Mother Nature’s Solo

The woodpecker takes the role of percussion,

the bubbling brook,

the coo of a distant bird.

The melodic sound of the wind blowing through the trees,

the delicate crunch of leaves under the hoof of a passing deer,

the gentle humming of a bumble bee.

As the sun wakes upand sings her morning song.

The world is an orchestra,

building to a crescendo,

conducted by Mother Nature.

And you are the audience,

giving it the standing ovation it deserves.

O.C.Dear

For the past few weeks, I have been attending therapy on campus, every Friday at 14:00 after work with Winnie. I was very nervous before attending, as I have a fear that people won’t believe my mental illnesses, or take them seriously. I did what I usually do: obsessively research what to expect from your first therapy session every night until 3am, and talk aloud to myself for hours; planning what I am going to say.

I see this as being well-prepared, but others have pointed out that these actions are verging on the neurotic.

My first therapy session was better than I could ever had expected. Winnie is really nice, and asked me questions I had never even considered (which is probably good since I could not prepare, and so my answers were more spontaneous and authentic).

The sessions all compiled of mini breakthroughs, and Winnie pointing out several patterns in my thinking and behaviour. It’s nice to see that my mental health issues are not completely random, rather follow a common theme. It makes me feel less out of control and paranoid, and I can now better recognise when I may be in a situation where I may feel anxious.

The most interesting thing to come from my sessions is the alternative diagnosis that Winnie unofficially gave me.

Winnie thinks that I was misdiagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and instead suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

I would be lying if I said that this diagnosis did not come as a surprise. I always thought of OCD suffers being people who are incessantly clean, particular, and washed their hands non-stop. My mum will be the first person to tell you that I have never been the tidiest person in the world; although I make a more conscious effort to keep things orderly.

It turns out that OCD is a little more complicated than hand-washing and turning the lights on and off 20 times.

DSM 5 classifies OCD as:

OCD is characterised by the presence of obsessions and/or compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced as intrusive and unwanted, whereas compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that an individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.

The word “rule” sticks out to me because, as Winnie pointed out to me, I create my own bizarre rules. These rules give me comfort and a sense of order.

It would be hard to explain these rules to you, especially as a lot of them 1) barely make sense to me and 2) they work more in context. But a few include:

  • assigning particular items to particular people (ie. when making tea for people, I mentally assign mugs to each person, and get agitated if they do not adhere to which one they have been set)
  • clenching muscles equally on both sides of my body (if my right armpit twitches, I have to make my left armpit do the same or it feels uncomfortable)
  • stressing myself out because I am convinced I have to do a task or I will get in trouble (despite no one ever telling me to do these things or threatening me)

As you can see, my compulsions are fairly small and easy to miss, so this is why I appreciate being able to take advantage of the free therapy services that my university offers.

I don’y know much about OCD, and as I learn more about the disorder and more about myself then I will update you!

Love from Evie x

Fair Maiden

One man’s ruins is another man’s castle.

Turrets, four; guarding against an enemy unknown.

Up the tight corkscrew staircase

Uneven and crumbling,

lit only by the moon through slit windows.

There she is found.

Fair maiden, damsel in distress.

Yet, her sword tongue cuts through your shield.

Her eyes impale, with a glare that says,

“You can not save me.”

For the dragon to be slain,

lives inside the princess.

Sweet Nothings

Much a sweet nothings exchanged from lip to ear and lip to ear.

A shout into the void will receive a reply, my love, I promise you this.

The moon is our moon, the sun belongs to us.

The reason for the universe is simply for us to be.

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Go to your happy place

“Go to your happy place”

lying on a beach in a far away country

with the sun holding you as you drift to sleep,

the gentle breaking of waves singing you a lullaby again again again,

icing sugar sand is your pillow; soft and warm it relaxes you as you let it run through your fingers

but i much prefer the sharp pain of winter on my nose,

artificial warmth from a woollen blanket,

holding my favourite mug with both hands and allowing it to scald my palms,

hard rain incessantly tapping on my window, like they’re canon fodder for a machine gun

familiar shivers running through my body, rocking me like a baby

This is my happy place

Do Blondes Have More Fun? A (not very) scientific enquiry

At the end of 2018/start of 2019 I made the decision that everyone who runs away from their problems decides: I’m doing to drastically change my hair. “Yeah, changing my hair will change everything. Changing my hair will make it all better.”

At first, I wanted more of a warm subtle blonde. But, as many blondies will know, once you bleach you just can’t stop. My ultimate goal is now a Daenerys Targaryen mother-of-dragons and breaker-of-chains kinda lewk.

We all know the common belief that blondes are dumb (well, reader, I was this dumb before I dyed my hair so HA! The joke is on you.)

But the other famous stereotype is that blondes have more fun.

But what does this mean? Does it hold any bearing? Is bleaching your hair within an inch of its life the secret to happiness?

Well, I did a bit of digging.

