On Not Feeling Awesome // plus hiatus

Hey guys! So. If you’ve been following me on social media you might have seen that I haven’t been having a great few days… I’ve been feeling pretty down. I tried to write numerous blog posts with little success. It feels like a lot of bad & stressful stuff has been happening, even though I know it’s probably my perception of it.

It’s okay. I’m doing better now. Even just making the decision to sit down and write makes me feel better. And crying also makes me feel better, even if that sounds kind of weird. I don’t know, maybe my period is coming? It would explain the cramps but also I don’t normally get bad cramps before my period so??? who knows??

Also, I was really stupid & broke my phone. After sitting in rice for several days it seems to mostly work okay, except for the volume. I’d rather have that than nothing though! I’m just a bit frustrated at myself. :/

Just in general EVERYTHING FEELS ANNOYING. I’m having problems dying my hair and seeing all the cool stuff happening at SDCC which I’m not at and having a bit of a Feeling Bad About Gender Moment. I decided to kinda ‘come out’ to my irl friends, I suppose, in that I asked them to use they/them pronouns for me. I love them a lot, and we’re cool and LGBTQ+ together, but some of them don’t know much about non-binary stuff so I guess it can be tiring? And also because I’m an awkward person I don’t like correcting people. But I also put my pronouns more visibly on twitter, so. I’m proud I did that. If I decide actually these pronouns aren’t for me then that’s okay, but they feel good right now, and I’ve had a year to think about.

Good stuff has been happening too! I’m going to YALC next Saturday and I couldn’t be more excited. I also went to see part 1 of Angels in America at the cinema; I look forward to finishing it next Thursday. I’m loving podcasts right now and am absolutely living for the second season of Witch Please, The Penumbra Podcast, and the new Secret Feminist Agenda. I’m currently having a bit of a feminism renaissance! Yay!

I didn’t really realise it until I sat down today but — I think what I need is to take some time away. I’ve been so stressed about trying to schedule posts that I just HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO DO ANYTHING. It is a little disappointing for me because I’m always like ‘oh yay, I blog really regularly! I’m reliable!’ but honestly I want to prioritise my mental health. It’s never good to burn out. It’s not good for me to not be enjoying blogging anymore.

As such, I’ve decided to take August off. I’m away with minimal wifi for the first two weeks — camping hell yeah! — and I’ll see when I get back. I’ll probably post a YALC round up but I can’t guarantee anything more. Instead, I’m going to be working to make my blog even more awesome than before in time for Autumn and my 4th blogoversary! (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT. I feel so old yet I have so few followers, ahahahaha.) (I’m also trying hard to not get down about the relative success of my blog because JEALOUSY IS NOT COOL.)

Thank you for understanding and for staying with me, friends. I love you all. I’ll probably still be more present on twitter and tumblr if you fancy saying hi to me. Please stay well. I’ll see you soon. ❤

 

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Becoming Happier With My Appearance

I KNOW, another personal post. What am I doing?!? Yeah, the New Year has kind of put me in quite a reflective mood, so I thought…I may as well.

I discussed in my 2016 recap post how I’ve started to feel more comfortable with myself, and that also includes the way I look. Although maybe it seems trivial to write about my own appearance, I have felt pretty negative about it in this past, and it’s taken a while to try and move past that. I still am! So I guess this is a part of myself. And in particular I find it difficult to sort out the things that are society or actually me. Like am I genuinely doing this for myself, or is it part of the pressure to be conventionally pretty/skinny? GAH ALL THE THINGS ARE SO MIXED UP TOGETHER.

Firstly: I cut my hair really short at the start of last year. I like it a lot this way. I tell people that I might go back to long hair, but to be honest…I don’t think I will any time soon. Getting my hair cut has given so much more confidence, and except for sometimes dying it I don’t really need to take time to style. It makes me feel cool! Sometimes I can look more ~traditionally feminine~ and sometimes I can look more ~traditionally masculine~. In general I just LIKE MY HAIR A LOT and I’m so glad that I did cut it.

