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.
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.
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.
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
― Marcel Proust
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.
What made you smile like the Cheshire Cat this week? Tweet me and let me know @katkatkatt
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.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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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.
I love Friday mornings.
On Friday mornings I can stay snuggled up in bed, instead of shivering at a crowded bus stop, waiting for the number 18 bus that never arrives on time. On Friday mornings I can wear my pajamas and my comfiest sweater, instead of stumbling around my room, searching for a pair of tights that aren’t ripped. On Friday mornings I can play my music as loud as possible, instead of struggling to hear the lyrics over the sound of my fellow commuters nattering about the weather. On Friday mornings I can read the books I adore, instead of attending early morning classes. On Friday mornings I can drink mugs of tea and warm slices of buttery toasts, instead of worrying about whether or not someone heard my stomach rumble in class.
On Friday mornings I feel happy and calm and there’s a feeling of serenity in the air. On Friday mornings I wave goodbye to early morning classes, to sleepy bus journeys and to my worries. On Friday, February 10th, I feel overwhelmingly content as I sit on my sofa, with an empty cup of tea placed on the table in front of me.