MAY SUMMARY, RECLAIMING MY LIFE AND GOALS FOR JUNE

Hello again, precious earthlings

A month has passed and a new one lies before us. May was harsh, but at the same time relieving and uplifting. I was finally able to send my application for disability aid, (after waiting 2 1/2 months for my caseworker to do two simple things, that she had said would take 2 weeks), which sparked a whole lot of different emotions.

It is a grief having to come to terms with the fact that I’m not functioning in school or work and won’t be able to stand on my own feet financially because of my mental illnesses, and knowing what I’ll miss out on not having a career. It is a grief knowing that you don’t function “normally”. In many ways I have lost. It is also a huge relief to know that I can have financial stability despite of that, if this application goes through. I’ll be able to have a life. Permanent disability aid, instead of temporary 4 year work ability assessment pay, also means that I have time to learn what works for me and find out how I can live my best life with my limits. It means security and calm.

In this post I talked about waking up from a dormant state of mind and wanting to reclaim my life. Of course this doesn’t indicate that I’m 100% healthy, and that all of a sudden I’m all well, I am simply having a better period. My struggles are still there, but I see them more clearly and I’m able to address them in a more productive manner as they come along. I am more aware of when I’m (for example) spiralling and have the extra energy and will to pull myself out of it or distract myself. It may come easier for me now, but it’s still work.

By “reclaiming my life” I mean taking ownership over my day, my emotions and my actions – in my best-est of efforts not letting my disorders rule over me completely. What do I want this life to be and how do I get there? How can I easiest facilitate ways to achieve an overall good quality of life? Where should my focus lie in my everyday life? How can I grow? These are questions I have to keep asking myself regularly.

I’ve set myself some goals for June to cover different areas, from general well being to sparking creativity. I thought I’d share some of them with you.

GOALS FOR JUNE

✎ Make my apartment cozy, a place for relaxation and inspiration. I love decorating, so I’m very excited about this task. I have some ideas already. Having nice and clean surroundings is good for everyones mental health.

✎ Spend more time outdoors! Fresh air is good for your body and soul. I get a little garden patch at my new place and I want to spend (almost) equally as much time there as inside this summer. (I take the liberty of reserving myself from this goal if it gets too hot). If anyone wants to join me reading on a picnic blanket in the grass, just let me know.

✎ Not post process my photos, rather change settings in camera, and keep the photos as they are afterwards. I want to get more creative and mindful with my camera and I hope this will help!

✎ Keep up with my newly started routine and keep getting dressed on weekdays. Keeping some sort of routine is in my eyes one of the keys to a healthy life, it is a way of taking action.

I haven’t set too many goals, I don’t want to drown myself and end up doing everything half-way, but I have set enough to not make me lazy either. Good middle-ground.

My plan for the rest of the day is to try and stay calm before I get the keys to the apartment tomorrow! And I really do need to start packing for my move, I haven’t packed anything yet… I thought I’d get a clearer idea of what I wanted to bring as I was closing in on the big day, but I haven’t. I probably know subconsciously, so what’s left is actually p a c k i n g.

See you soon, stay safe ❥

x Almond

CONTRACT SIGNED AND MY DAY ROUTINE

The contract is filled in and signed and today it’s exactly one week until I get the keys to the apartment! Am I allowed to be a little over-the-top excited? It’s been three years since the last time I lived on my own and I’m eager (to say the least) to be independent again.

I have sort of made myself a new routine, getting ready to “start over” and get more out of my days, so I thought I’d share it with you.

. . .

Bedtime is around 10:30 and I have my alarm set for 9:15 the next morning. I might not get up before 10, but at least I’m awake. (Baby steps).

☁️

I don’t touch my sweats on weekdays, I usually put on a dress or a soft jumpsuit, and I do my brows in the morning, as to feel a bit made for the day. I used to be in my sweats all day, six days a week, and actually getting dressed has made a difference. This may sound weird, but I’m very emotionally attached to my clothes and I can’t stand the thought of slowly wearing them out by only sitting under a blanket all day. I feel like they deserve to be used for something good.

Next on my list in the morning is getting downstairs to grab a Monster and upstairs again to my desk, put on some Bon Iver or Keaton Henson, journal for a bit and write my to-do list for the day. (This would paint a much more aesthetic picture if I said I made myself a cup of tea, but I pinky swear that happens sometimes as well). This is also a good time to day dream while listening to the birds singing in the apple trees outside.

☁️

I often try to write something afterwards, to continue my journaling-thoughts in a more structured manner. If I can’t do that I’ll watch some videos on YouTube, either on personal growth or photography, to get inspired for the day. I don’t meet many people and I don’t go to work, so it’s good to get some input from other people in ways that I can. And I water my plants.

