Tuesday, 27 September 2016

New chapter

It is late and I really should be going to bed but I suddenly had a little spark of creativity and motivation. The last two weeks I've been languishing around the house more often than not, waiting for visa papers to arrive. I'm not good at being patient and waiting and sitting at home. I try to stay active but there are only so many days I can do sitting on my arse watching videos, reading books and drinking hot drinks. I cherish free time, but when its continuous and you have to stay in and wait for the postman, as someone who likes to be out and about, it becomes restrictive.

Finally, today, papers arrived from China and tomorrow I can get down to the post office and apply for my visa. It has been six months since I began the long, tedious process. I was actually meant to fly this Monday gone....but nope! Still here! And the next stage could take up to 10 days too. However, this should be the last one! Once they send back my application I can book my flights and go...

A new chapter in China will begin!

Tonight, I lazily browsed through my Instagram account looking at the years that have already rolled by - most of them taken up by adventures in Spain. I started my Instagram life just before I left for that country. I can't believe how the years flew by. I look at myself back then and I can see a vibrantly happy smiling face. I like the girl in these photos. She is beautiful and happy, whatever other things were going on in the background that sometimes challenged her. I see her more fully and I am more generous to her now than I was to her back then. We all have our insecurities - about our bodies and actions and who we are - throughout life. But looking back over the last four years I can see that she really didn't do too badly.

I'm so nervous about China but since I first set out for Spain, I have grown and I have strengthened and I feel ready for this huge undertaking. I definitely want to document it somehow. Video blogging has been one idea... but I'm not sure yet. I hope it will be from this platform but I'm doing my research... we shall see. It is just a matter of time...xxx

Friday, 9 September 2016

Blogging and the next direction

Blogging has changed so much since I began to write back in 2008. I returned to my old blog and looked to the right side panel where I kept a list of all my favourite blogs I used to read and frequent. If you look at their postings many of these lie dormant. An era came and went. The oldies moved out and the new kids on the block moved in.

The blogging days I remember were like a little community. People weren't so fussed about gloss and glam and the perfect photo shot. They were just honest, open people who were exploring this new platform and making some online friends along the way. Nowadays blogs are like magazines and many are big business. Blogs evolve like everything I guess, except what they involved into was not what I had been seeking.

I started my blog to encourage myself to write more fiction. I didn't end up writing much fiction at all but I did write. I had so much to say. Then one day my voice dried up and my attention was directed elsewhere, towards my passion for art and socialising. I can't say why, but maybe as more people flooded the platform, the community disappeared and a feeling like competition set in, and, for me, in some ways, it stopped feeling 'real'. It felt like it suddenly became all about 'comments' and numbers.

Furthermore, I didn't have as much time to write anymore. Back in the day I was stuck at my office job desk with too much time so I filled it with this. When I changed my career, suddenly I was no longer bored and stuck behind a computer as much. I got out into the real world and began living it more than reflecting on it.

I'm still living it. In many ways I'm still too busy. Instagram seems like a less time-consuming solution. Or video blogging. So I'm not sure what direction I plan to take next. Maybe I will adapt this blog into a instagram one... or do a mix of the two. I think a visual revamp might be fun but I'm so rusty it might take me a while... and then there is the fact I'm moving to China in two weeks...so I'm not sure how the firewall is going to affect things. Whatever I decide I'll keep you informed if possible.

Until then... xxx


Thursday, 8 September 2016

Thinking about returning...

Okay, so my blog is old and out of date but I miss writing. I think a comeback might be on the cards because suddenly I have a lot to talk about again. It is weird how it is...sometimes you want to focus your attention on other things and sometimes you are too busy living life to sit down and write it all down.

This actually happened to me when I was a late teen. I kept a diary from the age of 11-18 years and then when University hit it all kicked off and I just didn't have time to keep writing.

Anyway... no promises but... just saying - Watch this space...I might be back! xxx

Monday, 26 October 2015

Moved House

You're going to have to bear with me. I'm sort of fumbling around in the dark at the moment with where I'm going with blogging and my online experiences. I feel this need to record and write but I'm not sure if I want to keep doing it here but I've come back anyway as it is the only platform I have right now.

So....

