GOING BACK TO BASICS: REVIVING MY BULLET JOURNALIST

After getting out of my apathetic rut I’ve wanted to come back to bullet journaling. I kind of fell out of the system some time before physically stopping to bujo. I’ve used this beautiful Archer & Olive book and been very into collaging and making it (in my opinion) pretty. And, as with many others, this became the bane of my actual bullet journaling.

I had to make a thought through collage over two pages before I could even write down a single letter and being as obsessive as I am I spent quite some time actually finishing the collages. I took my time and did enjoy myself too, but spending this time collaging made my eyes, my back (the kitchen table is not a good place to sit), and my head tired, so I didn’t bujo. I just dotted down what I had done at the end of the day and wrote a journal entry, and it was the same the next day, (if my head was up for it).

I didn’t have time or energy left to think, plan, organize, and set (and achieve!!) my goals.

Without the bullet journal to clear and straighten my head, I wasn’t very productive. I also didn’t get to unload through the day, which ended up with me being stuck with a mess of thoughts. I believe that when unloading and getting your mind down on paper, you let things go a bit. No, not completely, but enough to down the pressure a bit. You get to reflect while the pen does it’s work and maybe it makes it easier to put things away for a little while.

For my restart I’m stripping it down and go back to basics. No fuzz, no collages, no intricate layouts, no overthinking. Just black on white. The basic bujo. (I will even try to restrain myself from using washi tapes). I know this will make it more accessible to me, and that is a big point of the bullet journal – it should be easy to use, it shouldn’t take time, it shouldn’t be a bother.

I’m aching to get back some clarity of mind, and to (hopefully) up my productivity and get shit done. I mean, it’s already helping. I cleared my head and got ready for a meeting on Friday, and didn’t go into it like an unprepared zombie like I would have done just a few weeks ago. Also, I’ve been wanting to play on my Switch all day, but I had “finish post” dotted down today, and here we are!

If you bullet journal, do you do basic bujo or creative bujo? If you do creative, do you also find that you compromise a bit on the bullet journal system to be more creative?

Happy weekend!

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

ON MY TBR (TO-BE-READ) LIST RIGHT NOW

For some time now I’ve been kind of half-hearted into the reading game and I’ve read mostly mediocre books. You know, the easy, boring and badly done crime/thrillers? I haven’t had the mind capacity, or the zeal, to read anything else, due to depression.

There are four books that I can recall having enjoyed reading in the past two years, and that’s quite a sad statistic. This year my head is clearer, *does happy dance*, and I already have a few books on my TBR list that I thought I’d share with you. (If you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments!)

📖 Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. This book has been standing on my shelf forever, (next to The Goldfinch that I’ve just started reading!!), and it’s about time it gets read. I’ve seen reviews saying it’s overhyped, but I want to see for myself.

📖 The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Actually the whole The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, (which just came in the mail the other day). I’ve read such good reviews of these and I can’t wait.

📖 Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I am very much intrigued by the synopsis of this. I love historical fiction and I know this will be a good one.

📖 The Rabbit Hunter by Lars Kepler. I’m on the fence about this one. I might read it or I might start and not finish it. I’ve read the previous books, so I feel like I should finish the series, but they’ve become a bit predictable and I’m tired of them describing every female character with having “perky, well-shaped breasts”… You feel me?

📖 All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Also historical fiction! I saw this was the Goodreads Choice Winner of 2014 and supposedly it has beautiful prose.

📖 The Killer Across the Table by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Yes, I am interested in the psychology of serial killers.

📖 The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read too much of Sylvia Plath’s work, but I’m very intrigued to get to read her journals. (Sorry for the intrusion, Sylvia).

I also thought I would try something new and maybe do some short reviews of these books when read, if that would be interesting?

Do you have any more suggestions for my TBR list? I’m short on 7 books after these to reach my goal for this year (20 books), so I’d love to know!

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

SLEEP TIGHT, LITTLE ONE

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to one of my fur babies. Kaspar was not looking well at all when I woke up in the morning. He lay curled up in a corner and was breathing heavily. I picked him up and his stomach was really bloated. He tried walking, but fell over and let out a tiny scream. I screamed as well. He was clearly in a lot of pain.

I got an appointment at the vet and drove down there. The vet examined him and found a tumour in his abdomen. He had to be put down, my precious baby. I felt so helpless. He had shown no signs of being in pain before that morning. He was my little one and there was nothing I could do to help him. He fell asleep on my chest, my fingers stroking over his tiny body. Isn’t it funny how you can come to love a mere 125 grams of pure fluff so much?

I have my other fur babies, luckily. They know something has been up and have been trying to distract me with more playtime than usual and comforting snuggles. They’re good like that.

x Almond

RAMBLING, IDENTITY CRISIS, WORDS OF WISDOM

Hello guys! I’m sorry for the week-long absence, I guess I just needed a few days to myself. I’m kind of having an identity crisis, because I’m in a rut when it comes to bujoing/journaling. It makes me feel like such a failure that the one of the things I consider to be the biggest parts of my personality doesn’t spark the same joy at the moment. I thought it was part of “the real deal”, but now I’m lost. Have I been faking it? Is there any part of me that is truly “me”? Am I even real? I’m spiralling down in those thoughts. But over to something that is a bit more fun…

I bought a Switch! Impulse? Comfort-buy? Reward? Search for a new piece of identity? Ooo, shiny? I don’t know, maybe all of the above? What I do know is that I don’t regret it. I’ve always wanted to be a “gamer” in a small sense of the word, (or wanted? I mean I loved playing Narnia on my friends Playstation when we were kids), but I never dared.

