Thursday, 19 September 2013

End of an Era

So the summer is coming to an end and as ever its been full of work (experience and paid), rest (not enough) and play (maybe too much..... nah never enough play). But after all the fun and frolics there has been a serious side.

I'm going into the final year of my undergrad degree (duh duh duhhhh) so the panic of OH HOLY HELL WHERE IS MY LIFE GOING?, WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE!?, WHEN IS THE LOAN COMING THROUGH!!!??? has been racing through my mind. Along side this I have been trying to nip the annoying gremlin that is ED in the bud.


so.....
1) Where is my life going?
Its going forward, the only way it can go. I am forever making mistakes and learning from them, worrying about mistakes and re-living them, but at the end of the day they are in the past and there is absolutely sod all one can do about it. My life is going forward, there isn't a specific direction but that's okay. How boring is walking in a straight line! think about it, if you're forever going straight you never get to explore the wiggly, wobbly bits (and how much more fun is that to say?) WIBBLY WOBBLY heehee.... i digress.



2) What have I done with my life?
Turns out quite a lot. I was born (no mean feat especially for my mum god bless her). I have survived 20 years (just about) and, lets be honest, I got through pre-school, school, collage and University (almost), I learnt to drive, learnt to drink and learnt to avoid doing both together. I have made friends that I never would have met if I hadn't have been me (and god knows where they would be without me.... yes Steph Thomas you would still be passed out in Hula ;)). While there are days where I feel aimless and useless you do really need to just take a step back and give yourself a major pat on the back for even making it this far!! WELL DONE YOU!
 
Maybe drinking cocktails that are on fire isn't the best idea to keep the survival trend going... ah well YOLO!!

3) When is the loan coming through?
End of this week, I only have myself to blame but clothes and wine need me..... they do.... honest.

Finally, both good and bad events come in threes so here are 3 good things that happened this summer...
1) I have officially been discharged from the Eating Disorders clinic 2 years and 3 months after the initial diagnosis. I have never been prouder of my body and more thankful to my family and friends. Now a healthy 54Kg and 20.1BMI I can keep moving forward. (see point 1.)
 BEFORE

AFTER


2) I have somehow managed to get a boyfriend, god knows how that happened!!! Hes not a psychopath, arse-hole or arrogant prick.... who knew they existed?! Hes actually pretty darn nice (feel free to hate me and my smugness.... i do).

3)  I got 10 stitches in my leg... now I realize at first this doesn't seem like a good thing, but it taught me three things; (YES three things again, come on its just a nice way to organize shit!)
1. I can now call myself a 'proper runner' and be morbidly proud of the blood on my trainers,
2. My body is amazing, its healing itself and it makes me so thankful that we're working as a team again (i am really sorry body, I did treat you like shit but you are an utter babe really <3 nbsp="" p="">3. You can still work short skirts and bare legs with a scar with the leg cross/ HEY LOOK AT MY AWESOME SCAR techniques.
 Note the good leg crossed over the bad....  and standing next to a friend who is a banging hottie!! love you Rae Rae <3 p="">
AWESOME!!!!

So i'm off to go and pack up my life again and head back to Robin Hood country for the best year yet with my girls armed with new experiences, new self belief and new clothes.... (WHEN IS THE LOAN COMING THROUGH!!!???)

Peace and Love x


Sunday, 28 July 2013

From Paradise to the Wild... (well Zoo)

Summer holidays are what we wait all year for. They are built up, get you though end of year exams and as soon as the sun starts burning your un-creamed shoulders you know its time to get the sunglasses out and brave the bikini.
Fruit tastes fresher, love seems more likely and it suddenly seems completely natural to drink Pimms and wine before midday.



The one thing I rediscover every summer, besides the fact that despite my best efforts I will always become a lobster before a golden goddess, is my love of books and how much I have neglected reading for pleasure. In my defense this is usually because I have more than enough reading to do in my degree (History, for those who don't know), but I always have a stockpile of books I have accumulated over the year from various charity shops and amazon orders, which have been tempting me from the bottom of my bookcase.