☁️

After this I’ll most likely pick up my camera or start a brain-dump with ideas and try to build on them. I do wish I was more determined to put these ideas to life, though, but I’m too insecure in myself still, so most of them just stay ideas and inspirations. My photos are rarely significant, but I try to take at least a couple of photos a day, even if they’re less than insignificant, just to keep it up.

If it’s sunny the dogs are let out for a while. Koda can’t go on walks at the moment, because he has a fracture in his toe, so the garden is a good substitute. They get to smell and run (restricted on a soft ground) for a bit and they sometimes get their dog bones to gnaw on. Khaleesi is pretty much satisfied with just sun bathing.

☁️

When the afternoon comes there’s dinner and I like to participate in the cooking. I am somewhere in between anxious and excited as to what that will look like when living on my own again and cooking for myself.

I’ll try to write some more, or edit the photos I’ve taken throughout the day, if I’ve taken several. I’ll probably put on a couple of episodes of Homeland, (I’m currently on season 2), and half-watch it while I edit my photos.

☁️

To end the day I like to put on a timer to read for 30 minutes. This way it’s easier for me to read. I always think that if I don’t read for at least an hour and half, there’s no use and I’m not a good enough reader, which feels overwhelming, but setting a timer for that amount kind of says “this is how it is, this is achievable, this is enough” and I usually end up reading for a bit longer. I also try to have reading be the last thing I do at the end of the day, so I don’t end it with screen time, and my head will have some time to cool off. I’ll also write a few words in my journal to reflect over the day.

. . .

This is more or less my routine as a stay-at-home dog parent. Or this has been my active routine the past week, and I will do everything in my power to keep it up. What I have not put in here is the time I spend on mood swings, on overthinking, on anxiety and overwhelmed, zoning out, staring at the wall – but it’s in here. Some days I’m not able to do much except these last things I mentioned. But that is okay, too.

x Almond

GUESS WHAT, RETRO AND NAME CHANGE

❀ We meet again, earthlings ❀

The last time I talked to you I was in suspense waiting for an answer to whether or not I would the apartment I was looking at, and on Thursday two weeks ago I got a call from the owner saying that I did! I am so happy, I can really see myself there with Khaleesi and my golden yellow 60’s brocade sofa. My dad really doesn’t like the apartment though, because it has a kitchen from the 60’s/70’s, but I think it’s perfect, I love me some retro.

Talking about retro; while I was still looking at apartments I came over this teak dining table and chairs. I had no idea where I was going to end up or if I would even have the space for it, but I bought the set. Irresistible impulse or impulse not resisted? Luckily I will have the space if I move into this apartment. (I say “if” because I haven’t signed a contract yet, and the owner could still change her mind, so please still have your fingers crossed for me).

I wish I could have moved in yesterday(!), but the owner takes over the house from the previous owner on June 1st, so it’s a bit of a wait. Now that it’s finally happening I can’t wait to move in and live. It’s stupid thinking that things are going to change just because I move out, but I can’t help but feel like it will somehow. I’m justified though, because my GP thinks it will help with a lot of troubles as well.

As you probably have noticed I’m blogging under a new name – journish. I changed my @ on Instagram as well. “Musky Musings” have kind of felt a little over the top and I’ve wanted something more relaxed, so when finding out that the musk tone that is used in perfumes is extracted from the excrements of male deer, I had yet another reason and obviously had to change it. 

I feel like “journish” fits very well with my blog and IG. I don’t really have a specific niche, other than “being me”, and these platforms are an overall documentation of my journey in life, (whatever that means), so “journish”? Yeah, that fits. I’m also using my chosen name now, so hi, I’m Almond.

Changing the name of my blog also meant I had to make a new logo, so I opened Procreate. I don’t practice lettering as much as I would like, so this was a good exercise, and it also made me want to keep doing it more! I have this tiny dream of maybe creating my own font someday. I have a few “half” fonts, but perfecting them, completing the alphabets and making them seamless for typing on a keyboard for others to use would be amazing.

I guess this was just a lil’ update from me. I’m always telling myself I’ll get better at posting, but then I get overwhelmed thinking that needs to be 3-4 times a week. I think I’ll try and lower the pressure I put on myself to even be able to think about this blog. We’ll see what happens.

Have a good week ❀

x Almond

PREOCCUPYING MY MIND AND APARTMENT HUNTING

(I’m going to start off this blog post with a very cliché “long time, no see”, so brace yourselves).

