My story with X

This is a story i have been meaning to write for a long, long time. It was one of the main things that happened to me during my secondary school years, but i was afraid to write about it. Now, since it has been a while since then, i think it is time.

I want you to picture a teenage girl; slim and model-like. This would be the girl that all the boys would turn to in the school, if she made herself more known to them. She would absolutely be in the popular group, but she isnt, due to being quite introverted. We will call her ” Anne”.

Anne was one of the girls in my school, who you knew who she was, but didn’t really know her. She would always be laughing, hanging around with people ( mainly girls) and overall having a good time.

It wasn’t until the start of sixth form, that my experience with Anne began. I didn’t really know her before, because she was in a different class to me – we had a big school. Although she was in my friend group, i had no reason to talk to her, i was too busy trying to act cool with my friends.

Anyway, the start of sixth form arrives, and Anne and I happen to choose the same A level courses. Great! It means i get to know a new person and hopefully, we become friends. Small talk began, and we instantly clicked as friends. I would talk to her a lot more around school and in class. I thought she was just nice.

It was only when i began to remember what happened to my friends with their experience with her.

You see, Anne was quite a outgoing woman. She had previously sent ‘revealing’ photos of herself to boys in the past. She had a reputation of a girl who had been around the block. This didn’t bother me, because people change. Sure enough, she had stopped doing that. Great!

Only it wasn’t. Anne had began showing interest in another of my friends, and began to manipulate him psychologically for a long time. Once i noticed this, i realised that she had done this with two other boys in Year 11. I was shocked, and disappointed to know that she had hurt other people. From then on, i had decided that i didn’t like her. In fact, i said on many occasions that i hated her, though she had never done anything to me.

This led me into a downward spiral in Year 12. I began to become depressed. I didn’t like that i had all these negative emotions inside myself about others. I was supposed to be the one who helped others, but now i am shaming them? I tried to convince myself that this was normal, but i soon acknowledged that what i was doing; was for selfish reasons.

Then Year 13 began, and i hit a hard reset on myself. I didn’t want to be mean anymore, and i most certainly did not want to make myself feel horrible again. When i crossed paths with Anne again, i remembered our last encounters. I had began to develop a sort of crush for Anne. She would be flirtatous with me on the train ride home; holding my hand and once kissing me on the cheek. I thought she liked me, but she had a boyfriend. Upon uncovering this, i quickly backed down from my beahviour, though the urge still remained.

Then began a long stretch of time where Anne and I would be off and on with our friendship. Be best friends, then hate each other the next day.

This all changed in one maths lesson, when she caressed near my private area. I didn’t know how to feel. I thought it was a joke, but i was also horrified to know that she did this to me. My mind began to explode with thought. I didn’t know how i felt about anything anymore. The world became a dim fog within my mind. My grades began to fall, and i couldn’t stay focussed on a single subject. Most my friends passed it off as ‘getting lucky’. I was finally getting with the girls! I didn’t feel this way. I felt awful. I felt like she liked me, so i tried to flirt with her, but this backfired, for me and for her.

The negative feelings came back to me, but this time, i realised it. I began to understand how i was feeling; realising i had to take a step back to take steps forward.

This is when lockdown started.

I had the chance to overview how i have been acting; to step back and evaluate how my actions had affected myself and others. The consequence of acting abnormally around Anne, meant i could no longer form meaningful relationships. So, to combat this, i put a lot of work into extending my social circle, meeting new people and forming new relationships. I had to prove to myself, that i was better than the standard i had set for myself.

This story was originally going to base more around the character of Anne, but this blog is my story, to show how i have grown. Call it self-obsession, i call it an obsession with the development of the human brain. We act and we learn; i love it.

Finally, the story ends with me discussing this with Anne herself, explaining to her how she made me feel. Due to quarantine, we have had the chance to grow up a lot. She apologised, and so did i.

The story is left in the past, but the lessons i learned will follow with me for the rest of my life. I will never try to control others, undermine them or envoke hate on them for no reasons. Being in control of your emotions, and letting yourself be aware when you are angered, or upset, is what leads to a happier life.

Thank you Anne. It may have taken a long time, but you helped make me who i am. I am stronger and happier because of it.

