How I Am // a life update

I haven’t been feeling so great for the last little while, and I haven’t been feeling too great about blogging either. I’ve written some posts I really like but for some reason the inspiration  just…isn’t really coming?

This normally happens to me when I have a lot going on, or I get tired and stressed. As I get further into school I just don’t do creative stuff as much. Although it’s not nice, I’m used to that. But my earlier productivity usually covers for me and the cycle all works out in the end.

I mean, it’s probably because I’ve been doing a lot of stuff that has been stressing me out lately. I’ve experienced so many wonderful and exciting things over the last few months, and I am so grateful for that, but they do also sap my energy. I have found that once I’ve done all the 100% necessary things I just don’t have the strength to do anything extra.

I am currently also really, really worried for my CCF camp. CCF is this activity I do at school, and it’s basically cadets — I enjoyed it last year but to be honest this year has been a bit crap and I do regret choosing it over other options like volunteering. As I am in the Navy, we don’t learn a lot of stuff about how to actually survive on camps and the other people just look down on us for it. (Even though I’m pretty sure they can’t, like, tell you what neep and spring tides are haha.)

The camp is in two weeks and I have cried several evenings this week. I already feel sick thinking about it… I’ve been worried about it ever since I learned it was a thing, and I pretty much only survived that far by not thinking about it. I know that I might be making it out in my head to seem worse than it is, but I don’t quite know how to make it better except for blocking it out as much as I can.

I want to write regularly on my blog but at the same time I don’t want to post if I just don’t feel like it. Those posts just aren’t really that fun to read. They are not fun to write. They do not make me feel good. Instead I ‘d like to listen to some calming music/podcasts or something.

I am definitely going to have posts coming in the future! I’m going to some workshops at the Women of the World festival this weekend, and the weekend after I’m going to see Dodie on tour. (WHICH I AM STILL SUPER SCREAMING ABOUT.) I’ve been doing some nice stuff such as attending my school LGBTQ+ society, after a lot of worrying haha. But I might be a little less active for a while. I’m sad that I don’t really have the inspiration to post, but I don’t want to apologise because I would like to prioritise my mental health and not put of pressure on myself. I know you guys will understand, so thanks for being rad ❤

 

A List of Nice Things

Something that I wanted to do more this year was to make time for nice things sometimes, and to care for myself more. (Is this self-care? I mean, I think it probably is. I just don’t know when to use the word haha.)  I still have not great mental health days, but I think in general it’s improved a bit? Yeah. Anyway, I thought I would make a list of some things that I do.  (I have no idea if people want to read this but eh. It is in part a reminder for myself, so.)

Listen to some calming noises
The website Noisli has some really lovely sounds which you can combine and save for different occasions. I find that certain sounds can really affect my mood, or make me think of stuff. (I have a really weird thing about the cicada/evening sound… I don’t know. Possibly from when I used to live in Japan? But yeah, I like that one.) I use this to help me feel calmer when doing work or just chilling, I guess.

Watch some TV
I don’t really watch that much TV, so it really feels like a treat when I do. Sometimes I watch stuff after finishing work, but I have also kind of set aside Tuesday afternoons as my designated ~TV watching time~. I feel like I always have stuff that I can be doing — whether that’s homework, language learning, blog stuff, music practice, writing, whatever — so it’s nice to just have a time to…not do anything and enjoy it. Yeah. *nods*

Set aside time for reading
This is kind of similar to the TV one! As my workload has increased with time, and I’ve started to use social media and stuff, I’ve read less and less. Sometimes it’s cool to just say ‘Ooh look I have some free time, let’s read a book’. (Because obviously I would phrase it in that way haha.)

Have a warm bath
Especially in winter when it’s cold, I find a warm bath can actually help me calm down and get to sleep faster. I also like to listen to stuff in the bath, or sometimes I use a face mask which I’m pretty sure does nothing for my skin, but feels nice anyway. Just in general making it a ~calming experience~.

Clean around the house/my room
My room isn’t the dirtiest, but it’s not the most tidy either. Pretty much the same goes for the rest of my house. I don’t normally feel like cleaning, but that’s mostly just because I feel like I don’t have the time or I should be doing something ‘more productive’. But I actually find tidying very satisfying and calming! Especially if I’m listening to something at the same time.

Play music out loud
When I have a little time alone to myself in the house, I like to play music out loud from the speakers in my kitchen, or just listen to podcasts out loud as I do stuff. Just. Playing stuff out loud! I don’t know, I like it a lot.

I feel like I could probably include other things but YEAH. These are just the things that initially came to mind for me. I guess other things include not doign stuff — whether that’s writing a blog post after a certain amount of days, spending extra time on my homework, whatever. If I try and do that all the time I just get completely burnt out and it is Not Good.

how are you doing? are there any nice things you like to do for yourself?

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. 🙂

 

 

Why is My Blog Like This? // my aversion to niches & stats

I am a very jealous person. It’s my least favourite trait of mine. It comes on fairly randomly and can stop me reading a blog or being in a fandom for months. (I’m trying to get better at that. I think I am, a little. It’s disgusting.) I hate that it can make me feel so awful; so that I feel awful for feeling awful. If you know what I mean.

