Wednesday, 30 October 2013

What doesn't kill you.

We all have bad days. Days where we want to just scream, and spend every waking moment just wishing and longing for the time when we can finally crawl lovingly back into bed and hide under the covers, away from the world. Yesterday was one of those days. I wanted to scream into a pillow, throw a tantrum, jump up and down like a raving lunatic, and when all of that failed, I wanted to cry. Not a sly, private few tears, but something messy. Needed. I felt like I was on the edge of a breakdown all day long. I had to bite back tears or bitter words during my 90-min poetry seminar for the good of my degree, and my mental health. I can't even explain it. It was just a day I wasn't ready for, wasn't prepared for, wasn't happy to take part in at all. Reason: I have absolutely no idea. I tried eating healthily, and when that failed, I turned to comfort food. Coffee, and lots of it. Chocolate, no. Didn't work. A calming, steaming shower. No. My family, friends, everyone trying to make me feel better, and to no avail. Unfortunately. Like I knew, the only thing j needed/wanted/craved was my bed. The only time I felt relaxed at all yesterday was when I crawled into my bed and burried myself under a winter-weight duvet. A sigh of relief escaped me. A weight felt like it had been lifted off my shoulders. I was me again. The ticking time bomb of Monday daytime was gone, in seconds. I can't explain it. Sometimes, you just need a break, from life. Those days, are most definitely meant to be spent in bed. 

Today has been better. Actually, today has been relatively good. Sunny, carefree, lucky almost, except one glitch. I'm having (or was having) a fat day. An ugly day. As a girl who has never really been aware of her own "prettiness" or whatever you want to call it, I find it hard to think that anyone could ever look at me and see, I dunno, someone attractive. Even when I have my best dress on, and skyscraper heels and a tonne of make up (although this is when I do feel at my most confident) I don't picture myself in that way. And it's all because of days like this. Bad skin days, hair days, general feeling fat and ugly and bleugh days. Of course they make me question what other people see when they look at me. I don't think I fit the bill or whatever. Funny thing is, there's someone who thinks I do. And then eveything; the doubts, the fat days, the hiding under duvets, well, that all fades away when I hear his name. Having good people in your life makes bad days tolerable and good days wonderful. 

All Hallows' Eve.

It's here, finally. Well, in just over an hour anyway. One of the most widely celebrated, yet not-totally-religious festivals in the northern hemisphere. Hallowe'en, as it is originally punctuated, is a festival to, supposedly, celebrate those who are no longer living, as well as those who died in vain; the martyrs of our time. Some people say it has Christian or Pagan roots, although this is open to intepretation. All Hallows' Eve/Halloween/the day of the dead, whatever you call it or have come to know it as, in this day and age, here, in England, in 2013, we have a modern tradition of our own. Usually, children dress up in "spooky" costumes and head to parties to take part in apple bobbing, carving pumpkins and general ghost-hunting pursuits. However, I don't know when this came about, but now, it's kind of fashionable for adults to do it too. Except, the parties with creepy fruit punches and spiders webs are replaced with vodka and other hard liquor. The trick-or-treating aspect replaced by partying in bars and clubs. The funny, cute and softly-scary outfits made for the youngsters take a dramatic turn when you hit the big 1-8 destination of adulthood. Halloween is a whole other kettle of fish (or cauldron of apples) when you reach a certain age. The masks/outfits go from scary to macabre, funny to ironic, cute to slutty, faster than you can say "Trick-or-treat." The cleverer your outfit is, the shorter your skirt is, or the more dead you look, the higher your Halloween credentials are. Everyone who's anyone wants to go out for Halloween, I've found. 

As a rookie to this, I'm a bit unprepared. I've never, as an adult and moreover, as a uni student, been out in town in full-on Halloween fancy dress. I've always wanted to, but for some unexplainable reason, I never have. I've been out in fancy dress before, sure, but not with the same hype surrounding it. So at 20 years old, I'm ready (and very excited) to be doing it tomorrow for Halloween for the very first time since I went to discos and parties when I was about nine or ten. It will certainly be an experience, surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands of uni students all sporting their best Halloween face paints, SCREAM masks and costumes maxed out with wasted, misunderstood irony. This is what I love and yet hate about going to uni locally, in Newcastle. It's party central. Every single night. But, especially on occasions. Tomorrow night, there will be queues everywhere for miles. Hundreds of girls freezing their arses off in too-short tutus and lots of eyeliner, while zombie-clad lads stare on in a mixture of amazement and disbelief. Then again, wouldn't change it for the world. And in good spirits, and fishnet tights, I'm ready to embrace a new tradition! So, best get my pirate outfit at the ready, rip my fishnets and white-out my face. Get ribbons for my buckaneer jacket, sort my garter and make sure the black lippy is always at hand for a touch-up as and when. Just stayin' I've got a feeling tomorrow will be kind of amazing, and also, as it should be, pretty fucking scary. 

