Be Nice It's Tuesday


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Using my Self-Care Box #1

A few weeks ago I wrote about making myself a self-care box for any time I was feeling a bit down (read that post here), and I just thought it might be nice to document when I’m using it, to show how the different things in it can cheer me up, and as a reminder that we all have individual power to replace some of that sadness with happiness.

Why I’m sad: Today I am feeling homesick, I enjoyed Fresher’s Week a lot more than I expected, and really felt like I was settling in at uni. However now the socialising is finished and the workload is taking over. I’ve now been away from everywhere/one/thing I’ve ever known for a week and a half, I’m having to look after myself, find my way around a new city, get used to lectures, keep making friends, sort out all the books and things I need for classes, and all the societies I want to join, and it’s a bit over whelming.
What’s I’ve got out the box: A lot of the things in my box are reminders of my friends and home, so that would make me feel a bit worse. I blew some bubbles which were nice, but I was disappointed to find they’re not very good ones. So instead I’ve got my highland cow to hold.
What else is cheering me up: Today I bought a little cactus. I love having plants in my room but they’re often big and hard to take care of. A lot of students seem to get a cactus because all you need to do it give them a bit of water occasionally. Mine was only £2, it isn’t prickly, and it’s so small and cute and I love it. Haven’t decided on a name for him yet. I’m now sitting in my fluffy teddy-bear dressing gown (with my highland cow of course) and I’m going to find a comedy episode to watch before going to bed.

If you haven’t made a self-care box but would like to, click on the link at the top to find out more about it. In the meantime, have a nice day.

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Why I Love September

IMG_2253I love September. I love the way the sun seems to glow slightly more at this time, when it’s lower in the sky; just the right angle to catch your eyes and hair. I love the colours of the leaves as they gradually change to red and yellow, but still have the vivid freshness before they fall. I love the acorns and conkers which start to litter the pavements. And I love the thrill of arriving home as it’s just turning dark, and that first icy taste in the air, with all the promise of autumn and winter to come, but knowing we still have a few sunny days/weeks left.

Although January is the first month of the year, for me September is much more about new starts. No one likes the holidays to end, but I’ve always had an underlying feeling of excitement when it comes to going back to school, the new stationary, fresh uniform, all the new classes, and not knowing what the new year is going to be like; anything could happen.

This September has brought the biggest new start of my life so far. I wasn’t so excited about this one, and, although it has been a lot better so far than I imagined, it has been quite hard. However, if there’s any month to be arriving at a new place in, September is probably the best one.

I have now spent a year paying attention to all the months that pass by, focusing on all the things I love about them all. And I do love them all, and I love the seasons and the fact that there are such changes and patterns in the year. There is always reason to be happy about what’s going on in nature and in human life. But now I am back at the beginning, and this September has confirmed for me what I suspected last October, Autumn is my favourite.

My song for September is one of my favourite songs, I think it is beautiful and emotional and sums up September, the link between summer and autumn, endings and beginnings. It is Fireflies by Ron Pope


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One Day More

Tomorrow I leave the house and place where I’ve lived my whole life and move to uni. I’m not going to say again how sad and nervous I am, I think I’ve done that enough. I have however managed to do everything from the list of things I wanted to do before going. This is probably the first time I’ve actually completed a to-do list, and that’s even with adding a few things and doing some of them twice, so I’m very glad I’ve done all that.

I currently have several half-written posts and loads of ideas that I want to write about, but I’m going to be very busy over the next few weeks, setteling in to a new place and starting my university studies, so there may not be many posts for a while. I am however pleased with how much I’ve written this summer, and that I seem to be having a few more ‘likes’ and comments (I still don’t think the viewing stats are accurate, but they are also up a bit).

I’ve spent today doing all the last minute things that needed doing; my room is not tidier and more empty than it has been…probably since I moved into it, and everything is packed except for the things I’ll need tonight and tomorrow morning.

Tonight I am going to the pub with loads of friends, and I intend to be standing on the roof of ‘the arches’ in a field where we sometimes go, at about 2 am, with some of my friends, singing One Day More from Les Mis, because that’s what we do, and this time it really is one day more.


