Out of the Embers

If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere


 

uni

“Well, well” I say so certain of myself I might as well be the queen Angelina Jolie in Maleficent. This year has basically picked up a whopping big sea-bass and slapped me right across the chops, quite frankly I’ve had difficulty catching my breath in the past couple of months. As an excitable 18 year old in England, you set your hopes and dreams as far as the horizon stretches, usually aiming to pass through university in order to make the road a little smoother along the way. What we forget in our dream state is that the inevitability of 3rd year lingers a mere two years away and is frankly enough to make you reconsider and look into the potential of hiding in a corner for the rest of the foreseeable future.

There is something wonderfully exciting about third year but also something horrifically daunting about every step you take towards the end. In fact, I’m pretty sure the general consensus of this year is to do what you please and in being given that freedom I’ve chosen to self combust on several occasions.  Truthfully, I’ve spent the last 17 years of my education groaning on that not a single teacher, tutor or tattle on-er-er? has allowed the students to take freedom in learning about what actually interests them, now they have, I don’t feel interested anymore. Is this the burden of education putting its dulling weight on everything that once excited me…or is it just me?

I’ve had my dealings with stress for a long time now so I think I have a good plan of how to battle through my anxiety with facing the end but this time it feels different. While still feeling somewhat in control I have this great baring on my back that keeps telling me it’s spiralling way beyond my grip. And it has made me very unwell.

We all set out with a good plan of action in mind and mine was to hopefully stay sane by the help of this blog, my one tool to remind myself I’m not completely screwed and that I can make sense of the hurricane that is my life. It’s been nearly 3 months since I’ve sat with my laptop and admitted to myself that I DO in fact have time to write. And my word, it helps. But that’s my release, this whole blog is my release – well that and breaking my bank account on lush products.

So I don’t know it all, in fact I have no idea but I know right now that an inconceivable amount of people, be they young or old, are stuck in the turmoil of the third and final year in education. Some days you’re going to wake up early and have the most productive day of your life, some days you’ll wake up a little sad about the looming end, some days you won’t even get out of bed. And all of it is okay and unbelievably, though you feel like you’re getting nowhere and you’re mountain of work seems to have tripled Everest in size, you are actually doing alright.

What’s important is that you realise just a few things:

1. This is the final stretch, that means it will be over soon but also that it will be over soon. It’s a positive and a negative but it’s okay.

2. That university all in all, was a good decision. You made it this far and we always knew the end would be the hardest part, don’t let it ruin the experience now.

3. Still make time to see friends, to play video games, to watch 9 hours of Netflix and just relax. Do not feel guilty or trap yourself away from having a good time.

4. University, college, education – at this point – is way more important than the job you have. (I’m going to do a whole separate post on this at some point) It may give you money but if it destroys your soul in the meantime and your boss is giving you nothing but grief you walk away and live like a pauper. It’s acceptable when you’re a student.

5. The most difficult, don’t hate your work or it will hate you. You came to university because believe it or not at one point you actually liked the subject you chose, so don’t run away from it now. Appreciate it. Be interested in projects because heaven forbid in ten years time you’re doing something completely different and you’ll spend all day longing to be back in class where it was easier and at least a bit interesting. Hopefully it will never be like that and you’ll excel in your core subject but shit happens.

I’m not quite sure how I’ll cope, I’m directing a full production, writing an entire thesis, coordinating a final year project and starting creative writing, along with a portfolio of evidence for every step I take around uni. Thinking about it I want to ram my head several times into the oven so I’ve just stopped. I’ve written out a list and decided I will handle every situation as it comes at me. And in 6 months time I’ll know what it was all about, I’ll put on my cap and gown and hopefully be very proud of this journey. I don’t know, if I’ve managed to make it this far, I’m pretty sure I can make it anywhere.

If you are having any trouble with your university life or maybe just a big task you’ve set yourself, what are your coping techniques?

Has it changed you in anyway or thrown you off track a little?

Either way it’s almost Christmas!

uni 2

Demi Nicole 

x x x

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Big First Steps

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Here I come third year…


 

Oh wow! I have had the most hectic and tremendous week and I must apologise for my lack of presence here recently. This first week of third year has been rather overwhelming to say the least.

