Love vs Failure

The day that I failed was a first for me. As someone who has been terrified of failure for 17 years, it should have been a horrid, rainy, sad day. But because of you, it was happy, exciting and filled with love. Much like the rest of those first summer days.

You allowed me to be sad, which was necessary and smart. But not for too long- never for too long. You took me into your loving arms and held me as the tears fell. But soon you slowly introduced your kind, positive, hopeful words. “There are other options more suited to you.” “Who cares what they think? You’ll be happier.” “Whatever it is that you need to do, you can, and I’m here.” Your strength and positive guidance was perfect and I will always hold that day dear to my heart.

We trawled through countless books in charity shops- an activity that you knew to be one of my favourite pass times. We ate at a new, intriguing restaurant and although I try not to let you, you treated me to it on that day. The day where knowing that you loved me and wanted me to be happy kept me from drowning. You kept me busy and made me laugh throughout it all. You held a reassuring hand to the base of my back when I started to panic on the way home.

You even made the prospect of looking for new opportunities fun instead of frightening. You excitedly nudged me onto the path I now stand upon, where I am happy, grounded, interested, and succeeding more than ever. It is on days like these where the love fills me with warmth, comfort, passion and peace, when I need it most. Thank you.

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

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Alone Time

I think it’s extremely important to learn how to be happy in your own company. For years I was too scared of being alone with my thoughts to let myself be alone for long. I would eagerly plan to see friends or family whenever I thought I was going to end up on my own. After a couple of years of counselling; coming to terms with those scary thoughts in my head, I love being on my own every so often. I always try to make it a pamper session for myself, practising self-love is so important.

Some things I do to make alone time enjoyable:

  1. Get a hot bath with some kind of product that you wouldn’t usually use- e.g. a Lush Bath Bomb. Use all the luxurious things you own- your best conditioner, best body wash, favourite wintry smelling body cream.
  2. Use a face mask to refresh yourself and treat your skin. I usually use The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal mask, which you can feel getting hot on your skin and tingling all of the dirt away.
  3. Set time aside to just read. I always have at least one book on the go, and when I’m alone and the house is quiet and peaceful, I love to read for as long as I can and get completely immersed in the world of the book… Escapism? Surely not 😉
  4. Singing Session. I put my “mood” playlist on my phone as loud as it will go and belt out Christina Aguilera, Jessie J, Demi Lovato and many more brilliant babes at the top of my voice. When there’s no one to judge or complain that I’m singing I definitely take the opportunity to let it all out.
  5. Bullet Journal. Once my voice is getting tired I keep the music on but get out my bullet journal and diary journal. I’ll start by writing out all of my current thoughts into my diary, then once my head is a little clearer I decorate and plan in my Bullet Journal.

Those are just some of the main things I do to keep my alone time enjoyable and mentally healthy. I hope some of the ideas were useful to you, if you have any to add please let me know in the comments.

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

My Inspirations

Role Models have always been important to me. I like to be productive but to do that I need inspiration, and I gain that from a few key people in my life. I wanted to share these people with you today so that can maybe they can inspire you.

UnJaded Jade- this 17 year old girl has a YouTube channel all about self-love, academia and veganism. She emanates love, positivity, confidence and joy. Watching her inspires me to be more positive, to work hard to achieve my goals, to be kinder to myself, and even to reduce my dairy and meat intake. Watching her videos puts me in a good mood and I watch her pretty much everyday. She actually commented “This gave me chills. You have such a beautiful voice.” on one of my videos, which gave me so much more confidence! Spreading light in the world is beautiful, just like this young woman.

dodie- Dodie Clark is a singer/song writer who also has a YouTube channel. She suffers with de-realisation and uses her pain for good. She writes about mental health and has made me feel like I’m not alone, and given me hope that I can get better. She inspires me to write more songs, as well as inspiring me to be open about my mental health and encourage other people to talk about it. She encourages me to be vulnerable in life and keep going through some of the toughest times I have had. “There will be a day, when you can say you’re okay, and mean it.”

thisgatherednest- Angela and CJ are parents of 7 kids- 5 of which are adopted. Their loving nature for their children and the way in which they raise awareness of adoption really inspires me. They have changed the lives of those 5 children dramatically and the way they integrate their family with love and care is beautiful. They inspire me to love everyone and show as many acts of kindness and care in everyday life as I can.

So those are just a few of my top inspirations, comment below if you have Role Models- I want more people that can inspire me!

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

 

Abusive Relationships

Think someone you know is in an abusive relationship? Mentally or physically. SAY SOMETHING. Please. Having had experience of this, I know that the person in the relationship most likely won’t want to admit that it’s ‘failing’. They will most likely be in denial. It is not anyone elses’ fault that this is happening, and yes it is between the two people in the relationship- but if you’re a friend to this person, or even if you’re not, you can help.

