"I do genuinely feel bad about disrespecting something you seem to find important. Had I kown, I would not have said anything".
Dear whoever feels like reading this, let me explain to you a little example of standard sexism that happened to me just last week. Before going any further into this I should probably just explain that I am sick and tired of experiencing things like this and m becoming more and more vocal about it. I am truly trying to refrain from giving off an 'angry feminist' vibe which is why I'm trying to find other places to vent so my friends don't get the full blow of it every time.
Okay so let's go into a lovely story that seems to have confused one of my male friends whereas every female friend I have spoken to about this seems to totally understand. Some random person I somewhat knew asked me out to drinks. I find it difficult to say no and so agreed to go for a drink with him then and there (thinking then I'd have it over with). We finished the drinks and he offered to pay, I insisted. He then paid by card so I gave my share of the drinks to him. A few days later he gave me a typed note with a 2 euro coin in it. It had somehow bothered him so much that he felt as though he should address the fact that "treating a women is something [he] always do[es]" and that I should consider this a "gift so I can treat [my]self to something nice".
If you, like this guy, are still confused let me break it down for you. I didn't know this guy and genuinely didn't know how to turn him down after he'd gone through the effort of asking me for a drink. He paid for both of us by card and I took the effort of giving him the money for my drink and I feel as though at this point it should have twigged that I wanted to pay.
Not letting me pay for my own drinks. This one should feel quite obvious. I am not some weak person that can't afford 2 euros for their drink. Even if that isn't what he wanted to imply. I clearly wanted to pay for my own drinks and ignoring that feels as though he doesn't care/understand that I have my own wishes and thoughts.
I didn't mention this before, but he then tried to apologise by saying that he hadn't clarified whether it was a date or a drink between friends. At this point the message appparently still hadn't quite sunk in. If you are as dense as this person apparently was let me say it one more time: that distinction should not make any difference. Maybe it makes a difference to whether the guy offers to pay but that's not my problem. An offer is fine, I don't really mind but the insisting irritates me and, this way, definitely has some undertones of being indebted to the other.
Now we have come full circle. His third and final mistake was the quote I started with because it somehow undermines everything I have just tried to address. Sexism is a universal, ingrained thing. It is something that affects every girl out there whether they're aware of it or not.
Okay okay okay, I have just really knit-picked at this situation and you might be thinking I'm taking it a bit too far. Here's the thing though, this happens so often I'm getting sick and tired of every 'little' thing. And am trying to point it out. A few weeks ago we had a 'Music Poetry Amnesty Night'. It was generally a very pleasurable evening and there was a very hopeful, lovey vibe going round. Then me, the angry feminist, came round and read a little hand-written story that I felt like sharing here too. I promised it would be the last time I would openly address somthing like that and then a few weeks later this happened. I suppose menntioning something only once doesn't really make a difference after all.
The word 'feminist' is quite a controversial thing.
My brother and my dad say we're just not listening.
They believe in equality but feminists just don't like men.
I tell them they do, but they ask where men are in the term then?
They don't understand when I was 4 I'd already learnt that girls are clever but also very weak.
I remember saying this. Before I could read write or hardly even speak.
As I got older I heard: women dress to look sexy to men, why else are you wearing those skinny jeans!
hadn't even considered that cause, at the time, I was only 14.
At the age of 16 was the first time I was truly scared.
Broad daylight, 3 guys, I was surrounded, but nobody cared.
People talk about the sexism, far away, around the world
Pretending like I don't experience it even though I'm a girl
The easiest thing is to be quiet and to pretend everything's okay
To ignore those little comments but is it really too much to say
Don't scream or yell when I go out for a run
Don't toot or whistle when I'm outside alone
Don't grab me or follow me when I'm walking back home
When coming to UCR, I asked my tutor for advice
He interrupted me mid-sentence with the following lines
"So does it bother you when men stare at you the way they just did,
Or does it happen so often you're now just kind of used to it?"
I think he meant it in a genuine way
But I felt embarrassed, and figured he didnt care about my questions anyway
Speaking of UCR, every now and then I hear a few comments like: "That chair is smaller, you're a girl, you can sit there"
Or "My wife will help today, cause I have better things to do elsewhere"
I've heard stories of how he forces himself to their bedrooms and then refuses to leave
I couldn't focus in Elliott while someone was proudly flaunting their sexist belief
Don't you dare tell me sexism isn't real
While every girl, I've ever spoken to has some story to reveal
This message isn't just for me, it's also for you
Men are strong, clever and brave, but women are too
How about we actively question passing statements or help each other out
How about instead of fighting over the term we remember what the term was actually about
You are not an object, don't let anyone take that away
I don't care what people decide to call it, have some respect and it might just all be okay
I always considered it my favourite word simply because of the hope it naturally brings. The word 'eucatastrophe' was first coined by Tolkien and, as far as I interpreted it, it refers to the desperation for the author to have a happy ending. Even when the situation seems utterly hopeless, the author can just include some magical or unexpected event inevitably leading to the happy ending so desperately sought after by the author and their readers. The fairy tale idea of some magical kiss that solves all problems, the cliche 'it was all dream' concept or even some eureka revelation by the protagonist are all examples of this.
