Sunday, 29 November 2015

White Noise


My shoulders were hunched as I sat and observed the scene. I think the subtle sound of music in the background was intended to add to the calm ambience, yet it did nothing but heighten the tension to an alarming level. I tried to focus, I really did. But there were too many voices, causing my throat to tighten and a pounding sensation to throb at the core of my body. I wanted to be there, to be in the moment, desperately. But instead, the conversations in my head took control and glimpses of another universe, where I would rather have been, became increasingly vivid.

I glanced up to find the grand chandeliers oscillating, threatening to collapse. And I realised in that moment that I wasn't okay. I tried to blink away the vibrations but it only made them shake with more aggression. The purple and pink lights overhead were bright, too bright, to the point where a sickly notion began to flare within. It was as though my body was there but my soul wasn't. I was still, immobile, numb. My eyes watched the waiters in black uniform, clearing tables with fake smiles stamped upon their faces. I wanted one of them to stop and notice that I wasn't okay, that the ground beneath me was slipping from existence. But no one did. There was simply too much noise; an intimidating, frightening, white noise, as if I were underwater and my senses had been temporarily paralysed.

I came home and smudged my swollen eyes in black and wet my cheeks with tears of self-inflicted pity. And the most terrifying part was that when the sun rose the following day, I felt fine, as if nothing had even happened.

***

This was just a really honest piece on the roller coaster of emotions that I felt at a charity event. I wanted, or rather needed, to put it down in words for it to make some sense because I guess I'm still trying to understand this anxious and introverted nuance of my personality.

Have you ever felt like this? I'm really interested to hear your thoughts.


{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Friday, 30 October 2015

Beating Hearts in Anaesthetised States // Poetry



You and I are insecure and fragile beings,
Cautiously breathing in incoherent rhythms and beats and
Laced with fear and vulnerability, poisoned by the
Light of television screens and bias in textbooks,
Forced into a state of anxiety that with a single motion
This network could collapse and our world as we know it, gone.
There are bents and crossroads, conflicting and leading
Us travelling in a precarious balancing act,
A perpetual tightrope in a circus of malicious ridiculing
As the shadows watch with glaring eyes, taunting and controlling.
Lowered gazes as neighbours take children to school,
Hot drinks sipped in silence in overcrowded coffee shops as we
Veil our deepest thoughts and 2am breakdowns,
They circle and monitor us on the streets where segregation
Dances in revelling mockery at the downfall of human compassion.
Can liberation really be achieved in solitude,
Where we are manipulated, distorted, metamorphosed,
Where we are rich and poor, black and white, man and woman: binaries?
Tricked into believing that self-actualising dreams are reachable yet
You and I are nothing, nothing but beating hearts in anaesthetised states.


{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Summer Journal: Favourites


It’s been three and a half months. It’s been an interesting and self-improving journey. It’s been my summer; documented in snippets of loopy handwriting, vibrant colour and memories locked between pages.

It’s been three and a half months since this post, where I shared my hopes of recording my adventures in a journal that I purchased on the day of my last exam. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how refreshing it’s been to spend evenings exploring the possibilities that a blank page can offer.

So today, I’m going to share some of my favourites with you, along with the stories that come with each piece. And once you’ve finished reading, I encourage you to draw, write, doodle and paint, in an attempt to use creative expression to calm the chaos.

The Infinite Child: 16/07/15



I spent an evening with my younger sisters painting this, eyes narrowing in deep concentration, smile widening at the thought of doing something so… childlike. It’s strange because paint is something that I’m uncomfortable using. I find that my hand struggles to keep steady, my strokes are disorderly and the final product is nothing like how I envisioned.

But in this case, my rainbow was messy on purpose, in order to relive the days spent sitting at the colourful tables in primary school with no rules attached to what I created. And if I were to take one lesson from this experience, it is that I should never let my age confine me.

Willow Tree: 01/08/15



The thought of willow trees always brings about a magical energy. There’s just something about them that instigates an enchanted atmosphere, and I felt compelled to capture that on paper.

This piece was inspired by a dream and although its significance was small, its impact wasn’t. Being within the presence of this stranger made me feel a heart-warming sense of safety and protection from the rush of the outside world. It’s difficult for me to explain the exact effect it had, but if a dream has the power to make me feel like that, then I’m not going to hesitate to document it.

