4th May 2013

“Be wise in the use of time. The question in life is not “how much time do we have?” The question is “what shall we do with it?””

Anna Robertson Brown

Recently, it has struck me how little time I have left in my second year at university and although my Year Abroad is finally starting to feel exciting and real, I am also really sad at the thought of having to say goodbye to so many people who I have got to know and make bonds with. The biggest fear for me is never seeing them again, or not remaining as close – they’ll have all left by the time I return – so the only thing for it, for me, is to make the most of what remains. As I seem to tell myself often on this blog (and in real life), you only truly regret the things you didn’t do.

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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*)

11th February 2013, for the smiles.

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.” 

William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice

This post is just in acknowledgement of  all the people who have made me smile and laugh over the past year – my sisters who never fail to reduce me to acting about 7 years old; my family because, you know, they are funny sometimes (joking, you all make me smile); my friends who make me laugh whether it be through a one liner, something inappropriate  or purely through funny conversation and all my housemates, who are named the ‘Blenheim Zoo’ for hilarious reasons that I can’t even begin to explain. It’s the people in your life who give you something worth smiling and laughing about.

2nd February 2013

“Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world.”

Marilyn Monroe

The latter part of this quotes is a truth I have only recently properly realised. When we aren’t arguing or going out of our ways to annoy each other, your sisters will fight your corner no matter what.