“My Blog’s Name in Books” Book Tag

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So I have reached a kind of stalemate with myself in that for some reason I am yet again finding it really hard to get book reviews out of my head and onto the page. And then also I got halfway through one only to discover that it didn’t save and so most of it is now gone and I am protesting against it momentarily. Also, I have a reviewed currently scheduled for a book that I am still reading and so I am also trying to bide myself some time. The Red Queen series reviews are acoming though, I’ve gone all the way in.

In the meantime I am doing another tag post because they are my break glass for emergency. I feel like this one is just going to highlight to me all the books that I have told myself I will read and yet show no signs of actually reading. Also why is my blog name so damn long? And why does it have so many bloody ‘f’s in it??

RULES: 

1.  Spell out your blog’s name. (this is where you wish your blog’s name was shorter LOL)

2. Find a book from your TBR that begins with each letter. (Note you cannot ADD to your TBR to complete this challenge – the books must already be on your Goodread’s TBR)

3. Have fun!  

T – Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas – Lucky for me this is actually on my list for this year

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Throne of Glass

H – Hunger, Roxane Gay – Also handy, because this is also on the list

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Hunger

E – Everless, Sara Holland – Also on my list for this year

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Everless

G – Grief is the Thing With Feathers, Max Porter – I forgot this was even on the list, I thought I was gonna struggle with this letter, turns out that is not the case

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Grief is The Thing With Feathers

I – Inkheart, Cornelia Funke – I think I started reading this book when I was in school, but clearly do not remember and so it seems like a safe bet to have this be on a to read list.

Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)
Inkheart

R – Renegades, Marissa Meyer – I need to finish The Lunar Chronicles first, but I liked her style of writing and so I feel like I might like this one too.

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Renegdes

A – Ash Princess, Laura Sebastian – I am currently reading the Red Queen series, as I mentioned above, and all of the covers have a crown and some blood dripping down it, I’ve lived with nothing but this image all month, I am clearly having a moment with fancy crowns on book covers.

Ash Princess
Ash Princess

F – Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk – This is also on my list for this year, so that’s handy

Fight Club
Fight Club

F – Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby – Who knows when I put this on my to read list, I read one book by Hornby once and apparently thought I was going to make it a thing I guess…?

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Fever Pitch

E – Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman – This is for sure on my list because it is literally everywhere whenever I go into a Waterstones and the power of suggestion is real.

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fineela

F – False Hearts, Laura Lam – I had no idea this was on the list, my interest has just been been piqued again.

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False Hearts

I – If I Stay, Gayle Forman – For some reason I thought I had already read this, but given that it is still on this list I’m guessing I haven’t

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If I Stay

L – Life After Life, Kate Atkinson – I don’t think I have read anything by Atkinson, but there are a lot of books by her on my list. This being one of them.

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Life After Life

E – Exit Here, Jason Myers – I have no idea what this book is about or how it got here. But here it is.

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Exit Here

S – Someday, Someday, Maybe, Lauren Graham – I actually remember putting this book on my list because it’s written by Lauren Graham and I love her.

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Someday, Someday, Maybe

And that’s another book tag done.

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow, what with I don’t know, but I should be here…!

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2018 Reading Challenge, Book 19 – The Handmaid’s Tale

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The reading of this book has been a long time coming to be honest with you. I have been meaning to read this book for about 4/5 years, if not longer, but definitely since my 2nd year at uni. Then the urge to read it came back with a vengeance last year what with the TV adaptation and as the second season is due out imminently here and so it’s time finally came.

2018 Reading Challenge, Book 19 - The Handmaid's Tale
2018 Reading Challenge, Book 19 – The Handmaid’s Tale

This book stressed me all the way out. For most of it.

First of all I did not realise that it took place in a time that was not all that far from modern day society. When I thought about this book I thought it was a dystopia set in a not so distant future but still kinda distant. But no Offred is just out there knowing what her life was like before and looking on with sadness as she watches new girls be born into the world knowing what the future holds for them.

The flashbacks dotted throughout were heartbreaking because you could tell the way that they were still raw.  They came from a place that was still no fresh to Offred and that hurt. Especially when she was talking about her daughter. The whole unknown aspect of it for her bled through into the whole narrative really.