So I told you about the big scary “sort out what you want to do with the rest of your life” talk with uni right? Well I came up with a few ideas, mainly I want to do an extremely prestigious directing course in Bristol that begins in the spring of 2016 and if not that, if I manage to pull off a First class degree with Huddersfield I will gain a scholarship for a masters researching whatever I please. That’s a stepping stone to the future I think I can manage at the moment and I’m quite proud of finding these little courses almost from nowhere. I now have an abundance of prospectus guides and more idea of what to do next than I did this time last week…so I feel productive. Well, they were productive if I’m good enough to achieve either of them.

My start to the first week back began with a strenuous and muscle murdering 3 hour practical session of physical theatre for our full cast production of Cinderella. Which, on Tuesday morning, left me in a ball on my bedroom floor, crying in excruciating pain. Maybe I need to get a little fitter if I’m going to survive this year! Then after that, I had the pleasure of a quick change act in a tiny toilet cubicle in order to get ready for my shift at work that began 10 minutes later. Sweaty and dishevelled, I dashed to my job to do a 6 hour shift then ran back to uni to pitch my Final Year Project.

Me and Joe (friend, uni partner, ex work buddy) pitched our ideas and it seemed to go down well, apart from the fact it was apparent we lost the commitment of people who had previously shown interest. No bad blood though. We did however gain two of my housemates as possible cast candidates and that’s left us pretty raring to go. However I’m still stuck with the idea of doing a two person piece so we can really focus down on our own areas of interest but working with more people brings more concepts and creativity and it’s almost always a positive way to work.

On the Tuesday I enjoyed a proper day off, I even ordered my monthly food shop (that’s as best as you can hope for as a student) online and just lazed about in bed for the day. It was glorious. And on Wednesday morning it felt like Christmas as the magical man from Tesco delivered me an abundance of yummy goodness. It really is the small things sometimes.

More practical sessions happened, lectures reminded me that losing the will to live was the easiest of games to lose and I worked a whole ton more. But good things really do come to those who wait. I’m directing Cinderella and with that I get to write the whole concept for our performance, I get to be a visual eye for the entirety of the piece and this excites me beyond anything. I get to shape a brilliant work of creativity and get to see it unfold before my eyes and it truly is a thrilling experience.

It makes me feel quite sad because when I think about it, this will be the last time I get to work with some people I’ve spent a whole 3 years with and with every end of each comes the melancholy feelings. But we still have now and we have the opportunity to go out with a bang!

Also I got a pay rise, started a writing class, saw the unveiling and reading of a beautiful poem that is painted on the university and I am pretty settled in a lot of my choices. After a summer of torment and horrendous attitudes, I am happy to have found calm for the first time in forever.

I can only hope these good vibes continue somewhat, at least to get me through the Christmas period. I mean I’m sat writing this in the freezing cold that is England in October, waiting to get a train I should have caught an hour and a half ago…and I’m still happy.

This is a change.

Demi Nicole

X x x

P.s In regards to the daily prompt, I don’t prepare, I just go with it and see what happens.

347 days to go

When is enough, enough?

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…Is enough, is enough, is enough?


When it comes to excess, I am reigning queen supreme of too much, I get too emotional, too greedy over unhealthy food, buy more than I need, drink more than I can take, work more than I need to, apologise more than I should have to. Hell, when I was looking for a photo for this post I went from typing “cake” into Google to typing an amended search of “lots of cake” as one whopping fudge cake just didn’t look right!

Now I’m a little strange because I either do things half arsed or completely Bree Van De Kamp/Hodge.

I’ve been a little distracted from writing on here for about a week now and I feel terrible but I actually started my final year of uni. DUN DUN DUUUUUUH! And I’ve become emotionally unstable since. It’s finally dawned on me that I need to make some life decisions, I need to think a little more outside of the box rather than leaning on the “I’ll figure it out when I get there” scenario. So I’ve been worrying and stressing like a neurosurgeon whose dropped half of his lunch onto someones brain. I’ve ordered several prospectus’ for MA courses starting in 2016, I’m signing up for every extra class that may get me merits onto these courses and I’m critically organising my last year to achieve the best attainable grade. I can hardily breath and I’ve only been back a day.

So I resolved my stress by buying a mega ton of cheesecake.

