Life as a Work of Art: guest writer

Hello! My name is Matthew Hedges, I’m a reality TV personality and YouTuber who’s always had a longing to create. Over the last few years of my life I’ve completely changed as a person and am absolutely in love with life. A lot of people, when they hear the word “Art” immediately think of a painting or maybe a stunning drawing they saw once in their life. That’s definitely not wrong, but I like to view “Art” in a different way.

Art to me, is a part of everything. The way you step on the cracks of a sidewalk, the way the rain drenches your clothes and the sun that rises and sets every morning and night. It’s all so beautiful to me, and I like to view life itself as a work of art. Every day that you experience is shaping and painting your life. From the good to the bad, each moment and memory in time effects the rough draft of your life.

I’m a firm believer that experience and failure are our greatest teachers. Sure we can learn a lot in class and at University, but there’s something different and life changing about when we fail. Each failure is there to teach you something. Maybe it’s to just teach you not to make that same mistake again, or it might be longing for you to take a deeper look under the surface of your life and evaluate some things. Anyways what I’m trying to get at is that our experiences and failures are painting a picture of our lives, and that is what I would call art.

Life is so unpredictable and it’s always switching directions and making drastic changes. That’s what makes art beautiful though. Art is diverse, it’s beautiful and it’s alive. You can choose to interpret any piece of art in any way you want, despite the original intent of the creator. So when it comes to your life, the failure and successes, you can choose to interpret them however you’d like.

When I think back on my life I can see the moments and events that changed where I am today. Life has tossed me around and completely thrown me for a loop. I would have never guessed that I’d end up where I am today. So thinking about my life’s best moments and my worst mistakes, I would never change a thing. They all belong and they’re all a part of my ever-growing and ever-changing life, or how I would like to refer to it as, my “Art.”

So go create your art and never look back! No matter which direction you go, it’s always beautiful and it’s always art.


instagram – @matthewhedgehog . youtube – Matthew Hedges

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A Reflective Monday

At around this time last year I wrote a post called The Year of High HopesIn this post I talked all about my hopes for the upcoming year as 2017 was about to bring some big changes. Today I wanted to look back on this post and see how far I have come. This is what I wrote down last year:

I hope that I am going to graduate: I actually did quite okay on my final exams. I didn’t need any of the resits and passed in one try, which I am so happy about. My mum even cried. Graduating brought a lot of changes: moving out and starting uni, which terrified me. However, I knew I had to at least try to see this terrifying this as an opportunity to turn my life around and start fresh. If you have ready moving out post, you will know how that went for me.

I hope that I will enjoy my first year at uni: I am enjoying (most of) my courses, so far I am doing alright when it comes to results and I am doing so many fun things when I am not in lectures. In fact, if you were to tell high school me that I would be going out almost every Tuesday night (sometimes even Thursday nights) and actually enjoy it, I do not think she would believe you.

I hope that living in a bigger city will make me feel more at home: Definitely. Not only do I enjoy the town itself; the possibilities to go shopping, go out and do other fun things. I also feel like I have always been a more of a ‘big-city-person’.

I hope that I will be able to surround myself with positive people: This must be the thing I am most happy about. I have found so many new friends who I can have a laugh with (mostly about ridiculous memes) but also talk to when I need someone. Even though I have only known them for a few months now, I am so thankful to have these amazing people in my life. I hope they feel the same way.

I hope to improve my creativity: I am not sure if I have. I did join the art club in my town, which helped me to surround myself with more creative and artistic people. However, I am still not quite happy with the amount of art work I do and the art itself. This is something I still need to work on.

I hope to find my passion: I still haven’t. However, I have to say, now that I am living here, doing fun things, I don’t feel the need to find my passion as much as I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I have loads of things I am passionate about, but I am not sure about having one true passion anymore. Maybe a few small ones will do for me.

I hope to go to more concerts: I am so happy to say that I am! I already went to one, and have another one planned! If you follow my instagram you will know that I saw All Time Low, one of my favourite bands ever, live last October. I also recently bought my tickets to go see Sleeping With Sirens. Not really a concert, but I also have tickets to the Dan and Phil show this June. In my opinion, it is so important to plan fun things for yourself. They don’t have to be concerts, they don’t even need to cost any money, but make sure you give yourself some time out by doing things you love.

What have you achieved this past year? Let me know in the comments!

see you tomorrow! toodlepip xx

The Room Tour I Promised You Months Ago

Now, I know that this post is a little late. But better late than never, right?

As some of you might know, ever since September I have been living on my own. Meaning, new room, new opportunities to go all out on furniture and decor! Months in advance I started planning out how I wanted my new room to look. Below you can see the result!

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see you tomorrow! toodlepip xx

My Winter To Do List

Say goodbye to Autumn, because Winter is officially here now! New season, new plans, new goals. Here are some of the things I plan on doing this Holiday Season:

Go ice-skating (again..): if there is one thing that makes me feel cozy and even a little Christmassy, it’s ice-skating. In all honestly, I probably look a bit clumsy when struggling on the ice, but it’s not about showing your talent, it’s about having fun!

Put more effort in my daily look: this is something I have been telling myself for ages now. Even though I have already improved so much in this area, I still have some work to do. Don’t get me wrong, you do not have to put effort in your look if you don’t want to. However, I cannot help but notice the energy I get from waking up a little earlier, doing my make up and picking out a cute outfit. My fashion girls will know; a cute outfit can be such a confidence boost sometimes.

Drink heaps of hot cocoa (with whipped cream and marshmallows): probably my favourite thing about the cold weather. Who doesn’t love the feeling of entering a cozy, warm coffee shop after a walk through the cold air and ordering the biggest hot chocolate you have ever seen?

Buy a Christmas tree: I am aware that this is a pretty obvious one. However, definitely worthy of being on this list. I love nothing more than coming home after a long day and turn on the lights of my Christmas tree. Now that I have moved out I need to find a way to fit a tree into my new room, but I’ll make it work somehow..

Buy some of Lush’s Christmas bath bombs: If you have been following my blog for a while now, you might know how much of a Lush fan I am. Especially during the festive season they never disappoint.

Go for a walk in the snow: I don’t know if I am the only one who is aware of this, but I just love the sound my boots make when stepping into a pile of fresh snow. I can’t wait for it to snow, so I can bring my camera and snap some wintery shots!

Do you have a Winter to do list? What’s on it? Let me know in the comments!

See you tomorrow! Toodlepip! xx

 

Winter Music Favourites

If you know me, you might know that I am slightly (only slightly..) obsessed with music. It’s not only a great way to kill time, it’s also a way for me to relax, ease my mind and calm down after a, sometimes, long day.

There are a few songs in particular that I have loved over the last few months:

Twenty One Pilots – Oh, Ms Believer: I know I have talked about this song before, but this song just sounds like winter. If snow were to have its own theme song, it would sound something like this. Not only is this song incredibly calming, it also, like every Twenty One Pilots song, has so much meaning behind the lyrics.

Twenty One Pilots – Hometown (Sleepers Version): Yet another Twenty One Pilots song. The original version of this song is so good already, however, this piano version makes the whole song so much softer; perfect for a day in when it’s cold outside.

All Time Low – Good Times: This song reminds me of my friends and all the fun nights I have spent with them; dancing and singing around town, having such a good time. That’s why every time I hear this song, it fills me with such warm, fuzzy feelings.

All Time Low – Ground Control: This is one of those songs I listen to when I feel down, defeated or just sad. Especially the following lyrics always manage to make me feel better: ”Don’t be afraid, no. If you start floating away, I promise you will be fine. Got the universe on your side.”

Lorde – Supercut: I have my good friend Mike to thank for this one. He convinced me to listen to Lorde and recommended this specific song. In contrast to some other songs I listened to by Lorde, I actually really liked this one.

Harry Styles – Sweet Creature: I have to be honest, I am not a big fan of most of the solo songs by the One Direction boys. I do however, love a few of Harry’s songs. Sweet Creature being one of them. It’s such a simple but lovely little song to listen to on a quiet afternoon.

Kindness – Swinging Party: This is one of those songs that has been in my playlist for ages and every once in a while I come back to it and fall in love with it all over again.

Which songs have you been listening to lately? Let me know in the comments!

See you tomorrow! Toodlepip! xx

The Princess Saves Herself

As some of you may know; I am a massive lover of poetry. However, I have, thus far, never found a book in which I like most of the poems. It was always two or three poems in the book that I liked, and the rest just not so much. Until I found The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace. It’s filled with short poems about lost love, grief, mental health, finding new love, feminism and being strong.

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What I liked most about this book is how it is divided into four sections. All these sections tell a different story: The princess, The damsel, The queen and You:

The Princess: This part of the book is about insecurities, hiding yourself, fear and mental illness. It’s about a girl who believes that, just like in most books, she needs someone else to save her. The princess is weak and doesn’t realise she can be her own savior.

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The Damsel: This part is about letting your illness, your insecurities and your fears control your life. The princess turned into a damsel who needs her prince in order to find happiness. However, every prince she meets breaks her a little more, making her weaker and weaker.

The Queen: In this part of the book the princess realises she’s not a damsel who needs to be saved. She is strong enough to now save herself.

