Dear Me

This is a tag created by YouTube in honour of International Women’s Day, and since I don’t vlog (maybe in future) I decided to blog it instead!

This is basically a letter to my younger self, imparting the knowledge I wish I had then, and to my future self; lest I forget.

Dear Me,

There’s a few things that I feel it would have been good for you to know (and good to remember), but these are things that one can only learn from experience and in one’s own time- regardless of how much you tried to learn from others. Here are just a few things that come to mind:

Give it your best shot: I know that sometimes it’s disheartening when plans or projects don’t work out the way you wanted, but keep going; it’ll be worth it.

Tell people you love them: whoever you love, let them know! It is so important to say how you feel and hell knows you didn’t do it enough in the past. Get on that.

You are stronger than you think: My past self has dealt with quite a lot, and yet my present-day self is sitting here talking about it. Give yourself some credit for dealing with hard times.

Be open to new experiences: even if they scare you shitless; you’ll never know where you could find yourself.

Risk it- without the promise of a biscuit 😉 : Some things just require that extra leap of faith.

Don’t apologise for who you are: You are the only you that you have, and you only have to answer to yourself (and Mom)

Don’t worry about things you have no control over: figure out what the worst possible outcome and develop a game plan for if that happened (it might not happen). Everything is easier to deal with if you feel like you have a way out if you need.

Be open with people, and yourself: Call it how you see it. Don’t stay in situations that make you unhappy for any longer than necessary. It’ll all work out.

Trust your instincts: They will very rarely lead you astray; remember this. Ignoring instincts in the past has made for some bad decisions.

Set goals and targets: And actively pursue them! You won’t get fit by sitting on the couch watching Moone Boy.

Don’t take it personally: If someone is getting ratty with you, it could just be their way of dealing with a bad day; unless it isn’t, in which case, don’t let them get to you!

Remember you’re not alone: You have the most amazing friends and family who are such a great support system if you ever need. They are more than willing to help and you’re more than willing to return the favour- don’t lose that!

Show people you appreciate them: Even through a text, people like to feel appreciated. Plus, did a kind word ever hurt someone??

Love yourself: Because if you don’t who will?

I think I better leave it there, past Laura had so much to learn and present Laura is so forgetful that if I made a definitive list of all the things I wish I knew/ I wish I could remember, I could be here all day!

Happy International Women’s Day! ❤

Until Next Time,

Laura

To My Friends

Welcome to another post that is long past overdue.

I’ve lost my voice so I have been housebound for the past two days and on top of that I’ve just found myself with more time to think lately and I have had some realisations. This post is probably one of the most important I will ever write.

I am currently convalescing from an illness known as being a shit friend.

Since leaving secondary school and having groups and routines split up, in addition to college and work timetables, it has obviously not been so easy to keep up contact with people the way i used to. That was inevitable, it was to be expected, right?

What is also expected is that when you begin a relationship with someone, you don’t spend as much time with your friends, if only for the first little while. Luckily for me (not) all of these changes happened all at once. I guess I knew this and I took advantage. Even though my relationship situation was a little different, I feel that in hindsight I still should have given more time over to my friends.

So this is an apology.

An apology for not giving that time as freely and willingly as I should have, for only requesting time off work to see him (not that that part is relevant anymore), for missing nights out and birthdays and all those other times that you asked me to hang out and I couldn’t for some silly reason or another.

There are some things in life that are way more important than others and they should take priority and I can’t believe that for over a year I didn’t notice what a key aspect of my life that I was overlooking, and I don’t think I will ever be able to express how sorry I am for that.

My friends also need to be thanked. The past few months have not been easy for me, and equally it must have been hard for them to not kill me while I bitched and whinged and over-analysed and I’m happy that they haven’t, though I will continue all of the above. Thank you for your everlasting patience, I am so grateful for that. You all will never know the extent of my love for you, though I promise to tell you how awesome you all are on a more regular basis.

I’m not going to start naming people, for fear of overlooking someone and living forever with that guilt, but just know that you are appreciated.

