The Night We Met / This Week

Hello!

This past week has flown by in a mixture of midterms, Easter and work.

University has been hectic, with what was meant to be three tests in three days (though it turned out to be only two – thanks cyclone)! There was a statistics test and an environmental risk assessment test, both of which went okay-ish. The biogeography test has been postponed to after the holidays, meaning that I can postpone cramming the morning of for two whole weeks. I have finished planning my two essays for biogeography, one on Rapoport’s Rule, and the other on Bergmann’s Rule, and both of which are super interesting to research, and make me so grateful to be learning what I’m learning.

It’s been plastered all over social media recently and has been hard to miss – 13 Reasons Why caught my attention and I have watched it over the past few days.

I have read a lot of differing opinions on the series; it’s controversial to say the least. Some say it’s glamorising or romanticising of suicide and mental illness, to which I’m confused; did we watch the same show? It’s awful, painful to watch, and immense in truth. There is nothing glamourous about it. Some say it wasn’t realistic, but we all have different experiences. Nobody’s experience with mental illness, sexual abuse, bullying or suicidal thoughts is exactly the same, and that doesn’t make what anybody experiences any less real. Others complain that it was too triggering, which I find to be a pointless complaint as each episode that is particularly distressing, graphic in sexual assult or suicide, contains a very clear trigger warning. There has to be a point where the viewer to must take responsibility for themselves and their wellbeing, and watching it if you are well aware that it will be harmful is a bit silly in my opinion.

In short, I loved it. It’s powerful, it’s messy, it made me cry. I had to look away because it was so awful at times. It’s raw, it’s real, I found it to be relateable. The characters were human, Hannah’s story was familiar, it was brilliantly imperfect. And if nothing else, it got people talking, and that has to be something right?

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(Image sourced from: http://achsnews.com/13-reasons-why-captivates-audiences/why-are-book-fans-skeptical-about-the-dramatic-13-reasons-why-trailer)

Last but not least, the sountrack was so, so good, but then again it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m super excited to find all the songs, but for now my favourite is The Night We Met by Lord Huron.

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(Image sources from: http://screenrant.com/13-reasons-why-premiere-reviews-spoilers/)

Easter over the past couple of days has been beautiful, and I feel very lucky to have gotten to spend time with my beautiful family. I’m finding that as I get older, family time is becoming increasingly important to me. We have a much better relatinship now that I have moved out, and I am so thankful for that. I feel so full of gratitude for my parents and husband, and for all the ways they support me. This weekend involved the cutest vegan chocolate bunnies (with bells on!), playing with the dogs, and Catan, a lot of Catan.

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Being multiple public holidays in a row meant that work has been really busy, especially because all the other shops have been closed. On Good Friday I had a bar shift, and you know how I have been afraid of making coffee? Well that has been squashed. Yay! It was crazily busy, everyone was buying coffee, so much so that we ran out of milk despite stocking up for days beforehand. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone, and has made me feel much less nervous.

Something pretty cool at work happened this week. I walked in to start my shift a few days ago, and my manager said “Kaitlyn, we finally have something here you can eat!”. Turns out, we now sell vegan coconut ice-cream, and they gave me a tub to try after a particularly crazy shift, and it was so good! They are the best.

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Some things I’m looking forward to over the coming week is my ecology field trip in a few days, reading Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, writing some more poetry, and seeing more sunsets. They have been gorgeous lately.

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Love & light,

Kaitlyn.

 

New Music for Better Vibes / This Week

Hello!

This week has become far more wintery, and coming home after a long day to our new, warm room, is such a blessing. It’s all sunbaked, so we feel very much like cats basking in the sunlight.

This week has been full of lots of work (cinemas never stop – Beauty and the Beast, need I say anymore?), lots of study (one test down, three to go!) and some exciting plans for the future!

