My Summer Goals

I’ve found that disrupting your everyday routines with either a temporary or permanent change can be extremely helpful for reevaluating your ambitions and rekindling your motivation. Luckily enough for me, the last few weeks have been stuffed full with so much travelling I’ve had more than enough opportunity to consider my priorities. Now, sitting in Helsinki Airport in Finland on the verge of flying home, I feel that tingling urge to push forward with the things that are important to me that sometimes sets in after the disruption of routine: the feeling of determination.

A couple of posts back, I reviewed my 2018 goals which I made in January – most of them seem to be moving along well but some of the points on the list have definitely been feeling a little neglected. I thought that the coming two months before I head off to university could be a great time to put in the effort with my goals in the hope that I can establish routines that won’t fall apart so easily when I move in September.

Continue reading

How Society’s Attitude Towards Introversion Can Be Damaging

The reasons why someone develops debilitating levels of anxiety can be extremely complex and down to a range of seemingly small things. To the person suffering, it can sometimes seem mystifying; I remember being struck by the thought one day, ‘how did I end up in such a mess?’ Over the years I’ve thought a lot about my mental health journey and my relationship with feelings of anxiety: these ideas have often led to an attempt to figure out possible causes for the intense feelings of fear and discomfort I’ve experienced. One of these is the relationship between growing up introverted and society’s perception and reaction to the traits associated with this.

What is introversion?

Introversion is the tendency to focus on internal thoughts and feelings rather than seeking outside stimulation; and introverts gain their energy from time spent alone or in small groups. According to Susan Cain, author of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking‘ these are people ‘who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams’. They generally prefer to listen in groups and often like to share their ideas in writing, hence why there are so many introverted bloggers.

Continue reading

Reviewing My 2018 Goals

We’re more than halfway through the year now, can you believe it?! You probably can as that’s perhaps the most oversaid sentence around the beginning of July. As well as being the perfect moment in the year for grabbing an ice cream or acquiring a sunburn, the start of July is a great time to pause and reflect on how your life is being lived and whether this matches up to your expecations and wishes from January.

At the beginning of 2018, I wrote a post about 18 things I wanted to focus on for the year, kind of like a list of resolutions but also not really. Resolutions aren’t particuarly my thing, but I thought by having a few aspects of my life to hold in mind over the months I would find it easier to define my priorities.

Stating all the wonderful things you’re going to do is all well and good until life take over and you forget all about them three weeks later. Which is why this check in of sorts could prove useful. Throwing it right back to my school days, in which I had to identify bits of my work that went well and skills that could be improved in some way, I’m going to evaluate the good, the alright and the not so good aspects of my progress with these goals since January.

Continue reading

June Reflections – Illness and Travelling

Well it looks like we can all breathe a little easier as this post is going to be a lot more positive than May’s Reflections: otherwise known as the episode in the series in which disorder is the star of the show and no one knows where the plot is heading next. I would say head on over to check out why May was like rooting for Germany in the 2018 World Cup (on paper it looked like it was going to be a celebration but in reality it was a stressful disappointment) but that post is pretty depressing. For that reason I’d recommend sticking with this one (which has been more like the Russian football team: everything surprisingly and impressively pulled together in the end, and no matter what happens now no one can deny the excitement and success so far).

If football references aren’t your thing – and believe me, they’re not really mine either, that’s just what happens when you spend a month travelling with a football fan – then don’t worry as that was the last of them.

Continue reading

May Reflections – Finishing Uni and Going Backwards

Considering everything that has happened in my life over May, I’d like to be able to think about the past month as having taken a step back in order to spring forwards. I’m holding onto the hope that this is just the chaos before the clarity. Although good things have happened this month, it really has not been great overall. Kind of like buying a tube of fruit pastilles before realising you only like the green sweets and you’re now stuck with the whole packet.

You see, April was possibly the best month of the year for me so far – I had come to terms with my future university decision and I said enough is enough to the gloominess hanging over me. I upped my exercise, got out of bed early everyday, and focussed on self-care and organisation. I was fighting to be able to look back and know that I did everything I could to make April a great month – and it worked. My general wellbeing improved and everything felt tinged in a shimmer of possibility.

Continue reading

Trying to Grow a Sunflower: An Open Letter to Myself About Uncertainty

Dear Alys,

For the last few weeks you’ve been trying to grow a sunflower. It started as a tiny seed, a third of the size of your smallest fingernail, yet so packed full of just the right combination of things to reach your height. That’s incredible, isn’t it? I guess we all start off small. Some of us soak up the sunlight as we age, others shrink into the hedgerow.

Sometimes I feel like it might be time for you to poke a petal out into the light, have a look at what the world looks like in the brightness, rather than observing from the shadows. I guess you’ve managed that at times. All sorts of moments require that bravery: little things like picking out a t-shirt you’re not sure others will like but wearing it anyway because you like it. Or big things like upping roots and trying to ground yourself in Australia for a while. Yes, you’ve definitely done some things.

Continue reading

Am I Good Enough to be a Blogger? – Conversations with Anxiety #10

Snapshots of the conversations that are had between anxiety and I: the things we fight over, the discussions and debates we take part in and the struggle to reason with irrationality. Some of these are based on past events or reoccurring battles, some on more recent occasions, and some are simply extrapolations of experiences I’ve had.

Anxiety: Why do we do this ‘blogging’ thing?

Me: Do you have to ask this now? I’m trying to concentrate on writing a post.

Anxiety: You’re avoiding the question.

Me: Ufff. We blog because it’s fun, we enjoy writing, we like connecting with others, hopefully we have something at least a little worthwhile to say–

Anxiety: Ugh, really? You actually think that?

Continue reading