Come Join Me Over Here!

Hi there!

I'm glad you've come to read my blog, but unfortunately I don't live here any more!

Feel free to trawl through my archives or look up my posts on Scoliosis which will always be at home here, but when you're ready please come and join me at my new home:

See you there!

Catherine Ann x

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Strength... The New Daybook(e)

I think a diary becomes something very different as you get older. There are certain stages it goes through.

When we moved house, I found my diary from ages eight--nine. It was full of pictures and I wrote in it that I'd spent the day at my best friend's house, what the weather had been like, what we'd spent our pocket money on... it was full of exclamation marks and smiley faces. It might have included a few fallings-out with friends, but for the most part, I had wanted to write about all the nice things I'd done. I think there was also a passage where I was convinced that not one, but two boys at school fancied me. Cringe!

Anyway, the next time I kept a diary I was about thirteen--fifteen. Yes, you can see where this is going. It's a difficult age for everyone--or it seems that way at the time. It's not a very pleasant read. It seems I only wanted to write about it when I was unhappy. I flicked back through it (both volumes, actually), last year and thought "Oh, come on, it can't have been that bad."

And it probably wasn't.

Yes, it was bad. Yes, there were horrible times. I'm glad I had a diary to vent to, and I think I deserve a pat on the back for surviving the "early teens", as does everyone! But I remain convinced that within those three years, there have to have been some good memories. It's a shame I didn't write about them, as now future archaeologists will think my life was a lot more difficult than it really was.

Oh God. If you're from the future... please don't read pages 12--38 of my diary. I'll say it again: CRINGE.

Anyway, I'm sure when I'm an adult--a real one--I'll have a diary much like my mum's, just a page-a-day affair with things like "Dentist" or "Catherine Ann's school concert", etc. To be honest, I look forward to it!

Now, yesterday, I had a really good day. You know when you sit down at the end of the day and you think, "what a nice day that was". So I got out a notebook that's been waiting for a purpose, and wrote the date and what I had done for the day.

This is not going to be a diary. I already have one of those (read about it here). This is going to be a "daybook" where I simply record what happened in the day--but only the good stuff, because what's the point in remembering the bad?

I think this will give me "strength" in that when I flick back through it I will know that I did have lots of good experiences--and I'll know, on a bad day, that if I keep clinging on, there will be lots of good days to come.

I like the old-fashioned word (sometimes "daybooke") because it gives a sense of that old-fashioned stiff-upper-lip, keep holding on mantra. I won't get all weepy and moany in this book. That's fine, of course, but for another place.

Next year, when I look back, this will be a diary I can be proud of.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Strength... Every Woman is an Island

It’s no secret that “About a Boy” is a favourite of mine, book and film. In both, Will talks about John Donne’s statement that “No man is an island” and argues with it, saying he can do perfectly well on his own, thank you very much. In the film, he famously and hilariously says: “I’m bloody Ibiza!”

Excuse the language, and of course we all know Will turns out to be wrong—he does in fact need other people, very much—but I think a valid point is made all the same.

Don’t be afraid to be an island every so often. Of course you will build bridges throughout your life, connect yourself to many other islands, and hopefully find that one other land mass that fits in perfectly with yours… of course you need that. We all do. Even the very introverted among us need to socialise and connect in some way, even if only for a short time with a few people.

I come from a large, loving family, and am a very affectionate person by nature. I need to be liked, and I need my friends around me for the good times and the bad. I think that’s true of most of us: it’s what makes us human. But that doesn’t mean we have to live through, for and because of other people. We might be social beings, but at the end of the day the only person who knows how you’re feeling and who wants exactly what you want is you.

The other day I came home from school crying because of nasty things someone had said behind my back… and to my face. Sadly this was not as rare as I’d like.

After several cups of tea and some serious comfort eating, it struck me that a huge part of my life has been consumed by other people of late. I have spent an important year of my schooling—an exam year, no less—either being worried about others, or upset about the way people have treated me.

Don’t get me wrong: I have a lovely group of friends, and my family is the best. I know that I am loved and I know there are people who would do absolutely anything for me. For the most part, others are extremely kind, warm and friendly toward me. I’m extremely lucky and I know that.

But I’m sure you’ve been here before: it only takes one or two bad things to make you forget the good.

I’m not one to compartmentalise. If I’m feeling something, it completely takes over and I feel it with every 
single bit of me. That’s usually a good thing: passion, energy and love go into all that I do. But it also means if I’m feeling down or upset—which thankfully is only some of the time—I can’t concentrate on anything properly.

My grades have suffered because of this, and I’m a bit angry at myself for letting that happen. Nothing drastic has happened, my prospects are not totally damaged, but all my focus on others has made me forget about myself and my life, and my studies which are so important.

So for the next little while, as I prepare for my exams, my new adult life, and my new website (yes I did just plug that in the middle of an intensely personal post…), I’m going to try a little bit of “Island Living”.
I need to sort out the Catherine Ann Island before I can voyage to anyone else’s. It’s become a bit damaged recently, so I need to clear away the landfills, tarmac over some potholes and plant some lush new trees.

I’ll keep my bridges, certainly. I’ll travel over to my friends’ islands and I’ll cross the border and join my family on our vast, wonderful continent… but for the most part, I’m just going to be me for a while.

Because you know what? Sometimes, I can do all right on my own. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Things I did today that none of you care about


Just thought I'd take a short study break to remind you all that I exist, and assure you all I'm alive and well.

I have had an idea for a big deep blog post, but that's for when I have more than five minutes. Look forward to plenty of blogging after the exam are over!

In the meantime, here's a snapshot of my life in the form of a list of things I did today. It promises to be a riveting read.

  • Decided fully on an outfit for Thursday week. It will be my last day at school (ever!) and will be celebrated by a Mass service--there's a church next to our school, awards evening in the school hall and a night out with all of the sixth year students and teachers. 
  • Painted my hand purple and did a hand print on a board along with all my fellow sixth years. 
  • Washed the paint off said hand. 
  • Signed my name on said board.
  • Watched an entire football match without getting bored. (It didn't last very long, and Wolf was there to keep me company, but still)
  • Heckled players at a football match.
  • Bought a yummy cupcake at a cake sale, then found out someone had brought them in to give to a friend and they had been sold by mistake! (Still, they were very nice, if that's any consolation...) 
  • Almost positively picked a dress for the grad (prom) and discussed with Phoenix whether or not people still "do" corsages... Verdict: Yes. 
  • Got 94% on a history essay. (Go me!)
  • Had huge long chats with my friends about everything and nothing important!
  • Complained lots. 
  • Worked either extremely hard or not at all with no in-betweens whatsoever. 
  • Found out something new. 
  • Shared something new with someone else. 
  • Laughed as much as I complained. 

That was my day. How was yours? xxx