Detachment by Morrie Schwartz

“Take any emotion – love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I’m going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions – if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them – you can never get to being detached, you’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience the fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.'”

– Spoken by Morrie Schwartz, taken from Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom 

Jealousy

And yet my jealousy arises,

when there’s nothing to envy at all.

To know I don’t need to prove myself,

is the best validation of all.

But here I witness achievements,

I don’t even want to possess,

yet my mind deceives me into believing,

that all I have is less.

When Everything’s Gone To Sh*t

So how do you cope when everything simply goes to, well, shit.

What do you do when no matter how god damn hard you try, you see no results.

I have been trying for what feels like years to catch up and be on track. To finally be doing what makes me happy. 

To be happy.

People tell me that it’s times like these that will make me stronger, but what if these times never end. What if this is it, this is how my life will play out forever.

It has come to that time of the year when it’s time to apply to university. But I really don’t want to go. To get into the graphic design industry you need as much knowledge, experience, and examples of work as possible. This industry is incredibly tough to get into. 

I went to a group assessment in London a few weeks ago for a graphic design level 3 apprenticeship. This was a pre-interview interview. The room was full of 14 other talented individuals with abudent portfolios and previous experience in the industry. And there was me, my only experience being GCSE graphic design and a £50 Introduction to Graphic Design course that I recently took at my local college. I contributed more than the majority. I was allocated team leader in our mini-project to design a website for the company and present it to the rest of the room. I felt like I led perfectly. I found it incredibly frustrating that you can’t physically show your determination and drive over a digital portfolio. Someone who has access to expensive software will come along and wipe me off the floor leaving me completely out the picture (excuse the pun). Unfortunately I didn’t even make it to the real interview.

I know that my work ethic is way too strong to ever give up, and I will continue to apply to apprenticeships. 

Unfortunately, my laptop broke a few days ago. This means that I’m no longer able to edit my blog or access certain documents. This has halted my ability to design pieces for my portfolio. I’m now having to complete job applications and write blog posts on my phone. I’ve tried visiting my local library a few times to use their computers, but I had to sit next people who I don’t think anyone should have to sit next to, plus their software sucks.

I now need to save up for a new MacBook Pro. These start at £1,250 plus Adobe Creative Suite (I don’t even want to know how much that costs).

But, here’s the catch.

My poor car is slightly broken. I have taken it into the garage multiple times and they finally came to the conclusion that it could be the valve. This would cost £1,200 to be fixed. Fortunately, my step-dad checked it out and reckons it could be fuel-related which would cost less than half of the quote the garage gave us. This is good news, but it’s still money I haven’t got, money I need for a laptop, money I need for expensive software.

Saving up the money is going to be tough. I recently got employed at a golf club. I was hoping to be working 30+ hours per week, but I’m currently only working 2 shifts. This doesn’t even cover my bills. This means I’m back to applying to jobs I don’t even want. 

I’m proud that I’m not a person to give it all up and settle. I’m not giving up my dreams because I’m seeing no results, because I feel like I’m simply going backwards rather than forwards. I encourage myself to focus on how bloody happy I will be when I’ve finally made my first step into the industry, when I finally have a purpose to get up in the morning. I will be drinking to that, preferably at the Sky Garden in London.

So how do I stay positive in times like these? Well, I write. I write poems, I save quotes. I listen to music, I create. I run, I apply to clubs (I have applied to Reading rowing club which starts in the Summer – finally!). I spend time with my family, I take time to focus on me and learn what I want out of life. I volunteer, I plan, but I allow myself to feel.

Jealousy is an emotion I hate the most. It is waste of energy, it is nothing but negativity. To look around and see everyone 20 miles ahead is hard, so so hard. ‘Slow and steady wins the race’ I tell myself. I’ll cross the line soon enough, even if it’s way after everyone else.

Advice I give to friends who aren’t happy with their life is this:

Embrace where you are right now. You will never be in this position again. Don’t wish it to be different, or for it to be the future. You will one day reach your goals and look back. You will look back and realise you had nothing to worry about. You will regret wasting all of the opportunities you had at that point, all the lessons you could have learned.

Life changes quickly, so don’t worry. Don’t lose sleep, and don’t crush your happiness. Take a deep breath and battle through these harder times, it’s the only way you will reach the other side. Embrace where you are right now. Embrace the future in the future because you aren’t there yet.

Maybe it’s time for me to take my own advice. 

Stay positive.

You Are My Sun

So, here we are. 

Nearly a complete year since you fractured my heart.

Together we’ve almost journeyed around the entirety of our closet star.

My fondness still stands as strong and as towering as it always will.

My infatuation with your presence still exists.

But,
 even more so.

The more I discover about you, the deeper I fall.

You are my sun. 

You are the happiness I feel when the sun’s rays hit my face on June 21st.

