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Bringing back the Diary

Between the years 2001 – 2007 I was an avid dairy writer and, although towards the ’06, 07′ years said diaries were practically incomplete, for the most part of my teen years I documented EVERYTHING.

The meaning of ‘diary’ is completely elusive in itself, it can be what we use to jot appointments and meetings in, (if you’re more organised than me that is) or it can be the outlet for all our hopes, dreams and secrets. Whilst my diary writing days followed the latter route, I managed to mix hopes & dreams with a LOT of factual, everyday descriptions… “Woke up at 7am, showered and had cereal for breakfast. I walked to school…” etc etc, I’m sure you get the drift, not riveting stuff. However whenever I’m visiting my family back in Cornwall and I come across the stack of worn away, W H Smith diaries, in the ‘junk’ cupboard above my bed it’s so easy to become engrossed reading through my mundane early years.

Memories are SO precious and (at the risk of sounding completely scientificly inacurate) the conscious part of our brain (you know the active bit we can almost speak thoughts in) is too small to deal efficiently with the HUGE catalog of memories we store in the other areas of our subconscious. So most of the time memories we have will never be recalled unless promoted or triggered.  I find this really sad, and I notice it more than ever when I read my diaries, there are events and feelings that otherwise I would not have brought to mind, that would have slipped through the cracks forever.

If this isn’t reason enough to put pen to paper then I don’t know what is, but it’s still easier said than done. For a start what is an entirely natural process for a socially-awkward, insanely crush-obsessed, teenage girl doesn’t sit so well with an older me. Dear Dirary… no longer flows so easily on to paper let alone an out-pour of your day and emotional state of mind. I don’t know if this is true for everyone but whilst I may of been more socially awkward as a teenager I still felt comfortable scribbling down my private thoughts, something that has been lost in the transition to 23 year old me. I feel a disconnection with writing down how I feel, I’m no longer inhibition-free and I struggle to begin a typical diary passage that my 14 year old self eagarly spilled onto the page (in a variety of colours and scents – gel pens were the rage.)

Secondly we just don’t have the time. It’s ironic how angst-ridden our teenage years feel, how we are, en-mass, being oppressed and persecuted by the adult population, by our peers, by our siblings – how burdensome everything is. When in reality we never have it so easy again. I’m generalising here of course but you get the jist. 13 year old me walked home from school around 3.30pm (no nasty hour commute), this was followed by dinner being made by my parents and a relaxed evening interjected occasionaly by homework or an argument about getting off the computer and going to bed. There was no cooking, laundry, commitments, appointments or stress. Chores that were given were completed with sulky, heavy steps, (how ghastly that I’ve been forced to complete this outrageous task of washing up after dinner. Ahkjags.) Life is tough. Yet there is always time for documenting how unfair it is. Once you wave goodbye to your last Summer/Christmas/Easter holiday (ah how good were they?) then life tends to get a bit more hectic and we know where diary writing falls on our prioirty lists…

However I love the rush of nostalgia you get from reading back over thoughts from the past. It’s similar to how I feel when I often flick through the photos on my phone or instagram account, or when I hear a story from my childhood, if it brings back even just one recolection from a certain day or event than its worked for me. Whilst it’s difficult, incorporating some element of the ‘Diary’ into our busy and stressful lives can be hugely rewarding in more ways than one. Collecting thoughts can serve to help us organise our worrys, it can help us make decisions  and I think it’s important sometimes to take a break away from digital documenting! Yes our facebook may have all our holiday pictures in, and yes twitter is an active timeline of the things we’ve done recently but there is something special about holding a memory in your hand, about it being a solid object!

This is why I’m champing for “Bring back the diary(Even as I write this blog I will point out I am nortoriously awful at keeping a project going, and so this is as much a challenge for me as it is for anyone who wants to give it a go.) I want you to tackle this in any way that suits you, it doesn’t matter how much or how little you are writing, you can get creative stick in some printed out photos you love, train tickets, cinema tickets – don’t be neat! 

♥ TIPS AND TRICKS: ♥

  Try and write something everyday. One thougt, one activity, one emotion.

