The missing nomination

So… a long time ago, the lovely Eliza was nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award and was very sweet to pass the nomination to me, among other people. When I say ‘a long time ago’, I mean 8 months ago. Yes. EIGHT months. What? did you expect me to update regularly? Me neither. Although I admit I did not think I will take so many months in between posts. Or that my past few posts would be so depressing, but oh well… Así es la vida.

As I am new to blogging and to nominations and tags and things like this, I was very interested to know that exactly is the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award and I found a good description and history of the award in this post by Rikka. I find it very interesting how the format has changed over the years. I do love the idea of this nomination and I love Eliza’s questions so let’s do it!

 

The questions:

1. What is your fondest childhood memory?

When I was very young I used to go spend summer and winter holidays with my godmother quite often. The city she lived in was quite close to the mountains and the air was always very fresh and smelled like forest. My room, while I stayed with them, was the smallest in the house, but seemed huge to me and had balcony that overlooked small children’s play space with wooden swings. I remember that when it rained or snowed, I would sit on the little chair next to the balcony window, looking outside, and listening to children’s stories on an old wooden record player (or is it called a Turntable?). I think that was what made me love stories.

turntable-1208177_960_720
2. What is your favorite hobby/pastime?

Reading – or listening to – stories. I love stories in any format – audio books are great if they have a good narrator, I love the smell and feel of a physical book and I carry my e-reader with me everywhere because it’s extremely convenient, especially when reading at night, in the dark and having to be quiet. I read at night more often than I want to admit. I also read fan fiction, but I think I will keep the details of why and how I feel about it for another post.

If I am listening to an audio book, I also tend to do something else with my hands. That something is usually trying to knit. I say trying because I keep messing up patterns, losing count of rows, etc. But this, too, is subject for another post. When I am not messing up patterns, I am usually playing solitaire.
3. What would you consider your greatest accomplishment?

I don’t know. I have been thinking about this question, on and off, for the last eight months. Yes, it gave me a mini-quarter-life-crisis. I keep coming back to the same answer – so I think I’ll just go with that: being completely independent by age 23. I have been living and studying in another country since I was 19 and I have managed to work and maintain myself since I started third year of university (at the age of 22). I haven’t alone, my partner has been with me through it all – we left to study together, we live together and we share responsibilities. But I am proud of where we are in life. There. That’s the answer, for all intents and purposes, you could stop reading here. The next paragraph is me going on a tangent and rambling a bit.

Now for the rambling: the reason I am reticent to call it “my greatest accomplishment”… or even an accomplishment… is that I feel that I have only done what I needed to do, and what was expected of me. It never felt like a choice and as such, it’s hard to feel anything towards it. My parents have always been poor and wanted a better future for me. For as long as I can remember, I knew that I was expected to learn, be the best in school, leave the country and make a better future for myself. Which I did. Part of that expectation was also a brilliant career, with lots of money, traveling around the world and taking care of my parents. Those haven’t happened yet, as I have just started a career (I am not sure if it is the career, but we’ll see). To be honest, I am not sure if they will ever happen or if that’s what I want from my life.

The end… almost!

So now that we’re finished with my answers, I feel like I should make up some questions and nominate some other people. The problem? Being a new blogger, I don’t know many people. I do know one person that really deserves a nomination and I would love to read her answers : Jeyna Grace. Jeyna, I haven’t seen these kinds of posts on your page, so I don’t know if you’re interested, but just in case. It is, of course, up to you whether you participate or not.

And now the questions:

  1. What is the story/book you are most fond of?
  2. What is one thing about you that you hope will never change?
  3. If you could read the best literary work of one country, in their original language, which country would that be and why?

 

P.S. Eliza, I don’t think I can nominate you back, but if any of these questions tempt you, I am curious what your answers would be.

P.P.S. Thanks again for the nomination!

 

I’m a rebel!

 

*The song is Belle from the play Notre Dame de Paris – you can find it on its entirety on Youtube*

I have spent many days and nights watching plays like this one – musical or otherwise – although this is still one of my favourites. I also like to go to the theatre as often as my budget permits it. From time to time though, they bring back to the surface all the pain, regret and anger that I usually keep stored well away.

What does that have to do with being a rebel? I’ll get to that, I promise.

You see, six or seven years ago, I was in high school (college for the British people – I think. Anyway, the thing before University) and I discovered acting lessons. Those lessons then led to me actually being in a play – performing in front of people. It was exhausting, of course, but well worth the pain. We had rehearsals during the week, after school – and then, every Saturday, more acting lessons, physical exercises (a couple of hours at least) and more rehearsals. And on Sundays we were on stage.

