Quick Update

Good Monday, dear readers!

It is Monday the 22nd of April, Earth Day, Easter Monday, and a bank holiday. It has been nearly two weeks since my last blog post, two weeks minus two days, as the week before last I posted both on Monday and on Wednesday. Last Monday, I didn’t have a post prepared, and I was in no mental state to write one. The last two or three Mondays for me have been… hard. Bad mental health days. Why Mondays? I have no idea. It could have something to do with me being rejected for literally every job I have applied for in the last few months, a feeling I am unfamiliar with up until this point (I’ve had a few jobs, but I was also in school and uni and not technically in need of them, and I’ve only been rejected from two – one I group interviewed for, and one I never heard back from after applying). It’s exhausting…

I spent much of the weekend before last playing the open beta of Anno 1800, re-familiarising myself with the game, as the closed beta in February was my first time playing any Anno game (read my post about that here). The game released in full on Tuesday last week. I spent a lot of the week playing it, trying and failing, trying different settings, with and without pirates, trying different building styles… I’ve gotten to the point where I have some of each population class now. But my single player save is kind of a mess at this point. I really just wanted to get to the end, but it turns out I’m having a lot of issues with my trade routes and I need more engineers and investors to get further in the game but I also cannot upgrade my artisans to engineers or my engineers to investors because I’m unable to cover their basic needs, and I get riots because I cannot satisfy their happiness. Hopefully I can salvage this, I might actually go back in and downgrade so that I don’t have as many different population classes to try to satisfy at once. I could just start over, but that feels like giving up on an island I was actually very happy with up until this point, so I’ll probably try to fix it.

The weather’s been nice. Yesterday, I actually sat on the step in front of the house eating my breakfast outside. It reminded me of my grandmother, the one that’s passed away. When I was little and spending summers there, the sun was at the front of their house during the day, and she’d often say let’s eat on the stairs in front of the house! It was a new and exciting experience for me, not something we did at home. But she’d make me a sandwich and a glass of milk or juice and we’d sit on the steps eating breakfast in the sun. It’s something I’ve done in recent years at my parents house before work in the summer too, bring my coffee and my food outside and sit in the sun! Another thing I did yesterday was clear out the garage. I started at around 11-11.30, it was 3.30 when I finished, I didn’t realise how long I’d been at it for and it completely exhausted me for the rest of the day. It felt very good to have done it though! I spent the rest of the day lying in bed, cuddling a cat or two, and rewatching Reign on Netflix. I watched this show about two years ago, summer of 2017. I couldn’t remember all the things that happened in season 1, I thought for sure some of those incidents came later! And now that I’m approaching the end of season 2… There’s so much I didn’t remember. Despite the many, many flaws and historical inaccuracies (women’s hair and clothing to mention a couple), I do really like this show, I think the actors are brilliant, and a lot of the story pains me, which of course makes me like it because it has an affect on me. Today, my back is aching from the hard work of yesterday, but it’s a good ache. At least I’m not having another Monday infested by depression and anxiety…

I am writing this post at mid day on Monday. This will not be my only post for today though! I have another, which I’ve been working on over the last few days, which, providing my pictures being good, will be up tonight at my “normal” posting time. It is about the Urban Decay Game of Thrones makeup collection, which launched just over a week ago, on the same Sunday as the new and final season premiered! I’ve watched the first two episodes now. What do we think? I’ve heard some people refer to them as fillers, but I don’t agree – fillers are empty and play no part in the upcoming events, I think everything we’ve seen so far is definitely important for upcoming events. They’re builders, if anything. With a few bits and pieces to satisfy the audience (Arya in episode 2, I won’t say anything else, but you can’t deny that fans have been begging for it for years!).

By the way – the Easter egg arrived, and I put it in the back of a kitchen cupboard for a week. Then I got the two little packs of mini eggs out and had them last weekend. I didn’t get the actual egg from the kitchen until Wednesday night last week, and I’ve been eating a little bit every day. Since I count today as the last day of Easter, I will have the bit that remains today, probably tonight. All in all, things went well. The egg is so chocolatey that I feel ill if I have too much at once, which is actually a good thing, because it’s made it last!

I know I don’t have many people who read my posts, and I hardly ever actually get people talking to me in the comments, but I wanted to write this little update for my own sake. I’ve been so good at posting every Monday since the start of the year, last Monday was the first I missed, so to make up for it I’m posting two posts this Monday, and at least my post count is still up to date! Talk to me in the comments, tell me something good ❤

Xoxo

Julie

Living With Eating Disorders

A person who is an alcoholic, or a drug addict, can stay sober for 30 years, but that doesn’t mean they’re cured. They can’t just casually have a drink with everyone else, they can relapse at any moment in time, even though they’re sober and have been for a long time. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it illustrates the point.

Easter is coming up. Not yet, but soon. We do shopping once a week, and I was told to pick out which Easter Egg I want, it’ll be here tomorrow along with food for the next week. I have a hard time believing I’ll be able to leave it until Easter… Maybe that’s not a big deal to some, some people probably get a lot of eggs while they’re in shops and eats them like other sweets. But when I was young, we had a week off school, starting Friday before Good Friday, lasting through Easter Monday, and my brother and I wouldn’t usually get our Easter Eggs until the following weekend, because that’s when it really is Easter, not just Easter holiday from school. So I was brought up to enjoy my Easter egg during actual Easter, and I only got a small/medium sized one too.

You might think I’m overthinking this. That’s it’s not a big deal if I eat my egg before Easter, or that I can just leave it until Easter to eat it. I wish it were that simple.

I have super self-control when walking through a shop looking at all the good things. I have no issues walking down the candy aisle and smell all the chocolate in the air, I can just walk through and buy my things and leave, no biggie. But the moment I buy something, I have a really hard time not eating it once I get home. I’m just not wired to have a “snack drawer” or shelf or cupboard or whatever. It was fine when I was a child and my parents were in charge of handing out sweets to us (Saturday nights with TV, birthdays, Christmas, and Easter). But when I was, maybe around 10, my Mum started working away from home, that’s when the problems started.

