November Reflections – Where Have I Been?! What’s Next?

Yep, it’s a generic ‘I’m sorry I took a break from blogging’ post. Well, it should be at least. I haven’t written any content for over a month, and that’s too long for my liking. I feel like I owe everyone an explanation; this is the part of the post where I apologise profusely for my sudden hiatus, offer up a bunch of excuses and attempt to justify myself. But I’m sure you’ve all read plenty of those before, so instead this is just going to be a short and casual reflections post – like the ones I write every month.

What’s held me back from creating content over November then? The simple explanation is, of course, ‘university’. So let’s start with a rundown of how that’s all going…

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pink clouds blue sky sunset with buildings

October Reflections – University Begins…

October was an intense month; I think anyone who has just started university will agree with that. It’s had a lot of ups and downs and has generally felt very confusing – it’s like the rug is constantly being pulled out from underneath me and I’m not sure if my feet will ever actually be touching solid ground. Bearing this context in mind, I thought the best way to approach October’s roundup post would be to focus on the positive things that have happened, rather than trying to condense all the emotions of the month into one chaotic assortment…

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san sebastian beach on sunny day

September Reflections – Holidays and Starting University

September has been a pretty intense month for me. From going on several holidays to starting university, September has flipflopped through the full extent of emotions and has been chiseled by change. Attentive readers will perhaps have noticed this already: this is the first time my posting schedule has been so sporadic and scattered since starting my blog all the way back in November. A lot of things have happened in the last 30 days, and so I thought I’d split this Reflections post into sections. I, for one, am definitely in need of a little clarity and simplification.

Going Camping

I kicked off September in the best way possible – sleeping in a field. Well, sleeping in a tent in a field. I spent that first weekend of the month strolling through falling leaves in the late summer sunshine of the New Forest and it was wonderful. I think that spending time in nature, and living in a tent, both allow yourself to feel grounded and to dedicate time to appreciating the little things in life. For example, when you’re camping, cooking takes three times as long as it does at home – but that’s okay, because it gives you perspective.

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Time, Space and Vulnerability: August Reflections

Normally when writing these reflection posts, I sort of know what I want to say as I begin typing. There’s a theme that comes to mind, or something I’ve learnt about myself or the world. I’m not sure August has held such monumental realisations as I haven’t been travelling, working or studying (but I’m sure at least one will emerge as I type). It’s been more like a collection of moments, all coincidentally held together by the fact that they occurred within the same month, and all surrounded by a bit of time and space.

This is definitely something I needed – a month in which to process things and prepare myself for what’s to come. Perhaps some will see this as pathetic (maybe it is), others will see this as a clear show of privilege that has allowed me to have this time (and that’s certainly true). Either way, I’m so grateful to be in a position that gives me these freedoms.

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July Reflections: Holidays and Undoing Stress

I’m writing this post on the first day of proper rain in a long time: not like a light drizzle, or a sea fret, but a downpour. A deluge from the heavens. And I’m welcoming it with open, now soaking wet, arms. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve missed the rain. I have enjoyed the sun over the last few weeks too, though.

July kicked off a little unusually – I was in New York, 3474 miles from home and having a wonderful time. I was feeling so much better than at the start of June, that’s for sure. I was coming to the end of a nearly-month-long adventure with my friend that took us across 5 (and a half) countries from two continents. I had a great time and really loved New York. I’ve started sharing the photos from there, as well as the rest of my travels, over on Instagram if street photography is your thing.

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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.

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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.

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