28th March 2013

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.” 

Madeleine L’Engle

I think a sense of vulnerability it something I’ve realised a lot and often recently. When I was little, I was always protected and looked after and sheltered from the big bad world out there. You never had to fight your own battles or solve your own problems and life was easy. I feel more vulnerable now than I ever did, which is why I think I personally constantly have my guards up and my walls built – I guess I just coped with the transition of independence into ‘adulthood’ a little less well than some. You try to stop potential hurt and pain- and it doesn’t always work! Vulnerability is something that I don’t think will go away, and its something that is going to take getting used to.

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.

19th November 2012

Today, I was just thinking about fear, and how much power it has over people. I thought about how people quantify their fears and how they make it relative to things around them or other emotions they have experienced. Then I was reminded of this beautiful poem that I was shown by an old school teacher. It has an interesting, fresh perspective on things.

Our Greatest Fear

“Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

24th August 2012

“Don’t give into your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I am going away travelling in Europe in a few days and I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little nervous to be facing all these new cultures and systems without someone there to look after everything. It’ll be good though; it is something I want to and have to do. If I gave into that anxiety and didn’t go, there would be a whole lot of stuff that I’d miss out on, and I think this quote and that thought rings true for many things.