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Curls meets Feeling Ugly but Fighting back with Beautiful

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I used to be able to count on the fingers of one hand, all of the times in my life that I had  ever felt beautiful. I guess being a buck-tooth pasty ginger child with acne and chubby little legs didn’t really give me much option.
I can already hear some of my faithful friends getting up in arms over this. No No, don’t protest please, this is how I used to see myself. Something disgusting that could never be accepted as beautiful or even pretty by any stretch of the imagination. I had taught myself from a young age to be insecure about everything about myself that was different or imperfect. Sound familiar?
You have those days when you wake up and you don’t want to look in the mirror, you don’t want to be seen the way that you are. That part  of you that you hate, you hide from people because you’re afraid it will make them love you less. It’s an absolute war in your head. We do it to ourselves, we like to streamline ourselves. By apologising for the things we least like about ourselves we invite each other to be ashamed for that which is out of our control. Sweet soul, you do not deserve to feel that way about yourself.

I’m not going to apologise for my body and nor should you apologize for yours, all it’s trying to do is keep up with my crazy soul and the life I choose to lead. I feel most beautiful when I am doing the things that I love like walking the length of the beach in my hometown, singing to a room full of people or just to myself and spending time with people who like me, just want to do their best.

Somewhere along the line I taught myself to believe that I should only love something if it is perfect and beautiful and there is absolutely nothing to be desired. Bullshit. You will never love anything in your life if you choose to believe that this is true. I used to wake up everyday and struggle not to hate myself. I struggled not to hate the milky colour of my skin and the way I was ridiculed as a ‘Ranga’ as I walked down the street. It manifested until I believed that I could never be loved, never be capable of what I wanted to do and never be allowed to like anything about myself. Now I have a new problem. I wake up everyday, a little bit lovestruck. I am overwhelmed by my heart’s capacity to love everything in its sight. I’m not at all concerned by the way it loves imperfect things for they are just like me. Everyone has their shortfalls, but believe me when I say I have never met an ugly person, only an ugly behaviour within a beautiful person (but that is a separate issue for another post).

In this day and age, we like to put our best foot forward and show people ourselves in the most gorgeous light possible. We are all guilty of this. This is how I end up in my bare-feet in the wet-grass with a face full of make-up and my sister’s magical photography skills to make you think I am some ethereal being (as shown above). Why do we do this? Because we are afraid if we are seen to be ‘ugly’ then people will use it as a reason to stay away from us. But I’m about to get very vulnerable and point out some of the times when I did not have my act together in the least. Am I afraid that this will change the way that the people I love look at me? Yes I am. Then why am I doing this? Hopefully if I show that I am unafraid of my imperfections, or that I have even come to embrace and love my imperfections, somebody somewhere might just do the same. And at the end of the day, if someone decides not to love me because of my body, then they have completely missed my soul.

Here are some of what I consider to be my finest moments. You have my permission to giggle- I certainly can’t help my laughter.

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So you will see that I am not the most beautiful woman in the world. I don’t have it all together. I am by no means a supermodel but I shouldn’t have to be those things for somebody to love me. Nor should I have to be those things to love myself. A lifetime is a very long time to spend not loving yourself for the things you cannot change. As of late I feel the most beautiful I have ever felt in my life. Why? Because I am learning that beauty is not defined by the crop of curly carrot-coloured straw atop my head, not my snaggle-tooth smile or my chubby white legs. No, beauty is defined by who I am trying to be. And in case you hadn’t gathered, I’m trying to help you see that you are beautiful, so maybe it’s time you started believing that.

What I want you to know is that you are a beautiful person, yes in part for how you look, but wholly and truthfully, completely and utterly, finitely because you are you. Let’s love the souls inside the bodies and then we will love the bodies that take care of the souls so much more for what they protect.

Take care, you beautiful soul

-Curlsmeetsworld

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Curls Meets Imaginary Friends

I’ve had one of those thinking mornings. Like when you start thinking about the concept of life and digress into parallel universes and wormholes and alternate endings to your favourite movies.