I am a person of extremes, but generally hold that desperation for a happy ending regardless of the situation (who doesn't I guess). Nonetheless, being a person extremes, means I sometimes also have some lows. Winter time is always a good transition period to said lows. I'm a sucker for cosiness, it's my favourite kind of evening. Yet there's something about that depressing combination of grey, dreary weather and high stress that gets to me every. year. It always starts off innocent. I wake up feeling slightly below average but go about my day hoping the 'below average' feeling is because of something as trivial as a lack of sleep. It should be no surprise that those feelings don't magically go away without acknowledgement (in fact, they tend to get worse). These down feelings usually have something to do with some standard thoughts: academics, friendships (or the lack thereof), family, relationships (and again the lack thereof).
This year, these feelings transcended into some bigger existential 'crisis' (and no, I'm not being melodramatic). I started to wonder about how much control I have over my thoughts, or my experiences. I have experienced so many circular events that my curiosity is beginning to fade where sufficient experience leads to inevitable predictions. The feeling of control over myself and over my relationship with the surrounding environment is slowly degrading into nothing leaving me with some annoying worries about free will and thus a lack of caring (but I won't bother you with that too much, let's just say I stopped caring about a lot of things).
Which brings me here, to this trusty old place. A place I had, quite honestly, forgotten about. A place with a title so significant I can't believe I ever forgot about it. Why? There was once a moment I cared so deeply about every event, that this word was the most important word in my entire vocabulary. Somehow, that slipped away and I stopped caring. I stopped feeling like the author and more like the reader (a disinterested one at that), turning the page without the slightest of how to turn these dark thoughts around.
Someone told me that, annoyingly, time is sometimes the only solution. I'm still unsure of how much control I really have over my thoughts or experiences, but I do have control over the end-result. So maybe, in reality, that little bit of extra time can be that magical solution we're all looking for when feeling worse than crap. I can't believe its taken me a few months to reach such a well-known and rather obvious conclusion but here it is: in the end, it will all be okay.
It's simple really, I have a low blood pressure. It's not dangerously low or anything, just lower than average. I get the occasional head-rush but that's about as much as it affects me on a daily basis. It's the occasional fainting that gives my parents panic attacks when I haven't 'been active on facebook for a while'. I guess it makes sense; what if I fainted in my room, hit my head and nobody was there to know? The last time I fainted was over a year ago so I'd actually forgotten that this happens every once in a while.
This morning's class was pretty normal, I felt tired but who wouldn't on a Monday morning? Midway, I started to feel a little sick which was more strange. It's never a first thought, but the consideration kicks in quite quickly nowadays. I always tell myself I can suppress it. Usually though, I can't at which point it hits me like a ton of bricks. Sadly, this was a 'usually' case. I needed to get out. I took my keys, and walked out the classroom. With every step I took I felt warmer, I struggled to keep my mouth closed because it felt like I'd be sick any minute now. The ringing in my ears became overbearing and the spots in my vision started to take over. From experience, I knew I only had a few seconds before my body would give in. I dropped down on one of the benches outside. While keeping my head tucked between my knees I realised what a close call that was. People always get really scared when it happens, I always accepted it as part of who I was and played it down. This time was different though. I was alone, none of my classmates know I get this and I didn't have time to explain it. In fact, I didn't even take the time to explain it afterwards so nobody knows what happened.
It felt like a victory and a massive defeat at the same time. I'm proud of the fact that I caught it, reacted accordingly and covered it up without drama instead of having another crash landing through the middle of class. At the same time I hate the fact that my body isn't strong enough to keep me conscious enough to sit up. Deep breaths, fresh air and keeping my head low is usually already enough to get me back on track. I walked back in and quickly messaged my parents. "Take care of yourself poppetje. Don't overdo it okay?", was my dad's response. I didn't think I was. Fainting is a weird reminder that the body is like a machine and, just like a machine, it has an emergency shut down. You might feel like you have it all under control, that you know what you're doing. But sometimes it's a good idea to check in with yourself.
If you're reading this just have a quick reflection moment. When's the last time you had a good night sleep or did nothing without feeling guilty about it? When is the last time you didn't get wound up over something you shouldn't or obsessed over something someone said? Maybe it's time to slow it down and re-check your happiness and health. Maybe it's time to care a little less.
I am not a poet. In fact, I'm pretty far from it. Words don't flow beautifully and elegantly from my pen. Reading poetry isn't something I consider a favourite pastime either. I consider myself one of those basic poetry readers who love a poem when it has a steady meter and a pretty rhyme scheme even though I know that words don't always flow like that. So, who's my favourite poet? It used to be Robert Frost (not because that was one of the only poets I actually knew but because they were poems I could actually read and interpret).