Masks, face paints, stockings, leotards, wigs, eye patches, onesies, whatever.. At the ready. ALL HALLOWS EVE IS READY AND WAITING GUYS. Hope you don't scare too easily. 

(I couldn't resist. If you get this ref. let me know!!!) 

NaNoWriMo: Challenge accepted.

I've done it. I've signed myself up to NaNoWriMo (or in normal, English-speaking sense National Novel Writing Month.) The task, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, challenges participants to write 50,000 words over the course of 30-days, in particular, the month of November. Users can write anything they desire; there are no thematic constraints or subjects that appear taboo. You are 'a winner' if you succeed in reaching their 50,000 word goal in the thirty day time frame. It is a challenge aimed at creative individuals, aspiring writers, or people who just want to be able to say "yeah well, I wrote a novel last month." I can't decide which one of these categories I fall into. I must note straight away, I'm a novice. An amateur. I've never even been on the NaNoWriMo website until about 8 minutes ago, so I'm pretty psyched, but also pretty effing scared. It was a bit of an impulsive decision to say the least. I want to be able to have something to show for my degree course skills I'm currently pursuing, as well as test myself to see if I in fact do have the discipline to write a novel in just a month. I've never attempted anything so ambitious as this, and I'm kinda worried I'll a) descent into misery and procrastination and failure b) end up writing drunk into the early hours and make no sense or c) get so stressed I'll end up quitting. I really hope none of these things happen. I'm kind of determined. I don't give up when I put my mind to something, so that's sort of promising I suppose.

I have James Blunt's new album playing via Spotify right now. Maybe I'll get inspired. PS. I don't even have a plot outline, oh my god. I've got 34 hours and 16 minutes to dream up an idea, characters, and prep everything before the clock strikes (00:00 GMT) on November 1st. Ready or not, my novel is coming.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Smiles all round.

I wonder if you know I'm lying in bed grinning from ear-to-ear. Smiling so profusely down at the white glow coming from my phone. It's been a long time since I've smiled like this. That sickly-sweet butterflies feeling. Waking up in the morning and knowing my day will get better as soon as I hear from you. When did I get all soppy? God knows, probably amidst turning into an adult and downing sambuca as if I was putting out a fire. Happy times, happy things, happy little me. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Against all odds.

I'm smiling. It's almost Monday. I've got too much work to do. I've got an incessant cough that just won't let up. There's a hurricane approaching, and yet, I'm still smiling. Only some people will understand the Phil Collins reference, but that really doesn't matter really. I'm smiling so much my face hurts. It's amazing what happens when you let go. More often than not, the risk is worth taking. More often than you ever think, there's someone pretty amazing waiting to catch you.

Common ground.

So what if you aren't both athletic, musical, arty? Common ground, well, maybe it's more than just something to be seen with the naked eye. You don't have to share the same taste in music, have your priorities (and your clocks) lined up in perfect parallels like Monica and Richard. There's nothing to say that two people can't get along swimmingly, even if they are totally different. Newsflash: no two people are the same. You may share physical similarities, emotional echoes of one another, or even a shared love of Mozart or Fitzgerald, but what does it really matter? Some of the little things are what bring people together, not the big things. The fact you secretly both like the same Disney film, or that you have a mutual understanding of what you really want out of life. The similar love for comedy, or appreciating that you are one anothers' crutch, as and when. People go hand-in-hand, who are, in fact, poles apart in terms of personality. The further you are away from one another with regards to your "self", maybe the more compatible you are? Friendships and relationships aren't always founded on familiar territory, and maybe it doesn't benefit after all. Maybe your polar opposite could be your best friend or the love of your life. Perhaps we are too concerned with our similarities that we forget to celebrate what makes us us, our differences. 

Friday, 25 October 2013

I don't have the words.