You: Lastly, this part talks about how , eventhough the queen knows she doesn’t need anyone to be happy, she still chose to be with someone. This part is dedicated to loving the right person, and that person loving you right back.

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This book talks about so many different topics, sad but also happy ones. But all are discussed in a positive, uplifting and hopeful manner. After reading this book, which I finished in about an hour time, I felt so empowered. I finally saw that I could indeed be my own knight.

Have you recently read a book that made you feel strong, happy or maybe both? Let me know in the comments!

See you tomorrow!

Toodlepip! xx

Moving Out & Starting Fresh

For as long as I can remember I had been looking forward to starting uni and moving out. I am going to be honest, I have never enjoyed high school. You often hear peolpe say that high school is what you make of it. But that is not true. At least, it wasn’t for me. Especially the last few years were really tough on me. I was so ready for a change, for a fresh start.

I live in my new house with a couple of other students. I have to say, it takes some getting used to, but I’ll be okay. During the last few weeks of summer, my mum, dad, sister and brother helped me with my room. We went to Ikea, bought some nice flatpack furniture, which we then of course, had to build. (which was actually not as hard as I thought it would be!) I could describe to you in perfect detail how the days went and what we exactly did, but I took some pictures instead..

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All I know is that I am the happiest I have ever been. I don’t know why, but for some reason I feel so much more motivated to actually do something, to go out and meet new people. In high school I was the kid who hardly ever talked to anyone. I was always hiding myself, trying to make myself as small as possible. Mostly because I was terrified. Here, however, it’s totally different. It has only been three weeks and I have already made so many new friends. Every night I have a different party or get together and I actually enjoy them. I even joined two student clubs and one of their committees. If you were to tell high school me all of this, I would have never believed you, but here I am. All I am trying to say here is; uni is so much better than high school, I promise. I know it’s terrifying; going to a new city all on your own, but you should really see it as a fresh start. It’s an opportunity for you to start over. Don’t waste it.

How was your start of the new school year? Do you still go to school? Let me know in the comments!

Toodlepip! xx

Gails Bakery // Hove, UK

If you have been following my Instagram or my blog lately, you might have noticed a fair few Brighton themed posts here and there. I hope you guys are not sick of them yet, cause I have yet another one for you today. I can’t help myself, I have fallen in love with Brighton and if you have ever visited the place, you might now how many crazy good and ”tumblr-esque” restaurants and food places they have.

One of these food places is Gails Bakery in Hove. I knew of the place because of Zoe Sugg, one of my personal favourite bloggers. She talked about the bakery on her instagram and in several vlogs so I thought it would be only fair if I gave it a try myself while in Brighton. And let me tell you, it sure did not dissapoint.

Not only did they have an endless choice of pastries, breads and sandwiches, the place itself also looked as if it came straight of an aesthetic tumblr.

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After we got our food, we decided to sit down somewhere upstairs. (near the window looking out over Hove’s big street) Let me tell you, the food might not look that great, it did however taste great. Really great. We even decided to grab some more food to go.

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So if you ever find yourself in the area of Hove or Brighton, you should for sure pay Gails Bakery a visit. I promise, you’ll love it!

Toodlepip!

Introversion

Introversion is a topic I have been very interested in over the past few days. For the ones who do not know what introversion is; let me explain. It’s essentially a personality trait. You can be an extrovert or an introvert. Although, you should not see it as black and white as I just wrote it down, it is more of a spectrum, really. You can be a little bit of both even. An extrovert is someone who gets their energy from being in a social situation. An introvert on the other hand, gets their energy from being on their own and is actually drained of energy in social situations. Ofcourse, these are only textbook definitions meaning that it is different for everyone. Not every introvert is the same, just as not every extrovert is the same.

That being said, I think I can safely say that I am an introvert. Although, I also have social anxiety which sometimes makes it a little more complicated and therefore the line between my introversion and my anxiety is a bit blurry. Important to note, not every introvert is socially anxious! (or shy) This one is important to keep in mind. Loads of introverts actually enjoy being social and are really good at it as well. However, the question for me remains: Which behaviour comes from my introversion and which one comes from my anxiety? I still have not quite figured that one out.

However, just this morning I came across a video by Savannah Brown in which she talked all about introversion and also talked briefly about an article online. Apparently, there are four types of introversion. Those four types are really what I wanted to talk about today.