Long time, no see! Almost a month has passed since I last posted something here and on my Instagram. My life has been 90% Animal Crossing, and I think I just needed it to be for a while, being present in my mind has been a bit too much. I’ve really been struggling with intrusive thoughts and recurring memories of past trauma. The littlest things set me off, so keeping my head preoccupied has been my main directive.

There has been some glimpses of light on better days too, though. I’ve visited my sister a few times, which has been really nice, and had some walks with a friend of mine who’s just moved back into the country. Him and I actually started looking at apartments to rent together. Him asking really helped me get out the cowed state my parents have put me in.

My parents have told me for so long that I won’t be capable of living on my own, that I would fail like I’ve done before, but when he asked I could kind of “blame” him. I didn’t have to stand up for myself to my parents, which my AvPD brain was very happy about, and never would be able to do. He changed his mind though and doesn’t want to move out until after corona, (he says it’s because his job situation might not be so secure, but I think he’s saying that instead of saying he changed his mind about me), so now I’m looking by myself again. But he helped me, I’m so set now.

I’ve found an apartment that I really like and I’m getting an answer to whether I get it or not tomorrow. I went to look at it on Friday and waited for an answer since, which has meant a spontaneous scream in anxiety every fifteen minutes. Cross your fingers for me, please!

Things feel really weird, because I feel so hopeless at the same time as I’m very ready to start my life. There’s some kind of hope growing there in the black dirt. Hmm.

Hope you’re having a good daySee you soon.

x Almond

THE WEEKLY LIST #4: CONVERSE AND LOW MOODS

WHAT HAPPENED?

☁️ On Monday one of my favourite Norwegian artists, Kristian Kristensen, had a live stream concert on Facebook and it was so good, a great start to the week and a good encouragement when being mostly stuck inside. It’s such a great initiative that artists have these live streams on Facebook and Instagram to keep our spirits up these days!

☁️ I discovered a (for me) new artist, Lucy Rose, and her 2012 album Like I Used To has been played on repeat. Her rhythms and melodies are right up my alley for cosy days.

☁️ The clothes and shoes I ordered came, which cheered me up a bit this week. An incentive to get out of the house more, hopefully, or maybe even get out of my standard sweats even when staying at home (as I do most of the time)? Some self care? (I was going to say “there’s something about getting new clothes for Spring”, but I think I’d rather say “there’s something about getting new clothes period”, haha. Confronting your feelings? No thanks, I’ll buy a couple of new sweaters).

HOW DID I FEEL?

☁️ If you read my previous post you’ll know that I haven’t been feeling “on top of the world” recently. My depression is back and things feel hopeless. I try to trick my brain into finding pieces of happiness, like with the clothes I got in the mail, writing happy things down – a fake it until you make it type of thing. I don’t have much luck in getting to get it to stick yet, truly feeling it, but even fleeting bursts of joy is an achievement. And even though I don’t feel general happiness on behalf of myself, I can still live a little through the happiness of my dogs.

GLIMPSES OF LIGHT

☁️ Having cuddly dogs. ☁️ Having a friend send me random music recommendations. ☁️ Opening my shop in Animal Crossing. ☁️ Getting ready to start a new book. ☁️ New clothes to create new stories and memories in. ☁️ Being able to put my thoughts into words. ☁️ Realising I’ve managed to keep my Monstera alive for over a year. ☁️

How are you feeling?

x Almond

THE WEEKLY LIST #3: ANIMAL CROSSING AND DRY GRAVEL

WHAT HAPPENED?

☁️ This week I’ve actually been on several walks with my dogs. Usually my mom takes them when I can’t because of my anxiety, but this week I joined them several times. On my birthday we headed out to the woods and walked around there with our cameras. It was really nice using my camera outside again. (You can see some photos from our walk here.) And speaking of both cameras and my birthday, you can see the super cute mug I got that day below!

☁️ I ordered myself some clothes and a pair of yellow Converse for Spring. Hopefully they will be here this week. Something I also got for myself was Animal Crossing! I had never played it before until Friday, and I have so much to learn, but I am in love with it already. It’s so peaceful and calming, a great escape. I’m trying not to let it take over my life though, so I have a rule of “you have to do x productive things before yo can play”, but it works kind of counterproductive. Now I just sit around moping about not being able to play, and don’t get either done, haha.

☁️ I finally picked up The Goldfinch again! You are probably tired of hearing about it, so am I, but I’ve managed to pick it up again and I’m left with 160 pages. I’m too invested in Theo, I can’t just avoid following him to the end, because I don’t want to get hurt. It’s a book, they’re safe feelings.

HOW DID I FEEL?

