Wednesday, 14 October 2015


Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the most confident person. I often suffer from low self-esteem, not believing I am good enough to do something, not believing what I do is good enough. I also don't like to stray far from what I know. So it was probably quite a shock to everybody, not least myself, when I agreed to a job in London. London that is far away from everything I know. London that is a large, scary city. London that is very busy and full of people. But I did it. I moved to London and started my first proper job.

On my first day, I had all of my usual nerves - what if I can't do it? what if they realise they've made a mistake in hiring me? what if I make a fool of myself? (along with my recently developed nervous throwing up, which I am NOT pleased has started). But my training went ok, and I liked the people there, and I very quickly started to feel settled in my work. I still occasionally get random thoughts of not being good enough going through my head, but I am perservering, and actually enjoying myself in my job. I have started doing things that contribute to the team and I think my Unit Leader and Mentor are pleased with my progress. I have gotten brave enough to move to the big table at lunch and actually join in with conversation there, instead of sitting by myself reading. I am doing well.

I am not doing so well with living. I'm not going to go into it all again (I'm sure you are sick of hearing me complain about it...), but I have made the decision that I am not going to continue my contract where I am currently living. I actually have plans to move to Hayward's Heath, where my parents recently moved to, for the next 6 months, maybe more depending on where the boyfriend ends up doing his PGCE.

Ordinarily, I would think of this as a failure. I failed to live in London on my own. I failed to be away from my family. I failed to be a normal functioning adult.

Today I changed my mind.

I haven't failed.

I have won.

I have chosen to do what is best for me. I have chosen to fight for my life, rather than sit here being miserable and depressed. I have chosen to make a stand and do what I want for my life.

Everyone always tells me that to get over my depression I just need to look at the good that will happen in the future. But how could I do that when so much bad was happening to me now? After nearly 6 and a half years of being together, the boyfriend and I still ccan't live together and we keep getting into stupid arguments over nothing. I hate where I live. I often feel alone. I don't know how to get out of my depressive spirals down into bad places where my emotions turn themselves off.

Now, for the first time in a long time, I can see past the immediate suffering and look forward to the good things.

I am looking forward to being closer to my mum, step-dad and the tiddlers.
I am looking forward to being able to start training for the Market Drayton 10K, and what better way to do it than with a running partner through the woods?
I am looking forward to not taking the tube. Yes my commute will be longer and less flexible, but it's an actual train, so I will be able to read or listen to podcasts on my journey.
I am looking forward to being in a quieter place.
I am looking forward to going shopping with my mum, or looking after the tiddlers while she goes shopping.
I am looking forward to being in my own place, not having my life dictated by my fears of other people.
I am looking forward to starting my life again.

So yes, maybe I didn't make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer while being so close to it all, but that isn't me. I don't like to explore by myself. I like to do things with the people I love. I don't think that's a failure. What is a failure is knowing this and not doing anything about it.

So I'm doing something about it. I know it isn't just suddenly going to be easy. There is still the big strain of a long distance relationship, which is made that much harder by the difficulty of getting to and from Lampeter. We both struggle with the distance, but we are fighting hard to keep thngs together, to keep things good. I hope that by being more comfortable with myself and my life, I can help to make that distance seem a little smaller, and the countdown to when we can finally be together properly seem a little bit shorter.

I count that as a win.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

A Decision

I do not deal well with confrontation.

An hour ago my neighbour came and knocked on my door to tell me that even though we swapped days a couple of weeks ago, I hadn't been respecting the cleaning rota.

Every Monday since I found out about the cleaning rota and swapped days, I have cleaned when I got back from work.

Apparently it wasn't good enough because my neighbour said to me "Babe, this kitchen is disgusting, how have you cleaned?" (As my sister-out-law said, Babe?! ew)

I tried to tell her that I swept the floor and emptied the bin and wiped the surface, but nope. Granted I didn't do a great job of it yesterday because I was still recovering from my zombie flu and didn't want to go all the way to sainsburys when I couldn't find the cleaning spray, but the other weeks I have done a more thorough job.

I also tried to tell her that people cook after I have cleaned, but she just said "you mean to tell me that all this happened from yesterday to today? The floor is shit and the surface and wall are sticky with oil". Apparently she doesn't know that students cook at odd times of the night, and aren't always the most tidy.

I said that I always tidy up after myself and she said if I didn't want to clean I could hire a cleaner, or they could always phone the agency and charge me for the cleaning.

After it was over I went in my room and cried for the next hour.

I do not deal well with confrontation.

I cannot live here. I cannot live with strangers or students. I need to find somewhere else, because it is not worth me feeling miserable. I am now even more terrified of going to the kitchen than I was before. I want to clean in my own time, be responsible for my own mess, not other people's and not get told off because someone else made a mess on my day. I need my own place.

Now I need to work out how to find it, and how to survive the next three months here until I can move out.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

A New Obsession

Anyone who knows me knows that I quite easily get obsessed about things. When I love something, I really LOVE something. I will listen to the same song on repeat when somthing about it clicks with me. I will watch the same film over and over, I will think about my favourite scene over and over in my head. I talk excitedly, rapidly and very high pitched about things. Things like Disney, Lego, Once Upon a Time, that one scene in We Bought A Zoo where Dylan does his 20 seconds of courage, Anne Hathaway... the list goes on.

