Tuesday, 25 February 2014

-i am not a robot.

Do you ever feel 100% yourself? What does that even mean? Is it when you're with your friends? With strangers? When you're alone?
Who are you?

I was recently in a situation where, for an anxious person anyway, I was hit at all sides.
Turning up alone to a place I'd never been before, with people I'd never met in person before and one I'd met only once previously.. and was expected to socialise. I say 'expected' like I was forced or didn't enjoy myself. That's not quite the case.

 I have many friends. Some closer than others like any person. But I've accepted that my role in the friendship group is that of a listener. I feel completely at ease with my friends - but I'm not the spokesperson or the leader - and I never will be. I like to sit back and watch what's going on. I'm taking it all in. I'm enjoying myself and what people have got to say.. but I've never been one for talking for the sake of it. If I have something to contribute, I will.

I feel like this can often come across as shyness or being aloof or even rude.. or bored. And that really isn't true. In the recent situation I mentioned above, my anxiety took its toll on my behaviour.. and its not really something you can do anything about at the time. Its something you ruminate on afterwards. Why didn't I speak more? I should've done this. Did they think I was rude?
Those kinda unhelpful shoulda-woulda-coulda thoughts, that are only good for pissing you off.
I guess I was overwhelmed. Group situations, especially when I'm first meeting people, are not my strength. I feel much better one-to-one.. which you'd think would be more of an anxious situation.. but I feel like when I'm with one person I can have a two-way conversation where my input is heard and valid. I don't mean to say I feel like people wouldn't listen to me in a group - but I'm not the loudest person.. projection isn't what I do.

Maybe its my lack of confidence or self-esteem or just a bad habit I've gotten into - but I know that I'm not good at giving a good first impression. I've been told as much by people who I know consider to be friends, that they didn't like me or weren't completely sure on me when we first met. 
It could be my quietness or my sarcasm (probably both) but this isn't something I feel like I can change. You can't force yourself to be something you're not and keep it up. 
I guess I could've gone straight into that situation and been all loud and brash and confident - but that wouldn't be me. 

Trying to be something you're not may get you through certain situations in life.. but soon it can become exhausting to keep up. If you wear a mask long enough, you begin to forget who you are beneath it.
To paraphrase the old saying, wouldn't you rather be disliked for being your true self, than loved for a fake imitation?

I'm not a social butterfly or anything close. I'm a bit of a lone wolf sometimes. My own company, for even extended periods, doesn't bother me that much. But when am I truly myself?
Is it the eyes of new people on me that forces my closed mouth even further shut? What am I so afraid of? I know that I can be funny, intelligent, witty.. so why do I shy away from contributing that often? (this is something that goes back to school days.. report flashbacks of 'Catherine should try and contribute more to class discussion' etc)

There's something about being faced with a single person that makes me feel much calmer. Is it because there's just the one person to please or impress? Do I feel like I can be weird or that making a fool out of myself (always a worry) in front of one person will be less of an embarrassment. 

Struggling with anxiety, depression and self-esteem is a tricky one. You're constantly learning more about yourself.. and at the same time trying to figure out why it is you feel the way you do. My biggest goal right now is to try and have a little more faith in myself.. to stop worrying so much about the what ifs and stop second guessing other people's thoughts and opinions. I'm not in their head! I should stick to trying to clean up my own muddled one.
It's important to not be so hard on ourselves. We're only human. 
I need to take my own advice.

Live on and be yourself.
lovelovelove Catt xx

Saturday, 15 February 2014

oh ellen page - you babe and a half. ♡


-roses are red, violets are blue.

"Random thoughts for Valentine's day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap."
-Joel, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [opening lines]

A post about love on Valentine's day. From a single person, no less. But this isn't going to a hateful rant against all those loved up couples who've cluttered up my social network feeds with their bouquets and cards today..(ok I'm finished now. Promise.)
 I'll be honest, its more of a general pondering.. as someone who has been single for the last 2years.. what even is attraction? What makes us like someone? How do you grow to love someone? Just, what the fuck, really?
I'm not the sort of person who needs to be with someone. I'm quite happy to be alone and I enjoy my own company mostly. It does get lonely,  don't get me wrong and when your friends all have boyfriends it can be a little..grating. Who says I don't want date night and spooning?? A cuddle really wouldn't go a miss. But I could never just be with someone for the sake of it. 

I have had people on the scene.. and I've always found a way of talking myself out of them. Picking faults and such.. they were perfectly brilliant lads. But I think if I didn't feel it, I couldn't force it. Of course, sex and love are different things.. but one night stands aren't really my style and that really is another story.

Truth be told, I just haven't found someone in these past couple of years of singledom that I've really felt connected with or fully attracted to. 
I'm the kind of girl that tends to fall in lust rather quickly.. I'm probably still permanently about 14 years old. I find people attractive if they're passionate about something or have a talent that I find interesting.. I'll fantasise about them for about a week, and then I'm kinda over it. This is why I'm the sort of 23 year old who still has posters on her wall. No shame. Celebrity crushes are fucking safer for the most part.
But its that attraction to someone, even on a friendship bases, that really interests me. When you can talk for hours with someone about shared interests..or even differing opinions. I love a good debate. Films you both like, music, fucking Shakespeare and whatever. Just crap..anything. I miss that. I miss having that kind of connection with someone.

It has to be more than that that takes a friendship to something further. Looks are obviously a factor.. I'm not going to be all kooky and pretend they're not. Of course, a bad personality/no connection can make that good looking person.. less good looking.. if you will, and vice versa.

But there's that animal instinct that scientists talk of. The supposed scent that none of us can actually smell but that, subconsciously we are drawn to. I have no real reason for believing this other than the research that's been done. But I guess there must be something to it - why do we find ourselves attracted to this person and not that person?

