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Friday, 27 September 2013

Basements & Balconies

Hello again! Hope your week has been great and you've achieved some of the things you set out to achieve. Like all my blog posts and topic, this one is quite close to my heart and is something I think is important to know, hence me sharing this with all of you today!

In life, I believe there are two types of people; Basement people and Balcony people.

Basement people

These are people who drag you down and bring you down to the "basement". (Assuming our equilibrium is the ground level.) These people draw out the worst in you and are generally quite negative or pessimistic. Basement people can also include bullies and even some of your "closest friends" who you may now realise are quite unpleasant to be around. Now these people are not necessarily "bad", they're just bad people for you. Like you know how sometimes you just click with someone and sometimes you don't? It's kind of like that. Except you might click with them, but they make you depressed. It's difficult to explain so sorry for the lack of proper, coherent sentences.  Basement people also can try to dishearten you down and stop you from achieving your goals (which are presumably at the top) If you find yourself not liking someone for either; a) being uncomfortable around them and/or b) they make you feel quite negative and irritated; then these are probably your basement people.



Balcony people

Balcony people tend to be quite optimistic and are often very encouraging people - the opposite of a basement person. They do not have to be the bubbliest of people but they should at least support you in some way or form. They help you achieve your goals more by placing you on the "balcony" with them. Being around them should make you feel: a) happy and uplifted and/or b) confident or some variation of what I just mentioned then these are the people for you.


 

Why am I telling you this? I think in life, it's important to know who are the basement people and who are the balcony people. From personal experience, I know that when you surround yourself with basement people it can have quite negative effects on you. Very, very recently, I received quite a shake up and it brought me back to reality - it's a very long story that is saved for another post, but the point is that it made me re-evaluate my life and the people in it and made me think of balcony and basement people.

So today, I'm telling you this:

Try focusing more one balcony people. Spend more time with them and you'll achieve more. You'll start to become more positive. You know how some people say, if you spend time with smart people you'll become smarter? This is pretty much the same thing. So, my readers, think about who are the balcony people in your life and invest your time in them. They're the ones who are actually worth you time and your effort.
 Side note: I sincerely hope that this blog post made some kind of sense. I'm in a bit of a strange mood - the effects of my shake up are still upon me so apologies if I don't sound completely sober. I promise I am, I'm just in a bit of a daze. Next blog post will be great! (Hopefully)

♥ Jess ♥

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Getting Things Done: 7 Tips!

(Delete as applicable) We all know that feeling. You're sitting/lying/sprawled in bed and you have mountains/piles/stacks of work to do. But somehow you just can't get yourself to crawl/fall/drag yourself out of bed. Maybe it's cause you don't want to do it/are too lazy/hate doing work/don't feel like it, but probably deep down you know it's because you're lacking some form of motivation/energy and you're just feeling a little sluggish/exhausted/dead. Don't worry, you're not the only one who feels/has felt like this. Also, if you're like me and you like to put your laptop on your stomach for extra warmth, that's nothing to be ashamed about. I'm just here today to help you get out of your state of mind and get on with some actual work. So here are some of my tips to get you off your bum and working as hard as you can!




