europeanmixtape

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Category: Uncategorized

The day my life turned around.

I used to be really depressed. The depression started when I was about 11 in 2004, became serious around  2007 and it received a massive kick in the butt one dark day in 2012 at the age of 19. I wouldn’t say I’m fully recovered as this shit takes time but I like to refer to that day as ‘the day my life turned around’. 

My mom recommended a book to me one day. It was called ‘The Secret’. I was 17 years old and she was at her wits end with me. Of course I laughed at the thought of a book making a difference in my life, scoffed at the few sentences I skimmed and merrily continued down my road of self-destruction. Just before I moved out, the day before I decided it would be a great idea to leave my family home and move countries in search of… something (I still to this day have no idea what I achieved by moving away) my mom presented me the book. She told me to slip it into my suitcase and reach for it whenever I was ready. 

A year later I took my mom’s advice.

I was horrifically drunk (chance of narcotic influence: very possible) and I had just experienced one of the most turbulent years of my life. I had found love, and subsequently lost it. I had moved away from everything I knew. I had discovered the hell of paying your own taxes on minimum wage within a fucked up corrupt system. I had been rejected from every single university I had applied for and I had resorted back to self harm. Something I thought I’d kicked a few years back. Then, I decided to listen to my mom for the first time in years. I reached for the book. She had written me a personal message on the inside, thanking me for giving this a go. As I flicked through the pages they suddenly made sense. Everything made so much sense. 

I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. I’m not going to say everything that happened in my life after reading the book was amazing because it wasn’t. But a hell of a lot of things took a positive turn for me and I truly believe it was through my own attitude change. A change I wouldn’t have been able to make without that book.

I urge all of you going through a bad time in your lives to give this book a go. As I said, the first time I skimmed it I scoffed at the nonsense. It’s highly repetitive and unless you really need it in your life I don’t think it will help you see the light. But if you’re really in a dark place and don’t know what to do anymore, what are you going to lose by giving it a go?

I know this is a long, depressing post. 

But it could potentially change someones life as it did mine.

EMT.

I think I hate people.

Well, this is awkward. Today I came to a realization. I don’t think it’s just Twitter and Instagram (Horne, 2013) that I hate. I think it might possibly just be the human race.

What is wrong with people nowadays?

Seriously.

ETM.

Nostalgia

Well looks like this blog has turned into a fortnightly thing rather than weekly! And I warn the next post is horrifically structured and probably of no interest to anyone at all.

In need of a good vent today. I’m feeling painfully nostalgic due to a certain Facebook photo. I lost a great friend of mine in July 2012 to cancer. He was a fantastic person with an equally fantastic family. I posted a tribute to him on Facebook back in July which his mother has obviously just stumbled across and liked, spurring on a good 20 more. They keep coming and I just want to take it down. It’s tearing at a wound that had never (and will never) properly sealed but that had reduced significantly. Happy memories we shared had replaced the awful ones of his final days. But the point is I turn 21 this year and although this is by no means old it is official adulthood. It’s a milestone birthday. A milestone that I am more than happy to reach but it hurts so much that my friend, and many, many other people will never reach it.

And, where has the time gone? 

My parents moved me to a foreign country at the age of 9. This was my second European move, my first being less influential at 2 years of age. They popped me into a local school thinking it would be the best way to learn the language and integrate into the culture. At 11 had to change schools and start secondary. This is where I met my friend who quickly became one of the best friends I have ever had and will ever have in my life. He was such an amazing person. I’m no stranger to death as I come from a huge family. My parents have never hidden funerals or death from me and funerals quickly became a (bi)annual event. But his was so different. This wasn’t an old uncle, a sick distant cousin or a grandparent. This was a happy, healthy friend of mine. My age. Someone I’ve grown up with, someone I’ve shared some of my best memories with. Someone I loved with all my heart. 

This blog post goes out to all the parents who have had to bury a child. It’s wrong and shouldn’t happen. 