I was fully aware of where to find cookies, sweets, and the chocolate spreads. And I was struggling in school, not with the material but with the social aspect. I’d come home and make myself two slices of bread with chocolate spread, a glass of chocolate milk, and a few pieces of chocolate, and watch 7th Heaven on TV while home alone. I was comfort eating. It made me feel better. This went on for several years.

The summer before I turned 15, I stopped eating meat. That’s a story for another time, if I haven’t already talked about it before, I actually don’t remember. My grandmother made a comment that I was gonna become skinny because of it. The same grandmother had earlier made comments on me being on the bigger side and asked whether I was the only one in my year in school who was. It stayed in my head. I’d already started working out a couple of years earlier, because my MP3 player broke, and my dad said he’d buy me a new one if I kept up my grades for summer term and started to exercise (he got me the 2nd generation iPod Nano, 2GB, which was a lot back then!). At some point, I started to notice the weight loss, and it drove me to keep going. I ate less and less. I exercised more and more. At the worst, I was down to one tiny bowl of cereal for breakfast, and a small portion of dinner that I couldn’t always finish, and I had dance class on Monday, PE on Tuesday and Thursday, aerobics on Wednesday, and I’d go running and biking on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I did strength exercises too, every evening before bed, which was what I’d started doing back when I wanted my MP3 player replaced (I still remember the first time: 10 push-ups, and 10 crunches, and I was aching a lot the next day. By the end I had a full hour’s worth of different exercises for my core, legs, and arms). I wasn’t healthy. I had headaches every day. I drank only water, and juice with dinner when the others had soda. I never ate sweets or crisps.

But here’s the thing. I never looked like someone with eating disorders. There weren’t any teachers or classmates who were worried about me. One teacher made a remark once, he’d seen me out running after school, said something about me being into jogging, when I rejected a Twist (which are like Celebrations) he offered me once (nothing creepy, I had to stop by school for a signature on something I’d forgotten, and he was in the teacher’s room). I never saw a doctor, I was never hospitalised or treated in any way. My parents knew something wasn’t right, I think, but we’ve never actually talked about it. Once when I’d been out jogging around mid-day on a weekend, and came home, I told my mum I wanted to go for a bike ride and she said absolutely not. And for several years after I got better, whenever I’d talk to my dad on the phone (when I’d just started uni), he’d ask me what I’ve eaten today. At this point, I was able to tell him the truth. A few years earlier (my first year of high school/upper secondary), I’d make up something about using my pocket money to buy something from the school cafeteria. That happened maybe twice during the year (other than ice coffee before science tests, which became a sort of ritual for me and a friend). So my parents were worried. But no one else had any reason to be. One girl made a comment on me becoming fit when high school started, but we were 15-16, a lot of people’s bodies changed over summer, she asked if I’d been working out and I said yes, but asked nothing further. I didn’t look like someone with eating disorders. But I had them. First one way, then the other.

eating disorder
noun
plural noun: eating disorders
  1. any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits

I’m well now. Mostly. I’ve been mostly well for several years. I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, most days. Sometimes I skip lunch, if I have a late breakfast and don’t want to have a late dinner. I don’t like eating late at night. I don’t like snacking, much. I try to eat mostly healthy. I still haven’t eaten meat since I stopped in the summer of 2007. The thing is, I know how easy it would be for me to relapse. With being unemployed, and away from my family and friends, with being located to mainly just one room in a small house, my mental health isn’t always doing so good. And a lot of the time I want to eat things I know I shouldn’t. Like yesterday, we had takeout pizza. We’re having Easter eggs being delivered tomorrow. And I’ve been craving sweets for hours, mainly due to talking about them with someone on twitter (really lovely conversation though!). I am able to not eat anything because I don’t have anything. I don’t even have cereal. But food is being delivered tomorrow, and I might go make tea in a bit, my hands are quite cold and I have a sleepy time tea. Sleep is another tool I use to control cravings and overeating; in writing moment it’s nearly 10pm and like I said earlier, I don’t like eating late, so I will have some water and/or some tea, and go to sleep, and breakfast will taste all the much better in the morning.

So you see which way I’m leaning at the moment. I want all the things I know I shouldn’t have. But then some days, I don’t want anything. Or I’ll be really healthy, those are the best days. But sometimes I feel like not eating anything at all, especially following a time of me eating things I know I shouldn’t. And I know I need to eat, and I do, and I have people around me who care about me and want me to stay healthy and well, who make sure I do, or at least that I don’t skip meals multiple days in a row, that’s really the danger I am in sometimes.

I’ve been mainly well for about 9 years now. Or at least 7, maybe 8. I started to get better around 9 years ago, but that too was a process that took some time. It took me more than 2 years to get back into eating lunch on a regular basis. And it’s always a process, it’s always going to be a process, it’s never going to end, I don’t think. And that’s really the point I wanted to get across here. I may never have been in any physical danger, or maybe I would have been if things hadn’t happened to change the course I was on, I don’t know. But I was never hospitalised or in danger of dying, and I never developed diabetes due to how I was living and eating. But even though I’m, for the most part, stable, for now, that doesn’t mean I couldn’t still spin one way or the other, it doesn’t mean I won’t relapse into comfort-eating or not eating at all. Every day, I work at making sure it doesn’t happen, by eating my meals, and getting the nutrients my body needs, but there are times when I feel bad and I eat a whole pack of Jaffa cakes, and there are days when I feel so bad about my weight or the shape of my body that I want to go on a water diet for a week, there’s no denying that. But for now, I’m fine, for the most part. Let’s hope this stupid Easter egg (that I cannot wait to eat, I got a Cadbury mini eggs one!!) doesn’t ruin any of that…

If you’ve made it this far, this is the end! Thank you so much for reading, I know this was a long piece; this is something that’s really personal to me, and that I haven’t really opened up about in the past. Please feel free to talk to me in the comments – but if you’re gonna be nasty, I’ll just delete you, so let’s keep it civil okay 🙂

Xoxo

Julie

April Fool’s Day

Today is April 1st. Or as may of us know it, April Fool’s Day. If you google April Fool’s Day, you might come across this definition:

April Fools’ Day or April Fool’s Day (sometimes called All Fools’ Day) is an annual celebration commemorated on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes and their victims are called April fools. People playing April Fool jokes often expose their prank by shouting “April fool(s)” at the unfortunate victim(s). Some newspapers, magazines and other published media report fake stories, which are usually explained the next day or below the news section in smaller letters. Although popular since the 19th century, the day is not a public holiday in every country. Little is known about the origins of this tradition.

