Personal Update

I wanted to write an entry a day for all of April. I’ve been using the schedule system for that, writing when I have something to write about, but I feel like I’ve hit a wall. I’ve lost the will to do things. And that goes for everything, not just blogging. I feel like I’ve gone numb.

Yesterday a friend asked me to come with her to one of our uni campuses to sit and work from around noon, and I didn’t answer her because just the thought of working on my thesis made me feel tight chested and brought tears to my eyes. I feel bad for not working, but the thought of working sends me into panic, so what am I supposed to do? For now, I’m just avoiding it. When it came down to fight or flight, I fled. And I’m not proud of that. But I don’t know what to do.

I spent a lot of Easter watching Grey’s Anatomy and going on trips with my parents, visiting my grandparents and my great-grandmother, taking our car to a service shop, driving to a place in the middle of nowhere where someone’s made an American Diner where people come from far away to eat and see. And sleeping. A lot of sleeping. 8-10 hours a night of sleeping.

Since I got back to the city I’ve been hiding in my room, when I’m not out shopping. Yesterday I went and bought some stuff and walked around town for a while. After I’m done writing this entry I’m going to do that all over again.

I’m working this weekend, at the museum. And I’ve got two weekends in May, since a girl quit. I might as well sell tickets and glasses and books, and make some money, since I’m incapable of working on my thesis, right?

My heart hurts, and I don’t know why. My parents, uncle, and grandfather put my grandmother’s urn in the ground earlier this week. That might be a contributing factor…

How are you all doing, dear readers?

~ Julie

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Feling Like a Failure

The truth is, only about 40% of people in my country finish their master’s degrees on time. That means 60% take extra time. I’m a part of the 60. That’s the majority. 6 to 4 majority. 3 to 2 majority. Two thirds majority. That’s not a failure. It’s common.

Then how come I feel so bad? It’s got to be because I don’t fail things. I don’t do things halfway. I never have. I once found out that I had to write a screenplay for the next day, something we could make a short film out of. My host dad told me I had two options: try like hell, or give up. So I spent the entire evening rewriting a short story I made once into a screenplay. We ended up not using it, because another guy in my group wrote one that was more doable, and we used that, but I was so scared of failing the assignment that I did it anyway. I spent all of Christmas break writing an assignment once, because the research required to do it in addition to the rest of my school work took all of fall semester, and it was due in January.

I don’t do things halfway. Not when it comes to school anyway, because all I’ve been told all my life is that school work is the foundation. I have to get good grades in middle school to get into the program I want for high school. I have to get good grades my first year because I want to go on exchange my second year. I had to get good grades there so that I wouldn’t get sent home. I had to get good grades my senior year to get into the study program I wanted in uni. I had to get good grades on BA level to be accepted into the MA program. I got good grades on all of my course work on MA level, and now I have to get a good grade on my master’s thesis to top it all off, so that I can get a good job that I will enjoy and be good at and deserve. But now, I’m not finishing it in May like planned. Now I’m not getting my degree until December.

But I’m gonna get it. I’m gonna figure out how to write 80 pages. I’m gonna figure out how to analyze my data. I’m gonna figure out how to finish the whole damn thing without suffering from panic attacks and depression and the occasional suicidal thought. I’m gonna do it. I’m not gonna be a failure. I’m gonna be a winner. Slightly delayed, but still a winner. I’m gonna do it.

My Little Hair Problem

People have a lot of complaints when it comes to hair. Their hair is too short, or too bushy, or too heavy, too thick, too thin… I don’t have any of those issues. Well, sometimes my hair is too thin to do some hairstyles, but hair stylists add clip-in extensions for thickness all the time, so that’s not my main problem. My hair is super straight, and main problem is that my hair is too silky.  It’s too smooth and silk-like. It’s smoother than my satin bed sheets, which is really frustrating.

Have you ever tried braiding hair as silky as mine? I promise, you haven’t. But if you want to try, get out a silk/satin ribbon, and try to braid that. It’s possible, if you braid it tight, but that doesn’t look good when your hair isn’t very thick, so try pulling it apart to add volume. Now that doesn’t work, does it? And if it does, I guarantee you it won’t last for more than a few minutes, an hour, top. That’s my hair.

Some people think it’s gross, but I hardly ever wash my hair more often than twice a week. Tuesdays, usually, because I usually attend a step class, and then either Friday or Saturday, depending on my weekend plans. I’ve trained my hair to not need washing every day, and I use dry shampoo in between, so I think it’s okay. It’s healthier for my hair, and it saves shampoo (I only use salon products) and time. And, when my hair isn’t just washed, I can do stuff with my hair. Like braid it, put it in a bun, or even just a ponytail! I can’t do that when my hair is just washed, because it is too silky. Too silky! Who ever complained about their hair being too smooth? Me. I could stop using conditioner, stop using oil in my hair, but then I’d get split ends and have to cut it off, which is what I’ve been trying not to do for the past three years.