Honestly, it’s probably not going to be what they want to hear. He/She might be a little hurt by you pointing it out, but that’ll be because they know that you’re right. You can be the wake up call that they need to get out of the soul destroying situation. Abusive relationships leave people with almost non-existent self-esteem, feeling exhausted and worthless, as though is there is no point in getting out of bed in the morning. If you have the opportunity to say “hey, are you really okay? It seems like you’re not getting treated fairly and it’s beginning to concern me as your friend.” Then please, please do. Even if that person gets slightly offended at first, they will thank you soon enough once you’ve helped them to come to that realisation themselves.

Signs to look out for are:

  1. Your friend has a general mood shift from high to low after being in the relationship for an extended period of time. He/She seems sad or down almost all of the time.
  2. Your friend seems to shrink into themselves. This is most likely because they are walking on egg shells, afraid of being ‘wrong’ and getting treated badly for it. Notice this especially if they seem to retreat most when their partner is around.
  3. Description doesn’t match appearance. If your friend is always saying “Yes! He/She and I are great, thank you!” But actually seem quiet and cold around each other- this could be because he/she isn’t ‘allowed’ to say anything, again for fear of being mistreated.
  4. Your friend has stopped socialising with anyone else, or reduced this dramatically. Abusive or manipulative partners often want to keep their partners to themselves, so that they will stick to their rules and be under their control as much as possible.
  5. Check social media. We’re only human, and will try to let out some sadness/anger/fear if it’s really building up inside us. Check your friend’s recent tweets (for example) for signs that he/she is sad and in need of help.

I know that the ‘symptoms’ above can be due to many other things happening in life, but if you ask politely and thoughtfully, making it clear that you have only good intentions, you may save a life. Or at least dramatically improve one. None of us deserve to be put down everyday by the person we ‘love’ most. We deserve to be happy and live freely, without walking on eggshells. As my absolute idol dodie would sing

“Are you walking on eggshells?”

“And when push comes to shove…”

“Are you full of belonging?”

“But not full of love.”

Alternatively, if you’re reading this and you know deep down that you’re in a manipulative or abusive relationship- know that you have the strength to leave. This is not what you deserve, you deserve to be happy, get yourself out of the situation, to a safe place, and give time for your heart to heal.

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

How to be Productive

I have recently been motivated to share my experiential information with the world. I have a hard-working ethos in life and am productive almost every single day. Being productive makes me feel good and I want you to feel good to! Here are my tips for being productive in a studying sense-

Tip 1- Make a To Do List (the night before) keep some kind of planned or bullet journal in which you can write. Each night write three things you need to get done the next day. That way you don’t waste time in the morning debating over what to do.

Tip 2- Do It As Soon As You Get Home Start working as quickly as you can once you get home from the day. This stops the chance of procrastinating for hours.

Tip 3- Get Refreshments I personally set myself up with two bottles of fresh water and a snack (probably chocolate to be honest). This stops me from getting up and leaving my work to get snacks halfway through.

Tip 4- Relaxing Music sometimes as I’m studying, I find things difficult and get stressed about not being able to do it. Relaxing music such as the “Piano” playlist on Spotify helps to calm me down whilst not being too distracting.

I hope these tips helped you in any way! There are many more such as “don’t go on your phone” but I’m sure you’ve heard lots of them before. Good luck!

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

Why Write?

My mind feels as though it’s constantly buzzing with ideas. I’m so grateful for this, it allows my creativity to flow and encourages me to create. But sometimes there are too many in my head and I have to separate them to make them coherent.

So I write. Producing physical copies of my thoughts gets them out of my head but not gone forever. This leaves space for new knowledge to be taken in to my brain, as well as space to feel calm and at peace with myself.

As someone who occasionally suffers with derealisation, it’s a therapeutic way of making things real for me. When I reread my words it can make me realise things about myself or my life; help me to make conclusions that I could not have come to in my head. Writing additionally helps to share my thoughts with others- like in these blog posts!

Note taking is the most common way to learn- in lectures and in school settings. There are reasons for this! Writing things down helps to remember them, as we gain understanding as we write, drawing our focus in to the words our pens are forming.

I love writing, reading, and creating, and will continue to do so for many years. I hope this motivates you to keep writing. Let me know the reasons you write for!

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

Honk

Today’s post in reply to the Daily Post word is a funny one. My boyfriend and I are at university together, and tend to sleep in one of our rooms each night. One night I fell asleep before him- as usual. And as he sat on his laptop amusing himself he heard me make a “honk” noise and I woke myself up.

I woke up so confused. I had heard a strange noise and he was laughing beside me. He asked “do you know what just happened?” And I sleepily said no. To which he replied “you honked…and woke yourself up!” Laughing his head off. I joined him laughing and eventually fell back asleep.

And then it happened again! The exact same thing happened again and this time neither of us could stop laughing.

Hope you enjoyed the random anecdote today, sending hugs! Kiayah xxx

Starting a YouTube Channel?

