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

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

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!

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

Three Years Of Blogging: what I have learned so far

22nd of November, 2013. This is the day fifteen year old Anne decided to write her first ever blogpost. When I look back at older blogposts, I often cringe at the spelling mistakes or just the way I wrote in general. The language might not be the best, however I do feel like that first ever blogpost I wrote, still very much represents my content and the topics I want to write about. In case you don’t know, my first ever blogpost is called; Being Happy With Yourself. In all honesty, this is still something I struggle with, but I keep trying everyday. The thing I like most about this post is the sentence I ended it with; It’s time to take a risk! I feel like I did. I feel like I took a lot of risks over these past three years. Not all of those risks had such a great ending, but at least I tried and I think by doing just that, I have made fifteen year old me quite proud. (I hope)

Eventhough the whole idea behind my blog, the purpose that I wanted this blog to have, are still the same, I feel like have learned a lot. I have developed myself. I have grown and so has my blog. So to anyone who might be starting a blog, or to anyone who is thinking about starting one. Or even to bloggers who have been doing this for even longer than I have; here are a few things I have learned in three years of blogging.

  • First thing I learned; be you. Do not copy others! One of the reasons I started blogging was because I had so much admiration for bloggers like Zoella and Sprinkleofglitter. I used to spent hours on their blogs just looking for things to write about or even trying to mimic their way of writing. At the time I was fifteen years old and had no experience whatsoever with writing. Let alone writing in a foreign language! That is why I do not think it is wrong to look around on the internet, looking for inspiration or simply educating yourself on how to write. But do not copy others!! It is okay to be inspired. It is okay to educate yourself. But you are you and you should not try to be anyone else! Try to find out who you want to be on your blog and be that person.
  • Secondly; do not get overexcited when a company reaches out to you. Over the last three years I have had multiple companies reaching out to me, asking me to write a blogpost for them. So far, I have never been paid for this. Everytime I got an email from a company, I felt so honoured that they picked my blog, out of all the blogs they could have picked! But don’t get too excited! Make sure, before sending back your reply; where are my bounderies? To me, it is one of the most important things that my blog stays 100% honest and true to who I am. That is why I always say within the post that I was asked to write it. The latter has given me quite some trouble. Most companies do not want you to adress that they have reached out to you. However, if this is something you want to do, don’t let them tell you you can’t. So before you agree with them on writing the post; tell them where your bounderies are. Be firm, be honest and most of all; dare to say no. If you do not want to collaborate with this company, you don’t have to! Just politely tell them you think your blog does not fit their company but that you are flattered they reached out to you anyway.
  • The next thing I have learned is something that I became quite passionate about over the last few months. I often used to read all those blogposts about ‘How To Grow Your Blog!’ or ‘How To Become A Succesful Blogger: Rules of Blogging!’. Now I don’t think there is anything wrong with these posts as really, they could be very helpful. However, I have read plenty of them and one thing I noticed is that there was always one certain ‘rule’ or ‘tip’ they tried to give me: ”pick only one topic to write about and stick with that topic.” I bet this is a great tip. Your readers will know what to expect from you and it is also a lot easier for you. However, to me this tip sounded more like: ”limit yourself to only one topic.” This is something I did not want to do. I wanted my blog to be about everything that popped into my mind. I just do not want to limit myself. ‘They say stay in your lane, boy. But we go where we want to.’ This is a lyric from the song Lane Boy, by Twenty One Pilots and I feel like it fits this situation perfectly. Honestly, if my blog was a tv show, this would probably be our theme song. Yes, I can go limit myself by writing about one topic only. This might give me succes really quickly and easily. However, is that what I want? No. I have a completly different idea for my blog. And even if it is going to take a little longer for me to grow my audience, so be it. At least I stayed true to who I am and who I want to be. That is also where my motto for this blog comes from; let’s change the rules of succesful blogging.
  • This brings me to my next point. I just said I wanted to write about everything that popped into my head. However, I do filter it. Mental health is something I often talk about on this blog as it is something that is very prominent in my life. If I were to write down everything that popped into my head; this blog would be more of a ‘rant’ or ‘sob’ blog. Don’t become that blog. Unless a sob blog is what you are going for ofcourse. If so, go ahead. But it is not what I am going for. It is a good thing to share your personal experiences and emotions, but don’t talk about it all the time.
  • Put time and effort in your blogposts! I get that you try to post as often as possible. But it is always quality over quantity! If you don’t have a lot of time, don’t post it! Wait until you have some more time on your hands to finish your post. Make sure your post is as good as it possibly can be!
  • Almost the last one. I feel like this post is becoming way too long so I am going to keep it short from now on. Post regularly!! I feel like a bit of a hypocrite now, I have to admit. Posting regularly is something I struggle with a lot. This past year especially. A reason for that could be that perhaps emotionally and mentally I have not been doing very well this year. This has been an issue for me for quite some time now, but especially this last year has been tough for no apparent reason. Also with all my exams and schoolwork, it is becoming quite difficult to post as often as I would like to. I am hoping that once I go to uni I have more time and more positive energy to write and post a little more often.
  • Lastly; make sure you 100% enjoy what it is you are doing. If you do not enjoy it, then why spend time on it? Blogging is and always will be my hobby. Perhaps one day, if I am lucky, I might be able to earn some money from this. But it will always be something  I do because I enjoy it. There is no point in doing something that you do not enjoy.

