the big 2-1! learnings and questionings

27 April 2020

(things about to get soppy)

It is pretty fucking cool to be turning 21 and to not feel dread about having existed another whole year. For as long as I can remember, I have not looked forward to birthdays. The celebration of a life I was struggling to hold on to by surrounding myself with people who loved me never provided a brilliant birthday spirit. This year, for the first year in a very long while, the only thing that sparked a sadness about my birthday was the fact I could not celebrate it how I wanted to; because for the first year in years there was actually a way I wanted to celebrate my birthday. A lot of things have changed, and I have learnt how to better cope with many things. It is not all smooth though and many things I wish I could get over I am not sure is possible, but it is a great relief that despite still being unable to imagine myself in the future, it is no longer caused by dread of experiencing it.

So here is to me for:
- turning twenty-one when I never thought I would
- overcoming a lot of things I thought would stick with me forever
- being an absolute legend

apologies if u also follow my insta n have seen this photo twice. 

In usual tradition, I have learnt a lot in the past year. Some things I will say I have not fully completed in learning, but I am getting there and that is achievement enough. I also have things I am still unsure of, and I'm sure as my twenties progress and I am exposed to life beyond that of university and the familiarity of education that the list will only grow. For now though, despite the chaos of the world and that awful sensation that uncertainty creates and the general global bleakness and fear for loved ones lives,,,,, despite all of that negativity I am proud of myself for making it to my 21st birthday and for the acceptance I felt in the build up to it. :) soppy but true! :)

things I have learnt
-green giant sweetcorn tastes the same as frozen sweetcorn
-vegan hellmans mayo tastes like actual mayo, but veganaisse mayo is the best vegan mayo
-to stop thinking of boys as kind for doing decent things
-hanging out in bed with no trousers on is far better than hanging out in bed with comfy trousers on
-hanging out anywhere with no trousers on is far better than hanging out with trousers on
-american tv shows and films lied, it's not actually that easy or realistic for your professor to fall in love with you
-nothing is more attractive than intelligence
-don't trust people who change their actions around their friend when their partner is round - either have an openly flirtatious friendship that has no susbtance to the innapropriate flirts or fucking reel in that behaviour
-that cleaning your glasses with your tshirt isn't actually a myth, you just have to get a good grip on your glasses for it to work
-if the oil in a frying pan catches fire you shouldn't put it out with water
-two pints of water and a couple of painkillers before bed is the best hangover preventative. don't trust other gross preventatives, especially not drinking pickle juice
-there is no need to provide justification for every action
-you can't be passive in trying to fix your mental health
-the confidence to make a separate bowl of popcorn that is just salty rather than sucking up and having a sweet and salty mix
-not to say 'pardon' during sexy times. As long as your partner seems to be havin a good time, there is no need to ask for repetition, especially not in the form of 'pardon'
-how to combat feelings of anxiety and unease surrounding eating in front of new people
-everything tastes a lil better with hot sauce
-to buy juice for the morning after a heavy night
-too many late nights results in a very emotional me that will cry over everything
-how to stand up for myself!!

things I am yet to learn
- how complicated can your twenties actually be?
- how are friendships different in adulthood?
- what you are meant to say when you mishear something in sex
- how to abandon expectations I have for my twenties and just see what happens
- to view my twenties as indivudal days rather than attempting to fathom the next nine years of my life with a brain that has hardly touched a world outside of education
- to make shorter to do lists so that I can experience a sense of accomplishment
- how to not behave like a five year old when talking about sex
- how to not let ironic sayings become a part of my natural vocabulary. (since when do I say dope? why do I call everyone bro? will I ever be able to stop saying dank?)
- how to be open with people who crave and deserve my vulnerability the most
- to be a better texter (sorry to everyone who has ever had to experience my inability to text reliably. I luv you I am just forgetful and quick to get distracted or overwhlemed. also sorry to people who gets brain ramblings that have not been filtered yet)
- how to not be such a wet wipe
- how to always stand up for myself

peace out! hope everyone is safe and well and powering through these ridiculous times. seeing as I am the birthday girl ; I order you to have a beverage or some form of treat and congratulate yourself for survivng lockdown so far x

Quarintine Vibing

14 April 2020

Lockdown is strange and there are moments where the craziness of this whole situation is overwhelming and impossible to comprehend. I have never had a great threshhold for the uncertain, but I am coming to terms with the unpredictability of current times and despite constantly complaining about my uni work load, I am so fucking grateful I have it to keep me busy. Here's some glimpses of my lock down:

cheers 2 coffee , cheers 2 nice mugs 

nice things:

Every morning my Dad makes enough coffee for us both and he always seems to get the coffee to water ratio just right

I smell absolutely delightful thanks to my mum buying good soap

playing bananagrams with my family - my dads dyslexia and ability to create definitions for words he is sure to exist is a frequent source of entertainment