Keep your Journal with you EVERYWHERE you go

When you hear a song you want to download later write it down same goes for movies, books, meal ideas, holiday spots – the list is endless

Don’t be afraid to ramble

Put down milestones – whether that milestone is the day you got engaged (time, place, how!) or the day you decided to quit your job or the day that boy you’ve had a crush on said Hey – it doesn’t matter how big or small, it’s fascinating to look back and read these things

Here’s a little sample of some notebooks and stationary you can use to inspire you to start your journal, scrapbook or diary! I’m a stationary worshiper (and I’m sure you can see the panda/cutsey/cartoon theme going on too hehe). You can find all of the above from either Artbox (my favourite site to buy kawaii themed bits and bobs from it is a m a z i n g) Paperchase, Urban Outfitters or Cath Kidston

Happy Writing! I will document how I get on with my journal/scrapbook/diary.

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It’s not just you…

I had a great time reading Thought Catalog’s  humorously entitled “15 Things That Make Us Paranoid… Or Is It Just Me? Crap, It’s Probably Just Me!”  Whether on not we all share the same irrational niggles in the back of our minds there are always some that overlap. I find there’s a great sense of community in reading personal anecdotes or thoughts from others that make you want to turn and nod to anyone nearby whilst you virtually scream ME TOO!!! in your head. I often feel that same sense of shared experience from stand-up comedians who focus on everyday life (their wives, children, commuting politics) as opposed to extreme comedic anecdotes that are more fiction than fact.

Glamour Hey It's Ok

This is me…

The quips they follow with vary from the self-indulgent: Hey, it’s OK to laugh at your own jokes…they’re hi-larious the irrational: Hey, it’s OK to be a little offended if he’s not completely all over you every single time you get undressed to those habitual, guilty things we find ourselves doing: Hey, it’s OK to switch off instantly the second
someone says, “I  had such a weird dream…

Best of all they make your actions feel completely excusable! Enjoy some more below courtesy of the Glamour Pintrest page! I’m thinking I might write a few posts detailing some of my own guilty confessions and irrational habits!

hey its ok starbucks

hey its ok audrey

Hey Its Ok to...

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The Host

If you are a twi-hard fan then back in the day you may have read Stephanie Meyer’s other novel, The Host (2008). However you may have stumbled across this book just as a lover of Young Adult sci-fi as it’s a pretty damn good read. I ended up flying through this book in one of those intense all night reading sessions after I’d bought it for a mixture of the two reasons above. It caught my eye because of the publicity it received, being from the author of the Twilight sensation, but it also fell into a genre I had a tendancy towards already.

There’s been a huge surge in dystopian fiction aimed at teenagers, to name just a few novels that have recently been gracing the ‘Top Seller’ lists internationally: The Uglies, The Maze Runner and Divergent. The genre, bench-marked by classics such as Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World, has exploded in fiction aimed at young adults. Perhaps its popularity stems from a fascination about the state of our planet and a growing awareness of political and social fractures that might cause a modern-day dystopia. However not all dystopian themes mirror a future that could be possible many steering towards a very fantasy or sci-fi direction and might serve as pure escapism and indulgence in some pretty dark themes. Either way the genre is open to a lot of different themes and interpretation and if your looking for some good reads to ease you in then check out my recent post on some dystopian fiction I read when I was younger.

The Host is set in a future where a race of parasitic alien ‘souls’ have taken control of the majority of humans left on Earth, all except for small pockets of resistance. It is in the journey to find such a free community that the still-human protagonist Melanie is captured and taken over by a soul. The narrative centres on the battle of free will as Melanie refuses to completely lose herself to the ‘soul’ whose mission is to inflitrate the resistence and also the soul’s own conflicts of conscience. Along the way there is naturally love and heartbreak and a touch of action. Due for release later this month (March 29th 2013) I’m intrigued to see how they’ve adapted the novel for the screen.

In a similar vein the hugely successful trilogy The Hunger Games hit the big screens with its first installment last year. I always have mixed views when a novel I love is made into a movie. “They don’t look like that?! what happened to that bit!” are phrases that will often pass my lips after I’ve watched a movie adaptation. Preconceptions are shattered and that indulgence you share with a book in being able to visualise the words and characters and themes in your own way is ultimately gone. I’m not against it completely and there will be movies I watch where I’ve yet to read the novel and perhaps later do and enjoy in a different way. However for the most part I tend to seperate them as best I can. I personally felt that The Hunger Games movie was not a touch on the novel but can see why. There is afterall a complex world and fast paced plot to capture in 90 minutes or so.

Whilst The Host may be one I save until DVD release (which seems to come around so fast these days) I’m keen to check it out and hopefully be plesantly surprised! You can watch the trailer below.