EMT.

Something I’ve learnt today
– The past has been, the future is yet to come but the present is now.

Something that made me smile (and cry) today
– Reminiscing.

Love and other drugs.

Today a friend and I missed the beginning of our lecture as we had become quite distracted by people watching. Have you ever done that? Sat in a busy place and just watched the world rush past you? One of my favorite places to do so is at the train station. People at train stations always seem to be in an incredible hurry and they always seem to know exactly where they are going. At least I always feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t. Except from when I’m in London. There is something about Victoria station that just makes my body know where to go and what to do. The ticket machines aren’t always as complying as I would like them to be but enough to let me join in the standard commuters sighing and moaning about “tourists”. Back on point. People. Fascinating. Sometimes I like to sit on a bench in Victoria, or any other crowded place and simply watch. I like to make up little stories about the people running past. Like the man talking quickly and loudly on his phone, shoulders hunched, nervous. I bet he’s dashing from his mistresses home back to his wife. I bet he’s on the phone to her right now complaining about overtime. Or the woman who looks like she’s about to break with the loud children and crying baby. What story does she have to tell? I think staring at her is quite weird enough let alone asking her for her story. But me being me before I know it I’m helping her with her buggy down the stairs and attempting to shush her loud children. I never heard her story but the smile lit up her eyes and changed the one I’d started to form in my head.

As I said in my previous post, I feel so strongly that people are too busy in today’s world. At least 4 people walked passed this woman before I helped her down the stairs. I’d like to believe that the 4 or 5 people that passed would have been more than happy to help… had they have seen her. No-one seems to pay attention to each other anymore. I walked passed a restaurant this evening and saw a lovely young couple on a date. Both on their smartphones, one emailing and the other on Facebook. It looked ever so romantic! I feel people are afraid to touch, afraid to speak their mind or let others know how they are really feeling. Did you know the most common lie (aside from yes, I have read the terms & conditions) is: Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine. How sad is that?

This rant is part of an epiphany I had with one of my best friends around 5a.m last Friday in a club toilet merely aided by un petit peu of narcotics. We felt the love and wanted the world to feel it with us. Although this feeling may have been slightly amplified due to Friday night fever, the message has lasted me until now, Monday evening. And who likes Mondays enough to be able to feel the love and mean it?

EMT

Something I’ve learnt today
– People don’t love enough (or at least they don’t talk about it enough!)

Something that made me smile today
– Family

Pressure.

First off, sorry for not having updated in a few Mondays! I’m not going to lie and say I was SUPER busy, I just couldn’t be bothered and had nothing to talk about.

Today on the other hand: pressure. I feel the people of today are under far too much pressure. Work hours, children, cancer, benefits or lack of, poverty, politics, bills, work, illness, death, study, options, bosses, facebook, twitter, work load, sex… need I go on? Over half of the things we struggle to achieve on a daily basis barely existed 50 years ago. Whilst having a pleasant glass of advocaat (google it, delish!) with my elderly grandmother she doesn’t feel the need to arrange the dollop of cream accordingly so it will look great on her Instagram photo. This is a standard example for me but you guys get the drift. Although there is plenty of pressure out there these days a lot of it we bring on ourselves and it can be avoided. I felt pressure to post on this blog the last two Mondays (well actually only by the second) but I thought to myself, does anyone actually really care if I update this blog or not?

These are silly examples of pressure. But examples non the less. I wish people would let go and forget how much fun not being perfect really is! I understand sometimes we need to conform to rules in order to get to what we want but it’s only worth it if it’s what you really want. Last semester I watched a class mate break down three weeks before midterm week because she missed a day of her study regime. THREE WEEKS BEFORE. Who studies three weeks before? And if you do, surely you have enough time for a breather day? If you break a week in to three sections of 56 hours you have the following:

56 hours to study and be a grown up
56 to sleep
56 to have fun, do a harlem shake*, socialize, cry about life in fetal position, sing in the shower, not think about things that scare you, think about things that scare you, watch films, draw on sleeping housemates/siblings/strangers, eat yogurt with peas just for funsies and find out it’s actually quite nice… I DON’T KNOW AND I DON’T CARE JUST HAVE FUN. 

I’m not only updating to rant about pressure. I need to keep myself occupied because I’m stopping smoking. For the third time in two years. Currently in the last 3 hours of total nicotine departation of my system. Is that a word? It has a red squiggle under it. What’s the correct word? More on that next week.

EMT.

Something I’ve learnt today
– I rule over nicotine. For a few days at least.

Something that made me smile today
– Frozen peas in yogurt & my own bed after a long weekend away.

*I don’t enjoy a Harlem shake myself but I felt pressured into writing it given it’s current hype!

Today I became an adult.

Today has been a big day for me. I decided it was time I became an adult. I’m 20 years old now and I think it’s time. Today, I’ve stopped reading the Daily Mail and started reading ‘real’ newspapers.

To be honest it’s not really my own choice. Two of my courses this semester require me to read the news. In French, we must bring an article from current news along with a small summary in French. In my international & European law class, our professor kindly asked us to stay up to date with current affairs. As a law major I must confess that sometimes I do feel like I should really know what my professors are talking about when they mention the situation in Mali or talk about the recession. To be honest, all I know about politics at the moment is that David Cameron’s daughter is called Florence and that Michelle Obama has AMAZING arms. Don’t get me wrong, current affairs are important. And as an adult, I should be able to engage in intellectual conversations over a glass (bottle) or two of wine. But lets be real. Knowing things like the name of Adele’s (or Natalie Portman, Victoria Beckham and pretty much any celebs) baby or that Harper is going to be the star of Fashion week is much more fun. Personally, I think the Daily Mail gets more stick than it deserves. Today I learnt women who live closer to their mothers are more likely to get pregnant! I searched the BBC and didn’t find this priceless bit of knowledge.

All this being said, the Daily Mail has unfortunately lost its place as my homepage. What politically neutral newspapers can you recommend for me to start my journey into adulthood? Or better yet, who can give me a crash course in Politics so I can actually pick what I want to read? Is there really more to know then that Obama is great, Bush sucked, England has no hope & babies are cute?

I also thought I’d try to stop smoking today but I thought to myself: Slow down, one step at a time.

 
EMT.

Something I’ve learnt today
– I’m /almost/ ashamed at my lack of knowledge on politics.

Something that made me smile today
– The smell of clean bed sheets.

Panda points.

I made my first “boyfriend” wait a very long time until I opened my temple doors and lost the crown jewels to him. In plain English, I made the poor boy wait a very long time until I let him take my virginity. I put the word boyfriend between quotation marks because I’m still not sure to this day if he was actually aware that he was my boyfriend. I like to think of him as such even though he hardly waited until we’d finished to text another girl that he’d be round later. I will also never forget his face when my mum popped her head into my room and called him by a nickname I lovingly used to refer to him by around the house. Pretty sure he was unaware of that one as well.

Point is, am I really becoming as old and cynical as you can be at 20 years young or are people far too eager to hop into bed these days? Fuck buddies, casual sex, friends with benefits, one night stands… how ever you wish to label it. Magazines glamorize it, TV shows tell us it’s okay and normal but casual sex has never been something I’ve been drawn to.

Having just started university I’m surrounded by sex. Someone is always doing someone and personally I feel out of the loop by not joining in. Where I’m currently studying there is something called Panda Points. I’d never heard of the concept before starting here but apparently it’s all the rage. It consists of an accumulation of points that you can (but shouldn’t) obtain by not having sex for a certain amount of time. For example if you spend over a month without sex you gain one panda point and so forth. Once you’ve achieved six, rules say you must throw a panda party to let everyone know. I’m assuming this is in hope of a pity shag. Rules are slightly twisted at university and you receive a panda point per week without sex. I have yet to attend a panda party so the kids here have obviously got it down to a T.

