gap year goals

Despite only being 2 (official) weeks into my gap year, I find it dwindling away with days semi filled with business, and semi filled with laziness. This acceptance of laziness is what I need to learn this year but I also want to complete a year of freedom having achieved and grown.
I hope this list will hold me accountable and spark entertainment in the moments of boredom.

  1. Read-this is part of the impetus to start the online book club, to encourage me to actually do it  (there will also be a gap year book list coming soon)
  2. Fill at least one journal 
  3. Get back into photography, take my camera as many places as possible, document the ordinary 
  4. Travel: Barcelona to visit my pen-pal, various locations in the UK to visit friends, Paris (hopefully) and another Eurostar destination to utilise my voucher (woo!). There are so many other places I'd also like to visit but its whether I have the guts to go alone or can find a willing travel companion 
  5. Learn to live with uncertainty, I might not know what I'm doing next month but that's okay
  6. Be kind to myself–In my first therapy session, it dawned on me how much I abused and punished myself. This mindset is challenging to escape but I am determined to try
  7. Write poetry
  8. Take french classes
  9. Join an orchestra 
  10. Explore what my long term goals are and how I can achieve these whilst also caring for myself 
  11. Learn that, most often, 'good enough' is the ideal 
  12. Blog, network and connect
  13. Pass my driving test (lol)
  14. Incorporate running into my daily schedule 
  15. Bake some good-ass cakes 
  16. Apply to uni 
  17. Get sewing again: make a garment, a makeup bag, anything 
  18. Enjoy nature and the changing world: after 2 years of 'head down' I'm looking forward to appreciating the beauty around 
  19. Tackle my mental health, learn that it won't be 'cured' but that I can find ways to manage the struggle 
  20. Learn to be 
  21. Watch more films 
It feels as though I've got some pretty big hurdles to climb and tight knots to unwind but I know that this year is entirely necessary, and I am actually rather enjoying some aspects of it. Especially my fridays, which are spent just baking. Lavleh.

sunday; 22:14


On Friday I said goodbye to my friends, perhaps until Christmas, or until I organise to visit them.
I thought I was going to be okay and rebuked any concern that I might get lonely or that I would need to meet new friends.
"I'll feel connected enough" I thought in response.
It was a strange day, feeling markedly like the end. But when it came down to it, in true Katie fashion, I cried. And cried. And cried.
Hugging my best friend, of whom I have seen everyday for 10 years, in the pouring rain and darkness, with tears streaming down my face and weak cries of anguish. I looked into their faces and thought fuck, "I'm doing it on my own now".
And as I walked away I had a burning panic of suffocation, "I need to run back, I need to see their faces, I can't leave them". I suppose it was kind of pathetic, but I had known them for so long, we had, in many ways, become each other.

But now I am lonely.
Fuck, I am so lonely.

Loneliess is a taboo, it makes me feel lame and antisocial, when in reality I'm just lost and anxious, faced with unprecedented change.
And I'm watching (what feels like the world) have fun and meet new people and I feel isolated and empty.
I have these overwhelming moments of panic where I vanish into a shell of my being, silent, vacant. I then cry and cry, repeat a conversation of fear, that must occur on a weekly basis, walk away my trepidation, and feel a little more calm. In some ways, it provides a coping mechanism, in others its terrifying. I feel entirely detached from the world around me, numbed and distant. It does pass but it heightens the anxiety. I am, eventually, going to seek help for my mental health because its ruining me and I want to be freed from the demon of fear. I talk about this as there is still, undoubtedly, a stigma surrounding our minds, making it even harder to overcome the challenges that I'm facing. And when I read about other people's MH I feel less isolated, so maybe it will help you. I dunno.

I'm frightened of the year ahead, its relentless nature, the lack of fun, companionship, enjoyment, the way all these new experiences are ruining my mental health. And to feel so very alone makes it oh so much worse, feeling like a burden to contact people but detached from the world that I know.
A world that feels it no longer exists.
I don't know how I'm going to cope with this loneliness, if I am honest.
But I will start with self-love. Not beating myself up for relying on my family, spending time with my mum. I will reach out to people online, put more effort into the blogging world, organise to visit friends, and maybe find a new job. I'll fill my head with podcasts, my mind with books, change my surroundings and my routine.

