Thursday, 28 May 2015

a French Kiss, a Boy Next Door and a Happily Ever After

I would classify the books I read into two kinds: There's the complicated ones, full of epic mystical, philosophical, ethical stories that leave your mind spinning over the turmoils you've just read. And then there's the light reads, which leave you with bittersweet ultimate happiness accompanied by envy of the characters' lives.  They're stories you wish would happen to you, and the series I've just finished is the perfect example of one of these.

Stephanie Perkins' three romances are literally so well written and idealistic.  And by romance I don't mean the sordid stuff for middle-aged women, which is the idea we seem to have attached to romance novels these days.  I mean the really cute romances we often see play out in chick flicks, except executed better with deeper meaning, because words always convey more layers than a movie ever will.  Not only are these books super duper cute, but they're also predominantly set in France, which means the characters can visit modern museums, the Latin Quarter, have walks along the River Seine - Life wouldn't get much better than that.

The three couples from the three books are also all so different from each other, in their own perfect way.


In Anna and the French Kiss there's Etienne, who's like all the perfect characteristics of any dream boy rolled into one.  He's funny, charismatic, charming, and apparently each of the girls in their French boarding school have liked him at one point.  He's also British, French and American.  Then there's Anna, who comes from America to France to study for a year, where of course she has to meet a boy as perfect as Etienne, and of course they're in love but there are other complications.  And then, in the end, there's the usual happily ever after.

The thing is, while I was reading this book, a girl at my school actually was spending a year studying in France.  My friend who also read this book made a valid point about how envious she was, how she somewhat wished she could experience a year in France herself, have an Anna and the French Kiss experience.  It's a pity we all know life doesn't really work out like this though.  Sure France is beautiful and a year there would be an adventure, but how many perfect French boys who are perfectly compatible with us will we meet?  I think the answer is none.


The second book is Lola and the Boy Next Door, and they're a pretty weird pair, which is why they're so sweet and work perfectly.  Lola is really into whacky fashion.  She's got the extravagant skirts and clashing colours and it's all just crazy.  Then there's Cricket, who's really into inventions if I remember correctly, and the twin of an ice skating sister.  He's super sweet as well, and they live next door to each other if you hadn't already gathered that.  A next door neighbour I would immensely enjoy hanging out with - Why can't I have one?

I remember there was this one scene I found really cute in this book.  Lola was wearing funny cat-eye glasses which actually turned out to be real, but they were crushed by her co-worker at the movie theatre she worked at.  Cricket was there and she was blind so he helped her all the way home through the Subway, which was partially hilarious and partially sweet.


And the final book, which I finished a few days ago is called Isla and the Happily Ever After.  The guy is Josh, who is artistic and super smart, but would rather focus on his art.  He may seem a little strange but I think he's pretty deep, and can be charming as the son of a diplomat.  He's actually a pretty complicated character.  Then there's Isla, who is smart and insecure which makes her seem even more real.  She's pretty complicated too.

I absolutely loved the setting of this book - It was located both in New York and Paris, which are two of the most contrasting beautiful cities in the world.  They also travel to Barcelona by train at one point, showing how compact all the unique countries of Europe are.  I really just want to travel, experience some escapism.

Reading books like this, which are well-executed and realistic, but don't seem to happen in real life, give me such high expectations.  Why is it that life is always better when made up, when played out through a story?  I don't know if I'll ever be able to settle for any relationship less than one of these. 

So I guess it's either life throws me someone or something just as spectacular, or I continue living fantasies.

Is that necessarily a bad thing?

Love,
M

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Feeling Inspired

I'm not sure if inspired is the right word here.  I just want to create.


I've been thinking about writing a book - not a make-believe dream situation teen book, but something a little more sophisticated.  I want to create an accurate depiction of life, of the different types of people I've met in mine, and what I know about social interaction.  I want to create something a little more real.