YouTube detox

A month on from my last detox, that did not go that well in all honesty. My addiction to the internet, especially YouTube, has began to spike again. I find myself watching endless streams of videos, constantly refreshing my recommended tab; waiting for the next piece to catch my eye.

This has affected my health in ways that I did not know it could. I find that my screen time has increased by a large margin. Though I watch Anime on Crunchyroll, it is not as frequent as the Google site. I am now well aware of my existence, and how I am wasting it, consuming the success of others. I keep telling myself: I am better than this, I can do more. But I am always so hesitant to do so. It is like I need to go on there to be happy.

That isn’t right, I need to find true happiness within myself, not through objects. So, for the next 30 days, YouTube is off the table. I cannot go onto it for any necessary reasons.

It is time to see how strong my self control is.

When you don’t know what to write…

Ironically, I am writing a blog today to discuss about what happens when I have no idea what to write. Confusing right? But here me out.

When you come to the days, where your ideas and goals are not consistently growing as usual, those can be the best days. For example, if you are a writer, and you don’t know what to write about, it gives you time to think about reevaluating your methods, and your solutions to problems.

Days like today for me are a perfect example. I write my blog ideas that come into my mind easily. I get excited and I get going. But, if I don’t have an idea to write, I start to panic and trouble occurs. I see writing as a daily habit, that I have to accomplish in order to consider the day a success. This then gets me agitated and upset, and I get really down in my mind.

That’s it though, it’s mindset that controls you. If I am able to say “guess I can’t think of something to write today, okay I will give this a break today and I will go do something just as important to call a day a success”.

Don’t let your passions become obligations. Take a break when you can. Keep it interesting and fun. Mindset is key

Ikigai

Yesterday, I bought a book: Ikigai, written by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. Today I finished this book, and it was truly one of the best reads I have had in a long time.

So, I thought I would delve into a bit about what the book entails and describes.

An Ikigai is the reason for your existence. It is the purpose you strive for in life, your meaning and role on this earth. Since your birth, your ikigai is said to be present inside you, and your life’s journey is the quest to find this meaning, and grasp it with open arms and never let go. The importance of finding this meaning is shown throughout, as it can lead to you living longer, and more fulfilling lives shown by the centenarians in the book.

However, the writers stress that you should not put stress upon yourself to find your Ikigai. Whilst it is important to look for it, attaching a negative emotion to it could undermine its importance. Moreover, the method of finding your Ikigai is through trying new things and experiencing life to the fullest. The book uses stoicism to remind you of your morality. One useful phase I found recently was ‘moment more’ or remember death. It is impertive to live life to the full, because this is the only way to live without regrets.

One of the most valuable quotes that I found from this book was “ichi-go ichi-e” which means ‘this moment exists only now and won’t come again. I will begin to implement this into my life, as to live in every moment and not take a second for granted. Only then, are you not afraid of death.

Finally, here are the tips that the book explains at the end to live a good life. I won’t go into too much detail, but these will be a reminder to you, and myself, how to live a good life. There is no secret other than to live, but these can aid you in success.

  1. Stay active and don’t retire – this keeps the brain active, swaying away from ageing.
  2. Take it slow – “walk slowly and you will go far”.
  3. Don’t fill your stomach – eat until about 80% capacity, this will keep you healthier.
  4. Surround yourself with good friends – good people = good results
  5. Get in shape for your next birthday- Hormones are released during exercise, making us happy.
  6. Smile – 🙂
  7. Reconnect with nature – Trust me, it will recharge your batteries
  8. Give thanks – This will help you be happy
  9. Live in the moment – today is all you have, make it worth remembering
  10. Follow your ikigai – your mission is to discover it.

Adventures…

Has there ever been a place that you have always wanted to go to? a place which you thought would be impossible to get to, due to being ‘too expensive’ or ‘too dangerous’. For me, there has always been a place that i would love to go to.

Need a hint? It rhymes with Hapan…

Obviously, it is Japan, why wouldn’t i want to go there? As you can see from the past month, i have fallen back in love with anime, and the typical japanese lifestyle. Call me an otaku, or a weeb, but i really appreciate and cherish the culture, and subcultures, in Japan. I have never been able to go there , because i was too young, or i didn’t have enough money to go there. I wanted to go there this summer, but with the novel virus pandemic, that the whole world has been put on hold for, so will my trip. But, i will go there. It will most likely be next year, after my first year at university.

