Wednesday, 28 March 2018

I'm Fine...And Other Lies

I have been a fan of Whitney Cummings for a long time now (Whitney was one of the best shows to ever air, I will forever stand BY THAT) so when I heard that she was releasing a book I got on that quicker than you would know.

It's labelled as a "self-help" book but this is not the patronising and frumpy kind of book that springs to mind; it is the type of self help book that you would imagine her to write because it is everything and so much more. She ends the introduction with the statement 'I straight-up want this book to change your life' and I gotta say, it actually kinda did.

To read stories from Whitney's life that have impacted her and to then get an insight into the way her brain works, not only makes you think, hey I can kinda relate to that but also, no matter the person, everybody has a thing about themselves that isn't so great. It totally normalises everything, I mean she is a kick-ass comedian, actress, co-creator of shows and now a director and yet she struggles with all the things that we normal folk do.

She talks about the way that she has rewired her brain to prevent herself being attracted to toxic men, spotting red flags in people and not ignoring them and realising that crying is ok and actually helps to heal. Reading this made me think that I could benefit from doing that. Rewiring my brain to think about things differently could hugely benefit me.

For example, one of the things that really stuck out was when she said that (and I thought I was the only person that does this due to monumental overthinking so to know that I have a comrade in this is comforting) she will agree to a plan and then immediately think I don't want to actually do that, why did I say yes and then worry about it for the next week. Now, I have an annoying habit of doing that a lot but Whitney reassured me that it is totally ok to decline at the time, for which she even provides a few coverall phrases and you don't have to feel bad about it because there is no reason to. I mean, if 'turns out it's kind of my dream to be left out of doing things I don't want to do' isn't relatable I don't know what is. This changed the way I think about things.

The other big thing that I'm working on getting those little neural wires to think differently about is toxic people. This is quite difficult from the get go because I genuinely seem to attract girls that treat me badly and mess me around because I'm 'too nice' (sidenote: since when is being too nice a bad thing, think I missed the memo on that one). I am now spotting red flags and saying no thanks, I can do without this is my life before I find myself with a girl that doesn't actually appreciate me or quite frankly respect me. I would often gloss over red flags and make excuses for people (as Whitney did, hey look we've got some stuff in common) rather than actually being like hey your behaviour is the exception to every other person, what are you doing?
And yes Whitney, I now realise that getting a phonecall from your partner for a chat is what should happen in a relationship and is not a point of praise because it is NORMAL. Thanks for bringing that up because I would always say look isn't she nice, she called me until I realised that I shouldn't have to congratulate them for this.

So it is pretty safe to say that I absolutely ate up this book and everything in it (I mean I read it in four days). To get a relatable point of view on things from somebody like Whitney who has written about them in such a chatty and personal way made me want to rewire my brain even more because she just felt like a comforting and positive friend saying 'hey, let's do this together'.

Whitney, I think your book did actually change my life.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

It's Not A Lot But It Is Everything

In a reply the other day, my sister said, "well I'm not feeling incredible" and that got me thinking about the last time that I felt incredible. I can pin point it. Although it is not a specific moment in time, but more, multiple moments.
The last time that I felt truly incredible was a stretch of time. My semester in California left me waking up every morning thinking, let's do this. I have, of course, had times of incredible since then. The Lady Antebellum concert got me up there, or when I skated with a bunch of rad girls at the skatepark and did my first bottom turn when I was surfing and when I went rollerskating with my friends. But my time in America was a time when I felt incredible for a very long stretch of time.

I was going to school and for most people, that's enough to conjure up feelings of anxiety. I didn't have much but that was all I needed. Put simply, I was going to class and doing stuff in my free time, but to me it was so much more. It was everything. To me it was a life that I had not experienced before.
It was going to Chipotle on a Wednesday night and having the car bass pounding on the way back, it was last minute plans to go and watch a movie every Friday and skipping class to go paddleboarding and going to get pie at 9AM somewhere an hour away just because, with a stop at the beach on the way back and camping on the weekends and two baseball games within a week of eachother and gathering with a cup of tea on a Wednesday night at 11 to watch American Horror Story.