My most recent obsession revolves around a podcast I listened to during my last year of Uni - Serial. It is a podcast about an old murder trial in Maryland from 1990, where they arrested a guy named Adnan Sayed for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, on the basis of basically one witness whose testimony seemed to change every time he told the story. Adnan still insists that he is innocent - many people believe him, many people still do not. The podcast tells the story of the case and attempts to come up with a decision one way or another about whether or not he is innocent.

I really enjoyed listening to this podcast, right until the end where they completely copped out and made the decision that they didn't know if he was innocent or not. It was rather an unsatisfying end, but I still found the whole thing very interesting. This podcast became very popular, which meant that it another podcast, which I recently discovered, has followed on from Serial. This podcast is called Undisclosed. This podcast looks at Adnan's case from the perspective of an attorney. Instead of putting together a narrative, it just lays out the facts of the case that have been discovered. What I really like about this is that you start to see more where the holes in the State's case are, and how everything fits together (or how it doesn't fit quite a lot of the time). It is like a giant puzzle, and I love puzzles.

Undisclosed isn't just about telling the story of Adnan. It looks at the case as a whole, so you get a better picture of the events that happened around the time of the case. It also gives updates as to what is happening currently with trying to get a retrial.

It isn't just this case that I have been interested in. It may be slightly morbid, but I find unsolved mysteries and murders absolutely fascinating. Well, not even just unsolved ones. Just cases that have a weird twist, or required a lot of effort and digging to solve. Something that was a bit of a puzzle. Last year I watched the movie Devil's Knot with my sister. I was hooked all the way through, but she found it really boring. There was no action or anything, it just told the story of trying to solve the case of the murder of three young boys. Slightly different, but I also like watching crime shows like Bones and Criminal Minds. However, it is the things about real cases that just hold something more for me.

I'm finding it really hard to actually put into words what I find so intriguing about these things. It isn't exactly to with the people, but it kind of is (helpful, I know...) I think it's partly just the whole process of piecing together the events and actions of everyone involved to get the full picture of an event. Completing the puzzle of something that you could otherwise know nothing about. I don't know, but whatever it is, I have become obsessed.

Unfortunately, I have already listened through the backlog of both Serial and Undisclosed, so now I have a big empty hole to fill while I wait for the next episode to come out. If anyone has any suggestions for more podcasts, tv shows, movies, books or websites that might look at anything vaguely similar, I would appreciate it! I need something to spur on my new hobby.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Last week I started my new job in London. That's right, London. London is the last place I ever thought I would accept a job and move to. I am very definitely a small town country bumpkin. I like peace and quiet and small things, which London very definitely is not.

I have surprised myself by settling into the routine of working in London quite well. I've sorted out how I'm getting into work every morning. Not quite decided how I'm getting back each night yet, although judging from today's journey, I think I might try to stick out the Hammersmith and City Line. I was hesitant to before because it doesn't run as regularly and reliably as the Central line, but the Central line gets so crammed I end up waiting the same amount of time to get on a train anyway. Hammersmith is at least more comfortable to travel on. I have yet to work out how I will deal with tube strikes being on - this week's were thankfully cancelled. There is a direct bus route, but I'm not sure what time I should get it so that I'm not late and it won't be too busy. I'll have to just see how that goes as and when it happens I guess.

The thing I'm not settling so well into is the actual living in London. London is so expensive, so I'm currently in a flat share - i.e. living in a room. The flat is quite nice, my room is nice and big, and it is in an ok area, but I am really not enjoying it. Mum keeps telling me to treat it like I'm still at Uni, which kind of makes sense. I want to make her proud and show her I can just get on with it, but the problem is, this is exactly the bits of Uni that I hated. Living with strangers, who have different lifestyles to me, that I will never see enough of to truly be comfortable around. I need a lot of time with people before I can feel at ease, part of my anxieties I guess. It makes it very difficult for me to relax when I really need to be. I get scared to go in the kitchen in case someone sees me. I don't want to speak or sing because the walls are so thin I feel like everyone will hear everything I say. I get tense about the thought of having to go cook food or use the shower. I am really not coping well with it. Everyday I have come back from work and wished I was just at home. I don't know what to do about it.

A leaving present from my little sister to make me more excited about London

I really wish that I was more of a people person, but right now, all I can think about is how I am not built to share houses like this. I want to be in my own place, where I feel safe and comfortable, and can relax and enjoy myself. I'm not sure I will feel that here. Of course what I really want is to be able to finally live with the boyfriend, but we have at least another year before that can happen. I still think that there is something better than this arrangement out there for me somewhere. I'm just not sure how to find it.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

July Challenge

Last month, I set my self the challenge of looking after me. I have definitely improved my sleeping patterns; I now find it much easier to wake up at 7.30 and haven't had to nap during the day for a while! I (mostly) eat three meals a day, and my wardrobe is nicely sorted out to make it easier to get to all of my clothes. I haven't done as much exercise as I would have liked; I kept forgetting to do my stretches. I have, however, been for a 5 mile cycle ride with the family and gone for my first run for months. Well, run is a strong word. My step-dad has described it more aptly as "joggling", sort of half jogging, half walking and wobbling all over the place. It was quite a successful run though, no knee pain and it actually felt really good. I have plans to complete a Couch to 10K programme, which is supposed to take 14 weeks, but I may take longer than that to make sure I don't strain my knees too much. I have plenty of time until the next Market Drayton 10K though! Over the month I have done several things to help with my future as well.

