“We Need To Hang Out Soon…”

I often find myself saying, “oh we really need to meet up soon” to my friends. Planning nights out or coffee dates isn’t as easy as it used to be. Meeting up when we were in secondary school was a breeze. We had math homework and history essays to write, but we were always on the same schedule. Classes from 8:50-3:40 and free weekends. Things are different today.

Some of us work on the weekends, others are in college, some are traveling around the world and others are full time interns.

Trying to make plans is like mission impossible now that we are… adults. (The horror of it all)

Gone are the days where we spent our pocket money on cinema tickets to see the latest Twilight movies. Today we pay bills and need to sort out taxes and work in offices. The other day I was talking about medical insurance and all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and listen to the Glee soundtrack.

I miss the simplicity of being a teenager. I miss the silly drama and the foolish fights. I miss the first crushes and the goofy parties where we took dozens of photos.

Life is more complicated and hectic now, but I think it’s important to remember that even though the days out aren’t as common and the nights out are scarce, the friendships are just as valuable.

Call your friends. Send them messages when you get a chance. Comment on their Instagram photo. Share your good news with them. Confide in them when times are tough. Do whatever you can to show them that you’ll always be there, despite the fact that sometimes life gets in the way.

“True friends are always together in spirit” – L.M Montgomery

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

 

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Goodbye September

September has been the most overwhelming and stressful month of the year. I usually adore September, I always see it as a fresh start, a new chapter, especially as Autumn starts to creep in.

However, this month wasn’t easy. Settling into my new internship was intense and at times I felt like I wasn’t cut out for being a full time writer, but thankfully I’ve eased into my editorial intern role.

During the second week of the month my Mam was taken to hospital. It was the most horrifying experience ever. My mam is the strongest and bravest women I know, she managed to pull through and is finally home after spending eleven lengthy days in hospital. My Mam never fails to surprise me. She was in intensive care two weeks ago and now she’s sitting on the sofa giving out about the state of the jumper Ryan Gosling wore on Graham Norton, “He must have bought that jumper in Guineys.”

I always try my best to look on the positive side of things and even though September was full of horrible days, it was sprinkled with a few joyful moments.

On the first day of my internship there were dogs in our office, it was quite possibly the best welcome I could have ever dreamed of.

There’s a little café near my office that sells Badger and Dodo coffee, which is my all time favourite.

My middle sister’s sense of humour was the one thing that brought light to hospital visits. Her witty jokes made everyone feel that little bit better and brought a smile to my face.

I only read one book this month, but that book made this stressful month bearable. I spent lunch breaks and Luas journeys reading How To Stop Time by Matt Haig. I have so much respect for Matt Haig and his work is one of a kind. How To Stop Time was an exciting and emotional and thought provoking read. I spent three weeks getting to know main character Tom Hazard and his story. It also features appearances from Shakespeare and F.Scott Fitzgerald so it was always going to be a winner in my eyes.

Sweater weather is here! I’ve already started expanding my knitwear collection. I love Autumn fashion, I cannot wait until it get’s cooler so I no longer feel bad about spending half my pay cheque on jumpers and cardigans.

And finally, Taylor Swift released two new songs and even though they are extremely different to her Fearless days, I love them. I cannot wait for her album release in October.

Always look on the bright side of life.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

23: A New Chapter

I turned 23 on  the 18th of August 2017. My 23rd birthday was a true joy. I spent the day with my nearest and dearest friends and family members. I woke up early and watched The Breakfast Club by myself, a new birthday tradition that I’ll continue to do, even when I’m old and grey. I went wandering around bookstores and ate gluten free cake in my favourite cafe with my Chummy. I spent time at home with my parents, who reminisced about the day I was born and spoke about how the past 23 years flew by. I chatted to my Nanny and my Mam’s best friend over warm cups of tea at the kitchen table. I met my bestie and fellow Gossip Girl enthusiast in the city where we drank cocktails and gossiped and giggled over foolish couples in a bar that played tacky chart music. I ended the day at home, where I shared a bag of chipper chips with my parents in our living room.

