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November; The Next Chapter

There are distinct days in my life when it feels like a chapter is ending. You would think that the beginning of University would be the obvious choice for this new beginning but it didn’t feel that way. Maybe it was because of boarding school that living in dorms didn’t feel so foreign or maybe being on my own again felt more comfortable than I remember from before. Either way, I wasn’t struggling in the first few weeks of school because well, there wasn’t much to be worried about.

However, when everything is going right in your life, it tends to do a 180 and stab you in the back. Slowly my health, my mind, my relationships were deteriorating one by one and I felt lost in my new environment. It didn’t help that I was aware that I was the cause of all my problems, either. Feeling this way is difficult when you’re making new friends because it’s awkward to go crazy on them within the first few weeks of knowing them. Naturally, I did what anyone would do — act normal. And this is where the problem starts.

Everyone has their ups and downs but the way they deal with them differs from person to person. I tend to lean towards the ignore-everything-until-it-all-comes-crashing-down approach. And, well, surprise! That’s exactly what happened. A positive note: coming out of it has made me calmer and more focused on my priorities for this next chapter. I’m still unsure as to why I’m sharing this but I feel like as this is my personal outlet, it’s nice to have a public reminder of not just the good but also the bad, because it’s natural and we should all be okay with the fact that life isn’t perfect and will never be. I have a lot to prove this year – to my parents, my friends and most importantly, myself. There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first and I need to actually start doing that. Let’s hope the next few months aren’t as dramatic as this one.

– Andrea x

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June // Happy

It’s taken us awhile to get here, huh.

It was gemini season and my birthday month so maybe that might have had something to do with it but I was really feeling all kinds of love from everyone around me in June.

Happy used to be an emotion that I would confuse with elation and because of that, be stuck in a cycle of “why am I not happy?” when indeed, for the most part, I was.

If they were put side by side, happy would be rated 6/10 and elation would be 9/10 and confusing the two meant that I would only consider moments where I felt joy to the point where only if tears rolled down my eyes – that would be a moment of happiness. Do you see what my issue was?

In June, happiness transformed into a constant high – where content filled every hour of every day. Those around me made me feel the safest I’ve felt in awhile. The rawness of my existence in June made me feel as vulnerable as a newborn baby but I embraced it fully because I felt like I finally made a start in finding my place amongst all others in this big, bad universe.

The positive energy that I gave out also felt reciprocated and I do believe that being grateful and showing that I was played a major role in achieving this happy high.

So to everyone that I’ve met, spent time with, laughed with and cried with in June, thank you, for making it one of the happiest times of my life (so far).

-Andrea

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May // Afraid

There are many things that scare us in this world and I am no stranger to the feeling of being afraid.

In fact, here’s a list of things that terrify me a little:

  • Heights
  • Commitment (deep)
  • Not being able to have children
  • Crocodiles
  • Being kidnapped
  • When fish jump out of ponds onto land and flip towards you to because it wants to be saved but you’re stunned and you’re just screaming is anyone else feeling this or is this just me?

Just to name a few.

In September I’m moving back to England and starting school at the University of Exeter where I will be spending one year doing foundation and then hopefully the 3 years following that studying the liberal arts.

That’s the dream, at least.

Other dreams of mine would be: opening my own NGO, working for the UN/WHO, building my own house from scratch on a remote island in Indonesia, live in south america for a few years, have a family of 4 or more…

The more I stare out of bus windows listening to inspirational music by frank ocean, my list just grows and grows.

But the thing about dreams is that they can crumble and fall like a brick wall when you smash it with that big ball thing that I don’t know the name of.

People will tell you that what you’re thinking of isn’t realistic, it can never happen, or in my case..

“Will you even make money in that industry?”

“Sure, caring for other people is great but what happens when you have to support your family?”

“We’re all going to die anyway, why bother helping if it’s not going to change?”

“What’s wrong with Singapore?”

“When are you going to get a boyfriend?” or “Have you thought about which race you want to marry yet?” (Like I have a selection)

“How many children do you want?”

“You want to work and raise your own children?”

Now these are all valid questions and something that everyone is going to encounter some time in their lives. Obstacles that life will throw us can make the path that we originally paved out for ourselves transform from a smooth tarmac road into a dusty, rocky, wavy, hilly road with blockages along the way.

And that scares me – that I will never be able to finish checking off my dreams off this imaginary check list of mine.

Of course over time my dreams might change and in 10 years my only dream will be to have a baby, but until then…this 19 year old has big plans.

And maybe, just maybe, with a little luck, some of these dreams will come true.

-Andrea x

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Freedom//May

  • Currently: having a lie in on a Tuesday. 
  • Next up: reading on the beach.
  • Life is good.

Exams are over and my friends and I have decided to fly off to Malta for 10 days – we still haven’t figured out what to do with ourselves here but that’s okay. Our fridge is stocked to the brim with various liquor, vegetables and fruit. (Wine is fruit too – just liquidised) Yesterday we got hopelessly lost but had the chance to venture on the streets of St Julian, which is the #party centre of Malta. Or so our host tells us. Which is perfect. Because guess who is 18 in 11 days? Yes, you guess it – moi. (Which is lucky for us because you have to be 17 here to go clubbing and that’s okay we’re not doing anything illegal) 

Before this trip, I had 10 days in school without anything to do and my days were filled with mindless Netflix watching, napping and going to the gym to feel some sort of purpose. My mind was blank and I’d hoped that after exams creative thoughts would come to mind but alas, it was not to be. Until I decided to do the 365 Days of Gratitude challenge, where I pen down what I’m thankful for everyday for a year and so far, it’s going good. And that got me thinking. Why not use some of the writings as scripts for videos? A visual memoir to things/people I am thankful for. And that’s what I’m going to do. 

