Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015; A Reflection and Review of Sorts

2015 was quite simply, an adventure filled, adrenaline fuelled year. I cannot recall being on such a positive upward spiral in one year. I suppose after having so many negative, depressing years, I was bound to have a year I could actually call my own.

 In my mind this year is split in two parts. The first being the Leaving Cert and the second, After the Leaving Cert. This year was utterly surreal and probably the most fulfilling year I've experienced, developing as an adult with responsibilities, becoming braver and more willing to speak up and be counted for.

 As I went through my photo albums for photographs to insert, I was pleasantly surprised at how many photographs I had at my disposal to use. In my mind I felt that I did nothing except study, sit exams and work. It seems I actually did do some socialising! Here's my 2015.



January: 

The year started with the hilarious meme of 'New Year New Ewe' sent by Grace, which still makes me giggle. I succumbed to buying a selfie stick - which is presently in Limerick, oops. I visited my future college, Mary Immaculate College in January on their Open Day. As I walked around the campus, covered in frost and ice, a shiver went up my spine, I could sense that I needed to be here. If only I knew that in December 2015 I would be running around the campus doing exams and completing assignments!

I was studying, which explains the books and flashcards. I have issues with my writing hand so I had to start wearing the muscle support as seen below as my left hand was in agony. Thankfully it sorted itself out but I wore the support in the exams in June. I also questioned if animals did the Leaving Cert and wanted to become a cat.


February: 

Mid term in February consisted mainly of the first ever blogger meetup Grace and I attended! We met up with Jane, Chloe, Sarah, Aoife and Celine in Dundrum. We had all been talking online for a lengthy amount of time before we actually all met up face-to-face. It's a strange experience meeting friends from the internet, you feel as if you know everything about them, even though you don't know what their voices sound like. 

Grace and I also filmed an AwkwardSprinkles video (I think?) We went to get hot chocolate and have a gossip session and took tonnes of selfies. My friend Maeve turned 18 and the squad was out in force to celebrate. 


March: 

Grace and I went to Dublin Zoo with Spleodar, where I fangirled over goats, took photos of green lizards and we ate amazing pizza. Grace turned 16 and had a party to celebrate. I also took a horrid selfie from the St. Patrick's Day Parade on the main stage, oops. I was deep in the throes of sraithpictiúr and needed any excuse to try make myself laugh. I still think An Criú Craiceáilte are the epitome of squad goals. 


April: 


My favourite Easter tree was in my room. Grace and I met up to film. I just realised that we filmed possibly a couple of times during the year but never uploaded the footage. My friends Maeve and Caítlín both turned eighteen so a couple of nights out were had, photo below (a couple of the girls were accidentally cropped out as the photo was too large to fit properly, sorry!) The Vote Yes to the marriage referendum bus arrived in the car park of my old secondary school one afternoon and handed out lots of Yes/ Tá badges. 


May: 

I voted for the first time in May. I also finished secondary school. We all got hoodies, mine said 'Queen of Peasants' in reference to a long-running joke that year. We had our awards ceremony, took photos with all our friends (some of whom got cropped out of this photo, I am so sorry!) I wrote a number of articles for the yearbook, in particular this piece which I forgot I even submitted! It was a strange sensation to leave a place where I had been to school for six years. We had our grad mass and the year group went out to celebrate afterwards. (Photo in the first collage) 



June: 

The days passed quickly as the exams loomed. Cue mental breakdowns, anxiety and relief repeated for each individual exam, oh yes, the Leaving Cert! It feels so long ago thankfully. June was dominated by sets of booklets and pink paper. I was disgusted as Bono appeared on English Paper One in a comprehension. I watched Game of Thrones a lot between exams (I made the mistake of watching the last episode the night before my business exam and cried for a half hour then resumed revision) I liked the quote in the middle a lot, I knew these exams were the key to unlocking everything I wanted to study in third level. 


July: 

I relaxed and recuperated for a lot of July. Grace and I went to another blogger meetup in Dundrum, meeting Sarah, Jane, Cliona, Karolina and her friend Sarah! My friend Caítlín sent me a photograph of the Blogger t-shirt which most of us ended up buying! Starbucks spelt my name right, a worthy cause of celebration. I did a number of shopping hauls too, a strange choice for me.


