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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13th August 2013

“The Portuguese call it “saudade”: a longing for something so indefinite as to be indefinable. Love affairs, miseries of life, the way things were, people already dead, those who left and the ocean that tossed them on the shores of a different land – all things born of the soul that can only be felt.” 

Anthony De Sa, Barnacle Love

I don’t think I’ve ever come across a word for this in any of the languages I know.

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.

17th March 2013

“The eye is the lamp of the body and if the eyes are not good then you have no light in your body. If your eyes are bad then you have darkness redeeming. There are so many things we ignore in life: the truth; the uncomfortable truth. And this song is to remind you no matter how hard it is to see the truth or to be true to somebody, you’ve got to get over it. Get over your shadows. Show love. Spread love. Make love. You know, see love. And live in life everyday waking up, greeting nature, everything about our existence. Listen up.”

Nneka, Lost Souls Live (2009)

This is the intro to a song sung and written by Nneka, a Nigerian-German artist I discovered on a random playlist on Spotify. This part of her song is spoken, but it really resonated with me. Her words and descriptions are emotive, and the song itself is beautiful. Give it a google, and have a listen.

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.

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.