The hair kind of let me start to do all the things I wanted… I was wearing makeup only on school days, just because I felt self conscious about my skin. Argh, this is difficult, but I want to be really clear here: caring about your appearance is 100% okay! Liking makeup is 100% okay, that’s cool for you! But it wasn’t something I particularly liked, and I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was doing it for other people. I still sometimes put on makeup, but not as much, and not just out of embarrassment. (Right now I’m wearing eyeliner. I’m terrible at putting it on, but it makes me feel cool and badass.) (I’m trying to worry less about what people think, and it’s hard but I AM TRYING.)

I wrote a little about gender earlier, and thanks for kind of letting me rant there — I guess this is all related. I don’t really know if I feel dysphoria, or if it’s just discomfort with the stereotypical feminine roles or whatever so many big words but I just don’t feel like wearing skirts and dresses that much anymore. (Hence I don’t often wear them.) Although it took a little persuasion *coughs* deception on my part with my parents, but I now have trousers that I wear to school instead of a skirt. It makes me feel a lot better about myself.

Usually I wear shirts or t shirts. I own SO MANY button up shorts, guys. Flannel! Office-y shirts! Really oversized bright yellow shirts! I LOVE SHIRTS. I like the way they look, and I like the way that they make me feel. Just in general…SHIRTS. Basically my favourite item of clothing, if you couldn’t tell. I live in shirts and skinny jeans.

Many people call people my age the ‘selfie generation’ or whatever. I often see things about how narcissistic we are and stuff. I’ve personally never been that comfortable taking selfies or having photos taken of me — I didn’t even have anything to take selfies with for a long time. I still don’t take them a lot but it feels really good to document the days when I’m just feeling super nice about myself or wearing a nice outfit! I like going back and looking at those. It’s fun to see me smiling as well. 🙂 I haven’t actually put any pictures here because this is more about my own feelings than my appearance, I guess, but if you do want to see my face then you can find me on my tumblr blog.

Yes! So this was actually pretty fun to do. I think being comfortable with yourself and gaining confidence is really important. It might be easier for some people than others. Although it’s taken me a while to get where I am now, I’m glad that I feel pretty okay with how I look and people’s opinions of me right now.

I Discuss Some Gender Issues™

I’m gonna be honest… I’m a tiny bit anxious about posting this? (Or writing it. I haven’t actually posted it yet, so you know.) I don’t post all that much about personal things, and I especially don’t really post stream-of-conscious-ness-y things, though in some ways I wish I could. I edit a lot. The stuff I write is not my undiluted thoughts.

ANYWAYS. I digress! I’ve showed my blog a to a handful of people in real life, and although I’m not really sure if they actually read it, it’s enough to know that they can, and that worries me a bit. I’m not entirely anonymous and all that. But normally I just sort of try to write as though I don’t really care if real life people read my blog, otherwise I’d be worring ALL THE TIME and that’s super not fun. I guess it might be a bit awkward, but…at least I don’t have to talk face-to-face? Yeah, never mind, that was just a RANDOM INTRO BIT which got longer than expected.

Some of you guys have picked this up from my various tweets/conversations with you, but I’m kind of having some issues with my gender right now, I suppose? I just. I am just not 100% sure if I am a cisgender girl, in summary.

I don’t really know. I’ve been kind of considering this for some time now, I suppose, but my main thing is that…you know, it’s not one of those things where I automatically discovered what non-binary meant and said YEP, THAT’S ME. Equally, that didn’t really happen with the general other queerness thing — dude, I don’t think I’ve ever actually said it on the blog but I’M REALLY QUEER, IN CASE YOU COULDN’T TELL — but at least looking back there was kind of signs. A general feeling of difference.

I am basically just A PERMANENTLY CONFUSED PERSON. When I was trying to figure out whether I actually liked girls, or boys, or indeed anyone at all (what am I saying, still am) I spent a lot of time examining and picking apart my own emotions. Like, a lot. I still do that. I research, and then I compare, I feel certain, I research more, and I completely don’t know again. I’m now moderately certain that I at least don’t like girls any less than I like boys.

