Letters to Autumn, My Life

Letters to Autumn 9

Dear Autumn,

So I was writing a review for Sweaty Betty the other day (because what I really needed was another pair of leggings and sports bra) and there’s this little ‘about you’ section that you can fill out next to it and it mentions what activity you do and then it levels you in terms of front, middle or back of class.

It was that part that got me.

I’ve never really put that much thought into what part of the room I stand says about me. I kind of didn’t think it really said anything about me. I just always kind of dropped my bags at the back of the room and then turned around and set up shop wherever that was. Which was almost always at the back of the room. I think part of me had convinced myself that it just made the most sense. If there’s a lot of floor work then it makes sense to be at the back of the room because I take up a lot of space and the back of the room makes that easier to accommodate…in my head.

It turns out that it was probably just another level of a confidence thing that I’d never really thought about before. If I’m at the back of the room then it’s harder for me to get called out for stuff or for other people to notice me. Which is both a good and a bad thing I guess. I can’t get called out on my form if they can’t see me properly, or for giving up a little prematurely (which happens less these days, but still happens). However it has also made sure that I work on making sure that my form isn’t shit and really giving up before the set is done is cheating nobody but myself.

But anyway, back to the confidence thing. Turns out it was that. This past week I’ve forced myself to move further forward in the room, and twice now I’ve ended up straight in front of the instructor. Which horrified me in some ways because they were right. there.

Funnily enough though it turned out fine. My body is waaayyyy ahead of my mind in terms of knowing what it is capable of and actually getting it done. I spent most of Thursday super non-excited for my Lift class that night because Aunt Flow decided she was going to be early and it was too late to cancel so I had to do when all I really wanted to do was go home and be a sloth, but come that evening while I was loading up the barbell I felt the endorphins do their thing and the 45 minutes flew by. Plus on some level it was kind of nice to know that if there was something dodgy with my form (which is definitely a possibility as I am still getting used to lifting) that the instructor was right there to correct me if necessary (it was also good to know that even she was a little shaky when it came to some balance stuff).

There was still that part of me however that felt like I was being watched and judged by the people behind me, which I guess is why I always exist in the back somewhere. I hate that feeling. That people are watching me. That I’m somehow the centre of attention even though I know I’m not. There’s a part of me that always wants to make myself as small and as invisible as possible and I can’t do that if I’m standing in front of people. There’s nowhere to hide when you’re up front. That’s a residual problem from childhood. One that I thought I had gotten over, but apparently hadn’t. So that’s my new challenge to myself.

Because I know from experience that no one is really paying to attention to what anyone else is doing unless they are glancing over to try and figure out what the fuck they’re supposed to be doing next and then they are gonna carry on with their lives and pay you no mind. And I got over myself being my own worse enemy enough to put myself in that environment, so I’m gonna get over this thing that I didn’t even really know was a thing until I indirectly got called out about it.

Love,

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My Life

Out of the Habit

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When I returned to this blog at the beginning of the month I changed the way I viewed it and took a lot of pressure of myself for the sake of my sanity and to avoid just churning out an old post for the sake of getting something out on a day to day basis.

Turning that switch off in my head has proved to be incredibly beneficial to the way that I view this blog. I stopped looking at it as some kind of chore and that in turn helped to create a more creative view for myself on it. I started to feel more inspired and more inclined to actually write content and it’s great. There is still a little bit of blogger’s guilt when I do miss a day, or in the case of this last week just go days without posting. But I would rather that then getting home for the day and then writing something that I kind of hate the entire that I am typing it and just letting it post. And I have to keep reminding myself of that on the days where my usual posting time passes and nothing comes with it.

Anyway, thinking about this has all come about because come Sunday I am going back to posting every single day. Every day. For the whole 31 days. Something that I haven’t done since Letters to Spring earlier in the year. Which at this point in the year seems like a distant, distant memory. And it felt kind of hard then even though I was in a better habit with this blog then.

I don’t even really know what to expect from next month at this point. On the one hand I’m not all that worried because the beauty of the month is that it is almost like a diary with the way that I approach it. They don’t have to be all that substantial in terms of content, in that in my head I just feel like I can take a little thing that happened on any given day and then just talk through my thought process in some way. In that respect I pretty much treat this project as a way to keep the cobwebs from building up too much on my writing and just get very Virginia Woolf about it all. And that is something that can take as little as half an hour each day. On the other had though I am kind of terrified of having to get back into the habit of posting every day because it’s not something that I used to doing at this point any more. Hasn’t been for months. And I don’t quite know how I am going to react to it.

