september favourites

Reader,

Autumn is here and I like Autumnal things so I thought I would be rather unoriginal and just do an Autumn favourites because, well, I like talking and writing about the things that I like. After some more thoughtful posts with a bit of a sad or questioning undertone I thought it would be nice to talk about some of the things that made me happy last month.

Mustard Yellow – My new favourite colour. I don’t know what shifted, possibly the fact that I love all sorts of Autumnal type colours, but suddenly I decided it was gorgeous. It’s warm and earthy but somehow still bright, you can wear it with just about anything because it’s bold enough to act as a statement and I bought the cosiest mustard yellow jumper that I basically lived in last month. Now I just want a yellow dress, like in La La Land.

Headspace (App) – Meditation has always seemed a little ridiculous to me but when things really started to get on top of me last month I thought to hell with it and downloaded an app. With YouTube Ads everywhere I’m sure you’ve already heard of it, but the app basically just talks you through a moment of quite reflection and helps you catch your breath. I’m not completely sold yet but I’ve definitely enjoyed trying it out.

Peanut Butter – I’m not sure what more needs to be said about this one aside from the fact is gooey and delicious. Pop it on a bit of toast and I’m done for the evening. It’s a cosy form of junk food perfect for me during the beginings of Autumn.

Candles and Oil Burners – So thanks to an ASMRtist I follow on YouTube, during September I took an interest in crystals and aromatherapy. Though it’s not a belief of mine, I’ve loved delving into it and I bought a cute little oil burner that’s been sending me to sleep with a lovely lavender smell. It’s actually very soothing to have soft and familiar scents in my room and on my clothes and it’s done a lot to give me that little bit of calm in a stressful day.

Tom Rosenthal (Musician) – If you haven’t checked on Tom’s music on Spotify or YouTube then I suggest you do it right now. His voice is beautiful and warm, his lyrics are both hilarious and moving and the vlogs he does with his children just make my heart melt. When I’ve needed something uplifting and soft in terms of music, Tom’s music has been right there. I’ve been a fan for years but recently I was reminded how wonderful he is. He even liked a tweet I wrote about him!

Letter Writing – I love kicking it old school and writing people letters and I’ve been doing it since the beginning of last year when I moved away to university. In September I finally started to get letters back rather than texts of thanks and it really made me smile. My friends and family picked out some adorable cards and filled them with kind words and receiving them in my new house was a lovely feeling.

So those were the things that made me happy in September? Do you have any favourites? What are you looking forward to this month?

Feeling spoopy yet?

Leigh-Ann

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imperfection

Reader,

Let’s talk about self image for a second, shall we?

I wanted to talk specifically about imperfection and start by talking about it in a wider sense. Imperfection is everywhere; in places, concepts and people. It’s imperfection that makes our world unique and well beautiful. Let’s think about this.

Think of yellowed book pages and the tea cup with a chip. Think of the height marked spot on the kitchen wall.

Sounds pretty cosy and nice doesn’t it? These imperfections show signs of use and love and experience.

Now lets think about chipped nail polish and girls with freckle covered noses and stretched marked tummies, the boy with a crooked smile, twiggy arms and kink in his hair.

Imperfections in people make them beautiful. Imperfections in things make them beautiful. When we think of our favourite person, there will always be something about them that might be unconventional or “imperfect”. Something that they hate about themselves but we’re attracted to and love.

This is the same even beyond physical imperfection. Jealousy, perfectionism, a snorty laugh, a tendency to cry, a fragile soul, an argumentative temper. Seeing someone’s true beauty is knowing that these things are part of who they are and what makes them beautiful. We all know that. We all see that in the people we love. I could write thousands of words, attempt beautiful poems, about why the boy I love, or my best friend or my sister, is completely imperfect and why I love every single one of their stupid imperfections anyway. Most people could.