So, yeah, like I said — with ~gendery things~ that general feeling of ‘maybe this is me’ didn’t immediately happen. And I know that doesn’t necessarily mean loads, but it means that I end up feeling really uncertain. I didn’t particularly have a lightbulb moment, I don’t think, but I just sort of ended up thinking ‘I’d quite like to look like that’.

And THINGS GET COMPLICATED. It’s difficult to disentangle your own emotions from stuff like what society tells us, because they’re all mixed up. Is this just that I don’t feel I fit into the veryveryvery narrow typical role of a woman? Is me wanting to be less feminine a part of internal misogyny? Like when guys open doors for you because they’re ‘being a gentleman’. I’d rather it was just because I was an actual human being and it seemed a nice thing to do rather than because they thought I was a girl.

Anyway. In general from what I can tell, gender is kind of…bleurgh, no one even knows. DOES IT ACTUALLY EXIST? IS IT A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT? I suppose at the moment I feel a lot more comfortable wearing typically masculine clothes… I own a (crappy) binder. I’ve worn it a few times. It’s not that comfortable. But, like, is it just an issue about presentation? Is that kind of thing just part of the gender stereotyping? Would I be cool with just looking kind of more masculine but still identifying as a girl? (Because there are lots of super cool ladies who present more masculine.)

I also don’t really want to give up stuff like Girlguides — I mean, I enjoy it loads, but obviously it is a female space. That seems selfish of me. Does this mean that I shouldn’t be allowed there? Because I do find it a tiny bit uncomfortable when people just assume I’m a girl because of that. (Although it’s fair enough.) I’m not going to give it up just now, though, because I am still figuring things out.

As you can probably see: I just throw up more questions for myself! All the time! *shrieks* I don’t… I’m not really sure what I’m hoping to achieve with this post; some catharsis, I suppose. I’ve been semi-writing-it-in-my-head for some time now. I’ll probably remember loads of things that I wanted to say but didn’t get a chance to.

Also, I know my posting has been a little messed up lately, but hopefully over the holidays I’ll have more of a chance to write stuff and build up some posts for the next school term. 🙂

 

 

I Am a Person Too

Sometimes, I forget that people can be horrible. People are horrible, all the time and in many different places, but as these things go: I am lucky.

But I am also not an iron man. I am not an android sitting at my computer and typing. (OR AM I now that would be a plot twist.) I, too, have feelings! And, like, it is definitely going to upset me if you tell me that I am not valid as a person. It is definitely going to upset me to hear you say that you support equality but only for some people because we are definitely still running on the logic of Animal Farm, peoples.

I am probably going to 100% regret writing this. I prefer not to start arguments that aren’t just ‘you pronounced scone wrong who are you’… But this has also been stewing inside me for too long. And I don’t really know what to do with it.

Did you guys ever have that phase where everyone would say ‘no offense, but…’ and then insert something super offensive? For some reason, that was such a thing for our little ten-year-old selves, because obviously putting ‘no offense’ in front of a criticism makes it All Okay. Obviously.

Detaching yourself from something offensive doesn’t make it acceptable. You can’t just put a disclaimer at the bottom like ‘Whoops, sorry if I made you cry and lock yourself in the bathroom for an hour but it’s totally not my fault!’ I get that sometimes people don’t mean to hurt others; accidents happen. But if you’re sitting at a keyboard, you have a lot of time to consider what you’re saying. I mean, often that’s what I like about it, because yay, I can sort out my grammar and find the exact right gif for this exact moment! Hurrah! The consequences are that your excuses for being mean are not terribly convincing.

I accept that I’m not going to change everyone’s opinion. It just bemuses me that people can claim they support equality and want to help you with your anxiety and depression yet also say things that hurt very very deeply. Literally no one is going to feel good if you call them unnatural. No one is going to feel good if you tell them that their body is ugly and it is all their fault. You are not blameless because you prefixed your words with ‘no offense’.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes… I know they happen. I just wish that sometimes people would — think. Words can stay rattling in your brain for so bloody long. What was a careless comment can echo off and become so much more, even if it doesn’t feel so bad right in that moment.

