Becoming an Adult

The day we become an adult is not the day we turn eighteen, but the day we get our last exam result, and then think “well – now what?” Most of my friends are going to university (some going to extremely high-ranked ones) so they have a little bit of a layout for their life (not much, but at least enough for the next few years) and some even know where they intend to go with their life. They have it all planned out.

But not everybody does. Not everybody knows where their life is going to lead them.

One of the most stressful questions to hear, as someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, is “what are you going to do now?” They mean well but it makes me think about the future and where I’m going and where I’m not going and what’s happening and what’s not happening and — you get the picture. It’s terrifying.

I got good results, results I was happy with, but I happen to be friends with geniuses, which often makes me feel like less of a person too, even though they’re wonderful and I’m happy for them. I just happened to pick up smart friends. I guess I must be the dumb friend, to them, if you think about it. So I’m worried about my results too.

I worry about whether my life has a direction but I don’t want it to, yet I do, all at once. I want to study a degree but I don’t, all at once. I don’t want to be a drifter, I want to be a sailor! But I can’t be. I will never be a sailor, no matter how hard I try to control my ship; it will crash and I will drift on one piece of wood left.

I want to become something, but I don’t.

I’m never going to be what people expect me to be, or rather, what they want me to be. I’m not going to be what I want to be either. Because I will never be strong enough to sail. I just won’t be.

Lia

Real Net Blogger Award

Thanks so much to ANewChapter for the nomination!

RULES

Thank the person who nominated you
Answer the questions set by them
Nominate 7 more people
Set them 7 questions to answer

 

Questions to Me

If you were a colour, which colour would be and why?
 
I think I would be purple; not just because it’s my favourite colour, but because there’s not many things you think of that are purple. There are some things (lavender and violets) but they are in a different shade; what can you think of that is really purple? Because there is hardly anything to compare the colour to, it means that it can be whatever your mind plays up. It is different and set out from the other colours — most of which have boxes that they fit into, but purple doesn’t. It doesn’t fit into a box; it does its own thing, and I like that about it.

Imagine you can time travel, would go to the future or to the past?

That’s a hard one. Going to the past would be fun because I could tell people the future and then they’d be amazed when it happened. I could also win the lottery. But going to the future would also be interesting, as I’d be able to see whether humanity ever redeems itself or whether we destroy ourselves. A bit dark, but it’d be interesting to see. I think I’d rather go to the past as I’m not exploring unknown territory; therefore, I can fit in quite easily, whereas if I go into the future, I might come off a bit weird.

Which song best describes you/your emotions?

Right now, I’m thinking Numb by Linking Park. The lyrics are about pressure from someone and becoming numb to what they are subjected to; and everything is a mistake to this other person. I feel this way a lot, like to someone in my life, everything I do is a mistake. I try to please him but I can’t because his expectations are beyond reality. I’ve gotten used to it so I guess I’m numb now. And, as the lyrics say, I would rather be more like me and less like him. I would rather be who I want to be, but I don’t think I can be.

If you could have any eye colour, what would you choose?

Any eye colour? Although I love having blue eyes, I would quite like to have Elizabeth Taylor-esque eyes; violet. They’re so beautiful yet gentle. I think they’d be really nice to have.

Would you rather read people’s minds or be invisible?

I already am invisible (hahaha) so I think definitely reading people’s minds. I would love to know exactly what someone thought of me, because so many people are polite and not knowing what people think of me triggers my anxiety. To know would be to accept.

If you could have dinner with any TV show/book/film character, who would it be?

I don’t really know. Uhhh… Helena from Orphan Black! Because she loves food so would just wolf it down and then she’d call me her sistra and we’d just be cool friends and she’d kill people for me.

