Coffee for One

There is something so comforting about watching the world go by with a warm mug of coffee in your hands.

I’m a true introvert so I adore spending time by myself. It calms me down and gives me the time to be alone with the dozens of thoughts whizzing around my mind.

I love peaceful mornings when I’m alone in the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to boil as I try and decide which mug I want to use (a very important decision) for the first cup of coffee of the day.

Visiting my favourite cafe on a rainy afternoon fills me with waves of contentment. Sitting by the window with a cappuccino in one hand and a book in the other is one of the greatest feelings.

Buying a takeaway cup of coffee at Heuston Station before boarding a train to the countryside makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Curling up on my bed as the rain pours down outside makes me feel calm. The warm glow of the fairy lights brightens up the room and a mug of coffee sits next to a vase of peonies on my bedside locker.

I love ordering coffee for one. Solitude and coffee is the perfect combination.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

3 Things I Discovered When I Lived Alone

I’ve always wanted to be in a John Hughes movie, but Home Alone would not be at the top of my list. However, I found myself channeling my inner Kevin when my family went on holidays for two weeks without me. Staying home alone seemed a lot more exciting until the dishes started to pile up in the sink. It wasn’t as fun as I expected it to be, but I thought I’d share what I learned from the experience here on Scribbles by Kat.

  • I need to learn how to cook: Let’s take this moment to appreciate my amazing Nanny Gretta, because if it wasn’t for her I would have been living off toasted sandwiches for the entire two weeks. In my head I dreamed of having fancy giant breakfasts like they do on Gossip Girl- pancakes, waffles, pastries, fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice and gallons of coffee every morning. However, I struggled to make a slice of toast without burning it. I think it’s time to brush up on my cooking skills or my dreams of hosting a swanky dinner party in the future will never come true.
  • Music makes everything better: I really underestimated the amount of housework my Mam has to do everyday. From hoovering to making the beds, and from washing clothes to polishing the furniture. It seemed daunting at first, but one thing that helped get through the never ending list of housework was music. Every morning I played my favourite albums at full volume as I pottered about the kitchen. The La La Land soundtrack and Spandau Ballet’s greatest hits were my go to albums, much to my neighbours delight- many apologies for the appalling singing. Playing music whilst I did the housework made it ten times more enjoyable, however it may have taken a lot longer due to the numerous dance breaks I took whilst hoovering. I looked just like Robin Williams during the cleaning scene in Mrs. Doubtfire.
  • The difference between being alone and being lonely: I’m an introvert, which means I gain energy from being by myself, rather than in social situations. I love spending time by myself. I go to cafes alone. I go to the cinema alone. I go shopping alone. But that doesn’t mean I like being lonely. There is a huge difference between being alone and lonely, and being lonely is one of the worst feelings ever. I didn’t think I’d miss my family as much as I did, but coming home from work and not finding my Mam watching Fair City and Dad reading the newspaper was awfully sad. Also, being home alone at night time is so scary, especially when your brain makes you believe the Demogorgon from Stranger Things is outside your bedroom door.

Being home alone was both a good and bad experience. I’m sleeping better and eating real meals again now that my family are back, however I do miss having full access to the TV, I miss binge watching Gilmore Girls until the early hours of the morning.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

Moments

A few years ago, during the days when my mind was flooded with dark thoughts, I contemplated suicide. I was weighed down by an overbearing depression, which left me feeling hopeless. However, the waves of negative thoughts have started to calm down. They make an appearance every now and then, ebbing and flowing in and out of my mind. But I am getting better. The days are brighter and my thoughts are lighter.

The world can be a very dark and lonely place when you contemplate suicide. I found the strength to overcome this difficult time in my life. And now, I see the world differently and appreciate the little moments, more than ever before.

FullSizeRender (4)I am grateful for the days when the sky lies still and silent above our heads as we potter about.

I treasure the moments when I catch my Mam laughing at something silly my little cousin did.

