How do you feel about it?

I feel secure.

My relationship with me is secure

I am therefore secure if you want nothing more

Your body and mine in tune

Our thoughts moving in a fluid motion I’m not sure is diverted or riding together on a wave of excitement

You entice me, confuse me and draw me

in

I am confronted with honesty and certainty I do not need you

I am unsure of where this off road path will lead to

It is a journey of unknowing

I do not accept

I do not reject

I can only be me as I am in this moment

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I Got Through My To Do List – Success!

Some manage to tick off everything on their daily To Do List, some go above and beyond that and others struggle just to peal themselves out off bed in the morning. Either way, all are achievements.

The pleasure and satisfaction from ticking or crossing something off on my To Do List is ridiculous. Honestly, I will even go to the extent of writing down things I have done which weren’t on the original list just so that I can cross it off… The simple things in life eh?

Oh my. And the joy of when you actually have evidence of how you’ve spent your time is golden to me – like knitting a hat or cooking something delicious for friends. It makes the more boring and tedious jobs a little more bearable. Those serious jobs do all tend to clump together at the end of my  To Do List  though which isn’t exactly ideal….

So I make another hat.

I love lists. I love looking at it and thinking ‘I have a purpose to my day’ and so I get on with it because I know that list won’t cross itself off now will it?

I do even sometimes add ‘relax, or nap’ to my lists as well… It adds even more purpose to sleep. Ahhh sleep, you fantastic state of being.

What I was going to say was that no matter what you tick or cross off, that is an achievement. Some are bigger than others but none the less they are done things. For some jobs, it’s easier to get done by some more than others. The journey which has lead to each one is completely unique and some can take lists within lists to do.

The success of your day should go by how you’re feeling at the end of it. Not by how much you did compared to someone else.

And don’t forget to add all the fun stuff to your lists. They are just as much important.

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Brain Food

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yes, yes it was delicious.

and yes. I did demolish it in less than 1o minutes.

I didn’t call this post brain food because my mango looks like a brain and is food.. I don’t think. In all honesty, this was a draft post which I don’t have a clue where I was going to go with. hmmmm

Let’s go somewhere with this anyway

Maybe I was thinking about how being a student I need good food? Hey any sponsors out there want to make sure I’m eating well to get good grades? Anyone.. you? No… oh.

Let’s see our brain as a pet? Our brain needs feeding. And every brain has it’s own personality, no brain is the same – let’s not be small minded here (ayy)

It needs exercising, stretching and definitely no judging! I mean honestly, no matter how hard my brain tries it cannot remember names of books let alone authors but can memorise many a random fact about arctic animals. (Arctic caterpillars live for 14 summers and freeze during the winter!)

And resting. Mmmmm I love resting.

Like after a long day of sport, your body needs to repair and adjust so that there’s room for more stretching later. Your brain is a muscle too and gets tired. Rest it, like really rest it. Not by going on Facebook or watching TV, but rather outdoors,somewhere quiet or watching a fire.

What’s the culinary choice for your brain?

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

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I talk… a lot.

And I have a lot to talk about…

£40 designer jacket or £40 flights to Europe?

I find it way more justifiable to spend my money on doing things rather than buying things.

That’s not to say I don’t ever buy things, I do. But the likely hood is that what I buy is either second hand or for my hobbies.. which I also end up talking about.

“Hey, I like your dress!!” “Thanks it was two pounds from a charity shop, and my boots were free and my…”

Buying anything more expensive than £25 I automatically compare to the price of flights.

I really dislike money. The feeling of holding money and the stress of loosing money. People become obsessed with showing their wealth in how they dress and how they act. Does dressing from head to toe in labels somehow determine you as superior? More like a defenceless mouse running into the trap of materialism.

I’d rather look approachable and friendly than look like a walking advertisement.

I’m maybe getting a bit offensive… hold it back.

I do like feeling good in how I look, and I do love expressing myself in how I dress. But I have never felt good walking into topshop. Mirrors, models everywhere. I feel best after a jog, yoga, eating, sleeping, singing, laughing, dancing, performing, volunteering and being outdoors.

oh and the joy of free stuff!!!! Helllooooo

To end, as a brief reference to the picture I have attached. I was in Croatia visiting a friend’s home and on our last night we went to Dubrovnik but refused to pay for a night anywhere, so instead experienced the magical sunrise over the ocean for the price of a little less sleep and memories full of dreams.

Be richer in your experiences and memories. You’ll be wealthier and happier than any walking advertisement.

Hungover In The Park

Good day to you too. What a glorious March this is eh?