Then I discovered Erin Hanson. You may think it's too rehearsed, inauthentic and perhaps even a little fake. But these are the kind of poems I love to read and want to share. I got a little overenthusiastic and may have shared too many, but I really do love them and I hope you'll take the time to see why.
We are painters without paint,
Mixing the colours in our mind,
Glance upon our palettes
And black ink is all you'll find.
But from its depths we pull
A written sky of brightest blue,
Swirling drops of dreams
Into the things we know as true.
With just the flicker of our wrist
We can make the moonbeams sing,
Spill golden rays of sunrise
Over all of everything.
We can conjure calm or chaos
By just willing it be so,
Pave roads to where your thoughts
Have never realised they could go.
Our pens can pull you on a journey,
On a pilgrimage, a quest,
Drag you through your darkest hours
And then blend them with your best.
So when it ends you stumble backwards
In shock to find it's black and white,
We are painters without paint
And that's the reason why we write.
You mustn't live so lightly,
Spin your stories, tell your tales,
Let them dance across the oceans
And set the wind upon your sails.
For every truth found on your travels
And in the pits of your despair,
Is a shout into forever
Of "I existed, and I cared."
Have you ever heard the planet
Hold its breath before a storm?
Like an audience in wait
Before the curtains are withdrawn.
It's the gentle buzz of wild things
Straining leaves toward the sky,
The steady thrum of wings
Taking their owners somewhere dry.
Then for a second it is nothing
But the beat of nature's heart,
Until as though its lungs have burst
The grey sky rips itself apart.
And just like that the earth's alive
As it collectively exhales,
The wind whips through the trees
Whilst they all bend beneath its wails.
Then as the first drop falls
There is a gasp, and then a pause,
Before it seems the whole world breaks
Into a deafening applause.
You have never known a world
In which you weren't the point of view,
For everything that happens
Happens relative to you.
And no matter where you are,
Where you are is your own place,
Nobody else will ever occupy
That point in time and space.
A lifetime is forever
When you look at it like this;
That your consciousness is all
You can be certain that exists.
You see the world has never known
A point of view that's quite the same,
Your own has never been before
And it will never be again.
The city is built on the backbone of wild things,
Beneath it their ancient hearts beat,
Layers on layers of lifetimes
Lying dormant below every street.
And above them the world rumbles onward,
A jungle of windows and walls,
Like ants on the run from a rainstorm
The traffic chaotically crawls.
You can still sense the souls of the wild things,
As the stars are switched on in the night,
Tangled betwixt all the powerlines
And the ghostly glow of streetlights.
It is the feeling of something much grander,
Like the city has simply been borrowed,
And the wild things on which it was built
Will reclaim it in some far tomorrow.
It's the echoes of calls long forgotten.
The reminder we're living above the unknown,
And that we are not the first nor the last ones
Who will call this same piece of land home.
All of beauty has a burden;
A price we pay to see the stars,
The weight of knowing where we stand,
Of knowing just how small we are.
For in our tracking turns of time
We feel the ache of getting older,
And the heaviness of the heavens
Pressed upon our brittle shoulders.
We alone query and question,
We alone, despite how small,
And so it goes that unto us
The cost of knowledge rightly falls.
With arms both strong yet shaking
We carry the beauty that life has got,
Amongst the awareness that all that we know
Is nothing compared to the things we do not.
But if this is the price of existence;
That we must stare infinity right in the eye,
Then it's the tiniest price we can pay
For the chance just to look up in awe at the sky.
Don't grow weary with your wonder
For there are sunsets still to see,
Land you must get lost in
And other selves you'll come to be.
Don't grow weary with your wonder
For this is just the opening act,
And if wonder's what you search for
Wonder's what you will attract.
So when weary be your world
And darkness drags the daylight under,
Turn you face up to the star
And don't grow weary with your wonder.
If you catch the train to nowhere
You'll find the strangest man I've met,
Who claimed his ears were always ringing
With the sound of his regret,
Back then time had not yet taught me
Regret was not a sound I knew,
So I thought nothing more than silence
Was left by things you didn't do,
He said he hoped the sound of nothing,
Was the worst I ever heard,
Because regret drives you crazy
As the taste of swallowed words,
"It's a stone thrown in a well," he mused
And this I've not forgotten:
"It's listening all your life
And never hearing it hit the bottom."
Am I the I who thinks the words
Or the I who hears them thought?
The I who sheds the salty tears
Or I who knows I am distraught?
Am I the I who asks the questions
Or the I who understands?
Does the I who thought to ask
Already know which I I am?
Let me tell the tale
Of a girl who didn't stop,
Who climbed up every mountain
Without a pause upon the top.
