topbar

                       
Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts

Monday, 27 October 2014

On being three dimensional

black and white glasses

Maybe it came from reading too many Enid Blyton school stories as a child, but I spent a large portion of my pre-teen and adolescent years worrying that I hadn't found 'my thing'. Each of the girls at Malory Towers had a special talent or trait for which they were known and which marked them out as distinctive and special. As far as I could see, I didn't have one of those at all. I longed to be 'the musical genius' or 'the beautiful one', and every year before the school year began, I'd make list after list of the traits I'd adopt and the way I would be this year. Time after time, I'd fail to become the two-dimensional character I longed to be, as my own human, multifaceted self could not be suppressed. Part of the problem of course, was that I had so many 'things'. I was musical, I was academic, I was energetic, I was sociable, I was a clown... And I could never decide which one I wanted to be the most. I had to pick one didn't I? Teen magazines were constantly encouraging us to pigeonhole ourselves with flow-charts and quizzes. What 'type' of girl are you?

Looking back, I am saddened to remember the anguish I put myself through as I tried to puzzle out what 'my thing' could be, and as I'd punish myself for failing to fit into whatever arbitrary category I'd chosen to strive for each time. What saddens me even more though, is that I am still prone to this way of thinking, even now as an adult. There are so many things I still want to be, even though the adult world appears to be the ever-narrowing of fields and the closing of doors. Even within the blogging world, we're told to choose a niche for ourselves if we want any chance of becoming successful. Are you a beauty blogger? Are you a fashion blogger? Are you a food blogger? Do you travel enough to really call yourself a travel blogger?

I've become really interested in how we form our identities, during the process of trying to accept myself as a three dimensional individual. Identity is so heavily attached to the idea of 'belonging', and we draw near to those who like what we like, and who do what we do, our identities like magnets. I like to hang out with people who have similar political ideologies as me, and I love the feeling when I meet someone who has read my favourite book or enjoyed my favourite song. It's important to bond with people who are similar to us, but of course there are dangers attached to marking others out as 'different'. Especially if there is a value judgement attached to that assumption.

"Be yourself" is a common thing that adults say to teenagers and young people. While I see what the phrase is trying to say, I have always found it to be vastly naive and incredibly damaging. How on earth can a teenage girl be expected to 'be herself' when she's expected to be so many things all at once, and she doesn't even really know who/what "herself" is? "Be yourself" sounds so absolute, so concrete... as though "yourself" is a fixed concept that can be distilled, put into a glass vial and held up to the light. I wholeheartedly reject that concept, although I am its victim as much as anyone else.

So before this post becomes any more of an essay of existential nonsense, here's a list. If you can figure out who I "am", then do let me know, because I'm almost a quarter of a century old, and I haven't figured it out yet! I'm all of these... I'm none of these... I'm so much more than any of these...

I am

A writer - a diarist - a musician - a feminist - creative - nostalgic - contemplative - anxious - energetic - lethargic - melancholy - vulgar - a redhead - short sighted - fair-skinned - a digital native - a blogger - a wife - a cat-lover - a woman - a Cambridge University graduate - an ex-teacher - shorter than average - green-eyed - half-Australian - an older sister - a tea-drinker - accident prone - self-doubting - magical - an individual with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome - comedic - sociable - a foodie - whimsical - sensible - sensitive - a daughter - a travel obsessive...

So those were just a few of my thoughts. Normal posting shall resume during the week - there's a twee-as-hell banana loaf recipe coming up, so don't worry, guys. I've not completely lost it. Yet.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

September's Greatest Hits

autumn is coming

September is over, Autumn has arrived, and as usual, big life events are coinciding with the changing or the seasons. Everything I own is currently in either a cardboard box or a black bin-bag right now, and I'm spending a lot more of my time on trains. In fact, I am actually drafting this post on a train RIGHT NOW. Woah...

September's memorable moment

oatcake mixology

Both of these things happened in the last week but they were sufficiently memorable that they have all but erased the rest of the month from my brain! Last week it was my husband Dan's 26th birthday, and we all went out for a lovely Chinese meal before seeing Ballyturk at the National Theatre. It was a very impressive play - the physical theatre was exhilarating and the dark sinister humour was beautifully timed. The day after Dan's birthday, we commenced the five-day-long process of moving alllll of our stuff to his parents' house, where we will be living for the next couple of months. We are both utterly exhausted!

September's Instagram moments

popcorn party pigeon party
commuting view UK Pumpkin Spice

This month, I ate some midnight popcorn (I am all about salty late-night snacks), enjoyed my lunch nestled in amongst a sea of sleeping pigeons, started commuting to work, and bought my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year (remember, I'm from the UK. It's still a novelty here!!)

Songs on repeat in September
I played a gig at The Fiddler's elbow with my band the other day, and the band who were playing before us were this awesome three piece indie rock band called Cat Bear Tree. They manage to blend badass raucousness with perfect harmonies to make these effortlessly cool pieces of music. I really liked their song Spaces In Between. I've also been listening to C'est La Mort by The Civil Wars over and over again this month. It's such a lovely song, but... very sad.

