Wow. March has certainly been a busy month for me. Relationships have changed, begun, and ended, and I’ve started to experience things – good and bad – that I really never have before.
My March began with the release of The Restless Times, and with it a public kind of confession – ‘I write things, and, oh look, here’s a link to my personal blog that’s been a secret for months.’ I really thought that it would be massive, and life-changing, coming clean about my secret online existence – but it wasn’t, really. I don’t even think that many people noticed. (Speaking of The Restless Times – issue two has just been released! Go check it out here – and if you don’t know what I’m on about, go read my post about it here.)
Just a few days after this was a funeral. While this was, of course, heart-breaking, it was also wonderful. My grandfather lived a wonderful life, and was loved by many. His funeral was a celebration of his life and achievements, and of the relationships he made along the way. And whenever the family of an eccentric old man get together, there is bound to be some kind of party.
Speaking of parties, there was a house party, this month, thrown in secret while an incredibly and unreasonably strict mother was away, that was a disaster, and resulted in a mess that took hours to clean, and many broken things, and also being found out. This has thrown a massive wrench into some of my relationships, and helped me realise which friends are there for me, and which friends are less so, while simultaneously opening my eyes to a lot of immaturities that my friends and I have had.
This month has had more boy and relationship drama for me than I’ve experienced in all my other months put together. I won’t go into details, but know that I am very happy with where I am.
This month was show month! You may or may not remember me mentioning in my last monthly post that I’ve been a part of a school production of My Fair Lady, which months of work has gone into. Our Sundays and Monday evenings have been taken up by endless choreo-learning, and practising harmonies, and blocking scenes, and learning lines. This wonderful, indescribably enjoyable experience culminated in a four-night run of a near-professional standard show, lots of tears, far too many hugs, and a great after-party. Without a doubt, it has been one of the best experiences of my life, and if you ever have the chance, I urge you to get involved in drama productions, because they will give you something so special that it’s impossible to explain.
And after this rather brief, but quite comprehensive description of my month, come my life lessons from this month. The things that those events, amongst others, have taught me. Enjoy.
• Funerals don’t have to only be sad.
• A good family are the greatest gift I never asked for.
• Friendship and worship are incredibly therapeutic.
• Age is just a number – in terms of friendships, at least. Younger people can be great friends too.
• If you’re worried that you might get found out, you probably will be.
• Just because you’ve thought something is one way for years of your life, that doesn’t mean it is.
• Trying to hold onto a manipulative friend is almost definitely not worth the effort.
• Trying to help an immature friend to grow up probably is.
• It’s hard to know which friendships are worth the effort they require.
• Keeping secrets from friends is sometimes necessary.
• It’s important to pick your moment when you have controversial news.
• Sometimes all it takes to make a new friend is mutual disdain for your costumes, and a fake feather you can’t get out of your hair.
• Being 14 and heart-broken feels awful when you’re 14, but by the time you reach 16, you’ll realise what little consequence it holds.
• Coming to a personal revelation doesn’t mean that other people will care – but that doesn’t really matter.
• Sometimes, blasting your favourite songs, and spending two hours dancing around your living room in your favourite jumper when no one else is home is really all that’s worth doing.
March has been magical. I feel like I’ve grown up a lot, but have also realised how incredibly immature I still am, in so many ways. I dunno. Stuff is confusing. But good.
I don’t want to dwell too much on this stuff, ‘cause then I’ll think about it for hours, and if allowed, I can think myself into oblivion, so let’s not do that.
So let’s move on – recommendations.
I have a lot of recommendations this month, actually, and about 50% of them were recommended to me. Mostly by the same person. (Finding people with the same taste as you is the best feeling.)
I’m so ashamed. I’ve barely read anything all month. I’ve been so busy! I’ve read a couple of things that are good, but not worth recommending, but luckily, I do have one thing:
• Winter Sun
o My friend wrote a book! It’s called Winter Sun, and it’s a short-ish Sci Fi novel and it’s great, and I was on a team of proof-readers that got to read the final draft, before he self-publishes on Amazon, quite soon! It’s a great novel, and as soon as it’s released, I will be posting again and encouraging you all to buy it.
I have watched a lot this month. I think that’s probably why I haven’t read, really. Unfortunately, a lot of what I’ve watched is utter crap and I wouldn’t recommend it. So, here’s the best. *Sighs*
• What If
o I watched this movie twice this month. It’s great. It’s got Daniel Radcliffe in it, being awkward and nerdy and relatable, and falling in love with his best friend. It’s just gorgeous, and yeah, it’s a rom com, but it doesn’t feel like that, because it doesn’t have all those awful tropes. It’s just this honest telling of the story of some funny people being stupid. It’s very endearing, and also very funny, and I think you should watch it.
• Begin Again
o This movie has been one of my favourite movies for over a year. It features Keira Knightley as a lost-in-New-York singer, who isn’t searching for fame, and Mark Ruffalo as a washed up old dude who lost a lot to poor mental health, including his relationship with his daughter, and is searching for someone to make famous. And also, there’s a really kick-ass soundtrack that I adore. I rewatched this film for the first time in a few months last week, and I fell in love with it all over again. This movie is a beautiful, beautiful piece of art, and everyone should watch it. And – side note – it’s directed by John Carney, who also directed one of the movies I recommended last month, Sing Street – I love this man’s work, and the music that comes from his movies. It’s safe to say he is my favourite director.