I've always been a diary keeper, someone who likes recording memories in every shape and form.  I have endless piles of notebooks filled with life artefacts both significant and useless.  I'm currently keeping two types of diaries - one filled with questions and one filled with rambles - but I want to start another one, some time.  I want one of those plain books filled with exactly 365 plain pages.  I want to choose one photo a day, from any part of my daily life, anything partially significant, and have one photo from each day for an entire year straight.  Wouldn't that be an ultimate memory bank?  A picture is worth a thousand words, is it not?


I haven't drawn lately.  Looking through my sketch book, there's an awful lot of lead pencil and only a little half hearted colouring.  The aesthetics are all wrong.  I want something less clean cut, less fangirl.  I want to create something more arty and abstract, but real all at the same time.  I've liked contours lately.  And eyes.  Eyes are my favourite part of the human body.  I want to draw more eyes - to capture the light or turn them into jagged thick black lines, like mascara gone wrong.

I haven't read much lately either.  At the moment I'm rereading a fantasy book from back in the day.  I only chose it because the main character has the same name as me, to be honest.  I don't understand how I could find the book 'cute' or 'capturing', but instead I now admire the world the author has painted.  Looking at it, I want to create my own little world.



I've really liked hyphens lately.  My friend uses them in her texts, a history teacher in her emails, my English teacher in her English.  I never thought of alternate uses of punctuation.  I never realised that you can literally write however you want in whichever order you want, as long as you punctuate everything thoughtfully.


Looking around my room now, I see a mess - crooked canvases, scattered uniforms, falling sticky notes, scrambled skin products, and a string of polaroids from last summer.  On my door hangs an excruciating 2D drawing from when I was nine, and a variety of quotes from when I was twelve and attempting to be tumblr.  This room needs remaking.


Sitting on my bed amongst the soft zebra-print sheets, facing my reflective glasses, unequally parted straight hair and oversized tourist shirt in the mirror, makes me feel like writing for some reason.  My ugly black monster of a laptop is unbalanced on top of the sheets, taking a break from the countless episodes I've been streaming. 

I'm getting a new laptop soon, a MacBook Air.  I've wanted one for a long time now.  It'll sure be prettier than what I'm looking at now.  Maybe it'll motivate me to write more, because I like the idea of sitting in bed, writing something deep with a pretty laptop, even if it's all just a mess of words with no meaning.

It's too bad school is both hard and important, and Netflix is ruining my life.  I simply have no time to create.

Love,
M

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Back to When I First Started

It's weird.  I'm staying home sick today, and I was just thinking about the last time I skipped school because I was sick.  And the last time I remember was some time last year, August I think it was.  That was the day I made this blog.

I was sitting in this exact same lounge room, with the exact same slightly feverish nauseous feeling, wearing the exact same pink dressing gown covered in white hearts.  This moment here is reminding me what it felt like to be excited about blogging.


Blogging used to be a bit of an obsession.  I swear I posted almost every single day back when I first started.  I would actively explore the internet, looking for followers.  I'd comment on every post.  I'd leave my URL (not a link, but an actual inconvenient URL).  I even made a bloglovin account and a button swap page, all in that first week.  I'd come home from school everyday, excited to visit my own blog again.  I'd stay online for over an hour after posting, just to see if anyone had read anything.  Blogging practically consumed my mind for a while there.  Every time I did something I would think about how I would blog about it.

I can't imagine putting that much effort in now.  For some reason, down the road, I stopped searching for new blogs and checking up on followers.  I stopped getting excited over every post and planning what I would say next.  This blog became an unappreciated place to visit every now and then.


I'm not too far gone though.  I still love this blog, even 10 months later.  And that's saying something seeing as someone I know once told me most bloggers don't last 6 months.  I have the feeling she thought I'd be one of them.  It's a good thing dabbling isn't really in my nature, and sharing stuff through writing now is.


It's just sad that I don't feel excited anymore.  It's sad that the idea of having complete strangers read and judge my thoughts has become a norm.  In theory, I love the idea of people you would never otherwise encounter knowing a little about you and your life.  The idea that every word they've read that you've reiterated will effect them in some way.  I'm somehow impacting someone just by typing in a laptop all thanks to one sick day.