Did a historical event happen on your birthday? (doesn’t have to be the year you were born)

I just looked it up and a lot of sad stuff happened on that day. But I’m only going to be talking about positive stuff! 27 May 1943, the ballpoint pen was patented!! Isn’t that cool? 27 May 1937, The Golden Gate Bridge is opened to pedestrian traffic and more than 200,000 pedestrians walked across it! 27 May 1950, Frank Sinatra makes his TV debut on NBC’s “star-spangled review”. A lot of bad stuff happened too but let’s just think of the good stuff!

My Nominees:

I’m really bad at nominating people, especially when they’ve already been nominated, so apologies if you’ve already been nominated (which you probably have been) but I just need to nominate someone, and new questions!

Thewalkofthoughts
ofchocolateandlemons
littlelifeofrachel
mymindspeaksaloud
mintyfreshie
wondrousnightrambler

These are only some nominees, not quite seven, that I just stumbled upon when looking through things but anyone else can do it too!

My Questions

Has anyone ever inspired you to change your life?
Do you believe in superstitions? (If so, which ones?)
Antique or modern?
Paintbrush, pen, or microphone? Which would you pick, and why?
Which of the seven sins best describes you?
If you were told that the world is going to end in a week, what would you do?
Strangest thing that has ever happened to you?

Lia

Vegan Frozen/Fridge Foods

I thought I would do a post outlining different brands that do vegan frozen and fridge foods and which foods are good and which aren’t so good.

I’ve picked five brands which are quite popular food brands. Some are awful and some are amazing.

VBites

I thought I would get the awful over with first. A lot of new vegans are surprised by how ‘real’ this tastes but from the first bite I ever had of their stuff, I was disgusted, if I’m being honest. Quite a few vegans agree with me. Their restaurant is really good though — you should totally go there, but just don’t buy their frozen stuff, unless you like that taste, which would surprise me.

It was founded by Heather Mills, a well-known vegan, after marrying Paul Mccartney (and then divorcing him). I’m not really a fan of her as a person but I’m always a fan of fellow vegans so I thought I’d test it out. It was actually one of the first brands I tested out after becoming vegan. I thought that was what I’d have to get used to for the rest of my life.

The Cheatin’ range sounds like it’s going to be a good alternative to meat, but it is anything but. The slices are awful. 2/10 at best. The other items by Vbites are also as terrible; the meat style isn’t in the style of meat at all, but rather like something else entirely wearing a face mask of meat. And don’t get me started on Cheezly… the first vegan cheeze I ever tried, and I felt sick.

The worst vegan brand out there, in my opinion. Some people do like them but I am not one of them.

Overall, I give them a 2/10, for trying.

Linda McCartney 

Another one of Paul McCartney’s wives, though sadly deceased. Unlike VBites, they aren’t exclusively vegan, but they do quite a few vegan products. Their sausage rolls are lovely, I have to say, but their sausages aren’t quite as good. You can tell that they’re fake, but they are acceptable, and in gravy they are wonderful. Just, not without gravy, in my opinion.

The other day I received wonderful news that a few more vegan dishes are going to be added in the next few weeks, and that really makes me happy. They are supposed to be festive so we can taste them out in time for Christmas. Linda McCartney isn’t a brand I would have everyday, as they aren’t the best ever, but they’re decent, and sometimes that’s all you need.

I give them a 6/10, for sometimes being nice.

Quorn

For a long time, I couldn’t have any Quorn, as none of their stuff was vegan, but when I heard of the addition of a vegan range, eventually, it made me really happy as I had enjoyed their stuff when I was vegetarian.

However, their vegan stuff is generally dry, unflavoursome, and plastic-like. I am not a fan. My mum even tried seasoning up their fillet-styles with some garlic and mushrooms but it didn’t change anything, and garlic is a really strong herb! Their vegan pieces are also not very nice and I am really not a fan of their vegan stuff. Don’t even get me started on the fishless fingers…

Quorn is slightly better than VBites, in that I don’t generally feel sick when having their stuff, so I give them 3/10.

