Monthly Recap: August 2018

It’s the end of summer! September has started, which means autumn is coming! I absolutely love autumn, it’s my favourite season, so I can’t wait! 🍂

This time of year is usually “New Years” for me — that is, that period where you can truly start over and really feels like a fresh new start, or a new year. That’s the thing with me: January doesn’t feel like a new year at all, because how could it? Usually, I’m just doing the same thing I was doing in December, so how can it be a fresh start? It really doesn’t feel like one. But when summer ends and autumn comes knocking on the door, that’s when I feel like life is changing enough to feel like a fresh start. So, in a way, September is more of a January to me than January is.

Anyway! This is the last post of the summer, and hopefully, it’s going to be the start of me blogging a bit more often. This is probably going to be the most positive post ever, as so many good things happened towards the end of August! So, without further ado, let’s get right into it.

How August Felt

August felt a bit like the “waiting” month. There was quite a bit of waiting around to be done for the majority of it, and at the end, it was all frantic and very stressful! But then it absolutely shot up in quality at the end of those few stressful days. ✨

Those who have been through it themselves probably know that what I have described is the usual pattern of moving. I mentioned in my last recap that Peter and I had found a flat in Stirling. We finalised everything at the beginning of August and decided our move-in date would be the 25th of August. That meant that August was a bit of a weird month: some waiting around to do at the beginning; many, long preparations for moving in the middle; the stressful few days of the move towards the end; and then the absolute bliss that came after moving, as our living conditions improved drastically.

Due to moving taking up so much energy, both mentally and physically, my projects and hobbies fell to the wayside a little. But it was for a good cause: the move into the much nicer flat improved my mood immensely, which in turn improved everything else. Seriously, so many positive things happened along with/after my move, it was such a big catalyst for positivity in my life. 🌟

Also, we did still spend the majority of the month at the old, horrible flat, which meant I was in a slump during the “waiting around” period, again. This time, though, I at least had something to look forward to: I had an actual countdown of the days we had left there! I could finally say, “Only X days and I don’t have to endure any of this anymore!” whenever something negative happened, or during nights when it was too hot to sleep comfortably. That had a small positive effect in the meantime, but the move itself and living in an actual pleasant environment had by far the biggest positive effect.

So kind of a weird month in terms of feelings and what was happening: it went by slowly at the beginning, then the stress made everything go by really quickly! As if someone messed around with the playback settings. Also somehow my birthday was in there, but I was too preoccupied with other things to truly organise something for it. Though that’s okay because honestly, this incredibly lovely flat is the absolute best gift I could have received this year. 💖 I think, even with all the stress, I still think of August as a positive month, as a big, positive change happened during it; and everything about this change was more than needed and welcome.

Real Life

First of all, even though I am repeating myself: the move happened! We moved! We actually did it! And we relocated to an entirely new city, too. It stressed me out a lot, for many reasons (there was so much to do — not just packing, but getting rid of all the furniture as the flat was unfurnished and the landlords weren’t re-letting it; and of course cleaning it, which took a lot of effort, as the flat was prone to constant dust and mould, but I really wanted all of the deposit back out of it), to a point that at times I thought moving wasn’t going to be possible by our original timescales. But with some clever thinking and lots of help from Peter’s family, we actually got everything done in time, to my relief. So we did it! As of the 25th of August, we are no longer living in Perth, and also no longer living in an extremely unpleasant, badly insulated, mouldy property right next to a horrible, rough pub! ✌

Our new flat has turned out to be even nicer than we thought it would be. 💖 My view is much lovelier now (my bedroom window looks over the shared garden we have, which has a little birdhouse in it! I’m going to feed all the birds!), the area is much, much nicer (we are surrounded by other nice houses and lots of greenery, trees and flowers — there’s a small park right outside our doorstep and a much bigger one just 5 minutes walk away! 💚) and so much quieter!

