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Friday, 17 May 2013


I have started so many blog posts this week, and the result has been many unfiltered ideas that haven’t quite organised themselves enough to share.  Now it is the end of the week and I have to post something as I know that tomorrow I will go MIA for a couple of weeks – that is, missing from the internet.

Tomorrow I am moving.  If it seems a bit sudden, it’s because in a way it is (I mean, I have known for a few weeks, but nothing was set in stone so I didn’t really want to talk about it).  Despite the suddenness, I am looking forward to moving and finally having my own space (and my own kitchen!), and am definitely feeling hopeful for the future.

The downsides are the actual moving process, and the fact that I can’t get a landline installed until June, so will have to cope without the internet until then.  I know that in reality this won’t really bother me, as I am quite content to read, write, unpack, rest, cook, watch DVDs, play games etc, but I do not like knowing that I will be practically cut off from my ‘social life’ (yes, the internet is my main social scene), as well as just everything I do every day.

Basically, the point of this post is to tell you not to worry. You won’t be hearing from me for a few weeks, but it isn’t because I don’t want to share with you, or that I am too ill to; it simply is a logistical problem that happens when moving.

So until I am ‘back’, have a good time, eat plenty of chocolate, and keep believing in yourself because you are awesome.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Tired of Dreaming

Dreams are wonderful – they give me hope for a better life, an optimism to get through the day, a feeling of power in my potential.  But dreams are not enough, they can only get me so far.

And yet I find I’m still procrastinating.  I’m still thinking about my dreams, rather than living them. 

I don’t know how to get myself out of this funk of waiting for something to happen that will make living my dreams possible.  I know that if I keep waiting, I will forever be only waiting, and I want more, so, so much more than that.

So I’m asking you, how do I stop simply waiting for my dreams and start chasing them?  I want to hear your stories and any nuggets of wisdom you can share to get me to stop procrastinating so I can deliver all the amazingness I know I have inside of me.

I am tired of being scared.

I am tired of feeling lost.

I am tired of simply dreaming.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Clangers and Doughnuts: Memories That Have Made Me

If you know me, you probably know that I can be a little (or a lot) competitive.  I can't help it, I'm wired to be a perfectionist and to give my everything - it's something I am learning how to control.

Anyway, in my first year of High School, I had a teacher (actually I had him all through High School and Sixth Form but that's not the point) who, in his first class, brought out that competitiveness in me with a simple declaration "You're all stupid." Okay, that sounds pretty harsh, but he went on to basically challenge us to prove him wrong - something I continued to try to do in every class I had with him for the next 7 years.

It seems like such a small thing but it's one of my main memories of High School in general, and I would go on to tell you that he was, by far, my favourite teacher.  For those of you who are curious, he was the R.E. teacher, but I don't remember his name (though I know what he looks like and where he lives...).

In Sixth Form he took his challenges to the next level and I have always been proud to say that twice I managed to beat him at it.  The first time was when he was talking about The Incredibles - he was using it to explain the theory that there can't be a God (which this blog is not about) due to the idea of parallel universes.  I hadn't seen the film, but ended up quoting it to make his point (he was a little upset that he didn't get to say it).  The other time is debatable; obviously I am going to say I believe I was right, if you asked him he might not agree.  The question was basically - what's the point of a doughnut?  I'm not going to give my answer here as I'll leave it up to you to decide.  He said he saw a flaw in my answer, but he never gave a reason why; which is why I'm fairly certain that I beat him at his own game, even if it was only once.

He wasn't the only teacher to ever have an effect on me and my life; but he is the one I remember most vividly.  He had a whole new way of seeing the world and how he taught (I didn't get to the do the lesson on The Clangers, but I don't know any other teacher who would have even considered using that show).  I improved my debating skills (beyond our dinner table) and my essay writing in his classes - writing an essay about how not to write an essay was possibly one of my least favourite homework assignments, though possibly one of his easiest.  Most importantly I grew my self-confidence and belief in myself through his classes.  I don't think he was the only reason but I am willing to stand up and say that he had a huge part in it.

Do you remember your favourite teacher from school?  What was it about them that makes you remember them?

(Sidenote - I nearly didn't use this title as a 'Clanger' is also something that is a food item that is specific to where I live, as I discovered in my first year of Uni, but it sounded too good to give up.)

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Relieving the Burden of 'Stuff'

My whole life I have been surrounded by ‘stuff’.  My kryptonite is books, but I am a hoarder and so have plenty of knick-knacks, craft supplies, pens and notebooks and things I collect.  As I was growing up I had hundreds of books on my shelf (many of which are still sitting on my bookcase in my old room) and I wasn’t the only one. Every room in our house houses books, and at least two of them hold my dad’s C.D. collection (which was well into the thousands last time I checked).  This accumulation of stuff was just part of the scenery; I didn’t realise just how much I had until I moved out.

During my first year at university I only had a tiny room to house my life and so the majority stayed back with my parents.  In my second and third years I had slightly more space and storage options in the house I lived in with ‘friends’.

It wasn’t until I moved in with Chris about 2 years ago, that I finally figured out why I was still surrounded by ‘stuff’. (I should probably mention here that Chris is by far the greatest minimalist I’ve ever known which is probably why I started re-evaluating.)  I knew I wanted to cut down, but I found it increasingly difficult to get rid of anything (like I said, I have always been a hoarder), until I realised that I was evaluating myself by my stuff.  I didn’t want to get rid of anything as everything symbolized something about who I am or who I used to be.

It wasn’t until this breakthrough that I finally understood what was holding me back.  I had made my stuff crucial to my identity and so I didn’t want to lose the physical manifestations of my identity. Understanding this, I finally started to accept that my stuff is not me.  Yes, a lot of it does represent who I am, but not all of it is necessary in my life. I was feeling stressed and burdened by the physical clutter around me.  Since my ‘breakthrough’ my mindset started to change and I knew that I need the space (physical and mental) to make way for who I am becoming, which has allowed me to start relieving myself of the ‘stuff’.

I am not a minimalist. I don’t plan on becoming a minimalist.  I expect I will always have quite a bit of stuff (this is a natural result of being into many crafts and wanting to try so many different things).  But over the past year, I have cut down my stuff by about half (that’s a very rough estimation).  I know that I still have a long way to go – packing to move last time and having to decide what to ‘store’ at my parent’s and what to bring with me definitely proved that – but I am looking forward to the journey that not feeling tied down will give me the chance to live.

If you are on a similar path of decluttering and reclaiming your space, you might enjoy reading Rachel’s blog ‘The Minimalist Mom’.  And of course, share your experiences in the comments.