It brings to mind for me the 'love potion' featured in JK Rowling's Harry Potter.

"Amortentia doesn't create actual love, of course. That's impossible. But it does cause a powerful infatuation or obsession. For that reason, it is probably the most dangerous potion in this room."
- Horace Slughorn

The potion itself has a different aroma for everyone who smells it, reminding each person of the things that they find most attractive, even if the person doesn't acknowledge or is unaware of their fondness for the object of their affection themselves. 
This of course is a way of forcing attraction upon another person - but it makes me think that this is in fact what people feel for real when they are drawn to someone. Whatever we see or hear or smell - whether we're aware of it or not - we like it. And the notion that even in the world of Harry Potter, love cannot be fabricated.. or at least, not indefinitely. Real love is more powerful than magic.. oo-er.

One of my favourite films is the 2004 Jim Carrey/Kate Winslet masterpiece - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A story of love and hate and attraction and differences. Apart from being a trippy confusing film - I love the idea that even after 'erasing' someone from your memory - if the connection you have with someone is true, it never really dies.. and Joel and Clementine end up finding each other all over again the very next day. Its kinda beautiful. Like a 'if its meant to be' situation. 

We've all been through breakups and heartbreak.. but if the opportunity were available to erase someone from your life. All of the memories. Good and bad. Would you do it? Would it help? Would it really erase the connection you had? Pain is only relevant if its still hurts.. and the spontaneous decision that Clementine made to delete Joel from her life, was just that - spontaneous spite from being hurt. 

Its like in any relationship, love and friendship. You have all those things you adore about a person.. and all the annoying stuff that goes along with it. But you love them anyway.
In short - love can't be forced (even at Hogwarts). Make sure you smell fresh. Maybe Valentines is a made-up thing just to remind singletons that they're single..and put pressure on those of us with partners to buy presents and shit y'know 'just because'. I don't know. But you can save your flowers and chocolates - give me someone to drink tea in bed with and argue with about how the genius of Ian Curtis will always be superior to anything New Order did..

..and this blog post made no sense
Happy Valentines Lovers. 
I'll leave you with Justin Vernon and his broken heart.
lovelovelove Catt xx

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

I'm addicted to trimming my fringe.

..it's becoming a real problem. I shouldn't be let loose with a pair of scissors to begin with. I just have this idea that I really want a short fringe.. like Audrey Hepburn-short. But my hair has different plans and seems to grow an inch over night. Not ideal.

OOTD - flash if you love wookiees.

Star Wars Manga Dress - Black Milk Clothing

See this look on my Lookbook

lovelovelove Catt xx

Friday, 7 February 2014

The Faller

- Kit Kat Lake, About Time

If you've read my blog before, you might be aware of the problems I've had these past couple of years. (If not, check out this, this and this.

I was always a really organised person. I like routine and keeping busy. I was the kinda girl who (on top of school) was doing 4 dance lessons a week, whilst learning the flute and violin and also doing extra maths tuition.. just for the fun of it. I liked work. 
I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with my life from the age of about 14/15. I wanted to write. I wanted to do an English degree, do a Journalism masters degree, move to London and write.
Well I got there.. 
and it just didn't work. I was ill, and I wasn't enjoying my 'dream' as I thought I would.

So I moved back home. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety. I started medication and therapy. I slowed right down. 

I lost my routine and my organisation and that life-plan I'd had in place for so long just wasn't there anymore. This freaked me out entirely.
All through school, I put quite a bit of pressure on myself to do well - and this had never really occurred to me to be a problem - because up until now, I'd been able to live up to my own high expectations. And now, I just couldn't do it.
I'd failed - not just myself, but my friends and family. That's how I felt, like I'd let everyone down. Its a weird feeling to have.. and when you've never dropped out of anything in your life - everything feels wrong. You compare yourself to others, your friends and family.. their successes and triumphs.. and it feels.. embarrassing.


A little while ago, I watched the Richard Curtis film 'About Time'. In the story, main character Tim's sister Kit Kat goes through a few life problems and I wouldn't try to compare myself to her - but there was one thing she said that really stuck with me. 

"Maybe. Just maybe. I'm the 'faller'. Every family has like someone who falls, who doesn't make the grade, who stumbles, whom life trips up. Maybe, I've fallen"

And that's exactly how I've felt these past couple of years. Like I've fallen. Like I haven't met my (or anyone else's) expectations. I feel like everyone around me is busy, and productive and know what they're doing. I know that can't always be true. But its hard to shake that feeling. That you're the weakest link.
Its a really negative way to look at it, I guess. But its a thought that I've definitely had in the recent past. I think though, it's important to realise that when things don't work out..maybe they just weren't meant to. It doesn't mean you've failed, you've just changed direction..

I'll figure out my plan B.. (or C or D) eventually, I'm sure.

lovelovelove Catt xx

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

OOTD - bonjour mtl.

Soooo... I'm in Montreal. Casual, right?
It's somewhere I've always wanted to visit (see my 25 Things.. list) and I'm finally here.. after a bit of a nightmare journey.
I'm here for a month. Quite a long time for a first visit, I know. But I have a lot I want to fit in. From work-related things, touristy things and just having a bit of me time too to be honest.
I shall be blogging about it throughout the next few weeks :)

Its snowing. Here's my outfit for today.
(plus a scarf, gloves and massive coat, obviously.)

See this on my Lookbook
Bad Hair Day Beanie - New Look.
Long Sleeved Top - Marks and Spencers.
Belt - H&M.
Wool Skirt - Primark.
Thermal Tights - Primark.
Boots - Primark.
lovelovelove Catt xx