I am an introvert. I find it difficult to converse in group situations, to the point where I will have a variety of sentences in my head but cannot physically get them out of my mouth. I get too scared that the people around me might not be interested in what I have to say, or that it will come out wrong and I’ll be laughed at. Logically I know this is not true. I know that my friends love me and find the things I have to say interesting, and I am determined to keep working on getting better at social situations.

One way that I think I could do this is starting a YouTube channel. This will give me a chance to get out the ideas and opinions that I want to share with the world, without having to talk to anyone but the camera. I think that this would build my confidence so that in real life I will be able to talk and socialise with more confidence in my own beliefs and opinions.

I also love making memories, and everytime we go somewhere I am known to take a million photographs because I love capturing the moment. Filming vlogs would please me greatly because I could always look back at the special moments in my life. Sharing these moments on a platform like YouTube would also be good for me as it’s a creative outlet which will make me feel productive.

To me, YouTube seems like a chance to share the ideas I have, to make a difference to the world, as well as having a space for creativity and confidence building… so why haven’t I done it yet? When starting something like this off you basically have to be pretty bad at it at first. I am afraid of the people I know now seeing my first videos, as I know they won’t have good lighting and I’ll probably be a little awkward at first. But I believe that breaking down these barriers and doing it for myself is important, so I’m going to try. As Lavendaire said, “done is better than perfect.”

If you have any tips on starting a YouTube channel please leave them below! Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx

Fear of Failure

Today I attended a voluntary session on fear of failure. We were asked to complete a range of activities in pairs or individually that were set up to be unachievable- setting us up to fail. The administrators also purposefully confused the rules a few times before setting the tasks, and changed the rules halfway through one of the tasks. All of these measures were taken to make us less comfortable in the tasks and our abilities to complete them.

At the end we discussed how it had made us feel to be ranked in last place, or how it felt to try to achieve the tasks that we knew we would fail. And the main messages that came from this session were that when trying to complete an assignment or piece of work that you don’t believe that you can do, just start. Make a start by messing up the first page of your sketchbook, or writing a paragraph about something completely off topic to your essay title. This relaxes your brain whilst still motivating it into taking the first steps into starting off. You can then take another little step into focusing more on the topic of the task at hand, and eventually will be feeling the flow of the activity.

The second point was the most important one made, in my opinion. It is okay to fail. In fact, it can sometimes be a good thing. A word I used to describe failure was opportunistic. I believe that when we fail at something it gives us the opportunity to reflect, and therefore make a decision on what to do next. This could be to ask for help and then try again, so that you can complete the activity to a better standard. Or it could be that you discover that you need to take a different path. This seems daunting and scary and negative at first, but can actually turn into a real positive.

For example, I studied medicine last year, and thought that it was okay until term 2. It was after the novelty of doing medicine wore off that I realised I didn’t really enjoy many of the subjects we were taught about. I kept going, kept studying, reading, writing etc. But with my heart only half in it. Half of me was stuck in the girl who had always been a straight A student and had to use her academic ability to earn a lot of money and ascertain the most prestigious degree in England. But the other half was beginning to realise that the life of stressful situations and constant testing of my ability was not suited to my personality. I am a worrier, a “stress-head”, an anxious individual quite naturally, and the stakes were too high for me to enjoy this degree or the job that lay ahead of it. So I completed the assignments and did the exams and came out with 81% overall in the year. This is a very good score, a 1st class honours. But it still wasn’t enough. At first this was gut wrenching, but not because I was so sad I wouldn’t be able to continue with the degree; because I was a straight A student who had never failed anything before. Worries of what I was going to tell my family consumed me at first and a few tears were shed. Until I took a breath and realised- relief had also flooded through me. I didn’t want to do medicine anymore. There was only one aspect of it that I had a very strong passion for and wanted to always learn more about- mental health…psychology.

My wonderful boyfriend spoke kind and reassuring words of comfort and love to me, whilst making sure not to influence my initial decision in any way. He kept me busy for most of that day, taking me into the city for charity shop trawls and dinner at a restaurant we had never been to before. I texted my mum and a few of my friends, hiding behind my phone slightly just to get the information out there as soon as I could. Everyone’s response included “I hope you’re okay!” as the main message, and that’s when I knew that these people didn’t care whether I passed or failed; they cared whether I was happy or not. That night my boyfriend and I excitedly got my laptop out and searched through every single course at one university. I knew that I wanted to follow a psychological route and so we narrowed it down and narrowed it down until I was able to email around to five or six universities that were a little closer to home than the last one, and apply for late entry to psychology courses. I am now studying psychology, closer to my boyfriend, my home friends and my family, and I am happier than ever. The degree interests me deeply and excites me at the thoughts of what I could do with this new knowledge.

Failure is not a bad thing, it is merely opportunistic, a chance to re-evaluate and reflect in order to improve your life. I might not make as much money as I thought I was going to when I complete this degree, but I am physically and mentally healthier, happier, more calm, and importantly more passionate. I am still going to help people, but with more passion and empathy and therefore help them with more intensity than I would have done after a 6 year medical degree.

Sending hugs, Kiayah xxx