I loved the way that the story is told. Obviously it is told by Offred but it is told from a perspective that suggests that she is beyond the incidents of the events of the story. And that means that the perspective and the narrative is hella interesting. It also means that I finished the book with a whole lot more questions. None of which will ever truly be resolved.

The way that it is told also adds a really chilling aspect to everything. At points you can feel Offred’s pain as she has go through the tale of it again. It also adds this quality where you wonder just how many times she has tried to tell this tale, and also why she has chosen to tell it. Maybe it was in a quest to get the word out there to people and as a cautionary tale for what could happen if they, the government I guess, are allowed to go through with whatever the hell happened to women in America.

What I also found fascinating was that this whole women problem only seemed to be happening in America. Like the rest of the world just let them do that crazy shit for some reason as long as it didn’t effect them, which I guess makes sense on some level, but also really makes you wonder how it got to that stage. The whole situation makes you wonder really. How enough women thought that the state of the world was so bad that the society that they created was the only way to fix it. And there were those that were willing to teach other, younger, women how to ‘behave’ now.

The sections where all these women were together in the parts to do with childbirth and all that were so jarring. And that was made the case even further because I mean the book opened with these women learning all this new shit and having their old identities stripped from them. The way they were all falling in line, despite it all being relatively new was so fascinating. And kind of horrifying.

That was my main takeaway from this book.

It was kind of horrifying.

The reversion back to a time where women were subservient but it going to an even greater extreme and them just accepting it for some reason. It was weirdly refreshing to know that there were women who didn’t abide by that and who ‘rebelled’. Even though all they were really doing was live their life semi how they used to. Also the actual act of having sex for these women now if they were fortunate enough to be a Handmaid (is fortunate the correct word?) was so bizarre. I mean on one level it made sense, but on another it was just strange. Really strange.

Everything was horrifying and strange. It felt like it cut weirdly close to home. It was beautifully written and I’m kind of annoyed that it took me so long to read it because it has now just  opened my eyes to how great Margret Atwood is and now I have soooo many more books on my to-read list.

I would for sure recommend this book in the same way that it was recommended to me. It’s really good. Horrifying (how many times am I gonna say that in relation to this book?), but good.

4/5 stars

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Bonus Book Review – Ponti

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This book didn’t appear on the list because I didn’t even know that this book existed until I signed up to do something for Hearst and it involved reading a book. I forgot I signed up for it until I got home one day and the book was already there waiting for me. It was kind of time sensitive and so it got bumped up the list real quick and so here it is. It skewed my Spring Reading List slightly, but whatever, the aim is to read 70 books this year. 70 books is 70 books regardless of how I get there.

This started out as being book 22 and then ended up being 23.

And the reason for this is that I just could not get into it. It was 300 pages and I never really felt like I was in it. And I thought it might have been because I was kind of falling into some kind of reading slump but then I realised that no, it was just the book. It was just one of those books that I didn’t get along with.

I honestly could not tell you what the actual point of this book was. I don’t think there was ever any over arching plot. Or at least it didn’t feel like there was one. In tried to find one but I just couldn’t and that was one of the reasons that I didn’t really mesh with it.

It is told from 3 perspectives at 3 different points in time, which is actually interesting enough and was something that I was interested to see play out. But nothing felt like it ever came from it. They all linked together in some way sure, but not in a way that I at any point felt was interesting or warranted. And I am aware that I am being harsh but honestly that is just where I am at with it. The only reason in the end that I didn’t not finish it is because I was reading it for something. It got to the point where I had to treat it as I treated some books at uni. Do it for the degree. For the greater good.

I didn’t like this book. However, there some positives.

I don’t think I ever really appreciated just how little I read books with Asian characters at the centre of them. This book is full of them. And it provides 3 very different women and the way that they navigate their world. Also, it’s well written. I can’t deny that. It’s just not my cup of tea. Teo has a beautiful way of writing and making everything feel really vivid in the world that she is creating. Her writing style is great. I am also excited to see what future books of hers would bring as I feel like she has some really interesting narratives to tell. And they are narratives are needed, which is a lot to pin on just one person, but that is more of a general comment then anything.

