Saturday, 11 July 2015

Returning with a Lesson Learnt

In case you haven't been keeping up with the latest news (especially the type associated with my life), I have been distancing myself from Life as a Modern Teen for several weeks. Usually, when one distances themselves from something, the reason might be that they are ashamed of it or cannot bear to be associated with it - which definitely does not apply to this blog! Firstly, I'm so proud of this little gem which I can call my own on the internet, something that has proven that I can do so much as long as I put my mind to it. Obviously, this doesn't fall into the 'must-bury-my-head-under-the-pillows-because-it's-oh-so-embarrassing' category but instead, I recognise that its precious status must be protected. After all, if we lose our appreciation for the finer things in life, how can we cherish anything else, regardless of its value?

Well, that has been a matter which I've been pouring myself over since deciding to go on a mini hiatus from blogging several weeks ago, when it finally dawned upon me that I. Didn't. Have. Anything. To. Say. Clearly the worst scenario for any writer, isn't it? The moment that I logged into my Blogger account and realised that no ideas were attempting to burst through the ceiling that is my brain, I knew that I needed a break from LLAMT. Otherwise, what would be the point of expressing thoughts, opinions and values which meant literally nothing to me? If I forced myself to resort to such desperate measures, I would have felt like a liar, producing as much trash as dishonest lies do. 

At the end of the day, what I value above everything else is being true to myself. Unlike parents or friends, I can't actually hide the truth from me because I would definitely know it - and the fact that I was lying would linger on my mind like the stench of fried bacon long after you cooked and ate your Sunday morning fry-up. Guilt is another factor which also played a part in my decision to say adios to blogging for a short while; unless I feel that I'm producing my best possible work, guilt eats away at me, possessing teeth miles sharper than those of a playful kitten. It might sound strange to you, but that is yet another aspect of myself whom I've learnt to respect as I've gotten older; if I didn't reserve any self-respect, I dread to think what kind of person I would be. 

Anyway, you are probably curious as to why I've suddenly made a return to LAAMT, especially as it seemed that I was settling into a blogging-free existence of late. Seriously, it felt somewhat bizarre that I wouldn't switch on my laptop and start writing away on a Saturday morning; in its place, I would clean my en-suite, which is basically the only disgusting secret in my life. Why I don't bother rinsing the shower and scrubbing away the remains of sweetly scented pink shampoo more regularly is a mystery that I doubt even Jessica Fletcher could solve. Well, uncovering the secrets within a teenage brain doesn't strike me as a simple task, even though I should have the answers!

Yet, at the back of my mind, I realised that I wasn't going to give up on blogging - it was never my intention to stop something that I had started. Why? Nobody likes to be thought of as a coward, let alone myself. There are much harder things in the world which deserve to be given up; and blogging, something that people often regard as an enjoyable hobby, is certainly not one of them. Instead, what I needed to throw away like an empty bag of marshmallows was unnecessarily giving myself a hard time if I felt that I didn't get something 'right' - or, at least, up to my so-called 'standards'. 

Undoubtedly, we can be our harshest critics. I think why we unleash the worst criticisms upon ourselves is because hearing negative comments from others seem to be harder to accept and, in a way, are more offensive as we like to conceal faults within our personalities and abilities. OK, there are occasions when listening to other peoples' opinions are useful, particularly if you've never considered that point of view before, but I absolutely hate it if I'm told something which I already know. It makes me feel as though people underestimate my intelligence which, as most teens like to get a kick out of being independent, is perceived as quite an offensive insult. No one likes to get annoyed at all (unless negative emotions are your kind of happiness) and, for some reason, it seems to be easier when somebody else winds you up! Therefore, I find it easier to criticise myself because I'm less likely to fly into a strop worthy of being nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. 

Well. How wrong I was! 

Just look at the four-worded sentence above. Have you dared to consider how agonising it was to admit to a fault of my own? As I aspire to being as perfect and untouchable as possible, recognising my mistakes automatically bring me back down to Earth - because I'm no longer invisible to my faults. In life, everyone threatens to get eaten up by pressure on at least one occasion: from exams to relationships, pressure presents itself in numerous situations which, depending on your feelings, can attract plenty of attention. Of late, I've been feeling quite stressed out because of being determined to achieve good mock exam results, passing assessments and keeping myself happy at the same time. Usually, I joke that girls are better at multi-tasking than boys - for example, talking to my dad whilst he is watching a football match on Sky Sports is near enough pointless unless I'm uttering the words 'football' and 'goal' in every other sentence - but now I'm wondering whether that famous phrase has any truth in its meaning. 

Does my gender honestly make any difference to my ability to juggle so many things around at the same time, or is it all a lie? If it was true, I wouldn't wake up on Saturday mornings and let my weekend chores be the first thought to pop into my head or worry about how to get from A to B within a certain amount of time. Like the Internet, my mind never seems to stop working, yet I fear that I'll reach a certain point which I'll never get over - and I don't know how to avoid making that disastrous crash landing. 

This entire year has revolved around work. Work, work, work - how my stomach lurches when I hear that word! Yet, despite what it tends to represent, work doesn't just relate to revision and whatever I'm doing in the classroom: it also involves the effort I've had to put into making friends, establishing a good reputation for myself and getting settled into a way of life which was completely alien to me over a year ago. Typically, I love keeping my mind occupied with things because being bored is one of my worst nightmares, yet responsibilities are definitely something more important than activities to pass an afternoon by. And, as I get older and my exams get nearer, my responsibilities are stacking up like a pile of boxes, constantly towering over me. 

I just want a break from responsibilities. From feeling as though the weight of the world is resting on my shoulders - and that the world, my existence, would be destroyed if I lost my balance. 

Therefore, I've forced myself to undergo the most excruciating lesson yet: discovering how to give myself a break. Like learning how to wean oneself off whatever they are addicted to, gaining the ability to be kinder to me hasn't been easy - but I know that it would benefit me in numerous ways if I did so. For months, I had been trapped in airtight bubble that only gave me some breathing space from time to time - my whole world seemed to revolve around work, which I sometimes loved or hated with a vengeance. But, with all things, finding the perfect balance is essential to keeping oneself sane - and safely away from exploding like a burning hot volcano!

As a result, I decided to go off blogging for a while in order to find out how I wanted to relax and, well, give my fingers a break from typing and writing - as one of my Performing Arts evaluations consisted of 4000 words, I didn't feel the need to write all about it on here afterwards! Also, unleashing my inner lazy chick is the opposite to how highly charged I am during the week, so I love exploring the different parts within my nature - though my mum still forces me to clean my en-suite, which somewhat puts a damper on being as lazy as I want!

One question remains: have I found the ideal balance yet? To be honest, I don't think so, but I'm making a start. Acceptance is the greatest barrier to get over, yet I'm sure that I'll get to where I want to be within time; while I'm at it, I might try to develop some patience! Hmm, that might be a step too far... 

As I reach the end of this tale, I'm almost 99.9% certain that you want to know whether I'm going to reappear on LAAMT anytime soon. The truth? I probably will as my school breaks up for the summer holidays next Friday - the first school to do so in the area!!! However, I'll be volunteering to help out at a stage production being held at the local theatre from Thursday to Saturday evening that week, so I might be trying to catch up on my sleep in the meantime! 

Still, what with having more spare time and nearly seven weeks of play time to use up, I think that I can make an exception for this beautiful blog that I regard as my virtual home. Unlike real houses, at least no rent needs to be paid... Till the next time!

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