She'd dance until each blade of grass
Was clothed in drops of dew,
And the sun knew her by name
But the silver moon did too.
For a fear had settled in her bones;
A fear of sitting still,
That if you're not moving forward
It must mean you never will.
So in time her dance got slower
And she looked at all she'd seen,
But found gaps inside the places
That she'd never fully been,
For she was a human doing
Human moving, human seeing,
But she'd never taken time
To simply be a human being.
I may be studying in a small town in The Netherlands, but my sister is completing her Masters in London. Obviously, I have to use of the free accommodation to its fullest exent for as long as possible. Thus, my New Years was celebrated with my siblings in London this year.
When in London...
I'm quite a musical lover, so I was already planning on visitng a show on the WestEnd but now that I've seen one, I don't think anyone's London's trip is complete without it. The music, the acting, the dancing, the overall experience is really something you can't miss. All you have to do is buy an 18 pound ticket on the day itself and go (I know it's pricy but it really is worth it). Also, don't forget that most museums in London are free. If you don't have enough time to go through all of them in great detail, at least go inside the natural history museum to see the breathtaking buildings.
If you're ever in London make sure to do the things that interest you most. Whether you love museums, Harry Potter, architecture or even trees; London will keep you entertained.
I quietly looked around the room, sat down and stared into my empty glass, it had contained some kind of homemade Porto Rican concoction. I love the occasional drink, but this time I felt no desire for it. I was ready for a cosy, peaceful night with one of humans I feel most close to. My sister had gone to grab some more orange juice so I was stuck by myself for a few minutes. I really didn't want to be there but I understood why we had to go. She'd already promised that we'd show up so we had to AT LEAST make an appearance even though I didn't know a single soul in the room. She came back, she had a friend with her. Luckily, she didn't really know them that well either so I could follow her conversations quite easily. I casually turned to my sister with begging eyes. I tried to sound relaxed but somehow my request for the time sounded more desperate than curious.
Both of us gasped in shock but for totally different reasons. She couldn't believe it was already time for us to leave. Time had slipped away from her and she ran off to say goodbye to everyone. I gasped because I couldn't believe we hadn't already missed the new year. For those few minutes we'd been at that party, time had stood almost completely still. I impatiently waited the door with my coat on. Together we ran to the nearest tubestop hoping to catch the fireworks in time.
"Happy New Year in the Netherlands" I shouted as we ran down the stairs. The time difference meant that at that very moment, the fireworks would be going wild back at home. It also meant the cat was about to be getting his yearly night of terror. A few delays and drunk screams had passed. We'd finally managed to wrestle ourselves a good spot on the tube. The London tube will always contain the most interesting people I'll ever see... especially at new years eve. There were all sorts of interesting characters: the 15 year old "I can't watch that series because it's bad for my anxiety" girls, people who's gender I'll never be able to guess based purely on the way they look and those that shamelesly stare directly at you regardless of whether you've noticed them. Of course the drunk "I ironically wrote the wrong year on my forehead because I'm that funny" couldn't be missed either.
Everybody came pouring out of the tube at our stop and the realisation that we weren't the only one's with this plan kicked in. The pedestrian lights were red but everyone kept crossing the streets, ignoring the tooting cars desperate to arrive at their new years destination. The quiet, peaceful streets of the richer area of London was suddenly overrun with drunk youngsters, happy families, cute couples and my sister and me.
The grass felt like a muddy slush, the smell of fireworks covered the entire area and the hill was hardly even visible because of the amount of people blocking it. At first we complained to each other, we couldn't possibly see a way up that hill and it appeared to be totally blocking our view of London. "Wait, turn around" she said and there it was: London. The sky was lit up, we were far enough not to be totally overrun by people but close enough to enjoy the fireworks display in person. Everybody turned silent a few minutes before the countdown. Suddenly, the crowd managed to synchronise starting somewhere at the top. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
We hugged each other while the phrase "happy new year year" circulated like wildfire. My sister and I both went quiet, we were too busy enjoying the view and of course quite preoccupied with the chocolate we'd brought along to eat at new years. Even though we were quiet, the new year definitely did not start quietly. The people behind us couldn't contain their excitement and Woohoo'd throughout the entire display. It wasn't allowed but some fireworks went off behind us as well. How would the police ever find out who it was such a large crowd anyway? The smell and sound of fireworks became stronger, I turned around to see a young couple who'd just lit some sparklers together. They looked so sweet, I decided to take a picture of them and in the happy spirits they decided to smile and pose for the camera (it's a shame that picture ended up incredibly underexposed and blurry but it's the thought that counts). As the fireworks grew louder and bigger, we realised that we were probably approaching the end of the show. The woohoo's behind us grew louder and louder and soon everyone was cheering together, ready to welcome the new beginning with open arms.