Honestly, my first day at this flat has been the first day I have enjoyed spending in my own flat; it was the first day after two years that I spent in peace and quiet, with absolutely zero noise from loud drunk/high people; it was my first silent day in two years. I’m not exactly sure how to convey the feeling that I felt after the first day here — it was surreal to be enjoying peace again, to not have to deal with the noise of either the pub, its people or random town centre noise. The noise was my ‘normal’ for two whole years, I could never escape it, even though I really wished I could. It’s a mind-boggling thought, the fact that I had zero peace and quiet in my own flat for two entire years… but that’s how it was. But now… I don’t have to endure that anymore! Now I’m far away from that flat, that alleyway and those people! I said goodbye forever to that flat and I will never be living in it, or have to deal with its terribleness ever again!! This thought absolutely fills me with joy every time I think about it. 💖✨💞

Other equally important things I love about our new flat: lots and LOTS of natural light! ☀ This flat is super bright (our old was a cave and I hated it, I need the light!) and I love that! It means I can have plants again! 🌿 The city centre is only 10 minutes walk away — it’s near enough to not be a hassle going into the centre, but also far enough that we don’t get any noise from it, which is perfect. Our bills here are going to be cheaper as it’s well insulated (the windows are modern and new!), with good gas heating and no rechargeable meter — and also we are with a better energy company now that uses 100% renewable energy! 💚 And, last but not least… we have a jacuzzi bath! We only found this out the day we moved in! 😂 I’m going to enjoy taking lots of relaxing baths while I read a book, something I haven’t been able to do in years! ❤️ And we have a cosy fireplace, too! 💕

And lately, thanks also to the natural light, I’ve been waking up early without needing an alarm! I just seem to naturally wake up between 7-8am, which is fantastic. I wake up early, have more hours in the day to enjoy and be productive, and it also means that I go to bed early, too — and I can actually go to bed early now, because I don’t have to wait for the pub to close late or for the drunk crowd to disperse; they don’t keep me up at night anymore and I can go to bed whenever I want and fall asleep immediately! Finally, I am getting into a good sleep schedule again! I have a normal routine again, which will enable me to be more productive! This is so exciting and it makes me so happy! 💛

Already, the peace and quiet, the lovely area and environment, and my sleep schedule getting fixed have had a massive positive impact on my mood. I feel happier, healthier, more in control — the days don’t pass me by anymore while I’m in a sad, anxious or unmotivated slump, and my days don’t end with me beating myself up over it and ultimately feeling frustrated at my circumstances. This is such a great change and improvement for me. 💞

After about a couple of days, I was already completely and totally in love with the flat. 💗 The flat is just so lovely and cosy that honestly, I look forward to spending autumn and winter here! 🍁🧡 I can’t wait for the scenery to change, for the leaves to turn orange and fall, and for it to be colder, while Peter and I are snug inside our little flat. 💓

This is truly the first property I’ve lived in, in Scotland, that actually feels like home. Our home. 💝

Another real life update that is worth mentioning is the fact that I have reconnected with old friends. Due to my deep depression last autumn and winter, I had pushed away pretty much every friend I had in real life. You know how it goes: mental illness always makes you isolate yourself. I cut contact with a bunch of people, though I didn’t really mean to, because I was not in a good place mentally and emotionally. But with my improved mood and the move, I was finally able to reconnect with those I had lost contact with. I messaged people that my anxiety was blocking me from messaging, and they were actually happy to hear from me, to talk to me again and to hear how well things are going for me now (and they were very understanding when I mentioned I had disappeared due to depression); other people messaged me because they saw that I moved and the move gave them a good excuse to ask how I was and reconnect with me, which was fantastic; I’m even talking to a friend I haven’t talked to since high school ended now, because they got back in contact after wishing me a happy birthday! It’s incredible but it feels absolutely amazing to have all of my close friends back. ❤ It’s great to know people care about me and that they like being my friends.

University

I’m starting university on Tuesday! That’s the other big news, I’m officially a student again! 😄 So from now on, university will have its own little space in the monthly recaps.