August: 

Ah, the Leaving Cert results were released on the 12th. I might have had several existential crises in the run up to their release. ie crying, watching Netflix for hours on end and eating copious amounts of ice cream with nerves. I don't really recommend experiencing inner turmoil, it's not very pleasant. It all worked out in the end, I got more points than I needed for primary teaching, which was surreal. I accepted my CAO offer at 6.04 as the offers started at 6 am. The squad was out in force once again, having cupcakes and pink lemonade. A week later was our Debs. It was fantastic to see everyone dressed so wonderfully and in such high spirits. It was hard choosing which photos to put in the collage. Grace sent me a supportive photo of my favourite things, sheep and flower crowns. The Sibling also graduated from University too.


September: 

I started college in Limerick, which was a huge change from how life had been beforehand. My little 3 year old cousin gave me this lovely card, which is still on my bookshelf in Limerick. The first few weeks are an absolute blur, I made lots of new friends, joined various clubs and societies and went on nights out. I turned nineteen which still freaks me out. 


October: 

Katie Taylor visited Mary I in October, between lectures a couple of us went to see her. I hung up a Halloween decoration in my room, just to liven things up a little. The grounds around Mary I are beautiful, with gorgeous autumnal leaves surrounding the pitches. The Foundation Building looks stunning at night too. A couple of the girls and I went exploring and found an amazing ice-cream place which was wonderful. I went to see Ed Sheeran's 'Jumpers for Goalposts' as well as other films. A number of us ordered an obscene amount of pizza one night, as seen below. Only in college!


November: 

I participated in my first ever colour run! The Mary I Art Society held a colour run on campus which was utterly fantastic. We went to see Spectre and Brooklyn in the cinema in Limerick and to see The Unlucky Cabin Boy in the Lime Tree, all of which were excellent. Sam and I went to see Nathan Carter. It was my second time seeing him live and meeting him, he's so lovely! I met up with my friend Maeve for our first catchup since my birthday in September. The Lime Tree put up a #WakingTheFeminists sign too which I definitely support. The Parents and I went Christmas shopping and had amazing hot chocolate in Butler's. 



December: 


My brother turned 22 so I made a terrible meme of Taylor Swift's song, referencing, 'I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22'' along with a photo of him in a pram in the snowy garden, oh well. Cliona, Kate and I went to the Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow which was amazing. The Strypes performed too and were just surreal. I got the setlist from the stage (thanks again Kate) We saw The Strypes before the gig but didn't get any photos, maybe next time! I got my hair cut a lot shorter which warranted a selfie. In Limerick city I got a 'goats in trees' calendar which basically summarised the meaning of my existence. So for my room in Limerick I have a goats calendar and for home I have a Sherlock calendar for 2016, delighted. I went out Stephen's night and bumped into lots of old friends which was great. I accidentally created an optical illusion by photographing a mini Coca Cola bottle in front of our Christmas themed tea pot. I also got a Sherlock colouring book among my Christmas presents, it's just so fun! Among other things, I got Adele's new album, an Orla Kiely notebook and a Hogwarts notebook which all coordinated so I couldn't resist a photo.

I also did shopping in the Christmas sales, I'll have a haul up soon as it hasn't arrived in the post yet. 


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed 2015 but I know that the past few days for many of my old classmates has been a terrible and upsetting time. The 252 heart beats and people in our school year that were united by the exams and Leaving Cert became 251 this week. As we approach the New Year, I hope everyone finds the comfort and strength they need. 







2015 is swiftly approaching it's end. I wish you all a happy, prosperous, safe and healthy New Year.

Stay strong and fearless
Aveen x












Sunday, 20 December 2015

Things I Learned Since Going To College

As I have officially finished my first semester in third level, I decided it was an apt time to discuss some realisations I have come across since I started college. This idea has been playing in my mind since I began college in late August. The memo notes in my phone are filled with various paragraphs and passages detailing several weeks, as well as the highs and lows that accompany the college experience.

The first important realisation I came to is that,
1. You don't have to be who you were in secondary school.