A study (yes it’s from the Daily Mail but it still counts) suggest that 3/4 of women who dye their hair blonde feel immediately more sexy and glamorous. Blonde has always been the hair colour associated with sex icons (think Marilyn Monroe, Jennifer Lawrence, Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly and Pamela Anderson). Perhaps this new-found sexiness and feeling of glamour makes women feel happier and like they’re having more fun. So this seems to check out.

Studies have also shown that over 1/3 men seem to prefer blondes to any other hair colour, so perhaps more male attention = more fun? However, of course, it doesn’t matter what men prefer. You do you, girl.

There are, however, a few reasons why blonde may not be as fun. One being that it is higher maintenance, as roots grow through fast and (god forbid) you get brassy hair!

Also, I have noticed people have treated me a little different, and not always in the best of ways. I get the vibe that people who have only met me post-blonde assume I am ditsy, whereas when I had brown hair they would read my confusion as… well, just understandable confusion.

I have also noticed a few more men looking at me when I walk down the street. Of course, it’s flattering, but I am aware that my bright hair makes me stand out more and I’m just not used to the attention.

Ever since I dyed my hair, good things have happened. I got a job I really love (being paid to write- Yesss). I have developed some really meaningful and supportive friendships. My mental health has gotten better. Life is good, man.

However, is this because my hair now has no pigmentation? Or is it because I am more confident in myself, and I am the one that has made these things happen.

I feel more confident so I socialise more and, of course, my friendships improve because of that. My confidence also leads to me applying for jobs I would have thought out of my league, and actually managed to get one. Also, my confidence has allowed me to feel ready (and worthy enough) to go and seek the help I need and deserve.

I do have more fun as a blonde, but not because I’m blonde. I have more fun because I have found a way to express myself and find confidence through having great hair!

I would love to hear what you guys think! Do blondes have more fun? Does your hair colour have that much of an impact on your quality of life? Let me know in the comments below!

Love from Evie x

Barbie as a Feminist Icon?

Barbie has never really been viewed favourably by Feminists. She represents very typical male-perspective impossibly high beauty standards for women. Her body is majorly disproportioned with loooong legs and boobs so big they MUST cause back problems. She represents decadent white America, teaching toxic beauty perceptions.

Yet, a study into Barbie’s career over the years does suggest that perhaps this plastic fantastic is owed some respect from us after all.

It turns out Barbie dolls have had around 72 careers during their time, including President of the United States. Barbie achieved where Hillary Clinton fell short, and has paved the way for other female dolls to also become President. Perhaps we will have a Bratz doll in the White House before we know it.

List of all the jobs Barbie has had over time, including salaries

As you can see by the list provided by Silver Swan Recruitment, Barbie has managed to earn over $45m. This makes her worth the same amount as Kim Kardashian, who is also a sex icon who deserves more respect for her career.

Barbie was a pilot, which is commendable since even in 2019, less than 6% of pilots are women.

Barbie was also a doctor for a short while, which seems progressive since women in movies and toys are delighted to nurses, while men get to be the actual doctors.

The point of this short article is that I hope that the toy industry is taking more of a serious thought into how they are shaping the children of tomorrow. Giving little girls a toy of a female president of the United States may seem small, but who knows how that shapes her perception of politics and her own boundaries as a woman.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of Barbie’s career path, and can she be fairly branded as a feminist icon?

Lots of love, Evie x

Exciting Opportunities

It is nearly this blog’s one year anniversary, and I have something exciting I wish to tell you about.

I know I wrote about this a few posts ago, but I just wanted to have a separate post to update you guys and to thank you all!

I first opened this blog as a portfolio of my writing. I knew I always wanted to go into editing/publishing/writing, and so I thought it would be handy for me to have a space on the internet that I could link potential employers to see my work. At first, it was mainly recipes, then book reviews, and now my blog has evolved into a place where I can just express myself.

Watching my blog grow and grow in users and clicks and everything has been so exciting. I love seeing familiar faces liking my posts, and I love hearing your comments.

I have an app which tells me where in the world my users are from, and it is so exciting to see people from the UK, to USA, to Nigeria, to Saudi Arabia, and further reading my content. I appreciate this little community which I have built, and all the support I have received from you guys over the year.

A few weeks ago, I started my job as a PROFESSIONAL WRITER (oh yeaahhhh). Professional in the sense that I get paid to write, I am not by any means saying I am a master of language… yet.

I have become the content writer for an online magazine called iStudent-Global, which is focused around writing for University students. I would massively appreciate you guys reading my content, and will link below to every single article I have had posted thus far:

The Future of AI

Mental Health Awareness Month 2019

Meet people who speak your language while studying abroad

How can your University support your Mental Health?

How to Save the World on a Student Budget

Tips for Dealing with Mental Health at University

What Alumni Say

My blog directly had an impact on whether or not I got this job, and I am so thankful that I made it.

The moral of this and the lesson I have learnt is to always seek out opportunities, or ways to make things happen. Create your own experiences and seize control of your own future and your destiny. I have so many friends who also want to go into writing, but the ones who have their own blogs/work for the student newspaper/write articles online are the ones who have/will achieve their goals. They are going out there and getting their own work experience in the industry, shaping their writing styles, and proving themselves to the world. I absolutely implore you to go out there and make it happen for yourself, take initiative!

