3 Days, 3 Quotes, Part 2

I was nominated by some wonderful fellow bloggers, Elusive Trope and From Crazy With Love for the 3 days, 3 quotes challenge and here is my day two, with another song quote.

This time I’ve selected the verse and chorus from the song Butterflies and Hurricanes by my favourite band, Muse, these lyrics written by the front man Matt Bellamy.  This is another one of my, ‘this is my favourite Muse songs but I’d probably say the same thing about half their songs…’

Change everything you are
And everything you were
Your number has been called
Fights and battles have begun
Revenge will surely come
Your hard times are ahead

Best,
You’ve got to be the best
You’ve got to change the world
And use this chance to be heard
Your time is now

I always liked the lyrics in this song.  The second verse is the same as the first, but with more feeling.  The entire song sounds like an ascension, the vocals and music starting out softly, getting louder and more complex with each line until BOOM! Piano solo.  It’s absolutely fantastic.

But I digress.

Change everything you are
And everything you were
Your number has been called

I relate to this song a lot more this year than any other year, being the year that I’ve changed everything I was for the better.  Of course it started out slowly towards the end of last year, but I guess you could say that when I hit rock bottom, my panic attack at work last year, that was my number being called.

Fights and battles have begun
Revenge will surely come
Your hard times are ahead

Like anything in life, nothing comes easy and becoming a happy and healthy person certainly has had it’s ups and downs, I assume it always will, but fighting the downs and hard times is something that I have the power to do, therefore I will .

Best,
You’ve got to be the best

This probably touches home more than any other line in the song.  I wouldn’t go as far as saying I have to be the best, to me that just seems impossible, but I sure can relate to it in the sense that when I don’t do as well as hoped or planned, I do feel like a bit of a failure.  Another thing I am working on.

You’ve got to change the world
And use this chance to be heard

Small changes every day is the only way we are going to change the world.  I don’t for a second believe that one person can do it alone, but I do believe that by sharing my struggles, successes and things I’ve learned along the way, that I might be able to give some people hope.  I’ve certainly learned a lot and been given a tonne of hope from reading other peoples blogs who have had similar experiences.  This is my chance to be heard and I’m using it.

Your time is now

Now.  Just now.  There is no time like the present for us to take opportunities and enjoy life.  I spent far too long not enjoying life, so these days I try to take every Now that I can.

If you want to hear the song, I’ve included it here.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

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3 Days, 3 Quotes, Part 1

I was nominated by some wonderful fellow bloggers, Elusive Trope and From Crazy With Love for the 3 days, 3 quotes challenge.

When I completed the #LoveMe challenge,  I was bordering on the decision not to do any more blogging challenges.  As I mentioned in the final post of that challenge, I didn’t particularly enjoy it.  I wanted to write my own topics.  But after a bit of thought I’ve decided to go ahead with this one last challenge, because there are a few quotes that I genuinely do want to share.

Today I am starting with a quote from the great James Hetfield… Well, a few lines from one of my favourite Metallica songs, so same thing.  It is likely that most of my quotes will be from songs, music speaks to me, both lyrics and composition, like nothing else.

Do you bury me when I’m gone
Do you teach me when I’m here
Just as soon as I belong
Then it’s time I disappear

This is from the chorus of the song I Disappear.  It’s one of my favourite Metallica songs (although if I’m honest I’d probably say the same about at least half their songs) and it’s also the song that led to them losing a lot of fans… because of their responding lawsuit to the song being leaked early on Napster. Personally, I’m not bothered either way by this controversy, I love Metallicas’ music and that’s reason enough for me to be a fan for life.

The reason I chose this “quote” for day one is because for the longest time, I felt like this song could have been written about me.  The entire song.  Obviously it wasn’t, and I actually don’t know specifically what it is about.  There are many schools of thought on what it could be about, but for me, it spoke to me personally, about my social phobia, before I even knew I had it.

At the height of my depression, this was one of the few songs I listened to.  It made me feel like I wasn’t the only person out there who struggled to make social connections.  Don’t get me wrong, I had friends and acquaintances, but I rarely felt like I fit in very well and on the odd occasions that I did, it was usually followed quickly by the disbandment of the friendship, not by my choice.  Obviously there are exceptions to this, but I was so insecure that I never noticed or appreciated the genuine friends I had for the longest time.

Do you bury me when I’m gone

This line impacts me in a big way.  I have been both the victim and instigator of backstabbing, on many an occasion.  As far as I knew, it was normal.  I backstabbed my supposed close friends to anyone who would listen, one, because I knew they were backstabbing me and two, because the friendships were superficial, we would all be in desperate need of friends so we clung to each other, even though we hadn’t established a genuine emotional connection, due to our personal yet similar issues.

Do you teach me when I’m near

I’ve often had people take me under their wing.  I never hid my awkwardness so I naturally became a project for a lot of people who again had their own issues.  They liked to change everything about me, teach me if you will.  Usually these people didn’t have my best interests in mind however, it was done to make themselves feel better.  I was viewed as not good enough, or lesser than them.  It would make them feel better about themselves, knowing that there was someone weaker than them out there.