I feel like this was quite a messy post. I had no plan or structure whatsoever when I started writing this. I truly wanted this to come from my heart as blogging, even after three years, is still something I am incredibly passionate about. I truly hope that it will stay that way for a very long time. I know that I do not have a massive amount of readers, but that’s okay. I know there are people out there who do read and appreciate whatever it is I have to say. To all of those people I would like to say: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am happy and incredibly honoured that I am on this crazy online journey with you. You are very much loved and appreciated. ❤︎❤︎❤︎

My hopes for the future are that I am able to reach even more people with my words. This blog is nothing more than a vessel. Of course I want this blog to be succesful but in the end, what matters most to me is that the message that my blog is carrying is being read, being seen and being used to make the world a kinder, better and more hopeful place. That is all I could ever wish for.

So once again, thank you.

Stay you, stay alive, be kind, be proud. Now repeat and impart. 

Wherever you are, whoever you are; let’s go ahead and change the rules of blogging.

Toodlepip! xxx

Another Attempt Of Steering My Vessel Towards A Happy Life

It has been quite a while since I have uploaded on here. Over the last, I suppose, week, things have emotionally been quite heavy for me. Nothing too serious I guess, it’s just something that, with my mental health state, I have to deal with from time to time. Sometimes I just start thinking a little bit too much.

While I was thinking I started to ponder of my future. As I said in an earlier post, I am currently a senior in high school and hopefully I graduate after this year and get to go to uni. Going to uni has always been a massive motivation for me. Personally, I absolutely hate and dread high school. I dread having to go there each day and I hate the everyday life that I am currently living. I have always had these big hopes that going to uni and moving to a bigger city would magically make me more happy with the way my life is. I often hear these stories from people telling me that going to uni and moving out will make things better. Just a change of environment can already do so much for your mental health, they say. However, now that it is getting closer and closer, I am starting to get a bit nervous; what if it is not going to be the way expected it? What if my life is still going to be as unsatisfying as it is now?

Just in case the change of going to uni and living in a bigger city is not enough, I decided to come up with a few goals. Goals that I am going to try and work on in order to, hopefully, change my life and steer my vessel, as I like to call this life and this body that I am currently in, into a more positive direction.

These goals are very minor and very small things but there is nothing more demotivating as not reaching your goals.

1. Blog regularly 

I know I talk about this quite often, but blogging is something I have been loving for quite some time now. Whether I talk about beauty and fashion or about mental health, I love being able to just type away and clear my head. That is also why, as soon as I have some more time on my hands, I want to blog more often but most importantly, according to some sort of schedule. I often set certain days for myself to upload but I never end up following up to that plan. Sometimes because I am too busy with school, sometimes because I don’t feel emotionally or mentally well enough to write something, or sometimes it is just simple laziness. I am hoping that once I have moved out and I am doing things that I am actually passionate about, I will be more motivated to do more with my life.

2. Make music

By this I don’t mean write music or make music of my own, because, let’s face it, I don’t think I am quite fit to do so. However, I recently got a ukulele and I love playing it. Even if it is just playing simple covers of my favourite songs. I enjoy it so much that it got to the point where I want to learn to play even more instruments. Therefore, making music is definitely something I want to work on.

