GUEST POST: Apples by Asil

Hey guys, I have another post from a wonderful guest writer! I want to give a massive shout out to Redefining Random for allowing me to publish this post 🙂

Apples.

I know a definite fact about apples. They shape-shift.

You may say, that is physically impossible. I say, it is possible.

Apples may shape-shift into fruits having a waxy appearance. Sweet and juicy on the inside.

Apple may be the giant company that brought the Iphone, Ipad, Ipod and the Mac to our technology-craving hands.

Apples may be the nickname of the rapper Apple.de.ap from the Black Eyed Peas.

You see the point?

What’s more, apple, in fruit form, has some connections with literature too. For instance, the clichéd quote “An apple a day keeps the doctor away ”, the poisoned apple in Snow White and the alphabet favourite, A as in apple.

So why should you be an apple? Apples can do almost anything you can imagine. Be an apple.

Thank you again, Asil, for being a guest writer 🙂 And if anyone else wants to guest write for me they can get in touch at: aleve44@hotmail.com. Thank you!

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

Thank you so much to Drifting Lexi for nominating me for this award!! If you haven’t checked out her blog, you need to because she’s awesome!

Here’s the rules…

  • Thank and link the blogger who nominated you. A massive thank you to Drifting Lexi!!
  • Answer the questions the nominator has provided.
  1. What makes you motivated to blog? My followers. Hearing from others who are going through the same things I am, and having people tell me my posts make them smile or have helped them makes me want to blog. Plus, I love it! I love interacting with people of all ages, races, sexualities, genders, and religions 🙂
  2. What’s your favourite thing to write about on your blog? I write about so much on my blog, so this is a really hard question! I like writing about things that I’m passionate about, like mental health and human rights etc.
  3. What is your favourite food? I’m such a boring person when it comes to food! I like really bland flavours, so if I cook myself pasta I’ll just have pasta by itself and I can’t eat anything remotely spicy. So this is going to sound really stupid but my favourite food is sweet and salted popcorn. I could eat that for the rest of my life and be happy 😛
  4. If you had to pick a favourite book, what would it be? Nope. Can’t do it. I love so many books. A book that I’m loving right now though is All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. It’s amazing, and I won’t spoil it but I would definitely recommend it!
  5. What was the last song you listened to? I worked last night (I deliver Chinese takeaway with my dad) so we had our favourite Fall Out Boy album on and we were singing to that! The last song I remember was Yule Shoot Your Eye Out, because who doesn’t like singing along to Christmas songs with their dad in the middle of June?
  6. What items are closest to you at this moment? Well my butt is on this incredibly uncomfortable chair, my elbows are on my dining room table (naughty), and my fingers (yup all 10 because that’s how I roll) are on my keyboard. Then all around me I have my junk that I’ve managed to spread all around me, like tons of post-it-notes, all my notes and resources for my tutoring lessons, and my mouse which I have to use because the touchpad on my computer refuses to work 😦
  7. Do you have any tattoos? No, I’m a giant wimp so I doubt I could last through a whole tattoo. Plus, I’m so indecisive I could never decide what i want to be permanently etched into my skin forever!
  8. What are you currently reading? Oops, I already answered this question- All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven 🙂
  9. Do you prefer going to shops and buying items or do you prefer to shop online? I like going to shops. I like going to charity shops in particular, because some of the stuff I’ve bought there is amazing! But I don’t really shop very often because I still feel really self-conscious and I get very nervous being in large crowds 😦
  10. What are you next looking forward to? Well, my 18th birthday is in just over 2 weeks so that’s pretty cool! I don’t have anything planned, so I think I’m just going to hang out with my family and boyfriend. And it’s my boyfriend’s 20th birthday in just under two weeks and I’m so excited to go shopping with him! I’ve saved up £100 to take him on a shopping spree (he doesn’t know this yet) but he hasn’t been able to buy new clothes in a year because money is pretty tight so I’m giving him £100 to spend on whatever he wants, it’s going to be amazing!
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers. I’m going to try and find some amazing bloggers who haven’t already been nominated, but I think there are hundreds of bloggers I follow that deserve this award!
  1. Shivani
  2. Perks Of Being Jade
  3. Everyone’s Friend
  4. Life Of An Indian teenager
  5. I Am Odd
  6. My Irrelevant Thoughts
  7. Hugs x Heart
  8. I Prefer Deep Blues And Sea Foam Greens
  9. My Overflowing Thoughts
  10. A Teenage Diary Online
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees and notify them of their nomination.
  1. If you look out of the window closest to you what do you see?
  2. What’s been your biggest achievement so far?
  3. Do you have any weird or hidden talents?
  4. If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be and why?
  5. What’s the most expensive item you’ve ever bought?
  6. What was the inspiration for your blog name?
  7. What is your dream job?
  8. What is the cheesiest/ worst joke you know?
  9. What is the most random and useless fact you know?
  10. What is your favourite blog post you have written and why?