It was my birthday on the 4th, and I spent a lovely day relaxing in the sunshine with family. I got some really nice gifts, including the first two series of Once Upon A Time (my boyfriend knows me so well!) and a really thoughtful gift of a bodyclock alarm from a family friend that will definitely help with my depression and sleeping when it comes to the darker months of winter. My mum took me shopping to buy what she calls "power clothes" to get ready for interviews. She bought me a nice suit and I had a really good time spending the day with her.

After my birthday I was supposed to be going to Portugal with Liberty to have a little holiday and spend some time with our father. Due to work commitments, he had to cancel, so we spent the week doing other things together. We went to Warwick Castle - purely for research purposes, honest - we picked up the boyfriend's sister from Uni and incorporated another shopping trip at the same time, and spent lots of time blitzing our way through Lego Lord of the Rings.

On 25th, I went with my mum back to Coventry to pick up the rest of my stuff, clean the house, move out and pick up my results. I took her to the Bread Oven on campus to get my favourite sandwich, a brie and salad baguette, and we ate it in the Piazza in the sunshine while we waited for the time to collect my results. It was beautifully symmetrical because we ate sandwiches from the Bread Oven in the Piazza on the open day I went to before I joined Warwick. It was a really lovely day, made better by the fact that I got a 2.1 for my degree!

The next day was spent at Alton Towers with the boyfriend, Liberty and her other half. It was brilliantly fun, and we even managed to convince the boyfriend to go on Oblivion. He was so scared that me might have passed out on the ride, but he survived! Just about... And I bought him the picture from the ride to keep as a trophy and proof that he was on it so he doesn't have to ever go on it again. I strangely enjoyed it this time, and I enjoyed the other roller coasters much more than I ever have previously. I think Liberty is right, once you have been on Oblivion, nothing is ever as scary as that. I didn't even cry this time!

I also have had some success with my job hunting. I haven't gotten a job yet, but I applied to Metaswitch, a company that I have liked the sound of for some time, and managed to make it through to the first round of interviews after completing an online aptitude test. The day of the interview I was so nervous that I was actually sick first thing after I woke up, but I managed to survive the day of travelling to London by myself and doing my first real interview. It was a really tough day, and I didn't make it through to the next round, but it was a really valuable experience. I have since applied for another two jobs, and have set up my own "Job finding process".

That brings me onto my July challenge. I have been looking for jobs in Software Engineering, but I don't have a great deal of experience with coding. I have been doing some online courses on Codecademy to try to learn some of the basics. It has been fun, but I learn best when I have an actual project to work on, so this month I am going to build a website. Liberty wants one for a mad project she wants to undertake, so we are going to do some designing this weekend, and hopefully I can start to put something together. This will also help towards my job search as I will have something concrete to talk about in terms of experience. Wish me luck :)

Sunday, 31 May 2015

June Challenge

Considering I've just finished University, my June challenge should probably be something along the lines of "get a job" or at least "find a job that I want to do". However, I don't feel like I am quite ready for that. That isn't to say I won't be trying to find a job over this next month, but I have decided that first I want to look after myself.

The last few months have been very stressful for me for many reasons. I haven't been eating or sleeping very well, and I've just been exhausted all the time. So this month, I want to try and get back into a healthier lifestyle. Here are some of the things I want to do:

  • Sort out my sleeping pattern. Recently I have been really bad at just sleeping away half the day. I hate doing it, and it stops me from feeling productive, so I am going to start getting up at a reasonable hour and that will in turn make it easier for me to fall asleep at night.
  • Eat three meals a day. I am terrible at eating breakfast, but hopefully the getting up at a reasonable hour will make this easier. Actually, I'm just pretty terrible at eating. I tend to just sort of forget to feed myself... 
  • Set myself targets of things to achieve for the day. This will include productive things like helping mum clear out stuff from the house to make moving easier, more fun things, but also still productive, like writing songs or learning coding, and also treats to reward myself for a good day.
  • Exercising. It has been such a long time since I've done any running, and I really want to get back into it. I need to strengthen up my hips some more I think, but I'm planning on making a training program for myself for the next year so that I will be well trained enough to participate in the Market Drayton 10K next May. There is no way I am missing it again next year! No doubt I will do some random gyming and swimming to keep Liberty company as well and to add some variety to my workouts.
  • Wear more of my clothes. I apparently have loads of clothes, as I found out when Charlie tried to make me throw them all out during our sort out the other day. I wear like 3 outfits regularly, so I am going to start wearing some of my other things.
That's all I can think of at the moment. My hope is that in being happier with myself in general, it will make me less scared and more fighting ready to move onto the next step of grown up life!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

9 down, holy cow I've finished!