And for the past 24 hours I haven’t entirely been sure how to feel. For the first time I can sense genuine dread in my stomach, the sensation that some time soon I may have to make life altering decisions that will better my future and no matter how old I get I don’t think those things will ever get easier.

I’m beginning to question if all of this is too much? Why at 21 years old does it feel like I have to have all the answers to a life I am yet to live? It’s all a bit excessive and just possibly if I over do it, maybe I’ll forget to enjoy this last year. Maybe my life will pass before my eyes while I’m planning for a future I’m too busy to live.

As they say, moderation is key. So I’m leaving this short and rather open ended for now, I’m sure you’ll hear enough of my rants over the next year.

Demi Nicole 

x x x

352 days to go

 

What are you talking about?

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Please explain yourself…


 

Where do I fall on the brevity/verbosity spectrum? In a few words, pretty far along. I have never known what to say, or how to say it for that matter and when it came to explaining anything I always chose the scenic route.

For a while now, I have realised this to be a massive vice of mine that I can’t seem to detach myself from. I stumble over my words in conversation, ramble in essays and stare blankly at my laptop screen hoping to remember the right words for what I intend to say. Sadly, I still have not found out what I’m trying to blurt out.

When it comes to writing essays, we usually get given word counts and you’re only allowed 10% either way or you’re guaranteed a fail for rambling. Most of the time, it’s a battle between too much or too little to talk about. And when I manage to jump the hurdle of writers block, I don’t stop, because I think I’m a bloody genius by that point. It’s like “man, this is a super intelligent quote, I shall speak for ten pages about how I not only understand it, but what it means to this particular essay, my life and every creature on Earth’s chance of survival in the event of a zombie apocalypse.” There would be no need for me to get a degree if I got paid for every time I got the feedback of “too much rambling”…BECAUSE I’D BE A BILLIONAIRE WHO NEVER NEEDED TO WORK, EVER.

I also find myself burdened with an apparent amount of social awkwardness that forces my mind to cave in on itself at the sound of a stranger making conversation with me. This isn’t because I don’t want to talk to people, it’s just the idea that I know myself and I know how damn right idiotic I sound at the best of times, so how the hell am I going to sound to this brand new person. And when I do speak, I end up saying whatever I didn’t intend to say or I trip up over all my words and usually say something the other person can conveniently make an innuendo out of. ARGH.

And even better, if I’m ever put in an intimidating situation, chances are I’ll cry and blubber my way through the whole English language until my listener has given up on humanity altogether.

I’m not particularly good with my words for someone who would quite enjoy being a writer, in fact I’ve struggled more times than I’ve prevailed in the art of language. But I’ve won over many a job interview, held my own in performance and “blagged” whole subjects I knew nothing about when questioned. So I’ve gotten by…just.

Oh and when/if I’ve had the chance, if anyone who has ever treat me wrongfully or hurt me  came across me again, I always somehow found the exact words to say to them. Or at least I did when talking to myself in the mirror and day-dreaming…

Am I going crazy?

Do you struggle with words? Have you ever had the perfect moment where you said the best thing you have ever come up with?

Demi Nicole

x x x

359 days to go.

10 Minutes You Say?

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Maybe I’m a Timelord?


Today I embark on my journey to become a committed writer and blogger for the first time since I started this blog, which seemed to be 7 centuries ago now I come to think of it. Today my task is to write about anything, anything at all but I can only type away for ten minutes, no more, no less. ALRIGHT.

Well what do I talk about, do I ramble about pointlessnesses or do I delve into the frivolous ideas of time that keep masquerading around my head as I write this very post. We could chat about my fear of running out of time (quite ironically what the main theme of this blog is), my wasted time in bed this morning (I did not wake until 2pm) or my lack of time to do anything I deem productive.

Time gives us a purpose and a sense of being yet it is something that doesn’t exist at all when we think about it. It is man made. Sure things work on a scale and take so long in which to be completed and I suppose that scale can be regarded as time but I read a while ago about the fact that as humans, we are the only species that keeps track of this conspicuous element. We give it such weight on our existence and let it rule over us. “Oh I’m going to be late, I’m too old, I can’t do that I don’t have time.”