It lasted a year – an amazing, exhausting year. We were in a workshop for yet another play, we were given the opportunity to talk with great actors, such as Marcel Iures and volunteer behind the stage at the biggest theatre in the city.

 

Can you guess where this is going?

 

And then my mother decided I cannot go anymore – partly because she said she didn’t have the money anymore (£25 a month) and partly (and I think this was the real reason) because she thought that I am wasting my time, that I should be preparing for my exams (A levels equivalent) and that most actors – except for the brilliant ones – starve. And then a friend of hers said that if I still want to pursue that career after my exams, she will arrange with a great actor she knows to tutor me.

Thus, I did what was expected of me, and stopped going, convinced that after another year and a half, after my exams, I will get the tutoring. And then life spiralled out of control, some bad things happened, my mother threatened that if I do not go to study something worthwhile in another country, she will throw me out of the house and be done with me forever (and stupid little me BELIEVED her), her friend that should have arranged the tutoring moved to another country, etc.

So here I am, six years later: I have a steady job, I am completely independent and I am proud of my achievements. However, I am angry with myself for always doing what was expected of me, not what I wanted. I am so angry that it’s hard for me to accept even the most well-meaning advice – moreover, I am always tempted to do the opposite of that advice, even if it’s not good for me. I like to joke with my partner that “I’m a rebel!” each time I don’t want to do something just because he suggested it.

There, I got to the rebel part in the end, see?

But I am not sure I really am a rebel – I am independent but not going back to acting, because it might cost me my (financial) independence. And also, because I feel like this is the responsible thing to do, and I have felt on my own skin what happens when adults don’t do the responsible things.

I keep telling myself that in the end, everyone has regrets (right?) and that I am proud of where I am in life, so maybe it’s a good idea to stop with the “what ifs” ( right???).

But can I? See, when I watch plays like Notre Dame de Paris I sometimes remember how it felt to be on stage. It’s not a “what if I would have tried?” is a “what if I wouldn’t have stopped doing what I loved with all my heart?” And somehow, that’s much harder to get over.

So what’s there to do? I have no idea. Interestingly, the words that helped me most were these:

“If you expect to feel good when you can’t, you’ll feel worse, not just because you’ll be disappointed, but because you’ll feel personally responsible for your pain. You feel like a failure, a loser, someone who’s lost his groove and can’t get it back. (…) You’re never defeated if what’s stopping you is reality. Defeat is wasting your time complaining about what you can’t change or trying to control it when you know you can’t. Defeat is being an idiot about not giving up on your wishes. Victory is putting up with the pain and humiliation of reality and trying to make things better anyway.”

(The quote is from a book called F*ck Feelings by Dr. Michael Bennett and Sarah Bennett)

Adiós

 

P.S. If someone reads this after the time machine has been invented, can you please go back in time before I gave up theatre and slap some sense of rebellion into me, please?
Thanks xx

J’ai peur

I am afraid of everything.

I know, it sounds like an overstatement… “Rhea, you can’t be afraid of everything – that’s simply not humanly possible. Are you afraid of soap or flowers or pencils? “

No. I am not. But I find a way to always be afraid of every experience, every change, everything. It might be more accurate to say I am always afraid than I am afraid of everything. While I can’t give you a complete list, here are some of the most important ones:

I am afraid of hurting the people I care about, I am afraid of hurting people in general.

I am afraid of bothering people, so my anxiety sky-rockets when I need to make a call, even if the call is to the bank, the telephone company, etc. I realise it’s their job, yet still I would rather not do it. This extends to things like ordering something and being given the wrong food. I would rather not eat it than have to go back and ask them to give me what I ordered.

I am even afraid of answering the phone. So I don’t, usually. I hope that if it’s important they’ll either leave a voicemail or text me. And then, once I know what it is they want to talk about, I call them back – or (more often than not) text them. There are only two people in my life that are exceptions from this rule and I would always answer.

I am afraid of looking/ sounding stupid or not being good enough. So I usually keep quiet and rarely join conversations. I am working on this though, I can now talk with my work colleagues, although I usually rather ask for their opinions than express mine. This also means that I am afraid of writing stories, practicing any skill with people around, talking in another language, etc. although I would love to do all those things. If I try to, it feels like I am failing – and ruining the pages I write on, or the language, or the story.