God, I wish I could walk away from this. It just feels like all the little things are mounting up inside me and I don’t know what to do with them. I thought for a long time that I should just leave this post alone… But I’ve been writing variations of it for so long. 9I can point them out in my drafts for you, and they’re not very pretty. It’s mostly: I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ANYTHING!) All of those festering feelings were triggered and now they’re spilling out of me in a horrible mess of words that interfere with my blogging schedule.

But I need to get these things out. I deserve equality as much as everyone else. I’m a person too.

“I Want To Be a Writer.”

i want to be a writer

If you look on my social media profiles and whatnot, you might spot that the word ‘writer’ usually features. I mean, technically I don’t yet have a cohesive and linear novel *coughs*Ineedtostopprocrastinating*coughs* but I like to mess around with words. Somewhere along the way I assumed the title of writer. I like it. I like to call myself a writer. General public opinion of writers seems to be that they are be mythical, sleep-deprived & manic tea and/or coffee drinkers, which suits me just fine. 😉

I don’t ever introduce myself as a writer. I don’t even really discuss it in face-to-face conversations, like, at all. I see people who have brainstormed awesome things with their writer friends and it makes me wonder if I’m missing something. Am I missing something? I guess I don’t know.

I mean, I wouldn’t introduce myself as a writer, because most teenagers don’t announce themselves as their profession when you meet them. (In my experience. Maybe in the far reaches of not-my-one-school this is a thing??) But back in my wee days of primary school, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ was a pretty standard playground question. I said wanted to be a cat breeder. I think that says it all, really. 😛

Jokes aside, I also often said that I wanted to be a writer. Whilst it was true that I didn’t have a cohesive, linear novel then either – um, I really doubt I wrote anything actually longer than about a thousand words – I feel like it was more okay to say that then. I was far more confident about professing my love of books and stardust and magical worlds. Adults probably shared knowing looks but, whatever; I either didn’t notice or didn’t care.

Ah, the days of that. Now career choices are actually looming and I’m terrified. I don’t know what I want to do. I like writing – enough to call myself a writer – but I know some people don’t think it’s a proper goal. That it’s too difficult.

I know writing is super hard! I get this! I am the one doing it, after all. I understand that getting published is difficult and being successful even more so. I am 100% okay with writing on the side of something else, in the cracks. I do that right now. (Well, I at least try to.) I’m a bit of a Cath; I could see myself just spending uni writing and hoping I can write for another for years after that. Or not. Writing is pretty solitary. Mystical. Like a lone unicorn. BEHOLD MY MANE

Someday I’m going to write a book, and some people will read it. That’s the one thing in my future that I’m sure I’m going to make happen. What I love about it is that it’s something you can work at; I don’t know, I feel like a lot of opinions are based on whether you have ‘talent’ at, like, 14. Maybe there’s a certain amount of inner love for words, and to me, when I read blogs, it reads as if some people just have a natural eloquence, but you can improve. As long as you love writing, you can write. You aren’t – pardon the pun, hehe – written off just because you aren’t good at waffling about a literary device.

So I don’t say that I’m a writer very much in face-to-face conversation anymore. I’m not very good at navigating rocky conversational waters. I tell people that I have no plans for the future – which is mostly accurate – and then we move on. I breathe a sigh of relief. (That is, until the subject returns 24 hours later.)

Where Are These Perks of Being a Wallflower?

Too much crying, she thought. Too many kinds.

Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell

 Blogging hasn’t been feeling wonderful for me lately. You could probably sense the emptiness. It’s difficult to write when you’re still trying to figure out your own story.

Okay, so here’s me: I’m an observer. I like to watch people. 9 times out of 10 I won’t say anything to or about them at all, but I notice things.

