How did we get here?

Mojo is a funny thing. Sometimes I have so much of it overspills out of my pores. Sometimes I have none at all and all I want to do is lay in my room in the dark and not do anything. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately, mainly due to external forces but partly my own doing, as well. 

But here I am, writing a post after what seems like a lifetime. How is everyone? What have I missed? I’ll be attempting to catch up with the blogosphere once this is posted. It’s not that I haven’t missed the blogosphere, it’s just that I got to a point where I couldn’t bear to do anything. All I wanted to do was watch TV (mostly Steven Universe) and eat a lot of crap.

My writing has suffered so badly because of this. I haven’t written properly in months; not even a smidgen. Camp NaNoWriMo is next month, so I will be attempting that in order to get my creative juices flowing.

It’s been hard, people. I cannot lie. Even writing this now requires a lot of effort from me but the thing is I do want to do it – I just have no energy. I have been drained. It’s so weird. I’m slowly getting back to my old self, though. It had gotten to a point where people at work were starting to notice that I wasn’t myself but slowly but surely. I’ll be fine. Self-care is so important.

So, where do we go from here?

Blog Revamp βœ¨

As I’m sure you’ve noticed I have a new blog layout! It’s nothing fancy and if you’ve followed me for a long time, then I’m sure you know I love a minimal design. But seeing as I’m trying to creep back into the blogosphere, I thought I might as well come back with a new look. 

Writing πŸ–ŠοΈ

As I mentioned, I’ll be attempting Camp NaNoWriMo next month. I really want to make some headway on my book. I have 50k+ words down already, for God’s sake. I hate myself for being such a procrastinator and I know the book will not be written by itself. I’m doing some brainstorming and coming up with some new ideas. I’m refusing to go back and touch what’s already been written because I know I’ll get sucked into a black hole and never come out to actually continue the story.

I’ll also be making a conscious effort to post more on the blog and my portfolio. There was once a time that I could churn out 3 blog posts in a day and nowadays it takes me a whole day just to think of half a post. That needs to change. Writing has always been my first love, and need to keep nurturing that if I want to get anywhere in life.

Reading πŸ“š

I’m the sort of person who reads about 50 gagillion books at the same time. At the moment I’m reading:

  • This Is How You Lose Her by Junot DΓ­az
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • The Waste Lands by Stephen King
  • How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh
  • Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan

I also still have a summer reading list from like 2015 that I have yet to complete. To be a bookworm. If you have any other suggestions for new reads, though, my inbox is always open. πŸ˜¬

Fitness Journey β›ΉπŸ½

I attempt one every year and it always fizzles out, but I’m trying really hard this year guys. I’ve been to the gym more frequently with Mutay and it’s been amazing. I’ve found I don’t have to post every time I go to the gym just to hold myself accountable. Not everyday social media. Do the #gainz for yourself, right? Been busting that 4.4L of water every day – my skin is a lot clearer than it used to be, although not the best. I think it’s because I love alcohol too much, but irrelevant.

Self Care πŸ’†

I’ve realised that self-care doesn’t mean locking yourself in your room and wallowing in self-pity. Actually, I knew that already and I’ve written before about what to do to cultivate positivity. I must confess that I sometimes don’t listen to my own advice. Have you ever found that it’s so much easier to give other people advice, but when it comes to listening to yourself it is so much harder? Television is so cathartic for me. It is my greatest escape tool and I will always default to it when nothing else works. I’ve been listening to podcasts and music. Simple pamper sessions: sheet mask, painting my nails, bubble bath, Netflix – they do wonders for me. Little, little things to try and get me back on track.

Clear Out πŸ—‘️

The thing I’ve been attempting to do since last year is clear out my wardrobe. There are so many clothes that I own that I know I will never, ever wear again but for some reason, I’m still hanging onto them. I keep telling myself that on my days off, I’ll start my clear out but I never do. I have no idea how I’m going to get around to it, I just know that I need to. Especially as I basically just wear the same clothes everyday, anyway. It’ll be so refreshing, as well.