I’m still not very confident making coffee at work, so when a customer ordered a mochaccino and a cappuccino yesterday, cue intense hand shaking. But it worked out okay! It was such a relief. I even attempted to try make a pretty design with the microfoam, which just ended up being a blob shaped vaguely like Australia. But nevertheless, that’s exactly what chocolate dusting is for!

Lately it has become apparent that I’m still not very good at coping with particular reminders of the past. It’s strange, because I have truly come so far from where I used to be, but then something so little and silly can completely mess with me. It could be the smell of my old bedroom at my parent’s home, a particular song, or the smell of a certain food, and all of a sudden my heart races and I shake uncontrollably, and I just have to get out of the situation. It’s strange. I don’t understand it. But after hearing a song on the radio today that merely sounded similar to one of the songs I can no longer listen to (just thinking about it makes me feel sick), I thought of the idea of finding brand new (well to my ears anyway) music that I have no memories associated with. Hopefully, these new songs can be reminders of good vibes and sunny days.

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(Image sourced from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ou8PXfDhFI)

Stumbling around youtube, I came across Seafret. Their name is what first struck me, it’s just such a fun sounding word. Two other words that are also very fun sounding are “barnacle” and “parsimonious”, but this is getting very unrelated! I began listening to their music, and already I am in love.

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(Image sourced from: https://slm-sintiendolamusica.tumblr.com/post/118215788890/httpswwwyoutubecomwatchv-gvay3izil0s)

Their music videos are beautiful and wild, they remind me of the Lumineers, and if you need anymore convincing just take a look at this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHhkd2B87Q8&list=RDEM0UDJ6LuNGd18QcjmJUatNw&index=5) to have your heart melt.

And damn, that song is pretty darn beautiful too.

The goosebumps are real.

A few nights ago we had the privilege of attending a close friend’s 21st birthday, and it is always so incredibly special to get to spend time with them. Being surrounded by such truly beautiful people is so amazing, how do I even put it into words?

Here’s to good vibes and new beginnings!

Love & light,
Kaitlyn.

 

There is more to you than yesterday // This Week

A lot has happened this week, and in particular the last couple of days, and I’m unsure of if meaningful is the right word to use here, but all of it definitely made me feel so many things.

We have moved into our new flat, and so far it’s been really good. It’s so lovely to have space, be able to go outdoors, and breathe fresh air. It’s also much closer to where my parents live, so we were able to pop around there the other night bringing a movie and snacks, and it was lovely (just everything about this move is lovely, really) to spend time with them. This also means that we are so much closer to my parent’s dogs too! We had a spare afternoon, so we “dog-napped” one of them and drove to a big park, which involved swimming, rolling in mud, and more swimming (on the dog’s part, not ours, for clarity).

We also had some very sad news however, that our close relative passed away over the weekend. So in the middle of the week we flew down to the other end of the island for two days. The funeral, although sad, was also beautiful. So many people attended and spoke, sharing stories and beautiful tributes. It was a very special occasion. I don’t really know why, but being there and around family, made me really look forward to and be excited for our future family.

During this time away, we also got the opportunity to see my brother-in-law’s new car. Saying that it was the most fun I have ever had in a car is not an exaggeration, and I’m certainly not a car person. It’s this tiny little sports car, so low to the ground that you are practically sitting on the ground, that he has just finished painting himself. It has just two seats, and also happens to have a convertible rooftop! We took it out at night, took the roof off, and blasted Sail by AWOLNATION probably annoying loudly. It was a clear night sky, and by raising my arms my fingers felt almost as if they were skimming across the stars. It gave me so much peace. It reminded me a little bit of this scene from The Perks of being a Wallflower.

(Image sourced from: https://68.media.tumblr.com/818e2d487204bf3c03dccf09b816a8fa/tumblr_o6nhn7t4Pb1v66xy4o1_500.jpg)

Yesterday felt so very busy too! In the morning I had my Terrestrial Ecology class and then lab. We learnt about the moose and wolves of Isle Royale, an island in the middle of a huge lake which, completely naturally, ended up being an Ecologist’s dream experiment. The National Park itself is beautiful, and coupled with the rich ecological history (it makes me so excited to just think about! Eeek! I love what I study!), it is now definitely a dream to travel there someday.