Sunday morning. I woke up to a face full of make up, last nights clothes on, unbrushed teeth and a sea of breadcrumbs around me after attempting to feed myself when I got in (yes I know I’m not very inventive with my late night culinary choices).

On a day when I haven’t got anywhere to be, I really actually enjoy being hungover (bare with me here). I like sitting in bed with the curtains open, taking my time over breakfast, thinking about the night’s antics and just allowing myself to take the day slowly, after all, I have an excuse.. don’t I?

Well… to say I took the day slowly, I still managed to do a fair bit (you’ll learn that I’m not actually very good at just sitting still). I started off with some yoga, showered (hurrah!), made a delicious avocado, black bean and salad burrito for lunch, went food shopping, dusted my room, organised my week, cooked butternut squash and puy lentils for my dinner and my favourite part of all.. Walking Cassie.

Cassie. What a legendary four legged being.

I wouldn’t consider myself anywhere near the lumberjack type (I did after all choose to move to London) but I’m an animal (woohoo) and being an animal, the outdoors is pretty important.. especially on a day when you’re hungover.

I found Cassie on Borrow My Doggy (kind of)… que anecdote… so basically, funny story, I had seen Cassie on Borrow My Doggy, fell in love with her but didn’t realise I had to pay £10 just to contact the owner. So, with some serious consideration I decided to leave it but to go jogging anyway (rare.. very rare). So, I went for a jog and who do I see in the park?! You bet ya, Cassie.

It was fate.

She’s lovely. She doesn’t judge me for how horrendously hungover I am and she never gets tired of my company! Winner!

Cassie has been a blessing to my life in London and walking her mid way through writing an essay boosts me to carry on.

Walking clears your head, gets you some exercise and gives you a sense of freedom. There are no rules with which route you take and you get to enjoy the smaller details which on a busy day you’re in too much of a rush to notice.

So hello. I’m Annie and I love hungover walks in the park with my mate Cassie.

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Squad goals.

 

Sweaty Ball Hands

Right! Hello again! Hello indeed, and my golly am I excited to be writing!

Honestly, it’s weird! I get a tingling sensation in me just eager to write all my thoughts but like all minds.. thoughts wander into other thoughts and onto mind paths you didn’t even realise existed! So here I am.. trying to keep on one track.. Maybe?

So.. why am I so motivated? Why not?!

I’ve had one heck of a lot on my plate lately; juggling essays,  assignments, volunteering, performing, socialising, organising life stuff and just generally trying to enjoy life!.. Now to some of you crazy cats, that probably sounds like a breeze! But for me, I really love to take time to read, go out walking, learn something new and especially write to gather my thoughts…

And lately, those thoughts have been generally all positive. This isn’t me bragging at all, it’s me acknowledging that and appreciating that. My god, it’s so hard not to sound pretentious on a blog!

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller

Why thank you for summing that up Helen. But you’ve just given us some pretty words.. Hmm I love inspirational words (as you can probably tell from this blog) but I’m quite sceptical about them too.

For example, saying nothing can be done without confidence is going to knock those out of the picture without any confidence! But those words are great if you do have confidence…

Ahhhhh but I’m not saying you can never have confidence, I’m just saying, it’s not as easy as words on a screen or piece of paper or on a billboard facing directly at your office window for that matter either.

Oh geeze. I’m going off track again.

Okay, take a ball for example. In P.E, throw and catch used to scare the hell out of me. It wasn’t the idea of the ball knocking me unconscious (in fact sometimes I wish it did), it was dropping it in front of the cool kids or in front of my fleeting crush at that moment in time which petrified me. Then.. after leaving school I thought ball games would never come into my life again until… Drama School. Yes, you read that correctly. Drama School.

I go to Drama School.. I study Applied Theatre so I’m not quite up there with the actor actors.. but I’m still at Drama School okay, that’s a big deal!

Second session in, and we have to pass a ball around and with it, say our name. SIMPLE. And yet, my hands all moist and sweaty, I would dread my turn. But my director told us to breath, relax and take our time – the worst that could happen is we drop the ball and we pick it up again.

We drop the ball, pick it up again, try again and later, our hands become less sweaty.. And honestly, balls are nowhere near as scary anymore (enjoy that thought). Because in truth, failure is scary and we get sweaty palms thinking about it. Confidence isn’t just a word, it’s a skill and we will all have sweaty hands thinking about failure.

To try something, is to risk and to me, that’s an achievement in itself, and I’ll even congratulate you myself if you ask me to.. hint hint, comment, please, I need appreciation. Do it. Now.

