Life as a Work of Art // blogmas 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 // blogmas

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