I'm feeling really down about my blog lately. I can't explain it. I just feel like I'm wasting my time. I feel like I'm screaming into a void. A dark, lonely vacuum, so someone tell me, what's the point? I don't blog for anyone, it's my baby, no one else's, so why am I feeling like this? A very intense feeling of writer's block can't be shifted and I'm ready to hit my head off a brick wall until the imprint is left on my forehead and I'm in pain. I can write. I write all of the time. I'm doing a bloody writing degree, so why when I've got so much I want and need to do, can I not find the words? I've lost any sense of intellect, inspiration or eloquence I had in the past. I'm just not able to piece together my thoughts lately, and I'm not happy about it. How do I break out of writer's block? I need to. Desperate pleas.

Fight with me, fight for me.

Do I matter to you? 

How many of us have thought, breathed, wrote, text, shouted those words at least once in our lives? Probably all of us. Well, I've actually been thinking about this a lot recently. I've noticed a pattern, at least in my life. I just know, personally, I can't be with someone who isn't willing to fight with me. I'm not talking a stroppy punch thrown here and there, because that's just out of order, I mean, verbally, emotionally. Maybe I sound really insecure, or paranoid, or stupid, but I need someone to fight with. Someone to scream with, spit vicious insults at, and for them to give as good as they get. I need to know that the passion is there. You only stop fighting for someone when you don't care about them any longer. When someone becomes passive to you and your life, that's when you need to worry. When I scream some nasty expletive at you when I'm half-cut and you're trying to be clever, or when I'm feeling upset and you fail to understand me, I need you to stand your ground, in more ways than one. I want you to say things you'll later wish you hadn't said, nasty outbursts that hide true, real feelings. I want the anger and the yelling and everything that shows me what I need to see; I'm worth fighting for. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Halloween is looming.

Yes. It's that time of year again. I say it every single year, I will do something for Halloween, and this year I AM. *scream, cheer, whatever you like!* I am currently wandering around the house dressed as a pirate. But wait- not just a pirate, but a kind of, I dunno, zombie pirate. Something halloween-y to put a spin on an outfit I actually nabbed from eBay (or was it Amazon?) anyhow.. This year, I'm a zombie pirate. You wouldn't actually believe the responses I got when I asked around "what should I be for Halloween?" Well, 'drunk' was a given, I'll admit that. But 'a slut' I had to laugh..yet again. My dad came in as I pranced (I dunno, not very pirate-y is it?) into the living room in my er.. Attire. He took one look at me and went "aren't you supposed to be scary?" (This was pre-scary make up application btw) and I had to fight every impulse i have to not say the very, very famous line from Mean Girls: 

"In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it."

Safe to say, I did not breathe a word of this to my dad. And note: it won't be slutty. Even if I am wearing fishnet stockings...

So what's everyone doing for Halloween? Are you going out or staying in and partying? What are you dressing up as? I really want to know/see! Tweet me or Instagram me: @eleanorward_

Monday, 21 October 2013

Days like these, lead to, nights like ours.

Life really is what happens while you're busy making other plans. At least that's what I've found recently. I'm currently lying on my bed wrapped up in an oversized hoody, mulling over the last few days and realising how much happened without my noticing. (Let's ignore the fact I spent this weekend wasted.) Even so, there's a lot happened, either in my absence or just things I did not see coming. I'm a worrier by default, so I spend almost every waking hour stressing about something or other. Whether it's being late, forgetting something, uni work, relationships or just something happening at home, I'm a total, complete stress-head. I can't help it, I think I was born that way. (No, that's not an intentional Lady Gaga paraphrase there!) So, I've suddenly, it seems, took a back-seat kind of approach when it comes to stressing about things I have no hold or impact over. If the bus is late, it's late, there's nothing I can do. If I spill boiling hot candle wax down my new outfit (I actually did this last week) there's no point getting pissed about it. If someone acts in a way that you'd rather they didn't, again, you cannot change that. Other people, specifically in this scenario, make their own beds (Laura, Sarah: are you two laughing if you're reading this at that reference there!) in the same way that my words, and my actions are things I have to deal with. No one can stop me from doing something I want to do, and at the same time, I'm unable to control or predict the words and actions of those around me, even if that would be quite a handy skill to have from time to time. My newfound laid back  approach (who laughed? Oh yeah, me) to my surprise, actually was beneficial. It turns out, all the old age sayings like "a watched pot never boils" and the like, are more relevant than I ever realised. Patience, it turns out, is a virtue. Que sera sera and all that jazz. Things unfold the way they are meant to. So stressing about it makes no odds at all. Who knew, after months of stressing over, crying over, drinking over something so silly would turn out to sort itself out, AND for the better. I guess the universe really does have it's funny little way of resolving everything in its own time. 