(Image sourced from: https://www.nps.gov//isro/planyourvisit/images/hill_islands_1.jpg

(Image sourced from: http://media.cntraveler.com/photos/54bfdc8ef026e0d339fb6dea/master/pass/isle-royale-national-park-michigan.jpg)

That evening I went to work and experienced my very first bar shift. I have been training for it for a while now, but my biggest problem is my anxiety around it. My hands get so weak that I can’t open bottles of wine! So when I arrived yesterday I was shaking and my stomach was doing flip flops, but despite this it was actually quite a nice change. I tried to use mindfulness techniques during quiet times, and they were soothing. In the past, this sort of experience would have involved far more debilitating symptoms, so much so that I probably would have been unable to work. It was like a friendly little reminder that things have changed, that they are better now. It also helped that I had this beautiful quote stuck in my head after copying it down into my planner, particularly the final line, “There is more to you than yesterday.”

(Image sourced from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/7c/30/a0/7c30a078c297b9f6ce3e8afba698df26.jpg)

By the end of the night I had served many drinks, made lots of food, and even made somebody a Cappuccino, which surprisingly turned out alright! This whole experience really helped with boosting my confidence, and I will even admit it was a little fun! Being trained and working bar shifts was one of my goals for this year, so I’m super happy with how it all went.

I then dove home, and this time was really important to me. I hadn’t driven home from work at night in so long, just because I normally take the bus. But last night I got to be reminded of how much I enjoy driving home at night, listening to the radio with all the streets quiet. It did though bring along a big bout of that “bad nostalgia” that I previously tried to write about, because this time used to be where so many of the awful thoughts would riot and scream, and all those drives home from work in the past are painful thinking back. But last night was different. Things are okay now. These memories just erupt when I least expect them.

What was supposed to be a quick, straightforward drive home ended up being very different. I was driving on an empty motorway, almost home, when suddenly I saw a person on the side of the motorway trying to wave me down. It was then that I noticed that something was wrong. I pulled over, along with another car who had also seen, and this was my first time helping out with a car accident. A car had swerved across several lanes on the motorway, and plummeted off the side into some trees. It was so lucky that it was night, and that there was hardly any traffic, otherwise it would have been a lot worse. We had to help the passengers, and one was injured and understandably very shaken. Thankfully, nobody was seriously hurt, although their car looked in bad shape. The police arrived, and later the ambulance too, and everyone is going to be okay. I felt bad though, because I didn’t really know what to do in this situation, so I just comforted the person who was upset and waited with them until help arrived. I don’t know if anybody really knows what to do in these times though. I naively never expect things like that to happen.

I’m going to end this here, as soon we are going to spend time with family, with my warmest wishes for your week! I hope it has been a good week for you, and that you have so much hope for the next one too.

Love and light,
Kaitlyn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying to put thoughts into words

Starting these blog posts always begin with the best intentions. An idea will stick around in my head for a week or two, but by the time I eventually get around to writing it out, I get lost for words! As a person who finds writing easier than speaking most of the time, it’s frustrating to completely blank, or worry constantly about how my words will sound, to the point where it’s hard to write anything at all.

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(Image sourced from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/36/1a/55/361a556fa711587ddce6c9bee369f0fd.jpg)

Sometimes writing is also difficult because it reminds me so much of being sick. Nostalgia, but in a bad sense. Is there a word for that? When things were really, really hard, all I could do was write, to scream silently into the void, because I was too afraid to talk to anybody. As a result, this is what I now associate with writing. Being so, so low and scared, I hate thinking about it because it hurts so much. So I’m finding it hard to write beyond the illnesses, to find words that will enhance, rather than break.

There are so many things I would like to write about too! How veganism is changing for me, feminism, privilege, relationships, body image, life as seasons, adventures, goals, confidence, the list just keeps going. If only my mind would work with me, instead of against!

