Inbetween Days – 20/1/2015

John Baldesarri- I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art, 1971. This piece really struck with me because...SIMPSONS.
John Baldesarri- I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art, 1971.
This piece really struck with me because…SIMPSONS.

So, there I was, minding my own business, having a nothing sorta day when suddenly The Inbetweeners came on television, and something really touched me about the fragile nature of the human condition and the delicate relationships withi…. EDIT: Just kidding! I wouldn’t do that to you.

I feel as if I’m in a bit of an inbetween currently- but I don’t mind too much. At least not too much of the time anyway. I’d consider myself a generally outgoing, sociable creature, but I sometimes feel best at home, on my own in my room, drawing on my knees with felt tip or reading the same books I read when I was 13. I had a bit of a freak out last week when I realised the life I am currently leading is essentially that of a day off sick from school, but EVERY DAY, which is, like, so dreamy, but also: YOU CANNOT JUSTIFY TOAST AS A PART OF EVERY MEAL.

Something I have observed though, having given my brain a chance to cool down over the past couple of days, is that some of us don’t feel like we’re accomplishing anything unless we’re totally burning out. There is a sort of satisfication in total exhaustion, like *Oh, my little body is aweary of this great world, how will it survive if I ever take a day off from perfectionism and do a Ferris Bueller?* Take some time, if you need some time! The world will keep spinning, babe. Anxiety is so not the new black, and when hitting a bad spell of it, e v e r y fucking thing can feel like such a life changing decision.

I know I’ve hit a bad place when my mind is whirring through every bad-case scenario ever, all of the consequences of every decision I’ve made, and then, oh, I’m at the front of the queue and I begin to speak but don’t recognise my own voice, so speaking sounds (or as a medical professional might say: FORMING WORDS) becomes really difficult for me- and so commences the bouts of low self-esteem. For someone who has a shitload to say all the time, my stammer (which is infrequent but has persistently been part of my life since I was young) can feel quite devastating at times. In high-pressure scenarios especially (interviews, auditions) if I feel like a separate entity from my body due to a bad week, a lot of self-inflicted doubt, or a particularly condescending individual, finding my voice can be difficult. More often than not I struggle the most when tired or stressed, and then comes the frantic search for a synonym with a different consonant, but never quite being able to say the word you mean, thus sounding so-not-verbose, or whatever the opposite of verbose is (See, synonyms just ain’t my forté)

Anyway, that week has blown over now, and I am feeling much more like myself. I know I am in a much better place because I am out of bed by 8am, have applied for two jobs today and am writing this blog post. Interestingly, furthermore to what I’ve already said about ‘feeling 13 again’ *sigh*- it has not come totally without advantages. There is a fear of returning to the habits of our former selves, especially when we’re constantly striving for self-improvement. However, as long as I don’t return to any negative, self-inflicting natures of my younger years, surely it can only be a good thing to regain some of the aspirational ambition I had 5 years ago?

For example, I used to write a lot more when I was that age, but now I just…er..don’t…have the time? (I have a lot of time.) I mean, yes, I don’t have like, SEVEN unrequited crushes to write lengthy essays on – (these days, I tend to just draw huge, wobbly smiley faces on every page as a reference to my current beau) but I miss that feeling of just creating stuff as a form of release. I filled a scrapbook from the ages of about 12-16, it took me FOUR YEARS but I still filled it right to the end.

Some things are nice without deadlines. The immense sense of accomplishment once finished took me by total surprise, because I had no pre-conceived ideas of what it should look like, I just did it for fun.
Perhaps the best thing about this year ‘off’ has been the ability to have 24 hours totally to myself to read what I want, write what I want, listen to what I want. Truly things that I want to do right at that moment, not on a syllabus, not syllabus-related, not something that might make me look good on my personal statement. Sixth form totally starved me of enjoying learning, although I tried to at the time- but I felt really empty of positivity.

They say old habits die hard, I was (maybe still am) in a harmful cycle of perfectionism, comparison, pessimism. Feeling sorry for yourself is the easy way out of most situations, but self-pity can be so corrosive. This pattern can become so commonplace, but even changing your routine in tiny ways can slowly change your perception, which is a form of self-improvement that is more patient and more rewarding.

Repeating positive affirmations when you wake up could make all the difference, i.e “Take what you need from today”, or “You are totally shit hot, talented, and one of a kind and you must not settle for anything but the best” – whatever, each to their own.

This post totally didn’t turn out as I’d planned, but now I’ve forgotten what I was going to say anyway. I didn’t even realise I wasn’t talking about whatever I’d wanted to say for the last 40 minutes, so maybe the above is more authentic. Whatever. Who even cares? I’m gonna get a beer.

All my love,

T.A.L x

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”- Audrey Hepburn

Getting angsty about things out of my control, again, and a quick catch up & hi & hello!