3. Read more books

I say this everytime, every year, every day. I love to read, although, with all the mandatory books I have to read for school and all the homework and studying I have to do, it is hard to find time, but above all, energy to read. After a full day of school and homework, you kind of just want to sit down and watch Netflix. So again, hopefully going to uni will give me more time, more motivation and more energy to read.

4. Learn how to write

Not a lot of people know this about me, in fact, I think there is only one person who knows this about me. However, if I had to describe to you my biggest dream it would look something like this; being a bestselling young adult author, who is able, with her books, to change the way people look at the world, the way people look at themselves. Besides my books I would love to still write on here, on my blog. Just a cheeky little example; I would want to be the new J.K. Rowling, mixed with some Zoe Sugg and perhaps a little bit of Tyler Joseph. Not that I would want to be a succesful musician, simply because I do not have the talent for that, but I would love to somehow, add my love for music in there somewhere. Perhaps playing some ukulele covers during signings or meet-ups? I know, this vision sounds absolutely ridiculous. Who would ever want to read my books? Who would ever want to visit my blog? Who would ever want to hear me play the ukulele? But then again; power to the local dreamer, right? I could at least give it a go, right? Lucky for me, along with what I am going to do at uni, there is also an option to do a course of creative writing. I would absolutely love to just give that a go and see where it takes me. I have so many ideas and stories in my brain, why not let them out? All I need to know now is how to put my thoughts into words and write them down.

5. Surround myself with positive people

I am a person whose emotions and mental state are very much influenced by the people around her. If I am around positive and kind people, I will feel on top of the world. However, when I am around negative people, it will bring me down so much. That is why I am hoping that in the future I will be able to surround myself with positive people, like minded people. I think this whole ‘meeting new people and trying to find the right ones for me -thing’ has to be my biggest worry about moving away from my hometown.

6. Get better at art

Creating art, or simply just creating, is something I absolutely love. I like to see myself as quite a creative person, although, I feel like I lack the ability of actually bringing out that creativity. I want to paint, I want to draw, I want to write poetry. I have an abundance of ideas for all of this as well, but I am simply not good at it yet. I am not a great drawer nor painter nor poet. I want to be, I aspire to be, but I am not there yet. I hope that with loads of practise I will get there one day.

I am by no means an expert in the field of mental health, let alone that my advice is actually helpful. All I do is try to find ways to help myself. By setting goals for myself, by giving myself certain things to work on, I hope to push myself in a more positive mindset and a more satisfying daily life. Obviously, I am going to work hard for my dream, but like I said before; nothing is more demotivating than not reaching your goals. So becoming that great author/blogger/Tyler Joseph-person is not my main goal. Yes, it is something I will keep in mind and I will keep working for, but ultimately it is not what I focus on. I am going to focus on developing myself as a person.

I am going to focus on the proces instead of focussing on the end result. 

Do you have any goals for your future? Things you want to learn? Things you want to do or see? Let me know in the comments!

Toodlepip! x

Words Of Wisdom For All High Schoolers , From A Senior

Tomorrow I start my last year of high school. As much as I am excited to be a high school senior, I am also terrified. Being a senior means a lot of exciting stuff, like prom and less classes, but it also means finals, stress and in the end, leaving behind everything you are familiar with. But as a senior I can say that I have more than enough experience with high school and how to (somewhat) get through it. Whether it’s tips on being yourself and surviving mean girls or horrible fashion and beauty missteps I made that you really want to avoid; here are a few words of wisdom for all high schoolers, with love from a senior.

Seniors really aren’t that mean.

In all he books and films about high school, seniors are always portrayed as the mean and the scary people in the school. Really, we aren’t that scary. (not all of us) Senior is not a synonym for bully. So if you are starting high school this year, don’t worry about the seniors too much. You’ll be fine.

Get to know yourself & be you.

In my early years of middle- and high school, I struggled a lot with who I was and who I wanted to be. I remember making all these plans and preparing tactics on how to talk to ‘the popular kids’ so they would like me. But after a while I realized, that wasn’t at all me. Find out who you are, it’s okay if it takes a few years, and always be yourself. Even if that means you won’t be the coolest kid in the school. Just do whatever it is that makes you happy and ignore everyone that has a negative opinion about it.