Lately, depression and anxiety have been present, and I have to keep telling them to shut up. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But anyway, they have been making things a little bit more difficult lately. They haven’t completely won, however, because I cannot let them.

What has been helping is literally forcing myself to keep talking to people, rather than to isolate myself, which is all they want me to do. Also, as I mentioned earlier, my veganism is changing, which is helping too, but that is something I don’t feel comfortable talking about yet. Trying to be productive also helps, because I find that if I can even summon the energy to do just one small thing, then doing other things slowly becomes easier too.

Last week I signed up to complete an award at university, which involves volunteering, leadership, challenges and reflection. I’m attending my first workshop for it tomorrow, and am excited to see where it takes me.

This was intended to be much more coherent, and interesting, but instead turned into a rather pointless ramble. I’m going to end here.

Love & light,
Kaitlyn.

Small Things of February

February has been nothing short of magical so far!

The month began with many wedding preparations leading up to the big day, and then the day itself. All the moments were incredible, and full of pure joy. These days are definitely stories for another blog post however, one which will arrive soon.

However, aside from these beautiful, weddingish moments, February has still shown me so much beauty.

  • On our wedding day, my now husband (how exciting it feels to be writing that!) gave me a ukulele! It was such a fun surprise to receive, however I feel as though my constant want to practice is causing him some regret. So far, I have just been learning how exactly to place my fingers and rearrange them for different chords; it requires more precision than I first understood. To my utter excitement, it turns out that Riptide by Vance Joy is an easy song for beginners to learn how to play, and so I have been practising at every given moment, and I’m getting there slowly. If only I could sing!
  • We watched the movie Pork Pie about two weeks ago, and although I wasn’t sure if I would like it beforehand, I walked out with a brand new favourite. It’s so wonderfully Kiwi, involves veganism as a rather large part of the plot, and made me laugh embarrassingly loudly. It’s beautifully light-hearted, and made me fall even deeper in love with the country I’m lucky to call home.

(Image sourced from: http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/entertainment/2016/10/pork-pie-first-trailer-for-kiwi-film-released.html)

  • I feel as though I have become a bit more confident this month. I am working on becoming more assertive, and am trying to find my inner duck (“like water on a duck’s back!”). Things, meaningless things, affect me so overly deeply and painfully, and I am now working very hard to believe that not everything that I over think influences my worth as a human. These are very trying times! However, I have found recently that I am not taking as many silly things as deeply to heart anymore, which is truly like a breath of fresh air.

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(Image sourced from: http://philbertk.deviantart.com/art/Like-water-off-a-ducks-back-599712388)

  • On our honeymoon, I got a necklace with the crystal Citrine on it. Crystals, and their meanings, bring me peace, and it also helps with keeping my hands busy. Citrine is a crystal of joy, of light, and of positive energy. It helps to reduce self-destruction, and is described as filling one with light.

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  • I have just finished reading the book Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, and it was great! It’s good as a light read, for when you can’t concentrate very well, yet it’s still entertaining enough to keep you engaged.

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(Image sourced from: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19486412-big-little-lies).

  • Some things I am looking forward to are university beginning again in two weeks, continuing with painting, writing poetry and moving into our new home.

Love & light,
Kaitlyn.

Our Discoveries of Weddings

As our big day is drawing nearer, we are have made quite a few wedding discoveries that we never thought about before!

