Helping small

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I am always so acutely aware of my happiness.

I think it’s something that naturally goes hand in hand with depression. Like a business man who’s obsessed with money. He’ll never have enough of it and therefore never be satisfied.

A bit like that.

 

I see the faults in this, I see the circles I must go in. The more you try to not be obsessed with something though the more attention you’re giving to that one thing. But this post isn’t about that anyway.

Recently a thought hit me – I do so much to try and make myself happy. Well, nothing has worked well so far, so why not do things for others instead. Spend my time a little more wisely.

 

I’ve gone along with idea for a few months now. A lot of my help to others seems to always involve paint. I’ve tried to help emotionally a few times and I can’t seem to do that quite yet.

I can’t do more than I’m ready for but if there’s some DIY someone needs doing, I’ll be there for youuu.

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I haven’t done anything ground breaking. I haven’t helped the community, only family and friends. And it’s all little things that they could have done but I’ve done it instead. It still seems like I gave them a little bit of happiness and that’s the goal.

Someone to feel happy.

In turn that does make me feel happy.

And the act alone of painting chairs or a fence is therapeutic and has given me a little hope.

Not that any of this is about how I feel. My focus was never on that.

I encourage you to help someone in a small way. And the only reason for that action is for their satisfaction, not your own.

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Lola’s Cupcakes – raspberry and lemon (and heaven)

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I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day but I so happened to buy these vegan lemon and raspberry cupcakes yesterday and it looked so fitting to the holiday.

Actually, I didn’t eat them all and looking at the photos is making me crave one. Let me go get a coffee and cupcake, then I’ll come back..

I’m settling down with eating vegan. I’ve decided what my diet for the future will be, but I won’t share it because it’s adapted to me and therefore not many others would understand it, naturally.

Obviously I’ll continue to post on my experiments with veganism though, it’s just food at the end of the day.

I’m a moral driven person, I have principles and yet I let them slacken. I allow them to when they don’t fit with everyone else. That’s when I have conflict in myself. (Along with other conflicts of course. We all have storms within us.)

I need to be stronger in that sense.

Also stronger on the sweet things front at the moment.

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I am getting better each day at sticking to my guns. At least I have guns, I have to give myself that. (Not literal guns, just encase you really thought my cupboard under the stairs is filled with all sorts of ammunition.)

I also don’t fire my metamorphic guns, that’s part of my principles. They’re mine to live by, others don’t need to know nor do I expect anyone to agree with me.

Funnily enough I’ve been obsessed with The Good Place on Netflix and this bit on what makes you a good person makes me laugh so much.

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I also want a pet sheep.

These are the thoughts floating in my brain as I watch Luther, drink coffee, eat cake and put up Etsy listings of my moon faces.

AND the suns out today. Yippee.

I don’t really mean that yippee. I apologise.

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Thoughts after pumpkin picking

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You know at the end of the year so many people say ‘it doesn’t feel like Christmas’. Well, I think it doesn’t feel like October. Not only because the weather is all kinds of crazy at the moment, and my plants loving it, but because I don’t feel the same as last October. (Not that my memory is ever good enough to remember that far ago)

Halloween doesn’t mean much to me, so it’s not a momentous occasion (like Christmas) where I can declare ‘it doesn’t feel like Halloween‘, there’s not a bookmark in my brain for this time of year. I can happily say we have been pumpkin picking for 3 years now. Pumpkin picking is now the tradition where I can look back at years past and feel comforted by it or shocked at whoever that person was.

But it’s never that these month are different to other years, it’s not that the magic or thrill has run out, (never say a statement like ‘Christmas is for kids’ or ‘it’s not the same for adults’) it’s just that I’ve been on such a big journey in a year, just like us all, that it doesn’t feel like last October.

That’s all.

I’ve moved in myself. I’ve changed. Always am. No year will feel like the next, and there’s this international sadness that routine and traditions change but really there’s so much excitement in that.

Oh how gimmicks work on me

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A bottle of wine with rustic packaging.

A positive quote in fancy lettering.

Make up endorsed by a celeb.

A yellow phone.

Anything to do with Harry potter.