 

What’s the biggest annoyance about your hair? 🙂

~ Julie

15 Facts About Me

Today’s post is kind of a lazy one I guess. But anyway. Here are 15 facts about me!

  1. I did an exchange year when I was 17, the 2nd of my 3 years in high school. I went to a place called Lake Stevens, in the state of Washington, in the United States of America. I left on the 19th of July, 2009, and when I came back I left on the 22nd, landed on the 23rd, of June, 2010.
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  2. I took a year off after high school, before I started university.
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  3. During my year off, I went to something called folkehøgskole, it cost me nearly 100.000 Norwegian kroner (largely paid for by student finance) and I studied photography for a year.
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  4. I still love taking pictures; I have a Canon EOS 500D, and three lenses: 18-135mm, 70-300mm, and a 50mm f/2.4 lens.
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  5. I write poetry, sometimes.
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  6. I still have and use the @hotmail.com address that I created at 13!
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  7. I wrote in diaries every day for many years, from my early teens until my early 20s. I started writing less frequently when I started uni, and pretty much stopped about a year and a half ago. I guess I didn’t need to document every aspect of my life anymore, because I found someone I’m gonna share the rest of my life with.
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  8. I studied religions for a year, my 3rd year in uni. We have to choose a one-year study at some point during our bachelor’s degree in my university. I was a bit tired of linguistics and literature at that point, and I chose “the science of religion” because I felt like I didn’t learn enough about the different religions in the world when I was in school.
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  9. I myself am not a religious person, but I find religion fascinating. I especially loved learning about the ancient ones – Norse, Roman, Greek, Persian… And also religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. I think it’s because they’re so different from my culture; my country is mostly Christian, and in school we learned a lot about Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, because they’re so related. I like learning about the ones that are different from these.
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  10. I have about 20 different perfumes, and I use most of them. Some of them are body mists, I wear those a lot on days when I’m just going to uni, wearing everyday or lazy clothes. My most expensive ones are FAME by Lady Gaga and Elle by Yves Saint Laurant, I only wear those for special occasions like dinner parties or when my boyfriend is coming to visit.
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  11. I absolutely love love love owls!
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  12. On July 13th, it’ll be 10 years since the last time I ate meat. It was a Friday, I was in Denmark on vacation with my family. I don’t remember what my last meal as a meat eater was. Probably burgers or hot dogs though, that was pretty much what we ate for dinner that summer.
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  13. I’m an introvert. I’m not good at talking to strangers. If I’m at a table with friends and friends of friends and my friends leave to get a drink, I get incredibly awkward.
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  14. I had long hair until I was 17. Then I had an inverted bob that I kept cutting shorter, and eventually asymmetric, until I was 22. I decided to grow my hair out, and see if I could get it longer AND keep it healthy, because I have a different hair routine now than I did as a teenager. Back then, I washed my hair too often and used cheap products and heat daily. Now, I wash my hair 2-3 times a week, I usually let it air dry, I use salon products and hair oil, and only trim my hair twice a year and it’s still healthy. I cut it last week, hadn’t cut it since late October, and only needed to take off a centimeter!
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  15. I still have a lot of stuff in my room at my parents’ house from when I was a child, and I refuse to remove them. This includes some books (2 sets of Harry Potter books and the Chronicles of Narnia, as well as the Twilight series from when I was a teenager), quite a lot of stuffed animals, and window paintings of the kind that you made on clear plastic and in theory are supposed to be moveable, but they have been there for probably 12-15 years and if I want to remove them I’m gonna need a blowdrier and something to scrape them off with.

 

That’s all for now! Let me know if you want more “lazy” entries like this! I’m also looking for questions to answer, like the 20 Questions Book Tag I did earlier this year, so if you know of any good ones please leave them in the comments! 😀

~ Julie

Things You Should Read

Hello, everyone! Today’s post is kind of different. I wanted to recommend some reading to all of my readers. If you’re not a book-reading kind of person, don’t fret; these aren’t book recommendations. And if that disappoints you – you should read them anyway.

The first thing you should read, is Do Nothing by Markus Almond. It’s about taking a timeout, to take care of yourself. If you like what you read, you should check out his other works, he has published a few books. At the end of last year I read his book These Are The Days, it’s a book of letters to a stranger every day for 100 days, and I really recommend it!

The second thing you should read, is Life Lessons from Mr. Boho Berry. It’s a blog entry, with 8 little things he has learned in life and that he thinks other people should know about. It’s very well written. There were things I didn’t understand or agree with when I read the headline, but after reading the text below it I completely agree with what he said (I’m talking about the no tv in the bedroom one, by the way, haha).