☁️ As I mentioned on my last post and on my Instagram, I’ve had a bit anxiety about me getting older. I’m still here and I haven’t gotten better over the years, which is a bit depressing. Fortunately I had something to look forward to, the Animal Crossing release, and that helped me get out of it. I’m not joking when I say it’s a great escape. The colours, the slow paced “just vibing” vibe, really helps to lower ones shoulders.

☁️ I’ve felt good spending more time out of the house this week. Sun on my face, the sound of dry gravel under my sneakers – a sign of Spring. AvPD is very isolating, so when I have good days I make sure to spend at least a little bit of them outside. More Time Out In The Sun for president.

SOMETHING I’M GRATEFUL FOR?

☁️Green sprouts popping up here and there. ☁️ Growing friendships. ☁️ Living comfortably. ☁️ Being used to self-isolation in these days. ☁️ The people who came up with Animal Crossing all those years ago. ☁️ The Internet and the top-notch people I’ve met here. ☁️

What have you been grateful for in the past week? ♡

x Almond

BIRTHDAY GIRL AND AN UPDATE

We meet again, you handsome souls! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? 2 whole weeks! The internet here has been really bad here, and then it completely shut down. Oh, well, it’s up and running again and I’m back now : )

I thought I’d do an update on what’s been going on in the time I’ve been away, just to get back on track.

. . .

☁️ I have not finished The Goldfinch! How, what, why? I think it’s a mix between the reader in me and the borderline fear of being abandoned that has gotten in the way. It’s written so well and I love the characters. I don’t want to be cut off from their lives when the book ends. I’m not ready for that kind of break, haha?

☁️ My little baby Khaleesi turned 3 on Monday! She got her special bow on, she posed for some pictures, and we went down to the pet store so she could pick out her birthday present. She picked out a small brown teddy bear, which she played with for a while and then gave to Koda, who ripped off one of its arms.

☁️ I have watched a lot of Masterchef! The 11th season of MC Australia came out in January here in Norway, and my mom and save up episodes so that we can see three or four at the same time, so we’re not finished yet. I love Masterchef Australia and it’s going to be so sad next season when Matt, George and Gary have left.

☁️I’ve been looking at apartments for rent. It’s about time I leave and live by myself again, take some responsibility and (try and) start my life. My GP also said that my mood swings may be worse because of my living situation. I currently live with my parents and I split on my dad a while back and I’m always on edge. I don’t want to strain the relationship. Also, I am 23 in a few days – it’s time.

☁️Tortoises! I’ve gotten super into them and I’m doing research and watch tortoise-tubers almost every minute of every day. Tortoises are so adorable and seem to have big personalities! I can’t get one right now, but I’m making sure I know everything there is to know about them by the time I can have one (or two?).

☁️ I found out my bio-mom has (finally for her) moved to our neighbouring city and she’s tried to make contact by sending texts, which is hard for me. Her dream is that we finally become a happy family, her, me, my sister, and my brothers. That everything, the neglect, the instability, her drug use, just *poof* is gone. Maybe I’ll write a post about more of my thoughts concerning that.

☁️ If you haven’t seen already, I made a logo for the blog in Procreate and I don’t think it turned out so bad. It was so good practising lettering again and Procreate makes it so easy! The font is 100% me, but the leaves is a stapled Procreate brush. What do you think?

So, that’s some of the things that have been going on the past two weeks. As for today I’ve had a little high and I actually used it productively instead of buying All The Things online; I went on a walk with the dogs, gave Khaleesi a bath, cleaned both my bathroom and living room, (which hadn’t been done in a while), and gave myself a shower as well (also needed).

The rest of the day I’m going to mix watching Criminal Minds while catching up on blogs. Our streaming service removes Criminal Minds in 23 days, and my mom and I have 3 seasons left to watch before that happens, haha! So now you know what I’ll be doing the next couple of weeks! But I’ll make sure to stop by here.

Hope you still have a good weekend and that you’re staying safe and take precautions to avoid the corona virus! ♡

x Almond

THE WEEKLY LIST #2: CONCERT AND MOOD SWINGS

This weeks read? I’m still reading The Goldfinch. I’m so afraid I will swallow it just so I can start reading The Shadow of the Wind, so I haven’t read as much as I would like.

This weeks high? Definitely the Ásgeir concert on Monday. It was so good. His live performance is amazing, I wish he would release more live recordings. His voice is so pure – fragile but strong. One of a kind.

This weeks low? Falling asleep on a wet pillow a couple times too many.

This weeks work? I’ve gotten out of the house every day this week, (if I remember correctly)! Well, it hasn’t really been that much work, because I’ve been on a high when going out, but normally that would take a lot of work.