I love seeing my Dad sing along to the radio when his favourite song is playing.

I can’t help but smile when our pet cat chases a crunchy leaf around the garden.

I adore the days when I curl up with a giant mug of tea as the rain trickles down the window pane.

I love the feeling of freedom when I walk by the sea and feel as light as the sand beneath my toes.

I feel so merry when my sisters come home from a concert and fill the room with their excitement and infectious energy.

I appreciate the stories my grandparents tell me, even though I’ve heard them many times before.

I love the moments when I freeze and think back to those dark days. I smile as I remind myself of my strength. I am here. I am still alive and I am getting better. And those moments when I remember how far I’ve come are the greatest moments of all.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

3 Things That Made Me Smile This Week

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
― Marcel Proust

Happy June!

This month has been a joy so far. I took part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon, received my final college results and had many adventures with my dearest pals. Expressing gratitude for the little things is something I try to do as often as possible, so I wanted to scribble about three things that brought a smile to my face this week.

1: The VHI Women’s Mini Marathon

On June 5th I took part in the mini marathon on behalf of the Make a Wish foundation. The mini marathon is such an empowering and emotional event. I loved every single second of it, even when I was struggling to run when I got to the 9km mark.  Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen played as I crossed the finish line in the rain, it was such a great moment. However, the best moment was singing along to Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves at the start line.

2: Tea with Nanny

The simplicity of sipping on a warm cup of tea and chatting to my Nanny never fails to make me smile. Life has been awfully hectic lately so I haven’t had the chance to visit her as much as I’d like to, but I popped down to her house on Thursday, which brightened my day. We watched Fair City, ate too many biscuits and she told me about how she used to be very good at writing stories.

3: Taylor Swift on Spotify

To celebrate 1989 selling over 10 million albums worldwide and 100 million song certifications, Taylor Swift added her ENTIRE back catologue to Spotify. You can now listen to all of her albums on Spotify- 1989, Red, Speak Now, Fearless and Taylor Swift! I’ve had Red on repeat, which is my favourite T-Swizzle album. (State of Grace, 22 and Begin Again are the best) Music makes everything better, especially Taylor Swift’s music. If you need me I’ll be dancing around my room to Shake It Off for the foreseeable future.

 

Image result for taylor swift 22 gif

What made you smile like the Cheshire Cat this week? Tweet me and let me know @katkatkatt

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

Too Fat For Summer?

My hair is frizzier than ever, my jumper collection has been packed away and the sun is shining. It looks like summer has finally arrived on the little island of Ireland!

I am so excited to go to outdoor cinemas, to eat ice cream by the sea and to laze about in the garden with the La La Land soundtrack playing in the background. However, one thing I hate about the summer is the ‘summer body’ conversation.

There is a huge pressure on people to slim down and tone up before summer rolls around. Women feel like they need to drop a dress size to look socially acceptable in a bikini. Men feel pressured to visit the gym more frequently to buff up for the summer months. Now, I’m not saying that being fit is a bad thing. Being fit and healthy is something we should all be, but we need to remind ourselves that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect body’.

Mainstream media has tainted our views about how we should look. We have given the media far too much control when it comes to our thoughts on body image. Body’s come in all different shapes and sizes. It’s time to ignore the medias idea of what a perfect body looks like and start telling yourself that your body is perfect. You don’t need to be a certain size to wear a crop top. You don’t need to lose ten pounds to wear a pair of shorts. You don’t have to cover up your body because you don’t look like the woman on the cover of Vogue.

Everyone is self conscious about a part of their body, for me it’s my tubby belly and pasty pale legs, but I’m not letting that stop me from wearing my favourite floral skirt this summer. And you shouldn’t either.

We need to ignore this pressure and start to embrace body positivity. Never let someone tell you what you can and can’t wear. It’s your body, not theirs.

“The human body is the best work of art.”
― Jess C. Scott

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

Living with Anxiety

Hello.