Vulnerability: 02/08/15



A lack of motivation hit me hard around the time that this piece was created. My pen was lying flat upon blank pages and my head had lost all power to conjure up any profound thoughts that were worth sharing.

That was until I stumbled across the quote, ‘Your art matters’, and it couldn’t have found me at a more appropriate time. These three words scream vulnerability, because yes, my art is individual and precious, so to release it into the world is daunting to say the least. But does that make it any less valuable? It may not matter to others, but it matters to me, and that’s good enough.

Independence: 4th-6th August 2015



Three days spent in the bustling capital city of England with an abundance of freedom at my fingertips was something that I never imagined doing without my parents, but I did, which only meant one thing: independence.

Somehow, in between the madness of growing up, I’ve truly become my own person. Somewhere along the way my parents let go of my hand and I started catching the bus by myself, I started purchasing things with my own debit card and thoughts about university, jobs and driving lessons took over my world. So to me, this particular piece holds a deeper, more life changing meaning, and when I look back I can only hope that it will be recognised as a time of growth and positive change.

The Black Biro: 19/08/15



There was an eerie yet soothing silence imbued in my home on this particular day. The rest of the world was dreaming, the sun was gradually awakening, and yet my hands were insatiable to put pen to paper.

I hesitated, butterflies flurrying inside, my pen hovering, ready to begin. Words sprung from within and soon I was filling lines upon lines with ideas and philosophies entwined with honesty. Who knew that a simple black biro could give me so much power and control and freedom. I knew instantly that I wanted to keep this page of incoherent thoughts and musings, because despite their probable irrelevance in ten years’ time, they mean everything to me right now.

Which one is your favourite and why?

Would you like to see more pages of my journal?

{All photos belong to me, if you'd like to use them please give credit!}

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

One Last Adventure

September has inevitably dawned upon us, bringing a conclusion to the summer days that seemed to be as equally nonchalant yet fleeting. Simultaneously however, this has catalysed the beginning to a re-energised perspective, causing a surge of internal warmth to erupt and soar within.

With this bittersweet notion in mind, my brother and I decided to have one last whimsical adventure, in an attempt to close the chapter of ‘Summer 2015’ on a momentous note.

***

The smiling sun transcended above the charming ambience of our neighbourhood and danced in glee across our skin. We passed familiar houses until we were greeted with the glorious aroma of food; eyes glinting, stomachs insatiable.

Fish and chips in hand, we took a turn fuelled by curiosity into the unknown streets of our town. Venturing through the winding roads, we admired the beautiful homes of strangers as thoughts were exchanged about anything and everything.

The golden haze of the setting sun ignited our hearts as Never Get You Right by Brandon Flowers replayed in our heads, causing me to feel momentarily transported to an adolescent dream that I was hesitant to wake up from.

With our stomachs satisfied, we managed to work our way back and find ourselves amongst familiarity once again. The finality of the last three and a half months may have materialised, but I’m certain that the heart-warming memories and the self-discovering lessons will last an eternity.


***

I hope that you found this post interesting and that you all had an incredible summer filled with growth and a revived ambition for the next academic year.


I just wanted to quickly share with you an article that I wrote for The News Hub all about music’s deterioration due to a lack of passion from artists and the destroying nature of the industry. I put a lot of effort into the piece so I would be so grateful if you could have a read and let me know your thoughts. Also, please give it a vote on the site if you did like it; it would mean the world to me.



{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Same City, New Perspective

Her fingers created strokes in the mist that veiled the train window as flickers of light seeped through and each station’s name was called out over the speaker by a nameless woman. Her eyes were heavy with exhaustion but her heart was wild with inspiration after three days of consuming the wonder of the capital city. As the train rattled by, swirling shapes and shadows could be found outside as the sky displayed a fiery exhibition of oranges, reds and golds.

The array of colours reflected in her soft eyes, as thoughts of her hometown occupied her mind for the entire journey. The glorious flavours of her mother’s spaghetti bolognese already began to explode in her mouth. The sound of innocent giggles from her sisters rang through her ears as she became insatiably desperate to feel their tight embrace.

Another station was called out and a warm feeling tingled down the valleys of her tendons, the crossroads of her veins, right through to the core of her anatomy. She pictured the peaceful neighbourhood that she had known all her life, silently waiting for her arrival. She refused to forget her determination as she walked through the same alleyway every day for five years on her way to school.