You are the satisfaction I sense in my bones when life is nothing but flawless.

You are every one of life’s pleasures rolled into one dream.

My dream.

A dream so pleasurable, I never need to dream again.

So let’s travel around the sun together a few more times, or how about forever.

Me, Age 20

Today it is Tuesday the 21st of March, 2017. It is currently 7:14 pm and 8 degrees outside.

Someone I’m not close to asked me to go and see a band with them in London. I said no because I don’t have any money and already have plans to see Sam.

Today I bought a navy shirt-type jacket for £1 from Phyllis Tuckwell. I buy the majority of my clothes from charity shops. I hate wearing things that I might see someone else in. I have this real thing about being an individual, or unique I guess I’d call it.

Oh, I also bought two books, £1 each. I’ll let you know if they’re any good. I only bought one of them because I liked the cover.

Right now I’m listening to Drake’s new album ‘More Life’ which he released on Saturday. So far my favourite track is Madiba Riddim.

I’m currently working at the Army Golf Club where I pour pints, take orders, and wait.

I took Sunday off because I needed to create my portfolio and send it to Creative Pioneers. I have applied to an apprenticeship in graphic design with a company called Cultr Pvt Ltd. They are based in Bloomsbury which would mean I’d have to spend £4-5k per year on travel. The job is only for £12 months. I had an interview for it last Friday in Greenwich. I have some pretty tough competition. Right now I’m waiting to hear back to find out as to whether I have an interview.

If I don’t get this apprenticeship then I’m going to have to start looking into graphic design degrees. So far I’ve had a peak at Goldsmith’s and Edinburgh’s course structures. I really don’t want to go to uni, but the graphic design industry is a tough one to get into, and there aren’t many other routes I could take to be successful. I guess I’d get a strong portfolio out of it, and so I should for £9k a year.

My car is broken. Something about my valve being cracked. I can’t drive for more than 5 minutes before my acceleration dies and I have to re-start my engine at a junction. The mechanics have quoted £600-£700 to get it fixed. I’m poor and cannot afford that so my dad is going to have to help me, he’s helped me out a lot. This makes me feel very guilty.

I put a lot of pressure on myself for not being where I want to be. I’m teaching myself the art of building a foundation and being patient with my goals. At age 20 I thought I’d have a job, a good car, and live in my own home. I work at a golf club, have a very broken car, and live at home.

My favourite place to be is my bedroom. Today I went to B&Q to pick up a few colour examples, I’m wanting to paint my walls. I really like Summer Moss, Sunwashed Meadow, Sugar Leaves, and Nectar of the Goddess.

I can now manage my anxiety. By taking St John Worts, folic acid, iron, vitamin c, vitamin b12, and drinking lots of chamomile tea, it seems to have subsided a lot. This has majorly improved my quality of life.

I listened to ‘A Millennials Guide To Kissing’ By Emma Court, read Emmy Rossum from Shameless (oh, did I mention that I’m obsessed with that show). It inspired me to write more.

I’ve got an interview at 9:30 am tomorrow. This is to be a voluntary visual merchandiser at Blue Cross charity shop in Farnham. With the number of clothes I have purchased from second-hand stores, I think I’m experienced enough for the job.

Sam’s going to pick me up at 8pm. He’s taking me to Tescos to get gluten-free, vegan chocolate chip cookies. I’ve been craving them all day. I’m avoiding most gluten as I believe it reduces my spots. Yeah, I’m 20 and still suffer from acne.

So, until next year…

My Design Inspirations

WAVELENGTH MAGAZINE

http://wavelengthmag.com/

I spotted this magazine on the shelf of a newspaper stand in Asda. I was drawn to it’s clean, modern style and beautiful imagery. As soon as I opened the magazine, I began walking back to the check-outs. I am not interested in surfing, I have never tried it. But, I found the style of this magazine very unique and inspiring. It now sits next to my bed to remind me of the kind of pieces I could one day be working on. Wavelength magazine is based in Newquay, Cornwall aka the home of surfing. I have taken several images of my copy of the magazine, only including my favourite pages.

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BOBBIE BURGERS

http://bobbieburgers.com/

Bobbie Burgers is a female artist that I found via Pinterest. I LOVE flowers and plants. So much so, that I incorporate them in the majority of my designs. As someone who has previously worked with acrylic paints, I can appreciate the talent needed to create these pieces of art. I believe in the use of bright and bold colours. Although they are mainly used as ‘feature’ colours, Burgers has created all of her work using statement colours. This creates an uplifting and happy feeling when viewing her art. This is a feeling I would love others feel when witnessing my designs.

 

YENER TORUN

http://instagram.com/cimkedi

I also found Yener Torun through Pinterest. Photography and architecture (it was chosen topic for AS Level Fine Art) are two elements I adore, so when mixed, it’s only right for me to love it. As someone who is actively taking pictures, I am able to appreciate Torun’s fantastic composition and colour use. The detail and balance of his photographs are immaculate, and inspire me to create designs that produce the same amount of satisfaction when viewed.