A brief description of the four types of introversion:

  • Social: This one basically means that you prefer to socialize only in small groups instead of large ones. Or sometimes you even prefer to be all alone. Important to know; there is no anxiety here, it’s simply preference.
  • Thinking: This one mainly focuses, not so much on the social aspect, but more on the thoughtful aspect of introversion. People who count themselves in this category are often introspective, thoughtful, and self-reflective. I liked how the article described it: “You’re capable of getting lost in an internal fantasy world,” “But it’s not in a neurotic way, it’s in an imaginative and creative way.” Think the dreamily imaginative Luna Lovegood, not the socially awkward Neville Longbottom. 
  • Anxious: This category is quite similar to the social one, however, this one is not so much driven by preference, but more by fear. Anxious introverts are uncomfortable in social situations and are often not confident about their social skills. Hence they seek solitude. However, according to the article, even when alone, the anxiety never really fades away due to over-thinking about what could possibly go wrong.
  • Restrained: This one in particular I find rather difficult to really describe. I used to be best friends with someone who I would most definitely count into this category. I suppose another word for this category could be reserved. The way the article described it was pretty accurate: Restrained introverts sometimes seem to operate at a slightly slower pace, preferring to think before they speak or act.

With these four categories all explained and well, I think I can count myself mostly as a thinking introvert. Even before I knew of these four types, I had always described myself as introspective and thoughtful. For example, you know those long car journeys where you sit in the back, headphones in, and you just don’t want the car ride to end? You’re just comfortably sitting there, daydreaming and thinking. Also, I love to reflect on myself and my life. I suppose some would call this ‘being dramatic’ but I simply enjoy looking back on my life or on certain moments, thinking about it and taking some sort of life lesson out of it. It’s just something I do, I guess. Lastly, Luna has always been the character in Harry Potter I related to the most, perhaps now I know the reason behind that feeling.

The article also comes with a test. ‘Which type are you?’ Very interesting, and in my case, also surprisingly accurate for an online test. It said I was, besides the thinking type, also the anxious type. I think this is the link to my social anxiety. I’m simply not comfortable with my social skills and the way I act in social situations. Therefore, I like to avoid them as much a possible. Which I know I should not do, because I’m missing out on good times, but I can’t quite help it, I guess. Although, according to the test, I was also partly the social type. Which, again, I think is accurate. Sometimes I simply prefer to be alone. Not because I’m anxious or scared, just because I want to. I prefer sitting in my room painting or drawing or writing, instead of going to some wild party. And honestly, I like being that way.

In today’s society, introversion is often seen as a defect. Especially in high school where everyone seems to only care about parties, friends and social status. Being an introvert in these surroundings is hard. However, I wouldn’t want to change it in any way. I guess I simply am who I am. Introversion is not a defect, it’s a personality trait. Although, I also think that we should not see this as an excuse to accept anxiety. Anxiety should never be something that is leading your life for you. However, I am planning on writing a whole post focussing on anxiety, so more on this later.

The fact that I wrote this whole post only proofs that I am, for the most part, a thinking introvert; reflecting on myself and thinking about who I am as a person. I hope you found all of this information this just as interesting as I did. Are you an introvert, if so; which type are you? Or do you see yourself as an extrovert? Or are you somewhere else on the spectrum? Let me know in the comments! Let’s talk about this!

Toodlepip!

This Is A Line

this is a line and this line is mine.

you will find that this line can divide

the kind and not so kind side of your mind.

this is a line and this line is mine.

you will find that on the unkind side of your mind

the light is very far behind.

you will also find that on this side of your mind

you are blind and unrefined.

undermined by that unkind side of your mind.

you will fall behind. out of sight. out of mind. unaligned.

but do I need to remind you

that even the blind, the unrefined, the unaligned, have a kinder side to their mind?

this is a line and this line is mine.

you will find that on the kind side of your mind

you are still unrefined and unaligned.

but now you will find that on this side of your mind

there is still some light left behind.

now it is time to redefine.

not this side or that side.

not kind or unkind.

just, your mind.

this is a line and this line is mine.

you will find that this line

is merely a sign of the human kind.

nothing more than a concept from the mind

to define what is inside.

this is a line and this line is mine.

you will find that my feet and my spine are not on either side of the line.

they are in fact on the line.

because I am not defined by the two sides of my mind.

instead I will combine the kind and the unkind

to create one mind.

you will find that when you combine the sides,

you are not assigned to either side of your mind.

you are in fact a free mind.

unrefined.

unaligned.

undefined

and unfeigned.

– A poem inspired by another poem

How To Not Bake Christmas Tree Brownies

Guys… I tried. I really tried. But I failed. Miserably..

I wanted to make these really cute brownies shaped like a Christmas tree, decorated with some white chocolate and sprinkles. I really wanted this to be a high quality, good looking and proffesional post. That didn’t happen. Apparantly, you’re not supposed to put the brownie mix in a cake tray. It won’t come out after baking resulting in your kitchen being covered in brownie crumbs while you do an attempt at getting your brownie safely out of the tray. Also, you can’t colour melted chocolate with food colouring. It turns into this pulpy stuff. I don’t know why, ask the science side of Tumblr. Anyway, I failed. My brownies failed. But I thought you might enjoy to laugh at my misery so here it is anyway.