Peter and I had induction on Friday, the very last day of August, and classes are officially starting this week. I absolutely love both the college and university campuses. Our first two years of our course are at college and the last two at uni, but we count as university students right from the get-go, which means we can use all the facilities and join all the clubs there! On this course, we seriously get the best of both worlds — the cosiness and small classes of the college, but also the whole university package at uni. 👌

The campuses of both are gorgeous and surrounded by greenery and nature. The university is massive and it has its own loch and mini castle!! I am completely in love with it! They have everything up there, including a discounted cinema for students! They have 120 clubs and societies too! There are a bunch of societies I want to join/try out — for now I know for certain that I want to join the Creative Writing society, for obvious reasons. 😁 This will be the first time I can actually meet other people in real life who like writing… I’m so happy and excited! 💖

On Tuesday I’m being thrown into the deep end! They’ve put us to work on a project for a real life client straight away! We’ll be supervised by the lecturers and some second-year students, but it’s still real work. I’m in one of the audio groups and our job is to work on a podcast for said client. I can’t wait! I’ll get to work on a podcast — it’s so exciting! ✨

This semester we also have a photography module (it’s just an introductory one, so I’m pretty confident I’ll do well! 😆) and a “writing for the media” module! I can’t wait to do some writing!! I’m so excited!! 😆🌟

Hobbies

This section is gonna be pretty short — as I mentioned above, the move made August weird and it took up all of my physical and mental energy. That said, I did manage to make progress with a couple of hobbies!

📷Photography: I covered Slough Feg’s gig in Edinburgh! I even managed to talk to the band after the show and it was a fantastic experience! The photographs that came out of that gig are some of the best ones I have ever taken, I really like a whole bunch of them, and so did my Editor in Chief — he said they were “ace!” 😆 I think this gig has to be a milestone for me, for how far I’ve come as a gig photographer: in 2016, all I had was a basic digital camera (not even a DSLR as I couldn’t even change the lens on it) and not really an understanding of photography, it was under this weird fog that I didn’t know how to lift; but then, I signed up for classes and worked on it, I got a good camera and a good understanding of photography, the flame was lighted and now these are the gig photos that I take (or rather, make) in 2018! 🌟 And for a music magazine, no less! I feel really proud of myself, even though I know I still have so much more growing to do as a photographer. But I’m ready for it, so bring it on! 💪 I can’t wait to see what photos I’ll be making in a few years’ time!

📺TV shows are probably the only thing I had the energy for before and after the move. Peter and I finished the first season of Honey & Clover and are currently halfway through season 2. We don’t have many episodes left and Peter says the story can’t get resolved in less than 10 episodes… I’ve read the manga a few years ago, so I know how it ends, but I’m really curious how Peter will feel after the ending. Either way, I am prepared to cry my eyes out again, just like I did when I finished the manga. 😭 Other than Honey & Clover, we’ve also restarted watching season 2 of Twin Peaks after moving into the new flat and we were pleasantly surprised to see that it’s gotten good again! There were too many episodes that were boring or had flat-out nonsensical plots at the halfway point, but now we’re enjoying it again. We shall soon be finishing it and then we can start season 3! As for movies, Peter and I have caught up with some of those that were released this year but that we didn’t go and watch (because the cinema is crazy expensive), namely The Last Jedi and Blade Runner 2049. We didn’t really like the former, but the latter was an absolute masterpiece, we loved it. More recently, we watched Christopher Robin at the cinema with some friends as our “last activity together” in the old town before we moved (they also had free tickets so yay). I really liked the writing in that movie. 💕

🎮Video games also remained the one constant during the move. 😛 I finished playing in my Blood Bowl league and ended up fifth overall after losing my very last match. I was invited to join the higher up league, however, I decided to retire my Tolkien Throwaways wood elf team as I wanted to experiment with a more bashy team (I was kind of tired of half my team getting injured every time 😅). At the moment I’m trying out Lizardmen and I like them a lot. My team is the Teen Mutant Ninja Saurus (unfortunately Teen Mutant Ninja Lizards was already taken) and I have named all of my players after Italian Renaissance painters. Peter said it was a pretty good theme. 😆 I might join another league with them sometime. I haven’t started Mass Effect 2 yet, but I will soon. I also finished Life is Strange at the beginning of the month. I started playing Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns for the 3DS, as it was a very welcome gift from Peter and my (now ex) flatmate. 💖 I love it, it’s so much fun! I’m already in Autumn of Year 1, despite having received it right before my birthday (20th of August) and having played it only for a few days before having to put it down for the move… and I haven’t touched it since as I was too busy enjoying the new flat and settling in. 😅 But I’ll be getting back to it soon! An online friend also got me Ghost of a Tale as a birthday present, which I’ve been wanting to play for ages! 💞 So I’ll get on that soon, too! There are a couple of games I want to get/play once my student loan comes in, namely Okami for the Switch (I played it on Wii the first time, so I’m super excited to use the same controls again!), which is one of my favourite games of all time, and Darkest Dungeon. And speaking of Switch, on the day of my actual birthday I received the best present ever: Grandia is coming to Switch in HD! My favourite game of ALL TIME, my childhood is coming to the Switch!! I am so happy about this, I actually cried! 😭 I am definitely getting this as soon as it comes out. 💖