KARIN NOVAK NEAL

Karin Novak Neal paints tropical trees, plants, and flowers. Being someone who loves colour and the use of plants in my designs, Neal’s work inspires me incredibly. Her work is very unique, and the colours she uses are positive and tropically this artist inspires me to carry on creating unique designs that I love.

 

Fear Facing

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When you face your fear, most of the time you will discover that it was not really such a big threat after all. We all need some form of deeply rooted, powerful motivation – it empowers us to overcome obstacles so we can live our dreams.  – Les Brown

Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it. – Judy Blume

Are you feeling a bit shaken, maybe fearful and doubtful and completely utterly, wildly terrified? Good. Keep going. – Victoria Brickson

We gain strength and courage and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Don’t let your fear of what could happen, make nothing happen. – unknown

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. – John Rohn

When you face your fears, you’re free. – unknown

If we would only see that all limitations are self-imposed and chosen out of fear, we would leap at once. – Adyashanti

February Favourites

I have never done anything like this before, but why not.

I’m going to list my ‘favourites’ this month. I found these questions on Creativity Prompt’s website, but I’ve made some alterations.

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1 What is your favourite book?

Tuesdays with Morrie. Although I haven’t actually read this book yet, I got this for my birthday and I’m so excited to read it.

2. What is your favourite song?

Now, this is probably the hardest question to answer, my music choices change daily. But, if I had to choose, it would have to be Sunset Lover by Petit Biscuit.

3. What is your favourite colour?

Green green green and green

4. What is your favourite place to be?

Although this sounds sad, my favourite place to be this month is my bedroom. With all of my candles lit, my diffuser on and my music playing, I couldn’t think of anywhere more relaxing.

6. What is your favourite show?

Right now I’ve been watching Riverdale on Netflix, It’s alright.

7. What is your favourite food?

Marmite. My mum purchased some the other day and I forgot how amazing it is.

8. What is your favourite car?

I really don’t know at the moment.

9. What is your favourite piece of clothing?

My black vintage Champion hoodie from Urban Outfitter’s men’s section.

10. What is your favourite perfume?

FICO di AMALFI by ACQUA DI PARMA.

11. What is your favourite candle?

Orange, Clove & Cinnamon by Heaven Scent.

12. Favourite beauty product?

My Rose & Pomegranate Bath Oil by Neal’s Yard.

13. Favourite essential oil?

Organic Defence by Neal’s Yard.

Unemployed Update

I’ve made the decision to become a lot more personal on this blog.

Since I left university last November, I have felt…well…lost.

I was previously employed at a temporary ice rink throughout the Christmas period, but that finished on January 1st. Since then, I have applied to what feels like hundreds of jobs. Unfortunately, I have not been successful in any which I find baffling – I see myself as rather employable.

My mum said that it’s probably due to it just being after Christmas when stores are at their least busy – but I’m not so sure.

I’m continuing to apply to a couple of jobs per day in the hopes that I might just hear from one. I know that none of the jobs are permanent, or what I even enjoy doing. They are simply an income until September. In September I want to either be taking up a degree or apprenticeship in my dream sector. It feels rather scary throwing myself back into retail, it almost feels like I’m a failure, but I know deep down that this isn’t forever, regardless of what anyone else thinks. This is simply to save up the funds to achieve my dreams.

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I have kept myself pretty damn positive in such a hard time. I have made note of activities I want to try, clubs I want to join and places I want to visit once I have an income. This keeps me looking forward to the future and drives me on day-after-day.

For example, this morning I looked into joining a rowing club. Rowing is something I have always wanted to try. I nearly took it up 2 years ago when I was enrolled onto a beginners course at Guildford Rowing Club but I changed my mind to kayaking which I slightly regret. When I was at university I tried out the rowing club. Although it was just on ergo machines, we learned the positioning and even had a team race (our team lost, but in my defence, the other team had the muscliest woman I’ve ever seen). The instructor came around and helped us with our positioning, but fortunately, he couldn’t find any faults with mine. A girl who was already on the squad told me that she thought I was pretty damn good. So, I have decided to pursue a sport that I’m rather good at. I have sent an enquiry to Reading Rowing Club, Weybridge Rowing Club, and Guildford Rowing Club.

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When in a difficult time, I really recommend making plans for when you’ve left that dark place. Although it’s just as crucial to deal with the problem head on, only focusing on the negativity will not bring you much hope.

I believe that at age 20 I have pretty much mastered the art of being positive no matter what. I wish this is something I could add to my CV as I’m somewhat proud. Well done me.

Edit: I have successfully heard back from two jobs this morning and have an interview booked for one of them. My dad was right, things truly do change quickly.