So that's it. I have finished my degree. There are no more assignments or exams. I am done!

These last three years have been the hardest of life, but I think I've learned so much. Despite the difficulty of my degree, the homesickness and the general growing up, I actually enjoyed it too. Now comes the even more scary part of becoming a grown up. Bring it on!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

6 Things I Love About You

Today is my Anniversary with my boyfriend. We have been together for 6 years, and although it hasn't been an easy ride, especially over this last year, I am excited for what the next 6 years will bring for us. True to his competitive nature, he has already written a lovely post on Facebook, and challenged me to write a better one. So that is what I am attempting.

Just for you, here are my top 6 reasons why I love you.

I'm a part of your family, and you are part of mine: in fact I don't really distinguish between the two anymore. I love our big, crazy family. I love that the little ones think of you as their brother. I love that your sisters think of me as their sister. I love that we can all spend time together as friends as well as family.

You are my best friend you are terrible at telling jokes, but you say stupid things that I can't help but find funny. I love playing random board games and video games with you. I love singing with you. I love slobbing around and watching movies with take out food, pretending like the rest of the world doesn't exist with you. 

You indulge my random wants: even if it means driving to the back end of Coventry to sit on the floor of Maplin for half an hour while I debate which computer toy I want more, and which is better value, and which would I be most likely to actually be able to do. You bought me Benny's Spaceship because you know he's my favourite character from the Lego Movie and I love Lego. You bought me a jigsaw bracelet even though your mum advised against it because you knew I would love it.

You have learned to play ukulele: I don't think it was originally your idea, but you didn't hesitate to give it a go, and you picked it up very quickly. You get better every time I hear you play, and I think it has helped a lot with your singing. You aren't afraid to sit there and play and sing, even when you are in a house surrounded by musical people. I love to hear you sing, and I love that you are willing to sing with me.

You look after me: when I'm busy with revision or not feeling well, or can't walk very well due to injury, you wait on me, and make me dinner without fuss. You just get up and do it.

You believe in me: the amount of times that I have been down on myself over the years is ridiculous, but you never falter in your belief in me. Whether it is to do with my Uni work, performing for glee or trying to get round a parkrun, you are always there to support me. Through all of my depression and anger towards you and myself, you haven't given up on me. You are always still there at the end of the day, and I hope that you will always continue to be.

I love you Superman. Happy Anniversary x

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

8 down, 1 TO GO!! May update

The worst of it is over. Today's exam may have been horrendous in terms of being able to answer the questions, mentally and by the fact that I am entirely exhausted, but I only have one exam left then I am done.

I say the worst of it is over because I've just had a stint of 4 exams in 6 days, both times having an afternoon exam followed the next day by a morning exam. I now have a 9 day gap in which to revise for my favourite module, my easiest module, and an exam that is only two hours long, starting in the afternoon. What better exam to end my uni career on hey?

But before then, I am taking a well deserved break. I'm currently on the train to visit the boyfriend in Lampeter. We have a busy couple of days planned, but it will be nice to not have to think about revision for a little while. I am that confident, that I am even going to say right now that I have completed my May challenge of surviving. I am so looking forwards to going home and celebrating!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

4 down, 5 to go - April Challenge Complete

I have just finished the last of my exams for my term one modules. It was really horrendous. The first two exams I did went pretty ok I think, I'm not too worried about them. The last two, however, went much worse. The only comfort I really have about it is that everyone I spoke to also thought they were terrible. It is really disheartening though when an exam is worse than you think it could possibly be.

But I survived. So I'm counting my April challenge as complete. My next lot of exams start on 13th May. Hopefully these will be a bit better as I have someone I revise quite well with who did mostly the same modules as me, they are (slightly) better spread out, and I generally feel I know the material better for the second term modules. It's slightly fresher in my mind in any case.

Right now though, I am allowing myself a little break. I'm on the train to Lampeter to visit the boyfriend, and I don't have to worry about any revision for at least one night. That's quite a nice feeling.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

April and May Challenges

Right now I am sat in the Undergraduate workroom of the maths department, getting ready to do some revision. The boyfriend just dropped me off on campus on his way heading back home ready to go back to his Uni for singing society tonight. On Tuesday I have my first exam.

I think I am just about ready to have a panic attack.

I had a plan this Easter to go over 10 pages of notes per day so that I would have gone over all of the notes by the time my exams started, with a bit of time spare to go over questions and past papers. That didn't sound like much, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't find motivation, or I had a really bad headache that made me just want to sleep all the time. I had the added depression of finding out I can't attend the marathon next weekend, and also have found out I can't run in the 10k in my home town - both things I have been looking forwards to for a year. So my revision wasn't going well.

Since coming back to uni the past two weeks, I have managed to get through the notes to two of my modules, and gone over some of the questions for one of them as well, but I am really worried about these exams. I just want them to be over already, but that's not happening until May 28th, the day of my last exam.

So my challenges for this month and next are to survive these exams. Get through them as well as I can, then on the 28th of May, I will go home and just relax for the first time in ages. I will celebrate with my family and get ready for my birthday. I need things to look forwards to, and they are it. My little brother wants to do a shared birthday party with me, so I can start planning that with him and mum. I am just ready for the stress of these exams to be over. I really cannot wait for May 28th.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

31 Happy Days #31

So I made it to the end of the month, sort of. I didn't post every day, but I managed to post something for every day. Some days it was really hard to think of something happy, but I did it. And now for my last happy thing for the month:

I managed to get a but motivated for revision again today. I didn't do a huge amount, but I did much more than I have been doing previously, and it wasn't too hard to get myself to do it. I feel like I might be able to do a bit more tomorrow.

We've been sorting our stuff out at home recently, and I now have a big box to put things in to keep for wherever I end up living after I graduate. It's starting to feel very real now.

I learned how to play cribbage. I've had a cribbage set for ages, and in the spirit of clearing out stuff, I decide to learn how to play it to decide whether or not to keep it. The boyfriend and I played a quick round, probably not completely right, but I enjoyed it. And I won! I think I might keep it. Maybe I'll put it in my new box.

Well that's it for this month's challenge. Now I have to start thinking of what to do next month.

31 Happy Days #24-30

I am sticking with the excuse of not using my computer every day anymore. That counts right?

#24 - helped the boyfriend's hallmates make cakes for an SU presidential campaign. I think I've been put off cake for a while now, but the process was fun.
#25 - had a better time at the boyfriend's singing society than the last time I went. When I went before, he just sort of ran off and left me for the two hours, didn't introduce me to anyone and didn't include me in anything. I was already feeling down and really nervous about going, and I am really terrible at social situations. I actually get heart palpitations, it's really not good. So I may as well have not gone to that session. This time, I was introduced to everyone, and I joined in with the warm ups and very awkwardly filled in some spaces in the dance moves where people were missing. That is quite a big achievement for me because I hate dancing, and it was in front of people I don't know.
#26 - I finally had my physio consultation today. I didn't get lost on the way, and the woman has said that she thinks I have a form of jogger's knee, but the biggest problem is that my hips aren't strong enough to support my knees and they just kind of wobble a lot. I have my next appointment booked, so hopefully I can start to get that sorted soon!
#27 - had a nice time with my mum today going to the Easter service at church with the kid's primary school and then watching the kids in their second swimming lesson. I also threw away a load of stuff from my childhood in preparation for moving onto the next part of my life. Started to come up with an idea of where I can live next year, which is very exciting!
#28 - went to see McBusted with the boyfriend and his sister. The show was absolutely brilliant (they had a flying Delorean and referenced Bill and Ted, a sure fire way to win me over) and I really enjoyed the company.
#29 - impromptu drinks party! Ok I was basically asleep through most of it, but I still had a nice time.
#30 - impromptu gym session! Liberty asked me this morning if I wanted to go to the gym and swimming with her today to see if some exercise would help with the depression I've been feeling recently. As I can't really go running at the moment I thought it would be worth a try. I was more interested in the swimming as that is something I was thinking of trying to do over the summer, but the gym was fun too. I didn't really push myself that hard at the gym, I didn't want to strain my legs too much nor wear myself out too much for swimming. I surprised myself a bit with the swimming. I didn't think I was going to be very good, but I did at least 6 lengths of breast stroke, getting a little bit better each time. My knee doesn't hurt either, so I think it could be good for me.

Monday, 23 March 2015

31 Happy Days #20-23

#20 - Spent the day with Liberty again. We played loads of Lego Pirates, started making a dress (don't ask...), and getting ideas for my revision. In the evening, the boyfriend came round from his Uni, and we got Papa John's pizza and played Pandemic. It was fun.

#21 - Today we went to Comic Con in Birmingham. The boyfriend and I have been to this one before, but Liberty had only been to a small on in Stoke-on-Trent. We didn't dress up, although Liberty and I were wearing our newly bought geek outfits including a Terminator t-shirt and Batman shorts (not in the same outfit) and we weren't really interested in getting anything signed or having photos taken with celebrities (I think we only really recognised three people anyway), but we love looking round all the stalls, seeing all the things you can buy and, my favourite, people watching. There are so many people wearing so many different costumes. There were a lot of people dressed as Elsa and Anna from Frozen, but there were also a lot of original costumes. My particular favourite was the group of people dressed as the parents from Rugrats. They were ace. I also bought myself an awesome pocket watch because I've been wanting a watch for ages, and pocket watches are cool.

It was a really good day, despite the massive headache I had.

#22 - had a lovely meal with the family and an awesome time playing our old version of Taboo. Mum is trying to clear out the cupboards, and one of the things to do is play through all our old board games and see which ones are worth keeping. Taboo was a load of fun, but a bit outdated (what e heck is a luncheon voucher?!) so that one got thrown out. Not before we all cried from laughter a few times.

#23 - got some of my revision done today. Think I can start to see how I might be able to be productive with this way of working. It satisfies my love of colour coding things and organising things neatly. And I worked out what I'm going to use all of my notepads and post-it notes that Liberty made me buy.

After dinner I played a couple of games of Whist with the boyfriend and one of his hallmates. That was fun.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

31 Happy Days #19

My trip to Currys to get my laptop fixed didn't go how we planned it. If I'm to get a refund, I need to send it off to Toshiba first, and that will take 28 working days. The guy in the shop kept trying to blame me for downloading Steam, when it was the Toshiba software update that crashed my computer, and then refreshed my computer, again. Liberty has told me not to install anything on it, just what I need for revision, and then after my exams are finished install stuff and see if it breaks again then send it off. I'm already having trouble just installing avg on it. Then I got a phone call saying that my physio appointment has been moved two days later, so I have to stay here by myself for an extra two days and may not have the chance to visit the boyfriend. So today has been a bit of a disappointment.

The evening was much better though. Liberty and her other half took me out to Wing Wah - an all you can eat pan-Asian restaurant. We had Chinese for starters, went onto the Chinese main course, then the Indian main course, then had the most amazing pancakes for pudding. I was absolutely stuffed. Then Liberty came back to my house and we slobber out playing Lego Pirates of the Caribbean because we couldn't move. It was fun :)

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

31 Happy Days #15-18

Ok, so I'm really being terrible at this one a day thing.

#15 - watched Big Hero 6 with the boyfriend. It was really cute.
#16 - managed to get my files all backed up and a plan put in place to go to currys to *try* and get a replacement laptop when Liberty comes to visit on Wednesday.
#17 - tidied my room and nearly finished copying up the lecture notes from one of my modules this term. I haven't yet started my proper revision for my exams after Easter, and I thought just finishing this one off would ease me into it a bit. Maybe...
#18 - girly fun times with Liberty! We got our hair cut (about time too, I've not had it done since September 2013...), we bought new clothes for comic con this weekend and I got a really cool pair of skinny jeans covered in green roses. Liberty also made me buy some notebooks and owl post-its to help with revision. Not sure how they will help, but one of them looks like a giant custard cream

Saturday, 14 March 2015

31 Happy Days #14

I've been feeling a bit down today for various reasons, mostly involving my laptop. Since it is Pi day today, the boyfriend went out and came back with this to cheer me up.

It made me feel a bit better

Friday, 13 March 2015

31 Happy Days #12-13

After today I should get back into posting every day. Should...

#12 - Finished and handed in the second to last assignment. Also finished most of my lectures. Just one lecture and one assignment left to go. Also, my OCD was satisfied greatly at the end of Groups and Representations when my lecture notes finished perfectly at the end of page 100.

#13 - After a huge rush to get it (mostly) done, I have finished my last ever university assignment, and attended my last official lecture. All that is left are some revision lectures next term and my exams - how scary is that?!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

31 Happy Days #8-11

On Sunday I completely forgot to write my Happy Days post until I was already in bed. I planned to do a double post on Monday, which would have been hard anyway as I was having a really bad day, but was then made impossible by the sudden dying of my laptop. So on Monday I not only found out that I couldn't go to the London Marathon to support my Mother-out-law who is taking part, but I also found out I may not make it in time to see the boyfriend in a concert that he is performing at next term, and my computer stopped working just in time for my very busy week of getting my last two assignments finished. I have been looking forwards to the Marathon ever since Liberty, Charlie and I threw a penny in a random fountain wishing that the boyfriend's mum would have a place in it when we were there last year. It was supposed to be something for me to look forwards to at the end of my first (yes first) lot of exams. But I have an exam on both the Saturday and Monday, so can't justify going. I have been trying all week to fix my laptop, and have today resorted to refreshing it, meaning it has kept all my files, but I have to reinstall EVERYTHING. Including all the updates. Sigh.

It's been really hard to think of happy things for each day, but here we go.

#8 - the boyfriend made a good fry up for dinner.
#9 - finished the bulk of one of my assignments, meaning I just need to write it up neat and then I only have two to concentrate on for the rest of the week.
#10 - had a nice chat with Liberty.
#11- halfway through the last week of term.

I really had to think hard for those... I can't wait for this week to be over.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

31 Happy Days #7

I've had a pretty good day all round today really. Had a nice lazy morning with the boyfriend, shooting zombies and killing orcs. Then we went into town, I bought some bits and pieces from Wilko, including a thermos mug that I'm going to try out bringing tea in for my early lectures next week. Then we went to the cinema and watched the wonderfully ridiculous Kingsman: The Secret Service. It was just the right balance of really cool stunts and not taking itself too seriously. We spent the rest of the evening just relaxing, buying tickets for comic con in March (super excited about that!) and playing games.

I also finally built the first of my 14in1 robot kit, the turtlebot:

I think he looks pretty cool. Now if only the solar panel actually worked!

Friday, 6 March 2015

31 Happy Days #6

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that my new book, Staying Strong by Demi Lovato, had arrived. It is set out so that each day there is a quote, or a meditation or something, and a goal to try and achieve to help you realise that you are a strong person. I have a small dilemma in that I don't know whether to just read it from the beginning, doing one each day, read up to today's date then continue one each day, or just start on today's date and loop back round when it comes to the new year. I have, however, read the introduction and the entry for January 1st.

(I have no idea if you can actually read that or not...) The goal for the day is to come up with your own mantra, something that is yours, that you can look in the mirror and say to yourself each day. I had no idea where to start with that.

In the introduction it says that everyone needs a higher power that they can turn to for comfort. I'm not religious, so I don't want to say God is my higher power. I kind of believe in Karma and just the general power of the universe, but neither of those felt right to me. I talked to my boyfriend about it, and he suggested Logic as my higher power. Although I am a very logical person, I sometimes feel like my logic can make things seem worse, not comforted.

I decided to talk to Ivy about it. I'm not sure why I picked Ivy in particular, maybe because she has absolutely no logic so has a very different way of looking at things than myself and the rest of my sisters. She said that to make a mantra I had to think of something that would make me feel solid. She then added (emotionally not fatty), just to give you an indication of her logic. She asked me what reassures me when I'm down, what comforts me? At the time I was sat on the bus with my headphones in, and I realised that there is something that I can always count on to give me wisdom, or make me feel happy, or sad when I need it. Music. Music is my higher power. And just to prove the point, a song came on at that moment that gave me inspiration for my mantra. I had literally that morning decided to listen to something other than the 80 songs I have on repeat on my obsession playlist, and ended up choosing Lucy Spraggan. Here is the song that started playing at that moment I decided to look for a lyric to be my mantra:

This whole song is basically saying that it doesn't matter what you do, you are already someone and you can be happy with what you have in life. What particularly caught my attention was the last verse before the final choruses.

You may never have another chance 
The stars are in your reach 
You have the power in your hands
It's time now to believe 
You will always have the secret
You will always have the air to breath
Everyday say to yourself this future is for me

I believe that everything happens for a reason. Mum watched X-Factor, and our friend took us to the V-Festival, where Lucy Spraggan (who was on X-Factor that year) was playing. Mum wanted to see her so we went along. I enjoyed her music, and knew mum did, so I bought her the album for Christmas. I decided this morning to listen to something I hadn't heard for a while, and picked that album. Just when I decided music was my higher power, it gave me this song. It all happens for a reason.

So my happy thing for today is that I found something to take comfort in, and I completed the first goal in my new book. My mantra to repeat to myself is:

You have the power in your hands, it's time now to believe. This future is for me.

On another, but no less important note, my boyfriend is currently on his way to spend the weekend with me, so that makes me happy too!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

31 Happy Days #5

No picture today I'm afraid. My happy thing for the day is that I finished and handed in my Introduction to Number Theory assignment today - a day early. I don't think that's ever happened...

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

31 Happy Days #4

I have two things to share today. One is serious, and one is silly. First of all, my new book came today.

It's a book with 365 quotes and insights that I thought might help me with battling my depression. Each day has a message and a goal to try and achieve. Who knows, it could work. Plus, I quite love Demi Lovato.

Now for the silly thing.

Legitimately got to write Ass all over my commutative algebra notes today. Had a right good giggle with my friend about that in the middle of lecture. We are so mature.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Monday, 2 March 2015

31 Happy Days #2

I have nearly learned the tab and lyrics to The Words by Christina Perri on guitar. There are just a couple of places that I get muddled on.

And just because there is one person who reads this that will love any excuse to watch the video again, enjoy:

Sunday, 1 March 2015

March Challenge - 31 Happy Days #1

Well... February was an utter fail. Last weekend I had a complete meltdown and had to go home. I talked a lot with a lot of different people, and hopefully have some plans to get me back on track with battling this depression. I have some disgusting Rescue Remedy Spray, and a new to-do list complete with rewards for when I feel like I've achieved something. Keeping with this theme, Liberty challenged me this month to post every day on here with something that has made me happy that day. So here goes:

1st March:

I scored 485 out of 600 points in archery today - a new PB (by 5 points, but shhh)

Monday, 9 February 2015

February Challenge

Last month, I decided to follow in my mother's footsteps and make 12 changes over the year to help me overcome my depression. Last month, my challenge was to manage my time so that I could keep busy.

This only half worked.

I started off well at the beginning of term. I was getting up early every day, going to bed at a reasonable time so I had lots of energy. I was trying to schedule my time so that I worked more productively. Then I fell behind a bit in my plan to write up my lecture notes in neat each week to keep on top of revision. This made me feel like I didn't deserve to do anything that wasn't work related, but I was in too bad of a mood to be motivated. The boyfriend and I also had some issues with communication that were causing us problems.

Despite the lack of motivation, I feel like I am in a better place in terms of my degree than I was last term. I am (mostly) on top of my assignments, and even have enjoyed doing a couple of them. I like Number Theory. The assignments I've had marked and handed back to me have been quite well graded, so I'm pleased with that. Most of my modules are fine, there is just one that I am really struggling to get my head around.