 Over the five or six years that we're in the secondary school system, regardless of your
year group size, it becomes obvious that everyone knows everyone. We all knew what people got up to on nights out, how they acted at lunch time or in the classroom. Opinions were moulded and limits were imposed on the supposed normal behaviour of each individual. That's utterly normal, we're human beings after all. Yet, these restrictions can be well, frankly restrictive on people. Some may feel shackled to these opinions, fearful to break the mould of what everyone supposedly thought of them.

I know I was.

At the time, I thought I was happy during my final years of secondary school, yet now I realise how many people I had to tiptoe past on a daily basis, just so their opinions of me and my identity would remain intact. I felt censored in my writings and musings, both on paper in my notebooks and on this lovely blog. The decline in my writing content and regularity is evident to see. It's only now that I've gained the confidence back to write my own thoughts and opinions. I felt so horribly trapped in boundaries imposed by others that I wondered would I ever get back to blogging at all. It took time to regain the confidence to do so, along with months of lying to myself, justifying the lack of content with 'a lack of time.' A lack of time it may have been, yet it was also a fear of reactions.

I realise now that I cannot live to please everyone. It took me an even longer time to realise that I shouldn't let unimportant people try take over space in my head or in my creative elements such as my notebooks and this blog. I turned my back on The Random Life of Aveen due to the fear of what others think. If we were to live by others definitions of us, would we really achieve our goals and self-actualisation? I think not sadly.

I read a quote by Nelson Mandela recently and which hit me profoundly. 'I learnt that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.' I delayed writing this blog post for months due to fear. Adrenaline courses through my veins as I swiftly type these words. I am no longer afraid of what others think of me. 

Life changes, people move on. I moved to the other side of the country to pursue my dreams. I'm hit with the same question often, 'Why Limerick, why not somewhere closer to home?' The answer is simple, I wanted to become different to who I once was.

2.Going somewhere where you know nobody is liberating.

I decided to go to a college on the opposite side of the country, knowing absolutely nobody who was also starting there. Some may scream at the thoughts of that, clutching their friends as they stumble through an unknown campus but God, it was like being released into a new world. A new world where I had a new identity, personality and persona.

I can still recall sitting in my room, first night in Limerick. My parents had just dropped me off, all my things were strewn all over the floor, waiting to be placed into drawers and cupboards. As my parents left, my Mam told me that some girls had already arrived and were in the kitchen at the top of the hallway. My room is down near the bottom of the hallway but I could hear quiet small talk and nervous throat clearing as the door was ajar.

I decided to go into the kitchen, 'to introduce yourself' as my parents would put it, and maybe see if I could make some friends. My thought process went haywire. With each footstep I made in the direction of the kitchen, I knew the first impression would be vital in a place where I was unknown by everyone. I left that messy room as a quiet, unassuming and ultimately shy person, afraid of so much as looking at anyone. I entered the kitchen with a smile, straight posture and an air of confidence I had evidently stolen from a passing gust of Autumn wind. They had no preconceptions of me, I could mould my own personality to become whatever person I wanted to be, and it felt wonderful.

3.You can be friends with people all over the country.

If you are unfortunate enough to listen to me over an extended period of time, I talk about friends from all over the country. (Mainly Cork, Kerry and Clare though). It's so strange, having no friends 'from home' in college, as most people do. It was an intentional choice which I'm happy I made. It gave me a further incentive to be more outgoing and confident in making friends and talking to people.

You can wear your hair curly, people don't care if you straighten your hair to within an inch of its' life everyday.

In secondary school, I literally refused to leave the house unless my hair was in a perfect bun, put in place by a nauseous amount of hairspray or heavily straightened, to remove any imperfections or life in my hair. I'm typing this post with my hair not straightened, curly and wavy. I used to despise my natural hair for many years yet I've come to appreciate it now. To emphasise the waves, I even got my hair cut shorter, just for the curls to fall more naturally. If I was to go back in time to this time last year and tell myself that I go to lectures and even exams with curly hair, I probably would tell myself where to eloquently go.

Those feelings of confusion and of being homesick will pass.

The first few weeks were marked with feelings of homesickness which is always a bundle of laughs (not). I found a memo note in my phone from around my second or third week in college.

''The bouts of sadness come in waves yet they last longer than a rough, salty wave at the beach. Homesickness is an upsetting emotion. When your physical being aches for home, yet you know deep inside that you must leave in order to better yourself both academically and as a person. Maybe that's what hurts the most. The necessity of leaving all you know, to come back better.