  1. Find Your Motivation - Consider what you're trying to achieve when you do your work. Is it a step towards your dream of becoming a doctor, writer, lawyer? Or is it just solely so you don't get in trouble with your teacher on Monday? Motivation is one of the most important things in life and it's important to find out what that is for you. Everyone's motivation is different. Be it money, happiness or just really living life to the fullest, it's the key ingredient to a productive life in the long run. Just picture what you really want. Often it's not the actual task that's the most tedious, it's the process of just getting started.
  2. Reward Yourself - Again, similar to the concept of finding your motivation but this could be something in the short term. For example, "For every piece of homework I finish, I can watch an episode of 'New Girl'". Or even just, "After I finish this, I can eat that bar of Cadbury's". Obviously the main point of this it to help you get your work done, not deprive yourself of food!
  3. Make Yourself Feel Pretty - This one may be a bit weird, but sometimes if I think I'm having a great skin day and I don't look completely hideous, I'll feel more confident and better while doing my work. There's just something about feeling pretty that boosts your confidence. Maybe it's cause I often pretend I'm in that montage scene in movies. (As mentioned in this blog post) Or maybe if you're not looking too hot, slick on some lipstick and BOOM! Instant confidence!
  4. The Classic Method - coffee, coffee and more coffee. This method isn't great for you, but if needs be, give it a shot.  
  5. Consider Where You're Sitting - I might be in the right mind set, but because of where I'm sitting and more importantly how, I feel like a sack of potatoes. Your bed might be a really comfy place to park your derrière, but it's not always the most ideal place to work. Or if you're like me, you can work just fine on your bed, but the minute you lean back on a pillow, you can think of nothing but surfing the Internet and a nice, little snooze. Desks are normally best for working, FYI.
  6. Get Moving - now this method may have a small flaw in it. After all, it does take some actual effort do this one too. This can vary too, though. You don't have to run a marathon, but maybe just a 7 minute toning video on YouTube will do. Alternatively, just walking around in your room or standing up instead of sitting down can automatically boost your energy levels. Try it!
  7. Just Do It - Once a boy I knew heard me whining about this project I had. He said to me, "Don't do it now. If you don't want to do it now, then just don't do it." I followed that advice for several years but with limited results. Thanks but no thanks for the advice. Now I say, "Just do it. If you don't want to do it now; you're not going to want to do it later so you may as well complete it now." And weirdly enough, this has worked for me the best out of all the techniques I have listed today.

 
 


So there it is! My 7 tips to help you achieve your goals or maybe just your Weekend Challenges . As always, keep trying to be the best version of you! Thanks for reading!

Side note: My friend, Gabi, wanted me to write about her. So "Hi, Gabi!"

♥ Jess ♥

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Plans Don't Always Go To Plan

Hello again! I've been away from this blog for a bit so apologies for that. To make it up to you, I'm attempting to write a few posts today. Last blog post, (I think) I said I would try to keep you updated on how stuff in my life is going. I actually have no idea why I'm doing this - if you are actually reading this you're probably not interested in the slightest. 

To not make this blog post the length of London to Cornwall, I'll just keep it as brief as possible. Which is to say, not very brief. Sorry. So in this blog post, I talked about making my writing piece as interesting as I possibly could and make it stand out. Honestly, I think I was successful in my task, but it was the wrong writing style for the homework assignment. It sucks, yes. But sometimes things don't work out and you just have to get better at them.

Wow. I actually feel like I'm growing up a little. To continue, I was also made to write an school essay about Pride and Prejudice, yada yada yada (won't go into too much detail). Basically, I really recommend trying to use the most formal English you can on a daily basis. It would make essay writing a heck of a lot easier. I guess I'm just used to talking to you all quite casually so my sense of elegance in my formal writing may have decreased slightly. No matter, again just like I mentioned
before some things are meant to happen to make you work harder.




Friday was quite a difficult day for me, seeing as how I have an awful cold at the moment. Also, the night before we received and e-mail saying that my class had some cases of head lice, like every school in the whole world. So naturally when everyone was at school the next day, the nerves and anxiety of all my classmates moulded together to create a gigantic cloud of hysteria. I'd be lying if I said that our yelling and screaming didn't get us into a lot of trouble. To top it all off, I received an absolutely disgusting mark in my Latin translation. Yes, yes I know, it's just homework - I get it. But  translations have always been my best section of Latin. It's a terrible grade. Dare I say it? Oh no no no no. I can't. I'm going to regret it if I don't say it. So, here it goes. I, Jess, received a *deep exhale*.....  D.

Just seeing it on this page makes my heart want to break. A D??? Seriously?? My translation wasn't THAT bad but it's a complicated way of marking and stuff I won't go into detail about. Also, there are so many tenses of verbs! This language is so damn complicated. No wonder it's dead. I mean, really? Present, Future, Future passive, Imperfect active, Imperfect passive, historic verbs, Pluperfect, Future Perfect, Deponent Verbs, Perfect passive participles (PPP) and Present active Participles (PAP)??? I don't even know what this means in English! Let alone in Latin!

*deep yoga breath* But I know myself, I know I'll work hard on this. Sometimes you want certain things to work out and you want them to be perfect. Just sometimes they can't be. But all these problems that knock you down or throw off your plans, only help you achieve more in the future. So I say, you just have to keep moving forward.



 
♥ Jess ♥

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Weekend Challenges

 The challenge: finish all of my homework.

Sound familiar? I don't know what it is, but when I get to the weekend I suddenly go from Thomas Edison to Homer Simpson. What is it about the weekend that makes us so lazy? Is it the fact that we already spent 5 days, full steam ahead, taking on life and we need to recharge? Or is it just old habits popping up again?

 
On Friday, as shattered as I was, I was prepared and in my "Elle Woods" mode to tackle this weekend. However, Friday night consisted of lying on my bed, listening to music and surfing the World Wide Web in my pyjamas. I gave myself the excuse that it was Friday night and I had spent my lunchtime that day studying some Latin. Also, as it turns out, going back to school is a lot harder than I thought.

Saturday was spent with the first 2 1/2 hours of my day at Chinese School. (Woo! Saturday School!) I also decided to try out the GCSE Chinese class. That was a mistake. I had no idea what my teacher was saying and when she wanted me to introduce myself and talk about my holiday for a minute and a half, I spent 95% of the time nodding my head dumbly while she corrected my grammar during the 30 seconds that I actually did speak for. I think I might be returning to the pre-GCSE class instead. And I do actually need to focus on my other GCSEs first. So after that torture, I decided it would be wise for me to relax that afternoon. And so I found myself, 3 hours later, parked in front of the television watching "Mr Bean's Holiday", which my grandparents loved.


The rest of the night was then spent attempting to clean the shack that I call "my room." I say attempting because though it does look neat now, it's really just piles of things I don't need, stacked neatly in a disgruntled order.

So that leaves me here, at my desk on a Sunday morning, trying to figure out where to start. To give you a rough idea of the work I am about to fight:

  • Study for Physics Test
  • Study for Geography Test
  • Revise Biology notes
  • Write an autobiography
  • Think of an artist for the art project
  • Mathematics exercise
  • Write French Oral answers
  • Complete Latin translation
  • Finish Latin work
  • Learn German Vocab

Yeah. I should probably get started now.

And I discovered on Friday, that most of my year has the same English homework as me. We were all moaning about our homework which is how we found out. So that sets another challenge for me. If everyone else has the same homework assignment, how do I make my own interesting enough so it stands out? By the time the teachers get to my piece, they might be bored of reading 50 or so entries. I think really, they're just testing us to see which of us have the ability to "think outside the box" and come up with something new and original. I expect you'll probably find me up at 3 am today, still pondering over this idea. I may as well be an owl since I'm only productive during the night. However social protocol insists that I must be awake during the day so really I'm just an owl that is awake 24/7, but less sleepy in the night.

I'll let you know how it goes. Good luck if any of you are in the same position as me!




Ps. Just checked my stats the other day and I'd like to give a shout out to my readers in the US, Russia, Switzerland, South Africa, The UK, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, The Philippines and India! Hi! Keep passing on this blog to your friends!

♥ Jess ♥

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

When I write....

I share quite a lot of my thoughts and feelings with this blog. Maybe because I don't share my "personal" details, like my school, last name, pictures, family, address etc., that's why I'm so willing to share my thoughts and feeling - which in a way can be considered as the more personal of the two.

Today, I've decided to share my thought processes when I write. I wish I could tell you that there is a Writing 101 manual out there. There probably is, I'm guessing. But for me I feel like writing is just something you can adopt, practise and develop. People can always tell you what to do but it's really your own efforts that help you improve and do the work well. Maybe there is a how-to guide on writing somewhere in the world. Who knows?




Sometimes I find writing complicated but sometimes it comes as the most natural thing to me. It does vary. I think I can go a little crazy when I write. I get sudden spurts of ideas and I have to jot them down otherwise I might never be able to remember them. And when I pick an idea and I'm writing, that's when I wish "maybe I should be a little more normal."

You see, when I write, I can hear my own voice in my head reading out what I want to say. I promise, I'm not a lunatic. And sometimes, my brain thinks faster than I can type/write. By the time I finish writing one idea, three more are in my head and two have already gone through one ear and out the other. But then I think, "well, if I were (was?) normal, then I wouldn't be able to come up with so many ideas." And I'm quite grateful for my ideas. As I write this, I currently have about 37 ideas jotted down on a pink post-it note which is stuck to a wall in my room.

Another thing that I can find tricky in writing is humour. I would say in real life, if I'm quite comfortable with you, I'm pretty darn funny. But sometimes my jokes are only funny because of the way I tell them. So a little fear I have is that the examiner/reader, isn't going to get any of my jokes and just think that I write terribly. (Which you might already think I do. It's okay. You're entitled to your wrong opinion.)

Now I'm not an expert at writing by any means. Far from it in fact. I wish I could be an expert in the future, but right this second I am solely just a novice. Because of my current standard of writing, I can't give you many tips. But what I could tell you, is this:

  •  Don't jump straight in to the first idea you think of. Even I, with my cluttered mind and wacky ways, don't just write whatever comes to mind. When you are given a topic, I suggest thinking of a few ideas first, before letting you words out onto the page. Your English teacher might otherwise say this tip as "Plan!", to which I was/am not very good at.
  • Practise makes Permanent. This was something my old rowing coach used to say to me, back when I was super sporty and didn't spend my days watching marathons of "8 out of 10 Cats". I don't like the phrase "practice makes perfect." Who's to say what perfect really is? If you constantly practise with poor thought and effort in your writing, it may become permanent. However, practising and trying to improve is a good way to achieve better results in writing.
  • READ OVER YOUR WORK. If you e-mailed my English teacher, or bumped into her on the street, she would tell you that my biggest fault when I write is that I don't check over my work. It's an awful habit. One that I don't recommend you pursue. One little word can make the difference in a point you may be trying to make. I don't think I can stress how important it is. Take it from a fellow student, it's important. You might not think you need it (like I thought I didn't) but you do. It's just 5 extra minutes really. Also, you will be able to check spelling, punctuation, grammar and all the bits and bobs like that.
  • Keep writing. I write A LOT. And now it's just a part of my day that I fully enjoy. Writing continuously helps develop a style and in the long run, you might find that you enjoy writing more than you thought! Keep a journal, diary, even a blog! Just write anything that comes to mind.
  • Ideas are great. The more you have the better, right?

There you have it! My writing tips at the moment! This was just a brief outline of some basic things to keep in mind. Again, I am not an expert nor am I an English teacher with a degree. However, I will update this/make a new post when I achieve an apprentice/intermediate level of writing. Keep writing and reading, my lovelies!

♥ Jess ♥

Sometimes you just need to get things off your chest.

"She'd be prettier is she was skinny."
"She's just a bit too fat."
"I would only think she was pretty if she cleared up her skin."
"You like to eat, don't you?"
"Don't eat so much."
"I'm afraid you might stretch out my clothes."
"You only got 66% on the test?"
"You're not British. You're an illegal citizen."
"That's so Asian."
"You look much prettier in pictures."
"I can't believe you did that."


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sometimes, there are people in your life who make comments. They may not be the kind of things you want to hear. But to anyone reading this; "What gives you the right to make comments about the way I look?" Honestly, think about this question.
We all have flaws. Truth. And I know my own flaws. So why do you feel the need to tell me what I already know? There's a reason they're called flaws - it's because we're insecure about these aspects of ourselves. I just don't see how pointing them out again, makes it any better. It's not going to magically go away nor is it going to help you become any more valiant for pointing it out.
I'm sorry if I do or say something you don't agree with. So what if I embarrass myself?  I'm sorry if I'm crazy. I'm sorry if I'm not the best looking person you know. I'm sorry if I eat all the time. But most of all, I'm sorry I'm not sorry for all of those things. That's just who I am.