Much love ❤

Until next time,

Laura

I’m Really Bad At This/ January Overview

Hello everyone!

I don’t think that an excuse will cover it this time. My blog… Oh, my poor blog 😦 I owe you an explanation.

January was a tough month- statistically speaking it is the most depressing month of the year and I guess that I’m no exception to the general feeling of glumness. Lots of things were going on and lots of change was happening, so instead of boring you with the details I thought I’d make a quick bullet-point list of things-both good and bad-that happened in January.

  • A break-up: Not fun for anybody involved
  • Mary went back to The U.A.E and I haven’t had that many opportunities to Skype to her since.
  • I applied for a new 1-year college course: if it all works out I’ll be studying Film and TV Production!
  • Learned how to cope with my anxiety in new ways that work for me.
  • Had a bad reaction to something that was beyond my control- not a good feeling, got me down for days.
  • Had a week’s holidays from my job and got to hang out with lots of my lovely friends
  • Took the first steps to getting back into typography and hand-lettering
  • Was told something that took me by surprise: seriously made me wonder if I had misplaced trust in someone who was a big part of my life!
  • Went to a charity event and had an awesome time with the people I work with.
  • Climbed a big hill and had a blast with some cool guys

Wow, that was more than I initially thought I had to say, but many of those things were overlapping and it was a struggle to find motivation to blog in the meantime. The motivation seems to have gone into hibernation since November 2014 – let’s try t change that!

One of my personal highlights of January was getting a better understanding of my anxiety (on some level). I feel like a lot of the weight I associated with anxiety has been removed from my shoulders and while I’m not back to what I consider my “normal” self, I’m finding it much easier to just be happy about things. It’s a work in progress, but I’m pretty happy with the progress so far.

My resolution for February is to get underway with studying for the driving theory test. I hope that I’ll be able to take the test in March or April. I’d love to be able to have a full licence and on the road by the summer, but who knows! I’ll be crossing my fingers, toes, arms, legs and eyes- alternatively I could just study the book, duh!

At the beginning of January I set a Goodreads goal of reading 24 books this year. So far, I’m on track with 3 of 24 under my belt. I’m hoping to keep up with this too.

While I can’t promise I’ll be a better blogger, I promise I will try. I’d love if anybody with suggestions about what they would like to see here left a comment below, or tweet me @odd_laura.

For those of you who have stuck around, thank you so much, I appreciate every one of you reading this.

Until next time,

Laura

Reflections and Resolutions

Hello everyone! Sorry it has been so long.

This past year has been so good for me. I got to go to new places, meet new people and gain new experiences. I went to see some amazing gigs and to see new films and all of those other things that people do.

There have  also been some experiences and events in the past year that haven’t been so great for me. I entered into a university course that was nothing like what I thought, and it ended up being a toxic environment for me to be in. The results of that course are the development of stress and anxiety that are much worse than I’ve ever had to deal with and I dropped out of university. The latter was a massive decision for me to make and I’m still trying to work through the problems with anxiety that have stemmed from uni. I dropped out at the end of November, and I had so much hope that December was going to somehow be the saving grace of 2014; that I could end the year on a good note.

December as it turns out was very much the opposite. It was much harder than what I had hoped and left me feeling really alone for so much of it. Sure, I had a good day on Christmas but that was probably the only good day in the latter half of the month, regardless of my birthday being the day after.

However,all of that is in the past. I want this new year to surpass last year, I need it to change. I’ve been unhappy for way too long.

I had hoped that by now there would be so much more to show on this blog than there is. December messed me up motivationally and now I’m lacking in that department. that is where I want the change to start, and that’s where the resolutions come in!

We are already one week into January so I’m late to the show (as per usual) but I have decided that instead of trying to overwhelm myself with changes (which is never a good thing for someone with anxiety), I am going to try to make one resolution per month. As of now, January is going to be the month where I resolve to get a better understanding of my anxiety and develop ways to manage it that actually work for me. If anyone reading this suffers with anxiety, please feel free to leave me a comment on how you deal with yours, I’m open to suggestions, I need all the help I can get!