I started off okay. I had a box of brownie powder stuff and all I needed to do was add water and some butter. That was all. I thought I could do that. I mixed the ingedrients together and it looked alright. I still had hope that this was going to be a good blogmas day.

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I thought it would be better not to use the tray from the box because it was fairly small. I wanted a bigger tray. That way I could get more Christmas trees out of it. Reasonable thinking, right? NO. Always use the tray given in the box. It will go wrong if you don’t. Here is proof.

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I tried to stay positive. Perhaps I could still get some Christmas trees out of it. ‘It’s fine’ I told myself. ‘Don’t panic.’ So I managed to get 4 somewhat Christmas tree looking shapes out of the brownie crumbs. I had regained some hope. Little did I know, that bit of hope would very soon be lost again.

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That is when I started melting the chocolate. It all went okay at first. I melted nicely. But then I added the food colouring. The chocolate somehow ended up looking like poop. This is where I realized; maybe I should give up.

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But then, all of a sudden a thought came to me: perhaps I could cover the whole thing in chocolate, you won’t even notice the poopy consistency! Let me tell you, kids; it did not work.

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This is when I actually gave up. I decided to lie down in the kitchen floor for a minute. Then, while lying on the floor, I ate some of the remaining brownie crumbs. Then I went upstairs and wrote this post. Also, my internet is currently gone. I’m writing this without any wifi. I hope I will be able to fix it today. Otherwise that would be fail number three of the day. (I also failed my math exam today, that was the first fail.)

Anyway. I hope you either laughed at my failure here or perhaps you now know what not to do when baking brownies. I will see you tomorrow.

Toodlepip! xx

All About My Ukulele

Something I have fallen in love with over the past few months is my ukulele. I sometimes get questions from people online about my ukulele so I thought I could write a whole post on it today. Do know, I am not a proffesional nor do I know a lot about ukuleles. In fact, I hardly know anything. All I can tell you is how I have experienced learning the ukulele so far.

Why did I choose to play the ukulele?

I think the ukulele is not an instrument you immediately think of when you are picking an instrument to learn. However, if it’s your first ever instrument; a ukulele is a nice start. For quite some time I had the thought of wanting to play an intrument. However, I have always had the guitar in mind. Two songs that really encouraged me to pick up an instrument were Missing You by All Time Low and The Strays by Sleeping With Sirens. Both two of my favourite bands, both really great and meaningful songs. However, I never thought I would be good enough to be able to play a guitar. At this point I had discovered a few people on Youtube who played the ukulele and that gave some ideas. I thought perhaps the fact that a ukulele is a lot smaller than a guitar meant that it was also a lot easier to play and cheaper to buy. So I did.

Which ukulele do I have?

I have the Diamond Head DU-250 which is a soprano ukulele. There are four main ukulele sizes and mine is the smallest. Which one to get really depends on what you want to do with your ukulele. If you are anything like me and you had no idea there were different sizes you just want ‘that one you see everyone on Youtube play’, you probably mean a soprano or a concert ukulele. The concert one is a little bigger and has a harder sound to it. I advise you to do think about what you really want to do with your ukulele once you have it and try and find the right one for it. Prise wise, ukuleles can differ a lot. You have very cheap ones and very expensive ones. If you are just starting out, I would advice you not to but an expensive one right away. Mine was around 40 euros and honestly, I feel like it sounds just as good as expansive ones. Perhaps I have to do some more tuning but that’s okay for me.

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Is it difficult to learn how to play a ukulele?

When I first started playing my ukulele, it was the hardest freaking thing ever. I struggled a lot. But then I remembered something. I have this 5 Seconds Of Summer DVD in which Michael, my favourite member said: ”I almost gave up on playing the guitar cause it was so hard to do. I am glad I didn’t give up.” This is something that always motivates me whenever I struggle to play. Even famous guitarists struggle. Just don’t give up. Keep practising. Keep getting better. I have to say, I still struggle. But I keep practising everyday and I keep getting better everyday. However, to answer this question: No, the ukulele is in fact not a difficult instrument to play. It just takes some getting used to. Fairly quickly I taught myself a few basic chords and strumming patterns and with that I am able to play so many different songs. If you are new to playing an instrument, a ukulele is a great start.

Why do I enjoy playing the ukulele so much?

