28th August 2013

 “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 

Lao Tzu

I think I am going to need to keep reminding myself of this over the coming days and weeks. Today marks one of the biggest changes in my life so far – my move to France for the year- and I hope that I have enough courage in me to adapt to and welcome the change. Wish me luck!

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26th February 2013 – A WHOLE YEAR!

“To laugh often and love much;

 to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children;

to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self;

to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;

to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, here we are. It has been a whole year since I decided to start this blog. 205 posts, 840 tags and 80 followers later, I’ve recorded many of my thoughts and experiences of the past year. It started off being something I wanted to do for myself, to express my thoughts and feelings, but the fact that people took to the blog so well and gave me such positive feedback made it feel like something really worth doing and writing about. My  sentences and choice of word may not have been the most sophisticated, but I wrote as I thought and went along with it. I think I find some solace by relating to the words of other people, knowing that what I’m trying to figure out myself has been discussed before. For me, this blog was a bit like a diary, but it recorded some of the more intangible, emotional parts of my year too.

This quote was one that was given to me by a teacher after my GCSEs in year 11, so nearly 5 years ago. It was on my bedroom wall at home, in uni halls and in my second year home too. I really liked understanding somebody else’s criteria for success and these ones seem accessible to everyone, regardless of circumstance and situation. For me, over the past year, I would say that I managed to do or experience most, if not all, of these things and they bring up happy, positive things for me, as well as reminding me how I have grown and changed. The most basic things life can offer: song, laughter, playing – are the ones that essentially have meaning when it comes down to it past the trouble, strife and difficulty of everyday life. If I take what Mr Emerson says to be true, then I have had a successful year.

Although ‘My Year in Quotes’ is technically up, I don’t think I will stop posting just yet. If and when I come across something interesting or when I feel the need to express myself, I will write about it here. Looking over this makes me wonder if things are different after 12 little months. Have I changed? Perhaps. I would say I am more self aware and perceptive, and I know that I am braver when it comes to facing scary or difficult things. I am more able to see and remind myself of what is truly important but in other ways I am more confused about the world (a feeling I don’t think will lessen the more the years pass.)

One thing this blog has highlighted for me is just how quickly time disappears; its a little frightening, really. Maybe one day in the future, I’ll look back and think ‘wasn’t I a whinge bag’ or ‘gosh, I was innocent and naive’ or maybe I’ll just cringe at some of the things I have said (most probable) but most importantly, I hope to look on it and think of happy memories and many, many smiles.*

*this is something I can cringe about in the future.

22nd February 2013- to scary things

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”

Frederick Buechner

In September this year, I head off to France for 9 months to study at the Université Catholique de L’Ouest in Angers. It is going to be an amazing opportunity for me; I should come back fluent in French and equipped with many life skills. But. I’m going to admit here that I am absolutely terrified. I have always been a girl who loves home, comfort and especially the people who make my surroundings the home I consider it to be. Moving away from everybody is going to be a massive step for me but I take comfort in knowing that France is a hop, skip and a jump over the channel and also in that I have obliged all of my loved ones to visit me haha! I think I take a bit of solace in this quote too; knowing that I can take these things and people along with me, no matter how far, because distance does not affect bonds and relationships. (*cringes a little at soppiness*)

14th February 2013- love

“What will survive of us is love.” 

Philip Larkin

It’s Valentine’s day, but instead of writing something hideously soppy, I thought I’d write about the concept of love in general. Recently, it has become apparent to me that the concept and notion of love is truly at the core of everything. I knew this before, but now I know this and have seen it in practice too. Most human action can be fixed around the notion of love, giving love or receiving it. I just think it’s truly amazing that humans have this ability to over complicate things, and we do so much to make our lives more complex but at the end of the day, if we put Ocham’s razor to it, all we want is love and to be loved. Ultimately, that will beat everything.

(also Philip Larkin went to my school, yay!)

Happy Valentine’s.

26th January 2013- 11 months

“She doesn’t understand the concept of Roman numerals. She thought we just fought in world war eleven.”

Joan Rivers

I find this quite amusing as I never really got to grips with roman numerals myself. I can get to 10, but then I am lost! Eleven months into my year of quotes, and I honestly am struggling to understand where the time has gone! Time to make this final month a really good one.

2nd January 2013 – and turning 20

“People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centred;

Forgive them anyway.  

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;

Be kind anyway.   

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;

Be successful anyway.  

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;

Be honest and frank anyway.  

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;

Build anyway.                           

If you find serenity and happiness they may be jealous;

Be happy anyway.  

The ‘good’ you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;

Do ‘good’ anyway.  

Give the world the best you have, it may never be enough;

Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.  

You see in the final analysis, it’s between you and God;

It was never between you and them anyway.”

Mother Teresa

I can’t believe I’ve been alive and on this planet for two whole decades. In my mind I’m still just a little child, not the grown up the rest of the world perceives me to be. This quote is one that my Dad (being the soppy person he is) put inside in birthday card on my 18th birthday. I think that whether you believe in God or not the rest of what it written stands true. It is difficult to be this way and to be able to be so level in spite of what others may think or do, but it’s probably a good outlook to have on life. Here’s to my next 20 years (as long as no one mentions the big four-oh).