I’ve wanted to blog about my anxiety disorder for such a long time, and today I’m finally ready to sit down and talk about it. I’ve spoken to the Journal about my mental health and shared my story over on SpunOut, but I felt like it was time to write about it here on Scribbles By Kat.

I’ve been battling with anxiety for over two years now. There have been many difficult moments during this ongoing battle, from extreme panic attacks to isolating myself from friends and family and from difficult GP visits to emotional counselling sessions. It hasn’t been easy, but as time goes by I’ve learned how to live with my anxiety.

Back in 2015 my anxiety was extremely bad. There were days when I couldn’t leave the house or get on bus or speak to anyone or visit the city centre. I was crippled with an intense fear and waves of worry flooded my mind. There were days when I cancelled plans with my dearest friends, because I was too anxious to get out of my bed. There were days when I stood at my bus stop and let dozens of buses pass me by, because I was too anxious to move and go into the city. There were nights where I had to leave bars because I just couldn’t deal with the crowds. There have been days when I’d leave to go to college and then turn back home, because I couldn’t handle the bus journey or being with my classmates or delivering a presentation. There have been sleepless nights and panic attacks and constant tears.

Anxiety isn’t cute or trendy. It’s not about being shy or bashful. I can’t just ‘get over it’ or ‘be more confident’. It’s not about being too sensitive or too nervous. It’s a serious mental illness that many people fail to treat with respect or care.

I am learning to live with my anxiety disorder. I still have my bad days, but this year there have been more good days than bad. I still have panic attacks, I still suffer from sleep paralysis triggered by my anxiety, I still struggle to go into the city centre, I still find it hard to breathe, I still get intense heart palpitations. I still have days when my mind is full of worry and dread and unbearable negative thoughts.

There are so many people that dismiss anxiety. There are so many people who don’t take it seriously. There are so many people who believe it doesn’t matter. There are so many people who don’t treat it like a real illness.

“You’re just a bit shy.”

“You need to go out in the fresh air more.”

“There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re just being silly.”

“Stop looking for attention.”

“You’re just over-reacting.”

However, there are people who are making a difference by opening up and talking about mental health. When writing about depression in Reasons To Stay Alive, Matt Haig says “Depression is also smaller than you. Always, it is smaller than you, even when it feels vast. It operates within you, you do not operate within it. It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky, but- if that is the metaphor- you are the sky.

You were there before it. And the cloud can’t exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.”

I remind myself of his words every single day. My anxiety isn’t in control of my life. My anxiety isn’t bigger than me. My anxiety isn’t more powerful. My anxiety isn’t going to win.

People will dismiss anxiety. People will mock you and belittle you and disrespect you when you speak about anxiety. People will tell you to ‘get over yourself’ or to ‘shake it off’. People will tell you that you’re being over the top or attention seeking, but you’re not.

This is my anxiety story and I will continue to fight against my disorder, and I will continue to talk about it, no matter how many people knock me down. Living with anxiety is an ongoing battle. It is a real disorder that needs to be taken seriously. We may live in a country where many people dismiss mental health, however, together we can change things by talking about anxiety in an open and honest way.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

 

3 Quotes That Always Brighten My Day

The sun may be shining, but I’m not feeling too great today, thanks to PMS! I feel gloomy and moody and unmotivated, but one thing that always cheers me up is reading through the quotes that I scribbled in my journal. The power of words will always outweigh the negative feelings. I thought I’d share some of my favourite quotes with you today. If you aren’t feeling sassy or cheerful, these quotes will help brighten your day and widen your smile.

1: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

-Ferris Bueller

2: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

-Maya Angelou

3: “With the new day comes strength and new thoughts.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Here’s to brighter, happier days.

Sincerely Yours

Kat

 

 

Shape of You

I’ve got freckles on my back

And pasty pale skin.

I’ve got stretch marks on my stomach

And light grey eyes.

I’ve got curly brown hair

And scars on my thighs.