Aside from April Fools’ Day, the custom of setting aside a day for the playing of harmless pranks upon one’s neighbour has historically been relatively common in the world.                                                                                                        (Wikipedia)

I don’t like this day. I don’t believe anything I read on the internet today, especially Facebook status updates. There are a lot of tweets too. Someone just tweeted that they just stumbled through a street, way too drunk, and even wearing flats. I don’t believe it.

A few days ago, I came across this on Twitter:

april1st

The most common one I see is people announcing pregnancy and engagement. And it’s not like it’s harmful… I just think it’s incredibly pointless, not to mention unoriginal.

Sometimes I see some funny ones from the media, who have people trained to write and are able to come up with something witty or believable. BeautyBay posted on Instagram that they have a new palette out, the “Prima Doner” palette with “buttery, greasy texture” and “scented shades” with names such as Nuggets, Garlic Mayo, Pepperoni Pizza, and Extra Gravy. That was pretty funny. What’s funnier is people tagging their friends and asking about the price! I saw someone else posting about a unicorn lipstick too, although I can’t find that one on my feed at the moment. Superdrug sent out an e-mail advertising the new trend: Glitter ears, for festival season. A local newspaper back in Norway has an article out today with the 20 best pranks they’ve played throughout the years.

Personally, I just don’t think April Fools are funny. I don’t think it’s funny to pull pranks on people, and I don’t like it when people do it to me. I find the whole concept ridiculous. I wish we’d get rid of it. But I can’t change the mindset of the majority of the world, so for now, I guess I have no choice but to go through April 1st being suspicious of everything I read and everything people tell me; alternatively barricade myself in a room with books and movies all day for the rest of forever.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, there’s nothing harmful about trying to make people laugh by announcing ridiculous makeup palettes and fashion statements, but most of the stuff people do is ridiculous and some of it can be harmful towards others and my personal opinion is that not much good comes from this day and it’s really quite pointless.

I hope you have a good day and sorry for being so negative, it’s just my two cents on this day, that’s all.

Xoxo

Julie

ALL THE MIDANDRY MAKES ME SICK.

I need to say something, and it requires more than the 280 character limit in a tweet (do you remember when it was 140? And before the option to thread multiple tweets together before posting? How did we live?!).

Women. Recently I’ve unfollowed several of you on twitter for posting things along the lines of “all men are trash”. ALL MEN ARE NOT TRASH. Maybe you’ve had some bad experiences with some trashy ones, – cheaters, or men being dicks because you didn’t wanna sleep with them… They definitely exist. BUT SO DO GOOD ONES! But you know what? You’re never gonna meet them if you keep generalising and assuming everyone is gonna be like your ex or those men you meet on a night out or whatever.

And speaking of things we need to stop doing, as women, because we’re not doing ourselves any favours here. STOP CRYING RAPE WHEN THERE WAS NO RAPE. Yes you’re allowed to change your mind. If you’ve said you’ll sleep with someone, you can change your mind. You can change your mind at any point up until or during the act. If you’re going home with someone from the club and cjsnge your mind and you don’t want to sleep with them, LEAVE. If you’re in the middle of foreplay and you don’t want to continue, SPEAK UP. If you’re in the middle of having sex and you want to stop, SAY SOMETHING. What you CAN’T do, is go through with it, and then say you were raped when you regret your actions in retrospect!! Men and women, none of us are mind readers, and if you change your mind you need to SAY IT. You can use body language too, to signal that you’re not into doing it anymore, but unless you SPECIFICALLY SPEAK UP, you can’t expect the other person to know what you’re thinking or feeling because humans don’t work that way!

You have to realise, that if you go through the act without saying anything, and then accuse them of raping you, you’re hurting other people, people who weren’t involved in this at all, people who were ACTUALLY raped. It’s hard enough to be believed as a victim of rape, male or female, as it is, without other people hurting the cause and accusing people of rape when they didn’t say anything about it at the time. REGRETTING HAVING SEX WITH SOMEONE DOESN’T MEAN THEY RAPED YOU. Rape is someone forcing you against your will at the time, not stopping when you ask them to, not respecting that you no longer wish to continue what the two of you were doing. If you went into it willingly and you didn’t say stop or no or that you’ve changed your mind, IF YOU DIDN’T WITHDRAW CONSENT at any point BEFORE OR DURING, YOU CAN’T WITHDRAW IT AFTER! You’re perfectly within your right as a human to regret doing what you did, but you have to deal with it like a fucking adult, you don’t go out and accuse the person of raping you – it hurts them, their life can be ruined by an accusation like this, and it hurts everyone else who is struggling to be believed that they were raped in the first place.

We need to do better, to be better. All of us. It’s not feminist to say that all men are trash. It’s misandrist. That’s the flip side of misogynist, which I also can’t stand. And I’m sick of seeing it everywhere, especially on twitter. Men are not better than women. Women are not better than men. We are all people, all of us are capable of being horrible, or being good. And I’m seeing way too much of people being horrible. It’s sickening. I wish we’d all stop and focus on what’s good in the world, what we can do to be good people, to be better, to do better.

Thank you for coming to my rant post.

Xoxo

Julie

20 Questions With Myself (x2…)

For today’s blog post, I wanted to do something light, something fun. I had a job interview earlier today, so it’s taken a lot of energy from me the last few days, as I get nervous and overthink things, and I was sat here thinking, since I’ve not prepared a post over the weekend, what can I do that I’ll enjoy doing? And as I was scrolling on Twitter, I came across one of those “for every like, I will answer one question” posts. I’ve re-posted those a few times, sometimes I’ve got two or three likes, most of the time I haven’t gotten any likes at all. But I enjoy answering questions, so I thought why not turn it into a blog post! Those who want to read and learn some things about me can do that, and even if no one reads it, I’ll have fun filling it out! So, here we go!

1. Who was your last text from?

On messenger, my friend Charlotte. On WhatsApp, my boyfriend Matt. Actual phone text message, a Norwegian grocery shop called Kiwi.

2. Who was your last call from?

The man who interviewed me earlier today. I sadly don’t remember his name…

3. What is your worst habit?

Probably the amount of time I spend on my phone, when doing other things like watching TV, movies, or YouTube. I can prevent it by using Forest and blacklisting all the apps again, but I get very bored and fidgety, I want to be doing mindless things like playing games or scrolling on Instagram.

4. How many people have you dated?

I’ve had 5 boyfriends, plus 2 that I knew online but I never got to meet them in person before we stopped talking, plus 3 or 4 that didn’t turn into relationships.

5. What is your favourite TV series that you have watched?

Grey’s Anatomy and Criminal Minds. I never get tired of re-watching them, and they’ve been with me literally half my life (I was 13-14 when I started watching them, I’m 26 now, turning 27 later this year).

6. What is the last song you listened to?

I actually have no clue. I mainly listen to music on Spotify on my phone, and I have Spotify Free, so I can only skip 6 songs per hour, so I make a point of finishing a song and pausing right at the start of the next one, so that next time I want music I don’t have to start in the middle of a song (or waste a skip). The next song up though, is Otherside by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

7. Do you want to get married? 

Someday, yes. I’m in no rush. But I also want to be married before I have kids, so I guess biologically I am in a little bit of a rush!

8. Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable?

Not at all.

9. Would you ever share a bath with someone?

I don’t know, to be honest. It’s one of those things that looks romantic in films, but I imagine it would be awkward in real life. Most tubs are not made for two adults! It’s the same as with showering with someone – sounds like a good idea until you’re actually doing it, and you have to keep walking around each other to get to the water…

10. What is your favourite animal?

Owls, but I’ve never hung out with one so I don’t know what they’d be like as pets. I’m currently living with 3 cats, and I adore them to bits!

11. Would you ever smoke weed?

I’m not opposed to weed where it’s legal, but I don’t particularly want to inhale things that aren’t fresh air…

12. What is your favourite way to wear your hair?

All the ways. Straight, curly, braided, bun, ponytail, french twist… It really depends on my mood for the day! Most of the time if I don’t wear it down, I put it in a high ponytail though.

13. Who was the last person you had a deep conversation with?

My boyfriend.

14. What are your favourite bands/singers?

Oh god that’s a hard one… I don’t listen to a lot of music at the moment, and it’s mainly just random songs here and there, not complete albums or anything. According to the Spotify Wrapped 2018, I think All Time Low and Ed Sheeran were the two most played bands/artists, I also really love Simple Plan, they’re like an all-time favourite, same with Breathe Carolina… Taylor Swift is also pretty high, but I haven’t listened to anything after her 1989 Album.

15. What is your relationship status?

I’ve been in one since late 2015.

16. What is your sexuality?

Straight.

17. What are your initials (including middle names?)

J. K. V. I always thought the K name was my middle name, until my mum gave me my birth certificate last year and it turned out I have two first names, no middle name!

18. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?

Person, or cat? Yes to both! (I kiss the cats on top of their heads a lot eheh).

19. Who is the most attractive celeb?

Oh fuck if I know. I don’t really have a celebrity crush, haven’t had one for years…

20. Do you/would you ever drink alcohol?

I’m gonna answer this with a quote from Game of Thrones: “That’s what I do. I drink, and I know things.” – Tyrion Lannister

21. What makes you happy?

So many things! Cats, my support system of people, cute animal pictures and videos online, some TV shows, an essential oil called “Joy”, reading, playing games like Two Point Hospital and Anno, doing my makeup…

22. What are you like when you’re drunk?

It depends. Most of the time, giddy, happy, cute. A couple of times I’ve had the alcohol hit me the wrong way and I’ve become mean or upset, but those aren’t the majority of times fortunately!

23. Would you rather live without music or TV?

TV, easy. Even though I don’t listen to a lot of music right now, and I am watching quite a bit of TV, I can totally live without it. I have done for some stretches of time, like when my family went camping, or on school trips. With music and good company, I didn’t miss having a TV at all.

24. Do you like people playing with your hair?

YES.

25. What traits do you find attractive in someone?

Altruism. Being passionate about something. Treating people kindly, even strangers. The ability to make people around them feel good.

26. Would you kiss someone of the opposite gender?

We already covered this when I said I’m straight, didn’t we? But yeah the answer is yes :’)

27. Do you feel awkward during silences when with someone?

That really depends on the person and the context. But just the fact that it’s silent doesn’t bother me. Comfortable silences exist. But yeah sometimes it can be awkward too, of course…

28. How long did your longest relationship last?

3 years, 5 months, 8 days, and counting.

29. Would you ever become a vegetarian?

I haven’t eaten meat since July 13th, 2007. I never gave up fish, but I could really easily do that do be honest, I don’t enjoy it much, apart from sushi, but vegan sushi can be really good too!

30. Do you think aliens exist?

I believe we are the aliens to others… The word literally just means foreigner, whether we’re talking country or planet. Do I believe we’re the only life in the universe? Hell no. If our planet can sustain life, surely there must be others. I don’t particularly believe they’re green tentacled monsters, that’s a human imagination, but I think it’s highly likely life like our own exists somewhere else. Maybe at a different developmental stage from us, either behind or beyond… Or maybe life forms our human brains are incapable of imagining. Maybe it’s like in The Guardians of the Galaxy, with people and creatures in all shapes and colours. Who knows!

31. How many people have you kissed?

Oh god. Uhm… Nine or ten, I think?

32. Favourite school subject?

It changed a lot throughout school, but I went on to study English in university, mainly because of the amazing teachers I had in the subject in secondary school!

33. Do you have a lot of friends?

I’ve never had a lot of friends. At this point in my life, I probably have more than I ever have, because I’ve become more secure in who I am and who I want to have in my life. I have two really good friends from university, a couple of friends from school that I talk to sometimes, a handful of really close friends online, and there are people I’m friendly with, that I would probably still hang out with if we were in the same physical place… But no, I wouldn’t say a lot, but I’m very happy with the ones I have! ❤

34. Where in the world would you like to visit?

My dad once said, “there isn’t a place invented that you don’t want to visit, Julie” and he’s right. Very high on the list right now, of places I haven’t visited, are New York, Tokyo, and Bali.

35. Do you have trust issues?

Sometimes. I guess my main one is trusting people to do their part/do what they’ve said they will, due to a lot of bad experiences with that in the past, and I’d much rather prepare for them to fail just in case, so that all doesn’t go to hell, than blindly trust  everyone to not let me down. When it comes to personal things like secrets and confiding, I don’t really have a lot of those things, and depending on the situation I have different people in my life to talk to that I trust wouldn’t blabber or judge me, that I trust would help me if I needed it, or just let me vent at them should that be what I require.

36. What is your favourite season?

Any that isn’t cold. But for the most part, early autumn. I don’t like really hot summers, I don’t like undressing really, I’m most comfortable in jeans, but late spring and early autumn are really good, when the temperature is nice and I can pretty much wear whatever I want! Winter is too cold, and I’m really sensitive to it. It’s currently about 10 degrees Celsius, and I’m wearing a wool tank-top underneath my fluffy Primark knitted jumper, and three pairs of socks on my feet… And my hands are so SO cold right now!

37. Would you ever have kids?

Someday, yes. A few years ago I couldn’t imagine it. I’m a lot closer to being able to picture myself as a mum now, but I’m not quite there yet…

38. Twitter or Facebook?

Twitter. For sure. I spend hours on there a day, probably, but I might drop by Facebook once a week or so. I mainly use that for messenger, but you don’t even need to have an active Facebook account for that anymore. I did deactivate it for a couple of months about a year ago… It was so nice, once I’d “detoxed” from it!

39. Do you still speak to your first crush?

That was in like year 6 of school so no. I don’t even know where in the world he is now.

40. Do you believe in luck/miracles?

Luck, definitely, yes. I don’t have a lot of it… Miracles… I’m not sure. I’ve not had one happen to me. I guess they could be kinda tied, for example if there is a car crash, it can be a miracle that no one died, but it’s also really lucky/fortunate… So I guess yeah, I do! I just don’t have much experience with it!

 

That’s all for this time! What have you been up to lately?

xoxo

Julie

 

Similar posts: 20 questions the book tag  //  15 facts about me

Human BEINGs

We are called “human beings”. Not “human doings”. This has been pointed out in at least one movie/TV show I’ve watched, although I cannot remember which, as well as on those kind of accounts on instagram that post inspirational quotes and tell you not to be so hard on yourself, etc etc. It can be kind of annoying, and kind of cliché. But it’s also kind of true.

Who we are is more important than what we do. And that’s easy to forget in a society where, when you meet new people, one of the first questions asked are “so what do you do (for a living)?” This question being asked early in conversation, makes us feel like this is of huge importance. Our answer to this question forms the person’s opinion of us. How stupid is that? People literally form opinions about us based on our answer to the question “what do you do for a living?”. They needn’t know much about us at all, perhaps you were just introduced, you say hi, your name, and they ask “so, what is it you do?” and that can colour their opinion of you forever.

Many people have impressive things to say. I’m a surgeon. I’m a lawyer. I’m working on my PhD in __. Many more people have answers such as hair dresses, mail man, I work in a food shop. These are professions that are essential to society, but they rarely make people go “wow, impressive!” in a conversation. And then there are people like me. I haven’t had to answer that question recently, but for the past six months, I would have had to say nothing. I don’t do anything. I don’t have a job. I’m unemployed. And that doesn’t feel so great.

Just over two years ago, I wrote this post, about how I felt like I’d done nothing all day, and that I needed to give myself more credit for the things I did do, and not beat myself up about all the things I didn’t do. I’m still struggling with this. Since the start of the year, I’ve started to write down almost everything I do in my bullet journal, just so that I don’t feel like I’ve done nothing all day. There’s a huge focus in our world about doing things. My mum will always ask “so what have you been doing today then?” when we talk on the phone. My friends ask it in group chats. They mean nothing bad about it, it’s never anyone’s attention to make me feel bad about not doing anything. But that’s often the focus, the starting point of a conversation, what have we been up to.

But we are called human beings. The first question should therefore be “how are you today?” or “how have you been?”. I try to ask this first, especially when I talk to someone I haven’t spoken to in a while. But “what have you been doing?” or “done anything fun lately?” or questions along those lines quickly follow. It can’t be helped. But as much as I can, I try to focus on the being part over the doing part, because who we are is ultimately so much more important than what we do, for a living or otherwise.

The things I do don’t reflect who I am as a person. What do I do? To mention a few, I read books, I binge watch TV shows, I play video games, I go for walks, I play with makeup. These say very little about who I am as a person – as a daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, cousin, god-mother, acquaintance, colleague… I am not the things I do to entertain myself. I am not the thing I do to make money, even though that’s nothing at the moment, and I am not that either.

Maybe we should all try to focus a little bit less on everything we’re supposed to be doing, and a little more and just being, in the world, existing, and enjoying it. Maybe we should stop and smell flowers, breathe the fresh air and enjoy the crispness of it that is so typical for this time of year. Maybe we should focus on what we can be, who we can be, and who we can be there for, rather than all the things we think we ought to be doing?

xoxo

Julie

Spring

I love a good storm, with thunder and lightning and intense, insane rain. But there’s something about winter turning into spring, the sun feeling warm, flowers appearing in the grass, birds chirping, the smell in the air… It fills me with life in a way that very few other things do.

In writing moment, it is Monday morning and overcast. The temperature is okay though. Someone said we’re expected to have good weather until about mid-week, Thursday or so, so I’m excited to see how this week will be. In the meantime, I want to talk about last week, and the weekend before, which were just amazing.

Let me start from the beginning. Weekend before last, so the weekend before valentine’s, I was in London. A friend from Norway came over, and it was a good weekend away from the stress of unemployment, looking for houses, and generally feeling stressed about the situation I’m currently in. It was very relaxing, to walk around in streets and shops, I visited both Westfield shopping centres, bought some things, ate a lot of good food… It was good. I stayed there until Monday evening one week ago.

I was prepared for the relaxed feeling to leave and the stress to come back, but Tuesday was a very relaxing day for me as well. I watched Grey’s Anatomy and Hawaii Five-0 from the last two and three weeks respectively, did some bullet journaling, and went for a walk because the weather was nice, despite doing a lot of walking Friday-Monday as well. I went to bed thinking surely tomorrow I’ll start to feel more like normal.

Spoiler alert: I did not. The good feeling of happy relaxation, of being content, stayed with me through Wednesday as well. Wednesday was the last day of a Pokemon Go event with double XP for catching and evolving pokemon, so I used a lucky egg to double the doubles, giving me 4x more XP than I normally would, and I’d saved a lot of pokemon to evolve for this purpose, so I got a good amount, which was nice. I was waiting for the evening’s Nintendo Direct, when the pokemon app told me a new event would start that day as well, a one week long valentine’s day event with double candy and increased appearance of pink pokemon. Cool! I love it when they do events back to back like that! Also, the Direct was good, some say one of the best they’ve ever done, others I know didn’t like it at all, but I enjoyed it.

Thursday, February 14th, Valentine’s Day… Not a day I particularly care to celebrate, if I’m being honest with you. I find it commercial, it’s just a way for businesses to guilt couples into spending money on each other, and more so, because it’s the universal day for showing your loved ones that you love them, when you should be doing that every day of the year. I find it stupid. Nevertheless, as I’d been feeling good for nearly a week now, which is unusual for me, I was hoping the feeling would last through this day as well. And surprise surprise, it did! Our shopping was delivered early, and we went for a walk after, the weather was so nice we were out for probably an hour and a half, it was lovely. Spring was definitely in the air by now, with sunshine and blue sky, a little bit of a breeze, flowers poking through the grass, birds singing… it was a really beautiful morning. In the evening we got Chinese take-away, and watched three movies. I also received a letter from a pen pal this day, which was nice, I haven’t heard from her in months, apart from a Christmas card!

Friday morning started off a bit stressful – I suddenly remembered my first student loan bill was due, and I’d forgotten to apply for the extension. Thankfully, it was a quick process, all I needed was to tick the boxes of the months I wanted to extend and confirm, and it was granted within the next half hour. A shower later, and I felt good again. Friday was another beautiful day with sunshine and blue skies, so I went for another walk. I love walking during the day in the spring!

On Saturday, it was Community Day on pokemon go, where one specific, previously announced, pokemon appears more frequently for 3 hours, with shiny versions as well. This month it was Swinub, which I was not particularly excited for, but the double candy event was on and I didn’t want to miss out on my opportunity to get another shiny, and furthermore, the evolution, Piloswine, can now be evolved to Mamoswine with a sinnoh stone! What was more exciting was the possibility of getting 10 sinnoh stones from trainer battles and person v person battles during the three hours as well, which I got, as I was only out for about two of the three hours. It was another super beautiful day though, very sunny, lovely and warm outside!

Sunday – last day of the week, for me, as I count Monday as the first day of the week. It was a little bit less sunny, and our Google Home said it was supposed to be cloudy, but the sun was still out a little, and we did still go for a walk, although a shorter one this time. I’d started the day by helping my friend read through parts of her Master’s thesis, so I spent about 2.5 hours on that, which gave me a headache towards the end – I think it was mainly reading intensely on the computer screen, which I’m not used to doing anymore… Food, a shower, a walk, and more food, neither of which helped, so just before 3pm I laid down and had a  nap. It lasted nearly  two hours, so when I woke up it was time for another meal! I made us vegetarian risotto and halloumi cubes (from ASDA), with salad and string beans, which was delicious although not quite as filling. Thankfully, my headache had gone after the nap, but I felt a bit drowsy for the rest of the evening nevertheless. I didn’t write and schedule a Monday blog post, which is what I’m doing right now, and I didn’t set up the upcoming week in my bullet journal either, which is what I’ll be doing immediately after this. But it was still a good day, apart from the headache!

Today is grey and not very lovely, although it’s not raining and it’s not that cold either, so it could still be nice. I might go for a walk later, or I might take a day off, I’ve been walking every day for 10 days straight now, and from Monday through Sunday I walked something like 28 kilometres, based on Pokemon Go Adventure Sync, where it gives you rewards for walking 5k, 25k, and 50k in one week. This was my first week getting past 25k, and as my reward I got pokeballs, great balls, silver pinapp berries, and stardust. My boyfriend got a 5k egg, but I have no room in my storage so I couldn’t get one. Previously I’ve only ever reached the 5k one, which only gives pokeballs in my experience. I’d love to get to 50k one week, but that would require a lot more walking every day for a week… maybe sometime this spring if the weather is really nice!

Have you been enjoying a nice early spring this February?

xoxo

Julie

Fields

A few weeks ago, actually it was over two months ago now, I wrote a blog post about passion where I mentioned photography being one of mine. In that entry, I also mentioned that I wanted to post some pictures on this blog, something I then never got around to doing. Until today. Today is the day! Bit dramatic, aren’t I…

My hometown consists of a large portion of fields. There is the actual town with a street of shops and a shopping centre and the schools and the church, and there is the air force base, but there are also a lot of fields. Before the air force  base, fishing and farming was what people did where I’m from. Of course, that was decades before my time. I’ve only ever known the time of the air force base being a corner stone in our community. My father is a major in the RNoAF, which I’ve also mentioned before. The fields was my playground as a child though. We had some very close to my house, not ones that grew grain, although there were those too, but the ones in which we played hide and seek and made imaginary houses, those were mainly just grass and straw and weeds. I can’t imagine moving back there to live full time. I love my family, and the place has grown on me after moving away from it and just being back in the summers and for weekends and such. It is quite lovely, actually. Just not where I want to live. You know? You can love a place but not imagine living there.

One day last summer, I felt really bad. I was not in a good place mentally or emotionally, I felt like I was really close to having a breakdown, I didn’t want to around my parents, and it was a lovely evening with what looked like it would be a beautiful sunset. I told my mum I’m going for a walk, I took my camera and phone and headphones, and I listened to music, and I took pictures until my memory card ran out. That was my bad, for not bringing another or using a bigger one, which I have, but that’s okay. I got some really nice shots. Pictures are worth more than words, and I’ve written many. Now I just want to leave you with some shots from my hometown and hope you like them. Let me know below if you like posts like this, I can do many more, I have lots of pictures!

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Thank you for reading my 100th post on this blog! Hope to see you soon,

xoxo

Julie

Related posts: Regarding Passion // Photography Category Here

Be harmless, not helpful

When I was younger, say about 11-15/16, school was always finished at 2.15pm, and I’d always race home to put on 7th Heaven on the TV, and if I was fortunate, I’d only miss the few minutes that were before the intro music. That’s where I first came across this phrase, the title of today’s entry – I don’t remember exactly how it was phrased, I think it was used multiple times, but the gist of it was that it is better to be harmless than to try to be helpful. I think there are a few different ways to look at this and interpret this phrase that we need to talk about.

Firstly, I think we have all been on the receiving end of advice that didn’t go as planned; that made things worse instead of better. To be honest, we’ve probably all given such advice as well – the intent was good, we were trying to help, but the end result did not reflect our intentions. Sometimes trying to help can do more harm than good, and thus backing up the statement that you should be harmless instead of helpful.

Now, what do we mean about being harmless, exactly? I think this is something we should talk about, because a lot of people will say something that seems or sounds harmless to them, but it most definitely is not. Take for example people with any kind of anxiety disorder, or that are struggling with depression – many seemingly harmless statements can actually be hurtful to hear if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression. One of the most well discussed things, going off of my own experience and that of friends and family, and what I see on Twitter for example, is to be told to “just calm down”, “cheer up”, or “just breathe”, or that you’re overreacting. Taking an example from my own life recently, I know, rationally, that I am in fact overreacting, but that doesn’t stop the tightening feeling in my throat, the hyperventilating, or the tears, and I most certainly do not need anyone to tell me to calm down or that I’m overreacting. I know that I’m overreacting, that there is no physical threat to me being sat in front of a computer screen looking at a programme I don’t understand, but if it was so easy as to just breathe or “calm down” don’t you think I would do it? (PS: no one was telling me anything of the sort at the time, this is just me stating what would not have been harmless in the moment). Most of the time, I just need a minute, a little while to let my body catch up to what my brain already knows; that I am fine and in no danger at all. But if someone were to tell me things like the ones above, it might have been intended as good, but cause me harm, because it’ll make me feel worthless, like what I am experiencing isn’t valid, and it might make me feel afraid, and lead to me not being able to be myself around them, it might lead to me wanting and doing everything I can to be invisible, to not make them feel uncomfortable because of what is happening to me.

So you see, phrases that are often intended to be helpful, and perceived as harmless by the person uttering them, can sometimes do more harm than they do good. There is a difference, in my opinion, between being harmless, and saying something you think is harmless. And the above things would fall into the latter category. Being harmless, I think, is a much more passive thing, or it can be – we’ll get to other less passive things in a bit. Being harmless, in some cases, doesn’t require the saying of things. It requires being there for the person who needs it. You should be a safe place for people in your life, a place where they know they won’t be judged or told things like “you don’t look like you have (insert mental state)”, a place where they can just be themselves, where they can rant and scream and cry if that’s what they need. Being harmless, to me, means that people can talk to you, that they can cry on your shoulder, that they can lay with you being held and feeling safe, sit next to you, have their hand held or their back stroked, knowing that no physical harm can come to them in that moment, so they do whatever they need to do, while being with someone who will ensure their safety in the process.

But being harmless can also mean other things. Sometimes, it means being the distraction someone sorely needs, the one who makes them laugh, who takes them places to look at weird stuff or walks  around the city or the country side people-watching or cloud-watching, to be the person that takes their mind off of things. This is a slightly less passive form of harmlessness, I think, where you actively try to be what the person needs, regardless of what that actually is. But I also think it’s important to make sure that this is what the person needs at the time, because they might require other things, such as what I wrote in the previous paragraph, or what I’m about to write about in the next paragraph.

Sometimes, being harmless means letting people go. It might not be forever, it might just be for a  few hours or a few days. Being there for someone, being a harmless place, means giving them what they need, and sometimes what people need is space. It might be time off from social media, it might mean them going away for a while, it might mean that you being in their life is causing them harm, and therefore giving them space is the most harmless thing you can do. This is the one that is hardest to do, this is the one that hurts the most. I can openly say that I have been the person causing harm to someone else simply by being a part of their life, and us trying to stay in each others’ lives ended up causing us both harm. Which sucked. This was a person I cared about a lot, and who cared a lot about me too, but in the end we were no good for each other and went our separate ways. It has been years, and I know this was the kind of letting go that meant forever, even if I didn’t want it at the time. I recently looked them up on social media, without them knowing about it, and discovered that, from what they have been posting, things definitely seem better in their life now, and seeing this made me really happy. It made me realise that we did the most harmless thing we could do, which was remove ourselves from each other, and that made things better, for both of us. And now I am at peace, knowing things are good for them, and I am okay with the fact that what they needed was to not have me in their life, because not all people are good for each other.

This, of course, need not always be the case. I have other people in my life in present time where we’ve taken breaks from each other, time to heal, and have ended up reconnecting after a few weeks or months, and at present time we are no longer causing each other harm. And that’s a wonderful thing. We were causing each other harm, we took a break from each other, which at least for me was hard and painful, but reconnecting and looking back on it in retrospect made me glad we did it because we are positive presences in each others’ lives now. Letting go is not always bad. It might hurt at the time, but the most important thing is that people are safe and not in a harmful place, whether that be physical, mental, or emotional. If someone is causing you pain, would you want to keep them in your life? If you’re causing someone harm by being a presence in their life, do you really want to stay, knowing that you’re hurting them? The selfish answer is, I like having them in my life and losing them will cause me pain so I will do everything I can to keep them in my life. The altruistic answer is, I am causing them pain, I need to remove myself from this situation/their life so that I am no longer causing pain to another human being. I completely understand the logic of the first, no one wants to do anything that will cause themselves harm, but I also think it’s important to consider the harm we might be inflicting on others, and make sure we do as little of that as possible – that we need to focus a little bit more on being harmless.

