Setting goals part three

Bit of a delayed roundup of last month. Which would have come out earlier, had it not been for my stupid laptop.

1. Learning French
I faired better on Duolingo in February, possibly because I was being competitive with my brother (even though we’re learning different languages), and completed six units. On Lingvist I learnt over 300 new words and am now at 88%. Haven’t followed up on a language exchange since January however.

2. Read more
This month I read the following:

  • The Girl with All the Gifts – M. R. Carey
  • The Two of Us – Andy Jones
  • A Man Lies Dreaming – Lavie Tidhar

Which now puts me three books ahead on my challenge.

3. Exercise and diet
I’ve started running again, I hate running in public but I have no choice. It doesn’t help that it’s cold, so cold (for England). I’m having to wear thermals underneath. Bring on spring/summer! As I need some structure, I’m going to start with the Couch-to-5K programme. My diet has improved, and I can already feel the different in my clothing.

4. This blog
Still awkward… But I now have my laptop back, and I’ve also been posting a lot more this month (March), so it’s looking up! Even if it’s photos. I do have a to-do list ready of posts I want to make.

5. Mental Health
Things are starting to look up, I have a new job I’m starting at the end of the month and am working through my goals in CBT sessions.

Last months update

Annmarie xoxo

typical brit talking about the weather

This morning was the first chilly autumn morning (well the first one I’ve been awake for). There’s something about being awake for the sun rising, which is a lot easier during autumn/winter! Although I guess I usually would see the sun rise in the summer when I was at uni burning the midnight oil and going to sleep when the birds are starting to chirp away.

Surprisingly after my rant/panic last week about becoming an early bird, waking up at four in the morning hasn’t been that bad. Driving at six in the morning to different sideroads however, has been a case of:

*sat nav saying to turn onto side road in x amount of yards*
*starts to glance in that direction to see an opening*
ooo sideroad
nope someones driveway
ok….sideroad now?
nope another driveway
ok that’s gotta be the sideroad
nope just more driveways!!!
*suddenly sees opening to sideroad*
shiiiiiit braaaaaake!!!!
phew, just about saved that!

And then as you drive home in the daylight you notice how easy the road layout is…when you can see it.

You can probably tell in a bid to stick to BEDO and also think of something to write in 10 minutes before bed, I am really scraping the barrel.

Annmarie xoxo

one week in!

*awaiting for photos of my graduation to share*

It’s been a week since I left Norwich indefinitely. Now a graduate to the rest of the world, I can no longer do certain things and just use being a student as an excuse. I thought the idea of coming home, living with my parents are four years of fun and freedom was going to be a nightmare. So far so good.

In fact within this week I’ve probably been more productive than I had been in the last month in Norwich (again, can’t use being a student as an excuse). Between applying for jobs, learning French and trying to fit four years of new shit into one room it’s helped my mentality. seriously I don’t remember buying that much each academic year….but then I look at my bank account and that disagrees with me.

Part of me was worried I would come back and immediately relapse into my teenage self and run away from everything in fear. But it looks like I permanently achieved some form of change over the last few years. And it’s something I can be proud of.

It is of course only the first week

Annmarie xoxo

Another year older

Since Monday I’ve been 22! Do I feel any older? Not particularly. (Note to self change about me page).

When I was a teenager I always looked up to people in their twenties assuming they had their lives figured out and it was always one big episode of Friends. Well I now know the former isn’t true, and regardless of age most people don’t have their lives figured out, which is always great to think about when you’re faced with looking for your first job of your ‘career’.

There are some negatives of being a Christmas baby, *ahem ‘birthday’ Santa visited me this year*

20141227-175711-64631186.jpgbut one positive is that my birthday is so close to the end of a Georgian year, that a year of my life is the same as a calendar year. Here’s a few things I’ve learnt in reflection over the last year.

Being independent does not mean you can’t ask for help
I’ve always been stubborn when it comes to asking for help. I’ve always seen myself as being independent, not wanting to rely on others to get things done, to try and overcome hurdles myself to prove that I was strong. I saw asking for help from others to be a sign of weakness.

It wasn’t until this year I really grew up. Realised how ridiculous that notion was. If people are willing to help you, it shows how much they care about you and they also want you to succeed.

Distancing yourself from loved ones doesn’t help
When things get tough, it’s very easy to distance yourself from everything to help you cope. But pushing yourself away from others only adds to the list of your problems once the previous one has been solved. Having others there to lend an ear, to help with problems, be your coach or to distract you entirely are key.

New Years resolutions are pointless
When I was a teenager I would write a New Years resolution list, seal it in an envelope and open it the next year to see how many of those things I had achieved. Who wants to guess how many of those I had actually completed? The last couple of years I’ve abandoned New Years resolutions, and chosen to make changes because I’ve wanted to. Because I’ve felt the need to make them regardless of when it has been during the year, and have not given myself a timeframe to complete them. The previous times I’ve made those resolutions had been when I wasn’t committed to the change.