I like playing the ukulele. However, the thing that made me love it was Twenty One Pilots. As you may know, Tyler also plays the ukulele. Seeing him play it and hearing his songs motivated me a lot to improve. In all honesty, if it weren’t for Twenty One Pilots, I would have probably already gotten bored of playing. Not only do they have a lot of great songs to play on the ukulele, Tyler also taught me something important. I am a very emotional person. That is just a fact. Whenever I feel any negative energy inside me, whenever I feel a negative emotion, I can go and use that negativity to do something negative. That is and always will be an option. But how about we take that energy, that focus, and aim it at something else. Something more positive. Take that energy you have and use it to create. I use my ukulele to aim my emotions on something positive instead of negative. That is what I love about playing.

How do I learn to play new songs?

I am a self taught ukulele player. I have never had any lessons nor do I know how to read music notes. Here are some places I like to go to learn new songs:

  • www.ukutabs.com On this website you will find ukulele chords to so many songs. You can also transpose them to make them easier if you need to. It’s easy to use and understand so you can get started right away.
  • The Ukulele Teacher Probably the best ukulele channel on Youtube. The ukulele teacher has taught me most I know about playing the ukulele. He explains chords, strumming patterns, tuning and even more.
  • Matthew Hedges A slightly smaller channel and not just ukulele tutorials, however very useful to me sometimes. Like me, Matthew is a massive Twenty One Pilots fan so he has some tutorials on that. Watching his, or anyone’s covers can be very instructive too. It might give you some ideas to play and if you look closely, you might even be able to see which chords to play.
  • Isabelle Hyde  She is probaby one of my favourite people ever. She is so talented and once again, a Twenty One Pilots fan, like me. So most of her covers are Twenty One Pilots songs. She has, in my opinion, a very creative way of playing songs. She uses strumming patterns you wouldn’t think of right away. That is why I love watching her covers to get some inspiration and ideas to play songs myself.

Some tips on how to play the ukulele.

The most important thing before you start playing is tuning your ukulele. I struggled a lot with this. I find it very hard to hear when exactly my ukulele is tuned in the right way. I would advise you to either get a tuning app or an actual ukulele tuner. This has helped me a lot. Tuning is obvioulsy done with the tuning keys. The basic way of tuning is G-C-E-A. Meaning that if you hold your ukulele, the string closest to your face is G, the next one C, and so on.

When you are just starting out, the basic chords to learn are F, G, Am and C. These are, first of all, very easy to play and, second of all, very common. You can play so many songs with just these four chords so make sure you know them.

Besides chords, strumming pattern is also important. It’s the thing you do with your other hand basically. You will see that strumming patterns often look something like this: dddudu. D = strum down. U = strum up. Some basic strumming patterns that you can use for most songs are: DDUUDU & DDUDUDU. I started strumming with a guitar pick. For me this was easier. Especially very quick strumming patters are easier with a guitar pick. However, at the moment I prefer to use my thumb to play. It gives a softer sound which I like more but the way you like to strum is totally up to you.

All of these tips are nice. However, there is one thing that to me, is the most important thing to know. Whatever instrument it is you play, know that there is no wrong or right way to play it. Music is self expression so whatever it is you need to be able to express yourself, do it. Don’t let anyone tell you, not even your favourite band member or your own mind, that what you are doing is wrong. The only way to know if you are playing your instrument right is by asking yourself the question: do I truly enjoy playing? If your answer is yes than you are doing it right!

I hope this post was somewhat helful and that I answered at least some of your questions. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below! You can also tweet me, or snap me, or ask me on Instagram if you like.

I will see you tomorrow!

Toodlepip!

Let’s Talk About Insecurities

Warning: this post is going to be one big mess as I have literally no idea at this point what I want to bring across to you guys. Also, my brain is a big mess at the moment so please excuse that too. But hey, leggo. Let’s talk about insecurities.

Insecurities start with pressure. You put pressure on yourself to be the best person you can be. I think that is what we all want; to be the best person possible. But we cannot always be the best person. Why can we not be that? Why is it that sometimes we cannot be the person we want to be. This is where insecurity starts. This is where that little voice inside your head starts telling you you’re not good enough.

Something I discovered lately is that I want to create. I love to create. It gives me a sense of purpose. It gives me motivation to live on. However, as much as I love creating, it also makes me very insecure. I put pressure on myself to create the best things possible. But I cannot always create the best things possible. Even writing this post right now, makes me insecure. Just a second ago I sat back in my chair and looked at my computer screen and for a split second I thought: ”why do I even bother? It’s not going to be the best I can. I should just delete this all and go back to laying in my bed.” And I think that is the main question here: should I continue to create even if it is not going to be a great creation. The bright side of my mind is shouting ‘yes!’ right now. But why? It gives me joy sometimes, but also so many insecurities.