I can't help it, I'm a worrier.

Even when I deny it, and perhaps, inwardly conceal it, I still worry. Constantly. Sometimes it's just a little niggling in the back of my mind, other times, I'm almost quietly sick to my stomach mulling over a situation I can't control or predict the outcome of. This time, I don't even know. At the minute, I feel like I've got no one to talk to about something I need to speak about. Despite my lovely, wonderful support system of friends and family, I don't have anyone I can or want to talk about this with. Is that strange? I don't know. Does anyone else feel like this? Maybe so. I feel like I'm questioning my own judgement, even though I trust myself when it comes to decisions that will have a big impact on my life. It's complicated. Oh, the cliché. I know. I don't need advice, I need someone to confirm my own feelings, my own impulses, my own wants and needs. I want someone else to tell me I'm doing the right thing. Scratch that, I want everyone around me to back the decision I'm going to make even if they don't agree with it, because my happiness should be more important to them. I think I may be on to something good here, and I won't let anyone spoil it. Worrier or not, I trust my instincts, and the bottom line is, despite all the comments, the looks, the words of warning, I trust you.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

"Ask me again after another tequila."

A weekend wasted, is, as they say, not a wasted weekend. I fully, totally, undeniably agree with this. It's 19:02, the remnants of a hangover are still lurking on my shoulder, and I'm wallowing in a mixture of self-pity and guilt. I've spent the entirety of my weekend pouring alcohol down my neck at record-breaking speed. Stupid, and yet, I always do it. So now, I'm nursing a two-day hangover, it's feeling quite pitiful. Last night, well, [there are no words.] No suitable words anyway. I am, for my sins, forever making bad, ill-advised and completely, utterly stupid decisions when I'm drunk. Last night may have been a peak, or a pitfall, depending on which way I look at it. As the news blares in the background, the kettle whirs almost-too-slowly, and my family talk amongst themselves, I've zoned out. I'm staring kind of blankly at the screen of my laptop, struggling to successfully multi-task; suppressing an evident, tequila-related gag reflex, stay awake and trying oh-so-hard not to submit to my hangover from Hell. I pulled out all the stops last night mind, the bitter icing on the already-sickly cake being the fact I am, it seems, unable to go out and act like a normal human being. I drink, in excess. Always. About once a month, or maybe more, I'll end up having "one too many" and almost end up in a gutter or something. I'm shameless when tequila/sambuca is added to the equation. So, here's me, shivering, gagging and trying to actually keep some food down, after a very bad decision. Drinking doubles too quickly, downing our bottles of Desperados because we were sick of them and wanted another drink, accepting countless shots of tequila and sambuca. Singing badly with strangers. Losing everyone I was with. Having my best friend (who works behind the bar) in hysterics laughing at my plea for "just some more sambuca" when the lights went on. The bouncers asking me how much I've drank again, the antics, the decision to stay out until four, when the pub shuts at half two, the stupid, stupid inability I have to control myself. Downing drinks and throwing them back up faster, and getting another.

Today, I'm pale. Okay, paler than usual. Washed out. My hands look thin and my face looks a bit too wethered for someone of only twenty. I have very harsh bags under my eyes, and despite many attempts, I can't shift the pub stamp from my hand, or the taste of tequila out of my mouth. Dirty shoes, random walks and yes, the undeniable sense of regret. Stupidity may become my middle name. My head is banging, and all I want is my bed, and a rewind button. The latter, I'm afraid isn't possible, although I thoroughly wish it was. I think I've fucked things up, but I'm trying to assure myself, it's nothing too drastic. We'll see. My binge isn't something I should be celebrating, but I can't help myself, I just want to laugh. I'm a little bit out of hand. 

Anything but proud.