Thanks again DriftingLexi for nominating me, and thank you for reading 🙂

GUEST POST: Suicidal Thoughts, Self-Harm, Depression: It’s Okay- By Matthew Tome

I’ve been wanting to include guest writers and posts on this site for a while now, and I am so glad that my first guest post is about something so close to my heart. As many of you know my best friend committed suicide when we were both very young. No body should have to feel like he did. I want to give a massive shout out to Matthew Tome at Exactlywhatyouneed.org for giving me permission to post this to help raise awareness of self-harm, suicide, and depression.

For many of you, suicide may just sound like something “cowards” or “weak” people do. You’ve probably cracked some jokes about it with your friends, playfully told people, “Just go kill yourself”, or maybe even looked down upon someone who actually attempted to kill themselves. The same goes for victims of cutting/self-harm and depression. These people seem to get rejected by society, even picked on for being vulnerable. I’m not trying to justify suicide or self-harm here. I don’t believe there is any justification in taking your own life or hurting yourself. What I’m trying to get at is, there is a major problem in our society. If someone is hurting themselves, thinking about taking their own life, or suffering from depression the LAST thing you should do is pick on them. It highlights a repulsiveflaw in your character, and is extremely detrimental to the person who is suffering. And, as for that suffering person, there is always hope.

On this blog, I search the world for things that inspire me. When I find one, I research it; study it better, so that I can find what exactly makes it so uplifting, and hopefully adopt those characteristics into my personality, and share it with you all. My goal is to encourage and help guide as many people as I can to the better lifestyles that they deserve. As someone who was formerly depressed for a period of two years (with a break in the middle of a few months), I can honestly say: Depression is no joke. 

For personal reasons, I won’t go into depth about the causes of, or specific events related to, my depression publicly. If you’re interested in learning more about me, my story, or even just need someone to talk to, you can contact me at exactlyceo@exactlywhatyouneed.org. I’ll be sure to respond to each of you, personally, as soon as I possibly can. Support is the most useful tool for overcoming depression, so don’t think you’re alone in this world. Some people honestly do care.

It’s not some momentary sadness that you can cure by buying a shiny new toy. It’s a disability that can last for extended periods of time, and in some cases, even for the rest of your life. It leaves you tired, weak, unable and unmotivated to go on. It deprives you of most, if not all, the joy in your life. I remember several occasions where I’d be hanging out with my friends, laughing and having lots of fun (or so it seemed on the outside). But, in the back of my mind, there was this lingering feeling. You could never seem to shake it. It’s like a little voice inside your head saying, “That smile isn’t real. Just wait till you’re alone. I’ll show you what you’re really feeling.” The instant you became isolated from other humans, it would all hit you at once. That nagging little voice turned into the ONLY voice. It was this overwhelming, debilitating emotion that completely and utterly consumed you. No matter what you tried, no matter how times you’ve experienced it before, no matter how badly you wanted it to stop; it just wouldn’t. That was definitely the hardest part of my life. No other hardship could even hold a candle to it-financial debt, wondering where I could find a job, not knowing what I was going to do with my life, broken relationships, divorce, family deaths. Depression was, and probably will continue to be, the biggest obstacle I ever faced in my life.