Adventures are great. They are a way of showing yourself what you are able to do. For example, when i was in secondary school, there was a trip to a theatre in London; to see warhorse. I wanted to ask the girl out that i really liked at the time there, but of course, i was too nervous to speak to her. Eventually, once we arrived, i nerved up the courage to talk to her and tell her how i feel. When she said yes, i was relieved and excited. I couldn’t stop being happy. This adventure was only minor, but it showed me how my imaginary boundaries have stopped me from me chasing what i want.

Do you want to climb a mountain? Find a way to do it; with the proper equipment of course.

Once the lockdown phase is lowered to a lesser degree, or the virus poses less of a threat to human life, i am going to arrange my trip to Japan. It can be scary to do something you haven’t done before. You will tell yourself you can’t do it, or imagine these crazy ‘what if?’ scenarios. The only thing stopping you is you.

Go do what you want, and make sure you have fun. But, i would wait until the pandemic ends.

Have fun

I am not going to lie to you, I did not come up with this idea. I had just finished watching a video by John Fish, a YouTuber who produces content focusing on productivity and life. He raised a good point about this pandemic, and how we should be responding. His dad gave him some good advice, “whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re having fun with it”. What this is saying is to not focus on what you can achieve from doing work, studying for exams or working out, just as long as you are having fun whilst doing it, the results will come to you.

This changed my perspective of quarantine. A lot of it I have spent trying to be produxtive, so I wouldn’t look like a failure afterwards. But, this mentality is wrong. I shouldn’t be pushing always for the end goal, it only matters if I had fun doing it in the process. For example, in Year 13, I spent a lot of it with my friends, having a good time and forming those strong bonds. There was another girl, who focussed completely on her studies, and did not have fun along the way. As a result, she doesn’t have the same friendship intensity as I do now.

This doesn’t mean to not care about your future. It is quite the opposite. However you go about chasing your dreams, make sure you have fun whilst doing it. The end result will not be so amazing that it will change your mood. The journey is more important than the destination.

I’m definitely going to implement this into my life, will you?

Time travel.

The idea of travelling through time has always fascinated me. When i was younger, i would sit for hours, watching all of the Doctor Who episodes on TV. I would religiously watch the “Back to the Future” movies countless times; to the point of addiction.

Why am i writing about this? It isn’t that i have travelled through time ( but we do, through our sleep) but i want to discuss what it would be like to do so.

There are only a few moments in my life where i would want to travel to. One time would be when i was around 7-8 years old. We were moving house, and i had packed up my belongings in a box. But, when we arrived at the new house, i couldn’t find my Sonic figure that was given to me by my friend. I was very upset by this, and spent days trying to find out what happened to it. So, i would go into the body of myself at the time, and would find out what happened to the coolest figure i ever owned.

The next place i would go to would be anytime in Year 8 to Year 9. I didn’t have many friends at the time, and would spend most of my time online; watching YouTube channels like Skydoesminecraft and Smosh. I would go to this time, because i would move to the back of the bus, to get to know the people in my year. The more time i spend with them, the closer we would get. Some of those people are still dear friends of mine 5 years later, but it would be great if i could have spent more time with them, instead of being so selfish.

Moving on, i would next go to early 2015, so i could spend some quality time with my Grandma before she died. Already, i have written a post about her, but i would want to go back, to appreciate her and be kinder to her about the situation she was in. Spending time with loved ones is very important, i didn’t realise it until too late.

Finally, i would jump to the end of Year 12, before my mocks. I would study the hell out of my books to make sure i get top grades. This would come in handy later.

There is the metaphor that people choose not to redo their life, because it made them who they are, but this is not the case for everyone. I would love to go back into the body of my younger self, relive some of the years. There is so much i would improve. But, would it change who i am, let’s find out!

Loved ones

Yesterday, I was thinking about this subject. It links heavily to one of my other blogs, focusing on death, and living life to the fullest. But, this idea is something just as important.

When we die, it can be hard to consume the idea that we will not be around our family and friends. There will come a day, where they, and ourselves are not around. pretty depressing right? But, it is not all bad.