And now

Reading glasses that mention my favourite book on the packaging.

I don’t actually need glasses, but I went for an eye test and apparently my eyes aren’t as perfect as I once thought they were. Especially my left eye. I keep getting awful headaches and she suggested its working on computers all day and I can get weak glasses to give my eyes a break. I won’t be using them continuously, only when it starts to hurt at the computer or reading.

I wanted to buy some nice ones, rather than Poundland ones that my family buy that get thrown around and sat on daily. I had big, old, geeky ones in mind. You know the type, fashionable ones I suppose. Turns out I just can’t get them to suit me. I have a hat face, not a glasses face.

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, is my number one, top dog, the bees knees, and the rest of them sayings, all time favourite book. My copy, which was bought from a boot fair when I was 18 for 20p, is falling apart and looking worse for wear. It’s probably my most prised book.

I don’t collect as much stuff to do with Jane Eyre as I do Harry Potter (it’s hard not to go anywhere without seeing something Harry Potter nowadays) but I do have a card on my shelf to do with the Bronte sisters – You’re On It Like A Bronte Bonnet! 

When I saw these in TKMaxx, and James told me time and time again that the smaller ones suited me better, it was like the stars had aligned and I could live my gothic, romantic dreams. Whilst James gives me strange looks out the corner of his eye. Just imagine it.

So what’s these glasses got to do with Jane Eyre?! 

I have no idea.

Other than that warm feeling I get in thinking I have something associated with it. That’s clearly enough to make me buy them.

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Summer is nearly at an end, so let’s chat goals

I write this on the 30th of August – so to anyone who went to an English school, the end of the summer holidays. The end of the summer essentially.

I had summer goals that I wrote down to make them final and legit and also to experiment whether you get more satisfaction physically ticking something off a list, compared to living your life carefree and goalless.

So this experiment is almost a failure..

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..my original post already had things ticked off, and other than plans that didn’t work out (like buying the kite but there never being wind), my list stayed unticked and staring at me from my cork board – telling me I’m a failure. You’re a failure, Emily, you failed.

BUT WAIT!

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I mean, other than my life not being about counting my failures and successes – who has time for that?! – I have done more things this summer than I think I have any other summer. I mentioned in a few blog posts ago that it was never a goal to go to so many beaches – it was a goal to go to a beach – and if it were my goal I doubt it would have happened.

We went to 9.

It was also a goal to ‘plant those seeds’ (meaning seeds I had and always forgot about when it’s the right time of year to plant them). I deemed it a success, worth ticking off, because I didn’t know if they’d grow and I planted them well too late – I think July some time. But low and behold I have plants. Probably won’t produce any vegetables. But I can’t untick my list now. And the fact I did this all by myself feels amazing (other than my little brother helping to repot).

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I explained the flying the kite one, ‘do extreme sports’ and ‘watch the sun rise’ – well, I just hadn’t had time. Sure I’ve had leisure time, but when you do you want to sit and eat chocolate, not really go white water rafting and stay up for 24 hours. But this leads me on to the question – when does the summer really end?! Officially. Well, Google says (I quickly Google):

Friday the 22nd of September. 

Hooray! Still have nearly a whole month.

Doesn’t mean I’ll get everything ticked off, I don’t like pressure. The kite one though! I have nearly a month to fly a kite and tick it off my list, before the list just goes into the bin anyway.

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Now lets talk about what I proposed in my original post about goals, whether you get more satisfaction from a list compared to just doing stuff. To compare this I had to just do stuff, and later on work out of the things I did which was worth comparing to crossing off goals.

Obviously, didn’t really reach any summer goals, but all summer I still had to-do lists that I was ticking off daily, and oh my God, that was satisfying. I think when you’ve done so much stuff that you’re confused on whether you’ve done anything, then get to tick it all off and see what progress you’ve made.. that’s the money shot right there. That’s the high five to your ego, it made me feel good. (Things like ‘Google this idea’ ‘paint this’ ‘put this on ebay’).

As my summer goals were so vague (they didn’t say ‘book an extreme sport’ ‘do the extreme sport’ etc) there was less satisfaction. I don’t think there was any actually. It’s more just a reminder. It wasn’t a to do list. Just a reminder to play or do things I haven’t before. It was like subliminal messaging.