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Don’t cut your own hair.

Really, don’t do this. You might think it is easy and that you can do this, but I hate to break it to you, it really isn’t that easy. You really don’t want to walk around the school showing your self cut fringe to everyone. Believe me, I speak of experience.

What you love won’t always be cool & that is okay.

I sometimes look back on things I used to do when I was younger and it makes me cringe so hard. But that’s okay. I know that in the future I am going to look back on my eighteen year old self and cringe because of the fact that I used to read fluffy Harry Styles fanfic or that I once did an attempt at writing it myself. Right now I enjoy it so I am going to do it anyway, even if it might make me cringe when I am twentyfive.

Live now. Don’t wait for your future.

When I was younger, but even now, I catch myself thinking; ‘in the future I am going to do this’ or ‘when I graduate I will finally be able to do this’. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to dream, okay to set goals and okay to plan ahead, but don’t forget to live your life while it’s happening. Because your life is now, so live it now.

Be kind. Always.

The number one thing I always tell myself. Whenever you don’t know what to do, you don’t know what is going on, there is one thing you can always do and that will always be right; be kind. Even if everyone around is mean, even if it feels like the universe hates you; be kind. However, do not mistake kindness for weakness. It is okay to stick up for yourself or others, to be strong and to stand your ground. As long as you do it kindly.

Don’t let anyone take advantage of you.

When you are kind, or shy, or quiet. People are going to mistake that for a weakness and they are going to try and take advantage of you. Don’t let them. Saying no to people or standing up for yourself, for me, has always been one of the hardest things in the world. It still is. But be aware of these people and avoid them as much as possible.

Don’t overpluck your eyebrows.

One of the biggest beauty mistakes I ever made. It is okay to pluck your eyebrows but be careful!! Don’t overpluck them! Just look up some youtube video’s on how to do this properly. You don’t want to end up looking like an alien. (eventhough aliens are quite cool, they are not the best example of beauty)

You will one day find a best friend.

I see loads of people online who are worried about the fact that they don’t have a best friend or someone who they can tell everything. Don’t worry. You will one day find someone who is worty of the title ‘best friend’. Sometimes it just takes a little longer and it takes a little closer look. Just be patient.

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Failures are okay.

It is okay to fail a test from time to time. Failures are a part of life. The fact that you failed a test does not mean you are a failure. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to and that is okay!

Don’t let your social life get in the way of what you love.

This one might seem a bit odd as most people often encourage you to be social and go out. And ofcourse, it’s good to go out and see people, but it also okay to be on your own for a while. You have to learn to be comfortable on your own. Something I love doing is painting or drawing. Sometimes I get so caught up in it that I totally ignore my bleeping phone or the people around me. I used to feel guilty about it until I realised that it’s actually okay. It is okay to shut off your phone or say no to a party from time to time to do whatever it is that you like. Even if it is just having some alone time.

These were only a few of the wise lessons I have learned while being in high school. I am not going to tell you that high school is not as bad as it seems or that high school is what you make of it. Because honestly, I really do try my best to make the best of it, but to me personally, high school has always been horrible. So hopefully for you, it will be a little less horrible with these tips.

Goodluck. Be yourself. Be kind. You’re going to be just fine.

Toodlepip x

Why I Quit Youtube: boundaries & finding happiness

This is a post I never though I would write, but here we are, so let’s get going. Why did I quite my Youtube channel? For this, I had a few reasons. Reasons that to some people might sound like nothing at all, but to me they were getting too overwhelming.

I think the first, and main reason why I decided to quit Youtube is my privacy concern. When I was younger I was brought up being very careful on the internet. I was never allowed to put my face on the internet, or even my name. Hence why starting up a Youtube channel was quite a big deal for me. Besides that, I attach a very high value to my privacy, which I feel was not guaranteed on Youtube. I get that putting up Youtube video’s means giving up part of your privacy and for the most time I was okay with that. It made me a bit nervous at times but nothing more than that. Until one point I noticed that quite a few of my video’s were reuploaded by other people. Reuploaded on Youtube as well as on other websites. After doing a bit of research I realized that this is just a thing that happens. Everything that you upload online can and will be stolen. At first I was nervous about my privacy on Youtube but at least I had all the control over my video’s. I could delete them or set them to private whenever I wanted to. But now that my video’s were uploaded on different websites, I had lost all that control. I had no more say in who could watch my video’s and when they could watch it and that scared me. It scared me to the point where I felt sick to stomach of anxiety and stress. I know that this kind of stuff happens to almost every single person on Youtube, but for me, it was too much. I decided to wait for two weeks. Perhaps time would make it better. Perhaps after two weeks it wouldn’t bother me as much. Three weeks later, it still did.