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I’m in this horrendous mood lately where I am always, always wanting to be writing (most usually) or painting, or scrapbooking or scrolling through the internet aimlessly looking at things that I will not remember tomorrow (ha ha, not that one) – there lies a constant urge to be churning out all this stuff- but where do I begin?

The thing is, it’s not getting me down, I am feeling instead optimistic about the realm of possibility, of things I could do with my time if only I put my mind to it. I went to a really interesting workshop last Monday about playwrighting, and it did really open my eyes up to the kind of things you can do as long as you can dedicate enough time and energy into it, without checking your phone every 20 minutes thus interrupting the creative, natural flow of whatever you’re making.

What I find most aggravating about all forms of art, is how much of it is really art? I’m not saying that this blog is by any way, any form of art, nor am I sneering down on other, enthusiastic young people currently questioning and creating their own stuff- obviously I 100% support exploration and funding towards anything that makes people stop and think.

I only ask this question because I personally struggle myself , reacting to the sorts of things on our TV’s, in our magazines, and on the internet – with the amount of content being produced- so vast and constant, that I often wonder if there’s much point of me writing a scene between a group of friends complaining about their lives, as so much of this has been done before.

I have problems with the internet. Obviously, it is an AMAZING resource for so much, and we can learn pretty much everything if we wanted to. Thanks to the internet, we produce more information in 2 days than our ancestors would have ever known or something. ( ! ) Is that awesome or really fucking terrifying?! I am so torn. Anyway, I recently saw an art exhibition that was essentially screenshots of someone’s Instagram feed blown up in size, printed onto canvases and shown in a gallery? Am I being really narrow minded? Am I allowed to cry yet?

It is not that I don’t feel passionate enough about writing, it’s just that I tend to have a fairly cynical angle towards these things. If I didn’t have the time to sit down and type up my thoughts in a vaguely cohesive manner, I think I’d be asking myself the question, “Where the fuck do I begin?”

I think I know the answer, which is, again, really frustrating. You just f***** do the thing. You pick up the pen. And work and work and work, get people to read it, edit, work, edit, work and FINISH. Don’t rush it, but finish it.

I am at the stage currently where I am endlessly trawling the internet and eavesdropping on people’s conversations and anecdotes for a starting point. You could call it research. Inspiration is everywhere, obviously, that’s what life has to give us. I am currently living amongst physical mood boards and mood boards in my brain and unread books and blank notebooks in the hope that I find something that will resonate very strongly, and hopefully, combined with my tools I already own and with a shitload of resilience, I believe in the fact that I could create something of worth and value, something to be proud of, if I worked hard enough at it.

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Hello! Well, that felt theraputic. Anyway! This evening I begin a new job at my local theatre, which should be fun and I’m officially working 2 part time jobs so as long as I can train myself to avoid mini-breaks with best friends to Paris (LOL I can’t) then I should be raking in those coins.

Also, have an audition Thursday for a Saturday course to hone my audition techniques. Ironically having an audition to get into an audition class. Looking forward to it, feeling much more prepared than I have previously for similar things. Still though *head in hands*. It’s easy to do at home but I have to learn to act the same when under intense pressure. All in preparation and self-belief. People do it, though.

Also, going to London tomorrow to see First Aid Kit with a matey. So excited. Check out how perfect this video is.

SPOILER ALERT: There are NO spoilers, and that’s why I like it so much.

x

Things what I gone and learned, aged 17

I turn 18 on Friday, and the other night I was gripped by an insatiable need to write (which is so so rare)- where I was lying in bed and then had to get up in order to note some stuff down.

17 is so romanticised, and I’ve tried to emphasise that even further- which goes to say that I’ve had a pretty intense year if anything. I remember watching a video with Mike from Friends, or Paul Rudd as people now know him (after the Clueless revival) where he says your teenager years are irreplaceable because you will feel the happiest you’ve ever felt, the saddest you’ve ever felt, you’ll laugh the most, and cry the most etc, but everything is so blown up and gives a lot of potential for learning, or getting creative, or just thinking about things and sussing them out for yourself.

I remember a few years ago, when I was about 14, I was really concerned that I was too ‘aware’ of being a teenager. It sounds really, really awful and shallow- but I genuinely feared that I didn’t feel like my peers because I couldn’t relate to things that were happening around me at the time (TBH, 2010 was a time when people did those ‘Rate me’ status’, etc) & I really didn’t get it, I just felt really aware that I was trapped in that horrible mid-teen existence, and I was just waiting patiently for it to be over.

My early teen years were ragingly ragingly angsty, in ways you wouldn’t believe, I once wrote a love letter to a crush in red watercolour and then ripped up the paper and ate it!! I was very passionate!! (and still am, but hopefully channel it a little better.)