Sorry this is such a tiny little post - negotiating the very small amount of internet at Dan's parents' house is proving to be a challenge. Not to worry though, posting will resume as normal once I've figured it all out! September has been utterly manic, but there's lots of good stuff up ahead, especially food-wise. Plenty of recipes are a'comin' this Autumn. So my question to you is, what is your favourite AUTUMNAL foodstuff? I'd love to know! I love reading all of your comments!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Things Happen

It has been all summer, and once again, I have been awful at blogging. Why do I do these things? Why do I try so hard to be one of those "I have such an awesome life, and I blog about it" kind of people, when I clearly do NOT have an awesome life, and as you can see, I obviously don't blog about it!

Possibly, if I had more of a specific focus for this blog, then I would be better at maintaining it. Who knows.

I have spent the last few days researching PGCE providers, frantically. Applications have now opened for the Postgraduate teaching qualification that I want to take, and so I have to choose the four to which I would consider going, and then start to work on my application. I can't physically send the application until I have some work experience under my belt, so today has also been spent e-mailing the local State secondary schools, asking them if I can sit in on some English lessons... as if I haven't already sat in enough English lessons.

This year, my feelings of anxiety are overshadowing my excitement to go back to university, in a big way. I can't stop thinking about how big the workload is going to be, and how I have to improve my grade on last year, with an even bigger workload. I also have a dissertation to do, and a course to apply to. I have to read several Greek Tragedies, and Moby Dick, by next week, and I haven't even started the year yet. On top of that, it is potentially my final year in Cambridge (unless I decide to take my PGCE here too), and I want to make it amazing. Last year was distinctly underwhelming in parts, and I have been rather unhappy. There are so many things I want to see, do, cook, read, and take part in this year. How on earth am I going to balance that with my academic work? This is a major worry to me.

I will finish by linking to some of the blogs I have been reading recently:

Smitten Kitchen - a wonderful food blog, that makes me want to be a food blogger.

Pencil Case - the blog of my dear friend Sharon. She writes wonderfully, and she knows about science and shiz. I like her blog. It dwarfs mine.

Fazed Girl
- this blog makes me smile all the time. The best fashion/life blog I have read in a long time, and I like it because it is so understated. Maybe I can just relate to the 'perpetually trying to get dressed' thing.

Sushi Bandit - I don't even know why I look at this blog, but I find it addictive.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Down two notches and they're putty in your hands...

Hello to my ten followers.

Tomorrow is my next Alternachick post day, I think. If not, I am posting anyway. A few days ago, I bit the bullet by the horns, and dyed my fringe pink. I have always wanted pink hair. I didn't really go the whole hog though, because I don't have the balls to bleach it. Still, in the sunlight, it is pretty darn pink. It might be fading though, we'll see. Tell me what you think tomorrow, I suppose, because that would be fairly awesome.

On the topic of awesome, I have decided, rather self deprecatingly, that I am not nearly awesome enough. I have decided to make it my mission to become more awesome. I am not entirely sure how this will manifest itself, but I just know that I need to become less of a doormat, and more of an interesting person. I intend to Blog More Frequently, in order to document my transition from ordinary person, to awesome being.

Today, the sky was angry but the light shining through my windows was golden. I looked everywhere for a hidden rainbow, but decided eventually that there was no need for one, because this amazing feeling of the clouds as a lid to some alarmingly large pot of gold, was more than sufficient to make my day. My flatmate James showed me Venus and Saturn in the sky this evening - the sky had cleared save for a haphazard collection of cumulus, and Venus was a pinprick in the lightest part of the sky. Seeing Venus on one side of me, and Saturn on the other side, just above the moon, was a strange experience. I haven't ever really felt that simultaneous feeling of insignificance and belonging, that people of faith tell me about. I think that tonight was as close as I have come to such a feeling.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Exams are OVERR!

Wow, so I have finally finished, and guess what - I still can't shake the guilty feeling, when I am browsing the internet, that I should be doing something more constructive... I combat this witht he "constructive" activity of internet shopping.

I have bought a second hand Randoseru:

The Deschanel Dress from Modcloth:

A name necklace from "mynamenecklace.co.uk"

And a hello kitty rice cooker from "jbox.com"...

I sound like a big japanophile, don't I...

Emma and I are going to make a joint purchase from Hannah Zakari. I needed a gold sort of necklace to go with my green dress for the Emmanuel May Ball. So I chose this one, with Emma's help:

I also purchased a block of Caca Rouge from Lush, and on Sunday, after a day spent helping to paint Dan's old warhammer, Dan is going to help paint my hair! Yay!

In other news, for the first time in forever, I managed to get a bra that fits. Good lord! Wow, I have spent lots of money... I don't even want to mention the DS that I bought for Dan...

:)

Ah, PS - I have discovered a wonderful blogger! http://cheapskatechic.blogspot.com/. She writes about fashion, and posts LOTS of lovely pictures of herself, and of clothes!