Can I just say as well… I had no idea where this blog post was going from the moment I said Hello so I hope it hasn’t been too bad.

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Sounds Coming from Our mouths

Pretty weird right? Sounds coming from our mouths and the variety and combinations of sounds we make. But by giving those sounds meaning, somehow they become much more than just made up noises, they become words and help us to create understanding.

Last night I went to Soho Theatre to watch ‘What I Learned From Johnny Bevan’. A one man piece of performance/spoken word based on the actor’s own experiences.

Spoken word artists just amaze me. Every line is so eloquently written and performed. The rhythm and pace they find in the sounds from words is beautiful and the confidence they have in what they say is admirable.

It got me thinking, wishing and ambitioning that I could articulate myself so well.

We all have a voice, we all have our opinions, some just practice theirs more than others.

Language is precious and the ability to express ourselves with it is freedom. Everyone uses and understands language in a unique way. For example, you reading this right now, what ‘freedom’ means to you won’t be the same for me and yet it’s the same sound.

So you could say then, that we’ll never really be fully understood.. apart from, maybe ourselves, but even then, I’m not entirely sure.

Listen to others and especially listen to the voices you’ve never heard or those whose voices who don’t get listened to. You don’t learn from what you already know.

Right now, do you think I’m talking crap? If so, explore that! Why do you feel that way and create your own opinion so that I can explore yours in the same way.

If our words mean understanding, then to understand ourselves, we have to use our voices.

Identity

Me.

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Let’s start with the facts.

I am a 20 year old cis-gendered female, somewhere-on-the-spectrum heterosexual, white, university student living in London.

Easy… but then again so are so many others.

I am a 20 year old cis-gendered female, somewhere-on-the-spectrum heterosexual, white, university student living in London studying Applied Theatre, vegan, 5″6, blonde, single, sometimes masculine, sometimes feminine, knitting fanatic, babysitter, non-driver,  extroverted, non-religious, English speaking, second born, healthy human being.

So I’ve ticked a few boxes and as far as the legal documents are concerned, they’re happy with that as my identity.

But is it fact that I’m vegan if I have slipped up once or twice? Or is it fact that I’m heterosexual if I occasionally find a female attractive? How I choose to define myself is up to me. Knowing who you are and how others see as who you are two very different things and won’t always match up.

The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.

Forgetting the facts and the box ticking, there is no doubt we are unique and different from everyone else. Our experiences, memories, friends, family, dreams, passions, likes, dislikes, rights, opportunities and choices make us who we are.

There are many layers to us all, layers others see, layers only we can see and layers which no body, not even we will discover.

It’s pretty exciting really, knowing that I will never know everything about myself. I mean, will I ever find out if actually I’m pretty darn talented at trapeze or can communicate with Koala Bears? We’ll see!

Identity is always moving and forever changing, move with it, embrace it and challenge it.

Start as you wish to go on?

A rare occurrence.. Me, sat alone, in my room on a Friday evening with no immediate tasks to do (apart from perhaps a couple of essays).
Finally! After contemplating going to my University’s bar or to my house mate’s gig (sorry Tom), I disciplined myself into giving myself a break, doing some yoga, writing in my diary and having a nice long cup of tea.

Writing a blog has for about two years been on my will-get-round-to-it-eventually list but has never quite made it to my today-is-the-day list.. until today! I think that what has worried me with starting a blog, is that I always envision blogs needing a particular theme, topic or style to them.. As much as I’d love to share recipe after recipe or photos of me in a hammocks around the world sipping from freshly picked coconuts, this is simply (or not so simply) going to be me.. being me.

Hmm.. But maybe for my sake as much as yours, I’ll give us three, hazy, broad and general themes for this blog to prepare us in a minuet way of what to expect. This is the starting point after all!

Here it goes: Explore. Learn. Create.

Explore who you are, your values, surroundings, and beyond your comfort zone.

Learn from others, about yourself, new skills, facts and about your world.

Create friendships, homes, words, food, achievements, memories, time and space.

I will definitely some how slip out of these three very generous and foggy themes but hey-ho, I can only do my best!

Putting myself out there at the risk of being judged for what I post, revealing what I get up to and opening up to potential strangers as well as to close ones isn’t all that comfortable. But risks are worth taking and if I find after a few attempts at this, that I suck at blogging, well then at least I’ve learnt that about me.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

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Me and two friends plunging into the frozen Moscow river to raise money for the homeless last year… Just a tad outside of my comfort zone.