I got excited when we planned to go fly our kites, it’s the build up, it’s the planning. It’s like a ‘everything in our lives has led up to this moment’ kind of feeling. Whereas if it was spontaneous like other activities we did, there’s no build up. Then again when you spontaneously do things you get such a thrill and adrenaline rush, and people always say the days you don’t plan are always the best ones. I think because you haven’t preconceived anything, anything can happen. And, if you’re like me, when you plan a day you imagine what conversations you might have (social anxiety) or what it might feel like doing that activity etc, then sometimes when it doesn’t go that way it’s disappointing. Say we decided to fly a kite on a whim, would we be more or less disappointed if it didn’t work out?!

Days we didn’t plan, like The Cuckoos Trail or going to Bewl water, were satisfying is a completely different way. In a ‘look how good life is!’ way. I believe that’s where a ‘good summer’ comes from. I also realise now that I can’t plan things, so my friends plan events well in advance but tell me about it last minute because I’m more likely to go – I panic about long term, dunno why. I wonder if it’s also because I know I get a better feeling this way too, and I’m all about feelings unfortunately.

This all being said, I think having goals in general are wicked. It naturally puts you in a mindset to do more. Keeps you present. With out meaning to sound dramatic, it’s like giving you reasons to live, even if you don’t keep to them. It’s a reminder than life can be an adventure.

For me, not so vague goals feel good to tick off simply because they’re easier to tick off, and then inspires me to keep going. Big goals I can’t keep to rigidly because that turns into pressure and I just want to run away, but having them there is enough to push me into the right direction anyway.

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Nettles, prints and failures – what I did today

I had a thought while on a walk today about how it’s important to make an effort with yourself. I’m ever so unorganised and my Mum calls me skanky, which isn’t as big of an insult as you’d think, so I often neglect TLC. I lack in taking care of myself sometimes, I forget the benefits, then every once in a while, for no reason, I do it.

I’ll paint a picture for you before you imagine me dressing as a princess or bathing myself for hours in a natural spa while being fed grapes from above. I was in two day old clothes, I’ve had to stop wearing bras because my anxiety is so bad and let’s say I had washed the day before when you and I both know I didn’t. This is where the ‘skanky’ bit comes into play, I prefer to call it chill, plus I love not wearing bras. So it’s clear to say I hadn’t looked after myself in an appearance way but with the knowledge I was going to walk home from my boyfriends house in the morning I had prepared my current notebook, ear phones and downloaded a few (turns out the exact amount) of Ted Talk podcasts.

I have walked these fields home for years, on this blog I’ve documented it for years, and I’ve never needed any of these things before but almost as a treat to myself, I made a bit of effort.

And these were my thoughts as I began my journey; how it’s important for you to make an effort with yourself.

Then just as I was about to reach my fields (where I had unknowingly planned to sit for a bit and let these thoughts play out in my notebook) the stinging nettles appeared. This was the only entrance to the field – a long, narrow path. I persevered as a Ted Talk was telling me ‘how your brain decides what is beautiful’ in my ears. Certainly not stinging nettles. I had reached the half way point, after being stung all over my body but I looked ahead and it was ridiculously overgrown. There was no way I wouldn’t come out of it without looking like I had accidentally fallen into a nettle bush. Also bear in mind that this path has a metal fence that looks into a plant nursery, and I had definitely noticed out the corner of my eye a few of the workers watching me as I tackled this mission impossible. Sorry, reader, I am not Tom Cruise. I had to turn back. And get re stung by the same nettles.

I never managed to get to sit in a field and come up with some inspiring thoughts for myself. The walk was extended by taking the roads, and so I was, I imagine, 30 minutes more sweaty than I should have been. Sweat really should be measured in time, thinking about it. I was an hour and a half of summer sweat (stronger than winter sweat) by the time I reached home, and after a coffee in the garden, which you add 10 point on top of the hour and half (5 points for the sun in the garden and 5 points for the hot coffee) then another 3 for getting angry at my little brother and nephew fighting: that totals 13 points and an hour and half of sweat. Logic.

