since his schedule is pretty hectic: he gets up at four, drives to the site, works (as a surveyor/civil engineer), gets home around half six, has dinner, and goes to sleep. The home I refer to is this compound in the middle of the desert, an hour long plane journey from civilization.

While he’s there though, he’s been writing songs it seems. Funny how he suddenly has an Irish accent in his new songs, but had a neutral one in his old songs that he wrote years ago.

 

Being too nice

11 Nov

I originally posted this on another blog of mine, The Sprocketeers, but then I realised it didn’t suit the blog at all, so I moved it over here. I think I’ve anther candidate that would suit this blog better too…

***

A friend recently accused me of being too nice, and a pushover. I disagree. The question in the title was asked sarcastically.

Apparently I let other people influence me too much and I don’t stick up for my beliefs often enough. This friend is very vocal when she meets an opposing view, and feels I should act more like this.

However, I never let other people sway my beliefs, unless they bring up a point I have never thought of before which would drastically alter my perception of something. If that happens, I tend not to get caught up in it, wait until later, then figure out if my opinion has changed or not.

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