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Motivation for March

It’s safe to say this past winter has felt incredibly long. It creeps up on us early November and before we know it we’ve all been hibernating for the past 4 months. If you’re anything like me the benefits of those chilly, dark nights may be cosy evenings in. However it’s not easy to avoid the winter blues that often go hand in hand, and even harder to shake them off.

Seasonal Affective Disoryesyoucander (SAD) is a form of depression characterised by its tendency to cause anxiety and depression at certain times of the year. This is especially prevalent during the long winter months when we have low exposure to natural sunlight. Whilst we don’t all suffer from SAD the short days and freezing temperatures we’ve endured can take a toll on our mental and physical wellbeing.

It’s typical to feel a sense of lethargy, lose interest in everyday projects and worryingly neglect physical activity. But now spring is finally on our doorstep here are four areas we can adapt in our lifestyles to give us that all important boost of energy perfect for the coming months.

Eat Better!
You are what you eat, or so the saying goes. If there’s a healthy eating regime or a diet you’ve been meaning to put into action there’s no better time than the present. To lose the sluggish feeling that winter brings, lose the junk and the sugar first and focus on finding a balanced meal plan that makes you feel better.

Catch Some Sun
Now the days are getting longer and we are seeing glimpses of our long forgotten friend the sun, there’s no excuse not to get out and about. Just a brief spell in the sun (even when it’s still cold) helps our bodies produce vitamin D and releases endorphins. If long hours at the office still steal you away from day lit hours grab lunch and eat it outside with a colleague.

Get Physical
January might seem like the best opportunity to make get-fit resolutions for the coming year but it’s often difficult to put things into action. Take the time to introduce more physical activity into your everyday routine. On your commute to or from work try getting off a stop earlier than you normally do and briskly walking. When we get the blood pumping in our bodies we feel more stimulated and happy. With many studies showing the positive link between mood and exercise there’s no better way to shake off any seasonal blues.

 Organise and Prioritise
When the environment around us is cluttered it can have a proven negative effect on wellbeing. Take on new tasks and projects, whether it’s a spring clean around the house or making time to focus on a relationship you’ve been neglecting. Evaluate your life and organise what needs doing. Add a time scale in which it can be accomplished by and this will provide a sense of calm, lift spirits and make us even more motivated to pursue goals in other areas.

Whilst I don’t have the best track record for following my own advice I’m keen to see how these techniques can be put in to action. I’ve definitely been a bit of a coach potato these last few (long) months, and felt pretty awful too. If you have any motivation tips please share!

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Apologies and new starts!

It’s been a while (to say the least) since I’ve graced Panda Pop with any sort of writing and I’m sorry! This past year has flown by, and with it my blogging motivation went into hibernation.

I’ve been in and out of various things since we last spoke. I waitressed for 6 months at a new opening near Marble Arch after moving to London. I left to work as a Marketing and Sales team member for Salon Evolution in Shorditch, which was a grueling sales job that made me sell my soul a tad. It taught me a few lessons and skills though as every experience does.

I spent Christmas back home in my beautiful Cornwall before coming back to London and starting at a new restaurant. That was the beginning of an amazing (but frighteningly fast) year that blessed me with some amazing work colleagues (now friends), some amazing experiences (Soz in Kos, Bestival 2012) and an amazing someone I’m incredibly lucky to call mine ❤

When Christmas came around again it felt like I’d blinked and everything had all gone by so quickly. I was on another grueling 8 hour mission back to my hometown for a spell of gaming with my little brother and cooking Christmas lunch with mum. All too soon I’d be watching the south west countryside flash past the train window as I headed back to the city.

So when I got back and I slugged it through the post-Christmas London transport system with my suitcase and my rats (they traveled home with me) to my south east haunt, Lewisham I decided something needed to change. I’d been too comfortable doing something that allowed me to pay for my nights out, my overpriced flat and a few holidays but stopped me from actually engaging and thinking and learning. I moved to London for the experience, the city and the people and whilst it doesn’t disappoint it’s a budget breaker. I realised I’d been scared to leave what I knew and relied on, to leave the only solid foundation I’d had so far in London.

So March 2013, here I am currently unemployed and living in the most expensive city in the UK. Scared? A little. Excited? Definitely. It’s a month where things are changing for me and I’m starting to engage in projects I’m passionate about. I’m going to be writing a lot on here and starting to update my YouTube. Meanwhile I’ll keep you posted on the immensely stressful task of job hunting and my experience so far with interviews and applications.