But, That’s the Beauty in All of This

It was just an obstacle. That’s not to lessen the traumatic experience of going through depression. It’s insanely difficult; seemingly impossible even. But, it can be overcome, just like any other obstacle. It will be hard, but you can make it. You will come out: stronger, more passionate, full of life, and full of love. It teaches you to appreciate every waking moment, because you never know when it might be your last.

Life is full of beauty and wonder. This goes unnoticed, overlooked, and unappreciated constantly, but it’s there. I promise you. Life is so worth living, it’s almost hard to understand how you didn’t think so before. I’ve been there; wanting to die, feeling like a complete waste, totally useless, and just wishing it would all end so you could stop feeling. It sounds horrible (and it is), but I’m actually glad it happened. It helped shape me into the person I am today; a person I am extremely proud of and happy to be.

To help drive my point, we should look at Thomas Edison. He had a fantastic outlook on life and I think we could all benefit from adopting this perspective. Ryan Holiday talks about it here on “The Tim Ferris Show”. (Lovely podcast, by the way)

At age 67, Thomas Edison returned home, one evening, from another day at the laboratory.Shortly after dinner, a man came rushing in his house to tell him some urgent news. A fire had broken out at Edison’s Research and Production Campus a few miles away. Fire engines from the eight nearby towns rushed to the scene, but they could not contain the blaze. Fueled by the strange chemicals in the various buildings, green and yellow flames shot up six and seven stories, threatening to destroy the empire Edison had spent his entire life building. Edison calmly but quickly made his way to the fire, through the now hundreds of onlookers and devastated employees, looking for his son.
“Go get your mother and all of your friends,” he told his son with child-like excitement. “They’ll never see a fire like this again.”
“What?”
“Don’t worry,” Edison calmed him. “It’s alright. We just got rid of a bunch of rubbish.”

This was, no doubt, a hefty loss for Edison. Years of hard work, millions of dollars, and tons of research/prototypes were lost in that fire. Edison knew he couldn’t let this stop him though. He lived by “Amor Fati”. It’s a Latin phrase that can be translated as “love of fate”. To put it even simpler, you have to “love everything that happens in life.” The good, the bad, the totally life-altering traumatic experiences. Love it all, and greet it with a cheerful smile. Edison knew this, Jack Johnson (first black heavyweight boxing champion) knew this, and Ryan Holiday knew this. All three of these people are/were very successful people. They all had this common belief and outlook on life, so there must be some power to it, right?. I’ve began to incorporate into my life, and it’s worked wonders. It helped drag me out of my two-year depression. Before, I was very grim about living. My life had no meaning, and I didn’t see the purpose in anything. Now, I’m well-driven. I chase after my dreams relentlessly, brushing off all opposition: the naysayers, rejections, and non believers. Of course, this doesn’t mean go running off without a plan, but that’s a whole other topic.

How to Find Help

For those of you who are struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, addiction and self-injury, you can find help from myself or loads of good people over at Heartsupport, or even check out this cool project: Project Semicolon.

At Heartsupport, you can find people, like yourself, struggling through things right now. They have a community forum where people can post and receive support from people all over the world. They also have lots of great bands/artists give personal life stories that are remarkably relatable. Heartsupport was created by Jake Luhrs (vocalist of August Burns Red, one of my personal favorite bands for many years now). If you like, you can support his band by buying their music, donating directly on Heartsupport, or even just participating with the community.

Then there’s this fantastic idea behind Project Semicolon. “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you, and the sentence is your life.” They use a semicolon to represent that your story is not over. You’re enduring through the tough parts. If you look back at any great story though, be it fiction or nonfiction, isn’t the part where the protagonist struggles the good part? Those are the juicy bits that build the story, strengthen the hero, and builds them into the wonderful champion who overcomes all obstacles presented before them. A story without struggle is boring. Who wants to read that? Not me. You’re just giving your life character; making it interesting by enduring the hardships, so that one day, you can tell others about what you’ve been through, and that YOU MADE IT. You’re still alive right now. You’ve made it through EVERYTHING life has thrown at you, so don’t give up hope. You’re stronger than you realize. Keep your chin up, and keep trying. Together, we can make it through this world (and as a pleasurable experience, at that).