Well well well, the binge has been five days now. I've not really stopped drinking (until now) since Tuesday afternoon. I'm one big tequila-ruined mess. I'm a liability, obviously. Apparently "a tease" and "a bad influence." According to some anyway. I'm shaking I'm so hungover. Last night is a mixture of dirty knees, gag reflexes, bad singing, worse dancing and ridiculous antics. Hilarious, cringe-worthy and worth every penny of the £40 I threw at the bar staff. I must stop now. I might look over the last five days (and nights) with grins and grimaces, and a few tears (I'm not sure whether they're happy or sad) but there's one thing I'm not, proud. I don't think I can be. I smell of smoke (why?) and all I can taste is tequila and hairspray (WHUT?) I've got a few drunken, huffy texts and thank god, not many photos to document it. Also.. I must stop using "well at least I'm not boring" as an excuse to do stupid things. I'm feeling the backlash. Indirectly, if what I've heard turns out to be true, I may end up throwing a four-year-old style tantrum. Just a warning. I'm disgraceful. 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

It's (ALMOST) Friday!

Cue the smiles and sighs of relief right around the country, yes, it's that time again. Almost the weekend. The time off work, school, uni, college or whatever. The time to relax, spend time with loved ones, or just chill. Whatever you end up doing, there's probably nothing better than that weekly countdown to The Weekend. For me, my weekend starts on a Friday. Yeah, I'm one of those annoying people who actually realises that the friday feeling is a very true life-like concept. Well, in my life anyhow. Friday signals the end of work, the start of relaxation, but also, so much more. 

Fridays to me are like the icing on a very, already gorgeous cake. The time for you just to kick back, relax and do whatever makes you happy. My fridays are spent in a mixture of different ways, depending on how I'm feeling. A silly, slightly-in-vain attempt to take in anything during my 1-hour lecture, before that Schools-Out kinda feeling truly takes hold. Pens down people, it's home time. You wish your friends/colleagues/acquaintances a good weekend, and then part ways, released into the weekend, wearing your best smile, or your best dress. After such a time, I'm usually found shopping frantically for a last-minute night out outfit, either for Friday or Saturday (or both, I tend to splurge) or spending my evening in front of the telly, pigging out, maybe a Chinese or a Pizza, some kind of lovely comfort food to end my oh-so-hard week of being a layabout student. 

So, what's in store for this week then? Well, I'm not sure. I write that excitedly, as having no plans on a Friday can be one of two things. Really, devastatingly boring, or, in this case, really really exciting. The world, or in this case, the weekend, is my oyster. It can be whatever I want it to be. While I'm sort of considered a bit of a party animal, sometimes there are days when I just want to stay in, put my feet up, and eat until my heart's content. However, right now, I'm in the mood for some excitement.

Tomorrow may have to be a Going Out sort of Friday. Out of habit, I never usually go out on a Friday night at home. Saturdays are the tradition, the night when the pubs are heaving and everyone is really ready to let their hair down, but the word on the street is this, Friday may be becoming the new Saturday where I live. This is strange, as I usually go out, get drunk(ish) and spend what should be my glorious, day-of-rest, Sunday, painfully hungover and craving my bed. Friday would therefore mean something different. It's like I have an extra day off. Maybe I'm making no sense, but this isn't really intended to be an eloquent piece of writing, instead, a little rambling about how happy I am that the weekend is approaching, and fast. Whatever I end up doing tomorrow (who am I kidding, I'll end up at the pub) I'm sure it'll be wonderful. Minus the inevitable sambuca-related hangover, but yes. Happy days, let's be havin' you.

Running in blind.

I trust you and maybe I shouldn't. Then again, maybe that's okay. Maybe I'm finally looking on the Bright Side of things, for good reason. Maybe. I'm not sure. But I can't be totally sure about anything. Everyone in my life, (okay, a fair few) are telling me one thing, but the feeling welling up in the pit of my stomach is pointing me in a different direction altogether. It's urging me to follow my heart. For once, take the risk and ignore what's at stake, because what I've got to gain is so much more important. I realise that. I know it. I  to take the risk. I'm just terrified of doing just that, and then, what if I'm wrong, and everything falls apart, and what if my support system fails me this time. What if they refuse to just pick up the pieces one more time? I don't know, I sometimes wouldn't blame them. 

Despite this, I'll follow my heart. (Soppy comment alert. Let's all cringe together!) In the very wise words of Meredith Grey;

"...knowing is better than wondering, waking up is better than sleeping, and that even the biggest failure, even the worst, most intractable mistake, beats the hell out of never trying."

I'm running in blind, but so what? Don't we do that every day?

Monday, 14 October 2013

Monday blues.