Birthdays mean a lot to me, and not because of the presents, but because it marks a fresh start, a brand new year. My birthday is like my own mini New Years celebration. There may not be a countdown in Times Square and fireworks don’t light up the sky above Sydney, but every year on August 18th I am filled with a sense of joy and relief. I let the mistakes and regrets and difficult memories of the past year wash away, and focus on the year ahead, my 23rd year on the planet. I become a more motivated and ambitious person once the clock strikes 12 and August 18th rolls around.

My 22nd year was pretty special. I traveled a lot more. I completed my studies in college. I wrote for even more publications. I started drinking coffee and reading more and dyed my hair auburn. I grew closer to my parents and went on solo cinema trips and took part in the mini marathon. I became happier and a tad bit chubbier and more determined to succeed. I made new friends and cut ties with toxic people. I became features editor of our college newspaper, I fell in love with La La Land and drank pina coladas in the city. I achieved many goals, but failed too. I learnt a lot and grew as a person (but sadly not in height, I’m still 5″3).

So, here’s to 23; the year where I hope to find a job I adore, the year where I want to travel alone, the year where I’ll meet new people, and visit new places. The year where I’ll read so many more books and watch stories unfold at the cinema. The year where I’ll go to concerts and to the theatre and to the sea. The year where I’ll spend quality time with my friends and family. 23 will be the year of improvement and determination, but most importantly the year where I’ll be content and carefree.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

Life Lessons Gilmore Girls Taught Me

I always end up binge watching a TV show during the summer. This year I turned to Gilmore Girls where I entered the world of Stars Hollow, coffee and Jess Mariano.

I learned a lot from watching Gilmore Girls. It showed me how important your relationship with your Mam is, it reminded me of how fragile and exciting your first love is and it also made me feel better about the amount of coffee I drink. However, nobody thought me more than the ladies of Stars Hollow. From Lorelai to Babette, I learned an important lessons from each lady on the show.

Lorelai

I relate to Lorelai in many ways, mainly because she loves coffee and The Bratpack just as much as I do. However, what I loved most about Lorelai was her determination. She taught me to keep going no matter what. Breakups, money troubles, family feuds and even Taylor Doose never stopped Lorelai from achieving her dreams.

rehost2016913117aded1-a2d2-4062-b661-567eeb280d85Rory

I’m just going to be honest and say that Rory turned out to be one of my least favourite characters on the show. I loved her in the early seasons when she always had a book in her hand and was so focused on her studies. She reminded me of my younger self, but once she went to Yale I felt like she changed and I lost a little love for the youngest Gilmore girl. Rory did teach me one thing and that is the fact that your mam will be there for you no matter what *sings* “All you have to do is call my name and I’ll be there on the next train.”

Sookie

Sookie was the greatest bundle of joy on the show. Whenever she was on screen I felt so comforted and at ease. She was like a warm mug of tea on a rainy day. Her sunny disposition and bubbly attitude has inspired me to be more positive. Everybody needs a friend like Sookie St. James.

Emily

21c1a9de7febf0cbd075f2dd4e50bdf7Emily’s story in the revival series managed to break my heart and put it back together again. Throughout the four episodes we see her deal with Richard’s death (which I will never ever get over) and make huge lifestyle changes. Emily showed me that the dark days will make you a better, stronger and truer version of yourself.

Paris

Paris may have been intimidating and overly competitive, but she worked hard and never lost focus on her goals. She reminded me to never settle for anything but the best.

Lane

Lane was one of my favourite characters on the show. And she certainly did not deserve that crummy ending in the revival season. She dealt with Mrs.Kim’s strict home rules for so long, and finally gathered up the courage to move away from what was holding her back. Lane taught me the greatest lesson out of everyone and that is to never let anyone hold you back from doing what you love.

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Babette 

I didn’t exactly learn a life lesson from Babette, but she is my hero. When I grow up I want to be Babette Dell.

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

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

 

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

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