The loneliness is an ever constant ache in my chest. The longing for my usual support network of home wreaks havoc across my soul. I know this feeling will soon subside.
Yet as I walk to the bus stop, as another anonymous face in the midst of an ever-changing crowd, the feelings of sadness find ease in existing and flourishing.''

Thankfully, those feelings passed as I slipped into a weekly routine and rhythm which has become part and parcel of my college experience so far.


I have to admit that I quite enjoy college and it's various differences. I feel that I'm changing into more of an 'adult' that I previously thought I would be. I went down town at home during the week with my Sixth Year friends for the first time probably since September or before then. We bumped into a good few people from our year. As we walked, chatted and caught up on our lives since we last spoke in person, I realised how irrevocably different my life had become over the space of a few months.

As a creature of habit, I used to despise change and what such changes entailed. For the first time in my life, I have embraced this change and owned the change. I miss seeing the Sixth Year girls every day, but when we meet up, it feels as if we never really left each other. Technology is a superb way to stay in touch but will never beat the euphoria of sitting with your friends in a warm coffee shop, a warm cup of hot chocolate in hand, talking about all these new and fascinating adventures and experiences we experienced separately but discussed together with humour and laughter.


First Semester was filled with a lot of life lessons and was a time of maturation of my character and who I want to really be. I had an absolutely supreme experience which was utterly fantastic. I am no longer afraid of the opinions others hold about me. I can grow, I can change.




Sunday, 15 November 2015

Events of the Interlude

Hey Everyone!

I've decided to do a series of 'catch-up' posts. Ironically, I did not write on my blog during some of the busiest months of my life, these events are now stories in my memory and I feel that they should be told.

The Events of the Interlude will cover from mid-August 2015 until October 2015, which was a time of great change in my life and daily existence.

 I realise that my Debs wasn't exactly today or yesterday but it's better late than never.

My debs was on August 19th, (starting college kind of makes you forget the progression of time) a week after receiving our Leaving Cert results/ As a result, all the talk on the night was about what course you received and the points you earned. I went with my friends to the debs and I really would recommend doing so. We were able to stay together and enjoy the night so much as it was only us.

The year congregated outside our (former) school for photographs. It was great seeing so many people after the summer. Soon we departed on a literal fleet of buses to a nearby town to go to a hotel. We had a four course meal. We all quickly headed to the nightclub where the party really started.

There isn't very much to say about a debs as most are more interested in photographs. This post is very photo heavy so enjoy!

A picture is worth a thousand words so this post will very much be photo heavy. I could write endlessly about the debs, several hours of random events and moments all rush through my mind. Yet it's unfair to all of these memories to include only a select few. To isolate particular memories for discussion just isn't practical, especially as with time the night is one huge misshapen event.

I realise how horrifically late these, 'Events of the Interlude' posts will be, but I feel that so much of my life has been documented here, I can't miss out on such vital components of life as of late.











Stay Strong, Happy & Fearless!
Aveen xx



Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Not So Typical Week in College

Hey Everyone, 

As a first year I felt I should tell you all about some of the events of my life in college. The previous week was Week 9. With assignment topics being distributed faster than you can say 'lectures,' I felt obliged to get stuck into writing and preparing. I finished a couple of assignments and submitted another, so hopefully I can keep up the pace!

As life in college is more balanced I did some extra-curricular activities. On Tuesday evening, Cliona, Orla and I went to see Spectre in the cinema. We all thoroughly enjoyed the film, especially seeing Andrew Scott (aka Moriarty in Sherlock) featuring in a prominent role too. 



On Wednesday, the Mary I art society held a colour run around campus. I'd never participated in a colour run previous to this. Yet it's long been a feature of my Bucket List. (Maybe one day I'll publish it here) The colour run was fantastic and for cancer research, another bonus. We all went back to our accommodation covered in powder, much to the amusement of our friends. 







On Thursday, Cliona and I decided to attend a musical at the Lime Tree Theatre which is on-campus. The play in question was 'The Unlucky Cabin Boy' which was utterly phenomenal! We'll definitely be watching more plays and musicals in the future, such as the Addams Family. It was a superb experience. 