I try not to look too much at views and followers and likes… I do look at the topics that are most popular. And of course I love to go and read the blogs of people who follow me. But I don’t really promote my blog that much. (First of all, I’m quite embarrassed by my own self-promotion.) I tend to just use my social media as — well, social media. I’m not a big Twitter person anyway, but it’s not like my Tumblr is actually that blog-oriented either. Instead it’s full of all my fandom and writing and visual edits stuff. I talk to people not necessarily about books and blog things. I might talk about Hamilton and social justice and my displeasure at the English syllabus instead. (Not that I don’t necessarily talk about these on the blog instead. Because I absolutely do.)

It’s weird to see how assuming a different writing style feels like slipping on another identity. The more I feel talking to you, the more I’ll abandon spelling and grammar to the depths of my brain. There is blog-me, blog-comments-me, lower-caps-with-capitalised-I-me, all-lower-caps-internet-slang-me. It’s just like how I speak to people! (I totally speak in different ways to different people. Irritating acquaintances get monotone sarcasm, for instance.)

I’m sure many of use read the ‘you need to find a niche’ tip for new bloggers. I went through an INSANE period of blogging research where I found all these useless things. To be honest, I think it’s just easier to practice rather than all of that. I always say that, though, and I’m still a crazy researcher.

I should probably make myself more of a niche. I don’t feel like my writing style is individual enough for that to be a connecting theme? It changes all the time; recently I have caught myself using a ridiculous amount of ellipses. I just want to write ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, because I am an indecisive person and also I am a person with changing interests. Objectively, I do realise it would be more efficient to focus on one thing and then another. But I have so many directions I want to spread myself in. And I am just disorganised. I want to blog AND write books AND write poetry AND record podfic AND play the clarinet AND sing AND make cosplays AND learn languages. (Phew. That was a lot of ands.) I’m not very good at any of those things — but I still enjoy them enormously, and hopefully that counts at least for a little bit. I’m still building them up slowly.

I can’t be completely sure how my blog comes across. I do write some sensible and structured posts. But very often I will just sit down and randomly wail about things. There are super blogs with all kinds of styles! But I know I could never completely rely on spontaneous blogging about my life. I would be TERRIBLE. My life just isn’t very interesting. I know I could never be a completely writing or books blog, because a) I am quite frankly a terribly inconsistent writer and b) I have an intense dislike of writing book reviews. I just…I CAN’T. I have too many things I want to talk about.

Yes. I suppose what I am trying to say is: I AM DIVERGENT. I cannot be contained. My blog has changed and will probably change and that is absolutely okay. I have a lot of different interests that are all fighting for my time, which is both silly and exhilarating. Also, I am a jealous little special snowflake who needs to not spend all her time thinking about success. hi

Me, Me, Me // Personal Blogging?

I don’t think my blog is very personal. School is far too dull for a day-by-day diary. Instead, I like to write structured posts with lists that have been written and edited over several days with lots of book photoshoots and pretty fonts. No, really: I find it very difficult to talk about my own life!

Usually, I’ll only get Strong Feelings The Capitalised Edition to write about anything really happening to me if I’m a) upset or b) super excited. Although I’m not sure if my friends actually read my blog, they know what it is and where to find it. And I think that insecurity scares me. I’ve also built so much of an identity around this corner of the internet that I feel scared to change it. I want everything to be consistent, but people change.

THIS IS SO WEIRD. Normally I’m terribly angsty when I talk about this and I keep having to take the out the passive-aggressive words, because I actually feel quite calm. Collected, even. 😉 If that applies to me. I feel like I’ve grown quite a lot over the last few months, but I don’t know where to put all of that new brainpower. It doesn’t seem to fit it anywhere.

It’s a lot easier shouting into the void, right? I know I’m 100% more comfortable, like, asking anonymously on Tumblr if I say anything personal, because I don’t want it to be tracked back to me. I think quite a lot about my image, and what people can view, and it sometimes annoys me that I can’t say what I want. No one is stopping me, really — I’m just, like, scared to have a conversation about queer representation in books with my friends even though I know they’d probably agree with me. And instead I end up sending them the links to cute webcomics and trying to gauge their reaction. I am so scared of people’s reactions that I never want to take the risk.

I like to think that recently I’ve been a lot more open on my blog  — I have an actual name and a face to go with my words.  (It’s strange to look at that picture of me. Especially now I have a haircut. I’m also wearing my lovely Eleanor & Park t-shirt, even if you can’t see it.) I can’t decide whether I like being less focused on anonymity… In some ways, I think being less private leads to me being more private in my posts. I don’t want to ruin the identity I’ve made for myself. I never really specify the cause of my feelings when I write posts; instead, I spend too much time googling my fears to feel like my response is valid. I don’t want to join in on groups I haven’t been part of before. Looking back over some of my personal posts, I can see myself dancing around a lot of ideas and emotions. Hoping someone will pick up on them? WHO KNOWS. Right now, it seems like a pattern is appearing from the various drafts of a post about love that has been cropping up over a year now. But as some things start to make sense EVERYTHING ELSE GOES MAD. *shakes head* Ugh, this sounded so much better in my head. On the page it reads like a splurge of my usual. (To be fair, I am still being quite vague. I can’t seem to get out of it haha.)