Fry’s

Like VBites, this brand is exclusively vegan, except their food is a little nicer. Their chicken-style burgers are actually one of my favourite burgers to have, as they do taste quite nice. However, not all of their food is that nice. For a while, I was a fan of their chicken-style nuggets, but recently I’ve noticed how plain they are and I’ve gone off of them. Their prawn-style pieces don’t taste a thing like prawn but they are better than the chicken-style nuggets at tasting like chicken! I have them when I want a chicken alternative, not a prawn alternative.

As well as this, their mushroom pies were a favourite of mine for a while. I have also recently gone off of this. I suppose they’re a brand that are good for short-term but you might go off them if you’re into long-term food! My mum actually once mistook curry pies for mushroom pies and I’ve never been a fan of curry pies but I had to have it anyway and I really did not like it, but that’s probably due to my taste.

Fry’s gets a 7/10.

Amy’s

Amy’s is the one on this list where I haven’t tried any of their meat-free ‘meat’ (burgers, in this case). They’re a vegetarian brand, with some vegan products, but gosh, the vegan products that they do are great!

The worst thing I’ve had of theirs is chinese noodles, which is pretty good. Not the best, but decent. I recently had their vegan lasagna for the first time. It was spicy, which I found odd, because no lasagnas I have ever tasted before were spicy. I think it was nice though, but their wasn’t enough cheeze. They should have done more, in my opinion. Next time, I’ll be adding some of my own!

Let me get onto the single-greatest vegan frozen meal I have ever tasted though: their vegan mac n cheeze. I used to have it all the time, until the freezers broke at the place I used to get it from. I was devastated and nowhere else near me did it. Everywhere sold Amy’s, but not the dish I wanted. Recently, I learnt that Ocado did it, and specifically made an order (their minimum requirements are £40) just so I could have it again. I went to lengths so extreme, because it is love.

They say distance makes the heart fonder, and it certainly did for me and this macaroni cheeze. It was just as beautiful as I remembered it, with a cheezy taste so wonderful that it could be compared with non-vegan macaroni cheeses. That macaroni cheeze is a 9/10, would be a 10 if they put it in every shop ever!

Overall, Amy’s is an 8/10, and I think the mac n cheeze brings it up a lot. If you ever want to go vegan, the first food I recommend you try is that.

If you are considering going vegan, Amy’s and Fry’s are good starting points. Linda McCartney is also nice, but I would think about staying clear of Quorn and VBites. But everyone has their own taste. 

Lia

What Dictates Us?

From a young age, our minds are programmed.

  When I was young, I was once rude about another girl (who was actually my friend) because she didn’t come into school often; this was because I had been programmed to think that good attendance would reward you, and bad attendance would not. I did not think about how it would make her feel or why she might not be in very much. I guess I was just upset about her not being in much. She didn’t mind though; she was that kind of person. But the thing is: schools reward pupils for perfect attendance, 100% — you have to be perfect, perfect, perfect, or perhaps just lucky.

It doesn’t mean you’re better than someone else if you go in every day, though schools decide that you are. There are children who are sickly, there are those who suffer emotional problems too, there are those who are grieving and perhaps need a nice trip out to distract them, but they will not get it, because only those with perfect attendance earn a treat. We think this is fine, but it is not. Without understanding why the pupils don’t go in, they are punished. That will have an impact on the way they feel about themselves, and perhaps make them feel even more isolated.

There are other things too that are programmed into us when we are young: I never once played rugby when I was at school. Although, I guess I’m grateful, I think I should have been made to, like the boys were. Many of the boys didn’t want to but they had to, and some of the girls wanted to but weren’t allowed, because it wasn’t a ‘girl’s sport’. These little things, they all change our mind, from the pure thing it was when we were born, to something very confused.

Where do we stand in the world? What is our worth? Who are we? What dictates us?