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  • Delegation becomes vital. As somebody who is usually very resistant to letting other people help because the guilt is overwhelming, this was a very difficult lesson to learn. It’s impossible to be everywhere, doing everything at once, as much as that would appease my brain. When family and friends very kindly continue to offer to help, it’s okay to take them up on that. It’s okay to let go. It helped to put myself in their shoes; I love helping them and am honoured to do so, so reversing that is okay too.
  • Your house will begin to resemble a thrift shop crossed with a liquour store, crossed once again with a gardening centre. Maybe it’s because we live in a tiny studio apartment, so it’s kind of like we are living in the shambles of our deconstucted wedding.
  • Right before the wedding is not the best time to see if your gardening skills are up to scratch. We decided to buy various herbs to add a bit of greenery to the tables, and also they smell lovely! However, neither of us are graced with green fingers, and so as we believed that we were “loving” them by watering them every few hours, we have accidentally caused them much suffering and now can only hope for a full recovery.
  • The mood swings are chaotic! We both are fluctuating between stress/ irritation / crazy excitement, on a two hourly basis.
  • Before any proper planning had begun, I was so determined to not let the process and details consume us and our relationship. I was very big on the fact of it only being one day, and that I was much more looking forward to our marriage and life together. However, another fact is that really, nobody else was going to see it this way, as kind and well-meaning as they are. It is a very, very, big one day to all of us, and as it draws nearer, it becomes bigger so. It’s overwhelming, the expectations and financial strain, and in this way it is consuming. But it’s important to remember that there is an end date in sight, and that marriage, and a celebration with those you love around you, is all that is really important.
  • It’s okay to be excited for it, while simultaneously being excited for it to be over. We can’t wait to be married and to enjoy married life.
  • Doing things in a way thay makes you happy and is affordable is what really matters. It’s okay to not be able to afford fancy catering and a dj and a videographer and a fancy dress, and the rest of the never ending list! We got my dress online from a national website for $30, it’s worked out to be the cheapest part of our wedding, and I’m happy with it. We have limited alcohol and are doing our own flowers. Our ceremony is in a park, with the reception in a community hall, and all these details are special to us, because they are ours. Expectations of weddings are often over the top, and ridiculous, so just doing what works for you is the best way to do it. There is no right way to have a wedding.

Love & light,

Kaitlyn.

Today as a Good Day

Today was really remarkable in the sense that it was just a really good, pure, wholesome day. I actively made choices that would reduce the risk of entering the overthinking -> bad thoughts -> unhealthy actions cycle, and it worked out wonderfully!

To do this I made sure to keep myself busy for most of the day, because this gives my brain less opportunities to conjure up anything and everything that will ultimately only serve for self destruction.

I started with going out to lunch with my lovely parents, and we sat outside where it was all sunshiney and beautiful. I got a roast vegetable sandwich which was so good!

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From there I went to my parent’s house, where we finalised wedding plans, and I played with the dogs. Being around animals is so therapeutic and calming. I gave Ruby a bath, and she was so well behaved; I was very proud!

Afterwards we drove out to a quiet beach where we spent the afternoon. It was magical to be outdoors and in all the fresh air, as living in the middle of the city in a studio apartment doesn’t allow for much freedom! The water was crystal clear and surprisingly warm.

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This evening I decided to get out of the house again, not only to keep myself safe, but also because I wanted to be within an atmosphere of freedom and space. I decided that it was time to write my wedding vows, and they are probably the most difficult words I have ever tried to write. There are so many indescribable feelings and emotions that my little human brain cannot find the words for. I walked to my favourite park and watched the sunset from the top of the hill. Just simply being outdoors and within nature, away from the four walls of my home, helped immensely to boost my mood and get the vows written.

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Something I love about being outside and watching the sky or the waves, is how small and insignificant it makes me feel. Although feeling insignificant is most likely not everyone’s cup of tea, it really helps me because it gives me so much hope. Hope that there is so much more out there in life beyond what is presently happening, and also hope that the darkness in my brain really isn’t all that much in the big scheme of things.

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A thought that has been prominent lately is that validation needs to come from within, and if it comes from other people too, then that is simply just a bonus. This is something I am going to try and work on. I have always been so focused and driven based on what others think, that for so long I never actually realised that I need to be doing all this for me. And as long as I am accepting and at peace with my actions and decisions, then this is what is important. What actually matters is that I focus on becoming the best I can be, and in turn I will become the best future wife, mother, daughter and friend for those around me, that I can be.

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Love & light,
Kaitlyn.