Monday, 14 April 2014

Have a little read

 My name's Emily, and I have an addiction to books.

Phew, there it is, they say admitting the problem is the first step right?

The thing is, this isn't a problem I really want to overcome. Reading, for me, has always been a major part of my life and one which I take enormous pleasure in. I have my mum to thank for this; she read to me while I was growing up and taught me the absolute wonder of stories. I used to listen to story tapes (that’s right, cassettes, because old school and stuff) when I was young as I went to sleep (hands up all ‘90’s kids who remember ‘The Man’ – Raymond Briggs!), I classically graduated from Roald Dahl to Jaqueline Wilson and Harry Potter and eventually onto a whole host of other things.
There is something unique about immersing yourself in a book, winding up having the characters as friends and being able to recall the events almost like memories. Having that mixed up happy/sad feeling when the book’s over and all in all the experience is something that for me at least, you can’t find replicated through film or television. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a big bang theory marathon as much as the next person, but it’s almost like a different kind of relaxation to reading. Both are downtime, and both have their place in my life but if I spend a couple of hours reading a good book, I can guarantee I will come out feeling better about what I’ve been doing, I feel like I’ve done something vaguely productive and it in a solidly cheesy way sets me up for the rest of my day. When you read books and you get to know other realities that have been set down on the pages for you, when you take the time out to take in the emotions and experiences that characters go through then you find yourself able to think further on topics that you hadn’t considered previously, and have conversations with other people about these topics which is amazing. Books widen our horizons in a permanent fashion that I don’t necessarily find with a film. Obviously this is a very much ‘each to their own’ kind of thing, and by no means an attack on film, like I said, each have their place.

Also (because if you’ve made it to here in the ramble why not go for another paragraph!) there is literally nothing more lovely or exciting to me than a bookshop. Be it a small independent job or Waterstones, each hold a very special atmosphere. It’s almost like you’ve entered this bizarre oasis from the high street you just left, but there is still a buzz in the air. You can feel that people are wandering around, and they’re looking for the next plot to plunge into, and all around are beautiful copies of beautiful stories and you can leave, take that story home with you and add it to your personal collection of stories, and when you choose to, you can dip into it and lose yourself in southern America, a dystopian world or different universe altogether with literally no boundaries to the possibilities despite the fact that you’re still sat on your bed in a teeny seaside town in England. I think that’s a rare thing to find, and one we should perhaps all covet just a little more.

So, if you find some free time, and you’re wondering what to do to fill it, may a recommend a book? Any book by the way, I don’t think Matilda or any chick lit is lesser than War and Peace in some weighs (obviously not size!), whatever you fancy! Go ahead, the world, and so much more than that, is your oyster!  

PS. Don’t know about you, but I was pretty impressed by the tackiness of that ending!

Monday, 24 March 2014

When life gets in the way of life.

There are things in life I want to do. I want to write, I want to study, I want to enjoy work but most of all, I just want to be happy.That's the ultimate aim of most of us isn't it, happiness? The thing is, it's often a more difficult eventuality to reach than we first assume, or at least for me.

There are things that give instant gratification of course (minds out of the gutter please folks, that's not what I'm talking about right now!), shopping, coffee, good books and all that stuff, but I can't help but feel I'm missing something. So many people around me seem to have their lives firmly glued together, striding forwards with Cheshire cat smiles and clear goals and productive days. Meanwhile I paddle around, flailing desperately to hold all the separate parts of my life together in any jumbled order I can manage. Clearly, everybody has their problems, and I'm massively generalising here, it's just, during my 'woe-is-me' moments, this is how it feels.
I think one of the major problems I encounter when it comes to trying to sort out my life is attempting to take on everything all at once. When you try and commit to Uni, a blog, work, managing your money, losing weight, starting a hobby, being more sociable, volunteering and whatever else there is, it becomes overwhelming. It becomes impossible and so instead, you give up on everything, you stand back, and you say sorry, this is all just too hard. You sign up to Netflix, you retire to an existence that consists of pasta, popcorn and pajamas and for months, you give up.
I turned 21 just over a week ago. An actual grown up and I think it's high time I start trying to take control. However, being kinda sick of the mess-everything at once-pajama cycle, I'm gonna go ahead and try something new.I'm gonna go with three things. Three things that for the next month, I'm going to try and get a handle of. I know what you're thinking, this is pretty revolutionary stuff right? Well hold onto your hats folks, things are about to get crazy! Not only am I gonna try and focus on just three things, but I'm going write them down, on the internet, for anybody who stumbles upon this place to see and hold me accountable. So, here goes...
1, I will commit more to Uni. I love my course, and I love where it could take me, but I have the same habit with that as I do everything else, when it starts the get scary or too full on, I run.
2, Reading and writing. I love both in equal measure, they make me happy, they are relaxing and all too often they are activities that get pushed to the bottom of the pile in favour of the ease of turning on the TV.
3, Try and be a bit healthier. I'm not talking any major diet/exercise regime. I'm talking drink more water, eat a bit less crap and a bit more good stuff, that kind of thing. I want to just incorporate that into my life and make it habit.

There we go. Three little things, things that let's be honest, are just part of life for many. I'll update you in a month on how things are going and in the meantime get some more posts in the pipeline!