'dad you didn't win, hays isn't a word'
'of course it is.'
'use it in a sentence'
'how much hay do you need? around 20 hays.' (upon googling this it turns out hays is a word in country dancing. but he did not mean it in that context and therefore the word did not count)

recieving photos of my nephew and baby cousin- it is nice to have reminders of unfiltered joy and blissful innocence when everything is so fucking bleak. to see a happiness that is pure is always a blessing, but in these times the unguarded smiles of kids is something beyond special and it is nice knowing that although these times are tough there is still joy admist the anxiety and gloom that seems to have encompassed the world

I am speaking to my friends more than usual

Having a g&t over facetime is more enjoyable than I thought it would be

not wearing a bra and having no regrets because I am not moving enough to feel the discomfort of free tits

my dad has bought an air fryer, and with it he has been making some super tasty chips

I am finding it oddly comforting having an actual cause to blame for my low moods/ anxiety during these times. There is something reassuring about having an actual thing to hold liable for difficult moods, rather than having to decipher every thought and every thing that has happened in attempt to find a reason for a sudden dip in mood.

There is so much time to read for lesiure

The goodnights at the end of a videocall

I find it nice being tagged in things, or sent things online, even normally it feels nice to have been thought about, but when friendships are being strained so greatly through distance it is nice that something ridiculous will still make people think of you

I fucked up one of my eyebrows in the process of shaping it, so at least by the time quarintine is over and I will be seen in the light of day by other poeple, my eyebrow won't be anywhere near as atrocious as it currently is

some nice, some not so nice thoughts:

It will have been a year since I last saw Katie the next time I see her, and although we have only been on holiday twice together it feels like a break of tradition by not going this year. However, instead I will go on holiday to Newcastle and meet her new dog and we can enjoy the British sun together and enjoy the fact we are finally free. I think just the happiness of freedom will be enough to override any feelings of longing for european adventure (in saying that - if it is not sunny and warm and if I am not able to go swimming in natural water I will be a little bit pissed)

I am so lucky to love my University and the people I have met as much as I do. It is sad that second year has been void of so much learning though due to strikes and covid-19. I love learning, I love my course yet the such a lack of teaching makes memories of second year be clouded with dissapointment. I have been robbed of the one experience I was gaurnteed at university- there are so many literary theories and discussions about texts I have not been able to have. yes there is virtual learning, but to sit in a seminar and discuss texts and see the people I think of as friends, even though they are merely people I see once a week in seminars and occasionally in a lecture is something I loved and I am sad to have had such few experiences of that this past term.

The fact I have to begin thinking about my dissertation is absolute wank. I have been denied so many opportunities of learning due to the strikes (and covid-19 just tops it all off but ways are being figured out around that, so the anger about that lack of learning is just aimed at the universe rather than the man at the top of the UOL hierarchy) that to beging thinking about a thing which will define my future so greatly just feels absurd. There has been too little learning time to guide any relevant thought on what I could write 10,000 words about. Perhaps I am just being a big baby (and I am very relieved I am not in final year please don't view this as ungrateful) but to write 10,000 words about a topic from a subject I loved never created feelings of horror within me, yet now the simple thought of my dissertation makes me freak! the! fuck! out!!.
- also I'm interested by so many aspects of literature that I haven't be able to study due to having such little freedom when choosing modules, which is a shame. I have an idea of what I may do it on, but everything just feels so limited.

There is too much time to think and worry about the future and have old memories resurface that fill me with doubt

Productivity is a difficult concept to accept and appreciate during quarantine.

exciting things:

I'm going to bleach my hair, dye it, wax my legs and come out of this looking groovy as fuck

One day soon I will be back in Leeds and I will be standing on the chairs in my kitchen with my pals, and we will be singing our hearts out with a glass of wine in hand and the night will progress into something completley unncessary- but those are the best sorts of nights

I will be able to watch films with other people, and will have hair to play with that is not my own and will be able to judge faces in person to see if they're enjoying the film, rather than have to try and decipher a heavily pixelated image of their face

soon my essays will be less overwhelming, and when that time comes I will find a good work/ leisure balance

my hayfever is at its peak during march/ april, so when freedom comes I will be able to sit in parks comfortably and not be tormented by pollen

'fuck it, should we just get shots and get pissed' will sound a million times sweeter than it usually does

browsing in bookshops will also be a million times sweeter

I won't be told off for swearing

soon come, I will be able to see my friends and when I do I am going to hug each one of them for two hours and tell them how much I love them and will probably shed a tear

summer will be here and I will feel the sun on my face as I dance outside barefoot on grass, with a tinnie in one hand and a cigarette in the other, good music will be playing and when I grab my friends hands I will feel the warmth from the sun on their skin and it will be even better than all the times I have imagined it during lock down. festivals may not happen, but to groove outside with sunglasses on surrounded by amazin pals is all I am wishing for right now and that time will be here. and when it is there will be a sadness that is impossible to shift due to the tragedy this disease has created, but hope will be ripe and I'll be with the people that I love, and have missed so dearly.

quarantine overthinking : how to heal a fractured friendship.