The final display had finished, time for everyone to head back. Since everybody had the same plan of taking the tube we decided it would be easier to hop on a bus that would take 60 minutes but would drop us off right in front of her doorstep. We both spent the first half laughing at all the drunk videos coming in from my brother, the bus started to fill up more and more but everyone remained calm. In fact, most people were silent. There was a certain sense of serenity in the bus. It was almost as if everyone understood that it was time start with a clean slaight. I feel ready for a new chapter, the reader was getting bored, needed a break and there's a need for some character development in my story.
Kudos to you if you read through all of that. One of my new years resolutions is to write, draw and reflect more. Hence, that highly descriptive passage on my final 3.5 hours of 2017.
2018 feels like it's going to be a good year so let's try to keep it that way for as long as possible.
It's sad but true, Christmas has become the overhyped holiday that people either absolutely love or absolutely hate. Although I thought I was relatively subtle about it, I've been told by various people that I seem like a rather christmas-obsessed person (lightly phrased). So apparently I get more excited around this time than others but it's not just because of the typical 'christmas events'. Rather, it's the guarantee that Christmas brings. I come from a family filled with traditions, most of which I absolutely love. Going home for Christmas essentially means that I'm promised to have at least one week filled with festivities and events I know I'll enjoy with the people I love.
Being the youngest and studying at university means I don't see my family that often. My siblings are both abroad and working and my half nationality means I only get to see the rest of my family once or twice a year (Christmas is one of those times). I feel quite lucky to be able to say that I really get along with my direct family, and usually look forward to seeing them.
There are always a few tell-tale signs that remind me of the fact that I'm home. Maybe I'm the only one who has this, but I've really come appreciate the things that used to feel so normal when I still lived at home. First, we live right next to the forest so I wake up to view of fully grown trees. I can already hear some lively conversations in the kitchen downstairs. Struggling to leave my cosy bed, I carefully step on the cold tiles with bare feet, down the noisiest stairs I've ever heard, only to be met by the busy family chaos in the warm kitchen. The fire is usually already lit, the christmas songs playing while the smell of homemade bread reminds me of the fact that I can eat more than half a piece of leftover bread in the deepfreeze (like university). I go back upstairs to get dressed, usually a piano, flute, trumpet or general singing/whistling can be heard in the background (you try to sing along but it's usually for practice reasons so you end up hearing the same melodic line over and over and over again).
Everyday is filled with festive activities, whether it's making christmas wreaths, baking minced pies, going for a cosy walk, visiting a bunch of christmas markets, stuffing ourselves with chocolate bought at the factory nearby or playing games. We always do the same things at Christmas, not because we have to but because 'it's tradition' (probably the most used word around this time of year in our family). In fact, last year it reached a stage where I created a Christmas To-Do list which included my hour long christmas quiz, taking family pictures and playing the mandatory game of Halo with my brother on his 10 year old Xbox (not festive, but a tradition nonetheless). It may be random but after a while these things just become yearly traditions that make Christmas feel so much more special.
Some of my friends still don't understand. They see christmas as a formal, boring event filled with festive 'requirements' but it's important that Christmas doesn't just evolve around that particular day. Christmastime can actually last about 3 weeks and can definitely be filled with some fun family activities. So if you're feeling festive, get the family together and play some boardgames, that's as simple as it can be. Merry Christmas!
I think I'm about 3 months into my new uni now. It's still the best decision I could have ever made and I'm pretty terrible at making decisions so the positivity levels have been high so far. Nonetheless, the weather is beginning to turn and it's definitely noticable. It seems like people are getting more cranky, more lonely and more irretable.
I've always thought there was something beautiful in the way in which we're influenced by the people around us. I've cried at other people's stories and become energised by other people's motivation. Yet I refuse to become more cranky, lonely and irretable by others as well. I'll need to give myself an exception to this week because I definitely had a weak moment there. I guess it's time to get back on track.
Why did I include a picture taken with a phone that clearly struggles to take photos in low-light? Well, this exact moment sparked a pretty random but important realisation about these colder and darker days. I was with a friend who was telling me that she's been feeling rather lonely. The usual response would be to talk about it, figure out what was wrong and how to make her feel better. But this was a special case. I've heard so many comments and conversations about people feeling lonely that I'm starting to think there's no avoiding it.
This one conversation was enough to make the whole puzzle complete. If everyone feels lonelier or sadder during the winter months, then nobody's really alone. It can be difficult to overcome that feeling if you're the only person experiencing it, but if you're together with everyone else you can literally solve it by talking to each other. Again, people tend to wear off on each other. Negativity will be met with negativity but the same can be said for optimism.
Let's not feel down about the time of the year or the stress that's already beginning to build for deadlines. It's November, the strangest 'inbetween month' of the entire year. At least, that's what I thought until I saw this quote. It's true that November doesn't really mark the beginning of something new but it's definitely marking beginning of an end. We have one more chance to leave 2017 on a high. So why the hell not take risks and do the unexpected. The year's almost over anyway.