This entry took a very dark turn, but I think it’s important to talk about it. Dark and painful and difficult topics might be the ones that need talking about the most. But it’s important to remember that being harmless can mean many different things, and people require different things from other people around them. On the internet, where I spend a lot of my time, I see people being so mean to other people, and I always see people talking about how they hate other people, and how animals are better because they are never cruel. As humans, we are the only ones who can change how humans behave, starting with ourselves. If I start by being kinder to you and providing you with a harmless space, you can be kinder and a safe space to the next person, who can then do the same to their next person, and so on. It might be a dream scenario in an imaginary world, but piece by piece the castle gets built, you just have to start somewhere (I don’t know if that is an actual metaphor, I may have just made that up…).

What I wanted to say, above anything else in this entry, and if you didn’t read anything else and just skipped to the end for the TL;DR portion, this is it: People cannot cure other people, you just have to be there for them.

I will end this entry with one of my all-time favourite quotes, which I’ve had written on whiteboards and pieces of paper stuck to the wall and book covers and also really wanted to by a jumper with it on, which is from an organisation called To Write Love On Her Arms, and it is this:

twloha

Feel free to leave a comment and we’ll talk down below!

Xoxo

Julie

 

Related entries: Mission First, People Always

 

Regarding Passion

If you’re with someone and you try to change who they are or what they do, I really don’t understand what kind of person you are.

Take for example gaming. I’ve seen tweets from women saying if your man is in his 20s and still plays video games, ditch him. What kind of bullshit is that?!

It’s important to be passionate about SOMETHING. Passion is hot, it’s attractive. I may not personally enjoy or take part in your hobby but please tell me about it, tell me about what interests you, what you’re passionate about, just seeing the sparkle in your eyes makes it worth my time. People so often are told not to bother people with their weird interests and I think that’s complete and utter bullshit.

I once saw an online article where people had described their ideal partner, and there was a man who said his ideal girlfriend had an interest outside of sitting at home watching TV. He didn’t care what it was, he didn’t care if she’d drag him to museum after museum full of what he called “useless crap”, all that mattered was that she was passionate about something.  And I loved reading those words.

I myself am sometimes a very passive person. I can have days where I don’t get out of bed and I watch every video ever posted by one specific YouTuber, or binge a whole season or two of a TV show. And I enjoy it, but it also makes me incredibly bored sometimes. A lot of times. And I feel so… blah. Recently, I’ve been getting notifications from Instagram while scrolling that I am “all caught up on the last 3 days”. How ridiculous is that? I follow 615 profiles on Instagram, and a few hashtags, and I’ve seen everything that has been posted for multiple days in a row! I need to get back into my hobbies, the things I am passionate about.

But what exactly are these things? I do love going to museums and seeing all kinds of weird stuff, and aquariums and zoos and gardens. But often they cost money to get into, and it costs money to get there, and it has to be planned. So what are some free things I can do that I feel passionate about?

It’s been approximately 18-19 months since I started bullet journaling (my first blog post about that is here). I’m now about 1/4 into my second bullet journal, but I’m not enjoying it as much. I stuck with the same notebook brand but a different design, and the paper is completely different; I get ghosting with some pens, but what’s worse is everything that isn’t a ballpoint pen bleeds. I reached out to the company and they kindly sent me a new one, but I didn’t want to waste a whole big beautiful book, so I stuck with it, and the other one is not available to me at the moment. I switched to only using ballpoint pens for a while, which was fine, but I lost inspiration and didn’t want to keep working on my bullet journal much. Over the past two months, September and October, I’ve been part-taking in a weekly theme challenge by someone I know from the Norwegian bullet journal community, where there’s an umbrella-theme for the month and smaller weekly themes within the bigger one for each week. It’s made me want to work on my journal more, and I even went back into using my brush pens for colour a little – at first it was fine, but then the bleeding started up again. For this last week of October, I actually decided to draw on separate paper and glue it into the book to cover the bleeding from the previous week and avoid more bleeding back onto those pages. It’s a bit disheartening… But I have ideas for things I want to do for November and hopefully they won’t be completely disastrous, and will motivate me to keep going!

Another passion of mine is photography. I always used to love getting disposable cameras for the summer when I was a child, and got my own digital camera as a teenager. I took a photography class in school and learned a little more about composition and some simple editing. Then I went on to do a “folk high school” year in Norway, focusing on travel and photography, and I learned lots. I have a lot of equipment and different programs, although they’re on an ancient computer I can really only use to edit pictures and play Mario Kart…

I kind of put photography aside for a while when I was in uni. There were some days that I went out, and I took some pictures with friends using my camera and tripod and knowledge, but not much. I keep repeating that I want to get back into it, but I feel weird walking around with my camera in small towns like the one I’m from. There was one day last summer however, that I decided not to care and took my camera and some music for a walk. I sat for probably 20-30 minutes on the ground taking pictures of a field in the sunset, and I found a lot of trees, attempted some silhouette shots and such, and I really enjoyed both the process of taking these pictures and the editing afterwards.  Maybe I’ll upload a few in another entry soon.

Yesterday, I watched a YouTuberI subscribe to who had done an “ugly location challenge” photoshoot, and it made me really want to try taking pictures of people again. I wish I had friends that (1) lived where I do, and (2) WANTED to be photographed, so that I could ask them to do a photoshoot and get good pictures and not awkward “if I must”-poses (this is NOT a comment towards any of my current friends, if anyone is reading this!), so that I could start building a portfolio. Naturally, friends that volunteer for this will get the pictures from me, as long as they let me use their pictures in my portfolio. Then, a dream of mine would be to be able to post ads and get photography work I’d get paid to do. The more I think about it, the more I want this kind of job. I never studied photography professionally, I don’t have a degree to show for my skills, but if I could build a portfolio I could let my work speak for itself. God, how I want this now…

What are YOU passionate about? Leave a comment and we’ll talk below!

Xoxo

Julie