I am hoping that now I will apply this lesson to other areas of my life, and I hope it helps out even just one of you!

Thank you for an amazing (almost) year, for supporting me and reading my content.

Please do comment below if you have anything to say/anything you would like me to write about.

Lots of love, Evie x

2019 Met Gala review

Officially THE fashion event of the year, the Met Gala is the time for celebrities to really show off their creativity and break boundaries. Although nothing could ever beat last year’s theme (we all know I’m a sucker for Renaissance art), the Camp theme this year was fun and broad enough to get a wide variety of lewks. It is a shame that Queen of the Met Rihanna did not make an appearance, as well as Blake Lively and Lana Del Ray who also slayed last year.

In this post, I will just be going through a few of my favourite looks, as well as a few that did not land for me.

Best dressed (in no particular order):

Lily Collins

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Who gave her permission to slay so hard? Lily Collins gave me life in this outfit. I love love love the 60s hair and makeup (similar to Dua Lipa’s look this year) paired with this frilly Renaissance dream. The whole look gave me very Lana Del Ray vibes, and I am glad she wore white as it was not a common colour this year. 10/10 would wear.

Ezra Miller

This look (or looks) is one part creepy, one part glamorous, and one part surreal. Miller has always been an advocate for gender-bending (lest we forget his iconic Playboy shoot) and so when he came out in a tailored suit with a diamond corset, silver train, and that bizarre optical-illusion make up look I was soooo happy. The cloak with his face as a mask gave me the Phantom of the Opera realness, and I have to say THAT is how you do the Met Gala.

Lupita Nygong’o

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Lupita can do no wrong for me. She is not afraid to take risks, and this one certainly payed off! The surplus of golden combs in her hair, the obnoxiously large rainbow shoulder pads and matching bag, you can tell that this Versace dress was custom made just for her. Do I love the makeup? No, it’s a bit sloppy. But the overall look screams “CAMP” to me so I adore it!

Lady Gaga

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Was I absolutely in LOVE with Gaga’s looks? Maybe not. But her presentation won it over for me. She brought performance to her fashion, and slowly undressed into four different looks. It was fun, it was Gaga, and it was CAMP. She understood and executed the assignment. That is how a Met Gala co-host makes an entrance! (let’s not speak of Harry Styles’ look…)

Lucy Boynton

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I actually had no idea who Lucy Boynton was, but I certainly do now after this look. I love that it is feminine, pastel, and feathery. The colours are amazing (I especially love the grey/duck-egg blue of her hair and lower-dress) and the white drop-lash detail makes her look like a fairy. Love it.

Cardi B

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Love her or hate her, you can’t deny that she served the Met last night. It’s over-the-top, it’s loud, it’s couture. The ribbed dress, the feathers. Cardi heard Rihanna was not going to come and took the opportunity to steal the Met Gala crown!

Honorary mentions also go to Martha West, Jared Leto, Michael Urie, Janelle Monae, Serena Williams, and Naomi Campbell.

 

Looks I did not live for:

All of the Kardashians

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What is this trainwreck? Don’t get me wrong, I usually adore the Kardashians, but giiiiirls. Kris’ look was basic, we’ve seen Kim do her’s before, and the Jenner girls just aren’t doing anything particularly ground-breaking. If Zendaya came as Cinderella, then the Jenners are the ugly step-sisters in this scenario. And do not even get me started on the men. Ezra Miller, Michael Urie, Jared Leto, and Billy Porter PROVED that men can- and should- steal the show! The Met Gala is not a time to play it safe.

RuPaul Charles

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I know I am going to receive some sh*t for this, so let me just remind y’all that I absolutely stan RuPaul and all he’s done for the LGBTQ+ community. That being said… girl… this made me so sad! The theme is Camp and you are Ru-mutherfuking-Paul! You better work! I get that this is campy, and I am not saying that you HAVE to be in drag, but give me some gender-bend! Give me something to remember! This theme was made for you and anything you usually wear as a judge on your show would have been a million times better!

Priyanka Chopra-Jonas

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My laptop was so grossed-out by this look that it wouldn’t let me download any pictures of her. I adored Priyanka’s look last year as it was super elegant and high-fashion, but this year… I felt she tried TOO hard. Too many ideas, no main concept, and I would just toned it down a little. Yes, the Met is about taking risks and having fun, but it is still a fashion event and so you have to display the slightest hint of fashion sense (also the rhinestone tights finished at the ankle which made me so mad).

Other dishonourable mentions include Kristen Stewart, Harry Styles, Katy Perry, Amber Valletta, Benedict Cumberbatch, Remi Malek, and Taron Egerton.

 

Prize for best entrance has to go to Billy Porter, which Vogue is calling “the Most Fabulous Entrance in Met Gala History”. Covered in Gold and being carried in Cleopatra-style by six gold-clad muscular men? That’s how I will make an entrance at my wedding.

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I’d love to hear what you guys thought about this year’s looks! Do you agree with me, do you not? Let me know down in the comments below!

 

Love from Evie x