My goal for the end of the year: to have courage and be kind. It seems simple but courage and I have some unresolved issues that I think we'll never be able to erase completely. Let's kick this winter depression aside before it has the chance to over!
To say that I've been busy would be an extreme understatement, exams seem to have totally taken over. I've been pretty bad at socialising, sleeping and taking care of myself but at least I can proudly say that my music playlist has drastically developed over the past few weeks. I've tried to catagorise them according to how I listen to each song, but to be quite honest I just love most of them in any situation. I have been told that I have quite predictable taste in music which I still don't know how to interpret but I guess every song in this list is pretty similar. If you have a similar taste in music that's only good of course. I'm not really sure what the point of this post was, it was just fun looking at which songs I've actually been listening to.
I wrote a few sentences about every song in this list because I sometimes forget about them and why I loved them in the first place. Now it's written down so I'll never forget. If you play the playlist in order you can read along to see why it belongs under that particular heading.
Anyway, I've made a spotify playlist which you can find by clicking the button below. Do note that all songs sound much better with headphones.
*Little Disclaimer: my favourite artists are Coldplay (which I think I make more than clear in this post) and John Mayer. They'll come up more than once. Nonetheless, I've really tried to keep a bit of a mix so grab your spotify and enjoy.
Autumn leaves - Ed Sheeran
this has been my alarm for the past 3 weeks. I'm not sure whether it's because it's about autumn or whether it's the chill way in which the song starts up but it's been waking me up very pleasantly.
Spirit Cold - Tall Heights
I'd completely forgotten about this song until I heard it in our study area a few days ago. I first discovered it through Ben Brown's (youtuber) Visual Vibes. I think I may have over-listened to this song because it's not my favourite. But it remains the perfect song for those groggy mornings where you're not quite sure what century you're in.
Lonesome Dreams - Lord Huron
This song also has a good morning build up. It starts pretty calmly but slowly builds up which is, again, perfect for those slow mornings.
Green eyes - Coldplay
Oh green eyes. This song has been my all time favourite coldplay for over a year now. I must admit, I also listen to this song before bed, it really works any time for me. I think it's the simplicity of this one that I absolutely love. Also, some of the chords in here still give me goosebumps although I'm not entirely sure why.
Tenerife Sea - Ed Sheeran
Just like my alarm, I have been religiously listening to this song any time I've had to cycle to classes in the morning. It's just a very pleasant song to cycle to as it gets you ready for the day but keeps you moving with that 3/4 beat.
Native - KYKO
I don't have very much to say about this song other than the fact that the build up in this song is a perfect way to prepare yourself for wherever you're going to. Whether it's the gym, class or just a study session.
Sirens - Woodlock
Again, I love the build-up and love the steady beat to walk/cycle to. Also, they keep saying "I'm going nowhere" which is why it has to be in the 'travelling music section'.
Pass it on - The Coral
The little backstory behind this song can be found with my absolute love for Scrubs, that cheesy series about doctors. It's my all-time favourite show and at some point, they play this song in the background. I found this song online and forgot about until I looked into the depths of my spotify account.
Way Back When - Kodaline
A few days ago I left my phone to play some tunes in the background, my youtube automatically switched over to some old songs I used to listen and this song popped up. I don't know why, but oh boy, this song brought me back. To me, this is the perfect sing along song.
When you're feeling good:
Life in Technicolor II - Coldplay
Before my love for Coldplay really started I heard this song on the radio in the morning. I used to wake up at 5:55 am so having an upbeat tune like this really brought my mood up. Little did I know it would remain among my top Coldplay songs for many years to come.
Glass of water - Coldplay
Even though this song is rather 'rock-like', I can't resist a smooth transition between 4/4 and 7/4.
Run - COIN
Another song that I used to absolutely love and then somehow forgot about. If you ever feel down, just listen to this song and you'll immediately feel better.
Savannah - Relient K
Writing this post, I've realised how important I find good build-ups. So again, listen to this song if you want to listen to a song that slowly makes you feel more and more energised.
Celeste - Ezra Vine
I really wasn't sure where to place this song. I listen to it while I'm studying cause it's so repetitive but then decided that most people would find a little too distracting. So I guess it belongs here?
This is the thing - Fink
I must admit, although this song doesn't really appeal to me that much, it serves its purpose as study music quite well. Don't ask me what it's about though cause I can't understand a word of what he's actually singing.
Perfect Storm - Tristan Prettyman
You may have noticed that I have a preference to male voices. I'm not sure how that happened but somehow, I just that music a lot more. In fact, I think this is the only song with a female singer in it. To be quite honest, I only like this song cause of the chord progressions during the chorus.
Brazil - Declan McKenna (repetitive but good)
Just like the first song in this study music list, this song is pretty repetitive. Somehow, that seems to work for me while I'm studying. It's like my brain is able to enjoy it without being too distracted.
Riva (Restart the Game) - Radio edit - Klingade, Broken Back
Okay, so this song doesn't really fit with the other songs in this list, but I discovered this song last year while listening to some kind of yearly remix. The motivation provided by this song and lack of words just makes it quite a good tune to listen to while working on Calculus or something.
Mykonos - Fleet Foxes
This is again, not one of my favourite songs but it does keep me focused while studying so.. Why not?
When you need to chill
Gravity - John Mayer
This. Song. Is. Perfect... If you're looking for a way to relax, just listen to this and you'll immediately feel better. Have you listened to it? Now listen to the live version, it's even better once you know the song. How anyone can have such amazing guitar skills remains a question to me.
Storybook - Skinny Living
Although this song is pretty jolly, it somehow remains pretty relaxing. I don't listen to this song very often, but it's quite sweet so again, why not?
Sunsets For Somebody Else + My Mind is For Sale - Jack Johnson
In case you weren't aware, Jack Johnson recently released a new album and it's been my go to chill/study album ever since. There's something about his songs that makes you feel immediately relaxed.
Help is round the corner - Coldplay
This song is rather similar to Green Eyes, which is also why I love it so much. It was never officially released. I'll never understand why because again, those chord progressions can give me goosebumps. If I've ever had a bad day, I'll listen to this song just before I go to sleep and instantly feel good again.
John Mayer - Stop this train
I'll be completely honest here. At some point, this was my go to 'emotion' song. There's something about John Mayer's chords and build up that gets me every time. Now, I love to listen to this song just before going to bed. Don't worry, I don't cry to this song anymore, it's too pretty. Also, can we just appreciate how he perfectly immiates the sound of a train with his guitar? I think that's one of my favourite features.
The Wolves & The Ravens - Rogue Valley
If you've ever seen the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, this song may seem familiar to you. It took me a long time to find, but I'm so glad I did. The peacefulness of this song is good enough to send me to sleep in an instant.
Daughters - John Mayer
Just like all the other John Mayer songs listed above, this song was once my go to goosebump song. Even though the lyrics remain questionable to me, I can't resist some good guitar chords. . To top it all off, I fell in love with song all over again when I heard the live version.
Define Dancing - Thomas Newman
Little warning here, this is a really random song that I simply love from Wall-e. I'd also totally forgotten about this song but found it again in that spotify history. There's no words, no singers, just a combination of beautiful instruments doing their thing. Again, there's no complicated chords, no fancy rhythms, just a simple, little melody. It's pretty short and I don't actually listen to it often, but when I do I can't do anything other than listen (all multitasking skills go out the window).
Old but yes, still amazing
Sunday morning - Maroon 5
If you've never heard this song, you're in for a treat. I'm not sure how it happened, but I recently got a little obsessed with Maroon 5's older songs. This is one of them.
Don't ask me why - Billy Joel
Billy Joel has three good songs. Two of them are known by most (She's always a woman to me and piano man... and maybe also uptown girl). The third one however, is one most people don't know. This song is amazing to listen to when you're in the shower, washing up or tidying your room cause it's just such a jolly tune.
Tiny dancer - Elton John
I actually discovered this song after a John Lewis advertisement. I know it's pretty long but it remains a classic.
New Shoes - Paolo Nutini
I couldn't not include this song in this playlist. I think it's the first music video I ever saw on TV and I still love it. It's the kind of song that everyone knows even though the lyrics are totally weird.
Over my shoulder - Mike and the Mechanics
Even though I love this song, there's one point that always bothers me a bit. Somewhere in the middle of the song, the singer whistles the melody and every inch of my body feels an urge to whistle along. It's a such a shame I'm such a terrible whistler in a family of natural talents in this random skill.
Send me on my way - Rusted Root
Most people who hear this have a pretty similar reaction. Yes, they play it in Matilda (the film). Now, whenever I hear this song, I can't help but feel ready for an adventure.
She moves in her own way - The Kooks
This is good to me for one reason only. When I was too young to really listen to music by myself, my brother was absolutely obsessed with this song. Actually I have a rather similar experience with the song 'Don't stop me now' by Queen. I know every word to both of these songs without having ever listened to them by myself. It's just a good nostalgia song.
I know, I know, I just couldn't resist adding just a couple. I'm aware of the fact that this is by far the longerst list but I can't make it any shorter, it's impossible. I'm sorry if that bothers anyone but this post needs to reflect some honest music listenings. Also, obviously I love yellow, speed of sound, fix you, viva la vida and paradise. It's just that most people have just heard that song often enough, so I decided to go with a few lesser known songs.
In my place
I first discovered this song before I really knew about them. There was a music quiz (I embarrassingly didn't know it then) and I absolutely loved it.
I have always loved this song, but just imagine listening to it with thousands of beautiful different coloured lights during their concert. Definitely the best concert I've ever been to.
First off, the beginning actually sounds like rain falling outside which already places the song in my good books. But the string section in the song really finishes it off for me.
Lovers in Japan
Another feel good song that I love listening to when I'm feeling slightly down.
It's quite a controversial song, sometimes I'm really not up for such a rock-like song. But let's give the guitar some credit here.
Everything's not lost
If I listen to this while cycling or walking I can't help but move along to the buildup. One of the reason's I love coldplay is cause they prepare you so well for more 'dramatic' parts.
Okay, I'll admit that their latest album isn't my favourite. There quite a few songs that are relatively 'meh'. Birds however, has a faster pace I sometimes miss in their other songs.
The hardest part
This is one of those songs that I always forget about. But when it comes on I can't help but think that this is exactly the song I needed, whatever mood I'm in.
Swallowed in the sea
This song is one of my favourite for personal reasons. I had a long discussion with my sister about this one. She thought the beginning was in 6/8. Clearly the whole thing is just in 4/4. The fact that we need to have these discussion is still pretty cool though.
The only reason I love this song is because it reminds me of the perfect 'angry' song. If I need to blow off some steam, this song comes pretty high on list of possible listening options.
Us Against the World
Here comes another kind of weird reason for liking this song but the introduction always really intrigues me. The guitar plays a consecutive 6 note sequence for quite a few bars. The only thing is that it doesn't really become clear what measure this song is until the vocals are introduced. Try it, count in twos (1,2,3 - 4,5,6) or threes (1,2 - 3,4 - 5,6) during the introduction. It's just a fun little distraction thing.
I realise that this list is super long. If you're still reading, kudos to you my friend. But this used to be my 'I need to sleep' song. It's really peaceful. Also fun fact, you need to totally un-tune your guitar if you want to be able to play this song. Not cause it was thought through, just cause they felt like untuning their instruments and seeing what would happen. This is the end result.
Don't let it break your heart
This song is again for when you're cycling somewhere and feel like listening to something upbeat.
Happy listening ;)
When it comes to 'the ideal holiday' I always seem hear very contradicting suggestions. Some want to relax, others want to learn and some just want to explore the location as much as possible. I'm affraid I definitely fall under the number 3 category. I'm not too big on museums and also get pretty bored in luxury locations. Sure, I love a little luxury, sunshine and top quality food, but give me a tent and a mat and I'll be happy as a clam wherever we go (as long as there are no creepy bugs.. It turns out I'm a serious arachnophobe). Luckily, my two best friends seem to have similar ideas. Together we make quite a team.
*Sadly these pictures were all taken after my camera got completely distroyed so I apologise for the blurry, overly edited images (I just wanted to save them)
We've been wanting to go on holiday for a long time now but have never managed to find something 'adventurous' but affordable at the same time. One of these friends happens to be half Brazilian and half Irish (the combination is strange but trust me.. It's a good one). One day she randomly messaged both of us saying "let's go to Ireland!", so, off we went! I have to admit that I'm romanticising it a little. It really wasn't as easy as that but for the simplicity of this introduction, let's pretend that we were THAT spontaneous.
I know what you're thinking of. Why were three teenagers going camping in Ireland? No party trip in Ibiza? No city travels to Paris? Well, I guess we're just that unique. Or maybe we're just the only one's to try it. So let me tell you why you should also consider it.. Especially if you live in North-Western Europe.
I won't lie, there isn't THAT much to see in Galway but it was on our way. Now, I definitely think it was worth the visit. The houses in Galway are covered in a hundred different bright colours of paint and flowers. Flags from lots of different countries are cascaded accross the streets. While taking in the scenery, we heard some typical Irish music. First, an Irish band played some Celtic music. Later, we saw a girl dancing to some jolly Irish tunes on her stereo. She smiled while her feet carelessly fluttered accross the cobblestone streets. Even though I'm not sure how she remembered all the movements, the tapping and brushing sounds her feet made somehow always managed to perfectly match the rhythm of the music. The entire town just has a slight Disney-vibe to it.
This was our main stopping point throughout the trip. We ended up staying at a campsite right at the coast of for 5 nights. If you've already googled Doolin, you may have noticed that the village consists of what seems like 4 houses. But I'm here to tell you that that's a big fat lie... Nope only joking; that's exactly what it is. I was worried about spending such a long time there but I wasn't bored for a second. Everything you see below is within walking distance of the campsite in Doolin (except for Poulnabrone which we visited for the day by renting bike at Doolin's local shop). These are all the things we saw during our stay in Doolin:
For those of you who do not know: Dublin is Ireland's capital. It is quite interesting but it was definitely my least favourite place to visit for two reasons:
Some notes before you visit Ireland:
I'm a university student who loves to keep themselves busy with anything but university work. I also enjoy looking like a banana as you can tell from all the yellow coat pictures. I've somehow managed to turn into a music and photography geek. I'm not entirely sure how that happened but let's just go with it. That seems to be my life motto at the moment.