As there’s no time like the present, I am going to get started on the booklet the college doctor gave me “Stress and Anxiety: A Self Help Guide”, so I better end this here. I hope everyone had a good holiday season and new year. Best of luck with any resolutions you might have!

Until next time,

Laura

The Christmas Tag

Hello everyone!

I really wanted to add a festive twist to blogging this month and while I was originally going to do Tom Fletcher’s 15 Festive Favourites (which he did on his Youtube channel) I found this one on Lulu’s blog (here), and I thought it was better suited to text! Without further ado, here is my Christmas Tag

One

What is your favourite Christmas film?

“A Muppet’s Christmas Carol” is hands-down my favourite and a must watch with the family every year, so that is definitely top of the list. Another film that I watch around this time of year is “The Holiday”. It’s Christmasssy and cheesy; what more could you want?!

Two

Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

There’s a tradition in my house where we’re all allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve. Everything else must wait until Christmas morning.

Three

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

When my Grandad was still alive, we used to go to my Aunt’s house Christmas evening. Every year Grandad (after maybe a couple of drinks 😉 ) would sing Céad Míle Fáilte (a traditional Irish song). This isn’t really specific to one year but I love that memory nonetheless.

Four

What is your favourite Christmas food?

I have to say my favourites aren’t particularly festive- it’s just the time of year we are guaranteed to have them in our house! Yorkshire puddings and trifle are my favourites, but not together (obviously). Every Christmas Eve., I’m given the task of making the trifle and I have to say, it’s pretty damn good.

Five

What is your favourite Christmas gift?

I have gotten some fab presents over the years, but I don’t think I can pick a standalone favourite of all time. I do however love receiving books for Christmas, especially is someone has put some serious thought into getting one that they think I will like, and not just one off Tesco’s bestsellers selection.

Six

 What is your favourite Christmas scent?

Yankee Candle are absolutely killing it will the great range of Christmas scents they have. I do love Candy Cane Lane at the moment but my favourite Christmassy scent can be found all through my house starting with the kitchen. This is due to Dad baking his locally famous Christmas cakes (he even made one for Munster and Ireland rugby player Paul O’Connell- Shameless namedrop!) The smell is a mix of fruit and spices and general yumminess. These cakes are only for Christmas but are in popular demand all year round.

Seven

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

Christmas last year was a bit different due to my sister spending her Christmas Eve in Ennis and I fell asleep on the couch because I had been working late the night before, but hopefully we will get back on track this year. All the years  before that my sister, my mam and I go to mass in the evening while my dad and my brother are left to hold down the fort (after I have made the trifle during the afternoon) and we get to open one present that evening and we also get lovely new cosy pajamas every year.

Eight

What tops your tree?

For years we had this angel which had a creepiness to it not unlike that of porcelain dolls, but in the past few years we’ve started using this really glittery star that is probably borderline tacky but it is the bee’s knees.

Nine

Asa kid, what was the one gift you asked for but never received?

I genuinely can’t think of anything serious so if this had been the case the thing I was looking for obviously wasn’t life-changing. I think the worst it got was not specifying what colour Nintendo DS Lite I wanted and ended up with a pink one- shocking! I didn’t burst into flames or anything when I picked it up though so it obviously wasn’t that bad. Still have that a good 8 years and it’s working perfectly.

Ten

What is your favourite Christmas song?

My favourite Christmas song (as opposed to carol) is “2000 Miles” by The Pretenders. Chrissie Hynde’s voice is magical. This of course is fllowed by the well-loved “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues and Kristy MacColl. My favourite Christmas carol would have to be either “Carol of the Bells” or “The Huron Carol”. The latter is really beautiful if you can find a good version of it but most of the ones I’ve found have a quicker time signature than the 3/4 time which I personally think suits it best. The closest thing to a “good” version of it is by The Five Fifths on Youtube.

Eleven

What’s the best part of Christmas for you?