So why is it that we’re so unwilling to see our own imperfections as beautiful? This is an open question. I don’t have the answer. All I know is that we all do it and that we should stop. We beat ourselves up for not looking like the magazines, but more than that, for not being happy all the time or being the best at everything we do or making mistakes in life. We don’t forgive ourselves like we forgive the people we love. We don’t want to see ourselves through the same lens as we see the people we love or even with the kindness we often offer to complete strangers.

I’m needy and jealous and I worry about everything. I’m a neat freak, I’m going through a tough time and I hate admitting to not being happy, and I have a terrible relationship with food. People I love will tell you I care, and I’m organised, I put too much pressure on myself and I like sugar. The comparison of their words and mine is a simple demonstration of how harshly we view our own imperfections compared to those of others.

This isn’t supposed to be a high and mighty post and I’m not suggesting that this is a new revelation; of course people have talked about this before. But I wanted to talk about it in our space, think about it myself, and try to make myself realise that even our best qualities falter sometimes. Even the things we love about ourselves can too become imperfections. Everything has a flip side and we have to be okay with realising that it’s not a bad thing. It’s a balanced thing.

How do you remind yourself to view yourself with kindness? Let me know.

Leigh-Ann

my personal version of journaling

Reader,

I am a very introspective person. I like to think and spend a lot of time (probably almost a destructive amount of time) reflecting and thinking about how to improve myself. Though I probably do it too often, this is a part of myself that I’ve always quite appreciated because I think I’m a reasonably self aware person and I think this helps my understanding of myself and how I communicate with others. Anyway, this need and love of reflection and expression of my inner thoughts is a massive reason behind why I write and one of the ways that I write is by journaling.

I think I’ve always journaled in one way or another but I’ve never stuck to one method enough to feel qualified to talk about it or be part of the huge journaling community on the internet. My journal is not pretty and organised. My journal is just for me. It’s messy and disjointed and lots of the pages are blank or scribbled on. I would never dream of a journal flip through or show and tell. It contains my thoughts and is purely there for me to get my thoughts in order. Writing things down has always helped me this way.

I think this method of journaling has been extremely beneficial to me and in a way blogging itself has been some form of journal for me too, just one filled with the thoughts that I am more comfortable sharing. Since the whole essence of this blog is about how writing things down helps me piece together myself and my life I thought it would be a good thing to talk about here.

My journal is a bright yellow notebook with blank pages without lines and each page has a rainbow coloured edge. It’s very quirky which I like. I tend to pick pretty notebooks to use as journals as for some reason I feel more inclined to fill them and it makes me feel good to look at the book filled with my messy thoughts and still think it beautiful.

I have no order or rules for my journal. I don’t write in it every day or once a week, in fact I don’t have any sort of schedule. I write when I feel like I have to. Sometimes I just stream of consciousness write, sometimes it’ll be one sentence in the middle of the page written in tiny writing. Sometimes I draw scribbles, sometimes I stick photographs. The only rule is that I remember that nothing has to be perfect and no one is ever going to read it but me. My journal isn’t about keeping secrets. It’s not about documenting a day. It’s like a bin almost, somewhere to dump thoughts that are busy and overflowing in my brain. They don’t all have to be sad thoughts, in fact one thing that I wrote in it is a list of all the things that I could think of that made me happy. The list is still growing and it’s a great thing to refer to when I need to smile.

I think the problem with journaling is that lots of people don’t know where to start but the thing is, neither did I. I just remember feeling something really strong and needing some sort of an outlet. I picked up a notebook started writing and bam. I remember throwing out my first journal. I didn’t like some of the things that I’d written about myself or my situation. I learnt after though that journal entries are like snap shots into one moment in a lifetime and the person or head space that you were or were in at the point of writing it will probably quickly change, but you shouldn’t be ashamed about the past, but learn from it.

Journaling and writing to me mean sanity. What do they mean to you?