The second reason was that I wasn’t fully enjoying it anymore. Filming, editing and uploading my video’s started to feel like a chore, like an obligation rather than something that I wanted to do because I enjoyed it. Perhaps I also lost my joy in it because of the anxiety I got around, I don’t know. But what I do know is that it didn’t feel like a hobby anymore. Something that might also have played a part in this is that I mainly liked the idea of being ‘a Youtuber’. I liked the idea of filming and editing. It got to the point where I liked to idea more than the actual process. I liked the idea of being just like all my favourite Youtubers. I had always seen all these video’s from Zoella, Pointlessblog, et cetera and they made me so happy and excited. I wanted to be just like them. I wanted to live my life the way they lived their lives because they seemed so happy and at that time, I wasn’t. Misguided by sadness and darkness I thought that if I would just start making video’s as well, I would be happy and live a fun life, just like my favourite creators. Now I realize that that happiness did not come from making video’s. The video’s just captured the happiness that was already there. Making video’s did give me some joy, don’t get me wrong, but it was not the key to happiness, at least not for me.

When I had uploaded my first Youtube video I wrote a blogpost about being brave and saying yes. It was all about getting out of your comfort zone and saying yes to things that you normally would never even attempt to do. Now, however, I realize that there is more to it that just getting outside of your comfort zone. Because, besides your comfort zone and that the space outside of it, you have also have boundaries. And those bounderies should never be crossed. It’s a good thing to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things and experience life to the fullest, but do not cross your bounderies. For some people there bounderies are miles and miles away and for some they are just around the corner and that is okay. Even though I wish my bounderies would have been way further back, I know now that I should not cross them. (”Don’t cross your boundaries and think that it’s cool.. Misguided by darkness and lost on the road” thanks for that insight, Vic. (; ) 

Yes, it makes me sad that I have to quit Youtube because of these boundaries, but as soon as you notice that anxiety is taking control over your happiness, do something about it. I tried telling myself that it was okay and that it was normal that my video’s were uploaded somewhere else (which it is, apparently) but the fear stayed and that was when I realized something had to be done.

However, I do want to say that these 1,5 years on Youtube were really great. I said yes, I took risks, I had fun and I left my comfort zone. I did things that I never thought I would ever be capable of doing and I am hella proud of myself for that. Just like I am proud of myself for respecting my personal boundaries and also being able to say no, this is enough. I am sad to be leaving this Youtube adventure because it has been a hoot and a half but now I have a whole new space in my life to fill up with new things. And I think, in the end, that is what life is all about, experiencing as much as you can.

Don’t be surprised though if every once in a while you do see a video of me popping up here on my blog. I love making video’s and I love putting all of my creativity into them so I won’t be quitting that. The only difference is that the video’s will not be regular and that if they are uploaded, they will only be uploaded as ‘unlisted’ meaning that only people with the link to the video can watch them. (which means you guys because I will be sharing the link on here. so yay!) I hope in this way I can still make video’s but without feeling obligated and anxious about it.

Thank you so much to all the people who supported me throughout my Youtube journey. For all of those people I will be forever grateful. It has been a laugh. Let’s hope the next chapter will bring even more of that.

I love you all loads and thank you again!

Toodlepip!


For everyone’s privacy I removed all the names and account names from the comments, but here are some of my favourites. The ones that made me smile the most:

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Hello 2016

I really wanted to write a ‘hello 2016’ blogpost because it’s almost beginning to look like some sort of ‘BlogginAnne Tradition’.  But to be honest, I had no clue what I wanted to write about. Apart from drinking more water and reading more books, I don’t really have any inspiring or splendid new years resolutions. I guess I am just going to keep on doing what I am doing now. I am just going to keep on trying this year.

Despite many ups and downs this year, I feel like it has been a good one.