These insecurities make me sad. Right now I am typing this while wiping away a tear. Why? I don’t know. I do not know why I am crying. Perhaps creating this post, the fact that I talk about this topic and think about this topic reminds me of the fact that sometimes, I am a very unhappy person. That feeling of unhappiness that I am currently feeling, scares me and makes me even more insecure about what I create, ultimately making me even more sad. And like that, it is an unending circle. If I stop creating now, I won’t feel that unhappy feeling and I won’t feel so insecure and scared anymore, but without creating I will never find joy. There is a difference between happiness and joy, you know? Let me explain.

Happiness is the state of being happy. You can feel happy when you are laughing with a friend. You can feel happy at a concert of your favourite band. You can be depressed and still feel happiness. You can be suicidal and still feel happiness. Joy, on the other hand, is not as specific. It is not one moment that gives you a feeling of joy. It is simply being content with the way your life is. I think that is what joy really is. You are not in control of your happiness. People can take it away from you. Your mind can take it away from you. However, we can be in control of our own personal joy.

By creating, I will not find happiness. In fact; sometimes I am so insecure about what I create, I will find the most unhappy feeling there is. However, creating, as far as I know now, is the only thing that can bring me joy. Perhaps we all just have to push through those insecurities, push through the fear of being unhappy, in order to be able to find joy.

‘Don’t let the fear of unhappiness stop you from doing what it is that brings you joy. Don’t be afraid to push through insecurities and unhappiness to find joy.’ 

That being said; what is it that one can do to stop feeling so insecure? This is a rather difficult question to answer. However, I think I have found the answer. Someone helped me find it actually. So if you have recognized anything that I have written in this post, it’s because I was inspired by someone else. Almost all I know, comes from that one person. Back to the question; what can I do to stop being insecure about what I create? First of all: Stop feeling like you need to be a teenage prodigy. Hardly anyone is. Hard work and practise is key. Pretend you’re confident until you are. It’s hard, I know, but it seems to work. Apparantly, your mentality will change.

”A year ago I’d be saying that this drawing is really shitty compared to what other people can do. Today I’m saying, I’m a damn good artist and I’m going to keep practicing and keep getting better.”  – Tyler Joseph

I don’t really know what else I can say. I think it is safe for me to say that at the beginning of this post I was crying and I was insecure and I was feeling very down about myself and my ability to create. However, right now, I pushed through those insecurities, I pushed through the tears and unhappiness, and I created. Perhaps this is not my best post. Perhaps this is not the best post out there, but at least I created something.

Also, I hope you guys appreciate my honesty. I got a comment a few days ago that really touched me. The person told me that they liked my honesty. That person told me to stay strong and keep going. I think that is the main thing I want to do with my blog. I want to be honest about who I am and who I want to be, but mostly; I want to be honest about how I feel and what is on my mind. Not only does it help me, but I really hope it might help some of you too. By writing all of this and by being open and honest, I want to tell you all that it’s okay to be broken. It’s okay if you do not know what to do or what to think. You are not alone. I’m there too and all we can do is just keep going and keep trying and keep chasing joy.

I will see you tomorrow. Thank you if you have read up until here. It means the absolute world to me.

Toodlepip. xxx

Hello 2017: the year of high hopes

Yesterday I wrote a ‘Goodbye 2016’ blogpost; looking back on the previous year. 2016 has been a year of ups and downs. I hope next year, for 2017 I will be able to say it was the year of change. Here are my hopes for 2017.

  • I hope that I am going to graduate. Normally, on the education level I am on, middle and high school last six years all together. I am now on year 7 as I was held back one year. Let me tell you that 7 years of high school has been more than enough. Therefore, I hope will all my heart, that I will pass all my exams so I can finally leave this hell hole. As really, as sad and pessimistic as it might sound, that’s what high school currently is to me.
  • I hope that I will enjoy my first year at uni. I cannot say anything yet for the years after that, but I hope to at least enjoy my first year. I am not 100% sure yet what I want to do at uni, but I just hope I will like it.
  • I hope that living in a bigger city will make me feel more at home. The place where I am living now does simply not feel like home. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s because it’s a small and dull village. Perhaps I will feel more at home in the big city. I truly hope so.
  • I hope that I will be able to surround myself with positive people. If there is one thing school taught me, it has to be that I am incredibly sensitive when it comes to the people around me. When I am around, what I like to call ‘poison people’, I will be shy, anxious, sad. However, if the people around me are kind and like-minded, I’ll feel on top of the world and I’ll be the most social butterfly you’ll have ever met. It’s crazy what other people can do to my feelings.
  • I hope to improve my creativity. This is quite a big one. ‘My creativity’; what does that mean? To me, it currently means: I want to improve my drawing, writing, painting and ukulele skills. I said currently, because this might change. Who knows really?
  • I hope to find my passion. I already touched on this very briefly in yesterdays post, but I hope to find my purpose or my passion. I hope to find something to live for.
  • I hope to go to more concerts. Concerts have always been my happy place. I don’t know what it is. Perhaps it’s my crazy obsession with the band playing. Perhaps it’s the feeling of solidarity when I am in a room full of people all singing along to the same songs.