That’s where I’m going from now on. You know that song by Miley Cyrus? The Climb.

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

Hot damn. Deuces, for now. ✌️

 

… can be difficult especially in the age of social media. So often, I’ve scrolled through my Instagram feed or Twitter timeline and felt myself sinking into an abyss because I see that people are having a better run at life than I am. But then I remember that social media is a highlight reel, and unless they turn around and show it then I’m not going to see that person’s bad days. 

But how to cultivate positive thinking when my phone is an extension of my hand and I have no self-control to speak of yet, so can’t just switch off just like that? I try to use it to my advantage. I listen to podcasts that get me pumped throughout the week (The Receipts Podcast, Say Your Mind, 2 Dope Queens (as of recent)) and I try to focus on social media posts that talk about the person’s achievements or specifically positive thinking.

Outside of that, if I’m feeling down I resort to my go-to definitely going to put me in a positive mood – reading. My cousin recently gifted me Lilly Singh’s book ‘How To Be A Bawse’ (thank you so much, bby girl, I love you, you the best) and whilst the majority of it is stuff I already know, the way she writes make it so relatable and got me thinking, “Okay, Chynna. Don’t just soak up this advice. DO something with it.”

This past week has been so up and down internally for me. So despite getting good news during the middle of the week, I was still in a foul mood all day. It wasn’t until I listened to something that my mood immediately lifted. I ended the day laughing and smiling and feeling so inspired. It’s amazing how a little thing can immediately turn your mood around.

It’s not going to be easy to be in a positive mindset 24/7. Allowing yourself to have a ‘bad’ day, so to speak, is still good for you. Just to acknowledge that these are feelings you are allowed to have. 

Small ways to cultivate positive thinking:

  • Listen to a funny podcast like 2 Dope Queens
  • Read a book and get lost in a new world
  • Write down what you’re grateful for
  • Crank up some happy music and have a boogie
  • Read more of my blog πŸ˜‰

I turned 25 last Monday and I’m still shook because I have no idea where time has gone. I swear it was only the other day that I was celebrating my 18th birthday by having a debut (complete with pink dresses, 18 roses and candles and a whole lot of cheese). Nancy reminded me today that she’s been following me since I was 18. That’s 7 years, guys. Half way to 50 and I’m pleased to say there are a few things I’ve learned along the way, so here are my 25 things I’ve learned in 25 years.

  1. Learn to love yourself before getting into a relationship. I think I’ve mentioned this before in a different post, but I feel the reason my previous relationships never worked out is that I never truly took the time to love myself. I still have a long way to go, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned then it’s definitely this.
  2. Trust your instinct. If it seems too good to be true, or if your stomach is doing that churning thing – get out of there, girl.
  3. Self-care is important. It definitely goes a long way, especially towards your mental health. Taking time for yourself will help maintain, protect and improve your well-being.
  4. Do not judge a book by its cover. This one speaks for itself, tbh. Basically, there will be people you meet in your life who you will judge, but try not to be so judgemental. You’ve no idea what that person is going through to make them the way they are.
  5. Stop apologising. Just be unapologetically you.
  6. Boys aren’t everything…
  7. … But food is.
  8. Writing is therapeutic and is the outlet for my soul. Without writing I have no idea where I’d be. I’m so glad I have this creative outlet to let all my emotions out. 
  9. It’s okay not to be okay. You do not have to be happy every single day and sometimes it’s okay to have a down day. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Learn from it.
  10. Travel. Travelling has truly made me appreciate the world that we live in. It has also made me thankful for the things that I have and the fact that I have the ability to visit amazing places year on year.
  11. My mother is always right. I mean.
  12. Support those who support you. It’s a two-way street! 
  13. Say yes to going out. Not everyday Netflix, you know. There have been a few work occasions where I’ve actually said yes and found myself having a good time!
  14. Life is too short to hate. It’s a very draining emotion, honestly. Just be kind.
  15. Save, save, save. I’m not gonna lie, you’ll most likely be poor in your 20s but if you save even a little bit, it goes a long way!
  16. It’s okay to cry. Sometimes you just gotta let it out.
  17. Everyone has their bad days. Yup! You can’t constantly be upbeat 24/7.
  18. Don’t compare your life with others. In an age of social media, it can be very easy to look at other people’s lives and wonder why yours isn’t as fulfilling as theirs looks, but that’s the keyword: looks. Everything we put on social media is a glossed version of what our lives truly are. So focus on yourself!
  19. I will never love anything as much as I love reading. How could I? It’s so easy to slip into another world and escape for a few hours and not worry about anything.
  20. Laughter is essential. Life can be exhausting! Laughter and good company can cure that.
  21. You gotta werk. Nothing in life is free, so if you want something you gotta werk for it. It’s all worth it in the end, though.
  22. You are who you are because of the people you surround yourself with. So you see that toxic person in your life? You better cut it.
  23. Failure is okay. Because before you can succeed, you have to fail – success will be all be sweeter that way, as well.
  24. Take loads of photos. Honestly, do it. Think in a couple of years you can look back on those photos and remember fond memories.
  25. Gratitude. I am thankful that I have reached the grand old age of 25 and I have the support of my friends and family and I’m actually doing okay. πŸ‘πŸΎ