I was walking on my way to course this morning thinking about how my life could be an entirely made-up world in my head. The street where I live could be a figment of my imagination, I could have invented my favourite foods without even knowing I was the responsible party, and my own reflection in the mirror could be an idea that I have of myself. I apologise, I know I went all ” The Truman Show” on you just now. But funnily enough as I was nearing an anxiety attack down Lambton Quay this morning, becoming increasingly embarrassed about all of the scenarios that I could be responsible for conceiving, I suddenly smiled at the sweetest thought that could take place in this idea. If I have created this make-believe world in my head, then the people I have placed in my life whom I love to spend time with and speak with are some of the best ideas I have ever had.

Phew, we got there in the end. Am I starting to sound a little less crazy? No? Fair enough. I think I arrived at this wee thought because sometimes I wake up and I take stock of everything that I don’t have. As the list of things in my life that I don’ t have starts to pile up and I prepare to face the day attacking the hole in my heart with things that I think can fill it, I think of all the beautiful people in my life who care so much about me. I start to second-guess whether or not I am truly deserving of such people in my life and I really don’t know why they put up with my loopy-loop sometimes. This is where the belief that I possibly conjured up imaginary friends comes from. But here’s the thing, if I can look at these people and think about the way that they make me feel about myself, surely then, I have the potential to be the best imaginary friend somebody else has ever thought up as well?

I have had many conversations with people who are in difficult spots who seem to think that they could be a burden on their friends if they really knew what was going on in their heads. I too am one of those people as you yourself probably are. I think we possibly need to stop thinking this way. Humility and gratitude is one thing- self-deprecation is another. The long and short of it is that we humans have a duty to look after one another. Have you ever heard the whole “love your neighbour as you love yourself?” or “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” Well here’s the thing. Think of someone who you love and think is very beautiful. You are looking at them and thinking “How the hell don’t you know how wonderful you are?” Now, do you want to know a secret, someone is looking at you that way. You too are wonderful and worthy of love. Believe me of this one thing- you are infinitely loveable and infinitely loved. Not because you are perfect or because you do anything exceptional, just simply because you are you. One thing that I think we could get better at as humans is saying this to one another.

Something you should never feel, is embarrassment for loving someone or thinking someone is cool. You are not a lesser-human than anyone else, don’t you dare think that! Sometimes I sit there and I think of saying something nice to someone and then I back out and think; “they would never want to hear that from me, they will think I am weird and needy.” What a ridiculous notion. I’m sorry but in what universe is giving someone a compliment or trying to build someone up something to be ashamed of? Why should I think so very little of myself that I would not say the nice thing to my friend whom I love? I’ve not yet figured out that logic. But then to draw on my previous point about the people in my life being the best ideas I have ever had, then what great love I must have for myself to believe that I am worthy of having such people to share my life with. The even better part is that I know I haven’t conjured up my friends, they are there in my life because they choose to be. We all make the choice to be around people we love and those people make the same choice right back at us.

Sometimes your soul just latches onto another soul and says “yep, they’re cool, let’s hang out over there for a while” and before you know it, you’re both laughing while they help you get the zipper unstuck from your jacket. You plan to hang out with a friend and talk about anything and everything but in the end you just end up taking a nap with each other. Sometimes your friend just says ‘stop’ and they take a picture of you doing whatever you are doing right then and there because they want to remember you that way- because this moment with you means a lot to them. Then you have those unexplainable people in your life who tell you that what you believe to bethe ugliest thing about you, is their favourite thing about you and they continue to amaze you just by being themselves and being a part of your life. We should prepare ourselves for that fact that some friendships have their seasons. Some people will only be in our lives for a short while and that’s okay, we can’t ask for more time than life can offer us. So why not love those people while you can in a way that leaves you both feeling like winners so that if the day comes when you don’t see their face anymore, you both know you gave it your all.

So tomorrow morning when I wake up I’m going to try to take stock of what I do have instead of what is missing. I know that I don’t have a lot but I like to think that I have it all when I am around the people that I love. I encourage you to say what you can while you can because you don’t know if you are going to get a tomorrow. I choose to love the people in my life today and to live that love out loud not because I don’t know if I am going to get a tomorrow, but because I am genuinely happy and grateful for the people that exist in my today.