The fond memories of spending many evenings after school perusing the library as a youngster, as well as walking through the buzzing city centre in the lead up to Christmas and being able to smell the sweet aroma of fresh doughnuts wafting through the air. The large tree across the road that stood like a warrior, sheltering her and her friends in the dreary Autumn months, as she felt the rushing thrill of being chased in a game of ‘tag’.


She remembers it all as the image of her city became more and more vivid in her head. Familiarity is what she craved. She was only separated from her city for a few days, but those few days was all she needed to be able to truly believe in the magic of her hometown. And it’s made her want to go out and discover all of the hidden treasures that it has to offer, it’s made her want to see her city like a tourist because sometimes you have to, in order to really feel its beauty.

The glimmering lights filtering through the train window beamed brighter as the name of her hometown was finally called out. She smiled at her brother who sat beside her, equally as delighted. Never had the phrase, ‘the grass isn’t always greener on the other side’ been truer. Her eyes saw the same city, but her heart saw brighter skies, prettier buildings and greener landscapes.

Walking out of the station along the cobblestones beneath her aching feet, she spread her arms and grinned, all the while thanking God because she knew that in that moment, she was so lucky. As she made her way through the quiet town, a woman in a vibrant blue dress and sparkly heels walked past and sent a smile her way. A smile that said, ‘welcome home’, as if the stranger knew just how much home meant to her.

***

I felt inspired after my recent trip to London, which you can read about here, and wanted to share my thoughts on coming back home in a short story. I really hope you enjoyed reading it, be sure to leave a comment or tweet me to let me know what you think!

{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Reflect and Refocus

I sat in retrospection of the long days spent devouring each and every letter within the textbooks that scattered my bed, deciphering meanings between the lines like a detective. Hands smudged in smoky black and dents formed in my hands where pressure was applied. As ink exploded upon paper in the midnight silence, I became desperate to articulate each thought in a sophisticated and formulaic style in order to please the education system.

My analytical cogs whirred as I tried to imbue the right technique into the essays that occupied and strained my clouded mind. My eyes burned and my head rhythmically pounded as I stared in hopeless naivety at the computer screen in the communal library, surrounded by students equally as weary, mind’s numbing at the pressure that loomed behind wet eyes and miserable smiles.

But now this hardship belongs to the past and I believe that there is a silver lining among us. And that silver lining, believe it or not, is results day. When it finally arrived, it acted as a metaphorical barrier between the concept of reflection over the past year and the goal of refocusing for the year ahead. And on Thursday 13th August, I crossed that barrier.


Results day, no matter how nerve-wracking, formed a revived sense of inspiration, instigating an odd craving to learn and a recharged ambition to prove that I’m worthy of the grades that I want. And in a bizarre way, this day was a necessity, because now I’m ready. I’m ready to scribble down my infinite to-do lists once again, I’m ready to inhale coffee in the early mornings and to eat far too many energy bars to keep me going. I’m ready to avoid falling in the trap of complacency and I’m sure as hell ready to be the student I know I can be.

Believe me when I say that I understand the inevitable risk of losing sight of what’s important, as I’m suffocated by sleepless nights and my dreams are suppressed by mental fatigue. But I’m hoping that when that feeling strikes, I can find the strength to reflect on the time before results day, remember that it’s all worth it in the end, and refocus on the future of hopeful success.

Behind the barrier is a lesson, but ahead of the barrier lies the unknown. And for once, I’m excited at the thought of that, because the unknown means that I have a choice in how I wish to shape my future. Thanks to results day, I now have a clearer idea of what I want my second year of college to entail, and I know that I’m ready to conquer it wholeheartedly.

{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Monday, 10 August 2015

London 2015

Everyone around me faded into a drunken blur as I smiled at the sheer wonder and surge of curiosity that the capital city had permeated into my veins. I consumed the various flavours of exotic food, captured the scents of rushing people and admired the beautiful architecture that surrounded me.

Three days, two people, one city; here are the most memorable moments.


- Checking into the hotel on our own was a new experience and it felt like we had finally made the transition into adulthood. That was until we couldn’t actually unlock the door to our room and had to get the kind lady staying in the room next door to show us how it’s done…

- Feeling the surge of warm air glide across my skin as the tubes passed by in the underground tunnels. It’s such a small thing but that sudden rush epitomised that feeling that travelling gives you; that feeling of constantly being blown away by everything that you see.