Last little tidbit of wisdom: β€œOne cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

As a writer the one thing that I am most afraid of is plagiarism. Not that I will actively seek to do so, because that is totally wrong, but that I will unknowingly plagiarise someone’s work because it’s influenced me in such a way. In saying that, the amount of works out there that are similar is astonishing. Where is the line drawn, though?

For example, I read a book called Feed by M. T. Anderson. Feed is set in a world where about 73% of Americans are directly connected to a huge computer network via a device implanted in their brain called a ‘feed’. The feed allows them access to entertainment, to chat to each other, shop, even rewind their own memories. I mentioned this book in a conversation with Mutay the other day, and she noted how similar it is to an episode of Black Mirror, ‘The Entire History of You’, where people have a ‘grain’ implanted in them that records everything they see, hear or do. Whilst not entirely the same concept with the entertainment system, etc., I can definitely see the similarities. In saying that, I’m not out here trying to accuse Charlie Brooker of plagiarism.

I remember in Media Studies learning about simulacrum. I have always found the idea of simulacrum to be interesting because it is a representation or imitation of a person or thing – not necessarily plagiarism. I guess that is what is happening in today’s society. Most of the media being pumped out daily isn’t original, it’s just a recycled version of something else. Songs, films, tv shows, most of it really. 

Anyway, I’m not really sure what direction I wanted to take this post in and I feel like I’m rambling. I just really wanted to get shit off my chest because as I am currently working on my manuscript, I’m really trying not to let things stop me. So, despite these fears I know I should keep pushing on because this has always been a dream of mine – I shouldn’t let anything get in my way.

I’ve been working on a story since I went to China in 2011 and reading back on it now, I realise how influenced I was by ‘V for Vendetta’ because it was something I had watched before I started writing. I guess that’s where all of these fears stem from. I wouldn’t want a publisher to turn around and say to me, “What the fuck is this shit? You literally just copied the Wachowski Brothers!” I’m planning on redoing parts of my story, anyway, but it’s something that often crossed my mind when I was rereading it.

Nevertheless, 2017 is the year I overcome these fears. I’ve wanted to be an author ever since the dawn of time and it’s finally time to put my arse into gear. No-one is going to become an author for me, it’s something I have to achieve myself but I can do that with the support from others, too. To anyone having doubts about what they’re doing just think, “Is this what I want to do?” and if it is – keep at it. Be the you you truly want to be. ❀️

There are 366 days this year because it is a leap year. I can barely handle 365, let alone 366!

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