I found happiness in spontaneous trips to Jack in the Box and Starbucks and Target and the garage to get tires rotated and wearing a cap to class and sunsets and the chill of the evening air when coming out of the gym and watching the fog roll up the street.

I was truly content and the happiest that I could fathom. That was two years ago and since then, I have been chasing that feeling. I have been chasing the feeling of being in love with my life. Don't get me wrong, I am happy now but I still want the feeling that I had back then of,
"...You will go from standing in the shower thinking "God what if this is for the rest of my life" to "God, I hope this is for the rest of my life."" (niasvn).

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The Malibu Sessions

I've always been a huge fan of Colbie Caillat and the way that her music fits any mood, any scenario, any time. Don't know what you feel like listening to? Stick some Colbie on, trust me. I also love her for the fact that as a Californian she represents everything I love about the state and her music projects that, in fact, her newest album, The Malibu Sessions, epitomises it.  My mum even calls her 'the Malibu girl', clearly she has that association too.

As somebody who finally got to go to Malibu last year, all I can say is that I wish she had released the album a few months earlier so that I could have burnt a hole in everybody's ears from my incessant playing of it whilst driving down the PCH. 
It really does have the whole Cali beach vibe going on and it's clear that she loves her life and the man in it and it has been the soundtrack to my life since its release last October. I have genuinely played it nearly every day since then and if that doesn't say something about the album then I don't know what does.

Gypsy Heart is the album opener and one of my faves; my foot is always tapping before I even realise what is happening. It is such an infectious song and makes you want to run down a beach in slow motion with your loved one, sun on your face, your mouth wide as you think 'how did it get this good?'. One of those songs, you know. 

Cruisin' has definitely been a grower for me. For months it was a song that I was indifferent to until I actually listened to the lyrics and now it is easily one of my favourites on the album. Her voice is absolute perfection and it just sounds so stripped down and simple. I can't believe that it took me so long to love and appreciate this song because now I can't rave about it enough.

Next on my faves list is Only You. I knew that I was going to love it simply from the first line:
'I'm kind of obsessed with how you're obsessed with making me feel like nobody else cause nobody makes me feel like you do', but it's not just the lyrics, it's the way that she sings it with an awestruck tone, as if she can't believe that she has ended up with this person and it's quite frankly adorable.
Also the line,
'you drink me up, you take me with no salt or lime' is genius and one of the best metaphors to probably exist (also as a bartender it helps me to decide what to serve with tequila because the lemon or lime controversy is apparently very much alive).

Ok, last one here we go. Cancel out all noises around you, lie on your bed, stare at the ceiling and listen to Never Got Away all the way through once and I really hope you love it like I do. As track eight it's not one that you hear regularly but when you do you're just like yes this is an awesome song. It's a traditional Colbie ballad that she always plants as one of the final songs on her albums and it does not disappoint. 

Definitely one of my favourite ever albums and it will be accompanying me on many roadtrips to come, even if that's not through Malibu. 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

What About the Landing?

Lady Antebellum say it quite well with the line, 'scared of love but scared of life alone'. Nothing has ever been so relatable to be honest. I am stuck in this limbo and think I have been for quite a while now.

I'm a hopeless romantic and I want the fairytale, but I think this is where my problem stems from. I want the fairytale so much that the thought of entering into anything strikes fear into me, incase it doesn't match my daydreams. It seems to be getting worse. I just can't cross that line and actually start anything.
I have been hurt in the past and that definitely has something to do with it too. You see, it's harder to be hurt by yourself and easier to forgive, whereas it's easier to be hurt by someone else and harder to forgive. I am happy on my own; I have always enjoyed my own company and am at the point where I don't need anybody to make me happy because I can do it myself. I am very aware of this fact, sometimes too aware, because it is part of my reasoning for staying single. I have always been a guarded and private person and am selective as to who I let in. I keep myself protected and this is the main reason for staying single - self protection.