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Music feels

I seem to be feeling things very deeply at the moment. I guess that’s understandable, my whole life is on the brink of change, I’m packing up my bedroom, I’ve already had to say goodbye to some dear friends who I won’t see for months, it is an emotional time. I’ve basically been crying at the slightest thing, but then I’ve always been someone who cries easily so I’ve learnt to just get on with it. However all this emotionalness (side note, my friends and I always say ‘it ends in ‘ness’, must be a word’, but I find it quite appropriate that my autocorrect just tried to change that to ’emotional mess’) and nostalgia is making listening to music very…interesting. I always associate songs to times, places, people, or events, so I often get very emotionally invested in certain songs, but recently I keep listening to songs and finding they make me feel so deeply it physically hurts. In a good way, but still, THE FEELS. There have also been times where I’ve wanted to listen to a song, but not felt able to because even the thought of it is almost too much. This had happened a few times, but I really noticed it earlier today. I thought ‘these songs are just so beautiful, I should be keeping a list of them to write a post about’. But then I realised that a lot of them, to other people would just be an ordinary, quite nice song. It’s only their meaning to me which makes them so exceptional. I might share some of them if people are interested, but in the meantime, has anyone else had this happen, or is it literally just me?


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The Final Week

A week today I will be on my way to Bristol to start uni. I’m on top of my packing, I’ve registered online, I’ve had my meningitis jab, I’m fairly ready in terms of everything I need to do. Emotionally though, I’m not so prepared. I’ve come up with a list of things I want to make sure I do this week before I leave. It’s not doing it for the last time, because I will be coming home for holidays, but it will still be a long time before I can do these things again. (In the interest of total honesty, there are a couple of things on this list which I have actually already done last week, but the point still stands).

  1. There are three of my friends I particularly want to see on their own.
  2. Go for a meal with the group of friends from the Berlin trip I went on.
  3. Go to a café and look round some of the shops in the nearby town with my parents.
  4. Walk round all the fields and woods in my village.
  5. Bake.
  6. See my uncle and cousins.
  7. Meet my friends at the pub.
  8. Take flowers to my best friend’s grave.
  9. Go to church.
  10. Go for a walk in the park we used to always take trips to as children.
  11. Have coffee with my ‘aunties’ (my mum’s friends/friends’ mums).
  12. Do something other than go to the pub with my friends.
  13. Plant bulbs in the garden.
  14. Enjoy having my dad cook me meals I like, having full access to a fully stocked house, my own bedroom, and a nice bathroom which I’m only sharing with my parents.
  15. Get lots of cuddles from the cat.


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Songs for Moving Out Part 2

Yesterday I wrote a post about all the songs which are making me sad about starting uni. But it’s not all bad, so this is about the music which is actually helping me feel ready to go.

Firstly, the song Great Big World by Ron Pope. This is a song which I’ve been in love with for the past couple of years. This is the song which encouraged me to look into having a gap year to work abroad, then what drove me to chose a university far away from everything and everyone I know, and more recently it was what stopped me from having a gap year simply because I was too scared to move away and wanted to put it off. Because this song reminds me that it won’t always be good, and I will be terrified, but if I keep putting things off just because I’m scared, I’ll never get anywhere. There’s a whole world of exciting opportunities waiting for me and I’ve just got to go for it. So if you’re scared about any sort of big change in your life, I would definitely recommend this inspirational song.

The other musician I want to talk about here is a bit more specific to me, but he’s still amazing and I think you should listen to his music. At the end of July I went to see the Levellers play in my local town, and the support act was Gaz Brookfield. I was loving his set anyway, but then I found out that he currently lives in Bristol, which is where I’m headed for uni. I bought his new CD, True and Fast, and from that my favourite song was Cornish Fishing Town, which as well as being a great song, has some rather positive references to Bristol. On holiday I found that while listening to this song were the only moments where I really felt excited about moving there, which was quite an amazing discovery. As soon as I got home and back to wifi I found some of his other music, which is all amazing, and there are a few other ones which make references to Bristol – like the line ‘today I spent an hour and a half at Temple Meads’ – but most noticeably the West Country Song which, admittedly is once again about leaving Bristol, but still wanting to go back. So I’ll keep listening to this music and hearing how great Bristol is, and hopefully I’ll be able to see Gaz play again at some point when I’m there.