Thirdly, I think everyone should read You’re Allowed to Leave by Rania Naim. There’s a video below the text on that link as well. It’s kind of related to the Do Nothing post, I feel. And it hit me right in the feels right now. No one should feel guilty for leaving something that doesn’t improve their life. Leaving doesn’t necessarily mean quitting.

Lastly, here’s a tumblr blog entry called How To Grow The Fuck Up by user veux3. The link is from my tumblr profile, which I don’t use anymore. This entry contains a lot of links to things I, and many others, feel we should have learned in school but we didn’t. There are 7 categories – home, money, health, emergency, job, travel, and better you. I haven’t clicked on all the links to make sure they work, but I remember reading a few of them a couple of years ago and finding useful things, like how to take care of yourself when you’re sick, for example.

Happy reading!

~ Julie

Post-Holiday Feelings

Good Friday, everyone!

I’m back from my mini holiday. which you may or may not have picked up on me going on, depending on how closely you read my blog. I left last Saturday, and I came back home yesterday (actually this morning at 2am).

Today has been weird. I usually feel weird the morning after coming home from visiting my boyfriend, but this was different, because it was our first holiday away together. We’ve stayed in hotels in London before, and he came to visit me last summer and we stayed in my parents’ house while they were on vacation, but this was our first time going away together, properly.

Being in a long distance relationship isn’t easy. You’d think it gets easier with time, and the being apart thing somewhat does, but the going our separate ways at an airport never does. It’s the worst feeling in the world, going home but not with the one you love. We’ve been doing this for a year and a half now, and I’m getting really tired of it. I just wish we could live together so that at the end of a holiday like this we’d be going home together, not to separate homes. But with how our situations are now, neither of us are able to move so we’ll just have to keep doing what we do and cope with the suckiness of it all.

This post is a little bit all over the place, because that’s how I feel today. I don’t feel like I’ve slept enough. I want a drink. I miss Spain, and Norway is snowy. I feel restless and exhausted at the same time. I miss my boyfriend. I’m having post-holiday depression. I know I need to get back to normal, I have a month to finish my thesis and I have almost everything left to write…

I want to write a post about Alicante later, when I feel a little more normal than I do at this point. But it’s coming!

I want to start blogging more regularly, and in doing so I want to do something my boyfriend suggested, which is this: For a week, I will not post a single thing. Everything I write will be scheduled, a post a day; that way I will create a backlog. It also helps that I have a list of things I want to blog about, that I’ve just written as the topics pop into my head when I don’t have time to write the post itself. Then I will try to keep the schedule going so that I will be posting once a day, and we’ll see how that goes!

How is everyone doing?

~ Julie

Invisible Illness

I will gladly admit that I am a little more than just slightly upset in writing moment. Someone close to me just posted online that they have gotten negative comments in the shape of “don’t do that” on the fact that they can go for a walk and share pictures online even though they’re on sick leave from work and have been for nearly 6 months now.

If a doctor has put you on sick leave because you’re not in good enough shape to go to work, then there is a reason for that. YOU may not see it, but a doctor did study medicine for years before even being allowed to look at a patient, and there is a reason that it is the longest lasting program of study in most countries! If a DOCTOR has said that you are not able to work so you should stay home and rest, but live your life as normally as you can, then that’s going to include things such as going for walks and sharing pictures on social media! That’s the normal part! That’s what everyone does these days! Regardless of health and the life you have chosen or not chosen to live!

You don’t actually think that everyone who’s on long term sick leave lies in bed for months on end, do you? You don’t actually think that they would rather be exhausted and in pain than doing the job they love, do you? Because if you do, you’re damn lucky I am sat in a far-away corner of the world typing this on my laptop and not stood in front of you screaming at your face because I don’t think I’d be able to prevent myself from slapping you!

If you’re on sick leave for a week because you have the flu, then fair enough. You’re supposed to be in bed and drink plenty of fluids and rest and recover, because your body is under attack from an outside force, and you should NOT be outside doing everyday stuff and sharing pictures of it. But if you’re on sick leave because your body is attacking itself and there are no medications for it, nothing that can be done, then all you can do is take one day at a time and live life as normally as you can. Something that used to take a couple of hours, like cleaning the house, might now take you a week or two to complete because you have to lie down due to pain and exhaustion. Going for a walk one morning might mean that you’ll be laid on the couch for the rest of that day, and the next day. Going to the store might seem like a terrible chore one week, and something you look forward to doing because it gets you out of the house the next.

Someone who is living with an invisible illness has enough to deal with, being at war with their own body and mind. They do not need you to open your big fat mouth, telling them how they should be living their life according to you, a healthy person, who has no such struggle to deal with.

It gets better, I promise!

It’s not yet noon and I’m already exhausted. What a great way to start a blog entry, right? Definitely inspires the readers to go on! Bear with me though.