I am happy being on my own but am becoming tired of it. That seems like an oxymoron and it totally is. What I'm trying to say is that I can keep myself happy and strong but it would be nice to not always have to be so strong; to be vulnerable and put that power into somebody else's hands. It's been almost a year now and I think I'd like that to change sometime soon. But I guess in order to do that, I have to let go, leave it be and let myself feel things. I guess sometimes you just have to fall and see where you land.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Exquisite Pain

Carrie Bradshaw once said, "was I addicted to the exquisite pain of wanting someone so unattainable?"

I think the answer for Carrie was a definite yes and the answer for me is also a yes. It is something for which there is no control over and perhaps that is where the pain is. We have absolutely no control over it, even though we know it is useless to feel the way that we do. But something keeps us there because there is something kind of powerful in wanting somebody that is not yours and may not be. It makes you feel desperate. It is the silence when your friends ask you if there is anybody. Only the somebody that they all see as just that, a friend, but who you see as the person that you would like to fall asleep next to at night.

For me, things have always eventually worked out when it comes to people. So it leaves me feeling hopeless knowing that there is little chance that it will work out. Perhaps that's the pain and the definition of the unattainable.
She has a girlfriend, little does she know that I liked her long before her girlfriend was even on the cards. Now that is hopeless.

But what, at times, makes me believe that perhaps there is a little glimmer of possibility? The fact that she acts as if she likes me back. She does more than a friend would do. She rests her arm on my leg as she reaches across me, she puts her hand on my chest when she talks to me, she tells me she loves me, she puts her arm around me. She makes herself reachable then draws herself back in.

The exquisite pain of the days that follow, knowing that if she would let herself stay within reach, I could treat her better and care for her more than she would ever guess.

Monday, 8 August 2016

A Fifties Love

Last week I watched Carol. I had heard good things so thought it would be worth a watch and sat with my noodles at lunchtime ready to experience something. As the credits rolled, I was engrossed in twirling my noodles around my fork, rather indifferent to the largely typed words rhythmically appearing and disappearing on the screen. However, ten minutes later, my indifference had run away completely.

What ensued was a powerful 120 minutes of block colours, trapped feelings and restrain so deeply associated with the fifties. The portrayed fifties New York was so glamorous and authentic that I wished (and still do) that I was around to see and feel it. Something about fifties America has always charmed me, but I did not think it possible for a single film to ever do so. I was so moved that I spent the entirety of the film on the edge of tears and could not stop thinking about it for the rest of the day.

For me, the era speaks romance, more so than anything else ever could. As a major romantic, Carol encapsulated all that consumes my ideas about the period. Every whispered and delicately pronounced word, every conversation masking a real feeling, every gentle graze of fingertips on a shoulder, every stolen glance and every phone call is what I consider to be romance. Everything is heightened, with emotions mounting slowly as the relationship progresses. Romance is in the slow way that the relationship gains ground, steadily seducing the people involved. It seems almost suffocating and at times, unbearable in its intensity, leaving the characters and myself gasping for air when all was concluded. It felt so raw and palpable, leaving me wanting to experience a fifties love of my own. But maybe my fifties love was my own feeling of seduction from every word uttered.

I watched it again the next day.
My heart pounded and and my stomach dropped as I cracked the spine and turned to the first page of the book.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Two Headlights