With loud love

-curlsmeetsworld

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Curls Meets Rush Hour

Sometimes, life is like boarding a rush hour train. You have a yawn sitting in the top of your chest, your eyes are dewy and half-closed and somehow you end up sitting backwards watching everything fly past you in a flash of Green and blue brilliance. You have a ticket to ride, you have your destination in sight but you still ask yourself “where the Hell am I going?”

It’s totally normal to feel lost but know exactly where you are going. I mean, when we were kids, I think we all had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen. We would hit the magical age of “grown up” where we would have complete control over our meal choices, our bedtimes and our pocket money and this would be a glorious moment in the timeline of every child. It’s a nice idea, but the truth is, being in control of your own life and your own choices can be pretty hecking scary. I know this, because I’ve been there.

On the list of mistakes in my life, at the very top would be praying every night for a year that I would one day marry Justin Bieber (no offence JB but we can agree that we can both do better). I know- terrifying, it has been 8 years since then and fortunately this has not yet come to pass (and I am totally cool with it never happening (please God, please don’t let it happen)). In any case, in a very roundabout way, I’m saying that it doesn’t matter all that much whether you know what the Hell you are doing because 99% of the time, life is going to put you on a track to something better.

Now I know what you are thinking; “what could possibly be better than becoming Mrs Bieber?” Well, other than the many, many, many other things that I can think of that are better than that, I like to think that life is a Mary Poppins bag. You think you can probably figure out what is in it but then she goes and pulls out a freaking coat stand. The scary part is that I’m not even sure she knew that was in there. Planning everything in life is a bit of a non-event. Don’t misunderstand me, it is a wonderful thing to have goals and to be working towards something. But you should also know that you don’t have to believe that things are over for you the minute one of those goals falls apart. If there is one thing I know, it is that even if you sat me in a room with the writers of “The Notebook”, “Forest Gump” and “Gone With the Wind”, we few could not have planned or forseen the complexity of my life (that’s not a brag it’s a cold hard fact). One of the most wonderful things to keep in mind is that you absolutely never know where one small decision may lead you.

Amid the busyness of life I have been very lucky to see many miracles. I’m talking  everyday miracles that turn the corners of your smile on the street and I’m also talking, “how in the world, my heart is beating one million miles per minute this is not possible I could not have planned this if I tried” miracles. You cannot plan a miracle. However, you can believe that they are real and that they will happen for you if you choose to let them.

I’m nearly 20 years old and I still believe in fairytales. It’s stupid I know, but when I was in high school everyday for 5 years, as I rounded the corner of my street on my walk home, I would hope to see a prince waiting there for me (I’m seriously considering deleting that bit, because I cringed writing it). He was never there, but I still believe that he could be in some way. Just because the fairytale isn’t happening for me, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening for someone somewhere. Just because I don’t know what I’m doing right now or whether what I am working for will pay off, it doesn’t mean that the happy ending does not exist in some weird and wonderful way.

I’m a great believer in some wise words that my very own fairy-god-mother (aka Aunty Biff) once gave to me. She said “What’s meant for you will not go by you.” I think she is very right. So my advice to you when it feels like you don’t know where the heck you are going is not to worry, because you really don’t have to. Just breathe and start up a conversation with the person next to you or simply enjoy the view, it’s not very often when we are rushing around trying to fix everything that we get to just look at nice things. So when life is rushing at me like all of the crazy lights of space mountain, I like to remember those words and know that I just have to focus on what I’m doing right this second because regardless of what I do, I will have what is meant for me if I choose to believe that I will.

Wonderful things are happening everyday, and they are surely waiting just around the corner (but Justin Bieber is definitely not involved).

-Curlsmeetsworld

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Curls Meets Raccoon-Related Issues

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Do you feel like a yucky slug? Is your head saying nasty things to you? Are you being a grumpy guts to your friends and family? Are you finding it hard to sleep because you had a bad dream about trying to chase a raccoon out of your house? Okay maybe that last one is just me, but if you answered yes to the first three questions AND you are finding it hard to sleep for non-raccoon-related reasons AND you have been feeling like this for a while then Curls may have some things to help you.