Children and young people with mental health conditions is on the rise, and it’s because of the way society breaks us. It confuses us with so many different things, one thing says this is acceptable, yet another says this — we become so overwhelmed by all of society’s rules that we can’t deal with them, and then we end up as ants, carrying several times our body weight, before eventually being crushed.

What do you think? Are our minds really our own?

Lia

Small Things

The other day I was out with my parents and we were having lunch, as well as complaining about the fact we were told there were no straws but people who arrived after us were drinking with straws. The thing is, I kinda have to drink out of a straw, for some reason, so it affects me quite a lot.

Then, a man who did not know us at all, got up and went inside. We didn’t think anything of it but a few minutes later he returned with a straw and gave it to me. I smiled a lot after that. It wasn’t the fact that he’d gotten me a straw, though that was nice, it was that a complete stranger would do something like that for me, a stranger to him. 

Small things really matter and the fact that this man did this for me really made my day. He was with his wife and son, yet helped out me. Sometimes, if you do a little action, it can really affect someone in a positive way. Try it. It might just make someone smile.

Theories

I was chatting with MyMindSpeaksAloud the other day, telling her interesting facts about the Tower of London. [It used to hold animals and you could either pay two pennies or feed your pets to the lions to get in.]  She responded by telling me that people say ‘bless you’ when you sneeze because a long time ago, there was the believe that devils enter through your mouth.
I was considering this more so than I have ever done so in the past. I have heard this said before but it was this time that I decided to consider it more closely, because I was talking with someone quite like-minded.
What if, when our noses are blocked, it is our bodies blocking the devils from entering? And what if, when we below our noses, we are ejecting them. That is what I started thinking, and that devils enter through our noses, not our mouths.
As a writer, having an open mind to all theories is quite important to getting good story ideas. But it made me wonder. Are the people who sneeze more often also more inclined to evil visiting them? They might eject more evil, but it also means they have more residential evil living inside of them.
These are all concepts which seem alien to us but maybe that’s because creatures alien to us are living inside us, forcing us to think in a set way. Remember, next time you sneeze, it’s probably a devil. Blow your nose with a tissue, then throw it down the toilet.
This is all theoretical because I think a lot but consider it’s true: how much evil does your body contain?

My mind

I have a mind that nobody but me understands. That can be pretty painful at times because you try to get people to connect and they can’t. It’s also special though because it gives you a place that nobody will ever be able to walk into. No matter where you are, what you’re doing, nobody can get there. 
My mind is the most dangerous place in the universe though. It holds more threat that anything else. It has the power to do anything. It holds the knives that can stab us or other people, it holds the bombs that can light up an entire stadium with fear, it holds the rope that ties us to it. We can never escape our mind. It will always be there.

I sometimes feel like my mind is so conflicted that I would be better off if I did escape it, but then I realise that it holds memories I never want to leave, as well as ones I would tear apart if I had the chance, and I feel even more conflicted. 

Mental health is the cancer of the mind; it destroys hopes, dreams, possibilities. It becomes something so infectious that soon your entire body suffers. You might snack unnecessarily, or not eat at all; I get so conflicted sometimes that I do both. One day I snack so much, other times I don’t want to eat. You might sleep too much, or not at all. Again, I do both. Some nights I don’t sleep, though these are rarer than the nights I do, but during the day I nap. A lot. I get exhausted from everything. Sometimes my body just won’t work. You might have problems internally as well, such as IBS, which has no known cure. It’s horrible. You might seem fine, heathy, but you know that your body is responding. It’s sending you signals. All these health problems are connected. 

Our mind is the most lonely place, yet it is also the most free. You can be yourself there, but sometimes that can be terrifying. When I’m myself, I feel like I have nobody in the world. I suppose I don’t, not anyone that can truly enter my mind. My family are so wonderful but they don’t have my mind, or even a similar one. Some friends are similar, but I don’t want to bother them, when they have their own demons. And they’re too far away; or too hard to contact; or too busy, through no fault of their own, to really talk to. I suppose I am alone in this world and my mind is a cage.