I just want to say thank you again to Matthew Tome for allowing this beautiful post on my site. And if anyone reading this wants to speak to someone about their personal experiences with these subjects you can email Matthew at: exactlyceo@exactlywhatyouneed.org or you can come talk to me at: aleve44@hotmail.com.

The 3 Day Quote Challenge- Day 3!

Thank you again to the the wonderful My Personal Teen Life for nominating me 🙂

Here’s the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you. Thank you so much!!
  • Post a quote for 3 days.

Okay, here’s my third quote:

“Here’s to the crazy ones.The misfits.The rebels.The troublemakers.The round pegs in the square holes.The ones who see things differently.They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you cant do is ignore them. Because they change things.They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

I love this quote! I think everyone reading this is awesome and we could totally change the world 😛

  • Each day, nominate 3 new bloggers to take part in the challenge!

Here are my third nominations:

  1. This Is My User
  2. Just Shivani
  3. Desire To Express

Thanks for reading 🙂

Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Wow, I am seriously so taken back right now! My second award in two days, and I owe it all to Desire To Express for nominating me! *EDIT: I’ve also been nominated by Dear Life so THANK YOU!! Let’s do this 🙂

  • Thank the person who nominated you. THANK YOU!! You are amazing 🙂
  • Add the logo to your post. Here we go…

  • Nominate 10 bloggers that inspire you. I am following so many inspirational bloggers, but these are a few of my favourites:
  1. A Girl With ADHD
  2. Imagynasium
  3. Four Camels And A Coffee To Go
  4. Just Call Me Elm Or Something…
  5. Everything And Nothing
  6. Paradoxical Sadness
  7. My Journey To Recovery1
  8. I Am Odd
  9. My Crazy Path
  10. A History Addict
  • Answer the following questions:
  1. In your personal life, which person inspires you the most? I would have to say my boyfriend (I know it’s soppy!) because he has had to go through so much and he still stays strong. The way he sees the World is amazing. In his mind he doesn’t deserve anything, and everything he does have he is so grateful for and I don’t think there is a person that is as selfless and completely loving as he is. Okay, I’m done!
  2. Who is your role model? My main role models are, of course, my parents who have four jobs between them but still find time to have fun with my brother and I. Like yesterday when my dad came downstairs in the morning and exclaimed “I want to burn stuff!”. So we went out and bought a wood burner and spent the rest of the day burning stuff we found in our garage 🙂  Plus they both threat us like adults, even when we were really young, and I think that makes me respect them more because I know they respect me. I also have two other role models: Stephen Hawking and Steven Frayne (Magician Dynamo). I love science and Stephen Hawking is amazing, and my biggest dream is to be as respected as he is in science. Then Steven Frayne is incredible in a completely different way, my brain works so logically and I love it when this is challenged! He is also so humble and modest and charitable, which I respect too.
  3. Do you make efforts to make others feel emotionally and mentally stronger? For example- to boost their confidence,or to give them suggestions or to help them the best you can? I hope so! I have met some pretty evil people in my life, and I’ve seen some awful things happen to people. So I try my best to outweigh that, and although I know I can’t bring happiness to everyone I try to make people smile as much as I can because everyone deserves to be happy.
  4. Which sound do you hear this current moment? I am currently being serenaded by Nina Nesbitt songs 🙂
  5. Which is the best quote for you? “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its tree-climbing abilities it will live its whole live believing it is stupid” – Albert Einstein. I think this pretty much sums up the World. The education system is designed so that if you are good at remembering facts you will be successful in life, but if you are gifted in other ways well, you can forget going to University. I also think we judge each other on whether we fit in with the ‘normal’ expectations- get good grades, go to University and get good grades, get married, get a house. have kids. And if you stray from this at all you are a disgrace. So I think we should embrace the fact that everyone is a genius is their own way 🙂

And there we go 🙂 Thanks again for the nomination! And I can’t wait to see the answers from my nominations, and even if you weren’t nominated you’re awesome 🙂