I’ve learned to love my body, even the parts that make my heart sink when I look in the mirror. I remind myself of it’s strength and it’s power and it’s duty to protect the organs that keep me alive. My body’s purpose isn’t to squeeze into a pair of jeans from Topshop.

It is there to protect the heart that pumps blood around my body and the lungs that are the reason for every breath I take. My body protects my brain, which is full of ideas and memories and dreams. My body protects the bones that are the reason I can walk down the street and dance around the kitchen and hug my parents.

Your body’s strength is mesmerizing, so the next time you start to worry about how your legs aren’t long enough or how your tummy isn’t toned enough, remind yourself that your body is strong, your body is your great protector and your body is your home.

Hopes and Dreams for April

Happy April! Is it just me or is 2017 flying by at the speed of light? I’ve been spending the vast majority of my time working on my final year assignments, however April is my last month in college… forever, so it’s time to wave goodbye to Harvard Referencing and essay writing, and focus on myself this month.

So here are a few things that I’d like to do in April

1: Go on a solo theatre trip

I’ve been dreaming about visiting Smock Alley Theatre, which is one of my favourite places in Dublin. This month I’m going to pluck up the courage and go on a solo theatre trip during my Easter midterm. I fell in love with Smock Alley when I went to see Spring Awakening there in 2015, so another visit is well overdue.

2: Read more

I’ve handed up most of my assignments, which means I can finally read for fun again. I’ve set myself a target to read four books in April. I’m currently swooning over Rainbow Rowell’s novel Eleanor and Park, which is a set in the 1980’s. She sure knows the way to my heart.

3: Marathon Training

I’ll be taking part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon on behalf of the Make A Wish Foundation in June. The marathon is such an empowering and moving day and I cannot wait to take part again this year. However, I need to start training again and now that the evenings are brighter I can finally go on some sassy power walks. If you’d like to support the Make A Wish Foundation you can make a donation over on Kat’s Fundraising Page

4: Take Care of Myself

I took part in a mindfulness workshop in college and it made me realise that I haven’t been taking care of myself or my mind lately. The stress of my final year has had a bad impact on my mental health so I’m going to focus on taking better care of myself this month. I’m going to meditate a few times a week and possibly purchase one of those dreamy adult colouring books to help me unwind in the evenings.

Have you set any goals for this month? Tweet me @katkatkatt

Here’s to a month full of happy days and new adventures.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week

I was lucky enough to take part in a mindfulness workshop in college on Wednesday. One thing that helps boost mindfulness is gratitude, so I’ve decided to start a positivity journal. I’m toying with the idea of visiting Paperchase and splashing out on a new notebook *swoons*, but today I’m going to scribble here on my blog and share a few things that made me smile like the Cheshire Cat this week.

1: My Mam minds my little cousin Molly three days a week. She brightens my mornings and never fails to make me laugh. She’s such a placid kid and is a joy to have around the house. This week she ran around the house doing dinosaur impressions, which made me laugh so much.

2: I handed up my special subject assignment, which has been stressing me out for months. It’s one of the biggest college projects I’ve ever worked on so I was over the moon when I handed it up on Tuesday afternoon.

3: Riverdale is back. I am crazy about this show so that two week break was a true struggle. Oh it’s so great to see Jughead back on my screen. I’ve got the biggest crush on Cole Sprouse.

4: Twist and Shout by The Beatles played on the radio as I drove to college with my Dad. That song always makes me smile because it reminds me of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

5: I bought new denim shorts that make me feel really body confident. I struggle to find shorts that fit well because I’ve got huge hips and a slim waist, but finally I found a pair that make me feel super sassy.

6: My skin is clearing up. Bon voyage spots! I’ve been drinking more water, eating more fruit and using the L’oréal Fine Flowers Gel-Cream Wash and it seems to be working on my angry red blemishes. It feels good to have clear skin again.

What made you smile this week?

Sincerely Yours

Kat