Challenges Don’t Challenge Me


It is the 2nd of April, which means a new season of tasks for online creativity. I normally look at BEDA, or Blog Every Day in April, where I aim to post something every day over the course of April. I fail. All the time. And instead of inspiring me to be more productive, I am discouraged and don’t want to do anything.

A challenge is supposed to inspire a person to do bigger and better. It is an opportunity to prove to yourself what you can actually do, beat your own expectations. And, if you do it in a group, you can all help motivate one another, it can work very well. Blogging is a rather solitary task, so it is nice to not do it on your own. Nice to be able to discuss ideas and theories on what you are writing.

However, I haven’t really got involved in many groups and communities, which means I am on my own when it comes to motivation and ideas. And, it can be pretty difficult. And then I join a challenge, like BEDA, and hope it gives me the kick I need to post more regular, and the effect is opposite. I forget to post once, and feel I have failed the challenge, so don’t see the point in continuing. I sometimes struggle with deadlines and doing things, and although I set my own targets, sometimes they seem too large. I have a horrific fear of failure, of being told that I am not good enough. And I sometimes think that it is easier to give up, on my terms, rather than fall down despite my best aims. It is a habit that has been picked up from school, and it is an awful. Sometimes, I am better trying things without a serious goal. That way I can work away without the pressure, and I find I am better. It feels less forced, and there is no big nasty target to discourage me.

I am glad that challenges work for so many people, and every month there seems to be more coming to light. And, they do sometimes encourage me to pick up my art tools, camera or notebook, to try and create something. But, I have to remember that daily challenges don’t help me, so sometimes it is okay to simply sit out.

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Escaping the Crazy

I like to plan events and holidays throughout my year. Something to act like a target, something to aim for, when things get a bit hard. It can be trips to the cinema, gigs, shopping in another city or a holiday. In these modern days, where it becomes increasingly more difficult to disconnect from stress factors, it is good to set aside time to step away from daily life. To give yourself things to look forward to.

Last week I was on holiday to Rimini in Italy, with Tartan Army friends as Scotland was playing San Marino, which was nearby. I like to visit countries that I haven’t visited before. I think that is one of the best things about living so close to so many other countries, as a part of Europe (ignoring Brexit). It has always amazed me, that so many countries in such sort proximity can have so many cultural differences. Especially when you take in to account how big countries like Russia and USA are. So, I like to visit as many countries as I can, whilst I am able to.

I think that it is important to take time outwith your normal life, especially if that life causes you stress. And sometimes, simply staying at home doesn’t seem enough. With the constant barrage of information, simply going home after work is enough to disconnect a person from what is going on around them. So, sometimes it is good to go somewhere different. Somewhere fresh. Somewhere where your mind can relax.

Coming back to reality, can be a headache, though.

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Don’t Stop Me Now

To most people I am a quiet person. Very shy, and don’t like to go to places where I don’t know anyone. I get panic attacks and frequently cancel plans to stay at home on my own. I am very good at isolating myself.

However, when I see articles or comments berating a group of people, for being who they are and I can’t hold back. I feel like life is about better things for yourself and others around you through education. So when I see ignorance on Facebook, or some article, I feel composed to jump up and say something. My belief is that if someone is not harming anyone, and making themselves happy, why to get so upset about what they do. Most of the time the angriest people are angry because they simply can’t relate. And I feel that it is wrong to comment harmful words on a topic that you have no knowledge on, and are scared of.

This feels like a big thing right now, as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I see people berating trans people, or people who aren’t cis-gendered, regularly. As I grew up, I had so much verbal abuse about my own sexuality and gender. I have always been a tomboy, and never been a girly girl. I was bullied at school, for looking like a boy. It was the first point where I started hating myself, which started a horrible spiral which has lead to many mental health issues through my life. I kept myself to myself, I never hurt anyone, and tried to be a good person. But I was made to feel like a criminal for being who I am.

So, when I see people angling abuse at folk, I feel I have to say something. I think everyone should. I frequently hear people say they are okay with ‘the gays’ but then berate someone struggling with gender identity. You either support the LGBTQ+ community or you don’t, in my opinion. I don’t understand why you would hate someone for something you don’t understand. And mockery translates to hate to a person who feels attacked from all sides.

People say that their ‘free speech for jokes’ has been spoilt by Social Justice Warriors, and it isn’t true. It’s just the jokes that used to be made at the expense of women, race, or LGBTQ+, is no longer acceptable. You see, these people now have a voice, and can speak up and tell you why it’s not okay to berate them. Free speech is allowing you speak what you want, but it also gives people the ability to call you out on anything which is problematic.

Every day is a chance to educate yourself on a viewpoint which is unknown to you. Make the best of it. The world will be better for it.

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Social Media Care

I remember when I started using social media, many years ago (in fact, 10 years ago), it was a place of excitement. It was new for everyone, it was filled with normal folk, as advertisers hadn’t really jumped on the bandwagon yet. Social media became a place of freedom of expression. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, this isn’t the case anymore. No matter what you express, it feels like there are always people about to try and pick holes in what you say. Like, I try to be kind and advice-like when I write, but people like to jump on what I say to be all ’that isn’t how it is to me, so you are lying’. And these people are usually anonymous profiles who seem to spend all their time hating other people.

