A Letter To My 18 Year Old Self

Dear 18 Year Old Kat,

Everything got better.

You’ll discover many things in your final year of secondary school. You’ll drink for the first time, kiss people, go to house parties and spend Saturdays wandering around the city. You’ll also fight with people, and fail class tests and feel low, but I promise it get’s better.

You passed your Leaving Cert. You got that B in English that you dreamed of thanks to a hell of a lot of reading and a little chat with Ms. Munnelly. That conversation outside the R.E room gave you back your spark. You fell out of love with writing, but don’t worry, it came back. Hold onto how you felt when it was announced to the class that your short story was the best, scoring 99%.

Your mind will be full of troublesome thoughts for quite some time, please don’t suffer in silence. Tell your parents. Tell your class tutor. Go see a counsellor. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is common. Counselling will help, I promise.

Ignore the people who mock you for being shy. Being an introvert is part of who you are. You’ve yet to discover who you really are, but you will, and she’s not the worst person ever. Don’t let someone’s negative view of you impact your self esteem. I know it’s easier said than done, but you’re worth so much. Remember that.

Value the time you spend with your friends. You will meet some great people during your time in school, but friendships fall apart and people fight. Treasure every moment you have with these people. Dance at house parties. Ramble around the city centre. Wander around the local parks. Sit by the canal and natter about everything and anything. Waste your money on McDonald’s. Oh, and don’t be ashamed to talk about Glee, that show may have been cheesy, but it made you smile.

Please stop straightening your hair. Your brown curly hair is one of your best features. Also, you’re going to dip dye your hair blonde. Everyone will tell you it’s looks great, but trust me it’s hideous, please never do that again.

Stop arguing with your parents. Your Mam and Dad are two of the most amazing people on the planet. Tell them you love them every single day. Spend as much time with them as possible. Bring them out for dinner when you have the money. They have taught you so much and will support you every step of the way, even when you drop out of college.

Yes…  in the future you’ll drop out of your Level 8 course, and it’ll be terrifying, however it’ll be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Don’t worry, you’ll find your feet and discover two wonderful courses that you’ll adore. You’ll become features editor of your college newspaper too, and have work published, yes, really!

You’re going to fall in love. You’ll feel content and bright and merry. You’ll go on dates and mini holidays and share many kisses. Ignore the mushy rom-coms, love is complicated and stressful. Hugh Grant and Colin Firth will not have a fight over you, I’m sorry. You’ll suffer through a great heartache and a painful breakup, but I promise it’s not the end of the world. Your heart feels happy and full again.

Do the things that make you happy. I know it’s a cliche, but please follow your dreams. Write every single day. Read as much as you can. Go to the movies and to the beach and to bookstores and cafes by yourself, it’s scary but trust me it’ll help build your character. Be goofy and embrace your pasty pale skin. Buy coffee from local cafes, because Starbucks may seem cool but their coffee tastes like dishwater. Go on holidays with your dearest friends, even if you’re struggling with money. Learn how to use a washing machine and eat more fruit. Visit your grandparents more. Drink water on nights out if you want to. Stay away from cigarettes. Wear whatever makes you feel confident, even that silly bowler hat you’re currently obsessed with.

Remind yourself that the dark days aren’t permanent, things will get better, I promise.

Sincerely Yours,

22 year old Kat.

 

 

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

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

5 Things That Will Make Mornings Easier

Waking up at 7am is never easy, especially when you’ve stayed up past 2am watching Parks and Recreation the night before. Luckily I’ve discovered a few tips and tricks that have made this early mornings a lot more bearable.

1: Brush Your Pearly Whites

It’s a simple task, but if you brush your teeth first thing in the morning you will feel a hell of a lot fresher. Plus nobody wants to tuck into into their avocado and toast when someone with awful morning breathe is sitting opposite them.

2:Music

Music that reminds you of a happy memory will increase your mood. Serotonin levels can increase after you listen to music so make an upbeat morning playlist on Spotify that you can dance around to whilst getting ready. Lately I’ve been playing Green Light by Lorde and You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates in the mornings.

3: Prepare Your Clothes

I understand that rummaging through your wardrobe and ironing at 8pm doesn’t sound ideal, but preparing your clothes the night before will make your morning less stressful. Say goodbye to mornings where you spend most of your time running around looking for a pair of matching socks and your favourite stripey t-shirt.

4:Wake Up Your Brain

We all feel lethargic and a bit doddery in the mornings, but one way to combat those feelings is to get your brain into action. Read the newspaper or a few pages from a book. You don’t need to read half of Ulysses, but reading in the morning will make you feel focused and it helps generate creativity.

5: Join The Breakfast Club

This tip is not about befriending Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald, even though that sounds like a dream. One vital thing you should always try to do in the morning is to eat breakfast. It’ll boost your energy levels and keep your inner hangry gremlin from being unleashed when the ticket machine at the Luas doesn’t work. Eat whatever tickles your fancy, whether that’s a bowl of coco pops or the Ron Swanson option- bacon and eggs.

“Start each day with a positive thought.”

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

Embracing the Quiet Days

I woke up early this morning and pottered down the stairs. I filled the kettle and waited for it to boil. I made some coffee and rambled back upstairs to my bedroom. I sipped my coffee, dreamed over the pages of my book and scribbled in my journal. There’s something so beautiful about calm Saturday mornings.