This is about it for now. I might come up with some more hopes but I will share them with you another time. Do you have any hopes for 2017? I’d love to hear them so don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below!

And remember; dreams and hopes don’t always have to be the biggest achievements. They can be small things too. It’s okay to hope for something small. It’s okay if you, just like me, simply hope to be truly happy one day.

I will see you tomorrow! Always dream and always have hope.

Toodlepip! xxx

Goodbye 2016: the year of ups and downs

The year is coming to and end. The finish line of 2016 is in sight. A lot has happened in the world this year, but I am going to keep this post close to myself. I started to ponder of all the things I have achieved this year, things I have learned. I thought I would write some of them down today for you to read.

  • Every year in these kind of posts I write about how proud I am of myself for saying yes to scary things and getting outside of my comfort zone. However, this year is slightly different. This year I am proud of the fact that I said no. It’s a good thing to say yes and step outside your comfort zone, but if you feel like you are crossing your own personaly bounderies, you should also be brave enough to say no. You might know that I quit my Youtube channel this year. Eventhough it makes me sad sometimes that uploading online video’s crosses my bounderies and triggers my anxiety, but I do not regret my decision. I feel like I have made the right choice by saying no this time. Even if that means giving up a ‘dream’or  a ‘passion’. Mental health always comes first. If it is hurting your mental health, it’s not the right dream for you.
  • Here on my blog I often share my thoughts, feelings and emotional well-being. I have two reason for doing that. 1) writing down my thoughts helps me make sense of my brain. 2) I hope to show the few reading this, that it is okay to not be okay. As much as it is motivating to hear words like: ”I made it through, so you can do it too”, I feel like hearing the words: ”I am broken too and that is okay” is ultimately so much more comforting. Hearing that it will get better gives hope for the future and that is good, but what about the present? I am still feeling bad now. Of course it is nice to hear that it won’t last forever but what do I do with that information right now? I think it is so much better to know that it is okay that you are feeling bad or sad. You are not alone in this. By sharing my thoughts, I do not hope to give the best advice. I am still struggling so I don’t have the best advice. However, by sharing my thoughts and feelings I hope to show some people that it’s okay to struggle, it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to not know what to do. As long as you keep trying to be a better person.
  • Something else I have been thinking about a lot this year is the question: how do I get through this life? Sometimes I wonder what I am doing here. What’s my purpose? What am I supposed to do in this life? I have come up with something. My answer is not all there is to life. There is so much more. But I feel like what I have made up here, might be the beginning of purpose. At least for me. I feel like I need to find something I am passionate about. You don’t have to be good at it. Stop feeling like you need to be a teenage prodigy. You just got to keep trying, keep working. Until you find a purpose on this earth, give yourself a purpose. I have been playing the ukulele, I have been writing poetry and this blog, I have been drawing and painting. All of this only to find a sense of purpose. It would be nice of course if in the end, we would find that one thing that gives us our purpose but perhaps the search for purpose is our purpose. I am not sure about this yet. I will update you on my findings in the form of another blogpost as soon as I have figured it out.
  • Another thing I found out this year, is that the brain, for some people, is a very big place, inside of a very small place. This can be very frustrating, scary even. I like to compair my brain to the universe. (I am aware this might sound a bit odd) The universe is this massive thing. Most of it still unknown and undiscovered. No one really knows where it ends. Does it even end? But most importantly; the universe is filled with planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies and black holes. Some parts are beyond beautiful whereas other parts are dark, scary and destructive. The universe is a beautiful and scary place. Just like my mind sometimes. And that’s okay. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
  • Lastly, I realized that life is all about the small moments of happiness. There is not going to be one big moment that your whole life has been leading up to. It’s the small moments that are important. In order to live those happy moments, you have to be alive. You just got to survive and get through the bad moments, so you can enjoy and be alive for the happy ones. I think that is what life is all about. You cannot stop the bad moments from happening. But you can survive them.

This was quite a messy post. I was feeling a bit messy myself today so I think it’s appropriate. What have you learned this year? Let me know in the comments. I would really love to know.

I will see you tomorrow! Try to live on, friends.

Toodlepip! xx