What if none of us have time at all? What if we are just floating through a realm of nothingness and we actually get to decide what we do and when we do it? There is no curfew, no bed time, no deadline. If you want to do something, you just do rather than being constrained to this dictation that we are running out of the none existent nothingness. Maybe we should put down our clocks, our diaries and our alarms and just live. Forgetting if time runs away with us or if a day is dragging. We are forgetting to enjoy ourselves in the present because we are too concerned we are missing out on the future and ironically sometimes we miss out on the future because we are held back by the past. WHAT IS THIS LUNACY?!

Or am I just rambling?

I have even booked my driving test for 11:11am because THAT’S a lucky time! Are you freaking kidding me?

Tell me when time has gotten the better of you? Or if you have some fantastical ideas and theory on time that simply seem downright absurd. Let’s talk.

Ten minutes up,

Demi Nicole

x x x

361 days to go

Is love as difficult as it seems?

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And does it ever get easier?


So, as I explained in my previous post, I have been productively living my life alongside copious amounts of the American Office. By far, possible one of the most genius pieces of writing to have ever graced television – But I’m sure we will have a discussion about that at some other more convenient and less distracted time. The most staple through-line of the entire programme itself, to me, has to be the love affair that is Jim and Pam. They are more romantic, sweet and perfect for each other than the outcome of a Disney cake baked entirely from every fairytale Princess happy ending and first kiss that ever happened. Somehow, the writers of the Office sat down and envisioned the perfect relationship…something all of us have been chasing for what seems like an eternity.

Well then…what’s the secret? I’d love to have the answer to this one, I really would but I’m a mere twenty years of age, with a string of failed relationships hidden under the carpet so I’d be nothing but useless at even attempting to answer this one. However, for someone so young, I think I have learnt some pretty important lessons to aid the fragile first steps to any relationship; The do’s and do not’s, the coping with ups and downs, how to refrain from throwing fragile objects at one another. And I have studied Jim and Pam longer than I have studied my own lecture notes, so here are my ideas:

1. Establish who you are at your worst.

Now I don’t mean go in all guns blazing, kicking over furniture and shouting down the roof to parade your true colours but I do believe it’s important to recognise your primary ways of dealing with negative situations such as arguments with the significant other. And why not let them know? I know, I’m as stubborn as they come, but sometimes it can be massively beneficial to realise that sometimes you can be a bit of a bitch or the way you talk to them can be a little dickish – or maybe you’re just a king or queen of drama in a fuelled situation. Whatever it might be, if you address it, you can deal with it better and if your partner knows that that is simply your “coping” mechanism, maybe they’ll be a little more understanding in the event of a meteor collision of opposing opinions. Maybe they’ll think of ways to calm you down or how to best not aggravate your temper further. And obviously vice versa. Then one (or both) of you might be a little less inclined to storm out of the door so hastily.

2. Is it really worth fighting over?

I daren’t know how much of the past 5 years I’ve spent arguing with a partner but it happens. You live, you learn, you forget the bad eggs and decisions. A relationship without a little opposition, is a relationship lacking a little passion in my view however. We need to be different, we need to have views and interests that make us us, otherwise we only end up merging together and turning into one big gloopy mess of two wasted brains. And believe me, after the initial “they are so great, I love every little thing they do” stage of a relationship, your S.O WILL irritate you in little ways. Like my boyfriend leaves little piles of scraps of paper and rubbish everywhere that seems to spawn in every corner of the apartment but I also leave the cap off the tooth paste and have 7 thousand bobby pins strategically hidden everywhere. After a while it can get annoying but it isn’t the be all and end all. And even with other things, sometimes you have to take a step back and think “is this worth causing an issue over?”. The simple answer is no. Sometimes we gotta let it go. Time is too short.

3.  Spend time apart together.

When a relationship gets mega serious and you find yourself always with each other or maybe you live together, you sometimes forget to spend time with yourself or doing what interests you. Just because you’re in the same room or house doesn’t mean you have to remain joined at the hip, it’s perfectly fine for you to do different things. Often it’s just nice to know they are there to smile at from across the room. Don’t forget to enjoy some quality me time.

4. You’re not always right.

Sometimes the best thing to do is just admit you’re wrong, no matter how much you can’t bare to, it honestly isn’t about winning when it comes to love.