Ever get the feeling that the universe is just set against you? Well, if there's such a thing, it's working particularly awkwardly today with regards to me. I'll give you a little insight into my tormented day so far (btw: it's only 12:29 now!) My day started with a very unwelcoming awakening, the sound of rain hammering off my bedroom window. I sighed, heavily, turned off the shrill call of my phone alarm and physically forced myself to abandon the lovely comfort of my bed, departing my love until later in the day. I almost shed a tear, the separation is almost too much. It's 8am, and it's still grey and dark out. The street lights are struggling to break through the thick misty morning. It's not exactly a motivational start to the day. I have breakfast, (not enough coffee) and just manage to catch my first bus, after multiple people testing my patience (and my poker-face.) 

I end up just on time for my next bus, and because I'm a nice person, I let the elderly woman in the queue get on the bus in front of me. Turns out, everyone behind said woman got transferred to a bus due ten minutes later. Cue me ignoring every impulse I had not to swear and scream at my damned bad luck. Eveything this morning just seemed to be set against me, it went on and on, and now, I find myself on a bus homeward bound, funnily. Boycotting my last film studies lecture because I'm a mess, it's rainy and I'm in need of lots of coffee. Oh, and I have an unbelievable amount of reading to do for tomorrow morning. Really, today is a day for sitting at home with piping-hot food and lots of caffeine, maybe a duvet, a film, a good book or in my case, probably Sky+ planner. I have 2 hours of Downton to catch up on, and that's just in the last week. 

Ps. I need fish finger sandwiches, or soup as a matter of urgency. ✋

Friday, 11 October 2013

#thinkingoutloud: take 3.

Staring down the barrel of a gun, er okay not quite, a bag of kettle chips, but shh. It's 19:07 and I'm slumped lazily on the settee with coffee and a share bag of Kettle Chips that are disappearing rapidly. Emmerdale is on live pause. The puppy is staring up at me with sad, lonely eyes, eyeing up the latest form of sustinence I won't share with her and occasionally letting out an impatient cry. I must verify two things: 1. It's officially the weekend. 2. I'm only twenty years old. Both of which mean I should be doing something more exciting with my life, and my Friday night than sitting in front of the soaps pigging out. Note: I will, soon enough, but at the minute I can't motivate myself to move. The idea of staying in on a Saturday night is usually enough to move me to tears or insanity, yet with the horrible weather and my mountain of uni work, I am seriously mulling over the unthinkable; spending a Saturday night without my two BFFs; vodka and sambuca. I'm torn. I'm exhausted and worn down by all these uni commitments I have, and yet there's something else. Someone else. Someone who, given their due, keeps trying with me even though, I'll be honest, I'm an absolute nightmare. Anyone who can even contemplate the idea of choosing to be in my negative, compulsive, paranoid, moody life, deserves a medal, and a strong drink in my opinion. So, hopefully you are willing to do it, because it's not such a secret that I'd be a very happy girly if you did. 

Monday, 7 October 2013

They went in and out of each other's minds without any effort.

As I sit on the bus, staring blindly out of the window to my right, I grit my teeth as I struggle to draw back tears. We have just watched The Hours in our film studies lecture, and I feel like I might break down thinking about it. Some of you may think that's silly, to cry at a film, but yeah, I do that. A lot. Don't judge me. This one in particular has upset me, and I'm not sure why. In case you don't already know, it is a film based on Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway and how it affects the lives of different women, including Woolf herself. I haven't actually read it, (yet! It's on my list!) but I knew in advance, it's main focal point is suicide. For anyone who hasn't read it or seen the film and are now looking on with angered faces and/or confused expressions, this isn't a major spoiler. It's an obvious fact from the start, so cm your little selves down. 

To say The Hours is depressing, is something of an understatement. Although, it is a funny kind of depressing. In parts, it's all so trivial, but that's intentional. The whole point is, I think, that the drama is there is no drama. It's a perfectly normal day, a perfectly normal exchange of interactions. Everything is in place and just-so-normal. And then I guess the point is, nothing ever is as clean-cut as it appears, and while from an observer's eyes, everything may look fine and dandy, but, as the age old saying goes, nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors, and no one ever really can understand the extent of someone else's suffering. That upsets me. The fact that sometimes, it appears, even if you can and want to help someone, you might have already lost them.

I don't like to think that. It's too depressing in my mind. "My whole life is based on the theory that people can, and do, change" as my on-screen heroine Violet Turner frequently says on Private Practise. I like to think she's right. Nothing is final, until the end, so until then, everything matters. The flick of a pen or the cut of a knife. The casual smile from one stranger to another. Every breath. So don't stop making the effort until you physically can't. You never know when someone's counting on you to do just that.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Damn girrrrrl.

Well I made it. 20 years on, little 5"2 me is still here, live and kicking. To think it was two decades ago I arrived 12 weeks early in Jesmond hospital, and the doctors didn't know whether I was strong enough to pull through. I weighed as much as a bag of sugar and wasn't even as long as a small loaf of bread. Today, twenty long years later, I've changed a bit. I can now look back over those two decades with a mixture of smiles and grimaces, tears and tantrums. 

However, the most important thing is, I'm happy. I'm not sure what my first memory was; I remember being in nursery and wearing those sparkly pink star stickers you used to make 'art' with as earrings, and then being taken on our first 'trip' from nursery to 'big school' at 4 years old. I remember holidays in Scotland with family, even if they're all fuzzy and rough around the edges. But to reiterate, I don't know which, if any, is my first real, lucid memory. Not my first word, or my first step or the first time I rode my bike without stabilisers. But my parents do. It just depends what is important to someone I guess. 

I'm proud to say I've achieved a lot since those days. I completely primary school and came out of those doors one last time on a sunny Friday afternoon, and bursting into tears after I promised myself I wouldn't cry, a slightly different person from the first time I set foot through the doors. Secondary school, I was still quiet. If I had a £1 for every time someone used that adjective to describe me. You'd think it would be spun positively, but it isn't really. 'Quiet' makes people wonder why you don't speak, what you're harbouring or holding back. It's like they either think you're disinterested with a tendency to lash out or they think your confidence levels are so low you daren't breath a word in front of others. Well, I don't honestly know why for years I barely spoke. Hundreds of questions were whispered to my parents and relatives at 'home time' or parents evenings, including "does she speak?" To which my mam and dad used to laugh, or smirk, and say "she never shuts up." 

Luckily, I eventually, in time, came out of myself. I established myself, got myself a personality, or defined the one in a public space I was always so sure of privately, I even had all of my hair cut off at 14 because I wanted to. I didn't care what other people thought of me because of it. At 15, I think I probably became my own person. I stood up for what I wanted and what I thought was right. Screams and fights and spat-out thoughts you can never take back. Friendships irrevocably ruined. Making the choice to walk away from a poisonous friendship, and holding my head high. 

16 sparked a new chapter. Year 9 meant we chose our GCSE options, and okay, I passed them with flying colours. Everything changed, for the better. I established some friendships that would last a long time, and others that would break over Facebook and silly comments, but then again were they really up to that much? I chose my A-levels, passed them (well we won't talk about French) and got accepted to uni. Lost some people close to me and made some new friends. I fell in and out of relationships, made enemies and really bad decisions. Drank too much, swore too much and spent too much money on clothes. I pierced my ear and discovered sambuca and started speaking my mins a bit too much. I established what I needed and what I wanted from life, as well as who. 

Twenty years later, I'm smiling and hungover and the bags under my eyes are showing a bit too evidently. I have two decades worth of photos and memories, and they're pretty brilliant to be honest. I love everyone in my life and I'm so grateful for them and everything they do. So with laughter, smiles and the occasional tear, I say a fond farewell to my teenage years and welcome the next stage of my life with fairly open arms. Oh, and a double vodka in hand. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

This is it.

Well, this is it. After a long, undeniable wait, granted, I was happy to wait, however, there's no doubt I am in fact 20. The big 2-0 I've been dreading since summer ended. Pinch, punch first of the month, and October spelled the true colours of winter approaching, as well as the end of my teenage years. Despite this, I'm currently sitting in my dad's car thinking and wondering what all the fuss was about. I hated the idea of turning twenty, abhorred it even, but now it's here, it's okay, it's bearable. It's like going to the dentist I suppose. No one really wants to go, but after you've been, you realise it wasn't as bad as you thought, and you needn't have worried so much. And then, I thought, why was I so set against turning twenteen* as I've called it. Were my teenage years really all that? No, no, actually, they weren't. For every high I had, I probably had twice as many lows. Teenage years are confusing and stressful and bloody hard work, but no one ever tells you that.

The best and worst years of your life. Well, okay, that's true. I grant that. I've had some wonderful, hilarious and downright brilliant times as a teenager, but does that mean I have to hate the idea that I'm no longer in that chapter of my life? Perhaps not. New beginnings and all that jazz. So, I'll embrace it. Why not. I've got a smile on my face and that's all that matters.