So this year so far readings have included ;

Far from the Maddening Crowd - By Thomas Hardy (makes you believe that true love will always be the end result even in the most ordinary and rural of locations)

Moll Flanders - By Daniel Defoe (Inspires every women to have faith in herself and confront situations with strength and initiative while still allowing her to fall in love and exploit her femininity)

The Beautiful and the Damned - By F.Scott Fitzgerald (makes you pity the spoilt brats of the world and men who have to deal with needy girlfriends)

Just Kids- By Patti Smith (Makes you want to become a New York Bohemian in the 60's even if that means living on the bread line and in a scratty downtown apartment... (ok so maybe i'd struggle) but look how cool she looks!!)


and This Side of Paradise - By F.Scott Fitzgerald

For this book I wrote a short synopsis because I really really do recommend it to anyone who feels inadequate or morbidly average.
 It inspired me to never stop trying to be better because eventually you will end up accepting yourself when you realize that your best isn't judged against the world it, it is an internal acknowledgement that being the 'best' isn't a goal worth having, being 'brilliant' is.
It reminded me of a motto an ex-headmistress told us in one assembly and while we pretended we didn't care and took the mick out of the sentimentality and hypocraty of  it all it is still the voice in my head when I feel useless or stressed out; ' strive for excellence, not perfection'.

If you haven't already stopped reading and are interested in reading it this is my interpretation of what the book is about. (If you're bored already we're off to the zoo next :D)

Amory Blaine, the protagonist, is constantly searching for validation and himself. His upbringing with an intelligent extravagant mother sets the stage for an adolescent who has an ambition for greatness. At first this is attempted through trying to present himself as a ‘slick’; a type of gentleman with specified characteristics and the antithesis of the’ big man’. This non-conformist theme is a repeated throughout his life but it takes experience and social encounters to allow him to form a coherent philosophy to live by. At Princeton, he engages in literature and the works of the great theorists expanding him mind rather than focusing on academic excellence, which he neglects. In hindsight this was the most useful education he could have gained from collage. While his wealthier peers continue in the pursuit of personality, Amory, with the guidance of his mother’s friend, seeks to become a personage; more that an external projection of greatness and honour, but the ability to nurture and understand ones intellect so that he becomes remembered for indispensability rather than admired for perceived greatness.
After involvement in the war and loss of his family’s fortune, he is forced to confront fully the ideals which crystallised in his Princeton years. In the atmosphere of Socialism, this emerged after the fighting has ceased, he becomes even more introverted and inclined to question conservative values and seek alternatives.
The novel ends with Amory realising that he must break away from ‘spiritual marriage’ and enter the labyrinth in order to join the ranks of the great thinkers and radicals who he so greatly admires. While he acknowledges that he will be selfish, as human nature dictates, but he will have to understand and transcend this in order to progress rather than solely focusing on it as those who conform are prone to do so. The last line is his proclamation that he knows himself, and while he, by no means, is fully enlightened, he has achieved a state of personage which will allow him to go through the rest of his life in search of fulfilment.
He had to go inside himself to be able to exude the image he has always strived to project. It couldn’t be faked by materialist and shallow personality.

So this has been quite a serious post....
Therfore for some light entertainment, to make up for nerding out, we went to the ZOO!!!
 Meet Steph (Partner in Crime)...
 And Christopher (Pronounced Christoffoouurrr)...

They-re in LUUURRVVVVV....

... 
 Sleepy Lion (Lazy f***er)

 Just chillin...
 Little monster tore up the rails on the top of Steph's car... 
in the monkey's defense Chris did put a fruit pastille on the roof...

Attempt at a smile?...
 If this Rhino needs to go his mate will NOT be impressed....
  White with Black stripes or Black with white stripes?
 If you're given a mask you HAVE to wear it.... also the queue for face-paints was ridiculous!

 This was Biffo <3 dogs="" like="" of="" p="" re="" sea="" the="" they="">


 Off to our paradise.... 



 COCKTAIL TIME <3 p="">


 Peace and Love x

Monday, 17 June 2013

The Summer of (Self) Love

I have named this summer the summer of SELF love. I have spent a year trying to get back on track physically and now its time for the hard part of tackling the mental side.
Like every other teenage girl out there we all harbor self doubt.
We're never good enough, never live up to expectations and will never look like Jessica Alba
But maybe that's not necessarily a bad thing.