Be yourself
I’ve found that the most cliché phrase to be true. I made some great friends over the year, by being myself completely. The cheeky sense of humour, the crazy curly hair and painted nails. The creative, passionate and caring person. If it meant that some people didn’t like me, then their loss not mine. I’ve given up caring whether someone would like me or not, helps to free your mind for other tasks.

Hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas holiday!
What epiphanies have you had this year?
Annmarie xoxo

the mindramblings of an highly emotional girl

heh, at least I didn’t beat around the bush with the title?

Don’t worry Photography 101 will be back tomorrow.

I don’t know what kicked it off this time, scanning through Humans of New York, and coming across stories that struck a cord. I have to present my ‘findings’ so far on my project in front of a group tomorrow morning, where I have to explain why I’m behind and the colossal amount of work I do have to do in 2 months to catch up. Right now I’m creating the presentation and I already feel nauseous. After that tortuous morning, I then have to go to a workshop to tackle inner demons. Or, the fact that people keep telling me not to worry or stress, as if it’s something I can easily turn off and choose to keep the switch on.

One comment I kept seeing on HONY page, especially on heart breaking stories is ‘If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d quickly grab ours back.’ while I agree, I think it diminishes that persons problem. Why do we have to try and ‘one-up’ someone on who has it worse? At the end of the day, would you really want to win the ‘who has it worse?’  competition. Yes, we need to have perspective on our problems, but downplaying it doesn’t help to solve it. Yes in perspective to x or y’s life it may seem trivial, but it doesn’t negate your problem. To tell someone that x has it worse than you, then just makes them feel guilty for feeling or worrying about their struggles or pains, something that is real and personal to them. Worries are worries, struggles are struggles and pains are pains. But at the same time, we have to remember we’re not the only ones feeling like that. I think that’s the beauty of HONY, it’s the next step from people watching, instead of hypothetically guessing that persons life, their life is opened up to you.

I should probably get back to my presentation, or all those hypothetically negative scenarios my mind is currently concocting will occur.

Annmarie xoxo

when I grow up, I want to be [x]

You know when you were a kid, people would always ask what you wanted to be? I don’t recall ever having an answer (maybe musician was the closest thing). Even throughout school I never really had that end goal in mind, a part from going to University and getting the hell away from my old life. Now I’m coming to the end of University I feel like I’m supposed to have figured it all out.

I’ve yet to have that day job that makes waking up in the morning a pleasant thing, in fact the only time I’ve ever been excited to wake up early was on Christmas Day or when my parents would take us to LEGOLAND (of course trying to keep it a secret, except little me was a smart cookie and knew every time we were driving through Kew we’d be on our way out to Windsor).

I did try to think of what I’d like in a career a couple of weeks ago, but I wouldn’t say I was any further into it now. I mean I love reading and watching TV, except when doing a science degree it feels as though that’s something to be ashamed of? I love being creative, I can’t help it. I like helping people. I hate the dog eat dog culture or cut throat nature that is associated with being successful (I like watching The Apprentice, but if I ever had to work in an environment like that, I’d rather starve). I love exercise, especially that sore have-to-crawl-up-or-down-the-stairs-its-the-only-way feeling after a good workout, or when your team wins a game. I like food and cooking. I love travelling, being in beautiful environments, both natural and built up, wandering through the unknown. I enjoy writing. I know I’ll never be an author or journalist. But there’s something about putting ink to paper / fingers to keys. I like to make people smile, or laugh. Although this tends to be at my own expense, what can I say I’m altruistic. I’m always willing to learn and grow. Put myself into uncomfortable situations and slowly prove I can do it.

Hopefully in the next few months I’ll find an answer.

Annmarie xoxo

behold the snotty tissues

Sorry to disappoint anyone who thought they’d see snotty tissues.

I know you can’t catch a cold from just being cold, but I’d love to blame standing outside in the freezing cold as Hurricane Gonzalo had it’s fun in just a jumper frozen to the bone (I was planning to run home and get something warm on, but the cordon due to a fire didn’t give me time!!). It’s funny because when I was a kid I LOVED being ill, a chance to be off school, watch Cartoon Network the whole day and have mum take care of me. Except when you’re in the 20s, the world continues and taking the whole day off to watch cartoons isn’t really the responsible thing to do. 😦 She writes whilst listening to noughties and 90s playlists reminiscing on the good olde days.

This week we had a careers fair, has that led me to have the needed epiphany to work out what I want to do with the rest of my life? Nope. In fact it has led to more doors becoming open. The great thing about it? It has reaffirmed that doing a Year in Industry was the best decision I have made over the course of my degree. However, all is not lost, there’s a few things I’ve figured out that I want from my ‘career’:

  • To be happy, most of all.
  • To be challenged, to grow and grow constantly.
  • Variety, zipping from project to project. Not stuck in a rut for months on end.
  • See the world, be it local (there’s so many things we take for granted just on our footstep) or global.

That’s not asking for much is it?

Now as I sit here prepping for my job interview this week, it has caused me to reflect on my life for the past three years. It’s had it’s ups and downs (doesn’t everything?) but without every single experience I wouldn’t be the person I am now. Rule of thumb – stick to your instincts. Question is how do I condense that into a 3 min presentation?

Annmarie xoxo