My Summer Goals Tag

Shout out to Ellie who tagged me, and if you haven’t checked out her blog already you’re missing out! Since this will be my last summer before I go to Uni (uh oh!) I’ve been thinking about all the things I want to do. I’m the sort of person who plans to have an amazing summer where I’ll go to parties every weekend, I’ll learn a new language, volunteer, write a book, lose 50lb etc. Then in reality I end up watching TV and sleeping 99% of the time. But no more! This summer will be fabulous and here’s the plan guys:

1. Drive as much as possible! It is my biggest goal at the moment to learn how to drive, I’m getting better but it’s definitely not something I pick up easily. I think the biggest problem is that I cannot multitask (sorry womankind, I’ve let you down). How do people brake, change gear, signal, check the mirrors all at the same time!?

2. Spend time with Kyle. My boyfriend and I will not be going to the same Uni, so instead of seeing each other 4 days a week we’ll see each other once a month. I think this is going to be one of the hardest things about going to Uni. People ask me if I think he’ll cheat and honestly, no I don’t, but what I am terrified of is that we’ll drift apart and fall out of love because that would be the most heartbreaking thing for me. But we have agreed that this summer we are going camping, we’ll have that date at the Natural History Museum in London that he promised me on the day we first met, and we’ll celebrate my 18th birthday in style!

3. Get ready for Uni. I have so much to do, and so much to buy to get ready for Uni. To be honest I am so scared. I feel like everyone around me is so grown up, and I’m still here in my Pikachu onesie waiting for adult supervision.

4. Run. Fast. I took up running last year. Okay, it wasn’t as easy as that. Last year I was 16 and weighed 12 stone and I wasn’t happy so I started walking more. Eventually I’d lost 7lb, then I started cycling and that’s when I lost another 10lb. In November last year I woke up at my usual 6am and went for a run (I jogged for 30 seconds then walked for 5 minutes) and I did this every other day during the whole winter. I lost another 7lb. Now I go for a 45 minute run every other day and weigh just over 10 stone, and I love it! So this summer I want to keep that up 🙂

5. Party a lot! I am a nerd. I have two jobs and get the top grades in my class, and that means I have no social life! This summer I will go to parties, and go out clubbing, and just generally have fun. But don’t worry guys, I’ll always be a nerd at heart 😛

6. Get a science-y job. I have been offered a job during August where I can work at a Science Museum, all I have to do is call someone up and the job is mine. This is frickin amazing! Basically I’ll spend my summer blowing stuff up, with my boyfriend who has also been offered a job, and I’ll get paid! Yes please!

So these are my goals for the summer, thanks for reading and if anyone wants to give this a try, go for it!

You are beautiful! (I promise)

*Warning: This video may upset some viewers*

This woman weighs 40lb, the weight of my four year old cousin, and she cannot get help from hospitals because she is a “liability”. Please tell me I am not the only one who thinks this is disgraceful. This woman lives in a first world country where the government has no issue with raising their paychecks by a few million, yet they can’t give help to a woman with a severe psychological disorder. This woman will be getting support, but not because the government have seen sense, but because people across the world have donated money to her (http://www.gofundme.com/savemyrachael) and I hope that in a few years time we will see a much happier and healthier Rachael.

However there are still people out there, heck some may even be reading this, who have this disorder. I think weight is such a taboo subject and I think this may have a part in why so many people have eating disorders. If you are on the larger side you are fat, you must just sit around eating all day, you should be ashamed of your body. If you are on the smaller side then you are anorexic, you must only eat salads, you should be ashamed of your body. This is insane! People are not “one size fits all”, and I think that we should promote being healthy and as long as you’re healthy and happy it shouldn’t matter whether you’re a size XXXS or an XXXL.

And to try and encourage you, my beautiful readers, to talk about your body here are my measurements…

  • Weight: 10.5 stone (147lb)
  • Height: 5ft 3″
  • Waist: 29″
  • Hips: 38″
  • Clothes size: 12
  • Shoe size 5

…Because I LOVE my body and you should love yours too! So if you’re feeling brave feel free to comment with your measurements so we can start spreading the love 🙂