My agenda for the next few weeks are kind of like this post – messy, unorganised, free flowing 😉 but till next time – for more rambles. 

x Andrea

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Being

Being, to me, is existing as a whole. The physical body that you have been given in this life is something that you cannot change and I am all for that. On the other hand, and I’m aware that I’m contradicting myself – if you are not happy with the body that you’ve been given to the point where you want to hurt yourself, then that is your right to choose what you would like to change about yourself. I know what it feels like to not belong, and to feel like you don’t belong in the body that is supposed to represent you must feel like hell.

The flip side to being is the idea of your soul. Some people believe that their soul belongs to a greater being, and that they must follow a set of rules to ensure that they rise to heaven, as that is their ultimate goal. For me, I don’t believe in a greater god that controls the world. I believe the universe was created by something, but I don’t believe that that something is some one. The point of life at the moment seems so dull and ordinary, run by a system that some are fighting. People go to school, get a job, do the whole family thing, and then die. That is it. I don’t want that. I don’t want a typical white picket fence family life while I dread going to work during the weekdays and my two day weekends are short lived and pointless because no one ever really gets to do what they want and they compromise for others.

At the point I know I sound like a self-obsessed, unfiltered bitch but really, think about it. People get into relationships because it makes them feel good. No one gets with someone with the goal of making the other person happy with no happiness in return. No one stands being in a group of friends if nothing they do makes them feel happy. Even if they pick on you, the validation one gets from being in a group makes them feel happy and hence, there you go. People do things to please themselves. That’s always been the case. The survival instinct that humans have plays into this as well. People fought for food and water as to survive, you had to be your strongest self. You did things for your family, your friends, yourself. So what’s stopping us now?

Now we have a set of morals that tells us to do things for others. It teaches us that the world needs us to help, when really all we’ve done to “improve” this Earth has ended up in total travesty. Global warming, mass genocide, cultural superiority, racism, sexism, I can go on forever. The separation of individuals in this world, whether it be humans or animals has all been done by us. We think that because everyone lives the 9-5 life that we should too. We think that our creative efforts, whatever they may be, will be lost on this world and aren’t worth pursuing because we can’t match the levels of Einstein or Vivaldi. But that doesn’t matter. Our life, our existence, our being, is all up to us. And I don’t know about you, but I want to live a life that is actually worth living and means something. I don’t think people should be held back from what they believe to be their calling because of something holding them back. I could give myself 10908547539457 reasons to scrap projects that I don’t think are valuable but I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s right.

Ideas and inventions and day dreams you have about the world are yours. You hold them. Whether you fail or succeed is up to the universe and in part, up to you. If you lose passion for something, then you lose passion for something. If you fall in love with the most eclectic of people, then you do. It doesn’t matter. Existence and being is abstract, to give it meaning is something that we have the capability to do, so let’s do it.

Andrea x

 

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December//Grateful

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I touched down on the 6th of December. The weather was 30 degrees, and I was boiling in my plane attire. Being home always comes with a mix of emotions; I never really know how I feel. Nevertheless, the end of November was a sad one for me and I was glad to be away from some of the negativity that was getting me down; I felt alone – and don’t get me wrong, everyone gets lonely sometimes, but  I just felt like I wasn’t wanted/needed around those who I cared about.I don’t like to expect much or latch onto people that I meet on a day to day basis but when it comes to those who I feel close and connected to, I get protective – and I get hurt, too easily.

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I’m not going to tell you a story of how I’m an outcast in my circle of friends or how much attention I crave 24/7 because no one wants to hear a 17 year old whine about how lonely she feels in this BIG, BAD world. What I want to write is what I learned from this loneliness; I need to show those who I care for that I, in fact, do care for them. I’m not the most affectionate human being and I’m definitely not the kindest, but this month I’ve been genuinely trying. Smiling at strangers, telling those around me that I love them, being kind to old ladies that are crossing the street, noticing the emotions of people around me before I act out or say anything stupid and insensitive.

 

My new years resolution thing that I never set out to do (because who really does their new years resolution) already started in December; kindness instead of judgement is starting to creep into this angsty teenage soul I possess and you know what? It feels sooooooooo good. Therefore, this is why, for the whole of 2016, I am going to do a photography project. I was inspired by this video I saw of a lady photographing one thing she was grateful for everyday of the year. Because this is not an original project in any sense, the only way to make it my own is to make it strictly focused on portraits. I want to really take in the people around me; they don’t have to be my best friend or a member of my family. They could be the cafeteria lady or the man that mows the playing fields – but everyday of 2016, I have vowed (to myself) to take one picture of someone I am grateful for – and hopefully hearing this will put a smile on their faces too. Let’s see what I come up with.

What are you going to do in the new year?

x Andrea

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