Leigh-Ann

me at nineteen

Reader,

I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube recently, particularly videos called “me at…” which are people documenting themselves at a specific time in their life so that they can look back at it later. I don’t have the talent in media to make an artsy video, but I did like the idea and so I thought I would make a blog post instead.

Me at nineteen is a lot of complicated and contradictory things and my life looks much the same. 

I lost a lot of weight and I managed to find myself and lose myself all in one year and I think I’m only just starting to find myself again. I feel beautiful sometimes but my body confidence, general confidence, was found and lost too. 

I’m having a hard time with my emotions and seeing myself as enough. But I’m working on it.

Me at nineteen lives away from home in England with five beautiful and wonderful friends and still misses my amazing family and friends at home. I’m still in contact with them though and this makes me happy.

Me at nineteen has a boyfriend. An amazing, supportive, intelligent, gorgeous, dorky boyfriend whom I can solidly say I am hopelessly in love with. I never thought that would happen to me, especially at nineteen.

Me at nineteen is sad and scared to see him move away. 

I’m worried I’m being naive. 

Me at nineteen is also sad and scared and excited to start a second year of university, to start planning my future. 

I’m positive, but feel like I’m starting to have to really fight off the cynicism of adulthood.

Money is becoming increasingly important to me the less of it I have. I dislike this.

Me at nineteen is trying to get a hold of things, trying to understand and pull all my shit together.

Me at nineteen is trying to be a better person. 

I think this time the reader is likely to be me.

Leigh-Ann

 

that moment when you stub your toe

Reader,

You know that moment when you kick the coffee table or trip over the end of your bed or catch your foot in the door? You know how for the shortest of moments it feels like your life is falling apart; you feel pain and anger and your eyes tear up against your will and you might let out a curse and in your head all you can think is of f-ing course, this is just an omen for my whole damn day and I am not in the mood to be dealing with this. You know that feeling when your mind completely blows something as simple as stubbing your toe out of proportion? I hope I’m not the only one here.

See I’ve been feeling this a lot recently, this emotional delicacy. I’m sure some of it comes from my sensitive personality, some my age and some all the change that’s been coming at me recently. Either way, I find myself clinging to every little toe stub like it might actually lead to me loosing a foot. I get annoyed at the situation, then annoyed at myself for being annoyed and before I know it its a vicious cycle and I’ve shed a tear I just didn’t need to. The worst part about all the damn toe stubbing is my inability to let it go and get on with my day. I woke up late, for goodness sake now I’m a silly little failure. Something doesn’t go the way I planned or someone doesn’t react the way I want them to, well now everything is just ruined! You see how this might cause some problems.

I’ve always been a glass half full person, latching on to the positive when everything else is going a bit wrong. Perhaps that’s why it bugs me so much that recently my perspective seems to have shifted. I don’t seem to be as able to find that silver lining and that’s always been such a massive part of my personality as well as something people love (and hate) about me.

The point of this ramble is I’m sure everybody has found themselves in some sort of toe stub situation numerous times in their lives, countless even. It’s one of those things. What’s important is the ability to dust off and get up and kick the damn coffee table back, right? I mean that part definitely only works as a metaphor.

I’ve tried to counter this negative perspective in many scribbley ways. I’ve jotted down happy lists and getting my emotional shit together to do lists and well made many a list in general. They’ve helped for sure, in little ways. They helped me prioritize better, things that really matter and things that don’t. Am I really going to let me stubbing my toe ruin my whole day when I have all these other things to look forward to? Writing things down has definitely helped to physically show me that the good outweighs the bad and that not everything is this long linked failure chain.

The lesson here? You know that moment when you stub your toe? I really hope you sit there and you seethe and you curse and you glare so hard at the table leg that it bursts into flames, but when that’s done, I really hope you remember that it’s not your fault, not the worlds vendetta against you, not an omen for your day. It’s just bit of bad luck. Oh and remember they make steel toe cap boots!

Stretching a bit aren’t I?

Leigh-Ann