Projects

There isn’t much to report on the projects front, again, due to how busy I’ve been for the move. Buuuut… I’m happy to report that, following my huge improvement in mood and the positive effect that the new flat has had on me, I’ve actually felt really inspired to work on videos! ✨

Also, the bright natural light coupled with the constant peace and quiet means… that I am now able to record and film my Youtube videos more easily now and can do so whenever I want! 😁 I can finally properly kickstart my Youtube channel, the way I’ve always wanted to! Since I feel so inspired to make videos, something should definitely be happening this month! I really want to put up a video or two! Let’s hope I succeed. 💖

28 by 28 Checkpoint

So here’s what I was able to tick off the 28 by 28 list this month!

  1. Moving to a nicer flat. 💖
  2. Getting into a good sleep schedule.
  3. Added another finished video game to the list: Life is Strange. Currently sitting at 3 out of 5!
  4. Getting rid of 30 items of any kind that I don’t need: this was actually achieved during the move! I gave all kinds of stuff away to charity and friends — books, games (those were traded in and were only 3), all of my single-issue comics (which took up a lot of space), 5 whole kg of old/broken clothes (those were given away to recycling), and various bits and pieces that had somehow come into my possession over the years, but for which I really didn’t care at all, and felt they’d be better off with someone who actually liked them and could get some use out of them (among those things were also a couple of bags I had gotten for free but never, ever used, and would very certainly never use for myself). I didn’t take any pictures, but I know for sure that I definitely hit my target here! It felt so good to get rid of stuff! 😁
  5. I modified point 28 slightly in order to include my reconnecting with old friends, which was definitely important to me. ❤

I am very proud of all these achievements this month! 💪 I crossed off some big ones, too! 😁 Way to go, self! ✨

Thoughts on August

August was odd: first, it was a month of waiting; then, it was a month of stress; and at the end, it was definitely a month of happiness. But, despite the fact that the majority of the month was spent at the negative flat, I can’t help but still regard it as a positive, happy month. It brought a much-needed change, an absolutely lovely new place for me and Peter to live in, the start of a fun and creative degree where I get to learn new things and do what I love, and reconnecting with close friends. I made real, actual progress on my 28 by 28 list and my mood is so good at the moment, that I can only view this month as a total success under many lights. And the fact that this entry has been nothing but full of super positive things makes me really happy. 💖

Plans for September

I don’t have that many plans for September, mostly because, since university is starting soon, I think I will have to adapt to my new busy schedule of having lectures and doing a lot of projects/homework. So I don’t want to set anything in stone until I am more settled into my new routine. So these aren’t “plans” as much as “things I’d like to and hopefully will get done if everything goes well” — but there’s no hard pressure on me to meet these plans because of my current situation. Then again, I set no plans last month either (other than moving), and look how much progress I made on my 28 by 28 list! Anything can happen when I don’t put pressure on myself. 😁 So let’s jot these down as potential plans/ideas for September:

  1. Join a society and/or sports club during Freshers’ Week.
  2. Get back into reading more and finishing the sci-fi books I started, possibly read some more Lovecraft.
  3. Finish Twin Peaks season 2 and start season 3.
  4. Finish a video game.
  5. Work on videos and upload one this month.
  6. Blog more.

That’s it for August. Time to get ready for autumn and uni! 💪

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