• Grease Live
o So I know I’m a bit late to the party, but this was great! It made me smile, and it was light-hearted, and well made, and I liked it lots. Yay for random Netflix-surfing.
o Ohhhh, boy. This series is great. Not my usual kind of thing, but it’s a sci-fi, time-travel series, based on a Steven King novel, where a bored-af English teacher is tasked with preventing the murder of John F. Kennedy, because why the heck not? The characters are the perfect mix of out-of-reach and perfectly relatable, and it’s well made, if a little terrifying in places. Also, the ending might make you cry. (Not me, though – I got a fiver from a bet, because I’m not really a crier.)
• Mr Selfridge
o This is a great historical drama – the characters are complex, and well developed, and since they’re pretty much all morally questionable, the show leaves you with a sense of push-and-pull – what makes a person a ‘good person?’ What if they’re professionally morally-upstanding, but privately not? What if the opposite is true? Where does the line between professionalism and emotion blur? I’ve only watched a few episodes of this, but have really enjoyed it – it’s a dramatic, partially domestic and partially world-encompassing drama, about a group of people with all sorts of secrets, all centring around a department store. What more could you want?
Fashion and Beauty
Yeahhhh, no. Not this month.
Oh goodness. Where to begin? This month has been a great month for music for me. It’s been considerably more rock-y than in the past, and my low-key love for soft, alternative, and pop-rock has blossomed into something much more high-key, in amongst all the folky stuff I’ve fallen even more in love with recently. Ah, I love music.
• Life We Chose – Jared and the Mill
o Super great, tbh. Like, the epitome of my music taste. Folky, rocky, kinda indie – just awesome in every way. Unfortunately, they did just remove one of their albums from Spotify, but it ~looks like~ they’re releasing some new music soon! My personal favourite song from this album is Messengers, because it makes me Feel Things, which is nice. Honestly, though, everything this band creates is amazing, and if you’re even slightly a fan of folk, or rock, or indie, then go listen to them! Right now!
• Tuanaki – Miner
o Miner are a 4 person, family-oriented folk-rock band, with a similar, but softer and more mature sound, to Jared and the Mill. They’re lovely, and I like them lots. Give ‘em a listen.
• Hits From Yesterday and The Day Before – Barenaked Ladies
o I feel like choosing a greatest hits album is kind of a cheat, but whatever. I like everything by Barenaked Ladies, especially the best bits! Aside from being the singers of the ridiculously catchy and annoying Big Bang Theory theme song, they have some other excellent music – If I Had $1,000,000 is both hilarious and cute at the same time, and to be honest, they’re just very clever lyrically generally. It’s All Been Done is also a personal favourite, just because it’s lovely. Barenaked Ladies are great to just sit down and listen to, with a cup of tea, a comfy sofa, and a couple of hours ahead of you. This isn’t background music – but it is excellent music.
• Begin Again Soundtrack
o I mentioned the kick-ass soundtrack when I recommended the movie, therefore I’m recommending it here, too. The movie is about the making of an album, and the soundtrack is essentially the album that is created. It’s gorgeous. Keira Knightley is not only an amazing actress and irrationally beautiful woman, but has a gorgeous voice, and also Adam Levine is featured and he’s great too. The music really has that Maroon 5, The Script, Coldplay kind of edgy, musky vibe, except sung by a female voice, which, for me, at least, really gives the sound a new feel, since it’s an area of music that is massively dominated by male voices. You kind of can tell that Keira isn’t a musician, but the beauty of the songs and lyrics themselves makes up for what you lose from casting an actress and model in the role of a musician
• Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus
o I can’t even explain this. For some reason, in the past couple of weeks I have just been loving this song. It’s not even that great, but it also really, really is. It’s so iconic. I love it. This song basically just gives me life.
• Biblical – Biffy Clyro
o The four songs on this EP (I dunno? It’s not an album, but like, not a single? Who knows?) are great, especially the titular track. I’ve been singing it, and Fingerhut, pretty much constantly recently. When I’m not singing Teenage Dirtbag, that is. I have no idea how I only just discovered Biffy Clyro, but @the guy who told me about them, thank you, very much, for the recommendation.
• Dark Side of The Moon – Pink Floyd
o Yes, I know, I’m a cliché, and also very late to the party. But, who doesn’t love a bit of Floyd? I mean, except for people with bad music taste, but whatever, they don’t count as people anyway. (Kidding, obviously.)
Wowee, so much music. I mean, I’m not complaining, but wow. Makes up for my lack of anything to do with fashion and beauty, really. I’ve spent the most listening to music instead of caring about how I look, apparently.
Anyway. I highly doubt that there’s anyone still here, since this has been far too long, but I’ve decided to add a new section to these posts – goals for the next month. These will be things I aim to do over the next ~30 days, and I’ll give you an update on my progress with them in every monthly post. These are my aims for April, here’s to hoping!
• Reach 38k words of my novel – I’ve been stuck at 33k for weeks.
• Post 3 times (not including this one) on this blog.
• Establish where I stand with certain people. *cough, cough*
• Finish writing up the psychology notes that I should have done weeks ago.
• Take part in NaPoWriMo – a poem every day for all of April!
• Read something that’s been on my shelves since before Christmas.
So there we go. My lessons, recommendations, and aims. If you’re still here, then well done. Have a cookie, or something. I hope you at least kind of enjoyed this post.
Anyway, have a lovely week, and don’t die before you come back.
Lot’s of March-y love,