- Hearing various different languages and accents from all over the world really heightened the concept of diversity and filled me with so much joy to see that so many cultures were being united in this one city.

- As we were lost in the backstreets of London trying to find Brick Lane, my brother happened to trip over, almost face-plant the floor and to top it all off, dropped his phone. I luckily managed to capture the aftermath on video and couldn’t stop laughing for a good five minutes.

- Exploring the vintage shop ‘Blitz’ and admiring the unique pieces and beautiful d├ęcor. The entire shop was such a magical place and I’ll definitely remember it with fond memories whenever I wear the gorgeous top I bought from there.


- Setting eyes on the colourful houses in Notting Hill for the first time and being completely mesmerised by the quaint shops on Portobello Road. All the while I imagined myself sitting on one of the balconies and filling my notebook with afternoon musings as I watch the crowds of people perusing the stalls below.


- Visiting the Sherlock Museum on Baker Street and wearing the detective’s renowned hat was something that I’ll never forget. Browsing the various ornaments and small treasures was a lot of fun and further enhanced my love for the series.



- Reminiscing my childhood as we walked through King’s Cross Station and wishing that platform nine and three quarters really did exist. Harry Potter was a huge part of my childhood so to get the chance to go to where some of the scenes were filmed was incredible.

- Walking up the stairs out of King’s Cross Station to find Big Ben staring back at us, chiming as if to remind us of its existence, standing tall like a ruler watching over his kingdom. With just over an hour and a half before the tube strike, I sat down to breathe it all in as the crowds rolled by, continuing on their way.


- The cool breeze blessing my cheeks as we took a pleasant stroll around Westminster, laughing at the crazy amount of runners and cyclists as well as taking advantage of any place to sit due to my feet aching from walking around all day.

- Since we were so exhausted we decided to take a break and sit down at a bus stop for a while. Despite it being something quite boring and uneventful, there was plenty of laughter and I just really enjoyed being in my brother’s company.

- Sitting in bed drinking cup-a-soups whilst looking back at the photos and videos that we'd taken that day. It was really relaxing and exactly what I needed after such a tiring day.

- Pulling out our Oyster cards as we stepped onto a bus only to find that it was free due to the tube strike. The bus was packed but the atmosphere was wonderful and everyone seemed to notice one another, whereas before people wouldn't even look twice.

- Tasting the delicious street food and enjoying the refreshing smoothies at Borough Market. The entire place was buzzing and the central seating place was surrounded by beautiful nature; the perfect place to explore on a sunny afternoon.




- Finding a huge chalkboard at Borough Market with ‘Before I die I want to…’ written on it, allowing people to write down what they wish to do before death finally takes them. It was lovely to read about people’s dreams, no matter how crazy they were, and really added a wonderful touch to the place.


The trip was a lovely end to a great summer however, stepping back into my home city filled me with so much pride and gratitude, making me realise that to live where I live really is a blessing. Nevertheless, London has taught me a lot and I’m so thankful that I got the chance to go.

{All photos belong to my brother and I, if you'd like to use any please give credit!}

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Live a Colourful Life

I’m never going to live a colourful life when I’m in the confines of my comfort zone.

Have you ever noticed that slight glint of rainbow colours inside of a bubble that shimmers against the sunlight as it floats with such grace? I always feel so content in their company that it’s almost as if these bubbles act as my comfort zone, the colours only accumulating inside because inside is where I feel the most definitive and carefree. And as soon as these bubbles pop I become doubtful, because in my eyes the world outside of this bubble is a dangerous territory and I imagine it as a precarious place that I simply can’t trust.

I become hungry to blow more bubbles and use them as a form of concealment, thinking that there is simply no colour on the outside, just frightful chaos and insecurity. Yet the truth is that I’m never going to always stay in my comfort zone. At some point or another I’m going to be challenged and forced to push the boundaries, often having to puncture these bubbles myself.


I reside in them because I don’t feel free to truly be myself anymore, due to various tyrants known as society’s rules, the government’s laws and the media’s expectations. These bubbles have been my safety net for too long now. They’ve created the illusion that anything outside of the bubble has to be questioned which isn’t necessarily the case. And only now, after seventeen years of existing, have I realised that there is colour out there if only I choose to look in the right places and surround myself with the right people.