So my message today is: if someone is constantly telling you things you don't want to hear, tell them to stop. Or just walk away if they try and bring it up. You don't need to hear what you already know about yourself. And if you'd like, leave me a message and you can talk to me. I promise. I know what it's like to have someone you really care about throw hurtful comments at you that leave you feeling...for lack of a better word...shit. And the worst thing is that no matter how that person compliments you in the future, you can never forget their words. You never forget the words that accidentally slip out of someone's mouth. So if you've been put down by someone and just need a chat - I'm always here.

And to EVERYONE: I know this may sound like something you hear in pre-school/kindergarten, but please, just think about what you are going to say, before you say it. What is the point in saying that statement to a person?

Since I've been a bit of a downer lately, I promise that my next three blog posts will be something that's more along my style line. Hopefully, I can make you laugh next time!

Take Care!


♥ Jess ♥

A Quotation: Part 2

Write to write. Write because you need to write. Write to settle the rage within you. Write with an internal purpose. Write about someone or something that means so much to you, that you don't care what others think.

- Nick Miller (New Girl) 

Monday, 2 September 2013

Dancing



Something you might like to know about me is that I keep a box of memories. Inside I put papers, cards, pictures, buttons etc. of things that I would like to remember. The other day, I busted this box out and had a little rummage through my collection. Among this was something I had written about a year ago. We were given an assignment to write a sonnet about something. Me, being the intense passionate one, decided to write about one of my loves: dancing.
 


I love dancing.

I've done it ever since I was a child, and while I don't take classes at the moment, that didn't stop me learning dance routines from YouTube. Oh, the life of a weirdo....
In fact, I actually wanted to be a dancer when I was in year 7 to year the end of year 8. I had just finished watching Step Up (yes, the one with that glorious god, otherwise known as Channing Tatum) for probably the twentieth time. I just remember wanting to be able to dance and move like that. To this day, Step Up is still one of my ultimate films.


Anyway, so when I had to write this sonnet I was having a bit of a difficult time. I'm not very good at writing poems of any kind so this was quite a challenge for me. So, I decided to just write out my feelings for dance in prose and then turn it into a poem somehow. It was just my ideas that came to mind, all staggered and crazy. I ended up really liking my poem at the end. It was very personal to me and I think it was one of the first times I really wrote with passion. Unfortunately, my English teacher didn't like my poem.

She gave me a B.
Minus.

But today, I've decided to share my prose piece with you! Hope you enjoy!


Walking is plain in comparison. Dancing really expresses yourself. No matter how many walls I put up, I lose myself in dance and feel free. Imagine yourself angry. Instead of punching a wall or something, anything, you can cure yourself with the same passion. Dance represents every part of your life; good, bad, being born and when you die. The connection you have with a partner is like no other. On the floor, he can't be disloyal to you. Together, you both dance in harmony like soul mates. Each person lives. Dances represent life - how short it is. Each step is a moment, brief but perfect. Your anger, humiliation and love are expressed and there is nowhere you can hide. I put up walls to see who cares enough to knock them down. It's a risk since all your heart is in your movements. Out in the open. Vulnerable. Anyone could hurt you.
And yet, the beauty of dancing is inspiring. Having someone there, in sync knowing you so well is magical. In that moment, actions speak louder than words. And someone is there to catch you.
 


 
 
So there it is! I admit, definitely not one of my best pieces. But I like this. First of all because I can remember how I was feeling, what I wanted to say, what I was thinking and what I love. Okay, there probably needs to be more metaphors, similes, alliteration and other things like that. And honestly, there's no flow in this piece. It's basically just a cluttered mess on a page. So it really is an "explosion on a page." I think it also just shows how much my writing has changed. Or at least I think my writing has changed. I hope it has.

Now everyone, go and dance!
 ♥ Jess ♥