I realized that the only person that can save you, is yourself, and in the end, people might have helped you and managed to put a smile on your face, but you still have to make sure you find something within yourself that makes you happy. Never depend your happiness on someone or something but yourself. Be your own source of happiness.

This year I  realized the amount of love, motivation and passion I have for writing my blog. I don’t always write as much as I would want to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it with everything I have within me. Knowing this, I decided that if you want something really really badly, you have to work for it, you have to put effort in it but most importantly, you have to fully enjoy it. That’s why sometimes I don’t write as often as I set for myself, because I want to be able to fully enjoy it. Sometimes I just don’t feel like doing any of it. And I think that that is something important to remember; eventhough I love doing what I do on here, it’s not an obligation, it’s a hobby. I put pressure on myself to make everything on here as good as possible, but I need to remember that the most important thing is to enjoy it all.

So I think all in all, I am just going to keep trying. I am going to keep trying to be the best I can be, and if sometimes that means lying in bed, watching Netflix while eating a whole stock of Poptarts, then so be it!! Being the best person you can be does not mean jampacking your days, doing as much as humanly possible, it means being comfortable with what it is you do. Yes, sometimes you need to push yourself out of that safe place that we all refer to as our comfortzone in order to fully enjoy life, but afterwards you can reward yourself by staying inside of your safe place. Even it is means being a Netflix potato. (Because let’s face it, we are all Netflix potato’s..)

This is your life, make sure you try your hardest, give it your best, but most importantly, make sure you fully enjoy everything it is you do.

Toodlepip & Happy New Year (:

❤❤❤❤❤

 

Be Proud

The other day I read a blogpost by Soph and she talked about self love and how important it is to appreciate and love yourself. That’s why today I wanted to have a little chat with you guys about pride and being proud of yourself.

Nowadays, loving yourself or talking in a positive manner about yourself, is seen as ‘arrogant’ or you being ‘full of yourself’. That got me thinking. Are you really an arrogant person for liking who you are and being confident? I don’t think so. I often find myself in situations where I am afraid people are going to think I am full of myself or showing off. For example, a few days ago in class, my teacher quoted Hamlet. She asked the class if anyone knew what her quote was from. No one knew what is was from, but me, being a massive nerd who loves English literature and everything to do with that, knew it was Hamlet. But then again, also being an incredibly shy person, I didn’t raise my hand. But was this just out of shyness, or was it because I thought people were going to think I am full of myself for knowing something they all didn’t? Or when people give you a compliment and you don’t know how to respond to it because you don’t want to seem arrogant. But then again, should you deny what they’re saying?

I think it is more than okay to accept a compliment or to raise your hand in class to show that you know something. It’s okay to like yourself, to be who you are and to be proud. I think it’s a good thing to sometimes compliment yourself. ‘Anne, that jumper you’re wearing really suits you!’ or ‘Anne, you did a really good job on knowing Hamlet.’ But it also works the other way around; ‘Anne, it’s okay you didn’t raise your hand. I am sure you will next time!’ Now you probably all think I am mental, but if no one is going to compliment you or say you did well, why not do it yourself? You don’t have to be down about yourself all of the time, give yourself some credit because you are doing a great job on whatever it is you’re doing! It’s okay to acknowledge that, for example, you did something well, or that you indeed do look really flipping good in that dress.

People put you down enough, at least be nice to yourself; be your own best friend. 

But maybe you didn’t do so great that day. Maybe you didn’t achieve the biggest things and maybe you just look ‘kinda good’ in that dress, but that’s okay! You don’t need to do the biggest things in life in order for it to be a good one. You don’t need to achieve millions of great things in order to be proud of yourself. ‘You talked to a new person today eventhough you have social anxiety, I am so proud of you!’ or ‘It didn’t work out exactly like you wanted it, but you tried and that’s great!’ or ‘You wore that dress today, eventhough you were self consious about it, that’s amazing!’ 

All in all, what I wanted to say is that you don’t need to be down or negative about yourself. It’s okay to be happy with who you are. You may not be exactly like somebody else but you don’t need to be. They are them and you are you. You don’t have the potential to become who they are supposed to be, and they don’t have the potential to become who you are supposed to be. (guess who payed attention at her philosophy class? Thanks for this great insight, Aristotle!) It’s okay to acknowledge that you’re good at someting or that you look nice. Compliment yourself, even on the smallest little things, because the way you look at life, is all up to you. You can decide whether you’re happy or not. The world will try and get you down, but it’s up to you to be proud, proud of who you are.

