Taking my own advice

Hello (she says and her voice echoes around the internet and disturbs the spiders in their webs). How are we all? It’s been a while. Tell me lovely, interesting things you’ve been getting up to in the comments. I’ve missed responding to comments.

In my last post, I was having a bit of an existential crisis. And that’s totally okay. It happens. It is a part of life. Recognising that you’re having issues and working on them is all part of self-care.

Upon writing that post, I decided to take my own advice and have a bit of a break from blogging – I was incredibly busy with some exciting freelance work and keeping up with both paid work and blogging on top of my full-time day job was getting a little difficult. But I’ve loosened up my schedule and we are back in business.

Since I’ve been gone, I’ve mostly been marathoning things on Netflix and it’s been bliss. I also had some lovely family time, went on several dates with the other half (including a visit to the Black Living Country Museum and seeing Spider-Man: Homecoming), went to see the Addams Family at the Birmingham Hippodrome with my wonderful Mum (review to come) and spent last weekend feeling pretty fabulous with my friends while dressed as a space/moon princess. I was blind all day because I wasn’t wearing my glasses but I reckon the hazy vision only added to the otherworldly vibes of the day.

Posts will be a bit sporadic while I get back into the swing of things (you may even get two today… maybe) but we shall definitely be swinging again soon. (Oo-er.) I will also be responding to all of the emails you’ve been sending me so watch your inboxes!

Have a lovely evening, bloglings, I’ve missed you.

Advertisements

The Quarter-Life Crisis

I am in a reading slump. I don’t get them too often at the moment so I think I just need to switch out the book I’m reading. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it, I am, but I don’t think it’s what I want to be reading right now.

But that’s not what this blog entry is about.

When I hit twenty-five, I didn’t really have a quarter-life crisis, I was happy floating along and nothing really changed with my age. Fast forward a year.

I recently turned twenty-six (you may remember a vaguely uplifting post about it), when that happened I had a grand plan and life was good and I was feeling determined and optimistic about the future. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a plan and am feeling determined but I am also feeling incredibly anxious.

Everywhere I look, my friends from all periods of my life (from primary school through to my master’s degree) seem to have their lives together, they have great jobs, great houses/flats, some of them are buying houses. They’re going to exciting places and having exciting adventures. (Now, that last bit is something I like to observe from afar, I am a homebody and I’m happy to just chill locally – that’s not to say I never want to go on holiday but I’m more focussed on saving at the moment and that’s okay.) I see my friends getting new jobs and moving up in the world, getting higher salaries and more respected in their fields, and then the panic sets in.

Maybe, it’s just because this month is an expensive month for me, filled with various car-related payments (insurance, service, road tax – yay!). I’m not able to put anything in my savings for a while and that freaks me out. But I find myself panicking that my life is going nowhere, and thinking that I should be at the same stage as the other people I know. Now, rationally, I know that all of my friends have probably had this exact feeling despite how put together they look on the outside. I know for a fact that I have been one of the people inspiring the panic for at least one of my friends (she told me so), so I must not be doing as badly as I think but the problem is that once I think it and feel it, it’s a hard feeling to shake.

My self-confidence ebbs and flows. I can take compliments now, I am practised in the art of agreeing when people say nice things about me and not only agreeing but believing it too. But that confidence doesn’t extend to my worth as a person, I find it very difficult to imagine myself as someone who adds to the environment I am in, I know I am good at things but I never think I am good enough at those things (to be worth hiring or paying or sometimes just being around). I know that this is probably being exaggerated by my current lack of money and the worries that come from that.

I will probably be okay in a few weeks but until then, I will be huddled in the corner, like Golem, whispering my precious over all of the five pence pieces I can find.


This has been a blog entry, I think. I honestly don’t know what this was but I needed to write about it, so here you go. My humble Monday-evening-but-posting-Tuesday offering.

March: Instagram Highlights

A new kind of post, hello. I’ve wanted to do these for a while, a little round-up of my favourite images from my main Instagram this month. There are lots because it was so busy! It was also my birthday, so that helps.

Highlights include: puppy cuddles, excellent books, an artsy throwback, unashamed selfies galore, an artistic accident at work, launch snippets, and birthday presents.

If you want to follow, you can do so here.

In which I found a crack in the Universe

Or at the very least, imagined a poem by Edgar Allan Poe.

Hello, bloglings of varying shapes, sizes and mythical denominations. It has become increasingly obvious to me that I may have stumbled across a crack in the universe and now she’s trying her hardest to fill it in, to make me either forget about it or to convince me I am a little bit nuts and have made-up memories. Either way, it’s working, so here I am writing a blog post about it.

I realise that this all sounds a bit mad, so I am going to explain myself.

Circa 2011/2012 I was given a copy of the leatherbound Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions). It is a beautiful edition, which currently resides at my parents’ house due to my severe lack bookshelves and space to put bookshelves. I vividly remember flicking through this book in my bedroom the aforementioned parents’ house, I remember the room’s dark purples and limited light adding an ambience to the whole thing. I remember feeling the pages in my hands and flipping it open to a random point in the book.

I remember a very short poem. Shorter than any Poe I had ever read previously. It was about a grave/death. A woman being in the ground. I remember nothing else about this poem. I so vividly remember finding it and being so in love with it. I remember adding it to my profile on Elftown, my once upon a time internet hang-out. Naturally, I deleted it at some point so it is no longer there to find.

No one I know who enjoys Mister Poe seemed to be aware of this poem’s existence. Google searching phrases like ‘shortest Edgar Allan Poe poem’ yields stanzas upon stanzas and nothing even nearly as short as I remember. This had been haunting me for years but anytime I was near enough my copy of the book to check, I’d forgotten that it was bothering me. Clearly, the universe didn’t want me to know something.

To that, I say screw you, universe! (I’m kidding, I love you really, you contain the stars and the planets and the moon and I find all of those things fascinating and inspiring and terrible – the great unknown is always terrible – in equal measure.)

This story has a happy ending, though. I’ve had spurts of looking for this poem and failing for the last few years, and I’ve never progressed in my search. Until now. While ranting to my best friend, who humours all of my weird and wonderful ways and knows exactly when to offer sympathy even though I am being ridiculous, I suddenly had a vague flicker of memory which I have never had before. I was suddenly struck with the knowledge that one of the words in the poem was ‘earth’ and another was ‘deep’. In all my years of searching, I’ve never had any inkling of the contents except for a vague understanding of the theme (grave/death, woman – or so I presumed anyway).

The universe has finally decided I am ready.

It is with thanks to the universe (and a hope that the universe is not offended by my earlier comment), that I present to you my favourite poem which was found scribbled in the margins of the manuscript for ‘Eulalie’.

Deep in Earth (1847)

Deep in earth my love is lying
And I must weep alone.

The One Where I Return to the Internet, Again

Hello. I come to you this time not with apologies or excuses for my random disappearance, but with an explanation of my planned absence. Yep. You read that correctly, it was planned! I didn’t announce it but I planned it. (Though, it is probably not a coincidence that I planned it before my entry for The Goblet of Fire, as I will explain in the next entry, which will be that one.) I probably should have announced it but I didn’t want to give myself a date to be back by, I wanted to come back when I felt ready to.

In May, I left the world of commuting to and from London, working for a publisher and living in pretty little Oxfordshire. I had a big life change, and I needed time to get used to it.

Back in April, I was offered a job designing t-shirts in the West Midlands (book-themed, politics, pop culture, sport, you name it, and I probably do it). It seemed fun so I went for it. The location meant that I was able to move in with my long-suffering other half (long-suffering because he has to deal with me 24/7 now). I’ve been working there for three months now and the creativity is fab, it’s evolved from just t-shirts to stationery and social media and all sorts of things I didn’t think I would be doing. I even designed some wrapping paper!

My publishing job was the first job I ever really had so this is both the first time I’ve had a job move but also the first time I have moved in with a partner – everything in my life changed all at once, it wasn’t quite as overwhelming as I thought it would be.

In July, after over a year and a half of lessons (and a whole lot of emotions), I passed my driving test first time! I moved my beautiful car up to the West Midlands in August, and had the shock of my life when I dealt with my first really steep hill. Luckily, I’ve got the hang of them now, after a little bit of self doubt and wondering why, oh why, they had let me pass my test.

A bit later in July, I decided to embark on a journey. A Slimming World journey. If you follow my Tumblr, you may have seen some body image posts in the past. I’ve struggled with my body for a long time, lost lots of weight in short periods of time by being very, very unhealthy and then put it back on again and then some when I got comfortable. I’ve resolved not to do that anymore. Slimming World is excellent, I am a fair way away from my target but I feel healthier and I am eating excellent food. I may post about my food at some point. I have since set up an Instagram devoted to my SW journey, it’s mostly food, but if you want to follow it, you can find it here.

What else has happened? I’m currently working on my second bit of wedding editing of the year, the third will come in November. Both weddings were lovely and I may post about them in the future.

All in all, I’ve been super busy, and I finally feel like my life is settling into a routine, and blogging can be part of it again.

On Disappearing from the Internet

Um. Hello. So, the title of this blog is a little misleading; I didn’t disappear from the entire internet, I’ve been incredibly active on Instagram, my random junk Tumblr, my inspiration Tumblr and my personal Facebook page. What the title of this blog should say is ‘On Disappearing from my Blog, Twitter, Flickr and other such Public Places, and the Pausing of the Definition Project’ but that is clunky and sounds too much like a chapter title from some kind of cyber fantasy novel (probably not a very good one). I’ve been meaning to come back for a while and, upon seeing lovely posts from lovely people like MikeMel (welcome back to you too!) and Georgia, I have decided that now is the time.

Originally, I disappeared because I was ill, nothing too horrendous but enough to render me useless for about five weeks. I always meant to start again once I was better but, as it often goes, life happened. So here is a list, in no particular order, for anyone who is interested, of things that I have done and things that have happened since my last post. To find out about the Definition Project, skip to the bottom.

  • Saw Miss Saigon in the Westend
  • Gained wonderful new people
  • Lost less wonderful people
  • Turned twenty-four
  • Irritated the dog (in a very loving way)
  • Designed several books (expect a post about book covers shortly)
  • Visited Dudley Zoo and Castle

  • Discovered and cultivated an obsession with steamed dumplings
  • Consumed a lot of pancakes
  • Bought a car
  • Passed my theory test
  • Read several good books
  • Dyed my hair

  • Failed to re-dye it (it’s on the list)
  • Started collecting crescent moon chokers
  • Checked out a few of the owls in The Big Hoot
  • Got a new tattoo (post to come)
  • Felt super good about myself
  • Started using the word ‘super’ a lot
  • Added many books to my wish list
  • Lost my oomph
  • Tentatively started finding it again
  • Almost broke my laptop, but it’s hanging in there (darn Windows updates)
  • Created a wonderful spotify playlist
  • Needed more sleep
  • Travelled on many trains
  • Visited friends
  • Went to Lancaster for the first time
  • Had many terrible driving lessons, and a fair few good ones (more good than bad from now, we hope)
  • Resolved not to rush myself
  • Ran the work Instagram
  • Cooked a three course meal, without ruining it
  • Went to a vintage bazaar
  • Sent lots of emails

Alright, it doesn’t sound like much but I am ready to take a leap back into this blogging lark and will probably use this list to generate ideas. I will return to my design posts and my book posts but I won’t be as strict with myself. I will allow myself to post about what I like, be that incredibly nerdy tattoos or my inability to stick to schedules. Who knows.

The Definition Project

The beady-eyed among you have probably noticed that my weekly project is not so much weekly anymore. Originally, as above, I paused due to illness. Having done that, I realised I wanted that project to be as good as it possibly can be and I don’t think that is possible when trying to create something new each week with limited locations and resources.

The last image I posted is one of the best images I have ever created, I think, and I want all of the images to be of that standard or better (if I can!) so I am waiting until I have access to more locations (and the ability to drive so that I can get there), more money to put into it, more oomph and a computer that can handle working on such large files. Currently, I can only do simple edits, rather than the composites I am more fond of, my laptop is steadily dying. Once it is replaced, I will be creating magic once more. Watch this space. Big things are to come.