I am afraid of travelling. Not of accidents, usually – unless someone I care about is travelling with me, then yes, I am also concerned about that. I am afraid of forgetting important things at home, forgetting to lock the doors, losing the luggage, being late and losing the flight, of missing my train/bus/coach stop.

I am afraid of seeing and talking with people who do not like me. Or with whom I have fought. It terrifies me. I would rather sleep on the streets than be in the same house with that person. Unfortunately that’s not always realistic, if that person is a relative. And the fact that I know that I can’t really avoid it, or at least not without hurting other people I care about, makes me so anxious that I can’t stand being around myself.

Well, if I am honest, many situations make me so anxious that I can’t stand being around myself? So what do I do when I find myself feeling like that? Well, I used to eat – usually sweets. Now I watch YouTube videos, or movies, and play things like solitaire – to distract my mind from everything.

I made this blog to deal with part of my fears. And I think it’s a good strategy for me. But lately I found myself playing solitaire and watching comedy instead of writing…I mean… hit by a terrible curse that stopped me from writing.

So here’s an attempt to break the curse by writing something. I’ll try to go back to failing at things and documenting my journey soon.

In the meantime,

Adiós

The curse of the blog

I think there is a curse attached to “watch me fail” blogs that makes the authors stop writing, despite their best intentions. As I’ve mentioned in my first post, there is a watchmefail blog out there that is really interesting, but has been inactive since 2008.

At first I thought I am not writing because I am busier and lazier than usual and because I am completely obsessed with watching stand up comedy and playing solitaire in my spare time.

However, I am now convinced there is a curse, after all, I didn’t play that much solitaire:

solitaire

I don’t know exactly what this curse is, or how to lift it, but I promise I will start investigating – so I can go back to writing.

So yes, I will find out how to lift this curse… I just need to finish this round of solitaire first.

Adiós

Creating a profile picture – fail?

As you might have noticed, my blog is pretty new. Made yesterday, to be more exact. Needles to say I am a complete newb (pardon my jargon) when it comes to blogging and to the WordPress platform. I thus decided to take my time on learning how things work and start with something really easy – uploading a profile picture. I could have chosen a picture and just upload it, but then, of course, that would have been too easy and straightforward; no way to fail at that. And wasn’t I trying to take risks and fail and see what happens? Of course I was! So let’s try and make a cartoon version of myself instead! That’s way cooler anyway. As I have no inclination for drawing from scratch, and I did need a profile picture this year, I decided to look on YouTube for an easy tutorial. It took less than 10 minutes to find this very interesting tutorial, that didn’t seem impossible. Time to get my tablet, wipe all the dust that has settled on it since I have received it as a gift, and get to work. It was fun, but 4 hours later and many Ctrl + Z commands, all I had was a failed attempt at drawing (and especially colouring hair) and a face with no shading. Let’s not even talk about clothes. Here’s the picture:

20150613_164118I admit that the more I stare at it, the more I like it. Except the hair. Or the attempts at red highlights, to be more exact. But there I was, with a failed attempt, without a finished product, and having to go get some sleep. I decided thus, that I won’t use the picture. Instead, I would make a post about it and show it to you, incomplete as it was, and have another attempt at finishing it soon.

As for the profile picture? I selected (another) one of my many selfies and tried every filter in Photoshop. Note paper filter did the job. And here is my profile picture: avatarWorks for now, eh? I will go back to the cartoon drawing sometime soon and try to fail some more. In the mean time,

Adiós!

Watch me fail at blogging!

Hi again,

Welcome to my journey!  Thank you for joining me in my attempt to fail at everything

Let’s jump right in, shall we? What better way of starting a blog about failing at everything, than by failing at blogging. And by failing I mean ‘be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal‘, which is the definition our good friend Google will suggest, if you ever look for the definition of ‘to fail’.

In this case, my goal would be to have a good quality blog. A good quality blog with poor quality attempts at doing things – this should be interesting! Or entertaining. Or none of the above. I have no idea.

I could have made this post better by just deleting the failed attempts from the beginning of this post – but that would defy the whole purpose of showing the failure, the frustrating, boring and annoying process of writing this.

Nonetheless, I invite you to watch me fail, share your wisdom with me, be entertained, or bored, or exasperated at my clumsiness and inability to get anything right, or annoyed at the lack of posts (maybe I should have planned some in advance).

Have you lowered your standards yet? That’s okay, I’ll wait. You have ’till the next post.

Adiós!

Why ‘watchmefailmore’? Because ‘watchmefail’ was taken. It’s an interesting page, albeit inactive since 2008, so check it out if you’re bored.