The previous week was incredibly busy. I was run off my feet between lectures, tutorials, assignments and extra-curriculars. It's a nice change. Since starting in Mary I, I've felt truly alive and, to paraphrase Socrates, living an examined life. Being in full control of my life is simply wonderful, a concept which is not imaginable to the Leaving Cert student I was.

Life has changed irrevocably in the past few months. I've never been happier to witness change as I have been now. I met up with one of my secondary school friends, Maeve. We're in colleges in 2 different parts of the country so it was great to meet up for a cupcake and a chat in town on Saturday. Speaking to her made me realise how our lives have all changed since we sat down to sit exams last June. 


We're now all college students, on the courses we craved and dreamed of for years. I am the sibling of a University graduate and subsequent Emigrant. (More about the Sibling in my next post) Times have changed so suddenly and drastically. I, a creature of habit, was initially hesitant of these changes. Now I embrace them. I said in a previous post, I closed one chapter of my life in order to open and start another. My God, I adore this chapter and it's development. 




Stay Strong, Happy & Fearless!
Aveen xx 

Friday, 23 October 2015

A Two Month Gap & Start of Everything New

Hey Everyone,

It's been a long time. I haven't forgotten about TRLOA if you're wondering. I never intended to stop writing and posting here every week. Time just seems to pass by so horribly quickly, leaving me in a tailspin. I'd always heard a phrase in clichéd conversations or films discussing how ''Life got in the way.'' This is truly the first time I can genuinely utter those words with conviction.

My last post on August 23rd marked the end to a long and tedious chapter. Instantly, a new chapter was written in my copper plate handwriting. The last 'chapter' was at least two years long, aptly named The Leaving Cert Experience. This chapter of my life is a dramatic change and shift from the previous one. I'd like to call this one, The College Life Experience. The last chapter is ultimately the prequel to this chapter of my life, which I see unfurling with new adventures and memories on a daily basis.

This new life, is parallel to the life I led twelve months ago. This time last year I was sitting in my bedroom cramming for exams which decided everything I wanted in life. Now, I'm sitting in my room, in Limerick. I'm still studying, but I'm in college pursuing the course of my dreams. It took so much to get to this position but oh my, it was worth every second.

As I walk in the crunchy leaves near the Library with newly made friends to lectures, I can see my younger self in an ecstasy of peace and serenity at the acceptance of being, happy. A glance in a window and I see my younger self, her dreams are coming true after all these years. She never thought it would happen, but it has.

 A week of Orientation translated with ease into several weeks of lectures. All the while, in the midst of this newly found chaos, I still checked on my blog. I read other bloggers posts and I still posted on Twitter and Instagram. I still did everything except type words onto my own blog. The weeks sped past, the Summer which I spent waiting for, evaporated with the brief heat that arrived for a while. The rush of maroon, gold, orange and green appeared on the trees on the bus home every weekend.

A little voice would whisper, ''It's time to write the next chapter.''
I ignored it. I boldly decided to throw myself into this new world, utterly forgetting about my Internet life. Being so distracted by life is a foreign concept for me, especially not having the time to write all these new memories down.

I've made wonderful friends so far on my course. The past eight weeks have been filled with wonderful memories and I honestly don't know where to start. My mind is filled with so many evenings of my friends and I giggling in our rooms and everywhere. This blog post was always going to be a long post which has to cram so much of my new life into paragraphs and photographs.

I realise that I never posted about my Debs, The Sibling's Graduation (and subsequent emigration) as well as starting college. I hope to write another post detailing those in due course. They too deserve their own story.

For now, I'll start with this. Every chapter needs an introduction, I'm back again. 





Aveen 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Leaving Cert Results and CAO Offers

Hey Everyone!

I have been so incredibly busy as of late that I haven't had the opportunity to post here lately. I'll be writing several updates throughout the next couple of weeks. If you follow my Twitter or Instagram, you probably know why I have been so erratic this month.

On Wednesday August 12th, a day which I had waited for and feared eventually arrived. It was the Leaving Cert results day. To say I was nervous was an understatement. The sun may have been shining yet, as I walked into my school, it might as well have been a cold, dark morning in Winter. The walk, one I travelled everyday for six years, was excruciatingly long. I kept my head down as I passed screaming friends, phones in one hand and ripped brown envelopes in the other.