I mean I have slowly built up to it in some ways with this month, but then I’ve also really not, given my almost near radio silence for the last week.

For one, I am going to have to really nail the whole being organised thing (more on how that is going later on in the week, see I occasionally have things planned…) and secondly I’m going to have to keep reminding myself that it’s okay if they get a bit more stream of consciousness than usual, that’s the beauty of the project that I decided to partake in and kind of make whatever the hell I want.

Oh, and I also need to remind myself not to repeat myself, so I gotta get better of keeping track what I wrote, which I guess links into the whole being organised thing.

And then I need to start worrying about November…which although themed in my head is also going to still (try) and be an everyday-er kind of job. So far, the month has a lot of book reviews scheduled because those have pretty disappeared recently, but I need to get more bookish ideas that are not that over the next few weeks so it’s literally just a case of writing them up, not thinking of ideas and then trying to figure out what the hell to do with them the day before the post is due.

I’m feeling good about the next couple of months though. So good in fact that I am, yet again, considering taking part in Nano in November. I might cheat juuustttt a little and work on an already existing manuscript,  but if I can get 50,000 words added to that it will be all the closer to actually being a finished thing and that kind of blows my mind. I mean there are a lot of other hurdles to jump over before it gets to that, but I’m doing the damn thing.

But before that I gotta do the damn thing of Letters to Autumn, and also make a modification to my sign off…

Parentheses count: 2. See you next time!

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My Life

The Charcoal Experience

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Never one to jump on a bandwagon (actually sometimes I do, sometimes I steer well clear of one) I ended up falling into one of those weird loops where I just read all the possible articles that I could on something.

In this case it was charcoal toothpaste.

It started off as reading about Emma Watson’s beauty regime and ended with me heavily leaning towards giving it a shot.

And then I stopped leaning and just fell.

Into the toothpaste aisle in Boots looking at the charcoal toothpaste options available to me. Then there was one that was on offer and the calling became too much so I answered.

And now I brush my teeth twice a day in a foam of black.

That surprisingly didn’t take much getting used to. What did though was watching where said black foam ended up. Charcoal is funnily enough a lot harder to quickly deal with than regular toothpaste, so I have to be extra careful when I’m going about brushing my teeth and remember to rinse the sink out for a bit longer (not gonna lie, I am better at doing this at one end of the day then the other, guess which one?).

The one I use is Curaprox Black is White and I bought it at the beginning of June and now in mid-July I still have at least a third of a tube of left, maybe closer to half. My point there is that it’s long lasting, I reckon I might have another month left with this tube quite comfortably unlike my previous toothpaste which lasted 4-6 weeks. The fact that one tube lasts for so long means that it makes the price tag a little less of a terrible blow to take.

In terms of the actual toothpaste it has a nice fresh minty taste. I mean it says fresh lime mint but it’s minty. It’s nice. It’s refreshing and not too overpowering as it could have been. It leaves my teeth feeling cleaner than when I used my previous toothpaste. And it has a pretty similar texture to a regular one as well, although it is a little coarser, but not noticeably so, once I’ve used mouthwash.

Obviously the hype around charcoal toothpaste is that it helps to whiten teeth, and to be honest I have noticed a difference but also I’ve not massively been paying attention to it. But there is a difference.

For the most part I think I will probably stick with it but then also I’m not like holding myself to that. Mainly because the price tag is a bit too big just for toothpaste but that’s a small drawback that may not actually affect anything. I’m gonna see how long this tube actually lasts and then make a decision. For now though, I’m converted.

Parentheses count: 0. See you tomorrow, yes really!

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My Life

What is currently on your mind?

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So I may have told a small untruth, in that in actual fact I hit a wall with what I was going to post again and decided to change the idea again so it’s still in a half finished state and I’m working on it. I’m not gonna give a date that it might actually show up because I don’t have one it would appear given how often I keep changing the damn idea.

But anyway, the post today is pretty self explanatory.

What is currently on your mind?

Well I am currently writing this while watching the One Love Manchester concert and it is making me feel some kind of way. On some level for that reason the last couple of weeks have been a tad intense for a multitude of reasons and on some level there is just anger bubbling away under the surface.

Underneath that there is also this never ending cycle of anxiety that seems to be just plaguing me right now and just when I think it has passed it hits me all over again and I’m in this weird doomsville with it all which is started to get really frustrating. And then that frustration in and of itself makes it worse and I would just very much like to not be in my own head for a little while. Alas, I am taking comfort in meditation and exercise to just try and keep things a little bit more settled.

Then there is the part of me that is prepping for the work week ahead. Which is what it is. Work has finally stopped draining me so much because my mindset has finally improved a bit which felt like it took a decade, but that was related to the earlier thing. But it’s still draining. Mainly because as the weather warms up the office becomes some kind of sauna and that kind of heat just makes a person feel tired anyway.

Other than that, I am currently sleeping kind of well, which a part of me is suspicious about because well I’m me. And I’m also sort of looking ahead to the rest of the week and all the various things I need to do on different days of the week (and figure out at what point of the day I am actually going to go to a polling station on Thursday). And I’m also wondering just how long I’ve had a face mask on my face because it’s flaking off and I feel like that’s a sign that it’s been on too long…

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

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My Life

Questions to Ponder Pt 5

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And so we have reached the final part.

41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

My brother.

42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?

No.

43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?

Your attitude.

44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?

When you keep coming back to the same thing/answer. It’s a gut feeling, and generally they are always right.

45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

Because making a mistake links to failure and a lot of people are scared of failing.

46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Drop the filter (but also never cross over to being a dick).

47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?

The other day when I almost had a panic attack…

48. What do you love?

At this moment in time the only thing I can think of is food and musicals.

49. Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?

I got really passionate about some potatoes that my dad made the other day that were sooooo good and I’ve watched Sutton Foster do Anything Goes (the tap dancing break in particular) so many times recently and I fell into this trap of finding out how much tickets to An American in Paris would cost…I may or may not revisit that trap.

50. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that? Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?

This is wayyy more than one question. But, going through them as listed: uhhh I might remember parts of yesterday (I’m writing this on Sunday after a Saturday where I actually did something), but no I probably won’t remember the two days prior to that, I had two shit days in a row so it would be best if I didn’t dwell on them even now. And finally, I’m currently in a combination of the two.

And that’s all 50 questions done!

Parentheses count: 3. See you tomorrow!

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My Life

Questions to Ponder Pt 4

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Happy Monday! Let’s carry on shall we?

31. What makes it so special?

I’m thinking that this is a continuation from the last of yesterday’s questions and well I didn’t really give a specific answer to it. But the whole holiday was one of my faves.

32. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

This wasn’t even all that recent now that I think about it , but there was a point when I was standing at the top of the Empire State Building for the second time that day at night time and I was looking at the city all lit up in the dark that something just kind of clicked. I don’t know what but something did.

33. If not now, then when? If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?

I don’t have anything to lose, but I am my own worse enemy.

34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?

Yes.

35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?

Because people do stupid things and choose to interpret words in the way that they seem fit and only in that way.

36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?

Never.

37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?

Probably, I guess.

38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?

More work that I actually enjoy doing.

39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?

Yeah, kinda sad, but yeah.

40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?

I’m doing it now…

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

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My Life

Questions to Ponder Pt 3

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Happy Sunday folks, here’s part 3, 2 more to go. I’m quite enjoying answering these questions at the moment, they’re helping me get out of my funk, because I’m still not quite out of it yet. Anyway, onwards.

21. Why are you, you?

I could go into a whole nature/nurture debate here that I have years of sociologically talk to back up with (when I say years I really mean 5 years…from over 5 years ago) but I won’t. I am me because of circumstance and action.

22. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

I like to think that I have been, but I imagine there are times when I haven’t been.

23. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?

The latter. The first one is manageable. Technology is great for keeping in touch.

24. What are you most grateful for?

My friends and family.

25. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?

What a hard question, which I guess is the point…I guess never be able to make new ones. I have a lot of old ones that get me through the shitty times and I kind of rely on them.

26. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?

No. Truth is occasionally an abstract concept and it’s always changing, so in a way you have to always challenge it. Accepting things at face value is a dangerous game to play, although a perfectly fine one if you just want to remain ignorant.

27. Has your greatest fear ever come true?

Ummmm yes and no? Which I know is a non-committal answer but yeah, it’s the answer that I have.

28. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?

What’s funny (although not really) is that it is exactly 5 years ago this year since I kind of spiralled all the way down. So yes, I remember that time very well. It still affects me now.

29. Does it really matter now?

Yeah it does matter now. In a lot of ways, I mean on some level I shouldn’t let it still affect me because I got past it and I should focus on that, but there is still a part of me that hasn’t really changed from that person at that time and so it still matters even now.

30. What is your happiest childhood memory?

Oooohhhhh, I have so many. I guess any memory that I have from my holiday in Grenada. There was a lot of eating involved, and getting to hang around on the beach and by the pool. I didn’t even mind the heat. It was a great holiday and I wanna go back to the Caribbean so bad!

Part 3 done.

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow!

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