I’m also an introvert, I think. When I notice, I notice how much more everyone is and wish to be like them. For me, it isn’t the falling that hurts the most (because there are plenty of hands to help you back up) but instead the feeling of not quite making the mark. The feeling of not being confident enough, smart enough, pretty enough: just the feeling of not being enough. I’ve got an entire draft listing the reasons I feel inadequate somewhere.

I suppose I’m always going to feel a bit jealous of those effortlessly charming people. I enjoy being around people but it takes a lot for me to be comfortable and to stop worrying about the things that come out of my mouth. It extends to the keyboard, as well; though I’m far more comfortable in writing, I can still agonise over sending emails and comments sometimes. That’s why it can sometimes be such a relief to be anonymous, to become someone new. I know that it can be problematic but  sometimes it’s a relief to be able to compliment someone without it feeling like an open wound.

I guess I’ve just got to learn that being quiet isn’t a crime. In books the characters usually have their soulmate or their best buddy who will totally get them, and…to be honest, I’ve found that doesn’t really happen. I don’t see anyone thinking I’m, like, a leader. Cool. Look at me – I can make small talk, maybe, but people start asking what do I want to do when I’m older and what music do I like and am I dating anyone and I’ll clam up. I love my friends to pieces and I’d do anything for them, but there are always going to be moments when we’re not quite aligned.

Yeah. I’ve got other things bothering me, but I think that this is the most important. This is the reason that I’m not spilling out my entire heart to you and sobbing on your shoulder. I love you all to pieces as well, but I think there are some problems that aren’t solved by talking about it.

(Maybe it would. I don’t know. But I don’t think that I’m brave enough to.)

Update: Going on Holiday

Hey. It’s me again. I’m going to be going on holiday from Thursday (that’s the 10th July) for two weeks or so. I hope to be able to blog while there, and I’ll have some stuff scheduled, but I don’t know about the connection so sorry if I don’t reply to your comments! 🙂 Are you doing anything for the holidays? Let me know. I like to chat. xx

(also, yay, this is my 100th post! Exciting!)

Masks

Okay, so: this post was churned into action by the writings of my friend. It’s not entirely my thoughts, although I wish I could say that it was.

Do you ever feel like you’re wearing a mask, pretending to be something you’re not? When I started this blog, I was wearing a mask. It got a lot easier once I abandoned that mask, but lately I feel like I’ve been wearing one again.

I told myself that I was blogging for me and not for traffic. I pretended not to get excited each time a post got viewed or likes or whatever. I told myself that I wasn’t jealous of other people for their better blogs, when I actually was. In the words of Park:

He’d thought he was over caring what people thought about him. He’d thought that loving Eleanor proved that. But he kept finding new pockets of shallow inside himself.

– Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell

And then I pretend that I am jealous but I don’t care and then it all goes round in circles. But they’re not the only masks I wear, oh no. I wear masks of happiness and sadness and coolness and sometimes I even feel like my name is a mask. It feels like my name, but it doesn’t feel like me. I still haven’t found any name that feels like me.

The problem is, I’m not even sure I’m like without being something I’m not. I’m not feisty or confident or shy. I’m just…me.

Update: School Trip

Even as you read this, I’ll probably be getting on a coach in the wee hours of the morning, as virtually every school trip starts.

I’m going on an adventure/teamwork/fun school trio for four days, leaving June 15th (Sunday) and arriving back late on the 18th (Wednesday). I don’t think I’ll be able to post while there but I’ll have loads of stuff to write about when I come back!

It’s raining right now; how about you?
Apple xx

Update: Exams, Exams, Exams

Schoolbooks

I’ve been spending the last week or so of my half term holiday revising for exams. It’s not fun. Anyway, the exams are in this coming week so I wanted to let you guys know that I might not be as active as usual for this reason.

Despite all of that doom and gloom, school does finish a little early on some days so you ever know, I might be able to get down some stuff. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway!

How about you? Do you have any exams coming up, or have you been doing any? If not, what are your experiences of exams? I hope you all have an amazing start to June – we’re halfway through the year, ahh!

Apple xx