My heart was thumping in my chest, I genuinely felt the world spinning as my hand pulled the handle of the door into Reception. I feared the worst. Recalling my emotions after every exam, I was relieved and happy with my performance in all of them, except German. The niggling doubt had set in a few days previously and reached it's all time height as I saw the stacks of brown envelopes that awaited me.

Taking a deep breath, I joined the queue for my long-awaited and feared results. The envelope with my name was quickly found by the Principal, handed over with a handshake and a smile. I can recall thinking, ''If the Principal is smiling, I hope to God that the hard work paid off.''

Hands sweaty and shaking, I fled outside to open my results, terrified of prying eyes, judgemental stares and smirks. With cool hands, I ripped open the seal of the envelope, slowing revealing the results which I had worked, studied and crammed for two years to get. Saying a silent prayer to anyone listening, I peeked at the results.

''Irish - Honours - A2
English - Honours - A2''

I didn't look at the other five results for several seconds, gulping with delight and shock. Yet again, my hands shook. Inhaling deeply once more, I whipped the paper out entirely. Two further A2's in History and Ag Science, two B2's in Business and even German (an exam I nearly cried leaving) and finally a B1 in Maths (I dropped to ordinary, which ultimately was the best decision despite what my peers thought)

I grabbed my phone from my handbag, calculating the points. 90... 90.... I kept pressing the buttons until, with another deep breath, I clicked 'calculate'. The number 520 appeared on screen.
''Surely this can't be right,'' I whispered. ''I must have calculated this wrong''

After several recounts by myself and The Sibling, it was confirmed. I had just gotten 520 points in my Leaving Cert - without the 25 bonus points craved by so many. The texts and copious phone calls by my Mam and Dad to my relatives began.

All I really remember is whispering to myself, uttering the words, ''I did it, I actually did it'' several times. If I'm honest, it didn't really sink in for several days. I was on a high. I met up with my friends, who were all also delighted with their results. We had all achieved more than we needed for our courses.

The atmosphere was filled with laughter, relief and elation. All the hard work had actually paid off. We all succeeded. With an adrenaline filled giggle, the realisation that our dreams were starting to come true, hit us hard. The photos began, speaking to our teachers and our other friends.

In true celebratory style, the girls and I went for cupcakes and pink lemonade. In between discussions of the debs, CAO offers and finding accommodation, our phones beeped and pinged continuously, receiving texts and phones from relatives in true Irish style. The Leaving Cert consumes the nation as practically everyone knows someone who sat the gruelling exams the previous June.







Grace being the ever supportive friend! Note the lamb with the flower crown - amazing. 


The following Monday the CAO offers were released. CAO basically process all the results and give you an offer based on the courses you applied for. I have wanted to study primary teaching ever since I was in primary school, so primary teaching in Mary Immaculate College was my first choice on my CAO. 

The CAO opened at 6 am on Monday. With baited breath I logged into my account to see an offer from Mary Immaculate College for primary teaching! In that moment, I knew all the hard work and struggles were worth it. I could feel all my worries from over the years lift off me.



Here's my acceptance of my CAO offer - at four minutes past six. I had run into my parents room, shaking and screaming with happiness at 6.02 before I accepted my offer. 



So that's all about my LC results and CAO offer! I'm genuinely still on a high, to know that all of my study paid off is the most wonderful and liberating feeling I have possessed in a long time. If you got your results and an offer, congrats and I wish you the very best on the next stage of your life. We'll walk this new road together. 


The next blog post I'll be writing will be about my debs! Keep an eye out!
Stay Strong, Happy & Fearless!
Aveen xx

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Daydreaming And Forgetting Yourself




It's crazy to believe that it's the month of August already. The summer has passed by with incredible speed, leaving me feeling overwhelmed in its wake. 2015 is steaming by, which consistently shocks me as I mark off another day on the calendar. I believe that I have spent the majority of the summer so far simply waiting for warm, balmy weather to arrive. Which it hasn't achieved so far.

The summer has been, to quote John Montague, a ''drama of unevent.'' In previous years, this would have irritated me yet now, it thrills me. To have the ability to simply rest and read a couple of chapters of my favourite book in the evenings, without the feeling of worry or dread due to pending study is wonderfully peaceful. I am happily content to spend my time going for walks, reading and daydreaming about everything or anything.