It’s winter which for most is a cosy time for hot-chocolates and snuggly scarves and marshmallows by the fire. But for some, winter is characterised by this horrible thing known as “The Winter Blues” or in a more sciency term it’s called “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (SAD). Your feelings could also be entirely unrelated to this but it is more common than you might think so maybe look into that.

Anywho, I’ve compiled a few things that I find help me out when I’m being a lil’ ice Queen. Bask in my mediocre wisdom, go on, you know you want to

1. Tidy your room!

I know, gross right? Or the opposite, some of you may already have a tidy room so this one doesn’t help very much. In any case, having an ordered and nice little space for you to come to when your heart is all busy feeling crazy can be a really good way to get that pretty little head of yours in order. Start by making your bed and clearing the clutter off of seats and desks and bed-side tables- then have a cup of tea and sit down and congratulate yourself on a job well done. I tidied my room earlier this week and rediscovered MY TAMAGOTCHI VERSION 2. I would say that was time well spent.

2. Excercise!

Don’t freak out. I’m not talking about a Jane Fonda Aerobics workout (although that would be really fun, think of the leg warmers). This could be as simple as taking yourself for a walk around the block or to a really pretty place like your local river or beach or somewhere there are lots of trees. I used to go for runs around the golf course (it didn’t last long) and it really helped me to get out some of the nervous energy that follows me around when my anxiety sets in. Now I just like to get some air at my local beach- no running necessary.

3. Spend time with your pets!

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If you are lucky enough to have a little fluffy thing that looks up at you adoringly, then this is a really good way to lift your spirits. Pets are really good because you can talk to them about anything and they don’t have anything to say back, they don’t try to offer advice or fix things and they can just sit with you in silence when you are feeling exhausted. Fun fact; my dog was the first one to know when I was diagnosed with depression. My councellor suggested that I tell my dog first so then it wasn’t as difficult to tell my family and close friends.

4. Write lists!

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When I’m feeling particularly anxious or I need to fight off the nasty things my head is saying to me, I write lists in my head and then in my journal. “What sort of lists?” I hear you ask. Well, friend, they could be about whatever you want them to be. I start making lists of favourite books, favourite movies, favourite places I have been, things in my life I am most proud of, people who inspire me and why. Do you know what these are? These are reasons why life is a pretty good gig and why what you are feeling at the moment is not a forever feeling.

5. Make a cup of tea!
So under-rated. If tea is not your jam, then have a glass of water! Avoid coffee because it’s caffeinated and can make your heart beat a million miles per minute which is not overly helpful. My suggestion is to get yourself a box of your favourite herbal tea and choose a special mug, that way every time you make the tea you can feel special, because honey trust me, you are special. I once had an anxiety attack at school and a really lovely little lady (fellow classmate) helped me out of class and made me a cup of herbal tea in the common room. She then drove me home with the cup still in my hand………I may still have the cup.

6. Wash your face!
This one sounds weird, but I promise it has a point. If you have that yucky sluggish feeling that sometimes comes when you are feeling down or if you’ve just had a major crying fit, then this really helps. Wash your face, brush your teeth and have a glass of water. NOTE: Water is very important when you have just been crying. Do you ever get a head-ache after crying? Well honey, you’re dehydrated and you need to put all that water back! These little things are my way of showing my tired body that I still care about it.

7. Collect Quotes that make you feel awesome!

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My go to quote when I am down and out is “To live will be an awfully big adventure” From J. M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan.’ It’s a hecking big reminder that life is one big adventure that I want to be a part of so I’m going to get off my sorry tushy and hecking live it.

8. Tell someone!
This one is important and I think it’s quite different for everyone. Lots of people, including me, don’t want to burden their friends or family with their problems. Here’s the thing about that
– You don’t have to tell them everything
– Chances are your fam know that you’re not all good and they want to know what’s wrong
-You don’t get to decide if people worry about you or not, they are going to make that decision for themselves
It may be as simple as “I’ve not been doing so good lately, just need a friend to talk to”
Dude, the main thing is, the longer you sit alone with it in your head, the longer it’s going to eat away at you. What I have decided is that people are the absolute best thing about life and there are some really loving people in this world who want to help you get through, they can’t do it all for you, and you shouldn’t expect them to, but they will do their damnest to help along the way.

