Ah, February. The month of slightly-warmer-than-before weather. The month of remembering how wonderfully single I am. The month of running out of excuses for my jeans being that-little-bit tighter since Christmas. The month of my cat having super-duper knotted fur because her winter coat starts falling out and getting tangled up with her excess of fluff. The month that everyone I know has a birthday except for me. The month of making plans to go out because now the year is ‘broken in’ and everyone wants to do stuff again. The month of those plans falling through because people still don’t actually want to leave their beds.
However! This post is not about February! This post is about January! The lessons I’ve learned, the places I’ve been, the relationships I’ve formed, and the things I’ve loved. Yes – there will be a ‘favourites’ section of this post. I’m trying it out – I know it’s cliché, but I’m giving it a go.
I don’t know, okay. I’m due a post, and it’s the first of the month, so this seemed kind of appropriate. Maybe if people like it, this will become a ‘thing.’
I’m going to start with the least band-wagon-y portion of the post – monthly lessons. Knowing me, I could go on about this kind of thing forever, so I’ll try and keep it short.
- Being productive isn’t about creating, or going, or pretending. It’s about doing, and it’s about feeling.
- If a friendship is flimsy enough to fall apart after a week of not talking much, it’s probably not worth keeping.
- If a person puts in even a little bit of effort, all it takes is the same from you to make a wonderful new friend.
- Sometimes, when people don’t come through, and plans don’t quite work out, you have a better time than if they did.
- Seeing someone loads, doesn’t make them your new best friend. Telling them loads just might.
- Talking to one person too much gets old quickly.
- New experiences are always good experiences, as long as you make the most of them.
Honestly, writing that made me realise what a busy month I’ve had. And I kind of feel like I should go into more detail, so I’m going to give you a brief life update. Again, I don’t know what I’m doing. It feels appropriate. Let’s go.
In terms of friendship, things have shifted for me, lately. Ever since I left my school, and moved onto the rather more unusual path of online schooling, I’ve naturally been seeing and speaking to my school friends a lot less, and a little space made me realise how superficial so many of those friendships were – not that the people were superficial, well not all, at least, we just had very flimsy, lazy friendships, that, yeah, I do miss, but in hindsight, have never been worth my energy. Being friends with someone because their locker was next to yours and you text a bit isn’t really a friendship worth keeping. All my good friends, my close friends, the people who threw me goodbye party in a bus shelter, they’re all still around, and I love them all dearly, and while it’s a little tougher now there are jokes I’m not part of, and Snapchats I’m not in, and parties I don’t hear about, those people are still my friends, and, actually, a little distance is doing us all good. They’re my closest friends, and will probably continue to be for a while, but I feel like some space to breathe is helping me realise the parts of myself and my behaviour that was purely for, or because of, my company.
I’m also in a show that one of the local boys schools is putting on, which is providing me with much needed socialisation, and it’s proving to be one of the most enjoyable parts of my life. People that have always been distant friends, or maybe just people with whom I’ve drifted apart since last year’s show, are becoming my closest companions and confidantes, the people who know all the most up to date details of my life, the people who have the most bad photos of me, the people who I have the most inside jokes with. It’s strange, because I’ve always had such a specific group of people who are my always-there friends, and that dynamic is shifting in my life. My best friends from before are still my best friends, there are still secrets I wouldn’t tell, and details I won’t share, but things are different, and I kinda like it.
I’ve been allowing myself to be dragged along to things, too – all these events my older brothers go to; workshops and talks; seminars; get-togethers of people of common interests. I’m finding it easier to talk to people, developing my conversational skills, forming new interests. Even when I embarrass myself and say something stupid, I’m learning, and I come away from all these events glad I went, even if they weren’t enjoyable in the moment. All experiences are good experiences.
You really, probably don’t care. Or maybe you do. Again, I’m trying it out.
Therefore, I’m moving onto another thing to try out. I’m quite sceptical of this, because I’m not normally a fan of favourites posts and videos, so I’m going to try and do this as more of a ‘recommendations and ideas’ thing than anything else. You may well just not care.
But we shall begin with books.