Generally, I prefer the build-up to Christmas more than the actual day, but this year I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with my sister and I’m also looking forward to Ryan coming down from Belfast on Christmas day to see me (yes he is a sweetheart). Hopefully the first of many. 🙂

So, that’s my Christmas Tag! Feel free to answer the questions yourself in the comments, or if you’ve done the Christmas Tag yourself, leave me a link and I’ll be sure to check it out!

Until next time,

Laura

20 Before 20: Revisited

Hello everyone!

With about 3 weeks left until my 20th birthday, I decided to revise my 20 Before 20 list; some things I have surpassed the target I set, some will be by no means completed, while others have simply become irrelevant. Those which I have achieved will be crossed out, those which are still relevant will stay and by removing those which cannot be achieved I will hopefully increase my chances with the rest. So, here is my revised list.

1. Pass my driving theory test: I have not even booked this and have barely had a chance to study, so while I hope to begin studying before my 20th birthday, this will definitely not be achieved.

2. Finish my Project 365: Done! It’s a weird feeling you get when you finish a photography project- a kind of emptiness sprinkled with the relief of not having to try find an interesting photo opportunity every day, which was especially difficult on lazy or sick days!

3. Become Fit: This 100% did not happen and trying to fool myself into thinking that the 3 weeks coming up to Christmas are when it’s going to happen is ridiculous! I’ll keep up what I’m doing so far, but I’ll give it my all from January on!

4. Visit a European city, or choose which city to visit: This is a tricky one for me to answer as I’ve had a couple of conversations with Ryan about this and while we haven’t chosen a place together I think that he has pretty much decided and that’s gonna be part of my Christmas present. While I’m kinda excited to find out, I’m simultaneously dreading it- I hate surprises so this is torture!!

5. Watch a new film fortnightly: I’ve watched way more films than I expected to so I’ve completed this goal ahead of time. The goal was to watch 10 films that I’d never seen before and I’ve watched 16 so far- there might even be more to come!

6. Make more time for old friends: While this has been difficult at times due to conflicting schedules and the like I think that I have given this a good go. I’ve really enjoyed reconnecting with my old friends and I’m hoping this will form a good habit for the future. I don’t want to cross this one out as finished as it wasn’t really a case of being a one-off thing as the rest more or less are. This one is continual and so it stays!

7. Read at least 3 new books: Accomplished. Currently reading my 5th new book.

8. Create something I’m really proud of: This came in the form of the secret Santa present I made this year. Obviously I cannot divulge the information about it as I’m not sure if the person I got reads this blog but I’m going to do a D.I.Y tutorial on it either closer to or after Christmas. I’m really happy with it and I’m excited to see their reaction.

9. Put more effort into blogging: College took a serious chunk out of my blogging time but I’m back on the bandwagon now and I’ve got some posts in the pipeline for the coming month so hopefully I’ll be more active here 🙂

10. Watch the sunrise: It is kind of pathetic that I still haven’t seen the sunrise. I’m gonna try make this happen, though I think it might be too late in the year.

11. Complete the mini marathon: I was working again this year so I have 100% failed this one as well!

12. Start driving lessons: In Ireland you can’t start driving lessons without your theory test done so until I get that sorted this is a no go for me.

13. Declutter my room: I’ve started this long process this week so it will be done before Christmas. There’s a great feeling about getting rid of stuff you don’t need; like a weight off your chest and the good feeling of donating whatever is still good to a charity shop so that’s helping other people too.

14. Get a new piercing: When I was in Belfast in August, I got my tragus pierced so this one is done and dusted. I have however taken out my cartilage piercing as it was getting really red and sore despite being fine for months. I might get it again a little further down my ear as since the first was done with a gun it kinda blew my cartilage a little bit!

15. Give up fizzy drinks: I was off fizzy drinks for about 2 months and while I still drink them now and again, I don’t drink them half as much as I used to and I’m hoping to cut them out for a substantial period of time in the new year.