But don’t worry: there is a key. It’s just on the other side.

The “What do I think about Art” Tag

This tag was started by MyMindSpeaksAloud and she decided to tag me, which is a great honour. Thank you! ❤

Rules:

  • Copy the piece of art given to you by your nominator into the post, as well as these rules
  • Analyse the piece of art given to you and what it means to you (you can be as abstract as you like)
  • Nominate 5 people to analyse another piece of art of your choice
    Art given to me:

artt

 I like the fact that you can see the painter for a size comparison. I’m guessing it must be some kind of sculpture because of the way it goes in front of her legs, if it’s not a real person, because it looks so realistic. Like a person just being painted blue. I can’t tell what it is! Help! This is so confusing.

 I think that the entire piece being painted in different shades of blue creates a cold and unwelcoming atmosphere, and the man’s facial expression doesn’t help that to subside. He looks almost threatening, or like he’s concentrating on something. He’s definitely not a source of positive energy. The way he puts his arms down is very exact too, as if he’s working something out. He’s sitting in a chair, which is ultimately a source of comfort, but everything else suggests an entirely different feeling, which makes me think that the chair is showing humanity in a man that otherwise looks quite cruel. The darker shades of blue also encompass the feeling of warmth because darker colours in general suggest a warmer and more cosy mood.

The room he’s in is, perhaps, a suggestion of the walls he puts up around himself. They are lighter shades, suggesting he puts up a cold and heartless shell. The chair is his inner self, the self that he can’t quite get out, and he might not be able to get it out until he learns to embrace it, but judging from the look on his face, I’d say that is far, far away.

My nominations:

OfChocolateAndLemons

Lia

thelongestroadtowalk

Rebekah

Thewalkofthoughts – I know you’re already tagged but you said I could tag you again so :p

and basically anyone else who wants to do it!! Please do it. Cool, thanks. 😛

The piece of art I chose for you to analyse:

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This is by my mum, Sally Jane Payne. Look her up on Facebook (Sally Jane Payne Art) or instagram (@sallyjanepayneart) because she’s awesome and I love her art. It might be a bit of self-family-promotion but I think it could be analysed very awesomely.

Thank you 🙂

I’m An Adult?!

Today I turned eighteen.

Me? Eighteen? That can’t be right… Let me check my birth certificate, hang on… oh, turns out I am eighteen. Welp.

It’s such a scary age, isn’t it? More responsibilities, pressure, expectations. I’m supposed to be someone that I’m not; someone mature and reasonable and ready for life. I still have no clue what my life is going to become; no clue where it’ll take me or where I’ll take it. I don’t think I’m going to have an idea anytime soon.

Today, though, was a bit of fun in a world where there seems to lack it. I met up with some really good friends (ANewChapter and MyMindSpeaksAloud being two of the three that I invited) and we played cat games. Also, pizza, but unfortunately ANewChapter couldn’t stay for that. The cat games were so fun though and I had a really nice time. The non-blogger friend that came gave me some flowers, which made me feel really grown-up and mature, even though I’m not. What’s ironic is that she got me quite an immature card which contrasts with the flowers. It’s made me have an existential crisis: am I an adult or am I a kid?! She wrote some lovely words inside of the card though.

ANewChapter got me a really pretty notebook and also wrote some lovely words in the card. Too many lovely words! Luckily, MyMindSpeaksAloud was less serious and lovely in what she wrote, but it was still really nice. I mean, you can’t have three serious cards, can you? And she got me the best cat mug ever; she has really good taste. I suppose she just sees something with cats on and thinks “yup, Lia will like this” — and she’s right!

I got an iPad today, my first ever iProduct, and it’s really cool. MyMindSpeaksAloud, being an avid lover of iProducts, talked me through some of the settings. I also got a lovely dress which I wore today (yes, that was a birthday present, people who came to my house) and two cat-themed games, which I played with my friends. Plus £100 from my Nan, who apparently only gave my brother £60 for his 18th. My aunt only gave me £25 whilst she gave my brother £30 for his 18th though. That sorta makes up for it… Ish. If you take away the extra £35.