I think it’s important to take a day off to unwind and to breathe. Saturday is the only day off I have from college or work, so I always try my best to make it the best day of the week. I don’t do anything extravagant or daring on this day off. I actually do the opposite, I sit back and recharge my batteries.

I thought I’d share three things that I love to do on these calm days.

1: Drink coffee in bed

My mornings consist of hitting the snooze button far too often, rummaging through my presses for a pair of tights that aren’t ripped, and rushing around to the bus stop with an empty stomach and bag full of assignment briefs. I don’t get to go on peaceful morning strolls or sip coffee in my local cafe as I watch the world go by. The first thing I do on a Saturday morning is pour warm coffee into my favourite red mug, curl up in bed and embrace that moment.

2: Read

I’m a massive bookworm, but due to the never ending pile of assignments I have to do, I never have enough time to power through my TBR list. I’ve been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin for what feels like a lifetime now. In the mornings I try to give myself at least an hour to curl up in bed and just read. Reading is the perfect escapism for me and it never fails to calm me down and helps me forget about my worries.

3: Go on a solo date

I’ve been going to the cinema and to cafes by myself a lot more lately and I love it. I’ve become a lot more independent and confident. Some days I feel too anxious to go out so I sit in and catch up on Call The Midwife, or listen to music on Spotify; I’ve fallen in love with the latest Ed Sheeran album. Spending time alone helps me become more mindful and focused. I’m constantly surrounded by people whether I’m in work or in college, so it’s nice to have some time alone with my thoughts every so often.

What do you do on your days off? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @katkatkatt

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

Waiting For The Next Chapter

Back in my final year of school I stood outside my English classroom with my favourite teacher, we spoke about how my grades had dropped dramatically and about how my writing wasn’t as strong as it used to be. “You’ve lost your spark” she said with concern. And she was right, I had lost my spark, because I knew that I only had a few months left in school. I was ready to leave. I was ready to complete my exams and move onto the next chapter of my life.

At the moment I have two months left in college. I will complete my HND in journalism in two months and I’m more than ready for graduate life. People have noticed that my spark has dwindled again. I’ve grown tired of college; tired of the same old routine, the classes, the 18 bus route, the early mornings and the never ending pile of assignments weighing me down. I can see the finish line, but I still have one more hurdle to jump over before I get there. But, I’m growing impatient. I’m ready to leave now, right this second. I’m ready to wave goodbye to my college and my classmates and to move onto a brand new chapter.

I’ve been daydreaming about the freedom I’ll have once I walk out the door of my final class. I’m not too sure what I’ll do when I complete this course. I may work full time in a local cafe or move to Canada or study something completely different. Maybe I’ll join a pottery class or spend the summer in the countryside or start volunteering again. I might write the book I’ve always dreamed of or find a full time job in the city or apply for an internship at a newspaper. I could move across the world or simply down to Cork. The list is never ending.

I won’t let the final few pages of this chapter dim my spark. I will be as bright as I’ve ever been. I will fill my mind with positive thoughts and my soul with determination and drive. Patience and positivity will help me reach the end of this chapter.

In two months time this chapter will end. A chapter where I grew and met new friends and learned many valuable lessons. A chapter where I cried and laughed and smiled. A chapter where I achieved my dreams and failed, but continued to move forward, because I can see that finish line and I cannot wait to cross it.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

Happier

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I have a love/hate relationship with the On This Day feature on Facebook. It reminds me of my secondary school days where I was free and the only thing I had to worry about was passing my geography class test, or having enough money to go see the latest Twilight movie with my friends. However, it also reminds me of my progress. It shows me photos of my past self. I was young, naive and sheltered. I had not yet discovered who I was, the real me, my true self. But today, as I write this post on a train to Galway, I’ve realised that I am happier than the girl in those photos, and that I have changed a lot.

I no longer watch Twilight movies. I finished school and passed my Leaving Cert. I got that B2 in English that I worked hard for. I have new friends. My skin has cleared up. My mousy brown hair is now copper. I’ve developed stretch marks and scars and cellulite. I’ve ran marathons. I’ve studied both creative writing and journalism. I’ve had work published in newspapers and on websites. I’ve read tonnes of books and watched many new movies. I’ve drank tea with my grandparents and pina coladas with my best friend. I’ve danced at concerts and cried at concerts. I’ve hopped on planes, trains and buses to new cities. I fell in love and I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve battled with anxiety and depression and I won. I discovered an unknown love for coffee and The Clash and Hygge. I wear red lipstick and often buy clothes because they remind me of The Bratpack. I daydream about living in Canada, Cork and Copenhagen. I worry about my grades and my family and my friends. I sing along to Radio Nova with my Dad in the car. I call handsome actors dishy just like my Mam does. I adopted a cat. I’ve had one tooth taken out. I have fallen in love with the simplicity of spending time by myself. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with John Hughes movies. I’ve sent a message in a bottle and heard back from the person that found it. I’ve fallen both in and out of love with my life. I’ve experienced euphoric highs and heartbreaking lows over the past twenty two years.

But most importantly, I am happier and stronger and wiser than the girl in those photographs from the past.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat