“All our dreams can come true” or what Disnay taught me

I’ve always had a soft spot for Disney, one of my earliest memories is me and my brother arguing over Aurora dress colour at the end of Sleeping Beauty. I not a huge fan the Disney Princess thing; I was always more of a Jungle Book, Lion King, Lady and the Tramp and everything Pixar sort of girl. Now I’m older, despite the problems I have with Disney, I find the films undeniably beautiful, I went to watch the Lion King in 3D and found that as a child I had missed how visually stunning it was.

Like I said I have problems with Disney, as a child I always felt they had ruined many of my favourite stories and fairytales by not being faithful to the original material I was familiar with. Nor I could ever really relate to Princess who all seemed desperate to find love and be swept off their feet. Then I got older and found a whole new set of issues (got to love age and cynicism.) There is however a couple of things I learnt from Disney.

  1. If nothing else I have learnt that love is important and that it comes in all shapes

    This was on my 10th Birthday cake I had in America, I have kept this plastic decoration all these years as I can’t bear to let it go.

    andsizes. Lilo and Stitch has a small and broken family but it’s “still good” and Belle only has a father. I watched parents do anything for their children; it helped me understand my own. I watched friends in Disney help each other, I watched lovers heart-break and then rejuvenate with a kiss. Love and relationships are pivotal in Disney, because it is the thing that gives us most joy in life, our family and our friends make us happy but it’s more than that love is also about the sacrifices you make for the people who mean the most. The older you get the less you take love for granted.

  2. From the moment Mufasa died it dawned on me: Life is hard. None of the characters in Disney have it easy, Cinderella, Hercules, Pocahontas, their lives are difficult, they are faced with arduous decisions and challenges while trying to do the right thing and make their lives better. Disney has the lives of their characters change and often it is beyond their control and they are simply trying to do their best and keep their head above water. The older I get the more I understand this feeling and how much harder it can become.
  3. Hope is a very powerful thing, it is the only thing that can defeat pain. Hope is everywhere in Disney:  101 Dalmatians, Fox and the Hound, Aladdin, the characters and the audience never gives up hope for a happy ending. Hope is the thing that characters hold on to when all else is lost, it is part of them that never dies, the last candle in the darkness. The older we get the harder it is to keep the hope while in life I’ve learnt that the candle doesn’t always stay lit; Disney does a pretty good job of showing how significant it is in life. H.O.P.E : Hold On, Pain Ends.
  4. There is such thing as magic, the world pretty awesome place and if you take the time to see it ,magic is alive and well and if not…. your toys come to life when you leave the room. It is also in our dreams and wishes, Snow White wishes in a well, Geppetto on a star and Peter Pan fills Wendy’s dreams, these are thing that these character hold on to and fuel their life. They are a source of amazing strength and that is magic.
  5. The greatest thing I have learnt from Disney is that you are your own hero, you can save yourself. The characters fight and despite all the Princess having Princes they do a pretty good job at fighting for themselves. They fight for what they want, they fight to have their wishes and dreams and to protect their hopes and the people they love. Love is important so fight for it, life is hard so fight for the life you want, hope is important so fight not to lose it, fight to keep the magic in your life. Simple.

The thing about growing up is that things become less black and white and become more about different shades of grey. Disney may not be the shinning white sceptical I remember it being, but that doesn’t tarnish the lessons I’ve leant. Mainly everyone can exist, the good and the bad, but you have to fight to live the life you will be proud of, you will have to believe in yourself even when others don’t and you have to dare to dream and go after that light no matter how dark it gets.

The Disney Princess at their film ages by Taijavigilia

Greener on the other side

Tall daisiesI bumped into someone today who once told me I was the type of person who would always believe the grass is greener on the other side. I don’t think this person ever really understood me. I remember sighing at them and saying it wasn’t that I thought the grass would greener, just that I was tired of sitting on short well kept grass and that I wanted to lie in the tall wild unkempt grass instead. I like change, I like the new and I am always looking for something more; that doesn’t mean I’m looking for something better, I’m looking for something different. I move on a lot and I believe that life and identity is something of constant transition and change. No matter how much someone may try and stay still, the world marches on and you can either stumble long with it or embrace it and skip to the beat. I have chosen to change schools, hobbies, favourite things, jobs because the world changes, life changes and I change too.

I have never believed that the grass was going to be greener on the other side; I’m just in search of different grass. Grass that might have taller daisies or smaller daisies, grass that has sunshine dandelions, grass that maybe has some lucky clover. I don’t think that the grass will be a better shade of jade or more luxurious, it’s just that maybe I don’t want to play with Buttercups anymore, maybe I want to make daisy chains or search for a four leaf clover.

I think no matter where your patch of grass is who and what you love doesn’t change, your passion and pleasure stay mostly the same and your nature at heart is fairly constant. Those things close to your heart make the grass green. I don’t think how green the grass is has much to do with where your grass is, it about how well you choose maintain the grass you are lying in, even brown and brittle grass can be lush and green when watered and tended to. I think if you want green grass, water the grass you have, if you want something different go in search of it, but you have to look after the grass no matter where you are.

I suppose I could just plant daisies and clover and dandelions and buttercups, but I have a feeling some miserable sod has labelled them as weeds and the packet seed would be hard to come across.

Missing words

I have not spent all my down time in the last couple of days reading missed WordPress post from the last 3 weeks, nope, definitely not :/

I’m currently seeing this guy and why this may not be a very big deal to me it is to everyone around me apparently. When it comes to my relationships I tend to keep things to myself, it is my business and I like to keep my family and friends well out of it. I mean if I have no idea what is going on, why would I let anyone else have an idea of what may or may not going on? This time however he is a friend of my sisters and the best friend of my cousin so they know and now everyone else knows. No chance of playing my cards close to my chest as everyone finally has a chance to be involved in my relationship.

I used to think as I got older I would have more of an idea about romantic relationships. I don’t. I don’t think relationships are ever simple, there is just a whole new range of issues and problems, and I think love, at least Hollywood, novel, fairytale love is an unrealistic goal. I just don’t think it is out there. None the less, I like dating, I like people, I like being appreciated, I like knowing I make someone happy, I like caring about someone, and I like having someone special.

My usual problem with relationships is I like space, lots of space. This really puts people on edge, they begin to think I don’t like them or I’m not interested. It’s not that I’m not interested, if I wasn’t interested why would I spend time with someone in the first place. I just don’t need a text every five minutes or a phone call, funny enough I haven’t done anything in that short period of time to talk about. I’m also not going to change all my plans to see someone, I have other friends and other commitments that I need to attend to, I will not drop everything, I had a life before I was dating and I’ll have one after. I’m like this, I like my world and sometimes I like to be alone in it, sometimes with friends and family, or working but I will always make time and room for someone. If someone doesn’t like this or wants me to change, I don’t think I am the girl for them.

For once my space issues are not the problem. This is something of a breakthrough considering I’m seeing a guy who texts me every morning at 7am before my alarm goes off. This is every day, very early and I don’t mind, sometimes I take a while to text back but I always do. I have either matured or I quite like this guy. He is also really lovely, which sounds really underwhelming but he is. He is delightful and sweet and really seems to like me. My problem is we are running out of things to talk about, really there is very little left for us to discuss. We don’t have a huge amount in common and I’m beginning to think that there is little point pursuing a relationship when we don’t have any conversation.

No matter how much you enjoy someone’s company and affection surely without conversation there is no future? Is it pointless to continue a relationship with no future, or is it okay to stay in it when you like someone and they like you and just letting the relationship runs its course?

Where I am the best version of me.

Is there a place where you feel like a different person, or perhaps where you feel like a superior or ultimate version of yourself? Somewhere that brings out your greatest aspects, diminishes you faults, somewhere where you excel. Mine is my old university town. I have yet to find anywhere that can make me feel safe and peaceful; it is where I formed some of great ideas about literature, art, friends and life. Aberystwyth in Wales lives in its own dazzling bubble, with little crime, vice or evil one can quite happy forget there is a big bad world beyond it boarders. It was a place where I could just be, just live and be happy.

I went through a lot of pain there but I never felt isolated or lonely. It wasn’t just the incredible people I met there, the place itself stood by my side, it laughed with me, stood close by me when I cried in the dark and stopped the world to comfort me. I miss it, I miss the people I love so much I cling to them as though I’m afraid they are a wonderful dream that will slip through my fingers. I miss the person I was there, the better, smarter, prettier and happier person. I miss the conversations about politics, books, comics, films, music, love, passion and life. I wondered if it was just me who had a place like this? Or does everyone have a place where they are the person they could be?   

Tumbling Pretties

White dresses and a level up in the game of life.

My friend has moved her wedding forward by a year from September 2013 to September 2012. I’m sorry to say I was first in there with the unoriginal question ‘Are you Pregnant?’ I couldn’t help it. I am vastly ecstatic because they got engaged and then the wedding seemed so far away, now it is the highlight at the end of my summer, let alone theirs. The bride is a wonderful friend from university and her fiancée is fab, I spend a large amount of time in their spare room when I’m visiting friends in trade for a bottle of wine. I have spent many happy hours with them and I can’t wait to see them marry, I plan to cry a sea of tears and drink way too much in their honour. They are a couple that is so established in my world that if they separated I’m sure the universe would rip at the seams.

 

White dresses

The dresses

I’m not going to be a bridesmaid; however I spent the weekend wedding dress shopping with the bride to be and her mother. Would you believe it, the first dress, in the first shop was just perfect and nothing else after could measure up. This didn’t stop her trying on lots of dresses, I watched her try on white gown after white gown and started to feel, well, a little odd. I have never really wanted to get married, I was always in the train of thought that if you loved someone and wanted to spend your life with them just do it, why do you need a piece of paper to prove that you do or will. It’s not like in today’s society it means a lot, every marriage seems doomed to fail before it has started. Despite my cynicism and my generation’s apparent determination to devalue marriage, I always feel overwhelmingly happy when someone tells me they are going to tie the knot, I think it’s because in that moment that person seems incandescently happy. In the bridal shop, staring at mountains of white, cream, ivory, satin and lace I started to wonder if I wanted a big white dress? I can’t imagine thinking I could spend the rest of my life with anyone, let alone wanting or even choosing someone to do that with. Just because I can’t imagine it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like it, it doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t make me content, it just means I have to do some serious revaluation of what makes me happy.

Everyone around me is in long term relationships, engagements and marriage. Me? Well I joined a Facebook group called ‘My friends are getting married, I’m getting drunk’, yes this is probably childish but it feels like I’m playing a game and I just went up a level in difficultly. It feels like I’m getting old and this doesn’t sit well with me, do I have to start checking for glinting gold bands on the left hand every time someone I am remotely attracted to starts talking to me? I am going to start getting sympathy looks every time I say I’m single, watching a small flash of fear in their eye as they panic I’m might burst into tears over my singleton status or even worse they might catch singletonitis? Or heartbreakingly worse am I going to be deserted, left behind by my friends? Is there room in married life for the single girl chasing a Neverland dream? If I fight to keep my friends will they accept me, chasing happiness that’s not like theirs or will we just drift apart on different tides??

Too hot for sleep.

My wonderful Mother received this text message from me.

“What do you do if a boy is too hot in bed to sleep but otherwise perfectly fine?? Xx”

Yeah, okay, you like my mum can get you minds out the gutter right now!! This text message was about one of the boys I was babysitting last night, not about a man that was simply too exciting for sleep. I eventually did get the 7 year old boy to slip off back to sleep but apparently texting your mum at 11:30 at night, when she can’t remember where you are will lead her to assume all sorts of smutty things. My mum assumed that my enthralling text had been sent to her by mistake and had to spend some time remembering where her first daughter was.  It seems once she remembered I had several little boys in my care the text made so much more sense. I did eventually get a response to my child care issue but by then, the minimal maternal instinct I have, finally kicked in and my issue was resolved.

Since last night my mum has taken to showing my text message to everyone, my siblings, my cousin, our neighbours and her friends and everyone laughs. I missed the joke; at no point could I see the unintentional crude innuendo in my text. I am utterly ashamed, not that I sent a perhaps embarrassing text, I am embarrassed that I missed the humour. I was a student only a year ago how can I have lost that vulgar sense of humour that is integral to all students, I refuse to be that old already. My mum thinks it’s hysterical and she is much older than me; please never inform her I said that ever.

I love the fact my mum thinks I would ask this question and that she is imaginative enough to paint the wrong picture but completely disappointed that she thinks I’d ask anyone other than her. Why would I bother asking anyone else?? As far as I am concerned my mother is the all seeing all knowing oracle of my world. Who laughs at me, because she can ……because she knows I’ll always ask for whatever I need. I love how everyone I know has such a rude mind, it’s nice to know that apparently you never grow up from being 19; where everything can have a smutty but humorous spin on it if you don’t take things too seriously.

Anyway, I figure that not getting a reply from my mum is a good thing, I know I can handle a boy no matter how hot he is in bed….. and you can take that anyway you like 😛

It’s good to get lost once in a while

No one likes to get lost, that’s why we have maps, sat navs and 5 year plans. Getting lost is unnerving and frightening; it puts us face to face with the unknown, the unpredictable and unsettles us. Everyone likes to be in control and it is comfortable to always know who and where you are. The thing about getting utterly lost however is that we can learn valuable lessons and occasionally it does us some good. Getting lost can be a wonderful experience.

There are some places where it is good to get lost, the best example of this is Venice. The only way to truly experience this labyrinth is to throw your map into the Grand Canel and go for a wander. Get lost among the ancient street and find all the riches that are hidden in this city. I think to truly know the rhythm of a city you have to get lost in it. Paris will always be a mystery until you found that one cafe tucked away down a forgotten street that you and you alone adore. One of the things that is on that list of things in my head I have to do is get lost in New York just for a little bit and watch the city rush by in all its vivid colour.

There are the times you get lost by accident, lost in listening to music that sings to your heart and in art that speaks to your soul. Everyone at some point has stared into space and meander through thoughts, lost, roaming over hundreds of ideas as the world has just slipped away. You can get lost in your own excitement and interest reminding you what it is like to be truly passionate about something. Then there are moments, moments when the world stops, you become lost in an instant that lasts an age, it fills you up completely and removes you from time and space, and you vanish from the earth.

Getting lost is about gaining a new perspective, strolling off the beaten track and finding your own individual way in the world, to look through your own fresh eyes and not through the used eyes of hundreds of people before you. Getting lost means you can find something new, something unique, it’s how you find that beach with no one on it, that shop with the amazing nik naks, that place with the chef who creates the best food and that view that you don’t need a photo of because it shines brilliantly in your mind.

The really good thing about getting lost is not just losing yourself in something because of your zeal, but just losing yourself completely no matter how terrifying or daunting that is, because losing yourself means you can find yourself. How are you meant to know who you really are until you lose everything you think you are? Sometimes you simply, for the briefest of occasions, have to lose yourself and for a scary time not know who you are, to then find that fantastic thing that is the authentic you.

Maps are great and plans are excellent, the problem is they don’t help us when there is an obstacle in our way. They don’t teach us not to panic when we are lost or come up against the unexpected, that sometimes you have to embrace the unknown, navigate the unpredictable, to throw away agony and just see what is around the corner. Plans and maps don’t change but people do and it is people who have to alter the maps and the plans. If you don’t get lost once in a while how will you ever know where you really want to go?    All things lost on my Tumbling Pretties

Driving away.

Driving away on a new adventure

Driving away on a new adventure

Have you ever had the urge to climb in your car and drive?? That’s all, drive and keep driving on and on. I get it all the time; I want to see how far I can get on a tank of petrol. I wonder where I’ll end up, what far off place I could reach, what will be there and if I’ll stay. It’s not even to run away or get away from my current life, I’m just curious to see what else there is, what else is beyond my current world. On a sunny day when I fill up my car or sit in traffic every fibre within threatens to tear apart my skin as it vibrates with the desire to turn up the radio, wind down the window and leave nothing but dust as I race on to something at the edge of some unknown map.

I get itchy feet, I always have. Even when I was young I would complain of being bored but not knowing what I was bored of. It would feel like I was drowning, the impulse weighing down on me and feel terrible because it wasn’t that I was ungrateful of the life I had I just wanted to see what else there could be. I still haven’t squared that guilt. I have to be busy and doing something new just so the old doesn’t lose its shine. There was always a new school, a new place to inhabit and new people to gather. Life is interesting chasing the next adventure. My world is wonderful but sometimes I want to see what is over there and bring a bit back, just a little bit.

I wanna run, I wanna skip infinitely on, searching for something unique, I wanna feel new rough grass, smell scrumptious recipes I’ve never tried, be caressed by a fresh breeze and taste different air. I wanna hear a strange city boogie to its individual tune and the country waltz to a beat of its own and I wanna dance with them. I used to sit on trains with buoyant friends and jump off at a stop, any stop and see where we were, if we didn’t like the place we jumped back on the train to a new stop. I will never drive the same route twice; I’ll see what a different road has to offer, what treasure it has for me to find. There is always something new to see, people to meet, things to do.

The older I get the greater the urge to drive; it’s like fear, a fear that if I don’t do it now I never will and miss something, something incredible just beyond the edge of my world. Maybe I should listen to the nagging because I never do just drive away, I can always think of one good reason not to drop everything, frustratingly there is always a reason to stay. I don’t even think I would stay on the edge of the map when I’m done driving, I love the people in my life too much and without them it wouldn’t be the thrilling experience it could be. But that is the beauty of driving away, I could always fill up the tank and drive back.