16. Become more decisive: There have been some recent decisions I’ve had to make that were quite a big deal- one of which was deciding to drop out of college, so if that doesn’t count as me being more decisive than when I started this, I don’t know what will!! (I should have a whole post about this closer to or after Christmas, there’s a few people who I still haven’t told that I really should tell first!)

17. Become more patient: Like with #6, I have made good progress in this area but it is a continuing process. One of the books I’m currently reading (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff ) has some tips on becoming more patient and I’m trying my best to soak them up like a sponge 🙂

18. Make more of an effort with my college work: As mentioned briefly in #16, this is no longer relevant.

19. Become more adventurous with the foods I eat: Since writing my 20 Before 20 in July, I have tried things that i never thought I would, including duck and squid! This has definitely made me more open to trying new things for sure.

20. Get a list published on Listverse: I’ve had no joy with this so far as I haven’t really had time to find a topic interesting enough and then the time to write the list with the minimum amount of words. Hopefully I’ll find something in the new year that I can write about.

So, after revisiting my 20 Before 20, I have completed 8/20, 6/20 are now irrelevant or have been abandoned (for now) and the other six are either ongoing or hopefully going to be completed within the next 3 weeks. Wish me luck!

Until next time,

Laura

Something That Needs to be Addressed

NOTE: I started writing this blog post over a month ago now and I have only decided to come back and finish it now as it seems more relevant. Another update will be posted by next weekend.

Hello everyone 🙂

As you have probably noticed over the past 2 months this blog has very much become a place where I update everyone on what’s been going on in college,  and the tone of it (generally speaking) has not been positive. I don’t like that- look! Another negative! 😛 While I am going to try and change that, before I can get to that I feel I just need to say something about this whole art college business. I’m gonna say what I have to say and if you agree, cool; if not, please feel free to have your say in the comments. I will reply to all of them whether I agree or not. Everyone should have the right to have their say.

This isn’t so much a recent thing, I have known the way people think about the majority of people who go to an art college of some variety. “Engineering/Science/Law is way better than art and I’ll do so much more than you ever will because if you even get a degree it won’t be worth shit” or words to that effect. The frustration one feels on hearing these words is not just on a single level. There are many facets to how shitty a thing this is to say to someone, no matter what they’re doing. 

If you have followed this blog for a while, or know me in real life you will know that I love lists and so, let’s make another freakin’ list explaining exactly why this isn’t something you should go round yelling at people who don’t do what you do:

  • Everyone is different:  If we all wanted to be scientists or engineers or lawyers or whatever, there wouldn’t be enough jobs for everyone plus that’s a whole lot of people who think in the same way and that isn’t good for society either, diversity is something that needs to be more embraced by these awful close-minded being who think art is stupid and has no purpose.
  • Art is Everywhere: In relation to the last sentence of my previous point, art absolutely has a purpose. In a society where so much of what we do is based around computers and social media I would nearly go as far as to say art and design have never been more important; apps, web page layout, the video games you play. Then of course there are the more conventional areas of design like logos and clothing and packaging.  Art and design can literally be seen everywhere. Maybe good design in particular goes unnoticed; but as soon as something is bad people will be sure to let you know.
  • It’s MY Choice: People really need to learn to get off the backs of others. Why is it fair to put me down because of what I like, but as soon as I question why a person chose what they did I am suddenly being ‘rude’ and ‘disrespectful’? That’s not fair. What it is is bullshit. I’m not forcing the person to do what I want to do so they should stop trying to force their ideas of what I “should” be doing on me. It is none of their business.

As I mentioned in the little note at the top of this blog, this ‘rant’ has been a long time coming but I just felt the need to say something just because some people feel this overwhelming right to belittle others and that is totally not cool! Everyone has the right to their own passions and interests and as a good human being generally speaking it is your responsibility to respect their choices. 

I think that’s just about all I have to say on the subject right now! Please let me know in the comments what you think of this post/have you ever been belittled for what you like doing or anything else that you think might be related to this piece.

Until next time,

Laura