Saturday, 28 January 2012


Apologies for not writing last week as I was in York, visiting a friend who attends university there, and I'd of thought it a bit anti-social to blog in his company. Additionally, I have found myself to be in a really happy place and such an emotion can be a real inspiration killer. I could do a book review and in fact I would like to talk about H.G. Wells' War Of The Worlds at some point but in order to do it justice, I will have to have another good I'll get back to you on that. In the mean time, I guess I could talk to you about happiness, what it is and where you have to go to find it? Of course, this is my personal opinion and you can take as much away from it as you want.

I found that part of becoming as happy as I am now is a result of both active decisions to make changes in my life and fortunate circumstances. For example, I changed my diet to vegan and it's become a bit of a hobby of mine so I thoroughly enjoy it, I try to exercise around 5 times a week to boost my self esteem and I let my hair loose now and then and have a really good time. Making up with my dad and catching up with old friends that I'm not bound to was also a massive boost and I really cherish these rejuvenated friendships that I have. Having a good outlook about the future and having some idea as to what you're doing with your life helps to put things into perspective, especially for me, therefore by having small goals and then a larger overall goal you have a much better idea of who you are.

Moreover, knowing who you are in general is a big factor in achieving a happy state of mind and not caring what people think about you. I quite happily potter about my house talking to myself and then laughing out loud because of the fact I'm talking to myself. It's about being happy in your own skin and forgiving yourself for things that have happened in the past. Nothing can be done to change the past whatsoever and coincides with one of my favourite ever sayings, "There is no point crying over spilt milk". Also, the past does not define you as a person and the great thing about loving yourself is that you really can be whoever you want to be. For example, I could quite easily leave the house tomorrow with a duvet round my shoulders and pretend I was a marshmallow - I may get a few looks but I'd hardly care having the persona of a piece of confectionery.

Finally, I'd say a big contributor to that big-ass smile on my face to living and let live. Forgiving people for the mistakes they have made in the past has had a massive affect on my perspective on human beings in general and understanding the term "we are only human". Cady Harron made a good point when she said that bitching about somebody is not going to change a thing, if anything it will only make things worse. People are just people like you and I, feelings, families, aspirations, the lot and so you have to respect people for their choices and just let them get on with it really. So there you have it, my happiness hypothesis and I sincerely hope that you all find paths to enlightenment and happiness; sorry for the cheese but it had to be said.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Building Bridges

It is a well-known fact that human beings are social creatures and rely on relationships for reassurance and motivation in most aspects within their lives. The foremost relationships being that within the family and it is that which I wish to focus on now. So much emphasis is put on the family and I'm not sure whether this is a rose-tinted idealistic view promoted by through media such as film and television and marketing, or if indeed the institution of the family exists and more importantly works. I have studied sociology and learnt in that time  all about various family structures and the conflicts that occur within the family, that are often ignored by society. I do not understand nor do I think I'll ever understand why this "blood thicker than water" concept carries so much emphasis simply because so many people become unhappy as a result of family life.

So what does one do when in a dysfunctional family but with traditional family ideals being forced down our throats? YOU IGNORE IT! The thing about families is that they consist of people that just happen to be individuals meaning that they are all different so it is impossible to stereotype a family. There is not one group of biologically linked people that are in any way similar to another. For example, my family consists of a dominant father figure with an anger problem, an enabling mother with various mental illnesses and a 15 year old boy (nothing more needs to be said there) and yet today peace between me and them was achieved. Throughout my teenage years, I exhausted myself trying to nag, bully, beg and scream my family into a "nuclear" structure to no avail and ultimately got me kicked out. It has taken this long to realise that angry dad, mental mum and bastard brother are all individuals who are who they are and trying to forcibly change them into something they were not did far more bad than good.

To those that have no family, however, it is important to understand that the ideological family need not be neither nuclear nor biological. Your mother may be a woman who you've always respected and honoured and has always provided a welcome ear and your father could be anyone  who is not afraid to tell you how it is. Of course, in a way, I myself am stereotyping the roles of the family and in fact the only thing that truly separates mothers and fathers are their genders. The point I simply wish to make is that home is where the heart is and though it may not necessarily be in just one place it would be wise to cherish it.

We may not need family in our lives and can cope just fine without them but it's an irresistible feeling to be wanted by a bunch of people that love you. I've found that so long as you have that emotional base you can turn to when you're losing sight of it all, internal conflict ceases and peace takes its place, which is not something to shake a stick at!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

"New Year, New Me" and the like...

Apologies for the delay, I have been rather wrapped up in various activities that are typical with the new year: coursework rush, domestic chuck outs and the good ol' January burn.

So since the new year came in there have been highly contrasting opinions on starting afresh on new year; some saying that every day is a new day and so to wait till New Year is not particularly noble and other firmly believing that a new year means a new start and they have the perfect excuse to re-invent themselves. I sympathise with both sides in that yes, life is short, so there is no point waiting around for a day that happens once a year to make important changes in your life. However, as a girl who went through a lot of unpleasant experiences in the previous year relish in the concept of turning the page of 2011 and walking into 2012 brand new, with the slate wiped clean and with the rest of the year to look forward to in this fresh light.

I'd say, without wanting to sound cliche, let it be. There is around 7 billion people on this planet and each of us will have our own particular way of doing things, of course, because that particularity is what makes us individuals. People may or may not want to make changes in their life but when they do them is completely up to them - you've no idea what they may or may not have gone through the previous year and so it would not be fair to judge.

2012, for me, will be an extremely exciting but also nerve-racking year. I have to get decent enough grades at college to take me to university, to finally come full circle. Finally, after going through the process of being made homeless at 16, to hostel life, to living in a highly turbulent domestic atmosphere, to living in a house that would eventually become a home. Unfortunately, my housing contract runs out this year, meaning that I will lose the place which I have come to love so dearly this past year and I'm sure that people that have been here would agree with me. Also, I've decided to address my ignorance towards my mother's mental illness so I want to spend this year coming to terms with it, and accepting my mum for who she it. Not only that, but I also plan to make peace with my past and learn to love the fact that present me would not be here without the past me and all her experiences. I wish to reflect more through the means of yoga and meditation and also to read more classic and contemporary literature in order to centre myself with my aspirations of being a writer.

Like many, at this time of year, I have introduced a new fitness regime and have altered my diet. However, I plan for this to be a long-term thing because I no longer see the point in envying women with fantastic bodies when I myself could be one of those women. I've decided to adopt a daily workout routine and non-fussy vegan diet, meaning that I'm primarily vegan but will not reject food offered to me by others simply because it has meat or dairy in.If you've ever seen JennaMarbles on Youtube and her fantastic body, you'll know why I've made the decisions I have. That is things as they stand at the moment and the advice I'd give to anyone wishing to make some changes this year, I'd say never give up, stick with it, in the end you can only look back in pride in all that you've achieved and will make you even more determined in all that you do.