Just as soon as I belong
Then it’s time I disappear

As I mentioned above, I’ve often found that as soon as I felt comfortable in a social situation, the situation would usually change.  Whether it was me literally being dropped from the group, or some factor changing that I genuinely couldn’t handle, I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times I have finally felt accepted only for the situation to 180 and leave me confused as to what happened.

The entire song speaks to me about my social phobia.  Drifting from group to group, hoping to be accepted, while hating myself and my awkwardness in the process.  I often pretended to be strong, outgoing and confident (alcohol helped) to get myself in with a group, which would usually result in the ‘disappearing’ part when they realised that the confidence was just a front.

I want to stress that this is not true of all my friendships in the past.  I have met a lot of people in my time and had some wonderful times.  It just took me longer than it should have to focus on the people that accepted me for who I was, struggles and all.  Nowadays, while I still have social phobia, especially in large groups, I appreciate the friends that I do have.  And while I don’t see many of them very often, I no longer desperately need to.  I have learned that friendship does not mean you have to see and be in contact with each other every waking minute.  Alone time is amazing and some of the best friendships in the world are between people who only see each other once or twice a year.  But when they do, nothing has changed and they still enjoy each others’ company.

Here is a link to the song.  It really is a great song and I still love it because it reminds me of how far I’ve grown as a person.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

#LoveMe Day Twenty Eight. What Have I Learned During This Challenge

Finally I am writing the last post for this twenty eight day challenge. A challenge that should have taken me exactly twenty eight days, but instead took me nearly two months.

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Why? Because I didn’t enjoy it. It made writing, something I absolutely love doing, become a chore. I do not like chores and I have a tendency to procrastinate when it comes to them, so naturally I dragged finishing this challenge out.

It started out fine. The topics were fun, some a little open to interpretation, but all very on point with happiness, positivity and enjoying the life I’ve been given. So what changed?

Honestly, I don’t know. I know I missed getting to choose my own topics. I’m brimming with ideas on what to write about, but felt like I had to finish the challenge first, which is definitely not the right mindset to be in for completing a task.

We are getting to the busy time of the year which automatically stresses me out. I always feel like I’m running out of time around October and November. Christmas and New Year creep up so suddenly, one minute they seem like they are a lifetime away, the next they are just around the corner. It’s around this time of year I start stressing about money, about how many paydays are left and how much needs doing at that time.

It gets busier at work, which means extra hours and while this is something I can cope with, the lesser personal hours certainly takes its toll on me. There is still the same amount of things to be done, but less time to do them in. Subsequently I end up spending my big planned weekends doing nothing, just to make sure that I get enough rest.

I also haven’t been very well of late. Rundown, I’ve had a couple of colds (in November???) And I even managed to get myself a stomach bug last week. I am not good at being ill, never have been. I swear I get manflu.

It also doesn’t help that I’ve completely fallen off the healthy eating wagon. I eat something healthy every single day, but I’ve also been treating myself daily which is showing in my temperament, weight and overall physical wellbeing. I’m definitely not depressed or anxious, but the signs are there.

Thanks to Movember, I’ve managed to keep my exercise on track. I’m evercising for at least 30 minutes a day for the whole of November and raising funds for The Movember Foundation in the process. So far I have raised $145 which is awesome. Most of the people at my workplace are getting amongst it and as a team we have raised over eight grand, which is absolutely amazing.

So it’s not all bad, which is the part I  focusing on. I know that eating too many treats has a negative effect on all aspects of my health, mental, physical and my sleep patterns and I don’t know how I let it get to this point, but the fact is I have. It’s not too late to change it though. Admitting it on my blog is a good start. I haven’t been pretending that I’ve been 100% good for the last few months, more just not admitting it to myself, that way I wouldn’t have to deal with it.

Life is a rollercoaster. We have ups and downs, sometimes more ups and sometimes more downs. I’ve had more ups this year than any other year I’ve been alive, so I’m not berating myself for this couple of months of downs. We all fall off at some stage, from whatever we are trying to achieve, fitness, health, goals, the important thing is to get back on the horse, which is what I intend to do, starting tomorrow.

I’m actually really proud of myself for not over thinking this setback. I could analyze it from every angle for a few more months and sink deeper and deeper in doing so to the point where crawling back up is like starting over again, but somehow this time around I have managed not to do so. It just goes to show that while it is easy enough to fall back into old habits, the further you have come, the easier it is to fight them.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

#Loveme Day Twenty Seven: What Have I Accepted About Me

I’m finally getting through this challenge. Something I have accepted about myself is that I sure can’t do everything! Doesn’t stop me from trying though…

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I’ve discussed in previous posts the negative opinion I’ve had of myself for most of my life. As far as I was concerned I was useless, ugly, basically good for nothing. I didn’t try to do anything because I ‘just knew’ that I wouldn’t be able to do it.