Early adolescence is awful because you want to change your life so quickly and frequently, & nothing seems right (i.e SHALL I BE THE GIRL THAT WEARS A SINGULAR CLIP IN HER HAIR EVERY DAY? WAIT, NO, DOES THAT MEAN PEOPLE WILL PUT ME IN A BOX???) – but on the other hand you don’t want to change too obviously, so that your auntie will look at you and immediately say OHMYGOD YOU’VE GROWN UP SO MUCH! HAVE YOU STARTED YOUR PERIOD YET?! in front of your mortified dad.

Ways in which you can change your life when you’re 14:

  • Delete your Facebook for a few weeks- people will think you’re really wild.
  • Get a block fringe, write poetry about your newly-found identity, regret block fringe, write poetry about confused identity in relation to new appearance and lack of forehead.

Anyway, as I was saying. I used to try and reject the idea of change too much, because I didn’t want to control my life at a time when all I craved was adventure. I’d listen to an album, and beg for the belief that it’d be playing in my stereo forever, but deep down I’d know that nothing lasts that long and was desperately trying to cling onto these things, which were actually preventing me from trying new stuff. It got pretty cynical, “Oh, all of this stuff won’t be the same next week *mood swings mood swings* what’s the point of trying with anything if it’s likely to be gone when you begin to obsess over the next phase?”

I used to say no to quite a lot, ‘No, I wouldn’t normally do that.’ ‘No, people would think that out of character.’

SPOILER: You know when you were scared of working that singular clip in your hair, lest people put you in a box? Sister, that’s what saying no does too! Saying no puts you in a box. Putting a cool clip in your hair puts you in the coolest gang in the school, and that is what I learnt as a 17 year old. The End.

LOL! Just kidding.

(Please stay with me.) So, for ages, I was pretty bummed out being me-  I had a lot of opinions, all pretty negative, I got exhausted by this, my friends dragged me out of the hole, but I was pretty stressed out for a while because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life (and unfortunately at that time I had no idea how insignificant and unimportant that decision was, and I wish someone at school had told me that, rather than give me a Work to Action list.) Of course, having an idea of what you want to do is really great for some people, but right now I’m happy to not know. Yes. Full stop.

When you get really stressed, heartbroken, rejected, exhausted, burnt-out- it tends to take it’s toll, and that’s when I realised I couldn’t add to the problem myself by using the little energy I had in a negative way.

I began to say ‘Yes’ to things I wouldn’t have done before, which is a great way to find out who you really are, cause you get to have it all, and keep some of it. It’s like saying you only like chocolate cake, and never eating anything else for 17 whole years, but then one day someone suggests you try a carrot, and you do, and your body is like ‘Wow. I really need more of that because Vitamin A is delicious’. Kinda.

So, yes- I’ve come to understand the importance of mindfulness and being present- but certainly the hard way- as 17th year is ALL ABOUT the future, (or that is what they’ll try to tell you.), whereas, in fact it’s about the weekends! DUH!

SPOILER: Sometimes during weekends you can get a bit Yes- happy, and people around you will keep asking you if you’re okay, because they care about you, & even if they can’t understand why you’re doing things you wouldn’t normally, well that’s fine, too. They just love you and want to know you’re doing good.

It’s a total cliche, but you have to really hit bottom for a little while in order to realise that change is ever-evolving and essential to life, and all things must pass, all the bad (YAY) and all the good (boo!) When I was thinking about this stuff the other night, I was reminded about the Buddhist tradition of the sand mandala’s, where they create and destroy sand mandalas as part of a ritual, to represent the transitory nature of life. – Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_mandala

Ephemeral is a great word,  literally meaning ‘lasting a very short time’ – and sometimes I just say it to remind myself that if you’re feeling shitty, you won’t soon, and if you’re feeling good, you won’t soon- so make the most of it. 17 isn’t forever, but that’s OK. Happy birthday me.

 

“What makes me sad, won’t make me quit”

I wrote this on the way home from London, after another (failed) audition today. I am typing it up fairly tipsy and pub-bound, so exaggerations probably will be everywhere. (I am writing this after I wrote the things below and now I am quite drunk)

Saturday 18th January 2014~~~

It has been a total rollercoaster of a day, and I felt I had to buy a new notebook and pen because I knew I would want to write on the train journey home. Although I don’t know what exactly.

I do this thing every time I get a rejection from yet another drama school where I walk around Leicester Square/Covent Garden to see that the theatre actually exists outside of stuffy waiting rooms full of hopeful and jittering auditionees. I hit a total slump earlier and nearly cried on the Tube (this is actually a way embarassing situation)- which is ridiculous as my only problem to an outsider is not getting into a highly competitive and prestigious drama school, which is so dumb.