I had a doctor’s appointment today, had to run around to four different pharmacies, and ended up going back home instead of to uni. Now I’m sat, cross-legged in bed, with my laptop not quite balancing unless I keep my hands down, tears are drying on my cheeks. But they’re good tears.

Yesterday I posted the same entry in two different groups on facebook, asking for help managing time and balancing thesis work with taking care of myself (the latter seems to never be prioritized). I didn’t expect much, but I’ve got an enormous amount of response. Some more helpful than others, naturally, but the fact that someone actually sat down and wrote two, three, four paragraphs in response to my post, it’s quite overwhelming. I definitely got a few good tips and tricks that I will try out, starting today, after lunch, which I will eat after posting this entry.

I also wrote a really long ramble in a group chat to my two best friends not long ago. The amount of good words, hearts, and virtual hugs… I almost feel like I don’t deserve it. But when it comes to mental health – I have a history of being a bit destructive. And now it’s affecting my physical health, and possibly my future, so I need to turn things around.

I am, however, the queen of procrastination, so I think before I can do anything, I will have a nap!

~Julie

6.15

I need to find a way to actually get out of bed when my alarm goes off. Actually, I need to find a way to not check my phone and scroll through everything that’s happened on twitter and facebook since I fell asleep. I know the first thing everyone would suggest – to put my alarm away from my bed so that I have to get up to turn it off. I’ve tried that before. Doesn’t go so well. I usually end up going back and sit on my bed anyway. I suppose I could try putting my phone away, since I have a separate alarm clock, but most nights I fall asleep on the phone to my boyfriend and I can’t do that when my phone is somewhere else, so I really don’t know what to do. I’ve even sat and watched youtube videos on how to get up early without finding anything useful.

Writing a master’s thesis is all-consuming. It’s the first thing I think about in the morning. The last thing I think about at night. Sometimes my stomach clenches and I can’t breathe for worrying about this damn paper. And it’s not even like I’m that far behind. My supervisor said he didn’t expect me to start writing until this semester, and I started writing on the 9th of January, the first day of the semester, and I’ve spent 8 days actually writing, which if you think about it means I’ve had normal weekends and one day off writing a week, and I spent most of last week having migraines, and I’ve been to a workshop twice, and at least one day I was working but not writing. I feel like I’m making excuses. But I have nothing to make excuses for.

This morning I was thinking  about this all-consumingness of writing a thesis while attempting to curl my hair or something (the result is debatable, my hair doesn’t take curls very well). How do people do it? How do they live normal lives, with friends and boyfriends and girlfriends, shopping, going to the gym, traveling, enjoying life, laughing… How do they do it, without being sucked into the black hole that is thesis writing, without succumbing to fear, depression, panic… How? I really need to know.

Circle of Life

Two weeks ago today, my grandmother passed away. I’m 24, and the only person I’ve ever lost was a great-grandmother I didn’t know well when I was 9. I cried my heart out. I slept four hours that night, and the following morning I packed a bag and went home to be with my mother and brother, as my dad was 600 kilometers away, with his dad and brother, dealing with everything that needs dealing with when someone dies. I turned into a zombie who wore sweatpants and didn’t shower for days at a time.

It’s been two weeks since my life changed forever. Someone I love, is no longer in my life, and is never going to be again. And for the first time I’m experiencing this in a way that doesn’t involve boys or boyfriends. For the first time, I’m experiencing losing someone who actually, literally, cannot come back into my life. And my heart is broken in a way I didn’t even know was possible.

We drove down for the funeral. The funeral took place, so did the memorial get-together afterwards. Then we drove back. I slept 11 hours, and spent another day being a zombie.

Last night, I returned to my apartment, for the first time in almost two weeks. I dealt with heat and air circulation issues, the fact that my roommate moved out while I was gone, food that needed throwing out, and then I went to bed, cuddling the little plush polar bear I’ve loved for as long as I can remember but was never allowed to take home because he had to stay with my grandma. This morning, I got up and went to uni. I went grocery shopping. I came home and changed my bed sheets, did laundry, dusted surfaces, watered plants, and cleaned my room.

I declined an offer to visit a friend, to do this stuff. I love my friend, I love her apartment, and her boyfriend who always makes us food, but I haven’t been home for two weeks, because I was home with my parents. I’m using the word “home” about both the house I grew up in and my apartment for more than four years, because they’re both homes to me. The house is where I go for comfort, where I can be the child again. The apartment is where I’m an adult who has to fend for herself. It’s nice to combine the two. But I can’t take one or the other for too long at a time. I guess it’s a part of the circle of life. Sometimes I need to be the child who cries herself to sleep with a 30-year-old teddy bear clutched to her chest. Sometimes I need to be 24 and dealing with university and grocery shopping and cleaning. I count myself fortunate, to still be able to fluctuate between the two.