Thoughts like “you’re not good enough”, “people will laugh at you”, “others have been doing this longer than you, who do you think you are” have been central in my mind. Not only when it comes to this, but with other activities – like drawing.

But just because someone may be better at you at something doesn’t mean that you can’t do it, it doesn’t mean you should compromise on your own search of joy and happiness!

Well, that was it for todays rambling :’) I’m going to take out my Switch now and play for a couple of hours. I bought Zelda – Breath of the Wild and it’s such a beautiful game. I’m trying to enjoy it as much as possible. Have you tried it? Do you have a Switch? Are there any games you recommend?

x Almond

WHAT IS MY IDENTITY?

I seldom feel like a whole person, just bits and pieces of whatever pass through my life that I pick up on. I try to fill a hole, where my identity should have been, by copying traits of others that I find appealing. I think most people copy others to some extent, but as an extra addition to their identity, whereas I copy to even have a base.

I have been blogging before, but I switched platforms to WordPress, trying to be something else, to maybe find myself here. Like, I saw this other blog that had the same design as I’m using now and that was really a big part of the reason why I switched.

Her blog was so neat and she seemed so content and stable in her own being, so I chose the same design in hope of becoming that as well. That I would immediately have the same cute manners, be this precious human being, as my idea of her was. Sad isn’t it, to be so uncertain in yourself? Well, hmm. I have more examples, but this would be a very long post if I was to name them all.

I do this to try and fill my identity in hope to find the mix of traits, manners and thoughts that will make people love me, want to keep me, need me. I mold into others, I lose the little sense of self that I have, and when people I get close to leave I’m left with nothing. I have to start all over again.

Being like this makes me feel like a lesser human being, but I’ve managed to figure out one trait that definitely is part of the real me: my care for animals. That has always been with me. At least that’s a good base.

x Almond

THOUGHTS ON A WEDNESDAY

💭 Will I ever get better from my personality disorders or do I just have to accept that things will be like this? How can I maximise my quality of life and get the most out of it while living reduced with these symptoms?

💭 It feels like Spring. It’s a fresher air outside, it feels newer – like air revived. Maybe it’ll revive me in a sense.

💭 I’ve decided to stop using snus! No more nicotine for me. (Well, after the 10 boxes I just got in the mail yesterday, if I don’t manage to sell them to someone..) I’m way too addicted to it, and I’m tired of it. Good bye.

💭 I am beyond grateful for my four-legged babies. They always manage to brighten up my day no matter what. I’m so glad that Kalypso has settled in so nicely.

💭 “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil” – J. R. R Tolkien.

Do you see Khaleesi mid-attack next to Koda, haha?

💭 I read this critique of a documentary that just came out here in Norway about a photographer named Lene Marie Fossen, who suffered from anorexia. It said “we are critical to the fact that the illness is portrayed as artistic and beautiful. We who work with this know that art and eating disorders don’t belong together”.

The first thing I reacted to was that it wasn’t her eating disorder that was portrayed as artistic and beautiful, it was the woman herself. Her courage and strength to create meaningful and outstanding photos despite her deadly illness.

The second thing: aren’t people with eating disorders allowed to be artists? Should they hide away in a dark corner where we don’t see them, stripped down to “eating disordered” being their whole identity? Lene Marie kept repeating in the film “first and foremost I am a photographer”. She was adamant she wasn’t an anorexic photographer, but a photographer who had anorexia. And that takes strength in a life consuming illness.

x Almond

I KNOW AND I DON’T KNOW

It’s been two hours since I got home and my legs are finally starting to calm down. My mind is a different story, it’s still racing one hundred miles a minute. For what? Grocery shopping. How can such a normal thing set me off that much?

It’s the people. It’s what I perceive as judging looks and mocking smiles; distaste and critique of my being. I’m certain that my perceptions are real, but I also know it’s a symptom of my AvPD. I know – and I don’t know – that it’s an overreaction and (hopefully) not true, so why am I still feeling this way? Shouldn’t me being aware of it have burst the bubble?

Over to something more related to the photos… I wanted to show you my spread from week 2. It turned out to be one spread due to my flu and being chained to the couch, and Thursday to Sunday was more like a summary. This week I’m more in the game again, and I’m writing every day. It feels good to be back on track.

The smell of lasagna has filled the room now, which means it’s dinner time. I hope everyone is having a good weekend! Tomorrow I’m going to the movies with my mom and my aunt to finish it off. What have you been doing this weekend?

x Almond

THE DISCOVERY OF BIRDS AND STUDYING

Kalypso discovered birds for the first time yesterday, (or it was the first time she gave them any consideration), and she wasn’t quiet about it. Some “mreow, mreows” and that little “ka, ka”-like sound came out as the two magpies jumped from branch to branch in the apple tree in our garden. She went from window to window trying to keep up.

She’s still an indoor kitten, but it’s fun to see her get more curious about the world outside. I’m going to need to get her a proper harness so she can explore before I let her outside on her own when Spring arrives.

. . .

My cold is a lot better now. For three days all I could do was lie on the couch, even sitting was too exhausting. Journaling was out of the question, so my goal to do it every day of January kind of failed, and I’m behind on this weeks bulleting, which makes me feel awful. Writing and making collages gives me so much, so whenever I have a break I feel like I’ve lost something.

I had plans to dust off my math book and get started with studying again after my too long Christmas break today, but I had a doctors appointment and went grocery shopping afterwards and that was enough for me. That was enough exposure for one day.

I have this fear of studying. Or a fear of failure, of not being good enough. It’s paralysing. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day to try and challenge it again.

x Almond