Then I walked across the Waterloo Bridge to go to the National and buy a ticket for the matinee, I was like: I don’t care what the show is! I’m gonna be reckless!- but it was The Light Princess, which is apparently quite shit, so I just moped about in the bookshop for about an hour, recklessly spending £20 on a collection of new plays by Dennis Kelly (which is actually delicious) because I am sick of Sartre and Pinter and old men in black turtlenecks telling me my choice of speech is unusual and ‘So you say you have read around other existentialist playwrights, tell me more???’ **Obviously I only wrote that to appear like I am well-read!! Duh!*

Anyway, so I was sitting at this caff on the South Bank, obviously with a face of death, as this guy approaches me and starts talking to me. At first, I gave him no attention: You are a homeless man, I have no change because I have just spent my last £20 on this ridiculous book (I hadn’t started it yet, it is actually awesome) – please let me be etc. But then I realise he was just telling me to ‘Smile’- and of course you have to force yourself to smile, which is funny in itself, as this stranger is forcing me to do something so I laugh, and he said:

“Fuckinghell I’m homeless, and I’m still smiling!”, and I thought, “Fuckinghell he’s homeless and he’s still smiling!” He went on to say, “Whoever’s made you feel like this, just be like fuck em.” Then he walked off repeating “Do what you want to do, be what you want to be”

God that sounds like such a lie. I could literally write a book about the weird experiences I have with strangers like this AKA guardian angels sent from heaven. Over the past few months I have had a few encounters with these male angels (albeit some dirtier than others), and they’ve all cheered me up or taught me something (even if that is only – when you think you could have another few Jagerbombs, you have already had way too many and it is time to go home.)

After this man walked away, I picked up my new book and started to read it with a fresh mind. Everything that had happened to me this morning suddenly didn’t feel like an end anymore, instead it felt like a new start in the sense where I could say ‘Hey, maybe that particular course genuinely isn’t what I want to do.”

I think my main trouble recently has been trying to do everything, which has meant that I haven’t been able to do anything properly at all. There is no point being like ‘Chill! Everythin’s easy!’ unless you truly believe it, but I think come June, I can start enjoying it all a bit more, rather than going to auditions so unprepared because I had to conjugate millions of French verbs the night before. Anyway, this is not forever. Ephemeral, and all that.

The hardest thing about rejection is being told that you are not good enough at the something you have chosen to be best at. I am coming to accept that this is just going to keep happening again and again, but hopefully my journal entries will get shorter & shorter as I learn how to cope.

As long as I can cling onto the spark, and stop seeing the ‘struggle’ as so much of a struggle, things will have to gradually start heading somewhere, wherever that is. It is not a struggle really at all, it is something that I am quite sure I really want to do, and to just have the chance to try to achieve this is v. exciting.

X

Bye
Bye

let’s forget about this one

It’s really silly to be writing now because I really don’t have any time. The internet is a great place to find things to do that don’t really mean anything (Netflix, Twitter, just GOOGLE SEARCHING letters and seeing what happens) and it’s beautiful and distracting but then it gets to bedtime and you’re like I HAVEN’T DONE THAT RESEARCH!!! I HAVEN’T WRITTEN THAT ESSAY!!! I HAVEN’T READ ANY OF MIDDLEMARCH THAT I HAVE TO READ BY TOMORROW!!!!

(This has been a post)

~you cool my desire~

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(let’s take a deep breath and remember Bruce Springsteen is still alive with us, so things could be worse. I know I’m on Fire’s not on Darkness… but he looks HOT up there, and he looks HOT and be’s all hot in the video & it’s in Paris & he does some talk-y thing which I did not close my eyes and imagine he was saying to me.)

Anyway, hi to all the new followers. Hope you’ve had/are having a lovely time, wherever you are in the world.

Tara x

*stuck on my eyes* (a catch up & then Bowie ((inevitably)))

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The last few days have been impeccable and gorgeous; I’ve been so busy but that means I don’t just wallow about in my pyjamas thinking up subjects to write on. 

Everyone seems a little weary at the moment, not because of stress or whatever, but more like “we’ve sat exams and now you’re asking us to come back and start straight back again please leave us all alone” It’s mutual between us all. My best friend was such a little sleepy baby today, I pulled up a chair next to her and reading from Patti’s Just Kids. Mostly because my brain is halting to such a stop I couldn’t form sentences, so I left it to Pat- who is incidentally really great at forming sentences. I’m trying to read a lot more than I would usually (Princess Diaries, Twitter feed) and I’ve rediscovered a love of the book, but my brain feels like it might pop as I have about 5 different books on the go. It tends to happen like that.

BOWIE: My brain hurt like a warehouse
It had no room to spare
I had to cram so many things 
To store everything in there

There, that’s how it is. It’s not disconcerting though, I feel quite peaceful. This wasn’t supposed to be a post like this, but I was due to write something ago for you to ‘like’ and make my day. *hint*

I’ve never heard something that hurts my body as much as this, thank you Ziggy:

Love ya X