Walking in the evenings, with weak sunshine shining on my face, I smile and reflect on the days of summer so far. The weather has been far from perfect. immediately after the exams there was a warm spell which left as abruptly as it arrived. It was a shame in all honesty, I'm looking a little pale as of late.

The Leaving Cert results day is Wednesday August 12th. I turned my calendar onto the month of August, shuddering as I saw my own handwriting with ''Results Day'' written down for a day that has been awaited with baited breath since June 18th. I promise that I'm trying to avoid discussing or thinking about that day, when I receive an extremely important piece of paper. However dwelling on the possibilities of what the future holds isn't an easy activity to avoid. For the time being, I shall just take a deep breath and try prevent the waves of anxiety and fear from sweeping over me as days stretch into new days.

I think I know why they're called ''waves of anxiety.'' Going to bed after scratching another day off on my calendar, leaves me open to wave after wave of fear and nerves hitting my system. Extending from my lungs to my mind, these waves seem to both metaphorically and physically cause unease and fear. Choked breaths and shaking hands seem to fill the room as I search desperately for a book or music to send the waves away. For a little while at least. The closer the day gets, the more frustrated and desperate the distractions become.

For once, one of my frequent distractions isn't blogging. My current distractions are music, reading, Netflix, writing in one of my many notebooks, playing meaningless apps on my phone and walking.
As I shake like a leaf in Autumn, I realise how vital is it for me to keep myself distracted.

There are some days when forgetting ourselves, if only for a little while, is utterly necessary. To be free, breathe fresh air in your lungs. To forget all of those seemingly unsolvable or anxiety fuelled problems, even if it's for an hour or two.

 As the last few days waiting for Results approaches, I can feel my heart rate accelerate and my breathing become ragged and tense. I close my eyes and breathe in deeply. In the words of the poet Sylvia Plath, 
''Let be, let be''  

I will be brave and try keep my nerve. I was told something interesting a few weeks ago. To cut a long story short, we must always keep our nerve, as there is always something out there in the future that will make us nervous and terrified, particularly with regards to the next step and direction that our lives take. We must not lose our nerve for surely something just as nervewracking will surely follow suit. 

Aveen 

Monday, 3 August 2015

Shopping Haul, feat. Hollister, Orla Kiely & Local Shops!

Hey Everyone!


I apologise for my lack of blogging as of late, so here's a haul of some items I've purchased in recent weeks. The shops I bought from were Hollister, Orla Kiely and a couple of local shops in my area.  I was checking my emails and found that several sales were going on and of course, I couldn't resist! 



First up is this gorgeous purse from the Orla Kiely website. Orla Kiely is an Irish designer and I'm a big fan of supporting local and Irish. My last purse was quite dark so this new purse has injected a pop of colour into my handbag (also an Orla Kiely design - can you tell that I like her designs?) I will admit that I only buy her designs when they're on sale as I'm a student with very limited spending power!



After that, I went onto the Hollister website. which coincidentally was also having a sale. (Sales are my favourite thing, okay) I picked up this pretty long-sleeved top. It's really soft and cosy - perfect for Winter! I generally wear short-sleeves so this will be wonderfully warm in the coming months.



I adore hoodies so I bought this one on the Hollister website too. It's really roomy and so warm! It's very spacious and generous for its size - a rarity for Hollister! It's perfect for chilly evenings. 



Also in Hollister, I picked up this light, white t-shirt. Like the hoodie, it's very roomy and made of a wonderfully soft fabric. I haven't worn this t-shirt yet but it'll be perfect should the Summer decide to return. (Fingers crossed!)



I was going around my local shops and came across this stunning bag. I'll most likely be bringing it to the Debs in August. The bag sparkles in sunlight and I just adore it. 


A new arts & craft shop opened recently, so obviously I had to go for a little peek even though I wouldn't be the definition of an artist. (I felt inspired to make my own cards after leaving though, which is a start) I came across the butterfly, unicorn and cow stickers which are unbelievably adorable. I'll definitely be making more trips to try release my inner ''artist'' (I'll be positive seeing as I can barely draw a straight line)



Have you bought any interesting items/products lately or any summer sale bargains? Let me know in the comments! 

Stay Strong, Happy and Fearless!
Aveen xx