”Happiness depends upon ourselves.” – Aristotle

Toodlepip ♥♥

Hello 2015

So, yesterday I wrote a blogpost telling you about the things I did this year and the things I achieved, that is why I also wanted to write about the things I am planning on doing next year.

The first thing is to keep saying yes. I know this might sound stupid and that I rave about this all of the time but I am just going to say it again. I am saying yes more and more and I want to keep doing it because it had brought me so much joy, happiness and fun.

Another thing is that I want to be more open about my blog. I see that whenever someone asks me about my hobbies I feel very uncomfortable telling them I write a blog. I don’t know why but I just do. That is why I am going to be more open about. When someone is going to ask me about it, I am not going to lie about it and I am just going to tell them. If this is what I enjoy, then so be it.

I want to be more serious about my blog. Last year I said I wanted to write more blogposts, which I did but this year I also want every blogpost to be the best possible. I often end up forgetting to blog and then in the end I upload something short, easy and crappy. This is something I don’t want to do anymore. It has to be quality over quantity.

Lastly, I am not going to let my fears get in the way. Sometimes, when I am doing something that should be fun, I am not enjoying it the fullest because I am scared or anxious. I don’t want this anymore. I am going on exchange next year and I am extremely excited about it but we have to go by plain which I am very scared about. I hate flying and it often gives me massive anxiety attacks but I am not going to let this fear get in the way of my fun.

So those were some of my new years resolutions! I know this aren’t that many but I think that some of them are going to be really hard for me so we’ll how that goes.

What are your new years resolutions? Do you already have any? Let me know in the comments!

See you tomorrow!

Toodlepip!

New Year, New Start

Today was a bit of a reflecting day for me. I started thinking about my life, how it is at the moment and what else I want to achieve in the future. So that’s why I decided that for blogmas day 9, I’d share some of those thought with you guys.

Yesterday I told my parents about my blog. I know, this doesn’t really look like a big deal, but for me, for some reason, it was. I was really scared that they wouldn’t let me continue or that they’d be angry or something. But yesterday I decided to just go for it, to just tell them. I know I rave about this all of the time, but I just said yes. I am really proud of myself for saying yes to more and more things lately and all of that ended up in so much joy and happiness, I thought, why not do it some more? So the one thing I am planning on doing this next year is to say yes, more and more often. Saying yes brought me, so far, so many great things and now I truly realize that saying yes is so worth it. Great things really don’t come from comfort zones, they come from stepping out of them.

Another thing that I started thinking about the other day was about value. Seeing your own value and appreciating yourself. If you have been reading my blog for a while now you may know that I switched schools this year. In the beginning of the year it was all sunshine and smiley faces really. But now, as the time goes, I also notice that not everyone was as nice as they looked at first sight. But now I also realize that those people are not worth worrying about. Worrying is so useless. It’s like walking around with an umberella, waiting for it to rain. You should know that those people are trying to get you down because they see how far you have come. One day this guy in my class said to me: ‘you are completely going the wrong way, aren’t you?’ The only thing I thought at that moment was how stupid he was. I know that lately, I have been doing so well, he probably noticed and wanted to get me down for that. But I kept telling myself: you are so not going the wrong way. You are on such a high level, he doesn’t even know the excistence of it, it is too high for him. This may sound a bit arrogant, but maybe sometimes you need to be a bit arrogant in order to love yourself.

The last thing I wanted to talk to you guys about is the value of love. In my opinion, love should be valued, every kind of love. Whether it is love for your partner, male or female, love for your siblings, parents, other family members, love for your dog, neigbour or love for your favourite band. It doesn’t matter, in the end, it all makes us happy. Being able to love someone or something is by far the best thing we have ever been given. I believe God gaves us the ability to love and we should see it as the greatest, most precious gift we have ever gotten.

I know this is not really a Christmassy post, but I always like sharing my thoughts with you guys. Leave me a comment down below telling me your opinion about any of these topics or tell me something you have been thinking about lately!

See you tomorrow!

Toodlepip!