‘Why Am I Like This?’ by Orla Gartland [Music Review]

“Maybe I’m an old soul trapped in a young body
Maybe you don’t really want me there at your birthday party
I’ll be there in the corner, thinking right over
Every single word of the conversation we just had

So why am I like this?”

As I’ve mentioned before in my post here, I am a huge fan of the singer Orla Gartland. I’ve been into her music for at least 5 years now, but I’ve never loved her music as much as I do right now. Similar to her song ‘Overthinking’, ‘Why Am I Like This?’ also tackles the subject of anxiety and I think that’s part of the reason why I feel so connected to it; the lyrics really speak to me.

Whilst it’s nice to have upbeat songs, I really admire artists who write, produce and perform music in such a raw state – with just them and an instrument. All the power and emotion remains in the voice and it’s often when you can tell how much music really means to someone – you can hear it in their tone and see it in their expression. Orla is someone who has such a great vibe when singing live – I haven’t actually seen her in concert (one day I will!) but her YouTube videos alone prove that she doesn’t need a mass of production and auto tune to be a great singer. She has an honest and humble talent that’s rare to see and that’s why I will forever give her shout outs on this blog because I really think she deserves it.

You can listen to either the stripped back acoustic version below, the produced version underneath it, or the original YouTube video underneath that!

 

 

How False is your Facebook Profile?

If I was told to imagine myself on a page, I would not imagine my Facebook profile. I would not imagine specifically chosen photos and an endless list of ‘friends’. I wouldn’t imagine birthday messages from fake people or tagged posts of empty happiness. I wouldn’t imagine any of that because, in reality, it doesn’t sum up me.

I find it so weird when I look at my Facebook profile. I want to say it is me but it isn’t, not really. I’ve chosen photos I genuinely love to feature on my page, and yet it still doesn’t feel real. That’s because everything on Facebook is shared due to a chosen decision. The user decides to share it and that’s why it pops up on our newsfeed. It makes sense that we want to share the happy moments. We want to remember the good times so we can look back on it and smile. But, ironically, we look at others and frown.

Social media is something I have a love-hate relationship with. There are days when I have to switch it off. There are days when I can feel the lives of other’s creeping into my head and those are the days I have to stop myself from endlessly scrolling. You’d think my profile is a more confident version of me – I think for a lot of people it is. But a lot of the time I feel like it is a weak version of me. It is the type of me who isn’t completely myself. It is the type of me who is aware of all these people and feels scared to confront them all at the same time. Equally, I feel like I don’t owe it to them. Most of my friends on Facebook I’m not that close with, so why should they see the real me? How would I even go about presenting the real me on Facebook without posting all the time? And if I did post all the time, wouldn’t that just be an act of justification, as if I have to prove to others that this is how I am? It’s all just an elaborate game and there’s no way to win.

Social media would be a lot different if we shared our lows. It would actually be a real portrayal of life. However, imagine scrolling through your newsfeed to look at a bunch of crying faces or depressed statuses. Wouldn’t that make us just as sad, if not more sad, than seeing other’s happy when we ourselves are depressed? It seems there’s no way to avoid negativity when it comes to social media. We are either saddened by other people’s tragedies, or we are saddened by the fact that we can’t be as happy as others.

I’m really glad I started blogging because, although WordPress is a community similar to social media, it is a place where I share the real me – both the highs and lows. It is a place where I don’t feel afraid to say that I’m feeling down. It is a place where if I see another blogger’s post and it saddens me, I don’t scroll but I actively involve myself in trying to help. It’s the kind of interaction that you just don’t get on Facebook – at least, not with those you’re not close to. On WordPress, it’s as if everyone is a friend – a real friend – whether you know them or not. And that’s what I love about it. It’s the kind of social media we never had.

If you’re reading this post and you think your Facebook profile does sum up you, look again. Look harder. Because an online profile can never live up to your life as a person, as much as you try. It can never replicate the pure joy of laughing until you cry; endless conversations into early hours of the morning; silent car journeys that are more meaningful than talk. It can never replicate the most important parts of being human. It can never replicate the unique personality that is you.

My Favourite Mental Health Books

Today is World Book Day, but it is also University Mental Health Day. Since I am a huge lover of reading and have struggled a lot with my mental health whilst at university, this day is really important to me. Therefore, what better to do than list some of my favourite mental health books?

1. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig Image result for reasons to stay alive

I know what you’re thinking, I’m talking about Matt Haig again, but his books have been really helpful to me over the past couple of years. He gives an account of his struggle with mental health with no filter and that’s what I love about it. He doesn’t make it seem cool or sugarcoat it – it is his raw feelings in book form and I really admire that. For people who struggle with anxiety and/or depression, this may be really useful to you. Read my book review here.

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2. Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

If you thought I’d just stop at one of Matt Haig’s books, you’d be very wrong. Whilst this one also tackles mental health, it is vaster in its approach to technology and social media. These are things that have become second nature to us and Haig discusses how this affects our minds. I think anyone who finds themselves even mildly attached to the internet can relate to this book. Read my book review here.

3. How to Survive the End of the World by Aaron GilliesImage result for how to survive the end of the world

Technically I haven’t actually finished this book yet, but I’m in the process of reading it, so that counts, right? This book focuses on topics similar to Matt Haig, but has more of a focus on anxiety. I really like the humour that Gillies brings to this book and the informal way it is written. It is split into categories, such as “My anxious brain vs the morning” and “My anxious brain vs socialising” which makes it really easy to pick out the parts as and when you need them. This one doesn’t have a book review yet (sorry).

