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.

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).

12th August 2012

“One is not born a woman, one becomes one” 

Simone de Beauvoir

I totally agree with this and that ‘womanhood’ is a manner of being, acting and having a certain understanding of the world. Recently there has been a lot to do with women in the press: lots of people have said that the London 2012 games for Team GB have been dominated by the women. I think that its amazing that they have had such a high profile for the past 2 weeks. And I think that these women who are so dedicated and hard-working and who carry themselves in such a manner are brilliant role models to other girls in the country.

2nd August 2012

“Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, rather than risk being happy”

Robert Anthony

Reading this quote, I was reminded of the massive amount of courage it takes to take certain risks in order to gain happiness. When something in your life needs to change, when you need to go somewhere, when you need to say something, it isn’t always simple which is why I think it is easy to remain unhappy with something. I have learnt from my own experiences, that taking those risks makes you a stronger and wiser person, even if it doesn’t work out.

19th April 2012

“One day at a time. This is enough.  Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone: and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come.  Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.”

Ida Scott Taylor

Spending too much time looking at what could have been or what could be is pointless, because if you make today beautiful enough, when you look back on it, it is less likely that it will be with sadness, regret or grievance. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, it could make or break your day, week, year and it could change you in ways you don’t even realise – so don’t over think it. Tonight I realised how much I have changed as a person, how proud of myself I actually am and how, when I look back, it is the happy things I remember. Live in today, and make the most of it no matter how it is going – how might you go about doing that?

28th February 2012

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Today, a small feeling of anxiety came over me when I realised I have no idea what I want to do with my future, namely after my degree. Do I want to interpret? Go into business? International aid? Will I like it? Will it be worth it?… Who knows. However, I told myself to carry on doing what I enjoy, and to pursue my desires and ambitions as if there were no tomorrow. Hopefully the rest will fall into place.