This weeks panic? Haven’t really had any big panicky episodes? Hmm.

This weeks want? A break.

This weeks mood? All over the place. I’ve had some big mood swings the past week. I’ve felt inspired, utterly depressed, careless and joyful, hopeless, invincible. It’s been intense. It’s hard, because I’m on medication and it should dull it down, and it has for a while, but now the mood swings are back in full force.

This weeks new? Inspiration to start bullet journaling again! As for material things I bought a Moleskine soft cover notebook for the occasion. I’ve never tried Moleskine before (what? I know), but I can say I’m already in love. The quality of the pages are YUM, I can’t believe that I’ve missed it for so long?

This weeks cosy? Sitting on the train reading and/or imagining myself a character and a story, someone else going to a wonderful place, having some grand meaning and purpose.

Something to look forward to next week? Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe to see what getting back into bujoing can help me do.

I hope this new month treats you well! ♡

x Almond

THE WEEKLY LIST #1: SOMETHING IN THE MAIL

This weeks read? The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I’m halfway through now and I don’t know what to say, to be honest. So. Many. Feelings.

This weeks high? The package in the mail! (More about that further down).

This weeks low? Lying in bed at 3AM sobbing. Just all these moments when the tears have been pressing on, seemingly without reason at times.

This weeks panic? I realised I’m going to a concert next week. Tomorrow to be exact. I got it as a Christmas present from my sister, and looked at it as being so far into the future, but after my epiphany that it’s actually !now! my anxiety has been rising a bit.

This weeks work? Dragging myself out if this apathetic/shut off state I’ve been in with this identity/existential crisis. All I did for a week was just staring, which isn’t unusual in itself, but this time it truly hurt. I’ve managed to pull myself out of it, and I’m awake again now, thankfully.

This weeks mood? I’ve been a bit on the edge, a lot of tears have been pressing below the surface. Some of the tears I have allowed to fall, the rest I’ve swallowed. (But I think I need to let them out as well). Other than that it’s been so good to read and journal again!

This weeks want? Vegan chocolate milkshake, a new denim jacket, a good nights sleep.

This weeks “new”? I finally, (and I say finally, because they came two days after they should have), got The Cemetery of Forgotten Books in the mail. The sweet smell of new books. I have to really restrain myself from not rushing The Goldfinch now as I long to start The Shadow of the Wind.

This weeks cosy? Getting the duvet from the bed and snuggling up in the sofa, Khaleesi lying on my legs snoring, book open in my hands.

Something to look forward to next week? The Ásgeir concert tomorrow, no doubt. The last time I saw him live was in 2015 (I think) and it was magical. Even though I’m anxious about it, my sister is going with me, and I know that if it gets too much, she’ll be there ❤

x Almond

VALENTINE’S DAY: 9 COMPLIMENTS FOR MYSELF

Good day to you, precious souls! What are you up to today? I just woke up from a nap in my lazy chair. I haven’t been sleeping too well these past few days, so I’ve had to a nap a bit. But who doesn’t enjoy a good nap?

It’s Valentine’s Day today, and in that occasion I thought I’d make a self-love kind of post where I write myself 9 compliments. I’m not big on self-love unfortunately, so whew, this was a tough one, but let’s see!

☁️ You are so strong for making it this far! Start giving yourself some credit.

☁️ You actually do take some good photos now and then. (This post isn’t much to show for it though, haha). Keep practising, keep shooting. Don’t be afraid to keep on trying in fear of failing, it’s by failing and making mistakes that you learn and evolve. Take some risks!

☁️ You are curious in nature, you love learning and you are open to new perspectives, (to an extent).

☁️ You have a good fashion sense, in my honest opinion.

☁️ You are respectful to everyone you meet, and for those who you let get close to you, you are very caring and empathetic. You would do a lot to see them happy and content, even though you might have enough with yourself at times.

☁️ You know what you care for and what you don’t, you don’t waste time.

☁️ Even though you are very self-conscious, you’re still yourself, and I think that’s a real accomplishment.

☁️ You get very passionate about things, (on the border of obsessive, but that’s a story for another day).

☁️ You are reflected and you think a lot. You don’t settle for the first and the best, you take your time to make things make sense to you.

Well, that was my 9 for the day. When I started listing them I honestly didn’t think I was even going to make it to 5, but 9(!). Whew. I have to admit, though, that most of these compliments are things others have said about me and that I’m not sure I believe in, hmm.

Nonetheless, this was a really good challenge for my self-esteem, I needed this. I highly recommend doing this exercise, no matter how hard it seems, you might find some gems hidden inside you.

What is one compliment you would give yourself today?

x Almond