And I hope to learn to love myself, so profusely, that the empty spaces don't feel so empty anymore.

In other news, I found an amazing Swedish shop in Nottingham when I visited at the weekend, am in the manic process of applying to Oxford for History (I think), have some ideas for an online book club kinda thing (which if anyones interested in, watch this space, probs) and am looking for a new pen pal.
Also, in the space between writing the main body and this footnote, I have booked a therapy session. Part of me hates sharing this online, in the fear that someone I know will read it and vilify me, but I also know its important because it makes me feel more connected, its marginally therapeutic and reminds others that its okay to feel lonely, whilst also documenting the realities of my gap year. Its also a step towards being "kind to myself" which was this years goal.

la réalité n'existe pas

To break the monotony of internal thoughts and endless words that swamp this blog, I thought I would throw some visuals at ya.

All things are made by me, on powerpoint, swish.
The individual pics are either my own or from pinterest (most likely pinterest) and can all be found on dis board.
I do love pinterest.
This is the kind of thing I needed to find today, so I hope it makes your day a little brighter.
Currently: Listening: Matt Maltese-even if its a lie//Reading: The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden-Jonas Jonasson//Thinking: how much I'm gonna miss ma friends//Lusting: some autumnal clothes


summer: the best bits

This fab but strange ol' summer is drawing to a close. Parts have been overwhelmingly euphoric, I've enjoyed the freedoms of my adulthood perhaps a little too much, explored, partied, laughed, celebrated and felt a slower pace of relaxation. And to be honest, its been bloody brilliant. Unfortunately, its also been tinged by overwhelming fear of 'the future' and has presented some of the rockiest mental health days. But, in the beauty of hindsight, it seems blessed in an air of bliss, happiness, laughter and love, for my best friends who have made it such a whirlwind.
Here are the best bits:

- Finishing A-levels
Nothing can describe the elation felt after our rom poetry exam, with mint questions and the freedom of summer it felt blissful (we could also justifiably get drunk for the first time in a long ol' while)
 - Seeing my Oxf. bff, even if it was for a 40 min lunch
- Leavers'...
For which I was, undeniably, too drunk and probs made a mega tit out of myself but had an absolute b-l-a-s-t and felt fab
- Interrailing
Exploring new cities, living with my best friends, travelling, being in the heat, seeing new culture, feeling adulty when we bought toilet roll and made pasta for tea, and just having the best time ever
- Turning 18 and the best night out in Budapest
- Spending days with friends who disappeared as a result of dreaded a-levels
- Numerous nights out, bar crawls and evenings in pubs (all of which were memorable and enjoyable, in their own way)
- Baking cakes and finding enjoyment in this hobby once more
- A weekend at the Fringe fest, most notable of which was the guilty feminist which was 10/10
- An evening at the beach, chatting and eating
- An art/sewing course which completely re-kindled (if momentarily) my buzz for creativity
- climbing to the top of a hill in the countryside in the evening sun and feeling open and free
- gardening with my mum, especially in the sun
- the absolute SHOCK when I opened my results envelope to 3 A*'s...
and the blissful day of complete elation that followed
- Results night out, ending up on the beach at 5am
- A fam holiday in France, where I felt somewhat remarkably relaxed and enjoyed the sun and sea, and escaping social media for a week
- getting back into blogging and feeling more connected
- Another night out with the most random group of people, but a total blast
- Getting my helix pierced woo

So, while I'm feeling utterly shit rn, I can look back and see that the past 10 weeks have been momentous and, for the most part, utterly enjoyable, if in a turbulent, adolescent way.
This has also reinforced the importance of keeping my diary. I had abandoned it as it was shit for my mental health, recording days I didn't want to remember or keeping me locked in the past that I don't wanna escape, but I realise its significance in remembering the good times. I need to find a healthier way to record my days.
So the gap year has begun. Fuck. But hey, you don't grow when you're comfortable.