From the outside, I probably looked like I thought I was better than everyone. I know I tried to cover up my insecurities by acting this way. I would smirk at things all the time, every emotion was negative. I didn’t like to see people succeed and I was very quick to point out any down sides to peoples achievements I could, to other jealous people of course. I was the walking definition of Tall Poppy Syndrome.

This year, I have accepted that I am not useless. I am still working on not constantly thinking of myself as ugly, but I know for a fact now that I can do things I set my mind to. What’s changed? My attitude and a little bit of effort.

Gone are the days of putting people down behind their backs due to jealousy, purely to make myself feel better. Now I celebrate their successes and support them, as they do me. I no longer wake up angry at myself, constantly telling myself ‘there’s no point, don’t even try’ because there is a point. I’m not scared of failure anymore because failure doesn’t have to be forever.

It might seem like a strange thing to accept, but it is a pretty big deal to me. It’s turned me into a different person. A happy person, a person who wants to live life to the full, finding as much enjoyment as possible in each day and sharing it with people along the way. I think that’s a pretty alright way to be.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

Conflict

It’s already beginning
The natural fear of inevitability
Such a long time has passed
Wounds as raw as ever

They play out in the mind
Reopening one by one
Each individual moment
The good, the bad and the rest

Emotions fresh and painful
Anger, hurt and betrayal
Was it the right decision
To look out for number one

The utter disbelief
Reliving every angle
Making the tough decision
Then dealing with the doubt

The stomach is sinking
Deeper with each passing moment
There’s no reason to be afraid
Though anxiety begs to differ

It won’t be that bad
After all there is no true blame
Repeat the mantra
It’s okay, it’s okay, it will be okay

Self fulfilling prophecy
It may or may not become
There’s nothing to be done
But facing fear head on

Fear of the unknown
Fear of what will be
Fear that it could go either way
No way to be prepared

Trembling hands and cold sweats
Just breathe, just breathe
Be brave this one time
Then move on, it’s done

#LoveMe Day Twenty Six: What Makes Me Feel Beautiful

Probably the toughest topic yet this one. Beauty is such a personal thing, perception of it varies from person to person, there are no hard and fast rules.

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Zombie tells me I’m beautiful every day and this is something I had to get used to. As a person who hated their appearance for the majority of their life, to suddenly be told this daily was difficult to say the least. I didn’t believe him, even though I knew that he wasn’t saying it for the sake of it. He wasn’t the first person to say it, but he is the one person who has said it to me the most, even on my frumpy days and after a while I learned to accept it as his opinion. He’s not wrong, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Being beautiful isn’t important to me. I am learning to be comfortable in my own skin and I think that’s way more important than being perceived by others as beautiful. There have been plenty of times where I have spent hours trying to perfect my hair, make up and outfit until I’m reasonably confident that I looked good and secretly hoped for compliments only to have no one tell me I looked nice which crushed my spirits. My expectations were the issue there.

On other occasions I’ve felt confident in my appearance, no matter how little effort I’ve put in only to have ‘friends’ come up to me and literally start redoing my hair or makeup without my asking because it wasn’t up to their standards. Needless to say I don’t associate with people like that anymore.

For me, beauty is in nature and human kindness, but not appearance. Sure, there are plenty of absolutely beautiful people in the world, but some of them are just horrible on the inside, which is where being beautiful counts for me.

Smiles and Sunshine
Katie

#Loveme Day Twenty Five: What Makes Me Laugh

Today’s topic is quite an easy one, because laughing is one of my favourite things to do and I do it a lot!

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It doesn’t take much to make me laugh.  Dad jokes especially make me laugh.  I just find them hilarious!  The more lame, the better in my opinion.  Zombie is full of dad jokes and while I give him shit for it, I actually do appreciate them. I hate jokes about German sausages, they’re the wurst.

I have a tendency to see the humour in a lot of things and laugh at all of them, no matter how inappropriate.  I have a loud ever changing laugh that often makes people laugh when they hear and I’m okay with that. Sometimes I laugh about jokes or events from years ago just because they popped into my head.  If someone tells a funny story, I’m usually the first to laugh and also, the person who laughs the longest.  So much so that I might still be laughing about it ten minutes later when everyone else has finished laughing (although often this is just me with a silly grin on my face thinking about what happened as opposed to actual out loud laughter.

I laugh at myself.  I do and say silly things sometimes and that’s funny! I’m quite happy to laugh about tripping over or muddling up my words, its a lot more fun that way and it also lightens the mood.

Sometimes, I can’t laugh.  As always, these times are when I’m having a low day or a particularly anxious moment.  It doesn’t matter if its something I’ve found funny in the past, or something that is guaranteed to get a laugh out of me, on these days, it is hard for me to laugh.  The feeling of helplessness seems to cancel out any humour I might have.  However if I’m lucky, it’s only a minor low point and a laugh will snap me out of it.  They say laughter is the best medicine and I am a firm believer of that, provided that my mental health is playing ball.

Our days should be filled with laughter.  Life is too short to be taking ourselves and our surroundings too seriously.  As Charlie Chaplin once said, ‘A day without laughter is a day wasted.’

Smiles and Sunshine

Katie