I've just moved house! Suddenly I find myself in El Raval in Barcelona. It is quite amazing. This is my sister's old neighbourhood. It seems more populated then it was back then when she was here. The tourists are overspilling from the Gothic quarters and El Born and the Rambla and wading into this district.

It still retains it seediness though. Outside my house bookending my front door sleep roughly two rather unsavoury figures. First thing I saw the morning I stepped out was one relieving himself against a wall. They group around a little memorial statue everyday like they are having some sort of committee meeting. Further down the road if you turn left you can wonder onto a street of dishevelled prostitutes and pimps and sad looking recycled mobile phone and barber shops.

Contrast this with all the boutique hotels with gold-gilded signs and fairy-light bars and cosy cafes brimming with hipsters and their awesome, stout, little bulldogs. I guess it feels a bit like Camden. It certainly has character. Whatsmore, in one minute you are on the Rambla and it is heaving. I feel like I've moved to the equivalent of Soho or Leicester Square when I find myself here but I'm paying a fraction of the price.

The thing is though - I'm going through a bit of a crisis. Okay...that sounds dramatic. It isn't so bad. It's rather low key...it is just my thoughts. I'm locked in a bit of a downward spiral with what I want from my life...and I've read a lot of literature lately that has left me feeling a bit like 'What is the point?' I'll have to explain this another day in detail but to give you a glimpse, think - environmental issues, money, corruption, the food industry, behaviourism (which makes me question if we have souls)...the world in crisis.

I'm not thinking in a suicidal way or anything. I'm happy enough. I'm just a bit disillusioned with the world and my inability to steer through it the way I want. Can any of us make a difference? Does it really matter? It can feel a bit overwhelming and I feel helpless at times.

Fortunately I'm friends with an eternal optimist whose phd is in positive psychology and she is encouraging me to redirect my thoughts and try to counterbalance the negative reading/facts with some positive. Its actually super simple. The moment I do begin to count my blessings (which at times I have to consciously do) the sun comes out. I mean...Gosh, I've said it just now in the previous paragraphs.

I'm living in central Barcelona. Smack in the heart of all the hub. For a seedy part of town which houses a lot of rough pads (along with bedbugs, cockroaches and rats) I have a wonderfully modern apartment shared with one other person. I have a beautiful large window which lets in all the light and despite being in the centre there is a huge tree outside and birdsong wakes me up.

There is a gym within walking distance, my bank is opposite my front door, the best market in the city is one minute away and I don't have to take a taxi to access all the night-life I want which as a singleton is well...just bloody marvellous.

Okay...it still isn't solving any big world problems. The negative is still very much there but by redirecting my thoughts and focusing on the little things in my life I'm hoping I'm going to climb back out of the hole I slipped down. And maybe once I've made a bit of headway, maybe it will becoming infectious and then maybe little differences will be noticed.

One thing I know for sure, even if I never achieve anything great in this life, if I can just be a good friend, if I can make those around me happy...then well...that is something positive. There is so much I could write about all this but I think I will stop here for now.

I hope you are all having a good day. It is Halloween soon too! My favourite holiday. Lots of Love xxx

Monday, 12 October 2015

Hello! Is it me you're looking for?

Probably not...I've been away too long.

Is there anyone out there?

Hmm...well...I'm here. I'm back to write. For how long? I don't know. I feel like my little blog needs a shake up. I had thought of making a new one, but why? When I have a perfectly good one here.

I've come to realise that although sometimes I have periods where I don't write, ultimately I need a space for this. I have a lot of thoughts and I get swamped in them at times.

I don't know what it is. The blogosphere isn't the same as it was when I first began. It's character has changed and become more slick, more magazine like...less of the community I once knew it to be. I don't know if I want to be a part of that and well, mainly I just can't keep up. I haven't got time.

But I need to write - I need an outlet. I also feel these days that so many people are talking and writing and you feel like you get swallowed up in the sea of it.

I'm going to find a way...Just it is taking some time. 

Friday, 20 March 2015

A strange time...

It's a strange time. I'm coming to a crossroads and once, when I was looking to these roads up ahead, I thought I had it all figured out. I had a plan. But the future always looks different when you reach it in the present. I don't feel as I anticipated, plus circumstances have changed.