On the whole, I AM REALLY BAD AT CHANGE. I want to change a lot of things about myself, but I never quite get to where I want to be. (That sounded very negative. It’s more actually my hair, but I guess that could be a metaphor for my life?) There’s been a lot going around about the negative effects of social media lately, and whilst I think that can be true, I’ve experienced mainly positive ones! But I do connect with the idea of a ‘created’ identity. I don’t document my every thought online — you only ever see the side of me that sits behind a keyboard. I’m scared of changing your view of me; of changing <em>everyone’s</em> view of me. It’s a lot easier to stick to what you know. I don’t want to be so scared of change anymore. I want to…<em>change</em> my opinions on <em>change</em> <del>so I’m not <em>shortchanged</em> oh my god Eve DON’T EMBARRASS YOURSELF AT THE END OF THIS MEANINGFUL POST</del>.

I felt like I was slightly trying to put jokes into this. I don’t want to make it, like, a <em>thing</em>. It’s not really a thing. I am the picture of serene calm. 😉 (Seriously.) But isn’t it odd how much easier it is to confess to a stranger halfway across the world?


Alsooo! Whilst I was writing this, I realised that some other lovely people had also written posts along a similar topic.If you want to explore this kind of topic a bit more, please do head over to Mixolydian Musings or Quenching the Quill.

These aren’t actually footnotes, I swear. They’re more I-love-your-blog-and-I-want-to-send-others-your-way notes. 😛 And if you’ve written anything, then I’d love to read it!

Why I Am Happy to Be Alive Right Now

happy to be alive

As the pretentious man in the informative video on teenagers we watched in Year 7 will tell you: “Teen emotions are a rollercoaster”.

Gru is me.

Gru is me.

My thoughts at the time were something like ‘Uh huh. I am definitely believing you right now, pretentious man making faux sympathetic faces and pretending to know what it is like. Your word is the law.’ I think now that it actually wasn’t a terrible analogy, though. I have no idea if it gets better or worse as you move into the ages that *gasps* start with a 2 (and a 3, and a 4, etc.) but it feels quite apt for me.

I’m a complete yo-yo when it comes to feelings. One small thing can set off a crazy living nightmare sequence that hurts whenever I think about it. And one small thing can make me impossibly and indescribably happy.

We’re supposed to be the internet generation. The ones with the concentration of a goldfish who can’t do anything except take selfies and whine about homework. I think we’ve definitely grown up in a different environment to our parents, sure, but it doesn’t feel all doom and gloom to me?

I feel so lucky to be alive right now to steal a line from a musical making me indescribably happy at this moment in time. There are definitely a lot of issues right now that weren’t as prominent a few decades ago, but I think we’re so much more well-equipped to deal with them. I FEEL HOPEFUL FOR THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY.

We are not just the concentration-of-a-goldfish, selfie-taking generation. We’re supposed to be less happy than we were 30 years ago, but…having lived now, there’s no way I’d jump in the TARDIS to live back then. (Pfft, the 80s. Practically ancient history.) The world isn’t all problem-free, but here and now I have so many fabulous things like young adult fiction, for one. WAHT WOULD I DO WITHOUT ALL MY YA?!? I think young people are way more accepting than older generations. I think many of us feel strongly about equality. I’m super grateful to the internet for ruining my life introducing me to a ton of books and fandoms and writing poetry, but it’s also educated me so much on actual more serious things. (That’s not to say social media *coughs*tumblr*coughs* is always right. Information is just a lot more easily accessible than it used to be.)

Sometimes, people tell me that I shouldn’t be relying so much on books for my happiness. I totally get that they’re not, like, living and breathing people you can talk to, but if they make me happy then…WHY NOT? It’s not hurting me, and it’s not hurting anyone else. (I mean, I might have slightly damaged my friend’s ears with screaming from Carry On. But that was only temporary.) When I’m feeling upset of anxious, I will honestly just sit down somewhere quiet and go listen to something like a podfic. The world feels a lot less terrible when ridiculous scenarios are being read into your ear.

I am just very in love with people and books and the world. I’m so happy to be able to experience all the things I love. It can be hard to remember that, but when I do feel good — when I read writing so breathtaking that I maybe actually forget how to breathe, or I hear an fabulous song, or I have the loveliest conversation with someone — it seems like I couldn’t possibly think anything else.

(By the way, this post is part of The you can spell this right Eve Happiness Project started by Sydney @ Love, Sydney. I thought for a while that I might not be very qualified to write it, because I don’t exactly feel amazing all the time, but thinking about all the things that make me happy ACTUALLY MADE ME VERY HAPPY. 😛 You can check out the other posts in the link-up here.)