I can’t really say that I would recommend this book. I mean there are some good parts to it, but for the most part I just spent it kind of confused and wondering what the point of everything was and what the overall point of it actually was. And I hated the ended. I really did not like it. At all. It felt like it answered nothing and just kind of felt very meh.

2/5 stars

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20 Questions Book Tag

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If you’re surprised by the fact that this is another book tag then I really don’t know what to say to you about this. The tail end of this month is basically just me talking about books in some guise at all times. And so here we are with some more books. I saw this over on Tabby’s blog at some point last month.

1. HOW MANY BOOKS IS TOO MANY BOOKS IN A SERIES?

I’m a fan of the trilogy. I mean having said that it also depends on the series itself. 6 books felt like too much for The Mortal Instruments, but 7 was nowhere enough for Harry Potter. I need all the books that I can get for The Bone Season  series because I am not ready to be done with it

2. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIFFHANGERS?

Let me tell you a thing, I finished The Handmaid’s Tale the day before I wrote this post which had the most open ended ending I’ve ever read and I will always be low key concerned about Offred for the REST OF MY LIFE. All that to say is that I hate them. In most circumstances. There’s those happy open endings that I don’t mind so much.

3. HARDBACK OR PAPERBACK?

I was such team paperback girl and then I threw all caution to the wind and now I’ll take either. And now I have a whole lot of both.

4. FAVOURITE BOOK?

 

I’m not playing this game, because I can’t. So I’m gonna go with my favourite book I’ve read so far this year, They Both Die at the End, Adam Silvera

5. LEAST FAVOURITE BOOK?

Again, I’m just going with books that I’ve read this year, and honestly so far I’ve read a lot of decent books which means that this was actually kind of hard to do, but it’s All That She Can See, Carrie Hope Fletcher.

6. LOVE TRIANGLES, YES OR NO?

I’m bored of them now. Unless you can do it really well and somehow make it worth it I don’t wanna know.

7. THE MOST RECENT BOOK YOU JUST COULDN’T FINISH?

It’s still Moby Dick. It may always be this book.

8. A BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?

Ponti, Sharlene Teo as I’m writing this. As it posts and you’re reading it, who knows it could be any one of the 50 odd books that I have slated for the year.

9. LAST BOOK YOU RECOMMENDED TO SOMEONE?

I honestly don’t remember, I don’t really recommend books all that often. I think it might have been The Rosie Project.

10. OLDEST BOOK YOU’VE READ? (PUBLICATION DATE)

I’ve read a lot of books from the 18th/19th century because uni kicked my ass like that, so have The Scarlett Letter

 

11. NEWEST BOOK YOU’VE READ? (PUBLICATION DATE)

The book I’m reading right now which is the answer to number 8.

12. FAVOURITE AUTHOR?

I’m gonna say Samantha Shannon at the moment just because I started thinking about the 4th Bone Season book out of nowhere as I was writing this.

13. BUYING BOOKS OR BORROWING BOOKS?

Buying. Always. I have a problem.

14. A BOOK YOU DISLIKE THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO LOVE?

I don’t really know. I cannot think of one. I fell off the Twilight train around the same time as everyone jumped on it. But that is kind of the only one that I can think of at the moment.

15. BOOKMARKS OR DOG-EARS?

I’m a bookmark girl now. I used to not give a shit.

16. A BOOK YOU CAN ALWAYS REREAD?

I haven’t reread a book in a hot minute, so I don’t actually know.

 

17. CAN YOU READ WHILE HEARING MUSIC?

Yeah, that’s how I read on the train, it’s pretty much the only way I read these days.

18. ONE POV OR MULTIPLE POV’S?

Depends on how it’s executed. And there is always a part of me that is wishes for a POV of a character because I just wanna know how Tzain felt about all that was going on throughout the whole thing. That was a book full of different perspectives and they were all handled so well, but I still wanted more.

19. DO YOU READ A BOOK IN ONE SITTING OR OVER MULTIPLE DAYS?

Typically it’s over the course of a week, but there are some books that I can get done in a day if the mood so suits me.