After a few reality checks recently and some much needed self reflection, I managed to kick my self up the back side (also did some stretching, clearly) and did some internet work bits at home. These prints are ready and photographed and almost ready to go in my shop From Miles.

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When James had finished work we made plans to go fly a kite (as part of my summer goals) but after driving for 15 minutes and sitting in a Sainsbury’s car park we decided there was no wind whatsoever. I’ve never flown a kite before but I’m sure wind is a huge factor in making that happen.

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And so no point in going home in the traffic and James had a meeting, so I spent an hour in the car outside. Which is where I’m writing this, including the words I’m writing. Right. Now.

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I hope you enjoyed reading about a random day in my life. It ended with going to a pub for dinner, called The Moat in Wrotham – looking like that?! I hear you cry. Don’t worry, I bought dry shampoo in Sainsbury’s, that’s why we were there. But yeah, looking like that. Skanky, see. No, damn, I meant chill. I wear it like a badge of honour. Cheers!

 

What depression is to me – because sometimes, when you’re depressed, you can only talk about depression. Then laugh at it.

Every bout of depression surprises me like I’m 14 and it’s my first period all over again. Yes, I was a late bloomer and I wish I could feel the jealously of millions of women around the world, if only this thick layer of depression didn’t do exactly as the word says it does. Surely that rich jealously from women would cure any depression? I’ll add it to the list of Reasons I Shouldn’t Be Depressed pinned up in some ignorant fuckers minds. But sadly (the irony) there will be no pinning as I am channelling Ringo Star today and therefore take back any snarky word I’ve said – peace and love, peace and love.

It’s like a ghost tapping on my shoulder when I’m really engrossed in an activity. I’m mindlessly scooting or painting a tree branch and BOO. Except there’s no BOO, there’s nothing to see, just empty space, no proof for others of what just happened in my brain. I’m still looking over my shoulder though, there has to be a culprit. I’m looking over my shoulder just to prove to you that something is going on and I’m not just crazy. I’m looking over my shoulder to see if others are also looking over their shoulders. I must be surrounded by people that also feel like Nearly Headless Nick just passed through them. These Dementors are real, I swear. J.K. wasn’t lying. You understand, right? You have to understand. What do you mean we are all different? You don’t like Harry Potter? Oh, wow, that just tops it all off. Well, I’m in Hufflepuff, I’ll have you know. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT A HUFFLEPUFF IS? Depression gone, replaced with rage. That cured it. Peace and love, peace and love.

I moved my entire room around yesterday. It’s unimportant to what I’m writing other than the hilarity that I was breaking down in tears every 10 minutes. Why, you ask? Are you due to bleed from your vagina, or do you have a little human growing in said vagina? Nah. Apparently moving heavy furniture by yourself does this to you. You don’t know, maybe every person who has ever moved furniture by themselves has just cried the entire time, and I’m the first person brave enough to admit it. Or, and a much more reasonable answer, my body decided to not sweat from my armpits, but rather from my eyes. I have no memory of smelling so it probably is true. I mean, The Flight Of The Conchords didn’t write the song I’m Not Crying for no reason. Needless to say, this time round the depression seems to be a bit more random and spontaneous. Oh, how exciting! A spontaneous depression.

I’m not stopping doing things. My bed is my friend but tonight I’m going rock climbing. Tomorrow James and I are going for a picnic in a park that we have only briefly visited once before, but I’m a little unsure about it. It looks like a place people would go dogging, and I’m not sure that I want to be sitting there eating a scotch egg while there’s people dogging in the bushes next to me. Might put me off my food, you know? Spreading my philly as they’re spreading their… Or dipping into my houmous as they’re dipping into… It’s best if I stop that there. I just envision a sudden break down of crying on my part, still eating my cherry tomatoes between sobs as they start to taste more and more salty from my tears rolling down my face, which makes me cry more, then, softly at first, you hear moaning. Then louder and louder as my cries match the volume and pitch. One bush apart from each other – immense joy and immense pain.

Now I re-read the part about us only briefly visiting this park before, sounds like we were the ones dogging.

This is where my sad and tired brain is at. It is what it is. Peace and love.