I wish to breakout and consume all of the compelling shades that are out there because now, I refuse to be confined. So I’m going to risk it, even when the different colours smudge and become an unsettling mess, and all I want to do is to blow more bubbles and hide. I’m going to risk it, in the hopes that it could lead to something even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Saturday, 25 July 2015

A Letter to Rejection

To Rejection,

Let me tell you a story. Last month I read about a week-long training programme in London, based at the headquarters of established names like The Times and The Sun, where only fifteen people would be chosen to attend. The winners would be taught the ins and outs of journalism, they would get an honest insight into the tricks of the trade as well as developing interpersonal competence and learning how to effectively overcome challenges.

But how could I possibly stay in London on my own for an entire week? How could I discuss ideas with experienced journalists and not get nervous?

Being the anxious introvert that I am, I went through the multiple stages of doubting my ability, through to the mountainous fear of being too overwhelmed by the immensity of it all, right through to the final stage of anger towards myself for even thinking for a second that I couldn’t do this.

So after going over it a thousand times in my head, I crafted (and took far too long to edit) a 500 word piece on a topic of my choice along with a short paragraph on why I’d like to be a part of the programme. I sent off my application with mixed feelings of excitement, apprehension and a whole load of ambivalence, and patiently waited for a reply.

A few days after the deadline for applications, an email landed in my inbox. I stared at it for a while, emotions whirring and head spinning. I partly knew what was waiting for me inside of the email, but another part of me also thought; what if I actually got accepted? What if things actually worked out in my favour?

‘I’m sorry to inform you that on this occasion your application was not successful.’


One of the reasons that I was so afraid of this happening was because I’m the type of person who overthinks, who would start believing that I’m a terrible writer or that being a journalist maybe isn’t the right career path for me. 

So I pulled out a notebook from my drawer and scribbled down every thought I had, every emotion and every sense of feeling about the situation. And when my fingers started to ache and I’d set free the last thing I had to say, I smiled.

Yes, I’m down about it. But I’m not sad or angry or upset, I’m just down. I’m not afraid of you Rejection, I’m just simply tired of you showing your face far too often than I’d like.

If I’d received this email a couple of years ago, I know exactly what would’ve happened. I would’ve been overthinking for days, I would’ve refused to write a single word and I would’ve disbelieved in my ability completely. But I’m writing this just half an hour after receiving the email with a calm feeling of ‘everything happens for a reason’. And to me, that’s an achievement in itself.

So thank you Rejection, for not only allowing me to see that there is value in your existence, but there’s also value in myself too and that I should never let you or any other setback define my ability. It doesn’t mean that I’m a terrible writer, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean that journalism isn’t the right career path for me; it just means that as of right now, the universe has a better plan.

{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Anatomy // Poetry



My hair is a disposition of feathers upon a raven soaring high,

Gliding amongst my features with zenith pride,

My nose a cliff overlooking the city skyline

Inhaling the wind’s cathartic sigh,

Sprinkling pretty freckles amongst defining lines,

Progressing to my lips as creases vanish with a smile.



My breasts are two mountains sitting side by side,

Watching over green vines that glorify

My hands that are imperfectly designed,

Dipping like valleys that coincide

With nails immersed in red from berries so divine,

Nails that tear at the body that I'm forced to despise.



My stomach is a hill with curves and bumps that rise

Over thighs that dance alongside,

My feet are clouds drifting through skies

Like artwork resonating with generations through time,

As even my dark patches hitch a ride

With the stars upon my skin that wish to stay alive.


***

I don't think I’ll ever be ‘body confident’ as such, but I know that if I try hard enough I can transform my perspective into a more healthy and positive one. I strongly believe in the importance to take what we think are the flaws of our anatomy and to rebuild them into something that we're proud of. And even if it is just a fantasy inside of our heads, it can still have a huge impact on how we view and treat ourselves.

So with this poem I really wanted to take the things that we often don't like about our appearance and analogise those features with natural imagery and senses. I've been reading into the concept of surrealism a lot lately and wanted to incorporate elements of that into my writing. It’s honestly been such an interesting way to explore my mind further and to discover the infinite possibilities of my imagination; I definitely want to try and experiment with the idea of surrealism a lot more in the future.

What things do you do in order to have a more positive perception of yourself?

Would you like to see more poetry on Nabsticle?



{Photo source via Pinterest}