It was a fun day and I think my friends bonded, because MyMindSpeaksAloud hadn’t met the others before (though knew one from blogging, of course) and told me about how nice they were after.

My brother tagged my present from him (Exploding Kittens; card game) with the words: “You’re an adult!!! Now act like one”. That seemed like a very brotherly thing to say. I love him anyway, even if he does annoy me a lot sometimes…

Moving on, I just wanted to say that these eighteen years have been so mixed. Some years were great, some years weren’t so great, but in the end, I have three amazing friends who I don’t see as often as I’d like, but who I care a lot about. They’re the type of friends that you can go ages without seeing and just pick up where you left off when you do see them though, and that’s just awesome. Two of them are already eighteen and one will be eighteen very soon. We’re all growing up and heading in different directions. Two are going to uni, the other two of us are chilling for a while. It’s amazing how people extend into different directions in life. What makes people take those different turns? Why do some people end up as artists and others end up as accountants? (Referencing my parents and their very different lifestyle choices). It’s amazing how we all begin very similar and we end up totally different.

I’m eighteen now, but I definitely don’t feel it, and that’s okay. You might not feel your age either, and you might never feel your age, but age is only your biological factor; it doesn’t mean a thing about your psychology. You can be whatever age you want to be, if you believe it.

Thank you for reading this post,

Sincerely, 

An adult.

Met Favourite Author!

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Yesterday was my mum’s birthday, and the day after my dad’s operation, but I couldn’t not go. It was something I might never get to do again, so I convinced my mum to come with me, and we went to see Patrick Ness, my favourite author! Don’t worry: my dad had a lot of other family and friends willing to look after him.

It was also the day of the Brighton parade to celebrate their promotion to the premiership (woop woop) so it was incredibly crowded but I didn’t mind so much, because I got to meet Patrick Ness.

Before we actually got on the train to go to Brighton, a guy dropped a piece of paper (two minutes before the train was scheduled to arrive!) and went onto the tracks to pick it back up. He then climbed up again and, luckily, did not get hit by a train. Was scary though.

The actual getting to the theatre was horrific. We asked a taxi driver to take us there and he told us it was about half an hour away and would cost a tenner, when we were sure it was much nearer. Anyway, we trusted him, and he drove us to this location. When we got out, and asked around, we realised we’d been ripped off. The theatre wasn’t here at all; and it had just gone half past two, the time we were supposed to be at the theatre. I was so stressed.

We called for another taxi and this time the guy took us to the correct location but we had missed fifteen minutes of the talk. It was terrible, really. We could still get in and his talk was so incredible that it felt like it only lasted a few minutes. We were so engrossed! His sense of humour was amazing too. Apparently, he never got any success until his late 30s, but when he did get success, that was because he didn’t think about getting a publishing contract, he wrote because he wanted to write, and it paid off.

After the talk, he did book signings, so I got a copy of his new book ‘Release’ (which I have yet to read), and waited until the massive queue got shorter, then joined it. Once I met him, I asked him a question (technically my mum did because I was too nervous): “if you had to choose, would you choose writing or cats?” I asked him this because I know he loves cats too, like me. He struggled with the answer, but, as he said when he signed the book, he chose writing. I suppose it’s because he makes lots of money from it. To be honest, I’d always choose cats, because I’ve had them my entire life, and I’ve never lived without them. I don’t know how I’d live without them. A certain blogger (*cough* MyMindSpeaksAloud *cough*) said writing too, so I am going to steal her cats.

It was a wonderful experience, despite the earlier stress, and we also went into Primark and brought me some more black and white clothes. I love black and white. it’s just so… black and white.

Thank you for reading this post; I was very excited about going to see him and I’m so happy I did!

Lia