Another thing that has gotten me down is that I have had to stop running. I have a recurring problem with my knee that means it actually hurts to run, and hurts for a few days after I have done so. I went to the doctor, and I have a referral for a physio , but the earliest appointment I have been able to get is at the end of March... I have, however, been trying to do some exercises anyway to keep the strength up. I actually completed my 30 day challenge, which I am really pleased about - the furthest I've gotten previously before forgetting/giving up was about day 8. I bought a pilates set with a yoga ball and some weights in to hopefully spark some more interest for myself. I didn't manage to keep up with yoga, but I feel like I have been working on strength quite well, so I'm counting my exercise challenge as a job well done.

This month, as well as trying some new ideas with the boyfriend to get our schedules back up and running and effective once more, I want to focus on music. Music is a massive part of my life, but recently I have not felt in the mood for singing or playing. I don't go to Glee anymore, partly because of an awkward timetable, partly because I spend all of my time at archery, but also because I haven't been in the right frame of mind for it. This month, I want to change that.

This challenge was actually the boyfriend's idea. After I let him take my ukulele to Uni with him to try and learn, he came up with the idea of trying to learn a duet together, him on ukulele, me on guitar, that we can practice over skype. This should be interesting because he isn't the greatest singer (although admittedly, he is getting better) and when I play guitar, the sound on my skype goes really quiet so I can't hear him anymore.

As well as the duet, I want to learn some new songs for myself. I have done some googling to find the supposed best song of each decade to find inspiration. I want to learn songs that either I wouldn't normally sing, or I haven't played already. This is my list so far:

1: 1950s, Johnny B Goode

2: 1960s, Save the Last Dance For Me

3: 1970s, Heart of Glass

4: 1980s, not sure yet, but maybe I Want To Know What Love Is

5: 1990s, again not sure. Best I could find was Baby One More Time

6: 2000s, Hey Ya

7: 2010s, The Words

(Excuse me while I get distracted by the yummy-ness that is Colin o'Donoghue)

And for our duet, Up

Let me know if you have any other suggestions for songs :)

Monday, 5 January 2015

January 2015

January is always the time people decide to change. A new year, a new me. It should be simple right? Wrong. Change is one of the hardest things to do, and it is something that I don't deal well with at all. I know there is a lot of change that is going to happen this year - I will be graduating, I will have to find a job, potentially somewhere new to live away from my family and my boyfriend. I don't know what is going to happen with that, and that terrifies me. However, I know that if I don't make some changes to my life now, it is going to be that much harder.

I suffer a lot from depression and it has really started to affect my life. I used to joke a lot with Liberty about us "catching" depression sometimes, where we would have all the feelings of depression, but only for a couple of days and then we'd feel better. In the last year though, I have been feeling more and more like I am only catching happiness sometimes. It has made it very hard to be motivated to work, to be happy with being here at University and has put a huge strain on my relationship with the boyfriend. My depression has been causing him difficulties with being away at Uni too, so we have had a very hard couple of months.

Over the Christmas holidays we talked a lot, and I talked to my family a lot. I discovered that a lot of my feelings are the same as what my mum gets, even down to not being able to hug or say "I love you" because you just feel nothing. Neither of us likes feeling like that, and I don't like how my depression is affecting me or the boyfriend, so I have decided to try and do something about it. I really don't like the idea of going to a doctor, getting medication or counselling. It really doesn't sit right with me, so I have to do something, I have to make the change.

Last year, instead of making New Year's Resolutions, my mum made 12 monthly changes throughout the year. This ranged from something little like using more of her lotions and potions, to the more difficult challenge of "just get on and do it". Liberty is following suit this year with her own monthly challenges, and that is what I am going to do as well. New Year's Resolutions are doomed to fail because so much happens in a year that you will forget what you said you wanted to do and who knows if what you want now is the same as what you will want in 6 months time? However, I fully believe that setting yourself targets and challenges is beneficial and good for you, so why not do it on a smaller scale.

My 12 monthly challenges are going to be tied in to helping me manage my depression. I want to make them realistic and also measurable so I can get to the end of the month and (hopefully) look back and be able to say "yes, I achieved that". This month, I am focusing on trying to keep myself busy and use my time productively, instead of wasting time feeling sorry for myself. I have a schedule that I am going to draw up each night with things I want to achieve the next day, work I want to get done and rewards for when I take a break to motivate myself. Keeping busy is going to help me to not feel so lost when the boyfriend leaves for his University in a couple of days. Hopefully my productivity will increase and allow me to study better to help me get back on track for a 2:1 at the end of my degree. Scheduling my days better will give me time to set aside for getting into some kind of fitness regime, which will also help to improve my health. Alongside my monthly challenge, I am taking part in Jantastic to get me back into running, and doing a 30 day challenge and some form of yoga everyday to strengthen my body and make me feel better about myself. A healthy body is a healthy mind after all.

The best thing about these monthly challenges is that I am not alone when I do them. Liberty has already been giving me tips for keeping busy and what I can set some of my challenges to, my mum always supports me and wants to give me all the help she can, and my boyfriend is right there beside me trying to change his life for the better, so we can be better together. I think between us we can make it through.