Originally, Doha and Qatar were quite firmly flag posted. I felt pretty confident. Then, 2 days before I had talk to my boss about my plans, there was a change in the landscape and I had to throw the middle east idea out the window.

What to do now? I panicked and asked my boss for more time to make a decision. Then, I came to, and realised that I still needed to leave. Just suddenly it seemed more scary with big question marks hanging in the air and I sought security in the idea that I must do my DELTA module 3 before any other big adventure - I think this is a delay tactic of sorts, but it also makes logical sense as it is wise to be progressing with this and not leaving my new knowledge to stagnate. I should press on and finish the qualification. So now, I am looking at adventurous ways to approach this.

In the meantime, other issues have risen to the surface. Namely, my growing inability to cope with every day stress. My life really isn't that stressful and I'm happy. However, my hair is falling out. I have alopecia areata which is where the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Whilst, I'm no Gail Porter case yet - losing your hair is distressing and you worry that it is going to spread or whether it will even grow back. Currently you can't see the problem unless I tie my hair up as my long mane hides the patches that lurk below and near to my ears but, still, they are quite big!

I think I have known it for some time that I need to get this aspect - how I deal with stress - under control. It is only when faced with being bald - a vanity issue - that I'm kick starting myself into action to try and address the issue. If I look back on all my recent ailments they all fall under the 'stress umbrella'. RSI in London and eczema on my face when I was working in a very stressful job, stomach issues when I was caught up over a boy, insomnia and now this and teeth gritting! I pack too much in and whiz around the place and I'm highly sensitive. You just have to beep your horn and I'm like a startled bunny rabbit!

I came to Tarragona to slow down from the speed of London but all I've done is slowly increase the tempo back up again / never actually slowed down in the first place! Just goes to show that you can change your outer environment very easily but the internal one still follows you! I think I have done a lot of work on myself these last three years - three years!? Can you believe it, it went so fast - but I guess there is still much to be done. I feel more resilient with some things but I guess not so much with others - namely decision making at this current moment. Need I hark back to Plath and her fig tree that I completely empathise with!

So...big hanging question marks in the air which I hate. Most people would find it exciting. I should change my perspective really. It is pretty exciting...just it is also nerve-wracking! I want to know the answer now! But I'm just going to have to wait and see how the view is once I'm at the top of the hill....

As for the stress...well...I'm aware of it! Guess it is time to take more conscious steps to helping my unconscious mind relax a little....

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

I wish...

I wanted to write more these days!

Because there is so much I want to write about! I've just started a Positive Psychology course on the online website coursera.org which is bloody brilliant and keeping my active mind entertained. I've even been recommending the website to some of my higher level English students because you can watch videos in English with subtitles so you can work on one skill whilst you learn about another subject! Very useful and enjoyable.

Positive Psychology as a term is quite new to me - I stumbled across it a few years back when I met a girl - now a very good friend - who was taking a Masters in it (and now a Phd). When she described it to me I felt like someone had designed a course which incapsulated half the reading I'd already done in my lifetime!

Growing up, my dad had (still has) tons of self-help books mixed up with all his business books on his shelves. Being an emotional teenager, I quickly found solace in a lot of these and as the years went by I found a self-help book was always a good quick fix/temporary distraction to easing emotional pain. So I'm pretty well read in this area already by chance (though that is not to say Positive Psychology is the same as self-help exactly) and in the last few years I have continued to read in this area more purposefully now as I recognise I find this area of science fascinating - though I have gone more academic with my pursuit for more knowledge.

There is a massive growing trend for this type of psychology. Ted.com, Tiny Buddha - even dating guru sites like GettheGuy draw inspiration and ideas from Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology also supports a lot of my developing ideas about connection and spirituality. As I said to one friend, it is almost like the science being carried out is proving what we have always known in ancient spiritual texts and ideas. I just want to read more and more and learn more. I'd love to do a Masters like my friend but...pah, so expensive these days!! So...it remains just a hobby for now.

I really should be writing down everything...to help me retain it all...but I just can't right now. I'm too busy with other things. This little burst of inspiration is fleeting and fading but I wanted to share...If you have time and you also find these things interesting check it out...And I will try to come back with a few more thoughts to share soon.

Lots of Love xxx