So I've been on university holidays for a week and it's lovely waking up in the morning and being able to enjoy the day for what it is without having the stress or pressure of assessment lingering in the back of your mind. I love uni, but it does take a toll on mental sanity during exam periods and that aspect is something I don't enjoy AT ALL.
The last few days have been quite horrid for me: I've been stressed about money, I went for a job interview and didn't get it and I got a cold/ flu right before I was supposed to camp with my friends for the week. After plenty of tears were shed (because that's generally breaking point for me... wailing and incoherent ranting), I got on a train and headed home. I think your appreciation for your Mum and everything about home quadruples when you move away, especially if you're greeted with a hug, freshly made bed with the same dinosaur sheets you had when you were small, and a bowl of chicken soup to soothe the soul. The main focus for this week is to just relax, unwind and focus on getting better, mentally and physically. Today I slept in, read for a bit, took some blog photos (quite happy with how they turned our considering I used my phone to do it!) and now I'm freshly showered and in my warm PJs, enjoying my fave tea....YOU GUESSED IT: Rooibos ;)
This post is a mixture of things that have made me happy over the last few months. I've been struggling with what to write about all day... I feel like blogging is the only time I ever have writer's block, which is ironic. So, here is a diverse mix of quotes, books, food, moments, fashion and things that I would like to publicly proclaim appreciation for...
1. Sunny, winter days. Brisbane winter's aren't profoundly cold... I think the lowest we've reached this year is 5 degrees Celsius, and most days are a lovely balance between 20 and 27 degrees.
2. Roasting marshmallows. For some reason, firing up those squishy rounds of sugary goodness makes them taste about 100x better.
3. Anything written by L.M Montgomery. After Jonathan Crombie died a few months ago, anything to do with Anne of Green Gables or Gilbert Blythe felt like a punch in the gut. But now, re-reading the books and re-watching the movies are a bittersweet experience for me. Montgomery's writing style is re-assuring, beautiful and serene and the love shared between Gilbert and Anne may be fictional, but I truly believe that one day I will experience the same love with my Gilbert and it will be well worth the wait.
“I think, if ever any great sorrow came to me, I would come to the pines for comfort,” said Anne dreamily.
“I hope no great sorrow ever will come to you, Anne,” said Gilbert, who could not connect the idea of sorrow with the vivid, joyous creature beside him, unwitting that those who can soar to the highest heights can also plunge to the deepest depths, and that the natures which enjoy most keenly are those which also suffer most sharply.
— L. M. Montgomery (Anne of the Island)
4. Cinderella, the live-action movie! Oh man. Everything about that movie absolutely mesmerises me... I've lost track of how many times I've watched it now, but it's truly beautiful. The costumes, casting, dialogue, the philosophy behind the storyline and the soundtrack send chills down my spine.
5. Nature. I tend to appreciate it much more at this time of year, simply because during the Summer I generally hibernate because it's too hot to do anything strenuous! A few weeks ago I went on a hike to the Glasshouse Mountains with some of my friends and it was wonderful escaping the hustle and bustle of city life to breathe in fresh air. The sky has also been incredibly beautiful lately with the alignment of Jupiter and Venus enhancing the beauty of the rest of the stars at night.
6. Youth Lagoon is a band I've had on repeat recently. The tunes are very mellow and a little eerie at times, but still very beautiful. Some of my favourites include "17","Cannons" and "Montana".
7. Fan Bingbing in Cannes for the Film Festival... holy guacamole. That dress, hair and makeup. She looks like a painting! Click here to see the pictures!
8. This quote:
say “hi” first. if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that if you want to talk to someone, talk to them. go out on a limb. do not wait for the them to talk to you first because, odds are, they’re waiting for the same thing — helpful hint to not regret missed opportunities (via bl-ossomed)
9. Intelligent conversations. I value it a lot when I can sit down with someone and talk about EVERYTHING - from random facts to personal anecdotes. I think it's amazing when you can talk about things that matter; facts, jokes, issues and still manage to hold comfortable silence and respectful disagreement. Relationships like that are a true blessing in my life.
10. Random acts of kindness: phone calls, text messages, flowers or compliments or anything that is done simply because the other person cares enough about you or appreciates your existence.
11. I'd also just like to add in here that a boy winked at me at university the other day. It was on the second last day of my exam week, the week where I had dismissed all concern for my personal experience and wore odd socks, pyjama pants, denim jacket and a messy topknot to campus with pride. Anyway, I completely forgot about this until now! But this boy was sitting a few rows across from me in the exam room of 300 students and right before the old bats out the front started barking "examination conditions", he looked across at me and winked. I'm almost certain he didn't take my course because I had never seen him and his jaw-carved-by-the-gods before. Unfortunately, I haven't seen him since and probably never will (unless it's fate), but it's just little moments like that that absolutely melt me to the ground. I think as much as I try to conceal it sometimes, I'm too romantic and ridiculous for my own good.
12. "Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you’ve finished just to stay near it." — Markus Zusak
This quote is exactly how I feel about the novel "Tuck Everlasting" by Natalie Babbit. I've talked about this book before on Avenue Maria, but it's incredibly special to me. If you haven't read it, you should definitely look into it. Not only is it beautifully written, but the story is so intricate that it's perfect for both adults and children - exploring romance, growth and life through the lens and analysis of eternal life and mortality.
13. Hubble is one of my favourite sites to visit when I feel like it's time to re-evaluate my problems and put things into perspective. It's really humbling when you look at these amazing pictures of galaxies in outer space and you realise "Wow! I am so, so small. I'm important as an individual, but I'm a tiny little spec in the whole scheme of things!".
14. Saying three "Hail Mary's". I don't talk about religion a lot on this blog because I think it's a deeply personal aspect of life, but something that has helped me a lot in the last few months is praying the rosary and saying three "Hail Mary's", when I'm stressed or worried or even happy. The rosary is a Catholic prayer that focuses on all of the most important events in the New Testament. It's incredibly powerful and brings people together in peace and harmony. One of the prayers within it is the "Hail Mary". My Mum has taught me ever since I was little to say three of the prayers whenever I'm upset or scared and it helps every time.
15. Vsauce is one of my favourite channels. Michael's videos are incredibly dense (as in MINDBLOWN!) and you can't just watch his videos passively - there's a lot of thinking involved. After watching about three videos, on average, my brain is fried. Also, Connor Manning. I've followed this guy on Youtube for a couple of years now and he blows me away with every video he posts. His perspective and stance on so many issues is always so eloquent and well thought-out and he's just a really intelligent and deep thinker. Definitely check his channel out!
I swear about 10 mins ago it was 9:30 and I was chatting away on the phone... and now it's almost midnight. I may be at my prime thinking time late at night, albeit I do pay for it the next day when the inner-corners of my eyes are purple and my fuse is shorter. It's time for bed. I'll be back again soon, promise! I'll probably take more photos tomorrow too :) If any of you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see on here before I go back to "vigorous" uni work in August, please let me know! Ciao for now!