4. Your journal

So I got to number four and realised that I haven’t actually read as many mental health books as I thought. Go me. However, having your own notebook and jotting down your thoughts is just as much a mental health book as any. It’s a way to release tension, to rationalise your thoughts, and you don’t even have to read it. Sometimes writing out your inner thoughts can be scary because you don’t know what’s lurking there, but it is unbelievably rewarding. Trust me.

 

I really hope this list was somewhat helpful, despite my slight downfall at the end with my lack of ideas. Today is a day about sharing books and caring for others, and I think that’s the perfect day.

Learning to Say “No”

As I’m nearing the end of my second year of uni (literally how??) I’ve realised how easy it is to overcommit yourself. At the start of university it is essential to make extra effort so that you can meet new people, but even now I still feel like I have to say “yes” in case I miss out on something or hurt someone’s feelings. The truth is, I shouldn’t feel bad. And neither should you.

Lately, I feel like I’ve learnt a lot more about myself. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t really fit any extremes; I’m just a blend of different types of people and I think that’s why a lot of the time I seem confusing. When it comes to going out, I love it, but what I’ve realised is that I only love social events if it’s with people that I feel comfortable around or I’m good friends with. And that’s okay. But it means I need to start saying “no” to the events that I don’t actually want to be at. I need to acknowledge the things that bring me “empty” happiness – the kind that is exciting on the surface but is non-existent on the inside – and to try and replace that with things that bring me actual happiness.

The concept of saying “no” seems so simple and maybe you’re sat there wondering why it is so hard for me, but I think – especially at uni – you feel there’s a pressure to go to everything. You don’t want people to hate you. You don’t want people to think you’re antisocial. You just worry way too much about other people. And I’ve reached a point where I just don’t have the energy or time to waste on people or events that I don’t want to be a part of. I think sometimes I come across as an antisocial person to people; I spend a lot of time in my room and because of social anxiety, I’m not the best at talking (but I’m getting there). However, that’s because I like my own space. I like having time to myself to get to know myself so I can write posts like this and understand what I really want. Time to think and order the constant thoughts that knock around inside my brain all the time. It’s also because I have a really low tolerance for fake friends and I honestly prefer spending time with a select few people than huge groups. I love socialising when it comes to my close friends, but I hate it when I feel like I’m there for the sake of it, wasting my time when I could be doing something else. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with knowing what I want and what my priorities are.

So, because of this, I’m going to say “no” more often. If I don’t want to go to something, why should I go just to please someone else? If I would prefer to watch a film or call a friend from home then I will do that instead. Because at the end of the day, it’s only one opportunity out of many. It’s better to do something you enjoy and that actually makes you happy. Otherwise, what’s the point?

I can’t believe I’ve only just found the TV Time app?!

A few days I was introduced to the app TV Time and I actually can’t believe I’ve only just found it. As many of you know, I am a massive fan of films but also TV Shows. I’ve probably watched waaay too many over the years but it’s one of my favourite ways to escape the world into someone else’s life for a change.

Image result for tv time app

It probably seems like this is a sponsored post but it actually isn’t – I just genuinely love this app and wanted to share it with you all! Mostly because it’s such a good way to track all the TV shows you’ve seen, and where you are up to on the ones you most recently watch. You can also find out when new seasons are being released and on what channel/streaming platform. Through this, I managed to find out that Cuckoo is still an ongoing show?? (did not know this at all), that there’s been a new season of Casual on Amazon Prime for ages (how did I not notice??), and new seasons for lots of Netflix shows!

It’s pretty cool that you can also do quizzes, comment on recent episodes, and follow, chat and connect with other people that are interested in the same shows as you! After I’d spent ages trying to remember every show I’ve ever watched and putting it into the app, it told me that altogether I’ve spent 1 months, 23 days and 10 hours watching TV shows. Actually insane. But could be worse I guess.

So for those of you really into TV shows, this might be your kind of thing! And if it is, let me know your name and I’ll be sure to follow you! Or you can find me at alice134. It would be cool to talk to some of you!

4 Types of Introvert – What Kind of Introvert Are You?

The other day I came across a video on YouTube asking: What Kind of Introvert Are You? (Personality Test). Because I sometimes get bored and flick through my recommendations, watching videos that inevitably waste my time, I decided that for once I would do something useful and write about one.

So the 4 types of introverts put forth were:

  1. Social Introvert
  2. Thinking Introvert
  3. Anxious Introvert
  4. Restrained Introvert

Rather than explain them all in depth, you can watch the latter half of the video (posted below) if you’d like to know, or take the test and find out which one you are for yourself!

When I took the test I had a few mixed answers but it was mostly 1 and 3. This made me realise why my head is so conflicted all the time. I love socialising with people that I’m close to yet at the same time I also get anxious about social situations and this means it’s so hard to keep on track on both of these as they are constantly against each other.

Sometimes I think I come across as very confusing to people and I don’t mean to, but it’s because at times I can seem really chatty but at other times I’m completely silent. When I’m talkative that’s my social introvert out in the open without any anxiety, but when that anxiety appears my ability to socialise ceases. It’s so hard to explain because on the outside everything looks the same, but to me I just feel different.

At this moment in time, I’m really trying to work on my anxiety and confidence so that I can leave those feelings behind. Sometimes I think that if I didn’t have anxiety maybe I’d be more of an ambivert. I guess if you see the extroverted side of me I’m either pretty close to you, or I’ve probably had a bit too much to drink.

I don’t really have any goals as such for the summer but my confidence is definitely something I want to work on. I’ve joined a volunteering programme called Angloville that involves constant talking and meeting new people over the course of a week and I’m ready to push myself and interact with others in the way that I know I can if I set all my anxieties aside.

So yes, I may be an anxious social introvert which is the most conflicting and confusing introvert to be, but one day I hope to reach past these boundaries and feel happier in my own skin.

What kind of introvert are you?