It is important to look after yourself in an atmosphere that can be so destructive. So, I thought up I few things that I use, when social media gets to me.

1) Block button. Every social media site has the ability to mute or block certain users. This is good. You might have a friend who is posting annoying rubbish for a TV show you hate, you can mute them for a while. This means, you are still following them, but you don’t see their content for a while. Blocking means that the person is unfollowed, can’t see what you post or anything on your profile. This is a good way to cut out people who may be harassing you.

2)Take time out. Go for a day or so without social media. I usually simply put my phone on airplane mode for a few hours, like when I am studying, so that I can focus without the constant pinging of my phone. If that isn’t enough, and you want a few days away from the distraction of your Facebook timeline, delete the app from your most used device. A lot of the time, we check social media constantly because it always seems to be there. And it not being there, can free up a lot of time.

3)Don’t read bad comments. Sometimes, you could post a picture of an apple on Instagram, and it would attract bad comments. If you see this happening, try not to feel down. These people seem to get some kind of thrill of bringing people down. You can disable comments on many social media services, as well as make it so only your friends can comment. You will find that people are a lot less confrontational if they know you, or have to share their identity.

4) Just laugh. Try not to take social media too seriously. A lot of the content that you will be shown on sites like Facebook and Twitter are there to get a reaction. So they will either be content you agree with, or content you massively disagree with. For example, I would say I am ’left-leaning’ when it comes to politics, so the stuff I get shown is either supporting that stance, or is wildly opposing those views. So, try not to take everything as gospel, and just laugh when people do. It also can defuse a situation building up within yourself, as laughter does make you feel better.

5) Be kind to yourself. If you find anything on social media to be causing any kind of negative reaction to yourself, then step away. You are the only you there is, so it’s important you look after yourself. If there is too much BS happening, then go and read a book, play a computer game or whatever social media is distracting you from.

You can be selective over what you show on social media, and it’s important to remember that. Because everyone else is too. A lot of people show part of themselves, whether it be a nice or a nasty side. So if someone attacks you, then remember it is just what they think they see, it’s not actually you.

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Accidents Happen

I am very accident prone. I can trip up over thin air, and my grip has always been really poor (I blame my small hands). Most of the things that happen in my life, seem to be things that that have ‘fallen into’ without any real thought. These tend to be situations that fare better than the things I actually plan.

But I am learning that accidents and mistakes happen. They are what makes up the experience of life (or so people have told me).


You don’t learn from successes; you don’t learn from awards; you don’t learn from celebrity; you only learn from wounds and scars and mistakes and failures. And that’s the truth.

Jane Fonda
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Radio Static

There is a constant chittering of noise in my brain. Some would call it ‘white noise’, the kind of noise that allows for intense focus. Except, the racket rattling around inside my head is so loud that it doesn’t allow for any type of focus at all. Which in itself is a headache, especially when you require focus.

When I was younger I used music to drown out the nonsense. The internal monologues that berated every action I undertook, and it was exhausting. So sometimes it became easier to avoid things, to bury my head in the sand. If everything I did was so bad, then why do anything at all. But, this didn’t fix anything. I felt as big a failure in my bed, as I did at my job. It didn’t matter what was going on in my life, I was never able to silence that ‘inner critic’.

To get past this overly critical thing, you have to re-train your brain and how you think. And that is what I have been trying to do over the last few years. Whilst, I am a lot more productive than what I used to be, I still have a very long way be able to believe in myself and what I do 100%. My mental health is still up and down, in general, but I am taking steps to make it better. And that is all that a person can do really. Battle to find an alternative to the static.


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Hello 2019.

The start of a new year, already? It’s pretty scary how time just seems to fly by, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. It’s important to make the best of whatever time you have, and that includes relaxing.

This year, I have a few things I want to sort out.

1) Finances- I pretty much live payday to payday, which is pretty sad. It’s no way to live life, as you can feel permanently broke. So I am planning on setting up my bill payment account, and I won’t be able to touch the money that goes into there. It’s going to need a bit of discipline, but I am aiming to spend a lot wiser next year, and hopefully save some money.

2) Be Healthier- I am very unhealthy. I do a lot of walking, but I eat so much crap. This year is about progress, so I want try and move a little forward with my health. It includes eating better, and doing more exercise, as well as looking after my mental health. My mental health was awful last year, and it was like a brick wall that stopped me from doing so much. I want my health to stop being such a burden on my own life. So more ‘body positive’ and self-care in the year ahead.

3) Read More- this sounds a pretty weak one, but it’s important. I have always read, but last year I really struggled. Reading is something I need to have focus for, and I haven’t had the focus. So I am going to try and put time aside to relax and read to unwind.

It’s not a lot. But they are things I would like to achieve. The start of a new year always feels like a fresh start, but it’s not really. It does feel like a good opportunity to push myself to be better, but every day should be like that. But, it psychologically feels to close off a year, especially if it feels like a bad one.

Let’s see what 2019 has in store.

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