20. A BOOK YOU’VE READ BECAUSE OF THE COVER?

Children of Blood and Bone to be honest. I saw the cover and was like daaammnnn son, then I read what it was about and as like daammmmnnnn son all over again and so it entered my life.

And that is another book tag done. I enjoy these far too much. I tag anyone who wants to do this tag and get the chance to talk a bit more about books.

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Norse Mythology Book Tag

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We all know that I love me a tag post. And well it’s been a hot minute since I’ve done one and this is gave me Neil Gaiman vibes and so obviously I was gonna do it.

Let’s just get to it shall we. Oh wait, hang on, I came across this tag here.

Now let’s get to it.

ODIN: Favourite Stand-Alone

Odin is the All-Father, the leader of the Norse Gods. He is the god of wisdom, poetry, battle, death, wine, and war, among other things.

There are so many books that I could choose from and honestly I feel like using the word favourite is a little bit strong, so as I am writing this and mostly because I can see it in my eye line while I do write this I am going to say that it’s The Night Circus which I am sure will come as a surprise to no one.

 

THOR: A book that hits you in the feels

Thor is the god of thunder, weather, warriors, strength, and storms, so his might packs a punch. He is married to the beautiful Lady Sif.

They Both Die At The End, Adam Silvera continues to fuck me up whenever I think about it. I knew it would be a rough ride and that it was going to break my heart, but still nothing quite prepared me for just how hard it would be to have these characters’ stories cut off abruptly. Honestly, I think about Mateo a lot.

 

LOKI: Biggest book plot twist or character betrayal

Loki is the god of mischief, thieves and thrives on chaos.

I knew it was coming because I saw the film before I read the book, but Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn was a ride. The same also applies to The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins. I foolishly did not see that one coming. There are probably quite a few others that threw me through a loop but those are the ones that really got me good.

Frigg is Odin’s wife, the goddess of love, marriage, fertility, and fate.

I am so bad when it comes to OTPs, why I do not know. Maybe it’s because I read so many series’ and I don’t like to get my hopes pinned against one couple because I am very much aware that they are at the whim of the author and so I don’t get too attached. Ummmmm Bram and Simon were cute. I got hella invested in that relationship.

HEIMDALL: Favourite second book in a series

Heimdall is the god of loyalty, faithfulness and he is who protects the bi-frost, the bridge that connects all nine worlds.

Oooohhhh, interesting question. I’m gonna say The Mime Order, Samantha Shannon. It really got the wheels turning for something that I get more excited for whenever I think about the series.

BALDUR: Favourite male character

Baldur is the beloved son of Odin and Frigg, twin brother of Hodor.

Hmmmmm. I have a lot of faves, but the one that springs to mind is Richard Mayhew, Neverwhere. There is just something about following his journey through the narrative. Oh and also, Ron Weasley.

 

SIF: Most beautiful book cover

Lady Sif is known for her beautiful golden tresses, although she is also the goddess of the harvest and is married to Thor.

FREY: Book/Series that makes you happy

Frey is the Lord of weather, god of light, summer, master of agriculture, fertility, and brother of Freya.

This is such an obvious answer but also I feel like it is the answer that needs to be said…Harry Potter.

FREYA: Favourite book setting

Freya is the goddess of love and beauty, fertility, war, wealth and growth, and sister of Frey.

I’m gonna not answer with the same book universe on back to back questions even though part of me really wants to. So I’m going to say the Rebel of the Sands one. It was brutal but there was something beautiful in all the harshness.

TYR: Favourite book with a big upheaval/epic fight scene

Tyr is the god of war

American Gods, Neil Gaiman springs to mind when I think about this. I mean the whole book is kind of about an upheaval of sorts and a fight between Gods, so it seems like a good fit.

 

NJORD: Favourite book an epic journey on water/ocean setting

Njord is the god of the wind and the sea.

Ummmm, I don’t know that I’ve ever read one…there are some that take place on the sea but not for so long that I would consider that to be their setting. The only other one I can think of is Moby Dick and we all know at this point how I feel about that book (still kinda convinced that I’m gonna get it read though aren’t I?). I don’t think I have one…not one that I can think of anyway.