5. If they make you happy, what else matters?

If you’ve had a terrible day at work, if people seem to consistently let you down, if things aren’t going accordingly to plan…if they are what still makes you smile, still makes you think about a future that might at the time seem a million lifetimes away, nothing else really does matter. The person you choose to be in a relationship with isn’t who you should take all the shit times out on. They are the one who is there to listen, to help and to ultimately reassure you that you aren’t going through that stuff alone. And you’re the same rock for them too. Appreciate that there is always that one someone that can offer that.

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These aren’t rules for a successful relationship and they most certainly won’t work for everyone but they are a few things I have learnt along the way. I think we are all just trying to get by and answers may never come in regards to how to make that journey any easier. Maybe you’re not even in a relationship, maybe you’re just hoping to better your relationship with friends or family. For heavens sake, I hardily ever practise what I preach but I do give it my best shot. And you know what, a lot of the time it works for me. I hope to learn more, to become a better person and to help those around me. If we’ve got to face this world, we might as well face it together.

Let me know if you have any handy tips for a successful for relationship? Or any life lessons you’ve learnt so far?

Spread the love

Demi Nicole

x x x

(364 days to go)

365 Days To Go

MONSTERS UNIVERSITYDealing with my lack of productivity…


 

A tale as old as time, I want to do so much but can’t find the motivation to do any of it. What a dilemma!

Okay! Today it hit me that in a years time I will not be a university student, I won’t be in education and overall, in my mind, I won’t have a purpose. Insert existential crisis right about here. Now, I see people cry out that the end of a significant era can cause panic, uncertainty and a complete lack of stability in every day life and I have always found myself commenting to fellow classmates “what next? What are we supposed to do after this?”. It was a panic that was brushed off with the easy “we will think about that when we get there” and the royal “we” kind of left me comforted that I won’t be alone in the terrifying journey of professional adulthood.

All in all, I’m not alone, around 2 million people graduate every year and some how figure out how to jump the broken bridge of life from education to well…whatever comes after. This should be comforting, it should make me think “if all those people manage it, then I’ll manage too and I’ll get by just fine”. But it seems all of those other students know where they want to go next, like they were handed some magical next step map to Mordor or some scholarship to Hogwarts and everything from that point is just dandy. And I guess I slept in the day all the secret answers and cheat codes were finally unveiled.

Now of course, I’m kidding myself. No matter how much I romanticise it, there is no hidden level where you 1up so much in life you will no longer need to worry but I think that was my way of avoiding the 21 year question: So, what do you want to be when you get older?

I just figured, I’ll think about that when I get older, I don’t need to worry now. Well guess what? I AM OLDER. I AM THERE. And am I prepared? Am I hickory. I’m the one sat here on a Friday evening watching Nintendo conferences and eating bacon rather than actually reading the Great Wall of China long list of reading I need to do.  I see people that are just so productive with their time it’s unreal, they create and design and take a million selfies a day, (even that seems more productive than my current state) everyone seems to have it figured out. Don’t get me wrong, I work, I clean, I cook etc but I have a creative mind that seems to have been trapped in a forgotten dungeon for the past 4 months and I can’t remember what I did with the key.

The end of 2nd year went out on such a high, I achieved an astoundingly amazing grade for my directed adaptation of “Lovesong” by Abi Morgan and Frantic Assembly and I felt incredibly positive about what I could personally achieve. Then summer happened. I guess summer has been the complete polar opposite of what summer should be and to some degree it has destroyed me to within an inch of my own sanity. There are a lot of nasty people I am pretty much rid of though for it and I have met some friends I know I’ll have for a long time.

But I need to figure it out and WO-MAN up. I want to get fit, I want to be creative and do something worth doing. I have a driving test in a month, I have new places of work to prove my abilities and I have a degree to finish – which ultimately is my most important priority. So yeah, 365 days. I wonder if on the 12th September 2015 I’ll feel like I’ve done everything I can to kickstart my life.  Maybe I’ll figure out how to stop panicking and start acting on my goals. It’s easy right?

There must be a way to focus thy mind, a way to be not so distracted by kitty cats and endless episodes of The Office US on Netflix.

Let me know if you struggled with the “after uni blues” or a difficult transition in life? What helps you motivate yourself? Is procrastination an epidemic?

See you tomorrow

Demi Nicole

x x x