(not my image)

My second year of university has officially ended and it is at these watershed moments when you cant help but reflect on what the last year has seen and try and quantify what you have achieved.
It is difficult not to panic that the future is speeding towards you at 100mph and you're rooted to the spot about to be hit by the 'responsibility' train but this is where pursuit of sparkle really comes into its own.
zoom out
step back
and just appreciate what you have learnt and experienced over the past 365 days.

The last post was short and sweet recognizing the first birthday of my starting this online ramble so it seems liked the opportune moment to list what this year has taught me.
1) You can never have too many friends as long as you take the time to show each one how much you appreciate them

2) Your mum is alright right (annoyingly)
3) Never underestimate the impact of the words 'i am proud of you', 'i'm sorry' and 'do you do student discount?'
4) Never drink white wine on an empty stomach

5) Believe in yourself, be Proud of yourself and Love yourself because sometimes yours the only opinion that matters.

I have been amazingly lucky this year. I have met some outstanding friends, inspiring tutors and recognized that life doesn't have to be so hard if you learnt to let shit happen once in a while.

(shit like this)


Everything always seems to work out for the happy, considerate and willing individual who gives up planning and control for fate and opportunity.
 However, no one is happy all the time, sometimes you have to be selfish and yes there will always be days when you want to sit on the sofa in a onesie and watch crap on t.v. but as long as you recognize your flaws, accept them and keep pursuing sparkle you will have a summer of self love too.



IT'S SUMMER!!!!

Peace and Love x


Friday, 14 June 2013

Happy Birthday

So according to my email it is the first birthday of my blog today.
I would like to thank all the people who have read it and told me they enjoyed it, it means more than you realize.

I would like to mark the occasion with a quote from a film I watched recently, American Beauty, which I feel epitomizes what i wanted from this blog and what it was all meant to be about...

'it is hard to stay mad when there is so much beauty in the world. sometimes i feel like i am seeing it all at once and its too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst...And then i remember to RELAX and stop trying to hold on to it and then it flows through me like rain and I cant feeling anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life

Peace and Love x

.





'


Friday, 31 May 2013

Enduring Life

Ok, so it has been an unforgivably long time since my last post... I blame life getting in the way!
The whole point of this blog was to share my personal mission to regain sparkle in my life and, ironically, it has been neglected due to sparkle being found!!

As most of the regular readers know, or guessed, I have been battling an eating disorder for about a 3 years now... BUT, I am proud to say, that (from a physical perspective) I am a healthy 8st 4lbs (54kg) and have a BMI nearing on the expected 20.
So first and foremost I would like to thank all the amazing support i have received from family, old friends and new friends. (yes this is the cheesy bit!!!  This post gets better honest!!!)

Sparkle is regained!!!

The title of this post is due to the fact that i have just finished reading Ian McEwan's 'Enduring Love'. For those of you who haven't read it... firstly, its a classic how have you not read it??!! and secondly, it really does make you question how you think.

Basically this guy is a classic boffin, i mean like really smart. He rationalizes everything and believes that everything can be explained by empirical evidence and rational deduction. When his life is changed after a hot air balloon accident (yeah that's the odd bit) he realizes over time that, as hard as he tries, he cannot reduce everything to logic.
Things don't always happen the way he expects them to. Jed Parry (basically his new stalker) is one of those people who believes... yano, without evidence. He is religious (i think, even though i assume he is also homosexual)... but basically what I got from this book is that the believer didn't need proof, and he knew exactly what he wanted and went to go and get it (even if that meant stalking).
The main character who rationalizes, becomes obsessed and crazed trying to make sense of this bizarre situation. He pushes away his friends and girlfriend and his life begins to revolve around trying to understand the irrational

BASICALLY... from that I took that if you try to rationalize everything you will drive yourself mad. While I have physically recovered, that little voice in my head is still there and that's the final step to overcome.
I really empathized with the main character. I try and make sense of the world around me. Its like when you're a kid and you keep asking 'why?'. Making sense of the unknown gives you a feeling of control and calm and yet some of the best times I have in recent months is when i've let go of that control and just BELIEVED that everything would be okay. It'd all work out.

I'm not trying to preach and i'm certainly not advocating regularly going out and going mental but what I am saying is sometimes, trusting in yourself and knowing that whatever life throws at you is an opportunity to catch and not be hit, then happiness will be the result.

I'm right in the middle of my end of second year exams at the moment, (so this could be seen as horrendous procrastination) but I KNOW I'LL BE OKAY because by just doing your best when you can and making the 'right' decision when you're given a choice means that you can never regret the past and you can look forward to the future while LIVING in the present.

Interestingly, the balloon accident consists of the main character letting go of a rope (read the book cba  explaining) and when he lets go the crazy starts, he retreats into his mind... i don't think that's right (sorry Ian) I think when you let go you have the ability to be free, to escape your mind and just be.

Let go and let the Sparkle in.

Peace and Love x

OOOO P.s. spamming time please vote for Jem for MTV student of the year, it takes 30 seconds and she deserves to be rewards, she helped bring back my sparkle <3 nbsp="" p="">http://studentoftheyear.mtv.co.uk/student/jaiminee-patel

Monday, 28 January 2013

Its Ok...

So exams are over, I am out of hibernation/post-exam hangover and afresh (kind of...) to start a new term. For this post I thought i'd ramble about what got me through exams and what I hope will spur me on to make this semester even better than the last.

The girls reading this will probably be aware of the regular feature in a certain women's monthly magazine (don't think i can name it for copyright reasons or something) which never fails to make me smile. The 'It's Ok' section, for those of you who are not familiar, is basically a page which makes you feel okay about being normal, here are some examples...

1) Its Ok...to pretend its your friends 'fake' birthday to get a free cocktail at Chiquitos... (guilty)

Happy 'Fake' Birthday Beth!

2) Its Ok... to head straight for the sale rack in any high street shop (yes even Primark) and ignore all the 'New Season' stuff and buy things purely on the basis that its a £1. (guilty)

3)Its Ok... to spend 3 hours straight playing Pokemon Fire Red on your Game Boy Advance DS complete with walk-through guide so you don't have to use your brain. (LOL jokes i'm not that sad..... okay i'm incredibly guilty)

My point is no-one can, as much as they try, live the TOWIE, MIC or Skin's lifestyle 24/7 and sometimes you just have to accept that this is your life.

It is a well known fact among my friends that i am THE stressiest person when it comes to the exam period... (and essay period... in fact most of the time) ANYWAY this time around I wanted to find a way to chill out a bit, kick back, and basically not become a hermit wrapped up in my own anxiety.
Therefore I decided on a new motto...

YOUR BEST IS GOOD ENOUGH!

This doesn't seem like much, but when you come from a school whose motto is 'EXCELLENCE NOT PERFECTION', it may at first glance seem achievable but when excellence is the fall back plan, you really don't allow yourself much room to fall.

This change of attitude all started when I reached 'normal' on the BMI scale and actually felt 'Ok' about it. It was strange because I had always thought that losing weight was a way of showing I wasn't average and I wasn't just a shadow in the background to be forgotten about. In hindsight it was the wrong way of going about it and it turned into some that I couldn't control and made me disappear even more (both literally and metaphorically). Reaching a 'normal' weight was something i'd been terrified of since agreeing to recover because once you're out of it there is nothing to hide behind, you are stripped of your security blanket and laid out vulnerable with only yourself to blame if things go wrong, I can't blame ED anymore because he's gone.

After thinking it through and acknowledging that the world was this big scary place that I do have to face at some point,  I questioned why I felt such a need to prove myself, why wasn't myself good enough?
As your classic teenage girl (although not for long EEK) I guess its not a strange to admit low self-esteem, in fact... guess what... it's normal. It's normal to compare yourself to others in order to either make yourself feel even shitter or better depending on who you're comparing yourself with. Its normal to idolize  the 'reality' lifestyles on TV and imagine that one day you will be able to shop in Harrods like a true Chelsea girl. (sorry sideline thought... has anyone else questioned how the hell they can walk around London with bare legs in winter? ITS FOOKING FREEZING!)
And its normal to think that your best wont be good enough... but let me tell you YOUR BEST IS GOOD ENOUGH!

Here is why...
1) You are and individual! There is only one version of you with your eyes, your experiences, your silly little habits and your smile.
2) If there is only one version of you then there is no competition for someone else to be you. YOU ARE IT.
3) If this is the case then you are no.1 at being you... i.e. the best

THEREFORE... logic dictates that you are the best version of you. CONGRATULATIONS!

So this may seem silly and slightly reminiscent of those stupid philosophy theories which you annoying cant dispute or punch holes in (damn you Plato and sod you Kant) but you have to admit it does make you feel better.

Glee, Mean Girls, High School Musical and all that other american crap have alot to answer for when they categorize teenagers into stereotypes and yes I realize they champion the underdogs but they still explicitly show that they still arn't the best or the most popular despite their moral superiority. What kind of message does that give out!? If you are yourself you are still not going to be a Jock or a Whiz Kid or whatever but at least you'll be yourself. We what if 'yourself' is better than being a Jock or a Whiz Kid, what if there is no such thing as your average Jock or Whiz Kid... What if being you is a group on its own. Yes its scary and yes it means you have to forge your own path but that's whats exciting.

I have realized that I can't and shouldn't hide behind stereotypes any more. It may have worked as a kid when you were trying to fit in, but as an adult you have to break out of your shell and pursue what will make you proud of the person you have become. Its not easy and things might not work out how you planned, but you can never stop being the BEST.... You're no.1 remember.

Now go out there with a smug smile on your face and annoy everyone with your moral superiority! :D

I'm so moral...


Peace and Love x

Monday, 31 December 2012

Continuity vs. Change


Coming home for the holidays as a university student is always a difficult re-adjustment. I remember my first term coming home. I had spent 3 months cooking for myself, making my own cups of tea in the morning and learning that you do not put red jeans in a predominantly white wash, even if you do invest in Poundland colour catchers (they don’t work). To come back to familiarity, home cooking meals and mysteriously self-washing clothes (that don’t come back pink) should seem like bliss, so why did it feel like a step backward? Why was I expecting everything to have changes and I was confronted with the realization that continuity prevailed?
Flash forward a year and it’s the Christmas holidays after a tough first term of second year.  After a year of practice, my parents and I have found a balance, which still undergoes frequent revision.

The title of this blog post will be a very familiar concept to those who study history (and possibly other humanities subjects, I’m not sure.) It is the debate over whether our past can be divided into easily digestible chunks, periods separated by a radical change in society or lifestyle, or whether this is a framework imposed by the poor historian who is trying to make some sort of sense out of the mess that come before us. Recently, there was the Facebook (and apparently news worthy) subject of the Mayan prophecy that on the 21st December 2012 there would be a transition into a new era. In classic human fashion we deemed this to mean there was going to be an apocalypse and we were all going to die (needless to say this was probably a bit too far-fetched).
The Human habit of trying to categorise the past and seek order out of complexity is one which is both a quality and flaw. We should pride ourselves on our ability to rationalise the irrational and discover trends which we can remind us of what NOT to do, but is this really the most effective way to live your life.
Back to the everyday and it is difficult not to look back on your own life and try to pinpoint certain events which led to the circumstance you find yourself in today. The phrase ‘how did it get to this point? Where did it all go wrong?’ is one which frequently comes out in drunken tears at New Year’s Eve parties to a complete stranger who you end up waking up next to in the morning, accompanied by a headache and the depressing realisation that this year will most probably be exactly the same as the one just passed. However, this does not stop us trying to make a change. New Year’s resolutions have a reputation for being overly ambitious and lasting a week, a month if your ‘truly committed’, until you discover the left over Terry’s chocolate orange from Christmas and normality resumes along with a feeling of failure and ‘fuck it ill try again next year’.

This year I want it to be different. My New Year’s resolution is to accept continuity and the changes it brings. Embrace the butterfly effect and get swept away by the unpredictability of life and its spontaneous challenges. I’m tired of trying to control the future and make sense of the past, its and pointless pursuit and one which takes up time that can be better spent doing two separate clothes washes, trying to locate the Christmas chocolate that ‘must be around here somewhere, and revising the concept of continuity vs. change for the upcoming January exams so that next year I don’t find myself crying into a bowl of stale crisps wailing ‘where did it all go wrong’. We can’t plan our future but we can face the challenges life brings with optimism, bravery and the resolution that everything happens for a reason. So pass the champagne and see in the next year in the comfort of knowing life will carry on as normal, and there will probably be an apocalypse in 2013 anyway J.

Peace and Love x