Colourful Colorado

Waterfall in Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs

I’ve been feeling homesick for Colorado; this is probably because Britain has been having wonderful sunshine while still being cold and my current engagement in conversations with friends I left in the colourful state. I often long to be back in Colorado, it was the first time my heart felt truly at home away from my family and friends, and I’m completely in love with the state. I miss the vast geography, the irregular weather, the people and the place. I went to Colorado, to Colorado College on an exchange program to study while in my second year of university and it has been to date the greatest experience of my life. I miss the view that I have never been able to forget, it is the thing that can never be taken away from me.

I spent way to much time hanging out of windows getting photos

The heritage in Colorado was incredible; I found it remarkable that a place that seems so young can have such a depth of history. Everywhere I went in Colorado I seemed to adore, I loved Denver it was just so attractive, simply blissful to waste a day there. Steamboat Springs was so picturesque, relaxed and was just surrounded by land and ranches. I asked a police officer (cop?) what a buck was in Steamboat Springs because he told me and my friends to watch out for them when we were driving, I had no idea what one was and he told me eventually after a lot of laughter. Manitou Springs I maintain has the best chocolate and sweet shops I have ever found and was quant, yet diverse. In Colorado Springs I found that despite how big it was it felt like the small town I imagined America was full of, it was intimate and wonderful. It was where I watched my first hockey match, where I walked all alone in a strange city 4625 miles from anyone I knew and figured out what a block was. I made some amazing friends and met some fabulously interesting people that have stayed with me years later.

Pikes Peak

My favourite view of Pikes Peak

I miss the Garden of the Gods and feeling small in the majesty of nature. I miss how big it all was, I miss the vast sky that seems so small from my side of the pond. I remember arriving in the middle of the night dark and cold and went to sleep isolated in a strange room with no idea where I was and what to expect. I woke to an awe inspiring view of Pikes Peak and spent the next 6 months reassured by its dominance in the skyline and it gave me a height to strive for.

My mind doesn’t just wander there when I’m awake but takes me there in my dreams. I miss the space, the room to breathe that I have never found anywhere else and the beauty that just lives in you. I did a lot of growing there; I learnt how strong I could be and what I wanted form life. I learnt I could travel thousands of miles alone and make a whole new life, make friends and work achieving the standards I always had and be so happy.  I’d make memories and stories that would make my heart ache and create a smile. I lost my heart to Colorado completely.  Being posting my favourite images of Colorado here all week.

Too late for New Year’s Improvements (resolutions)?

 We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.  ~Ellen Goodman

……… 2012 could you do me a favour? Please? Stop, just stop? For 5 minutes, I’m a little behind, disorientated and if I’m honest a little underwhelmed by you. No? Fine! Be like that I’ll just…… O sod off.

It’s not that me and 2012 aren’t getting along, it’s just that I’ve sort of let it get away from me and now, I just have no motivation, I’m sure it will turn up somewhere. Hopefully it’s like waking up on Monday and everything going wrong and it’s not until Wednesday that everything returns to normal. I’m really hoping Wednesday doesn’t turn out to be May sometime.

In the process of writing Romantic New Years I was looking for a particular quote. (This particular quote is the one above.) I wasn’t searching for it because I wanted to use it; I was searching for it as I remember once thinking that it was a better way of looking at New Year’s resolution than the norm. My friends have gone through their lives and picked out all the stuff they don’t like and how they will resolve to outright change these things or create something entirely new. As a cynic of New Year’s resolutions I think they are so rarely kept that they just inevitably turn into reasons to dislike yourself for a year. I don’t think Resolutions are a bad idea it’s just that people do have the terrible habit of setting the bar very high and not factoring life and all the other demands they have.

So here is the plan, I’m not going to make a resolution or resolutions; I’m going to make ‘improvements’ this year. These are:

  • Read more (and not in English-y student way. At uni I had to read 3 or 4 books a week plus essays, so now I have this terrible habit of reading 3 books at once and not giving a single one my full attention. Recently I have been very well-behaved; I’m only reading 2: The Wizard of Oz and How To Be a Woman I hope to get it down to one before Easter.)
  • Save money. (I’m saving to see friends in America but I’d also like to go on holiday so that would mean more saving.)
  • Keep smart, scathing, sarcastic and or Elizabeth Bennett like comments to self. (I’m getting really good at keeping my big mouth shut and really would like to continue this as I have to apologise less)
  • Recent body issue image thing. (Either figure out why I suddenly have one and where the hell it has come from and fix it or do something about it, I don’t care which.)
  • Career (got the job thing down now I just have to figure out my career thing.

I think I’m missing my own point about the bar and its height. O well here are my improvements written in stone the blogosphere and I’m only 9 days late. Let the self hating begin.