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

LIFE IS EVERYWHERE, GARDEN WALK, WAKING MYSELF UP

Hello, earthlings

Here the other day I was wandering in the garden with my camera for a bit. I haven’t held it in my hands for a while now, so it was good picking it up again and what perfect timing! The apple trees were starting to blossom, (they are in full bloom as we speak, the bees and bumblebees have fully invaded it), dandelions all over the uncut lawn, sunflower sprouts in the flower beds, blooming strawberry plants – life is everywhere.

I’ve been a zombie for so long, but even I seem to be awakening too. For many years I’ve been dormant. Life has been hard for many years now; depression, trauma, BPD, AvPD, I had to distance myself to get by, and I shut myself off, became full on apathetic. I realised a few weeks ago I had completely forgotten what flowers smell like and I had to run up to my room and cry for a bit.

Almost every good experience I’ve had in between the bad is gone too, like my memory never stored it anywhere, I didn’t have the space in my brain and I wasn’t open for the information. A friend of mine keeps bringing up memories we’ve shared since we met in folk high school in late 2015, and it’s very nice, I love when she does it, but it’s also really hard, because I don’t remember them myself, and I’ve had to realize what I’ve lost to my illnesses over the years. There’s been a lot of tears.

I’ve struggled with flashbacks, but they’ve become more frequent and a lot of things that have been buried in my apathy has also resurfaced. The bad has come back, but the good still stays hidden somewhere. I was talking about awakening and I feel like I’ve become more conscious lately and hope as I continue to wake up more, the good memories (because I know they exist!) will come back too, if they’re actually stored in here someplace.

But waking up… I don’t know if it’s Spring who has done it, or if something in me has suddenly just shifted, but I don’t want to be dormant anymore, I want to live and experience things – smell, touch, hear, see, taste – even if that also include the not-so-good parts. I believe this is an all or nothing situation and if I’m going to be alive anyway, I don’t wish to lose anymore of my life, I want to be present.

Only by being present and in the moment will I be able to share and create, hopefully help, and grow!

And even though I have my struggles and there’s probably no hope in every single part of them ever truly going away, life itself still is hopeful. It can be good, I can learn how to better handle and live with my struggles, and I can have an overall good quality of life, even while living this life. You can have a good life despite your struggles, too! You “just” (and I put “just” in quotation because I know it’s not always easy to “just” do things, I do) have to take the moments you have to spare, in between the pain, and fill them with The Good. Smell those flowers, cuddle your pet, allow yourself to laugh with your friends, breathe deeply, go out to dinner, write something, paint something, walk barefoot in the grass, take photos of our pretty Nature, listen to good music! I’m not saying life will be perfect if you “just” do those things, but it will be better.

(Okay this got real peppy real fast, I might have had one too many Monsters. I’ll stop now).

I’m trying to create some kind of routine for myself. It’s not easy when you don’t go to work, or have some sort of daily commitment, but I’m trying. I’m trying to get something out of my life, create more of those moments to fill with The Good, create meaning.

I know life is tough, I know how easy it is to want to give up, but please don’t. Life is worth it ♥

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

SOME SORT OF REVIEW: THE GOLDFINCH

The one and only spoiler to this review: I have never written a review before in my life and this probably doesn’t even go under the term “review”, but well, here we are. (May be a spoiler about Theo’s personality).

. . .

I bought The Goldfinch some time in 2014, if I remember correctly. At the time I read a fair amount of books, but I somehow never picked this one up after I brought it home with me. Maybe because it looked too daunting with its 864 pages, I don’t know, but anyway, it stayed on the shelf. Now I can finally say I’ve finished it, and what a whirlwind of a read this has been.

I was hooked from the first page. I could sense that Theo was troubled, and I wanted to know what he’d been through, how he got there, to that hotel room, both mentally and physically.

I have not read her previous books, but I quickly fell in love with Donna Tartt’s way of writing. Her carefully chosen words and elaborate depictions, phrases that encapsulated me, but were somewhat simple at the same time. There’s nothing to say on the prose in this book – it’s simply mesmerising. And despite using, what must be, her whole vocabulary and more, I found the book easy to read. Her choice of words is mindful and they flow easily.

Tartt’s use of words and eye for detail, (in places where it’s not needed too), almost becomes her bane in this book, though. There’s a lot of repetition and when I was around half-way through, I could feel the story dragging, it never really got anywhere. But I felt for Theo, his self-destructiveness, and how he longed for love and care, despite having sort of given up already, so I felt obligated to read on, and in the end I’m glad I did.

I had to put it away a few times, which is why I spent such a long time reading it. Both because it got old a few times, but also because I was angry at Theo for not really growing up. I wanted him to be better: alert and mindful, caring and attentive, responsible and to find a sense of purpose. Maybe on behalf of myself?

As I said, I’m glad I continued to read on. Though a bit predictable at times, it’s a good story which has it’s moments and, for me, eye-openers. I’ve gotten the memo that there’s a conflict to what people think about the ending, but it was an ideal ending for me. When being pre-occupied in my mind while depressed, I need others to think for me sometimes, and the ending was just what I needed.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Have you read The Goldfinch? What are your thoughts?

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

GOOEY SADNESS DRIPPING ON THE FLOOR

I’m not sure when the glass went beyond full, when it tipped over and spilt dark, gooey stuff all over the table, sadness dripping on the floor.

I haven’t been “right” for a few months now, and I’ve felt that – more frequent and harsher mood swings, all-consuming emptiness, worsened pressure and escalation of my AvPD, tears on tears on tears – but I didn’t want to believe that I would be back here again, too. Back in the hopeless state of depression.

I’ve avoided what usually is hugely telling signs, because seeing these signs makes the depression a reality. It means facing the fact that it came back again, that it will keep coming back.

My depression has (obviously) interfered with my blogging, as with many other things. I haven’t had much to give. Ideas come and go, but I never have the drive, motivation or energy to work on and execute them. It’s hard to seldom perform sufficiently, after your own wish. And I want to apologise to both you and me for being absent.

I think I need to lower the expectations I have to myself and what I can actually manage to do in this state. (Well, I think we all need to lower the pressure we put on ourselves, no matter the state we’re in). I’m sorry if the blog will (continue to) be a little dried up.

Hope you’re okay ♡

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 EXCURSION: A PHOTO SERIES (AND SOME THOUGHTS)

I’m not a fan of doing too much out of my birthday. I feel awkward and anxious having/”demanding” all the attention. I’m giving a small shout out to corona for not allowing my mom to force a family birthday party on me. I don’t feel comfortable “forcing” friends and family to celebrate me. Who am my insignificant being to demand that?

To the point: my mom still wanted us to do something fun, so she suggested we drive to the woods and walk around with the dogs and our cameras. (I got the whole family together and we got a camera for her birthday in October, she’s taking so much joy and pleasure in using it, which is super fun for me!). She had talked to my aunt who said the liverworts had just sprung out – a true sign of Spring! – and she wasn’t loud about it, but I know she really, really wanted to photograph them. So we got into the car, dogs in their cages.

The sun was up and warming us as we walked. Koda and Khaleesi were thrilled to be a place they hadn’t been before. We didn’t have to go far to spot our first liverworts. *Brings out camera and sits down in an awkward position to get the best angle*. A lot of photos were taken on our walk, and I think I’m just going to show some of them without further a due. I would be so glad to hear what you think! And also, what is a sure sign of Spring where you live?

The general concept of a birthday is a bit hard for me. A birthday means I’ve been on Earth for another year, and I’m, in my head, yet another year on overtime. I don’t struggle with depression as bad as I used to, but I still feel like this. I guess the thoughts stem a little from my AvPD as well, my negative view on myself. I’m not suicidal, but I still feel like I should have been dead yesterday. (This got a bit dark, I’m sorry). Moving on.

I quite like the one above. The symbolism of it. Despite the darkness of the leaves and dirt, the liverworts have still managed to surface. They’ve just fought their way through with the little light that accessed them through the obstacles before them. I’m trying to be like that.

Just like I closed the last post with I’m going to watch Criminal Minds now, we really have to catch up if we’re to make it to the end before they remove the series, haha. I wish I was more productive during this quarantine, but this is nothing different from my normal life, so I still find it hard. My head isn’t working properly. Oh, well.

Stay safe ♡

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