I’m not qualified in anything. Absolutely nothing. I have a certificate that my friend gave me that proves I have a star named after me- that’s about all the certification I have. This is not medical advice, this is a pasty-ginger child who has been there in the depths of depression and anxiety and is finally having the hecking time of her life. But she still slips up every once in a while and she needs to do some things to make herself feel better.
You are going to need to put in the hard yards to get out of the low feeling you are in. But these are some quick fixes to just lift your spirits a little when you’re clutching at straws. You may hate them, you may find your own little quirks. If you do, I encourage you to share them! A problem shared is a problem cut in two! The more we talk about how we are feeling and how we learn to feel better, the more it works and we actually start to find solutions instead of running into problems all the time.

I said it before, people truly are the best thing about this life. Do you know what that means? You are the best thing about this life. Look after yourself the way you want to look after others, knowing that you are freaking wonderful, goodness knows you don’t need a better reason than that. If you’ve been holding your breath, do yourself a favour and let it go, take your shoes off, put your feet firmly on the ground and say out loud (or to yourself) I am here.

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-Curlsmeetsworld

 

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Poetry

Green Eyes

Sometimes I look in the mirror and do my best to avoid the hateful eyes that glare back at me
The ones that tell me I’m a fool,
I’m no good at anything,
I simply have nothing to offer a world that could surely do without me
And then I walk down the hall to the first door on the right where two green eyes are crinkled against a laugh so pure because of something funny they are reading in a bed-time book
I hide in the door-frame and watch as these eyes trace the pictures on the page through a toussle of soft blonde curls,
I smile to think that these are the same eyes that look up at me with adoration simply because they love me
As I come through the door at the end of the day, the hands that struggle to meet around my waist as she buries herself in a welcome home hug, are the same small hands that clasp the ends of the book she now reads
That sweet little laugh which turns the corners of my mouth toward the sky, belongs to the same voice which mimics the songs I sing to myself without thinking
Those same creases of the little green eyes are the same creases which appear when she laughs at one of my foolish jokes
So as the eyes turn to the doorway and notice that their nightly play is now audience to my own, older green eyes,
They have no trouble in making me feel like the most wonderful thing to ever walk the earth
And as the tiny arms reach out for the older, weary arms to tuck them in tight,
I know that I am needed more than ever if only for one moment
So there is something to be said as I leave my little one in the soft lamplight of her room and walk once more back to the cold pane of silver glass which waits for me just past the door to my own room
for where I once saw hateful eyes,
I now see two green eyes which might as well belong to those of a heroine in a beloved story,
the eyes of someone who must be doing something right

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Poetry

Hello Moon

I wake and hope that night’s face will come to my window to meet me
I feel like a bashful star in love with all of the Moon
a silly and sparkling sweet little freckle on the night’s face
Yet it’s enough for me to know that I simply get to share the sky with something so bright
A warm globe of sugar-dusted light
and dimple-craters which make the Moon’s smile so fine
that even the Sun can’t go to bed
So she stands behind and hopes to catch the creases of his eyes in her own
With these friends I share my window and wonder
How many phases of the Moon will I see before he shows me his true face
The one he hides from all but himself.

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Poetry

Plenty Perfect

I see your face in everything
Maybe I could help that if I looked a little less
But my heart had you in her sights before I could tell her to close her eyes
I honestly thought that you would let go- but you didn’t and when the world disappeared-
You held me tighter
I wish you hadn’t
yet I wish that you would do it again
because when I looked up,
my heart broke loose before me and threw itself at your hands
I don’t want to cheat myself by not saying what I see
because what I see is all beautiful
and you need to know
and I need to be the one to tell you
That your rough edges are plenty perfect in my eyes.
That the you that you see isn’t even close to the wonder that you are
Like sunlight streaming through a crystal vase,
Your smile is one million colours of splendid
And though you think the worst of you,
the best of you is pouring itself out in every place you walk
And though there are things you do that don’t measure up with me,
They just don’t have to
in order for me to love you quietly
And I’m happy knowing that I can.

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