VALKYRIE: Favourite strong female character

The Valkyries, much like the Amazons, are strong female warriors.

This phrase makes my eye twitch…there are so many. Pretty much every female character that exists is strong in some way. So I am going to go with the one that I am currently sitting with as I make my way through the book that I am reading at the moment of writing this and that is Offred, The Handmaid’s Tale.

AESIR/VANIR: Favourite book “crew”

The Aesir and the Vanir are the two groups of Norse gods, believed to be the old and new gods.

My mind went so blank for this one for a minute. I couldn’t really think of any ‘crew’ as it were and then it hit me, the Harry Potter trio. Duh. A special shoutout to Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli though. I enjoyed that group of friends.

 

SEIPYRTS: Favourite sidekick (non-human character)

Seipyrts is Odin’s trusty eight legged steed, yes you heard that correctly – eight legs. I promise that he is the god’s horse companion and not a giant spider that he rides around on… although that would probably strike more fear in the hearts of his enemies than a pretty horse does.

Huh? I don’t think I have read anything that is not a human…and if I have then I am so sorry but I have completely forgotten them. It’s times like this when I kind of wish I had read Game of Thrones already because then I could have probably named a dragon…

And that’s it. Another book tag done. There is most likely going to be a book review tomorrow, and maybe until further notice. That’s just the way I roll.

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Summer Reading List

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I went from like 0 to 100 real quick. I typically just break my reading lists down into 6-8 week chunks, but for some reason I’ve decided to go from here in May all the way through to August, which is over a quarter of the year.

The reason for this? I could not think of a title for this one and then another one at a later date and so I bunged them all into one. I don’t even know how my logic is going to work for this one. I average at a book a week and so there are 18 weeks I am playing with here. So I’m gonna take 18 and then tack on an extra 7 and make it 25 for no actual reason to be perfectly honest. Like I said logic has gone all the way out of the window.

I don’t know how this going to make the overall goal seem less daunting given how many books I’m going for here, but hey. We’re doing this. So let’s do this.

Also, I feel like I should mention that although these are all listed apparently I am prone to doing shit on a whim and could just throw in a book that I didn’t even list in the original post. Also, I only read 6 books on my last one of these so those are being rolled over to some other time, that is apparently not during this period of time…

1-5) The Red Queen Series – Victoria Aveyard

There are 5 books in this series, I’m gonna try and read it straight through, but that might not happen and there might be a couple of books thrown in the mix, depending on how I mesh with the series. I do know that when I was moving through Rebel earlier in the year, it felt great to read them all straight through, but it did feel kind of exhausting only being in that world for like a month. It’s the same reason I couldn’t read The Mortal Instruments straight through as 6 books and had to break it into two trilogies. So currently I plan to go straight through, but yeah, that might not happen. They will however all be read.

6) Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

I just wanna read this book. I wanna watch the film and I’m doing this thing where my brain won’t let me do that without having read the book first. Why I don’t know, it’s just a thing that my brain does to me sometimes.

7) the witch doesn’t burn herself in this one – amanda lovelace

I enjoyed her first collection, I’m excited to see what her second will bring.

8) The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafron

This book was given to me by someone at work and although they haven’t asked me about what I thought of it again yet (because they have done a couple of times already now) I don’t trust that they won’t ask again and so I wanna be able to finally be like ‘oh I thought this…’

9-10) The Conquerer’s Saga – Kiersten White

I dropped Now I Rise earlier this year so that I could finish the series straight through and well the final book is due out during this period of time and so the time has now come.

11) The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

This won an award in Waterstones, and I’m hoping that I will mesh with it a bit better than I did Ink and Stars which won the same award and left me feeling confused.

12) Everless – Sara Holland

The concept of this book remains the most fascinating to me and so I need to get it in my life. My edition of this book is due to be with me during this time so I can just slot it in when I get it in my clutches.

13)  The Belles – Dohnielle Clayton

This is another book that is just mocking me on my bedroom floor looking all pretty and shit and so I am going to read it. Again, this is a book that intrigues me.

14) Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

Look, let’s just get this over with shall we. Maybe not the correct attitude to take when trying to read a book, but the one I have nonetheless. Something about me and this book do not mesh well. Or at least we haven’t in the past.

15) Seriously…I’m Kidding – Ellen Degeneres

There has been no non-fiction on this list thus far which is a total contrast to the last one and so I am here to remedy that with this.

16) Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

I don’t really know how I feel about reading this book anymore, but nevertheless it feels like something that I am feeling compelled to read. So I’m gonna do in prep for the second season of the show coming out.

17) Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling

And here is another autobiography from someone who’s first one I very much enjoyed. I just enjoy Mindy Kaling.

18) The Defining Decade – Meg Jay

I’m reaching the middle point of being in my 20’s in every sense during the summer (like I’m going to reach being halfway through being 25 come July) so it feels like a fitting book to read for the time.

19) Lost Boy – Christina Henry

I remain optimistic about this book despite how I felt with the last book of hers that I read. And I’m interested as to how the story is going to be flipped and made super dark.

20) The Crucible – Arthur Miller

I’m gonna go in with this. I may regret it, but I’m gonna do it anyway.

21-23) Roxane Gay

I’m gonna treat this like a trilogy of sorts and read all 3 books that I have by Gay slated to read this year in one go. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. But they will all be read.

24) The Sun and Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur

And just like that, I’ve run out of poetry collections to read for the year (not strictly true, I have one on pre-order, but that’s not due until the last quarter of the year)

25) Runaways – Rainbow Rowell

And so we come to the last book on this long ass list. It’s a comic book. It’s Rainbow Rowell, I can’t see what’s not to like there.

And there it is. A somewhat lengthy breakdown of my reading list for this year and what shall be getting me through the summer months.

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Appreciate

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And so we have come to the final day of this little blogging project and all talk about self care. It’s been quite the whirlwind. It also kind of made me confront some things about myself that I hadn’t ever really thought about and in that way in some way was just a very good exercise in self care and reminding me to take care of my mental health a bit better. Because throughout this whole thing I have noticed that I have been letting it slip a little bit and I am trying to avoid what happened last year and get my shit kind of back together when it comes to my mental health.

However this little project has also taught me that the way that I deal with my mental health has gotten a lot better. It left me a really shitty place for a lot of last year and that has definitely stopped being the case. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not really all that great and there are still days where it feels like a long hard slog up a mountain with the wrong kit on but those days seem to be happening far less than they used to.

For a while last year it was pretty much every single day from the moment I woke up to the moment that I feel into a really half assed sleep. It was constant and it was exhausting and I had to swim really fast just to keep the illusion that I was staying afloat alive when really I just wanted to quit and let the water take me for a little while.  But I am not there anymore.

Not even close really.

It’s kind of incredible how slowly my mindset has changed, so much so that to be honest I hadn’t even noticed it had happened until I started really thinking about it. It was only then that I could truly appreciate just how far I had come and just how much better my mindset is. I feel happier and more assured in myself in a lot of ways and I’m not embarrassed or ashamed by it. I feel a lot more confident in certain areas of my life. I’ve kind of learned to just let some water slide off my back and ignore it. Some things are just not worth engaging in and I’m finally okay with that. I’ve stopped being so in my own about certain things and am getting a lot better at remembering that honestly, some things just  aren’t that deep.

I know that there are still some areas where I do need to make some more improvements and I would quite like to know that the chances of me having to move through a small scale version of a panic attack in the toilet at work is not quite as high as it currently is. And I really need to manage my stress levels a little better, because they can soar real quickly and then I just feel even more exhausted by it all.

And I also know that right now I am in a better state of mind when it comes to the idea of dealing with the areas of my mental health that are still hella weak. Which I hadn’t really noticed or appreciated until I took part in this project for myself.

This has made me appreciate the state of my mental health in a way that I don’t give myself enough credit for.

That’s been my may take away from this actually. I really need to get better and giving myself more credit and to also appreciate the ones around me an awful lot more. That last one is just a general thing though, and I knew that before doing this project, it’s just really driven that home for me.

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