- Before I Fall
- I actually haven’t finished this yet, but I’m nearly there, so it counts. I’m really, really enjoying this book, although it’s kind of depressing. I’m avoiding it as my before-I-go-to-bed reading, which is why I’m making such slow progress, because it’s kinda creepy, since it’s all about this girl who’s dead, and she gets to live her last day again, over and over, changing little things every time, and it’s not only making me question my mortality, but also what I’m spending each day doing – I only get each day once, so am I doing the best thing with it? What would I rather be doing? Of course, there are limits to this, since I do have to think about consequences, and Sam Knightly does not, since she’s dead, but the point still stands.
- Pride and Prejudice
- I have read this book many times before, I even wrote a paper on it for my Literature GCSE last summer, but nothing will ever quell my most ardent admiration and love for this book, and also for Mr Darcy *fans self*. I reread for the who-knows-how-many’th time this month, and I am even more in love with it than ever. Jane Austen was a genius, and if I am ever half the writer she was, I will be more than happy. If you’re put off by the whole classic-novel, written in oldy-woldy language, thing, then either suck it up and read the book, and I guarantee you will fall immediately in love with it, or watch either The Lizzie Bennett Diaries on YouTube, a modern, vlog-style adaptation of P&P which I adore, or the 2005 version of the film (more on this later). Ah, I love Pride and Prejudice so much.
- The Perks of Being A Wallflower
- I actually read this right at the end of December and the first, like, two days of January, but whatever. I don’t have much to say, except it’s great, and y’all should read it ‘cause it made me smile inside.
This is gonna include movies, TV, and YouTube, because, if I’m honest, I don’t watch enough of any to warrant them having their own category. So. We shall begin with movies, then TV, then YouTube.
- Pride and Prejudice 2005
- Keira Knightly is the only Lizzy B for me – she has that not-quite-bitchy sarcasm down to a T, and, sorry-not-sorry, I never got all the hype over Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in the BBC version. Really though, this film is the most beautiful movie I have ever seen, excepting maybe La La Land (more on this later). The cinematography is wonderful, the acting sensational, and the script delightful – also, and excuse me while I fan-girl – THAT HAND FLEX THO AMIRITE!?!?!?!? *clears throat*. I know this film is old, but I rewatched it last week, and I love it nearly as much as I love the book. So.
- La La Land
- If you’re anything like me, you’re probably slightly fed up of constantly hearing people rave about this movie, so I’ll spare you the pain, and simply advise you to go and see it if you haven’t already, and if you have, go and see it again. I can assure you, it is not over-hyped, which I was very worried about before I went to see it, and it is in every way heartwarming, real, and beautiful. Just watch it, for your own sake.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- This has been out for a couple of months now, but I only got a chance to see it at the beginning of the month, and it was one of the best movies that’s come out in a while, in my opinion. I may be biased, since I’m the biggest Harry Potter nerd I know, and also I adore anything that J.K Rowling has anything to do with, but Eddie was excellent, the effects were sensational, and the storyline gripping. I love.
- A Series Of Unfortunate Events
- This is the Netflix original show I’m talking about, not the film, which was very good too. But the show, which came out this month, is the story split into 10 episodes, each book split in half. I haven’t actually read the books, but I do like the film, and it was meant to be very good, so I watched, and was not disappointed. It’s funny, it’s addictive, and it’s very well made. If you have Netlfix, and are looking for something to watch – watch this!
- Lucy Moon
- Moving onto YouTube, and I feel the need to mention Lucy Moon. She’s made a video every day this month, so I’ve sort of been reminded about how much I love her content, since there’s so much of it lately! She makes all sorts of videos; vlogs; confessional-style videos; tutorials; original music; covers; arty, edgy, kind of out-and-about videos, and more. She’s great, and totally honest, and down-to-earth, and honest, again, because in my opinion, its really commendable how open she is with her viewers about her problems. You should watch her. She’s awesome.
Fashion and Beauty
I’m not going to pretend I know the slightest thing about beauty and makeup, or that my fashion and dress sense are wonderful and stunning, or that when it comes to ‘fashion and beauty’ I know what I’m talking about at all, these are more just things I’ve done this month that fall within fashion and beauty that I happen to really like. J
- E.L.F Makeup
- E.L.F (eyeslipsface.co.uk) are a super awesome brand of makeup, because their prices are like high-street, their selection of products is sensational, their quality is incredible, and, best of all, they’re cruelty free! I’d been struggling so much to find affordable, cruelty-free makeup, that goes beyond one mascara and a range of pink lipsticks – but they have everything, and I’ve been using it all month, since my mum gave a whole bunch of products for Christmas, and I haven’t found fault with a single product. My particular recommendation is their Ink Eyeliner, which is kinda like a super thin felt-tip, and its so darned easy to use and I’m in love.