I just reckon blogging needs to be appreciated again.


This one website in a million is evolving with me.  Looking back at all the posts just 10 months ago makes me realise how much I've changed in such a short time.  And part of that change was due to blogging.

For example, on that sick day back in August 2014, I was obsessed with my phone.  I liked the idea that people were texting me from school while I was sick.  That fact alone made me feel reassured that I made a difference in my friends' every day school life.  Right now my phone's sitting upstairs and I don't feel the urge to check it.  Maybe it's because I've grown closer to my friends, and I know that some of them don't matter as much as others.  It's quality over quantity right?  And with those quality friends, I know I matter without needing to be reassured by lunch time texts.


Last August I wasn't worried about what I was missing out on in class.  I was an arrogant little 14 year old.  I thought I would be able to catch up, no problem.  I wanted to be at school though.  I didn't really enjoy the pleasures of a sick day where you were really only semi-sick.  Now it's the opposite.  Of course I'm worried about what I'm missing out on in class.  That's why I chose today to have a semi-sick rest day.  I knew nothing significant was going on at school today, and I know that if I went, I'd be feeling dreadful tomorrow, which wouldn't be so great for the super difficult maths test.  I can't imagine my 14 year old self thinking super difficult maths tests existed.

She never understood the pleasures of a rest day either.  She was always too busy worrying about what people were doing without her.  I don't think she would've fully appreciated a day where she could watch six hours of the Vampire Diaries, lying on the couch eating a pack of mini m&ms, while all her friends were at school.


I don't think she'd ever thought she would be me in only 10 months.  But I do think she would be proud.  And I'm glad this 10 month change has been somewhat documented right here on this blog, and will continue to be for a long time now.

Love,
M

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Difference of Opinion

I've been getting into more disagreements than usual lately.  I'm not sure if it's because I'm changing as a person or if it's because I'm PMSing or something, but I feel like I've been a little sensitive, and annoyed at the same time.  Like, the disagreements with the parentals is normal, but I've also started having them with friends and everybody I know well in my life.


I think I just enjoy asserting my opinion.  And my opinion sometimes differs a lot from the people around me.  I'm not sure why.  And I'm not sure why they all have to disagree either.  Am I not carrying myself in the right way or something?  I mean, I get that I've said a lot of stupid things in my lifetime, but is that really enough to cause me disrespect?  Not everything I say is completely stupid.  It's like it's a reflex action for people to disagree with whatever I say if there's any sort of conflict of opinions.

Well, not everyone disagrees.  Some people do agree with me.  I just hate it when certain people gang up I guess.  And I need to get to the bottom of why I'm always wrong in their minds, or why my world view is so vastly different from theirs in general.


I feel like it's our demographic.  I go to an extremely sheltered all girls private school with extremely sheltered people.  And sometimes that's just the most irritating thing in the world because I know I'm extremely sheltered myself and that there's so much more to learn and we're not normal.  We're practically in that top .1% who don't really experience normal normal.  Lately I've been doing this thing where I don't judge, I just accept.  I've decided that everyone has their way of life, and there's no right way to do things.  Not judging people is not about being nice or anything.  It's not about how wrong or right judging people is.  It's simply about opening your mind to new things, no matter how big or small.  It's about opening yourself up to everything and soaking the world in, not them.

I don't want to be in that top .1% who has practically no contact with anyone less sheltered than I am.  I don't want to only mix with the people who look at university as a necessity rather than an option, the people who want to be doctors and financial people and lawyers and all the high end jobs and that's it.  I mean, I am one of those people, but I feel like to become a more worldly knowledgeable grown person, you need to mix with every kind of person openly.

But clearly none of my friends have that philosophy.  Or maybe they do.  I don't know.  All I know is that we've disagreed on some things lately and I may be sensitive and they may not care and they may be reading this right now but whatever.


