27.  Update and the Opening of Fruity Lanes

Another quick update on what’s been going on as of late, as I suck at keeping to a schedule!

Fruity Lanes

Currently…

I’ve just about got down to keeping up with writing one post a week, although finding a set day is something I’m yet to settle on! My main goal in finding one day per week to post is that I’ll be going into my final year of university in a matter of weeks, and I want to stay on top of everything while I’m aware of my need to master time management. Moreover, as a university club president, a perfectionist and girlfriend I want to have my time split down well enough that nothing gets abandoned or overlooked. To some work would also fit into that equation, but I just don’t feel that adding that to the mix would be intelligent when putting my mental health into the spectrum. I can’t recall if I’ve discussed it much before (although I probably should), but I have depression with psychotic features. This means that as my depression worsens or relapses, something which does happen as I’m easily stressed out, I begin to experience psychosis in the form of hallucinations. While I’m comfortable enough with discussing my mental health, creating a lifestyle that compliments and supports me to not continually fall back into a depression is something I’m still very much working on.

Looking Forward…

I’d like to have a set schedule as my ultimate goal for Sea Banana, as at no point do I want to run myself into the ground. I love blogging, but I need to be able to enjoy it if I want to keep doing it. Now that I think about it, just having some structure in my life as a whole would be nice! Currently I go from no focus and ambling along to hyper focus on one thing, which can be damaging when you have so many other things that also need attention! I’d also like to get into a position where I can reduce my medication slightly or at least be able to schedule in some therapy. I’ve had CBT before (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), but that was when I was at my worst so I didn’t really feel any benefits? It’s been two years since then and I’m in a much better head space now, so I think that I could work on finding better coping strategies so that I don’t keep having prolonged ‘down’ periods.

Do you have any blog posts on organising, time management or planning that you recommend?

The Opening of Fruity Lanes

Now this is the most exciting news of all! I’ve been watching videos online in a moment of soul searching and thinking about what I want to do with my life beyond university, which made me realise that:

  1. I don’t want to be working in a mundane job that sacrifices time from my craft.
  2. I’d be much happier working for myself if possible/being self employed in some way!
  3. I’ve wanted an online business for the last year and should jump at the opportunity.

This lead to the creation of Fruity Lanes. Stationery, crafts and home decor are my favourite items to purchase both practically and aesthetically, so to be able to source out products and bring them to you at an affordable rate would be a dream come true for me. The website will be live in just under 2 weeks, and I’m really hoping you will love the products as much as I do!

That’s all for now, see you in the next post!

26. Embracing The Self (And Self Love)

“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.”– Parker Palmer

This is the final post in my series on relationships. As previously mentioned, the time has come to get this all out coherently, so bear with me. It will be broken down into three separate posts (1. Learning To Be More Open and 2. Accepting Fear) so that this isn’t too overbearing.

Self love

Caring for Others

Currently in my life the self comes second to caring for others. I know I need to change that, although I still feel the need to care for those around me as a higher need. I’ve been caring for a sick parent to varying degrees (dependent on where in the UK I was) since I was 16, making that almost 7 years now. I don’t regret taking on this responsibility (gosh no!), as I see it as my duty? Our parents do so much for us in ensuring that we are supported during the start of our lives (well at least most of them do), so it almost feels logical to help them when they need it.

The need to serve others also comes to mind when thinking about the self. I don’t just mean those close to me, as then I’d just be repeating myself. I mean feeling the need to help others in whatever way humanly possible- anything to simplify life after all. A Mormon teaching on the importance of serving comes to mind when discussing the need to serve others; having said that, being helpful has been in my nature long before religion came into my life.

What forms the self?

Two words immediately spring to mind if I use ‘self’ as my base point.

The first word is solo. Solitude and being ‘solo’ gives you time to look internally and discover. Discover who you truly are and learn to accept/love who that person is that you truly are. Of course that can be clouded by self doubt, but love wasn’t formed in a day!

The second word is selfish. I know what you’re thinking. ‘How can learning to accept and love yourself make you selfish?’ Fun fact: It doesn’t. What I’m in fact saying is the opposite- not taking the time to accept and love yourself is selfish. If you’re not willing to take the time to be at one with yourself and accepting of who you are, how on earth can you expect anyone else to?

Self Love is Essential.

Taking the time to accept each morsel of you and ensure that you are balanced is essential. I know that if I don’t take time out for myself to do the things that I love (such as writing on this blog!) then I will quickly slip back into a deep depression, making me useless to both myself and the people around me that I wish to care for.

Let me make this clear. Self love doesn’t have to be materialistic! It could be as simple as writing in a journal or singing along to your favourite music; as long as it relaxes you, that’s all that matters. Dedicating time to build lego kits is self love for me because it’s a focused topic with eye catching results, but what you do is your choice!

That’s all for now! To conclude I’d like to say this:

Be selfish. Say no if you have to. Your ‘self’ is more important than anything else, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

25. Accepting Fear

“Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.”- Karl Augustus Menninger

This is the second post in my series on relationships. As previously mentioned, the time has come to get this all out coherently, so bear with me. It will be broken down into three separate posts (1. Learning To Be More Open) so that this isn’t too overbearing.

Fear graphic

I’m such a scaredy cat.

Putting my diagnosed anxiety on the side for a moment, I’m still scared of everything. Fun fact- I cried heavily (to the point of struggling to breathe) before building up the courage to get on the back of a motorbike. Fear has consumed a portion of me from a young age. As a child, being told off by adults was one of my biggest fears, as it would bring me to tears. Eighteen years of academia later and I still get like that; lecturers, I’m sorry– not sorry. I fear shadows that aren’t there in reality but are very much real in my mind; I fear finding bones in my food- a reason why I shouldn’t consume meat in my opinion and I fear prolonged loneliness.

A quick Google search has revealed to me that the latter fear of prolonged loneliness is in fact monophobia. That’s not to say that loneliness cannot be withstood, in the same way that many of my fears can be withstood. My fear of spiders can be withstood thanks to a handy gift from one of my best friends. I can withstand being alone if I know that someone will check I’m alive from time to time.

Moving Forward

As I get older I’m getting more aware of my fears. It’s also apparent that I need to be able to work with or around them as opposed to against them.

Of course, I can avoid public speaking for as long as humanly possible. But, I’ll never improve at it or conquer my fear of public speaking unless I try. In a way it’s similar to my fear of riding a motorbike; only overcome by trial. I don’t expect to completely overcome the fears that make me who I am. But if I can get even one fear under control then that’s good enough for me for right now.

fear

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