- My Brother’s Shirts
- My brother was clearing out his wardrobe a couple of weeks ago, and dumping a bunch of old shirts on the landing to be given away or chucked out, since they’re a little small, or a little ink-stained around the cuff and unsuitable for work. Before he got as far as the bin bag, however, I came home, saw a pile of wonderfully cosy-looking shirts, and pilfered every last one. I’ve since been wearing them perhaps a little too much – the longer ones make nice, casual dresses when paired with a belt, the more worn ones have become my lovely slouchy, cosy, not-quite-pajamas, some I’m just wearing as shirts, tucked into high-waisted jeans, unbuttoned about halfway, and with a strappy top underneath, and I’ve even worn them to dance rehearsals. If you have brothers or even a dad who’s thinking of chucking some old shirts, take them, and your wardrobe will never be the same again. They have become my staple, and I love it.
Music is great. New music is great. Old music is also great. Yay for music.
- Snarky Puppy
- Weird, albeit funny, name aside, these guys are awesome. They’re a group of jazz musicians, who make cool sounds and distract my brother when he’s driving with their awesomeness. Along with my two older brothers, I’m going to see them live in London in a few weeks, and we’re all so stoked, ‘cause these are the guys we put on in the background to play while we cook together or just hang out, and our parents yell at us from the next room to turn down the music you idiots you’ve already played this song twice. They’re super funky and exciting to listen to, so if you’re at all a fan of jazz, check them out!
- La La Land Soundtrack
- The music is captivating. Enough said.
- Ed Sheeran – Divide
- Everyone’s favourite ginger releases his new album soon, and the first two singles came out a few days ago. Of the two – Castle on a Hill and Shape of You, I prefer Castle on a Hill, because it makes me feel nostalgic for days I’ve still got to spend and experiences I’ve still got to have, and even friendships I’m yet to make – which is weird, but I love it. I’m not saying I regret the fact that I didn’t spend my 14-year-old days smoking in carparks and getting drunk in random fields – I’m saying it makes me feel like a teenager, like I still have so much to experience, and that, in a song, is wonderful. I also love Shape of You, cause yes, it is another song about sex, but at least it pretends to be romantic! Forget, ‘uh, girl, I wanna take you to bed’ or whatever the kids are listening to these days, it’s all ‘my bed sheets smell like you’, which is a nice change, if you ask me.
- The Beatles – Abbey Road
- Everyone knows who The Beatles are, and everyone knows all their most famous songs, but most people don’t know their albums, they don’t know their other tracks, they’ve never actually listened to their music, instead of just hearing covers, or recognise it being played at a party. I was stuck for things to listen to, and they popped into my head, so I opened up my trusty friend Spotify and listened to Abbey Road as I cycled home, and I wondered why I hadn’t before. It’s different, and it’s light-hearted, and its just really, really, good. If you haven’t, I recommend actually listening to some Beatles in February.
- Regina Spektor – Remember Us To Life
- Again, this isn’t really that new, I’ve just really enjoyed it this month. I’ve liked Regina Spektor for a couple of years now, and this is my favourite of her albums. She’s just so unashamedly herself, and so incredibly different to everything else, from subject matter to sound, and it’s wonderful.
So there we go. All my ‘faves’ of January. More like recommendations, than anything, and, really, what kind of person is going to take the advice of a random girl on the internet and watch an over-hyped movie, or steal their brother’s shirts, or listen to some random music they’ve never heard of before? I can’t say I would, but then again, who knows?
Anyway. This has been far too long, and it’s not actually the first of February anymore, and this kind of thing should probably be posted on the last day of the month, anyway. Who knows?
Let me know if you enjoyed this post, and check out some of my other content!
Have a lovely week, and don’t die before you come back,
Lots of love, but not as much as will be around to make you feel nauseas on Valentine’s Day,