7 April 2020

what to do when your bestfriend(s) hurt you in a way you never thought they would:

- talk to them about it
- stand up for yourself
- don't feel bad about leaving the friendship for a while
- speak to friends outside of the situation for a non-bias opinion
- speak your truth and be up front with your questions
- accept things will not be the same for a while, or maybe ever
- remember that despite other best friends who have hurt you, not all of them will
- allow yourself time to figure out how you feel, try not to enter/ begin a conversation guns blazin on a thought rampage .

what NOT to do when you bestfriend(s) hurt you in a way you never thought they would:

- don't feel ashamed about making them feel bad by acknowledging the hurt they have caused
- don't be petty and tell everybody you know
- don't be petty and make rash descions
- don't be mean, if you feel the need to be mean then reconsider why you're actually hurt
- don't let it affect your ability to trust
- don't hold on to the friendship if you don't think it is something you will be able to get over
- but also, don't end the friendship based off one mistake no matter how much it hurts you.

(side note- there is a big emphasis on best friend here. friends hurt you, friends lie to you and it can hurt. but with a best friend the hurt is different, the friendship has more love and trust in it than a normal one, so it requires more decorum than a typical friendship spat.)

lisboa with my fave - a reminder why it is wonderful to trust n love people without fear !

I strongly believe that losing a friendship is worse than losing a romantic relationship. When a romantic relationship ends, there are other types of relationships that can continue which allow you to remain in each others lives. In fact, without there being romantic love you can realise a friendship is the ideal relationship between the two of you. A friendship is different though, as there is no satisfying downgrade from a friendship, there is not a factor that can be removed to provide a comfortable, alterior form of relationship.

Bestfriends are special, they provide a different form of care and love than any other relationship can. They're the creation of a family that you think you can forever put your trust in. They're an escape from all the other obligatory relationships you may hold. Not calling a romantic relationship obligatory, more a case of there are some things you can’t discuss straight away with a partner, but a best friend you always can. I know people argue their partner is their bestfriend, but there is something different with a bestfriend. You can speak to them about your partner and have an outside voice tell you that you are being unreasonable, they will never have any reason to appease you but just give you 100% truth. I don't know, I just think in a romantic relationship there is some barrier, perhaps an underlying knowledge that they can break your heart, a drilled in voice that one day they can just fall out of love with you; but for some reason that barrier does not exist with a best friend. Which, in turn, makes it all the more of a shit show when a bestfriend does do something that hurts you more than you thought possible.

I’ve been thinking that maybe it is so hard to get over a bestfriend issue because it is a narrative that is rarely spoken about; tv shows and books often make reference to the heartache caused by a romantic breakup, the betrayal felt through such an experience is one we are taught to expect at least once in our lives, yet the splitting up from a best friend is not as often spoken about. We haven’t been taught to expect a nasty end to a friendship with someone we once thought of as a sister, in fact we are taught that best friends are forever. Also perhaps because with a best friend there are no limitations to what you talk about, it is just brutal honesty and to lose such trust is bound to affect you. It is also easier to go through a romantic breakup as they dominate the media. They are the basis of storylines for TV shows and films, somebody goes through a breakup and we get a glimpse of what heartbreak is. We’re taught to expect betrayal from a romantic relationship, to expect an end and are taught various coping mechanisms through books and film. Yet the splitting up from a best friend is not often spoken about, and when it is spoken about the resolution is as simple as cutting them out of your life, but it isn’t that simple. Cutting people out not only forces the rest of your friendgroup to suffer, but also forces you to suffer. There is no easy way to get through the betrayal felt by best friends though, or when you realise a lot of your favourite memories had been built upon lies despite you giving them all your trust. Also, we’re just not really taught to expect a best friend to fuck you over- or if they do it is done in a way that everybody is aware of the hurt that has been caused, rather than an unknown balance of whether things are okay or not.

It has been a solid few months of distancing myself from the friends that dicked me over. In those months I stood up for myself and spoke my truth and I did what I needed to do to move on, but it felt difficult as the majority of advice I was getting was to cut them out of my life. Things are fine now. It is difficult to think about past memories that were once filled with warmth and laughter, as now they are tainted with the fact I was being lied to and being treated with complete disregard. It is even more difficult now to think about the upcoming times we will spend together, as I grapple with desperatley wanting to forgive yet am plagued by resurfacing images and memories that make complete forgiveness not seem possible just yet. The bright side is, I can imagine the friendships reforming, they will not being entirely the same but nonetheless they will exist. The jokes of being poor together and sharing our money to split a singular drink, of moulding our mishapen lives into a tangled mess of adventures will never hold the same authenticity that they once did. However, I am able to forgive because I know the apologies are genuine and I do not want to experience the chaos and fluctuations of my twenties without these two pals by my side.

peace out!
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