This time twenty four hours ago you asked me to go for a drive. I knew what it was about and needed to tell you about it, I had to. You took me to the beach because you wanted me to feel the sand and you left me to watch it rise and fall against the shore, you left me to enjoy my happy place. You watched from a far off rock and after a while I came and sat down next to you. You were wearing the smallest shorts which was well planned for a late night drive to the beach. We talked about things that are important to us, like we always do and you finally said what I had been waiting to hear. You said “I bet you’re wondering why I bought you here” and you didn’t even need to explain because I knew exactly the words that were going to leave your mouth and when they did, they honestly sounded glorious. “I don’t know whether I should say this or not but I have feelings for you and you have no idea what you have done for me this semester, you honestly have no idea. I’ve really struggled this semester and I was talking to my sisters about it and the only person that makes me happy and feel alive is you. I haven’t felt like this in two years. During all of our chats, especially in LA, you sat and listened me out and gave me such good advice and I have never been able to talk to anyone like that. I wouldn’t change anything about this or about how I feel. I would not change a thing. Besides, you can’t help how you feel, emotions just come and you can’t help it” and I wasn’t going to sit there and lie to you because I felt exactly the same. I couldn’t hold it in anymore and then it was out. It was out and the months of trying to be close to you without showing it were out and in that moment you no longer had to question it because you knew everything. I spoke with a broken voice and tears that clouded my eyes. 

But the next words tore me apart and all I could feel was the lump in my throat that threatened to remove me of my words and my fiercely burning eyes. “I think I need a week to not see you to get used to it and accept the fact that you’re leaving in two weeks. I’ll have winter break to come to terms with it and hopefully not go into the new semester feeling as if I’ve just lost a best friend” and it felt as if everything was crashing down around me. I wanted to stand up and scream no because that was the last thing that I wanted, I don’t know that I can do a week without you. It’s like a drug, I have to see you and I have to at least be in the same room as you because I feel a bit lost without that. Last week you were away for five days and I struggled, I almost couldn’t be without you. I would look out for your car and see that it wasn’t there. I told you and you replied with “I really struggled and I had to do everything to try and get you off my mind” and I had to do everything to get you off mine. That was when it clicked. Three days in LA was what it took to make me realise what I had actually been feeling all along and those days weren’t long enough. We joked and talked and you rested your hand on my leg and you woke me up by hitting me with pillows and you rubbed my hands whilst surfing and said “you’ve got to keep them warm baby”, it kickstarted my brain into realising what it was, this isn’t just friends. Can you call me baby again?
Nearly two weeks later I caught myself thinking about kissing you.

We sat in your car and sat in a silence that spoke enough for how we were both feeling. “So we both feel mutually but probably won’t act on it”. We both feel mutually. You thought that it was fate that we met because the smallest coincidence bought us together. We spoke about our families and childhood and laughed in a dark car. We were there for nearly three hours just talking and it was the kind of conversation that resonates with you as a person and somehow roots itself in your bones because it was so pure and innocent. We drove back, trying to make good of the timed situation that we have on our hands. Two headlights shine through the sleepless night. The song came on that we always sing so loud to and the relevance of the words were so clear. We were singing words that somehow added up to everything that we had just spoken. So much so that you reached across and took my hand in yours and I thought my heart was going to escape from my chest with the rate that it was pounding. You took my hand in yours with the line of the song that said “say you’ll remember me standing in a white dress staring at the sunset” and that line will never be quite the same again.
I saw you smile. I remember the weight of your arm on top of mine and the way that it felt when you stroked my fingers with your thumb. I felt so happy, I did. I didn’t want to let go and had been waiting for that. I had wanted to hold your hand without an excuse. Without an excuse of seeing how clammy they are, how cold they are, without squeezing it for support on a ride. You let it go at the last moment. I thought how much it is going to hurt to leave. We both got in and cried. Cried at how unfair it is that time can remove you of things that feel good and of things that feel as if they shouldn’t end yet. How can this be fair?

Our friend told me that you said how hard LA was going to be and how we would be in the same bed and it would be just us for three days. You said that you felt something from the first week that you met me and that you remember that first day. I was always intrigued by you.
Our friend told you that I’m not ok with what is happening, that I haven’t been sleeping but how can I when I replay you at 3AM?

My mum said that this a lovely thing that we should be happy about but what about the time that we will both have to watch eachother leave? She said that you never know what will happen in the future and what happens if I always think “what if?” I think a part of me will. I get so happy about it but then I remember that we are stuck in a situation in which we will never have what we want and I am stuck yearning for a girl that I won’t have.

Taken from eachother when nothing has happened but we feel as if something has.