I like people who assert their opinion, because it's more for me to learn.  So I like their different opinions.  I like it when people disagree with me and I might just end up agreeing in the end.  What I don't like is people who blindly agree with the person who disagrees with me and don't assert their opinion at all.  I wonder if I don't carry myself right, in the way that screams 'you have to agree with me', or if I've just said so many stupid things in my lifetime that nobody really listens anymore.  The other day someone said jokingly, after I confused Adelaide with Alice Springs (I know. That was pretty stupid), that every time I speak their respect for me just goes down a notch and has since the day I met them.  She was joking of course, but I feel like there's some truth to that comment as well.

But some people are just so freaking sheltered they don't understand some of the ways real life works.  It's just that some of the comments people have made about what they want to do are so absurdly ridiculous because they don't understand that life doesn't work that way and I just want to push them outside to go meet some hobos.  Okay, maybe not hobos, but just some older people who are in uni or are working or are taking a gap year, or even just to go make some year 11 or 12 friends and maybe they'll get a clue about next year too.  They need to know what they're signing up for before making the crucial decisions.


I feel like different people and their different opinions are important at this stage of life.  I feel like talking to anybody and everybody is important, especially people who are doing what you plan on doing one day.  And I feel like nobody agrees with my open philosophy, which is why I'm stating it here.

In fact, what I think is the first important step is to get an opinion.  If you're already disagreeing, great, you've got one.  And I'm not really right a lot of the time so you probably are in some way, not that I agree.  But for those people who seem to have no substance, no opinion, or even just an uninformed opinion, go get one.  Find yourself some substance.  Think through what you're agreeing with before you speak.  Realise the world is bigger than yourself and your little bubble.  Go expand your world view.

My opinion is that everybody's opinion counts, and listening to all of them makes you a superior person.  Just be wary of the reasoning of their opinion, and where they're getting their knowledge from.  And when you feel like their reasoning is wrong, or they're lacking information, or they don't even really have an opinion and are practically sheep, that's when you disagree.

Love,
M

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Completely Utterly Self Obsessed

I'm all I ever think about.  If you haven't already noticed from all my rambles, they're literally all about me.  About me developing myself, about how I'm worried about this aspect of myself.  This blog is meant to be a reflection of my thoughts, and so far they're all about me.  I'm even writing a post about how self obsessed I am right now.

I consume my own brain.  Every action I make is based on what I want to do, or what I think other people will think of me.  That factors in a lot.  I guess self obsessed people care more about what other people think of them, because they're also worried about what they think of themselves.

I can't even think of a single other thing to think about that doesn't involve myself.  Every friendship, every person I think about, it's all in relation to me.  Every story, movie, TV show, it's in relation to what I think and what I'll tell.  So what else is there to think of in life, besides more worldly situations which I'm sad to say I don't think of all that often.

And I have that feeling sometimes, where I'm so excited about what I want to say, or I relate someone else's story to one of my own, and I don't really listen to what they're saying.  I mean, I find what others have to say interesting, but I always relate it back to myself.  And I feel like I always talk about myself in a way.  That must be irritating.  And here I am again thinking about what they think of me, not feeling sorry that I've irritated them with my self obsession.

It's not that I'm self confident or anything.  There's a huge difference between being self confident and being self obsessed.  In fact, it's so much harder to be self confident when you're thinking about yourself all the time, with every negative trait consuming your mind.

I always want to make myself better, and I guess that's good in a way, but I reckon I just need to stop thinking about myself as much and be content.  Just redirect everything outward, to the world around me, and think about what's going on, without myself being in relation to it.  Now that sounds beautiful, and kinda impossible.

I'm also wondering though, whether everyone else is just as self obsessed.  I mean, they must think about themselves for a considerable amount of time as well.  Maybe they're just more compassionate and interested in other people.  Or maybe their identity and actions are filling their minds as well.  Am I normal or selfish?  And how do I fix what I am?  Oh look I'm talking about myself again.

I think I should try the outward redirection thing.  It's time to try focusing on everything outside myself, and appreciate it a little.  As a person, I think I'm fine.

Love,
M