Finally, this isn’t so much about moving away, but I felt I should mention Frank Turner’s album England Keep My Bones, which I’ve been listening to for two years, and will forever remind me of the uni hunt. From the song which mentions Exeter, and general references to the South-West of England (the biggest decision I had to make was between Exeter and Bristol), to the line of the first song ‘at least I f***ing tried’ which I kept singing to myself after being rejected by Cambridge, to just happening to have listened to the album when travelling to open days at Bristol and Exeter, it is completely entwined with those memories. In fact if you add to that annoyingly having this song in my head when I got confirmed last December (the only song I know which mentions confirmation, I had to keep apologising to God 😛 ) and the line about Conservatives in this song helping me through the election, this album sums up quite a lot of the last year for me.


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Songs for Moving Out Part 1

Back in April when I was writing a lot about turning 18, I intended to make a post of the songs which reflected my wish to stay a child. But I never got round to it. So I thought I’d do it now that I’m starting uni instead. Some of these are more to do with growing up, some more moving away, some are both.

  1. When Your Feet Don’t Touch the Ground from Finding Neverland.
    My friend sent me a link to this beautiful song just a few days before my 18th Birthday and it got me very emotional. Everything about it just resonated with how I was feeling at that time, and I really didn’t want my feet to touch the ground. I could go through the lyrics explaining how each line affected me, but that would make rather boring reading, so I’ll just say please listen to this song. And if you like it, there is also a newer version of the song here.
  2. Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift
    I think this is fairly self-explanatory. I’ve known this song for quite a few years, since whenever it came out, and I’ve always found it emotional because I’ve wanted to stay young for so long, but now when I’m really growing up, and soon my parents will be just dropping me off in a big city, it is even more sad.
  3. Cup Song/When I’m Gone from Pitch Perfect 2
    I went to see Pitch Perfect 2 with a couple of friends at the cinema just before we left college. It got to this point in the film where they’re talking about finishing ‘college’ (uni, it’s American 😛 ), then the emotional speech about how much they’ll miss each other and everything will be different…then sing this. Needless to say I started crying. Several weeks later I was feeling sad about moving away and decided to play ukulele to cheer up. I found the chords to the original song in my mum’s folder and started playing it, but couldn’t get all the way through.
  4. Everything I Knew by Busted
    I listened to our old Busted CDs while revising maths this spring and remembered how awesome some of the songs are (and how dodgy some are). This song expresses the feelings I’ve had that everything in my life is changing, nothing is going to be the same, and I especially like the chorus because I do just wish I could go back in time and not have to put up with all these changes.
  5. Dandelion Wine by Blackmore’s Night
    This is a song from my childhood which I recently remembered. I always liked it, but I’m only now starting to really understand it. It sums up perfectly how I’m feeling about leaving all my friends (even though I know I’ll see them in a few months).
  6. Our Town by Kate Rusby
    This is just a really sweet song about leaving the place where you’ve grown up, where you have all these memories and experiences. This version of it is also done by someone who lives quite close to me, so it feels more personal to me.
  7. Little Room by Dodie Clark
    I heard this song for the first time yesterday (or possibly the day before) when listening to all of Dodie’s original songs (she is amazing). At first I listened to it and thought ‘that’s a nice song, and hey, I’m packing up my own little room, very appropriate’. Then today my best and oldest friend came round. She’s moving out tomorrow and still had a lot of her packing up to do, and she was talking about how sad she was to leave her room. I’m hopefully going to see this friend next week, she’s not moving too far, so it wasn’t too much of a goodbye, but it will be strange not having her in walking distance (although she always gets a lift and can’t believe I walk that far to see her), and I still felt very emotional after she left. I then went back to trying to pack, and remembered this song, and out it on, and just cried.
So now I’ve listened to all of those songs, one after the other, and I’m even more of an emotional wreck than usual. If anyone else is feeling this weepy about growing up or moving to a new place, then you are not alone. And please leave a comment so I know I’m not alone.