I’m not condemning anyone’s life choices here. Have fun whilst I tut, knit and drink tea.

Subconsciously I think I’m actually gathering panda points because any excuse for a party is a good excuse. I actually own some really cool panda knickers I could wear.

EMT.

Something I’ve learned today:

– My conversational French is way better whilst inebriated than in a classroom

Something that made me smile:

– Purchasing new stationary, including mini highlighters in every colour and a mini stapler that has metallic blue staples.

“I’m not cut out for real life…”

Title is a quote from a close friend of mine this morning. It was an extremely dramatic moment on what appeared to be a normal hungover Monday morning. We’d managed to climb out of a random student house, tread over sleeping bodies and abandoned beer cans to the cold, snowy outdoors. We thought we’d brave the 8 minute walk to the shop for survival snacks. We last about 3 before we both slipped on ‘black ice’ and fell into a giggly drunk/hungover heap. We’re just not cut out for real life. We abandoned mission and returned to bed.

It was just a joke but it really got me thinking. Real life is a scary concept yet, unfortunately, so many people my age haven’t quite caught on to it yet. In my humble opinion, staying up until 3 in the morning frantically working out how you’re going to pay your next council tax bill is real life. Knowing never to wash brand new, bright red jean with your whites is real life. Living on campus as a slightly older student I pay a lot of attention to how other first years slowly begin to grasp ‘real life’. I see university as a safety net for many to have a small taste into the real world. It’s interesting to see how so many different individuals live and learn.

On a happier note, it’s still snowing. We had a drunken snowball fight last night and I built a snow-lady. I woke up this morning to a fresh layer of snow but my snow-lady had been knocked over. Is it wrong that I got angry watching small children stealing my fresh snow? Still wrong if I think they were very possibly the snow-lady killers? Or maybe I was just too hungover for real life.

EMT.

 

Something I’ve learnt today
– People who leave beer cans half-full really upset me.

 

Something that made me smile today
– Brownies

Have you ‘instagram-ed’ your dinner today?

The final push I needed to start this blog happened to me at Victoria coach station last week. I was just casually waiting for my coach when I “accidentally” tuned into a very loud conversation a young male was having next to me on his iPhone. The conversation went a little something like this:

[…]

+ Nah man, she’s Spanish but has been living in a UK for a while now…
– How did you meet?
+ Well she uploaded a hot pic on Instagram so I commented on it. She asked me if I had twitter. We sent each other a few Facebook messages and it kicked off from there really.

It was this conversation that really convinced me that every moment there really are less and less people who’s lives don’t resemble something you’d find on Pinterest. It was this conversation that convinced me I really am as uncool as I think I am. And finally, it was this conversation that made me realize that no matter how much I like to say it I’m not so uncool I’m cool again.  I don’t own an iPhone or have a Twitter account.  I’ve never linked a tweet from my Facebook with an Instagram picture of my dinner (in case that doesn’t make sense, it’s not supposed to). For this reason, my blog. For the few people out there who can only drool at picture perfect lives posted on Pinterest, Lookbook and Instagram. Or for those who have no interest in being picture perfect.

I’m a horrifically outspoken, slightly overconfident yet extremely self conscious 20 year old girl/woman who’s life currently resembles… my own homemade mess. I’m starting this blog with a invitation to the world wide web into my daily life. There will be no Instagram photos of my lunch (you can all find pictures of a Sainsburys pre-made lunch online), no DIY posts (unless it’s something well cool, so still probably no) and no outfit posts (I dress in the dark and sometimes wear the same pair of jeans twice).

So here’s to the guy from Victoria coach station, I wish him many happy years with his new hot Spanish girlfriend.

EMT.

Something I’ve learnt today
– Fruit flies don’t die within an hour

Something that made me smile today
– A hug from someone I hadn’t seen in a very long time