When my Grandma passed, I found it difficult to move on, because I had suppressed guilt on hurting her. I felt as though I had failed her, in some aspect. I never was able to grieve over her death. The more I thought of her, the more I began to be scared of her. She was the most loving woman, that I had ever known, yet I was scared that she was going to come back to haunt me. This went on for many years; being scared to fall asleep every night. Granted, I was very young when she died, and I had watched a lot of horror movies. I never thought I would be able to get over this.

But, then I did.

I finally told someone what I was feeling. I spoke to my mother, about how scared I was, and how sorry I was for not treating her right. That night was the first when I was not scared to sleep.

Even writing this, is somewhat cathartic. I do think the best way for me to get my ideas out of my head, is to type, or write them on paper.

when I was thinking of this, I was building on the idea of inheritance. Not on the amount of money, or items that you get, but on what she gave me. My Grandma showed me not to have expectations of others, and be proud for even trying. She was loving and sweet to everyone she met, and never in a bad mood. It took me a long time to realise, but she lives on within me. She is apart of me, helping me in my everyday decisions.

I forgot about the one thing that she taught me to do. She always did the right thing. More recently, I have forgotten to do the right thing, I have just been sitting around, waiting for the time to pass. With quarantine, I have used it as an excuse to not pursue my life; to seize the day, if you will.

So, from me to you, remember what I learned. Be loving and kind, and have no expectations of others. Finally, do the right thing, always.

I know my Grandma is proud of me 🙂

So, what are you going to do?

This Chapter is ending…

This might sound ominous, but I do not want it to sound this way. When I say “this chapter” I am quite literally referring to this point in my life, because many changes are around the corner, and I won’t easily be able to go back to how I am now.

I have done a lot of growing and developmental work upon myself during the time known as “self-isolation and quarantine” and I value what I have been able to get out from it. For example, I discovered who my true friends were; those who stuck in contact with me throughout the coronacrisis ( I think this is a cooler name). It reminded me that I am loved and cared by others in my life, and I don’t need to be so reclusive to others, because I am not alone in life. I used to think so, I used to live in fear of being looked down on, but I don’t think this way anymore. The only opinions that matter to me are my friends, family and myself. If I am doing something that those around me don’t approve of, if I enjoy it ( and it is sensible in retrospect) then go for it.

One of the most important lessons is one of “moments mori” or to ‘remember death’. As morbid as it sounds, it holds me to the mark; to live each day, knowing that death only draws evercloser. It isolates my fear from me, allowing me to do activities I wouldn’t even dream of.

Another key lesson I learned about myself was that I have lied to myself and others a lot in the past. Whether to make myself, or others around me feel better, I had lost touch with the identity that is ‘me’.

Finally, I have learned what I love to do. Helping people, educating others and myself and being loved is things I adore about life. I have never wanted a relationship that much, besides the failures of asking girls out and whatnot. I’m purposely seeking for the woman of my dreams, I don’t know how long it will take us to find each other, but when we do, it will become clear.

Fate will guide everything to clarity, how that happens is on you.

Anohana

I know i have just written a review on another anime, but i couldn’t help myself. This story is just one of the best things i have ever seen. Anohana is a coming-of-age story, which hit me like nothing has ever done before.

This is a story about 6 friends, who were very close when they were younger. But after one of them tragically died, they each retreated from one another. Now, after 5 years, the girl who died, Menma, has returned to one of the main protagonists, Gin-kin, with the task of fulfilling menma’s last wish. It can only be fulfilled with all of the group together.

This phenomenal story follows the stages of grief, denial, total isolation and depression, but the inclusion of the light hearted, kind character Menma, makes the show more enjoyable.

All aspects of the show were interesting; no filler or unnecessary storylines. Everything was important to the main story. Each character’s struggles were a result of their survival guilt, which needed to be resolved by coming together as a group.

This anime showed the importance of letting your emotions show. As we grow, we are told to toughen up, be a man or an adult; repeatedly we are told. Our lives are only short, life goes on no matter what.

This anime has changed me, more than what I can type. Be more in touch with yourself , show your emotions in a healthy way, you will feel better afterwards.